Gratitude ~ Day 28

After a busy day of waterpark fun yesterday, and an overtired attempt at the evening story-time, the kids climbed into bed and crashed.  Rested and refreshed, Seneca woke first needing help getting her hands washed, and Calder awoke shortly thereafter.

“Daddy, guess what today is?” he asked, stretching.

“I don’t know, Buddy, what is it?” Garth answered, knowing Calder wanted to share the news first.

“Thanksgiving!” he shouted excitedly.  “Happy, Thanksgiving, Daddy!”

“Happy Thanksgiving, Buddy,” Garth answered as Seneca made her way to her big brother’s bed to wish well and give him a hug.

Before joining the quiet celebration, I listened and tucked this little moment away for those times when it seems like they forget what’s really important.  Because when it really counts, they do know it.  They are grateful.  They are amazing kids and we are so lucky to be their parents.

Today, we are so thankful for the amazing family we as we were able to celebrate with Garth’s parents for Jill and Garett’s first time hosting Thanksgiving dinner.  Good food, great laughter, and loving family – what more could we ask for?

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Coming Together

Your family and your love must be cultivated like a garden. Time, effort, and imagination must be summoned constantly to keep any relationship flourishing and growing. 
– Jim Rohn

Peas 2 

Families are the compass that guide us. They are the inspiration to reach great heights, and our comfort when we occasionally falter. 
– Brad Henry

 The Right Tools

The great gift of family life is to be intimately acquainted with people you might never even introduced yourself to, had life not done it for you. 
– Kendall Hailey

Gretchen and Kegan

Has it really been almost six years?  I remember how my nerves made my stomach dance as I met everyone for the first time, knowing that in a few short months this would be my family.  I remember being prepared in advance to be called the wrong name.  I was.  I remember that instead of feeling uncomfortable, I felt calm and relaxed because this was a family just like mine. 

Now, my own children are introduced to aunts, uncles, and cousins.  Pictures are taken to preserve memories, despite their limitations ~ how do you capture the smell of the breakfast prepared on the campfire, the spicy-ness of the gumbo that tickles your nose, or the sounds of squeals and giggling by the many great-grandchildren bustling about? 

Again, we come together across the miles by air and by car, we have come together for a brief moment before going again our separate ways.  Wanna glimpse of our family fun?  Go ahead, take a peek!

Happy Birthday, Gav!

I’ve always operated under the notion that late is better than never!  So, having finally found my way back to the treadmill after far too long, now that both children are napping and I am once again putting off the loads of school work that will forever call to me from the remote corner of the dining room table, I figured it was a great time to send you belated (but no less sincere) birthday wishes!

It’s hard to believe it’s been nearly 8 years since our first meeting where you promptly shot me twice with your air soft gun and told me to squish your nose – the lasting evidence of a hard fought ice hockey game between brothers!  There’s hardly a dull moment when you’re around and it’s just one of the many things I’ve come to appreciate.

Here’s to a terrific year! 🙂

41 years (and 12 days)

I’ve always loved the stolen kisses and knowing glances playfully batted between you.  While not explicit or perhaps even intended, these lessons of life ~ of love ~ are precious. 

As I travel back in time to bring you these anniversary wishes, I’m quite certain that your journey – through all the joys and sorrows – wouldn’t be traded for anything. 

Congratulations on so many wonderful years together!  We love you!

Theme Thursday ~ Holiday Aftermath

I don’t know if this qualifies as “aftermath” necessarily, but I’m using today’s theme to catch up on the third, and I believe final round of family Christmas pictures…until next year.  Or would that be this year, considering it’s already 2009 and I’m just getting around to posting now….Hmm?!

It seems like the theme for end of the year holidays was togetherness.  For Thanksgiving, we had my entire family together for the first time since January and for Christmas this year, Garth’s entire family was together for the first time in a while as well.  We thought we’d celebrate by capturing some great family shots.

Today you get to feast your eyes on the “formal” shots of our holiday gathering.  Just curious if anyone else has trouble with their images getting “goofy” when the size is adjusted to fit the display window?  In some of the shots below eyes are squished, lips disappear among other oddities.

Great and Grand kids

Little ones + sugar + crowds – naps = a very real snapshot!

Grandkids

Think they’re proud grandparents or what?!

Cornwell Clan

The entire family!

First Christmas as a Family of Four

I really like this family picture!  Seneca’s expression is such a reflection of the little personality she’s starting to flaunt! 

Beribboned

I wanted to try a texture here because the picture was too bland by itself.  I like the sepia tone of this background, but forgot how to replicate it for the one of them together.  And, I know I erased too much, but I had to run and was too lazy busy to come back and fix it.  I also wanted to fix her hair where the light was hitting it, but I was having no luck with the paintbrushes!  Believe me, it wasn’t pretty!

Holiday Smiles 2

This “surprised” look was the best I could do to get them together.  For a good laugh, take a peek at this outtake!  I’d love to hear ideas or suggestions about better ways to use texture to enhance images.  I’m all ears! 🙂  If anyone wants a hand at processing these images differently, I’d love to see other interpretations!