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Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Sandbox | Sugar Highs | Balancing Acts

Spring is a funny thing in Texas.  March never quite cooperates -it has, let's say, PMS.  80 degrees one day, 43 the next.  But the grass is growing, trees are blossoming and the kids are finally coming out of the house like little moles entering daylight after hibernation.

Do moles hibernate?

Brian made a sand circle for the kids and it's been quite a hit.  My favorite part is when the dog drops her slimy tennis ball in the sand pit and wants you to throw it for her, covered like a sugared donut, but not as tasty.  Yeah.  My favorite.

The last two weeks have been quite busy and time with the kiddlets has been, unfortunately, limited.  After a very filled weekend, I stole half a day to play with the kiddos.  Wavey and I had a picnic, built blanket tents in the living room, had a few Motown kitchen dance parties, and, of course, colored.  

Brian grabbed a snap of the essence of our Waverley.  Note her "power bands" on her wrists (they give her super powers.)  Just a typical day with our daughter.

After a full work day last week (I think, the days are running together,) I grabbed Waverley and we checked out a new art gallery, then spent some quality time at the library.  I asked one librarian if she had a favorite author for children's books -something that kids would like to read before bed.  Between her and another librarian, we left with 35 books.  THIRTY. FIVE. BOOKS.  

Yes, I'm a professional photographer.  And, yes, this shot is upside down.  I am using the "lazy" defense.

There's a new candy shop in town and I simply had to take the kids there this Sunday for a bit of a sugar high.  Sweet Tooth Candy and Cafe sells retro candy, sodas, fresh handmade beverages (like the fresh ginger soda I fell in love with,) ice cream and coffee drinks.  With tunes from the 60s-80s filling the store, you truly feel like a kid in a candy shop, surrounded by new and old favorites from childhood. 
And I think the kids had fun, too.

Fun fact:  the owner's wife was operating the store while we were visiting.  She's a former professional ballroom dancer with 3 kids and a full time joy with a computer/technology company.

Now you know.

I have Zombinies.

So, last post I was feeling an ennui regarding business and photography, yes?  Last Tuesday I shot the prettiest, most exciting, most involved shoot of my life.  With three models, florals and props by Robin Leddy of A Gilded Affair, fashion styling by the renowned Edith Henry, designer dresses by Sarah Eileen, and hair and make up by Thelma of Divaz Fabula shot at (above) Chateau Bellevue -it was ridiculously fabulous!!  I certainly got my joy back through the experience.  (The above photo was from my walk-through with Robin the week before the shoot as I was planning my shot list and design for the day.)

I'll be submitting the photos to national fashion magazines for publication -a new venture for me, since everything I've done has mainly been wedding related.  I'm a bit nervous about it all, but also confident in the quality of the work we did and excited for whatever comes of it.  Being able bring a vision to fruition through collaboration with excellent people -what a feeling of accomplishment!

The Spring season is hopping and I'll be overwhelmingly busy.  Again.  But it's a good thing!  With four weddings next month a quite a few large shoots, I'm looking forward to the summer when I'm caught up.  I'll admit, it is a little nerve wracking being pregnant and out of commission for weddings during Sept/Oct -2 months that usually make up at least 1/3 of our annual income.  But I have faith that all things will come together and work out for the best.  All you can do is keep planning and moving forward -worrying only depletes your energy.

Something wonderful: I have so many friends in the wedding industry who are also pregnant and the sense of community and female strength/unity has been simply beautiful.  I've felt before like I have to apologize to everyone for being pregnant.  Some people have asked in slightly accusatory tones, "Well, were you trying to get pregnant?" As if it was a negative situation.  It's a challenging one, but come on: (And this is as much to myself as to anybody) What's more important?  Your business or your life?

When you are your career -the two are inseparable- it is hard to not feel apologetic to those you serve.  "I'm so sorry, I'm pregnant and I won't be available for this time frame."  But let's look at it as "Closed For Renovations."  Improvements.  

We as a family are quite, hot dang excited to have a new little person joining our family.  I couldn't do it without Brian helming the household.  We've finally -after 4 years- become comfortable and quite happy with our role reversal.  It's been a huge change of our world views -not that we were of a 1950s mindset; there are just subconscious messages you learn about what women do and what men do as you grow up.  It takes time to shed those and be comfortable and confident in creating your own rules for how you live your life, and we are quite happy now with our -dare I say- balance.

Balance has been illusive and a constant race to catch.  It feels wonderful having some sense of it now.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Painted Ladies | 10 Weeks Pregnant | Funky (in that order)

I know.  We're prettiful. 
Today was (hip hooray) the weekly family day, which meant crazy activities were mandatory.  Face painting, dress up, dancing around the living room to Celtic Women on PBS, and (not so crazy) a wonderful family movie time to see Mr. Peabody and Sherman in theater.  Brian's braved the movies with the kids twice in the past several weeks and they've done amazingly well, so it was (inexpressibly) a super sweet treat to get to have Wilder snuggled up on my lap as I ate all the Dots and Milk Duds and we had a family theater experience.
I loved it.
I loved it.
I loved it.

And the movie was okay. ;)

Wilder got a hair cut -I know, you were ALL DYING TO KNOW.  These are "#latergrams" I pulled off my phone because, really, I wanted to share the belly shot at the bottom and thought -heck- I guess I'll pop a few shots of my kids on here, too.

But the hair cut, it was kind of a big deal. A la Pinocchio, he looks like a real boy now.  Waverley saw his 'do and insisted she get a hair cut, too.  I chopped (read butchered) her bangs, so she got in on the action. (As seen in the first photo, those below are pre-chop chop.)

Hey, she asked me.  I do as I'm told.
(But I loved the result -it was SO hard to take her seriously.  Impossible.)

Alrighty folks, time for all the mommy-to-be-again talk.  10.5 weeks and this thing shows up.
The bump.

I went to pop some tags at Ross's because this here belly is bustin' outta ma pants.  And, really?  Who needs waistlines?  NOT. ME.  I hope to have nothing to do with waistlines for the next 6 months.  Hence my new collection of cotton maxi dresses and spandex leggings.  And oversized tank tops.
I'M KIND OF EXCITED!  No more sucking in.  Flaunt that belly!

And I don't know if it's because of having a 3rd child, or it just being this time in my life, but I'm feeling a lack of zest, passion, pizzaz and oomph about where I am.  And direction.  And I'm mentally exhausted.  Physically, I'm feeling just fine.  No complaints.  But someone could offer me a new job that plays to my strengths and I'd be quite happy working for someone else instead of myself.  I felt this way last year, though, around this time.  So, it may just be a cycle.  I have those.

It's okay to admit you're tired of carrying something.  I'm feeling quite tired of carrying a business, but -sure enough- I'll be shooting weddings every weekend for the next two months and will forget all about being tired in this way and be tired -and happy- in another way.

My acting teacher noted how every day he realizes how lucky he is that he get to be a creative person in his employment.  It hit me, I've got the very same thing to be thankful for.  And I am!  I am so thankful that I get to be my own boss, that I get to work with so many wonderful people on such a personal level, that I get to impact lives with beauty and tell their stories, that I get to be in the love business -in a very positive industry.  It's not like I'm a mortician.  Or a divorce lawyer.  Or a social worker (sorry, social workers, but your job is not enviable.)  I get to be an actress and a photographer.
I'M A LUCKY PERSON.  But it also means I work my ass off (which is why I have none) doing what I do.  Then again, I ain't diggin' ditches, I'm not raising cattle, I'm not making the donuts (though that might be kind of fun.)  

Life is flavorful, and I like it that way.  Right now, I'm ready for a break -which is something only I can give myself.  Even though I'm approaching the busiest season of the year, a mental break and rejuvenation is far more needed than an actual vacation.  What I need is to cleanse my brain, refocus, take stock of all the precious things, opportunities and -most of all- people in my life and I'll be ready to skip forward like those crazy cats in Wizard of Oz as they traversed the Yellow Brick Road.

And now... I'm watching Netflix.


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