Featured | Artful Blogging

The folks from Artful Blogging were kind enough to reach out to me last year about featuring me in there Nov/Dec/Jan issue. It’s a privilege to be featured anywhere but it’s always a touch sweeter when it’s something printed. Many thanks to Danielle and the rest of the team for publishing my words and images. When asked about blogging, here is what I shared:

So often in life, the stories write themselves. When I find myself caught up in the day to day—the struggles, the chaos, the dishes (oh, the dishes)—it all feels like a blur. Writing and photography, for me, go hand in hand. They are small ways of holding on to what’s otherwise fleeting, of making emotions tangible, adventures more memorable. I don’t think of blogging as anything more than a desperate plea to slow life down, hit the proverbial pause button.

We travel often as a family and it’s never easy. In fact, before any adventure, Willy and I often wonder why in the hell we’re packing our bags, spending the money, getting the hell outta dodge. In some ways I feel like we are constantly trying to escape, to push the wheels a little faster, like when you’re a child and it’s Halloween and you’re going through one of those haunted houses and it’s getting darker so you move a little faster just so you can get to the end a little quicker. Because raising children is hard, and trying. The walls of our own home are, at times, suffocating. Sometimes it’s only beautiful in hindsight. That’s not to say there isn’t beauty in the moment; there is. It’s just so convoluted and messy, like a painting covered in dirt, that your vision—your perspective—gets a little cloudy. It’s why hindsight is so important, why turning back the pages and reflecting can sometimes carry more value than even the present moment. So often, when looking back, I see the painting. Not the dirt.

It’s why I write and reflect on these days. It’s why I take pictures. Because sometimes staying present and ‘in the moment’ (a term so loosely valued these days) is downright stressful. And not feasible. I think of a prisoner of war being held and tortured on a tropical island, trying to take the scenery in while being stabbed in the eye with a burning hot pencil. Hard to do. Parenting? Same same but different.

The challenge for me, as a mother to three, is finding the time and then clearing my mind so that I can think and reflect. I always knew that I would come to view time in a new light once I became a mother. But I never anticipated the struggle to continue self-growth and self-love; I never before valued the ability to have a clear mind in the way I do today. I harbor an inner commitment to my blog and speak often of it as something I do for my boys, so one day they will know the person behind the woman they only know as ‘mom’. And so they, too, can remember their idiosyncrasies—when they started and how they changed—and gain greater self-awareness. And so they, too, can hold on to the memories. But it’s also for me. Because sometimes the days are filled with nothing but tasks and silly fights only mom can referee and at the end of the day, or in the beginning—before anyone is awake—I like to steal away a few moments for myself. To make space for the clouds to part, for clarity to roll in, and for hindsight to shine brighter than whatever the current struggle is.

Childhood Unplugged

San Clemente Family Photographer-0072 San Clemente Family Photographer-0076 San Clemente Family Photographer-0105 San Clemente Family Photographer-0083 San Clemente Family Photographer-0078 San Clemente Family Photographer-0085 San Clemente Family Photographer-0087 San Clemente Family Photographer-0096 San Clemente Family Photographer-0095 San Clemente Family Photographer-0100 San Clemente Family Photographer-0104 San Clemente Family Photographer-0086 San Clemente Family Photographer-0124 San Clemente Family Photographer-0139It feels as though we’ve been in the throws of remodeling / reorganizing ever since we moved in, nearly a year and a half ago; partly because we have (we gutted most of the interior the day we got the keys) and partly because our home has been taken over by our business (which really is another story entirely). We’ve started work on the outside now, beginning with the front with plans, when we can save more money, to do the back. With the backyard being part of the tentative plan (and by plan I mean hope) we’ve really let it go. I got both of the older boys pissing into the plastic pool the other day and I was tempted to not even scold them. Hoping to have it all done so we can enjoy summer in the yard we envision but in the meantime I’m enjoying watching them make it theirs… even if that means destroying everything until then.

Please join me in supporting the other photographers participating in the Childhood Unplugged movement by clicking here to see all our submissions. You can also follow us on instagram (@childhoodunplugged) and be sure to use #childhoodunplugged for a chance to be featured on our Instagram feed.