I like to think that each year winter sings her song. She echoes it loudly to the top of the trees, to the edge of the forest and to the end of our snow piled driveway. Winter's song leaves its marks in the tiny footprints that dance across our white backyard, in the smoky scent of the fire that fills our house and in the warm little toes that hide under fleece blankets. Each winter has a song that becomes a story; a new set of memories that we add to our book of life.
This winter is no different, although our song sings to a slower beat. We're taking life one day at a time. We are embracing the small joys that are easily overlooked: a board game with the family, sled riding, hot teas by the fire, a book in mama's bed or long cuddles at night time.
“We are made to persist.
that's how we find out who we are.”
― Tobias Wolff
*This post is sponsored by FabKids and Jessica's dress and leggings are ℅ FabKids
FabKids is JustFab's fashion club, started by a team of parents including mom and actress Christina Applegate. FabKids is a convenient way for busy parents to shop. It's an outfit club -- so parents get monthly selections of super affordable, high-quality fashions personalized for their kids.
Check out more of their winter trends, for boys and girls, at Fabkids.com
Thank you FabKids for working with Yellow Finch. One of my personal attractions to these pieces, besides how cute and trendy they are, is the fact that you can mix and match each piece. They are well crafted, versatile and affordable. Always a plus!
"In photography there is a reality so subtle that it becomes more real than reality."
I want to remember the reality of their laughter as it mingled with ocean winds and singing sea gulls.
I want to remember the reality of what salty tidal air smelled like when it became entangled in your long blonde locks.
I want to remember the reality of soft sands sticking to little toes while leaving a trail throughout the house.
I want to remember the reality of dinners on the beach, long walks into the sunset and lazy days spent in a hammock with a child on my chest.
I waited for time to stand still, to resist the forceful winds and hold fast. As I waited silently, rooted in the cold wet sand, I could see the winter breeze fluttering across the crashing waves. Time was releasing before my tranquil eyes and no matter how hard I tried to raise my arms or grasp it with my fingers I was motionless; stagnant in my own loss of time. But in the distance I could feel, hear and see the memories scattered throughout the empty beach. Memories I knew I would collect quickly before they washed away, memories that would last a lifetime.
Sharing a few memories from this summer. I took tons and tons of photos, but I'm finally learning to select and share the ones I really love. I love these ones. Tomorrow, I'll share another round of beach photos that I hold near and dear to my heart. Nothing like ocean travels, even if it's in the form of photographs, in the middle of a snowy winter!
It was certainly an interesting year full of surprises, change and adaptations. But with the negative also came positive. We learned to embrace the change and embrace our new roles. We accepted the news that we didn't want to hear and prepared to fight a battle against Crohn's Disease with our son. We let down our guard and let others help, which kept us afloat many times. I still haven't fully accepted the fact that our son has a chronic disease, but I'm hoping 2015 will help me come to terms with this new facet of our lives.
This past year I watched all three of my children blossom in their own individual ways. I watched them become readers, swimmers, skiers, soccer plays, dancers and more. I watched them as they became faced with their own challenges and wept as I saw them overcome their struggles. I found a new sense of strength by watching my children this year. The amount of strength that they carry with them radiates wherever they walk and I quickly followed behind picking up as much of it as I could.
I found my own sense of confidence this past year and I'm ready to leap into the new year with spirit and certainty. It feels good to know who you are; to know your sense of value and worth and know what you want out of life. It's never too late to discover your spirit of soul.
This past year I learned to step away from technology and find balance. I traded in some of the "online time" so I could spend my precious time elsewhere; an extra ten minutes with my children, time in the kitchen preparing healthy meals, a longer run in the neighborhood, a call to a friend or a few more pages in my book. This past year I truly learned the value of time and came to the realization that one day time will run out and I want every single second to count.
So where does that leave this space for the new year? This little blog of mine has opened many doors for me and I am forever grateful for those opportunities. If it wasn't' for this space I wouldn't be copy editor and part of the Babiekins Magazine team, I wouldn't occasionally free-lance write for What to Expect and other websites and I probably wouldn't be as knowledgeable with my camera. But these opportunities have also opened my eyes to how I spend my time and how I balance my life.
I love Yellow Finch blog. It's something I created from the heart and built from scratch. When I sat down to write my very first post I had to actually google the definition of a blog. Fast forward a few years and I am still in awe of what I taught myself. While I will always have a thirst for knowledge and something new, my heart is in writing and taking photographs. And that is why I can never part with Yellow Finch blog. I'm not sure what direction this space will go in 2015 but it will still be here. I wish I could write a post daily, but I can guarantee you that will not happen. If I can aim for a couple a week I'll be happy. I can also tell you this space will not turn into a story about Crohn's Disease because it's not my story to share, it's my son's, but I may post the occasional update for family and friends and I will definitely post recipes. (At this point we are treating mainly with diet and I am constantly in the kitchen cooking up a storm)
In 2015 I hope to write more, I hope to take more photographs and become challenged with my camera, I hope to share more and I hope I continue to create ever-lasting memories with my loved ones. Cheers to a year of balance and hope, joy and love and simplicity in life.
This time of year is a constant reminder for myself to slow down, to breathe deeply and to embrace every detail of every single day. It seems much easier to type these words than actually act upon them. In reality, each day is a blur because we are constantly on the go running from one activity or event to another. And when we aren't running we're cooking, cleaning or working. How is it possible that our favorite time of the year becomes a delicately beautiful jumbled ball of yarn? And no matter how badly we want it to unravel it seems we can never undo the knots.
This year is different.
This year I am in a race against time, both figuratively and literally. Christmas Eve will be here before I know it, and every year I catch myself saying "I wish I had time to do more before Christmas." But what is more? What is it that we want to achieve before the magical night of Christmas Eve? Is it buy more presents? Bake more cookies? Be present at more festivities and parties? Have one more night of gift exchanges and wine with friends? Another school party or visit with Santa?
Maybe this is where the all-so-famous saying of "Less is more" comes into play. Maybe this year I'll trade my "I should haves" in for solid memories of simplicity. The mornings and evenings spent baking dozens and dozens of cookies are being traded in for one or two sessions of quality baking time with the kids. The cookies may not be perfect, but they are perfect to me. Rather than stay up all night wrapping each present with detail and adornments, I'll wrap them in kraft paper and let the kids decorate it. The wrapping may not be perfect, but it would be perfect to me. Instead of letting the kids watch a Christmas show while I carefully address each holiday card maybe I'll let them create and write their very own holiday cards. Now those I know would be perfect to me and any friend or family member would certainly see the care and love that went into each card.
This year is different.
This year is about letting go of the hustle and bustle that I always allow myself to get wrapped up in. This year is about embracing simplicity. It's about making my family smile, from the inside to the outside, and creating memories that will last a lifetime. My children will never remember the expensive christmas cards we sent out, the elaborately decorated cutout cookies or the embellished gifts wrapped up with matching bows and paper. BUT they will remember the night we went to The Nutcracker, the evening we spent hidden in our fort reading stories aloud by the soft glow of Christmas tree lights and they will remember standing on chairs as we hovered over the kitchen countertops to decorate sugar cookies.
We all know that Christmas is the time for giving.
The best gift I can give my children is time.
Quality time spent together and quality time spent with them individually.
This is the time where memories are made.
This is the time where the joy of the season can be found.
And this is the time I hope to hold onto forever.
*This post is in partnership with Stuck on You
Stuck on You provides name labels, personalized gifts, kids clothing, gifts and more. As a busy mother of three, Stuck on You has helped my life become a bit easier. When you enter our mud room you'll quickly notice a line of labeled backpacks and labeled lunches, you'll see soccer bags and uniforms with name labels ironed on the inside, you'll see labeled water bottles and even labeled shoes. When you have three active children, all involved in sports, labeling items becomes essential!
Stuck on You has now made the holiday season a little more special with personalized gifts, stockings and more!
You can visit Stuck on You on their website, Facebook and Twitter.