Saturday, September 15, 2012

Long Live Imagination

In my life I have lived many different hats. Mother, daughter, wife, sister. I am always an extension to someone else and I have no one to blame for this but myself for I give to those around me and do so freely, with only so many hours in the day it is no one’s fault but my own when there is little time left when everyone else'e needs are met.

So it is with a great deal of pride when I find myself taking time to do things for myself above those around me. Greater still with the support of my family who supports and assists me in these hobbies and interests without guilt, especially a long standing one that is photography. I have had an interest in Photography since I was a child and my own Mom turned our bathroom into a darkroom so we could spend weekends developing pictures into the wee hours. 

Which is not to say I know everything about photography. I just enjoy capturing the world the way that I see it. Recently my daughter mentioned my photographs and the possibilities of submissions into a few photo contests. I have been restless in my accounting job and am feeling anxious to be known more in a creative field. Do it. Was her sixteen year old matter of putting it.

Step in fate and do it I did. 

Almost by accident I found out about a contest shortly after my angst and our conversation, so I entered a few photos into Canon and Ron Howard’s Long Live Imagination photo contest in which there are 10 themes. There will even be a movie made from the winning photos.

Well, finalist be damned. But I am among the very lucky, and I am so very proud. Check it out and hopefully you will like it and find a way to vote for it as your favorite. I want to win because it merits amongst the best of the bunch and not because of a mass blog to readers. I am proud of it, I love the comments and it’s true I do walk a little straighter, a little brighter, and I can’t wait to shoot more pictures tomorrow!  

Coffee Break by Shay Kay

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Reflections/ 365 Days

Tuolumne Meadows, Sept. 2011

There was a fat girl living my life and I had no idea. I am not bothered at all by that fact, what I am bothered by are the comments I receive now that she has apparently left the building (so to speak). 
Maybe I should explain…

I never knew I was overweight, I mean I knew I had a few more pounds than I needed, but those pounds were Mom pounds, easy to lose if I cared enough you know non intrusive pounds that were easily hidden and equally disguised.

I am also a liver of the life I lead so I was never wanted to be weighed down by my size. When trying on clothes I would become frustrated by the system, not my body. Its interesting that it was the clothing companies and manufacturers that I always found fault with. You know they just don’t make a Large like they used to and, wow guess XL is the new L or I’ll just get it a size larger because I like it roomy. 

When I looked in the mirror it’s not that I hated what I saw, I just saw me so it was all good- I just had no clue that who I saw wasn’t the same person everyone else saw.

Then, a year ago I started having some health issues that have nothing to do with weight or weight related issues but as a result I had to begin a daily medicine that affected my appetite. Ever so slowly my weight changed. It has altered so much that people that know me have approached me as if I had a unsightly third limb removed that everyone knew about prior but no one wanted to point out. 

Gleefully they come up beaming with pride like I broke through to some secret society that they had always wanted to invite me too but never could. To me its weird, awkward, and uncomfortable. It just seems like a fake scene that is replayed each time another person sees me or another five pounds is lost. 

Now I am not totally crazy (okay maybe I am, but that is another post), the whole thing is really how I perceived myself. I saw that my clothes fit different and I no longer blamed companies for their odd way of sizing. Its was like everything just went back to normal. Everything just made sense again when before excuses were the norm.

Tuolumne Meadows, Sept. 2012
Then this last weekend Erik and I went back to one of my favorite places just outside of Yosemite Valley and I took an almost duplicate picture from the year previous. Back home I was switching out the photos on my desk when I saw both women for the first time. 

The girl that I always saw looking back in the mirror was real for everyone at last. Its just that prior to this year I was the only one who saw her. 

Sunday, August 26, 2012


I first noticed you, sitting at the bar next to me playing Words With Friends. 

Funny a barstool and basket of peanuts used to be an invitation to meet people, talk to them and see eye to eye. Now it was a quick drink and an Ap. The bar scene was a sad place given most were nose deep and had blinders on. 

I had decided not to fall prey and was resolute to not only SEE people, but smile at them as well. Shocking results ensued. 

You were no exception. Eventually we caught each others eye, something clicked, we talked and even shared a laugh or two with fellow patrons before discovering we were on the same ferry back to Seattle. Bound now we celebrated with yet another toast together and set off with our bags and merriment.

Stories, Laughs, and yes more drinks were shared. Even more friends were made as we traveled along our way back to the lives we had escaped if only for a short time.
All too soon, you were off on your way and I was off to mine. A plane ride for you, for me it was one more night in a hotel.
At 3:30 in the morning you woke me up with a text that you were home and safe- after all that’s what friends do.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Seven years. Same Canyon, Same place, Same amazing kids


You don’t realize the days that transform your world, I mean collectively the days that turn into weeks that turn into months and then years and so forth. This life that we live is so extraordinary and yet we breath it one second at a time and quite frankly experience it so slowly that it is no wonder that we miss so much of it as it passes us by.

Perhaps that is why I love taking pictures so much. Why I am thrilled by what I see through a lens and what I have as a historical footprint for myself as well as my children and, some day, their children.

I was here, I am here, and I remember as if it were yesterday when really it was seven years ago. 

Happy Mothers Day.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

I was in it for the T-shirt and swag bag all along anyway

The Revlon 5k Run/Walk For Women

Our intentions were good. But, really there was soooo many people...and truth be told it was basically like being on the 405 freeway at 5:00pm on a Friday only with people instead of cars. 

I was in it for the T-shirt and swag bag anyway. Well, that and the LA shopping my girl and I were gonna do afterwards.

...So after sitting at the back of the starting line for 30 minutes (which seemed like 90) and moving all of 5 feet we looked at each other and decided that in Los Angeles kilometers were actually steps and we had completed our responsibilities so what better time to start shopping then right away? 

We hit Burbank, Glendale, and Santa Monica before night hit and we needed to head back home.

Footnote: This race for us had no sponsors and we had paid all our fees for Cancer research ahead of time so we held no obligation to complete the race other than being there together and having fun. AND think of all The people that saw us while we were walking around and shopping while wearing our race shirts, collectively spreading the word about Cancer research and thinning our wallets- Really we were helping the cause in our own creative way when you think about it.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Sweet 16

Every year is an amazing year when you’re a parent to see the changes and growth from one season to the next as your child grows, but its the milestones you hit that really make you wonder where the hell all the time has gone.
It was only yesterday when I was refilling sippy cups with watered down apple juice and stocking my purse with snack bags of cheerios. Now I’m sitting in the passenger seat gripping the seatbelt as she changes lanes and sips on lattes.

Here is the breakdown of her whirlwind weekend (yeah weekend, I’m a TOTAL push over)

  1. Homemade youtube Video of family and friends wishing you a Happy Birthday
  2. Presentation of ring given to me at 16, now a family ring passed down to you
  3. Trip to Tiffany’s. The YIN to your day and a plan of ours for years. Your choice.
  4. Thrift Store trip.The Yang to your day and a fun one too!
  5. Dubs, your friend of choice to spend the rest of the weekend with
  6. Hair. Gorgeously styled and curled
  7. Nails. Finally, the mirrored Minx nails you have wanted for ever!
  8. New Outfit. Shopping for you both
  9. New Shoes. Got new clothes need new shoes.
  10. SUR in Beverly Hills. The surprise of the night!
  11. Glen Ivy Hot Springs
  12. Massages. After all, its rough being spoiled.
  13. Mud Bath, we went tribal and had a blast.
  14. Disneyland. Okay, that we did NOT do just seeing if you were reading.
  15. Gossip Hour in the lap pool. (This was pretty darn fun!)
  16. Happy Happy Birthday Kates! 

Thursday, April 26, 2012


April 26th 1996

You are a strong female among four generations of strong independent females who stand before you, love you, and share with you their path, their stories, trials, and tribulations of life. 

We have paved our way not only for ourselves but also for you. To show you what is possible and to allow you to dream beyond your immediate grasp, reach beyond the stars and aspire to places that your Grandmother, your Great Grandmother and me, your Mother, could ever imagine.

Happy Sweet 16 Kates.  

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

60 Hits Vegas

I know they say what happens in Las Vegas stays in Vegas and for the most part that is true but not because of some big sorority pledge that occurs when you fly or drive across those sinful boundaries but because most people have to sober up to get the hell out of dodge and when everyone does that they are left with no earthly idea of what has transpired in their recent past. 

If it were not for the evidence on our handy state of art phones how many of us would be totally in the dark about our indulgences the nights before?  Sin city has simply made it their trademark and we have soaked it up having been granted permission to be bad and not tell a soul.

Cut to my Mom Nancy, her best friend Julie (aka my second Mom), myself, and a 60th birthday celebration.

It involved a limo, orgasms, a room overlooking the fountains, an amazing dinner with a sommelier, a first rate show with fire sand and a moving set that was spectacular, helicopter rides, gaming, and two absolutely amazing women!

We changed that town it didn’t change us for it will never be the same again. 

I have the pictures on my phone to prove it.

                                                                                           Happy Birthday Mom!

P.S. I had you at Orgasms didn't I? Well it is the best damn Blush out there and my Mom can't stop talking about it! It's a hoot. Thank you Sephora.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Timing is Everything or When Left Alone- because both fit

One White iPhone 4                                                            $399.00
Goofy Glasses left over from someones Xmas stocking      $4.95
Laughter with oneself on a sleepless night                           Priceless 

Sometimes the only one who will play is my sweet Meggie (and only then its because I am holding the duck jerky in one hand while balancing my finger on the camera button with the other).

Thursday, February 2, 2012

The New Guy at Work

There is a new co-worker here at work. His name is Archie and he is a bit young and has a slight medical condition that requires him to wear a neck collar that can, at times impede his goals. 

But his determination is strong and of course he is on track for employee of the month- Those new guys are always showing off, so I didn’t feel bad at all when I caught this little video of him recently having some issues on a recent lunch break we had together and he dropped a bit of his tasty treat

...of course he got me back later in the day when I had to pick up after him out in the yard.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

A Tiger Earns His Wings

Just yesterday he was a Tiger Cub, putting on his little orange T-shirt with the iron on paws and gold belt buckle that always clanked in the dryer when it was washed because inevitably he would forget to take the belt out of the loops and off the pants...

Today he stood surrounded by his family and peers, a boy turned man in the blink of an eye. He has given to his community, his family, this land. 

My son is an Eagle Scout. He stands proud and I stand beside him, even prouder.

(Yep that's me beside him on his shoulder there in the picture, always thought I acted like I had a higher than thou like complex? Well there's the proof right there people. So we agree, now carry on and get me my slippers my toes are cold.)

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Skiing the Golden Gate Bridge

This year for the holidays Erik and I had the brilliant plan to not get the kids anything. 

To not get them anything because well, they already have everything they need and most everything they could possibly want. So, THIS year we would get them non tangible gifts and give them a super cool trip instead (ooh aah). A ski trip to be exact in wonderful Lake Tahoe. While the boys exhausted themselves with overstimulated ski 24/7 Kates and I would take time out to hit the spa and unwind, shop, enjoy, and you know, wave at the slopes.

So while I went around town and watched friends and strangers frantically looking for gifts and crossing off names on lists that were pages long, I made quick stops at the local sporting goods store getting gloves, scarves, and warming packets for our pockets. Picked up cocoa at the grocery store while also picking up dinner for that day. Little things that would fill stockings and fit under the tree but nothing major or stressful to burden my mind. I was soooo sure THIS was the year I had it all figured out.

Then on December 21st a friend of mine who lives in Reno sent me this...

...and I panicked. Really what is Tahoe without snow? It’s kinda like Wally World being closed for repairs. Not only that but everything else under our holiday tree was specifically purchased to go with the big snow trip AND it was dangerously close to Christmas day (see bold font above for emphasis). 

Cut to me frantically getting on my phone backing out of rentals and bouncing around town returning things (yeah I’m THAT person) holding up lines and bringing sales people to the breaking point who are already six espressos deep after three straight shifts of “Countdown to Santa Days”.

With our money in hand and a day to get things done Erik and I bought the only thing we could agree upon and each had a margarita rocks no salt. Then we had another. Yeah, it was pretty much a crap shoot from there on out.

The next day it was Kindle fires all around (Amazon Prime rocks it yet again) which was a great choice since we would be driving to San Francisco and, as you can see, we had a terrible time. 

                                                                                It was the best not a ski trip ever.