Friday, February 17, 2012

Love and family

I procrastinate. A lot. Right now I'm procrastinating packing by doing a blog post. We're headed down to New Jersey this weekend, to meet new babies (Finn and Abby), and celebrate others (Austin turns 1!).  It's February break for Chloe this week, so she and Addy are going to stay in New Jersey. I'm not sure if that makes me brave for letting Addy go for a week, or my family brave for having them. I love that they are going, but I'm going to love more when it's time for them to come home.

I was hoping Pete and I would have a quick ski vacation while kid-free, but of course the timing never works - he is doing a marathon next weekend, so the ski trip got vetoed. The new plan? Sleeping in, mani/pedis, and organizing the basement (boo).

For Valentine's Day, K and I took the little girls to Starbucks for cake pops. They are quite social little beings, and they love waving and saying hi to everyone, so Starbucks is a treat for them. And, with lattes and built in distractions for the girls, it's a treat for K and I too. The girls almost always get mistaken for twins - matching blue eyes, similar hair color, same height, and obvious love for each other. Instead, they are something almost as special as twins - best friends.


Addy has become the queen of expressions. The over-the-shoulder we both know I shouldn't do this, but are you going to stop me look, the yeah and I dare you to try and stop me look, the I love you look.
"Helping" me write checks. Never turn your back on a toddler, a pen, and a checkbook.
Winter time makes me forget how much I love pudgy baby knees.

OK, it's time to face the music. And pack up the bags, and the car. And try and tell myself I will. not. cry. when we drive back on Monday with an empty backseat.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Roller Coaster, Animal Kingdom

This has been a roller coaster week. All of the girls in the house have bad colds. It's been a choirs of hacking coughs and stuffed noses. I rarely get sick, so it has really thrown me for a loop - and working two days this week only made my feel that much more run down.

A close friend of mine lost a close family friend this week in a skiing accident. He was a father, and by all accounts, an amazing man. I know these unspeakable tragedies happen every day, but when it hits so close to home, it makes you stop and focus on what matters. We spent some extra time with our friends this week. Not doing anything, just being together. And as hard as it is to see someone you love in so much pain, it was important to me to be one pillar in the wall of support and love we built around them. It felt good to plant my feet wide and let someone lean on me, to wrap a friend in love. Somehow, in the middle of all of this, the same friend brought soup over on the day I was feeling most under the weather - seriously?! I have the best friends ever.

My corps of mama-friends are some of the most fiercely loyal, loving, caring, thoughtful, funny, amazing women I know. I was trying to find a good word to describe us, and I think I finally got it - we're a tribe. If you glimpse a tribe of lions, particularly lionesses with their young, it is a touching scene. Playful cubs, wrestling and loving, mother lions just being together, keeping a watchful eye on all the little ones. But and this is a big but threaten that tribe, a cub, or a lioness, and they will show no mercy. I'm on an animal kingdom kick, because a few months ago I wrote a short piece called Mama Bear. Yesterday, it was published by Mamalode Magazine. I'd tell you about it, but I'd really rather you read it. And since I get paid based on the number of unique views I get, if you want to share it with friends, that would be OK too.

 We went to the science museum last weekend. Twice. Because I didn't realize you needed to reserve tickets to go to the Day in Pompeii exhibit, and it closes in a week. So, we reserved tickets for the next day. Chloe loved it.
Sick Momma. Silly baby.

We went to a Valentine's brunch this week. My tribe is awesome.
 Some of the cubs. Not everyone was able to make it, but we had fun with everyone who went!

Chloe had another school dance. Be still my heart.

We also sold our townhouse in Virginia this week. That was a huge monkey off our backs. No immediate buying plans yet. 

As you can see, lots of pictures and lots of words this week. This Stella got her groove back. It's been an intense week.

Saturday, February 4, 2012


Every once in a while, I get uninspired. January was a tough month. I didn't feel like taking pictures, I didn't feel like blogging. I was sort of trudging through each day, doing what needed to get done. I forced myself to do a couple of blog posts, snap a few pictures. And then, the calendar changed. February arrived. I don't know if it was a post-holiday funk, or the effects of living in New England in January, but whatever it was, it left.

My best friend from high school had her first child, which inspired me to focus more on my newborn photography. I posted that I was going to do some free newborn sessions, and the response was overwhelming. I feel energized, refreshed. I love pouring myself into one particular part of photography at a time; learning it, attempting to master it. I love that people have so much faith in me, in my photographic "gut", that they're excited to have me shoot their babies. And I'm excited to deliver.

Then, I got an email from Mamalode, the online magazine that published my Strength, Hope, and Blueberries piece. I wrote a short essay a few months ago, reflections on a particularly tough experience I had at a playground with Addy, and they're publishing it next week. And I was reminded that people are interested in what I have to say. Even people who don't know me, don't know Addy, are listening. And all of a sudden, my mind was whirling, and my fingers were itching to type and share and pour myself out on paper.

And you know Pintrest? (If you don't, I'm not good at explaining it, so you'll have to Google it.) Well, Mamalode pinned my blog on Pintrest. I'm one of 13 blogs they have pinned right now on their "Mamalode Writers" pinboard. And the 12 other blogs are awesome. Which makes me sit a little straighter, smile a little brighter, because it's cool being included in that kind of company.

Every time someone tells me they love my blog, my heart swells. And when a stranger comments on a picture I took that was posted on Facebook, my heart swells. And when my week is topped off with an email letting me know I'm getting published, again, well... I'm about to bust apart. After a month of funk, I'm feeling good, energized, inspired.

A few pics from today's trip to the Museum of Science:
Meet Bear. You'll be seeing a lot of him, because he doesn't leave Addy's side. Unless you want to hear screaming, sobbing, "BEAAAAAAAAAAR!!!!"

It's going to be a good month.

Friday, February 3, 2012


I just have a quick Friday post - a few pictures, a few words.

 This kid gets more beautiful by the day. And my mom would be quick to add, "AND she's smart, too!" She's rocking her way through the Kumon program. That'll be a whole 'nother blog post.
 Addy is getting more and more verbal, and we're really trying to encourage her. So when she walked up to me, signed "eat" and said "snack?" I opened the pantry door and let her have at it. She marched out with a jar of peanut butter under one arm, a jar of Nutella under the other. She's never had Nutella, she just sees big sister make her sandwich for school, and wanted a piece of the action. Now, she's had Nutella. And she's a fan.
This one just makes me chuckle. Pete walked away from his computer to grab a snack (hm, I'm sensing a theme in our house) and Addy ditched her cows to try and put in the ear buds and do some "work" on Dad's computer. The second she saw me watching, she said "No, no, no!" and scampered off.

I'm getting published again. This one is an original short essay I wrote, not long after my last publication, instead of a converted blog post. It will be up next week. I'll post a link.

Enjoy the weekend!