Artifact Motherhood July 2021

The Pacific air in July defines summer for us when we decamp to the coast house for the week of the 4th. Days filled with warmly humid sunshine and brisk chilly breezes. The misty fogs rolling through are a needed respite from the hot sunny days at home. I know for my children these days will form some of those elemental type of memories, that you feel in your bones through life.

The debut of matching sweatshirts was eagerly anticipated all week prior.
Very special guests were along this year (Toadette, Captain Toad, Petunia, and Toad, left to right)

Our latest flock additions weren’t the only VIPS joining this year. Cousins and grandparents joined us for our week of magic that is the PNW coast in July.

They learned the short route to the beach and happily marched along.
The MN girl took right to the numbing waves of the Pacific.
As did the OH toddler 🙂

Celebrating the 4th on the beach is a near-sacred tradition for us. Festivities stretch across two evenings, families and friends gathering around their bonfires up and down the beach. Times slows and the festival energy of communal boisterous joy blends with cozy fireside intimacy. Senses are overwhelmed between all the elements of nature swirling around and the commotions of merrymaking, but the effect is restorative and peaceful, seemingly impossible to resist.

The kids explore freely and play wildly as the sun goes down.
As the dark sets in, we all flock to the warmth and contented fatigue creeps over everyone as we anticipate the fireworks yet to come.

Sharing these nights with our extended families felt fleeting and precious. Watching the cousins share their imaginations in unbounded revelry and feeling us all, young, old and in between, give over to that blessed energy of a timeless celebration of summer filled my soul. I believe all of us will feel these moments deeply forever.

Artifact motherhood is a collaboration of artists/mothers from around the world. Sharing stories of the joys and struggles of our journey. Our hopes and dreams for our children. With little nuggets of wisdom here and there. These are more than photographs with dates written on the back. These are the artifact we are leaving behind for children and the generations to come. Thank you for reading my July contribution and please follow along the circle with the wonderful entry from Jo Haycock!

Season of Motherhood March 2021

Our happy celebration of our eldest’s 9th year also marks a year of this long pandemic season. A year ago a dozen children crowded around this table and parents crammed in behind them. A year ago we had no idea we wouldn’t see those friends in person again for at least another year, their absence now palpable in the deep shadows surrounding our cozy scene. I know this season is giving way, albeit slowly; as the vaccine branches through the world our social lives will bloom again. I hope I’ll look back on this tableau next year and simply recall the intimate warmth of our quiet family party.

This is part of ARTIFACT MOTHERHOOD – a project shared with other female artists who are documenting our journeys as mothers and creating memories for our children through our photographs and words. The intention and idea for this post, is creating one picture that represents one’s current journey/season of motherhood. Thank you for reading and please continue this blog circle with the moving work from Jo Haycock.

Artifact Motherhood Winter 2021

This is part of ARTIFACT MOTHERHOOD – a project shared with other female artists who are documenting our journeys as mothers and creating memories for our children through our photographs and words.

I ordered myself a book recently, a sadly rare indulgence for me. I had been so moved by a podcast interviewing the author that I felt pulled to read her work. It is called Wintering by Katherine May and it’s not a volume meant to be inhaled over a weekend, like I tend to do with novels, so I’m taking my time and embracing a slow journey through her insights and lovely language. I have trouble, especially lately, finding words of my own to open up with but I can hope my photographs say the things I see and hold dear these days. So I am borrowing some quotes to frame my images for this post.

We spent a weekend at our rustic cabin in the snowy woods early in January. This is how we do our wintering and time spent there deeply nourishes our souls.

“When it’s really cold, the snow makes a lovely noise underfoot, and it’s like the air is full of stars.”
― Katherine May, Wintering: How I learned to flourish when life became frozen

We surprisingly said hello to this little guy just before Christmas. This was his first trip to the cabin, which was one of our old dog’s favorite places.

“Snow creates that quality of awe in the face of a power greater than ours. It epitomises the aesthetic notion of the sublime, in which greatness and beauty couple to overcome you—a small, frail human—entirely.”
― Katherine May, Wintering: How I learned to flourish when life became frozen

To get better at wintering, we need to address our very notion of time. We tend to imagine that our lives are linear, but they are in fact cyclical.” –Katherine May, Wintering: How I learned to flourish when life became frozen

The moments I treasure are the small quiet ones like this, a freshly cleaned kitchen and time for hot tea.

Thank you for reading through and please continue the Artifact Motherhood blog circle with a lovely post from Kirsty Larmour.

Season of Motherhood May 2020

This is part of ARTIFACT MOTHERHOOD – a project shared with other female artists who are documenting our journeys as mothers and creating memories for our children through our photographs and words.

This month we share a single image, capturing the current season of motherhood.


Here we are, flocked together in a quiet moment amid months of quiet moments seemingly outside real time, reading a Christmas storybook in May with a lapful of newly hatched ducklings.

Please go to the next lovely artist in the circle to view her post- Caro Cuinet Wellings. Thank you!

Free 52 March 2019

Confession time: these photos are not from March. We just visited the tulip fields last week but this is the first set of photos I managed to process in the past few months. It was a perfect day (for my tastes anyway); gusty, spritzy, and overcast to keep the crowds low and the colors vibrant. The children soaked up the beauty and the mud, reveling in both.


Thank you for looking and happy Spring time to everyone! Please follow our free-lensing blog circle with the glorious inspirational work from my dear friend April Christopher!

2018 Year’s End Free 52

Well I finally did it. I free-lensed a self portrait. It’s been on my goal list for the entire year and finally one afternoon in December I saw some light and thought there, that’s the spot for me.DSC_0457

I passed this place, hurrying inside planning to vacuum for 20 minutes while the kids played outside. Seeing the table for two under our grapevine arbor made me suddenly long for a best friend to appear with mugs of tea for some afternoon musing. Maybe someday.

But instead I grabbed a ladder to set up my camera, a bunch of leaves to prop up the lens just so, and I sat for portraits alone. Nothing more poignant than the dramatic shadows from a cool, low December sun. I love the long dark winter days for feeling cozy and reflective. My birthday sneaks in amid the holidays and facing my age this year had my disappointments and shortcomings weighing heavily on me.


But luckily the practice of photography has trained me well to appreciate whatever pretty light flickers in through the thickest shadows. So between my ruminations, I found all sorts of happy scenes to record through the darkest days of the year.






As the second year of our Free52 project and blogging circle wraps up, I’m so honoroed to have been taking part in this group. I appreciate the place to share my art and life and I’m consistently inspired by every other artist in this group. So please continue on to the next awesome set of free-lensed work by Kathy Ledbetter.

And P.S.- goats!


October 2018 Free 52

“October had tremendous possibility. The summer’s oppressive heat was a distant memory, and the golden leaves promised a world full of beautiful adventures. They made me believe in miracles.”
Sarah Guillory, Reclaimed

My miracle in October was the morning my daughter agreed to put on her Halloween garden princess dress to play at a particular spot along the river. We drive along the river on the way to preschool so I’ve been admiring the morning light along this stretch for three years now but I’ve never stopped. And it was SO worth the whole 87 seconds she cooperated.


October this year felt like a long glorious bridge from the last sunny warmth to the first foggy frosts. I think we enjoyed the loveliest weather I can recall having in an October; the cool morning mist gave way to warm afternoon sun nearly everyday. We celebrated the last harvests for the year, visiting pumpkin patches and corn mazes.


Best of all as usual was getting into the woods to hike and bask in the yellows and golds. The kids collect leaves like flowers, happy to be allowed to make all the bouquets their hearts desire, unlike flower season when they can look but not touch anywhere but home.

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Thank you for looking and please continue to Katie Woodard Photography for her amazing free-lensed work of October.

September 2018 Free 52

These transition days into autumn have slipped away so quickly in the hustle of things, I only managed to do a smidgen of free-lensing the very last day of the month. I captured a few scenes of an impromptu stroll around the property. It’s impossible to imagine ever getting my fill of the glorious light of fall days as the shadows slip longer and longer, earlier every day. The flowers show off their last blooms and the trees burst into their own splendor.

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I can easily entice my daughter to join me on a walk with the promise of more acorns to collect. Every year she doggedly searches out prize acorns, treasuring ones that are especially big or smooth, green or yellow, or with any remarkable feature.

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My youngest likes to tag along, finding his own treasures and reveries. I’m savoring the last of his babyhood pudge and lumpy toddler limbs. The wiry muscles of a big kid are right under the surface now; he feels so solid to hold now.

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A walk in the woods wouldn’t be right without our oldest (fur)baby meandering along. My youngest is the most bonded to our old girl Lacey and I’m so grateful he’s gotten to know her. She’s fading away from us and this will probably be her last autumn. A brain tumor has given her seizures and taken much of her sight and hearing. But she’s still happiest trotting down a trail and I’m only too happy to oblige.

fall walk-2fall walk-3These moments are the treasures I collect on our fall wanderings. So everyone’s satisfied. Thank you so much for looking and please click to continue the free-lensing blog circle with the unbelievable work of my dear friend April Christopher.

Free52 July & August 2018

“The first week of August hangs at the very top of summer, the top of the live-long year, like the highest seat of a Ferris wheel when it pauses in its turning. The weeks that come before are only a climb from balmy spring, and those that follow a drop to the chill of autumn, but the first week of August is motionless, and hot. It is curiously silent, too, with blank white dawns and glaring noons, and sunsets smeared with too much color.”
Natalie Babbitt, Tuck Everlasting


I got a new (to me) lens particularly for freelensing in July, a old gray market Nikon 85/1.8 that has an aperture ring (yay no need for jamming things in to keep it open). So I played a lot with it, quite haphazardly and randomly over the past couple months, capturing many of the simple tender moments of our lives in these lazy summer days.


These shots are what I love about freelensing and documentary work. These are scenes that occur frequently, daily or weekly, just us around the garden, in the orchard, at the creek, or wherever, so we’d likely not recall any particular instance. The kids’ memories of this time will be like these shots, maybe one clear slice of recollection will come to mind down the road but the rest will swirl away into magical (and I pray happy) impressions.





Thank you for looking through and please continue the blog circle with the gorgeous work from Katie Woodard!

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