Hey! I'm Emily... homebody, amateur philosopher, professional photographer, mama and wife. This is my little world-- a place for me to preserve the little snippets of my life that bring me joy, make me think, or show my creative leanings. I'm so happy you're here. If you get a minute, please introduce yourself in the comments. If you like what you see, you are invited to follow my blog through your RSS Reader. Just click the link at the bottom of the page to add me.
Thank you for being part of my little world... :)

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Me:

Me:

Friday, March 30

Flashback Friday

2006
A blurry snapshot of our bed.... Gosh I love my bed. Sleep and burrowing under and peace and renewal. And fun bedding from a wedding gift...
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2007
Taking Mason Lodge photos for my high school students at the time--- they were totally intrigued by our crazy living situation, so I went around and took a bunch of snapshots to share with them one day.
Gosh. Remember that Mason Lodge? It was SO VERY MUCH our home... until it wasn't. And now, two years later, I am so glad for the change.

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2008
Noah, 4 months old. This is in our apartment, next to the one window that always had the best light. I'd been back teaching from my maternity leave for a couple of weeks and it was always such a relief to get home again and see my little one.
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2009
By this time I was a stay-at-home mom and my photography business was official... In these photos, it's tooth-brushing time... And then a shot from the next day, one of my favorite Noah photos from this time. He was almost 18 months old.

And yeah. Maybe I need this haircut back. 
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A 2009 blog post: Noah and Daddy and a quote

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2010
 A sad little skeleton (he loved these glow-in-the-dark pajamas!)... clutching his dalmatian Lucky. Now, 2 years later, I cannot remember why he was sad. But that face is priceless. (2.5 years old.)

Beneath this photo, a random photo of tomatillos. I'd never seen tomatillos before-- not out of a salsa format-- and I was intrigued. They're quite pretty! Random to include here, but hey-- it was the one photo I took on the actual date of March 30-31 that year. Ha!
 Photobucket Photobucket A 2010 blog post: Mountain Dew-ish.

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2011
 The belly shot from week 38. Lucy was imminent... A year ago today, she wasn't yet here, and we were getting so close to being ready. 
Below, some Noah snapshots... He was almost 3.5, and the utter center of my world. Funny how the next kiddo comes and your center expands. I love that.
Photobucket PhotobucketThe Week 38 pregnancy post.

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2012
 Noah, muddy-faced from his frog field trip yesterday. Lucy, covered in refried beans from her first time being given the spoon to handle by herself. Two filthy, happy, amazing, beautiful kids. Photobucket

Tuesday, March 27

Lucy, a Rag Doll, and a Pretty Little Outfit...

Remember when I found out Lucy was a girl? I was about 19 weeks along, I think, and was neck-deep in Betty-surgery and post-surgery arthritis and such, and finding out we were having a girl was such a bright spot in our lives right then... 

I announced the news this way-- A Change of Scenery.

I remember buying that amazing little outfit from Janie and Jack the day we found out. I remember because it felt so special to get to treat myself to something incredibly lovely from my favorite too-expensive store. Sadly, though, I also remember so vividly because I hobbled in a barely-able-to-walk shuffle to and from that store that day. I literally could barely put my feet on the ground it hurt so much to walk. I had Noah in tow and was DETERMINED to buy a special something for my new baby girl... But it was torture to do it.
So strange to look back now and remember how bad it was. 

ANYWAY. The point is... I LOVED that sweet outfit. And bought it in a 6-9 month size and had to wait and wait to be able to use it. But now...I present to you Lucy, 8.5 months old (yes, I took these in December. Oops.), and her Christmas doll from Grandma (Raggedy Lucy, if you can't tell from the blonde hair and blue eyes), wearing her very first outfit ever-- the special pretty something from my favorite little shop:


(Alert: This is my FAVORITE:)
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Oh, see that telltale yawn creeping in, above? I've worn her out with all these photos....

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Yep, there goes the hat...

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And the hat is off, the reflector is down, but this mama had to get just one more... Her blonde fluff hair is just too irresistible and I think I love her better without the hat... Oh heck, I love her either way.
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Saturday, March 24

Test Shots

Wanna see what's on deck for the next blog post? I'll give you a preview--- the "test" shots I took before the real shots.

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(second shot adds a reflector to her left... See if you can tell the difference.) 

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Yeah, that's all you get for tonight. Ha. 

See ya next time!

Friday, March 23

Flashback Friday: Why Not?

I've been in a reflective mood lately... It came on full-force the other afternoon when Noah woke from his nap and called me, as usual, but I took a few minutes getting up to him. By the time I got upstairs, he'd slipped back into sleep... so I had a long several moments to just lay in front of his door and watch him sleep... to say a prayer about him... to think about him. How much he has changed my life and my soul. It was a beautiful little interlude.

I don't know if you've caught on by now, but I am EXTREMELY sentimental. It's because I'm a Cancer, I swear it. I am steeped in emotion about the past and memories and dear relationships and life lived. It can become a tidal wave if I'm not careful. I have to remind myself to get back into the present sometimes, or it becomes too big of an ache. A beautiful ache-- NATSUKASHII-- but an ache nonetheless.

And last night a dear friend's broken heart brought a fresh wave of reflection... I sat in the dark at 1:30 am rereading blog posts from my past from my own hard times... And it was one of those times I had to step out of myself and psychically slap myself across the face to remember to get back in TODAY. To list under my aching breath the things I have this very moment and am blessed to be steward of and the ways I am okay this very moment.

And today, with my quiet time as I showered, the reflectiveness turned to a healthier groove and I had this idea--- What if I tiptoed into my archives to catch a glimpse of my life lived, but only on THIS day in years past? (give or take a day)...

So. Flashback Friday.

(Lordy what a TACKY name... I want to call it "Windows" or "Stepping Back" or something lovely... But the alliteration and the appointed day of the week are too organized for me to pass up. So Flashback Friday it is...)

Bear with me, this is the first attempt.

I want to dip back into my photos for March 23 (or whatever week I am doing) and find photos from that day from other years. Or as close to that day as I happened to blog/take photos.

And put them here. All at once. A window to many years at one time. Seems so neat to me.

And maybe a link or two to past blog entries from the same date.

So. Let's try it, shall we?

Today is March 23, 2012. (Three months, Danielle! I cannot wait!)

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This is March 21-22, 2011:

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Joe's monsters and my nesting while Noah plays....And my belly.
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And March 24, 2010:

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(oh how I LOVED these photos of Noah. They were from my "lost year", 2010. So many photos I love that have never seen the light of day... That WILL be remedied.)

In 2010, I blogged about my 5 other lives, here and here. Such a fun exercise!

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And March 13, 2009... so little!

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March 20, 2008, 4 months old.

Photobucket  Two blogs from 2008:

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March 23, 2007, Hi, Genny!
(blogged an Antique Store treasure hunt on March 23, 2007.)

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March 22 and 26, 2006, at the Mason Lodge:
(hadn't started blogging in March 2006... that inaugural date was in August of 2006!)

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Stretching a couple of years, March 2004, Las Vegas, freshly dating:

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(a film photo, and a bad scan... But I love it.)
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And limited by my digital resources, that's about it.... Oh, except THIS classic--- March 1978!

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My older sister and I in Virginia, as the forsythias bloomed. I love this. 

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Yeah. That was a healthy balm for my sentimental reflecting of late... Just enough to make me feel the glow of memory, but not so much that I wish for moments now passed...

On that note, my present is calling me, in the form of a baby awake from nap and a kiddo asking for lunch. Life calls. I'm off.

Thursday, March 22

Gloomy Day: Cheerful Crafty Flashback!

Ugh. The weatherman has been predicting rain and storms all week. Well, today, they finally hit. It is a grey day with no sun in sight, and plenty of rainshowers coming through. (No storms, yet. But I'm sure they're on their way.)

I ate a TERRIBLE breakfast this morning-- three bites of chocolate cake with frosting. Awesome. And I can tell, 3 hours later, what a mistake that was. Please tell me I am not the only one who really NEEDS a good breakfast--- protein-based and light--- to manage her moods and motivation the rest of the day?? I gotta fix this track before my train totally derails. Today is not lost, yet...

So in the face of all of this--- rainy outside, stormy inside, I need a bit of cheery color to remind me that there ARE still happy things in this world, even on days like today.

How about a ruffle-flower throw pillow?

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I sewed this sweet pillow for a friend of mine who had lent me so many amazing things for Lucy's newborn photos. She'd boxed up her trencher, her egg basket, a bucket or two--- AND some amazing knit hats (see her work at WoolyWishes on Etsy). And then she shipped them all the way from CO. Wow! When it was time to send her goodies back, I thought I'd tuck a sunny throw pillow into her egg basket as thank you gift.

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This is a standard envelope pillow cover, made to fit a 16" pillow form. I used grey corduroy for the base fabric, and a cheerful yellow twill (sturdy!) fabric for the ruffle. I kind of winged it all, to be honest, so I don't have clear instructions on how to do this yourself. I DID take a few photos of the process, but that was ages ago, and now as I look at those photos, I am still not too sure what I actually DID to get to the end product. Ha! I was in full-on sleep-deprived baby colic mode when I made this! 

I will say that the flower is two parts--- a LOOONG ruffle for  the three outer rings, and then a small independent flower for the center part. I made it separately so I could have more control over how it looked before I stitched it onto the big pillow.

ANYWAY, even without great instructions, I bet many of you seasoned sewers could make up something similar-- or even better!

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And there is some sunshine for today. A happy pillow on a sunnier day long ago... Some color in the "Family Rules" board hung behind it... and a couple of beloved family photos nearby, as well as my family photo albums... 

Time to go reclaim THIS day. I've got some work to do. Third-to-the-last rule says to "Cultivate Gratitude Daily"... And I believe in that philosophy wholeheartedly, so I'm off to implement it.

Tuesday, March 20

Phone Photos: A Spring Walk

Spring break over here...And 85-degree temps! We're spending a lot of time outside.Can't waste this gift of an early spring!!

For our walk yesterday, I handed Noah the cell phone and let him take photos (most of these are his)... It was fun to see what he thought was worthy of snapping. He said he LOVED taking pictures. Time to get this kid his own real camera, I think!

Here, in not-so-great phone photos, is a nice little spring walk around our neighborhood.

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Thursday, March 15

Eleven Months Old: Lucy LuLu!

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(to see the original idea for these monthly photos, click here.
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And for the first time in all of these shoots, I faced this hurdle:
Photobucket Hey, lady! Come back!!

But though she is definitely mobile these days (Army crawling only... no cruising or knee-crawling), for the most part she stayed put. No guarantees for next month, though. Ha!

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See ya, baby! Guess that means we're done here?

 Some Lucy Gossip:

1. If you look closely in a few of the photos, you'll see that tooth #3, top tooth, has broken through and is trying to catch up with the bottom ones. The day before these photos were taken, tooth #4, the neighbor to #3, had barely broken through. We've got some teeth, folks! That explains all the SNOT for the past month. EEK. 

2. She is army-crawling like a champ. And even if she's not moving, she is happier to be on her tummy than just sitting up. I mourn those days. She was so cute just sitting primly in her spot, content to not budge. Oh well... there's something cute about an inchworm baby, too. 

3. She is really trying to communicate! She loves to wave hi and bye, loves to jabber, and is really trying out her baby signs. So far, she is still only signing a loose sign of "milk" for just about everything. But you can tell she is TRYING to respond to the words I am prompting her with. We are keeping to these words for now:
eat
more
milk
all done
bird
diaper

And so far, she's been the best at "bird" and "diaper".

4. She is so completely enamored of her brother Noah. Truly, he gets more giggles out of her than anyone. And I LOVE that he is so devoted to her. No mean spirit at ALL towards her, ever. 

5. She loves her bath time. if we sit her up, she uses her hands to splash, and if we lay her down, she kicks like crazy. Noah usually wants to join her, so they play and play and just laugh like crazy in there. 

6. Her hair is getting long enough on the sides that we're starting to see a tiny bit of curl. Sweet!

7. She still takes a bottle a few times a day, but is deeply in love with the sippy for snacktime. She loves drinking from a straw!

8. She is doing more and more table food... she doesn't seem scared of lots of flavor! Bell peppers and garlic, etc. 

9. I'm starting to think about her birthday, and even though we have a few weeks, suddenly I feel overwhelmed. Not just by the preparation, but by the idea that one whole year has passed. How did this happen?

10. Having said that, for the first time since the fall, I am NOT wishing she'd stay the same anymore. I am resigned to the fact that she's not my little baby anymore, and I'm getting excited to see how much she is growing and changing. This is a really fun time, and if she's anything like Noah, she'll just keep getting better and better. Until 18 months. Then all bets are off for a while. Ha!

11. She is not pulling up to stand, cruising, saying anything remotely like a real word, etc. But she IS sleeping through the night, eating like a champ, and happy as a clam every single day. She's super healthy and just stinking cute. 

Next month---- I'll compile ALL the monthly photo shots into one group. Won't that be crazy to see it all together? And I have a million "baby's first birthday" photos I want to take, so we'll see if I can mange that, AND get them blogged. No promises, since I have a December Lucy session, a January Lucy session, and a February Lucy session still waiting to be edited. I'm terrible. 

But Lucy is marvelous, and I love my 11-month old baby! 

Tuesday, March 13

I Confess:

I confess it's been more of a withdrawal from all-day-long photo taking than I expected it to be. I find myself snapping quick, bad photos with my phone because there's a moment I'm about to miss.
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It's really taken me by surprise, since 

Confession #2: there were DEFINITELY times there that I was bogged down by my personal commitment to capture my life in photos last week. I would drape the heavy camera with my best lens over my arm, then curse under my breath when I bumped a door frame or almost bumped Lucy's noggin, and rue the day I began the project. 

But then again... It was only a week, and I am grateful, far above any annoyance, for the experience. For thre tangible evidence of our little life right now.

Confession #3: I've been boggled and pondering the comments from last week that observe that I have a super full life--- a bustling one, a busy one, a PACKED one, even.  I sit here with not-for-public-viewing hair and clothes just now, as nap time commences, and I wonder two things:

A. how could I have conveyed better what a homebody I am these days? Every day from 2-5 is nap time, even if Lucy chatters in her crib the whole time (like she's doing today). Some days we start it a bit late, but it is by and large a sacred time space in my life. We are home. They are resting. I reset myself. Beyond that space of time, we are home all evening most evenings, from 5-bedtime (which for me is midnight). And I truly strive for at least one (preferably two) days a week where we don't even get in the car at all... anything we do is at home or a walk away from home. 

but B. AM I busy? AM I making my life more complex than it has to be? Should be? From my perspective, it just feels like LIFE. But if I stepped outside and watched as an observer, would I detect that maybe I'm doing too much? Something to ponder. I don't THINK so?? But maybe? I know that one day in the not-so-distant future, we'll have a gaggle of Southerlands and there will be MANDATORY bustling: to and from schools, practice, lessons... Multiple kids to get into clothing and car seats, multiple lunches to make... So until then, should I slow down a bit more? Relish this time where we really don't need to be anywhere very often?

Pondering this. 

Confession #4: I am also humbled that my everyday shots tell you guys a story of a lovely life. Because here's the deal: it IS lovely. Of course. I am so grateful for my two beautiful kiddos, my simple little house we rent, my opportunity to stay home as a mama (though it isn't without cost),  my health, my amazingly supportive and born-to-be-a-daddy husband... When looked at as a whole, it IS lovely. 

But moment to moment? I wasn't skipping blithely through my life last week. I've been fighting some pretty relentless moodiness in the past few weeks, and for SURE I had some monster moments last week. And among the moments of toothy smiling from Lucy and charming imaginative play from Noah, there were still big messes and huge meltdowns (mine included) and at least one incident of someone running away from home for 4 hours (that would be me. Thursday night. Dinner alone and a haircut.). I don't know how I could have conveyed it more--- but I struggle like ANY mom with more than zero kids and a tight budget and a spare tire 'round the middle. I guess it boils down to: when the tantrums are happening, I'm more likely to put the camera down and work it out (or hide, if I'm the one throwing it. Like I would ever take a self-portrait in that moment. I would NEVER want to see my mad/mean/annoyed face. I desperately pity those who have to. I am so sorry, Joe, Noah, Lucy... Mom, Beckie, etc.).

And the lovely moments? I guess it is this: I have been working hard for years now to remember gratitude. And it has become a part of me. So when I see pretty-colored cereal bowls or a certain warm patch of sunlight in my favorite upstairs hallway, or the exquisite sleeping face of my baby-who-is-growing-too-fast, or a hand-stitched bookmark marking the place of my current favorite book.... I just have practice noticing those details. And when the camera is near, it is quite natural for me to remember to snap a photo. I forget that it took a long time to become this way. And that others might not happen upon that realization as naturally and then remember to act upon it by taking a photo. 

(Hm, might be a neat experience to host a simple, free "wordless day" or "wordless week" workshop here... Help someone else "see" more in their day and remember to take those photos... And also help them grab more light in their house, or catch real moments with their kids, or be brave enough to take their own photo... Hm... Seedling of a thought. Might not ever go anywhere. But I planted it.)

Anyway. Point is (and now I annoy myself as I seem to be making apologies or excuses for my way of seeing life)--- point is... It IS a lovely life. But it's also a REAL life. And that includes mess and tears and irritation and bad hair days (months)... Trust me. 

Confession #5: My kids are both trying to end their "nap time" and I am aggravated. I specifically requested a 5:00 wake-up. Didn't they read the inter-office memo?

I suppose that effectively ends this Confessional. That's too bad. I could have gotten to some really juicy stuff... 

Oh well. 

Another day. 

:)

Sunday, March 11

The End of Wordless Week

From yesterday, Saturday:

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Other participating blogs:
Samantha- http://ojibirish.blogspot.com/ (turn down your speakers, this one has a jukebox!)
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 And from this evening--- pretty much sums up our entire Sunday, as well as everything else I have to say about anything in this life:
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(thanks for coming along with me this week... I'll be back tomorrow with a few thoughts...)