It’s Thursday, so you know what that means – it’s time for another throwback session! Dan was a class of 2014 graduate from Grapevine Faith Christian School, and he was so easy to photograph! Super personable, easy-going, and fun to be around. Guys aren’t usually over-the-top excited about having their pictures taken, but Dan didn’t seem to mind the experience too much.
His personality made the shoot a breeze, and I genuinely loved getting to spend time with him and his mom, Lynn. Plus, let’s just state the obvious – he’s so cute! (I can say that because I’m a mom and 15 years older, right?)
Dan‘s session is proof, guys – senior portraits are actually not a form of torture. They are, however, a wonderful chance for you to step into the spotlight, celebrate all the accomplishments you worked so hard for, and spend a little quality time with mom.
Calling all moms of boys! This blog post is especially for you – I would speak directly to your sons as well, but for some reason I’m thinking they’re not going to be into the idea of sitting down to read a lovey-dovey blog post. Just a hunch (wink wink).
I’m the momma of two girls, and since that’s the only experience I can speak to personally, that’s exactly what I’ll do. So here’s what I know: It’s pretty easy for me to find ways to engage with my daughters. We can get our nails done. We can go to Starbucks and curl up with chai tea lattes. We can play dress-up, we can put pink streaks in our hair, and we can go to Taylor Swift concerts with our friends (in fact, we just did that very thing – and it will be talked about and relived in our household for the next 365 days to come, minimum). I also know that when it comes to taking pictures, my girls are armed and ready with a smile and a pose, no “say cheese” or squeaky toy required. Does this have something to do with the fact that their mom is a photographer? Definitely. But I think it also has something to do with the fact that, plain and simple, they’re girls. It’s fun to dress up. It’s fun to have your picture taken. And it’s really fun when you get to do both all at one time.
I’ve heard rumors that, in many cases, the photo-taking experience is just not the same with little boys – because who wants to stand still for an hour when you could be running around with a Nerf gun, right? And, as I’m sure you all know too well, little boys soon become big boys. Big boys who turn into high school seniors. High school seniors who really and truly need to have their portraits taken but can’t stand the idea because, well…who wants to stand still for an hour when you could be running around with your friends, or watching football, or doing anything other than having your picture taken?
I get it. I really do. But that doesn’t mean I’m going to give my senior guys a free pass to skip out on quality senior portraiture. And here are four reasons why:
No matter what they say, I think guys enjoy being in the spotlight for a few minutes. Especially when they bring a prop along that represents the activity they most enjoy. From strumming the guitar to showing off soccer skills, my guys shine during their sessions when they forget about taking pictures and just do their thing, in their own element…with plenty of applause and words of affirmation from mom + photographer to follow, of course.
This is the most “involved” he’s ever going to be – and he’s going to want to remember it later. Unless your son is on track to become a professional athlete, chances are that high school graduation will mark the end of his competitive sports career. Sure, he might play club rugby or pick-up basketball, but that “Friday Night Lights” feeling will soon come and go. He’s going to think back on these memories fondly, and you’re going to want a photo of him in his letter jacket to help remember them, too.
The next time he’ll have his picture taken solo will likely be his wedding day. Not to make you cry, but…#BreakOutTheTissues. This is the truth, mommas. He’s not going to arrange weekend photoshoots with his friends just for fun during college (like I may or may not have done a time or two). If he gets a picture taken at his fraternity formal, it will only be with his date. As for his formal fraternity portrait? His chapter president is not going to send a letter home with him so that you can order copies, I can promise you that. That being said, I can’t encourage you enough to invest in quality portraiture now, while he’s still living at home and years away from sporting a wedding band on his left hand.
Senior portraits are a chance for both of you to slow down and savor time spent together. One of my senior moms told me her son didn’t talk much on the way to the shoot, but that afterward he was talking her ear off – the most he’s shared with her in months! That is just the coolest thing to me. Like I mentioned before, if I want to connect with my daughters, we set aside “girl time” for nails, movies…anything! But from what I’ve heard, finding ways to connect one-on-one with your son gets more challenging as the years go by. So hear me loud and clear: THIS IS YOUR CHANCE. To help pick out his clothes again (because we both know he’s going to ask for your opinion). To be his biggest fan (because chances are, you’re the only member of the family who’s going to gain admittance to his session). To cherish a blissful 90 minutes sans phone, friends, schedules, and plans (and to steal a few photos together after his solo shots have wrapped). Sure, you want this time with him – but he needs it, too. So steal it. Take this opportunity. And then capitalize on it by sneaking in a Starbucks run or a mom-and-son movie date after our session has concluded (just saying).
Last but not least, I hear from a LOT of moms that their sons are not too happy on the way to pictures but on the way home they say something along the lines of, “That wasn’t so bad” or “I kind of liked having my picture taken.” So, have I convinced you that quality senior portraits for him are a treasure worth investing in? If so, be sure to click hereto check the status of the Love, Me Photography session calendar. I just opened spring session dates and available slots are already flying – be sure to snag yours today!
See what other boy moms are saying about a session with Love, Me Photography!
April Music – son Josh
I was very pleased with my final senior photo book and the grandmothers loved theirs as well—my books will probably be even more treasured 20 years from now when I reflect back on this time with Josh. I liked that Crystal and my son, Josh, made his wardrobe selections together. She really captured who Josh is.
Michelle Langenbahn – son Conor
Crystal does a great job of capturing the student in their element. I love the athletic shots of my son Conor and the genuine smile on his face; Crystal was able to make the photos natural but stunning. She is able to work with students, especially the boys, and capture them looking relaxed and happy to be there.
Meg Hinkley – son Michael
My son, Michael, is usually not keen on having his picture taken, but Crystal made the photo shoot so fun. I liked the unique locations where the photos were shot and how Crystal captured Michael. It was also great having him in different clothing and in different environments. I LOVE the pictures Crystal took of Michael and me together. I can’t tell you how sweet that picture is and what it means to me. In a competitive field, you have a gift. You easily connect with the kids and you capture them well. Keep doing what you’re doing!
Another Thursday, another throwback session that I’m so excited to finally share! What’s really humbling about my job is that I constantly get to work with people who inspire me. While I hate that I didn’t get to share these images when they were current, I’m loving doing these throwback posts because they give me the opportunity to reflect, remember, and celebrate each (former) senior one more time…and an excuse to stalk them all on Instagram and see what they’re up to now. Pretty cool to see all that they’re out there accomplishing, to say the least!
You may not be able to tell in the photos, but Allison’s session was SO cold…but she was such a trooper (until the last fifteen minutes or so, ha!). Her session was unique because her mom, Marcy, and her dad, Greg, both came along to join in the fun.
I have to admit that most of the time, dads are better off skipping the two-hour session and focusing on the final result of all the effort that goes into the photoshoot (and the money spent to make it happen) – his baby girl looking gorgeous! But every once in a while, there are instances when it’s really just better that dad comes along for the ride. Greg was that kind of dad, and Allison’s session was all the better for his presence!
I loved Allison’s energy and occasional “sass,” and I also loved that she brought her big, fun personality to the session. She had so much trust in me to do whatever I thought was best. She’s such a strong and beautiful girl, and her session ended up being a first for me in one way in particular. While I usually twist and turn my girls throughout shoots, Allison was concerned that her severe scoliosis would show up in the images, so we adapted the shots to fit her body. I’ve loved keeping up with Allison through social media, and was so inspired to see that she had a massive back surgery during her first year of college at ACU! I can’t even imagine having so much on my plate as a college freshman, but she did it…and she’s grown two inches post-surgery! Truly amazing.
Since our session, I’ve photographed Allison’s whole family, designed and installed a floor-to-ceiling heritage gallery wall filled with images from their family tree (seriously…they have the best looking family ever), and have also taken business headshots for Marcy, Marcy’s team, Greg, and thirty of Greg’s co-workers.
Quick side note for anyone in the area looking to buy or sell: Marcy is a realtor and her agency is The Barkemeyer Group. While I specialize in photographing seniors, Marcy is so persistent and kind (and SO good at making me feel like the absolute greatest) that she convinced me to tackle those headshots for her. She sold me on stepping outside of my usual realm of work, so I have a feeling she’s pretty darn good at her job…wink wink.
Clients like the Barkemeyers are truly special, and I’m so honored to have played a part in their lives over the last few years.
Birdville High School class of 2014 Session Location: Fort Worth, Texas
This session was a blast – Ashlee and her mom were a riot and we had so much fun together!
Ashlee came to our session exactly as she is, as you’ll see in the images from her shoot – they really reflect her willingness to be herself! We shot in Deep Ellum and talked about Ashlee’s love of videography. She’s fiercely independent, and it was easy to see that she was so ready to take on the next adventure of life during our session.
It was so cool to see Ashlee’s connection with her mom, too. They had a playfulness with each other throughout our shoot, but the mutual love and respect they have for one another was always clear. Even though they seemed so different personality-wise, I loved how Farrah encouraged Ashlee to be herself!
Ashlee’s session was (and is!) meaningful to me because it’s very different from what I normally do. Her props were a reflection of who she really is – skateboard, camera, casual apparel, hats – can’t emphasize enough how much I love that! Her session felt like getting to know a new friend, and I’m so grateful to have had the chance to do so. Thanks for hanging with me, Ashlee…wishing you all the best in your new adventure!
High school: Colleyville Heritage High School, class of 2015
At Love, Me Photography, we don’t believe in mixing seniors and stationary backdrops. (Although I can’t say the same about my own senior portraits – sadly, the realization that the sun provides WAY better lighting than any studio ever could had yet to hit the world of photography. Seriously, so unfortunate.) Back to the point: I am a huge, major advocate of taking senior portraits that look and feel like YOU. This means traveling with you to a photoshoot location that feels just like home – or maybe even one that IS your home. It also means that if your go-to look is a messy bun, I’ll tell you to bring it on. And I promise, you will never find me begging you for a cheesy smile if you’re a “smize” kind of guy. That being said, I know that sometimes photoshoots can feel a little awkward…especially right at the beginning! While I feel completely at home behind the camera, when it’s my turn to pose I still find that my thoughts go a little more like, “Wait, should I put my hand here? Or maybe here? Is this my good side? Is something crazy happening with my hair?” Can anyone relate? If so, then I hope this post will set your mind at ease and give you a few ideas about some non-posey poses to try as a warm up during our shoot!
(hand on hip), (arm on the shoulder look), (the knee pop + natural smile combo), (over the shoulder)
Remember, these “poses” are just a starting point. As our shoot goes on, inevitably you’ll begin to feel more and more comfortable. So comfortable, in fact, that I’m betting you might bust out a move like this…
…or an all-star action shot like this…
…or even a killer fashion accessory like this!
The point? Don’t limit yourself, and DEFINITELY don’t be afraid of looking (ahem) “stupid.” (I have two young children, so that’s still considered the “S” word around our house.) Be you, whatever that looks like. It’s hands-down, 100%, totally and completely my favorite thing to capture! Okay, now it’s time for some note-taking. Below you’ll find a list of a few things that have proven to help my clients feel more relaxed in the past. Choose to take one suggestion or check off every single box, and I have a hunch that you’ll feel just like yourself in no time at all on the day of our shoot!
1. Select a location that’s a perfect match for your personality. From the Friday night lights of a football stadium to a perfectly artsy alleyway, your photos will feel most like “you” if the look and feel of your location matches whatever you love most. In short? If you’re into western wear, a brick wall tagged with graffiti probably isn’t the right environment for you (unless you’re going for a punch of contrast which is totally cool, too).
2. Bring along mom. She’s known you for practically – scratch that – all of forever. She knows what you like and what you don’t. When you’re fake smiling and when you’re genuinely laughing so hard you’re about to pee your pants. Bring her along and I PROMISE the two of you will have so much fun. Bonus: We can even snag a few shots of the two of you together!
3. Incorporate your favorite accessory: Soccer ball, bicycle, guitar, sassy heels, super cool truck…I’ve seen it (and I love it) all! Bring your letter jacket, your pom poms, and/or your Audrey Hepburn dress, and let’s do this thing!
4. Take a few pictures with your favorite furry friend: Saved the best for last, didn’t I? Whether you own an adorable dog or it’s a horse that has your heart, take a few snaps with your favorite furry and your pictures can’t help but turn out perfectly!
Last but not least: YOU’VE GOT THIS. Can’t wait to see you rock your shoot!
We’re already into the second half of October and I’m still pinching myself every time I look at my fall calendar. SO MANY of you have sessions coming up in the next few weeks, and I absolutely cannot wait to get to know you better + make some portrait magic together! I love fall sessions for so many reasons – the changing colors of the trees, the fun scarves and jackets used as accessories, and the thought of grabbing a pumpkin spice latte post-shoot just to name a few! Possibly the ONLY thing that ever causes my clients to think twice about booking a fall session is the fear of looking “washed out” in their photos. I totally get it, because my summer tan is quickly fading too. But here’s the great news, girly-girls: with the right makeup application, you’ll look as bright and fresh as you did after laying out by the pool in July with the added bonus of rocking leggings, boots, tights, and boho sweaters in your photoshoot…all the cozy clothing that makes fall my favorite season for fashion! But don’t just take my word for it – instead, take notes from our interview with Jordan Bawcom, co-founder of Grand Slam Glam and one of my favorite senior session stylists!
What kind of makeup adjustments should be made for fall and winter photoshoots?
As temperatures cool down, it’s time to whip out eyeshadows with warmer hues. Some of my personal favorites are rust, cranberry, bark, purple, and golden tones like these.
As your bronzed goddess glow begins to fade, your foundation color also needs to change. I have three different foundation colors: my winter color (lightest), my spring/fall color (medium), and my summer color (darkest). An easy way to make sure your foundation matches your skin tone is to match your foundation to your neck color. Your face tends to exfoliate most quickly, meaning as your summer tan fades, your face will get lightest first and the rest of your body will soon follow suit.
In the winter and fall months there isn’t as much moisture in the air and thus our skin is often more dry than usual. To compensate for this, I recommend using a hydrating liquid foundation as a base and following up with a light powder veil to set it. When you put powder foundation on dry skin it actually highlights your trouble areas and can look flakey. Start with a moisturizing foundation with a dewy finish (rather than a matte finish) like L’ORÉAL True Match Lumi Healthy Luminous Makeup. This is one of my favorite foundations for the colder months because it is made of 40% pure water and provides all-day hydration. It also has antioxidant Vitamins C and E for improved clarity and skin tone and has special Liquid Light Technology that create an instant, luminous glow! (Oh, and did I mention it’s only 12.99?!)
Makeup DOs and DON’Ts for fall/winter:
DON’T: Frosted eye shadows may look great with sun tanned skin, but they can make you look washed out as your tan fades. And, let’s be honest…ice princess is NOT the look you are going for!
DON’T: Forget to keep using a moisturizer or foundation with SPF! You can still get a sunburn during the chilly months.
DO: Keep on using that waterproof mascara! You may not be jumping into the pool anymore, but when you are outside in the cold wind or if you suffer from seasonal allergies (like me), waterproof mascara is a total lifesaver!
DON’T: Over bronze. Using too much bronzer will make your face look dirty. I recommend laying off any bronzer that has shimmer. A matte brown color that’s used as a contour is best during this time of year.
DO: Exfoliate. Moisturize. Repeat! I just can’t emphasize this enough! I use my Clarisonic Mia 2 with Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser every night and I follow up with CeraVe PM lotion. In the morning, I rinse my face and then use CeraVe AM lotion. In the fall and winter, avoid soap-based facial cleaners (they can be drying) and don’t forget to moisturize your lips, hands, and feet!
DO: Try out a bold lip! I believe that if you give a woman the right lipstick she can change the world! Click here to see a few BOLD shades that are perfect to try out in the fall and winter months.
Top three go-to makeup products:
I am having a flashback to when I competed in the Miss Texas pageant and I was asked the question, “If you were stuck on a deserted island and you could only take three things with you, what would they be and why?” Although not the deepest or most introspective question that could have been posed, for me it was the hardest question to answer! My mind automatically went to beauty products, and asking me to choose just three is nearly impossible…but I will try!
Let’s talk hair! What are trending looks for fall/winter 2015?
2015 is the year of the braid! A fishtail braid looks adorable under a floppy felt winter hat…if you haven’t tried it yet, you should! During New York Fashion Week I noticed that the deep side part is making a big comeback as well. It complements faces with thicker eyebrows (which are also “on fleek” right now!). I also noticed a lot of pin-straight hair. This simple, sleek, and sophisticated hairstyle is great for the girl on the go! Finally, I love the effortless perfection of boho waves and I think those never go out of style!
I love when my clients rock a hat or a beanie. What’s the best way to keep hairstyles looking fresh and full between shots?
I LOVE hats and they are everything this season! A few tips for rocking a hat during your senior session: 1. Make sure your hair is TOTALLY dry before you put your hat on. If your hair is even the slightest bit wet, putting a hat on before it’s dry will make your hair completely flat. 2. If you have longer hair, part your hair on the opposite side when you wear your hat. When you take your hat off, flop your hair back to the normal way! This will help your hair to have volume and avoid the oh-so-dreaded “hat head” look. 3. Use more hair spray than usual. My favorite hairspray for photoshoots is Big Sexy Hair. It provides a strong hold and helps hair keep its shape.
Top three hair care must-haves:
Dry Shampoo. I even put this on when my hair is clean to give it texture. I love the way the Dove Invigorating Dry Shampoo smells, and once again, y’all, it’s only $4!
Moroccan Oil. I put a TEENY tiny amount of this on my hair (starting at the ends and working up toward the scalp). This stuff smells fabulous and makes my hair shine like nothing else!
Beauty should be a source of confidence, not anxiety. The best beauty secret I can offer is just to let your true beauty shine through by being comfortable in your own skin. Beauty truly does start on the inside and radiate outward!
If you’ve been following the Love, Me Photography blog for a while, then you know the Love Dare drill: we challenge mommas to love on their kiddos in creative ways, whether that’s through writing lunchbox letters, creating a digital scrapbook, orstarting a journal documenting senior year from their perspective. This time around, though, we’re turning the tables and challenging our SENIORS to take the initiative and love on their mommas! More specifically, we’re daring you to treat (no tricking!) your mom to a fall-tastic day of fun this October. Here are a few day-date ideas to help you get started!
IDEA 1: Visit the Arboretum pumpkin patch
The Dallas Arboretum is always amazing, but it’s extra unbelievable in the fall thanks to Autumn at the Arboretum. There are so many spots for photo ops at Pumpkin Village that it’s actually a little bit overwhelming. In addition to the natural beauty of fall foliage and seasonal plantings, you’ll also find special events going on all through October – thinkHarvest Tea tastings (pinkies up!), musical performances, even pumpkin painting! BUDGET ALERT: If you’re not a member of the Arboretum, you’ll have to pay a $15 entrance fee + the cost of parking. But trust me – the sights and scenes you’ll enjoy together are totally worth the cost!
photo via the Dallas Arboretum
IDEA 2: Carve pumpkins + make homemade pumpkin spice lattes together at home
Okay, we all agree that Autumn at the Arboretum sounds completely amazing, but “amazing” doesn’t always come cheap. Except in this case! An at-home Saturday day date spent making DIY Starbucks lattes and turning pumpkins into gourd-eous (really could NOT resist) works of art is totally affordable and so much fun! I know that YOU know how to carve a pumpkin, so no tutorial needed there. For those of you without any previous barista experience, however, I’ve included an easy DIY recipe below. What better way to say, “I love you a latte” to your sweet momma? Enjoy!
Step One: THE SYRUP
Bring sugar and two cups of water to a simmer in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring continuously until the sugar dissolves. Add in the cinnamon sticks, pumpkin pie spice, and pumpkin. Simmer the mixture, whisking occasionally for about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat. Set aside five minutes, then strain twice through a fine-mesh strainer into an airtight container (a mason jar would work well). Refrigerate until cool. Store in the refrigerator for up to one month. You’ll end up with about four cups total.
Step Two: THE LATTES
When you’re ready to make each latte, microwave your choice of milk (regular, almond, etc) on high for one minute or until very hot. To get the milk extra frothy, transfer to a blender for about 20 seconds. Put two tablespoons of your homemade pumpkin spice syrup in the bottom of your favorite coffee mug. Top with coffee and warm, frothy milk, then mix until well combined. Garnish with whipped cream and a dash pumpkin pie spice if desired!
Take advantage of your last State Fair Day and hop on the Ferris Wheel for a ride with your mom by your side! In addition to corn dogs, classic fairway games, auto shows, craft expos, and all the other things that make the State Fair so great (hello, Cobbler Cook-off), this month’s live music line-up includes a performance byMercy Me! Snag tickets in advance and surprise mom with a Saturday night concert at the end of your day-date.
And there you have it: three ideas I hope will inspire you to plan a fun date for you and your mom! Should you accept this challenge, know that I fully exp
Alright, brand new mommas of seniors. It’s time to introduce you to a reoccurring theme we’ve got going here on the Love, Me Photography blog: The LMP Love Dare, a section of cyberspace where I challenge you (and me!) to love on your teenage babies like you did when they were little (albeit in new, mature, and creative ways). In the past, we’ve talked about writing lunchbox love lettersand starting a journal for your senior. This time around, I thought we’d focus on a subject that’s sure to appeal to all you DIY lovers out there – creating a modern, digital scrapbook that your kiddo can take with them to college! (Is it too soon to start saying that word yet?)
It turns everyday occurrences into the most beautiful of memories.
It’s a fun way to connect with a community people who are interested in the same things you are (#photograpy, #momlife – consider hashtags your connection portal!).
So, step one to creating your digital scrapbook? Create an Instagram account and a personal hashtag for your child’s senior year – for example, mine could be #CrystalSr16. (Just a hint: they might not FULLY appreciate the loving tenderness expressed by #MommysLittleAngel, so choose wisely.)
Tip: Keep your account private and DON’T “add” your senior until your project is complete. It will be so much more fun to keep this gift a surprise!
STEP TWO: START SNAPPING
Now that you have an Instagram account set up, it’s time to start snapping photos! Some of your subject matter will be easy to identify: The first day of school, the first football game, homecoming, prom…in other moments, though, you’ll want to capture the details. After all, big moments are comprised of lots of much smaller, seemingly everyday objects and occurrences. So, what am I saying? Think big picture and small scenes, all at the same time – take this scenario, for example:
Occasion: Homecoming Dance
Big Picture: Son/Daughter posing with their date, or group of friends on the staircase
Small Scenes: Close up of her hair or special manicure, and his boutonniere or bowtie
*Tip: Keep your filters light and natural, and don’t forget to add a caption. Those little details are so worth savoring and will make each moment much easier to recall!
STEP THREE: PUBLISH YOUR WORK
Fast forward to the end of senior year. You’ve snapped, uploaded, lightly edited, captioned, and “filed” 100+ photos under the hashtag #YourChidSr16. Now, it’s time to create a real-life booklet from your digital memory box! There are several services out there that can turn your Instagram photos into printed keepsakes, but I’m especially fond of these:
Groovebook – Why create just one album? Groovebook allows you to create a series of books that can be mailed to your senior each month. How fun would it be to get a mini care package of memories throughout your first semester of college? I know I would have loved it!
Artifact Uprising – One of my favorite photo services! Highly recommend for this type of project and any other printing needs you may have (senior portraits, anyone?).
And there you have it! Everything you need to create a modern, mostly digital scrapbook. All the love, thought, and care of a traditional keepsake without any tape, glue, stickers, sequins, mess, or clean-up required!
For the past few weeks – make that months, actually – I’ve been completely immersed in family life. That’s mostly because, after feeling the Lord’s prompting to take a big (big big BIG) leap of faith, my husband and I made the decision to start our homeschooling journey with Mia Grace. Much more on that decision to come, but for today it’s simply an introduction to the wave of shock, awe, and where-did-the-time-go nostalgia that washed over me when I plugged back into the world and saw photos of my precious 2015 senior girls decked out in Greek letters at each of their new sorority houses!
Courtney Faciane – Senior 2015 (See more of Courtney’s session here)
Peyton McAlister – Senior 2015
Although seeing pictures of their smiling faces and colorful new t-shirts did inspire a brief “my babies are all grown up” moment, I am so thrilled to see these girls spreading their respective wings and soaring to new heights as college sorority women. It was such a privilege to help these ladies prepare for the recruitment process via the Love, Me Photography Rush 101 series, and I LOVED working with them to launch LMP Recruitment Packets, a rush-ready set that includes templates for a letter of recommendation, resume, address labels, and all that other good stuff! We completely, uniquely branded each set for these girls and had the best time re-living our own recruitment memories while doing so!
Kelsey Davis – Senior 2015
CONGRATS, 2015 seniors turned sorority sisters! Make forever-friends, chair philanthropies, attend mixers, and win awards. I’ll be cheering you on every step of the way.
Megan McDivitt – Senior 2015
McKenna Ramsey – Senior 2015
PS: It’s never too early to start preparing for recruitment! Sign up below to receive our FREE cover letter template!
Can you believe it? The Fall school semester is officially underway! Kids of all ages are reluctantly but successfully getting back into the groove and, if you’re like most moms, you’re probably pretty happy about it. I mean, we all want our babies (from our precious kindergarten newbie to our practically-an-adult college student) to thrive and find their special place in their own little world, right? Right. And even though this year looks a little different for me since I’m homeschooling (thoughts and prayers are greatly appreciated) I can definitely appreciate and commiserate with what life looks like right now for a lot of my LMP mommas.
Let’s take a peek. I’m thinking most likely it’s really quiet around some of your homes. Like, eerie quiet. As in, you can actually hear yourself think quiet. And maybe one of the things you’re thinking is, “Wow, it’s so different here without the kids. And a little lonely.”
So, if you’re a stay-at-home momma, you get to work straightening up the house, throwing a load of dirty clothes in the wash (wondering for the hundredth time, “How is it possible we use this many towels?”) and getting ready for your day. Maybe you’re trying out a new Pure Barre class or signed up for that interesting Bible study, or you’re just running down to Whole Foods (or Whole Wallet as a friend of mine jokes) for fixings for dinner. But you haven’t had to do all of that while juggling and/or maneuvering one, two, three (plus) children’s schedules.
Or, perhaps you’re a working momma and your day looks different – up at 6:00 a.m., showered, dressed, make-up on in a reasonably pleasant way (putting on eyeliner in the car just never, ever works out well, does it?) and you’re back behind your desk ready to take on another day. But you haven’t taken that third or fourth phone call from your kids; you know the ones – where they can’t find a dance shoe, a baseball glove, a banana?
Yep, it’s kid quiet and when it’s kid quiet, I don’t know about you but my thoughts turn a little sappy. I start thinking about how my babies are growing up; how time is passing faster than I know how to put into words. My heart tugs a bit lot when I think back to those different days of quiet – when time stood still and the majority of my day was spent holding them and looking into their sweet faces, singing over them or reading to them. True, at the time I was probably juggling a lot of different duties just like I do now, but I definitely remember that the quiet was almost sacred and I relished every moment.
Back to school – and off to college, for that matter – quiet is different. It’s an awareness of change and time marching on and like I said, it can be a little lonely. Because here’s the deal (and if you know me at all, you know this is straight up truth): I’m crazy about my work – like I really, really enjoy photographing the amazing young humans that stand in front of my lens every day and I sometimes laugh out loud that I get to do what I’m passionate about doing for a living – but my family is my true love.
Still, truth be told, I can get so busy and caught up in the “important” things of life (read: deadlines, finances, house repairs, etc.) that I’m prone to overlook or tune out the truly meaningful part, and that’s being a momma to my amazing and wonderful children.
And then there are my LMP mommas who are experiencing a realllyyyyy new kind of kid quiet – a semi-permanent kind of quiet that comes because their particular kiddo has gone off to college. I hear tales of moms wandering into their child’s empty room, sitting on the edge of the bed, smoothing the comforter and breathing in the lingering scent of a son’s Abercrombie & Fitch musky cologne or the sweet smell of their daughter’s Vera Wang Princess perfume – and staying in this quiet, semi-comatose state for, like, hours. And I totally get it! I get having a moment(s) to recall the life lived in that room; of shoe laces being tied, games played, conversations shared, hurts whispered, dreams dreamed and prayers prayed. And I get that it’s important to spend time contemplating the 17 or 18 years of living that child has shared with you because those years are priceless treasures that will never, ever be duplicated.
Which is why I think quiet, reflective moments are good for us moms, no matter if they take place while our kids are in elementary or high school; whether they’re gone to camp, gone to Grandma’s or gone to college. Because even if those times can be a little lonely, rather than throwing us into a funk or causing us to wish for the “good old days” they can help us to remember the sweet times and then re-focus on what’s really important in the here and now; cause us to slow down, breathe in the moment and enjoy the place we and our children are inhabiting, whether together or separately, in this little thing we call life.
“Pick the day. Enjoy it – to the hilt. The day as it comes. People as they come…The past, I think has helped me appreciate the present – and I don’t want to spoil any of it by fretting about the future.” Audrey Hepburn
Having written this, I’m totally aware some of you out there are doing the happy dance and are thinking, “What on earth is she babbling about?! My kids are in school and life is great!” If that’s you, my friend, then you go, girl!