Always write in pencil, nothing is forever.
Photographer & Director
Always write in pencil, nothing is forever.
It has rained in Minnesota for a month straight! Maybe one or two days of beautiful sunshine and a 70 degree day but not enough to say it’s been a nice spring. In the past I have loved rainy days, something about the earth being watered brought joy to my soul. The rain is refreshing and all the grossness had been washed away. Plus who doesn’t love sleeping in on a rainy day, vegging out on the couch or getting your house cleaned. That’s what I would do on a rainy weekend. I’d power clean, organize and de-clutter my home. I would rip apart closets and put back only what was needed, I’d take everything off my kitchen counters and clean every square inch of the surface, vacuum the hard to reach areas and mop on my hands and knees. It was beautiful! Then the next day would be sunny and I would be happy that I had a clean house for the sun to pour in on.
Since I have been on maternity leave and then transitioned to a stay at home mom I did my rainy day routine in March when it was snowing and O and I couldn’t and didn’t want to leave. I had the worst cabin fever from mid-February to mid-April that I thought I needed post-partom depression pills. I cleaned and re-organized literally every foot in my home every chance I got. I felt like Martha freakin’ Stewart, everything had a place, a label and on a cleaned shelf with liner. Now my home is a working machine, it’s so nice to know what you have is what you need and not living in clutter. Especially with a new baby, her belongings take up more room and their are so many little pieces to things that I had to have a home for all of it. With all said and done I feel very accomplished to get those goals and keep it the running machine that it has become. But now I have time to focus on the creative side of my brain and all I want to do is veg out out on the couch. Now rainy days make me lazy, not even a pot of coffee can get my ass moving!
I have been searching through previous summer pictures from years past, nothing has gotten me motivated or inspired. So this post is only about my anal cleaning skills and how I created my de-cluttered home. I don’t have images but I have tips and I will share…
Getting the “Shit” that doesn’t belong out of your home & making it look nice:
This post ended up being longer than expected but it feels great to have all that information out and to share it!! I hope you have learned something new and take the challenge, or hey if you’re not motivated to do it for yourself, hire me!! I’d be more than happy to help organize your life and de-clutter your home!!
I guess this rainy day brought me inspiration after all!
After only two months of knowing her we flew to Cancun, Mexico. It was her first time flying and her first time ever leaving the mid-west. I felt very “adult like” when taking her through the steps of researching hotels, buying a plane ticket & navigating the airport.
Once we were finally there all those “adult like” intentions sailed away in the Mexico breeze. I was 20 years of age with a wild spirited, blonde by my side. I was ready to have fun and let my hair down… we did just that and a little more 🙂
Her and I have traveled a few more times together in our 8 year friendship but Mexico will always be the most special. I hope to some day revisit these places we’ve been together but for now our biggest adventure we are sharing is motherhood.
It’s 6 years since I was in London. I always get reminiscent about my time there around my birthday, I celebrated my 22nd year during my stay and I believe that will always be the year and the birthday that I will love the most.
When I can’t sleep, I drift back to my tiny little room that I shared with two other people. The sounds of taxis cruising by, horns honking at bicyclists and the daily commute of the locals. We lived 3 floors above a Starbucks so the smell of coffee awoke me every morning. I can still feel Regents Park under my feet, the soft grass between my toes and the instant peace that filled my soul when I entered the beautiful park. I remember thinking all I wanted was to bring my family back someday and lay in that very spot.
The night life was anything but boring and the pubs were loud and cheerful. Football on the TV, rickety floor boards and english accents filled my head. I learned more over wine in the Marylebone Tup, than I had in my prior 22 years. Debate was encouraged and I never felt discouraged to have an opinion. Topics of American politics, reality TV and comparisons of countries were always a good laugh.
I realized that I have documented a lot of things in my life that just sit on my hard drive… this is the kick off to my diary of photographs. ❤
Thank you to my friend Anne for these beautiful images! Olive is 3.5 months in these pictures and they were taken Mother’s Day weekend.
I had my first Mother’s Day this year. Steve, Olive & I went to breakfast at Jensen’s Cafe and then went to Como Zoo. The weather was chilly but the sun with shining bright, it was a lovely day.
That evening I reflected on Mothers.
I thought about my own mother, my friends that are mothers and my grandmother. I am technically the middle child, I have an older half brother and a younger sister, which lead to “mothering” at a very early age. My sister never approved of my “mothering” and my friends always turned to me for my “mothering” advise. At a young age I had mom friends, I knew more about sex, pregnancy, labor, delivery and newborns than I did about boy bands, trends and school subjects. With that I decided at an early age that I wasn’t going to be a mom, I was going to the the world’s coolest “aunt” and travel the world.
Now that I am a mother, I can honestly say that there is no other job, title, or responsibility that I would want. I am a women of many hats, I like lists, things must be organized and I must know what is planned for tomorrow, my little O has really helped straighten me out and realize that if I take a break and focus on today that I can be much happier. Even when she’s demanding she is innocent, babies require attention that is unbearable at times and in all the sleepless nights and long days I love that little nugget more than words will ever express.
My biggest concern was the change that mom’s have to endure. Your body changes, your hormones rage and you lose sight of your old life. I thought after O was born some of those things would go back to normal, your body eventually bounces back to an old you, your hormones settle and equal out again but the sight of your old life is still gone. My priorities are different, my expectations are different and my tolerance is different. I never wanted O to change me I wanted her to become an extension of me. I believe at four months old that she has become cooler than I am! I am becoming to realize that kids don’t change people, people change into parents because they choose too. Great parents have great kids, great kids have parents that choose to put their kids lives before there own.
Finding balance of being a great parent and a great friend has been a struggle. It’s something I still don’t have an answer to and an on going conversation with my husband. As the weeks go by and the weather gets nicer it’s easier to see that we are getting a social life back. I know it’s something I can’t control but I know that I can make the effort to see my friends and make time for them.
My life is complete, I can officially say that nothing is perfect but my life is pretty damn close!
This podcast defiantly helps me get through the day! If your a Mother, you must listen to these awesome mothers! http://www.maximumfun.org/shows/one-bad-mother
So during my pregnancy I journaled my whole experience. I told my pregnancy story to Olive, I am hoping that someday when she’s old enough to understand and read that she’ll appreciate this piece of history and the story of the beginning of her life.
I also hope that by sharing this on my blog that you might take something away from my pregnancy weather a laugh or a piece of advise, it’s here to be read. Please remember I am not a professional writer, I write how I speak or how I would tell the story so please save the punctuation comments, LOL! Also, there is some swearing and graphic language so reader be ware.
I will be adding a few paragraphs at a time through out the next few weeks. Enjoy my 40 weeks!
On May 29, 2012, Birthday year 27, I found I was pregnant.
It was a Tuesday and I hadtaken the day off of work to relax and enjoy the day of my birth.
(Daddy and I had spent the weeks prior to Memorial Day weekend, trying to conceive. It was a lot of “work” and an emotional roller coaster. We decided if nothing had happened during this month we would take a month break and relax and let nature run it’s course. For Memorial Day weekend we went to Webber Cabin with our friends. I spent all weekend somewhat crabby, not drinking and trying not to smoke. I was miserable. I was tired and moody and just wanted to be at home. I knew something was up so I tried to enjoy myself because I had a feeling it might be an interesting summer for us.)
I woke up on that beautiful May morning, laying in bed a thought this could either be the best birthday or the worst birthday. Take it how you want. I knew that that first “pee” was an important one for taking a test and boy did I have to go. I wanted to prepare myself for what I may see. I decided that either way everything would be ok and hey if I was negative then I was going to have a birthday Bloody Mary. I peed, it was positive.
I laughed and giggled and thought about how amazing our life will be. All those exciting thoughts ran through my head. Boy, girl, family vacations, their laugh, what they will look like, etc. I made my birthday pot of coffee and sat down on the patio and lit my Camel No. 9 pinks. Inhale, exhale, fuck. I can’t smoke anymore, I won’t smoke anymore, what did I do? That’s when all the scary thoughts flooded in and how much our lives would really change. Up all nights, no drinking, no smoking, throw up, booger noses, paying for school, paying the hospital, the weight gain, etc. I will admit I did finish it and the pot of coffee but I was pale white and knew I needed Daddy. I stopped by Target on my way to his work to pick another box of tests. I figured every time I peed that day I would take one, just to be safe. I called him and told him we were going out for lunch. When I arrived he was finishing up some things so I went to pee on a stick. It was positive in a millisecond. I decided I would give him the test to tell him the news. There in Apple Valley Ford’s photographing bay, Steve Soderlund became a dad. He cried and loved me and I instantly knew that life was greater than I thought. I promised Daddy I would quit smoking. He asked how he could help me. I jokingly said “you can buy me a car that I can’t smoke in and you can also quit drinking with me” I laughed it off. He took it seriously. On May 31, I said goodbye to my old friend Jeepy and hello to a Ford Escape. Daddy did what I jokingly asked him to do, so I knew I had to quit. I set a goal to quit cold turkey and for exactly 7 days weaned myself off the nicotine. I had my last cigarette on June 5, 2012.
The weeks following would be some of the most frustrating, exhausting, scary and memorable weeks of my life. “Hulking Out” is what I refereed to my nic-fits. When I craved or stressed I felt like I wanted to dig my fingers into the sheet rock and rip the walls down. I was so full of anger with no release for it. I wasn’t angry that I had to quit, I was angry that it was so hard. One night I woke up with the sweats and it scared me straight, it’s a drug and I need help getting it off my mind. I called hot lines, talked to friends, ate candy and yelled but eventually it passed and I haven’t looked back.
June 27th, 2012: Our first appt. Routine prenatal, blood work, pee in a cup and pap. I am starting to feel sick. Nausea, queasy, bloated, headaches, tired, moody. I felt like I was hungover for 4 days straight with a crazy tequila heachache, a vodka stomach and a beer belly bloat. It was awesome. I wanted to die. That feeling when you drink too much and you get into bed and get those spins. Imagine that but for 10 minutes straight every hour on the hour of the day. I had that for 6 days straight. I threw up once, on day one because I thought it would make me feel better. It didn’t, my eyes filled with tears and I wanted my mom. It was tough but like I said it only lasted 6 days. Smells and tastes were weird too. Smells that never bothered me before made me ill and tastes that I love tasted like vomit. Bananas were gross, vegetables made me gag and anything microwaved was repulsive! I ate a lot all the time and gained 12 pounds in my first 10 weeks, thank you nicotine fits for that!
Telling our family and friends was exciting. It was hard for us to keep the secret, neither of us were drinking and I wasn’t smoking. Our friends are smart, they would have caught on. Louise had put together an event to go fill food bags for starving children. The whole gang was together and it was so nice, it had been a while. We rode with Derick and Louise so we told them on the way to the place. After our good deed we all went back to Derick and Louise’s house for dinner. Shelly is pregnant too. The girls were in the kitchen, Shelly was talking about how she wanted pickles and how that’s all she has been craving. Courtney turns to me (I was also having a pickle craving) and said “geez, I bet you can’t wait to get pregnant!” I said “I don’t have to wait, I am.” It took a minute to sink in and they both squealed and hugged. Daddy then dropped the bomb on the men and we continued the rest of our night eating great food and enjoying the company of our friends. We had Brecken tell Brian and Lavonne, he hollered “YaYa and Poppa I’m going to be a cousin!” Lavonne didn’t really hear him, I told him to yell it again. She about peed her pants in the garage. They gave is crap for being so spontaneous about telling people news. I liked it, it was funny! I spilled the beans to my mom on the phone and my dad was in Eagan working, I told him I would stop by to show him my new car. I then told him why I needed a new car. Both sets of our parents love being grandparents so it felt really nice to have that comfort and support of their love.
Not a whole lot of cravings yet, just want to eat everything I can! Feeling: moody, achy, aching boobs, clothes fitting tighter, little nauseas, headaches, exhaustion and procrastination. Happy and joyful though.
January was my last post and looking back that feels like years ago! A lot has changed in these three months. My daughter was born, I quit my job and I became a full time Momma and Photographer!
So things to come for 2013: new portraits of my amazing clients, Olive’s Page, business design update, new adventures, my pregnancy journal, some crafts and recipes and more!
This is my first of many posts with in the next 48 hours, so stay tuned and I will never leave you for that long again!
As fast approach my due date in 2 weeks and 4 days, I am full of emotions! Most days I am secure and excited, prepared and ready. But other days I think to myself, slow down. Let me enjoy these final days without Miss Olive.
What I wouldn’t give for one more, “selfish” Michaela day of total luxury. A Mani/Pedi, delicious lunch and cocktails with my girlfriends, shopping at my favorite stores for clothes that fit my “skinny” body, a bright sunny, warm day of fun and laughter and no cares in the world.
I know it sounds awful to some but be honest, everyone feels like they deserve a day like this no matter their responsibilities or their life expectations. I know that someday in the near future I will get a day like this and I know I will love it even more because at the end of my luxurious, awesome day I will be coming home to my beautiful, little family.
I have had a few weeks of feeling pretty. I found a new pair of maternity pants that allowed me to wear a size smaller than my other maternity pants, which really did make me feel “skinny.” And my husband and I had a photo shoot with my dear friend Anne. Here are a few of my favorites from that day: