Wednesday, November 16, 2011

525,600 Minutes

That's how long it has been since you left. Seems like just yesterday, seems like it was over 10 years ago. Every day I miss you. Everyday I want to pick up the phone and call you. Every time I go to the store I want to turn right to your house instead of left to mine. I still haven't been able to drive down your street. I am dreading Halloween cause tradition is going to your neighborhood. I don't want to spend the night crying.

This was my first birthday without you. No silly sign that says "Kiss another year Goodbye" No card carefully picked out. You did send me a tiny prism rainbow in the sky. I know it was you. And I smiled. Then I cried.

I don't think I ever told you Thank you. For being there when others couldn't. You know what I mean. For saving me and just sitting there when I knew I wasn't making any sense. Thank you for taking in my kitties when I couldn't, even though you said you hated cats. Thank you for being so great with my kids. They miss you and talk about you all the time. Thank you for all the help you gave me and my family, every kind of help. Thank you for the talks. For coming to my wedding. For the Golden Girls and Unsolved Mysteries. I love you, Grandma.
I want to go to the cemetary to leave you flowers but 525,600 minutes just doesn't seem like enough time. I am just not ready to say goodbye. And that would make it oh, so final. I will make it. Until then know not a day goes by without you somewhere in my thoughts, prayers. You will live forever in my heart and mine and the kids memories.

In daylights, in sunsets,in midnights in cups of coffee

525,600 minutes

How do you measure a year without you

Monday, November 14, 2011

It seems to be
that every time something starts going right,
and I think I am going to be ok
and that things may be looking up.
Every time I get my hopes up just a little.
Something happens and
it all comes crashing down.
Happy holidays to me.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

25 Things your photographer won't tell you

I decided to write a fun post. Similar to the Reader's Digest "Things your ____ Won't Tell You" Photographers edition. I have asked all my photographer friends for their input and here is what I have come up with.

Things your photographer won't tell you

1. We don't believe for one second that your 1,2,3,4 week old smiles all the time for photos at home on command. We just smile and nod and make you think we do.

2. Babies and small children are not always cute.

2. That being said if your child is so super duper cute we can't stand it we will put a little more effort into things.

3. You get better quality pictures and a longer session if you are nice to us. Bitchiness doesn't make us want to do any better

4. Being nice also will probably get you a better deal or some freebies.

5. We tell you that we delete all of our photos after x amount of time. We rarely do we just don't want to have to search for them when you come back in a year because you didn't want to spend the money before.

6. Don't walk into the studio with brand name everything and 50 outfit changes for your kid then buy the ad package for $10. That is a waste of our time and talent.

7. We make fun of you after you leave, sometimes while you are there.

8. If you or your child has any type of disability please inform us ahead of time so we can schedule accordingly, also, don't ask us to do things that are near impossible.

9. We might tell you that our background will be washed as soon as you leave after your child pees, poops, or pukes on it, but it will not be. It will be sprayed and disinfected but not taken down and washed. That happens about every 6 months or so.

10. Don't worry, your kids vomit, pee or whatever does not bother me. More than likely I am a parent myself and have had it happen many, many times.

11. When you say things like "OMG, He never acts like this at home" we totally don't believe you.

12. Don't come in a week before a major holiday and expect us to have time for an hour and half session with your child. More than likely we have an appointment booked every 10 minutes all day. Especially if we are in a retail store based studio.

13. We will tell you that you can only get the advertised special once a month, but, if you come in before your month is up and buy more than just the special we will let you add it to your purchase. Don't expect to come in every 2-3 weeks and only spend $10 though.

14. Although you may think it is, your baby's name is NOT original we have had about 20 kids with the same name come through here. And we laugh every time you tell us it is one of a kind.

15. Don't expect us to get perfect pictures of your 1-3 year old in the first couple minutes. You just dumped your kid in a strange place, in front of a strange person who is very hyper and going about 10 different directions. We have to build a relationship and this takes us a couple minutes.

16. LET US DO OUR JOB!!! We get paid to do this for a reason. Don't try to tell us we are doing it wrong.

17. Don't come in and tell us exactly how you want to be posed. Usually it is dumb and we will roll our eyes at you.

18. If you want a more personal experience/photographs, bring in your own things. The stuff we have is very generic and will not give you the personal effect you want.

19. Don't grab the rocking chair and tell your kid to sit in it. Let us work with them, we will get what you are looking for eventually.

20. If you like what you see. Refer us to your friends. We love word of mouth referrals. It may just get you some free stuff too.

21. Your friends, brothers, sisters, cousins, mother in laws, daughter who just bought the same camera...Well it isn't the Camera that takes awesome pictures, it is the person behind it, so make sure you look at their work and decide if that is what you want.

22. Our time is worth just as much as yours. While you may think that once you leave, your session is over. That is far from the truth. We spend hours, days sometimes weeks, editing and making your pictures look amazing! So when you scoff at our prices remember, we don't get paid hourly even though we may very well put 40+ hours worth of work into your custom portraits.

23. Feed and or change your baby before you come. This will make things so much easier for everybody.

24. Bring toys or books to keep older children entertained while we do some solo 'shots' they get bored fast and you want your portraits to be amazing and crabby kids won't let that happen.

25. We love what we do or we wouldn't do it. This reflects in our work. We love connecting with families and seeing them grow. We love that we can help make forever memories.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


Kaitlynn by qcmama
Kaitlynn, a photo by qcmama on Flickr.

Being a single mom is Hard!

I am a single mom. I have been officially for almost 5 years. When I think about it though I have been a single mom for a lot longer. There was the year and half my ex husband was in Iraq, and the 3rd shift work. He just wasn't around much. It was what it was and that is that.
I miss the days of being able to jump in the car kid free to run to the gas station, or the grocery store and be in and out and done in less than an hour. I miss being able to go out for a while with friends and not having to beg and plead and bargain for a babysitter for a few hours. I hear people say how they feel like a single parent all the time and blah blah blah.. I want to scream at them SHUT UP! At least they get those 5, 10, 15 minutes that I crave.
Tonight I realized just how much this single parent hood thing sucks. I had to be two places at the same time for two pretty important informational meetings. I felt like such an idiot jumping back and forth between the two all night. I did it, with all 4 kids in tow, and I guess that is good. I have a headache trying to go through all the things I learned about tonight though.
My kids are getting older and want to start all the fun things. Band, choir, girl scouts, football, basketball. There is only 1 of me! I am not superwoman. I don't have superpowers to be all these places. I am stuck. And feel like a complete failure.
So how do you do it? I know there are other single moms out there. Do you have it figured out? How are you able to be two people at one time? Please help!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

To my Son

Dear Bryan,
I first met you when you were 5 months old. Your parents had come back from Louisiana to visit their families. Your dad and I had been friends for a very long time so of course I stopped by to see him and you. You were so cute and smiley. So roly-poly in your red short overalls and striped shirt underneath. You were very happy just to sit and smile at everyone. So cute.
The next time I saw you I was your new step mom. I dreaded that word and all the negative that comes with it. But I was going to make the best of it. You were 15 months old and walking. You were still a very smiley baby. Your big bird shirt was your favorite. Your hair was so curly and so very blonde! We got to take you for your first haircut, I still have some of that hair in your box. It was down past your shoulders, when you came up from the chair you had magically transformed from a baby boy into a toddler, a kid. You looked so big.
You stayed with us on weekends and a lot of other times too. I got to take you to your preschool graduation. You sang and played air guitar and held hands with your girlfriend. You, little boy, were growing up. You called me mom for the first time about this time, completely unprompted, and that Bryan, was the best mom I have ever heard! It meant you chose me. It wasn't forced, you wanted me to be your mom. My heart bursted with pride.
You moved in with your dad and I right before kindergarten. I got to sign you up and take you for your first day. I volunteered in your classroom and was so proud of you. I went to every conference, program, carnival, the school had. Your dad went to Iraq that year and I wanted to make sure you knew how much you were loved. You loved being with your brother and sister. You were such a good big brother.
Shortly after your dad came home we divorced. He and your mom decided it was best for you to live with one of them. I can not even begin to tell you how much this hurt. I was losing my SON and there was nothing I could do about it. I thought I would never get to see you again, never get to be your mom again. I didn't realize until that moment how very much I loved you, needed you around. For that I am forever sorry.
You lived with your dad for a little while, with your aunt and uncle for a few months, and with your mom for a while. In between these moves you were brought back to me for a couple weeks at a time. Every time I had to tell you goodbye was so very hard because I never knew if it would be the last.
Last year though, you came home! You moved back in with me and went to school with your brother and sister. They were so happy to have you home, I was happy to have my whole family, all of my babies, under 1 roof again.
You started Jr High today! I am left wondering where that roly-poly baby boy has gone to. You are growing into such a great young man. I am so very proud of you. I know things haven't always been easy between me and you, but I want you to know that I LOVE you so very much, I am so proud you consider me your mom I couldn't have asked for a better son!
I love you Bryan!