Sunday, March 8, 2009

So Long Blogger: Check Out My New Blog

I have a new blog site! The URL is in the yellow box at the top of the page. You should be automatically redirected there. Please bookmark the new site:

Friday, February 20, 2009

Finn on Gender Identity

Like most new moms I started keeping track of Finn's development in a baby book just after he was born. I jotted notes like how much he weighed, how gigantic his head was (it was!), when he first sat up on his own, his first tooth. But Finn was also an unusually verbal baby so before he was a year old I started jotting notes on a daily basis so that I would never forget all of the surprising and hilarious things he said. Of course they were just one word utterances at first but he was rambling off sentences before we knew it and I have been recording his proclamations ever since.

I came across an old sticky note today and decided it to share it. This happened on a drive to work around 6 or 7 months ago, when Finn was about 3 1/2.

I looked at his sweet face in my rearview mirror and gushed, "Finn--you are my best sweetheart."

Summoning his inner teenager he rolled his eyes and admonished, "Mom. Boys are not sweethearts."


"We're buddies."

Just a mile or so down the road on that same drive he pointed out a hawk in the sky.

"Awesome!" I said.

"Mom-you can't say awesome. Boys says awesome. And cool."

"Then what do girls say?"

Finn, at a loss, "Whatever."

In March of last year we were having some work done in our kitchen. Finn abruptly announced one evening, "I have to go check on something."

I followed him as he strode purposefully into the kitchen.

Finn explained, "When we check on something, we have to roll up our sleeves, like this." He rolled up his sleeves. He proceeded to give the pipes a few good knocks.

What a man.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Welcome, Baby Ellebe!

Last month Tim's cousin Chad and his wife Jenn welcomed their beautiful baby girl, Ellebe, to the world. Tim and I were lucky to get to visit her when she was just over a week old. What a perfect little doll she is! There were lots of other visitors there and I didn't want to be too obnoxious with my big, ol' camera, but I did grab a few shots. And I plan to head back to their house in a couple of weeks to do a full-on baby shoot. I can't wait!

Snuggled up on her auntie's chest:

Okay, so she was mostly sleeping during our visit! So peaceful. (Of course, she was probably up all night, but...)

The proud Daddy:

Tiny fingers:

Jenn is such a beautiful Mommy.

Love this detail shot from the nursery:

Okay. Check it out. Chad is an amazing artist and designed and painted this bad-ass nursery himself. I love it!

Seriously! Look at all the details, the colors and the bold design!

She's trying to stay awake, really!

Wide awake and checking out the big, fat lens in her face while Mommy checks her diaper!

Congratulations, Chad and Jenn! So happy for you guys. I can't wait to come back to see Ellebe! I bet she will look so big to me already!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

How Much Do I Love My Mazey?

I spent the morning with my sister and my sweet niece, Mazey. There will definitely more to come, but I had to post at least one shot of this little face.

She gets keeps getting sweeter and cuter!!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Slideshow: Best of Kid Pics 2008

I am so lucky that I get to do this as my job. Not just because I love to be around children and love to take photographs but also because I consider it a high honor to be able to capture these moments for other families to cherish. Our kids grow and change so quickly and it means the world to have these little moments and expressions frozen in time.

A huge thank you to all of the families who invited me to spend time with their children and allowed me to bask in the joy of being a kid! These moments really feed my soul. Enjoy!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

New Year's Resolution: The Update

On the heels of my first "true" New Year's Resolution, I made a trip to Border's for some "supplies" and some inspiration. Several trips, actually. Truth be told, if I knew I could do it without getting arrested, I would set up camp at Border's. Bookstores are among my very favorite places on Earth.

Supplies included a delicious red tea latte, some new books and magazines and a brand new personal calendar. I bought an iPhone a couple months back, in large part due to its ability to keep all of my contacts and appointments in one tidy, portable little package. But part of me can't stand to give up the old-fashioned daily planner. I am a slave to my lists. Now that I suffer terribly from Mommy-Fog, I find that if I don't write it down--it either doesn't happen or never happened. I forget everything! The new planner I bought has a nice weekly spread with room on the left to write lists regarding work tasks--I use this for my photography "to-do's"-- and another list on the right for "life" lists. This is where I jot down errands, personal tasks, etc.

I also bought two Eckhart Tolle books--The Power of Now and A New Earth. I have had them on "my list" forever now. Since my New Year's Resolution specifically centered around me finding some measure of inner peace and possibly learning how to meditate or at least find balance and calm, it felt about time to get around to buying these books. (Making time to read them turns out to still be quite a challenge, but at least I have them by my bed, right?!)

Now. The truth is, in a (big) way I have fallen short on my overall goal.But only so far. I have not figured out how to balance work and life in some new, miraculous way. I still haven't found time to exercise regularly or eat perfect meals! I have not meditated or even read very much of my Tolle books yet! But I am trying to just do a little bit at a time and to take it a day at a time. I have visited friends and family on the weekends. That is a positive step, since for months I never felt I had time for this. I relaxed a bit more and slept a bit more. That is all good.

I have neglected my blog lately in favor of trying to get some other things done and in order to make time for family and friends. So while a part of me winced each night I went to bed without having posted , I am constantly trying to let myself be "okay" with doing what I can and not doing everything.

I constantly struggle with the feeling that I need to be "doing" all the time. Like if ever I sit down to relax, I ought to be elsewhere doing something else. Anything else! Spending time with Finn. Spending time with Tim. Editing photos. Updating my website. Updating my blog. Calling so-and-so back. Visiting Gramma. Cleaning out the closets. Running on the treadmill. You name it. And the problem is, when you look at that list--everything on it seems important. Is important. Which is why I never sit down to relax!

But I am working on trying to calm my mind. To remind myself that all I have is the present moment. That I want to live my life in a way that makes me feel happy and fulfilled. Not just to check things off my ever-growing To Do list.

Another little book I bought on one of my visits to Border's has turned out to be a new favorite. And part of its charm, for me, is that it can be picked up and put down when you only have 5 minutes to read. Each "chapter" is short but full of thoughtful and inspiring content. I find myself wanting to write down every other sentence to share it with someone or just to carry with me.

The book is called Wide Open and was written by Dawna Markova. I wasn't looking for this book; in fact I hadn't ever heard of it. But I am a sucker for a good title and this one just grabbed me when my eyes danced across its cover. It turns out the author wrote a book several years ago titled I Will Not Live an Unlived Life. (Another lovely title.) She went alone to a cabin in the snow-covered mountains of Utah and spent six months writing and learning about herself, her soul. I can't wait to read that book, too. This second book is her response to the thousands of letters she received from readers of her first. It is meant to help us each discover our own purpose, to ask ourselves deep and meaningful questions and to discover for ourselves what truly matters.

At the beginning of the book she offers this poem:

Wide Open

I will not die an unlived life.
I will not live in fear
of falling or catching fire.
I choose to inhabit my days,
to allow my living to open me,
to make me less afraid,
more accessible,
to loosen my heart
until it becomes a wing,
a torch, a promise.
I choose to risk my significance;
to live so that which came to me as seed
goes to the next as blossom
and that which came to me as blossom,
goes on as fruit.

I could go on and on and literally am tempted to quote practically every page for you! I love to share writing that I am excited about and love to talk about life and thought and important questions. I may have to blog about this book a few more times. But let me, for now, end with one additional excerpt that so beautifully touched on my project for myself this New Year:

Thinking Yourself Home

No one can tell you how to find your purpose. It can only emerge slowly, in your own dark sky, in whatever territory is sacred to you, be that church or woods. It can't be found by searching for a role model. It is seldom discovered by following anyone else's rules. It lives in the rest in the place where music is born--the fertile void, the silence between notes.It emerges slowly as a sunrise as we search through our gifts, our darkness, our losses and loves. Your job and mine is to be quiet and alone from time. To be present to ourselves and the natural world, and to be in conversation with what is hidden in us to explore what brings us more alive.

In case you are interested, here is a link to purchase Wide Open online.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Best of Finn 2008

I can't believe my little man turned four. I thought about doing a slideshow of his first 4 years but since the photos are all over the place and on more than one computer, I figured I'd start small and do a more manageable project. Here is a selection of my favorite photos of Finn from the year 2008. Enjoy!


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