Elsewhere : Family Time is Gaming Time

I’m over at Pixelkin.org talking about we use gaming time as family time…


But truly, I think that gaming together is a positive solution to my screen time issues. One of the largest problems I have with my kids’ screen time is too often I find myself giving them TV, tablet or computer time as a way to keep them busy while I complete some other task. But when we spend our gaming time as a family, the screen time is more interactive. They aren’t just staring at a screen, immersed in their own world. Instead they are working together, talking to us and each other, and learning how to play with a group. They get their desired screen time and I get my desired family togetherness. It’s a win-win!

To read more, head over to Pixelkin.org!

Fake It Until You Make It

This weekend I was lucky enough to be able to attend my niece’s annual holiday dance show. An hour or so before, my sister texted me to ask if I could take some photos during the performance. Now, a normal person would say, “Sure!” then move on with their lives. I (not a normal person, obviously) commenced total freak out mode.

You see, even with my years working as a photographer, I still don’t really believe I’m the real deal. I have this dumb little voice in my head that tells me I’m not good enough and that no one in their right mind would ever believe I’m actually good at this gig. Unfortunately, these self-sabotaging thoughts don’t only appear during photography projects, but in every aspect of my life. Rarely do I have any clue what I’m doing, whether I’m parenting, writing, taking photos, baking cookies or designing. Every now and then a subject or task comes up that I feel super-confident about taking on, but for the most part, I’m just trying new things and waiting for one of them to stick.

But that’s part of why things DO stick now and then, at least in my creative life. I’m learning the only way I’m ever going to get any better is to keep trying, even (or maybe especially) when I’m uncomfortable. That’s the only way to grow and learn. In the last month, I’ve been doing a lot of things that are uncomfortable for me, a lot that makes me feel like an actor playing a part.

Enter stage left, a “writer.”

The more people I meet, especially successful ones, the more I’m finding out no one really knows what they are doing. Sure, people have experience, and that makes certain types of work a bit easier for them than others, but in the end, we are all just weirdos wandering around trying to figure it all out. I’ve sat in meetings with CEOs who come off as cool, smart and quick, only to find out later they were faking it just as much as I was. The biggest difference? They didn’t let their fear stop them.

A big change for me in the past year is moving forward through the scary stuff. This means when you’re asked to take photos inside a dark auditorium of dancers whirling quickly around the stage, you say yes. You don’t obsess over your camera being too low quality or your lens not being right or your meager knowledge of stage shooting. Instead you walk in with your head held high, faking all the confidence you can muster. You let go of the pressure, and remember all you can do is your best. You do a few internet searches on tips for stage shooting. And then you take a deep breath, and do your work.




Did the photos turn out perfectly? Nope. There are lots of things technically wrong with them. And sure, someone else with more experience probably could have done a better job. But that’s no the point. The point is if I would’ve said no or let the fear overwhelm me, there would be no photos at all! I was there, I could take the photos. So I did, to the best of my ability. And even though they’re not perfect, I think they are pretty beautiful.

For now, I’m gonna keep faking it. Maybe some day I’ll “make it” and maybe I won’t, but I know if I give up, I’ll never get anywhere. I’d rather be a faker whose trying, than the real deal on the sidelines.

Growing Up Mobile: 4 Ways to Manage Screentime with Small Kids

BFF FaceTime on your birthday is the perfect cure for a little homesickness ❤️ #facetime #ipod #birthday #happy #fun

For the past few months I’ve been lucky to work with Pixelkin.org, a website dedicated to helping techy parents (or parents who want to be more techy) navigate the world of technology and kids. My recent post is up now, and it’s all about managing screen time with small kids.

Managing screentime in the summer can be so difficult, especially when you’re a work-at-home parent like I am. I struggle with needing peace and quiet so I can finish a project or an email, and it’s so easy to turn on a device to get the kids out of my hair. But the more time they seem to spend on the iPod and iPad, the more moody and cranky they tend to be!

Learn how we are dealing with the screentime issues by clicking here and reading the rest of my post on Pixelkin!

8 Great iPhone and iPad Apps for Kids

I have some fun news, friends! I am officially working with the awesome website, Pixelkin.org! Pixelkin is a site created by gamers who are now parents, which focuses on video games and other screen time activities and how they affect our kids.

Pixelkin covers the latest news, reviews, and developments in games—with a special focus on families. Whether you’re concerned about learning opportunities, exposure to violence, or screen time—or you’re just trying to keep up with your kids—we’re here to help.

You can learn more about Pixelkin here, and I’m so pumped to be working with them! My first post went up today, and it focuses on a few awesome iPhone and iPad apps for kids.


How did people parent before smartphones or mobile tablets? I received my first iPhone when my daughter was about 3 years old, and having that magical little box with us on long trips or in the doctor’s waiting room has been such a lifesaver. I use the iPhone or our recently purchased iPad Mini for everything, from getting directions to meal planning. I even use it as a white-noise machine (a great white-noise machine app, here) when we’re staying in a hotel. These devices make it easy to travel light, which is quite a feat with kids in tow!

You can read the entire post here!

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