19 November 2017

Slice of Life

Though several of my goals for the year have been sacrificed out of necessity (having a baby, then deciding to finish our house so we could move really took it out of me!), there are a few that I really don't like to forego because if I miss them, so much will have already changed by the next year. One of those is having family portraits, a tradition that has quickly become one of my favorite yearly goals. We have had some incredibly talented friends take our pictures and this year, it was Charley from Imzadi Studios!
She came out to our place and lucky us, we caught the one warm, sunny day in an otherwise bleak and bleary autumn week and everything turned out beautifully!
She caught Evelyn's charm, good-naturedness, and humble confidence.
She captured Claire's spunk and humor...
...and her radiance.
She found Kate's free spirit, her kindness...
...and her cheerfulness.
Henry was a bit more of a challenge but eventually, he warmed up and gave the camera a glimpse of his good humor and handsomeness.
And Zoey? She doesn't really have to do anything to be adorable.
And, since our family all started with Jack and me, we like to get one with just us, too.
Beyond the typical photos that everyone takes, Charley really captured the fun that goes on in our family.
It is no question how much the kids adore their dad...
...and how much they (almost always) enjoy each other's company.
Basically, when I look at the photos she took, she made it look like our family is in a continual state of bliss.

Nothin' wrong with that!
We're always on a big adventure!
And life's full of joy.
Henry is one brave kid!
Love the sibling love!
This PERFECTLY catches Claire's love of cats.
Charley even makes crying look good!
Then just like that, he was warmed up and posing like a pro.
We may have even pulled Stoney out for as a prop.
Of course, between taking turns for individual photos, there was a lot of waiting, most of it patient.
Love having a slice of our life captured and would highly recommend Imzadi Studios if you're in the Indy area!

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14 November 2017

Survival Mode

Hurrying to feed the cows before school.
Lately, Jack has had several work trips, leaving the kids and me at home to fend for ourselves.

Okay, so it's not that bad but when Jack leaves, I go into survival mode out of necessity.
Thank goodness for technology.
Sometimes that means I employ the older kids as babysitters.
Claire taking her turn watching Zoey.
I'm on full alert as Dr. Mom for anyone who might injure themselves

(and with five kids, that's surprisingly frequent).
Pushed from behind. She didn't have a chance.
Nobody sleeps well when Jack's gone, which means they all end up in my bed.
I wasn't sleeping anyway.
The kids have to step up and help with farm chores and yes, clothing is optional most of the time.
One less outfit to wash, I guess.
The girls can practically do everything I do, including dumping the neverending supply of manure out on the compost pile.
If I'm really desperate, they're allowed to help paint. It's not a job if it's fun, right?
Kate's dream job!
And if I'm really, really desperate, I'll employ people to do the work for me. It was almost a treat to have people fix our ceiling texture for us...except that meant I had to have people in my house. The introvert in me shudders.
On top of the farm chores and home improvements, everyone still needs to eat.

(What's with that?)
Henry's dream job!
If I can't muster a homemade meal, we take a trip out to eat.
And if I can't muster getting everyone in the car to go out to eat, it's mac 'n' cheese, cereal, pancakes, sliced fruit and veggies, or sandwiches. No one has died yet of having an overly simplified dinner.
Being the fun parent falls to me, which means fancy hair...

...and science experiments...
Everyone made their own slime!
...and car rides, games of tag, tickling, storytime, movies, treats, board games...
Zoey's ready to go for a spin!
...and sometimes, all they want is to fly.
Hold on, Kate!
When Jack is gone, it's exhausting, even if all we're doing is surviving so we really appreciate when he finally comes home.

Especially me.
I can catch up on the laundry and cleaning now. Phew!

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12 November 2017

Book Sales

Jan Hinds, Jennifer Jensen, and me!
Once in a while, I like to go to a book selling event to give me a chance to get together with author friends, meet new readers, and give me a chance to get out without the kids. I've slowly been amassing things to use on display at these sort of events and my newest treat is a giant sign with a quote that sort of hints that books are really awesome gifts:
After we got all set up yesterday, the patrons started pouring in and though I'm personally awful at selling stuff (just read the book--that's how I like to communicate), I think I had relatively good success.
When things quieted down in the afternoon, I loved getting to talk with Jennifer Jensen and Jan Hinds, the authors there with me. I love gleaning wisdom from them, learning about their writing and marketing process, and hearing what projects they have in store for the future. Both are excellent authors and it was an honor to be nestled between them.
Jennifer signing a book for two of her newest fans.
By far my favorite part of the day though is when I finally got to go home. It was slightly comforting to come into the house and hear the kids bickering about cleaning up the kitchen (that means they don't just argue when I'm telling them to clean up, heehee). Zoey and Henry particularly were overjoyed to have me home, which makes me feel special, and while it's good for Jack to parent on his own once in a while, it also made me appreciate the sacrifice he makes in working every day. After the kids went to bed, I zonked out too and got about ten hours because, as fun as it is to have a book event, as an introvert, it sucks a lot out of me.
All in all, an enjoyable day!

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