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:

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Friday, August 24

Flashback Friday: 8.24.12

2006: Remember before kids came along, how if you came home from work and just needed a nap, you could take one?
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 (Gosh, I love naps.)

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2007: An afternoon at Forest Park at the Boathouse with my family... (Top left) My cute mom and dad. (Top right) three of my 5 sisters with adjunct-sibling Kyle, paddling a rental boat. (Bottom) three of my sisters and I (with a bump-appearance by Noah).
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2008: A lazy August afternoon on the front lawn of the Mason Lodge. Noah, age 9 months, myself sans makeup, and some snacktime and relaxation.  Photobucket

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2009: An unexpected and not-really-fun trip to Arizona 3 years ago on this week in August... I blogged about it a bit, but don't really want to dwell on the sad stuff today. The photos from this trip that make me smile are these: 1&2. Airports. No matter how lame a long day of travel can be, there is something adventurous and romantic about a new airport. Can anyone name these two? Hint: they are neither AZ or MO airports. They are my layover ones.  3. In the course of my whirlwind trip, a dear long-distance friend took a trip of her own to meet me and bring me cupcakes. It was one of the brightest spots in that week.

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2010: Just a couple of everyday images... Noah and Mai... and the Family Rule Board my friend Andi helped me make that summer. I still love the colors and the messages. It hangs proudly in my entryway now.
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2011: A trio of favorites from last summer that accompanied a personal blog post HERE about the ordinariness of my days, and how special they really are. I need to reread and reremind myself of these things. Photobucket (Noah's photo, on the left, really makes me smile, because I know he is on the edge of cracking up, just by looking at it. And man, Lucy-- you would never know that you were a beast all that summer from this photo! I love your smile!)

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Today I am physically feeling better, which helps me mentally feel better... So after making three batches of frosting at breakfast time (long story, will tell more later), and realizing that this really is the last official day of summer for us because of Noah's school starting on Monday, I decided we needed to Carpe Diem. SIEZE THE DAY. So we packed up and headed to the City Garden to play in the water.

Today, as I trailed Lucy's waggling, crawling, swimsuit-clad bum around the ground jets, keeping one eye on Noah running the length of the splash area and back, I was able to immerse myself in the moment and remind myself that this, THIS, is exactly what I want right now. My two little ones, another little one on the way (becoming more obvious as my belly grows)... A morning to go and do something marvelous that fulfills all of us...The sounds of their delight, the warmth of Lucy's hand in mine as I help her walk from one place to another... the feel of my son's wet head under a towel as I dry him off at the end of playtime...

THIS is exactly what I want. So much so, that I truly am not sure how I'll manage when they are no longer little. I am not sure I WANT older kids. (Okay, I know I will want them... but bear with me on this thought...) Whenever I dreamed of being a mama, THIS was it-- the constant and ever-present need of little ones, their eyes lighting up at new things, the fun of outings and music and dancing and storytime... Homemade play-doh and sprinklers and first drawings. Whatever will I do when they no longer NEED me like this? When their daddy and I are not the center of their very small universe? When they learn to argue back and debate and push? When they prefer their friends to us? 

And yet, somehow, I know, though I push against the thought with great resistance, that even then-- in the midst of their teenage debates with me-- I'll be amazed at them and marvel at the way they are able to find their individuality, and I will somehow love even THAT moment... And will manage to CARPE DIEM in new ways for that era. 

I'm just deeply grateful for the NOW. That that time is not here yet. That I have a few more years of THIS. The little ones. The kind of mothering I feel I was born to do. 

And I have to have faith that that other kind of mothering-- the kind that takes far more energy, patience and grace than I think I have today-- will be taught to me a step at a time as they grow, and when the time comes, I'll be ready. And still grateful. And still completely in love with all of it. 

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Thursday, August 23

Blah Days.


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{Lucy's snack time the other day. Just an ordinary moment on a better day than today...}

Today is one of those days....I'm on day three of a fresh head cold, and I am so foggy and BLAH that I am really finding it hard to be PRESENT as a mama. Noah's relentless and ongoing conversation seems more grating than usual... and my responses are more short and less encouraging than usual. "Sure, Noah. Okay. Fine. Sounds good. Whatever you want." Or, "No, I don't want to play a game right now." 

Awful.

Currently, Lucy is napping and Noah is behind me at the dining room table. He is "working on my math homework, Mom!" Lately, give this kid a pen and some lined paper, and he is off and running with amazing imaginative and brain-filling ideas. He'll "write"--- scribble lines on every line... Or like today, he is doing "math". Totally entranced and focused. His "math" is really quite clever: He cannot write numbers yet, so he is drawing tally marks. Talking to himself: "5 plus 5 equals 10." Writing: "IIIII + IIIII - 10" (his "equals" sign is the minus sign. I tried to show him the =, but he said, "It's okay if I do mine this way."). Is this brilliant, or what? He has found a way around the writing thing and is still managing real math. I am truly amazed.

Seriously. Why am I feeling so short and tired and overwhelmed, when THIS is my kid? He only wants my attention because he is growing and blooming and learning... and my validation means more to him than anything else in the world.

I hate being sick.

I miss the "me" I can manage most other days.

So... as I am editing and blogging just now, realizing (far too late) that Noah needs more from me than my current attitude, I am making a better effort, just in the last few moments when he comes up to me with his "worksheet" and reads his math to me, to stop, to brighten my tired expression, and to really look him in his eyes as I tell him he is doing an AWESOME JOB. My gosh, you should see how he reacts to this. He gets giddy, jumps up and down, and declares, "I am getting SO GOOD AT MATH!! Dad will be SO proud of me!!" How quickly he lets go of the earlier moments of today and takes in what I offer him.

How humbling to remember how much I matter to these little ones. I need to get over this GRUMPY MOM thing, despite the coughing and the headache and the snot, and just try to smile a bit more. Look them in the eye more. Hug them.

And then give all of us an early bedtime so as not to push my luck.

Right?

Monday, August 20

Sweet Charlotte {St. Louis Newborn Photographer}

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 {coral knit crown made by Woolywishes knits} 

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{headband purchased by mama on Etsy. Shop unknown.} 

Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket  {headband purchased by mama on Etsy. Shop unknown.} 

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{yellow pixie hat by Farrah of Farrah Jobling Photography

Photobucket  {striped bear hat by Woolywishes knits}

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{twisted flower headband made by me}

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Sweet Charlotte, 9 days old. This baby girl was such a sweet little one. She had the loveliest face, and just enough chub in her cheeks to make her irresistible. Her mama Jessica was so mellow and calm, you could tell she was a veteran after running around after her impish 2-year-old Lucas all the time. Baby Charlotte, you are loved, and you could not have asked for a better family to be born into!

Can I just say how much I love working with such fresh, new little ones? Truly, newborns are incredibly special, and I never grow tired of photographing a new face and seeing the peace that surrounds them when they sleep... What an honor for me to get to be there for a few moments of their early lives.

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Happy Monday to all! I have high hopes for productivity and fun. Wish me luck, and I'll do the same to you!

Friday, August 17

Flashback Friday: It's Been a While!

Ha! Remember when I was trying to do this more regularly? Oh well... Enjoy the ride.

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2004- We were in the midst of mad wedding preparation in August of 2004.... We were in love, but had NO idea what REAL life and love was... And there was no way we could've been prepared for it. I'm so glad we dove in, though! ♥
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2006- We'd returned from our magnificent trip to Europe in June...And this week in August 2006, our porcelain dish set from Limoges finally arrived in the post. I loved the European style of writing on the box. It made me miss France.  And the photo on the right was just a snapshot of some care packages I was mailing out. Looking back, I'm amused at my patient hand-stamping of letters for the recipients' names. Who has time for that with kids?? Photobucket

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2007: I was six months pregnant with Noah, and Joe was in nursing school... These photos were from a walk we took one hot August afternoon in our shady old neighborhood in the Central West End. Photobucket

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2008- Noah was nine months old, and Uncle Steve was in town for a quick visit. We headed to the zoo, and then promptly headed to the penguin house to cool off. Note Noah's bib-- that kid drooled 24-7 and had to have a bib on at all times. Photobucket

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2009- Noah, almost 2, enjoying a pile of blankets, pillows and futon mattresses as a way to beat the August heat by staying indoors. And one of my favorite photos from that month-- Noah, pleased as punch to be wearing one of my kerchiefs. Photobucket

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2010- Really, I'm just so proud of the folded laundry. Wouldn't you be?? And then there are the mustache photos.... What a family we are!Photobucket Photobucket

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2011- This time last summer, Lucy was 4 months old and still pretty unhappy a lot of the time. But she was beginning to grab for things and interact with her toys, and it was one of the milestones that started making her a happier baby. I really think she just hated being new and helpless, because every new skill she acquired, the happier she got. And check out these smiles! PURE heaven to this beleaguered mama. Photobucket Photobucket

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Today- Barely home from a morning at my sister's and her friends' garage sale, I thought it would be fun to grab some quick snaps of Noah, Lucy and I from this very day to cap off today's post. It's time for some recent shots, right? If nothing else but to showcase how quickly Lucy is changing from a baby to a toddler. Too fast, baby girl! Gosh, I love these kiddos. (And they  love the softball Noah scored from the garage sale...)Photobucket Photobucket 
And all you mamas out there know that it's important to remember to get thyself in front of the camera once in a blue moon... Just so your kids remember YOU were there in their lives, in their photos, in their memories... Thank goodness one of my two kids was willing to cooperate for this quick snap. :)

And there ya go. Happy Friday, y'all! Here's to garage sale-ing or kid wrangling or lazy weekending or to-do list tackling, or good-food eating to all of you. I'm going to try to do a little of all of the above. Hooray!

Tuesday, August 14

Curious Bystander...

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We managed to break out some paint today... Noah has been begging to make art, and I've been feeling guilty that I've not had the energy to rally and help make it happen.Today, though, it seemed manageable, and I've had my own painting project I've procrastinated ALL SUMMER... So Noah and I got out supplies and got to work.

All the while, we had a curious bystander...

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Sweet girl with the giant top-ponytail... She really is so patient with Noah's and my bustling, constantly-moving homelife. She adapts and stays amused and follows us around, her speedy crawl still preferable to learning to walk.

See the Hot Wheel car in her fist? She's become enamored with things with wheels and is making the "vroom vroom" sound while cruising the little vehicles anywhere she can... the floor, the wall, my arm...

Other things I'm loving today:

Squirt soda with ice... something about grapefruit sodas that I can't get enough of...

My new CD from the Wailin' Jennys, a birthday gift from Joe. Good stuff, those of you who love folky-harmony-simple-bluegrassy stuff

Reading and weeping through the memoir, "Bloom" by Kelle Hampton, her story of coming to peace and finding joy in the birth of her second daughter, a sweet little one diagnosed with Down syndrome

The ever-dancing arms and nodding head of our silly solar flower on the window sill

Flowy skirts and maternity shirts... comfy!

Quiet time in the house

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What about you? What are you loving today?

Monday, August 13

It's Naptime Here...

The kids are asleep, the rain machine is purring quietly through the baby monitor... Iron & wine mellow music is on Pandora.... The house is peaceful and light and all is well... I am about to give in to my own heavy eyelids and take a small nap myself with the time I have left (I predict I have about 45 minutes before Lucy wakes...).

This is very much what a typical day looks like around here since I became pregnant with #3. The exhaustion calling out for me to give in, stop, and let the quiet, peaceful house enfold me... To put off the to-do list a bit longer...This is part of why the frenzy of July was hurting my soul so much. My body and soul simply THIRST for this quiet time, daily... And for the nap that I let myself take 5 out of 7 days of the week. This little being inside me must REALLY thrive on the rest of his/her mama, because this pregnancy has commanded me to halt and rest a lot more than the previous 2.

Mostly, I am able to forgive myself for giving in. Because the truth is, I love naps. And I suspect I am inherently lazy. And so having a "good reason" to give in to both is lovely. I will find a way to manage the rest of my life.... once I wake up. 

In honor of naptime, and in honor of the time I gave myself yesterday to work hard on my own personal photo archives, I want to end this sleepy post with a series of images I caught of Lucy back in February... one sleepy day when I had to wake her from her nap so we could go get Noah from school. When it was just Noah, I fiercely, obsessively protected his naptime. I never even allowed myself to go in and peek at him while he slept--- I was horrified at the idea that I might wake him. So having a handful of opportunities with Lucy where I HAD to go in and get her to slowly wake-- well, it was hard for me to do it... it broke my heart... But it also melted me completely to be able to gaze on my baby while she slept... and to see how she would wake just the littlest bit at a time. 

So, here is Lucy at 10 months old, in every step of her nap wakeup from complete sleep to complete wakefulness... I warn you, it will either make you want a baby of your own, or to curl up and take a nap of your own:
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Monday, August 6

The Day After August 5

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Today is the day After August 5. After a grueling long day of travel back to STL on Saturday, it was all I could do to stay awake on Sunday at church... and then a bad afternoon nap for all of us led to a queasy evening, and well, yesterday was just a day of getting my bearings as we finally FINALLY head into "Normalcy" for the next few weeks. So August 5 itself was nothing to write home about, but today.... today has been the beginning of good. 

The phone pics illustrate the mood of the day pretty well... The kids and I lounged in bed and in our jammies for most of the morning.... Noah getting his iTouch game fix, Lucy practicing her cute face and her agility on a bouncy mattress... And then when we managed to get going, we spent the day either in the upstairs play area-- kids happily exploring every toy they found, no need to do anything too magnificent or complex, mom reading a novel in between playing-- and the living room play area, watching Sesame Street and goofing around. (Lucy created a new "look" for herself when she put half of a plastic egg into her teeth and made herself a "nose" by accident. Noah had to follow suit, making it even better with his 3-D glasses...)

The rest of our time was spent with chalk outside (91 degrees after all those 101+ days? We'll TAKE it!)... lunch and snacks inside... the smell of sunscreen lingering... some music and dancing... And a finished novel for me (Home Again by Kristin Hannah... Good! Hard to put down. But if you're going for a Kristin Hannah book, I absolutely LOVED Winter Garden. Way more than this one. This one felt like a Jodi Picoult book. Which isn't a bad thing. Just not as deep as the other K.H. books I've read.)

Since the kids have been down for naps, I've been fighting to get myself motivated to sit and WORK--- emails are desperately behind, I have orders to package and prepare for the post office.... But I've not been super-successful. The call to just VEG OUT has been extremely strong and I think I still have a few more days of slow recovery from the insanity before I feel completely back to regular speed. 

So... for now... There it is. I made it, I am back... and all is well.