Get In The Picture

This past Sunday was Mother’s Day, and Facebook was flooded with pictures of people with their moms.

My friends had some really great pictures of both themselves with their mothers as well as with their children.

And it occurred to me as I was looking at all these pictures that I have very few pictures of myself with the kids, both as a group and individually.

Part of this is because we moms tend to be the ones documenting things and are on the other side of the camera.

But for me, I think a bigger part of it is that I don’t want to look like shit in pictures.

I’m older than I used to be, I’m heavier than I used to be, I’m wrinklier than I used to be, and there are less and less flattering angles these days.

But my kids won’t care about any of that stuff in ten or twenty or fifty years.

They won’t be bummed about how thin or fresh faced I look.

But they’ll be bummed if they are looking for a picture of the two of us when they were kids and they can’t find any.

So I was thinking about this, and I was thinking about a friend of mine who is a photographer, and last year she did a photo project where she took a picture of a moment with one of her kids every day for a year. And at the end of the year, she had 365 pictures of her kids.

She wasn’t in most of the pictures (or maybe even any of them), but it got me thinking.

I don’t know if I’ll be able to take a picture a day.

And I don’t want to feel pressured to take a picture a day.

But I definitely want to have more pictures of myself with the kids than I do now (which isn’t really that grand of a goal because I hardly have any as it is).

So I’m done worrying about angles and how fat or old I look.

Instead, I’m focusing on giving my kids some memories to look back on.

Like this one:

That was actually taken on Mother’s Day night. Number 6 had a loose tooth that he wouldn’t let anyone pull out. It had turned almost sideways.

He’s the kind of kid who won’t let you touch the damn tooth at all. No matter how loose it is.

But it was so bad that I couldn’t take it anymore.

So when he was in the bathtub, I snuck my hand into his mouth real quick when he wasn’t expecting it and flicked that little f *cker right into the water.

He cried because he couldn’t find the tooth. But then he found it under his butt, and he thought that was funny, and we all had a good laugh.

It was a moment for all of us because Number 6 had been looking like a jack-0-lantern for a long time and we all just wanted to pull that damn tooth out.

Then today I got this picture:

Number 7 had her kindergarten music concert.

It’s the last kindergarten concert I’m gonna watch. Number 7 was hilariously loud.  I’m so glad I got this picture! And it’s not a big deal, but it’s a picture I wouldn’t have taken a week ago.

Another milestone documented.

I’ll be honest. I’m having a hard time not focusing on all my imperfections in every picture I take.

But every time my brain goes there, I give myself a reminder about what it really is I should really be focusing on.

It’s not the wrinkles and the pounds and the angles.

It’s the memories in the pictures, and the memories I’m preserving for my kids.

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Progression of A Photo Shoot

There is a walkway from the condo complex we are staying in to the beach.

It’s a beautiful walk through a marsh to the ocean, and it’s the perfect spot for taking pictures.

I don’t have a real camera. I just have my phone. But it takes pretty good pictures.

So the other day I waited until the sun was setting, and I attempted a photo shoot with Number 3, 4, 5, 6,and 7.

There is a lot to look at on the walk over to the beach.


And there are plenty of distractions over the side of the bridge.


I had a couple spots in mind to try to get a good shot.

I’m no professional photographer. But I have a pretty good eye for what will make a decent picture.

At least I think so.

So we started on this bench.

It’s a challenge to get all five kids to look at you at the same time.


(Although I really like the ones where one of the kids is looking at another kid. Especially when it’s the little sister looking up to her big sister.)

There is also the challenge of getting a shot of all the kids with their eyes open.


And cheesy smiles, slouchy posture, Zoolander expressions, and just general awkwardness.


The kids eventually start to feel a little more relaxed and less forced, but the picture is blurry and one of the kids is like, Fuck it. I’m out of here.


So you switch locations.

You go to the end of the walkway where the white iron gate is.

You really want to get some pictures in front of it, but the kids keep opening it, so you say screw the gate, and you go to the other side of it.


You go past the gate, and you ask the kids to pretend they like each other.


But there are more distractions and Number 7 whips her flip flop over the fence into the dunes and then there is a freak out because the sign behind you says you’ll get fined or arrested if you go into the dunes and Number 5 is sure we will all spend the rest of vacation in jail if we go over the fence to retrieve it.

You get the flip flop, avoid incarceration, and gather the kids together.

Number 6 has to see if he can whip his flip flop over the fence from where he is standing. One kid looks terrible. One is moving. One isn’t looking. And one looks great.


You get close with one shot.



Close again, but the smiles are kind of forced.


You like this one because Number 3 appears to really like Number 4, but she looks a little bit like she’s trying to escape, and you’d also really like to see all the kids’ faces.


Close again, but it sort of looks like Number 3 is getting ready to put Number 4 into a head lock and she still looks annoyed.


And now they’ve reached the fuck it stage again.


You decide to take a little break and switch locations.

You like this spot the best.

But Number 6 is being,




Number 6.


You threaten Number 6 with no technology indefinitely and he gets his act together.

But then Number 5 is having a moment.


Number 3 starts fading. Number 6 starts being a pain again.

They rally, but then Number 7’s eyes are closed.


And then, just as you are beginning to lose all hope and pack it in…



The stars align.

And all the frustration, aggravation, threats, bribes, tears, and meltdowns and freak outs are forgotten.

Until the next vacation when you will inevitably go through the exact same thing all over again.


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The 16 Pictures (Just About) All Parents Will Take

The 16 Pictures (Just About) All Parents Will Take

1. the my-kid-made-a-big-f*cking-mess picture

2. the first-day-of-school picture

first day 2012

3. the I-smeared-my-food-on-my-face picture


4. the beach/vacation picture

10 pictures 8

5. the baby and the pet picture

10 pictures 6

6. the look-my-kid-is-sleeping-with-part-of-his-body-sticking-out-of-the-crib picture

10 pictures 9

7. the naked baby on the stomach picture

10 pictures 5

8. the how-the-eff-did-my-kid-get-there? picture

chair stacking

9. the first-birthday-cake picture10 pictures 12

10. the let’s-dress-our-kids-up-in-matching-Christmas-stuff picture

10 pictures 3

11. the  the-tooth-fairy-is-coming-tonight! picture

lost tooth

12. the look-how-cute-my-kid-is-in-this-outfit-that-has-ears-on-it picture

10 pictures 4

13. the I-have-a-new-brother or sister picture
10 pictures 2

14. the baby-in-the-cute-Halloween-costume picture

10 pictures 11

15. the I-tried-to-get-a-nice-picture-but-my-kid-just-bawled-his-brains-out-which-makes-it-cute-anyway picture

10 pictures 7

and finally,

 16. the pumpkin patch picture

10 pictures 10


if you’re lucky,

you get a combo.

10 pictures 1



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Say cheese.

When I was a kid, we had this dresser in the hallway at the top of the stairs.

The top drawer was full of pictures.

Just loose snapshots.

Every once in a while, I would pull out the drawer, sit on the floor, and look at them.

I loved looking at those pictures, especially the ones of  my brother and me with my parents when they were young…

Last night I ran in a 5K race here in town.

There were 6 ladies from my Fit, Fierce and Fabulous e-course who ran in the race too.

I grabbed all of them to take a group picture when the race was over.

team fff

Nobody really knows this, but that’s kind of a big deal for me.

I haven’t willingly taken a picture in a long time.

A long time.

For the last 8 years, I’ve been hiding.

Feeling so self-conscious and embarrassed by the way I had let myself go that I rarely let anyone document me in a photo.

After the race I went out for drinks with some of the ladies.

I let someone else take another picture.


That’s me and CCB.

Isn’t she so cute?

She ran in the race too.

And went home and showered before coming out. No fair.

But after this picture was taken,

I started thinking about the fact that in the last week,

I have allowed more pictures of myself to be taken than I have in the last 8 years.

I showed you this one last week:

maureen and me

(And I know I need to get some new clothes).


after thinking about this,

I had a bit of a moment.

And a sad realization.

There are almost no pictures of me with any of the kids.



They have no drawer full of pictures.

And as I told this to the ladies,

I started bawling.

I only had one Straw-ber-rita in me at the time, so it wasn’t alcohol induced.

2013-08-02 21.12.43

By the way,

those mothereffers are dangerous.

This journey I’ve been on since January,

to lose weight,

and get fit,

has been so eye-opening.

It’s not really even about the weight anymore.

So many changes.

And another one of those starts today.

It’s time to take some pictures.

I’ve got a drawer to fill up.



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You can vote one time every 24 hours from every computer and cell phone! THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH!!! I really appreciate your support!

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