I’ve thought about my word a lot. And one day it totally came to me out of the blue. One of my great difficulties in life is focus. My mind is constantly going.

When Regan and I were first married we decided we were going to volunteer in a ESL program where we would help people learn to read. In the beginning they did a test where we found out how we each learned. Every other person in the entire group learned one way and I did another. I need to move around. I am learn better while I move and while I see it. It’s kind how I am made. I am fidgety and always dreaming of something. And sometimes that inability to focus makes it really hard for me to pay attention to the things happening around me. Sometimes especially I get really caught up in plans. (Don’t get me started on my business ideas.)

I’ve realized lately that I need to try and focus more. Focus on my kids when they are right there. Focus on my husband. Focus on the Gospel and serving others. Focusing on the things that matter most. Obviously there is time for dreaming and scheming. But there are times when I need to focus on what’s right in front of me. I remember someone describing me as someone who if I was checking the cows, I’d be thinking of the chickens, and when I  got to the chickens I’d be thinking of the sheep, and so on. It’s so true! I do try to stop and be still and aware. But I need to do that more. And it’s what I am going to work on this year.

One of the things I love about taking pictures of my kids is that it helps me to SEE them. To watch and wait and see who they are. And it helps me to capture that too. I feel like photography of my family makes me a better mom. It helps me enjoy small moments.

So that later when I look back and see those pictures again, I am reminded of how special they each are and how much I love them. Since having Norah a lot of extra things I did in my life have been whittled away. I do less of other things. It is so good for me. But so hard too. I feel lost in a way that those things I love to do are less of me. And finding myself even more in my motherhood has been eye opening and challenging. I am more aware of who I am than I think ever before. In some ways that makes it hard too since I see my flaws so much more apparently.

Norah likes me to hold her. A lot. And that has made it hard to get my big camera out. I feel like some child is constantly in my lap. And that makes taking pictures harder. But if I think about it and have it out and around I can capture things. And so can Regan. And now so can Alden and Lucy. Regan took the ones of Lucy in this post and the top one of Eli. It’s getting everyone involved in the capturing of our family. Its funny now cause Lucy and Alden will say “Quick mom, go get your camera. Norah’s doing something really cute!” And if it’s just sitting there, they will take pictures with it too. So I try and leave it exposed for the light in the room we are in most of the time.

This last year I used my phone to a lot. And I am sure I will do it again this year. But I am going to try and get back to using the real camera again. My phone can take great pictures, but I have more freedom and better shots with my big camera. And it distracts the kids less (which is funny) because they aren’t looking for my phone. They ignore my big camera more. 🙂

I want to see my kids in all their beauty and all the blessings in my life. I want to be filled with gratitude and enjoy where I am and who I am with. I want to rejoice in my life more and I think focusing on who I am with and what we are doing will help me to do that more. Less distraction and more focus.

I think we all need a little less technology and a little more human interaction in our lives. I want my kids to know them come first. 

I mean, look at that smile. The love in those eyes. I gotta focus on that and soak it all in.