Photographer Wannabe

Once upon a time, I thought that I wanted to be a photographer.  I bought a fancy camera and started taking pictures.  I had a decent eye, the problem was A.) Getting them off of my phone and B.) Editing them.

A.) Getting them off of my phone and B.) Editing them.

B.) Editing them.

Technology overwhelms me.

So I gave it up until I started to use my iPhone as my photography tool.  Forget the $1000 I have in a DSLR camera in the closet, I am using my phone!

I am getting confident enough that I took family friends out to their hayfield for some family pictures.


I love the photo editing tool called befunky.  I pay a yearly membership but it is far cheaper than Photoshop and it has everything I need.  The other thing I love about befunky is that it is a website, which means I can access it from my laptop, desktop or phone.



Public Radio Interview

Today I was interviewed about the First Friday we are hosting in November on the local High Plains Public Radio station.  I am a total public radio nerd so this was so much fun.  Take a listen!


Pencil This In

Hi Friends!  I haven’t written much lately and I am sorry about that. I have been having a difficult time deciding how to spend my free moments.  In the last six weeks, my energy has been swallowed by my teaching job.

And another thing….Which gives me some exciting news to share…

We are creating the very first Stratton First Friday Art Exhibition.  This is a chance for local artists to show/sell/share their art with the public.  We hope to have live music (let me know if you know of someone that would be interested in volunteering their time) and food trucks.

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The Claremont Inn and Winery will be serving wine!

This is going to be an amazing evening.  In addition to building this event, I have decided to exhibit my own art, which I am equally thrilled and nervous for.  Put it on yo calendar!

A Real Life Artist Ladies and Gentlemen…

In honor of my HPPR interview airing tomorrow, I thought we should visit this oldie but goodie. Tosha Wise just keeps getting better and better.

Venture Here and There

I have a knack for meeting someone and making a decision that we will be great friends. This has proved to be a skill and I have only been seriously wrong one time.  I don’t make an announcement of our future BFF status but I make a declaration in my brain.  Being a full fledged adult has not lent itself to many opportunities of meeting new friends which makes me really excited about interviewing moms who are living creative lives.  I picked one of these friends when I met Tosha Wise this week.


She is a mom of two, wife of a corn farmer, master gardener, keeper of chickens and a serious artist.  You guys, her work is AMAZING.

Both of her adorable boys will be in school full time this fall and she is going to be able to devote more of herself to her art and her business…

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Our Lifestyle Photography Session

We try and do family pictures, or at least pictures of the kids a couple times a year.  This summer I wanted to do something different.  After moving we have spent much of July getting settled and living a low-key life.  I have loved it, I love that we are both teachers and we get so much time with this little family… (that is another post altogether) Anway, I really wanted these photos to represent the joy in the little moments, not a staged “look at the camera honey”  sort of way.

I talked to my cousin’s wife Whitney, who is a mega talented photographer and like a cosmic coincidence, this is the type of photography she is hoping to grow into.  She even had a name for it “lifestyle photography”

She came over to our crazy house and just hung out with us.  We did bath time, ate, and read some books.  I didn’t honestly even know when she was taking pictures.


They turned out so beautifully.  They perfectly captured our tiny moments.

She also made these adorable short videos I can’t wait to show you!

A Different View


img_3767.jpgI have, what I like to think as, a modern marriage.  We split everyday tasks and chores evenly.  Traditional roles did not suit us and so we didn’t go down that road.  When we became parents, all of that shifted.  The duties did not fall evenly on our shoulders starting with pregnancy.  I don’t need to explain how lopsided that journey was. Our modern marriage made my transition to being a mom jarring.  What was a balanced relationship suddenly resembled a marriage from our parent’s generation. I was staying at home, doing mindless housework, not having adult interaction and Matt left the house each day to go do work that he was educated to do.

My husband hasn’t had it easy but he has had it different.  He has been working long hours which wears him down.  Meanwhile, my life has seemed like groundhog day lately.  The same day happens over and over again.  The same fits, the same long hours, the same messes to clean up, the same messes to clean up, and the same messes to clean up. I ask sir to put on his shoes 1,000 times a day.  So today I decide I will just do it…  He takes them off so he can do it himself.  

This is insanity.  

I want to slink out of my body, out of my mind, out of this role.  It all feels so uncomfortable, like sitting for too many hours on a folding chair.  My legs are sticking to the metal, and my tailbone might bust through.  

I am eating a cold Easter dinner, intended to be delicious but it’s missing the mark.

The thing is, I love this little family and there is no one in the world I would rather be spending my days with.  My husband is a gem.  Really.  I got a good one in many many ways.  He is the yin to my yang. He is the type of guy that is all in, has no hesitation in baby wearing or wearing an Elf costume to our son’s third birthday party, let alone changing diapers or spending all of his spare time with our kids.

It makes me feel conflicted about what an escape might look like.  

I had a revelation, it isn’t that I don’t want this life, it is just that I want a different perspective…

I want to be the daddy instead of the mommy.  

-I want to be the distant second choice in the middle of the night for the baby that needs nursing and the toddler that wants to snuggle to fall back asleep.  

-I want to be the first choice for play time, for lofting little ones into the air and for playing pretend with.  

-I want credit for being an excellent parent just by being present.  

-I want to to be brave enough to venture to Target without a diaper bag.  

-I want to get dressed in the same clothes that I wore before children.

-I want to lay down, turn my mind off, and go to sleep.  

-I want to be the one with more patience.  

-I want to be able to be away from my kids for more than a couple of hours without finding a place to pump.  

-I want the possibility of going on a bender.

-I want to not be the one in the relationship that worries about birth control.  

-I want something in my voice to make my kids know that I mean business and results in compliance.

img_4327.jpgI know the role I play in my marriage doesn’t look the same for everyone and trading places for you would look very different, but wouldn’t it be nice?  This isn’t about penis envy or that I think my job is harder, but I would like to give the daddy business a go, just to see.  Just a small respite from being the mom.  

An Afternoon at the Salon

Cuban men were the most well kept male population I have ever seen.  Eyebrows, hair, well fitting shirts… Everyone seems like they are ready for picture day. 

Matt seemed to notice this as well because he decided that he needed a haircut.  Wandering through the streets on the first day, we happened upon a little salon, the man sitting in the doorway said to Matt “haircut, $7”  

Matt replied with “I’ll pay $5”

He agreed.  

The salon, like the rest of Cuba, had high ceilings and had parts of the space that were under construction.  When looking all the way back, it opened to a courtyard where people lived.  

I decided to get a cheap pedicure while we waited for Matt.  After I was seated, and taking a good look at her nail station, I was a touch worried about sanitation standards but I threw caution to the wind and shared a beer with the “technician”  as she painted my toes.  

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As we sat there, I couldn’t help but marvel at how beautiful she was not to mention, Francis, the guy cutting Matt’s hair who by this time, was onto Drew and would finish with Tyler.  

There was no covering on the door or windows, the beautiful warm weather allowed for this.  People walked by on their way, chatting, small street carts went by selling fruit.  From time to time someone would pop their head in, greet those inside, and be on their way.  

When someone would come inside, whether they were there for a service or just visiting someone inside, they were greeted with double cheek kisses.  Sitting there watching interactions and people move by, I started to fall in love with Cuba.  

Life on the Edge

Taxis were more often than not, vintage cars, and the thrill of riding in these relics didn’t fade.  One night, looking for a ride to an ice cream spot after dinner, Matt was negotiating the price for the ride and the young driver said to Matt in broken English “You can have ride for $5 but you drive.”  Whether or not this guy was serious, is a topic of debate but Matt climbed into the driver’s seat and after a few jarring gear shift changes, we were soaring down the Malecon with Matt at the wheel.  The taxi driver and his friend sat in the front often giving directions to Matt in Spanish.  

Later we learned that this is highly illegal and had we been pulled over, Matt and the taxi driver would have likely gone to jail.  So glad I didn’t know that at the time.  

Cuba Cars

I thought that the old cars would be a novelty, like the upturned roofs in China.  But they were everywhere.  We didn’t have to venture far to find them painted all variety of colors, smelling like farm trucks passing by.