Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Soooo much better

Well, I'm happy to say that with in a few hours of the last post, things have taken a turn for the better. I don't know how long this will last, but I'll take it! Amazing what a little time a way from life to do something you love can change your spirits dramatically. Not that being at home isn't great, but you know what I mean. Tonight I got to attend a seminar for photography that was awesome! It's totally re-energized me and given me some amazing tools to help me develop my business. So for those of you who have experienced my work, get ready for some awesome new things to come your way, and if you haven't yet let me photograph you... well, you're in for a real treat.

Because I am on such a photo high right now, and I can't sleep I want to write about, guess what.... photography. Although I realize if I get all technical with lighting and shutter speed and all that really neat stuff, I'd bore 1/2 of you and just plain loose the other 1/2 who would read on just to be kind. So instead, I wanted to quickly tell my story of how I became a photographer.

It all started with my dad. He is an award winning photographer, mainly photographing still life and landscapes. Basically anything that wouldn't move and change on him like a person would. Since I could remember I too had a camera in my hands, following along behind my dad. While I loved the camera and I loved nature... I couldn't figure out how to capture that together. I took a few classes, in hopes that learning some techniques would improve my abilities to capture images like my father. No luck. I just didn't have an eye for it at all. I didn't give up completely. I always had a camera with me. I loved taking candids of friends and events I was in, but still has a huge desire to capture nature in a beautiful setting. In college I explore completely different avenues like floral design. I loved that for a while, but finding that the wedding business would take me away from my family every weekend, I moved to a new venture. I had the opportunity to open a dance and fitness studio with a partner, again indulging another love of mine. I helped run a children's performance group and was a certified Pilates instructor teaching at my gym and at a local privet school. Just after Tyler was born, I left the studio to stay home full time with Ty.

As many new moms, I couldn't stop taking pictures of my baby. I loved finding props around the house and making my own home made studio shots, and loved it. The photograph spark was reborn. I talked to Eric about his thoughts on me pursuing a new avenue. Portrait photography was something I had never considered. Like I said earlier, my mentor was a landscape photographer, and portraits weren't ever a subject that I had explored. Now I look back and I'm like duh, but I know I couldn't experience all those other ventures otherwise. I started looking online at other local photographers sites, and I was shocked. The prices they charged for the images they produced, well, lets just say I was less than impressed. I knew I could do much better than that. I wasn't trying to be snooty, but the photos I had taken with my little 4 mega pixel Olympus camera validated my feelings.

Just a few weeks later, my good friend Alexis was getting married and I was at her house looking at her engagement photos. They were beautiful and I knew that was the type of photographer I wanted to be. At her wedding weeks later I made a point to meet her photographer and ask her if she ever needed an assistant and could possibly train me. She said yes, and I could start the next week. I bought my first SLR camera that night and started practicing. I assisted her on many shoots, for about a year, and using my own friends when ever they'd let me. After feeling very confident I asked my sister's good friend if I could take some senior portraits for her. She said yes, and my that was my first official shoot. It was amazing. A month later I asked a gal I met at a home party if I could take photos of her family. Her daughter was the cutest thing ever, and I wanted to try a family and children. Again good success. And the rest is history.
I'm glad I found the portrait side of photography and didn't get stuck in the landscape side that I still can not do. My dad and I joke that he doesn't like things that move, and I have to have something that moves, and then we're both happy.

I've loved my journey and the people and places my photography has taken me, and I can't wait to see where it will take me.

One of those weeks!

Have you ever had a week where you have run and run in circles, actually accomplishing a lot, but feeling like nothing is done? It's one of those weeks for me. And it's only Tuesday! Actually somehow my week started last Friday, and it folded over to this week. Eric's schedule at work is such that he doesn't always work M-F, sometimes he gets a day off during the week and works Sat. instead, (that is a whole other frustration of mine, but I'll talk about that later) and so was this week as well as last. I don't even know was that triggered the dark cloud of gloom that has parked over me. I know I had a lot to accomplish this weekend and actually got a lot of it done. But it seemed every task came with something extra that I wasn't expecting, whether it was 5 extra phone calls, Tanner didn't napped for 4 days now (he's not even 2 yet, he can't be done with naps, right?), missing two main ingredients for a dinner I was making for a friend, or just the kids being kids... it all added up to grumpy Saturday night for me - and yes, you should feel sorry for Eric, it was that bad. He's so good to take care of me though. Then Sunday came, and while it was 20 times slower than my speed I had been at the two days before, which was so needed, it was still really full. Hoping that this week would start out better I quickly found that I was wrong. Melt down #2 happened yesterday after I realized I can't control everything and I also couldn't have all results go my way. That is never something fun to realize. There was more to this post, and I tried to wrap it up with a happy ending, but as I preview my post to make sure I had everything down right, it froze, and for some reason it didn't auto save 1/2 of it, so now, I'm not so inclined to put a happy spin, because incidents like that just keep happening no matter what I do. So maybe, just maybe by the end of the day life will be better, and I can finish this post, with the nice happy spin put on it. But for now... this post is purely me venting, and I don't care!

(By the way, for those of you who don't know me well, venting things for me, especially when I write them down, helps a lot! It gets weight off my shoulders so I can move on, so don't be scared by this, it's just venting :) )

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Handmade envelopes

Eric and I were talking well, debating about how with all the advances and conveniences of technology we loose some of the personal touches that have been around for years. This topic came from a statement my mother made over Sunday night dinner as to a prediction or commentary she had heard somewhere regarding all the email and texting that the world has adopted and how it allows us to communicate without ever talking to one another. While I appreciate the convenience of being able to shoot a text or email to Eric to remind him for example to bring something home after work, rather than bothering him with a phone call, I saw her point more clearly when Eric and I discussed letters. Eric is all about email, all the way. I on the underhand still love getting my holiday, birthday, and just because letters from my Grandma or other individuals. I still think there is something special about finding something other than a bill when I open the mail box. A letter addressed just to me.

I feel if you take time to write an actual letter, it's something extra. And I found this new way to wrap that letter because--nowadays a real letter is too precious for just any old envelope. A homemade envelope is the finishing touch for that special note and great thing to do on a rainy day. Here are two easy ways to do it.

1. Use a small purchased envelope as a template, unfold it and trace the envelope's outline on a large magazine page. Cut it out and fold it up, gluing the edges with a glue stick to secure. A seal makes a pretty addition too. The best magazine pages to use are those with big, dramatic pictures. It looks nice to use a paint pen in silver, white or gold to address it, gives it that dramatic touch. I used a white-out pen on this one at left and it worked well.
2. Using a paper lace heart doily fold a pretty envelope around your note and glue as you would an envelope. Pretty and romantic for that special thought.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Who said you can't play sports when it's wet outside?

After the incident a few days ago with the rain and the mud (see earlier post) I wasn't in the mood to let the boys play outside today. Plus it is really cold. They had an amazing amount of energy, but then again when don't they, so I had to find something constructive for them to do. We started coloring, which ended up in tears because they both couldn't have the same crayon. Then Tyler was playing soccer, and totally accidentally knocked over mom's special candle that was on the coffee table. So much for that game. After trying a few other things and on the verge of a melt down a brilliant thought came to mind. What about sports inside! Enter our Nintendo Wii. This thing is so awesome. The boys don't play it ofter, it's more for Eric and I when friends are over, or boys night, but considering the circumstances, I thought it would be the perfect time to pull it out.

I put in the Wii sports, because Tanner can play it too. Baseball was the first game we played and the boys had a great time pitching and batting with eachother. And there weren't any tears!
Tanner pooped out sooner than Ty, it was getting close to nap time. Tyler then decised he wanted to pratice his golf skills. Yep, still a pro!

The Wii saved my afternoon and allowed my kids to play some sports even with the nasty weather. For any of you who haven't tried the Wii, I highly recommend it. I am not a "gamer" at all, in fact, I almost dislike them. Especially for families. I think it is too easy for anyone one person, children or adults to get sucked into those games, plus so many now days are inappropriate with violence and stuff. That's just my opinion though. Anyway... off my soap box now. This Wii has a ton of family friendly games and you get to get up and move for many of the games. That's a fun twist too. The way we got the Wii is a fun little story too.

Many of you might remember the craziness that surrounded the Wii's release back in 2006. It was near impossible to get your hands on one of these suckers. From what I've heard, sometimes it can still be a challenge today. Anyway, about 2 months before Christmas '06 I decided it would be fun to try to get one for Eric for Christmas. The process began. Most major game stores received limited shipments about every 3 weeks, and when I say limited, I mean 2-9 per store! And they didn't know when they were getting a shipment until a day or two before. Wal-Marts and Targets would randomly receive a few, but they could come at any time on any day. I stared calling around a dozen stores in the area about 3-5 times a day to see if any had come in. Nothing. After a few weeks of no success a rumor was made that Nintendo was going to do a nation wide whip to all stores on Sat. With the amount per shipment being limited again, I know this was my only choice. I also knew I would have to do something I never thought I'd do in my entire life... sleep out over night.

I had a hard time figuring out how I was going to not sleep at home without Eric noticing. So, I lied (sorry Eric) and told him I was going to help my mom with a project and I'd be there all night. He didn't even think twice and said okay. Some how I convinced my sister to be in on this with me too and I sent her out to the game stop by 8pm to get our spot in line, and there was already a line. The people in line said the store had 4 Wii's to give out tomorrow, and Danica was 4th in line. I thought about trying somewhere else, just in case the store was short one, but the others assured us they were told 4 and we'd get one, so we stayed. That night the temperature went from the average 45 degrees at night to 32! Figures. We froze. Dee and I tried to sleep on a double wide camping chair, and if you know anything about my sister's sleeping habits, that was dumb. She is what my family likes to call, an 'active sleeper'. I'll just leave it at that. By about 3am, I was numb and sooo tired, and offered to Dani to stick it out the rest of the night and she could go home, but being the loving sister she was, she stayed instead. I recieved a call that morning around 8 from her, telling me that there was now a huge line behind her, because no one believed there was just 4 in the store. Sorry if you where someone in that line, but all I wanted to say was SUCKERS! I know that's not nice, but after weeks of calling and a night of cold and everything else, I deserved one. Yes, we got one. The stories we heard from our friends that night about other locations giving out the Wii were crazy. People got trampled at the Mall and at Target. Other Game Stop raffled off the Wii's and other crazy stories. We were pleased that all we had to endure was the weather mainly.

So I kept the secret for a full month, only playing the Wii while Eric was at work so I could be really good before Eric got ahold of it. Christmas day at my parents house, after all the presents had been opened, Eric was asked to help with something in other room. My dad and I quickly set up the Wii and began to play. Minutes later Eric walked in a sat down not even realizing what was going on. Then, a look of shock came across his face as he jumped up and yelled... "DID YOU GET ME A WII?" Pure joy! We all laughed and told him the story. It was one of the best Christmas surprises I've pulled off yet. He had no idea.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Demetri Martin

A while ago, my friend Diana introduced me to a comdeian named Demetri Martin. I forgot all about him, and a few weeks ago Eric came home from work dying over some of these quotes from Demetri. Now, I'm totally hooked. Just like any comdeian, you kind of have to pick and choose some stuff, but he's really clever and unique. Here are some of his fun quotes.

- I think that when you get dressed in the morning, sometimes you're really making a decision about your behavior for the day. Like if you put on flipflops, you're saying: 'Hope I don't get chased today.' 'Be nice to people in sneakers.'

- Employee of the month is a good example of how somebody can be both a winner and a loser at the same time.

- I think it's interesting that 'cologne' rhymes with 'alone.'

- The straw is a great invention. You can drink without using your wrists. The straw is your friend until you lose eye contact with the straw. Then he will betray you and make you look like an idiot. I have to pull the straw aside and be like “What the hell do you think you’re doing? The last time I checked, you were right by my mouth. What are you doing on the other side of the glass? I don’t need you; you’re a luxury. The ice is even worse. When there’s liquid in there yeah it’s fine; it’s like a pool party. “Hey we’re keeping everything cool.” I’m talking about when I get to the bottom and it’s just me and the ice. I’m like, ok just one of you. Come on I just want something to chew on; come on. And the ice is like, “Hold…hold…everybody now!”

- When you have a fat friend there are no see-saws, only catapults.

- I wonder what the most intelligent thing ever said was that started with the word ‘dude.’ ‘Dude, these are isotopes.’ ‘Dude, we removed your kidney. You’re gonna be fine.’ ‘Dude, I am so stoked to win this Nobel Prize. I just wanna thank Kevin, and Turtle, and all my homies.’

- I feel stupid when I write the word banana. Its like, how many na’s are on this thing? ‘Cause I’m like ‘Bana … keep going. Bananana … dang.

- I noticed that there are no B batteries. I think that’s to avoid confusion, cause if there were you wouldn’t know if someone was stuttering. ‘Yes, hello I’d like some b-batteries.’ ‘What kind?’ ‘B-batteries.’ ‘What kind?!?’ ‘B-batteries!!!’ and D-batteries that’s hard for foreigners. ‘Yes, I would like de batteries.’

- I like the beach. I like to get there really early before everyone else shows up and take like thirty bottles with notes in them and throw them into the water. Then I wait for everyone to come to the beach and when someone goes to pick up one of the bottles, I go up behind them because when they open it there’s a note saying ‘I’m standing right behind you.’

- I like sports; I like professional football. I like to get to the stadium and see the games live, you know. And I paint my chest before I leave the house. But I don’t have many friends, you know, so I usually just do punctuation and tack on a group already in progress. But sometimes it works out kind of weird because we ended up on TV one time and it said ‘JETS?’

- I like to use 'I Can't Believe it's Not Butter' on my toast in the morning, because sometimes when I eat breakfast, I like to be incredulous. How was breakfast? Unbelievable.

- I like to stand near ATM machines and when people come up and type in their pin number, i go "Got it!" and then run away.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

To Get Mad, or Laugh, That is the Question

Leave it to kids to make us stop and look a the lighter side of life. Here is an experience I had this morning that made me do just that.

So it's been one of those mornings. Kids are recovering from huge chunks of lack of sleep, it's raining again, a major bummer after the nice weather we've enjoyed, the phone has been ringing off the hook and I have a huge order due by the end of the day. Whew, and all this before 10am. Tyler made it off to school in one piece and Tanner and I came home so he could rest and I could get some editing done. Things were moving full speed, but smoothly. I had to be to my dad's office by a specific time, so I could catch him in between clients and give him some information.

The time to leave was quickly approaching when I heard the washer buzzer go off. I had five minutes and figured that was the perfect amount of time to move the clothes to the dryer, grab Tanner and go to the office. When I left the family room to do the laundry, Tanner was playing with his blocks on the floor. Upon my return to the family room to collect Tanner and the car keys, Tanner was no where to be found. I knew he hadn't gone into the back of the house with me so he must be.... OUTSIDE! Normally this would be no big thing, but when we have any significant amount of rain, our backyard accumulates HUGE MUD PUDDLES! I walk to the side of the house realizing I have about one minute to get out the door... and find Tanner laughing hysterically as he run through a puddle that's about 1/2 way up his leg. As I held my breath, observing the situation taking in my time line, his muddy mess, and the pure look of joy on my son's face I was faced with a choice: get mad, or laugh. It took a minute, but I took a step back, and laughed:)
Not only did I laugh, but I got the camera.... I realized that his time line is well, he doesn't have one, and moments like these are so precious, and life is too short not to enjoy these muddy moments! So I got some snaps, grabbed the little man up in my arms, in turn getting myself soaked and stripped him down. Just for the record, when I took off his shoes, two smaller puddles formed on the ground.

After changing Tanner, I ran back to clean myself up so we could head out. As I was pulling a new pair of pants on, I heard the back door open. NOOOOO, I yelled as I ran down the hall pulling the pants all the way on as I ran. Well, Tanner is a fast little critter. As I made it through the back door saw a glimpse Tanner rounding the corner, and before I could say anything I heard a loud splash. While this time I didn't find it as humorous, I did grab the camera for proof of my morning.

I left this morning to meet my dad, with 2 pairs of wet shoes, 2 pair of wet socks, two pairs of dirty pants and shirts, one wet jacket, not to mention my wet outfit, and about 25 min. later than I wanted, lots of fun photos for the scrapbook, and one great story to remind me sometimes there is more to life than time lines and schedules. Sometimes we all need to have some fun in the mud.

Monday, February 18, 2008

My Rock Star Husband

Eric loves his music.... and I love his housework skills.

Check him out!

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Shopping Victory!

Warning: This post will show mild vanity.

Late January I went out with some friends for the evening. It was around that time when it was raining and it wouldn't stop here in Sac. As I was getting ready for the evening, attempting to look nice, because I was going out without the kids, I realized that I didn't really have a winter coat. Mainly because I've never really needed one. I am definitely a sweatshirt girl most of the winter, or I move very quickly from the car to the building, again not worrying about the cold too much because it's normally not that cold. Anyway, this late January night I decided that I should invest in a nice coat precisely for nights like the one I was about to go out on. So that weekend I started my search.

I get pretty picky on things like this, and I wanted to buy just the right coat. I started basic online searching, but nothing was jumping out. I had a basic idea as to what I wanted so I wanted to be patient until I found it. Then, late one night... it appeared.

I avoided looking on Nordstroms.com for sometime, because I knew I would find something and be sadly disappointed when I saw the size of the price tag. But I thought maybe I could find something I liked, and then find it somewhere else at a cheaper price like craiglists or eBay. So I proceed to the Nordstrom site and I found it! And it was on sale!! I couldn't believe it. I quickly clicked on the link to add the coat to my shopping cart and... oh no. I couldn't believe it. They only had the coat in size 1x and larger. You've got to be kidding me. Well, maybe I could still find the coat online elsewhere. I search and I search, but not even EBay carried the coat made exclusively for Nordstroms. I was so bummed. I called the 1-800 # just in case their online store was wrong, but sadly, it was correct. I had them check all the stores - IN THE NATION!, and nothing, the coat was gone. I figured I would check back every once in a while in hopes that a return would be posted online and I could snag that. So every day, a couple times a day, I'd jump on the site just to see if someone had returned the beautiful coat. Nope, nothing.

Then, one afternoon with little to no hope, I checked one more time for the coat. And what was this? Is there really one in another size? Oh my, there was... my size. Well it was the wrong color, but I figured I could live with that, so I ordered it immediately. Happy with the find, but disappointed with the color, I had my coat. The next morning I logged on to make sure the order went through. As I went to log in I noticed again that there was a change on my coat's page. I thought, what the heck, I'll check it out just in case. AHHHHH, my coat, in my size, and my color... quickly I called in to exchange the order. The phone rep. informed me that there was only one in this size, so they couldn't guarantee that I would receive the order. I was so anxious I kept thinking, 'then stop talking and complete my order before someone else orders it too lady.' The order was completed and the wait was on. 24hrs later, the site confirmed it had shipped. I still couldn't get too excited until I had the coat in had, but the anticipation was building. Late yesterday the door bell rung. I wasn't expecting anyone, who could it be.... MY COAT.

I am happy to announce, it's here, it's the right size and color, and ladies and gentlemen, it's beautiful.

So, someone call me quick, let's go out so I can wear my coat before it gets too warm outside :)

Friday, February 15, 2008

On The Lighter Side

So I received this email a few months ago and died laughing. I was just cleaning up my inbox when I ran across it again, and dies laughing again, so I thought I'd post it rather than clutter up your inbox, and if you've already seen it, get ready to laugh again.

What? Too many shakes?

Looks like UPS wins!!!

Oh, come on... just one?

starting with spelling
I think it was the FedEx driver

I bet this is by the school that teaches Arithetic

Sometimes a name change is the best idea...

Take me to the cleaners, baby!

Major dilemma in California

How do you get there from here?

It's a good deal, but... oh, the college costs!

??? McLogic gone wrong...

Pork the one you love?

Still Dead, Huh??? Go Figure...


'Mass suicides...Cows going over the edge...tonight on Channel 3 News...'

Good Job!!

Load 'em up with burritos, Mom!!

I'm Confused...

How the heck can I write if I'm ILLITERATE!!!!

I can't even comment on this one

Beautiful, lush lawns of dirt...

Speling iz knot imprtunt fir astranawts

Make up your mind!!!

Don't drink and make signs...

it must have been the FedEx driver.