Thursday Ten: Cold Snap Edition

1. It warmed up. Then it got cold again. I knew it would because it always does but that brief bit of warmth has made the cold unbearable again even if the now cold is way warmer than the January cold. In essence, I’m back to being an early winter cold wuss instead of a seasoned end of winter grump. It’s better than it was but I could use some consistent spring warmth.

2. Thing I just googled: Travel to Spain. Thing I googled yesterday: Can your cell phone mess up your garage door?

3. There’s something clicky in my ankle when I move it just so. (So stop moving it like so, right?)

4. Last week’s need for retail therapy gave way to a bottle of Philosophy Purity cleanser because it smells good and I love Philosophy stuff, but if I’m going to be honest, I’m kicking myself for buying $30 cleanser. Pricewise, it’s probably on par with having purchased some type of cleanser in the grocery store (because the bottle is so big) but OH MY GOSH I HATE SPENDING MONEY.

5. And yet the need for retail therapy strikes me sometimes and it CANNOT BE CONTAINED.

6. Next week it will be April. Please note: I hate April Fools Day. I also hate when brands think they’re so cute by sending April Fools Promotion messages or trying to trick people and thinking they’re so funny. JOKE’S ON YOU, BRANDS, I HAVE NO SENSE OF HUMOR.

7. One of these days I’ll post about what it’s like to not try to build a photography business anymore (yes, I know, every week I mention something that I mean to blog about at a later date and then never do). I also know that most of us know what it’s like to not try to build a photography business. I know that I don’t miss it, necessarily – because I don’t have time to miss it – but I feel it keenly sometimes when I see photographers that aren’t that talented getting a lot of work. Am I the best out there? Not by a long shot. But there are people who hire people who do bad work and somehow they’re getting by. I dunno. Just… a thought.

8. I’m trying in earnest to get back to doing the Piyo workouts again because a) it truly works and b) I’ve been feeling less than fab about myself and needed a boost. I’ll do my fourth piyo workout of the week tonight after taking yesterday off because oohhhhh, muscle fatigue (gotta love it!). Sometimes it takes that achey feeling in your muscles to make you remember what you love about working out.

9. This year has been my worst year yet for March Madness brackets. It’s so bad even that I’ve just stopped looking. I have no idea whose in the Sweet 16. Is it over yet?

10. One of the best parts about writing my Thursday Ten post is knowing that Friday is right around the corner. So, Friday, I’m looking at you. Be here soon.

We Ushered in the Year of the Horse AND a Baby

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Part of me wonders if my nephew had this sense while kicking back in his warm amniotic fluid bath that his Aunt Sarah was blogging about how it seems like HE WILL NEVER GET HERE and then he got here right quick.

My sister’s pregnancies have a way of putting my life on hold, something I don’t totally mind — I loved being there when my niece was born, and couldn’t fathom not being there to welcome her baby brother. I skipped trips. I kept myself to one glass of wine in case I needed to unexpectedly drive to the hospital. And the sleep. I… stopped sleeping. I was so afraid that the phone would ring in the middle of the night and I’d be in such a deep sleep that I’d miss the call, miss the birth, miss everything. That would be awful.

So I was pleased when my sister’s doctor said they were going to schedule an induction — an actual time to plan around? Awesome.

Except the hospital said, “Nope. Nuh uh. We’re too busy. You can have your baby neeeeeext week.”


My sis was already looking kinda big, they all speculated that she’d be having a big baby. She went to the hospital Thursday morning and the nurses sent her home saying she just had an infection, no baby, not now.

She was, understandably, devastated. So when I talked to her Thursday night (“The roads are bad. They are like, REALLY REALLY BAD.”) she told me not to worry, saying that she was NOT going back to the hospital until her induction or unless the baby was falling out.

And less than six hours later we were en route to the hospital.

There’s something about being on the road at 11 o’clock at night – the roads had thankfully cleared and were mostly empty. I arrived at the hospital, camera bag slung over my shoulder, excitement coursing through my body. Security directed me to her room – she was already dilated to an eight. Yes. This was it.

Someone had posted on Facebook about the Chinese New Year – how the New Year signified the end of the Year of the Rat, beginning of the Year of the Horse. I joked, “Oh, maybe he’s just waiting to be a Horse.”

It seems weird to tell the story of someone else’s labor so I won’t – only that my nephew was born shortly after 1 a.m. with a hearty cry and weighing in just over ten pounds. They immediately placed him on my sister’s chest, and I got to watch as my sister and brother-in-law met their son for the first time.

There’s an intimacy to the whole experience – the primal nature of birth, the first times a parent wrap his or her arms around their newborn, the faces they make, the coos and the way you get to witness unabashed love. The exhaustion and the pain fall away and all that’s left is this moment now, a new baby in arms.

baby love

He’s a beautiful baby boy.

And I have known him from his very first breath.

He is named, in part, for my grandpa and that in itself is bittersweet. My grandpa will never know this baby. Won’t get to hold him. Won’t be there to give him Tootsie Rolls when he comes over. None of that hit me in that moment – in that moment, it was all about capturing this beautiful boy, and his parents, and seeing this love, this amazing love.

It was on the drive home it hit me, but I didn’t cry.

I love that there’s this connection and this honor. I know how pleased my grandpa would be. He always said I should name my daughters after him. He was joking, but there’s a part of me that wishes I had found a way.

I cannot wait to see what he becomes.

I will wait to see what he becomes.

It’s exciting, isn’t it? A new life? A new person. Someone to get to know. My breath catches when I think of the honor of getting to  be there, getting to be among the first to welcome my niece and now my nephew to the world, to our lives.

I knew at the close of 2013 that 2014 couldn’t be all bad, because we had a baby to meet. I was right.

Thursday Ten: Cough Cough Wheeze Edition

1. I haven’t written much – at all – lately but I have spent the past week, plus, feeling like I’ve been hit by a train. I had a doctor’s appointment last Thursday. Seeing as how I don’t have health insurance , so I wouldn’t have gone for a cough, but I had a physical planned and I had budgeted for it like you do when you have no health insurance. Since I was there already, I mentioned I was feeling really awful and sure enough, I had a fever and “Your lungs could use some antibiotics.” Well, I’m done with the antibiotics and though I’m fever free, I still feel like garbage, so… I’ve got that going for me.

2. What do you think the grace period for not posting spoilers on the internet is? A day, two days? A week? It’s a funny thing, seeing people get peeved about having things “spoiled” – and sometimes I think they’re well within reason. Other times I think, Jeez so people are all supposed to keep quiet about the outcome of a major sporting event in case you can’t watch it for another few hours? Get over yourself.

3. “Did you get an Under Armour headband in your Birchbox this month?” asked The Princess. Uh…no. Well, she said, her friend did. Why does it annoy me that there are eleven year olds getting Birchbox, the one thing I do for myself, my splurge, my treat? That there are kids who just get this stuff – even if it is only ten bucks a month – annoys me.

4. By the way? I’m very easily annoyed these days. Like…very.

5.  And as long as I’m good and annoyed. Know what else is annoying? JANUARY AND PEOPLE ON DIETS. Facebook is filled with people on ridiculous diets, and while I applaud efforts of health, I know that most of these people are following such rigid regimes that there’s no way they’ll stick to it. And when I see people already talking about returning to their old habits once their diet is “over,” I can’t help but wonder why they’ve bothered in the first place. You drove 20 miles out of your way to buy a $9 loaf of bread made out of bird seed, all the while talking about cheesecake? Why bother, then, with the cycle of deprivation in the first place if you’re already scheming to negate all your efforts? The only thing that truly works when it comes to weight maintenance, best I can tell, is if calories expended are greater than or equal to calories consumed. Yes, math. No meat, no bread, no dairy, bird seed bread, only food eaten while standing on your right foot and listening to an eight-track tape of someone yodeling… it doesn’t matter. If it’s not realistic, if it’s not manageable, it won’t stick. Unless it’s medically necessary, what the hell is it with people and extreme diets? Gah. Glad their enthusiasm dies down by February because if I have to look at another Facebook picture of someone’s diet-stocked refrigerator, I’ll throw my buttered bagel at my laptop.

6. Speaking of bagels (ooh, nice segue…), I took over Chris’s kitchen Saturday and made the homemade onion bagel from the latest issue of Food Network magazine. They were surprisingly easy but there’s a lot of waiting involved, dough rise time, predominantly. It felt like it took ALL FREAKING DAY. But? So good. Next time? Half will be asiago bagels. Half will be everything bagels. All will be delicious.
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7. This week has kicked my butt. I’ve not been in a great place emotionally this week and I’m doing my best to dig out. Job hunting isn’t going well and I’m starting to feel like I might need to change course, and that’s…terrifying. I don’t know where to go from here or what I’ll end up doing, or even if it’s necessary, if somehow the course will right itself without me having to do anything differently. When you are in a career that approximately 590235% of the world is in, well, the odds aren’t exactly tipped in your favor if you’re trying to be impressive. I’m a little worn down right now. Hoping this fog lifts soon.

8. While we’re out of that whole polar vortex mess, it’s still freakin’ cold… and when I woke up to a cold house Monday morning, I was not a happy camper. My furnace has since been repaired – AGAIN – but dang. All of this makes me long for spring. That and my energy bill. Oof.

9. I caught myself the other day considering getting a puppy again someday. Shhh. Don’t tell my kids. By the way? Slap that idea out of my head.

10. This song has been stuck in my head for days. Love love love. So beautiful.

Thursday Ten: Busy Busy Busy Edition

1. The closer we get to Christmas, the more chaotic life gets. It’s always something, isn’t it? Holiday shopping for family and friends, then back at it to shop for class gifts and gymnastics party gifts, holiday concerts, baking cookies, work parties, fa la la la la la la la la. I’m tired. I’m grateful to have NOTHING going on tonight. “You shouldn’t have said that,” my mom told me yesterday, “because now something will come up.” If it does, I’m going to say NO. I’m not leaving my house unless I have to.

2. Seems silly, though, waiting until less than a week before Christmas to realize that something’s gotta give but… SOMETHING’S GOTTA GIVE. There are some things I will happily do, and not at all feel crunched or stressed or bothered… But more and more there are things that are feeling like “have to do’s” instead of feeling joyous, and… I don’t like that. A lot of people are far better than I am about setting boundaries for themselves and their families when it comes to the holidays — but… I’ll get there. Because UGH.

3. One of my favorite things I’ve done so far this holiday season is to go with the girls to see “Frozen.” Delightful little movie. Just love it. We’ve been singing the songs for weeks now.

4. I also have decided – the week before Christmas, natch – to maybe stop eating every bit of junk food that crosses my path. Ha ha ha ha *sob.* Funny how you make those proclamations: “I’m going to eat mindfully!” and then someone hands you a dessert plate with the most beautiful tiramisu you’ve ever seen (and you don’t even like tiramisu!) and suddenly you’ve undone three days of eating boring food. Sigh. Today, I start over. Again. This time.

5. Winter hasn’t even officially started and so far the weather has been BRUTAL.Cold temps lots of snow and icy commutes. And ALL the shoveling! My shoulders from this shoveling. I’m going to have amazing shoulders by spring. And cramped hands from the white knuckle driving.

6. Yep. Still hooked on Netflix marathons of Parenthood.

7. Every year there’s always a present that I’m super excited to give – one more than any other that I think the recipient will be happy and surprised and just over-the-moon about. This year… I don’t have that thing. And it’s a bummer. Next year, I hope to be back to spectacular gift giving.

8. I have a full to-do list for the weekend. I think I can get away with barely leaving the house but that’s really only because there’s so much laundry to do that there’s nothing clean to wear outside the house, anyway.

9. If someone could deliver a greasy diner breakfast-y meal right now, that’d be awesome. Waffles sprinkled with powdered sugar and served with sausage. THIS is what happens when I decide to not eat all the junk food. I crave all the junk food.

10.Last weekend I had the opportunity to do the headshots for a local caterer – what fun, shooting in a kitchen. A totally different vibe and feel than photographing families. It was great work and I’m so pleased with the results. I love having opportunities like that, especially these days.


Day 25: Flavors of the Day

Song that has caught my ear today:
Sometimes shuffle leads me to discoveries of songs that have been on my iPod forever. Today? “Always You” by Ingrid Michaelson. It came on when I was driving to run some errands tonight – so then I listened to it three times and I’ve listened several more times this evening. I love me some Ingrid.

Nagging Thought of the Day:
I really really want to put my Christmas tree up. Like now. The only thing stopping me is that my girls are with their dad and I won’t put up my tree without my daughters.

True Flavor of the Day:
Cuban pork shoulder with beans and rice.  Chris and I started prep for this slow cooker meal around 9:30 yesterday morning and by the time the Lions choked and lost the game, it was nearly ready. This recipe leaves some room for improvement – I think the fact that we used California oranges instead of Florida made a huge difference (local store only had CA oranges — but Florida oranges are juicier and sweeter, and as the recipe states, have a thinner peel).

One Good Thought About Snow for the Day:
I love how a snowy night is never entirely dark. I don’t love snow, y’all know that, but there’s this hazy glowy light when it’s snowy.

Other Thoughts About Snow for the Day?:

Way to Avoid all the Yummy Food in the Breakroom Technique of the Day:
Sliced red and orange peppers from home, eaten at my desk while fantasizing about the cookies that are in the breakroom and waiting just long enough to go into the breakroom that all the good stuff is gone thus ensuring I’ll fit into my pants for another day.

Movie I Plan To Watch at the End of the Day:
Flight. I started watching last night. I’ll finish watching tonight. I’m skipping past that whole plane crash part though. NOT watching that sequence again. Also, don’t be surprised if I ask the pilot of every future flight if he’s drunk.

Fortune of the Day:
I’m kind of addicted to fortune cookies – and buy them in bulk from World Market. Today’s fortune: Contentment is just around the corner for you. Look forward!

Trip Down Memory Lane of the Day:
One of the awesome things about my 365 is that I can easily look back to see what I was up to a year (or two or three or four…) ago! Looks like a year ago today I bought flowers. Callas are my mom’s favorite – so odds are, I bought this one for mom and gave it to her eventually…after photographing it!

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Least Favorite Physical Feature of the Day:
Whaddup round cheeks?! Where did that come from? Of all the features I usually think are too big – my nose, my thighs, my feet – it’s been a long time since I thought my face looked round. Must be defective work bathroom mirrors because once I left the office I had cheekbones again.

Favorite Physical Feature of the Day:
My eyes. I have two of them. That’s awesome.

Copout Blog Post of the Day:
This one, but hey, at least I’m not whining about stuff. Right?

Thursday Ten: Gaining Confidence. Maybe. Kinda. Sorta. Edition

1. Well, with all this free time on my hands I have decided to try to spend more time on portraits. It’s a process because despite my business background and marketing degree, none of that helps with the lack of confidence that can creep in when it comes to my photography skills. It’s too bad, really, because I am the one getting in my own way.

2. Kayak is the coolest. Now, you can set a budget and see all the places you still can’t afford to go. {Flights to Spain for under a grand but…alas! Not yet for me.}

3. Fall, how I already miss thee. What the heck, Michigan? It’s already COLD here. Cold weather means comfort food so last night I baked some beer bread. Delish.

4. And in the midst of editing photographs, I lose sight of taking my own pictures just because. Except this one. This one I love.
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5. Halloween is coming and though I strongly dislike Halloween, there’ve been quite a few adorable Halloween books for kids to land in my mailbox. Like Monsters on the Loose!: A Seek and Solve Mystery!, which is very “Where’s Waldo”-esque but without the Waldo. A fun oversized book with brightly colored illustrations to keep your kiddos busy for a bit, looking for the “monsters.” Also Hedgehug’s Halloween – an adorable Hedgehog and awesome collage style illustrations. Finally, Lulu Goes to Witch School (I Can Read Book 2), ideal for your learning to read kiddo. Each of these books retails for under ten bucks each on Amazon right now. Mostly because Halloween is in a few days and I should have told you about these awesome books like two weeks ago.


7. Earlier in the week after a few rough days, I went on a walk after work with one of my dearest friends on the planet. We both kind of needed to vent. The long walk and the accompanying conversation sparked a lot of thoughts and potential blog posts (I always threaten to write deep blog posts but then I never do it, so don’t you worry). My wheels are turning.

8. I am pretty tired this week. Looking forward to a weekend of sleeping in. I hope my brain lets me sleep in!

9. A week past 37, I’m holding up remarkably well for an old lady. And… not really feeling any older. Birthdays are weird, I guess. There’s a lot of emotion tied into my birthdays, mostly because there’s a whole lot of upheaval in my life… but… aside from these gray hairs, I’m doing alright.

10. Every year my mom writes one of those long “this is what we did this year” Christmas letters — I’ve always kind of hated them. When I was a kid, I hated them because our year never could compare with those from people who spent their holidays skiing and traveling and having adventures. As an adult, they’re dreadful for kind of the same reason — how many years in a row do people want to read about us having essentially the same life? This year, I’ve asked if I can write it — it seems like we can’t just be business as usual this year. Every time I’ve tried to imagine what I’ll write, my eyes fill with tears – but I figure that will just have to be okay.

Thursday Ten: Okay That’s Enough Now edition

1. I mean, that title probably could apply to a lot of things right now: Congress, stress levels, Grand Rapids traffic (both auto and pedestrian) due to ArtPrize. Okay, I’m mostly referring to ArtPrize. I LOVE ARTPRIZE, but now that they’ve announced the Top Ten and the Top Ten consists mostly of underwhelming pieces that I don’t love, I’m over it. Okay people, if you’re not going to learn to walk faster just PACK IT UP AND GO HOME. Get outta my way. I have places to be (no I don’t).

2. This piece was made out of CRAYOLA CRAYONS? How does it not make the Top Ten?
Will You Still Need Me, Will You Still Feed Me | Michael Peoples

3. I’ve started reading Sheryl Sandberg’s “Lean In” and so far, I’m enjoying it – mostly because I’ve been in the work force for over a dozen years and find a lot of what she’s saying to be true. It’s an easy read so far, so I’ll keep on keeping on.

4. Every now and again I buy a totally junky thing at the grocery store thinking, “Oh this will make a fun treat” because Cocoa Krispies are on sale for $2.50 a box and who doesn’t love that bowl of chocolate milk you have when all the cereal is gone? And then… the kids find it and it turns out that they love the bowl of chocolate milk when the cereal is gone as much as I do. I think that box didn’t even make it 48 hours. That could be a record.

5. OMG THE FINALE OF BREAKING BAD. Initially I wasn’t sure what I thought of the way it ended – but days later, I think they went the right route.

6. Look at me not spoiling it for y’all (Honestly, it’s been days, though, if it gets spoiled for you now, you only have yourself to blame).

7. It’s October which means it’s officially my birthday month! I am not sure how I’m feeling about my birthday this year. It’s been a year – full of great things and not so great things. Even when life is throwing drama at me like a poo-flinging monkey, I’m still glad to be on this earth (and also glad that life is not actually throwing poo). So, now that I’ve ruined mention of my birthday… it IS my month. And we’ll see how 37 goes. When I get there. And not a second before that.

8. October and temps near 80, by the way. I like fall! Mother Nature better not take away my favorite season! If we go from 80 to snowstorms, I’m gonna be sad.

9. I spent all day yesterday craving a sandwich from Potbelly. Sometimes I am glad that the places I love aren’t convenient otherwise I’d need to buy stretchier pants.

10. I always tell myself I’m going to go to bed earlier. And then every night I stay up too late. That will be my goal for the next week: To try to be in bed by ten. Not sleeping, necessarily – hell, maybe I’ll get some more reading done – but I have got to work towards not staying up so late. (My second goal will be to not miss that spot on my left knee when I shave my legs. Okay fine. My right knee also.)

If You Give Your Child A Camera…

…she’ll probably want some new lenses to go with it.

Okay. I’m not actually going to carry that whole thing out. Mainly because I can’t. And mainly because I’m stuck at the thought of (gah) having to buy lenses that are (gah) not for me.

Ah, but I’ve gotten side tracked before I’ve even started.

As I wrapped up year five of my 365 Project and began year six, The Princess expressed interest in giving it a try as well. I hemmed and hawed for logistics reasons and then? I handed over my entry level DSLR, the one that had been gathering dust for over a year, and let her have at it.

I set her up with a computer and gave her a crash course in Lightroom. We set up a Flickr account and set that up with some pretty persnickety privacy settings. I taught her how to upload her pictures, how to do some basic edits, and then watched the Flickr stream to see when she posted.

And though the computer has since died already (on day three, because OF COURSE IT HAS), she has, without fail, spent a great deal of time each day with the camera and the result has been really cool to see.

I’ve always felt that one of the best ways to get to know me is to look at the photographs I take. In them, you can see the world through my eyes. See things how I see things. See the things that catch my eye, make me hold my breath. The things that inspire wonder, the things that make me laugh. Angles, colors, places, moments.

And that’s what the experience has been like for me to go through The Princess’s photographs. Often times I’m surprised to find that she’s drawn to the same things I am. Sometimes, I giggle at what catches her eye. Occasionally, she writes a caption that makes me giggle at her wit. That picture up there? That’s one of hers. I love it.

So many people have warned that I’m getting closer to those years when she may grow silent, push me away, where we might butt heads, argue. “Just you wait,” people have said, warning that girls and moms tend to get off-kilter during these years.

I hope that doesn’t turn out to be the case, but it’s another reason why I treasure that photography is something we share, that her images are something she is showing me. I am still a part of her world and I can see what she is seeing and it means a great deal to me to have that insight into the way she is seeing her world, to see the things that matter to her.

And I think it’d be the case regardless of which avenue she used to express her creativity – her words if she were a writer, brushstrokes if she were a painter…

I am grateful for the avenues she has to be creative, to be expressive, and to allow me a glimpse of the way she sees the world.

Thursday Ten: School’s BACK edition

1. Yep, back into the swing of things this first week of school and already the house has taken on a rhythm that we just can’t find during the summer – a rhythm that includes SLEEPING CHILDREN. After an insomnia filled night before the first day, The Princess has taken to completely zonking out before I even tell her that it’s bedtime. Waking up before the sun will do that to ya, I guess (SERIOUSLY – her bus comes before 7 a.m. RIDIC). So far so good for both of them, which is good.

2. Realized the first day of school that…Pumpkin had absolutely no idea how to tie the shoes her dad bought her. I posed the question on Facebook already and got some great ideas for how to teach her, but – what say you: How did you teach your kid to tie his or her shoes?

3. The thing about being the photographer in the family is I’ve been asked several times for copies of photographs of my grandpa. I don’t mind sharing them; I’m glad I have them. But at what point will it stop breaking my heart to see his face as I scroll through the files on my computer because it makes me sad every time.

4. I worked three days last week, had five days off, worked two days this week, and now I have four days off. Yeeeeeeah. This isn’t going to work. “The only thing wrong with part time is the money,” someone said to me yesterday. Yeah, I know – but that’s a pretty big freaking thing to be wrong. Disposable income, oh, how I miss thee.

5. But! I read books. I’ve finished at least three books in the past week. Guess all that time off is good for something. I’m not reading high brow stuff, though. Most recently I finished One Last Thing Before I Go by Jonathan Tropper and then I just cracked open a book by the ladies who wrote “The Nanny Diaries”, The First Affair. I can tell you this: I wholeheartedly recommend ANYTHING and EVERYTHING by Jonathan Tropper. He has a contemporary lit style and he’s a screenwriter too (I just read the back flap of the book) so most of his novels you can easily picture on the big screen (or on the little screen if you will). I really dig his stuff. Whereas “The First Affair” will likely be straight up fluffy-chick lit and while I should be ashamed, I’m not really. Sometimes it just feels really good TO FINISH A FREAKING BOOK. {Note: those are affiliate links – because of course they are.}

6. My brakes need fixing. I could use a break. (I couldn’t help myself) Grateful that my mom’s husband is a car whiz and is helping me out but I swear, sometimes you have to just shake your fist at life and say, “REALLY? WHAT NEXT LIFE?” (Kidding. You never ask what’s next.)

7. I grew this!
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8. BREAKING BAD OMG AND YES THE ALL CAPS ARE WARRANTED. There are two reasons I have yet to cancel my cable: Breaking Bad and HGTV. And seriously cable companies, when will we be able to order channels a la carte? You can’t tell me there’s no way to make it profitable for you and still cost effective for the consumer who only watches two channels.

9. I think I need a haircut but I don’t actually want one.

10. It’s college football season now! GO BLUE!

Thursday Ten: On the Fourth Edition

1. Happy Fourth of July (Apparently, AP Style rules say you capitalize all that stuff – if you care about AP, you should be super happy). Here’s hoping your day includes perfect weather, s’mores, a great view of fireworks, and a day off from work.

2. Realized earlier in the week that we missed our dog’s Puppiversary. Three years ago this week, Sir Pups-A-Lot* was welcomed into our home with open arms (and wallet). Can’t believe how the time has flown. Also, I’m pretty sure I’d never get another puppy but I think an awful lot these days about getting another dog. That’s not a great move either right now.

3. I really have a hard time with this summer parenting time schedule that the ex and I have with our girls because they’re with their dad for a week right now and I miss them terribly. They’ll be home Friday and with me for a week. It’s really really tough. When I was a kid and shuttling back and forth between my mom and dad’s houses, I never really thought about how it impacted them emotionally. Me? I miss my people.

4. The first week of part time work during a holiday week in which it is a short week for everyone makes it a bit easier to kind of ease into that new schedule but even so… meh. It’s not ideal. But, you know, I’m trying to stay positive and keep my eyes open to opportunities and solutions because yeah, otherwise I’ll stress myself out and NO ONE wants that.

5. Finally made it to the beach last weekend and had a terrific time. Didn’t stay long – long enough to feel the warmth of the sun and the sand between my toes and the cool rush of the water as the waves crashed in on our feet. Left before sunburn and brought some of the beach home with me. Hello, lovely.
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6. Had the opportunity to shoot family portraits for a friend and her extended family last weekend – and had a blast. I sure do love capturing those candid moments – I know the tendency is to want those posed shots, but I’m really aiming to focus on more of a life-style, photo-journalistic approach to my business. Why? Because anyone can line people up and make them say “cheese” (Okay, not just anyone, but y’all know what I mean) but I think my ability to capture those real moments in the way that I do sets me apart. Now, to find a way to focus on that, find my target client and work on it. That might help item #4 up there.

7. That I still remember birthdays of people I went to high school with probably contributes to why I use the calculator on my phone to calculate tips. There’s no room for math brain; it’s filled with birthdays.

8. Sometimes desperation triggers creativity. Like when I needed to re-do my toenail polish and couldn’t find any cotton balls nor could I find any nail polish remover wipes. I, uh… used a pantiliner soaked in nail polish remover. It worked…okay. But I would only recommend it in cases of extreme desperation because it’s surely not cost effective and it will make you feel ridiculous.

9. I fought the urge to buy the super big box of Cheez Its at Costco and I’m telling you this because yes, I think y’all should pat me on the back for that because THE BIG BOX OF CHEEZ ITS OMG. (I totally have I-didn’t-buy-it-remorse).

10. I’m still working on my 40 before 40 list and even though I haven’t completed my list I almost did the first thing on the list the other day. I want to buy a lemon tree. Yes, I want a lemon tree SO BADLY that it’s on my 40 before 40 list. I saw some at our local greenhouse-type place. Indoor lemon trees for about $40. While part of me should probably not go spending money frivolously (refer to pesky item #4 again… Grrrrrr…), I can’t help but think how happy that darn tree would make me. Tune in next week to see if I caved and went back.

*not his real name but how cool would that have been?