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Girls of Summer.

There are several ways in which I started and stopped this blog post today.

First I wanted to post Don Henley song lyrics:

“Nobody on the road
nobody on the beach
I feel it in the air
the summer’s out of reach
Empty lake, empty streets,
the sun goes down alone
I’m drivin’ by your house
Though I know you’re not home”

While we have been on the subject of hollow, sick feelings that come with endings, after all of these years I still struggle so much with the end of summer. And why even talk about that? It hasn’t even begun. However I’m one of those crazy people who sometimes feel the anxiety of loss while there is still something to be gained, or at least held. I was telling my forever friend, Tammi, the other day that while we’re at different places in our life – she with kids grown and me with kids young – I still feel like we’ve shared a sense of empty arms and loss. Even though I’m in the thick of kids! Sometimes I let my mind spiral so far ahead that I think of the big picture, which ends with..endings. Of all sorts. Letting go time and time again. That doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy every freakin’ second of the delicious kids and these long days. Mostly, I do. Every now and then I panic that it will all end. The kids will grow out of my arms.

I tend not to dwell, like I said. And summer..it ends. And then it comes back to me every time. The kids will in their own ways.

Summer is not technically here yet, I’m aware, but come on – it pretty much is. You can taste it as easily as that first moment some sort of cinnamon or hot cocoa smell gives way to the start of the holiday season in your heart. My mom and I always say that with the holiday season and with summer, there is but one moment in which it all becomes available to you. And then you’re there.

Band-aids on knees. Dirt under fingernails. Popsicles, lemonade and cotton candy. Insert all your obvious favorites..like swings:

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A little piece of photography advice for swinging pictures – a fast shutter speed (AT LEAST 1/250th) and not too wide of an aperture.

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You’ll probably get lots of mistakes anyway, but they’re happy mistakes.

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Then there is the wonder of warm weather friendship and discovery. Two kids on the same wavelength:

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Scarlet’s glass slippers under her car just slay me.

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This was how they felt about me directing any sort of action photography…

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And the rest are what happened when I backed off and let the fun and humor flow naturally. You can see the difference..

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For a long time now, summer lost the meaning it had when I was a kid. I still had to work through summer for several years. Then I had a baby and she didn’t know the difference for awhile. Now she does. And this is her first summer after starting schooling.

She tends to go with the flow pretty well…

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Speaking of wonderment and fresh, new things:

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Incidentally, Des was due to be a summer baby on June 25th but then he said, “You know…no.” And became a June 13 spring baby.

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  1. I do the same exact thing – begin feeling sad about the ending of something that has just begun. Summer and kids – I feel it all and I so get what you mean. But I'm getting better at just enjoying and soaking it all up. And you have lots of kids and summer happiness to enjoy! Love these photos 🙂

  2. Oh, summer! I can hardly wait! My girls are still in school until Friday, and then we'll have some free time to just ramble around and see what happens!

  3. I love summer and I love that song. Your pictures are so wonderful…they remind me of carefree days. I hope I can capture some of my own kids this summer when they aren't looking!

  4. I wrote about the end of summer last year and quoted that Don Henley song – I couldn't get it out of my head. I know what you mean about anticipating the end of something when you are barely at the beginning. I do that, too. I always remind myself that there is still time to enjoy. So I focus on enjoying. Then, when it does end, there will be extraordinary memories. 🙂

  5. I just love those pics of the girls in the toy car, kids LOVE those things huh? My boys sure do. Thank you for the photography tip! I will remember that for when we take the kids to the park soon.

  6. I'm not sure if my comment went through…Anyway, looks like fun & off to a good start with their summer :)Thanks for the awesome pics & sharing 🙂

  7. I always get lost in your pictures. When I reach the end of them, I always find myself smiling. I LOVE the Band-Aid on the right knee, the glass slippers and I can't leave out, those awesome bangs! Cute! Cute! Cute!

    1. The bangs are great! She has a very unique hairstyle. My daughter actually asked me if we could get hers cut like that, but I think it wouldn't have the same effect it has on her friend.

  8. I do the same thing—I have to remind myself to enjoy the present and not let the anxiety of the loss of it erode the joy. There is so much joy in your pictures! Just think, you will never really lose the joy of these times, because you have taken so many wonderful pictures, and your wonderful writings document everything so beautifully. I do understand, though, because I feel the same way often.

    1. Thank you, that's an absolute wonderful way to look at it. That's why I tell people that professional photography is actually very important! It's not just a luxury for our family – it's a necessity and a way of life.

  9. Love that song! Sometimes I have to remind myself to enjoy the summer as I get lost in mourning that it will be going all too soon. I get lost in mourning how my kids are getting older too – but when i stop to enjoy and celebrate the present, it really is magical!

    1. You're so right. I have been a mom for over three years and I hadn't gotten to the point where I think it flies by until recently. So I guess it was a long three years!

  10. I actually don't mind when summer ends. Then my kids go back to school and I can get some peace again. Love the pictures! I wish you lived closer to help me with my camera. It just stays on auto. I need to learn how to take better pictures.

    1. hah..true. There are some nice things about fall for sure – the break of humidity and the break of kids going to school! Mine are still too young for me to really get that impact, though…

  11. I just finished writing a post for Friday about summer and how it I have so few left with my kids, so I know how you feel. Glad you took some time to enjoy the day and make some memories.

    1. Ooh, I can't wait to read it! I love all of your posts. I hope you really enjoy these few summers…if it helps my mom is spending her first summer with my grandmother regularly in her life – first one in decades. So it comes back sometimes, and it's sweet. And I am maybe planning a trip with my mom and my kids this summer.

  12. "I'm one of those crazy people who sometimes feel the anxiety of loss while there is still something to be gained, or at least held." Gasp. I so get this. Like really really get this. And I understand the wonder of summer. This is our last summer at our little New Jersey town pool and I'm already sad for the ending of this – which is still 2 months away.

  13. Next Friday is our last day! It seems so hectic to me right now with the kids' particular ages – nearly one and into EVERYTHING and nearly four and very, very active. So I feel overwhelmed about summer but I imagine it will be a blur of happiness that I'll one day miss!

  14. Awww what beautiful photos! And yes I totally get this…the ending of something always makes me feel this way. Have a wonderful summer though and enjoy every moment of it! 🙂

  15. Love your photos (and agree with the backing off when it comes to photographing kids)!I live in year-round tropical weather, with no significant breaks/ changes, so it's hard for me in a way – it's like a never-ending cycle of the same things. The ending and beginning of actual calendar years do get to me slightly. The end! Of another year! OMG. You know. 🙂

    1. I don't think I realized right away how far away you live and I used to just think, "Man, she's an early riser!" because you'd be commenting at our east coast 4:00 am! When I lived in San Francisco, there really wasn't a significant change in the seasons and sometimes I'd be surprised to hear about snow when we had a rare 70 degree day in January. Sure winter is cold in SF, but summer may be colder! Brrr…

  16. those photos in the little car look like an advertisement for toys r us! great pics.i think it's impossible NOT to fast-forward and think about the future endings after you have a kid. it's natural to think about the future and all the stages that are going to come and go. it's scary and overwhelming for me, too – bubba is only 18 months and i already feel like too many things have ended.

    1. Thanks! Too bad they're not in some brand new shiny car and are instead in a car we found on the side of the road and cleaned! Bubba is only 18 months? He totally looks older in the pictures. What a mature guy.

  17. Summer is such a great time of year. My baby is almost 2 and she has embraced the warm weather this year and has a love for the outdoors like no other. However slow the summer is to starting this year she is ready. I look forward to all the summer activities I get to spend doing with her this year and dread the endings as well. I love you photos! They are wonderful.I would love for you to come visit me at http://www.houseofathousanddreams.com/

    1. The summer my daughter turned two was one of the best summers of my life! She discovered trampolines and sprinklers that year and I did some of my best photography work of her. She also puked all over me that summer – one of my least favorite memories!

  18. Thank you for talking about this because I feel less alone in my "big picture" mentality. I hear "one moment at a time" being whispered in my ear but it's hard.I love that kids make us slow down and remember how things were when we were at that age. They are a blessing aren't they?If your kids get any cuter…I don't know…my ovaries will be all over this screen

    1. I hear that! I may have three kids because of these two. And they're both pretty mellow so watch us get a third kid who isn't cute or mellow. Just watch..(not really)

    1. Oh, they're just the best. She just wore them to a party today with my sister and little does she know – the "real" Cinderella has been hired to attend..I'm dying a little inside and wishing I could be there.

  19. {Kathy} Wow. These pictures had me smiling. You have a gift–both with words and photography. Your reflections on motherhood at this stage of your life are so dead on. Thanks for sharing your gifts.

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