Fall Sessions Available!

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Fall

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is

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Approaching!

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If you live in and around the Atlanta area and haven’t booked a photosession for fall, and would like one here is your chance!

I have a couple weekends open apart from the 29th, but weekends are getting booked quickly! The sooner you message, the more likely it is that I can book your session.

Thank You!

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Can’t wait to make memories like these!

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Assortments of -ing

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Appreciating–
the golden ray of sunlight that reaches the exact spot in the room where I am sitting. Golden Ray that makes the room look special all of a sudden.
Wondering—
on the phone, I am telling someone about what everyone in my acquired little family is doing tomorrow. I realize with a numb surprise as I pack my husband’s lunch, Z’s little lunch, and A’s littler lunch, that I don’t have a packed lunch. Where’s my lunch? Who makes my lunch? What am doing tomorrow?  Where am I in the picture? Am I to always remain behind-the-scenes?
Adjusting —
to children who are bigger, yet still so small. Adjusting to a here-and-there preschool routine of A and trying to find smidges of time to get writing done, or to just sit and stare out the window and try to avert my eyes from the smattering of things everywhere.
Feeling—
the tingly warm feeling return to sore fingers as I rub an ice cube chip over my wrists, fingers, and joints. Note to self to do wrist circles and wrist bends and general exercise. Must avoid Carpal Tunnel Syndrome!
Welcoming–
hummingbirds and butterflies (a monarch even!) to a couple of finicky zinnia blooms. Further welcoming the upcoming weekend in which aforementioned lunches do not have to be thermosed, foiled, and refrigerated.
Reading–
Claire Bidwell’s memoir, The Rules of Inheritance, about losing her mother (and then her father!) is raw and real and her words strung together are like little treasures.
Reminiscing—
on Hajj. I still remember my mother telling us that Hajj would fall in December and that my brothers and I wouldn’t have to miss work, that this was an opportunity to go. I thought I would perform Hajj in my 40’s, not 20’s. Shrugging a “Sure, why not?” in response. The uncertainty of applying for visas and being told that there wasn’t space for us in the Hajj group to go. Then by chance, the person on the phone happened to ask my mother our ages. We were in our early 20’s.
Then to be told they always encouraged young people to go, were we still interested? Yes. Yes. We Were. Then being swept on the journey of a lifetime. Being one minute person in the midst of millions of people, but being in exactly the right place to be.

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Scoop of Monotony

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“In a child’s lunch box, a mother’s thoughts.” ~ Japanese Proverb

The packing of a school lunch can be the one thing that causes a scoop of monotony mixed with a pinch of dread to fill my soul.

Before packing a fresh lunch, first you have to retrieve the day-old lunch from a sticky slender 6 year old fingers or plump 3 year old’s fingers (in which the knuckles are still developing.)

First, I must figure out what to do with the leftovers, before starting to pack a new lunch.

First, I must tackle the lunchbox.

First, I must unzip the lunchbox.

I hate the way cool plump grapes return shriveled and lukewarm.

I hate the way brave cold peaks of hummus return huddled and hollowed in the corner of a Tupperware box.

I hate the routine of school.

I hate the way mornings are harsh and hurried, hurried and harsh. The once gentle morning light is now a reminder that time is passing rapidly and we must hurry to get to school on time.

I already miss the slow unhurried days of summer.

I am not a morning person so hurried morning routines are torturous for me.

But every negative has a positive.

The children gain a sense of routine and most importantly, knowledge.

With a few hours to myself here and there, I can attempt to get tasks done.

Or not.

The time in which little ones are at school sometimes flies the fastest.

So when dinner isn’t cooked and the time is hurrying by, there’s always the idea of breakfast for dinner.

Pancakes for dinner are quick and pancakes remind me of slow summer breakfasts.

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And if your little one starts the first week of school and decides to already catch a cold first week of school (!), there’s always chicken corn soup!

I am looking forward to the crisp bite of fall. By then I should be more adjusted to the morning routine! If you’re struggling like me, here’s a mother’s tips for speeding up the school lunch process as well as her routine. I tried her lunch tips this week and it’s an improvement!

Eggs to Eggs, Smiles to Smiles…

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This summer I haven’t strung my words together just so. Rather than write, I peruse blogs of mothers who have triple the number of children I have, whose homes are built on meadowy farm lands, and who collect warm eggs from hens.

I click and browse, browse and scroll and admire and bask in the warmth of their images, the smiles of their children, and their golden light at sunset.

I eventually exit out of the window, put down the screen, drive to the grocery store, and buy cold eggs from Kroger.

I do the grocery shopping mostly lighthearted because it is summer and I have nowhere to rush. Smiles emerge from my children when they choose the trolley with the plastic pink car or if they get a free balloon at the counter. Eggs to eggs. Smiles to smiles.

This summer has been good because it has been slow and it has been slow because it has been good. I love the feeling of waking up in the morning lazily not having to rush somewhere, not having to be somewhere at 8 am, not have to be on-the-go is deliciously free.

I love not having to bark back-to-school orders  Hurry Up, Brush Your Teeth, Go sit in the car, orders peppered with the occasional questions Do you have your book bag? Where are your shoes?

 

I would love to soak up the sun this last week before school starts, but Atlanta’s weather promises rain everyday. Not to worry. Rain promises blessings. Blessings promise good.

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pockets of rain on the left and right!

I only hope that when the school year begins that I can still create space and patience and time to do the things that sometimes only the season of summer promises. Late nights for children with cup fulls of Ovaltine, later nights for their parents and still Ovaltine. Visits to an aunt’s home with lake swims and hammock rests. Swim lessons for the girls in which a big sister comforts a small sister and her fear of water. This is Summer.

This is what Summer has promised us so far…

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Flower shopping at the farmer’s market

 

IMG_6768Under-the-Apple-Tree Reads with Cousins

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IMG_6756Hammock Snuggles and Comfort Children Stories!

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Me on the rowboat!

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IMG_6848A flustered ant on the boat!

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Grassy Toes
IMG_6527The Quest for the Perfect Lily Pad

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Surprise Popsicles from my aunt

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Summer Food

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5 year olds transformed into Helfpul Bag Pulling 6 year olds

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Comforting Hugs given to little sisters scared of the water!

Hoping that all the seasons to come will be savored as much as this one and that we each savor our time wisely!

“Take benefit of five before five: Your youth before your old age, your health before your sickness, your wealth before your poverty, your free time before you are preoccupied, and your life before your death” – Prophet Muhammad

12 Beautiful Things

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12 Beautiful Things I’ve Enjoyed:

  1. Video: Japanese high schoolers seeing a chick hatch outside its egg. Mind boggling!

  2. Do you dream of having kids one day? Touching article

  3. Ramadan series I’ve been enjoying – videos, or daily lectures here.

  4. Two brand new Ramadan picture books I want to check out: Drummer Girl and Owl & Cat: Ramadan Is…

  5. They’ve left me. Is this what an empty nest feels like?

  6. Can’t wait to read this memoir of Muhammad Ali (already put it on hold at my library!)

  7. Beautiful middle grade novel I loved

  8. Love this Blog lately for everything

  9. Heartwarming children’s book classic.

  10. never knew he had so many beautiful quotes; hence why I’m checking out #6 – article: 12 Times Muhammad Ali Showed Us The Incredible Power Of His Faith

  11. This hair brush helped me attempt to get Z to school on time

  12. I like this nail polish color in Sea Shell

Betrayal of Bodies and Minds

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I recently watched the Steven Hawking movie The Theory About Everything and was touched by Muhammad Ali’s death.

Muhammad Ali was a dynamic, strong, and vibrant athlete.

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Struck with Parkinson’s, he was forced to give up the athlete life he led. He found another path and became a passionate philanthropist.

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Steven Hawking was a happy-go-lucky scientist whose muscles slowly started to betray him. Not to worry, he too found another path and churned out a best-seller book A Brief History of Time.Eddie-Redmayne-stars-as-Stephen-Hawking.0.jpg

What do we do when something goes wrong?  Do we forge ahead and create another path? Or do we wallow? Or wallow for the time-being before creating a new path? Do we get stuck? Refuse to bloom?

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If we are a photographer, what do we do when we run out of film? or nowadays when our camera battery dies?

If we are a writer, what do we when our pen runs out of ink? when our words swim away into the impermeable ocean of writer’s block? when our ideas evaporate into a too-faraway cloud of writers block?

Do we keep trying? In Muhammad Ali’s case, fighting? Stephen Hawking, studying? For me– writing? photographing?

When we’re stuck, do we change it up and go outside, stare at the clouds, and feel the words that we’ve been searching for float back into our brains?

Do we put down the camera and see the world through two refreshed eyes rather than a bulky and tired camera lens?

Do we look for another path when our current path is blocked? When our bodies betray us, what will we have left? When our minds become soft become like butter left out too long, what will we have left?

Are we ready to leave this life to go to the next? (love Muhammad Ali’s words about this here.)

I hope and pray than even when obstacles turn up our way, and they will, that we have the courage to find our own path. To create a new path if needed. To bloom always and openly.

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President Obama on Muhammad Ali:

“Later, as his physical powers ebbed, he became an even more powerful force for peace and reconciliation around the world.  We saw a man who said he was so mean he’d make medicine sick reveal a soft spot, visiting children with illness and disability around the world, telling them they, too, could become the greatest.  We watched a hero light a torch, and fight his greatest fight of all on the world stage once again; a battle against the disease that ravaged his body, but couldn’t take the spark from his eyes.”

Hatching Hope

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I’m youth, I’m joy, I’m a little bird that has broken out of the egg. James M. Barrie

The beginning of summer is an amazing thing. For a couple months, I will shy away from packing any type of school lunches. I will purposefully avoid little Tupperware boxes, aluminium foil, and the random assortment of pantry snacks.  At Kroger I will happily avoid the aisle that has little lunch sized snacks.

Z’s plastic pocketed folder is fat and full of Kindergarten papers that are sorted through for the last time. Certain papers quietly recycled behind Z’s back; certain papers declaring Z’s love for her sister A with the letter ‘S’ drawn the wrong way with crooked colorful hearts stowed away in a little IKEA plastic box I just bought today for the purpose of saving those special papers that I can’t seem to part with just now.

I can’t wait for the days to become unstructured, for the routines to quietly slip away, and for summer to kick in.

Ramadan is starting in less than 10 days! It’s been nice to see my book pop up again here and there. In the meantime, I hope and pray that these last few days are productive and full of blessings for all.

Enjoying the below… a mourning dove made a nest in my petunia planter. I googled it and learned not to disturb the eggs so I stopped watering the poor petunias. I could have put a water globe but didn’t want to disturb the mother and her eggs anymore than I already had. Hence, why I wasn’t able to photograph the nest’s eggs. The mother and father dove swapped  places during the day and for 2 weeks have been dutifully sitting on their eggs. Today beautiful little dark glossy chicks awaited us! I love the mourning dove’s sounds – soothing and rhythmic. I don’t see them as mourning, rather as peaceful cooers! And I’m sure in this case, the parents were celebrating rather than mourning. My Celebrating Doves below …

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