Friday, March 19, 2010

Realities & Blessings {In Film}...

Happy Friday to you all! Fridays around here mean it's time to glance back, reflect on the happenings of the past week, and find all the high points & silver linings...because even when things aren't wonderful, they still kind of are!

Reality: As some of you may know, I recently acquired a Nikon EM {a film camera}. Getting to know and learning to use this new camera has really been stretching my photography muscles. From figuring out how to load the film, to trying to take pictures with manual settings {without the luxury of an lcd screen and the ability to take a ton of photos without consequence} has been challenging. After finally finishing my first roll of film, while attempting to rewind the film, I realized that I had not loaded the film properly, had not really taken any of the 24 exposures I thought I had, and inadvertently wound the unused film back into the canister making that roll unusable.
Blessing: I realized what I had done before I paid to have an entire roll of nothing developed. {a very big plus seeing how expensive it is to develop film.} Plus, I had gotten an entire roll of practise shots with the camera without cost. And by the time I did successfully load the camera and start to take real pictures, I had already gotten semi-comfortable with it and had already begun to fall in love! I quickly shot a roll, had it developed, and am using my favs to decorate this post!

Reality: The time change has pretty much knocked me off my morning A-game this week. Maya and I had been waking early which allowed me to eat an earlier breakfast and go for an early walk. This week, Brent has had to pull us out of bed last minute and I could only convince myself to walk one morning...never mind spending hours just craving a second cup of coffee!
Blessing: The time change has meant lighter evenings and stretched days...which I do enjoy! Being able to get outside for a bit after dinner is one of my favorite things! And now I can get lots more golden sunset shots like this!

Reality: While getting ready for our weekly library trip, I could not round up all our books from last week. This is not a new occurrence. We've racked up a good deal of library fines over the years only to find books under beds, in pillow cases, tucked in couches, in the toy bins, etc.
Blessing: My kids love books and they love to read! So much so that they take books to bed and read them in the playroom, and really, books are just all over our house. I love that. I wouldn't have it any other way. And I don't really mind my weekly donations to our local library!

Reality: Since Maya has turned a year, I'm starting to get more "comments" about the fact that she sleeps with me. I never really know what to say because I currently have no desire or plans to make her stop...nor do I think it's a big deal. Now, after years of going against the grain and living life authentically, I've developed a pretty tough skin. It really does not matter too much to me what others think about choices that I make...especially when it comes to choices I've made regarding my family. But for some reason, this particular topic, at this particular time has made me feel a bit defensive.
Blessing:  I suppose that anytime one of your decisions is challenged, you get the opportunity to realize exactly how you feel about it. In my case, I feel more sure than ever that this is what is right for Maya and I right now. In fact, I've come to realize that the fact that most days I think nothing of our situation is a good indication that it's working for us.

Also, I have previously been hesitant to broach the topic of co-sleeping in this space. Certainly this is not because I am ashamed. I have made numerous mentions to the fact that Maya sleeps with me. I just haven't made it a topic of discussion because I didn't want to imply that it was an issue that needed a discussion. But this week, something in me has changed. Perhaps because my  decisions are being challenged, and I feel a more strong attachment to the choices I've made regarding co-sleeping, but now I want to say something more about it all.

In fact, I'd like to assemble a collection of personal experiences about co-sleeping. Not, exactly an assemblage of facts...because I think you can find those when you want or need them. But literally just personal experiences. Sometimes I find those to be more helpful. So I'd like your help and your input. If you have experience with co-sleeping...any experience at all, whether it be for a couple of months when your child was a baby or an hour a night with your preschooler...I would like to ask you to write a bit about your experience. An aspect, a particular instance, how it has helped or hindered...anything that you feel you'd like to share. You see, I think that certain things need to be discussed in a more open and free format for people to start accepting ideas as being okay. So many people aren't comfortable making decisions that aren't common or traditional...even though the alternatives might be better or easier in a given situation. So my only real goal here is to increase the discussion and sharing of stories about co-sleeping so that maybe the negative stigma surrounding the topic will start to subside. And then when some young mom who is doing everything she can to better the life of her family has the strength to say out loud that she shares a bed with her child/children, that perhaps the initial response won't be a wide-eyed and hurtful "Ooooo".

So, if you would like to contribute in any way, please email me. My initial thought is that we would pick a day and all share our stories on our blogs. I can post of list to all your blogs and we can all read and share and collaborate with each other, all the while increasing discussion. What do you think?

Okay, so there's my R&B for the week. I'm sorry, I didn't mean to use today's post as a platform for the encouragement of co-sleeping...actually I don't feel strongly that everyone should do it...I just feel like it should be easier to talk about if you do. And I need to keep this space honest. And honestly, that is the one topic that has been on my heart more than anything this week. So, there it is.

I continue to be so excited and impressed that so many of you have joined me in posting your Realities & Blessings! If you feel inclined to do so, just post your link in the comments!


barbara March 19, 2010 at 2:52 PM  

your pictures turned out great! i just mentioned today that i should go by my roll of film for my Argus :) wonderful R&B today... i have no problem with co-sleeping... that's what they used to do back in the old days :))

Kris's Kaptured Moments March 19, 2010 at 4:21 PM  


Phoebe is now 2 1/2 and she still sleeps with me, on me, near me, her foot in my eye, her hand across my chest or laying sprawled across my body. I wouldn't have it any other way. Katy did the same and she is going to college and does not sleep with us when she comes home..

Charlotte March 19, 2010 at 4:59 PM  

I will definitely write you a piece about co-sleeping - I would not have slept at all in the last six months if it wasn't for co-sleeping.

Charlotte xx

kk March 19, 2010 at 5:29 PM  

just wonderful....
i need a film camera so badly.
i may have to put it on my wishlist.

Corinne March 19, 2010 at 8:14 PM  

Your pictures, as always, are gorgeous. I'll send you an email in a bit, I'd love to share our co-sleeping experiences. Paige (at 19 months) still comes into bed with us after she wakes up the first time... so about 11pm or so... for the rest of the night. Fynn (at 3 1/2) has a big double bed, so if he wakes in the middle of the night one of us goes in with him. They sleep better that way... and I love the snuggles! They won't go to college needing us to put them to bed... so why not enjoy it while it lasts? :)

{Amy} March 19, 2010 at 11:26 PM  

I think your pictures are awesome, how fun. Love this R & B installment, you really are a natural writer Maegan.
I would have gotten NO sleep for both of my children's first year of life had it not been for co-sleeping. I never could fathom just how a nursing mother could do it any other way. Nursing or not, co-sleeping or not, we all have to do what works best for us!

Jamie March 20, 2010 at 7:44 AM  

I look forward to R&B every week. It helps me stop and reflect on the week - your focus on the positive helps me find the positive in my own challenges.

Beth Simmons March 20, 2010 at 10:44 AM  

I love your Realities and Blessings posts. Your film images came out just great!! I had and still have a 35mm film camera that I very seldom used because when our children were growing up, we just couldn't afford to have the film developed. Maybe I should get it out now and give it a go. I am just so spoiled now at taking so many images and not worrying about the cost of developing. I think it would make one a much better photographer however to learn to get it right on the very first shot. Your shots are amazing and inspiring.

Kim Klassen March 20, 2010 at 3:28 PM  

oh maegan...fabulous images... congrats on your success with film...truly, it's remarkable!

just loving your reality and blessings...

and speaking as a mom of a 17 and 19 year old..
i say hush, hush to all the negative comments....
soak up the time with your little one....enjoy her neediness and love for you...
the time goes by in a wink...
gosh, you can never have too much time with them...and when they are sleeping... it's soooo sweet. :)

xxo, kim