smelling the roses & falling in love

I walked to the mailbox today to drop off some mail…
when you live in a city like Chicago, you tend to
power walk wherever you go.
The hustle & bustle of the city makes it nearly
impossible to take simple and relaxed strides naturally.
Slow down B, slowwwww downnnnnnn I have to whisper to myself.
So I did. I literally and figuratively stopped and smelled the roses.
I gave myself permission to think of anything except work
for the rest of my walk back to the condo.
Within those 7.5 minutes, a friendship was called into question,
my anniversary gift to Marty was finalized, I figured
out what we are going to grill for dinner tonight and
I vowed to myself that I would no longer beat myself up about not
going back to school (for now).

I have to stop fighting the very thing that has always
rung true in my life.
This can be quite the difficult task for a control freak.
I’m not a big fan of the unknown.
This is why no one will ever be able to pull off a surprise
party for me. Or surprise me in general.
I was wired to be one step ahead as often as possible.
I’m extremely observant.
It’s one of the reasons I am a complete lunatic.
So thinking, “Oh, I’ll finish school at some point” makes my head spin.
Will I? When? Will there ever be time in the future if there
is no time now? Are you sure? How sure?
Will I want to go back? Will I regret it down the road?
Will not finishing tell my kids that I was a quitter?
Will they understand why I didn’t finish?
Am I a quitter?
Is my reasoning a good enough reason to not complete
my education?

Welcome to 20 seconds of ONE single area of thoughts
running through my brain at any given time.
This is why I’m nuts you guys.
Completely and utterly nuts.

Where was I?
Yeah, smelling the roses…

I’m no longer able to overlook or ignore the stress that is
coming from a friendship. I’m not even sure if
that’s what it was in the first place.
I’m starting to believe that it was all in my head.
Actually, what I believe is that the friendship was one sided.
What a lot of people outside of my circle don’t know about me, is that my
friendships are everything to me. Because my family life can be
insanely ridiculous depending on what day it is,
I gravitate to my friends for what you’d typically go to
your family for. There isn’t anything in this world that I
wouldn’t do for my friends…This is not an
exaggeration. There isn’t anything I wouldn’t do.
Plenty of people can and would easily vouch for this.

…And lately, I feel that this has been taken advantage of.
I feel used.
It basically sucks.

Third Eye Blind says it best,
…you could cut ties with all the lies that you’ve been living in.


So, I went to St. Louis for the first time,
the reason I was there is unfortunate but that’s for next
week’s post.
But, I was there with two of my best lady friends…
I was excited to actually cross something off my bucket list.
{haven’t done that since Cannon Beach, OR}
The Gateway Arch!
This goes hand in hand with my other bucket list item
which is to see all of the midwest wonders.

We accomplished a lot in 24 hours.
We supported one of our close friends during a really tough time,
we did some sightseeing, we sampled local brews, we met
some people, had an amazing dinner, and had 11 hours
of non-stop, never awkward, hilarious conversations.
Oh, and these girls made me blush every chance they got
by talking about BAMphoto to random strangers!
Our little trio has become one of my favorite things.
It’s the dynamic.
We all bring something to the table that’s completely
different from the other.
We are who we are, we don’t always have to agree, and while we
might be a little high strung in other aspects of our
lives, we completely leave that part of us and we
just go with the flow of everything.
Yeah, I never thought I’d talk about girlfriends like that either.
Can someone check and see if hell froze over?

This is what packing for a day looks like for a photographer.
In 9 days, I have to pack for a 5 day vacation that
includes photographing a wedding in Arizona.
Can’t wait to be reunited with some of the bests and to celebrate
one of our best friends marrying an amazing guy!


Cammi’s 2nd birthday was so fun…and it came too fast.
She’s growing up so quickly!
But MY GOSH is she getting cooler and cooler.
She does little dances, sings songs, and she does
goofy things. I am just head over heels for her.

Oh, and she has Uncle Marty wrapped around her finger….
Usually when I spend time with her, I send Marty photos
throughout the day or evening of her.
Well, there was so much going on that day that it slipped my mind….
Marty tries to act like he’s indifferent about her but he
exposed his secret on Saturday night when he got home
from work. He said “I checked my phone and was disappointed when
there wasn’t a photo of her in my inbox.”
My heart exploded.
He’s going to be such an amazing dad someday, and that
makes me love him a gazillion times more than I already did.


I pick my OPI nail polish based on the name, not the color.

Almost 4 months!
I’m seriously proud that I have really quit smoking.
There was a time when I would nearly have a panic attack thinking
that I’d never be able to quit.
I have yet to notice the money I’m saving, but I feel
good. It feels good to be proud of an accomplishment
of this magnitude.


So, 4 years later I am telling the Hueters that I love them.
I’ve only told one other boy’s family that I love them.
…and losing the family was harder than walking away from
the actual relationship. Many years after this, I ran into the Mom
and Dad when I came home to Michigan for a visit
and we hugged like we’d never hugged before.
It was awful and wonderful...and I promised I’d never tell another
family I loved them until I was sure of my relationship.
Now, I fell in love with the Hueters a long time ago…
It was Christmas, and the 4 of us went to a Christmas tree farm
to pick out a tree…It was my second Smorgasbord with them.
It was then that I was able to imagine spending the rest
of my life with Marty, and being a part of the Hueter family.
But it wasn’t until recently that we started dropping the L-bomb.
Actually, when I was in town a couple weeks ago, Vicky was scheduled for
surgery early in the morning so we said goodbye that evening
and I wanted to say it but it would have been the first time
we said it face to face and I got scared and didn’t say it.
I take these things very seriously, obviously.
I turned and looked at Brooke and seriously contemplated
knocking on her door and telling her.
Anyway, it just feels nice to love them, and be loved back.
…And it’s not even just Vicky, Carl & Andrew Hueter that I love.
I love them ALL!
Okay, okay, okay…I think you get the point.

…until next time


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