Have you ever visited Terrain in Glen Mills, PA? It's a must! Whenever we're in the Philadelphia area, we stop by to wander their nursery, browse their shop and partake in a delicious meal packed with local fruits and vegetables.
Terrain gives me such garden envy. And it always manages to inspire me to start a new project. I just bumped preparing a new bed for an organic vegetable and cut-flower garden to the top of our to-do list. Most of my focus on creating a tranquil environment for our family has remained inside the house, but now that the girls are mobile (well, one is running and one is rolling), it's time to identify more ways to use and enjoy our yard together. I can't wait to see both of them out there next summer watering the plants and watching them grow—or at least entertaining themselves while I tinker in the garden.
Above: On this visit, Terrain surprised us with an adorable soda stand in the middle of the nursery.
Below: A few more shots from Terrain's outdoor space. As I mentioned before, I was camera-less and Instagrammed this trip. (For more photos from our trip, see my posts on farm life outside Philadelphia here and a wedding weekend in New York here.)
Lately I've been craving a more rural life—perhaps a few quiet, private acres; a vegetable patch; a sprawling lawn for the girls and their dogs. Something close to good restaurants. Close to good schools. Far from traffic. Ahh, I feel relaxed just imagining it...
I'm not sure if or when we'll be able to make it all happen, but in the meantime we enjoyed that slice of life at both a friend's farm and my in-laws' place on our recent trip to the Philadelphia area. (See New York photos from the trip here.)
I thought Cricket would get a kick out of the animals, flowers and vegetables at the farm, but she fell asleep in the car on the way and slept through the entire visit. Luckily, I got a full tour. I was camera-less but Instagrammed my way around.
Above: Barn with sunflowers.
Below top left: Popcorn!
Below top right: More sunflowers.
Below bottom left: Guinea hens.
Below bottom right: Peppers.
Below top left: Zinnias in the cut-flower bed.
Below top right: Eggplant flower.
Below bottom left: Hot, hot peppers.
Below bottom right: Frizzle chicken.
My in-laws have a stunning yard, too. Immediately behind the house lies a pool surrounded by flower beds. Beyond that, leafy trees and raspberry bushes speckle an acre of lawn.
Below top left: My little swimmer girl.
Below top right: Peaches at Linvilla Orchards, where we also visited horses, goats and chickens and bought fresh apple cider donuts. Yum.
Below bottom left: Purple cone flowers.
Below bottom right: Bleeding hearts, which remind me of my yard growing up.
P.S. Happy 50th blog post to me!
A few weeks ago, we undertook a week-long voyage north to attend a friend's wedding and visit family. We flew to Philadelphia (two plane seats, four people, lots of nail biting), dropped Cricket with Jeff's parents, drove up to New York/Connecticut with Nora for the wedding (for about 18 hours), then drove back to Philadelphia for the remainder of the week. With the ridiculous amount of gear required to transport two babies via air, I decided to leave my DSLR at home for the first time in a long, long time and Instagram my way through the week. Despite the lack of sophisticated equipment, I'm sure I snapped more photos than I would have had I been trying to use my camera. It's bulky, requiring two hands, which I didn't have to spare. Here are a few shots from the beautiful wedding weekend. I'll share photos from Philadelphia in my next posts, including a few of a friend's farm and my in-laws' gorgeous garden.
Above: Manhattan drive-by.
Below: Wedding and reception at the Larchmont Yacht Club, Larchmont, NY. Thanks to Jeff for taking the photo of Nora and me.
Below: George Washington Bridge.
At a wedding last week, a friend told me I must have the "perfect life" with my little family. At that moment, I couldn't have agreed more. This week, I had to laugh—to avoid crying—when I remembered her comment; both girls were fussing and skipping naps and pooping and spitting up all over me while Jeff was on the other end of the country. Boy does that "perfect life" of raising kids feel tough sometimes. Or a lot of times. But then Jeff comes home, the girls are all smiles, Cricket explodes with a handful of new phrases and I know I'm in exactly the right place. I'm glad I've taken so many photos to remind me of the perfection sprinkled between those difficult moments.
That said, Nora's 3-month portraits almost passed me by. We were traveling (sans DSLR, mon dieu!) on her 3-month birthday and then so busy trying to get the kids readjusted and Jeff out the door for a business trip that I didn't think they were going to happen at all. But I snagged five minutes with her on Saturday and another five on Sunday. I can't encourage you enough to spend just a few moments here and there documenting your family. Who knows? Maybe when you look back over your photos, those happy scenes will actually wash away your memories of the rocky ones. (I hope.)
I can't get enough of this chica's goofy, contagious smile.
And here's a shot of my photo assistant. As you can see, she is quite helpful...
Welcome to the second installment of photos from our recent trip to Corolla, NC. (See the first installment here.)
Above: Enjoying beach time with Cricket and Nora's cousins (and some baby jelly fish).
Below: My sister-in-law has four kids. They're all independent souls, so it's tough to get a shot of them together. Luckily, they happened to parallel play just long enough for me to capture this one. I love how they're all happily doing their own thing.
Below let: Heading over the dunes to the beach with Dad.
Below right: Cricket digs while Dad fetches her a bucket of water (after she commanded him to do so).
Below: Feeding turtles at the neighborhood pond was a big hit.
Below top: Cricket's new turtle friends.
Below bottom: This sweet little man scored a pair of cowboy boots for his birthday! I love the boot-pajama combo.
P.S. The beach was way too hot for Nora, so she spent most of the vacation in the house. To make up for the lack of photos of her here, she'll be the star of my next post.
I'm Julia Soplop. I've spent my life documenting the world around me in writing and photography. I believe there is something profound in bearing witness to moments of joy and pain in others’ lives. My husband, three girls and I live outside of Chapel Hill, NC. You can read more about me here.