• 10 New Year's Love Notes for My Child (PHOTOS)

    posted by Tracey Clark January 1, 2013 at 7:03 AM in Big Kid
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    As we ring in the brand New Year, I can't help but marvel at how fast time flies. With each year that passes, so does the childhood of my daughters, which any mom knows can be the most bittersweet part of motherhood. As I reflect on the past and look to the future, my heart overflows with all the things I want my girls to grow up knowing. I can't help but get teary when I think of all the messages I hope they carry with throughout their lives.

    I don't want another day to go by without them reading these important words. These are the hopes and wishes I want to share with my kids, today and this year and every year after that.

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  • 7 Best Things About Christmas With Kids (PHOTOS)

    posted by Tracey Clark December 24, 2012 at 6:03 AM in Big Kid
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    Photo by Stephanie Calabrese Roberts

    It's only when you take a look back through your photo archives that you realize how fast time flies and how much changes over the course of a year, or two, or three. With the season of Christmas upon us, it only seemed appropriate to take a little trip down holiday memory lane. I asked a few very talented mom photographers to hit their archives and share a favorite Christmas memory. In turn, what we also got are seven of the many wonderful things about celebrating Christmas with our kids.

    I know for myself, the images of the holiday season can stir up all kinds of memories and magic. There is no time quite a nostalgic as Christmas.

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    Photo by Jessica Fuselier

    It starts with Halloween and doesn't end until the New Year begins: the onslaught of sugar. I know it well, as I am as affected by it as my children are (if not more so). So, what's a mom to do when we live in a society that celebrates every good thing in life with a sweet treat? Should we fight it? Can we fight it?

    I love the way mom, photographer, and sister of mine Jessica Fuselier captures her daughter (my adorable niece) when her holiday sugar intake is at full throttle. I can't imagine there are many mothers out there who can't relate. I'm just glad someone is talking about it and, for that matter, documenting both the sweetness and the absurdity of it all! It makes me feel that much less alone as the holiday season of sugar has got its choke hold on me and my kids until life settles down after Christmas and the New Year's resolutions kick in.

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    Photo by Catherine Just

    There’s not a lot that makes me really, truly yearn for the toddler days. Even all these years later, I recall how trying it was to have a small child underfoot. Don’t get me wrong; I adored my girls back then as much as I do now. It was just hard for me when they were young and I remember that well. All that to say, when I discovered this incredibly tender napping series from photographer and mother Catherine Just, my mama heart melted and I immediately began to long for tender moments of the past ... when my daughters were small enough to snuggle with me like this.

    That Catherine was mindful enough to begin to document this time in the life of her son and that she captured such a connection between the two of them makes me envious that I hadn’t done the same. This series might be my favorite series of mother and child I have ever seen. Something tells me other mothers that see it might feel the same way.

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    by Meredith Winn

    Being a mom to girls, I don’t have the first idea of what it’s like to raise boys. Of course, I always imagine it loud, raucous, and wild. Whenever I see images from photographer Meredith Winn, I discover that it is an adventure indeed but this mama has a way of showing the gentler face of the wild card. In today's series, Meredith captures her boys through an imaginative, whimsical and adventurous lens that makes me almost wish there were a boy under my roof.

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    by Angie Dornier

    For as much as I really want to enjoy the rhythm and routine of my family’s daily life, there are some nights (that usually follow long days) when it’s much more difficult than others. On nights like that, every little thing feels arduous, exaggerated, and often absurd. This collection of images from mom and photographer Angie Dornier reminds me that I am not alone. But, even better, it reminds me that there can be such poignant beauty in the moments that feel difficult and drawn out, and that capturing the most authentic moments of our family life is perhaps the best and most beautiful artform there is.

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    by Tracey Clark

    It’s my daughter’s 15th birthday today. Fifteen. For some reason that number, that many years, takes my breath away. My daughters’ birthdays have always felt like that for me, that despite the milestone, the celebration, the birthday wishes, there is the elephant in the room that I never want to look in the eye -- the enormous and sad, lumbering reminder that the days are passing quickly and my children are really, truly growing up. Sure, you know it when they turn 2 or 4 or 6. But when they turn 15? That’s when that elephant moves from the middle of the room and sits down right down on your chest, knocking the wind right out of you. There’s no escaping the weight of how it feels now. It’s just really really heavy.

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    by Kristin Zecchinelli

    In the era of the "overscheduled child," it’s refreshing to be reminded of how simple life can be when we allow for it. These images by photographer and mom Kristin Zecchinelli make me nostalgic for the days when every minute wasn’t filled with play dates, soccer games, music lessons, and dance recitals. Free time is becoming less and less free as my kids get older, but these images encourage me to slow us all down a bit and build in some time for nothing but simple “childish” pleasures.

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    by Karen Walrond

    The beauty of being away from my family for any amount of time is definitely the homecoming. I never feel as grateful for my daily routine than when I am removed from it for awhile. Each mundane task feels a little more special from the perspective of deep gratitude. Photographer and mom Karen Walrond’s photo series captures that homecoming magic beautifully -- that moment when every color feels more vibrant, each moment heightened, each connection more tender. It almost makes me want to leave just to come back home again.

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  • Celebrating Kids Jumping on the Bed (PHOTOS)

    posted by Tracey Clark October 15, 2012 at 1:01 PM in Big Kid
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    by Stefanie Renee

    Although in theory I want to be the mom that allows for plenty of frivolous play, I often get flustered and impatient when my own daughters go off on their playful tangents. Seeing images like these from mom and photographer Stefanie Renee reminds me of how important (and beautiful) it is to allow our kids to be kids; to encourage silly behavior and tender family time. These are precisely the simple yet meaningful moments that matter the most.

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About This Column
Tracey Clark

In her column, Life, Exposed, Tracey Clark celebrates real-life parenting by inviting the web’s most creative and talented mom and dad photographers to tell their stories through pictures. Clark is the author of Elevate the Everyday: A Photographic Guide to Picturing Motherhood and founder of Shutter Sisters, a collaborative blog for women who love photography. 

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