Except this. And it would totally make my day. And it goes for an amazing cause. And I would do it for you. And I think you're pretty. And really funny. And smart. ;)
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Last week found me in balmy cocktail-filled Nashville, where interestingly they don’t have a beach, though I have no idea why not, as they certainly have enough moisture in the air to fill an ocean. Ordinarily I don’t travel to muddy and/or hot and/or Southern destinations, but ordinarily I don’t get to hang with my main musical squeeze and dear, dear friend Beth Miner for days at a time. Her husband has been traveling a ton while touring with The Greencards and I found this to be the perfect excuse to set-up a temporary home on an air mattress in her downtown Nashville loft living room. Also, and I kid you not, it was cheaper for me to buy an plane ticket and check the chair I made for them as oversized luggage than to ship it UPS. Which isn’t why I went of course…..but an interesting fact.;) Also I’d like to take a second and point out that there is good in people, as evident by the sweet Frontier agent who let me check it FOR FREE only asking to see a picture of it for fun. And, since I know you are curious, it was 34 pounds and 91 linear inches.
So, we planned my trip around the first Chely Wright concert since her coming out (gay pride flag was thrown on the stage and everything—it was mighty exciting). We ate pancakes for breakfast at 11am. We walked downtown during the CMA happenings. I don’t remember a whole lot about that part, but I would guess that we spent the evening partying with Tim and Faith and Kid Rock. I could see Kid Rock totally being my kind of people.
We also did massive amounts of pictures in the most complicated of ways, because that’s how we roll. So since she was sporting a new ‘do and I hadn’t quite yet melted, we took this image out for a whirl of inspiration. We decided to call this image Crap Picnic, because as close as we could tell, it was a picnic of……..crap. (Have no credit info for this image--sorry.)
And we made our own crap picnic.
Sunday, June 13, 2010
This morning I woke to a text message from someone I’ve known since I was 8 saying that a classmate of ours had just died of ovarian cancer. I have written about this classmate before—in fact, in the last 15 years, I have thought of this classmate almost daily. Stephanie was The Girl. THAT girl. And, for a brief time I was a part of her inner circle which in small town Colorado meant that for a brief moment I was part of THAT crowd too. Stephanie had a trampoline, a CD player, and a basement bedroom……the very ingredients of tween and teenage cool in the 90s. No matter what would inevitably take place later, memories of us eating Little Debbie snack cakes, listening to NKOTB, and using the brand spankin’ new technology of three-way calling on her Swatch dual phone that allowed us as many as 4 people on the very same call, ;) still make me smile.
But life happened and our friendship came crashing down and along with it my little 14 year old self took come devastating blows. I’ve made no secret of not enjoying my high school years…..to the point of ensuring they were so short lived there isn’t much there to think about. But what is there in memory, I do think about--often. That time and place, those friendships, and especially Stephanie have shaped who I am today. I have often wondered if given the chance could her and I sit down for a cup of coffee? Could we set aside our differences and toss back tequila shooters at a dive bar in Estes Park and laugh about life? Would we have anything to talk about? Sure we were two girls, the same age, from the same place, but would that even be relevant? Would she have regrets over her actions? Would I see things differently through her eyes? Would we laugh it off? If you would have asked me that yesterday I would have told you that I would like to think that we could. That I pride myself on being able to talk to anyone. That I believe the reason for our friendship ending was the very reason that we would have been able to have a friendship now. I would have said that I hoped we would get a chance to do that. And I would have assumed that it would happen in its own time, in some random coffeehouse or dive bar, in some random place in the world. Because that’s usually how and where things usually happen in my life.
Today I went about doing my usual stuff, though in a bit of a fog. It’s not my place to feel loss here, but I mourn her short life. I wonder about her mother who many years ago had buried Stephanie’s father and was now having to do the impossible task of grieving her own child. I wondered why Stephanie was listed with both her maiden name and another last name, but there was no spouse mentioned. I wondered about her last year on this earth—the things she did, the places she went. I wondered what had taken her to the other side of the country and what had kept her there. I wondered if she reflected on her small mountain town life as much as I did mine.
So, I steam mopped my floors……….cleaned my kitchen……debated my next project that will start as fun and then quickly become overwhelming. Took my kids to swimming lessons…..watched my oldest carefully consider his every move and my youngest mouth off to the instructor, immediately claiming that he was in fact not a turtle, but rather a shark or maybe a level four, and by the way, don’t even think about calling him Nathaniel. I was a little more grateful than usual to have a husband that fetches me coffee and makes me dinner. I edited, returned emails, did the Sunday rituals that keep this world of ours running. I lost my temper with my children, let them watch too much TV, and spent too much time on Facebook. I got dragged into an episode of Mall Cops--let's not talk about that. I didn’t eat a single fruit or vegetable. I researched ovarian cancer and my high school’s alumni site. I thought about what I would change if I knew I would die in a year, and what I wouldn’t.
And I grieved. I grieved a woman I didn’t know at all and a girl who I knew well. A life that was distant from my own in miles and form, yet one that had a big part in shaping mine. I grieved for her family—her older brother that used to fight with her and protect her in a way that made me incredibly envious, her mother who I didn’t know well, but stocked the best snacks and didn’t seem to mind often having a houseful of shrieking girls, her good friends that she met later in life and her longtime ones that I probably knew too.
I thought about friends. Of the lifelong variety and the ones that just pass through. I thought about women and how we treat each other. I thought about my past that many years ago I would have given anything to change it, but now I realized it has shaped the very core of this world I love so very much. I thought about how rarely I have experienced the death of friends and family and how lucky that is. And how terrified I am that there will be plenty more to come in my lifetime.
Would I have emailed her had I known? Would she have written back? Hard to say. Was she a complete different person than she was half a lifetime ago or did she still show pieces of that feisty blond that moons ago wore the other half of a BFF charm we picked up at Claire’s for $3.99? Don’t know. But, at the very least I’d like to think that she would have had a good laugh at me posting this very video on this very blog twice now.
Steph—I'll think about you in the summertime and all the good times we had.:)
Sunday, June 06, 2010
This Mama is the sister of my neighbor. When we first bought this house a couple of years ago, my neighbor said that her sister really wanted to meet me and had been reading my blog for a while. Now, normally I wouldn’t have believed that for a second, but then sweet Vanessa left me a 4 minute, 60,000 word voicemail about how EXCITED!!!! she was that I lived across the street from her sister now and how she has been reading my blog FOREVER!!!!!! and how she CAN’T EVEN BELIEVE!!!! that I lived RIGHT ACROSS!!!!! from her sister, who was SO LUCKY!!!!!!! to live by me.
I had laughed uncontrollably for about an hour.;)
Then called my neighbor, sure that she had put her up to leaving me a crazy message. Turns out that she is just a real sweetheart who likes family pictures and blogs….. one who is easily excited and has very low expectations of people. ;) Low expectations that were most likely met with an incredible blow when she actually met me. But I like to think of her as my first and only fan. Now she is just my friend. My gorgeous, crazy, totally neurotic friend who if she only knew the half of how wildly amazing she is, she would walk around with an ego the size of Texas. Luckily she doesn’t have any idea of how cool she is, which is good for those of us who are fortunate enough to know her.;)
This session was her birthday present last year. She asked to do them in her yard, which I always think is a sweet touch. Though her beautiful yard made me sick--she is one of those girls that can, and does, do it all. Including gardening. She also asked if she should have cookie dough ready in case we needed something else to photograph, like them baking cookies. If she wasn't so lovely, she would be really irritating....looking all cute, thinking of everything.....knowing how to garden AND bake. ;)
Let me SMASH YOUR FACE TO SHOW YOU HOW MUCH I LOVE YOU!!!
This shot is for my little man Ryan who is a high roller in the monster truck scene. I promised him a wicked truck picture, and quite honestly, I think this is one of the best, if not The Best truck shot I've ever taken.;)Her image for Notes Girls Write. She couldn't decide what note she liked better so she did them both. Melodee and I are doing as many note images as we can until June 15th, when we are going to take a little break and put all of these images together in a book. A BOOK PEOPLE. So......if ever you wanted to share your note, get ON THE HORN.;) You don't have to have a scheduled session and there is no cost--you just have to be willing to sign a release. I mean....sure.....you could bring us coffee and donuts....we wouldn't refuse it or anything....because that would be rude.;)
Friday, June 04, 2010
I don’t shoot weddings. We all know this.:) But sometimes I get talked into them. This was one of those times. This bride was relentless! I mean I pulled all of my standard moves…ignore her emails, say no, ignore her emails again….but she wore me down.:) I think it was when she said that we didn’t have to call it a wedding, that we would just call it a “thingy”.
It was a beautiful thingy.:)
And I am ever so glad that she didn’t wise-up about my complete flakiness and hire herself a real wedding photographer:), because this wedding was everything I love about weddings. It was all of the good, real stuff and none of the fake, cheesy stuff.
This is a true sneak peek--some random shots that popped out when I was looking through.
The Greenbriar Inn is a sweet little venue--this is the balcony that looks over the ceremony site. There is a lot of waiting at weddings. ;)
The brides younger daughter played the piano several times during the ceremony and it was truly, truly touching. (Here with her piano teacher.)
Her daughters and his son were their attendants.
ALWAYS my favorite moment at a wedding--when the ceremony is over, when most people can't see them....and it finally sinks in. I am always afraid that one of these times I'll see complete dread wash over their faces. This was not that time. ;) This was excitement and relief and sheer joy.
This is the outtake, which is way better than the shot I was trying to get. Sometimes that happens. ;)
I always try to make fast friends with someone when I photograph a wedding. Someone that knows everybody and everything that is happening. For this wedding I was lucky enough to have several new friends including this one beautiful lady who did the brides make-up and hair.
Tuesday, June 01, 2010
If Maddox was my little surprise (and good god, was he ever), than Nate was my little miracle. My little I-swore-I-would-never-do-this-again-but-here-we-are miracle. I hear from my other 2-kid parent friends that you get one of each. One that is hard, one that is…less hard.:) One that sucks you dry emotionally, one that sucks the very life out of you physically. Nate is the latter. Maddox is the soul of this little family, sometimes it’s a bit black, but the soul nonetheless; Nate is the heart. He doesn’t speak, he happily yells. He doesn’t laugh, he gets washed over with loud, honest, and long fits of hysteria. He doesn’t walk, he wonders. He is up for anything and he’ll play whatever all the other kids want to play. He soaks up every little thing he passes and it’s been truly a pleasure to watch and an honor to be a part of. Being his mom is one of the greatest jobs I’ve ever had, one that has forced me to look at the world differently and slow the heck down.
But, let there be no doubt…this kid will be the one that lives in my basement at some point in adulthood. The one that thinks jobs are more of a concept that you can pick and choose from, should you feel in the mood. The one that studies "communications", should he get an athletic scholarship and.....admittance.:) And since at 4 years old he still writes right but throws left, we’re really, really hopeful for that athletic scholarship. Because it’s going to take every cent we can possible earn from probably 2 or 3 or 7 different jobs just to feed these giant boys through high school, so I am a little concerned that any possible college fund will be spent on groceries. And bail. (Let’s be honest—I have 2 boys—the chances that we will have to bail one of them out of jail at some point are pretty good.)
But, at the moment, he is not living in my basement, needing bail money, or eating us out of house and home (for the most part). At the moment he is just this little delicious slice of heaven that still crawls up in my lap and calls me Mama. He is my baby and yesterday he was 4.