Thursday, July 28, 2011

Sam turns one-Denton, TX Baby Photographer

I love meeting new clients. I had the pleasure of photographing this little guy as he turned one. I was so glad to capture him doing the things he loves--listening to music, dancing and playing with sticks. He was such a champ in this 100 degree heat. As long as there was music, he was happy! Thank you so much mom and dad for choosing me to document this fun period in his life!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Cultivating Confidence-Robin's Story

Confidence: A feeling of self-assurance arising from one's appreciation of one's own abilities or qualities.

When my long-time friend, Jackie, asked me to contribute to Cultivating Confidence, I immediately went out and started asking people “what makes you feel confident?” I learned for some it is their appearance, some get it from their success and others from their intellect. For me, confidence came when I learned to be self-reliant and independent.

When I turned 15 years old, the first thing I did was find a job. I couldn’t wait to go to work. I wanted to earn my own money to buy whatever I wanted without having to ask for anything from anyone. Don’t get me wrong, I had wonderful parents who took great care of me but money didn’t grow on a tree and I didn’t like asking for things that weren’t essential. Once I began earning my own income, I found myself becoming more and more independent. Even though I still lived at home, I bought my own car, paid for my own clothes and even had braces put on my teeth. The ability to do that on my own gave me great confidence.

My senior year of high school I decided to join Business Professionals of America (BPA) so that I could go to school half a day and work half a day in an office environment. The program director placed me in a secretarial position with a local law firm as well as enrolled me in a number of BPA competitions. Good grades never came easy for me (which is why I rarely got them) but the world of business did. I excelled in my job and won regional, state and national business awards. Confidence boosters!

After I graduated from high school, college didn’t appeal to me. I wasn’t fond of school work and it seemed asinine to pay thousands of dollars to do it; risky I know. I knew what my strengths were so I set out to join the business world equipped, not with a college degree, but with a ton of confidence in myself and my ability to succeed. 20 years later I have helped build a very successful pipeline consulting company, which we sold in 2009. Today my time is spent building a new company called Big Little Fudge (a natural transition I know). The thing is, I knew absolutely nothing about pipelines or how to manufacture a food product. What I did know was that I couldn’t do either one unless I became an expert in them. With knowledge comes confidence, with confidence comes . . well . . anything you put your mind to...

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Cultivating Confidence-Kristin's story

I grew up in an abusive home. My mother was the abuser. I don’t think she ever intended to be an abuser; she’s not a mean spirited person by birth. But she is a troubled person with a lost soul and an inability to cope with life’s stresses. She had a rotten childhood and I’m sure struggled with her own self esteem issues (in fact, I know she did). But the difference between me and her is that alcohol was her coping skill and I chose forgiveness. As an adult, I feel sorry for her, but there was a time I also felt sorry for me.

Growing up with a mom who is an alcoholic does tremendous damage to a young girl’s self esteem, not to mention the fact that the one woman in the world who is supposed to be your role model is absolutely incapable of fulfilling that role. I never felt like she really accepted me or loved me for who I was. I was too fat – she doesn’t like fat people. I was clumsy and awkward. I had glasses and acne. And, I had a broken heart. She probably has no clue the extent of the damage she did to me because we just don’t talk about it. It’s still a secret to most of people in the town where I grew up. But, when I found myself going down the wrong road, making terrible decisions, and putting my life in danger, I made the conscious decision that my life would be different. I would not be a statistic. I would not repeat her mistakes and end up with a miserable regret-filled life.

I had a few great close friends that I could confide in, and through the grace of God I was also provided some adult women role models who are strong, caring and loving, who provided the guidance and support my own mother could not. I had my dad too, who I am close to, even though he was a total enabler for my mother’s addiction. Through therapy I learned to accept myself. But the one key for me to move forward was forgiving my mother. Now, I didn’t say I have forgotten all that I went through. But it’s a lot of work to carry around anger, resentment and sadness, and I just don’t have the time or energy to waste on those emotions. I wrote her a card telling her I forgave her, and never gave it to her, but that was enough – I got it out on paper. Do I like how I grew up? No. Would I change it if I could? Yes. But, you know, it shaped me into the person I am today. It’s through those experiences that I learned what NOT to be. I learned what kind of mother I would not be to my future children. I learned to work through difficult situations and cope with the stress in a healthy way – not by drinking myself into oblivion. I learned that you create your own happiness. I learned how to trust in God. But most importantly, I had to forgive to let go. And I vowed that if given the chance, I would get it right with my own child.

I have a relationship with my mother today, and it’s amicable, but we’ll never be close. We don’t have the kind of relationship that some of my friends have with their mothers, which I do kind of envy. But, now it’s my turn to live up to my promise to God. I have a beautiful, amazing little girl who has changed my life and made me realize there are no limits to the amount of love I have for her. I would do anything for her. I would die for her. I will choose my words wisely and never put her down or ridicule her. I want her to be strong, independent, and confident in herself. I will always lift her up. Even though I was terrified to be a mother, I am proud of myself. I am not perfect, but I am doing my absolute best to lead her down the right path and give her a strong foundation for creating her own happy, fulfilled life.