Thursday, February 23, 2012

Mom to Mom: A Love Letter

My Dear Sweet Addisyn,

I have started and erased this letter several times.  I knew I wanted to write you a letter, but have found myself wiping away words with the backspace key as if they weren’t meaningful enough to be in this letter. Then I would silently shake my head and start all over. I haven’t written you a letter in a long time, so I doubt this letter and these words will even come close to the best description of what I have learned in motherhood and in our relationship since the last time I wrote you, but I will try my best.

 Things are different. We communicate now and understand each other. Instead of making my heart melt by watching you discover new things, you make my heart melt by hearing from you as we go about our day. Yesterday, for example, we went to the park to take pictures.  In typical Addy fashion, you made me work for a good picture as you boast the most beautiful smile on the planet except when it’s time to get your picture taken.  After your mini photo-shoot, it was time for some exploration. We tiptoed up to ducks and a cat and whispered so not to scare them and then chased each other around the park.  A few times we saw things on the ground that you thought were a “ewww mess” and expressed your concern that the “kitty eat dat”. I reassured you that kitty would go home to eat his own dinner and you nodded your head understandingly as you quietly said, “kitty eat cereal”.  It was a handful of moments and words spoken between us that made my heart melt. 

 We share plenty of these days, but also have days when we are both exhausted and our communication is not in sync. I struggle a lot those days because it is emotionally draining to not understand why you are deliberately disobeying me or start crying every time you hear the word, “no”.  But, a few days ago I had a break through. We were both cuddling on the couch one morning (as we often do after your breakfast) and about ten minutes into the cuddle you climbed out of my lap and tugged on my arm until I got up. Then you slowly, and ever so cutely, walked me into the kitchen where you threw your hands into the air and said “up, up, up, up,” until I picked you up in my arms. I knew what was coming as soon as I noticed we were right in front of the candy cabinet and stopped you before you had the chance to ask. “No baby, you are not getting any candy.” Just like that, big crocodile tears formed in your eyes. I stuck my ground and walked you out of the kitchen telling you that you didn’t need any candy. As quickly as the tears formed, they disappeared and your attitude was back to normal.

 You see, it’s okay to discipline and it’s okay to say “no” to you because I love you and want the best for you. There are surely going to be times in your life when the word “no” will be like the death of Edward Cullen – devastating and heart wrenching  (don’t worry I will explain this analogy to you as you get older). I promise to raise you in a loving and safe home and that the times I choose to say “no” it’s because I know what is best for you. You are the single most precious thing in my life and I am doing my best to raise you to be a good person. Here is the catch love; the word “no” will never mean to stop talking to me. I know you won’t rebound as quickly as you do now from that word, but I am going to try my best to raise you to continue to talk to me and share things about your day even when we don’t see eye to eye. You talk a lot right now. I actually think you would win the award for the most words spoken by a two year old in a minute! I never want this openness of communication to change. I pray that as you get older our bond will only get stronger and that you can find safety in talking to me about your life. 

With all my love,





















*fav pics of the day :-)

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Our Home

I woke up in a daze. My “alarm” (Addisyn screaming “Mom, Mom, Moooom!” at the top of her lungs) promptly woke me at 7:00am and today that felt exceptionally early. I tried holding a pillow over my head in an attempt to salvage a few more minutes of sleep; but, as if she could sense it, her screaming changed to a high pitched howl that could not be ignored. Reluctantly, I threw the covers off my body, slowly sat up, moved my feet to the floor, and took a few deep breaths while trying to recall which day it was.  Ah, it’s Monday. I may be the only person on the planet who thinks this, but I LOVE Mondays!  With a little more motivation, yet still lacking any pep in my step, I started my simple morning routine of changing and feeding Addisyn, debating on whether or not I can go out in public in my pajamas, opting for jeans and a t-shirt, and heading out the door.
 To me Monday means coffee shop blogging and the good Lord knows I love me some coffee shop alone time.  Do you know what I love about writing my blog? It forces me to reflect on my life even when I am having the most ordinary of days.  I gain new perspectives on the smallest experiences that make my life so great.  These past few days I have had several conversations with people about contentment, so the theme to my blog post today is clearly: Delaware. Wait, what? Yep, I am blogging about the great state of Delaware. Okay, not exactly, but this long overdue post is all about how much Steve, Addisyn, and I love our life in the fabulous first state.

 A while back Steve and I came at a crossroads about where we wanted to be for the rest of our lives. We knew we wanted to buy a house and settle down somewhere to start raising a family. I had big dreams of a nice ranch style home with a wrap-around porch and a cozy sunroom that stretched out into the backyard.  The dream was complete with barbecues on the deck, kids playing in the yard, and our two dogs running with tongues out blissfully chasing cars along our fence line.  The goal was set, but choosing a state was a big and difficult decision as Steve and I both come from different states (he from California and me from Virginia) and came to Delaware on military orders.  Probably because we were forced to come here, it didn’t feel like home to us and separately we wanted to move back to the comfort and familiarity of our home states.  But, at some point things started to change for both of us. Even though I bought a house in Delaware, we got married in Delaware, we adopted two puppies in Delaware, and we had Addisyn in Delaware;  it wasn’t until we found a church home in Delaware that we finally started to feel like (dare I say it?) Delawareans.

Why was finding a church home so important to us? Let me give you an example by describing my day today.

 Today, I was emotional about everything.  While at the DMV earlier, I could feel my blood boiling as the person sitting next to me paid no mind to my two-year-old daughter while dropping the “f-bomb” more than ten times (I counted) and articulating the rest of his phone conversation with a mom-cringing mix of 90% profanity and 10% everything else.  I wanted to tap him on the shoulder, point to Addisyn and say, “Um Hello?! My two year old daughter can form more intelligent sentences than you can,” but I thought better of it and did my best to distract Addisyn from hearing his verbal garbage.  Blood pressure up and tension high, I was finally called to the counter only to find out that they require a left arm, right leg, DNA sample, statement of ancestry dating back exactly 100 years, a moon rock, dinosaur egg, and the whisker of a Persian lama now-a-days to renew a driver’s license. At that point I couldn’t hold back any more. I let the DMV guy know my opinion on how difficult it should be to change the date on a person’s driver’s license and how ridiculous his rules were for making this simple change so gosh darn difficult! When I got back to my car and realized I wasted forty-five minutes of my day and lost my cool twice; I cried. I drove most of the way home wondering how I was going to make the time to go back to the DMV this week while hating both of the men I saw in the forty-five minutes I was there. Poor DMV guy was only following the rules L Finally, I got home and began preparing lunch with Addisyn. As I was doing this, I realized that the rest of my day (and week for that matter) was only going to get better.

 Tonight I will be seeing two really good friends from church when they come over to workout with Steve. Then we get to go to another good church friend’s house to do Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University while enjoying fellowship with two amazing couples. Tomorrow, I have set up a play date with two different friends from church so our children can exchange Valentine’s and we can catch up on Mommyhood stories. On Thursday, Steve and I are hosting a Community Group which is a gathering of at least 15 people from our church that come together once a week to build relationships and grow in the truth of His Word.  You see? My whole life here is so great because I am surrounded by another family: my church family.  Not only do they raise my spirits when I am down, but they also give wise advice, keep me accountable for my actions, and pray for me at a moment’s notice.  Living here gives us so much than just a group of good friends.  It is because of our loving, caring, and all together amazing church FAMILY that we are happy to call Delaware our home.

*Valentine's Day post coming this week

Monday, February 6, 2012

CrossFit - Motivation Found

Hello there, friends.

This post is coming directly to you from one motivated momma! In short Me + CrossFit = Addicted.

That’s right CrossFit. Maybe you’ve seen a commercial or two (as Reebok has recently decided to capitalize on this up and coming phenomenon). Or, perhaps you’ve caught one of the recent competitions that have aired on ESPN. Maybe you’ve never heard of CrossFit at all; to which I would ask you to do yourself a favor and get acquainted. You will not regret it. Now that we’re on the same page, let me tell you why CrossFit is so important to me.

I was born into a competitive family. I am pretty sure I was shooting a basketball before I knew how to say my ABC’s. By the time I was in high school, I had mastered the art of juggling three sports a year, going to camps in the off seasons, and training year round. I loved every aspect of being a teammate, an athlete, and a competitor. Oh, and it was a huge bonus that it all kept me in shape. I was never concerned about being overweight and, although the scale and the bikini were never my best friends, at least we got along…that is, until college.

It didn’t take long for the freedom of my new college life to overtake my motivation to maintain my physical fitness routines. I still had daily trips to the gym, but they were more to work off an evening of partying and unhealthy habits. The relationship between the scale and I changed. What was once been a harmless coexistence became more like my experiences with my first college roommate; I dreaded our time together more and more with each passing day. The love-hate relationship continued to grow throughout my time serving in the Air Force. I hated the scale after I found out that I gained ten pounds in technical training school and loved it after I lost twenty pounds from my divorce. I hated it when I started gaining a few pounds back because I was eating again (imagine that) and loved it after my four month deployment where my only responsibilities were to work and workout. In the spring of 2009, I was all but elated to part ways for nine months when I found out I was pregnant with Addisyn. To boost the distance between the scale and I, Addy’s developing-baby food of choice was blueberry pancakes. And, you know…I just had to give her what she needed! In the back of my head, I think I always knew that the farther I chucked that boomerang, the harder it was going to come hurling back to smack me right in the head. And it did. In early 2010, the scale and I got reacquainted in dreadful fashion when I realized I would have to actually work off every blueberry pancake and then some to get back to my target weight. So…the fight began.

We’ve been going blow-for-blow for almost two years now. I’ve gotten in some jabs and taken a few sucker-punches, but have successfully battled my way back my pre-baby weight. The next step is to get bikini ready and let’s just say we are more like a relationship between me and an ex-boyfriend: we haven’t spoken in a long time and I don’t see any situation where the two of us would ever get back together.

These days my struggle is to find a workout that fits perfectly into my schedule. If I can overcome the temptation to overwhelm myself as a mom and photographer, then maybe I can get excited for something that makes the best use of my time, is exceptionally motivating, and pushes me to want to be fit again.

Enter CROSSFIT! The workout routine? No, no…workout system? No, that’s not it..the workout lifestyle that has never made me want to cry, cuss, vomit, and smile so much.

CrossFit is easily the most physically and mentally challenging workout I have ever endured. It combines everything I loved about playing sports in high school with the intensity and focus of my deployment workouts. Add in a network of people who are serious about reaching their absolute best fitness goals and who help motivate each other to get there; and you have Stacy’s fitness addiction.

I belong to CrossFit Dover. And, from the moment I took my first class I was hooked. I believe the saying “blood, sweat and tears” would apply to what that first workout took out of me, but was undoubtedly worth all the strength, confidence, and friendships that have developed since. The technical side of CrossFit is that it uses ten components of fitness to help members get the best results: Power, Speed, Strength, Stamina, Agility, Balance, Coordination, Respiratory Endurance, Flexibility, and Accuracy. Each Workout of the Day (WOD) is specifically designed to use most of these components so we are exercising many muscle groups throughout the body.

So here we come 2012! CrossFit has helped me find my motivation again and it is going to be an awesome year.

These past two weekend I was able to go to my first ever CrossFit Affiliation Challenge as well as a CrossFit shoot and combine my passions of photography and fitness. Fitness photography is totally different than wedding and family photography, but I am totally enjoying some of these shots. I hope you do too!

If you are local to Dover, DE, come check out CrossFit Dover here.












































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