A chore?

Wow.  It has been way toooo long since I have updated my blog.  I think this blog has become more of a chore rather than a pleasure.  Uploading pictures takes so much time.  Finding words has also become a challenge.  This is odd since writing is one of my loves. I won’t boast that I have the best writing skills or that my grammar is in any way correct, but it is something I have enjoyed for a very long time.  However, I just can’t seem to express how I really feel on this blog.  I guess I am too afraid of who is reading this and who I might alienate or offend.  Does anyone read this thing anyway?

If you go back through my archives you can find when I blogged on my amazing trip to India.  Now, those are posts that I am proud of.  I truly enjoyed putting those words and pictures up.  Maybe it was easier then.  I wish I could say that the day to day goings on with my kids inspired me enough to blog daily but we all know that is not the case. :)  The blog became a chore to keep family/friends updated on my family.  Is that its purpose? Or is it a creative outlet for me?  I could say that my goal is to update more often, as I have said before, or that I will just post pictures or that I will now make an effort to express myself.  I really don’t think that is going to happen.  In the meantime, here are some interesting things.

I saw a baby be born.  Let me tell you, it is a completely different experience birthing the child yourself compared to watching someone do it!  It was overwhelming emotionally.  I really can not express enough the gratitude I feel that my friend and her husband allowed me to witness this life-changing event that is so personal and intimate to their own family.  It is something I will never forget and always be grateful for.  I hated seeing my friend in pain but I was so impressed with how hard she worked and how strong she was.  And the result was a beautiful, precious new baby girl, a new person in our lives to love forever.

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Meet Morgan Jean

I’ve lost some weight.  At least 30 lbs.  Probably more towards 37.  I still want to lose a lot more.  I’m still about 20 more lbs than when I got married eight years ago.  Yeah, do the math.  Two kids and blissful ignorance of what makes you fat can do some damage over eight years.  I’ve lost weight before and gained it back.  This time, I will not let that happen.  The difference is that I have never said that before.  I always thought that once I was at a manageable weight I could start eating again.  So not true.  I know this will send nutritionists a-spin but if you want to lose weight and not gain weight – DON’T EAT.  If you are trying to lose weight and having problems then I can tell you that what you think is eating less is not.  Granted I am not a specialist or educated professionally on this matter but this is my own personal opinion.  Exercise doesn’t really do much.  It definitely helps a lot and is good for your heart, bones and organs and most certainly should be done however, if you want to lose weight, eat very little. In all honesty I am doing the exact opposite at this current point in time.  My goal is to not gain over 5 lbs during the holidays and jump back on the wagon in full force starting in January.  I’ve given myself a year to lose this weight instead of my normal crash diets where I lose fast and gain back even faster.  I was going to post a before and after photo.  But, I am really not ready for that yet and I am not at my true “after”.  Plus, I am horribly afraid that you will look at the two photos and not see a difference!!

I need your help!

On Sunday, October 16, the CHOC Walk in the Park will take place at Disneyland® Park and Disney’s California Adventure Park®. Over 14,000 men, women and children of all ages will join together, each with their own “reasons to walk” for CHOC Children’s and CHOC Children’s at Mission Hospital.

Once again I will support the “Walking Along with Abby” group. Last year, I was the highest donation generator in the group of 29 people with just over $1200 contributed. This could not have been accomplished without the generous giving from my friends and family. My goal in 2011 is to hit $1500 and I know YOU can help make that happen!

Abby, who Kate and I met in Gymboree over three years ago, suffers from Neurofibromatosis (NF). The teams at CHOC are dedicated along with her family to improving Abby’s health and your contribution will help them in this battle. Each year, I am continually humbled and inspired by the incredible grace, love and positive attitude Abby’s parents posses and I do this walk just as much for them as the many children in need.

Anything you can provide is a huge help. Thank you so much for your consideration. Please forward the donation link to other friends and family you think would be interested.
Click here to donate.  If you prefer to donate offline via check please email me at tammy “dot” dunst “at” gmail “dot” com for information on how to do this.
Much love,

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Abby - CHOC Walk 2008

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Our team - CHOC Walk 2008

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Brett and Kate - CHOC Walk 2009

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Abby, her mom Cara and friends - CHOC Walk 2009

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Kate and Clare - CHOC Walk 2010

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Abby and Cara - CHOC Walk 2010

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Our group - CHOC Walk 2010

Creative Weekend in San Fran

I was so very lucky to have the opportunity to fly up to San Francisco this month and take part in a Tonyajoy Workshop.  You will all know Tonya as the amazingly talented photog that takes all the girls’ portraits.  To make the weekend even more special my dear college friend Maya drove down from Ukiah to spend the workshop and weekend with me!  It was wonderful to catch up on each other’s lives and to experience the enlightening workshop that Tonya created.

Before the workshop, we stopped in for tea at the adorable Crown & Crumpet in Ghiradelli Square.  This was a place we had planned to visit years ago but got canceled last minute so we were fortunate that they took walk-ins that day!

Here are some pictures from the tea parlor and some photos I took from the stylized shoot portion of the workshop.  I am very proud of how my photos came out.

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The models were a newlywed couple who were gorgeous! (and also very nice)

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Road Trip!

In March, the four of us set out on our first family road trip to Albuquerque, NM to visit Brett’s Aunt Marian, Uncle Richard, and Mama Ellie.  Brett’s parents Patti and Frank were also visiting at the same time.  Driving straight was out of the question so we stopped in Flagstaff, AZ overnight on the way out there and Kingman, AZ on the way back.  Brett and I were definitely intimidated by the thought of being trapped in the car with the kids for up to 8 hours in the middle of nowhere.  However, we were surprised at how easy the trip was.  The car part was fine – the hotel was like a torture chamber.  Being in a small room with a toddler is never fun.

Once in ABQ, we stayed at the Nygren’s beautiful adobe and were treated like royal guests.  We enjoyed drinks and appetizers on the patio and were treated to Mama Ellie’s famous chicken parmigiana.  I am so glad the girls were able to spend time with their great grandma!  Moreover, I am happy there were no serious incidents on this trip.  The last time we visited Brett collapsed as soon as we arrived to the house and had to go to the ER for dehydration.  Not a fun experience.

On the drive home through Flagstaff we were happy to find snow!  This was Kate’s first time seeing it so we let her play a little.  We can’t wait until we can go back out to see the family again!IMG 0003 420x280  Road Trip!

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Aunt Marian and Clare

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Mama Ellie and Clare

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Uncle Richard and the girls

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Had to stop at Cracker Barrel!

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Kate’s Birth

At 5:25 pm today, Kate will be three years old.  It is hard to believe that I even had a life before she came around.  Someone once told me that his previous life completely ceased to exist the moment his first child was born.  At the time, I couldn’t quite understand his sentiment.  Now, I do.  At first I thought this sounded ominous and negative.  After having a baby, I realize how true this is but the amazing part is that I don’t for one instant miss my previous life.  Yes, it was great, but nothing can compare to the joy, fun and love I have been privileged to experience since Kate’s birth.  I think the best way to summarize the before and after is “all about you” to “all for your child”.  Nothing can prepare you for being a parent so to be a good parent I think you just need to do the best you can for the kids you have.  And sometimes most of the time it is a lot of hard work to do the best you can but you just do it because you are so much in love.

Looking back on my blog I noticed that I didn’t have any pictures up from her actual birth day.  So, here they are. Later, I will post pictures from today!

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Minutes old

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7.4 lbs

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Daddy love

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Nana Patti, Uncle Kyle, Papa Frank

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Great Gramps, Nana Wende, Papa Tony, Uncle Anthony

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Stacy and Steve

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Aunt Cherise and Uncle Anthony

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Aunt Stephani and Uncle Kyle

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My baby