Everyday Stories | New York Family Photographer

We are muddling through these gray winter days. The kids are almost healthy again - Lila has a bad cough at the moment, but hopefully will be good as new in a few days. The sun has poked its head out from behind the clouds on a few occasions and we have spied some blue skies. We even managed a few trips to the playground. Its a strange time right now with all that is going on in Washington. It feels very unsettled. I am trying to hold on to the small joys in our everyday - they are my touchstones at the moment. They are keeping me grounded.

STORIES OF OUR WEEK

"Self-defense"

This image is a pretty good representation of my sanity right now when it comes to keeping you and your sister healthy. After a really difficult month filled with constant illness, I am on high alert for germs and am doing all I can to keep those suckers away. I know the other parents at Lila's therapy place probably think I'm nuts when they see us camped out in the hallway instead of the packed waiting room, but this makes me less anxious, so we are going with it. Especially since I know you picked up that awful tummy bug from that waiting room. Besides, the quiet in the hallway is actually nice. We don't have to listen to any kids screaming or anyone talking loudly on their cell phone. It's basically an introvert's dream. You have room to run without knocking into anyone and we have been having a blast racing your pullback cars through that open space. Crazy or not, we are sticking with it. At least until the first day of Spring. Who am I kidding? Maybe forever.

"Growth"

I don't know how we are here already. The pre-kindergarten five-year-old well check. Then kindergarten registration on Monday. It seems like just minutes ago I was feeling you spin around in my belly while driving around the country with your daddy. Where on earth did the time go? It also seems like just minutes ago that you were terrified of the doctor's office. You wouldn't even let them weigh you! And now (minus the part where you get a blood draw and shots, which is still HIGH DRAMA), you actually like coming. You enjoy the eye tests and the ear tests, the stethoscope and the blood pressure cuff. You giggle through it all.

Every little bit of this ride we are on together fascinates me. Nothing in my life has been, or ever will be, more rewarding than watching you and your spirit grow.

"Grateful"

To combat the winter blues that have descended in full force, I started a 50 Days of Gratitude project as a countdown to the first day of Spring. This was my first post.

Grateful for getting out of the house. Grateful as always for Target. Even grateful to Target for already having swimsuits on display because: something to look forward to! Grateful for a dance party to Green Day in the frozen yogurt shop. Grateful for being reminded that the American Idiot album is awesome!

Footprints in the sand.

"Unrecognizable"

"I was a stranger and you did not welcome me.” And people will say, “When were you a stranger and we did not take care of you?’ And he will say, “Truly I tell you, just as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.” - the Gospel of Matthew.

I don't have adequate words to express how I feel about the events of this week. The immigration ban, the rejection of refugees. My heart hurts. How did we get here? How on earth did we get here? I am an immigrant. A green card holder. This could be me. How did a country founded on open arms, close them in just one week? I am unsure how to proceed, what the future holds, where to go, what to do. I no longer recognize this place I call home.


Francesca Russell is a documentary-style family photographer and filmmaker located in Garden City South, NY. If you'd like to see more of her recent documentary family photography, head over to her Facebook page or follow her everyday adventures on Instagram. If you are looking for a family photographer on Long Island or in the New York City area to document your family's story in photos or a film, please contact her for a session!