The Whole Truth | Where The Boys Are, A Memory Keeping Revolution

You may have noticed its been a little quiet lately. You might have wondered what happened to the second installment of November. I would love to sound like I have it all together and spin it that as a group we decided to push that content into December because as a group we've decided to take a holiday for the holidays but that wouldn't be the whole truth. The whole truth is yes, we are taking a break for the holidays but no, pushing the post was not part of the plan; there was a whole other plan but that was not it. The whole truth is the post was pushed because life is full and sometimes somethings gotta give. 

When it comes down to it, in all likelihood you didn't notice its been quiet. In all likelihood you didn't wonder what happened to the second installment because your life is full and during this time of year we are all doing our best to keep our head above water. We are all doing our best to not let the stress of the season ruin the season. 

So why call attention to this if in all likelihood you didn't notice? Because I believe its important to be real. Because maybe by not spinning it, by not perpetuating the myth of doing it all, and just admitting that sometimes somethings gotta give you might allow yourself permission to do the same.

The holiday season is not about perfect Pinterest worthy activities or decorations or family photographs. It is so much more. So, instead of beating yourself up that the elf didn't move or you didn't take home baked goods to the school or that your holiday cards are going out late or that you didn't make it to the tree farm or your decorations still aren't up or [insert your own kind of holiday crazy]  just let it go. In all likelihood the loved ones you are working so hard for during this holiday season didn't even notice. Instead, embrace the real gifts of the season, including those of imperfection.

OK, so this holiday break for the holidays we are taking. Are you curious about the plan? 

Well, we are going to feature YOU. If you have spent time in our Flickr group you know there is a lot of goodness going on in there (ahem, almost 700 images strong) and we couldn't think of a better way to close out the year than share that on a larger scale. The week of the 21st of December our blog will be filled with YOUR images, YOUR boys, YOUR stories.

And just in case you might be wondering......

  • You have until the 12th to get your images in the Flickr group for consideration
  • Don't forget to add your stories because we are all about pictures+words in our posts
  • I will reach out to you no later than the 14th if you image is going to be featured

Still have a question? Just send a note to . So very excited to pull together your pictures+words. 

And now, welcome to our last collaborative share of 2014 where we invite Juli Jones to join us in telling our story. We hope that sharing our story inspires you to share yours. 

Here we go......

And here we are in the rhythmic pulse of the school year. We left behind the willy-nilliness of summertime hours months ago, and are finding solace in the predictable pace of the fall. The two of us move in and out of these choreographed hours without your big brothers, equally breathing in the harmony and four-year-old discord. I tuck every drop in my pocket. - Jen Lucas

When I look back on these photographs, these memories…our stories, I'm first of all, thankful that I get to be their mama and live out these days with them but secondly, I'm so thankful I've chosen to live with my eyes open so-to-speak. To see and record the beauty of our everyday normal but oh so extraordinary life. It's a priceless gift to me and I pray that it will be for them as well. - Juli Jones

It just gets too much for you in your little life...all the new things you have to learn, easily getting tired, frustrated at not being able to do things like your older  brothers, too young to go to want to follow in both your brothers footsteps so desperately but for the meantime, you are just too little..... trust me little one, your every moment is being treasured... - Sarah Roberts

I love that you have a best friend in each other, a constant companion, and that you love each other unconditionally.  I love that you can make each other laugh - the huge belly laughs.  The laughs that make me laugh, which makes Daddy laugh and before we know it we’re all laughing without a care in the world.  These are the moments I want to capture, the ones I want to remember, forever and ever.  The moments I want to look back on in 10, 20, 30 years time and remember that cold day, on the moors, where we laughed.  We laughed and we enjoyed just being us. - Amy Lancaster

I only wanted one thing on our vacation, to chase the sun. Unfortunately not until the last day, midday, did it make an appearance. As I packed my gear just before sunset I heard your little voice tell me "I want to chase the sun!" And so we did.

It was so much better with you by my side. One day you will grow big and I will grow old and we may not be able to chase the sun anymore and I will hold on to this moment. You, picking out the perfect rock to throw into the lake and Me, soaking in you and the perfect light.  - Monica McNeill

All three of you in one frame.  All of my life in one glimpse.  All of my heart in one display.  Everything that gives me breath.  My three boys mean the absolute world to me.  - Michelle L. Morris

"You played football for the first time this year. You're only 6, but you're playing with the big boys so that you can be on the same team as your brother. You're by far the most hilarious member of the team, and I am kicking myself for not getting a video of you skipping off the field each game. I asked you to give me your "meanest football player face," and this is what I got. - Amanda Caves

You are supposed to be upstairs playing quietly in your room “resting” while your little brother naps.  But at some point he snuck into your room and you guys switched to playing quietly with each other.  After awhile, you both started dropping fall pictures you’d made down to me every 10 minutes to show me.  I wasn’t able to get any work done, but I couldn’t help but smile at the two of you playing so sweetly together.  I love the brotherly bond that you two are forming, even if it is when you’re supposed to be resting. - Heather Reagan

In bringing you up I am finding it is a lot about balance. Such as offering encouragement without the pressure to succeed. Offering reassurance without leaving you feeling like you can't find the good feelings on your own. Signing you up for enough activities to keep you thriving without tiring you out. Knowing when to push you on your math homework versus easing off. Snuggling so close or giving some space.  When we go off on little adventures, like this one, I get a chance to check in, take account, and reassure myself that we are doing okay, that we are taking the right steps to set you off in life able and confident. - Cate Wnek