2017-2018 first day of school

Yesterday marked our first day back to lessons. I'm hoping to get in some work before Timothy makes his apperance and before the craziness of co-op begins. It was a glorious day. Today, has not been glorious. I'm grateful I waited till today to edit images & post this because it's encouraged me. Getting back into a groove, learning to joyfully work, remembering how to think and apply yourself after a summer break... well, that's hard. It's going to take time & I need to give my children and myself grace while still holding the line. That balance isn't easy but I pray I can be faithful as the children learn to do so also. We're in this together!

Anyway, I kept our first day short & sweet. I met with each child for a sort of "orientation"- we discussed what they would learn this year, I showed them their new books, where to store things and how their new checklists would work. We all gathered for circle time. Little ones enjoyed lots of playtime, including soaking in the lovely weather outside. I met with a few children for reading and a few independent lessons were accomplished but not much. Then I rushed out the door for a midwife appointment and quick run to the grocery store. PHEW.

We ended the day with Sonic slushies because the children say it's a tradition. Remember this one from last year? It's still one of my favorites.

Well, this year Josiah was thrilled to get his own slushie! Sugared up, we went home and tried to settle children down for bed. Yeah, that took forever. Day one in the books. I'm excited to see what this year holds... and I already look forward to break weeks. ;)

Here are some images from our Sonic run & also Emily and Katherine's chalk selfies. Also, I'm sharing clips from my Instagram stories because I didn't want to loose them after 24 hours. Not the greatest quality since it was shot & edited on my phone but I know I'll be glad I saved this! Btw, following along IG stories live on IG is much more fun.



around our clocks: 7am

Pregnancy diabetes. The diagnosis came as a complete shock and honestly, I'm not convinced it's accurate but it's in my charts & there is no changing the doctor or midwives minds. I've had a range of emotions from shock to anger to sadness. This is all new to me- a first after many pregnancies. Thankfully, my numbers during the day are perfect & my morning numbers after fasting were very close so I'm hopeful (& determined) to adjust those numbers by eating a snack before bed (something I wasn't doing) & getting in some more walking (some days easier said than done because of my anemia).

It's hard some times not to be eager to be done being pregnant. I KNOW I will miss this so I'm trying to tell myself to soak it all in. I know this is a minor thing compared to what many are facing- in fact, our dearest friends are battling cancer right now & it's reminded me again what a blessing our health is. Submitting my will and desires (even good ones like health) and resting in God's plans... I wish I could say it comes easily but it doesn't always. Praise Jesus, He is faithful and patient!

For one year, I'm joining group of fellow documentary photographers as we share what one specific hour looks like in our lives. One hour shared once a month. The project's called "Around Our Clocks." Be sure to visit Meghan Nesom Photography next (if you follow the circle completely, you'll end back here)! If you would like to see all of my images from this series, click the projects button at the top of the screen.

day in the life: June 3, 2017

I've done a few mobile ditl but it's not since last April that I lugged my camera around with me to capture our day. It's definitely not for the faint of heart but I was in the midst of a photography class, so I had extra motivation. I'm really hoping I can do these ditl more regularly (maybe seasonally & print a book?) because it's such an awesome way to remember what life is like! This one was shot on a Saturday & we even got out for some shoe shopping, though you'll see Katherine thought she was on a shopping spree. Sadly, Benjamin was gone for most of the day working so you won't see him beyond the first picture.

Seeing these ordinary moments always make my heart shine!

around our clocks: 2pm

I can hardly believe this is our sixth month of sharing images! The little girls are battling a summer cold, which has to be the worst kind of cold but I'm grateful it's not the flu! Summertime offers more time for play & lots more laundry. Also, this is my belly at 29weeks. I can hardly believe I'm this far along already!

Each month, I'm joining group of fellow documentary photographers as we share what one specific hour looks like in our lives. The project's called "Around Our Clocks." Be sure to visit Nicole Sanchez, a Northern Virginia family photographer next (if you follow the circle completely, you'll end back here)! If you would like to see all of my images from this series, click the projects button at the top of the screen.

planting with Papa

"while buying mulch, I couldn't help but also purchase a few flowers. they were not for me- as Daddy puts it, I'm the Black Widow of plants- but I knew Papa was coming over & he could help you all. as Abigail puts it, "Nanny's good at sewing & Papa's good at planting." yep. I love watching you all get your hands in the dirt, learning how things grow & seeing the beauty of your work. I love that Papa was able to share these moments with you, even if the the big, loud group of you is a bit out of his comfort zone sometimes."

around our clocks: 11am

Most weekdays find us busy with lessons at 11am. Maybe some lunch prep but this past Friday, I decided to clean out the fridge by eating leftovers so no prep needed. Yipee! You'll notice he's not always thrilled with the idea of lessons (I actually think the reason this time was that he was bored with this math lesson):

But that's okay, he wasn't the only one that was bored. Yep, teaching isn't always thrilling:

And while I was inspiring great thinking, the littles were "playing" in the basement which basically means they were making huge messes (it was raining this day so no outside time):

At least someone was enjoying their reading (and yes, he has jeans without holes but why wear those?):

I found Abigail quietly playing in her room since her lessons were already finished:

This is part seven of a group project called Around Our Clocks. Each month, a group of fellow documentary photographers share what one specific hour looks like in our lives. Be sure to visit Stephanie Bryan, Lifestyle Photographer in Raleigh, NC next (if you follow the circle completely, you'll end back here)! If you would like to see all of my images from this series, click the projects button at the top of the screen.

one second project: april

I missed more days than I care to remember but the theme for April was to keep going with projects even though they were less than perfect. I shot an extra second on several days.

I'm truly sorry you have to hear us sing at the end! Now you'll know why none of us are in choir. Here's a few seconds of our month of April:

12 months of portraits: april

Anyone notice how I missed March? Ahem. I'm gonna keep going. It can be hard to keep with a year-long project but one of the biggest keys to success is to keep going, even when (and especially because) you "fail." I started learning freelensing this month and I guess that's another tip keeping up with a project: mix it up & learn something new!

And here's the grid of them all:

around our clocks: 9am

We drove 16.5 hours last Friday on our way home from Michigan so Saturday morning found us moving very slowly- only one child awoke before 9. Eric ran to the store to get the essentials for breakfast. That doesn't usually include donuts but you'll see he wasn't the only one who ate them. (The children can't eat them so I'll let you deduce who else "helped" him.)

This is the 6th installment of a group project called Around Our Clock. Each month, a group of fellow documentary photographers share what one specific hour looks like in our lives. Be sure to visit Christina from petrasiliephotos, family & lifestyle photographer next (if you follow the circle completely, you'll end back here)! If you would like to see all of my images from this series, click the projects button at the top of the screen.

mobile day in the life: march 29, 2017

Yesterday, I shared a mobile day in the life on Instagram. (You knew you could find me there, right?) I limited myself to posting only one picture per hour. DITL are such a rewarding experience... and a lot of work! I highly recommend you trying one! Anyone with a phone can do this. Be sure to let me know so I can follow along!  Here's what yesterday looked like:

6:51am I still do not want to be up so I'm only turning on the bare necessity of lights.

7:32am I forgot to fill out independent sheets (the children's educational assignments) last night so instead of reading I'll be doing this.

8:10am I forgot the stupid eggs yesterday. WHO forgets eggs when it's THE thing you eat for breakfast?!?!

8:44am At least I came home to older ones actually doing their lessons (Pinocchio in the corner; piano in front). Plus, they're in pretty light so it's already a better morning!

9:56am Eating again. Remember they ate breakfast late.

10:28am He says he loves Homer & Virgil. Thank you, Mrs. B!

11:45am That's POLLEN covering my porch (&every other surface outside)! Living in the South isn't always glorious.

12:54pm Sneaking before we pray.

1:12pm I stuffed my face while prepping lunch so that I could read aloud while they ate.

2:24pm Remember that pollen? It affects him the most.

3:13pm Nap time for her & me. Pregnancy is tiring!

4:50pm EHAP (everything has a pace) while I have coffee with my man, who is now working from home. I have a love/hate relationship with his dedication.

5:28pm Look who just learned how to turn off & on the lights! He moved the chair to reach it!!!

6:32pm Insert noise when you view this. Lots & lots of loud noise.

7:02pm This & then baths. Must not grow tired yet. (And just in case our day has looked too angelic & because I will always be real, know this is our first family worship all week. NOthing I'm proud of but reality.)

8:21pm Readling aloud "The Railway Children" before bed. (Out of camera view: crazy 3-year old creating messes.)

9:02pm Anyone else obsessed with this show? I mostly watch it to hear them say "oregano."

10:05pm In true pregnancy form, I can't get enough of Bubbie's pickles! At least they're good for me. I'm saying goodnight- thanks for joining me today!

around our clocks: 5pm

The Star Wars obsession has begun to affect more than just the boys. I find that kind of surprising because the girls have never seen it but I guess they do see their brothers playing with various toys & Legos. 5pm this month found Emily practicing her light saber skills (or "white saver" as she calls it).

This is number fivein a group project called Around Our Clock. Each month, a group of fellow documentary photographers share what one specific hour looks like in our lives. Be sure to visit Nicole Sanchez Northern Virginia Family Photographer next (if you follow the circle completely, you'll end back here)! If you would like to see all of my images from this series, click the projects button at the top of the screen.

a week of mama

Last week, Heather Robinson invited her alumni students to join her in taking one self-portrait each day for a week. As she put it, "Once a day for an entire week, I will write myself into the story. These self-portraits will serve as the landmarks that will one day guide my children back home if ever they should feel lost in the wide, wide world." I thought it was beautiful, so I joined her! Here, my children is a compass- a small compass but still, something that there for you... and me.

today begins "a week of mama" images- one image of me each day for a week. because I'm apart of my children's story too but far to often I forget to document it.

this image marks week 15, day 2 of your pregnancy. still waiting anxiously to feel you move- come on already! mama's not good at the waiting game. 9 months feel like FOREVER!

day two of "a week of mama:" 3 more of you got sick last night. sigh. it's not at all what I had planned for this week but I guess it isn't fun for you all either.

we did enjoy finishing another chapter of "Peter Pan." you are both shocked at Tinker Bell's naughtiness! I love showing you life lessons in this way- you catch it without a lecture from me & I do believe it sticks better!

day three of "a week of mama:" today was not one of my finest. I was impatient & grumpy, especially with the big kids. I could make up a lot of excuses but that's all they would be: excuses. tonight, like every day, I cling to my Savior & am grateful that my children are so quick to forgive!

your bedtime ritual: music, a bit of snuggles and me always saying as I lay you down, "I love today, forever & always." even when I'm grumpy. 

day four of "a week of mama:" after being sick for two days, I thought I'd finally be up & about today but instead I was to weak. it stinks! I'm often so tired at the end of the day after caring for all of you but that kind of tiredness comes with a full heart... a tired body & sometimes an emotional mess but a grateful heart that God has blessed me to be your mama. a glass of wine & some dark chocolate help a bit too.

day five of "a week of mama:" any mama knows you can't do this mothering thing alone. I'm blessed to have my Savior & God, your daddy, family & friends. tonight, a dear friend brought a meal, homemade cards from her girls, flowers & paper bowls. (I personally found the paper bowls BRILLIANT- no clean up!) I'm so glad for these gals that I can call on to pray, lean on for help & laugh like crazy during our girl night out. a community of women- it's beautiful thing!

day six of "a week of mama:" I completely forgot about taking a picture today. that's life when you're a mama- you often become completely absorbed in caring for your family! thankfully, I remember just before I packed up my knitting so I could go to bed. Emily, this blanket is for you- a second one because your baby blanket has been loved to shreds. the colors make me shudder (I'm a neutral kind of girl) but I'm using up scraps so I do not have to buy any more yarn. that's another part of mothering too I guess- trying to stretch money & resources. it works pretty well except for the food, which depletes faster than I can blink. there's never leftover scraps of that!

day seven of "a week of mama:" this educating thing, it fills up most of my day. it's one of the biggest sacrifices your daddy & I decided to give each of you. I love it but sometimes it's overwhelming, exhausting & frustrating. thankfully, good things are never easy & God is faithful to carry us when we are weak! on a side note, I'm not sure how much longer this pregno body can take sitting in these tiny chairs. we'll be moving to couch school soon!

one second project: february

I actually missed one day so two of the clips are from one day. Enjoy! If you have a current project going (film or stills), be sure to share in the comments- I'd love to see!

If you would like to see January's film, click the project button up on top of the page & go to the "one second a day" page.

12 months of portraits: february

Another month & I did it!!! I should call this series "portraits against the yellow wall" because I took them all in the same spot, which is a bit boring. But I had fun with Abigail & Katherine's images- I wanted to highlight Abigail's freckles on her cheek & Katherine's happened because the girl could not stand still for two seconds put together. Josiah's portrait is actually a bit blurry but such is life with this boy these days. You'll see what happens when I do not offer food. Oh, and I got in front of the frame too!

The entire crew: