Sandy Silhouettes

Here are my attempts at capturing silhouettes on a bright and beautiful beach day, although the sun was not low enough in the horizon for them to be exactly what I was trying to achieve.  I like how they turned out, regardless, with the reflective sand and cloudy sky.

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We live in such a wooded and hilly area that any time I try to practice true silhouettes behind my kids (in the traditional sense, not just playing with light), I fail because the light is still too far above them rather than behind them, or the sun doesn’t set until after their bedtime in the summer (when we’re out later).  Anyone have any suggestions as to how get my shot?

I didn’t mind that they weren’t perfect, anyway.  It was a lot of fun practicing!

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Next year the kids will be a little older and I plan to keep them up until sunset one night just to try some more (and who doesn’t love a sunset romp at the beach?).

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Fun in the sun!

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Hermit Crab Hunger Games

The day we bought the kites for the kids was also the windiest day of our vacation, so although the kids didn’t spend any time actually swimming in the water, they still had many aquatic adventures, the most significant of which was when they discovered hermit crabs and how exciting it is to hunt for them.

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Without question, my kids are braver than me in this arena, and I appreciated my excuse of taking photographs so that I wouldn’t have to actual touch any of the crabs, which I found creepy in the extreme.  The kids, however, thought they were amazing and quickly filled up a bucket to keep their new friends close by until we were ready to leave for the day.

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It was all fun and games until one of the biggest hermit crabs started brutally attacking the smaller ones and basically started eating them.  I was horrified and was practically shrieking; the kids were confused and not sure why the “Big Meanie” kept jumping on the other crabs’ backs.  After I realized that we had orchestrated our very own Hermit Crab Hunger Games and the blue bucket was our Cornucopia, we found a tide pool and let them be free.  A little lesson on survival of the fittest and Darwinism at a young age.  The kids were unfazed, but I was pretty traumatized.

After all that excitement, we enjoyed a quieter evening together, keeping an eye on our little friends as the tide rolled in and somehow managing to stay fairly dry.

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Little H decided that soggy diapers and damp dresses are for the birds, so she let it all hang loose for the last few trips down to the water.

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See that little circle of rocks?  That was our Hermit Crab Rehabilitation Center for those traumatized during the “Big Meanie” attack.  

One last trip up the lifeguard chair and we called it a night.

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Such a special place, our beach, even with a dose of crustacean cannibalism!

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Run-Of-The-Mill Awesome

Another blog post, another series of photographs documenting our wonderful time in Maine.  Just another magnificent day at the beach.

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But this time…

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…there were kites!

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And tide pools!

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So, really, it was far from ordinary.  Just run-of-the-mill awesome.

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If I haven’t said it before, I’ll say it now.  Best family vacation ever.

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Old Orchard Beach Day

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One of my favorite days on our vacation was our day trip to Old Orchard Beach, Maine, with its beachside carnival and rides, the pier with so much to see (and the joy of the kids running around underneath it), and the miles of clean, smooth beach bordered by picturesque sand dunes.  Add some delicious friend food into the mix and a great parking spot, and there was really nothing more we could have asked from this awesome day.

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At this point, Little H was still unconvinced that she liked the waves.  I made her a little hole to splash in and she was completely content, kicking her feet and throwing sand.  She even wore her hat!

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We probably should have quit while we were ahead after such a memorable day, but as always, after dinner we headed back to the beach.  Jax was psyched, but the girls were really overtired and probably could have done with an early bedtime.  Ah, well, you live and learn on vacation!

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We finally had to call it a night when the girls got in a real fight over the one mermaid doll we brought with us on the trip (note to self: TWO Ariels next year!).  These girls had just about had it, so we packed it in early.

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Of course Jax was unimpressed with their drama and had to go in for one more romp before the girls ruined all his fun.  Sorry, buddy; it probably won’t be the last time!

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I wish we could have let him stay, but instead we headed home and prepared for a sunny beach day the next morning.  We were never far away from those waves!  But even a troublesome evening couldn’t take away from what was a really great day together.  We are definitely going back next year!

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Family Near And Far

This weekend I was in Massachusetts for a photo shoot, and I got to spend some much-needed time with my mom and sisters.  This got me thinking of another photo shoot I did recently, which I had yet to share.  This family is moving to the Midwest soon, but before they do, they got together with both sets of grandparents one last time.  One pair of grandparents is local, but the other came all the way from Denmark.  Who knows when they will all be together again?  It was an occasion worth celebrating (and documenting)!

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We took pictures at the beautiful Riverview Farm, a very picturesque New England location.  There was ample green grass, golden sunlight, and blueberries patches for the kids to explore!

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It was a lovely day, and I was so happy to be able to share it with this wonderful family!

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Morning Garden

Today was Little H’s first day of Morning Garden at the Upper Valley Waldorf School.  All three of my kids started their school experience in that warm, nurturing environment, and if I had had my way, they would be there still!  Since that isn’t the cards, however, I will be grateful for every day we spend there, teaching my kids to explore their world and use their imaginations.

I had Little H wear the very same dress and carry the very same lunchbox that Em used when she started Morning Garden two and a half years ago.  Yup, I’m that mom.

Em on the left, Jan 2012.  Little H today, Sept 2014.

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Same dress, same backpack, same kitchen, two amber necklaces, one girl with enough hair for a hair clip, one who wouldn’t let me take out her Binkie no matter what.

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Two big siblings squashing–I mean, loving–their brave little sister.

Bye, Little H!  Enjoy this exciting new experience!  I’ll be with you every step of the way.

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One Last Time

When you tell a five-year-old boy and four-year-old girl that it’s time to leave the beach and head home for bed, you will undoubtedly be inundated with whining cries of “Just once more” and appeals for “one last time.”  This can go on forever, so it’s best to give them the heads up a good half hour before you actually intend to leave.  There are so many wonderful, very favorite things to do at the beach that are beckoning to be done just one last time; it’s hard to break the spell.

One last hurdle over the battlements and into the moat of a sand castle.

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One more splash in the waves, racing the tide.

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One last chance to get as dirty as humanly possible.

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Just one more towel for one last epic round of “Wherrrrreeee’s Little H?”  “There she is! Peekaboo!”

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Just one more picture for Mommy before we go.

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Saved the best for last.

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