Karin Elizabeth | rosalie
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III is the charm

Around Christmas and New Year’s Eve, I always feel evaluative and nostalgic. I am not the kind of person that can identify something and then immediately do something about it. Instead, I see something that needs to change and wait for the right time to Start Fresh. I like Mondays. I like the first of the month. I love a new year. I suppose it’s better than never trying to change at all, but it’s a narrow-minded and counter-intuitive way to do it. I set my expectations too high, almost gleefully anticipating that moment when I can Start Over, and then it falls flat because… I can’t achieve on a schedule, I can’t be proud of myself at set times. I can’t be so naive anymore as to believe that I can control my life that much.

So my resolution is to… not wait until the new year. Until January or February 1st. Or until Monday. It’s a random Tuesday, and I’m ready now.

One of the changes I would like to make is to really get this website going properly. I am still very much unsure what I want to do with it, but that’s another one of those things that has always held me back. I don’t need to know 100% what I want in order to start working on it. For today I’m just deciding to change the layout a little bit, and to start blogging.

Rosalie Watching Snow | Stocksy United | Canon EOS 5D Mark III + 24-70mm f/2.8 L

One big development this month – which is also the catalyst to me wanting to change – is that I bought the Canon EOS 5D Mark III camera. My 7D had started to crap out on me, as I like to say, and it was time for an upgrade. I’ve been a photographer for over a decade, more seriously the past 7 or 8 years, and this is my 3rd DSLR camera. And III is the charm. I never felt ready enough to buy a professional camera, I guess I felt like I needed to “be worthy” of one, first.

But you know, fuck it. I’m worthy of it because my subjects are worthy. This stunning planet. The people on it. Mother nature. My memories. And my beautiful, amazing, adventurous, appreciative, exploring daughter.

I don’t know how I will fill in this blog and this website. But let’s just see where it takes me. I will at least try and blog when I feel like it, no rules, not too much second-guessing and rereading. Let’s just do this.

Immense, intense

In my previous post, I was very open about my struggle with stagnation. But that post only scratched the surface. I now feel more ready to be completely honest about what has been going on in the past 3 years, causing me to lose so much focus.

In 2014, my uncle and grandfather both died within 6 weeks from each other. I have written about that before, but what I didn’t write about is that shortly after those two losses, I also went through a devastating miscarriage. All of this caused me to spiral into grief and subsequent depression and anxiety – it took me about a year to work through that. I struggled with fertility problems, had surgery & was diagnosed with endometriosis, and my beloved grandmother died in 2015. We needed medical assistance to achieve pregnancy in early 2016, which was both stressful yet something I was immensely grateful for – a recipe for emotional conflict. After another pregnancy loss, we finally conceived Rosalie, who was born October 28th 2016. My pregnancy wasn’t the easiest as I carried a large baby due to undiagnosed gestational diabetes, and the delivery was hard, but we made it. Two became three.

She is now almost 6 months old. I can’t believe it. Rosalie enjoys eating, riding in the car, attempting to eat her socks, chewing on her butterfly toy, playing with mommy, going on walks, and grabbing daddy’s beard.

You can follow our lives together on my personal instagram account @kaatzoetekouw! She even has her own hashtag #RosalieHannahElisa, which I made so I have quick access to just-pictures-of-her.

All of this changed me, immensely and intensely, but for the better. All that pain, all that loss and all that loneliness – because it is so, so lonely to go through all of that – brought me the love of my life. And I hope I can now use all of that to once more be an impassioned photographer. I tried to work on photos for those years, but my heart was never really in it because my heart felt empty for so long.

Now my heart is full <3