Ask Me Away!

Well. I am nearly speechless tonight, as I sit down at my computer after our Halloween festivities. You know how I talk a lot about the mushy, squishy feeling and about feeling tenderhearted and about how sometimes I feel so much love or sadness or laughter or whatever, that I literally cannot contain it? I literally cannot. It rises like steam off the top of my head. I may feel nauseous. I may run around the block. I may laugh until I cry or cry until I laugh. Sometimes, it’s just too much, too fast.

I am so in love with where I live. I love the Halloween/birthday party we went to tonight and I felt such an affection for the entire extended family throwing or helping out at the party, that I nearly hugged them all. However I had just met some of them and I was dressed head to toe as Snow White, so it’s not like I could have done it and then blended seamlessly into the crowd.

Everyone would have remembered the Snow White Hugger.

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(This is just a terribly-lit iPhone photo sneak peek. My very interesting Halloween photos will be uploaded over the weekend.)

And I do need to squeeze in a sentence or two about the house we trick-or-treated at that was projecting the Wizard of Oz movie on the front of the house. When you got to the door, there were four people dressed braided head to ruby-slippered toe as Dorothy. Two women and two men. Then there was the house with the woman giving out candy from the top of the house – a 2nd or 3rd story window. She had long, fake arms attached to buckets of candy. It was brilliant enough to leave me speechless.

However, that’s a story for another day! (although I totally just told most of it) Today I am lucky enough to be swapping questions for Ask Away Friday with Camesha (Cam) from Bibs & Baubles.

She’s another blogger I never miss a post from, and yet again, I can’t remember how we “met.” I adore her and her L.A. life and her kids somewhat close in age to mine, and her beliefs about motherhood and career and doing it all and finding what you love.

I like her a lot. And here are her questions for me:

1. What is your favorite bonding time to do with your family?

I am neurotic about our time together as a family of four, because Cassidy works such long hours during the week. So even going to Trader Joe’s together is exciting to me. We like things that require creativity and a bit of structure and total imagination. We LOVE Halloween and we do it up right. We love sci-fi conventions & renaissance faires and more of that sort of thing.

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2. If there was a dream vacation you could take with your family anywhere in the world where would you go?

Alaska. Times a million! Moose and wolves. Whales. Northern lights. Although I suppose you can’t see them all at the same place or during the same season. I would also love to go to Disney World with the kids. I really don’t like rides, or heat, or crowds (don’t I sound fun??) but blowing my kids’ minds is a passion of mine.

3. How did you and your husband meet?

Now that is a story. The short story is that he was my client, 3,000 miles away, and we fell madly in love over email, phone and through music and photos. We met at JFK Airport, had a wild summer romance, and then we broke up tragically. I pined for him, miserably, for a year and then finally fell in love again with a new, great man. A year after that, and two years since I had last seen him, he called me on my birthday. It spiraled my life back into alignment with his. Hearts were broken. Leaps of faith were taken. It’s really a great story and if you ever find yourself with way too much time, I link to all 20 parts here.

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4. Your blog is awesome and seems to have grown really fast (probably because it’s awesome). How long have you been blogging and what made you start?

haha, thanks. It didn’t grow for awhile because I wasn’t very active in communities and commenting. Luckily, I learned. So I really started blogging over three years ago and I started because I was suffering from a several year dry spell of not writing/doing photography. And that made me really upset. So I decided to hold myself accountable in a blog – and let those emotions and fears and love find a place to slip comfortably (and not so comfortably) out of my mind and into somewhere else. I’ve only been part of the SITS blogging community for about eight or nine months.

5. What’s your favorite thing about blogging?

Hands down, it’s the community. The friendships and support. I get so excited to see real-life friends and then when I get home at night, I get really excited to catch up with you all. Sometimes I’m lucky enough to meet you.

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6. Random: Vanilla or chocolate? Why?

Hm…that’s tough! I’m a chocoholic, but not in large doses. And if we’re talking ice cream, I always need a vanilla base. I guess I’m a weird chocoholic, because hot cocoa and chocolate ice cream are too much for me. Vanilla, I suppose!

7. I love your photos. Initially, I didn’t know that it’s your business. I just thought, “Wow, she takes great photos.” ๐Ÿ™‚ How did you get into photography?

Well the love started when I was very young. Initially, I thought I wanted to be a filmmaker because of the combination of music/images/words. Then I realized I could set two of those things apart and be a photographer and a writer. It was a long process of being given a good camera/lens and then gaining knowledge, confidence and love. And jobs, of course.

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8. What do you like most about being a photographer?

I’m a bit of a control freak. I panic at lack of control. I love that photography is essentially about control. I control the lighting, settings, backgrounds, etc. In some respects, the camera is a sort of shield that lets me experience the world a certain way, and I’m also able to put it down and embrace life in a different way. Professionally, it’s about the beauty and love and giving captured memories for people. I always wanted to be a time traveler, and writing and photography do help me freeze time.

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9. What do you like taking pictures of most (aside from your babies)?

I actually talked about this once on my blog so I’m going to cheat and copy and paste my own words: Itโ€™s a little vague to say that people are my favorite thing to photograph, because there are things I search for. For me itโ€™s about intense emotion, wisdom and love. Thatโ€™s what I love to capture. If I see it in the world, thatโ€™s what I aim for.

10. You’re invited to a pot luck, what do you make?

I generally make a dessert. And when I say, “I make a dessert,” I mean that seven times out of 10, I panic at the last minute and Cassidy makes something great. Every now and then, I do make my own potluck treats.

11. What’s your favorite thing about motherhood?

We went to Cape Cod this summer and spent three days straight with one of my mothers-in-law. She commented that she wasn’t used to living life the way we were living it – going to contained and safe and happy places. Always thinking about bathrooms and food and water, but having so much light-hearted laughter and love. I think I was built for it – this life. I love keeping them safe and living these lives meant to delight them, at least as often as possible. Of course it’s not a 24/7 funhouse here. And mainly, my favorite part of parenting is the breathtaking love that nothing can prepare you for.

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  1. I love all of this today!!! I want to hear more about Halloween right now *stamps feet* I thought I had a great Halloween neighborhood but your neighbors really know how to bring it!!

    I never knew how or why you came to blog so I'm happy to finally know. I'm also completely with you on #1, when Mike can come to the grocery store with us it's like "YAY Daddy's coming!"

    1. Right? Someone else to carry a kid? (or both kids)
      haha, I’ll tell you about Halloween anytime. I’ve been spilling the beans all over Facebook.

  2. I was blown away by your answer about being behind the camera and control and experiencing things from behind the lens. How interesting and insightful! I just love this Ask Away Friday! I feel like I learned so much about you, Tamara!! And it does not surprise me at all, but you are a breathtaking Snow White!! (and that Wizard of Oz house sounds AMAZING!! WOW!!) –Lisa

    1. Thanks, Lisa! There are so many reasons why someone would get into photography and it’s certainly not just about being lucky to have that artistic eye. There are the reasons you’d want to make it a lifestyle, a hobby, a career, or all of the above!

  3. Happy Day after Halloween – you look beautiful as Snow White. Sounds like a cool neighborhood ๐Ÿ™‚

    love your answers. The pot luck one reminds me of me. When my husband and I were dating I remember him making stuff and I passed it off as my own – lol

  4. Vanilla girl for ice cream here, too. Seriously love chocolate (any candy will do), but for some reason my ice cream needs to be vanilla based, too. Love that the more I get to know you, the more we have in common!! Happy Friday to you and am so going to live through your Halloween, because mine was a bust with poor Lily being sick for it. Loved your costume and seriously sounded like an awesome day and night! ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Oh no! We were all a little sick too, actually, and I hope last night’s chilly rain encounters didn’t make us worse. The kids are worse than we are.
      I am not surprised about the vanilla based ice cream! I like to throw tons of stuff into ice cream. Chunks of candy, peanut butter, caramel, sprinkles, etc.

  5. I love these interviews! My husband works really long hours too, so I'm also kind of a freak about planning "family fun time" which sometimes overwhelms him after a long week of work + school (he's finishing up an never-ending masters degree. Seriously — it's a 96-hour degree. For a masters?!?! Crazy.) I love your costume, and that Wizard of Oz house sounds amazing! My three-yr-old loved the decked-out houses, so I have a feeling we'll be doing that next year.

    1. I’m glad to hear I’m not the only freak about family time. I get so upset when faced with any intrusions of it!
      That masters degree is certainly insane! Awesome for him, though.

  6. I also make dessert for a pot luck.. and I spy my friend Michelle Nahom in that photo – what a great group of friends – or community – which I also think is the best part of blogging!

    1. Thanks! I can’t believe I never did it. Snow White has always been my sister’s thing but her skin is way too dark for it! I’m fair as all get out.

  7. I love your Halloween costume! You make the perfect Snow White!! I need to go back and read your previous posts about you and your husband because that wedding picture is just amazing! Where is that? I need to read the details because I just love different location weddings like that. I so wanted an outdoor wedding but my parents guilted us into a church wedding. Great interview!

    1. It’s in Chittenden, Vermont! It’s called Mountain Top Inn & Resort. They’re so awesome! And a great place to visit in the spring/summer/fall. Although we had a great time there in the winter once, but we got a real blizzard and..well..it was not fun. The resort was very professional about it, though.

  8. I wish that I could take pictures like you do! My husband makes fun of me and my mad skills of shaky photos. Whatevs. He's jealous.

    I also rock at desserts and I blame pinterest for my weight gain.

    1. He’s totally jealous. Your photos of Chunky are fabulous.
      Pinterest is the problem for a lot of things. Like when I thought I had Gestational Diabetes for a brief week or so, and Pinterest made me cry.

  9. My hubby also wants to go to Alaska- I think t looks pretty but WAY to cold for me! I am a Caribbean gal! ๐Ÿ™‚ I too would bring desert to a potluck! OH and by the way, if that is a ill lit preview photo…. I cannot wait to see the rest!

    1. I hear you. I'm a Caribbean girl too, in January! And an Alaska girl at the height of summer – July/August. I think it can be quite warm and sunny there!

      I hope the rest of my photos don't disappoint. They're not my usual fare!

  10. Your iPhone photos are better than my camera photos. Alaska would be awesome, but it's very important for me to know what kind of cuisine I could expect. I'm not sure I'm ready for moose burgers.

  11. Loving these interviews, and learning more about you, Snow White. ๐Ÿ™‚

    What you said about photography – love that too. I’m intensely interested in why photographers love what they do. Through learning more about my camera and how to use it, I realized that as much as I love snapping pictures of my kids, I actually like taking pictures of objects more, lol. I always try to capture something extraordinary in the ordinary – that is the challenge I enjoy.

    1. That's awesome. And that's something I've always envied – capturing extraordinary in ordinary objects. I guess I'm more of a people/animals/sometimes landscapes person. I'd like to get into products, though. I bet you'd be great at that.

  12. I'm so happy that you posted a picture of yourself as Snow White – gorgeous!!!

    And I'm sure that everyone would love your hugs!

    I love that wedding picture – the little pop of red and your beautiful self – amazing. I think that I've read one or two parts of your story but now I want to read it all.

    Great post!!!!

    1. Thank you! I was so happy Cam paired with me because her questions made my post better than it would have been. Well basically, I had no backup plan. I did this at midnight last night!
      That was the goal for the wedding – white with pops of red. You get it!

  13. You were a beautiful Snow White, Tamara. Can’t wait to see your “interesting” Halloween photos.

    My parents spent 15 days in Alaska a couple months ago. They said it was breathtakingly gorgeous …

    1. Thank you! They were interesting because..well no one was very happy or healthy or in good cheer/good weather/anything at all! We still had a fabulous time.

      Ah, I'm so glad your parents did it up right. A long time there in the summer months. Perfection.

  14. Can't wait to see the Halloween photos! Sounds like you and your husband have quite a love story and just so you know I bookmarked it for my Saturday reading. ๐Ÿ™‚

  15. All of your answers made me smile especially the one about motherhood. Your photography is amazing and I cannot wait to read the 20 part story about meeting and marrying your husband! WOW! That sounds like a steamy memoir in the making ๐Ÿ˜‰ Have an awesome weekend Tamara! PS- Your Snow White costume rocked!

    1. haha, you made me smile! It is a steamy memoir! I'd love to turn it into a book.

      Thanks for visiting me. Your post made me smile – you seem like an awesome blogger friend! Happy Weekend!

  16. I'm going to start reading your 20 parter – looking forward to it! You already read my story – in a 500 word post last week. Have a great weekend Tamara!

  17. I thoroughly enjoyed this post and I can't wait to be one of the friends you meet in real life. You are so talented both in writing and photography. Your answer about motherhood hit something in me. It's inspired me because what you describe is exactly what I am missing right now…what I think I didn't enjoy when I had the chance. Love this so much.

  18. I'd love to be in your neighborhood for Halloween! Ours was a total bust due to the cold, driving rain. As for the potluck, my husband's also the one who makes the dish or I buy it at the local grocery store! ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. We had the cold rain too. And we all four have been fighting/battling colds and I'm afraid we all made it worse last night.

      Oh well – it was worth it.

  19. Well… I cannot wait for the Halloween photos and blog post!!!

    I have to bookmark your love story because I’m nosey; it sounds like a great read– and a lovely romantical story.

    I cannot agree more, the bloggy community is beautiful! I’ve made some amazing friends; I cannot wait to meet my east coast bloggy friends soon ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. I'm totally nosy too. I always read love stories. And I used to pore the internet for blogs back in the days when there were only a few. Back in the livejournal.com days! I was very hungry to read about people's lives, I guess!

  20. Love your answers. Feels like a peek inside your brain! I love your take on mothering. I’m right there with you.

    Also when it comes to dessert,y husband is totally the go to! I’d just as soon buy something.

  21. You are simply beautiful as Snow White hun! I love Cam's blog too! Need to try to make it over there more often. You do have a great love story! I didn't know it begin virtually though. I love this blog world just like my real friends. It's amazing and real friends often get a little jelly, lol!

    1. Thank you! I loved being Snow White. And Cam is great! I don’t even remember when I met her, or any of you. That’s the wild, fun ride of blogging!

  22. There are so many things I love about your blog, and I’m super happy that we ended up co-hosting LOBS together because your blog is so amazing I probably would never have had the nerve to befriend you without our crazy link party craziness! You’re right, community is the best part of blogging and I’m beside myself happy that you are a part of my community, or I’m a part of your community…or both, or whatever! ๐Ÿ™‚

  23. I so enjoy “Ask Away Friday”. Love hearing what your answers are going to be. Been so absentee on the whole blogging thing lately, got completely out of my groove and having a hard time getting it back. Wish me luck.

  24. That is so cool that you have such a strong community that you can hold an ask me post. I also think it's cool to find out more about you too!

  25. You are an amazing talent and your story with your husband touched me. I will be reading all 20 parts!! I'm a sucker for a love story.

    You make a beautiful Snow White btw…did you take any pics of the Wizard of Oz house? Sounds amazing!

    I love photographing places and nature. I've always wanted to do it but who would pay me for that???

    Visiting from #SITSSHAREFEST

    Keep it Touched,


    1. Thank you and thank you for reading my little story! I did take photos of the Wizard of Oz museum. I think it's two posts back. It's a very cool place!

  26. I always love reading and knowing more about you. Love these questions this week and I can't wait to see the Halloween photos. I never did get a chance to read all your 20 parts to your love story and I think I need to get into them. Sounds like a real story that I shouldn't miss. Hope you're having a great weekend.

    1. I hope so! And just think, if our kids aren't writers like we are, we can help write their love story. 'Cause they're totally getting married.

      Happy Saturday night to you!

  27. Oh how I've missed you my friend. Beautiful answers as usual. I love the fact that you were Snow White … For whatever reason I had an inkling you would be because you just look the part and you have the character to match the red lipped, black haired beauty!

    Hugs to you my friend … and if you go to Alaska, take me with you! I want to come and check out the moose!



    (¸¤ Lanaya | xoxo

    1. That's so awesome that you had an inkling because I seriously never thought about it! My friend suggested it and I was like, "Oh, right!"

      And you're definitely coming to Alaska with me.

  28. No Alaska for me. I'm sure it's incredibly beautiful but I freeze when it's 70. I can't do anything less than that and prefer 85 and above. That's where I'm comfortable.

    I didn't realize you'd been blogging for that many years.

  29. You look great as Snow White! That's the perfect costume for you. Your love story with Cassidy was the first thing I really read on your blog! I saw that it was 20 parts so I thought I'd just read one in the middle and then one at the end, but once I got started I couldn't stop! You could write a book with that one (and it's true)!

    1. I love that you read it all! Thank you! I personally haven’t read it since I wrote it way back when. I hope I do again someday. I’d love to put it into a book!

  30. This was a great Q&A! I’m looking forward to reading about how you and Cassidy got together, all 20(!) parts of it! I can relate to the need to spend time together as a family–Dave works long hours, too, and whenever we hear the car coming down the drive, Lucas races to open the front door and scream, “Daddy!” Family time is very special, which is probably why we go on so many adventures.

    (I do wish that I could be more ‘squishy’ and personal in my blog posts, I just don’t know where to start!!)

    1. Ooh, I'd be intrigued if you did, although your posts are wonderful as is too. Family time is very special and you're certainly filling it wonderfully and magically.

  31. Love your Snow White! I also love your “love story”. I have read all 20 parts (took a few weeks – one post a time to soak it all in). You need to write a book with your love story. You really do.

  32. I love how you said that you think you were built for your life! I feel the same way! It never fails. The more I come to your blog, the more I feel like I know you for real! I really hope we get to meet in real life. I'm so glad you reached out to the community and started commenting more. It has been a blessing to find you in the blog world. ๐Ÿ™‚

  33. I wish the Snow White Hugger was at our party (we didn't have a party but I wish she was here, anyway). As always, you know how to make me heart you even more with your gorgeous words and gorgeous photos…

    Also? I'm not a chocolate girl, at all. In fact, I do not like dark chocolate – it's nasty. I do not like chocolate ice cream either. I much much prefer vanilla and caramel. Not to say I won't eat chocolate, especially if it's in something that makes life better, but well. You know.

    Also I love your falling in love story. Which I think I've said before. Still. It's perfect. And tenderhearted is good. I promise.

  34. Oh I so love Renaissance Faires, sadly there are never any in my area. I am happy to say that my whole family loves them. You also made a lovely Snow White! I can be rather over emotional at times myself…but we are moms and that is what makes us tick. ๐Ÿ™‚ I love your photos, they are quite amazing! It was wonderful getting to know you! Have a great week!

  35. You make a gorgeous Snow White and I love how you described your excitement and joy. You have a way of finding words for things that I usually find impossible to describe! I was just talking to Sharon about you yesterday because I’m searching for a photographer to take some pics of me and my fam for the holidays! I thought of you, but she mentioned you’re not in the area anymore?

  36. I love these!! You are so awesome and adorable and well I love you more now. I am going to stop by and see your post about your connection with Cassidy, I’m very interested in it! xoxo

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