The Importance of Family Photos


I cannot believe how quickly time passes and suddenly it’s been 2 weeks since I’ve blogged again. My little family just spent a long weekend in Coronado, California. We went for a wedding but packed lots of other stuff in as well, like the San Diego Zoo, Legoland and other family fun. I wanted to share that we got a nice family picture taken! After my post sharing the pics of me and my kids and your comments, it made me realize how very important it really is to have pictures of the 4 of us. You don’t realize how special it is until you have one, I promise you!! I will tell the story another day soon, but suffice to say it’s a miracle that all of our clothes are on straight and we look decent in this family photo above as we went from Legoland sweaty hot to being ready for the wedding in about 5 minutes.

And…I keep forgetting I want to share the family photo that we took this past mother’s day that is on a canvas hanging at my entryway. Thank you to Groupon! :) You can see it in this post that went up at Simple Mom a couple of weeks ago and I have yet to share with you. Want to know the secret to a perfect home? You’ll find it there. As I was saying, the photo gets compliments every time we have guests, and again, reminds me of the importance of family photos!

Back soon with much more about our recent adventures, lessons I’ve learned along the way and the little beautiful things that have been enjoyed in the in-between.


On Dreaming Big

*deep breath*

There are some things in this life that are easy to declare. I love ice cream! My kids are cute! I love bedtime!

But then there are things that are not. Like: I’m going to train for a marathon.


I spent last week doing a lot of thinking about life. The things that we want and can’t have or can’t control the outcome over. The things that many of us take for granted without even realizing what blessings they are. That there are so many things that we *can* control but often fear is what holds us back, not anything permanent. I get like this – thinking too much. While often, my over-thinking annoys the heck out of me (and my husband!), sometimes it results in good. I think a lot about who I am and who I want to be.

Last week, I said outloud to my husband this big scary sentence of “I love telling people what I do for my job when they ask, but I want to add to that that I am also a photographer.” Do you know what happened? The very next day, 4 people emailed me about photo shoots through word of mouth recommendations. It’s not a big thing. I don’t need photography to be the way I make a living, but I love it and want to do it and saying it outloud was scary, but then it was like I got this message “You are one” and I felt at peace.

So, a few days ago, I was looking into fall half-marathons. It’s been a long time since I’ve run one – February of 2011 – and I wanted to do another. As I searched, I suddenly thought to myself “You’ve always wanted to do a full marathon. Why not?” and it was like this flash of inspiration. I got butterflies in my stomach and a nervous excitement that I haven’t felt in so long. I thought about how it is the scary, big, brave, unknown things in life that make those butterflies, but butterflies are the best feeling. It means that you are challenging yourself. It means that you aren’t playing it safe. I know I can train for and run 13.1 miles. I’ve done it. But 26.2? The unknown, the big, crazy, scary unknown has me excited for a new challenge.

So? I’m doing it!

I’m training for my first full marathon. All 26.2 miles of it. I’ve never run more than 13.1 and I’ve been sure to tell anyone who asks that the 13.1 was worse than childbirth (in my wimpy defense, childbirth was really amazing for me :) ), but I loved it. I should say, I didn’t train long enough for it – only 6 weeks. But I did it and it was such a great accomplishment that left me feeling so great. I can’t wait to face this new challenge. I can’t wait for the training runs, the work that goes into it and the guts it will take to get through the last 6 miles.

I can’t fully start training until November, but I have it on my radar and will be doing all I can before then to be ready for full on training for February 2013. Almost exactly 2 years to the day from when I ran my half. It won’t be like last time. I barely blogged at all about my training and fears and hopes and all that during the process. This time I will be. I will need the motivation, the place to share this journey, a place to keep me accountable.

I am taking on a big dream that I have had for so long. I can’t wait to share it all.

I also need lots of tips. Anyone done this? I am mostly nervous about fueling (never even ran with water while training for my half), getting up early to run (I like to sleep!), and staving off injuries. I have run regularly for 3 years with no injuries but have knees that like to bug me from time to time. I would love all of the feedback I can get.

Confessions of a very imperfect girl

I stopped blogging for a long time, and even before I stopped, I went from frequent blogging to sporadic to not at all. A big reason for this was that I began to feel like blogging had turned into some adult version of show-n-tell. Suddenly, I didn’t need to flip through magazines filled with pages of beautiful people in beautiful homes living beautiful “perfect” lives to feel inadequate – all I had to do was read blogs. Blogging – where we get to share the good, good and good of our day but none of the bad or ugly. I felt by reading and participating and having a blog of my own all I was doing was contributing to this growing phenomenon of moms who stay home and blog and make other moms who read blogs feel bad about themselves. Of course, this was never the intention of my blogging. I didn’t share my life and journey, projects and wonderful times with my kids and the transformation of my home to make anyone feel less than. I actually hoped the opposite – that by sharing this simple little life of ours and what we’ve made with very little, I could show that life doesn’t have to be all about big houses and lots of money and beautiful people. That life can be beautiful despite (and maybe because of) not having a lot of any of the above.

But the feelings continued to grow inside me – I’d hear comments and feel resentment or judging and instead of keeping doing what was me and being true to myself, I quit. I silenced my voice and stopped sharing. And you know what happened? I became unhappy. Sharing the good stuff, the beautiful little slivers of everyday and seeing in front of me on my blog screen that life really is pretty good even when it’s not is what helped me through 6 long years of renovating a home with 2 little kids under foot, a husband struggling with depression, and the ups and downs of everyday life. I realized that sharing was my way of letting myself reflect on and appreciate what was good each day. Without that, I dwelled more on the negative than I would’ve liked.

I am not perfect, my life is not perfect, my kids are not perfect, my marriage is not perfect, my home is not perfect, my job is not perfect.

I have frizzy hair and coffee splattered on me today. I judge people and say mean things about people. I forget to call friends back. I yell at my kids. There are cobwebs around my house. My husband and I argue and many days I don’t like him, but I always love him. I don’t appreciate him as much as I should. I am ungrateful and selfish. I am a walking contradiction. I sometimes put my kids to bed early just so I can lay on my couch and drink wine and check out. I can’t do a graceful cartwheel. I yell at other drivers. My kids fight and talk back. I burn dinner sometimes. I see things other people have and am jealous. I let myself believe that everyone else is happier than I am and has it all together. I make mistakes – a lot of them. I am clumsy. I talk too much. I never know what to say when someone needs me to say something uplifting or helpful. I stumble over my words and think of something later and am much better at writing things down than speaking. I have stolen, I have lied, I have hurt people who never deserved it.

This is why it is hard for me to put forth one version of me online while there is this other bad version of me. The version of me that is more than worthy of hiding from the world. But by celebrating the good parts of myself, my family, my life – I am reminded that there is more to me than those things and so I can go on and work through another day, trying to be better than before. I don’t want anyone to ever have the impression of me that I always look put together, that I am always nice, that I never do bad things, that I have it all figured out. I am learning each and every day that we all struggle with these things when we see other people’s lives. Is it just what we do – stuff down the bad stuff and put on a happy face? At least focusing on the happy face and the good stuff at the end of each day reminds that in the middle of all the bad, imperfect parts of me and my life, there is good to celebrate. The moments when the kids are happy and kind, the moments that I don’t burn dinner and look nice doing it, when I choose grace instead of nagging my husband, when I found the good.

By sharing my happy I found happy again.

Related Posts with Thumbnails