More Twins!

This is the second year I’ve had the fun of photographing this little family. They are a little internet shy but were kind enough to allow me to share a few images of their precious twins who turned the BIG TWO-OH! the day before our session. Little Bryce wasn’t feeling well so was pretty subdued, but her brother Calvin had her energy and his to boot! For the most part the two were off in different directions and didn’t want to hug, hold hands, sit together … everything I wanted of course. At the end of the session, I told momma that I wanted to try one more time to get a nice picture of them sitting together. To that she replied “I try for that every. single. day. ūüôā

Arya and Mila

Got a little treat for you all today — a double treat actually. ūüôā Meet two very loved and long awaited for little girls who have blessed the lives of Cody and Maira and their families. Cody’s folks, our friends and first time grandparents, had Mike and I and all our friends praying often for these two blessings. There were some difficulties but God is good and just look at them now. (Be honest now … you just want to reach out and pinch those little cheeks don’t you?) Arya is around 7 pounds now and Mila around 8 — and had they been born on their due date, they would be a week old in these pictures. Thank you for the joy of getting to be around these two — on July 4th no less — and making some lasting memories for everyone. They don’t stay little long!

Kathy - July 15, 2017 - 8:19 AM

Oh my gosh. Arya and Mila are so precious and beautiful. Love the pics!!

Linda J. - July 15, 2017 - 9:23 AM

So precious and so loved.

Diane - July 15, 2017 - 9:37 AM

Oh Mary I just love all the pictures. Mila and Arya are so precious and such beautiful babies. I am so happy with the families pictures too. Cody and Maira have waiting awhile for that picture. You did a great job thank you so much.

Brenda - July 15, 2017 - 12:27 PM

Those photos of the twin baby girls are so precious! And the family photos are so awesome too. Many, many prayers have been said for these babies and the entire family and it is so wonderful to see the beautiful photos!

Chavez - July 15, 2017 - 2:31 PM

love you guys they are so precious

Cody - July 17, 2017 - 8:13 AM

Mary, these are beautiful pictures! Those babies are so beautiful, like little angels ūüôā

Fairly Candid - July 23, 2017 - 9:05 PM

Thank you Cody and everyone else who commented. The babies are absolutely precious and it was my honor to attempt to photograph the little wiggle worms. ūüėČ

Nic and Stephanie

It was a joy to get to photograph Nic, both¬†friend and doctor, and his beautiful bride of 8 years, Stephanie. Mike went along to help me with the reflector since it was a windy day, and must have told me several times what a great looking couple they were. I think you’ll agree that their love shines in these pictures and they love the outdoors and staying¬†active.¬†Stephanie is a tennis player and Nic¬†a¬†hunter/sportsman. After our session they went to some graduation celebrations for Jesse, Nic’s son, who you can see here.¬†Thank you both for the fun and it was so great getting to know you better, Stephanie. Hugs to you both, Mary

Vince - June 17, 2017 - 12:14 AM

What a happy couple. Glad to see you back!

Cole Issac

Cole is my youngest and last g-babe and is at such a fun cute age – 22 months as you read this on the 17th. I get to watch just him every other Wednesday while Simone is in pre-school and Megan is volunteering in Sydney’s classroom and to be honest with you he hasn’t been much of a gramma’s boy but these times with just the two of us really are special as we play together. We play babies when he brings me one and he the other, and together we kiss their heads and hug them tight. He loves this. Below you¬†see him pushing the stroller around which made me get the camera, which made¬†him “show off” for the camera (with that contagious smile and happy blue¬†eyes) which then caused him to run into the chair. ¬†Oops! If we play something at the art table and I get up to do something and then return, he pats the seat next to him to have me sit back down. And you know I do. ūüôā

I went into my pantry Wednesday and he came running and slammed the door behind me then laughed at the door while I was in and he was out. It cracked us both up Рbut luckily not the glass door (which is supposed to look like that).

Just melt me now on this next one. He eventually moved over, patted the seat beside him for me to sit down, then shared his popcorn with me. 

When I bath the kids I always tell them to “stick their arms in the air — so I can tickle them under there” (as I dry and tickle their armpits). Cole is ready to be tickled under there. This kid is irresistable!

I love this next one … a baby with his baby. And as of late his pacifier is now just for nap and bed time. Megan tells me¬†he says “goodbye” to it in the morning then gets so excited at bedtime to find it in his crib.

We read books together every Wednesday in a big poof pillow in the g-babes room. I sit with my stack of books and he climbs up next to me and we read for about 15-20 minutes. One of my favorite books is Red Hat Blue Hat and there’s a turkey who puts everything on backwards, upside down, on wrong body parts, etc. then says “oops!” I read the first page then he reads the turkey page by saying “uh oh!” He’s so smart. ūüėČ

Once Megan and Simone return from school we have some lunch and play some games while Cole naps — well normally.

“Cole Cole” with “Ninny” and “Mo Mo”.

And last but not least, the happy guy playing with his happy daddy. It works two ways for Robby — he gets to play and get a work great out!

These moments are fleeting. Boo hoo. Love you Cole! XXO Gramma

Megan - March 16, 2017 - 11:10 PM

Poor third child. At least his awesome gramma takes time to write an amazing, sweet and memory freezing post about him and all the fun things he’s into. There’s that pit in the back of my throat suffocating me about how mine isn’t all documented, and how my baby will soon be two. Thank you for doing this, mom.

Tracey - March 17, 2017 - 7:24 AM

Mary you are the best. The family is so lucky to have you. You do such a great job with all your grandchildren. None of them have been left out. You take such catching pictures and I truly enjoy seeing your family and sad that they are growing so fast. Sidney is so cute and growing up way to fast and the same goes for M.J. Just seems like yesterday they were the babies. Glad your family has all these wonderful pictures and have had such great times together. More to come. There is so much more fun ahead. God Bless you all.

Fairly Candid - March 17, 2017 - 9:45 AM

Megan, we all go through that, even me, so just enjoy the ride of those three fun kids you have. Cole isn’t missing out on anything! Lucky boy to have you.

Linda - March 17, 2017 - 9:45 AM

Seriously, no wonder you get so many cool pictures! You carry your camera into the pantry just in case you come upon a photo op. What a clever grandma you are! Also, it doesn’t hurt that you’re a stellar photographer. I’m lucky to carry my brain into the pantry. . .wait, I don’t have a walk in pantry.

Fairly Candid - March 17, 2017 - 9:46 AM

Tracey, you are so kind in your words. Thank you for your comment. I have very fond memories of bringing MJ and Sydney into Hawley Troxell – seems like yesterday. It was always so fun to show them off! Proud gramma over here always. Love, Mary

Fairly Candid - March 17, 2017 - 9:50 AM

Oh you are so funny Linda, and so observant! You are right, I did NOT carry my camera into the pantry, but when he did that, I pushed (dramatically of course) the door open (to his ferocious giggles) and ran and got it and (of course) he wanted to do it all over again. Waa-la!

Megan - March 17, 2017 - 12:42 PM

I meant to also say thank you for his gramma Wednesday’s. No wonder he waves goodbye and runs to get toys…You give him your undivided time, attention and love.

Kathy G - March 17, 2017 - 9:32 PM

I usually like to pick a favorite, but this time it is too hard to pick a favorite.

Vince - March 20, 2017 - 8:24 PM

Awfully cute.

Alistair Dean

Meet adorable Alistair (pronounced Alister) who was due on his cousin Addi’s 2nd birthday of Valentine’s Day, but was¬†born a week earlier on Tuesday, February 7 at 10:15 AM¬†— which, coincidentally, is his sister Lily’s 5th birthday.¬†How cool¬†is that! He was 20″ long and weighed 7.12 at birth and when we photographed him at¬†25 days old he¬†had gained a few pounds beyond his birth weight. I haven’t been around babies for a while and he was everything in a baby you’d want. He loved to cuddle, he was squishy, and he hardly fussed as long as someone was holding and snuggling him. Can’t blame him for that!¬†We shot this session¬†at my girlfriend Gloria’s house and Alistair makes three grandbabies for her and Michael now – two princesses and a prince. Perhaps that number will grow once Addi begs to have¬†her own little brother. Time will tell. ūüôā Congratulations to Dawn and Derek and big sister¬†Lily. May the love in your family grow beyond measure as you¬†love on¬†this new miracle of God. He sure is a beautiful boy. Love, Mary

Gloria - March 15, 2017 - 8:19 PM

Sweet baby Alistair! A special moment for us all! Love all the pics. Lily with her baby brother is priceless! As they share the same birthday it bonds them more. Great pics of the family also. Thank you Mary! Great job!

Fairly Candid - March 17, 2017 - 9:38 AM

Thank you Gloria. I have some regrets of pictures I didn’t get (like always) but he sure provided some sweet entertainment for me. Lily is going to be so good with him and it only gets better from here. I’m excited for all of you.

My Little Loves

I intended to do a Valentine’s post but it never happened because of illness, this, that, and the other (procrastination) so the following few images were taken over three weeks – some indoors, some out, some with flash, some with natural light — so of course nothing matches. That’s ok with me – they are just snapshots¬†of my little loves, for my own photo book … but in case you want an update of how fast these little loves of mine are growing up, please read on. ūüôā

 

MJ (called Matthew in first grade and Bubba at home) is the oldest at 7 and in 1st grade. The expression below is from me asking him “MJ, tell me your girlfriend’s name.” “Ah Gramma, come on, you know I don’t have a girlfriend!” He’s a busy boy, always wrestling with his little brother, wearing the knees out of every pair of jeans he owns, and eating his folks out of house and home. I volunteer in his classroom once a month and he’s a good student and is a great little reader. He loves to participate and answer questions and is a friend to all. He is one of a few blonde haired boys in the classroom in a sea of diverse culture¬†which¬†I think is¬†awesome and his teacher more so. He can be quite competitive in board games, and a little sneaky too (like his Grampa?), but I never let him get away with it (Grampa either). Ha! He will be playing baseball soon under his dad’s coaching and that will help run off a little energy as soccer did this winter at an indoor field. It was fun to see the change in him from the first of the season to the last. He became¬†quite the competitive player! He’s also in cub scouts¬†so this handsome boy is well-rounded. What a cutie.

Jayden (also called Jay-d-bug, Buggie) will turn five in April and hasn’t changed all that much this past year except to get taller and taller. He’s still the same sweet lover boy that talks a mile a minute and never stops moving or eating. He’ll be in kindergarten next year and I’m sure he’ll be the class clown because he is constantly making me laugh with his silly faces and voice impersonations (you should hear his Batman). Since Danielle volunteers several times a week in MJ’s old kindergarten class and first grade, Jayden gets to tag along so all the teachers know and love him. I started Bible Study Fellowship on Tuesday mornings and Jayden gets to come with me to that. He comes out each week quoting his Bible verse and telling me about his day then we go and visit my mom and have lunch. It’s one of the highlights of my week and I hope his too. He also played soccer this winter and ran with the pack always wearing that happy smile of his. To have him tell it, “Gramma I never get tired.”¬†His favorite game is Memory but recently I taught him Monopoly Jr. and when Danielle came to pick up the boys she played a game with us. Well, Jayden was all about wanting to share his money with his mom when she was going bankrupt and even got a little teary when she was losing because he wanted to take care of her ¬†…. but then¬†…. every time someone landed on his property and the rest of us¬†started to go broke from paying him, the tears dried up and¬†he would yell out “I’m going to be RICH!” Oh Jayden, you are quite something.

Sydney (or Ninny as Cole calls her) is also 7 and also in first grade (a tell-tale sign with new front teeth coming in) and loves all things girly. She shares a room with Simone, their beds pushed together, and loves that she has a little brother to dote on. She will be the most amazing mom some day of which I am convinced. She loves to read (while hating the process that got her there), and is a sensitive little thing with mood swings that at times goes along with it. She told me recently (before she’d told her mom) that she was “paired” up with a boy at school and was not happy about it. The other kids in the classroom were in “groups” but knowing the little boy as I do from helping in her classroom, I told her the teacher saw something in her that could help keep him on track and I knew she was placed there for a reason by God. She doubted it! She shared the same thing with her mom later and was told the same thing. Her teacher has told both Megan and I that she loves watching her in class because she is such an old soul, a helpmate, an organizer, a doer of good things. She certainly is. Her skills aren’t¬†necessarily prone to board games though. While she loves¬†to play them constantly, she doesn’t win much — at least at the games I have. She growls then laughs that big laugh, then deals out the cards again, determined next game will be her shining moment. She played basketball again this year and you could see how the game really started¬†making sense to¬†her. She went to a BSU Bronco game and Megan said she was asking all kinds of questions about how they were playing so Go-o-o-o Sydney!

Simone (also Mone or Mo Mo as Cole calls her) is three weeks younger than Jayden so will also turn five in April. This little one is in her second year of pre-school, three days a week. She is silently¬†observant and is reading and writing on her own now which is fun and her notes are always pretty dang cute. Here’s one Megan shared with me that she wrote to her friend Charlotte. “Shrlit I luv to play wif you. i luv to cash yl sister an mi sitr. from simone” (translation: Charlotte, I love to play with you. I love to catch your sister and my sister. From Simone). While all the g-babes and I love playing board games, this one almost always wins even when I try my best to beat her. She is fiercely independent when she wants to stand her ground, but such a sweet helper and hugger the rest of the time. She always wants to help me bake or prep meals when she’s around and she and Jayden have become quite the friends. In fact, we had to have a talk recently about how you can’t marry your cousin. ūüôā She got to take Soccer Tots this winter and her aggressiveness is definitely not on the soccer field. She is polite and timid and doesn’t want to push anyone. It’s such a hard concept to understand that what is best for life isn’t necessarily what’s best for a sport. You just stay your sweet self Simone – every team needs one.

Cole (who his family call Cole-Cole) will be two in May. What?! How? When? He is still “the¬†baby of the family” but in all ways is such a cute little man. His mommy is his most prized possession and she lights him up like no other and vice versa. Daddy is right up there too. He is talking bunches (recently delighting his “Bampa” by saying “football” and “Go Broncos”) with his most used line of “I don’t want it” in regards to healthy food which frustrates his mom to no end. He is definitely more picky than the girls (who always ate anything and everything put in front of them) but he’s definitely more of a “carb guy” I always say. I look forward to having him over every other Wednesday while Megan helps in Syd’s classroom and Simone is in pre-school. He often has nothing to do with me when Megan is around, but when it’s just him and I, we play cars and dinosaurs, read books, play blocks, etc. and when he sees Bampa they play football. This little kid is coordinated like crazy with a soccer ball too. He is handsome and silly and obstinate and adorable. ūüôā While he and Simone often battle one another, he also depends on her to be there for him – Sydney too. “Mo Mo! Mo Mo! Ninny!” He loves his sisters. He has found the word “no” and knows how to use it — with just about everything — but this too shall pass and he’ll soon be on to the next new word. He’s a little charmer and lights up a dark room with that sweet smile of his. Love you baby boy. XXO

These cousin pairs are inseparable when they get together.¬†They are loud, crazy, noisy, active, deafening, and adorable¬†and nothing brings me greater joy than to¬†see them having fun together. So where is Cole you ask? Well, I said “Cole, go sit by Ninny.” “No.” “Go sit by Mo Mo.” “No.” I always thought he should have had a cousin sibling too but Matt and Danielle said “NO”. Love you all, Gramma XXO

Megan - March 9, 2017 - 2:09 PM

Ahhhhh! How are these kids seven, almost five and almost two already?!?! I was just pregnant in Hawaii!!!! These posts are my ABSOLUTE favorite. I love when you put “pen to paper” and write your descriptive paragraphs about each one of your “little loves”. Like I told you, sometimes I feel like you know them better than I do- you hit the nail on the head when describing them. So fun to have someone else who adores them as much as we do. That’s another reason Grandparents are so special and irreplaceable. Love you!

Rob - April 10, 2017 - 9:51 AM

1st Place – Cole in the black and white photo. There is no way he came from me!

2nd Place – Cole and Megan. Cole enjoying the hug from his all-time favorite warms a guys insides.

Thank you!!!!!!

Cannon Beach 2016

Yawn (big stretch).¬†You don’t remember me do you? It’s me, Mary … From Fairly Candid? Ha! Well, it’s no secret that I have taken a long break from the computer and my normal pace these past months since retirement and it feels good to have done so. I’ve been (slowly) working on¬†projects and photos here and there and finally find myself caught up with the photos at least, so I thought I might throw a little beach action at you. After seeing all this white stuff for months, I’m ready for the beach, aren’t you?

Cannon Beach is one of my favorite places and Haystack Rock is one of my favorite sights. I never grow¬†tired of it and I take some of the same pictures year after year (five years out of the last six to be exact) and love each memory of our trip there every October. This year four of us went from Boise. We flew to Portland,¬†rented a car, had breakfast at Mother’s Bistro¬†(as we do every year), shopped at Nordstrom Rack (as we do every year), then drove to Cannon Beach to meet up with two other friends from Gig Harbor (as we do every year). While there we attended the Cannon Beach Christian Conference Center (as we do every year)¬†for two of the three days,¬†but for the most part we just enjoyed our girlfriend time together of laughing, walking, eating, talking, and shopping.¬†Yes! As we do every year! ūüôā

I was captivated by the above¬†beautiful art piece being spray painted on a building across the street from Mother’s Bistro. Below are three Kathy’s, two Mary’s and a Linda. ūüôā

The town of Cannon Beach is a cool little town with a theater group that performs weekends, good restaurants, and fun (and sometimes expensive) shopping all along one main street coming into Cannon Beach. The community welcomes dogs both in town and on the beach and this storefront shows what happiness means to them in regards to their pets. There’s a few other pictures that caught my eye as well.

Below are friends Paul and Mary and their dog Charlee. Paul was worship pastor in our church at First Baptist here in Boise years ago before moving to Gig Harbor to become pastor of a church there. He was taking a sabbatical for a few months so got to come to Cannon Beach with Mary (although he and Charlee had their own place for the three days) but occasionally joined us girls for a meal here or there. It was so great seeing him again and getting to celebrate his 61st birthday with him. 

Well, that’s it for this year. The sun is setting and it’s time to head home.¬†But we’ll be back again next year! Love you Cannon Beach!

Gloria - January 25, 2017 - 9:36 AM

My friend (Mary) is an amazing… FRIEND, PHOTOGRAPHER, TALENT, PASSIONATE, SMART, SELFLESS, HARDWORKING, BEAUTIFUL in and out just to mention a few! Great job, great memories Mary! Loved the special captures of your travels. -Gloria

LInda - January 25, 2017 - 10:15 AM

It brings back wonderful memories of special times spent with incredible friends. Thanks for posting them Mary, they are terrific as always.

Becky Hamilton - January 25, 2017 - 10:26 PM

You have such a great eye for composition. I especially like the the boots and the door. Great job.

Kathy Grover - January 27, 2017 - 9:42 PM

I vote for the boots. No wait! The 3 Kathys, 2 Lindas and a Mary!

Fairly Candid - January 29, 2017 - 2:12 PM

Thank you everyone for chiming in. It’s always fun for me to read your comments, but as for you Gloria, I think you must have been thinking about one of your ‘other’ friends when you wrote your comment. No worries, you just make me want to do better. And to you Kathy and Linda, can’t wait till next year. In writing my post it made me think that perhaps we should branch out a bit and try new things? ūüôā Love you, Mary

Tracey - February 20, 2017 - 11:18 AM

Mary, I miss you so much. I’m glad to get to see your pictures. You are such a great photographer. Can’t wait to see more. Love to you and your Family.

A Tamarack Thanksgiving

As I explained in my previous post, our family spent three fun nights at a Tamarack Resort townhouse over Thanksgiving. The kids had the most wonderful time doing crafts¬†every day, sledding,¬†hot tubbing, watching endless movies, having books read to them, snacking, eating candy, and eating wonderful meals. Oh wait, all the big¬†people got to do those things too (with a bit more work added in). ūüôā On Thanksgiving day we did have turkey and some of the trimmings, but scaled it down so as to have a more relaxed day. It worked and no one went away from the table hungry that’s for sure.

The townhouse had four bedrooms and three bathrooms on three levels. The living/kitchen/dining space was a bit small for the number of people and all our¬†“stuff” but no one ever complained. The hot tub was right out the front door and the sledding hill right across the fence from the hot tub. Pretty convenient. The two dads, Robby and Matt, were the best dads ever, taking the kids sledding any time they wanted and for as long as they wanted, only to be rewarded to the hot tub afterwards. Great weekend, great memories. ūüôā_mg_7153_web_mg_7176_web_mg_7171_web_mg_7136_web_mg_7141_web

Simone was so proud of her icicle._mg_7147_web

But there were tears when it broke on a sled ride. Even daddy couldn’t fix it.¬†_mg_7158_web_mg_7150_web

Jayden is a sled sandwich in this next picture. He’s wedged in between Robby and Syd._mg_7151_web_mg_7154_web_mg_7165_web_mg_7169_web_mg_7166_web_mg_7183_web_mg_7447_web

The kids made snow globes, Christmas ornaments, gingerbread houses, and reindeer drawings.

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Cole got to stay in his jammies all day one day. ūüėČ

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On Thanksgiving afternoon we went to the hotel area to go sledding. The snow had melted too much over by the townhouse, so we ventured out. It’s so sad what a ghost town this place is. Many of the houses are still studded walls inside only and the hotel is fenced in and unfinished while being somewhat protected from the rain and snow. Over three days I saw a small handful of people¬†and a few cars in the driveways. It was crazy quiet, a little eerie, but nice at the same time. I was re-reading about Tamarack on-line today. It’s been in bankruptcy for about 10 years now. Anyway, these next pictures are taken over by the hotel. There was a service road with a few bumps and some frozen snow. Everyone was¬†flying down this hill¬†and I was at the bottom taking pictures of their “fun”.¬†This smart girl stayed off the sleds. I think you’ll understand why._mg_7245_web_mg_7244_web__mg_7254_web_mg_7255_web_mg_7250_web

Cole: “You going to do that Grampa?”

Grampa: “I guess I will. It looks easy enough.” (“Oh s _ _ _!”)

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That evening a few “I dare ya’s”¬†started, and this was the result.

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All I can say is “the family that hot tubs together, stays together?” Love you all and thanks for a fun and memorable Thanksgiving weekend kids. (Grampa seconds that.)

Kathy - December 7, 2016 - 8:22 PM

What a wonderful Thanksgiving you all had. Thanks for sharing.

Megan - December 7, 2016 - 8:35 PM

Oh I just love G-babe posts. So fun to finally see what sweet images you captured while watching you snap away. Although we all need to be better about getting YOU in some of those pictures. Sorry about that!

Great weekend- thank you for giving us smiling memories to savor!

Megan - December 7, 2016 - 8:37 PM

P.S. The photo of Cole and Grampa and then the next two of Grampa made me laugh out loud. I can still see you crying from laughter when Dad came down that hill.

Fairly Candid - December 8, 2016 - 9:33 AM

Thanks Kathy for checking in (I love you for that) and Megan, I was sure your dad was going to biff it like the rest of you, but the look of terror on his face was what made me laugh. I laugh just thinking about it! I still can’t believe none of you got hurt (besides a little soreness and a few bruises perhaps). And I still have no regrets for not doing it.

Vince - December 9, 2016 - 10:49 AM

FUN!! Looks like everyone had a great time. I think the third pic is my favorite. Mikey, the first one of you is a good portrait.

Becky - December 11, 2016 - 6:38 PM

Love the pictures. So many smiles.

The Mouser’s

We got invited by Matt and Danielle to have Thanksgiving at Tamarack Resort this year and it took about one second to think about it and say YES! The Gerichs were invited and said yes as well and what a great, noisy, fun, tiring, relaxing time we had for three (sleepless) nights with our whole family. Some pics of the weekend will come in the next post, but this post is about Matt, Danielle, MJ (now 7), and Jayden (4¬Ĺ) who braved the snow and cold the second year in a row (see last year’s) to capture¬†some winter wonderland Christmas card pictures. Bowie is their lab who got to come for the holiday also. The kids bought her shortly after their April wedding almost 9 years ago.¬†She was so interested in things going on around her when she was in a picture, but didn’t¬†always want to be left out¬†either. Love you kids!

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Danielle - November 27, 2016 - 6:40 PM

Welp… looks like everyone will be getting mini Christmas card books, because how in the world will I be able to pick just a few???
The picture that made me laugh hysterically was the one of us all sitting on the ground and Bowie is peeking at you from behind. Crazy dog!!
Thank you so much for doing these!!! Love every single one.

Fairly Candid - November 28, 2016 - 8:03 PM

It was fun taking them. You guys are always up for anything — like freezing your butt sitting down while I wore snow gear. ūüėā

Tracey - December 1, 2016 - 8:49 AM

These are such nice photos. Can’t believe how much the boys have grown. Merry Christmas to you all.

Fairly Candid - December 2, 2016 - 9:58 AM

There’s something nice about kids growing up … and sad all at the same time. Thanks Tracey. Merry Christmas to you as well.

Vince - December 4, 2016 - 8:55 PM

I especially like the last one. Reminds me of a Bergman film.

The Gerichs {with cousins added in}

The photo season has come to a close and what a better way to end it up for me than with some of the people who give me the most joy — my kids and g-babes! We were babysitting the boys on this day so I told Danielle to put them in something red/black/gray and it worked out great. I got my Christmas card photo taken (thanks Megan) and we got the Gerichs and some cute cousin photos taken along the way as well. We missed Matt and Danielle but the plan is¬†to take some pictures of their family at Tamarack over Thanksgiving. We¬†might be doing falling snow pictures — which I would love actually. Now a big shout out to the Severns family for their color ideas. Megan just loved what they did and so copied it — the best compliment right? Love to my kids and to all you readers as well. Happy Thanksgiving everyone! We all have much to be thankful for. Mary

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Sydney turns 7 on New Year’s Day and she is in first grade. She loves when I come to volunteer and has even opted to miss recess to help me with teacher’s projects. Megan told me the other day that she came squealing to her after school saying the teacher told her she was good at math. Only my Sydney can get so excited about stuff like that. The teacher called her an “old soul” because of how she picks up the classroom, organizes books, etc. without any prompting. She is the best second mother to Cole too. She loves that boy and the feeling is quite mutual. I can hardly do anything right with Cole when she’s around because she likes to tell me how she does it. Ha! She cracks me up. And if you want a good chuckle, sit next to Sydney when watching a funny video or movie. Her laughter will make you¬†laugh. She definitely got Grampa’s gift of laughter. She is loud and spirited, moody at times, loves to wrestle, and almost always dresses in dresses or skirts — rarely pants — and that’s how she’s always been. She definitely has an opinion when it comes to fashion. She¬†knows what she likes. Some day this girl is going to conquer the world and I’ll be right there cheering her on. ūüėȬ†_mg_7023-1_web_mg_7087-1_web_mg_7090-1_web

Simone is 4-¬Ĺ and the middle child¬†and¬†is gracefully outgrowing her defiant ways. She always has a hug for me and she wants to help, loves an adventure,¬†and still has the grandest¬†imagination¬†as she plays house or dolls – often alone and content in it. Her favorite thing at my house is my old iPod so she can¬†listen to music and play with doll figurines, both soldiers and princesses (sometimes tying them up together). The opportunity to watch a movie will motivate her to get anything done. Books are her friends too. Read a book¬†to her once or twice, and she’ll repeat it back. She has gone to the library every week for 3 years + now. She is a sponge when it comes to learning but doesn’t really know she’s doing it or think it’s a big deal. Sydney told me the other day that Simone is better at some things than she is (and Sydney doesn’t always appreciate that). Simone is humble¬†— doesn’t even know what bragging is. She and Cole tussle at times. She gives him the business and he gives it right back — just like siblings do — but for the most part they tumble and rumble with each other all in good fun. This girl has a spirit inside and it is lovely.

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Cole is 18 months old now and still addicted to his mom, but for the first time the other day, he didn’t fuss and run to her when she returned to my house. I celebrated that! He just looked at her as if to say “I’m not ready to go yet.” When he and I are alone we get along famously as we play trucks together or take walks as he pushes his bear or doll in a doll¬†stroller. But I have to be careful how far we go because when he is tired he just sits down and won’t budge so I’m left carrying him, bear, and the stroller back to the house! He loves his pacifier still but Grampa has a way with him. He just says “Cole, give it to Grampa”, and Cole comes right over and hands it to him. Of course he might want it back the next second, but it’s pretty darn cute. He is saying all kinds of words now and is the best kid I’ve ever known to be put down to sleep. He gets all wound up at night and runs in circles¬†giving everyone¬†the boom¬†as his family calls it (wrestling). He loved being at the Farmstead for these pictures as he got to feed the goats and see all the free range chickens. He’s at such a fun age and time is flying quickly.

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These next two pictures prove that if you can’t convince your cousins to do what you want to do, it’s best (and more fun) to just join them. ūüôā

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MJ is also in first grade and turned 7 in October. He’s a sweet kid and always has a hug for me … except at school when I come to volunteer. He’s become a bit shy about it but we have a bet going so this gramma is going to turn that cart around. Ha! I love helping in his and Syd’s class. Watching their teachers teach is just amazing to me. MJ’s class is so diverse with kids from all countries and he is so kind and helpful to all classmates. He has a competitive streak when it comes to reading that I hadn’t realized. The kids are broken up into different reading groups with other first grade classes and his group was¬†timed to see how much of a story they could read without mistakes. He did awesome¬†but when another child beat his time he wanted redemption to try and beat it. All the kids were doing it and it was all in good fun. Jayden is 4¬Ĺ and still a lover and just goes with the flow. He talks consistently when he is with me and has question after question about whatever it is we are doing or where we are going. He goes¬†to school with Danielle when she goes to volunteer so he’s excited for kindergarten next year and will no doubt be as helpful as MJ. Cole is smitten with him and it’s no wonder why. Love you boys!

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And this next picture is going on the wall in a big size and will be the cover of my 2016 photo album. What joy these kids give Mike and I. We get pooped out by them too, but mostly because I’ve been so busy this fall with photos so give me a long Thanksgiving nap and I’ll be¬†ready for you kids! Love you all, Gramma

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And last my favorite blooper of the day. “PLEASE! NO MORE PICTURES!”

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Vince - November 22, 2016 - 3:03 AM

What an attractive family. I think one of your gifts is to create an atmosphere of joy and comfort. All of your subjects look so comfortable and happy. I’ve never seen one who appeared stiff or uncomfortable.

Megan - November 22, 2016 - 8:22 AM

First, the last picture. Oh my goodness. It’s perfect.

And jump, squeal, boogie! I LOVE mine! The candid ones of all the kids together and separate and it will be hard for me to choose one family picture. I’m thinking the second or third for my wall. Hmmmmmm. Rob and Simone is amongst my favorites, with the the kids on the tractor a close second. And yes, thanks Lori! I LOVE the colors!

Thank you thank you thank you. I know it was a busy season and you worked extra hard to get these done for me. You’re the best, and so loved!

Megan - November 22, 2016 - 8:31 AM

And, as always your descriptions and quick notes about each kid is so spot on. I think that’s always my favorite part of the posts that you do on my family. Yes, I love the pictures but the words and how well you know my kids definitely touches my mommy and daughter heart.

Fairly Candid - November 22, 2016 - 9:56 AM

First off, the color scheme gives credit to Nicole Severns this year and secondly, thank you Vince and Megan for the sweet words. My gramma heart is full.

Rob - November 22, 2016 - 10:28 AM

Great job Mary!!! Thank you for the wonderful pictures and words. I’ve already emailed Megan my order. :o) My Favorites are Cole pinching Syd’s nose, the family pic with Mone on my shoulders, and the one where Cole was standing on the fence. Thank you for all the time and energy you put into this, you are awesome!

Lori - November 22, 2016 - 6:48 PM

Mary, these are gorgeous! I love the first family picture, the black and white of Robbie and Simone, the gorgeous picture of you and the grandkids (!!!), and all of the amazing pictures in between! You all did such an amazing job! Nice work!

Tracey - November 25, 2016 - 4:41 PM

Mary I love these pictures. Your Grands are so cute! So happy you can have so much fun with them. Hope you all have a wonderful Holiday Season.

Fairly Candid - November 27, 2016 - 3:26 PM

Thank you Tracey for your comment that I just happen to agree with … that the grands are so cute. Their little personalities are all so fun and different.