{The Ordinary Moments 16} #6 ‘Not So Picture Perfect’

It’s Saturday afternoon here as I am writing this. LL is snuggled up in their room having her usual nap, Mr E is downstairs painting, while Mads and I are cosy and warm in our bed having what we call our ‘quiet time.’ This is just when we both cuddle together while LL sleeps, I sometimes have a snooze myself or else I do work/blog/read my book/generally waste time on my phone. She has a bit of iPad time and we snuggle together as close as can be. Quiet time generally only happens at the weekend now, or of course during the holidays, but most of the time she is at school. At the moment, being pregnant and tired, I literally live for the couple of hours in which we cosy up together and relax.

I was racking my brains trying to think of my ‘ordinary moment’ for the week. Normally I have something in mind, something that has happened during the week to trigger an emotion, or a mini milestone, or just something I have thought of, but this week I just couldn’t think of anything. Yesterday afternoon we had a special and sentimental moment as it was Mads first school disco. She came home to get ready and then LL, her and I headed back off to school. I felt like it was quite a mini milestone- my biggest daughter having her first school disco, so I decided I would take a couple of photos of them dressed up, just to acknowledge and remember it by.

It turns out that it just didn’t go according to plan whatsoever. We had to wake LL up from her nap to get back to the disco in time and she was seriously grumpy. We had a couple of teary tantrums trying to get her dressed and put her shoes on, and then when it came to taking a photo before we went she just wasn’t having it whatsoever. We abandoned the idea, although I did get a nice photo of Mads, and headed off to the disco. We ended up having a lovely time, the girls got covered in UV glow in the dark paint and they danced the night away (or for two hours at least!) with their friends. I got home and told Mr E about what a wonderful time they had and how I was annoyed I hadn’t captured it before hand. And he looked at me funnily and said…

‘But you did capture it. You took a few photos. They didn’t really work- that’s real life.’

His words really have made me think. I started this blog to record our family diaries and while over time it has developed into more than that, it’s become a business of sorts, a place which has enabled me to work from home, a place where I have worked with brands, a place where I can release my creative side and a place where I practice my love of photography, at the end of the day the original reason I started it still remains- a place to record our lives.

I don’t know if other bloggers feel the same as me but sometimes I feel a lot of pressure. Pressure to make my photos even better than the post before, pressure to take photos when to be honest we just don’t really feel like it, pressure to make my instagram beautiful or to blog about something interesting. As my blog and subsequently my social media are our ‘real life’, I don’t take styled photos, my instagram and blog are mainly photos of us. Therefore when we aren’t really ‘feeling it’ I don’t have anything else to make up the space- pretty styled photos of flowers, gorgeous interiors, tasty recipes or the like.

I adore photography, I love improving my photos and learning more about my camera, but at the same time lets face it sometimes you just really don’t feel like doing it- when the days are grey and miserable, when you are tired or your children are playing up, the last thing you want to do is pick up a camera. I only really blog when I have something to say, I always have done, but because I also do the ‘Ordinary Moments’ once a week I often feel like I have to write something interesting each week and take nice photos. While I am always honest, I feel like I have to make sure my photos are pretty and are in context with my blog.

But this week we are just not feeling it. Our ‘ordinary moments’ are that this week has been tough. It’s not been tough in the grand scheme of life, but it’s certainly not been one to shout about. I have been absolutely shattered all week, with pregnancy tiredness really making me have zero energy to do anything other than the deadlines I need to do and to just about get us fed and dressed in the mornings. I feel like I am walking around with a thick fog in front of my face, that I am not completely present and that I just feel a bit distant.

Our house is a complete and utter tip and while of course our new extension is 100% worth it, it is also taking its toll on us all. It’s a complete mess, with its current status being that our living room is chaos, so much so that the girls can’t even play with their toys. The carpet has been ripped up, there are boxes everywhere and the whole of the house is coated in a thick layer of dust and grime. There are builders, ladders, dust sheets and paint wherever you look and while the end is most definitely in sight, this week has just been a little bit of a write off. We have just done what we need to do and collapsed into bed at the end of the day. We don’t have family that we can stay with unfortunately, so we are very much living amongst the mess.

So rather than insert some super cute posed photos of my girls, or a happy colourful family photo, or a golden sunshiny shot at the park, I am going to show our ‘ordinary moments’ of the week. A week of chaos. A week of not doing much other than getting through the day as quickly and contently as we possibly can. A week full of a few special moments- a first school disco, snuggly cuddles in bed, a trip to IKEA with no children and a date lunch after, and some silly times, but also a week where we generally have felt low on energy and generally a bit fed up.

Life isn’t always picture perfect, at least my life certainly isn’t.

But these times are the most ordinary of moments.


(A week of mess, painting, house chaos and possibly the BEST photo ever of LL when I wanted to take a photo of them both before Mads first school disco- that is her tantrum/’I am going to kill you in your sleep’ face. Although I did take a photo of my big girl that I love which is the image at the top of the blog post.)


  • Rebecca says:

    Aah bless. Everyone has weeks where they just don’t feel like doing anything other than “surviving” the day. You don’t need to feel pressure to capture the most beautiful photos or show a perfect life. People do just want to see the “ordinary” and after all that’s what this linky is about. Kids having tantrums and messy houses are pretty much the norm for most people so don’t feel bad or like you’re not delivering what people are expecting. It must be hard living in chaos but you can tell it is definitely going to be worth it. Here’s to a better week! x x

    • Katie Ellison says:

      Thanks lovely! Hopefully it will all be sorted this week and then we can get back to just general chaos rather than building chaos! πŸ˜‰ x

  • Carie says:

    Oh I wouldn’t want to cross LL – what a wonderful expression! I think there can be a huge pressure to “keep up ” in blogging, to always have something new and pretty and interesting to show or to say. Part of it is a good thing, when we’re devoting so much of our time and energy to our blogs why wouldn’t we want to be constantly improving and being the best we can be, especially when it’s also a source of income. It’s when the blog starts to run real life that it becomes a problem for me. I have days where I don’t take any pictures or write because I’m at work and that leaves me rather short on content for a family lifestyle and creativity blog! It sounds like your week has been exactly an ordinary moment in itself – and I’m very much looking forward to seeing the extension!!

    • Katie Ellison says:

      I know she is seriously frightening isn’t she? I definitely do think blogging brings a certain pressure and I completely agree, there have been times over the years that I realise I have to take a step back as our blog is running our life rather than the other way round! I think this weather really doesnt help in terms of photos, I am so uninspired! x

  • Notmyyearoff says:

    OMG I just love LLs face there. That’s completely priceless. You’re right, I think we all try to strive for the nice photos so much that we sometimes forget that moments like the tantrums can be just as special (even if they don’t feel like it at the time). I hope you get your house back soon. It’s probably stressful enough as it is but throw in pregnancy and its no doubt elevated about threefold. It will be worth it xx

  • I’m feeling pressure just to write something – ANYTHING! This week alone I fear my post is a bit iffy and very moany. But it’s honest.
    And like Mr E said – that’s life. It’s not always fun and shiny – it’s hard. I particularly love the photo if LL!
    Here’s to a better week for us both xxx

    • Katie Ellison says:

      I don’t think it was moany at all lovely, we all have those weeks. Here’s to a better one next week for both of us. x

  • Katy says:

    Haha I am loving her I’m going to kill you in your sleep face! This is a great post Katie, I know what you mean about feeling pressure to take beautiful photos and lord knows with the winter gloom I haven’t managed to take many myself. However, something I really love about your blog is not your photos, it is your words. There are some blogs that have a mass of writing and I lose interest about 3 sentences in. They are waffly and dull. Your words keep me hooked from beginning to end and that is why this post didn’t even need the ‘perfect’ photos. x

    • Katie Ellison says:

      It’s a seriously scary face I think. πŸ˜‰ The weather really doesn’t help anyone does it? It is so awful and really uninspiring. And thank you so much lovely, I really appreciate such a lovely comment. xx

  • Natalie says:

    Oh I love the LL tantrum face!!! Too cute (although I am sure it wasn’t cute for you). Funny enough my ordinary moments this week is a sick week – not great, not exciting but just life I guess. x

  • Sometimes it is the ‘bad’ moments that we capture that are the best. They make us remember the tantrum, the frustrations and make us smile thinking back to the time it was taken.

  • Oh that photo of LL is priceless! The one of Mads is really beautiful. It sounds like you have a lot on and pregnant too it’s no wonder you feel that way. I hope it comes together soon for you. I have only been blogging a month and my photography skills need some work but I do feel the same, always wanting to have a great photo to go with a story. It is though really lovely to read this and see someone’s everyday too xx

    • Katie Ellison says:

      Thanks lovely! It is a priceless photo isn’t it? I am hoping it will all come together soon, I don’t think being pregnant helps because I am just so tired all the time. x

  • Sherry says:

    That photo of Mads is stunning and although you weren’t going to use the one of LL I’m so glad you did, it made me laugh so much, you can see her fierce dislike for the camera at that moment and it’s just a great photo, a typical shot of ordinary life x

  • Hannah says:

    I love the decorating shots and LL’s face! Amy has had a similar week at points and its just exhausting when she gets like that. One of the tantrums was because I agreed with her…. I couldn’t win! Like Katy says above, your photos are beautiful but i find everything you write easy to read and either relatable or thought provoking. I am looking forward to seeing your extension when its finished, I hope you have a less chaotic week this week xx

    • Katie Ellison says:

      Haha they don’t even know why they are cross half the time do they? Thank you so much Hannah I really appreciate the lovely comment. xx

  • L says:

    I think gorgeous photos and a well held together interesting home life all of the time would make the rest of us feel like we’re failing at family life a little. Your upside down weeks just show that everyone has those – which makes us all feel better! Hope the chaos settles soon.

  • These photos are still gorgeous! I love them! And this post is why I and many others read your blog, it’s relatable! Thank you for sharing! Xx

  • Donna says:

    I love this post for it’s honesty – and Mr E is completely right. I’m loving your extension though and cannot wait to see it when it’s finished – It looks like such a bright space! I hope next week is a better one for you. Love LL’s face! x

  • The picture of LL captures everything, you don’t need a caption, love it! I am a bit jealous of your trip to IKEA with no children and a lunch date afterwards, that is a rare and wonderful moment πŸ™‚ It’s tough having work done in your house, we had some done last October and I did not enjoy it. When all you want to do is relax in your own home and you can’t, is not great. Hopefully you are nearly the other side of it and can soon start to enjoy your new space. xx

    • Katie Ellison says:

      It was so nice to go to IKEA without children, it’s the first time we have been on our own since they were born. No it is hard as home is a place to relax and when you can’t its quite stressful isn’t it? x

  • Angela says:

    I think these ordinary moments are perfect! I love LLs picture x

  • Emma says:

    Love these, so cute! And so exiting about your new extension! It will all get done, and this time next month you’ll just be enjoying it and glad for the extra room! xx

  • Anna-Marie says:

    I love this post Katie, I absolutely love the picture of LL and I really cannot imagine her throwing a tantrum! She is such a sweetie! Great picture.. The photo of Mads is beautiful x

    • Katie Ellison says:

      Thanks Anna-Marie, she doesn’t throw one that often but in the last couple of weeks she is definitely starting to realise that she can pull some good strops! xx

  • Mr E is right! And these photos are lovely and show real life πŸ™‚ You’re SO busy at the moment, no wonder you aren’t finding time to photograph. Lovely post xx

  • Charlotte says:

    I totally get you! Sometimes I think I pressure myself so much with photography that what’s right in front of me becomes invisible. I focus on ‘that shot’ but what I will want to look back on in years to come is the bits In Between too! I LOVE that photo of LL. So cute!

  • This is possibly one of my favourite ‘Ordinary Moments’ of yours because that’s exactly what it is depicting – ordinary life. Most weeks have boring, mundane and downright frustrating parts to it. I totally get what you’re saying about feeling the pressure to take great photos. I hardly took any at all this week and really struggled to write anything because of that. I kept getting preoccupied by what I was going to write and it shouldn’t be like that. I love that picture of LL, she normally looks so cute and smiley. THIS is real life and I rather like it! x x

    • Katie Ellison says:

      Thanks Suzanne. I think when you think about it it is ridiculous to feel under pressure to take good photos, but that is a part of blogging I guess isn’t it? Gone are the days where you write a blog post without photos. x

  • Hannah miles says:

    The picture of LL is my all time favourite! Indigo has a similar death-stare!

  • I love what Mr E said-Perfect! It’s so hard to remember sometimes that weeks like this are real life! We want everything to be bigger and better but sometimes things get in the way or make it a little harder but that’s still real and still so important!
    Your quiet time sounds perfect! For us it’s cuddles on the sofa with a film and i live for it ???? Have a great week x

    • Katie Ellison says:

      Definitely you are so right Gemma. I love quiet time, it is just the best part of the weekend for me! Hope you have a good week too. x

  • Nikki says:

    I have had a similar week to you and I can completely and whole heartedly sympathise with everything you said. So many people love your blog because it is real, I love that you have opened up and shown the world that Instagram really is just a snapshot of people’s lives, God knows I’ve cleaned up before some of my pictures. Keep doing what you do, you’re a human and people would much rather see that side than an orchestrated version of a life you think people want to see. Onwards and upwards lovely x

    • Katie Ellison says:

      Thank you so much Nikki, I really appreciate this comment, it made me feel a bit emotional. I am sorry you have had a bit of a crappy week. Like you say, onwards and upwards to next week! x

  • LauraCYMFT says:

    LL’s face is a picture! We’ve all been there before. What Mr E said is very true x

  • I hear you. We’ve had a quiet, indoorsy, rundown sort of a week; I’ve been taking photos for my photo-a-day project and also for a daily toddler style challenge I’m doing in February and I just couldn’t work up the motivation to take ANOTHER photo for this/Living Arrows. So your honest post has come at just the right for me – while I was telling myself to shrug and let it go and remember that nobody except me would notice a missing week, there’s still a bit of me which feels needlessly disappointed.

    Here’s to better weeks next week.

    • Katie Ellison says:

      Thanks Sarah and thanks for your honesty as well. I definitely think we put too much pressure on ourselves sometimes. Hope you have a better week next week as well. x

  • Kate Holmes says:

    Just popping by to say I love the idea of this linky – too much showcasing and bragging going on. Good to see the lovely times that are actually very ordinary.

  • I absolutely adore that photo of LL. I might actually be one of my faves. I love a good frown photo, though x

  • It is so hard isn’t it? When you do anything well I think it is natural to feel a pressure to continue improving. It is mostly pressure we put on ourselves, because we love what we do I guess. People love gorgeous photos but they also identify with you and your story, so posting less than perfect pictures is fine too in my opinion. However, we don’t really want to do that as we want to showcase our best work with I think is also natural. Love your stories, your pictures and the glimpse into your life that you share on here. xx

    • Katie Ellison says:

      Yes exactly this Aby. You feel like you constantly need to improve don’t you? But like you say, it really is only a pressure we put on ourselves because we enjoy it. Thank you for such a lovely comment. xx

  • Oh Katie, LL’s tantrum face is hilarious, bless her! I think it’s great to write stuff like this every now and again. It shows that it’s ‘real life’, and as you say, not styled to perfection. I’ve got a post sitting in my draft along a similar theme, about pressure to put on a positive face all the time, when it’s really quite okay not too. It’s totally normal to have bad days/weeks/periods of time, it’s what makes us human! Hope your building work is nearly finished, the stress of that is not fun at all xx

    • Katie Ellison says:

      I definitely think it is ok not to put a positive face on all the time. I will look forward to reading your post when you publish it. And thank you, the building work is very nearly finished thank goodness! xx

  • Alex Gladwin says:

    I love this post. I love photography too (though I’m no expert, I just have my own little style) but I refuse to make my Instagram into a serious of posed photos, as like you my blog and my social media accounts are there as a reflection of our family life. If I take a photo of my boys or all of us and I love how happy it is, I won’t not share it because it’s blurry or grainy. I’d much rather remember the moment than not use it because it’s not technically ‘photo perfect’. This is a lovely post Katie. xx

    • Katie Ellison says:

      I love your photos Alex and your instagram, I love what you share of your life and your boys. And I agree, you do show some gorgeous little snippets. x

  • Lucy says:

    Okay, so that picture of LL, while I am quite scared of her, I also want to eat her all up! Too cute!
    It’s funny isn’t it about how blogs often portray the bright and shiny side of life, and NOBODY actually lives an entire life like that. And LL is kind of a perfect example; she’s cute as a button with the sweetest smile, but she also has a real “dark side” which you wouldn’t necessarily know until you met her (or saw this photo of her!!!) My little BG can be the same, on the blog everyone comments on how cute and sweet she is, because it’s kind of harder to capture that darker side where she’s a bit of diva and a total wild little scruff pot! x

    • Katie Ellison says:

      Haha she is quite frightening isn’t she? You are so right, we genuinely do record the happy and shiny times, which is fair enough as those are the times we want to remember. But I guess it is also important to record the other side occasionally too! x

  • Lindsay says:

    It’s actually lovely to read a post that doesn’t shout how everything is perfect when it’s not. Everyone has periods of time when things area bit upside down house wise or children aren’t cooperative because quite simply they’re children. LL reminds me of my littlest, adorable most of the time but slightly scary once in a while!

  • You have just described last week for us! (without the building work). The biggest tantrum that our son has EVER had in the middle of the nice town next door, lots of looks and all feeling abit BLAH and run down. He is SO tired from school and is only 5. Bring on half term is all I can say. In between all these lows are small joys, a little smile here, an ‘i love you’, a kiss on the forehead. Real life is tough and being parents to little headstrong people can have it’s ups and downs. Thanks for sharing your ordinary moments! Lizzie xo

  • Mel says:

    So true that some days and weeks aren’t photo worthy. I did week in the life last year and one day had a big argument with my husband on our picturesque walk and it felt so false to then start snapping pics of our happy family! Haha!

    • Katie Ellison says:

      Oh this made me laugh Mel as we have done this before. We have had full on arguments and then proceeded to carry on taking photos! So funny! xx

  • I absolutely love that picture of LL! We all have weeks like that sometimes. Mr E is right though, you did capture the week just as it was. It wasn’t perfect, but that’s life. Hope next week is better for you xx

  • Mary says:

    Hahaha Oh yes so true! How exciting that Mads had her 1st school disco, but yes I agree, sometimes I want the perfect pic and it turns out rubbish or they just won’t respond. I remember a few weeks ago I got a little cross because they wouldn’t stay still for a pic I wanted, and then I took a step back and realised it was so silly to get cross over real life and them being them!
    Your extension seems to be coming along nicely and LLs pic is so cute and funny x

    • Katie Ellison says:

      Exactly, it is sometimes all too easy to get caught up in recording a photo of the perfect life, you kind of forget that the perfect life sometimes could just be the ordinary ones where there are tantrums and other things. Our extension is coming along nicely now. Thank you! xx

  • My week was much like yours; full of ordinary uneventful things and I too was struggling with my Ordinary Moments post for this week (which is why it’s later than I usually post it!). Mr E is right though, life doesn’t always go to plan and sometimes it’s good to show that to our readers I think. So many people seem to have this idea that we must leave perfect lives and if that is all we dare to show, who can blame them really? I love your photography and really want to improve. Making sure my camera battery is actually charged would probably help; you wouldn’t believe how many times I reach for it to find a dead battery and the spare one dead too! That picture of LL made me laugh out loud!

    • Katie Ellison says:

      Exactly i think it is so important not to show a styled, picture perfect life all the time. Hope your week is better this week as well. x

  • Morgana says:

    Oh Katie that picture of LL is just priceless! I have a few of my two like that and funnily enough I love them as they show another side to their personalities (that I see rather a lot of, haha!). xxx

  • Oh what a photo you captured there, haha! I usually have one of Lucas flying towards the camera trying to cover it up πŸ™‚ Sometimes it is nice to hear and see the real life normal moments even if they aren’t too exciting, we all of those parts of our lives too xx

  • I LOVE this picture of LL showing us how fab toddlers can be. One minute happy and cheerful and the next looking like they want to rip your head off, totally like teenagers. I know you have had a really tough week Katie from reading your social media. It must be hard being pregnant and going through everything with the house too. Hope you have a more settled week xx

  • Emma says:

    I love that photo of LL. It made me chuckle as I have a fair few photos of my two looking like that! Hope you feel less tired this week and that the extension gets finished soon πŸ™‚

  • What an absolutely lovely post to read Katie. We admire your honestly and it’s so nice to know you feel like this sometimes too. Why do we all put so much pressure on ourselves? The tantrum photo is just excellent Keep up the good work! xx

  • That picture of LL is fantastic! I love seeing all your beautiful photos, but also seeing the ordinary too. Makes me feel a little better about my own life! xx

  • LLs face!!!! I think that’s my favourite photo of yours EVER! Honestly, Katie, I think sometimes people love the “raw” photos most of all… The ones we can all relate to! The ones with the washing on display, toys strewn across the floor and hilariously grumpy faced children! Love this post… And hope that you are feeling a little more energetic with the arrival of the sunshine!xx

  • Colette B says:

    I do love her grumpy little face – as you say, a true moment captured and she still manages to look super cute. I also had to laugh at Mr E standing on the trolley in IKEA. Dave does that too and I always get cross with him for it πŸ˜‰

  • Honest Mum says:

    Love this post and your honesty, we all have these weeks and it’s important to read about them. Your extension looks fab and the stress will be worth it but I relate to the stress. We had painters in for 2 weeks and I was going nuts, so hard with kids as you want normality and to access rooms/playroom etc. Hope next week is better for you all. That photo is hilarious, I love a tantrum photo, Alexander’s cry face is so gorgeous! Speaking of him it is 4am and he’s woken me up three times tonight- and I can’t go back to sleep! Good chance to catch up with blogs though!

  • Oh, I just love this. I don’t know why I haven’t commented as I read this earlier. LL’s face is just hilarious. Such a fantastic pic. We see this sort of face from Judah a lot. Shayla and Isis can pout when they want but not on the same level. Eden, just doesn’t seem to have this emotion, it is shouting rage, which only ever comes out if she’s extremely hungry and tired. It very rarely comes out but when it does, WOW, the rest of the time, she is immune to being told off, she just laughs in our faces, so we’re yet to see this sort of face from her. If she doesn’t want to, she won’t sulk, she’ll just run away. This is definitely one for her hen party, graduation, and all those other events where we get to laugh at the cheeky character from the past. She has the best face for pictures, her smile lights the world and her pout sends out a tremour. So funny x

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