Time Travel

In second grade, I looked on with envy as my third grade friends from church went to Tionesta. They were going to a cabin for the weekend to eat candy and run wild. I couldn’t wait until it was my turn.

This year, I took my girls to the same cabin. A group of people from my church has kept the tradition of Tionesta alive. For years, a group of kids in grades third through sixth go to a hunting cabin on the Allegheny river in the town of Tionesta, Pa. The cabin and surroundings have barely changed since I was eight years old. There are a few less deer heads on the walls but the bright plastic tablecloths are just the same.

The first night we were there, dinner was ready. I got ready to serve salad to the kids. My brother took the tongs and said, “Wouldn’t you like to take a picture of this?” I began documenting the weekend.

I took pictures for this year’s group of kids and parents.  I also was thinking of the much bigger group of people who spent weekends together in this cabin every spring and who I knew would enjoy traveling back in time.

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Ride On!


March 16

The first really warm day and the bikes came out. I love the snow but was ready for this. You too?

A few years ago, I learned how to do this kind of motion photo – a pan. Now, it’s one of my favorite tricks.

(I moved the camera while taking the photo to show how Elsie is zooooooooooming.)

I’m going to be talking about this very thing on my upcoming podcast about photographing your nearest and dearest.

I’m looking for questions to answer on early shows. Do you have a question? It can be about anything related to photographing your family. (You don’t have to sound smart or like a photographer. Just yourself, a curious parent.)

Email me – jenny@familiarlight.com or find Familiar Light (a brand new page) on facebook. I’m also on Instagram @familiarlight.

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Pulling Teeth


Playing the Part

Whether they like it or not, new mothers are the receivers of stories and advice. People who are miles down the path of parenthood want to share what they experienced or wish they had known on when they took their first parenting steps. When I was a new mom, I heard lots of stories from both friends, and strangers at the store. I was mostly told stories about babies sleeping (not sleeping) and eating (not eating).

What no one said: A surprising amount of your time and attention will be devoted to teeth. Teeth coming in. Teeth coming out. Cleaning teeth. Filling holes in teeth. Straightening teeth.

I was unprepared.

Two days this month have been Tooth Days


January 11

First, our boy lost his first baby tooth.

I was excited when my oldest lost her first tooth. Now I know as the baby teeth come out, his comfortable, little boy smile goes too. Soon, he will smile with teeth made for a grown man awkwardly waiting in a boy’s mouth.


January 22 – Another Tooth Day

Our oldest has braces. One of her adult teeth on the top never showed up, so she had more teeth on the bottom. After much discussion and procrastination, we decided to follow the our orthodontist’s recommendation. We had one of her bottom (perfectly healthy) teeth pulled to even the score on her top and bottom jaws.

Her dad promised her a milkshake when it was done.


Sweetening the Deal

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Bubble Weather

When I saw how cold it was, I got excited. It was cold enough to freeze some bubbles. (About zero fahrenheit.)

Do you remember last year when it was so cold? I got a lot of practice freezing bubbles. (Those photos are right here.) This year I was ready. I knew that the best mixture included corn syrup and the best surface was very cold and covered with a layer of bubble juice.

I thought ahead and froze a block of ice so I could move it around to whatever light worked best. I forgot to get a bubble wand but found that our turkey baster worked just fine.


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