Valentine’s Day Gift Giving: Your Bearded Man

Vader has been growing a beard now for about a year now and it has gotten pretty big. With the growth of this beard I have noticed how other men tend to stare, comment, and oh so often, feel compelled to compliment him on it. As his NYSE teammate, Jimmy Rage, puts it “your beard is sick.” Vader does not take all this beard adoration lightly, oh no. He feels as though he needs to keep up his beard for the common good of mankind. He maintains his beard, religiously. It also happens that I think his beard is ultra-sexy.  So as his wife I think the ultimate Valentine gift would be one to uphold the testament of his beardliness. (yes, that is a word. just made it up.)valentines for beards

1. Burroughs Beard Oil   2. Widu Wide Tooth Comb  3. Crankbunny Fortune Teller Card

 

New Frontiers

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Sometime during the busy holiday season I sat across from one of my best friends, Kitty, at our favorite restaurant. We sat around our usual cozy table, crowded with our husbands, my boisterous children, handbags, baby bags, and large downy winter coats piled high around us. Our voices grew louder, competing to be heard when mixed with the din of the tavern. She asked me how I was doing and I replied, “I’m coping. Having lupus can sometimes be consuming, and you know, I’m coping.” Being the lovely friend that she is, she let this response slide while we were in the loud tavern, having drinks, and eating wings.

The following evening via Skype chat she cornered me about my answer. She said, “You are one of the most enthusiastic and positive people I know and for you to say you’re coping is a big red flag.” We then proceeded to chat for the following hour or two about our goals and dreams and how funny it was that they had changed over the course of a few short years. Photography, roller derby, school, spinning. These were all things that filled much of my time and ambition in the past few years. Now, with lupus as a big part of my life and how I operate, I had to focus on not only what I loved to do but what was good for me to pursue. I love photography with all my heart but I realize that I can no longer pursue a photography business. It has demands that I cannot meet. Of course I will continue to photograph; my camera is an extension of myself, but I will do so without deadlines and pressure, just for the love of it.

So instead of lamenting about what I could not do anymore, we chatted about things that I could do. Of course this blog came up. I love blogs. I am a crazy blog reader. My Google Reader feed is sick. I love that I can read a blog from a woman in Texas and feel like she is my best friend. I laugh when she laughs, I sigh when she sighs. It’s better than any sit com on tv! It’s a book, that gets longer every day, and it comes with an Instagram feed! So naturally when Kitty and I spoke about ventures that I would like to put my energy into and ventures that would be in fact, healthy for me, taking this blog to level 9000 was it. With Kitty in my corner, we hatched a plan. (Yes, I like using the word “hatch.” It makes me feel like I’m detective or part of the Scooby Doo gang.)

Of course with anything I do, I like to do it well. Call it my fatal flaw. Or you could call it OCD, same diff. Over the past month, I’ve been brainstorming for a new blog name. Tanya King Photography is beautiful and will always be a part of me because hey, I’m Tanya King and I like to take photographs, but I want a name to encompass this blog and what it is. My boys came up with a bunch of funny ones that cannot be published nor should see the light of day but in the end I decided on the one that made the most sense for me. My blog will called “my invisible camera.” It will be named this because despite not being able to shoot for hours on end like I used to, I still see things through an imaginary viewfinder. Often when I see something, like my son’s smile while we’re nursing in the wee light of the morning, I think, “I just photographed that beautiful face with my invisible camera.” And it will be named this because when accompanied with words, my invisible camera can capture not only sights, but sounds, touches, and the loveliest of smells.

I took the first step to new frontiers this week. I bought http://www.myinvisiblecamera.com. I’ll be redesigning this blog over the next few weeks. So excited to have you with me as I do!

photo above is my darlin’ Finn as Davy Crockett. It was one of his Halloween costumes this year.

Sunday Rewind

It always seems that Monday through Friday are so fast paced and jam packed full of work and travel that weekends seem to screech to a beautiful crawl. This lovely slow pace wasn’t always something I was comfortable with but since the birth of Finn, I’ve come to enjoy this leisurely frame of mind. I’m taking time to enjoy every minute of my kids. Sure, laundry sits in baskets a little bit longer and nothing seems quite that important to pile all the kids in the car but oh, how lovely it is to read picture books in bed. I love that the only real tough decision I have is whether we should make donuts or cake.

So Sundays are a really great day for me to catch up and share all the things I’ve been working on/reading/obsessed with. So welcome to my inaugural Sunday Rewind!

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Just finished this book and it was fabulous. It was a light, suspenseful, sci fi book that was extremely fun to read. I won’t give any spoilers for anybody who wants to pick it up, but I will say that the characters were so easy to bond with. Sometimes I just need an easy read with light hearted Scooby Doo type characters. (Honestly this is just me acting out after having been completely sucked into Justin Cronin’s The Twelve. After having read that tomb, you start to believe that all books should take a month to read, all characters should have a twisted back story that takes half the novel to reveal, and all story lines should be as complex as Fight Club written by Tolkien.) I wouldn’t mind moving into the Kavach building, bugs and all.

freeze dried yumminess

Just discovered these delicious snacks from Target. I feel like an astronaut eating these freeze dried treats. Seamus suggested we buy a dehydrator to make our own version of the dried treats. He dried apples in school once and is now fascinated with the concept. So I’m scouring eBay for one as we speak. I’ll let you know how that turns out.

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And since it’s around the corner, I’m planning out our Valentine’s Day. I don’t have a ton of time to design my own this time, so I’m thinking about using these lovely templates from Simplicity Designs. She always makes such beautiful templates.

Have a great week!

My Invisible Camera

Sometimes I face a dilemma that I know a lot of mamas/photographers face, “Should I bring my camera with me?” As a mama I sometimes feel like it’s more important to just be in the moment, to be present, and enjoy my kids. For instance, this week Vader and I took all the boys roller skating. I LOVE skating and would never relegate myself to the sidelines to just watch. I want to be in the thick of it. Trouble is being in the thick of it is kinda hard to do with a camera in your face. I actually stopped photographing Vader’s derby games for that very same reason; I would get caught up in the photo taking and would miss his great plays. But then there’s this photographer who gnaws inside me and later on will say something like “That was an amazing day! Don’t you wish you had a picture of it to save for all posterity, post to your Facebook and Instagram, and perhaps make into a 16 x 20 canvas to display in your home?” (Yeah, my inner voice tries to upsell me, she’s a saleswoman.) Sometimes I feel as though my beautiful day didn’t happen if I didn’t take a photograph to capture it in some small way. I wish I had an invisible camera; an ultralight amazing digital camera that I could carry everywhere with me, that won’t be heavy or cumbersome or in my way and tadah! would show up whenever I needed it and would disappear just as easily. So the other day when I was skating around the rink, pushing Finn in his running stroller while he kicked his feet with absolute joy because he likes the feel of wind on his face just like his mama, I decided that I would force my mind to be my invisible camera. On occasion, when I can’t have my proper camera or even my iPhone I will try to remember every little second and then relay it here. Now if only I can figure out a way to get a lasso of truth and an invisible plane….

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All this turtle wants for Christmas is Super Powers!

Yesterday I accomplished so much that I felt, strangely, normal again. After having Finn last December I was so sick that I couldn’t even walk without assistance (we shall forever call that time the “dark times”). The months that followed his birth were filled with doctors and diagnosis and a lot of sadness on my part that I would never be me again. Me, Tanya King, who needs 5 projects to be going on at the same time in order to feel whole and accomplished. (I blame this on my immigrant parents and their constant desire to have the American dream but that’s another story. :] ) Getting winded going up the 5 steps to get into your house, frankly, sucks.  So yesterday I woke up feeling energized; a week-long Christmas vacation ahead of me and a regimen of life-enhancing drugs that are finally beginning to work gave me a spark. I felt like lupus gave me a little vacation and it was beautiful. I took full advantage. I finished editing some calendars for my family from our summer vacation in Cape May. I believe that ‘Better late than never’ is the official motto of my lupus club.

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I used Paislee Press’ ridiculously simple and easy calendar templates.

Then I tried my hand at making some calzones from this Pioneer Woman recipe. Her recipe? Magical. My version? They came out ok. I need to tweak the recipe for our family’s likings and not be so lazy-like in my rolling of the dough. They came out a bit too fat. But sincerely, anything that’s beef and ricotta in a bread type crust can’t be wrong.

Then insert various nursings, naps, searching for the ever elusive matching gloves, vacuuming, watching as Vader hauled the Christmas tree through the house and out into the forest, vacuuming again, and then I edited this photo from Finn’s first birthday portrait session. I took a lot of photos over the past year but have had scarcely enough energy to eat dinner sitting up so they are on my to-do list.

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So I guess what I’m saying is that today instead of wishing for superpowers, I’m going to make my own. I refuse to let lupus get the better of me. My to-list is still the same length and it may take me weeks to write one post to tell you about it but I’m still going to try. Slow and steady. Yup, that’s me. haha! I gotta tell you that I find a little humorous that I now equate myself with a turtle instead of the hare. So anyways I hope you’ll stick around with this slow little turtle and see how I do. I’ve got so many adventures ahead of me!

Can’t resist

Hi! I’ve missed you all! I just got this lovely little WordPress app on my iPhone and I got sooo excited! I can blog from ANYWHERE!!! You haven’t heard from me in a while, I know, but I’ve been….hmmm, how do I explain, kinda tied up? Well, I guess super busy is the right term. Well first I got really busy with projects, then we found out we were pregnant, then we decided to homeschool, and since I wasn’t busy enough I was diagnosed with lupus shortly after the birth of our third son! So much of my last year has been spent in bed, in a combination of nursing or sleeping, or an attempt of either of those. I’ve taken photos as I can and will be posting those soon, along with my birth story for those who have asked. I’m just very happy to be writing again, even if it’s just a bit. I will share a little photo of my littlest sunshine in my life. His name is Finn or in this case, I should say yoda. And yes, this is what happens when 2 nerds get married and have babies.

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kings county general store

what started out as a little walk to the kings county general store @southpaw ended up turned into a delightful adventure across brooklyn. we ventured into the brooklyn flea and i lost my breath for a second. the light was so utterly beautiful, if it weren’t for the massive amount of people whisking by us i could have played in that light all day. here are 2 shots from our day.

my friend jayson and his business partner, nathan, make up the Craftmen. they hand craft some beautiful leather work. they peddle their wares at quite a few craft fairs and bazaars. if you get a chance you should stop by and say hello. they’re hellarad.

and the magical light at the brooklyn flea