Why I can't see straight!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Last February I signed my girls up for KinderPrep at a school that is just a couple miles from our new house. This was a preschool that I felt was a good fit for my girls...and was thrilled when we ended up buying a house down the road from it.

Since this all began in February, I've had months to prepare for sending my girls off to their "first" school experience. While it was a bit sad at the time...my mind was more on the shock and awe feeling when I saw the tuition cost for sending two kids to KinderPrep...ay ay ay! The months following, I walked around with my jaw on the ground and whatever words came out of my mouth were pretty much utterances of the cost of tuition for school. Holy shiz...

It wasn't until a month ago did it really hit me....like the kind of SMACK MY A$% on the ground and lay cold for a few minutes....HIT!

The "hit" was realizing that my life as I knew it...me with my girls every day, was almost over. Our family was now going to start the life of children in school.

My girls were starting school. SCHOOL! Whether or not it's preschool....this MWF schedule is just a warm up to the Monday-Friday all day kindergarten, that's a year away.

Was I ready? HELL NO!
Was I okay with it? I had no choice. I knew it was something that my girls really needed. While in my heart I know academically I'm not concerned. They definitely need a good warm up to knowing what it's like to not be with me all the time (aside from being with a sitter).
Will they be fine? Oh, most definitely. I know this. And, I know it'll be harder on me then them...well, maybe not for Cashlyn.

This past month I kept thinking I need to soak up each second with my girls. I really need to cherish this stage with them. While spending time with them, I began to think of the past four years. Thinking about when I was expecting them I dreamed of being able to quit teaching to stay home but my husband and I knew it wasn't an option.

Then, then we had our babies. It was from that point our prayers were answered and me being able to stay home became an option. An option I quickly took. I had ideas upon ideas on what I would be filling each day with. And while I filled my days will all I wanted, my baby girls...I began to give my joy in photography more attention.

By more attention, I mean staying up way late into the night researching concepts, words like "aperture". Learning a concept in photography and then waking up the next day to try to practice it. Shortly after, I put down my 35mm SLR and purchased my first DSLR. The cycle of staying up til midnight, 1 am or 2 am became a nightly ritual and my days were filled with learning photography. Exhaustion from having twins and learning photography was all I knew.

By the time my girls were a year old, I went "legit" and started a business. Or so what I thought was a business....it was only a year later did I realize having a small business is so much more than what I thought. There are numbers in places I didn't even realize numbers belonged, let alone an organized pattern to keeping track of it or uncle Sam will HUNT you down.
(BTW...I've never been hunted down as I've stayed a good girl, I've just heard stories)

{stay with me here, I swear I'm going somewhere with this}

Before I knew it, my girls were turning 4 years old and I was signing them up for preschool. I was still pulling super late nights.

Although my late nights became less on researching concepts and more filled with data entry, book keeping, tax reporting, editing, collecting orders, placing orders, packaging orders and emails.

And my days were spent less on photographing my girls but more with my mind constanting spinning.

Spinning on:
~better business concepts
~new products
~lusting for lenses
~brainstorming with fellow photographers
~ideas on how I can give my clients a more simple process, at the cost that they like but keeps my time valued and Uncle Sam paid
~client phone calls (not everyone functions during my work hours 8pm-1 am)
~occasional emails during nap time

And here I am...thinking about the crazy ride I've been on the past four years, thankful and sad at the same time. I'm thankful for being able to stay at home with my kids but sad when I wonder if I spent them with a half A$# attention span because I started a business.

I'm sad when I think of how I will never get the last four years back. I'm sad when I think of how fast time flies, how I blinked and my babies are 4.

I'm thankful that I have amazing clients that continue to invest in my photography. I'm thankful for each family I've met and happy to now call my friend. I'm thankful for the incredible people that have come into my kid's lives because they started as a client and now my girls love them...their dentist is top on this list! I'm thankful that my clients keep up with my crazy thinking, my crazy schedule and sometimes crazy life. I'm thankful for my family that always pulls through to help with our kids when I have a last minute newborn session. I'm thankful when my family spends a day watching my kids so I can fill a day with work so that my nights don't get so long. Thankful for my husband that comes home from work early, exhausted, to have me walk out the door with my kids crying and him telling me I'm going to have a great shoot. I'm thankful that my husband has supported this crazy idea of turning a LOVE into a business. I'm thankful that my girls understand that photography is my job. I'm thankful for each person that choses me to photograph their family. And more importantly, more thankful than anyone can understand, that my clients chose to continue to work with me as their family grows. Referrals are a huge compliment but clients I see season after season is what will get me teary eyed and filled with humility. I am thankful, I really am.

Back again...thankful and sad. However, I've always had a huge belief in one solution that works for every problem.

~Either accept it for what it is ... and quit the complaining. OR, do something to change it.~

For me, chosing one of these solutions always works. Whether it works for months or a few weeks...it works. Last spring, I wrote that I would be slowing down with work. And I had ever intention to slow down, did I...no. But that was my choice, as the interest to schedule came in, I booked it.

I loathe having things hang over my head...and the student loans for my two college degrees aren't paying themselves off and I found myself faced with a new HEFTY monthly bill for preschool. Not to mention the little savings I needed to build for small business taxes. So, back to work I went. When I made this choice, I laughed with each email I received from clients and fellow photographers writing me with the statement of ... I thought you were slowing down. But one thing I remember most is when I told a client I would be slowing down, she wrote back that I should. That my family should be first in my life.

My family will always be first. There is no question about that. It's just a matter of finding that right balance. And accepting that when I find that balance, it works for that time and it'll change with each new stage.

These past weeks, I tried to find a new balance. Once again, I'm thankful for my wonderful family and clients that always support my balance and belief ... that my family will always come first.
Ahhhhhhh, now that was long winded. But I felt I was needed to put this out there. These past months have been crazy with us moving and me coming to see that my girls grew up. The biggest piece of my business that suffered the most was my blog...my main way to update my clients and family. I can't believe there was a time that I updated my blog daily. Eek, that was a lot of time. Each regular blog post takes about an hour.

But I want to thank you. Thank you for coming back to see the latest and read my ramblings. I'll scream it from the roof tops, my blog is the place to see my face and A#$ at the same time and for some reason the place I'm comfortable rambling my thoughts.
Here are a few pictures from our last minute, family get away to Pinetop. We had big plans on taking Easton on his first real fishing trip but the weather had different plans for us. We drove into Pinetop to 63 degrees and pouring rain. It was heaven. We spent just about every minute, sitting on the front porch of our family cabin. My father in law made his famous margaritas...really too die for...and just hung out. When it wasn't raining, I took a nice walk with my kids and enjoyed watching them explore with their imagination. Both nights I was sleeping by 9 and waking up around 8. It was heaven.

Last minute trips are the best kind.

My girls.

Right after I took the above picture, the girls stumbled back and fell perfectly into the wagon. I was happy to catch the giggling from it.
And here is my last baby. I'm a firm believer that he will always be my baby. Now, I'll just try to find a twelve step program to accept the fact that he'll also grow up.

He just entered the....not another picture mom....stage.
Love this little guy.

{mini session update} I've got the locations and dates. Mini session pricing has been finalized. Now, I'm working on getting my online mini session form created and laying out my 2010 holiday card line. Then I will release to my "first to know" list. If you want on the list, it's not too late...just send me an email. Thanks once again for your patience. AND, I'll soon be doing a blog post on why I wanted to put my head through a wall in securing locations for my sessions. Here's a hint....it has something to do with the oversaturated market I work in.


SloneFamily said...

I just adore you! You're okay. Hang in there and make everyday the best you possibly can for your kids, and after you have done that you need to just accept it that you did "Your Best" for that day! I have seen you in action many of times.... and you are a great Mom.
Love you and let me know if you need anything. Fall= family pictures for Slones!!!!!!!!

NP said...

I always LOVE reading what you have to say! You do a wonderful job of managing EVERYTHING! I of course LOVE these pictures and figure you'll HAVE to come back for that fishing trip! LYG, N

Anonymous said...

Great post Tami! I'm totally with you on how fast the time slips away! I used to do so much more with my kids before I threw myself into my work. It KILLS me! Time that we will never get back. I don't want to live with that regret any more, so I get it.

Your kids are adorable and the first pic, the face your blondie is making, I've SO seen you make that face before!!!!


The Whyte House said...

They are all growing up so fast! I know that C&C will love preschool. R&R are loving it so far this year but it is definitely a pinch in the pocketbook when you have to send 2 at the same time. Wishing your girls all the best as they start this school year!

Tami Proffitt said...

thanks everyone! i'm still laughing at the total rambling of this blog post...but it felt oh so good to get it out! we've enjoyed a long fun weekend of hanging with friends, frog hunting and shopping. they are definitely excited for their first day and i actually think i'm ready for it!

I laughed when I saw R&R's preschool pictures...that is so going to be cash and cam. cash is very reluctant to go.