Thursday, March 31, 2011

going outside my comfort zone

A couple of months ago I read an article in the newspaper about a local photographer's campaign to help women find joy in who they are right now. It is called My Beauty Campaign, you can read more about it right here: To help promote the campaign, she was going to give away 20 free mini shoots at her World wide Charity Event to women who wrote in with their stories. I have been wanting to improve my self image for, well, to be completely honest, ever since I can remember. I have always struggled with self esteem, and my difficulties with infertility only exaggerated the problem. As far as my self image goes, I seem to have gotten lost over time. So I entered the contest in the hopes of finding myself and being able to love who I am today. Not the "I want to be a few pounds lighter" me, or the straighter teeth me, or the "I'm so sick of having acne at 37" me, but me right here right now.

Well, just a few days ago I found out she has chosen me to be one of her lucky 20 women. I'm really excited, but I am also really nervous. This is soooo outside of my norm, but that is one of the reasons why I wanted to do it. I am going to be able to get my hair done, and she will have someone there to do my makeup, which I have never done before. I'm going to go find me a new outfit, which is always fun!

But before she takes any pictures at all I have some homework to do. She sends out paperwork filled with self improvement focused questions to anyone who signs up for a beauty session, and it is HARD! The first question was easy: List some of the things you don't like about your physical appearance. I had a pretty good list. Second question: List those things about yourself that you think are absolutely beautiful. Huh? I'm blank. I can list things I think are okay and kind of pretty, things that are nice about my personality, but absolutely beautiful? Not as easy. Then the next part is to list 5 statements starting with, "I am beautiful because:" Can you say it with me, "HARD"!
I have been thinking about these questions for the last few days, and a new perspective of myself is emerging. This is going to sound so corny, but I feel like a flower that has been waiting all winter to find it's way out of the ground and show it's unique splendor to the world. It's like the poem in the Dr. Seuss Birthday book:

Today you are you! That is truer than true!
There is no one alive that is you-er than you!
Shout loud, "I am glad to be what I am!
Thank goodness I'm not just a clam or a ham
Or a dusty old jar of sour gooseberry jam!
I am what I am! That's a great thing to be!
If I say so myself, HAPPY (EVERYDAY) TO ME!"

So my mini photo shoot is next Saturday, the 9th, and it's going to be fun?! No it really will be!! The best part is a good friend on mine was chosen to participate as well, so I will have here there to help me be brave.

Read more about Mandi and the big event at the Riverwoods next week on her blog:

Monday, March 28, 2011

out of the mouths, or pens, of babes...

This is a drawing that we had Bradley do when he was about 4 years old. We were in the process of trying to adopt and thought it would be fun to have him draw a picture of our family to include in our profile. As he drew the family he just kept adding people. First a sister and then a baby. I think he knew something about our family that we didn't. It took us a long time to get here, but this is our family.