Mother's Day -- the day that people honor their mothers. They talk about all of the things that they appreciate about their mothers, we are thanked for our love and selflessness.

I called my own Mother, early this morning, and talked with her. She is the most amazing, selfless, hard-working, wonderful woman that I know, and if I can grow up to be like her, I will be extremely grateful.

Then there are my own sweet children who showered me with gifts: drawings, cards, hand-cut snowflakes, a school-made picture frame, a portrait of me- made with crayons and yarn. These little presents that are priceless to me.

Then the husband, who quietly turned off the baby monitor (yes, I still use one) and closed the door at 6:-something so I could sleep in, who kept the kids quiet and made me an egg-white omelet with mushrooms and green chiles and pepperjack cheese, and a tall glass of frothy OJ. All of these things to make me feel special- to honor me and thank me for being their Mother (and the Mother of his children).

And it occurred to me, more than once today, that I'm the one who is blessed. Mother's Day, for me, is a celebration of these three most amazing little lives that enrich me and stretch me and teach me. I feel like, at least for me, the whole idea of Mother's Day is wrong- it shouldn't be a day to shower Mom with gifts and yummies and an afternoon nap (isn't that what birthdays are for?), but for me, it's a day to recognize how blessed I am.

These children are not perfect, but they are perfect for me, and I will forever be grateful for the opportunity I have to be their Mother.


(me and mine, taken this morning before church::)webRCP_6317.jpg

kori says:

Perfect

(05.14.12 @ 11:01 AM)
Jessica says:

I agree 100% and felt the same way you did all day.

(05.15.12 @ 07:11 AM)
alison says:

you said it well. and it might have brought a small tear to my eye. happy mother's day.

(05.18.12 @ 02:29 PM)
Aleasha says:

Thank you for sharing this. It's so true!! Reading it gave me goosebumps.

(06.22.12 @ 12:54 PM)
Claudia Grange says:

Beautiful children!

(07.11.12 @ 01:01 PM)
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May 5, 2012

Saturday afternoon: prepping for a BBQ tonight. The first one of the summer.

Thankfully, I'm not hosting (it's not my favorite thing). But I am providing food - watermelon, avocados, lemonade, green chile corn, and lemon bars.

Rowan wanted to help bake the lemon bars... no surprise there. She loves to help, she loves to bake, she loves to be with mom. (*swoon*)

We mixed, we poured, we set the timer for 23 minutes. She got her chair and watched the numbers count down.

"Row, that's going to take quite a bit of time. Shall we read a book while it bakes?"
"No, I'm just going to sit here and wait."

And she did.

 webTemecula_Family_Photography_LemonBars2.jpg webTemecula_Family_Photography_LemonBars1.jpgwebTemecula_Family_Photographer_LemonBars3.jpg And then there's this wee one. And what am I supposed to do with her?  Sweet little mess. webTemecula_Family_Photography_LemonBars5.jpg

Jen says:

Priceless!

(05.05.12 @ 04:50 PM)
Jessica says:

Oh I love these. I wish I had a personal photographer at my house at all times so I could have pictures like this to hang all over my house. :)

(05.05.12 @ 05:32 PM)
Listed below are links to blogs that reference this entry: Lemon Bars . TrackBack URL for this entry: http://rachelclarephotography.com/darkroom/mt/mt-tb.cgi/291
I'm behind on my project!  As in, 3 months behind.  Here are the past three months in our lives, in iPhone photos. 

February::February2012iPhone.jpgMarch ::
March2012iPhone.jpgApril ::
April2012iPhone.jpg

Kittrean says:

Can I copy all these, and the others and those to come and print and hang through-out my home? Weird? I love them all.

(05.05.12 @ 12:11 AM)
Jen says:

Makes.me.happy.

(05.06.12 @ 12:07 AM)
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web_7800 copy.jpgI'm in an interesting place. 

For the past few weeks (months?), I've felt change coming.  Big change?  I don't know.  Deep down, I hope not... I've never been a fan of change.
And there has been change in my life since the beginning of this year.  Happily, none of it has been bad, necessarily, just different.
And then there's me, feeling like I need to go against what's comfortable and create some changes in my life.  I've always been one who's liked goals- they drive me.  And I've been good at working on goals this year.  But I'm feeling like I need to go beyond goals and do some things that will be extremely uncomfortable to me because I feel that they're right.

I was talking to a friend last night- we were deep in a conversation about life and wasting time and what takes our time and where we need to be and what we should be doing.  I heard a wonderful talk once that emphasized the need to "choose the better part".  I'm not perfect.  I'm so far from perfect.  I work on certain areas of my life, and while I do, other areas start to slip.  I determine to gut every cluttered closet in my home, and when I do so, my weekly menus fall to pieces, for example.  Life is such an astonishing balancing act!  How does anyone find that balance?  I think I've had a taste of it before, but how long did it last?  Not long.

And then we look at others, and determine that they ARE perfect- their lives, their homes, their relationships, their finances, their bodies, their work, WHATEVER.  But they aren't perfect.  Anyone can be "perfect" on Facebook or on a blog.  And that's why I made the decision months ago to stop frequenting blogs.  First and foremost, they were an absolute time-sucker for me-- a complete WASTE of my time.  One day, about a year ago, I came into my office and sat down at my computer and Maura started to cry and said, "No Mommy! No!".  Second, how often did I feel happy and uplifted and self-confident after looking at others' blogs?  Um, almost never?

WAKE UP MOMMY!  What are you doing?

The day 15-year-old Maura called me out, I ditched the blog-surfing.  And I can unequivocally say that I'm better for it.

At one point, being online used to be an escape for me.  I would leave the reality of my own life (my "boring" life- dinner, laundry, three children who adore me) and literally surf around until I'd suddenly look up and realize an audacious amount of time had passed.  I am happy to report that it's been a very long time since this has happened.

But just recently, I feel like I'm needing to take a good hard look at my life again.  I've determined that I need to constantly remind myself to "choose the better part".  There are good things in life, and there are better things in life.  Sometimes we need to drop some of the good things to focus on the better things.  In January, I wrote this post on my word for the year.  I've not forgotten it.  Sometimes I have to remind myself to implement it more, but I've not forgotten it.

So I've been reading more, and that's good.  I've got no problem quitting a book 20 pages in if it doesn't uplift and fulfill me.  I choose books that nourish my mind and heart, books that make me happy. 

I'm exercising 6 days a week, and while that's nothing new for me, I'm realizing that I need to make some changes so I can continue to better myself and get out of the rut I feel I'm in.   

I need to make some changes to my business.  They scare me, these changes.  They're uncomfortable to me, but in the end, I think they'll make me happier than I am currently. 

I've realized as of late that I've let little bouts of negativity creep into my life.  They're things that don't need to be there, and I'm determined to clean them out.  Last weekend, I had an amazing personal experience- one that reminded me of what's important.  I journaled it (spell check is telling me that "journaled" isn't a word).  And I'm grateful that I took the time to do so, because it's times like those that keep us on the path we're supposed to be on.  I need to read that entry over and over again, to be reminded.  Because, how quickly we forget!  It's so easy to forget what's important in this loud and chaotic world.
  It makes me grateful for those little sparks of inspiration that come every now and then.  I know I need to listen more- to be more in tune to my intuition and feelings, because I think those sparks of inspiration actually have the potential to be frequent, when we quiet our lives and just listen.

Do you know what my favorite part of any yoga class is?  The last 5 minutes.  You know those 5 minutes?  The ones spent lying on your back with your eyes closed in a dark group-exercise room?  Those are my favorite minutes of any yoga class- in part because my body is tired and laying down is a relief, but mostly because I'm completely awake with nothing to do but listen to my thoughts.  Why does it take going to a yoga class to spend 5 minutes with my eyes closed listening to my own thoughts and feelings? That's one change I desperately need to make.

Lots of little changes.  Lots of good things.  A few good things that are going to be let go for the sake of the better things.  I have a great purpose here- we all do.  I'm on a mission to spend my time more wisely, revel in and cherish the childhoods of my children, enjoy more date nights with my man, and to nourish my mind, body and spirit.  These are the "better parts".

No, these are the best parts.



Post Script :: I want to make it clear that the point of this post (for me) is not that I now spend very limited time on the internet.  That was just one example of leaving things behind that don't uplift me.  The point for me is that there are lots of things in my life that need to shift-- things that I'm working on moving and doing away with because they don't bring me joy and they don't make me a better person.  There are also things that I'm working on implementing and inviting into my life, such as saying yes to my children more often, finding time to be quiet and meditate, complimenting myself and others more, reading good books, finding new healthy recipes to try, nurturing my marriage, being less critical of others (and myself!), etc.


SarahInParis says:

LOVE this post Rachel and echos my world of late. Very similar to why I disappeared from the blog-o-sphere. Change is a good thing. Scary but good and why not focus on the positive and things that make us happy. So happy that Maura made that call. As heart-wrenching as it would have been to hear. xx

(04.02.12 @ 10:44 PM)
Jen says:

Bravo my friend, bravo. xoxoxo

(04.03.12 @ 06:14 AM)
Jamelle Kelly says:

love you

(04.03.12 @ 11:02 AM)
Kellie says:

Wow ...this really spoke to me. I just happened to stumble across it and I cannot tell you how much I needed to hear/read your words. Even though we do no know each other .. I thank you .... thank you, thank you, thank you.

(04.03.12 @ 12:54 PM)
Lindsey says:

I love this so much! You're inspirational. I just unsubscribed to a bunch of blogs that were just wasting my time, not building me up. I hope I can remember to consciously focus on the BEST parts and discard the other stuff.

(04.03.12 @ 01:12 PM)
Jan DeGIulio says:

Inspiring - thanks for the reminder!

(04.03.12 @ 07:52 PM)
Tennille says:

Totally get it and love the re-focus, but I follow your blog and NEED those pictures of your cuties!!!! I miss them. I pull it up every few days and get the "E & M play the Wii". Just a few pics so I can see them grow. Please.

(04.05.12 @ 08:06 PM)
Nancy says:

Hi Rachel! I check in on your blog from time to time and glad I got to see this post. For Lent this year I gave up Facebook....what an incredible difference in life that has made! Facebook became a time suck for me big time and didn't uplift or fulfill me. I could bring Facebook back into my life...but I don't think I'm going to. Loved your post!

(04.09.12 @ 03:37 PM)
Megan says:

This is why I'm so glad to call you friend! I share your feelings in so many ways. I hope all is well with you and your family. Hopefully we'll get to see each other again sooner rather than later. :)

(04.16.12 @ 06:24 PM)
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I've written and re-written this post a handful of times. On one hand, I don't want to post anything that's so personal and special to me, and yet on the other, I do want to honor and recognize my son for making a big decision, a good decision. This past weekend was extremely significant and special for Elias, and for our family. On Saturday, Elias was baptized. I won't go into detail except to say that it was a sacred and emotional day for me, and for him.

A few weeks ago, I took him out for some pictures to commemorate this special time in his life.

 Corona_CA_Photographer_EliasBaptismBook01.jpgCorona_CA_Photographer_EliasBaptismBook02.jpgCorona_CA_Photographer_EliasBaptismBook03.jpgCorona_CA_Photographer_EliasBaptismBook04.jpgCorona_CA_Photographer_EliasBaptismBook05.jpgCorona_CA_Photographer_EliasBaptismBook06.jpgCorona_CA_Photographer_EliasBaptismBook07.jpgCorona_CA_Photographer_EliasBaptismBook08.jpgCorona_CA_Photographer_EliasBaptismBook09.jpgCorona_CA_Photographer_EliasBaptismBook10.jpgCorona_CA_Photographer_EliasBaptismBook11.jpg

Jen says:

Ahhh...love everything about these. So wonderful. Congratulations Elias!!

(03.26.12 @ 09:08 PM)
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