My husband and I do not live a lavish lifestyle. We go out on dates to nice dinners once every other month, if we are lucky. We do not drive fancy cars. We do not buy expensive things for ourselves (besides our new house, but that doesn't count at the moment). My husband does not buy me jewelry (because I am the type of woman that would rather him save the money and just buy me Apple TV). Sure I buy myself clothing...off the sale rack, with a coupon. I buy most of my shoes at DSW (with a coupon I got in the mail of course). I do not carry a Louis Vuitton purse, I carry a diaper bag or my beat up wristlet jam-packed with old receipts and 10 year old lip gloss.
The last vacation my husband and I went on, that was more than 3 days/2 nights without kids was in 2007. Seven years ago, people.
The point I am getting at is that we do not spoil ourselves. (Our kids? Well, that is another story entirely...)
I decided a few months ago that I wanted to do something for myself. I wanted to get in front of the camera - and not just anyone's camera. I stumbled upon this ridiculously talented young woman, Michelle Gardella, through a mutual friend on Instagram. She has an ongoing project where she takes photos of women in a river, while wearing floral crowns. I know what you are thinking - huh? I saw her work and was immediately moved by the haunting, magnificent photos of these goddess in the river. I tracked her down, and found out she would be in Connecticut for a bit and because of our mutual friend she squeezed me into her busy schedule.
Tomorrow she is taking me to the river...
I have my fancy dress. I am getting my make-up professionally done beforehand. I am meeting the florist at the location for a fitting of my floral crown...and then I step in the river...in front of someone else's camera.
You might think it is odd for me, who takes Instagram selfies fairly frequently, to be nervous about getting in front of the camera. Well, this is the real deal people. This is not me in a wig with a puppet with my iPhone on a timer, shooting from the shoulders up. Michelle's work is in magazines, and she is doing me the honor of allowing me to be in front of her magical eye! And I am nervous as hell!
I feel like this experience will be somewhat of a cleansing experience. We will be in a remote location, as the sun is setting...just Michelle and I and nature. I have butterflies just thinking about it.
This year has been a rough year for me personally. During the first half of the year my father was battling cancer. It started as skin cancer, then spread through his lymph nodes, to his lungs and finally his brain. I put on a brave face and remained positive through this experience, because I knew eventually he would beat this monster. Did I really whole-heartedly believe it? I don't know that I can say that, but I told myself over and over that he was strong, and a fighter and we would all get through this.
Last month he had a brain and body scan that came back clear. And to this day I am still in shock when I say it out loud. (I will go into more detail about this situation in another post at a later date...)
I also lost my grandmother in May. I didn't realize how hard that would hit me. I still break down in tears when I think about her, or see something that reminds me of her, or hear one of her favorite tunes on the 40s channel on the radio.
My husband has been working like a fiend this year, which means I have been spending a lot of time alone with the girls, and just alone. I am not one of those women that can't be without their husbands, but I don't like being away from Hubs - because I really, really like him (which is a good thing for our marriage, huh?)
I have had sleepless nights over the building of our house (which right now is a total shit show - again, another post that needs to be written, I just haven't had the balls to tell the story on that situation).
I have had irritable bowels about the selling of our current house (which happened way too fast and now we are headed for temporary housing for a few months while we wait for new house to be built).
Oh, our dog has lyme disease, and has no control over her bladder...
All of these sad and stressful things I want to be washed away by the river water. Ok, so I don't truly believe that me getting all dolled-up and wet in a river and having my photo taken will make stress go away in my life, but I am excited to be doing something so amazing for myself. And just the fact that I have had this experience to look forward to has brought some joy to my life.
I am excited to meet Michelle down by the river (always makes me think of Chris Farley when I say that) tomorrow at sunset and make some magic with her.
Better go practice my "smize" in the mirror.