Friday, June 26, 2015

Photography - Everyday Moments

My sister and I have had a version of this conversation a few times:
 
Me: I miss when my kids were really little. I miss cuddling an infant, the cuteness of a toddler...I miss their smallness.
Sister: I think that too. (Thoughtful pause.) But, I also think that someday I will look back and miss the age my kids are at right now.
 
My sister speaks TRUTH.
 
Someday I will miss watching my kids run through the sprinklers, take over the street with the neighborhood kids, zoom around on their bikes with their swords tucked into the back of their shirts (because one should be prepared for danger at all times), chase each other just for the fun of it, and carefully construct Legos as if they are performing heart surgery. Every day I get to look into the beautiful faces of my children and be reminded of how lucky I am to be a mom.
 
This summer, my biggest goal is to enjoy the now. Not wish for the past, long for the future, but enjoy the little moments that make the present so sweet.
I have been itching to do some photography. I wanted my pictures to capture the beauty in everyday living. I usually keep my camera on my fireplace mantel so I can quickly grab a shot before the moment passes. (And because a quick photo here or there goes over much better with my boys than a big photography session.)

I can't always get the look I am wanting in Photoshop, but I am happy  with how these pictures turned out. I found a new set of actions that I love from Shutter Pulse. A couple of blog posts back I mentioned that I had downloaded their free set of 20 actions. I found myself using these free actions more and more.  Shutter Pulse then offers $10 off their packages through their emails, so it is $29 for their set of 300 actions. I have yet to find a package so big for so cheap and since I was loving their free actions, I got a little crazy and bought the whole package.  It was worth it. The vintage actions are my favorite. If you are looking for a great deal and a quick way to edit, this is a great route to go. (I have yet to do any advertising on my blog, so this is just one mama photographer sharing a great find. If you have any photography advice for me, I will gladly take it as well!) 

Friday, June 5, 2015

Never

The other night I sat at the beach and watched my kids play in the water.

To my right a large group of college students were hanging out, playing beach volleyball. I couldn’t help but notice them. Super young. Full of life. Energetic. Laughing. The girls all looked great in their swim attire. No one seemed to have a care in the world.

On the way to my spot on the beach, I had trudged by those beautifully youthful people with my entourage of little boys. My hair was piled high on my head. I was wearing a free t-shirt from work, my black yoga pants had a bleach stain and I was sporting a Captain America backpack. But you all know how it is getting everyone ready for the beach. (Mom, I can’t find my shark swimsuit. I want to wear that one! Where is my blue water gun? The one I got for my birthday that shoots the best. We can’t leave without it!)  I didn’t put much thought into my attire, I was just glad we made it.

As I sat there on my towel watching my boys play and listening to the sounds of beach volleyball, thoughts of my college years and my twenties filled my head. I have some good memories of my twenties, but still…my biggest thought was…never.

Never would I trade the joys of my thirties to go back to the youthfulness of my twenties.

Yes, I know my body isn’t as young now. Pregnancy has done some reshaping. My face is beginning to age, a few grey hairs have made their appearance, and I do not look as good in beach attire as the girls playing volleyball to my right. But in my adult life, I have never been as happy as I am now.

I have a better perspective, more wisdom, a braver attitude, more gratitude and a deeper faith. I am more comfortable in my own skin and I love it. I have experiences I would not trade. I have deepened old friendships and met new wonderful people. I am completely captivated by my little people and their dad. My heart feels full. Life, of course, still has its struggles and challenges (it always will), but overall the joy and contentment I feel in my thirties vastly outweighs the decade before.

If my thirties are much happier than my twenties, I can’t imagine what joys, better perspective and wisdom will come with my forties, fifties and beyond…

That is something to look forward to.