At the end of each day when I sit down to look through our photos I see beauty even in the not-so pretty moments. I do try to document the tantrums once in a while and the messes left behind by two little girls because life isn't always filled with just smiles and fun times and I want to remember those other moments too. I want to remember that some days are harder then others and to remember that although the girls are having fun and laughing and smiling in many photos, that there are most definitely moments each day where they annoy each other and where there are tears that need to be wiped. Like right after I shot the photo below Kennadie gave Little One a small push to push her away and how I explained to Kennadie that pushing, even if it was very gently to get Little One off of her, is not acceptable. Ever.
And then there are moments like this where the girls are each others best friend. Where they play together and laugh and smile and have fun and Kennadie tells me how much fun it is to have a sister and how much she loves it.
I had the chance to take some family photos for MARE of an adoptive family last week and for the adoption event over the weekend. I am so incredibly hard on myself and although I don't think the photos came out the best at all, I have to remember to be kind to myself and to give myself some credit. I have no training, no mentoring; I don't have someone to critique my photos, to look at my histogram, to tell me what I am doing right, to tell me what I am doing wrong. And this is the first time I have taken photos for a family that I didn't know and the first time I have taken photos at an event. And I have to remember that no one is going to be amazing at something the first time they do it. All of the photographers that photographed the event have at least part-time businesses and have been doing this for a while. For it being my first time I am proud of myself that I at least did it and, as uncomfortable and awkward as I felt, I stepped way out of my comfort zone. I can look at the experience negatively and beat myself up over it or I can look at it in a positive way. I was able to get some practice in and I allowed myself to really feel the awkwardness of it all and know that that feeling is perfectly OK to have, especially when it was my first time. I got to volunteer twice in one week-which I just love doing. I met a wonderful, fun family and got to be part of this great adoption event and see and talk with so many people that I have met along the way of our adoption journey. There is beauty in all of that.
Opa is having surgery tonight as he has some fluid in his brain caused from the stroke. It's hard for me to face the reality of this all and, honestly I know I am avoiding it as much as I can. It hurts, it's painful, it's hard to accept, and I am horrible with facing and dealing with this kind of stuff. It's life, I know, but these parts? These parts suck.
I am so thankful, though that we grew up so close with Opa and Oma. That Kennadie has that same closeness with them that we have always had. That she knew Opa before he had the stroke, just as we always knew him. That Little One goes right up to them and has since the day she met them, and hugs them and kisses them and loves seeing them. That Opa and Oma have seen Josh and I grow our family and have watched me grow and become the mom that I have always wanted to be.
Some little moments from the week so far-
Playing card games with family.
Little One falling asleep anywhere because she loves her sleep and Kennadie and I stealing a few moments away for "tea" and cookies.
And Little One finally going to Papa on her own now without crying. She lifts her hands up to him to be picked up and loves swimming with him now.
When I write and take photos I always get to look at things just a little bit differently. The hard and scary and unknown eventually become a little clearer. Pain eventually turns into healing. Moments that I most likely would have forgotten about I will have forever and can look back on and remember that even in the moments of the girls not getting along or when life get hard or scary or uncomfortable we can always find beauty in each and every single day if we just look for it.