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Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day! Spread the Love...

Mother’s Day is always a difficult holiday for me.  I will not go in to detail like I had originally intended as it gets far too personal; but I will say this:
I use to feel hatred in my heart; which I’m sure those of you who know me may find it hard to believe as I walk around with a cheeky smile on my face 99% of the time.  I finally found a way to let that go in the strangest of places… In the form of a hair trimmer. 
Who I was....
My Dad raised us; and I remember him brushing my curly hair to the point where I think my head went numb. =) Thick glasses, braces, mass amounts of freckles, and I even had all the static with no need for a balloon.  Hand me downs were the norm, (I am a huge fan of thrift shops; although gaudy floral prints are no longer a part of my wardrobe).  I’d come home from visitations with gobs of make up on and Dad would tell me to go wash it off right away because I was too young… and I was.  Obviously, I got teased quite a bit and I’m pretty certain that this is the only picture I have left of myself that I hadn’t scribbled out of a year book with a permanent marker.  
Who I became.
When I went to live with my Mom briefly in middle school, our first trip was to get contacts and make up.  I also learned how to use a blow dryer and lost a substantial amount of weight.  I came back to my Dad and my old town unrecognizable to my best friend from early childhood.  In just a little over a year’s time I actually had to tell her my name before she almost went paralyzed with shock.  As most of you know, now-a-days I not only stand behind the camera, but sometimes in front of it.  Some have said that it is a real life ugly duckling story. 
That drastic of a change affected me so much. It showed me how beauty creates a falsification in people’s minds that you are worthy of being treated nicely, whereas before they didn’t care a thing about my feelings.  People who use to make jeers now wanted to be my friend.   Boys began to notice me.  My high school and college years were much easier than my earlier days, but I can’t say that they were any better.  I feel that most of my real friends came from before that time.

So I am left to wonder… Is being ugly or being beautiful more of a curse?  In one light, (the light of “ugly”), you get to see the real side of people.  If they are mean, they will treat you meanly.  If they are nice, they don’t judge you on looks alone.  In the other light, (the light of “beauty”), the man that eyes you up in the aisle of the grocery store and makes sure to check out in the same line as you and you already know beforehand that he is going to start “small talk”, so you try to not even make eye contact.  Yep, lots of stories like that and don't think that she doesn't know from the moment you are looking at the same lettuce, or the fact that you waited in line to be at the opposite gas pump, that she doesn't know what's comin'.  The greatest hurt of all was being treated different by a family member.  That all of a sudden they were proud of me; that they started to carry around a picture of me and show me off to people.  No more jeering remarks from them either like before. 
And then, the other side of the coin is that I see people with cancer, (two of my grandparents passed this way).  They are not holding on to some self image, they are holding on to LIFE.  How much bigger we are than just our outer shells.  As a little girl, I use to pray to God, Buddha, the Universe, anyone who would listen with more power than myself to make me beautiful, and then later, I began to wish I never had.  But I had made one important person proud that I never could when I was little, so I kept trying to keep them loving me.  I wanted them to want me, because they had not wanted me before my change.
Tommy has known me basically my whole life.  He was my brother’s best friend and we grew up as next door neighbors.  Tommy never judged me as the dork I was; so he is someone I know is very real.  When he asked me to come be with him in West Virginia when I was living and traveling on a sailboat on Oahu; I did.  I knew he wouldn’t be sugar coated because he never has been. 
Last year we began to joke about shaving my head.  It wasn’t in the “pulling a Britney” kind of way; but for many reasons that I hadn’t even realized myself at first.  I wanted to donate my hair and I couldn’t seem to get it long enough.  I wanted to give someone who had no hair their confidence back; even if just a little bit.  I also wanted to let go… No more hair dye.  How can someone who preaches organic sustainability douse her head with chemicals once a month?  I didn’t want to be a hypocrite. No more wasting precious minutes of my life standing in front of a mirror for far too long with a blow dryer trying to make something that is naturally curly straight.  I wanted to let go of the hate I felt for only being loved for my beauty.  I wanted to see what my head looked like… What it felt like… Why men go crazy when they get their heads rubbed or scratched.  I have more reasons than I can really express in one blog and I’m already shortening this by miles.
The day I came home and asked Tommy if he really wanted to shave my head; he said that he did and that was it.  No turning back… I had my locks of love form ready with my ruler to measure.  I knew this way I could make the required inches and more.  Off it went and I didn’t shed a tear; nor did I miss it.  Tommy said he really wished he could’ve laughed at me, but that I was actually too cute with no hair.  See why I married him?  I also discovered the love of head scratching.  My close friends always rub my head or use my head as a scratching post when they come over.  I had a few problems though; a few ties with those blond locks that kept me from really letting go.  I still had photo shoots.  I was still a professional real estate agent too, and shaved heads on women make people very uncomfortable.  I found that out when Tommy and I went to the beach and EVERYONE stared at me like I was sick.  That was the first time I wanted to cry.  I felt their pity and the last thing I wanted was for people to think that I was sick.  I realized that I would need a wig for work and I have worn a synthetic wig for months.  Tommy wore it for fun for the head shaving event.  It’s amusing to me that I get more compliments on my fake hair than I ever did my real hair.  People often ask me who does my hair... Now that's a tough question to answer.  I guess I wasn’t as handy with a blow dryer as I had originally thought. ;-)
Now that my hair has grown enough to look like a “normal” person; (it' been over 6 months now), I can finally let go for real this time.  And guess what?  It feels good… It feels damn good.  So before you make fun of anyone, or before you stalk some girl minding her own business just because you think she’s hot… before you tease because it temporarily empowers you… and before you friend someone just because of how they look; remember that the thing that will make you really better than all of that is love.  Love is the act of doing things for all the right reason.

Sorry for deceiving you folks; but I hope you’ll love me all the same. =)
Recent pictures too come soon… I've got the whole Tinkerbell thing going on right now. ;-)

Queen B.

Getting ready... Focusing the camera.

Chop chop chop...
So that's what my natural hair color is!!!

Wig man and G.I. Danielle

The wig, thought by all to be a magical hair dresser's extensions.

When really, it's just plastic strands.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Maui Humane Society Calendar Cover Shoot Sneak Peek- "Kea the Prince of Pomeranians!"

My first thought when meeting Kea, (AKA: "Kay Kay")... "Where are his batteries?".  What a cute little dude this guy is!  Maybe not so much a dude really... more like a compassionate prince.  Kea gets along with EVERYONE and EVERYTHING, (babies, kids, cats, adults, dogs, and he even tries to love the birds!).  I asked his mommy to tell me a little more about her miniature cover model, and she gave me the dirt...

Kea giving kisses with his feral cat friend, "Sister".
"Kea" was once "Casper" when he lived in an apartment on Oahu before finding his home with Candy and her husband, Nane.  Candy and Nane felt a Hawaiian name more suitable, since his "Dad" is Native Hawaiian. Kea means "white" in Hawaiian, (very suitable!).  Some of Kea's best friends are cats!  Kiko is his sister cat and is definitely Kea's best bud.  Not too mention, the feral cat, "Sister", who likes to rub up on Kea.  AMAZING!

Kind of hard to tell which ones real, eh?
Kea weighs a whopping 6 lbs!  He is outweighed by all other furry critters at his home.  His Mom says 5 1/2 of those pounds are just his fluff, (I believe it!).  He's been compared to lifting a marshmallow. (I almost threw him when I tried to lift him, he was so light!).  Don't let his weight fool you though... his substance is in his personality.  This prince can prance, I've seen it!  Not only does he prance, but he twirls!  He twirls prior to doing anything, (peeing, eating, doing a command, receiving a treat, etc.).  He is a born performer.

Kea is always nice, but he does have a naughty habit... paper!  No matter what kind of paper, he'll rip it to shreds when you are not looking.  He has stolen napkins from guests laps at the dinner table without them even knowing until his remnants are found in the living room.  When his Mom was sick, he found her tissue box and daintily pulled them out one by one until there were 30 or so Kleenex's on the floor shredded to bits.  Candy couldn't help but laugh when she witnessed him in the act and decided it best to not interrupt, but to do the right thing... and take pictures! :-)

And lastly, his favorite food is.... STRING CHEESE!  He goes nuts and starts dancing around the fridge the moment he knows it's comin'.  I felt honored to be in this princes presence, snapping away at his cute little fluff face.

A HUGE "Mahalo" to Nane and Candy for their kind donation to the Maui Humane Society that put Kea on the cover.  Your thoughtfulness will not be forgotten as Kea's cute face graces the 2012 MHS calendar. 

Have a great weekend all!

Fuzzy Hugs all Around,
Queen B.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Sneak Peek! Brian and Becky Engagement Shoot

About two weeks ago, I was showing a real estate client of mine, (and friend), a condo.  I arrived early and decided to go in to talk to the agent who was the owner and happened to be holding an open house that day.  After about thirty minutes, I felt like I could have known her my whole life.  Kaye is easy to admire and became an instant friend.  She told me her daughter had been living in that condo, but is getting married so they got a new place together, (hence her selling it).  A few days later, she called and mentioned me doing their engagement photos at a party they were having with some friends in celebration.  I was ecstatic!  My friend is buying their condo and I got to meet Kaye's amazing family and take pictures.  WIN WIN!  Come to find out later; her daughter's fiance, Brian, is from thirty minutes away from where I am "originally" from in Maryland.  We all may live on a rock in the middle of the Pacific, but this is still a small world after all.

Upon first meeting Becky, she tells me she's nervous and anxious.  Am I really that scary? =)  She said that she's, and I quote, "Not Photogenic".  I'll never let her live that statement down.  Becky, your smile lights up a room and you ARE VERY photogenic.  The love she and Brian share is enough to take your breath away.  They didn't even have to try to smile because they just couldn't help but to do so each time they looked at each other.  What a beautiful love they share.  Seven years dating... An eternity in the making.  My hugs and happiness to you both.  Enjoy your wedding in Lanai and your happily every after. =)
"Queen B."

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Sneak Peek! The Romeo Family... All 30 of Them!

I got a call from Diane last week about a photo shoot of her family while they are here on Maui celebrating their parents/grandparents anniversary.  30 people, 2pm (direct sunlight), with only an hour to spare before their luau.  I explained to her the many challenges of this from a photographers point of view; (squinting, shadows, timing, etc), but she was so sweet and still wanted to give it a go.  I'm so happy I did.  Not only was this family super sweet, but they are all gorgeous! 

By far, they were my biggest challenge yet by group size, but what troopers they all were.  Even the children were on there best behavior.  Going through these pictures was such a pleasure because I could just see how much they all love one another.  Thank you Diane and Family for letting me be part of such a special trip.  Safe journeys back to California and come see us on Maui again soon! =) 

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