breathing room

Once I wrapped up my last clients of 2011 I dove headfirst into making Christmas everything it could be for my kids. Then, on New Years Eve, I got really, really sick. I just today came up for a breath of air.

I feel like I have been running with my head down for the last four months. Running to clients, running to pick up kids, running to drop off kids, running to make lunch, running to a teacher meeting, running to buy birthday party supplies, running to get my camera fixed, running to make dinner, running to the doctor, running to visit a friend, running to behavioral therapy for Mckenna, running to the airport, running home, running to the bank, running to a school function, running to the store for more toilet paper…just running, running, running.

And I want to stop.

And I want to catch my breath.

The last few days while sick in bed, I took a cold hard look at my life, and it has suffered. I have gained weight. We are eating out too much. I am not writing. I have not done any of the projects I wanted to do. We aren’t spending enough time putting energy and thought into our lives. We are just making it.

I honestly don’t know how everyone else does it. I look around and it seems like everyone else is working their asses off, making home cooked meals for their kids, redecorating their homes, redesigning websites, setting up shops, chasing their dreams, losing weight, running marathons, taking quick trips, going on dates, building tree forts, learning to kickbox….and I am just watching it all whiz by in awe while clutching my six year old branding and sage green walls and child bearing hips.

I want to spend some time on myself. I want to get this house in order. I want to take bags upon bags upon bags to Goodwill. I want to stop holding onto things for my perfect house and someday. I want to get my branding finished, (I LOVE IT), and get my new websites created. I want to spend time making healthy food. I want my body to work better. I want to learn how to do new things. I want to take my kids to the park. I want to take pictures of us. Do you know that I took a shockingly low number of pictures of my own family this year? I hate that.

Right now, I have a chance. January is notoriously slow for portrait photographers. So I am taking it.

I am going radio silent on the blog until I feel like I have some things back under control. I have got to cut something out. I heavily feel the weight of the silence here, and I just need to say something so I don’t stress about it anymore. I am not going to be posting. I am not going to be thinking of meaningful content. I am not going to be editing photos for other people.

I will catch my breath. And I will come back. Soon.

For now, if you wish, you can keep up with us on my snapshots blog: I don’t want to forget a thing, where my iphone photos are automagically shared.

Until I feel more alive,

Join the Conversation


  1. Just so you know, darling. I don’t know how everyone else does it either. And I made the huge mistake of booking a lot of sessions this January. I am FURIOUS at myself for being so busy, so worn, so tired. My children deserve better. Much love to you.

  2. I love it, and I feel the same way. I look at you and always think wow she is amazing and has it all together. It’s nice to hear the truth that you are human, and guess what everyone else feels the same way, so you go girl. I hope you get it all done and feel a weight lifted.

  3. Guess what? No one else “does it” either – it’s just all smoke and mirrors. And as someone with an 11 year old with special needs, I know how much extra time and emotional energy it takes to parent a special needs kid. Be kind to yourself – you have so much going on and handle it all better then you give yourself credit for. On a slightly different note, my family moved about 6 months ago and it’s been lovely having a fresh start and time to breathe. I spent a few months mourning the loss of clients and a thriving business, but once I was able to let go (which was so scary) and embrace the opportunity to come up with a new game plan, I’ve been so much happier. I’m working less, and breathing more. It’s been a wonderful, lovely thing for me and my family. Hang in there, trust yourself, and breathe. Clarity will come and you’ll know what changes you need to make.

  4. I found you through your images. I’ve kept following you because you your ablitly to be real. I’ve come out of lurking to leave my first comment because of this post. It hit home. Take your time. Heal, love and most importantly, laugh.

  5. After a busy summer/fall/winter, all I wanted to do was chillax at home with my kids while they were home from school. But “everyone else” seemed to be updating their blogs with new sessions and witty festive good wishes, posting photos of their picture-perfect holiday goings on. I kept reminding myself that your blog was quiet, and that it was OK for me to be quiet too. Thank you for your continual inspiration and reminders that it’s OK to be REAL. xx

  6. good god yes. also a mom of a large family & photographer… all i kept thinking by nov/dec was “i want less”. i’ve written across my fridge – “Let go of Excess – excess stuff, excess weight, excess debt”. has been so good for me, maybe you’d like it. and i’ve been eating up two books, The Joy of Less (jay) and From Seed to Skillet (Williams).

  7. I love how Jude said it. Tara sounds like you feel like the rest of us out here in the real world. I hate to say it because I feel selfish, but I wish you would keep posting through this stage. I would love to hear how you deal with this as I too am having these same thoughts.

  8. please consider letting us in on what you’re doing & how you are figuring it out… i’m going out on a limb but i think that there are way more people who are feeling like you are than who are doing everything right & beautifully… the reason i read your blog is to get a nice sweet dose of real…you make me feel like i’m okay… & i love hearing your thoughts on the hard stuff as well as the wonderful… i understand that you need a break & i say ‘take it lady!’ but please remember us back here… we love you :)

  9. Just want you to know that I could have written this post . . . and truth is that 90% of your readers could have too. Give yourself a break. You truly are perfectly imperfect just the way you are supposed to be- and we all love you for it.

  10. oh my goodness Tara. I so get it. I ran myself ragged between October and December. Not the way I want to choose to live my life. I’m trying to figure out how to make the changes that we need and at least some of the changes that I crave. So much of it is about wanting more TIME to do this and that in my life and less time spent working. Sigh. Change takes courage. I’m still trying to figure it out. But I’m sending out some vibes to us all! My husband tells me that 2012 is the YEAR of MANIFESTATION! 2011 was a year of chaos and turbulence but 2012 is the year of manifestation :) So I’m wishing for good health for you Tara, for happiness, for time to breathe, for peace, for all that you wish for Tara. xo~

  11. you just always say it how we feel it, don’t you? i’m childless, with just scott & i right now, but our small business has sure felt like a small child or two for the past 3 years. i hear ya.

    what i’ll be dreaming for you: a girlfriend to come over, gut your entire closet and cabinets, help you clean & reorganize, then cook your family dinner while you take a long bath upstairs and then you two finish a bottle of wine on the couch. voila! ;)

  12. Well said, I feel the same way. And have taken a break from my (very small) blog too, as I need to focus on myself and on dealing with some issues that led to me burning out several months ago. Have a great month and don’t hesitate to extend your ‘me-time’ to february. And please don’t believe that people “can do it all”, I have never met such a person in real life. :-)

  13. Oh dear.. YOU do what needs to be done. I think if YOU go back into your iPhone photo dump you will realize one thing. YOUR LIFE IS FULL and IT IS BEAUTIFUL. I think you are amazing, and when one is sick it feels like the walls cave in. That is understandable. Just take it day to day and remember YOU ARE PERFECT RIGHT WHERE YOU ARE.

  14. I LOVE you are taking time for YOU……Can be the hardest thing to do, time for you. I wonder why that is?? But in the long run,(and the process does seems long) is when you are at best with the world and the inner humming in your feels so good when we capture it. And we let go of it just as easy because its not always easy….Human nature sucks sometimes! But in the moment we get a handle on it it sure feels right. Enjoy the journey of a new beginning. and in the meantime ” I don’t want to forget a thing” says it all.Time to stop and smell the roses is time enough well spent….. Here’s to 2012.Just be, Just breathe….

  15. i might just copy and paste this onto my blog! i love you, and your sage green walls. don’t take the bags to goodwill until i have rummaged through them!!
    i can’t wait to smother you in kisses.

  16. I totally know what this feels like. I just had a slight nervous breakdown on my birthday this week when I realized that time is literally FLYING by and I am yet another year older with out accomplishing the many many things on my things I want to do list. I’ve lived an hour and a half from the mountains for 6 years now and every year I say “I’m totally going to learn how to snowboard this year” and yet again here I am snowboard less. That’s one example of about 1000 possible examples!
    YIKES! life is hard!

  17. You are not alone (clearly, but one more voice chiming in). I ran so hard in December (and really, the months preceding it) that I could feel myself running down, getting sick… and ended up very sick in urgent care on Dec 23. Still not back to full health. Still trying to figure out how to do things differently so I can do what I want to do/need to do and not push myself to illness. Sigh. But it’s good to know that everyone struggles with this kind of thing!

  18. I feel exactly the same way! I get overwhelmed with all there is to do and I shut down and do nothing which only perpetuates the problem. If you find any tips on doing it all, please share them when you come back to us!

  19. amen sista. i think we all feel the same at the end of the year. i haven’t been to a doctor in over a year for any of my check ups, if that makes you feel any better. and i to took very little photos of my boys this year. just remember, you have 4 children when most have less and you have a very successful business, more successful than most. don’t beat yourself up. take time for yourself. breathe. i can’t wait to hear all about it. we’ll all be here waiting. love you.

  20. You are not alone, and if you figure out how to do all that stuff please share. i am feeling very much the same and I would love to find a way to get where everyone else seems to be. hope you find your way….shine a light when you get there.

  21. I don’t think anyone really has it all together. Like you said everyone else is *busting their butts!*. I think the smart ones, are the ones like you, who realize we can’t do it all, and if we try to do it all, then ultimately, something or someone suffers. I’m sorry it took a bout of illness to bring this clarity, but it’s clarity worth realizing! I love reading your blog and your shots are so inspiring. Take all the time you need and focus on what matters most!

  22. I love your blog. I think you are amazing. I’m going through the same struggles….I wish you luck on you mission. I will be working on mine as well.

  23. SAME THING HAPPENED TO ME. . . Jan. 1 SICKER THAN A DOG. . . all year running with my 4 kids, up late editing, just had a FREAK OUT moment to my husband that I never CATCH UP and keep getting unhealthier and sleeping less and less. Preach it sister, I’m on that same page

  24. interesting because I look at you as one of those persons who does it all yet you keep it so real. it’s good that you’re taking a breather. we all need it. and i think with you getting sick is probably your bodys way of telling you to slow down. hope you get the break that you need. will miss reading your blog though. xoxo

  25. I was thinking of you and how I admire so much how you keep it real. It means a lot to me. And here you are again, doing it again. It IS overwhelming sometimes, the running and running and never really doing. Hope your break is wonderfully fulfilling and I certainly will be waiting to see you again!

  26. I know exactly how you feel. Just know that we all love you here and I for one will be waiting patiently for your return and even more of the amazing bits of life you capture with your camera and words. You truly are an inspiration to me and this space is where I come to when I need to remember what is most important in life–passion and generosity. :)

  27. Would you look at that! This will be the 95th comment that screams “Testify, Sister!” We all get you. Seriously… enough is enough. I used to have a sign in my kitchen that read “Simplify your life, and commit to what remains.” This year, I’m not only going to find that sign… I’m going to live it. I know you’re doing the same, Tara. God Bless!

  28. good for you. take that time. no one does it all they may just know how to look like they do. we had a lot of family in for Christmas and it just reaffirmed to me that i only have this time with my kids once and it is right to be immersed in it fully and to remain alive artistically over any financial goals.

  29. Two words: Dukan Diet. I feel like I’m on the other side of this post and a lot of it had to do with making time for myself and feeling better about me. I started this strict, black/white diet and lost lbs, QUICK! Everything else started getting easier, feeling happier, easier to shoot, I was getting down on the ground quicker, getting up and chasing the kids faster. I don’t know, I feel like I sound like a commercial. But I just wanted to give you an idea that you could do in the time constraints you have to make a difference in yourself if you wanted. I felt empowered and in control of my body again, I love to see results and work paying off. Anyway, hope this might help? Good luck in whatever thinking, breathing, hugging and resting you need to do in 2012. We’ll all be here when you get back :)

  30. GOOD FOR YOU! … take the time for yourself and your family…
    we will always “wait” for you, so take all the time YOU need…
    happy . healthy . breatheable . new year!

  31. You go girl… As a much older and an already been there done that, I can tell you so much of what you are experiencing comes with just being a involved person/parent who cares and tries and it gets better and you do catch up in some areas and in others you realize it really doesn’t matter if you are ever “caught up”

    Peace and comfort….

    Love your iphone blog.. I am so getting an iphone now!

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