THE FEMALE FACTOR PROJECT- BRODIE

Brodie. All I really need to say is shes Australian and you would fall in love with her instantly. Lets face it…Aussies just have it like that don’t they ? Along with that amazing accent, she also has the greatest laugh and an incredibly mellow personality. Shes just the kind of girl you like instantly, and its true …I did !
I spent an amazing day down at the beach with Brodie and her baby girl and had an absolute BLAST. We literally lost track of time and  stayed until the sun went down, just playing with her daughter and talking about her life as a PILOT.

You really must read this interview . I’ve met a lot of people in my life, but I cant say I have ever met a female pilot before. Talk about inspiring ! Scroll down, enjoy the pics and go get inspired by Brodie !

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WHAT DO YOU DO FOR A LIVING ? WHAT ARE YOU TRAINED IN?

“I am a military pilot.”

WHAT FEMALE INSPIRES YOU ? WHY?

“I still think the female that inspires me most is my mum although I don’t feel as though I need to have a female inspiration. In my line of work I am exposed to a lot of males who inspire me. They inspire me to work harder, to show courage, to be a leader, to admit my mistakes, correct them, learn from them and move on, and most of all to be myself. Being a female brings a different perspective and set of attributes to the table. In the majority of cases this is a good thing.”

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WHAT FEMALE INSPIRED YOU MOST AS A CHILD ?

” MY MUM. Although I very rarely showed it as a stubborn child, my mum has been my biggest inspiration. Throughout my childhood she worked tirelessly to give me an upbringing where I was able to make my own decisions, good or bad, and learn from the outcomes. She taught me how to be independent, strong and motivated. I can attribute all my successes in life to lessons that I have learned from her. ”

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WHAT IS YOUR GREATEST DREAM ?

“I am living it. My job is my hobby and I have just started a family with Ben, whom I love.”

WHAT IS YOUR GREATEST ACCOMPLISHMENT ?

“My greatest accomplishment is creating/starting a family.”

WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST FEAR ?

“FAILURE”

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DO YOU HAVE A CAUSE YOU SPEAK UP FOR?

“Last year I joined Bike the US for MS in their ride of the Pacific Coast. The journey started in Seattle and finished in San Diego. The five weeks that it took was five weeks I will never forget! Not only do you raise money for a fantastic organisation and a worthy cause but you also have an experience that I would consider a holiday, a challenge and a time of self-reflection.”

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WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT YOUR CHILD ?

“I love how inquisitive Madison is. She is constantly watching the world around her and trying to absorb as much as she can.”

WHAT DO YOU HOPE TO DO DIFFERENTLY FOR MADISON COMPARED TO HOW YOU WERE RAISED ?

” Nothing. I can only strive to give Madison the upbringing and opportunities that my mum made sure my sisters and I received. ”

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WHAT DO YOU WISH PEOPLE KNEW ABOUT YOU ?

” That I truly believe it is what you don’t do that you will end up regretting the most”

TELL US ABOUT RANDOM ACTS OF KINDNESS IN YOUR LIFE ?

“I love when people passing you by simply say hello or smile. I always try to do this. Happiness is contagious, and I am always thankful to the people who make me smile in return for passing it on.”

( i could not agree more Brodie ! )

WHAT IS YOUR GREATEST ADVICE TO THE YOUNG FEMALES OF TODAY ?

“You have to create your own opportunities.”

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WHATS YOUR STATEMENT ?

” Women like men should try to do the impossible. And when they fail, their failure should be a challenge to others. (Amelia Earhart)”

Brodie……you make me want to get in a plane and take off ! Thank you so much for sharing with me, I cant wait until we meet up again. Im betting a lot of young women will read this and suddenly believe that they can also fly. My litle girls looked at your pictures and said with huge eyes ….she flys PLANES ??? Thank you Thank you thank you !

EVERYBODY – PLEASE LEAVE BRODIE BLOG LOVE …..let her know you were here and your thoughts !

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Julie Murphy - May 27, 2013 - 7:02 am

Wow, I am so proud, thank you, those wonderful words made me cry.
Brods you were the one who worked so hard to achieve your goals and you continue to amaze me and bring such joy to my life.
The photos of you and Madison are beautiful and I am so looking forward to meeting my little granddaughter.You and Ben have created a lovely family.
Love Mum ( Grandy)

admin - May 28, 2013 - 4:01 pm

Brodies mum…….It really means the world to me that this touched you in such a way ! It was the entire goal of the project, so thank you for sharing your thoughts !

( Sue )

Jessica Eagleson - May 30, 2013 - 9:57 am

Bro, you are an inspiration to all of us! I am so proud and blessed to have you as a sister and I miss you so much.
Also you look fantastic!!
Love you lots
Jess xoxox

The Female Factor Project – Tanema

I have to be honest. I find Tanema totally awesome. Her laid back, let life happen approach to parenting is REALLY refreshing. While I was fussing around trying to find a place in the grass that was RED ANT FREE …..she was brushing off my concerns casually telling me she wasn’t concerned at all because they camp and the kids would move if they got bit.   She was so laid back and easy to work with I really did not want to leave. Don’t even get me started on her kids, because they ROCK. Contessa gifted me for an HOUR with the most expressive faces Ive seen on a baby in a long time, and her sons just LISTENED. ( Insert TOTAL shocked face here ) . As any child photographer can tell you, it is a rare shoot when three young kids come together like this and it all just flows without any tantrums, meltdowns or mishaps. Momma is doing everything right with these kids and I enjoyed every second spent with them. Please scroll down, take some time and get to Know the amazing Tanema and her beautiful children.

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WHAT DO YOU DO FOR WORK ? WHAT ARE YOU TRAINED IN ?

“I am a small business owner. I make tutus for little girls.
You can find me at https://www.facebook.com/tutusbytanema.
I also have degrees in Early Childhood development and Massage Therapy”

WHAT FEMALE INSPIRES YOU NOW, AND BACK WHEN YOU WERE A CHILD ?

“Both my mothers inspire me, now and as a child. I grew up with gay parents who taught me to go for what I believe in and do whatever I love. I grew up loving all no matter what. My mom’s have always pushed me to do what I love no matter what stands in the way. I wasn’t an easy teenanger growing up with bipolar,ocd, and add. I thank them daily for everything they have done for me. ”

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WHAT IS YOUR GREATEST FEAR ?

“My biggest fear is failing,something happening to my babies and my cancer coming back. ”

WHAT IS YOUR GREATEST DREAM ?

“My greatest dream is watching my business grow, and watching my children grow up happy and turn into well rounded adults and be as happy as i am. ”

WHAT IS YOUR GREATEST ACCOMPLISHMENT?

“My greatest accomplishment is being able to stay at home with my three children and run my business and being a assistant cub master to my oldest sons pack. I never thought i would be able to juggle everything and still enjoy all the little things, its the greatest feeling in the world.”

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WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT YOUR CHILDREN ? TELL US ABOUT THEM !

” There is so much I love about my babies I’ll start with Kyle first he is my oldest he will be 7 on June 7th. I am so proud of him he is in advanced classes, he is our little bookworm he has a adult sense humor, very out going, the greatest big brother to his siblings I couldn’t be more proud to have him as our son. Tyler is our middle son he just turned 4 on April 18. He is our wild child lol. He is shy until he gets to know someone, looks up to his older brother and wants to do everything he does. He is clown and tries to make everyone laugh around him. He is also very smart. We are very proud of him. And our youngest Contessa she will be 1 on August 22. She lights up a room, she is very calm but also a very big diva already and very spoiled just like her brothers. She already loves her brothers to death and loves to be around them. We cant wait to see what a beautiful women she will turn into. All of them are my world I do anything I can for them and so much more. All three of them have so much love to give.”

HOW DO YOU HOPE TO RAISE YOUR CHILDREN DIFFERENTLY ? WHAT DO YOU WANT TO DO THE SAME ?

“We are already raising them differently than the way were raised. We don’t believe in spanking, we do warnings and time outs. We are raising them to tell us the truth to begin with and you won’t get in trouble, but if you lie you get in trouble. We stop and listen to what they have to say, they have a say in every decision that is made. We always give hugs and kisses before any of leave and say I love you cause you never know if it will be the last.”

WHAT DO YOU WISH PEOPLE KNEW ABOUT YOU ?

“What I wish people knew about me is I have been married to my husband for 9 yrs this July and we have been together for 12 yrs. I have come very far from 12 yrs ago learning to deal with my bioplar, ocd, and add without meds and having a scare of cervical cancer last yr after i had my baby girl hoping it never comes back. Everyday is new adventure for my family as we are always on the go and learning new things. Standing up for my mom’s there is nothing wrong with being gay they are just as great parents as a husband and wife and deserve to be just as happy as everyone else. I am a very big people person I am shy at first but you cant shut me up once I get to know you.I am still breastfeeding, co-sleeping and baby wearing my youngest. ”

WHAT IS THE BEST ADVICE YOU COULD GIVE TO YOUNG FEMALES ?

“My greatest advice to young females today are don’t give up even if it seems like its too much. Everyone has hurdles and you can overcome them. Talk to someone you trust.  Always look at your child in the eyes and tell them you love them that is the greatest gift you can give them they don’t stay little for long. Remember to love yourself and do what makes your children and yourself happy. Don’t be afraid to stand up for what you believe in no matter what the cause is.”

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TELL US ABOUT RANDOM ACTS OF KINDNESS IN YOUR LIFE ?

“Oh I have so many random acts of kindness Ill start with the two someone has done for me. The first one was I was at a checkout line at a grocery store and the gentlemen behind me paid for my groceries. I was in shock and started crying cause at the time I really didnt have enough money to pay for it all. The second one I was pregnant with Kyle and a lady stopped me outside of cvs and gave me a gift card for $40 dollars I cant remember where it was for but my husband and i couldnt stop thanking her it was a true blessing at the time. The random acts we have done is every thanksgiving we buy a needy family a entire thanksgiving meal everything they would need to have a wonderful thanksgiving, we buy extra food at the store if see a homeless person sitting outside and give it to them. We are always helping other people we have huge hearts and dont let them go to waste we have let single mothers with kids stay with us till they can get back on their feet. We always do what we can when we can.”
 
WHAT IS YOUR STATEMENT ?

” Be true to yourself ”

Tanema …what can I say. I hope your parenting style rubs off on me some more because I truly believe you have got it right. Thank you so much for being brave enough to speak up about being raised by two mothers and what a wonderful job they did.  I cant wait to see you guys again for the boys shoot !

PLEASE LEAVE TANEMA YOUR THOUGHTS AND COMMENTS BELOW  !

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Nicole - May 24, 2013 - 2:10 am

Beautiful pictures, beautiful profile on you and your family! love it!

Tanema Barnes - May 24, 2013 - 2:47 am

Thank you!

Jennifer - May 24, 2013 - 4:34 am

Awesome pics, I’m so glad to know the Barnes family!

Jennifer Stroble - May 24, 2013 - 8:23 pm

Tanema, these images are wonderful. Susan did an amazing job at capturing you and your family. I learned some new things about you that I hadn’t known from our many play dates. That’s awesome. :)

adreana Barnes - May 24, 2013 - 10:11 pm

awwe looking at these pictures makes me miss you guys soooo much!!! I love you my beautiful sister inlaw, Adorable neice and awesome nephews!!!

josh barnes - May 24, 2013 - 11:11 pm

you truly are a great mother and im so lucky to have you as my wife

Andrea Zajc - May 28, 2013 - 8:06 pm

Tanema and I haven’t been friends for long yet we have been sisters for a life time. I feel so close to her even though we are states away from each other. She birthed 3 amazing children and everyone can tell how much she loves them. I even had the honor and joy of being with her in the birthing room for the miracle of her latest baby Contessa. The pictures of you are amazingly beautiful and I am so happy to be apart of your family.

Erika - May 29, 2013 - 3:12 am

Beautiful!!:-)

Sarah Smith - June 11, 2013 - 3:46 pm

Love these gorgeous picturesa!

Sarah Smith - June 11, 2013 - 4:19 pm

These pictures are absolutely gorgeous! What a wonderful way to celebrate and empower a remarkable young woman and her precious children :)

Mary Kay Momma

Meet Stephanie and her two gorgeous boys. Stephanie is my Mary Kay lady and an absolute darling. You can find her { here } if you are looking to try out Mary Kay, (something I highly recommend). You will not find a more easy going woman anywhere and Mary Kay products rock !  It was so much fun working with Stephanie and her family, I really hated to see them go at the end of the session. Although we live a really long way from each other, I know somehow well work out a way to have a follow up session so we can document these baby boys growing up ! Stephanie thank you so much for your UNBELIEVABLE patience. I can not wait for you to see your custom album !

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The Female Factor Project – Cheryl

Cheryls story is the first one told in our Female Factor Project, which is a photographic documentation of women who inspire. The project is mean to honor the women who came before us, to inspire the women who are behind us, and to appreciate the women who are right beside us.  If you would like to know more about the female Factor project please go to http://sknyphotography.co/the-female-factor/ .

Cheryl is an incredible woman who is a shining example of female strength in todays world and I loved hanging out with her family at the beach. Her son is an absolute love, with a cheeky smile and a look in his eye that let me know ………I was on notice ! There was no stopping this kid and his laugh was one of those where you laugh back even if you don’t get whats funny. ( something I was rewarded with after catching quite a few face-fulls of sand)  Her daughter is also irresistible, her smile was huge and non stop. She is a total mommas girl and spent the entire time laughing and giggling with Cheryl. I had an absolute blast with this family and was really touched by what I learned about Cheryl. I know you will be too, so please enjoy the images and scroll down to catch the story of Cheryl .

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WHAT DO YOU DO FOR A LIVING ?

“I am a Geospatial Intelligence Anayst. My degree is in biology, but I am trained in Geospatial Analysis/Cartography. It was a strange twist to my career, but I do enjoy it. I like the combination of science and art coming together. I now work for Centcom, which was my career goal for 10 years. I finally achieved it in 2010, but now with the Sequestration…not really sure how long it will last. I might be looking at a career change, with the Defense budget shrinking.”

WHAT FEMALE INSPIRES YOU NOW? WHY ?

“All moms inspire me. Whether you are a working mom,stay at home mom,a breast feeding mom or a formula feeding mom I think we are all amazing. I have learned something from every mom I talk with. I think these debates that pit groups of women against each other is ridiculous. I am a working mom, but I know that stay at home moms have challenges, too. Not the same as mine, but still difficult to get through. I met a lady just a couple of weeks ago that had a 6 week old and she was already thinking about having to go back to work. She asked me if it gets easier. It gets easier, but your heart will still break as you leave the house each day. Mine still does.”

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WHAT FEMALE INMPACTED/INSPIRED YOU MOST AS A CHILD?

“Of course this is my mom. And I am so excited to have a daughter, too! My mom and I are so similar. Our birthdays are just a week apart and now my daughter is a couple of days away from my mothers. It is nice to have us all in almost the same week. My mom is a total work-aholic, but she loves it. I saw myself going down that path. I backed off…no more 16 hour days for me. It is not worth the sacrifice. It is a real shame that we don’t live closer. We hit a bumpy patch when I moved here to Tampa. I used to live just 45 minutes away and we were very close, we would sneak away for a coffee or just see each other more. I do really miss those times. We are working through it though. It will take a little more time, but we are getting there.”

WHATS YOUR GREATEST DREAM?

“My career came pretty easy for me. It was the family part that I thought would elude me. We tried what seemed like forever for kids. And finally I had my son! And since it took forever to have him, it would be the same for the second… not quite. We were pregnant again in 6 months. So I have 2 little ones that are just the light of my life right now.”
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WHATS YOUR GREATEST ACCOMPLISHMENT?

“I am not exactly cool under pressure. I can freak out a bit. So now that you know that…my daughter started choking the other day. When my nephew did it, luckily someone was around because I did freak out. But this time…I handled it! I have never done infant CPR (thank god never needed to do it). I have taken adult CPR, so in theory I knew what to do. I wouldn’t say I was cool as a cucumber, but baby steps. So yea, I am a little better under pressure and I saved my daughters life. It doesn’t get greater than that.”

( I cant tell you how much it helped me to read this. I also am not cool under pressure and have tended to beat myself up a lot for it. It was a great sense of relief to know hear a very strong accomplished woman also goes through the same process as me during stressful times. I know ALOT of ladies out there are going ME TOO ME TOO!!!)

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WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST FEAR ?

“Public speaking? Identity Theft? Sex Offenders? I try not to think about this. Especially with everything that is going on in the world these days, with the bombings and shootings there is a lot to fear. But I don’t like to focus on it, I would rather sleep at night.”

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WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT YOUR CHILDREN? TELL US ABOUT THEM!

“They are brilliant and gorgeous and I love them to pieces. I think I just love watching them grow and learn new things while spending time with them. When I come home from work, I am all theirs. I try to make the most out of every moment I am with them. They are both so young, so it is tough to pinpoint a certain quality. The unique quality in my son is that he so expressive. He has such a vocabulary for a 22 month old, but it is those eyes that I think get to people. And he is a clown so he is tons of fun. He is always dancing and singing. It is great after a long day at work. My daughter is a little quieter and calmer (thankfully), but I have a feeling that is going to change in the future. She is starting to find her voice much to my son’s surprise.”

WHAT DO YOU HOPE TO DO DIFFERENT FOR THEM COMPARED TO HOW YOU WERE RAISED ?

“I thought this would be the longer paragraph. Now that I think about it…I am not raising them so different at all. The only thing I can think of is hitting. I was spanked as a kid, but I don’t agree with it for my kids. My son already hits…I think it sends mixed messages. Only one other thing, I want to involve them in the community more and teach them to give to people less fortunate than us. I asked my mom about this a few years ago…why they weren’t open about it. At the time she didn’t realize that she wasn’t. She told me they have always given time and finances (which I knew), but didn’t really encourage it for us as children. I would like to instill this at a younger age.”

WHAT DO YOU WANT TO DO THE SAME?

“There is so much that my parents got right. We are too fast paced these days. My 7 month old already reaches for my IPhone! So we try to be outside playing most of the day, like we used to do. How rare is it to see children outside playing these days?? Almost never. They will not have a TV in their rooms. We will all agree on a show and all watch it together. My mom was very strict about eating…….we didn’t have sweets in the house. Turns out, that is important to me as well.”

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TELL US ABOUT RANDOM ACTS OF KINDNESS IN YOUR LIFE.

“I was at Target a few weeks ago. And there was a young boy in front of me paying for what looked like some school supplies. He was probably 17-19 yrs old. He goes in one pocket and takes out a handful of ones all crumpled up. Then he goes in the other pocket and proceeds to count some change…..a lot of change. He didn’t have enough. I paid the rest for him. But that wasn’t always my response…

Something similar happened to me a quite a few years ago. A young boy was buying a combo sandwich at Publix, but he didn’t have enough to pay for the soda. I didn’t help him out. I don’t know if it was because it was soda and I don’t want kids drinking soda. Or if I was in shock that Publix didn’t just give it to him. They actually threw it away, because he couldn’t pay for it. But worse I didn’t respond. I never wanted to do that again.”

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WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO YOUNG WOMEN ?

” Enjoy every stage in your life and live each stage to the fullest. Maybe it is better these days, but I felt pressure to get married out of college. I thought that is what I was supposed to do. Find a guy in college, get married, have kids. Only one problem, I didn’t want to be married…yet. So guess what, I got divorced. But that divorce, almost freed me. I didn’t have any path anymore. I could decide what I wanted to do. So I did. I moved away from the folks and started my career. Was it hard? Oh yes, but so rewarding. I was on my own…completely. Almost like my own little revolution. When I was ready, I moved back and started a family. And now I enjoy my family to the fullest. So my daughter can find her own way in her own time.”

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WHATS YOUR STATEMENT ?

” Real Life Learning ”

“This means to me teaching our kids more than their ABC’s. My end goal is a well-rounded little person that will be an active member of society. And in that, I hope they find happiness. They need to learn how to cook and clean, how to treat others, how to be part of a family and part of a community of people…with some morals and values thrown in, too. And how important are the arts….music and dance. All of the subjects that our school system is shying away from, we as parents have to pick up those up and teach them. My son is still very young; he will be 2 in June. Ever since he was able to stand comfortably, he “helps me” cook. When I am making dinner, he is up at the counter with me doing whatever…usually ends with spilling water on the floor, but oh well. He can crack an egg and loves to help with breakfast. Sometimes I don’t have the patience and I have to get dinner done, but I try as much as possible to involve him with the day to day stuff. As he gets older, I want to teach him electrical work. How to paint a wall, read a ruler, plant a tree. And same with my daughter, there will be no roles in the housework. They will both learn to do as much as we can teach them and hopefully they will be willing learners.”

Cheryl thank you again for spending the day with me and sharing your thoughts on the female factor. You are a wonderful inspiration for young women and you have certainly inspired me on many levels:)

Please leave Cheryl some blog love, leave your thoughts, or just let her know you stopped by !

 

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