July 26, 2013

Heavy Heart

**I'm posting this here instead of my business blog because it's so personal to me. I felt the need to get it out. It's not my story to share, but it's my perspective.** 

It's with a very heavy heart that I'm writing this post. My heart hurts. I have the MOST WONDERFUL clients EVER. Once I photograph you, I consider you in my inner circle and I become vested in you. I love to watch my seniors go through their final year of high school; homecoming, football, snowball, prom, graduation and wish them all the happiness and best in the world. My heart is happy for them to move on beyond high school and I'm excited to watch which direction life takes them.

 When I have a client who experiences profound loss, it makes my heart sad. My heart has been very heavy with sadness for a couple of my clients. I was preparing for a newborn shoot that ultimately wouldn't happen. I was one of the first to know they were pregnant, keeping it a secret until they sent out announcement cards. Then again, one of the first ones to know what they were having, until they sliced a cake with a very pink center. I watched as her mom clapped and cheered for her coming-soon granddaughter. It's one of my favorite "reaction" pictures, ever.

 I saw her a week before she went into the hospital. She was happy, anxious to meet her daughter. To see her and name her. Hold her and meet this tiny human she'd been growing for nearly 9 months. I was almost equally as excited and anxious. How could something that was so anticipated, prayed-upon and blessed go so wrong? I got the text late on the Friday night after Fourth of July. "They are rushing her to the hospital. It doesn't sound good."

 I pray, I do. Quietly and silent, God knows the wishes and prayers in my heart. I felt like the wind had been sucked out of me and my husband carried me in prayer. My husband prayed and spoke blessings over my friends for the both of us. Saturday morning I got the confirmation. She had lost the baby. Sadness doesn't even begin to describe how I felt.

  "When I was a boy and saw scary things on TV, my mother always told me to look for the helpers. They are always there." Mister Rogers

 I had called my mom and, without hesitation, opened her home to my friends and their families. Strangers to her, people she knows only through my photography. To extend the offer and put them at ease, she went to the hospital to find my friends sister and brother-in-law (who are also amazing clients and friends). She walked in, cursed herself for being there. "What am I doing here? These people don't know me?" She was just about to walk out through the doors she just came in through when she saw his white cowboy hat. "At that moment, I knew. I was supposed to be there."

 My mom did what I couldn't. Hug and offer help and a shoulder to my friends. I have never been so full of gratitude to my Mom at that moment. She knew how much it meant for me, and in a follow up phone-call, how much it meant to my friends family.

 Accidents happen. This was no one's fault. There's no blame or fingers to be pointed and my friend isn't like that anyway. I have much to learn about God's grace and love from my friend. And through my friend, I'm beginning to find it.

 I've been sad, and then I became angry. My friend and her husband were meant to be amazing parents. This child was so anticipated, loved by so many already. I was angry that it was not meant to be at this time. I was angry that my friend faced such heartbreak. For a couple of weeks, I carried my grief and anger. I've held my kids tighter, thanked God for the littlest of moments with them.

Then I had a dream. My friend, her sister and I were laughing together. My beautiful friend was laughing again. At that moment, I felt my grief being lifted and a feeling of peace was overwhelming while I was sleeping. I woke up finally refreshed. I still carry hurt in my heart for my friend, but now I know that everything is going to be okay. It's His timeliine, not ours. What is a minute or 9 months to our God? Nothing. My friend is going to be okay because she is in the palm of His hand. ​

March 4, 2013


Why does it feel like I haven't posted in a while but not that long ago? Nearly 2 months??

It's not that I don't have anything to say...I just haven't found the time and when I do, it doesn't seem as important or funny or interesting.

I'm in the middle of a juice fast. So there's that.

I made it to day 18, broke my fast for breakfast, then got back to it.
I was upset and yes, I ate my feelings.
I do want to talk more about the juicing thing...maybe when some time has passed and I'm a bit separated from it. I'm so up and down, every day is different and you would have me committed for extreme mood swings.

Um...Soccer is back. Spring is the short season, we'll be done by March 30th. I actually enjoy soccer season. I like practices. I can spend that time in the car, alone. Catching up on editing or reading. Alone. Or it's a good hour for Shane to run around. We have an awesome coach (who is Brandon's best friends dad) and he and his wife are amazing. They always include Shane in practice. He runs laps and does drills with the team. They still find Shane charming and cute, I'm not about to tell them otherwise. ;) I like games when I can catch up with moms on other teams that used to be on our team. I'm that mom who cheers for goals, but has no idea what the score is because I'm talking.
So yes, soccer is good.

I'm getting caught up on sharing sessions on facebook (here) and maybe one day I'll even share them on the ol' freebie blog I'm too cheap to pay for. Rumor has it that I put a deadline on my husband for a website by March 15th. Didja know...I don't even have business cards? Yeah, that's kinda self-sabotage there. In a way, it's kinda cool I was able to do the business I did last year (35 sessions plus 5 weddings I second shot) without any marketing or giveaways or specials. (Confession: I don't like running specials or "mini-sessions" or that whole "like-for-like" "like parties" or "like ladders" on Facebook. Perhaps it's silly and I should get over it, but honestly, I don't care about "Likes" or whoring out my business. I want everything to feel as authentic and personable as possible. I don't want some person liking my page from say, Newark who is a mason jar collector and makes sparkly flower holders just so I'll like their page back so both of us can say "I have 700 fans!" No. that person is not a "Fan." That person is just trying to get their numbers up. If you really want to know how authentic your "fans" are, look at the number of fans vs the number of people talking about this. End Rant...for now)

So...yeah. Wrapping this up...

I love this. Our area just got this in the middle of January and we've participated since. When I pick up our boxes, the back of my SUV is full. Which is awesome.

I'm making this. I plan to hang it in the kids living room. If this is successful, should I post a tutorial?

I'm My Dad is making this. I asked for a modification, an additional 3ft piece so I have the option of 5ft or 3ft width.

Oh, I built bunk beds alone with my mom. So much more room for activities.

And I got lockers. I dunno what I'm going to do with them. Leave them silver or paint them.

I don't know why I have struggled so much to get a schedule down. Kids to school, Breakfast, Cleaning, Blog posting, Lunch, Editing, Pick-up kids, Snack, Homework, Soccer, Dinner, Kids bed, Editing.
Seems simple but something happens between cleaning and blog posting and it all goes nuts.

I think that about covers it. :)

January 16, 2013

Currently...at 1:30 am

I'm finally....clearing out my google reader. It's been at least three months since I've logged into it. Unsubscribing like crazy. There's no point in following now-defunct blogs.

I'm finally...clearing out my pinterest boards. Holy Pin Addict, Batman!

I'm finally...finishing up the last session from last year. A very cool tae kwon do black-belt testing.

I'm finally...finishing up the last of my bookkeeping. It excites me more than I should admit. Nerd.

I'm finally...catching up on Gossip Girl. Oh rich people drama goodness.

I'm finally...finishing my third cup of coffee since 7pm. I heart my Kuerig.

And because every post is better with a photo...here's a photo of Shane on Friday after school. The weather dipped since then, so we took advantage of the last day of 50* temps.


December 31, 2012

New Year!

I'm pleasantly surprised to find that my login still works. ;)
2012 was incredible. Better than 2011 which is saying a lot. I am so blessed that I can choose what some would consider frivolous resolutions.

I am hoping that this is the year I begin and complete a 365 project.

I would like to pick two pins from my Pinterest boards (one food and one project) to complete a month. We manage to bust-out a few of the kids stuff over the summer but some home decoration projects would be fun to complete.

I have more books and I don't even know where to start at this point. I get the Kindle Daily Deal email everyday and it's dangerous. In 2011 I read 65 books. Sixty-five!! I'm hoping this year to complete 15.

I feel silly sharing my business goals because I don't want to jinx myself or fall short; I've called it quits before and lo and behold, that's when my business actually took off. I took over 30 clients in 2012. Thirty! It blows me away. I'd like to continue that momentum and build on it.

That's basically it. I'd like to spend more time here, get the business blog rolling better (right now I'm strictly on Facebook for business stuff and that has to change and there are things I feel I new to do to further legitimize my business and pull away from the pack) Balance would be awesome this year, maybe this is the year that Shane begins Pre-school, maybe this is the year I finally lose the weight I want to. Being happy is far more important than being thin (remind me of that when I'm complaining in 4 months, lol)

Here's wishing everyone an amazing New Year!