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A Normal Day

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

 She told me that she missed doing things with me outside. We go out most days, even the cold one. We dig tunnels and make slides. We play army. We walk on frozen streams. We sled. She and I haven't been in such harmony in ages, it feels like. And it was such a simple fix, such a simple way to reconnect. Just get outside. And play.   Photo by Olivia Gatti     Facebook  ::  Website

She told me that she missed doing things with me outside. We go out most days, even the cold one. We dig tunnels and make slides. We play army. We walk on frozen streams. We sled. She and I haven't been in such harmony in ages, it feels like. And it was such a simple fix, such a simple way to reconnect. Just get outside. And play.

Photo by Olivia Gatti

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 you now say all of their names.  to you, they are “deh”, “do duh”, and “suh suh”.  you and i talk about them a lot during the day. i think it helps you feel less lonely while they are away.   Photo by Heather Robinson Photography     Blog  ::  Facebook

you now say all of their names.  to you, they are “deh”, “do duh”, and “suh suh”.  you and i talk about them a lot during the day. i think it helps you feel less lonely while they are away.

Photo by Heather Robinson Photography

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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 have suffered from seasonal affective disorder all my adult life, each year getting worse and worse. But this year, with some wonderful guidance and deep, dark soul and energy work, I finally cracked the sadness. In fact, I came to find the sadness beautiful when it came around, but more so, I found ways to feel more excited, hopeful, and inspired. No more dealing with it, counting the days. I became ever-present in the weather, the cold, the dark. And the biggest secret: I started to look to the skies. I started following the lunar cycles and celebrating them with small rituals. I stand beneath the stars and ponder the space between them. We skate on frozen streams at sunset. And I share this all with you. You see, it is all inside you. Every. Single. Thing. And if you simply sit with that knowledge, you can start to find peace and freedom. My sweet child, this is it. It is beautiful.   Photo by Olivia Gatti     Facebook  ::  Website

I have suffered from seasonal affective disorder all my adult life, each year getting worse and worse. But this year, with some wonderful guidance and deep, dark soul and energy work, I finally cracked the sadness. In fact, I came to find the sadness beautiful when it came around, but more so, I found ways to feel more excited, hopeful, and inspired. No more dealing with it, counting the days. I became ever-present in the weather, the cold, the dark. And the biggest secret: I started to look to the skies. I started following the lunar cycles and celebrating them with small rituals. I stand beneath the stars and ponder the space between them. We skate on frozen streams at sunset. And I share this all with you. You see, it is all inside you. Every. Single. Thing. And if you simply sit with that knowledge, you can start to find peace and freedom. My sweet child, this is it. It is beautiful.

Photo by Olivia Gatti

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 we had lots of time to talk over these past couple weeks of winter break.  there were many conversations about how hard this school year has been on your sweet heart.  friendship or the lack thereof has weighed you down much more than i ever could have imagined.  you are only in second grade and already you seem resigned to this idea that no one will ever like you.  i have tried and tried to convince you that this simply isn’t the truth.  i wish you could open your eyes wide enough to see what is right here in front of you.  i know these people aren’t exactly what you think you want or need right now but these little souls adore you and years from now when you are grown and you are surrounded by others who love and respect you, i hope you will remember these people who loved you right from the start.  there is nothing truer than this.    Photo by Heather Robinson Photography     Blog  ::  Facebook

we had lots of time to talk over these past couple weeks of winter break.  there were many conversations about how hard this school year has been on your sweet heart.  friendship or the lack thereof has weighed you down much more than i ever could have imagined.  you are only in second grade and already you seem resigned to this idea that no one will ever like you.  i have tried and tried to convince you that this simply isn’t the truth.  i wish you could open your eyes wide enough to see what is right here in front of you.  i know these people aren’t exactly what you think you want or need right now but these little souls adore you and years from now when you are grown and you are surrounded by others who love and respect you, i hope you will remember these people who loved you right from the start.  there is nothing truer than this. 

Photo by Heather Robinson Photography

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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

 A year ago, we were concerned with how little you interacted with your peers. And to be fair, you were in a mixed-age classroom, where the older kids seemed way wiser and more together than most four and five year olds. And you were just three. And you had fallen into the fog. You were happy, but not interested in anyone beyond your family. I was sure it was the end of the world. I was sure you would never have a friend or play like a "typical" kid. Fear consumed me. I let it. And I did everything I could to hide the fear from everyone, especially you. Fast forward to today, and you are transformed. Are you what the charts and doctors say you should be? What the hell do I care. We work on it all, but I don't feel the fear, and you still are as happy as can be AND you have friends. Time. Milestones. Expectations. I'm learning to let these constraints all go. I'm enjoying you as you are, when you are, where you are. It's amazing.   Photo by Olivia Gatti     Instagram  ::  Website

A year ago, we were concerned with how little you interacted with your peers. And to be fair, you were in a mixed-age classroom, where the older kids seemed way wiser and more together than most four and five year olds. And you were just three. And you had fallen into the fog. You were happy, but not interested in anyone beyond your family. I was sure it was the end of the world. I was sure you would never have a friend or play like a "typical" kid. Fear consumed me. I let it. And I did everything I could to hide the fear from everyone, especially you. Fast forward to today, and you are transformed. Are you what the charts and doctors say you should be? What the hell do I care. We work on it all, but I don't feel the fear, and you still are as happy as can be AND you have friends. Time. Milestones. Expectations. I'm learning to let these constraints all go. I'm enjoying you as you are, when you are, where you are. It's amazing.

Photo by Olivia Gatti

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 the biggest shocker was the fact that mama didn't shed a single tear. perhaps this is because there on that booth sat my living and breathing proof that the hair would grow back. and at a freakish speed. is having "mirror children" with whom i get to do "do overs" the same as a mother's wisdom? probably not. but gliding through a big moment without a big reaction still felt rather grown up of me. maybe that is what the six of us are doing here. we are all growing up together.   Photo by Heather Robinson Photography     Blog  ::  Facebook

the biggest shocker was the fact that mama didn't shed a single tear. perhaps this is because there on that booth sat my living and breathing proof that the hair would grow back. and at a freakish speed. is having "mirror children" with whom i get to do "do overs" the same as a mother's wisdom? probably not. but gliding through a big moment without a big reaction still felt rather grown up of me. maybe that is what the six of us are doing here. we are all growing up together.

Photo by Heather Robinson Photography

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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

 You love the kitties so much. SO much. And you think you are one, too. From what I know about kitties, though, they are quiet and stealthy and sleepy and calm(ish). You are way more like a kitty-preschooler hybrid, who stomps and runs and growls her purrs.   Photo by Olivia Gatti     Instagram  ::  Website

You love the kitties so much. SO much. And you think you are one, too. From what I know about kitties, though, they are quiet and stealthy and sleepy and calm(ish). You are way more like a kitty-preschooler hybrid, who stomps and runs and growls her purrs.

Photo by Olivia Gatti

Instagram :: Website


 "catch and release"  time is running out. i can no longer hold you whenever i need to. you are flying through these days just like the rest of them. i have to catch you in my arms and press you to my heart. but only for a moment. and then you give me no choice but to release you.   Photo by Heather Robinson Photography     Blog  ::  Facebook

"catch and release"

time is running out. i can no longer hold you whenever i need to. you are flying through these days just like the rest of them. i have to catch you in my arms and press you to my heart. but only for a moment. and then you give me no choice but to release you.

Photo by Heather Robinson Photography

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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

 Not many kids get to have the first New York City experience like you and your sisters had. We did nothing touristy, but everything real, if not a bit above and beyond my typical previous city life. We lived the high life, partied on roof tops, basked in the unseasonably warm October sun on terraced balconies. We ran in party dresses through midtown at rush hour. We took over restaurants in the Meatpacking and asked every cab and Uber driver what their favorite Halloween candy was. We sat in giant picture windows and watched our street below become a flower and plant market everyday. We finagled our way into wholesale jewelry stores and bought more glittery baubles than should be allowed. And we danced.    Photo by Olivia Gatti     Instagram  ::  Website

Not many kids get to have the first New York City experience like you and your sisters had. We did nothing touristy, but everything real, if not a bit above and beyond my typical previous city life. We lived the high life, partied on roof tops, basked in the unseasonably warm October sun on terraced balconies. We ran in party dresses through midtown at rush hour. We took over restaurants in the Meatpacking and asked every cab and Uber driver what their favorite Halloween candy was. We sat in giant picture windows and watched our street below become a flower and plant market everyday. We finagled our way into wholesale jewelry stores and bought more glittery baubles than should be allowed. And we danced. 

Photo by Olivia Gatti

Instagram :: Website


 "adorning the creek house"  you and i found some lovely lace curtains at the antique store today.  i wondered if they were going to provide enough privacy in that bedroom.  i said, "stand in front of the window.   i am going outside to look in and see if i can see you through the lace."   Photo by Heather Robinson Photography     Blog  ::  Facebook

"adorning the creek house"

you and i found some lovely lace curtains at the antique store today.  i wondered if they were going to provide enough privacy in that bedroom.  i said, "stand in front of the window.   i am going outside to look in and see if i can see you through the lace."

Photo by Heather Robinson Photography

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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

 Now you are four.   Photo by Olivia Gatti     Instagram  ::  Website

Now you are four.

Photo by Olivia Gatti

Instagram :: Website

 Now you are four.   Photo by Heather Robinson Photography     Blog  ::  Facebook

Now you are four.

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

 Lost in a dream. You and I. I'm getting closer to you, I can feel it. You have more to say now and even started asking questions that make sense in the moment. We practice human speech everyday, everywhere. It is happening. I really can feel it. But just as big and bright as this can feel, I also feel the opposite. I feel overwhelmed and scared for you. You can't relay your day or tell us if you are hurt and how. You disappear from us and don't meet our eyes. You speak nonsense to us and I feel the breath leave my body. I don't know how to express how scary this is. How beautiful this is. How much I love you. At least we are lost in this together.   Photo by Olivia Gatti     Instagram  ::  Website

Lost in a dream. You and I. I'm getting closer to you, I can feel it. You have more to say now and even started asking questions that make sense in the moment. We practice human speech everyday, everywhere. It is happening. I really can feel it. But just as big and bright as this can feel, I also feel the opposite. I feel overwhelmed and scared for you. You can't relay your day or tell us if you are hurt and how. You disappear from us and don't meet our eyes. You speak nonsense to us and I feel the breath leave my body. I don't know how to express how scary this is. How beautiful this is. How much I love you. At least we are lost in this together.

Photo by Olivia Gatti

Instagram :: Website


 i grew up with a mother who could sew.  not only could she sew but she did it very well.  she sewed all of our halloween costumes.  she sewed our curtains.  she sewed to mend things.  she sewed for fun. i never once asked her to teach me to sew because it did not look like fun to me.  in fact, other than threading a needle, i didn’t know the first thing about using a sewing machine when i took a home ec class in junior high.  the teacher knew my mom.  they probably had fun sewing together before.  so she assumed that i would show my classmates a thing or two about sewing.  boy was she wrong.  i cried my way through the sewing of that ugly blue sweatshirt.  and then i cried some more as i sewed that autograph pillow.  i hated every single minute of sewing and couldn’t wait for the class to move on to the cooking section.  you learned early on that your weren’t going to grow up with a mother who could sew.  therefore, you gave up asking me to teach you.  instead, you figured it out on your own.  now you find whatever you can get your hands on and sew with it.  today it was leftover vinyl from the time that daddy recovered the dining room chairs.  the vinyl was so tough.  but that didn’t stop you.  you used scissors to make a row of tiny holes.  you couldn’t find any thread.  but that didn’t stop you.  you managed to thread a needle with yarn.  and there you sat with your good arm sprained sewing me a new purse.    Photo by Heather Robinson Photography     Blog  ::  Facebook

i grew up with a mother who could sew.  not only could she sew but she did it very well.  she sewed all of our halloween costumes.  she sewed our curtains.  she sewed to mend things.  she sewed for fun. i never once asked her to teach me to sew because it did not look like fun to me.  in fact, other than threading a needle, i didn’t know the first thing about using a sewing machine when i took a home ec class in junior high.  the teacher knew my mom.  they probably had fun sewing together before.  so she assumed that i would show my classmates a thing or two about sewing.  boy was she wrong.  i cried my way through the sewing of that ugly blue sweatshirt.  and then i cried some more as i sewed that autograph pillow.  i hated every single minute of sewing and couldn’t wait for the class to move on to the cooking section.  you learned early on that your weren’t going to grow up with a mother who could sew.  therefore, you gave up asking me to teach you.  instead, you figured it out on your own.  now you find whatever you can get your hands on and sew with it.  today it was leftover vinyl from the time that daddy recovered the dining room chairs.  the vinyl was so tough.  but that didn’t stop you.  you used scissors to make a row of tiny holes.  you couldn’t find any thread.  but that didn’t stop you.  you managed to thread a needle with yarn.  and there you sat with your good arm sprained sewing me a new purse. 

Photo by Heather Robinson Photography

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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 married a man who is a doer. He can't sit still. He's incredibly active. And he takes this and gives it so whole-heartedly and creatively to our children. Current project: turning our yard into a mountain bike park. I support this. This is for him. This is for them. This is a shared experience I love to witness.   Photo by Olivia Gatti     Instagram  ::  Website

I married a man who is a doer. He can't sit still. He's incredibly active. And he takes this and gives it so whole-heartedly and creatively to our children. Current project: turning our yard into a mountain bike park. I support this. This is for him. This is for them. This is a shared experience I love to witness.

Photo by Olivia Gatti

Instagram :: Website


 the safety valve.  that is what we should call daddy.  i fear that i might cause you to feel even more pressure on top of all that you already feel all day trying to sit still and follow the rules in kindergarten.  i have been so distracted with work over the past month that i haven't been there for you like you need me to be.  and now with my sister's wedding in days, i feel like i am swimming in a sea of stress.  today i felt like i might go under.  luckily for me and equally so for you, your daddy is an excellent swimmer.  he used to be a lifeguard, remember?  of course you remember.  the lifeguarding days contain some of your favorite daddy stories.   i love seeing how proud you are when he tells you about those days from his past.  in your eyes, daddy was cooler than a superhero.  maybe not quite as cool as a firefighter but still pretty awesome.  i didn't know daddy back in those days.   i try to imagine him before you, before me.  my brain struggles a bit to paint those pictures.  maybe this is because i have so many pictures of daddy the way he is now and the pictures all show me that daddy still is way cooler than a superhero.   he might not be saving drowning people in the ocean.  but he is keeping his family afloat day after day.  he is there for you when you need to release all that pressure that has been building inside your little body.  and is there for me pulling me back to shore when my arms are too tired to swim anymore.   Photo by Heather Robinson Photography     Blog  ::  Facebook

the safety valve.  that is what we should call daddy.  i fear that i might cause you to feel even more pressure on top of all that you already feel all day trying to sit still and follow the rules in kindergarten.  i have been so distracted with work over the past month that i haven't been there for you like you need me to be.  and now with my sister's wedding in days, i feel like i am swimming in a sea of stress.  today i felt like i might go under.  luckily for me and equally so for you, your daddy is an excellent swimmer.  he used to be a lifeguard, remember?  of course you remember.  the lifeguarding days contain some of your favorite daddy stories.   i love seeing how proud you are when he tells you about those days from his past.  in your eyes, daddy was cooler than a superhero.  maybe not quite as cool as a firefighter but still pretty awesome.  i didn't know daddy back in those days.   i try to imagine him before you, before me.  my brain struggles a bit to paint those pictures.  maybe this is because i have so many pictures of daddy the way he is now and the pictures all show me that daddy still is way cooler than a superhero.   he might not be saving drowning people in the ocean.  but he is keeping his family afloat day after day.  he is there for you when you need to release all that pressure that has been building inside your little body.  and is there for me pulling me back to shore when my arms are too tired to swim anymore.

Photo by Heather Robinson Photography

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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

 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

Instagram :: Website


  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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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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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

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 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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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

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 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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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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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

  More than anything, you want to be an aerialist. You ask me constantly to get you classes. I think, as a parent, I'm scared I'm missing a chance to give you the start to finding your special gift. This isn't like soccer or swimming or field hockey or girl scouts, where your interest waned. I see how much you need this, in almost everything you do and every way you move. I need to find you some classes. This year, I promise I'll find you your outlet.     Photo by Olivia Gatti     Facebook  ::  Website

More than anything, you want to be an aerialist. You ask me constantly to get you classes. I think, as a parent, I'm scared I'm missing a chance to give you the start to finding your special gift. This isn't like soccer or swimming or field hockey or girl scouts, where your interest waned. I see how much you need this, in almost everything you do and every way you move. I need to find you some classes. This year, I promise I'll find you your outlet. 

Photo by Olivia Gatti

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 lately you have been spending more time in the bathroom.  you go in to brush your teeth and i later come to check on you.  there you are still gripping the toothbrush in your hand, the toothpaste still on it, and the water running.  your eyes are fixed on the mirror in front of you.  it is like you are in a trance.  you say to me, “mama, i don’t feel the same anymore.  mama, i don’t look the same anymore.”  i reassure you that this is a normal part of growing up and the same thing happens to me.  i tell you not to worry.  i tell you that you will always be you and i will always be me.  the days just add more layers to us.  i get to know each of your layers.  and with time you will know mine. i tell you not to worry.  yet, i find myself questioning my own advice.  i see you lost in your thoughts and i worry because i know that sometimes these layers hide us from those we love.  now i tell myself not to worry.  i will dig as deep as i have to.  i will always find you.     Photo by Heather Robinson Photography     Blog  ::  Facebook

lately you have been spending more time in the bathroom.  you go in to brush your teeth and i later come to check on you.  there you are still gripping the toothbrush in your hand, the toothpaste still on it, and the water running.  your eyes are fixed on the mirror in front of you.  it is like you are in a trance.  you say to me, “mama, i don’t feel the same anymore.  mama, i don’t look the same anymore.”  i reassure you that this is a normal part of growing up and the same thing happens to me.  i tell you not to worry.  i tell you that you will always be you and i will always be me.  the days just add more layers to us.  i get to know each of your layers.  and with time you will know mine. i tell you not to worry.  yet, i find myself questioning my own advice.  i see you lost in your thoughts and i worry because i know that sometimes these layers hide us from those we love.  now i tell myself not to worry.  i will dig as deep as i have to.  i will always find you.  

Photo by Heather Robinson Photography

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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

  Watching you, watching her, check her birthday texts.    Photo by Olivia Gatti     Facebook  ::  Website

Watching you, watching her, check her birthday texts.

Photo by Olivia Gatti

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  it is difficult to pinpoint exactly what i love most about this time with little ones.  but if i had to pick one thing, i would say, "wonder".  how can i not love the endless wonder?      Photo by Heather Robinson Photography     Blog  ::  Facebook

it is difficult to pinpoint exactly what i love most about this time with little ones.  but if i had to pick one thing, i would say, "wonder".  how can i not love the endless wonder?  

Photo by Heather Robinson Photography

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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

 Cabin fever looks like this.   Photo by Olivia Gatti     Facebook  ::  Website

Cabin fever looks like this.

Photo by Olivia Gatti

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  big present.  even bigger emotions.    Photo by Heather Robinson Photography     Blog  ::  Facebook

big present.  even bigger emotions.

Photo by Heather Robinson Photography

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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

 December 2013

December 2013

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December 2016


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December 2013

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December 2016

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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

 Two out of three sharing a tub is about the best I'm going to get these days. I knew it was coming, almost a year ago, I called it. And thankfully, it doesn't make me sad. In fact, it makes perfect sense knowing her and then knowing you two. I respect that she's past this and I rejoice that you two aren't. I'll be sad when no one needs my help in the tub. Or maybe not. I can't see that far into the future. Who knows? Maybe I'll throw a huge party when I no longer need to be the life guard, the hair detangler, and the tub-toy bleacher.    Photo by Olivia Gatti     Facebook  ::  Website

Two out of three sharing a tub is about the best I'm going to get these days. I knew it was coming, almost a year ago, I called it. And thankfully, it doesn't make me sad. In fact, it makes perfect sense knowing her and then knowing you two. I respect that she's past this and I rejoice that you two aren't. I'll be sad when no one needs my help in the tub. Or maybe not. I can't see that far into the future. Who knows? Maybe I'll throw a huge party when I no longer need to be the life guard, the hair detangler, and the tub-toy bleacher. 

Photo by Olivia Gatti

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  we went to the christmas tree farm today.  when we got there, we were told that they were out of fir trees already due to a shortage this year after the forest fires in the mountains.  we decided to hang out there anyway.  you all played in the bounce house and on the swing set there.  then i asked you to sit among the baby trees so i could take a photo of you.  i assured you that there would be warm homemade donuts in it for you.  i didn't dare ask you to smile at me though.  just having you look in my direction was more than i ever expected.  after a couple of quick snaps, we grabbed some donuts from the shop there and got into the warm car and headed down the road to get a tree from a roadside lot.  the baby slept on the way.  as we walked around the tree lot, it began to rain.  through our shivers, we were happy.  excited about winter.  about christmas.  it felt good to feel excitement for a change.  today didn't turn out as planned.  but sometimes the unexpected can be even sweeter than the expected.      Photo by Heather Robinson Photography     Blog  ::  Facebook

we went to the christmas tree farm today.  when we got there, we were told that they were out of fir trees already due to a shortage this year after the forest fires in the mountains.  we decided to hang out there anyway.  you all played in the bounce house and on the swing set there.  then i asked you to sit among the baby trees so i could take a photo of you.  i assured you that there would be warm homemade donuts in it for you.  i didn't dare ask you to smile at me though.  just having you look in my direction was more than i ever expected.  after a couple of quick snaps, we grabbed some donuts from the shop there and got into the warm car and headed down the road to get a tree from a roadside lot.  the baby slept on the way.  as we walked around the tree lot, it began to rain.  through our shivers, we were happy.  excited about winter.  about christmas.  it felt good to feel excitement for a change.  today didn't turn out as planned.  but sometimes the unexpected can be even sweeter than the expected.  

Photo by Heather Robinson Photography

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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

 You are three.   Photo by Olivia Gatti     Facebook  ::  Website

You are three.

Photo by Olivia Gatti

Facebook :: Website


    all day every day you do these things.  normal things really.  things like jumping, climbing, painting, dancing.  you do these things that most kids do.  but when you do them, you beam and ask me, “isn’t this amazing?”  of course i say “yes”.  but the truth is these things aren’t all that grand.  it is you my love that is amazing.  it is you that makes everything feel bigger, better.  each moment i get to spend with you reveals just how brilliant you are.  and to think that it has only been three years today that you were bestowed upon us.  three.  how can such a small number feel so big?  once again this is because of you.  happy third birthday my amazing one.     Photo by Heather Robinson Photography     Blog  ::  Facebook

 

all day every day you do these things.  normal things really.  things like jumping, climbing, painting, dancing.  you do these things that most kids do.  but when you do them, you beam and ask me, “isn’t this amazing?”  of course i say “yes”.  but the truth is these things aren’t all that grand.  it is you my love that is amazing.  it is you that makes everything feel bigger, better.  each moment i get to spend with you reveals just how brilliant you are.  and to think that it has only been three years today that you were bestowed upon us.  three.  how can such a small number feel so big?  once again this is because of you.  happy third birthday my amazing one.  

Photo by Heather Robinson Photography

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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

  Fourth grade is really something else. Drum lessons. Field Hockey. Girl Scouts. French Class. Advanced reading. Book club. Regular school work. I'm literally spinning, trying to stay on top of it all. You are handling it with way more spunk and grace than I am. I think it shows how ready you are for it all. It's like your true time to shine just started now. Go get it, baby. And have a blast.     Photo by Olivia Gatti     Facebook  ::  Website

Fourth grade is really something else. Drum lessons. Field Hockey. Girl Scouts. French Class. Advanced reading. Book club. Regular school work. I'm literally spinning, trying to stay on top of it all. You are handling it with way more spunk and grace than I am. I think it shows how ready you are for it all. It's like your true time to shine just started now. Go get it, baby. And have a blast. 

Photo by Olivia Gatti

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 today i put you in the crib for the first time.  i just wanted to see what you might look like in there.  there isn’t much room in your bassinet so i figured it was a good time for an introduction to your future bed. but the moment i placed you in the crib, i felt sad.  you smiled at me and laughed once and then you began to cry.  as i scooped you up and held you to my heart, i breathed a sigh of relief. you don’t need much room.  not just yet.   Photo by Heather Robinson Photography     Blog  ::  Facebook

today i put you in the crib for the first time.  i just wanted to see what you might look like in there.  there isn’t much room in your bassinet so i figured it was a good time for an introduction to your future bed. but the moment i placed you in the crib, i felt sad.  you smiled at me and laughed once and then you began to cry.  as i scooped you up and held you to my heart, i breathed a sigh of relief. you don’t need much room.  not just yet.

Photo by Heather Robinson Photography

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