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I love taking photos of families and seeing the dynamics within each family I meet. And nothing brings a family closer than an addition to the family – the first daughter, grandchild, niece. Miya is all these things and she brings out absolute joy and the very best in her parents, Bachan, and her (favorite) aunt and uncle. Everyone lights up with delight around Miya and it is pretty amazing what someone so small can do – make everyone smile, laugh, and share in the warmth of unconditional love.

Miya is going to turn the big one soon and is already on the go. She loved crawling around the grass, moving in whichever direction she fancied. It was cute seeing her explore, but also enjoy being in the comfort of the arms of her favorite people. I am so glad we got the opportunity to not only document these moments, but also take some photos before Miya’s aunt and uncle make the move to Seattle. I am sure Miya will miss them immensely, but luckily they aren’t going too too far (A plane ride anytime, Justin, wink wink.) and there is always FaceTime!

Thanks for letting me photograph Miya and I look forward to her growing up and becoming friends with Abby!

{Know someone interested in a family session? Feel free to share my phone app: Andrea Takeoka Photography}

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The past month has been busy with swimming lessons galore for Emi. She started off with session one (More on that when I post an update on Emi.) and since she was comfortable after the first session, Abby and I did Parent & Me class for session two. Initially Abby was hesitant with the idea of being in the water, but by the end of the session, she loved it. Abby splashed around, occasionally would kick, hold on to the ring tight as I moved her around in the water, look for the ring when it would drop to the bottom of the pool, and “jump” off the side of the pool. Abby did go underwater a handful of times, but it always made me nervous so I would just put her chin in. Abby loved being tossed into the air and going up and down and overall, swimming lessons was a success. I was bummed that we couldn’t do session three because there were not enough people signed up. Hopefully next summer (or perhaps in August and the rest of the year) we can sign up to swim.

Abby definitely is paving her own path, which is quite different from Emi’s, and she has actually done something before Emi. What exactly did she do? Abby went off the diving board during her swimming lessons! Yes, I know. It sounds crazy. I had to walk on the diving board, kneel down, and drop Abby into her instructor’s open arms. I was deathly terrified, felt like I was getting vertigo looking down into the water, and panicking inside that he wouldn’t catch her and my baby girl would go sinking down in the deep end. It didn’t happen, but it was scary! Abby didn’t think too much of it. I cannot wait to show her the video when she grows up. I am sure she will think it was crazy nuts that I dropped her into the water from the diving board!

So when I say Abby is paving her own path, she is doing it in all sorts of different ways. During her nine month appointment, her pediatrician said she is teething. I wasn’t surprised because Abby has been putting her finger in her mouth and biting my shoulder. However, I was expecting a tooth next to the ones she already has. Noooooo…our pediatrician said it looks like Abby’s molars are coming out! What?!? Her left one is swollen and the right one is visible, too. These teeth are not supposed to come out until later…like at one…or later. Luckily Abby hasn’t had a fever and isn’t cranky or irritable. She is a trooper with these teeth. (Tooth #6 came out on June 16th.)

Right now Abby is currently 19 pounds, 6 ounces and is 27 ½ inches long. Her head size is 43 ½ cm and she is healthy minus the fact that she has very sensitive skin. I love that her hair is so delicate and light – a super light brown color – and Abby seriously has the best laugh (well, tied with Emi). Abby likes to stick out her tongue and wag it back and forth, which definitely makes me smile because it is silly. She is super strong and pushes herself with her feet. Although Abby isn’t crawling on her hands and knees yet, she can move across the room quickly and has trekked her way from the bathroom door to the living room door. I constantly tell Emi to keep an eye on Abby because she is quick! Abby is so curious to check out boxes, wires…anything that catches her eye so when I need to grab something from the kitchen or another room, Emi watches her as best as she can. I’m very grateful that Emi is my little helper because Abby gets into all sorts of trouble! Abby started with her movement on June 21st and by the 24th of the month, she was army crawling. It’s pretty crazy how fast babies can learn and she is definitely on the move.

Some other things that Abby has learned this past month are clapping – especially when I say, “Yay!” or clap as well, drumming on the table or overturned toys, picking up two objects and clanking them together, waving bye, especially to her Grandmama who we see practically every single day (officially recorded on July 1st), babbling – da-da-da, de-de-de, wa-wa-wa, and blowing raspberries. Abby especially likes to put her mouth on my arm or leg and blow to make a funny sound.

I have less than a month left to be home with this little one and it makes me sad that when Abby turns 10 months, I will be back at work. I will miss seeing her face all day and smelling how wonderful she is. I wish I could just hang out with Abby and Emi all the time because they are my loves, my world, and my priorities. Until that time comes, I will definitely enjoy what is left of my summer vacation…and continue working on their birthday celebration. Yes, I already started…because my Abby is going to be one oh so very soon and Emi is going to be the big 4. (How is my girl turning 4 already?!?)

Until next month…

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It’s about the right place at the right time. That’s how I would describe Emily and Brian’s relationship. They have known each other for some years now since we all actually work in the English Department. So it started off as coworkers, leading into a friendship, and then a relationship brewed. It was a shared common interest that brought Emily and Brian together – the enjoyment of running. Emily joined in on coaching track and Brian is an all-star triathlon athlete so when Emily needed some suggestions on working out the kids, Brian definitely chimed in with his expertise. And then it grew from there…and I am SO happy it did. Emily is a great friend/coworker who is always willing to listen and give her support when needed. She’s direct and straight-forward (great balance to my indecisiveness at times…most of the time) and highly driven. Brian, who I refer to as little brother, is funny and sarcastic, very organized (you should see his folder that he carries with him),  and is a sweetheart because he is my little brother! So the two of them together? Absolutely wonderful in every way possible. I have two friends who are head over heels for each other and I knew for both of them, it would take the right person to make them each fall in love.

I cannot wait until their July wedding where I get to be not only a guest, but their photographer! I get to be twice as happy in their celebration and look forward to everything in store for their future together!

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