How are you supposed to start a blog post on a blog that's been MIA, dead, out-of-service, non-existent for the past five years? (Shakes head.) Yes, FIVE years. #photographerforthewin. I had actually deactivated my blog from the world's view! (Who am I kidding? It was probably my mom reading.) In five years, MY, oh my oh MY how things have changed.
You see, life had kind of exploded into very challenging circumstances, life got in the way, survival mode kicked in, and then so did complacency. For a while, my photography HAD to be on the back burner, zero choice. But then...and this is where it gets real...I allowed myself to be content with not doing it. But was I?
(July 4th | Savannah, GA)
I'm a "creative". A deep soul. It's how I'm designed. It's etched into the fibers of my soul. Overthinking everything is a daily activity for my personality. Mind racing with all the to-do, want-to-do, nah-that's-impossible, I-could-never-do-that, could-I-do-that?, have-to-do-that, need-to-pray-about-that lists. ;) Constantly feeling the itch to create, design, do something with purpose. Don't get me wrong, first and foremost, I am a wife and mother to three teenagers. Can I get an AMEN that I deserve a little hoop-la, hands up, whoop-whoop for surviving this stage of my life so far? ;) Ya'll, it's tough! But I love them and raising them right is priority numero uno. (And yes, I say "ya'll" now because I'm in the South...even though I always considered Virginia the North and being from Miami I was actually in "the South"...about the farthest south you could go, but we all know it ain't The South. Know what I mean? And, no, I don't actually say ain't. It was just for dramatic effect. Did it work?)
(The James River | Brown's Island | Richmond, VA)
I suppose I should fill you fine people in (Hi, Mom!) on what in tarnation I'm talking about. If you're new here, it's ok, I feel new, too. We'll get comfortable together. (Grab a slice of pizza...why not. Pizza is always a good idea.) Consider this an introduction or re-introduction to who I am and how I got here. No, it's not a "birds and the bees" story. You're welcome.
- I was born...a few decades back. A lady never tells her age. (Except I overshare and you'll probably get it out of me at some point.)
- I was born in Miami.
- My boyfriends were usually Hispanic (I mean, Hello. Miami. Case in point.) And knew I'd probably marry one.
- At 17, I finished high school with two years of college completed already. I guess I'm smart-ish?, but never felt it.
- I graduated from Samford University in B'ham, AL (I applied to one school. Yikes!) and graduated with my Bachelors degree at 19!
- At barely 20, I married me one of those charming Miami Spanish boys. Actually man...he's a few-ish years older. ;)
- At 21, I became a mother. And the whirlwind began.
- By 25 and before our 5th wedding anniversary, we had THREE babies! I believe in overachieving. #iwascrazy #3kidsin39months
- After 15 years of marriage and over three decades of my life, we left Miami (my only home ever!) and began life in Richmond. Hello!
- Above bullet point was due to dear husband's new job that he hadn't even been searching for. He left a 20+ year career! Should I mention we had just completely renovated our entire home due to massive water damage and scary mold issues discovered the week of Thanksgiving 2014 while we all had the flu? And had been living with my parents for four months? And suddenly had to put our house on the market that I had just redone exactly they way I wanted it? And move to where we didn't know a soul? And I had never even laid eyes on Richmond? And trust God through ALL of this because it was so unbelievably overwhelming?
- July 2015 - we sold our house for more than our realtor said we would (Praise God!) moved with three kids (one finishing elementary, one in the middle of middle school and one starting high school) and our beloved 70lb. golden retriever fur ball (more like fur hurricane), Sasha, and moved into a "cozy" rental apartment. Read: small. Very small. I almost lost my ever lovin' mind.
- October 2016 - We moved into a not-near-as-small home that we built and designed and prayed over and I may have cried over a few times. It was stressful, expensive and wonderful all in the same basket. I got to put my love of interior design into overdrive. I mean OVERDRIVE. Love ya' Restoration Hardware!
- These past few years since have been all about creating a HOME for my family, not just a house and getting settled in design-wise to the home itself and settled into our community and getting involved. To be honest, those pieces are STILL in the works, but time, money, energy and life are all the normal factors that come into play.
- June 2019 - watched our oldest son graduate high school (tears of JOY!) and watched our beloved, oh so beloved Sasha, leave this earth. (Indescribable heartbreak - she was literally my best friend. You'll only NOT think that's weird if you knew her or if your best friend has fur and four legs, too. And I'm hoping you'd be referring to a dog. ;)
(Delicious graduation lunch @ Tarrant's | Downtown Richmond - iphone photo ;)
- August 2019 - watched said oldest son leave the nest and call Penn State University his new home. (He better not actually think that's home or he's getting a whoopin'). #psuproudmama #comehomesoon
- September 2019 - dropped off baby #3 for his first day of high school. Yep. Baby. Except, not so little. [insert sad face]
- October 2019 - celebrated 20 years of being married to an amazing man, husband and father!!! Just sayin'. (And if you can add, now you know how old I am. See? Overshared. It's what I do.)
(See what a loving husband? He makes my coffee every.single.morning. Sometimes with a heart.)
- PRESENT DAY: God's been working on me. And things, people, opportunities and life circumstances are showing up in ways that are basically pushing me back to my camera. I've never technically left my camera (I stay active with that art all the time...it's Who.I.Am!), but lovingly "nudging" me back to the business side of the camera. And I have to be honest. It's exciting and terrifying at the same time! But I've been praying for answers and for change for a year. And here it is! Now there are so many t's to cross and i's to dot for my business...in every aspect. You probably don't care about those details, but it's the legal shmegal and numbers stuff that creatives like me loathe, the design aspect of making things fresh again, the investment aspect of needing/wanting to update certain areas of my technical gear, investing in workshops and continuous training, self-doubt vs. the truth of the joy brought to past clients that fight each other in my mind, and the "how do I get started all over again" in an oversaturated market? This has been a long bullet point. I'm pretty sure it's not supposed to be that long. Whatev's.
(Yours truly and the Hubs, Christmas 2018-- photo credit to my talented daughter :)
So, here I am. Back on the blog, back in the biz, back to my life. I want to once again, use the gifts, talents and abilities I believe God has granted me to bring joy to others, and share His goodness and have a sense of purpose again. I've felt a little empty, to be honest. Photography for me allows me to connect my soul to Him and to others. It brings ME joy. I light up at a beautifully composed, well-lit, naturally or artistically created photograph, but I light up even more when the reaction of my work brings someone else joy, laughter and hits them in the face with "I love these!".
I was created for a purpose. We were each created for a purpose. I've got to get back to doing mine. What's it looking like for you?
(And I can say that because I have Irish and Scottish blood, though I do not have a drink in my hand, so maybe that was a little weird. Work with me. ;) It's how I roll.)
(Also, I love hashtagging stuff. It's a writing style. It's a problem.)
(And I use lots of "quotes", (((parentheses))), -dashes- and winky faces. ;)
And we'll end with a picture of my sweet Sasha, because she brought me joy...and I'm in the mood for a little joy.