A Mommy Photo Shoot: The Realistic Kind

I mentioned recently that I cleaned my room and rewarded myself by soaking in diarrhea water. It’s just one of the blessed realities of being a busy mom.

FORTUNATELY, before said cleaning, my friend Rachel came over to take some photos for me.

See, I’ve wanted to do a REALISTIC photo shoot for quite some time. You know, like, wearing the things I usually wear. Without cleaning or decluttering my house. Without avoiding the angles full of dirty dishes. I’ve wanted to do an AS IS photo shoot. What You See Is What You Get. Partially for you because EVERYONE NEEDS TO KNOW THEY’RE NOT ALONE in their lack-of-pristine living. And partially for me because I actually want to remember how life really was. Not a beautified version of it, but the nitty, gritty, grimy truth with its laughter AND dust bunnies, its joy AND dried ketchup, its camaraderie AND moldy flower stems, because this life is lovely. This life is wonderful. This life is gorgeous in its own muddy way, no covering up required. 

In other words, welcome to my home.

I curled my hair and put on mascara — I can make a minimal effort, after all — but I stayed in my pajamas, man. Not flattering ones I picked out especially for this. Not pjs that minimize my squishy bits. Just literally what I wore to bed the night before. 

Because this is me.

And this is our home.










Where we work, sleep, and play.

Where we’re kind and sometimes unkind to each other.


Where our stuff piles up.

Where we’re inexpressibly grateful for and annoyed by each other.

Where we listen well and not at all.

Where we’re goofballs…

…and nut jobs…

…and leave messes in our wake.

And also where we’re working hard to be fully ourselves — and to allow everyone else the same privilege — with all the magic and mess that entails.

That is all for now, friends. 

Just these little glimpses into life as it’s really lived.

Waving in the dark,




P.S. Rachel took some sexy shots, as well, akin to the bikini twinsie pics I take with my kid on the beaches of Hawaii. View at your own risk. And by “own risk” I mean “prepare to be WOWWED.”

P.P.S. We also did a more formal headshot shoot later. You know, for professional business purposes. I was equally fabulous for that. As you might expect. 


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16 responses to “A Mommy Photo Shoot: The Realistic Kind”

  1. Oh Beth, THANK YOU. Thank you from the bottom of my messy little heart. I grew up in a picture perfect home, and frequently beat myself up for not being more on top of the chaos. It’s so helpful to see someone so amazing living in a real home, with real messes, in all it’s glory. I’ll take the messy real over the tidy fake ANY DAY.

  2. I can’t even tell you how much I love this. There is so much energy and humor and evidence of life lived in those photos and they are infinitely more appealing than anything featured on any one of those ridiculous holier-than-thou lifestyle blogs out there right now. Plus (and I mean this in a friendly, sisterly way), you look amazing in your PJs.

  3. A mom who lets me see the clutter and dirt of the family home is automatically given the status of “high mom-friend potential.” In my book, any home with more than one child that manages a neat and tidy house…? Suspicious. Highly suspicious. I know it’s not fair and I try to keep an open mind but the capacity to achieve a clean house is so far beyond what I can accomplish as a parent that I wonder who those people are?
    I used to have a French neighbor who was a stay at home mom to 4 kids. Her house was always a disaster of scattered plastic toys, piles of clothing- some clean, some dirty, some ready to donate, some handed down, whatever. Stuff every where. She baked French bread every day and made no apologies for the mess. She also had a huge group of multi-national mom friends and an endless flow of various people’s children running thru her home. I never felt the need to clean my home before she came over or sent one of her kids to play with mine. I embrace her priorities. Family, friends, baked goods in that order. The rest is low priority!

    I do, however, have one question Ms. Woolsey. Your laundry wall…I admit to being deeply intrigued. Are those baskets full of dirty laundry ready to be washed or clean laundry ready to be “picked up?” I find my kids clothes spend more time in the hamper or “clean” basket than they do in the closet. The kids are supposed to do their laundry on Saturday and put it away on Sunday. Which works when mom is not too tired to supervise…but often means dad does laundry at random times during the week and the clean clothes sit in stacked baskets on our bedroom floor…and the kids come in to get dressed from the baskets before school?! A lot of clothes skip the whole “closet rest time” completely. But you, Ms Woolsey, have a WALL of baskets in your laundry room! Oooooh, I think I want one too!! I can’t believe it but I’m very excited by…a wall of laundry baskets! If I build it, will they come???

    • Search for her laundry post to get all the details but they are clean clothes – just grab what you need out of your column of baskets and no need to fold or put away. Unfortunately my laundry room is too tiny to do this but we do keep my sons clean clothes draped on the banister outside our laundry room. I wish I had more banisters for everyone else because folding and putting away sucks!

  4. Waving! To you and all the others. You are so beautiful – inside and out. Thank you for everything you do.
    Oh, and yes, you are funny too :))

  5. I really want to meet you IRL.
    Also, my house is currently a disaster. The living room is a mess and the pile between my bed and the bathroom fell over when I retrieved something from it this morning… like seriously fell over, and instead of taking care of it, I just shoved it back out of the way so now I won’t trip on it BUT I won’t be able to find anything, either.

    PS: I love your fridge!

  6. You are the absolute best! And I just adore the mess right out of you!!! Thank you for making all of us feel so heard and welcomed and Not Entirely Wrong In Every Way. xoxoxoxo

  7. Okay, the first “boudoir” photo is super hot.

    Love the BuJo cameo.

    And the horns. And the laundry. And the puppy. I love all of this.

  8. You are the best, Beth.

    [Deep breaths as I look over my to-do list for the social worker’s first post-placement visit tomorrow. As long as the kitchen floor gets mopped — and Don’t Ask how long it’s been! — I think we can get through it.]

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