Sunday, June 27, 2010

{exploration} ~ austin area photographer

Have you ever entered a phase in life where you just float? Where nothing you do really seems to be on purpose, it is just the natural and easiest way to go? I don't agree with fighting nature, not by any means, but I personally believe that for me, I have to pursue my natural path in life with passion and determination.

Yet, I let myself drift recently. I just found a comfort zone that was great at first, but then became too lackadaisical and the positive energy was lost. After waking up to this fact I first decided to grab hold of life again and live it with meaning and chase after memories.

Yesterday someone told me that I should "do whatever I want to do!" and then posed the questions "what DO you really want to do?" Not up and move to New York, I'm talking about my life ambition and even career path for long term. He asked me this and without hesitation I responded that I really want to write a book. This is no secret, I have mentioned it on here numerous times, still I linger in the state of twirling ideas in my head and typing out a few short stories or blog posts.... I have done nothing more to go after this long time goal. Perhaps because I've seen it as impossible or vain. There have been times when I thought to myself "who would read my book? What would I even write about? Could I really tell my story?" My list of arguments with myself goes on and on. In the end of that raging battle in my mind, I come up with one answer....undecided. The same friend who provoked these thoughts also gave me wise advice, "you don't have to know, just write. You don't need an audience or an ending, just write it."

So maybe it takes no shape or has no outline, but the chapters will begin in my journals (yes, plural, I have a few that I write different things...) and on notes, however and whenever I have the ideas, I will start recording them. Truth is, I think maybe I have something inside that just one person needs to hear or relate to, that would make a reason for my writing. I'm on a journey now to live in each moment, grasp the emotion it holds, savor it, explore it, record it....and get back to being FULLY and

{exploring me}

Totally out of my comfort zone to show a picture of myself THIS close up. I'm pushing myself outside the walls and limitations I have been living in, pictures and all. :)


Thursday, June 24, 2010

{indelible memories} ~ austin area child photographer

Dean Martin said it so well when he crooned "memories are made of this..." Because this is exactly what I set out to do, build memories with my girls. Does that happen by accident? Yes, I think sometimes it does, but I also think we have to live purposefully and make the most of each day. For me personally that means finding ways to enhance the here and now in a natural way, but to be very "present."

When thinking about my own childhood, I remember "grand" events here and there, a few special Christmas gifts or outing to a circus once where I dressed so shabbily that we had to stop on the way and buy me something suitable to wear. Funny how that trick never worked a second time... My fondest memories however, are times that my mom woke me in the middle of the night for a picnic in the living room, or my sister and I dared each other to run through our nasty backyard pond, swimming for hours in the river on our annual summer vacation, playing mermaid in our pool, playing games with my grandparents, trying to put on shows for money in our living room, and this list could easily drag on for miles. I remember the seemingly insignificant, way more than the uber planned and extremely momentous occasions. Why is that? I can't explain it, but it gave me this exciting revelation that I could actually begin creating happy memories with my girls just by making the most of little pockets of time and savoring them, then talking about them, and asking what they like and don't like... looking for ways to surprise and delight them. I've become a more spontaneous and happy person in just 3 days.

I've always trotted a little off the beaten path when it comes to my parenting style and I offer no apology about that. I am SO proud of my girls and I don't take full credit for who they are by any means, but I do applaud myself for sticking with my methods even when questioned. My girls are open and free spirited, but polite and fairly well behaved (they are kids, so yes, we have tantrums, tears, ect.). This new idea though makes me feel like I have SO much more to learn about being a mother and as I read recently "A treasure house for happy memories." That's what I want for my girls. I want them to recall times like I do, when my dad read to me in "voices" at bedtime or bursting into song in the car just because. As silly as I have always been, I am stepping up the game for myself and enjoying my days as a child again. How lucky to have a window and connection to youth such as young children, I am beyond blessed, but to also have the chance to grow in friendship with these incredible girls as they begin to mature....does every mom feel as unworthy and truly grateful as I do?!?! I'm out of words now, with tears in my eyes all I can do is sit and muse over how much love I can have for these little ladies.

Below are some pictures from our sunset adventure a couple days ago. Nothing more than a quilt, some snackies, and a short hike...but I will never forget this evening and I hope they won't either.

{summer adventures}

{summer adventures}

{summer adventures}

{summer adventures}

"The days go slowly, but the years go fast." - Gretchen Rubin


Thursday, June 10, 2010

{ toasty + chill } ~ austin area child photographer

It's been one of those lovely laid back days where small tasks are accomplished at the pace of a slow moving snail and treats are consumed without any guilt whatsoever. These days make me smile. They are called "my atypical day off." Usually I have piles of work to do and running around tying up loose ends that have unraveled during my work week. I must be doing something right lately though, because today I did have some work I brought home, but I did it quickly while I had the girls color pictures to send to Avery at camp. I even managed to get on the treadmill for a run, followed by a short round of pilates with the cutest 4 year old by my side.

Pardon the confusion left by my last post. I am NOT leaving the blog world, in fact quite the opposite. I have been churning ideas in my head about writing a book and I think I will begin by researching through my blog. So I hope to be posting almost daily. Sometimes I feel overwhelmed by the thought of trying to DAILY upload pictures and all of that, but this will not always include a picture. This will be a journey of self examination and motivation through challenging myself and then journaling what I learn from each thing I push myself to do. I hope this isn't too confusing, please post questions and ideas for me, even challenges you think I should put myself up to.

Today my first challenge went well. I dared myself to not wear make-up or fix up at all, to just enjoy being relaxed and completely chill for an entire day. Here is what happened....

{ heat }

I let Masyn sleep in until 10 AM. I made Evelyn breakfast and we had a good snuggly morning just reading and talking until she became interested in blocks and I put on my running shoes. After my run we had some good healthy time on the floor doing Pilates and then we stretched and laughed about how sweaty I was. I cleaned up a little and put on some cut offs and a t-shirt. Already I felt like my day was flying by, but I had managed to work out, I swelled with pride. Masyn woke up and I made her some breakfast, we watched Kittens on YouTube which started both girls on a silly laughing spree. I steamed my skirt for tomorrow's work day and tried on my planned outfit, so I knocked out one thing from my to-do list tomorrow! Next I grabbed a stack of cards and went to work on correspondence for work as well as two personal letters to my nieces at camp. This chill day was going great, I wasn't wasting any time on worrying or nonsense.

{ heat }

We weren't hungry until a little later in the day, so after a late lunch I served some banana pudding I also found time to make. Set the timer for 20 minutes of playtime and then called for a household siesta! This was amazing, I got to sleep in the middle of the day. First I read for a while to get drowsy enough to actually sleep, and then I slept! Oh how beautiful it felt, especially because last night I shared a bed with both of my littles and they were taking over, I almost fell off the bed 3 times and Evelyn did fall once. Needless to say I didn't get much sleep. After the much needed nap, we played some more, colored, talked a while. My girls and I just hung out. I can't even tell you how precious this time was for me. The fact that my kids want to spend time communicating and learning, I am SO grateful for this.

{ heat }

Dinner...what the heck, I decided to take them out. They were so good and that's pretty much their favorite thing to do. They chose McDonalds and of course because they wanted to play. I said "yes" grabbed a book, put on a bra and some shoes and out the door we went. What a great time, I let them play and read for a bit. Masyn ran into a friend from her class, Colin, who she refers to as "Colin, not like on the phone." My girls played with him and his little sister and I chatted with their Nanny. It was so nice to just be outside, even in 1000* weather. What a great choice to just go with the flow instead of insisting on something I would rather do, I found a way to make it work together and felt much more accomplished having just let things roll.

Back at home it was time for a bath. I have to pause now to tell you all Masyn's funny comment for the day. Evelyn needed a band-aid for her leg so we stopped at the store and she picked a box of Barbie band-aids. As we talked about these during bath, Masyn happily said "Barbie is pretty. You know, Barbie kinda looks like me. I think Barbie is ME, as a teenager!" I love her confidence.

So that was my first full day of daring myself something. Hope I didn't bore you all. I must admit, I impressed myself with what I could get done and still remain totally laid back at the same time. I didn't even mention that I washed and folded two loads of laundry! :)

Let me know your thoughts and ideas....I'm anxious to hear.


Wednesday, June 2, 2010

{esoteric inspiration} - austin area photographer

Wow, May is gone. I spent the month working as hard as I possibly could. I was lucky enough to be part of a new store opening and we had much to do! It's still a very busy time in my life, but the wildest part is over and now I'm back to assure you I am not dead. However, I am suffering from a back injury but that's a whole different story.

Today I was inspired to write. It won't reach many I am sure, especially since I've lost all readers on here, but something inside me stirred today when a scent hit my nose and I was overwhelmed with the need to put it into words. Not just the memory that the smell evoked, but the rush of emotion that has been waiting for work to slow down to make it's presence known.

I was walking to the pool, my first day in a series of vacation days that are desperately needed. Bag packed with a book, iPod, water, and lotion, ingredients to a perfect rest by the pool and the occasional dip when Texas heat gets the best of me. I passed a van idling in the parking lot and the smell of diesel gasoline and the extreme high temperature outside took me straight back to the summer of '96. Yep, I was 14 and I was driving a tractor for my brother during rice harvest. For the rest of my life, diesel will make me think of our farm, but today was unique, I could even picture the clothes I had on. It was surreal. As I let myself be carried back in time, my mind flooded with good memories, sad memories, pains, joys, celebrations, moments of grief, and dreams for future. Maybe it was profound, maybe it was heat related hallucination, I don't was magical. Like all of my life from the most hurtful to most rewarding were right there and they all connected just right. I haven't lead a "hard knock" life and I haven't lived a charmed life either, but it's my life. Yesterday I was kind of sad over some things and I focused throughout the day on choosing to be happy about the good. Today's epiphany makes yesterday seem so silly. I want this level of awareness always, I feel so grateful in this moment, for every single life experience I have ever had...

For my farewell, here is a picture of my new "family."