So last week….we took the social networking break to a whole new level…and I gave my phone to my assistant because my phone does everything my computer does, and had her change my password to my email account and only sign me in for 15 minutes at a time. She took care of all emails for me that were not absolutely critical. My husband promised he wouldn’t let me falter…that he would be my coach. What I have learned about myself is that I don’t have tremendous discipline and I need others to help me out in this area… I wish I could do this on my own….but I don’t know if I can.

Here’s what I want you to know.

1. This has all been very very difficult.

2. This has all been very very worth it.

3. I have to re-decide every single day if I can keep this up and if it is worth it. 90 days is a long time.

There have been some serious tests along the way. This weekend I was supposed to be at a fabulous event thrown by my friends Shea and Debbie of A Gilded Life that I have been looking forward to all year……but something very important came up in our family and I had to cancel. I know that was the right decision….but, it was so hard! Little tests like this keep coming up. I am trying so hard to keep my promises to my family and make the right decisions.

I am going to write a whole post later on some of the poor decisions I have made in the past regarding my family…..and how that has taught me things that have changed me tremendously. But for now…I want you to know that every day….I fall deeper and deeper in love with these souls who are my family. Now that I can…I want to spend as much time with them as I possibly can….and this has meant making tremendous sacrifice. Every day, it seems, I am having to choose again…THIS OR THAT? I want to choose them. I want to keep choosing them. They are my everything.

I found a photo this week from 2005. This was a time when we did not have a dad. I was doing everything I could to hold things together…and I was hoping every day that my husband would get better…I didn’t know that we still had 4 or 5 years to go until he would be better…..during that time, I did everything I could, but I just didn’t have what it takes to hold everything together, I made a lot of huge mistakes……but I did my very best to do all that I could to hold my family together…and my marriage too…..we clung to each other…

I showed this photo to the kids and we decided that we would take another one…hahahaha….only this time, Dad wasn’t in his bed sick, he was at his shop working…and we have him back..and that is so awesome…

As you can see….we are missing one of us in the photo now……it is crazy to think about having my own son, living across town in his own apartment….getting ready to get married. One of the other big things we did this week was get engagement pictures for my son and my soon to be daughter in law…I adore them. I love the way this whole break has brought on a new, calm dimension to all of our relationships…I love that we can sit and plan a wedding without the distraction of cell phones, computers and tvs. I love the conversations we have all been having…I think last night we sat and talked, without a single interruption, for more than 2 hours. I think this is what they used to do in the olden days…sit and talk to each other, face to face.  I feel like I have been missing out on the most incredible people on the planet………but I get to choose, every single day…..what and who I want to spend time on…I choose them:

This getting quiet stuff is hard because of all of the quiet time that is left to think… think about decisions I have been making. I have watched my husband and how he lives his life…and it is just so simple. He has such simple concepts about what to do each day, what matters, what voices matter, what measurements matter…what success is. Being off of the screens has left so much time for talking………and we have been talking a lot. He is teaching me so much. We are making up for lots of lost time. I loved this man before, I love him more every day.

This weekend I had the opportunity to capture a lot of family memories. We have 3 big weddings in our family this summer….I am so excited to take more pictures. My nephew got married over the weekend, my niece is getting married in a few weeks, and my son is getting married in August. I want to really “BE THERE”…you know? I want to be there with my family…….SEE THEM, LISTEN TO THEM, SEEEE THEM. See their souls.

I got a new flash…..we tried it out before we headed out for family time this weekend. My family let me use them as models…I love that. As I look at these photos, (a few of them are by some of my photographer friends) I wonder how I ever got so lucky…to be a mother to these amazing people…to even get to be in their lives. I want to capture these times, I don’t want to stop seeing what I am seeing……..and they see me too. They see me in a way that is so healing, so validating and so real. It is worth this. I hate that I did not start seeing all of this sooner. But I have now…we all do. I have now to make better choices and to stand by those choices. I hope with everthing in me that I can do that……..I loved my family before….but every day, when I really really really stop and look and listen, and shut out every other voice…….I know that there is nothing nothing nothing worth more than this time. I am so thankful for what I am learning.

My littlest man was a very willing model with my new flash…….

can you resist this face? I can’t….

I want to do better, I want to choose better.

…and I get to…because every day is a new day.

I choose them.