Monday, January 24, 2011

A pretty good start's strep.  I had a throat culture this morning - which is all kinds of fun if you happen to enjoy having someone gag you with not one but two really long q-tips.  And it's an extra fun and pleasant experience when the nurse asks you if you have ever had this done before, and upon telling her "yes but it's been a long time", she decides to put you at ease by reminding you "yea, it's not pleasant."  Thanks for that.

So I've been home all day.  Just me and the dogs.  And my Celestial Seasonings Sleepy Time Tea.  I love it, even the smell makes me happy.  Add a big squeeze of honey and it's a little bit o' heaven on a massively sore and scratchy throat.  It's my new best friend...but not the new best friend that I was referring to in yesterday's post.  That would be Jasmine Star

She is an amazing wedding photographer from Orange County California.  Amazing as in Ah-May-Zing, and I've been obsessed with dilegently studying her blog for the past several days now.  Her photography is incredible, but what is even more incredible is her story.  She had no formal training in photography whatsoever...just a camera from her husband that she fell in love with, and a dream that she followed.  She not only posts very specific information about photography that I am completely soaking up, but she shares her fears and her failures and her insecurities.  She still has them, even as she charges (rumer has it) close to $30k to shoot a wedding.  She is a Christian, married to her highschool sweetheart, and very encouraging and inspiring to an aspiring photographer like myself.  And I am learning a TON...about lighting and settings, and making your clients feel comfortable, about making them laugh and relax in order to get those candid shots that tell their story, and perhaps most importantly I'm learning that I really can do this!  Even if I don't have the nicest camera, the most expensive lenses, a business background, or a lack of fear. 

What I do have is this...a husband who supports me and believes in me, and a God who can make things happen if I put Him first.  And a dream.  I'd say that's a pretty good start!

Tea with honey at 5am

...because I'm pretty sure that I have strep.  And I'm pretty sure that it sucks.  It hurts to even think about much that I have to talk myself into it.  "Do I really need to swallow right now??  I mean I just swallowed like 30 seconds ago.  Do I always swallow this often?  I don't think so.  Maybe if I just stop thinking about it...nope that doesn't work.  Just makes me feel like I have to swallow even more". 

Such is the reality of what goes on in my brain.  Fun, huh?  Yea.  You should be me.  Or my husband.  There's a trip.  He puts up with alot. 

Yesterday was Sunday, but it was not your typical Sunday at our house.  I went to bed feeling kinda crappy on Saturday night, so we didn't set our alarm for church.  I had my suspicions already that I may have strep because my throat was already getting sore enough for me to start taking some drugs, and sure enough I woke up feeling even crappier.  Is "crappier" a word?  I'm not even sure that "crap" is a real word.  Oh well, it is today.  At least on my blog.  I wouldn't be so hasty at jumping to the conclusion that I have strep, were it not for the fact that Hope was diagnosed with it 5 days ago and my symptoms were pretty much the same.  So much for my theory that washing my hands - and being militant about the kids washing theirs - will keep us from spreading germs around.  Hmmph.  At least no one else has it...yet.

Anyway, back to yesterday.  It wasn't our typical Sunday - not only because we didn't go to church, but because Vince and I didn't even get out of bed until 1:30PM!  That is not a typo!  I woke up around 9:30, and after popping some advil I was back in bed and started reading the blog of my new best friend (I'll get to that later).  Vince woke up and picked up his book and also began reading...which we continued to do for the next four hours.  No lunch...just Sunday morning relaxy awesomeness!  Hope knocked on the door every so often to see if we were STILL in bed and wondering if we were EVER going to get up???  I was tempted to pull a John & Yoko and stay in bed all day, but we did eventually get up and move our reading from the bed to the couch, where I remained firmly planted for most of the day.  And I didn't get bored.  Not even once.  Aside from cooking us scrambled eggs & toast for breakfast at 1:30pm, and then stir fried vegies (broccoli, carrots, and peppers) along with kielbasa & potatoes for supper at 7pm, I didn't do a whole lot of moving.  By the end of the day I was ready to run laps around the house or do a bunch of jumping jacks or something because my legs were so restless, but since the "feeling crappy" meter had continued to escalate throughout the course of the day, I didn't.  I settled for stretching alot and going back to bed.

I've been talking too much.  Time to go warm up my tea.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

A Saturday and a dream

It's quarter after midnight on Saturday night and Mr. W and I are sitting on the couch eating carrots and cheese and watching Hoarders.  It's not as pathetic as it sounds, really.  Ok, maybe it is, but we DID watch a movie and share a glass of wine earlier in the evening, so there is hope for us, right?! 

The day started out the way many of our Saturdays least the ones where we don't have to set our alarm and get up and hurry off somewhere.  We slept in 'til 9:30 (yes!) and soon after we were up and on our way to the fruit market.  We love going there on Saturday mornings, sometimes combining it with a stop at Starbucks, however not today.  Today we decided to grab lunch at one of our favorite lunchy spots...Blooming Grounds Coffee House.  We talked about our day and how much we loved our turkey cheddar paninis and homemade potato soup.  Our laughter echoed off the mossy green and brick- painted walls, as I read to him from the front page and talked about how awesome the ambience is in here and how I can make my newest dream come true.

A photographer?  Really?  Can I really do this?  How do people pursue their dreams, and transform them into reality?  There are as many answers to that question as there are stars in the sky, and believe me when I say I have thought of them all...including the ones that don't have happy endings.  But one thing I do know for sure.  God has a purpose for my life.  And if it includes pursuing this photography thing, then He will make a way.  I just need to have an open heart and ears that hear His voice.  Some wisdom would be good too.

I asked Vince if he thought that God values photography, and without hesitation he said "absolutely"!  Then he went on about how it appreciates the beauty of His creation, and how God is creative and artistic and aren't we made in His image?

I love that man.  He just gave me permission to be excited about this.

So now what?  I've been overwhelmed the past couple of months...surfing the web for information about cameras & lenses, apertures and white balance and lighting and iso's,  In my quest to take things to the next level I have found many sites of photographers far more talented than I, and have had to fight off the temptation to be discouraged and wonder if this is just ridiculous.  I know in my heart that it is not...that there is a passion there that I think I can do something with.  That God can do something with, that will not only bless me but our whole family too, not to mention those who may find themselves on the other side of my lens.'s 2am.  I could still babble on and on, but for now my bed is calling and tomorrow I will blog more about my thoughts, oh and my new best friend!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Just in case you have been contemplating breaking into our home and stealing our toaster, I would think twice about that, my friend.

Mom:  Kyle, don't forget to lock the door, ok?

Kyle:  Why?

Mom:  Just for safety, honey.  We've talked about this before, remember?

Kyle:  Mom. (Dramatic pause for inflection).  I have a mini-sword.  I'll be FINE.  Remember the one dad got me in Mexico?  It's really sharp.  I'm like a ninja with it.  Seriously.

Mom:  OK, then. 

You have been warned, would be breaker-inner.  My son has a mini-sword and he WILL use it.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

I'm in love! I'm in love! And I don't care who knows it!

I'm playing with my new new baby...otherwise known as my new lens :)  Check this out.  The following pictures were all taken of the same (very awesome) basket with berries that currently sits on our kitchen table (along with alot of other stuff that was pushed out of the way to create the illusion that our home is always neat and tidy).  But just ignore all that and look at this. 

Ok, the first picture was taken with the first digital camera that I've ever owned - a Canon PowerShot.  It's pretty awesome for a point and shoot (I think) and takes great snap shots.  I took this on Manual setting, shutter speed 1/30, iso 200, and f2.8 (the lowest it will go).

Are you impressed with my "camera speak"?  Yea, I thought so.  Tehe :)  Anyway, the next picture was taken with my Canon Rebel - my first DSLR (which is fancy terms for a camera that you switch lenses on).  The lens I used was a 50mm 1.8 II, which up until today was my favorite lens.  It made me fall in love with my camera and with the art of photography, and it's taken some pretty sweet pictures for me, I must say.  This was taken with the same iso and shutter speed, but at f1.8.

Not bad, not bad.  Pretty big improvement I'd say.  But now, drum roll is the same shot, taken with my Rebel and my *new* lens, a 50mm 1.4, again with the same shutter speed and iso. 

HELLOOOOOOOOOOO!  I am in love!    I have wanted this lens for months, but I made a promise to myself (and to my husband too) that I would only upgrade my equipment with money that I earn from my photography.  So here it is, the first harvest of my new passion.  I can't WAIT to start taking portraits with this...and thankfully I won't have to wait long because I have 4 family sessions and a maternity session coming up soon - yay!  And if you come over to my house (or pretty much anywhere near me anytime soon) I WILL be putting a camera in your face, so consider yourself warned and please try not to blink!