Living the Sweet Life: Just Got a Big Calling

Sometimes when you start something really good, it evolves and spills into other parts of your life. This column and what it actually means in terms of my identity has done just that.

I spend a lot of time with little people. My littles don’t read this column, and some can’t even read yet at all. After being their photographer from birth throughout their childhoods, it’s not really a shoot when they see me; it’s a visit where they get to spend quality time with their “Auntie A.” And, while I am capturing them, we get a lot of other things done like eating cookies or making art for my refrigerator, or sometimes I get asked some very important questions that they have on their mind.

I’ve thrown parties for my littles for years, and now as my garden has grown, you should see their little eyes light up when they see a cucumber or a bell pepper growing. The ending of the school year brought to my attention just how much I mean to them as they started asking me if they could come over this summer and learn how to cook, draw, paint – even the special request of “making pink play dough and creating little piggies.” They have no idea how busy their Auntie A really is, as when we are together, it is always about them. Gosh knows I just love that there’s a tiny soul in the universe that wants me to make play dough and little piggies! All of their requests made me realize that for them I have become a destination and someone they trust and want to learn from and spend time with.

Alisa Murray with Maya and Ava Desai.

Sometimes I ignore the little winks, but when one request turned into many requests, it became obvious that something was being requested of me from a higher power.  This got me to thinking about my legacy and not in terms of taking their pictures. Then, my son asked, “Would you please make a video tape of you making crafts and recipes so your great grandchildren will be able to watch you being you and come to know who you were?”

That really sealed what I had already been knocking around in my head. There’s nothing like getting an additional nod as a “God wink” that I was definitely on the right track.

I got to thinking about how many mothers have asked for a recipe or a gardening tip or some opinion that they valued about parenting or just living their own sweet lives. And then it happened: Mr. Roger’s documentary crossed my path, and as I watched with Brian, he paused the movie and said, “You are just like him. You need to do something for the children that they can watch instead of that shark cartoon or play video games –  something they will show their kids when they are our age and tell their families not only about the images they will still have hanging on their walls, but a real story about spending time with Auntie A.”

Christopher Jordan Jr., Ryionne Taylor, Alisa Murray and Jeremiah Taylor.

That was when I listened. B doesn’t have a lot to say.  It might be that I have so much to say he can’t get a word in, but when he speaks, he has thoroughly thought through his ideas. He doesn’t think out loud like me at all, and so I knew when he vocalized what he thought, and it matched what I had been thinking, we were on the same path.

Taping me will not be easy because there are days that I am shooting, writing and at my computer planning vacations – not what I call my “cute days.” I will have to sacrifice and throw on some makeup along with my signature wig, but I am dedicated to doing it. I’m going to cover everything from being kind to reading excerpts from this column to cooking and art and so much more. I am naming it after this column Living the Sweet Life with Auntie A.

I was not lost and now found, but I sure feel like I have found another cal-ling and purpose for my life. I am doing it for the children because they have asked me to and for future children who need to know how to live their own sweet lives!

Take Care of YOU!


Are you with a little who would love to spend a day with an artist? Some of our projects include interactive cooking, gardening, art and photography, as well as candid talks for older guests about community service, prepping their resume for college entrance and hot topics age appropriate for the children. At the center of it all is the common theme of living your sweet life while sharing and caring for our world and those around us. If you’re interested in participating, please e-mail