real mom real life

capturing the extrordinary moments in ordinary life

Posts Tagged ‘Family

Finding my way

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Over the last month or so I have obviously done little blogging but I have done lots of thinking and reflecting on what it is that I am truly passionate about and whether I am putting my time and effort in the right place. Here is what I have concluded so far.

  • I have a job that not only pays the bills but 80% of the time is very rewarding.  Anything that takes me away from my daughter had better be extremely important.  I found that trying to build a blog was feeling like a second job with fleeting rewards.  The intensity of trying to post every day and comment on other blogs regularly left me distracted and not very available to my family even when I was home.
  • I don’t want to blog with the  agenda of building a business that will make money. Even if I committed every free moment, sure, I might make enough in a year to buy a new camera but at what cost. I have a job with a decent salary so if a camera is so important then just go buy it!
  • I want to connect with real people both online and in person who are interested in a friendship. I don’t want to comment on other sites in hopes they will comment on mine or their readers will comment on mine for the main purpose of building my traffic. I want to connect with  people who I can share with and learn from.
  • I want to be a photographer, no, I am a photographer. There I’ve said it. And I want to be a documentary photographer. There I’ve said that too. If I do anything with my free time, I want to be  capturing real  life in images. Through the last six months of blogging and reading others blogs, many about photography and creativity, I’ve realized what I love about photography is capturing honest moments, the ones that tell a story or ask a question. I’ve found an intersection between my creative life and my work life. Technically I am a clinical social worker but in essence I am a listener. My heart is filled with 20 years of the most amazing stories of resiliency, pain, reconciliation, grief, and love.  These are the stories of real life and I want to capture them in photographs and share them with the world.
  • I don’t need to quit my day job to be a photographer. In fact I really don’t want to run a photography business. I want to take pictures that will tell a story and maybe make a difference.  It will take some time away from my daughter, but I hope she will learn, by my example, to follow her dreams and live life passionately.

And here is the plan:

  • I have a dream and I need a dream team so I am going to seek out real live people in my community who I can share my ideas with, who will encourage me and guide me to realizing my dream and not giving up when I’m feeling like I’m not good enough.
  • I  am going to start blogging again but this time I’m going to blog about my creative journey with little mind to how many people are reading. I hope there are like minded people out there pursuing their own dream that will say hello and share their journey. I hope those reading will encourage me and remind me that I am good enough. I realized how much I need encouragement this past week when I shared with someone what I’m really passionate about and she said, without hesitation, “I think you would be really good at that!”  I couldn’t hold back the tears!
  • I’m going to get a new camera(as soon as I sell my old one!)
  • This blog is going to be about my journey to change the world in some small way through pictures  and not  about building a popular blog. Some of it will stay the same and some of it will change.
  • I am going to stop being afraid of getting out there and documenting the stories of the people living in my community: the struggling family, the elderly, the illegal immigrants, the everyday people, the unemployed, the uninsured.  They all have a story we can learn from.
  • My family will always come first. My husband and daughter are my first dream come true. Time with my daughter will stay my number one priority.  I will not spend my time with her distracted. I will carve out time to pursue this dream and move slowly forward. Some day she will be off pursuing her own dreams and then I can pick up the pace. Hopefully I’ve got another 40 years. I think that’s enough time!

And if you have a small dream whispering in your ear here are some of the people who have helped me realize mine and who I plan to continue to follow until my dream is a reality.

These are folks who will feed your creative soul! I’d give them each a big hug if I could!(look out, Tara, I know where you live!) And a big thanks(I’ve already hugged them a few times) to my husband, my mother, my father, Claudia, Heather, Heidi, and Marianne! Thanks for listening, encouraging and most of all helping so I can have the time to pursue my passions!


Written by realmom

July 12, 2010 at 10:00 pm

Adoption: Is it for us?

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I first wrote about our journey way back at the beginning of March and, well, not much has changed! We are continuing to try to get pregnant with the basic efforts (temp taking and OPKs) and occasionally we talk about the ups and downs of adoption. I have done a some reading on the web but its only left me more confused and unsure about adoption. There are some wonderful posts about adoption from people who were adopted like Kristen Kardos at KIDOINFO and those who have adopted like Kelly over at The Miller Mix.  In fact the majority of information is positive. The problem is the negative stories are hard to ignore and seem to be getting in the way of really committing.

Ideally we would love to adopt a toddler but I have learned that the only way you can really do that is if you start out as a foster parent and hope that the mother is unsuccessful in getting her child back. It just doesn’t seem right to go into  a foster role with an agenda. If we didn’t have an almost four year old who wants more than anything to be a big sister, I think we could approach foster parenting with no expectations.  I would hate to put her through unnecessary heart ache at such a young age. If she were 8 or even 6 and could better understand the whole situation that would be different. Even then I’m not sure it would be worth it. So I don’t think foster to adoption is for us, not right now anyway.

And then domestic infant adoption seems wrought with uncertainty. First off, the  whole idea of selling ourselves feels very overwhelming. Then there are the stories of mothers pushed into making an adoption plan (amazingly it happens in this country too). It just seems the chances of finding someone who is sure enough of themselves to make an adoption plan with out regret is slim and then they would have to pick us out of the thousands of families waiting to adopt. And I can’t help think about those couples with no children and wonder if I should be competing with them when we already have an amazing child of our  own.

The main obstacle for us remains that any adoption journey is not a sure thing and as I said before, after being on the rollercoaster of infertility I’m just not ready to get on another rollercoaster. Maybe that’s why we just keep talking and haven’t taken any action. Maybe we just need a break. We need to recover from the first ride before we’ll know if we want to get on another one.

Written by realmom

May 20, 2010 at 6:33 am

Belated Mother’s Day wish, only because I’m WordPress illiterate!

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As you can see I haven’t posted in over a week and why you might ask? Because I have spent every spare moment I’ve had (which is not very many!)to try to make a nifty slide show with witty captions in honor of my most dedicated reader, my Mom.  Well, after thinking I’ve almost figured it out about five times now I give up! I love you Mom and someday I will figure out how to do it but not this year! This last effort really did me in as I spent quite a while ordering and putting captions on all the pictures only to get a slide show with no captions.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

And the captions went something like this:

Thanks Mom for making me feel like I’m the best mother in the world and for not saying anything when I forget to get you a card for Mother’s Day

(I did get you pretty cool book on Orchids, they just don’t sell cards at the bookstore anymore!)

Thanks Mom for teaching me to love the outdoors and sharing your favorite places with me.

Thanks Mom for loving my husband like he was your own son and not taking sides!

(even when you really want to!)

Thanks Mom for being there to hold a leg and take this picture. It was the best moment of my life and I’m so glad you were there to share it with us!

(you can guess which picture that is!)

Thanks Mom for getting her to take the binky and everything else in the early days! You saved my life!

Thanks Mom for introducing her nice and early to the TV

and the computer

and video games!

Thanks Mom for always being up for another birthday party

or a tea party

or just one more ride on the Merry-go-round!

Oh and Cheers!

And why did I spend all the time I could find to try to make a nifty tribute to my mom even though I repeatedly could not get it to work? Because of all the times I know she persevered for me! My Mom worked full-time her whole life  to provide a good life for my brother and I. She had some help from my Grandmother but she also took care of my Grandmother on her own for many years freeing my brother and I up so we could find our own way. We both found our way right back to her and her support when it came time to start our own families. She is one of the smartest, bravest, most beautiful women I know and I only hope I can be half the mother she was to me! I love you Mom!

Written by realmom

May 15, 2010 at 12:21 pm

Family Time

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Finally a beautiful day with no distractions.

Family time, which I think we both would agree is our number one priority, is so hard to find.

To just be together with no agenda.

When did you last make time to just be together as a family? I’d love to hear about it!

*This post is for Best Shot Monday over at Mother May I

Written by realmom

May 3, 2010 at 5:51 am

One great guy, and that’s no April Fools!

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A few months back I discovered The Husband Project over at Tasra Mar’s amazing site, which is a book by Kathi Lipp about focusing on the hubby’s good side. I love this idea because after 7 years of marriage, there’s still alot of love but, well, it’s often buried beneath the trenches of life!

I will admit since I started this blog with the intention of being real I am frequently tempted to air my frustrations with the hubby in a post but I realize that might cause  a quick deterioration in the state of our marriage! I think it might be best not to have a written record of the “disagreements” that seem eventually  forgotten. So I’ve decided to write regularly about the great things about my husband. I do need to preface this by making clear that he is by no means a saint(I think he would agree with that) and our marriage is far from blissful(he would agree with that too!) Maybe if I spend a little time each week focusing on the good stuff then the not so good stuff will fade more quickly. The glass will be half full instead of half empty! So please join me on Hubby Humpday (don’t want anyone to get the wrong idea!) Thankful Thursdays and celebrate the one you choose to love! I’d do a McLinky thing but I don’t think I can with wordpress:(

I’m going to start now even though it’s Saturday before I forget the good stuff from the past week!

We had a bit of a tragic week in little Rhody(Rhode Island) with record levels of rain and flooding in many of our communities, ours included. Thankfully we made it through without any water damage but three streets from us they were not so lucky. On Tuesday evening around 6:30pm the power went out so the Hubby decided it would be a fun adventure to drive around the neighborhood and see what was happening. He had seen the baseball field at the bottom our street earlier and the bleachers were half covered in water. So off we went, me with images of flash flooding and floating away in our car!  It was just surreal. We drove past the baseball field which had about six feet of water on it but was set low enough that the houses around it were not affected. But as we rounded the corner heading back to our house I looked down a side street and saw a house with two cars in the drive way with water up to the windowsills! We drove back to our house a little more effected than we even realized. Once we got home Real Girl started acting up and I was getting really frustrated when I realized  she was worried about all this water. As soon as I reassured her that the water was not going to come to our house she settled right down! Three year olds are so much more observant than we give them credit for.

So your probably wondering where the praise of the Hubby is in all this! Well, the next day I got an email at work that our pastor had sent out asking for help with the few inches of water in the basement of our little church. I texted my husband to see if he got the message and could help out. Well, he texted back that he had already been there an hour! He spent five hours that day with his dry vac and a couple other guys emptying the basement! And he didn’t complain once about it when he got home. That is one thing I do love about him, he is always willing to lend a hand even when it involves hard work. He has a very generous heart!

Written by realmom

April 3, 2010 at 8:49 am

Posted in gratitude, marriage

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Thayer street

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Written by realmom

March 21, 2010 at 6:09 pm

Posted in moments to savor

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moments to savor {1}

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I’m going to start posting about those small, quickly passing moments in life with a preschooler. The one’s that fill your heart to the point of almost exploding with love. They are truly moments to savor.

Instead of a bath, she wants to take a shower tonight. I ask her why and she shows me two heart tatoos, one on each hand. She explains that Auntie gave them to her when they were off on an adventure earlier in the day. She doesn’t want them to wash away!

I turn on the water and she climbs in. She holds her hands out of the water stream as I wash her hair and her body. I turn the water off and wrap her in a towel, pulling her close to warm her up.  As I look closer at the tatoos, I see some letters. She shows me her hands. In the middle of the heart is BFF. “What does that mean?” she says. “Best Friend Forever” I tell her. Without any hesitation, she wraps her arms around me. “It’s you mommy! Your my best friend!” I hold her tightly knowing the moment will not last forever but wishing it would!

Written by realmom

February 20, 2010 at 7:05 am

Posted in moments to savor

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