Thursday, September 19, 2013

Stormy weather

Stormy days always make me feel a tad bit uneasy. There's something unsettling about it being dark at 2:30 in the afternoon. I go around my house flipping on all the lights, turning something on to fill the place with noise...

It's still terribly unsettling for me to not have the kids here with me during the day but I'm learning to cope and be alone again.

Tomorrow I start a second job. (Third if you count the random weekend photo shoots)
It's just all part of trying desperately to stay afloat.
I won't lie..the past few months have been some of the most difficult we've had financially but most days I'm able to camouflage the stress with massive amounts of love and optimism.
Some moments are more difficult though and we find ourselves feeling crushed under the pressure.

Everything will be really will...

There are just those raw feelings that float to the surface without me even knowing they're coming.
Feelings of jealousy, anger, frustration and..well..lots of anger.

During those times I find it safest to hunker down like you're waiting for a storm to pass.
I grab mini candy bars, (hi, stress eating leading to no more weight loss) make hot tea and begin the tedious task of distracting myself with whatever will work at that moment..a book, a movie, cleaning the bathroom again..

Once the storm's passed through the air will smell amazing and the sun will feel so warm on my skin.
I'm ready...

Oh and by the way...

Happy birthday, Hermione.

Monday, September 16, 2013

107 days

My heart has been heavy today. Time spent with friends this evening helped to lighten the load a bit, but overall I just feel like there's been a heavy cloud hanging over my head everywhere I go.

I typed out a few thoughts that were rolling around in my head, read over them once..twice..three times...then deleted them all. None of them felt right. They were sincere but felt forced.

But here's the gist of it with me being a bit more real.. life fucking sucks sometimes, you guys.

Let's not sugar coat it by uttering nonsense phrases like "things'll get better" or "that which doesn't kill us blah blah blah".

And not to get all stupid on you, but The Doctor really did say it best.

"The way I see it, every life is a pile of good things and bad things. The good things don't always soften the bad things, but vice-versa, the bad things don't necessarily spoil the good things and make them unimportant."

Bonus material: because I happen to think that my Elliott happens to be a better 11th doctor than Matt Smith himself and this picture makes me smile...

It's September 16, friends. There are only 107 more days to go til 2014 greets us.

Just another day, yes, but since we humans seem to measure everything in seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months and years it just makes sense that we think of the passing of 365 days as a new beginning.

It gives us something to look forward to. It's a time for renewal and changes, even if those changes are silly resolutions that only last a week. They still gives us brief glimpses into what could be, and sometimes that's all we need to feel whole.

I'm counting the days...

And I'll end these nonsense thoughts with something for those of us who are still reeling from last night's episode. Flashbacks to happier times..

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Wibbly Wobbly, that's all

I volunteered to help with the moon bounce at the kids' festival thing at school tomorrow and I'm not really sure where my life is headed or how I wound up doing such a thing or why I don't have chickens yet providing me with fresh eggs so I'll never run out again since the boys want them for breakfast every morning with the strawberries and pancakes which I still need to go for..the strawberries that is...and while I'm there I'll need to get more skim milk because I'm convinced that the whole milk I've been having with my cereal for the last two days has made me gain another six pounds minimum but at least I'm still better off than when I started all this mess but I should really join a gym soon if money ever works itself out because it'll be a nice break outside of the house if only my ankle would cooperate and I still really wish I could get it looked at since it still hurts in that one spot but oh well that's life without healthcare til Obamacare works itself out and I can go to the doctor without spending a massive amount of money so I'll have more to spend on important things like those strawberries I need or the new bras I'm desperately needing or getting the screen replaced on my phone or more coffee since I'm out yet again but at least I have a husband who loves me and doesn't think that doing housework is beyond his masculine abilities or will make his dick fall off.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, was a tiny peek into my brain on a Thursday night at 9:20pm.

But since we're already well on our way to lunacy and my suspicions of adult onset ADD... Look! New pretty shoes! (Thanks, Beca) Do you guys know Beca? You should get to know her and give her all your money so she can send you pretty things in the mail.

Seriously though, you guys. My brain is a constant stream of mish mash thoughts that are never organized. It's basically in direct correlation with the rest of my life at the moment.

Straight. Up. Chaos.

and here I am

on my couch

with the holy fuck I'm stressed playlist attempting to soothe me

and no moscato to be found, not a simple damn drop

But I have a comfy bed and soft pillows beckoning me like lost lovers. There's even a scalding hot shower wishing I would join it for just a few minutes to soothe my exhausted body.

And that's so much more than so many people have right now.. so I'm choosing to be grateful and repeating my mantra.

Things aren't broken, just a little wobbly.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Hold on

Today while at the post office I stuck my hand down in my bag (otherwise known as the black hole of death & doom) and something definitely stabbed me right under the fingernail of my right pointer finger. Is that the right way to say that? Pointer finger? Regardless I just wanted to let you guys know that it hurts like fuck to type right now and I'm enduring the pain just for you. Surely a smart woman would find what poked them in the first place and remove it so it wouldn't happen again, but I'm most definitely not a smart woman...

I've been thinking a lot about jealously lately and how it can have a direct effect on our happiness. I could also say comparison...which usually leads to jealousy.

Over the last few years I've spent so much time looking at other photographers' work wondering what they were doing that I should be doing as well. Should I follow the editing trends? Do I need those expensive florabella actions everyone else is running? I need to find a brick wall with peeling paint to put my brides in front of. And I have GOT to book a wedding for a bride that'll wear fun colored tights or wear her hair in a big messy bun/beehive!

And the thing is that I'm not them. I'm just not. I never have been and never will be. And I'm coming to terms with the fact that it's okay.

Being raised the way I was individuality was something that was frowned upon and never encouraged. The very first time hair dye touched my head was during a visit with my sister. I was 14 and miles away from home. My loving sister did everything she could to free me from the box I'd been put in. She put those bleach blonde streaks in the front of my hair. She gave me my first alcoholic beverage...amaretto sour, heavy on the sour..light on the amaretto. My first date? Definitely arranged by her. (Total disaster by the way.) First tattoo? Oh yea...she paid for it and everything. Second tattoo? Yep. Her fault, mom.

Those visits with her were my only glimpse into a life outside of church three times a week and nothing but "The Lawrence Welk Show" or TBN on a television. I will never forget the magic of Carey Elwes in "Robin Hood Men in Tights" or the first time I saw a for real gay couple in real life.

There was so much constant pressure to be the good girl at home. I couldn't disappoint anyone...that was just not an option. And I'm still living that life when it comes to certain members of my family.

Inside I'm still that 16 year old girl who was terrified her mother would find out that she snuck out of her friend's house that one night to go down to the lake and be ignored by every boy there. I'm still hiding in my bedroom watching Buffy with the volume turned down as low as finger hovering over the last channel button on my remote that would take me to something less demonic in case she walked into the room. Knock? She never knocked. Knocking just isn't what good Christian mothers do.

That fear of disappointing anyone has carried over into adulthood for me. Constantly lying to keep the girl good persona is an unfortunate byproduct of me being absolutely terrified of ever letting anyone down.

I can be honest here and it feels so good. Pouring my thoughts out to a keyboard can be so therapeutic at times. Maybe someone will read it..maybe someone won't. But even if they don't it's there for me. I can look back here to remind myself that there are happy moments..there are stressful moments..there are angry moments..but they're all my moments. And those moments all rolled up into one big ball are what make me who I am.

So here's me choosing not to lie. Here's me allowing myself to be an open book. Aren't there enough fluffy clouds and bows in the blogging world already? The crafts and pretty peachy pictures are out there for all of us to enjoy. It's a gap that doesn't need to be filled any more. That page has been's time for me to write my own.

So anyway...
First step towards honesty...

I don't enjoy photography as a way to make a living any more. I haven't for quite some time and a lot of you know that.

Before anyone sees this and feels the need to take this personally I have to say that that's so not the case. It doesn't have much at all to do with the people. Honestly it doesn't. Yea I have the overbearing mom sometimes that insists on things being a certain way. And the fact that I never know what my financial status will be month to month can be irritating.

Here's why I don't enjoy it any more, in the simplest way I can think to put it.

1. It's lonely. I leave my family to go hang out with other families...sometimes I know them, most of the time I don't...and I don't get the great face to face co-worker experience I'd get at any other job. I drive there alone, make small talk while clicking the button, then drive home alone and it's just down right exhausting mentally.

2. The work is never ending. Seriously. People have this preconceived notion so often that I just take the pictures, put them on my computer then send them back out. So not the case. There's editing to be done (because you don't want that little pimple there, or your bra strap is showing, so on and so forth) then the backing up of files...the burning of discs..the constant endless emailing..the blogging...the unsuccessful attempts at social networking.

3. It's taken all the joy I used to get from photography. Seriously. Browse my flickr for proof. Years ago I was uploading picture after picture. The last couple of years when I've been working so much more? They nearly stop all together. Taking my camera out and using it outside of work feels like, well, work. It used to be the thing that kept me it's the thing that makes me insane.

So 2013 will be the last year I do this. And I need you guys to hold me to it.
I'll do little things here and there for friends because those are the little things I love doing. But it'll be on a casual let's hang out, I'll snap some pictures and maybe you can buy me lunch basis.

One last wedding for friends in November then it'll all disappear. To be honest I'm more than a little excited about packing it all away and making it just a memory.

I'm ready to be Vanessa, the mom with the camera again. It's so cliche to say, but I need to find my center once again. I need to find that healthy head space and reconnect with that creative outlet that's pulled me out of some of the darkest times in my life.

It's a new beginning and I couldn't be more excited. And this blog? I'm really gonna try to come visit it more often. Because as you can tell from this post that started out as deep thoughts on me comparing myself to other photographers and turned into a bitch session about my upbringing proves, I have a lot of shit to work out and it just feels right to do it here.

So....see you soon I guess.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013


then 5 months passed by after someone found the fast forward button to my life and barely gave me time to breathe through it all.

cory took a big life changing trip and got hired on as a staff member at the uco library. while on a lot of levels a good opportunity the hours aren't anywhere near as many as we need yet we manage to limp along as usual.
the kids started school. it's going beautifully.
i took on a new job for a wonderful new friend and am staring a second one in the face so we can stay afloat til better opportunities open up on the job front for cory.
i lost 42 pounds & am trying to keep up the momentum, despite the desire to go bake chocolate chip muffins right now & eat every single one of them.

and that barely scratches the surface.

i don't know if this is a permanent return to blogging or one more blip on the radar that will more than likely continue to appear once every few months....

but for now i'm considering it therapy.

my life consists of all these daily chores and routine things that i never assumed i would do, even after we had the kids. i never pictured myself as one of those moms who would be dropping her kids off at school with the masses. yet the further along i get in this whole crazy new life we've built the more i realize that being a conventional school mom is something i'm really good at.

i adore packing their lunches and slipping little notes inside, complete with my sloppy monsters drawn peeping out of corners.
i adore brushing faith's beautiful hair each morning and being so grateful that she still lets me do it.
the quiet mornings with just otto before i take him to afternoon pre-k are so precious.
and seeing them all holding hands, walking out to the car together to be picked up each day? that's the stuff i wouldn't give up for all the baked goods in the world.

i have to learn to be okay with letting go..with admitting that i couldn't do it all on my own. i worship the ground that every single person working in that school walks on. they're the mightiest of people with hearts of gold and the patience of saints doing the jobs that most of us will fully admit we could never do.

i have so many thoughts in my head tonight. a lot of them revolve around money...mostly just the stress that comes with not having enough.

but for the most part i feel at peace. the only sounds i hear are the air conditioners humming and the shower head dripping from the bathroom. i used to be the girl who needed constant noise...a tv, a radio....these days i crave quiet. and pie. always pie.

you few that read here help keep me sane and grounded. and for that i can't thank you enough. here's hoping i can find the headspace to have something to say more often.