Turning 45....

     This year I will be turning 45. I never grumble at another year lived, I embrace it, especially the milestones. I like to use those birthdays as a challenge to myself to live a bit healthier, and get in better shape; mind, body, and soul. I had decided as incentive I would have pictures taken after my goal was reached.  Before my deadline a photographer friend of mine was looking for people to take photos of for training he was providing to another photographer. I looked in the mirror, all angles, "not quite to my goal yet," but I had been working with a trainer on meal plans and doing two Visalus shakes a day for weeks now. I wasn't going to pass this opportunity up. Perfection was never the goal, accountability was, so I scheduled the appointment.
      I drove to St. Paul where the studio is located, in an old warehouse building. I stood in the gravel parking lot, looking at the dock workers all looking at me as I took in the historically old building, before I went in. Immediately, upon walking in, it was apparent this was shaping up to be more of an experience than merely having point and shoot photography done. With brick walls, huge windows, open ceilings, ornate furniture, mirrors, lights, and backdrops galore, this "photo shoot" felt more like a modeling shoot and the photographers were truly experts in their field. I was in good hands.
    So here are a few of my favorites. My "accountability" photos, my turning 45 photos...This is going to be the best year yet!

 "AND now for the rest of the story" (Paul Harvey)
     I grew up a tomboy, new friends often thought I was a boy. I was probably the muddiest, messiest, skinned up girl you've ever met. It was no wonder my friends were confused. I shot guns, learned how to shoot a bow and arrow, and rarely played with dolls, in fact I don't recall playing with them except I had a Mrs. Beasley doll when I was a toddler. My best friend was my twin brother (until a girl moved in across the street) and our circle of friends were predominately boys. There were no barbies, instead I had a childhood full of football games, acorn fights, sand burr fights, army guys, mud pies, bike jumps, and trees to climb. I was never, nor did I strive to be, the popular girl, or the pretty girl, but people assume the opposite all the time.
    As a mother and wife in my 20s, I attended one of my first funerals. I looked around at all the memories of this person whose life was being displayed through pictures. I wondered, what kind of pictures my family would display of me. At the time, in every photo, I had a child on one hip or both hips and another little one hanging off my leg. All three of them, beautiful little blessings. Back then, big baggie sweaters were in style and stirrup pants which I always bought on clearance, because the people I enjoyed shopping for the most, were my girls and my husband. My weight had been the most it ever was when I neared the age of 30, something close to 190 lbs or so. My diet consisted of Mac and Cheese, hot dogs, pizza and chicken nuggets it seemed.
     I don't wonder how my life will be displayed now, I know. WELL LIVED, WELL LOVED and WELL WORTH IT, all of it!
     So look at this post for what it's meant to be, a chronicle of the past and present, a reflection of a woman now entering the time in my life where I am the happiest, most content, complete woman I have ever been who at my core will always be that funny, clumsy, broken-armed, muddy, skinned up little tomboy and I couldn't be happier.