It wasn't unlike me to wait until the last minute.
With three kids in elementary school there is always something they need to bring in for class.
This was a bit different. This wasn't a school supply or a food item needed for a party.
I went to the shelf in my office and pulled down the box labled 2005-2010.
I brushed off the dust, like I was polishing silver. Tenderly and lovingly for I knew what it was capable of.
I closed the door to my office and as I plugged in the hard drive…the labled folders began popping up.
"Birth", "Kindergarten", "Catskills", "Fifth Birthday".
More often than not, they were just named by the date, because with a five year old, one year old, newborn and a new business, the shoe makers kids rarely have "shoes".
If they did…they're hardly ever organized.
As I clicked each folder, it was like going back in time annnd my heart melted and hurt.
The rabbit hole seemed endless, as did the days when they were babes. The tears, the diapers, the bottles and up all nighters.
There weren't too many photographs I was proud of from a photographers standpoint, but there were many photographs I was proud of the moments we made.
Kids in diapers and toothless grins banging on pots and pans, finger paint that should have been called body paint and food not just on their faces but in their crazy, unkempt hair was the norm.
What I remembered as a messy blur, looking back was actually a beautiful mess.
These days life often seems perfect from the outside looking in.
Pinterest and Instagram, oh how you slay me right down to the last detail.
The white beautiful crown molding I spy while children sit in their highchairs looked nothing like real life to me.
Behind my son in a photo was a spot where my eldest daughter, when three, wrote her name on the kitchen wall.
It stayed there for years because I couldn't find the time or the energy to paint.
I'm not sure I managed to get to the first photo before tears were streaming down my face.
As a mother, it was something I guess to expect.
But, as a photographer?! I thought I knew the importance of a photograph.
I'm the one photographing small pieces of photographic papers tucked into lockets hanging from bouquets of a child who's parent wasn't there to walk them down the aisle.
I see the milestones of my beautiful couples become husband and wife, celebrate anniversaries and go on to have beautiful babies. Constantly changing and re-arranging. Always and never the same.
I know what it's like to receive an e-mail from a bride who's mother died two months after the wedding.
I know the value of that piece of paper.
Yet looking back over the years of memories that have past…the birthdays, happy occassions, first days of school, the changes, the sacrifices, the tears and the smiles…I was unprepared.
I didn't expect to see so many details I would have otherwise forgotten; like the permanent marker from my daughter on the wall that was finally painted over with a splash of boring white paint.
If it weren't for these photos to remind me, who is to remind my children when I am gone?
This peek back into my life made me realize how much I miss photographing growing families.
Which kind of got me thinking.
Sooo, be sure to watch for a special announcement here and on FB on Cyber Monday for a one day only offer.
An ordinary moment below while being a Mom and not a photographer….
Happiness this Week
– Thankful for the trip down memory lane all because my daughter needed a photo for her 5th grade yearbook. It reminded me of why I hire photographers to photograph my own children and why I make it a huge point to try to PRINT an image that will live a far greater life in warm hands, than in a dusty cold hard drive box.
– Legacy Box – In September I put together all of our old videos and sent them on their way to Legacy Box, who will be transferring them over to digital files. They should be here any day now. I'm so excited to reminisce with family during the holiday season.
– The Thanksgiving menu is shaping up. We have a family favorite here, which is not really Thanksgiving-ish, but it's a pretty big hit. It's called "Cheesy Potatoes". It's sinful. The only bad thing about this one is that there are never any leftovers and everyone wants the recipe. Seriously.
Another favorite here is Rachel Ray's "Stuffin Muffins" which is sweet and savory. If I'm feeling creative, I'll throw some craisins/raisins in there too.
– Grabbed dinner with Mom this week. The best part was talking in the parking lot for two more hours after we left deciding upon what new holiday traditions we will start this year. So lucky to have a Mom that I can call a BFF.
– The turkey order has been placed with Whole Foods. After watching a few documentaries this year, we are trying to be a bit more mindful about eating organically, so we opted for the Organic Free Range Turkey. I have to admit, my mouse hovered over the "Complete Thanksgiving Dinner" option. I mean, how easy and who would really know?! But then I thought about Thanksgiving morning with the parade on TV in the background; the aroma, the happy chaos, the cursing, the memories for my children and decided I wouldn't have it any other way…well, let's see how it goes this year before deciding about next. ; )
– It's raining as I write this. I love the rain. Maybe not during wedding season, but when I'm cozy at home. I'm always a bit wary to admit this. It's not popular weather. Most people who hear this, will wrinkle their nose and tell me how much they miss the sunshine and wish it was summer all year round. I came across this list of "22 Things Anyone Who Loves Rain Will Understand" and didn't feel so alone.
– I bought Mums this fall. Their buds were closed when I bought them, but they appeared a bright and happy yellow. When they fully bloomed, to my surprise, they were white. Probably the last color I would ever purchase in autumn. But none-the-less, each day when I watered them, I thanked them for making me smile (am I the only one that talks to plants?!). Anyhow, as if they may have heard my thoughts, they began to paint their petals a pretty shade of lavender. Nature. Swoon.
Before you go, leave your thoughts below. I'd love to hear your "happy" this week.