Play Doh Breakfasts And Super Hero Dinners {Austin Texas Lifestyle Family Photography}

In spite of a last minute re-route through Austin and only a handful of hours to enjoy my people, my time felt so laid back and relaxed.  I think that speaks volumes about my people and how they handle life and the environment they create.

The six year old was off to Kindergarten early.  Earlier than I awoke, which is to say that by Monday, I hit full vacation mode and slept in much later than I ever do when in more westerly time zones.  By the time I stumbled downstairs, coffee had run through the French press (I think I need one.  and a stove top kettle.  the whole process was soothing and zen) and play doh was in full swing.

David and I discussed our OCD qualities and how they pertain to the mixing of play doh colors.  He is further along in his journey than I am in accepting that some things are okay if they can’t be undone.  I have to admit that my heart rate still goes up a little, although I can sit back and not say anything now.  

Andy is one thoughtful little three year old.  After spending several hours together, he clasps his hands across the table from me and then opens them up wide and asks me, “So how was your day?”  Well, Andy.  My day has been pretty rad.  I’ve had fabulous conversations with you and your folks.  Your little self renewed my desire to make photographs off the clock and reminded me that documenting life and love is what makes me happiest.  You made me thankful that I brought along my big camera.

My people were house sitting this creature.  I’m not sure what it was, but it liked me and wanted to be in my lap.  A lot.  It’s irises were alien and almost octagonal.  I’ve never seen anything like it before.  It knew the command, “Down.”

For the most part, it was a decent enough creature and didn’t snarl or try to bite.  But it did poop on the kids’ belongings.  More than once.  Not cool, little creature.

I liked these bubble gardens for succulents.  I saw dozens hanging throughout Austin.

My kids are now nine and eleven.  I felt like I traveled back in time to when they needed so much more supervision and assistance.  It has been so long since we played with play doh together.  Or they needed my help in getting dressed.  Or worked through meltdowns and toddler tantrums.  I feel so much better equipped to handle those situations now, than I did when they were happening.

I love the life that David and Sara have built together.  I love that parts of their history are scattered over the refrigerator.  Some photographs dating back over twenty years.  They were kids.  Kids!  Standing together in cut off jeans and bikini tops with big silly grins.  I love seeing this kind of history.  And seeing them together now.  As partners, spouses, parents and best friends.  I also love seeing their history in photographs right along side photographs of their two boys.

Green Goblin met his demise in turquoise play doh.  FYI.

I love that these two make childhood fun.  They make it seem so easy.  Celebrating life with mustache glasses and piggy back rides from one room to another.  Being with them was a good reminder that I probably take myself too seriously.  And my children.  And that I could probably lighten up a bit (my honeys has been telling me for years to “Lighten up, Francis”).

Oh my gosh.  Those cheeks.  His eyes.  They’re even more delicious than the last time I saw this boy.  Which was three years ago in San Diego, when he came into this world.

I liked this wall in the dining room.  The middle canvas held my attention more than the other two.  For the past couple of months, I have been contemplating personal goals and dreams.  How to make them happen.  They are big changes, but I am going about them quietly.  For the most part.  I might be driving those closest to me a little nuts.  In the meantime, I’m working on simplifying and clearing the noise in my head while pulling back from my phone and online media.

Once Jack came home from school, we went outside to play.  The hose was turned on.  Guacamole was made with a secret family recipe and brought out to the picnic table with a bag of chips.  Reminders to not spray your brother, or the house or us were repeated.  And I got to know my friends a little bit better.  I like that.  That with every conversation, I learn a little more about my peoples’ hopes and dreams.  What brought them to where they are and what their plans are for moving forward.

The smaller house guest made an appearance at the picnic table, to beg for chips or attention.  Or quite possibly, both.

And then it was dinner time.  And I was in the middle of the kitchen, tripping up parents and chefs as I saw a moment I didn’t want to forget.

Where the boys were quiet and the light shining on them was perfect.  I just wanted to stop time.  And live in this every day moment of theirs for a little bit longer.  To breathe slowly and soak up the warmth in this home, wishing I could bottle it and take it back home with me.  While simultaneously planning my next trip back.

I still can’t believe I have been on fifteen flights since November.  Traveling so much has ignited a desire to travel more.  It has opened my eyes that texts, instant messages and skyping are no replacement for actual face-to-face time.  Or how valuable my friendships are to me.
Thank you, Dave + Sara.  For the last minute intrusion into your lives, the delicious food, and tour guide extravaganzas around Austin (click over if you missed my post on Austin. it’s such a cool town!).  But mostly, for your conversation.  I love you guys.