siblings

Pssstt...update!

 

Time for an update, but I won’t keep you long, you busy people!

My Sibling Revelry Project, which I first mentioned back in the fall, has picked up considerable momentum. If you haven’t tuned in, I would love for you to follow along and see what’s new.

A recap: The Sibling Revelry Project is an ongoing photography project that captures the spirit of siblinghood through images and interviews. I meet with siblings of all ages and backgrounds in their natural environments to highlight the unique stories and universal truths of siblinghood.

In the last few months I have featured siblings ranging in age from 4 months to 92 years…including two sets of twins, several pairs of youngsters, and a set of five adult siblings. Though each group has been different, undeniably timeless (and hilarious) themes keep emerging.

Case in point: the conversation below between these charming whippersnappers. (Raise your hand if you know a sibling who does this, too!)

 

Speaking of bringing something to attention…

I’m thrilled to share that I have been nominated for an exciting award for my work on the Sibling Revelry Project. The Iris Awards are annual awards hosted by Mom 2.0 Summit to recognize achievements and creativity in the Internet’s vast world of parenting content. I’ve been nominated in the Best Photography category. Only past attendees of Mom 2.0 or Dad 2.0 conferences are eligible to vote, so I’m not even asking you to click anything. Just join me in celebrating the nomination!

This week I’ll be in Orlando for the Mom 2.0 Summit and the Iris Awards…connecting and learning and celebrating the industry. I plan to be spreading the world about the Sibling Revelry Project and finding ways to expand this project. There’s so much on the horizon, y’all! I hope you will tune in and follow along on Instagram or Facebook.

And if you want to talk details or sponsorship opportunities, shoot me an email!

Thanks, as always, for your enthusiasm and support!

Liz

The Sibling Revelry Project

The sibling dynamic has always fascinated me...I've talked about it, read about it, written about it, photographed about it, hashtagged about it, you name it. As long as I can remember it's been a topic that resonated on a very deep level with me. (Typical Middle Child/Only Girl behavior? Hello observant, empathetic negotiator.)

When my husband and I started a family back in 2002, I hoped a sibling would soon follow. My dream, as I wrote years later, went something like this...

"I never wanted a child. I always wanted children.

Siblings, confidantes, compadres, chums. Tattlers, teachers, accomplices, antagonists. Rivals, secret-keepers, scapegoats and partners-in-crime. Mentors and tormentors.

I wanted wagon pullers, swing pushers, fort builders and sand-castle destroyers. I wanted a full table, too many backpacks, and commas on our Christmas card.

I wanted a firstborn, a middle, a baby. I wanted to marvel at both the reliable and the shattered stereotypes. I wanted shifting alliances and third wheels. Teamwork and the circling of wagons.

For better or worse, I wanted individual players in the ultimate team sport. Sharing the same space, fighting for the same oxygen. Believe it or not, I wanted splash fights, inane arguments, thrown elbows in the hallway, imaginary Do Not Cross or Else! lines..."

So here I am. Living and breathing and observing siblinghood every day. I'm fully immersed in the battles over time, energy and oxygen. It's not always pretty, but it's usually entertaining and sometimes enlightening.

To celebrate these lifelong relationships, I'm launching a new project that aims to capture the heart and humor of siblinghood. The Sibling Revelry Project is starting on Instagram and I hope you'll follow along and see where we go. (@siblingrevelryproject).

I'm planning to photograph a wide range of siblings young and not-so young, so send me ideas and please spread the news ... I swear it's not tattling!

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Seemed like a good idea at the time

Need I say more?

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My friends and I are all riffing on the same theme today... Go visit their blogs and see what kind of brilliance and hilarity they found in hindsight.

Two Cannoli

Genie in a Blog

Smacksy

Good Day Regular People

My Blog Can Beat Up Your Blog

The Mama Bird Diaries

Midlife Mixtape

When Did I Get Like This?

Arnebya

Up Popped A Fox

The Flying Chalupa

Suburban Scrawl

Throwback Thursday: 5 years

Phew...I'm back! Life got crazy for a variety of reasons, and my blog got the short end of the deal, but I'm happy to be here now! Today, in honor of Throwback Thursday AND my 5-year blogiversary, I'm looking through my old posts with fresh eyes. I'm discovering and rediscovering all kinds of treasures...

I'm finding that of course some things change and others stay the exact same. Siblinghood continues to be equal parts harmony, chaos, discord and joy. That's why we call it Sibling Revelry, right?

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I'm finding excellent and timely reminders about parenting and forgotten photos that need no caption.

I'm finding that I hardly recognize the faces in my early blog days.

And I'm finding that some things really never get old. No wonder these are my kids' favorite three posts: Next lesson: What is lame? See also: "Totally bogus" I mean, seriously

I'm finding that I STILL get traffic on this post and frequent requests for the bumper stickers. (I've still got them if you want. Long live Tami Taylor!)

But mostly I'm finding that I'm grateful to have this blog and people who cheer it on. I've always been happiest at the place where stories, family and art intersect. Thanks for sharing that space with me!

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Battle cry

2014.06.20.SiblingRevelry-7 Four weeks into the summer and this is what my kids are fighting about:

 

He stole that one awesome LEGO piece that only came in that one awesome set.

She never has to shower first.

He's touching me!

Why won't he let me hug him?

He said he hates broccoli the most but only I do.

He's copying me!

She's ignoring me!

It's my turn to be It.

I always have to be It.

She harvested ALL of my Family Barn wheat and it takes 24 hours to regenerate.

He moved my pencil.

She sat in my chair.

He never walks the dog as often as I do.

He didn't let me find the farting cow on Pictureka.

He threw my favorite torpedo in the deep end.

She always guesses the trivia questions before me.

He smooshed all the silly putty into one big pile and now we can't tell whose is whose.

He keeps unplugging my Kindle from his charger.

She keeps using my Kindle charger and it's not my fault she lost hers.

He called me a brat.

She keeps calling it indigo but it's really blue.

He's humming.

She's smacking.

He's clapping.

He never gets in trouble.

She always gets her way.

They always, always think they're right.

 

#   #   #

Want more? You might enjoy this one or this one about sibling revelry.

 

 

 

 

A day in the life

Does today feel like an ordinary day? Not worth pulling out the camera? Ordinary, maybe. Not worth photographing?Pshaw! I respectfully call bullshit.

In fact, in 10 years I bet you will want to remember pieces of this very average day, no matter how routine the hours seem. I can help you remember. And I can help you see the magic in the everyday. If you follow me here, or on my photography site, or on Instagram, you've seen samples of my work photographing my own family...but I'm also available to come into your home and capture the spirit of your family.

I'm now booking a limited number of sessions for the summer months, and I would love to photograph your family as you go about your amazing, ordinary life. Here are just a few samples from happy clients.

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And here's what some of those clients said afterward...

"Working with Liz is so easy. She blended into our our household and never made the kids feel as though they were being forced to sit through a photo shoot.  As a result, Liz captured our lifestyle and the personalities of our children perfectly on film. Not only were the pictures innovative, they were a beautiful documentation of a special time in our children's lives."

"Our family has had the wonderful opportunity to work with Liz for multiple sessions and each time I am blown away with her photographs.  I am brought to tears the way she is able to capture each child’s distinct personality.  Liz has a gift of engaging in the moment and providing photos that represent a genuine and memorable moment."

I would love to photograph your family or tribe! Local (Austin) sessions start at $500 and include high-res digital files of your edited images. I'm also available for travel gigs and other projects. Email me for full details. ewmcguire@me.com.

 

By design

GbreadCollage2Overheard during the gingerbread construction process... The 11-year-old: As you can see, I'm a perfectionist.

The 9-year-old: Well, I'm a realist.

The almost-5-year-old: I'm a CANDY-IST!

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Whatever your approach to the holidays, I hope you find what you need to have a season full of light. May you be surrounded by all the people who love you.

Cheers and thanks for reading this year! Liz

Divide and conquer

2013.06.bikingFor all my belief in the power of siblinghood, I do realize that a little goes a long way. And sometimes the very best thing I can do to help my kids get along is to separate them.

The best part? When I subtract the refereeing, the negotiating, the juggling...I'm able to add more "Sure! Why not?" And suddenly the kid beside me, and the mother inside me, are completely and happily whole.

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Look again

What you should know about this photo:

1. This scene happens every single day around here.

2. I feel something new every time I look at it: joy, admiration, empathy, gratitude, love. And today: jealousy.

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Like this? You might like these too. My kids have a knack for teaching me something new about mothering, focusing or injecting playfulness in an ordinary moment.

Sibling Revelry

[slideshow] I never wanted a child. I always wanted children.

Siblings, confidantes, compadres, chums. Tattlers, teachers, accomplices, antagonists. Rivals, secret-keepers, scapegoats and partners-in-crime. Mentors and tormentors.

I wanted wagon pullers, swing pushers, fort builders and sand-castle destroyers. I wanted a full table, too many backpacks, and commas on our Christmas card.

I wanted a firstborn, a middle, a baby. I wanted to marvel at both the reliable and the shattered stereotypes. I wanted shifting alliances and third wheels. Teamwork and the circling of wagons.

For better or worse, I wanted individual players in the ultimate team sport. Sharing the same space, fighting for the same oxygen. Believe it or not, I wanted splash fights, inane arguments, thrown elbows in the hallway, imaginary Do Not Cross or Else! lines.

I wanted Your fault! Get out of my room! Gimme that back! No fair!  Because I knew, if thoughtfully tended, these battles could give birth to the flip side: The impromptu hugs. The late night whispers. The collaborations and negotiations. The I’m sorry. That's OK. Sure you can come inside my hideout.

I never anticipated how immense the task would be, but I even wanted the challenge of finding energy for each unique personality. I wanted to stretch and defy my expectations, again and again and again, about what children (my children) are supposedly like. I wanted to learn to see, truly see, the individual before me. To make every child feel heard though their hearts speak entirely different languages.

There are countless moments--flash floods of drama and aggravation--when I forget how much I longed for this gift of siblinghood. But desires this deep are not easily dismissed.

And it often takes just one sidelong look, one inside joke, one tender gesture, to bring me back to my dreams and watch them come alive right before my eyes.

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If you liked this post, consider giving me a vote in BlogHer's Voices of the Year. Sibling Revelry is nominated in the Visuals category. My mother-daughter story, On Being Nine, is nominated in the Heart category. Thanks, y'all!

March Madness

It's that time of year...time when the rivalries get a little intense, loved ones pick sides, and a lot of time is spent negotiating who wins what when. But who am I kidding? That's every season around here. As a mother of three, I'm constantly juggling the barrage of questions and demands thrown at me from the little people in my life. Always at the same time, and usually requiring vastly different parts of my mental energy or physical self.

It can be maddening, I tell ya. But thanks to my new play-off system, I am able to let each child's issue battle it out with a worthy competitor. And if the demand is deserving of my time, then it just might win the highly coveted spot as Champion of Mom's Attention.

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Frozen

As if you haven't already guessed, we Austinites get a little light-headed and giddy when actual winter weather arrives. It's all so exciting and rare."Look Mom! The thermometer dipped below 70! And it's FEBRUARY!"

So naturally, last week's icy and snowy conditions were especially thrilling. The day off from school was great and all, but what really got my kids amped up was a little undertaking Rascal called Freezing Everyone and Their Aunt Rita in Carbonite Just Like in The Star Wars Movie That Mom Always Calls Number 2, But Really is Number 5.

It. Was. Awesome.

When I look back at these photos, I am tempted to put a philosophical spin to the whole endeavor...to compare it to the flood of feelings and memories I have been desperate to freeze in my mind. To wax on about the exit of winter and the onset of spring. To recall the inevitable thawing that follows any intense experience. To consider the beauty and harshness of something so lively and fluid being altered overnight by a force larger than ourselves.

But I'm not going there. It's too much for me right now. And maybe that's ok. Instead, I'm going to remember this little project as nothing more than a couple Star Wars fans parading in and out the back door, spilling drops of water along the way, scheming, laughing...all so they could relive the power of an unforgettable scene in a favorite movie.

Come to think of it, maybe they were trying to freeze memories as well.