I think this is my all-time favorite photo of Jim and Marley. We were on a vacation. My older brother Geoff had given us a week at a lovely ski resort in northern Michigan. There was no snow since it was June, but it was a wonderful vacation. We were away from all the distractions and humdrum of everyday life. The weather was perfect, and we were just RELAXING.
Another reason this is one of my favorite photos is because it exemplifies Jim and Marley's relationship. He was the big, strong daddy, and she was the little tot who followed him everywhere, without a care in the world. There was nearly a year when Jim was on an experimental chemo, and he was relatively healthy. During that year, he was able to keep Marley at home while I worked, and the bond the two of them formed was incredible. They went to the park almost every day to have lunch and play (the pile of Happy Meals toys in her room was proof!). Jim knew all the names of the characters on the shows they watched together on NickJr. I think he secretly loved the shows as much as she did! They made castles and forts out of Lincoln Logs and Legos. They played with her little barn that made noises. I used to joke that Marley had more "boy toys" than little girl toys, mostly because her daddy enjoyed playing with them as much as she did. They chatted about anything and everything. He knew better than me sometimes what she liked to eat. He kept her on a nap schedule.
It was a strange role reversal for our family. He was the stay-at-home parent and I was the one who went to work every day. But it worked for us! I'm so glad they had that time together, because he was able to give her so much love and attention. He was in his glory. His whole world revolved around a little one year old with curly hair, and he loved it.