What I Want You To Know.

As I sit here to write this, on Thursday night (nothing like the last minute), I think about how today was a day of celebration.

For one, I’m going to be a matron of honor (man, that sounds older than maid of honor) at my sister’s wedding!

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For another, it was seven years ago today that I left New Jersey for San Francisco’s foggy, frigid, amazing shores. I never went back to New Jersey when we came back east to raise a family, but I did find a fantastic life in New England.

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Did I mention my favorite bakery burned down in late fall? Yeah. I cried. Today was their re-opening after several months. Did I show up before the bakery opened, at the crack of dawn? Did I get my favorite cookies and cakes? Was it like it used to be? Were my favorite staff members still there? All of that and more..next Wednesday. (Monday is a fantastic book review)

Oh, and it’s Cassidy’s birthday on Sunday and my sister and her fiancé (fancy new word) are coming this weekend for celebrations, snuggles with kids, warm and sunny outdoor play, and a woodsy and probably gorgeous engagement photo shoot.

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And I found out today that my dear friend Ilene named a granola blend after me for her super awesome new business!

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That above logo photo takes you to the product page/description. Also check out her good vibes page!

Not only that, today is Ask Away Friday AND Ladies Only Blog Share Link Party – No Mother Is Perfect! My Ask Away Friday partner is Echo from Domain of the Mad Mommy. We “met” on Twitter, which just furthers my point that great things happen on Twitter. She writes about parenting, cooking, and whatever else she feels like! We have hilarious conversations on Twitter.

Domain of the Mad Mommy

To see who else is participating or to learn how to join the fun, head over to visit hosts: Penny from The Real Housewife of Caroline County, Amber from The Bold Fab Mom, Tiffany from Mrs Tee Love Life Laughter and Stacey from This Momma’s Ramblings. #AskAwayFriday is their beautiful and ever-growing creation! And contact me if you want to swap some time!

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To see Echo’s answers to my questions, click HERE. And here are my answers to her questions:

1. I am kind of obsessed with your photography! How long have you been in love with taking photos? (I would love to see an old pic you took and a recent one to compare!)

Always obsessed! I loved photography as a kid, but it really grew for me in college when I dated a photographer. I had thought that it was so subjective what could be considered good art, and I was almost afraid to bother with it. He helped me shape my visions into portraits and now I know that there were stories screaming to come out through photos, the way they were through writing. I believe I was born to do this. Here is an old photo I took with infrared film. I thought it was so much fun to use!

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These days I favor more color photography because with everything I’m trying to break into with my photography business – newborn, events, small weddings, real estate, maternity, family, etc. I find that vivid colors make me very happy.

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2. I saw in your “About me” that you have completed 2 cross country moves! How many times have you moved in your life? Are you settled for good now?

I feel pretty settled. Moving is traumatic for me and I’m still somewhat haunted by the last time! We have four acres here so if we came into money or started to outgrow our house, we could always expand on our land. That makes me happy. I couldn’t imagine leaving the friends I have here, but never say never. I have moved a few times in life. After my father passed away and my mom remarried, I first moved when I was five from one town in New Jersey to another. Then I stayed there from kindergarten through college, even though I had four different dorms/apartments in college. None were “home”, you know? After college my parents moved and then I had three apartments in central Jersey while working in inside sales. Then I moved to San Francisco to be with Cassidy. After two years there, we decided to move east and blessedly landed in Northampton. Home.

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3. I have seen a lot of Tardis’ and Screwdrivers on your blog! Do you consider yourself a Whovian?

Absolutely, but it’s more like I married into it first. Cassidy grew up watching the Tom Baker (4th doctor) episodes as a child. He has long loved Doctor Who, since before a lot of younger people in the US knew it existed. Now it’s caught on and that makes it fun. I started from the 9th doctor episodes and I’m about caught up with the present. There are a few David Tennant episodes I have yet to see. (lucky me) You may have seen the shed in our backyard? Our front door is about to look like this too:

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4. Tattoos and Piercings? Are you a fan? Do you have any? (Show us! If it’s appropriate! *shifty eyes*)

Ha! Well I got my ears pierced when I was ten but I never wear earrings. My hair covers my ears anyway. I think I got a second hole pierced in one ear but it closed up. I can’t stand tattoos. Small, meaningful ones are ok although I wouldn’t do it, but I would feel so claustrophobic to have something permanent on my skin. And with pregnancies and aging, what happens to them??

5. I am pretty set in my morning routine. (Coffee, kids, blog) Do you have a morning routine?

I don’t think I have anything set. To be honest, I can’t stand getting up early and yet I do it every morning of my life. It’s a form of torture. On school days, it’s a bit of a team effort ever since we got the puppy in that Cassidy lets her out and maybe gets the kids up. Then I feed them breakfast, and let them play a bit while I shower. Then I make Scarlet’s lunch, put the dog in her crate, drop Scarlet off at preschool, get back, let the puppy back out, have breakfast, and then we begin some sort of busy day.

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6. If you had to pick one dessert to have for the rest of your life, what would it be?

I think ice cream. So many varieties that I love, and rainbow sprinkles and whipped cream would have to be included!

7. Bucket list… Do you have one? Care to share a couple of things on there?

I totally have one. I’ll include a few because some may happen sooner rather than later:

1. Have a photo published in a book or magazine. Or heck, several photos. Hundreds. Thousands.
2. Visit Isle Royale National Park. It’s a park on an island on Lake Superior, in the northern part of Michigan. It’s an island full of moose and wolves, and in which they co-exist fairly harmoniously. Both of their populations are able to grow, despite the presence of the other. Ecologists take note of this. So do I.
3. Be the first to show my kids their first moose sighting.
4. See Northern Lights!
5. Have a home hot tub or jacuzzi bath tub.

8. Your kids are GORGEOUS! Do you plan on having more, are you done or whatever happens happens?

Thanks! I definitely go with never say never, but if we had another, we’d have to decide in the next few years. Financially and emotionally, it doesn’t feel like it could work, but as I learned in the past, these things are highly subject to change. As of this writing, the thought does not make me happy. In fact, I was late by a day last month (probably just miscalculated) and I was really scared and upset at the thought of pregnancy. That was very telling to me that it can’t happen now or probably ever.

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9. You are a photographer and a writer (and very good at both), but if you had to choose one, which would it be?

Ah, that is so, so cruel. There’s a sense of peace and wonder that I find with both. I would feel like half of me was missing to only choose one! And photography is my livelihood and I plan to use it to pay the bills! But..writing. Writing! If I had to choose one, it would be writing. And I’d write about how sad I was that part of me was missing.

10. What is one thing that you want everyone to know?

hm..one thing? Maybe that if the dog is quiet, she’s either using the bean bag chair as a toilet or shredding napkins under the table. Oh, and you can’t get me drunk no matter how hard you try. And that when the voices in my head tell me I’m a hideous, clueless, failure as a human being/mother, I can often tell them to go stuff themselves.


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Thanks for sticking around for #LOBS! This weekend’s theme is “No Mother Is Perfect.” Or “The Perfectly Imperfect Gala!” Celebrate by sharing your imperfect moments! Mothers burn dinners, raise their voices, miss doctor appointments, and use very bad words. Link up your old or new imperfect parenting moments. Here are my Ladies Only Blog Share Link Party co-hosts:

Michelle from A Dish of Daily Life

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Crystal from Mommifried

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Angela from WriterMom’s Blog

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Kristen from Four Hens and a Rooster

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Amber from “City Girl On Hicks Farm“.

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  1. Still awake, because I had a min catastrophe with my MacBook that decided not to work tonight just as I was shutting down and decided to check if you posted to see the infamous number nine. And totally how this could a cruel question to answer. Seriously, I don’t think you could choose. I mean how could you, you are so talented with both. But anyways, huge congrats to you sister again and yay to the bakery finally re opening 🙂

    1. I love that you were awake! I wasn’t far from it because not long after this, Des was mysteriously up and crying. Poor lad.
      #9 is terrible! I’d just be a shell of a person!

  2. Tamara, I loved your answers! Thank you for being so open and honest! I am so freaking glad that I got to do this with you! Thank you so much for swapping questions with me!

    1. You rocked! That’s why I knew it was your first time because you told me, but I wanted you to know that your questions were so fantastic for anyone’s 18th time, much less first. I hope you’ll do it again!

  3. Loved your answers, naturally, because there is such beauty in your honesty. I felt my heart clench a little over your answer to the “are you going to have more kids?” answer, because I frequently find myself at odds with my own answer. But life is where it should be, I suppose.

    1. I agree. And it’s a tough question that I get asked sometimes. Something about having one of each makes the question come less often than I imagine it does for parents with one kid or for parents with all of the same sex kids. Which is ridiculous. What if I wouldn’t feel like my family is complete until I have 23 daughters??

      1. It is a tough decision that I had to make three years ago. I got my baby that I wanted in 2011 with my husband. I thought I was never going to get pregnant but it worked out for us. I had my tubes tied when I had my c-section with him so that made it permanent that I couldn’t have any more children. I am good with my decision because of my health. I really don’t think I could do another pregnancy with all of my pain issues.

        It is a hard decision but I can always adopt if I feel led. 😉

      1. This is what I predict. Melissa will have a boy, you will have a girl, and I’ll have boy/girl twins. And then the trenches tales will really be fascinating!

            1. Almost. Well you brought up the “t” word (twins). My friend recently wanted “one more baby”, and birthed triplets.

              I absolutely would share the Cheetos- but I stole them from Hayden (shhhhh)

  4. I LOVE all your great news and the positive vibe – what a way to end the week!
    I’m so excited for Ilene and her new business as well and you hold a very deserved spot on that Good Vibes page!

  5. The question about which you would give up, writing or photography…how difficult. And before I read your answer, I thought to myself how could she give up photography…she tells all her stories that way. Thank goodness you don’t actually have to choose! Loved your answers as always, and so excited about Ilene’s store! Can’t wait to try your namesake granola!

    1. You know, it really could have gone either way! I could have answered the question the opposite way just an hour after writing it the way I did. I guess there’s really no way I could answer it! I suppose if I lost my eyesight, I wouldn’t be able to do photography, but nothing will keep me from writing.

  6. I love colorful photos too! True enough, it makes one happy. And the Northern Lights is also in my bucket list.

    Like you, the idea of pregnancy scares me as of the moment coz I don’t think it would be possible financially and emotionally too! I only have one kid and yet I’m fine with it.. for now, at least. I can sense the difficulty in choosing to give up either writing or photography! Whew.. And I think it’s so sweet that Ilene named her granola blend after you 🙂

    1. I could never really give up photography, but I suppose if I lost my vision somehow, I would have to do it. And nothing can make you give up writing. There is always a way! I hope.
      I love them equally, though.

  7. I just read an article about Isle Royale. I think this winter was cold enough to form an ice bridge to the mainland, and they were hoping that some wolves would go back and forth to make the gene pool on the island stronger. Have you read Winter Study by Nevada Barr? I loved it…but I wouldn’t advise reading it late at night like I did!

  8. I’ve already ordered your namesake blend, and all of the other ones. I’m equal opportunity like that. I thought your answer to writing vs photography was perfect and then I was sad, too, because I’m not professional and I cannot imagine giving it up so I kind of gasped, but I’d have gasped if you’d chosen writing as well. That’s a great and horrible question!

    1. I really can’t wait to eat the peanut brittle one! There was a toffee one I sampled that I was a big fan of too. The short story with my blend is that she brought two bags of it to my family when she came over on Christmas Eve. We all polished off one bag the first night and I packed the second bag for my 4-5 hour drive home with two kids. Somewhere in the middle of the drive, when morale was low, I found the bag! I ate it and felt so great and texted her all about it!

  9. mMm I always get rainbow sprinkles on my ice cream 😀 Makes me happy. Yeah I have one kid and would like one more but wouldn’t be disappointed if I didn’t or did. But that’s the cut off mark: one more. I think two is plenty. Lol I also hate mornings and I get in to work by 7AM M-F, it sucks but at least i get the heck out of here by 3 sharp. After 3 this place doesn’t exist, lol. Happy Friday love and glad you just ‘miscalculated’ 😉 You know there’s an app for that 😛 -Iva

    1. I buy my own rainbow sprinkles at the co-op (not that they’re healthy, though) and I do my own ice cream. And then, unlike at a parlor, when I inevitably eat off all the sprinkles, I add a second coat!!!
      Yes. It’s the little things.
      Working at 7:00 sounds crummy, but you can’t beat getting out by 3:00. Sounds totally worth it.

      1. lol you go hard making your own ice cream huh? 😛 Heck yes to a 2nd coat of sprinkles!! I usually add a huge mound on top and enjoy admiring it. Lol. It is totally worth it – I can pick up my son without worries and days when he’s with his father I can nap! Especially since at my previous job I would leave before my son woke up for school and get home when it was his bedtime around 8PM, I used to commute 4 hours away – so my 15 minute commute and sweet 7-3 schedule was well earned! Wohooo I bought my Blog U tickets this past weekend too!!

        1. ha! Well..not really, although we DO have an ice cream maker that we got as a wedding gift and sometimes, yeah, I have that theory that if you want to do something right, you have to do it yourself. And my something right means pure ice cream with no chemicals (sorry, 90% of the main brands) and MORE peanut butter cups!
          I just mean that when I fix myself a cup (no cones for me) of ice cream, I like to add my own toppings. At my leisure. And pleasure.
          And I’m going to meet you in like..six weeks!! Holy cow!

  10. Look at you getting granola named after you! Go YOU! Love your home…it just seems like a home you know…one from the movies where you come home for Thanksgiving.

    1. I like that! And we did host Thanksgiving here this year too.
      Getting granola named after me was a life dream, and I just didn’t know it!

  11. When you picked writing over photography I decided that I love you. Though really Echo, how CRUEL! But still, you picked writing and I can understand why without you having to explain it. I need to read your 54935834958 posts on your courtship because I didn’t realize you moved to SF for Cassidy! I sense a very good story there. I hate waking up too :[

    1. I’m so glad you said that! I was a bit unsure and I’m sure it shocked some people that I chose it, but, the heart wants what the heart wants!
      Read my story someday! It’s a good reason to wake up! Or something!

        1. It could have gone either way, depending on how I felt when I answered it..
          I will always be able to write. One day, I may not be able to do photography the way I do it now – VERY physically.

  12. It sounds to me like you are about to have a great weekend full of lots of great pictures. It’s funny that one of your questions today had to do with the dessert that you’d eat for the rest of your life. I was JUST thinking about that question this morning (which is weird because I wasn’t prompted to do so). My vote is cookie dough. Except the kind that wouldn’t have any chance of giving me salmonella due to the raw eggs.

    My brain is mush because it’s Friday (hence why I spelled “brain” like “brian” the first two times) so please excuse this completely random and shallow comment!

    1. I read your post and I get your mushy brain in general! I don’t even have an excuse to have one. The sun is actually out and it wasn’t in the forecast. So strange.
      And I like that you answered the question! Sounds delicious.

  13. Sounds like you guys are going to have a great weekend. I’m not a tatoo person either. I think about what it will look like after you gain weight and skin changes due to aging. Plus I don’t like pain.

    1. All good reasons! I do respect that people love them but I shudder to think about my kids getting them. They still have pure and soft baby skin!

  14. I am ridiculously happy for Lindsay. And you have no idea how excited I was yesterday – knowing that you’d make it over to the HCGC site and see your namesake granola. It’s the top seller by the way. It was my first in store sale this morning. xo

    1. See you knew all along and I was just getting there so slowly because my phone wasn’t working. So then I went home and sat at my computer and suddenly, it all came to me – the blend, what you wrote about me (I could only see part of it which is why I didn’t know. had I read I would have known!), and the Good Vibes page. Can’t say enough how good it feels to be a part of this.

  15. I can’t wait to get my Tamara granola – as soon as spring break is over I’m ordering it! Maybe even on the way home. The writing vs photography question was a good one – I hope you never, ever have to choose.

  16. Wow! Those are some strong genes in your family! You and your sister look an awful lot a like! And while I am glad you are loving New England, I wish you had come back to NJ- we could have been in real life friends! And really funny cause I started in New England (Providence) and ended up in New Jersey (Ridgewood)!

    1. I know! We could have been having blogging meetings! My sister used to be in Lyndhurst and is now in West Orange. My other sister (above) was in Montclair and is now in one of the Lake Hopatcong towns.

  17. You are fascinating! I look forward to these on Fridays.I feel the same way about more kids. I don’t trust myself to handle it so that would be a “no” for us. And the financial things always weighs heavy. I am an apple pie girl. We could team up and make it a la mode!

    1. Perfect! Is that cheating if we get together and share dessert? I think not.
      The financial thing is a big one but Cassidy always says that the money presents itself. I think he was talking about pets, though..

    1. I’m sure there’s a downside to it – like cost and maintenance but I just don’t care! In Wyoming we went in the hot tub in the winter too! It’s amazing.

  18. Fantastic questions and answers! I was legit surprised you’d pick writing over photography! I would have guessed the other way around. But you know what…THANK GOODNESS (for us) that you don’t HAVE to pick! Whew!!
    So glad to know that my dog isn’t the only one who shreds napkins under the dining room table. I’d say it gets better as they age, but my dog is now 4 and it’s still “her thing” Blergh!! –Lisa

    1. It was nearly impossible to answer! In truth, I’d never give up either unless I went blind or something and couldn’t do photography. Which would SUCK. Writing is something you really can’t take away from someone. There are so many ways to communicate..

  19. {Melinda} Wow! You have a lot of exciting things going on in your world! How cool to have a product named after you! 🙂 And, I’m with you, I can turn down cake and a lot of other sweets, but ice cream is my weakness! Hope the wedding goes beautifully!

  20. I think that your sis is going to have the best engagement photo EVER! YAY to your very own granola flavor, how cool is that?! I am so back and forth on the 3rd child. One day I’m like okay, no more done, the next I am wishing for little belly kicks and the coveted baby smell…I have about 4 years to figure it out.

    1. Four years seems reasonable. I have about two. I mean we probably both have more, physically, but I don’t want to do it after 35 or so..

  21. So I read this post first thing in the morning, but didn’t get the chance to comment. I can see why #9 gave you some problems. So hard to choose! Luckily you can currently combine both loves. And that granola named after you? My favorite. I’m not one who likes sweet stuff, so the pretzels are the best!

    1. Oh, the pretzels are so nice to tame the sweet! And I do like sweet stuff!
      #9 was rather tortuous, but as she reminded me, she’s not really taking away any of them!

  22. I so love your house. So pretty! And comfy looking.

    I hate waking up early too. I trained my kids at a young age to entertain themselves. I do not do mornings. Granted, during the week I have to be up early to get the kids ready for school, but weekends? I sleep in.

    Mmm. Bakery.

    1. Thanks! It is pretty and comfy. Maybe too comfy because it’s 5:00pm and Scarlet is somehow asleep on the couch.
      I can’t even sleep in on weekends. No one seems to do it around here. And I can’t sleep through all the loudness.
      At least we have bakeries..

  23. Congrats on your lovely sister getting married, I know she’ll make a beautiful bride! I moved a good bit over the past 3-4 years, and I don’t it either. I love being in a new place, but the whole process of moving. It seriously stresses me out! I’m a total night owl, so morning and me don’t always see eye to eye. However, being in the military, I got really used to waking up early and just having to deal. I still hated it though…guess I never really got the discipline part down. 🙂

    1. Oh yes – I imagine you had to get up really early in the military! It’s funny because I had the same thing in high school (5:20 every morning) and I NEVER got used to it, even after four years.

  24. First your house is beautiful! It looks like a private getaway…lovely. I can’t believe you had to pick between writing and photography. Every time I come by the two are so intertwined for you. I can see why you would choose writing though but I hope it never comes to that choice 🙂

    1. You’re right! They are so intertwined! It’s like peanut butter and chocolate over here.
      I think there are pros and cons for both, but I think writing could last forever whereas, my eyesight could fade one day or I could just get too tired to photograph the way I like to – on the ground and in the dirt and on adventures!

  25. Wow, you’ve got a lot going on! A lot of fun and excitement! Enjoy your weekend with the happy couple–I love when aunts and uncles come to visit.

    1. Thanks! We can’t wait. It will only be 24 hours but it will be FUN!
      And it’s supposed to be warm and sunny here all weekend. Alert the media.

  26. I almost don’t even know where to start on this – so many great things!!!
    Congrats to your sister on her engagement – so glad they are coming for the weekend!!
    Love that Ilene named a granola for you – I think that one looks like my favorite – need to order some for sure!
    I can’t wait to see your front door – is this a work in progress or just soon?
    And, why is it impossible to get you drunk? Do you just stop drinking before it happens or are you on of those people who metabolizes alcohol quickly and doesn’t get drunk?

    1. Let me know what you think of the granola!
      The door is a work in progress or I’d share photos. It’s only just blue right now. No stenciling..yet.
      As for the drunk thing, I actually get drunk very easily – off of NyQuil, practically, but I can never get far enough because most drinks taste like medicine to me. Super taster and all. So people have tried but I just grimace and reach for a soda/coffee/water instead.

  27. Wow! I loved all of your answers, and you sister is so gorgeous (just like you are). I love that your bakery opened up and you were there at the crack of dawn. That’s awesome! So happy they were able to get things back together and open back up. We have to kennel train our lab, he thinks the toilet is wherever he wants. Ugh. I am sure those engagement pictures are going to be beautiful, so I am looking forward to seeing those in the upcoming weeks as well.

    1. Thank you! You totally know I really did show up there when they opened..er…I mean BEFORE they opened. I thought there’d be a crowd or something? Guess not everyone is as obsessed as I am.
      Athena is getting great with only going outside but she’s crate trained for when we’re not home. Can’t trust her! She eats kid toys!

  28. What a post!! First off- I loved your Thursday celebrations!! Your sister is so GORGEOUS and her fiance is a hottie patottie- they are PERFECT for each other. 🙂 I love that Ilene named a GRANOLA after you! And Cassidy is surely hot! LOL

    Your home looks like a postcard picture. It seems to fit you so perfectly- beautiful and awe-inspiring.

    I will WILL get you drunk. I swear I will. Be warned. Hee hee… 😉

    And I love the Q and A as always!! I always learn more about you, and that is just so wonderful. XOXO

    1. ha! You’re the best.
      I really want you all to come to my house! I’d have a big blogging convention. If you all come here, I will build it! Or we all go and see Ilene.

  29. Interestiiiing questions! She had some good ones. Have you ever uploaded a video with your voice in it? I bet you have an awesome accent. I feel ya on the getting pregnant thing. We seriously need to be FB friends cause I posted a hilarious photo regarding NOT wanting to be pregnant. And no one can get you drunk?! How is that possible?!

    1. That’s the thing! I have no accent! My sisters both have a touch of the NYC/NJ thing, but only with certain words, like “talk” and “coffee.” I don’t! You’ll have to call me and see.
      I can’t find you on FB! I will try again. I’m Tamara Klein Bowman.

  30. I do wear earrings but not often. I don’t really see the point. I don’t have any tattoos either and would never get them. My sister has some of the most beautiful tattoos and my son has a tattoo. I’m okay with all that. Just not for me. I love that Ilene named a granola after you.

    1. Thank you! We actually had her out to breakfast with us this morning, at the one place that lets dogs indoors, and then the rest of them left and I got to sit alone and enjoy.
      Isle Royale is AMAZING.

  31. Happy birthday to Cassidy and again – congratulations to your sister and her fiance! They’re gorgeous and look so happy!! I love your photos. And dude. Your house. And YOU. Much. And I too hope you never ever have to choose between writing and photography because you are gifted and amazing at both.

    1. I really am inviting you over. You can see it all! The house is fabulous. We needed one. It was there. We almost went for another one but this one was so..amazing. Well, you know.

  32. Congratulations to your sister and the fiance, they look good together!! She’s as beautiful like you. If I have a house like yours, I will probably break my heart to leave its beauty. I hear you about having another kid, as much as we want to. And congratulations ++ to your name for the new granola business:)Lucky you!

    1. Oh, thank you! I have a younger sister too and I often find myself to be the “ugly” one. My own problem, I know. My sisters compliment me plenty.
      I don’t want to leave this house, but if we ever did, it better be to another place with all this fun potential!

  33. Oh congratulations on being Matron of Honor, that is a real honor! Your sister and fiance seems like such a great couple and I wish her all the best. I love the questions and answers this week. I said “never” when asked if I was going to have another baby 6 years ago. 2 years ago Madison showed up so I guess it’s never say never. I hope you’re having an amazing weekend!

    1. Aw, so nice to see you here always. They are a great couple and they are visiting us today into tomorrow and Scarlet is so excited to be the flower girl!!
      I hear you about never saying never. It could happen. Des would be a great big brother.

  34. Congrats to your sis and her fiance! My friend recently opened up a bakery and I have yet to stop by, although she did give me a fresh loaf of cinnamon bread when I saw her the other day and it was delicious! Im the same way about tattoos, I just can’t commit! But my husband is addicted to them. I described his his tattooed areas as “damaged”.

    1. What a good friend to give you a fresh loaf of cinnamon bread – YUM!
      Someone just told me (below) what happens to tattoos when you age. I think I’ll pass!

  35. SO stoked for L! WooHoo!!! & tattoos, pssshhh! LOVE them, hoping Ilene & can go for our newest ones on my short vacay in August but I may take a short road trip for her ribbon cutting, it was supposed to be a secret, but, I can’t keep my mouth shut… If I don’t have any doctor crap that day I am gonna try. Happy #LOBS Sweet T! XO! ~A~

  36. Love your photos! I. JUST. DO! I’ll tell you what happens to tattoos when your old and after pregency…not that I know from personal experience…it’s a friend…no, really, that pretty butterfly when she was in the service…looking like a shriveled caterpillar. Love that you have granola named after you. Buying some is on my bucket list!

    1. THANK YOU!
      I’m laughing..about the butterfly. I think I’ll pass. My sister just tattooed like half her body. She plans to have kids in the next year or so. What the what will happen to them?
      I bet you’ll reach that bucket list item SOON!

    1. Fun! Did you have to give a speech? I have to do that but I doubt I’ll even plan it. I’ll just wing it because I really, really care.

      1. no! when my sister got married I was only 17 and still in High School – I was the maid of honor – then when my other sister got married she had like 7 bridesmaids so I didn’t have to do anything.

        Good luck with the speech.

        I just remember at my wedding my Brother in law gave the speech and he totally bombed – lol – maybe because by then he was already drunk -ha-ha

  37. Mazel mazel!! She will be a beautiful bride! Will she make you work during the wedding? 🙂 The granola looks and sounds delicious… I must try it! I make trail mix with pretzels in it and the kids love it. As for tattoos, I got them in places that hopefully will not shrivel up with age…my ankle and between my shoulder blades! I think that’s the trick…

    1. ha! No. Well I will have to work as a maid of honor, but no photography. Way too much of a conflict of interest, but I’m certain I will steal a few photos!
      Smart moves about the tattoos!

  38. It’s so true!!! ‘never say never’. We moved to Turkey after 12 years in New York! This is the country I grew up. Of course I love it but my son never visited Turkey before moving. It was harder for him. The good part is he learned another language-turkish here very well. And I am almost retired here:) That is another plus in our lives before we get back to the States.
    Happy LOBS weekend, Tamara! Just followed you on g+,facebook, pinterest’ twitter, instagram. Hope to see you at my places 🙂 xx

    1. Thanks for visiting! I’ll try to get you back on all of these places! I’ve been so busy this weekend with my husband’s birthday and with house guests.
      Moving to Turkey is a big, awesome step.

  39. Such great answers and I love your honesty! Your photographs are simply amazing. I hope you never, ever have to choose between the writing and the photography 🙂
    “And that when the voices in my head tell me I’m a hideous, clueless, failure as a human being/mother, I can often tell them to go stuff themselves.” – Good for you! I’m finally learning to do that too!

    1. Thank you! Better late than never, I say.
      I do think writing will outlast photography. Today I had a shoot in a field and I was hot and thirsty and exercising so much to get the right shots and I thought that I won’t always be able to do it just like that, but I will always write.
      (hopefully both, really)

  40. Sounds like it is a weekend full of fun – hope you have a marvelous time!
    As always, I love reading your answers to the questions. As you know, I married a Whovian, too. But he had resisted the new series, thinking that it would pale in comparison with memories of episodes from his childhood. (He says that the 4th Doctor is still “his Doctor.”) So it was fun to discover the new series together and both enjoy it.

    1. Funny because I wonder if that happened with Cassidy back when it restarted or if he always knew he was psyched for it.
      Either way, so much fun to see new ones with him!

  41. Love your answers. I had you pegged for scheduled 8:00 this and 9:00 that 😉 And I don’t want a tattoo either – have also been curious about what happens to it when it gets old, stretchy and saggy. Ew.

    1. ha! I can be diligent..sometimes… but the scheduling thing doesn’t work out. Basically, I sleep as late as they let me. And if that is actually late(ish), then we’re scrambling for school!

  42. i’m in the no tattoos too, but that’s because I hate needles. i always worry about how clean they are and the fact that you are getting poked by a sharp object! and you described SF perfectly: foggy, frigid, and amazing. Although SF itself doesnt see nearly as much fog as the towns south of the peninsula – like Pacifica, Half Moon Bay, Daly City. 🙂

    1. Oh, Pacifica! I don’t think I have EVER seen the sun shine there, where I totally have elsewhere. Same with the Inner Sunset in SF. How do they do that??

  43. Such a cool link up, I learned so much about you. Your photos are absolutely beautiful! The one you caught of Athena is incredible!

  44. As much as I love your photos, I’m glad you said you’d choose writing over photography. I know it was a hard choice for you!

    So stoked that Ilene named one of her concoctions after you. Is that cool or what? Enjoy it to the fullest, Tamara!

  45. I think I’m done with two kids, too (emotionally and financially, as you say) but there’s still this little voice in the back of my mind that says… what about a girl? Maybe it’s because I didn’t have a brother and I see how close my sister and I are to my mom now, but I’m slightly scared that my boys will grow up, get married, and forget about me. (sob) But I could end up with another boy, which is… a lot of boys. And I’m not getting any younger. Gah… this is complicated!

    1. I’m totally scared of that with my son! My parents have three girls and two boys and the boys are just…it’s like having a relationship with a fire hydrant sometimes!
      The girls are always calling our mom for advice and being cheered up!
      I think it’s mostly not that extreme, though!

  46. One of my things is that things need to be symmetrical. So a tat on the left biceps would need one on the right. That kind of feels like a uniform. So likely, no ink will ever grace this dad. I’m OK with that.

  47. I’m glad you tell those voices to stuff it! Some times our inner voices are the meanest. I would really like to see the Northern Lights (and take Eve to see them!)

  48. Congrats on being a Matron of Honor! I love weddings! So cool about the Granola too! What a good week for you! I am not a tatoo person, though Adam Levine makes them looks so amazingly cool!

  49. #9 – Photojournalist! there you go, problem solved and not hard choosing! 🙂

    You definitely have to see the Northern Lights!! oh my gosh, it’s spectacular! Come here, bring All The Cameras, and our hubbies can watch Doctor Who while we capture the magical display of coloured lights. Well – you’ll capture them while showing me how to work my camera. LOL
    That is where my online alias comes from: RoryBore is how my daughter tried to say “aurora borealis”.
    And I have to say, I rather liked the idea of being known as the “glorious light from the North” 🙂

    1. I thought it might be cheating to answer Photojournalist but I totally thought it!
      Wait, when can I come? Seriously.
      “All The Cameras” is really only like..three. Not so impressive. Let’s do this. Tomorrow? Ok, I have to slow down.
      Love the origin tale on your name!!

      1. whoa – no rush! LOL peak viewing time is the Fall/Winter – although if you are really really Northern Canada, you can see other times. And we are gonna be traveling to cottage country – because nasty pollution makes not for great viewing. so, you have quite a few months to prepare. maybe get another camera? a telephoto lens is a must and a handy portable tripod with pan/tilt head. Then we’re good to go, m’kay?
        P.S bring the cookies too. 🙂

          1. you know what? I never see moose!! such a bummer. I’ve been in supposed “moose country” and not seen a single darn moose. racoons munching on lobster shells in the rafters? yep. Bear at my campfire after my Doritos? Yep. Bear coming through the screened in porch of my cabin? Yep. Moose? nope. never. The first time I see one, I’ll probably scare the poor thing to death with my scream of “finally…MOOOSEE!!”

            1. I’ve seen dozens upon dozens of them, but never here. And they are here! I was driving today through a very moosey landscape.
              One day.

  50. What a post! There’s so much information in here, I don’t know where to start. But what I will say is that I love reading your AAF posts. It’s fun to see all the different questions people come up with and all the answers too! (BTW, I would love to see the northern lights too. One of my co-workers has seen them and I’m totally jealous)

    1. Thank you! If you ever want to participate, let me know! And there’s a Facebook group for people interested, or who want to find partners.

  51. congratulations to your sister! i remember wanting to get a tattoo when i was in college. i (thankfully) mentioned it to my mom on the phone and she screamed at me that she would never talk to me again if i did. so i never did and totally glad that i didn’t permanently ink my body! what a bad move that would have been. plus my husband detests tattoos. also, i would agree with you on ice-cream!

    1. ha! My mom probably wants to scream, but she doesn’t.
      I really don’t like the way they look but I guess everyone is different.
      Now I want ice cream!
      Hope you’re feeling great in the home stretch!

  52. If you ever make that trip to Northern Michigan, let me know! I’m just on the other end of the state! 🙂
    Getting our puppy was my moment where I realized I was pretty sure I was done having babies. I was trying to get ready for work and had to stop every two seconds to deal with the dog. It was like a lightbulb moment where I realized I did not want to do that level of neediness again! I like the little bit of independence I have now that my boys are a bit older.
    And I can’t imagine the world not having your words AND your pictures!
    Congrats to your sister and have a great week!

    1. Oh, it will definitely happen! I’d love to meet you!
      I hear you about this. It feels like a third child. Suddenly the idea of a third baby, which wasn’t on my radar anyway, is completely obtuse to me.
      And at least the puppies are pretty similar in personality for years. My kids go through so many phases of wanting me and then pulling away.
      Ah, dogs.
      And you are so great with this comment! Made my day!

  53. Tamara, I’m glad you tell the voices in your head to go stuff it. They are supreme liars!! Unless they are telling you how fabulous you are, then they are spot on!!

  54. I feel the same way about having kids. I think that when you know you’re done, you just know. My time isn’t up yet, but I know there won’t be another baby in the house. I think that’s okay to say. Love – and surprised – that you chose writing over photography! You are great at both.

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