Why should you choose CHC-Photography, Inc. for your Senior Portraits?

When I watch a TV show or movie I am always rooting for the underdog. Often I see myself as an underdog and that's why I can relate. Growing up in East Germany I can't say that my hopes and dreams were fostered. Given the fact that I was always a little rebelious and free spirited and didn't fit in, I was actually put down a lot by teachers and bullied by a certain class mate. It does leave it's marks but one of my best traits is Resilience. When we fled East Germany two years before the wall came down, we had to leave all of our belonging behind. Imagine leaving your house today with one suitcase and never seeing the rest again. I couldn't tell my friends goodbye out of fear they would figure out our plan and put us in prison as they did with so many. Long story short, my parents and I started our lives over from zero. I was 13 at the time, new school, new home, new town. We traited all of our belongings for freedom. We had a nice life in east germany but nobody could follow their dreams there. Life was already prewritten for everyone there. Part of the excitement of life is that you don't know what's next, you don't know what adventures lay ahead.

Here is my story...I grew up in East Germany, my dad is German and my mom is Polish. I grew up in a country to had locked borders

and no political freedom. I lived there until I was 13. I was a free spirited girl and allowed to roam the neighborhood because everyone did. I walked my 1 kilometer walk to preschool by myself. My parents sent me shopping to the bakery or butcher with a list when i couldn't read yet and just handed the list over. There wasn't that many cars at the time in East Germany but we lived right by a busy street and I did almost get run over once. After that I learned how to cross big streets and intersections real quick...ha!

My mom worked as tourist guide and in her free time she would sew...I would hang out with her in the sewing room and watch her.

My dad was a machinist and in his free time he would make things out of wood in the basement. I loved watching him as well. His wooden lamp fixtures, wooden curtain roods I am pretty sure can to this day still be found in many homes in my home town of Eisenach. I have a beautiful vanity I was able to bring here and I truly treasure it as it hung in my home in East Germany and remember it since I was very little.

So, my mom would sew matching clothes for us and I particularly remember a yellow summer suit, pants and a jacket with a leopard top

(to this day my mom loves animal prints...yikes!) Heads would turn when my mom and I walked down the street. I was maybe 10 and she was 34 at the time. Now that I am past 40, I realize how young she really was. I also realized how special it is to have these memories today.

During the summer my mom would bring me to Poland and I would stay there for almost 2 months travelling among her 5 brothers. At the time you could buy a lot of cool jewelry and hair accessories in Poland. I made all of my uncles buy me sterling rings and other knick knacks. Nobody could resist because I was persistent. My grandmother also loved rings and I credit her for my obsession with jewelry and rings in particular. My mom let me decide what to wear to school and I must've at some points looked like somebody out of an 80's music video. Too much color, big plastic hoop earrings etc.

Needless to say that did not go over well with some of my teachers where everyone should not stick out! I didn't understand any of it at the time. Where I lived we could watch West German TV and see all the commercials of all the cool stuff, like Adidas and Puma, haribo gummibears and I just couldn't figure out why we didn't have that in the store where I lived. I said when I grow up I am going to make sure East German will also have Haribo's at their stores...it made my parents laugh but I can't image how they really felt at the time. Nobody wants their kids to grow up without possibilities and without true freedom. In my childish mind I wanted people to have the same things and access.

Growing up I never heard follow your dreams or you can be whoever you want to be but i also never heard that I couldn't. Like I said my parents would just smile or laugh at what came out of my mouth at times and I guess didn't have the heart to fill me in just yet.

At 12 my parents and I were in a terrible car crash on our way back home from Poland after my parents picked me up after the summer. My parents were severely injured and had to stay in the hospital for a long time. Eventually my grandpa came to pick me up because I need to start 6 or 7th grade I don't recall. It took a couple months before my mom was back in Germany and even longer for my dad before he could be transported. For the most part I lived by myself during that time because my school was closer to my house rather than my grandparents. Times were different and kids didn't get babied and I was very independant at a very early age. Spending every summer since I was 6 years old or younger in Poland without my parents prepared me for living in the usa.

I remember trying to cook and putting a frozen steak into a boiling pan with oil...ouch! It was not edible and very burned. I dont remember too much detail from this time, exept missing my parents and looking for my parents in the cars that drove by while walking to school or my sports. I always hoped I would see my parents driving up the street. It seems like a long time before the 3 of us where back together. My dad couldn't work and it took a while for him before he could walk again. My parents where only 32 years old when the accident happend and like I said now I realize how young they were. I didn't have my son until I was 32, but my parents were in their 20's when they had me.