Snapshots of our Week | January Days

These are the winter days that start to feel like a bit of a slog. The holidays are over, excitement put to rest. The next holiday (Valentine’s) is still a month away. We don’t even have any snow to play in (not that I’m complaining - I look forward to my walks in the early morning and evening with Tank more than anything else in my day, and I am happy to not be contending with snow at the moment). My photography inspiration has been a bit lacking as of late - there are still so few hours of the day with light, and when the kids are home, they seem to only really want to play with tablets (not very interesting to photograph!).

I am loving my seasonal project so far. I drove over to Hempstead Lake one afternoon last week to see what nature was up to over there. The lake was clear and beautiful, and I watched a family of ducks (or maybe they were geese) swim across. I spied some vibrant red berries amongst all the brown dead leaves of the trees and bushes. Around our neighborhood, I enjoy seeing the geese flying overhead after they take off from the pond at the nearby golf course early in the morning. It’s so quiet here in the early mornings (I usually walk Tank around 6:15) and I love hearing the calls of the geese as they fly over.

Last week was surprisingly busy. Logan’s “special day” at school was Tuesday and he talked both Eric and me into coming to his classroom to participate. We’ve been at the school five years now and this was Eric’s first time participating in the classroom! I’m glad Logan was able to convince him before he moves on to elementary. He loved having us both there.

On Wednesday the kids both played hooky and we drove into the city to see the matinee of “Frozen” with Eric’s mom and sister (a Christmas gift to all of us from Eric’s mom). The kids were totally enraptured. I don’t think Lila moved the entire show. Logan got a bit restless during Act 2, but I was really proud of both of them for being so well-behaved. I got teary during the pre-show announcement when all the “first time theatergoers” were welcomed. I hope my kids love the theater as much as I do (judging from this first experience, I think they are well on their way!). After the show we walked over to Bryant Park and then went to dinner. Lila wanted to “explore the city” some more before we headed home, so we walked around Times Square for a bit, then went into the Marriott so Logan could poop (gotta love kids!). It was a great day, and I can’t wait to take both kids back to the city for some more exploring once the weather warms up a bit.

Thursday night Lila had Girl Scouts, and Friday night she had a birthday party to attend, so it felt like a really jam-packed week. I also had a shoot in Washington Heights on Thursday, just blocks from where I used to live, with Happy Family Organics. We were supposed to go to a Girl Scout overnight at the children’s museum on Saturday, but my anxiety got the best of me, and after such a busy week we opted not to go. We had a restful weekend at home instead. Working on conquering that stupid anxiety. Winter tends to exacerbate it.

The next few weeks look to be pretty low-key with not much on the agenda, and I am a-okay with that. I like a slow start to the year. Last year I felt like I was shot out of a cannon in January and spent the whole year playing catch-up. I am happy that this year feels different so far! I spent some time making a vision board for my business yesterday. I feel a lot more centered and inspired and motivated after completing it and hanging it up by my desk. I am excited for what this year will bring!

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.