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I admit it: Yesterday's post was a bit heavy. And that makes sense. Its words fell from a heavy place. I didn't mean to be overly dramatic, or cryptic, or alarming. I just meant to say that I went through something big, and hard. That I stepped out of my own mind and acted. That I helped someone who needed it, and badly. I didn't write about it to toot my own horn, to garner commentary, or applause. No. I wrote about it because I know that there are a lot of you who come here every day. And I know that some of you probably know someone who is struggling, more subtly or more severely. And I know that it is so hard to tell what is going on behind closed doors and closed minds and pretty smiles, but I implore you to think about it, what might be going on. Trust your instinct.

Enough of that.

I'm craving lightness today. Something sweet and airy and pretty and fun. And so. Here I am. Sharing with you pictures (edited to keep things appropriately anonymous) from The First Annual Rowley Girl Holiday Photo Shoot. Now said shoot? It was a total disaster involving screaming and splattered baby food and two very lovely and patient photographers. I'm not sure what possessed me to take all three girls alone with four outfits? Anyway, I left the cute little studio on Columbus thinking there was no way any good pictures would result from such chaos. But I was wrong. Boy was I wrong.

I brought the girls to the shoot in jeans and polos. Before we even got started, Little Girl's purple pony was drenched in sweet potatoes. Alas. Thank goodness for photo-editing. I decided to get bold, to have my big girls hold Little Girl's hands for a standing shot. All was well for a few seconds.

In case you missed it, check out my baby's smile. Well, it didn't last too long. Because she fell. She fell because she was only nine months at the time and doesn't really stand yet and also because her big sisters are not schooled in the art of holding their sister up and they kind of just let go. Anyway, there was a minor splat. But some serious tears.

The big girls did their best to cheer their weepy sis.

This might be my favorite of the whole batch. I just adore the way my tiniest creature is looking up at her big sisters. I love the swirl of skin and hair and messy clothes. I love the toes.

As I tried my best to calm Little Girl, the big girls had a little love fest/ dance party in their frilly little tutu-things.

There were even kisses involved.

And lots of twirling. Lots.

I stood back, by the window of the studio, bopping my babe, whispering to her, begging her to calm down, and watching my girls dance. It was all very concocted, yes, this display. But there was something also very spontaneous, very free, about it. They are mine, I thought. This right here? The tears and the twirls, the smiles and the sobs, the cartoon band aids and yellow and pink nails? This what it is all about.

We got a few individual shots, too. Because they are not just sisters. They are people.

I don't know if I will ever be able to cut this hair.

We were able to get a few happy shots of the three girls in their pastel numbers.

And then at least one in their woolly Christmas dresses. Those little white reindeer sleigh me.

And then one in their holiday PJs on a yummy Flokati rug. This one would have gone on our holiday card if I'd gotten my act together to make one and send one this season.

Alas.

A big thank you to Vanessa and crew at PhotoOp (named Best Children's Family Photo Studio in New York by New York Magazine in their "Best of New York" issue) for somehow making that nutty hour turn into these priceless shots!

Optimistic

Yesterday and Now Today