Cutest blog

Friday, December 30, 2011

Project 52: Week 52: Friendship

This year we got to give Abby one of the best Christmas presents possible...
Her best friend in the whole world Peyton, coming for a visit!
I think we can all learn a little about true friendship from these two, sweet little girls.

Abby and Peyton met when Abby was about 16 months old and Peyton was about 10 months old.  Right away they had this instant bond, that kids that young normally don't have.  They were always so happy together, and pretty much NEVER had issues most really young kids have: toy sharing, fighting, wanting to play different things, etc.  They just always got a long so well.  As they got older they asked to see eachother pretty much everyday, which they did for the most part.  They were eachothers first friends.  Then they felt like their entire life shattered  when our family had to PCS from San Antonio.  This were 4 years old when we left.  For the next few years they constantly talked about eachother and always said eachother was still their best friend.  (Sara and I are both horrible phone people and so they rarely get to talk to eachother, but that never stopped them).  In May, we had to go to Texas for Geoff's surgery, and so Abby got to surprise Peyton, after not seeing eachother for just over 2 years.  They acted like they were never apart.  Again they were devastated when they had to leave eachother again.  Sara and her family went to MN for Christmas and I talked her into making the 8 hour drive to Minot on the way home so the girls could see eachother.  They just spent the last 3 and a half days within 5 feet of eachother!  I honestly think these two are connected for life.  They just love eachother so much, and love being together.  I can't wait to see them together as teenagers :)

I can't believe this is my LAST project 52 post.  I think I might try to make these into a little flipbook or something so I can look back at them.  Too bad I didn't keep them very organized, so it will take some work on my part :/.  Also, I have another week to decide if I want to take it on again next year, but I think if I do, I will make it a little more themed, and not just a week to week thing.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas from the VanDyck Family!

This year we stayed home in Minot for our 1st Christmas here at this base.  Of course because we are here, there is NO SNOW :(,  None the less we have had a wonderful Christmas season this year.  We have done lots of fun activities and Christmas stuff!
We are soooo blessed in so many ways, but mostly because we get to celebrate the greatest gift ever, Jesus Christ.  He is the reason we celebrate and love Christmas so much.  He brings so much joy and love into our lives and Christmas time is just exploding with all of that in our family.  

We have more than I could have ever wanted.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Project 52: Week 51: Magic

Obviously we do not believe in actual magic.
but even so, I can see gleams of "Christmas Magic" her eyes.
And this look, that we see the entire Christmas season in our girls eyes...
Is why we do what we do, as much as we do.
It's priceless.

I can't believe this is my 2nd to last Project 52 post!  I am still deciding if I will be doing it again next year or not.

This past weekend we had our Annual Happy Birthday Jesus Party and we decided to do something a little bit different and have "Santa" come visit and read the kids the First Christmas Story.  Jordyn is all about some Santa this year.  Like, head over heals in LOVE with Santa pretty much.  The fact that he came to HER house just made this Christmas the best ever for her.  She asked if she could hold his hand on the way to his chair, and the entire time, her eyes were literally sparkling.  The look on her face made our decision to have Santa(was hoping Santa could incorperate into our party at least a little, hence having him read the story ) visit totally worth it.  The rest of the photos from the party can be seen on my facebook page. (There are waaaay too many to upload onto here!)

Friday, December 16, 2011

Project 52: Week 50: Belief

There is something so pure and innocent about Christmas magic
I know our years of them believing is dwindling down 
So we will continue to embrace it for as long as possible
The pure joy on the girls faces through out this whole Christmas season
Is what makes every hour hanging lights, and every night staying up late hiding our elf
Totally worth every minute.

Yes, the reason we celebrate Christmas is to celebrate Jesus.
Yes, we do Santa in our house.
We totally believe you can do BOTH.
I know that some people don't, and for whatever reason, that is okay.
I love watching the girls stick letters to Santa in this little mail box
And then run out in the morning to see if it's gone.

See, I told you all of the remainder of my Project 52 themes would be Christmas related :)  We are in full blown Christmas around here!  

Friday, December 9, 2011

Project 52: Week 49: Memories

This time last year we were back home in California spending the Holidays with family.  
We were JUST getting back from HAWAII!
We were only there a few days, but it was an action packed few days.
Filled with tons and tons of memories for our family.

Going to Hawaii was one of favorite things we have ever done as a family
We created so many awesome memories with our girls those few days...they both still talk about it constantly.  I think the best part was Abby getting to see where she came from and what our life was like when she was a baby.  

Friday, December 2, 2011

Project 52: Week 48: Bokeh

One of my favorite things to photograph at Christmas time is Christmas lights.
I LOVE them.
I love playing around with my camera and trying out new things.
This is one of the most simple, yet artistic photographs you can take at Christmas.
It's called "bokeh" which means out of focus points of light.
It comes in all shapes, sizes, and colors.
This photo was achieved by simply un focusing the tree.
It blurs the lights and gives you the glowing effect.

here are some more samples of bokeh:

You know you all want to try it now :)

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Thanksgiving Day

We celebrated our day of Thankfulness with some of our wonderful military family here in Minot. We hosted a traditional Thanksgiving dinner and the two families who joined us each brought things to contribute to the meal. It turned out to be a perfect relaxing and enjoyable Thanksgiving. It wasn't super crazy from too many people, but it also wasn't depressing as if we were alone. All the kids had a wonderful time and the adults ate way too much food!

Paula Dean's turkey reciepe....lots and lots of BUTTA!

The kids (minus Jarvis and Rissa!)

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Project 52: Week 47: Together

Yes, another week's post about Christmas!
Most likely they probably all will be for the next month :)
Christmas has so much meaning to our family
But the two most important
Have been and always will be
About Celebrating the Birth of Christ
and being together

I got the idea to make a "Christmas Bucket List" from a fabulous website you all know as Pinterest. I am seriously addicted to that thing. Anyways, I found a blog that had a template to make your own (I didn't want a copy and paste list!) So I made this in photoshop to reflect all of the things we love doing for Christmas time. I had it printed at my lab as a stand out print so we can hang it up every year to remind us of all the reasons why we love this time of the year. Most importantly, all the things on this list are things we do a family.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving to all of our family and friends.  We are spending the day relaxing and doing lots of cooking for our military family that is coming over tonight to join us in thanks.  
We hope you all have a wonderful day filled with lots of love, food, and joy!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Project 52: Week 46: Traditions

Totally posting this late AGAIN!

Last week was super busy!
We worked on lots of Christmas projects, but the biggest one was putting up our tree.
(Yes, we have a fake one)
This is one of favorite things to do as a family.
We look forward to doing it all year long.
We put on Christmas music
We drink hot cocoa
We wear Christmas shirts
Most importantly
We are together, and it couldn't be more perfect

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Project 52: Week: 45: First

There is just something about that first snowfall of the year....

I can't believe it's the middle of November and we have had exactly ONE snowfall!
We had our first dusting of snow this past week...and sadly it's all gone now :(
The girls LOVED it of course though...they couldn't wait to go out and play in it:
making snow angels, climbing on the playground, throwing snowballs....

Friday, November 4, 2011

Project 52: Week: 44: Crazy


Yup...that is Jordy in a nut shell!

Over the weekend I was trying to get some cute elf shots of Jordy and Jarvis together

But this is the crazyness that I had to deal with.

I think this photo also helps kick off Christmas time as the first holiday photo on the blog!

(Fair warning that probably most of the blog posts from now until the end of the year will most likely have something to do with Christmas)

Friday, October 28, 2011

Project 52: Week: 43: New

Project 52: Week 43: New

In our family we like to try new things. Constantly.

We want our girls to know that it doesn't matter how good they are at something, as long as they TRY.

We had our first night of hockey of the season last night.

This is Jordy's first year playing (that is her tiny little ice skates)

They both did great and loved it!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Project 52: Week: 41: Make believe

I took the girls Halloween photos this past weekend after my Halloween Mini Session event at my studio.
We don't celebrate real Halloween, but we do love fall.
We do let our girls dress up (no scary or evil costumes)
We have always told the girls Halloween is just a fun night to dress up, and go trick or treating to show off our adorable costumes...and hang out with friends at family Halloween parties (always kid friendly ones)

So....this is now one of my all time favorite photos that I have taken.  It was not what I envisioned when setting it up.  Abby had chosen to be red riding hood, and we thought it would be fun to put one of the dogs in there as the "big bad wolf".  Kota was the best canidate (Holly sitting still???).  Kota didn't really want to sit still either, she kept just trying to lick Abby.  I didn't think I got one a good one, until I uploaded them onto my computer and saw this:

It ended up being even better then I imagined.
I love when I have visions...
but I love even more when the visions turn into something even better than I imagined.
I am so in love with this photo.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Project 52: Week: 41: Time

Seriously, where does it go? It seems like just the other day I was holding my sweet Abbygail in my arms for the first time. I can't believe that it has been 7 years since Abby came into this world at a whopping 4lbs, 6 oz and our lives were changed forever. Her birth taught us so much.  The day she was born I instantly knew what it meant to love someone the way God loves us...unconditionally...and willing to die for them.  After meeting her...the very first second, I felt this.  I can't even remember what our life was like before we were blessed with our first miracle baby. She brings so much joy to us and everyone who knows her. At 7 years old, she already has a beautiful heart for God. It seems like everyday she is more beautiful inside and out.

And by the of this year, she has finally caught up to where she should be height and weight wise. Last time she was checked she was about 50lbs and in the 25%tile for height and weight. She is finally in a size 6/7 for clothes too!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Project 52: Week: 40: Family

I love my family, each and every one of them, with all of my heart.

But, thanks to the air force, we do not get to see them often.

And so many military families know the best way to fill that void

Is to let others in the same situtaion into your hearts

and become sort of a surrogate "family".

(definitely some important people in Minot missing here!)

We have been so blessed at all 3 of our bases to have friends we feel are like family to us

You all know who you are

You are people who love our girls almost as much as your own kids.

You are people who eat at our house when your husband is deployed.

You are people who know why we have so many Dr. appointments and what each is for.

You are people who come over just to see a freshly painted wall.

You are people who have celebrated lots of birthdays and holidays with us.

You are people who were there when our babies were born (one even saw Abby BEING born!).

You are people who held our babies in the NICU, and celebrated with us when they came home.

You are people who help us look for and bring back our dumb dogs when they run away.

You are people who know where the food/drinks are, and don't even think to ask before you raid the pantry looking for something to eat. (this is a good thing in our home!)

You are people who know way too much about me and vice versa.

You are people who have watched us move, moved away yourself, or will move away, but still know that we will see eachother again eventually.

We love you all.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Project 52: Week: 39: Celebrations

Today we are celebrating Geoff's 31st (gasp!) birthday!
I have been so blessed to have spent his last 10 birthdays with him :)

Friday, September 23, 2011

Project 52: Week: 38: Seasons

Week 38

We are starting to show all sorts of the signs of fall around here!
I LOVE fall!
People around here complain about how we do not have a fall.
But it makes me laugh, because during the last 9 years of being a military wife
Our 2 years here in Minot, is the most fall we have had.
(Mild summer is the only season in Hawaii, and in South Texas...fall is just "dead" from the horribly hot summer!)
Even though it is short, it is BEAUTIFUL..the little bit that we do have.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Project 52: Week: 37: Trouble

Tell me this is not the face of TROUBLE?!?!?!!?

Actually she was most likely the "look out"
while Holly was doing something super naughty.

Kota likes to hang out and "guard" me when I am working at my desk.
In fact, usually all 3 dogs are either basking in front of the sunny window of my studio, laying on my feet, or bugging me to let them outside while I am working.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Project 52: Week: 36: New

I would like to introduce you to the newest member of the Stacy VanDyck Photography family:
Nikon 35mm, 1.8 :)
Isn't she pretty?
(taken with my 50mm 1.8, at 1.8 1000ISO 350)

Oh how I love my prime lenses....I rarely shoot with anything else these days.
I think my next prime will be the 1.4 :)  (I knwo that means nothing to most of you, but those photography people out there know the awesomeness of a 1.4)

Thursday, September 8, 2011


I thought I would post this, even though I think most of our family and friends already know...

We just wanted to let everyone know, that we will not be coming home, or going anywhere for Christmas this year.  We realized recently that we have not been in our own home for Christmas for the last 3 years.  In fact, since we have been married, we have only spent 2 or 3 Christmas' in our own home.  We have always tried to make sure we spend at least one Holiday season at each base we are stationed at.  We have yet to spend a Christmas in Minot!  With that said, we would LOVE for anyone to come and visit us for Christmas, or even before or after...or for Thanksgiving!  People hear so many horrible things about ND and we feel that nobody thinks it's worth it to come out here and visit us :(  Honestly, it makes us a little sad.  Minot is our home, and we love it, and we would love to share it with our family and friends. We have said it before and we will say it again, that our home is always welcome.  We have the most comfy queen size bed in the world for a guest bed :)  Also, for all you west coast family...we can guarentee you a WHITE CHRISTMAS if you come out to visit!!!

With that we would like to thank those who have come to visit us over the past 2 years:
Grandma Kathi
Grandma Betty
Aunt Carolyn

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Jordyn and Seizures

Today I took Jordyn to her follow up to find out the results of the study done that was used to measure her brain activity and check for any type of seizure activity while she sleeps (EEG).  You all know we had a big party to "keep Jordy up" all night the night before.  She did great and she actually fell asleep for the test.  Honestly, we walked away thinking that nothing would come of that test.  We really didn't expect anything abnormal, especially because the actual sleep part of her test was only about 15 minutes...I thought, what could they possibly diagnose with her in 15 minutes of sleep???

Well today we saw the same Dr who requested the EEG for her. She was very surprised to find what she did too.  She told me she was expecting nothing. She really thought that either her possible seizure was just some weird night time randomness, or just a one time thing, because, what were the odds that I SAW her doing it in the middle of the night????

Her test showed quite a bit of what the Dr referred to as "pre seizure activity" near the back side of her head.  Meaning, that it could possibly have lead to another seizure had she stayed asleep.

You all know what Jordy's birth story is and what she went through.  Her neurologist strongly agrees that her current situtation is most likely from her traumatic birth she had, and the birth injuries she experienced.  She did explain to me though that baby seizures (which Jordy had) are VERY different from regular seizures.  Baby seizures can come in any shape or form.  Jordy had what was explained as a "tick seizure"....basically her arm/hand would just repeat the same motion over and over again.  They discovered she had some blood on her brain, of which was causing the seizures. 

Now because of that, her seizures have probably become more of the "regular type" like I saw a few months ago: Full body convulsions, and her eyes rolled back into her head...lasted less than a minute, and she went right back to sleep.

It terrifies me to know that she may have possibly been having seizures all along, even after she was taken off her anti seizure meds and cleared by her neurologists in Texas as a baby.  Because, most likely, she is only having them in the middle of the night, while sleeping. 

I would love to say how mad we are at WHMC in San Antonio...for causing her to have such a traumatic birth, and definitely some aftermath because of what she went through.  We would love to blame them for what happened, because, it really was their fault...but it's hard to be upset about an incident that gave us our beautiful princess.  Everything that happned was all part of God's plan for Jordy and our family. She may have been a completely different little girl had she not gone through what she did....So, it's hard to admit, but in some ways, we are grateful for what we went through. I would never wish our experience on any other child or family, but... It gave us the most perfect Jordy, and so many life lessons that had to be taught to prepare us for raising her.

From here a few things are going to happen.  First of all, they decided to immediately put her back on anti-seizure medication.  It is the same one she was on as a baby, but hasn't taken in over 3 years.  Next we are to get an updated MRI done of her brain.  I have actually been pushing to get one done for a while now, but I couldn't convince any of the doctors here that she needed one.  She hasn't had one done in years, and I really just wanted to see what sort of changes have occured with the blood on her brain.  I guess now they finally have to.  With a child as young as Jordyn, they have to put them to sleep so they will stay still for the MRI which can take upto an hour.  We also need to get some bloodwork done in about a month to see how the medication is working in her body...they want to check the levels and see if it will need to be increased or decreased.  Finally in about a month we will follow up with her neurologist and see where to go from there.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Project 52: Week: 35: Organized

Project 52: Week 35: Organized

Organized is the only way to be for this
 WAHM/SAHM (work at home mom/stay at home mom)

I have spent the last couple of months converting my studio from "stuff just thrown where every there is room" to an "organized space". I now have a ton of shelves and storage areas, and I am pretty much using up every bit of usuable space for something.  It makes planning my sessions, actually during my sessions, and cleaning up after my sessions about 10x easier! yay!

Above: storage cubes and storage boxes from Ikea (I have 2-4x4s for those curious)
They hold all of my smaller props and are all labeled accordingly:
Girl hats, boy hats, neutral hats, bows, etc.
The far set of cubes holds all of my blankets and fabric
(all organized by color!)

Friday, August 26, 2011

Project 52: Week:34: Serenity

These really are the best days of our lives.
Days when it is just our little family.
No technology to distract us (no cell phone service helps with that!)
When we can all just play, and be together in God's beautiful creations.
Last weekend we decided to take the 2 hour drive upto the International Peace Gardens, located at the border of the US and Canada.
The peace gardens were pretty, and the girls really enjoyed taking photos and exploring, but as we were leaving, we decided to take some of the scenic drives around the area, and we stumbled across the most perfect picnic area I have ever seen.
The entire area was shaded with huge trees, right on the lake.  There were a couple of pavillions with tables to picnic, and the most perfect old wooden swings and a simple metal slide.  That was it.  We didn't eat there, but we just played...for over an hour.  We swung, we slid, we played with sticks, climbed in trees, and took pictures.  When we told the girls it was time to leave they wanted to stay. (We probably would have stayed until dark, but we needed to go eat dinner (an hour away), and we hadn't packed any food).

Friday, August 19, 2011

Project 52: Week:33: Gappy

We lost tooth #4 this week
2-3 more are already loose
So we might be going to school in a couple of weeks
with a very gappy smile!

She is used to the fact now that Mommy will take a photo after every tooth comes out :D

Friday, August 12, 2011

Project 52: Week:32: Life

Last week, we celebrated our 9 year wedding anniversary.
The last 9 years of my life have been spent with the love of my life.

Geoff got me a beautiful hibiscus plant.
I have never been super excited about recieving bouquets of flowers.
Most of the time, I honestly feel like they are a waste of money.
They will die within a week or two.
But he really thought this through because he bought me the whole plant and he did all sorts of research on how to make it survive, even during the winter.

It is my favorite flower for a ton of different reasons.
This particular one, happens to match the tattoo on my foot :)

Taken with my macro lens.  I love how you can even see the hair like fibers on the tips of the petals.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Project 52: Week:31: Big

When did this happen?
When did my little tiny 25 lb 4 year old get brave enough to swim in the DEEP END of the pool?!?!!?
Seriously...time needs to

We have had a super busy week with getting back into daily life now that we are home.
The girls had VBS this week again, so besides that, all we have done is go to the pool a couple of times.
Jordyn decided she wanted to try to swim in the deep end (6 feet).  She even went down and touched the bottom!  Both girls will be doing swim lessons next week.  They are for ages 5 and up, but they said Jordy could do it anyways, and she would already be a level 2, almost level 3.  Abby is level 3, possibly 4.
I love that they are such good little swimmers at such an early age.  Before long, they will be following in mommy's steps and joining a swim team!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Project 52: Week:30: Carefree

The best word to describe our sweet baby girl Jordy: Carefree
Sometimes we wish she listened better, paid attention more, didn't do weird stuff, and generally act like other children....
But then we realize those traits are what make her Jordy...
And we don't want her to change.

We just got back from our 2 week trip to California.
During our trip we took a little family weekend trip to the Bay area.
This was taken at the beach right next to the Golden Gate Bridge.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Project 52: Week 29: Treats

A couple of days ago, the girls (all 5 of them!) and I made some homemade ice cream sandwiches.

This was taken with my DSLR, but it's SOOC
(straight out of camera, no post processing here...but I do miss my photoshop)

It's a little dark and dull, but I love that it shows the yummy-ness of these!
They were scarfed down pretty quick...

Isn't Liz (my niece) such a wonderful hand model???

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Project 52: Week 28: Sleepy

It has been a super crazy week for us (especially us girls!)  We have been on the go go go since Wednesday morning.  We are in California right now with family, and, I have my camera (which I have taken a total of 0 photos with so far) but I do not have any of my editing software.  So, my newest favorite iPhone photo it is!

This photo was taken a couple of days before we left, just after Jordy got up from her nap. She was laying on me, on the couch.  So far, I have been very blessed with 2 sweet, sweet girls, who BOTH love to cuddle.  I pray this stays for as long as possible, because I will be so sad when they think they are "too cool" to cuddle with their mama :/
Taken on my iPhone4, used the instagram app to shoot and edit the photo.
My favorite part of this photo is the grainyness that maks it appear to be film :)

Friday, July 8, 2011

Project 52: Week:27: Accomplishments

Not only does this photo show MY two greatest accomplishments,
It also shows my girls newest accomplishement :)
This summer, they have both learned to swim under water!
They both go down the water slides
They both jump into the pool without fear (Jordy has to have a life jacket or be within reach)
They both can swim for a short time in deep water
They both could easily stay at the pool for 4+ hours.

Sorry Dad, but I am glad they got Mom's skin and don't burn!

I can't believe how tiny she is and swimming under water!!!!

My silly  fishy :)