Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Light at the End of the tunnel.

After weeks of being horribly sick and two doctor visits later, I'm finally starting to feel better.  Holy Smokes the world is a different place when you are run down and surrounded by tissues.  Sadly, I was only able to keep my girl good and healthy through doctor's visit number one... poor thing.   But I think we've turned the corner and are looking to be a happy, healthy family very soon.

Saturday we went to Benjamin Moore and bought some wonderful earth friendly, and kid friendly paint the Natura line and I got started.  I've read so many great reviews about the Natura line because it is zero VOC and I can feel good about it in my home with my daughter. I can't wait to get things finished up.  I'm a believer that you have to make a home your own and paint is the first step in doing so! 

Most of our main living area was painted a pastel colored mint green.  The previous owner made it look great as her style was more county inspired with quilts and such around.  My style is more of a vintage-modern mix... if that makes sense and pastel anything just doesn't mesh well.  We've (meaning me, as Berdaddy is color blind) chose to go with dry sage with buttercup as accent walls in the dinning room.  We also got some fun chalk board paint for a wall between the two rooms... we are all so excited for that to get finished I think the most.  Of course this isn't as environmentally friendly and is going to require us to sand off the texture but I know Button is going to just love coloring this winter next to her Momma.

Getting completely finished will be a slow process as one of us is on baby duty while the other paints or tapes... and since I'm in school, working and, and, and... you get the idea but it's a start!

Here is the dinning room just before I started.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Attack of the Mommy Guilt Monster

I never could have imagined how difficult it would be to become a mother... or should I say to become the mother I expect myself to be.  After two years of trying to become a mother I learned so much and had so many ideas on what I would do as a mother.  In many ways I'm so very grateful for that difficult period in my life as it gave me the time to find my path in the parenting world.  I learned about gentle parenting, about midwives and natural living.  God certainly had a plan for me and now I count myself as one lucky woman.

Then, I had my beautiful baby girl and I took a year off of school to be with my sweet angel.  In that year, we shared both laughs and tears together. We sold the home Berdaddy and I bought in the city and moved to our new and more spacious family home in a beautiful town in the country.  Our forever home, if you will.  I grew my photography business by leaps and bounds in that year, capturing weddings, and families while Berdaddy bonded with his baby girl. It wasn't always peaches and cream but we did it together, we did it as a family.  And just as I was getting the hang of our new life and just as the dust was starting to settle in our new home, August came.  And with it, Button turned one and one week later I was back to school.  Our little cocoon time as a family was over.  Now, I feel like an over scheduled pack mule schlepping around with school bags, diaper bags and photo bags.  How did things change so quickly, it's as if we've been hit by a never ending tornado and yet we need to weather this storm.

With only one year left graduation is just around the corner.  And despite all of the upheaval, it's my passion... I want Button to realize that it is important to follow your dreams, see things through and all those other wonderful ideals we all wish for our children.  And I've been given an amazing opportunity to show her first hand that hard work pays off in the end, and that a little sacrifice is good for the soul. I've been given an amazing gift from my cousin to take Button while I'm in school.  She has three young children of her own on a huge farm in the town between me and my school.  And she is doing it out of the goodness of her heart.  Button is with her for only a few hours each week as Berdaddy is able to go and get her shortly after I drop her off.  So I know she is being well cared for, no doubt and many working mothers would jump at this opportunity.  I am thankful, I am.

The problem is the whole idea of schlepping her around not having a set rhythm do to the demands of my assignments and work load.  I hate not being with her all the time.  I hate that she is rushed and hurried... I hate that I get frustrated with my lack of time to get assignments finished and get frustrated with her when she is being clingy.  I have all these grand ideas of projects I want to get done around my house, activities I want to play with Button and so on...

The guilt is overwhelming at times.  I don't know how I'm going to get through this year in one piece but, I can and I will.

I need to sit down and really listen to my inner voice and set priorities and take control of the time I do have with my baby girl.  I need to enjoy my moments with her around the breakfast table and her sweet babbling when she chases the dog... and enjoy watching her 'talking' and rough housing with her cousins when I drop her off before heading off to class. 

I also need to be forgiving of myself and stop letting the Mommy Guilt Monster beat me down.

Monday, September 13, 2010

A photo shoot for Taliesin

For my first assignment in my commercial photography class we students had the wonderful opportunity to spend the day shooting Taliesin.  Taliesin was the Wisconsin home designed by Frank Lloyd Wright he spent his summers here.  The home has some seedy and  interesting history connected to it, complete with murder and adultery.

It is also the location of the design school created by FLW as well.  The keepers of Taliesin don't allow anyone to photograph this amazing location and keep a very tight hold on the images released.  I can't tell you how honored I am to have had this amazing opportunity as a photography student when many, many famous photographers offer their services for free and get turned away.  To sweeten this amazing opportunity further,  each student was tasked with providing three edited images that the Taliesin group can use however they see fit.  Be it website photo's, images for their quarterly magazine, postcards or for promoting their big 100 year celebration next summer.  While we won't be paid for our work we will be credited when and if they choose to publish our photo's.  I can only cross my fingers that one of my photo's is chosen in the coming months or years.  Such a credit will be an amazing honor and portfolio show piece!

It was so very difficult for me to choose my three shots. In deciding I had a few very important points to keep in mind.

1. In every single aspect of my life I am the least competitive person you will ever meet... but then there is photography and I'm almost ruthless in wanting to be the best.  So of course I needed to turn in shots that no other student in my class thought of.  That limited me in that I stayed far away from areas I felt were over shot.

2. The sky was dreary and I had to drop in sky's to all three shots.

So with out further ado, I give you my Taliesin Project in completion.

Can you even believe not on other student took a photo of the catwalk?!?  Shocked and amazingly please that I got to use this shot.  

This is the very back area of the house proper.  Not a typical shot of Taliesin for sure but I'm hoping it still captures FLW's style.

This is a part of the farm that is located at Taliesin.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Labor Day Cliche!!!

This year for Labor Day I demanded that Berdaddy and I plan a fun get away for the family to a destination close by that didn't involve a tent.  Don't get me wrong, I lurrrv to go camping, start a fire, hike in the wild out doors and gaze up at the big star covered sky.  But as our little Button is only 12 months I thought it best to find something a little more civilized and a toilet that flushes.

So I scoured the internet for deals and steals and ended up finding a great deal at the Copa Cabana in Wisconsin Dells, the midwest water park capital.  Granted, going to the Dells is probably the most cheesy and cliche vacation any Wisconsinite will go on but hey, my kid likes to splash in a good water park too and so it was settled we were off to the land of Tommy Bartlett and Noah's Ark.  I also twisted my cousin's arm into bring her family along for the Labor Day fun as well.  I can't tell you how I looked forward to this little get away in the days leading up to it.  I could barely contain my excitement at the idea of paying too much for food and attractions but by golly, it has been years since I've been a proper tourist and I was chomping at the bit.

In the three days we were there we did it all! We over paid for so-so food, and about chocked at the cost to get into Storybook Gardens.  On the other hand we had an amazing mexican feast at Mexicali Rose and once inside Storybook Gardens there was so much to see and do, a toddlers dream realized for sure.  I can't wait to take Button back when she is a bit older and able to climb all over the fun toys and explore the cute doll houses.

The weather was a bit on the cool side, making me extra thankful I booked a hotel with a nice indoor water park as well.  But my cousin's boys would not let the freezing cold water hold them back from exploring that cool pirate ship.  Notice we are the only people out side!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Our New Addition to the Family

No, I'm not pregnant!  When we were house hunting Berdaddy and I each had our list of must have's for our new forever home.

My list:
A dish washer
A separate kitchen from the dinning room... (I like to eat without looking at the mess of the dinner prep.)
Something with character
3 bedrooms
Walkable neighborhood
A place for my Grandmother's China Hutch

Berdaddy's List:
A garage
A place to put a TV that isn't in our main living space
Not too much fix-it type work
A place for his ping-pong table

Happily we were able to find a home we both adore and met all of our needs.  After 5 years of having our ping-pong table in storage we have logged many hours playing together in the months we've settled in.  Berdaddy likes to play so much that he recently purchased a ping-pong robot when he can't get me to join in...  Thank you Craigslist!

He plays so much I feel like we should be setting an additional space at the table for our new little robot.

Probably the second best purchase we've made all year!

He plays all hours of the night... 

Taking a few breaks for a drink thankfully! 

Monday, August 9, 2010

This time last year...

This time last year was filled with wishing, with sleepless nights, with swollen ankles, with anticipation, with fear and with thankfulness... this time last year I was preparing for the birth of my beautiful baby.  I didn't know then she was a she.  I didn't know then that my heart would grow and expand around my sweet angel and my life would never be what I imagined.

Yesterday we were lucky enough to attend our birth center's annual picnic and lucky for us the weather made it so we were able to go to the center itself... almost a year to the day of giving birth to my beautiful little girl.  I was so filled with emotion and so grateful to walk the halls of our beautiful birth center along with other gentle and like minded families.

We got to reconnect with our midwife who gave me so much strength and spirit during the hours and hours I spent urging my girl to breath.

Then the three of us quietly snuck into the room where our story changed from two to three.  Our girl was born in the late night in the darkness and warm glow of the bedroom light.  It was soft and peaceful all around.  And yet, I struggled and pushed with all my might in that room.  I had to draw strength from within I didn't ever imagine I had in me.  Me, my partner, my midwife and our birth assistants did it together...  on this bed...

...we welcomed her.

And that night we snuggled in that bed as a family and when she woke up and cried, I crept out of bed and rocked her.  Honestly, I was petrified... looking down at her I felt helpless and had no idea what I was going to do... but in those quiet moments that the two of us rocked in the darkness of the night I knew we were going to figure it out.  Me and my girl...

And we are.

Last year we took a photo that I'd been dreaming of for 40 weeks...

And this year we went back