Posts Tagged ‘family’

Project 365 Smalls: January Photo A Day Challenge

Project 365 Smalls: A Photo A Day Challenge January

I did it!! I successfully completed the first month of my Project 365 Smalls: photo a day challenge. Taking one photo of each kid EVERY SINGLE DAY in the month of January. It wasn’t exactly hard, but there were some days that I remembered right at bedtime – note sleeping and/or pajama clad children.

 

Week 1: We were getting into our groove of taking a photo a day. The Smalls were still on Winter Break, so I had all day to snap a photo. We were getting ready to go back to school, so they needed haircuts. And the only way to entertain the littlest one during those haircuts was to feed her, notice those chipmunk cheeks! Holliday started giving hugs this week and I was able to catch that sweet moment with her brother! We did a packing night at NourishNC, a local organization that helps feed hungry children in our area. I love that they willing to have the Smalls help and the Smalls enjoy doing it and can’t wait to go back.

 

Project 365 Smalls - A photo a day challenge

 

Week 2: Our last few days of Winter Break, we enjoyed lazy movie days and playing at home. Gray went to a sleepover. Back to school and our regular routine. Holliday certainly missed them those first few days, she kept checking their rooms. She kept herself busy with many games of Peek-A-Boo and playing with all their toys.

 

Project 365 Smalls - A Photo a Day Challenge

 

Week 3: This week it was Noble’s turn for a movie and a sleepover. While he was gone, Gray and I had a spa night. Holliday has been getting into everything!! Welcome to toddlerhood where everything is a challenge. Football ruled our weekend. Gray and I were disappointed our Steelers didn’t make it to the Championship and Noble was bummed Green Bay didn’t get there either.

 

Project 365 Smalls - A Photo A Day Challenge

 

Week 4: This was the week I was reminded how fast they are growing up. Another sleepover for Gray, Birthday party for Noble and Preschool registration for Holliday!! Noble learned how to tie his shoes. Gray and I had a great girls day, she really is a little lady and a pleasure to take out. I need to be better about taking the older two out on special adventures more regularly. We enjoyed a few days of warm January weather with lots of time outside.

 

Project 365 Smalls - A Photo A Day Challenge

 

Week 5: January went by really fast. The last week was pretty normal, thankfully we were able to stay outside a lot. Noble helped rake leaves… and was actually a big help! Holliday figured out how to climb onto the Lego table, much to the dislike of her brother. And we enjoyed a weekend without any plans!! Which happens so rarely, we were able to have lots of family time and enjoy the amazing weather.

 

Project 365 Smalls - A Photo A Day Challenge

 

One month down…11 to go!! I am really enjoying capturing these moments and can’t wait to see what the finished project looks like. It’s not too late to join me and challenge yourself to a photo a day in February (it’s the shortest month, so why not give it a try) use #365smalls to let me know you are in!

Project 365 Smalls: A Photo A Day Challenge January

 

xoxo,

kate

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Try it, you might like it!

I say this almost as much as I say "no"!

How many times have you said this to your kids? I have said this a countless number of times in my 8 plus years as a mom. I have encouraged them to try new foods, new sports, new classes and new experiences. Sometimes it is met with compliance, but more often with a hard and fast “NO!!”. Then the negotiating begins, sometimes that works. I have even resorted to bribery on occasion for my creatures of habit – come on, haven’t we all? What is it about the new and unknown that makes us shut down and refuse to consider that we may, in fact, like this new thing?

I know where they get it from… me. (Well not the food part! I love trying new foods.) I’m 100% a creature of habit. I like my routine and scheduled days. My first reaction to new things is usually no and to think of all the possible negative effects of said new thing. I wasn’t always like this. I think it stems from my attempt to control everything in my adult life. To have as many constants in place as possible, limiting the variables and preparing for all worst case scenarios. Because in my life, the worst has happened… the other shoe has dropped and that feeling of having no control is one of the worst feelings in the world.

My dad died very suddenly, without any warning of a massive cerebral hemorrhage three days after Christmas, almost 12 years ago. And my sister, who was 14 at the time, and I found him. Life changing doesn’t even begin to cover it. I found comfort in the the things I could control, the things I could do. The logistics became my comfort zone. More planning and paperwork, less feeling the devastating blow our family had just taken. This event changed the course of my life. It made me very aware of how short life really is. Before my father’s death I had no plans for having children and shortly after that was the farthest thing from my mind. He would never meet them, never know them and even worse… they would never know him.

Something changed a few years after his death, as the size of my extended family took a nosedive, I realized for the first time that I wanted my own big crazy family. Eight years ago my daughter, who was named in honor of my dad, literally brought life back to my little family. She brought so much joy and happiness to all of us. He would have adored her, and she him. But all of her milestones were bittersweet, as we could not share them with him. A few years later, the boy he had always dreamed of was born and as my son has grown he reminds me so much of my dad. He has his temper, the same mischievous look in his eye right before he does something he knows he shouldn’t, the exact same knees (if you knew my dad, you know what I’m talking about) and his love of fun. I have shared pictures and stories with them since they were born, even though its difficult. They ask tons of questions and talk about him often. We were getting on with life, happy with our little growing family and busy with life when the rug was pulled out from under me again.

Three short days after the 9 year anniversary of my father’s death, we received a phone call that no family should. My little sister, who was only 23, had committed suicide. She took a lethal dose of over-the-counter sleeping pills the day after the anniversary of my father’s death and it had taken the police 2 days to locate us in a different state. My sister and I had a complicated relationship, to say the least. She was 7 years younger, stubborn and struggling to manage her Bipolar Disorder. We were not speaking at the time of her death, I was going the tough love route with her… which may not have been what she needed. The amount of regret and what if’s will haunt me for the rest of my life. I always thought we would have time to mend our relationship. I imagined we would grow closer as she grew up and started to take responsibility for her actions. I’ve learned a lot about mental illness since her death and I regret not trying to learn more while she was alive and battling it everyday. I’ve heard so many stories from other survivors of suicide that mimic her struggle. The stigma that is attached to mental illness and suicide make it difficult for people to talk about. And that needs to change. I don’t blame my sister for taking her own life, it breaks my heart but I understand why she did it. In the year after her death, I felt paralyzed. I wanted to shut out the world and protect my family. I wanted to control everything around me and if I couldn’t control it, I would run from it. Not the best example for my children.

stigma-chalkboardSince my sister’s death, we added another sweet little girl to our family. She has brought such happiness to our whole family… not as a replacement, but a loving reminder that life goes on. I will never be an an aunt, nor will by kids ever have cousins from my side of the family, which is something I will always mourn. My dreams of what the future would hold have been rewritten.

It's time to change the way we think about mental illness.
It’s time to change the way we think about mental illness.

As I have slowly picked up the pieces and realized, once again, how short life is I want to live my life to the fullest. I want to lead by example and show my kids that life is meant to be lived. Getting out of your comfort zone, even though its scary, is the best part. And this blog is how I will document and hold myself accountable to trying new things. I can guarantee I will not like everything I try, but I just may surprise myself. As for the kids, they will continue to hear “try it, you might like it!” on a daily basis, because how how will you know unless you try?

I’d love to hear how you have stepped out of your comfort zone or an activity that you have always wanted to try. I’m always looking to add to my “Try it” list, so comment below and you may see your suggestion on the blog!!

xoxo,

kate

 

 

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