September through December is really busy here in the photography world, lots of family photo sessions and traveling and seniors who are super on the ball or trying to make yearbook deadlines on top of the typical ebb and flow of newborn, engagement and one year photo sessions. This means I have to be very intentional about family time. There were times in years past where I would just work non stop, but over the years I’ve learned about setting up boundaries between my work life and home life, which is especially hard when you primarily work out of your home. It’s worth it though, it makes for better relationships and it makes me a better photographer overall because my life feels more balanced.
Since Issa is older this year and actually kind of ‘gets’ Christmas we decided to create things to together (and sometimes with friends too) on our Advent calendar. There are tons of amazing handmade advent calendars on Pinterest like this one from A Beautiful Mess and this one from The Handmade Home and I truly wanted to make our own.
However, on top of learning about balancing family time and work time I have also learned that I am not superwoman. In a perfect world I would make everything handmade, put on makeup every day, and have homemade dinner ready when Bill walks in the door. But this is not a perfect world and clients need Christmas cards and prints in time for Christmas, and sometimes its ok to go through a day in sweatpants, and do a fend for yourself-eat what ever is there dinner.
So for now, I bought a cute count down to Christmas tree shaped one from Target. It has little pockets for each day and you move a santa head day to day. The Santa head part is kinda weird now that I write it, but I promise, it’s cute. And because my crazy days are really the first two weeks of December we skipped those and decided to focus on the 14 days leading up to Christmas and do advent activities on those days. Some days are little things like make paper snowflakes or dance to Christmas music and some days, like Sunday are bigger things.
Sunday was our second advent activity and we visited a local Christmas Tree farm, saw Santa, a few animals and rode the tractor around the farm to see the trees. It was an inexpensive ($8 for the santa picture and that was it) and fun day. Issa’s friends George and Cruz joined us and it was loads of fun watching them run around together and be toddlers. It’s amazing to think they all met before they could even walk.
The picture below is one of my favorites (as well as the two above). I’m pretty sure this is what they’ll look like 5, 10, and 15 years down the road. Hopefully Issa will have more hair then.
Santa was not a hit again this year. We even talked it up and tried to prep her for it, but yet again, more screams, this time with real words, “mommy don’t like it!” But ask this kid to stand next to a snowman cut out and she’s all smiles. Theres a serious Frosty the Snowman obsession in our house these days, I’m not sure what we’re going to do when the season is over.
What are you doing to create special moments with your family over the holidays?