Monday, June 22, 2009

We're Either Really Brave...or We've Lost Our Minds

Since this past weekend was Father's Day, I had wrapped up my photography sessions earlier in the week so that I could spend the whole weekend with Josh and the little ones. Before I give you the rundown on our fantastic DaddyDay, here are some of my favorite shots from my most recent session. We've gone to church with this family for years now, and the dad and I play in the worship band together (although, as you can tell from his rocker hair, he's got more musical rock-chops than I could ever hope to have!) I love sitting back and watching this couple because they're really turning their lives over to God and trusting Him to lead them through a lot right now. There's always a smile on their faces!

I first got to photograph these little men back in the fall, but since they had each had birthdays recently, we headed back out for another session to document their new year.

The older of the boys might be a model in the making. I love these shots, and the best part is that I didn't pose a one of them. I just followed him around, and it seemed like he just knew what what to do!

Then look at this little guy...couldn't you just eat him up?!?

But probably my favorite shot of the day is this next one. It may be a bit unconventional for a birthday picture, but my goal in photography is to tell a capture a memory, and I think this photo does just that. As I was watching them sit on the rocks in front of me, I thought to myself that this exact same shot on their next birthday will look drastically different. And in a shot of kids' faces, you often miss some of the little details like this. So out went the faces, and you've just got their sweet little four- and one-year-old legs!

As I looked back on what I just wrote, I realized this post has the potential to be crazy-long, so I'm going to break our DaddyDay post down a little. One of the best parts of the day came first, so I'll start with what I refer to as our possible serious lapse in judgment.

Josh had mentioned a few weeks ago that he would like to take Abby to this certain place. We agreed that she would really enjoy it...but we never did anything about it. So I popped out of bed Saturday morning, dashed downstairs to make our traditional DaddyDay cinnamon rolls, and announced after breakfast that I thought we should all go there.

So where did we take our three children ages four and under?

Several factors went into deciding to brave the art museum with our little ones...not the least of which was this (and it got worse as the day went on):

(Thanks, Anna, for the "here's how hot it is outside today" picture idea)

I took care of some pressing and necessary business as soon as we walked into the museum (getting a photographer's pass), and then we were off. Realistically, we were only planning on staying for 30 or 45 minutes. After all, how long was Izzy really going to ride in her stroller and look at expensive finger-paintings hanging on the walls? But we were pleasantly surprised to find that they had opened up an interactive children's section in the museum that taught all about Native American culture. BINGO!!

Five minutes into the museum trip, and the kids were making their own clay pots...

...learning about the instruments that the Native Americans used to play...

...and taking a hand-carved wooden boat ride!!

We were Mommy and Daddy-of-the-Year! Then it was time to head over to the "grown-up" part of the museum. We reminded the kids of what we had talked about in the car on the way over (quiet voice, no touching, no trying to throw balls at the statues in an effort to play catch...things like that).

For the most part, the little two were wonderful, and they hung in there while we scooted around the museum. And as we expected, Abby was in awe!

If she asked one question, she asked ten-thousand. She wanted to know what each painting was about, who painted it, and why they painted it. I probably could have taken the little ones home for a nap and come back a few hours later to get Abby and Josh.

One of our favorite paintings was the one at the end of the hallway that Abby was walking through in a photo above. Josh and I could remember visiting the museum when we were dating in college and enjoying this incredible painting.

We thought we had lost Abby at one point when she blended right in with some clay pots she was sitting by.

When the little ones started getting antsy, we moved the party outdoors and into the water and sculpture gardens. (I had obviously dressed for the inside portion was miserably hot!)

But the kids cooled off by splashing in the reflective pool (no one in black pants and a maroon coat came running after us, so we assumed it was OK)!

From the somewhat cooler, almost totally shaded water area, we moved over to the sculpture garden (which is located in a barren, gravel-filled sun-absorption pit) to admire the, um, statues?

Jack, in typical all-boy form, was running around like a crazy person outside. When I turned around to see this next shot, I was praying that I was just hallucinating from the heat.

No such luck.

Jack really did do this, and I just happened to have the camera on and ready to grab the shot (and for the record, it was a reflex...I don't claim to have actually chosen to get a photo of this)!

I found myself caught in this no-man's-land of absolutely horrified but wanting to laugh hysterically at the same time. When I looked around and saw that no one else witnessed Jack's indiscretion, I gave in to the laughter. Actually, I really tried not to react because I certainly didn't want to encourage the behavior, but humor won out, and I laughed until I cried!! Josh came over to see what the hooting and hollering was about, and unfortunately, while I was showing him the photo, things got worse.

Much worse.

But we won't go there (and no, I absolutely did not take a picture!)

We had tried to be really strategic as to what areas of the museum we visited. After all, just because it's considered art doesn't mean I want my children to see it. Mental note for next time, skip the sculpture garden!

After the Sculpture Garden Incident of 2009, we moved back inside and had a sweet moment. We've been getting a bit more anxious lately to bring our newest little one home, and with this past weekend being Father's Day, it hit even harder. So we were excited to find an original Ethiopian manuscript in the African art section of the museum. It was from some religious texts dating back to hundreds of years ago.

We'll definitely be visiting the museum again, and hopefully there will be a fourth little munchkin in this picture soon!

More DaddyDay photos to come. And don't forget to enter for the photo giveaway...I'm choosing the winner tomorrow morning!!

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