Today I wanted to pop in with a quick update, because as much as I love this space and the storytelling I do here, sometimes it's easy to get bogged down with the enormity of writing a post. Before you know it, 6 weeks of radio silence have gone by and the task of what-to-post-next seems even bigger. So let's break the ice, shall we? Here's what I've been up to lately (illustrated with mostly iPhone photos, because sometimes the best camera you have is the one you happen to have with you).
- Fighting germs. If I had to describe the month of August in one word, it'd be SICK, all caps. I had exactly ten healthy days the entire month, and the rest of the time was spent fighting two colds, a sinus infection, and a lingering asthmatic cough (still working on that one). It was the kind of sick where you pretty much can only get off the couch to get tea and tissue refills, and the strain of that exertion leaves you with a twenty minute coughing fit. I tend to be a workaholic, so if I was looking at this optimistically I could say that at least I got to take some time off of work, right?
- Getting Healthy. Pretty much since my daughter was born 3 years ago I've been struggling to get "back on track" with little success. In July my friend and former employer Natalie invited me to take part in a healthy habits challenge among her and her staff members, to (hopefully) encourage us to eat right, exercise and live a healthy life. I'm not sure if it was the cash prize or the spirit of competition, but this challenge has really helped motivate me to stay healthy (at least to the extent I can control it - sickness aside). The challenge ends on Saturday and I'm currently neck-in-neck with another girl for the lead. Today I was able to wear a pair of jeans that haven't fit since before I had my daughter, so I guess I'm already a winner in one way... but send me healthy and motivating vibes so I can stay the course and win !
- Sending my family off to school. My husband is a teacher, so every August and September things get a little crazy as we wind down summer and try to get a new routine established for the new school year. This year though, my husband wasn't the only one going back to school. Our daughter Claire started preschool! We are all SO, SO READY for this! She's a very social little girl, and loves to meet new kids and adults alike, so we knew preschool would be a great thing for her. Plus - two mornings a week of dedicated work time ALONE in my house?? I will totally take it.
- Making food. I love to cook, and in the past couple of years I've started experimenting with canning. I've made tomato sauce, jams, jellies, salsas and tons of pickles with lots of success. I had my first failure though this year when I decided to make my husband's grandmother's famous 14-Day Sweet Pickles. I was sick as a dog but the cucumbers were fresh, so I had to act. Well in my fevered state, I forgot one of the most vital ingredients to pickles - salt. I discovered this when I pulled the lid off the pickle bucket after a week and was greeted with the most rancid smell of my life and inch-thick mold sitting on top of mushy cucumbers. PICKLE FAIL. Once I recovered, I tried again with a new batch of cucumbers... and definitely remembered the salt this time.
- Drafting my fantasy football teams. I play in two leagues, one run by my brother and one run by my dude friend from high school, so each year there is a lot of pressure for me to prove myself worthy to the guys. I'm really happy with one of my teams, maybe not so much with the other. Any fantasy football geniuses out there? Let's talk. I NEED to win at least one of my leagues this year!
- Making big plans, and even following through a little. I love being introspective and setting goals, but sometimes struggle with the follow-through of actually accomplishing those goals. In chatting with another photographer friend, Mary Dougherty, about this, she recommended checking out Powersheets. I've been using the Powersheets for two months now to help me delve into my goals and create actionable steps to help me reach them, and it's been incredible. I've loved using these so much that I've purchased sets for two different friends already!
- Volunteering. This past weekend my husband and I had the chance to help out with the Finger Lakes Triathlon in Canandaigua, and we had SO MUCH FUN! We had to get up at 4am and spend hours standing in the cold and rain, but we hardly even felt it. Seeing the enthusiasm and dedication of all the athletes was an incredible sight and it almost made me want to try a triathlon! Almost...
- Having awesome family time. We've had the opportunity to spend a lot of time at my parents' home this summer, which has been wonderful, and two opportunities to see my brother, his wife and two babies (they live downstate, so visits aren't plentiful). Claire loved playing with her one-year-old cousin, and I loved getting a ton of baby snuggles in with my newborn niece.
- Shooting lots of portraits. Photography! That's what you come to this blog for, right?? I'm great at shooting portraits, but not always so great at sharing them. Even with my sickness I've managed to get a lot of portraits in this summer and work with so many wonderful families. I have tons that I'm dying to share with you in the upcoming weeks- I just have to find the time to do it!
- Getting pumped for Fall. Autumn is my very favorite time of year, and also my busiest. I never like to say my portrait schedule is FULL, but it is pretty darn packed. I'm OK with that. I plan to fit a ton of work and a ton of fun into these next few months! Drop me a line if you'd like to get in on that.
What have you been up to this summer? Are you as pumped for Fall as I am? Any tips on how to keep my healthy living motivation up when I don't have the sweet lure of competition and winning cold hard cash to fall back on? Let me know what you've been up to, and I promise to be back soon!