Monday, January 26, 2015

On Photography

From Above

I love photography and I'm always trying to get better at it. This year, one of my friends (Hi Fran!) reached out and told me about a 52 week challenge of Child Lifestyle Prompts on Audrey Ann Photography's site. I immediately decided to take this on as it fits perfectly into my love of photography, my love for my children and my desire to get better at photographing them. 

Laughter

There have been easy shots and OMG! WHY WON'T IT WORK shots. I've had great discussions with Scott about photo ideas. I've had some terrible shots and had to re-do them until my children turn into wild things and refuse to participate in my plans. 

Something We Do Together

One huge thing I've taken from this experience is that photographing children is hard work. I applaud all of those family photographers who get great shots of kids. I suspect they too take 1,000 shots to give their clients 20 good ones. Or maybe they are all just super awesome and don't take any duds. 

Molly on the Road to Home

You can follow my 52 week journey on Flickr. I'll be including more than just my final shots as I have some great outtakes already. I'm thinking of making a book at the end of the year to remember these times. 

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Sunday Moment

http://sayingbook.com/courage-does-not-always-roar.html

Some days your courage seems to fail you. Some days your courage rises up and roars out of you. Some days your courage whispers in your ear, saying You can do it. Some days your courage knows that today it can't be there for you but it can help you try again tomorrow. 

Far Away #fmsphotoaday These boats sail far far away at times.

I like to remember that courage can be a quiet feeling. Courage does not always need to be a roaring lion blasting its voice toward everyone. Sometimes being courageous can mean keeping quiet until the right moment. This week, go forward with courage and know that if you don't have it right now, it could be that you don't need it right now and that it will appear when you need it. 

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Thirteen Months with Mag-Pie


Dear Maggie,

You are now 13 months old and such a toddler! You alternate between being the cutest thing I've ever seen and such a little pill. Your favorite game in the world is pulling out your drawer in the kitchen and throwing all the cups, plates, snack cups, etc. out while shaking your head no and giggling. I'll admit that it is pretty darn hilarious even if it means a lot of clean up for me.

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Your hair is finally long enough for piggy tails and I love them! You, however, believe they should be ripped out as fast as I do them. I guess we'll agree to disagree on them. But seriously piggie tails are the cutest!

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You have moved into your room with your sister and most nights I hear the two of you giggling together when you should be sleeping. I love watching your relationship develop. It's going to be great to have a big sister. I know she's thrilled to have a little sister! 

Laughter Outlake

You are in constant motion except when you drop off to sleep. You are still taking two naps a day but some days opt for a long mid-day nap. It'll be interesting to see when you drop your morning nap and take on the sweet long afternoon nap. 

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I love the sound of your laughter when we tickle you or when you think something is extra funny. You scrunch up your nose and giggle. You spend so much time giggling and nothing makes you giggle more than swinging at the park. You could swing for hours. 

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You are a joy, a bundle of explosive energy and somebody I am really enjoying hanging out with. Every single day you develop a new skill or show off a different part of your personality. You are stubborn, lovable and adorable. 

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We love you so much, Maggie! Keep smiling and being the fun kid you are. 

Friday, January 23, 2015

Poisson en Papillote

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The barre3 challenge recipe this week was not Whole30 approved but I still wanted to do a barre3 recipe in order to place another sticker on my sheet (I'm a bit sticker obsessed, like my preschooler). I did a search and found a delicious looking fish recipe. It reminded me of a classic french recipe that I had seen on a few paleo sites, Poisson en Papillote (basically, fish cooked in paper). I combined a few techniques, ingredients and went from there. 

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I really wasn't expecting much from this dish. I thought, ok some veggies and some fish and I'll choke it down but instead it was soooo good that I savored every bite and took longer to eat than normal. I was so sad when I took my last bite. 

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This is such a simple way of cooking a delicious meal and can be easily expanded for more dinner guests. The parchment makes a splashing display at any future dinner party. 

Poisson en Papillote

by Rebecca Mongrain
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 22 minutes
Ingredients (1 serving)
  • 1 sheet parchment paper, cut into approximately 12x12-inch sheets
  • 1/2 Tablespoon Coconut Oil + extra for brushing
  • 1 6-oz. piece of fish (salmon, cod, halibut)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 leek, white part only, finely chopped
  • 1 carrot, julienned
  • 6 cherry tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon Cilantro, chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon tarragon
  • 1/2 cup mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 handful spinach
  • 1/2 lime, thinly sliced
Instructions
Preheat oven to 425F.
Cut each parchment sheet into a large heart by folding in half and cutting the exterior of the half-heart shape, using most of parchment sheet. Place the open heart shape on a cutting board, brush the right side with coconut oil.
Place the fish filet on top of the parchment paper and top with salt and pepper.
Start layering on the remaining of the ingredients starting with the spinach, carrots, tomatoes, mushrooms and leeks on top of the fish. Top with the tarragon, cilantro and two slices of lime.
Top the fish with 1/2 Tablespoon of coconut oil and a dash of salt and pepper.
Fold the packet into a half-heart shape and use a tight, overlapping rolling technique, folding over the previous fold’s edge to create a seal in order to ensure steaming.
Transfer the packet to a baking sheet and bake for 15 -22 minutes until the packet puffs up.
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Thursday, January 22, 2015

On Parenting and Life

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Not to brag but I feel like I'm finally hitting my stride with parenting again. That first year with a new baby is just hard, so very hard and last year was harder than most for me. My Dad got sick, my baby wouldn't latch, I had a very energetic two-year old, my husband took on more responsibilities at work which meant a bit more of the home responsibilities were placed on my shoulders, I began taking care of my Mom and life happened. I'm coming out of the darkness of last year and seeing the light. I'm in no way through the tunnel; I still have a very long way to travel but I can see the light. 

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I'm shifting into my responsibilities. I'm adjusting with my role as a Mom to two delightful girls and a caretaker for my Mom while also getting a bit more selfish. I took a weekend trip to visit my BFF just before Christmas for my birthday and I'm going back down again in February to meet her new little guy. I'm exercising again and god save anyone who gets in the way of my workouts. I'm enforcing daily quiet time for the non-napping 3 year old so I can write. I'm getting up early on non-workout days to focus on necessary tasks before the kids get up (this part is hard because sometimes they sense that I'm awake and get up). I'm making time for my hobbies. I'm knitting every single day and reading a few pages of a book. I'm trying to stay grounded. 

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I love staying home with my kids. I love being a part of their daily lives and taking them on adventures. I'm hoping that we'll have many more adventures this year now that Maggie is getting old enough to appreciate them. I do struggle with the non-stop attention my kids seem to require but I know that while the days are long, the years are so very short. Every day seems a bit like Groundhog's Day while also feeling like everything always changes, always. 

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