January Round-Up

Today we watched Puxatony Phil on livestream as he declared six more weeks of winter. Not what we wanted to hear, but nevertheless, the hump of January is behind us. I sit here at the kitchen table watching as my paper white bulbs grow taller and taller stems every day. The white flowers are just about ready to bloom - and despite the still freezing temperatures outside, I did spy a few hearty green sprouts in our front yard the other day. Either daffodils or tulips getting ready for their spring debut.

Here is a round-up of our January.

FAMILY HIGHLIGHTS

- annual surf & turf dinner for New Year's Eve (lobster - yum!!)
- hunkering down during the "Bomb Cyclone" snowstorm
- Disney on Ice with Lila and the Daisies
- watching the squirrels and birds eat birdseed on the front porch (until the squirrels got too aggressive and we had to bring the feeder back inside!)
- hanging with family at cousin Charlie's second birthday party
- pulling the Stomp Rocket out on one unseasonably warm day
- a random playground visit on another warm-ish day
- doctor well checks for me and Lila
- ditching real life for four days and running away to Copake (where we visited Great Barrington, the bookstore in Millerton, played at the pond and went for a long hike)

CREATIVE HIGHLIGHTS

- began my umpteenth 365 project - taking a photo a day for a year
- edited two personal films with backlog footage from the summer and apple picking last fall
- photographed a local blogger and her family and am working on the edit of her photos and video now
- currently working on a long-term project of a set of legacy videos for a family business in Astoria, Queens which is celebrating its centennial next year (we filmed more interviews this month)
- completed four weeks of "The Artist's Way" including not missing a single day of morning pages (and had some breakthroughs!)

BOOKS READ

"Betsy in Spite of Herself" by Maud Hart Lovelace (an old favorite from childhood)
"You are a Badass at Making Money" by Jen Sincero
"Writing Down the Bones" by Natalie Goldberg
"A Million Miles in a Thousand Years" by Donald Miller

FAVORITE INTERNET FINDS

Saving for College? Everything You Need to Know About the 529 Plan
Justin Timberlake's Newest Video: One Shot, One Take (amazing!!)
The Best Thing Ever Written About Life/Work Balance
Keala Settle KILLING it in rehearsal for The Greatest Showman
The Classroom and the Snowy Wood

GOOD EATS THIS MONTH

Easy Sesame Chicken
Smoky Bacon Chili
Mongolian Beef
Slow Cooker Chicken Fajita Soup

CURRENTLY MAKING ME HAPPY

 - folding origami cranes
- decorating our home with "winter decorations" (LED candles, twinkle lights, etc)
- reading "Notes on a Life" by Eleanor Coppola
- diffusing and rolling essential oils ALL THE TIME
- watching Season 2 of "Stranger Things" and "The Crown"

FAVORITE PHOTO CAPTURES THIS MONTH

GOALS FOR FEBRUARY

- make a personal film
- get working on the edits of two films for the Parents in Theater project
- revamp my website
- go upstate for the kids' winter break
- go for a winter walk on the beach!


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 or lifestyle videographer on Long Island or in the New York City area to document your family, small business or event, please contact her for more information.