Saturday, July 21, 2012

Checking In

I have had so much I've wanted to blog about but I've been so busy preparing for my retreat coming up in a few days.
So I am simply just checking let you know that I still plan on blogging...I'm not going on the fritz like I did last time.

Oh and I made this broach bouquet for my retreat.
Isn't it fun?! I love it!

Monday, July 16, 2012

A new journey (or a start over)

This blog post is personal and a little scary to write because it will take me back to some dark times, but I feel it is important for myself to blog it and put this out there as to intercept something before it starts.

Okay so I've recently talked about my body image struggles and how I just want to feel bad about myself and so I've decided maybe it's time that I can do something about it and seriously talk about it without having eating disorder talk in my head.

So first let me start at the beginning for those of you who don't know my story and forgive me if my thoughts are scattered.

I grew up dancing, and I loved it.  It was such a huge part of me and I was able to have so many amazing experiences dancing.  I traveled the world extensively and met so many amazing people from various countries.

I also have always been very outgoing and social.  Part of my social and outgoing nature is being a people pleaser as well as making sure I am liked by everyone.  It is also so very important to me to impress people and to become better each day at something then I was the day before.
I can't tell you how extremely important it is for me to be excepted and well liked.  This is a very core personality trait.

Now that you know this I can start my story.

As I said I grew up dancing and I think I was good at it.
Now I am 4 '11 which for a dancer isn't tall...heck for not a dancer it isn't tall.  So what I'm short.  That I've always been comfortable with and have excepted it.  No big deal.
However not everyone excepts that as a dancer.
There were many instances in my life that I was told that I was the "awesome chubby dancer" or "we won't take anyone larger then you" or "we need to remember to add an inch to Kandis' measurements because she always gains weight." or "because your daughter is short, her weight really show's" the last one was a reason I didn't make my PUBLIC high schools drill team.
The stories go on and on.  And I finally decided that I didn't want to not be able to do something because of my weight, or be talked about poorly because of my weight.  This is when I started a battle with bulimia.
After I met my husband he filled a hole in my soul that had been torn open by these comments.  And the eating disorder behaviors 'went' away, albeit temporary.
After I had my Elle I remember seeing pictures of me from her 1st birthday and I was so embarrassed.  How had I let myself get like this.
So I started exercising and eating well.  I was losing weight and people noticed.  People were commenting all the time on how good I looked.  It felt so good.  So I had to step up my game.  It seemed that I only ever heard comments in my life about my weight.  Good or bad.  This obviously wasn't the truth, but to me it's what I saw.
After a few months of doing well I hit a wall and couldn't go any further.  So needless to say I fell back into eating disorder patterns.  It got really bad.  So bad that I couldn't stop.
I was confronted by a friend and forced to get help.
I was extremely sick but didn't realize how sick I was.
I was in outpatient treatment for 4 years.
At year 3 of treatment I realized that I wanted to get better and I started taking treatment serious and really working on getting healthy mentally.
It has been  2 years 4 months and 28 days since I've purged last!
The last two years have been hard.
I have had moments where I have really thought about going back to purging.
I have had moments when I have hated myself so bad.

I used to have an extremely hard time hearing anyone talk about food or weight.
I would get extremely uncomfortable.  Especially in church.  I think church is the worst.  The women always are talking about weight and numbers and "oh I was so bad last night, I had a piece of cake."  I want to smack them.  But I am now in a place where the talk and the numbers don't bother me as long as they are healthy talk.

For a long time I had asked my family to never mention calories, or weight around me because it was a trigger for me.  It no longer is.

However now I am at a place where I am extremely unhappy with myself.  You see I have avoided the scale for 5 years.  I don't know what I weighed before I had Ava or after I had Ava.
As I have been in recovery I have had to learn that foods aren't bad, but we can make bad choices on how much we eat.  Whereas before there were bad foods.
Learning this I have gained a lot of weight.  I got on the scale finally after so long and I am pretty sure I have never weighed this much in my life.
I am not happy with this.
So I have decided to do something about it.
BUT I have tried to do something about it before and look where that got me.
So knowing my personality and knowing that I am a people pleaser I thought that I would start a challenge for fellow photographers.  There's so many of us who hide behind our cameras because we are ashamed of our bodies.  I am tired of this.
I knew if I started a challenge for others that I would have to follow through. (part of my personality, I can't back out).  So that is what I have done.

So I am on a path to a healthy life.  Now I don't care if I'm thin, I just want to be happy.  I don't look at this as a diet, but a life style change.

And now the reason I am posting this on my blog is not for a "hey look at what I am doing" but for a reason for me to be 'in check'.  If I put it out there to others that I am on this path I now have a reason not to revert to eating disorder behaviors because now I feel like everyone will know.

With that wish me luck.  I might have days that I fail, but it's okay I think I can do this.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Eight is Great

Well, today is the day...Elle turned 8.  
She has been so cute for the last several weeks, asking all sorts of questions. 
She has asked me about her birth story after she over heard me talking to my Mother-in Law about it. 
It was such a sweet moment to sit with her and tell her about what happened to us both.  
When I told her that I prayed to our Heavenly Father that he could take me and leave her she cried. 
She hugged me and she really understood what it meant.  She then thanked me for being her mom. 
It was kinda like a pay day.
Elle has a little scar on her foot from all the IV's from her birth and I have told her it's because she was sick when she was a baby.  Well after telling her about her arrival she looked at the scar on her foot and touched it.  She didn't say anything, but I know what she was thinking. 

Elle is such a kind little girl.  Always willing to help out other children.  She is so sweet and tenderhearted.  She loves to give compliments and let's not joke...she loves to receive compliments too. 
One thing I love the most about Elle is there is nothing she doesn't think she can't do.  Seriously nothing.  The world has no boarders.  She still believes that she can be a real life princess when she grows up.  She has no doubt in the world that if she makes a video and sends it in to Disney Channel that she will be picked to be a featured dancer on Shake It Up.  SHe has no limits on what is possible for her to become and what she wants to be.  I love that about her.  I think we can all take a lesson from her. 

Elle really wants to be smart and read big books and write long sentences.  She is a little delayed in that area but she tries so hard.  She is getting better and better every day.   I am so proud of her for her determination.  

Most of all I am simply the luckiest mom. (I know we all think this)  But Elle is a 1 in a million.  She is so sweet and so kind and is more concerned for everyone around her then herself.  She is a beautiful little girl growing up to fast into a beautiful little lady. 

Monday, July 9, 2012


Oh my goodness, I have been looking at some of my work (photography) from a few years ago and I am SOOOO embraced.  I thought I was good and man, I was NOT.
I can't believe the out of focus, bad lighting, over processed, (hello eyes) pictures I was so proud of.

Oh my goodness.  When I compare my old work to my current work I am in awe of how far I have come.  But It has been a lot of work.
Anyway, just saying that it takes a lot of hard work and long hours to grow and get better.
So to all of those out there doubting themselves, keep at it. Practice everyday!

What should I say?

 I get emails like this all the time and find that I just ignore them because I don't know what to say.

I get emails with this similar phrase all the time:

"I love your photography and I was hoping that you would take some pictures of me."

Then a variety of statements follow.  (Here's some of my favorites)

"I can't pay you anything, but you can use the photos for advertising" UM.....UMM.....HMMMM?! Say what?

"Would you be willing to do a partial trade?  I could pay  you $25.00 and then I could give you a $25.00 gift certificate to my Etsy Shop"

"I was hoping you would want to do trade, I make tutu's for dogs and I saw you have a dog"

One time I got this.

"I am in love with your work and was hoping to set up an appointment to have some pictures taken. How much do you charge?"

So I responded with my price and this was her reply

"Well, that's a lot more then I was thinking, but I would be willing to if I could bring my camera with me and my daughter and you could show me how to take some good pictures of her after or before my shoot.  Because I have a nice camera and I just don't know why mine aren't turning out as good as yours.  If you could do that then I will book with you a shoot for myself." response.  I didn't know what to say to it!

And here is my favorite one.

"I'm getting married and was wondering your prices?"

So I responded back and this was the response I got...NO LIE.

"I love your photography, you are just out of our budget.  But I was wondering if I let you use my camera I have a Canon Rebel XSI if you would give us a discount."


What would you have done?

I tend to ignore these kind of questions because well they aren't worth my time and I would rather snuggle my littles then respond.

But I should probably say something, just not sure what with trying to stay nice and all.

Okay that's all.

Monday, July 2, 2012


I have been extremely blessed to have so many wonderful people in my life at various times who have been great, wonderful friends.

I have found that throughout my life many friendships have come and gone and come back again.  Some have come and stayed awhile and slowly faded.
Some have come quick and left just as quick.
Some friendships have come slowly and left slowly.
While a few friendships have come and stayed.

As I  have reflected back on the different friendships that have graced my life I have had various emotions.  Some I am sad that we are no longer in touch or as close as we were, others I am grateful that we are no longer in touch, while others I am happy that our friendship has meant so much that we are still friends.

While looking back I have realized that there has been a season for all friendships.  That even how brief they have been I have learned something from them. And hopefully they learned something from me.
In all my friendships I have learned lessons good or bad but all has left an imprint on my life.

Today I was thinking about some friendships that I have had in my life that have meant so much to me but now they only mean so much to me because of what we had and not what we now have.
Because if I am honest some of my friends because I was friends with them now, I would not be friends with them now.  We are far to different and our views are different and our lives are different and we are different.

One major thing I have learned is that I am extremely loyal, but being loyal is draining.  As I have learned that MOST people do not put much weight in friendships and I do.  And to be honest I don't have time or strength to nurture and invest in people and friendships that don't want to invest in me as a friend back.

To me friendship is important.  I enjoy having friends to call up and talk to.  I love having the ability to chat someones ear off.  I love being able to go to lunch, or a girls night out.  These moments are important to me.  It's important to me to have a life outside my family and my business.

As I have been analyzing my approach to friendships I have realized that 75% of the time I am the one that instigates the friendship.  I am the one that makes the effort to call.  I am the one that makes the effort to set up the get together.  And let's face it, I am tired of it.

All I want is friends who will want to put as much in it as I do.
I will continue to be the friend that I want to have, but I hope I have the kind of friends who will want to be that kind of friend back.  And if not, that's okay too and that is when the friendship fades.  {sad but true}

Okay that's all.