Friday, February 27, 2015

Week 8- A Friend I...

So this week I write about a friend.

I have a few friends I could have written about, but I want to write about a friend I miss. A friend who has known me since my boys were young, even before one was born. She has been there for a lot. She probably knows all of my secrets, even the ones you never want anyone to know. I trust her to guard them, and I know she trusts me as well.

This woman took me in when I needed to be protected ( not physically but emotionally) and she has helped me through so much!  I am talking about Amy.
Always has a smile!

She was my boss when I worked for Lifetouch in Target. In all honesty, we just clicked. 
She understood me, and I understood her. She made something that had been a hobby for me to become a passion. she inspired me to be more than just a photographer. she inspired me to believe in myself. without her, I never would have believed I could do this: 

Or even have a day where I said this:

She is the type of friend where I can not see her for months and when we get back together it is like we were never apart. Together, we have photographed babies, weddings, and fathers & mothers going off to war who wanted one last memories with and for their children (just in case). We have taken first photos, and last family photos. We have created birth announcements, Christmas cards, Chanukah cards, and even valentines day and Easter cards.   We have helped families with children with disabilities get the photos they never thought they could of their children. we have pulled our hair out trying to get that one perfect photo for that one mom (and often, I am that one mom).  I feel like what we do together is so important because of that. 
From our digital conversion.

I am no longer working at the studio with her, but I am still friends with her. Yay! 

Crazy pictures we took so many years ago!

We text and talk. We message. We listen. We forgive. And she is the only person to ever dress my boys in dresses!
This is Logan at about 2 in one of Amy's daughters nightgowns!
Ok well, a nightgown, and hair and makeup. but she loves these boys like they were hers. and she has fun with them like they were hers!
We go out for walks, and go to trampoline parks, and just plain have a blast together, but we also can be really serious together as well.
This picture is the result of the first time we met. I wanted to do Photos for Steve for Father's day, and I stopped by the studio. Amy was working. I was in my maternity yoga pants that I wore all the time, and a tank top. The boys were in mismatched shades of green. She said, "OK, do you want to schedule an appointment so you could plan their outfits?" I said, "no, these look OK, we can just take pictures like this." She and I still laugh about that moment. She brought my boys in the studio, pulled their shirts off, and did some shirtless brother photos, so cute by the way.
 Then, she had me stand there, and she rolled my pant legs up. The next thing I knew I was "in" the pictures, and before I knew it, I was IN the pictures:
By the time I left the studio, I had amazing pictures, and a part time job, and little did I know it, But I also had a friendship. 
The next session was much better...
This picture of these boys is still my favorite to this date, and I cannot believe that I only have it in hard form, and a thumbnail digital copy.

 I even felt better about being in these pictures.

That is what Amy's friendship has done for me.
It has helped me to be a better me. She has helped me discover things about myself I would have never believed. I am so grateful for her support, her love, and her willingness to drive from the southernmost part of RI to Cranston to watch me sing in a concert,

 or to meet me in East Providence to go to a trampoline park,

or to meet me at Edaville Railroad on a rainy winter night,

 just so we can spend time together. She is always there. Even when we have had our issues, we have always found our way through them, and I am so grateful for that!
We may not be a team at the studio anymore, but I will never forget the lesson I learned there! I will also always be thankful for the friendship!
Stop by and see more posts about friendships! Or join in the challenge! 

Friday, February 20, 2015

Week 7 - The Best Mile #a4a52weekchallenge

It is hard to believe that I am writing week 7 already when I feel like I just wrote week 6! By the end of the weekend I will have a blog about the vacation, with pictures! Photo of Darth Vader to help you understand vacation was epic!

But first, the best mile. 
I want to believe that every mile you move forward is a great mile. I am not an athlete, or at least I don't consider myself an athlete. I have a lot of athlete clothes, and a lot of athlete hear, but I am not in the best shape, I need to lose weight, I need to be stronger at using my will power. I need to be stronger. 

The first mile I ever ran as an adult was a 20+ minute mile. It sucked. It hit me in the gut and made me realize that I am not an athlete. 

Well, I am not much better than a 20 minute mile runner now. But one thing I do have is an attitude that I can do it. 

I look at my run keeper and since 2011 I have run over 300 miles! It sounds like a lot, but that is 300 miles over 4 years and  well, that is not a lot, but it is better than none! 

I used to think running alone was my favorite thing to do. I loved the music in my ears, and no one to tell me what my pace should be. Well, I was wrong. 

I have had a few running partners, but none got me quite like my running partner now. We just click. I would say the first mile I ran with her was the best mile. And it wasn't even when we started as running partners. 

Almost 2 years ago Steve said, "Hey, want to do the CVS 5k with me? It is for Adelaide." I said ok, and forgot about it. I do that a lot, and then dates sneak up on me, and then I get nervous, and then I back out. I almost backed out on this day. The day before the race I said "hey, I will still do that race." Because I hadn't been training I didn't think I could do it. But I tried. 

I had my best mile ever that day. But that wasn't even the point. It was the first race (and I think only race) Steve and I ran together. He stayed with me. The man who has no patience for almost anything stayed with me through the race. 

I remember being so jealous of Chelley as she ran off at a great pace and there I was sucking wind like it was through a milkshake straw! 

As I have grown to know her, as our friendship has grown, I realize my jealousy was misplaced. She has worked her tail off to have the pace she has. She has worked hard to be where she is at. She is not someone to envy, she is someone to learn from, to grow with, to see as a teacher and an example. 
We are running partners. 
We run together.
We walk together when one of us is struggling to run/breathe/live in the moment. 

We have braved cold, and snow, and even a blizzard to run. 
I will run in any weather, if I know I have someone counting on me, and we have become each other's balance. We know we are waiting for each other, so we run. No matter the weather we will be out there as long as it is safe! 

So, the best mile is any mile you run, in my opinion. Long, short, fast, slow, alone, together, sun or snow. Just get out there! 

I also want to add that I am so glad that the boys have joined in Steve's and my passion for running! Makes it a lot of fun when we all love it!

While you are thinking about that mile, consider writing about it! Join in the fun! 
Check out and join the 52 week challenge!

Friday, February 13, 2015

Week 6 - a family member who... #a4a52weekchallenge

It is really hard to pick a family member to write about. 

I talked about my parents last week, and they each get their own spotlight down the road. 

My sister was born second in line. She was full of drama from the beginning, and it is part of what makes her who she is! 

On Easter morning of the year my sister was born, I was excited to meet my baby sister, and angry that my sister was my present from the Easter Bunny. Little did I know how things were going to turn out. 

I arrived at the hospital to meet my baby sister. She wasn't in her room. The start of her life was crazy, but thankfully a diligent, observant nurse saved her life. 

As Megan got older, she was almost never sick, but when she was it was bad. Megan never does anything is always go big or go home. This dynamic was hard for me as her older sister. It isn't easy to be the jealous older sister. Megan was tall, skinny (still is) and had all of the friends. Even people my age were friends with Megan. This was a tough for me to get through. I started to resent her, but that has since past. 

I had to realize that my reactions to my sisters life were not because of her. They were MY reactions, not hers. 
As we have aged together, I find that I am able to see her as a unique individual whom I am not in a competition with. We are different, and that is the way it is supposed to be! 

Now, I am certainly not saying we see eye to eye now. She will be the first one to tell you and there are probably not two more different people than she and I in our beliefs, but we are sisters, and we have learned mutual respect for each other. 

We have learned to let each other be ourselves, and to unite in our similarities. She is a beautiful mother to my nieces, and an exuberant auntie to my boys.

 I love her, and I am so glad we can have moments like these to remember!

And also these:
I love her, and I am grateful we have found peace. 

Check out

And join in on the 52 week challenge! It is never too late! 

Friday, February 6, 2015

Week 5 a childhood memory a4a52weekchallenge


Some people love them.
Other people hate them.
But as a child (as old as 16) balloons meant your birthday was here. My parents would do this scavenger hunt thing that was awesome. We would wake up to a balloon in our room. It had a clue on it. Sometimes the balloon clues would lead to a small present and sometimes to another clue. 

I didn't realize it then, but my parents put in a tremendous amount of effort creating these scavenger hunts. Clues which led to other clues which led to more clues and then at last a present. It was so hard to figure out the clues sometimes and you never passed a clue to get to another. Just the thought that goes into this seems astounding. And as a mom to three now it is just unrealistic that they did this!

But one year, my 16th birthday, they outdid themselves. They did a "balloon bouquet" with clues, and I received them in the car. On this journey my parents drove me from location to location that the clues led to. My school, the hospital I was born at, and many other locations. They even cued the music in the car to fit the location and event in my life. And at each location I received a small present and each present matched the location as well.

 I will be honest, I do not remember what the "big present" was that year, but I remember the journey. My parents worked so hard for that journey. I hope my parents know that even if that journey didn't seem like it excited me it did. I remember it like yesterday, and I wish I could live in that moment of loving joy. 

It is only now as a parent myself that I realize what a sacrifice that was. Of their time, of their sleep, of their resources, to be that tuned in to your child on their birthday. The gift I still have from that day, the gift that helps me remember their love daily is a bracelet that they are for me. It lives in my jewelry box. It's elastic has worn as it is 19 years old, but here a week out from my birthday, one that was a hard one for me (and I can't tell you why) I am grateful for this simple reminder of my parents love for me.  Thank you mom and dad for the living memories you gave me! 

Thank you Chelley for posting this 52 week challenge! It has been amazing to be writing again! 

Check out to see what she is posting about this week! 

And it is never too late to join the 52 week writing challenge! 

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Go Pats!

So, when I married Steve he wasn't a football fanatic. Not at all. And that was ok because I didn't love sitting around watching sports. 

Well, times have changed. I don't know if it is maturity, working for a football legend (Gale Sayers) or being a father, but Steve is now a fan. A huge Patriots fan! He has shirts, and blankets and hats. 

But now, it isn't just Steve, it is the boys as well. 

These are their new Patriots blankets which Aaron squealed about getting. And Logan has a new found love of collecting football cards. 

All of this to say, enjoy your Super Bowl Sunday! 
Love, the Johnson Family