Anxious on a Day of Thanks

I don’t experience anxiety often, anymore. Every now and then I’ll feel a little off, a little jittery. But I am not usually faced with that familiar dread that comes with anxiety. I sometimes forget to be thankful for how good of a place I am in life. I’ve been so strong, so comfortable with interacting with other people, hell I even booked a booth at a craft fair last weekend and stayed for about five hours without a hint of fear.

Today, I woke up feeling a little off. Not long after I got everything ready to get in the car with Brian and Mads to head toward Knott county for the Rose Thanksgiving dinner, I had stomach cramps that reminded me of labor pains (I get those every so often, they’re horrific). I ran to the bathroom, more anxious than I had been in a long time. My heart was racing, my ears were ringing, my head was buzzing, I was hot and cold at the same time and I was convinced I was going to vomit, which is a very, very real phobia of mine. I called for Brian to come to the bathroom, where he found me sitting against the wall in front of the toilet, pale and sweaty, hardly able to whisper anymore words from the fatigue I was experiencing. He asked if I was okay, and I said I was having anxiety and needed him to get me a cold wash cloth and to bring the fan to blow on my face. He did both, and asked if I needed anything else. I nearly pleaded him to just tell me I would be okay, that this would pass.

It did after a few moments. I didn’t vomit (thank God, oh thank you Lord) but I did have a very upset stomach (if you catch my drift). My stomach felt better and I my head was once again above the drowning waters we call anxiety. But now I had to face the fact that I would be in a car for 2 hours with an upset stomach, the fear of being sick somewhere besides my own home, and the realization that it’s Thanksgiving Day and I would be surrounded by food.

What a freaking kick in the gut. But really.

I slept on the way there, enjoyed some time with family and the kiddos, and eventually felt good enough after resting on the drive home to fight the Black Friday crowd at Walmart with Brian and Mads. We came out with some Christmas gifts, 3 skeins of yarn, and a surprise Shopkins toy for Mads.

Now as the night goes on, I have this stabbing, ripping feeling in my upper left stomach that comes and goes. I’m really trying to lean on God for strength right now and not be anxious.

Anxiety is the ugliest of beasts that rears its head when you do or don’t expect it, at any given moment, for any reason or no reason at all. Anxiety is the problem. You are not a problem for having it. If anyone makes you feel that way, educate them. If they still don’t give you support, tell them to shove it, and throw a book about empathy for anxious people in their face and drop the mic.

I can’t decide if I want to play the Sims 4 or go snuggle up with my Sugar and our Rosebud. I’m feeling a little better since I’ve written about my day and not tortured myself with nasty thoughts about what other things might happen.

Goodnight out there. I hope you had a wonderful and delicious Thanksgiving today. ♥

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The Challenge of Being a Work-At-Home-Mom

“OMG you get to stay home and work in your sweatpants and pajamas all day… That must be the dream.”

“I can’t imagine not having to get up and leave the house for work every morning or not having to wear makeup every day.”

“Your daughter must be really well-behaved to let you work at home!”

These three things are super annoying to moms who work at home. Just so you know.

As a photographer, 75% of my workflow is at home on my computer after my daughter goes to bed. And then THAT work time cuts into spending time with my fiance. I’m sure most moms who work at home have to work from their computers and face this dilemma as well.

As for when my daughter is awake, well… let’s just say she seems much more well-behaved in public than she is at home (specifically at home alone with me). If your 2 year old is anything like mine is at the moment, you’re probably used to not even bothering to LOOK at your computer to get some work done, let alone actually open it and sit down. I’ve had handfuls of people tell me they believe it is easier to work outside of the home than stay at home with your children. I believe it too.

And before we get any Debbie Downers… NO this blog post is not to make my life seem miserable! It’s an eye-opener! I know more than enough people who think I don’t have a hard time here and there trying to balance everything going on, who think that just because I work from home/stay at home with my daughter while my fiance works, I don’t really work or I don’t have my own problems to worry about.

How does my job compare to my fiance’s? Well, we both make money. We both work with people. We both dedicate part of our lives to bettering our daughter’s life and each other’s lives. We both pay bills (of course he pays more, my salary is not a whole lot at the moment and much more sporadic than his guaranteed bi-weekly paycheck).

How does it differ?

Oh, how it differs.

You see, working from home requires a good space to work. Preferably an office space, a desk, some quiet area to focus. I do not have that. I have a couch with a reclining seat, a study buddy, and a 2 year old who is always singing, yelling, crying, begging, wanting to cuddle, or asking to watch “Bahbosh Squibberd” (Spongebob Squarepants).

It also requires anywhere from 4-12 hours of nonstop work with the exception of a lunch break or smoke break. I can count the amount of times I have worked more than 4 hours at a time since Mads was born probably on one hand. I don’t get that uninterrupted time away to get things done. A few days ago, Mads was actually in a Daddy mood and I spent about 3.5 hours at the kitchen table getting work done. IT WAS UNBELIEVABLE!! REALLY! That never happens!!

Some other things that come along with working from home is time management. On a typical day, I don’t touch my laptop until Mads goes to bed. I could easily ask Brian to keep her busy before or after he has to leave for work, but then comes the guilt that he has to leave for work/he just got off work and wants to relax/is tired and even though I feel those exact same ways every single day, I just can’t bring myself to put all of the stress that I feel on him instead of me.

On the days that Mads does nap, I usually don’t work during them. “What? Why not? That’s at least a couple of hours to work uninterrupted and then you wouldn’t be complaining so much, right?” Yeah sure but when would I fold the laundry? When she’s awake? Yeah right. When would I do the dishes? Clean the house? Have a cigarette? Take a damn break and relax? So usually my options when she takes a nap are either A) be super lazy, B) nap with her, and C) clean the house. Usually I go with B, because any parent of a young/er child knows sleep is a very, very precious thing.

Back to working when Mads goes to bed. I usually start working as soon as I can. Usually Brian’s schedule is a little mixed up, so some days he works early and is home at night, and some days is home until the evening and works super late. The nights he is at work, I work. But the nights he is home, I feel guilty working because he’s been gone all day and we haven’t spent any time together.

Probably the trickiest parts of working from home with a small, demanding child and very limited babysitters with a fiance who works long hours outside of the home is that your schedule mainly depends on everyone else’s schedule.

So in conclusion, no, working from home is not a freaking dream. It’s just as challenging, if not more challenging, than your outside-the-house job. It does allow me to be at home with my daughter, give her more attention, teach her everything myself, cuddle her any time she wants me to, take a nap if I want to, only put makeup on if I want to, and a slew of other things. But it is most definitely not easy.

Thanks for reading, please know my intentions are not to complain but to INFORM. I am greatly and truly blessed with the life I have with my little family and would not take any of it for granted for a second.

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Love, Madison – Handmade Designs

For a while now I’ve been selling my crocheted goodies, but recently I’ve introduced wedding and other event invitation designs. I’ve sold a couple since listing them on my Etsy and I really, really love designing them more than I ever thought I would! I have always loved creating something out of that big blank canvas in Photoshop, and I feel like lately I’ve grown even more. Especially now that I have a tablet (thanks, B ♥) and have so much more to learn.

Tonight I got a random thought and decided to Google “paint watercolor in photoshop.” I am obsessed with the airiness and femininity of a watercolor logo. I’m also looking to rebrand myself right now. For as long as I can remember I’ve wanted to be able to paint/draw digitally so I was SUPER pumped to find this tutorial. And these free brushes/tools are insanely perfect for what I’ve been wanting to use. Here are a few I’ve played with and created in just the past hour or so. I’m IN LOVE!!!

hotairballoon rose wreath roses

just some little rose doodles, maybe a new blog addition? 🙂floral wreath handwritten1

So, what do you think? Tips? Want to buy one? I’ll hopefully be listing them on my Etsy soon. 🙂

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Hello Again

Wow, okay. So it’s been over a year since I last posted. That’s pretty terrible! I am hoping to dedicate more time to blogging this year. I’ve deemed 2015 as the year of self expression. I want to be totally creative this year. I want it to become a habit-like act that I’m just insanely creative, thoughtful and dedicated to everything I do! I tend to get a little lazy when it comes to fulfilling creative ideas I have, and I really, really hate that. So here’s to 2014 for being great for business, and to 2015 for being full of creative and wonderful opportunities. 🙂

So onto what I actually wanted to blog about! I’ve made a vow to take more conceptual and fine art photography this year, along with capturing some little snippets of Mads more often. I’ve done a pretty great job of getting a monthly photo of her since she was born, but I really want to get some photos of her more often. I’m committing to weekly. I know I’m not even two weeks in, but I’m thinking this is going to be way easier than I had originally thought. I’m so excited!

Here are some photos I’ve already created and taken in 2015!

cozy

This was before it had snowed any this year, and I was dying for it to! It’s been so bitterly, brutally cold that I just had to at least pretend there was some snow out there. So I got cozy and comfy in front of the window, snapped a few, and edited in some snow in post! It was a fun little practice edit for when I start booking sessions and (because I know some will) clients ask me to make it snow. 😉

fairytales

I’ve titled this “Another Land.” Completely inspired by my love of all things fairytale and Once Upon A Time (winter break, will you be over already?!?!), maybe a little bit of Grimm too, which I’ve just started watching. I have all the details about my photoshoot and post-work process on my photography blog!

And of course, here are some photos starring my quirky, feisty and funny gal. 🙂 ♥

87 collage

She loves her bath time sooo much. Plus it’s the only time she will let me put her hair in a bun (SO FREAKIN’ CUTE) if I’m not washing it hat particular bath. Recently I’ve started putting bubbles in her bath and she LOVES it. She called it “bubble stack” instead of bubble bath, for whatever reason hahaha. She has a big list of words she likes to add the letter k to at the end. Just one of her perfect little quirks. ♥

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She loves to play “dark.” We put a blanket over our heads and she whispers little secrets to me, like we’re hiding from Daddy. It’s the cutest. I built her an awesome fort the other night with a blanket and used a kitchen chair and the couch to drape it over. She was over the moon! She promptly ran under it and motioned with her hand for me to join her and said, “Dark, Mommy!” Then she asked for Gabba (YouTube on my phone to watch Yo Gabba Gabba). She was totally serious and concentrated on finding a video to watch. I couldn’t resist.

Moving on! Do I have other resolutions? Hmm.. Take better care of my teeth. But I think that’s too ordinary and really no reason to wait until January 1st to start doing, so I’m not really going to consider it a resolution. Haha! I’d like to read more, but I’m not going to push that because hopefully I will be too busy editing photos for my clients to read! It’s been so slow lately.. I can’t wait to do some boudoir and Valentine’s Day shoots, which are both coming up very soon. I have the most adorable prop idea and I want to yell about it all over the internet but I have to keep it a secret! 😡

Okay. So there’s my long-awaited update. I’m really hoping to dedicate more time to blogging! I mean it!

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Fingerless Crochet Gloves

https://mail-attachment.googleusercontent.com/attachment/u/0/?ui=2&ik=295f630d36&view=att&th=141d9a52a386cd99&attid=0.1&disp=inline&realattid=1449484295019167744-local0&safe=1&zw&saduie=AG9B_P8Znl8e3kRfcp3lRF9rY9dG&sadet=1382336026506&sads=R0IxsfJSS_GdXohHM63wr4MuJes&sadssc=1

 

Fingerless Crochet Gloves
Hook: J/10 6mm

This is my own pattern! If you use, I’d love to see your work 🙂 I don’t mind if you sell these, just please do not sell my pattern.

Chain 4, sc in second ch from hook back to beginning ch. (3)

Sc in each across. Work in back post up to row 22. You will have 22 rows of 3 sc. Working in the back post will create a ribbed look and make it a little stretchy.

Ch 1, fold the band in half and sl st through both loops all the way across.

Row 1: This counts as row 1 because it starts the actual mitten. Ch 2, dc 22 around the band. Join with sl st in ch space and ch 2.
Row 2 – 6: Dc 1 in each st around. Join with sl st and ch 2. (22)
Row 7: This starts the thumb hole. After you ch 2, turn. Dc 1 in each of the next 18 sts. Ch 4 (loosely) and sl st to join, ch 2.
Row 8: Turn after your ch 2. Make your first dc in the ch 2 space. Dc2tog, dc2tog, then 1 dc in each st across. (20)
Row 9 – 10: Dc 1 in each st. (20)
Row 11: 1 sc in each st around. This will make for a neater, more finished looking edge in my opinion! Join with sl st and fasten off.

Now I’m going to make 2 sc rows with a small decrease on the band. Working on the uneven edge of the band, sl st into any space, I prefer the same space I started the band.

Ch 1, sc in first 10 sts. Sc2tog. 1 sc in the rest, until the last 2. Sc2tog. Join with sl st and ch 1. (20)

Sc in first 9. Sc2tog. 1 sc in the rest, until the last 2. Sc2tog. Join with sl st and fasten off. (18)

You’re done! Just make another one exactly like this for a pair and now you have a nice pair of fingerless gloves for a mild fall day. 🙂

Getting to know 70D

I recently bought a new camera and any experienced photographer knows getting a new camera or lens is like making a new friend. You need to spend lots of time together to really get to know each other.

I upgraded from a Rebel XSi to a 70D and the difference is incredible. There’s almost a 10 megapixel difference, triple the image resolution, a swivel screen and oh, right, TOUCH SCREEN!

We had our first photoshoot together yesterday. I haven’t done a self portrait shoot in a long time and with the swivel screen and live-view mode, it makes it easy for me to see where I need to be and what I need to do differently. I can’t wait to get back into the swing of self portraits! Here are some photos from the shoot!

I am waiting for my remote to arrive in the mail and I had no help focusing on myself so I had to take a guess at manually focusing and jump in the picture within 10 seconds haha! So I think I did alright when it comes to that. My phone can connect to my camera through Wifi but I was too far outside of my house for it to have a steady connection. I LOVE that feature though. Now that I’m getting my remote – which I REALLY hope works with my camera… it says it does – I probably won’t be using my phone much except to just show it off. 😉

 

Last night, I also tried to capture the moon! I did alright!

 

That’s all I got for now. Hopefully I’ll be able to get into some creative photography this weekend. 🙂

-Autumn

Super Easy Crochet Bunny Applique

bunny applique

This is an applique I made today and posted on my Facebook page for my handmade items that I sell through Etsy called Love, Madison (if you were wondering what the heart and M were for!).

Super Easy Bunny Applique

Make a magic circle.
Row 1: Make 10 hdc in magic circle and join to first hdc; chain 2.
Row 2: Make 2 hdc in every stitch around and join to first hdc; chain 2.
Row 3: In the same stitch you chained 2 in, make 3 dc and 3 hdc. In second stitch of second row, sc into and chain 1.
Row 4: 1 sc in each st across row 3 and fasten off.

For ears: Sl st into the last st you made in row 4. Ch 5 and sc 4 back down and fasten off. Sl st again into the same st and ch 4. 3 sc back down and fasten off. Sew in ends.

For tail: Count from to top stitch you sl st your bunny’s head into, and count down the right side of your bunny’s body 8 stitches. Sl st into this st and ch 3. Make 3 dc, ch 3 and join into same st. Fasten off and sew in ends.

I couldn’t find a pattern for a bunny applique similar to this so I just kind of winged it and made my own. So feel free to use this for personal use or to sell or just whatever! And don’t forget to visit Love, Madison Facebook page, as well as the Etsy shop!