Growing Pains

“Mommy, it hurts.”  

I wish I could tell her that it stops. 

But it never does. 

Instead, they migrate from the bones to the heart.

From the physical to the emotional. 

These growing pains. 

Just when we think we’re done . . . 

There they are. 

To remind us that we aren’t yet done. 

Growing, that is. 

And when you think of it that way, it makes sense. 

Perhaps instead of dreading 

We should welcome the pains.  

Peel back that layer

And discover what comes next . . .   

Camille Vaughan Photography

Written while listening to Cover Bombs (Odesza Remix) by Nomadic Firs


Oh, my. 

What is this?

We are now our parents’ caretakers. 

How did that happen?

Who told us about this phase?

Ah, clearly the same who informed us of the mesh panties after birth. 

In other words, no one. 

It is for us to discover. 

And here we are. 

So, now what?

Much like motherhood, it is for us to figure out. 

To each their own. 

Cheers and Godspeed. 

Send prayers and wine. 

Patience and understanding.

Parents included. 

Dee Akright Photography


Here’s a funny thing about being a piano player. 

Whenever you rest your hands, they are perpetually “in position”. 

I started to play when I was three, got my first piano at nine years old and still play to this day, as do my four daughters. 

I’ll never forget the moment I asked my piano teacher, Ms. Brooks, “How did you get those veins?”. 

She laughed but the truth was, I wanted those veins.  I wanted those wrinkles.  

They represented age and experience, two things I, the youngest of eight children, yearned for. 

This weekend I will turn 38 years young. 

I look down at my hands and notice the telltale signs of aging and honest-to-God, I feel so lucky.

I’ve lived this many years and if I’m lucky enough, I’ll live just as many more!

To me, wrinkles are beautiful and should be worn as a badge of honor. 

Not everyone is so lucky. 

And at 38, more than anything else, that is what I feel: lucky. 

How did she get those wrinkles?

By living that long. 

If only we could all be so lucky.

Here We Go

She said, “I don’t want to grow up!”

And for the first time, she really meant it. 

Feeling the weight of the added responsibilities of being nine, she has decided that this whole aging thing: it’s not for her.  

I can’t say I blame her.  

I paused to behold her face; to mourn the loss of her rapidly-ending childhood innocence; simultaneously wondering just who this grown girl is going to become. 

“No one understands what it’s like to be me!” she lamented.  

Girlfriend, join the club.  

Welcome to the real world. 

It’s not for the faint of heart. 

And as much as I want to protect and shield her from it, I’m honored that I have the privilege to walk beside her as she learns to grapple with the truth of it all. 

Hold my hand, here we go!

Camille Vaughan Photography

Just the Way You Are



I have had something weighing heavy on my heart but it didn’t all come together for me until I crawled into bed tonight and had to crawl back out to write this article.  This post is likely going to cause some friends to unfriend or unfollow me but in the end, it’s not my intention to criticize, rather to scream from the rooftops.


I was in direct sales for four years.  It allowed me to build my own schedule and work from home while raising my daughters.  It gave me financial freedom.  I quit once it became too much to be both a full-time mom and part-time consultant.  I’ve had to give up many creature comforts as a result, but I am fortunate enough to have a husband that earns enough and a family that supports us enough that we can survive on one-income.  That is not the case for many others, which is why direct-sales truly offers the best of both worlds.

Having said that, my newsfeed is FILLED with my friends in direct-sales.  I am so happy that it has given them an unexpected career path, providing support, goals, and money along the way.  I know how truly joyful it feels to succeed in that business.

But when I am constantly confronted with photos of how I can trim fat off of my body or improve the wrinkles on my face, I am left wondering “Am I good enough?”

I recognize we all likely have room for improvement.  I have a growth-focused mindset, love learning and am always open to learning a new perspective.  I respect the desire to feel good about yourself and I am happy for those that found success after they received that push they needed in the right direction.

The fact of the matter is, I feel pressure to continually look younger and fitter.  I enjoy fitness for the natural high it gives me, the personal satisfaction of having done it and the health benefits.  Sure I like looking cute in a dress, but with three daughters at home, I certainly don’t obsess about it.  I had major body issues as a teenager and fought hard to recognize that my personal worth was much more than the size of my waist.  And I don’t want my girls to see their mommy worrying about such things.  I DO want them to see me exercise, but I don’t want it to become something they constantly worry about whether they are “keeping up” as they age.  I want it to be a healthy part of life- not about achieving a certain “look”.

The same goes for my face.  Y’all.  I’m aging.  Some of us do it more gracefully than others.  And yes, it can be hard to look in the mirror and see some extra lines that didn’t used to be there.  And yes, I realize there are SUPER effective regimens out there that will decrease the appearance of these lines but dammit- I DON’T WANT TO.  I don’t want to wash my face twice a day (I never have as gross as that may be for some to read) but what’s more, I don’t want to focus on turning back the hand of time.

Each year that I age means another year I’ve been fortunate to live on this Earth.  I’m not trying to sound poetic, I’m just being real.

Lately, I’ve started an open dialogue with my oldest.  I realized, too late, how much I am the cause of her obsession with princesses because I gave her the tools- the movies, the dolls, the performances.  Now, I am doing damage control, talking to her about true beauty- that it comes from the inside.  That you can’t put a pretty dress on the witch in Snow White and make her beautiful.  That kindness is what makes somebody beautiful.  But it’s a hard sell when all she has ever known as role models have been ageless beauties.

I want her to see a mom who ages gracefully.  I don’t mind using some wrinkle creams here and there or some makeup when I want to look especially nice.  But my husband fell in love with a girl on the beach, with no makeup.  When I asked him to buy me a perfume for Christmas he told me it would be a bottle of sunscreen because that’s what he loves.  He loves the memory of us on that beach.  He loves me unfiltered.  And I do, too.

My friends who are ruling their businesses. . . I am so happy for you to find that purpose and success.  I know for some customers, it has been absolutely life-changing and I celebrate that with you.

It’s just hard when I have SO MANY friends who are involved.  Rather than seeing one post a day or every few days, I am literally bombarded with over 20 posts a day of before and after photos- of pounds lost, of lashes lengthened and faces “improved”.

So for those of you who feel the same as I do, I want to hold your hand and remind you that you are good enough, just the way you are.  If you feel inspired and want to improve the clarity of your face and the tone of your body, I have many wonderful friends that can get you on the right track.  And if you are comfortable with where you are, I say cheers to you.  So am I.


See this article on Scary Mommy!