One advantage of having several great photographers in the family is that you end up with tons of pictures! One disadvantage of having several great photographers in the family…is that you end up with tons of pictures! Despite the copious quantity of pictures, I am truly grateful for each precious image, especially those capturing memories with beloved family and friends. The following pictures are also from our U.S. visit, but they are exclusively from my Dad’s camera. I decided to keep them separate from the other photos, because 1) I don’t have time to organize them all into the the other posts and 2) I love that they are uniquely from my Dad’s perspective–a reflection of his heart and soul toward us, and that each sweet smile from my kids is directed toward their beloved “Opa”. So, here is our journey, from October through January, through my father’s lens.
These pictures only hint at the emotions involved in such delicate moments…
…introducing cousins to each other who have never really met (Paton was 6 weeks old the last time we were here)
Teary-eyed as I gaze at me nephew, who last saw us when he was less than 3 months old. Will he know me? Will he love me?
Ava was a little overwhelmed at first by all of the emtoions, but here she is, smiling into Opa’s camera
Paton was unsure of it all at first…
Daniel wanted to hug Ava, but she was nervous
…and the sweet boy hugged his big cousin.
And she hugged him back.
Daniel then turned to Paton, who was still unsure about it all…
…but who can resist such a hug!
And by the end of the brief greeting at the airport…
…sweet cousins fondly embracing.
My beautiful pregnant sister and I
Both Nate and I had sustained significant back injuries in the two weeks before our trip. We were still in quite a bit of pain.
The fun sign that Opa made for us!
It took a few moments to warm up, but now he’s a happy boy, surrounded by his loving U.S. family
A few days after arriving, we had a combined birthday party for Paton and Ava with family (since they had both had birthdays in the month prior). It was a book-themed party.
So grateful to share these moments with family!
Someone’s excited for some cake and ice cream!
My beautiful cousin Jenn and her hubby, Eric.
Gramps and Auntie Joanna
Paton directing Gramps as to which bite he wants, ha ha
Love that these sweet faces are looking at Opa
Waiting to open presents! Since affordable English books are hard to find in Cambodia, the family blessed the kids with tons of literary reads to take back with us.
Not quite sure how to open it
The kids were in book heaven!
Share? I don’t think so!
They loved their Mickey and Minnie from Gramps and Grandma
My dad dressed up like Cat in the Hat (one of their favorite TV programs), and Paton wanted to try on the outfit
Nana dressed up as a literary queen
Cousin Allie with Ava
Love this lady so much!
Blessed to have such rich, enduring marriage examples in our family
Allie reading some of Ava’s new books to her
Such a sweet relationship with their older cousins
Hanging out with a big bear
At the pumpkin patch
My beloved nephew, Daniel
Tossing hay with Nana
Look at Auntie Bethany!
Nana, stick this in your mouth!
I’m king of the world!
So nice to cuddle in the cold for a change (as opposed to our normal sweating in the Cambodian heat)
Hanging out with Nana in the morning
Fall leaves! A new experience for the kids
Where ya goin’?
Here’s your pilgrim hat, Opa! You can be gangsta like me!
Playing with Nana and Opa’s train set
Oh my! The train runs on its own!
A regular activity–piggyback rides!
Apparently, our backs are feeling better at this point!
Berries! Oh how I miss these in Cambodia!
Enjoying a delicious breakfast on Thanksgiving morning
Snoopy! Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade
Not sure about the tummy exposure…perhaps the Rockettes dancing from earlier? Ha ha
Thanksgiving – Having fun with the stroller in the backyard with Uncle David and Uncle Joe
Telling Uncle J the good news! A new baby for Auntie Shannon and Uncle David!
Ava enjoying my parents’ beautiful Steinway piano (in the Norris family for generations)
Love her singing sincerity. You can see he hospital bracelet from her Thanksgiving Day ermergency :(.
Decorating the tree!
At a craft fair with Nana and Opa
Going to the Nutcracker with Nana!
Daddy, can I have a ride?
The kids are blessed to have such a daddy
Dancing as the Nutcracker ballet plays in the background
Christmas baking with Nana
Color time with Nana and Cousin Daniel
Turn that frown…
…upside down! :)
Hanging out with Daddy
So fun to make our Christmas fudge in my mom’s kitchen!
Special tablet time with Daddy…
…followed by reading time!
Uncle Trent and Auntie Rebecca are here!
Opening the advent calendar with Uncle Johnny
Playing with blocks while waiting for the rest of the family to arrive
A Norris family tradition–opening stockings on Nana and Opa’s bed (before presents and breakfast)
The kids lovingly watching their cousin
Bring on the stockings! We can’t wait!
Thomas the Train underwear! Could anything be more exciting!?
Uncle J joined the kids on the bed
Yum! The candy cane pastry and lots of other delicious breakfast foods!
The twin cousins–born 2 months apart
Ava extinguishing the candles…
…such a big girl!
A pink blanket! Uncle Trent and Auntie Rebecca are having a girl! (at this point, 3 couples are pregnant!)
Daniel opening his gift from Uncle T and Auntie R…a tennis set!
Gathered together to open presents
Dinosaurs! (from Nana and Opa)
Ava’s gift from Spain-dwelling Uncle Johnny!
She loved it!
A mini Ergo carrier for her dollies.
Her “big” gift from Nana and Opa..an American Girl doll
Daniel wearing P’s new knight costume
Playing with Daniel’s new T-ball set
Attempting to read a Khmer book to Paton
Enjoying a visit with extended family–Cousin Jenn and Uncle Coulbourne
Daniel and Ava…
…love this constantly blurry boy :)
Yummy Cuties! (These are $1 each in Cambodia, so definitely loving the Costco-sized bags in the U.S.!)
A visit from my cousin Mark and his family!
Their four boys are such fun, and the kids thoroughly enjoyed their time with them.
Mark’s wife, Amy–I’ve loved this spunk gal since the first day we met her–they were still in college
The boys were sweet to play with the kids
Hanging out with Uncle David and Auntie Shannon
Opa and Nana’s garden parrot
There’s something about this photo that I love…sibs chattingin the backyard
Photoshoot with beloved Auntie Rebecca and Uncle Trent
Auntie Bethany was taking the pictures
Hey, Auntie B, we want to see these pics! ;)
The three pregnant gals
Ava wanted to join in
Checking the pictures that Nate took of the preggos
Everyone hanging out and taking pictures
Cash, their first baby
Uncle Trent having fun with the kids
Love these two and the little girl growing inside
Had to share this adorable sequence of the cousins taking pictures…
Ava taking charge
What’s going, on Paton?
Ava holding on tight
Paton not happy
Daniel and Ava smiling away
Our bribes for the kids…gingersnaps!
Daniel wanting to share with Ava
Cousins sharing cookies
My nephew and I
Paton’s probably wondering why we’re holding Daniel
The three Norris brothers
The kids have had enough pictures
So we did this!
Hanging out with Uncle J
A handmade angel by my great-great aunt
Enjoying the lovely morning light of my parents’ home
Dominos with Daniel (at the cabin)
Such a cutey
Ava getting serious for the snow
Uncle J chillin’ with his coffee
A curious Oompa Loompa
Two handsome dudes
The amazing cabin!
What a view!
My beautiful mom and I. Yes, I was F-REEZING.
Walking to find a decent sledding run (it hadn’t snowed for a while at this point)
Ready to lauch!
The cabin provided lots of toys for the kids…
…and a TV for watching videos
In the video trance
Getting our snow clothes on for another adventure
Going on a hike to find a good sledding place
Trial run of the course that Nate carved out
The kids crawling through the snow, ha ha
This run is definitely faster than the other location!
What’s Ava doing with that huge block of snow?
And then she turned and walked away, ha ha
We turned around and our little daredevil daughter had jumped on the sled and was barreling down the hill
Someone had to stand by the tree near the course, so that the kids didn’t hit it
Johnny getting fancy
Stating the snowman
Lookin’ great, thanks to the snowman kit from Nate’s brother and fam
The kids were fascinated by it
Ava wanted us to dance around the snowman singing the “Frosty” song like she’d seen in the children’s classic film. We did it, though none of us knew more than a few lines.
Daniel hugging the snowman
A little drama…Daniel hugged the snowman again…a little too much, and he came crashing down.
My kids were absolutely devestated, as if he had killed Snowman. It was hard not to chuckle a little at their deep emotional attachment.
Uncle Johnny with the snowman remains
Blurry picture, but sweetly capturing Paton’s goodbye to Uncle J
Goodbyes are always hard
Taking a picture of us all waving goodbye
Not sure what’s going on here, but Daniel was being a big sport!
Perhaps a purple ponytail?
Dancing to “Classical Baby”, a wonderful series teaching music and art. The owner of the cabin provided it, and we liked it so much, that we now have our own copy (thanks to my folks!)
This cabin-provided Lightening McQueen laptop was very popular with the kiddos
Lots of memories and fun happened here!
What’s this? Snow?
Being silly, but so excited to have fresh snow!
We were so grateful for fresh the snowfall, and only a day or so before we left!
Another attempt at a snowman
Sledding in the driveway!
It really was magical!
Sorry, Joe, this was too sweet not to post. Playing a video for the kids, but the exhausted daddy/uncle fell asleep
A beautiful mess
Look at that concentration!
Fresh snow mean shoveling the driveway
Playing with Daniel’s trains set.