Tuesday, April 2, 2013

a thousand terrible words

A few weeks back a friend met us at the Almond Orchards we took some pictures...

I am so incredibly happy behind the lens of my camera...at ease and right at home...

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But being on the flip side of the lens is pretty unbearable for me... I couldn't remember how to smile or what to do with my suddenly awkward hands... I hated every second...

And my photographer Friend Vanessa took most of the pictures with my camera - and when I went home I uploaded them into my computer and cringed.... ughhh.... my nose looks so big...and my arms are tan and my legs are pale...my hair color looked orange and stripey and so Kate Goessling... My stomach is so poochie and used to be so flat...And I thought a thousand other terrible words as I went through the pictures...And then I opened up a box of Valentine's chocolates and just started eating- because what's the point?

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And you may look at the pictures and say- What are you talking about? you looked fine!

But you know what I mean...I know you know what I mean...and I know what you mean because I would most likely look at pictures of you and see nothing but your beauty and tell you so...And I would think, You are so lucky you don't have (insert whatever I hate about myself) without noticing whatever it is you have that you hate about yourself.

It's easy for us to see what we long for...what we are missing... and therefore miss out on what we have... The woman who can't get pregnant notices pregnant bellies everywhere they go...The woman who just had a miscarriage sees beautiful babies at every turn...The woman recently separated sees what looks like perfect families everywhere... The woman who wants to lose weight notices only the skinny people...

All these feelings...all these things make us feel isolated and unlovably different...and we think we are the only ones that feel so pathetic when looking at our own picture...so it suddenly becomes easier to stay out of pictures. 

I'm so mad at myself for identifying my mood with the image my eyes see... I know it's wrong- and I'm working on it... I've struggled with this concept all my Life...I've lived through years of an Eating Disorder... Working so hard at being OK with my outside. So now I'm left double sad...Sad for sometimes hating what I see in pictures and in the mirror...and then sad for being so stupid and vain.

I'm tired of being double sad... I just want to be happy...

Do you understand how I feel? I think you do.

I've heard it said that men base their esteem on their success at work, and woman base their esteem on how they look...And most woman have impossible standards of beauty --so how can we ever really measure up?...I could blame TV and magazines and society...but I buy the magazines and I watch the shows... so it's up to me to change how I feel about me... It's up to me to be more forgiving in my personal standards of beauty.

I am a work in process. I am imperfect in body and in mind. I'm working to be my realest possible self. Telling you all of this makes me feel vulnerable and raw...which means that I am being real...

And admitting is the first step... and so I am working on loving the me I see in the mirror...

I am getting in pictures with my children because I believe in documenting moments and feelings... I'm not a super model and never aspired to be one... I like on-purpose portraits- but I really really really love candid every day life...

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A friend took this picture of Parker and I one day on a walk- I didn't know she was taking it. I love this picture because she captured how I feel when I hug Parker... so much love shining from above.

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And this picture makes me smile because it's just totally our real World... Us at the grocery store early this evening... (Michael took the picture- I didn't ask a random stranger this time!) Greyson is doing some funny Tai Chi looking move he does. Waving his hands in front of his face- fascinated...

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They are beautiful and perfect and they hear us when we say- Ughhhhh- I hate being in pictures...They hear- ughhhh- I look so fat- ugly-terrible...

And playing with water balloons outside tonight...

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Poor guy didn't understand the balloon actually was supposed to pop...

I'm trying to get in the picture, Friend...It doesn't matter what I look like- it matters who I am and what I do with my precious Life... I know one day these pictures will evoke some of the most sugar dusted memories possible...It will show my kids that we had fun together.

And one day I might even look back on the 39 year old me and think- Damn girl- you were alright...

I want you to get in the picture too in your Life. It's just too precious not to.


Come say hello...


  1. With all due respect - it's not about you. What? I said with all due respect ;)
    I make sure I am in the pictures because I want my son to have the memories. And my son will NEVER see the terrible things I see when I look at them. He will just see a mom that was in the picture right along side him. At least I hope that is what he sees and not my nose that looks like a penis in most pictures when I scrunch my face too much - I swear it's true!
    For what it is worth I think all of the photos are gorgeous, especially the one on the bench with Parker.
    Happy Hump day beautiful Mama. Jennifer

  2. Beautiful words, beautiful message, beautiful pictures, dear Chrissy. I have also been making a concerted effort to get in the pictures with my girlies. It's so hard sometimes, though, but like you said life is "just too precious not to". Hugs to you.

  3. I read this post this morning. It has stuck with me all day.

    As a self-proclaimed perfectionist, I have struggled with my own vanity and need for perfection since my daughter was diagnosed with a potentially disfiguring genetic disorder at the age of 3.

    I'm still want to feel beautiful. I still get a high off of gorgeous, perfect things. I still beat myself up for my own physical imperfections...way more than a person should. Yet, I want to believe in a world that accepts and embraces imperfection and difference. I want to believe that my daughter will never struggle feeling her beauty and place in this world. And I can't even do it myself.

    It is a very tough spot to be in, especially as a mother.

  4. Everything you wrote was like it was about me. I will never be satisfied with pictures of myself or my own reflection. To be honest I'm so thankful I have boys because I wouldn't want a daughter of my own feeling this way about herself all of her life. I'm told I'm good looking and slim but I see an aging big hipped 35 year old. Thank you so much for being so open and honest everyday. It's so nice to know we're not alone in this crazy life! You're an inspiration and beautiful!