Small Business Saturday

On Saturday, we visited Caleab’s family. Carolyn, my mother-in-law, asked if I wanted  to join her shopping at some local shops in Fremont, Ohio in support of “Small Business Saturday”. Of course I said yes; we love to support local/small businesses and even display a lovely “BUY LOCAL” bumper sticker on our vehicle. There were some wonderful little shops and I had my camera ready to go, but I got so wrapped up in talking and chatting and browsing! and bonding and laughing, that I completely forgot to take any photographs, save for the two I took when we stopped at a local coffee shop for a quick refresher (hot chocolate for her, chai tea for me, and a cookie each). It was really quite a splendid time.

Hobbit Puppets!

I cannot seem to get enough classical music right now. I listen to it while I drive, while I clean, while Rudy Mae and I are coloring. A few weeks back I was listening to our local all-classical-music radio station while I was driving the van at work. I work with adults with developmental disabilities and when we’re in the van I usually put on their favorite music (today’s top hits, usually) because it is their van and their time, and I’m just there working. This day, however, their station was on commercials so I flipped to said classical station and caught the tail end of some beautiful music. As it was ending, one of the ladies started talking with me, so even though it went to talking on the radio, I didn’t change it because I was engaged in conversation. And thank goodness I didn’t change it! I thought I heard the word “hobbit” and my ears immediately perked up. Caleab and I are hobbit-crazy and all-things-Tolkien-lovers. As soon as our conversing was over, I turned up the radio, but I was too late. The discussion was over, and all I caught was something about The Dayton Art Institute. At my very first chance, I got online and went to DAI’s website and typed in “hobbit” in their search bar. The top result was exactly what I was looking for. A theater company called “The Zoot Theater Company” was going to be doing a few week long perfromance of “The Hobbit” with puppets. I got pretty excited, but the tickets were nearly $20 each, and Caleab and I just aren’t accustomed to spending money like that on ourselves.

When I arrived home, I still decided to tell Caleab about what I heard and, thenceforth, researched, in an “Isn’t that awesome, maybe some day in like 20 years we can do something like that” kind of way. But Caleab refused to accept that thinking. It was our anniversary right around the showtimes and he just flat out said “We are doing this.” Besides it being our anniversary, the fact that we never spend money, go out, or are without the children was all the more reason. We deserved this. And the more I thought about it, the more I realized he was right. Besides a total of probably 6 hours, no joke, Rudy has never been out of my care, save for when I’m at work. Rudy Mae is over 19 months old. And those six hours weren’t for recreation, they were meetings for work that I had to attend, but Caleab was working himself, so he couldn’t be with her either. I decided that I would really try to let go of financial worries and that weird guilt feeling that even just thinking about doing something without the children gives me, and just enjoy the fact that I was actually going to go on a date with my husband.

The $40 was still a little hard to swallow, but as soon as we were driving in the car- gasp! alone- and singing together very loud, as is our custom, I was nothing but excited. When we arrived at the theater, I was thrilled with the charming, historic, original elements and the quaint size. It was not small, per se, but I was picturing a bit bigger. The show itself was absolutely amazing. It was one of those puppet shows where the puppets are around half the size of the person performing them, and the performers wear all black from head to toe so you easily forget they are there. The entire atmosphere was exactly what we as a couple needed, and I loved every second of our evening.

On our way to the theater!

The Dayton Art Institute. It was a wee bit dark, I apologize.

In front of the DAI. We cherished the first date that we had gotten since our honeymoon, if that is even considered a ‘date’.

Complete Again

I do not think it will ever be possible to put into words the way it felt to have the boys gone for over two months, or even more so, the way it felt when Caleab, Rudy Mae, and I saw them again for the first time.

For about two and a half weeks now the boys have been home and things have never been better. If Caleab and I were able to get anything beneficial out of the boys being gone for so long, it’s that we both had true realizations about life with the boys. We had many a good conversation while they were away. We talked about never taking them being with us for granted. We talked about no matter what, giving our all in encouragement and support. We have always been that way, but after a while sometimes, life becomes routine, and you might forget to really take a moment and truly from the bottom of your heart talk to your children about, well, anything; making sure to tell them how proud you are of them at every opportunity. We talked about our levels of patience. We talked about remembering they are children and explaining things thoroughly when needed. We talked about ways to help them grow to be more responsible, ultimately starting a chore regiment and planning on sticking to it for once, and an allowance, which they have never had in their 13 and 10 years of living.

The moment we were reunited, our enhanced way of thinking and parenting began immediately and I am certain that it has affected the boys’ behavior. They will always have their moments, but I promise you, they are both being more responsible and more respectful than Caleab and I have yet experienced.

And this is all from the parental views. You cannot even begin to imagine how having her brothers back has affected Rudy Mae. The three of them are all more in love than ever and as a parent it just really makes your heart hurt with love.

The first moment that Rudy saw Calum. (The boys were so excited, they could not even wait for us to unload from the car; they ran out of the house as soon as we pulled up. Thank goodness I had my camera ready.)

The first moment Rudy saw Ziven.

So happy to be together. (She might be feeling a little squashed though, haha.)

We have plenty of things that frustrate me: our financial situation, our job situations, our living situation. I have not thought about a single one of them since the boys have been back. I am so in love with my life right now. I know what true joy deep in your heart is.

Walks, Walks, Walks…

I have quite a bit of photographs lined up and waiting for their chance to star in a blog, but today we are going to revisit a common theme: Rudy Mae’s walks. She loves them. I love them. And they seem to produce some pretty decent photography.

Little legs are about the cutest thing on the planet.

Attempting stairs on her own.

Rudy holds out the flower we picked so I can see it.

Love the colors.

Raphael?

Caleab, when dealing with his own photography, enjoys editing it and making it as gorgeous as possible. Myself, for a quick fix, when throwing something up on Facebook or the likes, I enjoy a quick vintage edit on BeFunky, but I don’t want to feel like a cheater. So Caleab has been trying to teach me some of the features of Photoshop and I really enjoy changing a beautiful photograph to black and white, or changing the color curves and really enhancing the color of the captured moment. I am planning on eventually using more edited photographs for my blog, but that will take even more time, and we can all see how simply adding a quick raw photograph which does not take much time seems to be getting done a lot less than I would have liked. Until then, though, enjoy this sample of an edited photograph. It is a wonderfully adorable father/daughter moment.

It’s a bit dark; I might have eased up on that during editing, but I liked how the darks made the lights pop. I’m still learning. Either way, the photograph is precious. So there’s that.

Rain Play

I’m the worst. I cannot believe how long I’ve been letting slip between postings. I keep wanting to say “Ugh, I’ve been so busy…”, etc., it’s all the same- just crap excuses. I do apologize that I am a lazy, slothful chump. I have a feeling that I’m talking about more than blogging at this point…

So. Going back 11 days, Caleab and I stepped out front in a light drizzle and let Rudy Mae play and run. She loved it! And she committed. She didn’t just put out her fingers and feels the drops. She lounged in puddles and dug around in mud. It was pretty precious. And this time, Caleab had control of the camera, and he got some pretty great photographs.

Rudy was already splashing around by the time Caleab came back with the camera, so he tried to get this one quickly as he first stepped outside.

She made herself nice and cozy in the puddles.

She was really very excited to be getting all wet and dirty.

Every now and then she would just stop like she was just having the most relaxing moment.

Stomp stomp stompin’ around.

Ready to go inside?

Oh, no, she doesn’t want to go in, she just found some mud and gunk to play in. Of course.

Caleab edited this one, just changed the color curves slightly, but I wanted to include this one instead of the original because it really looks beautiful.

I saw this scene the day before the rain play, and it was so precious I had to take a photograph. She was laying there hugging Penny Lane for the longest time before I took this, and still even for a bit after. It was a stand alone photo, though, so I just tacked it on with these other ones.