Photo of the Day

San Francisco

Sorry I didn’t get a photo out yesterday. Andrew and I left our house at 10 am with a rental car and we drove to San Francisco to see my bestie Kate and spend the day with her and her daughter, and Kate’s sister and her family were our tour guides! It was a crazy day with 3 toddlers, 2 babies, and 5 adults! But it was a success, and it was nice seeing the city.

Andrew and I confirmed that we are once again not big city people, but it was a fun day and we are hoping to go back just the two of us and see Alcatraz up close and be able to see the Golden Gate Bridge (which unfortunately we were not able to see that this time around). Kate and her daughter came home with us (hense the rental car) and now we get to catch up with our lives for few days! It’s going to be fun!

So to make up for not posting yesterday a have a few of my favorite photos from yesterday.

That’s all for now, I am going to enjoy my time with Kate!!!

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Photo of the Day

What Do You See

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I hate my nose. So much. I always thought to myself that I would never do plastic surgery because I wanted to accept my body, but if I’m being honest I have seriously considered getting a nose job. I even have a medical condition where I could get it done. And I heard that nose jobs are so painful, and yet I would still do it. That is how much I hate my nose.

When taking pictures, I always look at the camera straight on so no one can see the awful shape and bump in my nose. And one of the first things I notice in another person is their nose. It was even on my list of attributes I wanted in a husband, a man with a good nose so that my children had a chance.

I am not telling you this so that you can compliment me and flatter me. In fact, I prefer you not do that on this post. Instead I am forcing myself to go through something that is long overdue. My heart is kind of racing honestly. You can ask my husband who helped me take this photo, it was hard seeing this photo of me. I NEVER take profile shots, and if one is ever taken of me I pray that it is not shared on any social media. As we took these photos I did some just standing still, but I found that I had to compensate for my insecurity by actually doing something, like put my hair up in a ponytail. Which is what my hair is like basically every day. Guys this was my attempt at modeling. Haha.

Gosh, I hate this photo because all I see is my nose.

Here is what I am going to do. And just a heads up, I am going to encourage you to do the same. You do not need to post about it or anything. And I have no degree or anything that is saying that this will help. But something in my gut tells me that this is what I need to do for myself, and I hope that means it is inspiration. And that someone might read this post and do the same thing and it will help them.

Ok, so I am going to look at this photo. And I know my brain is going to start naming off, starting with my nose, all the things I hate about it or about my nose. I am going to shut those comments off for just a few minutes and I am going to try and see something else. I am not going to fixate on my nose like I want to. I am not going to force myself to even admit I like my nose, because can’t do that right now, but I am going to try to explain what I see in this photo, and I am going to try to see the good in those things that I see. Ok here I go. I have my computer in split screen with the photo right now.

What are the good things I see:

  1. I see light. I like the light in my photo.
  2. I see courage. Especially in my eyes.
  3. I also see fear, and hesitation. But that is ok, those are emotions that I am not ashamed of. At least I am feeling something.
  4. I see my brother! I see why we look alike.
  5. I see unkept eyebrows. What does that say? It says that I am a mom and girl got no time to tweeze no dang eyebrows!
  6. I see a makeup-free face. And I am proud that I left the house today and was confident enough not to feel like I had to wear makeup.
  7. I see freckles. And they remind me of my childhood.
  8. I see determination. There is something about this photo that makes me think of playing volleyball.
  9. I see baby hairs. Something I have lived with my whole life and has gotten worse with postpartum hair loss, but it’s ok because they came with my babies.
  10. I see brown eyes. The one feature I have always loved about myself. The main feature everyone sees first. The feature my husband loves about me. Big brown eyes.

It’s so refreshing to not fixate on my insecurities. I still see my nose, but I don’t have to let those insecure thoughts control me. I can see other things. I can choose to see good things in me, and I can choose to see good things in other people. And I feel like, if I do that enough, maybe I will start seeing my nose in a different light too. Maybe I can teach my brain to see the bright side of everything. Maybe one day I can finally look at my nose and honestly see character and something that fits my face (this is what people tell me when they try to make me feel better about my nose! Haha).

That day is not quite today. But I am one step closer.

I challenge you to try this. Take a photo of something about you that makes you self-conscious. Stare at that photo and teach your brain to see good.

Please share this. Typically, I wouldn’t push too much for my posts to be shared. But I want this post to make a difference in someone. Otherwise I will feel like I posted this picture of my nose in vain! So please share this, maybe it will help someone.

My final note: no matter what you don’t like about yourself, you need to always see one thing. ALWAYS! See that you are a Child of God and you are loved. Maybe you don’t believe in God. And that’s ok, I’m not judging and I’m not pushing. But I can promise you, whether it be God, a parent, a friend, whoever. I know that there is someone out there who loves you for you. So believe that and see that and see that you are loved.

 

 

Photo of the Day

My Tribe. My People.

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Technically, this photo isn’t great. It’s super grainy, the layout isn’t awesome, and the photo is full of distractions. But this photo makes me so happy! These are my people! Let me introduce you to them.

My husband. This is my amazing husband, Andrew. He is beyond patient with me, he is silly and loving, and loves me more than anything and shows that to me all the time! I feel incredibly treasured by him and I know that makes me a lucky girl! And I mean look at him, he is super sexy. He is not perfect, he spends an obnoxious amount of time in the bathroom and is basically a grumpy old man in a 25 year old’s body, but I love him dearly and will follow him to any adventure he wants to take me on as long as we are doing it together.

My daughter, Cora. If you have met Cora then you would understand what I mean when I say she is a ray of sunshine. Cora chooses to be happy 95% of the time. She is upbeat and silly and she lights up every room she is in. She a light in my life. She is also a toddler through and through and she is smart. So she tests my boundaries and my patience, she pushes and then right when I am about to explode she does exactly as I asked her. She is exactly what Andrew and I need in our lives and is a great big sister.

Which brings me to Crew. My beautiful boy! Crew is perfect. Because he is a baby. Cora was perfect once too. Haha! But Crew is squishy and sweet. He is a little shy but smiles easily at the people he loves. He melts my heart in so many ways. And yes, he cries and still considers me his number one pacifier, but we all adore him!

So that’s my tribe. I love them!

Today we went to see The Incredibles 2. It was Cora’s first time going to a movie where she was old enough to understand and be interested. She sat still the whole time and munched on popcorn! Crew did great too. It was seriously such a fun evening to spend with my family. Andrew has this whole week off of school, so you will be hearing a lot about my tribe this week! Ha, as if that wasn’t already what most of my blog posts were about.

Happy Monday!

Photo of the Day

My Postpartum Life

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I am a happy person. I often try to choose to be happy despite how I am feeling on the inside. And I don’t view this as me suppressing feelings. Obviously, I don’t believe that suppressing feelings is good. But I also don’t believe it is healthy to let the things we feel consume our lives. So when I am with friends I will choose to be happy and easygoing. One thing I know I need to work on is choosing to be happy around my family as well. Because I also don’t think it is good to put on a front in public, and then save your worst behavior for your family. Which is incredibly common. That isn’t to say I shouldn’t be completely honest and open with how I am feeling with my family. That is what they are there for. Anyway, I don’t know if any of that makes sense, but I just wanted to make it very clear that I am a happy person.

Going on.

I don’t know how many people even read my blogs, and that’s ok. These have become more for me than anything. It has become a way for me to document my life and let me talk about my day and feelings, while at the same time trying to let my friends, family and clients understand me better.

I want to talk about my postpartum life so that people understand what is going on in my head sometimes. I am lucky. I don’t have postpartum depression (at least not that I know of) and my breastfeeding journey has been relatively uneventful and simple. So I am grateful for that, because I know some people really struggle postpartum. However, postpartum isn’t a piece of cake for me either. I was once told that the hormone changes a woman goes through when she gets pregnant and delivers and nurses is equivalent to going through puberty all over again. And boy do I get that! I have never felt like such an angsty teenager more than I do now.

I swear I am irritated 85% of the time! And the worst part, just like an angsty teenager, I take out most of my irritations on my family. So many things irritate me. My dog, my house, my children (mostly my toddler), my husband, that random driver on the road, and most of all me. Sometimes I feel I am irritated all the time.

And the thing is. It’s all in my head. Most of the time I have no reason to be irritated. So when I am, I get more irritated with myself because I know I am being dumb. I know I am being irrational and impatient. I know all this. And yet, I am still irritated.

And unfortunately that, combined with a few other things that I experience postpartum, takes a toll on my marriage. And I can feel it. And it has been affecting my relationship with my daughter. And I hate that.

I would love more than anything to be normal again! And I know that if I just stop nursing I will be. But then I miss out on that wonderful experience of nursing…and to be blunt, I don’t think we could afford formula.

So, I am sorry if my posts sometimes seem negative. I don’t like being a negative person. And I already have goals to try to improve that and feel more in control of myself. But I am just letting you know, you are currently experience postpartum Christine. Sorry she can be a little (and by little, I mean a lot) irritable.

 

And just to make myself clear, despite all of that. Despite the struggles. Crew is 100%, no 1000%, worth it.

Photo of the Day

A Constant Need To Improve

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So last night, Crew was in bed with Andrew and I kicking away because he just was not ready to go to sleep. Andrew fell asleep quickly as usual, and so I laid there in the dark and looked at my phone to distract me until Crew fell asleep. At one point, I looked down and Crew was staring at me. And when I looked at him, his sweet face lit up and he gave me the biggest grin. I can’t tell you how guilty I felt in that moment. Here I have this pure soul who currently loves me more than anything and loves looking at me and 100% relies on me, and I am spending more quality time with my phone!!!!

Let’s just say it hit me hard, and I felt bad and I tried to put my phone away and enjoy his cuddles, but it was hard to fight the temptation to look at my phone. You never realize how addicted you are to something until you try to stop. So that is going to be something I work on. The leaders in my church have invited the youth, and anyone else, to take a week long fast from social media. Currently, I can’t really do that because I am trying to build my photography business and social media is key. But I am going to try to limit how often I am looking at my phone and social media when I am around my family. You can ask me how I am doing with it in a few days, haha I will need the reason to be held accountable.

Look at that sweet face above. He will be my inspiration! I don’t want to miss his doting smiles while I have them.

 

Photo of the Day

How To Like Photos Of Yourself. And Why I Don’t Like This Photo of Me.

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I forced myself to do a self portrait. I didn’t want to. Especially not today, it’s been a rough day where I have really doubted myself. I didn’t know where I was going to go with it either. But here it goes.

I think a lot of you would be surprised to find out that I am actually quite shy and even more self conscious. You’d be surprised how many times I start a text message, or a post, or something and write the whole thing out and then delete it with fear that someone might judge me. Even to my own family. It’s dumb, and it’s a battle I fight with myself. Even typing this now I am fighting every desire I have to backspace this whole paragraph.

Why do I care so much about what people think of me?

To be honest, it’s not all vain things. I care a little about my clothing but not enough to spend ridiculous amounts of money on it. I care about my looks, but refuse to give in to the worlds standard of beauty. Don’t get me wrong, I hope people think I am OK looking! Haha. Anyway, what I struggle with is the fear of people judging my personality. My whole life I have been severely self conscious of myself because I am an extremely emotional and sometimes unstable person. And I don’t want people to see that and think I am weird. So I joke about being weird and awkward to beat them to the punch. And I force myself to be social even though inside I am questioning myself the whole way.

This is a good photo, I look nice, happy, and confident. But I really don’t like it that much. Because I know that underneath my smile and the cute way I am playing with my hair is a self conscious, stressed out, doubting Christine. Don’t worry, I am not like this all the time, today was just an off day!

So, what’s the point of me saying this. As a photographer I want to capture your personality, and I want you to be happy with the photos, but that is not going to happen unless you feel happy and confident in yourself.

So, a little tip. When you have a photo shoot or an event to be documented coming up, try your hardest to prepare yourself not just on the outside but on the inside too. Don’t just get your hair done, and your nails, but build herself up. Practice confidence, do things that make you happy, and know that the only opinions that matter to you are Gods, your loved ones who care about you and your future, and your own.

When I am taking photos of you, focus on those things that make you happy! It will show in the photos and you will like the photos even more because you remember being happy in that moment.

Photo of the Day

Sundays Are Like Cupcakes…Sweet!

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I could be wrong but I feel like whether your religious or not, whether you go to church or not, Sundays are usually set aside for families. And I love that. Just last night Andrew and I were talking about how often we have dinner with friends here, and we talked about how there are a lot of military members in this area in our church and so we don’t have families nearby. So instead of having family dinner we have dinner with friends. Which has really been helpful to get me through the home-sickness I feel on occasion. I miss my family!

This Sunday was great, we went to church (which is always uplifting), then we just hung out, had dinner and then Cora and I made cupcakes. It was so fun to have Cora help me count out how many cups of flour we were putting in the bowl and then to watch as Cora anxiously waited for the cupcakes to finish baking. These are things I wish I did more often with Cora, and honestly this photo of the day thing has really pushed me to find fun things to do and document it! I will cherish these photos forever.

Thank you for supporting me and being a part of this little journal I have started.