Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Day 1...

Fun was had by all.

I'm pretty sure I'm going to have a MUCH easier time getting to sleep tonight than I did last night. *YAWN*


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

School Eve...

Earlier today a friend on Facebook posted a picture of her girls, and their last day of summer activities, with the simple caption "School Eve." I thought it was fitting for today's post because we too are celebrating School Eve in our house. Tomorrow while Brea heads to Kindergarten and Lexi starts 4th grade, I will be going back to 5th grade...this time as a Paraeducator. It's both super exciting, and creating a few butterflies in my tummy.

It's hard to believe that it's been 5 years since I said good-bye to my last full-time job and hello to full-time Mom and entrepreneur. Even with all the ups and downs, challenges and stresses, that have played out over those 5 years I wouldn't go back and chose a different direction. The gifts I have received by focusing on my family, and my dream of making a living by helping people live healthier lives, are priceless. But even then I knew that once Brea was headed to school full time, I more likely than not would be ready for a change. At that time I didn't know what that change would look like, but then again at that time I had no idea just how much our lives in general would change over 5 years time. But I did know me. I knew that once both of our girls filled their daytime hours with school, I would want something more to do with my 8-3 hours as well. So in a way facing tomorrow's adventure is a little less scary because I've been anticipating it for 5 years.

I couldn't have asked for a better job to help me re-enter the working world:

  • My work schedule perfectly matches the girls' school schedule, which was one of the biggest sources of anxiety I faced when I started job searching this spring. Working for the school means snow days, inservice days, holiday breaks, and early outs are covered from a childcare perspective.

  • The principal in the building in which I will be working was the first person we met in Carlisle after we knew we would be relocating here. He spent over an hour with us on our first school visit introducing us to teachers, talking about the school district, and answering our questions about the community in general. He's an incredibly warm and welcoming person that played a large part in helping us feel confident in our decision to relocate to Carlisle. I feel pretty lucky to now call him my boss.

  • The school, like in many small towns, plays a pretty big role in bringing together members of our community to support sporting and performing arts events. As someone who really appreciates the role of education and how much value strong school programs can add to a community, I'm super excited to be working to support the district "on the inside", as well as my role as a parent.

  • As someone who wishes Professional Student was an ACTUAL career path that could provide a living wage, I'm excited for a new challenge. As with any new experience, there's going to be LOTS of opportunity for ME to learn while I'm, hopefully, helping to enhance the learning experience of a few 5th graders. It may be a little selfish of me, but that fact right there is maybe what excites me the most about the fact MY alarm will be going off at 6:00 AM tomorrow for the first time in many, many moons.

The love, support, and excitement that so many around me have shown me as I start this new adventure has also helped to calm my nerves a bit. My family, bless them, have been so patient with me through the past year as I've had a plan, and then not had a plan, and now have a revised plan of how I can best help provide for them. My husband has been THE best cheerleader. Seriously. He understands, and values, how important it is to me to feel passionate about what I am doing with my time outside of our time together as a family. I'm sure he's had moments of being super frustrated with me and my lack of direction (and paycheck) over the past year, but he's never once let that color his words of love and encouragement. It's just one of the reasons I love him more today than I ever would have guessed I could when we first met as teenagers. How lucky am I to have found him? Damn lucky I tend to think.

The back-packs are packed. Lunch bags are ready to be filled. The camera has been prepped for 1st day photos. Because tomorrow morning it's off to school we go!!!

(I hope I don't get lost on my way to class.)


Friday, August 12, 2011

Camera for Hire...

I'm so thankful my Aunt asked last winter if I would shoot my cousin's senior pictures. It took a lot of trust on her part (in my opinion) and was, I guess, part of the push I need to take the steps to put myself out there as a photographer for hire. As I have touched on here a couple of times, I've approached this "going pro" with my photography very cautiously. Partially out of protecting what I love about the photographic process and what it means to me creatively. Partially out of fear.

I started teaching yoga because I loved practicing yoga. I loved what it offered my body, my mind, and my soul. Given my background in fitness, and specifically in group fitness, teaching just felt like part of my growth as a practitioner. What I wasn't ready for, and what I've found is not an uncommon occurrence when someone makes the jump from yogi to yoga teacher, was how my relationship with yoga changed when it became my job...especially when I made the choice to lean on my teaching status to provide necessary income. This past year has been especially stressful on yoga and I's marriage. We are in a bit of a trial separation at the moment. I'm confident that we will make amends and once again happily co-exist. We always seem to figure out how to find common ground in the end.

Knowing what I know about how my relationship with yoga has changed after I "turned pro" has been a big reason I've been very reluctant to do the same with my photography practice. Not to mention I think any time you put yourself creatively out into the world it's a little scary. When photography is your hobby you shoot, process, print, learn and play to please only your own heart's desires. Paying clients, while initially drawn to your services by your style, get to interject their own ideas and critiques. While I generally play well with others, when it comes to my photography I can be a little selfish.

But in the end, I just really like taking pictures. And honestly, people are my favorite subjects. And well, everyone around me has always been so supportive and encouraging for me to at least consider "going pro". And I will never expect my photography business to generate any more income than what's needed to to support my habit (which I know will make my hubby happy), and buy me a cup of coffee now and then. And now that I've done 5 different shoots for people who are not my immediate family members with great end results (both in product and experiences) for all involved...I'm jumping.

The website has been created.

A Facebook page has been posted.

And here are a few of my cousin's senior pictures that helped to get the ball rolling...

As you can see it was very vehicle intensive. And very casual. And very much my style...full of color, bold contrasts, and fun details. Thanks Paxton for being a very patient and cooperative model. Thanks Aunt Kathleen for putting your trust in my skills. And thanks to all of YOU for your continued love and support.


Thursday, August 11, 2011


Saturday evening we went to watch the last night of flight at the National Balloon Classic in Indianola. It was...


Saturday, August 6, 2011

A Week in the West...

The girls and I took advantage of no commitments last week to go spend an extra week of the summer with family in Western Nebraska. While the miles traveled were many, so were the laughs, hugs, and good times. Our first stop was a couple of days at my Aunt & Uncle's in Gothenburg for some senior portrait work. (Which have yet to be processed so don't expect to see any in this post.)

(We love the Jeep.)

The Gothenburg portion of our trip had been planned for the whole summer, it was part 2 of the trip, the long haul out to the valley, that was a bit of a last minute decision. The extra miles allowed us to see Uncle Jason, Grandpa Rod, and for the girls to spend a little time learning about Nebraska farm life. They both went out with Uncle Jason irrigating at the crack of dawn (while Mommy enjoyed sleeping in) and were always happy to lend a hand in the garden. Wednesday we enjoyed new potatoes with supper, grown by Uncle Jason and Grandma, harvested by eager little hands.

We also go to meet Canch, the dog that randomly showed up at the farm a few months ago and who has decided to stay. He is a great farm dog and he loves, loves, loves attention...which he got plenty from our puppy lovin' family.

We broke up the long drive home yesterday with a stop at The Great Platte River Road Archway on I-80 at Kearney. We have driven under it several times commenting that "someday" we should stop and check it out. It's actually pretty cool, though apparently a little overwhelming when you are 5. A trip through the gift shop to get a souvenir (Buffy the stuffed Buffalo) helped eased the anxiety a bit.

This picture pretty much sums up Brea's opinion of the self guided tour. I don't have one single picture of her looking at the camera since she was too busy looking out for danger along the trail.

Upon entering the lobby you are greeted by this old pioneer, who is AWESOME. I could try to explain how he is awesome, but really I wouldn't do him justice...just go visit him yourself if your in the area. By the end of our visit Brea was finally comfortable enough to snap a picture with him.

Overall a great time was had by all, though we missed (and were greatly missed by) Daddy who we had to leave at home for this trip. We don't get to spend near enough time with our Nebraska family, so this extra trip was a special little treat before we have to settle into the school year routine in just 2 short weeks. It's hard to believe summer has passed so fast...but what a great one it has been!