Thursday, November 22, 2012

Dedicated: Ms. Kathryn Truax

Inspiration comes in many forms and I needed MANY of them to start this blog.  One of the most influential was my dear friend, Kate Truax, whom I met freshman year in college.  I had a fairly large group of girlfriends at school and my mom always referred to Kate as, "that's the artist, right?" spurred by the art show she had up on campus during graduation week.  There were no fewer than NINE (nine!!!) Kate/Katie/Katherine/Kathryn/Catherine/Kaitlyns on my floor freshman year so needless to say, last names stuck as a way to keep everyone straight.

Truax was diagnosed with breast cancer in the spring of 2009 and then leukemia in the spring of 2011.  It's been three and a half years of highs and lows, pain and exhaustion coupled with hope and optimism.  Throughout all of it Truax has been stronger than I know I ever could be.  While I'm sure she has her moments in private, she is nothing but her quirky, stubborn, compassionate, loving, always-wants-to-know-what's-going-on-with-you self.  When I catch her on the phone we're not talking about her sickness; we're gossiping, getting updates on work and life and families, and at least pretending for a moment that there isn't a big fat pink cancer elephant in the room.

One thing about friends is that you typically never see them in their work environment.  Kate is a teacher and one of the most touching things I've ever witnessed was the outpouring of love and support from her students.  I visited her school once a few years back and even though she's relatively new to teaching, she's without a doubt a beloved member of their faculty.  So it wasn't surprising when the local media picked up her story - this article and this clip from the local news station indicate just how great a teacher Truax really is. 

From the moment Truax was diagnosed back in 2009, my perspective on life changed dramatically.  The annoyances of daily life are put into perspective pretty quickly when someone close to you gets this kind of diagnosis.  While I've certainly learned the obvious - to take nothing for granted and that things can change in the blink of an eye - I've also learned that we're all a little stronger than we think we are, whether that be as a patient, friend, parent, sibling or colleague.

Kate, I admire you for your strength, humility, courage and most importantly, for your bravery.  I've never considered myself an "artist" before (I can't even write it without using quotes!) but there's no doubt that you helped me start seeing myself that way.  I miss our long walks around DC/Boston, shopping excursions and late night sweaty dancing to cover bands.   Luckily I'm positive that all of those activities will be part of our future as well.  From your friends and family to your students, you have touched many many lives and I know you will have opportunities to do so down the road.  On this Thanksgiving day, I'm so thankful for you and I love you dearly.

This picture of Truax was from her 28th birthday weekend in DC back in 2010.  We spent the better part of the evening in the basement of a sweaty bar dancing to White Ford Bronco (Kate is a legitimate groupie) pretending we were still 20 years old on the dance floor at Sig Phi at Union College.

In true class of 2004 style I think Dave Matthews said it best: "I'll lean on you and you lean on me and we'll be okay."

Lots of love, woms xoxo

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

A little facelift

If there's one thing I think I could play with forever, its the layout and design of this blog.  The options are basically endless and being content with just one feels impossible!  So after one post I'm already giving it a facelift.  I'm a fan of super clean design that is still interesting so finding that balance is definitely a challenge.

I'm sort of loving the idea of a rotating picture up top; for now I'm pretty happy looking at Popham Beach in Phippsburg, Maine.  While I was lucky enough to grow up on the water in nearby West Bath, we didn't live on the beach - more like swimming at high tide and rocks and mud at low tide.  While Popham has changed quite a bit over the years, it's still my favorite beach in Maine!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Taking the plunge!

Starting a blog along with the millions of other people who have decided to do so really shouldn't be that big a deal.   I mean come on, doesn't seem scary, right?  I tend to disagree.

For the past couple of years friends and family have been urging me to start a blog.  Facebook seemed like a reasonable enough place to post my pictures and be done with it.  Recently I realized I was making entire albums "public" on Facebook because I wanted them to reach a broader audience.

So here I am, ready to join the blogosphere.  My goal isn't overly ambitious: shoot enough to post monthly.  That's it.  Doable.  I think.  Here goes nothing!

A couple of weekends ago I was given the privilege to shoot engagement photographs for Meghan, my best friend from high school and her fiance, Marc.  Since this little session is finally getting me to start this blog, it only felt fair to give them the first post!  Meghan and Marc are getting married in Maine next July and I can't wait to stand up next to her as maid of honor.  Lots of thanks to my sister (and fellow bridesmaid) for helping loosen things up throughout the afternoon!

Save the date: Meghan & Marc

I love the way Marc peaks over his shoulder in this one!

And as I mentioned, the assistant...!