If you've been keeping up with my posts then you know that I have been campaigning for the Lupus Now Walk in support of my sister. Well, last weekend was the walk and it was a SUCCESS! Our group name was the Luprechauns and together we totaled 30 people. This included family, friends, children, and even 1 dog! My sister's sister in law even came and she is 32 weeks pregnant with twins (her husband pushed her in a wheelchair)! The grand total that we raised was $2,843!!! So, thank you everyone for all the support. Here are some images from the big day. I hope you enjoy!
Today I got together with 2 of my closest friends Sarah Bray and Jessica Friend and their kiddos and went to the splash pad in Winter Park. It was a beautiful day and the company was awesome! It was just what I needed. We chatted, arranged our kids marriages to one another, discussed photography, and the kids played for hours before we finally called it quits. I originally wasn't going to bring my camera because I was worried about the water, but I figured with my new zoom I could stay far enough away and still get some shots - I am so glad I made the decision to take it. Just looking at the pics reminds me of how great of a day we have. I just love these kids! Here is a litte snapshot of our day....
Meet the Gang!
Okay, so finding time for this whole blogging thing is a whole lot harder than it used to be. Right now my time is spend taking care of the kiddos, cleaning up the house, tackling the never ending piles of dishes and laundry, and working on building my photography business. The way our schedules are right now, I often don't get on the computer until the kids get to bed, which can be as late as 10:30 pm with Ellie - that means a lot of late nights.
That said, I am still not giving up on it because I know it's a great place for family and friends to check in on us and I also think it offers a nice history for us to reflect on.
We have been busy as always! I recently expanded my business to include weddings which has taken up a few weekends as of late and I also went on a 4 day photography retreat (pictures to come soon!). Damon did some traveling as well with work and went all the way to Greece last week. While I was away my parents came up to help him out and when he was away his mom came up. It's great that we all get along so well. Well here are a few snapshots of the kids and some quick updates to them both:
Brodie is currently 19 months although he acts and looks more like he is 2. He is in the 97% for height right now at 35.25 inches! He currently is 27 lbs which I believe is pure steel because this kid is SOLID! He is also very smart and figures things out all the time. Some of his new accomplishments are buckling and unbuckling (oh joy), putting together words to make small phrases and figuring out how to use the wii to pick out his own shows (seriously!). Brodie can do the entire playground by our house without any help - climbing up the ladders, crossing the bridge, and going down the slide. He understands pretty much everything we say and will do lots of things we ask -for example getting specific toys for Ellie or putting dirty dishes in the sink. He also loves to clean (as well as make a mess). When we do laundry he loves to put the dirty laundry in the machine and the wet ones in the dryer. He also enjoys wiping down the tables, swiffering the floors, and vacuuming with his toy vacuum. Brodie loves to run and is learning to jump. He also loves water and the pool. I can't wait to get him into swim lessons so he can really enjoy it!
Ellie is growing so fast! I can't even believe how big she is getting. She is certainly not an infant anymore. She is 25 inches long and coming in at the 50% for height and is 13 pounds (about 1/2 the size of her brother). She still doesn't sleep through the night (boo) but we hope to change that within the next week or so to prep for going back to work (double boo). She has amazing head control and is rolling over now. She has found (and loves) her toes. And she chews on everything and anything she can get her hands on. She is big into toys and loves to shake her rattles and grab different items. Ellie is quite the talker too! She coos almost all day long. She is a complete doll baby and is general happy and calm. Ellie just started eating solid foods last week and she is currently eating oatmeal and bananas. I am sure she will be sprouting up even more now that we have moved onto solids.
Brodie and Ellie just adore each other. Brodie constantly asks to hold Ellie and is always concerned where she is. In the mornings he wakes up saying "Ellie? Ellie?" if I don't come in with her. He also is the first to her rescue if she starts crying, bringing her a toy, pacifier, or bottle. He is a great big brother - but a brother indeed - he also likes to wrestle with her, which means I have to keep a constant eye on the two of them and remind him that she is just a baby and to play gentle. On the other hand, Ellie generally likes the rough housing. She is ALL about her big brother. She lights up when he comes around and she sees his face. He can make her laugh like no one else can. They certainly are a great pair. I feel very blessed to have both of my amazing children and am very lucky that they get along so well - I just hope it sticks : )
So that's the main points right now. I hope to go back and post some pictures from the last month or so, but be patient with me. I am still figuring out how to make 24 hours feel more like 48! : )
(My Sister Sally)
© Jessica Regan Photography 2010
When my sister was 12 she was diagnosed with Lupus, a systemic autoimmune disease. To explain what Lupus is in simpler terms, it is when the immune system mistakes healthy cells and tissues for unhealthy ones and attacks, causing inflammation and damage. Lupus unfortunately can be fatal (although with modern medicine the number of fatalities is decreasing) and it currently has no cure.
I was 14 at the time of my sister's diagnosis and was very unfamiliar with the condition. I knew it meant a lot of doctor's appointments and overly worried parents. The disease has been tough on her in more than one way. She has had to deal with overprotective parents, life threatening flare ups, and more what ifs than I have ever known, but I am glad to say that today she is doing well and that the disease is almost unnoticeable in her blood stream.
Last month my sister had the opportunity to go the Washington DC with her husband and our mom to attend the Lupus Advocacy Day. My sister has always been an advocate for the disease, but this experience really moved and motivated her. Since her return from DC she has come out publicly about her disease and even began a blog called Lupus Groupus where she discusses the in and outs of lupus and her own personal journey (please check this out and follow her on her journey). She also signed up for a walk to benefit the Lupus Foundation of America called Walk for Lupus Now. Our team is called the Luprechauns.
. Although 15 years ago, at the time my sister was diagnosed, I had never heard of Lupus I am sad to say that now I know several people who suffer from the disease (including close friends and family). As I said previously there is currently no cure for Lupus, but we hope to change that by raising interest in the cause as well as raising money.
Although I typically do not feel comfortable asking for things from other people, I am adamant about this cause. So my call to action would be for you to at least consider a small donation towards our Walk for Lupus Now group. I know we are in hard economic times right now, but even one single dollar will make a difference and show your support. If I was able to raise $1 from every single one of my Facebook friends, I would exceed my current goal for the race. So if you read this and think I can't afford to donate right now, but a dollar is too cheap, think again. It really can make all the difference.
And...if you want to make a larger donation and get something in return. For anyone who is interested in booking a portrait session with me, I am going to be donating all session fees for anyone who purchases a session in the month of April to the Lupus Foundation of America. To further clarify, the session does not have to take place in the month of April, it just has to be booked and paid for at that time. If you would like to participate in this, but can't commit to a booking, I will be donating 50% of all gift certificates purchased in April as well. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions.
Thanks in advance!
To Kat - enough said : )