Pets from Santa Clause: Naughty or Nice choice?

It’s that time of the year again.  The Christmas lists are being written, stuffed into envelopes and mailed to Santa. Parents glance over the lists before mailing them to 1 Reindeer Lane, The North Pole. The children gleam in excitement as they await their new kitty, a puppy or a horse!

Santa Clause holds your child on his lap and looks at you anxiously as he reads this amazing list. He looks for a sign on whether or not the live animal entering your home is the best idea! You shake your head NO profusely, praying Santa understands or give the wink of approval for the beloved new animal!

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Holiday houses: Which style will you choose?

Decorating season is in full swing. We have the ladders, hammers, nails, decorations, lights,extension cords, and plugs all ready for the big unveiling of our homes. It’s that time of year again, to truly show your personality through the outside decorating of your yard. Will you be elegant and fancy, fun and creative, tacky or lazy?

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My journey to capture life…..

Every story, moment, feeling, emotion, is able to be captured.  People have amazing records of  history through art, photographs and writing. Everyone has their own version of the memories.  They become the stories that we tell, folk lore that we have learned, and the history passed down from generation to generation, changing and growing as they evolve and finally reach our children and their children’s children.

Throughout my life,  I have always photographed as many moments that I could.  I have photographs from when I was in 6th grade, dancing with my friends, 7th grade at field hockey practice, 8th grades dinner dance, and so on throughout high school, into college, and the camera never stopped after that.  Moment after moment captured inside of a frame.  History recorded and documented through the photographs, through my eyes.  Mind you, they aren’t the best photos, with my 35mm, yellow, under water camera, that my mother said “I don’t care if you break this one.”   I would gladly take that camera with the hope that I could capture the story of my life.

My life long journey of  photographs are all stored now in albums, boxes, canvas’s, on the walls in frames, on social media, and so on.  They sit near my parents stories and their parents and so on. They are browsed through periodically and I feel all of the emotion from the day they were taken. Newer memories don’t even make it off of my hard drive.

Some photos are just memories of people who no longer exist in this world.  Photos of people I miss and I wish they were still with us.  Sometimes I long for our friendships, as they were, when we were younger.  I no longer long for this because I feel sad.  I gladly embrace the photographs (the memories) and I am amazed to have them all. However, I can’t help to allow moments of wanting to reach back in and be that person, if even for a second.   I long to feel that moment and the power of just being there again.  The thought of embracing someone who I can no longer, sinks in, as I reach back into these images. DMW_4338.JPG

I have contemplated the idea of creating a wall of frameless collaged photographs, however the fear of ruining all the photos holds me back! I often find that I want to hold onto the memories more than I should.  I can remember details when I look at the likeness.  The distinct smells around me, the feeling I had at the moment, the laughter or lack their of, in the captured story.  I can remember conversations and all that was around me.  It’s as if, just a photograph, can bring that life back to me.

My photography has led me to my career.  A successful career of photographing others, capturing their lives and their happiness.  I spent years loving that I was a part of someone else’s memory, if even for a moment.  I love that there are walls around the globe with photos that I have taken.  Friendships that I have created by just being on a beach in the Dominican Republican and emailing a photograph to a stranger because, I captured their memory.

Their have been moments in my life that I chose to not hold my camera in my hand.  I have just recently (6 months ago) completely stepped out of that pain.  I gave up on wanting to capture many moments when I sat through a divorce, the death of my mother, the loss of my home, the turmoil of my family, and I lived a disconnect from that life.  I forced myself to photograph happy family’s because it was my job and yet it killed me internally for about a year.  With the holidays in full swing,  I long for my mother and wish things were the same, if even just for one more photograph.

I am now back to my old ways, capturing moments as they come to me.  I am free to recreate memories and make sure that the future knows the people from their past.  I embrace that my children will remember their stories, even if it brings a pang of ache, for a moment. I photograph our family as it is now…

My journey to capture life continues, I will be remembered for the portraits I have taken and I will grow, even if I cry a tear or two when I look at my walls.







“Mom, you’re embarrasing.”

Embarrassing…. My young daughter has decided that I am embarrassing! Can you believe that?  I mean truly… embarrassing?

The only reason I chose to even leave the house today, in the rain, is because the paint fumes in the house were forcing us out.  It was either pass out from polyurethane or go to Star Bucks.

We drive over to Star Bucks. I am so excited for my girl date, that I even leave my cell phone in the car!  We are walking towards the door and I mention how excited I am to go inside with her,get tea, and sit and chat.

Her head spun around like she was hit in the head with a baseball bat.  She loudly questioned me, “What? We are NOT sitting in Star Bucks!”

In utter confusion, I explain that indeed we are sitting in Star Bucks and it will be fun.   We need to kill time before we go back to the poisonous noxious fumes.

“Mom, no offense, but no way, you’re embarrassing.”

At this moment I realize I dont like this conversation. My response: “REALLY!!!!!!  REALLY!  Embarrassing…

So I’m not embarrassing to go shopping with when  you need my cash, or my car, or my credit card but just to have a cup of tea?!   What could I possibly do to embarrass someone over tea?”

I turned around and headed back to the car with confused tweener walking behind me. “Wait we AREN’T getting Star Bucks mom?”

Not until I’m done being embarrassing!

What do you do that embarrasses  your kids!?DMW_0893