My real name is Emily.
I like to pretend that I’m deep and brooding and artsy. Bangs help.
I also like to take pictures of myself with my pets. I have LOTS of pets.
Smoochagator is a nickname my father gave me when I was fourteen… which I just realized was 20 years ago. I chose to use Smoochagator as my online identity because it’s quirky and irreverent and fun – like me. Like I like to think of me, that is.
I’ve been an artist for literally as long as I can remember, and I began writing creatively when I was in third grade. I began anonymously blogging in 2004 as I entered a rough patch in my life. I had just left a pseudo-Christian cult-church and was about to leave my first husband. The blogosphere became my therapist and support group.
Since then I have reinvented myself online over and over again, and struggled with how much of myself to share and with whom. Part of the problem was my “day job” as a graphic designer for a government contractor. Not only was I afraid of embarrassing my family, I was afraid of getting fired.
In 2008, I got married again to a wonderful man named Jon.
Jon and I are weird.
Through Jon I was blessed with a stepson named Christopher. And in 2010 I gave birth to a sweet and beautiful boy named Garrett.
Garrett and Mommy, Fall 2012.
Shortly before Garrett’s second birthday we found out we were expecting again.
In November 2012, Garrett was injured while in the care of a friend and neighbor, and died as a result of his injuries. The wheels of justice are still turning so I haven’t spent much time talking about the details of Garrett’s death. I have, however, started blogging a little about how his death has broken my heart and how I am slowly, VERY slowly, starting to heal.
In March 2013, Jon and I welcomed our daughter, Caitlin Ruth.
Little Bitty Bit.
She is exactly the sort of blessing we needed at this moment in time.
Now I am a work-from-home-mom, still semi-employed by the above-mentioned contractor but mostly hustling freelance gigs and keeping house. I’m hoping that being forced to live through every mom’s greatest fear – losing my child – will inspire me to face all those silly little fears about my art and writing. You know, what if my paintings are stupid or someone is offended by my blog post? Well, if that’s the way it is then that’s the way it is. I’m just not interested in wasting my life anymore.
Living well, loving deeply, making beautiful things, laughing, believing… that’s what I want to do.
I grabbed the photo for my header image from Egan Snow’s photostream and edited/enhanced it in Photoshop. My *smooch logo was created in Adobe Illustrator. I think it bears repeating that anything on this blog is my intellectual property unless stated otherwise. I don’t mind if you want to quote a blog post or share one of my images, so long as you link back to this site so folks can see my words/pictures in their native habitat. Thanks!