I seldom photograph people's pets, it's a really hard business, requires a lot of time and patience, it is almost exactly like photographing toddlers in fact. My girlfriend rescued this horse this year. She has nursed it back to health, groomed and trained for hours, rebuilding a trusting relationship between human and mare that was no doubt completely ruined by the previous owner. Her love for animals is admirable, she has a touch, a way with living creatures, it is her gift. I got home from this afternoon of play and have a handful of great shots of my friend with her horse, but for some reason I keep going back to this one. It's playful, it's magical, it's bright and sunny, I can't explain it but I love it.

Friends of ours live out in the country with land to roam, a fence to keep cars away and kids close, and it's a great place to go and let the children run. It's also a fantastic place to let them learn how to drive! We all laughed as this scene played out, the two of them driving off into the setting sun, but in the back of my head I thought, this exact thing is going to happen for real some day and I will probably be crying.

Ten months already. He can stand, he has figured out that if the music table is on hardwood flooring he can push it around and actually walk from place to place as though it were a walker. He has his favorite kitchen cupboards, cooling racks and cutting boards all over the kitchen floor every evening as I cook supper. He smiles more than anyone I know. He babbles and makes noises with his tongue that make the rest of the family hoot with laughter. He is adorable, and he totally knows that we are all wrapped around his little finger. He isn't a big boy. He's very tall, but lacks the rolls of baby fat his brothers both had. Probably because he eats healthier than all of us combined. He gets mostly homemade baby food and has a voracious appetite, in fact that is the only time you will hear him scream or fuss, if you aren't shoveling dinner fast enough. And then he wants down again, to crawl, and stand, and scoot, and boy is he fast! He is predictable, as though God looked down upon me and thought "she has three, and this one was unexpected, so he will be an absolute joy, an easy baby." For all of this I am grateful.

Nearly a month has passed since I last blogged. Darn that felt good. And, to be honest, it felt right. I took the month of December off to spend some uninterrupted, unrushed, quality time with my family. Goodness knows I was still taking pictures, but I was also building gingerbread houses, decking the halls as creatively as one can with kids helping, and hosting "tea time" in the afternoons where my boys took to calling me "mother" with pretend accents, which I secretly really like. My boys have changed so much in the last three months, and not just The Bundle, who is sprouting teeth and mastering forward motion faster than I can blink away an eyelash! The Boy is about to wave goodbye to his "lady love", a precious preschool friend for whom his heart throbs, as she moves away to Fort Hood, in Texas. My Middle Man has decided that the toilet is a fine invention worth his time, and now we investigate the restroom of every facility we visit, at least twice. Every day leaves me in awe and I find myself thinking that this time, this age where they want my help, are hungry for my hugs and kisses, and happily climb on my lap for a dozen books, is not going to last as long as I'd like it to. I guess I always thought that everything would get easier as they all got older, but in fact no, with three on the move now, I am feeling like something has got to give. So, I've made some decisions, scaling back on work, which will include less frequent blogging, and I'll be saying the word "NO" a lot, to the adults in my life, and not so much to my kiddos.