Sunday, August 28, 2011

sometimes. it's just all too much.

i know i should put myself to bed ... but i also know that putting myself there means that before i know it little ones will awaken and call for mama and i'll go.  and snuggle and try to convince a certain little someone *coughcough* finn *coughcough* that nursing in the middle of the night is not such a good idea. 

he's not buying it.

and then eventually i'll meander back to my own comfy bed and my alarm will make it's presence so rudely known.
and then i have to get up and start a new year.

and there is a whole lot of worry and stress and fear and angst in my body tonight.

it's a lot.

it feels heavy and burdonsome.
it feels scary and unknown.
it feels a bit sad.

i think of the to-dos that didn't reach to-dones status.
i think of the lazy mornings in pajamas reading books to my littles.
i think of how fast they grow and how much i'm missing.

it's just all too much.  sometimes.

there's really no happy ending tonight.
it is what it is and i guess i just suck it up and put myself to bed ...

and then wake up.
and snuggle the boy.
and i probably won't attempt to convince him that he shouldn't nurse ... because he's only going to be this small for a very short amount of time.
and i will turn off the alarm and make coffee and hope that one of the littles wakes early enough to read a book before i walk out the door ... but not so early that i don't get a chance to shower first.

i'll be fine.
i will.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

and that? is just the first day.

liv said on facebook or email or twitter or something that she was heading up to the north shore.

i turned to my husband and said ... "i wanna go up to the north shore." 
i probably used my whiny voice. 
though likely, i didn't ask over and over and over and over and over and over until he finally relented ... like some people i know.  *coughcough* cora *coughcough*

and so we threw together the skeleton of a plan. 
and then we changed it.
and then we found a dog sitter.
and a cat/bird sitter.

and then we changed it again.

and jeremy went to work.
and we talked on the phone and decided not to go.  decided that we should go anyway.  decided to camp.  decided that that sounded like too much work.  decided that maybe the weather wouldn't be good and we shouldn't go.  decided that we didn't care.

jeremy came home and we left. 

we drove in relative silence.  with virtually no plans but the plan to just be together and have fun. 

we had an idea of where we might stay.  and then we abondoned that idea when i saw the location and the in the downtownishness of it.  i may have used my whiney voice again when i mentioned that we should maybe drive on down to canal park and see if there were any vacancies.  (i have secretly always wanted to stay on canal park.  by the bridge.)  so we drove to the farthest down hotel.  made our agreement about how much was too much and i ran in to ask about vacancies. 

please note.  this is also around the time that finners was screaming DONE DONE DONE from the middle seats.  and the girls were politely indicating HOW MUCH LONGER?  and ARE WE THERE YET?  and I HAVE TO PEE!

they had one vacancy. at that just right price.

and we walked into a jacuzzi suite. 
the girly girls loved the bathtub in the living room.
i was in love with the view.  from my bed. 

the bridge.  right outside my window.

the rain splattered to the ground and we watched the storms roll through from our porch.  the cool breezes off of the lake forced us to sweatshirt up.  and then when the rain slowed to a drizzle we ventured out.

first stop. 
and lemonade.

and i stood back and watched my kids doing something that i grew up doing.  and there was a bit of surrealness to it.  i remember standing upon that same hill with the gulls swooping in a dance to be the first to grab a bite to eat from the children.  i remember feeling small and afraid and utterly astounded at how close these silly creatures would come to me. 

it starts out quiet.  a simple grassy hill. add a minimum of one child and a superty expensive box of popcorn and you begin to hear seagull noises.  and they begin to drop out of the sky and scatter amidst your feet ... quickly grabbing a popcorn here.  and chasing a friend away there.  all of a sudden the child is surrounded by the chattering soaring creatures. 

i remember that fear.  and amazement.
i was reminded of that.  watching my babies standing in that same exact spot that i stood many many years ago.

we were relaxed.  and calm.  and it was so fun to feel that lack of stress.  the children splashed in the puddles and no one said no.  or stop.  or worried about clothing being soaked.  dry clothes and a warm bath in the living room were a mere steps away.

we promised boats to our boy.
that little blue caboose of our family that excites over cars. and trucks. and buses.  and now boats too.

he was in his element ... outdoors.  under the crazy clouds still recovering from the bout of rain.  with his family.

my husband grabbed my camera and i've just realized as i'm editing these photos through tears ... has given me the best gift ever. 


that silly little picture right there that proves to my children that i love and adore and cherish and am actually WITH them. 

you have no idea how much in love with that photo i am right now.

we saw rainbows.  and played and laughed and truly enjoyed each other for the whole night. 

and my husband didn't even think i was crazy when i asked him to take the kids up onto the bridge and then proceeded to take a photo of the ground.  because i thought it was crazy neat that i could totally see him and the kids in the puddle.

he also didn't think i was nuts as i pulled my camera bag close and snapped a photo of this ...

because the thought that kept rolling through my head as i tried to drift off to sleep ... was ... that is something that you might just never get the chance to see again from your bed.  and you'll kick yourself when the sun comes up in the morning if you don't take a minute to capture it now.

that's kind of how life is ... isn't it.

it was a really lovely amazing evening.
and that?
was just the first day.

Friday, August 26, 2011

happy anniversary, love.

so wednesday marked our 9th anniversary.  which ... in the grand scheme of things ... isn't so crazy amazing ...

but then again ... maybe it is.

it's funny. 

i feel like we went through this major point in our lives where we were planning a trip for this wedding and foraging through pages of a wedding gift registry for that wedding.

and then it all stopped.  virtually everyone was married and/or in a long term relationship.

and then rumors and messages and conversations between friends started showing the other side of the mountain.

now, we're in the midst of divorces and separations and watching people fall out of love with one another.

and it's a kind of scary place to be. 

life is rough.  it's really really hard.  this whole life with little kids thing is incredibly impossible and so amazingly satisfying at the very same time.  and then?  you are expected / want to put energy into the attention of another person?  who is most possibly an adult hopefully most of the time.  and that person expects/wants your attention ... and you have NO! MORE! ATTENTION! to give!  there are so many moments where i find myself frustrated and annoyed with my husband.  he irks me when he plays devils advocate.  he drives me bonkers when he can't spell the word before.  he scoots over into my side of the bed while i'm out attending to children that he didn't hear wake up in the middle of the night.  sometimes he snores.  and i super lightly kick tap him with my foot while he sleeps ... and he startles.  stops.  and starts all over again.  sometimes louder.

even through all of that though ... i love him.  i still love him.  perhaps more than i ever did before.  (which is totally spelled with an E at the end, honey.)

on our anniversary we went out and spent a groupon to a new local sushi place.  it sucked.  and they were out of diet coke.  and then we went shopping for shoes.  and then we went to holiday station stores where i bought myself a gigantic fountain diet coke because that was the glass i accidently touched first and then i was paranoid that someone saw me touch THAT glass and that i would be scorned for taking another one.  (ever wonder why my girls are proving to be rigid rule followers?  yeah.  me neither.)

and in between all of that not-so-excitingness.  i sent out random tweets and facebook messages ... and because most of you probably don't know i exist in other areas of the internetty world ... this is what they said.


honey?  thanks for being the love of my life ... you love me in the middle of all of my craziness.  and i truly appreciate how you love and support me.  when you have your own blog you can write about all of my faults maybe.  but i won't link to it.  ok?  i love you.

jeremy and i have been married 9 years today. and we're still planning a vacation for next year's 10th. {i think that's a good sign}

‎9yrs ago today he walked me down the aisle. Today he sealed my driveway. #amazingwhatadifference9yearsmakes
{in which @bluexoxo wins the best reply award for "@coconutbelly is that what you're calling "it" these days?? Happy Anniversary!" ... which totally made me giggle all day.)
‎9 years ago today, i had my hairs done for an hour (at least). today? i managed to wash AND brush them. #amazingwhatadifference9yearsmakes

‎9yrs ago I said I DO. today I said STOP LICKING YOUR BROTHER. #amazingwhatadifference9yrsmakes

‎9 years ago, I carried a bouquet. Today i'm carrying a purse, a diaper bag, matchbox cars, a wooden zoo set & the boy.

‎9yrs ago today I threw a bouquet & a party. Today I watched 3 little people throw tantrums. #amazingwhatadifference9yearsmakes

‎9 years ago today I had a bounce tent at my wedding reception. Today the girly girls went to a bday party in a bounce tent.

‎9 years ago today we answered to bride & groom. Today we answered to mommy & daddy. #amazingwhatadifference9yrsmakes

‎9yrs ago I fretted about flowers, catering & vows. Today I fretted about diapers, gluten & preschool. #amazingwhatadifference9yrsmakes

‎9 years ago i said good night and i love you to my husband. tonight i said goodnight and i love you to my husband.

Monday, August 22, 2011

i {heart} faces ... pet week.

so last week ... when i on.a.whim threw in a photo of my stellers into the {eyes} category challenge at i {heart} faces ... i ended up with a 10th place. 


that's happened once before ... which i would totally link to ... but i have approximately 24 seconds before someone loses it or a child falls or someone screams.  and go.



the superty cutest cat monster thing in the world.
while asleep ... super cute and cuddly.
while awake ... don't mess with him.  unless you live here.  then he kinda loves you.  sometimes.

don't you just want to cuddle with him?

hop on over to i heart faces to see more pets of all shapes and sizes ... and probably some that you wouldn't want to live with.  (you can enter any animal image!)


Monday, August 15, 2011

i {heart} faces ... beautiful eyes.


there is a certain depth to a person's eyes.
the cliched window.
the soul.

and as a photographer ... i think my most favorite thing is capturing that depth ... that soul ... in someone's eyes.  when they fully see you and you fully see them in a single click.

i love opening up a session in photoshop and zooming in superty close to see that person's eyes.  it's amazing.  the colors and the textures and the beautifulness ... the uniqueness.  sometimes i feel awed when i can catch a glimpse of me taking their photo.  it astounds me.

this though ...
is my girl.
my girl that made me a mama.
and her amazing blue eyes.

a bit lighter and less oceany than her sister's.
softer and a little less vibrant than her brother's.

but blue and beautiful and a glimpse into this grown up girl that she's becoming.  wide eyed and wonderful.  with a bit of her fragile little girlishness mixed in.  all of this HERness swirled into their beautiful blue.

check out i {heart} faces for more beautiful entries this week!

Sunday, August 14, 2011


i say no.
i say please walk.
i say use your inside voice.  (except for cora ... who i tell "talk like this." girl has no volume control. whatsoever.)

i tell them to stand up and sit down.
i tell them to look and to say hi.
i tell them to count to 10 and go inside.  (except for stella ... who would much prefer to be inside anyways.  couch potato.  kinda.)

i ask tell them to clean their room.
i ask tell them to feed the dog.
i ask tell them to pick up 10 things that are out of place.  (and two of them do.  after a few threats of losses of those important things in life.  like food.  or a bed.  or a morning cartoon.)

i try.
i try really really hard to be the best mama i can be.
i try not to do too much.
and i try to do just enough.
but that's hard too.
really really hard.

i think what i'm trying to say is that i want to do good by my children ... but i lie awake at night worrying that by doing and saying too much that i'm actually doing a disservice to them ... am i?  i don't know.
i just don't know.

i want more than anything for them to be free creative thinkers.  i want them to exude happiness.  i want them to be amazingly wonderful people that do amazingly wonderful things in amazingly wonderful places.

and i think i have to teach them all of that.  but do i?  i just don't know ...

would they just figure it all out on their own? 

i said ... stop!  don't put your feet in there!  we don't put our feet in the fountain! 

will they realize that even though their grandma let them put their feet into the fountain at the park while i objected ... that it's just not ok to put yourself into fountains in public places when you are 37 years of age?

when really truly my heart knows that i want them to dance in a fountain in the early dawn if it makes them happy.

if i could do it all over again ... i would have put my feet in the fountain too. 

i hope that they get that.
i really really hope they do.

Friday, August 12, 2011

lemonade and popcorn.

it started over a bowl of microwave popcorn and lemonade over ice in tall sweaty glasses. 
with straws.  of course.  the day after labor day in the year 1985.  (my first day of school in the new neighborhood.)  our moms hooked us up and officially put together an unofficial surprise playdate immediately after school. 

it's hard to remember much else about that day. 

i know it never felt awkward or pushed.  it tasted of freshly squeezed (though totally from a can if you know my mom) lemonade.  there was a breeze pushing it's way through the screens of the porch.  there was probably a billowy flower in a vase on the table.  it felt immediate and lovely. 

and it still feels that way.

a friendship beyond best. 

over the years we lived close together and far apart.  we've had overnight camps and night before weddings.  we've held hands, exchanged glances and been a supportive shoulder.  we've said hellos and goodbyes in so many different places.  we comfort.  we calm.  we listen.  we speak. 
perhaps not often enough.

but just right, i guess.  because honestly.  there is this amazing lack of timespace between us.  we are immediately right back to where we always have been.  small talk feels awkward.  it's the heavy and the deep that feel safe when we are together.

and jellybeans are always eaten appropriately.

love to you my dear friend.

Monday, August 8, 2011


funny ... this has been sitting in my draft posts for quite some time. 

and i've never hit publish ... because i didn't want someone to think that i didn't appreciate them stopping by or reading my words or perusing my photos. 

all i had written up until just a few minutes ago? 

why are you here?

what keeps you coming back?
why do you want to visit this (often neglected) space?

i just kinda want to know.

and because a post just really isn't a post without a photo ... and because i keep coming back to this photo ... because ... i don't know why. 

i guess ... "i don't know" is a good enough answer sometimes.