we'll call it weekend wonderfulness

Hullo darlings (all three of you that I have left)! I'm so sorry for the lack of wednesday wonderfulness this week; we've been having internet issues having to do with limited bandwidth, more people than usual in the house, and summertime storms, and I just hadn't had time to be online, so there were no goodies to share. Although things are now resolved, I still don't have much, but here you are. 
In other news, this is my last weekend with the kids in town, so we are making it COUNT. Family birthday party tonight (carrot cake!), a photoshoot in DC tomorrow night (vintage dresses!), and one last beach trip on Sunday afternoon (beach!). It's going to be crazy and awesome and exhausting, and that's the way we like it. Enjoy the summer awesome, yo. 



Yesterday I tackled two fears head-on: I wore shorts in public for the first time in 15 years, and I took a self-portrait.

attempts at self-portraiture

I'm constantly trying to push myself out of my comfort zone when it comes to the camera, but one of the areas where there never seems to be any progress is self-portraits.

See, I hate having my photo taken.

That's why I learned to use a camera. When I got my first real camera, it was manual everything: exposure, focus, film-advancing, and there was no way I could hand it off to someone and take a group photo, so I was always the one behind the camera. When someone says "I hate having my picture taken" I completely understand. Trust me. I know how it feels, and I won't let you look bad.

After about 15 I almost disappear from the family albums, and, as an awkward, pudgy, klutzty teen, that was fine with me. I was surrounded by a ridiculously gorgeous family and every family portrait felt to me like beauty + the Michelin tire guy.

Now, after more than 10 years of hiding behind the lens, focusing on the inherent beauty in others, trying to get them to relax, I still feel awkward when the tables are turned. It doesn't help that my family is still gorgeous, and I married into a family whose beauty is truly breathtaking. Compared to my inlaws, I'm the short pale old one. Compared to my family, I'm the tall plump flat-chested one. And every photo of just me feels like a composite of flaws, and I can't stand to look at them. So I continue to hide, surrounding myself with others in photos, allowing their beauty to distract the eye of the viewer.

I don't think people get this fear, thinking I'm being falsely modest. After all, I overdress all the time, wear hats in public, red lipstick, and heels that make me more than six feet tall. Isn't that sort of attention-grabbing? Well, I am an attention whore. We knew that already. But my best asset is my (usually fun, but sometimes annoyingly hyperactive) personality, and no picture captures that.

As to the lack of shorts in my life, well, remember that awkward pudginess I talked about? I also have my grandmother's knees. Seriously. I'm a firm believer in accenting assets, not highlighting flaws, and my thighs/knees are not an asset by any means. Add to that the fact that my teen years were spent in culottes and below-the-knee skirts, and I don't show my legs in public. Except at the beach. So when I put on shorts yesterday and drove to the grocery store, it was the first time I've worn them in public in about 15 years. This despite the fact that I'm currently within 10 pounds of my all-time heaviest (I think), and was surrounded by healthy, happy, hot teenage girls. Life is too short to stay caged within my fears.

I wore shorts in public today for the first time in 15 years

They tell me that I've grown out of my gangly awkward pudginess, that I'm no longer the ugly duckling, that I've no reason to hide. I don't know if all that is true, but I know one thing: today, I took a picture of myself, by myself, without others to distract from me or a silly face to hide my fears behind. And while my face isn't showing, it's still me. And that's progress. I'll take it.

I don't write this so that people will comment with validation. I write this to share that I too struggle, and I'm pushing past it. I don't know what your struggle is, and it's probably much more serious than mine, but it's a struggle. 15 years, people. I'm getting over it. You can too.


a couple of outtakes from "the choice"

Because there were some hilarious ones that didn't fit into the story.

I think this is "evil demon face?"


adventures with angel

"Soooo, I know this thing is big, but it looks shiny! And fun! I bet I can drive it."
"Oh, wait. Something is wrong here." 

"Wait? How does this work again?" 


"Got it!" 


wednesday wonderfulness

more random goodness for you! 


once again we take pictures for fun

(plz note: I designed this shoot, but it wasn't my idea. The girls wanted to do this, and Eli was in charge of art direction.)

once upon a time there was a boy
once upon a time there was a boy.

who was faced with a choice
who was faced with a choice

between and angel named Cyrilla
between an angel named Cyrilla

and a demon called Tamara.
and a demon named Tamara.

Both offered
Both offered

the best of their worlds
the best of their worlds

and Tamara won.
and Tamara won.

Sadly, they were working together all along.
Sadly, they were working together all along.


every day is a good day for a picnic

Today the rest of the household went to the beach, but since I had to work, that was out for me. When I got home I had every intention of doing album design for a few hours, but instead I found myself putting together a picnic dinner and moving the table into the backyard for a delightful meal. We had brats, chips, homemade salsa, pasta salad, deviled eggs, and lemonade. And then we made root beer floats for dessert. It was pretty much the perfect way to spend a Saturday evening, I think.

There was much playing with the animals; we had a new little friend over who had never gotten to meet our critter collection before. Gatsby the chicken is getting quite large! (And trying to crow.) 


even though we live close to the beach

Sometimes that's just too far away, so we run through the irrigation instead. I swear, one of these days we're going to head out there with beach towels and sunscreen and work on our tans.

This is part of my attempt at being more consistent about documenting every day life, rather than just the big things.


wednesday wonderfulness, a day late

No theme here, just some fun stuff.


what to wear for a rehearsal dinner

So we were in Ohio this weekend for the wedding of my husband's brother, and it was kinda fun to be more than just the photog.
Since le husband was in the wedding party, I attended the rehearsal and dinner afterwards, and this was my outfit.

dress: originally from Anthro; I found it at a reseller for less than $20
shoes: Oh Deer!
hat/earrings/bracelet: Gabriel Brothers
I'm not sure what caused the expression. I look like I just ate a pickle!


wednesday wonderfulness

So tomorrow morning at eight we're heading back to Ohio for the wedding of this brother-in-law. Along the way we're doing a photoshoot with Attack Cat Band and we're going to bring back two more in-laws to stay a couple of weeks. Tonight I need to: finish cleaning the house, pack food for tomorrow, pack clothes for the weekend, pack camera equipment, and drop off two albums. 
So, yeah. This might be short. But sweet! 
That's all for now, peoples. 


wednesday wonderfulness

Since I skipped last week, I have lots of inspiring awesomeness from around le web. Enjoy!