Tag Archives: keepin’ it real

Manufactured Memories (or Poop Jokes and Yoga Pants)

22 Jul

“The funny thing about taking family photographs,” my husband quipped in-between poses, “is that you’re basically documenting manufactured memories.”

I have to be honest.  Our family doesn’t often look like this:

Family Portrait

All of us smiling, standing in a field brushed with sunlight, and dressed to the nines in a color-coordinating palette of blues and oranges. There is a dramatic lack of yoga pants and mis-matched toddler socks here, along with way too much grooming.

And, can I tell you a secret?  The only reason my girls are smiling is that our wonderful photographer was cracking poop jokes from behind her lens, on my suggestion (I’ll take my Mom of the Year Award now, thanks).

But despite the surreal nature of the shots Shannon caught last weekend, I disagree that they fail to capture our family.  While we may not always look just like this, it’s a perfect depiction of how I feel inside.  My girls?  They fill my life with light. And though the mundane tasks of the day and sibling squabbles dominate my schedule, there is a contentment in my family that I rarely get the chance to capture.

The closer I look at our portrait, the more I see that Shannon photographed each of our personalities perfectly.  My shy, snuggly Bean and her comedian older sister.  My husband, with his arms wrapped around every one of us, the backbone of our family.  And me, with a genuinely happy and relaxed smile.

Manufactured?  Staged?  Maybe.  But not one less bit real.

Girls in Field Photo Shoot

 


If you are in the Boston area, Shannon (who is uber-talented) is running an unbelievably amazing summer special for $149! If that wasn’t enough, she loves Warrior Moms.  Creative Images Boston will donate $15 for each session that mentions Postpartum Progress!

Summer Special

Disclaimer: I received nothing in return for my post or sharing of Shannon’s summer special.  My post was completely unsolicited.  I just adore her and her work and love to help out a fellow mama.  Shannon, you’re amazing and I’m so grateful to you for capturing my family so perfectly.

Anatomy of a Weekend

1 Feb

I am an introvert.  Not in the sense that I don’t like people – I do – but spending time with people requires a proportional amount of time to myself each day to refuel.  Which makes parenting hard, because tiny people all. the. time.

I tend to dread weekends like this one, wondering come Friday why I signed myself up for so much.  It’s precisely why the kids aren’t signed up for weekend activities like soccer or underwater basket weaving.  I didn’t mean for the weekend to get so full, but here we are.  As the week transitioned over into the weekend at some point Friday evening (maybe 6pm?), I took a deep breath.

Friday: Make crockpot chicken, do laundry, pick up house to give husband a fighting chance.

Friday Night: Leave husband in charge of dinner, bath, and bedtime to go have dinner and shopping with my oldest and dearest friend.  Dress shop until the mall closes and see myself through her eyes again.  Come home late to a quiet house and party with the husband until 11:30pm.  Vow not to stay up that late again for a while because apparently in your 30’s you lose all sense of “late.”

Saturday Morning: Awaken to sounds of the preschooler clogging the toilet and trying to fix it herself by flushing it more.  There is no snooze button for “clogged toilet.”  Ask said toilet paper addict to hop in the shower and spend the next 15 minutes arguing.  Shower oldest daughter, then spend 10 minutes arguing with her about blow-drying her hair while convincing toddler to change out of her smelly overnight diaper.  Nurse toddler.  Eventually come downstairs and curse husband as he calls dibs on the coffee maker with his full-caffiene-beverage-making.  Feed children breakfast while prepping the chicken bones for stock and veggies for the day’s pot roast.  Kiss husband and preschooler goodbye as they head out to a party.  Make toddler a couch cushion trampoline and then fort.  Three hours after waking up, finally make a pot of decaf and fry an egg with some toast.  Sit down to eat and write a rambly blog post.

S reading

I still have a house to pick up as we have friends coming over for the afternoon and dinner tonight.  Yoga must happen today and I’d love 15 minutes on the elliptical.  Plus a shower and blow-dry.

Sunday is Listen To Your Mother audition day and I’m secretly hoping Casey and I can have a cup of coffee (or a shot of something stronger) before.

But what I’m struck by (and the reason I’m writing this post today) is that when I push the whole picture into the recesses of my mind and focus only on the next few hours, everything falls into place.  The weekend is full, and I know I will need Monday to recover (don’t mind me, I’ll just be home that day in my pajamas ignoring society), but it’s full of people we love and wonderful memory-making.  I’m choosing to push myself out of my comfort zone and enjoy it.

I Swear I’m Not An Asshole

7 Dec

Dear Everyone Who Gets A Christmas Card From Me This Year,

iPhone for scale

iPhone for scale

I swear I’m not an asshole who is trying to start some kind of photo card arms race with my 6×8 holiday FLYERS.  I’m merely an over-worked mom who was drinking wine and doing three other things when she placed her card order. (I mean, really, Shutterfly?  You asked me to check my spelling, my dates, my image resolution – but never thought to ask me if I was sober before I hit “submit?”)

Believe me, I was as shocked as you are opening up my package.  For a moment, I wondered if my hands had shrunk.

And even worse?  I think my Christmas Cards have an attitude problem.  I can hear them now, sitting on your table next to all the other beautiful cards you received:

“Aren’t you adorable.  What are you?  3×4?  So cute.”

“I’m not saying my family is better than yours, but it did take two stamps to mail ME.”

That’s right.  I get to pay extra this year to look like a jerk.  I think the post office is charging me some kind of douchebag penalty for the size of my holiday greetings.

So when you open up my envelope, have a laugh for at with me.  Then clear some space on a large bulletin board or table and enjoy.

Next year, posters.

Then billboards.

************

p.s.  If you get a normal-sized card from me this year, it’s because you got one of the Minted batches.  At least I didn’t screw up both card orders, right?

On Fakebook and Keepin’ It Real

28 Feb

A Mama’s Comfort Camp member shared this link to a post about how fake everyone is on FaceBook and I found myself both nodding my head and laughing as I read about the author’s chaotic and familiar Saturday.  Then I started wondering if I’m guilty of FakeBooking (thanks to @ErinMargolin of @gaydadproject for the perfect word for it).  After all, in my header photo, everyone looks happy and the background is picturesque (never mind that it still says “Happy Holidays”).

FB Header

And in my new profile picture, I have makeup on and my hair curled.  Both of these things are rare and not at all representative of my everyday life.  This is more like it:

Keepin' it real.

And yet I don’t really want this as my profile pic.  So does that mean I’m faking it?

Hmmmm…  I tend to share the bad along with the good – pictures of my dishes in the sink and trashed house.  Status updates about teething and the crummy weather.  Posts about mental illness.  I like to think I’m pretty honest about what my life is like.

I’m truly not trying to impress anyone.  Photos capturing beautiful moments and positive updates?  Are just me trying to be grateful for the bits of happiness and tranquility that punctuate the chaos of life with two small children.  My Pintrest boards?  Wishful thinking.  And any bit of cohesive writing is pieced together in stolen moments between snacktime and diaper changes.

So let’s give everyone the benefit of the doubt.  Let’s celebrate the beautiful pictures and let our friends enjoy their moments of beauty and success.  Let’s assume that they aren’t always as put together as they are in their profile pictures and be glad they’re not sharing photos of themselves sleep deprived with a giant chin zit (which they cleverly hide behind a coffee cup).  But let’s also make them feel comfortable to keep it real.   After all, if social media is going to be how we keep in touch in these digital days, let’s make it count.

Sweatpant Crotch

20 Sep

A couple of weeks ago, I posted this video of Baby Girl moving and grooving.

 

I must have watched it a dozen times.  Each time, I marveled at her kicks…until the last view, when I realized I had just posted a 42 second video of my crotch in sweatpants.  Admit it.  You can’t even focus on the baby kicking anymore.  Um…yeah.

A’Driane and I were chatting one night and cracked up over my realization.  I think all of my belly pics have been in pajamas, and now the video of sweatpant crotch.  And you know what?  I’m totally okay with it.  I’m rockin’ those sweats, baby.

I spend time almost every morning blowing my hair dry and putting on makeup.  I feel great on the days when I get dressed and look nice.  I might even feel pretty.  But other days, those sweats are the only thing I can bear to pull on.  So soft.  So warm.  So comfortable.  So….real.  Nobody spends all their time looking as put-together as we do in our About Me photos.  You know you have a pair of sweats that make you feel all warm and cozy inside.  Let’s all agree to be a little less formal with each other and get comfortable.

These puppies? I stole from my college boyfriend...who happens to be my husband. In over 10 years, he's never gotten them back. That's how comfortable they are.

I dare you to post a pic of you in your favorite sweats. Blog it, tweet it, facebook it, whatever. It’s time we get real with each other, folks. You’ll feel so much better letting it all hang out.

Oh – and head on over to A’Driane’s place at Butterfly Confessions.  She’s rockin’ the sweatpant crotch today, too!

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