A Really Bully (By Lyndsey Fox)

Thursday, June 30, 2011

(I am out of town this week, and as you can see by the lack of posts this week, I am finding it difficult to get on the internet.  Today I bring you a post written by writer extradorinaire, Lyndsey Fox, who is not only an incredible person and author, but is also my sister.  Thank you sis for filling in for me today.)

I live with a real bully. I’ve been dealing with the situation patiently for sometime now, but it isn’t getting any better. It’s actually getting worse; more pushing, more demanding, more yelling. I wouldn’t have thought to put a label on it, until my husband came home from work the other day and clued me in.

“I need a good picture of Holly to put in my presentation,” he says.

“Oh! I love that you show off your daughter to everyone. Are you going to show off your wife too?” I ask.

“No. I just need one of Holly.”

“Oh, I’m not cute enough? Only the cute Fox girls get presentation time!” Not cool, obviously.

“No, I just want to use her as an example,” he says.

“Of what?”

“A bully,” he replies.

Oh. Epiphany. She is a bully.

To the Significant Others:

Saturday, June 25, 2011

1.  It is not my job to be sexy for you.

2.  It is not my job to make you happy.

3.  It is not my job to make you feel good.

4.  It is not my job to make you feel good enough.

5.  It is not my job to make you feel appreciated.

6.  I don't need you.  You don't need me.

7.  You don't need my approval.

Keep me in Style

Friday, June 24, 2011

I haven't knit anything in months.  That's weird.  But I am ready to pick up the needles again and this time I think I finally feel brave enough to knit something for myself! 

Here's the thing though - I need help picking a pattern.  I've become all mom-ish in recent years, and that combined with the fact that I can't do all my shopping at Anthropologie like in my pre-Mom days has me feeling pretty uncool when it comes to fashion.  I'd like to knit something that looks, well, cool - in a warm sort of way.  I don't want to look like I'm wearing a craft. 

So, that being said.  Please help me out.  Vote on a sweater - because heaven knows I have no clue what is in style anymore. 

Here are the contenders:

Give Them What They Deserve

Thursday, June 23, 2011

I was in line at the grocery store today when I saw something that has disturbed my peace of mind all day long. 

There was a little boy playing by himself in the aisle.  He tried to pull a small bouncy ball out of his pocket, but he fumbled and it dropped and rolled out of sight under a nearby display case.  At that moment his grandmother materialized, grabbed him by the arm, and while scolding him for dawdling, pulled him across the aisle to his mother who was waiting in line near me. 

The little boy started to cry. 

He tried to explain about the ball, but his two or three year old language skills went unnoticed.  As she dragged him over to the register, his grandmother was commanding silence - hush, stop crying, enough already. 
When he got to his mother he held out his arms, still trying to explain about the ball and obviously hoping that if grandma wouldn't listen, mom could help.  But mom didn't help.  Mom put her hand over his mouth and, with teeth clenched, began firing off things like "stop it," "this is unacceptable," "shut your mouth."   When her demands were met with more tears, she rushed him out of the store and grandma took over at the register.

I only saw one small part of what I am sure is a bigger story.  I am not here to throw stones.  But as I watched the scene unfold, I wanted to say something.  I wanted to be that small boy's advocate. 

I didn't say anything, so I am saying it now.  If you know kids, have kids, work with kids, or care about kids at all, this matters. 

When a kid is crying, ask them what is wrong. 

I believe in . . .

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Sometimes people ask me if it is hard to be divorced and be a wedding photographer.  They wonder if it is sad for me to spend so much time documenting other people in love when my own marriage shattered to pieces. 

I always say No - Not at all - Never. 


Ten Ways to feel Awesome . . .

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Because when you feel Awesome, you can be Awesome.

1.  Give something away.  A compliment, a card, a loaf of bread, a flower, an old jacket. 

2.  Open a window.  Listen, feel, and breathe whatever is on the other side.

3. Use Crayons. Use all the colors.  Write yourself a note.  Draw a picture.  Scribble.

4. Eat a piece of fruit. An apple a day - or a grape, or an orange, or a strawberry.

5. Take off your shoes.  Grass. Cotton. Wood. Tile. Sand. Wool.  Wiggle those toes.

6. Rip something up and throw it away.  A magazine, a letter, a bill, a newspaper. 

7. Buy a new toothbrush.  Pick the most expensive one.  Pick your favorite color. 

Totally Out of Control

Monday, June 20, 2011

If you're anything like me, you do a lot of talking.  Sometimes I actually stop and listen to myself.  Recently I've heard myself saying the same thing quite often and it finally struck me as something worth listening to. 

Lately, more times than I'd like to admit, I have heard myself saying that something, or someone is "Out of Control."  It's just a simple phrase.  People say it all the time.  I do.

I caught myself saying it during a quiet church service on Sunday when my baby started shrieking, exercising full lung power.  "Kid, you are out of control!"

I've said it numerous times lately when I have stepped outside to 40mph winds blowing the heck out of this dry New Mexico desert.  I wear contacts people!  It's out of control.

I found myself muttering in the garden the other day as I was pulling weeds where I had just pulled weeds only days before.  The pesky things just keep popping up.  They're out of control. 

And you know, I'm right.  All of those things are out of my control.  In fact, a lot of things are out of my control.  I know that, I say.  I'm not a control freak or anything like that, I say.  Yet I find myself frequently lamenting my inability to control my kids, the weather, desert plant life, the government, door to door salesmen, etc. 

What it really comes down to is this:  I am out of control. 

Weekend Links: Father's Day Edition

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Only two links today because these two things are two of the best Father's Day things I could have hoped to find this week! Enjoy.

This video is great! I dedicate it to my own father who is one of my best friends, my confidant, and the greatest Grandpa around. My father has fully dedicated himself to the Dad/Grandpa role - he has given it his best 24/7, 365, yo!

And these words from Backwoods Mom brought tears to my eyes. Thank you for reminding me that although all fathers don't live up to expectations, gratitude is still deserved.   Read this beautiful post here.

Happy Father's Day to ALL the fathers out there.

Wedding Weekend

Saturday, June 18, 2011

I am shooting a wedding today at a ranch up north.  I've got to prep, and drive, and work, and drive some more.  So today, I bring you a few shots from a Santa Fe wedding I worked on Thursday. 

I am working on a new photography blog, but until that comes about, join me on my photography facebook page to see more of the photo work I am doing. 

Happy Weekend friends! I'll be back tomorrow with the weekend links. 

Good for nothing goals?

Friday, June 17, 2011

If you make a goal should you lock yourself into it? 

I had a post written for today, but I got busy scrubbing floors, scrubbing toilets, cleaning the car, running errands, prepping for tomorrow's out of town wedding, and all that busy life stuff that happens.  I didn't post here like I had planned to.
I was ready to dismiss it as "no big deal"  when someone pointed out to me that I have failed at my 365 consecutive days of blogging goal.  It is true.  I have missed some days since I started.  In fact, I should have posted 52 times by now, and I have only posted 42 times.  I am failing. And failing at a goal must mean that it isn't important to me, right? 

I'm not so sure about that.  I am not sure at all what to think. 

Say Something Funny

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Esme recently learned how to construct a joke.  She hasn't quite figured out what makes a joke funny, but she's got the basic structure down.  She's been practicing, a lot.

Yesterday in the car she was on a roll.  The jokes themselves are not funny.  What is absolutely hilarious to me, however, is the subject matter.  Her odd combinations of things in the jokes strike me as clever and weird and very funny.  

They went something like this:

Eyes and Ears

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

I do a lot of reading and I listen to a lot of music.  There is so much in the world of books and music to inspire and invigorate the mind and soul.  These are some of the things that have captured my eyes and ears lately.

Did you notice what is missing from this list though?

Who's Afraid of the Dark?

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

I am afraid of the dark in a big way.  And I'm not referring to "the dark side" but just the general blackness that creeps into the house after the sun goes down.  My three-year old sleeps better in the dark than I do.  I am almost thirty years old for heaven's sake and this is ridiculous, but I'm still lying awake in the wee hours jumping at all the bumps in the night.

I haven't always been afraid of the dark.  It's definitely a recent phenomenon - recent like since I became the only adult in the house.  And I'm not about to put on my tiara and pink heels and cry for a man to take care of me.  Nothing like that.  But at 1:00 A.M. when all is black and the pyracantha bush is scratching at the back window, I start imagining shadows in the doorway and footsteps in the hall and empty beds in the nursery and I get myself so worked up that it's 4:00 A.M. before I finally fall asleep clutching my cell phone to my chest.

Last night I tried sleeping with a hall light on.  It didn't help.  Because the light was on I woke up over and over again, every time feeling disoriented and frightened. 

It's Monday and . . .

Monday, June 13, 2011

I've got a to-do list a mile long.  This week is going to be a doozy!  I've got a few thousand pictures to sort and edit and deliver, two weddings to shoot this week, more than one trip to the post office.  I've even got a trip to the Motor Vehicle Department on the list, and that is kind of a list of its own if you know what I mean.

I find that it helps to write it all down.  I use Remember the Milk for my electronic to-do list needs, but I'm also a big fan of a good old fashioned notebook and pen.  And if something is written down I find that it is much more likely to happen.

I like the practicality of a list, the usefulness of having all of it out of my head.  But my real attraction to the lists is the satisfaction of crossing things off.  A few little lines here and there on a mile long list and I instantly feel good.  Visible Progress.  I've even been known to write things down on the list that I've already accomplished just so I can cross them off right away.

So, here's to a full week and all the little black lines I look forward to seeing on my lists!  I'm going to be revisiting my words on Time this morning, a positive reminder of things I  know to be true as I jump headlong into some very busy days.  May your week, and mine, be full of goodness!

How do you keep track of your things-to-do?
What does your week look like?  

Need a Self Esteem Boost?

Friday, June 10, 2011

Everyone knows how easy it is to get down on yourself, but I am going to tell you how easy it is to give yourself a little boost too. 

So often I am muddling through my days feeling like I have no idea what I am doing and that surely everyone else must be doing it so much better than I am.  It is so easy for me to see my own weaknesses and faults.  At the drop of a hat I could make up a two page list of things I need to work on, improve, change.  It's not that I don't feel good, because I do more often than not, but I am normally operating from an I-need-work position

I think a lot of people feel this way.  I also think that it all comes down to perspective. 

Last week someone at church passed me a note to tell me what a great job they think I am doing teaching all the young kids music.  What?!  Every Sunday I teach music for 40 minutes to 140+ kids under the age of 12.  It's crazy.  It's hard.  I am so unqualified for the position.  I don't sing, or lead music, or know anything about teaching kids music.  The first week I had to do it, I went to the bathroom and cried because it went so terribly.  The note, with all its kind words, planted a little seed in my mind though.  Maybe, just maybe, I am doing a better job than I thought.

This week I got an email from someone participating in a blog challenge.  This person is someone from another walk of life, someone I don't know.  She said that although my blog is not even in her niche, she is using my site as a blog she would like to emulate.   Wow!  This little corner of the web?  This space where I am still trying to figure out how to write, and what to write, and when to write is actually a bit of inspiration for someone. 

Two days ago someone left me a beautiful comment and said, "I love that on days like today, when my heart feels like it's in my throat with worry and concern, that I can read what you've written and be reminded of the bravery in motherhood, the warrior in all of us, to carry me through."   This made my week. I don't always feel like a brave mother or a capable warrior, but these kind words helped me to see that those parts of me not only exist, but I use them more often than I realize.

I finished off the week with some emails exchanged with my favorite wedding photographer, followed by one long phone conversation.  I was shaking in my boots flip-flops imagining this photographer that I have long admired would kindly, but firmly tell me that I needed to start looking for a new profession.

Behind the Scenes

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Behind the scenes here at Some the Wiser, we've been having a few rough weeks.  I told you how we all had the flu.  I didn't tell you how just after we recovered from that horrid week, everyone came down with strep throat.  Gah.  And after that finally cycled its way out of the house, we had a bout of high fevers followed by roseola. 

I thought it was over.  I am certainly due a break, right?  Wrong.  Now poor baby Adelaide is miserably sick.  I haven't slept in days.  I am starting to feel stir crazy.  I need to get out of the house, but the only place we're going is to see the doctor.  I am putting all my best Mama Mantras to work now and practicing some deep breathing.  And I am tending, with care, to my sweet little ones, who only become sweeter when feverish.

Here are a few useful things I've found:

Cell phones, or chickens?

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Have you noticed lately how connected everyone is? 

I photographed a wedding over the weekend and I really had to laugh when the just married couple pulled out their cell phones only minutes after vows had been made and altar photos shot.  They needed to change their relationship status on Facebook to Married. 

I laughed even harder when not 30 seconds later, a bridesmaid had received the status update on her phone and immediately signed in to Facebook so she could "Like" it.  The two other bridesmaids quickly followed suit. 

Now I am not going to pass judgment here or write any social commentary on this.  I can't.  I am blogging - on the world wide web - at 12:30 A.M. - when any sane person would and should be sleeping.  What's more, I am probably definitely going to check Facebook before I finally give in and go to bed.  And don't even ask me about Pinterest.

Pinterest, I want to take you behind the bleachers and kiss you on the lips.

Are you Faking?

Monday, June 6, 2011

Today I have a guest post over on one of my favorite food blogs: Good Life Eats.  If you go check it out (click here), and you should because it's delicious, take note of the pretty table runner in my pictures there.  It is pretty, and it worked well in the photo, and it's a fake.

I wanted something bright and cheerful for the photo and I didn't have anything that fit the bill, so I faked it.  I grabbed a few pieces of material left over from another project, then I took the pictures from all the right angles so you couldn't tell that it was just a few scraps.  The pictures worked, so no big deal, right?

Right.  But it got me thinking.  It's so easy to fake things on the internet - just crop that picture so you don't see the laundry pile in the background.  It's almost as easy to fake things in real life too.   We all do it.  We smile and say we are fine, when we're not.  We spend money we don't have so we can fit in.  We go to church on Sunday, but forget the sermon by Monday.   We keep the front of the house clean, but throw all the junk behind the closed doors in the back.  We talk sweetly to our kids in the grocery store, and then scream at them when we get in the car.

We wish we were different, better, happier, more presentable.  But we're not.  So we fake it.

It's almost here, are you ready?

Friday, June 3, 2011

Can you believe summer is just around the corner?  The spring weather here has been a tease, warm followed by cold, warm accompanied by extreme wind, cold but with sunshine, and warm but no sunshine.  There has been enough sun and enough warmth, however, to get me really excited for the June and July days that are coming up.  I am looking forward to:

  1. Retreating to the woods to beat the heat. I am looking forward to picnics and camping and fishing and all those trees!
  2. The food!  The bounty at the farmer's markets together with the bounty in my own garden make for the freshest and most delicious meals of the year.  Watermelon in season is one of life's greatest gifts, I swear.  And I have 101 salad recipes to enjoy!  Any good ones to share?
  3. Swimming suits and towels!  We actually broke out the kiddie pool yesterday as a summer time preview (fun, but no sun.  boo).  My girls are going crazy with the excitement of visiting our favorite mountain swimming holes and rivers and streams, and the splash park downtown too!
  4. Friends and Family.  It always feels like we see more people in the summer time, with all the barbecues and park days and family reunions.  I can't wait to see everyone!
  5. Fires.  Whether it's the backyard fire pit or a mountain campfire, I love the smell of summer time smoke on my clothes.  I am not one to pass up a good roasted marshmellow either!  
  6. And last, but certainly not least, my girl turns FIVE this summer (August).  I have no idea how my baby is going to be five already, but it feels like a huge milestone (for me and for her).  I am planning a major summer time shindig!  Going to be all sorts of fun.  

What are you looking forward to this summer?    

Project Update: Almost, Almost Done!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

I am so close to finishing some projects and that always feels good!  Paint the girls' bedroom - check!  Make curtains for the girls' bedroom - check!  Finish two (out of three) quilts - almost!  Nevermind that there are at least seven million other things on the project list.  Every check mark counts you know. 

An Imperfect Success

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

(Part Two. Read Part One: A Perfect Failure, here)
I am a photographer (It's true.  Take a look here!).  People pay me (in dollars and cents, not hugs and kisses) to take pictures for their weddings, their political events, their families, their magazines, their organizations.  I love it.  But it took some work to make it happen.

There was practical work to do.  First, I had to get a camera and learn how to use it.  The biggest hurdles, however, were the mental obstacles.  I had a few big roadblocks in front of me:

  • I didn't know how to be a photographer

  • I wasn't good enough

  • I didn't have enough experience

  • I could fail miserably

  • I wasn't perfect

Eventually, I did it anyway.  But only after I could see that the only things keeping me from my dream were excuses.  I made excuses because I was afraid.  And I came up with a lot of really valid excuses:

Everyone is a photographer; there's no room for me. * It costs too much money to get started. * I am in grad school to become a professor and I will disappoint a lot of people if I change paths. * I don't have natural talent. * I don't have time to learn how to do it. * I don't have help and support.  * I am not as good as whatshisname. * If I fail it will be humiliating.

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