Monday, July 30, 2012


I have so, so many blog posts I would like to either start, finish, or post for the public. I'm queen of the unfinished draft post...and I'm really wanting to turn them loose. Everything from Facebook issues to political issues to mommy issues to not issues at all....I just want to write in this place called MINE.

I look forward to doing that here shortly. Stay on the edges of your seats, couches, rugs, beds, or whatever else you're sitting on these days.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Charlotte Update

So, this pregnancy will go down in history as the least documented event in life. Maybe that's an exaggeration, but compared to Noelle's when I was documenting everything, every week, I have now become what I promised I wouldn't...forgetting to take belly bump pictures, forgetting to write things down, forgetting to give Charlotte the 5 star treatment I gave her big sister. This makes me sad, but I can't go back in time and redo what I have missed, so I guess I will just give an update to ease my own guilt.

I am close to 27 weeks pregnant right now. I really can't believe that because I feel like it took an eternity to get to this point with Noelle, and these past 27 weeks (well, 24-ish since I found out) have just zoomed by. Being busy with Noelle, photography, and life in general has accounted for the time warp feeling, and I wish I could just take it all in a little more. Before I know it, this will be over, and I will be a mother to two precious girls (insert excited squeal!), but I know I will miss the pregnancy.

I have always been blessed with "easy" pregnancies. I don't get morning sickness. I don't have health complications (knock on wood). I don't get so tired that I can't move or function or take care of myself and/or others. I don't have weird cravings or aversions. I simply function as a normal human growing another human inside. No big deal. I chalk it up to simply not allowing myself the time to think about feeling like crap...because there are days when I don't feel up to par...but I just can't think about it. There's too much to do in a day. This is not to say that women who suffer from all of the above are weaker than me or that they throw themselves pity parties all day (because believe me I would if I did have all of the nasty pregnancy symptoms), I'm just saying this is what I do and it works for me.

Charlotte moves a ton. She loves to be active in the evening and while I am sleeping. She moves twice as much as Noelle ever did. Noelle moved just enough to let me know that she was OK. Charlotte moves constantly. I don't know what this means for us for when she is born, but I'm loving her active personality already.

I'm big. I think I have gained less weight so far in this pregnancy, but I started about 15 pounds heavier than I did with Noelle, so I feel like I look about 6 weeks ahead of where I should. I am self conscious about this and really don't like my picture taken this time around (which probably explains the "forgetting" of the belly bump pictures). I am looking forward to having Charlotte so that I can begin the process of losing this pregnancy's weight as well as Noelle's. I have a goal of losing 50 pounds. I shared this goal with Luke over our anniversary dinner at Cheesecake Factory, after we had an appetizer, entree, and dessert (cheesecake!). Of course that would be problem #1.... a 3 course meal, but it was our anniversary and I'm still pregnant. So there.

We have begun the process of combining Noelle and Charlotte's rooms. We have picked up some art for the walls, gone through Noelle's clothes from 0-3 months and put them in the dresser, and we are slowly but surely making room for baby. We have loads of baby gear to bring down from the attic and get ready, but we will soon enough. It's definitely really easy to get ready for a sibling that is the same sex as the older one. It's also easier to know the sex this time around. It was fun to be surprised with Noelle, but it's been fun to know and call her by her name, too.

Speaking of her name, we have decided on Charlotte Scout Ernstberger. I have always loved the name Scout for a little girl, but I never thought I would be daring enough to use it as a first name. It doesn't really "go" with Noelle, either, which is pretty feminine looking. However, we love the balance of Charlotte Scout...girly with strong...a little tomboy mixed with frills...and we love that Scout is a character in To Kill A Mockingbird, which is Luke's mom's favorite book and my mom is an English teacher. It all fits.

I go for my glucose test next week. I'm a little nervous that I will have GD this time around, mainly because I feel fat...which is really no evidence that I have it but I definitely feel more at-risk this time around.

Once school starts, this pregnancy is going to fly by even faster. I will be so busy with school and getting things ready for my maternity leave that I will barely have time to think about anything else.

Charlotte, we are so excited and ready to meet you. We know you will be the best addition to our family. Thank you for being so easy on me and for fitting into our already-crazy life. I hope you know that even though I haven't been the  best at documenting every step of your journey that I love you so much!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012


It's been a month since I clicked the Publish button, and I'm pretty sure that's because I try to avoid the way I'm feeling right now. Anxious. Nervous. Full of thoughts yet empty on words. I have started a handful of posts over the past several weeks, only to shut my computer with frustration and go about doing something else.

I really think that I have experienced and am experiencing a ______ life crisis. I don't know what to call it when I am only (freshly, as of yesterday) 28 years old. I hope it's not a mid-life crisis as I would like to live to be older than 56, but I suppose stranger things have happened and I know the world would in fact go on. 

Unless the world ends in December of this year. In that case we have a whole new set of issues on our hands.

Anyway-- I feel this is an actual "crisis," meaning that I am so afraid of failing that I am taking myself out of the ball game all together. This is new for me. I of course have felt fear and anxiety before, but I have never really let it impair me to the point of just removing myself from the situation all together. Now I feel like I have been doing lately is thinking of ways to get out of commitments and responsibilities I would otherwise have no problem completing. Am I vague enough for you?

I love the Internet, but the Internet doesn't always love me. What I mean is that I love to stalk blogs, read websites, go Pinterest crazy, and just basically creep around into other people's lives, but these practices have really hurt me lately and have hindered my confidence as I enter my 29th year of life. In a time when I should be more sure and self-aware than ever, I find myself doubtful, insecure, and questioning every single part of myself, slicing and dicing until there's nothing left.

My practice of reading outstanding teachers' blogs has caused me to doubt what I can do in the classroom, thinking I'll never be as creative and talented and effective as these ladies. I have woken up in the middle of the night thinking about my class's ISTEP scores, wondering what I could have done better to get 100%. 

I love to get inspiration for photos from other photographers who are much more talented than I am, but lately I have just been consumed by worry that my photos will never be that amazing. When I don't hear back from a client who has received my photos, or when I lose a client to someone else (which has happened before as well as just recently-- a long time, 4 session client), I start to wonder why I am even trying. I begin to think that this whole thing is a waste of time and I should just quit before I waste any more money. I don't like fishing for compliments-- in fact  never actually try to fish for a compliment, but there are times that I would really like to hear something like, "WOW! That photo is incredible! GREAT WORK!" I don't hear, ever. So, maybe my photos aren't incredible, and maybe I should just quit? I don't know anymore.

Don't get me started on Facebook. I love and hate it with a passion. I recently felt like a loser because I saw a bunch of girls my age celebrating a bachelorette party, looking all cute and trendy and skinny with their alcoholic drinks in a hotel room, while I was sitting on my bed in Luke's T-shirt at 8:45 on a Saturday night ready to call it a night. I am always so torn between loving being "past" that time in my life and hating that I am not even 30 and have the social life of a 75 year old. Then again, even those people have social calendars at the retirement home. I have phantom friends, friends who I know are there but I don't talk to or see unless it's on my Facebook newsfeed. I have become awful at remembering birthdays, organizing dinners, having people over, or basically just making an effort. I'm embarrassed by what a horrible friend I am.

What it all comes down to, I believe, is that I truly have no idea WHO THE HELL I AM. I am 28 years old and suffering an identity crisis. I don't know who I am, what I want, or how to be OK with any of that. I feel ungrateful for saying all of this because I know that I have a beautiful daughter and another on the way, and I know I have a great husband and I know that we have jobs and a roof over our heads and cars that run and all that stuff. I know. But is it too much to ask to feel as whole on the inside as I appear on the outside? Where do I go from here? How do I make things better? 

I guess I need to sit down and really consider the reasons why I am doing what I am doing-- teaching, photography, blogging, etc. Am I doing it for ME, or am I doing it for the approval of others? If it was for me, then it wouldn't matter what anyone else thought (or didn't think, which tends to hurt just as much). I have somehow lost my way and am hoping to find my way back soon.

In the meantime, I bought a laminator. It helps a little.