Wednesday, April 5, 2023

Snapshots 2023

I am horribly behind in my blogging. I can't believe my last post was about St. Lucia, because that trip seems like a happy hazy memory from 100 years ago. Since there it's been non-stop kid activities, work, work, work, bulldog walks, Bonnie stylings, a random quick visit from a law school bestie to see Moulin Rouge in Dallas, more work, and a Rice ladies (Mom, sister, and sister-in-law!) trip to Colorado this past weekend to celebrate my 40th birthday that was completely wonderful and special and ALL of that deserves its own post and will (hopefully) be blogged about soon. But for now, I got our family pictures back today and I love them so very much and surely I can at least finish a short ("short") snapshot post to share the pics and where we are right now.
Because let me tell you, the days fly by so fast and I feel like I'm just trying to soak up the love and laughter I can squeeze out of each one.
I will literally lie in bed at night and picture myself twisting the day in my mind like it's a sponge so that all the good drips out to be saved: like the animated conversation I had with Cora about the cute duck couple she often passes on her walk home from school, the way Maggie's ears perked up in the window when I walked up the front path, the way James always touches me when he walks past me, the way Landon makes the weirdest purring noise that makes us all laugh even if we still can't figure out what it means, the smile on Claire's face when she showed me her planner for the day because we're trying a new system of tracking her homework and she's very proud of how it's going... just these little moments. Time is FLYING and I feel like I'm just grabbing around for scraps of paper in a wind machine to hold on to what I can.
We took these pictures a little over a week ago. I threw together the outfits the day before after forcing Claire to shop with me so she could pick out something she liked and then pulling the rest of our outfits around it (tween's privilege). We took photos for all of 15 minutes, my children were throwing peace signs and sticking out their tongues for 7.5 of them, and James growled at me anytime the photographer told us to look at each other, so I had my doubts as to the outcome.
But they are perfect.

And they are perfect not just because they look beautiful, but because they looked relaxed and like US.
We hadn't done family portraits in a while and when I realized all the milestone birthdays in 2023 I knew we needed to get a session on the books.
These three... so much has changed and so little. They snipe at each other more than they ever did when they were little, but Landon and Claire are super close and all three of them still play together constantly and generally without issue when we're home or on vacation.

Somehow, our baby Landon will turn 16 in July.
He is learning to drive despite his extreme lack of interest. He had his first girlfriend, swam in the high school state meet, and was just interviewed for an article in our local paper. He creates his own one-man-show every night when he does the dishes and remains hilarious, generous, adventurous, and a friend to all babies and animals.
Claire will turn 13 in June.
Frankly it's a little surprising she wasn't already a teenager, but this girl remains a bright ball of love and feelings and words. She has worked through some really big fears in the last year and we are so proud of her. She is now an enthusiastic member of the White Rock Rowing Rec Team, knows everything Sephora sells, and unlike her brother, cannot wait to drive.
Cora will turn 10 in November. All our children will be in "double digits."
She is smart, fast, incredibly thoughtful, and extremely meticulous when it comes to her school work. She does soccer and gymnastics, wants to add swimming, and walks home from school by herself every day, collecting sticks and other treasures on the way. She begrudgingly admits Dallas is pretty great, but plans to buy our old Fort Worth house when she grows up.
James and I celebrate our 18th wedding anniversary in September- our marriage is a legal adult, and honestly, that feels right.
We've had some huge changes with my new job and this move and I'm so proud of how we've navigated them. I don't think we've ever been stronger, happier, or, per our children, more annoyingly affectionate. We have been THROUGH some things and our lives are better through work, listening, therapy, and chemistry, but man do I feel more solid and crazy in love than ever. The 18-year-old me who met a tipsy 19-year-old James while getting kicked out of a bar on 6th Street would never have seen this coming. I am so damn lucky.
I'm so thankful for our photographer for capturing us as we are, in our favorite place in this new city.
I love this crew with my whole heart and love the way they love me back with all of theirs. I'm so glad to have this evening frozen in time so I can remember exactly who we were right now, while feeling happy about wherever it is we'll be in the future.


  1. This is so heartwarming and touching to read! Thanks for sharing your lives with your readers! As a mom to two kiddos still in the single digits, I know it will go fast and it's also so fun to read about the future with older kids :)

    1. Thank you Jordan! I think it speeds up with each year your kids age... I loved our toddler years, but I don't think I felt they flew by at the time... The tween and teen years though? Oh my goodness, I really do try to think of individual moments each night as I go to bed so it feels solid for at least a moment.

  2. This post made me smile a whole lot. I'm just an internet person you'll never meet who has been following your blog since Landon was a tiny baby and yours is probably the only blog that still exists of the many I followed back then. It's been so fun to read these dispatches as you and your family grow and thrive.

    1. This comment made me smile a whole lot! I can't believe you've been reading that long (or that I've been writing that long) and love that you've been out there reading along :).

  3. Replies
    1. Thanks! I fell in love with it at FRAME when I went to a Bonnie event and her 15% off helped me justify it. It fits like a dream and I'm so glad I was able to wear it in our pictures- it makes me feel good!

  4. That shot of Claire looking off to the side! Perfection! Made me realize I should really book a professional session (or at least make a deliberate effort take some good shots of my three outdoors) this summer. 13, 17, and 20 really feels like a milestone this year for me! Thanks for continuing to update as often as you get the chance, I love your casual style of writing about reality.