Growing up, our annual Mother's Day tradition was to simply go out to dinner with my grandparents. We weren't really the type of family to give thoughtful homemade gifts or even pricey ones. Instead, we always gave Hallmark cards to express our love and gratitude.
*insert joke about this being another Hallmark holiday*
But seriously, my family was INTO IT, especially my Grandma. For any type of celebration, you'd get a card with the date written inside, because the expectation was that you'd keep it FOREVER, and one day, you'll NEED to know when in your life that card was given to you.
For the record, I rebelled against this little detail. Don't get me wrong, I'm all about putting your thoughts and feelings onto paper. But unless you've added YOUR words to it, I likely won't keep it.
And IF someone thought of it, we'd take a quick photo at the messy table after dinner or outside in the parking lot to document the "moment". Even though all of the moments had already happened while we were eating, laughing and sharing stories during dinner.
When my Grandpa passed away from bone cancer, my Grandma came to live with my Mom and I. The next 10 Mother's Days looked a little different. Instead of going out to eat, we ordered take-out from The Cheesecake Factory (because unfortunately the gift of cooking was not something I was born to give) and we didn't take any photos. Going out to eat or taking photos just wasn't something she enjoyed as much without my Grandpa.
We still gave her cards though because that was definitely her thing, even though her macular-degenerating eyes could no longer read them. So instead, we read them out loud to her. And honestly, I think she loved that even more, because those well-crafted words for $2.99 hold far more value when said in your own voice. My eyes would well-up with tears she couldn't see as I watched her face light up with the most genuine smile. That was all I needed...at the time.
After she passed away from cancer last year, I found those awkward restaurant photos in a box under the bed during a search for photos of her and I together. I kept wondering why we even bothered taking them? We did nothing with them. They didn't capture her spirit, her laugh, her smile. They didn't show the close relationship we had, especially during the last 10 years when we were the closest. They didn't highlight the details in our face that told you we were related. Our surroundings were an ugly distraction, our smiles weren't natural and let's be real, flash isn't always the most flattering. And honestly, this was how we documented most celebrations! How many genuine moments have been missed and replaced with these after-the-fact snapshots? Too many.
You may be nodding your head in agreement, almost laughing at the similarities between your story and mine. Just swap out the people and you know exactly what I'm talking about, right?
This is exactly why I offer Mother's Day Mini-Sessions. You won't need to ask your server or hostess to take a quick photo that will only live on Instagram or Facebook (if it's not too embarrassing to share), because you'll have just met with me before dinner for a quick 20-minute session to get photos you'll actually want to frame. I help jumpstart an evening of story-telling by creating an interactive session and give you the opportunity to say your "Hallmark card" out-loud.
These are all moments that would have happened anyway, but this time, they'll be properly documented, irreplaceable and will truly last you a lifetime.
Get all the details on when and how to book your session right over here. :)
I can't wait to meet yo' mamas! But for now, please enjoy these sweet moments captured last weekend with Courtenay and her mama!