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    When I was young, I dreamed of being a wife and mother. I am blessed to live that dream every single day along with my husband Steve, our four children, one son-in-law and two precious pups.
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Hey there!
Hi! I'm Billie Jo, a wife to one and mother to four who loves all things home and family. During the day I homeschool, do laundry, and drink way excessive amounts of coffee. I would much rather read than exercise, and I am blessed to live the life I dreamed of.
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Live In The Moment

Years ago, shortly before Madison was born, Steve and I purchased our very first camcorder. It was large and bulky and came in a big black bag. Every once in a while, we lugged it out and taped our sweet new baby playing or crawling or smiling. As the years passed, we added new members to our family, and we continued to use the camcorder to record the special and sometimes ordinary events of our lives.

Gradually, as the children grew and we realized how very quickly the years passed, we videotaped less and less. One Christmas morning, Steve told me he would rather not tape the children as they ran into the family room, saw their piles of gifts from Santa, and jumped with delight. He wanted to actually see it as it unfolded, not from behind the lens of a video camera. We both realized that although videotaped memories are wonderful to have, being present in the moment is so much more special and much more important to us.

You see, when a person experiences something from behind a camera or from behind a phone, he or she misses the beauty and magic of actually experiencing the moment and becomes instead a spectator, merely observing, removed by the presence of a piece of technology. One cannot help but be distracted and less able to participate in the moment. Time passes quickly and children grow before your eyes. The temptation to record and document every single moment is real, especially in this age of Instagram, Facebook, and other numerous social media outlets that constantly reward users for sharing pictures and videos of everyday lives.

If I could give advice to young mothers possibly reading this little blog, I would encourage them to live in those blessed, precious moments of childhood with their children. The moments that make our lives are the ones that are spontaneous and unedited. The best moments are the ones that just happen, without a camera in our child's face, creating a barrier between us. Enjoy the random giggles, the messy faces, the cozy snuggles. These moments are made just for you and your children. You can tuck them in your heart, and know they are safe there forever.

Please do not feel that because everyone else seems to be filming and posting and liking and sharing, you have to as well. You can choose to put the phone down and devote your time to being with your children. It really is ok! I promise! In fact, it is better than ok. The moments you share with your child are irreplaceable gifts. Once they are gone, you cannot get them back. Be there. Be with your children. Enjoy the moments. You will never regret it. Promise.

We have several little cassettes, all dated and numbered, in a box on the shelf in our storage area. Every now and again, we pull them out, put them in a converter, and play them in our old VCR. I know, soon we will have to convert them to DVD or Blu-ray or whatever comes next, but for now, we keep them as they are. It is nice to have those little moments documented. But it is even nicer to have the memories in our hearts.






























Comments

  1. You are such a blessing, my friend. Back when our kids were young we could barely afford film to put in a camera but Oh...how rich the memories are that we have because we did the very thing you speak of here...we lived in the moment with them. When we did take pictures of them there were no pasted-on smiles but big sparkly smiles with sparkles in their eyes...so unlike what I see today. Hugs to you, Sweet Friend.

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    1. Yes! I agree! I was going through some of my old photos from when I was little, and my kids loved the ones that were simply "taken" without any posing or staging or props. Back then we captured moments of life as they were. Thanks for mentioning that! : )

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  2. I have a storage area full of tapes that I would really like to watch:) Over the years, I had video cameras of all shapes and sizes. These days I just use my phone and that seems to work for me. It is nice sometimes to unplug and just enjoy the moment. Thanks for the reminder!
    Have a blessed day dear friend, HUGS!

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  3. I agree and disagree. LOL!

    I agree in that we took/take video of our daughter, but it isn't for public consumption. And we have definitely taken less as she's gotten older.

    But those videos from the early years are like gold to me. I had terrible sleep deprivation the first year and the other early years were very stressful for a variety of reasons. I have almost no memories of my own from that time. If I didn't have the videos (and pictures), I wouldn't remember anything. I am incredibly grateful we have them. We have a lot and sometimes I wish we had more from the first few years.

    Sallie

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    1. I agree about those early years!
      It is a blessing to have those precious moments.
      Hugs!

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  4. I love this! Often times, I'll have my phone and camera at the boys' events and then, decide not to take video/forget to take pictures and just enjoy things instead. And sometimes, my boys or my husband have to remind me to stop taking photos and just enjoy things. It's a difficult balance I think even when you are taking photos and videos with no plans of sharing them with the world. Hope you have a wonderful Wednesday!

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  5. Live in the moment...oh, how true! I appreciated this post, my friend. It's ever so important to just unplug from everything and enjoy the here and now.

    Love and hugs to you!

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  6. This is really good advice. I often think I'm fortunate that my children were born just before social media really became a thing, so I never felt pressured to get them out there and share every tiny thing. I used Facebook and Instagram at different points in the past, but no longer use either one. I felt too pressured to find things to share, honestly. That's why I like blogging, I can just share a few slices of life, when I feel like doing so, without the pressure of a following waiting for the next installment. Even that was hard at first when I started blogging, with the small following I have. I had to remember that I was doing it for me. Thanks for a thought-provoking post, Billie Jo.

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  7. Yes, I have taken so few pictures in 2019 because I am trying just to be with them. And I wasn't a good picture taker to begin with! Have an awesome day!

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  8. I do take photos of breaks away with our Grandchildren, but I always have treasured memories in my heart. Stored along with the memories of our daughters who we have very few photos of when they were small as the cost of developing the films were too expensive. We preferred to spend any spare money on treats.

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  9. I love this and needed this! :)

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  10. I agree. We don't even have a way to play our old movies anymore. There they sit until we decide to have someone convert them for us - or not.

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  11. I agree very much, but I also have my heart in documenting as I have lost too many people way too soon in life and for me hearing their voices in video again and capturing precious moments on camera and film helps me so much and I want to leave the same back for my girls.... lots of memories but pictures too because sometimes with time those memories fade in our mind no matter how much we try to grasp on to them. :-) I hope you are having a wonderful week!

    Blessings,
    Jill

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  12. Hi Billie Jo~

    I couldn't agree more. As I get older, I realize how much I missed by constantly taking photos and not just enjoying the moment. I hardly ever even take photos anymore...and it's ok. There is a right time and a wrong time, and I have finally figured that out. Great advise to young moms!

    Hugs and Love,
    Barb

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  13. Wonderful advise! I'm very guilty of wanting to document the moment. I love the pictures which represents the time our family spends together although I totally get not getting too caught up with it because you're right. You don't want to miss out on what going on by being behind the camera all the time. I put the photos in albums or turn them into books. Each one of our boys gets a book from the pictures I take of our yearly family vacations. I believe there has to be a balance. Great post Billie Jo!!

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  14. So true my friend! I'm grateful to capture the memories, but I have to remind myself I don't have to capture "everything". Its OK to put my phone down : )
    I love your words!

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  15. So true, Billie Jo. Thanks for the reminder. I'm going upstairs to play dolls with my nine year old.

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  16. Your post is so timely. After our hiccups of a few weeks ago, I've been living in the moment with my kids for these brief last weeks of the school holidays and am loving it... bumps and all. xx Susan

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  17. I agree! However, I am so thankful for every picture I have ever taken because my memory is soooo bad! In fact, my blog remembers everything that I can't from their younger years!

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Billie Jo