Embracing 3 Cliches for my 36th Birthday

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I am Neyssa Lee a Seattle area photographer, mom of 6, planning obsessed, and who help you see the beauty, love and joy, in your own family’s chaos. I also use my super power of time management to help fellow photographers take control of their businesses. Learn more by heading to my ABOUT ME page.

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Hi, I'm Neyssa

This may feel like the ramblings of a mom who’s getting older (because it kind of is), but this all came to me while laying in bed nursing during a particular tough night with Cohen. But stick with me, maybe you’ll feel less alone, maybe you’ll learn something, or maybe you’ll get to know me just a little more.

And with that, 3 Cliches I am embracing for my 36th birthday.

Me holding newborn baby girl Cohen.

Me holding newborn baby girl Cohen.

“The nights are long but the years are short .“

This phrase is something I have been telling myself regularly. My 5 month old went from sleeping well to waking often and I. AM. TIRED. Each morning she shows me the sweetest grin, and I know it is all worth it. It feels like I was just announcing the birth of Hudson, who will be off to kindergarten in the fall.

I think this is something I see more and more with each child, like time flies by as I get older and as I see my children getting older before my eyes.

If you are in the thick of it, it can feel hard and exhausting. The nights feel long, but I promise you, one day your baby will sleep and one day you will feel fully rested. You can make it through this. And if you are in need of someone to chat with, message, ask questions (even in the middle of the night, because I’m right there with you), I’m here. And I know there are other moms out there too, clinging to this time all while wishing for 8 straight hours of sleep (or maybe even 6)!

With my 5 children on Easter. Hands full, heart fuller.

With my 5 children on Easter. Hands full, heart fuller.

“Hands full, heart fuller

I admit, it drives me crazy when people see me coming with my kids in tow and say “she’s got her hands full!”

The other day I was on a walk with the kids. We walked by this house and a woman says “she’s got her hands full” I laughed because my oldest (so I didn’t even have all the kids with me) was still at home and my hands were literally full. I was carrying my daughters’ doll that wouldn’t stay in her basket, my sons ride on tractor, all while wearing a sleeping Cohen. 

But I have spent years praying for my hands to be full. I prayed for these babies, I cried over their siblings who we lost, and I longed for a home full of children. So yes, my hands are full, but man my heart is fuller.

Me and my three kids on my 32nd birthday, just after we had lost our 4th baby at 14 weeks.

Me and my three kids on my 32nd birthday, just after we had lost our 4th baby at 14 weeks.

You plan and God laughs.

As a child I imagined having one child, a son. Then as I got older and my husband and I started our family I planned on 3 kids before age 30. But three losses between my oldest two girls halted that plan. But as I’m writing this, watching my kids play in the yard with my husband, all I know is that God’s plan is so much better then I could’ve ever dreamed (or planned) myself. 

Once again, if you’re in the trenches, in a particularly tough season, waiting and praying. I can speak truth that God’s plan is a great one. It does not mean there will not be challenges or trials, but take comfort to know that He’s got your back (to put it lightly).

I don’t write this to brag about my family or the many gifts I’ve been given, but merely to say that as I’m getting older I see the beauty and truth in these “cliches.” I see that the pain of loss brought great joy. I work to remind myself regularly that amidst all this chaos lies so much beauty.

I guess I am sharing this for you to see a little of my heart, my passion for family. That my journey hasn’t been easy and I don’t take family for granted. So when I photograph your family, I know how much they mean to you. 

On my 36th birthday, I wish for you grab your babies and take a photo with them. It doesn’t matter if it’s a selfie with a great filter (those smoothing ones are fabulous, right?!), but just get in the photo. Share it and tag me over on Instagram. I want to see you with your heart and joy.

Meet me over on the ‘gram!

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