Melissa Gibson Photography » Melissa Gibson Photography

I promised myself that I would take one second of video each day this year and create a movie every month.  ONE SECOND.  That’s all I have to do.  Turns out I’m taking more than one video a day and what should be a 31 second video is nearly tripled now.  It’s not even the end of the first month yet.  Which means I have approximately three hundred and forty-seventeen minutes of footage left to shoot.  I feel like Ron Howard or something.  Perhaps it’s the hair.

The other morning I was talking sternly about important things with the 14 year old.  It didn’t occur to me until I was well into this moment that I was holding a toy phone to my ear.  Fake calling Nanny on Josephine’s behalf.  I have an odd feeling that Emily wasn’t really taking me serious.  I think it ended up with me owing her cash or something.  I don’t know.  I was on the phone with Nanny.

On more than one occasion I’ve attempted to use Huggies wipes to clean faces.  On an 8 year old and an 11 year old.  Why don’t they appreciate that sweet gesture?

I go into the bathroom even when I don’t have to go to the bathroom.  It’s okay.  I make it seem like an emergency.  That way nobody bothers me while I play solitare.  They probably think I have a medical condition.

Last week I wore the same shirt for 4 days in a row.  I know I know.  A lot of people SAY they have worn the same shirt every day, but none have actually succeeded.  I have.  This is not “I didn’t SHOWER for 4 days”.  That’s not the same thing.  I showered and then put the same shirt back on.  Don’t worry, it’s not a sign of depression or anything.  It’s just a comfy shirt.  Plus it says ‘let’s stay home’ right there on the front.  I was hoping that having that motto spread across my bosom would work out.  Turns out, no.  The kids still need to be driven to the same amount of locations.  I’ll try again next week.

I let Allison wear my brown Fuggs (Fake Ugg Slippers) to school as if they were actual shoes.  I did not even think twice. Apparently wearing comfy things and shirts that are too big is the cool thing.  (Hmm…maybe they are on to something) She was going to wear my gray Fuggs, but she couldn’t get them off my feet.  Besides, I’d already been wearing them for 4 days.

I don’t care about photography trends.  You know, like this equipment and that equipment?  This method and that method?  Nope.  Don’t care.  For example, apparently now I “need” a fog machine in my arsenal?  That way, I can capture the sun rays as they gently stream through the window?  Uh.  No.  What the heck is THAT about?  Now people are telling me I need to buy some random thing in order to “shoot naturally”??  Pffft.  Whatever.

More often than not, if you pass me while driving, I am wearing pajama pants in that Yukon.  Neighbors smiling and waving while saying to each other on the street, “Oh, that Melissa, looks cute from the shoulders up, but the bottom half of her might as well have stayed in bed.  Trust me.  I saw her taking out the trash this morning.” I think it’s something to be said of a person who has more sleeping clothes than real clothes.  You know, like…I’d Rather Be Sleeping.

There are only two people that I will talk to on the phone.  Tony and my mother.  I LOATHE talking on the phone.  As far as I’m concerned, my iPhone is a camera and note-taking device that has the capability of sometimes calling people.  SOMEtimes. For the love of all things Target.  I do not even know why people do that.  The other day I heard this crazy noise and I was like, “WHAT THE HECK IS THAT WEIRD NOISE?!?!” and Caroline replied, “Um, that’s this phone, but I’m not gonna answer it because I use it for Minecraft”.

One last thing.  I’m not going to proofread this until I get back from Starbucks.  Because everyone is still asleep and I am going by myself by Jiminy.

Hold on, let me get my slippers.



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In the car today Caroline was just a’talking away.

Blah blah this.

Blah blah that.

We were on our way to Josephine’s chiropractic appointment and I think Caroline was excited to go along. That’s why she was extra gibbery.

Is ‘gibbery’ even a word?

Caroline:  You know?  I don’t even know what my soul is, but I think I do.  

Me:  (Oh Lawd. Now I start scrambling and trying to think of how to describe a soul to an 8 year old) Well, your soul is really everything about you that isn’t your BODY.  Like, your goodness and your heart.  Your feelings and your love. 

Caroline:  Oh!  Okay.  Sometimes people ask me what the most important body part is and really there is MORE than one.  BUT I’d say your soul is what you really need because for three reasons.  1). Without a soul in your body you’re not ALIVE.  2). You really can’t get into heaven without one.  And there actually isn’t a third reason so I don’t even know why I even numbered to three.

Me:  Okay!  Well, let’s go to Starbucks after the chiropractor.  

Caroline:  Sounds great to me.  

caroline and josie back door_edited-1

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Emily recently turned fourteen.

I know.

I don’t get it either.

I mean, one day we are bringing home a newborn and the next day….BAM.

Anyway, she just turned 14 and although I reminisce about those days when she was a baby? I don’t miss those days when she was a baby. Because you know what? I savored every.single.bit of it.

Okay. That’s not true. I didn’t gobble up EVERY single bit of it. Because some days sucked. However, we had such fun when she was a little one. Going to the park. Eating sand. Playing outside. Her putting band-aids all over her face (on a daily basis) for some reason. Exploring our back yard. Planting flowers. Showing her the beach.

You know, all of that stuff. It was such a great time, but guess what?


All of these moms/dads/grandparents always say “Soak it up because one day they will be bigger”.

Yeah. It’s common sense, People. They always get bigger. But that’s not a bad thing.

Having little ones is a treat and it’s fun. It’s cute and it’s so dang sweet.

However, I can still say that NOW about Emily. She’s 14. It’s a treat and it’s fun. She’s cute and so dang sweet.

Here’s why I know this. Because I see it with my own two eyeballs day in and day out. Yes, she gets angry with her sisters. Yes, we sometimes have school troubles, but heck. So do I. (I count helping my kids with homework a ‘school trouble’, thank you very much). Emily recently had some friends over to go to the movies, dinner and sleep over.

Let me tell you how that went.


It was so stinkin’ cute. I told her I wasn’t going to leave them at the movie alone (plus I wanted to see Hidden Figures, too) and she said, “okay!”. Granted, she didn’t want me to sit with them, but whatever. When I asked if she minded if Allison went along she said, “sure”. Whhaaaatttt?! After the movies, she wanted dinner at Del Taco and a trip to the ice cream shop. Now, see? CUTE.

Once we were back home, they all worked that karaoke machine like champs, but here’s the best part.

The next morning, they hung out in the kitchen with me for over an hour. Just chatting with me. Now see? SWEET. 14 year olds are AMAZING. They are a treat. They are fun. They are cute and so dang sweet.

Here’s what I learned about them:

1. They say funny things. They like dorky jokes and sarcasm.  The giggles and jokes were never-ending.  Oh how funny teenagers can be!

2. They are polite and respectful. 14 year olds are thankful for what you give them. I can’t tell you how many times I hear(d) “thanks mom”. And “thanks for taking us Mrs. Gibson”. “I had fun at your house, Mrs. Gibson” and “I appreciate you driving us to get ice cream”.

3. They don’t care what other people think about them.
These girls don’t care about being “cool”. They wear what they like, do their hair how they like, and LIKE what they like. I saw four different personalities and ALL were MORE THAN ACCEPTED by the other girls. Here’s an example, Ashley had face cream all over her little face and didn’t give a hoot about it. She never said, ‘I should wash this off’ or ‘don’t take my picture!’. Her attitude was ‘oh this is my face cream, thanks’ and PEOPLE ACCEPTED THAT. Sounds simple, but why can’t we all be like Ashley? ‘Oh, this is my _____ , thanks’ and it’s acceptable and people STILL LIKE YOU FOR YOU.

4. They want to be in on the grown up stuff, but they are still Little Stuff. They were so sweet to hang out with me. They felt like big people, I think. They asked GOOD questions about random things. But then, after an hour, someone said, “Let’s go play in the front yard!”. I loved that part.

In the end, after this 14 year old get-together, I realized a couple of things. I don’t miss Emily the Baby. I don’t miss Emily the Toddler. I don’t even miss Emily the Elementary School Kid. Because WE DID THAT SO WELL. We loved it and lived it, I have pictures, stories and we had a blast. I don’t miss it because I still have THIS PART. Yes, they grow up fast, but don’t regret that part. That growing up part is nice, too.

There’s nothing wrong with teenagers. There’s everything RIGHT with teenagers. Love ’em up. They are amazing.

emilys 14th friends_edited-1

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  • Allison Rogers - Love it!! SO TRUE!ReplyCancel

  • CGK - Seriously you are so RIGHT. The arguing can be a drag but other than that….they are FUN! We had 4 13 year olds over New Years Eve and we played games left right center, quibbler and Phase 10 till the wee hours of the night then got up and had breakfast and continued playing Phase 10….because I was going to be the winner and I was. I hooted and howled and they rolled their eyes at me but so sweet of them to let me be a teenager again! I love your Emily and I’m sure I would love her group of friends too!!ReplyCancel

  • Katie - The thing I love best about our kids getting older? You get to meet and get to know a whole brand new person every few years again. Our son is 17 and the last one to leave the house, and I have to say that his teen age years have been SO. MUCH. FUN!ReplyCancel