Saturday, November 21, 2009

I am thankful for...

As Thanksgiving is approaching, I am thinking about what I am thankful for. Sometimes my life seems to go so fast and I am so busy and I have many challenges around raising my special needs child that I can at times feel like I don't have much to be thankful for. But when I really force myself to think about what, if anything, there is for me to be thankful for, I can identify some things.

I am thankful that my dad is still with us. He has battled sickness for more than two years now, so close to death so many times and he is still hanging in and still with us. We don't know how much time we have left with him and it will be devastating for our family when he is no longer here, but I am thankful that he is still with us.

I am thankful that I have a home to call my own. Almost five years ago, I had to sell my home and get rid of the lifestyle I had become accustomed to in order to take care of my daughter who was in serious crisis. It was an incredibly painful thing for me. After owning a home for more than 10 years, I had to become a renter. For some, this is not a big thing. But for me, it was. This last summer, all the stars lined up for a short time and my window of opportunity was there. I was able to buy and move into my new home on July 1. Sure, it's a fixer-upper with a lot more work to be done. But it's mine. I am thankful to have a home to call my own.

I am thankful that my son, Scotty, is doing well. He has grown and matured so much over the last couple of years and he is doing well. He got laid off from his job about a month or so ago and he has decided to go to school and get his Associates in the Welding Program at PCC. I am thrilled to see him considering a step like this and excited to see what new journey this will take him on. I am thankful that Scotty is growing, maturing and a fine young man.

I am thankful to have a man that loves me and that I love back. Jose is perfectly suited for me in every way and makes me feel fulfilled. After spending so many years in a miserable relationship, I am thankful to have found this wonderful man.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Taking on the Family Business

I always knew it was my dad's dream to pass on his wedding photography business to his kids. I started shooting weddings with my dad when I was about 25. I really enjoyed it and I was good. Over the years, I have done so many aspects of the business. I have photographed weddings, put proof books together, matched negatives to prints ordered (back when we used to still use negatives), taken proof books apart and prepared for storing, met with potential couples, put orders together, worked the bridal shows, and when my dad got real sick two years ago I spent an entire summer running the business while my mom tended to my dad. Now, my parents have decided it's time for them to retire. They want to hand the business on to their kids and I was the one who stood up and said, "Yes, I want to do it." My sister is an amazing photographer too and she can sell like you have never seen. She wants to be involved but she doesn't want to take on the risk and run the business.

Last week, I signed a contract to lease space in a business complex for Camera Art. We begin setting up the space Dec 1 and the Portland Bridal Show in in January. I know I have the skills to run a business and I have run this exact one before. It is really about whether there is enough of me to to do all that I do. In order to earn enough to cover the expenses of the business, we have to do a fair amount of weddings. I have to balance all this with my 30 hour week job with Oregon Family Support Network and running Scrapdango and taking care of my special child and family. Mmmmhhhh...I wonder if I can do it all. But I'll give it a go.

So far I have secured and paid for space, delivered a sample album to a wedding site, revised the wedding contract and they will be printed this week, revised and paid for the Bravo Guide ad, booked two 2010 weddings and very soon I will be setting up our new space. My mom has been very helpful and trying to bring me up to speed with everything I need to know.

I was very happy with the Bravo Guide ad. It turned out beautiful.

I'm not sure if this will work but here is a link to the pdf ad to share.

Camera Art Bravo Guide Ad

Friday, November 13, 2009

Gearing Up for Winter...

Well, it's that time again. I really enjoy the spring, summer and fall seasons. I love planting my garden in the spring and camping in the summer and other seasonal activities well into the fall. I am not a winter person. Just do not like it. I tend to feel cold all the time anyway so when winter comes, I feel frigid all the time. There are a few things I enjoy about winter though. I love making fires in our fireplace and sitting around and watching TV or movies with my family. It just makes for such a great cozy feeling. I also love it when it snows. Oh my, that is heavenly to me. I have such a blast making a fire and watching the snow fall. Then we all get out and play in it. Oregon doesn't get much snow and that is what makes it so exciting. We love to talk about, "Well, I wonder if it's gonna snow this year." And we all get so very excited when it does. Snow and ice have the ability of shutting down the entire state though when it does happen because we Oregonians aren't used to it so we are never prepared for it and we don't know how to drive in it.

As I prepare for the winter, I just transplanted a few blueberry bushes from my folks property that they just sold. Those blueberries have been a part of my life for 20 years and I just had to see if I could take them with me now that my family is preparing to leave the property forever. I also transplanted a bunch of their special blackberry starts. These are the most wonderful blackberries. They don't have any prickers and they are big and taste like sugar. We have covered them in hay and are beginning to get the garden area ready to bunker down for the winter. We have also been trying to get a good supply of firewood for the winter.

I look forward to getting some good scrapping time in this winter. I usually spend a great deal of time scrapping in the winter. I can't get outside to do much so I try to use whatever time I can get doing my scrappy projects. I guess winter isn't all that bad!