The 52 Project – a portrait series of my daughter, once a week in 2013
Per her request, we had a minnie mouse halloween. I whipped up this skirt and bow the morning of….nothing like last minute! Rylee was a riot. Candy + minnie mouse is pretty much what her dreams are made up of….so all in all we had a good day. If you have halloween pics up, share in the comments! I’d love to take a peek! xo
As I was looking through photos from earlier this year for a project I am working on, it really hit me how drastically Rylee has changed. Infant to one is one thing….one to two is another. And from what I gather so far, two to three might prove to be the biggest year of change thus far. I’m not really talking about what she looks like, but more about who she is becoming.
The last few months have been hard for me as a mom. We’ve had to make decisions to keep us financially stable while Sam is diving in to his new career with Lone Flag. One of those decisions was to put Rylee in a pre-school 2 days a week so that I can take on more clients and design projects. We’ve also asked for a lot more help from my mom during this season of transition (I kind of don’t know what I would do without her). But every now and then that guilt creeps up and I second guess these decisions. Are we being selfish? How is this effecting Rylee? She’s old enough now to know exactly what we are doing. I know I wouldn’t change anything looking back. I wanted Sam to pursue his dream, I encouraged him to, and I know it would have only been harder the longer we waited….but my “mom heart” sometimes gets sad that I am missing too much. It’s such a challenge being driven to work and pursue your passions, while not sacrificing what is best for your family. But I know that sometimes sacrifices are essential for the potential of great. And Sam and I both have hope that this shop will be great for us and our family down the road, otherwise we would have never started this crazy journey to begin with. In the short couple of months since this idea was fostered….we’ve had high highs and low lows. But most of that was to be expected. Ry has been a champ with her change in schedule….it’s honestly probably been harder on me than it has for her. Ironically, after being a total daddy’s girl her whole life, she has suddenly switched to only wanting “momma”. And I’ll take it. I think God knew I needed that extra love from her to let me know it was going to be alright. One thing I’ve learned about Rylee is that she is a nurturer. She has a sensitive little heart and knows when someone is sad and needs a hug. The other day she caught tears in my eyes….she held my cheeks with her little hands and said “momma, isok….i luf you “. I just about starting crying even more…I love that girl so much.
It’s finally feeling a little like fall around here. It actually rained today and Rylee and I splashed around in the puddles outside of our house. We love it when it rains. We also got our first “hot” drinks of the season. Pumpkin spice for me, hot chocolate for Ry. It was a good day.
Rylee officially started pre-school last week. As much as I was prepared for it, I never imagined the flood of emotions that would come over me as I left that place. Letting go of her hand and having her look up at me with those sad eyes. I knew exactly what she was thinking and I hated it. This tiny girl of mine….she’s everything.
I know it will be good for her….I know it will be good for me….but man, it was a lot harder than I thought. 2 days a week….we can do it. I keep telling myself it is just a season and in a few months things will get back to “normal”. With our shop launch quickly approaching, Sam and I have been going non-stop. We knew a few days of help during this busy season would be the best for everyone…but it breaks my heart into a million pieces to see her cry every time I drop her off at school. It’s one thing leaving her with grandma….it’s another thing to leave her with people she is unfamiliar with (despite how great I know they are!) I’ve heard it’s about a 2-3 week break in process before they start to get in the groove of things and start to enjoy it. The teachers keep telling me she is doing great for her first time, but I know she still doesn’t want to be there. She wants me…she wants her familiar routine, her own crib to nap in, her baby dolls and her sponge bob show. I can only hope she builds some relationships and grows to really love it there. I know she will, it will just take some time. And right now, we are both just trying to get used to it.
The 52 Project – a portrait series of my daughter, once a week in 2013
First things first, how cute is that little fox coin purse from Misala Handmade! Rylee wants to take it everywhere we go. I think she took coins in and out of it for about an hour yesterday afternoon. It’s so funny the things that keep her entertained.
I have been having so much fun playing with my camera lately. I use a Canon Rebel T1i with a 50mm, which is super basic in camera standards….but I’ve learned to make the most of it’s capabilities. A few weeks ago I took my second San Diego photography class with Photo Creatures. If you remember back in March I wrote about my experience with Part 1 (their intro class), and what a game changer it was for me. Part Deux is basically a step further, helping you to really take control of your camera. After my first class in March, I found myself defaulting to aperture priority (AV) because I almost always wanted that shallow depth of field (blurred out background) and I didn’t want to deal with figuring out what the other settings should be with every photo. That’s still a great mode and a good option if you are not totally comfortable with moving to full manual yet…..BUT after taking the second class and better understanding each dial and setting, I am more confident than ever in braving MANUAL! It actually feels like quite an accomplishment given where I started! :)
If you are a momma to a wild toddler like I am, you know how tough it is to get a good shot let alone get your settings right. Understanding my camera has made a world of difference in not only the quality of my photos but also the speed in which I am able to take them (and get it right!) Which is why I can’t recommend these classes enough! One little take away trick from the class was the “sunny SD settings” : ISO 100, 1/250, f/10. On a typical sunny day, you can set your camera to these settings and more often than not, you will be pretty darn close to a good exposure!
Photo Creatures is offering a great deal for you guys: 50% off any single photography class! Just enter the code KelliCreatures at checkout! If you live in or near San Diego, I really hope you’ll take advantage! I’d do it a thousand times over, and the best part is, I can! Once you pay for a class you can come back and take it again as many times as you need!
Let’s talk about these little leggings for a minute. SO.IN.LOVE. Les Petits Darlings has some adorable pants for your littles. I especially love this forest animal print in charcoal. And if I had a little man (I really hope I have a little man one day!) you can bet he’d be wearing these. Seriously, too cute.
Everyday I’m reminded more and more of what a mini me I’ve created. This photo shoot for example. I told Rylee we were going to go outside to explore and take a few pictures. She insisted on bringing her own camera along to “take pictures of the snails”. She is obsessed with snails. I….am not :) But it makes me laugh (and secretly proud) that she wants to copy everything I do….keeping me in check I guess! This girl….she’s got my heart.
Yesterday we went on a tour of a day school that we are considering enrolling her in for two days a week. All with the hope of bringing a little more “balance” to my life. Oh balance, you are such a myth. It was hard for me to even get to the place where I was open to the idea. But with the increase in work projects and now getting ready to open our own retail shop, I’ve found myself dealing with anxiety like I’ve never experienced. I think for a lot of my adult life I’ve dealt with stress pretty well. I’m used to pressure, deadlines and a non-stop schedule. In fact, I’d probably tell you that I prefer it that way. But perhaps it was a culmination of being a full time mom with a pretty full time freelance career, my age, my sedentary lifestyle and a major (exciting yet risky) future career move for Sam and I….that it finally caught up with me. All in the form of extreme anxiety and a racing heart. My mind told me to relax and that everything was fine, but no matter what I tried, my body just didn’t want to cooperate. After a few doctors visits trying to figure out what was wrong with me, I ended up discovering an irregular heart rhythm. As if I needed another thing to worry about. During the waiting period leading up to my heart tests, I hit one of my lowest points. My mind wandered to the darkest places and some of my worst fears consumed my thoughts. On the morning before my tests I opened a book called Jesus Calling that I hadn’t read for months and flipped to the excerpt for that day. It’s crazy how God works sometimes….leading me to open that specific book on that specific day to that specific page. It was exactly what I needed to hear. This was the passage that helped re-set my focus:
“Grow strong in your weakness. Some of My children I’ve gifted with abundant strength and stamina. Others, like you, have received the humble gift of fragility. Your fragility is not a punishment, nor does it indicate lack of faith. On the contrary, weak ones like you must live by faith, depending on Me to get you through the day. I am developing your ability to trust Me, to lean on Me rather than on your understanding. Your natural preference is to plan out your day, knowing what will happen when. My preference is for you to depend on Me continually, trusting Me to guide you and strengthen you as needed. This is how you grow strong in your weakness.”
Talk about straight to the heart. I got a call last week after all my tests were done that there was nothing that they found to be an immediate concern, but that I needed to come in for a follow up visit to go over everything and see if there is any additional tests they need to take. That appointment is still on the horizon….but I have felt a lot more like myself this week that I did the two weeks prior. Going through all of this was/is a bit of a wake up call for me. I want to live a life that’s full, healthy, and inspiring. I don’t want to let fear and worry rule over me. I want to be the best mom I can be, but I know that means first taking care of myself. I am no good to anyone if I am no good to myself. There are certain things that will happen in life that are out of my control….and in those times, I need to trust that God will take care of me. It’s frightening to know what stress is capable of. I’ve heard story after story about the way it’s affected other people, but it wasn’t until this month that I experienced the ugliness for myself. I am still dealing with it, and it might be something I will always struggle with at some capacity. The curse of being an entrepreneur + perfectionist. But it’s conscious decisions every day that are the most healing. Going for a run when it’s the last thing on earth I want to do. It’s asking for help when I feel like I have more on my plate than I can handle. It’s going to bed at a decent hour and not answering every email that comes my way. Sometimes….it’s saying no. I can only do what is in my power, and the rest I have to “let be”. So much easier said than done, huh? I am still learning….
If you’ve made it this far, thanks for listening. I didn’t actually intend to write all of this tonight….but here I am, 4 paragraphs later. All stemming from the thought of sending my baby girl to a day school.
I believe in giving credit where credit is due. If you see any photos here without correct sources, please let me know and I will happily correct it. Likewise, if you wish to use any of my photos, I'd appreciate it if you properly credited back to my original post.