Things to Do - Cherish This Day & Random Links


For the past two weeks or so I've had almost no desire to take photos. Such apathy tends to come in swings, so I know to ride it out, but still I always feel a little lost when I don't have my camera (even when I don't necessarily want to have my camera). I often think that cameras and phones are the cigarettes of modern age - always keeping our hands busy, assuring that we never look bored.

Anyways, earlier this week the kids and I took the dog for a long walk. I brought the camera along, not really sure I would use it. Luckily the old normal me returned and I started taking hundreds of photos. I was shooting on manual, while the dog - constantly in pursuit of squirrels and rabbits - pulled like crazy on the leash. The kids kept moving at faster and faster speeds. So none of the photos are particularly stellar, but still I'm a little in love with this set as they really capture where we are right now - fight, run, hug, repeat. Over and over. While the sky turns a brilliant shade of red, surrounding us all.

Now click on over to Cherish This Day to check out this week's wonderfulness.



* 15 Contemporary Short Story Collections from Female Authors. Totally worth a bookmark.

* Lately, our whole family can't stop playing this game, (thanks Julia's Bookbag for the suggestion).

* And I can't stop listening to this album. It's more addictive than candy.

* These GIFS (using historical photos) are pretty incredible.

* How Gatsby Went From a Flop to the Great American Novel.



Things to Do - Boyhood (the Movie) and Random Childhood Memories

Have you seen Boyhood? Richard Linklater spent 12 years filming the movie using the same actors. It's sort of crazy to watch a kid actually grow up on screen. Once the movie delves into the teenager years I started to wonder how much Linklater planned the main character's personality years ago, and how much the director changed the script as he watched the actor grow up. Despite the novelty of a film that took over a decade to make, the movie is also notable for the moments it links together. Rather than birthdays, holidays, and the types of events adults are likely to remember, Linklater concentrates on the smaller moments - moving to new schools/places, conversing with a cute girl on a bike, time spent with a mostly absentee father.

After watching the movie for date night, Dan and I opened a bottle of wine and tried to piece together our own earliest memories. One of Dan's friends told us that children rarely remember much before age 7, so lately I'm a mission to dive back further. After a few drinks (okay, maybe more than a few), I hazily started to recollect watching TV with my parents in the basement (my bedroom was upstairs and our only television was downstairs, so every night I dreaded being left alone at bedtime). So every once in awhile my parents would let me stay up late, watching TV with them - my dad enjoyed Benny Hill and some random beauty pageant show - despite my mom's insistence that such viewing was inappropriate (my father reassured her that I was too young to remember anything).

Everyone remembers Benny Hill, but it took some googling to bring back the $1.98 Beauty Show, which manages to mock beauty pageants while simultaneously degrading the women at an even deeper level. As Dan best phrased it, "when it comes to nostalgia for the past, everyone brings out the best stuff and manages to erase stuff like this." Prime time, we're talking prime time. (Not that the Bachelor is any better). Turns out the $1.98 Beauty Show aired from 1978 to 1980, so all my memories of the show predate my 5th birthday.

Have you ever Youtubed anything from your preschool years? It feels surreal to see such a random and vague memory in full color. Disorientating. At one hand, there's a satisfaction that comes with learning that your recollection is real, but so many other puzzle pieces are left out that you feel as if you're grasping for something out of reach. For example, where was the couch in the basement? I can't quite picture it. Nor can I recall our other furniture from the time. I remember the TV occupying the space where the bookshelves are now. But weren't the bookshelves always there? Everything outside the realm of Youtube seems to be lost forever, whereas the women on the $1.98 Beauty Show will continue to carry their rotten vegetable bouquets throughout time. It's odd to think our children (especially mine) will grow up with so many more old memories easily accessible. How will this change how they perceive time itself?

What about everyone else - what is your earliest memory?


Things to Make - Leaf Stencils


I realize there is some irony in finally posting craft projects once school reopens. But, hey, it was a long summer. Anyways, we leaf stenciled with watercolors a few weeks ago and the kids had a blast with this open-ended project. The girls traced the leaves with paint to create lovely designs, whereas T arranged the leaves and glued them to the paper. Either way, we ended up with some beautiful artwork to decorate the walls.


1. Materials: paper(preferably thick watercolor paper), summer and/or fall leaves and flowers of all sizes and varieties, watercolor paints, paint brushes of various sizes, and/or glue sticks.

2. After collecting the leaves, spread them out on a table or work surface. Ask children to hold down the corners and trace the edges with their brushes. They can also paint the leaf and then use it as a stamp. And/or glue leaves to the paper's surface.



Things to Do - This Untamed Life, Breakfast


This week for This Untamed Life everyone is posting breakfast photos - a tough subject matter for me. I'm not a morning person. The girls usually wake 30 minutes to an hour earlier than I do. And they make their own breakfast. But last Friday I managed to drag myself out of bed and take a few photos, which made me realize what I've missed lately. Turns out mornings are actually pretty fun/crazy/unpredictable around our house. Maybe I'll try to see more of them in the future.

Now click on over to This Untamed Life to see how the rest of the group documented their mornings.


Things to Do - Cry, Mope, Celebrate. Repeat.


So today [which will be yesterday by the time this posts] my teeny tiny little baby boy went to kindergarten. You're probably thinking the same thing as me right now. Since when did they allow babies into kindergarten? I mean, just the diapers alone, it's too much. But wait. He doesn't wear diapers anymore. He actually hasn't for a long time now that I think about it. T talks now. Quite a bit. Full coherent sentences, with so so many ideas. When did all of this happen? I sort of know. But maybe I don't. Because while part of me watched a totally-ready-for-school 5 year old march out of the gymnasium, the other part of me saw baby T, crawling down the hall and needing me.

I could say that I'm sad, but that wouldn't quite cover it. Today I had more free time than I've had in 9 years (excluding vacations without the children). I yoga-ed, I grocery shopped. I tried to contemplate the years ahead, which lead to panic coupled with happiness coupled with a close evaluation of all my new wrinkles.

I found my old resume. I started to edit. Then I decided to watch the UP series instead (since I recently started 42 and Up I figured the cast might offer some guidance. They did not offer guidance). I signed up for sewing classes. I cleaned my closet. I planned a vacation (for Memorial Day 2015).

The world is my oyster.

It's only day 1.

I feel old right now. I wish I had Botox. I think one needs a job before they can afford Botox.

How does everyone have a job all of a sudden? I guess they've had jobs all along, I just never really noticed their jobs before. Once you no longer have a job (yes, I'm going to come out and say it, despite being unpaid, being a SAHM is still a job), it seems sort of crazy that EVERYONE YOU KNOW has a job.

I started to work on my website. Did you know I have a website? Darcy Troutman Photography is now booking for fall sessions.

I need a plan . . . I'm working on a plan. Or at least I'm thinking about working on a plan. I'm planning to plan.

Wow, today is tougher than I thought it would be. Tomorrow I've booked: a personal trainer appointment, haircut, eyebrow wax, and pedicure. Then I'll probably cry for awhile.


(Um yes, F wore her "SeaWorld Kills" t-shirt for the first day of school. Apparently, this is what happens when we watch socially conscious documentaries on family movie night).


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