hello there, friends,
today's interview is with kristin zecchinelli. kristin (aka mainemomma) has long been an inspiration of mine and i'm guessing to many of you as well! years ago i was lucky enough to take a self portrait photography class which she co-led and it forever changed the way i see myself and others. having met her in person, i can tell you she is kind, encouraging, lovely, warm and generous. i hope you enjoy learning more about kristin.
Kristin is a woman friend wife momma living on the southern coast of Maine. Documentarian of all things in her little family. Avid photographer, reader, summer lover, winter tolerator (survivor may be better said), big laugher, and baker of banana bread. You can find her on instagram @mainemomma.
What does a typical day look like for you?
Living in New England our days are very driven by seasons and weather. Thankfully right now we are in full summer mode. Summer is my season. My job as a server makes it possible for me to switch things up in summertime, allowing me to stay home with my kids during the day. A huge blessing, so mornings my youngest and I both linger in bed lazily while my son is up and about before us.
I’ve really noticed a change this summer, we have fully entered a new stage of parenting. Both kids now “tweens” equally capable of doing so many things for themselves. I’m more of a helper than a doer these days and that is AOK with me. It’s a nice change to watch them develop into these more mature, very capable humans. After breakfast (coffee with cream for me ALWAYS) we plan our days by whims and weather.
On beautiful sunny days we do our best to soak up all the goodness right in our own backyard, the Maine coast, specifically our local beach. I remember when we moved here and they were both tiny babies, I hoped they would grow and love the beach and ocean. Thankfully that wish has come true and we tend to be quite the official beach bums in summer. We pack a lunch, lots of water, boogie boards, books and our beach umbrella and head to the beach.
In early evenings we return home, gather supplies for dinner, which we eat together. Being summer this means eating out on our little screened porch as often as possible. Our family dinner routine is one I am most proud of. Then evenings (when I’m not at work) are reading, crafting, playing and just being together. If we are feeling extra motivated I love to pack up a quick bag and a few chairs and head back to the beach. Evenings there have a totally different vibe, calm quiet open spaces. My guy and I park ourselves in our beach chairs and dig our bare feet in the cool evening sand, while Casey does cartwheels and Kellen typically gets wet.
What does gratitude mean to you and how do you incorporate it into your everyday life?
I think photography has always been my gratitude practice, even when I didn't put any real conscious thought into it. Every day when I’d pick up my camera I’d automatically be seeking out the everyday beauty around me; steam from my coffee cup, light filtering through some amazing bed head hair, the way my children interacted with each other, nature, food, colors, etc. Each moment captured is precious to me. My way of honoring all that I am blessed to have every day, even on the hard days, even more important on the hard days. A moment of pause each time.
As for tangible gratitude practice, a few years ago we began a family gratitude jar. Any time we go see/do anything fun or meaningful, big things and little things, we save a momento in a glass jar. Ticket stubs, free slurpee cups, wristbands, school momentos, hand written notes, artwork, receipts, etc. The jar has no rules, just to remember to slip those items we may have otherwise once discarded into the jar. Perhaps write the date or what the piece means to us on it. At the end of the year we take the jar down and go through it together piece by piece. It is truly AMAZING to me how much we forget and it is no surprise that each piece will bring smiles upon smiles to all our faces when we see how very blessed our year was. We then gather up the year's worth of content and seal it in a gallon ziplock bag and sharpie on the year, and begin anew with an empty jar ready for the next year. I’m so glad we’ve kept this up for a few years in a row now and hope to continue to do this. So simple and so rewarding.
How do you stay connected to those you love?
How do you stay connected to those you love?
All our blood family live far away, scattered to different points in the US, we have no family in Maine where we live. For years I kept a blog, that began purely as a way for all those family members to click a button and see all we were up to and chock full of images of all the kids. But as the children have grown I find that I have outgrown the urgency that space once held. I still shoot every single day with my iphone and typically once a week or so I’ll compose an email to our faraway family and friends complete with a few photos of our days with little updates. I hope they feel connected and thought of with these emails since logistics and many miles make it impossible to spend time together physically.
And I can’t forget texting, I was SUPER resistant to a cell phone for years. I felt, no I don't need that! (rolls eyes) :) Well the me now sure could have a good laugh at that old me. My phone is on or near me always. The camera in my phone has taken over my everyday shooting 100%. My old trusty Nikon sits dusty. And texting! A revelation for keeping in touch with my closest circle. A quick few button pushes and I feel like I am sitting with them chatting away. I so love that.
What's inspiring you right now?
Goodness, right now is a hard time. So much pain in the bigger world outside my own small four walls. Truly it has me heartsick and questioning so much in my life. How do I raise healthy, KIND, loving humans? How do I grow their roots, yet fluff their wings when they are ready to fly when so much of my initial response is to cocoon inward, hold my people closer, tighter…??
Of course this will not do and solves nothing. A few words keep ringing loud in my ears, “love language.” I think we all have our own love languages. I think mine is motherhood, cooking, baking, taking care of home, the space holder of rhythms and routines, the creator of traditions special to us. I flounder on how to heal the bigger world, but I can lead with kindness and do my best to raise children who are kind, gentle, and share their own special magic with the world. In that I am sending healing ripples outward. These Mumford & Sons song lyrics say it all to me right now, “Where you invest your love, you invest your life.” Yessssssss.
What is on your beside table?
My eye glasses because I have surpassed that magical age when my everyday glasses have now made reading impossible and I have yet to buy bifocals, a mason jar of cold water always because summer, and a stack of library books. I just finished reading The One-in-a-Million Boy by Maine author Monica Wood that I LOVED. I have Beth to thank for that recommendation. I love how we find new reads from snaps of books on our nightstands, or in our laps. Next up I have two on my nightstand, Sweetbitter by Stephanie Danler and The Excellent Lombards by Jane Hamilton.
Thank you for having me here. “Have courage and be kind,” dear ones.
kristin will be taking over the hello there, friend instagram feed on monday to share a bit more with us. we hope you take the opportunity to check in and say hello to her!