Embracing Imperfection

Embracing Imperfection. A good read! From FunCheapOrFree.com

We get professional family pictures taken each year around Christmas (just in time for the Christmas cards, of course). They are important to me because it’s pretty much the only time in history where all 6 of us are in front of the camera, not to mention looking less homeless than usual.

This year we waited until Daivy was born (Thanksgiving week) and had to hurriedly CRAM pictures in so we could get Christmas cards in time. The only appointment slot available was at 8:15am (ouch) on a Saturday (double ouch). We woke up, I barked orders at the kids and Bubba all morning, we tumbled into the car, sped to the studio where we arrived 10 minutes late, then spent the next 50 minutes forcing smiles and trying to act natural and happy in order to get THE PERFECT family photo.

Later that day I got an email with our edited, completed pictures. As I scrolled through them my heart sank.

I didn’t see a single perfect picture.

In fact, I saw flaws. MAJOR flaws. My stomach tightened and I found myself getting more and more angry with each picture I clicked through.

I clicked, and clicked, and clicked. The flaws kept piling up.

Beck not smiling. Priya kicking off her shoe. Daivy scrunched up.

Embracing Imperfection. A valuable read, from FunCheapOrFree.com

Weird lighting. Too much red. Frizzy hair. Unnatural arms.

Embracing Imperfection. A valuable read, from FunCheapOrFree.com

 Beck: a moving blur.

Embracing Imperfection. A valuable read, from FunCheapOrFree.com

Not a single shot of him standing still, let alone smiling “normal”.

Embracing Imperfection. A valuable read, from FunCheapOrFree.com

Daivy, playing peekaboo with someone scary.

Embracing Imperfection. A valuable read, from FunCheapOrFree.com

 Hutch’s cheesy smile. My flat hair. Bubba’s unflattering angle. All of us awkwardly posed on the ground. All the yellow on the front row.

Embracing Imperfection. A valuable read, from FunCheapOrFree.com

Within minutes I went from angry to FUMING. I was convinced the entire shoot was a disaster, not a single picture was worth using on our Christmas cards. I called the studio right then and there and tried to be civil, while explaining that my photographer was the worst person on the planet, needed to be fired, then burned at the stake. (Ok fine…or I politely asked to be able to choose more photo options because I didn’t like the ones she sent to us.) They said they’d get back to me. (In case you’re wondering, that’s studio speak for “we’re busy, you’re crazy, your pictures are fine, buzz off.”)

Just then my mom called. Of course. Perfect! Someone to be mad at the world with me! 

I huffed and puffed to her about how horrible our pictures were, and how disappointed everyone would be to not receive a perfect Christmas card from us this year. “Oh no! Send them to me so I can see.” I sent her the link, excited to have a wingman for the stake-burning. She opened the link and started clicking through the pictures. But instead of frustration and empathy…

Silence.

After a few moments she faintly says into the phone, “oh Jordan…”

(right?? Mom, aren’t you as mad as me? Isn’t life so unjust and isn’t this the worst studio on the planet? Aren’t you excited to break down their door with an oversized log like they do in Beauty and the Beast?)

“…they are beautiful.”

Screetch. “Er, come again?”

“Priya’s hair, it’s so angelic!”…”Oh, look at sweet Daivy, they caught her with her eyes open!”…”(chuckle) I love the one with the kids where Priya is kicking off her shoe. That’s just so her, isn’t it?”…”Oh! Look at Beck! This could be on the cover of a magazine! That silly boy, you’ll be so glad to have such a capture of his wiggly personality…”

Silence.

Only this time, it was on my end.

Is she looking at the same pictures I am? Could I somehow have sent her the wrong link, one to a normal-looking family with pictures that could actually be used anywhere other than to line a bunny cage with?

I brought the pictures up on my computer again, and started clicking.

My heart was immediately softened. She was right. Priya did look like a wild little angel. click. Her kicking off her shoe really was a perfect representation of her personality. click. Daivy’s eyes were open, and gorgeous. click. And Beck? Oh my heart, how hilarious is he?

Since that “stop-me-in-my-tracks” lesson, several weeks have passed. I still have the photos on my computer and I pull them up from time to time. I fall in love with the pictures more and more each time.

The flaws that used to frustrate me about the pictures, are now the things I love the most.

How often in life do we spend more time nit-picking imperfections, than we do embracing them? Whether it’s ourselves (appearance, personality, life, financial situation, relationships, lack of relationships), others (her hair does this, she talks like that, she’s probably this or that, her kids are bladi blah), our location, life, world, children, WHATEVER! If you stop and really take notice, it’s astounding how much our lives are dictated by the imperfections we feel we have…and our efforts in trying to squash, cover up, or ignore them.

Take this blog for example.

If you haven’t noticed, I rarely post any more. It’s 1-2 times per week if I’m lucky. Why? Well, I’m busy. I have 4 kids under 5, for heaven’s sake! But in all honesty, a major reason for the lack of posting is because I’ve started thinking – without realizing it – that I shouldn’t post it until it’s perfect.

In my phone I have a list of dozens of AMAZING post ideas that I really want to write, or videos that I really want to make. But they haven’t happened yet because I haven’t had the time to “make it amazing” that day. The lighting isn’t good. My makeup isn’t right. I’m wearing a hoodie and don’t want to put on a normal shirt.  I don’t have time to haul out all the fancy tripod/lighting kid/HD camera thingie-ma-bobbies before the kids wake up from their naps, so I

just.

don’t.

do it.

Well, folks, I’ve decided that’s dumb.

Starting today, I’m not going to let imperfections limit me any more. I’m going to invite friends over, even if my house isn’t perfectly clean. If I want to record and post a video, even if it’s dark lighting, my hair is horrible, I have only 1/2 my makeup on because I ran out of time that day, and I only have time to record it with my phone, then I’m going to post it, gosh dangit!

Because really, at the end of the day, everyone is spending so much time focusing on themselves and their own life imperfections, I highly doubt people are spending much time focusing on mine. And if they are, then we just need to feel sad for those people because they must be very lonely. And bored.

Starting today I’m going to push forward and THRIVE this year, and not let imperfections slow me down. After all, most of the time the things that we feel are imperfect, are actually quite beautiful once we embrace them as such. Even my annoyingly flat hair.

signature2

Print Friendly

Comments

  1. Ah, the joy of post-partum hormone swings…they can make even the sanest of us crazy. That’s why we need moms. God help those without a mother, or a mother-like sounding board, or any person who can effectively say “breathe, reboot” in a way that we will actually listen to.

    I once threw away an entire 5 pound batch of hamburger mix because I thought I had made it ‘too salty’ for the family barbecue I just had to host, three weeks post-partum. FIVE POUNDS of meat, gone. Down the disposal. Fortunately, my husband intervened before I pushed the fridge sideways or went on a total rampage against the beef industry.

    Jordan, your family is gorgeous! Such a fan and glad you’ll be posting more, imperfections and all (:

    • I never never never comment on posts but this was wonderful! Brought me to tears with your transparency. This is the stuff I respond to! Thank you

  2. This is something I tried SO hard to teach my teenage girls. I have 9 children – 5 of the girls – 4 of them teenagers at the same time. I thought I’d die. But beside that – they spent SO MUCH TIME every day picking out their outfits for school and trying to look like runway models each day that it made me nutty. Each day the same thing – each day I told them that no one in school cares what they look like except them, and if someone at school is unkind about what they’re wearing or how they look they’re not worth having as friends. I must have said that a zillion times before the last of them graduated from HS. Now that the 4 of them are grown and on their own I still see their perfect selves – but at least with the knowledge that no one pays more attention to them in any way than they do. Your pictures are beautiful, you’re hair isn’t flat, your kids are amazingly cute and have tons of awesome personality. I’m glad you see that – I’m glad your mom helped you see how really perfect your family is. Thank you for sharing.

  3. I found a typo.

    Just kidding! 🙂 You and my wife sound like kindred spirits. I dread photo days. But like you, my wife is learning to say, “That is so Nolan!” or “Doesn’t that fit Murphy’s personality?”

    I have the same problem getting content out – especially videos. I know my voice in monotone and boring, so I just avoid it altogether. But I release one last week and I plan to make more this year. I’m going to unleash my imperfect self on the world! 🙂
    Dustin recently posted…Why & How I Use Credit Cards with Envelope BudgetMy Profile

  4. I love this post! Well, I’m a huge fan of yours and think your family is beautiful and everything seems so perfect all the time. Every post I read, I’m like, how the heck does she do THAT?!?!?! I currently have three boys and am expecting my fourth. I think you’re amazing, but I do look forward to seeing that you aren’t perfect 🙂 At least some of the time.

    • I feel the same way!! I watch your family in awe of how you do so much, so well, looking so darned good while doing it all the time… and somehow it doesn’t seem the least bit chaotic to me, which I have absolutely NO idea how you pull off.

      I sure hope that when others look in on my family from the outside they see something anywhere near as great as I see when I read your blog… and not my messy, chaotic, two steps forward one step back daily dance. 🙂

      I love your family, your blog, and you! Looking forward to more frequent posts (if possible, no pressure, you’re a rock star either way!)

      • Wow Jaden! That was beyond the most beautifully flattering comment on the planet. Seriously made my heart flutter, I can’t tell you how much it brightened my day! Thank you for taking the time to tell me such nice things…especially after today, Heaven knows it was “one of those days” and I really needed to hear them, haha!

  5. I don’t read/follow/love you because you seem perfect. I actually like you better when you bare it all and are real. Perfection is for the birds! We want you anyway you will give to us! LOVE you and your imperfections!

  6. Your post hit so close to home! You literally had me close to tears. Don’t we all want to seem perfect? I have 4 kids as well, and most days I am hanging on by my fingernails. I used to feel so put together and organized. I think like you said, most people don’t even notice our self imposed imperfections. Honestly I LOVE the posts you do that you come across as a “real” mom of 4 kids. Crazy. Stretched. Trying to get it done Mom. I look forward to seeing your future imperfect, perfectly you posts!

  7. Jordan! This is why I heart you so!! You’re real, you’re honest, you’re fun and beautiful…you are me! This is life. Busyness, craziness, messiness and that’s us..real!! I love that I can relate to you, trust you and I learn so much from you….so THANK YOU ♡
    XOXO Sam

  8. Jordan you are amazing. That was a wonderful post and a great reminder to enjoy and appreciate whatever is on our plate or not on our plate. I look forward to your blogs. You are doing a great job!

  9. I totally agree Jordan. My Dad always said, ” I don’t know why you stress over what people think of you? If you actually knew how much they really thought about you, you would realize they don’t think of you very often at all.” It really changed the way I carried myself. I did things for me and not for others after that. Our parents must be related or something!! 🙂

  10. Absolutely , hands down, no two ways about it, like for real, this is my most favourite post that you have ever done! Xx

  11. I loved this post so much! More than all your awesome tips. There is a book called “The Gift of Imperfections” by Brene Brown, which, in a nutshell, says that others can relate better to us when they can see our imperfections, because literally everyone has them. It’s not so much that “misery loves company,” but that it’s hard to relate to perfection since everyone personally knows they themselves aren’t that way. I love that there are days you wear a hoody. I’m sure that doesn’t happen all the time, but I can relate. I love the days when I take time to get all the way ready, but sometimes it’s yoga pants and a fleece because we’ve been up all night with babies and it’s more important to get the kids fed and off to school than for me to have perfect hair by 8:00. Thank you for being real:)

  12. At first glance i thought “im the same way” “i always want an awesome picture” but your are right, the pictures show the kids’ personalities and makes me feel like I know them a little better. The pictures and your family are beautiful! I have annoying flat hair as well but your hair still looks pretty. And I follow you for your awesome money saving tips. We have a five people family on one income, to and we are always looking for ways to get the most out of our money. I found you by accident last year but im thankful I did.

  13. Well this couldn’t have come at a better time. (I was going to say “more perfect time”, but…lol)
    I love your honesty and transparency, Jordan; you humble me.
    We’re perfectly imperfect!
    Thanks for encouraging me to surrender perfection. I too will learn to “embrace my imperfections”.
    Xoxoxo

  14. Ok, so my friend Callie just told me about your blog so I stopped to check it out and MAN, is this post right on cue for me…. You’ve nailed it! I spent a while on a new blog today that was beautiful. Inspiring. Tons of diy and a mom of four that nails every project with perfection. I loooved every post. Yet it made me sort of depressed!? I’m a mom to two girls:a two yr old and a 4 mo old. I’m stay home but despite what I may have believed it’s certainly not an opportunity to also get anything I love to do done most days. Too busy with my girls, and laundry and dishes and shoot. Everything. So I haven’t posted about much on my blog. I think too much about how the pics aren’t nice enough. I want to show my readers this room but crap, you can see the mess in the hallway! Etc. I think we put way too much pressure on ourselves and that blog culture, like US culture in general, makes us feel we need to have it all together! So CHEERS to being perfectly imperfect, messy and vulnerable! That’s what makes us human after all. Thank you!!! 🙂

  15. That’s why we love you Jordan, for being real. No one is perfect, at least all the time.
    Your family is beautiful and thanks for sharing your wisdom.
    And even if you post very rarely, I still love to visit your blog ☺
    You have to take care of your family and yourself first.

  16. Yes! I love your blog, but it kind of gives me anxiety because I think, “how can she be so perfect?! Why can’t I be that awesome? ” so, yes, if you could please show us the reality of what your life with 4 kids under 5 is *really* like, that would at least give me hope that I’m not so far from what the average mom on the internet appears to be. Thanks!

  17. Jordyn you are the coolest! I love the honesty and energy you have in your posts. Never stop writing even if it’s only once a month. You inspire me!!

  18. It takes a while (okay, maybe decades) before we feel comfortable in our own skin, flaws and all, but life is so much better when we do. 🙂 I have enjoyed what you have to offer, keep it coming!

  19. I want to say I LOVE YOUR PICTURES! If I could have pictures like that, I’d be in heaven. The best ones are the ones that capture everyone’s personality, rather than everyone looking like they’re a stuffed version of themselves with painted-on, stiff smiles. And that second one of Beck…you should try to sell the rights to that to some advertising company. It’s adorable! Definitely magazine worthy.

  20. These photos ARE perfect. Even though I am a total stranger I can tell that the personalities of your kids are captured in complete detail. Thank you for sharing!

  21. This is so so true. I wish more people would realize what they’re losing when they focus on the “imperfections.” After my daughter was born I was swollen and depressed and feeling really beastly. I avoided taking pictures with her because I didn’t look nice. Hair was disheveled, no make up, zits, double chin, bushy brows. The list went on and on. She’s almost 4 now and I can’t even begin to express how much my heart hurts everytime I think about how few pictures I have of myself with my beautiful newborn baby girl. It is devastating and I regret so, SO much that I did that.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *