I have to start by saying this post is for my kids. I want them to know how much these photos meant to me. Yes, my blog is really a way for me to share my feelings and love for them. I know that I am lucky that they choose to read my blog. I also feel strongly that what I share is personal to me, but hopefully will help inspire others to take the time to preserve their own memories and how important it is.
I was in Florida when Gentry send me a email with all of these photos. It was all of the photos that she took on Saturday at a football game with her, Devan (the best boyfriend), Zach, McKay and her friends. I first was amazed that she took so many photos. I realized that my "constant begging" for her to take lots of photos was heard. I realize that she "GOT IT."
I saw the photos and I "FELT" the emotions, the joy, the FUN time that they had. She had captured a day of memories and "feelings" from taking the photos. I felt the emotions even without being with them.
This is Zach. He actually was getting annoyed with Gentry and the non-stop photo taking. What 15 year old boy really wants his photo taken? Not my son. I will cherish this time.
To me... I see a photo of "siblings" that really love each other. Zach was so excited when McKay called him and invited him to the BYU football game. It was the blackout game. She had an extra ticket and Zach was super excited. As a mother, when you see the kids truly love each other and support each other (and NOT FIGHTING) it melts your heart.
From the start of Gentry dating Devan... I just KNEW he was a keeper. So I told her to take lots of photos from their dates. She has listened and has so many photos of the really fun times that they have spent together. Again, what a great thing to have the photos to document and remember the great times and sometimes the bad.
My heart is really tender as I see photos that show that my kids are bigger, wiser and well... doing things without me. I know that sounds weird. We raise our kids to be "grown up" and self sufficient. I have raised my kids to realize that one day they will only have each other. When I got these photos I felt a peace in knowing that I had done something right. I taught them (made them at times) to love each other. I mean they had times where they would fight and I was always in MOM force making them apologize and not allowing them to be mean to each other). I hope they will remember this as they grow older.
My cute McKay is 18 years old and is thinking about going away for a 18 month long mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. My heart is tender in that she is wanting to go out and serve others. She is our spunky girl. I am cherishing every moment and photo. She would be leaving this coming Spring time if she goes. She is praying and thinking about this big decision. I will support her if she decides to go.
I know this is a lot of photos to share. I am going to do a special book to remember this day. It really does matter.
I just wanted to say that if you are a loyal blog reader, follow me on facebook and twitter-you may see lots of photo of me with my kids. Mom and me photos....I do this for a very special reason.
When my mother died, I searched for every single photo I had with her. There was NOT enough. My mom did not really like her photo taken. She always complained- I am too fat, too old looking, too.... fill in the blank. I would GIVE anything to have more photos to look at and to remember those times together.
Yes, I love and adore the photos with my kids. Honestly, I realize it's really MORE for them. I want them to have reminders of me and us and our special times when I am no longer here.
If you take one thing from this post today... REMEMBER that you need to make sure you are taking photos and being IN THE PHOTOS. I can't tell you how much it will mean to your family and those that love you.
As you see this recent collage of photos with Taylor... you might see smiling and happiness. To me... I see a day that my daughter needed me. She needed a day with her mommy to help her feel unconditionally loved and that life will get better. I know that this photo will someday mean and show her where she has grown and learned from some hard life lessons. (I love you Taylor!!!!!)
This weekend I am going to Idaho Falls, Idaho. I am speaking/hosting a luncheon and teaching a big workshop- it's all about how to TELL YOUR STORY. I hope if you are close you will join me. I feel so strongly about what I am blessed to do. It inspires my product lines. I want to help others preserve their own memories. I feel God's hand in this journey.
This is the project I am teaching this weekend-
More information here- www.whattodayswomenwant.com