Monthly Archives: June 2010

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welcome to the world, baby scarlett


It’s so hard to put into words the experience of being present for the birth of a baby. My sis-in-law Heather (jake’s sis) gave birth to beautiful Scarlett Evelyn on June 29th (my brother’s b-day, too, so now it’s even easier to remember). They asked me to come and be there for the labor/delivery and take pictures of it all. I’ve had two babies of my own, but it’s an entirely different thing seeing it happen rather than going through it yourself. I had trouble shooting at times, trying to hold back the tears. I just kept shooting whether or not I could see.

Mom O and I arrived a couple hours after Heather and Jeff arrived at the hospital. They decided to induce because she was a week past her due date and it was time. The process was a long one. When I was induced with Chloe, I think she popped out about 12 hours later. From the time they got Heather hooked up and began the process of inducing to the time she had the baby was a tad over 24 hours. MomO and I were there with them the entire time, too. We stayed at the hospital, kept them company, visited with family in the waiting area, walked the halls with them at 3 in the morning, and tried to grab ten minutes of sleep here and there throughout the night/day. I think I got maybe an hour of sleep total between Monday morning when I woke up (9am) until midnight on Tuesday. It was well worth it, though.

Heather did such an amazing job. She was calm all the way through, breathing through all those contractions as they got more and more painful. The nurses were all awesome, especially Sherry, who was there all day Tuesday. She talked her through the hard contractions and the pushing along with the help of Jeff and Mom O. She was a wonderful nurse and you could tell she really cared. She even stayed past the end of her shift to be there when Scarlett finally arrived.

We were all in awe of Heather because Scarlett was a very big girl, weighing in at 10 lbs. 3.5 oz. Like I said, Heather did amazing! A bunch of us put in our guesses for time of birth and weight. I don’t think anyone was right on time (7:17 pm) or weight. My guess was 8 lbs. 0 oz. haha! I was way off. And I guessed 4:11am. Not even close.

I think it’s going to take me a day or two to really let everything sink in. (And to catch up on sleep.) ;) Definitely one of the most special days of my life so far.

camp olczak


Camp Olczak! That’s what we’re calling it anyway. We spent Saturday night camping at Mom + Dad O’s backyard in their 5th wheel. It was a lot of fun! Nick brought along cousin Ashley’s daughter, Jaimee, too. She and Chloe had so much fun together! They spent the whole day running around, giggling, playing their own little games, fawning over the kitties, bickering and bossing each other around (chloe), and becoming friends for life.

The girls pretty much ran around together all day. They kept each other occupied. Zach got so bored without anyone his age to play with that someone let him go in the house and play video games for a while. Poor kid. Jake was with Dad O in the shop for a while. The handle on our push mower came off that morning, so he brought it over to see if it could be welded. So they were working on that. The rest of us were hanging out and chatting. I sat outside in the camp chair for a long time relaxing, watching, taking pictures, chatting, thinking. It’s so peaceful there. I love it. It was a really nice day.

The forecast threatened us with rain, but it never came. It was hot and muggy, but a beautiful day, which gave way to a beautiful night. The moon was full and bright. We had a nice campfire and roasted marshmallows for s’mores.

After lots of sugary snacks, I tucked the girls in the camper and the rest of us stayed up by the fire for a bit. Zach thought it was great that he got to stay up with us big kids.

Sleeping in the camper was fun. Hopefully, it’s the first of many camping adventures with the Olczak clan, whether at “Camp Olczak” or elsewhere.

self-portrait saturday


I thought that was a fitting title since I took so many self-portraits all day long. I mean, seriously, I think there were about 30 photos of just me and then lots with the kids and Jake and Beth. These are a few of my favorites.

We had another wonderful day at Mom + Dad O’s. It was a hot and sunny day, but there was an amazing breeze blowing up their hill and across the yard. It felt glorious! The day was filled with lots of things: the arrival of their “new” 5th wheel trailer (I’m very excited about this since I love to camp and it would be a blast to take some family camping trips with them), yard work, picking berries, riding around in the golf cart, watching the kitties, riding in the wagon, sipping peach tea (yum!), taking self-portraits, visiting with Beth (she stopped by for a couple hours and we sat in the lawn chairs and enjoyed the lovely breeze while we caught up. love that girl!), eating yummy burgers on the grill.

The sunset made a beautiful ending to a perfect summer day.

a trip to the zoo


On the last Tuesday of school, I went with Chloe’s class on their zoo field trip. Besides Chloe, I was responsible for one of her classmates (Belle). The three of us had so much fun spending the day together. I almost didn’t go because I had so much wedding editing to do, but I’m so glad I changed my mind. The kids are only young once and it was worth some late night editing sessions to be able to spend the day with my girl.

The bears were cracking us up. This big guy just kept laying there playing with his foot. I have no idea why, but it was a great photo op.

When we got to the mountain lions/cougars, Belle pointed at one that was lying on a rock above. She said, “Awww! That one’s so cute, it makes me want to cry.” Her expression was priceless. So glad I turned my lens on the girls at that moment.

The girls wanted to see the flamingos, but they weren’t very fond of the smell when we found them. It wasn’t pretty.

What trip to John Ball Zoo is complete without a walk under the waterfall. The girls promptly made me walk up the many many steps to the top, where you can look down over the top of the waterfall. There are also zip lines up there for the more adventurous folk. I was so exhausted from all those steps, if I hadn’t been with the girls, I might have just let them hook me up to that wire to get to the bottom again.

Had a nice lunch together in one of the picnic areas, then we heard a terrible commotion coming from the apes. One of those guys was just screeching so loud. Pretty much everyone in the zoo ran to see what the noise was all about. Nothing major. Just one of them exercising his vocal chords, I guess. Pretty entertaining to watch, though, with all his noise and jumping around like crazy. The girls got a kick out of it.

It was a really fun day. Belle told me over and over that she was having so much fun and we were fun to spend the day with. So cute. She gave me a little daisy we found along the path. Melted my heart. I wore it all day.

The girls were so tired on the bus ride home. I snapped a picture of Chloe sleeping in Belle’s lap. Belle was stroking her hair for a bit and then she ended up falling asleep, too. So adorable.

It was a wonderful day at the zoo!

this week


she’s been mentioning a haircut for a while now (begging is more like it). I finally gave in yesterday and hacked a good 4 or 5 inches off. almost cried when I saw the little pile of hair, but she looks adorable with shorter hair and she LOVES it!

now we just need to actually brush and style it (she would no longer sit still for me). :)

may showers

My month of May was full of showers – baby and bridal, that is. My sis-in-law Heather had two baby showers and my bff Kelle had her bridal shower! I’m so excited for both of them!

Heather’s first shower was on the east side of the state. Chloe and I went over along with MomO and stayed for the weekend. We had a nice little girls weekend, hanging out, watching movies, going to the shower and celebrating baby Scarlett’s upcoming arrival.


At “shower west”, after all the festivities, we took a bunch of pictures of Heather with all her sisters (and brother) and the moms. Then I did a little mini maternity shoot with her and Jeff. :)



The next Monday, mom and I went to Kelle’s bridal shower. Whenever I see her family, it’s like no time has passed. Our families have been friends since us girls were in Jr. High and they are my other family. Love them all so much!




Had such a great time catching up and watching Kelle open gifts. I can’t wait until their wedding reception in October down in Louisville.

It’s been a busy June so far. Field days, zoo trip and honor roll assembly for the kids, garage sale with my mom this weekend, dentist appointments coming up this week. So glad school is finally out! Just hope I can make time for some more bloggin’. In the middle of May, I did a little “week in the life” project, where I took pictures every day of our daily routines, where we went, and whatever events we had going on that week. I hope to put those together into a little photo book, but will probably go through them and share some here before I get a chance to do that. So, be on the lookout for those. :)

AJAXed with AWP