I’m an unusually early-to-bed kind of person, as my friends and poor college roommates would quickly tell you. As in, the minute I see the nine appear on the digital clock in our kitchen, I get that super-strong “I’m not in the right place if I’m not in my bed” feeling. But tonight I got caught up so far past the nines that it wasn’t even funny, reading other photographers’ blogs and enjoying the inspiration and quiet peace that only the middle of the night can offer. And as a fairly hearty thunderstorm now rolls through, I’ve find myself laying in bed, thinking. Thinking about my life, my work, our family, this journey we’ve been on.
I remember so clearly the moment that my mom and dad walked through our front door a little over three years ago, carrying a present that I hadn’t even seen coming. My oh-so-big 15 month old girl was upstairs asleep in her crib, and my newborn baby boy was asleep in my arms. My dad handed us a wrapped box as my mom told us that they wanted to give us “a little something special” to celebrate the arrival of our sweet new baby. Even now, when I close my eyes, I can watch myself opening that box in an act of pure naivety, having no idea what its contents would mean over time for me and my family. Out from the box came a little Nikon D40, which seemed absolutely enormous at the time compared to the outdated point-and-shoot I’d nearly worn out during my daughter’s first year. Out from the box also came a bright and tireless passion, a new home, countless new friends, and (in all honesty) a precious new life for all of us.
Tonight my thoughts swirl around these past three years, as no one season has been the same as the last. I’ve met and intimately worked with an absolutely astounding number of precious young families (over 1,000 of you now!) and have fallen in love time and time again with the babies and children that have graced my viewfinder. I think about the comments from so many of you about my “amazing ability” to raise little ones, run a business, and still *attempt* to occasionally engage in fun and crafty projects simultaneously, and I wish in those moments more than anything that you could see my kitchen and bedroom. I ride waves of exhilaration and exhaustion, trying to keep up with my crazy new ideas and my lightning-fast kids at the same time. There is no supermom here… just a real woman growing by grace to become a little less selfish and more loving each day. Some days I feel as though I’m moving slowly ahead, and some days I feel as though I’ve fallen painfully behind, but I continue to press forward toward the deeper and deeper pool of joy that a life full of love inevitably leads to.
I’ve been pondering the what-if’s tonight, wondering what my life would be like right now if I had opened up that box three years ago and pulled out a little birthstone necklace or a sweet new outfit from Baby Gap. The twists and turns of life can be so powerful and subtle at the same time, and it would serve me well to remember that as my eyes begin to get heavy tonight. Admittedly, this life I’ve found myself in is often over-saturated and sometimes pure craziness, but it’s precious to me.
It’s a wild ride… but I’m holdin’ on. : )