Just ignore the horrible Photoshop work on this picture for one second to pick out which of the kids in this picture are the photographers kids? :)
Anyway, my brother, his wife and five kids who live in Houston, TX spent the holiday week between our house and my sister-in-laws parents house and it was so great to have them here. We had not seen them since last Thanksgiving (2006), and I had never met the youngest - McKinnley. She is a doll and the first time I met her she had a huge smile on her face and then came right to me!
Anyway there is this transformation that takes place with siblings from hating them in high school, to being too busy for them in college, to reconnecting with them when you become parents. My brother and I have done that, and I can't imagine my life without him. He is always on of the first people to call and check on me if I don't blog. He is the first one to try to cheer me up when he reads my blog and sees that I am down. It was so nice to have him here, and as you can see from this picture, the cousins had a GREAT time together.
I think I did pretty well trying to talk him into moving back home so that the kids can grown up together. As I mentioned before, Brian just got hired at Continental to fly the big guys, so all of us are hoping he comes home and goes back to commuting out of Newark.
I will keep my fingers crossed, and I know CJ and Connor are too!
Anyway, from lower left to right is CJ (6), Reagan (7), and then the top from left to right is McKinley (8 months), Jami (9), Ryder (2), Connor (4), and Brandon (10).
Yes, I love Crocs so much that all 10 (yes, TEN) of my nieces and nephews got a pair for Christmas this year. They came in all shapes and sizes. All 10 pairs where a different color too...which wasn't easy!
The boys got Sabres Crocs as well, so this year I bought 12 pairs total! Nuts! Stock?
Anyway, I am just getting to the Christmas pictures...well...not tonight, I need to catch up on some TV!
Well...we are finally here...Christmas Eve. In October working all of the late nights, I never thought it would ever come! It is here, and it is so awesome to see the boys SO excited. I don't think CJ slept at all last night. He couldn't fall asleep and of course it was the night Chris and I picked to wrap presents!! We ended up locked in our bedroom to do them, but every time we would go in to check on CJ he would say, "I just can't stop thinking about toys!"
In the middle of the night he came into our bedroom wide awake and all upset because he went downstairs and there was nothing in his stocking and nothing under the tree!! He was one day off, and must have been dreaming about Santa.
Connor STILL has not told CJ about the Wii...so that is awesome! At least there will be one surprised kid in the morning!
Anyway, this entire Christmas season the following quote has been on my desktop of my computer with a picture of who said in, the Grinch.
"Maybe Christmas, he thought, doesn't come from a store. Maybe Christmas...perhaps...means a little bit more."
Maybe Christmas perhaps means a little bit more. This year my gifts are not under the tree. They are gifts that I will never forget. Gifts that touch my heart and soul daily. They are 5 months of life changing experiences with Christy and Christy's Crew. I have learned that if you think positively, positive things will happen. I have learned how you react to things directly effects how people around you react to things. I have learned that there IS still so much good in the world. I have learned that if you are passionate about something, you CAN make a difference. I have learned once again, to treasure my friends and family, because you just never know. Christy is a survivor, but not every is as lucky as she is. We have lost so many this year to cancer, including Christy's Uncle Mike. I have learned to ask; people want to help, you just have to ask. I could go on and on, but you all know how life changing the last 5 months has been for me.
I ask you to take a minute and think about this. Maybe Christmas isn't REALLY under the tree. Maybe Christmas perhaps means a whole lot more.
Starting Christy's Crew and being a part of something that I really feel deep down in my heart will made a difference in the world has been life changing for me. I can't tell you since July how many lessons I have learned that really changed my perspectives on so many different things in life. I have said over 100 times in my blog that this whole process of starting the crew and seeing what has happened has been the most amazing "ride". Today, these feelings continued.
As most of you know, we are in the home stretch for getting ready for our walk. It is only 4 months away and we need to raise about $14,000.00 more dollars and get our bodies ready for the walk. With the new year just around the corner, one of the first thing I wanted to do with the crew is get us all rolling on the training side of the walk.
I am a member at the Iron Butterfly here in Victor. This gym has always impressed me, not only for their facilities, but their place that they have made in our community. So, last week, I decided to approach them about being the "official training center of Christy's Crew." I sent 2 e-mails, and they both came back. So I called. My message got put on the owner Dylan's desk, and was picked up by his wife and co-owner, Robyn.
Last night I got a call from her. We talked about what I was looking for, and I filled her in on the Crew, what we had been doing, Christy, the walk, and all of our information. I was trying to get some sort of discount on memberships for the crew in hope it would get everyone moving. Robyn told me that she would talk to Dylan and get back to me. Last night she read our blog from beginning to end.
This morning I woke up early as I always do and started my Christmas baking. At 8:40 my phone rings and it is Robyn. She wanted to know if I would come down to the gym, she had a proposal. No shower yet, covered with flour, and over all was a big mess! But...I cleaned myself up and headed down. The whole way there I didn't know what to expect.
As you know, what I expect and what has been given with anything involving Christy's Crew has been two different things. Time and time again we are amazed with peoples generosity.
Robyn brought me into her office, gave me a picture book of women with breast cancer associated with a Gilda's Club fundraiser they had, and started with her proposal.
1. FREE memberships to EVERYONE on the crew from now until walk day.
2. FREE weekly group personal training sessions with one of their personal trainers who will be responsible to get us ready for the walk.
3. Workout t-shirts with Christy's Crew and the Iron Butterfly logo's on them.
4. Donation of 20 ONE-ON-ONE personal training sessions to Christy's Crew so that WE (the crew) can give them to Christy for Christmas. They did not want them coming from the Iron Butterfly...but us. How amazing is that? Robyn knew that PT sessions where on the TOP of Christy's list this year, and wanted to make sure she got her wish...
5. Robyn and Dylan also own their own film studio, and they are going to do a "documentary" on our progress and even go down to DC with us to film us down there as well.
6. Robyn is going to join the CREW!!!!
This is huge. Our biggest corporate sponsorship so far. It has the potential to be life changing for ALL of us as far as our heath goes. I cried. I did. What a gift. Robyn wanted to make sure that she presented this BEFORE Christmas so we would all enjoy our holiday...and we could give Christy her present as well.
I went down today and presented Christy with her PT gift...she was so excited....she has been through SO much over the last few months. The last two weeks have been the hardest yet. It was so awesome to see her smile today when I gave her our gift...it is so nice to be able to give back to someone that has given SO much to all of us since July.
Here is to new boobs and a new body for the entire Crew Christy!! All of our dreams continue to come true!! Cheers!
I am done shooting for the year...except when you get the opportunity to shoot a newborn! My cousin Brian (AKA Bump) and his wife Laura had this little baby girl last Sunday. She is one week old today. I went over their house last night to do a photo shoot with little Finley Rose, and she was just perfect. TINY!!! 6lbs and change! I think it is so hard to believe when you kids get bigger that they were EVER that small...well, mine weren't....but they were will small!
I had to try this sled shot - Brian and Laura were real troopers letting me do some fun stuff.
Anyway, congratulations Brian and Laura and big brother Aidan! She is just perfect!
I still don't believe it...I don't. I posted that picture this morning saying how bad I wanted one of these for my boys...
I have not been having a good string of days...today my luck changed. My boss called on my way to Target ( I am off today) and went over my review, announced my bonus and raise. :) I was thrilled with all of it. I am going to be working more in QA and development of a new Roamex Analytics product in the next few months, and I just love it. I love new challenges. Anyway, I wanted to take some of it and pay my sales tax for KW Photography that is due tomorrow, and the Chris said, take the rest and get something for yourself. Nahhh....
So I go to Target to get Connor some new dress shoes, and I go to pay and some lady walks out with a Wii in her hand!! NO WAY. So I go running down to the electronics aisle (I had heels on for the first time in seriously 6 months) with Connor in toe. He is totally bitching because he wanted to leave the store and he pulls this whole 4 year old temper stuff down the whole aisle...I keep walking...I can see him. :) He follows slowly. I find someone and ask if there are any more Wii's....
THERE IS ONE LEFT!!! I flippin' got it!!! Of course Connor had to be with me....but I wasn't turning it down. Just as I pay for it 3 other people come running down the aisle and ask if there is more...nope, "SHE got the last one!!". The BEST feeling in the world. Yes I did! My boys are going to be so excited (well, Connor already is.)
Now I have to return all of the other stuff I got them so I can give them this....
Finally....something goes right for me....
Life is good. I am so excited for Christmas this year...this is going to make my kids day....and mine. :) Now if Connor can just keep his mouth shut for the next 4 days so it can at least be a surprise for CJ that would be awesome. How long do you think it takes? I say less then 5 minutes.
A couple of weeks ago Shannon and her family came over to do some work in my studio. We did all of the required shots and then Taylor wanted to have some fun being a super model and and doing her own thing. She took everything movable she could find in my studio for a prop and put it all in one picture. She wanted me to post it online like I do my other pictures...so here it is! :)
Taylor...I think you have a future in photography!! This looks great!!! Beautiful!!!
I know...I know...no posts in like forever...my brother called yesterday saying my posts have been a bit down and that I have not posted...but I am here to tell you that I am STILL ALIVE!! :) Holding on by a thread!!
We had a busy weekend...our college roommates Justin and Joy and their two girls came into town before the storm. They bought their two girls Hannah Montana tickets for Christmas and they wanted to be here before the storm hit. The storm really wasn't much of anything, but it was much better driving from here for them than it was Watertown! Anyway, they brought their wii with them and it was so much fun.
CJ decided at the end of the weekend that he wanted Quincey and Jenna to be his sisters so he could play the wii all of the time. You can see Chris playing Boxing above...he was literally sore the next day!
Well...I sent Chris and Justin to Target at 8:00 am on Sunday to try to get one and there where 100 people in line already. I have www.wiialerts.com set up to send me e-mails when and online store gets them. I have had 2 alerts for the actual system, and I missed both e-mails because I wasn't at my desk (which doesn't happen too much this time of year). I am sure on December 26th we will be able to get one...so we will wait I guess.
Everything else is good. I have been waking up at 5:48 on the DOT every morning. Why do our bodies do that?? I don't get it at all. I get up and I work for an hour or so before the boys get up, which is nice.
Connor has his Christmas play this morning and his sing along this afternoon...let the holiday season begin!!
Christy's Crew will be at Barnes and Noble in Webster tomorrow from 9-5 wrapping presents for donations. Come see us. If you don't leave a donation Santa will bring you coal.