Ready To Receive

Life has been incredibly busy here this week. From house hunting, to local entrepreneurial seminars, and a busy day job, the blog has been neglected this week. I should hopefully be back in action here with some new ideas, inspirations, and resources soon.  I am hoping the payoff at the end of these crazy few months will be well worth the time, energy, and lack of sleep going on right now. I am ready to receive great things in 2010, but its up to me to go out and grab them.

What are you ready to receive in 2010?

SOAR!ing Revisited

The question of the week from my friends, family, and coworkers has undoubtedly been:

Have you found out about the SOAR! scholarship yet? Did you win?

The short answer is the winners were announced last night and no I did not  “win”.

But the answer I should be giving runs so much longer, deeper, and is much more meaningful so tonight I give you the full scoop on what this experience has meant and done for me.

When I sat down only 3 short weeks ago to work on my SOAR! video I did not think I would win. For all I knew this was going to be the American Idol of photography (I actually think it is!) and I went in knowing my shot at fame and fortune was probably slim to none.  I almost did not apply for that very reason. I didn’t think I had the “it factor” the judges were be looking for. But if you never try you’ll never know so I did it. I told my story, gave it my best shot, and hit the submit button sending away my video and application. I put myself out there. And so did 260+ other woman. All just as amazing, open, and deserving as me.

Then, an awesome thing happened, a community was built. And I quickly was so proud I had applied. I started to see the true benefits from applying:

  • If I didn’t attempt to SOAR! I would not have had 6 pages of family and friend comments on my video cheering me on and encouraging me to live my dreams.
  • If I didn’t attempt to SOAR! I would not have had those same people publicly praising and affirming my work and my dreams.
  • If I didn’t attempt SOAR! I would not have had the opportunity to be a part of a rich community of SOAR! sisters from across the globe with the same passion and desire as me.
  • If I didn’t attempt to SOAR! I would not have met the multiple SOAR! sisters who somehow found the time and energy to watch EVERY video entry and leave a comment of support. (way to go! and thank you!)
  • If I didn’t attempt to SOAR! I would not have had such a motivation and reason to restart my 365 project. Now we have a SOAR! group on flickr of 30 of us (and growing) committed to working our craft and taking at least 1 photo per day for an entire year.
  • If I didn’t attempt to SOAR! I would not have been able to be a part of a 3 hour SOAR! Skype party where we all were nervously and excitedly awaiting results amongst a myriad of technical difficulties.
  • If I didn’t attempt to SOAR! I would never have chatted it up with a fellow SOAR! sister who will also be attending the LAUNCH workshop with me in February. It’s such a relief that I’ll know someone there already.
  • If I didn’t attempt to SOAR! I would not have received over 20 IMs and text messages last night from family and friends also anticipating the final results with support and excitement.

I may not have won the “grand prize” but I firmly believe that all of us who entered  this competition have won something. New friendships. Networking. Encouragement. Ideas. Support. As cheesy as that sounds its true. And no matter what its because of all of you all that I know I can still do great things this year. With MeRa’s new SOARority assignment website and forum, classes, workshops, and support from my family, friends, and SOAR! sisters I am still fully confident that this year will be one of the best yet.

Watch out everyone, it is still time for me to SOAR!

Sara's Baby Shower

This past weekend I got to spend time with a friend I miss dearly. Sara and I were new teachers the at the same time, finding our way together though the stress, the joys, and the challenges of that first year.  We very quickly discovered our lives seemed to intersect regularly: adopting adorable kitties the same year, buying new cars at the same time, purchasing our first homes during the same summer and within 2 miles of one another, and both getting married in July of 2006.

We were amazingly compatible, had weekly coffee dates, and over the course of 4 years grew quite a special friendship and bond.  Then, two years ago our lives diverged and I felt lost without her here.  A new job for her husband Sean took them cross country to sunny San Diego California, just about as far as you can get from the east coast. Our friendship is still as strong as ever but now it unfortunately sustains itself on email, Facebook, the monthly phone call, and the occasional trip home to visit family.

In October, the exciting news was publicized that her and Sean were expecting their first child! I was bummed that with Sara and Sean in San Diego I’d miss out on seeing her throughout the pregnancy and not be able to share in such an exciting time with such a good friend. Fortunately, the holidays brought them back east to visit family and they threw her a lovely baby shower in Richmond, VA last weekend where I got to capture some beautiful images of her special day.

Thank you Sara for including me in the festivities. I so miss our time together and really hope life brings you guys back east soon.  I am incredibly excited for you and Sean and can’t wait to meet the little “McNugget” when she arrives!

Fear of Flight

“People are never more insecure than when they become obsessed with their fears at the expense of their dreams.”

~Norman Cousins~

Fear is a sneaky beast. Lurking in the shadows until its ready to come charging, full speed ahead, to knock you down.  Crippling. Blinding. Gnawing. Numbing. FEAR. Fear knocked me down this weekend.

fear of failure




burn out



fear of the unknown

But I refuse to let this fear keep me down.  It’s 2010. And I am going to SOAR.  That’s my mantra. I am spreading my wings.  I don’t know where my flight path leads.  I have some idea of where I’m going but with a whole wide world out there my options are vast.

Today its a photography business (because as you know I love to take pictures!). Tomorrow its “maybe I’ll write a book” (but really I have no clue what I’d write about – grief? loss? coping? photography? technology? teaching? giving? i have no clue…). The next minute its a desire to help others tackle grief (through photography therapy maybe?? Is there such a thing??!!).

My creativity is just waiting to be unleashed.   I keep pondering a fire starter session with Danielle LaPorte and then think little old me with my unfocused and underdeveloped ideas is in no place to be even going there.  What I do know is that I want to be inspired.  So, keep on inspiring me friends. Help me pick my path and really take off.  I want something big. I want to own it. Create it. I want to kiss fear goodbye. And say hello to my dreams.

1/365 – Time to Soar

December was my NaBloPoMo month for blog posting and I first want to proudly state that I did it!!!I posted daily for all of December 2009. Some days it was hard. I was tired. Didn’t have anything to write about. No pictures to take. But I pushed through the burn out and finished!

Soooooo, that means you won’t be hearing from me daily on the blog from here on out. BUT, if you want to see my work daily for the next year catch me over at flickr. I’ve decided to take the plunge and restart my project 365 this year, thanks to all of your encouragement. I am also thrilled to see many many friends old and new starting the journey with me. I hope we can all be a source of encouragement and inspiration as the year progresses.

The most shocking of my 365 compadres? My very own Calmer! He decided to take the plunge as well. He doesn’t really use the dSLR too much. Doesn’t claim to own a point and shoot. So he’ll be using a variety of cameras this year for his project: webcam, camera phone, point and shoot, and maybe even the dSLR too. I am sure getting a peek into our world from each of our perspectives will be an interesting contrast. Today was the perfect example.

Beryl: Ready to SOAR! Excited about the new office corner set up and ready to rock and roll with the new iMac and the new business venture.

Calmer: Supporting me to the fullest, but not really enjoying the new computer so much.

(click on our names to head on over to our flickr pages and get the full scoop)

Who else started their 365’s today?? Post your links in the comments. I want to see!

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