toledo area photographers photo by cynthia dawson photography

Our Year of Stories – 16/52

Cynthia Dawson

You two are so lucky. The best aunt ever is right around the corner! She loves to let you be kids. Last week, it started raining while you were at her house. Your little cousin knew this meant jumping in muddy puddles and you both got to play along with her. You all watched the rain fall from the dry living room. Everyone waited and waited for the storm to pass by. When it finally stopped, all three of you were ready to play in the puddles. We weren’t prepared but thank goodness your aunt had extra rain boots. We both watched you run, jump and splash for what seemed like hours. As dusk was settling, I was so grateful for the simple moment of play and being encouraged to let you get dirty. The smiles and giggles were so worth it!

toledo area photographers photo by cynthia dawson photography


Julie Mak

This week your brother went on an overnight field trip, and you were without him for the first time. And while you missed your brother dearly, you also enjoyed experiencing the world without being in his shadow.


Mel Karlberg

H loves being part of a team.  He loves going to practices and learning technique.  He’s a good athlete, with a strong body that can execute plays.  The problem is, whenever game time rolls around, he won’t go for the points.  He’ll pass the ball, hang back from the goal, or look like he’s completely zoning out.  When I ask him about it, he says, “I know I’m not the best person on the team, and I want my team to get all the points they can, so I let those who are better score the points.”

I don’t know quite where to go with this.  I mean, this is a huge part of teamwork, right?  This is why we enroll our kids in team sports – to learn how to work together, recognize strengths and weaknesses, and to work towards a common goal.   But I have another goal here, and that is to instill some confidence in my own child.  I don’t want him going through life not taking the shots, passing the big dreams off to “better” players, being content with being a follower.  And I also don’t want him going through life inadvertently letting down his teams because he’s hesitant to miss the goal.

Enter baseball!  He played for one season when he was 4, but the coach was disconnected and gave H an awful introduction to the sport.  So much so that he hasn’t been interested in the sport until this season, only signing up for soccer and basketball.   It has been awesome for his hesitance to make the play.  In baseball, you’re part of a team, but your individual actions aren’t a choice – if the ball is coming for you, you swing at it or catch it.   You can’t defer to a “better” player because the play is dependent on the ball.  It’s a team sport, but it’s also an individual sport.

This will be my life for the next 2 months, sitting behind a fence with M on my lap watching H learn the full meaning of teamwork.

Meredith Rockefeller

Just like that another year as gone by and it’s baseball season again. It adds a lot to our already hectic activity calendar, but I have to admit I do enjoy watching him play baseball, and I know this is a season of life I will desperately miss when my kids are older.

Meredith Rockefeller

Renee Bonuccelli

Circle the sun and everything changes. The day is the same, but the routine and traditions do some shifting. There were no balloons this year. No streamers taped to the bedroom door, no glow in the dark sign pronouncing the special day hidden after you fell asleep.
It started out quiet. A snap chat sent by mom prior to the birthday boy even waking up. Then a subdued ‘happy birthday’ and birthday hug. A confirmation that birthday dinner would be at Red Lobster, but no, he’s changed his mind, it’ll be at Jack’s Burger Shack. A ‘here’s your lunch and have a good day, love you’ and it’s off to school.
I wrapped the gifts while he was at school (not the night before) and sent a snap chat teasing him about the gifts awaiting him at home.  After school the excitement built up from that well timed snap chat video, the gifts were immediately opened, and of course posted to social media. Dinner at Jack’s, a mini-cake and then home. Then he left to hang with friends and the rest of us went about our evening.
This is 13.
I am ready. Sad, wistful for those baby years, but excited and looking forward to the many incredible changes awaiting us. So many good things to look forward to, and new traditions (our first being a ‘you’re 13 allowance’) to create.
Head to the blog to see more pictures:)

Sherri Davis

I was always bugging my mom for a pet. Any pet would do. The easter bunny even brought me a net to go on an adventure to find a turtle, but it’s too cold to go wading in the stream yet. A few days ago, my dad found a robin’s egg in the driveway. I brought it inside to keep it warm so it would still hatch, but I dropped it on the kitchen counter. Then I remembered. I already have a unicorn. I thought she would be the best pet ever. But right before my mom typed this story up, she found six kittens that our barn cat has been hiding from us under the sunporch. They poked their noses out into the sunshine for us to see. I named them all. Cupcake, Cookie, Stardust, Stormy, Rocket and Diamond. The love me already. I’m going to be the first one to touch them.

Sherri Davis Photography-4.jpg

Tess Runion

My youngest muse is outgrowing her role these days. She’s 12 going on 16 and just can’t be bothered by all of my obsessive documentation. So like Gavin (14) and Hannah (19) I must retreat and respect her wishes to not follow her around with my camera. So that leaves me with the dogs. Still life. Our weekend outings. And one of my favorite subjects to shoot, street photography. That being said, I’ve decided to throw myself into my secret street passion. A draw to street for me is the stories behind the images…to capture the essence of a stranger is by far the hardest emotive photographs I’ve ever had to make. This one is from a photo walk I did Friday through a quaint part of my city, Richmond, Va. His music and his face were filled with soul. More from my walk on my blog, HERE!


AnnMarie Denis

It’s hard to believe it has been 7 years!

7 years of questions

7 years of wonder

7 years of worry

7 years of awe

7 years of giggles

7 years of happiness

7 years of luck

7 years of joy

7 years of you!

These 7 years have been a whirlwind of emotions and an overwhelming type of love that I never imagined I could feel. You made me who I am and for that I am forever grateful to you! I’m in awe of you, and all that you do and I can’t wait to see what this year has in store for you! I love you to the moon and back my little man! You made me a mother and for that, you will always be my first love. Happy birthday Paxton!!!!


Carey Pace
One day last week we talked about the little phrase ‘April showers bring May flower.’ You had never heard it before. Then came this weekend. Rain on Friday. Rain on Saturday. Rain rain rain on Sunday. Rain is forecast the first half of this week as well. Perhaps that little talk invited the reality of April to Virginia. For a fleeting moment Saturday evening, I saw the sun peek out and reflect off all the water on the patio and ran outside. You came out too, and decided it would be fun to jumprope IN the puddles. It had been a good long time since we’ve splashed in puddles.


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