Beg, Plead, and #Hashtag

Whatever works to get any of my 740 Twitter followers to tweet me. To reply. To be more than just a number in my followers section.


Is anyone out there? I tweeted a question…

#please #help #question #photography

I didn’t get an answer.


#anyone #anyone #anyone #echoechoechoecho



I don’t think anyone is out there. Not for #personal questions. Not for #amateur #photography #wanna #bes #that #blog. I mean, if you want to know breaking news. Or follow a witty actor, author, or famous blogger. Sure, that’s out there. It’s fun. I once followed the USA vs. Canada hockey game via Twitter when I was on the road and unable to watch it. It really was play by play, but for advice? #Twitter #fail

I had done what I called my last “practice” shoot before I decided if I wanted to launch a small side business. I’ve talked about that before. Indecision has plagued me since the idea popped into my brain.

Am I good enough? Do I have the natural talent? Patience? Do I deal with people well? Would they hire me? Would they PAY me to photograph them?

It’s one thing to take photos for fun, but quite another to be hired.

I go to my last “free” photo session. It’s a friend I’ve known for three years. Not close friends, but not a stranger either. Not long after I’ve arrived feeling very fresh, very green, and a little nervous (I have yet to go into taking pictures with NO nerves). She mentions to me her best friend is a photographer. It started as a hobby (like me) and she went on to open her business six months ago. Wow! I’m not sure why – except for the fact her BEST friend is a pro-photographer – my nerves went through the roof. I got hot. I got intimidated. And really? It’s not easy to hold a camera steady when you have nerves. Nor can you see through the viewfinder when your sweat is running into your eyes #justsayin’.

I did the best I could and I told myself – THIS – was exactly the practice I needed. With nerves. With pressure. Missing the youngest family member due to illness and losing the sun on the horizon as darkness descended faster than my shutter finger.

I felt I did a horrible job.

I didn’t feel good about the shots. The angles. Or the lighting. Or the whole experience. I just hoped a few turned out for my time and work (and sweat!).

After, I went straight to my community group’s chili cook-off. I didn’t get to view the pictures right away. I get home and do what any nervous photographer does. I edit my pictures. I edit until 3AM.


And when I was done, I wanted what any #amateur wants. FEEDBACK.

But, it’s 3AM.

The next morning I uploaded to Facebook, and Picasa. I got a few responses.

So I decided to try Twitter World. Surely, out of 740 fans, I’d have a plethora of response, pointers, and suggestions.

#help #really


Not one response.


I took that as a sign from the Twitterverse. I was NOT supposed to launch a side business. Not yet. Not for now, anyway.

#Because #Twitter #said #so
Because, I am clearly not ready. With time and more training, I won’t need any validation. Twitter or otherwise.

I will leave you with a few pictures from the session. And I will say……..I may not launch a side business (yet), but I will keep “practicing”.

#Thanks #alot #Twitter

P.S……. I’ll tweet ya later….

How to Raise a Happy Teen

Possible? Plausible? Urban legend?

Actually no. Listen all you parents of young girls, you don’t have to stress. I have the secret to success and since I have been asked, many times to share it, I thought, what better way than my daughter’s sixteenth birthday week.

First off, throw out the schedules, unless you want your child a stressed out ball of anxiety, screeching monkey, and peeling the wall paper. Micro-managing is not the answer. Forget it. I think the most routine we had was Barney singing on TV and bath time. Those were pretty reliable. I can’t even remember if I made her brush her teeth much less have a bed time. It was by nine (or ten).

She slept with me as an infant until after breastfeeding. Then, I laid down with her as a toddler until she fell asleep. Eventually I just gave her my bed – problem solved. A three-year old in a double bed with no worries of her falling out of it. Heck, the twin wasn’t so bad (heh). If I had only known what it took for her to fall asleep on her own, I would have given her that big old bed moons ago.

She had a room with her very own bathroom by age ten along with a cell phone. Yes, a real one. She grew up on McDonald’s chicken nuggets and fries except for the occasional dinner I would cook, ground beef in a bowl or Kids Cuisine. Yeah, McD’s was much better. Let’s not forget mom’s breakfast either. Cinnamon toast, hold the toast, just pass the butter and sugar. She had candy and soda when she wanted and never gorged on it. Never thought it was a big deal. Never obsessed about it (unlike me).

Right now, that girl has EASTER candy from last year on her dresser. IN PLAIN SIGHT. Never opened. Yeah, it’s gross but my point is, she used to have to hide candy from ME. She could care less about it while I hunted it down. She eats it when she wants to, no big deal.

She dressed herself from age two on. I didn’t care if it matched. I don’t think anyone else did either but she had a scary eye for colors and shoes even at age two. Of course, she did change clothes – a lot. Luckily, I like doing laundry.

I took her EVERYWHERE to EVERYTHING from a week old up. Plane rides, car rides, shopping, showers, funerals, weddings, movies, sporting events, work, and many, many kid things too. We sang. We danced. I never missed a Barney beat. Mary Kate & Ashley? The Olsen twins – AFTER Full House – they rocked. We had every VCR episode on tape. I’m not kidding. Every. One.

In our house, if you heard Sponge Bob come on the Cartoon Network, you were to immediately drop what you were doing. Run, not walk, to the living room and BELT the theme song at the top of your lungs.

I guess I could have put her in time out if she didn’t, but I don’t think she ever had time out. Nor was she spanked (maybe once?). I think she has been grounded twice (her entire life that is).

She had bad grades in elementary, 2nd grade, but then again she was diagnosed with ADHD. She had been through a big move from one city to another, from one school to another. It’s no wonder. Poor kid.

Maybe you think this is a recipe for a “bad” kid. I mean…I didn’t follow all the rules, right? Spoiled, entitled, does what she wants with no consequences. I’m too much of friend not a mom. Is she really sneaking out to party?

Busted! New Year’s Eve boozing it up!

Well, no. Actually she likes hanging out with me. I have no idea why.

Maybe it’s how I roll….

I have never held anything back from Sydney. She knows my mistakes. BIG ONES. She knows my failures. EVEN BIGGER. I was never anything but honest to her. I’m not perfect. I’m just mom. No one ever said I had to be. If I do admit to any regret, it’s from not enjoying her baby years more. I was too worried about being a mom, not sure when that changed. Maybe after my 1000th and one one MILLIONTH and one mom failure.

One thing is for sure, she never doubted I loved her. The only thing I stood firm on was NO DRUGS. I promised to shave her head if she ever tried them (still would Sydney! Bald as an egg). The only horror I put her through (besides ex #2) was riding the Jurassic Park Adventure at Universal Studios. She cried in line. Hey, we came all the way to Orlando, she was RIDING IT! She STILL denies enjoying it. Of course the picture tells a different story, it was pretty pitiful with her and her cousin hunkered down under the bar, faces twisted in horror frozen in a scream. My bad. That really was an awesome ride, those dinosaurs looked soooo real.

So hear me out. Stop stressing. Be honest. Don’t say, DO. Laugh, at everything. Sing, off-key. Dance, radically. Live, so your inside child never dies. RELAX. Have faith. Enjoy every moment before it’s gone.

Just be careful who is watching. You may influence a new generation.

Hey Sydney….

Thanks for being so incredibly amazing. You really did it on your own (didn’t you?). I feel like I was along for the ride (except when you drive, please let me out at that point). You never cease to amaze me with your funny humor, easy-going stride, and your slice of pure cool awesomeness. I am so grateful you are my daughter.

My mom swears I didn’t get the experience of raising a “real” kid. Whatever you are, I hope you always stay the same – glowing with your inner brightness and child-like spirit – I hope you stay a happy teenage girl forever.

Sunday Reflection

For a few years now I receive a healthy reflection daily. They never fail to lift me up. So I share with you on this day one of the many reflections. Today is a day to rejoice. Sunday is one of my favorite days. Not just because I go to the best Church in the world but also because I volunteer in the nursery. Happy, happy Sunday! I hope yours is very blessed!

Making the most of every day and every hour

I still find each day too short for all the thoughts I want to think, all the walks I want to take, all the books I want to read, and all the friends I want to see.

– John Burroughs, essayist and naturalist

If he felt this way at the start of the 20th century, imagine what he would think today. We have the freedom to do more now than ever before. But more options can bring more frustration, because we still see all of the things we don’t have time for. Before you plan another day/week/month/year, write this thought at the top of the paper: I Cannot Do Everything. It’s a truth that applies today even more than it did 100 years ago. Life becomes easier when you accept the fact that you will never be able to do everything you want. Once that happens, you can start to look at what you want to do the MOST, and plan accordingly. Priorities bring peace of mind. They help you relax, knowing that you’re doing all you can by making the most of your opportunities. Low priorities are the seeds of wasted time. And days don’t need any help getting shorter.

*This really blows my mind. I definitely fall victim to the try and do everything syndrome. But taking a step back & just relaxing & setting my priorities really does bring me peace of mind. May we all strive to focus on what’s important & treasure those moments rather than blowing through the day and asking ourselves 20yrs down the road. What happened??? Hug, smile & rejoice in this day. I know I am. *