Parenting

Strawberry Picking

Once upon a time, I used to add content to my blog. Well, maybe that's an overstatement; I've never been great at updating it regularly. But, it's now been well over a year since I've really posted anything, not for a lack of desire, but simply because life. In the past year, we've bought a house and moved (same neighborhood, but 4th move in two years), and had a fourth baby. Needless to say, I've been a bit busy, so posting here had to take a back-burner. But today, a look back at my previous post has me feeling nostalgic. That little toddler in the previous video posted below is now a talkative, opinionated three-year-old. Back then she was just trying to keep up with her older brother and sister, and now much of the time she acts as though she's running the show.

Yesterday, we went to a little farm to pick strawberries. Taking advantage of the weather while it's still bearable, and getting our hands dirty picking strawberries straight off the vine was just what we needed. Life is flying by at such a hurried pace these days, and my heart longs for slowness. So, I thought perhaps it was a good time to dust off my camera instead of the phone in my pocket, and get back to what I love--capturing these littles and the simple joys of childhood.

**The newest baby girl will get her own post soon. She was too busy napping to pick strawberries. 

Of Pictures Past // A New Series

I don't have any first day of school pictures to share today, but it should come as no surprise that I take a lot of pictures of my kids.  Sometimes I quickly share them on various social media platforms, but mostly they sadly end up in folders on my computer.  I sort through them every once in a while and reminisce on months and years gone by when my babies were still babies, momentarily escaping the fact that they're becoming less baby every day.  

From June 2012, Eisley was 2 1/2 and Easton was 15 months.

From June 2012, Eisley was 2 1/2 and Easton was 15 months.

For one more year they will spend their days with me.  We'll take trips to parks and museums, meet friends for picnics, and have mid-morning dance parties in our pajamas.  These days are sweet and they pass by faster than I care to admit.  I'll continue to photograph our adventures, but I have intent to share them more.  Not because anyone (other than grandmothers) may be particularly interested in seeing all the small moments of our lives, but because those small moments turn into days and weeks and months and years and they shape these little souls.   Someday my babies will be big and I want to remember all the small moments that got them there. 

That's the beauty of photography.  It gives us visual representation of a mind full of memories. The photographs aren't of more importance than the actual doing, just a gift to help remember what's been done.  So, I hope you'll oblige me as I begin a series of posts of pictures past. Nestled among peeks of current client sessions, I'll be sharing some of my favorite personal photos from the past few years (yes, years).  

And to those who sent kids off to school today, I'm shedding a tear along side you just thinking about the future.  In the spirit of school pictures, here's a little throwback to two years ago when these two went to "school" for the first time.   

 

Chubby Easton in a backpack and Eisley's short curls...be still my heart.  August 2012.

Chubby Easton in a backpack and Eisley's short curls...be still my heart.  August 2012.

"Do I look pretty, mom?"

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This morning she asked me, like she does so often now, "Do I look pretty, mom?" She was adorned with a headband borrowed from my bathroom drawer, a hair-clip she found on her bedroom floor, a pink eye patch, crooked glasses and a smudge of lip gloss.  Every time she asks, my heart breaks a little because I know that one day, someone will inflict wounds upon her with their words.  Someday, she will look into a mirror and see flaws.  She will grow up in a culture that has a standard of beauty that virtually no one can attain.  So I bent down, cupped her face in my hands, looked her in the eyes and said:

My precious baby girl, you were made in the image of God, according to His standard of beauty.

Jesus loves you.  Daddy and I love you.  We will always love you.

You are beautiful.

As I stood up, I began to think about a blog post my husband wrote a few months ago titled "My Daughter's Beauty".  {You can read it by clicking here.} In it, he gave a list of practical ways we, as her parents, will shepherd her heart.  We will tell her that the Lord created her with blonde curly hair and deep brown eyes, just the way he wanted her.  We will give her affirmation,  attention, and unconditional love, just as the Father has loved us.  We will teach her that while man looks at the outer being, God looks at the heart.  Where she hears whispers of unworthiness, we will scream the truth that she was created in the image of a God who is worthy.  We will pray that she hears the words we say and that the Lord grants her faith to believe them.

Then it occurred to me--sometimes I need to be reminded of those very same things. Maybe you do too.  So today, just for a moment, close your eyes and picture God bending down, cupping your face in His hands, looking into your eyes and saying saying to you:

My precious daughter, you were made in MY image, according to MY standard of beauty.

I sent my Son for you.  I love you.  I will always love you.

You are beautiful.