Thursday, March 27, 2014

40 Thursdays

do even the smallest things with great love...

My challenge today is to do everything with love. Actually, I need to BE love. I want to be love. Love needs to come out of everything that I yet to be.

As usual, easier said than done.

I can be a bit snarky, a bit sarcastic. Those who know me are rolling their eyes right now and saying, "a bit? that's the understatement of the century".  I am the one on the phone with my sister during any red carpet event trashing the stars. Joan Rivers seems like Miss Manners next to me. Stinging zingers are my specialty.

I don't want to be that anymore. I want to be love. 

So, here I go. With Love. As Love. In Love.

Love and Blessings!

Monday, March 24, 2014

40 Mondays

The Ugly Sister...

My sister, Crescent, began hitting me with pinterest quotes about beauty this morning because she didn't appreciate my candor.

I sent her a photo that I had snapped with my phone (a scary selfie) this morning. I was wanting to show her how fabulous my hair looked when I woke up this morning. And, since it was 5 am, obviously I was not wearing makeup. 

She told me to post it on facebook. I declined. She persisted. I explained that I couldn't possibly post it because I'm not pretty.

Hence the pinterest quotes about beauty she sent me.

The thing beautiful sister doesn't understand what it is to be ugly. More have an ugly face. I have one and she doesn't.

She didn't have to live in the shadow of her younger and beautiful sisters. (Not to mention the beautiful half-sisters I also have....I just couldn't catch a break). She wasn't known as the ugly one in the family. She didn't grow up hearing comments like, "It's a good thing she's smart because she's no beauty." She never had her dates tell her that it was her body that was attractive but her face was a turn off. She never had to try and be the smart one or the funny one to "be a part".... she could just be all of those things because she was already pretty.

But I did.

I learned to use my body to my advantage. And I did all I could to detract from my face.

I have written before about how I learned to love my body and that I see it as beautiful. And I do. I have even posed nude (photos for myself and my husband - I am a professional photographer). The common thread in those photos.....the reason I can see them...see me as beautiful - my face is not in them. 

Over the years, I have learned to use makeup, hold my head a certain way, control facial expressions....all to detract from the ugliness in my face. I avoid having my photo taken. I hate mirrors. 

My husband tells me I'm beautiful without makeup, but I don't believe him. And this morning, my sister tells me I'm beautiful without makeup. I don't believe her either. Is it because of all the times I have been told by so many others the opposite? Maybe. But I see it too. 

I've never been pretty. And I've been okay with that. Atleast that is what I tell myself. When I can avoid seeing my face, I can almost forget. When I look at myself though, I cringe instantly. 

I see the weird asysmmetry of my face. My uneven eyes, my strange chin, my ugly nose, the dark bags......
But, I also see all of the pain and rejection I've ever had right there. All of it. And it's ugly. It's a reminder that I avoid.

But since I am all about overcoming this year. I am accepting the challenge that my sister threw down. I am posting the photo of myself that I took this morning. Without makeup. In all my nakedness and vulnerability. In all of my ugliness.
I am not looking for exclamations and false statements telling me that I am beautiful. I understand that my face is not who I am. But it is a part of me. 
If I could ask anything, it would be to never tell anyone that they are ugly. Focus on their beauty and the whole sum of them. Because that one part that isn't good enough, is what taunts and torments forever. So, if the focus is never directed to that one part, they will never know it's there because their gaze will be on their beauty.

Love and Blessings!

Friday, March 21, 2014

41 Fridays

The Tree of All Seasons is dead!

Earlier this year, I wrote about how inspired I was to keep the Christmas tree up. It was something my youngest daughter always wanted. So, we have kept it up. We made adorable Valentine decorations for it. After that, my family lost interest. It has since turned into a playground for my cats. Now limbs are broken, fake needles surround the tree on my carpet, and some of the lights aren't working now.

The tree is coming down. As I begin to dismantle, my cats gather 'round singing Madonna's, This Used to be My Playground. (Okay, not really, but how cool would that be if they did!) 

Have I failed in the challenge I set for myself at the beginning of 2014? Maybe. And yet, maybe not. The lesson was learned and I march forward. Maybe I've grown beyond the tree. Maybe.

Now, sit back and enjoy the video that I am now sharing with my cats. They are ready. They get it now. The song resonates with them.
Love and Blessings!

Spring Portraits

Spring is in the air. (Finally!) I am going to photograph Portraits March 29, 30, 31 and April 1. The Spring Portrait Package is $70 and includes the photo session, proofs and a Wall Portrait. (This would make a great Mother's Day gift!)
Call 937-336-1597 to book your Spring Portrait Session!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

42 Wednesdays


That is how I feel. I have been so tired lately. Headaches, upset stomach....just all over feeling yucky. The only things I want to eat are watermelon and peanut butter. oooh...and a giant cheeseburger - after my nap.

I am trying to focus on a design project that has a fast approaching deadline. What am I doing instead? Blogging. Sometimes, I just need a break from photoshop and illustrator.'s raining outside. So, what I really want to do is curl up in a chair with a blanket, hot tea, and a good book.

Responsibility is knocking. It's giving me a headache. Instead of giving in to my wants and desires, I am going to pound out this project. Because it is the right thing to do. Because it is the grown up thing to do. And, I am a grown up. I can nap later. 

The challenge today is to carry on in that journey of adulthood and responsibility. And then eat some watermelon. Better yet, send me some.

Love and Blessings!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

41 Tuesdays

Taking Parenting Back...

I am starting a revolution. Fighting back against homework....and the current education system. Who's with me?

My youngest two children (the oldest is an adult and out of school) currently attend public school. Overall, I like the school, the district, they are in. My issue is with the system. And not just the public school system. My oldest two have been subjected to public, private, Christian and home schooling. I was an art teacher at one of the schools. The system puts a limitation on us as parents. 

We send our children to school for six hours (not counting bus/travel time) to learn academics. I resent academics being sent home (homework) to take away from my parenting time (which is roughly 4-5 hours). I have other things to teach my children, thank you. 

My husband and I really looked at our priorities with our children. We were allowing school work to be more important than other areas. School work is important, but it should be done at school, during school hours. As adults, we strive to leave work at "work", during "work hours". Why aren't we doing the same for our children? 

This system has limited me as a parent. It has limited us all. Overburdened by homework, we realize that we've put the responsibility of our children's spiritual upbringing on the children's workers at church. Children get 30+ hours of academic instruction (feeding their minds) and roughly 2 hours of feeding their spirits per week. 

I am taking my parenting rights back. Parenting time is not school time. I am responsible for the all over emotional, physical, spiritual and mental well-being of my children. I set the priorities. I am pushing back.

I challenge you to look at where your time is spent parenting. How are your priorities rated. Are they where you want them to be in reality?

Love and Blessings!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

42 Thursdays


"This little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine. Let it shine. Let it shine....."

Sometimes I get so focused on letting my light shine that I forget to recharge my battery. I spend too much time away from the source of my light. My light grows dim....

I find I'm not as bright as I once was. Running on low power, it becomes more difficult to shine. Facing burnout....if I could just rest....for just a moment....conserve my energy............

What I need to do is plug in to my power source. I need to be filled up in order to pour out. It's a mistake to wait until I am on empty. At the end of the day, I don't want to find that I am an empty vessel. A lamp without oil. A dry cistern. A flame without oxygen. If I am without life, I can't impart life to others. If I have no more hope, I have no hope to offer. If I am drained of compassion, I have none to give. If I have no power, I am useless - I am unable to fulfill my purpose. 

Women, it seems, give and give and give. We will pour ourselves out to the very last drop for others. That is so wrong. It is vitally important that we regularly recharge. When we shine brighter, we impact greater. We become better. We can pour out more. We can give our very best at all times. 

I challenge you to check your power levels. Are you shining bright and beautiful or are you flickering and gasping for strength to carry on just a little longer? Stop, take a breath and plug in to the power source. Recharge your battery. Fill up on your power. Then, get out there and shine brighter than ever before!

Love and Blessings!

Monday, March 10, 2014

42 Mondays

Dandelion Wishes....

I was MIA from the blog last week. I have been working really hard on two of my books. Revisions are being made and some tweaks here and there in order to move on to the next phase. Once I have the publishing date, I am going to post an excerpt from the first book here on the blog. 

Having my writing published really is a dream come true for me. Writing was all I ever wanted to do. Well, that and singing. I did sing for awhile though. Writing was something that I kept hidden to myself. My family knew I wrote. In college, I had a professor tell me that I had a special gift and I could change the world with my writing. That scared me. I ran from the pressure and I stopped writing for years.

My husband has always known that I was supposed to write and be published. He has encouraged me to write again for most of our marriage. I had shut that part of me off for so long that I didn't know if I could tap back into it again. There were all of these stories inside of me, but I didn't know if I could let them out.

Last year, I sat down and began writing again. There is some fear and anxiety at first. And then, it's almost an obsession. I am me, at my simplest and fullest, when I write. Everything around me just falls away.

Then it stopped. I hit a block. I hit it hard. That overwhelming pressure came back again. Suddenly, I found myself struggling to connect. I realized that during the process, I had changed my "why" for writing. It had become a job to me. My creativity was gone. What happened to my dream? Why had I forgotten it? How did I get it back?

One day, I looked over at my youngest daughter, Regan. She was singing her heart out and dancing around the room. Singing is her gift, her dream, her dandelion wish. I saw the joy on her face. And I remembered.....I remember blowing on the dandelion and sending my wish out into the world. I wanted to write my stories. I remembered my love for it. I remembered how alive and joyful I feel as the words pour out of me. 

So, I write. And the stories come alive. 

What is your dandelion wish? 

Love and Blessings!

Saturday, March 1, 2014


Yes, I still do photography....

I officially closed my photography business at the end of last year. Yet, I still do photography. 


I was spending so much time running the business, day to day.....that I wasn't doing everything I needed to do. Being who I was supposed to be. Photography is a part of that though. 

"Do you still do photography at all?" is the question I get asked often. The answer is yes. Yes, I do. Not as often, but yes. I have received three wedding inquiries this week alone. I no longer take on all the inquiries. I meet, see if we are a good fit, if the shoot idea or wedding intrigues me and then I decide if I want to photograph it. I have always been an artistic photographer in style and now I can be the artist in truth. I am no longer taking on "jobs". I now choose to take on moments, emotions, memories - of my choosing. I am a better photographer now for it.


*If you are interested in commissioning me for a wedding or portrait contact me via email:

44 Saturdays


I really did try to come up with a different topic. However, I strive to be true and honest in this blog. Share what is going on with me. Sex is just on the brain. It has been for a few days now. Or, to be perfectly honest, the lack of sex is on the brain. I am not getting enough.

It's not my husband's fault. I've been trying not to get cranky with him because he is avoiding me in the bedroom. Not completely avoiding me. We've just been having less sex than usual. I am about to get graphic here, so - to my friends and family - sorry, and you may want to stop reading now.

I love having sex with my husband. We have a pretty active sex life. And we are pretty open in discussing sex - especially with our children. We didn't want them to ever have a bad perception of sex. 

My husband prefers morning sex. I love late at night sex. So, we have always tried to compromise and have both. A great way to end the evening and a fantastic way to start the day. And with afternoon romps and middle of the night fun, we consistently have sex one to two times per day. 

We just went two days without sex. And yesterday evening, my husband hardly blinked at my play of seduction. I was annoyed. I know he's been tired and stressed out over some situations we are dealing with. And I try to keep that in mind. And I realize that I am being selfish by wanting so much sex. But I crave that intimacy with him. He is an amazing partner and when you share something so incredible with your spouse, sex is a wonderful expression of your connection to each other. 

It isn't the act of sex itself that I love, but the expression of our intimate connection. If I had it my way, we would never leave the bed. There is nothing quite like married sex. My husband and I had sex before we were married. (I may have just shocked some of you) That sex was nothing compared to the sex we had once we were married. It is deeper and more binding than anything I have ever experienced.

My husband and I like each other...a lot. We enjoy each other's bodies. We love that we belong to each other. Do I hate the dry spell we had this week? I think the answer to that is obvious (I have devoted an entire blog post to rant about it). That being said, we had fantastic sex this morning (dry spell over). Is this too much information to share? Maybe. This is what's going on with me though and I promised to share it all.

Have sex with your spouse today. That is my challenge to you. And remember why you are connecting and how special it is. It is a beautiful expression of your marriage covenant together.

Love and Blessings!