How To Fall In Love, Part 2.

So what do you think? Do I talk about my marriage here?

I don’t think I do. I think I talk about Cassidy a lot and I talk about our family and our creative endeavors but there’s a distance to that. There’s a shield or several. I’m usually the one taking the photos or writing the posts. I want in on the fun. The more much fun, as toddler Scarlet would say. I actually have my eye on some photographers because all of this data entry better lead to some FUN when I’m done (hopefully in the next day or four) and I want to invest in some family photographs.

That I am in. Whoa.

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug(Ack, missing one! Don’t mind our outfits. It was our town’s PRIDE Parade day and Cassidy was injured and in bed.)

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug(Getting closer here. Can’t you see me in my white skirt, reflected in his sunglasses?)

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug(Now we’re talking! Except it’s not a professional photo and I could only salvage it because it was shot in RAW)

I want to get what I give people – endless glossy photos of their families – both posed and candid, and just plain in love. Although I’m not sure anyone out there really gives what I give – which is like 100-300 photos per session. I’m insane, though.

It’s a work in progress. We’ll get some family photos soon – and not just with a self-timer because I want someone else’s vision to come to life. It would be fun to really bare those photos here because I’m a bit silent about marriage. It’s messy and imperfect and sacred and shielded. That’s not to say you don’t get nearly all of me, because you do, but I let the rest out in bits and pieces and spurts. Occasional photos. Stories and perspectives. Maybe some dreams. Sometimes his words. He’s quite a guy, obviously. The man who built a Groot suit in six days and stole my heart through emails and phone calls. Even when I thought he was a woman. Because. Cassidy can be a girl’s name. I’ve never met anyone else quite like him, honestly.

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Maybe that’s a story for another day, or maybe some of it will be for today. I don’t yet know my questions for today’s Ask Away Friday, but I will be answering them below shortly. I’m taking another set from the New York Times article about falling in love through 37 questions. Link HERE. And here’s something to fall in love with and perhaps a message of this post:

If you get a chance, try to find the Intersections box set version of this song. It’s six or seven minutes. It’s astonishing. I searched and searched for it, but couldn’t seem to get a sound file or video clip of it in time for this post. It’s worth it.

What is #AskAwayFriday? Well…

#AskAwayFriday was created by the amazing Penny from Real Housewife of Caroline County and Amber from Bold Fit Mom, as a way to connect with other bloggers with a great Q & A session of 10 questions and 10 answers, between two bloggers! This is a wonderful opportunity to get to know others while allowing others to get to know you and of course there is also the added bonus of making great friends along the way which is one of the best parts of this online world! Ask me if you want to swap!


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Tamara from Tamara Like Camera,
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Christy from Uplifting Families,
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Echo from The Mad Mommy

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Here I go! Diving into the unknown.. What have you got for me, New York Times?

1. If you could wake up tomorrow having gained any one quality or ability, what would it be?

Oh, hmm.. Are superhero qualities or abilities out of the question? I’d love to be able to fly. If we have to go realistic here (boo but yay too) I would love the ability to play piano perfectly by ear. Oh yes. And I’m cheating here with another by saying I’d love to have gained the quality to heal people, and heal myself. Maybe heal myself first so that I can then heal others.

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2. If a crystal ball could tell you the truth about yourself, your life, the future or anything else, what would you want to know?

I wouldn’t really want to know how long we all live.. I don’t know! If we see something, is there still time to change it? In that case I’d love to know that we’re all healthy and happy and doing what we love. With gusto! And northern lights.

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3. Is there something that you’ve dreamed of doing for a long time? Why haven’t you done it?

YES. Pulling off boots and a dress, rather than just boots and skinny jeans OR sandals and a dress. I like the overlap. Wait, what? I’ve always wanted to visit Alaska and I guess money is the biggest obstacle and also wanting it to be a family trip so that both kids remember it. If you remember, Des has been sleeping his way through Disney World. Alaska holds other dreams for me – moose, whales, wolves, northern lights, photography, writing, mountains, probably some chocolate. I dunno.

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4. What is the greatest accomplishment of your life?

I would be remiss if I didn’t say it with a photo, because it shows three accomplishments: husband, kids, photography. Add the fact that it’s being written here and we can add a fourth. This blog! Also eating cookies a lot and not gaining weight.

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5. What do you value most in a friendship?

That way you can fall in love platonically and have it be unconditional. And all the understanding, patience, kindness, humor, cookies, timeless, love, help things. And for making me feel possible when I feel impossible. I hope I do the same.

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6. What is your most treasured memory?

I couldn’t narrow it down. I could probably wax poetic about meeting both of my kids, but that was so surreal and achy and painful and hard and wonderful. So I will say it’s when I saw Cassidy again, two years after our dreadful breakup.

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7. What is your most terrible memory?

I have a lot, but I have to say that the most excruciating and damaging was my father’s sudden death.

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8. If you knew that in one year you would die suddenly, would you change anything about the way you are now living? Why?

Yes, yes. I’d stop worrying about money and I’d call everyone I love and tell them exactly how much I love them. I should be doing that anyway. I’d also buy an expensive camera and travel the world with it. I should be doing that anyway, right?

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9. What does friendship mean to you?

You silly question! See #5.

10. What roles do love and affection play in your life?

Pass! Yawn. Ok, just kidding. Umm.. they’re in my life and I really like them but I don’t like to be touched when I’m eating. And Scarlet always wonders why I sleep at the far end of the bed so I guess I’m not snuggly when I’m deeply asleep. I’m also a bit awkward sometimes in person because I might really want to hug someone but I’m not sure it’s a hug situation so I don’t always know what to do. I also smother my kids in hugs and kisses. They both have very kissable cheeks.

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11. Alternate sharing something you consider a positive characteristic of your partner. Share a total of five items. Since I didn’t get to Cassidy in time for this post, I’ll say five things about him and hope he’ll say five about me soon..

1. Ambitious and the ability to strive, survive, thrive and dream.
2. Very kind.
3. Incredibly creative and successful.
4. So strong.
5. Very handsome.

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How To Fall In Love, Part 2. — 114 Comments

  1. Love this!!! I always wonder when we are going to get a holiday card of YOUR family, but I get it…..It’s hard for me to let someone do the music for my events etc etc…..BUT YES do it with Jean, do it with anyone, just do it, and you’ll be great because you’ll understand what the photographer is doing….Oh and totally on the flying part of being a superhero!

  2. I love it when you talk about love, LOL! Don’t feel bad about family portraits! I only have 1 of the whole family and it is from when my, now almost 4 year old, was 3! I should really get on that, huh?

  3. I know what you mean Janine, I feel very much the same way. I can’t help but feel a very special connection with Tamara’s endearing blogs. I love this Bruce Hornsby tune, and the pictures are always as fresh as the new born spring!

  4. I’m with Janine on this. It seems like I’ve known you forever from just reading about you and your family. I’ve practically grown up with Des. I’ve seen him learn to walk/toddler and now he’s a full blown toddler running around. btw if I can have one super power, I’d want to fly too. πŸ™‚

  5. I think the same thing about family photos. I never get to be in them because I’m the one behind the camara, but it would be nice to hire someone to take our pictures. What kind of carrier do you have there when you’re carrying Des and taking photos? Babywearing is my latest obsession, so just wondering. It looks so cozy!

    • It’s a good obsession! The carrier is called an ergo. Have you heard of them? We used it for Scarlet too. I was not very confident and I didn’t want any of those wraps, so I knew I had to get something with snaps and buckles. It’s very safe and comfortable.

  6. Love, love, love your photos! And you had me at boots and a dress. I cannot pull that especially here in the tropics hahaha but I do miss wearing them during winter.

  7. There are a lot of things I don’t blog about and sometimes think I would write better posts if I would delve into those topics. Hm.

    I’m a very fickle hugger. I don’t like to be hugged and when we’re saying goodbye to someone, I’ll think “please don’t hug me!” But yet sometimes I get an uncontrollable urge to hug someone and I surprise even myself! Very strange.

    • That doesn’t seem strange! And I’ve been there.
      Sometimes I just dance around an issue in my blog, while still spilling my feelings. It’s a balancing act.

  8. I never talk about my marriage on my blog – I’ll use your term: it’s shielded. Plus my husband made me SWEAR that I wouldn’t. I’m not even supposed to use his name (although I slip up sometimes) – but my friends usually out him in the comments.

  9. I saw huge black and white cookies at a bakery the other day and I immediately thought of you! That has nothing to do with this post, except you mentioned eating cookies and I fixated on that.

    I don’t write about Matt much either, unless it’s funny or not very personal. Our marriage is not my story to tell – it’s ours. My own nuttiness? Open season on that.

  10. Interesting questions! I love the photo you used to illustrate your greatest accomplishments – it is perfect! For #1, I’d either choose the ability to sing beautifully or the quality of being content with my body and myself (but mostly my body). #8? Yikes! But, I would stop doing all the things that are currently stressing me out and just live – hug my kids an my husband, travel, laugh.

  11. First I have to say that photo of you in the sunglass reflection is pretty cool! I do not talk about marriage on my blog or online at all, just in person to friends LOL. I hope you get to Alaska. It is on my list too. I love that you can stay slim and eat cookies, I am not so lucky!

    • I think one of the most common times to talk about marriage is on the school playground! We do have a tight group, but it’s funny because some of the parents are evenly split on picking up their kids, so sometimes we are with one spouse, and sometimes the other!

  12. If I could wake up with any superpower, it might be to eat as much as I want and never gain any weight, but just get more defined muscle tone.

  13. Love how you answered the questions and paired with photos that accompany your responses perfectly.

    I think we all set boundaries in our writing life. It is ok to create that space and protect it.

    • It’s always a little funny choosing photos for my words, or words for my photos. I guess it’s a little abstract but the most intuitive of my readers notice the connections. Like you!

  14. Hmm, funny, I’ve been thinking lately of getting photos of US. Like real, photographer photos. Quite naturally I thought of asking you when you’re in the area one day. But I’d also really like the beach. But in any case, with my foot in a cast?! Not any time soon πŸ˜‰ I really hope you get your family photos – they are so precious. I guess I will forever regret that I was not – hmm – more selective for my own wedding, I got good photos, just not – my dream photos? I don’t know – anyhoo…
    Love all your photos (as usual) and I immediately spotted you in my, ahem, Cassidy’s favorite shades – LOL – cool reflection photo
    p.s. where is part 1?! I searched, but I guess I have to search some more

    • Well I would love to do it and you know I do come to the area! I think being a beach photographer would be a great career. Although I guess there would be a long offseasons.

  15. I hope you get your family photo done soon! I don’t know why I keep putting mine off.
    #4!!! I love you and your little family πŸ™‚
    I’m so happy for #6, and that picture, I love it!
    Cheers to happily ever after!!!

    • Maybe you’re putting off your family photos because you’re waiting for me to come to South Carolina, right? Just kidding!
      I love you and your family!

      • Pretty please πŸ™‚
        Our family keeps asking for one- I really need to get that done. Maybe, this will finally be the year.
        Do you have any tips for beach photos? Would that be corny?

        • Not corny! I have so many tips but I guess it depends on what you’re shooting with! You have to be aware of the horizon and make sure it’s not going through people’s heads (strange but true). And to know that water is a giant reflector and so you can get harsh shadows easily. You can shoot up close for better results or maybe use a zoom lens. A white towel can be a reflector, believe it or not! If you shoot manually, definitely have the ISO very low. Capture that great fun and action! Fast shutter speed!

  16. I love your definition of friendship, Tamara. I just spent a few days with my childhood girlfriends and their patience, honesty and laughter fill my soul.

    And cookies! Okay, you possibly have the most handsome husband and gorgeous kids! Love this ask away and we’re all learning to fly!

    • Wow, thank you! I definitely think they’re gorgeous.
      That’s so awesome about childhood girlfriends. You just hold onto those feelings forever.

  17. I also keep a very clear shield around my marriage from blogging, aside from all the surface stuff I almost think that blogging is a bit too harsh for a marriage to handle…so easy to talk about ourselves because its us but when we involve another it becomes a matter of exposing them as well. with all of that said you and Cassidy are one of my favorite couples!

    • I think you two are one of my favorite couples too! I love your long history and the support of each other. And I definitely think that blogging can be too harsh for a marriage.

  18. I’m also awkward in person and never know when to hug/not hug (my relationship with Sam almost wasn’t was due to my awkwardness and hugging — or lack thereof with him). And I could kiss and hug Eve all day long! Little kid cheeks are seriously the best, and right now hers are super chubby cause she a a bit of a tubby toddler. Our trip to Alaska is now very up in the air, but it would be a bummer for Eve not to remember it. I think she would be too young. At least there would be photos to commemorate it! And I totally want to fly also. Sometimes I have dreams where I can fly (which I know is supposed to mean something) and it is awesome!

    • I think we hugged, right? We must’ve known that the situation called for it. That’s so interesting that your marriage and family might not have happened because of the awkward thing. I get that!
      If the trip does happen, you will always have beautiful photos of it even if she doesn’t remember it.

  19. I always love learning more about you and your family. Perhaps you can get another photographer to swap with you, you take their family and they take yours. That could be fun. I can’t wait to see how they turn out, you and Cassidy are so creative and the kids are just gorgeous!

    • I have definitely thought about doing the swap thing. The problem is that I’m so picky about photographers, and the one I might choose might not be the one offering to swap. That’s okay, though. I know I should pay for good photography!

  20. I don’t really talk about my marriage, either. Even on my personal Facebook page with my friends in “real life,” I don’t really take photos of the flowers or share the cool things he does. I have no idea why. I figure that it’s for me to know, and nothing to ‘brag’ about necessarily. And yep, self-timers are just not as cool as a real person taking that photo. You and I have talked about family photos, and I’m pleased to report that I now have TWO photos in my repertoire lol.

    • Two photos, nice!
      I definitely talk about him on my personal page, but it’s more of just like a story. It’s not necessarily about my deepest thoughts.

  21. No one could take a picture of you as well as you – does that make sense? Your family is too beautiful to not be captured on film though, so I hope you find someone to do those family pictures justice. I love the way you write about your husband and kids – so much love.

    • Well, that’s like the best thing I’ve heard in ages!
      I agree, though. I don’t think people see our families the way we do. There are some incredible photographers in my area.

    • I appreciate that! I think that is what I am usually like, on a great day. The anxious me is quite different, but to be fair, that photo was taken on a very anxious day. I remember that I couldn’t shake it at home so I took him to that beautiful place.

  22. I would love that power to fly too – that would be cool.

    for a min I thought you said you would like to know how long we live – then re-read and see you said you didn’t – I wouldn’t want to know that either.

    • I remember my ex-boyfriend getting a psychic reading in New Orleans, and a psychic told him he would live into his 80s. Now I don’t know if I really believe in psychics anyway, but I hated that he was told something like that!

  23. As always- you touch us with your words and then send it home to our heart with you pics to back them up!! I love it. I love you. And I love all the glorious things you shared about yourself here. Do NOT touch me when I’m eating. Why on earth would you do that? Get out of my FACE. Hate that too… πŸ˜‰

    Friendship is totally like falling in love…platonically. Excellent way to describe it.

    • I love you!
      I really can’t stand when my kids climb on me when I’m eating. It’s even worse than when they make me get up 10 times because they keep dropping things or needing drinks.

  24. Being able to eat a lot of cookies without gaining weight is a nice accomplishment ::) I love the outfits that you and Des have on for the pride parade.

  25. Goodness…I never know when to hug either. My FIL always dips in for a kiss on each cheek (as the Dutch do) but I don’t know if I should kiss back. And it’s even more awkward with my BIL…

    The whole 36 questions thing is fascinating. Sometimes when we’re in bed before we go to sleep I make hubs tell me something I don’t know about him. Occasionally he says he doesn’t have anything else – but as he lived over 40 years before we met, I don’t accept it…

    • That’s funny. So if I were to meet you, we would not know whether to hug or not!
      I usually play it safe and don’t, and then regret it.
      Oh yes, 40 years of stories!

  26. Loved this. We just had our first professional photo shoot last September and I loved it. We won it (I wouldn’t have been able to afford it otherwise). It was neat how she captured different aspects of us… and she got a beautiful picture of my youngest smiling (which is a rarity because she likes to scowl for the camera).

    I wouldn’t want to know when I was going to die either…. but I would totally not worry about money and would tell more people just how much I love them.

    So weird that you shared a Bruce Hornsby video and I shared one on yesterday’s post too. Great minds….

    I would love to go to Alaska – Northern Lights baby!

    Wishing you an inspired weekend my friend.

    • It’s funny that I am a photographer but I don’t know that I could afford another one!
      So I’m two days behind in blog reading but I did sneak a peek onto your new post. Now I’m blasting the video. About two years ago, Cassidy and I got front row tickets to a Bruce Hornsby show when he hit our town. When he started in on “The Way It Is”, I had such a visceral reaction. I mean I literally couldn’t contain how it made me feel. Amazing.

  27. YES! Sometimes it seems like I am not me or at least who I really am in person. If that makes any sense. There is usually a kid pulling on me, someone having to go pee, etc. etc. I love being a mother, don’t get me wrong, but it has really sucked the fun conversationalist out of me that I used to be years ago. Then when I am away from them it just seems weird and I probably seem weird too. I guess that is why blogging is so fun for me, because I can be ME! Sign me up for the Christmas card list when you do get those pics πŸ™‚

    • I will definitely sign you up for the Christmas card list! And you can put me on your list because your photos are always awesome!
      Blogging is very fun for me for similar reasons!

  28. Love this. We are waaay overdue for some photos of the 4 of us. (Non-“us”-ie-type photos, that is.) One of these days we will get around to it.
    I know what you mean about shields. I don’t share a lot about David on my blog. He’s there, of course, but just in the background usually.

    • We will get around to the photos too. I feel like Cassidy has a strong presence, as does David, in that readers can know that they are loved and wonderful fathers.

  29. We don’t have lots of family photos too. No single professionaly-taken family photo at all. Hope you get that Alaska trip. I bet that’s gonna be amazing for your family! I learned to be a “hugger” because of my husband and Reiko. They’re both huggers while I’m.. just lame. LOL!

  30. I always love when you talk even just a little about how/when you and Cassidy met and then got back together. Every time you share a Cassidy story I think that y’all are so perfectly matched!!!

    • That is so sweet! That’s what I think about you and Chris. I think that we have a lot of love here, and a lot of energy and creativity. I think the anxiety and miscommunication really can make it hard, but the passion is there.

  31. That in that last photo of Scarlet- she looks like a porcelain doll! Is that you in the BW photo by the ocean? LOVE the pride outfit!

    • One of these days I hope you’ll come back for a Pride Parade! Did they have them when you were growing up here?
      As for the BW photo, it’s not me! It’s actually a really little kid and depending on what lens I used, she would look so different. In this photo, she looks huge! In others, like a toddler.
      Little did she know she was my lens guinea pig that day.

  32. Awww, I love when you share these family moments (and I understand the intrinsic need to keep certain elements of a relationship private, even though it’s incredibly difficult). Awww, I hope you guys have some pro family portraits taken soon (staged and candid); I imagine it’ll be difficult to give someone else those reigns, but it’ll be great to see someone’s interpretation of what your family is like, I think.

    Also your kids really do have very kissable cheeks. So cute, they are!

    • It’s just so hard to write about marriage. I’m definitely a “let it all out” person but I guess when it concerns someone else.. someone else who isn’t two, anyway! Des doesn’t mind when I write about him!

  33. I’ve dreamed of writing a tween book about a larger-than-life daughter and her adventures with her father, with Grace. She started some drafts, but her iPod broke and she lost them. I think the memory thing is so hard to pinpoint. There are so many, and each by themselves feel so little and ordinary, but they’re anything but, aren’t they?

    To feel possible when you feel impossible .. I can’t imagine a greater gift from a friend than that.

    • I’m sad that she lost the stories! I suppose that just leads to others that are waiting in the wings. Often better!

      There’s actually a song that uses that line – feeling possible from feeling impossible. I always thought it was about friendship but with a bit of a sexy part to it too. Who knows? It’s by Michael Franti and I met him in his dressing room!! And.. my friend had brought him cookies! The song is “Love Invincible.”

  34. I always thought you had a great balance of talking about Cassidy without revealing too much. I’m totally with you too on having those awkward hug-or-not-to-hug moments. For me happens every time with one of my co-workers. We became good friends…enough that there might have been rumors. We’ve never done anything more than shake hands; even though I wanted to give him a big hug when he moved offices.

    • I appreciate that! I suppose the balance is just so, for a reason.
      As for your work friend, people are ridiculous and love to spread rumors. I would give him a big ole’ hug and even a cheek kiss in front of everyone.

  35. When we meet, the answer is “yes.” Please hug me. I love hugs and I love hugging people! I do hold back sometimes, wondering if the other party is a hugger!

  36. Oh I love fly dreams!!! Have you ever had one, and you could control the direction of your flying? Like, at first you are just soaring about a landscape – say an ocean beach, but then in your dream you think “I’m gonna dive down there and skim my fingers along the waves,” and just like that in your dream – you Dive!!! and you can actually feel the cool water pull sensation on your fingertips. that’s the best. life should be like all the time.

  37. Northern lights..I am so with you on that one. And totally got how you would approach life differently if your time was short. On the family photo note, I have someone in mind if you want to contact her. she did Bridget’s shot on my blog. Totally candid shots, I think you two would really enjoy one another. Let me know!

  38. “I should be doing that anyway” is my life story. I didn’t realize there was 2 years in between you breaking up with Cassidy and getting back together. What a love story!!!

    • It’s quite the story! I’ll have to tell it to you over coffee one day. Although no matter how good your story is, you still find yourself with one sick kid and one cranky kid and one cranky spouse and a cat that you don’t like and arguing over who takes the kids to school. True story.

  39. I think you should definitely be proud that you were able to get cookies into so many of your answers! That, is a sign of a happy life! Oh yeah, the husband, kids, photography, and blog are great…when accompanied by cookies!

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