So way back in high school, this super mean girl would always make fun of me. I had photo fifth period, right after lunch, and my tummy always stuck out. I would get super bloated after eating my peanut butter sandwich. It’s funny because I used to think peanut butter was bad for me, because it was high in fat, so I would barely put any on, just enough for taste. But what is hysterical, is that I was putting it on white Wonder bread, which has to have zero nutritional content. Anyways, back to the mean girl. Little did I know, that behind her snarky comments, she was right; my stomach did stick out.
Growing up I always had tummy aches, dark circles under my eyes, terrible acne and burped like a guy (did I just admit that online?). I even remember this total jerk back my freshman year of college tell me I looked like I had a black eye because the circles under my eyes were so dark. Because of that comment, I wore under eye concealer for years!
Fast forward to almost 10 years later, my husband and I were backpacking through Southeast Asia & Japan. On a diet that was mainly rice based, I ate virtually zero bread. For nearly two months, I didn’t eat what I call “white people” food. On one of the very few occasions that we strayed and ate Western food, the lady at the hostel we were staying at asked me if I was pregnant. I was shocked by her boldness, but she only thought so because I was totally bloated and looked like I was 4 months pregnant. But no, I was just allergic to the flour used in the pizza we ate for dinner.
When we got home from our Asian adventure I didn’t want to admit that I was allergic to one of the best foods ever invented, so I cut back on my intake of white people food, but not entirely. I started to eat lots of Thai & Vietnamese food and continued to feel great.
That next summer we went to South America and traveled through five countries, most of which have a very meat and carb heavy diet. The grocery stores in Argentina practically have a whole isle dedicated to diabetes friendly foods and people come onto the buses selling cures for diabetes. This country loves it’s bread. Consequently, all the weight I lost back in Asia, the high energy levels I discovered and the fresh face I had, was all gone. Instead, I had a very large belly that hung over my pants and I was utterly uncomfortable all the time. I felt like crap and looked it too.
Once we got home, I got off all forms of gluten and haven’t looked back. That was 5 years ago. I am always full of energy, despite only sleeping 5-6 hours a night (hello baby twins), have no dark circles under my eyes, no longer get bloated, don’t burp at all, and I never have to worry about putting on weight. Because of my gluten free diet, and breast feeding twins, I easily lost the 90 pounds I gained during my pregnancy.
And having to give up all forms of diary, including butter, wasn’t that hard either. I myself don’t have a problem with diary, but my sweet boys have sensitive tummies. My doctor told me that they were most likely allergic to my breast milk, but I refused to give my boys formula. Since I have been gluten free for so long now, having to give up another food group I knew wouldn’t be that hard. And you know what, it was not nearly as hard as I thought it would be. Well, my husband does all the cooking in the house, so it’s been harder for him, but we have adjusted really easily.
If you think you are gluten intolerant and my story sounds similar to your tummy problems, I would highly suggest reading this link. I LOVE the Gluten Free Goddess and her site is my go to recipe guide, but she has the best online resource I have found for how to go gluten free. I also really loved the book, Gluten Free Girl, as I finally felt understood. Good luck to you my friends.
Sarah is a gorgeous girl around. Sweet, beautiful, smart, athletic, ambitious and super fun, Sarah was a joy to photograph! She is about to graduate from Sonora High School and I couldn’t have been happier to capture her senior portraits.
I love to photograph my seniors during this time of year. Everything is green and lush, sprinkled with pretty yellow wildflowers. It is my all time favorite time of year to take pictures! The green behind Sarah is just gorgeous and really helps show off her beauty.
Um, girl, you have GORGEOUS eyes!!!
Sarah has dreams of going to college in Texas, specifically Baylor University. With dreams of maybe one day marrying a cowboy, we thought it would be fun to do some shots with a lasso! So fun!
And then the wildflowers!!! Eeeek, I could have done the entire shoot in this very spot. So freaking beautiful you are!
Sarah also has dreams of studying abroad, specifically in England. I love this shot, because it captures her dreams of where she is going one day, but also looks straight out of a magazine.
And we of course had to get some shots with a beautiful party dress. Yes please!
I was so excited to get these last shots, as the sun started to hide behind the horizon. Sarah, you are stunning.
The light soon disappeared, but I could have photographed Sarah for hours on end! Sarah, you are such a joy! I pray that your future is bright, that you pursue your dreams and that you get to travel the world. Embrace life, because it really is that awesome!
My boys are 7 months and 5 days old today. I am a few miles into a very long race. The start of my journey has been marked with lots of laughter and many joyous occasions, but also with many sleepless nights and exhaustion. I have learned to survive off of 5 hours of sleep and some how manage to deliver energetic lectures to my 165 students and give lots of love to my sweet boys.
I read an article awhile back in The Atlantic called Why Women Still Can’t Have it All and so much of it resonated with me. From what I remember of it, the author, Anne-Marie Slaughter, discusses the struggle that so many working moms have in a working world that doesn’t allow much room for us to be awesome moms but also lead stellar careers. Most of my girl friends and I have our masters degrees, are total over achievers and have fabulous careers. I have BIG goals for my life, as do they. But then I have to factor in pumping (which controls so much of my life right now), getting little sleep (so much of my energy to do it all is zapped) and that the nice plethora of extra time I once had is now gone (but I love my boys oh so much, so it’s worth it). How do my working momma friends, and myself, do it? Or what do we give up, so we can focus on what we love?
Most of my Los Angeles friends work outside the home, yet I am the only one of my friends in Orange County who is a working momma. But even if I was like my OC mommas, I would yearn to be shooting lots of gorgeous Seniors, dive deeper into my business, go to workshops, market like crazy, blog all the time and be on the up and up on social media. So if I was at home with my boys, I am sure I still wouldn’t have as much time as I would want to focus on one of my greatest passions. Having twins is CRAZY time consuming! My husband and I never get a break, but when I do get out for a shoot, it’s like heaven.
So instead of apologizing for not blogging…sorry Google, I wanted to let my readers now that I have not fallen off the face of the earth, but let you all know that I took the past several weeks off to try to figure things out. I wanted to slow down and enjoy my time with my boys after I got off work and not rush off to a photo shoot or have blog guilt. But now 8 weeks into being back at work, I am ready to add photography and blogging back onto my plate. I have so many fun things I want to blog about, and I have lots and lots of fabulous photos to show you all.
But for the next few months, up through June, as I still get used to this working momma thing, I will be taking on very few photo sessions. So if you were thinking of booking a fabulous Senior shoot or a wonderful family session, BOOK NOW, otherwise my time will be zapped up.
People kept asking me, “Are you ready?” Ready for teaching full time again? Ready to leave my boys home with my husband? Ready to jump back in at full speed? Ready to miss my boys so much it hurts?
I seriously cried every day for an entire two weeks leading up to the day I had to go back to work…EVERY day! As the day got closer and closer, I seemed to cling to my boys at every second and give extra squeezes when ever I could, as if they were my last. I was being very dramatic and needless to say, the day eventually came.
I started work this past Tuesday and to my surprise I LOVED it! I have always loved my job and feel very blessed to be teaching photography, a subject I obviously feel very passionate about. I don’t think I realized how much I missed it, till I was back in my classroom doing my thing. I even feel a little guilty that I am enjoying being back at work so much. And of course, the first project my Seniors are working on is Senior Portraits…starting off with what I love most!
I have been so blessed to have had so much time with my twin boys, as 5 1/2 months is a very long maternity leave. I can’t imagine how hard it must be for the many working women who have to leave their little babies at 6 weeks! I think it’s absurd that this country doesn’t give women more time to spend with their little bambinos. As for me, I was blessed to have oodles of time with my boys and watch them grow into very darling babies.
And of course, you all want to see some cute pics of my boys. First is our adorable Luke. Darling with a sweet temperament, little Luke is a joy to mother.
And next up, is our wonderful Zachary. Full of energy and smiles, Zach is so much fun!
Boys, I know your father is doing a fantastic job with you in the afternoons. From your daily Spanish lessons in the morning to your culinary adventures in the afternoon, I am so blessed to know that you are in the BEST hands a momma can ask for. John, I love you more and more every day.
Grace is an all American girl. Blond hair, fit and just stand out gorgeous. It was such a pleasure photographing the Homecoming Queen of Fullerton High School, because this girl is so humble, sweet and smart. From spending her days playing water polo to representing her school as an ASB member, Grace is an all around pretty amazing individual. This is actually the second time I had the honor of photographing Grace, as she is a 2013 Foxy Senior Model, so it was super fun to get her in front of my lens again.
And I had some fun with some bold black and whites. Watch out folks!
Look at Grace’s smile…um, hello gorgeous!
I love how we did these last two poses in someone’s front yard. Yeah, I’m that photographer.
Good luck to you Grace. As you await to hear back from the many colleges you applied to, I know you are going to have a blast the rest of your senior year. Soak it all up, because even though you can’t imagine missing it, you will miss being a senior. Congrats girl!
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