A Time Out With the Girls | Whidbey Island Family Photographer

If photographers were accountants, the fall would be our tax season. It's just crazy, y'all.

And yes, I fully realize that I'm a big girl and can say no, but there's this feeling that I should say yes, that I should take advantage of filling up my calendar while I can. Before the rain sets in and the temperature drops and people stop asking.

This has been the first year when I really understood what the term "overbooked" meant. I had twenty sessions in September alone, two of which were preschools with 100+ children. And I loved every minute of it, although I'm still catching up and trying to stay on top of delivering galleries and ordering prints for clients. It's awesome. It's also exhausting.

And then there's my family. Which is where the real wake-up call has come. Because September was also the month that both my girls started their school year, with Sophie entering Kindergarten, and Emma back in preschool without her sister several days a week. It's also the same month that Ryan changed career paths, starting as an airline pilot while also holding down a part-time reserve job. It's been wild, but thankfully with the help of family and friends the transitions have all gone (mostly) smoothly. 

And yet. 

Among the feelings of accomplishment for staying booked, and the relief for (barely) holding the house and our schedules together, there are days when things fall through the cracks. When we want to have adventures but need to catch up on the work of life so that we don't fall further behind. And I notice. And they notice. 

I've also missed documenting Sophie and Emma and our life, because the thought of picking up my camera loses its appeal, or I intentionally leave it at home to enjoy the pumpkin patch or apple orchard when we're able to be with daddy and squeeze in an activity before his training takes him away again.

But last night I had a shot, and I took it. After a session was cancelled last minute, I jumped up and asked the girls if they wanted to go on an adventure. Waking a sleepy Emma out of a much-needed nap, throwing some clothes on the girls, and promising ice cream if they let me bring my camera, we ran to Fort Ebey for the last thirty minutes of sun on this late October day. 

The mission was two-fold: to go adventuring and run free together on a gorgeous night, and to document them being as little as they'll ever be again. 

I took a "mommy time out," dropped everything else and did something that made us all feel free and alive and happy. On the ride home, Emma said "This was the best day ever, Mommy." And although it was literally only a half-hour of time, she was right. It meant a lot, to each of us.

We hit the pause button, took a breath, and danced in the sun.