Saturday, December 29, 2007

Come to momma . . .

That's right, I got a new camera. A Canon 40D. I'm in love people. That's all I can say. I was going to wait until I had the full amount in cash, but the impatient side of me thought it was no big deal to charge the last $300. Can you say INSTANT GRATIFICATION? So I did it. A lot to learn, to be sure, but I'm up to the challenge.

And here is one where I was playing with the settings, familiarizing myself with where everything is on this camera as opposed to my old-school Rebel. Have I mentioned how much I love this camera? Still need work, no doubt about it. I guess I can no longer site faulty, outdated equipment as a reason for a bad shot. Hmmm . . . it's not sounding so great after all. Dang. Something I had not considered.

Peace out.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

A few holiday photos

And a Christmas decoration update. As of 9:15 a.m. there is absolutely no trace of Christmas to be found. Bah Humbug. Seriously, it felt good to get my house back to normal. Now I can enjoy the rest of my vacation knowing everything is DONE. Done, I tell you! We did brave the malls for Em's IPod Touch. Seriously cool. I'd buy one if I wasn't saving my pennies for the new camera. The one calling my name . . . can you hear it?

And did you notice I even included a few pictures of me? It pains me, because in my head I don't look like this. I avoid mirrors (AKA reality) at all costs. And here it is staring me in the face. But for the first time Em and Bill volunteered to have me in the shots, and I figure I owe them for being the paparazzi and having a camera in their face 24/7.

And that handsome man, well he's my dad. (Pardon the toothpick in his mouth. LOL!) I think the world of this man. He has Parkinson's, and it's one nasty disease. His attitude however is nothing but positive. Sometimes evenings are hard for him . . . he tires easily and has trouble staying in conversations. But he was so sharp, and we shared stories of memories of traveling to his hometown in Wisconsin. It was the highlight of my Christmas, to be certain.

And after all of the singing of "I want a hippopotumus for Christmas," Miss J received just that.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

A rocking Christmas, indeed.

Emily's big gift this year was Guitar Hero (or as Jenna calls it "Kitar Rock.") There is nothing like jamming to Aerosmith to get you in the holiday mood. It brings me back to my concert-going days, when my friend Craig took me to see Aerosmith. Five bars into "Sweet Emotion" Steven Tyler passed out, falling off the stage. Concert OVER. Good times, good times. This was before he became drug-free, of course. So we've been jamming out in our household. Funny how the songs of my youth have become "hip" again. Can you spell O-L-D? Yeah? I thought so.

Miss J was in rare form. This morning while waiting for Em to crawl out of bed, (who moped down the stairs with guitar-hero-weary-eyes), she assessed the loot that Santa left. She turned to Bill and I and exclaimed, "See? Even though I was naughty Santa brought me LOTS of presents!" True dat, my girl. True dat.

So it's all over but the cleaning. And over all, I'd mark it a success. I just cannot wait for the Christmas decorations to be safely returned to the crawl space and the house back in order. I have already removed the ornaments and lights from the tree so Bill can put it out to the road in the a.m. I'm hoping for some Kay time. Wish me luck on that.

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Santa is coming!

Well, I made it through my last week with kids at school. It is such a stressful time of year with trying to keep up with teaching, home life, plus add all of the stress of Christmas prep. I have been such a scrooge for Christmas anyway, but I'm happy to say at this moment I am all done. Gifts are wrapped, food has been purchased for the meal, and I'm ready to go. I'm excited for Miss J though . . . she is really embracing all things Santa (except for the being good 'cuz Santa is watching. That part just isn't sticking.) It sure looks like she's good in the picture, doesn't it? Not so much.

Here is what makes me happy today. 1) I have received three Christmas cards with photos that I have taken. Now is that cool or what? Add mine to the mix and you have four. Cool beans, I tell ya! 2) Emily is home. It's fun having her around, and she's such a big help. She had her annual friend's Christmas party at our house on Thursday night. They truly enjoy each other, and it's great that these high school friends take time to reconnect. 3) I was asked to stay on the Provo Craft Design Team for another year. I'm happy about that! 4) I am loving all of the visiting and family and friend time of the holidays. We have been busy with holiday gatherings, but it is so much fun to see everyone and reconnect. 5) I bought a Speedlite for my camera with my birthday money. It may just give me something to do this winter that will get me through the holidays without offing myself. Have I mentioned how much I hate winter? 6)I have had former students who are in college in visiting me all week. I am so lucky to be in a profession that brings me in contact with so many amazing people. I do love my job.

OK, Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all. I'm shedding my inner scrooge and am off to have fun. Peace out!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

BRING IT, Mother Nature.

That's right. I need some snow, woman. And not just enough to make life miserable, I need the school-stopping, wind howling, must stay home variety. And the timing must be perfect. None of this starting on a Friday or Saturday nonsense. What is up with THAT? I need the Sunday night through Thursday variety. Because without the hope of a snow day, what exactly is the point of snow? These are the things I ask myself. Yes, we're under a winter snow warning. And it's all I can think about. I know, I really need to grow up. Don't count on it though!

Anyhoo, I've been busy. As have we all, I assume. Here are a few of the highlights of the last few weeks:
~Jenna has another ear infection. Good times.
~took Jenna last weekend to a pancake supper with Santa at my school. The high school kids did a fabulous job with the wee ones, and it was fun to see.
~took pics of my neighbors daughter and her friends and experimented more with studio lights. It was fun, and another reminder of how much I have to learn.
~took pictures of my sister's neighbor, Luke, who is around two. He wasn't feeling well, but what a sweet kid! Loved him!
~turned 42. 'Nuff Said.
~had Aunt Max and Uncle Fred over for pizza. They got me a yummy bottle of wine and two gorgeous wine glasses.
~celebrated Christmas with my high school friend and her family. Had a wonderful time. Took their Christmas card photo.
~my girl came home from college. She is a little exam-weary, poor thing. Went yesterday to get her a new bed for her empty room. Three weeks on a pull out couch is too much.
~Went and picked out our tree and decorated it. Now it feels a bit more like Christmas!

OK, that's about it. Check out my photo blog for some of my recent faves. And happy holidays to you all!

Sunday, December 02, 2007

It's beginning to look a lot like . . .

Christmas! I say that like it makes me happy. Truly it does not. You see, we got a small little snowstorm last night. ON A SATURDAY. Therein lies the problem. You see, I'm a fan of the snow day, so a storm on a weekend is a waste. Plus the snow coupled with the fact that we are now in December is making my holiday denial a little hard to pull off. We are cutting way back on buying gifts this year with one in college and one in daycare, so the fun is rather gone. BTW, that is not a real photo out in the snow, it's a photo effect. You like?

Let's see. Went to IKEA yesterday on a power shopping spree. I needed two more Expedit shelves, one more for my scrapping area and one for the family room for Jenna's toys. My sister needed some things as well. I was on a time crunch because we had a dinner at one of Bill's shooting clubs. I got home with 15 minutes to spare. We went to the Long Rifleman's Club where they wear authentic garb (?) and shoot muzzleloaders and older guns. What a neat bunch of people. The party was in an old log cabin with no electricity, and an outhouse. But the food (including two deep-fried turkeys) was amazing.

Today Jenna woke up with a migraine AGAIN. It is so upsetting. I hate that I passed this tendency on to her. She wanted me to lay with her and rub her back, and felt like she was going to throw up. At 10:00 she finally got back to sleep, which is the only way to get rid of them for us. I feel I have to talk to the Dr. again about possible medications, not that any worked for me when I was younger. I never know if she is going to wake up still feeling sick, so I decided to get some things done around the house while Bill went and cleared snow for everyone and their brother.

First, I put up the shelves. It took me a while, but the real fun came when I had to sort and organize what I was going to put on said shelves. WHEW. I organized for a good 7 hours today. I swear, I'm not a slob. (OK, maybe I am.) But everywhere I looked there was something out of place. And Jenna's toys/books/crafts was a huge task. I feel better now that it's done, but what a waste of a Sunday.

No scrapping for me AGAIN this weekend. But you can see my work for the December Newsletter at ScrapSupply here. I did have fun looking through my magazines today for one of the new bookshelves and seeing the magazines I've been pubbed in. Those were the good old days, when I made scrapbooking more of a priority. I've GOT to get back into that habit. I mean it.

OK, have a great week. And pray to the snow day gods if you're the praying type. I could use a day for myself. KWIM?

Monday, November 26, 2007

Weekend Update

Well, I survived the Thanksgiving weekend. While I was the hostess I probably had the least amount of work. Everyone in the family brought something, and my mom even made the turkey, stuffing, and gravy at her house and brought it over. Easy peasy. Emily and Hayley (AKA mini-Marthas) baked the pies Wednesday while I was at school. The dinner was very relaxed and delicious. I truly believe my mom's stuffing is the best food on earth. Seriously.

Before the dinner I had all of the grandkids come over for a picture. Jenna was in rare form, of course. That girl just wears me out sometimes. This is one of the best shots. I made them all go outdoors after unsuccessfully capturing them inside with studio lights. The complained about the cold and snow, but like true paparazzi I kept on shooting.

Friday we went to Ford Field to watch our football team try for the state title. What an amazing experience. And while we were unsuccessful at the state title, it was such an accomplishment to make it that far. Chemic Pride was alive and well. I think 80% of Midland showed up at the game!

The rest of the weekend I was lazy. Seriously so. I am embarrassed and how little I accomplished. And while I have Christmas shopping to do, I just didn't have the heart to go out and battle the crowds. So instead I stayed in and ate. And ate some more. Then I took a nap and woke up and had a snack. Did I mention I was a touch lazy? In the midst of the fun our dryer broke. Bill replaced that yesterday and we worked on laundry to see how well it worked. It's tough to live such an exciting life.

OK, off to have a snack and lay down. Are you noting a theme?

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

You know it's been a while . . .

since your last blog post when you have to log into your Google account. Where on earth is the time going? I feel like I finally remembered to label my checks with October and we're already to Thanksgiving. Is this time flying phenomena yet another reminder that I'm getting old? Why yes, I believe it is.

Jenna went hunting last weekend with Bill. Yes, that's right, I allowed my five-year-old daughter out in the woods with firearms. It totally freaked me out. And yet Bill is a hunter and wants to share it with his daughter. I had to ask myself if she were a boy would I be less nervous? Answer, a little bit. He wasn't on state land, and she really wanted to go. I prepped Bill beforehand, saying she may freak out if he actually shot a deer. (Translation - I WILL FREAK OUT IF YOU SHOOT A DEER IN FRONT OF MY DAUGHTER). I am not anti-hunting, but have absofreakinglutely no desire to see one shot. Jenna is different. Bill said the minute she saw the buck she said, "Daddy, you HAVE to shoot it!" So Bill had earplugs on her, had her hold her ears, and as soon as he shot yelled, "He shoots, He Scores, High five, daddy!" Um, yeah. That would have been my reaction exactly. She is still excited. I predict she will be a fabulous hunter one day.

We also went out to dinner last weekend with my good friends Mark and Sally. Bill was a touch late trying to get out of the woods with Jenna's deer, but we had fun. Mark had been to the MHS football game, and is the #1 MHS football fan. So it was great to hear him describe the win that propelled our team to the state finals. This group of seniors were my first group of freshmen when I moved up to the high school, and I am so excited for them. They'll be playing a fantastic team, and yet they know they can overcome a 28-7 deficit to win a semifinal game. GO CHEMICS! We had a pep rally yesterday, and despite the behavior of a few, it was quite a feeling. We also had a swimmer who won first place at the state meet. Go Gessi!

Thanksgiving is hosted here this year, and everyone is bringing something. So I have very little stress. I'm looking forward to family time. I'm taking pictures of the grandkids since Billy will be home. I'm also taking family pictures for one of my student's families. I really need some time off. Em is already home and she and Hayley are making the pies today. It's best I won't be home to see the mess . . . hopefully it will be cleaned up by the time I get home from school.

In scrappy news, I got my copy of 601 Great Scrapbook Ideas yesterday. I had nine pages picked up for that book, and it was a kick looking through the book at those pages. Even Bill was impressed. (It may be because his picture is IN the book, LOL!) Jenna's sweet face appeared three times on the front and back covers, which was also a first. I need to make more time to scrap and submit. Maybe I'll get caught up over xmas vacation and get back on a regular schedule. We'll see! I posted two layouts I did last weekend JUST FOR ME. I actually go them done while Bill and Jenna were hunting. Go figure!

I'm sure this is my last blog post for a few. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving. I have so very much to be thankful for . . .

Monday, November 12, 2007

Mondays can be a bummer.

Especially when your girl wakes up at 4:00 a.m. with a migraine. I can't believe she is starting them this early . . . her first was on our trip home from Disney last spring break. It's in the family, but no one started as young as the J-bird. The good news is once she finally got herself to sleep she woke up and it was gone. That was really the only way for me as well. Now Alleve takes the edge off for me and I don't always need to sleep, assuming I take it in time.

So J and I have been hanging out all day. It was rainy and dreary, but the sun is peeking out now, thank goodness. She's fine and I'm bored.

Here is the latest of my girls. Used my friend's studio lights. I think this needs to be my next investment. I'd love a new camera, but shooting with lights (and learning the process) may just get me through the winter without offing myself. Have I mentioned how much I hate winter? No? Well, 'tis true.

Have a fabulous Monday.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Layouts Galore

I finished eight, that's right, EIGHT layouts this weekend. It was scrapping like I haven't experienced for months. Reminded me why I like this hobby so much. Here's one of my girls using a cool new line from Sassafras Lass. Hope you like it!

Saturday, November 03, 2007

A few layouts

from the September newsletter at Scrap Supply. Have I mentioned how much I love this team? I am such a slacker anymore about submitting or updating my online galleries. There just aren't enough minutes in a day for me to accomplish everything I would like.

By the way, have you checked out the November Newsletter from Scrap Supply? There are some fantastic articles and ideas. You won't be disappointed!

It's been a slow Saturday. I actually scrapped today. I had a wonderful, motivating surprise this a.m. which woke up my mojo. I looked at this thread at 2 Pea's. It totally made my day. So I emailed the person who mentioned me, and thanked them. I needed that. So I did some layouts today for the BHG idea book call. I'm not so great at lifting people, but I tried. At least I'm submitting something. It's been since last spring (or maybe even before that) since I've had the nerve to try to submit. Wish me luck, I'll need it!

Jennabean is coughing up a storm. Day 7 on an antibiotic, and sicker than ever. I tell you, this is bad. I feel awful for her. And Em's football team lost today. Sorry, hon!

Have a great Saturday. We get to "fall back" tonight for daylight savings time. An extra hour of sleep . . . life is good.

Don't you love my new song? I think it's my fave right now. Peace out, peeps!

Monday, October 29, 2007

Glorious Fall

We skipped dance class tonight. I'm tired, the weather is amazing, and I wanted to go outside and play for a while. So we raked leaves and took in one of the last decent weather days, I'm sure. That's the bad thing about Michigan. You know your nice days are numbered.

Headed to MSU to take Em to lunch yesterday. She survived truning 21. And I can sleep again.

Have a terrific Monday!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

A Saturday of . . .

taking Jenna to the Dr. for her double ear infection, teaching Photoshop Elements, napping (glorious), editing and delivering pictures, going to the Nature Center (brrrr.....), then visiting family, playing with a kitty, and having pizza. Ah, Saturday. Busy, yet fun.

Happy Birthday to my baby at midnight tonight. She'll be 21. I love you, my girl. Be smart!!!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Photos on Thursday

And uploaded by Grey's Anatomy! God, I'm good!

Head over to my photo blog to see more.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

It's Fall!

Here are a few photos from a quick shoot after school. I LOVE FALL. It was a little cold, and you can still see Miss J's black eye. But we went searching for colors and found quite a few. Last year I saw swans at this location and was hoping to see them again. All photos using my 85 mm 1.8 lens. I'm still learning it . . . sometimes I am truly disappointed in my pics but I was happy today. Practice, practice, practice, right? Worked a little with backlighting and loved the yellow glow.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Is this thing on?

It's been another marathon week for me. I swear, I am so busy it hurts. Let's see.

Monday? School, Dr.'s office then to x-ray since Jen's eye swelled up again. (No fracture, but the Dr. felt that she probably shouldn't have played soccer on Saturday. OOPS!) Then off to dance.

Tuesday? School, then out to dinner with the ladies from Central. I miss teaching with them, but I'm grateful we keep in touch.

Wednesday? School, then shopping for birthday presents, for the Lia Sophia Party, and for party supplies for the weekend. Also spent 3 hours learning the new version of Photoshop Elements 5.0 for my class on Saturday.

Thursday? School, then hosted a Lia Sophia party for Em. Had quite a few guests, and had fun. In the middle of the party got a call from the owner of the camera shop saying he had puchased Elements 6 for the class rather than version 5.0. Guess what? I don't know it! Finished my handouts for my Saturday class.

Friday? School, then off to a Friday night crop where I needed to finish my 3 PC projects that were due on Tuesday. I've never been late in two years, and I had to ask for an extension. Got them done, and worked on two November layouts for SS.

Saturday? Taught Elements from 9-12, then home to get ready to host a birthday party for Em, Jami and Scott. It was easy and we had fun overall.

Today? Exhausted. Went grocery shopping, did laundry, and took the girls to the Nature Center for a few pics. It was the perfect fall day, and to be honest, I was too tired to enjoy it. Feel guilty for that! Now it's preparing for the week. I need a vacation from my life, for sure.

Have a great week! I know it's another busy one for me. My goal is to get out and shoot some great pics and enjoy the fall colors. I haven't done enough of that, and I'm already feeling guilty.

Sunday, October 14, 2007


for my niece today. Got to the dinner at her house a little late, and it was getting dark, but got some cool shots of her and her friends. They had so much fun together and laughed constantly. It was a mix of boys and girls, some with dates and some just going as friends. We were talking about how "back in the day" if you weren't asked to the dance you didn't go. Groups of friends weren't allowed. We've come a long way, baby!

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Another week o' fun

It was another busy week, but a good one overall. Let's see. Last weekend started with a trip to the Dr. for Jenna. Thank goodness they have Saturday a.m. hours because she was starting another ear infection. The problem was her allergies, and they were flaring because of the abnormally hot fall we were having. She missed her soccer game, which she was really upset about. She asked me, "mom, how am I going to score goals if I'm not at the game?" True dat, my competitive one. She perked up quickly once on the meds.

I had promised Chris that I would take some senior pictures. So my sister and I walked around downtown Saturday (in the sweltering heat, drinking hot coffee of course) and tried to scope out some outdoor settings that had the look of a city, or urban setting. Chris wanted solid-color or textured backgrounds. So I met him late afternoon with Jami and Maggi and we did the shoot. I think we got some really good shots, and I am learning with every session I do. Sunday I proofed some of the photos and spent some time with Bill and Jenna at a pumpkin farm. It was so hot though that is wasn't much fun. Plus she wasn't feeling all that well still. The weekend went SO FAST!

This week was busy as well. Monday dance, Tuesday grocery store, Wednesday to wait in line for computers for my sister and niece, Thursday soccer and photo club, and last night the homecoming parade, then to the coffee shop with my sisters, Emily who was in town for the day, and my niece, then off to a local pub with my math girls. WHEW. I went to bed last night at 9:00. How sad is that? I was hoping the triple espresso after school would keep me awake, but no go.

Did you notice Jen's shiner? It's a good one. She went on a field trip at school on Wednesday and a student ran into her in a corn maze. I about threw up when I saw it. I don't take seeing my girls in pain well AT ALL. I remember when Emily needed stitches on her chin when she was about the same age as Jenna and I thought I was going to have a nervous breakdown in the ER. I called my SIL who worked in the ER to drive over to help. Yep, I'm a strong one! The picture is one where Alison and I were trying out her studio lights. Wow, do I have a lot to learn. But we're getting there!

I just finished the book The Double Bind by Chris Bohjalian. Wow. Surprising. There were so many things that sort of bugged me about the premise of the book, like a connection between now and characters of the book The Great Gatsby which I thought was a stretch. But the way it turned out was really unexpected. I don't know if I loved it. But it was different and surprised me, which can be hard to do.

Another busy weekend planned. More later!

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Some more pictures of Chris

Chris wanted another photo shoot for a portfolio, and yesterday we walked around downtown and I got some pics. Check out my photo blog for more!

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

What Up?

So under duress, I'm blogging tonight. One of my two faithful blog readers pressured me into posting, even though my life is extremely small and boring right now and I have nothing to say. I have GOT to get a life. Seriously.

Let's see. My uncle Hank died last week. He's actually my dad's uncle, but was like a grandpa to me. He and my Aunt Edith were my Godparents. The showing was Thursday, and the funeral on Friday. He was 97 years old. Can you believe it? And in really good health up until the last few years. They were married for 71 years. That's a lifetime! It was more like a celebration of life, but still sad. I'm not one of those accepting people that finds solace in death. I hate goodbyes. Really hate them. Em came home for the funeral and showing so we got to hang out. And it's nice to see family, even under these circumstances.

Slow weekend. Bill took off to a conference so I was single-momming it until yesterday. It is seriously warm outside so Jen and I have been exploring outdoors. The pic is from the Nature Center on Sunday. She gets so sassy in those boots, I tell ya! She's sassy anyways . . . who am I kidding?

Allergies are kicking my butt, but I've found a temporary solution. I'm taking a double dose of Allegra, on the diagnosis of Dr. Kay. As Elaine knows, I'm a fan of the medication. And I am feeling better.

OK, off to watch Private Practice. I'm digging the new fall shows! (Did I mention I'm in desperate need of a life?) In scrapping news, I made the October Newsletter at PageMaps. It is such a cool site, with awesome sketches. Perfect for the time/creatively impaired. Also, had my first article at ScrapSupply. It's such a cool team! I'm having a blast.

OK, signing off.

Peace out!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

A busy one!

Em came home for the Bill's birthday, and we've been going nonstop since yesterday morning. We had coffee at mom's yesterday a.m., came home and edited photos from my last shoot, headed to soccer (and Jen scored another goal!), to Community Day at Bill's school, to dinner at the casino with Bill's aunt and uncle Fred and Max. We got home at midnight. And no, I didn't win the big bucks and I won't be quitting my day job. Woke up and made pancakes, bacon and eggs for breakfast, shot some pics of the girls, did a quick edit on them, and now I'm preparing for the family to arrive for Bill's bday, round 2. Check out more of the girls on my photo blog. Hope you had a good weekend!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

More photos!

This time all boys.Could they be any dang cuter? They are all unedited, but I knew the moms would want to see something. Head on over to my photo blog and check them out!

Saturday, September 15, 2007

I shot some seniors today!

With my camera, of course! Click the link to my photography blog and tell me what you think. Thanks!

Sunday, September 09, 2007

She shoots, and she

SCORES! Jenna made her first goal, and her team's ONLY goal, at her soccer game yesterday morning. Safe to say, she was thrilled! I was so excited, I got a really crappy picture of the shot, mainly because I was crying. She will only have one "first goal," and it brought tears to my eyes. But the celebration continued throughout the rest of the game, so I got some of those shots. And so it begins. Mia Hamm, watch out!

Went to a fun engagement party last night. The picture is from the party. Yikes, do I really look like this? I swear I don't. I handed off my camera to the bride's niece to take the pics, and she did an amazing job. Except for this picture of me, of course. It's not her fault I look like this, I guess.

Have a wonderful week!