Tuesday, February 8, 2011

{Gift From the Heart}

We are eight days into the Joy Of Love online photography class . . . and I'm already a day behind. :( Yesterday's assignment was Generations - take a photo to represent generations of your family. I had planned to get a photo of my kids with my mother on Sunday, but I forgot to bring my camera to the Superbowl party we were at. So that day will have to wait.

Today's assignment was to photograph the best gift your loved one has given you. I knew immediately what my best gift was (really, is): through Cory's hard work and total belief in the importance of raising our children ourselves, I have been able to be a stay-at-home-mom since the day Sasha was born almost 7 and a half years ago. I haven't missed a single milestone, a single silly moment, or a single opportunity to snuggle, play, and learn together. There is no better gift on earth than enjoying the formative years with your children.

Now, how do I photograph this gift? I thought about it all morning and finally figured it out this afternoon. When Cory and I were newlyweds we lived in southern Virginia. He was in veterinarian school at Virginia Tech and I was supporting us by teaching and waitressing at a Cracker Barrell. I made next to nothing. Teaching salaries get worse and worse the further south you go, and this was 1999. I believe I made $27,000 a year teaching. The waitressing was an absolute necessity to keep us afloat.

Long story short, I spent many, many days in my classroom dreaming about the day I could sit at home with my then unborn little girls watching Cinderella. Instead of trying to teach all those 8th graders how to write an essay, I wanted to be snuggling with my own children, sniffing their hair and getting lost in the magic of Disney with them. Being a mom has always been my dream and I could hardly wait to start a family.

So while it may be a bit odd, this photo captures my dream coming true. I've now watched Cinderella - and shelves full of other Disney and Barbie movies - with my little girls countless times. It never gets old. Sometimes I'll put a movie on for them to watch so I can do things around the house, but I always seem to end up on the couch with them, totally taken in by the same stories I've seen so many times before. This wouldn't be possible if it weren't for Cory and his support. He has given me my ultimate dream and I'll be grateful for him and his gift.

Now for the photography lesson. Today we were supposed to use our camera in FULL manual mode. I didn't realize this until after I took the photo, though. So I'll have to read the instructions more carefully for tomorrow and play around with my camera a bit more. Going fully manual scares me a tad, but I'm excited to give it a shot!


  1. Thanks for reminding me of why I stay home, regardless of the emotional and financial burdens. Blessings!

  2. Made me teary--it is SUCH a blessing! Thanks for sharing!!!

  3. Love it, and dreaming of when I can 'fully' stay home too! (Without the focus being on 8th graders and their essays)