on being a grown-up

“There are no grown-ups. We suspect this when we are younger, but can confirm it only once we are the ones writing books and attending parent-teacher conferences. Everyone is winging it, some just do it more confidently.”

Occasionally I am taken aback when I think deeply about the fact that I have a child. I have a real-live-human-child-baby who is mine, who depends on me, who I keep alive. I don’t feel old enough to have that responsibility, yet I have it and I do a pretty darn good job if it, I think. I read this blog post a woman wrote about what you “learn in your 40s” and although I have a number of years before I live through my 40s, that quote resonated with me.

All these “adult” responsibilities I have, I do, but half the time I have no idea how. I’m just winging it day in and day out. I think we all are, aren’t we? Who really knows what the hell they are doing when they have their first baby (or their second or their third!)? When I was pregnant with Finley, I would have mini panic attacks wondering how I would know how much to feed her when she was a newborn but then she came and I did it, and she grew like tiny babies do. When she was six months old, I didn’t know if I should give her baby food or how much or even what kind, but the time came and I did it again. And shoes. Does a baby under 12 months really need shoes!? My head always told me I “should” put shoes on her, but the mommy in me said “eff that, she doesn’t need shoes!” So, despite the grief from others, I never put shoes on her (rarely socks, even!). And guess what, she can run with those tiny little feet just like all the other kids her age! Small uncertainties happen at every stage of their lives, of our lives, and each time, as parents, we figure it out — albeit, winging it.

I suspect that when she’s in kindergarten, a sophomore in high school, or a mommy bringing home her newborn baby, I will still have those moments when I am taken aback by the fact that I am a grown-up… but I will hold my head high and confidently do what I need to do as a mom, all the while, feeling like I have no idea what I’m doing at all.

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a magical forest

“Stop looking for the magic. You are in it.”

Whether you’re a little girl in the foggy woods, I mean, a “magical forest”, in Minnesota on a 47 degree November day, or the mommy to that little girl, take a look around — stop looking for the magic, because you are in it! Not every day with a toddler seems magical, especially the days when she tugs at your leg every minute and wants “uppia”, but only if you are standing, or when she fights a diaper change for ten minutes right before you were walking out the door in the morning for work, or when she demands “fishies” the entire 30 minute car ride, but you don’t have any left and can’t make her understand that. Just when you think you are at your wit’s end, you are overwhelmed with happiness when you go into her room in the morning and she greets you with a smile and sweetly says “in! in!” until you get into her crib with her for two minutes until “all done!” and she kicks you out, or when she points to the card on the fridge with a fox on the front and proudly blurts out her newly-learned word, except it doesn’t exactly sound like “fox”, but sounds more like the F-bomb, or when she answers with “Owwh-kayyyyy” (in a British accent) instead of “yes”, and what may be the sweetest thing to every mommy’s ears; hearing her say “lah-youuu, mommy” and puckering up her sweet little toddler lips for a kiss!

That is the magic.

This “forest” was pretty magical too, but I think that’s because she was in it… ❤

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national geographic | please vote!

Today my photo was selected as one of National Geographic’s Daily Dozen and the photo with the most votes (by midnight) may be published in an edition of National Geographic! I would love your support and if you would vote for my photo!! Thank you thank you thank you!! 🙂 Just click the photo to be taken to the site to vote..

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five minutes

It’s so easy to just keep doing what you are used to doing, isn’t it? The usual routine. Especially because we are all “so busy”, so to do something new seems too time consuming and hard. But if you commit to just five minutes, you will soon realize two hours has gone by and you’ve enjoyed every minute of it. (Well, unless you are cleaning or something.)

That was the case for me on Saturday night. (Oh, how my weekend activities have changed… #mommyhood) I’ve been wanting to paint [again] for a long time. Paint with real live paintbrushes and paint — not fake ones on a computer. I finally opened my box full of art supplies, amongst pencil drawings, from college. After eleven years (omg, eleven years!!), I honestly didn’t have a clue how to use oil paints anymore. There was a little jar of oil even, and I had no idea what to do with it. (Assuming you mix it in with the paint, duh, but don’t have much recollection of actually doing that in college.) I actually googled “How to paint with oil paint”. Seriously, how did we ever live without Google’s help? I found out oil paint is toxic and [can take] years to dry in some cases. Also read that you should buy a bigger tube of the white paint because “you will find that you go through white much quicker”. I laughed because, sure enough, I had no white oil paint left. My sister and I made a quick trip to Michaels to buy the white paint, but easily got distracted by Martha Stewart’s acrylic paints. There were plenty of other paints for a dollar less each, but damnit, Martha’s packaging is so pretty. I’m a sucker for pretty packaging. And so we bought eleven delicious-looking Martha paints.

For two hours we painted (and drank wine). Neither of us knew where to start and it was kinda “scary” to put that first glob of paint on the blank canvas, but so much fun once we got started! I just kept mixing and adding new colors, screwing up and ruining what I had going, until again, it was something pretty to me. Maybe it looks like something Finley [could have] painted, but I love and see it as an abstract flower garden. 😉

So, people, close those laptops and put down your phones. Commit to doing something new for five minutes.. chances are, a couple hours will go by and not one minute was wasted mindlessly scrolling through Facebook.

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The small canvas next to the plate is another quick painting I did as well. Isn’t the plate pretty too!? 😉

“there’s no place like home”

This year for Halloween, my little lady dressed as the sweetest-ever-in-the-whole-wide-world, Dorothy, with her sidekick as the cowardly lion. As a photographer, it is completely necessary and required (by me) to do a photo shoot to document it. Our photo shoot took place at the pumpkin patch where we bought our “punkins” (as Finley and every other toddler in the world calls them). My favorite is the one that Lucy looks like a real-life ferocious lion protecting her cub (in this case, Dorothy). But, don’t be alarmed, she’s not really growling.. I just caught the exact hundredth of a second after a big, gentle vizsla yawn!

We had a Dorothy wig for Finley but trying to force a toddler to wear wig is next to impossible. Instead, a pretty blue ribbon in her hair kept her happy. The adorable dress was made by my talented, seamstress mom, the ruby slippers are from Babies ‘r Us, and the lion mane is from eBay. 🙂

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happy halloween!

Halloween costumes these days just aren’t what they used to be. Anybody agree?! Now kids can go into a store or online and choose from hundreds of expensive, yet cheaply-made costumes. Never once did I (we) go into a store as a kid to choose a costume. Either it was handmade by my talented, seamstress mom or it was thought-up and created ourselves. Here’s a glimpse of what Halloween looked like growing up in the eighties…  Happy Halloween!

PUMPKIN

pumpkin (& Rainbow Bright!)

PUMPKIN2

pumpkin | year two

LITTLEWITCH

scary witch

WITCH NEW

suuuper scary witch

FIREFIGHTERS

legit firefighters

DEVILS

devils (& witches!) = halloween

BURGLERS

burglars!