Our favorite photographer; Ms. Molly is giving away a lifestyle photography session. Of course we had to enter. To enter you needed to send in a picture and write a short essay on the heart of your home. The skinny is this- if you are on Facebook, first “like” Molly Flanagan Photography, then go through the photos and stories and “like” the one you like best! The story with the most “likes” wins a free session and 5×5 photobook. She received over 140 entries and sadly, we were not a finalist. That being said- we love Molly and can’t wait to vote ourselves! Below was our entry- which I thoroughly enjoyed writing.
The heart of our home beats fiercely outside of my chest these days. It lies in the sparkling eyes and easy giggles of the youngsters that run it; both the home and our heart. That is the simple answer.
What challenges me and inspires me is motherhood itself. When Zuzu came into our lives, she gave me the heart a mother. When the Quail made her way into our family, she gave me the voice of a mother. I may have gotten my running shoes with Zuzu but I learned how to run with the Quail. The days being a working mother of two small ones are tiring. Now in our lives there are things that have to be done. Our rhythms and routines as a family flow out of the energy, needs, and wants of two small headstrong children who firmly know their rightful place in our lives. This, is incredibly challenging. Most days I feel like the goal of regular existence is just too high and I find that I have fallen short of my good intention yet again. The laundry went into the washer, but never made it out. The therapist is coming to our house two minutes before I will arrive home from work and last night’s dinner dishes are still on the counter. The living room floor is still covered with the same toys I tripped over this morning when I was looking for my lost keys to get headed to work. The children want the yogurt in the refrigerator for their dinner but their Dad and I need to debate how long it keeps after the expiration date yet again. The four year old is dragging the two year old down the hall by her feet and I need to go check to see if the shrieking is laughter or tears.
Eight o’clock finally hits and the jammied little loves start to scurry around with last minute bedtime preparations. Night-night waves and blown kisses are sent on a wing and a prayer to all our favorite furry friends by the two year old. The hunting down of the lovey-of-the-moment and water cups begin to the tune of the four year olds’ begging to be read, “Just one more book, Momma!” until plea’s to sleep with us just tonight take over again.
Then, they’re asleep. The house is quiet and we grown-ups are worn out. I think back to all those little nuisances of the daily grind; the still-wet laundry, the strewn about dishes and toys, the lost keys and the yogurt. I start thinking of my gratitude list that I keep to remind myself of how very blessed I am when I can’t quite seem to articulate it to myself in the moment of the storm. I am thankful for that abundance of clothes we have to wash and the washer in our home that does it. I am thankful for the dishes that were wedding gifts and remind me of that special day we began this blessed journey. I am thankful that we have too many toys that thrill and develop our children’s minds and bodies and a home floor to scatter them on. I am thankful that we didn’t have to eat the yogurt. And most of all- I am thankful that those shrieks typically are giggles. That those precious girls of mine light up at the sight of each other and are here in our lives now with us and each other. This inspires me.
We were fortunate enough to have dear Molly come visit us at our home last spring. This picture captures us as living and breathing love. It’s a still moment in time of a sweet family that is so very blessed to go through their days together. This family, it gets tired. It gets cranky. It gets overwhelmed. And then, those children reach out for us weary grown-ups and miraculously know that we need a hug, a gummie or a kiss, and with the grace of angels, bestow it on us and then run full-speed back into their own independent little lives.
What I want to preserve is that love and connection between the four of us before it is watered down by life going on. I love photographs. I take too many. I want to be in them when they are gifted to my grown-up children. I can’t think of a photographer better able to capture that.