Family Fall Photosessions

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Autumn is coming! My favorite season is autumn because for half of my life I never experienced autumn growing up in Abu Dhabi, the United Arab Emirates. Here in Atlanta I love how the air turns faintly crisp and cool. Not terribly cold where you have to run in to grab a jacket, but the slightest bit of cool to make you think an extra layer would be nice.

Really enjoying photography lately. I’ve had a nice photo break so it is nice to be able to work on others memories and photos. I should jump back into writing, but for now capturing-other-memories are calling…

Hopefully when I ease back into writing, I’ll also be refreshed?!

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love this family’s fall fashion choices in this photoshoot! Just the right amount of coordination and some fun pops of color and personality!

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Baby Zara and Sibs – welcoming baby photoshoots are some of my favorites! 

If you are interested in scheduling a photosession**, please send a message to my FB photography page or you can send me an email to Rfaruqi84@gmail.com with the subject ‘Photo Session.’

**FYI, August and September are booked, but I have a couple of openings in October!

When The Relatives Came…

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“It was the summer of the year the relatives came.
They came up from Virginia.
They left when their grapes were
nearly purple enough to pick. But not quite.
They drove all day long and into the night, and while they
traveled along they looked at the strange houses
and different mountains and they thought
about their almost purple grapes back home.
They thought about Virginia –
but they thought about us, too. Waiting for them.
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This book described my weekend!

“Back to the daily grind?” my cousin asks over the phone.
I had a weekend in which another cousin got married, a weekend in which the relatives came to visit. Evenings were meant for lingering and laughter. Bedtimes were a word that seemed as if used in the past and rooms were less roomy but so much better somehow. What I love about a family wedding is how it gathers people together. How people travel from a far.
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I am back to the daily grind and I am rusty. The packing of a kindergartner’s lunchbox takes me entirely too long. The putting to sleep of children on time takes me too long. The hurrying hurrying hurrying takes too long as well.
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But for family we sacrifice. We come from afar to see them get married.
We come from afar to see them join another family. We come from afar to see them off, to watch them travel afar.
Last hugs are given. Hearts feel empty. Rooms are roomier but emptier again.
But with all the come-from-a-far, we are always and somehow close. We are after all family.
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Scraps of Frosting

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Extra snooze minutes are like scraps of frosting for me.

I just can’t resist them.

Try as I might, it is a big struggle for me to get up in the mornings. I crave leisurely slow mornings where the sun makes a big appearance and has to shines forcefully on you telling you to wake up. I love slow summer days where hours blend into each other seamlessly.

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Mornings where the sky has not broken into its true blue, where the sun isn’t truly shining yet, turn out to be mornings where the snooze button being pressed repeatedly.

When I taught 2nd grade, I had to show up at work daily at 7:15 a.m. Ouch! Now, I wish I appreciated the effort parents made to get their children there on time!

Today was Z’s first day in Kindergarten which meant we had to rise early.

too big pants and too big lunchbox!

too big pants and too big lunchbox!

It meant we had to resist the extra snooze minutes or diet from the extra scraps of frosting. It meant I had to cook the eggs quickly on high and make sure to not burn them. It meant everything done at a quicker speed, no summer lingering anymore. I guess if I had the willpower to get us all awake early then we could linger as much as we wanted, but our extra few minutes in bed were too precious to swap out for linger minutes. So rush we did!

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When you’re around your children, you’re always responsible for them. For making sure they are polite, for making sure they take the last few bites of their egg, for brushing their fly-away hair out of their eyes.

I noticed when I taught 2nd grade when a mother would stop by, their reactions to their child were like clockwork. A quick hug or smile, a quick straightening of a hair ribbon, or a flattening of hair. A mother is a child’s groomer. Who else will do all these things if a mother is not there? As a teacher of 20 students, you can’t be straightening hair ribbons all day, so that is what mothers or fathers or caretakers are for, right?

When your child is off in full-time-school, you’ve released your little one, your chick from your cozy nest of home, and all you can do now is hope and pray all will go well, and find beauty in your leftover eggshells and offspring!

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Eid in Atlanta!

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Sharing a few of my Eid photos as well as this article on Atlanta Muslim that featured the many diverse Eid celebrations in Atlanta! Was happy to see a few of mine in the article! What I love about Eid are the colorful dresses and excitement of the little ones whether it’s from getting a goody bag chock-full of candy or catching bubbles in silky Eid joras!

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baby-greeting always brings spontaneous smiles!

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‘Eib’ is so close to ‘Eid’!

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Cultivating Hope

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child blowing dandelion

Isn’t summer all about slowing down, plucking dandelions, and then blowing and cultivating hope all over the place?

To get this shot, I really wanted a close up of squishy fingers holding a dandelion with an eager mouth ready to blow. The first images came out darker. Noticing that she was intent on blowing and not moving, I slowed down the shutter speed to get more light. I also wanted to capture as much light (sun was rapidly setting!) and have a soft blurry feel (bokeh) so kept it at f/1.8.

ISO 1250,

50 mm,

f/1.8

1/80 sec

Review: Lailah’s Lunchbox: A Ramadan Story by Reem Faruqi with illustrations by Lea Lyon

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Review: Lailah’s Lunchbox: A Ramadan Story by Reem Faruqi with illustrations by Lea Lyon

Doodling Through Life:

Thanks for this review!

Originally posted on The Book Wars:

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Hardcover, 32 pages
Published June 1st 2015 by Tilbury House Publishers
Source: Author

The review for this book could not come at a more relevant period as it is the month of Ramadan currently and Muslims all around the world are fasting. Fasting in this sense means abstaining from food and water from before sunup to after sundown.

These days being Muslim is difficult for reasons I’m not particularly keen to get into at the moment. Suffice it to say that Lailah’s Lunchbox is an extremely timely picturebook.

The picturebook focuses on the titular character, Lailah, who is going to fast for the first time during Ramadan. She had been too young the previous year so hadn’t been able to fast while all her friends had. Being able to fast is a distinction she has been waiting anxiously for. (Children are not obligated to fast until they are 10-12 years old.) This year…

View original 538 more words

Ramadanish

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It’s Ramadan again!

I’ve enjoyed reading people’s Ramadan Facebook statuses of how they’re going to do the best this month and give it their all! With little ones, there’s a lot of online activities for Ramadan such as here: 49 Ways to get Kids Involved in Ramadan, and lots of little things I’ve seen people do online such as decorate their houses, a good deeds chart, string lights, put up a calendar, etc.

Here, we haven’t done much of that all – no lights strung up, no fancy decor here! I wanted to make a calendar like last year, so Z and I stuck some cupcake wrappers up (that’s all I could find in the Pantry) and I let her write from 1 to 30, which means a lot of numbers are crooked, small, and the wrong way. The wrappers are stuck up a little crooked, the papers are folded in the wrong place, but I just don’t feel like going out in the heat to buy proper materials to make arts and crafts that look ‘pretty.’  As long as whatever we make is functionable, we’re good to go.

I wrote ‘good deeds’ on the wrappers and took the girls’ input in so there are funny ones like, “Tell your Mom please when you want pancakes!” and “Help Your Mom Bake Cookies.” “Help Your Mom Bake Cookies” should seriously be “Make Your Mom Cookies and More Importantly Clean the Kitchen After!”

A note about cleaning, this book is worth the hype and I feel like my items in my cabinets and clothes in my closet are breathing a little better and my house is a bit more at peace this Ramadan!

For Ramadan, I wanted a less cluttered home so I feel like I am closer to that goal. I also replaced my sponge, something so small, but makes me feel a little happier.

Enjoying…

lazy Summer mornings in which I get a little extra sleep, courtesy of Steve Jobs and his iPad.

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‘homemade samosas’ that are store bought from the Halal Meat Grocer on 14th Street!

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almost Zinnia buds

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1 of my favorites because they naturally did this!

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And my book up in Little Shop of Stories. I’ve seen my book in Ramadan book displays and will share those photos later, but it doesn’t get old to see my book up on someone’s book shelf! [I’ll be at Little Shop of Stories in Decatur at 3 pm tomorrow for Story time of Lailah’s Lunchbox!]

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The month of Ramadhan [is that] in which was revealed the Qur’an, a guidance for the people and clear proofs of guidance and criterion. So whoever sights [the new moon of] the month, let him fast it; and whoever is ill or on a journey – then an equal number of other days. God intends for you ease and does not intend for you hardship and [wants] for you to complete the period and to glorify God for that [to] which He has guided you; and perhaps you will be grateful.