family

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Five Years

fifth anniversary

Credit: Jessica Bush

When you’re 24 and you tell people you’re approaching your second wedding anniversary, they often look at you askance. At least they do in more cosmopolitan areas of the world. This is less likely to happen in the rural spot I’m from. It’s obvious to me what the sophisticated side-eyers are thinking. Too young too young too young. Stupid stupid stupid. I wonder how that will turn out. Everyone’s suspicious. This made me self conscious for a long time. I’m still almost apologetic when telling people how long I’ve been married. But something interesting has been happening more recently.

When you’re 27 and tell people you’ve been married for five years, they look at you in disbelief, try to politely ask how old you are, and then, wistfully, tell you that’s awesome. They say it’s sweet. They are congratulatory.

fifth anniversary

Credit: Jessica Bush

Somewhere between 24 and 27 people freak out less. Maybe it’s that five years is a lengthy enough amount of time for some things to have gone drastically wrong and your marriage to have proven its worth to the world. Maybe it’s that somewhere in their mid-twenties people start thinking about life and how short it is. Maybe they start thinking about how having a partner to deal with the mid-twenties quarter-life crisis might be nice rather than stifling.

At any rate, today is our fifth anniversary. We are 27 years old. We’ve been married long enough for some things to have gone drastically wrong (though thankfully they haven’t), and our marriage has proved its worth to us from 22 on, regardless of what it looked like to the world. I wouldn’t have done a thing differently. We’re a family, whether 6 days in or 60 years.

fifth anniversary

Credit: Jessica Bush

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We Do Not Have as Much Time in the Day as Beyonce

You do not have as many hours in the day as Beyonce. As one might expect of a fashion company, other people in my office have expertly decorated desk spaces. I love looking at everyone’s little tchotchkes on my way to fill up my water bottle, all the while trying not to look like a creeper while getting distracted and walking past my own desk because I’m staring at everyone’s decor.

Somewhere between the office kitchen and my desk, there’s a sign above someone’s desk, proclaiming, “YOU HAVE AS MANY HOURS IN THE DAY AS BEYONCE.”

It’s been bothering me for awhile, but it’s taken weeks for me to nail down exactly why.

Yes, we all have 24 hours each day. That’s true.

The idea that we all have enough time to look phenomenal, work our asses off, exercise regularly, cook decent food, spend quality time with loved ones, experiment and try new creative endeavors, be recognized as leaders in our industries, and still have time to sleep enough to not be an ogre is misleading, and dare I say, damaging.

Beyonce has someone telling her how to work out, and probably spends hours doing so each day. I bet she has excellent childcare. My guess is that someone probably cooks, cleans, and does her laundry for her. The list goes on. The point is, she’s got lots of help. And all of that is wonderful! I wish I had all of those things (except childcare  — that’s unnecessary at this point in my life), and I certainly don’t begrudge her that. I think it’s great. Good for her.

It’s very Lean-In-esque: Tell women they’re just not working hard enough. If we just lean in, surely we can be as powerful and dynamic in all spheres of life as Bey. Work harder! Lean in! You have as many hours in the day as Beyonce!

Well, I call bullshit. Maybe it’s just that I’ve had a difficult few months and a chronic overcommital problem, but this sentiment is kind of insulting and breeds 1950s-housewife levels of feelings of insecurity, inadequacy, and shame.

Let’s please be kinder to ourselves. Give ourselves a little grace. Unload just one responsibility that doesn’t bring us joy or rest. Really examine how we want to spend our time and what is a healthy way to harmonize the disparate pieces of our lives. Let’s believe that we really can do all the things, maybe just not all at once. And that is totally ok.

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Vintage Beauty Project

Peach Plum Pear Photography Vintage Beauty Project

Credit: Inna Spivakova | Peach Plum Pear Photography

When I was little, I loved looking through my parents’ wedding album. It wasn’t so much that I was into weddings as a little girl, but more that I was interested in what my parents’ lives were like before I knew them. Before they knew me. I’ve been obsessed with hearing stories about what their lives were like when they were my age and younger since I can remember. Tell me a story from when you were little, I used to say over and over again as a little girl, while they insisted that their earlier lives weren’t actually all that exciting. But then I would beg harder and be rewarded with stories about how much my mom hates picking chicken eggs, having free run of a whole mountain, getting pinned by a bull, the time my grandma was chased by a turkey, or the time my dad drove a sick calf the whole way to the Penn Vet School in Philadelphia by himself when he was just 16 so it could be studied. It’s an understatement to say that I’m really into family history and lore.

So when I encountered Inna’s Vintage Beauty Project on Instagram, I was super intrigued. Her work is breathtaking, and I wanted to be a part of it. I sent an email, asking if she was looking for more people to photograph and attached a photo of my mom’s wedding dress.

I can’t believe I haven’t shared this here yet; the shoot happened late last fall, right as the weather turned frigid. A client project I’m wrapping up also features some of Inna’s work, and it reminded me that I have these amazing shots that I’ve neglected to share!

Peach Plum Pear Photography Vintage Beauty Project

Credit: Inna Spivakova | Peach Plum Pear Photography

Peach Plum Pear Photography Vintage Beauty Project

Credit: Inna Spivakova | Peach Plum Pear Photography

Peach Plum Pear Photography Vintage Beauty Project

Credit: Inna Spivakova | Peach Plum Pear Photography

Peach Plum Pear Photography Vintage Beauty Project

Credit: Inna Spivakova | Peach Plum Pear Photography

Peach Plum Pear Photography Vintage Beauty Project

Credit: Inna Spivakova | Peach Plum Pear Photography

Peach Plum Pear Photography Vintage Beauty Project

Credit: Inna Spivakova | Peach Plum Pear Photography

You can see even more highlights from our shoot on Inna’s blog. Be sure to check out the other Vintage Beauty Project participants & more of Inna’s work at Peach Plum Pear Photography.

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Anniversaries, Generations, Traditions

Mom and Dad Wedding Photo

 

This week I had to dig through some photos to find a wedding photo of my parents for another project I’m involved with. Luckily, I had scanned this photo to display on the cake table during our wedding, along with wedding photos of my and Chad’s grandparents. This week is also my parents’ wedding anniversary, so it was kind of fun to find this photo and reflect a little bit.

By the time they were my age, my dad had bought a ton of land from his dad and was farming away. My mom was nursing full time and probably going to school. I was almost two.

Our lives look so different. I wonder if they felt that way about their parents when they were my age. I wonder if they even had the time to reflect and think about the generational differences that seep between the cracks.

Dave and Helen wedding photo

These are my mom’s parents on their wedding day. My grandma Helen carried a Bible rather than a bouquet, and though you can’t see it, she’s wearing a Mennonite head covering. Her husband, my pappy Dave, grew up Amish, but chose not to join the Amish church.

I don’t feel like I’ve shared a ton about my background here, because it’s hard to explain. See, on the cake table at my wedding, I had this photo of my parents, this photo of my mom’s parents, photos of Chad’s parents and grandparents on their wedding days, and a photo of my dad’s parents, taken within the past 30 years or so. We couldn’t find a wedding photo of them, most likely because there never were any.

I’m ethnically Amish-Mennonite on both sides, yet with every generation things seem to loosen up a bit. For one reason or another, each generation assimilates a little more. Focuses less on the external markings of the community and more on the inward posture of the heart. Between that and the natural inclination of children to leave the conservative church of their parents for a less rule-bound Mennonite or nondenominational church, people can look very different, even within families.

Then one day, you find yourself a web developer and writer living in a city with a pixie cut and a nose ring, wondering about the space between generations and traditions and how things get passed along from parent to child.

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View of the Valley

A few weeks ago, Chad and I went back to the farm to spend Easter weekend with my family. My little brother really wanted to go on a hike, so we went for an easy one on the Back Mountain. It was just finally starting to get a little warm. It was warm and sunny on the gasline when we got there, but there was still snow on the way there.

Pigpile TrailHiking Back Mountain, Belleville, PAChad Pigpile Trail, Belleville, PAHiking Back Mountain, Belleville, PAHiking Back Mountain, Belleville, PAHiking Back Mountain, Belleville, PATop of Back Mountain, Belleville, PALisa Yoder on Top of Back Mountain Belleville, PA

Lisa Yoder, Lauren Yoder, Mark Yoder on top of Back Mountain, Belleville, PA

Sibling Love

Belleville, PA

Belleville, PA, otherwise known as “Home.” If you look real close, you can see the farm where I grew up.