baby legs and big brother :: san ramon family photography

She walked into the front of the room, flashed her megawatt smile, and proceeded to kick our butts with a ridiculously hard bar workout. And not the good kind of a bar that you belly up to. But I survived (I really should get some sort of medal for it) and forged a friendship with the Lululemon-wearing drill sergeant.

Time moved on and I didn’t see my militant friend much as our schedules didn’t mesh and she moved on to other ventures.

But a meetup was in the cards for us because after her second baby she reached out to me and invited me into her wild little world.

Meet the Manos family… this is their dance.

Jennifer Chaney - pleasanton CA family photographer

He squeals and paws at his mama. Tugs on her her hair, giggles and tries to eat her necklace. The one that has been in her husband’s family for years. She smiles and buries her head into his neck.  As if to soak up every possible scent and sound. She is meant to be a mom.

Jennifer Chaney - Danville CA family photographer

Big brother is learning the ropes of life. He’s still young but he’s learning his way around the kitchen with his dad’s help. Watching them work together was a warm reminder of how our children are really clean slates. (And it’s here that my mind instantly went to Whitney Houston’s Greatest Love… ” I believe the children are our future. Teach them well and let them lead the way”  Oh good grief. Now that’s going to be in my head ALL day!)

Jennifer Chaney - Diablo CA family photographer

When he showed me his room, he walked around like a docent singing the praises of his recent acquisitions. And then he quietly ushered me out the door because it was time for him to play with his cars and apparently my admission ticket didn’t include toy time.

Jennifer Chaney - Lafayette CA family photographer

If there is one common dance floor in most family homes, it’s the wide open space of mom and dad’s bed. This is where rules are relaxed a little and the volumed is raised. It’s also where I get to witness great love and wild delight collide. And this is what family life is about.

Jennifer Chaney - Orinda CA family photographer

Their dance also include driveway tennis and wagon rides to the neighborhood park. They have a good thing.

Jennifer Chaney - Alamo CA family photographer

Throughout the years our families will grow, shift and change. The core of this dynamic movement is mom and dad. Taking time to honor where your family started is so, so very important. I’ve written about this in the past and you can read more HERE.

And while we’re on the subject of getting your pictures taken, mamas, please… for the love of all things sparkly, PLEASE make a better effort to get out in front of the camera. We don’t want to be 80 years old and have to rely on only our fading memory to recall our past.

If you’re waiting to be in the pictures until you lose that last 8 pounds, or whatever the excuse of the day is, realize that our kids don’t care what we look like. They care how we love.

Your new mantra: “I exist.”

Now hand someone else the camera and get in the picture.

Lifestyle family photographer Bay Area

P.S. Are you still singing the Whitney song? Sorry about that. At least it wasn’t What Does The Fox Say or Hey Mickey. I’ll save snippets of those songs for another time! ;)