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.






Tuesday, May 21, 2019

An Evening in the Dandelion Ditch

"We do not remember days, we remember moments."
-Pavese


One evening when my middle guy was at baseball practice, I took the oldest and the youngest on an adventure to a ditch filled with dandelions that I had spotted earlier in the day. I wanted to practice using slow motion in videos, so I simply filmed them while they played. I think it was a fun experience for all of us. Now on to our next adventure......








Tuesday, March 26, 2019

November Family Film

"I am beginning to learn that it is the sweet, simple things of life which are the real ones after all."
-Laura Ingalls Wilder



In January of 2018 I set a goal for myself. I had just learned video and instantly fell head over feet in love for this way of documenting life. My goal was to create one family film a month. As the months went on, I decided there were other things in our lives that I wanted to devote to their own films, let those moments shine separate from our daily lives; and so my goal of completing 12 films in 2018 quickly blossomed into many, many more.

And, as is usually the case in life, our schedules got busy and I had less time to sit down and edit the video clips together to make the films. Thankfully I kept up on filming the moments; they were simply stashed away on my hard drive, awaiting some free minutes. That's why this March 2019 finds me finally finishing the family film from November.

I only have to edit one more film to complete my goal from 2018. I'm excited to check that off the list. This project has been so much fun. I'm grateful to have these memories documented in such a real way to look back at in years to come.

Have I renewed my goal of completing monthly videos in 2019? No, I've decided that task was a bit daunting and unrealistic to do long term. But I will continue to document the big moments and make sure to also record a hodge podge of the little ones, too. After all, Laura Ingalls Wilder said herself that it's the sweet, simple things of life which are the real ones.

Enjoy our November. I know we did.


Friday, March 22, 2019

Ashton turns 7

"Never do anything by halves if you want to get away with it. Be outrageous. Go the whole hog. Make sure everything you do is completely crazy it's unbelievable."
-Roald Dahl


This quote embodies Ashton so thoroughly. I believe it probably could be his life motto. He goes all in. I don't even think he knows how to do anything less than that. This is both endearing and frustrating.

Ashton turned 7 last fall; and it's been a good age for him. Six wasn't his easiest year. He hit many bumps in the road--suffered numerous skinned knees--but he has now surfaced stronger and more acutely aware of himself. The transformation has been so fun to watch. No mother likes to watch their children suffer--helpless in their endeavor to make the path easier--but I can sure attest to the pride and pure relief and overwhelming love a mother feels when things turn around.

I may be a few months late in celebrating another year of Ashton, but here it is nonetheless. His birthday interview.



Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Jillian's 3rd Birthday

"Girls are whimsical iridescent faerie beings made of cherries and venom and dewdrops and I am so glad to be one."


Jillian turned three back in October; and it hit me with a ton of bricks that my baby really isn't such a baby anymore. Although if you ask her, she most definitely is not a big girl either. She's in no hurry to grow up and I am not mad about it.

Here is her birthday video, where I interviewed her about all her favorite things, and it was shot strictly in the comforts of her favorite place -- her bedroom.


Saturday, January 5, 2019

October 2018

"October proved a riot, a riot to the senses, and climaxed those giddy last weeks before Halloween."
-Keith Donohue



It's been fun revisiting moments from the fall. I guess that's one highlight of being so behind in my personal work. We spent one October morning playing in the leaves in our backyard, right before the first snow covered our giant leaf pile; then once the fickle temperatures melted the snow, the morning frost came and froze them to the ground. Needless to say, we were glad we jumped on the chance to soak up the October sun and throw the last of the season's leaves at each other.

Halloween is something we gear up for months before the holiday. We start brainstorming costume ideas in the summer. They change and change and change again before the kids finally settle on their perfect idea. This year Spencer was Darth Vader, and he proudly yielded the Light Saber. Ashton took portraying his character as Harry Potter very seriously, as he does every role he plays. Jillian oscillated between which Frozen sister she wanted to be, but opted for Elsa at the last moment.

It was our first year with no stroller or wagon as we walked from house to house in our neighborhood trick or treating. The orange plastic pumpkin pals got heavier and heavier with candy at each door. When we finally made it back to our house, they tore into some candy while we watched our customary Halloween Curious George movie.