Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Broken Hearted

As a parent of a 'tween, I hear and read about those moments that stand out in a parent's mind where you consciously see your kids hit a milestone of growing up. So I watch for them with baited breath and a camera to collect the memory, afraid that one moment is going to slip past me unnoticed. Sometimes they do, I'm sure of it, but other times stand out in my mind and heart, breaking it in little pieces, or at the very least fracturing it.

I remember the first time I kissed a boo-boo and the Girl said "it's not better", breaking my heart.

I remember the first time she didn't want me to hold her hand at school as we walked in, afraid that a friend would see and she would die of embarassment, breaking my heart.

I remember the day she reached for my hand walking into the same school she refused to let me walk her into the year before on the very first day of 3rd grade, breaking my heart in an altogether different way.

And today, my friends, it was broken again. As I pulled into the driveway, I saw for the first time, my baby girl--not so much a baby anymore--standing in the driveway with 3 friends, chatting as only childhood innocence allows. They saw my need to pull into the driveway as an assault on their privacy, I'm sure; they moved to the playground across from our driveway. The very same playground Beast and I have witnessed countless tweens and teens hanging out on, wiling away the last lazy days of summer, knowing full well the day would come when it would be the Girl out there. And now our tween is one of those kids just hanging out. And as my eyes brimmed with mommy-tears and I turned my head so as not to embarass her, she offered me a tiny reward for all those broken hearts...she waved. Just slight enough for me to see the gesture she offered to only me and the twinkle in her eye accompanying her beautiful smile. She is growing up and there is nothing I can do about it...not that I would want to. But it breaks my heart each time I experience one of these moments.
I am amazed by the amount of times my heart can break, healing itself just in time for the next chance to come along.
It breaks every time I glimpse a moment when I realize we have sped past a milestone of life which I will never be able to reclaim; a moment to cherish for so many reasons.
And I continue to look forward to them.

P.S. I did not embarass her by breaking out the camera from the top floor window, as I so wanted to do. That should earn me at least one less broken heart since my mind is the only place I will be able to hold this milestone memory.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Simply Struggling

Over the course of the last couple months, I have taken on new challenges and hence have had many revelations. I have also discovered that what really means the most in life are the simple things. I know this sounds silly and obvious, but as we all say it and hear it, I don't for a moment think very many of us actually LIVE it. So, here is my challenge to you: live simply. My hope is that by noticing the simple things in life, you'll be amazed at how your outlook on the things you used to think were big suddenly changes and you realize that they really aren't; that what matters most are the little things most people would deem as insignificant.

I have come to the realization recently that in order for me to notice the little things I have to overcome one of my biggest struggles: letting go. For me, this comes in the form of letting go of the things I have no control over. Watching the people in my life make their own choices and feeling that instead of just observing these choices, I could really be helping in some way is something I have to let go of. I have always been the 'helper'. Sometimes that 'help' isn't wanted or necessary. I am noticing that by realizing this and letting it go, an enormous weight I put on myself is lifted off my sagging shoulders replaced with moments of uncertainty and helplessness--and surprise. Surprisingly, in those moments, I am free. I am free to simply live. I am free to worry less and watch my kids grow, to see in them the future that is wide open in front of them and that I am the one guiding them on that path, to not worry that I'm not doing everything right at every moment.

And that, I imagine, will be my next struggle to deal with...coming to the realization, and accepting the fact that I don't have to be perfect all the time. That I am the one who gets to define the 'right' way of doing most things.

I am curious about your struggles and how letting them go has helped you to simply live...or live simply. I hope you'll share-until then...

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Are you tough enough?

The Boy got moved to a big boy bed about two weeks ago. We have been pretty lucky to have had several easy nights. But today...oy. Let me tell you about today. Today, he got out of bed about 15 times...not an exaggeration, I promise...and that was nap time! Then cried for about a half hour until I realized there was no way I was winning this one. I got him up and out of the house for the rest of the things we had to get done today. He inevitably fell asleep in the car.

We went about the rest of our day just fine...Until bedtime tonight.

We started the normal bedtime routine at 8, as, well, ...normal. It's 9:23 right now and I just deposited him in his bed. Can you guess how THAT went?? Can you? Yeah, pretty much the same as nap time today. After the 12th time of pretending I was Jo on Super Nanny (love her, don't you?) he started crying. Yes, crying. And not JUST crying, but it went like this-- in his cutest little 2 year old boy voice "I sit down Mama couch, hhuuuhh, huuuhhh." On repeat.
The direct translation: I am going to win this battle, you already know it. So you might as well stop this charade, take me downstairs to the couch, wrap me in a blanket and watch TV until I fall asleep in your arms, making you very sweaty in the process, because I MUST be wrapped in the warmest blanket EVER. And as soon as I do fall asleep, you will look down at my angelic face and think how could you ever be annoyed with me...I'm so sweet. Then you will hold your breath and very carefully remove your butt from the couch while not changing my position in the slightest. You will carry me upstairs and put me in by bed, tell me you love me and walk out the door with a sigh of relief.

That kid is good I tell ya. Does he know me or what? I think that deserves the "I played Mama" award for the day. It's my own fault. I know this...but at some point, as a mom, you just KNOW when your kid is in no way going to calm down enough to go to sleep. They know you know that you know it. Well played Boy.

On the other hand, the Girl did a great 10 year old thing today. A very responsible 10 year old thing. She has a book report due at the end of the month, the first in her 5th grade year. She chose to read her book today instead of playing her DS on the car ride to my cousin's wedding this afternoon. This is amazing for two reasons. 1: she ALWAYS chooses the DS over just about anything. 2: She did it without telling me. Beast (the hubby) taps me on the leg and does that head nod thing where he wants me to look in the backseat. So I do, without letting the Boy or the Girl see, since I'm not sure which one he is referring to. And what do I see??? The Girl is reading. Yes, reading and the DS? Lying next to her on the seat.

I have to say, I was impressed. We let her know it too, and watched her swell with pride. Ah. A good parenting moment, right there, huh? Makes you all warm inside, doesn't it?

So, now that both rugrats are fast asleep I am leaving you with this tonight and I am going to go eat M&M's and watch True Blood. Ah, the joys of parenthood. True Blood is my award for being tough enough to survive bedtime twice in one day.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Thanks much

I've gotten a ton of feedback on the Trash the Dress photo shoot and the other photos I have uploaded to flickr. I am thrilled beyond belief that they have been well received. I even got graced by the presence of another blogger whom I admire and adore.
Currently I am planning a second TTD shoot to take place very soon...stay tuned and have a great day to all!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Welcome to myself

Well, this is a first. And I'm not really sure where to start so bear with me. If this sucks, keep it to yourself.

I never imagined myself tuning into the blogging world. I have to admit now though, that not only do I frequent several blogs on a daily basis, but the enthusiasm, wonder, honesty and inspiration I have found in each and every one of them really has impacted my outlook on life.
I'll start with my most recent events I suppose, and we'll just go backward from there! HA.

Recently, as some of you may know, I decided to start a new endeavor. As a wedding coordinator and a photographer (though not just of weddings!).
I have always been in love with my position behind a camera lense. It started when I was a kid really. I remember taking roll after roll of pictures on my little 110 camera (remember those?) and then a 35mm. I took pictures more than I could afford to develope them, as a matter of fact, I never did catch up. So, now that I found a digital that I LOVE (it's my 3rd one) I am dabbling in the idea of putting my passion to work. And actually making money at it, so that's always a bonus. A couple weekends ago, 7 of my friends volunteered to do a trash the dress session. The dresses ranged in formality from daytime dresses to an altered wedding dress of a divorcee. It was fantastic! We took pictures around Seattle for about 7 hours. The girls went into it knowing it was a learning/test shoot for me to build my portfolio and for them to get some really cool pics of themselves for free. Win/win, right? Right!
We started at the Fremont Troll, made our way to the "Waiting for the Interurban" statues, JP Patches tribute, Gasworks Park and finished up at the fountain in Seattle Center. This was an enormous undertaking for me and it really boosted my confidence in my photography skills. I am still learning with every shoot that I do, and I am loving it.

So, all of that said...enjoy a few of my favorite shots:

So, there you go. My first complete post. I will certainly share more though I am scared to death to do so...
Let me know what you think...or don't, that's up to you.