It was just one year ago that my good friend and co-founder of this site Adrienne and I hit "publish" on our very first blog posts. Full of hope and enthusiasm and a little trepidation. We had no expectations, only dreams for where this burgeoning community would take us.
To be here, one year later with a thriving community of unbelievable people all over the world is humbling. There are not words to describe the gratitude that we feel towards each and everyone of you. Every blog comment, facebook post, and message board thread confirms what we believed to be true when we set out on this journey, which is that there is a community of moms (and dads) out there who want to tell their story. Who want to share that story, and who want to help their fellow moms do the same. You are cheerleaders, and inspirations to one another, and I am proud to be a part of it all.
I asked you to send me your personal best images for 2010, and they came pouring in! It was special for me, because I have watched most of your grow from your first post and the progress is jaw dropping. So here's to you Momtographers! Thank You, for making this community a place that I am proud to call home.
Incase you haven't noticed, I am all about getting the maximum glory from the simplest things, enter Rice Krispy Treats stage left!
Refer to theopening sentence, as this is exactly what you will get with these tasty treats! I laugh every year (this is year 3) when I bring them to ALL (and I do mean all) the halloween parties, and am met with "oohs" and "ahhhs" and other complimentary phrases. And while I am always tempted to sit back and take it all in, I say everytime, "It's so easy, it takes 10 minutes" but alas no one believes me, well that or they are just faking it to help my ego which is entirely possible! :)
And since it has worked wonders for my ego, if not my waistline, I thought I would share the recipe for this little show stopper with all my friends here. I am tempted to say they may beat out your aunt Ethel's pumpkin pie for best in show at this year's Thanksgiving feast! :)
Rice Krispy Pumpkin Patch
1 stick of butter
1 bag of mini marshmallows
1 regular size box of rice krispys
1 tablespoon of white sugar
green food coloring
orange (or red and yellow) food coloring
1. Slowly melt butter in a large nonstick pot
2. When butter is fully melted add in the marshmallows, reserving a large handful for the stems
3. Stir until marshmallows are fully melted into the butter
4. Add orange food coloring to desired color
5. Stir in rice krispies and set aside
6. Take the table spoon of sugar and put it into a tupperware container with a lid add several drops of the green food coloring
7. Add in reserved marshmallows to the green sugar cover tightly and shake vigorously
8. Take small handfuls of the rice krispy mixture roll into a semi round shape and top with a green marshmallow stem
Autumn, Fall, or whatever you call it---the season is upon us. For some that means crisp air and changing leaves, for others it's sending your baby of to school for the first time, it may be the start of a new life chapter like high school or college. My west coast mama's are trading in their bikinis for sweaters on their afternoon beach strolls, and my friends to the North well I have already seen the down jackets, fuzzy hats, and gloves. Yes, of course fall just wouldn't be fall without the pumpkin patches, apple picking, and ghoulish Halloween costumes, but it's also everything in between. Fall has as many faces as the New York City halloween parade has costumes, and I wanted to celebrate them all!
I hope that you are inspired, and reminded that you are a MOMTOGRAPHER, which means you report to no one.So use your creative license Momtographers, learn the rules and then break them, paint your families in ways as unique as they are! Snap to it!
Thank you to all of our momtographers, poptographers and everything in between, who took the time to share! Enjoy our fall gallery, courtesy of YOU!
It's an interesting world that we live in, one where we can connect with people all over the world, for any number of reasons. More then 4 years ago I chose to connect with a group of women all who were expecting to bring new life into the world in the winter of 2007. One of these ladies has become one of my closest friends and co-founder of this site, while many of the others are still part of my daily dialogue in one form of communication or another, from facebook to IM to text. Never was the significance of this more apparent then it has been over the last few weeks and for me the last few days, as so many of us sent our first born babies, off into the world without us for the first time.
I remember so distinctly the early days on our due date club where we anxiously anticipated those first movements inside our bellies, and then our anticipation shifted to the moment we would find out who this little person might be a boy or a girl, and even more anxiously the anticipation heightened as we yearned to meet our little people, and then one by one they were here!
After that most of it is a blur, milestone after milestone anticipated, documented and gone in a flash.
On Tuesday morning, I found myself yearning to go backwards in a way I had never felt before. Many times in the last few months I have wished for a pause button, something to stop the time from passing so I could hold onto to my baby, my first born baby, just a moment longer. But status update, after status I realized time wasn't going to wait for me or anyone else. So reluctantly I added my baby's biggest milestone yet, to the cyberspace dialogue, closed my computer and held her tight.
In true Chloë fashion, wanting to make sure I knew she was alright she flashed me a smile and a quick thumbs up before she set off to be a part of the bigger world without me. It might be my imagination but I am quite certain she came home, taller, smarter, funnier, older, and more mature! But what I am equally certain that I didn't imagine, was the excitement on her face when she told me about her teacher, her new friends, her desk, and the water fountain in the hall. And the bedtime hug that lasted a little longer then usual.
One of my very favorite websites to visit these days, Planet Awesome Kid, teamed up with Global Action For Children, a children's charity to throw a truly FABULOUS fundraiser! All I can say is I am glad I wasn't working! From a children's beauty bar, to world class face painters, my girls seriously didn't know where to go first! This party was jam packed with fashion world heavy hitters, hipster parents from every corner of NYC, and even a little bit of hollywood showed up (you didn't hear it from be, but BROOK SHIELDS was even there with her adorable kiddos!).
This blog is a BIG FAT THANK YOU, to the team over there. They are doing amazing things, and taking to the streets (both cyber and paved) to make the world, a better, cooler, funner (is that even a word), and definitely more stylish place! Here's a peek at just how much fun we had. Being a city kid definitely has it's upsides!
Can I be real with you guys for just a minute? This week stunk. No, it didn't stink in any sort of life-altering tragedy sort of way, but in that "I really have no idea which end is up on this whole motherhood thing" kind of way. If I had a paper calendar, I would have written in red sharpie "FAIL" on every square this week. Actually, it was so pitiful and emotionally draining, that shoud I have been the sort of organized person that could commit to a paper calendar, I would have invested in a self-inking stamp of the word "FAIL", just so I would have it around (and so that little hands couldn't get to the red sharpie I'd inevitably leave out on the counter.)
For those of you who didn't know me prior to the launch of this site 7 weeks ago, I suppose this means we're past our first date and I should let you in on a little something. I don't love photography for the pretty pictures. I guess that's a fringe benefit, but it's not why I'm here.
Photography saves me. Truly.
When I'm having weeks like the one I'm having, it's like the reassuring voice of a girlfriend who's been there. It's an objective, yet gentle friend that helps me keep perspective. The stories it shares are a reminder as real to me as the banana stting in my bathroom trash can (after my 3-year-old decided Girl Scout cookies is the true breakfast of champions) that I have to remember the whole journey, not just the ditches.
When, after a year without a single bedwetting, we've puddled the floor three days in a row, I can look back and see her tiny tush in diapers and remember how far we've come.
When her gymnastics coach has to leave five children against the wall doing handstands so that she can retrieve her from the foam pit, I can recover from the horror by remember from which genepool she emerged.
When a morning-long battle over running a brush through her hair ends with "I don't like you anymore", I can be reminded of what she would actually look like if I let her go to school as though she'd just rolled out of a pop-up tent.
And finally, if my red-streak continues long after this transition from being an only child to a big sister settles out... if I somehow fail to let her know in the day to day just how much I love her... she will someday be able to look back and realize that her mother was in awe of her every moment.
Keep twirling sweet child. You will always be my first baby.
In my journey with my camera and my family one thing I have come to understand is that with any frame worthy moment there is usually more then one story going on at any given time. Take for instance, a simple Saturday morning snuggle session with my biggest girl and her daddy. I looked over from my computer to the scene of my Chloë Yoshe cuddled up with her daddy looking so small and sweet and knew immediately it was picture worthy! But once I grabbed my camera I realized that there were many stories here to tell.
The story of my dear husband taking a break from his busy morning to just be a daddy while sneaking a glimpse of his wife.
The story of my biggest girl taking advantage of the rare quiet moment while her sister napped to watch a cartoon.
The story of a daddy's big strong hand holding his tiny daughter close.
Or The story of the cuddle itself and my daughter's sweet expression.
You always have options, so when you pick up your camera with each snap of the shutter think about what story you are going to tell!
Snap to it!
TO MY CHILDREN
The tweet read, "RT @kirtsy: I've watched this 100 times. And I want to send it to every mom I know. http://bit.ly/cgZCwZ Thank you, @katherinecenter" I had a few spare minutes (ever looking for a diversion from what I SHOULD be doing) and after all, I am a mom... My heart stopped inside my chest and after several moments I realized that I wasn't breathing. I hadn't connected with anything this way in a very long time. It was the best spent 2 minutes and 41 seconds online ever. Thank you twitter!
I've watched this video now more times then I care to admit and shed a number of tears that only another mom could understand or guess. And you know what, I'm ok with that. It made me think of all the things I have wanted to say, If only I knew how. This is something that I have struggled with in my own journey as a mother. I have journals that were started with all the best intentions, that are still waiting for their pages to be filled. And there in lies my problem so many things I want to say, but am never quite sure how to say them. Whenever I write them down I feel like it's only part of the story, but doesn't paint the whole picture. I want them to know the whole picture, I want them to see themselves the way I did. Then I realized, It's through my images that I can tell the rest of the story. My camera is an extension of my heart, my mind, my hand, and my mouth. It tells my story in way that I never could before. I am so grateful to have found my voice through my lens, because now I can tell them the whole story, I can show them, and they can know.
Momtographers, this community is in it's infancy, but I hope that now as we lay the framework, it's built with the spirit of empowering every mom to find a voice to tell her story. To show her children all the things she want's them to know. We want to empower you so that you can use your camera in a way that brings you joy and satisfaction. If you are like me and find that sometimes words escape you, I hope that you feel powerful now knowing there is another way.
To my children:
Since the moment I felt you flutter in my belly I've loved you with a love that I never could have imagined. From your funny faces, to your sad ones, tears and giggles, first steps and first bites, you are beautiful, and sensitive, funny, clever, and a little naughty. The way you love each other amazes me more and more every day! I love you my sweet girls. And when words aren't enough or don't flow the way they should, there are the images...
Yesterday was my daughter's first-ever gymnastics lesson. Gush. I can't tell you that this post isn't a great excuse to tell you how proud I am that we may have found an outlet for our super-active chatterbox (after our *ahem* interesting experience with ballet), or how entertained I am by her fearlessness. But if I'm going down the emotional rabbit trail of my parenting experience, I need to disclose that it was a real nail-biter.
Ah, the push and pull of parenting. Let go. Stay close. Hide in the bleachers so you're there for the inevitable potty break, but