Monday, June 27, 2016

Lee Family Pictures 2016

Every two years Brett's mom plans a reunion for all of her children and their families. Part of this is always a big family picture and usually some pictures of the individual families as well. These usually end up being some of my favorites. I love having the time to prepare and make sure that we all are able to look good, especially after childbirth. It was sad that this year one of the families couldn't make it so there are a couple people missing, but we made it work with as many as we could.

The photographer was so great. She was fast, efficient, took large and small group shots, and the location that she had in mind for us was wonderful! The incredible thing about Utah is that there is so much to offer when it comes to outdoor landscapes, and Southern Utah with its red rock and impressive canyons was a great backdrop that I would never have considered until now. I love these pictures and can't wait to switch out some of the family shots throughout our apartment.

^ Eleven grand kids, and all of them are wonderful! I can't believe how much all these kids have grown up in the nearly five years Brett and I have been married. If its this much fun to watch your nieces and nephews grow, I can't imagine what it will feel like to look back at my own children.

^ Look at that handsome guy, holding a baby like a pro. I can't get over how much I love this little family of mine. Every day I am so grateful that this is the life I get to live. 

^ Dee Dee and Pop Pop. The legends themselves. Thanks for creating such amazing children. 

^ And half of my sisters. I got so lucky with Brett's siblings. I hear people talk about how its hard to be an "in-law" and not truly feel like a member of the family, but I have always felt just like one of the Lee girls and I love that I get to have these women as my sisters. 

So there you have it. I am so happy with how these pictures turned out and I can't wait to see how the family changes two years from now!

Friday, June 24, 2016

Lee Baby Cousins

One of my favorite things lately has been that Corinne already has so many cousins through our Lee side of the family. She is the only grandchild on my side, so she still gets to be the star attraction every once in a wile.

Through Brett's siblings there are 11 grandchildren so far, but the last three were all born within six months. Zach, Norah, and Corinne may not realize it quite yet, but it will be so fun to have cousins that are the same age and in the same grade in school, even though right now they are spread from coast to coast.

Before we left a family reunion a few days ago we made sure to snag a picture of all three of them together. Corinne is so close to being able to sit and play with the other kids, but for now, she is still a little floppy. If she looks a little scraggly in these pictures its because we were packing up to drive back to California, so I figured it wasn't worth it to make her look like a girl.

Corinne loved getting to meet so much new family, almost as much as they loved meeting her. She definitely got a lot of attention all weekend!

This was the first time that about half of the family had a chance to meet Corinne and it was so fun seeing how in love everyone was with her. She definitely steals the hearts of everyone she meets!

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Corinne Meets the Pool

Obviously, we live in a part of the country where there is lots of water. The ocean, lakes, rivers, and pools in every neighborhood. I've been looking forward to introducing Corinne to the water since she was born, and even though it wasn't here in California like I thought it would be, we thought it would be fun to do it during a family reunion back in St. George, UT.

We had bought her a swimsuit we thought would fit by now, but since she is a giant baby that ended up not being the case. Luckily there are what seems like a thousand little girls that we know and I was able to borrow a 9 month sized swimsuit, which fit with no room to grow, when Corinne was 4 months old. Whatever, she's huge.

Corinne has always loved bath time in her little bath tub, so I figured she would love a giant tub. At first she locked up, her eyes got all big, and the lower we moved her in the water the higher she would raise her arms. Eventually she moved through the phases of fear and curiosity and settled at enjoyment. By the time she was floating in a little baby floaty the next day she was loving it.

We only snagged the one picture because we were having too much fun with our sweet babe. But luckily there are going to be plenty of pool and beach days in the future. And the older she gets the more fun it will be!

PS. I love that Corinne and Brett have the same color hair. I'm hoping that Corinne's stays dark like this and her eyes stay blue. By the time I was this age my hair had gone from dark to blonde, so I think there is hope.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Summer Reading

Oh the start of summer. Beach days and warm afternoons with a book are fast approaching. Since having a baby I have been so grateful that I enjoy reading so much. It is so easy to just pick up a book and read for a few minutes here and there instead of watching Netflix or scrolling through my phone. Plus, since graduating a little over a year ago, Brett has rediscovered his childhood love of reading too (now that he can do it for leisure, finally). I love that we can take some time in the evening to read, and I especially love getting to talk about books with him. Intelligent conversation is the best.

Anyway, I have been in a little bit of a slump lately. I felt like I had already read all the story lines, everything became so predictable, and honestly I was sick of starting a new book and having them all be about unhappy housewives. Okay maybe they aren't all about unhappy housewives, but there were a few in a row. So the past few months I have taken a little bit of a break from the actual reading part and instead have put a lot of thought into the books I wanted to read next. I am looking forward to all of these, and tried to give myself some variety as I thought about them all.

The Big Short by Michael Lewis

A book about the housing market bubble of 2007. Honestly, I knew I wanted to read it as soon as Brett told me about it.  This will be my first finance-related book, so this might be a slow read, but I fully expect to enjoy it anyway. I was warned there is language from some of the interviews, so reader beware. 

Brooklyn by Colm Toibin

This was a book club book that my group discussed in the first couple months after Corinne was born, so I never got around to reading it or discussing it. It was a popular choice from people I trust, so I am excited to give it a try. I have this one on hold for the audio book from the library right now. 

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

I've been intrigued by this book for a while now. It seems different from others that I have read and I love branching out like this. Its about art and high New York society, two worlds that I don't have any familiarity with, but the book was so popular that I have confidence that I will still be able to enjoy it. 

The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah

Yet another WWII historical fiction novel. I can't help it. I love them. I am also excited to read a story about the lives of two sisters since I read The Seamstress earlier this year. 

The Importance of Being Little by Erika Christakis

I saw this book on the Everyday Reading Instagram feed and decided that it was definitely one I needed to read. I studied Secondary Education, but as I am quickly becoming a mother to small children (funny how they are young before they are teenagers, right?) I decided this would be a good read for me. Development and growth for preschoolers is something I can definitely learn more about.

The Read Aloud Handbook by Jim Trelease

This would technically be a re-read. I received this book as a gift at my baby shower last fall and immediately started reading. I read it during our road trip to Thanksgiving and devoured every word. Although maybe too quickly because now I can't remember a lot of the details I kept telling myself "oh, remember that" since I was in the car. This is the kind of book I need to go through with a pen and treat like a textbook. I have always been a huge fan of reading with children and encouraging them to read and this book just put a lot of studies behind that idea. The first half is academic, the whys, hows, and goals of reading aloud to children. Then the second half is a large glossary of books appropriate for all ages. It really is fabulous and I am so glad I have it as a resource to reference for years to come.

So there they are, the six books I want to make sure I read this summer, although I am always hopping I have the time and energy for me. Suggestions are always welcome, what are some great ones for summer?

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Corinne at Four Months

Well Miss Corinne, you are one healthy little girl. At your appointment this week we found out that you are now off the charts with how big you are, a true giant Lee baby. Don't worry though, the doctor made sure to stress that even though you are a big baby, you are perfectly proportionate, even with those adorable chubby cheeks of yours.

Your happy personality keeps flourishing and you are such a playful girl. You love to laugh and play, your favorite game being when I scare you. Over and over I can look away from you then jump back to make your eye contact and you will laugh and laugh. Its my favorite!

Rolling over is still just out of your grasp, but you spend lots of time playing with your feet and roll from side to side. You desperately want to stand and sit on your own, but deal with the fact that I have to help you. You are getting stronger by the day and those little fingers of yours sure hurt when they pinch!

It never ceases to amaze me how every day with you is a new adventure. Each day you learn something new, you grow, you develop. Its such an exciting time, but it also makes me sad that I don't see my little newborn anymore. When you meet my eye and I can see the recognition my heart just melts. I love that I can start every one of my days with that recognition and your sweet smile. I love you baby girl!