Every single day, do something that makes your heart sing.
- Marcia Wieder
A year or so ago, I put the following words to paper. They have since tumbled about in my life, and my perspective through my lens.
Life happens in increments. It comes together slowly in bits and pieces, then rushes past you in a flurry of wind, all at once. And it took an afternoon of babysitting to fully show me this truth.
A cherub with roly thighs (and arms and ankles), this barely one year old was the spitting image of joy and happiness. With that deep belly laugh that is reserved only for the young, she raised her arms to be lifted atop our old rocking horse, the one made by and passed on with the hands of family, when suddenly it was as though I were staring at my own little girl, eight years earlier. In that moment I was every mother — every parent whose breath has caught in their throat as hints of their child’s years appear without warning — and I am left wondering, wide-eyed, trying to remember the exact moment when my daughter stopped being that wooden-horse-riding-deep-belly-laughing-cankle-wearing toddler.
Our stories happen in the daily. In the messy. At the dinner table, in the dining room, and in the backyard. These are the places that play host to the laughter which makes your child’s nose do that little crinkle you so adore, the diapers you never thought you’d be rid of, the ocean of adventure a bathtub provides, the trees your monkey of a boy promises he can climb. Where we soak in our happiness with every fiber of our being, afraid to breathe lest we somehow induce time to move faster with the exhale of our breath. These details of our lives are our gifts, and the sunshine the spotlight by which to illuminate them.
Our lives happen in the details.
In the daily.
And it is beautiful.
Living challenges you to see life differently. Experience challenges you to not pursue the vague concept of perfection, but rather to see the incredible and perfectly flawed beauty that is already there. It has challenged me to photograph families in a purely lifestyle way, in a celebration of the simplicity of daily living — the coloring, the book reading, the hair doing, the diaper changing, the games and the toys and the food prep. To celebrate that our stories are messy and real and vibrant and full of heart, and to capture how that feels.
I am impossibly grateful to this incredible family for welcoming me into their home and being bravely and beautifully real. To be a family means to create together, play together, take care of each other; to clean up messes, to wish you had a second set of arms, to snuggle and wrestle and love.
This is family.
These are hearts singing.
p.s. This gorgeous mama, Jessie, is also a creative and amazing artist. See her work here: http://www.jessiedecorsey.com