Wednesday, October 26, 2011


There was a quote going around Facebook for awhile that went along the lines of, A cousin is your first friend...blah blah blah...repost this if you have an awesome cousin. I didn't pay much attention to it at the time as you can tell from my great rendition of the quote, but the more I think about it, the more I believe that it really rings true. My kids are lucky to have a whole bunch of cousins. On my side, there are three and, along with my kids, their ages are 9, 8, 7, almost 6, 3 1/2, and 2 1/2. There is never a dull moment at family get togethers and they truly love seeing each other and hug like long lost friends when they meet (we live 2 miles from them, they hug a lot). On Todd's side, there are numerous older cousins and seven cousins under the age of 9. Whenever we are together, they quickly run off together not to be be seen or heard again for hours. I know how precious these relationships are. They are forever friends. Forever connected.  I know they will always look out for each other. I hope they realize how fortunate they are to have their cousins to go through life with...
Trevor and Cole are the only boy cousins on my side of the family. You  can tell by the look on Cole's face and how he acts around him that he adores him. Cole tries to mimic Trevor and do everything he does...his little shadow.

The Dads and the kids...each year, Greg and Todd take a "holiday card" photo. This is the 2011 winner!

A bunch of cousins at the summer birthday party.

4 cousins with birthdays in July and August. Their party is always a blast!

The fashionista cousins!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Friday Night Lights

I know the title of the blog may have given you visions of Tim Riggins (or maybe that's just me), but these Friday Night Lights included some cute boys and girls of our own. Football in every capacity is a fall tradition.  Part of what I love about the game is what it represents - the newness of a school year, the starting over, the lovely fall days. In the last few weeks, we played backyard football, went to a high school football game, and I went to the Homecoming game at my alma mater, Illinois State University.  All of them were fun and memorable in their own way.  There's nothing like a cool, crisp, autumn day and football with your cousins and uncle. The kids (Todd and Greg included) had a blast playing their own pick up game. Nothing but planning plays, the word "hike" and laughter was heard.

As for the high school game, Syd and Skye took a one day cheer clinic through the school district. They learned 2 cheers and a dance and got to show off their new skills at half time of the high school game. It was very much small town Americana with hints of Friday Night Lights (without the boosters and jumbotron and sadly, Tim Riggins was nowhere to be found). 

We had a great time going back to ISU. It has been 16 years since I last stepped foot on the campus. So much has changed and so much has stayed the same. My two friends and former roommates joined me on our trip down memory lane. We laughed until our bellies hurt and our conversations widely revolved around the "remember when" theme. We walked the campus slowly and stopped by the buildings where each of us spent a lot of our time. We remembered professors and classes, found the "stinky" tree in the quad, and commented on all of the campus improvements. My sister in law is now a freshman there and she and her roommate were kind enough to show us around.  We explained to them that we went to school before there was Internet, Skyping, texting, or email. Research was done in the library and on microfiche. My first cell phone was a bag phone always plugged into my car for emergencies. We didn't have debit cards or meal plans.  Our ramblings probably took the tone of "walking uphill to school both ways." But, our college experiences were fantastic, even with being disconnected from the real world more often than not.  It is, after all, where I met my husband and some of my life long friends. There's something about going through the growing experience that is college - the entering when you're a teenager and leaving when you're an adult - that creates bonds even in those we don't see as often. 

We also had the "what would we do differently if we had to do it all over again" conversation. If we could go back in time, what would the now 38 year olds say to the then 20 year olds. We all had things we would do differently, whether it be a course of study or bad choices in boyfriends, and all agreed that we would give just about anything to go back and have that carefree college life again. I can tell you that it most certainly did not feel like I started college 20 years ago. Stepping on to the campus was like stepping back in time but with the perspective and life experience to see things just differently enough. I don't think we appreciated the awesomeness that is the college experience when we were in the midst of it.  I love seeing Noelle thrive at ISU and can't wait to see how she does in her four years there. And, just think, in less than 9 years, I will have a college student myself. I don't have the words in my vocabulary to express how that makes me feel.

Back yard football at it's finest.

I think Cole is trying to tackle Trevor here...good try, buddy. Give it a few years!

Trevor's natural athletic ability shows in more than just soccer....he had some moves on the football field, as well.

Friday night lights...mid-America style

Noelle and her roommate, Mary college! 
The game was a blast! While in college, I attended exactly one football game. So wish I had gone to more. 

College squirrels are so much cuter than our backyard squirrels, aren't they?

This weekend, I will be attending my high school reunion. More reminiscing, more of what we would have done differently, more conversations that will start with "remember when." I'm both excited and anxious to see my former classmates. Some I have reconnected with on Facebook, but haven't seen in person, and some remain mysteries...until Saturday that is.  20 years.  As cliche' as it time flies, life is short, and it doesn't feel like 20 years,, most importantly - do I look as old as I thought alumni were when I was in school?

And, in other news, Bergeron Photography should be up and running shortly! I'm so excited to start this new venture...perhaps something I should have done a long time ago. Perspective is an amazing thing.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

5 minutes in the life of Cole

I've been having a lot of fun practicing my photography skills and giving myself projects to complete. I decided to follow Cole around for 5 minutes and just capture him doing what he prompting, no "look over here and smile," just purely snapping the essence of him. I did this twice in the same day - once inside and once outside. The only way I intervened was not letting him play in my car. He could seriously do that for hours everyday if I let him. The look on his face when he presses the buttons, makes car doors open, honks the horn, and dances to the music is joy in it's purest form. 

Cole absolutely loves being outside and I'm pretty sure on this day his goal, if he were able to convey it, was to take everything out of the garage one item at a time. I fear it's going to be a long winter of him being stuck inside when he would rather be exploring the great outdoors.

When my girls were little, they would never sit on the ground. They would take a crouching position to color with sidewalk chalk or play with sand. Cole lays down in sand, grass, and even on the garage floor. He is a fan of the "big mess," as he calls it.

Silly me put batteries in the train puzzle so it whistles upon completion - I didn't think that one through! If Cole ever sees anyone using a tool of any sort, he becomes obsessed with fixing things.

Sometimes, he smiles for me unprompted. He really enjoys getting his photo taken.

Cole riding his "Har Bike." A day does not go by without a ride on his bike. For this reason, it has never been outside.

Cole now likes to put things on the back of his bike and give them rides. This time, a Caterpillar construction guy got the free ride. This worked out better than when he wanted to give a glass of water a ride. 

My photography business is getting under way and should be up and running in the next few weeks. I'll be giving myself more projects to complete like this one and have been taking a lot of autumn landscapes that I will be posting soon. We have had an amazingly gorgeous autumn and the colors are at their peak this week. I can't wait to get out there and take more!