I Got to Play a Wedding Photographer For a Day and I Have The Scars On My Feet to Prove It

In 2009, my aunt Heidi passed away unexpectedly.

She was the age that I am as I type this.   Forty two.

She had many health problems, but no one expected her to pass away the day that she did. It was a horribly sad day for everyone who loved her.

I loved her so very much and her death devastated me.

She was one of the strongest women I’ve ever known. I know that sounds cliche, but how many women do you know who got SHOT IN THE HEAD and survived?  My aunt did.

I knew she loved me dearly. I also knew that if I screwed up in school or got out of line, she would kick my ass. And I LOVED her for it. She made me feel special, she made me feel loved, she made me feel valuable. And, OH how she made me laugh.

I miss her so much. 

My aunt had one child. A beautiful daughter named Mallory.  That little girl was everything to my aunt.

That little girl is now 27 years old. She has grown into a beautiful, intelligent young woman who has chosen to spend her life teaching children. I have no doubts my aunt would be incredibly proud of her baby girl. I know our entire family is.

On March 10th, my cousin got married.  My mom, my sister and I flew out to Texas to be there for the wedding. I was honored to not only be invited to the wedding, but to be asked to photograph it.

Photographing a wedding is hard work. But I feel truly blessed to have been able to do this for my cousin.

(Here are just a few of my favorites.)

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Happy 21st Birthday to the Son Who Made Me a Mother

 

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March 3, 1993 you made your entrance into our lives. I always tell people you were a perfect baby and it’s the truth in every way. You were calm, you were cuddly, you slept well, you didn’t fuss much and you made each day special and worth getting up for. 21 years later– the same is true.

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You have grown into a responsible, selfless, kind, hilarious (if sometimes annoying and YOU KNOW WHY I say that.) young man. I genuinely enjoy the person you have become.

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My wish for you today is that you do not waste your youth. You are living the best days of your life right now. Learn, grow, better yourself every opportunity you get, never let fear stop you from doing something, have fun with your friends, make memories, drink responsibly, respect women, and whatever you do, DO NOT make me a grandma for at least another 5 years.

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It’s been a pleasure to raise you, my son.

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I love you. 

p.s. You can legally buy alcohol now.

p.p.s Stella Rosa Orange Mascato is my favorite.

p.p.p.s The BevMo on 19th st. is open now.

DIY Photo Canvas That Is Easy Enough for Me (the Person Who Ruins Every Craft) to Make!

We moved into our new home in July. I had money saved to do some decorating (new accent furniture, pretty new things to hang on the wall, etc) but I lost my job just a few weeks after moving in, so that money went to pay bills instead.

(Real Life is FUN!)

Looking at the blanks walls can be a bit of a downer.  This house is lovely and I do love it so, however, I’d love to be able to buy things to make it look like our home.  Yesterday, I decided to try a project I’ve seen on Pinterest to add a little bit of joy to the walls in our bathroom. The project looked simple (and inexpensive!) enough to try.

I had two fun, adorable “bath shots” of Little G made into 11×14 prints (I did them at Costco, only $2.99 for an 11×14)

The only materials needed besides the prints were 2 blank canvases (I purchased black ones so  I wouldn’t have to paint them), Mod Podge and a paint brush. That was it!

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You can find the instructions that I used HERE. Basically, you put Mod Podge on the canvas, you then place the photo on top, get rid of any air bubbles and put a coat or two of Mod Podge on top of the print. If you have a white canvas, you may want to paint the edges black (again, see the instructions on the link I posted above) but since I used a black canvas, I didn’t have to do that step. I may try that next time to see if I like the painted edges better.

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The only issue I have is the lines from the dried Mod Podge. I wish I had been more careful to make sure they were a bit neater (if that makes sense?) but other than that, I absolutely LOVE the way they turned out and can’t wait to make some more for other rooms in the house.

It’s totally possible I’m going to turn into one of those “Decorate Your House on a Super Tight Budget” people.  Prepare yourselves.

The Letter That Melted My (Bitter) Heart

I’ve been down for the past few days. And I’ll admit, I’ve been feeling a bit sorry for myself.  Last week was rough for many reasons. And to add to the frustration, on Wednesday I injured my knee pretty badly. I’m currently unable to walk without crutches (or jumping/limping around the house) and on a variety of medications/pain killers. The doctor said it will be at least 4-6 weeks before I can even think about working out again. 

I feel defeated and I can’t seem to find Joy in the days.

Last night  I limped into my daughter’s room to put something away. I noticed an open envelope sitting on her dresser. I opened it up and what I found inside made me cry.

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Also inside was a beautiful photo she had drawn and money from her piggy bank.

I am proud of my daughter for her thoughtfulness and I am grateful to have raised a little person with a big heart, who desires to help others. 

I’ve been too focused on self, on my own problems and no good ever comes from living that way. I think it’s time to snap out of my selfish pity party and follow my daughter’s example.

I plan to add some of my own money and mail the letter tomorrow.

Blogging About Feelings Like It’s 2002.

I’m having so many feelings right now and I’m going to take it old school and write through the feelings.

Just three months ago, I had a really good job that I loved very much.  I got a good employee review and felt like I would have that job for a long time!  They valued my work and I had been there since pretty much the beginning. My job was secure and I felt so blessed!  But, it turns out that I was very wrong about everything and didn’t know anything.

I literally fell to the floor in shock when I got that call because what was I going to do? My family depended on my income to pay the bills and buy the food and OH MY GOD MY LIFE WAS OVER. We had just moved into a house that I loved and we were about to pay off our car and finally buy a new car for my husband (he’s driving the same care we bought in 1995)  and so many other things! And then with that one phone call, everything changed. I didn’t know how we were going to survive.

I cried a lot for days. I didn’t sleep much for weeks. I gained 10 pounds from stress eating at 2am.  I was angry, confused, hurt… I was devastated. 

Even though I was upset, I tried very hard to conduct myself in a professional matter. I didn’t want to say anything that I would regret or behave in a way that would be detrimental to my future. It wasn’t easy, but I tried to “put on a happy face.”  I was determined to make the best out of a terrible situation. I had to make a conscience decision every day to not let bitterness consume me.

After a few weeks of crying, worrying, just generally being a hot mess of a human being, I began to feel normal again. I began to feel relieved to have more time to spend with my family, to be creative again. I began to feel hopeful about my future!  The lack of money was hard to deal with, but the important things were getting paid and my kids were clothed, fed and still had a roof over their head.  I chose to be thankful for what I had instead of what I lost.

I was moving on and learning to adjust to my new normal.

But something happened today and I suddenly feel a giant cloud of gloom and sadness looming over me.   I’ve tried not to think about the holidays and all of the stress that will come with it because I’m unemployed, but I can’t pretend it’s not going to happen. I know we will be okay, it’s not the end of the world. We will make the best out of the situation. But I also know that there will be moments of suck and well, UGH.

I don’t want to be a bitter person who dwells on the past. But right now? In this very moment? I am a bitter person who is dwelling on the past.