About Me

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After being told I would never be able to have children, I am now a stay-at-home Mommy to Maddie who happens to have Down Syndrome. I've been married 16 years to my best friend, having the time of my life. Thanks for stopping by and sharing in our little journey through life.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Beautiful Moments

Every once in a great while, we may discover ourselves in the midst of a beautiful moment.
These rare, precious realizations are what make life worth living. 

Yesterday, life honored me with such a moment.

I was getting dinner ready in the kitchen, and I looked over at Maddie sitting at the table with her coloring book.  
The late afternoon/early evening light was gentle and soft.  
I was struck by how peaceful she looked, so content.
My heart warmed and I stood still, soaking it all in.  

And then of course I grabbed my camera.

I've been playing around with what photography industry calls "documentary family photojournalism."
It's a storytelling style that reflects the ethical codes of true photojournalists that do not interfere with the moment, they simply capture it.  

In portrait photography, all of those things in the foreground are considered distractions that interfere with the main subject.
In family photojournalism, they simply add to the telling of the story.  
What some call clutter, others call details! ;)

Documentary photography is extremely challenging, but I think I prefer it to portrait work.  
I like that one photo can tell a story.  

In this story, she has her green smoothie, nearly finished sitting beside her.  
It's not unusual for her to drink 3 per day, and she usually finishes them in 2 minutes flat.

In front of her green smoothie is her crayon roll. 
I made that for her 7th birthday party and I love that she loves it.

Next, she's not coloring.
When she gets her coloring books out, she flips through every page one at a time like a book before she ever picks up a crayon.

I also like how small she looks in the adult size dining room chair.
There was just enough separation from her hair and the chair with the highlights hitting her hair.
That makes for a more pleasing image.

She finally picks up her crayon and starts to color.
The detail I love in this photo is the bubbles sitting to her left.  

Earlier in the day we had gone outside to blow bubbles.  
Maddie has some success blowing bubbles, but she will often get frustrated because her mouth muscles are not always strong enough to form the "O" shape to blow.
I was trying to teach her but at this particular moment she was really defeated and ready to give up.

Me: "I'm not going to let you give up, you can do this."
Maddie: "I can't do it"
Me: "Never say can't.  It takes lots of practice and you have to open your mind to learn, but you can do it."
Maddie: (slowly opens door and creeps back inside, an inch at a time!) HA.HA.

That was her subtle way of telling me the lesson was over!

I especially love this image!

The story here is we have been working on pencil grasp for well over a year now.
She will show signs of progress one week, but the next she will revert back a palm grasp (as opposed to a tripod grasp.)
Just like her mouth muscles are not always strong enough, she also struggles with her fine motor muscles.
But this is perfect!
She's got a great grasp and she is able to control the movement while coloring the bow!!

That's amazing progress considering a week ago we were back to the palm grasp once again.

In homeschooling her I've learned her learning style is very fluid.  
Give and take.
We learn, revert, learn again, revert, learn again.
But with each time we learn again I know: 
1) She learned it once, she can learn it again
2) each new experience builds on the last and one day it will stick forever

Maybe this is the day the tripod pencil grasp sticks forever!

Even if it's not, I have a beautiful image that captures a beautiful moment that I will always cherish.

I wish for you to find yourselves in the midst of beautiful moments as well.
They really are what make life worth living!

James 1:17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom is no fickleness, neither shadow of turning.