Friday, March 25, 2011

Business in the Front; Party in the Back

Well the big day came for our Baby Brother. The first haircut. It seems so strange to me how quickly this day came for him. Jman was almost a year older before he needed one. It gives me some hope that possibly this chubby little boy will be blessed with my hair, rather than the receding hairline of his daddy. I have amazing hair. Its thick, its curly, when I actually do it, it can be really pretty. I think I will have my feelings hurt a little bit if one of our little ones doesn't have good hair.

So we made our way to my friends shop, and we had Jman get his hair cut first. He was a champ. Secretly, I am pretty sure he has a crush on my friend McCall so he will do pretty much anything she says. But we wanted the baby to get a glimpse of what was coming...he was so unsure...and oh man was it good thing that Daddy was able to come over for the big event. Because there is no way he would have sat on that chair for long enough for me to catch a few shots...and then you would not be able to have a good chuckle at this...

{and yes I am a baby mind reader, so I will tell you exactly what he is thinking with each frame}
You want to do what?
Just a glimpse of the "bullet" {that means baby mullet}
Seriously people, I don't know if this is a good idea.
Yep! I was right...
Okay, seriously, I mean it.
Get this thing away from!

After all I have done to make you happy, and this is how you treat me.

I love you baby boy. You are so handsome! It makes me so happy that you look so much like your daddy.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Please excuse the Mess

Some homes try to hide the fact that children shelter there,
Ours boasts of it quite openly, the signs are everywhere.

For smears are on the windows, little smudges on the door.
I should apologize, I guess, for the toys strewn on the floor.

But I sat down with my children, we played, and laughed, and read.
And if the doorbell doesn't shine, their eyes will shine instead.

For when at times I'm forced to choose, the one job or the other,
I'd like to cook, and clean, and scrub,
but I'm too busy being a mother.

I was sitting in the midst of our daily the mess and was about to lose my mind, but as I sat and looked at all the "things" and messes everywhere, it occurred to me that all the things that were driving me crazy, where little signs of all the things I love. And as much as I wished my house was sparkly clean every moment of the day, I want to stop time, slow the clock, and savor the moments of my little guys. Because sooner than I would like, all the messes will be gone, and the little things lying about everywhere won't be here. So I thought I would cherish the moment and look around at the little signs that make me so happy to be a mother.

I posted this little note over the doorbell the week that Baby Brother was born. It has now stayed up there a year. I love to think of him all sweet and snuggly in his bed when he was teeny tiny. If you ever see him you probably think, "was he ever teeny tiny?" But I don't know when I will ever take it down...
We are Toy Story central around here, and we have just about every Buzz Lightyear and Woody toy imaginable. But I love to see them. When I was a little girl, I was obsessed with Barbies. And it kind of makes me happy to see something that Jman loves so much. He plays with them everyday. And I know these will be things that will be special to him tomorrow.
This is one of Daddy's biggest pet peeves, but one of my favorite things. We have 14 throw pillows on our bed, yep, fourteen! And for those of you who know me you probably think this is ridiculous given the fact that I make my bed probably about 10 times a year. I should put the pillows away. But Jman and Baby Brother love to jump and play on them. They can do it for hours. So even though they are always strung around the room, its okay with me. Because the little sounds of laughter that come along with the mess is fine by me.
Some people keep their under-roos in their dressers, we keep ours in the step stool in the bathroom. This was an executive decision on the Jman's part. And it always makes me giggle because even though we always put them in their rightful place, they always make their way back into here.

Every morning the Jman and I brush our teeth together. And usually Baby Brother is at our feet trying to turn on the tub, splash in the toilet, or get into some other sort of trouble. I am not looking forward to the days of lonely teeth brushing and uninterrupted getting ready.
More Toy Story...I find this little cup everywhere.
How can we have a shower with out some never know when you need to play some basketball while you shower. One of my favorite things about Jman is that we will put him in the shower and he will play in there forever. Like hours, and sing and play ball and do all sorts of fun stuff. He cracks me up...
We had to find a new home for soap because the animals needed a cave.
Cheerios...oh the cheerios. No matter how many I pick up I still find these everywhere in the most random places. I will miss the picking up after this little baby mess maker.
Pretty soon our baby food days will be gone. Baby Brother is almost grown out of the baby food. We better have another baby to enjoy all the funny faces that come with experiencing new tastes for the first time...
No matter how many times we designate a spot for shoes, I find them everywhere. Pretty sure he gets that from me...I leave mine all over the place too. I will miss the pitter patter of little feet.
Artwork, magnets, and whatever else makes it way to the only lasts so long. So I won't complain about all the finger prints that come along with it.
A tiny backpack a little jacket. He is still only in preschool but so soon he will be off to big boy school, then college...I hate that. Can't they stay little forever?
The finger prints, the food, its always somewhere. No matter how much we scrub and clean, there is always a new mess to be made and cleaned up. But I need to enjoy the moment, and the lunches spent talking about school and games and whatever else they come up with.
One of my favorite things...the random placement of objects, they get this from their Daddy. I think these crackers were supposed to be picked up so Baby Brother couldn't reach them. So why not put them in the boots. Works for me...I will miss all the little surprises that I find all over the place, just a little sign, a little mark, made by my sweet boys.

Oh how I love being their mother...

Sunday, January 9, 2011

My 28 Year Old Realization

I turned 28 this year...

It wasn't hard or whatever, maybe 30 will be different.

But I have never been one of those people who dreads a birthday or the getting older thing. Granted I would love to go back and have my 19 year old body, and keep it forever, but pretty sure that the fact that I love ice cream and hate working out, that 19 year old body is nothing but a memory (but that's another blog post). But I am okay with having birthdays, maybe its because birthdays for me are always low key. I like it that fuss. I kind of demand it. I have a summer birthday, which I love, and so for me an ideal birthday is sitting by the pool, and doing nothing all day.

This year my birthday was on a Wednesday, so we were just home and I really didn't want to do anything. Just hang out at home. So the hubby surprised me with an ice cream cake...perfect! Gold star to the hubby! The J-man was funny though...because he asked me, "momma, no one is coming for your birthday party? we aren't going to disneyland?" We went to D-land for his birthday so I think he didn't understand why we were being so lame on my birthday...but to have a completely low-key day was perfect for me.

But despite a completely low-key uneventful day, this 28th year has been a big year for me...I feel like I have had a lot of realizations about myself. And I think more than any other time in my life, I am pretty happy with who I am and where I am at...and there have been some things that I have figured out about myself which led to...

My 28 Year Old here it is...some of them are little things...and some a little more profound...but either way...they were big for me.

I dread painting my toe nails...and may never do it again...
Don't get me wrong...I LOVE PEDICURES!!! Like really, who doesn't? And if I had the time, or wasn't such a cheap-o, I would get one every week. But as far as painting my own toe nails go, I seriously dread it. And I came to the conclusion that the only person I am painting my toe nails for is someone else. I would seriously think to myself..."Ugh...I am going to the pool with my friends, gotta paint my toe nails." And the more I thought about it the more I realized, if someone doesn't want to be my friend because I don't paint my toenails then maybe they aren't really the kind of friend I am looking for. And I don't want you to think I have friends who are that shallow, because I don't, my friends are AMAZING! But I just want you to know that there is a 99% chance that if you and I ever go to the pool together, or really if you ever catch me in my flipflops anywhere, my toes will not be painted. I just don't have the time, or more importantly, the desire to do it. So I'm just not gonna...

I hate high seriously hate them!
I think the fact that I have a job where I am on my feet all day, the way my feet feel is huge to me. Me and Dr. Scholls, we are good friends. Yep, that's right...I'm gellin! But me and high heels have never been friends. Never ever. I love to shoe shop and own tons of shoes...but I would only ever buy a pair of heels for a special event, wear them once, and then never wear them again. And once again, I came to the conclusion that I was doing it for someone else. Seriously crazy, right? So from here on heels for me. Not even a tiny heel...I just don't want to. But I will probably be wearing the cutest flats you have ever seen! And if I tell you I love your heels, I actually really do, but they just aren't going to be on my feet any time soon.

Do you wonder why I don't dress better?
I seriously wonder sometimes when clients meet me for the first time, after I have spent hours and hours helping style them and their sessions, if they wonder to themselves, "You totally made us look amazing...why do you not dress better?" I just don't...its just not me. When it comes to a choice between fashion and comfort...comfort wins every time. When I imagine myself, on a "perfect" day for me...I am most likely wearing jeans, a t-shirt, flipflops and a ponytail. And really when it comes down to me, my clothes really do reflect who I am. I am just a simple girl...

Drama and me don't mix
You would think by the time that you are 28, that drama between girls would be a non-issue. But its not. Crazy, right? But I just don't do it and I don't know how to handle it. Never have, never will. I have some anxiety issues. And can have panic attacks. And so I get so stressed, like sick to my stomach stressed, whenever I get pulled into any kind of drama between anyone. I pretty much have two responses to drama...I talk about it to death with my hubby and BFF Sister until I am sure they wished I would lose my voice. And secondly, I avoid it at all costs. So for me...drama is a total deal breaker. Too much drama with someone usually is a fast way to get the cold shoulder from me. Its not that I don't like you, its that I dread the drama monster and have to escape.
**for those of you who don't know about my BFF sister, or what that is...I'll blog about her later.

I don't know how to be what you see is what you get...
I had a friend not long ago who told me that one of the things she loves about me is that I am "so real." And to be honest with you, the biggest reason I am that way, is because I don't have the energy or the memory to be anything else. To keep track of who I am nice to, or not nice to, or what I said or didn't say. Or who I talked about or didn't talk about. So I just came to the conclusion that I will always be myself. And then I always know who I am and what I am doing. I don't say things about people that I wouldn't say to their face. I just try to be real with everyone, because really it doesn't benefit me or anyone else to be anything but that.

I have learned real life lessons by watching Grey's Anatomy
Maybe that is why I am so obsessed with this show. I have EVERY episode DVR'd. And I quote it in everyday life. But really, it is great. I love it. And I think everyone could benefit in their own lives from watching it. (my hubby is reading this right now and rolling his eyes. he thinks my obsession is lame, yet he watches it too...hmmm)

As a mom, I am majorly over-protective and kind of up-tight
I had a pretty rough childhood. It's complicated, but its the past. And I can really say that in some way I am grateful for what I went through because it got me to where I am today. And I love today. And I know that certain things that happened when I was a little girl have shaped the kind of mother that I am today. I know what its like to not have someone looking out for you & to not have anyone protecting you. And I know what its like to have to be an adult before you should have to. So I don't want that for my boys. I want to let them be little. And be able to enjoy every moment of childhood. I don't want them to know about certain things until they absolutely have to. Because they are going to be adults forever...but they will only be babies for a few short years. So I shelter them a lot, I am really over-protective of them. Because really there are a million things that are going to happen to them that I can't protect them against, but I am going to try and protect them from everything I can. And even though my friends tease me because I am so incredibly over the top...I am okay with it.

I like working...and even if I didn't have to...I think I still would
I admire those moms who stay home all the time. Like really, really admire them. They are amazing women who have something inside themselves that I don't. Its like this magic quality that they are blessed with. But me, I am not a good mom when I stay home all the time. I am grumpy and short tempered and no fun. I think as working moms we all feel a guilt for not being home all the time, and I don't think that ever goes away. Not always being at home, having someone else spend time with your kids, running the risk of missing something important. But I know that me and my kids benefit from me working. And even if I suddenly won the lottery tomorrow and didn't have to contribute financially to my family, I would still work some. Because I know deep down that working really does make me a better mom.

...despite the up-tightness and the working, I am a great mom
This one took a long time for me to really accept about myself. I told myself I was a great mom all the time, but I don't think until this year did I really believe it. I think not really having a mom, and that motherly example in my life, I have always felt like I was missing something. And adding the owning my own business thing on top of that, I generally have always felt inadequate as a mother. And I know that there are a lot of people out there who think I work too much and probably they don't think I am a good mother. And you know what...that's fine. But I know me. And I know my kids. And we are all happy. And they love me...and when they are sick, or sad, or excited, or happy. I am the one they want. We aren't perfect but we are doing just great...and as a mom I may not be "the" perfect mom...but I am a perfect mom for my boys.

So there you 28 year old realization. It is what it is, and I am who I am. A happy, over-protective, drama-free, Grey's anatomy obsessed, low-key girl who is really quite comfortable right now in her own shoes...unpainted toes and all...

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Hello New Year!

disclaimer...this is my new personal blog...I am not one to hold things back, and I plan to use this blog as a way to really share everything happy or not, good and not so good, and all the thoughts I have swirling around in my head. So this is going to be a real glimpse at the girl on the other side of the camera...hope you enjoy what's ahead...

I loved this quote...I really hope I can surprise myself in 2011...

A few months ago as I started to think of 2011 (being a photographer, I always think a few months in advance). I started to look over our little life and all the things I wanted to do. For the most part my life is amazing. I am one lucky girl. But there are always little things that I would like to change. I am always thinking about how I could better myself, my marriage, my family, my friendships, and my business.

I feel like everything in my life is a balancing act. One I am not always very good at. And so my biggest hope for 2011 is to find some more balance in my life.

Balance for me is probably one of the hardest qualities to master. I am just not good at it.
I have always been a person who wants to be the best at everything,
and as I have gotten older I have finally come to a few realizations...

#1 - I can't be perfect at everything. But that doesn't mean that I can't have a perfect life

#2 - Sometimes I have to say "no"...or at least "no, not now"

#3 - It is okay to let someone help fact letting the right people help me magnifies my ability to be successful.

#4 I have to pick my priorities. Not everything in my life can always be number one on my list, so depending on the day, or even the minute, my number one might be different.

So balance is a huge issue to me this year...
...and really every goal I have is centered around finding balance...
...and in my attempt to find some here are a few resolutions...

Keep telling myself, "This can wait."
For those of you know me, I am kind of 24/7 available. You can usually reach me within 5 minutes. And in being that for everyone else it makes me unavailable to my family. I can't tell you how many times a day I tell my kids, "One second." But I hate to make people wait, I hate to not be able to instantly respond. Providing good service to my clients, and being there for them is a huge priority to me. But I hope this year that I can maybe extend the wait time to an hour or so. Same day service, will that be okay? In doing that, hopefully I can have a few minutes to read a book, play a game, take a walk, snuggle...and savor the moments of these little boys. Because I know with a business there are lots of things that "can't wait" but I have really seen this year that neither can my babies.

Push the "pause" button on technology
In being constantly available, it means I am constantly tapped into some kind of technology. Vary rarely is my laptop turned off. Vary rarely am I not on my email or facebook. And vary rarely is my blackberry not within 10 inches of me. But I need some space. So I am going to take a little break...Lots of you know how much I love facebook. I really really love being able to see what everyone is up to in their lives. But I am going to try and only log-on once a day this year, instead of being logged on all day. I am hoping this too will help me edit faster, and be able to get business stuff done quicker. But I also need a little bit of face-to-face time with actual human beings. There are three of them, in particular, that really need a daily appointment with me. So each day there will be a chunk of time each day when I will be completely unavailable. Instead of office hours, I plan to have what I am going to call family hours. And Wednesdays, these are going to be Mom everything ak studio will just have to wait. I may check on stuff during nap times...but no promises.

Be more than just a photographer...
There are some days when I seriously feel like all I am is the girl with the camera. But there are other things I love, think about, and want to do. So I want to spend some more time doing some of those. And one of those includes this if you want to get a sneak peek at what is on the other side of ak (hence the name...haha!) stay tuned to this blog.

Spend more time doing what I was born to spend my time doing...
I wasn't born to be a photographer. I wasn't born to own a business. Those are just things I love to do. And while they are most definitely part of who I am, they aren't all that I am. What I was born to do, the whole reason I was put on this earth was to love these three men in my life. Everything I do and everything I want to be is for them. So I have to spend more time being the person they need me to be. And while I have big dreams and goals for my business, and I am excited for the year to come. I have even bigger dreams and goals for the four of us. And just as hard work and huge amounts of time have helped me to make so many of my business dreams a reality, I have to make sure that I make our family dreams a reality too.

End one affair, and begin another...
So right now...I probably spend more time with my laptop than any other thing or person in my life. And really if I had to separate out my time each day and who got the most attention it would probably be the following...#1 - laptop, #2 - kids, #3 camera, #4 husband. Kind of pathetic right? So my final goal brings me to my biggest resolution this year...spend more time with my hubby. If you know him you know that he is pretty close to perfect. He is amazingly supportive, he has sacrificed so much for me and all the things I do, he is a better parent than I could ever even hope to be, and he is by far more than I deserve. And I have big plans in store to start making it up to him! (but the details of that are all mine...gotta have a few secrets right?)

So with all that said I'm excited for the plans of the new year...I am excited for the possibility...and I am excited to see what happens...let's hope whatever the surprise is that its a good surprise!