One Evening with Maria F. {A Photo Essay Series}


“One Evening” is a photo essay series that provides a sneak peek into the everyday lives of the Fairfield County Moms Blog contributors. The evening routine is photographed by Anna-Liisa Nixon Photography and words are written by each mom to tell the story behind the images. It’s a rare and intimate look into each family’s life, one evening at a time.

My husband and I can’t be the only parents who are run ragged from a full week and an even fuller weekend. That wall of exhaustion usually hits us around lunch time on Sundays. Thus, we have tried our best to make the wind down process occur much earlier on Sunday evenings (both for our sanity and to start the next week off feeling refreshed). Of course that’s not to say it always works, or if it will continue to work with the third kid added to the mix! Fortunately, the baby is still young enough to tag along on an arm and not (really) disrupt our standard Sunday balancing act. 

But First, Jammies!

When Anna-Liisa arrived at 5:00 p.m., the big kids were already bathed and in jammies, which is a sign of our Sunday routine starting off successfully. This is the one night when the kids aren’t begging for “just 5 more minutes” playing in the bath and when our four-year-old son doesn’t need about 30 reminders to get into jammies. (We’ve tried it during the week, but it’s near impossible to accomplish with the clock rapidly ticking after work and school).

Now that it’s Fall, football is obviously on TV. It serves as background entertainment and a sort of Sunday school. My six-year-old daughter will read the names of the players and the teams, and my son will practice reading numbers. They’ll cheer and do exercises as my husband starts making dinner. He likes to prepare a good portion of our meals for the week, so the evening rush mentioned above is not as chaotic. Cooking brings him peace and you can catch him, beer in hand, moving between the grill, garden, and kitchen. Our son, a notoriously picky eater, basically lives on pizza, so he’ll quickly stop playing to add the cheese.

An Interrupted Dinner

As long as the weather is nice, we’ll eat outside. Well, the kids will eat their different dinners while my husband and I snack on something. Inevitably, we will need to utter a handful of “stay in your seat” and “you need to have number of bites before dessert.”

A Special Treat 

This particular Sunday was the first cool night in September, so it involved a special dessert over the fire pit. While I didn’t hire a photographer to document the kids “tasting” their 1st birthday cake, I’m so happy Anna-Liisa was here to capture our kids “tasting” (or not tasting) their first S’more! She caught the realness of our family dynamics throughout the entire process! I must say, I love how my usually photo-shy husband is the star!

The biggest kid having a blast!

Real life in action as picky eater gets third square of chocolate…

Lights Out

After treats, it’s back inside and upstairs for brushing teeth, books (Captain Underpants, of course!), and bed. These three Bs also cap off every other night, but Sunday remains different, because we leave their room almost an hour earlier around 6:45 p.m. (If we’re really lucky or recovering from Daylight Savings or a super full weekend, we’re out before 6:30!). While it’s not always the case, the kids are magically quieter on Sundays. They’re not keeping each other awake until 9:00 p.m.; they’re not shouting out to us repeatedly. They’re honoring our wish for a restful end to the week. 

Once we get back downstairs, my husband puts the finishing touches on our dinner. I relax on the couch, not thinking about what the night will bring with sleep. For now, it’s just about unwinding.  

Three week old baby girl is not yet ready for bed.

Images for this project are captured by Anna-Liisa Nixon Photography. Anna-Liisa specializes in documentary family photography and loves capturing the real, silly, weird, and tender moments of childhood. She captures that blur of motherhood — the laughter and tears, the real moments and connections, and the unique rhythm of a family. To learn more, visit her website and follow her on Facebook and Instagram.

To see all posts in the “One Evening” photo essay series view here.

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Maria F
Maria F. is a high school English teacher who naturally finds herself reflecting upon the routine and randomness that accompany each day as a working mommy. She relies upon humor and some sort of chocolate or frozen treat as survival tactics. She and her husband live in East Norwalk with their three kids, Abbie (2012), Charlie (2014), and Phoebe (2018). You can find Maria F. driving in her beloved dream car, a minivan, listening to audiobooks during her commute, or playing DJ and climate controller when she’s shuttling her kids around town. Forever a sorority girl and Ohio State Buckeye, she will (almost) always choose socializing over chilling on the couch.


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