Before 8am {Jill}

“Life is an adventure, and there is no script. I see something in ordinary moments. I believe that perfection comes not when you are dressed perfectly and wearing lipstick – but in little moments and interactions that make up our days and build and sustain our relationships. Let me show you the beauty in your unscripted moments…” – Karen Jacot, photographer

When the opportunity came up for this photo shoot, my immediate reaction was heck no. I had no desire to have someone come into my messy, cluttered, overrun-by-a-toddler house to capture our less than perfect morning routine. However, I absolutely love getting a glimpse into other people’s lives {hello, Bravo TV addiction!}, and I knew this chance may not present itself again. My original plan was to completely clean out the house the weekend before, stage what I had deemed to be a more perfect morning, and pray that my toddler had enough sense {ha!} to play along. As the shoot approached, I realized that if I stuck to that plan, the photos would not truly capture our routine, but would present a life we were pretending to lead. And who wants pictures of a pretend family? I might as well have kept the black and white pictures of strangers that come in the frames when you buy them. So with that all being said, this post is dedicated to all the less than perfect families out there. The families who know their house really belongs to the kids, and they are just fortunate to have a small space to rest their heads at the end of the day.  And to the families who have gone through countless efforts to make it {whatever it may be} work – and have finally settled into their perfect routine.


Normally my goal is to wake up a few minutes before my daughter and attempt to at least start getting ready. Sometimes this works, sometimes it doesn’t. She is an incredibly light sleeper, so I can’t use the bathroom closest to her room. Instead, I get ready in the mornings in our half bathroom at the front of the house and keep the monitor close by.


Considering she isn’t a morning person {this is me waking her up for school around 8:20}, Talya tends to be in a pretty good mood, albeit quiet, in the mornings. You can see she’s staring at the camera wondering who this stranger in her house is!


I mean honestly, that lip? She wanted to watch Mickey and it hadn’t started yet. Life is rough.


So here is part of my dirty little secret about our mornings. My daughter hates breakfast. She won’t eat in the morning, and I don’t have time to fight with her about it. She drinks a Pediasure for breakfast every morning. This is what I had thought about staging – me cooking some elaborate breakfast, but I realized it just isn’t us. This is our reality. Talya drinks her Pediasure and watches TV as my husband and I scurry around getting ready. Not picture perfect, but it works for us.4-02-15-jill-before8am-118

Our living room is Grand Central Station in the mornings. I get Talya dressed and ready for the day in there. It’s much easier than dragging her all over the house. {I did mention she isn’t a morning person!}


Excuse the naked baby, but that smile is contagious!


I love this one! We always tell her we want to eat her feetsies – and how could you not? They’re so scrumptious looking!


Her hair is getting ridiculously long, and for some reason I’m pretty emotionally attached to it and refuse to cut it. It goes in a ponytail every morning for school so it doesn’t get in her face. She clearly is thrilled about this.


She has this adorable habit of playing with her ears when she’s tired. If you go back and look through the pictures, you’ll see this pattern. {Side note :: My husband does the same thing. The apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree!}



My husband has been working crazy hours {thanks a lot, tax season!}, so the mornings have become a special time for these two.


This picture melts my heart. That’s a true Daddy’s girl staring lovingly at him while I sneak away to finish getting ready.


And this. Oh this. We fight every morning about her taking toys to school. This is our reality, tears and tantrums. Who can relate?


Goodbye kisses for Daddy, and we’re off to school so he can get dressed and ready in a calm, quiet house. Must be nice!

Life isn’t perfect, and I wanted this shoot to truly capture us and all of our imperfections. Because you know what? It’s perfect for us, and that’s truly what matters.

To see Karen’s perspective from her Before 8am morning with us, check out her blog post.  And don’t forget to check out the rest of the posts within this amazing series as well!

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Jill P
Jill is a former elementary school teacher, University of Arizona graduate {Bear Down!}, and mom to Talya {September 2012}, but not necessarily in that order. She has always had a passion for writing and really took it to the next level after her daughter was born. It didn't take long for her to realize it was just the outlet she needed. As a first-time-mom, she is constantly searching for balance in her life, whether it's work and family, marriage and kids, or a sense of normalcy and complete craziness. She has, for the most part, managed to maintain her sanity {depending on who you ask}. Jill's writing aims to portray an honest viewpoint on parenting. Sometimes it's what nobody else is willing to say that inspires Jill to speak up on certain topics! She is a regular contributor to sites such as The Huffington Post,, and She and her husband Sam reside in the Bellaire area with their daughter, Talya.


  1. Oh man, I think this is my favorite one. It’s soooo much like my mornings. My house is run by a preschooler and soon to be infant. There are toys and clutter everywhere. It’s not dirty it’s just not super organized. My son doesn’t eat breakfast either. He might eat a fruit snack (ah I know it’s terrible but at least it’s something) but mostly he just drinks a giant cup of milk. Thankfully they have snack at school and he’ll eat by then but first thing in the morning he is never hungry. Even IF I made pancakes every day he would eat half of one and that would be pushing it. My son and I argue over taking things to school on a daily basis.

    I’m glad you decided to show your real mornings. Because not everyone’s schedules and mornings are the same. You find what works for you amid the chaos of your own life and you roll with it. I’ve never been super tidy but I DO know where my things are. Now .. where my sons toys are .. are a completely different story lol.


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