Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Advice Needed

Three different parts of my life that I would love some advice on!!  I love the variety of people that read this so would really appreciate any perspective you could offer me.

1.  Okay, so my hormones are crazy.  Like, bring me back to when I was 15 years old.  I mean, I've always been a bit like this with my emotions anyway, but I think that all the hormonal changes that come post pregnancy and then delayed by breastfeeding etc. it can be a wild ride.    And you know, I'd rather have those high highs and the low lows, than just being a flat line all the time like my husband.  Not that Gary's is bad either, it would be nice to wake up feeling the same way every day.

My question is, what are some natural supplements that I can take to help relax/not be so crazy?  They must be breastfeeding friendly as that is still going oils? St. Johns wort?

{First Shoulder Ride :)}

2.  We get asked A LOT to donate our photography services.  Like, a lot. And we do.  I should also clarify that some of the time we are offering to do it as well.  Thousands of dollars worth each least 1/5 of how much we make in our business.  I don't know.  Maybe everyone is asked to donate their services?    We donate photography to church and school and low income families and immediate family but I don't know where to draw the line.   The problem is that it takes away from calendar space where we could be making money as I only do one session per week.  It takes away from family time.  I WANT to give and WANT to help but where is that line?    In some cases we do get a donation receipt which is helpful.  I'm not trying to sound mean or cheap or anything, I just don't know what's the right amount and what to do about it and what's right business wise.  I would love any feedback on this :)   Please note that this is not about donating money, that's often a lot easier :)  It's about the extra work...

{Loving momma's spaghetti.  Loved by all three kids and their momma.}

3.  Being that I spend hours a day working on the computer, I have realized that I could also utilize my mind a bit more by listening to podcasts.  I'm into a variety of topics, is there anything you would recommend me listening to?  Faith, marriage, kids, health, science...all good.  Just not history...sorry, not into that.  Oh ya, I should blog about a gender studies talk I went to, pretty cool stuff.  Remind me.

{Another blast from the past...Kai at 1.5 (?) years of age.}

 If you do not feel comfortable leaving a comment here, I totally understand!! Please email me at :)
{Starting to plan her 1st birthday!!! So fun!!}

Have a wonderful week!


  1. Do you ever watch Ted talks? ( They're not podcasts but they are videos by many speakers and have a wide variety of topics on the site. A lot are business-y, but there are also lots of other kinds!

    As for donating your photography services, I can see how that would be challenging!! I don't have a whole lot of advice for you, just wanted to empathize and say that I can see the struggle there. I feel like it's all very situational which makes it hard to pick & choose which person/business is the most 'important' cause to accept for donating...could you put a quota on how many 'free' sessions you do per month/year? Anywho! I am rambling now...again, nothing concrete to say on this one just random thoughts... good luck!! I am sure you will make the right decisions in the long run :)

  2. I have read this from various places, most likely on Pinterest that families need to choose who they are giving to and to decide on their charities of choice at the beginning of each year and then leave a little bit of wiggle room but once that is used up then that's all that can be given. I don't know if that makes sense. If I could I would give to lots of charities but I simply can't afford to even with the tax receipts so I pick and choose a few each year and those are the ones that receive my gift.

  3. Argh I wrote this big long thing then it disappears.

    First of all, if you find a supplement to take away the 'crazy' please let me know. Pretty sure I need it too ;)
    I am so hormonal!

    Second, when it comes to charities and giving to thins Matt and I have two places we donate. When other things come up we will sometimes gives a SMALL one time donation, but otherwise just say we can't right now as that budget has already been filled. You can only do so much. I think deciding at the beginning of the year how much your willing to do and sticking to that would help!

  4. Anonymous5:32 PM

    Fish Oil Supplments. Vitamin D. Bach Flower Remedy.

  5. 1. I've got nothing for you. Sorry :(
    2. If you're feeling like you're being asked to donate a LOT, you may be donating too much. Whenever it becomes something you feel obligated or annoyed (to any degree) by it, I think cutting back would be good. I'm not at the same caliber as you so I don't get asked, but i do immediate family for free; that's pretty much it. I would say, for church/school, choose maybe 1 per year, and for low-income families or whatever else, put a limit on how many you do per year. Enough so you're still feeling good about it, not so much that you're feeling like it's taking too much from you.
    3. Alf has been greatly enjoying these messages; i haven't listened to them yet but have been meaning to:

  6. Hey! I am behind on my blog reading, but here I am again! =) In response to your questions, I would offer:

    (1) Good quality Omega 3 Fish oils, from the health food store (not Costco. You have to take like 15 a day of the Costco ones to get the same amount of DHA/EPA). Also, iron supplements with B complex vitamins in it (take separately from calcium or it becomes unusable by the body). Also, Vitamin D. St John's Wort is good for depression but if you feel anxious, use them cautiously.

    (2) I would say that between zero and ten percent of your photography time could be donated. But 1/5 is 20% which is too high IMHO. Think of it as a tithe. Your time is valuable and you should be paid for it. =) A polite "I'm sorry, we are fully booked" will suffice.

    (3) Ted talks are good. There's one on 826 Valencia in San Francisco that blew my socks off. Sermons are cool too =) Francis Chan is pretty passionate.

  7. I just want to say be careful with St. John's wort. It isn't regulated so the dosages aren't all equal. Also, you have to stay out if the sun if you take it. Definitely talk to your doctor before you go on it.

  8. I`m pretty passionate about podcasts (can`t sleep without talking = brain distraction). My favorites:

    - Wait wait don`t tell me. LOVE.
    - Fresh Air
    - BBC world service
    - Marketplace Money (US focused)
    - Money talks (Canadian, can be alarmist)
    - Ted talks

    or just listen live to radio. I still listen to @ home/on my phone, CBC in the car.

    - You'd probably like SPARK from CBC
    - "stuff you should know" is occasionally ok but always irritating.

  9. Sorry, I can't give you much advise
    1. I am more of a "straight line" like Gary
    2. As well as gifts of money, I also look at "giving" some of my time and talents, but how much you can give depends on the stage of life you are in, and whether it is enjoyable, stressful, etc - no use giving something that you end up being resentful about.
    3. I can't do two things at once, so I wouldn't be able to edit pictures and listen to a pod cast at the same time!

  10. Anonymous11:35 AM

    i don't have a lot to add to the supplements or podcasts, but maybe a thing or two about donations/giving time.

    donating money: finding a project or two to which you give a certain amount of money is really, really helpful and it gives your more control where your money is actually going {you can research a lot, keep up with the project, and so on}.

    donating time: i'm not a photographer, but my husband and i are both theologians, not working for a church. lots and lots of people of "our church" ask us to invest a lot of time in projects, helping with kids' church or giving speeches, because "we're the ones who know what we're doing" took us some time to learn to say "no" and along the way we came up with a good system:
    we choose two groups we want to invest our time in and we say no to others, but are open when there's an emergency.
    so maybe when you're doing your session you could come up with a number of free sessions that YOU are comfortable with and maybe you could cooperate with other photographers in your area to do certain "free session days" per year. but what i learned: you have to learn to say "no" and don't expect people to realize that you actually have work to do and earn money for a living.

    hope that helps a little :)
    and if i came across to harsh: sorry! english is not my mother-tongue :)