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Monday, July 1, 2013

The year I finally figured out I don't know anything.

Last night while driving back home alone from Houston around midnight, the most self-entertaining moment (which, high on coffee, seemed utterly hilarious at the time) was lip syncing to "Wobble" as if I was a middle school choir teacher - keeping time, and encouraging my imaginary children with great enthusiasm.

I know you just tried it.
It's fun, isn't it?!

What I mean to say is that, one hour away from turning 33, I have discovered what so many folks older and wiser have as well:  how to take yourself far less seriously and to enjoy [fill in the blank] -but, basically, life in the moment.  It's a start.  A work in progress, but still, a start, none the less.

My mother told me a few years ago (as other seasoned people have said, as well) that the older you get the less you have life figured out and the less judgmental you can be.

Here, here.

Whether it's nutrition, parenting, marriage, health, philosophy, business -my experience and opinions keep evolving.  I feel wiser in knowing I'm less wise now than when I was 27 and thought I had life all figured out.  (I know most folks think they've got life handled in their early twenties, but mine's changed rapidly through the years and I can't quite pinpoint when I was truly certain about anything.)

This is the first year I don't feel I need a party.

This is the first year in ages that I haven't made a large accomplishment goal I need to conquer before my next birthday.  (I've taken off "write a book before {insert a certain age}" finally.)

This even may be the first year I don't feel I need to gorge myself on whatever I want in order to celebrate.  Only because I already did that today, so I'm set.

I am more clueless about "where I'll be in 10 years" than ever before.


I am more certain of who I love and am spending more time with them.

I am more accepting of myself, flaws and all.

I am more accepting of others, flaws and all.

I am more thankful than ever.

I am happy.
And that's all that really matters.

So, happy birthday to me.  I've finally gifted myself a little slack and a lot of joy.

And I'm fairly confident, with the way this mindset is going, it's going to be a very good year life.

Friday, May 31, 2013

Happy {Incredibly Late} Mother's Day | A Cannibalized Post With Photos of My Wild Children and Urinating Canine

I know.  I'm a little late for Mother's Day.  And this is actually cannibalized from my photography website, but since May starts with "m" and Mother starts with -you got it- "m" why not celebrate May as Mother's Day month?  See, that's just a nice way of saying I am really bad at posting *and* remembering special dates.

Though I did get a mammoth sized box of chocolates on Mother's Day from Brian and the kids.  I won't be forgetting that anytime soon.  Neither will my waistline (despite the juice fast -which, by the way, I managed to gain back all but 4 lbs. since.)

Ahem.  But I digress.

"May I present Mother's Day with my tiny people." (Big Smile!)

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Since my mama lives over 1000 miles away, it's hard to get facetime.  And, as any grandmother knows, their favorite gifts are time with their grandbabies.  Since we can't be there in person to love on my mama, I wanted to give the next best thing -a little freeze-framed facetime with her grandbabies.
(Ahem.)  So, you'd think the children of a photographer would be *awesome* at getting their photos taken.  Not true, not true.  At least not this photographer's children.  Everything from the dog taking a leak right next to Wilder during our shoot to mopey faces, foot races and standing on an anthill -it was a mess, but totally typical for how we roll in my house.  I'm just thankful Waverley picked out clothing other than Wilder's pajamas (her FAVORITE outfit.)  No, she didn't let me brush her hair, but we did get some fun new photos -sadly, the only ones of 2013 besides what I grab on my phone :)
Enough about my goofball children (they take after me.)  Let me share a bit about my mother.  My mama is one brave, strong, smart woman with one of the biggest hearts in the world.  She's raised 10 kids, faced impossible challenges, encouraged and inspired more people than she realizes and is always ready to listen, love and encourage.  Mama, I love you.  I can't thank you enough for the love you've provided, the lessons you've taught me and the opportunities you allowed and encouraged me to make the most of.  Thanks to you, I am a capable human being who knows she is always loved by one of the most amazing women in the world.  You.

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Shelby thought it was breaktime.  Wilder thought it was hilarious.  So did I...

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Our little set is called "Holy crap, hurry and grab something interesting before it starts to rain and the kids take off their clothes and run around."
It's very "in."

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Okay, so trying to get MY kids to look at me at the same time is a lot harder than getting other kids to look at me.  Barking like a dog, singing silly songs -they wouldn't have any of it.  So, I resorted to "Hands in the air!!"  Yeah.  They're *really* jazzed about it.  :)  This still makes me giggle!

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Typical Waverley.  "That's it.  I'm all done.  No more racing."

Write Your Own Caption Time! :) Happy Mother's Day Weekend, Ladies.  Your most important job of your life.  Put everything else on hold and go hold those people you can't imagine life without -or you would never want to imagine life without, at least. And I love you, Mama.  

Saturday, May 25, 2013

My 5 Day Juice Fast | Juice Recipes | How This Body Reacted and My Advice

After a family stay-cation last weekend and gorging myself on all the wheat products I could get my little paws on, I decided to attempt the ever-popular Juice Fast for 5 days to cleanse and reset my body. Yeah, I had put on a few more pounds, wasn't fitting in my clothes very well and am not too fond of the bloated look.  I thought a juice fast would be an excellent way to give my body a chance to rest, heal and detoxify from all the garbage I'd indulged in lately.

Inspired by "Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead," a documentary where Joe Cross does a 60 day juice fast to heal his body, get off his medications and lose a substantial amount of weight, I though, "Hey, why not?!"

Monday morning before a big trip to the grocery store to load up on fresh veggies and fruits I grabbed what we had in the fridge and made that (above.)  It was quite delicious.

Green Machine:
2 large fuji apples (and I mean LARGE) add a 3rd if you have small apples.
6 whole sticks of celery
1/2 bag of fresh spinach
1/3 peeled lemon
Serve over ice.

Since I was out of "gold stars" and wanted a way to reward myself for each day survived, I painted my toes lime green (yay for health!) and added a top coat of glittery teal.  Hey, this girl gets motivated by a bit of sparkle.  So shoot me.  Actually -that's a whole different story that happened this week (my car windows getting shattered by a stray bullet while driving home from acting class.  Will post later -if the kids will let me.)

Ruby Red Punch:
2 pink grapefruit

8 fresh strawberries
3 large organic carrots
1 large fuji apple

If you don't like grapefruit, you probably won't like this. But if you DO...then you're in for a treat!

Day 1 Recap:
Morning Weight in at 124.8
Headache half the day.  Felt good, energetic.  Very tired by the end of the night, but may have been because I was hungry as I juiced last at 6:30pm.  And then I got shot at.  So you never know.

Just Beet It:
1 med-large beet
3 bulbs/stalks of green onions
1/3 bunch of flat leafed Italian Parsley with stems
3 untrimmed celery stalks
3 large organic carrots
1/2 med. lemon, peeled
1/2 bag fresh spinach

Earthy, light, zesty and crisp.
If you like sweeter drinks, simply add an apple.
It's actually a really nice blend of veggies and tastes. Just make sure you wear an apron or a fuchsia shirt when you cut that beet. WOW, that's a lot of color!

Tropical Sherbet juice:
1/2 of a peeled pineapple
1/2 mango
1 large Fuji apple
6 large strawberries

I know, I know. It's dessert for breakfast, but my cup filled up before I could add in cucumber or carrots, but my mouth isn't complaining! Deeeelicious!!
Serve over ice.

Day 2 Recap:
Morning Weight in at 220.8
I think I only want to do this for 3 days and then go to juice for AM, salad for lunch and a cooked veggie/fish dinner, eating as much fresh produce as I want.  Felt light headed, tired and irritable all day. Went to bed as soon as I put the kids down and got a full 8 hours of sleep.

The Yippee Zippy:
(Hands-down favorite of the day)
2 large fuji apples
1 peeled lemon
thumb-sized chunk of fresh ginger root
1 cucumber

Day 3 Recap:
Morning Weigh in at 118.6
Asked friends on facebook for their advice/experience regarding fasting and nearly everyone said "stay with it!  Day 3 is the hardest, but by Day 4 you have SOOO much energy!"  I listened and stayed with it.  Same as Day 2.  Felt light headed, tired and irritable all day. Went to bed as soon as I put the kids down and got a full 8 hours of sleep.

Refresh & Fortify Juice Recipe:
1 bag fresh spinach
2 big handfulls of whole carrots (I lost track of how many, but that's about right)
1 peeled lemon
1 large fuji apple

Tangy and sweet with earthy undertones  Very refreshing.
Serve on ice. (Just to reiterate, this is a recipe for juicing, not a smoothy.)

Day 4 Recap:
Morning Weigh in at 117.4
Felt the same as day 2 and 3.  Sorry folks, I just didn't get that energy surge.  But I kept with it just in case I was going to be blown away on Day 5.  Another solid 8 hours of sleep.  Maybe 9.  SO exhausted.

Sweet Greens Juice:
Celery heart or 3-4 large stalks
1/6 fresh pineapple (cut a 1 1/2 inch ring)
1 fuji apple
1 bag spinach

Serve on ice.
Deep green, sweet but not overwhelming and crisp. Fresh aftertaste from the celery.

Day 5 Recap:
Morning Weigh in at 116.6
Started the day off with a more vegetable based juice, resolved to use as much green as I could stand in my drinks for this last day.  By noon the headache, irritability and fatigue returned.  By 1:30 I was nauseous as all get-out.  I felt like I had poison coursing through my body.  Now, I already know what half of you are about to blurt out.  "It's the toxins being released."  Yeah, well, these toxins are about to exit MY MOUTH.  Lord, I just want to feel better!  The other half of you are thinking, "She just got food poisoning -juiced some bad fruit or veg."  I don't know who I agree with, except that there wasn't one stinking day I actually felt good while juicing.

Since I had an evening event to photograph and had to leave by 4:30, I started doing whatever I could to feel better.  I made a fresh mint tea and sipped it for awhile until... I hurled.  Yep.  Bye, bye mint, carrots, apples, spinach, grapefruit, etc.  Or, rather, "Hello, again!"

I was desperate.  I didn't have a replacement to shoot for me, (and the weather was awful -raining cats and dogs -we have a few still in the backyard if anyone's looking to adopt) and this is a run-on sentence.  But anyway... scared that this would continue, googling "Day 5 juice fast vomit" and the like, I decided -screw it- I made a cup of chicken broth and sipped, sipped, sipped.  One hour and not feeling like I was about to hurl, I packed up the car and braved the flying cats and dogs and shot a lovely event.  Came home, went to bed, couldn't wait to finally eat REAL FOOD.

Day 6 -Back to Real Food:
Morning Weigh in at 116.0
Total weight lost:  8.8 lbs.
My first food?  A big, juicy grapefruit.  Followed by a huge Fuji apple.  Followed by half a pineapple.  And a cup of tea.  Aaaaaaah, I feel so good.  Energy returned.  Tummy satisfied.  Not nauseous, praise the Lord.  I'm happy, finally enjoying my crazy children again and pretty sure this juicing thing is not for me.  True, there may have been things I wasn't doing right.  For one, I didn't learn until Day 4 that I should be taking a laxative.  

"A laxative?!" I thought.  Really?  I'm drinking juice, shouldn't that clean me right out?  This doesn't sound as natural as I was lead to believe.  But that's just MY opinion (I know you've got your own.)  We did a raw vegan nearly all fruit diet for 1 1/2 months and I felt great on that -though I craved sushi (and only sushi) every single day for some odd reason.  Lost lots of weight without trying, was never hungry, had great energy.  This juice fast?  A whole different story.  I know that fasting is supposed to be good for you, many people do it, but I haven never been good on fasts, the few types I've tried.  Changes of diet as a lifestyle, yes.  Temporary crash things like a fast (yes, I just said that,) no, not so much.  

One of the beautiful things about how we're made is that we are unique.  Our bodies are mainly the same, but we may react to things differently.  Our bodies are also still a great mystery.  We don't know why we react the way we do sometimes, why one person can eat dairy and another can't without getting violently ill.  Okay, so I'm not a scientist, a certified nutritionist or even an amateur guru on food.  But:  I do know my body better than anyone else.  And my body said, "I don't like this.  Thanks, though."

So, what am I doing now, nutrition-wise?  I don't know.  We've tried lots of different things over the years.  Fat-free, low-carb, high-protien, vegetarian, vegan.  I've bounced around.  I need to figure out what satisfies several things.  First, it has to be maintainable.  Secondly, I have to enjoy it.  Also, it has to make me feel great and treat my body good.  I'd like to avoid chemicals whenever possible, I'd like to eat as much fresh produce as I'd like (always a good thing) and I'm partial to seafood.  As close to it's natural state -that's the way I'd like to eat.  I feel better when I'm not consuming grains.  Exercise and adequate sleep are also mandatory.

One of the biggest things I've learned the past week+ is that accepting myself and loving myself despite my weight or physical shape will lead to a greater happiness than can be attained from any diet.  

Watching another documentary on nutrition (the title escapes me) a female doctor said she would subscribe her patients  a saying to post on their bathroom mirrors and repeat twice a day.  It was basically, "I love and accept myself right now, as I am.  I am good enough in this moment.  I am beautiful in this moment.  I am loved and worthy of love in this moment."  (Okay, so I just Kell-ified it. Her's was probably two sentences and more concise, but you get it.  Self-Affirmation.)  They'd do this for 30 days and, she says, that by day 28 the self-doubt that usually followed would be squished so the lies that tell us contrary couldn't be heard anymore.

If anything, I'd say skip the juice fast and do the mantra.  I bet that in changing the way you love yourself, you will naturally change the way you eat to nurture your body instead of bog it down with trash.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

America Woman, 6pm Tuesday Nights | A Girl Can Dream... And Plan

When I grow up, I'm hosting a TV show.  Could be this ^,  could be something else, but I've made this little guy my new computer wallpaper because if you don't visualize it, it won't happen.  (Hold on, I'm about to blather...)  I've been ruminating on what kind of show I want to host, planning on creating something that will inspire, entertain, instruct -basically be an enriching experience.  Apparently that doesn't make good television.  Drama paired with an insane amount of stupidity makes great television.  Well, people want to watch what they want to watch, so there you go.  Still, maybe PBS or Lifetime or TLC or one of those kind of cable stations has something...

'Til then, you stay classy San Diego.
Er... I mean, Georgetown, TX.

We're Dirty And We Know It | Christmas Smishmas

I shot a bit a few days leading up to Christmas -snippets of family time and daily life.  Yeah, my kids sometimes wear clothes and when they do, Wilder's are too small and Waverley insists on wearing her big brothers gear.  She's a tomboy.  He's a daredevil.  And they've usually got dirty faces.
That's us -and we don't care.  Sure, it'd be nice to have kids that looked like they came straight from the pages of a Gap ad, but if they did, they'd better come with an assistant.

Though it's a touch late, here's our holiday shenanigans.  I hope you had a lovely season of love and that you have great plans, hopes and dreams for 2013.

Love More. Fear Less. And how acting class relates to real life.

{Yep, I made it.  But I wish I had thought it.}

This fall I started an acting conservatory, A Working Group, taught by Richard Robichaux (most recently of the Texas hit film "Bernie")   It's an intense class.  It's often frustrating as Richard has us learn by doing instead of through lecture; often you don't "get it" the first time, or the eleventh time, but I hear it's a beautiful thing once the shoe drops and instinctive, authentic responses kick in.  When acting ceases to become "ACTING."

We are treated to a juicy weekly poem and his instruction is peppered with rich morsels of quotes, like the one above by John Halcyon Styn.   His teaching style is well rounded.  Heightened language paired with two of his favorite approaches to acting, 1) "F@$# it." and 2) "Easy, breezy, beautiful cover girl." Though I've only been in the class a few months, I take from it that
  1. Authentic response instead of planned response makes acting not only watchable, but ridiculously engaging.  And that's what we're going for.
  2. Just say it, and mean it.  (But that's really #1.)
  3. Art expresses the richness of the human experience and you've got to love that to be in the business of art.
This isn't an in-depth exploration of the course (which is a Meisner based class) or a deep commentary on acting.  I wanted to share the pretty picture from the wonderful quote that Richard often speaks to us through our time.  So much of what we are learning in class directly relates to other aspects of our lives.  It's about being.  Being who we are, not putting on faces, masks, facades.  I have a lot of those to break and I'm thankful for the birthing experience I am getting through the beauty of this class, poetry and art.


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