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During the Christmas season at work I witnessed many taboo acts by parents and children alike… Just like I do every year.  I thought I could share them with everyone just to make sure you don’t make the same mistakes.

1. Do not EVER use the phrase “They never act like this at home?!?!” Also included in this category is “they always smile at home”… First off yes they do act like that home…. and at the grocery store, and the mall, and the restaurant… We are not dumb, we know your lying.  And of course they smile at home dipshit… They are at home all the time!!!! We have them for 10 minutes (yes only 10 minutes I’m getting there be patient) Keep your expectations realistic.  Most likely your photographer is somewhat competent. We can manage to entertain your toddler for a short time.  Give us a chance.

2.  Appointments… Unless its a slow time your appointment is probably only 10 minutes long. Thats camera room time.  That is enough time for us to get good quality pictures of your family/child/spawn.  It does not allow for you to suggest we use every ridiculous prop in the studio and taking 20 minutes to change your toddlers shirt.   Also if your late, do not expect to get back to your appointment right away.  You have an appointment for a reason and its just like any other appointment… If you miss it you get bumped… deal with it. Also don’t walk in.. Have the courtesy to call and make an appointment.  We like to plan for you just like you like to plan if someone is coming to your home.  Don’t be upset if you walk in and are denied a time.  After all we couldn’t plan for you….

3.  If your child has been sick, had shots, and ear infection, cold, flu, or just crabby, reschedule your appointment.  And when they don’t want to cooperate don’t say something stupid like “Oh Mikey didn’t have a nap today”.  What do you expect. I’m pissy when I don’t get my nap either…

4. Please base your portrait purchase on the quality of your portraits and how much you like them.  You may be brought in my a coupon, promotion or special, but keep an open mind.  You spend $80 on your hair, $20 on your nails,  $150 on that coach purse, $75 on that Gymboree outfit and $60 for the baby Nike Shocks.  Don’t get stingy when it comes to your pictures. We are giving you a product that will last your whole life.  We are giving you memories of your children.  And we work damn hard to do it.  Also do not say …. oh were getting their pictures done again in a month, 6 months etc… Its not the same and its insulting when you say that.  Dont!

5. If you like a photographer or a certain studio go back to them.   If you request a certain photographer, spend at least $100…That is about how much they need to make each sale to keep their job… Remember that.  On the same note, If you don’t like a certain photographer or studio, don’t go back.  But there is no need to be an asshole and insult people.

6.  Just because you own a digital camera and photoshop DOES NOT make you a professional photographer.  Do not act like one and Do NOT tell me how to do my job.

7. Do NOT bring your camera to a studio.  You do not bring your own food to a restaurant, or your own hair dye to the salon.  Have some courtesy.

8. Bring stuff from home.  We Love that.  We get tired of using the same boring props every day.  Especially if its something cool like a homemade blanket or toy.  Or anything to do with your career… Fireman, police and army stuff always rocks too.

9. Please do not bring every family member within a 50 mile radius to make your kid smile.  Thats our job… But thanks anyway.   Besides alls that really is going to do is overwhelm your child and make them nervous.  Also your newborn baby is not going to smile and please just let them sleep.  The pictures really turn out so much better when you do… I promise.

These really are just general guidelines for public outings in general. Please remember that babies have bad days too.  And they are kids.  Don’t expect them to act like adults.  But your the parent…. Now Act Like It!!!! Have fun and happy picture taking!!!

One last thing…  We really do care and we really do want you to get good pictures. We want you to have an amazing experience and come back again and again.  It makes us feel good!!!



1. What did you do in 2010 that you’d never done before?

I didn’t cut my hair… all year long… still going…. It’s beautiful!

2. Did you keep your New Year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

shit no… I’m still fat… dammit…

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

A couple of friends.

4. Did anyone close to you die?

An uncle in law

5. What would you like to have in 2011 that you lacked in 2010?

A better figure, more self confidence,  a savings account…

6. What countries did you visit?

the land of lost left socks.

7. What date from 2010 will remain etched upon your memory, and why:

July 12th and 13th.  It was the day my brother ran away from my house, and then my daughters first birthday.  I was so sad that day.  I am working on getting over the anger and sadness of those 2 days. But this is supposed to be postive right???

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Sadly I don’t know that i have one… Ouch….

9. What was your biggest failure?

Really the year in general.  Looking back it was a very shitty year for me.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

I have had this damned cold for a month now!!! Does that count??

11. What was the best thing you bought?

My boots… I ❤ them!

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?

Mine… I have been very good about trying to be nicer and more friendly

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

I plea the 5th

14. Where did most of your money go?

When you figure that out… Let me know…

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?

my boots… and car…

16. What song will always remind you of 2010?

California Gurls… I ashamed to admit I love that song.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:

much more motivatied to make the life changes I need to make.

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?

Exersise, spending time with my kiddos

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?

Eating, working

20. How will you be spending Christmas?

With the people who really matter.

21. There was no #21. I don’t know why there was no 21.

Why are you so damn sexy?

I’m not yet… but I am so getting there!

22. Did you fall in love in 2009?

Oh my is that a loaded question…

23. How many one-night stands?

4567, give or take a few…

24. What was your favorite TV program?

mmm… Dexter…..mmmhhmmmm….

25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?


26. What was the best book you read?

Shhh… Twilight… Don’t tell anyone…

27. What was your greatest musical discovery?

Lily Allen all the way 100% I love her.

28. What did you want and get?

A car!!!, an instyler and new furniture…

30. What was your favorite film of this year?

Harry Potter was pretty awesome

31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

I partied harty with my best friends and got amazingly shit faced.  I was 27

32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

More money and more time with my kids

33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2010?

Say No To Walmart!  I decided to step up my game and stop shopping at discount stores.  I’m worth more than that and dammit I can look good… So dammit I will!!!

34. What kept you sane?

Bubble baths

35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

mmmm… Dexter….mmmm yumo

36. What political issue stirred you the most?

I think that I’m still not president is pretty upsetting

37. Who did you miss?

My daddy…

38. Who was the best new person you met?

Does rediscovery of a person count???

39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2010:

I can only and should only please myself. No one elses opinion matters

40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:

“I’m on the pursuit of happiness and I know everything that shine ain’t always gonna be gold
I’ll be fine once I get it, I’ll be good.”


Thanks to Aunt Becky for the sweet template…

I just happened to find some old pictures on an old cd… really brought me back to a time when life was whole lot different.  I was a smoker back then… So SO glad I’ve quit.  I was much less organized with myself and my thoughts… I was not a very good parent back then.  In fact I’m kind of surprised my kids made it through and i didn’t screw them up too badly… In fact i think the amount I’ve grown in just a few years is unmeasurable.  AT least i hope so…I hope I am not as ignorant now as i was then, I hope I have grown for my childrens sake. Because back then I was a terrible mother.  I could have and probably should have had my children taken away from me.  It pains me so bad to admit that to myself, but I was the kind of person who didn’t care.  Don’t get me wrong, I loved my children… I loved them more than the breaths keeping me alive.  But i had no business parenting them.  I didn’t know what i wanted or where I was going.  my marriage was at an all time low.  We had physical fights all the time.  My children were innocent bystanders to a whole fucked up world that no child should ever have to experience.  Some of the things I did to them make me shudder thinking about.  i never hurt them physically… i could never hurt them physically.  But I didn’t pay bills, we got kicked out of house after house.  I tried to justify it, I tried to have it make sense.  We had our gas and lights turned off.  my house was always a mess…i Just did stupid things. I said stupid things, i made stupid remarks, i hung out with stupid people… it was all just so stupid.

Then it all changed, everything.  Kerry and i separated. and it was the best thing to ever happen to us.  We learned to connect on a different level.  i learned the importance of family.  Even though my marriage is no where near where it needs to be its improved.  my house is still a mess, but its toys, not junk.  I”m still poor but at least most of the bills get paid on time!  We have lived in our house for a year in October, that’s a record for us.  I”m looking forward to signing a new lease.  I’ve never gotten to do that before.  I suppose this is all part of my “lifestyle” change.  at least my kids aren’t confused and scared anymore. At least I”m succeeding in providing a stable home for them.  At least I realized my faults and took measures to handle them.  It terrifies me to think of the kind of person I used to be.

I strive everyday to continue to change, to make everyday just a little bit better than yesterday.  Pray that I don’t fall again. Hope that I won’t let my own selfish wants get put ahead of my children’s needs.  I don’t want to be June Cleaver or anything like that, I simply want a healthy family.  I know now the importance of that.  And I am grateful…


Every once in a great while my job requires me to go out of town, fine and dandy… extra money and all that jazz.  Today I had to go to Cedar Rapids.  Good enough…Today I’m driving… listening to my favorite morning radio talk show, laughing my ass off… Then I look over I see a sign.

Iowa City 40 Miles.

I stop laughing.

My chest tightens.

I can’t breathe.

My mind turns off.

I no longer hear the banter of the D.J.

I’m back there.
It’s the 4th of July.  I’m back to the back seat of my moms Kia.  My step dad is driving, my younger brother next to me, my mom in front… 85 miles an hour.  I see that sign…  Iowa City 40 Miles… There is no way we can beat the helicopter…We are all blank.  Dead inside.  They have my bubba… My sweet baby brother.  We speed up.  Hoping there are no cops… maybe hoping there is so we can drive faster.  My mom’s phone rings. It’s the hospital… They need a recorded permission to take him to surgery… My mother speaks with the courage of a thousand Roman soldiers.  I hear the wavering in her voice.  She’s not crying though. She can’t… None of us can.  The Dr. or whoever was on the other end of the phone asks for the details… What happened?  We don’t know… He fell of course… how do you not know???? Everybody must know by now….How far??? We don’t know 50 – 75 feet maybe further, maybe not as far… The Dr.  tells her nothing.  But were closer now…. Iowa City 27 Miles… My mother is pleading with the surgeon to please not take him back yet.  Let us see him… Let her see him… Before the surgery… Its brain surgery for crying out loud… Just 27 miles.. We’re almost there just please wait another 27 miles.  They can’t they have to take him back now…My step dad drives faster….We’re not going to make it in time.  We all know it’s a waste of energy to try to make it there before they have to take him back.. We still drive faster.  Iowa City 6 Miles…. 6 MILES were only 6 miles away from where he is… From where the doctors are performing miracles.. We are too late to see him.  He’s already in surgery.  We know this… We still drive faster… We’re there.. FINALLY we’re there… we can’t find the entrance… There’s no “Panicking People To the Left” sign… There should be…. (remind me to put that in the suggestion box).  We go in… we can’t see… still blank.. It smells like sick people.  Like fake real flowers and wax… There is a player piano… ( I will later find this very disturbing and somewhat humorous) Elevator.. up… Ok waiting room… We sit… and wait.  The lady at the desk is clearly ready for her shift to be over.  She tells the surgery will last up to 4 hours… 4 hours… ok… 4 hours… How do you function for 4 hours while an 11 year old is having brain surgery??? We pace… We get a Pepsi… It has no taste… I think we talked about who was going to drive what car where when this was all over…  I don’t think we knew if this was going to be all over.  Then my husband is there.  The one who saved him, the one who scaled almost 45 feet down a bluff in no shoes to save him.  Blood stained and covered in mosquito bites. Blood.  So much blood….Then the over the P.A. system my mothers name is called to the triage desk.  He’s done… He’s in post op… He’s ok… or at least will be.. They won’t be able to tell until the next day or so if he has any brain damage, but the out look is good.  Over 200 stitches. I’m terrified to see his face.  His sweet cherubic face cannot be tarnished.  Post Op… The second worse place in the entire world. (Only to be out done by the children s cancer ward in Peoria… save for another day)  It’s sterile and cold.  Dead.  It smells worse than the lobby.  Like saline and metal.  They try to make it pretty with florals and leafy shit.  It doesn’t work.. They let us see him.  My mom first.  He doesn’t say anything.  Then me… Bandages cover his head.  His face is swollen.  He has a drainage tube coming from his head.  It’s so cold. I lean down to kiss him, his warmth radiates through my entire body.  My sweet bubba. He says nothing… He can’t, the drugs are still doing their job.  Then my husband… He comes out hes crying.  He told him Thank You… The first words he mustered were to tell him Thank You. That still radiates deep. It was then I knew he would be ok.  My bubba…

It all came back to me.  In a red hot flash… Like a ton of bricks…The day my little brother fell 45 feet from a look out point at a park in a near by town, while at a family reunion picnic. Thank God for my husband who scaled the bluff to try to rescue him and for my son who alerted us and for the amazing rescue team who was able to get him out.  It was straight out of a “Rescue 911” episode. Except real… and not reenacted for your viewing pleasure.

I wasn’t afraid to drive to Iowa City. In fact the thought never had crossed my mind that it would sneak up and haunt me.  But it did.  I don’t do that.  I don’t freak out.  I deal well with most things.  I cope well with most things.   I think what scared me most was how unexpectedly it took me off guard.  Then it was over as quickly as it started.  The rest of my drive was fairly uneventful.   Maybe this was my mourning.  Maybe this was my way of closure and coping. I really don’t know.   But now… He sleeps.  On my couch.  I had to go pick him up… I had to be with him tonight.  His face isn’t tarnished.  Except for a small Harry Potteresq scar on his forehead.  His back is still sensitive.  He did suffer a compression fracture to his spine after all… But HE his fine.  He is still my sweet amazing cocky little brother.  He still gets in trouble at school, and gets mouthy with my mom.  We are so lucky to have him.  I could not imagine my life with out him.  I thank the good Lord every day for that.  My sweet bubba.


So I have recently started this “lifestyle change”.  (If I call it a diet I will fail miserably as I have a thousand other times).  I try really hard to watch what I eat. Most days I keep a nifty online journal that tells me how many calories I can have and how many I’ve consumed.  Its really super helpful. Tonight even I walked two and a half miles. That is awesome for me.  I’m still sitting her sweatin’ my balls off!!  I just find it so, so HARD to not get discouraged.  The last 3 weeks I have pretty much stuck to 1600 calories, which in turn means I should lose about 2 lbs a week.  I have only lost 2 lbs all together and depending when I weigh myself I haven’t even lost that. I know that everyone is different and all that jazz. I know what I should know. I know I have been drinking almost a gallon of water a day to fight hunger.  I know I should walk more.  I really do KNOW all of that. I also know that I have a constant fight with my reasoning.  I have faith that I will lose the weight.  I know I need to.  I have gained almost 100lbs since high school.  There’s no reason for that.  I really think I’m more disappointed in myself for listening to all the excuses and letting my self get so out of control.  I mean my whole life I have thought I was “fat”.  Since I was a little kid, I always knew I was built differently.  Looking back at myself then I know now that I wasn’t.  I really really wish some one would have told me.  I really wish someone would have told me I would be just fine. Rather than, your overweight.  Get out and exercise. I remember specifically one time I had asked my mom for a snack and she replied “and you wonder why your so fat”  I was 10… Had I not been treated differently,  then maybe I would have cared. Then maybe I wouldn’t have been so discouraged through everything.  I mean now I have lots of friends who encourage me.  I have friends who push me and make me know I can do it.  I just really really wish I hadn’t ever gotten myself to this place.  I makes me want to vomit that I have to admit I have gained 100 lbs in 8 years.  I could be beautiful… when I was younger, when I thought I was so gross and disgusting I was Gorgeous.  I could have been ok… had someone told me I could.  Maybe somebody did and I just didn’t listen. Who the hell knows.  But now I know it is up to me. I have to get my self out of this mess.  It is going to be a long long long hard journey.  I will probably fail… I usually do… I’m going to try really hard not too… I do at least have an awesome support group this time.  I will exercise my self control.  Maybe I can just find another outlet for not using self control, but I can’t go chopping anybody’s head off so I don’t know how well that will work.  I do know that this will be a journey of hits and misses, I cannot and will not get discouraged. I really need to get hot for Aunt Becky’s cruise.  I at least need to be able to wear a swimming suit in the Bahamas and not look like a beached whale.  100 lbs… Thats all.  I cannot wait to know what it feels like 100 lbs lighter.  Thats like a whole person.  Somewhere I will find the will power. And I will do it!!!


Dear Bitchy Soccer Mom,

Hi!  Hey What is up??? Whats that?  A stick is up your ass!  Damn I knew it!!!!!  Ok, so I just wanted you to know that you forgot to send me the memo that your perfect!  I thought you just may have forgotten me on your mailing list… or forgot the stamp, whatever, though… its cool! I figured it out all by myself.  So just to let you know, your self righteous attitude is not going to make my boys drop out of Boy Scouts.  In fact, they are going to kick your kids ASS in popcorn sales,  because we are way cooler.  And I saw that disgusted look you got when you picked up your son from my house.  I’m sorry, Ethan Allen and Pottery Barn haven’t delivered yet. Were expecting them sometime in between now and 2087.  Until then your eyes will have to be burned by my regular house.  And, also I work… full time… Thats like… A LOT…. So, please forgive me for not making it to every PTA meeting, field trips,and Cub Scouts EVERY week. But you and your croonies had the field trip covered so I guess I shouldn’t feel so bad I got to miss my son’s first field trip!  Also, I know that because you get to stay home, that makes you better than me. It also means that you love your kids more than I love mine.  And that yours will grow up to be like, an Astrophysicist and mine will be like Drug Dealers or Pimps…   I’m ok with that.  While were having this heart to heart, At Logans birthday party, I let you kid drink Kool-Aid… The real shit, with NOT organic sugar and… AND… Red dye #40… (Shit I hear the lynching mob!!!).  He also ate a cupcake made of chocolate. Sorry about that. I’m sure it didn’t fit in with his supervised, high protein, low carb, anti kid diet.  I’ll try to do better next time. (Although I won’t lol… hehe as I do not believe in “organic”)  So, I write this in telling you that I’m ok with not being good enough for you. In fact I like it that way.  So, how about you just quit trying to rub it in my face and I won’t try to be your friend.  I actually do have lots of those and I really don’t want any more… Especially your type… You make me all nervous and shit… All that “perfectness” just isn’t my cup of tea.  Besides, I’m pretty sure your husband is cheating on you* and your son is weird (like eating paste and what the fuck 6 year old doesn’t know how to play fucking kick ball?????). Sorry! The truth can be painful, I know. I’d give you a shoulder to cry on but my blouse is new and I wouldn’t want to get snot on it.

Alright, well, that’s all really… I just wanted to clear the air.  Make sure we now see eye to eye.  K… thats all!


Not so perfect, kind of lazy but BITCHIN’ AWESOME Mom!!!

* I have no proof what so ever to support this theory, except it would be hilarious!!!

My words are escaping me,  I don’t know how to vocalize what I want to say, or type what I want to say for that matter.  There is so much turmoil in my household over a division of responsibilities.  I am expected to work full time, then come home, make dinner, do homework with the kiddos, clean the whole house, and then do baths and bedtime. (Mind you some nights I don’t get home until almost 8:00pm)  I don’t mind doing the big stuff… Cleaning carpets, dusting, scrubbing the bathroom. I do mind cleaning up after other peoples laziness.  I do not want to bash my husband. I do not want this to be a husband bashing blog.  That’s not what I am aiming for.  I just want help.  I come home and he sits on the computer or xbox.  While I’m at work, he either has his friends over or watches tv.  I have to practically beg for simple things to be done around my home.  When he doesn’t do them he claims he didn’t know they needed to be done. I say obviously there are dirty dishes in the sink, they need to be washed.  Obviously, apple juice was spilled in the kitchen it needs to be mopped up!  He just doesn’t do it.  I don’t understand.  It’s just so OBVIOUS!  I am fearful someone will come to our house and see it unkempt and its scary to me.  As often as I express these concerns to him he doesn’t care.  He doesn’t ever take my fears seriously.  I have yelled and begged and pleaded and bargained and bribed… When I get angry with him, his angry side comes out.  He yells at me or the kids.  He will leave and drive in that state which is incredibly unsafe.   My husband has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and IED (Intermittent Explosive Disorder) which explains some of the erratic behavior but sometimes I just can’t live with it. I just can’t do it.  It’s too much.  He doesn’t listen, he thinks everything is fine.  And he doesn’t get help…
He stays home.  He gets to be with the kids all day long.  He does work a few hours at night, but then complains he never gets enough sleep, when he spends hours a night on facebook.  We fight every single day.  About one thing or another.  It is a constant struggle, a constant fight.  I love my children and my family with every morsel of my own being.  I want to provide a happy healthy home for them.  I want to be super mommy, but I don’t want to have to scrub last nights tater tot casserole off of my good plates when I have a migraine, after I have had bratty ass two year olds screaming in my face all day. Because HE wants to play his Xbox.  Am I being irrational?  Am I just being bitchy?  I don’t know.  Do I just suck it up and get over it.  I don’t know what to do….. I cannot keep living like this.  I’m afraid to be mad.. I’m afraid to be angry… Sometimes I’m afraid to even say anything.

I’ll admit I’m jealous of him.  I have to work.  I would love more than anything to be a SAHM.  At least have better hours.  I would love to not be so spent by the time I get home.  But I work hard dammit!  I don’t mind cleaning my house.  I enjoy being all Betty Crocker and shit.  I just like to have me time too.

If anybody out there has any words of advice.  If anybody out there is nodding their head thinking “your not the only one”  let me know. Wow that sounds pathetic…  LOL (I hate lol btw, and btw and lmafo and brb and especially ttyl)

I feel like I need an out phrase… Something that says ok I’m done bitching now… Sorry for the inconvenience of having to read that… Meh oh well!


I’ve been wondering a long time how I would start my first blog… Well not sissy MySpace blog… I’ve finally decided to blog with the big cats. So to give them props some of my largest inspiration is “Mommy Wants Vodka” Aunt Becky rocks my world. I plan on attending her cruise in March and you should too! “Life and times of a QCMama” is next. She is my best friend and photography comrade.. were going on that cruise previously mentioned together. We will be awesome. “The Spohrs are Multiplying”, “One Part Per Million”, “Joes Time Killers”, “Toy With Me”, “Band Back Together” and “Post Secret” are also on my favorite list. You should check them out as they Rock!! My plan is totally rival Aunt Becky with the most boring blog ever. I am positive I will win (as she is anything but boring!). I will not censor myself, you may not like what I have to say, some days I just may bitch and moan, but this really isn’t for you, its for me. Some days will be much better. I may post every day, I may not… (Probably not lol)
So, a little about myself… I’m married, some days happily, some days not. I plan on being very open and honest about that situation here. I have two amazing boys Luke is 7 Logan is 6 and 1 amazing daughter, Lauren who is 1. They rock my world every day. No, I did not do the L’s on purpose, so don’t ask! I work full time as a photographer for a retail portrait studio, name withheld as to keep my job! I also moonlight as independent. Someday, hopefully soon, I’ll go back to school and fulfill my dream to become an ultrasound tech. We will see soon.

I am also on an endless crusade to lose the 100lbs of baby weight I gained during the last 7 years… But seeing as how I love to eat… Probably more than I love any other extracurricular activity that is a losing battle. I am also a stress eater… So I’m convinced I’m doomed for life. So I’ll probably bitch about that a little too…

Ok That’s all for now… Like I said boring… It’s all good though… I’ll blog about something real later!


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