How Becoming A Mom Turns You Into A Health Freak

Parenthood, Photography, The Fierce Life

Hi Fiercelings,

Disclaimer: 2 hours before writing this I gave my 2 year old a banana popsicle (we all know yellow is the best flavor)…and then she asked for another so I gave her another…I’m not perfect or legalistic.

Disclaimer: I use the pronoun mom in this article but dad could just as easily apply.

 

Before you become a mom you didn’t know what bisphenol A was but now you make sure that any plastic you buy is free of it. Before you were a mom you didn’t know what might be genetically modified food but now you look for the GMO free label. Before you were a mom you weren’t concerned about how much sugar you consumed but now you hate all junk food. Before you were a mom you weren’t worried about eating a handful of m&ms but now you think your child is sensitive to red 40 and you’d rather be safe than sorry. Welcome to motherhood in the 21st century. This is crazy. We are crazy…or are we?

When you become a mom I think there’s some switch in your brain that changes and you suddenly become hyper aware to how many chemicals are in household goods and to how much sugar is in well, EVERYTHING. Sure, I cared about being healthy before I was a mom but after I became a mom I realized how unhealthy everything is that is readily available in any American grocery store. It’s shocking. It’s angering. Why is it that so much of everything in our society is bad for you? I’m not the crazy one here. Our world is crazy.

STELLA 139

I didn’t set out to be a health freak when I became a mom. I didn’t set out to be hyper vigilant to check labels when I became a mom. I don’t even have children with allergies or special needs. I just want raise my kids without having their constitutions ruined. I want their little bodies to have good stamina. I want them to view food as a way to nourish their body and not as an addiction or an emotional crutch. But everything geared toward children is sugar loaded or chemical loaded. Everything geared toward children is addictive. Everything geared toward children is going to give them a high followed by a crash. Which is insane because five minutes later we will demand that they sit still, be quiet, and listen.

So for all my other moms out there being health freaks with me for our kids, keep it up. Every so often I see a child throwing a fit at the grocery store and mom/dad tells them to be quiet while reaching for a soda and gives it to them. That makes want to scream. That’s insane. And I say that fully realizing I have given my child plenty of soda. You can’t expect your child to be level headed and calm while fueling their sugar and chemical addiction. You just can’t. And that’s why becoming a mom has turned me into a (mostly) health freak.

fiercely,

alexandria

alexandriafierce

Fierce Beliefs. Fierce Ideas. Fierce Art. Fierce Life.

Photographer, Blogger, Artist, Entrepreneur

Email me at alexandriafiercephoto@gmail.com for photoshoot and wedding bookings

Advertisements

Becky & Libby Photoshoot

Beauty Shoots, Fierce Photography, Parenthood, Photography, Portraits, The Artist Life

Hello Fiercelings,

Prepare yourself for absolute adorableness! This mommy and me session that I did is all sorts of sweetness, loveliness, and of course, fierceness! Be delighted!

13 with watermark

I went to highschool with this fabulous woman’s oldest son. Believe it or not, her daughter, Libby, is the only girl and is like her 6th (out of 7 or 8?) children!

24 with watermark

Twinsies!

30 with watermark

The affection was tangible!

34 with watermark REAL

You could definitely tell that this mom + daughter pair are close.

44 with watermark

Precious!

50 with watermark

The lighting was perfect.

81 with watermark

I seriously hope I look this fabulous after having 7 ( or was it 8?) kids!

135 with watermark

Walking in the meadow.

151 with watermark

Magic.

151 with watermark black and white

B+W Magic.

168 with watermark

This gorgeous girl kept pausing the photoshoot to go explore. Well, exploring just happens to create lovely photos.

172 with watermark

Sweetness.

194 with watermark

Also, tree climbing happened.

201 with watermark

Their smiles though!

207 with watermark

They were chatting and laughing in between shots which of course just created better portraits!

211 with watermark

Picture perfect.

218 with watermark

Models.

218 black and white with watermark

Black and white beautifulness.

I hope you enjoyed! My goal is to be as marvelous as these two are when my daughters are older!

Stay fierce,

alexandria

alexandriafierce

Fierce Beliefs. Fierce Ideas. Fierce Art. Fierce Life.

Photographer, Blogger, Artist, Entrepreneur

Email me at alexandriafiercephoto@gmail.com for photoshoot and wedding bookings

 

Cohorts With Creation

Art, Being an Artist, Books, My Friends, Creative Process, Fierce Photography, Parenthood, Philosophy of Life, Photography, The Artist Life

Hello Fiercelings,

One of the most important things for the artist is to do the work. There is no way around this fact. You must do the creating. You must, according to L’Engle, serve the work.

love-rain-drops

“If the work comes to the artist and says, “Here I am, serve me,” then the job of the artist, great or small, is to serve.”

Our society has a negative view of serving. I’ve always been told that you can tell a lot about a person not based on how they treat you, but by how they treat people in what you would consider lower positions. It matters not how polite and agreeable someone is toward you if they yell at the waiter. It matters not how delightful and friendly someone is to you if they are rude to the bartender or valet. Serving is an area in our life that is revealing. How we treat others when they are in a position that serves us reveals our character. Serving the art, reveals who we are as an artist. But here’s the crazy part about serving the art: It’s not about you.

“Listen to me. All of writing is a huge lake. There are great rivers that feed the lake, like Tolstoy and Dostoyevsky. And there are mere trickles, like Jean Rhys. All that matters is feeding the lake. I don’t matter. The lake matters. You must keep feeding the lake.” – Jean Rhys

In some ways this idea is upsetting – how dare we not matter?! – But in another way, I think it is liberating. It relieves you of the burden that you have to create something that becomes a bestseller, that gets featured, or that stands the test of time. Art is not about success. That’s not what is important to art, what is important is that you fed the lake. You must do the work.

There is a negative connotation to work these days. I am reminded of a scene from That 70’s Show where Red tells Eric, and I paraphrase, “That’s why it’s called work, if it wasn’t work they would call it ‘Super happy crazy fun’ time.” But for many “work” is not “super happy crazy fun time”. L’Engle helps us redeem the idea of work by making the distinction between drudgery and work. The two words have becomes synonyms in our world but she points out that “our work should be our play.” There is drudgery work like vacuuming or cleaning out the fridge for examples, but our art work should never be viewed as an equivalent to that. L’Engle shares an example of how a child is at play or work?

“If we watch a child at play for a few minutes, “seriously” at play, we see that all his energies are concentrated on it. He is working very hard at it. And that is how the artist works, although the artist may be conscious of discipline while the child simply experiences it.”

1

My daughter, Isabelle “Izze” Esther, a master of work and play

I particularly identified with this analogy because I have witnessed my daughter, now 19 months old, work and master simple things like going up and down stairs, playing at the park, turning the page of book. Is she playing or working? “The work of the child is play.”

We must do the work. You may be asking yourself how can we serve the work? I will answer in the next post.

Fiercely,

alexandria

alexandriafierce

Fierce Beliefs. Fierce Ideas. Fierce Art. Fierce Life.

Photographer, Blogger, Artist, Entrepreneur

The Artist Itinerary

Baby Love, Books, My Friends, Matrimony, Parenthood, & Family, Parenthood, Philosophy of Life, Photography, The Artist Life

Fiercelings,

You may remember awhile back I was reading a book called the Creative Call. I wrote posts about it here(this is pretty much a follow up post), here and oh yeah here too. I loved this book so much! I discovered it in my church’s library back in Oklahoma, I devoured it, then returned it and I am thinking I need to order a copy of it because I loved it so much. Recently, I shared it with one of my sisters who purchased a used copy off of Amazon for a penny (plus 3.99 shipping). I am including that link here for you.

The author, Janice Elsheimer, has a chapter or section of the book dedicated to doing the work of creating. She talks very practically about having the space to do the work of creating and she also shares about a year that she resolved to say no to things. She said no to volunteering at church. She said no to social invitations. She said no to obligating herself to things because she had a goal to focus on her art – namely, writing and playing the piano based on what I read. In the book, she references Madeline L’Engle’s book Walking on Water so much that I currently have a copy of that book from the library that I intend to write a review of on here in the near future. I am loving these books.

 

The adorable reason why I can’t accomplish everything I want

 

What is the work of creating? It is doing the work. As artists, we tend to have a lot of ideas. Our brains move at 90mph and there are no brakes. We will never be able to get to all of the ideas that we have but we for sure won’t get to the best ideas if we don’t do the work. Elsheimer talks about clearing her schedule and not overcommiting herself so that she can have the time to pursue what she really wants to pursue. L’Engle makes time for being. You may remember my last post about being anti niche. I want to pursue photography, music, writing, painting etc. Here’s the thing though, I cannot pursue all of these things every single day. I can try. But I will only successfully accomplish one, maybe two. So about three weeks ago I made myself a week artist schedule. An itinerary. It was a way for me to stop feeling like a failure everyday because I only accomplished 1 of the 10 artist things I was wanting to do. Which it is unfair of me to expect that of myself! My full time job right now is caring for my little bundle of joy. My husband is working 60+ hours a week and so I’m in a season of life where I am being supportive of him and being available during the small amount of free time that he does have. I can do a lot but the reality is that I truly only have maybe 2 hours to myself a day because my daughter takes an hour and a half nap – 2 hours. It’s a rare day that she’ll nap longer than that. Sure, I could wake up before her but the problem with that is her daddy doesn’t get home until 9 pm or later. We want to stay up late. So we sleep late. Which means I have 2 hours to myself on a regular day. I don’t share my schedule dynamic to bore you but to show that this is my reality and as an artist I don’t want to create a fairy tale world where I do all 10 things I want to do. That world doesn’t exist and so without further ado I give you my artist itinerary:

  1. Monday – Blogging Day. Hence the last 2 weeks that I have successfully posted a blog.
  2. Tuesday – Painting Day – I can’t wait to show you my latest work.
  3. Reading Day – This is kind of a built in catch up day, if I didn’t finish a blog post or painting I can work on it here because hey, I read a page of the book I’m working on. But seriously, I find having a reading day is fantastic for the artist of me. I am intentionally focusing on books by artists or topics on creating/ being an artist.
  4. Thursday – Music Day – Violin and guitar in one day, yes please.
  5. Friday – Writing Day – Different than blogging, I am working on a book idea.
  6. Saturday – Body Day – A day that I focus on yoga, running, or cardio. I try to workout more than one day a week but I’ve found that having an artist day to focus on working out benefits all the other days. Yoga is art.
  7. Sunday – Rest Day. No pressure.

 

I love her no matter how much time I end up taking care of her when I would rather be doing art!

 

You may notice that I don’t have a photography day and I chose to do this on purpose. And it has worked out very well. On music day, I was done early and took my camera outside with Izze to get some photos. I am working on getting photoshoots booked. By knowing that I have accomplished other artists pursuits I have more time to focus on photography! Life is good. So during my season of life right now I am being a supportive wife and caring for our daughter. As an artist I am fulfilling my creative needs by pursuing a specific creative endeavor by accomplishing and focusing on 1 artist pursuit a day. This is my artist itinerary.

 

“How can I prevent Mom from doing what she wants today?”

If you read up until this point, you’re a trooper. This post has been a doozy even for me but I cannot overstate this as artists we have to do the work of creating. We can only do the work if we have the time and we’ll only have the time if we make the time. You have creative needs. You need to fulfill them. You may remember this Richard Price quote from this post, “I think the definition of an artist is not necessarily tied into excellence or talent; an artist is somebody who, if you took away their freedom to make art, would lose their mind.” I know having a schedule isn’t sexy or romantic but it’s wonderful. It shows you take your art seriously. It helps you not lose your mind! Creating a schedule benefits you which in turn will benefit everyone around you.

 

Fiercely,

alexandria

Snow Day

Parenthood, Philosophy of Life, Photography

Snow came falling down slowly, then heavily. White to the right, white to the left, white as far as the eye can see. Today is not a day for driving. Today is a day to enjoy being inside. Take a moment to reflect on life and if you’re like me, a day to clean up my space and make it less cluttered. The older I get the more I realize I like simple and I like being organized. There’s room for levity when there aren’t messes. But to honest, I think there’s room for levity in messes too.

Since I’m feeling lighthearted and I am ready for the snow to melt here are some fantastic shots of my baby girl that I have been meaning to share.

R1-06538-0010 R1-06538-0009 R1-06538-0011 R1-06538-0008

Thoughtful Baby

R1-06538-0007 R1-06538-0006

Happy Baby

R1-06538-0005 R1-06538-0004

Fiercely light,

alexandria