It’s been a fairly quiet week, which really isn’t a bad thing.  I had an incredible shoot with a darling family last Monday, which started the week off on a really high note (and I can’t wait to share their portfolio with you soon), but the rest of the week had a much mellower vibe.  It didn’t help that we’ve all been…kind of sick, and so we’ve had no reason to venture out too much.  This often sends the kids into stir-crazy mode, and to be honest it does the same to me, but I think the rest and more leisure take on the week was good for us.

Like I said, quiet wasn’t a bad thing.

Vitamin C

The nice thing about where we live is that we don’t have to go far to squash the ‘stir-crazy’.  We are within walking distance of a pretty nice park, and the kids (at least the two littles) could spend all day there if I’d let them.  The kids have also become quite enthralled with our backyard.  It’s nothing to write home about, but the weather here has been exceptional lately and so just being outside is desired.  To see them running around the yard throwing pods from the tree at one another, using their imagination to create fantasy worlds; it definitely brightens my day; even if I know that the boy especially is going to walk in the house a complete disaster.

I’m sure I’m not the only one that struggles with keeping their kids active.  The curse of electronics has zapped us earlier than I ever thought it would, and so every day seems like an active fight to keep them off electronics and engaged in something more constructive.  I was always anti-electronics, despite the fact that I do use them throughout the day.  I never wanted my kids to have phones or tablets or anything of that sort and so they didn’t…until about a year ago, when they not only got phones, but also tablets (and an X-Box) and between that and their obsessions with binge-watching television shows, I am constantly putting time limits on things and interrupting their ‘scheduled programming’ to ‘ruin their lives’ by making them get off their phones or turn off the television.  My friend’s kids would have iPads and my kid’s friends would have phones and sometimes I’d think, ‘Maybe my kids are missing out,’ but now that they have them I realize why I didn’t want them to have them in the first place.

It’s hard to stay on them all the time, and I admit that sometimes it’s easier to let them waste their time in front of the television so I can actually get things done without the constant interruptions, but it’s nice when I see them break free from a glowing screen and actually enjoy life.

And, I won’t lie…sometimes I look out the window and see them sitting outside on their phones and I think to myself, ‘At least they are outside, so I’ll count this as a win.’

Honestly though, my main thing is trying to cultivate a feeling of togetherness with the kids.  I want them to feel connected to each other, and not their electronic devices.  That is difficult when phones/tablets and the like are involved.  Sure, they at times will attempt to play a game together or look at each other’s drawings, but these moments mostly dissolve into fights among themselves.

And, of course, electronics become a dependency.  This is true for everyone; even myself.  I can’t count the amount of times in a day (sometimes in a single minute) that I don’t look down at my phone to see what’s going on on Instagram or Facebook or if I missed a call.  It’s compulsive, unfortunately.  While I don’t leave home without my phone (under the excuse that I need it for work), I have started refusing to let the kids leave the house with their phones (to make it clear, the boy does NOT have a phone or a tablet).  This is always met with some sort of standoff and whining about how they ‘want to take pictures,’ as if throwing photography into the mix will soften my stance (and it may work if they weren’t whining and stomping their feet at me), but I do find that my evening with them is much smoother and more enjoyable when I’m the only one looking down at my phone (double standard, I know, but my kids aren’t reading this…yet).

Besides, why do they need a camera when one is almost always strapped to their father’s neck?

We closed out our week of slower moving with a visit to the beach, which is always welcome.  There’s something about soaking in the sun, the salt, and the sand (well, only the boy really appreciates the sand part) that can make anyone feel relaxed.  It’s no wonder that the word ‘vacation’ is most often associated with the beach.  I’m just thankful I live nearby.

But, as I hope my blog posts help you all to realize; no matter where you live, life is no vacation (but it is what you make it).


Song of the Week: Good Girls Bad Boys

It’s been a pretty decent week for music, with a slew of albums dropping, including the 5th studio album from Thirty Seconds to Mars (which includes a pretty great collaboration with Halsey), a B-Sides EP from Zola Jesus, and the returns of both Kate Nash and Gin Wigmore.  One of the albums that dropped this week that had me hooked was the sophomore album from Alison Wonderland.  Her progression of sounds from the opening, Good Enough, right down to the closer, Awake, is beyond impressive.  Good Girls Bad Boys was a particular standout for me.  I also really loved Swim Good, from Dermot Kennedy (ALBUM ALREADY, PLEASE!).  All in all, there’s a lot to dig into this week.  Enjoy!

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