Masthead header

This Is How It Is

favorite,pillowpapa,

Let me start by saying that while these photos and this little story from my life tugs at my heartstrings, I’m not posting it to tug at yours necessarily. It’s hard when your dad/husband leaves for months at a time, but a lot of things in life are hard. It’s a sweet story, though, and I’d simply like to tell it. Gus showed me his “pillow papa” after he had made it all on his own. I just made a point to capture all the ways he chose to include Steve in our life, even though he wasn’t physically here.

2019-02-14_0020.jpg

This is how it is when your dad gets sent across the ocean for three months at the last minute.

favorite,pillowpapa,

This is how it is when you are the youngest and while no less loved, you are slightly neglected, so you don’t have any special “daddy doll” to fill the void while he is gone so you decide to make your own.

favorite,pillowpapa,

This is how it is spending summer days without him, but pretending he is home. This is how it is when you are a tired mom and you are lucky enough to get a pot of anything on the table for dinner.

favorite,pillowpapa,

This is how it is reading Harry Potter together, just like you did when he was actually here. You promised him.

favorite,pillowpapa,

This is how it is saying good-night to your favorite guy, wishing you could touch his face for real.

favorite,pillowpapa,

This is how it is when you can’t leave him out of Saturday morning cuddles.

favorite,pillowpapa,

This is how it is when your whole family loves rainy days, like really loves them, so of course you share it with him, too.

favorite,pillowpapa,

This it how it is when you sleep in together like always and he is still soft and warm and safe.

pillowpapa,

This is how it is when you play with your Legos and have to share everything you’ve created with him.

favorite,pillowpapa,

This is how it is when you share breakfast with him.

pillowpapa,

favorite,pillowpapa,

This is how it is on summer days; long and lazy and full of promise.

favorite,pillowpapa,

This is how it is when even the cat misses him.

favorite,pillowpapa,

This is how it is when you’ve got big, creative plans and you need a buddy to carry them out. Real Papa or Pillow Papa, he’d let you defeat him either way.

favorite,pillowpapa,

This is how it is when you are reminded as his wife that even though you try to do and be all of the things, there are just some roles you cannot fill. He is not here.

favorite,pillowpapa,

This is how it is when he misses the first day of school, but you find ways to include him anyway.

christmas,favorite,pillowpapa,

This is how it is when he is home.

Sally Melton - What a special photo/story!! I loved it!

This Was Fun!

It’s been a long time since I’ve photographed a family, but when my neighbor and dear friend asked me to spend some time with her family for her baby boy’s first birthday I nervously agreed (I’m feeling a little rusty), but it turned out to be a perfect afternoon. They let me be a part of a little family adventure in Songtan, right outside the main gate of the Air Force base where we live,  and I feel like we captured a moment in time for their sweet family. From a walk around the neighborhood, to a nursing break to Turkish ice cream, this is the life they are living right now and this “fly on the wall” type of photography is what I love most. I’m not sure where I will go next with this little hobby of mine, but I could get used to doing THIS! Also, they are all super cute and Korea is a pretty cool place to live for awhile! Cheers!

rosenau,

rosenau,

rosenau,

rosenau,

rosenau,

rosenau,

rosenau,

rosenau,

rosenau,

rosenau,

rosenau,

rosenau,

rosenau,

rosenau,

rosenau,

rosenau,

rosenau,

rosenau,

rosenau,

rosenau,

rosenau,

rosenau,

rosenau,

rosenau,

rosenau,

rosenau,

rosenau,

rosenau,

rosenau,

rosenau,

rosenau,

rosenau,

rosenau,

rosenau,

rosenau,

rosenau,

rosenau,

rosenau,

rosenau,

rosenau,

rosenau,

rosenau,

rosenau,

rosenau,

rosenau,

rosenau,

rosenau,

rosenau,

rosenau,

rosenau,

rosenau,

rosenau,

rosenau,

rosenau,

rosenau,

rosenau,

rosenau,

rosenau,

rosenau,

rosenau,

rosenau,

rosenau,

rosenau,

rosenau,

rosenau,

rosenau,

rosenau,

rosenau,

rosenau,

rosenau,

rosenau,

rosenau,

rosenau,

Save

time + patience = wow!

Last week while visiting family in Black Canyon, Arizona I had several hours with no plan. It was spring break for my daughters, and this sort of time of “nothing” was exactly what I needed. As the girls napped following a wild Jeep ride with their grandpa (as teenagers they nap—why didn’t this happen so easily when they were little?), I spent time just soaking up my surroundings. The home we stayed at had a wrap around deck that over-looked the Sonoran Desert. Noticing that hummingbirds (one of my absolute favorite creatures) were repeatedly visiting their feeders I decided to head outside with a camera to observe them more closely. These sweets-loving, fast flyers were quite shy, but patience paid off—letting myself have no expectations but to watch and enjoy their show.

Several years ago, while watching another hummingbird in my back garden, the thought streamed through me ~ “keep putting your nose in flower after flower” ~ wise advice that I was reminded of on this lovely spring afternoon in Arizona.

peace today

::Suzee

Seoul Searching

hyewha,

Moving to a entirely different part of the world has gotten my wheels turning so fast, I haven’t really had time to process it all. Every facet of our life has changed in these eight months. More on THAT later. What I can tell you is that we absolutely love Korea and explore the magical city of Seoul as much as time allows. It never disappoints. Today I’m sharing the day we spent exploring Hyehwa Mural Village and walking along the Fortress Wall. While much of Korea’s heritage has been destroyed because of war, Korea’s long and storied history is still ever-present due to reconstruction and preservation efforts. Seoul is very much a modern, bustling city, but the juxtaposition with ancient Korean architecture that is scattered throughout the city isn’t lost on us. A strong desire for our children to understand they are part of something much bigger than themselves was a primary motive for our choice to live overseas. Today was one of those days that this lesson was starkly evident. As we descended along the wall, the Dongdaemun Design Plaza designed by world renowned architect Zaha Hadid, came into view. It was the closest experience to time traveling that I’ve ever encountered. I hope that these images evoke some of this and I hope you enjoy them. Cheers! On a side note, poor Ellie (not really) was in JAPAN for basketball finals, so she wasn’t able to join us on this particular day, but the realization that her days with us are numbered isn’t lost on me. “Mom”ing isn’t for the faint of heart.

hyewha,

hyewha,

hyewha,

hyewha,

hyewha,

hyewha,

hyewha,

hyewha,

hyewha,

hyewha,

hyewha,

hyewha,

hyewha,

hyewha,

hyewha,

hyewha,

hyewha,

hyewha,

hyewha,

hyewha,

hyewha,

hyewha,

hyewha,

hyewha,

hyewha,

hyewha,

hyewha,

hyewha,

hyewha,

hyewha,

hyewha,

hyewha,

hyewha,

hyewha,

hyewha,

hyewha,

hyewha,

hyewha,

hyewha,

hyewha,

hyewha,

hyewha,

hyewha,

hyewha,

hyewha,

hyewha,

Save

Mary Jo - Such amazing pictures! What a great experience you all are getting to enjoy!

twopoppies2012 - K – you made me cry… good crying tears… happy and loving tears.

I miss you grandma

grandmac-grandkids
My grandma C’s death visited me in a dream a few nights ago. In it, I got a phone call that she had just died and I cried and cried in my sleep – wishing that my girls had gotten to know her – that I had visited her more recently. It’s so fresh in my mind and I miss her terribly – a fresh sorrow for her presence fills me.

Grandma C was a warm and comforting person. She was welcoming to anyone – all different types of folks were present nearly every time we visited, and definitely on holidays. Her home was never a perfect showcase – but it always smelled so good – either from the food she was cooking (those enchiladas!) or from her soaps and perfumes. Hugging grandma brought her love to physical reality – she was short and a little cushiony – arms enveloping with such warmth. Her giggle was infectious and mischievous and she had a twinkle in her eyes when she laughed. I remember her ability to play down any health issues (a true warrior!) – heart surgeries, insulin needles, wigs, dentures, prosthetic breast – were all out in the open and not hidden – she wasn’t embarrassed by them. It was all part of life. She didn’t expect people, or life, to be perfect. She was also a survivor of domestic abuse and yet it did not diminish her spirit. She just loved, worked hard, and kept accepting each new day. She was very entrepreneurial – making custom draperies and heat resistant gloves – in her own sewing “factory” (a converted garage on her property). The times she attempted to share with us how it all worked were a treat. I was especially fascinated by how the black light crayon used to mark the fabric lit up so magically! Her life was never easy, but then again she never for a moment expected it would be.

I miss the Easter egg hunt extravaganzas – the candy dish – the string cheese in her fridge… I miss when she pulled me aside to tell me one-on-one that she thought I was amazing. I miss how she brought our family together. It’s interesting who we idolize in the world – it’s rarely the simple people who share their love with those around them in big and small ways. These people are heroes though – they make a difference in people’s lives. They create memories to be cherished and they bind together families. Treasures. Perfection amongst imperfection.

Her death feels fresh to me right now – tears flowing – memories flooding in. In actuality she passed 25 years ago today – but in my dream she left me all over again. Or maybe she came to visit me with these memories so that my perspective could shift. I can take her example and do my best to live NOW – enjoying life in this moment in its lovely imperfection. Accept people – exactly as they are. I love you grandma C. Thank you for being a great teacher to all those who were blessed to know you. (Maybe can you come back again and share that enchilada recipe with me?)

::Suzee