This week has been a doozy. Overwhelming and wonderful. A dear friend gave birth early this week and I was honored to be able to attend as a quasi-photographer-doula-friend-encouragement combo type person. There is something about a birth, no matter the circumstances that is incredible to witness. It’s a stretching of the limits of what a woman thinks she can handle and is overwhelming, surreal and wonderful all at the same time.

For the first time in a veryvery long time I went 48 hours without sleep. It was for a good cause…actually I take that back… For the BEST of causes. But still. It was a long time without sleep. My body has decided it does not tolerate such things anymore and proceeded to unleash a vindictive backlash of life altering side effects as punishment for a couple of days after the sleep-less marathon. A few days of rest later and my body and myself have declared an unstable truce of sorts. Just in time too.

On the heels of  big-life-stuff from the makeup project, to the birth, to the kids getting a cold and a bunch of other things looms this family trip to Maui in just one short day from now. In the depths of my fatigue addled brain, engulfed in waves of pity partying over the fact that the kids just HAD to get sick NOW at the most inconvenient time ever I began to feel quite put upon by life. Nothing has sounded better than to cancel the rest of life and spend it in bed. Sans interruptions, needy kids, needy business duties, needy household and needy every-thing-else. Oh if only such a Cancel All button existed in real life.

Tonight as we went out as a family to go shopping for some healthy snacks to take on the plane and a few last minute Maui oriented items (Sun hat for the bald extra white baby anyone?) a shift in my attitude and perspective started to happen. Somewhere between trying to find a pair of sandals that fit our extra-wide-footed firstborn and the aisle with the baby-swim-trunks the other side of my hectic life reared it’s head. And my perspective on my woe-is-me life shifted. A reality not centered around my stress, low energy, millions of details, mountains of lists and even bigger mountains of laundry became suddenly clear.

I have two kids. Two sneezing, runny nosed kids that need to be supplemented, snot wiped and loved on. Two kids! Me. Yes, me, has two kids with little faces that are beginning to look uncannily similar with sweet chubby cheeks and precious trusting blue eyes. Sometimes it just sneaks up on me how cool of a thing it is to actually have these little people in our life.

Spring Day Kids

Spring Day Kids

I have incredible friends. A  local friend knew I was beyond snowed under and came over. The house was a disaster. There was tons of laundry to be done and I could barely move off the couch in the thyroid/adrenal crash of epic proportions. Plus I had a little guy who decided to dedicate his every waking moment to nursing. She buzzed around doing  laundry, helping to pre-sort some into packing piles and began warfare with the dishes. Another one of my Woe-Is-Me moments this week was discovering that my dishwasher was broken.  Today she came over AGAIN to help out even MORE and left the kitchen perfect.  It’s humbling and amazing to have friends like this.  Perspective shift? I’m beyond lucky. I have a friend who takes a chunk of time out of her life, does laundry, dishes and stops for a hot cup of tea and a chat in the middle of all that.

The biggest bummer of my week out of the many small bummers? Discovering that the great deal on housing I had been so proud of myself for frugally bargain shopping for weeks…trying to find the best deal possible for our trip to Maui…Finding out I booked it for the wrong YEAR. Yeah. I did that. The wrong year. And because it WAS a clearance deal and such a bargain there is no trade-ins, refunds or cancellations. And no, we also cannot change our tickets to just go next year at the same time as our housing. We were stuck going and stuck with no housing.  Hearing about the situation friends of ours on Maui offered their home to us incase we cannot find housing. And there it is again…That reality that we are pretty exceptionally blessed with incredible friends who are above and beyond generous with their time and resources.

At the checkout line of the store tonight I had yet another moment of grateful reality shift. We have the money to buy the clothing items we needed. I didn’t have to panic, or worry when or how  I would get these needed items for our children. Sometimes it still shocks me to be able to just go and get what we need without it being an anxiety ridden ordeal wondering if adequate funds could be squeezed from an inadequate budget. If a bargain cheap enough could be found. It’s more than nice. It’s a luxury many do not have. And I am thankful. Very very thankful.

So I am taking my shifted self to bed and going to sleep with my little family. Yup. My very own little family. That I get to spend 12 hours on a plane with in just a day or so. Hope this shift sticks around for a while. It’s a good perspective to have and an even better one to keep.



We have been working hard on this makeup project. Very hard. An incredible amount of tasks to be done in a relatively short period of time.

It’s been fun albeit exhausting. This past week has been a particularly hectic one on the makeup front. Every single color of the line has been photographed and 90% of the footage for a tutorial video has been shot. We are in the process of finishing up the final video footage and now working on voiceovers.

It is difficult for me to work on projects like this. On the one hand I absolutely love it. Getting to work with a fantastic team, under a deadline with everybody pitching in and pulling more than their weight and just the right amounts of creative energy is thrilling and I can’t think of a job I would love to do more. On the other hand…I am a perfectionist. To say these projects have been done last minute is an understatement. Last minute means inadequate planning. Inadequate infrastructure and organization. A lot of winging it going on. Which invariably means either a compromise in quality, quantity or embarrassing all too obvious mistakes. I’m quite certain we are going to have our fair share of all of the above.

There is all sorts of stuff that would probably have the viewers laughing if they only knew what was going on behind the scenes. For example: In one scene you see my hand applying makeup to the beautifully serene face of a friend of mine as sunlight pours through the window showing every detail of what we are doing. It looks rather professional. What you *don’t* see is that I have a fussy baby strapped to me in the Ergo and am gently bouncing up and down from heel to toes keeping him from out and out crying while he goes to sleep. The rest of the shoot was done with him sound asleep in the Ergo, blissfully unaware that I was applying makeup and co-directing/organizing a video shoot while giving him the special treat of being held (via the Ergo) for an entire naptime. Mommy Multi Tasking at it’s best.

Most would probably also find it amusing that some footage in what appears to be a beautifully lit studio is actually the Conference room in the Beeyoutiful Offices by one of the windows that overlooks the Centerville TN Town Square. We are totally making do with what we have both in the very real life women who are helping me out by being face models and demonstrating using the makeup (All friends and most of them employees of Beeyoutiful) and also with the locations and props. Er, or the lack of props. I *might* just be dipping the brushes into a clean pyrex bowl  of water snagged from the Beeyoutiful break room in a couple of those shots. 😮 (ahem) Not that I’d ever admit that if it were true. Nope. Not me.

But at least it’s real. It’s candid. Real women. Real makeup. Real life. Real scenes. Some part of me can’t help but appreciate the authenticity of doing the whole process this way.

Did I mention most of this was done incredibly last minute? Yeah. Last minute as in, we were asked to produce a video on Wednesday. We have an emergency staff meeting on Wed. afternoon. Start filming with the only available person that wasn’t already working on a project. With zero warning she was begged into being a face model with no advance notice. We get most of the raw footage shot on Thursday and start recording voiceovers on Friday. This may not seem that impressive for those of you who have never worked on a project like this…I know a while back it would have seemed to me no big deal to throw together a video. Let’s just say as with everything in life that is attempted to be done even in the ball-park of “right” it is always harder than it looks, or at first seems to be.

Times like these I am so incredibly grateful to be working with highly flexible and multi talented co-workers. Contracting this job out would have required advance schedule planning, working around already busy schedules, travel logistics etc. and probably would have taken a minimum of 4 to 6 weeks from beginning to end. The logistics would have been even more crippling than they already are.

I’m looking back on the past 7 or so days with a bit of surreal “Wow, can’t believe how much we got done and oh goodness there is still so much to do” feeling. The principle emotion of the moment though is excitement and gratitude. Excitement that the reality of being able to offer this makeup line is so very near, that the deadline is literally within sight. Gratefulness that I get to be a part of this and that I’m able to have our children with us at the same time. Kudos to all of our patient coworkers who have grabbed a baby for a few minutes and paced the hallway, shared a laptop screen with a preschooler or plugged away at work with loud kid noises as a background distraction. It is perhaps the very height of an unprofessional work environment while being also at the same time the core of a truly family friendly business from the inside out.  They don’t bat an eye with the preschooler begging for their snacks at lunchtime or tripping over a stack of crayon craft projects and toys in the middle of the cubicle hallway.

And yeah, I’m totally that Mom who is nursing through the business meetings. That is probably a confession worth keeping private but it’s part of what goes down behind the scenes. I’ve been asked several times before…How do I do it? Be a full time Mom, wife *and* work? The answer is I do a lot of it poorly, a lot of it with a lot of help and there is a whole lot of multi tasking in which my work life intersects with my personal life and my children’s needs. Just today I had a co-worker following me around with a note-pad having a makeup naming troubleshooting session while I fished the lunch I had packed out of a bag and got Doodles set up with it and changed Bean’s diaper.

Before I left for the office I stood at the kitchen table stuffing the clean cloth pocket diapers while brain storming marketing ideas for approaching brick and mortar local storefronts about carrying the makeup line.

All in a days work. Or a series of days. It’s crazy, it’s wonderful, it’s fun, it’s stressful and tiring, it’s exciting and fulfilling all at the same time.  And it’s all getting us a couple of steps closer to launch date.

Here’s a quick shot I snapped on my phone this afternoon of the behind the scenes of our color re-naming session and pre-video shoot.

Behind the Scenes with Beeyoutiful Video Shoot

Behind the Scenes with Beeyoutiful Video Shoot

Tomorrow, er, today that is. In just a few hours I get to attempt to record the intro to the video. Yaaaay. Not. Least favorite part of video work ever? Me in front of the camera. All of me. Has to be done and maybe we can find a way to make it fun. Fun in more ways than just laughing at my many bloopers that is. Just keeping it real will probably be funny enough.

One of these days I’m gonna talk some professionals into the budget. A professional model or two, maybe a voiceover actor or two, professional makeup person/cosmetologist. A whole big team of pros. Then I can sit back, sip on a cup of tea and watch things get done right.

Till then we’ll be plugging along the best we can!