Regrets.

Do you ever wish you could start over?  Start a friendship over, start a lover relationship over, start parenting over?  Knowing what you know now?  Why are lessons in life so hard to learn?  Why do people grow apart?  What did you do wrong in that relationship, no matter which it is-as a lover, a friend or a parent?  Would starting over even help?  Is the issue you, or them?

I don't know the answers to this question, and often times I do not have regret.  Today, however-this moment I am feeling a little regret towards a past relationship with someone special.  I won't divulge if I am speaking of lover, friendship or child.  But there is a twing of regret and sadness today!  I hope I get over it quick!

Mmmmm Pizza - A Trial at GF Crust


So I love pizza from time to time, I mean who wouldn't loves something made from dough covered with warm cheese?  I mean, you'd have to be crazy.  But trying to be GF makes it difficult to have things like pizza.  Until now.

Maylee Jean

Two of my favorite things, Maylee Jean (my first born niece) and dandelions (okay I love the light too)  These area  few years old, but I wanted to share!










You Are Amazing Little One.


How hard it must be being the youngest child in a household.  Especially since the age between you and the youngest before you is so wide, approximately 9 years.  How hard it must be for a little girl to grow up with everyone expecting her to behave and react a certain way, probably way beyond her years.  How difficult it must be to have the expectation that you be independent and quiet a lot of the time, or to know things you couldn't possibly know because you are so young.  To have expectations put on you that you cannot achieve yet, but you try because you want to please people and make people happy.

What a hardship it must be to be shuffled, from birth, to baseball games and practices lasting hours, in the heat and the cold and sometimes even rain.

You were brought into this world very unexpectedly, for both sides of your family.  You are not the flesh of my flesh, but you have imprinted yourself on my heart and soul and for that you'll forever be my girl.  No matter what the years bring, or how anyone tries to tear us apart-even if they are successful just remember I have always loved you, and I always will-no matter what.

Thank you for being patient with us all my love.

xoxo, mama <3

Photography - Spring 2018


Well, I cannot wait to get back into shooting again this spring.  It's my favorite time of year, well I'll be honest-fall actually is - but Spring is pretty close to my favorite.  You should go check out the new website, www.lelajohnson.com, some of my new work & let me know what you think :)

Raining. Again!


Today is just one of those days you wish you could just call in sick and stay inside your home all day-out of the weather, away from the crazy drivers who think they are immortal and away from people in general.


When did I turn into the girl that wanted to retire?  I have just a few short years left, four more to be exact - of waking up early, driving over an hour twice a day, paying to park, walking in the rain, walking in the freezing cold, walking in the dead of summer heat.  Four more years of dodging students on bikes and on foot, avoiding people running red lights and almost hitting you with their care.  Ready to not pack my lunch or spend tons of money eating out in order to stay full throughout the week.

I shouldn't complain, people wish they had a great job like mine & I love my job and the people I work with don't get me wrong, I am just tired.  I am tired of all the crap I said above.  I am ready for humans to be nice to each other.  I am ready to have better parking, so we don't have to brave harsh conditions just to get into our place of business.  I am ready to have a shorter commute to and from work.  Maybe I am just being moody today.  I guess that's okay, I am allowed.  After all, my pants are socked and my hair is a mess from this nasty weather.

Ahh Florida, you never stop amazing me with your wonder....

Fat Girl Problems 001

So, first let me say that I am on WW's again & so I have been tracking my food and drink intake and keeping to a certain amount of points & I have been loosing again-slowly but I am loosing.

Now, on to what I have to say....since I have gotten bigger & experienced some negative aspects to it I feel safe in talking about this.  If you're a larger person, be it tall or be in thick you probably understand where I am coming from.  Okay, so....I have always liked to sit at a booth when dining out, it's intimate and cozy.  But over the years, I have noticed how difficult it is to actually be comfortable while eating in these things.  First off, the tables are ALWAYS to low & now that I have gained weight the tables are almost always to close to the chair & to low, so it's like the table is on my lap and my belly is right there-ready to hang over on the table......I freaking hate it.  I don't like to point this out to people, because I don't need people making special accommodations for my weight and height, but damn are we not living in a world filled with fat and tall people anymore?

When I was younger and smaller, I would complain about this along side my friend Kari when we would shop for jeans, back then it was hard to find anything for tall gals in the way of denim-and this even was true for the most popular most expensive jeans at the time-they just didn't make them long enough no matter what, even when they claimed to be "tall".  So I guess the situation has just shifted from one subject matter to another in the way of being totally annoying and pissing off people like me, and there are so many people like me.

Okay, fatty signing off...need to add my coffee to my WW app, lol :D Enjoy your day!

Selfie Sunday & a confession.....

Ya know, one thing I don't do much anymore-is like pictures of myself.  I actually do not like seeing myself in pictures much anymore, not that I really loved it before-but sometimes I was the only "willing" subject matter around that I could shoot quickly so I could practice my editing or a new action/preset that I had purchased for found free.  I find that, in my youth, a lot of people mistook that for vanity or whatever-and I never really tried to correct anyone if they thought that, because frankly how can you really change someones mind about something if that is really how they feel.  No, you just learn what type of person they are and you either live with it & them or you move on.

I have lived with a lot of males and females who have had a misconception about me in some shape or fashion.  For example, I am really introverted.  I would rather be alone then in a group setting.  I am not comfortable in large groups, parties, cook outs or anything unless I am aware of the people that are going to be there, or I am hosting it myself so I can invite the people I am most comfortable with.  Along with that, I often make grand plans to go visit someone, or to meet them for lunch but as the time approaches I become nervous, stressed out and anxious.  A lot of people don't know that about me, Billy didn't even pick up on these things before - until I pointed them out.  He just used every situation separate from the other, when really they just all join up and make one big part of my personality.

As a photographer it is hard when you are this way, I have to force myself to get beyond it - and really it could be why my business has not grew outside of my repeat costumers, because I get fulfilled just working with them every year.  Sometimes I go out of my comfort zone and shoot someone new, but it's a friend of a friend, or something along those lines and even then, I am anxious.  I am, if I am being totally honest, anxious when I go and work with close friends.

Over the years, as I get older - I have these ah-ha moments, where I finally put two and two together and realize the type of person I am.  Of course, I have always known how I was - but I didn't have a label for it or I didn't make the time to even sit down and think about myself in that manner, I was busy raising kids and just trying to survive in this world filled with people who really don't give a shit for each other.

Having said that, I wanted to try to get a new photo of myself to put on my blog & on my facebook - though I have decided NOT to put it on facebook as of yet-we'll see what the future holds.  I often look at the pictures I take and then look at myself in the mirror and I don't feel like we look the same and so I don't like to post it on facebook or instagram because I don't want people saying - oh she must have edited that photo or who is that?  LOL!  When really in real life, I am sure no one really cares about a stupid profile picture on Facebook lol!!!

But without further ado..here is me...weird, chubby, crazy haired me....someone who loves her family, loves her friend(s) and sometimes loves herself.....

Come'on Now Friends.....

Have you ever noticed that people, your friends in particular, don't really want to nor do they have time to really listen to what you have to say?  They just really don't care, not really!  They really only talk to you so they can brag about whatever amazing thing has happened to them lately or bitch about something shitty.  All of which and everything in the middle I am game for.  I like to listen to my friends, provide some feedback & even, dare I say-talk about myself.

I have noticed that a lot of my friendships are still so very one sided.  I get my ear talked off, or paragraphs upon paragraphs via messenger or text about their issues, or accomplishments yet once they ask me how I am doing, and I respond they have little so say.

If I return the favor, then I get asked "what's wrong with you?"....

Buggers, I just am at a loss really.  But in the end, I have to do what is good for me and if something bothers me enough and goes on to long, I'll eventually just give up and move on.  If you're wondering if I call the friend on the carpet, the answer is no-and I don't want to have to have that type of conversation with someone because most of the time I have found it's just that persons personality & I don't want to change anyone-they just may not be for me.  Not only that, but I don't like to argue with someone about such things either.

I know this is something I've bitched about before-but I guess I never learn.

RIP Dolores - You're a light that will never go out!

I remember, when I was a teenager our local radio station did a contest where listeners would call in and vote on a new band.  One evening, I heard a new band called the Cranberries playing one of their hits from their first CD to make it here in America.  They lost the hot or not contest, but they won a place in my heart because I was instantly in love & had to have their music.  I listened to that CD for hours, over and over again!  It made my life, it helped me grow into the person I am today in a sense.  I loved the lead singers voice, even though people would tease me about my choice in music, I never wavered as a fan.  And they were then and they are now, my favorite band of all time (and Delores as a solo artist).  I have heard, and owned everything that they have ever produced both as the Cranberries and when she went out on her own (and then came back).

I got my daughter into them, it was something we could bond over & something that I still have warm memories of.

It's a weird moment for me, an ah ha moment almost, because as a child and young adult I could never understands why fans cried when Elvis died, or because John Lennon was shot.  I just thought, how silly-these people don't even know them personally-how could it possible bring them to so much sorrow.....but I feel that empty sadness thinking about her life ending.  RIP Dolores O'Riordan!  You'll be missed, but never forgotten!

Pit Paste?

Yeah, sooooo I decided that I was going to stop wearing conventional antiperspirants.  Probably sounds like a stupid idea doesn't it, considering I live in Florida and I have German blood in me.  But I had never really considered how dangerous antiperspirants can be and how unnatural they are.

In my goal to eat more naturally, how can I not want/expect to use things that are natural on my body as well?  Well I guess I couldn't.

Anyway, fast forward a few weeks.....which is how long I have not used regular deodorant I think my body has finally detoxed from it.  I am using a product called Primal Pit Paste to make sure I don't stink, lol!  This product allows me to still sweat naturally but helps eliminate bad odor also naturally.

What's in it?  Well it's simple:

  • Organic Shea Butter
  • Organic Beeswax
  • Organic Arrowroot Powder
  • Non-Aluminum Backing Soda
  • Organic Coconut Oil
  • Essential Oils
  • Non-GMO Vitamin E (derived 100% from Sunflowers).
My flavor of choice so far?

Lavender!  So far, I just love it.  It doesn't let me stink and I feel good using it, thank you Jen for the suggestion! I do plan on trying the Royal & Rouge next...it sounds like it smells amazing!!!

Lavender Natural Deodorant Stick
I'll let you know how it holds up during the Florida hot months.....more to come later then!

The IL Adventure with my Sibs

So, as most of you know-I was in IL the week before Christmas saying good bye to my sweet Grandma Martin-who passed away.  My siblings, from my dads first marriage....myself, Molly, Bruce & Matthew (who all grew up together) decided to devote an entire day, driving our happy asses to IL in a rental.  Since the rental was in my name, I drove most of the way.  Plus, apparently-I have been told by the people who shared in this adventure with me-I have some control issues.  I am not going to disagree, but I am not going to just agree either.

So, the adventure starts like this.....


The entire planning process took a few days-I mean lets face it we didn't have much time to plan & some one had to take charge because everyone was so damn agreeable.  Bruce tried his hand at being in charge, but he was making decisions that just cost the rest of us money & if you know Matthew you know that isn't something he is to agreeable on, haha!  So finally, in the end we used the rental car that I had due to my car being in the shop for a recall & we stayed in a hotel that was at a 50% reduced rate due to a cousin's wife who hooked us up with her employee discount.  Score!

Everyone met up at my house, since it was near I75 about 6am.  We loaded up the car pretty quickly and easily and headed out of town, stopping in Lake City for some breakfast to start us all out.  We stopped at a quick place, Burger King to be exact.  When we walked in, we were basically the only people there-which was fine with us since we were pretty loud and excited.  We all ordered our breakfasts (and on a side note, if you order your breakfast at a fast food restaurant and order a side of this and a side of that-it's way cheaper then a "meal".  Bruce taught me that, so I was able to order eggs, a sausage, bacon & hashbrowns (no gluten) & a drink for under $6.  Score, again!

When we got up to leave, Bruce & I refilled our drinks for the road ahead of us.  Molly & Matthew took a quick break to use the bathroom.  As I was leaving the drink station, I started to slip (the floors were not wet, yet they were very slippery).  It all happened in slow motion, so not really sure why my asshole brother didn't help me lol (maybe he was afraid he'd hurt his hip - or maybe it was only slow motion in my own mind-idk but he didn't even move or react).  I was slowly (or it seemed slowly) doing a split, I tried to bring my feet back in but it wasn't happening and I just said "yep I'm falling".  I had a filled cup of Coke Zero at this point and the floor was gross so I fell on my wrists and knees....and boy did that hurt.  I felt the pain of that the entire trip and several days after I got home.  All Molly & Matthew could say was they wished they had been there so they could have recorded it, Molly said she thinks adults falling is just so damn funny!  Nice right? LOL!

The drive up is pretty uneventful, we laugh-sing and tease each other.  It was a quick drive as well, as we didn't run into to many issues-and we even stopped in IL some place and grabbed some dinner before arriving at the hotel.

Wednesday was the funeral-and we arrived the night before.  So in the morning we all got up, enjoyed some breakfast (free) at the hotel before heading out to the services in Alton where most of the family was already waiting.  I got to see my sweet grandma before they buried her, which was really nice in some ways and not so great in others.  I don't feel like she would have liked us all staring at her.  She would have said something sarcastic about it and we all would have laughed.  She really would have gotten a kick out of the stories we ended up with after our adventure to her funeral.  I can hear her laughter now as I type up our story!

Soooo, I'll just give you a quick rundown with out even going into much depth......


  • I slipped and fell/hurt myself before we could even get out of town
  • my dad lost his teeth
  • the minister talked about Hitler and the Jews during my grandma's ulege
  • sister shit herself at a local grocery store
  • another sister got drunk after the funeral
  • accidentally saw porn on another brother's phone
  • two brothers got mad at each other, one threw food (french fries to be exact)
  • a cousin's husband fell into my grandma's grave at the burial site
Yes.  Fell into her grave!  During the vacation, aside from falling down-I kicked a yellow "wet floor sign" all the way across the quiet and fancy lobby of our hotel room and tripped over a cone during the burial of my gma M!  Yes!!!!!

On the way home, let me say it's a 10 hour drive on a good day to my front door to Alton IL.  It took us 18, yes 18 long miserable and wet hours to get home.  We were all over it by the time we pulled up in my hard, my brothers even contemplated staying the night at my house to avoid having to get back into yet another car & driving yet another TWO hours to their home!  Matthew & Bruce also had to turn around, and come to my moms house for Christmas the very next day, or should I say same day because we didn't arrive at my door until Saturday morning about 1/2am, I can't be sure what time it was honestly because I was beat.

During that time, I tried hard to stay GF...some of it was unavoidable-I hate some chicken that was fried in flour at my grandma's funeral dinner - and I had some chicken nuggets at the place where one of the brothers threw food.  And I paid the price for that.  I got some great tips from my aunt Stephanie though, and I have been continuing to make strides towards a totally GF life!  I feel much much better, and low and behold my belly is much less bloated looking and feeling after just a month!  Score!  Again with the score!


Best Gluten-Free Product's I've found SO FAR

Man, I really thought being GF would be much harder then it is.  I must say, it's a bit easier then I imagined.  Only because apparently being GF is pretty common and so there are tons of companies that are providing great options for people who gluten free or non-GMO eaters.

I love to make a nice cheese burger at home from time to time, and so far the best bun I have found is UDI's hamburger buns.  It's fluffy like a regular wheat bun, but it's also almost buttery-like a crescent.  Yummy right?  I found mine in the freezer section at Winn-Dixie.

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