My Little Black...

I may work for myself – but I still have a dress code.

Dress Code for Sarah Dills Photography / Freelance Writing

 1)   When meeting with clients, on a shoot or out in public representing the business – Look Professional.

       Meaning showered and in make-up with hair fixed wearing stylish clothes. (While shooting weddings wear black so not to stand out too much while running all over the ceremony, but for all other shoots let personality show through the clothing. Hey, I am a photographer after all.)

2)   ANY OTHER TIME – Yoga pants, a ratty tank top with no make-up and a headband to cover the bad hair.

      Shower optional.


More often than not I’m trying to work from home (editing pictures, designing albums, placing orders, writing articles…) while simultaneously attempting to raise three, small children. This means at some point during the day – I’m going to get puked on; be it by baby, toddler or dog. Food gets spilled (or thrown on me), I sit down on the rug only to realize I’m covered in dog hair, and I end-up soaked now that I have three little people to splash me over the side of the tub…it’s a mess.

So, recently, I’ve been residing myself to what I like to call the ‘Mommy Uniform.’ I know this term probably means different things for different women, but in my case it consists of a pair of black ‘yoga’ pants, a fitted tank top over a sports bra and a pair of Crocs. Classy… Stylish… & Very Professional.

These ‘yoga’ pants (I actually have two, identical pair of these pants) are literally fifteen years old – purchased well before the yoga craze hit. (Definitely before I knew what yoga was.) I was in high school when I bought them, most likely with my mom’s money, at The Limited Express. (I’m pretty sure the store’s still around, but I think they’ve shortened the name to Express. Although it’s been so long since I’ve been in the mall that it could be gone entirely for all I know.) They’re black stretch pants with an elastic waste – and I’m most certain that any woman in my age-range owned a pair, or two, or three of these pants at one point in their life. They’re boot-cut, comfy pants made to look dressy…and I have very fond – yet somewhat foggy – memories of wearing them with platform sandals and sparkly, mid-drift tops every night of my senior year Spring Break in Panama City. I had bleach blonde hair, a tan and a stomach worthy of being bare.

My how those pants - and I -  have evolved!

After college – when I discovered yoga – I realized the pants were perfect for the practice. Even after Bianca was born, I would wear my once-party-now-yoga pants up to Cincinnati for an advanced yoga class at Shine Yoga Studio. Like me, the pants had aged and developed a purpose in life.

Then, I got pregnant with twins – and everything changed, including my waste-line. Once again, my faithful, always weathering the weekly wash and dry cycle, pants had a new purpose…to cover the lower halve of my body when nothing else fit. The elastic waste band stretched and the once sturdy seams began to pull. But my pants were determined to see me through to the bitter end.

But now…as sad as it is for me to say…these pants have no purpose in my wardrobe except the fact that they’re easy and they’re comfy. They’re my clothing security blanket. I don’t have to worry about anything getting spilled, splattered or splashed on them, because these pants – like Cher and cockroaches – will most likely survive the Apocalypse.

I feel like the first six months of my twins lives were, quite frankly, a blur. I was recovering from the toll a multiples pregnancy had taken on my body, trying to grow my business and trying to take care of my family. I didn’t have time to think. Now that the fog has lifted, I realize I’d kind of fallen into a funk somewhere along the way.

When I looked in the mirror I didn’t see me. Instead I saw a person who looked like me – with bad hair and bushy eyebrows wearing a really tired pair of pants.

I have to cut myself some slack. Besides the obvious, funk-inducing factors in my life – it’s been a rotten few months. My cousin lost his battle with cancer and my husband’s grandmother passed away. There have been tornadoes and fires. And it seems like you can’t turn on the TV anymore without hearing about how our country is headed down the tube. It’s enough to make anyone want to pull the covers over their head and go back to sleep.

But I realize all of these horrible circumstances should make me want to jump out of bed and seize the moment – because none of us know how many more moments we get.

And I CERTAINTLY don’t want my final moments to be spent feeling frumpy!

So…I’ve gotten back on my running schedule. I’ve gotten a haircut. And I’ve made a vow to myself to burn those black pants…

Okay, I’m way too sentimental to get rid of those pants. We’ve been through too much together for that. And at this point I consider it somewhat of a science experiment to see just how long they can last.

So…. I’ve made a vow to myself that I will not wear my ‘yoga’ pants – unless I’m doing ‘yoga.’

Not Above a Bribe

 Saturday, January 28 & Sunday, January 29, 2012


How many of you can relate to this?

You’re in the car with a child (your own child, your grandchild, a niece or nephew…some random child you picked up off the street) and you’re on your way someplace (the grocery, the doctor, a party.)

Any you say, “If you’re good…I’ll buy you ___________, give you ______________, take you _____________.”

I hate to admit that I do this, because nothing aggravates me more than watching a child manipulate their parents in the checkout line at the grocery store for a candy bar or pack of gum; but sometimes ya gotta do what ya gotta do.

Bianca is so much more behaved if she thinks there might be a trip to McDonalds in her future. Plus, it gives me something to leverage if she starts acting up. I’m sure I can often be heard saying, “You better straighten up if you want to stop at the park on our way home.”

This concept got me thinking, if this works so well with children why wouldn’t it work for adults…meaning me?

I hate going out to run. I find every excuse under the sun not to have to go out and train. It’s too hot, it’s too cold, my iPod’s not charged, I ate too much, I didn’t eat enough…

It had been over a year since I’d run any more than two miles, and I knew I just had to get over the mental hurdle to start my training. The weather was awesome, so I made a deal with myself.

I said, “Self, if you go out and run four miles I will take you for your favorite cup of coffee.”

I don’t know if that was all the motivation I needed or if all the running stars aligned, but I managed to go out and run four miles.

And while I know it’s nowhere near the 13.1 or 26.2 miles it will take to finish another half or my first full marathon – but it’s farther than I’ve run since I found out I was pregnant with my twins.

And that peppermint latte was worth every stride!