Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Some Truths About Pregnancy

     Firstly, I have not been around recently, and for that I am sorry. I got engaged, got married, came down with the pregnancy and then birthed a tiny human
     Now that the apology is out of the way, I need to place some disclaimers in front of this. I love that I was pregnant. I'm over 30 and this is something I (we) have wanted for such a very very long time. I love the support I get, albeit long distance support. This post will be slightly "graphic". I don't have any swearing in the books, but I will be telling the truth, so fair warning. Again, I loved being pregnant. Now, let my pregnancy truth begin.
     Before you get pregnant, any and all family or friends you have will tell you it's a beautiful, magical, and amazing process. This is not an outright lie, but a very selective truth. It's similar as when women say "Vaginal birth was a little tough, but once the baby is there, it doesn't matter." This actually translates into something similar to "It feels like your constipated, and everything is on fire. Once you push a tiny (or not so tiny) human out of your vagina (probably tearing something) and they rest that beautiful human on your chest, all those terrible things fade away." See what happened there? Selective truths.
     These are not insanely different truths, but they're misleading enough. When you come down with pregnancy (my affectionate way of saying it) everyone has advice, opinions and genuine excitement for you. This is great, wonderful and starts you off in your pregnancy super excited. Then the selective truths come into play. You hear, for years in fact, that your breasts will hurt, and they will grow. These aren't necessarily pleasant (although growing may be great for you significant other) but they're not "end of the world" unpleasant either. The truth is, you breasts will hurt, they will grow, and they will itch so badly it will feel like a mosquito has bitten your nipples but the hurt is so great you can do nothing about this itch without causing severe discomfort and pain. Selective truths. That particular selective truth doesn't end there either. Once you've gotten used to that beautiful discomfort, add in the fact that at some point (18 weeks for me, I'm an over achiever!) your breasts will start to leak colostrum. Yay -.-  Think of this leaking much like your menstrual, it's going to show up at the most wonderful moments. For me, the best was during a FaceTime conversation! 
     The obvious morning sickness gets mentioned a lot in your first trimester, and the women who suffer from this, have my greatest sympathy. Morning sickness is all on its own a selective truth, being as it can last the entirety of a day. I was lucky, and escaped the terribleness of morning sickness at its worse. I did experience some nausea, and extreme amounts of indigestion and heartburn! I was a lucky lady in that my first trimester was actually quite easy compared to many.
     Although, (there's always a catch) when I was told that I would be tired, and that napping was good...I took this at face value. I thought, "Well, I'll maybe be a bit tired, and then want a nap briefly in the middle of the day." After all, I have known many mom-to-be's who work through their pregnancy, or tend to their other children. My respect for them is something I couldn't put to words. I slept, a lot. I slept continuously. I slept 8 hours at night, and then slept 2-3 times during the day for 1-3 hours each.
     As a pregnancy turns the corner from trimester 1 to trimester 2, you hear about how wonderful it is!! There's lessened to no morning sickness (for "most" ladies), your energy comes back, typically sex drive shows back up, and all the exciting bits (movement, gender, baby "bump", etc) start in this trimester traditionally. It sounds so amazing, and wonderful, doesn't it? Well, all these things are true, but for me they leave so much out.
     For instance, no one mentions how during this trimester you will become a hairy beast. You will be growing a chia pet in numerous places on your body. You'll get warned about the darkening "line" from belly button down, but not about the profuse amount of hair suddenly saying hello all over your ever expanding stomach. It's not that you suddenly have so much more hair as it is that your body is holding on to it. Why? Who knows. Maybe it's for funzies, to see how hot you can actually get. As you get more house-like in your pregnancy, and there's substantially more blood flowing through your body, you get warm. Not just a little warm (maybe I'll take off my sweater) but more of a "it's winter, the heat is set to 65, and I'm in my undies and a tank top. Maybe I should go streaking" type of warm.
     Now for all those beautiful bits. Feeling the baby move for the first time is beautiful. Even if you've never had children, you've heard these words. Well, let me be brutally honest: The first time I felt the baby move, I thought I had to poop. No lie, no joke, just the truth. The second time I felt the baby move, I wondered if that was indeed the baby moving. It took 5 nights straight at the same time for me to say, "Yes!! I have felt the movement, and it was glorious!!" And as everything with pregnancy is mostly a catch 22, that was followed up within a month with, "Can you please kick the crap out of me at some time other than 2-3 a.m. tiny human?"
     I can't speak about gender, as we were a couple that opted out of finding out. For us, there was no "need" to know, so I'll just comment on it being a humorous situation when people get so frustrated simply because you don't want to know the gender. Seriously, just buy the jungle themed items, we're good! We will have more kids, and it'll save a ton of money not having everything be boy or girl specific in case tiny human #2 is the opposite gender!
     The bump. The ever-loved, amazing bump. You spend weeks and weeks feeling like you went through the buffet line at least two times too many. You look in the mirror constantly wondering to yourself if everyone else is wondering if you're pregnant, or just packing on some extra winter weight. I'm a very small framed woman, and it was a very hard transition for me until the bump was very large and in charge!! Once your bump arrives, there's so much elation at the fact that you'll no longer be a "Is she, or isn't she?" lady. This is (again) followed immediately by the downfall. You've got another tiny person shoved out in front of you now. Everything is harder. You can't take deep breaths, you're being taken over by the tiny human parasite inside. Dropped that thing on the floor? Screw it, it wasn't that important anyways. You start carrying your phone with you everywhere. Not because you're addicted to Candy Crush (although you could be that too) but more because at this point you'll be a LifeLine person who's fallen and can't get up. Let's be honest about this as well, it's so you can text for room service. My husband was very supportive throughout my pregnancy (I'm a lucky lady) and I may have had the thought of just texting him. I didn't. I did however, call him.
      The bump does make for some of the most beautiful moments in your pregnancy however. It gives you visual confirmation of that tiny human growing ever bigger inside your stomach. I do mean ever bigger too. As your belly expands (and it will) your posture changes (yay!) and suddenly back pain has become your arch nemesis. How, why, where, and when all become a blur. You'd love to just lie flat on your back, but alas, you'll feel like your suffocating if you did such a thing.  Why? Oh yeah, there's that tiny human in there taking up space. He/she also thrills you with uteronastics. That's in utero gymnastics, in case you're wondering. As with everything it's so amazing and wonderous to start. Suddenly it's painful, abrupt, and almost aggressive. Seriously, I believe my child wants to come out of my rib cage!! It's like watching the Aliens movie, every night, on your stomach. The best worst horror movie of my life, and I wouldn't change it.

     Being pregnant is this strange and beautiful mix of emotions, changes and experiences. You labor in the best way you can, and you have all these fears, all these concerns, all these woes in the world. How can I be a parent? What if I'm absolutely terrible at it? What if I drop my tiny human on the floor? What if I mess them up? Then you give birth to that tiny human, and you see them. And suddenly the world is different. It's not something to be put into words, or something you can describe, even to another mother. The world is suddenly very different, and it's a whole new wonderful adventure! Which I'll be sure to tell you all about!


Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Contemplative Sitter - A Stream of Conciousness

I'm sitting here today in a Starbucks in Brentwood, TN waiting for images to upload to my site. As I wait, I tend to do a few things. One, I people watch. People watching is something I've done for a very long time, as I find people very interesting, and perhaps that is why I enjoyed being a server all those years ago so much. Two, I take smoke breaks. I've been on a mission to quit smoking for quite some time, but I always seem to find some excuse not to; I'm in pain, I'm bored, I'm driving, blah blah blah. These excuses are becoming tiresome even to myself. For the time being though, I still take my breaks from the inside noise, smells, and sights. Plus today, I have Spartacus hanging out in the vehicle waiting for me (the internet is slow today). Three, I read blogs/posts by photographers. This is something I try to do quite frequently, as I am a photographer and hearing other photographers is always a good thing. Different view points, opinions and ideas can only make me question my resolve and strive to become a better photographer.
Today was an interesting day as I've seen a theme in some of these posts. The ultimate: "What is Beauty?" question has been posed in numerous places. People passing their verdict on what is acceptable and for whom it is acceptable for. I tend to believe a general rule to this, every man and woman has the right to choose how to display their beauty. The question raised however, is why young ladies feel the need to be "sexy" during senior portraits or event portraits. Well, to that I have no real answer or true opinion probably. I mean, parenting is different from when I grew up. I had a full time working Dad, but a stay at home Mom for the majority of my young years. We usually ate supper together, and my parents helped me with my homework. As I'm running through these thoughts, and the way my mind works I stop for a while on that fact. Look at most families you know, and think about this. I don't mean to sound judgmental, or that I know the rights and wrongs of raising a family as I have no kids yet, but I do know what worked for me, and what isn't working for families I know.
Families don't eat supper together, or breakfast...heck, most families can't even "find the time" to snack together in one room. Dad/Mom is in the office, kids are in their own rooms, with their own TV's and their own computers. The connection of family is lost in so many ways through technology and the loss of time. Does this mean a parent must stay home to raise the kids? No, I don't believe that is a necessity at all. What I do think is we (as a general populous) tend to take our time for granted. "Hold on while I finish up my work at home." Sure you can play games, I need to do the dishes anyways." Many families don't go for walks together, or do outdoor activities, or indoor activities together, as a family.
Again, I am not a parent yet, and I know that I will make mistakes and that's just part of the process. What I am trying to say is to me as an individual, I value the time aspect of family. Whether you stay at home all day with your kids, or you work full time plus overtime, time can be found regardless. I think when I look at that bulk of thoughts that my priority when I become a parent will be valuing the time I do have with my child/children regardless of how much I work, or how much my spouse works.

Very little of this has anything to do with photography, I know. It's just my random thoughts this day waiting for the very slow upload process to complete itself.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Another delay, but finally images!

      Another chunk of time has passed me by while I wasn't paying attention. Some personal changes have taken up some of my time, but now some professional changes are finally getting me where I want to be! I am a proud new owner of braces, which makes me feel like a teenager. Some physical hurdles with my back have been placed, and so far successfully jumped. I've finally managed to sit down (with some chai) and start the arduous process of going through over 100,000 images to get the website, my Facebook, and here all ready to go. Also finally made some progress on my logo, although...I don't think it's where it needs to be yet, but it's a good start!
      Two weekends ago, I was able to enjoy some time in North Carolina with James, and was able to spend two nights trying out a new idea. It's still in its experimental stages right now, but at least I know it works! The tricky part from here on out is figuring out how to get the whole concept together and to work. Let me know what your thoughts are!

      More work to come in the coming days and weeks!

     I was also able to get some work done on some of my portraits. I'm hoping as the weather gets better to build up my portfolio, and get a larger client base!

Monday, September 30, 2013

Playing the Catch-Up Game

    The last two months have been just a whirlwind of ridiculousness! My goal (originally) was to have the website up and fully running by the end of August. I got so excited about this, I even commented to people of its pending completion. I went to Sturgis, SD the first week of August, and enjoyed my birthday with lots of new and amazing people, as well as remember a man who was very loved and is now lost in me and my mother's lives, along with many others'.

    Back to the website, I have decided to offer CD's. I realize now, that no one wants the prints nearly as much anymore. People want images they can post to Facebook, and although I don't care for the site anymore, I know that a lot of people do. I am hoping that I can get all this figured out by the end of the weekend. I am not a person who is super savvy when it comes to fully customizing a website and that's the problem that I have encountered. I needed to update this, and updates will come much more regularly now that things have settled a bit. More to come soon (at least, sooner than later anyways)!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Travelling Thoughts and Perks

Today marked day 2 traveling from Tennessee to Minnesota. We are headed out to Sturgis, SD. A few years ago, it would be to ride our motorcycles out there, and enjoy the whole experience. However, things have changed, and we are driving in a Prius, and a Toyota Tundra pulling a 20' Sportsmen camper.
Traveling has provided me with some amazing experiences over the last 5 years, and this trip is no exception. The first many hours do not have much variation in scenery to them. It's pretty much trees on both sides of the interstate, and little visibility for forest rats (deers). Through parts of Kentucky and lower Illinois, there are glimpses of fields or meadows, but it is still dominated by the trees right next to the interstate. This trip there seemed to be many more travelers than normal. This may not be the case as it may just be me wishing there were less people in general on the roads these days.
Every time I make this drive (over 25 times total now), Illinois is my least favorite state to drive through. It literally has nothing  to do with the road conditions, the drivers, or the scenery. Instead, it has everything to do with the length of the state! I enter on the southern end, and proceed all the way up to Interstate 80. It is the longest leg of the journey without a change in road, and it doesn't change a whole lot in scenery. The changes in many other states happen every few hours; you see fields, then trees, then river areas, wetlands, hills, etc. In Illinois, there's only two changes it seems. Trees, fields. This isn't actually the case, but it certainly feels that way driving the endless road through a seemingly endless state.
We camped at Hunt's Cedar River Campground last night near Tipton, Iowa. It's very close to the interstate on the outer camping row, but not horribly noisy inside the camper. It wasn't busy, and it was really quite clean. We woke up this morning and took the Great Dane and Yorkie (strange mix, I know) down to the river. It was only about a blocks worth of walk and it was really quite pretty in the late morning light. I took a few images, but they're still on the camera!
After our walk, we departed again. It's a campground I would stay at again as it has internet access, and either water/electric, or full hookups for $26/$28 respectfully.
Today was long, my body is sore from yesterday's driving, but it went well. We spent the majority of the drive with some clouds, which helped keep the camper cooler at stops. The scenery was beautiful as the prairies and crop fields took over. It always makes me feel like I'm home when I see these things. I lived in the midwest my entire life, and I feel claustrophobic quite often in Tennessee. I think it's the people, along with inability to see any amount of distance from pretty much anywhere!
We arrived at the farm late, and were able to eat something quick, and now I'm writing this up!
Being horizontal on the bed with a blanket sounds amazing right now, and I'll be enjoying that feeling very soon!
Tomorrow will be lots of running around, and making sure everything's ready to go. Sturgis will be the next thing on our fun filled agenda! I've been to the motorcycle get-together once before, although I had not purchased my motorcycle at that point. This year I'm going for very different reasons. Meeting people that have been a part of my Mom's life, and enjoying their  company is a very exciting and welcomed thing! I'm also looking forward to spending at least one night out in the Badlands, and enjoying their splendor as well as the new moon!!!
It's time for no longer being vertical now!
Hopefully I'll have new pictures coming this way in the next week!!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Timed Exposures....A struggle

So, over the course of my career, which is definitely still very young, I have tried (without stacking images) to capture a great long exposure. With digital programs achieving a seemingly 4 h

our exposure is easy, if you're willing/able to capture hundreds of exposures, and then stack them upon themselves after the fact. It's not that I find this process too difficult, I just don't prefer it. Although with digital you're strapped by your camera battery's charge.
I have probably done long exposures two dozen times since I truly learned how to. Of those two dozen times, I've probably walked away with less than 10 viable images. Not that the images I have captured aren't a personal achievement to me, they just aren't anything I would expect a stranger to pay money to buy from me. It's just part of the learning process for me.

If I was better with my film cameras, I could take a 24 hour straight exposure if I felt so inclined...but that's a whole other beast to conquer!

Here's a few examples of what I've come up with so far. One is from early this year, and the other from about 6 nights ago. The second image is problematic in the aspect that I took it in a highly populated area (as there are power lines), and the light pollution, although low all things considered, still alters the images integrity.

Both images have been altered in contrast, white balance, and levels to attempt better clarity with them. I've also added my watermark, but that's where the editing ends on these.

A Lapse In Time

As it is very well obvious, I haven't been back to my blog for too long! I have returned! haha

This has been a trying 6 weeks, and I have failed miserably at my 365 project...I'll be forced to start over sometime in the somewhat near future. I took at least one picture per day for about 45 days, and then it went somewhere that I lost..

I returned to MN/SD area in June, and was able to see family and friends I have missed very much. I was also lucky enough to finally start my business! I conducted over 10 photo shoots, mostly of families and a couple, but I also got to shoot some more creative light painting! I hadn't spent the time with my camera specifically photography "my cup of tea" for a while, but I'm getting back to that now.

The year marker of losing someone precious and close to me and many others came this month. There is no such thing as getting over losing someone you love, but there is a way to rejoice what things and wisdom they gave to you. That's the place I'm finally getting to now. I'm an over-emotional person most of the time, and don't separate them well, but progress in the right direction is always a very welcomed thing!

Right now, that's about all I have to say. Pictures and updates will be headed this way shortly, but I just wanted to post a quick update in case anyone is looking!

Have a great evening!