Hey Guys, It’s Flat Tamara.

I honestly have no idea where this Wednesday post is going.

It’s Flat Tamara here, and I even wish I had a little cardboard or paper cut-out photo of my face on a stick the way people do sometimes when someone they love isn’t able to attend an event, so they bring along the cardboard or paper cut-out photo of that person, and take photos with it everywhere. I’d stick in a photo of Flat Tamara! Here’s Un-Flat Tamara instead:

flat stanley

The only one missing is my dad! He was in the next photo but no one was looking for that one. Groups are not easy to photograph! I know this. And for your viewing pleasure, here is Un-Flat Cassidy doing as Un-Flat Cassidys do at weddings:

flat stanley

Usually when I’m feeling flat and stale, the words still come. Even now, the words are coming. And while I feel a bit strung out, dealing with the second round of colds to hit this household, I’m happy that the words are coming. I have been spared from this cold so far and I’m feeling hopeful I can avoid it. Over the weekend, Des woke up on his half birthday (he’s now two and a half, so help me!) with a cold and a seriously adorable case of bedhead. And he let us sleep in on Saturday AND Sunday!

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It’s funny how it makes you feel so amazing and the world feels so different, and the day goes by so fast, when you get to sleep past 8:00 or 9:00am on a weekend. And then I can’t help thinking that life is usually not like that. Usually he wakes up early but Scarlet doesn’t and we rush to school and I face the day in a strung out way. I do mornings terribly. So on Monday morning, I took Monday mornings back. I went up to my favorite restaurant and ordered the #1 on the specials board:

“2 eggs, 3 strips of bacon, and warm pumpkin streusel with sweet cream butter”

And they were playing the only country song I love (other than ANYTHING on Nashville) while I ordered breakfast:

Back to the weekend. I went out of order, putting deliciousness and music first. So over the weekend, our dear Des had a half birthday. It started on Friday night when Cassidy was at his office holiday party and I got spontaneous and took both kids to Santa’s Trains at Look Park. We were first in line to see Santa, and Scarlet sat on his lap for the first time ever. Then we took an outdoor, singing train ride to see all the park lights, came back in for hot chocolate, and then went out to a pizzeria at Scarlet’s request. There, she had to go to the bathroom, so an awesome policeman watched our booth while I took two kids down into the bowels of the restaurant, past the fresh, rising dough, and into the dungeon, which was surprisingly clean.

It was a rousing Friday night.

I’ve also been watching a lot of Hallmark Christmas movies. In previous years, I couldn’t stomach Hallmark Christmas movies. Have they changed or have I changed? And there I go – out of order again. It’s a symptom of Flat Tamara. Here’s the antidote:

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On Saturday night, we celebrated Hanukkah with family and friends. I was pretty much as flat as it gets, and my dear friend noticed it, but what can you do? The latkes were divine anyway. On Sunday, we celebrated Christmas with another set of grandparents. Scarlet went to see The Nutcracker by a local ballet company, and Des goofed around for four hours.

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We talked a lot about paying it forward, when I told Scarlet about the time I paid for the car behind me at Dunkin Donuts, which really isn’t so miraculous, but we found out later that the woman I paid for did the same, and so on, and it caused a chain reaction of NINE cars paying for the one behind them. Cassidy told a story about picking up an old woman who had walked all the way to the co-op in the cold and was trying to take a bus home. Cassidy did better by her and took her to her home. Scarlet was in the car, and I have no doubt that they all charmed each other. It reminds me of the time I took a ride from a stranger in San Francisco. I realize how dumb that was but I was in my 20’s and he said he was a free cab service. He drove a VW bus and was playing the Grateful Dead, so I knew I was ok. I wouldn’t do it again, but no regrets from that time.

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After we got home from the Hanukkah party on Saturday night, late and crisp, I was sure Des was asleep. I lifted him out of the car and he looked up, sighed, and said, “Bootiful stars.” Those are the moments that make me un-flat.

Inflating moments. A good phone call with a good friend. A snowman cookie. And the baseball hat of a team you don’t love.

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And since we’re so out of order anyway, here are some photos I’m working on. They’re from June. Yup.

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Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug

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Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug

About Tamara

Tamara is a professional photographer at http://tamaracamera.com/, a mama of two, a writer/blogger at http://tamaracamerablog.com and a nearly professional cookie taster. She has been known to be all four of those things at all hours of the day and night. She is a very proud contributor to the book, The Mother Of All Meltdowns. http://themotherofallmeltdowns.com, as well as Stigma Fighters Anthology (volume 1), and The HerStories Project: So Glad They Told Me. She is also a proud Community Lead/QA Reader with Sway, and a regular contributor to the SoFab Food blog, and the Target Made Me Do It blog. After two cross country moves, due to her intense Bi-Coastal Disorder, she lives with her husband, daughter, son, dog, cat, and 11 chickens in glorious western Massachusetts.


Comments

Hey Guys, It’s Flat Tamara. — 127 Comments

  1. I have flat days. I actually just told my mom I had to get off the phone because I was too tired and blah to talk. And it was true. In happier news, I had a lunch with a blogging buddy in town I had never met. She writes a blog called CabinCrush and she’s new to the scene. I told her to check you out because I know she will be obsessed with your photography and your house. Her name is Krisitin. She’ll look for you!

    • Oh that sounds wonderful! I will look for her.

      Sometimes I get paralyzed with fright when the phone rings, because I don’t know why anyone would want to talk to me in one of my moods.

  2. It is so funny that you mentioned Hallmark Christmas movies. Last year I wrote a post all about how I had become too cynical for them, and this year I can’t seem to get enough. I just looked up that post last night, because I watched a movie and enjoyed it, and then remembered that it was the post that drove me to write….and there was a comment from you saying how you have become more choosy about your fluffy Christmas movies as you have gotten older.

    Maybe we are both just having less cynical years in 2014?

    I’m loving your June picture. They are so vibrant. Like the colors were having an especially good time that day.

    • That is so funny! I definitely am still choosy about them, but Hallmark ones have made it into my heart.
      I still like them to be from the last year or two. There’s something about the new ones. And the actors that are in them! It’s insane.

  3. Trust me have my fair share of days like this too usually more in January and February after the holiday season though and when it is so very cold and dreary out. Oh and by the way, caved and downloaded the new Nashville Christmas album, because I can’t get enough of their music ever either πŸ˜‰

  4. Flat days? Feeling strung out? Is that what you call it when you are dead – tired, no spark, not much desire to… do stuff? If that is so, then I am right there with you at this moment. Good for you that you still have your words. And I love the fact that you are adding photos from summer to your post(s) – summer, only a few months away πŸ™‚

    • Yes! Only a few months behind us, and only a few months to come to us again.
      I definitely feel like I have no spark. It’s not even that I’m sad or depressed, but I don’t have a wild interest in listening to music I love. Or you know, doing stuff.

  5. I get the flatness. I’m already anticipating feeling flat after the holidays are over, which is a very bleak outlook to have. I need to snap out of it! Your smiling children help. Boy, Des looks much more grown up at 2 1/2 than he did back in June. Still as cute as ever though.

    • I can’t believe how fast he is growing!
      I probably won’t feel flat after the holidays, only because we’re going to Disney World again. I may feel apprehensive, though!

  6. I have plenty of those days too. I’m looking forward to some un-stressed full days for the holidays, but then afterwards the letdown and the stress of all the stuff I have to catch up on will leave me flat again. But right now, I just don’t care. I’m ready for the holidays. I am taking a break from blogging, but am going to try to spend some time learning and fixing. Which reminds me, I want to read your iPhone photography post. I meant to read it the other day, but this week has been one of those weeks. Those sunshiny pics at the end were so cheerful. I am already tired of the cold!

    • Me too! it’s not even technically winter yet, and I already have Spring fever. It’s a new record. It seems like the viruses are particularly bad this year and I live in constant fear of them.
      The smartphone photography post is awesome! I never would’ve thought of her tips.

  7. This certainly was not a flat blog Tamara. It was very lively like Cassidy, happy and smiley like Scarlet and Des, melodious like a country love song, comforting like warm pumpkin streusel with sweet cream butter, nine times generous,summery green like June, and heartwarming like Hallmark at Christmas, with bootiful stars all around. Only you could write such a special blog like this. You’re not flat Tamara, You’re Fab!

  8. Hey, look a Cassidy rock on the dance floor. No surprise since he rocks everything else I’ve seen on your blog. Btw…Guardians arrived in the mail last week watched it Friday night. Thought of your husband every time I saw Groot. That one guy’s left sure is high on lady’s side in the far left of that photo. No idea how I even noticed that. Those pay it forwards are so awesome to start and it’s cool to go inside and see how far the “run” made it. Athena is so gorgeous – I wish it was still June πŸ™ Btw…go Yankees! πŸ™‚

    • Haha!! We noticed that and grilled him about it. That’s my baby sister he’s touching! It is his wife, though.
      Groot is so amazing. It was a little unexpected because I didn’t realize he’d be violent, but I think he had to be in the movie. He was a savior.
      Go Yankees, indeed.

  9. Funny that you mention Flat Tamara with the wedding photos. When Ed and I got married, my mom had a second reception for us in SF but it was really for her friends. We could have been cardboard cut-outs for all they cared! I’m feeling quite flat after all the weddingness from the last week. I’m pooped and kind of emotionally drained. But I love how we can become inflated again by the little things like bootiful stars and sunshiney pictures from June.

    • Ha!!
      Speaking of feeling un-flat, I loved the photo of you doing yoga in the purple dress, or was it blue, on that pier. It made me feel more alive than I have felt in months. Just imagining how it felt to live in San Francisco and how it will feel to visit again. So thank you for that!

  10. Is quite alright to be flat sometimes. I think on occasion is almost like a brain or emotional resting time, as sometimes flat-ness comes after something tough, just as you have of late.

    Nonetheless, I’m glad you showed up even in the flat! πŸ™‚

    • I always try to show up! It actually helps with the flat.
      It is a funny feeling but I suppose it’s necessary because to always feel like you’re bursting with something could be very exhausting!

  11. My flat days are inverted days as if I am being sucked into a vacuum with sadness screaming at me. I can pull myself back and focus on the present but it’s as if I slipped into a chasm. Just follow the light, follow the light and center yourself in fun, family, food, and focus.

  12. I totally get flat. I feel like I am flat this season…wishing I could just do nothing festive so I can really partake in the festive season (if that makes sense)… Trying to inflate with little things that don’t cause more stress but finding it really hard this year!!

    • I totally get it.
      Last year was the first year in..ever, that I just never really felt the holiday spirit. It always catches me at some point. The right smell or the right song. Last year, I went through the motions and I even enjoyed myself, but I was never fully there. This year to compensate, it started very early for me!

  13. Bee is sitting next to me as I read this post and she asks if she can play with “those” friends (Scarlet and Des, that is). She wants to know when. Considering it’s Christmas, I’ve been feeling a lot more flat than usual. I have missed multiple opportunities to canvass the area for lights, and have only purchased gifts and gift cards for people I don’t even know. I have a feeling it will be tough in the future with Bee having a December birthday and me working to keep the two events separate, which means I won’t really even start thinking about Christmas until her day is over. We’ll see.

    • Aw! I wish she could play with those friends.

      That is tough to have a birthday close to Christmas. Scarlet and Des have very close birthdays, in the spring and summer, and they are still so young that they don’t mind sharing a party. Don’t know how long that will last.

    • Were many people asking because it is so out of character for you? That happens to me and it makes me feel happy because that means I usually give off a happy spirit.

  14. When my mother celebrated her 70th, we took her to Tavern on the Green… it was what she wanted to do, before it closed. My niece got sick, so we brought “flat Julie”, and everyone got a kick out of it. We still talk about it at family gatherings – it actually does make you feel like the person is sort of with you!!! Hallmark movies are perfectly respectable. I watched them all Christmas last year. Problem is that this year, I’ve already seen them all. But then again, they are pretty much all the same movie anyway, so no big deal. Everyone is happy and jolly and in a fabulous relationship by the end!

    • I once took a guy there on a date! Talk about fancy. I don’t even think it was his birthday or anything!
      I mostly like the new holiday movies, and Hallmark Channel made 12 new ones this year! The sad thing is that I think I’ve seen nearly all of them, and if not, it’s because it looks too dumb for even me.

    • I know! Spring, take me away.
      Flat periods don’t last long. Maybe a few days. Maybe even a week or two at the worst of it.
      And that was very intuitive of you. When you have kids, it can be very hard to heal from anything. Physical or emotional. On the other hand, sometimes you have to bounce back faster because you have no choice.

  15. I’m feeling a little flat lately but mostly in my work (or lack of motivation to get anything done…good thing I’m basically done for the year!). We’re dealing with colds. I have had one since before Thanksgiving, then Eve got one from a friend and turns out she has a double ear infection and conjunctivitis (which she kindly passed on to me). I also apparently have some bronchitis! Explains my lack of motivation to work. But we’re taking it all in stride, just chilling at home.

    Gorgeous photos from June–that one with the rainbow flag (?) in the garden with the rainbow coming down from the sky is just stunning!

    • Oh dear! I am so sorry about bronchitis. Scarlet seems to have an ear infection, but she had such big plans today, that we just gave her Tylenol and she still went to New York City. I just don’t think ear infections are just cause for missing one of the best days of your life. I do worry that tomorrow I’ll have to put her on antibiotics again.

  16. I have logged ridiculous hours of lazy-time watching Hallmark movies. Even the hubs is hooked.
    Your daughter’s face — she’s sooo engrossed in that book. It’s awesome.

    • That is awesome! My husband can’t even stand two minutes of those movies. He watches the worst crap in the world. I just tell him his movies are dumb and violent, where mine are dumb and fluffy. Dumb is dumb.

  17. You made my morning and (and pulled me out of flatness:)). I love me some Blake. And I’ve been indulging in the Hallmark Channel, too!

  18. How are things with your family and dear ones? Hope everyone is well.. Ha flat tamara that’s awesome – you could start a trend that way. Bloggers taking photos of a image of you wherever they are. πŸ˜› Everything feels at a stand still, things are quiet – calm. It’s hard finding purpose when everything is at a standstill, but it’s a good time for reflection and thought. The year is ending and 2015 is near- where did the year go?? Jeez! It just whizzed by. I feel like a lot of people are ‘flat’ so-to-speak and trying to find a ‘groove’.. I think everyones grooves are on vacation until next month. Which, btw, is my birthday month! Whaaaa oh yeah B) Happy Hump Day love! -Iva

  19. Sounds like a great weekend! I love that your paying it forward went 9 times! I love Blake Shelton – have you been watching the Voice? The finale was on last night. I think you are on to something with the Flat Tamara. How fun would it be to spend a weekend with a “Flat” friend and post about it LOL!

  20. Flat days — I can definitely relate. I am an outgoing introvert, and something about “big event” days sometimes makes me anxious leading up to them and flat when I’m there. No fun!

    I am smiling at that top picture… looks like someone on the far right is getting a little handsy! LOL.

    • Oh that is no fun! I get anticipatory anxiety worse than I do when I’m in the moment.

      That photo was cracking us all up! My brother-in-law was getting frisky with my sister.

  21. I have been flattened for awhile now. A broken ankle leaves me stuck at home most of the time..add a painful tooth infection and i am a mess. just trying to make it through each day.

  22. So funny story about being flat, my daughter is sick (again), but she had a paper to work on last night. I sent her to bed and said let’s wake up early in the morning and work on it. I was so messed up I set the alarm last night and woke up at 5 am. I was downstairs thinking it felt really early and after about 15 minutes of stumbling around I looked at the clock and realized it was only 3 am! Nice, nothing like setting the clock forward 2 hours to completely destroy any energy I had! I am right there with you, let’s be flat sisters πŸ™‚

  23. I woke up exhausted and drained in every way so I have had a movie marathon today while finally spending some time blogging – so much better than working today!!!! I end up feeling blah after days like this but also refreshed – funny how taking a day for ourselves can make us a little flat. (or at least it does me) But, I’m thinking that this will help me get everything done that needs to be done during the next few days.
    Love the pictures from summer!!!

    • I should be working, but I’m watching Hallmark movies! Scarlet and Cassidy went to New York City for the day. I’m feeling a little left out but also relieved to be home and warm.

  24. Okay, that #1 special that you ordered sounds amazing. Yum.

    I love sleeping in. Luckily the kids are nice and let us sleep until 9 on weekends. I think it’s because they know I’m scary when I’m up early.

  25. I love that you cop to your flat days. I have flat days too! I love your inflating moments, sometimes one small action or two words is all we need to re-inflate! However, if you do make Flat-Tamara, send her to Minnesota, I’ll show her a good time!

  26. I’m feeling very un-flat and FULL of life after reading and seeing all of this. Please go out of order again and again. It’s amazing.

  27. I feel flat sometimes too. I usually remedy that with a nice walk outside with Kailua. As the weather gets colder, it really wakes you up (and unflattens?)! Love the “bootiful stars” comment from Des. He’s never flat!

  28. Flat is a great way to describe how I was feeling a few weeks ago too. And then I put on Christmas music and even though my funk wants to dig in it’s heel and side-eyes me frequently with “Johnny Mathis? really? pppffttt” I cannot be swayed back into it’s rabbit hole now. The spirit of Christmas is upon me! I. Must. Sing.
    Is it wrong that hearing my 5 year old sing so sweetly “Jingle Bells, Batman smells…” gives me the warm fuzzies all over? Some things never change…. I’m joining in for the second line…

    • I’m joining in too.
      What amazes me about things like love and happiness, is that sometimes it really is a choice. Sometimes you can just choose it and it works!

    • Thank you! The shadows of that day were insane! It was just timing.
      Scarlet never had a rough time at two, but three was a nightmare. I’m hoping that doesn’t happen again because he is still so mellow at two now.

  29. The idea of paying it forward is so awesome! It really spreads good vibes and kindness! Hmm I remember I took a cab one really rainy evening to work then some stranger guy asked if he could ride too because he’s late for work and there were no more cabs around. I agreed and he ended up paying for it. πŸ™‚ When I think about it now, not sure if I’m ever gonna allow that to happen again. Geez.

    • Thank you so much! Just the little one got the cold, and then the big one got some little parts of it. I managed to fight it off but I’m a little worried about my husband.

  30. I understand feeling flat. This holiday season has brought unwelcome news on so many fronts that it is difficult to feel upbeat sometimes. Hope you feel better. Your photographs, as always, offer such an uplifting look at goodness. Thank you.

    • I am so sorry about unwelcome news. I tried to take back today by visiting my father-in-law in the hospital. He is doing well and I got no post-traumatic stress from being in a place that was very stressful for me at one point, so I’m feeling strong.

  31. I’m having a pretty flat day today. I haven’t posted anything today and I don’t think I’m even going to try. I have to mail off some gifts and go to the library. So flat Sonya is holding down my blog today…lol
    A nighttime Christmas train ride sounds fun. My kids have never visited Santa, but I think they would probably enjoy it. My six year old the story of Santa even though he knows he is not real. Maybe next year we will visit Santa at the mall.

    • This time of year is so hectic anyway. I say skip it. People will still read your words if you skip a post!
      How long has your son known about him not being real? My daughter is only five and just really starting to believe in Santa.

  32. Dear Tamara,
    I do not think you could ever be “Flat Tamara”. However, I guess I totally understand what you mean, I can be flat. This post was NOT flat, I loved to hear about your weekend, your family, and those pictures… you know I love your pictures πŸ™‚
    I think I ate enough latkes this weekend, to NEVER be flat πŸ™ I need to work those bad boys off πŸ˜€
    Sending you nothing but sweet Hallmark love.
    XOXO

  33. I have a question, and I hope you’re not mad if you’ve answered it before. What’s your photo editing process? I know we’ve talked about your writing process before (and by we’ve talked, I mean you’ve written, I’ve read, I’ve commented, and so forth), but I wonder if the process from seeing the photo in your mind (do you do that?), taking the photo, editing the photo, and anything else I’m missing, is at all similar.

    And for what it’s worth, even when you’re flat I think you’re perfectly fizzy, but I do think I know what you mean.

    • I like fizzy as opposed to flat. Better than inflated! Which sounds egotistical.
      Well the photo editing process is a long answer. And it varies, with my moods and seasons. The same way writing does.

      I shoot only raw files, which means that they have to be edited no matter what. They are uncompressed.
      The first thing I do is put them in lightroom and add a little contrast and sharpening. Then I put them into Photoshop and change any small details. The most common thing I have to change is a color cast, because my camera and lens tend to shoot more magenta. Then I put them back into lightroom and I export them as JPEG’s and with a watermark! Like magic!

  34. Warm pumpkin streusel sounds heavenly! I always feel like the day will be better if the morning starts with a good breakfast. Sadly, a good breakfast doesn’t happen very often… I love your Dunkin Donuts story! How awesome that nine cars paid it forward πŸ™‚

  35. I see such beauty in your photos… and June – oh my how I long for June.

    I’m peaking right now and terrified of tumbling into the flat abyss but maybe we need that flatness to gain the stamina to go over another peak.

    I am often the recipient of paying it forward – which I, in turn continue the process. One time I was at the Tim Horton’s drive thru, someone purchased my order and I did the same for the person behind me. The cashier said it had been carrying on for over an hour! Can you imagine that? It’s a busy drive thru too!

    Thanks for sharing.
    xoxo

    • What an amazing story. I love Tim Hortons! They used to have one here, which blew my mind because I didn’t know America had them. It’s not there anymore.
      I long for June very much. My quest right now is to feel better, even with this weather. Even with this darkness. That will be a feat!

  36. Well, thankfully flat Tamara is still pretty multi-dimensional. (Three dimensions just can’t grasp it all, can they?) Des and his β€œboo-tiful stars” is just so adorable it makes my heart melt. Love those moments from the little ones. Hopefully you get all your dimensions back soon, my dear!

    • Thank you! It’s just been quite a week. From hospital visits to barfing kids. I might get a medal this week. And I realize that that’s just motherhood and that we all do it.

  37. We’ll take flat Tamara any day of the week around here. When I’m flat, I just hope for one thing to happen. Just a little traction. Just enough, like kitty litter when your car’s stuck in the mud. Sometimes it’s an email or a comment or blog post. Other times, it’s a cookie or a smile or even an innuendish Kesh song. Wait, they’re all innuendish.

    Bootiful stars will do it, as will that picture you took of yourself in black and white on the floor, or the one in the underground tunnel in the red coat. Not that I have a mental inventory of your pictures or anything.

    I’d better go now.

  38. I don’t know how I missed commenting on this post. I love the photos in it of course. You don’t seem so flat in these. You seem like you were having a lot o fun. The silly photo of Des reminds me of JR’s silly moments. His laugh is so cute. I bet Des is the same way. πŸ™‚

  39. No bullshit- your photos are strikingly magical. I wish I had one ounce of your eye for moments and capturing them. Damn Tam!-ara!

    And you’re better than me. When the words are bothering me, when I feel stale, or in wish-i-had-a-flat-backup clone of myself, I don’t produce content. At least you still do. And I get the haircut now. It definitely doesn’t look like something YOU would pick out for him. But gotta admit, he looks as cute as ever!!!

    I’m sorry about the disgusting stupid germ bugs. UGDHFJKDHF they’re not just going around, they’re freaking everywhere.

    • Are they? I would like to believe that in California, no one gets sick. Magical unicorns and all. When I lived in San Francisco, I didn’t get sick. I wasn’t there very long, though. Only two years. That’s still a long time without colds!
      Magical unicorns.

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