Moments – #iPPP

posted in: IPPP, Life, Random, Vacation 76 comments

The thing about taking over 600 photographs on your camera, and another 100 on your phone over the course of 11 days, is that inevitably, some will never see the light of day. Even when they deserve to be. 

When the light is just right, and the beauty of nature is undeniable, and you think, ooh, I should Instagram this. But you don’t. Because after taking this picture, you turn around and see your boys running in the sun. So you watch, and laugh, and enjoy the warmth of the sunshine.



When everything is just right, because your children are where they’re supposed to be. And your love is all there. In that moment. And it’s just just as it should be. So you snap away, think you should email this to their grandparents, and they call you over to join them on the swings.  

Boys in the park


You’re sitting down for breakfast, the children want to eat french fries, you say no, and the little one protests. The oldest starts yelling for french fries (oh dear god what the heck with the french fries), you haven’t had coffee yet, and you want to just hunker down in a corner. Then you take a deep breath and remind yourself of where you are, why you’re there, and how lucky you are. And this. You take the picture, then just enjoy being on vacation and eat french fries for breakfast.



You’ve been out the whole day, you’re tired and it feels like you’ve been in the car for 50 hours. You want dinner. Dinner! Then your husband says, one more stop, and grrrr. You turn around to check on the boys, and you see a moment of spontaneous affection. So instead of posting this to Facebook after you take the picture, you melt into a puddle on the floor of the car.

Boys holding hands


Sometimes, we get so caught up in the capturing and sharing of the moment, we forget to live in it. So as I sat in this restaurant for some alone time, I snapped this, and opened a book. Living in the moment.


Linking up with Greta and Sarah for #iPPP. If you have any photos taken with your smart phone, share them and link up!

*All photos were taken with my phone.

When was the last time you lived in the moment?

Alison Lee is a former PR and marketing professional turned work-at-home mother. After a 10-year career in various PR agencies, and of the world’s biggest sports brands, Alison traded in product launches and world travel, for sippy cups, diapers, and breastfeeding. Alison's writing has been featured on Mamalode, On Parenting at The Washington Post, The Huffington Post, Everyday Family, Scary Mommy, and She is one of 35 essayists in the anthology, My Other Ex: Women’s True Stories of Leaving and Losing Friends. In 2012, she founded Little Love Media, a social media consultancy specializing in blog book tours, and because she doesn’t sleep, is an editor at BonBon Break, an online magazine. Alison lives in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia with her husband and four children (two boys and boy/ girl twins).

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  • October 23, 2013 Allie

    I seriously almost burst into tears at the sight of your boys holding hands in the back seat! It reminded me so much of my two boys sitting back there and sometimes they can be so loving to each other that you do just melt away. This is a great idea for a post. Thank you for the reminder to live in the moment.
    Allie recently wrote…Here Goes Nothin’My Profile

    • October 27, 2013 Alison

      I look at that picture all the time. I love when they are affectionate and brotherly. SO MUCH. And thank you.

  • October 23, 2013 Colleen

    Oh, it’s so important to put down the camera and the phone sometimes. I used to photograph everything then one day I realized lugging that big DSLR around all the time stopped me from actually participating in life. If I need or really want photos I try to take a few at the start of an outing or wait until the end and get a few. Sometimes I miss a great candid photo, but I don’t miss out on actually living the moment. I think it’s a good trade.
    Colleen recently wrote…How to Make a Despicable Me Minion CostumeMy Profile

    • October 27, 2013 Alison

      It is definitely a good trade! I never regret it.

  • October 23, 2013 Shana Norris

    Great photos, Alison. Those boats on the glassy water. Gorgeous. Photos are such a bittersweet thing to me. I love taking them, looking at them, but then I get so overwhelmed trying to keep them organized and knowing what to do with them. Then there are the ones I just almost cannot bear to look back on because I want to cry thinking about how quickly my babies are growing up.
    Shana Norris recently wrote…“The” Pumpkin Chocolate Chip CookiesMy Profile

    • October 27, 2013 Alison

      I look at my boys’ baby pictures all the time, just to relive those moments. πŸ™‚

  • October 23, 2013 Kim

    So much beauty and cuteness – so glad you captured those moments.
    I have the same thing happen as well, I think that I should share and then we are on to the next thing. Glad you were able to snap those memories and still bask in their glow as they were happening – makes them that much sweeter to recall.
    Kim recently wrote…Bringing Nice BackMy Profile

    • October 27, 2013 Alison

      It really does. Thank you.

  • October 23, 2013 Natalie

    So true!!! And these photos are beautiful!!!
    Natalie recently wrote…A Pumpkin Pickin’ We Will GoMy Profile

    • October 27, 2013 Alison

      Thanks Natalie!

  • October 23, 2013 sarah reinhart

    Completely understand. As someone known for posting lots of pics. I go through periods of this. With blogging too. Like nah. I don’t feel like sharing right now. Or posting. Or whatever. I just want to kick back and live. Not reflect. But then I come back to sharing and posting and reflecting. Nice ebb and flow. Love these little moments you’ve shared. xx

    • October 27, 2013 Alison

      Thank you, Sarah. I know exactly what you mean. Ebb and flow.

  • October 23, 2013 NJ

    I’m working really hard to get better at just living in the moment. It is WORK sometimes to be in real life instead of posting something right away to my digital one. I don’t want my kids to grow up with memories of always having my smart phone in my hand… Thanks for this reminder. xo
    NJ recently wrote…The Mother Of All Meltdowns Review, Blog Tour Stop, & GiveawayMy Profile

    • October 27, 2013 Alison

      My kids are really used to seeing me with a phone or a camera to capture the moments. The important thing is, they also know that I will put them down. πŸ™‚

  • October 23, 2013 Alexa

    I can’t believe you took all of those on your phone! My Droid does not do photos justice like that. Next time, I’m getting an iphone! And how cute are your two little men???
    Alexa recently wrote…The Hangover (and two winners!)My Profile

    • October 27, 2013 Alison

      Thanks Alexa! I took these pictures with my Samsung Galaxy S4, not an iPhone πŸ™‚

  • October 23, 2013 Susi

    Oh, the hand holding! Is there anything cuter? I take a ton of pictures too and I often snap it and then end up posting it later when the kids are in bed or busy with their own agenda… And sometimes, I just tuck the memories away without snapping a pic at all – just enjoying the here and now. πŸ™‚
    Susi recently wrote…The Revealing of Marionette (the cover)My Profile

    • October 27, 2013 Alison

      Enjoying the here and now is the best way to live!

  • October 23, 2013 Nicole

    Wow, those are some great phone pics! I’m jealous. My Android phone has a delay, so my pictures always come out blurry! Even more than the beautiful pics, I love the beautiful message to live in the moment, to stop worrying about capturing everything on film (wow, that statement is outdated!) and to just be with our loved ones.
    Nicole recently wrote…Baby Had BackMy Profile

    • October 27, 2013 Alison

      My old Droid was the same – it was just too slow so all my pictures were terrible. I’m so happy with my Samsung’s camera! And thank you for your kind words. πŸ™‚

  • October 23, 2013 Stacey

    I love vacations! I go through phases where I take a lot of pictures and times when it doesn’t even cross my mind. I love that you sat down and just enjoyed the moment. And the french fries for breakfast makes perfect sense to me. πŸ˜‰
    Stacey recently wrote…PublishedMy Profile

    • October 27, 2013 Alison

      I am the same way! After our vacation, I took a complete break from taking pictures, especially with the DSLR. I was so photographed-out.

  • October 24, 2013 KalleyC

    Beautiful pictures! I love how your sons hold hands! You have some serious skills as a photographer! I completely agree with you that sometimes we do get caught up sharing the moment, that we do forget to live in it. Here’s to living in the moment.
    KalleyC recently wrote…The Tell {Almost} All ExposΓ©My Profile

    • October 27, 2013 Alison

      Aw, thanks Kalley. I just have a good phone camera. πŸ™‚

  • October 24, 2013 Amanda Jillian

    Gorgeous and I do that often I was just going through photos and go oh man I took this and that and never did anything with them cause I got caught up in the moment.
    Amanda Jillian recently wrote…Restore Hope {Sevenly}My Profile

    • October 27, 2013 Alison

      I think we need to live in the moment more!

  • October 24, 2013 My Inner Chick

    beautiful, profound post.

    I adore the photo of your loves holding hands.

    I LOVE the last photo, and I imagine you, Alison Lee, sipping coffee & getting lost inside a great book…

    ….living in the moment. Xx
    My Inner Chick recently wrote…Silence Is A KillerMy Profile

    • October 27, 2013 Alison

      I was sitting there, sipping coffee and enjoying my book. πŸ™‚

  • October 24, 2013 Greta

    Those are fantastic pictures! I think that’s why people use #latergram….because they still want to share them, as they’re going through their phone gallery hours later while laying in bed. πŸ™‚
    Greta recently wrote…The Lonely Runner #iPPPMy Profile

    • October 27, 2013 Alison

      I always forget to post, even later. πŸ™‚

  • October 24, 2013 Janice / GatheringGraces

    Love the holding hands one. I take a ton of pics everyday too, and not all them make it on social media. And I’m fine with that. Because I take pictures for the purpose of looking back and smiling at the moment, not so that I can share it right now. If I want to later, I will. But the priority is not to share, rather, to remember. πŸ˜‰
    Janice / GatheringGraces recently wrote…One Is Better Than A HundredMy Profile

    • October 27, 2013 Alison

      I go through phases where I take a lot of pictures, then none for weeks. Mostly, I just want to enjoy the moments. πŸ™‚

  • October 24, 2013 Tamara

    The hand holding is so incredibly sweet. I don’t think it can even happen in our minivan because of the distance, but I remember looking back once and watching Scarlet hold hands with her little friend. They were about 18-months-old then.
    I struggle with my iPhone camera. I call it names. I denounce it for its bad shutter speeds. And yet, I use it all of the time.
    Tamara recently wrote…Life. You’re Doing It Right. (Sometimes)My Profile

    • October 27, 2013 Alison

      I love that they’re close enough to hold hands, cutest thing ever.
      I love my Samsung’s camera. One of the main reasons I chose it.

  • October 24, 2013 Christine

    That photo of your boys holding hands is beyond adorable! I love love love how brothers show affection for each other.
    Christine recently wrote…Allegiant, Cortisone and Spandits!My Profile

    • October 27, 2013 Alison

      Right?! I love it so much.

  • October 24, 2013 Jeanne

    What great pictures!! The one of the flower is making me wish for warmth and sunshine… it’s been so cold here lately.
    Jeanne recently wrote…We Got Cool Stuff!My Profile

    • October 27, 2013 Alison

      It was a beautiful Spring day in Australia. Perfect actually. πŸ™‚

  • October 24, 2013 Leslie

    Good for you for taking the opportunity to enjoy your family instead of your phone/the internet. I love social media, but it can take over your life so easily. Besides, if you’re ever going to have french fries for breakfast, it should be while you’re on vacation.
    Leslie recently wrote…{Weigh In Wednesday} Week 43My Profile

    • October 27, 2013 Alison

      I totally loved being able to eat whatever while on vacation!

  • October 24, 2013 Kerstin

    I love those pictures! I had no idea it was that beautiful in Australia (I always just think of all the poisonous snakes and spiders they have there…).
    Call me shallow, but my favourite is the one in the restaurant – I want to go there and open a book!
    Kerstin recently wrote…Talking TeenagerMy Profile

    • October 27, 2013 Alison

      Oh yes, there are definitely many, many predators in Australia. Fortunately, there are also many pretty things there. Phew. πŸ™‚

  • October 24, 2013 Jin Ai

    These are lovely shots of the moments you lived in the present. Good for you! I love sibling love too. Makes me melt into a mushy mess!
    Jin Ai recently wrote…Toddler nursing, tandem nursing and nursing while pregnant (Part 1)My Profile

    • October 27, 2013 Alison

      Sibling love is the best!

  • October 24, 2013 Tracie

    These are all amazing photos!! I love that you waited to share them, and allowed yourself to bask in the moments as they happened instead.
    Tracie recently wrote…I Can’t Be Well-RoundedMy Profile

    • October 27, 2013 Alison

      Thank you, Tracie!

  • October 24, 2013 Jessica

    Isn’t it so nice when the kids have those rare moments of sweetness together?
    Jessica recently wrote…Pumpkin Spice BrowniesMy Profile

    • October 27, 2013 Alison

      VERY nice.

  • October 25, 2013 Runnermom-jen

    I do this all.the.time.
    Gorgeous photos!! I especially love the boat one. So beautiful, serene, and calming. Also? I have a thing for boats on the water.
    Glad you got to enjoy these moments, Alison.
    P.S. French fries for breakfast are awesome πŸ˜‰
    Runnermom-jen recently wrote…Running…Full CircleMy Profile

    • October 27, 2013 Alison

      I love taking pictures of boats on waters. πŸ™‚

  • October 25, 2013 tracy

    Beautiful my friend. xo
    tracy recently wrote…Get Involved – Johnson & Johnson Care To Recycle ProgramMy Profile

    • October 27, 2013 Alison

      Thank you. xo

  • October 25, 2013 Lady Jennie

    Everything about this post is peaceful and soothing to the soul.
    Lady Jennie recently wrote…Forges-les-EauxMy Profile

    • October 27, 2013 Alison

      I’m glad, Jennie. I’m glad.

  • October 25, 2013 Cookie's Mom

    French fries for breakfast. Now that’s living in the moment! Looks like a beautiful spot.
    Cookie’s Mom recently wrote…Ten Ways to Say, “I love you” Monday Listicles (a little late)My Profile

    • October 27, 2013 Alison

      It was a beautiful place, yes!

  • October 25, 2013 sisters from another mister

    Moment by moment – its all I can do of late …
    But the pic of the restaurant, would love to be there by your side!
    sisters from another mister recently wrote…Do not judge me by my words.My Profile

    • October 27, 2013 Alison

      I’m glad you are living moment by moment – that’s the best way, sometimes. xo

  • October 26, 2013 Natalie

    So sweet πŸ™‚
    And your photos always make me wish I could take a picture πŸ™‚
    Natalie recently wrote…Let There Be (Olive Oil) Cake!My Profile

    • October 27, 2013 Alison

      You can!!

  • October 26, 2013 Kimberly

    Dude, French fries? French fries means “healthy shit that makes you instantly happy” in English. That counts as healthy.
    Kimberly recently wrote…Being HereMy Profile

    • October 27, 2013 Alison

      I can live with that definition.

  • October 27, 2013 anymommy

    Such beauty. I often forget my camera for days (weeks!) because I’m not a very good photographer and then I feel so guilty that I’ve let time pass without taking pictures. But it does reduce the number of untouched, unshared, unused pictures stashed on my ailing computer!
    anymommy recently wrote…The whole villageMy Profile

    • October 27, 2013 Alison

      I have thousands of photos on my hard drive. Sigh.

  • October 27, 2013 Michelle

    I don’t always take pictures with my phone because I am so addicted to my DSLR. But then there is stuff I miss, like the cat sleeping in the bathroom sink. Once discovered, by the time I got there with my camera, she was out of there. So now, I am whipping out my phone. She sleeps in the most bizarre places and they crack me up. And I forget to post to Instagram too, because I’m too busy living. πŸ™‚
    Michelle recently wrote…Getting Spooky with our Halloween Bash {Ladies Only Blog Share}My Profile

    • October 27, 2013 Alison

      That’s hilarious! When I had cats, they used to sleep in the weirdest places too. πŸ™‚

  • October 27, 2013 Jessica

    Beautiful post and lovely pictures!

    • October 27, 2013 Alison

      Thank you, Jessica!

  • October 27, 2013 Shefali

    I melted seeing the pic of your boys holding hands, that is beyond precious! We do get so caught up in capturing moments that we do forget to live them. I agree with you.
    And my god! your phone pics are amazing. I think I need a new phone with a better camera so that I don’t have to lug my huge camera around. Great post.
    Shefali recently wrote…Spring CleaningMy Profile

    • October 27, 2013 Alison

      I do love my Samsung Galaxy S4! Thank you.

  • October 27, 2013 Katie

    I’m loving the photo of your boys holding hands!
    Katie recently wrote…Apple PickingMy Profile

    • October 27, 2013 Alison

      Thank you, Katie!

  • October 27, 2013 Andrea

    Your pictures are gorgeous, Alison. I am not a photo-taker by any stretch, but the ease of which pics can be snapped these days leaves me with lots of pics in my phone that will never be shared, too. I never regret that, because like you, the importance of living those moments is greater than showing them to everyone else.
    Andrea recently wrote…Halloween VisitsMy Profile

    • October 27, 2013 Alison

      The look at me generation certainly changes things up for us, doesn’t it?

  • October 28, 2013 Maureen

    Love all the pictures, Alison!
    There’s just something about clear blue sky and wide open green parks that pull my heart.
    Maureen recently wrote…Uterine Fibroids And The Journey To Beat ThemMy Profile

    • October 28, 2013 Alison

      Thank you, Maureen! Australia really is beautiful.

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Alison Profile PictureI'm Alison. Writer, a mother of four (two boys and boy/ girl twins), social media enthusiast and book lover. A believer in the power of chocolate and hugs. Chugging coffee as I type. Want to know more?

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