Bottling Up the Day to Day: Beyond Lifestyle Photography

“It’s time to start letting go,” I decided a few months ago, but this time with a whole heart and not a half-assed attempt to convince myself by making a fake declaration out loud. The laundry in piles, dishes in the sink and the back yard strangely reminiscent of a junkyard, yet I had never felt so accomplished and fulfilled in my life.

For 48 hours straight I played with my children and hung out with my husband. And that was it. Sure, we cleaned up and eventually the dishes were cleaned, but my mind was resting on what was important, not what I should be doing.

I should be loving life.

I should be kissing my babies as much as I can right now because one day, they will not want to kiss me in public.

I should be staring at my husband’s butt as much as possible (and visa versa) because one day, he will be saggy baggy and so will I…

Memories. How do you bottle up that day to day living? The nitty gritty that no one sees and eventually, will barely remember? How do you capture the background noise of your life?

Well, it’s been figured out and I am tearing up just reminiscing about our day of capturing our regular hum drum moments on film.

The mess.

The mismatched socks.

The bumps and bruises.

The dirty fingernails.

Brandi of Balee Images spent the day with our family a few weeks ago, and just spent the day with us.  No fancy outfits, no poses, no thoughts but our own of being ourselves and being together. As I dressed the baby that morning, I was digging around in her drawer for socks.

Of course, there were no matching pairs.

And there never are. Like every other day, I snuggled her chubby toes into mismatched socks. One with stripes, one with a feminine version of a skull and cross bones.

Balee Images









THAT is us. This picture at the sink, the baby perched on my hip, might be my favorite images of the two of us to date. It’s real and honest and how we spend our day: attached at the hip.

The kids immediately took Brandi to their bedrooms to show her their “treasures” and not knowing what on earth they were going to share, are smitten with this picture of Raymond. His face, blurred, is not what spoke to us but his scabby knuckles.










The next image is glorious and sings to my heart as a mother.

Balee Images








Baby crawling up my body while I squat on the floor and wipe paint off Anne’s face. The background again plays a big role. Peter had just installed bead board in our entryway and of course, we still had to touch up the paint above the board, hence the blue painter’s tape.

And the basket of diapers on the counter, those blue polka dot diapers that we will never see again in a year or so.

And my post it note hanging from the kitchen cabinet, reminding me of my many mantras, “I refuse to worry and know God will make it so and take care of us.”

A day in the life. Our life.

And yes, while I love our posed and pretty pictures, these images are real. They have a soul I have never experienced before in images of my family. Forever captured and ready for reminiscing at a moments notice.

When the kids are grown and it’s just me and my wrinkly old man, we won’t just have our memories to think back upon. We’ll have the pictures…


Elizabeth Rago is a modern domestic woman, freelance writer, and owner of aboutme2LOOM Marketing, a boutique ad agency based out of Chicago and Little Brown Bear Studio.

Specializing in health, wellness, and women’s lifestyle content, Elizabeth contributes to Parenting Without A Parachute on ChicagoNow, is Senior Editor of All Things Girl (an Arts and Literary E-zine) and has a home decor column with Chicago Shopping.

A wife and mother of 3, Elizabeth creates along side her artist husband, blissfully content with the topsy-turvy life they have made together.  A recovering coffee addict, Elizabeth optimistically faces each day with humor and a hot cup of green tea.

Follow Elizabeth on Twitter @bethrago or visit her at
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