Thursday, June 29, 2006

Well Tina....

since you asked :-) I really know nothing more! How sad is that? They want to hire him, they will have to create a position if they are to hire him so they want him to write out his ideal job description and they'll talk again next week. Did I ever mention that corporations make me nuts??? I'm not a big one for being in limbo so this is making me crazy.

Okay... I really had a great day here today which severely tilts me to the anti-moving side. We had another 2peas photo playdate here at the house and we had an absolute blast! So much fun... so much chaos. Here are a few pics...

You can see the rest at 2peas... portraits and chaos. Its just an amazing thing to have a group of women who are amazing photographers to hang out with. Plus... the added bonus that our kids all get along so well!!

Well... Jeff gets home at some point tonight and then we head to my parents' house in Missouri for the weekend. The kids are so excited about the fireworks. Last year was Alex's first year to light a few of his own things (with supervision of course). Clara's all about the homemade ice cream and hot dogs! The both love to see their cousins. We'll head back on the 4th since Jeff's on a flight back to NYC on Wednesday. I have got to clear off my CF cards tonight so I have lots a space for all the pics I want to take. Plus the ones I *need* to take. My mother talked me into signing up for a couple of categories at their fair that I don't really have photos for. She's supposed to talk to a friend of the family to see if I can come photograph his antique tractors since Missouri Tractors is a category she convinced me to enter. Worst case senario I'll try to get something of my dad's tractor.

The kids aren't in bed yet, so I should get them headed that way. But I'll leave you with a couple of pics of Clara trying to keep up with the neighborhood boys in a game of street hockey!


Wednesday, June 28, 2006

sigh.... maybe tomorrow

Jeff's meeting got postponed until first thing tomorrow morning. So hopefully I'll know something tomorrow. The not knowing is killing me.... good or bad... I just want to know.

So... since I had entirely too much nervous energy today, I scrapped! I did three layouts today. One I can't post until Friday but the other two I can! This is the first one I did...

Tried some new things for me with this layout.... mainly the dark background. That and the "boy" portion of the title was inspired by Tina's amazing layout {For the LOVE of cars} . You've got to just love that layout. I used MandaBean's Little Dude Patrol for mine.

Okay... the next layout I did was for the Sweet Shoppe. However, since the kit I used won't release until Saturday.... you'll just have to wait!

Finally, with my CT assignments basically done, I decided to play with a recently purchased kit that I hadn't used yet. Last month I won a $25 Gift Certificate to ACOT in the Michelle Underwood contest (love, love, LOVE her stuff)... so I picked up another kit by Michelle and a sampling of other designers just to try some new stuff. One of the kits I picked up was Spring Bouquet by Dani Mogstad. So, not my usual style but soooo beautiful! Anyway, I used it tonight to scrap one of the pics I took of the kids on Easter...

In addition to the kit, I used Nancie Rowe Janitz's tag templates (so cool) and one of the stamps from Shawna Clingerman's Easter Delights Stapm set (love 'em).

The girl did allow me to take a whole 5 or so pictures today. Not much was usuable... but that's pretty typical with Clara. Here's one of my favorites...

The red backdrop is just a sheet from her brother's bed. Nothing is safe in this house! It is all potential backdrop material!! LOL!

Well... I'm heading to bed. We're having a make-up day for our 2peas photography playdate since over half couldn't make it last week. Should be exciting... especially if I don't get the kitchen cleaned up from dinner tonight!

today is the day...

... we'll find out about the "move". It all comes down to a meeting Jeff has this afternoon. ack!

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

ack! i need more sleep!!!

Okay... it's 11:00pm and I *just* now got the kids in bed. This whole craziness of summer and Jeff traveling really throws my whole routine off. The kids are heading to bed a bit later but with Jeff on east coast time, he's always back at the hotel and wanting to chat about the time I'm trying to get the kids in bed. So we end up chatting and the kids end up getting to bed later and later. Thank goodness it is summer and we've really got nowhere to be except the pool.

I did not take a single photo today. But Clara came up to me this evening and told me that she wanted to do something nice for me so she's going to let me take pictures of her tomorrow even though it isn't Mother's Day. Not sure what that all meant except that her royal highness is going to let me take a couple shots of her tomorrow. LOL!

Okay... I'm off to take a shot of Nyquil and head to bed!!

Monday, June 26, 2006

toot toot!

I don't know what is going on but I've had a good streak lately (but I know its going to have to end soon). Anyway... I got an email today from Scrapbook Trends Mag requesting one of my layouts for their October issue!!! I couldn't believe it! It's for the "our home" call and its a picture of our mantel. Fun stuff!

Hmmm..... other than that... just another fun filled afternoon at the neighborhood pool. The kids just can't get enough of it. I, however, need to stop going. Don't get me wrong... I love the water, but I'm beginning to get just a bit too confident with my camera around the water. It's only a matter of time before things go really bad. Okay... it started out innocently enough... I took my camera to the pool... only taking pictures at the very beginning before I got wet. Then it progressed into taking pictures at various times during our visit. Then... I took the camera into the pool but ONLY if Jeff was there with me watching the kids. Then I started taking the camera into the pool without Jeff there. And then, there's today where not only did I have my 20D in the pool but I had it dangerously close to the waterline in order to get this shot....

Clara could do this all day. She loves to just float around the pool on her back with her floaties on. Just look at those cute little pruned up toes!

I did actually scrap a page today. I've been in a bit of a slump lately. I think its the lack of pictures. One can only scrap so many pool pictures! LOL! Other than that, I haven't really been taking many candids of the kids other than martial arts class last week and I really don't have a kit to use with those pictures. So, last night the boy asked if we could take a picture together in the bathroom mirror... so here it is. I really love it. I used the Pride kit by Amy Tanabe for the contest they're having at A Cherry on Top. The cool shapes are made from Shawna Clingerman's super cool Sweet Spot Stapms at NDISB. Love them!!

Well... I'm tired and still have cleaning up to do. I love summer but this whole business of the kids not getting in bed until 10 pm is just killing me. I love that they have neighborhood buddies and they love to play outside at night... but I need some sleep! 'nite!

Sunday, June 25, 2006

sigh... the weekend is almost over

And yes... it is time for Jeff to pack up again for a week in NYC. Craziness.

Not much went on today in our house. Went to church this morning. It was amazing, we have a new senior pastor and today was his first morning to preach. Just simply amazing... such a dynamic speaker. He talked a lot today about the dangers of just doing the same ol' thing over and over just because it's comfortable. It really got me thinking about our potential move. What real ties do we have to this area, other than its "comfortable"? We do have good friends, a good church, the bestest photo playdate group ever and living is cheap. But we have no family here and it just hasn't been good for Jeff careerwise to be here.... in our whole 4 years of being here, he has never once actually worked in Dallas. Two weeks after we were relocated here, he got all of the central US as a territory and ended up based from home. Our reluctance to moving... is it because we are meant to be here or are we just comfortable and afraid of change? This is the week we find out.... the official offer is supposed to be made. Ugh.

This afternoon Jeff took the kids to the pool and I took a nap! What a perfect way to spend the afternoon! :-) I actually read for a while as well. I'm loving the book Wicked. I thought it would be more of a farce... but it's a really well told story.

Took a couple of pictures of the kid in the bathroom getting ready for bed.... because you know, its really hard for me to get through a day without taking a picture of something. Okay... I'm shooting in manual more and more everyday now.... I just can't believe the difference it makes! I shot the picture of Alex (below) at ISO 1600 and when properly exposed... there's hardly any grain! LOVE IT! No running it through neat image or anything!

Well.... with that I'm signing off and heading to the couch! 'nite!

Saturday, June 24, 2006

clara - up close & personal

Another day with nothing really to report. Jeff and I cleaned cabinets in the kitchen and organized the laundry room - it's looking more and more like "the move" may be happening.... so we need to keep going on this project.

After lunch, Jeff and the kids had a board game marathon.... Candyland, Operation, etc. So much fun to watch. I love kids games EXCEPT operation... I still have childhood flashbacks when it comes to that game. That thing created entirely too much stress for me to handle. I would only play it if the batteries were removed which pretty much eliminated the whole point of the game. Today I tried my hand at photojournalistic shots of them at play... didn't go as well as expected, but much like everything else with photography... I need to keep practicing. Lighting was pretty bad in our family room as well... darn solar screens again. My faves of the day are two of Clara playing with her leap pad while sitting up on the ottoman.

That's the upclose and personal shot of Clara referenced in the title.

Last night I *finally* filled out the online entry form for the fair where my mom and dad live. Mom really likes it when I enter the photography competition... but I always feel a bit strange being the only out of state entrant. Mom says I should just get over it since I lived there longer than I've lived anywhere else, even if I don't live there now. Out of guilt I usually only enter pictures I took around that area though... I have some weird hangups, don't I? Now I just have to decide about whether or not I'm going to enter the state fair again. Part of me just doesn't want to mess with it and the other part of me knows that it just kills me not to try. We'll see once I go through my pics if I have anything I feel worthy of entering.

Well... Jeff should be back any minute with dinner (mmmmmm.... steak fajitas)... so I should run!

Friday, June 23, 2006

nothing to report...

but I feel the need to keep the momentum going. I did take some pictures today at Alex and Clara's martial arts class... but frankly they sucked. Other than that.... I've got nothing. Hopefully tomorrow will be more blog worthy.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

clara's hair and other stuff...

First of all, before I forget.... Shelly.... I don't do anything to that girl's hair, that's the main reason she has such short hair, I just don't "do hair". LOL! In fact, in the pictures from yesterday... I hadn't even combed it, that's what it looked like straight out of bed. However, if she would have turned around you would have seen a big ol' matted mess.

Today was our 2peas photo playdate. Apparently we're about the only ones without some awful stomach bug that's going around so it was just me and Anne. I got just a couple of my kids. They were fairly cooperative with the sitting part but Clara just wouldn't smile for anything. The fun part was near the end of our playdate, we photographed Shirin (who is babysitting my kids a couple of days a week this summer)!! It was so much to photograph someone who sat where you wanted them to and didn't argue or negotiate with you! In fact... given her drama background she posed herself and really seemed to enjoy it. So much so, that she was even talking about wardrobe changes for "next time".

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Woo hoo!

Today was a good day! First of all, I got an email from Legacy requesting one of my layouts for publication! Then Katy told me while we were chatting on Hello that she had gotten a request from Simple Scrapbooks for their online mag for the scraplift she did of my layout in the SS Digital 5 issue! How cool is that??? Fun, fun, fun stuff!!

Clara allowed me to photograph her again today... lol. When she gets new clothes she makes an appointment with me to be photographed in the new item. I bought her a shirt yesterday at Target and I asked her if I could take some photos of her. She told me that I could in the morning... so I did. Here's a couple of favorites....

Other than that... nothing really to report. Just stressing out about the potential move. Everytime we decide that we're just not going to do it, something new comes up. We had firmly decided this weekend that we would NOT move while he was still a consultant... because travel is just part of that kind of job. Why move if after this project is over, he'll just be traveling somewhere new?? So, that was our decision and we felt good about it. Then he called me at dinner time for a 5 minute conversation to let me know that the client is now putting together an offer to hire him outright. Which still means moving but it drastically cuts down the travel long term. Ugh... I just don't know... the whole thought of moving just makes me just a little bit nauseous. oh well....

Off to lose myself in a book!

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

somebody stop me!

I can't believe that I impulse shopped my way through Sprouts this afternoon and came home with a big container of those jellied candy orange slices with the sugar on the outside. Man, I really thought I had some willpower when it came to candy other than chocolate, but apparently not.

Oh! Exciting news! My friend Shawna Clingerman asked me to be on her brand new CT she created for her Stapms! How cool is that??? Love her stuff, although I do have a tendency to get carried away with them. However, tonight I was able to do a layout using her stapms and managed to contain my usage to just one. The pink heart is from her Sweet Spot set (covered in paper by MandaBean). The kit is Gummi Berry Juice by MandaBean.

I'm so excited that I have remembered how to link things again... occassionally I totally lose bits of information like that. Yesterday I couldn't remember how to zip a file to save my life.

Anyway... I picked up the book Wicked today so I'm off to start reading it!

Monday, June 19, 2006

a bad case of the sleepies

An afternoon at the pool just wears me out! I'm not sure why since I really don't "do" anything but still... I'm exhausted. I can't believe how much the kids can play in the pool! Maybe they'll be tired of it within the next few weeks but as of right now... they really can't get enough. They've been 6 times in the past 9 days!! I'm still working on using fill flash.... and I'm still stuck in auto. I ventured out of auto, briefly, and regretted it. However, I was totally winging it with absolutely no clue as to what I was doing.

Jeff left again for a business trip... this time to LA though. I really can't believe that we're facing about 6-7 more months of him being gone Mon-Fri. If they end up getting him an apartment in NYC, we'll probably spend some time with him there though. So that should be fun. Yet another perk of homeschooling... we won't have to worry about school schedules, we'll just pack up some books and go. Let's just hope we don't have a repeat of the mentally scarring boy child's leg caught in city bus door incident we had in Chicago last summer. Poor Alex! Don't worry he wasn't hurt and the bus was not moving but I was busy setting Clara down and he had forgotten that the back doors of the buses shut if you stop pushing them. So he pushed open the doors and jumped out... only to have the doors shut on his back leg mid-leap. After that we went out the front door of the bus or rode the el. When I get back to Chicago, its just so easy for me to slip back into city mode, but I forget that the last time I did that on a daily basis we only had one child.

Well... Clara has the craziest bed head in the morning so today I decided to document it! I'm loving the Jelly Bean Sprout kit by Robin Carlton and MandaBean so I had to use it yet again!

Sunday, June 18, 2006

look at this...

two days in a row! Woo Hoo!

Nothing much to report today. We went to church and I have to say this is one of my favorite times of the year at church. It's our senior high choir tour's home concert. They are always soooo amazing! And this year was no exception.

This afternoon we went to the pool! The kids LOVE the pool. I tried taking pics using fill flash again. I really need to find a book on using an external flash because I'm really not good at it and need all of the help I can get. I did get one shot worth using in a layout. Not a great picture, I cut off Clara's head... but it does accurately illustrate the fact that she has no fear around water!!! She was just crouched down by the edge when I started to take this pic and without warning (and no one in the water to catch her) she just jumped off!

Most everything is from Robin Carlton and MandaBean's new Jelly Bean Sprout kit at the Sweet Shoppe... LOVE IT!

Saturday, June 17, 2006

happy saturday

I'm going to pretend like I'm a good blogger and that it hasn't been about 2 weeks since I last posted anything.

So, today we went to see Cars. Loved it! Alex loved it too. Clara *thinks* that she did, but the reality is she fell asleep about halfway through. She had a rough night last night. We had a huge thunderstorm and she doesn't do well with those. She had the whole house up. When Jeff went up there, Alex was in her room trying to comfort her. What a good big brother!

Other than that, we just cleaned out yet another set of cabinets. Given Jeff's current travel situation with work, there could be a move in our future so we're devoting a couple of hours each weekend to cleaning cabinets and closets and such. In the end, if the move isn't going to happen, we've got nice neat cabinets and closets! So, its all good.

I tried taking pictures yesterday in some room in the house other than the living room. Honestly, its the only room in the house with decent natural light. I tried the playroom and even in the brightest part of the day it was too dark (darn solar screens). I did get one picture I liked but it is soooo grainy! Oh well... I'll leave you for the night (or possibly the next couple of weeks :-) with the one picture....

Sunday, June 04, 2006

hi there!

Okay... I really mean it this time... I will get better at this!

We just had a crazy weekend! Clara's dance recital was Saturday (with a rehersal on Friday). This was our first year at a studio that had both a recital and a rehersal and I think I really like it. Some moms complain about it but being that I like to take photos (just a little bit.... lol), it's heaven for me! At the rehersal I was able to put on my big lens, sit where ever I wanted and take as many pictures I could while she was on stage. I had time to set my white balance AND meter.... and I actually did pretty well. The second night, at the actual recital, I left the big lens at home and just sat back and enjoyed watching her dance. I did bring my 50mm and took some candid dressing room shots.

Here are some photos:

This was from our practice run with her hair and make-up on Thursday afternoon.

One from her ballet piece... Tale as Old as Time (the Beauty and the Beast theme).

Trust me, I have tons more to post, I just have to edit them. I was just absolutely thrilled with the stage pictures... mainly because I completely messed them up last year. They were just horrible. I used my 70-200 2.8L lens. I ordered just before the recital and that thing scared me to death so I was afraid to use it! This year I practiced, practiced, practiced with it... taking it to several of her dance classes and to several sessions of her tumbling class. Plus I'm getting a little more comfortable shooting in manual. Anyway... another year done... I can't wait until next year!!

Vacation Bible School starts tomorrow... so it should be a crazy week (again!). Thankfully, I'm working in supplies so the bulk of my work is already done!

Jeff leaves for NYC again tomorrow which brings us to our latest topic of discussion... would we move there (meaning the surrounding area) if it meant he would travel less? So hard to answer... but that doesn't mean that we don't analyze the whole thing to death nearly daily.

Well... my family just returned from the grocery store... it's probably time to do something productive... like help them onload!