Worth Crafting | Where The Boys Are, A Memory Keeping Revolution


I recently spent time in a workshop with Sam Abell and on the last day Mr. Abell, a world renowned photographer, who had a rich career with National Geographic shared his images from our time together. What struck me was not his technique or the way he brings calm to chaos but what struck me were the personal images he shared. Images made in "hostile" environments, aka real life. He said, this is "a moment worth crafting."

When he said those words nothing felt truer in all the fibers of my being. A moment worth crafting. 

We approach these images with the same intent and care as if we were photographing the President because these moments are worth crafting. We don't have to be on assignment for the Geographic or a White House photographer to document history. This is our history as much as anything else. 

Welcome to our April collaborative post (yes, in MAY!). We hope that sharing our story inspires you to share yours. 

Here we go......


Oh, child.  You are turning 12 this week, which makes you the only one left who isn't a teenager.  I have a photo just like this one from a few years ago when you were much smaller, but so much is the same - same chair, same robe, same determined look on your face for whatever you are doing.  It's all bittersweet.  I love watching you grow, though you are still stubborn as a mule.  We are getting to spend some time, just the two of us, as your older brothers work.  You ask great questions, are intensely observant, and quick witted.  So often I watch you and imagine your dad at this age, you two are so very similar.  I want to soak in every moment we have together, as I see time flying by faster than I can keep up.  Mostly, I'm grateful every single day that God gave me the privilege of being a mother.  It's the hardest thing I've ever done in my life;  but the good, the bad, the ugly... it's my favorite thing.  Goodness, I love you all so much. - Abbi Ottman

Four available chairs and this is where you choose to sit for breakfast. It has been worth enduring every little tiff, tattle, or full blown fight between the two of you, to watch you form this strengthening brotherly bond. Perhaps your solidarity comes from the fact that it’s built upon all those sincere (and insincere) I’m-sorries, a not-so-secret language, a pile of punchy catch phrases and inside jokes, and hours and hours of play - just the two of you, your grand imaginations, and a world of possibility. - Andrea Moffatt

When you’re curious, you find lots of interesting things to do.” – Walt Disney.  No matter where we go or what we’re doing, you always stop for something that sparks your interest. Never stop looking my little man because life is filled with lots of interesting things to do. You just have to find them. - Anna Bein

Even a cold, windy day at the beach is heaven for us. Wrapped up in hoodies and searching for sea shells. It doesn't get much better than that. - Amanda Caves

We have lived in 6 houses, in 3 different countries over the last 6 months as part of our move to the other side of the world, but one thing that has not changed is your love for each other.  That bond you share as brothers has grown, you have seen this whole adventure as just that, an adventure.  One to be enjoyed.  I am so proud of how well you have both adjusted to the changes in our lives, how well you have settled into life in Australia, because it is oh so different to the UK, but it is a lifestyle we are embracing, and for the foreseeable future, this is home. - Amy Lancaster

In the last week, you realized you could build Lego sets all by yourself.  While we were busy, you quietly and carefully followed each page of the directions to build your Star Wars X-Wing while Little Brother watched in amazement.  Later, while we were running errands, you begged to stop at the Lego store and both of you pooled what was left of your Christmas money to buy an Angry Birds Lego set.  As soon as we were home, you sat down and got to work.  You even took the time to give him turns at putting some of the pieces together, patiently teaching him exactly how to do it.  And while it was a much larger set with many more directions to follow, you did it all by yourself (with a little help from your assistant).  I am so proud of the independent big kid you are turning into.  Not only in your abilities to build these on your own, but also in your role as a big brother and leader. - Heather Reagan

We’ve had our share of rough moments recently.  I’m not sure if it’s due to your age (three is way hard than two), being the youngest, or just your head-strong personality.  Or perhaps it’s all three reasons rolled into one!  Luckily, like a light switch, your attitude can go from awful to sweet without a moment’s notice.  And then we’re snuggling on the couch just like we did when you were my tiny baby.   - Donya Gjerdingen

"A horse never runs so fast as when he has other horses to catch up and outpace."  ~Ovid

Just replace horse/horses with brother/brothers, and I think that sounds about right. - Susan Keller


I see you. I see your heart. I see your kind and gentle spirit. I see your need to be seen. I will always see you for exactly who you are. - Kelly Sutton

White space. I want more white space. I want you racing down our street without a care in world, not racing to the next thing on a list. No agenda, no purpose, no have to's. More being less doing. - Monica McNeill

Sometimes the picture is behind you. Sometimes your busy taking pictures of something special, and, for no reason at all, you suddenly turn around, like a sixth sense knowing something lovely is happening and there it is – one of those fleeting moments you just catch, the split second that its there before its gone. - Nina Callow

You will be a 6th grader in almost a month and then middle school will be waiting for you and while that day comes my mom's heart have all the feelings for everything new for you, for the bus ride to school/home, a different schedule ... so many new experiences. My boy you are awesome and you'll be fine, I know that.  - Antonieta Esis