Seeking Sunlight


Sun streaming through cherry blossoms


My twelve-year-old, inherited it all – the allergies, the sensitive stomach, the asthma. And somehow, it just doesn’t seem fair. He’s my athlete. My sporty-guy. The one who will stand out in the rain shooting baskets for hours while the rest of us stay dry inside. The one who will use the twenty extra minutes between being ready for school and catching the bus to hit the lacrosse ball against the wall. The one who will run, full out, keeping up with kids years older than him, if his lungs and the pollen count let him.

About a month ago, my now seven-year-old brought home a nasty winter cold and cough. He didn’t feel well. He missed some school. But I didn’t worry. I knew it would run its course with him and be over. The virus skipped over my daughter, me, and the Rooster but it landed fully on my twelve-year-old.

A week or so into it, he came running into my room in the middle of the night after a coughing spell. He couldn’t breathe.

This happened before when he was a toddler. When we were still trying to understand why he was having trouble breathing. But it had never been so intense or lasted so long.

I was terrified. To have your child come to you for help and to not be able to do anything for him except try to calm him and hope he can get even a small breath with which to use his inhaler. To think even for a brief second, “What if he can’t get another breath?”

I shook the whole next day.

It happened four more times.

I have been absent from my little space here on the web. My thoughts have been fully with my twelve-year-old. Is he okay at school? Should he even go to school? He’s missed so much school. How can he catch up? Am I doing the right thing letting him go to practice? Is that him coughing? Is that what I hear? What if he stops breathing when I’m not around? What if he can’t start breathing again? Why does this keep happening to him?

He is better now. He’s back at school. The worst of it has passed, I hope, even though I’m still shaken.

I find it interesting though, that when I find a quiet space, take a deep breath, and think of my guy going through this frightening ordeal, I can’t help but smile…a little. He remained so stoic throughout everything. Rarely complaining. Taking everything in stride. And really, he just wanted to have someone pass him a ball, and for him to send that ball back. I don’t know, but something about the simplicity of that in such a terrifying situation makes me smile.


I am absolutely in love with the indie band, The Paper Kites. Their beautiful song, Bloom, is on my video. Don’t hesitate…click in over to iTunes to download their whole album, Woodland.


I started putting together the attached video attached for my daughter. When you live in the Northwest, you can expect gray skies and some form of rain from Thanksgiving until the following Fourth of July. By about mid-February, the weather can feel oppressive and if you don’t make it out of here for some sun over spring vacation, well, it can be depressing…especially if you are 14 and you feel like you’re the only one not escaping. And I get that. I really do. But sometimes things don’t always go your way. Sometimes things aren’t always fair.

I decided to capture the brief glimpses of sunlight we do get in the winter and early spring…for her.Β  And somehow, seeking those bits of sunlight, here in my “back-yard”, made me appreciate them even more. The rain seemed less omnipresent.

I noticed when I put the video together that it’s my seven-year-old who still lets me take pictures of him. Videotape him. And I’m so grateful to have his sweet face on the screen.

So, while I started making this video for my daughter, when it was finished I realized that it’s come to mean so much more than just searching for the sun. It’s a reminder to me of how some of the simplest things – throwing a ball, finding a patch of sunlight, photographing your child – can be so calming. Can bring out a smile. Can brighten a somber mood. Can make a gray and rainy situation seem less…terrifying. I hope you enjoy it too.

xo Carrie



  1. Lovely. Just lovely. Bringing a bit ‘o sun to my day! xo

  2. Betty Cook says:

    Absolutely beautiful Carrie. Thanks for sharing the lovely pick-me-up. XOXO Mom

  3. thanks much for bringing a bright spot to my day Carrie – beautifully written!

    • Thanks Deb….so looking forward to meeting you in person in Santa Fe. Can’t wait!

  4. Super sweet..thank you.

  5. Holly Spearing says:

    LOVED your video! Warmed my heart to see my little friend.

  6. Beautiful….I can only pray that I will one day be able to express myself as beautifully as you do. Thank you for sharing!

  7. What a fantastic idea Carrie. Instead of dwelling on the massive amounts of gray we get here in the PNW you made a type of gratitude journal about the sun. Love it.

    • Yes, Jennifer, I’ve decided that watching my little sunlight video works just as well as turning on my “Happy Lamp” here at my desk. πŸ™‚

  8. Papa Bear says:

    Amazingly beautiful sweet Country Girl.

  9. loved it Carrie– so feeling the cold rain today after being in phoenix last week πŸ™ it does take an extra amount of gathering to capture the sun here in memory for the grey days but it always makes me feel better!

    • Leslie, Ooo, Phoenix, hopefully you captured some great pics of your kids in the sun…or perhaps an image in your mind to paint. πŸ™‚

  10. This post and your video are so beautiful! So happy to have found your blog through twitter tonight πŸ™‚

    • I’m so happy you found your way here too. Thank you for stopping by and letting me know you were here. Have a wonderful evening!

  11. Jennifer Sigl says:

    Just beautiful…I’ll consider that my spring break this year…thank you!

  12. When my oldest son developed type 1 diabetes at the age of 14, I was angry, scared, frustrated, but mostly just constantly worried. Would he remember to test his blood at school when I wasn’t there? Would he take his insulin so that he could prevent future major health issues? Would he be able to play sports without risk? He’s 25 now, and I still worry, but I’m thankful that he lives with his loving girlfriend who I know will both help him take care of himself and will take care of him when he’s sick. Here’s hoping your boy outgrows some of his health challenges.

    • Thank you, Michele. One of my dear friends has a daughter with diabetes and she has been on my mind so much through all of this. And the one thing I come back to is the constant worry she must have felt and still feels whenever her daughter is away from her. I feel like I can now understand a little bit of what she (and you) has gone through over the years trying to balance taking care of her daughter with giving her some independence as well. {sigh….} I suppose the worry never really ends.

  13. Beautiful, Carrie! I can’t get enough of your opening video of Willie on his wobbly bike, your “whooo hooo” encouragement and the pride on his sweet face. Love, love, love it. Brings a happy little tear as my sweet boy also learned to ride a bike around the exact same circle. Great memories with you all there….miss you lots. See you in june – whooo hoooo! xoxo

    • I know, Kath,…there’s something about that circle…. πŸ™‚ We miss you all so much. Just a few more months. xoxo

  14. Carrie, this is lovely and inspiring. It makes me want to go into my old camera bag hidden somewhere deep in the coat rack and photograph everything again, especially my son.
    Glad your 12 year old is feeling better, and hope Santa Fe was wonderful!