Supportive, with extra padding where it counts, and able to make a big deal out of nothing.
I realized a couple of days ago that I am now carrying three business cards for companies I own or co-own.
First, there's my writing. That's still the staple. Then, there's the photography company, which has taken off much faster than I would have imagined. I'm averaging two shoots per week, and that including quite a few last minute cancellations due to illness (theirs, not mine). And finally, I co-founded a new company with a couple of colleagues and we just met with our first potential clients. The company provides professional and creative services to non-profits. This first meeting was with a national non-profit, and as luck would have it, the "get" was mine!
Of course, those are just my paying jobs. Let's not forget motherhood and supporting Todd with his work.
As overwhelming as it can be, though, it's absolutely amazing to have a "calling" and to be able to earn a living pursuing it. Many people, including my husband, simply don't have a passion. Well, perhaps more to the point, their passion doesn't lead to income. Todd would love to be a professional poker player, but that's just not happening. At least not right now. And my friend Tracy said her passion is drinking wine and getting pedicures, but again, no one's handing out cash for that.
It also feels great to have arrived at a new level of success in my career. Not many freelancers survive as long as I have. All that experience has led to a great network of colleagues and referrals. I no longer fight and take crap pay for jobs that weren't a great fit in the first place. I'm confident in my skills, know my strong suits, and don't flinch when I prepare a quote or invoice. The result is better clients, more business, and a good deal more job satisfaction.
Of course, I'm also hoping that this gives you a window into why my blogging has suffered so much as of late. I swear there are a million and one interesting things I think of blogging about each day. But I have no clone to compose and post them for me. Hopefully I can find a way to remedy that.
So, to answer my own question: I think it's not too much, but rather, just enough.
My good friend mentioned that she began having trouble getting to my blog a few months back. She's using a mac and when she tries to follow the bookmark, it just stalls out. She can get to it through google, though. Anyone else having similar issues? And if so, does anyone know a fix?
... plain, simple, white rollershades. When they're up, they're barely there, and when they're down they're nice and neutral. And they make their room look like a cave, which is great for sleeping.
I am busier than a one-armed paper hanger over here. Which is great. But this is going to have to count as a lame excuse for an entry until I can catch my breath over the weekend.
I took a walk around our property the other day and came back with some great shots. Then I found some free Photoshop actions and played around for a few hours. I think this is my favorite. I love that it looks like a rainbow fell on the ground.
More to come, as I have time.
Big Nana has community-acquired pneumonia in both lungs, and a blood infection, the name of which I forget. She's on three different types of antibiotics via IV, day 6 of a minimum 14 day treatment. She's regained her mental clarity and is rehydrated. Still, she's very weak and has a hard time finding the breath to talk on the phone. I'm very anxious to see her better.
More prayers, please. :)
I've got my first photo shoot involving adolescent boys today. They've got a younger sister, too, so that should help take some of the focus and awkwardness away. But still... they're boys! Anyone got tips for making teenage boys smiles. Wait - scratch that. Don't got there.
But seriously, any advice or tips are welcome.
Gar! They had to cancel because two of the three kids are sick.
Who knew a gal could get so excited about construction materials?!
After a few weeks of only mildly fall-ish night time temperatures, Todd and I decided the girls' room need work. ASAP. And, since Todd has actually had some closings this month, we were able to pay a poker-buddy of Todd's who owns a construction company to handle the work.
We had the walls insulated, drywalled, and painted. There were some hiccups along the way... like the fact that they were supposed to be done when I returned from our trip last week with the girls, but weren't for another three days. And the usual half-assery that accompanies favors done for cheap. But overall, it was a big success. (Before / After)
But now I have a window dilema. We have ancient (read: late 1980s at best) blue, plastic mini blinds in the windows right now. They're falling apart, ugly, and now sport a bit of spackle to highlight their usual compliment of dust and tiny bug parts. I want something new, but it needs to be cheap. I bought bamboo roman shades, and hung one up to see if I liked it (as you can see in the "After " picture). I think they may be too dark in color, and when up they obscure half the window. But I can't seem to find much of an alternative. Roller shades with separate valances? New, cheap, ugly mini blinds?
That's what my good friend and neighbor used to say when we'd pulled off a miracle playing spades against our husbands. It goes best with a sweeping wipe of the forehead, indicating a narrow miss of something dangerous.
Yesterday afternoon my mom called to say that my grandma - the one whose picture I just shared with you - had fallen in the bathroom of her brand-new independent living apartment. She lay on the floor for three hours before she could reach the emergency cord just feet away. My uncle, who lives in the same city and helps her out all the time, rushed over and determined that nothing was broken. But by the afternoon she was still very week and somewhat incoherent. Mom advised him to take her to the hospital right away.
She and I freaked out in the interim, praying that it wasn't a stroke or some other internal or brain injury. And thank God, it wasn't. She has community acquired pneumonia. Funny, they don't mention that on the flyers for her new digs.
I kid. If this had happened in her home, the place she resided until just one month ago, this whole story would have had a far less fortunate ending. I am so, so glad my mom took the lead and got her moved when she did.
She's 92, you know.
If you could, add a few prayers and well-wishes for a speedy and full recovery. We really need Big-Nana around for a while longer.
... for the first time in years, I will go to sleep feeling like the government and new leader of my country is on my side and looking out for my well-being.
I do not know how the next four years will turn out, but I can say that the relief and hope I feel at this moment is something I will strive to hold on to.
And beyond my own personal feelings, it is truly a monumental occasion and a historical event I am proud to have witnessed. It is a story I will tell my girls and, God willing, their children after them.
Friday was our appointment with the pediatric geneticist, and a chance to come full circle to the other side of "idiopathic". Truth be told, I'm not sure I'm any clearer on the whole situation that I was before entering her office.
Prior to the appointment, on the same day as Caroline's positive orthopedic appointment, my genetic counselor reviewed Thomas's autopsy report and told me that there was a new genetic test for one of the potential causes of his arthrogryposis. A test for an x-linked disease that wasn't available when Thomas died. I had a week to stew about that before seeing the geneticist, who said she still didn't believe the test was truly reliable enough, nor the science regarding x-linked inheritance solid enough, to recommend taking the $2000 test. She said, though, that if we decided to try for more children, it may be worth pursuing, and that there's a good chance we'll know much more about this or any other possible cause before Hannah and Caroline are old enough to consider families of their own.
The geneticist actually seemed much more interested in the spots of calcification that were found in Thomas's brain - a fact I had wholly forgotten. I'm not entirely sure how they factor in, except that they were a) not a good thing, and b) related to neurological diseases.
She didn't note anything particularly alarming in Caroline's physical examination, which is wonderful. That, combined with the fact that she's made great headway in the past few weeks, including independant steps and much longer periods of standing flat-footed, made everyone optimistic that she isn't suffering from any variant of what Thomas had. Mostly. She did note less "vigorous" reflexes on the left side, which is the side Caroline has more trouble with when it comes to walking on her tip-toes. She said that if we saw anything troubling - like a worsening of that side or a continued delay that we weren't comfortable with - we could take her to a neurologist to do MRIs of her brain and spine to look for a) nerve impingement which is fixable, or b) early signs of calcification which isn't.
After the appointment, Todd took the girls to Chipotle in there Halloween costumes (it was, afterall, Halloween) while I sat in the car and read through Thomas's autopsy report.
That was hard. Actually, as you can imagine, it was beyond hard. It's something no one should ever, ever have to do. Amazingly, you could actually hear the respect and care in the medical examiner's voice just from reading the notes. She is a renowned specialist at the children's hospital and she must have a true calling to be able to see what she does day in and day out.
I don't really know where I am with all of this right now. It's all a little too much to process when coupled with my ridiculously busy work schedule, family life, and general wear-and-tear. But I'm trying.
It helps that Caroline began walking truly independantly two days ago. It helps that I have such amazing children. It helps that I have people looking out for me, including you guys.
It would help even more if we could get a vacation. Or even just some sleep.
Again, in an attempt to keep you coming back, I offer this picture of my grandmother, taken on a brief trip up to see her this week: