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.

Friday, November 30, 2018

Apple orchard

Back in September we visited the same apple orchard we've been going to since my oldest was a year old. It's an activity we look forward to every fall. Each year the orchard adds more and more stuff, and each visit we like it a little less. This year the quaint orchard felt more like a tourist trap; and that's very disappointing. The kids still enjoyed it, so I suppose that's what matters most.

Friday, November 16, 2018

Oh those summer days!

"At the end of the day, your feet should be dirty, hair should be messy, and eyes sparkling."

Life got busy--like real busy--when the leaves started changing colors. I had to put personal projects on the back burner for a bit to make room for professional ones. The boys started school, Jillie and I settled into our routine with just the two of us, and then, suddenly, it was one photo session after another, with family stuff thrown in to make it even crazier.

Now that the snow is falling, things are starting to calm down just the teensiest of bit, and so I took a few moments here and there in my day to finally compile our summer film.

It was so fun going through the video clips. Bare feet and swimsuits and the carefree days of summer are my favorite. Now that we're on the cusp of longer winter months, I wish we could spend just a few more hours splashing around in the kiddie pool.

I've got a handful more films on my docket, so stay tuned for some more......when I find a few more free moments in our days.

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Celebrating Spencer

"The most important thing you will ever do in your life is learn to embrace your unique, honest self. A boundless, infinitely populated universe and there is nothing else here quite like you. This is your power. All those things that make you strange and different are what make you irreplaceable."
-Beau Taplin

It's a strange thing watching your kids grow up. It's not like you notice the changes as they are occurring. You don't notice the babyness fading until a boy emerges one day unexpectedly and you're suddenly caught off guard by how big he seems. You don't realize they stopped saying certain words incorrectly until much later when something reminds you of how he once announced he would love you "two-ever" instead of forever. When one night you are cuddled on his bed and he's reading a book to you that you vividly remember reading to him over and over, the passage of time sucker punches you in the gut. One day you are leading him into preschool, dreading the few hours he's away, and then another day you're watching him board the bus for third grade. It's definitely a strange thing to watch your kids grow up.

I'm far too sentimental for motherhood, I think. Some parents celebrate milestones with much more excitement than me. I'm more of the sad reminiscing type--pull out the scrapbooks and pour over the teeny tiny version of my children, trying to pinpoint when exactly they changed. So when the realization hit me that my oldest has one year left in the single digits, I instantly teared up. How can that be? Wasn't he just a toddler pushing tractors around on the deck yesterday? I swear I see that version of him so distinctly it must be true. But, nope, he's a gangly preteen prone to moody attitudes. The proof is in the 'tude.

Spencer turned 9 yesterday. It's done. He's one year closer to being full grown. And although this makes me insanely happy, it also makes me a bit sad as well. He still crawls into my lap sometimes to snuggle, not often since he's never been the affectionate type, but I like to pretend he still fits all curled up like another version of himself once did. Instead his limbs hang off and his bony butt bites into my thigh and his head sits up too high, where it once fit so snugly under my chin.

His 9 year old smile shows hints of his toddler one, but now the front teeth are bigger and sit awkwardly in his mouth. His once curly hair is now bone straight, sticking up in odd spots on his head. The other day I discovered him in the bathroom with a scissors in his hand, trying to hide the evidence in the sink. He had cut chunks off his bangs. Behaviors like this remind me he is indeed still little. And I'm definitely okay with that fact. Here's to many more years of him home with me, smothering him with my sentimentality.