Family photos and how fun they can be.

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I won't lie, I'm a bit shocked myself at the last rant of a post. Parenting calls for tough days, so I won't apologize...but I will make up for it. After 5 years of being divorced, I have not once had professional photos taken with my boys. I'm not sure if it's because I'm ashamed of divorce or if it is that i am a photographer by trade-who feels a bit awkward about the whole thing. It finally dawned on me that my marital status is NOT the important thing. Photography is the stopping of time. It is the only way we can go back and truly appreciate the times in our lives that we physically cannot revisit. As much as I feel like I may like to forget these last couple years of my life - one day I will look back with smiles.

I finally took the plunge. I called a photographer who's work I admire and feel is candid enough to capture the chaos of my boys and I. I had few criteria for the shoot, besides making it feel real. I am not and have never been a Hallmark Mom. I never miss sending a thank you card, because I believe wholeheartedly in manners...but I don't need to make my family look like something they are not.

From the moment we arrived at the scene, all chaos began. Nash's meds had worn off, Tate had a soft pretzel for breakfast, lunch and dinner...I was sober - so was my Mom. All hell was about to break loose as far as I was concerned. The first 15 minutes were painful. Neither of my boys had any desire to be in front of a camera, or follow a single direction. This is when you let go. This is the part I have learned after so many times of overreacting or making the poor choice in my reactions and creating a much bigger problem. I took a deep breath and a big step back - I told Lisa to just go for it. While my sons made fart noises, jumped off rocks, hit each other, made faces...I just let it unfold. I'd like to say I have remained that mellow since then...but I texted Lisa tonight just to make sure she got at least one decent shot. I couldn't help myself.

It makes me feel so excited to know that I'm going to have photos documenting this time in our lives. It's far from perfect and some days it's even far from good. These are the times in my life that I will always look back on as a growing point. Two divorces under my belt (almost), 2 crazy boys, feeling overworked, disheveled and most days a hot mess...I would not give it up for the world. These are the times in life that our human spirit thrives and we push ourselves to places we never thought we could go. I fall asleep with big dreams and wake up knowing I have the world to tackle. I'm making life my bitch...one day at a time.

These are also the nights I come home after a 10 hour day and want nothing more than my little family, a good glass of zinfandel, great music and some magic for my face. We all know I'm going to stay up way too late, drink too much wine and wish I had more sleep by tomorrow morning. These are the beauties I'm hooked on right now.. I don't go to bed without covering my rosacea/sensitive skin in Indie Lee's squalene oil. Plumping, hydrating, soothing... one of the best oils in my tool kit. I also mix it with my full coverage foundations for more of a glow. My eyes only get the best..so I rely on the best. I don't want frilly and smelly crap for my face- I'm not 12. Give me science and give me results. Perricone Acyl-glutathione Eye Lid serum is my jam. It's the only eye treatment I've been able to apply to my lids and all over the eye area. It tightens my saggy lids, brightens my surrounding tissue and makes me look like I actually went to bed at a decent time. It's worth every goddamn penny.

Here is to never settling and NEVER giving up the good fight.

xo

mercergirl