Whenever I hear the word home I always think about where I grew up, in northern New York.

Yes, of course I consider Connecticut home now but my first home wasn’t here. It was there.

When I was young it was just where I lived. Nothing special.

Once I left (20 years ago) I would enjoy going back to see my family and hang with my friends. It was fun to go back but not hugely important.

Somewhere along the way it became important.


Fishing with Poppy

Home 14 (1)

When the kids were little I could take them home several times each year.


Now we’re lucky if we make it twice.




In it to win it at the Fireman’s Games!



A good match-up, because they were in it to win it, too!

It is important to me that my children know their extended family.


It is important to me that my children know how I grew up.


It is important to me that they know why I love to go home.


Now I make a point of bringing the kids home every summer. Greg comes sometimes but never for as long (even though he grew up there, too, the place doesn’t have the same pull for him as it does for me.)


The kids get to hang with cousins (some who travel to get there, just like us) and get familiar with their family.




And do silly things like make 1st place trophies out of patterned tape and solo cups. And wear sombreros on your average summer day.






I asked my daughter to get photos of the cousins (thinking they’d be more relaxed around her). I was right – she took this and three other “cousins” shots included today

I grew up on the St. Lawrence River. It’s beautiful and my parents had a boat.


Tris is also responsible for this crazy photo. Which I love.

As a teen, I would take it, a lot.

Obviously, not me as a teen!

My friends and I would go to Canada, specifically Stovin Island, to jump off the rocks and spend the day swimming.

Obviously, not me in that bikini!!

Last summer my parents and I loaded up their boat and two jet skis and headed up to Stovin. It’s a haul, about 20 minutes after you stop at customs, and we almost didn’t do it because it seemed like a lot of work and a lot of time to bring all of us and all of our stuff (towels, lunches, snacks, extra clothes, etc.)

If you look closely you can see the ship heading towards the bridge in the background. That one was too far gone for jumping it’s waves.

But we bit the bullet, pulled it together, and headed out for either an epic Wednesday adventure or a day of stress and anxiety.


That Wednesday turned out to be one of the best days of our summer. Followed closely by the next Saturday when we added a couple of people and headed up again.


It was that much fun.

My kids still talk about it.

When I left last summer I was already looking forward to coming back home again.



Today’s post was inspired by the year long photography improvement project “Through the Lens Thursday” created by Alison at Writing, Wishing and Greta at Gfunkified. Please click through to either of their websites to find out more.

Today’s prompt was Home.

What do you think of when you hear that word? Is it your here and now, your past home or your future? I’d love to hear all about it in the comments below.


  1. I loved getting a look into where you once called home. I grew up in Queens and totally shared a bit about what I considered home when I was younger, too awhile back on my blog with photos and all, too 🙂

  2. I’m going to go find it, I love seeing/reading stuff like that and I didn’t realize you had done one.

  3. I really love your watermark!
    And your daughter is such a beauty.
    My mom grew up in Rochester and the memories come alive. And yet, I’ve never been. I want to change that and have her take me AND her grandkids.
    So cool story – my mother in law went to Romania a few weeks ago to find the village her mother had been born in. It was a part of every bedtime story. She’s 72 and just went to the village. Amazing, right?

    • That is amazing. Especially at 72, please tell me she was armed with a camera to share with the family.

      You should have your mom take you, make a weekend of exploring Rochester, that would be very cool for all of you.

      And thanks on Tris and the watermark, I recently created it for SmugMug photos and learned how to use it in Aperture when I export. Learning something new every day over here.

  4. This was so interesting to me. I grew up in Staten Island, then lived 13 years in Queens and am here in CT for 11 (cannot believe it is 11 already!). Home for me would NEVER be Staten Island though. Home for me is definitely here in New Milford. I always wanted to live in New England, since I was old enough to know what New England was anyway, not sure why. I do and feel totally at home here. Are you homesick for NY? I can almost feel that in your post.
    And Tris is stunning in these photos!

    • I am a little homesick, I always get that way this time of year because I don’t know what our schedule will be like for the summer and I’m not sure what time I’ll have off from work to be able to take the kids this year. I’m anxious thinking about it because I don’t want to miss it.

  5. Stephanie, I saw your title “Home” and it immediately captured my attention. I went “home” as I also still call it this past weekend. I brought my daughter with me and visited my dad at his place on the St. Lawrence. As I stood on the dock looking at the river after first getting there, I thought to myself, it feels so good to be home. I immediately thought to myself, why do I still call this home? There’s something special about that river as I found myself sitting on the dock for a big part of the weekend. I want my kids to have some of the same experiences I did growing up there. I don’t get up there as often as I would like to, but definitely appreciate it when I’m there. My kids love it there also. Thanks for sharing your story!

    • Thank for commenting Julie! Being there and feeling that peace – it’s definitely something unique and I’m glad to hear I’m not the only one who feels like that.

  6. Steph, I know the feeling!
    There’s a lot of pretty places but there’s only one true river!

  7. Lisa @ The Golden Spoons

    So true! Home means so much more to me, now, as an adult. For me, it is going back to the mountains of NC. Every summer, I take my girls and we got stay with my parents for a week or so. I look forward to it every year.

  8. debbie strader

    We had some amazing times growing up on the river my friend. You will always be in my thoughts and memories of some great times on the st. Lawrence….let me know when you will be home this summer. I would also like to pick a date where we could go there..and take the kids into the city for a day…noah would so love it. Let me know when would work for you! Xoxo

    • Deb, I totally had you in mind too, but some of that/our stuff is a whole other post. Good times for sure – and we’ve (you’ve?) got the scars to prove it! I’ll get in touch, we NEED to do something this summer.

  9. Your “Home” post made me smile. It looks like you have made some wonderful memories. I love your pictures! Here in CT is really where my home is…my parents moved so much while I was growing up, I don’t feel like I have roots anywhere. I always hoped my kids would have a different experience, and they have.

  10. I can definitely see from your lovely photos that you enjoyed home. Such a joy to see smiling faces and you have such a fun adventure! “HOME” for me is where I grew up too, my parents and 2 siblings still live there. Most of relatives are also there. I live away from home and I can only go home once or twice a year – air fares can be so expensive. Most of the time I go home with my son even without my husband. Just like you, it’s important to me that my son is comfortable with my parents and our relatives. 🙂

  11. I LOVE this post Stephanie! My hubby and I honeymooned on the St. Lawrence river! 🙂 That solo cup trophy is AWESOME. The way you described what you want your children to see and know about your childhood totally made me cry. Beautiful.-Ashley

    • Thanks Ashley, I have to know…where did you honeymoon? Was it in the Thousand Islands? My reception (and Greg’s too, lol) was in Alexandria Bay. Is that where you were?

  12. Reading this and seeing the photos of laughing, smiling kids made me excited for our family trip to the beach in July. We haven’t taken a family vacation with my husband’s family in years, and we need one. You’ve inspired me to take oodles of photos while we are there!

    • We go in July this year, too! I cannot wait. You didn’t ask for a tip but when your kids are in the waves stand close and take photos so you get their expressions. I stood too far away last year, my friend got amazing shots by getting out of her chair. That and fast shutter speed.

  13. Kristi Campbell - findingninee

    Your photos of home make me so happy to see. My home is Colorado although I now live in the suburbs of DC in northern VA. I love going home and have already planned a trip for later this summer. I’m really happy that we’ll be stopping by the beach first for a short trip though because seeing your water photos makes me so so happy that we’ve booked that.

    • We had been invited on a beach trip for years and always said no. We finally said okay 4 years ago and cannot imagine not doing it every year. So relaxing, even just for a day, so I’m glad you are getting in some beach time before your mountain time!!

  14. My hometown is one that people were always trying to get away from in high school, but now that I’m a mom, I miss my home. I wish I could go back to visit more often. My kids get down there fairly regularly, though; and for that I am thankful.

  15. anotherjennifer

    Thanks for taking us to your home! What wonderful memories – the ones you have growing up and the ones you are creating today with your kids.

  16. Oh Stephanie- what a GORGEOUS journey you took us on through your history and your present day… filled with love and family and kids and experiences that you and your precious kids will always remember! Those photos were AMAZING. Breathtaking. I soaked in every last one.

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