After I crawled deliriously into bed at 12:23 last night Lucy promptly screamed her head off for no apparent reason from 12:28 a.m. until 3:07 a.m. this morning. Yep, that’s a little over 2 1/2 hours of pure, undiluted, high pitched screams (sorry neighbors!). It was pretty non-stop except for the 15 minutes I soaked her in in the rocking chair, 20 minutes when I tried to let her sleep with me (fun for the first 10), and about 10 when I finally decided to let her scream it out and Elle went in to try to take care of her. What a sweetheart that Elle is.

Needless to say, boy howdy is Dave ever SOOOOOO lucky he’s out of town!

And man, is my sweet brother ever so UN lucky he is staying with us IN town. Poor guy.

The girls and I went on a little rollerblading trip around the block last night (well, they rollerbladed and I was a “horse” for Lucy who was riding on my shoulders…this is actually a great tactic the girls came up with to stay up a little longer, and I’m a sucker). Anyway, one of the things we talked about is that Elle requested that I please keep ALL my clothes so she can grow into them some day because she loves them. Hmmm. I wonder how long that’ll last? I better live it up while I can.

The girls think they need to rollerblade around the house every day, every minute they’re home.

Claire thinks she needs to wear the cute skirt my Mom gave her for Christmas every day, every minute.

Max is LOVING having my brother around to play basketball in the driveway with while he’s here.

Elle’s dance/gymnastics class is probably one of the cutest things I’ve ever seen…and I’ve seen a lot of cute things.

I can’t stand how Costco started individually wrapping their frozen chicken breasts. It takes all my might to pry those babies out of the plastic.

Lucy can now finally say, “thank you” and we all think it’s the greatest thing ever. It comes out like “gnew gnew,” but we’ll take it.

I’m still not getting used to the fact that you have to wait on hold to talk to insurance companies forever, and that you have to enter all your member number stuff and then they ask for it all over again when they finally get to you.

I am trying to figure out a way to beg Max’s teacher to let me go volunteer in his classroom. His teacher doesn’t like to have volunteers but I’m feeling this huge pang of sadness that I won’t be able to ever volunteer in his room any more now that he’s starting Junior High next year. It makes me want to throw up.

I hate my hair. We’re not supposed to say “hate” in our family but I think it’s appropriate here. I would pay big bucks for a hair-growing serum right about now.

I’m still trying to figure out my one “word” to focus on for 2009, as if that miraculously will make all the difference and my life will suddenly be all calm and in-control after the decision is made. Who knows? I can always hope.

I’m trying to figure out whether I should take a little hiatus from photography…or at least slow it down a bunch. I just feel like all my kids and husband need me so much right now and I want to be there for them…all the time. I want to be a true stay-at-home home-maker while I can. I have such internal struggles over this because I love the photography, and to be honest, my kids do too in so many ways but I need to figure out some sort of balance.

I’m giddy today for two reasons:
1) Dave is giving me my Christmas present this weekend of “time”…like 24 hours all by myself. I have huge plans (maybe I’ll even figure out my 2009 “word”).
2) I get to go on a trip with him next week…to the beach…I can’t wait.

I miss Dave.

I am SO tired this computer looks like it’s fading away from me. I think Lucy’s therapist was wanting to give me some toothpicks to prop my eyelids open during therapy today.

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  1. What is with Costco individually wrapping their chicken breasts? I am yet to notice that, is it the ones in the big frozen bags? Ah man, that’s the only reason I go to Costco is to get those suckers! That’ll be a total pain.
    I am with you on willing to pay big bucks for hair growth/extensions. I am just dying that I cut mine, it’s almost as if it’s not growing at all and I get depressed looking at pictures from the past when it was long. The hair cut lady told me it only grows about 1/4 an inch a month. That is nothing!!! Let me know if you find any secrets.

  2. Life..isn’t it crazy! You are a great mom. I love all the cool stuff you do with your kids. Enjoy your 24 hrs. I am jealous!! And the beach! WOW!! You are a lucky lady. Love your thoughts. Keep it up!

  3. Shawni,

    Send me an email sometime. I would love to really “chat.” Yes, I have pretty much stopped all photography. I kept a few very select clients. The ones who are always happy and pay well. And I will do a photo trip this summer, but that is it. I know that sounds crazy or like I’m a wimp, but I felt like right now it was time to devote my talent and time to my kids. The stress of photoshoots was too much, too often. I realized this year that I missed a lot, even though I was always there, because I was stressed about “proofing,” etc…I felt like I never fully enjoyed the fall because I spent all my time with everyone else’s family. I stressed over Thanksgiving because of Christmas card orders, prints, etc. And by the time Christmas got here, I was just too exhausted to really calm down and enjoy Christmas and feel the spirit. That’s a post in itself!

    It was a hard decision, but I feel so much peace. My time is spent with my kids, fully. (MY body was often there, but my mind wasn’t…) I will always have photography. But I will not always have little ones at home. I figure it’s just a few years until all are in school and then I can really devote myself to my craft. Until then, I picked my kids. It was the right decision for me.

    Anyway, I think you are amazing and you know what you can handle. But let’s talk, I have some guidelines I made that you might like.

    My email address is

  4. Oh my gosh! That was the most you have ever blogged…it made me laugh, because my posts always look like that..lack of sleep for sure!
    I would die for thick black hair like yours. Thin, scraggly, blond hair that you have to spend tons on every month is no fun!
    And I have to tell you, I had a roaringly successful business that allowed me to stay at home with my kiddos (faux painting and murals), and I walked away from it after feeling like I was being pulled in 2 directions…for the exact same reason you mentioned. It was hard to say NO to the first couple jobs I turned down, and then it was EASY! My reasoning: when I look back on these years with my little ones, do I want to be able to say for sure, “I gave it my ALL”. With no regrets, because regrets where parenting is concerned would have to be the WORSE, don’t you think? I had to be here all the way, present in my mind. I don’t like doing two things half-way…and I’m just not the type of person to balance perfectly.
    I LOVE my life now. I feel so peaceful and settled and calm in my brain. (just like Julie.)

  5. i can’t believe you hate you hair. i think it’s super cute. its definitely rough when your baby screams for hours in the middle of he night. when chad was working nights and sleeping days, and lucy decided not to take naps anymore (she does now but only with the reintroduction of the nuk) i would let her cry because i couldnt bear to lose her naps and chad would be upset that he got woken up, but really what is a mom to do? i think they call that a rock and a hard place.

  6. We should have gotten together last night cause or dang neighbors dog barked all night long. Maybe Lucy would have stopped crying if she heard the dog.
    An idea for next time cause the dog is always barking! Sorry that you got no sleep! I loved your post! I am so glad I am not the only one that doesn’t like the newly wrapped chicken idea! What is the point of that? I am so jelous of your 24 hours alone. I’m thinking it might be my bday wish. I am also soooo jelous of your trip next week. Maybe next time for us! Hope you sleep tonight!

  7. Have another baby. Pregnancy’s the best hair growing serum out there. My two year old just cut her 2 year molars, maybe Lucy did too. Poor girl. Poor momma.

  8. My hubby has been traveling a lot lately too. I really feel for single Moms who have to do it all on their own without much support 24/7. So tough! I’m glad you have some fun trips to look forward to!


  9. Isn’t it amazing the way your days can be so terrible and so wonderful all at the same time? I love it. I am sorry, but I can’t stay away from your blog. I love your photography, and especially your writing. You are such an awesome Momma to your kids. It is so darling the way Elle just adores you. I’m holding down the fort right now as well, Nic get’s back tomorrow and I can’t wait!!

  10. We need to get a petition going about that chicken. It drives me nuts! Holly loves Elle’s dance class I want to stay and watch sometime 🙂

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