When I conceived of this project I imagined going out in the world with my camera and taking amazing shots of all kinds of things, especially landscapes. It seldom happened like that. The reality is that my life is busy and very much revolves around my home and children. At no greater time is this true than during the holidays. As the final days of 2012 tick by, busily filled with Christmas preparations, clearly my opportunity for creative photography has passed. My remaining shots are likely to simply be snapshots of these busy days, but perhaps in the end they have just as much value for the ordinary days they represent. Life is made up of a lot of ordinary moments with a few extraordinary ones scattered about.
I think I will break with tradition and post my final post on Tuesday instead of Monday next week so that I can include the last photo of 2012. I will also compile my photos into a final project that will be revealed in 2013.
I wish you all a Very Merry Christmas and a Joyous New Year's Eve. May 2013 bring us all peace, joy and happiness. XOXO - Susan
Daily Happiness Photos - Week 51
12/17 Not Having X-Ray Vision
Because there are a lot of times when that having x-ray vision would be bad. And it would spoil surprises like this one when I went to get a pair of socks and discovered the treats Ainsley had hidden for me: cookies, candies and coins from her play kitchen. I love that girl and all her mischievous ways. She makes me smile when I least expect it. I wish I knew what she was thinking.
12/18 Gifts for Our Village
They say it takes a village to raise a child and boy is that especially true for special needs kids. We have a lot of people that I wanted to thank with a small gift: Ainsley's teacher, aide, her school therapists, her bus driver, van driver, nurses and outside therapists. With Evie & Adrian's too it was 18 people. (That doesn't include family and friends.) My special secret is Smith's RoseBud Salve. It's awesome to keep in your car and rub into your cuticles and nails while you're at a long red light. You can also use it on your lips. For something that's been made since 1892 and has a cult following the tins turned out to be surprisingly difficult to find (mine's lasted years). But I was able to find them at the last minute and made cute manicure kits(no I didn't make the bags). I was so relieved when it was done and all the gifts went off to school with the kids.
12/19 Sweet Friends & Treats
The kids are officially on break. Ainsley stayed home with her nurse while I ran errands with Evie and Adrian during the day. I had plans with my friend Mel, but Steve had to work late so she brought pizzas, wine and the most adorable sweet treats from PCC so I didn't have to cook and we could chat while the kids watched a Christmas show. It was very sweet of her.
12/20 Gingerbread Cottages
I think we have a few too many family traditions. I was going to skip Gingerbread Houses this year but the kids love it so much. I saw Martha Stewart's video on Graham Cracker "Gingerbread Cottages" (no baking) and thought maybe. Then when I saw a squirt can of icing so I decided try it. We already had tons of candy and I'd bought Gingerbread Peeps so it would be easy-peasy, right? Wrong. Of course we ran out of icing (making the royal icing and putting it in piping bags is the part I hate the most). What should have been super easy took over 6 hours from setup to cleanup (sprinkles everywhere). But live and learn. Each year I learn what not to do. They sure turned out cute though. The tent is Ainsley's. Adrian's is the colorful one in back. The one with the girl in a skirt and the Vanilla Toosie Roll mailbox is, of course, Evie's.
12/21 Polar Express Hot Chocolate Scene
We watch the Polar Express every year. The hot chocolate scene is our favorite. It's so fun.
12/22 The First Gift of Christmas
Due to my family situation we celebrate Christmas 4 times each season. Today the kids opened their first gift of the season which means Christmas is here.
12/23 Making Fun
Today I loved seeing that my kids can make their own fun when called upon to do so. Without TV, electronic devices or fancy toys. They played hand games, gave horsey rides at Grandma S's and fed Grandma J's birds peanuts and played with a ring on a string and hook in her garage for hours.