Sunday, November 16, 2014

Behind the camera

Spoiler alert: the flowers aren't fresh-cut. 

But really, who doesn't love an idyllic little scene like this? A bright corner, flowers, and color-coordinated and thoughtfully-arranged desk accessories that are symbols of productivity. But as I was looking at these shots the other day, I felt compelled to share some of the things that too often we choose to edit out or omit altogether before we post or share with the world.

As a creative person, it's natural to want to share the beauty. But I also want to share the chaos in the beauty, and the stories behind what we do that make them more rich, more meaningful, and more human. I don't want to edit out the crazy, and often imperfect details of my everyday.

So yes, I will share shots that look like this:


...and this:


But I'll also share shots like this:

That's my one-year-old in his footie PJs. In the afternoon. He is determined to get to the boxes that mom worked on while watching Shark Tank re-runs the night before. Note the exercise ball in the background, which has not been used for anything exercise-related for quite some time (unless, of course, you count playing "catch" with a toddler exercise). 

Lest you think that I'm supermom and am able to run a successful business while caring for two active boys, I should disclose that we're blessed to have the most fabulous caregivers watch our littlest guy three days a week while his big bro is at school. He gets loved on and played with, and we get work done. I am also grateful for Mark, my fabulous husband and business partner, who helps me in countless ways and keeps our house (and our business) humming along. 

While the boys are at school and the house is empty, I'm not busy making batches of home-made yogurt or laundry detergent. I am not tending to live chickens, or planning the upcoming week's meals, or stirring the pot of home-made soup on the stove, or exercising (as I probably should). I'm sending e-mails, setting up photo shoots in our dining room, scheduling calls with our distributor, replying to Etsy convos, sketching in my notepad, meeting with our shipping manager, editing photos, listing products, posting on our social media channels, and basically squeezing in as much "heart and hustle" as I can for the business between 9 and 5 so that when my boys get home, I can be present for them. It doesn't always work out that way, and more often than not that means speed-dialing take-out, or a family dinner at IKEA down the road. And I'm usually picking up where I left off after the last story has been read and the final good-night kiss has been given.

 Above: Here is the same busy toddler next to the lines of boxes that stretch from our front entry and into our kitchen. To me, these boxes are a reminder of the shortage of space in our home-based studio. To this little guy, they're just a slam dunk waiting to happen. When each box of shipping supplies arrives, I open and inspect it in our kitchen before the items are stored. You wouldn't believe the things I find he's squirreled away in these boxes. A particular pair of Spiderman underpants comes to mind.

Too often these days, I find myself looking around and pining for more space. Wishing that my desktop always looked neat and orderly and photogenic. Longing for a warehouse to store all of the boxes coming in and out of our space. Heck, I'd just appreciate a buffer of space between work and home life from time to time. But I'm reminded to look at these sweet days and just savor them. To try not to compare my beginning to someone else's middle. And to thank God for the daily blessings that He gives rather than to wish for more (or less) than I have right now, in this moment.

Even on good days, our life is chaotic. But there's a beauty in that chaos, and I wouldn't trade this life we have for anything else.

Thank-you so much for joining us on this journey!


P.S. Click here to follow the beautiful chaos on Instagram (@inklingspaperie).