What My Eyes See and What Photos Don’t Show – Take 4

Happy New Year! Were you expecting to see “Sarah Kate’s Birth Story: The Epilogue” today? Sorry about that! When I announced I’d be publishing it on Tuesday I wasn’t thinking Tuesday was New Year’s Day. It’ll post on Thursday instead when everyone is back in the regular groove.

Photography is a big part of this blog, and of my life.

I don’t claim to be an expert, by any means, but I do what I can to show the world that life with two children with special needs – cerebral palsy and Down syndrome – is beautiful, special, and, yes, rather ordinary. At the end of each quarter in 2012, inspired by Sarah Halstead of in the moment, I posted my five favorite photos of that quarter, and I’m rounding out the year with five more from the last quarter of 2012. Some of the images you’ve seen here before; others have only been posted on Violet Film; all represent a slice of our life here in Mayberry. Click here for my other Quarterly Top 5 photos.

2012/321 - Paying It Forward

“Paying It Forward” – November 16, 2012

Paying It Forward isn’t just about a boy’s love for his dog. It’s about him imitating what he sees others in the house doing. “Sissy” sits with him and teaches him by reading, so he’s attempting to do the same with Daisy. I guess he’s noticed a hierarchy of language development in our household. :)

2012/337 - If You Don't See a Xmas Card From Us This Year, You'l

“If You Don’t See a Xmas Card From Us This Year, You’ll Know Why” – December 2, 2012

If You Don’t See a Xmas Card From Us This Year, You’ll Know Why was one image that I featured in a whole blog post about the fiasco that was the family Christmas card photo shoot this year. The more I look at this photo, though, the more I love it, because it perfectly represents what life is like for us these days.


“The Grinch” – December 8, 2012

The Grinch was so named because that’s the book that Sarah Kate is reading to Nathan. The photo was staged, no doubt about it, and my little guy wasn’t letting me get away with it. Of course, if I’d actually wanted him to look at me, he’d have been completely preoccupied with the book…

“Keeping Them Close” – December 14, 2012

Keeping Them Close looks like a typical kids-and-dogs-in-my-bed image, until you notice the date it was taken. The evening of the Newtown shooting, Mr. Andi was away, and I couldn’t bear to have the kids so “far away” from me (at the other end of the house). Of course, sleeping with Nathan in the middle of Sarah Kate and me was not unlike sleeping with a windmill…but it was worth it for that one night.

2012/353 - Livin' La Vida Loca

“Livin’ La Vida Loca” – December 18, 2012

The only thing that makes me laugh harder than Livin’ La Vida Loca is actually seeing the movements in real time. Some people were just born to boogie.

Photos combined with words have the ability to capture the joy and fullness of a moment.

Have you been recording your family’s history? Tell me about it in the comments.


  1. says

    First of all I love the picture from the failed photo shoot.

    Just before Christmas visited with my aunt. It was the first time I spent any real time with her since I was a kid (or at least before college) she took so many pictures of us (mostly me) during the visit I didn’t realize it until I got home. Even my dad said he doesn’t have that many pictures of me.

  2. Laura says

    I love your photos..but even more your comment that it just shows life as…ordinary. The pics of Nathan keep me inspired for our own sweet Kate…cant wait til its her turn to dance to the Wii. Happy Holidays..and thanks for bringing some joy to us one day and post at a time!

    • Andi says

      Thanks, Laura! Dancing seems to be something that most people with T21 enjoy – yes, that’s a stereotype, but in my experience it’s true!

  3. Koen says

    Ok, ok I admit. I am Dutch but I’ve never slept with a windmill. I tried to, once, but Don Quixote kept me awake.

  4. says

    Hi Andi,

    I have only just stumbled across your website via the Capture Your 365 site. I haven’t had a proper look around, but I wanted to let you know that I just love what I’ve read and seen so far. Your storying and your photos certainly capture the joy in the moment (even when not all moments are joy). I couldn’t help but smile when I saw that most wonderful smiling face of your son – he is just so beautifully ‘special’.
    In a previous life I was a special ed teacher and did a PhD telling the mothers’ stories so your blog has touched something quite dear to me.
    Thank you so much for sharing – oh, and I have added your button to my page :-)