Category Archives: Motherhood

Fela’s One Year Photo Session!

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I had the opportunity to take Fela’s one year photos last week! This is my last summer session! I may be scheduling photosessions in the fall and will keep you posted. If you think Fela looks a little familiar, you are right as he is related to Jasiah, a previous little client of mine! To see Jasiah’s one year photo session click here.

Like his cousin Jasiah, Fela started walking early! He was running before he even turned 1!  I love photographing smaller children and seeing them mature from a sleepy newborn into a squirmy smiley six month old to a running one year old is a beautiful feeling! I got to see Fela’s cousin Jasiah morph from a six month told a toddler and I hope I get to see Fela mature too!

Enjoy Fela’s session below!

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One Year Old Session!

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It’s a magical blessing to see your baby grow, but it passes somewhat in a haze! When I get to photograph repeat clients, I really see how they grow. Here are a few of this mommy-baby duo from a sleepy newborn on a spring day to an alert 6 month old in the fall to their one year old birthday session in April! I feel privileged to have photographed their motherhood/infanthood journey thus far!

 

I love the joy these two exude and the comfort this little (who is so rapidly growing!) one seeks in his mother’s arms.

IMG_4968-2The newborn stage!IMG_8792-2IMG_8846-2IMG_8873-46 months Later!IMG_0996IMG_0998IMG_1067 - CopyIMG_1023 - CopyIMG_1047-2I love the joy of these 2!IMG_1049 - CopyOne of my faves!IMG_1052IMG_1053-3IMG_1060 - CopyIMG_1098IMG_1113IMG_1115trying to light the candle!cake smash!!IMG_1156IMG_1159IMG_1161IMG_1162IMG_1166

Weaving a Web of Fragile Silence…

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I have dropped of Z to school, and there’s just A and me in the car. The car is mostly silent. Thoughts whirl around us.

Before, I used to attempt to fill in the silence with meaningless prattle.

Are you excited about school today?

We’re almost there.

I hope you have a good day.

Now, I appreciate the silence and let it be.

I decrease the amount of questions. Now, we enjoy the quiet.

When we pick up Z later that afternoon, the silence is instantly sucked out of the car.

Words and stories bounce around the car excitedly.

As a child, I used to be much more like Z. Sometimes I still am. My words used to tumble out, sometimes carelessly here and there. Incessant chatter.

Now, I appreciate the quiet. I cherish it.

When A tinkers with the quiet after a day of preschool, I try not to knock our fragile web of silence down, but rather help weave it up.

In the silence moments I get, my thoughts swirl gently. New sentences for emerging manuscripts come to life. My mind slowly refreshes.

I am ready again for volume.

 

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Some images below of our spring break and before….

 

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great grandmother snuggles!

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baking time!

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A Sealed Book

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I was driving through my neighborhood when I saw a couple of other mothers strolling with their toddlers in the neighborhood. Meantime, I was rushing home from the drop off of my now mostly school-aged little ones. The sunlight was just spilling over onto the road and I couldn’t help missing my days that were slower paced, more rush-free. Less Car. More Home. Less Drives. More Strolls.

I drove back home where the sunlight hadn’t reached my kitchen yet, where the eggshells were still on the counter.

Reading blogger and author Kelle Hampton’s blog, I found her words resonated with me. Kelle talks about being in the Middle Stage of Childhood where she says,

“The introduction of my parenting book is over, and the relentless work of the middle place is here where rewards aren’t as shimmery as feeling newborn baby breath on my neck. And yet, they’re here…

I have similar answers for all the “Do you miss?” questions.

“Do you miss teaching?”

I miss the first day of school. Pencil boxes. Memorizing all my students’ names in one day. Making them feel loved. Writing lessons. Taping great vocabulary words to the wall and seeing them pop up in the kids’ stories. After lunch read alouds.

But…I look for, find and create what I miss: the homework corner in my office with the jar of freshly sharpened pencils that smell like September. Tucking my kids in bed at night, nailing all the character voices from another chapter of Ramona Quimby, Age 8. Tagging along for field trips. Guest speaking about memoir in my friend’s 8th grade writing class.

“Do you miss when they were babies?

I miss fingers curled around mine, snug sleepers, nursing in the middle of the night, walking into their rooms to check on them sleeping only to find them peeping through the crib slats. I miss sandwich bags stashed with Cheerios and peach puffs, tiny bodies glued to my hip, heavy heads resting on my shoulder as they fight their naps.

But…I look for, find and create what I miss: tickling their faces to put them to sleep, big-kid sleepers that still fit snug, catching occasional pincher grasps for goldfish crackers and pretzel stick snacks, nose-to-nose bedtime snuggles, holding little hands as I lead them into classrooms, mispronounced words, so many firsts still to come.

I too am like Kelle where I am in this middle stage where my little children are not-so-little. Where frantic school-drop-offs replace late morning walks on weekdays. Where Z’s teeth are all sorts of wobbly and it’s amazing how with one tooth missing, the faces of children all of a sudden look so big!

Sometimes I miss the old stages where my children’s cheeks were softer and fuller and where their first footsteps were still wobbly and unsure. I can see an old photo or watch a video of their first steps, but I can never go back.

And as much as I want to skim the pages forward in these chapters of life to get a sneak peek of what’s to come, I can’t. The past pages are glued together, and no matter how much I pry to get back, I can’t. The future pages are blank and I hope full of promise. I don’t know how many pages or chapters I will get though. It’s like life is a sealed book and the only pages we are on are today.

A Sealed Book. A reminder to me to focus on today. Sometimes so hard when emails are flurrying back and forth, meat is defrosting in the microwave, saucy pots await you in the sink, and laundry likes to take its company quietly with other likeminded items slowly piling on the floor. Hard to focus on today when children need to be picked up, dropped off, homework checked,

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and so much more!

But trying to find a little bit of peace here and there …

img_7663leaves that beg to be picked up!

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a broken winged, yet beautiful, butterfly enjoying its lunch on our deck! Harsh sunlight forced me to try different angles to capture more compelling images.img_7462img_7455img_7435img_7384Post Eid-Mehndi-Fingers!img_7382img_7381img_7274

my brother’s homemade eclairs on Eid!img_7275img_7221img_7223img_7222img_7225

The $3.29 for pre-rolled-out-Publix-Dough is worth the price as the effort is cut in half! Just bought it yesterday and was much quicker!img_7241img_7251img_7254img_7218img_7210img_7194img_7186img_7159img_7154Peekaboo dolls in my bowls cabinet!

More later!

“And with Him are the keys of the unseen treasures– none knows them but He; and He knows what is in the land and the sea, and there falls not a leaf but He knows it, nor a grain in the darkness of the earth, nor anything green nor dry but (it is all) in a clear book.” – Quran 6:59

 

 

 

 

 

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!

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

Snap, Crackle, Pop

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I am sitting on Z’s bed trying to get the bedtime routine over and done with a quick read aloud when A joins us with her little metal Mickey Mouse lunch box and proceeds to open up her lunch box on Z’s bed.

I am ready to snap at her. Don’t open that on Z’s bed. Open it over there. I don’t want crumbly things and mess all over Z’s bed. Somehow, I don’t snap. I just watch.

She proceeds to open the box with caution and rather than devouring her crackly package snacks, she asks each of us which snack we want before gently closing the box up and neatly stowing it away.

How many times have you wanted to snap at someone or something only to wait that extra minute and realize the snapping, the cracking, the popping wasn’t necessary? That if you waited and watched and held your breath and tongue that the moment would pass and you see the good not the bad?

I don’t do it enough, but am trying to. Photography has a way of soothing me. If I photograph overturned cereal on the floor, then I am less likely to scold. If I wait just a minute before scolding, then I am less likely to scold. Snap, Crackle and Pop be-gone.

Enjoying Spring below…IMG_3893IMG_3909IMG_3915IMG_3929IMG_3940IMG_3944IMG_3983IMG_3987IMG_3988IMG_3999IMG_4015IMG_4034-2IMG_4045