For the first 50 years of my life, my perfectionist self mistakenly believed it was all about knowing more, getting it right, planning, attempting to prevent bad things from happening, and keeping all of my chicks in a row. It took me this long to discover that the JOURNEY is all that matters. This quote from Gilda Radner sums it all up:

"I wanted a perfect ending. Now I've learned, the hard way, that some poems don't rhyme, and some stories don't have a clear beginning, middle, and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what's going to happen next.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Check It Out!

I love anything that saves me time and makes my life easier.

Running errands is a big time-sucker. So I try to avoid it whenever possible.

With online shopping, I rarely run to the store for anything anymore.  I get better deals online with free shipping and no sales tax.

I can pay bills online without writing a single check or addressing an envelope.

With Express Scripts, I don't need to go to the pharmacy to refill prescriptions.  They get delivered right to my mailbox.

Until recently, though, I needed to go to the bank to deposit checks.  With my business, I usually get paid with a check and I go to the ATM at the bank to deposit them on a weekly basis.

When my daughter, Kerry, showed me how to deposit checks using my iPhone, I really couldn't believe my eyes!  I thought the Bank of America mobile app for my phone was just for checking account balances and making transfers between accounts.  I never even imagined I could deposit checks from the comfort of my own home!


It's easy.  It's fun.  It's like magic!

How cool is that?????

Friday, January 25, 2013

The Skinny on Skinny

Whenever there is a problem of any kind, I love to investigate and try to come up with a solution.

For instance, when we wanted to keep the dogs (but not the cats) out of the basement away from the littler boxes, I devised a rope mechanism that prevented the basement door from being opened beyond a certain amount so the cats could slip through but not the dogs.  Better than cutting a hole in the door!

I am the same way with health problems.

For the past 2 or three months, I have had a problem with my left leg.  When I sit for long periods of time, I have been experiencing pain and weakness behind my knee and up my thigh when I stand up and try to walk.  It only lasts for a few steps and then it goes away.  And it doesn't happen ALL of the time.  Only sometimes.

For instance, when I flew to Alaska in December, I never had a problem at all even though I was sitting on a plane for 12 hours!

I've been keeping notes in my mind when it happens and I believe I have figured it out!
Then I googled "skinny jeans leg pain" and it was confirmed!

My pants are too tight!  Haha!

Until last year, I used to wear regular old loose fitting jeans with sneakers and a sweatshirt.

Then I became a little more "hip".  

I bought some skinny jeans.

Everyone was wearing them - my girls, my girls' friends, other moms, TV stars.
So I tried some on and they didn't look half bad!  I felt younger!
And they were a great look tucked into my boots!

Over the past year, I have gotten a little more daring and bought some that were even more form fitting.

So, over the holidays I put on a few pounds like I do every year.
My skinny jeans got a little more snug too.
And the leg pain got worse.

Over the past few weeks, I've experimented and worn sweat pants some days and skinny jeans other days, and guess what?  No skinny jeans = no pain.

When I googled it, I found many articles about meralgia parenthetica. 

"It's a disorder that occurs when one of the nerves that runs in the outer part of a thigh gets compressed."
Typically, sufferers of the nerve condition include construction workers or police officers with heavy, low-slung belts, pregnant women or obese people; it also can result from a pulled-tight seat belt in a car accident. But over the last several years, experts say they’ve been seeing more young women at a healthy weight complain of symptoms. The culprit: too-tight jeans.

Well. I'm not ready to go back to "mommy jeans" just yet!
I will buy a few pairs of not-so-skinny jeans until I lose a few pounds.

Problem solved!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Bring on 2013!

I'm flying high after a very meaningful, relevant,
                                     and beautifully choreographed Inaugural Ceremony.
I'm flying high after a quick trip to Burlington on Saturday
                                     to have lunch with my two children there.
I'm flying high as I continue to knock task after task off my To Do List -
                                    things I've been putting off for way too long that have
                                    been weighing on my mind and my spirit.

I'm flying high after a year of uncertainty, learning, surprise, happiness, pride,
                                    and fulfillment.

A year ago, I was trying to set up my photography business.
I didn't know what to expect.
I knew very little about running a business.
I was trying to work out logistics - locations to take pictures, release forms,
                                   credit card readers, advertising - my head was spinning!
So many details to think about!

After many years of being a stay-at-home mom, I didn't have a lot of confidence.
Would people think highly enough of my work to hire me?
Would I be able to consistently produce good portraits?
I had so many fears to swallow before I could move forward.

When school got out in June, I waited.
I was grateful when I got a few bookings.
I was scared too.

Then the calls and emails started coming in - more than I had ever dreamed of.
I was happy, but more than a little overwhelmed!
I just kept plugging along, doing the best I could.
I made plenty of mistakes too.
There were times I looked at the photos and wished
I had done things differently that day, kicking myself.
Other times I was sooooo excited about the wonderful images before my eyes!

Now I sit here with all that experience under my belt,
                                                                in awe of how much I learned last year.
Surprised that I had so many customers.
Proud that I was able to swallow my fears and face the uncertainty.
Happy to have met and worked with so many nice people.

And despite the long hours - MANY more than I had anticipated -
I feel fulfilled.  I had fun too!

I accomplished something that has been kicking around
in the back of my mind for many years.  YEAH!

With the infant stage behind me, I will keep growing into toddlerhood.
There's so much to learn. So much to try. So many more mistakes to me made!

I am stronger, wiser, and much more confident.
So bring on 2013!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Christmas is Family

This billboard stood out among the hundreds of signs and billboards around Times Square in New York.  Our family was in the city to see The Lion King.

It made me wonder who was paying for this billboard.
It wasn't promoting any business or product.

It wasn't advertising any Broadway show.

It wasn't lit up - flashing and blinking to get your attention.

But it stood out in its simplicity and meaningful message.


There's nothing better than when everyone is home from college
and we spend time together.

 I hope you had a Merry Christmas!

Monday, January 7, 2013

End Paper Clutter, Save a Tree

During the first few weeks of each year I am busy.

The new year is a time to start fresh.
Get rid of clutter.

Because you know as the year goes on it will all pile up again.

In the next few weeks I will be changing my email address.
I've been stuck using AOL for the past 20 years and it's time.
I'm moving to gmail.

I have also been migrating thousands and thousands of photos
off my desktop computer to external hard drives.

And downsizing my Downloads folder.

But thing that irks me the most is filing paper, receipts, etc.
We have boxes of them that I drag out periodically throughout
the year to file importants stuff away where I can put my
hands on it if need be.

Until now.

is a new app I downloaded from the app store called


In just a day,  I have scanned sooooo many papers,
receipts, and documents into my computer using my
scanner and this software.

And I have thrown away a HUGE amount of paper.

Once everything is scanned into Paperless,
you can label, categorize, and create folders to easily
organize your "papers" and make them extremely
easy to find.

For instance,

Under "Appliances" I have receipts for things we have purchased along with the date and place they were purchased.  Just click on an entry and up pops the receipt which can be printed if needed.

In the Medical section are receipts, but also Lab results, immunization records, etc.

In the "Pets" section are rabies certificates, receipts for office visits, microchip info, membership info.

AND I HAVE DISCOVERED A WAY TO SAVE ON PAPER that you can use even if you don't go all the way by using this software.

When you place online orders, do you print a copy of the receipt?  If not, do you keep it hanging around in your email just in case you may need it?

You don't need to do either! (click on the picture to view larger)

When you get to the print box, instead of pressing the PRINT button,
go the the bottom left corner and click on PDF.
A dropdown menu will appear.
Select "Save PDF to Web Receipts Folder".

Whatever you were going to print will go to a folder called "Web Receipts"
On a MAC, it is in the Documents folder.

If you ever need to print it, it will be there.
Most likely, though, you have just saved a piece of paper and ink.

And if you are organizing your papers with Paperless software,
your receipt is ready to be put in a folder.

I have to go now.
I have more organizing to do!

I will be scanning my business receipts, warranties, etc. today.
And the IRS does allow digital copies of receipts!

Happy New Year!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013


I am not a lover of body art.
I'm not a hater of body art.


Sometimes I like them on other people.
Sometimes I think they are ugly.

For me, the idea of getting tattooed is unth-INK-able.

When my daughter Kerry and I were visiting my sister
in Alaska, I knew the idea of tattoos was bound
to come up.  My nieces all have tattoos and Kerry
has been wanting to get one for a few years now.

When my sister and I got home one afternoon and
the girls asked my opinion of a certain design for a
tattoo, I wasn't surprised.  And I really didn't like
the design either.

Kerry and my nieces wanted to all get the same tattoo
as a symbol of their close bond.

Nice sentiment, but why not just buy the same necklace
or something instead of permanently marring your

Nonetheless, on the final day of our visit, we headed
into Anchorage to do some shopping and for them
to get inked.

Even my sister had decided to get a tattoo (her first one) - not the same one as the girls,
but one that had a special meaning to her.

The order for the proceedings : Lori, Kerry, Mikey, Hali, and Emily.

It wasn't even Kerry's turn and she had begun to sweat!

Lori sat in the chair to get her tattoo done on her back.
She was very still with her eyes closed the entire time.

On that day, tattooing was a spectator sport!  Friend came to watch!

Lori had chosen a father/daughter celtic knot symbolizing the
never-ending bond between father and daughter, but also taking
into account the Irish heritage of my mother.

Kerry was up next.

She chose to get her tattoo on her side, so she had to lay down on the table.

At first she appeared to be relaxed about it.

Then her expression became...

more and more


She tried to joke around, but it didn't last long.

Her hand began to grip the side of the table more tightly.

When it was over, she admitted if it had taken much longer
she would have been crying.  It hurt much more than she imagined.

But it was finished. A compass!

She was officially a bad-ass!

Mikey was next in line.

She was a veteran, though.

Same tattoo.  Same place.

And touch-ups on others that had faded.

Hali got the same design on her arm.

As did Emily...

Later that night at dinner I was asked if I was mad that Kerry
got a tattoo.

I had already thought about this during the hours I spent watching and
taking pictures of the process, so while my answer was quick it was
made with much consideration.

I was not mad at all.

The emotion I felt was sadness.

As she was laying on the table in pain,  I was picturing my beautiful
little baby girl with soft, flawless skin.

I was remembering all of the boo-boos she had gotten as a child,
and how I painstakingly tended her wounds, hoping there would
not be a scar.

For me, it was the same as I feel when a beautiful stone wall is
marred by a graffiti artist.

I don't think it was the answer they expected - or wanted.

But it wasn't about me.

Kerry is an adult and can make her own choices.
Not everything she chooses is the same as what I would choose.
Nor should it be.

She didn't make this decision hastily.
I'm sure getting this tattoo satisfied some kind of need or
desire in her.

If it makes her happy - I am happy that she's happy.

But as a mom, it still makes me sad.