six people | twelve times | august 2010

a personal project inspired by tara whitney,
photographing our six, once a month for a year.

as i write this, today is officially day five of school for the kids.
(we were late this morning.)

so, no wonder these pictures of us frolicking around the CA coast bring such joy to my heart.
oh, to have the summer back!!!

it's amazing what a perfect parent i can be when i'm planning my past in hindsight.
i would read to them more,
do more crafts, 
sit outside on blankets together every day,
and just be with them rather than seeking escape.

such is life
with it's bittersweet time constantly moving forward.
dragging regrets and ushering in thankfulness all at once.

summer is behind us
fall is before us.
and it's completely true that the years are moving faster.

my nic is an official fifth grader.
he is nervous and thrilled by what fifth grade holds... 
and the changes in him are happening before my eyes.
even though he finds it somewhat impossible to make a straight face in a photo ;), 
when i'm not holding my camera, i take this zoomed out look at him 
and feel flooded with gratitude that i get to be in his life.

oliver is happily in third grade, 
always on his path to be one step closer to nic.
(nic's friends call him "mini-nic.")
even though he's squirmy as all get out in a chair,
he seems to thrive at school among friends and with his teachers.
i feel such joy over knowing him.

abigial is a super big first grader now.
being her first year going to full day school,
she wakes up every morning and asks,
"is it a school day today?"
and even though the first day at lunch she threw away most of her food 
because the different recycling bins seemed cool, 
i think she makes one superb six year old.
who can't wait to learn to read and who desperately wants a sister.

elliot starts his first day of preschool tomorrow.
he has a new "pack-pack" and lunch box.
i feel like he's my little magnet sometimes.
i can't get enough of him nor can i get away from him...
and i think these two days of preschool a week
will bring much learning and growth for the both of us.

brian and i are in full swing fall mode.
which means MANY plates spinning as we start new events/groups in church,
learn new routines with our quickly growing four children,
and continue to plan and develop our careers.
all of that to say,
quality time together doesn't just fall into our laps.
and can easily get squeezed out by all the other squeaky wheels in our lives.
but we're willing to fight for it.
and there's always the laughter between us too.
the laughter helps tremendously.

pajaro dunes, ca | august 2010
(our amazing family getaway to the california coast.)

and since i'm feeling so reflective on my children growing so quickly,
and how that fills me with sadness and thrill all at once.
i realize there is a reason for these mixed emotions.

my precious little ones are people,
growing into independent, (hopefully) thriving individuals.
and that the constant give and take, push and pull, cling and hide game
that i feel in my heart is there for a reason.

they are supposed to leave me.
to not need me.
i will always be their mom, but i will not always be mothering.

i'll leave you with this quote from cs lewis as he writes about the proper aim
of a mother's instinct being to work towards it's own abdication:
"we must aim at making ourselves superfluous.
the hour when we can say,
 'they need me no longer'
should be our reward."
(found in parenting without perfection by david john seel, jr)

today my hope and prayer is this:
God, help me to embrace the day i am in.