Self Portrait with Pascaline
I feel like my heart is resurfacing.
And even though I have been brave, I want to cry.
The last few years have felt like a blur. I think the moment you start talking with your husband about moving across country is the moment you start grieving. We started the conversation in 2013–almost three years ago. It’s like your heart begins to retreat because you’re not sure how such a huge transition will feel. You come to grips with the truth that moms are brave and afraid. And a bit of survival mode starts to kick in even though you don’t know where or when you’re moving. You can just smell it in the air like the Fall burning piles.
If 2013 was about starting the conversation, the next year was all about taking action. In 2014, we packed up our sweet home of ten years, put everything in storage, put the home on the market and left with one way tickets to film our family travel show. Even though the home was empty with a For Sale sign in the front yard, it still felt like our home because it hadn’t sold yet. I think that idea brought me comfort as we pushed into the unknown with our family. When I’d feel overwhelmed, I would tell myself ‘We can always go home. If this dreams gets to scary, to out-of-control, we can always go home.’ Those five in a half months of circumnavigating the globe deserve a book of its own. I grew faith and courage muscles I didn’t know I had.
I remember one particular night like it was yesterday. We had been in New Zealand and made it to Thailand. We were stuck in Thailand’s jungle, checking our bank account, and realizing we didn’t have enough money to take us anywhere. We were pretty much stuck in a jungle. I looked at the kids and said “Well, we can look at this one of two ways. One, we are stuck in a jungle because even if we wanted to fly home we don’t have the money. Or two, God hasn’t revealed the next step yet.” A week later we were invited to film in Israel. God had revealed the next step.
Sunflowers Bow Their Heads at Sunset Outside of Nazareth, Israel
We came home with $15 to our name. That’s it. Fifteen dollars. It was August 2014. We had put everything into our dream of filming a family travel show, and we still didn’t have confirmation from the networks. Our home hadn’t sold, and Brian and I found ourselves sitting in an empty house wondering what had just happened. To say our life felt bizarre is an understatement.
Within the next few months all hell broke loose while doors also opened. Ever have that happen? Doors are opening, revealing your next steps, but everything is turning upside down. By October 2014, only three months later, we emptied our storage unit, loaded two Uhauls, and moved our family from Seattle to Dallas. That was the first time I ever moved away from home. So funny because I will travel to the most remote area, but move my family…no thanks. Washington had always been my home base. The holidays, the laughter, the cousins, my parents…I was good to travel anywhere as long as I got to come home to them.
That was nine months ago. We’ve been in Dallas for nine months, and tonight I sat in the shower and cried.
Our home in Washington sold this last week. That back-up plan was giving me more comfort than I realized. And it’s finally gone. Tears just keep coming.
And yet, tonight I felt my heart landing. Not the kind of tease landing that a helicopter will do, only tapping the ground’s surface to pull up instead. That’s the kind of landing I’ve been feeling since we moved here. I touch down but keep my main rotor blade whipping in circles above so I can retreat at moment’s notice. I think something inside of me felt the motor stop tonight. And the rotor blades finally slowing down. Those blades started whirling the moment Brian and I first talked about possibly moving in 2013–leaving all that we knew behind, all our family and friends, all our history…they are finally coming to a stop tonight.
I think I’m just now seeing how challenging the last three years have been. Hahahahahaha! (I laugh out loud in an empty home while sitting at my desk. My cat looks at me like I’m crazy. My dog sighs.) I’m just now seeing how challenging things have been? No. Not really. But there is a deepened awareness as I feel my heart resurface. And I realize I have so many things to share. So many vignettes to blog about.
After seven years of writing blog posts almost every day of the week, I came to a grinding halt last year. Why did I hit the pause button on blogging?
1. Overwhelmed with Life.
2. Facebook changed the blogging world dramatically. I felt like my voice was losing the battle as it competed against all the online noise. I remember the early days when I would post a blog in the morning, and thousands of moms (many of you) would grab your morning coffee and meet me. Facebook changed all of that, and I think I just wanted to pout versus find a way to adapt. I’ve finally adapted and show up on my Facebook page everyday, enjoying new conversations with new and old friends.
3. I also felt overwhelmed with the “right” way to write a blog post. Lists posts were in demand, not long posts of prose like this. I began challenging myself with how to post in list form, 12 Tips for Taking Amazing Family Holiday Photos, 8 Ways for Mom to Look Great in Photos, 5 Tips to Photographing Multiple Siblings, 9 Travel Tips for Working Moms, etc. etc. The truth is that I actually click on these types of list posts ALL the time. I love reading them too. But that was all I felt the freedom to write. Before I knew it, I lost my sense of balance, voice, and purpose for showing up on my blog. I was more focused on every post counting, being as viral as possible, versus finding the balance and simply meeting you here.
4. The hundred NDAs we had to sign with the networks. That alone scared me into silence. Kind of. 🙂
As women, especially moms, we put a lot of pressure on ourselves to get things right the first time. We feel the fleeting energy of our kids lives, and we don’t want to risk losing a single moment on an idea, project or creative endeavor that may not pan out. That’s time we can’t get back with the kids.
And along the way, we’re always staying on the pulse of the latest scientific research and interviewing cutting-edge scientists to get all of the latest and greatest energy enhancement strategies in existence. Our commitment is to be the world-leading source of science-based content on overcoming fatigue and enhancing energy levels. Increase your energy and get some tips from theenergyblueprint.com/.
As a working artist, we also struggle to keep our ear to the ground on the changing trends while at same time stepping into the dark to create. Sometimes we get stuck in one space, and other times we must choose one or the other for a season.
Creating a family travel show has been the biggest, creative undertaking I have ever attempted. It asked everything of me and my family; our home, our comfort, my fears, my security, and more. Throughout this journey, I’ve discovered that we each wake up with a bucket of creativity. And once we pour that bucket out, it’s almost impossible to create anymore until the next day. When I was writing my first book and pregnant with Pascaline, I felt like I couldn’t even put words together. My writing mentor at the time told me that all my creative energy was going into making a baby. She encouraged me to wait and see how my creativity would re-ignite when the pregnancy was over. She was right. Creating a family travel show has felt similar to being pregnant and birthing a baby. And with our Pilot being reviewed by the networks, I feel like my creativity has graduated to a new level–and no show will ever be as scary, overwhelming, or risky as that first baby.
Now that I feel myself land, I can turn around and see the amazing view of how far we’ve come. And I hear my heart say ‘Wow, we came all that way. Let’s tell them about the things we learned along the way.’
So let’s begin a new chapter on this blog. This is a chapter that doesn’t look like the previous ones but is unchartered territory. My muscle memory says “start blogging everyday again”. But times have changed. Our plate is full with creative projects, and we eagerly wait to hear back from the networks. Yet, I’d like to meet you all here once or twice a week. I’d like to share bits of the gold I found while mining in the dark. There is much to say that will breathe life into your heart.
I see myself today. I’m 42 yrs old with a tween and teen. I’ve been a working artist for over twenty years. My husband and I have risked everything not once, twice but several times to build dreams. We now have a Production company with five books under my belt and a Disney Jr TV show. I’m not the young mom photographer who first started this blog as she captured her daughter dancing in the doorway.
But I’m still a mom who is both brave and afraid. I’m still an artist. My paintbrush is written words, captured imagery and speaking. And most of all, I’m still dream linking.
If you’re out there, I’ll meet you here same time, same place.
Meet us for the CONFIDENCE Photography Workshop for Women.