Wednesday, April 27, 2011


The snow melted from yesterday's storm and another one's coming tomorrow night.

Ruby's swing? Seriously? Or a hammock or whatever it is...

And Matilda's eyes locked on me wherever I go.

Grace sucks her thumb.

And Lillie exercises her independence and self-reliance every second of every minute.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Every day I die at the cuteness.

I pulled into my friend's driveway today to drop her kids off. She stuck her head through the window of my van and looked at my four girls' faces. She said, "Do you KNOW what you have in your car? Do you even KNOW what you possess??"

I have to say I do know. Four delicate flowers, forces for good and motivators of change. Each of them with their own locket of talents and needs. I feel rich and full and happy to be their mom.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Peacock hair, pouty lips.


I love you.


Sunday, April 24, 2011

Sunday Photos and Easter.

The truly awful attempt at a front-yard easter photo seconds before we had to jump in the car. Ya... better luck to me next year. 

Gideon and Katie blessed their beautiful baby Finneas today. Here is a photo of all the grandchildren together.

And here's all of us. My two sisters and two brothers and their spouses (missing Aaron!).

Below, Gideon, Katie and Finn. 

Every year I think of how sick I am that every holiday tradition includes candy. Baskets and stockings and buckets of candy. This year I had a fleeting thought of having a children's book hunt. Everyone grab your basket! See how many different titles you can find! Let's talk plot and characters! I decided it wasn't worth the effort. Wouldn't want it to be a yawn-fest because of me.

On your mark, get set, go!

Lillie, mad about something. 

My brother took the last three of Lillie. He calls them "paparazzi shots". She's declining publicity at this point. She's sick of it and wants her life back...

Overall, a great weekend. We relaxed, enjoyed family and heard enough screaming and crying in our house to make you think militia was attacking our village! 

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The time has come.

I finally got a new camera. It's beautiful in every way. I can't stop shooting with it. Here are a few from yesterday and today. I can't decide what I love most, the flexibility in low light situations or shooting with a full-frame sensor. It's a toss up!

Here's to you, new camera. A warm welcome to the family.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Fresh from the bath.

My baby. Having one of these in the house makes me SO happy. Just look at her skin. Her back. The smoothness of her arms. Her funny baby hair. The way her fingers point. Her double chin. I love that little curve right above her shoulders, right before the back of her head rounds back out into the air. She is the best piece of real estate in the country.

There's a great deal of self-consciousness that happens when your own body transforms into something lumpy, not resembling anything it used to before you had your babies.... but that all disappears when I look at my baby. Nothing matters except the way her eyelashes kiss the sky as she looks up at me. Those blue crystals searching my face, registering love and affection that doesn't recognize our beauty parameters. She sees only her mama. The love of her life. I'm happy to be her.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Chocolate Milk and Spring Break.

We've been doing a whole lot of nothing. Woke up late (8:15), watched tv, watched the rain outside, whined (all of us). We made some breadsticks then played in the rain (not all of us).

And the most peaceful moment of the day... was when they all had a cup of chocolate milk corked in their mouth. I could have died in that wonderful moment of complete silence. They all watched me do yoga and sucked on their cups. So I had to stop and take a photo because it was SO quiet and they were SO cute. Bunch of little babies.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Sunday Photos.

They moved their homemade seesaw out onto the grass between two trees. The evening sun hung on their dancing words and fell slowly toward the horizon. The light shone through their hair, rays spotting the shadows behind them and adding contrast to the curves of their necks.

I stuck my face closer to the back window, gazing out through the kitchen into their world. They could not stop laughing. The sight of their love and affection for each other softens my face and deepens the wrinkles around my eyes as I smile. For my life, for theirs, for ours.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

11 months today.

This photo is from a few days ago. Kind of out of focus, but I love it anyway.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Baby got a haircut.

Above is before...
Below is after... 

And see? See the bottle? She's still our baby...

Ruby had the same problem... sides grew a lot faster than the back. We had to trim Ruby's when she was a similar age, and we trimmed Tad's last night. She wouldn't sit still for a second, since it was bedtime, and she was hungry, and she wanted the scissors. But I did my best and she's all evened out now!

I think she looks a bit older.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Sunday Photos.

Three girls jump on the bed in their underwear. The fourth is too little to join in, so she chews on the sheet.

Four kids is A LOT. I'm constantly overwhelmed and never have enough time for everything. I am never doing enough. Plus there's fighting, or hoarding, or not listening, etc, etc, etc.

I feel like I have a big basket full of gold coins and I'm walking down the street with the sun shining. I love my basket of coins, and I love the sun. There's a cool breeze and I'm by the ocean. Exactly where I want to be. But it's so full that they keep falling out and I stop every three seconds to pick one up. If I didn't know any better, I'd think they were flopping out on purpose, just to bug me. I can't keep up. So I am never- another one fell - doing - another one fell - enough - another one fell.

My basket of coins, it's all I have, it's everything to me, it's a gift beyond my own ability to fully recognize. Hard to manage, yes, worth it, yes, easy? No.

Matilda is standing on her own for little bits of time. My baby, my beautiful little baby, is going to walk. Probably soon. WALK... now I'm freaking out. She gets jokes. She understands teasing. She demands specific behavior. Her voice is loud and frightening.

But you know what? She lets me swaddle her to sleep. She falls asleep swaddled tightly with a milk bottle lagging in her mouth, lying there in my arms like a 20 pound burrito. I hold her tightly and let the night fall slowly around me. And I kiss her sweet-smelling cheeks a hundred times.

You see? Totally worth it.

Monday, April 04, 2011


I love this one so much it causes me physical pain. I don't understate it or minimize it. I am unapologetically in love with my baby.

The littlest one, with the 4-x-hand-me-downs, pen-marked cheek and scraggly hair.

She is a work of art, only paralleled by her Smylie sisters.