Me & My Kiddos: January 2013

Hello there. It’s Monday, which means I have a fresh slate. I’m making an effort to get organized, have a solid blog plan and work ahead when I can. It feels so good to be tackling this, as it’s been something that’s bothered me for quite sometime. I can’t stand not being in control of things (ask my husband, it’s a major point of contention).

So blogging, though I loved it, was giving me anxiety since I felt like I was always running around like a mad woman try to get everything done that I wanted to get done. Now, I have a schedule for the next 12 weeks. I have ideas brewing and have even started some of them. I have deadlines marked on my calendar. I feel good.

This week I want to introduce a new project I’m working on. The fourth Monday of each month I’ll be sharing some photos (and stories) of me with my kids. A few weeks ago I read about Aleida's Challenge.

In short, Aleida personally challenged herself to get out from behind the camera and take photos of herself with her kids. Tragically, she was struck by a car and passed away at just 41, leaving her children behind. Luckily, she took photos of herself with them that they can hold onto forever.

I didn’t know Aleida. I read about her on Emilie Ahern’s blog. She’s carrying on the spirit of Aleida’s personal challenge and started a Flickr group and posts her own photos to Instagram/Twitter (using the hashtag #ALEIDASCHALLENGE).

As I read Emilie’s blog post I thought about the photos I have with my own mother. And truthfully, I can’t think of a lot. I can only remember seeing a single photo of my mother with her mother. What a shame. I don’t want the same for my children. I want them to know me, to know I love them and to have a visual reminder of the happy moments we’ve shared.

So, for 2013 I’ll be participating in Aleida’s Challenge. Maybe it’s something I’ll do with (and for) my children until the leave home. I plan on making a photo book at the end of the year … but we’ll see what happens come December!

Here I am with Shelby (taken Sunday, Jan. 27th on our stairs):


She’s 8. I’m 38. Her hair is blonde. Mine is red. We both love to read and working on crafty projects together. We have a good relationship, but it’s not an easy one. We (mostly me) have to work on it every, single day. She’s smart. She’s inquisitive. She’s funny. She’s born performer. She dramatic. She’s reactive. She’s very much like me, which is why we clash so much. The last six weeks have been better. We’ve been using some special visualization and relaxation techniques to help her control her temper and keep her from going into total meltdown mode. She’s a good kid with a big heart. I love her with all my heart. She’s such a unique and special character. Her imagination is amazing. Her passion unmatched. She’s one-of-a-kind for sure. I’m so glad she’s my daughter.

Here’s one with me and Cooper (taken Saturday, Jan. 26th also on our stairs):


He’s 3 and full of spunk. We share the same red hair color, but his eyes are the brightest shade of blue you’ve ever seen. He makes me laugh all the time. He’s always in motion (see the blurry hands in the photo? He was doing the robot dance).  We have a good relationship, and it comes easy. I hear that’s the case for a lot of mothers and sons. Less drama than mother-daughter relationships. Cooper is so sweet and tender. He’s quick to laugh; full of smiles; ready with hugs; and so kind and honest. He tells the best stories; loves to sing songs; and has caught the reading bug. He still carries around a threadbare blanket and likes to rub it against my cheek when we snuggle at night. He told me the other day “You fill my heart with joy.” I feel the exact same way, buddy.


Now, I’ll be honest. I made sure I was somewhat dressed with at least a little makeup on when both photos were taken. Also, I went into Photoshop and plated with some actions to make the prettiest pictures I could. With that said, these are still a pretty accurate representation of me and the kids right now. You can’t see the pimple on my nose, but anyone really want to see it?  And the action I used, along with makeup, somewhat masked the dark circles under my eyes. But I can still see them, along with my forehead wrinkles that drive me bonkers (hate them).

I really enjoyed this process. Getting a photo and then typing a few lines about me and kiddos. I am pretty sure this is a post I’ll look back at and love.

So, what are you waiting for? Go take a picture with your kids. You’ll be grateful you did and they will be too.