2018 Portrait Project

I wasn’t going to do another year of the Portrait Project. It’s been so hard to keep up with it as well as make sure I post here each week. But then I finished making the book with all the portraits of 2017 and Ellie wanted to go through the older albums and so we’ve been reading them, one book a night. I have 5 of them. One for every year of Ellie’s life so far. Ellie has been loving hearing each photo’s story so much that I knew after reading the first book to her, I had to continue with the project… These books are way too important to me and to her. So, here it is…. 2018’s first photo…

“A photo of Ellie, once a week, every week in 2018.”

Eloise: January 2018, you are 5 and 5 months old, running down a sandy hill at the beach close to our home. After a strange December, we are getting our groove back. Walking the beach, enjoying the sunshine and watching you grow into a beautiful, young lady, ready to take on the world.


Portrait Project

Eloise: It’s moments like these that make me feel really good about our choice to home school you for kindergarten. You delve into a project and figure things out on your own and then proceed to keeping building… layer upon layer of learning.

Eloise: I am certainly thankful for you, my spunky, precocious, incorrigible, funny 5 year old.

Portrait Project Catch-up

I’ve been taking them…. I just can’t seem to find the time to post them. Here we are almost 5 weeks behind again…

Eloise: You started your first official year of Home school Kindergarten in September. We’re taking it slow and allowing for lots of play and exploration of your interests as well as throwing in a bit of those “academics” too. I’m excited for this journey, however long and fruitful it may be.

Eloise: Hair flying all over, glasses on because your friends are wearing theirs too, milk mustache and always in mid-sentence. Perfect Ellie portrait.

Eloise: Your Aunt Katie is getting married and I captured this great shot of you at the rehearsal. You are very excited to be the flower girl and I can’t wait to see you walk down the aisle throwing those petals.

(Unfortunately I wasn’t able to capture any photos myself of Ellie walking down the aisle, so this photo is courtesy of my cousin, Laura Shine- thank you!)
Eloise : You did a wonderful job walking down the aisle, as the flower girl in your Aunt Katie and Uncle Nick’s wedding! You loved playing the part of the “flower fairy girl”!

Eloise: We headed up the coast this past weekend to go apple picking this year. However, it was sadly too late to pick apples, so we enjoyed the hay maze, horse rides, tractor rides and fun with friends instead- and brought home a pumpkin too.

Portrait Project

Ellie: Five years ago I was still pushing through a very long, rough labor (22 hours to be exact)… and at 10:00 pm on August 5th, you finally showed your face sunny side up! you are my greatest joy and my greatest challenge. You are full of spunk and imagination. You are fierce and mighty and gentle and funny. You want to be a paleontologist, zoologist, geologist, engineer (so you can build your own theater), and then actress (so you can sing The Last Unicorn song for anyone who asks).
You love dinosaurs and dolls equally and think Madagascar Hissing cockroaches are cute. You live for play dates with your friends but will still cuddle with me when ever I ask. These five years have been amazing…. I love you Kid of mine!

Happy Birthday Ellie Lou! Your Mamasaurus loves you!

Ellie: zoned out watching Dino Dana on t.v., naked with a dino mask on. This is classic Ellie.

Ellie: My beautiful sunshine girl. You love riding your bike anywhere and everywhere! A perfect summer day riding down the beach boardwalk!

Ellie: It’s always “the best day ever” when you get to play with your friends, paint together and make music together! You are one lucky little girl!

“The 52 Project! A photo once a week, every week in 2017”

Portrait Project

Eloise: When you are out in the wilderness, you become quite the wild child; climbing trees, fearless and free. I love that you have such respect for the wild but are still so curious and excited when you get to spend time in it. Watching you build this relationship with nature makes my heart happy.

Eloise: We came home to find our praying mantis eggs had hatched and some how our mantids had escaped. Praying mantis’ were crawling all over the place and we had to hurry and catch them all and get them outside. You were thrilled about this mishap and helped me collect the little fellas and had a field day with them out in the garden.
“Mama, I’m going to be a Paleontologist, a Veterinarian AND a Entomologist!”
I bet you will be, my little nature girl!

Portrait Project



Eloise: You learned to ride a bike a couple months ago. Four and a half and riding a big girl bike with no training wheels! (I won’t tell you how long it took me or your Auntie Hayley to learn to ride a bike). 😉
Now you are mastering riding. We’ve been taking you on longer rides, and in different areas, so you get used to all types of riding concerns. You just light up on that bike and when you are going, you are going! It’s been exciting to watch you learn so quickly!

52 Project

Eloise: We visited my parents house this week and for the first time since I can remember, the “creek” near the house I grew up in was filled with water. As a child, I played in this “creek”, catching tadpoles, finding moss and bugs and just being a kid out in nature. We took Ellie down the rocks and into the creek bed. She explored for quite awhile and it made my heart sing to see her playing in a space that I had once played as a kid.

Eloise: Every week we have a little nature school with your closest friends. I lead the group. Last week we learned about moss and lichen. We went to one of our favorite parks for exploring and found all sorts of neat specimens. I love watching you learn and explore nature. My budding naturalist!

“The 52 project, a photo once a week, every week in 2017”