Up until this year, Fall has always been my favorite time of year. And well, it still is, but I now have a new appreciation of Spring! Since moving into this house last summer, we've done quite a bit of landscaping/gardening work to make the outside look a little more interesting. And for Christmas, Sarah got me a book on vegetable gardening that has gotten me addicted to the idea of growing as much food on our own as possible this summer! I've been spending some evenings and weekends outside digging away and preparing the Davis family farm! It's been fun to say the least and I believe I have found my new favorite hobby! Here is a quick peek at what's growing around the Davis house! We planted everything you see below except for the gorgeous cherry blossom tree.
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For the second year in a row, I had the privilege of joining the Basic Photography classes at Charlottesville High School on a field trip last Friday and I had a blast! We took two busloads of students to the Downtown Mall so that they could practice their portraiture and to get familiar with the new digital SLR cameras since they'd been working with film up until now. Fifteen volunteers from the ever-amazing Charlottesville Photography Meetup Group joined up with us so that the students were in small groups of about 4-5 to every photographer! I walked about a bajillion miles with my group of freshmen and sophomores as we stopped to explore good lighting, to ask random people for a quick portrait, and to eat some good food. It was such a great day and I loved watching the kids get excited over great shots and having an over-all good time with cameras in their hands! Hats off to Rachel and Rachel - the two photography teachers at CHS for putting together such an amazing experience for the kids. I know they loved it and they learned so many valuable lessons in photography!
I hardly took any pictures because I was helping them most of the day, but here's one shot of my budding photographers in action.
Our girls are 7 and 4 1/2 years old. It's been quite a while since we've had to keep an eye on a kid every second of the day to watch for things like choking on little toys or sticking fingers in the electric outlet. Well, those days are back because Zach is on the move, well sort of anyway. He's flipping and rolling and trying his hardest to crawl after whatever the girls have left on the ground. It's about to get interesting around here! Having a third has been such a true joy, though. This little guy is so dang cute!
The bold look of determination
He's pretty proud of himself
PS - We were never big into the baby-proofing gadgets with our first two kids. Are there any new things out there that might make like with a third a bit easier?
PPS - Want to spend more time with this cute face? If so, let us know - we're looking for a weekday babysitter for Thursdays!
This time seven years ago, we were living in Los Angeles and Sarah was in the midst of some pretty heavy labor with our first daughter, Kyla. As of tomorrow morning, our little girl will be seven years old! I can hardly believe how fast the time has flown since her sixth birthday! This has been an incredible year and we are so incredibly proud of Kyla. She started the first grade, lost several teeth, perfected the art of climbing a tree, learned how to ride a bike, greatly improved her drawing and painting skills, got her ears pierced, and she is above all else an amazing big sister. Kyla, keep on living life to the fullest and enjoying every moment! We can't wait to see what year seven will bring...just slow this whole growing up thing down a bit, would you? We love you! Here are a few fun pictures from the past year that capture her love for life!
A few months prior to a Christmas banquet during my freshman year of college (thirteen years ago...gulp), I met this cute, curly read-headed girl. We had mutual friends and went to the same church. At that Christmas banquet, they were offering free dancing lessons in between dinner and the dancing. When it came time to chose a partner for the lessons, the girl I really hoped to dance with was taken, so I glanced across at the cute red-head and asked her if she wanted to dance. She obliged. Little did I know that the guy she had hoped to dance with was also taken! We hit the dance floor, learned to tango (well, sort of), and had a blast the rest of the evening pretending to know how to ballroom dance. Throughout the next few weeks, we spent more time together and got to know each other a little better. Over time, I began feeling as though it was time to step it up a bit with this red head and Valentine's Day was rapidly approaching. I didn't have a lot of experience in the romance department. My three or four short-lived relationships I had throughout the school years had come about either through the quintessential passing of the note or the awkward, "will you go with me?". This was college and I knew that stuff wouldn't work. So I devised a plan.
I did what any well-intentioned boy would do - I asked her out for Valentine's Day and told her we were going to the Monster Truck Rally with some friends. I pretended to be so excited about it (which wasn't difficult because what 18-year-old man doesn't love a monster truck show?) and she did a good job of pretending to think it was a fun idea. Let me just stop here and say that this was a risky move as I later found out as she was considering calling things off once I announced our plan. All along, however, I had no real intention of going to the rally. Instead, I was creating a master plan that was sure to win her heart - at least it was an impressive plan for a couple of broke college freshmen who didn't have cars!
The evening of Valentine's Day arrived. I strolled up to the red-head's dorm room. On our way out, I "accidentally" left my jacket on the couch (comes in to play later). We stopped by our friend's room a few floors down to borrow earplugs for the monster truck show. We headed back to my dorm to meet our friends. Meanwhile, the friends who lent us the earplugs were feverishly setting up an indoor picnic in the red-head's dorm room with all of the supplies I had dropped off earlier in the day. When we got back to my dorm, I "realized" that I had left my jacket back in her room with the tickets to the show. This, too, was risky, because if you know me, you know that I obsess over things like having tickets and such and you know that this would never happen in real life. Thankfully, the red head didn't know me that well then and she just laughed and walked with me back to her dorm (probably hoping this might mean we'd miss our ride to the show). We got back to her room and BAM! There was a picnic spread across the floor of her room waiting just for us. We dined on croissants, fruit, and some other things that I can't quite remember. Then we watched a movie on her dorm-sized 13" TV followed by the fireworks on campus that night before we said goodnight. That was our first official date.
Now, fast-forward thirteen years, that red head is upstairs sleeping, fighting a fever and the remnants of the flu. Our three kids are fast asleep (at least for now!). In two weeks, our oldest daughter will turn seven. A few months after that, we'll celebrate our tenth wedding anniversary! Our son will turn one a few weeks later, and our other daughter will turn five one month after that. A few weeks later, we'll fly out to Paris for a week and then travel to the French countryside to photograph a wedding! These thirteen years have been a wild ride! We've moved from Richmond to Los Angeles, from LA to Charlotte, and from Charlotte to Charlottesville. We've experienced amazing moments and devastating losses. Through it all, though, I've had an amazing friend beside me every step of the way. I've had an incredible cheerleader and a supportive fan to keep me going when there seemed to be no clear path.
Valentine's Day has always been special to us because of this anniversary, but this year amazes me. Because of sickness in the Davis house, we'll likely have to cancel on our babysitter and we've been running so hard for the past few months that there are days when we hardly get a chance to speak to each other. But I have never before in the past 9.75 years been so sure of the fact that I married my soul mate. Happy (13th) Valentine's Day!
PS - the above photo is courtesy of Paul Kim taken at our friends' Dave and Amy's wedding. We still love getting out on the dance floor to show off our moves! I thought about posting a picture from thirteen years ago, but thankfully, I couldn't easily find any on my computer. Let's just say that I was rockin' some huge, geeky round glasses and a shaved head!
PPS - yes, we really are heading to France this summer to photograph a wedding! We're booking the plane tickets this week - can't wait to share more details!
For whatever reason last night at dinner, Kyla announced that she wanted to have her ears pierced. We've talked about it before, but she's never been as determined as she was last night. Growing up in a family of all boys, I had no real idea what it all entailed anyway. So Sarah and I decided that if she really wanted it done, now was a good time! We went out this morning after we reconfirmed that she was ready and she got it done! She was very brave and is super excited to be the first in her class to have earrings. I can't believe she'll be seven in a few weeks. Our little girl is growing up!
PS - Everyone always thinks I have my ear pierced because I have a freckle right in the middle of my earlobe.
PPS - I'm not sure why I shared that, just thought it was relevant somehow.
I think I'm seriously becoming a cold weather wimp. The cold never used to bother me too much, but for some reason this winter has really got me shivering! I try not to complain because I am so thankful to have a nice house to warm up in and plenty of hot coffee to drink! The good thing about the cold weather, though, is that it's made me slow down just a little. This time of year moves a little slower, the kids go to bed earlier, and I've had just a bit more time to do this.
So maybe the cold weather's not all bad. By the way, typically you'd see me with my slippers on, but they're in such bad shape I was embarrassed to wear them for the picture. I've had them for almost 9 years and well, duct tape is holding them together. There, I said it. My slippers are held together by duct tape. And if you've known me for a while, you'll know that this is not the first pair of my shoes I've duct taped. I have a hard time letting my favorite things go, I guess. How's that for transparency on the blog? You probably know more than you wanted to know by now. Maybe I'll break down and buy a new pair next year.
P.S. - Yes, this picture was taken before Christmas - we don't still have our tree up!