I think this is her third shower this summer.

Tell me I’m not the grossest mother ever. Or don’t.

Honestly, after 21.5 years as a mom, I don’t really care what people think.

Which is a darn good thing.

summer vacation

As I sent my 9 year old off to the shower just now

on August 18th

ten solid weeks into summer vacation

it occurred to me that this might be no more than her 3rd shower since school got out.

Gross. But whatever.

She’s been in the pool. A lot.

She’s soaped up with Dawn dish soap.

A LOT of Dawn dish soap. (see below)

She’s been in a half-dozen lakes.

Run through the sprinkler.

Danced in the rain.

And she doesn’t smell. Not too bad, anyway.

I’d say the summer was a success.

And thank God for lakes and sprinklers and pools,

because otherwise

I’d be the grossest mom ever. If I cared.

back to school

Update: last night after her shower I went to tuck her in, anticipating the delicious smell of clean kid. Instead I was bombarded by the toxic scent of bug repellant. She has this real or imagined mosquito she thinks is out to get her. She covered herself with that nasty stuff. See . . . what’s the point?

I look forward to that clean kid smell

next month. . .

And check out the best way to get clean in the summer. My daughter came up with body bubbles all by herself. She said a bubble happened one day in the shower and that’s where she got the idea. I think it’s adorable genius!


Your hard drive is not where your photos belong!

Let me guess . . . you take hundreds, maybe thousands, of photos every year. Your kids, your friends, your life . . . and they sit and sit and sit . . . on your hard drive, on your laptop, in your phone. Your kids, who aren’t on FaceBook (trust me, they aren’t, even if they’re teenagers!), think that photos are this thing that whizzes by, to be looked at one moment, forgotten the next. They might pick up an old album from your childhood and wonder where their albums are.

I know this because I live it. I know this because I hear it. I know this because I have been hired by some of you to help you fix it!

photo boxes on amazon

Got these cute boxes off Amazon.com

It’s just hard, managing gigabyte upon terabyte of data, otherwise known as your memories. This summer I vowed to make an album. To sort through just this short ten weeks of summer break, edit and organize, assemble an album and ORDER it for Pete’s sake! Because we don’t have any family albums. There are no tangible memories to look through, dang it!

I did okay, at first. Sadly, after 4 days of ignoring my actual job, I gave up. I just don’t have time right now. Yet . . .  I refused to let go of my vision. My vision of my kids looking through the photos from this summer, maybe on a cold winter day, or maybe two years from now, sitting on the sofa together, remembering. So, I hatched a brilliantly simple plan. Just print them already! 

So simple. So obvious. So not what I’ve done since 2005 when I picked up my first DigitalSLR.

I did it. I grabbed 150 photos from this summer, I ordered prints, I bought cute boxes to toss them in, willy-nilly style, because why pretend they’ll stay organized when i know they won’t.

got her done. 

print your own photos

See those organized stacks? Eh, nevermind. . .

printing my photos

I spent a long time coming up with my organizational techniques. lol

print your photos4318-Edit
Now, your turn! Just do it. Print those babies so your babies will be able to look back and realize that photos are meant to be enjoyed, touched, loved, remembered. They belong in real life! I bought the boxes off Amazon and you can get adorable 4×5 prints like this from Mpix, the consumer lab of my professional one.

For Emily. Brave. Beautiful. A Star.

Just a week ago now, this wonderful young lady’s nurse contacted me. Emily had a wish; to share her story. I was so privileged to be invited into Emily and Nana’s world, if just for a brief moment. Her story moved me. We hope it moves you, too.

“If there were more Emilys in this world, it would be a much better world; that’s for sure.” I wholeheartedly agree, Nana. Wholeheartedly agree.

And a special thanks to JJ Heller for writing such beautiful music and making it available for license. The lyrics fit so perfectly. <3

If you or someone you know is facing the loss of a child, please contact us. We are able to create a limited number of these films each year for families facing like Emily’s or Xavier’s.

for Emily from Anna Mayer on Vimeo.

That hat.

Sometimes when I scroll through my photo stream I feel a little pang of motherly guilt; there are so many photos of my youngest compared to the rest. But no matter how hard I try, she is just always providing me with photo-ops! She’s always with me (think skirt moppet), she’s always animated in some way, she loves being photographed. This is in stark contrast to the rest of my children (sans animation, perhaps, but if you are hiding in your room being animated I probably won’t get a photo of you!)

This is Bug. This is her antique hat, probably once worn by some animated old man who either passed away or found a new beloved hat. She chose it, among all the myriad of options at our favorite antique store (Antiques on Second). See? She gives me photo ops. Like, all. the. time.

milwaukee photographermilwaukee photographermilwaukee photographermilwaukee photographermilwaukee photographerAnna Mayer is a premiere photographer in Milwaukee,Wisconsin and serving San Francisco and San Jose, as well as Portland, Seattle, and San Antonio. She loves to fly, actually, and will pretty much go anywhere a beautiful story needs to be told.

I’m bored. I think I’ll make beef jerky!

On facebook I created a hashtag #crapisaiahdoes because, well, Isaiah. He NEVER stops doing stuff. He is in constant motion. Yesterday he started working on a Radio Flyer wagon that he plans to add a motor to (the salvaged motor from a broken weedwhacker). Today he decides to whip up a batch of homemade beef jerky. Naturally. Oh, I don’t think the health department would approve of his shirtlessness, but fear not, he has no chest hair. lol 

crap isaiah does

childhood unpluggedisaiah making jerky 4346-Edit childhood unpluggedMy favorite part? The seven year old PJ bottoms. Dontcha’ love summer vacation? childhood unplugged