Apples and Snow-days

I’ve never been very good at “living in the moment”. My mind tends to wander to tasks and I find myself constantly fighting the constant pressure to feel productive. I make lists when I watch movies. I podcast when I drive and exercise and make dinner. It seems like whenever I am working on one task, I’m also trying to accomplish something else at the same time. Being present is not my natural bent.


I’ve always known that this is something I struggle with, and being a parent has only illuminated my understanding of how dangerous and damaging that type of rhythm can be to a family.

This past week, Nora and I were home together, house-bound due to sickness and a snowstorm and at one point, probably halfway through the day, I realized that I was not going to accomplish anything on my personal list. instead, I choose to break-out my camera and document our day. It’s something that I deeply believe in, love doing for other families, but rarely make a priority for my own life.


As I took photos, I allowed myself to live in the moment. I documented her funny mannerisms. I took notice of the way her little fingers grasped an oversized apple. I soaked in her silly, drippy, smile as she tried to take giant bites with her six scattered teeth. I didn’t correct her when she put her sticky fingers on my windows. I didn’t take her snack away when it began to leave crumbs all over my floor. I soaked in the moment and documented the mess because that mess was a result of memories we were making. It represented our day. I challenged myself to sit in that moments and in those messes, fully absorbing every movement and action of this little girl that I had prayed so hard for.

And at the end of the day, after I tucked her into bed, I plugged in my camera and began scanning over all of the images from our day. To so many others, these images won’t ever hold sentimental value. But to me, these frames will forever remind me of my curious girl, her love of apples, and that one day in February where we were snowed in together.

Ashley Sider