Flashback Friday: Hallie Jane

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My funny, smart, and beautiful* niece Hallie Jane.

Once, on a road trip, Hallie was cracking jokes from the back seat that had her mom, Gwen, and me in stitches. I said, “Hallie, you are SO funny!”. Her reply, “I wish the kids at school thought so. They just think I’m weird.” We assured her that it would be just a matter of time before the other kids caught up to her sense of humor, that she was just a little ahead of them. Luckily, that turned out to be true, and high school has been a great time for her, particularly for her involvement in speech and debate. In January, she will be traveling to Europe (primarily Poland) to compete in an international war crimes mock trial event.

Hallie and I have had our own adventures – she’s a great kid to be with when lost in a strange city, or to search the East Mountains for a lost dog with. She can be flighty, a little ditzy, and a lot clumsy:  but don’t let that fool you – and don’t judge her by her spelling or grammar on Facebook – she’s a smart cookie and serious about doing well in school.

In a week, I’ll be enjoying my family in person, and not just through my photos and memories. I cannot wait to see what sets Hallie and I to giggling this year!

*Actually, these descriptors can be used for all my nieces – Myka, Rachel, Hallie, Atalie, Zoe, Nikki, Elsa, Emma and Ada! I am blessed, truly! My only regret is the hit-and-miss nature of my photo collection – I’d love to highlight them all in a flashback friday!

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Flashback Friday: Happy Girl

Last fall, I visited my brother Matt and his family in Chicago. After a busy Saturday out and about the city, we returned home to chill for a while before heading out to a party. I snapped these pictures of my niece, Zoe, as she expressed her inner butterfly exuberantly and wordlessly.