Wordless Wednesday

{because there are no.words. for the joy these two bring to my life}


The Fog.

There's a time for Adam and I that starts pretty soon after that sweet, new, much-awaited bundle arrives that we affectionately refer to as "the Fog". I suppose if people are honest (which, for some strange reason, a lot of new mothers are not...) everyone goes through The Fog. It's that time when day and night blur into one long, long day; when our focus turns inward to our little family unit as we work to establish feeding schedules, sibling adjustments, healing of sore bodies, and try to find out what the new "normal" looks like with another little person in tow. It's a season of nursing, of catching a catnap whenever you can, of weeding out the things in our life that aren't the MOST important things in order to leave room for the things that have become the most important. It's a season of slow changes; of small, 2-degree adjustments made until things are back in alignment. The Fog took us both by surprise the first time around (but then, everything took us by surprise the first time around...including the baby). I knew-WE knew- things would change after Baby. Just how much they would HAVE to change in order to have a healthy marriage and a healthy family-that was the surprise. As was the small son who didn't sleep through the night consistently for a long, long, long, LONG time. I don't think I even realized how long the Fog lasted with Pax. With little B, we knew it was coming. The surprising thing to me this time was that THE FOG HAS LASTED JUST AS LONG. Silly me, I thought perhaps with the second one things would be gone quickly! (Actually, in a lot of ways it IS easier the second time around....like the part where we actually feel like we might have a little bit of an idea what we're doing now...)
I think the Fog is a good thing, really, in many ways...it forces us to focus more on our children (and our marriage) than we would if everything went instantly back to normal after I'd given birth. If we had stayed just as busy, just as committed to our outside endevors that sweet little bundle we waited so long for could've easily been shunted off to one side. The downside of the fog is, well, if you're not careful you can forget there's even a "normal" world out there that you're still part of. Because the fog can last a long time...for us, at least, it seems to last through the first year of life. It's not always the heavy, dense fog of the newborn days; it gets lighter and is more of a haze, I suppose (I sound like I'm describing San Francisco in the morning). The point is, I'm just starting to feel like we're coming out of the fog. Baby girl turned 11 months old last Sunday-although, really, I don't know how that happened since I just gave birth to her. I can see her changing from baby to toddler before my eyes. She's communicating more every day, plays with her brother until they both are breathless with giggles, stands on her own, climbs the stairs like it's her purpose in life, and has weaned herself off of all but 1 feeding a day.
That last part she did within the span of a week and no, I was not ready for it. But there's no arguing with an 11-month old who won't stay still long enough to nurse, and therefore doesn't eat enough, and therefore wasn't sleeping very well. I gave in and gave her a bottle before bed-the kid slept like a champ. Totally worth it.
and now? the fog is lifting. I can see the end her nursing days drawing nearer. And then what?
When you've had 2 kiddos in 27 months-although I know it's much farther apart than the babies of some of our friends-having your body "back" to yourself almost seems like a luxury.
I won't have to think about nursing schedules.
or pumping.
I can wear regular bras again (seriously....can't wait to go to VS!)
and finally lose this baby weight, as my body seems to think we're on the verge of a famine and it must hold onto every.ounce. in case I need to nurse until my baby is 5.
I can travel without my kids--not saying I have any plans, but the fact that I COULD is kind of fun.
And, let me tell you, photographing 6 to 8 hours for weddings this summer will be MUCH more fun when I'm not nursing.
My kids are actually both sleeping through the night, in the same room, successfully, 75% of the time. Which means that Adam and I are getting maybe 4 or 5 nights a week of solid sleep (well, at least when the kids aren't sick. or teething. or having nightmares...) Pretty sure between being pregnant (which does not equal sleep for me) and the babies themselves that hasn't happend in over 3 years.
I can see the fog lifting--and I'm so excited for this next year and all it holds for our little family. For the possibilities, the plans, the dreams God's given us to chase in 2011... just as excited as I am to celebrate Christmas with a 3-year-old who GETS it this year and an 11 month old who thinks paper is the coolest thing since sliced bread, and will probably spend all morning shredding wrapping paper with great joy while ignoring the actual presents.
I truly am thankful for the fog, and the opportunity it's given us to focus so very much on our little family. but I'm even more thankful to see what's waiting on the other side of it.


Thankful Thursday

I am thankful that, right now, there's a little guy sitting across the table from me saying, "hurry, Mama! We gotta feed the kitty some Crispix!!"....bet ya didn't know cats like cereal, did ya? They do here. Although, it's not actually a real cat, so I guess I don't really know if cats like cereal here or not.
I'm thankful the snot-factory has shut down production (at least for the time being)and we are all healthy(ish) again.
I'm thankful for a day of Christmas shopping & a fun breakfast with my love tomorrow morning. I'm even thankful that we're doing it tomorrow because he has to work Saturday-the thought of facing all those weekend-before-Christmas shoppers makes me shiver!
I'm thankful for two happy kiddos who are excited for Christmas...even though one of them keeps getting confused as to JUST WHOSE BIRTHDAY Christmas really is (to be cleared up once and for all, hopefully, when we sing "happy birthday" to Jesus and blow out the candles in our sticky buns Christmas morning-a little tradition we started last year); and the other hasn't the slightest idea why she's so excited...I might be mistaking her excitement over her new found abilities to climb all the stairs in our apartment and stand up by herself (both of which she discovered while Daddy was in France) for Christmas joy. Maybe.
I'm thankful for my husband's foresight in buying a cord of wood about a month ago-took me all day to move most of it from the yard outside our place into our little fenced-in patio, and he still had to finish up when he got home. But the fires all day every day when it's cold are so worth it! Our utility bill is happier, too :)
I'm thankful for the little girlie calling me now from her room, because, although my children get up waaaaaay to early, at least they slept all night! And I got a shower. That's pretty darn good for us, this week.
Happy Thursday Before Christmas! May your shopping be done and the cookies delicious.



I got up early with the intent to take care of some business emails and edit pictures from a family session I had on Saturday...but my son seems to think that if I'm up, he should be up; and so between potty breaks and trying to keep him in bed (and quite) until a reasonable hour, I can't focus on the images long enough to get anything done. So I'm blogging instead. And seriously considering getting my 3-year-old his own alarm clock and teaching him how to tell time. Lucky for me, the emails I had to write were to
a) one of my brides for this next summer, who also happens to be my "little" cousin
b)another prospective bride
which means I already have 3 weddings to start planning and dreaming about for the summer....which means a lot of fun, and a little nervousness. I always, always get nervous before a shoot. I think it's good, though-keeps me on my toes. Weddings just tend to make me a bit more nervous than, say, the newborn shoot I did last month, or the Christmas card shoots I've been doing since then. Weddings, in case you didn't know, are a BIG.DEAL. Which means a fair amount of pressure as the photographer to, you know, NOT MESS IT UP. So thankful for digital!

But already having 3 brides for the summer has made me start to think about my business again. I started this whole thing without a very clear idea of where I wanted to go with it; now I'm constantly thinking about that, as well as how my business can be used to bless & help people. It's time to do some serious planning. Not necessarily a 5-year plan; but thinking and praying about a purpose statement for my business-why it exists-what I can do to become a better photographer-some steps i can take in the next year to get there. I don't want this to just "maybe happen". I have a pretty clear idea of where I'd like to see this whole photography thing go and some hard work to put in to get there. But I'm not afraid of hard work. Since things will most likely slow down after Christmas, I'll have some more time to plan and dream. And, even better, to take action. Baby Girl will be weaned in about 6 weeks; I'll have a little freedom to go to workshops and things like that. I'm excited. The only photography class I've ever taken was one in high school, which was mostly about how to develop photos in the darkroom. Photography is something I'd really like to be good at-but not just so I can say I'm a good photographer. I'm incredibly thankful for the opportunities I'm being given, and excited to see where this all goes.

About a month ago, our church had a big Orphan Sunday Concert, raising awareness about the programs our church has that help children both here in our town and abroad who are orphaned or in the foster care system. I was asked to be the photographer; and although it was completely different than the things i usually do (and therefore made me realize just how much I have to learn!) it was so much fun to stretch myself like that.
I know I'm rambling; and since it's now 7 am and Pax is officially out of bed I need to go. Just hadn't blogged for awhile-but obviously not for lack of subjects. I wanted to let you in on a bit of what's brewing in my brain...


Christmas 2010

Retro Plaid Christmas Card
Design your Christmas cards with Shutterfly.
View the entire collection of cards.



Oh.my.gosh. My sister-in-law just made my day. She doesn't know it yet, but she will :) Why, you ask? Cause she blogged about this, which is a super-fabulous 50-Christmas-card give-away one of my favorite photocard sites (Shutterfly) is doing this year....why is this so fantastic, you ask? other than the fact that I love a good deal (who doesn't??). Well-- I love Christmas (of course!). And one of my most favorite things about Christmas is exactly what this give away is all about: Christmas cards. I mean, what's better than lots and lots of pictures of all those people you love, especially the far-away ones?? Well, actually, they ARE a bit better if they come with a short (or long!) newsy letter about what's been going on the past year....but.

When I saw Tiff's post, it reminded me that

a) I haven't made a Christmas card yet this year


b) it's December 2nd. Guess I should get on it, eh? Although since Shutterfly can address and mail you cards for you (you know, if you're one of those non-letter-people) it is a little less pressing. Except if, like me, you can't decide which card you like best....and seriously, I'd post them here to show you & help me decide- I've already made 3- but I'm not sure if that's kosher or not. Seriously, I've run into this problem EVERY YEAR for the past 4 years on their website. And they just keep coming up with more beautiful cards! So just click on the link above and you can have fun guessing which ones I'm playing with...and pick one out for yourself, too! and send me one, while you're at it. Maybe with one of those nice, newsy letters I so adore. They also have some beautiful things that would make great Christmas presents....like their wall art...and calendars...and decks of cards with your kids' faces on them (what grandparent wouldn't want that??).


{not-so}Wordless Wednesday

for my love in the far-away land of croissants and stinky cheese...
smooches from your train-obsessed little buddy
a game of "soooo big!!" with your 10-month-old princess

...and as for me? {I don't think I will EVER not miss you when you're gone}

J'taime beaucoup. Para siempre,mi corazon. (and yes, I know those are 2 different languages)