Wednesday, June 30, 2010


Here he is hanging out barefoot on the grass at the park while we listen to music at a summer concert.

A perfect moment.

Knowing that Max had an aversion to the feeling of grass when he was younger makes this photo even more meaningful. I used to take him to Huntington Gardens every day and slowly got him used to it.

So glad he is enjoying himself and the feeling of grass on his feet!


Some other news:

all I am thinking about in between diaper changes, feedings, playdates and park excursions is my next photography workshop.

I'm still processing the workshop in Oregon. So much was jam packed in the few days we had together - and I don't mean that we were so busy we were wiped out. I mean that it was layered. Every moment held an opportunity to get to know myself better - get to know the women better and to bring what I know and am passionate about to others in a way that worked for this particular group - which meant listening to what is going on underneath the surface. And I'm not talking about people gossiping - I'm talking about paying attention to the energy of the group and of myself and moving along with it, guiding it, adjusting to meet it. I faced a lot of internal dialogue that I wasn't expecting to deal with which has been the biggest gift of all I think because it showed me places I still have fear, doubt, insecurity etc.. You know those thoughts? The lies that want to hook your attention into believing them? Yep - they are still there. Luckily they didn't eat me alive! Although I think they tried to! We had an amazing healing exercise around the thoughts that no longer serve us ( those very ones I'm talking about here ) and we released them to the ocean in a powerful photo/ writing exercise. And you bet I was right there with everyone releasing those thoughts out to the sea. Adios amigos. You served me well. tried to keep me safe. But I have no use for you anymore! And now my word for the day is BRAVE.
( thank you Andrea Scher! ) There are so many ways that we all are brave every single day! I saw so much courage in the women who took the workshop and in myself. I acknowledge that we all took a risk to open ourselves up to be creative, be open and to explore our world from a new and different point of view. Thank you again for being there with me.

You can see the slideshow from the workshop here if you missed my blog post about it

And I'm happy to report that there is still space available for the next one and I'm happy about it because that means that YOU and YOU and YOU out there can grab your camera's and join us!!

Sept 29-Oct 3rd.

And YES - you can be a beginner photographer as long as you know how your camera works. Grab your camera and join us! It's going to be so great I cannot wait!!!!

Do you want to know more about it?

here is the link

Monterey Retreat

and yes - Max will be there to make brief appearances through out the workshop. He will be with his Papa while we gather and they will visit us to say hello during meal time. Jerry, my husband, will get a chance to share his expertise with the group as well - which is around the technical stuff,,,,lighting, composition etc.. He is also on stand by if you have any technical questions. Do you want to see his work?

Seiner Photo

He is SO talented...and I'm not just saying that because he is my husband...! He truly has an eye and heart that work so beautifully together to make gorgeous images.


I'll be sending out a new newsletter this week - so if you'd like to get news updates on what's happening with my photography business and links to other inspiring people, places and things - the time is now to sign up!

Go to my website and click on the newsletter link. easy!

and lastly - I'm completing a WONDERFUL e-course called Flying lessons by Kelly Rae Roberts which I HIGHLY recommend to anyone with a new creative business who wants the practical info on how to take it to the next level. GO check it out!

And I just started Dream Lab from the creators of Mondo Beyondo! THIS one is FUN!
I ADORE Andrea Scher and Jen Lemen.....all I can say is - SERIOUSLY NECESSARY......

oh and ok this is really the last little tid bit.... - please read this article by another inspiring human that I love Brene Brown.......

Ordinary Courage


Thursday, June 24, 2010

Father's Day and speech therapy update

Max and I yelling for joy on the lawn at the south pasadena library with my dad laughing with us in the background.

Grandpa Rich and Max hanging out on father's day

Max teaching Grandpa what an owl says "ooo ooo ooo"!!

Papa and Max Hanging out

Grandma DeeDee and Max having a giggle

On Father's Day my parents drove up from San Diego to visit Max.
We went to Mike and Ann's for breakfast and then strolled over to the south pasadena library and hung out under a giant tree on their lawn. It was perfection.
What was interesting was to watch Max as he was hesitant around his grandparents. He hadn't seen them since the Club 21 auction which was about a month ago. He gradually warmed up to them and the photos are at the end of our visit when he decided they were ok to hold him and play.

Max is wearing a shirt that says " Dad Rules " and Jerry is wearing a shirt I got him for Fathers day that says " Dad since 2009 ". I found it on Etsy. Everyone he walked past commented on it.

here is a link to go buy one for someone you love

Branded t-shirts

*** I forgot to mention that Max saw his speech therapist on Friday morning and she is thrilled at how well he is progressing. She suggested getting start on weekly Speech therapy which means that Max has gotten to a place where he is signing on his own and understand what he is signing enough to be teachable. He isn't just signing back what we sign. he is "talking" using his hands! HOORAY!!!!!
Regional Center doesn't approve speech therapy until 18months of age ( don't get me started ) so we are going to go ahead and pay out of pocket for the next 2 months.

For those of you with younger babies with Ds..I HIGHLY recommend getting consultations with your speech therapist as soon as you can. We started at about 5 months old and went in every couple of months to get information on what new exercises to do with him to stregnthen his oral motor skills which is SO important for speech. If children with low muscle tone don't get early intervention with speech and oral motor therapy - they can tend to have a tongue that sticks out all the time, and it's harder for them to figure out where their mouth is....because it's been explained to me that it's like they have a shot of novacain in their mouths AND the low muscle tone isn't helping.
Which is why it's hard to understand kids with Ds when they speak. They sound a bit like people who are hard of hearing who are trying to speak. I've seen amazing results with children who were able to get early intervention
and worked with people who had studied with this gal here and her website Talk Tools

We've been using her talk tools since we went to Sacramento and heard her speak at the Down Syndrome Convention when Max was 8 months old.

We just purchased the sippy cups and the chew tubes as per our speech therapists request....

Max has been biting me a lot - on my shoulders, hands, fingers, and my face. He bites so hard that it feels like he is going to take skin with him. Amy ( speech therapist ) suggested I try hard to not have a reaction and just give him a chew tube. Max needs extra sensory input with his mouth so he needs to do it - just not on ME!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Oregon Coast Photography Retreat Recap!

Here is a little video I put together to share what the experience was like at my Oregon Coast Photography Retreat...

The images in the video are a small sampling of the amazing work the participants created while we were on the coast... sprinkled with images that I took of the experience I had watching them work on their work.

The retreat was so many things...magical, exciting, playful, soulful, delightful, introspective, creative, intense, stressful, joyful, loving, beautiful, energizing and wonderful.

At the end of the workshop we all recognized that we were succulent wild women. I feel so so honored to have met each of them and to have shared that time with them in the beach house. So many moments are swirling in my mind and in my heart that I couldn't possible write them all here - but I can say that I personally feel blessed from the experience and I am looking forward to getting back there next year. I hope I see familiar faces there again in that house when I return!

Much gratitude and love to you amazing, talented women.

**music is "sentimental journey" by Tea and Sympathy who are friends of mine from Minneapolis. you can find out more about them here.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

16 months old and a lot of firsts!

A little sample of sign language from yesterday. We open the video with Max signing " all done"
I love his interpretation of that sign. Perfection.

He turned 16 months on Friday.

now - he is:
1. using sign language more and more. he loves it. Learning signs a LOT right now.
(Baby signing Time DVD'S are the best!!!)

2. He is trying to walk all the time - he can go about 6-7 steps 9 steps has been the longest.

3. He was just approved for "in clinic PT" so he can work on walking with more equipment.

4. we share food now
he loves sharing peaches, apricots(which he holds and eats himself )plums, apples, bananas, cherries and string cheese and when we go to the Farmer's Market we love to have him sample the fruit there with us.

5. He has 5 teeth - the two top front teeth and one next to it are in - and the two front bottom teeth.

6. He gets 3 bottles and 2 snacks per day now instead of 4 bottles per day. Makes a big difference to his parents more than to him I think. WOW it's a life changer - Thanks to Juli for suggesting it.

7. We are trying to teach him to hold his own bottle. He knows he has to at least put both hands on the bottle before we will help him with it. His new OT and feeding therapist gave us some great strategies.

8. He went to Venice Beach for the first time! And He LOVED it.

9. He took swimming lessons last month. We found out that he LOVES water. And is GREAT at kicking. We are going to start up again after Max has his eye surgery which is scheduled for July 28th. (I'm not really thinking much about that right now but will when it is JULY! )

10. I started to be involved in a photo project called 360 unravelled over on I'm taking a photo per day and uploading it with a bunch of other photographers. We all took an e-course called Unravelling together and wanted to keep in touch and keep on working on our image making. This has been a GREAT way to stay in touch and keep on noticing the every day moments that are sacred and amazing. you can see MANY more photos of Max on the flickr sight.

11. Max will take his first plane trip very soon as we are heading to Oregon so I can teach a photography workshop there.
We are really excited and nervous about all that involveed in taking our baby on a flight. Did I mention that I hate flying? Yep - not a great flyer. Did I mention that I don't LOVE driving in the rain? I thought I picked a safe enough date for the workshop - and guess hasn't stopped raining for the past month. Yep. It's going to be an adventure for ALL of us! Please send us really good smooth and safe travel energy! I am inspired by who signed up for this workshop and cannot WAIT to meet them and get started - so once I get there - I will sigh a HUGE sigh of relief. ( and so will my husband who doesn't love being with me as I "deal" with driving in the rain.....I'm learning to "re-frame" it in my head so that I'm calm - cool - and collected.......

12. Right now I'm taking an e-course from Kelly Rae Roberts called Flying Lessons
Which is all about how to take your creative business and make it soar! Kelly Rae is unbelievable. Take this e-course the next time she offers it. You will be amazed.
Right now we are talking about blogs and how important they are to our business.
There was much discussion by the participants about whether to merge or separate family and business/ creative blogs. I thought a LOT about this. Do I give up "hang on little tomato" and go back to my catherinejust blog when I am posting about my workshops, art process, creative tips, and anything else pertaining to my art/photography/printmaking business?
I've decided to stay put - and merge it all here. I love the name of this blog. I love that Max is involved in my creative business as he is the inspiration for my photography workshops. I create them to be in places I want Max to visit and experience. I create my workshops so that like minded people can gather and be in a sacred place and have the time to create, meditate, explore, connect, and be inspired. I create them in places I can travel to with my family. I create them in places that make my heart sing. And if my heart is singing - than the people who sign up will have the experience of me being in the best place of all. I cannot really imagine a creative business where I leave him for days and days. Not right now. Of course he isn't helping me teach the workshop - he is off with his papa playing and exploring while I am at the workshop. But each night we are together. And that's the way I want and need it.

If travelling with my camera gear to meet like minded people and see amazing mouth watering sights along the way while my family comes along with me makes my heart sing
I wonder what makes YOUR heart sing????

Can you leave me a note in the comments about what it is that makes your heart sing?

is it a bowl of ice cream? A gorgeous sunset? laying in a hammock along the beach?
Watching your baby achieve a milestone? Meditation? napping? I'm so curious !

( 16 month family portrait in our backyard )