I remember when we took our first family photograph for Eid, we wanted it to be perfect, something we could look back on with wonderful memories and share with our loved ones. We were really happy with how the picture turned out, what we weren’t happy about was what we had to go through to get that picture.

I think we had to take the picture ten times until we got the perfect shot. We got agitated every time it didn’t look right, we got upset when the kids kept moving and we were constantly telling them to sit still and behave. We were forcing our smiles. The happiness we were projecting on that picture two years ago was the complete opposite of how we felt.

That day I learned that looking good means nothing if we don’t feel good about ourselves and each other. So this picture represents all the changes we’ve made as a family, how we have grown to feel comfortable with each other, how people see us, and not to put any unnecessary pressure on ourselves. We have learned to live free, to be present and enjoy the moments we have together, and to be our natural selves because that is when we feel most beautiful.

When special occasions come along like Eid what is important is that it starts with each of us feeling special, then letting things flow naturally. What we have found is that when we can simply be happy with everything we are the special moments come to us, the joy of life finds us and even if a million pictures can’t capture those moments it doesn’t matter because we felt them, and that’s what truly counts.