I Confess:

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

I confess it's been more of a withdrawal from all-day-long photo taking than I expected it to be. I find myself snapping quick, bad photos with my phone because there's a moment I'm about to miss.
It's really taken me by surprise, since 

Confession #2: there were DEFINITELY times there that I was bogged down by my personal commitment to capture my life in photos last week. I would drape the heavy camera with my best lens over my arm, then curse under my breath when I bumped a door frame or almost bumped Lucy's noggin, and rue the day I began the project. 

But then again... It was only a week, and I am grateful, far above any annoyance, for the experience. For thre tangible evidence of our little life right now.

Confession #3: I've been boggled and pondering the comments from last week that observe that I have a super full life--- a bustling one, a busy one, a PACKED one, even.  I sit here with not-for-public-viewing hair and clothes just now, as nap time commences, and I wonder two things:

A. how could I have conveyed better what a homebody I am these days? Every day from 2-5 is nap time, even if Lucy chatters in her crib the whole time (like she's doing today). Some days we start it a bit late, but it is by and large a sacred time space in my life. We are home. They are resting. I reset myself. Beyond that space of time, we are home all evening most evenings, from 5-bedtime (which for me is midnight). And I truly strive for at least one (preferably two) days a week where we don't even get in the car at all... anything we do is at home or a walk away from home. 

but B. AM I busy? AM I making my life more complex than it has to be? Should be? From my perspective, it just feels like LIFE. But if I stepped outside and watched as an observer, would I detect that maybe I'm doing too much? Something to ponder. I don't THINK so?? But maybe? I know that one day in the not-so-distant future, we'll have a gaggle of Southerlands and there will be MANDATORY bustling: to and from schools, practice, lessons... Multiple kids to get into clothing and car seats, multiple lunches to make... So until then, should I slow down a bit more? Relish this time where we really don't need to be anywhere very often?

Pondering this. 

Confession #4: I am also humbled that my everyday shots tell you guys a story of a lovely life. Because here's the deal: it IS lovely. Of course. I am so grateful for my two beautiful kiddos, my simple little house we rent, my opportunity to stay home as a mama (though it isn't without cost),  my health, my amazingly supportive and born-to-be-a-daddy husband... When looked at as a whole, it IS lovely. 

But moment to moment? I wasn't skipping blithely through my life last week. I've been fighting some pretty relentless moodiness in the past few weeks, and for SURE I had some monster moments last week. And among the moments of toothy smiling from Lucy and charming imaginative play from Noah, there were still big messes and huge meltdowns (mine included) and at least one incident of someone running away from home for 4 hours (that would be me. Thursday night. Dinner alone and a haircut.). I don't know how I could have conveyed it more--- but I struggle like ANY mom with more than zero kids and a tight budget and a spare tire 'round the middle. I guess it boils down to: when the tantrums are happening, I'm more likely to put the camera down and work it out (or hide, if I'm the one throwing it. Like I would ever take a self-portrait in that moment. I would NEVER want to see my mad/mean/annoyed face. I desperately pity those who have to. I am so sorry, Joe, Noah, Lucy... Mom, Beckie, etc.).

And the lovely moments? I guess it is this: I have been working hard for years now to remember gratitude. And it has become a part of me. So when I see pretty-colored cereal bowls or a certain warm patch of sunlight in my favorite upstairs hallway, or the exquisite sleeping face of my baby-who-is-growing-too-fast, or a hand-stitched bookmark marking the place of my current favorite book.... I just have practice noticing those details. And when the camera is near, it is quite natural for me to remember to snap a photo. I forget that it took a long time to become this way. And that others might not happen upon that realization as naturally and then remember to act upon it by taking a photo. 

(Hm, might be a neat experience to host a simple, free "wordless day" or "wordless week" workshop here... Help someone else "see" more in their day and remember to take those photos... And also help them grab more light in their house, or catch real moments with their kids, or be brave enough to take their own photo... Hm... Seedling of a thought. Might not ever go anywhere. But I planted it.)

Anyway. Point is (and now I annoy myself as I seem to be making apologies or excuses for my way of seeing life)--- point is... It IS a lovely life. But it's also a REAL life. And that includes mess and tears and irritation and bad hair days (months)... Trust me. 

Confession #5: My kids are both trying to end their "nap time" and I am aggravated. I specifically requested a 5:00 wake-up. Didn't they read the inter-office memo?

I suppose that effectively ends this Confessional. That's too bad. I could have gotten to some really juicy stuff... 

Oh well. 

Another day. 



  1. Ah Emily! Of course you have mess in your house, kids that cry, and moments where you just want to check out and leave. We all do! :) Life is messy even when it is lovely. But isn't that the point? Kinda? maybe a little? It can't be lovely if there isn't any ugly. Its how we appreciate the beauty I think. Here is some food for thought, when you took your photos you were highlighting those moments you were enjoying. The moments you were in. The ones worth remembering. Melt downs and moodiness aren't the things in life that truly matter. They are always there and usually behind the scenes and usually the things we are working on. But the good Lord knows I wouldn't snap a shot of me when I was angry! haha. No one wants to be that truthful. If this little excercise opened up your persepective and had you looking at your life a little closer, then kudos! Isn't that what self reflection is all about? YOU are a great Mom and wife and daughter and sister and friend. Moments of weakness or meltdown or moodiness doesn't change any of that. Just that there were hard moments inbetween the sweet ones. :) (sorry this comment is the length of a book!)

  2. Thank you for being real. When my kids were little I remember telling my husband about a woman I saw on the news. She had had enough of her kids and her family and needed a break so she got on the next bus out of Chicago to New Orleans. So, whenever things got too crazy I would look at him and say "Oh, listen.. I hear my bus to New Orleans outside..." good for you to get your evening to run away. and thanks for sharing.

  3. I was surprised at how much effort it took to remember to take pictures throughout the day! Normally I just snap a few here and there, but never have I tried to tell a story with them. Thank you for opening my eyes to the possibility that I CAN tell a story without words even though it's harder than it seems like it should be.

    I love that you worry about whether you're doing too much. I always worry about not doing enough. You've got some lucky kiddos. You seem to be a mother who knows.

  4. I have always thought of you as a busy-busy person. It seems like even when you're at home all day you have a million things going. It's the nature of being a super mom and running your own business. :) Love you, and loved wordless week!

  5. Oh, man, trust me Sarah--- I am pretty dang lazy!! Okay, YES, I DO have a million ideas and half-started projects lingering in my periphery... while I nap. Or play on my iTouch. Or putter around... Or read. Or lay on the floor and watch my kiddos play. Haha! I need a LOT of "still time" and NOTHING space to maintain my optimism and creativity. But then, I do stay up late and crank out a lot of things during those hours--- sewing, editing, etc.

    But a LOT of NOTHING time. More than I can convey.


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