Viewing category: Photography

Saturday Behind the Lens

Saturday Behind the Lens

I got behind the lens this weekend– a couple of times already (rare these days).  Christmas countdown has begun so I stopped by Coco’s new (beautiful) home to get some quick Christmas-card-worthy shots of her children, Downing and Catie Tyler.  With a two year old you never quite know how it will go. “CT” seems to be the exception to the rule. Then again, it makes it easy when they’re cute- throw in some golden hour sunlight and a beautiful orange tree, fall foliage and– whoila!  Don’t want to ruin whatever shot she chooses- so here’s a couple of the outtakes. I think she could make some Christmas change by charging people to use her new back yard for family photos. But that’s just me….

Saturday Behind the Lens via grateful simplicity

 

Saturday Behind the Lens via grateful simplicity

 

Saturday Behind the Lens via grateful simplicity

 

Saturday Behind the Lens via grateful simplicity

 

IMG_0195

FacebookTwitterGoogle+EmailShare

Children Spaced in Age {a repost}

Children Spaced in Age

This older post by Clover Lane about having children spaced in age has been popping into my thoughts lately. I discovered it years ago and reposted then, and it has proven to be oh so true with my own children. Any parent with children that may not be close in age can appreciate this mother’s wisdom (and so glad I rediscovered her blog!)

 

You will enjoy this baby SO much. But, you will not be sitting in a rocking chair in a quiet room, looking like a Pottery Barn Kids ad. Instead, depending on the demeanor of your baby, you will either be constantly wearing an extra appendange on your body in form of a baby-filled sling, or be adding C batteries to your grocery list every week for your Graco swing.

You will not be pondering over what a cute outfit to dress the baby in today, instead you will be grabbing what is clean from the laundry basket. As that baby gets older, you will not be sitting on the floor for hours watching him or her stack blocks and thinking ‘what a genius’. They will explore their world without someone constantly breathing down their back, which turns out to be a better way anyways.

You will have to relearn some things. I had completely forgotten how impossible it is to give an infant a bath and of course, you will have a whole new set of instructions from the nurses on umbilical cord care. They apparently change that every year or so. The immunizations are all different too…like they added 75 more. But you are 34. You are not afraid to speak your mind. Take advantage of your confidence. You earned it.

You might not feel like there is enough hours in the day to get all that you need finished. Although you will reassure your kids that there is enough love to go all around, as you lay in bed at night, (usually with a baby attached to you), you will tear up, because you will feel like maybe there is, in fact, not enough love to pass around. You will think of who you didn’t hug today, or if you said anything but ‘Don’t do this, Do that, Can you please’.

Children Spaced in Age

 

It will eat you up sometimes, usually when you are going on 4 hours of broken sleep. Your mind can play tricks on you and anxiety will fill in the empty spots. Don’t do that to yourself. That friend I talked about yesterday? I asked her once, when she was adopting her seventh, if she ever felt like she didn’t have enough to go around. And she said, “I concentrate on what I DO give my kids, not on what I don’t.” Good advice. Take it. Full tummies, warm bed. Start there.

You will have some harried moments, but remember those moments…sometimes there will be nothing you can do about them, and other times you will have to think, “What can I do to change this…it’s not working for us.

I remember once complaining and complaining about this travel soccer I had my daughter in. Her friends would convince her every year to try out and then she’d beg me to let her. My husband always thought it was a good idea, too, as she was pretty decent at it. But it was ME who had to drag all these kids around, nursing the baby in the middle of a cornfield in the hot sun, not watching a minute of anything, being crabby all the way there and back, all of us hungry and thirsty, the baby fussy. It ended up my daughter didn’t really like soccer that much, but just didn’t know how to resist the friend-pressure. Some of my lowest points of parenting occured because of that stress. Don’t do that to yourself.

 

Children Spaced in Age

 

Get rid of all that extra stuff, and just stick with the important stuff. If you don’t know what the important stuff is, I can reassure you that it’s not 2nd grade football skills training, or travel dance competitions. These were all invented by people with much less children than you have now, and for many other reasons I won’t go into here. My point is this: Don’t fight this adjustment. Accept that you will have to make changes, but let me reassure you, that you will ask yourself, “Why didn’t we do this sooner?” You will grow closer as a family and less stressed as a mother. Embrace the old-fashioned values of a big family. A swing, some grass, and a good book is all kids need in the entertainment department. It would be more than the majority of kids in the world have. Always keep in mind ‘global’ parenting and ‘historic’ parenting…they make the expectations place on us laughable.

Children Spaced in Age

 

Besides that great gift, you will be giving your older children the gift of independence. Trust me, it was time anyways. They will learn some lessons and be better for it. If you don’t have time to check for homework and they didn’t either, they will learn it’s their responsibility. They might have to hear the word ‘no’ more often, if driving across town to play at a friends house for two hours doesn’t work with the baby’s nap. They will have to take care of themselves more, and be doted on less. You will kick yourself for not doing some of this earlier, and be surprised at how much you were holding them back from some really necessary lessons and experiences. Count yourself lucky…some parents wait till NEVER. It doesn’t turn out so good 20 years later.

Now I’ll get to the best part of all. Your older children with that baby… your heart will explode with the amount of love and tenderness they will show.

Children Spaced in Age

Get them involved right away. They will be your salvation in terms of managing this large plate you have in front of you. When they think you are not aware of their prescence, tell your husband how much you noticed so-and-so loves their baby sister or brother, and how much help they give. They will step up to the task unbelievably. Teach them how to hold the baby, how to swaddle, how to change a diaper (wet, or course). Have them run and get a fresh outfit, and don’t cringe at the color combo. Who cares. When the baby gets older, they are the best entertainers. You will never have to occupy that baby’s time. Set him out in the family room in his jumpy seat and the hoopla will get him good and tired. Don’t ever feel guilty for asking them for help. Give them new responsibilites. Ask one of them to make lunch, even if it’s just peanut butter on Ritz. They will love to do it for you if you thank them so much and brag about them. Don’t say “the baby”, say OUR baby. The gift you are giving them is priceless. They are learning how to care for your grandchildren. That is truly awesome and worth any inconveniece or adjustment that this little surprise threw your way.

One more thing. With my older three, I couldn’t wait to “the next”. The next stage, the next word, the next tooth… With this little guy, you will do the opposite. You will bawl at every stage. Be prepared.

You are not crazy. It’s completely normal. Birthdays are the worse. Have tissues handy.”

Irma Interrupted

I had almost forgotten about much I love Friday nights. The possibilities of the weekend are endless.  Low key, football, fun events, action packed.  Last weekend fell into the action packed category with the introduction of Irma to our beautiful state. Luckily, she was a little less ticked off when she finally arrived in T-town. We were without power but only momentarily compared to our friends in South Florida. Poor Darby and Danya are still without power in Miami/South FL. If you’ve never spent September in Florida – let me tell you, it is anything but Mums and pumpkins. It is hot. Throw some love bugs in there, sweat beads and you’ve got yourself a September day

Today it’s taking it back to the first week of school. Seeing that our interim reports go out next week, you can do the math to see just how far back this dates. Okay, it was last month which is technically right on time for this ol’ blog that has been gathering some serious dust.

Boys will be boys

Boys will be boys

Irma Interrupted via grateful simplicity

 

Irma Interrupted via grateful simplicity

 

And speaking of the first week of school, Kenley’s middle school cheerleading squad ran the pep rally that week to kick off the new school year. Talk about full circle. I wore that same cheerleading uniform over 25 years ago. Ouch!

Irma Interrupted via grateful simplicity

 

 

 

 

More Beach, Less Stress

More Beach, Less Stress
Or so they say. Judging by recent posts it would look as if all we did in the month of June was live at the beach. That isn’t the case, but come to think of it, five of the last six weekends have been spent there.  I was relieved to have a (double the length- four day) weekend at home- particularly since it’s was a holiday fourth of July kind of weekend. July brings more than just fireworks at our house– really a different kind of firework altogether. Britton’s 14th birthday. Plans are already in the works– her ‘love language’ is gifts so it’s only fitting that she plans her birthdays months and months in advance. Lucky for me.

 

More Beacg

IMG_8043

 

More Beach, Less Stress via grateful simplicity

 

More Beach, Less Stress via grateful simplicity

 

More Beach, Less Stress via grateful simplicity

More Beach, Less Stress via grateful simplicity

 

Memorable Memorial Weekend

Memorable Memorial Weekend

Memorial Day weekend marked the first official weekend of summer 2017 so we packed up, I mean really packed up, Big Bertha (my Yukon) and headed southwest to The Coast. Paper towels, sheets, food, movies, books, swim suits, hats, lawn mowers, yard clippers, and sunscreen. Four days, three nights of boating, fishing, beach bumming and St. Teresa-ing. That’s the best way to jump start summer. Now, what to do with the next 2.5 months?

Memorable Memorial Weekend via grateful simplicity

Memorable Memorial Weekend via grateful simplicity

Memorable Memorial Weekend via grateful simplicity

A serious game of Bimini ring toss...

A serious game of Bimini ring toss…

Memorable Memorial Weekend via grateful simplicity

Memorable Memorial Weekend via grateful simplicity

Memorable Memorial Weekend via grateful simplicity

#STB4 g (St. Teresa Beach 4 generations — The Cottage)

Memorable Memorial Weekend via grateful simplicity

Memorable Memorial Weekend via grateful simplicity

The lawn mower man

 

Memorable Memorial Weekend via grateful simplicity

Memorable Memorial Weekend via grateful simplicity

 

Memorable Memorial Weekend via grateful simplicity

Memorable Memorial Weekend via grateful simplicity

Memorable Memorial Weekend via grateful simplicity