A Double Photographer Interview.

Wow. What a week. What a world.

In my Monday post, I was very honest with my current anxiety situation. In an email to my mother-in-law, I was able to pinpoint that as much as the anxiety does grow in intensity with time, it doesn’t become more frequent. I think, rather, that I’m just more intolerant of it. I used to live with it in silence. These days, I’d rather scream it out. With a lot of advice, support and encouragement from all of you, I’m much more ready to talk about it as it’s happening. That was never my thing. I’d be much more likely to suffer in silence and then be able to talk about it after the fact. Maybe you had no clue how much pain I was in.

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(This picture was taken during one of the saddest days I can remember.)


This week I decided to do something different. I decided to do something that scared me each day, and when I felt anxiety lurking, I’d talk it out aloud. It looked very funny when I was driving. Once or twice I just looked at one of my kids and said, “I just love you.” Surely, you’ve seen this (below) YouTube video? Many people think it’s funny. It probably is but my first reaction is tears. I get this so much. It is so a part of my anxiety and my joy and my love. Just.. life. At its most horrific/beautiful.

Ok, with that aside. The things I did this week that scared me. On Wednesday, I let Scarlet go to Boston with a dear friend for a birthday party. Without me in the big city! Instead of spinning my wheels at home, I took Des to Six Flags ALL ALONE. And we went on a few spinning rides, which I hate. On Thursday, with Cassidy on day three of a business trip, I took my kids out to breakfast. All ALONE. They behaved, except when I was talking with a lovely old woman and Scarlet grabbed me and yelled:

“Get in the car! I want to poop at home!”

On that note, which is not the best note to introduce my beautiful Ask Away Friday partner, I present you with Lisa of Expandng.

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Lisa and I “met” through Sarah of Beauty School Dropout in reference to a wonderful Lightroom tutorial that Lisa blogged. I love her crisp and clear photos of her beautiful children, and her fun family stories. It was a fast blogging friendship. We clicked. Get it? Clicked? Ok, that was terrible. Lisa, I am happy to be your blogging friend and to be answering your questions today.

Hooray, hooray, hooray for the all new #AskAwayFriday! Get to know our new hosts, meet our new co-host, and grab our new logo! Be sure to check out our new Facebook page “AskAwayFriday” for a great place to meet up and send out a #BuddyRequest if you need a partner to swap with! And always feel free to contact me here or anywhere if you want to swap with me.

What is #AskAwayFriday? Well…

#AskAwayFriday was created by the amazing Penny from Real Housewife of Caroline County as a place for us to connect with other bloggers by asking them ten questions to really get to know them. The sky is the limit with the questions you ask!

Meeting other bloggers and making new friends is one of the best parts of this online world!

<center?Introducing our new #AskAwayFriday hosts…

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Tamara from Tamara Like Camera,
Tiffany from Mrs. Tee Love Life Laughter,
Christy from Uplifting Families,
Stacey from This Momma’s Ramblings
and
Amber from Bold Fit Mom

Please join us in welcoming Jenessa from Mothering (In Real Life), who will be joining us for the next two weeks as co-host! So glad to have you with us Jenessa!

AskAwayFriday-MotherInRealyLife

Jenessa is an amazing woman, wife and mother to 3 children who shares the ups downs and all of Mothering {In Real Life} while living with depression. Her story is inspiring and encouraging. Be sure to visit her and learn about her real life.

Grab our brand new button, follow our amazing hosts, hop through the great link ups and make some new friends!

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Be sure to check out Lisa’s answers to my questions HERE. And here are my answers to her questions:

1. When and why did you and the other hosts start Ask Away Friday?

Actually, it wasn’t me! Ask Away Friday was the brainchild of Caroline of The Real Housewife of Caroline County as a linkup meant to connect bloggers with each other through ten, interview-style questions. In the early spring, Caroline was juggling a third pregnancy and decided she couldn’t carry on hosting Ask Away Friday. I got very outspoken about not letting it die, because I love it, and I was so happy when she handed over the reins to me and a few of her co-hosts to be the brand new hosts of #AAF.

Her legacy is strong and she can come back anytime she wants!

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2. What was the first piece of literature (article, blog post, homework assignment, etc.) you wrote where you thought to yourself, “I’m a writer”?

What an awesome question! In truth, it probably happened in 5th grade. We used to write in black and white composition books and I wrote a story about a man in the moon who smiles at good people, and literally “moons” bad people. My math teacher stopped me in the hallway to ask if she could read my story. I figured I must be doing something right to have my stories talked about in the teacher’s lounge. My English teacher also pulled me aside one day and said, “I get you. Your writing is so sad, but you aren’t. I think your writing is sad so that you aren’t. And if you don’t grow up to be a writer, I’ll eat my arm.” It looks like she didn’t have to eat her arm! I think my first adult moment of calling myself a writer was my first paid BlogHer post. The editor even told me I could call myself a writer, a few times over. I did. I do. The link is HERE for my first ever paid writing job.

3. Do you write anywhere else besides this blog?

As briefly mentioned above, I do write for BlogHer on occasion, as well as SITS as a community lead. I’ve been featured on Bonbon Break too, and once on the Huffington Post. All of these situations, except for SITS, were luck. I did not query or submit anything. I never have. I was found. Just imagine what I could do if I actually tried. I’d really like to find that out soon.

4. What’s your favorite thing to write about? Or what has been your favorite blog post?

My favorite thing to write about is my kids growing up, and the impact that has on my emotional health. I’ve been flabbergasted and enchanted by every aspect of parenting. I realize it’s only just begun and the world is large and open. Even with the sad, scared and anxious posts, writing about them is what makes me somewhat heal myself. I discover so much about myself when I write. I don’t think. I just write. I also really love the more light-hearted and nerdy photo essays I write about life, love and travel with my family. Pets included. I don’t think I have one favorite post, but this one (link HERE) was groundbreaking for me.

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5. What was the first photo you took where you thought to yourself, “I’m a photographer?”

Sadly, I don’t really have some of my early work. It’s all in negatives in the basement! There was a photo of the Empire State Building with a very wide lens, taken by laying on the sidewalk. I liked that one. And I had a sunset in my first roll of film ever that made me obsessed with color, as well as black and white. I remember seeing two old men watching a merry-go-round about 15 years ago or so, and I HAD to take a photo. I think that’s when I knew that this was a thing. It’s like with the writing.

I don’t remember not feeling this way in my life.

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6. What draws you to photography?

Well other than the obvious answers of it being visually pleasing and me not remembering a time in my life in which I didn’t compose photos in my mind.. There are also some emotional reasons. I have stated often that I’m a super-sensitive person but I don’t mean that in a complimentary way. I just mean that I can barely handle life sometimes. I feel a lot of feels. So in order to catch some of those feelings without drowning in them, the overflow has to be captured. Partly in writing and partly in photography. Sadly, the extra bit of it goes into anxiety symptoms in my body. Not cool, body. Not cool. Also it helps me connect with people, but in a way I can control. You know? All those settings. It’s no wonder I’m obsessed with manual photography because I have a fear of loss of control. And so. Photography is excellent for people with fears of loss of control! It grounds me.

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7 What’s your favorite subject to photograph? Or what’s your favorite photo (I know this one’s hard)?

I’m just going to have to say my kids! I don’t get paid to do it, but the benefits will last forever, I think. I learn so much about them through photos. And so much about myself. And sometimes, I put away the camera just to be with them without it.

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8. Do pictures really speak a thousand words?

I really think they do. As a photographer who is also a writer, I personally just need to use both to tell stories. That’s just me, though. I was looking for another article but found this one. Very powerful. Link HERE.

9. Silly one, I’m thinking of a number between 1 and 100, what is it?

The numbers 4, 8, 15, 16, 23 and 42

10. If you were stranded on a desert island, what 5 things would you take with you?

Well you have to know that I’m not much of a survivalist and I really have no idea what you’re supposed to bring to a desert island, and what would actually work there. And how long will I be there anyway?? So I’m going to say food (protein bars, coconuts, avocados), my camera, my phone to call for help and to tweet/Instagram my desert island selfies (#DesertIslandSelfie), a big box of books, and a sailboat. Yes. A sailboat. Is that cheating?

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Comments

A Double Photographer Interview. — 112 Comments

  1. I am with you in trying to let go of certain anxieties and just going with it. By the way, I got the kindergarten pre-game email where you take the walk through and first bus trip with the kids the week before school starts. Do not even get me started how emotional I got on that one. And Scarlet yelling about pooping at home had me giggling just slightly and could so see Emma doing this to me, too! πŸ˜‰

    • Pooping at home is the best! She knows that at five! I don’t even know if Scarlet will take the bus. We are 2 miles from the school so she is eligible, but we live so far from our own street that I have to drive her down the driveway anyway! Deep thoughts. And next year when Des is in preschool, I will take her with me to drop him off because her school starts later.

  2. The Lost numbers – very clever! I miss that show. I’m watching The Leftovers, the new show from creators of Lost, but it’s pretty dismal. And there is no Desmond.

    • Shout, shout, let it all out! Tears for Fears wrote that song based on something called scream therapy. Consider me intrigued. And thank you about the photo! I love digging them up.

  3. I LOVE that one of your items was a SailBoat… I don’t think that’s cheating…it wasn’t said what kind of items… LOL πŸ˜€ I would also grab my camera and phone..I mean a desert island will definitely have some cool shots!

    • Right? Isn’t it hilarious that we both think that that is something vital to have on a desert island? It’s important for my own emotional survival!

  4. It was awesome swapping with you and I just love the puns in the beginning of the post. I love puns, if you didn’t know already :). (Oh, and my post is going live Friday 7am EST)

    How wonderful you had such great support and confirmation of your writing in 5th grade! You must have been some writer to impress those teachers!!! Teachers are definitely the best. You are definitely an accomplished writer and can’t wait to see where else you publish!!!

    You have such a need and connection with your (and for your) words and photography. It’s really an inspiration.

    Love that photo of Scarlet and Des on the floaty. It captures childhood and relaxation.

    And I didn’t “get” the numbers until I read the comments. I never watched LOST. Don’t shoot me! Haha.

    Sailboat and #DesertIslandSeflie – I love it. You have a great sense of humor!

    • Thank you for the best questions! I loved the photography ones. And I hooked up your new post, instead of just your homepage. Thank you for letting me know what time you went live.

  5. Aww you two are a great pair. I love how you said you both just clicked! πŸ™‚ I’m loving the picture of Scarlet with the carmera. She took a great photo of you I remember you shared a few times. She’s so dreamy like you. I wonder if she will ever be a photographer like mommy. I definitely think your level of sensitivity really comes alive in your writing and in your photos. I don’t think you’d be you without it.

  6. I love photography in that it always tells a story. Sometimes the photographer shares what a photo “meant” to them or they leave it as a blank canvas for us to choose. You always accomplish both! I play the deserted island question game with my friends all of the time! It’s so much fun. As long as I have Phoenix…water, food for both of us, his tennis ball and a non stop working satellite phone for rescue that would cover my five items πŸ™‚ As you continue to candidly share about your anxiety I will continue to thank you for your openness and helping me to not feel so alone with mine, Tamara πŸ™‚ You are the best πŸ™‚

  7. Pingback: Disney and Kobe beef: #AskAwayFriday with Tamara Like Camera by expandng

  8. I knew the answers to some of these questions before I even read them, which made me really excited! (Answers like what’s your favorite topic to write about or your favorite thing to photograph). I think it’s a great exercise for anyone to do something you are afraid of, because you realize that you are able to survive so many more things than you thought you could.

    P.S. I totally get where Scarlet was coming from in the restaurant. Funny that I kind of wrote a whole post about it!

  9. HAHAH! DESERT ISLAND SELFIE! You are my soul sister! Your childhood teachers encouraging you to write with threats of cannibalism make me so happy! I am beyond thrilled to read your first BlogHer paid post that liberated you on another level. And Scarlet’s poop at home comment is hilarious- what a Dylan! I’m kind of jealous of you…you take the most magnificent pictures. I love the one with the kids on the raft (is that a raft?) SO MUCH. It takes me to another place. I also love the one with Scarlet looking through the lens of your camera. She’s going to be make such a good assistant for you! Plus she really knows how to break the ice lol

    • It’s totally a raft. Or a tube. We bought it on vacation and it did make the trip back but now it’s laying in our driveway. Don’t be jealous! Everybody has their gifts. I don’t even know if mine is a gift, so much as something I need to do to survive.

  10. OMG PS! I just read the first line “This is gonna sound nutty, but sometimes when people compliment my writing, it makes me feel even more neurotic than if they hadn’t” and I can tell you’re going to be speaking from my soul! AHH! SO EXCITED1

  11. I get the “pooping at home” thing, too. I mean I understand it. My kids don’t care where they poop. I have standards though!! (Obviously not high ones, after I just wrote that on the internet!!) Also, I’m gonna play those numbers in the lottery today. If I win, I’ll share!!

  12. I had seen that video floating around, and this was my first time watching it. My first reaction was tears, because that is EXACTLY how I felt about Eve when she was first born. Probably due a mix of hormones being out of whack and sleep-deprivation, I would often look at her with a sadness that she would only be that tiny temporarily.

    I’m glad you were vocal about keeping AAF alive. Even though I haven’t participated in it for awhile, I enjoy reading the questions and people’s responses.

    • I would’ve still had to make my own or call it something else, because I live for doing this on Fridays. Such a nice thing to have a built-in post! When Scarlet was born, I used to feel like sobbing when I looked at her teeny tiny socks. So vulnerable.

  13. I just love seeing new pictures here!!! It really brightens my day. Your work is really just so amazing. I think you should take a moment today to just think about that. It’s such a GIFT!!!

  14. I just love your photos! I can’t get enough of them!
    I also suffer from anxiety and have found that creative outlets are some of the best therapy for me. I’m not as nifty with a camera, but if I spend an hour crafting greeting cards with some music in the background, it’s both calming and allows me that feeling of control that I’m seeking amidst all the swirling thoughts. Writing about it also helps, and connecting with others (like yourself) to know and reaffirm that I am NOT alone in this struggle.
    I love the honesty in your answers and can’t wait to swap with you one of these days πŸ™‚ I hope you have a fabulous weekend filled with smiles and happiness.

  15. Cracking up over what you’d bring to your deserted island! How fun is it going to be to go through your negatives?! I hope you do it before something would ever happen to them! At least develop a couple! You deserve to be ‘found’ for your writing skills because you’re wonderful at expressing yourself in words that are often hard to find. You know you’ll have a lot of followers/supporters for you whenever you TRY to get your writing out there more. πŸ™‚

    • I really can’t wait to do it! I have a negative scanner but I think it got too dusty and slow to use anymore. I’ll figure something out again.
      Thank you about my writing. I will try one of these days and I hope I get back what I put out there! At least somewhat.

  16. #DesertIslandSelfie is hilarious. I laughed so loud when I read that! I think you are an excellent writer and could do many more amazing things if you tried.

  17. I never knew that you were published on those sites and now I’m going to see whats going on at SITS to find you over there. Love Ask away Friday-Im going to have to apply to do this too!

    • Absolutely! You can definitely apply to be a co-host, but you don’t have to apply to participate. Just find any partner at all, do the ten questions thing, and link up!

  18. I never take my kids out to eat by myself. I think I may have taken them out for frozen yogurt by myself once. I like having another adult with me when I go out with my kids. It is just easier with two adults. However, I know it will get easier as they get bigger.
    I love it that your teachers recognized your writing talent in elementary school.

    • Trust me, I was scared! I had suggested it the night before because Cassidy was away and I knew we are out of most breakfast foods. Scarlet woke up and it’s the first thing she remembered. It’s not a very formal restaurant though. It’s a farm market with a deli and grill. Case in point, until recently, we could take the dog.

    • I read somewhere that a baby can survive on avocados alone. And that’s only in a desperate situation, of course. I think breast milk and formula are ideal! I just love them.

  19. Great swap! I absolutely love your pictures of the kids, always. That picture of Scarlet– AWESOME!
    Tamara, are we long lost anxiety sisters? My worry is quite similar to your worry, and when I saw the little girl crying I cried too…
    I wrote this post a while ago hoping I could relinquish some of my anxiety by getting it out…
    http://www.mrsaokaworkinprogress.com

    I always enjoy your #AAF posts πŸ™‚
    XOXO

        • Thank you so much for sharing this! I did read it and I’d love to comment on it when I’m not on my phone. I think that in the beginning my anxiety was very bad about a year or two into blogging and I also think my blogging just lost a lot of its luster. Because I couldn’t just say what was going on. Now I do say it! And it helps.

  20. Lol That’s the best thing a teacher could say ever πŸ™‚ Glad she didn’t have to eat her arm off either! You should totally push the boundaries with your writing, life’s too short! I’m out of words, that wonderful time to be a female has taken my soul upon her arrival. Time to hibernate πŸ™‚ Have a great weekend lovely Tamara! -Iva

  21. Talking through anxieties….that’s a good way to go. It works for me in different situations, too. Also, Lisa sounds like an incredible person and I can’t wait to read your answers! Also, are those numbers an inside joke?? lol πŸ™‚

    • ha! Just an inside joke with myself really. I wanted to answer “4” because it’s my favorite number, and then I just said those numbers because they’re from the show LOST. Basically you have to be a LOST fan/watcher to catch the reference.

  22. There’s that quote that you should do something that scares you every day. I definitely do not live by that; I can be so crippled by fear. But I need to try harder. I love that you branched out and conquered the fear this week!

    • Me too. And the fear can be so crippling that I can’t do very simple things. Like going to the store. Luckily that is rare. And I did make it to a blog conference!

  23. Pooping at home…yes. Tell Scarlet that she is totally understood. I think #DesertIslandSelfie might be trending. What if you write a blog but don’t think you’re a writer. Do you think that impedes the ability to be creative, to write? What would you suggest to someone who wants to think themselves a writer but does not?

    • You know, that’s an interesting one. I think very many bloggers are not writers. And they don’t even want to be because they’re doing something completely different that is a strength. I think I would say to practice a lot, and read a lot about writing. And to read a lot of blogs by writers.

  24. OMG, kids really make for the best quotes! Says me, who doesn’t even have kids πŸ™‚ A sailboat, yep, that’s a good one, but knowing how to sail or having someone who does, would come in pretty handy, too.

  25. OK I started laughing when I read that about pooping at home. I have had my shares of embarrassing conversations in the middle of everywhere with kids that I totally get it. I’m reading your post today and guess what? It’s your sensitivity that makes you the wonderful person you are, the awesome wife, mother, photographer, blogger, writer, friend. You know how to take your feelings put them in words and make everyone feel right along with you. You are truly one amazing person and that’s why we love you! Have a fabulous weekend!

  26. ha! I’ve been in that situation more than once where Everett announces in public that he must poop right now!!!! It’s pleasant, isn’t it? And #DesertIslandSelfie – perfect. I think that it would be a hit!

  27. A sailboat is brilliant! And #DesertIslandSelfie is hilariously wonderful! πŸ™‚ I believe you are born to be a writer and photographer. I like Huffington Post a lot so I googled your article and I’m reading it in a while. Hehe.

  28. The pooping at home thing is hilarious. I have one kid who for years refused to go to the bathroom anywhere else besides our house. I don’t know what I’d do without my camera either. All those pictures tell our stories, and I want them to live on! It’s our legacy…or at least one of them.

    • Definitely a huge legacy of ours!
      She’s usually not that obsessed with pooping at home, but I guess since we were already in the parking lot, it seemed less daunting than going back in the crowded restaurant.

  29. I love your answer to number 9. I think it shows how outside the box you are. I love looking at the pictures of your kids and I can completely see how much you love them… I haven’t been taking pictures because I told myself to try to be “in the moment”. But I realized I took hundreds of pictures of my boys and very few of my girls. I have to change that!

    • Thank you! I think it shows that I’m a bit of a smart Aleck. I don’t think I could resist taking so many photos, especially when my son was born. That was after building a photography business so I needed a lot of practice.

  30. I’m pretty sure the sailboat is cheating, but there’s technically nothing that says you can’t have it either. Scarlet telling you to get in the car so she can poop at home is hilarious!

    • I keep laughing about that one and saying that she doesn’t have a hangup about it usually. She just didn’t feel like going back in the crowded restaurant when home was so close!

  31. The sailboat was a good answer! I would need food and maybe a chef to create tasty and unique island fare. So glad you had fun (so to speak) at 6 Flags. I do not like those big rides at all.

    • Can you imagine having a private chef on a desert island? I don’t think I’d want to leave. And Des tires out after only a few rides. The perks of being with such a young child.

  32. I love that you chose 5 numbers instead of one. (SUCH a rebel you are!!) and i love the pics of des and scarlet lying together contemplating life and Scarlet looking into the camera. I don’t think I’ve seen that one before? That’s what I love about your blog you have eye candy forever and ever!

    • I think you’re right! It’s an old one I’ve never used in the blog. I have endless photos I’ve never shown. And if I ever catch up with the past ones, I can always take more!
      So I love that you love that about me.
      The five numbers are from the show LOST! I was worried I seemed like a wise a**.

  33. I saw your anxiety as a newborn and watched how you used different tools to diffuse it. By speaking it, you empower yourself to claim your power over it. You will beat it as you always have been a powerful person.

  34. Yes, the head thing at first and then you would lose yourself in books; you even loved to read a book at the table. I could see you filling up with it and felt helpless but so many people deal with anxiety. I have always felt it was somehow in your DNA as I saw it in your father. I think you are handling it well!

  35. I think you’re pretty darn amazing at the way you handle/manage your anxiety. Just the fact that you speak about it so openly is incredible. Isn’t it ironic that we can look so happy on the outside, but feel so isolated inside? I can’t help but feel sad knowing that photo is one of your saddest days. And I totally understand why your favorite subject would be your own kids, we just all love our littles beyond words, don’t we? Photographs are just one way to keep them little forever, no?

    • I really appreciate it. Anxiety has a way of making you feel like such a failure. I guess that’s kinda its whole thing. Years ago, I had a very painful period and I felt like my blog was losing my luster because I wasn’t yet able to speak about it. People could tell something was wrong, but they didn’t know what.
      So sometimes at the risk of TMI, which I’m generally decent at balancing, I’d rather error on the side of too much!
      Thank you so much!
      I do think the writing and the photography serves that important historical function. Do you look at photos of your kids as much younger and just want to cry, but also be happy you have the photos? I do!

  36. 1. Being found is the best. I think it’s better than finding or seeking sometimes.

    2. I love the photo of Scarlet looking into the lens. Have you ever done that? Elise was that age when she wanted to just hold an egg. They have such a new perspective. I want that.

    3. speaking of numbers: I guess 17 isn’t on everyone’s minds, is it? And 101 will have to do this time, because I missed the 100th comment by thismuch.

  37. I am so thankful that we didn’t let the askawayfriday die off. πŸ™‚

    I hate anxiety and those awful jitters that it gives me, the pounding of my chest, and feeling overwhelmed. I don’t get it a ton now but at times it can be horrendous. I am taking an antidepressant because of my chronic pain and I think it wards off some anxiety.

    Depression kicks my butt from time to time. This weeks has been one of those weeks too. AH the mommy guilt too.

    • That is interesting. I bet an antidepressant can help with anxiety! And I’m glad that it doesn’t happen to you a lot. I’m also really glad ask away Friday is alive and well!

  38. your kids are so lucky they have you as a mom, and also as someone who documents their life so beautifully with photographs. i love the pictures of your children. i feel like i’m ‘in the moment,’ as if i’m right there with them.

    • Thank you! I have met many blogging friends in person and they always say that they felt like they already knew my kids from the photos. It’s so awesome to hear.

  39. Spinning rides make me want to throw up, so I avoid them at all costs. In fact, I pretty much avoid rides – except the flume, I like that one. I think photographs do speak a thousand words, and they bring a memory back. I think my children remember events they have photographs of better than those for which they don’t.

  40. What an amazing swap! I totally love your first writing piece! LOL! Out of the imagination of a child! I just recently found my very first Young Author’s Story, that I wrote back in like 2nd grade! I have really found that facing my anxieties has helped me overcome them, which in turn makes me feel amazing! I don’t know that I could do a big amusement park alone, however. Go you! And I have to agree that I have trouble letting go of the kids, even the oldest at 21! I always love the expressions that you manage to capture on Scarlet and Des’s faces, they are so beautiful! Have a great week, my friend!

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