Ask Me Anything, and I Hope You Will

When I can’t write, I turn to you.

When I can’t write, I turn to ME. I look at old writing, with new perspectives. I step away to find a different way. If it’s not working, I can’t force it. And in 30+ years of life, since I first put pen to paper, I’ve never truly had writer’s block. I was born with the ability to know that the words will always come. For my whole life, I’ve let them come, and maybe had to coax them a bit only when I had a deadline. They always come, but sometimes they make me sweat first. Only sometimes.

When I can't write, what do I do? What do YOU do? This Finish the Sentence Friday #WritingPrompt will get you going! Ask me anything! Really! #FTSF #writing

Remember when I used to host Ask Away Friday? Ten questions to ask and answer?

I never knew what I would be asked. I never knew how I’d answer. It’s how I process life through writing. I crowdsourced on Facebook to have my friends ask me TEN QUESTIONS and I’m here to answer them for you. Thank you for these questions!

NEWAskAwayFridayHost550

“The Words Crawl In,
The Words Crawl Out,
Into your stomach,
And out your mouth”

You put them on auto-pilot and send them out into the abyss, and see what they boomerang back to you with.

1 – (Question from my friend, AnnMarie) Where did your love of photography come from?

Maybe she’s born with it – maybe it’s Maybelline?? I remember collecting cameras as early as age seven. It first occurred to me on the school bus. I was in 6th grade, huddled against the cool window pane as the bus went up the winding mountain road. I was a mountain kid. My neighbor’s stop was coming up and he was standing in the aisle, facing the back of the bus. The sun was peeking through the window and lighting his eyelashes. It was a moment of ordinary/extraordinary beauty.

I thought, “I could write about this moment but is that enough to take with me? Is that enough to show other people what I saw?” It wasn’t. In high school, I was accepted into an art show and started to wonder if I had the eye. I didn’t know how to translate it, though. I just loved it. I never thought of myself as a photographer until I saw what developed.

Ask Me Anything

2 – (Question also from AnnMarie) You grew up in a big family, any plans on adding to your own?

I would LOVE a third baby, but I have been hesitating. Despite a history of healthy pregnancies, I fear being pregnant so if you know any surrogates who will do it for cheap, call me! I am also afraid of going backwards since life is smoothing out with two kids headed to full-time school and both out of diapers, etc. I wonder if I’d be alone, and barely hanging on.

The heart wants what the heart wants, though. We’ll see if I make that call to the doctor to remove birth control? I haven’t.

3 – (Question also from AnnMarie) Now that Des will be starting Kindergarten what will change in your daily routine?

Des had an option for extended day in preschool and I used that option a lot. I think that having two kids at the SAME school will be a bit mindblowing. It will save a good hour or two than doing two drop-offs and two pick-ups a day. I think I will continue to work the way I do – like a dog – but with more breaks. Funny, because I would have thought I’d have said that I’d work MORE, but I already work ALL THE TIME while balancing family life. I see this as an improvement in my routine!

4 – (Question from my friend, Lana) Who would play you in a movie about your life?

Anne Hathaway, I hope! I’m not sure of her current hair status, but I feel like we are hair/big smile twins. Not much else!

5 – (Question also from Lana) If you could be someone else for a day, who would it be?

I think I would be Cassidy. It would be fascinating to spend a day as a tall man with a booming voice, and to see what it would be like to live without constant anxiety, self doubt, and even some self-loathing thrown in there too.

(Also this wolf looks like he might not love Cassidy the way many do?)

6 – (Question also from Lana) Dream vacation, if money was no object?

It used to be Alaska and then I went to Alaska, and it’s still Alaska. I can’t help myself. That’s more of a big adventure than a vacation, though. I’ve always wanted to visit Aruba and lie around in a bikini doing virtually nothing for days.

7 – (Question from my friend, Kenya) – Do you or will you color your hair when it’s starts to gray?

Sort of, and yes. I’ve had gray hair since college, but it’s underneath so you can’t see it. My hair is colorful! When I go fully gray one day, I will probably color it, although it grows so fast that I would need root touchups all the time. Not sure I’m down with that? I have glazed my hair. It’s not permanent dye. It washes out, and fast in my opinion. I can go ages without doing it, but I also really like having all my hair one color! It’s translucent so you can still see all the natural highlights.

Ask Me Anything

8 – (Question from my friend, Sharon) What’s the most significant change (positive or negative) in your life since you started sharing your writing consistently?

Oh boy. Positive. I have found, everything. I have strengthened my writing, my photography, my editing, my friendships, my self-confidence, and my self-worth. I have also found that the career I have ALWAYS been searching for exists.

ask me anything

9 – (Question from my friend, Matt) If you could go back in time just to observe one event (let’s assume you’re invisible), when would you go?

I was too stumped by this one so I cheated and asked my mom. She said, “My birth so I could see that I’m really an alien.”

Ask Me Anything

10 – (Question from my friend, Jimmy) What is your favorite unexpected part of being a parent?

I like that. It’s so simple. I knew my heart and world and self-actualization would expand rapidly, but I didn’t realize how it would happen. I didn’t know I’d fall so far, only to get to soaring heights when I picked myself up again. I didn’t expect all the healing I would experience from my own childhood trauma, to see such whole children. And I like that childhood, especially early childhood, is filled with contained worlds of safety, comfort, and structure. Routines and rhythms.

Bright colors and fun foods. I love it all.

I’m going to go over 10 here, and I got other great questions! I will save them for another post!

*Bonus questions. (These are all from my friend, Tammi) What does Siri call you? How long has it been since you ate Talenti gelato e sorbetto? Do you know you got me hooked on Lime Outshine bars? Did you and Cassidy already kiss today? What are you going to do with all those strawberries?

I asked Siri what she calls me. She said, “You’re Master. But since we’re friends, I get to call you ‘Tamara.'” She doesn’t pronounce it like camera, though! I ate Talenti Cookie Dough yesterday (no sorbet), I believe! I’m happy about the Outshine, but didn’t know! I cheated and read this question early and then told Cassidy about it, and then we kissed so that the answer would be “yes.” Otherwise.. shame shame. Those strawberries? We’re just gifting them to people! Or snacking!

*Bonus #2. (This is from cousin-in-law, Juan) What’s your relationship with Darth Vader?

It’s complicated.

This is me linking up, as one of my favorite things to do, with Finish The Sentence Friday or #FTSF. This week’s topic is “When I can’t write…” And there’s still time to write yours. Come link up with your spin on the matter: HERE.

Feeling brave? Pick one question to answer in the comments!

No Words – Only Love

When I look at this photo of my nephew, what do I feel? Hint: Look closely.

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Honestly, I’m starting to question if May and June are really my favorite time of year. I always think they are, for obvious beauty/celebratory reasons, but then they hit and they hit HARD. May/June has been rather March/April like for the last two years. I’m talking weeks of rain. A dreadful extended winter. Our last two Mays have been miserable. Now things are gorgeous, but while the rain has calmed down and given to calm skies, don’t be fooled. It’s the most hectic time of year!

Like this week? Des turned FIVE! Five alive!

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I had a little trouble with it. (or a lot) I took the morning off from my normal duties and Cassidy took the kids to school. One of my school friends gave him flowers and chocolate to give to me. She gets it. The push/pull of celebrating their years and milestones, but wanting to hold them closer too. The end of the baby/toddler/preschooler era is a tough one for me. I’ve never had this feeling, because I’ve never had to have this feeling. I see littles and I want to cry. Luckily the cutie in the top photo is a little, and he’ll have a littler little sibling too. And I know the sex of the baby! I might even tell you here.

Now we have entered the funny zone – the Grief Corridor. It’s both old and raw. My Uncle Steve passed away a year ago on Des’ 4th birthday. That same week, my beloved Penny passed away. Do you remember her? I still think about her so much:

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I just unearthed all those old photos of her from January, 2016.

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I’m writing this on Thursday, the 15th, which was my father’s birthday. My grandmother passed away three years ago today – on my father’s birthday. My father passed away on July 2nd, and my grandfather passed away on July 2nd five years ago. Seriously. Those were my mom’s parents – passing away on my father’s birthday and the same date he died. My sister wrote this on Facebook: “June 15….. my biological father’s bday, the first date with my husband (our first anniversary), and the day my nana passed at 100 years old…. that’s the thing about life… where there is up, there is down, but the up is so so so worth everything else. Happy 6/15, a day I honor my marriage, my father, and my nana… all living on through my love and my children💓” What else can you say? She’s the sister whose son is in the photo above, by the way! Cycle of life.

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This Grief Corridor doesn’t mean I’m not happy, or not finding minutes of calm, work and children willing. It just means bodily memory and a foggy head. A bit of a heat daze, and a deep appreciation for everything and everyone. We’re planning two birthday parties right now, and my birthday will follow. Next week is Des’ preschool graduation, as well as a visit from “baby” Parker. The chickens are finally in the coop and no one can get them in there. It’s a fortress. Not even this one can:

Then we have these photos I took of my nephew.

It doesn’t need words, does it? When I look at this photo, I feel hope. I feel confidence and stability and dwell on all that is RIGHT with the world. I feel like maybe I’m not done having kids, but if I am, the kids, nephews, and nieces I have remind me gently and not-so-gently that THIS is what we have. Sometimes, no words. Sometimes, only love. And that’s how I feel.

P.S. It’s a girl!

This is me linking up, as one of my favorite things to do, with Finish The Sentence Friday. This week’s topic is “When I look at this photo, I feel..” And there’s still time to write yours. Come link up with your spin on the matter: HERE.