Tuesday, August 25, 2009

More Abby photos please...

So a few weeks back I made a small photo gear investment in an external flash, the Canon Speedlite 380EX to be exact. The purpose of the flash is to add light where I don't already have it. For dark rooms it works great, but even in normal light I'm finding it very useful because I can add more focused light into my photographs as well. Okay, bored everyone yet? Good. I say all of that to now introduce Abby's 8-month old photos that I took last Friday. She was a doll, as usual, and we got some really great photos to share with all of you. Enjoy!



And a few behind the scenes photos, too, including Abby trying to feed Toby and then deciding to enjoy the Toby snack herself. :-)

Monday, August 24, 2009

Quick Pics

It's getting late but I thought I'd share some pics from last night...Abigail fell asleep in Daddy's arms before even going upstairs for story time!
Wes went to get Abigail out of her crib after her morning nap and was concerned that she had scratched her face. I was confused because I just cut her nails two days ago, but her nails do seem to grow at a super speed. Nope, wasn't a scratch, she had slept on her hand! You have to look hard to see it, the lighting wasn't that great; and Abigail kept wanting to look at the camera.
A little later I had the two kids pose. I cannot remember if we have any CUTE pictures of them together. It's only taken 8 months, but he's really starting to love her! Matt keeps saying Toby knows his days are numbered now that she's mobile, and continuously pulls herself up on the ottoman of HIS couch.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Photo Ketchup Again...

So this week has been pretty much a blur for us. Wes has been in town all week, so Abby has had fun playing with her Tio. He isn't heading back home until Tuesday, so we've still got a few days left for all of us to have a little fun away from the house as long as the weather cooperates. The big plans for today, though, are to just clean up the house because the place is a bit of a wreck right now. As for later on this evening, it looks like Adam and Elaine will be coming over to cookout. So that's our fun-filled Saturday, folks. And since we've got busy work to do, I wanted to throw some recent photos up on the blog for all of you to enjoy.







And just wanted to also post photos of our newphew (Abby's cousin), Gavin, that I took last weekend!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Oh my, Abby's 8 Months Already!

Wow, where has the time gone? This morning I looked upon our baby girl and had to just shake my head in disbelief. That's because today Miss Abby is officially 8 months old! No way to explain the feeling of pride and happiness when I look at our little darling because she's just such a great kid already. Not only is she all over the house crawling non-stop, but she's also beginning to make more tangible sounds including an oh-so-close "momma" jibber jabber. Amazing how quickly her progress is beginning to go, which is all the reason more for us to take plenty of photos and video. With that said, I give you...(drum roll)...some recent shots of Abby. Yeah, and by new I mean 2 weeks old which means I'm in dire need of taking new photos soon, so maybe tonight I'll take some. In the meantime, enjoy the most recent images of our little 8 month old.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Yay, My Girls...and Toby...are Back Home!!

Hello everyone. Just wanted to make a quick post and say how great it is to have my family back home with me. It was a good week for Jill, Abby and Toby in Tampa, but I missed the heck out of them and am so glad to have them all safe back home again. Of course, one week away from Abby these days makes it seem like I've missed a month. Before they left, Abby was just getting the crawling down pat and was still refusing to really eat solids. Now a week later, Abigail is eating her solids like a champ and is the apple of my eye watching her crawl right to me time and time again. We had a lot of fun this evening. Honestly, no words to describe the feeling of hearing her laugh again. Hands down the best sound in the world. :-)

Anyways, Tio Wesley joined the crew on the drive back up to Atlanta, and so he'll be staying with us for a week. I'm sure my (technically Abby's) xBox will get plenty of play time this week, and we might even try to leave the house for dinner and other outings this week since he's in town. Well, it's late and I really need to call it a night. G-night!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Thursday in Tampa

Today, Abigail had smashed banana and smashed mango. SHE FINALLY LIKES REAL FOOD AGAIN!!! Last week, she slowly started liking her Happy Bellies Cereal again; although she still hadn't been opening up her mouth like a little bird again yet. This week, we're singing a new tune! Matt and I have been giving her Organic Puffs every night when we eat dinner. Abigail sits in her highchair and we giver her some Puffs to play with while we eat, it's usually a game to see how fast she can push them off her tray instead of them going in her mouth. I guess Toby has eaten so many, he doesn't even want the Puffs anymore. Well, Monday night, my dad was playing with Abigail and offered her the Puffs, and my child opened her mouth like that little bird I remembered her being! She's been enjoying the Puffs all week. Today at my grandparent's I smashed a bit of banana and she ate it. She did so well, I smashed two pieces of mango. I think the mango was a bit sweet for her, she made some funny faces (but none of them were gagging faces). I was thrilled!






Abigail had some more fun with cousins Mason and Melina!



We finished off the afternoon at Abuela's, where we got to visit with some of Abuela's cousins. Abigail had horrible napping today, so she's already in bed. I might try giving Toby a bath with some of my free time.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Sneak Peak of Pics






















Nano made his granddaughter her first Adirondack chair. She loves it!

We went to Lowry Park yesterday. Picked up Ty & Ava since they don't start school for another couple weeks (they were our ring bearer & flower girl!). Aunt Sharon, Marisa, Mason & Melina met us there too. We all had a lot of fun!

For some reason, it's not letting me access Snapfish to upload pics. I'll have to try it another time.

Being Creative While Home Alone...

It's Wednesday and I am already into Day 3 of the week-long home alone time since Jill, Abby and Toby are spending time with family in Tampa. Believe it or not, I'm still capable of maintaining some form of livelihood here in Atlanta despite being family-less, but I am surprised how fast the time is flying by already. I almost feel like I haven't accomplished much other than working late, eating badly and staying up, yet I was productive in the yard on Monday...at least up until I weed-eated over that yellow jacket nest. Yeah, thankfully I only got stung once and even though it hurt like hades I still managed to finish trimming some tree limbs in the front yard. Fun stuff for sure. Anyways, I know that at any minute Jill is going to upload some photos from Abigail's trip to the Lowry Park Zoo yesterday, but in the meantime I wanted to do a little photoblogging so that all you people concerned for my well being can see that I can never truly be bored as long as I have my camera. :-)



Ever since moving to Marietta, I've been meaning to do a photowalk through the abandoned Belmont Hills shopping center. On Monday while on my way home from work I took a detour over to the shopping center to see what I could capture. As you can see, the skies were incredibly blue and those powder puff clouds really made it interesting to shoot while facing the east. The decrepit Belmont Hills complex is falling apart on its on and is a huge eyesore in the Marietta/Smyrna area along Atlanta Rd. However, work is already under way to redevelop the abandoned property into a large mixed-use development of condos, townhouses and office/retail space. Looking forward to seeing this eye-sore removed from our area.

Friday, August 7, 2009

When Professionals Say Goodbye

As fast as this summer has flown by, today was one of the few important days that I actually marked on my calendar. I knew it would be here sooner than I wanted, but I also thought August was so far away that I semi-blocked the day out in my mind. The importance of this 7th day of August is due to the fact that it was supposed to be my last day with Philips Design. Fortunately (and unfortunately) today is not my last day, but it is for just about everyone I have worked directly with in our office here in Atlanta over the last 9 months.

Only a few months ago (late May to be exact) were we told that our jobs were being targeted as part of corporate-mandated global downsizing efforts, and that we should prepare ourselves for life after Philips. The shock of the news hit hard for all of us, but we all were in the same boat and somehow found comfort in knowing that we all would survive this together. In the 10 weeks since that announcement we all seemed to find humor in the amount of job searching, networking and portfolio/resume updating that we all have done together. We even forwarded job postings to each other in hopes of helping at least one of us out, and that personal touch alone really brought us closer together like family.

Of course, sometime over the summer my pending layoff was voided thanks to the incredible support I received from both my senior level managers and even clients. It was very motivating to know that I was needed and would actually be kept around instead of facing another layoff. However, now that the final day for everyone on my team has actually arrived, I'm trying to find words to describe the feeling. I guess the best word right now is bittersweet because here I am...still with a job...while also the lone survivor of what used to be the visual communication team. In the midst of now empty cubicles I think it's finally sinking in that things will never be the same. And there's some humor in that because when exactly has my professional life not endured change? For those that know me, my professional life has guided me from here to there over the last few years. I mean, this is the 6th office and 5th design job I've worked at in 7 years (and this isn't including the catering side gig or bar manager job I had while living in Birmingham). Hard to say that change is new to me. Just doesn't make it any easier to endure.

What's next? Heck, your guess is probably as good as mine, but right now I'm still somehow positive about the future. Our office appears on the chopping block as we've already bid farewell to half the workforce, but our senior director is an incredibly optimistic guy who is working hard to keep our office relevant. For me in particular, I am the only structural packaging designer within all of Philips Design. When you consider that there are 500+ employees globally, I think that's both overwhelming and great at the same time. It's a good thing to have clients who specifically ask for my design input on their projects, and if that can continue then there are more possibilities out there for my future either with Philips or elsewhere. Only time will tell what is truly next, but the unknown is what should inspire me to do as much as I can with the opportunity given.

For now, though, I'm going to let this day soak in as much as it can. It needs to because this day will shape my future in one way or another. The hugs and goodbyes (a few tears, too) that I've shared today have been tough, but we all know that its experiences like this that make us all better people in the long run. While watching familiar doors close for the last time are never easy, it's the new doors that begin opening that make life the journey it is.

On Friday, we lost a lot of people who's hands help build our office into the award-winning design center that it has been for many years. Now it's time to pick up the pieces and work harder to maintain what they help build.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Photo Ketchup

Abby's first trip to Zoo Atlanta!


Afternoon @ Fernbank


Abby and her many toys...


Bath time...

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Yesterday

Abigail is concentrating very hard on the Learning Puppy. She had just tried to crawl OVER the singing puppy, and as her nose smashed into his he said 'Got my nose!' Notice her tongue, it is on her top lip.
This was the second time Abigail has pulled this on top of her, but only the first time I've seen it (the other time she was with Daddy). It's hard to tell if she was going after the mirror, dragonfly or just trying to stand up using the arches (which are very unstable thank goodness!). I think the playmat might need to be put away very soon.
Here's a quick shot before we went for a mile and a half yesterday. We actually went again today. Both of the kids enjoy the outing, we're trying to make it more of a habit!

Monday, August 3, 2009

"Cheese"

Abigail woke up from a nice long snooze, drank some milk and I sat her down to play. She looked like she was going to grab a toy off the shelf, I grabbed the camera so I could show everyone how independently she goes after her toys. (While also showing off my Fun Noodle Bumper handywork.) As soon as I was snapping the picture she turned around with this adorable smile! WHAT A HAM!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

We Had a FUN Day!

Today started out early, Abigail wanted to spend some time with us in our bed this AM. Matt and I crawled out of bed around 9am...already a late start. Originally, I had wanted to be getting to the Zoo when it opened at 9:30, oh well. We were almost ready to leave the house and Abs started to crawl in our bedroom so we decided to grab the camera for some video. She's been army crawling for quite a while, and occasionally has done the regular crawl.

Once we were ready and had enough playing around we went and closed our bank accounts at Fifth Third and finally headed to the zoo. Some of my Marietta Mom friends cued me into first of the month FREE weekends at different attractions around town all we have to do is flash our Bank of America cards. (Check out http://museums.bankofamerica.com/ to see what you can do free with your BoA card!)

Zoo Atlanta was fun. I don't know if it was because a lot of people know about the BoA free weekends, or if it's always very busy on Saturdays; either way it was busy. Luckily, because we had arrived late, Abigail slept the entire way there and was fresh and awake upon arrival. She was most amused by the animals that moved: flamingos, birds, little orange monkeys, a panda. I think her favorite was the otters, four of them jumped in the water as soon as we walked up and started swimming around. (Alyssa, aren't these your favorite too?) We made it all the way around and even got to pet a couple goats in the petting zoo.

It was still early in the afternoon so we decided to visit Fernbank as well; might as well take advantage of a city we live in, esp when we have free admission! Fernbank is Atlanta's Museum of Natural History, unfortunately I was a little disappointed because I was expecting it to me more like Tampa's MOSI - I guess I didn't pick up on the 'Natural History' part. We finished up right at 5pm, closing time.

Once back home... Matt vacuumed Toby'd couch, I vacuumed upstairs, we did some laundry, I baked for church tomorrow. As I was baking, Matt started calling me to them. He was fake hitting his head, saying 'ouch' and Abigail laughed and laughed and laughed. I grabbed a camera, but not the better of the two video cameras, so I must apologize for the dimly lit over pixel-ated quality.

Our baby girl is alseep in bed so it's time to wrap this blog up, as well as the laundry and baking.