Erika Ray Photography » blog

A couple years ago, my sister was having a faux argument with her husband.  He looked at her and said with a thick Arkansas accent, “I’m not gonna do it cause I’m a grown ass man.  A GROWN ASS MAN.”

Seriously, how do you not love those little words?    How do you not live by those words?

I was already to write a lengthy post about why women don’t live by these words.  It was going to include how we spend tons of time trying to teach young girls to embrace this attitude of self confidence (aka in my words: Not giving a fuck).  It had a paragraph about how the media forgets women older than 25 because they assume we’ve learned the Lesson.  That paragraph was followed by how some women just never learn and why that’s sad to me.

But you know what?  You don’t need that and you probably don’t want it.  And because I’m a grown ass woman, I’m skipping it today.

Instead, let me tell you what I’m doing or not doing because I’m a Grown Ass woman.

  • I’m wearing my PJ pants and going bra-less for as long as humanly possible.  I’m pretty sure they aren’t clean and swapping out undies would be ideal.  But that’s too much work.
  • I’m going to jam Taylor Swift’s Shake It and Jennifer Lopez’s I Luh Ya Papi.  And when the guy in the next car looks over, I’m not going to stop.   And if he looks over at the exact time, I’ll tell him he’s not my Papi.
  • I’m going to start a quilt simply because I can.  So can you.  It’s simple.  Buy fabric.  Cut or rip.  Sew it together.  Not rocket science, but you do have to do it.  Or find a friend to finish it for you.
  • You were bitchy to me?  Guess what?  I don’t have to say Hi just to be polite.  You aren’t.
  • I’m not unloading the dishwasher.  I’ve got kids.  Work, Boys.
  • I’m not putting away anyone’s clean clothes.  And when you’re doing this, I’ll be on the couch.  Watching.
  • I’m going to reuse the zip loc bags.
  • I’m going to toss zip loc bags and not feel awful.
  • We need clean clothes, so I’ll do one load, but I’ll forget about the other 6 loads down there.  I’ll do a sniff test and check for stains on the clothes scattered on the floors.
  • I won’t obsess on one bad comment regarding work.  Cause I did the best I could in the situation.
  • When Mark asks for steak, I’ll make Salisbury.  Probably out of ground turkey.  It sounds good and I’m the one cooking.  We’ll have steak another day.
  • I’m not going to say, “I’m sorry” when you run into my cart at the grocery store.
  • I’m going to drink wine from a box and not think it’s novel or funny.
  • I’m not going to fake interest when Star Wars, comic book, geeky/nerdy junk is being discussed.  It’s not my thing.  I support it, but please don’t expect me to get excited.
  • I’m not going to the office to watch America’s Next Top Model or Below the Deck.  I’m going to watch it on the nice couch and bigger tv.
  • I’m going out with Mark and friends tonight.  I won’t think or worry about the boys for a second.
  • I’m going to listen to the same playlist again and again and again.
  • I’m going to use words that offend people and not apologize.
  • I’m going to have strong opinions about really dumb shit.
  • I’m going to stick to those opinions until I don’t want to and then I’m going to change my mind.
  • I’m going to be passive aggressive on purpose.
  • I’m going to post a morning photo and not think twice.
  • And I’m going to convert it to Black & White.  Cause everybody looks good in B&W.  It’s true.
  • I’m not going to read and reread this post looking for errors.  It happens.  I’ll fix them when Mark emails me.

I’m not suggesting that being a Grown Ass Woman means you can be incredibly bitchy or rude.

I’m suggesting that we let go a bit.  Be selfish.

Be a GROWN ASS woman.

20140919-_ELR4969

  • Johnna LaFaith - you’re my hero, but not in a novel way. You’ve reminded me more times than I can remember what living is really about. XOSeptember 19, 2014 – 2:19 pmReplyCancel

  • Robin Geer Troxell - a-fucking-menSeptember 19, 2014 – 2:24 pmReplyCancel

  • Angela Thomas - perfect. Jennifer Zandee Engelbrecht you’ll love this.
    September 19, 2014 – 2:51 pmReplyCancel

  • Melanie Sonnier - Dear god, woman. I love you.September 19, 2014 – 3:24 pmReplyCancel

  • Kim Kravitz - Love this! Thanks for sharing it. <3 <3 <3September 19, 2014 – 4:09 pmReplyCancel

  • Celeste Pav - love this! September 19, 2014 – 5:08 pmReplyCancel

  • Kristin - Thank you!!September 19, 2014 – 5:09 pmReplyCancel

I’m a purely selfish volunteer.

I do the PTA because I live on top of the school.  How do I not go and my lights are on?  I also do it because I dig hanging out with the other members.  It’s a side effect that I also help the school.

I serve food once a month at our neighborhood resource center because my neighbor asked and she’s fun to hang out with.

I posted charity drives on the blog because it was easy to do from my couch.  I’m on the couch and my blog has a small crowd.  Why not?

Let’s review: I volunteer because I like hanging out with people, I don’t want to be caught at home during meetings, and sometimes I can do it lazily.  Plus it has to win me some decent karma points?  But because I’ve just advertised the fact that I volunteer (no matter how lazily) it cancels out any good I created because people will think it looks self-serving.  And probably is.  Shit, I’m truly a selfish person.

But thank god, there are people who are different.

There are people who recognize that their community needs help so they simply help.  They help because they can’t NOT help.  They help without anything in return or a blog to advertise their good deeds.  It’s in their core to give.  Secretly, I’m jealous of those Folks.  And not so secretly, I adore that our world has them.  Once a month, I get to watch these people help and witness the gratitude from those on the receiving end.

I started this blanket with the intention of keeping it.  But once I got into it, I realized that the polka dots just weren’t our style.

So I’ll unload it and donate the funds.  This is a pretty local fundraiser.  All funds will be donated to CRC which is located in my neighborhood.  I’m sure your neighborhood has a similar place.  Do some research and find your own selfish reasons to volunteer.

I don’t feel like creating a starting price.  It feels weird to me putting a price on the blanket: Would someone really pay that for a blanket of mine?  It’s not professional after all.  How about we do a silent auction?  I swear you’ll win this blanket for less than it’s actually worth.  And you’ll feel warm and fuzzy about helping out a good place.  How ’bout it?!

Let’s start at $10.  Email me a dollar amount higher than that and it could be yours!  You can do this by using the Contact button at the top of this page.  Or you can go to my Facebook page and message me (Check your Other folder for my reply)  At some point during the day, I’ll let you know if you’ve been outbid.

Highest bidder wins this 55×55 100% cotton quilt. You can toss it in the washer and dryer.  It’s meant to be used: cuddled, played on, eaten on, and pee’d on if necessary.

Top bid by the end of Wednesday night becomes the proud owner.  Send me a check or even better, use Paypal.  As long as you’re domestic, I’ll cover shipping.  International?  Throw me some extra change, please.

Let’s go.  Who’s got $10.25?

Please don’t make me give it away for a mere $10.25…

Polka Dot Scrappy Trip Along

polka dot scrappy trip along 2

Polka Dot Scrappy Folded and Ready to go

  • Michelle K - I would give you $40September 8, 2014 – 9:46 amReplyCancel

  • Cassie - I know what fabric, supplies, machines, and time cost for a quilter as my mother is a quilter. That puppy is prolly worth more then $250 easy. Good luck with it! I just love it!September 8, 2014 – 9:52 amReplyCancel

  • Amy Knisley - I want your polka dot blanket :) September 8, 2014 – 12:46 pmReplyCancel

  • Johnna LaFaith - this is beautiful. I love it, and I don’t think you’re a selfish person… you just really enjoy the things you do that help others.September 10, 2014 – 12:51 amReplyCancel

I’m not in a bad mood, I’m just easily irritated these days.  That sounds impossible, right?  But it’s true.  I’m happy at work.  Family is good.  I’ve seen a handful of friends on a regular basis.  Photography is churning out and school activities are at a minimum.  I’ve even finished a book.  One without pictures, Folks!  I’m in a good place.

But I’m just bubbling with an excuse to scream, “GO FUCK YOUR SELF!” to the next person who gives me a cross look.

Here’s a list of things that seem tiny, but are actually so grating to me:

  • Work emails that say, “We need to discuss this tomorrow.”
  • Oval toilet paper rolls in a public bathroom.
  • Any song with a beep or twinkle that sounds like my cell phone’s ring or text.
  • The 4 a.m. clockwork stroll my dog takes and then her slump back to her snoring slumber.
  • I can’t seem to finish binding a quilt.  Plus it’s a baby one!  That should have been finished the first day!
  • My youngest’s front tooth which refuses to fall out.  Can’t some kid hit him in the mouth?  Fine, nudge him.
  • The fact that Joan Rivers died.
  • The chick on American Pickers.
  • The joke bug that I constantly mistake for a real bug EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.
  • The bag of tiny lemons I purchased only to find 4 of them were rotten.
  • The fruit flies because of said lemons.
  • I forgot cereal at the store.  Again.
  • My inability to realize that it’s still summer and jeans are way too hot for 90 degrees and thick humidity.
  • I should be making pizza dough instead of writing a blog post about how I’m irritated.  No dinner will royally irritate the shit out of me and the entire family.
  • My slow ass laptop.
  • Anyone on West Coast time.
  • In the Black Widow song, is sounds like Iggy says “mess with me heartache.”  It’s “mess with me, honey.” Erika, get it straight Dum Dum.
  • No one has given me a cross look so I could scream, “GO FUCK YOURSELF.”

That felt good…  I might be able to handle one snarky look.  Feel free to leave your irritants at my door step.

beer_weekend_time

I’m calling this week.  Screw it.  I’m done.

 

 

 

  • Kaci - Word.September 5, 2014 – 10:30 pmReplyCancel

  • Johnna LaFaith - As usual, you speak to my soul. Life. What a bitch. Except when she’s not.September 6, 2014 – 7:12 pmReplyCancel

  • Monica - AMEN. Seriously ….September 6, 2014 – 8:09 pmReplyCancel

Technically Summer ends with Labor day.  But once School starts, I think Summer has kissed us all good-bye.

See ya Summer 2014.  You’re never my favorite season.  I tolerate you because I have no choice.  To make it worse, you and I got off to a rocky start with a job change.  But listen…  You were kind to me and loved me by not sending a heatwave.

The first half of Summer disappeared so quickly it didn’t even leave a mosquito bite.  The second half was full and successful.    We saw family, friends, and even a campsite.

But you’re gone.  It’s time to bear hug Fall.  Fall is my crush and I can’t wait to flirt with him.  This weekend, I’m going to romance the shit out of him.  He will love me.

20140721-_ELR3718
20140722-_ELR3736
20140724-_ELR3789

20140725-_ELR3895
20140725-_ELR3920
20140802-_ELR4017
20140806-_ELR4153

20140721-_ELR3587
20140807-_ELR4225
20140809-_ELR4270
20140810-_ELR4282
20140815-_ELR4388
20140815-_ELR4397
20140823-_ELR4519

See Part one of Summer 2014 here.

  • Becky Millard Reno - that last one is hilarious!August 28, 2014 – 3:43 amReplyCancel

  • Anonymous - Erika, I love your pictures. They provoke a stream of thoughts as I view them. And..your boys are very handsome little guys. Their eyes are so expressive.August 28, 2014 – 9:14 amReplyCancel

I don’t have issues deleting photos.

The wrong eye is in focus?  Delete.

Cute picture of toddler, but a person is shoveling a huge bite of food into their mouth in the background?  Delete.

Becks is wonky looking, but Coop is spot-on?  Delete.

I’ve got high-eyes, but the entire family is gorgeous?  Delete.

I’m really good at deleting photos.  I don’t want to look at a lot of photos.  I want to look a handful of really good photos.  If you delete a lot, I respect you.  And concerning my workflow, I’m lazy.  I hate editing turds because it never works.  It’s still a hot steamy pile of photo shit with some colors popped.  The X key and I are buddies in LR.  I’m no hoarder when it comes to photos.  I figure there’s always a better moment waiting for my camera to capture.

But then there’s a photo I should delete, but simply can’t.  I know that the bottom half was properly exposed.  I know the top half was hazy and over exposed.  My focus was off.  Most people won’t see the Boo-Boos, but I do.  It’s going to take more work than I’d like to “fix” it.  And all of that is ok.  I’m not putting myself down, I’m pointing out facts.  Things I’ll attempt to avoid in with the next snap.

But sometimes the very things that sucked us into photograph out-weigh any technical flubs.  Sometimes the soft gaze of a boy kicks you like the first time he actually kicked you: jolting and exhilarating.  Sometimes the slightly blurry eyes hold every single smile he’s ever flashed for the past nine years.  Sometimes those eyes are unrecognizable because they can’t possibly be that old.  And sometimes the face is truly the most beautiful thing you’ve ever witnessed.

Those Sometimes are the reasons we reach for our cameras.

nine

  • Kristin - I loved this.August 26, 2014 – 9:36 amReplyCancel

  • Amy Tuggle - My god I love you. August 26, 2014 – 12:59 pmReplyCancel

  • LaShawn Wiltz - yes to all of this. just YES!August 26, 2014 – 1:18 pmReplyCancel

  • Robin Geer Troxell - keeper
    August 26, 2014 – 1:39 pmReplyCancel

  • Amanda - Love itAugust 26, 2014 – 2:32 pmReplyCancel

  • Kate Sytsma - Yes!August 26, 2014 – 4:47 pmReplyCancel

  • Angela Thomas - Totally agree!!
    And sometimes black and white saves the day.
    August 29, 2014 – 2:45 amReplyCancel

I feel silly putting a quilt up for sale.  No clue why, it just feels funny.

I feel silly keeping this quilt.  We have too many and this is a generous baby-sized one.  Finger crossed we won’t be welcoming any more babies into our family.

But I didn’t feel silly starting this quilt knowing the above facts.  I got an itch and I had to scratch it: All Polka Dots in a Square heavy design?!  Hell yes I want/need that.

So what’s a Silly Gal to do?

How about a silent auction?

You will probably pay much less than I would actually list it for and all the proceeds would go to a fantastic place. You’d get a deal, a warm fuzzy feeling, and a pretty sweet quilt.  I’m not sure you’re missing anything in that deal.  I guess if it came with a hot piece of ass slinging drinks while doling out back rubs that’d be an even better.  But you get what you get.

More details once it’s finished.

Scrappy trip along polka dot

  • Lisa Epp - It’s beautiful!! August 25, 2014 – 12:54 pmReplyCancel

They’re starting to out-number us.  I’m sure one day they’ll be up to no good behind the garage.  Or they’ll be sullen teenagers bored at backyard parties.

20140823-_ELR4544-2

20140823-_ELR4542
Whenever I see photos of them laughing, I can’t help but smile and think: I’ve done the same thing with yours parents years before anyone imagined being called “Mom” or “Dad”.  

20140823-_ELR4576