Caffeine Crushed

I quit drinking coffee.

Back in July, my anxiety was VERY high and caffeine was making that worse. I don’t drink soda, so coffee was my only source of liquid caffeine and I loved it.

But as my anxiety climbed, so did my coffee intake… or maybe it was the other way around. It actually began to physically affect me with acid reflux.

After lots of conversations with my doctor, we agreed that I should stop drinking coffee. Not just switch to decaf – I mean quit it for good.

So July 7th, I tossed my coffee and packed away my coffee maker. Day 2 was hard. Thinking back though, it may have been more of a habit than an addiction.

I actually don’t miss it. My anxiety has gotten better though never truly dissolving. I also want to point out that my acid reflux issues have dramatically dropped (I love acidic foods though – hey, tomatoes – so I imagine this will always be an issue for me.)

If you are thinking of quitting for any of these reasons, I totally recommend it. There is no trick though – you just have to decide to quit. Coffee is heavily advertised though as a mother’s savior, but really… water does the trick.

Hang in there, friends!

Reclaiming photographer

I have spent a lot of time behind the camera – teaming up with amazing people who enjoy modeling and makeup artists who have amazing talent. Heck, our awesome collaborations have even gotten us published in magazines a couple of times!

I had been practicing my craft for as long as I can remember. I have always loved being behind the camera. It was in 2009 though when I took it up a notch by creating a website and properly advertising.

I had many volunteers who enjoyed modeling just as much as I enjoyed shooting. We’d come up with new ideas for photo shoots and spend a couple of hours just playing around. It was some of the best times and it was a great way to explore wherever we were living at the time.

In 2017, my husband deployed soon after our daughter was born. After much contemplation, I decided that I wouldn’t have time to plan, execute, & edit like I used to. I quietly deconstructed my website and portfolio… putting it away for safe keeping.

Now I still did a few shoots for a couple of close friends. I just wasn’t advertising for new clients. I’ve been itching to get back into it. It’s one of my creative outlets that I haven’t been able to use.

So how do I reclaim myself as photographer?

Honestly, it’s been hard to get back into the swing of things. I’ve had a dedicated page on this website for a few months now that will eventually hold my portfolio. I have started keeping up with an Instagram though, so that’s progress! I have even put feelers out there for models to practice on. It’s all coming together, so why do I feel so nervous?

I photographed people for years – countless beautiful faces. It’s a craft I’ve been studying since I was a teenager. Something though – something has me holding back from the big jump.

Wish me luck, guys.

Dismissive Nature

I don’t often touch on the military subject, but I wanted to put a couple things out there – from both sides of the spectrum.

“This is what you signed up for” is a phrase that military spouses hear way too often. I don’t think people mean any real harm by it, but they also don’t realize how dismissive it can be to our feelings. So friends & family, please delete that phrase from your mind when asking us how we are doing and responding with those words when we tell you we miss our spouse.

For a lot of us, we loved our spouse before they joined the military. I met my husband two years before he joined. I married him because I loved him and I couldn’t imagine spending my life without him. I can guarantee you that the idea of spending 6 to 12 months alone with a baby in a house where things just start breaking the second your spouse leaves town was not an appealing factor in our marriage.

So instead – you can substitute those words for something more encouraging like “Wow. That’s got to be hard, but you’ve got this!” Or the cliche but still encouraging “Hang in there. They’ll be back before you know it.” — OR my personal favorite “Wow. That’s rough. More wine?

On the opposite side of the street though, I would like to address other military spouses for a minute. You guys. We get it. Deployments and short tours… they are hard. It’s not easy. You miss your spouse and you have every right to.

HOWEVER, when your civilian friend comes to you and talks about how their spouse is on a business trip for a few days, it is NOT okay to compare that to a 6 month deployment.

EVERYONE is allowed to miss their spouse no matter how long they are gone.

So please check yourselves before you say “Well at least your spouse isn’t gone for six months at a time.” It really is just as dismissive to them as “This is what you signed up for” is to us.

Those are just some thoughts I wanted to share with you all. If you are going through a deployment or your SO is out of town, I just want to say that you aren’t alone. It’s rough, but you’ll get through it. Also, an evening glass of wine can’t hurt. Just drink responsibly!

I’m a mess…y painter

Whenever I tell my husband that I want to paint something, there is this moment of silence… this lost look in his eye for just a moment before he gives me the signal to continue on with my painting proposition. He’s not a fan of house projects and though he is super supportive of my hobbies, he’s even less of a fan of me painting.

We are definitely no Chip & Joanna Gaines when it comes to home improvements.

I can try my absolute hardest to paint and be clean about it, but will still make a mess. I’m very casual about it too. I always say “oh, I’ll come back and clean that up.” And my husband will be internally groaning as he tries hard not to look at whatever mess I’ve just made. I do always fix it though – well except the garage floor. That one is probably a lost cause until I stop taking in stray furniture pieces to work on.

So during his recent work trip, I decided to tackle the laundry room. The laundry room didn’t always bother me under the warm glow lighting in there. However, my husband fixed the pantry light and unknowingly created more work. That light (and I’m so thankful it’s fixed) made the paint in the laundry room/pantry look like a vintage haunted hospital. It brought to life every single mark on those terrible white walls.

Choosing the color was easy. When we bought the house in 2016, one of the first things we did before we moved in was paint. There was a sandy textured paint on the walls that didn’t fit out style. After a ton of debate about colors, we settled on a choice cream and got to work. It’s the same color I chose for the laundry room.

With the tiny human in tow, it took me about 3 days to fully complete. We were both covered in paint for days! She finger painted, leaned into the paint, and at one point she even stepped into the paint tray… with both feet. My kitchen counters were covered in laundry & pantry supplies. As I looked around, I sure was thankful that my husband couldn’t see this mess.

But I conquered it. I reorganized the pantry and even purchased some decorations for the laundry room. I know it’s not always an important room to update, but it feels good to walk into those freshly painted cream walls and a plant above my washer & dryer. I even bought a little Laundry sign for half off at Hobby Lobby.

It feels good when I execute a large project like this off of my to-do list. It makes me feel invincible for a little while. I recommend it for anyone looking for a change, but also do your research and be realistic about the projects you take on.