Today I’m excited to announce a continuation of my partnership with Allstate, an insurance company dedicated to keeping families in good hands. Last year, Allstate made it possible for me to continue my Monday Morning series, documenting moms across the country to show their unique morning routines. We met Anna in LA, Shaneka in Chicago, Diane in DC and Kristen in Houston among many others.
Now, we’re taking it to the evenings! Wednesday Evenings is a brand new series that aims to show the beauty in every family’s evening routine. From dinnertime to bedtime, we’ll capture a typical night for 12 featured families.
The goal of Monday Mornings was always to show that no matter how chaotic or stressful your mornings feel, there is beauty to be found as well. I’m betting the same holds true for Wednesday Evenings.
This is the time when most parents come home from work, have dinner, play and then put the kids to bed. Right in the middle of the week when no one is still adjusting from the weekend or looking forward to the next one.
Just a regular night with the kids.
As different as everyone’s morning was last year, I think evenings have the potential for even more variation. Bedtime is open-ended. Instead of seeing people head out the door by a pre-determined time, evenings give opportunity to see different bedtime routines and parenting styles.
We are looking for parents who put their kids to bed early, parents who put their kids to bed late, parents who work an evening shift, parents who stagger bedtimes, parents who deal with tons of homework, parents who make sure their family all sits down for dinner together, parents who let their kids fend for themselves, moms who do it alone, dads who do it alone, etc.
Before I tell you how to enter, I’d like to show you a bit of my Wednesday Evening, documented as always by lifestyle photographer Raquel Langworthy. When the shoot was originally planned, I wanted to capture Mike and I both coming home from work, because the kids run to greet us with kisses and hugs and it’s always one of my favorite moments of the day. I also wanted to show our nanny Ruth who I always felt was missing from my family’s Monday Morning shoot. Unfortunately, Ruth got sick in the middle of the day, meaning I had to come home unexpectedly to watch Harlow.
Mike picked up Mazzy from school and because of the change in schedule, he decided to take her for a slice of pizza. Pizza is the NYC version of fast food, after all. He brought back a slice for Harlow as well.
By the time Raquel arrived, the kids were already home and fed. Not exactly a typical evening. Such is life.
Mazzy and Harlow spent the first twenty minutes of the shoot running around the house doing Mazzy and Harlow things— like putting on jewelry, playing musical instruments and jumping on the couch.
The plan was to take the girls for ice cream as we often do if they have had a good dinner. But then we learned the elevator was broken, which put a kink in our plan. We live on the 12th floor.
Mazzy did not take the news well.
I guess you can’t introduce an ice cream trip and then take it away.
We took the stairs.
Then we had an ice cream shop debate which I lost. I like Davey’s which has real ice cream homemade in the back, but Mazzy wanted 16 Handles which has pink spoons and a toppings bar.
I’m glad Mike is “keeping it real” and looking at his phone during our family moment.
Here he is trying to negotiate a spoonful.
Also true to form was Harlow putting on a show outside the yogurt shop. I should just set up a cup for money and maybe she could pay her own way through college.
Then we headed home.
Harlow dropped her ice cream on the way back. Obviously, I had to snap a picture. I’m sure you’ll see it on @insta2yearold one day soon.
Harlow handled it remarkably well. I was proud.
Then we headed back up twelve long flights of stairs. There was no whining which was a nice change.
When we got back, it was time for PJs and tooth brushing. Even with ice cream in their bellies, this never goes over well.
Mazzy is fully capable of putting on her pajamas herself, but unless I want her to go to bed at midnight, I usually give her a hand.
Harlow is the tougher of the two because she’s quick and squirmy.
“Where’s Mike this whole time?” you might be wondering. He’s making dinner for the two of us to eat after the kids are in bed.
This is something he does to be helpful and also because he prefers it to wrangling the children.
Notice Harlow’s half-eaten banana on the table. Not a night goes by where she doesn’t request one right before bed.
Once the girls ate their last minute snacks, they went to the bathroom to brush their teeth.
Where’s Mazzy? Oh, still in the living room, deciding what jewelry she wants to wear to bed.
Then they picked books for bed time stories, while I checked something on my computer. It wouldn’t be a real portrayal of our evening if I wasn’t standing by my laptop at least once.
Mazzy picked the Official Guide to Frozen, which is the longest book ever written and definitely a present from one of the Grandmas.
Harlow picked “Iggy Peck Architect” because she likes to scream “GET OFF MY LAWN!!!” when the neighbor is standing there in his underwear, even though it does not say that in the book. I think Mike must have taught her that.
Mazzy asked to sleep in Harlow’s bed which I will sometimes allow. I told her “okay” but if they weren’t asleep in 15 minutes, she would have to move to the top bunk.
Then I hugged and kissed everyone goodnight. Their new request is “as tightly as possible”.
After I left the room, I quickly posted a photo to Instagram (because that’s what I do).
And then Mike and I sat down to dinner, just the two of us.
Except it wasn’t really just the two of us. Not quite yet.
I wish I could say that was the end of our evening, but Harlow got up and out of bed about 15 more times after Raquel left. That will be the subject of a future post, I am sure.
If you’d like to be featured in Wednesday Evenings, please leave a comment below starting with your city and the ages of your kids. Then give me a brief description of your evening with any details you think might set you apart from everybody else— even if that detail is feeding the kids frozen fish sticks 365 days a year.
We’ll be scouring the comments to find 12 families from four different cities, so if you know anyone in your town who might want to participate too, it will definitely up your chances to have them enter!
A HUGE thanks to Allstate for coming back for round two. I can’t tell you how much continuing this series means to me. You are in good hands, I promise!
This post was sponsored by Allstate, but all thoughts and opinions are my own.
Photos by Raquel Langworthy.