Hey! I'm Emily... homebody, amateur philosopher, professional photographer, mama and wife. This is my little world-- a place for me to preserve the little snippets of my life that bring me joy, make me think, or show my creative leanings. I'm so happy you're here. If you get a minute, please introduce yourself in the comments. If you like what you see, you are invited to follow my blog through your RSS Reader. Just click the link at the bottom of the page to add me.
Thank you for being part of my little world... :)

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Friday, April 3

Five For Friday: Stuck At Home/"Trio" Poem Edition

Five For Friday: 
All The Kids Are Home And Stuck Here Since Lucy Is Potty Training Edition

by Sarah Dunning Park

(pianissimo) Mama, 
pretend I'm a butterfly
named Lyla, a little
purple butterfly who
lives among the 
(mezzo-forte) Mommy, 
I learned the coolest
thing! We made it in
school today and you
need to come see how
(fortissimo) MAMA!
POTTY! (continuing 
in counterpoint)
Mom Mom Mom, 
come see, I'm gonna try
then get pollen, Mama, and fly
I folded on these lines
to my nest up high, 
actually now I'm a bird
named Ly--- (crecendo)
---la; chicka-dee-dee
-DEE Watch out, Mommy, 
watch out, here comes my airp---


Swap out that "made this in school" part for "Pokemon, this, Pokemon, that" from Noah.... Swap out the "wipe me" for the "I had an accident!!" as Lucy and I potty train all week, and just add Quinn's general penchant for mischief, and this lovely piece basically nails it. All of it. I'm totally in love with this whole slim volume of poems by Sarah Dunning Park, who subtitles her book, "Honest poems for mothers of small children." The book came in the mail mid-week on one of the longest mama-weeks of my life thus far, and it was not a moment too soon. There's something about feeling the kinship and empathy of others going through it alongside you that help you muster a second, third, fourth wind in the middle of this mayhem. This beautifully messy, complicated, hard, painful, frustrating, joyful, loving mayhem. 


Five For Friday, yo--- who's in? Message me, comment, Facebook me your link if you participate and I'll add it here. Fun times! Happy Easter weekend! 

Sunday, March 29

Five For Friday, On Sunday, Because, Well, C'est Moi These Days

Five For Friday: Bed-Jumping Edition
One morning, one recent day, I made sure to grab my big camera for the shenanigans 
my two little sidekicks were up to. They did not disappoint. 

These two. They fill my days, and my heart. We miss Noah, off being a big first grader at school all day, and if you asked him, he'd choose to be here with us in a heartbeat... But he's doing phenomenal things there at school, so it's all good. 

Meanwhile, here at home, we just muck around and bend the rules, like so:


Perhaps sometime soon I should make Lucy a cape of her own, with her own initial. Maybe I'll make Quinn one, too, while I am at it. 


Post should end here, really. It's complete. But then, I feel like..... listen. This is such a cute set of photos. And I did make that cape for Noah once. And I have been a productive and clever gal in the past. But recently? Not so much. I don't feel like I am that same gal right now, and it is bumming me out. So I feel like we need to talk. Like I need to confess that you're not getting that Emily you might be used to. Like, somewhere in the last couple of years, she's shifted.... And I don't know what it means, exactly, and I don't know why I can't seem to get back to the me I feel like I KNOW really well.... Just a whole lot of "I don't know"s.... But I feel like you deserve to know this about me.

And it's been humbling. And for the most part, I am okay with this "me".... The one who lets things go a lot more, who has become (NOT for better) flakier. Who is, if anything, LESS sure and LESS formed than she was 5 years ago... And I don't have any amazing point to this confession. I just thought you should know. 

I hope one day, some really cool epiphanies will start to flow again, and I might have something more to offer to my readers than these messy, loose-end confessions. That I will have learned some concrete things worth passing on. But right now, I am in the thick of it... Of parenting small kids, of bumbling through owning my own small business and being my own terrible boss, of feeling the weight of time and age and seeing for the first time how disillusionment might actually begin to happen in one's life, of feeling so many wishes and hopes and seeing so many ways in which I fall short.... I am constantly humbled, and working on finding the balance between that humbling being good and rich and spiritual, or just being demeaning and self-crushing.

Basically, I'm a mess. Just a mess of flawed humanity. But I'm a mess that is working on it. Always. Except when I choose to nap instead. But mostly I really am working, striving, yearning, reaching, wishing, watching, waiting, praying, and just trying to hold on as life works on me. 

But I'm not that sassy gal you started reading a while back. Not right this moment. Hopefully what I am right now is still enough. Be patient with me. And I will try to patient with myself, too. There might just be some wisdom and fresh perspective around the corner. 

(And if you're in the thick of this indefinable phase with me, here's a massive, too-tight virtual hug from me. I sometimes feel like that's all I want--- a really long, tight hug and someone telling me I'm okay, just like this, flawed and all. So here's one for you. You need it, too.)

Peace out. Gonna try to get 5ForFri. posted on an actual Friday this week. And gonna try to potty train Lucy this week, too. Ack. That's another post for another day.

Sunday, March 22

"A Spring Issue", by Sarah Dunning Park

A Spring Issue

Standing in line
at the grocery checkout
my eye slides over your glossy cover

and I imagine kicking back
  in a quiet room at home,
  sunlit air from the window
  fluttering your bright pages.

I would quietly feed on
  your inspiring concepts
  for dining al fresco, plus
  one hundred great ways
  to bring back the romance
  (and still get dinner on the table).

Actually dinner
  is burning in the oven
  while I fitfully pore over
  page after page
  of simulated perfection,
  my brain racked by the effort
  of mentally tallying these things
  I surely need:

a battery of skin-care
  potions to charm my face
  into a pristine, even poreless
  surface and a new wardrobe
  that flatters my assets
  while suiting my age
  (as well as resisting stains)
  and that Viking range
  with granite countertops
  where I’ll roast local lamb
  or raptly dice Vidalias
  at the end of each day
  dedicated to meditative yoga,
  to targeting and toning and
  releasing stress and toxins-

not to mention toxic emotions,
  rising to a high boil
  with my ravenous heart,
  now bleating for a taste of the flawless
  (which I think I’ve just beheld
  her within your pages).

Little can I do
  but dish up our lenten meal
  (peas and potatoes)

and then I will sacrifice you,
  sham of the perfect,
  to the trash, sprinkling you
  with the crumbs of tonight’s
  charred fish sticks.

(Found while enjoying the new-ish blog my friend Jodie Byrne is a contributor to, The Sham of the Perfect. Check it out. Soak it in. Let it go. I love this. Gonna treat myself to the poet's book, "What It Is Is Beautiful".)

Friday, March 6

Five For Friday: How I Fill My Empty Minutes

Someone clearly in tune with the universe the other day sent me this link, at a time I *really* needed it. (Love to you, Cindy!)

by Carmella Rayone on The Art of the Simple blog

She opens with this quote from her own journal:

 "And in between, my mind kept wandering to those creative projects that keep calling to me, hopping along with me from moment to moment throughout my day, waving. Not nagging, not impatient, but simply there and smiling, not wanting me to forget.
I won’t forget. I’ll make room and time. If only for a few minutes here, 
a few minutes there …”

It's a short little meditation, and it is lovely, for it is something I am always trying to re-teach myself: That we don't need grand chunks of time to make progress... even doing a little bit at a time, in the empty minutes, will eventually yield results. And in the meantime, the mindfulness of letting myself do work I love, even just a few stitches, pages, photos at a time, is something that fills my well throughout the day.... the week... the years of being a mama here at home. 

Take a minute to click the link and go read. Then give yourself permission to begin (get back to?) a project that may only get worked on a few minutes at a time. And then let that project NOT nag, but make you smile when you think of it waiting for you to visit it, here and there. 

My Five For Friday this week (after missing two Fridays in a row, due to end-of-winter-life-is-grey-blah-why-bother-maybe-I'll-just-nap-or-stitch-or-watch-Dr.-Phil-February-ennui. Forgive me. forgive yourself if you were/are there, too.) is a set of cell phone snaps of the five things I am most likely to turn to these days when I have some empty minutes.

1. Recently revisiting cross-stitch, after not doing anything with it since THIS project. Cross-stitch is something I will do, then take several years off, then do again, then stop... Except this time it's taken hold and has become a REAL addiction. I blame The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery for their insanely darling stitch-along samplers that cry out to be created.

2. Taking a scrapbooking pen and writing captions into my personal photo books. Years ago I gave myself permission, after a long and arduous book-creating ordeal, to NOT tediously type in captions to my photo books, and instead hand-write them at my leisure another day. Serves two purposes: A. It keeps me coming back to make more books because I don't have to type captions. B. My posterity gets some of my handwriting to enjoy. It's, like, historical, or something. 

3. Kindle books. I am a bibliophile, I promise, and I will never stop loving paper books. Ever. But for now, in a life where reading in the dark and portability trump couch/quilt/actual page turning moments, I am in love with devouring books on my phone when I can grab some minutes. It's been a renaissance of reading for almost a year now, and I am giddy about it. Thank you, Bree and Michelle/Allison and Meghan for all having a hand in ushering in this reading era in my life again. 

4. Ever the personal photo backlog. Always. If I get some time, I try to remind myself that even working for 15 minutes here and there, the work WILL get done. Shown below, thumbnails from March 2014.

5. I am an unapologetic napper. Lifelong member. SARK gave me official permission years ago (though I was already in the practice of it before reading her book), and I am a disciple. Not daily, sadly... But at least 2-4 times a week. Well-filling, healing, lovely naps. Pictured, a photo of a photo of a nap long ago, before I ever had kids. Taken by Joe. Mmm.... Wish I was napping right now. 


What are your treats/indulgences/minute-fillers? I'd love to know! Blog yours, list a few in the comments, something. I would love to hear from you!

And it's not too late to do a Five For Friday today! I mean, *I* managed it!! Woot! Let me know in the comments or via FB that you did it, and a link to yours, and I'll add it to this post, right here ---->

Thursday, February 19

Happy Korean New Year!

 February 19, 2015, is the official Korean New Year celebration day. How is this even on my radar?? If you recall from past blog posts, especially this one, Joe's parents lived for over eight years in Seoul, Korea. They have only just recently moved back to the USA to live and work, and it's been so good to have them closer again. But before they moved back, last year they sent an AMAZING Korean New Year care package, complete with foodstuffs, toys, fun information/trivia about multiple Asian countries, and ....official Korean New Year costumes. Incredibly beautiful clothing sets for each of the kids. I knew the minute I opened them that there were photos in my kids' futures. And though it's been a full year, it's turned out to be a perfect thing. Quinn wasn't quite walking yet this time last year, and his outfit was a bit roomy still. This year, the outfits fit everyone really well, AND I had time to plan ahead to have these photos done in time for the actual New Year. Win win! So with love and gratitude to my mother and father-in law, I want to wish you all a happy and prosperous Year of the Lamb, a happy new year to you from us! 

 {so willing, that boy is.... His scowl is unparallelled!}

I'm sure my in-laws could tell so many stories about the symbolism and relevance of these outfits. I do know that Lucy's rainbow purse (the boys each got one, too) is meant for gifts and lucky coins, etc., for the children. Each of their purses have a crisp dollar bill in them from their grandparents. So cute! 

I love the colors... I love the details... and it has been really cool to see these beautiful gifted outfits on my cute children. Hooray for photos! 

Do you have any stories about Korean or Chinese New Year? Any personal links to these holidays? Share in the comments! I'd love to hear! 

Sae hae bok mani ba deu seyo! (Happy New Year!)

Friday, February 13

Five For Friday: Dad Edition

One afternoon at the end of December, when I'd had a client over for a session, but not yet taken down the backdrop, I grabbed Joe and asked him to let me take some quick photos of him with the kids. He's not in many photos recently because of Daylight Savings and his work hours, and, well, the squirminess of his kids.... So it was a good spontaneous move on my part to make this happen. And, I mean, look at him... Look at him loving them. And them loving him. This is my little heaven right here. This home, these faces, these moments... 

I love Joe as a dad. 

A reminder that if you, the reader, want to post a "Five For Friday" yourself, I'd love to add your link here. You could do five images on Instagram or Facebook, too, if you're not blogging much these days. And it doesn't have to be photos! You could do a Five For Friday list, and just write a few things. Let me know in the comments if you do play along, and if you have a link for me to add here. Because I love seeing what YOU'RE up to, too!

Tuesday, February 10

A Strange, Welcome Peace

This winter has been an odd one. Last year, we were absolutely pummeled with bitter cold and snow snow snow. We had a record amount of snow days, and we began to lose our little minds pretty early on. I feel like I almost lose my little mind EVERY winter, right about March 4th, when it's apparent that just because the calendar says "SPRING", Mother Earth is laughing and sending more gloom and chill.... But last year, in particular, was brutal on our inner peace around here. 

So this year, with almost ZERO snow, with several "jacket" days versus "heaviest coat" days.... Well... it's been a strange, nice break from the norm. Still.... even on the sunniest days, it's not WARM, and the wind keeps us from spending too much time outside, though every cell in my body yearns for fresh air and the sun on my face. It's my chilly feet and the tip of my nose that remind me it's not going to be that fun to stand around outside for more than a few minutes. We take the moments we can get, but by and large, we are still indoors most of the time. 

But because it's not desperately WINTRY, it's been okay. More than okay. Since the year rolled over to 2015, I've been in this strange, hard-to-explain peace. I feel equal parts motivated to chip away at the permanent to-do list.... to tackle old tasks that have needed doing for MONTHS, and to also slow down, let go, ease up, chill out. Nothing has felt like an EMERGENCY, and that is a rare pleasure for me. I've been able to recover from little upsets like kids arguing or messes made.... To be able to let so many things go. It's been slower, gentler, and just really nice. 

I'm not kidding myself that this is a New Me, and permanent.... I have decided to just treat it like a gift, and to enjoy it while it lasts. It is, perhaps, the last Great Peace before we think about adding another kiddo to the family. Or before Lucy drops her naps altogether and I have to relinquish the sacred Quiet Time that has reigned supreme in our house for seven years. Or before some new turn in life brings new needs, new requirements of emotional energy. Who can tell? But until new demands come knocking, I am going to try to hold onto this peace. This strange absence of the Type A part of me. It's been nice. And weirdly, things are still getting done, even without the high-strung emotional energy typically surrounding such tasks. Perhaps I'm actually letting people down right and left... I am not as prompt as I would usually like to be.... I am not as proactive and gung-ho.... But then, perhaps I'm more likable right now with this hippy dippy zen groove I'm sporting. I dunno. I am not too concerned either way. Ha, see?? 

So. For now, I'm here. It's winter, though a mild one. That "invincible summer" in the quote above is here in me, as it always is.... The hope and optimism and creativity and faith.... Just manifesting is a particularly mellow way right now. I'm filling my well with all kinds of little things here at home--- reading some good books on my iPhone Kindle, working a little bit on my neverending personal photo task list, rearranging and ordering little corners of my home, baking here and there. I just began a yearlong cross-stitch "stitch along", found HERE (cutest ever) and that has been energizing to embark on. Movies and Netflix shows.... And in between, the occasional nap, and lots of marveling at my kiddos and their individual renaissances they're all currently going through. Hugs from Joe-- feeling some pretty deeply satisfying synergy in our relationship... 

It's all just good. Simple, basic, and good. I'm grateful. I'm chill. I can make it to the end of this winter for sure. One day in the near future, more will be required of me again, and things will shift, and my stronger emotions will kick back into gear, and I will be ready for it. Probably excited for the change when it comes. But I'm in no rush. This hippy dippy ZEN is pretty awesome for now.