Nate’s Notes: Snow Adventure (It’s All A Lie!)

“Come”, they said. “There’ll be snow”, they said. “It will be fun”, they said. So…they said.

This was the beginning of the lies.

 I was promised a snow adventure. No, no, no. Lyla and I were promised a snow adventure. I believed them, so I agreed to convince Lyla to get in the car to be trapped for hours and hours. We did. And I kept hearing about snow and fun. The lies just kept coming.

“It will only take a few hours”, they said. It took almost 6 hours. Or so they said. That could have been a lie too, for all I know. It seemed like days.

 “It will be fun”, they said. As soon as we got there, they made us be calm, and then made us go to bed.

“There will be snow”, they said. I didn’t see any snow.   I saw sun, trees, pine needles, rocks, moss, and pine cones. “Look at all the textoos Momma!” …uuuhh, wait… WHO said that??!!! Did that come from MY mouth????? Great. Just great. No snow, no fun, AND I sound like THEM. I should just lay down by the tree and wait for a bear to get me. It would probably be more fun.

We went on a walk, and DID find a little snow, but nothing to write about (ha ha…get it?).


See...nothing to write about. A LITTLE snow.

See…nothing to write about. A LITTLE snow.

“Let’s go on a hike now”, they said. “It will be fun”, they said. “It will be short”, they said.

Okay, so who takes a 2-year old and a 3-year old on a hike?? And I heard someone say it was a couple miles!!! WHO DOES THAT???!!! Seriously. WHO????!!! Come on. Are you kidding me??!!! I USED to think my Momma and Daddy were the smartest people in the world, even superheroes. Now I have my doubts.


There was only one thing left to do…no bones. I suddenly lost all ability to walk, move or be supported by my bones. Works every time. “It will be fun”, they said. “ I’ll show them fun”, I said. How fun is it carrying two 35-pound squirmy toddlers in thin air and sun for miles? Sure, there were amazing things to look at, but I was too busy with my plan of protest to help Momma find those things. From the sweat and grumpy faces I saw, I was pretty sure I had taught them a lesson! Success.

Feeling satisfied with my success, and even proud of Lyla for joining the protest, I continued their punishment by refusing to eat lunch. And then kicking things. And then losing all bones when they came near me. More success.  


A lake.

A lake.

She made me proud. No bones.

She made me proud. No bones.

Later, because there was no snow, we went out to a playground. Barely amused, I felt a little hope when I was promised to see a beaver and beaver house.   This could be good.


“Let’s go”, they said. “It will be fun”, they said. “ A small hike”, they said. FREEZE! STOP!!   I wasn’t taking these lies again. They seemed to be slow learners. So I suddenly had a horrible pain in my foot and had to limp. I added a whine just to drive my point home. I limped so good (so bad?) that Momma’s face went soft with love….and…wait for it….she….CARRIED ME!   Lyla was on her own this time.


It was genius.   I got to be carried by Momma, AND she told me about all the cool stuff we were seeing. No snow. BUT…we saw bear claw marks on a tree, flowers, a little creek, different leaves and trees than what live by us, butterflies, squirrels, crazy looking people, and finally…a beaver house!!!  


Okay, okay. So the weekend wasn’t a total bust. But that doesn’t change the lies. Oohhh, that is going to stay with me awhile.

While I’m healing, you can look at some quick pictures of what we saw. “It will be fun”…he said.  

The same lake. It's just water!!

The same lake. It’s just water!!

The walk near the beaver house.

The walk near the beaver house.

Bear claw marks!

Bear claw marks!


Nate’s Notes -Nature Is Incredible (Hijacked by Momma)

Nature-Flowers Plants-Stylized- 0575Momma’s Note: I often wonder how much effect my work with photography has on my littles. I wonder how what I do impacts the way they see the world, however much they may pay attention. We go on quite a few field adventures to capture images of State Parks, National Parks, animals, cities, boats, planes, cars, historic locations, abandoned buildings, flowers, landscapes…and more. In the 3+ years we have been parents, we have covered a lot of ground, locally and nationally. Road trips, train rides, plane flights, boat rides and hikes have allowed us to see so much of the world around us. There aren’t many places I don’t take at least one camera, and the littles have gotten used to me saying, “Wait- stop here! Pull over! I want to get that picture! We don’t have a lot of grass, or fence posts!!” Lyla goes along with all of it, being the happy little she is. Nate objects now and then. Sometimes I feel like I’m dragging them all over. Sometimes I feel guilty. Sometimes I feel immeasurable happiness to be able to share the world this way, to show them how to look and “see” everything, to pay attention to details. Sometimes I get lost in all this wonder…and then I hear my answers, and I am happy.


Daddy: Do you want to go to the store with me Nate?
Nate: Nah. I’ll stay hewe and look at wildflowews with Momma. (Takes my hand and looks at me.)
Nate: Momma? Isn’t natuwe incwedible?!
(Nate can be seen squinting his eyes and making clicking noises. )
Momma: Nate are you okay? What are you doing?
Nate: Momma! I’m taking a pictoo of this moment.
Lyla: Oooo! Duckies!
Nate: It’s so cold!!! Ooooo…Look at that sky! Isn’t it beautiful!
Daddy: It’s like a painting huh Nate?!
Nate: Good obsewvation Dad.
(Upon getting out of car and seeing a full Japanese Maple tree with a perfect canopy.)
Nate: Wow! Look at that twee Momma! It makes a pewfect canopy!
Momma: Yes Nate, the rain made it heavy. Very cool right?!
Nate: Come. Come. We can take sheltew undew this canopy.
Nate: See all those wocks in the wiver Lyla?
Lyla: Nope.
Nate: (Pulls her down and shoves her head toward the water.)
Lyla: Hey. Hey! Hey!!!
Nate: Well, you wewen’t looking!! See the wed wocks, the golden wocks, the gway wocks. So many diffewent wocks to look at!!!
(Lyla drops to her knees on a walk and starts crawling.)
Momma: Lyla, what are you doing?
Lyla: Look at da bus Ma! (Translation: Look at the bugs Momma)
Nate: Momma, she’s actually looking at all things natuwe. She wants to be a natuwe twacker. It’s a good thing. Just let hew be.

And there you have it!   Life is good. 

Nate’s Notes: Taking Pictures With My Mind

So I’ve been thinking about the whole “no camera needed” thing for taking pictures thing again.  I KNOW I have some arguable points that a camera is clearly needed for pictures.   At least most pictures. Just ask my super-camera-stuck-to-my-face-freak Momma. I have figured out how to take SOME pictures with my mind, but you might remember it was hard at first!! It took me most of a week to figure it out.

Point Reyes Trip (4)I stared at my cars. I stared at my trains. I tried blinking. I tried staring, blinking, and then blinking really fast.   I tried jumping while blinking while staring.   This made Lyla laugh a lot. It also made Momma nervous. I’m pretty sure she was taking a picture with HER mind of MY attempts and filing it somewhere under questionable. One time she asked me if I was feeling okay. Honestly… I wasn’t! I was confused, frustrated and little worried about HER telling me you can take pictures with your mind!

The next morning, when the sun was waking up, I crawled out of bed and found Momma and Lyla sitting in the other room. Momma was rocking Lyla and doing that singing thing with no words. Lyla was sleeping.   I just watched. Momma looked at me and smiled. And I smiled right back.   It was the happiest picture I’d ever seen. So I took that picture. I didn’t use a camera, but I think I used my mind AND my heart.

So now that I know how to take some pictures with my mind I can use it for preschool. See, this whole preschool thingy has been a hard transition for me. But I figured out when I get sad or scared at preschool, I can find that picture in my mind or heart of Momma, Daddy, Lyla, or ANY of my big people. And it helps me feel safe. I still miss them, but it feels less scary.