Dec 2, 2009

This is why I should never go anywhere without my camera.

I have a confession to make.

I have my camera practically attached to my hand. I AM that annoying mother who spends 20 minutes screaming at her kids to SMILE... NO, NO, NOOOOOOO!!! Smile I say! SMILE! You know, the same parent who cajoles, begs, bribes and finally threatens to get the perfect picture.

I have a fear that I will miss the perfect moment if I don't have my camera.  Like I will forever regret not catching THAT moment on film.  Like if we met someone famous.  Or... something really funny happens... but I digress.  I always have my camera on me.  In my purse, my car, nearby.  I am that friend who whips out her camera randomly and takes pictures.  It's what I do.  It's what I live for.  Moving on...

We went to my parent's house for Thanksgiving which is in a small coastal town called Grover Beach. If you are from California, it is about 1 mile south of Pismo Beach, or about 20 minutes south of San Luis Obispo. If you AREN'T from California... well... it's on the WEST coast, and sorta on the Southern half of the coast line, a couple hundred miles north of Los Angeles.

I had this great idea that we should take a family portrait when we were there. What's better than a nice, calm family pic on the beach, right? RIGHT?!!

Apparently not. My son thought it was too bright. My daughter... a little too cheeky.
It's like I've super-imposed his miserable, somebody is poking hot sticks in my eyes, face.
Ah yes.  So happy. I am overwhelmed.

We took a dozen or more shots that day... we ended up on a hillside with this little gem...
(big thanks to my parents who followed us around with my camera... and patiently waited as we yelled at, cajoled, threatened and bribed our children to smile nice.)

Now... you are saying.  What the fat! Your post title has NOTHING to do with this picture gallery!

You are, of course, correct.  Nothing to do with the post title.
I was setting you up for this: the best ever, why the HELL did I leave the house without my camera, story!

Something you may not know is that Grover Beach has a butterfly refuge.  It's true.  Butterflies fly down and hang out for the winter (Nov - Feb) until they get horny and fly off looking to mate... every year we act like tourists and go look at the monarchs as they winter.

This is a bunch of monarchs on a Eucalyptus branch.  They are partially comatose and hang around in clusters to keep warm. My hubby took this picture during one of our jaunts through the grove (which we walk through to get to the beach). 

So, the last morning we are there I get this bright idea that I would like to go for a walk with my daughter and my mom.  As I leave the house, I think... should I bring the camera? No.  My mom reinforces the thought.  Let's just have an experience.  Get that damn camera off my face!  YAY! Camera FREE, THAT's ME!

So we meander down to the beach.  As we get there we discover that there is a SEA LION not 100 yards from where we are standing.  He's just chillin' on the beach.  We were a little concerned he might be sick.  But he was a beautiful creature.  Yep.  No camera.  Not a camera phone.  Nothing.  The waves = BEAUTIFUL, CRASHING, GINORMOUS creatures... with a Sea Lion.  but no camera.

My photographer's mind is setting up and taking pictures... but I have nothing, but a sieve like mind and a few memories.  

We watch a big wave come up and the Sea Lion disappears... just like that.  It was amazing.  No camera.

We head back after walking along for awhile.  Through the Butterfly refuge.  My daughter spots a poor defenseless and comatose MONARCH butterfly lying on the path. She picks up the Eucalyptus seed it is attached to, careful to not touch her oily fingers to the wings.

As the warmth of her hand seeps into the butterfly, soon it is standing on her hand. It begins to slowly open and close it's wings.  The wing span on this little beauty is slightly wider than my daughter's hand.  She is completely captivated by the magic of having a butterfly stand on her hand and flutter it's wings.


Some early morning butterfly photographers come over and take pictures of my enchanted (ing) daughter and her friend, the Monarch butterfly.  I stand amazed by the beauty of such a thing and how gentle she is and all of a sudden I am gripped by the wonder of God and His creation, I no longer care that I don't have my camera. 

NO. NOT REALLY.  I mean what the #$^#$%! HOW COULD I NOT HAVE MY CAMERA?!

I am really not sure I could get over this.  The perfect ending to this story would be that Patrick Dempsey came strolling through on vacation, and stopped to look at my daughter and her butterfly. 

It didn't happen.  At least there's that.

NOW... your turn.  Can you think of a perfect moment you FAILED to get on film?  
Tell me about it.  I want to know I am not alone in my camera-less sadness.



  1. What the fat? Is my new favorite saying:)
    Oh I missed my daughters first few months because we only used disposables and did not get a real camera until she was like 6 months. Thankfully other family members have given me their pics of her.
    Good post mama!
    Oh, I got a compliment on my beautiful headband last night at Bunco:)

  2. I am with you on the fact that I must have a camera with me at all times. It drives me crazy when I miss capturing those moments. But then I remember that I am living those moments and that is what makes them even more precious.

    And then I kick myself again later for not having the camera!

  3. Oh man!!!! That moment will haunt you for life! I took my camera on Thanksgiving and I took 2 pix that did not turn out! My camera makes me want to cry and I covet the digital SLR that winks and blows kisses to me daily.....

  4. You may not have had your camera but you wove a wonderful tale in its place!

  5. SPEAKING FROM THE CRIBDecember 3, 2009 at 6:40 AM

    I will have an award for you tomorrow morning. Cheers!

  6. I too missed too many moments when our first daughter was born. I finally got a good one when she was around 1 year old. When that was on the fritz I got a nice slim one so I could carry it around with me everywhere. I am with you. Always carry a camera!

  7. I have to have my camera with me every where we go too!

  8. Hi AJ,
    I hope you had a wonderful thanksgiving . I do take my camera with me everywhere because I love to take pictures . When I don't take it I always regret it .

  9. SPEAKING FROM THE CRIBDecember 3, 2009 at 10:55 AM

    i realized driving home from thanksgiving that i hadn't taken one picture of my daughter's first 'real' thanksgiving like she ate turkey and stuff

    very sad

    i just had my head up my butt b/c my camera was in my purse as it always is i am one of those moms too

  10. those butterflies freak me out. One is pretty, a bunch is a horror movie waiting to happen

  11. Your kids are just beautiful!!! What a blessing. You're a lucky Mama. ;)

  12. For years I was the mom who said to moms like you, "Could you take a picture of my kid? I forgot my camera!" I have gotten better about taking pictures in the past couple of years -- and may even get my own camera and stop swiping my daughter's!

    Thanks for stopping by my blog -- I am always so happy to make a new cyber-friend!

    Liz @

  13. Hi AJ! My son's name is AJ and when I saw your comment over at Eternity Cafe, I almost fell over thinking he'd left me a comment! Thanks for stopping by!

    I praise God for the camera in my cell phone. I've gotten a few pics on it that I'd have missed because I now leave the picture-taking mostly to my daughter. Believe it or not, before you know it, your daughter will be in college taking all the pictures like mine is!


  14. All of those shots are pretty good but the last one is wonderful! I have had many moments when I should have had my camera. Too many to list. And when I take it with me in the car, I don't see anything photo-worthy.

  15. i too forget my camera and miss so many photo-ops of the kids. it's terrible really. i'm getting better about it--the camera just stays in my purse now!

    thanks for stopping by my blog today! following you!

  16. I have two cameras...the one that's always in my purse and my nice EOS. I always have one with me. ALWAYS. To the playgorund, the park, the grocery never know... :)

    And the one time that I didn't? I saw an entire fox family right next to this dirt road I was on. I stopped and they just stood there and looked at me. Three little babies and the mom. Less than 10 feet away. And I didn't have the damn camera. Argh.

    I love the pictures you posted, by the way! You have a beautiful family!

  17. Why does every good mama carry a camera to capture all of their kids "moments" and I no longer own any baby pictures of my kids? Lost in a fire but that's another story. I have traveled to many countries and seen MANY things beautiful and strange and NO camera. I really got to get it together. My son is 18 now and I finally started to snap away and it annoys him. My daughter is a ham in front of the lens. Thanks for the laughs. Guess I'll be your latest follower if that's ok.

    check us out sometime

  18. I miss moments all the time...AND I HAVE MY CAMERA WITH ME!!!! Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!
    Ugh. My brain isn't what it used to be.
    Love the family pics.

  19. Tell me you begged one of the other people with cameras to email you the pic with your daughter and the butterfly!

    I miss moments...even when I have my camera, b/c it's not out in hand.


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