Capture the Gifts of the Everyday Moments of Life

The first time I read Katrina Kenison’s site The Gift of an Ordinary Day, I cried. There was nothing there I didn’t already know, yet there in front of me was everything I had put out of my mind while raising young children. Ms. Kenison encourages parents to capture the gifts of the everyday moments of life.

The truth of the matter is that time is a fleeting thing and before we know it the struggle of babyhood and the toddler years have ended. The elementary school years dash past and the years of middle school and high school speed by in a flurry of homework, sports and events to attend. The life we thought we would never get back when we became parents, lands on our doorstep one morning right next to the morning paper. All too soon we find ourselves flipping through photo albums filled with pictures of baseball games, school dances and birthday parties.

Photo credit: Maria Allebring

But what about the ordinary days of sitting at the kitchen table doing homework, waiting at the bus stop or playing in the sprinkler? It’s those days that I know I will miss the most when my children leave the house. The sound of laughter from the other room as I cook dinner, the mess of toys that I step over and dirty laundry on the floor-these are the signs of a home teeming with life and full of the unknown potential of young children. Most of what we miss when our children leave home is their play time.

Photo credit: Maria Allebring

When you flip open the photo album in ten years will there be pictures of their every day play? Those pictures are the ones that I know will mean the most to me, the ones that capture what an average moment of life felt like when our children were two, four and seven. A naked toddler splashing in the bath, a young boy running through the yard in his favorite cape or our daughter playing in the sand box- it all seems so mundane now, but all to soon it won’t be.

Photo credit: Maria Allebring

How do you savor these moments through photography? Have you started an album? Do you create scrapbooks? We would love to hear your ideas on capturing the gift of every day play for your family’s photo albums.


  1. mypetia says

    OMG!!! I cried reading this… y twins are only 5, but every time I feel like time has passed by too quickly, I go for the photobooks. And, it is so true – those informal moments of play or ‘sitting around’ are in fact what my eye & heart goes to most!!! Can’t have enough of these photos that tell the story of our lives…
    Thank you for this article – what a great reminder of what is important in life.

  2. says

    My photography is just this. My kids in action…not dressed perfect…not ready for a wedding…but ready for every day life! I love this type of photography because it is is what goes on everyday. The rain boot with the princes dress, the ketchup face while swinging on the swing…the messy bed head at breakfast. Those are life’s best moments.

  3. TammyM5 says

    My children are older and I can say this is so true. I am trying to get more of this with my granddaughter and encourage my daughter to do the same. I do have a ton of photos of my children when they were little and also a lot of them playing but wish I had more. This is a fab idea along with writing down cute things they say and putting those in your scrapbook.

  4. Joey says

    When I photograph my nieces and nephews I try to catch them when they aren’t watching me, when they are consumed in other things; splashing in the lake, doing home work, being silly, having food all over their face. Life is short and like you said it is important to remember the small thing….the everyday things in life that make it that…life.
    Thanks for this article

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