On a warm December day, we ventured out so I could film and photograph my little family. I've been wanting to experiment with video for some time because, while I adore a still photograph, I also adore the giggles and gestures that can't be captured in a single moment. It is shaky and imperfect and at times out of focus, but it's my attempt at holding onto memories of these little ones in the best way I know how.
Tomorrow my baby will be one. On Wednesday, just before a cold front came through, making us pull out our winter sweaters once again, we snuck out for a few one year pictures. There was quite a bit of leaf eating, crawling away and looking at anything but me, but I absolutely love this age. I love watching as she absorbs the world. And just to commemorate some of her favorite and not so favorite things, here's a little list:
Likes: Brother and sister, teddy bears, bananas, broccoli, clapping, dancing, smiling and snuggling.
Dislikes: Sippy cups.
That's right, she likes just about everything in the world except sippy cups. In fact, she gets downright angry when I hand her one, especially if it has milk in it. Sometimes she'll sip water, but absolutely refuses milk in a sippy cup. It's pretty funny.
So here she is. Baby girl at one year.
Our days have looked a lot like this lately. Simple. Messy. Mundane.
I spend almost all day, every day with my kids. And if I'm honest, sometimes it's really hard. I'm asked constantly for snacks, drinks, books to be read, help with a craft. I sweep our floor at least twice a day and load and unload the dishwasher just as often. It can become very monotonous, boring even. In the past, I've made a few feeble attempts at documenting our days, whether by a 365 days or 52 week project or the like but can never seem to keep on track with them. So I've taken up just keeping my camera out, ready for the mundane moments when my heart tends towards complaint. In those moments, I snap a picture. Then, I'm able to look at these photographs a few days later and realize that yes,
Our days have looked a lot like this lately. Long. Lovely. Worth it.
The climber, jumper, do-anything-I-can-get-away-with kid.
These five have been buddies since birth. One of the hardest parts of our move back to Houston was leaving such dear friends in Dallas. Explaining to our kids (even three months later) that we can't just go over to their houses on a whim is sad, but when we do have a chance to see them it's like they haven't missed a beat. And while we know new friendships are already being built here, there will always be something extra sweet about these.
Maybe, just maybe, someday some of these snapshots will be part of a rehearsal dinner slideshow. That would be a fun story to tell.
If you're a mama, you have no doubt had days where the simplest tasks end up taking twice as long as you've allotted. Tantrums and boo-boos need to be tended to in the middle of the Target aisle. Coffee spills and potty breaks amid a basket full of groceries seem to make a "quick trip" to the store almost insurmountable. Then a stranger, inconvenienced by you and your children, says something that's completely unnecessary, proving that "sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me" is a categorically untrue statement. This was our morning.
My kids played witness to my tears of anger, disappointment and embarrassment as we left the store. Anger quickly resolved to sadness for the stranger who, for whatever reason, found it necessary to take out her own frustrations on us. Then I moved on to thinking about all the single mamas out there that do this daily task of parenting, often times without the help or affirmation that they deserve. Rather than giving that woman's harsh words any more voice today, I remember these:
Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD,
the fruit of the womb a reward. Psalm 127:3
In honor of moms, I'd like to offer a few free photo sessions to single moms, two in Dallas and two in Houston. If you know a mama who deserves some updated pictures with her little one(s) and you would like to nominate her, please email me the following
- Your name and contact info
- Your nominee's name and contact info (phone and/or email)
- A brief statement about why she's a great mom
Some additional details:
- I will choose up to two women in Dallas and two women in Houston to receive a free mini-session. Dallas dates will be limited to upcoming trips I already have scheduled.
- Submissions will be taken until Friday, August 29th, 2014.
- At this time, the giveaway is limited to single moms.
- If your nomination is not chosen, you will have the option to purchase a deeply discounted session as a gift for her.
- If your nominee is chosen, I will contact you before getting in touch with her.
If you have someone in mind, let me know. And better yet, send her a quick note or phone call of encouragement today. She may need it more than you know.
**Submissions are now closed. Thank you for your nominations!!
The last several months have brought several changes for us, including a baby, a move, new job and new church. We are delighted in all of these changes, but as seasons like this one tend to do, tasks like blogging fall far down the things-to-do list (as if I was great at keeping up with it in the first place). But now that our new home is mostly put into order, kids are napping, and free time is making a slow comeback, I'm happy to sit down for a bit and share a quick update.
In March, after a very quick yet very painful birth, Emelia Quin made her entrance into our lives. These pictures were taken a few days after she was born but she is now a very squishy five month old. She receives approximately 1000 kisses a day and smiles after each one, and I'm trying to soak in her baby-ness as much as possible. Eisley and Easton are both smitten as well, just as she seems to be with them. Her sweet and gentle spirit are already so apparent, and we are so in love with this little one.
In other news..
In July, 2006, Brandon and I moved to Dallas not knowing we would call it home for eight years. All three of our babies were born there and countless friends-like-family made. And yet, not long after Emelia was born, we began packing up the house we've lived in for the past five years and to the delight of our parents, siblings and extended family, recently moved back to Houston. Brandon is now the teaching pastor at Sojourn Heights, a church that has welcomed us back to the city so abundantly well and in our short time here has already become like family. If you're in the area, please stop by and be welcomed in the same way.
Lastly, I will now be offering photo sessions in the Houston and surrounding areas as well as seasonal sessions in Dallas. Please see the Upcoming Mini-Sessions page for details or contact me for future Dallas dates.