Life is Good

In the grand scheme of things, life is good.

I have a family that loves me, a home that keeps us warm and we're no longer living in our living room.

And yet, I spend a majority of my time trying to find everyday balance and self care with chores, creativity and motherhood. I agonize over how I'm going to make money, my ultimate calling and where I can best make an impact in the world. I wonder why Ruby decided to 'lean in' to her Terrible Two's at 22 months. Will that whole deal last the entire year if she got started early and often? Why does Sophie, Thomas and Sadie need to go in and out of the house 126 million times a day. Does anyone with a toddler NOT have toys all over the floor? How can we possibly have this much animal hair in the house? How does anyone vacuum in these messes? And ultimately, I wrack my brain trying to fix it.

Our tv is shot. Until our renter moves out and we can attach the actual cable cord, it no longer picks up wifi. So Netflix, Hulu, YouTube... need to be streamed from a computer. Lliam's archaic laptop doesn't want to work so we're using my Mac. Around the same time, Ruby dropped my war torn phone for the last time and I was without one for a few days until the new one came in. So while Ruby watched her videos on youtube, I sat there unable to write blogs, edit photos, check my e-mail, grocery lists were done at nap time... I had to succumb to the 'Blippi's' and the 'Genevieve's Playhouses' of the world.

I could shoot, though. Thanks to The Little Plantation's seasonal food photography challenge, I've been shooting more food lately. Trying to shoot with Ruby around... Holy H... it's such a nightmare.

I feel like shooting food should come naturally as a baker but it really doesn't. I don't have a zillion dollars for props or shopping for gorgeous ingredients at Whole Foods. Some people love to tell a story through food but I guess I feel like it's all been done before.

Photographing people is much more exciting to me. Human beings always have a story. None of us are the same. "Neither is an orange, Mandi!!" Yeah, yeah, yeah... ;) But for whatever reason, the possibilities feel endless. Regardless-- whether I'm a glutton for punishment or just wildly passionate, I decided to do this challenge & am doing my best to see it through. We've had two themes so far... Citrus was one. Cabbage, Kale or Cauliflower was the other.

Our friends Chris & Marie feed a few stray kittens every morning in their backyard. Now, a big brown cat they've named Brownie comes by and eats all the other cats' food. Chris gets a really deep, disgruntled voice and scolds the cat, "Broooooownieeeeee!!!" And that is how I feel every time my kid grabs my set-ups.

RUBBBBBYYYYY!!!!! (In real life, there's a lot more swearing).

I mean, a whole orange, man! She just grabbed it and shoved it in.

And now she's at that age where she doesn't want snuggles. Everything is whining. She's digressed in speech and the only word she knows is 'no.' She'll ask for something, I'll give it to her and she'll kick and scream like I killed the Paw Patrol. THERE IS NO WAY TO WIN!!!

So... I shoot vegetables. I shoot vegetables like a Catholic prays to the Holy Mother.

But the thing is... I have a really good life. My gratitude lists are FULL. Yeah, we have a house that's in progress. Yeah, I have to find a way to get permanent market out of really nice duvet cover. But even without the 'wins' we've made on the house... I have a really good life. Everyone in my immediate circle is alive & breathing. We've got some debt but we're still above water financially. No one is turning off our lights, you know? For me, it's soooo easy to forget that as a stay at home mom without any autonomy. It just gets lost. But truly... I am blessed. And I can't allow myself to say that lightly anymore.

So... in the chaos of motherhood and my unknown future... I'm going to start focusing more on that.

I have a really good life.

I have a really good life.

I have a really good life.

Happy Wednesday, y'all. xoxo

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