his first fossil hunting trip

We haven’t been fossil hunting in ages, and an unseasonably warm day gave us a perfect opportunity to go recently.  Job was one month old on this day, and it seemed like a good way to celebrate:  his first fossil hunting trip.  Of course I ended up with mastitis by the end of a day that I finished off with errands and grocery shopping until 10 p.m.  I guess I overdid it.  A couple days of rest, and I’m fine now.  Lesson learned (again.)

As we walked down to the beach, and even on the drive beforehand, Jonny and I reminded Beatrix and Silas over and over again, “Don’t get in the water.”  The air was warm, but the water was very cold.  Beatrix is getting a little better, having learned the hard way many, many, times that if you get in the water during the fall and winter, even on a warm day, you are going to be really really cold.  Jonny and I still haven’t learned to carry more than one change of clothes per child for our younger kids and to actually carry them in a backpack so that we don’t have to make multiple trips back to the van.  I put these photos in the post in the order in which they were taken, and you can watch Silas go from fully clothed, to naked, twice.  I finally had to zip him in Beatrix’s hoodie to get him back to the car where thankfully there was one last dry shirt waiting for him.  These trips (a little over an hour in the van each way) always involve a lot of fun and a whole lot of crying.  Jonny and I endure the crying because it’s worth the fun of getting out of the house and being outdoors, and let’s face it, there’s a whole lot of crying from the younger set right now at home too.  How long does it take for things to settle down after a new baby is born?  I can’t remember.  I was thinking it would take a month.  Ha ha!  Maybe six months?

I’ve been making an effort to hand Jonny the camera more frequently so that I will have more semi-candid photos of myself with my kids (I’m not talking about the ones where I am sharing finished knits and I have made an effort to look nice and only show my good side.)  I know I am not the only one not showing up often enough in pictures with my kids.  We’ve all got our perceived imperfections; many of us wish we could change this or that.  But far worse than looking “bad” in pictures is being absent from them.

p.s.  Here’s a post I wrote earlier this year about getting started with fossil hunting.

p.p.s.  Larkspur is wearing this sweater, and Silas is wearing this vest.

p.p.s.  On the way to the beach we passed a field with what we at first thought was a large group of vultures.  But then we started noticing white heads on many of them!  It was a group of about twenty bald eagles, both adults and juveniles.  They moved into the adjacent trees when we pulled off the road, and I had a 50mm lens on my camera (my standard) so wasn’t able to zoom in, but did heavily crop a couple of photos so you can see the eagles in the trees.  They are the dark lumps in the branches.  This must have been one of the neatest things I have ever seen!


  1. It’s so warm there! That’s like, June weather here. Everything looks so beautiful. I’m glad you are feeling better.

  2. Beautiful. I’ll add my voice to the chorus of love for the nursing pic especially- my nwborn boy is just weeks older than yours and I feel a kinship with your family at this time (I also have girls the age of your girls..)
    A quick photo question if you have headspace for it!… When others, mainly I guess it’s Your husband but sometimes the children… do you just set it to auto for them or can they use the camera fully? I recently invested in a dslr camera and find I have been using auto more often than not and I feel bit naughty about it.. Wondered about you…
    Hope your pain has receded too! I had SPD pretty badly and it hasn’t gone away totally yet.. Will see physic after Xmas if it shows no sign of shifting.

    • My SPD is much, much better. Just a twinge here and there. I’m not ready for a whole lot of walking yet though, which I learned the day we went fossil hunting! I hope yours resolves completely soon! When I give Jonny the camera I either set it up for him fully and hand it to him in manual mode, or if the light is shifting a lot, I will put it in aperture priority mode. He picks it up himself sometimes when I am not around and he has learned to put in aperture priority mode himself, which is only helpful if the ISO is already in the right range for the conditions where he is shooting. I should sit him down and give him a proper lesson!

  3. It looks like such a fun trip. The bald eagles are amazing!

  4. I’m in the midst of some brutal morning sickness and was just about to turn in for the night but decided to check in on your blog first. So glad I did. The picture of you nursing Job gave me such a smile…something much lacking here lately. Thank you for sharing such a beautiful picture and taking me away from my misery for a bit 🙂
    Oh, and your boots! I love them. What brand are they? Hubby needs Christmas ideas 😉

  5. Oh the knit wear in this post 🙂 We used to see bald eagles when we lived in the upper peninsula of MI-it was beautiful and breath taking, also something I will not forget any time soon.

  6. What a beautiful post! You look beautiful, Ginny! Motherhood really suits you! Thanks for sharing all these pictures. I love them all.

  7. Thanks for sharing the beautiful photos, Ginny! You look radiant!

  8. Love this post and what an opportunity to see all those bald eagles!

  9. Fabulous! I was tracking Silas’s trips through clothes and laughed. Thanks for sharing and glad you all had fun.

  10. Pam Gerhardt says:

    What great memories you are all making together! You and Johnny are awesome parents! Treasure those days, crying and all! And what a treat to see the Bald Eagles, thanks for sharing your day.

  11. Ginny, my daughter wanted me to ask you if you would be willing to sell a megalodon tooth to her. She wants to give it to her brother for Christmas.

    • Hi Teresa,
      Megalodon teeth are pretty rare and my kids aren’t willing to part with them. You can find them on Ebay, but they tend to be expensive. I’m sorry I can’t help with that!

  12. I love the gold sweater one of your girls is wearing! Such a beautiful pattern in the front. I love following your blog and seeing such wonderful pics of your children.

  13. I love all of the pictures, but especially the one of you nursing Job…you and he look so beautiful. I do have a question, I love Larkspur’s hat…what pattern did you use? I have a 10 year old turning 11 soon that would love one like that. Thanks for the inspiration as always.

  14. love the pics. you have no idea how jealous I am of your weather. today it was -40 when we woke up and we haven’t gone outside to play in days. going a little stir crazy here, so i’ll live vicariously through you.

  15. love the ones with you and Job… thanks for sharing

  16. Wow. My oldest is twenty and the youngest is almost nine months and there are nine children between the bookends. Yet, I can count on one hand the time I’ve been in photos either with my children or by myself. I need to do this. Thanks for the reminder. These are beautiful.

  17. Is that a jellyfish?! (I know nothing about coastal waterways, as our MN lakes -now in deep freeze- are not exactly jellyfish havens.) So neat.

    Sadly, even with our small family of older-than-littles, I often choose to avoid the crying and we don’t go… wherever. Now, the 7-yr-old and I can’t handle the cold (this upper mid-west deep freeze we’re having) and have to stay in, and I remember why in the summer I always feel like I’m not spending enough time out. Oh, to have bare feet… let alone go anywhere without heavy coat and wool head to toe. Thank you for your pictures and thoughts.

  18. The picture of Silas with that sly grin is priceless.

    It’s a credit to you to recognize something in your parenting that you would like to do differently, and takes courage to make change. I am often amazed at all you accomplish raising your kids. I will pray that choosing to be more present in pictures comes smoothly and naturally.

  19. Your children are going to have the most special memories. Love the photos.

  20. …a lot of fun and a whole lot of crying…yup, I get it. As long as we stay focused on the “fun” part, we’ll be okay. I loved seeing Silas go through a couple rounds of clothes…too cute!


  21. Love the kids at the beach, especially Silas, seeing him going into that cold water makes me cold,brrrr : ) And those eagles is a real WOW!

  22. “But far worse than looking “bad” in pictures is being absent from them.” So true! Your kids will be very happy someday that they have these photos of you, whatever you look like. Are we ever critical of our mothers in photos? No. We just want to see the ways that they love us. 🙂

  23. Beautiful pictures and scenery. The Bald Eagle migrations are so amazing to watch and see. We took our kids to see them last year around this time.

  24. All the photos capture something special, but I love the one of you nursing Job. So striking and special.

    I don’t think we haven anywhere nearby to hunt for fossils, but once the snow thaws, I’m going to have to look into it. It’s been too many years of watching you guys enjoy this pastime and not being able to follow suit! Thanks for the inspiration!

  25. As always, love the pictures. I often think that next time I will do X and Y differently and so often I forget, so I can relate! I am glad for the good times you have had; it does take a lot of adjustments with a new born; I can see that from many of my dear friends. Love the milo and the sweater, how lovely!! Blessings on your week!

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