Michele Kats Photography » Michele Kats Photography

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Two thousand fifteen.
You served me well.

You served up some shit .

But for the most part you served me well.

I’m grateful.

Grateful for the lessons.

Grateful for the pain.

For the happy.

For the sad.

For the laughter.

my god was there laughter.

like face hurting, pain in your sides, haha sides.. those of you that know the side story will appreciate that comment.. it’s almost too good not to be shared,

so good that I am thinking of writing a book, but that’s for another post.

I digress…

thank you 2015

for the laughter,

For the tears.

For many things.

I’m grateful, I’m grateful.

Even through the shitty moments.

And there certainly were a few.

Some years seem like they propel me into the future.

Some years feel like they are a lesson.

Some years were a blur.

2015

Was all of them combined.

Maybe it’s because of personal growth.

Maybe it’s because if the incredible souls that have entered my life,

Some were transient,
some hung out for awhile,
some made a home in my heart.

each and every person, each and every experience, each and every moment, brought me to today .

from the deepest part of my being.

Thank you.

Thank you to each and every one of you amazing, incredible, irreplaceable people, who have become part of my journey.

I value you.

deeply.

 

 

here is my wish for all of us in 2016…

 

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maybe this is the year that we don’t over think things…

that we don’t say no, thats too hard,

or too far,

or too much of anything,

maybe just maybe we follow that arrow,

where ever it points,

maybe there’s something higher than us that knows better,

maybe there is something that is leading us,

leading us to a new part of ourselves we have not yet explored, or maybe its a part of us that has been dead for while,

maybe its time to awaken that, to give life again to our hearts , to our minds , to our bodies.

Maybe letting go of what is “supposed ” to happen and just allowing what is to be to be,  will free us.

maybe just maybe we follow our arrow wherever it points.

something tells me its going to be good.

so 2015. peace out.

2016. its going to be a damn good year.

bring it on universe.

 

 

<3

 

we will be closed until monday january 4th. all emails and voicemails will be returned then.

be safe. be well. and have a very happy new year.

 

 

 

 

And just like that it’s done.

Summer.

Over.

And I’m as happy as a
clam.

Which is weird because summer is my all time favorite season- however
comma – I’m oh so ready for school!

I tried something different this year.
No summer camps while we were in New York .

None.

Not one.

We
survived.

We got closer.

We got upset at each other.

I may have
thrown a towel at them after I picked up the nineteenth thousand one from the
floor.

I may have locked them out of the house on an afternoon or two with
only bathroom entrance permitted.

And you know what ?

I don’t feel bad
about any of it.

None of it.

No mommy guilt here.

I joke with my
kids that they don’t know how cool I really am.

I get down and get my hands dirty with chalk paint and make sand art animals at the beach, I go body surfing
and zip lining and I play with them. I do dance party’s and we have ice cream
for dinner, I rock at summer.

I also rock at september 🙂 much to their chagrin and eye rolls…

and back to school makes me happy!!

dont judge.

These kids.

They are my life.
But holy Christ they push .

Push my buttons.
Push my last nerve.
And then ..
They hug me .
Or
bring in a weed.. I mean flower and I melt .
And it starts all over again.
As my dad would tell me .

That’s life kid.

Hills and valleys.

So aside from the fact that today marks one year closer to an empty nest and
college days .. I’ll revel in the fact that I have the option of going to the
bathroom without getting walked in on, and having a cup of coffee from start to
finish , or be still my heart.. actually making a phone call without the antennas
of little people hearing me and “needing” something at that very moment.

Im
free.

Free to work.

Which is something I crave.

The creative in me craves work .

And I’m so happy to be back to it full time !

The fall is full of fun sessions and I’m super excited for all of them !!

So excited that I decided to add a little something different this year!!

VINTAGE car/truck  MINI SESSIONS!!!

we are only offering these sessions for two days and have a limited number of spots available so please reach out right away of you are interested!!

Perfect for your family holiday card or a portrait session just for fun!!

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Happy September !!

Happy School!!

Happy Dance!!!

  • Samantha Gloria - Hi Michele,

    Hope you are well.

    Love this new idea for a photo session. When are you planning them?? And cost?? We are overdue for some new photos of RJ, however he’s suffering from the aftermath of a bad haircut 🙁 poor kid’s so upset. Anyway, if timing is right and the boy agrees his hair is on point, I’d love to set it up.

    Regards,
    Samantha GloriaReplyCancel

Words.

Are powerful.

They can hurt.

They can heal.
They can make you smile

They can make you cry.

I try to teach my kids to be careful of what they say because once you say it you can’t take it back.
I wish I had taken my own advice.

But I did not.

I tripped.
Tripped over my own vulnerability.

And I fell hard.

Right to the ground.

Skinned knees and all.

Once the words escaped from my emotions

I knew.

I knew they were out there.

I knew I couldn’t take them back.
And I said shit.

Well I said more than that, something I’ll never ever
repeat.

To hurt someone with words because we are hurt or scared is so
unkind.

And I did that.

Those who know me know im not like that –

I don’t react in the negative –

I’m even tempered

Calm

Patient most of the time

And an optimist

But also human.

And my humanness got in the
way of my logic .

Yes we are not perfect

But none the less it just was
not nice how I reacted.

And I thought about it .

About the times in my
life I have seen someone retaliate from something deep

or get upset over
what someone thinks is nonsense

No matter how deep or superficially wounded,

It’s just that, a wound.

And we are human

And we are flawed.
And sometimes we are judged because of it .

Because of our poor
reactions

And sometimes there’s not a damn thing we can do about it.

So we cry, or we meditate through it

Sometimes we do both.

We try and forgive ourselves

And when that does not work

We call our life lines-
Mine just happens to be a select friend or two and my father .

So I called my dad .

I was upset.

And his advice.

Was this.

And I quote

“Michele- we all make mistakes-and we all say things at one point or
another we probably should not have said .

but I promise you .

And here’s my favorite line from him that day –

“Michele I promise you  …..You didn’t fuck up your fate kid. “

I began to sob.

Because that’s how it felt.
He knows me so well.

He also said .

Michele , the Next time you get
upset because it will happen, at some point in your life – we all get upset
sometimes , let’s try and use a word that’s more lady like ok? I kind of
chuckled in between sobs.

I was so disappointed .

Disappointed In
myself.

And that just plain old sucks.

That feeling of knowing better
but reacting.

Reacting . Without communicating.

And remembering that we
are still so flawed.

And that progress verse perfection is where most of us
are at.

I know I am.

Progressing.

Which reminds me of a line from a
deepak chopra book I’m reading.

” In a deeper sense what you call flaws are
really just the scars of hurts and wounds accumulated over a lifetime. ”

 

So…

it’s ok if we get upset over something that may seem irrelevant to someone
else

But to remember it’s not the emotion

it’s in the delivery .

And
honestly my delivery sucked.

So next time it happens to me where I misread
something or my feelings are hurt

and like my father said im sure it will
happen.

I’ll communicate .

even when I feel vulnerable.

and I’ll put
myself out there .

And I’ll use ladylike words.

And with kindness and
humility I’ll express my feelings –

During – not after.

And forgiveness
will show up and fate will move forward and kindness will prevail.

And with that and a little bit of luck at the end I’ll get the same mirrored back to me…

 

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Did you ever have an image in your head of something you wanted to do –

thinking that it would be the perfect way to make a family memory ?

Well I certainly did.

somewhere over these past few years I developed this idyllic moment in my mind of my kids and I on a sleigh, being pulled by horses through snow covered forest,twinkle lights , snow glistening…

– you get it right ?

Riding through the snow
On a one horse opened sleigh
All the fields we go laughing all the way .

You get the vision right ?
Yeah something like that .

So imagine my smile when I spotted an ad for sleigh rides through a farm in the mountains.

We were headed up there for some family time, some winter sports, and yup making memories.

So I call…

I get this woman on the phone and I book the sleigh ride –

I’m super excited and can’t wait to do it.
I don’t ask my usual million questions because how much is there to know?

Snow – sled- horse- perfection.

Although at the end of the conversation I did say –

ummmm…
Are there lights along the way ?

Her reply- oh gosh yes the way is lit by the light of the moon.

Hmmmm…
Ok
that didn’t sit so well with me but.. I figured..
Screw it.
Don’t be so cautious – michele
Live a little –

Which is kinda funny because I’m not overly cautious by nature –

but as a mom I know at times I over do it.

I know I hover –

I over protect –

I evaluate and reevaluate –

I’m a germa phobe –

I fear “the virus” seriously I fear it-

and I call it “the virus”

The dreaded stomach virus has wreaked havoc and caused serious anxiety for me with my kids so I try and protect them as much as I can from “the virus”

I even whisper it when I say it.
“The virus”

I kid you not.

I feel like if I don’t say it too loud the universe won’t hear it .

I sanitize them –

I bleach their sheets so much they disintegrate – and get holes in them

Target loves me.

I make them hold their breath in an elevator

& not touch the handrails

ever

anywhere.

I teeter on craziness with them .

I know it – and half the battle is knowing it

so don’t judge.

I try to keep them safe just like all of you

just maybe I do it in slightly different ways

And then catch myself & I try and find a spot in my soul that says.. Ok you made the best choice – they need to learn a bit on their own and your there to catch them ..

Fast forward a few days and it’s the day of the sleigh ride.

did i mention its a night ride? well its a night ride.
It was 5′ outside

I kid you not.

It was freaking freezing.

I hate the cold.

Seriously

I loathe it.

But

This is my vision, so again I go with it.

My kids are almost looking at me in horror as I bundle them up so much all you can see is their eyes. And then I put snow goggles on them so basically there’s nothing exposed.

My lovely outspoken last child, my daughter slides the scarf down and says –

“Mom are you serious ? Are we really doing this? ”

Right away both boys chime in and say – this is what mommy chose – we got to pick something on this trip and this is what she picked so yes we are doing it.

We pile in the car
Drive the to the farm

we pull up – and it looks abandoned.

Seriously run down

Almost junkyard like.

But that does not scare me

I love vintage –

I’m convincing myself that…

this is More American pickers less Sanford and son .

They look at me and I fake smile –
And I say

” come on guys this is going to be beautiful . ”

We get out.

In the distance you hear this chain rumbling -& out of nowhere comes this huge dirty white dog.

Remember cujo?

Yeah I do too-

It was cujos third removed cousin I’m convinced of it .

so I scream get back in the car !

We get back in the car

My heart is beating,

I start to sweat,

Sign number 1.

My instinct are saying.

Go the hell home

But I don’t . A guy comes out grabs the beast & assures us from the sliver of a crack that I open the window that he will lock up . Mr. Buttercup.

So we get out.

We go inside the barn /shack/outhouse/falling apart structure/
Whatever it is.

A baby lamb comes running to us. I find out it’s 6 days old.

My daughter screams mom it’s bleeding !
I look down and the thing is bleeding from her bottom. I said omg this baby lamb is bleeding.
The pleasant teenager behind the desk said . It’s a goat mam . Ughh she called me mam – I roll my eyes . it’s a goat mam and we cut off its tail a few minutes ago – don’t worry – it’ll stop soon

Sign #2-
Go the hell home

I carry on.
I ignore the bleeding baby livestock hovering around our feet &
I say we are checking in for the sleigh ride .

One adult
3 children .

She said how old is he ? Pointing to my oldest I say

One adult 3 children –

She says it’s 22$ for adults 10 for children

Great -I say – 1 adult 3 children .

At this point The baby lamb goat whatever pees right next to my daughters feet –

Did I mention we were inside ? Yeah so this thing pees – I’m semi arguing with this teenager because she tells me adults are 11 and over – I said again

ok 3 kids one adult .

I feel like rain man at this point except rain man doesn’t tell little white lies and I just did because my son is 11 but I figure really ? 12 more dollars because he’s a few months older than their so called child cut off.

My middle guy opens his mouth and says mom he’s 11.

I ignore him.

Mom , but he’s 11 .

I ignore him again.

Mom can you hear me ? He’s ..

And my oldest pushes him out of the way . Clearly he gets it. We are trying to save a few dollars and really at this point is a few months really that big of a deal ?

So I look at my middle guy who’s giving me the “you always tell us to tell the truth look ”

and so I I say feeling defeated and totally being held accountable I say to the teenage girl – he’s 11.

Sucker

.I now pay full price for my 11 year old .

I hand her my card .

Oh I’m sorry mam — I grimace – she looks shocked – ( I secretly think to myself you just wait twiggy until someone calls you mam )

mam it says your debit card is not working – to call the bank . & I remember my debit card has a spending per day limit – and since we did ski lift tickets ferry ride gas food etc we hit that limit –

Sign #3 to get the hell out of here –

I ignore it – I pay cash

We get on the sleigh – horses are beautiful – and big.

We wrap ourselves in blankets and huddle up –

It’s starting to happen –

the vision I had in my head –

It’s coming together

Other families join the festivities and I think hmm this is going to be ok- I’m not alone In Taking my 3 kids through the woods at night w complete strange men driving a sleigh .

It’s dark – really dark – I look up to find the light of the moon as the lady said but —

There’s a storm coming –

There’s no light from the moon –

There is no moon-

There’s not even a god damn star –

You guessed it

sign 4-

Bail now I think before it’s too late —

I don’t bail because I’m determined to make this memory to find something good —

I’m a glass half full kinda girl —

Before we start moving

My daughter wants to sit as close to the horses as she can – we are up in the front of the sleigh.

We Can barely see a thing –

So

My view .

You guessed it –

Is …

A horses ass .

A big horses ass ..

Two actually

Two big horses asses.

I just sigh ..

We start moving .

The guy whose driving the sleigh says –

Horses sweat too so we may take a few breaks along the way and Jim’s belly has been acting up so we are going to take it slow.

Jim’s the horse.

Who’s ass is directly in front of us

A mere 2-3 feet tops in front of us.

Freaking sign 5.

I just shake my head in complete defeat .

We go – we move – and then

I look at my kids – my heart smiles we may not be looking at twinkling lights or glistening snow but we are together – under a blanket . Us. Them . Me. Together .

I took a breath in, I sighed with happiness that all was right in our world just at that moment.

 

I was finally present, like really present in the moment. not  care in the world just soaking in this fraction of time with those I love most in the world.

And then

it happened.

Jim the horse –

well he certainly did have some belly issues .

he starts to lift his tail I know what’s coming –

my poor kids don’t have a clue – so Jim the horse a rather explosive bowel movement and has gas so loud it sounds like a bomb is going off.

The smell – omg I almost vomited I begin to gag –

I yell – seriously I yell

OMG

Hold your breath.

Don’t breathe

Put your head under the blanket .

The other people on the sled must have thought I was nuts – they began to whisper – I heard the word flat lander but at the moment didn’t know what the hell it meant & honestly I could care less

Id be damned if we were going to be “exposed”

horse germ or not it’s a germ right ?

My kids of course think this is the funniest thing that has ever happened. We are two feet from a horses ass that is having explosive diarrhea !!!

And it happens over & over along our what seemed like a billion acre sleigh ride.

They are hysterical

I am horrified

The fn’ing horse .

Has “the virus” .

What are the god damn odds of that happening..

And right then I’m reminded that we are guided by a source higher than ourselves , & sometimes things don’t work out as we expect & even though one of my kids best memories from this trip included bowel movements and fouls smelling gas issues.  – it’s the feeling behind it.

No pun intended.

It’s the small moments, the ones you can never plan,

Not that I would ever plan that experience !

But someday when they are telling this story to their children and their children’s children they won’t remember the idyllic moment we were on the slopes for the first time together , or how I navigated unpaved mountain roads to get us here , they will remember Jim, the horse that had diarrhea & they will laugh uncontrollably like they did the other night .. And I’ll smile because they are smiling and I’ll laugh because they are laughing and I’ll give them my “schpeel” about how sometimes the universe has other ideas for our perfect expectations , and the it’s not the details it’s the feeling and how important it is to be present in the moment for you never know what the present has planned for us!

So there you have it.

I’m a flat lander, virus phobic over sanitizing momma of 3 who made one of our best family memories by being present with my children  on a farm in a sleigh in 5’degrees somewhere in the mountains & I wouldn’t have it any other way !

which is what inspired our chalkboard weekly family quote from our home to yours!!

photo blog copy

 

  • Roya - OMG OMG OMG so this is what happened OMG did you ever see the Seinfeld episode with ‘Rusty’ the horse and Kramer was driving!?!?!? this is so like that… goes to show you try soooo hard… and still the universe has other plans. but your kids cracking up and you all sharing a good family laugh was worth it.

    next time learn from sign #3. LOLOLReplyCancel