Family photos and how fun they can be.

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I won't lie, I'm a bit shocked myself at the last rant of a post. Parenting calls for tough days, so I won't apologize...but I will make up for it. After 5 years of being divorced, I have not once had professional photos taken with my boys. I'm not sure if it's because I'm ashamed of divorce or if it is that i am a photographer by trade-who feels a bit awkward about the whole thing. It finally dawned on me that my marital status is NOT the important thing. Photography is the stopping of time. It is the only way we can go back and truly appreciate the times in our lives that we physically cannot revisit. As much as I feel like I may like to forget these last couple years of my life - one day I will look back with smiles.

I finally took the plunge. I called a photographer who's work I admire and feel is candid enough to capture the chaos of my boys and I. I had few criteria for the shoot, besides making it feel real. I am not and have never been a Hallmark Mom. I never miss sending a thank you card, because I believe wholeheartedly in manners...but I don't need to make my family look like something they are not.

From the moment we arrived at the scene, all chaos began. Nash's meds had worn off, Tate had a soft pretzel for breakfast, lunch and dinner...I was sober - so was my Mom. All hell was about to break loose as far as I was concerned. The first 15 minutes were painful. Neither of my boys had any desire to be in front of a camera, or follow a single direction. This is when you let go. This is the part I have learned after so many times of overreacting or making the poor choice in my reactions and creating a much bigger problem. I took a deep breath and a big step back - I told Lisa to just go for it. While my sons made fart noises, jumped off rocks, hit each other, made faces...I just let it unfold. I'd like to say I have remained that mellow since then...but I texted Lisa tonight just to make sure she got at least one decent shot. I couldn't help myself.

It makes me feel so excited to know that I'm going to have photos documenting this time in our lives. It's far from perfect and some days it's even far from good. These are the times in my life that I will always look back on as a growing point. Two divorces under my belt (almost), 2 crazy boys, feeling overworked, disheveled and most days a hot mess...I would not give it up for the world. These are the times in life that our human spirit thrives and we push ourselves to places we never thought we could go. I fall asleep with big dreams and wake up knowing I have the world to tackle. I'm making life my bitch...one day at a time.

These are also the nights I come home after a 10 hour day and want nothing more than my little family, a good glass of zinfandel, great music and some magic for my face. We all know I'm going to stay up way too late, drink too much wine and wish I had more sleep by tomorrow morning. These are the beauties I'm hooked on right now.. I don't go to bed without covering my rosacea/sensitive skin in Indie Lee's squalene oil. Plumping, hydrating, soothing... one of the best oils in my tool kit. I also mix it with my full coverage foundations for more of a glow. My eyes only get the best..so I rely on the best. I don't want frilly and smelly crap for my face- I'm not 12. Give me science and give me results. Perricone Acyl-glutathione Eye Lid serum is my jam. It's the only eye treatment I've been able to apply to my lids and all over the eye area. It tightens my saggy lids, brightens my surrounding tissue and makes me look like I actually went to bed at a decent time. It's worth every goddamn penny.

Here is to never settling and NEVER giving up the good fight.

xo

mercergirl

 

tweener

i live in a glass house. Anyone who knows me will say I am fiercely honest, outspoken, up-front and strong in my convictions. I have been through enough in my time on this planet to realize that judging the inside of your home by by the outside of others is fruitless and absolutely counterproductive. I've made my mistakes (I still do thankfully) and I will not only admit to them and take responsibility for them...but I will also vow to make many more.

What some don't know about me is that I have a 9 year old son who is half of my world. The other half is his ginger brother, who clearly has life all figured out at the ripe age of 8. Nash on the other hand, has some serious challenges. Diagnosed at 4 with severe ADHD and then later at 8 with aspergers, we finally realized that it wasn't our parenting that had completely screwed the kids up. Talk to me about dyes, gluten, breast feeding, home-schooling...I fucking dare you. If you think for one second that a parent of a child with significant behavioral issues has not done EVERYTHING in their power to help their own child... you clearly have your head up your ass, or you don't have children of your own.

I am a single woman, I don't call myself a single Mom- because I am fortunate to be very close with my boys Dad. Regardless of our failed marriage, we communicate about our boys every day. It's not about us, it's about them. I feel sad for children in the middle of a shitshow. I am super fortunate to have an x-husband who loves his boys and will do anything for them, including respecting their Mother - who he could easily defame. Despite our connection to each other and our constant communication, we have our boys week on/week off. There are days during my week on that I call my boy's Dad in a slobbering heap of a mess. He answers...he totally gets it.

Our boy Nash is a "tweener". He is beautiful...not because I am his Mom- he is absolutely beautiful. He is 110% in height...lanky, blue eyes, big lips, blonde hair... and a total goddamn challenge. Kids and adults don't realize he has such significant behavioral issues, because he doesn't fit the part. They don't understand that social situations make him so anxious that he wants to crawl into the fetal position. They don't understand that a normally frustrating situation can turn into a full blown meltdown within moments.  I had to grab Nash out of the pool today after I saw an older boy squirting him with a squirt gun. I saw it going south and intervened...just after Nash swam after the kid and smacked him twice over the head.

I am a hawk. I know fair well that Nash can't hang in "normal" social situations and I have to be his advocate and make sure I either get him comfy with it or get him the hell out of there. Sadly today when a full blown boy fight broke out, the other Mom was nowhere to be seen. Her son continued to screw with the rest of the kids in the pool...and even my younger swims away knowing to avoid the confrontation. Nash on the other hand would have finished the fight - and no doubt it wouldn't be pretty.

I never blame other kids/parents, etc... because I have enough of my own to deal with and I understand that people are living a reality we know nothing about. However; when your child is totally unattended and harassing the rest of the kids in the pool and you don't give me chance to speak with you about the confrontation that our children had...you're an ass of a parent.

My tweener doesn't show signs of behavioral issues off the bat...I sometimes feel guilty about explaining that he has such significant social deficiencies. He's a rockstar. He loves big and has a hard time with assholes (as does his Mom) he loves music, he can tell you the tallest building in the world, the science behind black holes, the presidents...but he'd rather stay in his room than go to Disneyland - and that's okay. I'm not going to dress him in plaid and make him pose in a family photo.

Don't ever judge the inside of your house by the outside of others...

and after my rant, I slathered some GOOD GENES on my face. I will wake up spunky tomorrow.

If the answer is no, can I change your mind?

Getting back into writing is excruciating at times. I'm stuck between spilling my shit out into words and letting everyone else judge me - or editing my life to seem a bit better from the outside. Luckily I have no problem living in a glass house. In fact, I'm ridiculously clean, love good music playing, usually have candles burning...and love to be naked.

Instead of erasing all my posts from the last year, I've decided to just be plain honest and start back up in real life time. My fairyfuckingtale of a second marriage is over, I go to counseling 2 hours a week, I work my ass off, I am an amazing MOM to my boys, I love yoga, I have the best friends in the world, I can dance like a house on fire and I know good music. I cook, I keep a clean house, and I strongly believe life is fabulous, and if you aren't surrounding yourself with people who are positive and help you grow and inspire you in some way - you need to clean house too. If I have learned anything in the last three long years, it is that it's crazy and unpredictable. Live it up and hang on tight to the people in your life who love you truly and who thrive for happiness...

I have clung to Corepower Yoga for the last year. I visited a studio back in 2007ish and I loved it then...but didn't have the need or the discipline. I am a lover of music. I'm shocked when I meet people who don't have the same relationship with music. Music has been a mainstay in my life since I was born...from Fleetwood Mac as a baby, to my years of sweaty grooves to house music - it's always playing in our home. always. My boys listen to all music from dubstep to johnny cash. I am happy to say they have never heard Disney songs and they don't like new country. 

shit...back to yoga.

Corepower is yoga, sweat, and amazing music. It's my cocktail of survival. I went from 2 days a week to four days a week in a short time. I am consistently challenged and reminded of my spot on this planet. I use my time much more wisely now.

There have been multiple days of tears on my mat. I soak my mat in sweat from working hard to keep my body strong and I cry profusely during yoga. Yoga is my church - I don't care for organized religion and have yet to meet anyone involved in the church who isn't scarred from it (including all my girlfriends who are Catholic) . I find solace in my friends, family and self love (and mimosas).  Yoga is all about YOU and feeding your fire. As corny as it sounds...setting an intention and dedicating an hour each day to focus and really challenge your mind and body together is remarkable. I love hiking and running too - but I'm not a lover of UV rays on skin, I hate bees (but appreciate their contributions) and I'm pretty tall (luckily!!), so my knees and feet need love.

I am slowly trying to empty this last piece of baggage in my life, and I'm barely making it through my toiletries. Thankfully I have found a late night regimen that makes we wake up with a glow like you've never seen.... swipe this magical cloth all over your mug,  and then slather on a bit of this moisturizer. I usually don't reach for wipes, but these bamboo wipes make reaching for my cleanser, that much harder. As for my absolute favorite face finishing moisturizer - it's a favorite for a reason. Here's to a bright life and bright, beautiful skin.

xo

mercergirl

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