Posted on July 5, 2011
On the front of my airport receipt, it says, “Denver International Airport, 07/04/11, Snapple $1.97. On the back, with misty eyes, I scribbled the following:
When I think back on my Independence Day celebrations of the past, one thing has always been consistent. I have looked UP at the fireworks. Now, from my tiny airplane window, I look DOWN on them. I hoped I would see this. I imagined it would be pretty cool. But, I had no idea it would be one of the most spectacular sights of my 31 years of life… one that I may never have the privilege of witnessing again.
All it took was one quick sideways glance… and suddenly my book that has had me SO captivated for several hours in the airport and during the beginning of the flight, now sits ignored on my lap… mindlessly closed before I could even get my bookmark into place. How quickly that book was trumped by this wondrous site. I am also choosing to ignore this massive crick in my neck from craning to the left for goodness-knows-how-long… for I can barely look away.
How lucky I am to have a pilot who, I’m sure, is purposely flying low tonight. Armed with only a camera phone (I know, I know) I will try my best to do this scene outside my window justice with only my words. I want you to “see” it too.
One dot of light catches my eye, then another, then another. Like tiny fireflies in a dark field, multicolored and twinkling… then bursting open from the Earth like flowers in bloom… as far as my eye can see… and EVERYWHERE.
This is magical. Wow, just Magical.
Reds, blues, greens and golds pepper the dark landscape like candy sprinkles on a chocolate cake. Over and over and over again. I cannot even concentrate on one spot because my eyes are being drawn all over the place.
What’s even more captivating than the scenery? The meaning behind it all. To think that I am looking down on this part of our country and witnessing COUNTLESS celebrations all happening at the SAME moment for the SAME reason… to observe the independence of this magnificent nation that we are all so incredibly lucky to share. On this day, we put aside our differences and come together as one strong, patriotic unit.
I can imagine all of the people nestled on their blankets with their families and loved ones… small children smelling of sunscreen, holding sparklers and waving tiny American flags, pointing and looking up here as I look down down there…
And just when I think it can’t get any better than this… we are flying higher now, allowing me to witness Nature’s own light show…
As the fireworks shrink down to sparkling glitter below, the lightning suddenly illuminates the hidden clouds in the vast darkness that is outside my window. Incredible.
How can this man behind me be tap-tapping on his laptop and not looking out his window? I fight the urge to unbuckle my seatbelt and stand up in the isle and say, “Are y’all SEEING this?!?! Where are the ooo’s and ahh’s people?!” Perhaps the man is typing out his own rendition of this incredible sight. Much like I would be doing if I had a laptop. Right now, I’m grateful for this pen and receipt.
I’m happy to put my attention back to what’s happening outside my window.
Because, now the plane has lowered some more, allowing me to witness both shows at once. The magically appearing clouds, illuminated by sporadic lightning (much like a strobe light) combined with the fireworks- small, colorful popcorn dancing across the landscape.
Now that’s what I call a finale… and one HECK of a celebration.
At this point, I am speechless.
Only three more words come to mind… GOD. BLESS. AMERICA.
I hope you had a magical Forth of July weekend and I hope you remembered the real reason beind the celebrating. I had a terrific time visiting with my sister and brother-in-law in beyond-beautiful Denver, Co. Now, I am refreshed, recharged, and back to the grind. (But, I really do love this grind). I am answering emails and phone calls in the order received. Thanks so much for your patience as I get caught up! You’re the best. Mean it.
Posted on June 2, 2011
Finally, right? Now that we’re halfway through 2011… I figured I should just bite the bullet and get this ball rolling before it rolls right into 2012 without ever happening! I was supposed to run this contest in January, but… (cue beautiful piano music)…
Once upon a time, I considered January to be a “slow month”. After the madness of the Christmas season, my calendar used to clear up a bit, giving me the perfect opportunity to do some cleaning up with my business. Getting organized, updating my website and running the Model of the Year Contest were just a few of the things I would do at that time. (cue record scratch noise) I am very humbled and blessed to be able to say that didn’t happen this year… things did not slow down. I have been extremely busy and my calendar is full for the remainder of 2011. ZOIKS, Scoob!!!
So, I cannot put this contest off another minute or we might end up missing out on having 2010 model all together! I would love to have a little representative for every year, and 2010 was too wonderful to forget.
I have slowly been putting this together, a little at a time, between photo jobs. I’ve had so many wonderful and beautiful faces in front of my camera so far in 2011… but those faces will have to wait until next year’s contest. This contest is for my 2010 clients and I have the nominees posted in alphabetical order by first name on my Facebook business page found by clicking HERE. This contest is not endorsed or affiliated with Facebook in ANY way.
TO VOTE: Simply leave a comment under the photo of your favorite model from 2010. (Just liking the photo will not count… you must comment). You may leave a comment for more than one model if you would like, but if you comment more than once under a particular model’s photo, it will only count as one vote. You may encourage your family and friends to comment as well. If they have not already clicked the “Like” button on my business page, they will need to do so in order to comment.
THE PRIZE: We’re going bigger this year. Instead of a half-session like last year, the winner will recieve one FULL session. (A $250 value). The session will be for the winning model only and will need to be booked in 2012.
You will have until midnight on Wednesday, June 8th to vote. The winner will be announced on Thursday, June 9th.
Good luck and have fun! Click HERE to go straight to the album of nominees.
Posted on November 3, 2010
As I write this, I’d like to imagine myself standing at the edge of a cliff (a cool one, like on the Lion King) yelling out this “speech” to my beloved clients who are patiently waiting for their photos. While we’re imagining, lets also pretend that there’s a giant cruise ship waiting to wisk me away to a private island where I can sit under a palm tree and strum my ukulele with impressible skill.
*Snap back to reality*
Before I begin…ahem… Disclaimer: I flippin’ LOVE my job more than I ever thought possible and by NO MEANS do I ever take for granted that I’m super lucky to be doing what I love… and I LOVE it… I DO.
But… cue violin music… It’s THAT time of year again… my busiest season. I told myself that this year, I would learn to say “No” and not overbook myself. Well, I think I’ve accomplished that in a sense… which is why I have a waiting list of 15 people hoping for a pre-Christmas cancellation. (And if you’re ON that list, don’t lose hope… kids get sick, cancellations/reschedules happen and every year I end up making a few calls to the list.)
Despite that, I’ve still bitten off more than I can chew… well, scratch that- I CAN chew it all… I just have so much in my mouth; it’s difficult to talk… (I love analogies)… So, I haven’t been able to talk or visit with my friends in a while. I don’t even have time to celebrate my own birthday… which is absolutely fine. I’ve never made a big deal about my birthday and I need to use EVERY bit of spare time right now to try to get caught up on my work. (If we postpone the celebration until February, does that mean I can hold off turning 31 until then?)
Oh, and get this: I don’t even have time to dry my hair anymore. Yeah, call me Medusa.
ALRIGHT, alright… so it’s more like THIS Medusa:
With no time for myself, I try to avoid mirrors because I look like I’ve pretty much given up on life. One day last week I noticed that I only had eyeliner on ONE eye. Yeah, I feel like Medusa, but I know I’m not Cylclops- COME ON! (I shudder to think of how I may only be a few steps away from sweat pants and a fanny pack.) Yoga pants, albeit faded and with fuzz-pills on the bum…are OK, right? Riiiight?? mmmhmmmm…
So, I’m overwhelmed by how fast time is flying by and I’m behind on my work. Aside from being slammed (and not just retouching photos, but the business end of things as well)… Take my 3 year old and my 22 month old and add in two weeks without childcare (this is sounding like a math problem… I’ll stop with the numbers before the hairs on the back of neck stand up)… factor in Halloween festivities (I can’t skip the things my babies look forward to) and here’s the most recent kicker…
… Our trip to the emergency room the other night. While I was hanging fall leaves above my kitchen window, my son fell off a kiddie chair and hit the back of his little head on the fireplace brick. Guys, it’s padded. But the box didn’t come with enough padding to go across the whole hearth (I don’t even know how to say that word) so there’s small gaps between some of the pads. Of course, he landed on that gap.
He’s all over the place, so I’m used to him getting hurt, but I knew it was bad when I held him and saw the blood DRIPPING onto the back of his shirt. I couldn’t believe how much he bled.
Seeing as how I NEVER missed a single episode of Rescue 911 as a kid, I always thought I would easily earn champ status in any given “paramedic-type” situation… wrong… I wigged out BIG TIME. Not because of the blood, but because it was my BABY. My husband was at work, so I called my dad. We couldn’t even hear each other with my son screaming in my arms… plus, I was shrieking and trying to hold the phone along with my squirming son while trying to hold pressure to his head-gash with blood-soaked paper towels. My heart is racing as I remember it…
Fast forward to the ER… there was no question that he needed stitches, but I started to shake a little when the doctor said, “With head wounds, we use STAPLES.” My heart nearly fell to the floor when I had to make the decision of whether or not to have him numbed. What’s there to question, you ask? Well, believe it or not, I chose not to have him numbed BECAUSE… four slow and painful shots that would hurt and burn going in, followed by waiting and then stapling would have been more traumatizing for him. The doctor said by the time my son would realize the staples hurt, it would be over. It was what he would have done for his own son.
When I posted that photo, my blog said, “What the…!?!” Yeah, I know- bad quality cell-phone photo, but it’s all we had.
While we were waiting for the staples, I said to my mom, “I would take an ax to my own head and staple it shut myself, if it would take it away from Dayne… in a HEARTbeat.” I hated knowing what he was about to go through. And picture this (because I can’t figure out how to load the camera-phone video)… Dayne got restless while waiting for the doctor to come back, so I let him wander the halls for a while. During this entire ordeal, he would never let go of the red balloon (ba-woo) he got at the grocery store earlier in the day. I had it tied to one of his little cars so it wouldn’t fly away. He walked up and down the halls in his little hospital gown, carrying his balloon with the little yellow car dragging beside him. I’ll NEVER… forget it.
***BIG SIGH*** I held him tight when the doctor put the staples in and even though it took all of 3 seconds, it felt like an eternity as the staples went into his little head, straight through to my heart. We cried together, my tears mixing with his as the doctor rambled off “head wound instructions” to my mom in the whump-wha-whaa voice from Charlie Brown. Thank God my mom was with me to pay attention because he sounded a million miles away.
I was instructed to wake him every 2 hours through the night to check for head-injury warning signs and make sure he was okay. I was happy to. Because I kept saying over and over again in my head that all I wanted to do was hold him in my arms for the rest of his life. Each time, I probably rocked him a little longer than I could have… but each little snuggle… feeling his precious weight settle into my arms… God knew this was needed for my heart-wound care.
Since day one, I’ve been through a lot with my boy. From his surgery, to heart tests and all of his genetic testing (which, praise the Lord, all resulted in the simple conclusion that, “He’s just small for his age.”) to numerous wild-man boo-boos, and now this. I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s payback time. When I was Dayne’s age, I was in a slightly worse situation:
No, not the creepy toys. (Although, now I know what I can blame my clown fear on. How would you like to wake up with THAT in your face!? So you roll over and see that monkey… *shudder*) No, look again… see my cute outfit? That’s a body cast due to a broken femur… yep, the strongest bone in the body. (I just sat up a little taller in my chair… you know… because I’m TOUGH.) But, what’s that say about me? Either my bones are weak (but I drink milk like nobody’s biz) or my dad-given childhood nickname was Stuntwoman. Yeah. I was the child that was always in the ER. Stitches are small potatoes to me. Stick a bandage on your stitches and move on to more important things like playing with your dolls.
(Hey, did we not have cool Barbie bandages back then? Either I was deprived or I’m just old. And I guess we didn’t have mobiles back then, either because in the body cast photo, I see PLANTS above my head…… really?)
I’m only getting a small taste of what it was like for my parents to put up with ME getting hurt all the time… seeing our babies in pain is the most painful feeling of all, isn’t it? Anyway, I REALLY didn’t mean to get into all of that injury stuff. On the bright side, I feel like I have more space in my head now! Sometimes we humans just need to ramble a bit, ay?
At this point, if you’ve stuck around to read this far (I love you), you may be thinking, “How is she finding time to write this novel?” let me assure you… these words are flowing through my fingers to the keyboard at a pace that would make my high school computer teacher retract her statement about me talking too much in class. And there’s no filter from my head as these words are coming straight from my heart. (So if there’s typos… don’t judge.)
So, I have chaos. We all do. But, I’m doing my best and I’m SO lucky that I have the most amazing clients who NEVER (I’m shocked) bug me to hurry up. Knowing that you all have confidence in me to produce the best quality photos that I am capable of, even if I am a few weeks behind… well, it means the world to me. I’ve said it before… I will NEVER rush though someone’s photos for sake of getting them to you quicker. Rushing through the house looking for my keys that my son dropped in the toybox? Rushing through the grocery shopping like I’m on Supermarket Sweep? Rushing my 3 year-old to the potty at the OTHER end of the store? You betcha.
But, rushing isn’t something I do with my photos. Each and every image gets the same amount of tender loving care… because they aren’t just photos. They’re MY art and they’re YOUR memories… and they deserve every middle-of-the-night minute that I give them. This whole blog post was chock full of nothin’ but love for you. Now that my own babies are sleeping, it’s time to get to work on my other “babies”… your babies. Nothin’ but love.
Posted on September 4, 2010
I thought I’d drop in real quick to A: Brush away the tumbleweeds, and B: Let you know that I am taking a short break from my blog… I always say that this blog is my neglected third child and this week, I prove my point!
As much as I wish I could clone myself a few times, I’m stuck with just ONE me and about a zillion things to do. The business end of things has demanded my attention a lot this week. Print orders, emails, phone calls (if you are waiting to hear back from me… you’re on my to-do list, I promise!… Among other things, I’m just waiting for the perfect moment when my kids won’t be testing out their loudest vocals in the background.) I also HAVE to update my website before it becomes an impossible task… new photos have piled up on me and those cute babies deserve to be on there strutting their stuff.
I don’t have any immediate deadlines this week (due to my being on vacation last month) so I am also going to take my poor nephew’s photos off the back burner and finish them for my extremely patient brother and sis-in-law and then I will (hopefully…if all the planets line up just so) be able to work on my son’s photos, too. After that, I’ll be retouching Graham, then Hannah, then Will.
I have been getting a lot accomplished and every night I feel like taking my crumpled To-Do list full of crossed-off tasks and BURNING it while doing a wild, ceremonial campfire dance. But, for fear of disturbing my 8000 neighbors here in Subdivision City, I refrain.
So, in a nutshell… as far as this blog is concerned… I shall return. And since a post full of words looks boring… here is a recent photo of my daughter from our vacation: