Monday, July 22, 2013

Time Flying By...

I've been meaning to write this post for weeks... maybe even months now! Time is flying by and I can't believe August is almost here.

We are finally moving forward with house plans and are really excited to possibly start the permitting process by the end of August. Right now, we're waiting on the architect to finish phase 1 of the drawings for the interior layout this week. I'll see if I can't get some photos to share with you. I cleaned up the property as part of my gift to Kyle on Father's Day and he did a major overhaul on the yard this past weekend. Things are coming along and there's definitely hope and excitement about forward progress since we've been holding onto this property for almost 5 years now...

For the 4th of July, I went to visit the Gooden Family and see miss Nora who is already 4 1/2 years old! She continues to amaze me and fill my heart with joy. Nora's mom wanted to do a photo shoot for the holiday inspired by a magazine photo where they created stars on the lawn. I was all for it and started working on drawing the perfect star. It was hilarious. For being a graphic designer, I am not so hot with a pen in hand. After working on it for a bit, I finally had a star we could use as a stencil to create the stars on the grass. We had a great time and Nora was so patient with us while I climbed up a ladder on their porch and tried to entertain her with a windmill. We got lots of great smiles and had fun even with Nora's hurt leg.

That night, we went outside for TJ's famous firework show. I was so impressed! There was only one mishap that evening from the Funkey Monkey or Monkey Invasion - or something with Monkey in the name. It's a box shaped firework that is supposed to send spiraling flare fireworks high into the air and then explode with a loud bang and sparks of color... The box that we got sent a few fireworks into the air and the rest towards us! Luckily, Jaime dropped the umbrella down as a shield in front of her and Nora. I stood there with my mouth hanging open making sure the ones that hit the house didn't set the house on fire and I think TJ was just as shocked as I was as he took cover in the garage watching to make sure everything was okay as well. Thankfully, no one was injured and the two that went off against the house didn't do any damage. The rest of the show went off without any problems and it was amazing! Nora's face lit up and the look in her eyes was priceless. She even got to play with sparklers! We attempted to write Nora's name but the sparklers were the kind that sent off sparks instead of a constant flare so it didn't work out too well. The neighbors all enjoyed the show as well with a crowd hanging out on the corner and in driveways. The little neighbor girl just younger than Nora came over to give her a glow bracelet and glow stick necklace and talk about birthday parties. It was really awesome.

One of my favorite parts of the trip was playing Disney princess style Chutes & Ladders with Nora and Jaime. As Nora landed on the giant slide that took you back to the beginning, I said, "Oh No!!! Nora!" and made a sound that could best be spelled as "Whomp, Whaaaamp"and then Nora imitated it perfectly! Later, when she went down another chute, she did it on her own and knew the context and everything. I was cracking up and asked Jaime if she had ever heard that before and Jaime said no, that she just learned it from me. That made me laugh even harder, which Nora loved, and then she repeated it over and over and asked Jaime and I to say it with her too. I love that girl.

Earlier that day I asked Nora if she knew who I was and she nodded. I asked her if she could say "Ashley" and she did. While we were playing Chutes and Ladders, Nora said "Miss Ashley" and added the "miss" all on her own. Hearing her say that brought me so much joy and filled places in my heart I didn't know were empty. I never got to hear Skylar speak, so I'm in awe of all that Nora is able to say and do. I'm so overjoyed with Nora's health and the amazing job TJ and Jamie are doing as parents and caregivers (as well as her nurses). Nora definitely has a very special place in my heart if you couldn't tell!

When I got back from TN, I spent all week moving into my new office space in midtown Atlanta. On July 12th, I had an open-house party for the new Shutter Sweet Photography Studio which was a lot of fun. I am really excited about growing and taking my business to the next level. My photography classes are also going well and it's been really fun helping others get excited about photography! This week I get to photograph an event called Embagga Means Party featuring the group Imba Means Sing. If you haven't heard of them, take a minute to check them out! They're awesome and I'm looking forward to their concert this Thursday at the Buckhead Theater.

Kyle's birthday was last week and we kept it pretty low-key this year as we near the big 3-0. We got to enjoy the day off together, which was really nice since we've both been working like crazy. We're hoping to get up to Clemson for my birthday (also the UGA game) but we'll see how that goes. Time just keeps flying by, but we're trying to enjoy it as much as we can. Hopefully you are too! Those are all the updates for now. Thanks for stopping by and reading the blog!!!