So a blogger friend of mine, Rebecca Marcus, received a challenge from a blogger friend of hers - post your top 10 pictures of 2010. I thought it sounded like a fun challenge. So, here I go, in reverse order #10. Cousins Christmas - I love my family - all of them ... and the "Cousins" Christmas picture is a tradition at least 28 years running (I have evidence of one with Justin and I when I'm just 1 year old). Passing it on the to cousins' kids, who still manage to make a point to get together no matter how difficult, is super special. So, here's a copy I had of the Badeau Cousins' Kids Christmas: (from L to R: Benjamin Van Dyk, Kayleigh Van Dyk, Kirsten Nichols, Zoe Scott, Rachelle Nichols, Andrew Nichols and Jonathan Nichols ... just outside camera range: Ryan Creswell)
9. The Kids Love the iPad - During a tornado warning - mid day in the fall - the kids went to the basement with both kitties. I needed something to keep them occupied for an extended period of time while I watched the weather on the tv. As the toys ran dry, I pulled out Mickey Mouse Clubhouse on the iPad. The kids, snuggling together with the iPad, is representative of our 2010 for several reasons - K's growing obsession with Mickey and the fact that nothing brings my kids together like watching a little tv. :)
8. Food Attacks Benjamin - Our friend, Cabeto, titled this picture for us. He lives in Costa Rica and gets pictures through my father-in-law (and from my facebook). He mostly sees pictures of (as he says it), "Ben-yamin (spelled as he pronounces it and is SO sweet), I always see you getting attacked by food!" So, here is our boy, doing what our boy does better than any baby I ever saw .. EAT!!! It describes him now as well because he refuses bottles in favor of any solid food. So, to our eater, Benjamin:
7. Cousin's Playdates I have a bunch of cute pictures of our kids with their cousin, Ryan, on playdates. BUT throughout 2010 this is the only one I have of all 3 of them together. We ended up putting them together to capture the Maranatha tie-dye onesies that Mom and I made during our week at Maranatha. So, though the kids aren't particularly "Active" in this picture, it's the best of all three of them and reminds me of all the blessings Thursdays with Ryan bring.
6. Benjamin's Miles of Smiles We had formal pictures taken in the fall in order to get a surprise Christmas present for Grammy Creswell. Kristen Worst from Tsakani Studios took them for us (she had done our family photos in July as well). She was super patient with all three kids, who had a collective ROTTEN day. BUT, right at the beginning Benjamin was whipping off the smiles. She caught about 5 in a row that were just fantastic. Here's my favorite:
5. The Waves with Grammy - Over Labor Day weekend we hit both family "getaways." Each time we took a few photos, and, from that weekend, three are on the top 10 list. Steve did a fantastic job of shooting special moments. This one reminds me of Maranatha, which was, my refuge this summer. I spent two full weeks there and several other day/evening trips in order to have help with the kids while Steve put in long hours at work. Kayleigh loved her time there, especially at the beach ... Steve is tempted to enter this one in a photo contest. It's so beautiful.
4. Benny and Grandpa - This is another one of the "Labor Day Cottage Tour" pictures. It's beautiful because they are both so unaware. But it also captures how thoroughly the two have bonded. I don't know if it was the week when Benjamin screamed for hours straight and Grandpa took him for walks, or if it is their uncanny similarities in behavior. Both Grandpa C and Benny are largely content wherever they are. They love watching what's going on around them, but don't have to be part of the action to enjoy it. "Being" is simply enough for both of them and I think that's what makes Grandpa C gravitate to Ben so quickly ... I adore this photo ...
3. Our Little Model - Steve took this photo at the Frederick Meijer Gardens in their Children's Garden. Kayleigh went with Great Grandpa Van Dyk as his "birthday" present from our kids. Kayleigh ADORED walking the grounds with him, and taking him by the hand around to everything that was fun for her. We mostly snapped pictures of the special time the two were able to have. It's especially sweet because Kayleigh is named for her Great Grandma Van Dyk. Harriet Elaine (though she went by Elaine only) was diagnosed with cancer while we were early pregnant with K. As Elaine's condition grew worse, Steve and I were more and more convinced that our little girl needed to bear her name. Elaine fought long and hard and managed to meet her great granddaughter before she went home to be with her Lord. Nevertheless, each time we see Great Grandpa with his little buddy Kayleigh Elaine, we think of Great Grandma. Here's our Kayleigh Elaine on her date with Great Grandpa
2. Benjamin views the Lake - This picture took our breath away when we first uploaded it. It has captured my attention each time I sneak past it in a photo search. Benjamin is searching the lake and the camera lens caught the lake reflected in his gorgeous blue eyes. Steve's favorite place in the world is his parents' cottage. I know it means the world to him when the kids are able to go there and enjoy themselves. So, for Ben to be enjoying himself so much at his Daddy's favorite place ... it's the stuff a mother loves to see.
1. Family Togetherness - I didn't think my top 10 would be complete without something breathtaking of the two kids together. BUT since the BEST photo of the two of them that I have is from their bath time ... I figured I'd have to get back to the drawing board. Posting naked baby photos, however innocently intended, is NOT a smart idea (as my husband reminds me continuously). Therefore, I selected this photo, from Christmas Eve. It contains my 3 favorite people in the whole wide world and they're all together, happily. Thanks God, for this amazing year, and this amazing little family.