Saturday, August 29, 2009

It's my birthday and I'll cry if I want to, cry if I want to.
It hasn't been the best week, could have been worse but it definitely wasn't the best.
as I type this right now I'm watching Ted Kennedy's funeral. What an amazing service. Some of the news people have said that this is a closing of a generation or even a dynasty.
The last lion of a huge family, who reminded us about what his family had accomplished and continued that family vision.
Of course I have learned more about him in the last few days then I had ever known.
Yes, he had a shady past but the work he did should eclipse the mistakes that he made.
Enough about Teddy.
IT"S MY BIRTHDAY!!!!!! the 34th.
As my mother in law said I'm getting closer to the half century mark.
Today is just another day.
Heck this picture might be the closest that I get to a birthday cake today.
So far I have finished folding and putting away the kids' laundry and that's about it. Rob is at work and the older kids are at Grandmoms until after lunch. Just me and Chels.
I don't know what to do with myself.
Some friends from church are getting together on Monday to start making Christmas cards so I should brave the mess that is my craft room to dig out all my Christmas embellishments and paper.
We had our craft night last night and I enjoyed the time I was able to spend with friends. The ladies and I made plans to get together more often to craft, and I'm even going to learn how to quilt. The end of the evening I was told to take home the chocolate cake that became my breakfast this morning. What a way to kick off the day!
So, right now I'm open to what today may bring. May it be a great day!
Have a happy weekend.
ETA- Rob came home with a beautiful bouquet of flowers that I'll photograph in the morning. My mother in law bought me a new book and a new cookbook..yum.... plus some other goodies that were from my kids. I had thought that the rest of the night would be quiet, heck I was starting to nap on the couch when my mom showed up with a cake. I still thought it was just us when I was informed that the family was coming over in about 15 minutes! So it turned out to be a very comfortable and relaxing evening with my whole family and hearing our kids laughing and playing in the background.
I should start to plan more family get togethers like this more often, especially now that the cooler weather is on the way.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

It has been a sad weekend in our family. My step sister passed away early Sunday Morning.
The doctors have ruled it an accidental overdose from taking Tylenol Pm and an anti-depressant. The combination of the two caused her to have at least two massive heart attacks and seizures. All of this happened Wednesday morning but I didn't receive the call until Saturday when I was told she had been taken off life support.
Tracy was only 36.
It is such a shock.
Before she became my sister she was my bowling partner when we were teens. We have always gotten along well even if I wasn't thrilled that her mom and my dad hooked up.
Just recently I had a great conversation with my step mom about my feelings toward my sister and she cleared up some of my misconceptions.
I will willingly state that I was jealous of her because she was around my dad(go places, holidays, birthdays) more than I could be. I live in az, sis still lived at home in michigan.
I'm deeply saddend. T was a great mom to her son and she was fun to be around. I'll miss her.

Photo taken last night over Reddington pass.
Boring storm never even got close to the city, and really was too far away to shoot.
Our summer non-soon is about to end. But I have faith. My best work was taken/shot last year at this time of the month. Weatherman says storms possible today and tomorrow and this weekend.


Friday, August 21, 2009

Good Friday!!
I have so much to yap about that I don't know where to start.
The kids had a geat week of school and Wyatt was even praised for his coloring and manners in his class the other day.
Today has the possiblities of being a great storm day. The weatherman has stated that for the next week we have the possibilites of plenty of thunderstorms. Yippeeee!!!
We have one tv station that shows the radar every hour and you can see the storms build and find out which way they seem to be heading. I find it nerdy but cool.
I know your bored about me talking about the storms.
I'll hush for right now.
I happen to be taking out the trash the other morning and saw the sun illuminating my neighbors bouganvilla. I wished I had more time to get different angles but I snapped off a few.
I needed to get the kids to school and the other neighborhood dogs were starting to bark like crazy.
So the events for this weekend look like tonight is a training dinner, mexican is the theme and I'm going to try my hand at making Posole. Posole is a soup with pork and hominy. It was tasted real good when I had it once before so I thought I would give it a whirl.
Tomorrow the kids, all of them, are spending the night with my mom. Rob and I will be working on Kelly's room some more. No partying for us.
Yeah like we party.
I'm off to go cook some pork and make my soup. I'll check in if anything exciting happens.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

I'm walking, yes indeed and I'm talking, just barely, but Im still walking.

Okay so I can only remember the first verse of this little jingle. Truthfully I just started walking yesterday, by the end of my first walk I need my inhaler. Today I did the same walk and feel so much better. And no inhaler!

I made the mistake of hopping on the scale yesterday. Now I've known for quite a while that I'm not happy with my weight. I finally decided to do something about it. After I drop the kids off to school I head to Lakeside Park and walk their track. Yes this is the place where I go to take photos. It has lots of hills as my screaming calves can attest to.
I found a not very good picture to show you lakeside park. I start on that far side of the lake to the left of the hill with the ramada. Walk up and downs about three hills and then back down in front of this hill around toward the back of the lake. Now I have no idea how far this is because the lake doesn't go all the way around but it's a workout. I'm going to work my way up to going around several times. Right now I can do once, back and forth but by the end of this week I want to be able to add another 1/2 around.
I need to get some of this weight off. I'm not happy and I know when it becomes jeans season I really will not be a happy camper if I cannot fit into my old jeans. So I'm gonna do something about it.

My days consist of lots of snuggles with Chelsea and trying to get the house back in some resemblence of order since our "summer" is over. I think I would rather snuggle with Chelsea but house work calls. Once we pick up Wyatt we sit at the school and wait the hour till Kelly gets out. I shouldn't say wait because we actually work on Wyatt's homework and color pictures.
So this is my boring life this week. If anything changes I'll let you know. :)

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Well the first week of school is winding down and both kids are doing well.
Kelly has told me every day that she had a fantastic day and she is liking both 2nd grade and her teacher. This is always nice to hear.
Wyatt, he had some problems the first couple of days but yesterday was better. Little man thinks if he says he can't do something that someone else will do it for him. The boy is smart but can be lazy. His teacher told me that he needs to count from 1-10 forwards and backwards. He can do that. He needs to know right from left. He knows that too. Stubborn boy won't do it in front of the class. So incorrigible.

This sweetheart has spent most of this week with Grandmom as Daddy and I work on remodeling Kelly's room.
Chels has taken to "talking back" when Grandmom scolds her for getting into things. Grandmom will tell her no, no and Chelsea gets going with her gibberish. Makes us smile every time.
This really has been a good week so far. Rob has especially enjoyed taking and picking the kids up from school. Since he only gets to do it a few times a year, and the kids are so excited to see him there at the school Rob is over the moon. Well over the moon until the kids start their fighting and bickering over everything then he wonders how I can stand it.
I guess he hasn't noticed the chronic facial tic.
No, you just take a lot of deep sighs and play referee, or play Socrates (answer their question with another question) ha ha ha.
Right now Rob and I are putting drywall on the walls now that we have finished the ceiling. I HATE doing the ceiling. Such a PITA and my head hurts from holding the drywall up with it.
I take these quick breaks as Rob measures and/or screws the drywall up and doesn't need me to be in the way.
We have a great working relationship, he does most of the hard work and I just do what he tells me to. He doesn't get mad at me, I don't get mad at him. Perfect.
Back to work!


Monday, August 10, 2009

Back to school

It's the first day of school!

I think I was more excited than either of the kids.
Once I told Wyatt that today was the first day of Kindergarten he got excited.
Kelly is a old hat at the first day photos but trying to wrangle Wyatt to look at the camera for more than a nano second is like trying to catch a shooting star.
We left for school early so that I could get some more school shots and I'm glad we did. ( I won't bore you with all those photos)
Walking into school I chased behind like the paparazzi hoping for a good shot of the two heading into together, kinda hoping Kelly would hold Wyatts hand. But the fact that they walked into together was good enough for me.
Wyatt was the first student in his class so we had the teachers attention to ask questions and explore.
But seeing that the tv was on, a blast could happen and Wyatt wouldn't have flinched.
I left Daddy with Wy and headed to take Kelly to 2nd grade. Chelsea hung out with Nina under the covered patio.

Kelly is a very shy, reserved kid in a strange setting. So seeing her find her seat, at the front of the class and the chaos that is kids, supplies, parents, my poor kid looked like she was about to cry. By the time I left most of the parents had cleared out and the class had calmed so she was doing great. After a quick hug and smooch, I headed back to Wyatt class.
I think as a parent we are more stressed about our kids starting school than they are. I believe one of those reasons is we think our childs behavior is a reflection of our parenting skills.

In part it is. We want to make a good first impression but the reality is once your out of that room you lose all control. You just have to know you have done your best and your child will be well taken care of.
(I think I wrote that last part more for me than for you.)
I miss my little buddy but I know he is going to have a great day.
Heck he was telling me I had to go home, so he knows he is going to have fun.
I think I'm also more stressed about getting him to do his homework than anything else. Stubborn boy.
So now that the kids have been in school for about two hours Rob and I are in the process of draining the water heater so that it can be replaced and then we start the demo on Kelly's room.
Hopefully by some time next week we can move Kelly into her "new" room. New for her as in flooring, paint, blinds, curtains, comforter set.
Rob has this whole week off and we have a ton to do. Chelsea will be hanging with Grandmom most of the week so we can get this stuff done.
So after school, there is a hour lag between the time Wyatt gets out then Kelly so we will talk and play then it is off to DQ for the first day of school ice cream tradition. More photos of course.
I really need to get cracking on those scrapbooks. I'm getting further behind but thankfully I have this blog to help with my mommy brain.


Thursday, August 06, 2009

I made the news last night! And this morning!!

EDIT** * This is the photo that made the local 10 o'clock news last night!
I'm also pretty excited because I learned a new technique in photoshop and was able to erase all the rain drops from my picture.
The second photo I haven't cleaned up yet but that was actually the first that I captured when I got to the hill at Lakeside Park.
Things got a little hairy for a second. The storms were all around me and the pavillion I was taking cover from has a hole cut in the top. Rain is slashing in and I'm getting drenched.
Then the rain slows and the lightning was not consistent so I couldn't let the shutter stay open to capture several strikes like I wanted. It was by the grace of God that I got the awesome shot. A double ground strike from one bolt.

**** This second photo made the news at 11am. I was just getting ready to turn off the tv and leave with my mom when right in front of me is my picture!!!! They didn't show the first picture again that I know of but talk about super excited!!
Capturing lightning at dusk is not easy at all so this first strike blew my mind because I was still trying to get my setting right.
I mean I know what to do when it's full dark but, I've already said it before.

From what the weatherman has said rain will be pretty non existent the next week so I guess this was my fix.

I think I'm going to look into more things I can do with night photography.

I've tried light trails while driving and that is fun and weird. I would like to get a cool light trail from the highway but I haven't gone out to do it yet.

I think I'll go research that very topic, night photography.
See ya later aligator


Wednesday, August 05, 2009

I think I really love taking lightning photos. There is something so beautiful and dramatic about each one.
I've taken to carrying my camera equipment with me in the chance of seeing anything photo worthy.
Last night just before we began home church I saw a little flash of lightning but I prayed that it could wait for me.
So on the drive home Rob and I see all these flashes of lightning and are ooh-ing, ahh-ing over them and trying to decide where is the best place to set up.
We decided to head back over to Lakeside Park but more on the hill. Little did I know there was a couple up there with 4 cameras taking shots at various angels.
This first is of course my favorite. I was hiding under a pavillion and I had just set the camera up when this big bolt came down.

That was probably the last big bolt of the night. The rest was pretty much cloud lightning and that in itself can be amazing.
The news is saying that we should have a repeat preformance tonight so I'm hoping to have quite a bit more fun. I believe I'll head to this same location because not only do you get lights from the city you can also get real cool light trails from the cars.
This morning I'm prepping for tonight, recharging batteries, cleaning lens, etc.

I know I've whined about it before but I wish I had some better lenses. Where I'm setting up has a good view of the east side of the city.
My lens is a 18-55 kits lens. Kit lens enough said. One of my three dream lenses is the 10-22. A very wide angle lens. Perfect for landscape shots.
My dream tonight, if storms happen, is to get several strikes in one shot. I know how to do this, I just need the opportunity.
I'm ready.


Tuesday, August 04, 2009

How not to reheat leftovers.

I could have sworn I had popped the top off to vent, but obviously I didn't.

Thankfully it wasn't the good tupperware but I got a lot of ribbing from the hubby for this new art piece I created.

Seriously, look how sucked in it is.

I will say the food was hot on the inside when I managed to wrangle the lid off.

As for this piece, it went into the recycle bin.
The only evidence left are these pictures, which by some quirk of fate keep popping up frequently on my screensaver slide show.


Monday, August 03, 2009

Mom's makeover

One of Mom's clients gave her a makeover for her graduation gift. My job of course was to give Mom a hard time and play paparazzi.

Now we are not upscale people, want to be, but are not. We are the cost cutters type. This was a very special treat.

Mom's stylist name was Loren and she fit our personalites perfectly, joked with us and was just great.

Here is my Mom before, boy was she nervous. I think it was more because she didn't know what to expect or how nice Loren was gonna be.

Mom was pretty much a blank canvas, a diamond in the rough, a blank page, open to anything, you get the idea.

So after a consultation, Loren asked several questions my favorite being,

Do you want your hair to whisper? a speaking voice? or scream?

The decision was for Mom's hair to talk loudly.

More of "Hey look how great my hair makes me look and feel".
So the two of them got to work.

the coloring part....or....

Tune in Tokyo!!

There's enough foil on your head to prevent alien mind probes.
This isn't the 80's.

You get the picture.

I won't bore you over the 33 pictures I took. I just picked the 3 I thought best described Mom's makeover event.
At one point after the color was rinsed and whatever voodoo they do I was telling Mom about all the bright blond streaks in her hair and how it reminded my of her hair frosting fiasco of 1999. This is before the glaze was put on . I had her wondering there for a minute what she was going to look like.
I believe two of colors were called Mango and Vanilla.
Anyone want a raspado?
Being all girly, checking out her hair.

We both LOVED the way it came out. Loren even colored mom's eyebrows...shhh... don't tell.

At least it looks like she has eyebrows now. hehehe.

It was a great 3 hour experience.

Granted going back for touchups won't take as long but we had fun all the way through.

photo of Mom and Loren.
She'll hunt you down if you let her hard work go to waste Mom!!
Not really, she'll just call you with a freindly reminder.