sunday / 9:55 am


why is it that we have to do everything?  it used to be that your life meant something without having to be so fractured all the time. being a photographer was enough. being a wife / mother / daughter / friend was enough. being a determined artist was enough.  but these days? not so much.

i have to be a photographer. and an architect. and a blogger. aand a creative maker and shaker. i must be good at being everything. a baker. a caretaker. a coworker. a friend. and a wife. a daughter. a sister. a mother. and i must be social. oh, i must be social because once i stop its so hard to restart my place again. and I have to understand marketing, social media, personal blogging versus business blogging. and financial strategy. and i must do it before anyone else or before its trending. and I have to be good at it. i must take on many roles. i must add to my career, not in quality, but in quantity of things. projects. services. clients. and so on.

how is this become the norm? no wonder we can’t sleep at night. 


thursday / 8:35 am

it's thanksgiving. it's hard to roll out of bed. i'm wide awake but paul is holding me, and i can feel his breath on me and his body comforting mine. yesterday was even harder. i cried four times. couldn't get jude out of my mind, and thought about the what if's of excitement and holiday fun if he had survived. i now know what people mean when they say, the holidays are hard after losing someone. it just feels flat and like something is missing vv

saturday/ 8:35 am

the bed is warm. the whole family is cozied up and one huge cuddle-fest. it makes me feel safe and loved, and it also makes me wonder if paul and I will ever share this with another human or will it be kittens and puppies from now on. 

there are days I forgot I was ever pregnant. and there are days it feels like it was years ago, and I have to remind myself that it was only less than two months ago. 

wednesday / 11:07 pm

i sometimes think about how far along i'd be in my pregnancy at this point, and how much i would enjoy feeling you kick and squirm. i wonder how you would have turned out to be; how you would have screamed and cried your first moment of birth; how your skin would have smelled of baby oil and powder.

i wonder how curious and how aware your first year of life would have been. you would have taught me how to re-look at things as if for the first time again. that pure amazement at seeing things with unknowing eyes. how you would have grown up as a toddler, testing our very patience and making us hypocrites for ever judging anyone with a little child, thinking the world of you, and wanting to share your little milestones with everyone as if they're nobel prize winning feats. 

we would have shown you a world of art and music. i would have taken you to your father's rock shows, traveled the world with you and given you a camera as soon as you would have been able to hold one. we would have skipped rocks in rivers, jumped in puddles, and made snowmen. i would have read you bedtime stories and kissed your skinned knees and broken heart. we would have taught you to love - unconditionally - and care for this world as if it's your family. 

oh baby boy, my heart aches for you. things seem like they go on, life seems to have continued, but in my heart of hearts, at the end of the day when all is calm and quiet, there's just something that doesn't feel right. this place is just not the same without you.


thursday / 6:46 pm

today's recovery has been all over the place, i've had a lot more pain and bleeding, and the narcotics are making me feel so strange. like i'm in some sort of half-awake dream sequence. yet, my mind is racing and there's so much i want to do. time is so precious for me, and i have a ton i'd like to do on my mind - mostly aperture marketing things, but also books for my family for christmas, coordinating and backing up personal photos for the past year, and above all, i just want to focus on some art projects.

mainly, this is what i want to work on:

  • videos from the go pro trips
  • reorganize my website / add more photos from trips
  • get film developed and scanned
  • set aside time to go on trips for photos
  • watercolors and notes for projects
  • reorganize my studio / walls
  • illume collective blog and artist studio visits
  • research for my nonfiction / autobiographical book

maybe i should open up a calendar and schedule all of this in before i get too overwhelmed with it all in my head.

wednesday / 9:55 am

we were shooting a wedding but instead of shooting photo, i had a video on me. as i was planning to go greet the macedonian band coming up to play to get the bride, someone from the family told me to come back so i don't miss any important things. i told them this was very important and that as soon as i was done i'd come back and get the bride's experience. but in explaining all of that, the band already came and the song they were playing sounded too sad for a wedding. and as i turned to get candids and reactions, there they were. side by side in a coffin. they were supposed to be the bride's parents but they looked almost almost alien. and when i got closer to really see their faces, i thought i saw jude for a second. and that's when i consciously woke myself up. 

seeing that in a dream was too much. we cremated him and brought him home but i still don't know how we could have any sense of closure. seeing what i though thought was the likeness of him (and maybe his twin, or even the previous lost pregnancy) in that coffin was so strange. so real. 

last night, i told paul that i feel like i've killed all of my babies. the first one by choice with the abortion and this second due my body not being able to bear them. had i continued that first one, would i have found out all about these medical conditions? and therefore unknowingly not killed another one of our children by getting pregnant again?

tuesday / 7:34 am

yesterday was the hardest day by far. i wasn't scared about the physical procedure per se, but the psychological trauma of being back here so soon. i can't sleep, all night this IV machine has been beeping and nurses have been in and out every hour to check on it, take my stats, and give me pain medicine. paul's been by my side the entire time. and as much as i want to focus and write this right now, i'm physically exhausted and mentally drained. so this will have to do for now.

i can't stop thinking about the fact that they've killed the entire right artery to my uterus, and that my recoup time will be 6 to 12 months for my body to fully recover. and that i may not be able to bear children again. it's not definitive but it's most definitely closer to 50 / 50 chance of it never happening. with all of the science and medical advancements happening these days, when it comes down to it, the human body is still the most complicated and advanced system that we can never fully comprehend. and we're at it's mercy.

monday / 7:04 pm

and as soon as we went throguh the nursery, i lost it. all control i had over myself was gone, and i did my very best not to sob out loud while two nurses wheeled me on the bed and tried their best to keep me comfortable through it all.

how is it, that in a hospital of this scale and magnetite, they could only find a room for me in the maternity and infant area? and that's when i realized that as much as i try to say i've moved on and i've tried to accept it all, i'm nowhere near emotionally recovered from losing my little boy. and how could i? it's only been one month. some women tell me i'm strong and admire my ability to be so candid and open about it, and others tell me they've been through the same and they didn't have any sort of emotional reaction to it. and then there's me - half sick to my stomach about it, and half wanting to move on. the realist in me tells me to accept the fact, that there's nothing i can do, and move on, because that's the best and healthiest way to deal with it. and then the mother in me, the part that needs to love and care for this little life, is just heartbroken to a million bits and cannot fathom how life can progress without this very important step in my life. how can there be progress from here on? how an i go on? if this is all i've got to look forward to (the life that i'm currently already leading) then i'm just staying stagnant while the rest of the world continues to go on.


sunday / 7:57 pm

i'm going into surgery tomorrow. i don't know how to feel about this. i'm surprisingly calm and collected, but subconsciously i've got this weird tingling in my belly. i'm not worried about risks or anything associated with the physical portions of the procedure, but more so the psychological parts of being back there so soon after jude. especially if i have to spend the night, and come home to another long recovery. this will be surgery #2 in one month.  surgery #3 is as soon as i recover from this one.

i think i'm done trying to assign blame or trying to find the 'reasoning' behind all of the things that have happened to me recently. i know most people want to find meaning in these things, or to be comforted, they want to find the real blame and the root of it all the trouble so they stop blaming themselves for things out of their control. but in my case, there are so many variables that are so unknown, it's almost more exhausting trying to keep up with all of the plausibles. and more importantly, i'm not blaming myself for anything, nor looking for the bigger reasoning behind anything. it's just life. things happen. you deal with it as best as you can, and move on. there is no fate or 'meant to be this way'. it just is.


saturday / 6:49 pm

i forgot what it meant to give time to myself... i have been so wrapped up with aperture work, meyers work, friends and family, and most importantly, getting my health back in order after jude's birth and the surgery, that i haven't had a moment to perfectly clear my mind. so many things are happening at once and so many ideas and projects are swirling around, i can't seem to focus on anything.

and i guess it doesn't help that i'm having surgery on monday. or maybe that will help, in the sense that it will force me to slow down and give me time to refocus and get some of these thoughts and emotions down onto paper. 

as a way to help clear my mind, paul and i walked to the ravine today. it was in the upper 60s and gorgeous, and i felt at calm for the first time in months. but as soon as we came back, all of those thoughts and stresses all came back.

i don't like that it's going to get colder and darker, especially with my upcoming medical procedures... i will be missing the best part of fall sitting at the hospital and at home. and once i'm fully recovered, it will be cold and dreary and lifeless. and maybe that's what i'm afraid of - of feeling cold and lifeless once everything is done. because right now i can focus on the physical parts that need fixing, but once those are done, what excuse will i have for not feeling whole again? i miss my baby boy. paul and i are not whole anymore without him. and i don't know how or what i need to do to fix that. 


thursday / 6:48 am

good god i'm tired. i try to go to bed earlier, i promise. but it's just not happening. 5 hrs here, 6 hrs there. and I've got no excuse for it... just the same way i have no excuse for playing with fire. and might I add that mentally I do everything I can to keep that flame off. 

this is why keeping me busy is a good idea - keep in with the distractions and less time to think about it. and this is why i've picked up my workouts again... trying to take those physical frustrations and turn them into something really productive.  and working out is way more productive than drinking nonstop - which i will be doing this evening with the meyers babes. i'm definitely looking forward to that!

wednesday / 6:43 am

it's raining outside. i can hear the cars swishing and swashing in the wetness of the asphalt. in my mind and in my dreams it was an urban lullaby of white noise, constantly keeping my brain engaged with its surroundings. and so it has been - constantly engaged. i woke up numerous times overnight, had a difficult time falling asleep, and even in my deepest of sleeps, i kept on thinking and making that never ending task list. but somehow, in the midst of all of it, i find myself calm. 

maybe it's all of these years, maybe it's my personality, or maybe it's from emily austin's poem about me, "her face was trained smooth, but not her eyes" ... regardless of the reason, i'm the calm in the middle of the storm, and it's definitely storming outside. 

tuesday / 6:54 am

my mind is pacified, i feel like i have nothing to say really. paul and i enjoyed the day yesterday, even though i wasn't well in the morning, we still managed to go for a long walk and make food together and spend time in each other's company. 

i've got work in the back of my kind slowly eating away at my brain cells. i'm a bit frustrated and worried that it's taking this long for the stupid freytag drawings to be complete. and i feel like no matter how hard i try, they are never good enough for chris.  but all i can do is try my best and keep trying. i really don't want to let it get to my head because once i do, that self-doubt and insecurity creeps up. and it's not a good place to be. i don't like to be on the defense. i guess no one ever does. 

sunday / 9:43 am

waking up in my own bed with paul holding me and kittens purring at my side and by my feet is the best feeling in the world. it's a mixture of love, safety, belonging, and comfort, all wrapped into one: it's my home. and being away from here for even two days made me realize that this is home now. and i'm ok with it. 

with paul by my side, sleeping and sighing soft breaths onto my shoulder, and miso at our feet cuddled up, and alfie snuggled by my side purring loudly, i can't think of a better way to start my days and to live my life. they are my calming points... my strength and will power... my comfort... my home. 

saturday / 6:35 am

i spent all day yesterday in DC with my sisters and having a great time, walking, talking, reconnecting, helping aleks make a decision. it's the little things that are meaningful and you look back on in fond memory... and i know this trip is definitely going to be one of those moments where i look back on and say, "this is how i want to remember my life and time with them..." because as adults, we are do pulled apart /spread thin /so engrossed in the daily tasks and responsibilities that it's hard for us to pull away and just consciously spend it with someone. 

taking a trip away from home and all of these daily tasks also helps clear mind, refocus on what my priorities are, and pacify my urgency to do everything all at once. i now know that an intern for the next year is priority #1, and leaving work at the office is priority #2... i need to balance out my energies and balance out my priorities, otherwise aperture will be left behind in the dust. and that is the opposite of what i want. 

but most importantly, i know that i want to spend more time with paul and in our home, working on home improvement projects, and just focusing on us in general. and, i want to spend more time with friends and coworkers whom i've forged deep friendships with, and who also add another layer of depth to me. yes. this trip was definitely good at helping me see all of this. 

now, off to meet otessa (hopefully!) and to make our way back home. 

friday / 5:49 am

i woke up in the middle of pennsylvania this morning, a quick stop on our way to DC. i've only slept 5 hours but i'm wide awake and ready to take on the world. i'm really hoping to write a lot by my sisters keep talking to me and it's hard to concentrate.

thursday / 6:47 am

i'm leaving for DC tonight and decided since surfer was no longer practicing last night, that i too should clear out my evening and spend it with paul. it was the best decision i've made all week.  we needed just a bit of time in each other's company, focused on each other, and it was a very sweet night. 

i think this is the secret to leading a well balanced life... to acknowledge the times when everything else stops and you just focus on family and just being there, in the moment, with another. 

and in doing so, i also talked about the novel, semi-non-fiction that i want to write. and paul listened. he really listened, and gave feedback. and that meant the world to me.

wednesday / 6:50 am

i had a huge break-thru on a project at work that i would personally defend if chris has anything negative to say about it. that said, i'm sure he will, so i'm going to have to find away to assert my ideas with him and put down my foot without pissing him off. but i'm not worried about that. 

i'm craving more interaction with friends, specifically at work, because, well, i feel closer to them because i spend more time with them. there is more shared with people you see on a daily basis, and knowing how they react to pressure and similar situations you are in, it forms a bond that's natural. my friends outside of there are ones i chose because they were part of paul's group of friends, or i sought them out because i needed my own core group, but aside from one or two of them, there aren't too many that i'd enjoy spending with. and especially under stressful situations... and then here's the kicker, on top of all of that, to crave even more time with them.

tuesday / 6:54 am

i need to learn to relax... that it's ok to have nothing to do. because i just end up adding more to my plate, and making up new chores and things to do. mentally i feel like i'm progressing through life checking off one thing after another. but in reality, it's all just busy work. 

i mean, is this busy work? i wake myself up earlier and earlier just to write a bunch of nonsense down? because no one is going to ever read it. and it's just going to sit in a digital world, as some forgotten manuscript from a book never written... because in the end, we all die, and nothing we really do matters. nothing has meaning, long term. it's all for the current psyche and all a bunch of bullshit disguised in the name of progress. 

monday / 6:45 am

i didn't write a morning page either day this weekend. instead i slept in until noon both days, and then went around my business. it's no excuse, really,  but it was also good to just take a mental break and just do /be without thinking. 

i spent time with friends and family, helped raise close to $700 in sales for the neighborhood community event, kept one clean house all weekend long, made paul breakfast in bed, played cards, saw an old friend, read my book, and got to all of the aperture emails and business paperwork i've been meaning to do. oh, but i forgot the paperwork for the taxes... oh well, can't have it all. 

i've had all kinds of dreams / 

some were of the horror story variety (thanks to the x files and other crime drama shows), others were of family, art, a weird vivid one about graduation (felt like high school but it was for arch grad school?), i'm assuming it was about closure, driving in bad weather, staying in the woods with madonna and my sister... you know, the usual variety of nonsense in my head. and this was all just one night. 

but i've got to leave my subconscious alone for now and focus more on tasks for work. i need to do material research for the freytag house, as well as focus a bit on working together with chris on the final details of the interior. i think it's all doable... i just need to get the stigma of 'get it perfect' out of my head, and communicate with chris more. because that's all it is, learning to communicate with him.