My family may not look picture perfect to most people, but our home isĀ far from broken. We are whole. We are loved. We are happy.

I am so in love with my life. My children. My partner. My family. My career. I have the life I always dreamed of. I didn’t dream of being divorced, or a single parent. I didn’t dream of the heart ache. I didn’t dream of the bad experiences. Nobody does.

I dreamed I would be happy. I dreamed I would be independent. I dreamed of having a fantastic job. I dreamed about creating art and music. Now, I have all of that and more. I have a life I absolutely love.

Life is not perfect, but I love all of the experiences I’ve been given. Life is beautiful. Every twist and turn. Every up and down. The good. The bad. The heart ache. The beauty. It feels like such a privilege to experience all of it. Occasionally that beauty pours out of me and I paint, or I write, or I crochet. Occasionally I sing, and on really good days my kids will sing with me. The human beings I am lucky to call my children are. So. Freaking. Awesome.

I’ve never loved having photos taken of me. I never felt particularly beautiful or photogenic. I suppose that’s why it is not too surprising that for the last 2 years, since getting divorced, I haven’t had family photos with my kids. The thought didn’t even cross my mind. Beyond not feeling beautiful, we aren’t the picture perfect 2 parent 2+ kid household. They have had photos at school. They had photos with their father, and I’ve taken plenty of photos of my kids during different seasons. The 3 of us haven’t had any professional photos taken together. Something happened in the last few months, though. I realized I am in love with my life. I realized I needed to capture how beautiful our life is. Our family, as we are. This may not be everyone who is family to us, but this is our family. I couldn’t imagine life being more beautiful than it is today.

When my best friend from high school recommended her sister-in-law take our photos, I knew she was the right person. She captures beauty in her art. In our mini-session, we spent about a half an hour or so with her and she turned my feelings into artwork. Our happiness. Our love. Our silliness. Our family. She captured all of my emotions about my life perfectly, with the beauty of autumn shining through the background in these photos. Memories of love, happiness, playfulness, and life. I hope that someday after I’m gone, my kids will find these photos and reminisce about the beauty of life. They won’t see the photos and think about whether I did my hair just right, or why we wore these outfits. I promise you they won’t look at these photos and think about my weight. I believe they will look at these photos and remember the beauty of our life and how lucky we are to have experienced at least part of it together. We are our own picture perfect family.

~Bettering Bonnie