Those Amazing Ordinary Moments


The following was originally published in May 2010.  I have revised it a bit and added some new photos to share with you this Mother’s Day weekend.  I hope you enjoy it.  Best wishes, Kara

I love taking pictures of my kids.  I may not be the best photographer, or have fancy camera equipment, but every holiday, birthday, and special occasion will find me enthusiastically snapping pictures and coaxing smiles from my family.

Mother’s Day is this weekend and I will, of course, be bringing my camera along to document the day.  However, this year I want to take a different approach when looking through the lens of my camera: I want to focus on the ordinary.

What will I want to have a memory of years from now?  What seemingly ordinary moments and things will be precious to myself and to my children in the future?

KaraKids2010How much has changed since 2010. Wow.

Moments to Capture this Mother’s Day

The Faces

Because we don’t get together too often, I have a tendency try to squeeze every family member I can into large group photos. I do this because I want a record of us all together.

But afterward, I find myself staring a stack of group shots that I’m disappointed in because someone’s eyes were closed or somebody was looking away.

This  year I want to forgo the group shots and focus more on faces and individuals.


meJill2013Me and my mini-me, 2013.

I want to take more close-ups: the chubby baby cheeks of my youngest child and my mom’s bright blue eyes.  I want the laugh-lines, the dimples, the freckles. The stories they tell will be more meaningful to me someday than the posed group pictures.

The Hands

As long as I’m zooming in for close-ups, I want to take pictures of my family’s hands.  Hands tell some pretty amazing stories.  Some hands are dimpled and chubby, some have bright pink nail polish, some are wearing wedding bands. Bigger hands hold little hands.

All of these hands will change as the years pass. Our hands reveal our histories.


Me, Myself, and I

I’m one of those mothers whose family albums contain almost no pictures of myself.  As I’m always the one behind the camera, I’m seldom in the pictures unless they are self-portraits. Because I wish I had more pictures of my own mother, especially pictures of her from when I was growing up, I’m trying to be mindful of including pictures of myself for my kids.

This Mother’s Day, I’m going to hand the camera over to someone else and make sure that my picture gets taken.  I want to give my children family albums that show more of their mother than just than my words and journaling and a handful of slightly blurry self-portraits where only part of my face is showing.

VanselfieThe mini-van selfie, May 2013

I want them to be able to look back when they are grown and see me, their mother, as I am right now.  I want them to be able to look at pictures of me and know that I was really living life, right there beside them.

The Generations

A few years ago, I was with my mother and grandmother watching my oldest daughter play.  I wondered something out loud about if it ever stopped being amazing to watch your child grow up and my mother looked at me  and said,”It hasn’t stopped being amazing yet.”   And then her mother looked at her and said, “No, it hasn’t.”

We are always our mother’s children, no matter how old we get.

GrandmaMM2011My mom and my grandma, 2011.

Every year that my family gets to celebrate these four living generations is a gift.  There are no ordinary moments.   I want to document that, to freeze time, so that  I can say to my children, “Look at this picture. These are the women who love you.  These are the mothers of this family.”

It hasn’t stopped being amazing yet.

Mothersday2009Lucy planting flowers, 2009

What ordinary moments will you be capturing this Mother’s Day?

About Kara

Kara Fleck is the editor of Simple Kids. She is a small town mama, writer, knitter, bookworm, and hooligan. Kara lives in Indiana with her husband Christopher and their four children Jillian, Max, Lucy, and Amelia. You can find more of her writing at

Online Knitting Class
Delightful kids' crafts delivered to your door!  See sample crates>>


  1. I’m absolutely tearing up here, Kara–this is so beautiful and what an incredible reminder to all of us.

    Thank you.
    .-= Simple Homeschool – Jamie´s last blog ..Teaching the Curriculum of Generosity =-.

  2. Thanks, Jamie :-) Mother’s Day is a pretty wonderful excuse to get a little teary, I think.

    Best Wishes!
    .-= Kara Fleck´s last blog ..Showcase: Link Love =-.

  3. My husband has been given marching orders for Mother’s day. Now I need to add, man the camera and take pictures of me with our children, and not just the posed stuff. We’re going to try to see my mom, so we’ll also work to get pictures there too. I don’t enjoy the posed shots either. Just about the only pictures of my dad are posed shots because he’s usually the one behind the camera.

    • We have the same problem in our family.
      One of the pictures I treasure the most is one of my grandfather taking a picture. He didn’t know someone was taking his picture, so its completely candid. It’s so special to me because he loved taking pictures of his family and you can see it in his face.
      Now that he’s gone, I make sure to take pictures of the “picture takers”.
      .-= Rhiannon´s last blog ..What kind of mama are you? =-.

  4. Great ideas … all of them. I especially agree with the part about handing the camera over to someone else. There are far fewer photos of us shutterbug moms than the rest of the family… Thanks for the tips! :)
    .-= Kristin Rutten´s last blog ..Inspired by Mommies & Magazines! =-.

  5. You are so right about pictures of us, as mothers. I have to force the camera into my Hubby’s hands at least once a year, on Mother’s Day to take a picture of me and the girls. I wish there were more of us because there are so many moments I want to stop and remember and hope to share with them again when they are older.
    .-= Cheryl Arkison´s last blog ..Taste Adventure – Eggplant =-.

  6. Pass the Kleenex, Kara.

    I’m going to need a new top now, thanks. It’s definitely time to hand the camera over. And I love the encouragement to photograph hands. They are so precious and have many stories to tell.

    I wish you a most wonderful Mother’s Day!
    .-= Aimee @ Simple Bites´s last blog ..Sourcing Food Locally, Even in the Smallest Communities =-.

  7. Handing over the camera is such a great idea! We are very fortunate to have 5 generations in our family so getting a group shot with the 5 of us will be at the top of my list.
    .-= Tina@RideonToys´s last blog ..The Razor E100 Electric Scooters Are Perfect For Beginners =-.

  8. Lovely — thank you for the reminder to hand the camera over! There are no pictures of me, and since it will just be our nuclear family on Mother’s Day this year, I am by golly going to make sure there are some pictures of the Mother being taken! :)
    .-= Laura´s last blog ..This Moment: Best Friends =-.

  9. This post reminds me of a wonderful photo project I am going to participate in next week through the blog Peanut Blossom called the “Day in the Life Project.” The site explains:

    This annual event is intended to help you gain a new perspective and appreciation for the everyday moments that make up your life and the lives of others. I challenge you to find beauty in the things you normally take for granted: the color of your office stapler or the pattern of chaos at your kitchen table after having lunch with your toddler.

    You can find the official guide here:

    I cannot wait to get started. As you said today, “What seemingly ordinary moments and things will be precious to myself and to my children in the future?”

    She has set up a Flickr group and is offering a blog button for others who participate:

    I would love to see her project grow. It is such a wonderful concept.

  10. Beautiful post Kara. (I needed a tissue too and got goosebumps while I read this)

    Happy Mother’s Day.

  11. Thanks Kara for the ideas. I am the photographer around here but my kiddos do a pretty good job also.

    Our day will be quiet. Just our little family since we don’t live close to any other family. I hope to get some sweet photos of the day.

  12. thanks for the info. great work!

  13. I am touched of the pictures here…we have to treasure our mother everyday of our lives,without them we are not here in this beautiful world.
    Conspiracy girl´s latest post: Hello world!

  14. Amazing post… how beautiful is that “How amazing it is to watch them grow up” line – just how beautiful is that!!! You just can’t make those moments can you!!! But you you sure can bottle them up and save them in your memory!!!

  15. :-) Thanks!
    Jessica´s latest post: Best Birthday Party Ever!!

  16. I just love the photo with the hands- beautiful…

    I have GOT to pick up my camera this Mom’s day!

  17. Your mini-van selfie photo is beautiful Kara! I’m so glad you shared it.
    Jennifer´s latest post: Rock & Roll Weekend Reminiscing & Free Song Download for Mother’s Day


  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by aliedwards, simplekids, Moms Going Green , PlayPlanit, Susan Heid and others. Susan Heid said: RT @simplekids Documenting the Ordinary: Moments to Photograph this Mother’s Day […]

  2. […] document the ordinary moments of Mother's Day, check out SimpleKids, for tips and […]

  3. […] Kara from Rocking Granola talked about moments to photograph on Mother’s Day […]

Share Your Thoughts


We prefer humans! *

CommentLuv badge