I didn’t touch my camera for a year. And before that? It was about once per month, I’d pick it up, click a few things, hate it, and then not touch it again. I didn’t do what I am most passionate about because I hated every single thing that I shot. Why? Because I wasn’t shooting enough. Do you see the circle?
I was so stuck in this circle. I want to be a better photographer right now. Screw working at it, I want it right now. Needless to say, that was really wrong. I would make every single excuse in the world why I didn’t pick up my camera. I didn’t have the right gear. I couldn’t get to my camera in time. It wouldn’t come out how I wanted it to. Who cares what I am shooting anyway? I just wanted it to magically be better and be where I wanted to be without putting int the time. How fuckin ridiculous….?
2018 is my year of not caring–but in a good way. I don’t care if people like what I’m shooting, or if it’s good enough, or if I am as good as Jane Doe. There is no more comparing myself, and just shooting daily for 10 days I’m seeing changes in myself, my confidence, and I’m getting my passion back for what I have loved for years. It feels so good about it and my heart is so full. All I have ever wanted to do is capture my kids lives, and all of the tiny moments that we forget too quickly.
Some images I will love, some images I will hate, but it will just go hand in hand with getting better. I shot my favorite image of all time the other night, and I couldn’t be happier. If you’re reading this and haven’t picked up your camera in a while? Do it. I promise you won’t regret it.
Yes, a bagel changed my life. Set the path for my entire life. Hear me out.
I am a huge, huge believer in everything happening for a reason. I mean leaves falling from trees, major break ups, tragic events, everything. I truly believe this to the bottom of my soul, with all of my heart. It all leads you some way for a reason, and my favorite example of this is how I met Tim. The series of events that had to occur is just flat out ridiculous, I’ve been told more than once, and am inclined to agree.
So let’s go back, way back to high school. I was a 15 year old asshole. I was being extremely rude to a girl because she was rude first, (high school) and her friend tried to fight me. However, I made her laugh. And we became best friends. Probably my first best friend in my life. Let’s call her Kristen cause that’s her name. Anyway. One day in the gym class we shared, Kristen wanted a bagel. Did I want a bagel? You bet your booty I did. So I cut my next class to meet her friend Matt, to bring us bagels.
Que Matt showing up with the bagels. Matt was cute. Matt was 29. Did I care? No. New life goal was to date him. Looking back now? I’d beat my ass if I were my own kid. But I totally lied to my mom about his age and we started dating. Things were fun, easy, cool. I lived across the street from an elementary school and my friends and I asked Matt to meet us over there one night, so he said sure sure but had to find a ride. He didn’t drive. Ok cool. So Matt was friends with a girl named Summer. Summer was dating a kid named Tim, and Tim was going to give him a ride. Cool. (See where this is going?)
So Matt calls me and tells me on his way and tells me his buddy Tim was going to give him a ride over. And I swear. On everything I love. A voice in my head said ‘That’s who you are going to marry’. (That same voice that told me to go to the hospital with Timothy the day I had him) I’m like wow self, you’re insane. So Tim drops Matt off at the park, and Tim says, I gotta run, I’m going to put roses on my girlfriends car for when she gets out of work…..I melted. That was it for me.
Tim started showing up to the Pizza place I worked at and would tip me ridiculous amounts, and broke up with his girlfriend. We all started hanging out more as a group. Tim, Matt, and Summer were hanging out one night and Tim asked Matt for my phone number. And Matt gave it to him. Full stop. I swear, this happened. This gutsy move pretty much sealed the deal for me, but I didn’t tell anyone that. In the mean time my grandmother actually figured out how old Matt was, and demanded I break up with him. She’s a small Italian woman and terrifying, so I did obviously. You would too!
After that, Tim and I lived happily ever after, the end. JK. I made him chase me for months, and then I gave in. This man got me out of a less than ideal situation, I got pregnant with Jaelei, we were young. We struggled for years. Years. And through it all this man loved me. He loved me hard. Tim was the first person to accept me fully, love me fully, stand by my side fully, and has never left. Honest to God he is the best person I have ever met in my entire life, and you wouldn’t believe how often I hear it from others. And I’m always like girl I KNOW.
So the point here, is say yes to bagels. HA not really. The point here, is please, trust in the universe that every damn thing in your life happens for a reason. Everything. No matter where you are at in your life right now, trust that the Universe/God/Buddha/Whatever you choose to believe in will lead you to where you need to be, I promise you.
Gracelyn Louise. I figure we should get acquainted right? I’m going to start with my youngest, her name is Gracelyn, but we call her Gracie. Or Grace. Or Poodle. Or Mama Bear.
She is 2.5 and the feistiest girl on the block. She will fight you and then kiss your booboo. She will yell at you while telling you not to yell…She loves animals more than people just like her mama. Her best friend is her Daddy and she will have no issues telling you that.
I had to heavily bribe her to get these pictures because she isn’t interested in standing still and taking photos, she wants to be going and doing, constantly.
“Let’s go catch those cars mommy!” (firm pass.)
Do not even consider asking her to stand still, for the even 1/250th of a second.
She needs to be part of the action She lives for adventure. We live in the country and have acres, why not let them explore it? We recently got not one but two go karts. And hands down, this is her new favorite activity. I was only able to score the above pics because she was working her way out to the Polaris to try to convince her Daddy to take her on a ride.
Which of course, she got, because I mean look at her face. But mostly because she’s like her mama and she gets what she wants 😉
Gracie is currently my youngest, my feistiest and my funniest. She says things on the daily that blow my mind and make me wonder where the hell she got it from. More like me than I ever could have imagined, and she brings the funny into our daily lives.
This kid is a miracle from conception to delivery, and has an attitude to match that. We tried for 5 years to get pregnant after Jaelei (my oldest, we’ll get there.) with no luck. Two miscarriages, and an ectopic pregnancy with a loss of a tube to go along with it. We had pretty much given up. I was loosing lots of weight and was suddenly gaining for 3 weeks in a row. I was venting to my neighbor about it and he suggested I was pregnant, to which I laughed in his face.
We just accepted that we wouldn’t be able to have more kids. I mean, got rid of all of the baby stuff. Everything. This is apparently a key to getting pregnant after 5 years, toss everything. I was pregnant. I was terrified. That’s probably an understatement, but it was warrented.
I had a bad feeling my entire pregnancy, from the moment that I saw PREGNANT on the test. The entire time. I was afraid to do anything, leave my house, anything. I was really sure I wouldn’t be having this baby, to the point that I didn’t even buy any baby shit. Nothing. Not one onesie, nothing. The entire pregnancy was normal. No issues. 35 weeks exactly I had a slight ripping sensation, and a bad, bad feeling. That was it. All day this feeling was nagging me, so right before my Dr closed, I called him and he told me to come in. He had two offices, one 10 minutes from my house and one about 40 minutes away, but was under 5 minutes from the hospital. I was annoyed at the time but this is what solidified for me that every damn thing happens for a reason. I even contemplated waiting till the morning to go to the closer office, but I didn’t because that voice told me NOT to.
I got there, immediately start gushing blood. I had my daughter Jaelei with me who was 6 and Tim was working a job far as hell. My Dr. brings me in for an ultra sound, acts cool, but it’s clear it’s not cool. Tells me to go to the hospital so I can be monitored. I get there and they immediately tell me he’s coming out. Now. Without my husband, no family, nothing. Within 7 minutes of me getting to the hospital he was out. I had a full Placental Abruption with zero risk factors, and I almost lost my baby. The first 24 hours were extremely delicate and was told that it ‘wasn’t looking good’. It was really just a drug induced blur for those first bunch of days, and I honestly don’t remember much. He spent 14 days in the NICU and Tim basically had to carry me out of the hospital because I was so fucking devastated. But he pulled through, my true miracle baby.
Now he’s 4 and is the craziest kid I’ve ever met. He was diagnosed with SPD last year, and I just learned that this is something that can come with traumatic births. The most blue eyes I have ever seen and a true mama’s boy. He loves dirt and being dirty, when he want to, on his terms. I am in awe of him every single day and he brings me joy like nothing else.
She is 11, and changes her mind like the weather, just like her ma. I had her when I was 17–on purpose. Maybe I’ll get into that one day, maybe I won’t. But more on Jaelei.
She is a helper, but only on her terms, so if it’s my idea, it’s a no go, but if she thinks of it on her own, she will give her entire heart and soul to the cause. Jaelei is AMAZING at art, much like her aunt and was extremely into it, until the compliments poured in. I had her when I was only 17 and I swear to you on all that I love, parenting her now, is so much harder. Tweens are no joke. I get compliments on her everywhere that I go, and she makes me proud constantly. She cares so much about her siblings and is the definition of a mother hen. She makes the dogs s’mores, so they aren’t left out. The LITERAL definition of a tween.
Funny as hell and a really quick wit and she is so damn good at everything she does, as long as it’s what she wants to do. My entire pregnancy with her, Tim would beg the universe, ‘Please let her look like Tara and have my attitude’, and he got literally the polar opposite. We butt heads often, because we are so, so much alike. However, don’t let that fool you. More than once she has straight up went to bat for me more than a lot of adult friends in my life have. Please know that I do not expect this from her ever, but much like me, she has no filter from brain to mouth. Jaelei amazes me every day with how helpful, kind, and smart she can be. Also amazes me how my entire personality can fit into her small body.