Today Lauren caught a beautiful toad in the back yard and she was completely engrossed with it for an entire hour.  She sang to it, taught it tricks, carefully examined it’s feet and eyes, rubbed it’s belly (a toad massage was what she called it), gave it Eskimo kisses (or toad kisses), and petted it endlessly all afternoon.  And then she found a little frog.  I knew her infatuation would continue and I had to put a stop to it before someone – or should I say some animal – got hurt.  Check out our little girl and her new friends, click here.

Father’s Day

With each year that passes, each celebration seems to get that much more fun with Lauren.  This Father’s Day was no exception.  As we planned secretly what card and gift to get Ryan, Lauren was determined to keep Ryan unsuspecting of our plans.  However, first I had to make sure LP was on board.
Me:  (whispering into Lauren’s ear so Ryan couldn’t hear us) “Once you finish lunch, we’ll go get Daddy his Father’s Day gift.”
LP:  “Chlorine?”
Me:  “Cologne.”
And then everyday, at least once a day, for the entire week that followed, Lauren was unwavering in her attempt to keep Ryan speculating.  LP constantly teased him with the most serious face she could conjure up, saying, “We didn’t get you a card this year, Daddy.”  As soon as the words left her mouth, she’d immediately turn to me with the hugest smile on her face.  She was so proud that she had convinced her dad there was no gift & no card…completely unaware that Ryan could see her too.  However, as her prank continued through the week, Lauren became concerned.  “Mom, next year we won’t tell daddy he’s not getting a card.  We’ll have to tease him some other way so he doesn’t know what we’re doing since that’s what we did this year.”  Well, at least she’s thinking ahead…
To the most wonderful, compassionate, and humble father who endured countless teasing over the past week – HAPPY FATHER’S DAY! To see a few pictures from our day, click here.

Mom, Dad – Tell the Story When…

One June 15, 2011, Lauren turned 57 months old.  For those who don’t want to calculate it, that’s 4 years and 9 months.  On that particular day, a Wednesday, nothing very spectacular happened, however, our day was busy.  We spent some time at the pool, we played, colored, watched a movie and neglected to fit in our monthly photo shoot.  The following Saturday, Ryan suggested we take a trip to Stillwater to enjoy some cheese fries and feed the ducks at Theta Pond.  I grabbed my camera, seeing this as an opportune time to snap some shots to capture our little girl as who she is now.  As we drove into the town that Ryan and I met, we started reminiscing about our time in college.  Lauren loves to hear old stories about the day we met, our lives together before we had her, and then most of all our lives together as a family after she was born.  She regularly asks us to tell her about the day she was born…and then wants to know her whole life story from that day on in one brief overview as if it’s nothing to condense all she’s meant to us into a few minutes.  I’m always amazed how she never tires of the same story line, frequently adding in details she remembers from a previous telling that we omitted this time.  It’s almost humorous to think a love story can be summarized into a few minutes but when I think about it, that’s what I attempt to do every month as I jot down tidbits about Lauren in hopes to capture who she is at this brief moment in her amazing life.  A story of love: our love for her, her love for us, and her lovely outlook on life and her surroundings.  There are so many things I could say about her, yet few words that could actually capture her.  It I were forced to choose just one moment that we shared over this past month that best describes the person she is now, it would have to be a conversation we had while getting ready one morning, outlining our plans for the day.  We were going to go through some of her old toys to donate.  I explained, as I have many times, that we were going to find toys that she didn’t play with as much so we could give them to other kids that didn’t have as many toys…maybe no toys at all.  She listened carefully, hearing the same description I’ve given her before as to why and then said, “Mom, it’s so sad that Santa or the Easter Bunny isn’t giving them toys.”  It was a simple statement but with one sentence she conveyed her compassion for others, an insight that was beyond her years, an innocence I want so dearly to protect, and a perspective on life that is so enduring.  I am constantly overwhelmed by her story of love.
To see my venture in capturing our magnificent girl at 57 months, click here.

Big Words for One Little Girl

Today Lauren caught me off guard a couple of times by the words she chose to use.  With a smile of a very proud mom, I must share:

Talking about a group of freckles on my arm, “You have a bunch of darker pigment there.”

While discussing different kinds of animals in a book, “What kind of species is that?”