A Day In The Life with Jo Lien

My husband works from home, and my teaching job only takes me out of the house one night per week, so we Liens have a very casual, laid-back routine most days.  It’s nice to set our own schedules, but sometimes, we’re a little prone to letting the day get away from us.  Lately, my husband has been the early riser in the family.  He will get up about an hour before I do, take his laptop downstairs, and watch the morning news while cycling through his work email.

a day in the life with Idaho photographer Jo Lien

The boys and I wander downstairs and join him as we wake.  On this day, the boys are up before I am because I stayed up too late the night before watching Breaking Bad on Netflix while prepping materials for the college writing course that I teach.  My youngest is hanging out with Daddy.  He likes to play hide and seek with me when I peek at him over the couch.

a day in the life with Idaho photographer Jo Lien

I immediately get my older son working on a homework assignment that we didn’t manage to complete the day before.  It’s the 100th day of school, so each first grader is supposed to bring 100 somethings.  Today, coffee is on my mind, so I get him to work sorting coffee beans into ten piles of ten while I cook up eggs and toast for breakfast.

a day in the life with Idaho photographer Jo Lien

a day in the life with Idaho photographer Jo Lien

a day in the life with Idaho photographer Jo Lien

a day in the life with Idaho photographer Jo Lien

a day in the life with Idaho photographer Jo Lien

In typical Jo fashion, I’m doing too many things while trying to get our day going (I am forever trying to get our days going).  Breakfast prep turns into school lunch prep as I catch up with my friends Dana and Sarah on Facebook and assemble a PB&J.  I text to them that I’m shooting a day-in-the-life project and then snap a quick shot of our chat window because no day would be complete without a mention of these ladies.

a day in the life with Idaho photographer Jo Lien

Upstairs, I change out of my pajamas and harass my son until he finally combs his hair and brushes his teeth.  I’m reminded of the laundry that needs to be done, but it’s probably not happening today.  My sister once told me she does laundry eight days a week.  I think I have enough for eight days a week, but I usually squeeze it into two.

a day in the life with Idaho photographer Jo Lien

Back downstairs, the younger one is begging Daddy for a show because he’s clever, and he knows that Dinosaur Train comes on right as his brother is leaving for school.

a day in the life with Idaho photographer Jo Lien

I drive Quentin to school and pull into the drop-off line.  Drop-offs are insane, and the teachers on duty really like to keep the line moving, so I barely manage a random shot of him reaching for his backpack before I’m shooed down the line.  His hair is still wet from combing it before we left.

a day in the life with Idaho photographer Jo Lien

Back at home, my husband heads upstairs to work in his office.  Sebastian has won him over on the TV issue, and is perusing a Lego encyclopedia while he learns a thing or two about dinosaurs.  I have a few student papers to finish reading this morning, so I plop down next to him and get to work.

a day in the life with Idaho photographer Jo Lien

a day in the life with Idaho photographer Jo Lien

After we’ve had our fill of PBS, we go to the kitchen table to work on letters and coloring and Play Dough.  At some point, there is a potty break, and I think that’s where he loses his pants because I take a whole series of shots of him sans unders before I realize they’re missing.

a day in the life with Idaho photographer Jo Lien

a day in the life with Idaho photographer Jo Lien

a day in the life with Idaho photographer Jo Lien

I will be the first to admit that I’m not big on playing with toys.  I’m usually good for a couple of brief bursts throughout the day, and that’s it.  I’d rather read books, bake cookies, or paint together than drive tiny Hot Wheels cars around the house on my hands and knees.  I think my little guy gets terribly bored sometimes, but he has become great at imaginative and independent play.

a day in the life with Idaho photographer Jo Lien

a day in the life with Idaho photographer Jo Lien

a day in the life with Idaho photographer Jo Lien

Somehow lunch happens.  My husband heads outside for a run during his lunch break, and I manage to get the kiddo down for a nap.  I sit down to browse the web and catch up on CM for fifteen minutes before heading upstairs to finally take a shower (you remember how I said our days were casual and relaxed, right?  Perfect example).

a day in the life with Idaho photographer Jo Lien

It was cloudy all morning, but as I head into the bathroom, I notice the sun is out.  We live in the Pac Northwest, so it’s a big deal here, and I take notice.

a day in the life with Idaho photographer Jo Lien

After I get cleaned up, it’s time for school pick-up.  The afternoon round doesn’t move nearly as quickly as the morning round, and I’m usually browsing FB or CM on my phone while I wait.

a day in the life with Idaho photographer Jo Lien

Seb gets up from his nap when we get back, and we settle into homework.

a day in the life with Idaho photographer Jo Lien

a day in the life with Idaho photographer Jo Lien

Quentin is easily distracted during homework time, and Sebastian is easily bored, so this is one of the more challenging times of the day.  My patience is usually tried.  Today, Seb tickles my tummy while Q plugs away at math.

a day in the life with Idaho photographer Jo Lien

Apparently, he needed a longer nap because he tells me he’s going to nap on the coffee table with Blankie.

a day in the life with Idaho photographer Jo Lien

a day in the life with Idaho photographer Jo Lien

Everything unravels quickly, though, as the younger one — from his recline on the coffee table — begins telling toilet jokes designed to steal his brother’s attention.  It works (of course it works), and soon I’m going out of my mind and giving out warnings.

a day in the life with Idaho photographer Jo Lien

a day in the life with Idaho photographer Jo Lien

a day in the life with Idaho photographer Jo Lien

Finally, I’ve had enough potty jokes, and the little one goes into timeout on the stairs.

a day in the life with Idaho photographer Jo Lien

He’s on his best behavior now, but he’s bored again.

a day in the life with Idaho photographer Jo Lien

a day in the life with Idaho photographer Jo Lien

Thankfully, Daddy’s done with work and comes down for the night, just in time for me to get ready to leave the house for class — it’s my teaching night, and by the time I head out the door, it’s dark.  The drive to the college is one of the few moments of peace and quiet that I get during the day.

a day in the life with Idaho photographer Jo Lien

After class, campus is always eerily quiet . . .

a day in the life with Idaho photographer Jo Lien

. . . and the blue-green light of the campus emergency phone is always more noticeable.

a day in the life with Idaho photographer Jo Lien

Hubby is back downstairs with his laptop when I get home.  The boys are in bed, and he’s wrapping up some unfinished business.

a day in the life with Idaho photographer Jo Lien

I check on the boys, who share a bedroom.  Airplanes greet me from the doorway.

a day in the life with Idaho photographer Jo Lien

I head back downstairs and we watch another episode of Breaking Bad, then call it a night.  In that time, Sebastian has crawled out of his bed for a more comfortable place on the floor next to his planes.  This is a common occurrence around here.  I settle him back into bed and kiss them both goodnight.

a day in the life with Idaho photographer Jo Lien

a day in the life with Idaho photographer Jo Lien