The Expansion of Calendar Squares


Two nights ago I leaned over and asked if JD was awake. It was 2 a.m.. I propped my pillow and let my mind run wild when he didn’t respond. In the darkness I realized I was letting things fall by the wayside, primarily time spent with my family. The people closest to me are my top priority, but based on the amount of time I’ve dedicated to seeing them lately, there’s room for doubt. And it hurts to admit this.

With wedding season being at its peak and my time spread thin, I crafted completely legitimate excuses why I couldn’t drop everything and visit my mother for lunch…but I somehow made time for other things. This is what kept me awake at 2 a.m. in the morning. Yes, my mother–and her infamous guilt trips–permeated my sleep…and you thought your mom was tough!

Yesterday I made plans to break plans. To throw my preexisting commitments out the window and find a way to nuzzle my face in the ivory curve of my mother’s neck. A few years ago, when my mother battled the worst of her cancer, I cried for the time I thought I lost with her, all those future lunch dates that wouldn’t be spread in tiny squares of my calendar. And yet. Six years into her remission and I am what? Busy?!

How quickly time fades the empty promises of a broken heart.

Just after an afternoon photo shoot in Los Angeles, we met my mother and little sister, Zoe, for dinner. Over Inca Kola and lomo saldado at our favorite Peruvian restaurant, we laughed and mopped the food on our plates with soft bread rolls. It was night that filled every inch of my calendar square. And ever-mending heart.

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  1. Lindsey Laughlin

    September 19th, 2012 at 4:05 pm

    Thanks for the reminder Jas – I needed to hear this.
    By the way – this a beautiful picture of you girls!

  2. Rebecca Nash

    September 19th, 2012 at 4:06 pm

    Wow Jasmine…Thank you for sharing this.
    It’s a powerful moment to have this kind of realization. I recently had a similar experience with a big realization – I was so busy trying to build a business to buy things for my daughter that I forgot to schedule time to just be with my daughter.
    Big changes had to be made to make sure I kept my priorities straight.
    It’s wonderful to read your post and know I’m not the only one who makes these mistakes and has to refocus. I hope every moment with your beautiful mother, spouse and family is precious to you. All the Best!

  3. Melissa Kate

    September 19th, 2012 at 4:14 pm

    This is so sweet and heartfelt! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  4. Al

    September 19th, 2012 at 4:14 pm

    It is funny how Mom’s can do that but it is also great to be with them…enjoy your time with her!

  5. Marissa Nicole

    September 19th, 2012 at 4:15 pm

    Beautifully written Jasmine!

  6. Sabrina

    September 19th, 2012 at 4:15 pm

    I lost my dad when I was 14 and so, when my mom came to visit a few weeks ago I reminded myself that even though I had so many photos to edit and so much organizing to do, that time spent with her was way more valuable than a couple of hours spent behind the computer. Thanks for another reminder, Jasmine 🙂

  7. ashley link

    September 19th, 2012 at 4:17 pm

    your posts are always so beautifully written. yes, please be sure to spend time with your loved ones! a lady at my preschool just lost her husband to cancer. he had been in remission and everything came back so suddenly. time with those we love is precious. i bet your mama enjoyed every moment she spent with you! 🙂

  8. Rebecca Skinner

    September 19th, 2012 at 4:17 pm

    Your beautiful mama, we love you Millie!!!

  9. Kitrin Jeffrey

    September 19th, 2012 at 4:22 pm

    Wow, this takes a strong person to admit this, J*. I just lost my Grandfather after a brief illness, and I won’t soon forget the sting of shame and guilt for not visiting more. Glad you took the time to have lunch with your Momma.

  10. Irela

    September 19th, 2012 at 4:23 pm

    This post brought tears to my eyes. (Having lost my mother many years ago). So glad you filled that square. Blessings to you and your family.

  11. Aimee Dreiling

    September 19th, 2012 at 4:24 pm


  12. Shiu

    September 19th, 2012 at 4:34 pm

    thanks for the reminder Jasmine…I need to make plans to break plans too. Make every day count.

  13. Edna Tan

    September 19th, 2012 at 4:51 pm

    Hola Jasmine! It’s lomo saltado : )

  14. Andrea

    September 19th, 2012 at 5:00 pm

    You had me at Inca Kola and lomo saltado… sabrosura!

  15. Gail

    September 19th, 2012 at 5:12 pm

    So glad you took the time to do this, J. I just sent a sappy email to my mom this morning after learning one of my 2011 brides (who JUST celebrated her wedding anniversary Monday and is expecting a baby boy 2 WEEKS after me) lost her mom to breast cancer today. I can’t imagine having this baby without my mom there to guide me into this new passage, so my heart breaks for her. This post of yours just reaffirms the same kind of gratitude message I shared with my own mom.

    Love (and SO MISS) you girl!

  16. Valerie

    September 19th, 2012 at 5:13 pm

    This is a very beautiful post and has to be my favorite your yours ever. I’m moving away from my mom soon and this was a great reminder to take advantage of our close proximity now.

  17. Demet

    September 19th, 2012 at 5:24 pm

    Love it.I need to phone my mom right now 🙂

  18. brianna

    September 19th, 2012 at 6:00 pm

    SHORTS!!! <3 (love you millster!)

  19. Christy Tyler

    September 19th, 2012 at 6:05 pm

    THANK YOU for the reminder Jasmine! It is so easy to forget about those who matter most to us when we are in the trenches of wedding season…

  20. Oksana

    September 19th, 2012 at 6:58 pm

    Your beautiful post made me cry, but in a good kind of way 🙂

  21. Lily Hernandez

    September 19th, 2012 at 8:11 pm

    Jasmine this is beautiful! So, so perfect. Time with love ones is precious 😉 Thanks for the reminder.

  22. Peter Kelly

    September 19th, 2012 at 8:26 pm

    When I think of the times I said I would visit my mother, and things just got in the way, I look back now and wish I could have those times over again, but that can not be done, so make the best of the times you have with them, as time lost can never be got back, love them and appreciated them now

  23. ashley barnett

    September 19th, 2012 at 8:40 pm

    I’m spending the day with my mom and dad today..I TOTALLY feel this. I have felt like such a bad daughter for not setting aside time to just BE with them. Thanks for the reminder…and CUTE necklace, I have it in yellow!

  24. rich

    September 19th, 2012 at 9:36 pm

    wonderful post =)

  25. Monika Greenaway

    September 19th, 2012 at 11:41 pm

    I love this. Time can go so fast and before we know it weeks or months have gone by since we have seen the ones we love most.

  26. Amanda Waltman

    September 19th, 2012 at 11:44 pm

    what a great post! i’m happy you cleared your schedule to spend time with your family! 🙂

  27. Elizabeth Maxwell

    September 20th, 2012 at 1:16 am

    I love this… and I can relate to this so so much. I lost my mother 15 years ago to cancer, and some days the sadness of missing out of so much of her life is crippling!

    Just today I was driving down the road (scouting locations for an upcoming wedding) and I ended up at my Dad’s house, 45 minutes down the road! Just because I wanted to tell him I loved him.


  28. nikki

    September 20th, 2012 at 2:26 pm

    beautiful. and convicting. love your honesty. 🙂

  29. Denise Prichett

    September 20th, 2012 at 8:20 pm

    Jasmine, I have been reading your blog for a few years now. This post really really touched me today. My mother had been battling pulmonary fibrosis for three years. In and out of the hospital for numerous stays. I lost my Mom on August 7, 2012. I second shot a wedding on August 11, 2012, because I told my photog friend I would assist her with the wedding. The pain of mising my Mom is with me everyday since. I am very glad that your spirit moved you to adjust your schedule to spend time with your Mom. My Mom and I were suppose to have a spa day in July, but she went into the hospital for the last time before our scheduled day. Enjoy the time…those moments are precious. Best wishes, Denise

  30. Lucia Stevenson

    September 21st, 2012 at 4:31 am

    Jasmine, I’m so glad you took the time to spend part of the day with your family!

    I lost my mom to breast cancer about 6 years ago and even though time does help with the pain, that emptiness is forever there. Sometimes I look back and wish I had spent more time with her (even though I did), but those moments will never come back.

    No matter what, I try to always give my husband, family and friends tons of attention and not only on holidays but I try to get together as often as I can.

    Although I still have a full time job while at the same time trying to grow a wedding photography business that I have just started on the side (that I want to make it full time), at the end, those people in my life are the most important thing!

    Cherish them always! Lucia

  31. moi

    September 21st, 2012 at 6:12 pm

    Your little sister is adorable!

  32. Marcela Lubrin

    September 22nd, 2012 at 5:05 am

    Touching post you’ve shared, glad you spent time with your family. It made me happy to read this. 🙂

  33. Amanda Webber

    September 22nd, 2012 at 6:35 am

    Sweet picture. I lost my mom to breast cancer the day after I turned 22. Been 14 years now and I miss her everyday. Hug your mama.

  34. Jo Ann

    September 23rd, 2012 at 3:20 am

    It is so difficult to navigate the seemingly endless cycle…love, time, work, guilt. I know it so well and struggle with it often. I wish I had an answer or even a hypothesis on this one, but I do not. One thing that has helped me was a friend’s advice: "Just hold your loved ones close as often as you can". For some reason, his words really resonated and I try to always go back to this when I find myself spinning in the cycle’s void. Beautiful photograph.

  35. Julie Villarreal

    September 24th, 2012 at 4:57 pm

    Jasmine, make time and then make even more time for your mother. I lost my sweet momma last year and how I wish I had spent more time with her. It breaks my heart every day. What I wouldn’t give to hear her laugh or feel her soft hands one more time. I appreciate your honesty and your big heart! God bless you and God bless your mother with continued good health!

  36. ashley goodwin

    September 25th, 2012 at 8:06 pm

    🙂 ME TOO!
    This is really really really awesome. Your mom is like, the SWEETEST! I need to call my parents more often, that is for sure!

  37. Evonne & Darren

    September 28th, 2012 at 1:05 am

    Thanks for reminding us that it’s important to make time for family, no matter how busy we are. BTW, we just tried Inca Kola for the first time yesterday. It was sooo good! LOVE Peruvian food!

  38. Dordrecht

    December 8th, 2014 at 2:10 pm

    All the best to you and your family 🙂