As summertime is leaving us and we are going into colder crisper days, I can’t help but daydream of summer sessions that were warm with sunshine and love! The Pound family contacted me and invited me to their beautiful home and property. We explored, laughed together and I even left with some yummy canned goods from Melissa. I love shooting at family’s own homes and properties so I can better capture their natural environment and personalities! My favorite was when Dad drove their tractor into the field for some fun family and boy-friendly pictures! Thank you so much Pound family for inviting me into your home and lives!
For these last few weeks our neighbors have hired a contractor to paint their house. It has gone from a pale blue color to a sage green and will eventually look fresh and new. Since we live within a throw’s distance to our neighbor, our kids have watched this man, contractor “J,” who we know from our neighborhood, work super hard. He hasn’t stopped for days. Scraping, painting, hanging off of ladders, etc.. They have made comments about the house daily since he started and cannot wait to see it all finished.
(Don’t worry, this blog is not about painting, but a much more important thing that I want to teach my children.)
A few days ago we arrived home after going to the beach for the morning. Contractor “J” was still painting away and had made a lot of progress in the time we were gone. My kids got out of the car with their beach towels one at a time. They each took a minute to stop and pay “J” a compliment. With no prompting or pushing, they all took a minute to stop and praise him for his great job. First I heard my youngest say, “Wow, that looks good!” A few moments later my oldest walked by and said, “You did a lot of hard work today!” And then when my middle daughter strolled by, she also stopped for a minute and commented, “Great job! We can’t wait to see it all done!”
I was still by the car collecting our cooler, beach bag, toys, etc… but heard “J” chuckle as each one passed him by and intentionally paid him a compliment. I don’t think that many little people have ever stopped to admire his handiwork. I overheard the comments and it made me smile. So many times my kids are self-centered and only care about the things that directly affect them. (Much like myself and many other adults.) They could have walked on by and not even thought about his hard work, and could have instead ran into the house and went about their day. Would “J” have cared if they ignored him? Probably not. But did it make him smile and maybe add a little happy moment to his day that they didn’t? Sure!
A few hours passed and our entire family was getting packed up to leave for the afternoon. Sure enough we went out to the car and “J” was still busy working on the neighbor’s house. This time my husband stopped momentarily and said “Wow, that’s looking great! I can’t believe you’re already that far along!” I cracked up! I made the comment to my husband that all of the kids had also complimented him earlier in the day. “J” quickly said, “Now I see where they get it from.”
This simple comment made me really stop and think. So many times in my day I complain and grumble about x, y, and z. The car in front of me is driving too slow. The cashier at the grocery store got my order wrong. The gas pump attendant isn’t paying attention to me, etc… Our kids pick up on everything we do! If I spend my day mumbling under my breath, complaining and putting others down then that’s exactly what our kids will do. But if instead we take a simple moment to pay someone a compliment, say a kind word and help others out then THAT will be the example they will follow and copy.
This isn’t the first time I’ve thought about this concept or had this “ah-ha” moment, but it’s been a while and was an excellent reminder that I need to lead by example. My husband does such a great job at it, and I try, but it was a great example of how important this really is! I want my children to be good citizens, and what better place to learn that from than at home!?
I cannot say enough nice things about Brandon & Eila’s amazing wedding day! These two incredibly sweet people invited their friends and families to be with them on thier special day and I was honored to be there with them all. Anyone who was a part of their big day saw how clear their love was for each other and their two beautiful daughters!
They were married at Eila’s father’s home in his gorgeous yard. Every detail was planned out and prepared by hand with lots of attention by several friends and family members. It was a day filled with happy tears, emotion and lots of love. I wish both Brandon and Eila (and their sweet girls) the best as they start their lives together and one big happy family!
Here are just a few of my favorites…
I don’t know about you but as a Mom sometimes I just feel like I’m going to pop! No I’m not talking about physically but emotionally and mentally. It’s hard work. I’m tired, and rarely get a break. I often feel overwhelmed yet keep on going. And even when I’m feeling ill I don’t get sick days. I often feel like I’m going to explode from the pressure to do it all.
As mom’s we wear so many hats. Cook. House cleaner. Wife. Nurse. Teacher. Guidance counselor. Coach. Personal shopper. And the list goes on and on.
With all of these things that we have to do, why do we feel the need to add on the extra pressure of more? I don’t know about you but I feel the pressure to be the perfect “pinterest mom” often. You know what I’m talking about? The mom that did the coolest craft with her kids this week and shared it on instagram! The mom that went on that amazing 5 mile hike with her 3 kids behind her smiling the whole way! The gourmet chef mom that cooked a completely organic meal while wearing high heels and letting her kids help!
Don’t get me wrong- I do crafts with my kids (and share them on instagram!) I play outside with my kids often. I cook meals for and with my children. But the comparison needs to stop. The pressure to be better and do more needs to go away. I am tired of looking at “mommy x” and trying to do more to be like her. You know what, my kids don’t give a hoot what that mom is doing. They don’t compare me to other moms, so why am I?
I’m tired. My house is a mess. My kids don’t eat organic foods every day. And it’s okay! You know why, because my kids think I’m pretty darn awesome no matter what I’ve done for a craft with them today. What matters is that I’m here and I’m trying. I’m overwhelmed and feel like I’m going to pop, but my kids are worth it. Every minute of every day, they are worth it!
So stop comparing yourself to other moms. It’s okay to be yourself and let the “pinterest mom” be herself because she’s doing the best she can too! And I guarantee that behind that instagram photo there are piles of laundry somewhere in the house and it’s not as perfect as it’s pictured. Be you. Your kids love you for being you!
When Eric and Heidi eloped recently to Vegas they missed out on inviting their family along. Most of their family is in Maine and they are currently living in North Dakota so when they came here to vacation they invited me along to be a part of their special family reunion/wedding celebration to take some fun family photos! I was super excited to work with them, create some fun memories and capture their lovely clan! Thank you so much to the Parsons and Minzner Families! Come back to Maine soon so we can do this again!