Freeze Frame.

“Always remember to slow down in life; 
live, breathe, and learn;
to take a look around you whenever you have time 
and never forget everything and every person that has the least place within your heart.” 


Today is the last day our Lyla will be three.

Tomorrow, she turns the big -FOUR – …. I don’t know how we got here so quickly. I remember bringing her home from the hospital, seeing the bond form between Lacey and her new sister, and seeing her daddy fall in love with his second little princess … and then dubbing her Tarzan Jane when we realized she had the ‘middle child’ characteristics (!!!) … now, she’s learning to ride a bike, can pour a great, big tall glass of milk without spilling and loves to do anything and everything different than her sisters. 


And we love our Tarzan Jane. Oh so much. Yes, she is the child that somehow happens to cause a lot of the trouble – she is the one that escapes from Sunday School each Sunday, the one that goes missing when we’re out at a store, the one that wakes up crabby, the one that doesn’t want to brush her teeth but eats all the candy and asks for ice cream for dinner …. but she’s also the one that keeps us laughing, falls off the swing and scrapes her knee and doesn’t cry, she’s the one that will be a leader one day among her friends, the one that has determination and courage … and we love our little Tarzan Jane for just those reasons. 


Tonight, after her bath, I took her picture … her last night as a three year old. 




With her big birthday looming in the next day’s schedule, it makes me realize that I need to slow down. Slow down time. Slow down life. Slow down our family. Actually, it’s something I’ve been thinking about for a while.

This summer, I didn’t sign the kids up for any camps or programs. We even backed out of soccer for the older girls. We are just chilling. We are going to hang out as a family. As mom and kids. As a slow-paced family with nowhere to go. 

I want the summer to draggggg on.

I want my kids to lay on the grass, with their arms behind their heads, watching the clouds float lazily by. 

I want them to play in their kiddie pool and not worry about having to get dressed up to go out each day. 

I want them to create beautiful, lazy summer memories.

 Like when we hang out at the river at their grandparent’s cottage in Hockley Valley. 




I don’t want to freeze their childhood (okay, who am I kidding?! I would love to freeze frame for a while! But I do know there are beautiful moments to come as the girls grow older …) … but I also don’t want to look back and think “Where *WAS* I?” during these normal-every-day-beautiful-summer-moments. Or any of life’s moments. 





And this isn’t just for summer. We have a personal rule in the family for the fall and busy winter seasons – only one program per child per season and so far, we’ve stuck with it. It saves us from running around like crazy parents with no time to really tuck your child into bed at night or read them bedtime stories or have dinner together. 


I’m on a personal mission – to not be so busy that I don’t have time to sit in the river, the cold water running over my feet, and listen to my kids’ laugh as their gramma pulls them up the river in a boat (note: gramma is pulling them – I’m taking the easy route of just watching!) …





May you be blessed with the chance to slow down your family’s time, as well. I’m not sure why we always have to be so busy and so booked up.

Let’s all relax a little and enjoy life – as it happens. 







July 12, 2010 - 2:54 pm

Rose:) Funny you write this message to us busy moms….I was just thinking of how awful a mom I was for not signing up my girl for July activities. THIS is the reason…to just enjoy our time together these next 2 months(as I am off work until Fall). Why does everything have to be structured in our lives? Sometimes structure is good and other times….well let’s say throw it outta the window’ and just ENJOY LIFE! ‘Freeze Frame’ a great song from the 80s:) HAPPY SUMMER to you and the girls and hubby when they can slow down and enjoy too!

July 12, 2010 - 12:01 pm

lori Wow, what beautiful words of wisdom. You get it! So many of us parents want to expose or kids to things like various sports, events, activities, culture etc. and end up rushing around to get there.??(
It is so nice to not have schedules (if possible) and snuggle in a tent together and read or bake cookies anytime of the day. This summer we did the same, no camps just fun at home with family and friends.
Come on over anytime with your girlies to just “chill” in the moment!

July 12, 2010 - 10:37 am

Julie So glad to see we are not the only ones. We purposely did not ‘book’ anything this summer for the same reasons…life is so busy and kids need a chance to just be kids. Happy Birthday to beautiful Lyla-I can’t believe she is four already!

July 12, 2010 - 9:56 am

Sherri Love your pics Gillian. Makes me want to go find your secret river and play like your girls. Your girls will remember the wonderful family summers as they grow up and will no doubt instill in them a desire to create the same family time which creates those unbreakable bonds for the future. You may be slowing down for your sake to enjoy them, but it really will be for their sake for the future if you think about it. Good for you and Abby to take the time with them. xo

July 12, 2010 - 9:34 am

Melissa So true…. and your post brought a tear to my eye. Okay I lied not a tear I full on cried in my office reading this 🙂

July 12, 2010 - 9:19 am


July 11, 2010 - 11:46 pm

Nancy Totally agree Gillian…love the pictures of the girls and summer fun…the old saying stop and smell the roses…how practical is that?…a given!! Happy Birthday to your daughter and may the fairies in the garden sprinkle their magic dust on her special day!!

July 11, 2010 - 11:06 pm

Debbie Happy Birthday, Lyla!

I LOVE the second photo of her – little wide-eyed beauty!

July 11, 2010 - 10:57 pm

Heather Lovely sediments Gillian, Such beautiful girl. I hope tomorrow is great, can’t wait to see pictures!

July 11, 2010 - 10:09 pm

Grandma Gerr Lovely commentary! Beautiful Lyla!! xx

July 11, 2010 - 10:04 pm

Amber Harloff (IlluminateThis) Your post brought tears to my eyes. My boys are gone for the summer at their Dads’. Having a hard time with that! I am determined to relax and enjoy the weekends that they do come home! Love seeing your pics! 🙂 Amber

July 11, 2010 - 9:49 pm

Claire I feel like you said what I think so often! There is a lot of joy in the small moments of the day… especially in the summer. Sometimes I think I’m alone in this, everyone is so very busy. Glad you shared this post 🙂

July 11, 2010 - 9:31 pm

Rebecca McLaren That is exactly how I feel! Families time is so important. Lets all just slow down. They grow up to fast. Happy Birthday Lyla!!!

July 11, 2010 - 9:31 pm

Mom Great tribute, Gillian! Love the words and description about Lyla!! God is so good to us and He gives us such a special gift and blessing in each child!! We love them all!! And their unique personalities bring us such joy!! <3

July 11, 2010 - 9:11 pm

Tabitha Awwww, Gillian – a beautiful tribute to your family!!! Your words sum up everything I am hoping/trying to do wtih/for my family! I love it! And a Happy Early Birthday to Miss Lyla! I hope she has a great 4th year!

July 11, 2010 - 8:19 pm

Jen Wow Gillian you are very wise… thank you for reminding me to slow down..we have been hanging out too and with four kids it is so much nicer to just be together