What Photography Means To Me

Excuse the title, I just fell out of the third grade.

I am who I am and that’s all that I am.

To say photography means a lot to me would be an understatement. It means more than just a lot.

What does a lot even mean?

I like a lot of cheese on my spaghetti. -True. And I suppose that would be one way of describing a lot..the third grade definition..

I’ve never ever ever been great with expressing my feelings about things in conversation. I can’t stress the never and the ever enough.

Even when getting gifts from people. If I really do like the gift, God help me if I can successfully get across my point of appreciation and gratefulness. So when I feel strongly about something, it all just flows out at once and lands on the floor with a big splat. Or I don’t say much at all because I end up trying too hard and it comes out wrong.

I wasn’t blessed with the gift of gab either.

One could say I can be socially awkward at times. But lets not focus on that. “I am who I am and that’s all that I am.”

I’d rather express my emotions through writing. I can write to kingdom come and back without worry. Obviously there’s the delete button, but more so, I take the time to think about what I’m writing.

So back to my definition of a lot.

A lot of one thing can be too much. But with photography, that doesn’t really apply.

I have piles upon piles of CD’s and DVD’s full of pictures since my teenage years on.

Am I going to throw them out because I have too many?

Do I really have to answer that question?

If I become that mentally deranged, you have my permission to lock me up with the mouth breathers and window lickers.

It was when I was 13-14 that I first picked up a camera, and realized that we can’t get these moments in time back. All we have is our memory to rely on. And that wasn’t good enough for me. So I started taking pictures of everything.

A lot of everything.

I was probably quite annoying.

I’m pretty sure I captured every step of my mom’s garden growing at one point. Just the flowers though. I tried to forget about the part of the garden with the green beans in it. Which was about 90% of a 40 acre plot she had in the backyard.

We had a big backyard.

We spent many summers building character in the green bean garden. Enough was planted to give to our neighbors and grandparents, who turned around and supplied their neighbors and grandparents. Why we had to pick their share, I’ll never understand. I have enough of those memories that I don’t need a picture.

I don’t want a picture.

Can you tell I’m bitter?

Oh well.. I will do the same thing to my kids. I am my mother’s daughter, and I like green beans.

What were we talking about now?

I’ve always seen the beauty in the littlest things. At one point I feared something was wrong with me for being observant of things other people passed up. It’s the details I’m always looking at. The veins in leaves, a lone tree in the middle of a field, the smell of fresh cut hay and the way it stains your shoes, a sunrise over a fog covered field of sunflowers, or the way the evening sunlight shines through my windows giving everything a cozy glow that makes you want to sit around a fireplace with your husbands Packer’s snuggie eating cinnamon rolls while gaining 5 pounds on the spot. Wait..

I can’t help but appreciate all the little things.

I wanted to capture all those little things and share them with people in hopes of sparking that interest in someone else. We all need to stop and smell the roses sometimes(or the recently plowed dirt). That’s why I turned to photography. That’s why I love photography a lot. That’s why I have a lot of pictures.. a lot of memories.  Its my avenue to share the things I love and help others(and me) continue to be thankful for the life we have. You could say it’s my way of contributing, and giving back in a sense. It’s comforting, when you’ve had a bad day, or week… or year, to be able to look back on some good times and know that they always come back around.

Some people don’t appreciate it as much.. but they will. Someday. When they need it.

Confessions of a Farmer’s Daughter

When I think about home, it tugs at my heart strings more than anyone/thing I have loved and lost. When I say “home”, I mean home, home. Northern Minnesota where it reaches -40 below, and if you dare breathe in…

well.. you don’t.

The summers are humid but cool at night. Sweatshirt weather. It’s the way I like it.

It’s usually rainy when rain isn’t wanted, and too dry when the crops need a little moisture. Nothing ever seems to go right with the weather.

But since I’ve moved, those bitterly cold days, and the ungodly humid summers in the field are what love is to me. It’s what I grew up with. It’s what I know. It’s what I love. Sometimes its really deep down inside. But it’s there.

It wouldn’t be much of anything without my cracked family. Often times delirious from lack of sleep, or just because that’s how we are. Notice I say “we”. I am still a product of my family, and of Minnesota, even tho I’ve moved 1300 miles away to the balmy state of Texas. Where the winters are like Minnesota summers, and the summers are plain unbearable. Hence the reason my lawn wont be mowed(Andrea-Come-Lately).

Before I met my now husband and moved to Texas in 2008, I didn’t realize what I was leaving behind. My only thought at the time was, “I really don’t want to bale my summer away, again(even though Dad needs me).” At the time, it was a little bit of an escape, but I loved Texas from my very first visit on. Still do. I feel more connected to the world, and to civilization. And I miss it when I visit my Minnesota home.

Even though I’ve been in Texas 2 years and 3 months and a couple odd numbered days(but who’s counting), this still only feels like my temporary home until my husband and I move back up north. And until that day, my heart will long for a hug from my mom, who gives the best hugs, whenever I want; drives around town with my sister, talks with Dad about stories I’ve heard 5 times, and spending time with my brothers even tho they usually just do their own thing and pretend I never left when I come home to visit. As well as the numerous weekly coffee visits from Aunt Donna, and going to Forks with my also newly married girls.

If someone would have told me when I was 12 that growing up might be difficult and bittersweet at times, I would have stopped right there on the spot. I would have been completely content to stay in the woods by my house and play in the tree fort with the neighbor boys.

No I wouldn’t have.

I would have mulled it over for about three seconds and then day dreamed about getting my driver’s license, going to college and living at an apartment with friends far away from home while driving my Jeep where ever I wanted, whenever I wanted, because I was grown up enough to do those things.

Things wont ever be like they were, and I still haven’t adjusted to that, but they will feel normal, and familiar, and not so lonely, and just plain good when we move back up north.

Amen.

A Year of Learning

Pete & I

It was our 1 year Anniversary yesterday! We took a day, and just went adventuring. Speaking for the both of us, I’d say that road trips/adventuring is our favorite thing to do as a couple. We love stumbling upon places we’ve never been, taking pictures, experiencing new things, and just enjoying each others company(I hope Pete would agree :) ). And that’s exactly what we did. It was perfect. It had been a while since we got to spend time with each other outside of the house, alone. Pete’s parents came over to watch the dogs, because Ruby can no longer be trusted to roam the house unbridled while we’re gone for any length of time(..tune in next time for that story of heart ache and pain).

Pete and I had somewhat of a plan.. at least we knew which direction we were headed. We only had a few hours, so we couldn’t go too far. No big deal, but much more fun than dinner and a movie.

So, we drove around, saw some pretty scenery, took a few pictures, giggled and smiled as we squeezed each others thighs cruising down the road. Cheese ball, I know, but mostly true.

Half way through our trip we found a cute little gift shop in the middle of nowhere. We found something we both liked, and agreed it was a gift to the both of us. As with the other few things we’ve purchased on fun trips or days, there’s a little story behind the item, and for anyone interested in hearing, we’ll tell them.

This fun decor piece is carved ironwood. It makes us feel edgy and particularly more special, because ironwood is illegal to harvest in the US… so this came from an artist in Mexico. :P Oh boy.

Before we headed to dinner we stopped at a local vineyard and did a wine tasting. I’m not a huge fan of wine, but the vineyards themselves are beautiful and I’m always up to take pictures.

It’s sad to say I’ve never seen such a thing in my life. Living in northern Minnesota for 20 years can do that to a person. Who knew grapes could be beautiful. Maybe I’m just crazy.

It was a really fun time. I found a wine I liked too!

Thinking back over the past year, there has been a lot learned between the two of us. And not just about each other. There’s still a lot to learn about each other, but mostly we learned to face reality together and work as a team. The reality of owning a home, paying bills, dealing with a dog that acts like a toddler. .a toddler who chews up shoes.. The normal stuff.

Once your married, your responsibilities are now your partners as well. We are still working on the “working as a team” part. I think it will be a work in progress for a while. My idea of teamwork is, getting a little more help when Pete’s home. Like for instance, asking Pete to put his boxers in the laundry basket so I don’t have to. That experience taught me that when asked to do such a heinous task, he drops his drawers and scoots them closer to the basket so I don’t have to carry them as far.

Like I said.. a work in progress.

Within this past year, I’ve learned a lot about Pete’s character too. He is probably the hardest worker I know. Never has a bad attitude, just does what he needs to do, and does it well. I am proud he is my husband.

Can I hear some “awwww’s”? Ha ha.

Regardless of the stress we faced this first year, it’s only made us stronger, and showed us how to get through the tougher times together. I’m excited to see what this next year will bring.

Andrea-Come-Lately

So, it’s been a while since I’ve blogged.. if you couldn’t tell. I feel bad. Like I’ve neglected a pet or my “manicure”, or the Wild Safari Jungle that’s growing in my backyard(..which I really do feel badly about, but not enough to brave the heat. And certainly not enough to sweat profusely while mowing into the wind and becoming completely camouflaged in my own yard.. and probably a few fire ants. I thought this was a husbands job? What did I sign up for? Where does my husband go when I tell him we have to mow the lawn?).

To be completely honest, there hasn’t been much to blog about! But given the explanation of “Why Andrea Does Not Want To Mow The Lawn: Part 1“, I could be wrong. I just don’t assume my day to day, piddly diddly things are all that interesting to read! By the way, the Wild Safari Jungle will be set to open next week. Complete with poisonous spiders, baby snakes and, you guessed it, fire ants. Watch out for dog poop!

Are there dogs in the jungle?

So life has been going on since I last posted. My husbands work schedule has gone from glorious days, to lousy nights. And then recently back to days to cover a few shifts. It was a wonderful time. But, the reality god slapped, and today is his first day back on nights. *sigh* Life goes on.

As for me, I’ve been searching for a job, any job. One that pays, preferably. And if God wouldn’t have come through for us on numerous occasions, I would be the sad little blonde girl greeting you at your next visit to your local Wal-Mart to get dish washing detergent and fuzzy socks. Either that or the little blonde girl with the scared look on her face, and a note on her forehead that reads, “Who am I? What am I doing here?” I’m not trying to be a Wal-Mart hater, but in my heart I know that’s not where I should be. I feel destined for a great life doing the things I love, like photographing beautiful people, and blogging, and mowing my lawn(I’m working on it). All while making money(let’s not kid around here).

I have no problem doing the things I don’t care to do. My childhood was filled with chores I didn’t like to do. My childhood was also filled with phrases like, “Sometimes you have to do things you don’t want to do“(duh), and “Life’s not fair!“(that was a popular one). My parents were very loving, but showed no mercy when it came to me and my siblings helping out. Looking back, I’m very thankful for that. They also said things like “You’ll understand when you’re older”. They were right.. I hope they don’t read this.

I’m finding I have to keep telling myself, “I, Andrea Borchardt, have skills! They may not fall into any category required to have a simple job that pays a few bills, but they are skills nonetheless, and I will find a way to turn them into money.” It’s a huge motivator, believe it or not. Do what works, right?

Then I go bake a cake, or make too much baked chicken for dinner(one of my many skills).

Another one of my many skills is using an insane amount of parenthesis. It’s like those annoying VH1 pop-up videos with all the excerpts on behind the scenes facts. Or on Kate Plus 8. But that’s a schpeal for another day.

So much for not having anything to blog about! It’s amazing what just spills out when I take time to really think about things. I may make this part of my daily ritual, after I shower… which reminds me…

For now, I need to move on to my next blog entry (after my shower). Take this gibberish as an apology for being so negligent towards my blog, and my very few readers. But that will change because “I have skills!” ha.

Here I sit with my cup of cream(I added a little coffee this time), ready to face the day(and more blogging with parenthesis)!