Monday, November 30, 2015

Imperfect Thanks

So how'd it go? Was your Thanksgiving as happy as your Christmas cards are promising me it was? Did the turkey turn out perfectly and on time? Pies set all the way through? Everyone got along and there was no awkward conversation at the dinner table? Was your Thanksgiving outfit on point?

Yeah, us either.

This year, we decided to do something unprecedented: we cooked our own meal, in our own home, for just the four of us. This was a big deal for me, because I'm used to doing Thanksgiving at my grandparent's or in-law's house. Sometimes I bring a pie or a salad if I'm feeling extra thankful. But this year, since it's our first year in the Ahlgrim Haus, we wanted to do it our way, and on our own time.

And my favorite part? My husband volunteered to do ALL the cooking. ​​So here's how it went:

Thursday morning, Ryan got up and started smoking the chicken. (That's right. We're so rogue that we didn't even eat turkey on Thanksgiving. Deal with it.) He also made all the sides and pumpkin pie for dessert, while I kept he kids entertained by watching the parade and letting them help me decorate the Christmas tree. The tree is now only decorated on one side on the bottom third. It's perfect.

The chicken wasn't cooking fast enough, so we sat down and just ate all the sides (which were amazing, by the way) but before we dug in, we took a self-timer photo of the whole clan at the Thanksgiving table. In our pajamas. And out of nearly thirty frames, ZERO got our faces in focus (Although, that half-decorated Christmas tree in the background is looking sharp!)

Here she is in all her out of focus, unedited, sleepy-eyed, pajama-clad glory:

And yes. I do this for a living.​​​ Not nearly as easy as it looks...

We did put on real clothes and venture out to see family (and have an extra slice of pie or seven), and one of us thought it was a grand idea to stand in the rain on Thanksgiving evening to get two TVs...

He was right. We have two new TVs.​​

It was crazy. It was so unplanned and thrown together and so out of character for us, and it looked nothing like the prettied up versions of Thanksgiving that we always want to project to the world... and you know what? I loved it. We had the best Thanksgiving I can remember... perfectly imperfect.

I hope yours was too.​​

Friday, November 20, 2015

Wavy Glass

​Our century-old home has over a dozen windows on the ground floor alone, and many of them still have the original antique glass in them. They are magnificent. Each piece is unique and has waves and twists and imperfections that make them special. When the afternoon sun filters through trees and through the wavy glass, it makes the light dance across dusty old floors and various pieces of furniture- almost as if they were ablaze with fire. They’re a filter, these windows, and looking through them is a bit like watching the world through water- shapes bending and moving, refusing to stay still- and everything seems to move just a bit more slowly. Looking through them can be disorienting and hypnotic and peaceful. I can’t decide which I love more- the light burning in, or the water dancing out…

​My daughter will be four in a little over a week, and thinking back on our last five years is like looking through the wavy glass. I can remember desperation and hopelessness in the year-and-a-half that it took to finally conceive our little girl. I remember months of being uncomfortable in my new, rounded body, carrying life inside of it. I remember a delivery that was a breeze, and weeks after that were some of the loneliest times I’ve ever experienced as I battled post-partum depression and desperately clawed my way back into light. From there, it’s all a blur of moving shapes that refuse to stand still- watching her fly through milestones and learn new things, another positive pregnancy test, and seeing my baby hold my new baby. Fits of screaming and flailing as we learned our new normal and she stepped into her role as “big” sister, even tiny as she was. Phases I thought we’d never grow out of; the bad ones, yes- refusing naps, throwing food, and oh the potty training regression- but the good ones too: open-mouth kisses, learning to walk on wobbly, chubby legs, sweetly sleeping with her feet tucked underneath her tiny frame…

But here we are four years later… dancing in the burning light of our wavy glass windows…​

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Chelsea Ahlgrim Photography Announcement

There's a little post with an announcement regarding my photography business over on my website today. >>go here<< If you're here at Everyday Light, I hope you'll stay, because this is where I'll be focusing much more attention in the coming months. Let's find some light to play in...