Holiday Storytelling Sessions

 

Holiday Storytelling Sessions
October 11, 2018

The holiday season will be here before we know it. You might already be thinking about what gifts to get your loved ones or trying to figure out how to squeeze in all your favorite holiday activities. Well here’s an idea for you: Book a Storytelling Session and turn your favorite holiday tradition into the perfect holiday gift! There really isn’t anything better than remembering good times you shared with people you love.

In case the concept is a bit too abstract let me share my favorite holiday tradition, making Christmas cookies! It was my favorite as a child and it’s still my favorite now. Ironically, I don’t really like to eat Christmas cookies, but I love all the steps involved in making them - making the dough, rolling it out, cutting the cookies into a variety of shapes, baking them, making the icing, and finally decorating them. I love the creative process and I absolutely LOVE the mess. But the best part is talking and laughing with loved ones while making cookies. It’s a family event that I look forward to every year.

Now that I have my own family, I continue the tradition of making Christmas cookies. The first year I made cookies with Blithe, my oldest, she was two. It was a very messy, long process, but I let her be involved in every part of it. Most of the cookies were broken and coated in a pound of icing, but she was delighted. I love looking back at the photos of her from that year with the icing smeared all over her belly. I can still hear the laughter; she was so happy!

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A year later, as a three-year-old, she was always in costume. She was wearing a dress up tutu when it was time to make cookies, and I almost made her take it off… but then I changed my mind. I’m so glad I changed my mind! That is who she is, and I love that I can see that in the pictures now. As you can see, our dog was heavily involved in the clean up this particular year.

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When she turned four, I remember being impressed with how capable she was becoming. It was the first year that I was actually able to take pictures without getting flour and icing on my camera. She was actually doing the cookie thing by herself. And the cookies were no longer just covered in icing - she was making designs.

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Christmas 2017 was my first Christmas as a mother of two. And Blithe wanted the baby (Cadence) right up on the table so she could show her the whole Christmas cookie making process. I was overjoyed! One of my favorite traditions from childhood was now one of her favorite traditions, and she wanted to make sure it would be her baby sister’s favorite too.

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We will make Christmas cookies again this year. I cannot wait to see what kind of mess Cadence will make. And you can be sure there will be pictures, because these pictures of my girls loving my favorite holiday tradition make me happier than anything you could put under my Christmas Tree.

Book a storytelling session for your family this holiday season. We’ll put your photos into an album and wrap a bow around it. Now doesn’t that sound like the sweetest gift ever?

[Nature A + Nurture] vs. [Nature B + Nurture]

 

[Nature A + Nurture] vs. [Nature B + Nurture]
October 10, 2018

In social science there is this long standing nature vs. nurture debate. What plays a bigger role in a child’s personality and success in life, their genes or the environment they are raised in. It’s a complicated question and after having my second child I’m convinced there is no simple way to answer this question. I’ve given birth to two children. They are both girls with the same biological mother and father. They were raised in the same home, under the same circumstances, with the same expectations, and given the same love. And their personalities couldn’t be more different. It’s really pretty remarkable. My little one is really strong-willed and stubborn. People always comment on how much she looks like her big sister, and just about then, she lets out a high pitched screech to let you know she is a unique individual! And even though my hearing is taking a toll, I wouldn’t have it any other way. I love them both just the way they are.

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Baby's Big Sister

 

Baby's Big Sister
April 17, 2018

The newest member of our family has gotten a lot of attention these last six months, but today I want to shine a light on her remarkable big sister.  

After a long day this past weekend, I put an exhausted baby to sleep a little earlier than usual.  I jumped at the opportunity to spend some quality time with my big girl.  We snuggled up together in mama and daddy’s bed and we read, talked, and sang songs until she fell asleep in my arms.  And while I was holding that big 5-year-old I spent some time reflecting on what these past few months have probably felt like to this new big sister.

My older daughter was my entire world for the better part of five years.  Everything revolved around what she was doing and what she needed.  All the love and affection I had to give was showered upon her.  Then one day she became a big sister and suddenly had to share all of that with her new sister.  All that attention cut in half overnight. 

It would be reasonable for a child to act out in frustration or show some resentment toward the new baby, but no.  This sweet big sister just opened up her heart to the newest member of our family.  She adores her baby sister and takes pride in her new role as a big sister.  While many kids would crave more attention, she willingly moves over and gives her sister time in the spotlight.  Naturally, there have been moments of disappointment when I could not be with her like I was in the pre-baby days, but she always finds understanding and compassion.  She has probably adjusted to the change better than both my husband and me.  It’s rather remarkable actually, because I know things could have gone so differently.

Maybe she is just wiser than we give her credit for.  She can see that she has gained so much more than she lost.  Now in addition to the love she gets from her parents she has a sister and a life-long friend.

 
 

Are These My Feet?

 

These Feet Belong to Me
March 21, 2018

Watching a baby's development is truly amazing!  They come into the world completely clueless and every day they make new discoveries as they explore all that their senses have to offer.  I want so badly to preserve the wonder that I see in my daughter's eyes with each new revelation, to capture the meticulous repetition involved in trying to figure out how something works.  I know it won't belong before she figures it all out and the wonder will be gone.

The day she found her feet, I probably spent a good hour just watching her.  She was just reaching around randomly in space like always when by chance she hit her foot.  She seemed utterly surprised to find something there.  Knowing it must still be there, she kept reaching for this mysterious thing.  She would grab it, but couldn't keep a firm grasp on it.  Over and over, she reached for it, grabbed it, and lost it.  Finally her big toe hit the heal of her hand in just the right place.  Carefully she wrapped her fingers around the whole foot, holding it tighter this time.  She gave her foot a little pull and felt her body jerk.  And with that jerk came a little more insight that this thing was attached to her.  You could see the delight and amazement in her eyes.  In her excitement she lost her grip and have to start all over again.  These feet belong to me.  What an amazing discovery!   

 
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Bloggers Block

 

Blogger's Block
March 20, 2018

I'm a terrible blogger.  I think that is painfully obvious, if only based on a) the number of blog posts I've made and b) the time that has elapsed since my last post.  Every time I sit down to write, I'm totally overwhelmed by blogger's block.  I can't find the right words to go with the photos I want to share, which is baffling and beyond frustrating because I think photos that capture real-life are so important!  The frustration feeds back into the blogger's block, and . . . well, you get the picture.       

Well this past September I had a baby.  While I was on maternity leave, I found myself frequently sharing my photos with family and friends.  Miraculously, I suddenly I had all the right words to go with each photo.  I think it's because each photo was a glimpse into my life.  I wanted to share the significance of each moment and hope that it came through in the photo.  And as I was putting words with my photos I realized, I've been going about this blogging thing all wrong.    

Maybe it isn't that I can't come up with the right words, it's that there are too many words.  I've been trying to write about entire days when a day is comprised of so many different moments.  If a single picture is supposedly worth 1,000 words, why would I try to write about so many pictures all at once? 

So I'm reimagining my blog.  I'm going to focus on individual moments - one at a time - however bold or subtle they may be.  Hopefully that will both help me be better with my descriptions and be a better fit for everyone's attention spans.  I don't know about you, but I'm tired already!    

 
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