Thursday, May 21, 2009

Princess Sarah

I've been so excited to post these pictures! When I first met Sarah, she instantly reminded me of the Sarah from A Little Princess. Come to find out, the name Sarah means princess! Of course, she was all sorts of princess for our photoshoot. Be it from old abandoned cars to dandelions, she was a rockstar model.

I Remember Love

Emotion—-love, especially-—is my memory’s saving grace; its medicine; the reason I have any sort of long-term relationship with my past. Like a precious photograph that freezes the details of an otherwise forgettable scene, I have random memories that are framed in love and hung on the walls of my soul.

When I close my eyes and visualize my very first childhood recollection, I find myself as a three-year-old climbing into bed with my parents on what must have been a Saturday morning in our rambler home in Carmichael, CA. Their bedroom window was open, a fresh summer breeze bringing the curtains to life. I was in the middle, my dad propped on his elbow to my left, my mom smiling at my right and my one-year-old brother crawling all over us. For some reason, that moment was recorded—-perhaps it was the first time infancy’s innocent blanket of oblivion was lifted to reveal me, Marie, the daughter of parents who loved me dearly. It was the first time I consciously recognized and appreciated their love for me.

Jump ahead a few years and I can remember getting home from school to find my mom sitting on the living room floor in a sea of mismatched socks. She asked me to help her find the matches and then taught me how to bundle them together as she asked me about my day at school. I remember how she had one leg tucked into her body and the other stretched out. I remember the tired look in her eyes, recognizing for a fleeting moment all she did for our family. I remember the fun I had tossing the matched bundles into the laundry basket. I remember the one-on-one. I remember feeling loved. I was about five years old.

I can fuzzily recall bedtime scenes from my childhood-—the cool wet on my forehead from my dad’s kiss after he’d tuck me in and say, “sweet dreams.” It happened thousands of times and yet it’s a blur. But there is one night I savor in detail; a night when I felt cherished and admired because we talked about what I was most passionate about as a girl: gymnastics. He asked me what I thought about before going to sleep. I told him I visualized myself doing each of my gymnastics routines as I drifted off, how I mentally practiced so intensely that sometimes my mind understood what a move would feel like before my body did. I could tell he found me fascinating and that it made him proud to have a daughter so passionate about something. I remember the angle of my bed, the tight safety of my sheets, exactly where my dad sat on the edge of my mattress, making the sheets even tighter. I remember him proudly calling for my mom:

“You hear that, Honey? She runs through each of her routines in her mind before she goes to sleep.”

That conversation took place about 17 years ago, but I can still hear his proud voice in my ear, saying those sweet words.

I’m not one to remember these types of things—crawling into bed, folding socks, a bedtime conversation. But somehow I vividly remember these scenes in detail, and that’s because I felt especially loved in those simple, simple moments.

And here I am, the mother of two, and my three-year-old daughter could seal her first memory any minute now. Are the odds of it being a loving memory in her favor? Will her mind capture me in an impatient, stressed, or distracted moment? There’s a better chance of that than I’d like to admit. Still, I have hope that she’ll remember a simple bedtime story, my fingers combing through her hair, an afternoon nap together. Whatever it is she holds on to, I hope, like me, she can one day say, "I remember love."

Monday, May 18, 2009


Remember Claire? Take a peek at her beautiful family! I soaked up every sweet minute I had with her in Utah. Her daughter is pure sunshine and her baby boy is a seriously sweet little guy. In our short two days together, she made me the most delicious bread and yummy chicken tacos. We stayed up way past any mother's bedtime crocheting hats, reminiscing about our college days, talking and laughing. I got to admire from the other room as she gave a few of her students piano lessons. I did a lot of admiring, actually. She makes motherhood look like the angelic calling it is. I came home wanting to be a better mom. And that's what I love about Claire-- for nearly ten years now, she's always been there, lifting me up.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009


These pictures of my cousin Aleece's beautiful girl sent my heart spinning as I edited them tonight. She is simply beautiful with the perfect mix of tomboy and girly girl. She loves sticks and running away from the camera and throwing rocks in the river, and ducks, and taking her hat off, and fruit snacks. I got my biggest workout yet, photographing her.

I have countless shots like the above. She was impressively fast!

PS. I'm up extra late tonight and I'm still not tired. I think I've saved up some energy because guess what? Magson is finally sleeping through the night! I haven't had a full night's rest in about two years between pregnancy and a baby. Happy Mother's Day to me!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

People I Love

My trip was packed with people I love. Here are a few photos of my sisters and me and Magson, and even Lauren's sweet boyfriend who drove me around all weekend. More to come! I must've taken a thousand pictures.

And thanks, everyone, who made this trip possible for us. You know who you are. I love and miss you all already. I've been blessed with so many dear friends and family in my life-- my heart could burst!



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