Monday, August 13, 2012

I can't believe I'm posting this.

One girl. Twenty-seven. Single Mom. She can only do so much.

I’ve worked my ass off to get where I am today. I have a good job. I put myself through school in hopes to follow my passion and be successful; to support my little family. We love where we live. Out in the country with room to run, close to family and friends…I did that. I made that possible. I have the HAPPIEST little girl in the world. Smiling. Whistling. Singing. Dancing. That’s her! That’s the Tenlee we all know and love. How could you not smile back at that pretty little face, sometimes with a crooked smile or an under-bite. She’s smart beyond her age. Asks questions she shouldn’t know the answers to. Sassy, but so forgiving. She deserves the world, and I’m trying so hard to give that to her. I want her to excel in the things she loves, give her opportunities to succeed. I don’t ever want her to doubt for a second how much her mommy loves her and that I never had anything but her best interests at heart, every day.

But right now…

I’m so scared. I’m terrified that this guy, that can somehow call himself a “dad” may waltz right into our lives after four and a half years of being close to completely absent-take that all away. No…he doesn’t want custody. Just visitation. That should tell you something right there. That he doesn’t want to commit to being a D.A.D, but he wants in enough to brag about the absolutely wonderful daughter that I’ve raised. He thinks he should get Tenlee to him self on an occasional weekend. In Illinois. Four hours away. And I think NO! Now, before I go too far…I’ll have you know that in most cases I do agree that a father should be in a childs life. Children deserve to have both a mommy and a daddy. I want Tenlee to have a dad so much…it kills me that my daughter has never been able to ride on someones shoulders and bounce around and laugh. That horse-play that a mommy just can’t give. Sometimes, mom just doesn’t cut it-ya know? She’s never had anyone to call dad, she doesn’t know what that means? And I’m sad for her. Growing up, these were things I never had to worry about. I never questioned who my dad was? Why he wasn’t around? And when I explain to Tenlee (because she wants a brother and a sister so bad) that mommy has to be in love, with a boy, and get married and then we can have a brother or a sister…she says: “well mommy, who did you marry first to have me in your belly?” She’s FOUR! She shouldn’t have to wonder these things. What do I say? I think I have my bases covered and then she throws me another curve ball. I’m sick to my stomach, I hurt for her.

Like I was saying-I do think that a father should be a part of a childs life, in most cases. But our situation is different, (I don’t really want to get into that part of it) but just trust that it is. He hasn’t been around. He hasn’t bought her Christmas or birthday presents. He doesn’t call, and he’s visited a hand full of times. He doesn’t know her favorite color, food, movie, or game to play. He’s completely clueless that she starts 4-K in less than a month. She’s an easy little girl to love. And if you know Tenlee…you know that Tenlee is the most outgoing little girl you could meet. She’s social and will generally warm right up to you and be your best bud. She’s not like that with him. He’s a stranger to her. He doesn’t deserve it. He doesn’t deserve her. The title. Or the time with her. He just doesn’t!

And because of this…

I cry myself to sleep. I’ve turned weak, and vulnerable and settling for things way less than I deserve. Just when I think I’ve become level-headed about the things in life that matter most, I cave. I can’t catch a break. I’m trying to make the best life for Tenlee and I that I can. I don’t want to be single forever…30 is coming up quicker than I’d like to admit. I want a man to make me happy; to be there for me, and be someone Tenlee can look up to. To love us. To treat us the way we deserve. Maybe I’ve truly been making something out of nothing for the past year and a half.
♪But I’m done hoping that we can work it out. I’m done with how it feels, spinning my wheels. Letting you drag my heart around. I’m done thinking that you could ever change. I know my heart will never be the same, but I’m telling myself I’ll be okay. Even on my weakest day, I get a little bit stronger♪

This guy. He is great. He really is. I love him. Tenlee loves him. He’s amazing with her, and he’s temporarily filled that little void in both our lives. I could go on about all the good and he deserves it too. I’ve wanted so bad, for so long to call him mine. For him to call me, his. But I just don’t think it’s ever gonna happen and I’m so….I’m so sad. I’m realizing that I can’t make this happen. I can’t change things. And it shouldn’t be this hard. He should want it just as bad as I do. He should want to take me out and show me off. Brag about me, or bitch about me…I don’t even care. But at least let the world know I’m his. If letting him go is "right", then why does it feel so wrong?
I’m not asking for forever, just today…and hopefully tomorrow! 

I’m hurting inside. For me, for Tenlee…for the mess I’ve created.

P.S. I’m 3 cups of coffee deep and running on 4 hours of sleep. I might be a mess.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Visiting Payton!

For all my aunts that DON'T have facebook! Here are a few pictures I took of Payton Leigh last night. We are still planning on doing a "formal" newborn photo session, but when we were visiting last night...I just couldn't resist to snap a few!! Check'em out!

Tenlee and Payton- 4 1/2 years apart!!


This just melts my heart!!

She's beautiful!!! Welcome to the family!!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012


My house is a disaster, I'm waiting to hear from my lawyer in Illinois about the court hearing that was to take place today at 11, my hard drive crashed....AGAIN! My pants don't fit and I have NO ONE to call me beautiful...


Friday, February 10, 2012

Need some inspiration?

Here are some new quotes, and some old ones!!

I'd rather lose an argument to you, than lose you to an argument!

The worst mistake you can make is walking away from the person who actually stood there waiting for you. -Drake

I might not be someone's first choice, but I am a good choice. I don't pretend to be someone I'm not, because I'm good at being me. I might not be proud of some things I've done in the past, but I'm proud of who I am today. I may bot be perfect, but I don't need to be! Take me as I am, or watch me as I walk away!

Sometimes you have to forget how you feel…and remember what you deserve.

Forget the rules and play by your heart!

What doesn't kill you, makes you stronger!

Don't make someone your priority if they only make you an option.

The day you decide to love me will be the day after the day I have given up on chasing you.

I believe that everything happens for a reason. People change so that you can learn to let go. Things go wrong so that you appreciate them when they're right. You believe lies so you eventually learn to believe no one but yourself. And sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together." ~ Marilyn Monroe

Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.

In order to succeed in life you need 3 things: a wishbone, a backbone and a funny bone!

Struggles are required in order to survive in life. Because in order to stand up, you must know what falling down is like.

you can't be afraid of what people think...a well behaved woman never made history!

Try a thing you haven’t done three times. Once, to get over the fear of doing it. Twice, to learn how to do it. And a third time, to figure out whether you like it or not.

Don’t wait for the perfect moment….take the moment, and make it perfect!

Never forget me, because if I thought you would. I’d never leave. - A.A. Mine

If you’re boring, it’s because you’re scared and you’re hiding your best stuff. Getting un-scared is the hardest thing you’ll ever do, but since you need to do it anyway in order to have a great life, you might as well get started now.

When faces with two choices, simply toss a coin. It works not because it settles the question for you, but because in that brief moment when the coin is in the air you suddenly know what you are hoping for!

Never let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game.

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”  – Steve Jobs

Love is just a word. Until someone gives it meaning!



Wednesday, February 8, 2012

MY STORY: Photography

*The purpose of this post is to win a FREE spot in professional photographer, Katelyn James' workshop in March. She is a Virginia-based wedding photographer that I truly admire. 
I would be honored!*


My blog title kind of says is all....Finding Taryn! 
And that's just what I've done!

That's me!

Whether you are retired at 70, working your butt off at 30, or just graduating high school at 18-we all have/had one goal in life...and that's to find out "who we are". What purpose we serve, for who, for what? What makes our heart beat? I've found it, and I'm about to tell you all about it...

I graduated high school in 2003, I didn't have the slightest idea as to what I wanted to be when I "grow up". As I'm sure many others were the same way. But I had a good job right out of school, yet still decided to further my education, but in what...I wasn't sure. So I was taking a few general classes and working full time at a bank. It was alright, but nothing I wanted to do forever.

The guy I was dating at the time, was a "fly by the seat of your pants" kind of guy. Fun, always wanting to try new things. We had nothing to lose and nothing to hold us down. So, we up and moved to the state of Missouri. We were young, dumb, crazy and stupid. But man did we have a good time. We had no place to stay, no jobs, no friends, no family...just each other! But you know what? It was amazing, it all worked out! We both got really good jobs, a nice place to stay. A boat...hello, we were living on the LAKE! It was an awesome experience.

(I know I'm rambling, but please stick with me)

I'll keep out the details (that's for a different blog post) so long story, REALLY short...I ended up pregnant at age 21! Not long afterwards, my relationship was failing, I missed my friends and family back home in Wisconsin and things started falling apart. Luckily I still had a really good job, but was it worth being lonely? I toughed it out and lived alone my first 7 months of pregnancy in Missouri, when one day I remember calling my mom saying: "I'm ready. I'm ready to come home". She was FLOORED and overjoyed. My mom, dad, two sisters and my brother jumped in a truck, got a trailer, and hauled me home within the next two weeks. Let me remind you, I was 8 months pregnant. I was good for nothing-they did all my packing, unpacking, was great! I suggest if you want to move, you should wait until you get pregnant! ;-) 
Only kidding...
It is true though, you can't replace family! They will be there no matter what. Through the mistakes I've made, the hurtful things I've said...hell, I even moved 500 miles away and they still loved me just the same!

Back to Wisconsin I went...crying the whole way, because it was hard to admit that my "move to Missouri" that lasted almost 3 years-was a bust! I felt like I had failed. Feeling alone, moving back in with my parents, and pregnant-planning to raise my child ON MY OWN. was I scared! I remember looking back at old high school pictures and thinking "What did I do? Who am I? This isn't what I wanted..."

But this is when everything takes a turn...for the better!

My daughter, Tenlee was born! 8 lbs. 13oz. on January 2nd (27 hours too late to claim on my 2007 taxes-darnit) Oh well! She was worth the wait!

The moment she came into my life, my world changed. Not only did I find the true meaning of "love", but I found ME! I found my passion. I found the one thing that made my heart beat.

Yeah-maybe my situation wasn't ideal, it wasn't practical, and it sure wasn't easy but I made damn sure every moment I had with my daughter was special. Until she was born, a camera was just a camera to me. It was just pushing a button. Hoping that it wouldn't turn out blurry...again! I remember not wanting to put my daughter to bed at night in fear that she'd be ANOTHER day older. I truly cherished every moment, and over time I realized that my camera was the key. I wanted to capture her every move, every smirk and just the way she looked up at her mama. I never wanted to forget. Which now, I have about 3,000 pictures of Tenlee laying on her back staring at the ceiling. Thought they were cute at the time, and they are...but one or two was probably enough. 

Or not!

Even still, I wanted to remember all those small little moments that we so easily forget. The expressions, the milestones and the love she had around her.
HELLO! We need a picture of that! =)

I eventually had to go to work, that placed Miss Tenlee in daycare for the majority of the day-it made me sick. Why was I spending 9 hours away from my baby girl doing something I didn't enjoy? Why? That doesn't make sense. I didn't have a baby to not get to see her. I knew something needed to change. In the meantime, I received my Canon Rebel as a gift because "if I was going to take pictures, I wanted them to be good". 
I set that thing on AUTO and went to town. Hahaha!

It wasn't cutting it.

THEN, I got smart....real smart! 

Tenlee and I moved into a house with my sister, I got a different job (part time) that I tolerated, and I enrolled in school. An Associates degree in Applied Arts and Business (aka PHOTOGRAPHY) is what I'm after. I'm currently in my last semester of the 2-year program. I graduate in May! 
I cannot tell you how happy I am.
I'm busy, I'm stressed, but it is all going to be worth it.
Every moment I have sacrificed with my daughter is only to better our futures. I'm ok with the idea of not spending all my time with her right now, because I'm working so hard to get to where I want to be.
I have goals, I have dreams! And to think they wouldn't have even been a thought if it weren't for Tenlee.

So, that's where I'm at. I'm 26. A single-mom to a gorgeous and smart little 4-year old girl. I'm working part time, going to school full time. I have learned so much in the past 5 years. Whether it's new mommy experiences, learning who my true friends are-but most of all my education in Photography. I don't want to be one of those Mama-razzi's. Thinking just because I have a DSLR I can take a photo. I want to MAKE a photo. Pushing a button is no longer pushing a button. It's working in MANUAL mode, setting shutter speed, aperture and ISO. Where is the light coming from? Where is my reflector....Lightroom 4! YAHOO! I know so much! But the best part is-there is even more to still learn. I'm working to better my portfolio everyday. To shadow my inspirations and to get out in the field and just shoot! I love every aspect that Photography brings to my life...and it's only getting better! 
Life is full of struggles, the fear of failing and a bunch of "what ifs". I'm ready to conquer my fears, fight the battles and turn the "what ifs" into reality!
Nothing can stop me, I'm stronger now than I've ever been.

I found photography...or did photography find me?

I would absolutely love the opportunity to attend Katelyn James' workshop, just meeting her would be exciting-but to get some tips, advice and guidance from her...what could be better? I cannot thank you enough for giving me, as a young photographer this opportunity. I strive to have my own business and studio; shooting infants, children, seniors, family and weddings! I cannot wait to see what the future holds! This is just a stepping stone!

A few more tidbits that make me the PERFECT candidate for your workshop experience!
For school, I have a portfolio show coming up in May 2012! (Different state, awesome photo ops)
I have a cousin that lives just an hour from you....Hey Dennis-free room and board, right?
It's the week of my SPRING BREAK!

For more about me and in case you want to check out some of my work-go to my website, or find me on facebook!