Monday, June 7, 2010

Out With The Old!?'s officially summer! At this time in the year, we teachers are often able to tend to overlooked business of the house and home. We can paint a little more, clean a little more, read a little more and play a little more. My first order of business every summer is the cleaning and excavating of our closets. Lots can be uncovered in the heaps and piles collected on the floors and there is much to be sorted through and emptied. It is the time of year that I give our storage areas a breath of fresh air. You could say that I let the closets take in a collective deep breath before the overflow in the new school year. It is cathartic..the yearly unloading and cleaning of our small cottage...everything around us on the outside can fill up to the brim...but in here we are happy and free with our nicely cleaned closets and shelves.
Something very different happened this year....
My objective today was cleaning my sons closet. It is, by far, in the worst condition. Sorting, tossing, cleaning, wiping and passing down to the two year old had commenced...with a fury. First, his backpack needed to be emptied and cleaned.
Background on this ritual:
Austin has had the same backpack since prekindergarten. With not two nickles to rub together for heat at the time when I bought it, the $12.99 plus monogramming and shipping that I paid for it was a pretty big expense. However, it was Pottery Barn for Kids, on huge markdown and I knew their stuff lasted!(we had no idea how long though)
This has been his backpack since then! Yes! Prekindergarten, Kindergarten, First Grade, Second Grade, and Third Grade....this has been it. Needless to say, I have become somewhat the years have gone by in a poof and my baby has grown from naps to solving division problems in school, the one constant has been that durn backpack....
Today, I began to put it up on its shelf(yes it has its own)so it will be ready to be picked up again in August. He stopped me. "Mom, you can toss my backpack...I've had it long enough."
all that I could do was squeak out a simple, "What? Why?"
and his response to me?
"Fourth graders don't carry backpacks with their names on them. That could get you killed in the Fourth grade!"
Doesn't he know that this bag has been the one constant in his education aside from him....that every note, every piece of homework and project has booked passage to his schools through it? How could he do this! How could he grow up so fast! I am not ready! He may be! I am definitely not! Every year, his school supplies have made their way safely to his desk. Every year, I have packed this bag away lovingly so that he will have it and carry it...Each year, the boy has changed but the backpack is still the has made his growing up seem more bearable...Doesn't he know it? How can we just "toss it"?
I took some pictures to remember. I will miss it sitting in its rightful place by our front door. I will miss walking in from the store and seeing it open and by that, knowing that he is sitting in his room doing his homework. I will miss the smell. It may be hard to put something else to put on "its" shelf. The things I will hold onto though are the memories. The memory of my precious boy walking away from my car and up to school with that durn old bag waving goodbye and telling me that everything is going to be ok this year...your boy's got this...and I've got the books...
I still need some convincing of the purchase of a new backpack..for now,I am looking into some patches.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Springing Seniors and A Summer of Love

There is nothing I love more than an exciting beginning on the horizon! Whether a senior or a couple about to be wed...these futures are certainly bright!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Symphony En La Cocina!

Can you remember the first time that you ever saw an orchestra? I can. I have very clear memories of that. The year...1983. The place...Julie Rogers' theater. Occassion...Rave style show. I was modeling a flower girl dress and was very excited about the whole night. Feeling prepared and confident, I slowly made my way toward the front of the stage and then, something stopped me. Below the stage, in the orchestra pit, were dozens of men and women with instruments. They were all playing back and forth, alternating between time and music. Halted and hypnotized, I followed all of their gazes to a conductor holding a baton. Vigorous movements and strict concentration kept everyone on time. The musicians playing were amazing. I could have watched them all night...that is until...I heard my friend Kacy calling from behind me....through her teeth. "Go...Go...Farrah go!" A slight nudge sent me on my way..a little dazed and somewhat embarrassed.
The Symphony still has the same affect on me. It is truly amazing and mesmerizing.
It is rare I have a similar reaction to much else. It is a very specific feeling.
I had the pleasure of witnessing a different kind of symphony the other night and no instruments were needed.
My sister-in-law is a chef and she asked me to come photograph some of her culinary stylings. What an awesome thing to watch! I have had her cooking it! But I have never watched her process. I took this particular picture above and it very much reminded me of a conductor...keeping time to the spinach and poached pears and directing the scurrying of people around her. A very cool thing....
Also a very challenging situation, when you are there to capture a moment and all you really want to do is watch...
I left feeling full and very satisfied(mostly because she shared some leftover crabcakes with me)
except for one small thing....
How do I convince her to do this for us every night...
Maybe this way...

Monday, February 22, 2010

A Feathery Obsession

I have another small obsession....Can you guess what it is? Here's a hint...Cluck Cluck Cluck. Here's another hint..."Then I will do it myself..and she did." Any guesses? Right! The answer is chickens! But not just any hen will do. Free roaming, fresh air, grass fed biddies are the only ones of interest! There is something about these mystical beauties that is a delight for the eye. What they create can make a mouth very happy! This fascination, really, began one sunny afternoon a couple of years ago at the Springs. A friend had brought a basket of some beautifully colored eggs(unrefrigerated) and dated at the bottom. Curiosity set in and investigation began. Why didn't she have to refrigerate them? Where is the Styrofoam carton? The eggs were an array of various shades of greenie blues, off whites, and sweet speckles. None looked alike or did they even resemble the bleached white ones in the stores...And the yolks! The Yolks were like a setting sun...They couldn't be chicken eggs! Chicken eggs have yellow yolks right?
Answer: Not all yolks are made the same. Were you aware that there is a hierarchy of yolks in the egg world? Did you know that eggs' yolks are a direct reflection of their chicken's environment? Did you know that a TRUE free roaming chicken egg yolk is supposed to be orange? Yeah...Neither did I. All eggs that I have ever had were white(blindingly so) and cold with perfectly round yellow centers.
I had no clue about this but you can actually tell by the way the egg looks and tastes if it was from a closed in coop, antibiotic ridden, grain fed hen or a happy free roaming, grass fed chicken. According to Mother Earth News: They are healthier too!A free roaming grass fed hen's egg has:
1/3 less cholesterol
1/4 less saturated fat
2/3 more vitamin A
2 TIMES more Omega-3 fatty acids
3 TIMES more Vitamin E
7 TIMES more beta carotene

Pretty cool huh?
I had the opportunity, at a baby shower of all places, to witness what this grass fed, free roaming phenomenon was all about. You have never seen such fat and happy chickens! These biddies have had all the time and love that a chicken should have. It was obvious...I'll bet they help make a pretty tasty omelette in the mornings too! I took some pictures of these lovely ladies with hopes of remembering for my own future hen house, what a healthy chicken is supposed to look like!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Decisions Decisions....

What a great afternoon. Every part was favorite part...watching my little one decide between a cupcake or a lollypop...sometimes when life gives you everything you want, it is hard to decide what part you want first.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Have we Already come to this point?

I watched as my son rode away this weekend..well not far...rode away to the neighbor's house a block down the street. Considering there was a time, not so long ago, that Austin going in the front without someone watching was a big no this was a huge step. The home is visible from our front door so there are no problems seeing where he is going. We have been familiar with the family ever since their dog wandered up to our home one rainy night two years ago, only a puppy then, and spent the evening in our den getting dried off and fed until she was we aren't worried about the people in the house. Worry comes because this is his next step into independence. It's necessary. It's Imminent. He's a nine year old boy, mom....let's get with the program.
The neighbor came to the door, knocked and asked the question most parents hear after some time living among the same people that have children..."Can Austin come over and play?"...Uhhhhhh....
Have we already come to this point where he can just go off by himself? What do I say? Do I bring him in my car? No. Not for four houses Farrah, come on.
Will he ride his bike alone? What?
Yes? No? Yes? No? Ok. yes....Not a moment had passed between the time that I spoke that word and him jumping on his scooter and he was off down the street. I quickly shouted "One Hour!!" and barely got a "K!" before he was out of earshot.
Next Question:Do I watch him?
What is the protocol for staying cool and keeping him safe all at the same time? Watch? Close the door and hope for the best? Watch? Close the door and peer out the window? Peer.... But what if I'm spotted and Austin is branded the kid in the neighborhood with the weird mom that watches you from the window? We can't have that.
Best alternative...grab the binoculars and peer inconspicuously from a distance out the window....far more normal...I mean, I could be bird watching for all they know. There just comes a time where you have to trust that everything you've taught him, he will remember.
An hour later, Austin came back in alone, pink cheeked, and happy. They had a good time and he was back on time. One hour and he stuck to it....Good kid.

An Everyday Kind of Valentine

It is Valentine's Day 2010. Red and Pink, Hearts and Candy have littered our grocery isles for about three weeks now. The adults in our home have never really celebrated this day. Sorry if someone works in the card industry but I think it is a commercially bogus holiday.....something to keep gift companies in the black between Christmas and Easter....the time of year that the makers of red dye #40 have their annual party(and you thought it was Christmas) Hate to sound cynical but that's the way it is. Thankfully, we both feel this way...We don't do cards or flowers , chocolates or sweets for this occasion...
A match made in heaven avoiding a Hallmark Hell. What is the nation trying to prove with this anyway?
The simple fact is that I don't need any one day to tell me how Tom still feels. He shows his love everyday....even when I am impossible....especially when I am impossible! He is considerate and attentive. He is funny and charming. It never escapes him to let me know what I mean to him. For this... He is appreciated on so many levels... yet his wife does a terrible job in telling him how many.
In my defense though, how can you put that kind of gratitude into mere words? How could I ever convey it to him without sounding ridiculously clumsy and have him totally understand it? How can anyone? Even now, as I sit here and try to describe it, I cannot.
King of Hearts
On our wedding day, a question arose about the length of time we had been together..I said two years(then started to count)Double that! I honestly couldn't recall when it had all started because he had always been there..I still can't recall a time when he wasn't there....although I know there were 25 years of life that he wasn't, it feels like he was always waiting in the wings. When he walked me to my car, the first time we met, I thought.."Oh! There you are." We fell into our life together simply and easily. No rush...No fuss and nothing to prove. We both agree that this is what made "us" different from any "us" that we had ever known. I guess that is what happens when people find their match....It isn't that you can't live is that you don't want to live your life without that person anymore.

Hating to stay on the Anti-Valentine bandwagon, I will say, enjoy it if you please. If you love Valentines Day that is great! It wouldn't be here if people didn't. However, We don't need one day to commemorate love for should be every day. A silly number on a calendar says nothing about a bond. So everybody, love your little hearts out and remember that whoever you loved this weekend needs to know it all year long!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

A Backward Glance for Original Thought

Love's unexpected gesture

We learn from our past. Our history teaches us a lot about what works and what doesn't. We learn by looking back. A Backward Glance is not an idea that I came to on my own. I want to make that very clear....they are not a group of words amazingly put together by me at all...they are lovingly borrowed, used perhaps, to illustrate an idea of what photography is to this kindergarten teacher. A Backward Glance is the title of Edith Wharton's Autobiography....(and the name of a couple of antique stores as I have found in the past month) Wharton has so many insights on looking back at your life....being true to who you are as a person and how to recognize who you really are. She said once, "True originality consists not in a new manner but in a new vision." I find this thought genius! I have no interest in someone stealing an idea and claiming it as their own as many will try to do. Originality and true invention are a difficult thing to come comes from thought, and study, and sometimes even, dumb luck...but when you do come across a truly original perspective, that is being in the presence of something very exciting! Photography can be defined along these lines. No one can tell me that every other picture of someone's child in the same garden isn't similar to the next. That the picture of the bride in her gleaming white gown isn't somewhat like the bride sitting by the same church the weekend before. What makes them unique is the "vision" behind the photograph.
Our children's medals in from France
Finding a "new manner" of capturing a moment is not nearly as important or original as finding your own personal "vision" of what a photograph should look like. For example, What feeling should a parent get looking at their newborn baby in a photograph? Now, what should it look like to them after eighteen years in life together? What do they want to remember about that time?
A beloved chest's arrival with the perfect message

Think about it...there is your original idea...The idea of taking a photograph is totally unoriginal but the vision behind taking it is!
That was my charge this original photographic idea. No cherub children. No blushing brides. No homeless sitting on a street corner(snooze).....I was bound to have one somewhat inspiring idea floating around in that huge hole under my hair somewhere....

A preview of our veggie dreams

Ok...What made you happiest this week Farrah? The idea of personal happy moments is not new but the vision of my own is...
Vision of bliss in the past week
These are some of mine.
Pay attention..count your dearest moments this week.

Even small feet can take you places.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Spring veggies-Round two:Ding!

After an inspirational trip to Maine two summers ago, I decided that I would try my hand at some modern urban to start a small vegetable garden in our backyard. The kitchen gardens in Castine were neatly tucked in the back and side yards of so many of the charming homes that it was difficult to take a walk without yearning to have one for yourself. Ignoring the eye rolls and easy sighs from Tom("here she goes again"), I was undaunted in my quest for knowledge about a backyard produce isle. My thirst for information on composte tea and soil solarization could not be quenched. I devoured every book and article I could get my hands on about successful gardening techniques. It was going to be easy. It would be fruitful beyond my wildest imagination!
Unfortunately, I was mistaken.

Infantile delusion created a belief that the miraculous earth, carefully tilled and
fortified, was surly going to provide us sustenance for the entire summer! All that was needed were some fabulous seeds and willing, working hands right? Hmmm...Seeds? Check! Hands? Check! Sun? Check Check!(we had plenty of that this summer for sure...Sheesh!)
Admittedly, there is a lot more that goes into proper vegeta
ble gardening, humbling more. You will mentally and emotionally prepare yourself as much as possible to step into the "ring"(also called your plot of well tilled solarized composted land). You might gingerly grow seedlings on you kitchen window sill(barring no one knocks them over while doing the dishes). You will till and weed and moan and groan. You will cry and hurt and go to bed sore. You will bleed and cuss and have brown fingernails at inopportune moments ....But! I am telling you that this is one of the most satisfying hobbies I ever found. Satisfying but not necessarily productive.
Fact:Our crop didn't provide our vegetables for the entire summer. Our tomatoes did huge vats of pasta sauce from them but we did have some salads. White eggplants were interesting to watch grow but not as cool to eat. Our purple hull pea harvest gave us two good nights of pea/ham hock soup.
And as my self proclaimed "garden sage" of a husband shouted in excitement one day from across the yard, "We officially have eno
ugh corn to make a nice snack! Do we know how to make popcorn?"
Oh Well! That's ok! Considering the heat and the outrageous rise in water prices, we did well for our first try!
Spring is not
imminent...not yet anyway. But I am getting a head start this season and getting in the ring with Mother Nature again! I pledge to have enough tomatoes to share this season, enough peas to freeze, and more than a small snack of corn to enjoy...I am saying my novenas to Saint Fiacre as well....I am excited for the new season because in the words of Dorothy Gurney
(also a quote from a stepping stone in the backyard)

The kiss of the sun is for pardon,

The song of the birds for mirth,
One is nearer God's heart in a garden

Than anywhere else on earth.

Monday, January 25, 2010


It is that time of year again...ALREADY!

This is a Glance at some of last year's Awesome Kids!

I can't believe a whole year has flown by...
I'll bet their parents can't either!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Old Faithful

We recently had a furry family member pass away. My brother-in-law's family dog left them recently to hunt squirrels in the hills of heaven. I didn't think that the death of another person's dog would affect me....but it did. She did her job and served them well for the ten years she was here. I will miss her barking salutation the next time I walk in their house. The absence of the clicks of her little nails on the wood floors will not go unnoticed. She was sick. Even when they are as sick as she was, in the back of your mind, you always believe they will recover. We know, in life, that this is not always the case. Sadly, it wasn't for her.

That night, I walked outside to watch our dog, Avery. Avery has been my husband's dog for 14 years. Long before our years together, Avery was Tom's greatest love and faithful companion. Unfortunately, we are aware that we are in our last years with him. It is a hard thing for me to choke out. We have noticed his struggle to get in a chair. We have commented on how his jumps for the ball are not quite as high as they used to be. His "rabbit" spring into step has been replaced with a slower lean into his back hips to be followed by an easy rise. The old man is more careful with himself now. His looks have always been deceiving. His size says puppy but the gray around his mouth and the shade coming in over his eyes speaks of old wisdom.
Tom and Avery were young together. They learned life lessons together. Avery has been his traveling partner down many roads, many that were concrete and dirt; some that were not. He has been the ideal companion, aside from the occasional garbage can raid or accident on my new carpets.

On the other hand, it has been a love/hate relationship between he and I since day one. I would take up too much of Tom's time and he would leave me a "present" under our bed. So back and forth we have gone...Love/Hate, Love/Hate. I love that no matter how much I yell at him for a certain offense in our home, he is always happy to see me. I hate that he has been the cause of so many carpet cleaners rented. I love that he is always ready to cuddle. I hate that he leaves so damn much hair behind in his wake.
I feel guilty today. Avery stepped down a rung when our daughter came into the world. Fearing that she would inherit Tom's allergies or my asthma, we sent Avery to the backyard. A fence was built and he was put behind it. Not really a fitting tribute to such a loyal friend. I have made a vow to stop overlooking his importance around here and take more pictures of him. We will want to look back at our faithful friend and remember what a good little fellow he was. I am not looking forward to that day but I hope the pictures will help. I am also considering letting him move back in....God help me....I'm going soft.

Friday, January 22, 2010

What's for Leftovers?

Recovery is a tough road...
Hi! My name is Farrah and I have a serious aversion to leftovers.
Hiii Farrrrrah!
If I were to name the most frequent "discussion" in our home, it would be whether we eat out or eat....(DuhDuhDuh)LEFTOVERS...AHHHHHH!
My husband came from a family of "waste not want not" and "clean your plate". His father lived through the Depression. Tom's mother was feeding a heap of children at the table nightly. In a family where eight people would be eating sometimes, I suppose this makes sense. The mantra, "But, Farrah, we have (fill in the blank) inside the fridge" is often heard in our kitchen.
I could care less what happens to be in there. "Let's have leftovers" just sounds like someone offering up a big bowl of backwash for a meal. No Thank You very kindly...Leftovers are like my burgeoning wrinkles, I would rather leave them for someone else to "enjoy". In my family we ate what we wanted! We didn't eat leftovers unless it was after Thanksgiving because even I couldn't reason throwing away a whole bird!

Anyway, a domestic goddess I shall never be. The weekly laundry is taken to the "Fluff'n Fold". I hate to do it so much that we would both rather pay someone to wash and fold it for me. No one has pressed sheets or boxers(I know people who do this). The jeans don't have nice creases down the seams. Alas, "Martha Stewart-Cobb" just isn't in the cards. However, if there is a hot meal on the table four nights out of seven and all children have clean socks that match, I feel successful. Creating fantastic meals from leftover food, however, is a little beyond the ole' girl's ability. My mother-in-law says that "perfect is never popular". It's a darn good thing!
By addressing the leftover issue, I hope to read back and realize how ridiculous this fear is. Yes, I said the word fear. Fear is the opposite of faith..true...but there is little faith in me when it comes to anything that has been cooked and then days later reheated within an inch of it's life. Tom has made an excellent point in his defense of the dreaded backwash. He said that eating leftovers would provide something else that was leftover...No, not violent stomach cramping(as was suggested by moi) would leave us with heavier pockets. Deciding to test his theory on this week's Chicken n' Dumplings, I realized my husband had made a valid point! Shhhhh..Don't tell him. They tasted just like they did a couple of nights before, maybe better. Oh well, happy that I didn't spend the evening crouched over our toilet, we ate in and reheated leftovers all week. With the money we saved, Friday night was spent in front of a sushi bar with Sake to toast his victory!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

The Dumplin' Side of the Bed

At my annual Smith family Christmas Eve party this year, my younger cousin Haley exclaimed in her wonderful Southern twang, "Girl! What side of the bed did you wake up on that made you not know what a dumplin' is?" Smiling, I thought for a minute and under my breath said, "The coonass side of the bed, I guess." Cue the judgmental eyebrows. Growing up in a Cajun family, we made lots of rice, some potatoes, but never a dumpling graced the table. "Dumplin'" in our family was always a term of affection, and if you had asked me what a dumplin' was this summer...I would have told you that Tom was. What a tragedy to be unfamiliar with what a dumpling really is! What a wonderfully delicious meal! Creamy, saucy, with a little kick...I was an instant fan. I had to find out how to make these little darlings. Next stop, Ame's kitchen. She has made them for years apparently. How I missed them every time she's made them is a mystery. Ame's mother,our beautiful Grandmere, had a great homemade version that had been passed down and perfected, by a few, for years. Should I even attempt the recipe? Me, being the "adventurous pioneer" in the kitchen that I am, decided that I would. The key to this recipe is the thin,uh..."dumplin's". One chicken, 50 paper thin dumplings, and five hours later(yes it took me that long)we had success! Austin(aka: Mr. Picky) licked his bowl and I knew we had a winner! To me, Chicken n' Dumplings just looks like a white lumpy stew....nothing I would have initially considered appealing. However, the taste, the creamy deliciousness is well worth the trouble it is to make it. Tonight, the dumplings are on the menu. Aside from dreaming of being Paula Deen's next protege', the princess of Southern cuisine, I am fancying myself a cookbook photographer as well. I have taken pictures of all the lovely steps to dumpling making! One certainty...It is hard to make a raw pink chicken look inviting in a photograph. So, I thought about how I make my own pale pink skin look nice in the summer...cover it up! This was the result! Another result was my realization that I really like taking pictures of food! There is something very satisfying about it. The drawback is that it makes you hungry. So Haley, if you ask me again what side of the bed I woke up on...I will tell you the "Dumplin's" side because we are loving those luscious treasures tonight!

Monday, January 11, 2010


Fact check: We all love our kids! We all think our particular children are unlike any other in the world. Even if you don't have kids, you know that there is someone out there that thinks that way about you! Can you guess why? It is because we all are unlike each other in very real and wonderful ways! Each and every child is their own unique entity put on this earth for a very specific reason. Austin, my son, came to me like an angel, in a time when I needed him desperately and had no idea that I did. He was my companion and sidekick for five years before I remarried. He was my constant and my touchstone. I don't think he even knows now, that when he was sleeping in his crib and I was pouring over textbooks trying to graduate from college, he was also my secret weapon. He was my own personal Jedi mind trick that I used on myself when I got tired or felt like giving up. All I had to do was look at him and I became a better person. He is my watcher and my observer. He is private and peaceful. He is loving and giving. I never could tell you how he came from me and his dad but he did. What I can tell you is that Austin is who I want to be when I grow up!

I have noticed recently that Austin will disappear when I pull out my camera. He gets "embarrassed" he says. I haven't forced it. I chalk it up to preadolescent angst. Nine is a rough year for boys. Their heads haven't grown into their new teeth. They are kind of skinny,awkward and their hair gets weird. They are, you know, not quite ripe for life yet. They are questioning everything and nothing seems to be the same. Girls are no longer gross but not exactly appealing either. So, being nine, I suppose he would rather fade a little and come back out when he grows into those teeth. He gets away with this a little because his sister(and I say this with all the love in my heart for her) is somewhat of a bulldozer. She will take over any situation and excavate the entire room in the process. I am beginning to see this in my photographs. I refuse to let this happen all that often anymore! I decided today I would take him out with me and do his nine year photos...sans sister. He did a good fading, little embarrassment, still an angel. His mother did alright too! Easy kid to work with as usual! No surprise there.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Peeling the Onion

Our daughter had her first haircut yesterday. I have to admit that I have been avoiding this step for some time now. The straight fuzzy "old" hair that she was born with lay lightly on top of all of her new growth underneath giving her the look of a nice little comb over. It was finally decision making time. Do we cut off the old stringy hair, thereby revealing all of her lovely new hair? Do we leave the hair that she came into this world with, thereby letting us hold onto that last little bit of baby she still has in her. What to do? To cut or not to cut..that was the question. The decision came to me while chopping an onion. Weird? Probably. However, as I was peeling the skin of the onion, I thought about what would have happened if the person that discovered the onion had looked at it and thought, "What a weird crunchy ball". What if they hadn't peeled back the layers to reveal what it could be? No one would have ever had a good gravy for their pasta, or tasty gumbo to enjoy. Sometimes peeling back the layers, even when you are unsure of the outcome, can be good....wonderful even. We made the decision to cut. We took her to the woman that cuts my hair and she started chopping away. I tried to remain calm and ignore that lump that crept into my throat and the ache that edged into my heart when she pulled out her scissors and they touched her golden hair. I hid behind my camera and kept myself distracted. I like taking pictures when I don't feel like dealing with a moment at hand. You can escape right there and disappear behind your viewfinder. Perfect for the occasional antisocial moment too. Snip. Snip. Kate was a dream and loved every minute. What we discovered under the mess was a mound of beautiful curls! They would have never seen their full potential if we had held onto our silly fears. What we also found was her "baby face" again. A clip of her baby hair was saved in a tiny envelope so that I may pull it out whenever I please, to feel what her hair used to feel like. I also have some pretty great photographs to remind us that sometimes we just need to dig in and peel. That is good enough for me.