Perfectly Imperfect


Isn’t this photo just the sweetest? I’m a lover of Instagram small shops run by fellow mamas and swoon over these one-of-a-kind finds to make up a darling photo op! Aren’t their little smiles so adorable and genuine and their hair placed perfectly?

Photo by Katherine Birkbeck Photography

And look at this one! Aren’t we just lined up perfectly with those grins of pure joy?

Photo by Katherine Birkbeck Photography

You may think so and these photos may lead you to believe so, but let me tell you more about these photos. These photographs are filled with imperfections.

What you are not able to see in the first photo is that the two older siblings were less than thrilled they had to take yet another photo with this new baby that had arrived a few days prior, stealing every bit of the attention of every visitor since. The sun was in their eyes. They were hot. They were thirsty. Clearly, they were experiencing toddler torture. I had barely slept in the one week since our newborn had arrived, as to be expected. I hadn’t had time to get myself ready after getting everyone else ready so I was throwing myself together in between photos. My husband was not excited to endure the stress that accompanies a photo session.

Prior to the second photo, our son threw our photographer’s apples on the ground as hard as he could on multiple occasions, leaving me completely embarrassed. (Thank goodness for fabulous photographers who understand!) He lived for weaving in and out of the orchard rows anywhere but near the camera. The baby wasn’t feeling the heat in a sticky dress. We woke her up from a nap in the car to take those photos and she wasn’t about to give up the smile that she so often wears. Our oldest was devastated the apples had to be physically placed in the trees after a drought left the trees bare and there was not actually going to be real apple picking.

These photos were every bit of imperfect.

Until that click of the shutter.

The click that froze that point in time forever. That moment, that millisecond of genuine happiness and honest smiles squeezed between tears and misbehaving and scolding and threats and bribes. But it’s that split second that life is all about. All of those brief moments are what make life perfectly imperfect. We want to remember the happy times and the smiles and strive to create more of those moments. If we dwell on the negative, then we become negative and that becomes a disservice to everyone around us.

Parenthood is certainly a challenge and sometimes you have to work hard to get to those smiles, but when you get there, it all becomes worth it. Next time you are scrolling through photos on social media, thinking to yourself that seems too good to be true or wishing you could be more like them admiring them through the screen, remember that those people have imperfections behind that picture-perfect photo.

Just like you and me.

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I’m Kara, wife and mom of 3. A Florida native, I relocated to Knoxville over a decade ago to pursue a master’s degree where I promptly fell in love with the endless supply of sweet tea, southern hospitality, and peach cobbler. Oh, and my husband! I’m a physician assistant by day, wife and mom by day and night. When I’m not caring for sick patients, I enjoy traveling as a family and spending time with friends at local events downtown. We had always called Knoxville home, but after returning from spending two years living abroad, our lives are forever changed. We left a piece of our hearts on an island out in the Pacific Ocean and took with us the desire to see more. If words could explain, I’d write a book, but until then, occasional blurbs and social media posts will do!


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