In An Instant

As I eased into the tub tonight, I looked out the half open blinds hugging the window.  The sky blazed a searing, orange pink fire that stirred my heart.  I wanted to dash outside, reach into the sky and burn the tips of my fingers on the embers in the distance.

But I was stuck.  I was immersed in a steaming tub of  Dr. Teal’s “detoxify and energize” (which always worries me when it’s relatively close to bedtime) and the thought of my naked self running into the yard to have a moment with the sun’s goodbye… just didn’t…well, you know.

Instead, I texted R.  If I couldn’t see it, maybe he could at least enjoy it.  But by the time my wet fingers were able to type out a quick text, I glanced up and the sky was a pale pink.  I put my phone down and looked up again and saw a lavender sky seeping through the window.  My heart sank.

In an instant, my sky fire was gone.

It seems that is the theme of my weekend.

The eldest son came home yesterday.  When he is with us, the happiness exudes.   From all of us.  He brings joy where ever he goes.  Although he towers over me and essentially lives his own life, when he is home, I see the boy who I sat and built Legos with, the boy who drove his Cozy Coupe all over the house, the boy who welcomed me to motherhood.  His visit was so brief.  A flicker.  A flash.   But, I helped move some new (used) furniture into his little studio down by campus, stood on tip-toe to kiss his scruffy cheek (where did that come from?) and waved a fast and short goodbye.  Lingering is never good or helpful.

In an instant, my Lego boy was gone.

This past week was a ‘boys’ week.  That means that we have all our boys from Sunday to Sunday.  And while it’s quite a bit more hectic;  the messes pile up higher and the milk mysteriously disappears in copious amounts, it also means my brood is near.  I can worry less, smile more, find more to bitch about while also finding more to savor.   It’s a wild week, but it is THE epitome of ‘my cup runneth over’.    Sunday evening became Wednesday morning which turned into Friday night and then Sunday noon.

In an instant, my cup was empty and boy week was gone.

After drying off from the detoxifying, energizing, sky blazing bath, I walked to my bedside table.  I reached puckered fingers down to grab my moisturizer and staring up at me from amongst the piles of bracelets and receipts and lip gloss was my mom.





An old, tattered, black and white picture of my beautiful mom.  There she was,timeless and amazing.  My heart squeezed for the umpteenth time this night.   How could one picture take me back to all the longing, all the missing, all the questions and hopes I still hold for someone who is gone?

When I reached down to pick up the photograph, my fingers burned a hot pink, sun fire, blazing burn.   The weekend had come full circle.

And in an instant, she was with me.  Here.  Now.  Always.






But What You Don’t Know

DSC_1245His sarcasm bites.  It’s sexy, stinging and you have to stay on your toes to be ready. His wit is dry, irreverent, and to the point. If you make the mistake of exposing your weakness, watch out-the joke’s on you.

But what you don’t know is that if you can holdyour own, bite back, and give as good as you get, he accepts you as an equal. The laughter binds, bonds and builds a friendship that grows stronger every day. The twinkle in his eyes when you spar with him, full on, is the best measure of success.

His eyes pierce you. It’s both disarming and electrifying at once. His mouth never lifts into a smile, but he doesn’t frown either. Reading his thoughts is near impossible and he isn’t likely to give you any hints. If you’re looking for someone who shows his highs and lows, he isn’t that guy.

But what you don’t know is that those eyes see everything. Every curve of your face, every tendril of hair that flies free, every thought that flickers behind blue flecked eyes and wrinkled brow. He’s not a roller coaster of emotion, dipping in and out of the abyss. He’s more a steady locomotive, rambling and rustling along the tracks, down the path, ever forward.

He is confident, cocky, a taker. His hands are quick and steady and sure. Whether he’s at work on his laptop, preparing a gourmet meal in the kitchen, or building or creating something in the garage, he moves with a certainty that is almost disarming. When he sees what he needs to get the job done, he grabs. When he knows the next move, he pushes, shoves, often with a strength that surprises.

But what you don’t know is that those strong, fast hands are soft and gentle too. He will endlessly scratch a back, rub weary shoulders, and caress a face with a tenderness that damn near breaks your heart. Softly, slowly, his fingertips dance up a thigh, across the curve of a hip, resting on the rise and fall of a chest that is bursting at the seams with a love whose depths are unmeasurable.

He’s predictable in so many ways. He loves all things Apple and anything gadgety. He keeps multiple packs of gum in his car and will rarely turn down anything sweet to eat. He swishes his mouth with Biotene for approximately 5 minutes every night before bed and always sleeps in socks. He loves to compete and if he wins, all the better. He does what he says he’s going to do and will do anything for his kids. He is an amazing father and friend. His love for his family is paramount.

But what you don’t know is that he appreciates uncertainty too. He jumped into a love unknown, cannonball style, with flair and flourish and yes, a bit of floundering. He tolerates a girl who’s more than half crazy and wholly unlike him in many ways. Despite his routine nature, he surprises with unpredictable actions all the time. He makes sacrifices for others that are astounding. Without complaint, he has given up many life luxuries that most treat as necessities. Those kids he will do anything for happen to include three that aren’t even his own. And that a family he loves dearly has grown, as if overnight, exponentially.

He’s not a man of many words. If you tell him you love him first, there’s a good chance he might not say it back. Not because he doesn’t feel it, but more because he doesn’t want to have to say it just because you did. If you’re looking for love letters or poems scrawled in chicken scratch on Hallmark cards, you will search long and hard. It’s just not his style.

But what you don’t know is that when he speaks, he speaks the truth. He only says what he means and he rarely repeats himself. You have to listen intently, latch onto every compliment, every sentiment and lock it away into the confines of your heart. What you also don’t know is in those moments when he can’t find the words he wants, he pulls you in and holds you tight. So tight there’s no space between where he ends and you begin. He’s always the last to let go and somewhere, deep inside, you know he’s just told you more with that embrace than any sentence ever spoken.

The Birthday Dance


Once upon a time there was a little girl.  A 5 year old who desperately wanted to take ballet but  attended one class and couldn’t do it anymore because she was too afraid. I recall the black leotard and thick, pink tights with the red stain of fingernail polish dotting the thigh. I was so excited to have a real ballerina costume.  I remember the mirror that spanned the entire studio wall and the golden sheen of the wooden floor as our ballet shoes slid across the surface.  I can see the reflection of the little girl with a slick ponytail but ragged feelings.  She wanted desperately to stay and dance, but was too scared.

I lasted one class.

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Day In and Day Out





When I was a little girl, I remember being shy.  I didn’t like meeting new people and the thought of having to look an adult in the eyes to speak was downright daunting.  But I don’t recall being scared of many things.  I’d try anything at least once and I always loved a good dare.

It wasn’t until I was an adult, or rather a new mother, that I realized how afraid terrified I actually am of the dark.

When my firstborn was just days old, I would find myself getting more and more unsettled as nighttime approached.   No matter how idyllic our day, how organized, how calm, as the afternoon slid with the sun into evening, I became restless and anxious.  What if he cries tonight?  What if he spikes a fever?  What if we are awake for hours?  The what ifs and maybes and oh no’s consumed me.   The only person I ever told was my husband.  I was miserable for months.  I would envision horrible things happening and it all seemed insurmountable simply because the sun wasn’t out.  Morning would dawn and I’d feel fine.

Over time, as the nights thankfully did not live up to my exaggerated worries, I learned to breathe a bit deeper and rest a bit calmer.  That first baby and the two that followed  were healthy and happy and we managed to get through many years of nights that were a blessed mixture of vomit, fevers, and sweaty nightmares alongside snuggles, kisses and sweet dreams.

Somehow, the anxiety about night slipped away for a long, restful time.  I learned to consider day and night as equals, neither one being more frightening or beautiful than the other.

And then, the firstborn became a teenager with a driver’s license and friends that beckoned, seemingly always in the evenings.  In an instant, my fear of the dark returned.  The first night he drove away, by himself in his 1997 Mustang, I crumbled to the floor in a heap of tears and panic.  As usual, time and a healthy dose of perspective and controlled breathing helped me get through those early days of driving, late nights, and teenage life. Again, I settled into a manageable level of fear, worry, resolve and quiet peace.

Now he is away at college and it’s happening all over again.

Except this time, I realize that while I’m still afraid of the dark, it has nothing to do with the sun having set or the amount of stars in the sky.

I know now that the darkness that terrifies me is the unknown.  It’s the things I cannot see, the truths I cannot know, the thoughts I am not privy to.    I am petrified and held captive by the anxiety I have about the people I love coming into harm’s way or experiencing pain and anguish that I can’t help alleviate.

Darkness is the helplessness I feel when I realize that there are things about the people I love that they can’t tell me or don’t know how to share.  It’s the realization that our lives continue to move forward and I can’t undo hurts and harms and fears that came about years ago and have grown into their own over time.

My darkness is all the fears I have about the uncertainty of life and the unpredictable nature of things.   It’s the worry I harbor that my darkness has caused darkness.  An exhausting cycle it is.

As I write this openly for the first time ever, I feel ashamed that I don’t have more peace about life.  I am sad that I allow my darkness to seep into the bright, beautiful and shining parts of my heart.  I am regretful that I allow my darkness to grip me with such  force, squeezing the good thoughts and  amazing truths out of my strong mind.

I don’t want to be this way.  I don’t want to worry and feel like I can’t breathe.  I want my loved ones to be able to go and grow and live their own lives in their own ways.  And yet, the thought of that chokes me with fear and that really just feels terrible.

Glennon Melton Doyle  of Momastery  says “We can do hard things.”   And I know we can.  I know I can.  I know I can fight my darkness and win.  I know that my loved ones will live the lives they’re destined and meant to live.  I know that in the end, our light will prevail.  It is time I looked up, into the eyes of my adult self, and worked damn hard to believe this.  Day in and day out.







The View From Above


I want to say that she is with me always, but that wouldn’t be true.   While I never forget she’s gone, I do forget to think about her and remembering what my days were like while she was here get harder and harder to bring forth.

Amy looks so much like her that I can catch a glimpse of her when pictures are posted on Facebook or Instagram.   When I see pennies on the ground, I feel certain they’re from her dropped from Heaven, and lately…and this one is weird…my feet look more and more like hers.  Crazy, but I’ll take what I can get.

One of the best ways that my mom stayed with me and in my thoughts was through one of her longest and dearest friends, Virginia Crawford.  It never failed that when I’d write about my mom, Virginia would add some thoughtful comment about me or my writing, but more importantly, about my mom.

You see, Virginia was one of my most vocal, sharing, uplifting memories of my mom.  She often sent me messages, telling me things about my mom that I could have never known if she hadn’t shared.

Here are a few of my favorites, in no particular order…

She almost idealized you. She thought you were very strong, very bright and creative.-this was her telling me what my mom thought of me.

We do what we have to do to survive. Good luck, Macy. I think you are very brave.

Just read the blog; you are and always have been more than enough. True beauty.

The first thing Charles said when he came in last night was, “I saw Macy.”. He knew that was the best message he could bring home to me. So glad Charles and Carrie got to see you and visit with you. Love, Virginia C!

I think you look fierce…

Happy birthday, newlywed, birthday girl. I remember you as a little baby and your mom checking on you just to see that you were still there. And I remember she gave you licks off a DQ cone when you were less than two months old. I never gave my babies ice cream, but it didn’t bother you one little bit.

These are but a few.   I know there are more dispersed throughout our Facebook history, I just haven’t found them yet tonight.  As I read through these though,  I am realizing how wonderful she was to me, about me.  She made me feel so loved.

She loved me enough to spank me when I disobeyed her (I was about three and I threw a toy across her living room after she told me not to) and she loved me enough to share memories about my mom.  I see now how much she loved just me.  Just as I was.

I am in shock and disbelief that she is now gone too.  My heart hurts.  No, it bleeds tonight. My mind cannot accept this.  Tonight I say goodbye to an interesting, funny, thoughtful, intelligent, and loving woman.  One of the best I’ve ever known.

Virginia, I’ll miss you and your reassuring, nurturing words.  I’ll miss your memories of my mom.  I have to believe that you two are sitting together, laughing again, sending love down to me from above.



Windows and Perspectacles



It’s been One. Of. Those days.  You know the kind where the rug is pulled from beneath your feet?  Never mind that I was wearing my amazing Chanel two tone flats (snagged for less than $10 from a thrift store).   The ensuing pull and consequent fall were unexpected and definitely unwanted.

I lost my job today.   I was laid off.  Let go.  Asked to work one more day and then no more (if I expect to be paid for it).  I’m pretty certain they’d let me keep showing up, they just don’t have any money to pay me.

You see, I was a tutor at a local elementary school and my job was THE best.  I started my mornings working with one of the strongest teachers I’ve ever been blessed to know.  It was a fourth grade class and that age group is my most favorite.  These kids are so special.  It was a little slice of Heaven over on the east side of Austin and I was happy to drive to work everyday to help them learn.  After that, my morning routine changed frequently, but lately, I’d been working with a class of twenty 5th graders who still want to learn and like to feel loved.  After teaching them, I’d end my day teaching math to a group of the most enthusiastic and energetic third graders you’ve ever seen.  They are adorable.  A-dor-able.

Unfortunately, the funds granted for our tutoring positions ran out.  Today, several of my colleagues were told that tomorrow is our last day.  I sat in the meeting with a calm demeanor.  I clocked out and went to tell my fourth grader teacher that I was done after this week and then I got into my car and cried all the way home.

This job was perfect for me.  I was able to work enough hours a week to make money to pay the bills I need to pay.  I also had time off to help grow my new photography business, JCK Images.   I also got to work with kids without having to be THE main one in charge (thank you to all the teachers I worked with).

But after tomorrow, it’s gone.  I’m officially unemployed and unsure and unable to see where I am headed.

I keep thinking of two women who impact my life, Maria from The Sound of Music and Glennon Melton Doyle from Momastery.   Maria says in one of my most favorite movies that  “When the Lord closes a door, somewhere He opens a window.”   My door has been closed, but I am eager to find my window, however small, wherever placed.    Glennon says many things that resonate with me, but the main saying tonight has to do with donning my ‘perspectacles’ and seeing things with my right eyes.

I’m sad.  I’m dejected.  I honestly wonder when things in my life will get a bit easier.  I have created some hardships for myself over the past several years, but a lot of what I’ve lived through was not any fault or doing by me.  I’m tired and I’m ready for a bit of coasting and reprieve from the insomnia inducing, anxiety producing, stressful life I face daily.

But when I think about the windows that might open and I put on my nerdy  cute and smart perspectacles, I know in my heart of hearts that my life is good.  I will be okay.  My kids will eat well next month and I won’t have to sell my car.  We are healthy and we are happy together.  If that is what we have,  then we are rich.

BUT…if you know of anyone hiring a creative, hardworking photographer, writer, teacher, window seeking, perspectacle wearing person, PLEASE let me know!




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Yesterday I had the bright idea to let Richard try to take some pictures of me so I’d have something to put on my website or a new profile pic or both.  I was feeling a bit sassy after losing a few pounds and thought, “Why not?”

With my new Laura Mercier foundation and some fresh curls in my hair, we set out for a park I’d been wanting to scout for photo shoots.  The day was gorgeous and we essentially had the area to ourselves.  My self consciousness would be minimized.  Slightly.

Awkwardly, I posed.  Every lesson I’d ever learned from fashion magazines about how to turn my shoulders or tilt my head or turn to my good side flooded my mind.  The harder I tried to look like a natural, the more stilted and goofy I became.  It seems that as soon as a camera is placed in front of me, I forget how to smile.  It’s pretty much Macy’s Law.  Just like the law that states only when I’m looking my absolute, pajamas all day worst will I see 14 people I know in the grocery store.

We plodded through more poses and finally I asked Richard to let me take pictures of him.  Admittedly, I feel far more comfortable behind the lens than in front.

When we finally got home and I was able to view the images we’d shot, I was initially shocked.   First of all, I didn’t look near as thin as I’ve been feeling lately.  I had double chins that had double chins.   My gray roots lined my scalp like a ribbon of highway.  And the wrinkles.  Can anyone say Oil of O-M-G!   Mark Twain says “Wrinkles merely indicate where smiles have been,” and if that is the case, I might very well be the happiest person alive.

Mostly, I just saw how much older I’m looking these days.

I quickly began editing the pictures.  Smudge this wrinkle, blend this chin, cover the gray.  The results were impressive, but there was this gnawing feeling of it not being the true me in the image.

One of my last blogs was about encouraging moms to let themselves be photographed, to be IN the pictures instead of on the other side of the camera, to let go of their insecurities and fears of not being enough.  And yet here I was, modifying my version of what I’d preached and adjusting things to fit my agenda.  It was as if I was saying to myself…”Yes, you SHOULD be in the pictures, but ONLY if you look young enough, thin enough, and pretty enough.”

The thing is, try as I might, I can’t remember when JUST BEING ME was enough.  I recall the day in Kindergarten when our class was taking a field trip to say the Pledge of Allegiance on the local tv station.  All of the other little girls showed up in dresses with pig tails and braids while I forgot and wore jeans, a ratty t shirt and my hair plain and straight.  Just being me that day didn’t feel so good.  Unfortunately, there are countless days and months and decades where that feeling just permeated my soul.

And it’s tiring.

I’m tired of being tired.  I’m tired of worrying and always falling short.  The imaginary bar I’ve set for myself is just that.  Imaginary.

I’m not saying I am giving up on looking healthy and nice, but what I do plan to do is go easy on myself and stop being my worst critic.  I have lived and am living quite the life.  It’s full of twists and turns, many uphill climbs and exhilarating drops.  But it’s the only life I have here and I don’t want to spend it hating on myself for this reason or that.

I’ll still be awkward in front of the camera and my smile will probably do that weird one side up, one side down thing.  The wrinkles are there for now (Botox is just so tempting) and the gray is going to get covered for a few more years, but as long as I feel like I’m enough, that’s going to be good enough for me.  So, the pictures will go untouched.  I left them as they were, wrinkles, chins and gray.

Being okay with just being me is a never ending job.  I know.  But I’m willing to try.




Whole30 Halfway Point: 9 Things I’ve Learned


A friend texted last night that she’d started her first Whole30.  She was drinking mineral water with lime and salt and pretending it was a margarita. I could so relate.

Even though I’m only 16 days into my first Whole30 experience, I realized I have learned some valuable things so I wrote them down to share with her.  I know my situation isn’t like everyone’s, but these are my small gems of wisdom I thought I’d pass along.

Here are 9 things I have noticed and learned these past 16 days.

1.  The Whole30 book by Melissa Hartwig and Dallas Hartwig is indispensable for me.  I have referenced it quite a bit.  When I don’t have it, I have used the plethora of Whole30 authentic and endorsed information on the internet.   I also read It Starts With Food and it was good, but just as they say, a bit heavy on the science of why this program is important.   While good, I USE the Whole30 book more.  It sits on my kitchen counter permanently these days.


There is a ton of FREE information on their website, but I love the hardback so much. I even took it to breakfast before I started.

2.  Also, with regards to the book, I have found their timeline to be pretty damn accurate.  I had the carb hangover and day 2 was a total NOPE day.  Not only could I not ‘adult’, I could barely ‘human’ that day.  I had fatigue that was borderline debilitating (I ate like crap before I started and truly felt the effects of my splurges).   Days 8 and 9 brought the bloat and tummy issues and everything the book outlines.  As a matter of fact,  I’ve been almost textbook other than the Day 4 and 5 Kill All the Things.  That’s sort of been laced in and out several of my days.  But I have felt good as often as I’ve felt bad and definitely better than I did before starting, so it’s been worth it.  I’m currently on Day 16, in waiting mode for Tiger blood.  I began the program with severe adrenal fatigue, but I’m hopeful some Tiger Blood will surge soon!

3.  Label reading is tedious, but important.  There are SO MANY things with sugar in it that you have to be super careful if you are trying to do an absolutely clean Whole30.  For instance, some chicken broth has sugar.  Yes.  I’m not even joking.  There are brands that don’t, but you have to read the labels.  Also, lunch meat is practically impossible to find without carrageenan or sugar in it.  I still haven’t been successful.  Some of the coconut milks are not acceptable.  Label reading can be quite tiring until you get your brands figured out.

4.  Bacon.  Nearly impossible to find without some form of sugar in it.  We finally found some Pederson’s Natural Farms No Sugar Bacon at Whole Foods.  True story:  My husband balked about it’s $7.99 price per package, UNTIL he cooked it and we tasted it.  O.M.G.  It’s the best bacon we’ve ever put into our mouths and we plan to continue buying it after our Whole30 ends.  Yes, it’s THAT good.  You’re welcome. 


Bacon, bacon, bacon! I am not being paid to say this, but Pederson’s has THE BEST!

5.  Our grocery store (shout out to H.E.B.) will have their baby spinach or field greens on sale for 50% off quite often.  Yes, it is probably on the brink of  “Can I eat this safely?” or “Is this gonna make me gag if I find a soggy leaf?”, but honestly, we have found them to be just fine and you get your greens for half price.  Given the amount that you eat in one week, this is one of my best money saving tips for this program and way of eating.

6.  If you’re like me and enjoy a glass of wine at night, La Croix and Kombucha (GT’s Enlightened) will become your best friends.  The fizziness of the La Croix makes your glass seem more ‘fun’ and although the kombucha is an acquired taste, I’ve grown to really look forward to my pro-biotic splurge.  Costco carries both.  The kombucha there are about $0.50 cheaper per bottle and the La Croix was on sale last weekend, so it was much cheaper too (although you don’t get quite the selection you do at the grocery store).   Teas that are Whole30 compliant are also a great alternative to plain water everyone once in a while.

7.  On Day 6,  my husband and I went to a nursery to look for plants to buy for a backyard garden.  Less than one week into the program, we had already decided we wanted to continue eating more this way than we were before.  We also went to two farmer’s markets, specifically looking for cauliflower.  We’d bought three heads at our neighborhood store for $3.50 apiece.  We like to roast them and then make rice with them in our food processor.  In a moment of pure shock, we found a head of cauliflower at Whole Foods that was almost TWICE the size of the heads we found before and it was only $0.50 more.  Also, it was grown in central Texas, so we felt better about buying it anyway.  Point being, don’t discount Whole Foods  just because it typically is more expensive.  We found what we were looking for there after a day of searching.


Yes, I know this isn’t cauliflower, but isn’t it pretty?

8. Speaking of food processor, we love ours.  Or rather, my husband loves ours.  I don’t really cook so I wouldn’t know.   

9. Ultimately, for me it has become a challenge of will, but a challenge I CAN WIN I don’t want to cheat or give in because I made a commitment to do this and I want to succeed.  I can tell I’ve lost weight because my clothes fit better.  I’m happier, can stand to look at myself in the mirror again, and oh…my libido is back.  All good things. I’d like to think my skin looks healthier, I’m sleeping better, I’m mostly in a better mood, but I can’t say for sure.

I know that it’s making me examine my relationship with food/drink/emotions/stress in depth. I totally relate eating and drinking to ‘fun’ and I’ve had to really work hard to come up with things to do in the evening without dinner being the center of attention, wine as an accompaniment, or a splurgy dessert as closure.  I’d like to say I’m a deeper, better, healthier person, but I do still have cravings and get pissed that my husband and I can’t go out on a date and have a few drinks or some indulgent food.  It’s all about reframing your thinking.

I’ve done some super hard things in my life (natural childbirth, loss of my mother, divorce, bankruptcy, job lay off, remarriage, step-parenting, etc.) and this is NOT hard.  Despite that, I still whine about the changes sometimes and get grumpy, but in the end, I am happier. 

I have 14 days to go and I’m excited to see where this journey takes me.

Just Smile

** repost from JCK Images **

January is an interesting month.  So full of expectation and hope, new beginnings and ways to make the next year better than the one before.

I know that with each new year, I vow to work towards a better me.  Many years I plan to lose weight and get healthy.  Often, I resolve to floss regularly and make my bed every morning.  But this year, a different goal has found its way into my mind and most definitely my heart.

This year, I am asking myself to practice kindness.  With others of course, but also with myself.  For as long as I can recall, I have been my harshest critic and worst friend.  This negative thinking manifests itself in many ways, but the one that continually comes to mind this month has to do with photographs.

My fear of looking fat in pictures has kept me away from the other side of the camera for some time. When I couldn’t avoid having my photo taken, I would try any trick to look thinner ( tips for another blog on another day).  I would always rather take the picture than have one taken of me.

Which leads me to the realization that I have been quite selfish.  By avoiding the camera, I am missing out on the chance to create memories that can be shared for years.   But more importantly, I am depriving my children (and their children) of the memories of special people in their lives.

My husband and I both lost our mothers far, far too early in life.  We miss them every single day.  The photographs we do have of them are cherished treasures to us and our children.  But our moms didn’t like having their picture taken or were too busy taking the pictures to make sure they were in any.  There aren’t very many photos of our beautiful moms.  And that makes us sad.

A few weeks ago, I took pictures of my sister’s new granddaughter. My sister was in the room and I managed to sneak some candid shots of her and the baby. She was wearing a sweatshirt and hadn’t fixed her hair, but the pictures I was able to get are some of the most beautiful I have ever seen.  If I’d asked her to be in the photos, she would have refused.  But look what we would have missed.

This year, I will still try to lose weight.  And it would be great if I flossed daily.  But one thing I definitely plan to do is smile for the camera and let myself be photographed.

If you’re worried about not looking good enough in a picture, please know that beauty shines strong from within.  Love yourself and smile  Let every one who loves you have these memories to cherish during your lifetime and theirs.