30.10.13

Family Room Sessions for Mama Bear

"Action saves lives, awareness does not."
Erin Santos in the Huffington Post
The last couple of weeks, in particular, mom has spent a lot of time in our family room.  A typical day for her would be sleeping in the morning for as long as she can (it still riddles me how a body can be tired and yet not able to sleep.  Sleep is a gift.)  She'll come down to the couch and rest there until it's time for a soccer game.  She watches from the car and honks when her baby scores or does something impressive.  We take her home for dinner and more rest.  Most of the day I get to be with her and it's precious.  We sometimes run little errands together.  We watch the kitchen come closer and closer to completion.  We go through the late morning talk show line up -- Rachael Ray and Access Hollywood, The View and The Chew, and Ellen.  She naps to worship music on iTunes radio.  We let Rowdy do tricks for us and we respond adoringly.  And we talk.  We've talked about ten years ago when her cancer first popped up.  It's actually hard to think about.  She found a lump and went to get it checked right away.  She was told "it was nothing."  If I could go back in time... goodness.  Though her own mother had died from breast cancer, and was first diagnosed with it in her forties, and cancer is in her family history, this particular doctor's office announced "It was nothing" and that was that.  One year, and one baby later, my mom went back.  It was still there and she wanted another opinion.

Lo and behold it was a cancerous lump and, shocker!, it had spread into her lymph nodes during the year.  It's hard to think about how different our lives would be if one person had done their job thoroughly.  If it hadn't been able to spread and hideaway inside her.  (Trust us, we know. We know her days are numbered and we know God is in control of her life and our lives.  We know nothing happens apart from Him -- whatever that means exactly.  And most of all we know that He is the One who makes all things good.  Even errors on the job ten years ago.  Still sucks.) 

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  This post was supposed to kick off the month, not end it. But here I am, in October, with a request and a plan.  "Awareness" is an iffy word and idea.  Action, like Ms. Santos says, "saves lives."  Take the knowledge and do something with it.  Check yourself, and get mammograms, and if you feel something follow up on it.  If you are told "It's nothing." but you have a gut feeling it is something, get a second opinion right away.  Search it out until you are satisfied. Get it removed anyway, just in case.  Pay attention.  

Prevention, prevention, prevention.  Act on prevention.  Know what prevention means, and take the time to be sure.  Mixing all these things together (Breast Cancer Awareness Month, family room time, emphasis on prevention) I'm running a Family Room Photo Session for you and your lovies and bunnies.  

Here are the details: 
WHEN | november ninth + sixteenth
WHAT | a photoshoot in your family room of your family being a family.
HOW MUCH | $500 for an hour session and 40 edited digital files.
WHY | 50% of the session fee will be donated to the National Breast Cancer Foundation,
(these lovely people are focused on prevention and early detection.)
I have four slots available -- the morning of November ninth, and the afternoon of November ninth, the morning of November sixteenth, and the afternoon of November sixteenth.  If you are interested in a session please e-mail me at kristen leigh photography at gmail dot com with the slot you'd like to fill.

Like I mentioned about, 50% of these family sessions will be donated in my mother's honor and name.  And, of course, anyone is welcome and encouraged to donate whatever you can.  If someone's "ten years from now" can be a less cancerous one because of our mama's story, I'd be a blessed daughter.

Perhaps the best "action" that can be taken is to love your family "so long as it is today."

From our family room couch,
Kristen + Mama B

22.10.13

Mama's Birthday | Personal

i had the best day with you,
today.
taylor swift - best day
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We had a lovely time with the family for mama's birthday.  While Caleb and I were dating we visited the farm-to-table restaurant Grandale Farm.  We couldn't shut up about the views and the chicken-avocado-cilantro soup.  For years now my mom has wanted to visit and eat there too -- a 55th Birthday Lunch is the perfect excuse!  The last week or so has been especially hard for her.  She's almost finished with her ten days of brain radiation, but goodness, it's been exhausting and intense.  We were all hoping she'd have a bit of a break, but it really hasn't been :-/  (If you'd like to follow the blog I'm doing Mama Bear Updates on, go here.)  It was actually especially sweet to be together for her birthday in the middle of all the yuck.  The food was perfect (if you ever go, get the pig mac-and-cheese) and we went to an antique store that is closing down after 40 years (everything is 40% off!) to find mom some pretty blue + white dishes and treats for her new kitchen.  We laughed and really had fun and got along.  Doesn't get better than that :) (We missed you, Timmy!)

"Do not despise the day of small things." Zechariah 4:10
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