photos of undermining growth


For the past couple days I’ve been going through several photos of ones taken throughout this year.  I’ve been trying to decide which ones are best for a Christmas card photo and how to convey all our family has endured this past year.  I just cannot seem to choose 3-4 photos that transmit it all.  It makes me value the importance of words and reiterates the expression, “a picture is worth a thousand words”.  .  Yet I am stuck with choosing the perfect picture(s).  For I want our Christmas photo to be one that conveys many words—words describing all the feelings, experiences, learning, and growth within the past year.

It’s difficult to describe that said growth.  There lies the reason I’ve had such difficulty choosing the perfect photos.  Our family has truly grown this year—not only physically (in Jonah’s sense), but personally.  I look at Jonah’s first scoots and moment captured of crawling.  I see determination as he takes his first steps.  I smile at his interest in daddy’s planes and wonder if he’s at that point of where dreams develop.  I am curious if he’s near that stage we as adults speak of when referring to time. --- if he’s developing his own specific “moment I can remember”.  I reminisce, looking at photos from his first birthday party.  Today he has grown taller, his personality shines, his understanding of the world is deeper.

I look at photos from the beginning of the year to present day and see the dependency that was once so vivid decrease.  Jonah now is a more independent boy with an abundance of curiosity and fearless wonderment.  His vivid expressions are clearly something that is passed down by yours truly and he is not afraid to express his sense of liveliness.  


Watching the bond between father and son is a joy.  From the photos of the first moments with his son and those now, the bond still holds strong.  There is nothing better than watching Jonah look at pictures  and recognize ‘dadda’ himself.  

Patrick and I have both set active goals for ourselves this past year and have met them full force. I laugh looking at my half marathon finisher photo—I am clearly expressing happiness.  Happiness not otherwise felt if it weren’t for a strict training regimen, an abundance of sweat/sometimes tears, and a determined mindset.  This dedication, drive, and determination are characteristics I didn’t know I held within.  Similarly, I see excitement in Patrick’s smile as he finished the Seattle to Portland ride.  There is a presence of pride and another affirmation that he can do whatever he puts his mind to.

I look at photos of my reunion with my mother and siblings.  I reflect and notice that I’ve learned more of who I am—what makes me ‘me’, and the traits that I share with my new found family.  I now know where my traits stem from. I have seen myself in my mother and siblings and feel more grounded.   I’ve learned where my breaking point lies, now know what it means to endure “waves of emotion”, and carry a deeper definition of family.  

Viewing my ‘cake creation’ photos, I smile. This year, I’ve tapped into what makes me happy.  I’ve found outlets that are therapeutic and have allowed myself to dwell within the creative nature God has given me.  I have recognized the importance of time solely by myself and have embraced it.

And to think I get all these ‘words’ from these photos—words that may not ever be  noted with the options at hand….  Of course, Christmas cards will be sent--for it wouldn’t be Christmas without them, but I hope this post gives a deeper reflection.   It has simply outlined what I’ve wanted to convey our family has been blessed with this year--An undermining, beautiful, note-worthy growth.  

Traditions hold strong


This year Iam really thankful for traditions.  I’ve learned that traditions are very comparable to the definition of a true friend.  Regardless of what hiccups you’ve had along the way, it will always pick up where you’ve left off-no grudges or questions asked.   This year Jonah experienced Thanksgiving in all its glory.  Slightly different from last year, he saw traditions at first hand—however, I want to note that I would never demote last year’s Thanksgiving in any way.  We made wonderful memories.  Reflecting on last year, and the time spent with our family makes me smile.  I am once again reminded that Thanksgiving, in addition to the tradition of a good meal, is TOO, about family and its importance. I look back and smile at Jonah’s innocence and laughter at 'Sharis', and release any grudge I held against the weather.  

Our family holds traditions-a large table is always beautifully set for dinner.  There will always be grandma Reimer’s crescent rolls made, lima beans present, and although you may not notice it, celery will always make its appearance in my mother’s stuffing.  My aunt will always make her delicious green jello salad and some type of cream pie (chocolate or coconut) will sit at the desert table waiting to be devoured.  A blessing is always said, thanking our heavenly Father for the many blessings He has given us, expressing our gratitude for family and friends to gather together.  Laughter, stories, and smiles fill our home—something that I look forward to each and every year. 
Eighteen of our family members gathered together yesterday to enjoy the traditions our family has made.  It brought me a sigh of relief. Our family traditions held strong.  Not that I had any doubt they wouldn’t, but it was so nice to experience the joy of Thanksgiving and what I’ve grown up with it being.  Enjoy a few snapshots we took throughout the day. 

First hair cut


I had to mentally prepare myself for today. What may not seem a big deal to some, it surely was one for me.  One that marks a deeper reality that my son is growing up.  Jonah had his first hair cut today.

He sat with many options for distraction--a gadget filled police car, several toys, and a movie to watch. Watching the stylist put his cape on, Jonah was probably more ready than I was at that moment.  A moment that most likely was nothing out of the ordinary for others, but one I had to embrace myself for.  This was my baby--getting his first hair cut. I managed to get by with only a few tears myself--knowing the very hair that was getting trimmed was the virgin hair he was born with.  With only a few fearful cries himself, Jonah sat and got a stylish new do.

As much as I wanted to keep it (and I did..a small amount for keepsake), the cut was much needed.  He now sports a handsome cut, lacking any makings of a fine haired mullet, and providing us a clear view of his ears. My 'not-so-little' man looks so handsome.