Category NOW YOU

Now You| A Gathering of Friends

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FIP (33 of 75)A year ago I participated in an online self portrait class. The class was for woman only, we would receive weekly prompts and then go for it by turning our lens on ourselves and remembering that we are enough, we are worth it and we will not erase ourselves from the family photo albums. I was doing a personal 365 self portrait challenge (one self portrait a day, using my DSLR (no iphone), for an entire year). I had taken a month long class created by the same instructors, and loved it. I figured the year long class would help give me inspiration during my personal project but, little did I know the tribe I would gain along the way. I can honestly say that I can go to almost any state in the United States and have a friend or a contact. I could also travel a good portion of Europe and do the same. It’s really amazing to know I have a literal web of friendships simply from one class where we were asked to be brave enough to take photos of ourselves.

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This spring, emails began to fly around the internets.  Would anyone be up for a meet-up? A retreat of sorts? That’s all it took, one of the woman has a family house in Manzanita, OR and we figured out a weekend that would work for a gang of us.  When you gather with a group of people that you haven’t met in person, it’s a huge leap. But one I was very excited to make.

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These ladies had not only shared their self portrait journey with me and each other, but gave each other support and love through the screen. If you would have asked me 10 year ago if I would have virtual friends, I would have giggled. How can you connect with people simply by typing words? How can you make real friendships with people you only see in a static image on the screen? I am here to tell you that I feel incredibly connected to these woman. We might all be different ages and in different stages of our lives-marriages-child-rearing, but we have held space, giggled, cried and become true friends.

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We gather that energy into a sweet little house. We piled into the living room and squeezed into one tiny kitchen (because we are all moms and we all want to help cook or make sure the dishes are done, even if there isn’t enough space to do so). It was incredible. One of the gals just kept looking at us and saying, “I JUST WANT TO PINCH you all, I can’t believe we are here, in 3D”! I loved watching each of these woman behind their cameras and light up inside when doing so.

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I don’t really have all the words I want to be able to describe how important the weekend was to me. Since moving away from Reno I have felt a little lost without my lifelong friends nearby. I know it will take time to build friendships and roots here in Washington. But after getting together I feel the growth happening. Fours of them are just an hour or two away, and that helps so much.

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Thank you each for being silly and wonderful ladies. Thank you to the creators of NowYou, Kristin and Meredith. And thank you to the 8 other woman who took a huge chance on the weekend and made it all happen.

 

A NowYou Luncheon | Lifestyle Photography

Last year I participated in a year long online photography class called, NowYou.  The class was open to women only and would guide us weekly to produce a self portrait based on a themed prompt. I had already taken a 6 week class from the instructors, the amazing duo that are Kristin Zecchinelli and Meredith Winn – but there was push to take a year long course. I had planned to start my journey on a self portrait 365  (one self portrait a day, for an entire year) settled it. I signed up.  I had already made some incredible connections in the first course and I knew that things would only grow from those seeds that were planted.

Shaking it with friends!
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Fast forward to 2014. I mention online that I would be moving to Tacoma, WA.  I received a Facebook message from one of the women I had met in the NowYou community. Deb was so excited to hear I would be nearby, to share her love of the Pacific Northwest with me, and then she invited me to come for lunch in her home located in West Seattle. But it got better. Two other women who were also in the Now You Workshops with us would be there, too. I am not sure I can really explain the connection I have made to people via photos and typed words, but it is truly something special.

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The class and the women who participated held space for one another. There was a level of trust, a safe place for us to be ourselves. And now, I would get to meet some of my sweet friends in real life. If you blog, or are in other social media networks where you have been able to ‘find your people’ you may understand a little bit more about the excitement of the day.

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Deb’s home is a beautiful, elegant space, yet is filled with so much whimsy and comfort. I felt at ease helping myself to something in the fridge and my kids took things one step further by instantly bonding with her five year old and playing circus in the living room. I was horrified and yet, giggling that I had found friends who had a similar believe about a house, it is where we LIVE, not a showroom.
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So, imagine three friends gathering for lunch who haven’t seen each other in a VERY long time. Imagine the goofy squeals and giggles that happen when old friends reconnect. Even though we had never heard each others actual voices, I really did feel as if I was coming home to old friends. There was delicious soup and salad, bubbly water and yummy dessert.

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Spending time with fellow creatives is pretty amazing. Thanks again to Deb for hosting such a lovely afternoon and to Cathy and Tonia for making the drive. It was a really wonderful afternoon and I am still smiling thinking about getting to laugh with all of you lovely ladies.

Stripped

This week’s prompt for Digging Deeper has been “Stripped”…  
There are lots of directions this could go, but don’t get all excited about what I am going share here..
The clothes stay on, but the color is gone. 
Keeping it simple, clean and full of high contrast. 
The other way I played with the idea of the week was to start stripping away those negative things the mind tells me-
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Putting on the positive affirmations and tossing those other thoughts to the side.
I am
 and that I AM enough.

more, more, more

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14. I can hock a loogie further than my husband- this makes him either completely frustrated/grossed out or incredibly proud, I can never quite tell… maybe a strange mix of both?
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15. I can pick things up with my toes.
 16. I want chickens, but birds sort of freak me out.
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17. In high school, I wound up with the nickname “Bueller” (as in Ferris). I think I only once skipped school one time, so I have no clue where the name came from, but it stuck.
18. I can drive a stick-shift

  Stuck on repeat.  #thisisreno

19. I love a good mosh-pit
20. I can make my tongue into a taco and flip it over, but only in one direction.
 Wednesday night

Liar, Liar….

9 truths, 1 lie
Nine are true and one is a lie…. your guess.
1. I make the meanest chocolate chip cookie in town with one exception- Ani (Pancakemama) makes a fierce Triple C.
2. I have a serious love affair going with the Justins- as in Timberlake and Bieber. (guilty pleasure anyone?)
3. I could out rebound girls who were half a foot taller than me in high school basketball. I can’t tell you how pissed off it makes a tall girl to get out jumped by a shortie.
4. I pushed for 5 hours (like push-pushed) when I gave birth to my son. holding him and his cone head was worth every drop of effort.
5. I am pigeon toed and knocked kneed.
6. As a kid, I helped my friend’s family heard cattle from one ranch to another riding horse back and then helped with the branding.
7.Rocky Mountain Oysters are actually really good, especially roasted over the branding fire.
8. I had my tongue and nose pierced in my early 20s. I miss my nose ring  and think I might re-pierce it for my 35th.
9. I can do 10 pull ups in a row.
10. My favorite yoga pose is Pincha Mayurasana (feathered peacock).

10 things, or maybe a baker’s dozen…

pieces and parts
Ten things about me, in no particular order.

1. I spent most of my childhood in a town with less than 600 people. There was an average of ten kids in my class- one was my step brother.  The town sits on the edge of a desert/playa. Once a year, at the end of summer the desert holds more than 50,000 people on it’s cracked surface (maybe you have heard of Burning Man?) When they all show up for the festival, the “City” of Burning Man is the 3rd most populated place in Nevada.

2. When I was three, I fractured my skull- my mom thought she killed me when the bike that we were riding went over. I still have the scar on my forehead and the memories of the day- which also means I made it out alive… (don’t worry mom, I think I am pretty normal- considering)

3. I am my mom’s only and my dad’s 5th (the baby).

4. I am a gypsy at heart, but also need routine and rhythm to my day.

5. As a kid, I wanted to be an artist or a dolphin/whale trainer when I grew up. Ironically, I totally freak when I swim in the ocean. Put me in a lake and I am in my happy place.

6. My first car was a red Volvo. It was a TANK. I totaled it on the way to school, it was a sad, sad day. My step bro used to drive it around town in reverse while my girlfriend and I would stand up and out of the moon roof, just for giggles. (Don’t worry mom, we all survived that one, too)

7. I never thought I would have a desk job or work/understand computers like I do now. Funny what life throws at you.

8. I spent a month in Spain when I was 22. I wish I would have studied the language a little more and drank a little less- but damn they have good wine there.

9. I am best friends with my bestie from childhood. She is my giggle twin. And our kids are the next generation of gigglers.

10. I wish I didn’t have that furrow between my brow, it is more from me thinking all the time then frowning. But it makes me look angry- maybe I will get botox….(or not).

shine bright (like a diamond)

11. I believe in ghosts and ET
12. I went to “modeling school” in high school, but at 5’3″ they said I needed to get leg extensions if I wanted to get serious about it. I think I was in it for the photography and the fashion more than the modeling- actually I know so.
13. as a result of #12, I am a sucker for Project Runway and America’s Next Top Model… guilty, guilty pleasures.