The season in which we actually leave the house

So we actually do leave the house in other seasons, but I love the way soccer season forces us to hang out outdoors for a certain number of hours a week, right when the light is gorgeous. 2015-04-16_0002.jpg
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Monkey see, monkey do:
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Posted in Kids, Life

Spring break 2015

All winter I look forward to Spring Break, adamantly, passionately intending to have ALL THE ADVENTURE. Then, without fail, every spring break we are sick, tired or the weather is bad. This spring break we chose sick and tired so our EPIC ADVENTURE was a lot lower key than I’d hoped. It was still pretty fun all the same. Let’s see…

…we rode in our “car-car” with our umbrella. So that was fun.

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Then Beckett went to a birthday party, Dad went to work and the rest of us went to the thrift store. I had just banged my shin on a coffee table (ah, I see now why they got rid of it) AND broken a nail off on a display case when Quinn found a trombone. At the moment he asked for it I was completely, completely overwhelmed and said no. He asked to call Dad. Moments later I hear him say “Dad, this is Quinn and mom is completely breaking my heart.”

We left the thrift store with a trombone.

And Quinn can actually play it! He’s in love.

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Another day we went to the open space near our house to play:

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(Beckett got stuck in a tree, which was hilarious to him until it wasn’t.)

One day we went to visit my sister and nephews and got to walk my oldest nephew to school. I thought it was awesome that my nephew C dressed like a bee to match his bee helmet! 2015-04-16_0008.jpg

Then we went to IKEA and sat on all the furniture.
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(Uh, well…that’s one way to get him to look in the mirror)
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Too much information, but my kids love to sing “IKEA, rhymes with diarrhea!” which, on that day it did. The downside to IKEA is that their bathrooms are really far away.  And I spend too much money there. But we sure had fun!

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We made our obligatory annual trip to Chuck E Cheese. I did’t die. We also didn’t eat any food and we went when it was quiet. Perhaps there’s a correlation. 2015-04-16_0013.jpg

Kieran had a birthday and fulfilled his lifelong dream of eating Panda Express for dinner: 2015-04-16_0014.jpg
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And we all shared a cold, which was very…communal of us!

So maybe it wasn’t the EPIC adventure I’d planned, but it was the best kind of adventure in the end.  The kind where we get to be together.

Posted in Kids, Life

Twelve

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As I looking through the pictures from Simon’s birth day I was filled all the emotions of that day again. I’ve written about it many times before – about how my firstborn was nothing at all what I expected but so much more than I could have possibly dreamed. How he came barreling into the world and demanded that it work on his terms and how that caused me to stretch in grow in ways I could never have imagined. How he was such a challenging baby. I’m not sure how it happened that twelve years have passed since that day when this piece of starlight fell in my lap and made me a mother.

And yet it has. I sit here on my firstborn’s twelfth birthday and marvel at the wonder that is Simon. He’s grown into such a sensitive, compassionate empathetic person. He is sharp and observant and thinks critically about everything.  He still wants the world to operate on his terms, but he cries about it a lot less than he used to when he was first born. Thank goodness for that.

I
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Happy birthday to my gorgeous first born!

 

(and I’m not sure how it is you’re 12 because I’m pretty sure I was just 12 myself a few minutes ago)

Posted in Kids, Life

Ft. Collins Museum of Discovery

I’d been meaning to take the kids to the Fort Collins Museum of Discovery for at least a year but I kept putting it off because I wasn’t quite sure if the museum was good, and Ft. Collins seemed to far away.  Then we had a random day off school and Google Maps said the museum was only an hour away (!!) so we went for it.  And boy are we glad we did!  There was SO MUCH to do there.  We played and played and played – and spent most of the day there – and still didn’t do it all!  What an awesome, awesome museum!  Every single one of us had a blast, from the four year old to the almost twelve year old who is eternally bored by everything to ME.

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To some extent the FCMOD is like the Explortatorium in San Francisco on a smaller scale with local history added in.  Everything is hands on.  There is so much to DO and it’s set up so most of the activities have many ways in which to do them.  It gives people (kids and adults alike) a myriad of ways to approach learning.

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The music section is the most extensive area with a myriad of instruments from familiar to novel to ones you make yourself.  My favorite part?  Hearing music through my teeth.

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My kids were particularly enthralled with the forest, which was completely interactive.

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The four year old tells me daily that he’s spending his birthday there….and I can’t wait because I’m dying to go back and play some more!  As I said, we spent all day and still missed a huge chunk – and I want to do all the fun things we did experience again!

Posted in Life, Photography

SEVEN

You know how when you meet a baby you think “huh. Looks like a baby to me,” but then you look back and see THAT’S MY KID!? This picture is so Kieran. I didn’t know it at this moment – mere moments after I met him – but that was Kieran. God, I love this kid.
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When I was pregnant with Simon my sister and I did that test where you use a pencil, thread and your wedding ring over your belly to predict your future fecundity. It told me I’d have four kids – a boy, a boy, a girl and a boy. So I knew Simon was a boy (and he was) and I knew Quinn was a boy (and he was) and I knew Kieran was a girl. I just knew it. I rehearsed in my mind the days leading up to my ultrasound the moment the tech would say “it’s a girl!” and the angels would sing and my life would be complete because I’d have the daughter I always dreamed of. When we learned he was a boy I’ll admit that I few tears squeezed out before I pulled myself together. Then I went to Kohls the next day with Simon and Quinn and the nice lady there said “my, you have your hands full! Are you getting your girl?” and when I told her it was another boy she said “oh….I’m sorry,” and I abandonded my shopping and ran back to my car and sobbed my heart out. I had a rough few months. I felt pretty sorry for myself.

Then Kieran was born. The second I met him I knew: it was Kieran. It was Kieran all along. I was so amazingly silly to think I wanted a daughter. Kieran was the only baby I was meant to have that day. He was the one. No need to fret at all. I had my Kieran and he was meant to be. He was born in our livingroom with brothers and grandparents and an aunt right there, waiting to welcome him. There was no transition at all – he was here and we were all a family and Kieran was the missing link we never knew was missing.

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I wish I could explain just how Kieran this all was. It’s the most Kieran thing on earth for him to be totally deadpan, tricking us and watching us fall for it and then to appear, full of life, laughing at us: Kieran.

I also wish I could explain what an amazing kid he’s become. The way he insisted on calling my aunt to wish her a happy birthday because he felt bonded to her in ways I never fathomed. Or the way he insists on visiting his great grandpa because he loves and misses him. Or how focused he is on his art, whatever that might be today.  Kieran is so perceptive and earnest, hilarious and passionate…and so unabashedly Kieran. We got really lucky when we got our Kie. I’m so glad it was him I met that day!

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Happy birthday, Kieran!

Posted in Kids, Life, Photography

The years are short

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Excuse me for a moment while I indulge in a moment of melancholic reverie.

About ten minutes ago (I swear), when I was deep under a pile of babies and babies and babies and then another baby I read something that said “the days are long but the years are short.” I remember thinking at the time that OMG THE DAYS ARE LONG but they sure were flying by so I guessed I could see what they meant.

Oh, I had no clue.  And I think I still have just a scintilla of a clue.  For example: I registered my baby for kindergarten.  For another example: I visited my cousin last week and her oldest, who I still think of as a baby, is inexplicably this gorgeous young woman and it occurred to me that she is not that far from leaving home.  She was just a baby and that’s it, she’s closer to being grown up than a baby. It felt like we’d have babies  forever and before I can grasp what’s happening, they’re going.

Sob!

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I guess this time of year gets to me. We have a birthday  this week and another birthday next week and spring and the end of the school year looming, reminding me again and again that time is moving forward and my kids are growing up. TEN MINUTES AGO I was so deep under babies I didn’t even remember who I was and suddenly I’m registering my *baby* for kindergarten.

I have this constant struggle with my youngest.  He wants to be carried and cuddled all the time.  On one hand he’s my BABY and I want to hold him close and cherish every last ounce of his sweet babyness, forever and yet he’s almost FIVE. Dear god! When his oldest brothers were five they each had TWO baby brothers already and I thought of them as practically grown up!
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So I’m spending this spring trying to straddle a fine line between holding so hard onto my babies because the time is flying by so damn fast…and letting them go because none of them are babies anymore.
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If only the years were less short.

Posted in Kids, Life, Motherhood

Wide awake and taking it all in [Arvada, CO Newborn Photography]

I feel very fortunate that I got pictures of this sweet baby sleeping when I met her for the first time because, aside from the picture below (look at those lashes!), Little Miss was awake, aware and taking it all in our whole session.  She was so mellow and observant.  What a doll!  This family is so stinking gorgeous!

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Big brother!  He’s so proud of his new sister – and she is so taken with him as well.  I was so honored to get to see their bond in action.
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She could see herself in my lens – and she liked it!  Her smiling at that cute baby she saw was one of the most adorable things I’ve ever seen.
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I can’t choose a favorite! Can you!?

Posted in family portraits, Lifestyle, Newborn

Snowy weekend

We had a snowy weekend this weekend and seized it as an excuse to hunker down and just be together as a family.  I just happened to be in a black and white mood and so inspired by my people, all in one place.

 

Footballs make the best….pillows?

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Brothers also make great pillows:
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“Dad” was gluing something. The dog wanted it, apparently.
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Cozy snowy bathtime:

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We were all ecstatic to get outside and shovel on Sunday:
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12 degrees?  Totally time to lounge.
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A boy who wishes all days were snow days:
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Posted in Life, Photography

Precious peanut

Excuse me for a moment while I die of the cute. I met this little one to get some quick tiny newborn pictures to tide us over until her family newborn session which will happen when she’s a little older. She graced me with some beautiful, deep sleep, some quiet wakefulness and some darling, darling expressions! I can’t wait to see her again and report how much she’s already changed in a few short weeks!
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Posted in Newborn

Big and little

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Oh, self, what are we going to do when we no longer have a little one to remind us how exciting the “Dinosaur Museum” is, even though we’ve been there a billion times already!? What will I do when I no longer have a little one to remind me to always see the world through new eyes? My old, tired, cynical eyes miss all the magic!

Maybe I’ll just have to steal YOUR little ones, to remind me! (seriously, book now!  Spring is coming and what a beautiful time of year to make forever memories with your family!?)

Meanwhile I’ll enjoy my last little one seeing if he can jump to reach the dinosaur.
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I laugh every time I see this one. He was trying to mess up my picture. You can see it in his devious little face. Little did he know he was the picture.
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Once upon a time this one was my little one but already he’s seen it all, done it all and is bored. Sigh. How fast that happens.
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Family time with Grandma and Grandpa:

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Stairs are thrilling and he can see my eye through the camera. Life is magic! 2015-01-29_0006.jpg

Peter Pan has found his shadow:

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Yep, life is magic. I’m grateful for my littles to remind me to find that magic. 2015-01-29_0008.jpg

Posted in Kids, Life