Letters To My Sons | August

Dear boys,

As summer comes to a close, I could talk about how fun it was going to the beach, or the Saturdays mornings we got up early with Daddy to play basketball or the day at the farm when you guys rode in the wooden firetruck. But that's not what I loved most. What I loved most of all was watching your brotherhood grow. You see, this time last year Grey wasn't walking and of course wasn't talking, and I remember looking ahead to the time when you boys could run around together, when we could ditch the stroller and go have some fun. And, well, this summer was it! 

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When talking about your brotherhood I'm including all of the hi's and the lo's, all of the growing pains involved with such a bond. One of the sweeter moments this past month was when I peeked around the bedroom door to find Cash reading one of Grey's animal picture books to him, and Grey trying to repeat the words back. Everyone in the house can't help but laugh when Grey says things like, "Doo Doo" (thank you) or "Boons" (balloons) or "Mo Mo" (Elmo) or when he says "Hi Dash!" (Cash).

That's all pretty darn cute and balances out those other moments when you guys mush against each other like feral rams fighting for my attention, or a certain toy or the window seat on the subway. Or the times when you guys chase each other around the house until someone inevitably falls on the floor, off the bed or couch, then cries and points a finger at the other one. Today it happened on the trampoline and Grey ended up with a bloody nose. It was the first bloody nose of this brotherhood so good for you Grey, you won that one! 

That's life and often times I'll just let you guys work it out yourselves, knowing that part of what bonds you now and forevermore will be these experiences. But I would like to thank you for those contagious fits of laughter, those squeals of joy during our "nae nae" dance parties and games of hide and seek, the tears of pain and frustration and the many smiles that brightened my summer. And most of all, I am thankful for zero trips to the emergency room.

Always & forever,


Letters to our sons | January

***I am so thankful to be a part of this blog circle "Letters to our Sons", with so many amazing photographers and moms.  In honor of our love for our little boys, we are posting a monthly image(s) along with a corresponding, heartfelt letter.  After reading my post please click HERE to continue around the circle, starting with the very talented Jojo Pedri Clark.

Dear Cash and Grey, 

Well this past Christmas was your first Christmas together as brothers.  As usual we spent the holiday in Wilmette at Aunt Gail and Uncle Elio's house.  Grandma and Pow Pow drove in from Pittsburgh, Uncle Jim flew in from Oregon, and your cousins Alex, Laura and Nicki worked hard to have everything ready for your arrival.  Even Rocky and Penny, the family's two four legged pals, were excited that you were coming to visit.  But we all knew Cash, that there was one visitor who you were especially hoping would arrive, traveling all the way from the North Pole!


For weeks you'd been anticipating his arrival, maintaining your best behavior in the hopes that that might help - and that maybe, just maybe, because you'd been such a good boy, he would bring you a "B" subway train car to add to your collection.  Your biggest concern was how Santa would know you were in Chicago and not New York City, but Dad and I assured you that Santa knew where each little boy and girl would be on Christmas morning.  

During our stay for the holiday, cousin Alex generously gave up his room for us.  We took it over with all of our luggage strewn about - a blow up mattress, crib, books, toys and enough clothes for a week long stay.  After our Christmas Eve dinner with the family, the two of you dressed in your matching festive pajamas and put out the Christmas cookies & milk for Santa & the carrots for Rudolph.  You said goodnight to all of the family and were off to bed for it would surely be an early morning.  And that it was!  During the predawn of Christmas, the four of us hung out in Alex's room, waiting for a decent hour to gather the other family members and descend downstairs.  It was during this time that I took some of my favorite photos of the day.  Candid, playful and imperfect.  What fun watching the two of you in your bare feet on a messy bed, cracking each other up in contagious excitement.  Your first Christmas morning together is captured in this series of photos, silly and unposed - just brothers in their natural and playful state on a very special morning.    

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Christmas morning was truly magical.  The family went downstairs to discover that Santa had indeed arrived and presents were everywhere - one of which was the coveted "B" train.  You were over the moon Cash.  And Grey, Santa knew you needed socks!  How on earth he knew that is a big mystery!  

It was such a beautiful Christmas morning spent with family, filled with love, laughter and joy.  Of course we managed to take a few formal Christmas photos like the ones below, but it was the time we shared together upstairs as a family, playing on the bed, that I will remember most.  

Always & forever,



[Click photo to enlarge]

Photo 52: Within the Frame

Perspective | Isolation {Week 15}

Continuing our focus on perspective this week, Photo 52: Within the Frame sought to isolate our subjects through the use of a telephoto lens or otherwise.  Zoom lenses, with their longer focal lengths, magnify the scene and create a shallow depth of field which, in laymen's terms, means that the environment surrounding a subject is compressed and often quite blurred.  Lovely portraits occur when the subject remains prominent in the frame and the other elements are reduced.    

This past week the weather was either brutally cold (have you heard about the Polar Vortex?) or too rainy to venture outdoors.  Therefore a great deal of our play time was within the four walls of our apartment.  Below is a detail captured with my 70-200mm telephoto lens of my son landing a jet plane onto his aircraft carrier.  Even without his entire face, body or a sharply focused background, the viewer is able to piece together what is happening within a little boy's room, within his greater world of imaginary play.  

Please click HERE to visit our collective blog, Who We Become, and see all of our images in one place. 

Comin' in for a landing

Brotherly Love

Sometimes being a brother is even better than being a superhero. ~ Marc Brown


Lately my oldest son has started showing a great deal of empathy and love for his baby brother.  It has been truly amazing to witness.  He wants to see him first thing every morning, make him laugh by dancing silly dances, feed him his bottle when he's crying and wipe away any milk that spills down his neck with a burp cloth.  He wants to hold him (supervised of course) and lets Mommy and Daddy know whenever he is upset.  He also comforts him as best he knows how which is usually with a kiss. One particular moment of tenderness I was able to capture with my camera and is pictured below.  On an emotional scale this image is a solid 10 because I know it is the first of many moments between them, many moments of them looking out for one another, as brothers.