One Evening With Aarika {A Photo Essay Series}


“One Evening” is a photo essay series that provides a sneak peek into the everyday lives of the Fairfield County Moms Blog contributors. The evening routine is photographed by Anna-Liisa Nixon Photography and words are written by each mom to tell the story behind the images. It’s a rare and intimate look into each family’s life, one evening at a time.

Motherhood is not easy. It can be chaotic, lonely, stressful, and messy. Motherhood is definitely not for the faint of heart and we are our own worst critics. Oftentimes, it feels like the work we do to keep our families’ lives running like a well-oiled machine goes by unnoticed. We wear many hats every day, including, but not limited to chaos coordinators, referees, personal assistants, chefs, chauffeurs, and boo-boo kissers.

We don’t often have a free moment to take a step back from all the details so that we can appreciate the whole picture. Deep in the trenches of everyday life, the months and years fly by right in front of our eyes. It is rare that you get a glimpse into everyday life to give you an appreciation for what your life looks like through an outsider’s eyes. Unless of course you have an opportunity for Anna-Liisa to come to your house on an ordinary Tuesday evening. Her photography will make you realize a perspective that you can’t see with your own eyes.

Although I am often hard on myself, and on a daily basis I think I am doing this whole motherhood thing wrong and letting my kids get away with too much / yelling too much / letting my kids watch too much TV / being too strict (I could keep going on), our photos from Anna-Liisa made me realize what I can’t see. That we laugh a lot. That we love each other a lot. That I may actually be doing okay at this motherhood gig. And although my life can be chaotic, lonely, stressful, and messy, it’s also pretty beautiful. It’s funny how spending an ordinary evening in your own house with a stranger taking pictures of you sitting on the kitchen floor with your daughter in pajamas can make you appreciate what you have.

Here are some of the ordinarily beautiful moments that can be seen through the looking glass of this stage in our lives on any given evening.

The Daily Routine Moments

Moments frozen in time of our daily routine, featuring special guest appearances from the bag lady, the dog walker, the chef, the bubble bath attendant, the personal stylist, the ice cream scooper, the hairdresser, the secretary, and the teacher. And in case you’re wondering, yes, we do own a 4 foot Minnie Mouse and the matching Mickey Mouse is on my 5-year old’s Christmas wish list. And yes, my 2-year old ate sour cream for dinner. #YOLO

The Silly Moments

These photos made me realize how many ridiculously silly moments we have every day. Charlie Chaplin knew what he was talking about when he said, “A day without laughter is a day wasted.” These photos also made me realize how much my girls enjoy each other’s company {although, I have to admit that they got along very well on the evening that Anna-Liisa visited}. My girls’ personalities shine through in each of these photos.

The Emotional Moments

I have two daughters and the emotions are always high in our house. I am fearful for the teen years, but I am happy that I’ll be able to look back on the numerous sweet photos from this day to remember a time when they did love me and each other {kidding, I hope}. They got along really well on this evening, but it would be an unusual day if someone didn’t end up crying at some point {that is, either one of them or me LOL}.

The Downtime Moments

We all need some downtime at night after a busy day at school and work.

Exciting Moments

There is always so much excitement when daddy gets home! 

The Sweet Loving Moments

These are the ones that I know I will continue to come back to when I’m having a tough day. These photos show the love that we have for each other and the beauty that exists in an ordinary evening. They say that love grows best in little houses and I hope my girls appreciate the love as they get older. There is also no shortage of love for Minnie Mouse, who makes a few more life-size guest appearances here.

Even if your moments don’t feel beautiful, they are. Sometimes all it takes is an outsider looking in to your ordinary world to make you realize the beauty.

Images for this project are captured by Anna-Liisa Nixon Photography. Anna-Liisa specializes in documentary family photography and loves capturing the real, silly, weird, and tender moments of childhood. She captures that blur of motherhood — the laughter and tears, the real moments and connections, and the unique rhythm of a family. To learn more, visit her website and follow her on Facebook and Instagram.

To see all posts in the “One Evening” photo essay series view here.


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