Moments in a Melting Pot

Time is a very strange thing. It seems so poignant that these years with small children are so difficult at times, yet so much more wonderful than anything else. Every moment is fleeting and incredible and I fear so much that I’ll forget so many of them, so I pick up my camera or my phone and I snap away, snatching the memory and filing it away for safe keeping.

I feel like September was just yesterday-before we knew it it was Zoe’s birthday, then Hurricane Sandy, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Beau’s birthday, Christmas, Jack’s birthday, the National Board Exams, Valentine’s Day and finally Justin’s birthday. A lot can happen in five months, and it’s been all we can do to just care for our family and keep up this insane pace, all the while trying to cherish every single second because their baby hood is fleeting.

As they do, our children are different than they were even a couple of months ago. Beau now eats with a fork, waves, gives & blows kisses, and says “hi” to anyone he sees. Fourteen months is a spectacular age.


This little light of ours is so totally filled with spirit and love, very much like his siblings, but also completely different. Beau has the sensitivity of his brother and the ornery streak like his sister, only he’s also incredibly possessed by any and all things that involve sports. He dribbles a soccer ball, throws balls overhead as hard as he can and thinks it’s absolutely hilarious to jump off a two foot ledge onto the padding at our local indoor playground. Where our other children have always been reserved in public and shy to strangers, Beau is completely the opposite-he wants nothing to do with me if there is a new face to talk to. He’ll throw a book at us with all of his might and then sweetly plop down in our lap in a perfect dichotomy that is just so uniquely him.


He is hilarious and he is perfect, and he has changed our world in so many incredible ways. He teaches me to always expect the unexpected. Always.



So much has changed with our little girl even in the last few months, yet her wonderful carefree spirit has remained constant since she was teeny. It is so interesting raising girls and boys along side each other-they are so different and yet sometimes I feel like they couldn’t be more alike. Zoe’s precocious tendencies flare more often than not lately, but mostly I see a little girl that wants nothing more than to surround herself with creative, pretty things and puppies. I worried for her this year, partly because Jack’s fourth year was so challenging and because her place as the middle child has become more evident. Beau constantly takes her toys and pulls her hair, while Jack couldn’t be bothered much of the time because he’s now Six and Can Read. This brilliant new skill of his has separated them more than anything ever has thus far, though I think it will be a short-lived gap as it has really inspired her to try herself. She is sweet and she is headstrong and while it’s creating a decent amount of drama in our lives, it will all serve her well. She is endless magic.



Our firstborn turned 6 less than a month ago. The last bit of baby fat has melted off of his bean-pole frame revealing knobby knees and bony shoulders. He is in many ways a mystery to me. His reserved nature is his poker face-so much happens beyond his brown eyes and most of it remains there. We received his very first glowing report card from school last week, revealing much of what we already knew: He is a model student, he is kind and helpful and he is smart. We walk home from school together most days, and that is my sacred time with him. He is ready to share about his day in those moments, and I prod him with questions because I know my window will close as soon as we get home. Full day kindergarten has been great, yet totally depleting for this newly minted 6 year old. He is exhausted by the end of the day, and our evenings all seem like a blur of hurry-up-already.

Jack has recently become quite attached to one of his peers, a little girl whom we all adore. He says he plans to ask her to marry him when school is over, before we move back to California. I don’t know what he expects, and I won’t ask.

Ah, to be six.

He is intensely kind and incredibly thoughtful, often catching me off-guard with sweet, softly spoken comments or elaborately written & illustrated stories. He is a both a dreamer and a planner-an incredibly special combination.


A Final Hurdle

Justin passed his National Dental Board Exams, and while they were a stressful and taxing, he is so steadfast and unwavering in his dedication that we weren’t concerned that he wouldn’t pass.


When the news came that he did, however, we were all overjoyed. I even-selfishly-woke him from a cozy nap with Beau so that he could open the results. One more step closer to his dream, to our dream. It was a triumphant feeling for all of us-he has one more set of exams before he graduates and we’ll be bound for California again. Another chapter coming to an end.

My pride is, as you can imagine, tremendous.

Our family is growing and changing every day through what feels like a blur of these wonderful and challenging moments. Always moving.


And yet often just being.



Join the Conversation


  • What a beautiful family you have. I loved reading your very moving tribute to your children at this moment in time.

  • This is the most beautiful post, Jessica. I truly enjoyed reading it and admire the work you do. Your family is beautiful!

  • Beyond beautiful and your photos tell such a vivid story along with your eloquent words. This is the sort of post that your growing children will treasure someday.

  • Love you! I think if I had to pick a favourite picture of mine, of all the great ones you’ve taken in NYC over these last few years, it’s that first one of Zoe. Spectacular. I hope it’s blown up huge on the walls of your new home back in Cali. xoxo

  • Simply beautiful. I feel as if I have watched them grow over the years… You will be soo missed in NYC, but I can’t wait to read about all the adventures back in Cali. xox

  • Your posts and pictures are always so beautiful. I so enjoy following your family and watching the children grow. I have a four year old son and almost everything you talk about I can relate to in one way or another.

    You are great at what you do…Bravo.

  • Beautiful post, Jessica!

  • I don’t think any chapters ever really close, Jessica. NYC will always welcome you. You have a great family that will only get better on the other coast–these pictures are the best!

  • I don’t know why I’m tearing up, but I am. I’ve loved experience New York through you. And even though it’ll be sad to see you leave there, I’ll love experiencing California just as much.

  • Your pictures are always breathtaking and tell such beautiful stories. Congratulations to your husband on such an achievement! My dad is a dentist and I know how much work it takes. Thanks for sharing all your memories!

  • I so enjoyed reading and watching this update… how they are GROWING!!! I cannot believe my eyes. I just adore these special beings of yours.

  • This post truly captures this time in your lives in such beautiful words and images. Thanks for sharing it! πŸ™‚

  • What a wonderful post! Your family will treasure this someday.

  • Life is ever changing. I always tell people that I’m thankful for my blog and the journals I keep along with thousands of pictures I’ve snapped of the kids and family. Without them everything would truly be a blur. It is funny how different boys are from girls. JJ is going through his ‘rough’ boy stage and Moo is not a fan in the least but still her love him is unfaltering.

    I’ll keep you all in my prayers that your husband passes his last exam with flying colors! Beautiful pictures of the family by the way.

  • Love this post so much! You have a beautiful family and I love getting a peek into your lives through your pictures. Congrats to all of you on Justin passing his exams!

  • What an awesome post. Yes, things change… Adults transform and little ones grow. How can you capture and savor it all? There’s no real way, but you’re doing an awesome job with this blog. PS I love the pic with Zoe in the doc’s office. Ruby red shoes? Priceless.

  • I love this post capturing the essence of your family at this moment in time. Beautiful.

  • great post! one to read and re-read time and time again.

  • Love this. So beautiful. And, Jack reminds me of Luca and Beau, of Leo! xo

Follow @mommasgonecity on Instagram