I’m a mother of 5, wife and teacher. I love creating conversations with words. I believe words are powerful things that can inspire action. If you can’t “do”, you can still create action with your words!
We grew up in a simple home, a home filled with plain things. There was no TV, no fine china and most days no shoes on the calloused feet of that ten year old boy running down the streets of Jackson, Mississippi. Jackson was a pretty plain place to grow up; most folks didn’t have much. My brothers and I had learned to make lots out of nothin. There were four of us—my older brother Charlie who was fourteen, my eight year old brother Ryan, the four year old—Jake, and me. I’m sure you can imagine just how inventive four boys growing up in the backwoods of nowhere can be. My momma always said, “Less is more—Johnny”, anytime I’d complain about what we didn’t have. I always thought it was because it made her feel better about what she couldn’t give us, and maybe it was, but I’m beginning to think there might have been a lot more to what she had to say.
The Craft of Creating.
There’s something about being creative that silences the world around me and brings me inner peace. I think it’s because being creative forces me to shut out all of the outside noise and just listen to my inner thoughts and ideas. I finally get to listen to ME. Our days are filled with so many “other” voices: bosses, friends, family, kids, media etc… When I finally get the chance to sit down with myself and create something, it's like hitting the road for the first day of vacation. There’s an open road in front of me, no responsibilities or obligations, just time and opportunities that seem endless. I’m finally in the driver's seat determining directions, and with every decision comes a new adventure, new scenery and new destinations. It doesn’t really matter what I’m creating, as long as I’m the one designing, fashioning, making or devising…it’s then the world is silent and my soul gets the hush it needs.
Just One of the Boys.
I grew up with a fairly big family, lots of aunts and uncles. My mother was one of six and my father one of five. When the two of them decided to get married they were blessed with four. My mom tried to stop after two boys, but when she went to have her tubes tied the routine pregnancy test ruined her plans. So, then there were four—my two older brothers, and then me and my twin sister. If it wasn’t hard enough growing up with two older brothers, when my sister and I were four, my parents bought a house on a street with all boys. My sister and I were the only two girls out of the fifteen kids living down Gapway, and she fit in better than I.
I Just Wasn’t
Highschool Mishaps… I think we’ve all had them. Those awkward moments or seasons of life that we wouldn’t want to relive if our life depended on it. That was my highschool years, and not because I was a nerd or unpopular etc… but because I “wasn’t”. I wasn’t a nerd, I wasn’t emo, I wasn’t a prep…and I wasn’t unpopular, but I wasn’t popular either. I just wasn’t. I was the kind of girl that “fit in” everywhere. Wait! (You’re thinking this is a story about “not fitting in”.) No worries I’m getting there.
Look to the Trees!
In parenting we must have principles in place that guide our journey. What is a principle? Simply put—it’s a valuable guide. It's an important marker that can guide us through this parenting forest. I know I need a guide...so sign me up. I see it like this, we are all on this parenting journey and sometimes we get lost...the trail starts to vanish in the thick of life— then all of a sudden we come to that tree marked with a ribbon or something (that’s our principle) guiding us through the forest so we don’t wander too far off track. Parenting principles are key because we WILL seemingly “get lost” or “be in unmarked” territory— but someone has been there ahead of us and they have left us “principles” that can see us through. Will they make our journey perfect? “NO”, but they are guaranteed to help us! So let’s take a look at some of these markers and see how they can help us parents through the thick of it.
Free as a Bird.
“She decided to free herself, dance into the wind, and create a new language. And birds fluttered around her, writing “yes” in the sky.” —Monique Duval
I have to be honest. I’m no professional. I love photographs and have lots of friends that have pursued photography on a much more professional level. However, I do love experiencing life and a huge part of experiencing it is the art of capturing it. The Latin word captura from the root cap- means ‘seized or taken’, and that is exactly what a photograph does; it takes a moment in time and allows you to take that “time” with you. We’ve all heard the expression “Carpe Diem” translated “Seize the day” and this aphorism captures the very essence of photographers everywhere. Whether professional, mere amateurs or a hobbyist, we live to seize the day by taking captive every fraction of a second we can; taking time as a prisoner of our affairs. This is how I seize my days. This is how I have captured my best moments with WILDlife.
Parenting Pep Talks!
Hey Parents, it’s me. Who? Me—just another mom trying to find the balance of doing this thing called “parenting” to the best of my ability. Therein lies my first problem, because even my best ability is no good. So here’s your parenting pep talks to get you through TODAY.