A Normal Day

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A Normal Day

“Normal day, let me be aware of the treasure you are. Let me learn from you, love you, bless you before you depart. Let me not pass you by in quest of some rare and perfect tomorrow. Let me hold you while I may, for it may not always be so. One day I shall dig my nails into the earth, or bury my face in the pillow, or stretch myself taut, or raise my hands to the sky and want, more than all the world, your return.”

― Mary Jean Irion

You've been asking us to hold you a lot lately. Asking me, especially. Hold you at the bus stop. Hold you in the kitchen. Hold you at the park. Hold you on the stairs. And I love it, but you are a big kid. No denying that. You are big and solid and my body is terribly weak and often tired. So I hold you, but not for very long. I wonder if you can sense you are entering big-kid territory, and need the extra comfort? Or now I leave for work in the mornings and our routine around the house is very different and maybe you are missing me? Maybe there is no real reason at all, except who doesn't like to be held from time to time? If daddy is around, I pass you off, and feel a pang of guilt and a little sadness that I can't hold you for very long. But then, I catch this face, and that smile, and I know his arms are just as good as mine. His love is just as real. And you are held, in our arms and in our hearts and in that space we create where we all can go back to fitting on someone's hip, in someone's arm, on someone's shoulder.  Photo by Olivia Gatti Instagram :: Website

You've been asking us to hold you a lot lately. Asking me, especially. Hold you at the bus stop. Hold you in the kitchen. Hold you at the park. Hold you on the stairs. And I love it, but you are a big kid. No denying that. You are big and solid and my body is terribly weak and often tired. So I hold you, but not for very long. I wonder if you can sense you are entering big-kid territory, and need the extra comfort? Or now I leave for work in the mornings and our routine around the house is very different and maybe you are missing me? Maybe there is no real reason at all, except who doesn't like to be held from time to time? If daddy is around, I pass you off, and feel a pang of guilt and a little sadness that I can't hold you for very long. But then, I catch this face, and that smile, and I know his arms are just as good as mine. His love is just as real. And you are held, in our arms and in our hearts and in that space we create where we all can go back to fitting on someone's hip, in someone's arm, on someone's shoulder. 

Photo by Olivia Gatti

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 i was just about to turn at the corner.  that corner that leads us out of our neighborhood.  the one that takes us to the busy streets that we must travel on to get you to school.  some mornings are harder than others for me to make this drive.  it isn't a long one.  just an emotional one.  i always wondered if i sent your siblings off into the world too quickly.  you have wanted it for what seems like forever though.  it is just me that is doing the feet dragging.  and there is always something that i can't live without preserving.  so instead of turning at the corner, i do a u-turn.  back home we go so i can retrieve my camera.  so i can make sure to always remember these bittersweet morning drives.  "but we'll be late" you say.  you think i am crazy.  the truth is my love, i am crazy.  crazy in love with you.  Photo by Heather Robinson Photography Blog :: Facebook

 i was just about to turn at the corner.  that corner that leads us out of our neighborhood.  the one that takes us to the busy streets that we must travel on to get you to school.  some mornings are harder than others for me to make this drive.  it isn't a long one.  just an emotional one.  i always wondered if i sent your siblings off into the world too quickly.  you have wanted it for what seems like forever though.  it is just me that is doing the feet dragging.  and there is always something that i can't live without preserving.  so instead of turning at the corner, i do a u-turn.  back home we go so i can retrieve my camera.  so i can make sure to always remember these bittersweet morning drives.  "but we'll be late" you say.  you think i am crazy.  the truth is my love, i am crazy.  crazy in love with you. 

Photo by Heather Robinson Photography

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August | 2017

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August | 2017

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July | 2017

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July | 2017

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A Normal Day

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A Normal Day

“Normal day, let me be aware of the treasure you are. Let me learn from you, love you, bless you before you depart. Let me not pass you by in quest of some rare and perfect tomorrow. Let me hold you while I may, for it may not always be so. One day I shall dig my nails into the earth, or bury my face in the pillow, or stretch myself taut, or raise my hands to the sky and want, more than all the world, your return.”

― Mary Jean Irion

 Grace has escaped me. It's beginning to show in the things I do, my daily life. For two years I have felt it slipping, and wasn't even sure what to call it then. In fact, the closer I came to defining my grace, the more I could see it was growing thinner and what passed as grace was an exhausting act of kindness and patience with no deep roots. I've started and stopped so many times now, to get better, to get rooted, to give myself the care that grace needs to grow again. I have the maps. I have the plans, the chants, the songs, the hope, the desire, the fear. I read the books, the cards, the skies. And when it feels the messiest, and usually is the messiest, it is with these girls who first gave me the glimpse of grace that I know I'm going to make it. We ran to the ocean, in less than ten minutes we left the house behind and all our activities paused mid-play, and we ran into the water and it was so cold it was shocking. It was the perfect kick in the ass to get my head on straight and hold onto my grace and get it to grow again. Photo by Olivia Gatti Facebook :: Website

 Grace has escaped me. It's beginning to show in the things I do, my daily life. For two years I have felt it slipping, and wasn't even sure what to call it then. In fact, the closer I came to defining my grace, the more I could see it was growing thinner and what passed as grace was an exhausting act of kindness and patience with no deep roots. I've started and stopped so many times now, to get better, to get rooted, to give myself the care that grace needs to grow again. I have the maps. I have the plans, the chants, the songs, the hope, the desire, the fear. I read the books, the cards, the skies. And when it feels the messiest, and usually is the messiest, it is with these girls who first gave me the glimpse of grace that I know I'm going to make it. We ran to the ocean, in less than ten minutes we left the house behind and all our activities paused mid-play, and we ran into the water and it was so cold it was shocking. It was the perfect kick in the ass to get my head on straight and hold onto my grace and get it to grow again.

Photo by Olivia Gatti

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today i did things that i once did often.  they felt good to revisit.  really they felt better than good.  they felt just right.  they fit me.  it’s like pulling on a pair of old, comfy jeans for the first time after many months of not wearing them.  you noticed how well they fit too. i couldn’t even remember how long it had been since i took you to the library.  but today it was just you, me, and the baby so i made it happen. normally when your older siblings are in tow, i am too weighed down with anxiety to attempt this type of outing.  but today was different.  we checked out several books and on the way home the baby fell asleep in the car.  while he slept, you and i read books together in the front yard.  the sun was shining on the tops of our heads but it didn’t feel too hot.  instead it felt just right.  Photo by Heather Robinson Photography Blog :: Facebook

today i did things that i once did often.  they felt good to revisit.  really they felt better than good.  they felt just right.  they fit me.  it’s like pulling on a pair of old, comfy jeans for the first time after many months of not wearing them.  you noticed how well they fit too. i couldn’t even remember how long it had been since i took you to the library.  but today it was just you, me, and the baby so i made it happen. normally when your older siblings are in tow, i am too weighed down with anxiety to attempt this type of outing.  but today was different.  we checked out several books and on the way home the baby fell asleep in the car.  while he slept, you and i read books together in the front yard.  the sun was shining on the tops of our heads but it didn’t feel too hot.  instead it felt just right. 

Photo by Heather Robinson Photography

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June | 2017

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June | 2017

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A Saturday Evening at Home

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A Saturday Evening at Home

Backyards, brothers, mothers, the kitchen table, games. The bathtub, story-time, baby chicks, football. Forsythia, bare feet, bar-b-q, kisses. Newlyweds, blueberry dessert, the swing set, forever.

Thank you for sharing your beautiful, busy, and loving every-day with me. 

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May | 2017

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May | 2017

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A Normal Day

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A Normal Day

“Normal day, let me be aware of the treasure you are. Let me learn from you, love you, bless you before you depart. Let me not pass you by in quest of some rare and perfect tomorrow. Let me hold you while I may, for it may not always be so. One day I shall dig my nails into the earth, or bury my face in the pillow, or stretch myself taut, or raise my hands to the sky and want, more than all the world, your return.”

― Mary Jean Irion

I was away from you all for nearly a week. In another country, across the Atlantic. The whole time I was there I was thinking about how much I wanted to show you everything I was seeing. That experiencing it without you made me feel a little hollow. I missed you all, but I also loved the missing you. It made me sharper in my seeing of the world and more appreciative of all I have to come back home to. Welcome home.  Photo by Olivia Gatti Facebook :: Website

I was away from you all for nearly a week. In another country, across the Atlantic. The whole time I was there I was thinking about how much I wanted to show you everything I was seeing. That experiencing it without you made me feel a little hollow. I missed you all, but I also loved the missing you. It made me sharper in my seeing of the world and more appreciative of all I have to come back home to. Welcome home. 

Photo by Olivia Gatti

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when you were in the early days of our life together, you would fall asleep suddenly without me knowing it at first.  i would be holding you in one arm (you were once so tiny) as i walked around the kitchen cooking dinner with my one free hand.  i would feel your body get heavier and look down at you sound asleep.  today i gave you a bath after lunch.  you were sitting in the tub with your back to me.  you let out one weak whimper so i quickly bent over the tub to pick you up and wrap you in a towel.  as i stood up i felt the heaviness.  i leaned your body back into my arms so that i could finally see your face.  your sleeping face.  i was certain you would wake when i placed you on your changing table.  but you continued to sleep even as i dressed you and carried you out to the car to do the school pick up.  it was as if this past year had been merely a dream and you were still my brand new baby who could fall into a deep beautiful sleep no matter where you were.  Photo by Heather Robinson Photography Blog :: Facebook

when you were in the early days of our life together, you would fall asleep suddenly without me knowing it at first.  i would be holding you in one arm (you were once so tiny) as i walked around the kitchen cooking dinner with my one free hand.  i would feel your body get heavier and look down at you sound asleep.  today i gave you a bath after lunch.  you were sitting in the tub with your back to me.  you let out one weak whimper so i quickly bent over the tub to pick you up and wrap you in a towel.  as i stood up i felt the heaviness.  i leaned your body back into my arms so that i could finally see your face.  your sleeping face.  i was certain you would wake when i placed you on your changing table.  but you continued to sleep even as i dressed you and carried you out to the car to do the school pick up.  it was as if this past year had been merely a dream and you were still my brand new baby who could fall into a deep beautiful sleep no matter where you were. 

Photo by Heather Robinson Photography

Blog :: Facebook

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A Normal Day

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A Normal Day

“Normal day, let me be aware of the treasure you are. Let me learn from you, love you, bless you before you depart. Let me not pass you by in quest of some rare and perfect tomorrow. Let me hold you while I may, for it may not always be so. One day I shall dig my nails into the earth, or bury my face in the pillow, or stretch myself taut, or raise my hands to the sky and want, more than all the world, your return.”

― Mary Jean Irion

Caught her in the light for one shot as she headed off to school this morning. She's only just 10, but I can see the woman she'll be in her poise and movements. This shot was simply needed to freeze her like this for me, for always. Photo by Olivia Gatti Facebook :: Website

Caught her in the light for one shot as she headed off to school this morning. She's only just 10, but I can see the woman she'll be in her poise and movements. This shot was simply needed to freeze her like this for me, for always.

Photo by Olivia Gatti

Facebook :: Website


today i asked if i could take your photograph with the flowers you gave me for mother’s day.  i ask you now to take your photograph as a sign of my growing respect for your privacy.  you said yes to my request but you did as you have always done over the past seven years.  you looked away.  even when you were a baby and i was just starting out in photography, you made me work to capture your gaze.  and it was never in my direction.  i would make funny sounds at first.  later i began to tell you stories.  and then i just surrendered to the fact that i needed to take photographs of you regardless of whether you were looking away.  i began to take your pictures while you were unaware of me.  today i asked you if you liked being photographed by me.  you said, “yes” looking in my direction for what felt like a millisecond.  not long enough for my shutter speed.  i asked you if you ever felt like i took too many photos.  you looked out the window as if searching outside for the answer.  i know you didn’t want to hurt my feelings so you said, “maybe every once in a while.”  i smiled and asked you if you ever wished that i didn’t take photos of you.  and then your eyes shifted quickly in my direction searching to see my own eyes behind the camera.  i pressed the shutter.  with a sadness in your voice, you said, “but then how would i exist?”   i told you that these photos i take of you will last for a very very long time.  while they are proof of your existence, they are not what makes you exist.   this wasn’t enough for you.  i set my camera down and our eyes met.  you asked me how i would remember that you existed if i never made photos of you.  i told you that if i couldn’t capture you with my camera, i would learn to paint so i could paint you on a canvas, or i would learn to sculpt so i could sculpt a statue of you, or i would use my words to write stories about you.  i would do whatever it took to make sure you would always be remembered.  at this you looked away.  and while i could no longer capture your gaze, i could see the smile that now rested on your lips.  my hand instinctively reached out touching my camera beside me.   then i stopped myself.  now would not become a “maybe every once in while.”  instead, i would paint this memory of you straight onto my heart.  Photo by Heather Robinson Photography Blog :: Facebook

today i asked if i could take your photograph with the flowers you gave me for mother’s day.  i ask you now to take your photograph as a sign of my growing respect for your privacy.  you said yes to my request but you did as you have always done over the past seven years.  you looked away.  even when you were a baby and i was just starting out in photography, you made me work to capture your gaze.  and it was never in my direction.  i would make funny sounds at first.  later i began to tell you stories.  and then i just surrendered to the fact that i needed to take photographs of you regardless of whether you were looking away.  i began to take your pictures while you were unaware of me.  today i asked you if you liked being photographed by me.  you said, “yes” looking in my direction for what felt like a millisecond.  not long enough for my shutter speed.  i asked you if you ever felt like i took too many photos.  you looked out the window as if searching outside for the answer.  i know you didn’t want to hurt my feelings so you said, “maybe every once in a while.”  i smiled and asked you if you ever wished that i didn’t take photos of you.  and then your eyes shifted quickly in my direction searching to see my own eyes behind the camera.  i pressed the shutter.  with a sadness in your voice, you said, “but then how would i exist?”   i told you that these photos i take of you will last for a very very long time.  while they are proof of your existence, they are not what makes you exist.   this wasn’t enough for you.  i set my camera down and our eyes met.  you asked me how i would remember that you existed if i never made photos of you.  i told you that if i couldn’t capture you with my camera, i would learn to paint so i could paint you on a canvas, or i would learn to sculpt so i could sculpt a statue of you, or i would use my words to write stories about you.  i would do whatever it took to make sure you would always be remembered.  at this you looked away.  and while i could no longer capture your gaze, i could see the smile that now rested on your lips.  my hand instinctively reached out touching my camera beside me.   then i stopped myself.  now would not become a “maybe every once in while.”  instead, i would paint this memory of you straight onto my heart. 

Photo by Heather Robinson Photography

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April | 2017

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April | 2017

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March | 2017

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March | 2017

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An Afternoon in New Hampshire

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An Afternoon in New Hampshire

If I had to say there was one family I truly started with, it would be this one. Momma and I became fast friends when she came to my library's story time years back. Long after the other parents, caretakers and kids left, she and I and her daughter would sit on the floor and talk and talk and talk about parenting and life. Fast forward a bit, and we were both pregnant together (she with her second and I with my third). And now we wait for baby number three. In all this time she has had me to document their beautiful life's celebrations and every-days. This session was so special because both she and I, independent of each other, wanted to try milk bath photography. Yet another moment we laughed and laughed, kindred spirits sharing the same idea. A full collaboration. A very full heart.

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A Saturday Afternoon in New York

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A Saturday Afternoon in New York

Meeting this fellow Long Islander, change maker, mover and shaker, and her talented and awesome husband a few days before the birth of their first child was easy. Yes. Easy. They had just moved into their temporary apartment only a few days before I arrived, and it was no sweat. This couple is so used to being nomads, going where the political or activism winds should take them, they truly embody the idea that "home" is simply wherever they are when they are together. I send them both much love and luck on their new journey with their new traveling partner, a healthy baby girl. xo

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A Normal Day

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A Normal Day

“Normal day, let me be aware of the treasure you are. Let me learn from you, love you, bless you before you depart. Let me not pass you by in quest of some rare and perfect tomorrow. Let me hold you while I may, for it may not always be so. One day I shall dig my nails into the earth, or bury my face in the pillow, or stretch myself taut, or raise my hands to the sky and want, more than all the world, your return.”

― Mary Jean Irion

We walk the fine line between make-believe and Musical.ly. Between blanket forts and Minecraft. Strange, new world for us all.  Photo by Olivia Gatti Facebook :: Website

We walk the fine line between make-believe and Musical.ly. Between blanket forts and Minecraft. Strange, new world for us all. 

Photo by Olivia Gatti

Facebook :: Website


it doesn’t matter how tall and lean you get.  you are still my baby.  you are the baby that i dreamt of long before you were you.  you are the one who slept on my heart that first year as i walked up and down the hills for hours each day.  when i became pregnant with your little sister, i worried that you might never forgive me for offering that space to another baby.  thank goodness you fell for her instantly.  the love that once watered my soul now rained down on her.  and she grew heartily because of it.  but i missed it.  i missed our nearness.  years passed and along came your baby brother.  he reminds me of you not just in the way he looks but in the way he looks at me.  the way he nourishes my soul.  he now resides over my heart. i think you have forgiven me.  i believe that you understand that my heart stretches just like your arms and legs.  it expands to make room for each and every one of my babies.   Photo by Heather Robinson Photography Blog :: Facebook

it doesn’t matter how tall and lean you get.  you are still my baby.  you are the baby that i dreamt of long before you were you.  you are the one who slept on my heart that first year as i walked up and down the hills for hours each day.  when i became pregnant with your little sister, i worried that you might never forgive me for offering that space to another baby.  thank goodness you fell for her instantly.  the love that once watered my soul now rained down on her.  and she grew heartily because of it.  but i missed it.  i missed our nearness.  years passed and along came your baby brother.  he reminds me of you not just in the way he looks but in the way he looks at me.  the way he nourishes my soul.  he now resides over my heart. i think you have forgiven me.  i believe that you understand that my heart stretches just like your arms and legs.  it expands to make room for each and every one of my babies.  

Photo by Heather Robinson Photography

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February | 2017

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February | 2017

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A Normal Day

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A Normal Day

“Normal day, let me be aware of the treasure you are. Let me learn from you, love you, bless you before you depart. Let me not pass you by in quest of some rare and perfect tomorrow. Let me hold you while I may, for it may not always be so. One day I shall dig my nails into the earth, or bury my face in the pillow, or stretch myself taut, or raise my hands to the sky and want, more than all the world, your return.”

― Mary Jean Irion

I ride the pendulum of you every day. From one moment to the next and back again, I feel it all. You are perfect. This is a disaster. Where did you go? I don't know how to do this. I want you to have everything, like everyone else. You will. You won't. Are you happy? Am I? And finally, always, how could life be any better? This is exactly how it should be. And so, it is. I step off the ride for a bit. I become grounded. This is where the love grows best, naturally. When I am grounded, my roots take hold. I look at you. I see you. Photo by Olivia Gatti Facebook :: Website

I ride the pendulum of you every day. From one moment to the next and back again, I feel it all. You are perfect. This is a disaster. Where did you go? I don't know how to do this. I want you to have everything, like everyone else. You will. You won't. Are you happy? Am I? And finally, always, how could life be any better? This is exactly how it should be. And so, it is. I step off the ride for a bit. I become grounded. This is where the love grows best, naturally. When I am grounded, my roots take hold. I look at you. I see you.

Photo by Olivia Gatti

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last night the older three went to have sleepovers with their grandparents.  you were my one and only.  i am trying to remember if this was our one and only night without them.  i guess there were those days in the hospital seven months ago.  those days that now feel like a lifetime ago.  i didn’t particularly enjoy those days as much as i enjoyed last night.  we didn’t do much with our alone time.  just slept and slept and slept a little more.  pretty perfect really.  Photo by Heather Robinson Photography Blog :: Facebook

last night the older three went to have sleepovers with their grandparents.  you were my one and only.  i am trying to remember if this was our one and only night without them.  i guess there were those days in the hospital seven months ago.  those days that now feel like a lifetime ago.  i didn’t particularly enjoy those days as much as i enjoyed last night.  we didn’t do much with our alone time.  just slept and slept and slept a little more.  pretty perfect really. 

Photo by Heather Robinson Photography

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January | 2017

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January | 2017

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Two Seasons

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Two Seasons

We met during two very different seasons. Summer, a time for growth. Winter, a time for hibernation. A perfect metaphor for pregnancy and infancy. This little one shines with that truth, too. She has been kissed by the sun's rays and embraced by loving arms in a warm shelter. Stories like these make my heart sing. Life is beautiful. The cycle of the seasons is in us all. This family is simply wonderful. 

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