I’ve been lucky to have met so many incredibly talented and wonderful photographers during this journey. People who share the same desire to capture their own families in a real and beautiful way. I’m teaming up with eleven of these women on a very personal and meaningful project called, “What ________ Looks Like.”
Our goal is to capture our own families in a real and beautiful way. Some people call it “lifestyle”, some call it “real life”, some call it “unposed”. No matter what you call it, our desire is to snatch the moments that represent the relationships, the dynamics, the reality, the beauty, the truth, and the life of our families and record them here on our blogs as well as in print at the end of the project.
Each month we will each choose to fill in the blank with our word of choice. Some of us may choose to use the same word all year and some may choose to change it up each month. We will each link to the next photographer until our circle of 12 is complete.
We hope this project inspires you to take more pictures of your own families so that those unique moments that make your family unique will never be lost or forgotten.
Each of us will put our own spin on this project, making it more meaningful to us. I wanted my monthly post to be in the form of a letter to Brooks. When the year is complete, I hope to compile the monthly letters and images into a book. My gift to him and to myself. Here is his story of responsibility.
Happy September sweet boy! What a blessing you have been this month. You are so full of love, hope, joy and compassion. My heart just aches with my love for you. The other night you asked me if all children are loved as much as you are. I told you that I sure hope so. You said, ‘yeah, I hope so, too… I like being loved a lot.’
A year ago at this time was a pretty rocky time for the two of us. You pushed and tested and fought and cried. We both did that … cry, a lot. It was so hard. But now, I’m so thankful for the battles and the journey that has led us to today. Today, I see kindness and compassion, leadership and responsibility in you. I listen to how you speak to your friends and I couldn’t be prouder. You are always telling them good job after a race … whether you win or lose. You include friends to join you in games and you compromise when deciding what to play. The friends you surround yourself with are also full of kindness. I love that you choose your friends well.
At school this month, you have been focusing on the character trait, responsibility. I thought that would be a perfect focus for this project as well.
One of your greatest accomplishments of responsibility this month was earning a new belt in karate. Each week we have been setting a new goal for you. And each week you have worked hard to do that goal. Because of your goals this month, you are: sitting nicely and eating meals with good manners, getting ready for and going to bed the first time you’re asked, and in the morning you come downstairs all dressed, fix your snacks/water for school, brush your teeth, do your sunscreen and comb your hair… all without being asked. This last one makes our mornings so much nicer. Last year we had many, many battles getting ready for school. I really appreciate how pleasant the mornings are now.
This set of pictures is from graduation day at karate when you tested for your yellow belt. Such an exciting time! I love your crescent kick! Your instructors have recognized your hard work and have invited you to join the junior black belt class. I’m looking forward to watching you grow at karate.
You are LOVING the start of soccer! This is totally your sport! This year you are learning the responsibility of how to work as a team. You are learning positions and the patience of staying in your position instead of running all over the field. Staying in position is still tricky for you and your teammates, but you are getting better at it with each game. I’m excited to see what your team looks like at the end of the season. (I never want to forget how you wear your socks all the way up your legs.)
I love seeing how much fun you have when playing. I promise to not yell as much during the game, it’s just so hard for me to keep quiet. :) I played this game for 15 years and I hope you end up loving it as much as I did … I think you already do.
Making your bed isn’t a job that gets done every morning, but I love the effort that goes into the work when you do get it done. Grinchy and Bunny (on the other side of the bed) are always close by.
Money! You love finding (often in my purse) and counting and collecting money. For the past couple of years, all of the coins you could count went into the piggy bank. Our deal is, if you can count it, you can keep it. I can assure you, you are an expert at counting money. It’s funny to me that you love counting in even amounts. If you are just short of a dollar, you ask for that exact amount to equal a dollar. If I give you a quarter (which I already know is more than you want) you will make change for me … simply because you like to to be nice and even … exactly one dollar. (p.s. I’m the same way with numbers so I totally understand.) You have been making big plans on what to do with all of your piggy bank money. I made a deal with you that when it is filled to the top we can take it to turn it in and you can keep $20 of it to spend as you wish. You had so much fun getting all the coins out and counting out your $20.
You are often curious about what I did and what I was like as a little girl. You asked if I had a piggy bank and if I got to take money to the bank, too. I didn’t think so… I don’t remember. It made me laugh when you asked if it’s because they didn’t have piggy banks way back when I was a little girl.
This was such a heavy bag of coins! You were sure that you could buy us a new house with all of your money.
As it turns out, the bank wouldn’t take your coins so we went to a ‘coinstar’ instead. The coins were redeemed for a $60 grocery gift card and a $60 iTunes gift card. In exchange for the gift cards, I promised to add $100 to your bank account and you crammed a $20 bill deep in your pocket to go shopping at target.
So glad we were in no hurry to shop because you take FOREVER to decide. Um … no … that big Star Wars box is much more than what you have to spend.
Beside the fact that you got to pick out something special, we were both so excited to see that Halloween had come to Target! We filled our cart with 3 bags of candy!
Well, here it is. Your first blaster! I have always been against having one in the house. You still made them out of sticks, legos, paper, and anything else your creative mind could think of. You told me in the store that you were now so responsible that you would like to have one. You understood the consequences if it was used inappropriately. We now have darts all over the house and you have targets set up upstairs and downstairs. You even slept with it by your side. I’m glad you love it and appreciate how to use it.
I hope through your letters and your pictures that when you grow up, you will have lots of fun stories and wonderful memories to cherish.
Thank you for being ‘one of a kind’ (your words). I love you to the moon and back!
Now, please be sure to keep going through the circle to the incredibly talented Nichole Van | Utah Wedding and Portrait Photographer.
Thanks so much to my wonderful new group for joining me in this new project. I’ve been so inspired by them and can’t wait to be motivated by them. If you missed the first month, you can catch up on What theLast Days of Summer Looks Like here.
P.S. Stacey reminded me … I would love to see how you spend your ordinary days! If you posted something on your blog, please let me know with a link in the comments and I’d love to check it out!
And if you have a chance be sure to check out a couple of the 10 on 10 Lifestyle circles:
Jayme Franklin, San Fransisco Lifestyle Photographer and the group that inspired us all to shoot more of the everyday around us, Gretchen Davis | Portland Photographer.