Just How I Pictured It


April 20, 2013 by Julia

These past two weeks of spring have been particularly beautiful, to the point that I ache. The sunlight through the new green leaves is almost too much. Things are sparkly. Storms are coming. Tulips have bloomed in my garden, and I didn’t have to do a thing to get them here. They just showed up.

It might just be the allergies and rain, but lately I don’t feel fit to socialize with other human beings. I can’t think of things to talk about. I am in a dreamy haze, following my rain-booted children with a camera, trying to capture the fleeting beauty of this season of our lives.

IMG_4799 IMG_4802 IMG_4803 IMG_4810 IMG_4817 IMG_4834 IMG_4815 IMG_4825 IMG_4827

When the seasons change, I think our perspectives deepen and become more far-reaching. Maybe that’s where the sweet ache comes from. Fall makes me nostalgic for things that are either passing or long gone. Spring makes me long for experiences I can’t quite articulate. Something wild, or luxurious. I want to go out dancing, or hike a mountain, or lie in bed all day with the windows open, reading an entire book. I want to grab it all. The kids seem to feel the same way.

IMG_4564 IMG_4637 IMG_4583 IMG_4573 IMG_4485 IMG_4581 IMG_4629 IMG_4633 IMG_4708 IMG_4706 IMG_4710

I can’t help seeing the art in our days. Children are endlessly captivating subjects. They almost literally glow. Their loveliness is like the light at the end of the tunnel – whatever tunnel you happen to find yourself in at that moment.

Photos might not tell the whole story. They don’t tell that on our way to the gardens I had to stop for an emergency preschooler bathroom break in an unknown neighborhood, and I nearly lost it. But the photos can’t entirely lie, either. The beauty they show is actually there – in our little family, in the wide-open sky, in the wind blowing Fiona’s hair.

The entire morning may have been a wash: we left the house in disarray, watched too much TV, lost our patience with one another. But here are my glowing children, running through a garden, getting dirt on their faces, screaming and exploring and splashing. Maybe I am giving them a good childhood, after all. And as for me – I could be in an office somewhere, eating a Lean Pocket (not even a Hot Pocket!) at my desk – but instead I am here, having a picnic. I may not get to eat much during this picnic, and I may have to eventually strap Jack into his stroller to keep him from running away, but still. These are the kinds of experiences that made me want to be a parent.

IMG_4733 IMG_4755 IMG_4756 IMG_4783


IMG_4798 IMG_4779 IMG_4786 IMG_4788

So I take a picture, to help me focus on the beauty of it all.

IMG_4774 IMG_4767

And there’s that beautiful ache, again.


12 thoughts on “Just How I Pictured It

  1. Britt says:

    Honestly, one of my favorites so far 🙂 makes me excited to experience parenthood one day. And your children looking like they are perfectly content spending their days with their mommy 🙂

    • Julia says:

      Thank you, Brittany! That means a lot to me. I think if you go into parenthood with equal parts excitement and fear, you won’t be disappointed, ha ha. I can’t wait for you guys to experience it! But no rush! 🙂

  2. Emmie S. says:

    I love the pic of Fiona in the spiral. It captures her spirit. 🙂

  3. Amber Perea says:

    Such beautiful photographs!

  4. I think we’d be friends in real life. 🙂 Last night my kids were on the trampoline with my hubby. The sun was on its way down and was shining on all the new leaves and on the kids’ faces. I had a sudden realization…that I have what I’ve always wanted, right there in front of me.

    • Julia says:

      That’s beautiful. I find myself thinking the same thing whenever I take a moment to reflect. And I agree that we’d be friends! I loved your post on not judging our fellow mamas because we may not know the whole story.

  5. This is beautiful! “Spring makes me long for experiences I can’t quite articulate. Something wild, or luxurious. I want to go out dancing, or hike a mountain, or lie in bed all day with the windows open, reading an entire book. I want to grab it all.” – Gorgeous, perfectly sums up how spring makes me feel, too. Thank you!

  6. Lara says:

    This was stunning. The words, the photos, all of it. Just stunning.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s


Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 531 other followers



--- A Return to Art Criticism ---

Radical Discipleship

A Joint Project of Bartimaeus Cooperative Ministries and Word & World

Read Diverse Books

Let's Read The World


A daily selection of the best content published on WordPress, collected for you by humans who love to read.

Angela Barnett

Writer. Wig Wearer. Shame Buster.

Things We Like

a project by jessica gross

LaMonte M. Fowler

an indie author writing to stay sane

Kelsey L. Munger

writer & writing coach


Social Justice | Pop Culture | Black Girl Magic

One Awkward Year

wow, this is awkward . . .

The Belle Jar

"Let me live, love and say it well in good sentences." - Sylvia Plath

Joy, Lovely Joy

Writing through mothering

Fucking Awesome Bulimics I Know

Kicking that pimp called Shame in the shins.

An Honest Mom

From the hip on mindfulness, parenting, feminism and homesteading.


small shares from Pronoia Coaching

James Gillingham - Long Arm Films

Thinking thoughts and making films

Jennifer Keishin Armstrong

Writing for the Pop Culture Literate.

Laura Parrott Perry

We've all got a story to tell.

Ginger's Grocery

Come on in and browse. The biscuits were made fresh this morning, the Slush Puppie machine was just refilled with a new bottle of red syrup, and we have the biggest selection of bait this close to town.


some of us are brave

Music for Deckchairs

"In shadowy, silent distance grew the iceberg too": universities, technology, work and life

my name is elizabeth

stories about race, culture, and identity

Priss & Vinegar

Lawyer by trade. Writer at heart. Housewife by accident.

Angela Tucker

Blogger / Speaker / Educator

Candice Czubernat

A leading voice in the LGBTQ and Christian dialogue

Song of the Lark

Music, melodies, mutterings

Adventures of a Teacher Nerdfighter

Building a fifth grade classroom community around enthusiasm, creativity, and awesome.

Michelle Murnin Paulson

Evidential Spiritual Medium & Blogger

Olivia A. Cole

Author. Blogger. Bigmouth.

%d bloggers like this: