09 January | Our New Norm

Something that I have thought a lot about with this relocation is our new norm. In Japan, we homeschooled and traveled a ton. We had so much time with one another -- and general freedom. Life here in Williamsburg is drastically different. My kids are back in public school and have become very involved in rowing (Sky) and swimming (Ryder). Both sports involve two-hour practice six days a week. So basically I've become a part-time taxi and I barely see the kids. After sports, it's dinner, homework, and typically they end up in their rooms during the weekdays doing what teenagers do in there. I know I'm probably preaching to the choir for many of you, but goodness this is a change for us. One thing that I have resolved with myself is that I'm okay with this new norm of driving my kids here, there, and everywhere because I look at it as this is their (my kids') chapter; it's their time to shine. For their entire lives, they have moved around every couple years, which meant that they haven't been able to be a part of a longterm, proper sport's team and even friendships came and went, although both kids do have long-distant friends that have withstood the test of time. 

I also have really considered my photography, as I do with every relocation. Shit changes and that includes my photography journey, but I have come to look at every relocation as a gift. With every move, there are forced breaks and the necessity of giving my photography journey and goals a good, hard assessment. I cannot share how important breaks and reflection are, while on a photography journey. Mine have happened organically because of our moves, but that is not the norm for most, and breaks and reflection must be self-imposed. So I encourage you to take the time to quiet the noise, reflect on the work that you have made and the growth that has taken place, and critically think about the work you are presently making and the direction you wish to head. You will never regret the choice to do this!

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08 January | Do You Want To Build a Snowman?

Yes, we really, REALLY wanted to build a snowman and tried the first couple days but the snow was just too powdery and wouldn't keep any shape. Then things warmed up, the snow got good, and we got busy, so we sadly did not get to build a snowman. My friend, Jen, who was visiting for a week has never built a snowman so we were extra sad to not make that happen for her. But, we did come across this killer snowman, embellished with pinecone buttons, worker gloves, and a construction cone, that some workers had made in . 

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07 January | A Magical House

I have driven by this house so many times, aching to photograph it. The house is abandoned, but from the twisty trees to the solitude of the house, I absolutely love this location. So when we drove by and I pointed out the house to my friend, Jen, and told her how I have been dying to photograph the house and how the snow looks so awesome, she said, "let's do it." So I flipped a u-turn, parked at the gas station and off we went. I am longing to photograph more at this house but I have to figure out who owns it and ask permission because Skyler noticed the "no trespassing" sign. One day I will get there. For now, I'm happy to have made this photograph. Thankfully I had both my Fuji X100F and my Canon Mark IV because frustratingly my Canon stopped working in the cold. I would take a shot and it would shut off and show no battery. Later when my camera warmed up, it showed that I still had three-quarters battery remaining.

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06 January | Sledding

We'll take what we can get. Not the most awesome hill ever but the kids and Jen had a blast. I went down once but was too worried about my shoulder to go down more. I'm four months post shoulder surgery  and movement progress is VERY slow going. Pretty sure I'm on the one-year recovery plan and that's probably optimistic, but hey, I'm trying to be optimistic here.

05 | Family Photo

Super grateful to Jen Wright Photography for making this photo of us today. We basically pulled ourselves together in a matter of 15 minutes to make this happen. Sadly Kiele isn't in the photo because she's in California with her Dad. 

If you happen to be in the Atlanta area and in need of photographs, Jen is the best.

04 January | Snowpocalypse

One of the things that I have come to realize after 11 relocations in 25 years, is that I love living in a place that has four seasons. And today, we had the most incredible snowfall thanks to the East's coast's winter bomb cyclone. It was definitely cold but how could we now spend some time outside during this awesome snowfall. Charley loved it too. And nothing like capturing a heart snowflake. I thank my creative genius for that gift.

P.S. Yes those are Target bags that Skyler has on for snow covers. We were so not prepared for winter. My kids have grown so much this past year, everything was too small. Sky wore her tennies and Target bags. Ryder wore Steve's size 14 work boots. 

03 January | The Big Four-Three

Yep, that's 43 candles on that little cheesecake and he blew them out so quickly that I missed getting him actually blowing out the candles. Yep, both he and Charley were wearing party hats and Steve's wearing his favorite shirt (kittens barfindg rainbows) that he received for Christmas from Skyler.

02 January | Mom

My Mom and I.

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She was visiting from California for two weeks and spent three days with my half-brother, who happens to live an hour away. It's a long, in-depth, rather complicated story that maybe someday I will share more but -- I didn't meet my brother until I was in my early 20s. I never met my other half-brother, who lived in Oklahoma, because he died of a massive heart attack at 47. All four of us (my two half-brother, my sister, and I) have weird cardiac conditions, most likely due to the ABCC11 gene mutation, which also happens to cause no body odor. I had two AV nodes, which caused PSVT (heart rate for hours in the 200s). In 2002, I had a cardiac ablation and have been totally fine ever since. This year I took the time to see a cardiologist, who completely cleared me.