Category Archives: Writing

Three Years of Marriage

3 Anniversary

3 Years

36 Months

156 Weeks

1,095 Days

26,280 Hours

1,576,800 Minutes

94,608,000 Seconds

“That is how long/how much you have been my husband. We are us. We have made it. I have made a promise to never underestimate how difficult this commitment we have made is. I have promised myself to each year, quantify in this way, just how long/how much you and I have been us, Mr. and Mrs. Ernst. Seeing the years, months, days, moments, seconds add up makes my heart swell with pride. I chose to allow your love to fill my life and my heart and whilst that makes me happy and content so much of the time, I knew going in to this that this was never going to be easy. Not by any fault of our own necessarily but because of the world, society, people that we will meet or have met that will influence us in one way or another, raw deals and lost dreams that we will have to let go of, money, air, wrenches and who knows what else… Easy or not, we are in this together, for better or worse, such easy words to say, so much more difficult to live them, I’m proud of us for doing so.”

This post is ridiculously LATE and overdue, but we’re just going to go with “better late than never”!

Our third year of marriage has been… a BLUR:

  • We went out for our last anniversary to spite me being SO pregnant that all I wanted to do pretty much ever was sleep and hope that when I woke my ankles had returned!
  • We celebrated our last Thanksgiving as “just Jen & Don”
  • We took a trip to Jacksonville Beach and had awesome times with Anita & Chris, ate some amazing food at The Maple Street Biscuit Company, and burnt ends from some BBQ joint whose name I don’t remember, checked in at the local hospital for an NST that would later prove to have been a waste of time… Sigh and got to have brunch with the one and only Mr. Paul Ferlita.
  • We had our maternity photo shoot cancelled at the last minute and you were so kind and sensitive to my super prego hormones and my insistence that it was “THE WORST THING EVER”. Good friends once again came to the rescue and we did end up getting beautiful maternity photos during the busiest time of year for professional photograhers! (Thank you Bobby, Erin and Kai!) I have yet to edit any of these and do something with them… its on “the list”…
  • I did an engagement shoot at 9 months pregnant while you worked your butt off at the shop to try and get ahead for us.
  • I FINALLY got our wedding photos printed and hung up in our home, seeing those photos on display makes me smile on a daily basis. Our wedding day will forever be one of THE BEST days of my life.
  • A week prior to my scheduled c-section I went in for my NST and for the first time didn’t pass the second round of tests, on December 16th around 5:30pm I called you to tell you that they were admitting me and inducing me, you said “Ok, well I still have 3 alignments to do” LOL and I said “All good, we should have plenty of time”.
  • Everyone made it in time and after every one was sent home they were all called back as it was decided that we were going to do a scheduled c-section around 2:30am.
  • You stood by my side in a cold operating room with your least favorite Dr. performing major surgery on your wife and your son and you kept your calm, said all of the right things.  In that moment I had never been more thankful for you.
  • At 4:01am on December 17th, you and I heard our baby cry for the very first time and it was the sweetest sound I’ve ever heard.
  • You managed to not lose your mind going stir crazy being in the hospital for 3 days and you helped me and Baby Don in any and every way you could. Fatherhood looks so good on you my love.
  • We argued about Elf on The Shelf pictures while in the hospital and you not having any jeans to wear for our coming home with baby pictures (I’m pretty sure you had on two opposing styles of plaid at the time LOL!) but, we worked it out and got an Elf picture and you changed into some jeans for our pictures once we got home. (Looking back now I’m not sure why either of these things really mattered but I love you for humoring me!)
  • We somehow survived a mandatory 48 hours of consecutive hourly nursing sessions for our first two days home with the baby AND managed to drive to the hospital two times to get his blood tests. We were speaking in tongues by the end of it, but we were also working together as THE BEST TEAM and we kept our son from having to spend any time in the NICU by bringing his billirubin levels back to normal.  I am still so proud of us for this!
  • Speaking of those blood tests, in my first of what will hopefully not be too many “too much for my momma heart to handle moments”, you took over mid blood test as I could not bare to see them cut his tiny brand new foot anymore! You handled it like a champ and took care of my heart and my baby. Thank you.
  • We had visits from DON ONE when Don Cubed was brand new and also in the summer where we got to splash around in the pool at The Tahitian for a whole day.
  • Uncle Doug has become one of Don Harvey’s biggest fans and has come to visit with him a couple of times now even reading him a bedtime story each visit.
  • We have watched Harvey infect everyone he meets with a smile and love.  He is so much like his daddy!
  • We have been the luckiest to have my parents take on such an active roll in being Harvey’s grandparents, he is SO loved by them and we are so fortunate to have them.
  • Baby Don is incredibly lucky to have three aunts and an uncle that also love him very much!
  • You went on your annual race weekend in Daytona and once again NO ONE got arrested! LOL It was the first time I was alone with the baby, he was just about 6 weeks old at the time.  I missed you while you were gone but I have very precious memories of that special time Harvey and I got to spend together alone.  I also remember having a really sweet phone conversation with you during a 3:30am feeding, it was one of those talks where we just seemed to get one another and it made my heart really happy.
  • We have dealt with all things baby: gas, constipation, sleep training, scheduling, teething, crawling, talking, almost walking and even when our days may not have been the brightest we both put a smile on our face and showed our son the best parts of ourselves.
  • We managed to keep baby Don home and with a nanny for his whole first year which was so important to me and is yet another thing I am so proud of us for because it certainly has not been easy!
  • As I write this post (late…) your “Family Car” #projectslowsaab is said to be almost completed! So sometime soon you and Don Cubed will be able to cruise around town in your own ride, which I know is going to make all of us SO happy!
  • We went to “The Price is Right”and did not get to spin the wheel… But had an awesome time!
  • Went to see Dave Chapelle and we laughed hysterically to spite my weird worry that I was going to somehow not think he was funny and be the only one not laughing!
  • You supported me through 6 months of breastfeeding and willingly took over the morning feedings once you could.
  • I got to meet Colbie Caillat while you got your own alone time with the baby for a weekend.
  • We had date night at Duffy’s, I love our mutual appreciation for SWEET dive bars!
  • We went to bachelor and bachelorette parties.
  • Coordinated a friends engagement party at the very last minute (refreshments and all!) LOL!
  • Went to a Vertical Horizon and Tonic concert at The Water Works Park and walked the length of the River Walk afterwards.
  • Went to John’s Pass for a visit with Laura.
  • Went to lots of birthday parties and dinners for friends that are family, for family and for babies of friends that are family.
  • I set up mini-sessions in our backyard and finally made some good use of our crazy “jungle wall” and you helped as much as you possibly could to spite being worn out and super busy with your own responsibilities.
  • We also DIDN’T do A LOT of things that we wanted to, we missed out on two weddings that were so important to us to be at.
  • We didn’t get the chance to go back to the OH to visit with friends and family like we had hoped we would.
  • We got robbed, more than once in our own front yard.
  • We stayed strong and confident to spite health concerns for our family that turned out to be minor but could have been major.
  • We lost friendships and forged new ones.
  • We lost our way, grew apart and back together again over and over.

In spite of plenty of opposition, disappointments and challenges thrown our way we are still forging our way forward. Marriage and parenthood are harder than I ever could have imagined they would be.  The weight of it all can feel like way too much at times but I am now and will continue to be committed to doing my best each day to be the best wife and mother that I can be. Because at the end of the day knowing that I can always count on our family being together makes each day worth it. Thank you husband for continuing to show up and do the same even on the days when not “adulting” is the much more appealing option! I promise to do my best to acknowledge my own shortcomings and try to improve on them and to continue talking AND listening it all out with you while doing so.

I am still smiling and still falling my love.

I’m quoting this part from our original anniversary post along with the intro because I STILL mean it:

“We are of a generation that is fickle, that runs away from the scary shit. I promised myself and you that I would not run away from the scary shit in our marriage. That in and of itself IS SCARY! But, I meant it, I will mean it. I may write this “review” some years and mostly hate you! But, I will love you, I will forget and forgive, I will smile and laugh, I will let go and move on, I will go crazy and find sanity, I will want to quit and join the majority and I will overcome and subscribe, once again, to the minority. I am yours, you are mine. It will not be easy. It will down right suck at times. I knew that going in. I knew that when I sat in the corner eating two bites of a fish-filet pushing you away to no avail that I had completely jumped into the abyss that is us.

I will get jealous, I will worry, I will cry, we will experience loss in many ways, but we will see our way through it. I will grow old with you, which means that there is so much that will occur, that the seconds, minutes, days, weeks, months, years will just keep stacking up to remind me just how sure I was/am that this is love, this is us.”

“I belong with you, you belong with me, you’re my sweetheart”
With all my heart husband,
Your Loving Wife

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“We love him”

I found myself choked up this morning whilst reading this blog post by Handsfreemama, shared on Facebook by Rebecca of the simple as that blog.  If you aren’t already you MUST follow both of these lovely ladies’ blogs if you are a parent, artsy, crafty, into photography (even if it’s just with your iphone!) or if you just like to be inspired by others.  These ladies continually do a great job at inspiring and motivating me.  I suggest every one at the very least read the blog post “Six Words You Should Say Today” which is the one I read this morning.

I now have a son, his name is Harvey (or “Don Harvey” depending on who you ask!) and he has shifted my world in an amazing way.  Not only mine but my entire family’s as well!  When I read this post I immediately started to think of him and of how I will interact with him with regards to his activities in the future. I don’t know what he will like to do, maybe it will be sports, or instruments, or chess or working on cars like his dad?  It really doesn’t matter though, I imagine I will think that whatever he is into is the coolest and, here come those magic words, I WILL “love to watch him ____________”. I can’t possibly imagine not saying it outloud, but I can also totally see how such a simplistic phrase might fall to the wayside in lieu of lengthier and thus seemingly more sincere commentary.  I hope that my eyes are now opened to the beauty of allowing ones self to keep it simple, to not drown ones thoughts and intentions with unnecessary words.

After my trip into the future with my own son, I then allowed myself to travel back in time to the hundreds of soccer games and practices that my own parents were a part of and tried to remember the types of conversations we use to have with regards to my playing.  I don’t remember the exact words, but I can say that my memory of their involvement relays to me that they did in fact LOVE to watch me play.  The rest is irrelevant and they got their point across regardless of how they might have phrased it because I have no doubt if I were to ask them now or if I had asked them then, they would happily admit to how much they loved to watch me play.

There is something seriously magical about making your own parents into grandparents.  It’s a gift that can’t be measured and one that my parents have embraced with arms open wider than I could have possibly imagined, it’s so wonderful to watch their eyes light up at the sparkle in 3 month old Harvey’s deep blue eyes.  I once again glimpse at the future and see all of us thinking to ourselves just how much we love to watch him play, sing, dance, cook, jump, explore and discover this amazing world we live in. Now I just hope that we will all remember to say it out loud.  I will feel quite accomplished if that practice becomes a part of my sweet boys life in such a way that he lives without hesitation in expressing his joy in witnessing the lives of those he loves.

I do know that I love watching those that I love falling in love with my boy, it makes my heart sing.  And whether my mom, Harvey’s grandma, knows that shes doing it or not, she sends me a text after every time she watches him that simply says “We love him”.  It makes my heart swell with pride and puts a smile on my face every time.

Make a point today to tell someone how you feel and keep it simple with those six little words, “I love to watch you ________”

-thejensspin

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Dream Killers on Internet Forums… Rude.

 

Dream Killers SUCK!

DREAM KILLERS ON INTERNET FORUMS:

I have finally decided to put myself out there and dip my foot in the waters of the photography pool.  That being decided, my already chronic googling problem has been in overdrive the last week or so and this post is just a tid bit of BS that I stumbled upon in one of my MANY random searches.  This poor person made the mistake of asking the same question I googled on Yahoo Answers:

Question:

What equipment do I need to start a photography business?

I enjoy photography and have a digital Nikon D40 with a few accessories that I love to use. I wanted to take photography to a business level since recently I’ve had a lot referrals from family and friends to do their pictures. Thing is I don’t really know what I need. I figure that I’d start small and get the basics and start small. So what should I get for portrait style photos? What are the best basic necessities that I would need that are portable an can take with me?

Also I’m not sure what to charge. I’m just starting out and haven’t charged anyone for taking photographs since it’s mostly close friends and family but I want to be compensated for my time when I do it for others. Should I charge for photos? Give them a disk with the digital pictures? Anything helps.

In response to a comment, I have taken photos at weddings and other functions where there was a hired photographer and my photos were better than the photographers. Everyone has said so and agrees which is why they ask me to take the photos and why I want to do it professionally at least part-time for now. I like candid photography but people are interested in portrait photography like in a studio. I usually do them with scenic backgrounds but I’ve been asked to go to people homes to do family portraits and I don’t know what I would need besides a background and stand. Such as what kind of lighting, props etc.

Best Answer – Chosen by Voters”

“I have answered this question 1000 times before, and I am going to give the short answer.

If you don’t know what equipment you need for a photography business, then you can not start a photography business.

Somebody who is about to start a business will know exactly the equipment needed (and will likely already own it and be very experienced with it) and will not need to ask a question like this. You are years away yet.

Praise from family and friends on your images do not count.

Sorry to be blunt, but it’s true.

+++

“I have taken photos at weddings and other functions where there was a hired photographer and my photos were better than the photographers.”

Bullshit indicator = 100% probability..

“Everyone has said so and agrees”

Praise from family and friends on your images do not count.

You can not do anything “professionally” until you first have a clue what you are doing… Which you don’t.. not by years. You can not “get the basics” and do things “professionally” at the same time.”

Yup, dream killers.  I would HATE to see the “long answer” to this question, since he has answered it 1000 times you would think he would just have the document ready and waiting to paste onto every person that “needs to get a clue”‘s questions on the internet…Rude.  I just don’t understand the value of cutting people down in this manner.  Google, the internet in general, is, in my opinion, meant for questions just like this one and yet THE FIRST listing that came up when I typed it in is something like this that offers not only no REAL answer to the question, but ALSO provides a healthy serving of self doubt with a side of sh!t talking… RUDE.  Who has time for this?  Who trolls these forums just waiting to pounce on an unsuspecting surfer of the net?  People.   Obviously people are and that is the saddest part about it.  I can only hope that I don’t have any “people” like this in my life that are annonymously trolling the internet to talk down to others.  One of the MOST disturbing things about this “answer” is that it is voted “the best answer” by MORE people that are VOTING and supporting these inappropriate forum shenanigans.  Ugh.

Just to be clear, when I googled “What equipment do I need to start a photography business?”  I wasn’t looking for opinions about my life, skills etc. I was honestly looking for a list.  I am a lister, I function in lists and the great thing about lists is you can just cross off the things that don’t apply to you should you “borrow” someone else’s list and if you’re lucky, someone else’s list might be EXACTLY what you were looking for.  So, when I assemble my list for gathering equipment for my own purposes in a photography business, I will be sure to post it on here, tagged appropriately and accessible to any other poor soul that may dare to have the audacity to ask such a question on the internet.  Hopefully that list will someday take over the dream killers number one status on google 🙂

(to be fair, there were, on this same thread, other kind souls who did provide lists, or at least words of encouragement, but they did not receive the votes for “best answer”)

-end rant

 

 

 

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In the Spirit of Lists

Another Pinterest find which fit my day and my creative mojo perfectly:

http://www.baubauhaus.com/

 

Also, while I am on the list tangent, 30 days of lists  is something that I have wanted to try and was quite popular when I first started smashbooking, butI always seemed to miss out on the start date and then it just seemed like more of a hassle to try and sign-up and catch up.  It was an awesome way to use smashbooks and a lot of the smashers I followed in the beginning were using theirs for their #30daysoflists.  But, this time around I have notice and I am kind of a believer that you can never have too many lists thus I am toying with the idea of signing up for this as well… We shall see.

-thejensspin

 

 

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Because I too like Projects!

Doing my morning scroll through my google reader and I have found two new blogs to follow, www.hernewleaf.com, from my own wandering on Pinterest and the other via Ali Edwards’ perusing of Pinterest, where I found www.moorea-seal.com. I absolutely LOVE Pinterest, but it is one of those places that I have to tell myself to NOT GO TO quite often because if I do then before I know it 3 hours of my life are gone and so are the three hours that I could have had to work on all of the incredible Pinterest projects I had posted on my last binge… It’s a vicious cycle but also an incredibly inspiring place to visit.

  • I am working on not saying “So” SO MUCH in my writing, so I am going to put it in parentheses for a little while, every time that I would have used it… Starting… now:

(SO) On my EXTREMELY long monthly Project Life post last week I mentioned that I really want to find a way to get myself back into Smashbooking and this morning I was inspired by a project that Ali Edwards is doing, it’s called 52 Lists and she found it on Pinterest via the lovely Moorea Seal’s blog.

I’m a sucker for lists…

Simple enough, A new prompt each week for a new list.

Isn’t it amazing how much easier it is to get a project going when you have the reassurance of someone else giving you the prompts?  LIke #fmsphotoaday,

there is nothing too incredibly unique or unusual about the prompts that are on here monthly lists, but the fact that someone else came up with the subject matter just gives me the freedom to focus on the fulfilling the request and responding openly and that is what I find most enjoyable about projects like this.  I would feel completely overwhelmed and unsure of where to start without the prompts as a starting point, but this is something that I think I can get into.  It would/could be an insert into my Project Life, but I think it will be more fun and interesting to use a Smashbook to document it.  (SO) Along with my Project Life I will now be doing 52 Lists.  I plan on trying to incorporate some of the Studio Calico kits that I have been hoarding since I joined the monthly program as well as magazine clippings that I have been habitually collecting, categorizing and hoarding since birth it seems like!

  • I once took an art class (and by that I mean that I took EVERY one available to me whilst at community college, to the point that my parents got a real kick out of asking me how “basket weaving classes” were going) and we had a couple of mixed media projects that we were assigned.  Most of the other students brought in a couple of current magazines or pulled from the stash of magazines at the studio… but not me.  I came in with my six categorized gallon size zip-lock bags completely full of clippings.  The Professor came by and took notice of my collection and asked where I had gotten “all of that”, I replied that I had been saving “this stuff” for as long as I could remember… “Just in case”… Spoken like a true hoarder LOL  But, there have been many times when my collection has come in handy so I’m happy that I have kept up with it.  I can never send a printed material of any sort off to be recycled until I have determined that there is nothing else in it that can be useful to me in some way, UPCYCLE/RECYCLE for the win!

This will also give me a chance to start using up some of the washi tape that I have been collecting and hoarding since I purchased my first roll from the K&Company Smashbook line.  Moorea is encouraging those that decide to take part in her project to link their blog posts and/or pictures back to her site corresponding with the prompts so that we can all see and share our lists with one another.  (SO) I will be doing that as well, look for that post on Mondays most likely as I am a procrastinator to the core and she posts her new prompts on Tuesdays so I will most likely be completing the previous weeks lists just before the new one comes out (of course that’s just after I catch up on the last 5 weeks worth of lists!)

-thejensspin

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