Total Immersion Parenting

It didn’t take long after we returned from our family vacation in New York City for us to be completely thrown back into our normal life. The kids have taken turns getting colds and staying home from school, we celebrated Beau’s birthday over the weekend, Justin’s back in the office and I just got home from a full day in Los Angeles shooting a new campaign for a cosmetics company.

The lunches need to be made every morning, the plants need to be watered, carpooling to school, shopping for groceries with Evvie, homework… My husband and I are two ships passing in the night. We take turns with certain tasks on the evenings he doesn’t get home late, and the nights that he does go by in a blur of moving parts. We convene at dinner time and sometimes in the mornings, but otherwise we’re all shifting from one thing to the next, day in and day out.

I miss the inconsistency of vacation and the uncomplicated schedules because we were always together and that’s all that mattered.

The ten days that we spent in New York City were the equivalent to a course in Total Immersive Parenting and Marriage-ing. The trip was so much more for us than I could have hoped for; We spent entire days together, all of us, from sun up to sun down and things within our little-ish family only grew closer and tighter. We spent more than a few nights all piled on top of each other in a hotel room, and while it was extraordinarily challenging at times, it was fun. It felt like camping and it brought us all back to the basics of living together and functioning as a well oiled machine-something that being together in such close quarters will do. It reminded me of our life in our little apartment on the East River and the days I spent with them before school brought early mornings, long days and homework.


Maybe I’m not ready for them to be this grown up, and that’s ok.

I can embrace trips like this and try to apply what works about them to our everyday lives. After all, we’re so lucky to get to do things like this, and I was so worried going into it that it would be too difficult. I was nervous that Beau would be challenging on the plane and that they’d all be so out of their comfort zone that it would negatively affect our experience. I couldn’t have been more wrong, thankfully. They were just fine, more than great just being with us and with each other.


This is it. We’re getting to the middle chapters of this life, the spine is cracked, the pages are dogeared and I’m just settling in to enjoy it.

Several photos taken on location at a Kid & Coe property.

Join the Conversation


  • Awesome post, put the last few lines…..genius and inventive…very original. You are just as gifted with words as you are with photography.

    • Such a compliment, thank you so much for that.

  • Absolutely wonderful! You and your family are truly blessed.

  • The black and white picture of Jack and Zoe is absolutely beautiful. I love your style of photography and always enjoy your updates here and on Instagram.

    It looks like you had an amazing vacation! I admire you and your family 🙂

  • I really enjoy your blog… it reminds me about how important family time is. It’s easy to take for granted, then one day they will be grown and gone. Everything else in life is really a distance 2nd place. Thanks for your great site.
    Carl in Switzerland .. with two precious kids of my own!

  • Love your blog – I’m a stay at home mom as well and I completely “get” this sentiment. We travel with our elementary aged children often (many times to NYC) and I always feel the same way. It’s so fun being totally engrossed in the days together, coming home is always nice but there is a small bit of “chore” feel to the daily minutia.

  • Honestly, the more I read your blog and how much you love being with your children, the more I think you would love homeschooling and life-learning. Ever contemplated it?

    This sentence just really hit me
    “I miss the inconsistency of vacation and the uncomplicated schedules because we were always together and that’s all that mattered.”
    …because even though we aren’t on vacation, you’ve described our life pretty well. I also feel like being together is all that matters and I LOVE being completely in charge of our uncomplicated schedule. Granted I know not everyone can or wants to homeschool, but I run a photography business from home and it works so well for us. Hubby is temporarily away for work a lot this year (3/4 of the time), but the kids love being with me, spending time with kids of all ages (both homeschooled and public schooled), being independent and not being constantly told what to learn, when, and how, learning through every day life, enjoying the outdoors even during New England winters, etc.

    I really feel like school is set up, inevitably, to slowly draw families apart. The hectic schedules, time away from each other, focusing on things less important, any free time stolen by homework. I can’t imagine, it must be really hard. Of course homeschooling isn’t easy, but I feel it’s far easier because we have so much time to focus on our relationships with each other – just like it always was before they became school age.
    No judgement here at all mama, if you feel public school works well for your family and your kids – that is great! I just feel like I need share what I feel every time I read a new post of yours 🙂 I could totally see you thoroughly enjoying homeschooling with your amazing children, I am sure there is a community of moms in your area that has chosen this journey.

    • I’m a teacher, and I agree with a lot of what you’ve said, Anastasia!
      I teach grade 5, and I rarely give homework. Kids are busy enough without needing more work to do at home- and all it really tends to do is stress out the kids and parents. Plus, the kids who actually need the extra practice don’t usually do the homework!

  • Love Evvie’s cute expression pic with Zoe!

  • Beautiful as always, Jessica. It’s funny, I often shy away from sharing my kids online because I am paranoid about all the negativity that could possibly come as a result. But when I see your beautiful photos and all the positivity they evoke in me, I know it’s a gift. Thanks for sharing. xx

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