Monday, November 5, 2012

What Are Nipples


I thought and thought as to whether I should post this particular story, and after much consideration, I decided to go for it.  After all, it's nothing "bad", it's just life.  Life with kids.  Which is a very INTERESTING life.

I am also risking it all by putting Nipples in the title.  I can already imagine the hits this post is going to get.

But on with the story.

Yesterday my family was hanging out in the living room enjoying our usual calm-down time.  Dad was watching football (GO NINERS!), My 2 year old son was pushing his toy car along the edge of the couch (VROOOM!), I was working at the computer.  Sarah, my daughter (the girl that abhors subtraction) was spinning in a chair reading a book. 

Then, out of the blue, and so casually, Sarah turns to her dad and asks "What are nipples?"
OH YES SHE DID!

I froze in my seat.  Fingers stopped typing, eyes no longer blinking.  FROZEN.  WAITING.
It seemed an eternity before my husband responded, "What?"

She asked again. He responded again, "What?" pretending to not hear her over the football game, buying time I am sure.

Me, I'm still frozen.  I am not at all bothered that she has asked the question, in fact, it's a good question, our bodies are pretty amazing and we have lots of different parts and pieces that beg some questions!

Then, my husband responded. "They are the bumps on your chest."  

Well of course they are the bumps on your chest!!! I would have been compelled to tell her the whole long gory story, but he went with simple and age appropriate, "Bumps on your chest".

Sarah was mostly content with the answer and started spinning in her chair again, reading her book.  Elijah was now pushing his toy car along the coffee table, Dad kept watching football, and I slowly began to unfreeze.  Slowly.

How is it that parenting can be so incredibly difficult and easy all at the same time? 

“Bumps on your chest.”  It’s that easy.  Today.

What crazy question have you been asked by your kiddos lately and how did you respond? 

And a fun book to check out from your local library... arm yourself!



Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Happening On The Inside

41 days.

It has been 41 days since I walked out of Stanford in the most surreal state of mind.
41 days ago I left Joshua's room in tears and ended up in the cafeteria buying chocolate milk and chili for the kids (I wasn't thinking)
How could I, 41 days ago, smile at a passerby headed into Stanford as I was headed out?
How could I, 41 days ago, find a second to laugh with friends on a bench outside of Stanford less than two hours after I (we) lost Joshua James Mompean?
41 days ago I changed forever and felt a loss of breath that nearly took me to my knees, but nobody knows that, because that was happening on the inside.

39 days.

It has been 39 days since Kim and I went to Sorelle Winery with Dave Mompean and the KOB band to play an already scheduled event.
How could I, 39 days ago, care about making good on a commitment and do business? How could I, 39 days ago, get up, get the kids dressed, help hump gear and smile at strangers that were enjoying blues and wine?
39 days ago I was numb.  I was scared, I was ignoring, I was breaking, I was fearful, but nobody knows that, because that was happening on the inside.
I must be ok because I smiled.

38 days.

38 days ago Kim and I packed the kids in the car and headed to the coast to find air. We went to the beach and we laughed, we tickled, and we stopped for ice cream.  How could I, 38 days ago, laugh?  Eat?  Play in the sand?  
38 days ago I talked and cried with Kim while we talked about Josh and while we drove in silence while the kids slept.  38 days ago we still were unable to breathe and lived a lie where we pretended that we were ok for the sake of the kids, but nobody knows that because that was happening on the inside.
I must be ok because I was laughing with my kids and enjoying a sundae.

30 days.

30 days ago Kim went back to work.  I went back to work the week before. We went back to work and we wrote reports, we went to meetings, we made phone calls, and we did our job. How could I, 30 days ago, go back to work?  
30 days ago I was fucking pissed at the world and at all the people in it for "moving on" and expecting either Kim or I to do the same.  30 days ago I was so filled with anger I wanted to scream and hurt myself to make the pain visible, but nobody knows that because that was happening on the inside.
I must be ok because I am back to work.

25 days.

25 days ago we were at another gig with KOB at Whirlow's.  Playing music intensely, rocking our hips, dancing with the kids, surrounded with friends. How could I, 25 days ago be having so much fun?
25 days ago I was in so much pain.  We were in so much pain.  Kim dropped down in tears before he walked out the door to play, crying for his son.  I cried along side him because I couldn't stand to be inside Whirlow's - the place so many people had rallied around us to support Joshua and Kim while Joshua was at Grossmont.  Whirlow's, the place we told EVERYONE we would bring Joshua when he was home so we could CELEBRATE him and introduce him to people because we are proud of him and want people to know OUR hero.  25 days ago I was weak and aching, but nobody knows that because that was happening on the inside.
I must not care because I am putting "fun" before Joshua.

The point is, EVERYDAY for the last 41 days I am sure that I appear to be fine.  I am sure that I appear to not care.  I am sure that I appear to not give a shit about anyone other than myself.  I am told that I am hurting people's feelings, that I am letting people down, that I am disrespecting family or that I am disrespecting... Joshua.  
How could I, EVERYDAY, be so selfish?
EVERYDAY I am struggling to keep myself and my husband and our family and our kids and our life and our hearts and our minds from imploding.  EVERYDAY I am looking for a distraction, an escape, an excuse to ignore my most painful reality.  EVERYDAY I am hurting, aching, crying, yelling, short tempered, and hurt.  EVERYDAY I am struggling.  EVERYDAY I am forgiving everyone around me for not knowing or caring that I am on the brink of crumpling from the pressures.  EVERYDAY I am a $uc&ing mess.  EVERYDAY I want to scream at people that say little things that are hurtful, harmful, judgmental.  EVERYDAY I want to tell people to get over there little problems because they do not have a son that:

won't be here for Elijah's birthday
won't be here to hear dad play his heart out
won't be here to open a Christmas present
won't be here so I can get one more hug
won't be here so I can say sorry and I love you a gazillion times for EVERYTHING and ANYTHING I ever did to hurt them intentionally or unintentionally
won't be here to say I AM SO PROUD OF YOU
won't be here to tell Sarah she is a good kid and a great sister
won't be here to sing happy birthday to Dad, Jake, Harmony, Baby Conner, ALL OF US!
won't be here to offer a laugh in a quiet room at the most perfect time
won't be here.
won't be here.
won't be here.

And yes, I SAID SON! I am tired of being less than what HE TOLD ME I WAS! I am his MOM and he is my son... and that in no way DIMINISHES IN THE SLIGHTEST that he is also Sandy's son. She made him. She birthed him. She brought him in this world with Kim to share with all of us and has made us better for it.  SHE IS HIS MOM! And I am his MOM!  And SHELL is his MOM... we all MOM'D him! And Joshua, from his lips, told me that he saw me as a MOM and he was glad to have so many.

I think I am still angry.  41 days and I am still $uc&ing pissed.

41 days and I just want to crumple.  And I want to be loved.  And I want to love.  And I want to stop fighting. And I want to be here for people. And I want to do what I can do best which is to CARE and to SUPPORT and I NEED to not be judged because the WAY I do what I do is DIFFERENT from others... it does not reduce my care, my hurt, my LOVE for Joshua or for any of my family.  I am NOT disrespecting anyone.  That is real.  Whatever it feels like, I can guarantee you, it is NOT disrespect, it is me… trying to be ok.  And from my heart to God's heart to Joshua's heart... I am not disrespecting Joshua.  I am loving him with every ounce of me. 

And for the record. 41 days is NOTHING.  I haven’t even begun to look at my reality, my husbands reality and DEAL with it.  And that’s ok.  Like many people that love Joshua, this Saturday is going to kick my ass, I want to run away and pretend it isn’t real, but this Saturday it will be real.  When I look at Kim, Sandy, Jake, Harmony, Dave, Grandma, shell, all the family, all the friends, it’s going to be real.  Let’s be kind.  Not put on a front, not fake it, let’s really be kind.  Let’s accept, heal, and love each other.  I think Joshua would like that.   

This is me.. this is what is happening on the inside.  Please don’t judge me by my cover. I’m doing the best I can.


Friday, September 14, 2012

Rambling...Missing

RamblingThoughts in No Particular Order (thoughts on paper at 11:46am Friday morning)

It doesn't feel like this was the right time.  I know everyone says this.  But I can't express how unsettled I am with this and working it out isn't easy....  I am getting more restless instead of more calm.  It wasn't an accident, it wasn't expected (not now), it was immediate and purposeful but I think not for Joshua.  That is a controversial statement and I am sorry, but it is my rambling thought process.

In the last couple days I was in another world.  I was surrounded by all things medical from gowns to masks to the air that I breathed.  Everything was medical and was provided by Stanford. I was talking to Stanford, breathing Stanford, laying on the floors of Stanford to simulate sleep... I was in Stanfordville but it wasn't happy, it was hell.

While there you get involved in the world they provide you.  You are there and everyone is doing the same thing, watching Joshua.  Watching numbers that don't mean anything at this point, at least not to staff.  Of course we are all in the same place and doing the same thing but with different perspectives.  I was wanting them to DO SOMETHING!  It felt fixable.  I wanted them to change their minds.  Don't look at the "case" but look at Joshua who ALWAYS defies statistics and case studies. 

When you are in the medical world, the hell of Stanfordville, your mind gets boggled.  You don't know what time it is, you don't know what day it is, you don't know what the weather is, you don't know anything except Josh's Pips, BP, Pusle, Resp, o2, etc... You get consumed.  And when you go days watching someone so vibrant and alive become so quiet and still it is of course heartwrenching and inconceivable, but remember, we are all doing the same thing and we all grieve together and we all lose it together.. and the rest is a blur.  But eventually you get in the car and you leave Stanfordville and you greet life, which has kept moving while you witnessed a life altering event. 

How can life keep going?  Weren't we all stopped and honoring one of the most amazing people ever?  Nope.  Life kept moving and then we had to.  Climbing in the car and heading to exit Stanfordville - you have to pay to leave.  I lost my ticket to this fargin place.  I also lost my son.  Did the ticket guy care?  Nope. "$12 please!"  Seems like you should get a free exit ticket under those circumstances, or be given a rose instead of a bill?  I don't know.  

Further on down the road I met more real life. and more and more and more.  In the form of cashiers for food (we forgot to feed kids well) and in the form of bad drivers (they would be more kind if they knew).

Eventually we were home and I crashed.  I went straight to bed despite my plan to wash Stanfordville off of me.  On the way home I obsessed with taking a shower.  I wanted to wash the germs, the air, the smell, the 'everything Stanford' off of my body.  Sleep deprivation and sadness won.

This morning I woke up after a restless night of bad dreams and images and regrets and thoughts... and sure enough, real life was here.  I wasn't in Stanfordville and in my real life.. in my home I was greeted (not kindly) with stupid fucking reality and it was like Joshua died all over again.  It didn't happen 10 hours ago, it happened JUST NOW.  I cried, I mourned, I shivered, I felt naseous.  

Guess what, the kids shifted me and I moved on for some time, making breafast, getting a movie on TV, hollered at Joshua... I mean Elijah :(  Cried because I can't call out to Joshua anymore.  And guess what..... JOSHUA DIED ALL OVER AGAIN.  JUST NOW!  Not 12 hours ago.  

I am starting to realize that this isn't done.  It won't be done. It will be continual.  I am overwhelmed. I am mad.  I am sad.  I am worried.... and I am missing him so much.

Death sucks.

Again, Rambling, but NEEDED to write... needed it.  And you know what, I think I got more coming.  

Please excuse me for a moment when I say to all those that knew Joshua... 

WE ARE ALL MISSING SOMETHING THAT IS INDESCRIBABLE AND PAINFUL AND WHILE HE LEFT US A GAZILLION GREAT STORIES AND LAUGHS... HE LEFT US... AND THAT MAKES ME GASP FOR AIR.

Please excuse me for a moment when I say to all those that didn't know Joshua...

YOU THINK YOU ARE OK... :)  AND YOU ARE MOSTLY BECAUSE PEOPLE DON'T KNOW WHAT THEY DON'T KNOW... BUT I AM HERE TO ENLIGHTEN YOU... YOU ARE MISSING SOMETHING INCREDIBLE IN YOUR LIFE AND UNFORTUNATELY YOU CAN'T GO GET IT ANYMORE, IT'S SOLD OUT.  BUT TRUST ME WHEN I SAY YOU MISSED OUT ON SOMETHING INCREDIBLE TO NOT HAVE HAD YOUR DOSE OF JOSHUA.  HE WOULD HAVE LOVED YOU, MADE YOU MAD, PISSED YOU OFF, TOLD YOU THE WAY IT WAS, HE WOULD HAVE MADE YOU LAUGH, MADE YOU THINK, MADE YOU EVALUATE, MADE YOU LOVE.  HE WOULD HAVE BEEN A PERSON YOU WOULD NEVER FORGET.

If you question that at all, go read his wall.  

TODAY SUCKS.  I AM SCARED TOMORROW WILL SUCK.  IN FACT, I THINK THAT I HAVE SOME SUCKINESS IN EVERY SINGLE DAY GOING FORWARD BECAUSE JOSHUA IS NO LONGER HERE.  I just hope he figures out how to spiritually be a part of my days, cause I need him.  WE need him.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Calling in Sick - The Dilemma

Guest Blog Post by: Susan Michener Spracher


Why is it so hard to call in sick when you or your child don’t feel good? What should be a no-brainer decision becomes a knot in your stomach, pro-con list runaround in your head, followed by a guilt sandwich. Sometimes we try to avoid the whole issue by saying, “let’s try to get going, take some medicine and see if we feel better” as we push our kids along to school and we forge on to work.

The first thing I think of when a colleague comes to work coughing, sneezing and sniffling is GO HOME and take your germs with you! I would much rather do without their productivity then inherit their illness. And really, how productive can a person be when they feel like crap? I’m certain teachers, and the parents of the other 29 students in the class, feel the same way when we send our child to school sick.

How did the idea that “the show must go on” become so ingrained? I wonder about the wisdom of passing that theory along to our children. Sure we want to teach them a good work ethic; be on time, be responsible, follow through. But what about the importance of listening to our bodies? Maybe the message could be: it’s OK to lay down when you’re sick and doing so will make you feel better faster. It’s alright – you’re not letting people down. You’re protecting them from getting sick too. And whatever you missed, can be made up when you’re feeling better.
As parents we are often last on the list of things to take care of. But as we know, our children are observing and absorbing our every move. Perhaps if we model taking care of ourselves by laying down when we’re sick, sitting down when we’re tired or leaving the dishes in the sink to have some fun; our kids will learn to do the same for themselves. And wouldn’t the world be a happier, healthier and less stressful place?



Sunday, March 18, 2012

Call Three Besties First!

Momma said there’d be days like this, there'd be days like this momma said. And when there were days like this she also showed me exactly what hair product would make it all better.  Or at least slightly more manageable.   

What is this I am talking about?  Oh, you know a perm!  A PERM USING THE SMALLEST RODS EVER CREATED.

Friday last week I had an urgent need to “do something different” and without any forethought, a perm became my “something different”. 

Within two hours of my crazy thought to do something different I was walking out of a salon looking like a fried cotton ball mess, tears streaming from my eyes pulling my mascara down with them. 

What did I do?

Something different – that’s what I did! 

I managed to get myself under control on the drive home.  On that drive home I rolled down my window. 

Are you here with me people?

Crazy wet permed hair, a single rolled down drivers side window… and a freeway.

Can you imagine just for a moment what I might have looked like when I pulled up in front of Safeway to get the gallon of milk needed to calm my kids?

I didn’t imagine, I looked in the mirror.  And I saw it.  I was a mess.  I was a tear stained, afro wearing, and a lopsided mess.  The left side of my hair was THREE TIMES as fuzzy as my right side.

And I didn’t care.

I was tired, disappointed, and overwhelmed. 

I patted that mess down, did a little “lick and stick” trying to get the mess tamed enough to walk the dairy aisle, and moved on.

By the time I got home I calmed myself down and decided that this was gonna be ok.  This crazy hair mess that represented my crazy life mess, it was gonna be ok.

I owned both as I walked into the front door.

My mom smiled.  Sarah giggled.  Elijah asked for a hug.  Life was good. Messy, but good.

What I re-learned was that sometimes it is better to not act on impulse feelings to “change things up”.  Let the idea sit for a few days.  And if a few days seems like a lifetime, then at bare minimum there should be a rule to call three besties before making any crazy decisions -- like getting a perm.  Like getting a perm using white and purple rods on already super short hair.   Like even “thinking” of getting a perm.

What was your latest impulse feeling and did you act?
What is your favorite local hair salon?  I'm thinking this Mom About The Town should visit :)





Saturday, February 18, 2012

I Would Be a Waitress

You know that question – if you could have a different job than the one you have, what would you be doing?

Well, for today, I would say I would want to be a waitress. Yeup. A waitress. Not just any ol’ waitress, but a waitress that specialized in families with young kids.

Crazy, I know.

But wait, I can explain.

There is a certain care that needs to be given to families with toddlers… rules if you will.

Rules that trump any restaurant protocol.

For instance:

Restaurant thinking: Greet customer and take them the gazillion menus, a minimum of 4 per guest, regardless of age. Take them the dinner menu, the breakfast menu, the appetizer/dessert menu, and the drink menu.

My specialized waitress thinking: Greet customer and take them a menu or two for adults. Take a kids menu that is not folded up so tight that it rips right off the bat (causing upset screaming child). Keep it simple.

Restaurant thinking: Serve all guests water. All. A glass for every customer, including newborns.

My specialized waitress thinking: ASK them if they want water. Don’t overwhelm them with a gazillion glasses that are seen by a toddler as “things to knock over.”

Restaurant thinking: Ignore the customers that have a water glass spill at their table. Ignore the 7 of the 16 menus that have now been flung to the floor. Ignore. Ignore. Ignore.

My specialized waitress thinking: Within minutes of getting them settled, return to say “Before I take the tables orders, would you like me to start anything now for this cute little boy/girl? I could start an order of chicken or pasta or if you would rather I can bring you some fresh cut fruit?” SOMETHING! The idea is, buy some time for the parents to relax!

Restaurant thinking: Take the orders. Like a robot. Even asking if the parents would like to order something for the 2 day old baby. Then leave and not return for a minimum of 15 minutes.

My specialized waitress thinking: Bring any requested pre-order ASAP and take the orders for the rest of the family. Refill any tea, coffee, water, chocolate milk, etc.

Restaurant thinking: Plating is everything. Make sure to deliver all food on oversized plates. Bring every possible item to the table in additional plates and bowls: including, but not limited to butter, in a bowl; creamer in another bowl, additional napkins delivered on an additional plate; a saucer for every glass; and a saucer under the bowl that holds the lemon for the tea. PLATES, BOWLS, PLATES and MORE PLATES!

My specialized waitress thinking: Plating is everything. CONDENSE ALL PLATING. Families with toddlers can only use one half of the table space. The other half must be cleared of all things hot, sticky, breakable, spillable, or throwable by the adorable, normal, toddler that likes to grab everything. EH-VRE-THING! Therefore, think smart and condense plating. In addition, REMOVE plating no longer used. If there are empty plates, glasses, bowls and saucers no longer being used – GET THEM OFF THE TABLE!

Restaurant thinking: If something should be sizzling or caught on fire as part of presentation – make it BIG! Over the toddlers head.

My specialized waitress training: ARE YOU KIDDING?

Restaurant thinking: Ignore the family for another 15-20 minutes. Walk around, over, or leap across any food that has been flung to the floor around the highchair.

My specialized waitress training: Every now and then discreetly bend down and pick up a few things around the child. Make the parents feel comfortable and welcomed to the establishment. They are paying to eat out and to be treated well – therefore, treat them well.

Restaurant thinking: Give the bill to the youngest person at the table. Go behind drink station and giggle as you watch the parents fight for the bill from the toddler. See how many times the bill gets ripped, or see how many spills ensue do to the flailing arms.

My specialized waitress training: Keep clearing the table of any unused dishes, consistently making more space for the family to relax. Refill their glasses, keeping their tea cold and their coffee hot – but away from toddler. Give the bill directly to a parent.

Restaurant thinking: No eye contact, no smile.

My specialized waitress training: Smile while looking at the customer – all of them, toddler included.

::sigh::

If I ever meet a waitress that did this intuitively, I would come back every other night, give big tips, invite them to my home, and give them Christmas presents. I would marry them!

Maybe I should become a consultant for restaurants? I could travel across the nation to a variety of establishments and conduct workshops for how to wait on families with toddlers. And I would be loved. And I would receive fan mail. And I would be invited on to Oprah or Ellen!


Or maybe I should open my OWN restaurant? I would call it MackenCheeze :)

What would YOU be doing if you weren’t doing what you do?

P.S. – Tomorrow I may want to be something else.




Saturday, January 28, 2012

Moomp Photography - A Featured Interview

Welp, here goes.. the dreaded article that Susan Spracher has been buggin’ encouraging me to write for quite some time.  An article about Moomp Photography.

First let me just say, I love to write!  LOVE!  I have been doing it all my life for my own personal enjoyment.  I write about my life experiences, pipe dreams, letdowns, surprise “positive” pregnancy tests, my kids, and I have even been known to write about throw-up.  I keep it real.  Nothing is off limits.  Well, ALMOST nothing.

When Susan said, “Let’s feature Moomp Photography on the Mom About The Town blog!" I realized - THAT was off limits.  But then, after more grueling loving harassment support from Susan, I realized it was only fair to do for myself what I am asking others to do for them!  Share their story!  So, here goes.

My name is Heather Mompean. I am a photographer. I love taking pictures.  Mr. Moomp and I are the only photographers and the owners.  The End.

Whew!  That wasn’t so bad!

What?

That wasn’t a “story”? 

Crud.

Ok.

Moomp Photography… take two.


Short Story:  Mr. Moomp and I, long before kids, decided we wanted a regular date night.  What better way to have a guaranteed night out than to sign up for a college course together?  We showed up twice a week and learned about aperture, shutter speed, how to unwind film in a dark room, how broken sprockets can lead to extended dark room use, and the stinky smell of fixer.  We also realized how much we loved taking pictures.

A few years later I had my daughter.  Mr. Moomp's fourth child, my first.  My love for photography sky- rocketed the day I brought Sarah Monset home from the hospital.  Within 72 hours of being home I had a makeshift backdrop balanced on the top of doors in our dinky hallway, a terrible lighting set-up, and a perfect baby girl to photograph.  

From then on I took pictures of anyone I could!  Sarah, and my step-daughter Harmony, were stuck living with me and became my in-house models.  Thankfully, Harmony was always willing to entertain my crazy ideas and Sarah was unable to crawl, let alone walk away from me at that point.

I took pictures because it was fun, it was my creative outlet.

Family and friends started asking me to take their picture, too.  Then classmates.  Then co-workers.  Then… strangers!!!  Random people that heard from a friend of a friend that I was pretty good with a camera.

I definitely wanted to do what I love, but I also knew I need to make it a business so that I would be compensated not only for my art and love of photography, but for the time I was away from my baby girl. 

Moomp Photography was born and I continue to do what is fun and what is my passion.


And now, for the official Moomp Photography interview

What gear do you shoot with? 
I am a Canon girl.  I shoot with a Canon 5D, although I have been pining away for the ever so sexy Canon 5D Mark II.  My primary lens is the 50mm 1.4 (I <heart> the crispness and the bokeh it provides).  Most all my images are taken with this lens, although I also own the 85mm 1.8 and a few other zoom lenses.

What would be your dream shoot?
I would love to have a yearly event in which I shoot mom’s, grandparents, sisters, aunts and wives!  It is my goal to get more women in front of the camera!  I think we forget how important it is to remember our own beauty and to celebrate ourselves! Typically woman are making sure EVERYONE else is photographed and if we look around the house or in a photo box the last time we celebrated ourselves was at high school graduation or our wedding!  So, the dream shoot would be a fun ladies event in which women of all ages gather and mingle and mix and celebrate themselves with a fun photo shoot (and pampering).


Who inspires you?
The list is long! I am forever a fan of Jasmine Star and Tara Whitney and so many other great photographers.  They are far more than just people with camera's – they relate to their clients and strive to create an entire experience that adds to the photographs they capture.  I love that and try to do the same for my clients.  The session becomes a fun date that always includes genuine laughter and friendship.  My clients mean a lot to me! I learn about them in the process of taking their pictures and always feel like I gained a friend by the time we say goodbye.  The best part is when I get to see them (and kids) again.

When do you do your editing?
I am a late night editing fool!  I wait till my kiddos have said their prayers and are tucked in bed asleep.  However, I have also edited before work, at lunch, and in my sleep! When Moomp Photography is at the busy times of the year I do my best to first spend quality time with my family and then spend quality time with the images of my clients.  It’s a fine balance.  I want my children to grow up appreciating photography and not resenting it so the best way I know to do that is to not let it interfere with “our” time.


Funniest or most awkward moment on a shoot?
I am always a total professional and never have any awkwardness at a session.  NOT!  Every single shoot I do or say something that embarrasses myself!  EVERY. SHOOT.  But, it’s me.  I have tried to couple up a brother and sister once when doing a big family shoot – got my people mixed up – AWKWARD!  I have had little kids cry at my attempt to make them laugh – AWKWARD!  I have had to snuggle up with a few women to “show” the pose to the husband – AWKWARD! And I make the most atrocious sounds all for the sake of a laugh or giggle from a little one.  To this day I cannot make a correct elephant noise and my attempts are grossly embarrassing.  But, at the end of the day – I can at least say I did what I did to get the best shot possible – even at the risk of losing some dignity.  Thankfully, clients laugh with me… WITH me, not AT me… right?

Most memorable photography moment?
Oh, this is a tough one – I think there is a memorable moment from EVERY session!  Each for their own and different reasons!  Remember, I really love my clients and it is hard not to get pulled into the emotion of the moment!  A new mom loving on new baby that is just days old – SWOON!  A dad getting snuggles from their toddlers – LOVE! The moment just before “the kiss” at Porya and Shawn’s wedding – FOREVER MEMORABLE.  Being told I am not a photographer, but a "friend"tographer - that was pretty darn amazing!  I can’t choose just one moment. Can't.


What’s on the horizon for Moomp Photography?
There are so many things I would like to do, so many projects, special events, new services I would like to offer.  I am mulling over a bunch of things and am excited by all the possibilities.  I would like to offer a yearly package session to a nominated family that has dealt with a significant trauma.  I would like to put together a community event that teaches, shares, and inspires photography in all people of all levels, ages, and interests.  I would like to add the service of creating a family video in addition to a still photography session.  The ideas are endless and keep me up some nights.

BUT, for now, my focus is Moomp Photography’s Mom About The Town.  The idea is to inspire a strong community of woman; to support the local economy; and to get to know each other on a level that is beyond a product or service.  I am hoping that the Mom About The Town component of Moomp Photography will really take-off and be a way for businesses and people to connect and to support one another.  I am excited to have Susan Spracher as part of my team and together I think the future is bright for Mom About The Town!


Fun Facts:

Favorite Current Song:  I love Maroon 5’s “Move Like Jagger” hit.  I cannot keep from gettin' a little groove in my move when that song comes on Pandora. I <heart> Pandora!

Three Words that Friends Would Say Best Describe You:  Well, I hope they would say I was kind, honest, and funny.  But I am more afraid they would say, in unison:  dork, awkward, lame.

Favorite Television Show:  Grey’s Anatomy and Parenthood. I miss Izzy and George.

Mr. Moomp’s Real Name:  Kim Pedro Mompean.  He is a musician as well as photographer and therapist.  When he is on stage… he is Doc Mompean and a total rockaholic!  I really, really love him.  So much so that I married him twice with no divorce in between ;)

Biggest Fear:  Not showing and telling my kids enough how much I love them and celebrate them.  They are amazing!  Although they do drive me nuts most some of the time.  I am always looking back to make sure I do more loving and praising than I do yelling and screaming. 

Happiest Memory:  There are four - Marrying Mr. Moomp--twice, the birth of Sarah, and the birth of Elijah.  These are forever the greatest moments in my life. 

If you are interested in making a happy memory for yourself... give Moomp Photography a call and they will not only provide you with some amazing photographs, but also a fun experience!

 

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Knock Knock. Who is it? Me! Me Who?

Am I the only one that gets a little confused sometimes as to WHO I am?  Am I the mom that ensures her kids are growing up right and true? Am I the employee that has the report on the boss’s desk before the instructed deadline? Am I the wife that makes sure to love and appreciate the man I chose to marry?

The thing is I am all of these things at any given moment in my life.  I am the wife, the mom, the employee, the boss, the laundry’s mistress, and the slave to the toddler that insists on playing with the knobs on the stove.

What I forget, is that I am also me.  I am the woman that loves to spend time with herself reading, creating, soaking, primping, relaxing and being… me. 

And sometimes, I am sexy me.  Yeup.  Even though I have more jiggle and wiggle than I would like, even though I don’t have celebrity hair, even if I don’t put so much as a smudge of makeup on my face, I am sexy me.  And when I “do” spend time to replicate the lovely locks of Cindy Crawford, reinvent the sultry look of Beyonce’s makeup, or slip on a similar outfit as JLo (although a few sizes larger)… well, then I am “super” sexy me. 

It isn’t that I don’t like taking on so many different roles, I do.  I actually “enjoy” doing dishes (sometimes).  I thoroughly bask in the joy of being a mom (when the kids are behaving) and I have to say, I am a pretty good wife (except when I’m not).  And as far as employee-ship goes, according to my evaluations I am pretty good at that, too.  I love all these roles, and more… but I also love being the simple and true, first and foremost, me.

Without a solid foundation and investment in “me” I am pretty much worthless in every other role I sign-up (or am delegated) to be.

Those airline instructions for safety don’t just apply to the possibility of a horrific plane crash.  You know, the instructions that say to put your own oxygen mask on before assisting your children, husband, or fellow passengers with theirs. Same is true in life.  Invest in you.  Don’t assist everyone else under the moon to the detriment of self.

Take the time to feed your own heart, mind, body and soul.

I accomplish this by giving myself complete permission to steal a few seconds, minutes and hours when I can.
  • A drive to work becomes an opportunity for me to sing to my heart’s content.  Up goes the radio, down go my inhibitions, and out comes the singing diva I have been since I was 6.
  • A few extra moments in the shower and I pamper myself with a little extra smelly scrub and a special hair treatment using the “good stuff” I stashed behind the feminine products in the bathroom.
  • At night when the kids are (finally) asleep in bed, I make a cup of coffee and pull out a good book – and I read – and I dream – and I travel – and I live with my favorite character.
  • I call up a girlfriend and I make a date…a date to talk, listen, laugh, giggle, and occasionally cry.
  • I shop… and I release.  That’s right… I go to the store and I touch, stare, adore, and swoon over comforters, clothes, artwork, cameras, and even a set of All Clad 5d Cookware.  Some of them make it into the shopping cart.  Some of them “stay” in the shopping cart.


There is no right or wrong way to invest in me.  It doesn't matter "how" I do it, just that I do. Often.

Because I do want to be a good wife, mom, boss, employee, artist, and more… I need to be a good me.  I need to be a healthy me.  I come first.

In fact, as soon as I finish the dishes and put the laundry in the dryer – I think I’ll paint my toes.  With glitter-y polish and everything.

What do you do to make yourself healthy and strong? 

What do you do for you?