June Calendar Challenge

June's challenge was to challenge me! So those participating had the opportunity to come up with a challenge of their own, and challenge me to create an image in response. All of those responses are posted below, so check them out! Thanks to everyone that sent me a challenge this month, I had a lot of fun thinking about the themes and what I would do. I hope you enjoy. 

Challenge 1: @smallfoxmedia wants me to show them why I "do what I do", what "makes me me".

I struggled with this one because who I am and why I do what I do has changed and developed so much over the years, so I will take you on a bit of a journey through time here...

I originally decided to "do photography" when I realized I did not have what it takes to be in the medical field. Blood makes me fuzzy in my brain, and seeing other people hurt or in pain makes me shut down. I was always good at "art stuff", always excelled in art class, and luckily my high school had a great photography program that introduced me to a new medium. When I left for college my intent was to double major in fashion design and photography, but after realizing how much time and money (sorry SCAD) that was going to take, I quickly settled on photography as my major. 

So to recap, so far blood and money are the two reasons I do what I do.

My degree led to my career, which led to me meeting and working with Paul for 10 years. My love for the job and friendship with Paul kept me here, and after Paul's passing, my desire to continue his legacy and make him proud, something, that as of late, has made me question my career. Photography isn't always the most lucrative of careers, if any photographer says otherwise, they are lying, I promise you. It ebbs and flows. On the days the phone doesn't ring, I wonder if I made the right decision, but at the end of the day, what makes me me, and why I do what I do, is my continued love for photography, the feeling that I am doing what I set out to do back when I was 18 years old and what I was taught and then trained to do. Knowing that my family, friends, and husband are proud of me and the work I create, and I am proud of the work I create. 

I think everyone questions their career path sometimes. Its natural. We don't know where those paths will lead us so it can be scary and overwhelming. If you can look back on your journey, and your career, and the life it has given you, and you are happy with both of those things, then you did something right. I did what I wanted to do, so I am the reason I do what I do. 

 Karen actually took this pic for me, so that's kind of cheating, but I don't have many pics of me that aren't "selfies". 

Karen actually took this pic for me, so that's kind of cheating, but I don't have many pics of me that aren't "selfies". 

Challenge 2: @mareesalou wanted me to finish a book this month and give a review. Easy Peezy! I am a reading machine! I actually read two books this month, but finished this one most recently. 

I read "Beautiful Ruins" by Jess Walter. I'm not going to lie, I was attracted immediately to the cover, because I am in love with Italy, especially the coast. I also saw that NPR highly reviewed the book, and I'm a sucker for some NPR programming, and have had great success with other recommendations from them. 

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I'm not good at reviews, so I'm going to cut and paste a brief description here (thank you amazon): "Beautiful Ruins is the story of an almost-love affair that begins on the Italian coast in 1962...and is rekindled in Hollywood fifty years later. 

And now I am going to tell you what I liked about the story. First, the chapters time-hop, which I enjoy because the story plays out in different eras; Hollywood in the 60's, post-war Italy, WWII, present day Hollywood, and all the time in between. 

The second thing I really liked was the character development, because all of the characters had their flaws and weaknesses. They weren't unrealistic like in some books, they each were dealing with their own set of problems, and each others. 

If you are looking for an easy read with a good story and a somewhat happy ending, I would recommend this one for sure!

Challenge 3: @cymkaren challenged me to take a photo out of my window while driving. KAREN! YOU ARE CRAZY! YOU ARE GOING TO GET US BOTH KILLED! So I had Gil drive, which may or may not have been safer, and I snapped a pic coming over the Matthews Bridge for you so you would remember us here in Jax while you spend a fun summer month in Chicago! Check out the sweet windmill pic Karen sent! See you soon Karen!

 Karen's cool windmill pic posted on her Instagram!

Karen's cool windmill pic posted on her Instagram!

 My, not quite as cool, pic of the Matthews Bridge, but going to Regency Target isn't exactly as exciting as a road trip to Chi-Town!

My, not quite as cool, pic of the Matthews Bridge, but going to Regency Target isn't exactly as exciting as a road trip to Chi-Town!

Challenge 4: @squeakjoy Wanted me to recreate a child hood memory. Hold on to your seats for this one folks...

So, when I was little, let's say 4ish, my Grandmother used to babysit my and my baby sister, who was 1ish. Every morning she would arrive at our house before we woke up and after breakfast, before Kelsey (the baby sister) woke up, Gram and I would play quietly in the playroom. My playroom had great morning light, and in front of that East facing window was an old-school school desk. It looked like this: 

So Grandma would sit in that desk and pretend it was her fishing boat, and I of course would sit underneath it pretending to be a mermaid. When Gram would stop her boat and cast her line, guess who ended up taking the bait?!? ME! and she would reel me in and say, "Oh look at this beautiful mermaid I caught!". Being 4ish, this was THE BEST GAME EVER! I got to be a mermaid, and get complimented by my Gram, but mostly I had her undivided attention and adoration, something you start to loose when a new baby enters the household. So, since I spend a lot of time with my Gram still, and still value her undivided attention and adoration, I easily convinced her to be my fisherwoman one last time. So for your enjoyment, I have provided the unaltered image, and then, my fantastic "Artist's rendering" so you guys can really get a feel for my mermaid beauty and drawing skills. 

 

 This one is okay, but...

This one is okay, but...

 BAAAM! MAD MERMAID SKILLS!

BAAAM! MAD MERMAID SKILLS!

Okay stop laughing now, we have one more challenge to go...

Challenge 5: @tayyfigg has had a pretty killer first 1/2 of the year in Chicago and wants to know what I am looking forward to in 2015. So, if you get nauseated easily, you might want to stop reading now, because its about to get super lovey-dovey and oooey gooey up in here!

What I am looking forward to the second half of 2015:

1. A million selfies with this guy. He gets me, and we laugh a ton, and take really awesome selfies.

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2. Tons of pics of these two crazies. Sorry social media, this proud mama thinks her pups are hilariously adorbs, and I'm going to prove it to the world. 

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3. Good times with good friends and family. I would be nothing without the people I surround myself with, so I look forward to spending the rest of 2015 and beyond with all you crazy cats! (In case you just missed that, yes, I consider you a friend, now let's make some memories.)

 Sorry I couldn't fit everyone in this pic, I still love you. 

Sorry I couldn't fit everyone in this pic, I still love you. 

4. And of course, I look forward to new work, new clients, and expanding my knowledge and love for what I do. 

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