Sunday, December 8, 2019

Camping 2019

"Like branches on a tree we grow in different directions yet our roots remain as one. Each of our lives will always be a special part of the other."

One day my babes are going to be grown and out living their own lives, but my hope is they carry pieces of our days together with them. Camping is one of those activities that I feel deep down they will cherish. I even hope they remember the imperfect moments, like arguing over who got the first s'more or the times we forgot essential food and clothing items or circling around and around out in the middle of nowhere when the GPS stopped working as we searched for the campground. The perfect moments only feel so important when balanced with the real life, down on the ground, kicking and screaming tantrum kind.

So here is our first camping trip of 2019 from way back in the spring. These are some of my favorite memories we make each year.

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Summer 2019

"Summer is like childhood; full of warm memories and gone too soon."
-Kellie Elmore

Winter came early this year. Snow covers the golden leaves, the two seasons intermingling. Temperatures dropped to the low 20s, below zero with the windchill. It's a low blow for an already short season to end so abruptly, giving way to one that lasts so long.

It's hard to be completely devastated when my children embrace the change with excitement. They run off the bus, blow through their homework and chores, and bundle up in all the layers to play outside with the neighborhood kids. Once upon a time I would have frozen right alongside them, but now they've traded their boring mom for their friends.

While they may have accepted this abrupt weather change, I am still living in denial, pretending we're still in swimsuits eating popsicles in the backyard. Editing the summer video brought me right back. Come along and live in denial with me. Enjoy some of our favorite summer memories!

Thursday, October 3, 2019

Good-bye, Crib

"The great paradox of parenting is that it moves in both slow motion and fast speed."

A few days before Jillian's 4th birthday I decided to get my butt in gear and finally edit a video from the spring where we said the final good-bye to our crib days. Last spring Jillian graduated from her beloved crib and has been content in her toddler bed since. She will be making another big leap to a twin size bed for her birthday, so it was time to finish her video.

Some days it hits me hard when I realize the baby days are behind us. Our last baby is turning 4. We will never again have any of those bittersweet firsts. First time coming home from the hospital. First time rolling over. First words. First steps.

All those long, sleepless nights are behind us...but what's ahead is just as sweet.

Although I wouldn't want to go back to the baby days--I like the track our life is currently on--it's a hard thing to reconcile: no more diapers, slobbery kisses, late night nursing sessions, teeny tiny clothes and baby coos.

 I am no longer a mom of babies. And I am ok with that. Mostly.

Here's to all the new milestones ahead of us!

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Autumn Dancing in the Breeze

"I can smell autumn dancing in the breeze. The sweet chill of pumpkin, and crisp sunburnt leaves."
-Ann Drake

If summer is my favorite season, then surely fall edges in with a close second. There's something to be cherished the way things naturally fall into a slower rhythm after a full, busy summer.

The weather is fickle. One day you're wrapped up in a sweater and boots, thinking the days of backyard barefoot play are over. Then the next you're shedding layers as the warmth of summer sneaks in again. Gradually the green you longed to see after a dull, colorless winter transforms to shades of yellows and oranges and reds in a spectacular color show.

The grass you trampled over all summer with your bare feet is now covered in a golden leaves, your boots crunch-crunching over them--the soundtrack of fall.

I may long for summer those long winter months, but fall is the perfect finale.

Last weekend we set out to enjoy one of our favorite fall activities by visiting an apple orchard. We tried a new one this year, one less frilly and fancy, and more relaxed and inviting. The change was a bit jarring to Spencer. He was used to all the bustling activity. But the rest of us agree it's a keeper.

Now we have approximately 300 apples to eat up, bake into some yummy concoction or hand off to others. Some things never change, even with a change of orchard.

Thursday, September 5, 2019


"Some old-fashioned things like fresh air and sunshine are hard to beat."
-Laura Ingalls Wilder

Last spring, once the snow melted for good and the temperature steadily increased to tolerable and the flowers bloomed like a colorful flag welcoming the long-awaited season change, Jillian and I set off on many adventures. One such day I brought along my camera and documented it.

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Scenes From the Mirror

"Surely it is in the everyday things around us that the beauty of life lies."
-Laura Ingalls Wilder

I spent a great deal of my youth surrounded by this dresser that once belonged to my late Grandma Faye. When we cleared it of all evidence of my younger years and situated it in my daughter's room, I felt all sorts of sentimental. Another generation's youth will be spent surrounded by this dresser.

These feelings sparked inspiration one day for a photography project where I document life through the dresser's mirror. I've taken several dozen photos for this project I've titled, "Scenes From the Mirror" as practice for an idea brewing in my mind. I wanted to shoot an entire video through the mirror's reflection. I snapped pictures from different angles around the room testing out how I could tell the story of a single day solely through this mirror.

And then I kept putting it off and putting it off. I wanted the right light. I wanted the right mood. I wanted the room to be clean. I wanted the room to be messy. I wanted a day where my sons didn't have after school activities. All the excuses kept compiling until months had gone by and I still hadn't committed to shooting this video.

Finally, one day in April, the morning light hit a certain way in Jillian's room when I went to get her out of her crib and I ran for my camera. This was it! The final product isn't exactly how I envisioned it, and maybe that's why I dragged my heels for so long on starting it, but I will definitely cherish the little moments that happened regularly during that period of our lives.

Shortly after this, we converted the crib into a toddler bed and gone is that baby phase of our lives forever. Thankfully that one morning in April I found the light inspiring or I may have missed documenting that special stage.

Thursday, May 23, 2019

December 2018

“Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire: it is the time for home.” -Edith Sitwell

December is one of my favorite months. Once the weather turns cold in the fall, I start thinking ahead to all the things we'll cram into December. We've simplified it quite a bit over the years, only selecting the handful of things that really matter to us, and saying no to the rest. In doing so, we've really honed in on some beautiful traditions, ones we look forward to year after year. That's not saying they go over perfectly or they roll out in a Hallmark Christmas movie manner. There's fighting and frustrating moments. I mean, it's real life. But I still love every single second of it anyway.

Here's a little Christmas in May for you. It's certainly got me feeling a bit festive.