Monday, June 8, 2015

The day I could've died

June 9th, 1996... I could've died that day... Nineteen years ago, on that date, I was the passenger in a vehicle that was involved in a car accident. I was stupid, you hear me?!!!! STUPID and did not wear my seat belt. As I look back on this horrific day, I realize that God was involved and saved my life! A few seconds before the collision actually took place, I had bent over to grab some money from my purse and, as I sat back up, I noticed that the driver had gone into the other lane and there was a vehicle headed straight to us!!!! I SCREAMED at the driver!!!!!! Thank GOD, because had I not looked up when I did, we would have hit head-on and I wouldn't be typing this today.
Our vehicles collided and, since I was STUPID and hadn't worn my seat belt, I hit the windshield and broke it, yes ladies and gentlemen... I broke through the windshield with my face/head. As I felt myself being propelled forward and saw the inevitable about to happen, I tried to cover my face (I know!!! Silly me!) and in that effort hit the dash with my left hand and broke my left ring finger. My left knee smashed into the dashboard as well... Hard! Hard enough to break my hip (the acetabulum, once you break a bone you learned to spell it right!!! LOL) in THREE separate places.
Funny, this accident happened 19 years ago and right now, as I type this, I feel like it was yesterday. You know how people who face near-death experiences say that they see themselves? Well, I kinda had something like that... I'm sure the accident only took a few seconds but, for me, everything went into slow motion once I screamed at the driver in my car... I remember feeling myself moving toward the windshield and thinking, 'Uh oh, this is not good... This CANNOT be happening!' I remember trying to lift my hand to cover my face... I remember hitting that windshield... I vividly remember the sound of the glass when it broke... Witnesses to the accident said they saw our car lift from the back and they thought it was going to flip onto the other vehicle... Thankfully, GOD and His angels held the car and did not allow that to happen. If it had, I would have been ejected and my family would be facing a really sad day tomorrow.
When the dust settled and the cars came to a halt, the driver in my car turned around and asked me, 'Are you okay?!!!! Please say something!!!!' I told him I was and asked him to check on the driver of the other vehicle... You see, we knew the driver in the other vehicle. The driver in my vehicle was my husband at the time of all of one week... YUP! We were involved in this accident a week after we were married and the driver in the other vehicle was one of our groomsmen. So he went on to check on the other driver who sustained major injuries to his foot but otherwise was okay, thank GOD!
The driver in my vehicle seemed okay but after all was said and done, passed out and was air lifted with me to Tampa General and underwent knee surgery that night.
As I just mentioned, we were airlifted from the accident site to Tampa General. One of the witnesses is a nurse and when he saw my injuries, he insisted we be airlifted and contacted a friend who is a plastic surgeon to be available when we arrived... I needed a plastic surgeon because the left side of my face suffered major damage, remember I broke through that windshield with my face so my face was pretty badly cut and there was glass everywhere... I mean everywhere on my face!!!!!
I remember looking in the mirror on the visor of the car and seeing my left cheek suffered a huge cut and there was some bleeding... I remember it felt tingly. I was unable to lift my left leg (I didn't know at the time that I had broken my hip!) EMS arrived and they were able to get me out of the car and onto a gurney. One of the EMTs started cutting through my shirt to check for more injuries and I started arguing with him, 'What are you doing? You can't just undress me here!!!' Yup, I was gonna be just fine! LOL Well, he had no choice but to bring me something to cover my now bare chest.. He brought a sheet... A white sheet that was placed right by where they were working on me... By the passenger side of the vehicle I was riding in... This caused me to hear one of the WORST sounds I've ever had to listen to...
When my Mother arrived on scene, all she knew was that we had been involved in an accident but didn't know much else... When she got there and saw the white sheet by the passenger side, as any Mother would faced with the same, she let out the worst scream I've had to endure... Ma, I am sooooo sorry to have put you through something so horrible!!!!!!
GOD was involved because, even though I had already looked at my face and knew that I had a pretty bad injury, I was able to remain calm and therefore the blood loss was being kept to a minimum. When the EMTs saw how my Mom was they did not allow her to come near me cause they didn't want me to get nervous and then my heart would be pumping faster, therefore losing more blood. I was conscious and calm the whole time, From what I learned later on, my cheek suffered a very deep cut but, miraculously, no major artery/vein was affected! GOD was there! Also, it helps to have chubby cheeks!
At the hospital, I was told that my acetabulum was broken in three places. My left finger was broken and my brand new (well, one week old) wedding rings had to be cut. And my face... Well, the plastic surgeon made it and was the one to suture me up... I required 180 stitches on my cheek, nose and left ear...
I was 19 at the time, and could only think of what this meant... I would have a scar now... I have keloid scaring which means you won't heal well so you will deal with a scar now... On your face! For everyone to see... There's no hiding a scar on your face! I still remember the moment when the driver and I were reunited... He sobbed!!! I was so nervous cause this was my husband of all of one week and now, now I don't look like the girl you married a week ago. He felt terrible and kept telling me I was beautiful, no matter what!
What followed were months of therapy cause, after some consideration, we opted to allow my body to heal naturally without surgery. That meant a much longer recovery for me but we all felt it was best. I had to lay in bed or stand up... There was no in between because I was not allowed to sit and put pressure on the fracture. So since I had to lay in bed for so long once the doctor gave me the go ahead for physical therapy, I had to be taught how to walk again. You see, if you don't move a certain limb for an extended period of time then your body loses movement. So my advice to you: MOVE!!!! Even if it hurts!!!!
My therapy was painful and horrible, as therapy should be! LOL But I am much stronger today than I was on June 8th, 1996! I went from not knowing how to walk to running!!! I have ran, and completed, 3 half-marathons!!!!! I've got the bling to prove it baby! I am no longer allowed to run long-distance as this has affected my hip but I can say that I did 3 half-marathons in my life! BOOM!
My scar, well you would have to look REAL close to even see it because, as I've said ALL along, GOD has been involved! He sent me one of His earthly angels!!!! Lori owns a local spa and my Mom shared my story with her over ten years ago and Lori asked my Mom to have me come see her... Lori has been giving me treatment for over ten years and I have to admit to you, there are times, okay A LOT of times, that I don't see my scar anymore!!!! People who don't know about my accident, don't see it!!! GOD has been good to me! He has carried me through my darkest.
Tomorrow I get to celebrate by going to the gym and out of all days, tomorrow is LEG DAY!!! I know I will go in there with extreme focus because, although my hip bothers me from time to time, I am strong and will be making my legs stronger!
My family won't have to look at a sad day tomorrow! I will get to talk to each one of them and tell them how much I love them and how thankful I am to have been gifted the past 19 years with them. GOD had different intentions that day and spared my life. I am grateful for that and that's why I ask you to make each day, each moment, count!!!! Don't waste time being mad at each other. LOVE each other!!!!!!!! MORE!!!

Sunday, February 22, 2015

A few more photography class assignments

I've neglected my blog for a few weeks now and, since I have a few minutes right now, I thought I would share some of the reasons why I've been keeping busy.
I've had a couple more assignments from my photography class that I've really enjoyed! One was to use both a small aperture and a wide aperture. My husband and I went to the beach so I took advantage of the awesome background and took a couples pics of my main squeeze!!!
I have a Pentax K50 and the details for this pic are: f/32, SS 1/30sec and ISO at 400

The pic above was with at my widest aperture: f/4.5, SS 1/1000sec and ISO at 400

Another assignment was to take a portrait with natural light coming in from the side and using lash to fill-in the shadows. I had my niece as my model and here's my final product:
This portrait was taken at: f/4.5, SS 1/125sec and ISO at 100

We were asked to take either a sunrise or sunset picture. I chose sunset and this was at the City Pier in Lake Jackson.
Details: f/11, SS 1/60sec and the ISO was at 100.

I'm truly enjoying this class and what I've learned so far. I hope you enjoy!!!!

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Photography class assignment

My husband and I started a photography class two weeks ago. Part of this week's assignment was to take a slow shutter speed picture. I've always wondered how photographers capture those pictures with the cars' lights flashing so I wanted to play with that! My husband humored me and took me out to a highway here in town so I could experiment. Here's my capture! It was fun to get out there at night :)

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Highlands Hammock State Park

We live very close to Highlands Hammock State Park and today we decided to visit this beautiful park for some family fun! If you are ever in the Central Florida area this is a park you would not want to miss!!! It is beautiful and very serene. We are so blessed to have it right in our back yard. Here are a few pics I was able to capture today. Do you see what I see??? Yep! That is one huge gator!!!!! Hope you enjoy!

Sunday, January 11, 2015

52 week challenge - Weeks 1-8

One of my goals for 2015 is to get better with my photography so, in order to attain that goal, I decided to participate in a 52-week photography challenge. One picture a week for 52 weeks... Sounds simple enough! Well, leave it up to me to be behind on this already! I have allowed stuff the get in the way of what brings me some peace... I have a very intensive personality so I did not want this challenge to consume me but, I do have to work at it don't I??? I have!!!! I did 3 weeks worth today! I know, what a procrastinator right?!!! I will get better at this, I promise! Hey, I'm a work in progress :)

Week 1 - Self Portrait

Week 2 - Colorful 
This one was easy cause I like to wear color and since I was already wearing this dress:

And I'm feeling a little accomplished cause I've already done this week's challenge!!! YAY!
Week 3 - Close-Up

Week 4 proved to be a bit of a challenge... I was to take a Bokeh pic, which means 'out-of-focus points of light.' I took over 20 images before capturing the one I thought would work. Here's my Bokeh challenge:

Week 5 was easy for me cause all it required was Natural Light! All it meant was that I needed to go outside and use natural light on my picture... Let's see, I live in Florida and today was a beautiful 66 degrees for a high... Yep! Let's go outside PLEASE!!! The hubs and I went to one of our favorite spots in town, the Highlands Hammock State Park.

Week 6 was hands. I chose my niece, Kasey as my model because I was already using her as my model for one of my assignments for the photography class.

For week 7 the challenge was the color red. I chose one of my Adirondack chairs on our deck in the backyard. This place has brought me so much peace!!!!

Week 8 is a landscape photography and I chose this tree that I can see from my backyard. It's beautiful!

Saturday, January 10, 2015

First actual gig!

So, although my husband and I have been taking pictures for a couple of months now, we hadn't considered doing so for people other than our families. That was until I shared with a dear co-worker of mine what new hobby I was enjoying lately... You see, she will be a grandma at the end of this month (first time grandma!!!) and she asked if I could do a Maternity Session with her son and his girlfriend. I was a bit reluctant to say yes but she is a pretty special friend and there was absolutely no way I was going to disappoint her! So, I volun-told my husband and set out on a Pinterest quest to find ideas for maternity pics and got some really good ones! Today was the day and, although I have to admit I was nervous, I had a blast!!!! The couple we photograph was just so adorable and sweet. My husband and I truly enjoyed our time with them! Here's a sneak peek at our work today. More to follow!!!! Hope you enjoy!

Sunday, January 4, 2015

New year, new goals!

A new year has most people setting goals and I admit, I am one of those people! I would like to make 2015 my best year yet :) I have been blessed with very good years so I have no complaints. I do however look for ways to improve. I'm a work in progress kinda person right now... I'm not perfect but I'm not a hot mess either. One of the major things I would like to work on this new year is my photography. I bought myself a DSLR camera (Pentax K50) for my birthday this past October and have had lots of fun with it so far but I want to take my photography to the next level... I would like to share, through my lens, the peace that photography has brought me. My husband and I plan on taking a photography class at our local college that starts in a few weeks so that's my first step in improving my photography. I went online to look for 52-week photo challenges so we can learn more about how to use our cameras and how to work on editing as well and below you will find the one we chose. I hope you enjoy our our journey!