Merry Christmas Eve (:

I was thinking tonight about when I “realized” Santa Claus wasn’t (literally) real, that it was really Mom and Dad putting the gifts under the tree each year.

I remember the denial I felt, trying to hold onto that magic I had felt each past year, and the disappointment and hurt that came with the realization those kind of magical things ‘just don’t happen.’ I felt the same sort of pain when I graduated high school.

The worst part of growing up is the loss of the childhood magic and view of life. 

But somehow I found it in my young, immature, and denying mind to face the fact that *that* stuff wasn’t and isn’t real, and that there are bigger reasons for the season: family, togetherness, love, joy, & gratitude – especially gratitude. I forced myself to be thankful for the things I did have, and to enjoy being around the people I love. Because that is what really matters.

There are deeper things in life then material things, then immediate reinforcement and rewards. And the realization that Christmas wasn’t the magical event my childhood mind led it out to be was a huge lesson in that.

Of course I still have my barriers and lines I have yet to cross. There are times I find myself jealous of the apparent ease others get what they want. There are times I get annoyed and angry that my family doesn’t have enough money to go on vacation every year. I’m only human, and I have many many weak points in my character. I am trying my best to strengthen those, to better myself.


On a lighter note, I have been baking up a storm the past couple of days and my artsy-crafty side of my personality has been revealing itself. Perhaps this is because of Pinterest. I’ve become slightly addicted to the DIY pins I find, and the recipes. It’s inspired me to attempt a few crafts (I made mom’s Christmas present – homemade photo coasters – from a pin I found), and to cook. Pinterest actually makes cooking and baking look FUN! For instance, I’ve tried about six new treat recipes in the past  two or three days, and even cooked dinner for mom and dad the other night. And tomorrow (tonight) I am making Crock Pot French Toast for our Christmas breakfast and Sweet & Spicy Cocktail Weenies for a pre-dinner snack. I never knew I was so into cooking until I started looking up recipes on Pinterest. Who knows, maybe I’ll start doing some recipe posts to share! (:

Merry Christmas Eve everyone. (:




Children & Reality

I had a guy at one of my tables today who reminded me of someone I used to know. I felt like he did, anyway. Older gentleman, tall, big ears, long nose. When I dropped off their drinks, it struck me. The BFG.

(This is the cover that I read with, and it’s the only one I could find like it. Ignore the caption above. :P)

Who remembers the big friendly giant? The man who reached through a window, snatched a little girl out of her bed, and drew her into a fantasy world. I don’t remember the details, but I do remember one thing: the magic I felt as a young kid, feeling the little girl’s wonder and amazement at someone so big yet so friendly and sweet, different from her but just like her as well. This book was one of my all-time favorites.

Thinking about it as I went about my tasks today I realized that if I were to reread this book right now, at age 21, enrolled in college, the book would not be the same. It would be…. less. Less magical, less captivating, just less. And that saddens me. At what age do we lose the wonder of the world that a child has. There is no age, it’s experience that does it. Experiencing life and her trials and tests. The cruelty of the world revealing itself as you begin to understand more about it.

The womb is safe, warm, cozy, and peaceful. A baby is thrust into the world. And as the baby grows and develops, learns and comprehends, the safe, warm, coziness disappears. Suddenly the world isn’t so peaceful anymore. It’s cruel, cold, dark, restless. Is it good or bad to lose our child innocence? Does it do us any good either way?

I wish I could go back and read this book with the same eyes as I had as a young girl. It’s like watching movies I enjoyed as a kid. Something about them is different, off…. and less. Just less.

It almost seems as if we know more about the world at a young age, through the eyes of a child, than we do when we grow up. Could we ever get that perspective back? I doubt it.



Bringin’ back the memories


Today began with barking dogs at 7:30am… wonderful. But seriously, it got me up and since I fell asleep rather early, I wasn’t tired and didn’t have any urge to go back to sleep. I made myself some eggs, toast, and coffee. Relaxed in my jams for a while then got ready for the day. Took Ashley’s dogs out for a while then went to the shelter. HACHIE GOT ADOPTED!!! I’m so happy for him, and I wish him and his new family the best.

After that, lunch and a walk by the river (complete with an intense debate about male/boy, female/girl and what constitutes what as in transgenders and such.. honestly not sure how we got on that topic, but yeah). Last summer the good ‘ol Missouri decided to temporarily take over parts of our streets and community areas. Actually, it was a man-made flood. If they hadn’t released water from Gavin’s Point Dam then it would have been much worse. Regardless it was still creepy seeing after the fact how far the water actually rose.

Dustin is 6ft. You can see the water level line on the tree. Isn’t that crazii?!

When we got home, this is what we found….

It’s odd enough to see my dad on a bike, but Buddy trotted alongside him, extremely happy, for a few laps around the block. It was absolutely adorable. (:

After a yummy steak salad dinner by Chef Dad, I went through some things on the top shelf of my closet – which hasn’t been touched in more than a few years. Amazing what I found.


The picture on the left is of Shiloh, an old childhood friend of mine whom I absolutely adored. What’s interesting about him, however, is that I can’t recall any specific instances of play or fun times with the guy. Usually I pick up one of my stuffed animals and I can remember their “history” with me, but not Shiloh. With him, I only remember the feelings of fondness I had for him, and that’s it. Those feelings were pretty strong for me to be as excited as I was when I found him wrapped in a ball in a basket in the very back corner of the shelf. I really missed the dude! (:

Then I organized my baskets, blankets, and other doodads for baby shoots. I have my first newborn shoot coming up next Tuesday and am so nervous but of course excited at the same time. (:

That’s my day in a nutshell. Instagram is my new addiction, I believe. @24Freak follow me and let me know you read my blog and I’ll follow you back. (:


Day Trip with my Mom

Yesterday I had the privilege of photographing my mom’s hometown, about 30 minutes away, for a sibling reunion they’re having in June. It started with a stop at the church she used to attend.

Then we went to main street. And was that a sight to behold.

The barber shop that was there when my mom was a kid, is still there and still open.

The museum.

The building on the left was a drugstore and the pizza place used to be a bowling alley.

And this was the movie theater.

When we walked in…

Definitely a small town. Mom named off each and every one of these guys, all of whom she grew up with. The second guy on the left was her prom date back in the day! It was so cool to meet these people from Mom’s childhood. You can’t see it in the picture but on the wall further off to the right is a light that remains from the old movie theater. I tried imagining in my head what it might have looked like back then.

And this was the land Mom grew up on. She said there was a house, a barn, chicken coops, and the whole she-bang. And now….

The only thing left is the driveway.

I met Mom’s prom date. I met one of her ex-boyfriends. I met her best friend she has growing up, and who saw her through her rough divorce with her first husband. I met two other women she went to school with. I saw the home she owned and lived in before her divorce. I saw the church she used to go to, that someone bought and converted into a beautiful home.

I loved seeing and learning about my Mom’s childhood and a little bit of her past. I’ve always admired my mom. She does so much every single day, she has so much love for her family, and she has been through more than I could ever imagine in her long lifetime. She’s a woman of wisdom, one I only hope I can be as smart and strong as someday.


When we were leaving, I asked her: “Does it make you sad to see your childhood home all gone?”

And she replied, “Yes, but we can’t go back. If I were to go back, I’d be a kid again.”

So true.