April 1st – 2:30am

Streetlight by J. Radin

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Opportunities circle around my mind like a tornado. Tornados destroy homes, buildings, people and everything they cross paths with, my thoughts are filled with perspective changes, the things I desire in life and the changes I want to make and am currently making.   These tornadoes give me the sense of rebuilding and lifting up my own doubts and dumping them like in the book “Atlas Shrugged”.

I wish I could slow life down. Taking a deeper harder look at what to dump in my life that causes me to doubt myself, worry, stress about, anxiety that causes painful migraines. But instead I have been listening to my gut!

I really desire relationships that fulfill me, give me a new outlook on my life, remind me of how much I have and that it takes nothing to give back and I have made this a major focus in my life. I do want someone who respects me enough to give and to take, the world goes round and one just can’t be alone all the times. Whoever I am building a relationship with; new friend, rebuilding an old one, meeting a stranger and simply be moved by their energy and outlook on life. Whether new friends or old friends I have had a chance to figure out I love being spontaneous, surprising others, I like plans but most days I like to fly by the seat of my pants. I think there is a clear distinction of someone always doing the reaching out and then someone showing up when it is convenient.  I love this excitement and I continue to discover it.  This is something I am trying to figure out, it is not something I want to dump from my life I want to keep it but I try to keep my mind from its own torturous wanderings.  The thrill of excitement…and the unknown really spark a fire deep inside me. I want to go skydiving, bungee jumping and read my writing out loud along side the person who helped me find my voice. I just started my Masters in Creative Writing.

I am changing the way I see everything in my life as an opportunity.  I am making this change and continue too.  Certain days I am very aware and sometimes when I get off track, I need about five minutes to re-center and figure out what I am actually wanting to fight for that day. I find a way to change my perspective. I believe we all need to change our perspectives to see something new or to give something back. Even when I feel I have nothing to give it is my intention give more.

On occasion my mind can take over and I constantly have to remind my heart and head to stay moving ahead – looking toward the things ahead of me. Simply to enjoy the day I am in, the moments in that day. I want to feel challenged-the things that I have been struggling through– many people have decided the quit be content with an average life but for what?? There is only this one chance we have to live this life, 5 more years with my children at home, the days are numbered until I hit the big 40.  I am not afraid.  But I do know what people I want to be around, what people I want to share my life with, the getaways I want to go on, and what to do with my moments of freedom filled with spontaneity, excitement, playtime, a calm retreat in the thick of the mossy old growth trees.

What do you love?

Ain’t No Mountain High Enough by Marvin Gaye

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I love the smell of old books and seeing notes on the edges of the page and highlighted areas, words and phrases that meant something to someone else.  The crunch of fall leaves.  I love raw and honest conversations that can catch two people off guard and the intimacy that occurs in those moments.  I love hand written letters. I love being surprised, spontaneous, risky and feeling safe in someone’s arms.  I love “heat,” the crackling sounds and smells that come from a wood stove.  I love to feel challenged mentally and physically. I love to surprise others! I love blankets.  Soft thick heavy blankets and being buried underneath them.  I love getting dressed up every once in a while.  But I can’t beat my love for yoga pants, Hudson jeans, and perfectly worn out sweatshirts. I love writing. I love exploring different environments – places I have never been, farms, fields, cities, and towns. Even more I love the high old growth trees that get lost in the sky, I love how they creak when the wind blows – the rain that drips from the needles… under these trees I would love a secret hideaway. The bottom of those timbers some what primitive.  A ranch-style getaway like the one I grew up in. I love teaching. I love learning. Being inspired and inspiring others.  I love sister trips and the Martin clan trips.  I love watching my boys grow. A new love – watching them play basketball. I love that tipsy feeling where one let’s their walls down and becomes completely raw, they bare themselves naked. I love the way laughing with someone makes me feel.  I love hot showers. I love rearranging furniture. All kinds of music…different cultures.  I would love to take a year and travel with no certainty of where I might end up next.  I love laughing, laughing in an intimate situation, sometimes quietly in inappropriate situations because that is the only way I will get through. I love my family.  I love reconnecting with old friends and connecting with new ones. I love the depth of someone’s eyes. I love a good bottle of wine, lemon drops but my go to is beer. Hot tubs, walking in the rain, I love feeling loved without needing the words, I love looking through someone’s view of the world, their faith, life plan, and listening. Candlelight. Little spoons. Meeting a new person and feeling a connection in the first moments. Confidence but not arrogance. Swimming. Words. Volleyball. Cross-Fit. I love laying between the sheets. I love someone else making me coffee. I love a clean house. I love the smell of hops in August. I love taking life not to seriously – there is a time and place for all things in life but letting go and getting out of my head is indescribable. Being real.  Being who I am and having courage without worrying about what others may think. I love the sound of an acoustic guitar. I love dive bars. I love being with someone when I can watch them drift to sleep. I love truly knowing someone. I love living!!

For Cole

“Love you babe, Love you, Mom”

For Cole:

You are 13 today! The unconditional love you have for others is amazing, take that with you as you get older.  Your kindness will change everyone who comes to know you.

When I wake you each morning, I slowly creak the door open and literally you fly up from laying flat in bed with a gasp.  You are always quick to wake as if the house is on fire.  I am sorry because I have said this to you and like lighting you start flying around trying to figure out what you need to take but when you look up at me I just can’t contain my laughter. You always walk to me for a hug, I stay in the doorway just to get that hug from you. I love the way you hug and I love the way you hug everyone in the family, (really everyone) – at holidays, that is a lot of hugging.  Don’t ever stop doing that. Each any everyone you hug notices, by this you show them your heart.  You take the time for each and everyone of them, showing them they are special to you. You always vocalize your love. And it matters!

Babe, you need to start eating!  There are so many flavors…just try! As a baby you were always very picky but if I have to smell pedisure one more time in my life I will throw up.  Yes, you stopped drinking that a long time ago.  But you can’t live on carbs, pizza, grilled cheese, lasagna, nachos and or any other of the processing foods you love.  There are so many amazing foods, tastes, crazy or not, but food can give you a feeling, it can create a memory.  (Just as your pedisure did for me.) Try something I BEG you, you are hating me at every meal right now because I make you try one thing new every meal. We have figured out that canned green beans, mashed potatoes and steak make you gag.  As you grow you WILL need more food and all different kinds of food to fuel your body, to keep you growing, healthy, and active! Just give it a try!

You are 5 ft. tall, you may be the smallest in our family but son, you are mighty!  Don’t ever let anyone tell you, you can’t do anything, YOU CAN do anything you want! Never feel defeated, QUIT the self doubt: believe you are amazing!  You may learn in your own unique way, you may get the correct answer to a math problem that was not the way you were taught and you may encounter teacher’s who don’t take the time to understand the way you learn. Fight for yourself, speak up, if you need to stay after school or come to school early make that happen even if you’d rather sleep in.  It shows great character and strength.

You have had and will continue to have teachers notice you.  If you do the work, you will be noticed and teachers will notice your efforts. I believe I am a good teacher and I am confident I am, just as I am a writer. Far-away Grandpa was an exceptional teacher.  You have people all around you that can help and what is so amazing about you is that you are becoming your best advocate. I have been your advocate since your birth, I will continue to be. In the last two years, teachers continuously tell me you know how to ask the tough questions, you advocate for yourself, you are patient, and you don’t give up. I know you get frustrated, Bud. And I do too, trying to figure out how to solve two-step equations (fractions and mixed numbers) with the homework you bring home, seems impossible to me.  Then, once you work it through you are required to show your work backwards to prove it and write it out in sentences and don’t forget to write “yes” next to the problem and the “I can” statement (oh, and each answer stands for a letter which then solves a word puzzle at the bottom of the page).  Seriously honey, I’m baffled by this. I will learn to help you (although hopefully it will not take an hour like this most recent math assignment). I am in fact, learning with you and from you. I am just as excited as you are when we get to that last problem. In all honesty, I understand why teachers are teaching in this “new” way, I understand they are required by the state but there is always an acceptation to everything. If they are great teachers they will take the time to pay attention to how you learn the best and provide to you what you need to be successful and feel success even if testing says something else. There aren’t two pupils alike in a classroom.  Not everyone, can be taught inside the confines of a cookie cutter.  You have the tools to succeed in school. If you need to pave your way, you have those “dedicated” teachers around you – teach them as they teach you!

You have a wonderful sense of humor, your quick-witted, and bright.  You often say things that make us all laugh in any situation because of your wit and humor.  This is a great trait. You have already figured out how to lift the spirit of an entire room of people with your sense of humor and infectious smile and laughter.  You have great character. I am told by many people in your life that you lift their spirits everyday. I don’t think you even know it but this will take you far in life. You are grateful, happy, you draw other people to you, you do not judge, you love deeply and are empathetic.

Your empathy is something beautiful and you share it.  You would give away your lunch (which you have done), you take snacks/lunch for kids you tell me that aren’t eating), the clothes on your back, you make me tea when I am sick, you cover up your brother when he is sleeping, when I have a rough day you always surprise me with something that makes me gasp inside. If I take shower and have been sick you often take the time to lay out an entire “comfy” pile of clothes along with soft socks, a pillow, blanket and ice water. You sit with me when I am sick which is something I will never forget. I have never told you but I hate to be alone when I am sick. These things you do make me speechless.

There is ONLY one unique you and you need to open up at bit more and because you have so many life skills that other kids your age are completely unaware of.  Show this off! Be confident!

Cole, I know when you are down, you come to me and sometimes in tears, you like hugs and you fight through those tears and you have so much to say.  I wish I could take away your fears, your self doubt but when you are down and you don’t know why, please come to me and keep talking don’t hide how you feel with me. You are brilliant and at times in your life you will struggle and pushing on may feel like the hardest thing in your life at that time but you can and will survive and what will be on the other side will be beautiful moments and experiences. The world is a never ending place of beauty, explore it!

BE BRAVE!! Stop worrying about the numbers and letters you see on your report cards not a single thing on those papers show people anything about you…you will see them more as you get older because unfortunately, they are a part of going to school but let them go, do the best you can for those letters and numbers DO NOT define you.

Challenge yourself!  You do not need to live within the confines of your immediate surroundings. You have great ambition and you are passionate. I love that you don’t take things to seriously however, as you grow; there is a time and place to step it up! Don’t question yourself in these moments, get up, say what you need to, stay standing even if you feel alone (you will never be alone). Be Bold!  Be Inspired and inspire others. Keep surprising people!

Always love your family and continue to show it, I don’t know why I even write these words because at 13- you already do this!! This quality in you is priceless! Your brother has your back but the day will come when he will need you no matter what it requires of you…just be there! He may be five inches taller but don’t cave every time he comes at you with words or in play, it is in your nature to do this but when you do stand up to him (believe me, it will happen) be strong, out wit him, show him he can’t always win. This will empower you, life requires you to kick it’s butt sometimes even if it’s your little brother’s, still love him no matter what you go through together. I know you can do any you want in this huge world. Never get complacent and show people how you view the world and always lead with your heart.

Happy 13th birthday, my love!

“Love you babe, Love you, Mom”

Patent Leather Red Heels

I see Fire By E.S.

fireworks-for-any-occasionOn the eve of the new year, I woke slowly and made coffee – sat outside.  Knees pulled tightly to my chest, snow under my feet. The sky was so blue, the air so crisp, I could see my breath. The spruce surrounds me, the scent tickles my nose.

Last year at this time, this is where I sat. I wrote 2016 in the snow the same number will be written again but the last digit will change to a seven.

The past year has been full of dreaming, rediscovery, writing, tears, smiles, stress, Cross Fit, energy, passion, love, children who continue to grown every second…and so much more. I could go on and on but I don’t have enough pages.  I pride myself on being raw, relishing in the moments, and there are parts of the last year I am keeping just for myself, for my soul.

In May, things changed. I committed to myself that things would be different, change my life, and live in the moment.  Something deep down woke my soul and I realized that I am in control of my life (and no one else is) I have to speak up for my needs and I am not going to be someone else’s idea of who I should be.  I am not wrapped up in this package. Neat and tidy, every hair in place nor do I want that. (Some may call me selfish, but I am not meaning to be.)

I am not put together all the time, although I love to dress up! Love the fireplace. I love my yoga pants, Nike’s and sports bra because I know I am headed for a kick-ass workout, I love cutting trail and getting off the beaten’ path, running through the mud puddles, I love the rain, I love taking risks, I want to leave a mark when I go, leave something for my children, I am inspired by just getting away for a few nights, get unplugged from the world, blue jeans and boots are my friend and so are patent leather red heels, I crave spontaneity.

New friends have entered my life and I am so grateful for them, they have helped me along this journey.  I have so much to be grateful for and to those people;  I hope you know who you are – you are a part of my tribe.

Thank you to everyone who has touched my life in the last year and  I hope I have given you some joy in the past year.  Here’s to next year…

I Welcome the Silences

Skinny Love by Birdysunclouds

“And while she never felt quite normal, she just loved too much. Choosing to see the world through her heart, instead of her eyes.”

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I welcome the silence this morning just as I did last night after my home was empty and calm.  The fireplace cast shadows over the destroyed living room and in that place I found quiet solitude and reflections from the last year.  The big moments hit my thoughts first and the smaller ones trickled through like snow melting drip by drip in my mind.

Last night, out of the 12 plates I was using; my brother grabbed the last one and it was covered in bugs, it was disgusting (a year in the attic). We all sat at the table (unknowing this) with our plated food and he came, sat down with an empty plate of bugs. (Life, HA!)

There was a fire on my dining room table last night (a burning candle and wrapping paper) and in the chaos of it all and of course, after it was out…I had to laugh.  Life can change in a blink of an eye. HA!

People can be in your life and then their gone.  Life and death. Feelings of being lost or stuck, wondering who you? And then a fleck of sunlight peaks its delicate ray through the dark clouds and something changes. Maybe you jump off that cliff, go with your gut, take a leap of faith with a job change, meet someone that changes your perspective on the world, make a dream come true, get engaged, publish a book, take a risk you normally wouldn’t, meet someone you feel that gives you that spark (it’s real, it’s raw-pay attention to it), graduations, marriages, children; there is so much life to live.  So many places to see and things to do. As I get older I realize I want to have more experiences, I don’t need anything…there are so many other people who actually “need” in this world…in a strange way I feel that this is exactly what I need…. experiences, more of them…act on the experiences I crave and desire.  I want to experience life through helping others daily…make that be one hell of new year’s resolution (and of course, 15 pull-ups, 40 box jumps and 40 burpees at Crossfit)!

In my selfishness I want to pack a bag, throwing the camping gear in the car and just go…. just drive…. just explore…leave my camera at home (yes, I said that!) and breathe in the moments that I find myself soaking in, exist in them, actually feel “life” …. make the word “adventure” …an action word (for you, literary peeps)!!  Here is my last selfish thought…. when I get back from that trip without being on a schedule I want to fill that same backpack with clean clothes and start over on a plane and actually go to places on my soul’s list…help build a school, be an aide where there has been a natural disaster…. help them rebuild…. things happen everywhere every day and I want to give…give everything that I have to somewhere or someone in need; this is a great desire of mine. Other places: Africa, Nicaragua, Vietnam, Bali, Ireland, Nepal, Iceland, Paris (see where my mother was born), Australia (where my sister was born), oh’ backpack across Europe living simply day to day with no plan, oh’ and join the Coast Guard!!

Anybody in??

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(Back to last night.) A room of laughter can easily be turned into worry and fraught as people are too worried about who started the fire rather than get that shit out of my house…burnt paper dusted the carpet and tiled floors. Celebrating with family and friends doesn’t need to be just be on those scheduled days on the calendar. Most people will never give those up for “tradition” sake. But why not get off the forged path ahead and be spontaneous…do something different. Be together to just be.  Be together for no reason.  Be together for an hour two. Sneak off take that trip, commit and go for it, take that leap.  Live!

All we have the moments we exist in!  If you think about today, Christmas…really think about how long this day is; 24 hours, right!?!  But how long does this day actually feel to you?  Does it feel like it drags on and on? Year after year it flies by so fast, we hurry through this day not purposefully but because there is just so much too this day. Many days in life feel this way. Take that leap, experience more, when you feel moved to jump, do it, adventure, take the moments, steal them if you too, give them back in another way but do give them back, karma baby.

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“And while she never felt quite normal, she just loved too much. Choosing to see the world through her heart, instead of her eyes.”

Don’t Hold Back, Give Back

 

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Sometimes it takes a new perspective to slap you across the face and wake you up.  I don’t mean…a strong cup of coffee-type wake up, I mean…running into a brick wall at full speed ahead-wake up.

The same things happen day in and day out, there are seasons in everyone’s lives whether they are farmers, teachers, real estate agents, the list could go on and on.  Everyone has a busy time and every one has a slower time.  I can appreciate everyone’s busy and slow times-its about what you choose to do in those extra minutes that makes up the surprises in your life.  The sparks, the twinkle you see in someone’s eye, the way someone smiles, or doing something for someone else expecting nothing in return.

Pay attention, people!  We are surrounded every week by hundreds of people if you take the time to pay attention to others.  Yesterday I was in the grocery store and I notice an older woman in a wheelchair putting back groceries as she added her items up with her coupons.  I could see she was trying to figure out what she “wanted” and what she “needed”. My heart ached for her, I wanted to say something but I didn’t.  I didn’t want her to feel embarrassed or offended by my reaching out to her.  Or was it that I was projecting those feelings of mine onto her.  My observation was she was was struggling.

As I continued to fill my cart with things that I needed and things that were not a necessity, I continued up and down the aisles, I passed the woman two more times. As I walked up and down the fourth aisle, I realized there was absolutely nothing in my cart that I or my family had to have in that exact moment.  Maybe, the milk, the eggs but I knew none of those things were something that my family needed to survive for the next few days.

Selfishly, I walked to the checkout and started unloading my cart as I stood there waiting for my total, I saw the woman waiting three people behind me in line.  Something in my gut told me to do something, it was instinctive.  The guilt I was feeling walking around the store slapped me in the face. I decided, there is nothing I can do to change her life but I can at least help her pay for her groceries.  I bought a gift card and asked the employee helping me to please give it to the women waiting in the line.  The employee smiled and thanked me.

I left the store feeling pretty good, feeling blessed that I am able to provide for my family, and that we all can probably live on a lot less than we do.  I am challenging myself to do something like this every week for someone…it doesn’t have to involve money…sometimes it’s as simple as picking up the phone and reaching out to someone you know is struggling, or stopping and smiling at someone.

Take time, pay attention, be present in the moments we have, and if you’re drowning where you are, if you are losing parts of the person you thought you were…find a way to climb out of that hole…swim like hell to find something that will keep you afloat, we are the ones who hold our own selves back. Its all on us!

Be courageous! Be strong!  We all have this one life!

 

 

Children and Reading

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“Children should learn that reading is pleasure, not just something that teachers make you do in school.”

-Beverly Clearly

How I Found Oregon Agriculture

 

I grew up in a small town and the town had the long standing support of a few very prominent families who worked in forestry.  Many friends of mine had direct connections to forestry through family members. My parents were teachers and although we were raised in the country, we had no direct connection to agriculture.  We had extended family that farmed but the most significant connection we had was a distant relative was the secretary of agriculture under FDR while he was president. I have been researching this since my dad told me and I find it very interesting.  I would love to go back to that time and sit with him and ask him questions!

I was not raised in a farm family.  I grew up in a family of educators.  My father was a music teacher and although he is retired now he still shares this gift with all of those around him.  My mom had a birthday recently and he wrote her a song!!  Yes, a song!!  Who of us out there wouldn’t want their spouses to write them a song but maybe some of us giggle at this idea because we know our spouses would be awful at it…and the idea of them singing would make our ears bleed!!  But not for my dad and mom…what a beautiful moment!

My mom has loved working in education for many years, she has dealt with so much; her job has pulled her from one building to the next in Lebanon. Her job slightly changing from building to building and she is a fire cracker when the “system” isn’t working as it should.

Over the years, I have realized my parents are passionate about the children they serve, want the best for children, and somehow manage to check everything at the door when they walk into a room with all those faces looking up at them.  My parents are the definition of amazing educators.

I was asked last week why I think living on a farm is so great??  I walked away from that thinking, how am I supposed to answer such a loaded question.  There are days I love it, like it, relish in the moments I have here but I will be honestly say some days I want to escape for a few days. Do something different- head to the city or to the mountains but it doesn’t last long until I want the beauty back of the farm and the arbor of the trees cascading out my front window.

I never had spent time at farm until I moved to the hazelnut farm 11 years ago.  I had a hard time adjusting at first, it felt so isolated and lonely.  Now, I find comfort in the quiet and being able to leave my windows open all the time, and blast music and no one can hear it fore miles. The sunsets are amazing!

Over the many years, I can’t imagine any one who wouldn’t want to live on a farm.  Now the isolation is comforting, I can take a deep breath any time I want, walk anywhere I want, who wouldn’t want private access to a few different rivers, endless miles of running and walking, yes, there are always chores to be done. However, living here, family is always close, my children have endless amounts of things to do and acres to do it on, and enough shops to build anything their hearts desire.  Last week, my son built an air conditioner and resurrected a 25-year-old weed Wacker by rebuilding the carburetor…. you can ask me how; and all I can tell you is that he was in the shop for 7 hours, he walked out filthy, with the biggest smile on his face and he now has a working air conditioner and his very own working Weed-Wacker!!

The land we live on is important to our quality of life and to others.  If some fields near our fields are diseased it can travel through the wind and effect our crop.  Farming is about timing, being patient and being stewards of the land and always helping out the farm families around us.  I have learned after all these years I now can drive down any road and recognize on any hazelnut orchard which are disease and which aren’t.  I can see who takes better care of the land and crop better than others.

I often find myself rambling answers about our farm, the crop, and acres we have to anyone who asks.  Sometimes, I hear myself talking I have to smile because I in no way thought I would be this passionate and have the knowledge I do about farming and agriculture.  My sister often tells me I know all these random facts about agriculture ad farming…she often asks me; how do you know that??  I shrug and continue to answer her questions.

About a year ago I resigned from the best job I have ever had, I learned, students I taught learned, and the people I worked with were amazing.  Most of them grew up on farms.  I will always be grateful to Oregon Agriculture in the Classroom Foundation and their board of directors and staff.  I was taught so much and was able to share it in a way that was so much a part of me and the way I was raised.  I love teaching and seeing children have that “ahh, ha” moment!! I miss teaching Oregon students about agriculture in their communities and our state! It is detrimental for our students in Oregon to learn about the value of agriculture, what it means to take care of the land, and why students need to know where their food comes from.

When we look back at the decisions we have made in the past, it always seems that people claim their vision is 20/20 now, this isn’t always so for me. Working at Oregon AITC was more than a job.  It became my passion, my expertise, it gave me the access to teach students all over Oregon. Every day was inspiring in a classroom because I was inspiring students. I cannot put into words what it felt like when students had the “wow” and “ahh, ha” moments when I was teaching about agriculture.  If I had the opportunity to be involved with teaching students about Oregon Agriculture in the way I did for seven years, I would jump at the chance.

Writing and Photography

There are days when I struggle to put pen to paper or fingers to my laptop. I am drawn to be creative, to do something that will mean something to others.  I don’t need recognition at all.  Its that look people have/get when I am working on something whether it be a book or in my photographs. I feel truly inspired and blessed by both of these creative outputs.

My first love is writing but I am lucky enough to have two first loves.  Photography is my second. Last year around this time I left my job of seven years where I had spent those years using my cameras (I have four) whether it be a farmer in his crop, photos of the the way a certain crop is harvest, or portraits that my job required.  I am passionate about agriculture photography because it is so important to Oregon and my home is surrounded by at least 10 different crops.  We as farmers and individuals must take care of our soil and crops to feed the world.  I am passionate about that as our population continues to grow!

I have been taking photographs for almost 10 years.  I was given my first Nikon D90 by my dad for Christmas.  Every chance I had I would take his camera and start shooting so I guess it seemed fitting to get me a camera of my own.

Right away, I started taking photos.  I started with people, portraits, families, weddings, candid’s and natural landscapes.  Candid’s are so beautiful because if I can catch a glimpse into someone’s life without them knowing the moment I capture is full of hope and truth.

My dad and I started shooting weddings together about eight years ago.  It was an amazing experience-two things I loved all wrapped up in someone else’s day filled with love.  Although those days were long and we had some demanding couples and brides – I spent the entire day laughing with my dad and taking photos.  Those were some amazing days I will never forget.

I started to do more family, individual, anniversary, bridal showers, babies on my own time.  Call me stupid but I didn’t do it for the money (I rarely charged people), I did it for the love of photography.  I would have a lot more money if I would have changed more or at least half what most photographers charge.

I am so passionate about photography and on rare days my camera trumps my writing if I can’t find the words but taking off by foot or in my car with my camera always leads me back to my writing.  So, my passion for writing and photographs are deeply rooted and wrap around each other. Writing is my first love!

“Writing allows me to taste life twice.”

-Anais Nin

 

 

 

 

 

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Family.

30a42e0ecfc93ebfbf49395ccb624c56There are times when family comes together whether it be for Labor Day, Birthdays, or the most celebrated holidays like Christmas but then there are other times that you plan to see each other for no other reason but to just “visit” my family often says.  It is the event of just “being” in the same space, same moment, just laughing together…even if you had plans during your time together to forage the bounty of agriculture around you, go to a famous water park, or finally have family photos taken because you are all together.  It is these moments that the days and hours don’t matter.  Just take that cliché’ term and really “relish in the moments” you have together.  No one really knows how much time we have left in this life.

There are so many “holidays” to be together but what about all the months, days, and moments together??  My family was together over the weekend…two birthdays and an anniversary celebrated together. There is hustle and bustle, getting to this place and that, everyone having their own idea about what should or should not happen when we are all together.  But that all falls away when you come together with the people you KNOW will always be there.

It was in the moments of sitting in my living room reading “meme’s” from the internet with my sister and our kids in the back room playing that I looked over at her and realized I could just be in the same room with her and know that my life could be peeled back like the skin of an onion and all “my tribe” would be in those layers.  In the same space with her makes me feel whole, understood, and complete. She is of my “people”!

Over the years I have gained and lost people in my life…sometimes for the best and for the worst of reasons but these people were placed in my life for a purpose.  I have celebrated the holidays with these people.  Some are easier to let go of than others.  I have learned that other than a few select humans; my family is what is–still, concrete, and steadfast in my life.

I have been told by many over the years to “not over think it” but that is just part of who I am and I don’t think it is necessarily always a negative quality but with some, I think this is how they see it.  I admit, to thinking about the consequences of my actions, the things that I say and what will happen even before I have said them, way too much.  I think about the words I am wanting to say to someone and then spend too much time trying to figure out if I am going to say them or ask them too much and often, I spend days going back and forth and thus, torturing myself with this second guessing and draining behavior in my life.  This was all self inflicted!

There were times in the past that I spent endless amounts of time biting my tongue and trying to be the way I thought others thought I should be because I hate confrontation.  I hate the feeling that others might think I am being rude or confrontational. However, who I was, was coming at an expense.  There comes a point where you must say what you need too because it begins to tear you apart as a person. This can be where you start to lose who you are or were. So, don’t it! Please don’t!

There are very few people I let into my life some riskier than others but I trust, have faith, and believe the best of them.  I will not lie but yes, I do get let down.   I will still keep risking this because the value of a relationship/friendship sometimes can change your life forever.

The one true thing I know is that family will always be there.  No matter what the circumstances.  I could call anyone in my family and if I needed them, no matter what the day. My family is steadfast and loves me unconditionally.