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!

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!

Family Christmas ~ Round Two

With inclement weather in the forecast for the following day, we decided to head northward late Saturday night, following our Christmas get-together with my family.  The darkness and snoring from the backseat made it a little dicey to stay alert, but we managed to down a few Coca Colas and keep each other talking….until I too succumbed to the slumber about an hour south of the bridge.

The first few days of our arrival found me feverishly typing away to finish our Christmas novelletter and the festive atmosphere and family fun provided the perfect breaks!  Growing up we always spent Christmas Day with my mom’s side of the family and while the fun used to take place at Grandma and Grandpa’s it’s now moved to Aunt Meri and Uncle Jeff’s house.  And, as I’ve learned over the past seven years, our “tradition” is in being non-traditional.

I recall my mother-in-law showing me a picture of Garth’s second Christmas.  Not only was I struck by the adorable toddler, but also by the place settings with crab salad and either pineapple or tomato juice.  Even if the red table cloth hadn’t given it away, the meal would have signified Christmas. 

The fact that our kids get to grow up with both the long-standing practices of Garth’s family and the ever-changing ways of mine gives them a very unique opportunity.  Having a full two weeks of break this year was great!  It allowed us to spend a full week up north and still have a good amount of time to come home, recover, and ring in the New Year with my family.  We still battled some sleepless nights again – but this time they were courtesy of our newest addition.  We’re already looking forward to relaxing evenings of next year when both kids will be consistently sleeping through the night!  (I know, I’ll likely be eating these words 12 months from now!)

Here’s a whole host of family fun, U.P. style!

Christmas Morning 7

Papa and Grandkids

Kegan and Grandma

Holiday Smiles

Smile Pretty Klaire

Gretchen and Deacon

Family Fun 2

Family Fun

Christmas Table

Emily and Papa

Dad and Seneca

Sweet Lily

Concentrating on Presents

Christmas Fun

Lily

Kids

Theme Thursday ~ Imagination

The more I’ve played with PS, the more confidence I’ve gained.  While I still have so much to learn, it’s exciting to play and to get a feel for my likes and dislikes.  Before I started playing, I thought I would play up the frames, the colors, the texts…but I find that not to be so.

This is the first “project” I’ve done, and there’s certainly a few things I might’ve changed, but I wanted to wrap it up.  I love it for today’s theme, because not only did putting this together take some creative imagination on my part (even though it’s not altogether exciting), but it also begs the question about the workings of Calder’s imagination in these shots. 

Collage

These were taken two weeks ago while the guys were splitting firewood.  He wandered around for at least 30 minutes!  He went from aimless wandering to marching on a mission – oh how I’d love to know what he was thinking as he climbed around fallen limbs, tumbled into the damp leaves (which he didn’t love), and proudly wore papa’s hat!

For other imaginative work, swing by Stacy’s.