Thursday, October 31, 2013

A Letter To My Children: On Adulting

Taco night.

Lainie and Jackson.
You are both so cute, and still so little.
Almost 10 and half way through 5, you both have the wildest ideas of what being a grown up is like.
You talk about it like it will be the best thing ever, like you'll be large and in charge, like you'll have it all figured out and all the best come backs for bullies and great shoes and no one can tell you that you've had enough ice cream.
This is all true, sort of, but it's true in the way "It's a free country, I can do what I want" is true.
There's downsides, consequences, and bad days.
There are responsibilities and chores and something you're forgetting every time you leave the house.
No one really prepared me for all this when I was your ages....or ever, really, so I would like to impart some knowledge that I wish had been given to me at some point:
There will be days, once you're an adult, where you feel like an absolute fucking fraud.
Like you're wearing your mother's heels and pearls, playing dress up.
You won't feel like an adult yet, but you'll be standing in front of all kinds of grown up shit that people think you're capable of handling.
You'll think to yourself on those days "How did this happen? When did people decide I was a grown up? Whose fucking mistake it this?!"
You will feel it when you take NyQuil later than you should and sleep through you're alarm, waking up only when your boss calls to find out where the fuck you are.
You will feel it when you run out of gas, even though the little gas light had been on for days, and you just kept saying "I'll stop for gas after this errand" and then after said errand, thinking "fuck it, I'll do it later, I'm exhausted."
You'll feel it the first time you send your kid to school with a Lunchable because remembering to buy bread just doesn't seem to be something your brain has the capacity to do right now.
You will feel it when you have more pizza boxes and wine bottles in the trash than vegetable containers {don't do that}.
There will be hard days.
Really hard days.
There will even be weeks or sometimes months, where the hours in the day and the shit you need to do, and the amount of people counting on you just don't balance out.
You'll think "I can't do this. My life is a mess. I'm a mess. I am failing. I'm a shitty adult."
The truth is, you might be a shitty adult and your life might be a mess, but more than likely you're really not, or if you are, it's temporary.
You'll struggle sometimes, but the important thing is to keep trying.
Keep trying to keep your shit together, and eat more vegetables.
Remember, every time you fail you most likely did not invent that mistake. Someone else likely made it before you, and {hopefully} fucked it up even worse than you did.
But for the days when nothing goes right, and you feel like the absolute worst version of yourself, remember that a clean pair of underpants and a snack covered in cheese can do wonders for your outlook.

Keep going.
Keep failing.
Keep trying.

Monday, October 28, 2013

A lot of thoughts and little sense


Hi there.
It's almost 2 am and I am awake because I took a sudden and unplanned exhaustion-nap earlier and didnt wake up til 6 pm.
Work should be fun tomorrow.
This weekend was busy and crazy and fun and hard, all at once, and now I'm sore and have no voice, and for dinner I think I ate all of the Chinese food there ever was.
I shot two weddings in two days, you guys.
I literally can't believe that.
My shoulders are killing me from lifting my heavy as hell camera for so many hours in a row, and my thigh muscles want to kill me, and talking at a volume higher than a whisper makes me sound like a 13 year old boy in the violent throws of puberty, but I'm really happy.
I love what I'm doing. 
I know all weddings won't be beautiful, not all brides will be lovely, not all people will be awesome to work with, but right now I'm trying to take it all in, and enjoy it.
On Friday, one of my co-workers that I did family photos for came to my desk to tell me how amazing him and his wife thought my pictures were. How happy they felt, and he even went as far as to start pulling his favorites up on Facebook and going into detail about how he felt when he first saw them.
My heart was full.
This is an awesome job.
Later when I heard him in the Sales pit showing everyone my pictures online, the ooh's and aw's and kind words were too much. I walked away with tears in my eyes.
I'm lucky.

This blog feels like it's in a middle place right now. 
I stopped writing as regularly, and I know my readership has gone way down. 
I've always said I write here for me, and that's true, but losing the little family of readers has made it harder to come back here and keep writing.
Also, sharing the personal and more intimate details of myself and my life has gotten harder lately too.
I don't really know why.
I guess maybe because I feel like I'm living a lot of different lives right now, and anything I write honestly will contradict itself.
I'm struggling with a deep level of unhappiness and frustration with my day-job, and also relishing the joy and success of my photography business, but also feeling frustrated that it's still too little to stand on it's own income wise yet, so I'm stuck doing both at once. One thing that makes me feel like a failure, and another thing that feels like a dream.
It's confusing.
Also in the world of intimate and personal relationships, I can't seem to make heads or tails of things.
There's a person I want to be with, but the logistics and also the dynamics of the relationship itself make me wonder if it's even possible for that relationship to ever be a real thing.
A thing that can walk on two feet, step out into the light and world and go forward.
A thing that can turn into a future, a life, a family, a forever.
There's a lot of impatience and frustration wrapped up in there too, between the uncertainty of the future and my desire for things to all fall into place right now.
Maybe a lot of what's contradictory right now is my own issue.
Maybe if I were better at letting things go and seeing what happens, I'd be happier.
Maybe if I'd been born in Harlem instead of California, I'd have that hip hop career I've always daydreamed about. 
Who knows.
There's a lot of maybes.
I'm trying to just keep moving, keep thuggin', and keep my eye on the prize.
A job I love.
A life that makes sense.
Clean kitchen floors.
Someone to drink wine on the couch with, and talk to when I get home from work.

We all want things.

P.S. If you want to see some of the photos from this weekend's weddings, they're on the blog on my business website, 

Thursday, October 24, 2013

The Friday Diary: It's Thursday and I'm getting deep

Hi Everyone.
It's Wednesday, I know, but I am photographing two weddings this weekend, one Friday and one Saturday, which means I will not be able to write you a diary on Friday. Instead I'll be running around Cave Creek taking pictures of a bride and trying not to stress-vomit.
I'm a little nervous.
Anyway, let's do this.
This week was...alright.
I had a cold in the beginning of the week, and I think I pulled some sort of muscle, running less than half a block. I feel like that sentence is the answer to "How do you know when you're old and grossly out of shape?"
But we all survived and that's what matters.
The highlight was probably Saturday when I was surprised with this sweet ass coffee mug from Bill out of nowhere, and it was quite literally one of the most exciting moments of my life....which says absolutely nothing about my life. The little buttons and sliders on it are moveable, and I basically can let other photographers know exactly who they're dealing with, in a very smug and subtle way.

I've been thinking a lot, this week and lately overall, about the future.
Where I want to be, and also who I want to be there with.
What's important to me, and what's really just shit I always thought was supposed to be important.
For instance, I know I don't want any more kids of my own. Step kids? Awesome. Growing another human in my lady oven? Not gonna happen. I also know I want to get married at some point. I've been on the fence about this for a long time, going back and forth over whether or not it was super important to me, but I've realized over the last year that it is, and that's OK.
More short term, I've been thinking a lot about my financial future. My career. Where I work, what I do, and where we'll live, even.
It's exciting and it's scary and I'm impatient but I'm happy.
So I guess this is a period of being in flux for us, my little family, and I'm trying to adapt to that, while also moving forward, and it's both really fun, and hard.

Maybe that was a little deeper than you thought things would get in a Friday Diary. but then again it is Thursday afterall.
But if you're still feeling vulnerable and overly soaked in emotion, here's a gratuitous picture of Ryan Gosling without a shirt to make you feel better:
its like youre photoshopped
You're welcome.

Happy Friday {on Thursday}.
Keep it in your pants.

P.S.: Hi Carole with an E, Love Sarah with an H. :)

Friday, October 18, 2013

The Friday Diary: Yes, I'm already talking about Christmas

national lampoons christmas vacation I can hear him saying it my head, with his huge big eyes

Hi There.
Happy Friday.

I am trying really hard to make casual small talk first, and to act like this is just any old rambly Friday Diary, and not just jump right into CHRISTMAS, but I'm failing at it, so lets get this over with.
I know, we all hate the girl who is already talking about Christmas and it's not even Halloween, but you're going to have to deal with it, because last night it smelled like winter outside, and now I have the Christmas fevers.

I love giving gifts. Seriously, love it.
But I have awful anxiety about it at the same time.
I obsess and plan for months, trying to figure out the absolute perfect gift, only to think I have come up with it, feel quite smug and proud of myself, purchase it, wrap it, and then instantly regret it, as well as every other gift choice I've ever made in my life.
I become convinced it's shitty and stupid, and they won't "get it" or won't like it, or it will sit in their cupboard collecting dust for an entire year while they pretend they loved it {side-eye: that tablet I got for Bill last year}.

I pester people for weeks, even months, about what they want for Christmas, and get so full of rage that I want to suffocate them with smiling santa wrapping paper when they shrug and say "I don't know" or do the coy little "you don't have to get me anything" bullshit. You know now that I am obviously going to get you something either way, so hows about you give me some idea of something you might like, and make this easier on both of us? That way I don't have a breakdown in Target, and you don't get a singing Bass fish for your wall.
Everybody wins.
The caveat here is that the super infuriating charming thing about me, is that I never admit to what I want either.
I feel shy and self conscious asking for gifts.
I feel like anything I really want is either too small and stupid {read: some bacon and 5 dollar wine} or way too ridiculously huge {read: Paris sounds fun}.
I don't want to be the girl who asks for a keychain, even if I really needed a fucking keychain, and I don't want to be the girl that expects you to blow whole paychecks on her either.
So I blush, sweat, get really nervous and awkward, and feel like the girl who used to live in a junkyard and now goes to school in Scottsdale and doesn't know how to act around people who always wear shoes in public.

That's a true story...but for another day.

So what do you do about Christmas gift giving?
Do you ask for things, or do you squirrel away little hints through out the year, and then bust out like the most amazing gift ever that no one ever saw coming?
Are you a great gift giver, or are you the person in every family who is always giving women Walmart lotions, and men subscriptions to Fishing Monthly?
Tell me your secrets, tell me your strategy.
Tell me what the fuck you want for Christmas.

Also, if someone were to beg me for a few ideas as to what to get me this year, none of the stuff below would piss me off, were I to receive it by some crazy random happen stance. 

Bottom Left: Hi my name is mark men's shirt {shut up, they're comfortable and majestic as fuck}
Bottom Right: Canon 85 mm f/1.8 lens

Monday, October 14, 2013


A lot of you know the back story on my dysfunctional relationship with my dysfunctional father.
For those of you who don't, I'll sum it up: he's a not very nice, manipulative and controlling person, who lashes out during periods of intense paranoia, delirium, and misguided rage. He has a deep seeded hatred for himself, which projects on all living things that do anything other than cater to him.

This is only a mild exaggeration.

Anyway, in my time on this Earth, I've learned that I have a divine tendency to attract what I project.
This means that for years, when I was his wounded and dejected care-taker, I attracted people who were similar to him, and just as much in need of someone to-without question-do anything for them, and when they fell short {which was inevitable}they should expect nothing less than absolute vengeance and vindictive hatred from the person they had so exhaustively taken care of for so long.

One of the hardest qualities to deal with in people like this, is that their own lack of self-love or self-pride, or whatever it is that is so completely void in them, creates an inability for them to ever be proud or happy or selflessly supportive of another person.
If you try something new, they will mock you.
If you innovate, they will criticize you.
If you grow, they will beat you down.
If you move, they will block you.
If you are brave, they will scare you.

They are not the people to come to with your new idea, your project you've worked tirelessly on for months, your inspiration, your dreams.
They will laugh at it, squeezing it out of shape and then holding it up to the light to point out its imperfections.

It's hard to separate their own fear and self loathing from yourself.
It's hard to step back, and not personalize that.
It's hard to remember it's themselves they're talking to, not you.

And it's hard, but it's important-so. fucking. important.-to remember that you're the one stepping forward, out into the light to test new ground, to grow new wings, to make some shit happen.
They're scared of going with you, and they're scared of you leaving them behind.
You're a leader.
They're cowards.

And lions do not lose sleep, over the opinions of sheep. 

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Don't Quit Your Day Dream

Let me say a couple things that will blow your mind right now...
Halloween is in 22 days...
Lainie turns 10 years old in 32 days...
Christmas is in 77 Sleeps...
This year is over in less than 3 months.
Did you complete all your goals?
Did you follow through with your resolutions?
Did you make the most of it?
Another year came and went, and we all got to be here for one more.
We're all planning to be here for another after this.
So what did you do with it?
What will you do with the next one?
Are you enjoying it?
Are you happy?
If not, what the fuck are you waiting for?

Monday, October 7, 2013

Our Weekend

{I'm on a ridiculous Adam Scott binge lately. Someone stop me. Except don't. Ever.}

This weekend I...

Took a picture of Lainie wearing a turkey hat that made her look like a demon.

Did an engagement shoot with a super crazy adorable couple, and then got my cheese on at The Living Room. {Also, as long as I live, I will never achieve the level of cool punk rocker badass that this guy pulls off}.

Ate donuts, a cheeseburger, AND pizza in 48 hours.

Did zero laundry, dishes, or chores.

Slept until 10 this morning.

Watched Grey's Anatomy, Parks and Rec, and New Girl all in one afternoon.

Did a phone consultation with a possible new client {cross your fingers}.

Let myself be lazy and indulgent, and made some great big huge plans for the future.

What did you do this weekend?

Friday, October 4, 2013

The Friday Diary: Hustle Hard

paul rudd and adam scott, photographed for black book magazine by dan monick
{this picture has nothing at all to do with Friday. It's just that it's Friday and I think we should all look at hot guys more often. You're welcome.}
It's FRIDAY everyone!
I don't know about y'all but this week flew right by for me. I kept thinking it was a day behind, every single day this week.
Right now, it's Friday and I'm wearing jeans and I still keep thinking it's Thursday.
Our week was good, and filled with food, which you've probably seen if you follow my Instagram.
I think the last 6 pictures have all been foods, and it's starting to look pretty sad.
I'll have to post some pictures of my cats or something soon to remind people I'm still really cool, and do things other than eat. Like hang out with cats in my pajama pants. Alone. On a Friday night.
On second thought I should just stop Instagramming.
This weekend is going to be busy, which is becoming a more regular thing these days.
I'm both happy and anxious about that, because on the one hand, it means I'm getting business, but on the other, it means that as long as I am working full time, I won't have a day off for basically ever.
It's a mixed blessing, but I'm the happiest I've been in a long time right now, so I won't complain.
{speaking of business, I re-designed my website and you should go look at it}
On Saturday mornings, Lainie and I like to sneak away and go to Starbucks, just the two of us, if I can find someone to hang out with Jackson.
She usually gets a coffee-free Frappucino, but this weekend I think I'm going to introduce her to the amazingness of that which is PUMPKING EVERYTHING.
I'll post pictures.
Also, it's been a while since I've posted any of my favorite shit from Pinterest, so here.
Inspirational Quotations
I love this picture so much, I want to hang it in every room of my house and then put it on a t-shirt.
My "friend" Camdon {the word friend is used loosely here, because a true friend would never crush my dreams this way} said that the word hustle doesn't mean what I think it means in this picture.
So I said that he's not nearly thug enough to make those kinds of wild accusations, and then I burned his house down.
Well, I didn't actually, because he's in Ohio and I don't have the attention span required to drive that far, but I thought about it.
He's lucky I'm even still speaking to him.
I've only had one cup of coffee, so I'm afraid this might be all you get from me right now.
Maybe I'll come back later and WRITE ALL THE THINGS when I'm more awake.
If not, I'll see you Monday, have a great weekend, and don't get pregnant.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Throw Back Tuesday: 2009

These pictures were from 2009, sometime in the Spring. 
Jackson wasn't even one year old yet. Lainie was the same age Jack is now. 
We lived in the Willo district in downtown Phoenix.
I had just met Bill.
Jackson's dad had just moved to Minnesota.
It was a weird time.
But on this particular day, the kids were playing on the floor, scattering toys everywhere, making a huge mess, and I was sitting on the couch snapping pictures of them, and laughing at Jackson trying to eat a banana the wrong way.

It was a good day.