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I have a little critic in my head. Actually, to be fair I live with 4 tiny little critics in my house, but they only like to be critical about the food on their plates and what one of their siblings wants to watch on TV.

The critic in my head covers deeper issues.

You look fat in these jeans.

You’ll never finish that half marathon you signed up for.  (That’s a whole ‘nother post just waiting to happen.)

You’re really not a very good mom right now.

You don’t pay enough attention to your husband.

You’re so in over your head – you can’t handle this!

Your photography is lacking, and you shouldn’t be charging for it.

You’re a pretty terrible friend.

They’re not going to like you – you’re kinda weird.

And on. And on. And on…

Sometimes the little critic is good to have around. It’s like my little nudge to chill out with my kids, put the computer away for an evening so I can just sit, undistracted, with Nick, or to push through a run I really don’t want to do. While I know the critic is full of poo when it tells me I shouldn’t be charging for my photography, it is good when I can use it to push myself creatively and technically instead. Criticism can be good when I use it to power me on to greater things! It can be terrible though when I let it cripple me, and I miss out on life because of it.

A little insider secret here – I’m not as confident as I appear! That, my friends, is an amazing act.

A couple of weeks ago I spoke at a some local mom groups, and I tell you what, even though I knew I could I handle it, I could feel my stomach knotting up the closer I got to the church the groups meet at. The butterflies were insane, and I had to power through them with a lot of pep talks, to cover up the critical thoughts I could feel creeping in already.

The number of times I’ve chickened out of going to a casual get together, just because I don’t know many (if any) people is rather sad, but I did force myself to conquer that one just this weekend.

The appearance critic is the one that pops in most often, and I really dislike that one.

Sometimes it feels like I’m in a fog of self-criticism.

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Have you ever watched fog “burn off”? You can feel it coming, because you can see the dim glow of the sun trying to push through. Eventually the sun wins out, and the fog dissipates!

I’ve learned over the recent years when I’m very intentional about letting the “sun” (joy & gratitude) into my life, I’m a far happier wife, mom, friend, and business owner. When I feel the fog creeping in (or it’s settled in for a couple of days of “fun”), I have to really focus on bringing the sun out to burn it off.

Feeling like a crappy mom? Bring on the time out for myself, and then spend some time looking at old pictures and videos with the kids – it always brings smiles to all of our faces, no matter what went down before hand!

Beating myself up over my looks? I spend a lot of time reminding myself of how far I’ve come, and then I make a plan for the next week, whether it be a workout schedule, meal planning, or trying on some clothes that are too big for me now.

Feeling bummed because my business isn’t exactly what/where I want it to be right now? Focusing on how far I’ve come, how things have exceeded my initial dreams by leaps and bounds, and then looking through old photos so I can cringe, and then remind myself how much I’ve improved, helps immensely. Then I can take the new fire and turn it into good things.

Hello sun, buh-bye fog!

Fog always comes back at some point – the key is remembering the sun will come out again too.

Poor Lily woke up this morning with a runny nose, and nasty sounding cough. While the rest of the family headed out for an early morning basketball game, I set her up on the couch with some of her closest friends.

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This girl has such an imagination! While she loves watching her favorite shows, or playing games on the Kindle or iPad, she really loves sitting on the floor in her room, playing with her dolls, figurines, and stuffed animals. She can entertain herself in that little imaginary world for HOURS! It’s like night and day from her brothers!

She also loves playing with her little camera she got in her stocking this Christmas. Girl after my own heart!

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Doesn’t Gus look impressed?

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I love this one! Maybe because I like to think that’s how I often look to my clients, when I glance at the back of my camera during a session!

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Sure looks like a selfie to me…. ha!

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Here’s hoping some rest, love, and oils will help her bounce back quickly!

(And yes, she’s majorly obsessed with all things Mickey Mouse! Mickey is her preference, while Minnie comes in a close second.)

Further proof that I really don’t take enough “real” pictures of my own family… know how many pictures are in my September 14 folder? 23. Only 4 of those are actually of my kids. Ouch!

However, one of those 4 is of my super sweet Silly Lily, on her first day of preschool!

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Such a cutie! She LOVES school! She goes 2 days a week, and I think would love it if she could go more often. She calls one little boy “my kid”, which cracks me up! “Mommy! There’s my kid! I played with him today!”

Know what blows my mind (and Nick’s too)? We’ve already registered her for next year, which is, wait for it…. her last year of preschool!

How is it that time has flown so fast, that my baby will be starting her final year of preschool later this year?!

While some days seem sooooo long, that I will actually speed time up by changing the clocks just to get us to bedtime before I lose my mind(true story – I did that on Monday, and totally pulled it off!), the months and years are flying past at lightning speed.

There are days I wish I could go back to when my boys were chubby little babies, just sitting on the living room floor, or the days I could wear Lily in my Moby wrap… those are the days I miss the most (clearly I loved the baby stage!). Sadly though, I don’t have the time to work on my time machine, so time keeps trucking along, and I try to just keep up.

  • February 21, 2015 - 8:54 am

    MandyE - That just seems crazy!!! For some reason, the shadow silhouette picture you took of yourself when you were pregnant with Lily sticks in my mind. It surely doesn’t seem like she should be in preschool already!

    (Of course my girlies are in kindergarten now…and that obviously doesn’t seem right, either!!!)ReplyCancel