our kindergarteners

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Marie and Henry started (half-day) kindergarten this week…I’m still in shock. They are on the fresh side of five and have literally been by my side for five years straight – this is a huge new chapter for all of us. It’s the end of an era, which is hard to accept, and hurts my heart a bit…I think any mama can relate to that. In order to help us all prepare for the transition, we commemorated the occasion with a photo shoot the day before school started. I set my sights on a bus lot near our home: no gate, no “keep away” signage…it was begging to be featured on a blog! For the record, the doors were open: we didn’t touch or enter one (that’s unlawful). Ironically, the kids will be car riders this year, but their fascination with buses and willingness to humor me made for some pretty great photo opportunities. Not to mention, a certain little lady had her very first haircut, and it was a major one! A photo shoot was practically (hashtag) obligatory.

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little moments, big kids

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I’m trying to wrap my mind around the fact that my babies will be five years old soon. What feels like all of a sudden, they’re sleeping in “big kid beds”, telling me that they want to do it “by myself”, and wanting more independence. I know this is a good thing in the long term, but it’s so hard to swallow in the short. I’m somehow now the mother of two children. Not babies, not toddlers…CHILDREN. I’m holding onto four with all my might, with five approaching at warp speed.

The passing of time is never more evident than when you’re a parent, and yet simultaneously, so much more of a blur. The little moments (that are actually quite big) can easily get lost in the background of every day chaos. I’m doing my best to be more conscious of the bath time giggles, lazy mornings, and Sunday cuddles. We still have these moments, but they’ve evolved into “big kid” versions of them. No less special than before, but possibly…more treasured.

pajamas c/o burt’s bees baby, many thanks for being part of our journey all these years!

we’re moving!

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Bon weekend friends! My apologies if you came here from Instagram hoping for some juicy, life-altering news. We are indeed moving, but not abroad as we had expected when we sold our home two years ago. We’ll be staying in Chester County, Pennsylvania which we love (and where we’ve been for 8 years now), but moving out of our industrial loft and into an apartment complex. This will be another temporary move (1-2 years) which we had hoped to avoid, but we decided the pros outweigh the cons (I’ll spare you the list). Our current home has been a refreshing change of scenery for the past two years, a fun challenge as an interior designer, and a super pinterest-worthy space. Speaking of which, I’ll be sharing more of it before we move (or soon after). It’s funny how a hard deadline like moving can light a fire to get things done.

This time around the kids are old enough to grasp the idea of moving and that home is wherever we are. The walls that surround us don’t define our family, and that’s been a big lesson for us all. As we did before, we’re involving the kids with as many decisions as possible to better equip them emotionally for the move. The fact that our new place has an awesome pool and is dog-friendly is already helping to soften the blow…and yes that’s a hint that we’re looking to add a furry member to our family soon! If you have children and have any tips to help ease the stress of moving, please share. Also, if you’re interested in some goodies from Henry + Marie’s closet (as well as a few random items from mine), follow @shopfleurishing on Instagram – there are many items already listed, with more to come. Spring cleaning is in full effect!

image courtesy of ashley lynn fry photography

 

valentine’s day nostalgia

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Today I’m feeling nostalgic and thankful for these treasured moments captured in Paris two years ago. I’m so terrible about printing images, but my sweet friend and photographer Ashley Ludaescher sent these to me. While I still have yet to frame them (soon), I stare at them often. My heart is overflowing with love for my children – so much so that it hurts at times. It’s incredibly cheesy but true. Their unconditional love for each other, and for us, is overwhelming. At times I don’t even feel worthy of it. I hope everyone experiences a love as pure and true as this in their lifetime.

happy valentine’s day | joyeuse saint-valentin 

it’s not enough.

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My husband took this photo of my daughter and I, both very purposefully wearing white, right before heading to the polls to vote for the first female Presidential candidate. I am very aware that sentence alone speaks volumes about how far women have come in history. It’s not enough. Despite always being a feminist, I never truly understood or embraced it’s importance–until now. My heart is broken for my daughter, for women worldwide, and for our country as a whole. I went to bed crying on Tuesday, and woke up crying on Wednesday, feeling dread and uncertainty of how to explain the election results to my children. A strong percentage of America voted for a racist, xenophobic, misogynist. That can’t be sugarcoated. Let me be clear – this isn’t about our candidate losing – it’s about hate winning. This is so much bigger than politics. It’s about humanity. My tears have dried, I’m angry, and I’m taking action, starting…now.

Fighting for justice and freedom is in my blood. My father dedicated twenty years of his life to serving our great country, as did many other men – and women – in my family tree. Without their bravery I wouldn’t be writing this post. I’ve always gotten the feeling that my father wished I would have followed in his footsteps, and served. Well, your wish has finally been granted Dad, because I’m joining the ranks. I will fight with words, I will fight with love, but I will fight. I’ve always been an activist – ever since first grade, when I wrote, directed, and starred in a play about Martin Luther King, Jr. and his accomplishments (I insisted on playing the role of Coretta Scott King). I’ve actively stood up for what is right many times in my life, but unfortunately, I feel like I’ve never done enough. That feeling ends here.

In addition to the battles I will fight, I will raise children who refuse to tolerate anything less than equality and freedom, for ALL. I will raise a daughter who knows she is enough, that she is worthy, and I will be her voice until hers can be heard loud enough. The battle cries of women, and men, who demand better for our country, and for our children, can be heard loud and clear now. Thank you, Mr. Trump, for turning up the volume. I’ll conclude with a quote from an inspirational woman, Chimananda Ngozi Adichie – “Anger has a long history of bringing about positive change; but in addition to being angry, I’m also hopeful. Because I believe deeply in the ability of human beings to make and remake themselves for the better.” It’s not enough that we’re broken hearted. It’s not enough that we’re angry. I am pledging to do more, to be more…until it IS enough. If you’re with me, let me know below. Community has never been more important.