Thursday, June 9, 2011

We are all Shipwrecks...

This is quite possibly the most beautiful thing I've ever seen... I've watched it 8, 9, 10 times maybe?  My cheeks, wet, after every viewing. 

It grips me deep inside.

Watch it once to warm up your heart... then watch it once more to explore it's intricacy... then watch it a third time to rejoice in the beauty that is human.ness.  The Solitude of our imperfections.  The Beauty that we have in each other.  The Hope that we have in together.ness. 

Listener "Wooden Heart" from Nathan Corrona on Vimeo.

*view it large if you can...

You can find the lyrics here... just scroll down until you see the name of the song (Wooden Hearts). 
Take a moment to breathe in the words on the page.

Peace, Love, and anchors.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Guerilla Optimism

I've been avoiding this topic for a while now... but I just can't anymore.  I can't get this blog topic out of my head or heart lately. These are general observations that keep popping up into my path... example after example, opportunity after opportunity.  So I figured God is trying to tell me something... trying to center my energy as a mother to really grow as a person and harness a great opportunity for my family. 

I feel extremely compelled to work with the boys on is Kindness and the power of their attitude.  I'll be honest, I've begun to avoid facebook and other Internet venues like the plague.  Why?  They just bring me down.... sour my day... open me up to update after update of negativity.  Blah.

What ever happened to being Nice? Being Kind? 

Our words matter. 
Our actions matter. 
We have the ability in every moment to choose to be kind or cruel, patient or demanding, sarcastic or encouraging. 
We have a choice. 

And in those moments, we are teaching our children what it is to be an adult... It's so so important that we model the behavior and attitude that we hope for our children to adopt. 

Maybe it's because I've turned 30... maybe it's just the Mother in me, but I have gotten into a habit of avoiding situations/people that bring me down.  Does that make me selfish?  Having a bad day or being bummed out is one thing- but a constant drip of negative energy/actions/words is far more insidious.  And it sucks the life out of me. 

With facebook right at our fingertips, we embrace the power to declare/mandate/decree/affirm/announce/spew some of the most destructive thoughts to hundreds of people at a time. 

Why are we so centered on ourselves that we don't actually see the personality we are constructing online? 

 I want my boys to be kind. I want them to understand the power of their words. I want them to feel in control of their actions and reactions... because we all have that choice. No circumstance negates us choosing how we react. And I want them to understand that what they say/do will have a ripple affect that touches everyone around them... Oh, the power we hold in our mouths!

We will practice Kindness in our nest this summer.  Real honest exercises in Kindness.... because God help me if my kids become snarky, self absorbed, whiney, cynical grown men.  omg, did I just say that on my blog?

We've got to be kind again...
We've got to get back into a pattern of encouragement.
We've got to understand that our words are powerful.

Our children deserve it.

We leave an impression with every.single.person we touch... What will mine be? What will your's be?

Peace, love, and the honest.truth,

Friday, May 27, 2011

Oh No! Pink Eye!?!?!

Day Three of Allergic Conjunctivitis... allergy induced pink eye.  

Whoa is me!!!

Oh his sweetness knows no boundaries... See his swollen red eyes?  Since treating a 2 year old with eye drops is nearly impossible, we've gone rogue. 

I'm treating it three ways.  1.)  wiping the crusties off with a paper towel drenched in warm coffee... yep, coffee. It's a remedy I found online a few years ago.  It works and I promise it doesn't burn.  I've tried it myself. 

2.)  Rinsing his eyes with soft contact solution... It's bigger than the prescription bottle eye drops, making it easier to handle and squeeze with a squirmy, ANGRY bebe.  I lay him back shirtless on a folded towel, cross his arms over his chest. I pin his arms down with one arm and hold his forehead with the other hand and either have theHotness stream the solution over/into his eyes or I try to manage it myself.  It's not an exact science... which is nice considering the thrashing and screaming that results from said treatment.  :(  But, of course, it's over in a matter of seconds and the tears stop as quickly as they start.  *whew* 

3.) Our favorite and most non.traumatic treatment!  Hot baths with LOTS of bubble blowing.  I've read that warm compresses are good for pink eye.  Something about the heat kills 'the bugs' aka bacterial that causes it... plus it's soothing to the scratchy, itchy feeling.  At night I can sit and read a book covering one eye at a time with a warm, wet rag... but during the day we take 2 hot baths- one in the morning to loosen the crusties/heat the eye area without turning into an angry bebeBeast (thus making me crave a morning mimosa!) and another before bed when the swelling/goop returns. 

Can you tell which is my favorite remedy?  :)

Plus this pink eye also works hand in hand with a green nose and cough... it's been a brutal allergy season for us and our little nest. 
After.bath necked time... what?  yall don't do that?  Another favorite time of the day...

As a mom, you never know what the next day will bring... or which nights you'll get to sleep without interruption.  But I can say without question, even in the thick of it, there is Beauty in the trenches... Purpose for the weary... Hope on the horizon... and JOY just under the surface.  Don't miss it. 
Peace, love, and boric acid.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

A New Sheriff in Town

Last year a friend took a few minutes on her 30th birthday to document where she was at that moment in time through a few photographs.  She noted how she wished she had photos of her mother at that age... and wanted her girls to have the images of her to look back on.  I loved the idea and the motive behind her mini.mommy shoot.  Last week before my bday got here, I mentioned to Marcus how I wanted to do a similar thing for myself and my bebies. 

Yesterday, on our way to my family birthday dinner, I told Marcus we should snap a few pics of me and the boys... And to my surprise James insisted on doing a 'shoot' for me.  It was a really big deal for him and he was dead serious.  This was a grand gesture in his eyes and I couldn't help but allow him!  I mean, really?  A kid with a camera steals my heart... but MY kid with a camera, well, I lose all reason.  Plus, with my camera strap around his neck, what's the worst he could do?  Jack the ISO to 3200?  Not reason enough to tell him no. 

And I'm so glad I obliged him... I'm crazy for these pictures.  I feel soooo awkward in front of the camera, but with HIM behind the camera, I have the look.of.Love in my eyes... so that totally helped.  :)

Marcus took these first few...

see my fringy lashes?  *see below note.  lol. 

Here are James' shots...
isn't it the sweetest... our expressions.  he's such a fun kid. 

and yes, he is telling me what to do here... wonder where he gets it from? 

So it wasn't until we were in the car on our way to eat that I realized I wasn't wearing any mascara.  As mothers often are, I was distracted between mascara.putting.on and teeth brushing.  Jax had a melt down?  I forget... regardless, I didn't realize til it was too late. If you click the pic, you can see my blond little fringy eye lashes.  Good thing for make.up!  I'm so fair complected that my whole face is a wash of white and freckles... :) 

He was so excited to see Bruver with the camera... he's jumping here.  Isn't it the cutest?  Poor Jacker has a bad case of pink eye right now... my sweetDuck. 

Yes, we kiss on demand.  No problem.  :)
We had a great day and a great family dinner at our favorite spot... then on to the house for cake! 

My birthday was cause to add some amazing new Vintage to our nest... I'll be back to post on those soon.  You know how I love something old... and quirky.  Just like me!?!?!  I can say that now I'm 30.  :)

Peace, love, and saying 'Yes' once in a while...

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Today I Turn Thirty!

photo credit: Blue Lily Photography , dress: Spotted Moth , earrings: greenerica

So my day is finally here... I'm THIRTY years old. 

These are my thoughts:

Maybe I should start taking care of my skin. 

I wonder if I will accomplish as many big moments in my 30s as I did in my 20s? 
*and if not, does that mean my 30's will be nice and easy and effortless? Intriguing, yet not really my style... but there is something to say about easy... I'm game. 

When I got married at 23 people said I was too young... I'm so glad I didn't listen to them.  Looking back, I'm glad to be sitting on a heap of blessings that abounded in my 20s as a result of that decision. 

I could have done without that belly ring after all...

In ten years, my Purpose and Happiness has evolved to something much more worthwhile and fulfilling.

With much less effort in comparison, I feel prettier, sexier, and more whole in my skin today than I did the day I turned 20.  Odd realization... but woooonderful.   

My favorite moments in my 20s:

-Marrying theHotness that Sunday in October...

-Sending him abroad to define his career path that first year... setting us up for a secure and bright future.  It wasn't easy being alone those months at a time- but I'm glad I was brave enough and secure enough to make that sacrifice for our  Who knew I'd know that? Afterall, I was still belly.ringing...

-Our European honeymoons every three months... and causing a scene at each airport when we had to part ways... *Thank goodness for kind human beings who'd scoop me up with tenderness and help me board my plane. 

-Buying our first house... and the house hunting- walking into these little old homes with JOY in my heart... knowing that even the ugliest duck would be wonderful if it were mine... because I knew Love would live there.  And that can make even the deadest thing come alive again.... we just needed bones. 

-Delivering our firstborn... just me and Marcus... and the color that suddenly rushed into my world. My life was suddenly saturated with Purpose.

-Graduating with honors with a degree I'm passionate about... having my favorite professors and mentors by my side... my best friend and her family beaming... and my husband and little boy perched atop his shoulders hooting and hollering for me.  ME. 

-That stormy day when I sent theHotness out for a pregnancy test... too early to check, but I did it anyway.  And that tiny pink line.

-Giving birth to theDuckling in that little country hospital... quiet... cozy... and introducing him to his brother and his brother to him. 

-And the day I realized that I have something to offer behind the lens... seeing things my way... working with an amazing set of clients who support my style of portraiture.  The day I realized that was something special... to me and to a lot of somebodies else. 

Now THIRTY, let's get on with it.  I'm a force to be reckoned with and I'm ready to do some livin' and a fair amount of lovin'.  I'm the best version of myself now... and I'm excited about what the future holds for me and my manlies. 

photo credit: Blue Lily Photography
peace, love, and alpha hydroxy acid,

Monday, May 23, 2011

A real dream come true...

Oh!  Let's talk about Blue Lily, shall we?  *nodding/crazed look*

There are a million ways to tell you how special meeting Tyler and Wendy was... and how amazing it was to be in front of their lens... and how inspiring it was to watch Wendy work... and how special it was to receive the images as interpreted by her... of our little family.

But it's hard to clearly express those sorts of things while I am still in Blue.Lily.Euphoria... I could wait til it wears off- but if I do, about half a dozen of my readers will come for my head.  So, let's just get on with it, shall we? Plus, how much fun is it to upload pictures that I haven't taken and spent time processing myself?  Oh the ease of it... *sigh* 

To meet them, we had to drive over to Texas where they were spending ONE DAY shooting in Houston.  They are based out of California- but each year, they go on world tours... globe trotting around with sessions scheduled along their stops.  So far this year I think they've hit Australia, New Zealand, Japan... I may be missing a place.  So they came through Texas shooting in Houston, Austin, and Dallas... then up through the states to Canada... and now they are flying over to shoot their way through Europe.  *sigh* 

I was so nervous as we rode out to meet them at our location... we were all dolled up.  The boys were prepped with bribes positive encouragement. And I was armed with a sharpie marker and my shootsac in hopes of getting their autographs.  :) 

We started walking towards our location and I saw Tyler first with a family behind him walking towards us... then Wendy and her long red hair fanned out to the back.  It was such a neat feeling seeing them in person like that.  I was a little star.struck.  Immediately, I was struck by their sincerity and warmth.  Tyler greeted me so humbly and immediately got down on his knees to start rough housing with the boys.  It was so unexpected and special... makes me wonder if I greet my MSP children with such warmth and respect?  Then Wendy came towards me with her arms out for a big hug.  There is no way she could have known that I've been following her work since 2007ish... so hugging her neck was so special! 

In an instant, she made me feel like we were old friends... and her only client in the world.  Again, made me wonder if my clients would say the same about me and how I make them feel?  We talked and talked and walked and walked to our location spots... And then the magic happened.  We played.  We laughed.  We ran.  And she took pictures of it all. 

The weather was so odd... gray skies, 50 degrees and windy.  Really windy. 

The boys did great.  We had so much fun.  And she heaped a hundred compliments on my head about our little family as we walked back to the car.  I felt beautiful and special and lucky to be alive.  I felt inspired as a mother, inspired as an artist, and inspired as a woman.  Most of all, I was struck at her spirit of kindness, sincerity, and generosity....

My friends have asked if they "were all that you thought they would be?"  I mean, I regard their work as some of the best in the business... and in my world, they set the bar for honest and thoughtful photography... perfectly imperfect.  So that's a whole lotta pressure riding on a pair of people.  But they were completely what I had hoped for and more.  More warmth and more joy than I was prepared for.  Which of course made me wonder if my clients leave our time together feeling joyful... like something magical just happened...??? 

It was a beautiful moment for me... a dream come true. 

Here are a few images from our session.  I prefer being behind the camera... but it's a treat to have images of me with my handsome manlies. 


*all photos in this blog post are credited to Blue Lily Photography

can't wait to send some images to Spotted Moth, the boutique I got my dress from... such a sweet indie shop.

oh... my boy.joys.

one of my favorites...

I *almost* didn't post this one... but when you mix a short dress and 4" heels into a family photoshoot, you may get a shot like this... precious, yet very very leggy.  Needless to say, this won't be our "above the mantel shot."  Lol

this one is for Erica... ;)

I'm so pleased with how the images turned out.  I can't wait to order our large prints and Organic Bloom frames.  :)  I feel so lucky to have such special images of my little family taken by my photography mentor... i'm over.the.moon about the whole experience.  And of course, it leaves me hoping that my mustard.seed clients feel the same way to some extent when they see my images of their lovies.  It certainly inspires me to be the best for them. 

***Thank you, Marcus, for always listening and noticing the little things that make my world bright.  Meeting Wendy and Tyler and having them document our little family the way that we love means so much to me.  With you, I always feel nothing is out of reach for me... for us... for them.  And that's credit to you and your heart and your never.failing efforts.  I love you. 

I'll share a few more in my next post... :)

Peace, Love, and theBlueLillies...

Friday, May 20, 2011

He's Home!

I think it's pretty... but it will be nice to get things cleaned up again. 
For the last 7ish weeks theHotness has been away on business.  He would drive in on the weekends for a day before heading out again or in some crazy instances he'd drive from Texas after lunch straight to James' Tball game in the afternoon then head out again after to go back to work... nuts.  But that's what you do for love.  :) 

I'm so happy he's home.  Our garage no longer has bags and bags of garbage waiting to go out.  *His job.  And I'm sure the neighbors will appreciate it when we mow our lawn again. *Again, his job  :) 

It's a good day in our nest... James is getting out of school next week.  YEA!!!  Marcus is now back to working in BR.  And I'm a'turnin 30.  We've got lots to look forward to. 

***Oh, and thanks Melissa for the blogging picture tips!!!  I don't think I've gotten everything figured out... but the images are muuuuch better for starters.  Thanks so much!!!

Peace, love, and green.