The Second Child Loses A Tooth

This little beauty is growing up. Em lost her first tooth!

Photo Nov 02, 4 06 42 PM

There are no photos leading up to the event because she didn’t tell us it was loose until it was practically sideways.  Definitely not ready for her closeup! But it popped out on the drive down to Massachusetts for her cousin’s birthday, and with all the ensuing commotion, I forgot to take the requisite her-holding-her-tooth and gaping smile shots like we did when Jax lost his first tooth a few months before.  Second child syndrome in full effect.  But I did some photos of her unlocking our fairy door so the tooth fairy could come in!


(poor Second Child…maybe Mommy could have given your hair a once over before your Tooth Fairy photo? Jeez!)


With the door safely unlocked, the Tooth Fairy visited that night and brought Em a beautiful golden dollar in her special tooth fairy pillow.  Even though I don’t have the photos to prove it, she was thrilled!  Maybe I’ll get a substitute shot the next time she loses a tooth!   Poor Second Child!

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The Anatomy Of A Wave

I have a mental image of sitting in a classroom at some stage of my education and learning about the ocean, specifically about waves and these things called crests and troughs, the heights and depths.  The words always stuck with me as being highly descriptive, not something that I usually associate with science, and thus I have always remembered them.  When I sat down to write a blog post today–something I felt compelled to do because of some inner clock that forces me to post as often as possible–I was reminded of the anatomy of a wave–crest and trough, crest and trough–and thought to myself, Isn’t life just like that?  Sometimes sets of waves come crashing to the shore seemingly one after another, and other times the seas are gentle.  Sometimes there are super highs and despairing lows, but more often that not, there’s an in between.  I think this blog right now is somewhere in the in between, and I’m coming to accept that tranquility.

This blog began in 2008 right before Jax was born, mostly as a way to share photos of him with my family who lives far away.  Little did I know that it would take on a life of its own and friends would say to me, seemingly out of nowhere, “Oh, I love your blog!”  Really? I didn’t even know you read it.  Then people started saying, “I love your pictures! Have you ever thought of doing photos professionally?”  Compound that sudden interest with the social media revolution, and suddenly, the blog was going live in early 2011, more for public consumption than had ever been intended before.  The blog became a platform for my photography, and the world of Pinterest drove my posts.  Surprisingly, my little blog that was supposed to be just for me and my family had people introducing themselves to me in music class and gymnastics, knowing my kids’ faces and pseudonyms without me even knowing their names because they enjoyed reading it.  Looking back, it was a strange and surreal time in my life, when the blog was keeping me from losing my sanity in a world filled with preschool toys and dirty diapers.  To write something, convey something, produce something: that is how I grew to appreciate this quiet, beautiful town in Vermont.  Because I spent days writing about life here, somehow I grew to love it.

Those days were a flurry of early childhood survival, photography technique and oh-so-many crafts.  These days are much slower, and simpler.  The big kids go off to school, Little H and I play all day, visit friends, take a class or a walk, and then she naps.  My afternoons, which gape with time to be filled however I choose, are full of photography (and Christmas shopping!) but not so much blog-worthy moments.  Little H fought me to buckle her carseat today #thestruggleisreal would be Twitter-worthy, but this space has never been one for me to vent.  Sometimes a tragic Mom fail story does make the cut, but usually I try to keep this a positive, appreciative place to write down my memories of my children’s early years.  Because, as every middle-aged woman I have ever met will tell me, it goes so fast.  And with three kids, I know one day it will all blend together in a warm, happy blur, and I’ll be grateful I got it all down, the highs as well as the lows.  The crests and the troughs.


Speaking of crests and troughs, what does this post have to do with waves anyway?  Well, any forced metaphor serves to tie a bigger idea to a smaller one, and my smaller idea is this–my days with Little H are joyous, but not terribly momentous, and I think the forced feeling of I should take a photo of this for the blog is having a two-fold reaction.  One, it is disingenuous and makes me feel like I’m being less present with her, and two, that feeling of forced pressure is making me rebel and say, Screw it, I’m not doing it at all.  I think it’s Bloggy Mom Burnout.  I’m missing the forest for the trees–I will have nothing to write about because I don’t want to do anything because I feel forced to document it.  Disingenuous indeed.

In addition to this feeling is a desire to separate this space from my photography, as you may have noticed from fewer professional photography posts.  The new year is going to see a new and improved photography website for me, complete with its own social media, so I won’t have a random photo shoot between posts about Jax losing his first tooth and Little H’s first haircut.  Separation of church and state will be good for my soul.  Back to basics.  More cresting, less troughing.

 Our afternoons with the big kids are action-packed, but not always worth documenting.  I don’t lug my camera with me everywhere I go anymore, and I don’t want to have to feel the pressure–which no one is giving me but myself–to increase the frequency of my posts simply to fill space.  Let me take photos of my kids doing uninteresting things because I need something to write about! Not the same as simply appreciating the small things, which I do with a completely full heart.  Sometimes it is just a calm sea, and lately that’s where we are.  The lows are not so low, but the highs are simple and quiet pleasures that don’t necessarily translate to posts or photographs.  Even my 365 project, which I have enjoyed immensely, is starting to feel like a task.

So my confession is that I think my posts here will be less frequent and I’m giving myself permission to allow that to happen.  It’s been happening anyway, but now I feel okay about it.  I know my life’s ambition is not to be a blogger, and maybe it’s time for the blog to come full circle and to be more about our life and less about public consumption.  I will still craft, and still Pin, and still share photos, but it will be because I think it is something worth sharing, not doing something with Little H simply because I need something to post.  I’m going to let our lives drive the posts, not the other way around, and I hope you will still come along for the ride with me.  Maybe this is just a trough, but what I know is that when our lives start to exist more outside the home as they are starting to, there will less for me to share.  And that’s an okay thing to accept, because just because there may be fewer crests, it doesn’t mean they won’t be as high as ever.  I just want to have my head on straight to appreciate them as they are happening, not looking at it all evolve through a lens.  Thanks for taking this journey with me.

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Family Time

Life in Vermont when cousins visit: equal parts ridiculous, loud, loving, funny, hectic, overtired, hungry and happy. Five kids aged seven, six, five, three and two.  Our family time is certainly uniquely ours!

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The big kids did a lot less bickering, a lot more playing well alone and together.  Em really took her little cousin Stella under her wing, and watching them grow to be friends warms my heart.  The little girls were absolutely delightful to watch; Little H was beyond excited to get to see her “Stewwa May!”  Cousin dynamics have been changing for the better, and now to see all five of them such great friends, floating between groups and even mingling with the adults more often than before, makes these family-filled days better than ever.

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Family time, Whitney style.  Loving it!

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I’m not going to pretend I haven’t been a bit lackadaisical about posting over here, but I have an excuse.  Every time I get on the computer, I feel the need to shop…but not just any kind of shopping.  Christmas shopping!  Yes, I’ve already started and I love every single second of it, although it’s become a bit of a distraction.  I need to regulate myself (for financial and blogging reasons)!  So I will try to be better and stop taking every discounted email as an excuse to meander through my favorite websites for hours on end.  Christmas is coming, but I can’t miss out on presents–oops, I mean the present.


After all, I don’t want to miss any of what’s going on in my every day life.  The company is too sweet to miss.

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With all the hustle of the holidays, it’s easy to forget what’s really important in this life, and that being home with them, in our home, with our family, these kids, is really the gift!  All the gift I need, really.

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Counting my blessings (and maybe some presents!) this holiday season and always.

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Turning Seven!

Now how exactly did this happen?  Seven!


For his birthday, Jax wanted to go see Marvel Universe Live, which was an awesome show and very worth seeing.  Since the tickets were pretty expensive, I told him if he wanted to do that he wouldn’t get to have a big friend birthday party, a deal he agreed seemed fair.  He decided he wanted to spend his actual birthday bowling with our family, something we don’t get to do very often since it’s a bit of a drive away.  It was a quiet, lovely morning, Nana and Papa made the trip with us, and we all had a lot of fun!

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For the grown ups, it was a blast from the past, and we loved watching the kids’ enthusiasm! We all loved it!


We headed home to build Legos, play Mario Bros. (the theme of the day) and then have cake at Nana and Papa’s.  An easy, simple, lovely day to celebrate my sweet, favorite boy.

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A very happy birthday, my dear Jax.  We love you so dearly!  You are a joy to us all, even on your most challenging day!  I love your intelligent, funny, hilarious self.  Can’t wait to see what this year brings!

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Autumn Button Branch

A perennial favorite!  We love Autumn Button Branches!

Autumn Button Branch @ Rub Some Dirt On It

Little H and I have had this craft in mind ever since the leaves fell off the trees and left our branches bare.  I went out and found one that has lots of small branches and nubs, and taped it to a piece of paper.  Card stock works really well, too.

Autumn Button Branch @ Rub Some Dirt On It

You’ll need lots of autumn-colored buttons (reds, oranges, yellows, maybe a green here and there) of different sizes, and some good old Elmer’s glue.  No need to remind you to keep your eye on these little choking hazards; although if your child is as into sorting as Little H is right now, I’m sure he or she wouldn’t waste the opportunity for color play by eating them!

Autumn Button Branch @ Rub Some Dirt On It

I usually squirt the glue alongside the branches, but have had experience where the buttons fall off later when the glue dries.  This time I took the cap off the glue and applied it very liberally, letting the button sit completely in a gluey puddle.  Much more effective, and Little H had more leeway (and success).

Autumn Button Branch @ Rub Some Dirt On It

Autumn Button Branch @ Rub Some Dirt On It

Autumn Button Branch @ Rub Some Dirt On It

Outline the branch in beautiful autumn colors and hang it on your wall to keep autumn alive even as the world outside gets more brown and cold!  We hung ours above our November Gratitude Tree.  I love bringing the beauty of fall inside at this time of year!

Autumn Button Branch @ Rub Some Dirt On It

Oh, how we love playing with buttons!  See more button play ideas here.

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Just Rainbows

Before Jax transformed into Harry Potter on Halloween, he had a chance for a practice run at a local autumn festival, with some of the best face painting I’ve ever seen.  The colors were so gorgeous; the photographer in me was so glad I brought my camera! I can’t ignore a rainbow.


Jax rocked his lightning scar,…

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…and the girls expressed their inner Rainbow Brite, which I absolutely loved.

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The writer in me would like to pretend there is some kind of metaphor about how they are the light that shines through the rain, the rainbows of my life, but let’s be honest.  That wasn’t my intention at all.  I really just loved their face paint.  No bigger message necessary.

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Sometimes a rainbow is just a rainbow, and there’s nothing wrong with that.


 And maybe they are the light of my life, but we’ll save all that for another day.  For today, it’s all about rainbows!

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