Posts with tag: "Family"


Are you Mom to a teenage daughter?  

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Why This Is Us Is Our Family Show
Why This Is Us Is Our Family Show

 **** SPOILER ALERT!****  This blog post does contain some spoilers of our favorite show, This Is Us.  Proceed with caution! When we gather together, the five of us cuddled onto two couches, on Wednesday nights, I know that we’re making memories.  The fact that we all choose to wait until the following night to watch it, so that we can ALL watch it together. The fact that it’s never a question that we will not watch it unless we are all present.  The fact that all chatter stops, any bickering, all distractions fade away.  We are one family, watching another family. And while that other family may be fictional, in so many ways they are just like us.   This Is Us. It’s become our family show, and I love that every one of the five of us will always remember this show and the way it made us feel. I know our family is not the only one sitting in front of the TV on “This Is Us” night (although most families are watching on Tuesdays, not Wednesdays).  Millions of us love this show. There’s something about a show that can have you laughing AND crying at the same time. And yes, that happens often- almost every week! But there is something so special about this show for me.  It’s a show about an imperfect family, trying desperately to love each other, through tragedy and joy, ...

A Lesson For My Beauty
Why This Is Us Is Our Family Show

 My daughter does not love reading.  And that's putting it mildly.  Getting Brady to read has been a delicate balance of encouragement and enforcement since the first grade.  We believe part of that might have to do with a developmental or neurological issue, and we are working with her teachers to learn more.  But we also know that it does not help for Brady to be the sister between two brothers who happen to be voracious readers.  I can see any self-confidence  fade away whenever she hears her older brother going on about the latest novel he devoured, or when she watches her younger brother flip pages faster than a speeding bullet.  Scott and I have tried all sorts of things to encourage her to read.  Brady and I have had "snuggle up and read" sessions (which her younger brother always crashes!), and we've tried reading charts and rewards.  I've even tried reminding her that if she doesn't work on her reading, she'll never be able to read the love notes that her future boyfriends send her. (or are they text messages these days?  Goodness, I am not ready for that) We know that reading will be crucial to Brady's success in life- to all three of our kids' success- but it is a constant battle with Brady, not just to get her to read, but to build up her confidence when it comes to reading.  She's kind of a ...

Cancer Is A Four Letter Word
Why This Is Us Is Our Family Show

 "Can a person beat cancer four times?"This was the question I googled immediately after hanging up with my mom last Tuesday afternoon.  She had called with the results of Dad's regular MRI test.  The cancer had come back.We all knew this would happen.  Seven years ago when my father was first diagnosed with lymphoma in his prostate, we were devastated and scared.  After he beat that, he was diagnosed a few years later with the same cancer, but in his brain.  Fear was replaced this time with anger and resolve.  And he beat cancer again.  And then it came back. Lymphoma in the brain, again.  About two years ago.  This time there was fatigue, mixed in with that resolve.  And now here we are again.  Round four of cancer.  Round three of lymphoma in the brain. I'm not sure what emotion will resurface for each of us this time, or what new emotion will make its entrance, but I do know this.  The one emotion that remains constant, the one sentiment that is never lost is hope.  And this is simply because of the fact that my mother will not allow any of us to lose hope.In some ways, actually in most ways, my mom has definitely walked the toughest road through all of this.  As my father has gotten weaker, she has had to get stronger.  As he's become incapable of working, she's taken on two and ...

50 Ways To Show Love With Your Camera
Why This Is Us Is Our Family Show

 I am lucky and blessed to have a lot of love in my life.I love my family.  I have the most wonderful friends.  I love photography and my job as a portrait photographer.  I love encouraging others.  I love writing this blog, and sharing my thoughts and ideas, even if only five people are reading it.What I'd like to share with you today is how fun it is for me to combine all of these wonderful things together- friendship, family, fun, photography.  I love to use my photography to express my love.  But rather than bore you with more stories, I thought I'd just offer you a list of my favorite ways to do that.  Short, sweet, and to the point! 1. Display photos of the ones you love!  Get them off your computer and onto your walls.  Be reminded daily of your favorite people.2. Do a "photo a day" project for the first year of your baby's lives.  My sister-in-law did this and it was wonderful!3. Take photos of your children doing their favorite things.  This could be as simple as reading, or coloring.  Capture it.4. Invite your girlfriends out for coffee and photos.  Tell everyone to bring their camera (or phone!), as this date is for capturing photos.  Share them all with each other.5. Send your parents a framed photo of your family- one that includes you!6. Carry your camera with you more often. ...

Life Lessons From My Little Girl
Why This Is Us Is Our Family Show

 "Brady, do you know who I am?"My sweet little girl looked at me and scrunched up her forehead, rubbing it hard with the palm of her hand.  She looked frustrated and confused, and very scared.  She could not answer me.  She could not speak to me.  I could tell that she knew me, but she could not say it.  Mom.That moment was the beginning of five of the longest hours of my life, when my sweet little girl had a partial seizure, stripping her of her speech and her motor skills.  That moment was just this past weekend, a long weekend watching my daughter lose a part of herself, then slowly come back to us day by day.  She and I spent three long days in the hospital, while doctors and nurses poked and prodded her, running tests to rule out everything from meningitis to stroke.  We cried together, snuggled a lot, and eventually got back to laughing and talking together, while our boys came to visit and took care of things at home.And after what felt like an eternity, my little girl and I left that hospital and went home, back to the love of our family and friends, and two brothers who were thrilled to have their sister back. I can say with certainty that I will never ever forget this past weekend.  But not just because it aged Scott and me at least 10 years each.  I know that I will look back at this weekend ...