Hope’s New Smile

Hope lost her two front baby teeth today.

Hope's two front teeth

Her smile has changed, forever…still as beautiful as ever.

New smile


Hope's new smile

As much as I adored her baby girl smile for so many years, I must admit I was as anxious as she was to lose her two front teeth. Not that I ever wanted to see that baby girl smile go away but after she’s dealt with having trauma and then fillings to those two front teeth, I was anxious to see the new teeth. Her two front teeth have been loose since last summer and though we’ve wiggled those “woggly” teeth for months, they were stubborn and refused to budge. We’ve noticed her gums a bit more agitated above her front teeth and after a visit to the dentist today they advised us that it was best to have her two front teeth extracted.

It was a tough day for us, but thankfully it wasn’t long and she was wearing that smile sharing her pride in losing her two front teeth, knowing it means the tooth fairy is on her way!

Hope's new smile

Showing off her two front teeth

She’s a little proud of those two front teeth that she worked so hard to remove herself. Even with a little help from the dentist it didn’t take long for her to show off the teeth she had removed. She even offered to make a little video that we’ve posted in flickr to tell everyone about her experience this evening. This evening she wrote the tooth fairy a letter that definitely tugged at my heartstrings:

Dear tooth fariy,
I lost my two top front ones can you please take good care of them. I will miss them.

Take care of them. Say yes or no.
Please send back in time.

Hope's letter to the tooth fairy

After the events of today I’m reminded how quickly time escapes us. Though I admit I’ll miss her baby girl smile, I look ahead, smiling, knowing how beautiful her smile will continue to be…no matter how quickly she grows before my very eyes.

Published in: on January 21, 2009 at 11:24 pm  Comments (7)  

365 with our family


What is it you ask? The number of days in the year, yes, but that’s not all. For those who haven’t already heard, I’d like to introduce our latest challenge.

{Insert another one of my crazy ideas here}

My Neverending to do list

Yes, you see…I have this crazy idea that I can add more fun to my busy days. All last year (yes, since about mid January) I contemplated doing a 365 photography challenge where I would force myself to take one photo a day – and even more challenging…make sure I’m in the photo. Yes, me…the one who is typically behind the camera – you know…the one everyone refers to as the paparazzi. So last year as I gave it lots of thought I decided I’d start on January 1st of this year – and of course because my kids mean the world to me (far more than silly pictures of myself) I wanted to put as much into doing the same 365 challenge taking photos of them.

And yes, I know I hear you all telling me how I take “soooooo” many pictures as it is. Well, I admit…I do. But in focusing on learning more about photography this year I’ve found that so many times I’d end up places without my camera – and be so frustrated unable to capture moments. I’ve learned that you also get better at things when you immerse yourself in what you’re doing. In fact, most people never take their “best” photo in the first photo they take of the day – so through this the challenge will force me to take MORE photos and to improve my photography skills. Of course, in the process I have this feeling I’ll learn a thing or two about not only photography but life…and best of all – through this project so many more memories will be experienced. At the end of our 365 we’ll be making a book with all the best photos.

Of course, I’d love to take credit for the 365 idea, but I’m definitely not the first to attempt such a crazy idea. In all the research I’ve done about the various approaches – I have been most inspired by the idea that not only will it help you create memories but it’ll help you see life in a whole new way. Over the last year in researching this idea I’ve been so inspired by so many others who have participated in a 365 challenge. Day after day this past year I’ve enjoyed watching Allison’s (snippets_from_suburbia’s) 365 challenge – which was quite funny, real, and filled with hilarious moments that anyone can relate with. And this is only my first try at 365, some people like this guy Pete (arkworld) have attempted not just once, but twice. After his first 365 he took another stab at it with a cool fisheye lens approach. I’ve even been inspired by those like Lisa (LH*Photography) who threw in the towel after a couple months of photos. Seeing their awesome work certainly helped give me the motivation to start 365.

So let me go ahead and introduce our first three days of 365.

Here’s Hope, who’s been an amazing assistant. Helping with Jaylen and Bella – and even her Daddy. Heck, she’s even helped me with my first photo of the day (that you see above) as she helped position the tripod. My first 365 photo above I decided to have fun with all my crazy ideas and all the things that keep me busy and so as she saw me coming up with the concept she said she wanted to make a to do list for me too.

1/365 - Mommy's to do list

of course it’s hard for me to take just one photo, especially of the kids. On day one I took a few other memorable shots of her.

1/365-2 - Hope on New Year's day

Day two we went out to lunch at Panera…she loves salad. So photos with salad it was for day two.

2/365 - salad!

And on day two she started planning day three…blowing bubbles with her gum. We had soooo much fun taking these.

Blowing bubbles

of course, here’s the making of the photo above:

The bubble shot in the making...

I have to admit that my photography obsession in the last year has really been spawned partly from my pleasure of taking photos of Jaylen during his first year (not that I didn’t obsess over taking photos before). Through his first year I truly wanted to capture as many moments. Though it’s a little harder now to snag the perfect shot now that he’s more active – I love taking the time to capture these little moments of him as he’s growing so fast. I was a little sad on day one taking photos of him because some of the BEST photos I took of him were the ones of him crying. I got him all dressed in his “girls get in line” shirt that I’ve been waiting to bust out for a cute photo opportunity – and then he cries. All I have to say is “no” these days and he gets his big pouty lip and crocodile tears. And though I felt bad, I must admit that I did see it as an “photo opportunity”. So you can see in the photos…he was a little emotional. For some reason though I think all the girls will love these photos! How can those tears NOT pull at your heartstrings?  :o)

1 - Get in Line Girls

Of course I was thrilled that we managed to see his happy side too…thanks to Hope and Jason’s help.

2 - Get in Line Girls

Day two when we went to lunch I took this one of him with his pacifier.


And on day 3 he had fun rolling around in the blanket, which he enjoys doing often these days.


On day 3 he was also missing Jason after he left for work so Hope helped distract him with her nintendo.

After daddy leaves for work...

Of course I didn’t originally plan to take photos of Jason every day but on day one when I saw him cooperating with Hope as she was having fun with the camera I just adored the moment so much that I told him he’s going to do it too. He surprisingly agreed. These photos were taken by Hope…of Jason acting silly on day one (and me too). (of course if you’re looking for a laugh…you can see the video in flickr)

Silly daddy

On day two, he wasn’t as cooperative. He had to return to work and really didn’t have lots of time. I told him just one photo. He agreed.

2/365 - he complies for day two!

On day 3 he was also busy getting ready for work by the time we got home. But he stopped for a minute to take a photo with his little guy.

Daddy's boy

Much like Jason’s photos, I didn’t plan to take photos every day of Bella. After committing Jason to this 365 challenge we agreed to make it a family project – and Hope got excited when we said we’d include Bella. I told her I’d only agree to that if she agreed to help take photos of her (…which of course she agreed to). On day one Jason used his laser pointer to get Bella’s attention and Hope took the photo.

Pretty Bella

On day two, we waited until late in the evening – again Hope took the picture.

2/365 - "Hey, what about me?"

On day three, I was up early so I went out and took a photo of her in the beautiful morning sun.

3/365 - pretty girl

At the very beginning of this I posted my day one photo – and I must admit it was challenging. I set up the tripod (with some help from Hope) and used my remote to take the photo. I had to have taken 50 or more photos until I got the right focus and positioning. Then I doodled all the scribbles and added them to the photo…oh, do I love to doodle. On day 2 I took a photo of Hope and I. I really love how she’s enjoying this little challenge – she keeps coming up with so many cool ideas and has been such a great helper.

2/365 - helping her aspire to dream big

On day 3 I decided to use the thank you card I received the day prior from Talia’s mother as a way of sharing her story AND as a way of thanking everyone for their support.

3/365 - Thank YOU

If you haven’t joined flickr and/or added us as a contact I’d encourage you do so. I highly doubt I’ll be posting pictures every day on the blog too and I’ll likely have lots of our other photos set to private (which you’ll only be able to see if you join flickr and add us as a contact!). I’ll be returning to my classes at SCAD and teaching very soon – so it should be interesting having fun with this through busy times. You can count on me taking pictures every day and I’ll do my best to share them as often as I can. I’m quite amazed with the response in just three short days.

In starting this little challenge I have been warned and reminded how so many people start and never finish. I’ve heard how many throw in the towel after days, weeks or even months. I imagine after doing this for that long it may be easy to lose inspiration or get frustrated – I guess we’ll have to see. But, I have no doubt that seeing everyone’s interest and hearing all the encouraging words that it’ll be the fuel to help us come up with some pretty awesome and amazingly fun stuff for 365.

So when you have a little time this year check out our flickr account or you can quickly access our 365 photos here. Let us know what you think!

ONLY 362 days to go!

Published in: on January 4, 2009 at 1:41 am  Comments (5)