R.I.P. That Wife

Today is my 31st birthday! My gift to myself? Saying goodbye, once and for all, to the online presence I’ve been dragging around for the past few years.

From now on, it’s all about Living Absolutely.



That Wife has been dead for a long time, a skin I shed sometime around my Awakening and departure from Mormonism. For a long time getting married, becoming a wife, was the greatest dream I could dream for myself.

I’ve always been so much more than That Wife. I know that now, and I wanted a space to share what that means to me.

I’m overhauling that side of my internet presence completely. I deeply, deeply wanted every single handle to be exactly the same, but some were taken and some had length restrictions.

Blog: www.livingabsolutely.com
Instagram: @livingabsolutely
Snapchat: @liveabsolutely
Twitter: @livingabsolute
Periscope: @livingabsolute

Cheers to new beginnings!

One Quick Take

Portra 800, Pentax 645

It was a happy happy scan day yesterday, the kind that helps me see how far I’ve come as a photographer. This shot is T1 with his best friend at their preschool graduation from ABC Magic Moments in Fremont, California.

Want to really see how much my skills grew in a year? Here’s the shot I did with T1 and his friends the year before at their graduation ceremony. Continue reading

The Days After

T1 had been sleeping on the couch during his stay with Nana and Papa, but asked to sleep in the same bed as me and T2 the first night after our reunion. It’s a king-sized bed and there was more than enough room for me to have my own sleeping bubble, not touching anyone while I slumbered, while listening to his breathing deepen as he drifted off across the mattress from his sister. Little kids are so generous, so tender, so ready to love and be loved in return. I’m grateful I had the chance to work through some of my own shit before they are old enough to to start stressing about their own and realize what I mess I’ve been.

I watched their chests rise and fall, thinking about my last post and how they had reacted exactly as anticipated. It’s me who is unpredictable, sweet and patient one moment and snapping the next. How unnerving that must be for the little ones who crave stability and a knowledge that their caretaker will always be there for them. I see T1 seeking assurance that he is loved and accepted less often now that he’s had this month with Nana, which is one of the reasons I did this break, because it was killing me how often he told me he loved me in an attempt to hear that I loved him back. I could see what I was doing, but each day I tried to do better I slid back into the same old patterns. Self-awareness does not always go hand-in-hand with an ability to solve the problem at hand. I needed to be stress- and anxiety- and depression-free in order to understand how to address the stress and anxiety and depression in my life. If I can’t fit it in between my child-free hours between 9-5 M-F I’ve got too much on my plate and need to look into simplifying somehow

On the second or third day I opened my to-do list app and that’s when the regression into old patterns was stark. I was frustrated with them, short because it’s hard for me to be interrupted in the middle of a task once I start. That’s why a crucial part of our plan going forward is a combination of outsourcing and family time that forces me to set boundaries for when I’m in to-do list mode. 

I think my favorite day in Royal was the morning  we rode horses with the neighbors. The kids were delighted, we were able to connect and bond in meaningful ways with the sort of people who remind you how good humanity can be, and I was completely present with no worries about what came next or what I should/could be spending time on otherwise. This is the feeling I want to replicate over and over throughout the coming months. This is what I’ve been missing.

One Quick Take


Ilford 3200, Canon EOS3, theFINDlab, freelensed.

I’ve been experimenting with freelensing on film lately. 95% of my shots taken using this method go straight into the trash, but then there are another 4% that are cool and interesting and close enough that I want to see what else I can do. And then there are the winners, of which there was one on this roll, but it was from second shooting a wedding and I’m not allowed to share my images until at least six weeks after the event. So you get this topsy-turvy shot of T2 instead as I muse about this hobby of mine.

Also topsy-turvy is our house and our life. I like change, but I also like organization/order, so now that the house is halfway unpacked I’m feeling pretty good overall. Next we’ll be in Europe and I’ll be feeling the best I’ve felt in a long time. Then a month devoted to coding because I’ll either be accepted to Hackbright, or prepping myself for a third attempt at getting in. Past that I don’t know much about what life is going to look like. We’ll live in this great rental house with a giant oak tree shading the front yard, T1 will start kindergarten, and we’ll keep on really liking each other. I’m a bit anxious to¬†know more things about what the future holds, but otherwise I’m feeling grateful and happy.

(Film from my birthday party comes back on Friday! That’s another thing I’m feeling happy about. Really, really, REALLY happy.)

One Quick Take

T1 day Santa Cruz

Photo credit to Denise Andersen (Nana) for this darling shot of T1 celebrating T1 Day 2015 at the Boardwalk of Santa Cruz. He really enjoyed picking all of his meals and having access to unlimited show and spending the afternoon riding rides with his best friend. He woke up the next morning and told me he wishes it could be T1 Day every day! I told him that’s how I feel about my birthday too.