cropping life into a series of square photographs

This collection covers almost two months' time.  
And I feel compelled to note:  These snippets do not lie, but they're never the whole truth either...
1.  dominating the dance floor in Kentucky
2.  Corvette Museum
3.  a bunch of fine men
4.  I am basically a professional boy bather
5.  a solid rendition of A Song About Cats
6.  power tools: the parenting intersection of pride and terror
7.  poolside
8.  summer in full swing, at North Bank Park
9.  slow mornings, sweet breakfasts
10. last day of first grade
11.  strawberry picking with friends
12.  Charles times two
13.  eight years ago, at Inniswoods  #awarenessweekend
14.  celebrating 90 with Grandpa Jim
15.  the happiest
16.  tennis lessons
17.  tastes like summer
18. peonies on the counter  #kitchenchurch
19.  darling boy
20.  love is love
21.  Battelle Darby hike
22.  at three months
23.  all the Ohio weather awards
24.  celebrating baby John  #gillsgirls
25.  fourteen years
26.  anniversary pregame
27.  fishing at Poppy's  #happylachian
28.  almost heaven
29.  hey girl
30.  cherry picked
31.  never met a creek they could stay out of  #battelledarby
32.  our little sum thucker, at four months
33.  saturdayzzzzz
34.  downtown adventures
35.  backyard books
36.  more fishing, Chadwick Arboretum



Using all the pillows in the house used to be a point of contention.
Now I realize it's way more fun to participate than to nag.



So many nights this spring I'd feed the baby around 3am and get him back to sleep and get myself back to sleep, only to roll over just a few minutes later as Tolliver tip-toed into our room.
On those mornings, for a split second, I might have wished that he would not wake up, wished that I could just sleep a little longer.
And then I allowed myself to imagine the alternative: What if he did not wake up?
For four years he's been like a wild horse, with a wake up routine that can not be broken.  By 6am,  without fail, the party has started.  And the party is Tolliver simultaneously slingshotting Angry Bird balls across the basement and telling some elaborate tale about dragons or minions or astronauts.  Listening to him, while cartoons carry along in the background, I feel like I could plant a yawn farm.
(Aside: His storytelling actually has the strange, mystical ability to make coffee taste even better than it already does at sunrise.  He may be the most imaginative child I know.)

I realize that in the finger snap of a few years Tolliver will be a teenager, still in bed at noon.
And right now, when my little early riser feels far from the child I imagined parenting, I know it’s because I was not inspired enough to envision him.


lately they've been leaning toward more of the latter

Some days brotherhood is fused through fury.
Other days cooperation and grace form their companionship.


so much joy

In four months Hank has more than doubled his birth weight.
He has learned to laugh and to make the hard g sound, to grasp and roll over with purpose.
He brings our whole family so much joy.

Andy likes the way his eyes baby doll back when they rock together in his room before bed.
RoRo tells everyone who'll listen that Hank's first instinct is always to smile.
Tolliver calls him our little sum thucker.
And I love everything about him.  Four months now and, dare I say, practically perfect in every way.


Off the hook

Thankful for friends who bring poles and bait, and their fancy camera, to the fishing pond.

Chadwick Arboretum, images by Juliet Carey