Moving on Up…

Monday, June 9, 2008 at 11:58 am (Big Business, Fun Times, Get outta town!, Murmurs from the Future, Oh Baby!)

to the northwest side? Doesn’t have quite the same ring as the original but it is true nonetheless! We are moving to Northwest Arkansas!

Here’s what’s going down.

James has been looking for a job (in DFW) for the past 3 months but we just haven’t found anything really worthwhile. NWA has always been tucked away in our minds as somewhere we’d like to live but the timing just never seemed right. Well…at least until now.

With sweet Baby in our lives our desire to live in small town Arkansas by family and friends has grown stronger. The fact that no interesting job prospects have been found in DFW and with housing prices the way they are here (for what we pay in rent for an apartment here we could have a really nice home in NWA) the timing has never seemed better. So, we prayed that God would guide us and not allow us to make a mistake and…this is the decision we’ve come to! My wonderful parents are graciously hosting us when we make our move and until we can find where we will live and James is settled into his job. (He left today to go up and start looking.) 

We will make our move around the end of this month. Our current lease is up July 5th. So-it will be quick which is better for me (go on and rip the band-aid off fast!) because although I am extremely excited about this move it will still be bittersweet leaving Texas behind. James’ family lives an hour from us right now and we have many friends that we will miss. And I have to admit…I will even miss being a Texan. There is some kind of pride that must be secretly injected into a person when they move here and like a virus it grows and gets into your blood. So-I WILL miss being a Texan gal but it will be well worth it to live near my fabulous family!

With all that being said here are a few other notes of interest. We are not sure exactly WHICH town we will settle in but we have hopes that it will be Siloam Springs. Red House Photography will being making the transition with us, of course (with reduced sitting fees announced soon). We would love your prayers as James is looking for a job this week and following. We would love your photography business too! 😀 We are super excited about this new era in our lives and look forward to spending more time with you dear friends in NWA! I’ll be keeping you updated!

 

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Quick Update

Friday, June 6, 2008 at 9:52 pm (Murmurs from the Future, Oh Baby!)

to tell you that I’m updating soon! 😀 

Our baby is doing great and we got to see her/him last week at our ultrasound and hear the heart beat. It was amazing! I’m feeling good other than being really exhausted. No morning sickness to complain of which I’m SO thankful for! I’m 9 weeks along now and am waiting to actually look pregnant and not just tubby! 

We also have some other exciting news which I will share either Sunday or Monday (no…we’re not having twins!). So…check back soon and read all about it!

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Our Big News…

Wednesday, May 14, 2008 at 9:27 pm (Beauty, Fun Times, Love Sweet Love, Murmurs from the Future, Oh Baby!)

 

Coming Early January 2009.

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Introducing Word Therapy. Take a seat.

Friday, October 26, 2007 at 1:52 am (Big Business, Get outta town!, Lessons Learned, Murmurs from the Future, Word Therapy)

Well…get ready people, because I am about to unload on you. The last few weeks have been difficult at best and I feel that I am finally to the point of just laying it all out there. As you have probably figured out by now…I am not a shy person. I have no problem talking about life’s nitty-gritty aspects. If you have a problem reading about them…well…this post has been given a PG-13 rating for adult themes; main theme being life. Consider yourself warned.

So, as some of you may be aware James and I are ready to start a family. Fewer of you know that I have taken anti-depressants for the amount of time it takes to grow a teenager. For the past 12 or 13 years (somewhere in there) I have relied on these meds to give my emotions a sense of balance and normalcy. I believe it was in my sophomore year of high school that I started the meds after my family and I realized that I was battling some serious depression. Let me clarify one thing before we go too much further: my cause of depression is completely physical and unfortunately the only way to combat it is through medication. I don’t go to therapy and have never had the need for it. Please know that I am not trying to set myself above others; those for whom therapy is needed. I’m simply explaining the condition so that you can better understand it. My depression is hereditary and stems most likely from other health issues of mine (adult growth hormone deficiency, hypothyroidism).

Okay, back to my point. For the past 12 or 13 years I have been able to be the “real” me with the help of medicine. While I have switched antidepressants countless times during this period, NEVER have I been completely off of them. Until now. Those of you who have similar issues can probably guess just how fun my life is right now. A blast. Please-I love being an emotional wreck. Okay…perhaps not.

I started weaning off the meds a few weeks ago so that we can start trying for our family. And while there are medications out there that are considered “safe” to use during pregnancy, I am trying my best to go it without them. At least until we get past the first trimester. I want to make the best possible decisions for our child and if I can handle life without the antidepressants, well, gosh! I’m going to do it! Of course, like others who are trying to conceive, we have no idea how long it will take. BUT-I will tell you…after having to go through the horrible withdraws of getting off the medications…I’m going to stay off for as long as possible. Hopefully we’ll conceive quickly. Okay…let’s get a bit more specific about my life right now, shall we?

MY WITHDRAWAL

To all of you who once knew me. Yes, I’m still alive. No, I didn’t quit church or the gym. And yes, it is possible that the woman you saw who somewhat resembled me but heavier…it may have been me. Ugh.

So-let’s move through this quickly. I’ve been sick. Similar to having the flu…I’m tired (really exhausted. Anything earlier than about 1pm is getting up early), sick at my stomach, having hot/cold flashes, mood swings faster than any ride at Six Flags (God bless James, remember him in your prayers), and hunger to rival that of a third-world country. That my friends has been life for the past few weeks. These are the reasons that I have not returned your phone calls (sweet though they are), have not been at church (say “Jesus” and I’ll start crying, I promise) and haven’t been to the gym or to my training group (miss you girls). However, I have been seen on the junk food isle of the grocery store. You just gotta know where to look, folks!

Okay-so that’s seems like more fun than I need, right? No? Oh…okay. Let’s add to it.

THE DOCTOR’S PHONE CALL

A few weeks back (same time I started getting off the meds) I went to the OBGYN to get a check-up and talk about starting our family. Since I said that we were pursuing pregnancy the doctor automatically did blood work to check my various hormone levels. Okay, that’s nice. Let’s just make sure everything is in order. I really had no worries. My sister, who has almost identical health issues to me just had her second child. No problems with anything either time. I truly envisioned the same for me. Even though I have worried in the past that God was preparing me for infertility through my desire for adoption, I really didn’t think there was a chance I’d be infertile. I just chalked it up to being a normal woman’s fear. That’s normal, right? I mean, my life’s ambition has always been to be a wife and mother. Well…WHAM.

So, I got a call from the doctor’s office (it was actually the nurse) who asked me if I had talked to the doctor about a medicine called Clomid. “No, I have not but I do know what it is (it’s a medicine that helps women to ovulate when they don’t do it naturally. It has a horrible reputation of causing SEVERE mood swings. I figure I can produce those well enough on my own. I DON’T want any assistance, thank you very much). What are you telling me?” She proceeds to tell me that I’m not ovulating. WHAT? How can this be? My cycle is normal and near down-to-the-day predicable. Why am I even having one if I’m not ovulating? What a waste! Seriously…if I’m not ovulating, I don’t want a period! How unfair!

After hearing this (and remember, I’m already in a super emotional state from my lack of drugs) I lose it. I cry and cry and proceed to cry a bit more. Bless my husband’s heart, he does his best with me and I continue crying. Somehow I make it to the next day without flooding our apartment. On this day I call my mother and cry some more and she quickly reassures me that we are not in a place to worry yet. Labs can be wrong, tests can be done on wrong days etc etc. She definitely makes me feel better.

Okay, so now I’m to the point of “the doctor could be wrong…we’ll wait and see” and that is fitting me pretty well for the time being. I can get through this and will. Thus…I began praying for a miracle. You can pray too.

This was last week. Let’s keep going.

THIS WEEK

Tuesday morning comes and my husband received a call to go into work. It was his day off but his partner was sick so being the team-player that he is…he sacrificed and went in. About 2 hours later he is on his way back home from the office. For good. He was downsized.

Now, I could say a lot right here and probably get pretty nasty. But-I’m not going to. I could suggest some things that may or may not be true about his former company but I won’t. Mind you-it’s for his sake. Not because I’m exceptionally classy when it comes to things like this because to be honest…you mess with me, my family or my friends and I can get pretty rough. Not proud of it…I just know it’s true. I’m just loyal through and through. I defend those I love. It’s just part of me. But I won’t because he wouldn’t want me to. He’s got a maturity when it comes to situations like this that I have yet to possess.

Well, needless to say…this just elevated the stress level from orange to red. I don’t work so James is the provider; a great one at that. But life is interesting…I just ordered a bunch of photography equipment for the new business. Can’t cancel it because the supply and demand factor is too great. If I did cancel it now there is a chance I wouldn’t be able to get my hands on the stuff for another 6 months or so and I’m not willing to risk it.

So…one door has been definitively closed. Now we’re looking for the open window. And…we may have found it. The day after James was let go he received a call for an interview with a very well-known builder. He had sent in his resume on Tuesday…call came on Wednesday. That interview is happening today at 10:30 am. (It’s currently 1:30 am but I got the urge to write and couldn’t resist it. This is the first time I’ve stayed up late in weeks.)

What’s interesting is that for some time we’ve wondered if he should move on to a better company but really had no idea how business was going for other companies. He’s in new home sales so I’m sure you know what that means in today’s market. Well, it looks like God has decided that it is indeed time to move on and so that’s what we’re doing. Same industry, different builder. We simply pray that things progress quickly. A lot of times the interview process is rather long and drawn-out but we do know that God is in control.

SO WHAT NOW?

We may be heading to Arkansas tomorrow (today, really) after his interview to go and spend a few days with my family (Big YAY!). James hasn’t gotten to go up since Memorial Day since he normally works weekends and hasn’t met our newest niece Leah yet. We want to just get away and relax and leave all that is normal life in Texas for the weekend.

When we do get back I plan on posting some things that I’ve been meaning to for the past few weeks but haven’t felt up to doing. These include pictures of Leah (and Elenna, of course), pics from my 10 year high school reunion and a post dedicated to Don, Amie and PF Changs, complete with…you guessed it…more pictures! We’ll see what happens.

Anyway, thank you dear WordPress for providing me with an outlet to unburden myself while wasting away hours that should be spent curled up in bed next to my husband. And readers…if you’ve made it this far you’re to be commended. This was an overly long and drawn-out post and sadly…I gave you the reader’s digest (very) condensed version. And to top it all off…I’m not even going to proof it. I’m too tired. Mistakes will be corrected at a later date. Deal with it.

And now…I’m going to bed. Goodnight all.

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Is it November yet?

Monday, October 22, 2007 at 5:58 pm (Big Business, Murmurs from the Future)

‘Cause I’m REALLY wanting my camera. Patience is not this woman’s virtue so long as her creative longings are being suppressed. Come, my little sweet, come.

d300.jpg

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Welcome to the planet…welcome to existence

Saturday, September 22, 2007 at 6:07 pm (Get outta town!, Murmurs from the Future)

Tomorrow morning I will start my journey to northwest Arkansas to meet our new niece. The plan is for me to arrive before her. Julie goes into the hospital at 7am and then they’ll do all that medical stuff they do and finally begin inducing her. I’m probably going to leave around 8am and that should give me plenty of time to get there before any real labor begins, hopefully. I am super excited (and blessed!)  to be able to go and be there when my still unnamed niece enters this world!

However, as much as I’m looking forward to this, a big part of me is dreading leaving. Call me mushy, call me sappy, whatever, but I am quite sad to be leaving my sweet James. Since the baby will be coming tomorrow and my 10 year reunion is next week I have decided to stay for an entire week. Leaving on Sunday…coming home on Sunday.  That’s a long time for me to be without my husband! And the thing is…the past 2 months have been FULL of travel sans James. So that makes this even harder. The other bummer about this is that Tuesday is my birthday. No Jamey to bring me breakfast in bed and cater to my every need. Well, excluding the breakfast in bed he does the other part nearly year round so I guess I’ll be okay. His birthday is coming up in October, along with our anniversary so we’ll just have some major celebrating to do when I get back. AND…I do take comfort in knowing that after this trip…life is going to slow down, at least travel-wise.I have no further trips planned at this point that do not include James. Well, he is going to Vegas for a couple of days for work but at least HE gets to go and do the fun stuff that time (while I relax at home). Other than that…it’s going to be more “we” and less “me” and that makes this gal very happy.

On another subject…I believe I have decided upon a name for the photography business. Are you ready? Okay…it’s going to be called…oh, wait. I can’t tell you yet because I’m still negotiating the .com domain transfer with the current owner. I don’t want anybody else to sneak in there and steal my name (not that any of YOU would, but I get readers from all of the world you know…). Anyway, as soon as the .com thing is finalized I’ll do the big announcement. Until then…you’ll just have to put up with more sleepless nights of wondering. Since I know that’s what’s been on the forefront of your minds and all…

And on the final note…I am seriously hoping for some inspiration soon. I miss writing. I miss thoughts flowing from my fingers and typing themselves without hesitation. I miss wit and humor and sarcasm (or my meager attempt at them, anyway). I think I just miss my slow-paced life. I think that after this trip I will get back to it. I think that I won’t have another worry about being away from home for so long. I think…I think when it’s all said and done and life becomes normal again…I’ll be back to thinking. Clearly. Easily. With less distraction and more time. Can I get a hallelujah?

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Sweet November

Saturday, September 15, 2007 at 9:11 pm (Murmurs from the Future)

This is my camera. It isn’t available until November (yes, that’s a tear running down my cheek) but I already ordered mine so at least I will be one of the first in get it. This is the newest version of the Nikon D200. I originally planned on purchasing the D200 but then they announced the arrival of the D300. For a very small amount more James and I decided that the D300 was the way to go. The camera core is the same it just has a few updated features.

Oh…and what do you think about Espy Photography for a name? I love the word “espy” and it really defines what I am aiming for in my business (a glimse, to catch sight of…etc.). I’m just wondering if it is a) too obscure a word b) pronounced incorrectly too often (correct pronunciation is: is-‘pI ) or c) a and b don’t really matter? I could even take it back to its Middle English form and call it Espien Photography. This is really my favorite in the name contenders so far but I really want your opinions. My husband is not a huge fan of it and I don’t want to be the only one that really likes it. So…since I am well aware of how many of you read this blog every day I will expect some input! Please? I’m begging, now~look what you’ve gone and made me do!

Oh, and as far as blogging goes…I’ll be back at it soon, I promise. I have really been exhausted for the past week and am waiting for some energy to come my way. However, I did want to share my camera news with you right away!

UPDATE 9/16: Okay…I’m giving up on Espy. No one knows the meaning or correct pronunciation. I’m leaning towards some other ideas now…will share them with you as the list narrows. I’m finding myself being drawn towards cuter names (but NOT cheesy, mind you!) and am seeing myself doing mainly children and family work. As beautiful as weddings are, I just don’t think I’m going to be going in that direction. I will of course still be doing my own creative “fine-art” photographs as well. Anyway…that’s all for now.

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Betty, Ruth, Sue…wait…wrong catagory. Think business, not baby.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007 at 1:24 pm (Murmurs from the Future)

Well folks…it looks like we are going to be in business and soon! YEAH! I am so so so excited (did I say SO?) to get started on this new adventure and I would like to invite you to participate. “Let me guess, you want me to be your model” is probably what you’re thinking right now, but no…sorry. That’s not it. Yes, you’re beautiful and all (you are…you know it!) but I am actually more interested in your brain than your bronze. How shocking! Yep. At this point I’m only interested in ONE thing.

My business needs a name. I have a good idea of what it’s going to be but I thought I should solicit my faithful readers for their input as well. I don’t want some cheesy name that screams “I DO SCHOOL PHOTOS AND WEAR POLYESTER!” That’s not exactly the style I’m after (although great strides have been made in the area of polyester…but that’s a different post for a different blog. Crystal? Maybe you should tackle that one here). I want classy. I want exclusive. Sexy. Expensive (I’ve gotta make money right?)

So how am I going to find that in a name? Well, I’m not sure how much of that I can convey but I do know that an easy-to-remember name is key as well. When I did my interior design work and in the past when I dreamed of the many businesses I someday could own (this was obviously before I realized that owning a business took work, not just a cute name and idea. Hence…I will only be working PART-TIME) I always used this: J.Rae Design. Well…photography is very much influenced by design but the name really needs to specify that this is a photography business. So, what does that leave? J.Rae Photography. Not earth shaking, but not aged cheddar either. (FYI-in the rare case that you haven’t figured it out my middle name is Rae, though I know that you, my readers are quite quick enough to have determined that in your minds.)

Another important aspect in naming a business (any business) is to research the name. J.Rae Photography came up with nothing. Simply put, it would be mine alone. I did however, and this is weird, find a J.Mae Photography…and do you want to guess what the J stands for? JONNA! Is that in some crazy almost parallel universe? Even weirder still…she apparently went to University of Tulsa (close enough to my hometown), had taken photographs for years as a hobby before turning professional (like moi), and is located somewhere in the Denton, Texas area code (this would really make it more like some Denton, Texas parallel universe, but I digress). For you Texas-geography challenged out there, that’s not far from me! Strange world.

Anyway, moving on from all this pointless but rather fascinating information…I am asking for your opinions, ideas, critiques etc. One reason I don’t want to use my first name, Jonna, is because it would be pronounced wrong 97.3356 percent of the time. Same issue with my ‘real’ or full first name (for those who don’t already know this…prepare…you are about to be enlightened) Johanna. Probably 92.434 percent of the population would pronounce it incorrectly. People assume that the ‘han’ part of the name should be uttered in a way that rhymes with ‘can’. Well, not so for me…I was named after my German great-grandmother and we pronounce it more like this: Jo-hawn-na or Jo-hon-na. Long ‘a’ sound, not short, for those that remember anything from their English classes. Also…that name is already out there everywhere. Throw it in front of or behind the word photography and you’ve already mentioned many other businesses.

Now, you may be wondering why I don’t use the word ‘studio(s)’ in the name. Here’s the reason. I plan on doing the majority of my business on location. I enjoy that way more and love using natural lighting when possible. I will have some equipment to set up in a person’s home (or mine) for infants and other ‘studio’ work but I will technically not have a studio. Also think this…low overhead…part-time. Got it? Good.

Well…my eyes are open (I can’t hear you through the computer, remember?) and ready for any of you to suggest ideas or comments on mine. I’d love to know your thoughts…after all, you must be pretty intelligent since you’re a reader of this blog right? Okay then, have at it! And thanks!

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The Countdowns…

Monday, September 3, 2007 at 12:40 am (Murmurs from the Future)

The many countdowns of my life right now are as follows…

Countdown until I get me some drugs: 3 days (hopefully!)

Countdown until my best gal pal moves overseas: 3 days

Countdown until my weekend trip to Houston: 5 days

Countdown until I see a new and local endocrinologist: 11 days

Countdown until we start trying for a baby: 11 days plus whatever doc says…probably need to get off certain meds

Countdown until my new niece is born: 20 days

Countdown until my new niece has a name: hopefully not more than 20 days

Countdown until my 1st annual 29th birthday: 22 days

Countdown until my 10 year high school reunion: 27 days

Countdown until I start my new photography business: to be determined

Countdown until things slow down: next to never

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Shoot for the moon…or maybe just shoot it.

Friday, August 31, 2007 at 5:49 pm (Murmurs from the Future)

First things first:

I have still not received my growth hormone shots (See #34 and if you are still curious you can google it or ask me) so my level of energy is not quite at par. (HOWEVER…I did join the gym on Monday and worked out everyday this week but Wednesday. This is a really big accomplishment…I haven’t been able to really do this in about 6 years because of my health. Before that I worked out like a maniac so this is terribly exciting for me!) I was supposed to receive them by today but didn’t and since it is now the weekend they won’t ship until next week (the package must be refrigerated). So…all this to say…that’s my excuse. for not blogging. deal with it.

Alrighty then…moving right along. It looks as though this unemployed suburban housewife may have a chance to use her passion and make some money. That’s always a good thing, right? I’ve actually done this in the past but I am looking into the possibility of stepping it up and investing in it a bit more. Those of you who know me probably realize that I’m speaking (typing, really) of photography. If you didn’t know that…well shame on you!

So, like I said…in the past I’ve done shoots for people and made some money. Some of you may even remember from my old blog that I had a photograph of mine used on a billboard. However, I’ve  never been at the place where I could go much further with this hobby until now. Before now I always had the constraints of a job pulling on me and just in general had not been ready to pursue this any further. Times…well they are a’changin’.

Let me just say this…this does NOT mean I am going to be a career gal. My first and utmost priority is being a wife and someday a mother. However, I truly enjoy doing photography and want to use a talent that I feel God has given me. I have plenty of time now to devote a few hours a week to something and well…if I love it AND I can earn some extra cash…well, why not? My brain wheels have been turning rather quickly the last few days as I’ve mulled this over more seriously than ever before. I’m thinking about what equipment I’ll need (probably going to get a Nikon D200…an awesome camera) and what kind of photography I want to do. I have always loved shooting nature and flowers and other stationary appropriate things, so that’s one direction (and I think I would love coming up with a line of greeting cards or something similar). I also enjoy shooting families and especially children, so there’s another. I’m not sure on the whole wedding thing yet. That’s still to be determined. So…this really could go in any direction and will probably go in EVERY direction at least for a while.

I will keep you updated as things progress and I’m really hoping that they will progress rather quickly as I’m a bit antsy to get started. I have also realized that if I do pursue this…every future trip is going to be able to be written off as a business expense because I don’t travel without camera in hand. How GREAT is that? Just one more reason to see the world, yes? Yes.

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