Thursday, December 30, 2010

{ unspoken not unwritten } ~ austin area photographer

Warning, this is a heavy post. There are some deep and personal things I have been sorting out lately and I feel that my best writing comes when I share the hardest and scariest things. In an effort to challenge myself as a writer, I am sharing the inside, the raw, the tumultuous emotions I have been wading through. On the bright side of this, a light at the end of a weighty that maybe you will celebrate with me in having admitted and dealt with some things I've long been confused and afraid of.

I have always been a little nervous that I wasn't a good enough mother. Fact. I knew I was doing my best, but I felt like it was never going to be close to what my girls need and deserve. I frequently worried about this and still do at times. I would try to remind myself that it's all about love and that I have overflowing for my girls, but still this fear didn't ease.

A book I have been reading has helped me recount many things in my past and realize the conditioning and message I have had in my life about that I chose to believe. Somewhere along the line I believed a lie, I accepted the lie that I was not good enough. From that point on even when people weren't saying that, I perceived that. I know it happened long, long ago, and some people may read this and be offended, however I am placing no blame. Life happens and people make mistakes, it's all about how we recover from those.

I didn't recover for a long time, in fact I went through very painful phases where I allowed that fear to literally run my life. For a short period of time I stopped eating almost entirely, I refused any and all help. One day I noticed that even my eyes seemed lifeless and I sought help. From there the fear took over other areas of my life. My whole marriage was spent trying to be the wife I was "supposed" to be and I never felt good enough. I felt like my old church wanted me to be different than who I really was, wear different clothes and use different words. Insert confession: sometimes I swear, not that much, but me anyway, or don't. All the things I tried to change for others only made me hollow and loath myself more. That is where life began to blur and needed clarity.

{ tawny }

Somewhere inside I found that I was stronger than I had known, that I knew things about myself that I had pushed down, and that being honest and real is the only way to live free and at peace. Lies I had believed gripped my life and held me back from truly loving everything, because all my time was spent worrying. At 16 in a small town I was once the pregnant outcast, I guess that prepared me for what I would go through these last couple years as an adult losing the love and comfort of close friends and family because of divorce. Being the one to stand alone to do what I know I must do is part of why I am here and why I am okay to be an individual. On the path of conforming to everyone else's ideas of who I should be, I was headed in a very scary direction, one that can cause serious illnesses and even fatality to a soul. Though I still have times when I worry if I can ever be worthy of my role as "mama," I know that something from my heart is in each of my girls and with love, guidance, and support, they will grow their own way with grace and strength.

Story: For Christmas I received an envelope in my stocking, it was from Avery and Masyn and they had filled it with sheets of paper. Each paper was a hand written certificate, one for being "World's Funniest Mama," another read "World's Nicest Mama," and more. The last few pages were poignant and broke my heart beautifully... written out in pencil they read "YOU ARE AN AWESOME PERSON. WE WOULD DIE IF EVER YOU YOURSELF THOUGHT DIFFERENTLY. SO STOP WORRYING, YOU ARE DOING A GOOD JOB. LOVE AVERY AND MASYN.
Humbled. Grateful. Accepting. Motivated. Captivated. Inspired. Challenged. Loved. Proud. All things I feel when I read those pages and see my sweet girls. I will daily, try to build them up and encourage them on their own journey. A favorite quote of mine will end this post, thank you if you have read this far. ;)
"The greatest gift you can give your children is roots of responsibility, with wings of independence." - Denis Waitley


Saturday, December 25, 2010

{ our wonderland } ~ austin area child photographer

Our Christmas...

This year I didn't have to work retail hours, something to celebrate! Also it afforded me a full day and evening with my girls to enjoy our Christmas traditions.

We started with a game of charades, hot chocolate, and then a movie/rest. I cooked eggs and bacon for the big girls, but Evelyn wanted oatmeal (she's so like her mama). She was anxious for them to finish so we could get in our jammies and drive around looking at lights while we played Christmas music and sing along and get excited over the really good decorations.

Once home, we dove into gift opening and they were all super happy this year. Honorable mention goes to Masyn, who asked for a laptop and printer, and received a printer, with which she was THRILLED. It was amazing.

Stocking were last, lots of yummy candy and some fun goods. Highlight from that was Evelyn in her giant sunglasses! I love this top picture of her in her glamorous frames. I will leave you with the pictures from our night of love, fun, and utter silliness. As I sit here I am all smiles, these truly are the best days I've lived, full heart.

{ miss IT }

{ how she rolls }

{ darlings in pair }

{ just love }

{ excitement }

{ grateful }

{ maturing }

{ my love for her is as intense as she is }

{ pure love }


Thursday, December 23, 2010

{ sometime by serendipity } ~ austin area photographer

Today was a great day. Several things made it great. I started the morning with all 3 of my girls in my room, 2 in bed with me soon joined by the 3rd. I went to the gym and felt productive there. We had a few hours of time together before I had to work which was a treat (usually there is school pressing). I even had a nugget of time to read. There are lots of things that happened today that made it feel so tangibly good. My life is filled with all the right people at all the right times, even though I have days where I feel like such an island...days like today remind me that I'm not here alone.

I recently visited my hair stylist for a little change in my color...hence the picture below (it's the "after" shot). As she was working on my hair we made this amazing connection in our lives and learned that we have much more in common than we ever knew. It really was exciting to learn about this and to share some of our stories together. She recommended a book to me and I am engrossed in it every chance I get, but it's one of those books I am thinking about all the time. A book that somehow means more than just something on a page. There are a few books I have had this same reaction to and I have re-read them a few times because of all that comes out new each time. I have a feeling I will be reading this book again down the road. As I have turned the pages and taken in the words, it's been prompting memories and opening things I had long dismissed. Also it has made me very aware of my present, which I am a big fan of awareness and always trying to become more open and more aware.

{ transitions }

This discovery of our likeness came to me just when I needed it most. Truly I am amazed at the beauty and timing of such blessings in life. A couple of weeks ago I felt a little lethargic and lonely, I was having what a friend called my "winter of discontent." He was so right, but it was short lived because today I smiled at the sky and laughed out loud because I was so happy about walking on a sidewalk covered in orange leaves and the sound they made swooshing under and around my boots. My heart swelled earlier today when Evelyn laid upside down on the rocking chair and found it fun just to rock with her head hanging down pretending the ceiling could move. Yep, I get down and I get moody, I pout and I even feel sorry for myself, but life comes around and smacks me with something to smile about and I forgive myself for my pity party and move on. Why, oh why has it taken me so many years to appreciate everything and why do I ever let stupid things get me down?! I wish I could bottle today and wear it as a necklace always.... I feel a new tattoo coming on.


Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Friday, December 17, 2010

{ holiday memorandum } ~ austin area photographer

A few local radio shows have been reading their Christmas Letters on air lately and I felt compelled to write my own after listening to others recount their year of 2010. It was a big year of change and personal growth for me and I'd like to document it somehow, as I intend to do with more things in life and eventually compile a few books (so I am always saying....).

Friends, family, complete strangers, all of you readers mean a great deal to me and I share this letter with you because I hope that through my year you will find something to connect to, be encouraged by, feel moved, perhaps even inspired...a girl can hope.

2010 was a year that began with a heartbreak, my own. Though few knew, I rang in the new year with a giant crush that kind of crushed me. It was like the drama of high school that I never had. One I am grateful to say I moved beyond and learned a valuable lesson(s) from. Beginning the year in that manner inspired me to go on a cleanse and really meditate to achieve direction and purpose myself toward my goals. I am so thankful for the kick off of 2010, because it launched me into a year of exploration.

{ so long 2010 }

The first few months of this year were some of the best times in my life. In February I learned my heart could love and trust again, and my feet were swept right out from under me. At the same time I was falling in love, I was also making a connection with someone who would become one of the most important people in my life, the best friend I never thought I would find in Austin. Sunny, I love you and without you by my side this year would have been absolute misery. You really are a sunshine in my world! Your friendship carried me through the hurt and confusion of my relationship ending after such a brief but amazing time, thank you for the comic relief and voice of reason you were when I was all a muddle of emotion. Miss me while you are in Tahoe.

Spring brought changes in my job and what I thought was a big workload literally doubled and those few months and my summer were a blur of pure retail monotony. I was very excited about where I thought things were going, but that was a surprise I wasn't ready for and at the end of summer I was faced with searching for a new direction in my career path. The timing seemed to be right and I still believe it was, for all things happen when they are supposed to and reaction is key to a positive outcome. When I realized I was jobless and all the promising leads fell through, I formed a plan, carried it out with determination, and avoided eviction. I became a bartender and that has been my fall.

Through all this I took much criticism and have felt abandoned by some who once promised they would always be there for me, yet I learned my own strength, my drive to be a good mother and provide as much as I can, I learned to never give in and never stop believing in my dreams. Finding encouragement in books, friends, and even trials, I've changed for the better this year. I am more realistic, have thicker skin, I'm not afraid to be me, and not afraid to stand up. My dreams are more alive, I have a greater passion for life, my heart is more open, and I want to explore everything unknown. There are days when I feel like such a goof ball for the things I am curious about, but I see life as this adventure that I get to embark on and I want to squeeze every ounce of good from it. I want to be a lush for the circadian beauties that surround me.

Which brings me to my three biggest blessings in life, my girls.

Though my job as a bartender has it's drawbacks, it also has it's extreme perks. One thing I love is that I now have at least 2 full days a week with my girls and NO take-home-work that I have to get done on my days off. I just get to enjoy my girls. We have been to a few movies, gone hiking, taken pictures, gone out for treats, played dress up, had dance parties, found our favorite YouTube videos and quoted them into the ground...and more. These girls are the most incredible kids I've ever met and that's totally with my Mama-bias aside, they really are amazing. My girls are all caring and affectionate, fun and imaginative, witty and humorous. I consider myself a lucky person just to know them, and I am awed that I am their mother. They are my reason for everything.

Avery is in 6th grade and loving middle school. She is open and honest, we talk about awkward, funny, sensitive, and even gross things, we have trust. She is a creative girl with an interest in the world of drama. Hopefully she will grow out of her desire to live among piles of clothes and general squalor, I think I was once known for such messiness so there is a ray of light.

Masyn is in 1st grade, a gold star student. Continually she amazes me with her deep concentration and ambition to do well. She has been making new friends this year and each one she sees almost as a sister. I can't explain her warm nature because she wants to wear shorts and flip flops all year, but I do know where she gets that desire.

Evelyn is in Pre-School and she is learning letters and can write her full name! Evelyn has mastered the Voice Memo app on my iPhone and left me some brilliant gems that I treasure and listen to at least once week. The making up songs and snuggling are like reliving my own early years, I hope she always has this much affection in her life. I also hope there is someone out there who will understand her need for a comfy bed, lots of perfume, and extreme amounts of snuggling....because I know those people are hard to find.

As the last couple weeks of this year come into being, I'm forming my resolve and setting my gaze toward the year ahead and how I what grab hold of this life and drive it full speed.


Thursday, December 9, 2010

{ must + must not + ect } ~ austin area photographer

I was so lucky to have some visitors from Canada last week enlist me as their "Austin Tour Guide." A role I am highly un-qualified for but took on with zeal. One place they asked to make a stop at was Zilker Park Botanical Garden, so the following images were taken there (by me). They all capture my darkly romantic side, and there are over 100 more in the file on my computer but I am about to zip off to the bar (for work, I do not get a happy hour tonight) so I am just sharing a few. I feel like these fit my mood this week and express some things I have been considering confessing to you all.

I have a list. Shocking, I know. Okay really though, for affinity for lists can be beneficial I promise. This week I have been finding myself adding to my "Must + Must Not" list. It is my requirements and deal breakers (and a few wants and "I hope nots") in regards to future men I allow myself to spend time with.

{ what I see and what I love combined }

Must (be/have):

Honesty, confidence, smell amazing, conversational, present, affectionate, passionate, funny, open, communicative, real, strong, timely aggressive, tattoo(s), mature, silly, stylish, ability to wow me, soothing, witty, allow me to wear heels, honor in his word, miss me when I am away.... and I add more all the time please feel free to make suggestions.

{ my life as a flower }

Must Not (be/have):

Dishonest, secretive, shady, aloof, arrogant, smell bad, ignore me, be my inferior, shy, unwilling to snuggle, lack sense of humor, wear bedazzled anything, belittle my dreams, lazy, lack ambition, neglect me...

{ dark romance }

As I said, fire away new additions to my list, make your own list, it's very enlightening and makes sizing up potentials much easier when you know what you need and what you want. Of course some things I might sway on, like tattoos...but some things can fly under the radar and then it's too late to remember "oh yeah, I wasn't going to settle for someone who..... again." This is my list to remind me, I have standards.

{ if I were a rose }


Monday, December 6, 2010

{ to live life ethereal } ~ austin area photographer

Get ready for a lengthy and obscure post. The tide of my mind has churned much in it's swell and this session of writing comes long overdue....

Recently I have found myself many times explaining my beliefs, my "guidelines on life" you could say. My upbringing is easiest to communicate to others, I was raised Christian, with a strong religious base from my parents (they grew up Presbyterian). I am so grateful for my history, for the values I was brought up with, please don't read any bashing in this, I am very much a support of people living and following whatever religion or belief fits their soul. Inside of me, there were loads of unanswered questions and too many contradictions within my life and some around me. I just felt out of place. When my marriage troubles were beginning to overwhelm my life I ran to my church and those there. As things progressed in the wrong direction, I knew that I had to seek truth, truth of what I felt and what I was living with. As I went through this, I learned so much about myself and about those who had been close to me. Moving away was another giant step in getting to know who Amelia really is. Only a few stayed near me, much of what I had been promised from friends or my "church family" fell by the wayside when they didn't see me tri-weekly. Even returning home for a summer earned me only 2 visitors who came to say they were still concerned with my life and continuing our friendship. I learned so much that year.

Since that time, I pursued books and views, some I connected with and some not so much. Parts of books very much meant things to me and came alive in my heart, others I felt contradicted my core belief that there is a a God and He spins the Universe. I am a great believer that all things happen in life in accordance to a pull on our lives, we can move and flow with that pull and let the Universe work for us, or we can fight and try to control something we never really are big enough or wise enough to control...and ultimately we harm our own path. I believe trials come into life to provide a window to our own strength and to build faith inside us. It's all in how I respond to the difficulties that come my way. I have seen many times this prove itself true. The world is full of opportunities to give back and help others faith grow. Some call it karma, I call it putting positivity out there. I do this not so I can have something back, but because I believe what I put out, attracts more positivity and thus will eventually breed a happier and more beautiful world. Yes, when I share this people are eager to try and burst my happiness bubble, and yes, sometimes I get sad and negative, but then I remember that perception is reality to most and I can change my own world by how I see it. I can see everything as a problem and be overcome with worry, or I can see problems as a chance for a solution and blessing to touch my life and be filled with gratitude.

An old manager of mine loaned me a book that changed my life. I did not agree with 100% of the book, but I took 4 great principals into my heart as guidelines to try and live by. I struggle still, they sound simple but very much go against the nature of what I lived by before. In no certain order these beautiful life changing rules are: Be impeccable with my word- speak good not evil about others and myself: Never take things personally- others don't have the power to curse me so let things roll off: Never make assumptions- I cannot read minds and it's always best to be honest and just ask when I have a question, assumptions only hurt people and inhibit their life: Always do my best- and I can always be proud of what I have done. Those 4 things have become a part of who I am, I fail often, but I keep reminding myself that all life is a growing process.

Not to be mentioned last because of importance, because I believe it is super important...I believe in love. In many forms I believe that love is the thing we are all searching for in our lives. Some are searching for the love of a parent that they never felt, some might be hoping to find romantic love, for others the journey may be toward giving the love they feel is being built up to pour out on a child. We all need to give love and receive love. It drives life whether we are aware of it or not. As cliche as this sounds, we first have to know love on our own. Some will say "love yourself" I personally believe loving myself means seeing that I was created and placed here for a great reason and enjoy who I have been made and try to be pure and honest and respect my place here, to be grateful and happy with who I am. I feel that way very much, I love the life I have been given. All of the things in my life are so much more than I could ever hope for. Things that used to make me feel weird or out of place now make me feel immensely blessed.

There you have it, that is what makes me live each day with a big smile or puts the smile back on my face after a rough day...the awareness of all that I have been given and all that I can give back.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

{ casual imputation } ~ austin area photographer

Yesterday I had the thought "I think in status posts." Honestly, I find myself having funny thoughts and in my head they are like Twitter posts or Facebook status messages. It's a sickness. Also I have been tossing around the idea lately of closing my FB page and dropping the whole social networking scene. I can't commit to that because I hope one day it will help my photography business back off the ground and I want to stay in there. I just find it a giant waste of time that I can't break, plus, some people seem to just use it as a way to try and keep up with me rather than actually being engaged in real life and talking to me (and if it weren't family I'd just ignore that). So you see, I can't stop 100%, but I have decided to post more on here what crosses my wild mind to post as a status.

A little sample from yesterday's musings...

"I feel mean right now because I just saw a guy in a hat and thought "I wonder what bet HE lost?" Harsh eh?"

"Dear Santa, along with the Dyson vacuum I have requested for Christmas, I'd also like a bottle of Gucci Guilty, and could you please have that to me by Thanksgiving? THANKS! xo, Amelia"

"Because I can't walk in high heels, I will be practicing daily." --- and picture below is the proof!!

{ amateur }

"Sincerity is a rare gem and a character must for people who want to be in my life with any significance."

"Today I look better without clothes."

"Channelling my inner Ali MacGraw, and it's pretty easy."

"These are the coolest kids I have ever met, thank God they are mine."

"All it takes in the world to make me happy... a journal, a book, and a hot drink." ---again picture proof.

{ recipe for rest }

Okay you guys get the idea. I really have a problem. I should carry around a little book and my camera and take pictures and write my thoughts, they could turn it into a scary documentary. No, as embarrassing as it is, I like the entertainment I can get just from my own personal musings. However, it's difficult for others to get why I am smiling or laughing at inappropriate moments, and yes, that happens kind of a lot.

I hope you all have a lovely Wednesday! You have made it half way through the week, good for you! I am patting myself on the back for living through Spin Class this morning and now I'm off to shower and work a double shift. I love life today, thanks for all the love you friends put in my life and for enduring my silly little babbles.


Monday, November 15, 2010

{ feverishly gratifying } ~ austin area child photographer

Evelyn was sent home from school Wednesday with a fever. Of course no parent wants their child to be sick, however she and I both reaped a reward the following day...

Fever gone, Evelyn was feeling fine. School policy required her to stay home another full 24 hours fever free. So the two of us just got to spend a morning alone doing whatever we pleased. To start we had oatmeal, a morning must for me. Then it was time for some nail painting, Evy chose 5 colors, one for each finger/toe. Snuggling was included as well. Then she accompanied me to the gym, where she stayed in the kids area and I took a Pilates class and did some cardio. To quote my silly little miss priss "there were mostly boys in the playroom and they were ALL annoying." I let her know that most boys are. She said she will go back sometime, but it was kind of annoying.

{ sweetness }

After all that excitement we went for a milkshake per Evelyn's special request. :) I will remember always her cute little face all sucked in trying to get the shake up the straw, her eyes couldn't have looked any bigger or shone any more anticipation and glee.

{ my joy }

I needed this day with Evy to remind me of the benefits to my current job situation. If I had a typical 9-5 job this day wouldn't have been possible. When I was in retail I could never have taken off to stay with a sick kiddo and she surely would never have been allowed to come with me. So even though my career path is a little off beat right now, I am so grateful for it. Whatever is going to happen, will happen, and right now I want to learn the lessons I am supposed to that prepare me for the next exciting chapter in my crazy life.


Tuesday, November 9, 2010

{ exposed + indulgent } ~ austin area photographer

Once upon a time, I woke up and for some reason took my own picture. That was last week. Today I decided that I would share my first thing in the morning photo.

You see, I have this mirror that I found at a garage sale years ago, I purchased it for like $5.00 or something ridiculous, and it's my favorite. As are most of my treasured things, it's old and I just gave it a little elbow grease and love...and now it graces my wall and it's literally the second thing I see, first being my iPhone alarm clock. So the story behind this includes me being unadorned, but I love the framing of my favorite mirror, and seeing the work of my hand, and how it makes this image have a timeless quality, like it might have been taken many years ago.

I never really go anywhere except the gym without fixing up a little. Sometimes the workers at my local HEB have to see me as I've rolled out of bed, but it's rare. Taking my own picture is often challenging enough when I have taken the time to get ready, but I think I take more real pictures when it's a spur of the moment thing as the case for this photo. As you might imagine, I'm a little stretched by showing such a raw image of myself, but I like rising to my inner challenge and saying "who cares" to my fears.


It occurred to me today that I come to my blog and post to indulge in my thoughts and really let them run wild and express what swims around in my head. There is much more that I should come on here and share. This is me being honest and as the picture above, totally fresh and exposed. Is it scary to come read such idiopathic posts? Often I feel guilty because my writing is such a release for me and I wonder if it's a healthy habit or a sick cosseting of my mind.


Monday, November 8, 2010

{ credence + humanity } ~ austin area photographer

By a certain age, or by the culmination of many events in life, individually we ascertain trust levels about everyone we meet. For some of us, we trust easily and are quick to believe everything we are told. Others take much longer and require people to prove that they are trustworthy. I fall into the first group (as you might have noticed) who readily trust. For me I believe that people are good and only do bad things. My heart and soul open up and I find it confusing when others refuse to believe me or accept my sincerity. This causes me much pain and as you can probably guess, many big disappointments.

One would assume that with time I would change and start being more of a skeptic (I have been lied to so much it's almost comical). I try, but inside I still feel the letdown because even if I pretend to have a big wall, it's really paper thin and my hopes are up that I can believe everything I am told. Even advertisements work on me, I can read the back of shampoo bottles for over an hour trying to decide which one REALLY will give me incredibly healthy hair that I will notice in one week. Gullible?...maybe. I just can't imagine going through life any other way. I'm being more careful to remember to treasure what I treasure and share with special few, but in the deepest, most special place in my heart, I know that I was created to give and to pour myself out without inhibition. One day that will be safe.

{ just me }

I thought about this because of conversation last night with my best friend and I have to thank her for always reminding me that I have to hold back at least a little. Sunny, without you'd I'd probably be heartbroken, nearly dead, and for sure I'd never know that rockstars don't smile. I love you a ton and appreciate when you teach me how to toughen up a little.


Monday, November 1, 2010

{ deceptively sinister } ~ austin area child photographer

Because of working the busy Halloween weekend, I got to dress up the girls on Friday for their Monster Mash party at school. This year all three girls chose their costumes and it was fun to watch them have precise ideas about how they should look. We had such a fun time getting ready and made-up for the event.

Masyn and Evelyn decided on costumes that were a little more on the spooky side, or in Masyn's own words "only a little bit evil."

{ spooky little girls }

Avery didn't want to dress up on Friday, she preferred to save her piece 'de resistance of a costumer for Sunday night trick-or-treating. She was Alice, from Alice in Wonderland. She looked stunning and far too grown up for my pleasing. Sometimes I am shocked back to reality that she is 12 and quite the little beauty.

{ spooky little girls }

These pictures just show my girls at their truest, silly colors... always playing and having some sort of little show to just sit back and watch. I'll let you all enjoy the many funny faces that I am so lucky to get to see most every day.

{ spooky little girls }

{ spooky little girls }

Hope you all had a safe and wonderful (and loaded with candy) Halloween!!


Wednesday, October 27, 2010

{ bridling the mane } ~ austin area photographer

I've always enjoyed hats. My grandpa's cowboy hat, my dad's airplane (seriously the hat had wings) hat, a couple of my mom's late 80's - early 90's style hats.... I just liked hats. I think I was brave enough as a teen to don a few. Once I grew into my own skin around the age of 25 I became obsessed and started my collection of hats. Mostly I like the snuggly winter kind of hats, some people call them beanies, I personally hate that name and will always call them affectionately...snookie hats. Don't argue this with me, I will never give in.

As of late I have been wearing them in the bar to stay warm and it also makes a boring outfit seem like I put some effort into it (which isn't the case really, I just toss on whatever can get ruined). So for my 52 weeks of BAM that I have been neglecting sadly, I took a picture of myself in my newest acquisition, I love the color, it makes me so happy, like I have stepped into the movie Love Story and I am Ali MacGraw for a moment in time. :)

{ hat lady }

Next week I should have some fun news about Halloween, I finished my costume last night! Good news, I still remember how to sew. I also learned that I can french braid my own hair. Any guesses on who you think I am going to be? Cheating if you are my friend on Facebook.


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

{ paternal appreciation } ~ musing of a daughter

Yesterday I remembered how much I need my daddy. So following my usual tendency toward list making, I began to reel off in my mind all the things for which I am so grateful to my father.

{ daddy }

Dad, I know I was a vexing girl, a pain in your neck, an ache in your heart at times, and I never understood all you were doing for me...growing up changes a lot and I want to take a moment to say thank you, thank you for....

All the times you took care of everything with my car, yesterday and today I have missed that help so much.

The length of my legs, because I can walk twice as far twice as fast as normal women.

Always reading to me in funny voices and singing crazy songs at bedtime.

Your slap stick and zany sense of humor, I am sarcastic, but because of you my humor is well rounded and I can laugh at pretty much anything.

Setting the bar high for any man who might want to enter my life.

Teaching me to drive everything from a tractor to a car (in that order).

Exposing me to unique views on snakes and making me eat them.

Building my self esteem.

Telling me and your other daughters that you married a queen and for always treating her that way.

Openly showing affection. It's because of you dad that my girls get kissed and hugged all the time and I know the never skip a chance to tell them I love do such a good job at this and have taught me well.

My good vision (knock on wood).

Spending time with me last Summer when I couldn't walk or run away from painful arguments and situations, you were my rock.

Making me listen to Marty Robins and helping to expand my musical appreciation.

Really dad, there is no end to this list, you continually bring me new reasons to be thankful that I am your daughter. I hope you know how much I love you and that there is NO other daddy I would ever want to have over you... you are the best!


Tuesday, October 12, 2010

{ acquiescence + love } ~ austin area photographer

Last night I gave you the Cliff's Notes update of my life. Today my mind is full of deeper issues and I have little time to write as I am about to get my girls from school. I just want to share a small thought from my full heart.

I had lunch with a very good friend and as we parted I said "full belly, full heart." That's how I feel right now. I'm contemplative about some things. There have been hurtful words tossed my way and I admit I am reminding myself to not take anything personally. It's a difficult thing to live out, yet it is a truth I believe. My friend lifted my chin and reminded me that hurts come and go, good friends will always prove themselves to be so.


This image is somber and for me even a tiny bit dark. My mood is even and full of gratitude for those who embrace me and accept even my whining. Today my mood is a culmination of love, grief, sunshine, and rainbows on the horizon. The future holds a bright light as long as I accept that I can't change anything but my view. Love is the only way to live this out. I choose to love it out.


{cynicism + pauperdom}

I've long been compiling posts in my mind, and I beg your forgiveness for not setting aside the time to actually write out those thoughts. They are lost now and must not have been truly great if I cannot recall them. Accept my apology but consider yourself lucky to have not wasted time reading mindless babble developed in an overactive imagination.

Tonight is an update post, sadly I have no images to accompany it. Something I will be correcting tomorrow is the lack of action my camera has seen. My fingers are hungry for the weight of my Canon and my ears long to appreciate the hearty "click" of the shutter. Oh yes, the need to shoot has grown to a dangerous and overwhelming high.

If you have wondered where I have been...please allow me to indulge your curiosity with the tale of my whereabouts.

As many of you read previously, I resigned from my retail job, a bitter sweet ending. The opportunities which seemed exciting and very promising all faded away and I found myself without a job and without leads toward something new. My heart was fearful and I had to really focus and reject those emotions, I had to be positive and gain clear vision again. I needed money right away, so I strong armed a friend into teaching me to bartend. A stretch for me career wise, as I have had absolutely no service industry experience, but I know that I can learn anything so I committed myself to this task. I trained and attained some skills, literally went door to door at bars along West 6th street in Austin and even though I was told I would not find a job anywhere there (p.s. way number 11,478 4 to make me not want a second date is to tell me I can't succeed at something), I was given a chance by a great bar. So for the last few weeks, my feet have learned to live within the confines of closed toes, my hands have been sliced and callused, my skills have been fine tuned, and I am confident to say I am a bartender. Is this my long term goal?, but has it allowed me to spend days with my favorite little ladies and work while they sleep?..yes! I didn't get evicted from my apartment which is a huge step in the right direction. Also, my bar stories will now hold at least one chapter in my memoir or possibly a book all their own. Adjusting to my new hours and change of profession has been difficult and entertaining, I could write many things about this...but tonight you will be spared.

I have learned much about the cynical side of some people. I am reminded of how often I have been called "strong willed," and honestly I will accept that because where there is a will, there is a way...and my strong will-ingness to do whatever I had to kept my girls with me and a roof over our heads. Doubt and criticism are negativity I just don't have time for in my life and frankly, I don't like them.

Changing gears completely and wrapping this up, I just want to thank the people who have been emailing and letting me know they care if I am alive or dead, that meant a lot. Also I appreciate the kindness from a few new readers, I am very grateful that you came to visit my blog and your emails made my smile bigger. Thank you all, I love you!


Monday, August 30, 2010

{ mexico + narcissism } ~ austin area photographer

For 52 weeks of BAM!.... Just got home from Cabo San Lucas, Mexico and I am reliving it through the pictures. Such an amazing and much needed trip. *ahhhhh*

{ cabo }

So many stories and so much fun, but I just have to settle back into Austin life now...but believe me, Cabo came home with me!


Wednesday, August 18, 2010

{ acclimatize + focus } ~ austin area photographer

So there is a great deal of unknown in my life right now. There are hazy places where I can't tell you for certain what comes next. Yet, I have clarity of mind and dreams so sharp they can't be denied of their deep meaning. I choose not to fear the unknown.

I've been turning over in my mind all my past and how I have reached this precipice in my life. Exhilarated about things coming and realizing how my life has built to jumping out toward goals, living full force. I am an uncommon lady.

{ in out + in between }

I almost died at 18 months and I can actually remember it.

My sister ran away from home when I was 11 and I was devastated.

I experienced heartbreak at 15.

Being 16 and pregnant in a small town taught me that I was strong enough to lose all my friends and still go on living a full life of love with my new baby girl.

Working full time in a place where I was the age of most people's children or grandchildren helped me realize what I did and did not want to be as a mother. It also showed me I can get along with just about anyone.

Marrying young made me realize how much more grown up I was in mind/body/and life experience than in my emotions/heart.

Learning to sew and building my name as a successful children's designer made me see that anything is possible if I want it bad enough.

Growing in my photography skills made me stop and stare at the little things and delve deeper into life and soul searching.

I went to college at 25, first time in any school ever and I fell in love again....with writing.

When I moved to Austin I learned that I could make friends in an unknown place and I would always have my true friends back home and abroad, even if we spoke less.

Going through divorce I learned how selfish I can be at the same time as I saw how giving I am.

Living on my own, I have come to a place where I know my life can only go as far as I believe, and I believe I have a lot of people to love and care for, many places to go, a great deal of life lessons to share, and several adventures to experience.


Thursday, August 12, 2010

{ fading + changing } ~ austin area photographer

This summer my hair has faded a great deal and recently I have even been called "redhead" which I disagree with. However, it matches the things in my life changing. I promised I would let you all know as soon as I could, and now I can begin to reveal what swift changes are occurring in my life.

I have resigned from my retail job. It's been awesome, but approaching 29, I can't see myself doing that forever. I want to take more pictures, write more stories, and touch more lives. What can I say?...I dream BIG.

{ red }

I have a job in mind that I am anxiously awaiting news about and my ardent hope is that it has come into my life for a reason and it will work out. I'm still searching in the meantime so that I can knock on all possible opportune doors.