What Vacation?

Do you ever feel like you plan and plan for a vacation that comes and goes so quickly it is almost as if it never happened?  Well, that pretty much sums up almost every vacation we go on as a family.  First, we never take long trips.  Several days away from home is all we can handle.  We are homebodies and that is ok by me.  However,  I do like to “get away” for at least a few days and have a change of scenery every now and then.  I didn’t say I changed my pace.  Just like at home…on vacation, I don’t really understand the concept of “taking it easy.”  I pack in as much as I possibly can on every single trip.  We don’t rest.  We go. It is just how I am.  I don’t know how to sit back and relax, especially with two kids.

We spent a few days in Garden City over this past weekend at our home away from home, Nashville.  In case you were wondering, that’s the name of the house where we stay every year and have stayed since Colton was 6 months old.  That hashtag always throws people off 😉  Beach pictures and a Nashville hashtag…I find that humorous (no clue why)!  We love it there!  A golf cart ride away from the beach on one side and the inlet on the other.  We spend the majority of our time on the inlet.  Blake likes to fish and he typically drops us off for the kids to play in the sand and water and for me to, well, do anything but relax.  It is ok, I always take my camera.  Yes, my REAL camera.  It is well protected on the boat ride, but it is what I bought it for to begin with- to photograph my children.  It doesn’t even make me nervous to have it out in the sand or riding on the water.  I want to capture all I can with the best equipment I have- some people think that’s crazy- and that’s ok too!

As usual, I took lots of pictures on our 3 day adventure.  I decided I wasn’t going for posed shots this time at all.  I wanted candid, real life, story-telling images.  I even took the kids on the beach late one evening and played games with them, shot from the hip, anything and everything but a typical beach session.  I love what I captured.  Real smiles.  A red stained mouth on Olivia Claire from just finishing a sucker.  Her hair- well, it was a hot mess.  Finally, by the time she put on her second outfit, she was no longer wearing undies…when you have to go, you have to go, right!  Colton, well, dressing him is so simple.  But, he hates the beach.  He hates the sand.  He gets that nonsense from his Daddy.  But, I even saw happiness beam from his eyes while I let them run and play and not pose for anything.  PERFECTION. My two kids, happy and carefree.

Vacation with two kids who like totally opposite things…is that fun 100% of the time?  No way!  If you say it is, well I hope lightning doesn’t strike.  Vacations can be intense.  A three-nager and a child who has well-controlled seizures, but is on his 5th medication in the last three months in addition to the two routine medications he has been on for a couple of years.  It is a handful to say the least.  I must admit, I was very jealous of Blake’s alone time fishing while I was left at the house with the kids.  I would much rather have been lying on the boat soaking up the sun.  Doesn’t happen for this Mama.  I just have to suck it up and roll with it.  It is what it is.  Does it mean we didn’t have a good time?  Absolutely not!  We had a great time!  Did we spend a small fortune in the arcade?  Ummm, maybe.  But, Colton loved it! 

We took our dog, Cocoa, on this little adventure as well.  He was in HEAVEN.  This is a very dog friendly house (unlike ours).  So he was able to sit on the couch by the kids and use the doggie door to come in and out from the porch as he pleased.  His first time ever on a leash…a 6 month old Boykin Spaniel learning to walk on a leash…well you can probably picture how that went, but he caught on quickly!  He was definitely sad to leave.

We ate tons of junk, I am talking Krispy Kreme for breakfast.  We stayed up until midnight.  We laughed, we played, we fought, we yelled, the kids cried, the kids said they never wanted to leave and the very next minute they wanted to go home.  All those emotions rolled into 3 days.  Yep, that’s our life.  And if you told the truth, it is your life too. 

One thing I am learning as I get older (oh my gosh, I hate saying that) is it doesn’t matter what people THINK you should be or WHAT other’s opinions of you are…what matters is that we teach our kids to always take the high road (because we set that example for them), no matter how hard that may be and that WE ARE FAMILY.  Everything that happens, the good days and the bad days, we are there for each other.  I wouldn’t trade that for anything in the world.  I have everything I ever wanted in life.  It is crazy, but some days I like this life and some days I am an overwhelmed stay-at-home mom who also works harder than ever before, and is up working until typically 2am every.single.night.  But, this is the story of us.  We live, we laugh and we love.  WE GROW.  Every day is a chance to be better and do better than yesterday.

I put the images from our short vacation in a slideshow because I thought it was too many for just an album.  It also allows you to see the type of images that made me fall in love with photography to begin with.  Hope you enjoy it!  

Here’s the link:

https://vimeo.com/221789628

This blog post was definitely a little more insight into my life.  I am a normal person, just like you.  I try really hard to be very good at what I do, first and foremost, at being a GREAT Mother and second, being an awesome Photographer.  The wife part is in there too…this is just an opportunity for you to see me as me.  Believe me, what you see is what you get.  My business is continuing to grow and for that, I am so very, very thankful.  There is a world of opportunity out there…plenty of room for all of us…so go be great at what you do and don’t get so busy wanting something else that you forget how much you are already blessed with! 

As a final note, just FYI, summer sessions are going great!  I have more fun ideas that will be announced soon!  Weekends are almost completely filled until the end of August, but I photograph during the week in the evenings, so that is always an option.  Kids and families are still my passion, but commercial work has been interesting and fun too!  If you don’t try new things, you will never grow!  I am a professional.  I work very hard to maintain a level of professionalism with my current clients and also with potential new clients. In order to be a professional you must act like a professional.  I think that sentence speaks volumes.

As always, thank you to those of you who have allowed and continue to allow me to capture your special memories – you are appreciated more than you know!!