Turns out I love the color maroon

– Posted in: export, family business, motherhood, photography

Where I went to high school–an all girls Catholic college prep type place–our colors were primarily navy and white. During my four years there I wore a lot of navy and white. A lot.

Conversely our main rival all girls school wore mostly maroon. It’s silly, but while on my whole meandering journey through high school I never bought a single item that hinted at being that kind of dark brownish red. What’s even sillier is that for years, years following graduation I STILL didn’t wear anything maroon. And the thing is…I didn’t realize I was doing it.

Didn’t realize I was avoiding a perfectly lovely color altogether because of my former high school’s opposition? Still shaking my head at that one. It wasn’t until I was pregnant with Matilda that I started noticing purples again. I was 28 years old then. Twenty-eight. So, that makes an entire decade of complete maroon color avoidance.

When I was expecting Matilda I was attracted to purpley reds, brownish reds. I indulged in shirts, scarves, pants, tanks, and more on that beautiful side of the color spectrum. Once I was became aware of the reason for my doing things—hey, this goes back to high school for me???—I changed my behavior. I stopped the ridiculous way I was dodging maroon.

Turns out I love the color maroon.

Sometimes I wonder what else I am avoiding without realizing I’m avoiding it. What else is already here or there waiting for me to fall (back) into love with it?

Like already right under my nose or brushing up against me right now?


I’ve felt kind of adrift lately.

The new house building is all-consuming for Mitchell. I’ve had to give up being a doula for now. After Christmas I’m taking time off from teaching childbirth ed. Now that the busy fall season is winding down, photography sessions will be fewer on purpose. And here’s something too–I’m working on making some changes to this blog…does anyone remember Little White Whale? Time for it to make a come-back. (I am very excited about the blog changes. More on that to follow….)

And seems it’s also time for me to get all existential. Ask myself (again) who am I? If I’m not a doula or a childbirth educator, who am I? How do I identify myself besides being Leo and Gus and Matilda and Oscar and Baby Five’s mom? Besides being a blogger or a writer?

I’m not sure how to answer that in this moment. But please know this: It’s not an entirely bad place to be. This questioning place. In fact, I think it’s quite good to drift sometimes.

But I have learned when I’m feeling this way. Feeling like I’m far from shore and not sure where exactly I will throw out my anchor next–it’s time to pick up my camera. It’s time to come here to this place where I write. To do those two things more. It’s time to throw out some gratitude. Share some joy.

Rediscover how much I love what I already love.

So, here are some pictures from around. People, places, and things for which I’m thankful.


My Songster #4 in this play front and center. He said “Mom I was so nervous, but I did great.” He nailed his one line.

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Coloring a picture for me. She is all about noticing eye color and hair color and trying to make her subjects look like themselves. This is you and me, Mom.

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Other people getting in on the coloring action….
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Nana requested a picture of her and Papa with all their grandchildren. Here are my two favorites from this couch series.

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My godson Zach. I dig the tongue wag.
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Forget Thanksgiving. These girls look ready for Christmas.
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Oscar playing with Gigi.
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Oscar rolling around on the floor.

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Matilda saying a special prayer at the end of the family prayer.
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Ah, a fire.
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Hi Sophia.
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Gus giving Gigi some love.
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Leo and Oscar throwing ice cubes into the fire.
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The only Black Friday thing we did. Went to Lowe’s for 3m hooks (to hang our stockings) and white lights (to replace the burned out ones on our pre-lit tree).

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Quite possibly my favorite Dewey pic to date. photo DSC_9141_zps8b535ca5.jpg

My siblings and me. Our once a year dinner together. Actually, this is getting coffee/tea after dinner. I love everything about this.

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So tell me, is there anything you’re rediscovering lately? What are you loving these days? Finding any “maroon” in your life?

Hope the week ahead of you is a good one.

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I'm mom to four and expecting our fifth child in May 2014. Five years ago I put down the key to my middle school classroom and picked up a camera instead. Now a part time photographer and freelance writer, I blog to share our stories and the joy I find as I go. For more on my abundance seeking philosophy, check out my piece on The Huffington Post

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8 Comments… add one

December 2, 2013, 2:30 am

First – that last photo of you and Oscar is breathtaking. I have those moments with my little guy and I love them.

I love your story about maroon. Happens to me too though I can’t remember any specifically right now. I’m also feeling a little adrift lately and looking to work my way back to some dry land.

Wishing you a wonderful week!
Tricia recently posted…It’s Sunday and I’m happyMy Profile

December 2, 2013, 12:06 pm

Isn’t it awesome? To fall in love with something unexpected?
I was that way with… wait for this… babies.
Pre-motherhood, I wasn’t a big baby person. Or children person. I refused to hold other people’s babies, because reasons. I wasn’t good with them, didn’t know what to do with them.
Then, my niece was born 6 years ago. I fell hard.
So, I know.
I love seeing the faces of your family, your loves. xo
Alison recently posted…That Time I Got A Good IdeaMy Profile

December 2, 2013, 3:19 pm

I love that you are comfortable with a little drift in your life. Wonderful. i can’t wait to see where this takes you.
Leighann recently posted…Defending Elf on the ShelfMy Profile

December 2, 2013, 5:36 pm

Oh, this looks like a lovely holiday together with family. So many great photos.
I had a similar revelation awhile back about scarves. They were once sort of my signature – I used to wear them all the time, either around my neck or tied in my hair (when I had long hair, at least.) Then for some reason, CI just stopped. I discovered them again last spring and they have made a comeback in my wardrobe – not all the time now, but touches here and there. I missed them. :)
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Tamara December 3, 2013, 3:21 am

I loved looking at the photos. I did it slowly, and twice!
Maroon has always been my favorite color, actually, so nothing unexpected or new there. It’s my favorite color to wear. And my favorite colors to see are the rainbow colors in order.
Lately I realize I love yoga pants, which is so unexpected because I mocked them for years. Now I want to marry them.
Tamara recently posted…That Time I’m Certain My Life Was In Danger..My Profile

December 3, 2013, 12:20 pm

Love how you so beautifully captured family relationships “on film.” So many priceless shots here! Last week I rediscovered a love of baking. Who knew?
Cheryl recently posted…FALLing in Love Friday: Powell’sMy Profile

December 10, 2013, 9:42 pm

I’m so glad that I read this. Now I’m wondering what I could be avoiding. I’ve always suspected that my husband avoided red for various reasons, and your post made me think there’s actually something to my suspicions.

I think it’s okay to be adrift, too. I like this stage of my life – I call it finding myself. Currently I’m on year #8 of finding myself. For now, being a wife and a mom and a blogger are enough. But I can understand wanting more, too.

Your pictures are enchanting – so soft, so full of personality. The one with Gus and Gigi is my favorite of this series.
Andrea recently posted…The Liebster AwardMy Profile

Runnermomjen December 14, 2013, 3:39 am

Yes, I’m feeling adrift lately too…I’ve been running but haven’t picked up my camera lately, I think I need to do that ASAP.
I love all of your photos, (of course).
Runnermomjen recently posted…Sunset Running…My Profile

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