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“A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2014.”

Sunny: Gladdy’s ever-constant companion post-surgery. Thank heavens for preschool nursemaids.
Kaki: Like clockwork, Courtland crawls in to bed with us at 3am and spends the rest of the night thrashing and kicking and demonstrating that her future partner may want to think about a nearby guest bed for respite (James and I rotate who gets relief in our own guest room each night). She’s so stinking affectionate and sweet, however, that we allow this behavior to continue knowing all too well that this phase will pass in a blink of an eye.

More details about The 52 Project here. To view all the portraits in the series visit here.

Currently Gawking

Welp, now I’ve had my morning cry. As if I didn’t already love and respect Colbie Caillat… thank you, you talented, beautiful woman, you.

Välkommen!

Hello! Välkommen! I’m back in the States and taking some time to readjust, resettle, and organize my life post-travel. Sweden was one of the most amazing experiences of my life to date and I can’t wait to dive in to all the images and stories sitting on my SLR camera. But in the meantime, I thought I’d share a few snapshots from my phone. I posted a number to my Facebook and Instagram accounts while away, but many have not yet been shared.

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There is much laundry and unpacking to be done. And our garden, lawn, outdoor home life is a shambles (the vegetables and flowers fall at the bottom of the priority list of dependents, and with only one adult in the house, James had to make some sacrifices. Weeds abound, but we’ll get it under control this weekend). We’re all still trying to get back into a rhythm and routine, and things were thrown by Gladdy getting spayed just yesterday. She’s been very sad, uncomfortable and nervous, so we’ve all been doting on her and trying to make her feel as comfortable as possible post-surgery. I’m looking forward to a weekend with my family to really settle back in to life on the farm and process the adventures of the past two weeks. Happy weekend, all. xo Ash

Silver Lake

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James and I spent a truly gorgeous weekend up in New Hampshire celebrating the marriage of a dear college friend. Her family’s summer house is situated on this magnificent lake where we swam and boated and celebrated and took many a scenic photo. James and I were trusted to photograph the nuptials, and another college friend officiated, so needless to say, it was a very personal, emotional, feeling-filled 72 hours.

And now I’m off to Sweden for more happy, love-filled celebrations. My cup runneth over…

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Hej Då

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While I am incredibly excited to be headed back to Sweden to celebrate the marriage of LasseMaja, I am going to miss these faces dearly. James and the girls are staying on the farm, and Kimmy and I are headed on a ten day sister adventure. We haven’t travelled, just the two of us, in almost a decade. Needless to say, I’m thrilled! I know everyone’s in great hands under James’ care, and I am looking forward to exploring Stockholm and the Archipelago during the summer months. And of course venturing to Dalsland for Maja and Lars’ nuptials, complete with sauna and limitless sunlight.

Trevlig resa!

BG 1 // 2014

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Some pictures of our first trip of 2014 to the Poconos, a place near and dear to James’ heart. Lazy days by the lake are a favorite.

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^^A moody, misty morning spent teaching Gladdy to swim.^^

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^^We dropped Sunny off at Junior Club (the club’s summer camp for children age 5-12), and while the above photo may suggest otherwise, she did indeed enjoy herself. In fact, she’ll spend a week or two with just Ghillie and Ranger later this summer so that she can go to camp full time, she enjoyed it so much. But, mornings are hard. And she is her mother’s daughter.^^

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^^James and I enjoyed some one-on-one time with our youngest while Sunny was at camp. Courtland desperately wanted to be a lily pad. And the beauty of that desire nearly split my heart in two.^^

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^^ On Saturday morning, Sunny participated in the 4th of July track meet. And she hated the potato sack race…^^

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^^ I mean, really loathed everything about it…^^

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^^Honestly.^^

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^^But she sure did love winning a ribbon for her slow but steady approach to the egg race.^^

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^^On Saturday night, we dressed in our twirliest of dresses (and blazers?) and enjoyed a night of dancing and fun. And we couldn’t resist the opportunity to nab a few family portraits. We’re looking forward to many more BG adventures later this summer.^^

Independence Day // 2014

We spent the 4th of July in Philadelphia (how apt) with James’ mom’s family. James’ grandfather had all of his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren in the same place, at the same time. A special occasion indeed.

We then drove to James’ parents’ lake cabin in the Poconos to enjoy the rest of the weekend, complete with sparklers. I promise that the photos make their use look far more dangerous than it was IRL. Festive outfits were worn. Ice cream was consumed. Life was as it should be on America’s Birthday.

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^^Outfit courtesy of my ’80s childhood.^^

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^^We spent the afternoon attempting to fly a kite with the extended family.^^

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^^I don’t even know what to say about James’ outfit. Did he tell you that those pants can convert into shorts at the zip of a zipper? Welcome to my life!^^

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Kindergarten (Camp)

This week, Sunny has been attending Kindergarten Camp, a program offered by her new school to orient all the Kindergarteners to their teacher, their classmates, their classroom, their school, the bus route, etc. It’s a thoughtful effort to help prepare the kids (and staff) for the big transition this fall.

Sunny has been riding the bus, and eating in the cafeteria, and playing on the swing set, and learning in the classroom that she’ll call her own come September. James and I have been so happy (and relieved) to see how readily she’s taken to the change, how excited she is to spend time with her new “friends,” and how disappointed she is each day at 12:30 when the camp ends and we bring her to her “old school.” This is only a half day program, though she’ll go full days this September, and it’s exciting to see how ready she is for that change.

When I met the bus on Wednesday afternoon, I stood eagerly waiting for Sunny’s appearance on the bus steps while the driver summoned her forth.

Sunny, it’s your stop.

C’mon, Sunny, your mom’s waiting.

Suuuunny, let’s go sweetie.

She finally appeared with a huge grin spread wide across her face and bounded down the steps. When asked what had caused the delay, she merrily responded, “Mama, I had to give all my new friends hugs goodbye.”

And I wiped a very joyful tear from my cheek.

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27/52

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“A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2014.”

Sunny: She waited all day to finally explode her DIY “cracker” in celebration of America’s birthday.
Kaki: “Mama, I want to be a lily pad.”

More details about The 52 Project here. To view all the portraits in the series visit here.

Purple Hair Don’t Care

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For this year’s Reunion, I took some style tips from Madame Mim and dyed my hair purple. Jen, my stylist from Salon 290, did such a great job giving me a touch of violet without it being too dramatic or tacky. It has faded away by now, but my how I did enjoy the change. There aren’t too many lines of work where one can claim purple hair as a perk of the job.

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Many thanks to Momar for the Marimekko dress and Kimmy for those perfect purple Hunter boots!