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September “New Year” Resolutions

It's back to school y'all! I've got that "fresh start" optimism that comes from the return to the good old routines of fall.      The smell of a fresh box of crayons is usually what does it for me. It always makes me want to overhaul all my messy closets and sloppy habits. I left the closets alone, but I did take some me-time to journal and dream big for this school year. I know I know... Jessica, YOU'RE not the one starting school again, it's your kids!  Yeah yeah yeah but when they're in school, it reminds me of when I was in school, and it makes me want to buy some crayons and sniff them start some new habits! And I also recently finished reading and discussing The Power of Habit (affiliate link) in book club so I wanted to push myself a little in the application department.     It almost feels like September is a good time for some "New Year's Resolutions" so to speak.  My usual problem given my type-A

An Apology to Susan B. Anthony

  Lovely Warren wrote a beautiful letter to Susan B. and it was so inspiring I thought I'd write one of my own...     Dear Susan B, I'm sorry that I take my right to vote for granted. I'm sorry that I forget it hasn't even been a hundred years since women had that right.     I'm sorry for the naiveté of thinking the fight for women's rights is a thing of the distant past... that I sometimes don't take these matters seriously, even today. I'm sorry for being lazy.     I'm sorry for the elections I could have, but chose not to vote in... for no real reason other than apathy. I'm sorry for not paying attention to local politics, where it can be argued that my vote matters even more.     I'm sorry for neglecting to discuss these matters with my daughters. I'm working on it now, I promise. I'm so thankful to have been able to visit your grave and cry a little bit over

Easy Dinner Idea | Abendbrot

I do not like to eat the same dinners over and over. I envy people who can have a 1-2 week rotation of favorite meals and therefore always know what's for dinner on a Tuesday night. But for me, unless I'm hardcore in the zone of menu-planning organization, it can often be a scramble at dinnertime. Sometimes that means we have stovetop popcorn or oatmeal for dinner ;-)  (Which I carry no guilt over - I mean, whole grains and real butter and all. But it's a bit boring.) A much BETTER solution to a "question mark" night is a concept I learned from a German friend. We were talking about cooking one day and she told me about the tradition of Abendbrot, or Evening Bread.     See, the Germans have a brilliant solution to the daily question of "what's for dinner..." and it's bread, cheese, meat, and veggies. BOOM! She said she laughed when she married and American and learned that most of us eat a big meal every evening. She was like "Who has time and

Newborn Photography | Baby Judah

One thing I love about my job is the fascinating client stories I get to share! It's obviously wonderful to walk into a hospital room full of smiling family members who just welcomed their new baby into the world. Or to get to play around with a fresh fresh newborn!       That alone (and the beautiful images that result) would totally be enough to make me love doing what I do.  But then I get to hear the sense of pride in Mom's voice as she tells how Judah's birth was really meaningful and empowering to her.     The story of her first child's birth was one I've heard many times. She was induced and medicated and after a long grueling labor had an emergency c-section.     For her second daughter's birth she wanted to try for a VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean.) She wanted a natural birth and she really wanted to avoid numerous c-sections because she has always hoped to have a large

Just Be Okay | The Tension Between Summer and Stillness

  Sarah Kay's poem The Paradox pretty aptly describes my feelings about how summer has gone... When I am inside writing, all I can think about is how I should be outside living. When I am outside living, all I can do is notice all there is to write about. Ohmygosh that has never been so true for me! There have been so many things I want to write about... so many pictures that have gone unedited... so many stories unshared. But that is the beauty of a busy summer, is it not? I've been at camp, I've done photos for a brand new baby and an excited senior and a mother in labor. I've gone on mini trips with Elsa and Anna. I've checked out museums and historic sites. I've gone hiking and camping with friends. Soon there will be a week with my sisters at Acadia National Park and then a week with the rest of the Rawleigh clan in the Adirondacks. WHEW! I struggle with that ironic guilt of how I'm not home and the house is a mess and I haven't been blogging or