Christmas Eve

Oh yes, I still have plenty of photos from last year to share… I am catching up here and there on editing and am also waiting to get some film processed- if I’m sending it off I like to do so in batches.

Manny had to work a lot around the holidays, so our celebrating was a bit spread out this year. Seth and I visited my family on Christmas Eve, and as you can see it was a truly gorgeous day. My mom, Seth and I spent some time at a park in the afternoon, and later everyone ate and exchanged gifts. By the way, my mom is the greatest. :)

{sidenote: I keep feeling conflicted- which photos to share here, and which to post on my photography blog? For now, I’m mostly posting family stuff here and client work there. Sometimes I feel like having just one place for everything, but I feel committed to this blog and would not want to do away with it, and I’m not sure if my clients want to see all the pictures of my son and read everything I post here. At the same time, I am my business, so maybe it’s better not to separate things so much? I would love your thoughts on this, especially other photographers.}

But I digress… here’s Christmas Eve in Stuart:

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I'm On Vacation.

Really, I am.
I’m not doing any work at all. {fingers crossed} ;)

We leave for Disney World in the morning, so I really will be on vacation for a few days, but I wanted to leave you these:

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And all was quiet…

My first Christmas with a child, rather than a baby.
Joy, wonder, amazement, sensory overload, meltdowns, and now- peaceful sleep. He made the holiday magical for all of us again.

Yesterday my husband and his dad both worked. I am thankful for our firefighters and dispatchers, who work to keep us safe, 365 days a year. So today was “our” Christmas, and it was all wrapping paper and sweets and delicious food and the awesome craziness of family gatherings. I love every minute of it. Santa spoiled all of us this year, especially my son :)

I hope your holiday was wonderful, too. I was just looking over my calendar and to see only six days left in 2010 was a bit of a shock, though of course I knew that already. This year has gone by faster than any previous year of my life. It scares me- does that rate keep increasing as we get older? Time, please slow down. please.

I am filled with so much gratefulness tonight that I could practically burst.
For my son.
For my family.
For another year.
And yes, for my new printer, and film for my Polaroid, a lovely necklace, a French press for my coffee, Toms shoes, and some much-wanted books.

I am so very blessed.

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Reverb 10- Wonder

{Backtracking. Day 4 prompt:}

How did you cultivate a sense of wonder in your life this year?

My answer to this question is really about what brought a sense of wonder to my life this year. I didn’t need to cultivate it- the wonder was a gift given to me. This is probably good, because with the insane busyness of 2010, I’m not so sure I would have taken the time to cultivate wonder if it had been up to me.

The answer:

Yes, it might be kind of a predictable answer, but my son brought the wonder to my life this year, on a daily basis.

He is changing and learning every single day, and he never ceases to amaze me. The way he experiences the world with fresh eyes, with openness, and wonder… it rubs off.

This one small person has impacted and enriched my life in unspeakable, wonderful ways. I love him more than I can express and I am so thankful for the wonder he infuses my world with.

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Down by the bay…

We took a little trip to Coconut Grove yesterday, as I had a location to scout for an upcoming wedding.  Then we went across the street to the bay so Seth could look at the boats. Something about all the sailboats, and the water, and seagulls, made my heart feel lighter. I’m pretty sure Seth added “boat” to his vocabulary, too!

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Something I didn't expect…

…about being a mother:

He teaches me.

Patience. Grace. Unconditional love. Trust. Life moving forward. The fleeting nature of time. Priorities.
And the list goes on.

It amazes me every day.

Isn’t he just the most precious thing?

Today on The Creative Mama, Stephanie Beaty shared some of her favorite quotes about motherhood. I love them.


Also, one of my favorite bloggers, Karen Walrond, has written a lovely book called The Beauty of Different. I have been wanting to read it (and definitely will!).
Actually, a self portrait of mine was featured here not too long ago on her blog of the same name. I feel so encouraged every time I read the beautiful different blog- such a breath of fresh air to see women everywhere declaring who they are in their unique beauty. It is so in line with my own worldview, and I just love it.

Karen is doing a very generous giveaway to celebrate the release of her new book, The Beauty of Different, which is available from Bright Sky Press and Amazon.

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The many adventures of Seth

I organize all my photos on my computer with a folder for each month, and over the last few months there have been fewer and fewer pictures of Seth. He used to be very easy to photograph, but now, not only is he moving fast all the time, but he has gotten very used to my camera and doesn’t want to have his picture taken. He actually tells me “no!” and runs away!

So the nature of the photos I take of him has changed, but are fitting for his age and personality- they are the “doing” images rather than the “posing” ones.

I love them.

Above images shot with a combination of the Asahi Pentax Spotmatic and Kodak Portra 160nc film, and the Nikon D700.

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Your heart on your sleeve.

There is so much emotion in motherhood that I never expected. This little boy can bring me utter joy and intense frustration- often both within the same hour. His personality is blossoming before us. He is stubborn and passionate, and sensitive to those around him. He knows what he wants and does not let go of ideas or objects easily. He tests, watching for reactions, pressing the boundaries. He loves laughter, and expresses so much inner turmoil when he can’t communicate what he wants. His attention span frequently amazes me. He is ever changing- moving from perfect calm to full-on tantrum in moments. He knows when I am sad, and wants to comfort me. He does comfort me. He is smart and spirited. He has brought a million laughs into my life, but a few tears as well.

Motherhood forces a woman to have her heart on her sleeve, so to speak.

You make yourself emotionally available to your child, and therefore you are open. And so you feel everything, more.
The frustration of growing pains, the joy and excitement,
and then there is the inexplicable aching.
You watch them growing more each day, and it is so wonderful, and yet it aches.
I shed tears the morning of Seth’s first birthday. I watch him becoming less dependent on me, and I am happy, and yet it aches.

I think the aching is from wanting to protect, forever, this baby of yours, and yet knowing that you can’t always. I will be less and less able to protect him with each passing month, as he grows.

Motherhood is a series of letting go.

We let go when we give birth, and with each stage afterward we let go a little bit more, until they’re grown.

At least we’re weaned into it, rather than the baby in your arms suddenly going off to college the next day.
Though I can see the truth in the words of a hundred seasoned mother I’ve talked to– it feels that way nonetheless.

Letting go is hard, especially when your heart is on your sleeve, rather than safely guarded and locked up. With our children, there is not the defense mechanism we might have with other people, to protect our hearts.

So the letting go aches us very deeply. We do it because we must allow our little ones to fly, because we love them too much not to.
And we are at once joyful and aching each time we let go some more. It is the nature of this role. And I think it makes us stronger, and it gives us wisdom, and it adds richness and depth and life to our lives overall.

Because life, without both the joy and the pain felt deeply, would not really be life at all.

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Where once there was a baby…

…now, a little boy.

One who talks more every day,
walks, runs, dances,
sings, is silly and has a sense of humor,

loves to be outside, and play with balls, and blow bubbles,
and gets excited when he sees and airplane go by.
He has a strong will, but a sweet spirit.
He is the perfect combination of me and my husband.
I am constantly amazed.
I never realized that my heart
had this capacity for love.

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