The Moment

Lens

Is it even possible to be part of the moment if you are capturing the moment? Then, is it possible to see the moment if you are viewing the moment from the lens of another?

For a very short time, my memory of my own wedding day was of the way my husband’s eyes looked as he made a life long vow to me. That same memory felt the sunshine on my forehead and the way our fingers felt as they trembled in front of our friends and family.  And yes, I still hold a sliver of this memory.  But now, that moment, our vow sharing, has transformed into something completely different.   It is now a memory from the eyes of another (well, two others): Our Photographers.

Their view is breathtaking, it is beautiful, it is vivid, and it is symmetrical — but it has faded my own.  The more I look at the pictures, prints, and memory books, the more our photographers’ view becomes my own memory.  And to think, the photographers’ memories are not even close to mine… They consist of sweaty shoes, sore calves, and a cocktail that was never finished because it was time for my bouquet toss…

Photo credit:  The Oberports, West Virginia Wedding Photographers

Photo credit: The Oberports, West Virginia Wedding Photographers

I have conjured memories of my own wedding day from the lens of another; And now I am left wondering how many memories I myself, a life-long photographer enthusiast and now professional, have altered. Have I actually captured my clients/friends’ special days and personal memories?  Or have I given them a separate set of moments, captured by my lens, that neither I, nor they, ever truly experienced? Is it then possible for another, unassociated person, to have those same memories from the same detached viewpoint?

What happens when we see instead of capture? And what happens when we capture instead of see? And for that matter, what viewpoint do we develop when we only view the captured, without seeing? Is one way superior?

Interestingly enough, the strongest memory of my wedding day is not one that was caught on camera.  Our photographers’ 8 hours of paid shooting time was long past and the night was coming to an end when my brand new husband whispered in my ear, “look around”, “these people will never all be in the same room, ever again.” As I glanced from face to face, our friends and family all swayed back and forth, shoulders locked, singing an off pitch rendition of “Country Roads”.  I smelled my husband’s neck, a mix of sweaty cologne and aftershave, and tears filled my eyes because I knew I would never forget.  I also knew that no one else would ever feel, in that moment, what I felt and will remember for a lifetime.

Now you have some obscure, half-version of my memory, but I know, no matter my story telling abilities, or even if I had a picture that said 1000 words, you will never know the love that I have sealed in that one moment. It is a selfish moment and I am glad we don’t have a picture to distort it.  The memory is all mine, never skewed, never re-remembered. (except maybe now…as I re-read this passage.)

I would never, not even for a second, take back the stunning pictures that were captured on my wedding day.  They were worth every penny and tell a story that I could never fully recall.  I will cherish them always and I will share them with generations to come…But I will also hold dear the few precious moments that I was not in front of the lens.  Those moments that are so selfishly mine — Beautiful and irreplaceable.

If this post brings any conclusion: Put your cameras down, if only for a moment, and go make a few memories that can never be distorted.

 

Never Pay Full Price for Fabulous!

Why hello there, Joplin here!

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Well, I’m not sure if my real name is Joplin, I’ve been called many things, but I was in the wild so long I’ve nearly forgotten my former civilized state.  The new humans are calling me Joplin, and they seem smart enough (I mean, they watch Jeopardy every night) so I’m going to go with Joplin for now…

This is my first adventure blogging so I thought I would borrow my new mom’s WordPress page. She seems too busy with the little human to notice anyway.  She definitely didn’t seem to notice when I ate her slippers, flip-flops, and bottle caps… Anyway, this past weekend was Legend…. Wait for it….. SQUIRREL! So, I wanted to share my adventures with the world.

Ever since I found these humans wandering in the park on a sunny Saturday afternoon I decided that I wanted to use them for their amenities. I mean come on, it is really too easy.  I keep quiet, look up with my big brown eyes, and voilà! Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are served without me even lifting a paw.  Which is great, don’t get me wrong, that is why I followed them home in the first place.  I knew they were weak, they took in a mini-human for ‘Lassie’s sake!’ That thing is not even house broken! Come on, of course they love me.

So anyway, back to my story… breakfast, lunch, dinner…. Voilà! Perfectto! Extraordinaire! Just what I was going for. But you know, I can’t help but miss the hunt from time to time.  The fresh air, wind in my jaws, soft grass beneath paws… AHHH! Wild game: ehhh, it is so-so, unusually under cooked, full of bones, and no gravy to be found, but the food is not what I am missing— Just the hunt, the game, the catch, the DEAL!  And that brings me back to Saturday…

The humans decided to take me to the land of ‘Smart Pets’.  Having heard rumors of this land, I knew that this was coming, it was only a matter of time…  I had already proved my worth (pooping less than the small human), all they had to do was wait for the weekend, the time that their owners let them out to play.

So Saturday rolls around, we all get in the car, I stay calm, keeping up a facade of innocence…  Then, after a short drive, we enter the Land of Smart Pets!!  And don’t let anyone fool you, it is just as amazing as all of the rumors combined.  Civilized canine, EVERYWHERE.  Some are at the spa, some are in school, and some are shopping, just like me.  The humans let me pick out my preferred jewelry, bedding, snacks, and toys… They were a little pushy with the jewelry, insisting that I wear each piece for a set amount of time before deciding which one to purchase.  But in the end, I got exactly what I wanted: simple, sophisticated, and comfortable.  You know the classy, single banded collar.  No need for all that extra banding and bling, it only makes you look cheap, or worse, WILD!

So I patiently waltzed around the store while the humans tested the strength of my new necklace.  They even paraded me around the circus cats (crazy caged beasts!) and pups in training, just to be sure I had a snug fit.  I was SO ready to go back outside at this point, but Mom got all weepy watching the school pups…  She must have been remembering her former pup, how sweet he was, etc. etc…

So, I’m slightly annoyed, but still putting up a good front (classy isn’t cheap, and the humans are paying today) but that is when I saw her, ‘Lassie be’, she was a beauty,  I usually go for the dudes, but this lady could win anybody over.  I just had to be near her, it was exhilarating, she was intoxicating,  a Mastiff, a 160 pound Mastiff, right there in the store, right in front of me!  I knew I had to keep my cool, the humans were at the checkout counter, and soon enough we would all be outdoors, me with my new accessories, and that Mastiff in all her beauty!

Then it happened, just like that, it was all so fast.  I smelled her, she smelled me, we totally hit it off, but then I got a whiff of something ever greater!  Greater than the lady, greater than the hunt, greater than all of it combined… I could smell the DEALS!! Only 3 shops down, deals like you have never smelled before…

So I pulled and I squirmed, leaving behind my new necklace and stunned family.  I took off down the parking lot, past the pup professor, (aka: Trainer) past the sea of parking, past the traffic, and past all of the onlookers.  Mom and the Mastiff were chasing me, but I had much bigger plans in ‘store’!  They only thought I was running back into the wild… then BAM, I made a sharp right and then it was like ‘Lassie’ herself wanted me to get the DEALS — the doors opened up, without even a hint of an opposable thumb… There I was, in Marshalls!!!! Finally!! Brand name and designer fashion for the entire family.

“NEVER PAY FULL PRICE FOR FABULOUS!”

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So I ran and I ran, taking it all in.  Past the registers, under the clothing racks, back to housewares, and even into the children’s department (I thought mom would appreciate me thinking of the little one).  Then just like that, a friendly human slowed me down.  I could hear mom in the background yelling for someone to stop me.  I know she just didn’t want to spend any more money, but what she didn’t know was that I didn’t need to buy a thing!  Just smelling the deals was enough to last me a lifetime!  What a rush!

Mom seemed so worked up and out of breath that I thought I’d give her a break and walk slowly to the car.  She kept apologizing to the employees, she must not have known that their security cameras could make them rich on YouTube… oh well. Silly Mom…

What a glorious day!

 

 

 

 

I Don’t Want Your Candles!

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Is it the warm weather? Or maybe it is the bad economy? Or maybe it is just my poor assortment of Facebook friends taking over my Newsfeed. #hidepost

But DANG YA’ll. ENOUGH with the scented candles, costume jewelry, woven baskets, and makeup that I would rather buy at Sephora…

First, let me back up… if you are a promoter of these overpriced items sold via parties and the internet, please do not take offense. I get it, times are tough, selling SEEMS easy, and believe it or not I have a few items for sale myself… Granted these items are one of kind, made by me, and only available from me, but still… I understand how hard it can be to make a few dollars doing something you love. But really, you LOVE selling overpriced shit to strangers?? Maybe you do, and maybe I’m the ‘scent-less’ one here. (See what I did there, ‘scent-cy’, ‘scent-less’ get it??) Anyway, dear seller, there is a chance that I really like you as a person…I am just really, REALLY tired of your goodies invading my Facebook, email, and pocketbook. No, I’d rather not buy a candle. I do not wish to be a host, I do not like green eggs and toast!

Second, if you are my friend and thinking of inviting me to one if these parties, go ahead, I may even attend. But please, do note, if it were my choice I’d rather you not spend a week cleaning your house and recreating Pinterest catastrophes just so I can pretend to be totally into the latest fad that you clearly got suckered into having a party for. Let’s just drink some wine in your backyard and call it a day. It is very, very likely that I LOVE hanging out with you, I just have better things to spend my money on (ie. food, water, netflix, large underpriced candles, cheap unique jewelry, and real makeup).

I remember this phenomena beginning in my early childhood. I remember my mom, with a defeated voice telling me she had ‘another basket party’ to attend. She would say she wanted to see her friends, and I would think, so why not just call them up and hang out??

Now, as an adult, I can at least understand that it can be difficult to schedule a hang out with girlfriends. There are husbands, and jobs, and babies to juggle… But even still, does this mean that we should throw our money into the latest item trending on social media??

First it was the kitchen parties (full disclosure: I liked the kitchen parties) the items are not quite as useless, but still… Overpriced excuses to hang out. I just can’t wrap my head around it. Then came the sex-toy parties, really guys? (I mean girls) really? No one wants to order a sex-toy from your kitchen table, no one. Then the tables turned, and rather than needing a sex-toy, you could get a man with the latest lip gloss, zit cover, and/or wrinkle blurring cream. Puh-lease! Like I said, I like Sephora, where I can shop on my own terms, try it on, and even leave without purchasing. Then, worst of all, the jewelry parties. Maybe this one is the worst, because it is actually the best (most popular anyway…) It seems that a large faction of people sincerely enjoy this stuff. Call me crazy, but I’d rather not spend $78 to wear the same tiny necklace as my BFF. Enough already, Sephora, Lia Sophia, Stella and Dot, the list goes on and on. Which makes it seem like there is a big variety, but noooo, you still end up with the same necklace as Julie, Kate, and Sue because it is the only one you could all afford without over-drafting your bank account. And now… CANDLES, Really… CANDLES!?! As if a Yankee Candle fundraiser a wasn’t enough, now you expect me to buy this and not even support our local school?

Please friends, let’s just spend our money eating good food and drinking good wine. And if you feel like you need to make some extra cash by selling the latest trend, think back to how much money you could have saved it you weren’t guilt tripped into buying that $40 candle, $78 necklace, $15 lipgloss, $45 cheese grater, and $400 basket.

Just think about it.

Daily Prompt: If I Could Turn Back Time

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My first ever daily prompt!  This one caught my eye, probably because I know exactly when I would turn back time to.  And the best part, I wouldn’t change a thing!!

Up until now, I have had 3 favorite years of my life, and since life has been dictated by school calendars, these are my years:  1991-92, 2000-01, and 2007-08. 

1991-92 – 2nd grade:

I loved my teacher, I was 7 years old, life was great.  I had blossoming friendships with some of my life long best friends and neighbors, I could successfully ride my bike, and was allowed to play outside until my mother hollered for me to come home for dinner!  That is about it.  It was a simple year, but I remember it being one of the greatest.

2000-01 – 9th grade: 

I was a hateful 14 year old, but I managed to get my first kiss, ‘fall in love’, and get my heart broken all in the span of 2 months.  It was great and terrible year, but I had never felt such passion, emotion, and life.  I felt like an adult for the first time in my life, and I knew that there was no turning back.

But, without a doubt, if I could turn back time,

I would choose 2007-08 – 4th year of college:

I was cool.  I was chill.  I was laid back.   I was in my 4th year of college.  I turned 21.  I received my first ‘A’ in ‘studio.  My parents paid my rent.  My roommate and I had no inhibitions.  My roommate and I were the VERY best of friends.  I kept a sketchbook.  I had a pool.  I met the man who would one day become my husband.  I ‘played the field’.  I moved to Italy.  I had my nose pierced.  I met fabulous friends, all around the globe.  I ate Mexican food, every Friday night.  I kissed strangers.  Italian strangers.  Obama was elected the first African American President of the United States.  I felt ‘change’.  I got over the past.  I lived in the present.  I fell in love.  Like REALLY fell in love.  I drank too much wine.  I incurred an enormous amount of student debt.  I smoked cigars.  I slept, only when necessary.  I skipped 80% of my Geology classes.  And did I mention I was cool?

Now I am almost 28, life is very different, but still pretty amazing.  And if I think really hard about it, I might just be living in one of those epic years…

2014 – working from home, newborn in-tow: 

I live in a tiny house with the love of my life and our newest little bundle of joy.  I only drink one glass of wine a week, Mexican food is generally ‘carry-out’, and a vacation is one night alone with my sweetheart.  Life is easy, it is simple, but it is grand.

For now, I will choose to live in the moment, and only turn back time for an instant, if for nothing else, to remind myself of how cool I was…

Little Love Letters

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The past month has been a whirl-wind of joy, love, visitors, and the newest little love of my life.   Thankfully I was able to keep up with a bit of the action in my hand written journal – so I thought I would share a few of the little love letters that I have written to my precious boy.

Sunday 3/2/14

Guess what Boggle?! Tomorrow should be your BIRTHday! Apparently you are super cozy in my belly and do not want to make an appearance on your own, but the doctors have reported that you are getting too big for your momma…so now, we are in the hospital!

I just had phase one of two of the induction medication.  This first med is supposed to be pretty light and just prep me for more to come in the morning.  However, we are in the middle of a super ICE STORM! (I believe they are calling it Storm Titan).  A predicted .25-.5 inches of ICE before the snow.  So, the nurses are trying not to let me go into labor too quickly – hoping that my doctor can have time to make it from her house to the hospital first thing in the morning.  The nurse actually just told us that car doors are already iced shut! Yikes!!

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So, Boggle, not only are you going to share a zodiac sign with your daddy, but now you are also going to share his birthday, and birth in a ice/snow storm in March.  And (side note) speaking of ‘ice’… We are sitting here watching the Oscars and Idina Menzel just sang the latest hit from Disney’s “Frozen” – I imagine that it will be one of your favorites.

A little while ago we FaceTimed your Uncle John and Uncle Brandon from the hospital bed.  Your two fabulous uncles were a little shocked to see us calling from the hospital, but were equally excited to know that things are progressing as planned.

Uncle John is doing well out in California, and he is really sorry that he could not immediately get a plane ticket to be here for your birthday.  He might be here for a visit in the next couple months… but if not, we are going to figure out how to take a newborn on an AIRPLANE!

Uncle Brandon is going to be catching a flight from Utah sometime in the next week – and your Grandma and Grandpa Plagemann are hitting the road tomorrow.  Depending on the snow/ice, they should be here on Tuesday!

Grandma and Grandad Perry are SO excited and patiently waiting, 20 minutes away, at home.  I think your Grandma wanted to come here and just sit in the waiting room all night, but Grandad convinced her that he could get her to the hospital through the winter storm.  Not to mention, the waiting room is PACKED.  Must be a good day to be born!

Waiting on a baby,

-Your Momma

 

Monday 3/3/14 – BIRTHDAY!

Well Boggle, your ‘bag of waters’ has just been popped! And I now feel like Niagara Falls is happening under the sheets!  My OB made it in safe and sound in the snow this morning and she plans to stay at the hospital for your birth.  YAY!

All grandparents are en route.  I am sure the Perry’s will be here soon, and the rest of the extended family is busy texting and facebooking us.  Your daddy even live-tweeted some of last nights events along with the Oscars.  Hope you don’t mind a little social media…

My contractions are already a bit stronger, and for now the doctors are holding off on further inducing with Pitocin.  (Your heart rate dropped a couple times in the night so the doctors are avoiding any additional strain on you.)  We are 4cm and, OUCH, having contractions every 2-3 minutes! So exciting.

We are so very excited to meet you, and hold you, and finally find out if you are a boy or a girl!!

Big smiles,

-Momma

 

Thursday 3/27/14

You are 3 weeks and 3 days old today!! Which may be a very lucky ‘3’ day for you and your 3/3 birthday.  But for now, I am the lucky one.. I am holding in my arms, the most absolute, perfect angel.  You, my dear, are perfect.  Probably not for long, but for now, you have never even made one wrong.  You are perfect, and I will cherish every moment.

I never want to forget your soft fuzzy hair, and the way it feels when I kiss the top of your head.  You love to lay on mine and your dad’s bellies.  Belly to belly.  I call it your ‘frog position’.  I could gush over your adorable snuggles page after page, but it seems like I should record a few of the facts here…

First of all, WELCOME to our world:

Hans Geoffrey Plagemann

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You were born a big, healthy, baby boy on March 3rd, 2014 at 6:06pm.  You weighed in at 8 lbs, 1 oz.  Smaller than the doctors predicted, but still in the 75th percentile at 21.5 inches long.

After 10-ish hours of labor and never progressing more than 5cm, my OB informed me that either,

A. You were too big to be born naturally, or

B. You were tangled in your umbilical cord, and smarter than all of us for not ‘exiting’ on time.

With this, she recommended that I have a c-section to ensure a safe delivery.  I cried, your daddy held me, then I knew that I must follow the doctors recommendations.  You see, your heart rate was dropping every time I had a contraction, so I kind of knew, deep down, that something was not running smoothly.  I even recalled all of my inducing tricks, and how none of them seemed to work… Not the clothes pins on my toes, or the 3 mile walk, or the spicy food, or the mandatory sex — none of it worked, and deep down I knew that you were keeping yourself safe.  And sure enough, you had the cord wrapped around your belly and your neck!

I am so thankful I chose the cesarean, scar and all.  Once I had ‘ok-ed’ the c-section things moved so quickly!  Your dad went out to the waiting room to tell my parents our decision, and by the time he had returned we only had a few precious moments for him to try to fit in the tiny sterile suit and snap a couple of priceless photos.  Then I was immediately wheeled into the delivery/surgery room.

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It all happened so fast.  I remember being nervous that they would start the surgery before they called for your dad to enter the room, but he made it, just as they finished prepping me.  I had been given the epidural back when I first reached 5cm – so they continued to numb me though that.  It didn’t really hurt, I could feel what was happening though, which was strange! The even stranger part was that I literally felt the doctor SCOOP you out of what felt like my rib cage…  It was insane, and a huge relief!

You were out in 7 minutes!  Your dad held my, strapped down, hand the whole time, and then you cried! It was one of the happiest sounds of my life.  You sounded like a cat, then a lion cub, testing out your RAWR!  Then I could see you.  Then they called your dad over.  I was jealous and thrilled to watch him hold your hand.  Then he re-cut your cord.  I watched him watch you, and then I felt the largest wave of peace come over me.  I was in pain, pretty terrible pain at that point, as they stitched me back up and removed my epidural, but all I really remember is watching you squirm and feeling warm, soft tears roll down my cheeks.  You were perfect.  Then your dad brought you next to me! First to my hand, then to my face.  We were cheek to cheek, and I knew I loved you with my entire being.  Then they let me hold you!  Then, just like that, it was over.  You were off to the nursery, and me to the recovery room…

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I believe you met your Grandma and Grandad outside of the nursery.  Your dad told me that he rolled you out and said, “Want to meet Hans?” and that is how your grandparents found out you were a boy…  For us, the doctor yelled out ‘It’s a boy!’ right before you began to cry…

Honestly, I felt like I knew that you were a boy all along, but hearing it aloud was so amazing!  I remember sighing to myself, ‘It’s Hans!’   I guess it would probably not have mattered if you were a girl, but once everything had happened, I could not imagine it any other way! You are my perfect little boy!

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Days and weeks are passing so quickly now, and I what was so very vivid in the moment is now fading into sweet, sweet memories.  I will hold tight to each moment and I will love you forever!

-Your Momma

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And I thought I loved you then…

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Geoffrey and I don’t really do much for Valentine’s Day.  He makes me dinner and we lay around being best friends.  Really it is not much different than any other evening. (Except occasionally he cuts carrots into the shape of hearts) ❤

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So, with our non-celebration of this love-themed holiday, I think it makes perfect sense for me to feel all lovey-dovey on February 13th, not the 14th.   And by lovey-dovey, I mean emotional, hormonal, and pregnant…

Humans probably don’t get much more hormonal (or much more pregnant) than I am today, so I am just going to let these sappy feelings fly.

This song came on Pandora Radio today and reduced me to tears:

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November 2008: You became my best friend and you held me as we bonded over Mexican food, shared loss, and wii-sports.

 And I thought I loved you then…

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December 2008: I sat absurdly still in a canoe, willing myself NOT to blurt out my feelings for fear that it was just ‘too soon’.

And I thought I loved you then…

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January 2009: We had our first ‘Bliss Day’ and became ‘Ru!ned’.

 And I thought I loved you then…

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Spring 2009: You swept me away for a surprise trip to see my favorite musical.

And I thought I loved you then…

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Summer 2009: We figured 8 out…

 And I thought I loved you then…

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Fall/Winter/Spring/Summer 2009-10: We put 48,000 miles on each of our cars just to spend 48 hours together each weekend.

 And I thought I loved you then…

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December 2010: I thought I was going to A. Explode or B. Propose to you. Somehow I managed to do neither.

 And I thought I loved you then…

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April 2011: You got down on one knee (twice)

 And I thought I loved you then…

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Summer 2011: I lost my mind, but you never gave up on me.

And I thought I loved you then…

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October 2011: We said I DO

And I thought I loved you then…

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November 2012: I threw away my birth control.

And I thought I loved you then…

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June 2013: We cried until we laughed, then we laughed until we cried.

And I thought I loved you then…

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Now, in the next 15 days we are about to embark on the biggest emotional rollercoaster of our lives, but I am sure,

“We’ll look back someday, at this moment that we’re in, and I’ll look at you and say:

And I thought I loved you then…”

Happiness to the point of tears just doesn’t happen everyday – unless you are pregnant and are married to my husband.

Geoffrey,

Thank you for all of the joy and love you share with me everyday.

Happy February 13th !