This image is not at all the photo I set out to capture, but I love it just the same.

I am admittedly a recovering perfectionist. I came into this world thinking that my self-worth was based on my ability to be "perfect" in every way. As you can imagine, anyone living with the expectation they should be perfect will always be disappointed.

By the time, I graduated high school I had realized that my attempts at perfection were not only futile but also caused a constant state of anxiety, I did not want to be a perfectionist any longer, and I set out to change. Twenty years later, I am not cured of my desire to be perfect, but I am much better at setting expectations that I can meet.

I love photographs of my children. I do not have the best long-term memory so having beautiful images to look back on helps me remember. So historically, at least once per year since 2009, I have hired a professional photographer to capture photographs of the kids for me to treasure.

The yearly Photoshoot has always been a big event. I have carefully selected the outfits, the location, and the look and feel of the photos I am after. I make hair and makeup appointments for myself. I check the weather constantly during the week leading up to the Photoshoot date. The day of the shoot, I carefully assess the moods of the children and determine the best way to bribe and coerce smiles from all three of them. I have allowed the process of creating the beautiful images I desire to turn into an anxiety-ridden mess of a situation year after year.

I am hoping I have finally learned my lesson. These photos date back a year. I wanted the sun; I got gloom, I wanted flowers, I got weeds, I wanted everyone smiling sweetly, I got an upside down toddler.


These images are not at all, what I wanted, but when I look at them, they bring me so much joy. I am so thankful that Renee Hindman captured this memory.

I do not want to look back at my life and wish that I had worried less. I want to look back on my life and know with confidence that I found joy in every blessing.