Quarantine has been a rollercoaster. The first 90 days of it, were a much needed and welcomed reminder of how little is in our control, and that the only thing that matters is who lives within the same walls as me. And how we were the first line of defense against anything trying to harm us or the ones we love. Our house, our family and our internet streaming services.
And if I am being honest, those first few months, woke me up a bit. I was reminded of how sweet my baby girl’s head smelled after a long bath. And how high pitched my beautiful boy’s voice got when Jurassic Park spooked him just a little too much.
We dug for worms, we painted rocks, baked 250 cupcakes, built forts and sang planet songs. And I remember one night, I thought to myself, “THIS. THIS, is living.”
But now we are circling the 6th month of this pandemic. 180+ days of unwavering and constant uncertainty . People have lost their jobs, and so many of us, feel like we are losing our minds. Because even in the moments of joy, we are starting to think of the things we may not experience for a great while. Like my children on their first airplane, or my daughter at her first gymnastics class. T-ball and pizza parties with friends. Crowds, fests, parks, beaches, Cubs games, family reunions, weddings, or just simply having coffee with your grandmother, and not having to worry that you may have passed something onto her.
These things fly through your head and even though they seem airy and abstract, the thought of all of those simple pleasures being taken from us for the foreseeable future, feels….heavy.
It feels dark.
And if I’m being honest, it felt a little, hopeless.
So when I reached out to Laurie for our annual family pictures, I remember thinking, “Really? THIS is what you are worried about right now? PICTURES?!”
But I did it anyway. My gorgeous little girl was turning two soon, and even in the midst of a pandemic, I owed it to her, and myself to document this part of her life. Her wispy hair, and only-authentic-and-all-encompassing smiles. Her inability to sit still. Her adoration for her brother. Her, innate and crucial, light.
I dug through all of our closets and slapped some outfits together. Ran a brush through everyone’s hair (those of us that have some – ha), and we got in the car and drove to our outdoor location.
And per usual, it was CHAOS.
But a familiar, hilarious, LIGHT, chaos.
My crazy girl ran around making it almost impossible to grab a picture of her looking at the camera. And my almost 5 year old son, could not stop laughing at our attempts to tame her.
We were sweating, and laughing. We were in the sun, and picking flowers.
And even though I walked away thinking, “there is NO way, she could have gotten one of us looking”. I felt it again.
We grabbed ice cream cones, and headed back home. We got in our PJs and fell asleep on the couch; a baby of mine, in each arm.
I know that these times feel impossible. They are scary, and we never really know what crisis is coming at us next. But when you can, try to keep your traditions. Especially the ones you know you’ll savor after the darkness passes.
Stay healthy and keep laughing,
‘M’ has been a client since her oldest was itty bitty and I’m happy to say our client/photographer relationship has grown into a wonderful friendship. She is a beautiful writer and also works behind the scenes here at Elle Baker Photography. I’m so incredibly thankful to have met her and her family.
‘M’ is witty, charming, relatable and has a relaxed demeanor about her. I always enjoy my time spent with her at sessions. She goes with the flow and embraces every session for what it is – busy, energetic, lively. Aside from being adorable, her kiddos are sweet and have more energy in their pinkies than I do in my whole body. And her husband is kind and patient and a stand up dad.
She wrote the beautiful letter above about how her photo session tradition was her ‘quarantine cure’ and I just had to share it with all of you!
Hello!! I’m Laurie, photographer behind the camera, and I have been offering New Lenox family photography for over 12 years now. Family photography is a niche I love and will always have a special place in my heart. I know how fast time flies and watching my own babies grow before my eyes – I have an appreciation for wanting to slow it all down and document life.
Fall has always been my busiest time of year for me and this year is no exception. I am currently booking outdoor fall sessions in the New Lenox, Mokena, and Frankfort areas. The fields are beautiful this time of year with the long grasses and lush landscapes. If you are interested in booking a family session this fall please contact me as soon as possible !
What started as a tickle fight ended up with “L” fighting back with her little white purse. I don’t know if I have laughed so hard at a session before!
Then somehow we lost a diaper! And his reaction was priceless. I can hear his belly laughs when I look at that photo.