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take off

while another intern season winds down, and a new round of applications ramps up, there are changes upon changes happening at LeahAndMark. exciting, necessary ones. ones that you just may want to be a part of. new plans, new faces, and things moving in a million directions. always moving. and part of that change is me.

in my do SOMEthing post last month, I wrote: “get up off your ass. get going. do SOMEthing. I won’t promise that it won’t be mortifying or embarrassing or painful, whether physically or emotionally. you may fail. or cry. or throw up. or be rejected or laughed at. I’m not saying that any or all of those things won’t happen. I’m only saying it just might be worth every bit of it.” and wouldn’t you know it, those damn words have been pecking at me ever since.

and so, under the heading of Practicing What I Preach… I’m off to DO. to still shoot and blog and learn and grow and share, just over at elaineoyzonmast.com. where I can fully indulge all my narcissistic tendencies with abandon.

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but before I go, let me tell you about the wonder that is the internship. because now is the time to start writing your application answers. and because it’s important to know, because then maybe you’ll see just how hard it is to leave the safety net that is Leah. and Mark. and Baby RoX, and Joy and +Krisandra and +Luiza. each internship season is this beautiful coming together of people with disparate backgrounds, and varying levels of knowledge and experience and passion. all of them with the goal of learning more. doing more. becoming more.

I’m not going  to blow smoke up your ass. it’s difficult. it’s exhausting. filled with potentially clashing personalities, and seemingly impossible demands and schedules. (and then there’s mark’s tendency to give the largest, heaviest gear to the teeny tiniest intern.) if it was easy, everyone would get into the internship, and you wouldn’t be challenged, and it wouldn’t mean a damn thing. but the stuff that makes it worth it are the amazing friendships and incredible opportunities and settings and experiences, so very many incredible people as resources, and the testing of your limits and convictions to find out what you’re made of.

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from the Season SeVeN internship, Krista and I became LeahAndMark Pluses. which is really just another name for Uber-Internship (or Internship 2.0). more learning, more work, more awesomeness. mentoring the new interns, building our portfolios, and being given ample room to figure out a lot of things for ourselves.

out of our season alone, at least 4 of us (Edwin, Eric, Krista and I) springboarded from the internship into pursuing photography as a profession. and that was just one season out of the ten so far. there were also alumni interns Jo and Raven and Gabriel and Debra and Whitney. and still others. just think of the exponential possibilities of artistic awesomeness they’re all putting out into the world.

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and regardless of what the internship has yielded for all of us, personally and professionally, we’ve each of us taken something away from it. and then made it our own.  that’s an amazing gift to have been given. to have been helped along our individual paths toward becoming…well, whatever it is we are to become.

everyone leaves the nest. some take a flying leap, others need to be gently poked and prodded, and still others need to be tossed, flung and/or have their fingers pried from the edge to begin their flight. and yet, we all go.

so now it’s my turn. to unpry my fingers. and fly.

Wednesday by Leah: Being my own best friend

So last week, our awesome new website was inundated with boudoir photos. My mom wasn’t too pleased with this. My best gal pal was also concerned. (Love y’all both!) While some may view boudoir as risqué, I think our team did a great job taking beautiful, tasteful photos and also writing about the courage and sense of self-worth/love/appreciation a boudoir session both requires and help creates.

And it also got me thinking… how am I treating myself these days? I wrote a bit about making time for myself, and that’s important – and something I’m getting better at! But as I made time for myself, I also made time for being extra-critical of myself. My never-ending to-do list. My stress about paying bills. My feeling two steps behind. Always pulling my hair in a pony tail. Etc. Etc. Etc.

 

So I decided to give myself a mental boudoir session of sorts. Strip myself down, emotionally. What do I need? How do I feel? And what I need is to be my own best friend. To treat myself the way my friends treat me, and the way I (hopefully) treat them. Instead of letting that critical voice berate me, I need to talk myself the way I would talk to an anxious, stressed-out friend.

Breathe. You’re doing awesome. It’s gonna be ok. Let’s do some yoga and have a glass of wine.

Not only is it of the utmost importance for my own self-care and life balance to treat myself with kindness and respect, but it is also exactly what I want to model for my son. I don’t want him witnessing a frazzled woman being down on herself. I want him to see me for who I really am: a confident, joyful, present, enthusiastically peaceful woman.

I’m a good friend to others. And I’m starting to be a very good friend to myself. Which makes for a super awesome mama. And that makes everyone a little bit happier!

Wednesday by Leah: Did I do that?

A few days before BabyRoX was born, Mark and I went to pick up some baby items we needed. It was during this shopping trip that I discovered the NoseFrida. It’s basically a straw/tube thing that parents can use to suck snot out of their kid’s nose.

Image courtesy of Fridababy.com

“Gross!!,” we jointly exclaimed. We would never suck snot out of our kid’s nose! Who does that?

Haha. Think again, naive almost-parents. Think again.

Except I never purchased a NoseFrida… I got one of those blue bulb syringes, and it seemed to do the trick on tiny BabyRoX. But then he started crawling. And since his nose was usually pretty close to the ground, he got dirt and stuff in it, which mixed with mucous and made these super sticky and SUPER stubborn boogers. Nothing would get these boogers out! His nostrils are very tiny, so even my pinky finger can’t fit in there. Wet wipes didn’t work either. Nor did saline drops. And no way was I going to put a Qtip near my wiggly, grabby lil guy’s face. It would probably end up lodged in an ear or eye or nasal cavity. So… I sucked. Yup. Gross, I know. But I put my mouth over that little nostril with the stubborn boogers and sucked them right out.

And that is only one of a number of yucky things I have done since becoming a mother. I’ve thrown a sheet over pee in the bed and slept
on it. For more than one night. I regularly eat soggy, sucked-on pieces of food that BabyRoX discards. And don’t get me started on the poop. Ohhh, the poop.

What? I poop, ok?

Anyhow… I might be investing in a NoseFrida. My birthday is on Saturday, if anyone needs gift ideas…. =)