My Girls and Me

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Do you have any idea how difficult it is to get a good picture of a 3-year-old who can't be still and an 11-month-old who's easily distracted?

Exceedingly difficult.

That's why I settled for this as the best photo of me and my girls on Mother's Day. It's not perfect. For one, Dennis is lurking in the background. In addition to Dennis' inadvertent cameo, both Micah and Kendall seem determined to look at anything but the camera. And finally, it's glaringly obvious that I need to get my hair colored.

Despite all of that, I love this picture.

I'm usually behind the lens, so even if the photo isn't perfect, I'll take it, because I'm in it, and one day, my girls will appreciate it. It's also a perfect portrait of this stage of our lives. Both of my girls are just being themselves, and as much as I would love a snapshot of us all smiling at the camera, I really do want to remember what they were like at this point in time.

I used to think that a picture wasn't worth keeping if it wasn't perfect, but sometimes, perfect isn't possible. Real life is crazy and messy, and it's not always picture perfect. Our life is crazy and messy, and it's far from perfect, but it is beautiful.

Here's to keeping it real, y'all. That's what this blog is all about. If you're looking for perfection, you should go somewhere else. Now go post your less than perfect photos and link back to them here. I want to see your messy life, in all of its glory :)

Until next time, grace and peace.

A Tiny Little Ponytail

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Seriously. Is there anything cuter than this little ponytail? Wednesday was the first day I pulled Micah's hair back, and I admit, I'm smitten with those blonde curls on the back of her head. So precious! We played outside for a long time before I had to go to church. She "helped" Dennis change the oil, and I even managed to snag a picture of the two of us together. That rarely happens, you know, but I'm trying to do better about it.

I read a post on Under the Sycamore last week about "getting in the shot" that inspired me to make it work. I'm always a little too sheepish to ask other people to take my picture, and I'm also a little protective of my camera. But as I've looked back through pictures from the past year and a half, there are only a tiny handful of shots with both me and Micah in them. That should change. I'm committed to taking at least one picture a month with her. That may not sound like much, but it's infinitely better than what we're doing now. Perhaps it will be a small exercise in helping me be more disciplined and intentional.

How do you get in pictures with your kids? Are you always behind the camera, or do you ever make it in front of the lens? Let me know your tips and tricks!

Until next time, grace and peace.

How to Tuesday: Sparkly Eyes from Under the Sycamore

Welcome to How To Tuesday, where I'll introduce you to some of my favorite DIY tips from all over the web. I have a folder bookmarked on my computer that's chock-full of fun stuff. I saved some of the ideas for inspiration and others because I just thought they were pretty or fun, and now I'm sharing them with you. Enter Under the Sycamore, the blog of Ashley Ann Photography. LOVE reading this blog, but that's beside the point. Today's tip is all about how to get sparkly eyes when you're playing photographer. I tried to use this tip in my photo session with Micah the other day, but she just won't stay still long enough for me to plan a shot, so I take what I can get.

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I succeeded a little bit, right? The picture's not perfect, but her eyes DO have a bit of sparkle.

Anyway, last week, Ashley Ann posted a little DIY tutorial on a little vintage tin craft, but down at the bottom of the post, as a little side note, she threw in a photography tip that you must go read. If you want to know how to give your kids sparkly photo eyes, click through to read Ashley Ann's advice (you'll have to scroll to the bottom of the post to find the photo tip).

Happy shooting!

Until next time, grace and peace.

It's the Little Things

My baby girl turned 10 months old Saturday. As she gets older and starts looking more like a little girl and less like a baby, it's the little things I want to remember.

Like these chubby little legs.

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This excitable nature.

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And this sweet little spot on the back of her neck.

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This innocent delight.

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And, of course, these bright blue eyes and two tiny teeth.

I could go on and on. At 10 months old, Micah has a fearlessness that I envy and a mischievousness that gets her in trouble. She plays peek-a-boo with us, crinkles up her little nose and snorts at us, follows us, and climbs all over us. She's on the verge of walking and takes every opportunity to practice standing up. Though she started out as a picky eater, now she'll eat anything we put in front of her, but she has a fondness for Cheerios and bananas that can't be beat. She's sweet and funny and easy-going and happy and as delightful as a little girl can be.

As she grows up before my eyes, It's the little things I want to savor and remember. Soon her mouth will be filled with lots of tiny little teeth. That sweet spot on the back of her neck will be covered with blonde curls, and the chub will fall off her little legs. But her eyes will always be bright blue. And I pray that she'll keep her innocent delight and sense of adventure. Right now, the little things are the precious things in our lives.

Until next time, grace and peace.