why it's not nothing

I get the question, all the time. "Oh, so you want to come to our house and take pictures in our pajamas and bed head?" "What are we supposed to do while you are here?" "Are you sure you want to do this? We are pretty boring." "Do you want to just take pictures of nothing?" 

Tell me something. What does your favorite kind of day look like? What kind of day do you want your children to remember when they get older? For me, and for a lot of people...it's the normal kind of day. Those days are the foundation of what their whole lives are built on. It's your story.

I think back to my childhood, and I honestly don't remember much about our big vacations or trips we took. I remember the small things. Making wings out of paper with my brother and jumping off the top of the picnic table. Catching rain drops in empty Stan's pimento cheese containers as they fell off my Grandma Daisy's roof. I remember that if we were swinging in the back yard you could see up over the carport and into the driveway and that probably meant you were soaring a little too high. I remember scraping my knees up bad one time when I fell on the front walk. I remember dancing with my Daddy to The Beach Boys in our living room and the way my momma's braided rug felt under my bare feet. I remember eating banana popsicles all summer at Granny's and singing Robert Cray and Eric Clapton in the car with my momma on the way to school. 

Those things- those moments- are the ones that mean the most to me now as an adult. The photos we have from every day life when I was a child are ones that I love the most. They are our story. 

And it is certainly not nothing

And neither is yours. 

My passion for story telling photography comes from a love deep down in my heart for the small and simple moments and how perfect the imperfections of everyday life are. I get really emotional about people's messes, and that might seem silly, but that is such a part of your family. Those crumbs on your kitchen floor are there because your sweet toddler had a snack there because he loves you so much that he had to be under your feet and couldn't be pried away. There are bags thrown down by the door because you rushed in to feed that sweet baby or kiss your husband because that is what was important. You are still in your pajamas at lunch time because you are comfortable in your home- your sanctuary- the place where your people are. 

So, mommas...don't worry about your messy hair and lack of make up. Don't worry about the dusting, and don't put your children in perfect and color coordinated outfits. Please don't make your husband shave and wear that collared shirt from the back of the closet. Be yourselves. Do your normal thing, even if that means sitting on the couch with a cup of coffee and snuggling up with your babies or making PB&J's for lunch. There is no pressure for perfection. This is YOUR story. Not "nothing."

...This is it, in the best possible way. That thing I’m waiting for, that adventure, that movie-score-worthy experience unfolding gracefully...I believe that this way of living, this focus on the present, the daily, the tangible, this intense concentration not on the news headlines but on the flowers growing in your own garden, the children growing in your own home, this way of living has the potential to open up the heavens, to yield diamonds where a second ago there was coal. This way of living and noticing and building and crafting can crack through the movie sets and the soundtracks that keep us waiting for our own life stories to begin, and set us free to observe the lives we have been creating all along without even realizing it.
— Shauna Niequist

These are from a simple little play date at our house with my dear friend Mandy and her girls from a few weeks ago.