Lifting the Veil

I have to tell you something: Please don’t believe my pictures.

Or rather—believe them, in the sense that they physically exist right there on your computer screen—but please don’t think they tell the whole story.

I feel compelled to tell you this because when I started my blogging journey, I did so with a passion for sharing real stories and sharing real life.

As an avid lover of blogs myself, I know all too well the feeling of utter, well, blah­-ness that comes when you look at a woman’s perfectly-styled photo—flowing hair, perfectly put-together outfit, serene smile on her face—and think, Um, that’s not even in the ballpark of what my daily life entails.

Well I’m here to tell you, that’s not typically in my ballpark either.

Yes, I plan shoots with some incredible photographers to capture a moment, or an outfit, or a scene, because it’s a blog, after all, and I’m certain that while you want to hear all about real life, sometimes you want a more polished version to look at, right? 😀

But with a picture as with life, there is so much more going on behind the scenes than people realize.

It’s the same logic behind Facebook Disease. You know that one, right? The one you catch every time you log on and see someone out-fabulous-ing you? On a better vacation? In a cuter outfit? With a bigger glass of wine?

Well, friends, that too is just a moment. It’s not the whole story.

Just like these pictures right here on this blog.

If my days were a pie chart, 75% would be labeled “Spit-up Wiping and Making Snacks,” 15% would be “Sleeping, or Hiding in a Closet to Have a Moment of Peace,” 8% would be “Writing and Brainstorming While Hiding in my Closet to Have a Moment of Peace,” and the remaining 2% would be the “Professional and/or Photo Shoot Sonni.”

So in the spirit of sharing real life, here’s the behind-the-scenes photo of what happened truly minutes before these other “polished” pictures were shot:

This is me, wrestling my little girl’s legs into a pair of leggings in a coffee shop in the middle of our back-to-school photo shoot.

What you can’t see is the look of frustration on my face and the sweat beading on my forehead as about a dozen other patrons were likely wondering, Why the hell is this woman dressing her kid in a coffee shop?

I sincerely wish I had asked the photographer to shoot even more of me losing my cool outside that coffee shop as well, where all of this started, so that you could have an even clearer idea of the real way that things can look when trying to do about a zillion things at once in life. (Hello, everyone.)

Thankfully, my sweet, talented and patient photographer puts up with me long enough to get some great shots. 😉

Here’s what I tell myself every time I see a blog or Facebook post or some other piece of media that makes me feel like everyone else has it so much more together than I do: We are all many moving parts (and in my case, lately, many unpolished moving parts), and pictures rarely tell the whole story.

While we’re lucky in this digital age to be able to express ourselves and to connect with words and pictures, it’s always only one piece of the puzzle.

Writing this blog is my way of doing that. And while it will always be fun to have nice pictures accompanying my posts (because blogs are visual mediums, after all), it will also always be fun to keep this space a space of realness, of inclusion, and of being our true selves.

…And a few nice pictures every now and then. 😉

Sonni Abatta runs an Orlando lifestyle and mom blog. She sincerely hopes you don’t judge her for dressing her kid in a coffee shop. Reach out with questions, qualms and collabs to

Pictures by the lovely Shay Captures.

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