Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Christmas in T-9 days!!!!

Yikes! Christmas is only 9 days away... which means there are almost no days left to get presents for family and friends.

Jeff and I have done basically NO shopping (for friends/family or each other). We're talking about keeping Christmas simple this year. I'm giving some homemade things to family & friends.
For those of you in the same boat as me, I have some solutions for you!

1. Buy a Portrait & Print Gift Certificate.
Everyone wants to have some great pictures of their family or children, so why not fulfill that desire? You can choose a portrait package, add a print package, or choose a set dollar amount.
Gift Certificates are 25% off through 12/19/2009!!!

2. Give the Gift of Beautiful Art.
Fine-art prints make a great addition to any room of the house. Choose the print, the size, and whether or not to frame it. I have plenty of fine-art images to choose from. Many of them are not on the website or flickr. If you're looking for something in particular or a certain style, and want help identifying possible prints, email me!

3. Skip the gift and send a card.
This season I'm offering 4 designs to pick from. Order ASAP and get them ASAP. Choose folded cards or postcards in sets of 8, envelopes included.
Christmas Cards are 25% off through 12/19/2009!!!

Merry Christmas!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Maternity Preview

Today I had a wonderful maternity shoot with my friend Alisha who's due to have baby number two in just a couple weeks!

Here's a sneak peak:

And one of her adorable son!

It's been a while since my last maternity shoot and it was a blast! Pregnancy is such an amazing process. God designed the body so creatively. ;]

Babies and pregnancy were just on my mind today. I was thinking about the shoot; then I went to sushi and ate so much I decided that pregnancy must feel like being overly full withal sushi baby; then the maternity shoot; and finally watching our friend's son play football and envisioning one day when jeff and I have a boy and he plays sports and I get to be the mom on the sidelines. ;]

Friday, October 30, 2009

Shooting, Editing, & Apologies.

I love photography. I love taking pictures.

I hate editing.


I love taking the pictures and seeing the end result, but I hate the editing part. Oh sure, I could just not edit and go from camera to post/print... but it doesn't work that way. There are always minor color balancing and contrast and brightness adjustments to make. And its usually good to do minor touch ups on distracting elements. And really, it could be a quick process to edit/upload. But I'm such a perfectionist that minor adjustments become a lengthly process. And then I get behind. And catching up from falling behind is just impossible.

That's why I'm a month behind on editing/uploading my 365. Behind on Anna Lynn's senior portraits (sorry anna lynn!) and if I don't get crack-a-lackin... I'll be falling behind on Miller wedding pictures and then Shelby's senior portraits (which I just shot today!). That doesn't even include the events and trips I haven't even touched... like May's Women's Retreat, June's trip to New Orleans, August's trip to San Francisco, and so many more.

I have lots of excuses and reasons for being so behind, and for why its impossible to catch up. And most of them are actually pretty legit (schoolwork, work work, chores, etc). But I'd like to apologize to everyone for being behind. Sure it only effects most of you by not letting you see current 365 pics. But for some, it means waiting for pictures I've promised to you again and again. And again, I promise I really will get to them, eventually. Just keep gently prodding me, and reminding me, and I'll find the time to do them.


In other news, I met with an advisor this week who confirmed that so long as I take my remaining 15 credits next semester, I'll graduate in May!!! I'll be done! Its so hard to believe its so close, and even harder to believe how quickly college has flown by.

So now I'm starting to look forward to graduation and imagine life without school.... for the first time in 16-17 years! I have this dreamesque idea in my head that after graduation I can work part-time and start building my photograhy and art business, working from home, keeping on top of editing and updating my website; I see myself keeping on top of chores and keeping the house clean and making amazing dinners; I see my day starting with waking up in the morning to coffee and muffins and then editing pictures before spending some time making pots on the kick-wheel, meeting Jeff for lunch, doing some family portraits in the afternoon... It sounds wonderful, and it makes perfect sense in my head, and its a nice dream to reach for, but I'm not so sure that it'll happen quite as ideally as I picture. But who knows, we'll see.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

I'm Human

I missed a day. I didn't take a single self portrait yesterday (10/14). Today I woke up early to see Jeff off (he's visiting family in Vegas) and I realized I'd forgotten. And I was much calmer than I really expected to be.

At that point I couldn't change anything. I couldn't go back in time, and so fretting over it would do no good. And really, what does missing one day mean? It doesn't mean I'm a failure as a photographer, or that I can't make and stick with a commitment. It doesnt mean I have to quit or start over. It doesn't affect how my husband, friends, family, or most importantly, how God sees me. It does, however, mean that I'm human. It means I'm not perfect. It means I make mistakes. And I'm 100% okay with it - I can't believe I made it almost half way through before missing a day!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

So much for consistency

I had these grand ideas that when I went back to school I'd have more time and be able to stay on top of hw, chores, photos, blogging, and even work. I don't know how I convinced myself of this. I'm even further behind now than I was during summer!

And it only seems to get worse. Too much to do, not enough time. And yet, when I sit down and think about it, it seems like it shouldn't be that much. A few classes, work, photography, and wifely duties. But in reality each one of those items has more than enough tasks and time required.

And I'm getting lazy. I'm cutting corners. I know I shouldn't and I really don't want to. But... I don't know how to get everything done. There simply isn't enough time.

In less than a year I'll be done with school. And I'm not really sure what the plan will be then. I'll either start working full-time or we'll move and Jeff will start going to school. Either way, I'm really hoping life will be less hectic. Until then I just have to manage the best I can.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Swine Flu - A Blessing in Disguise?

Yesterday at 3pm my grandmother passed away. She's had heart problems for some time now and the original hope was they could do surgery to correct one of her valves. However, her lungs weren't strong enough and they finally ruled out the option of surgery. They sent her home Friday and hospice care was going to start today (Monday) to help my grandfather in caring for her. My mom and aunt went down to help over the weekend before hospice care started. But on Sunday afternoon she passed away. Thankfully my mom and aunt are there to help my grandfather grieve.

Yesterday I was a mess. I went through waves of sadness. It didn't help that yesterday (ironically) was grandparents day. I knew my grandmother was sick, but I didn't expect this so suddenly. I was hoping to go visit her in the next couple weeks. The last time I saw her was thanksgiving. Jeff was very supportive and we canceled our plans, got takeout for dinner and watched a movie before going to bed early.

This morning I felt a little bit more composed, even though my face was swollen like a balloon from crying. But driving to school I lost it. It didn't help that I woke up feeling sore and achy everywhere and had a cough. I talked to my mom and found out they were planning on holding the funeral/celebration of life this saturday.

Jeff called around 10 and told me I needed to go to the doctor ASAP. One of our friends had gone to the hospital and likely had swine flu. I went to the clinic on campus and they told me I had a 50-50 chance that what I had was swine flu. They told me I needed to go home and stay home from school for a couple days. Jaime (my carpool buddy) stayed home with a fever and then went to the doctor and they told her that more likely than not she has swine flu and they told her to stay home all week on quarantine.

Having all this happen at once is unfortunate, but I think getting sick is really a blessing in disguise. I don't have a fever, I don't have a sore throat, etc. I just have aches which tylenol has helped with, and a small cough that tea is helping. But I got to come home today and relax and take a nap and just kind of deal with things. I didn't have to go to school and pretend everything was fine. I communicated with all my teachers and then took a couple hour nap. I got to talk to my mom again this afternoon - she and my aunt were sorting through my grandmother's jewelry and such at my grandfather's request. It was good to hear her smile and laugh.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Monday Morning!

So I've uploaded another set of images to Flickr and now I'm only a week behind on uploading images!

And thus far I've had quite an enjoyable Monday morning. It was my week to drive on the carpool to school and so I got to take the Mazda (2009 Mazda 3!! - instead of the junky Ford Escort with peeling paint and bald tires). We were running right on time, but we don't have a parking pass so we have to search for a parking spot that isn't residential (I'm NOT getting a ticket, thanks.) After 10 minutes of looking for a spot I dropped Jaime off so she could get to her 9am class and drove around for a bit longer. Then I found one! but it was just barely big enough for my car, and required parallel parking (which is not one of my skills). But it wasn't a busy road so I took my time and made a 15-20 point turn and made it into the spot! I didn't hit either car and I parked next to an Audi, so I figured if anyone wanted to break into a car they'd go for the Audi over my Mazda. ;] I was so proud of myself.

Then I spent some time looking up recipes and browsing the internet. My brother stopped by to say hi (we're supposed to meet up for lunch soon, but he hasn't called). And then I got to editing photographs. I love (and I know I say this over and over and over...) but I love love love the school mac computers! they are so fast and so much screen real estate to use! I can multi-task like no other! ;D

Not having class until 2:30 really makes Monday's enjoyable. Sure, since I'm carpooling I have to be at school by 9 am, but that means I have dedicated on-campus time to work on homework or photographs or whatever. I'm going to start volunteering in the photo lab from 9am-1pm on Mondays, so I won't get to sit in the Library's computer lab, but I will still have access to computers, or I can bring my own.

so in other news - I've decided I need a bike. So if anyone wants to sell theirs or knows of someone else that'd be willing to sell theirs - please let me know! I'm looking for a used road bike or mountain bike and I'm just looking to pay $10-$30. (Yeah - I'm cheap.. I just want a better bike that I could take on campus to ride around. I have a beach cruiser that I got for $10 but its not exactly gentle to my bum and it doesn't take hills well.) This morning I was looking for some bikes on craigslist and instead I found lots of free cute kittens! Oh how I wish we could get a little kitty. But I'm not sure how Gracie would do.. She's probably think it was a toy. Not to mention I don't know how our landlords would feel.

This weekend was really enjoyable. I still didn't have much homework (just a short french paragraph), and so I got to relax for the most part. Jeff and I stayed up way to late on Friday night. And then ended up sleeping in until 11:30 am on Saturday. [which is unbelievable because I haven't slept past 9 or 10 for the last couple years!] Sunday we spent the majority of the day at church, came home and took a nap (we're such old farts! But I love our naps). I finally got my photography page for facebook setup on Sunday night. You can check it out here.

Hopefully in the next few weeks I'll get into the swing of things and I'll start uploading 365 project photographs on a daily or almost daily basis, and maybe I'll even get to start blogging more!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Getting Caught Up!

Today was my first week of school and it was overall pretty good!

Monday I spent the morning editing a number of backlogged 365 pics. Then I had an IS (information system) class which was ridiculously hard and so I spent my 15 minute break before french class running to two other possible classes that I could switch into. Long story short.. I need more 300+ level classes in order to graduate. And unfortunately those are hard to get into because most of them you need some prereqs for. I have the IS prereqs so it was one of only a few classes I could get into. But I was the only non IS or Accounting major in the entire class. I quickly learned it was going to be a hard class.. way harder than I need it to be for just needed misc upper level courses.

I spent the rest of my afternoon evening fretting about which class to try to switch into (and wondering if I'd even be able to get in.. they were all full!) My options were try to get into Listening (com 300 something), Human communication (com 400), or bookarts (art 414). But the two com classes would fit perfectly with my schedule, while the bookarts was another late class (M/W 4-6:45).

I finally decided Tuesday night to switch into the bookarts class. I heard from some photog friends that it was a fun class and figured I'd rather put my time and effort into an art class I would at least enjoy rather than some communications course or is class that would be hard and a little bit pointless.

Wednesday I had photography (kind of nervous, but excited about shooting 4x5 film... which reminds me I need to buy my film soon!).
Then I had a 2.5 hr break that I was going to spend doing more catchup on 365 in the library.. but I ended up chatting with some friends and getting almost nothing productive done. Then I went to french (its slowly coming back to me - summer was a long timeperiod to not study). And finally I went to the bookarts class. I was so nervous. And I really don't know why. I guess I'm just a big nerd and I thought that missing one class would put me so far behind. But it was a so fun! and the teacher and other students filled me in on everything that I missed. I am really really glad I switched classes and I think I'm really going to enjoy this class! [it made me laugh sitting in the class... I realized I really am an artist at heart... I love being crafty and creative and artistic]

Friday I spent the morning catching up on more 365 pics [ check out flickr as there are a number of new uploads!] Then I had a business finance course that should be interesting and not too difficult.

Tues/Thurs I worked and my days went by pretty quickly because there was so much to do!

But I had an overall really good week. I carpooled with Jaime [yay for a carpool, and not only that but a super fun carpool friend!] I'm excited about my art classes and I'm hoping I'll learn something useful in my business course. And I was able to start getting caught up! I'd be hopeless without the amazingly fast computers at the school.

I hope anyone else going back to school had as good a week as I did! ;]

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Gbye Summer...

Today is the last thursday of summer. I spent it working and cleaning.
Tomorrow is the last friday of summer. I'm hosting bunko [and it is going to ROCK!]

I am exhausted.
Last summer was over way too quick and I distinctly remember at the beginning of this summer thinking to myself, "I am not going to let this summer go by as fast as the last one." Well I failed, miserably. It went by even faster.

I've been working full time (which is draining!) and it makes the days and weeks just fly by. I'm worn out to the point of needing a break and so I'm actually excited to go back to school.

School gives me a balance between home/chores, work, and me-time. Driving to/from class gives me time to pray, relax, think, and brainstorm. Some of my best photography ideas are created while driving. I've come to realize that the driving time I originally hated and complained about has become my personal wind up and unwind time. It only took 3 years and a quick summer full of work to help me recognize it.

Monday I'll enter my final year of college (Lord willing). I start my honors thesis and finish my final classes! I can't believe I'm already so close and though it feels like it is going to take forever to complete the year, I know it will fly by just like the last few have. And then I'll be done.

But for tonight... its off to sleep to work a half day and get ready for Bunko night.

[and yes I'm practically 2 weeks behind on my 365... I'll catch up eventually]

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

San Fran -part deux!

We had such a blast today!

We got to Vallejo and just caught the ferry around 8:30. We spent the majority of the ride out on the railing watching the water and other boats and bridges. It was so windy and humid that my hair went from smooth to fluffy frizzy in an instant! Thank goodness for ponytails.

We got to pier 39 just before 10 and most of the small stores were still closed. We walked around and through the stores that were open. One gallery was of stunning nature photography done with a large format camera - gorgeous photos! Next we got some salt water taffy and watched a street performer's juggling act.

By noon the pier was starting to fill with people and as we browsed a few shops we were invited to participate in a market research survey & taste test for a new coffee product. In exchange for our time, they promised $20 bill per person. We figured why not... We had time. And it was an adventure.. They have us three different "coffee" drinks to give our opinion about. I say "coffee" because it wasn't. It was supposed to be a refreshing coffee-fruit drink. All I have to say is disgusting! I seriously wonder who came up with the idea. All three versions were horrid. Imagine taking a pot of week old coffee, mixing it with a smoothie, adding flour & fake sugar, and then leaving it in the fridge for a month. Would you drink it or try to get anyone else to? But we each got $20 and had fun together.

We'd seen pretty much all of pier 39 at this point and decided to try to find a musuem or something to go see. Eddy mentioned king tut was on exhibit. We found a park it was by on a map and decided to walk there.. We thought it'd take like 30 mins... But it turns out none of us are good at estimating distance on a map and it took almost 2 hrs!!!

Then we discovered we weren't even at the right park/museum for the king tut exhibit. It was on the clear other side of town!!!!
We were all exhausted and decided to get some good and pick what to do next. We ate at Chevys (I wanted to eat at a local resrurant, but Chevys was within view and so we settled). Lunch was yummy and replenishing.

Turned out the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art was right where we thought the other one was going to be and I'd seen some ads for Richard Avedon's exhibit that was showing there and so we decided to go there instead. I'm so glad we did!!

We used our coffee taste test money to pay for the museum tickets. I am so bummed that I forgot my student id- I would have saved like $6. But essentially it was still free.

There were some very modern and strange pieces of art on the few floors and Jeff and Eddy were so confused and not thrilled to be there. "Is this really art?!?" was plastered across their expressions. I began to doubt that spending my $20 coffee money was a bust.

But as we moved through mote rooms and floors it was so neat! I saw work by lots of photographers and painters I learned about in my art history and photo classes these past years, but instead of seeing a mediocre slide or tiny 1" print in a book... I was seeing original art! Beautiful full size paintings and photographs!

I was thrilled when I turned a corner and there was a huge piece by Mark Rothko! I love his work, but I've only ever seen it in books or online. He was influencial in my color space emotion pieces last year. I think I spent at least 10-15 minutes just standing there. So incredible!!!

Then around a few more corners were three pieces from Josef Albers' homage to squares! He was another artist that I referenced in my colorspace photographs.

The majority of the next floor was devoted to Robert Frank and his series The Americans. Over and over it was so neat and shocking to recognize various photographs I've seen multiple times, but never in person and up close! There were so many images and it really gave me a better appreciatarion for his work. It was fun having Kirsten there with me. I'd point out some of my favorites and she'd do the same and we'd discuss them. :)

Then it was up another floor to Richard Avedon's exhibit of work throughout his entire life. I've always loved his work, but books and ppts do not do his work justice. Seeing the prints made me love his work even more. His focus and lighting and detail and tonal range are exquisite! And his rendering of pure human emotion and variety is inspiring. Many of his prints were around 8x10in to 11x14in... But in the last room they were at least 4 feet wide!!! These were my favorites. The focus and tonal Edition:3rd on these were perfect! The subject's eyes were striking and every detail of their skin and clothing stood out. Wish I'd had more time to spend in this room. If you ever have a chance to go see this exhibit, you should.

It was getting close to when we needed to leave and so we rushed through an exhibit focused on select work of Ansel Adams and Georgia O'Keefe. There were also some images from Paul Strand, Edward Weston and others mixed in with their exhibit.

There were so many other recognizable artists throughout the musuem! Andre Kertez, Rene Magritte, Frieda calloigh(sp?), Henri Matisse, Georgeann Braque, & Picasso to name a few...

Needless to say I had a blast at the museum. I am so glad we went to the wrong spot!!!

We were not about to walk the 3 miles back to the pier and ferry, so we caught the city bus. It was relatively boring - except for the crazy driving, Chinatown, a woman nearby getting her hand smashed in the door of the taxi, and a cute little old woman witnessing to the man sitting beside her.

We relaxed on the pier for the las few minutes then caught the ferry back to Vallejo, and started our journey home. Eddy and Kirsten napped for a bit, then we stopped and got In 'N Out in placerville. The remainder of the trip we spent discussing the art and not-so-art from the musuem.

All in all it was an extremely long day, but I had so much fun just enjoying the company of my husband and friends and exploring the city. Definately going to have to take another trip soon!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

San Francisco!!!

This morning I woke up at 3:40am and thought to myself, "Who's great idea was Otto wake up this early?!? Oh yeah.. It was mine. Am I insane?"

Jeff and I decided to take a weekend roadtrip to San Francisco as a way to celebrate our third wedding anniversay. Our good friends eddy and Kirsten are coming with us. We originally were thinking about driving down fri night, getting a hotel, spening sat exploring and stay in a hotel sat night and drive home Sunday. However after we looked up the costs of a hotel room... I convinced jeff it'd be cheaper to drive down early sat morning and then either also drive home late sat night or get a room and drive home Sunday.

So we woke up bright and early (or as jeff put it, dark and early) and started driving. It's weird that it's 7am on a Saturday and I've been awake for over 3 hrs, I'm in California and I'm blogging on my phone. :) what a way to start a day.

On a side note I've been horrible at blogging lately. I blame my iPhone. I don't spend as much time on my computer anymore because my phone has email, etc. However, the blogging app I downloaded only let's me type plain blog posts. No pictures and no editing once you've posted it. And you see,l I'm the kind if girl that types a blog, posts it, and then proofs it and realizes I made a ton of errors. So I haven't been to into that process on my phone. I'm sure there are some great blogging apps out there, but I'm cheap and want to try out the app before I buy it, and most don't let you.

Anyway- so were driving, or rather jeff is driving, I'm blogging and Kirsten and Eddy are both sleeping. I am so excited to just walk around and explore. I way over packed: my dslr+2 lenses, extra battery, flash & tripod, my point and shoot & an extra battery, my lomography super sampler and a handful of random rolls of film. I'll probably have so leave some locked in the car because I doubt I'll be able to carry them all all day.

Out plan is to take the ferry from Vallejo to pier 39 and then walk or catch a trolley around San Fran. So the car will be over an hour away, and whatever I bring I'm stuck with all day. I'm still debating whether to bring my backpack so I can stash my camera or if I should just carry my camera on it's own the entire time...
We'll see!

More to come as the day progresses, but for now, good morning!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Behind behind!

I am falling behind again!!

I'm past day 100 in my 365 project, but I'm behind on uploading. Every night I start to work on catching up something else comes up... Like needing to fix some bugs on my website.

They're fixed now and I even added a few more recent pics to the portfoilios, but it took all night. Check it out and let me know I you have any suggestions on how to improve the site. Any very helpful suggestions with be rewarded! ;]

I also haven't been blogging regularly but if you want to catch up on events in my life you can read through the mini blog posts with my 365 project on flickr.

I've been working hard at my office job. I'm taking on some new responsibilities and have been super busy as a result. Today I was on a ph conf with some directors in New York. One of them had a n accent and all I could think for the first 10-15 mins was mobster or mafia... Silly.

Jeff got a promotion today and will start his new position in a couple weeks. We went to Chilis to celebrate.

I'm exhausted and off to bed. Nighty night!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Lemony Lemon Cupcakes with Mango-Pineapple Frosting

Normally I’m not a big fan of cupcakes. That’s putting it lightly. I really don’t like them; I don’t make them, and don’t like eating them. It’s been years [no actually, to be honest I don’t even remember the last time] since I made cupcakes. They’re kind of lame, too sweet, and dry. But last night, I had some yummy vanilla cupcakes with blueberries and lemon frosting and it made me rethink my cupcake stance. They were light, fluffy and fresh. The blueberries helped to tone down the sweetness. And they inspired me to give cupcakes a second chance.

Today I set out to make some yummy cupcakes. I wanted something light and fresh, and since I’ve been on a mango craze - mango frosting sounded delicious. I figured lemon cupcakes would be a nice pairing. I found some recipes online, altered them to fit my needs and voila!

Of course I couldn’t go without taking pictures throughout the entire process. What kind of photographer/baker would I be if I didn’t take photographs of my baking creations? Then I got to thinking.. I’ve always wanted to make my own cookbook. [okay on a sidenote.. I have a list of a million things I’ve always wanted to do, or want to do someday – among them, related to this blog are: have my own photo studio, have my own gallery, own a coffee shop/smoothie shop/ sandwich shop, make my own cookbook] Anyway so I have this huge thesis I’m suppose to do over the next two semesters before I graduate, and I’ve been completely at a loss of what to do. The thesis is supposed to mainly focus on producing photographic work, but there also has to be a research component (and research paper 50-100 pages), and should (ideally) be something I’m very interested in. I’ve been racking my brain for ideas for months now, and nothing seems feasible or interesting enough to do for an entire year. Until now. How cool would it be to use my thesis to create (and possibly even publish) my own cookbook with my recipes and photography?!? Making a cookbook has always been a small dream/goal, but one I never really put much thought into because I figured I’d leave that for years down the road. But I’m beginning to think that a cookbook might be the perfect topic for my thesis. I don’t know a whole lot about food photography, so that could be one element of the research, I’d have a reason to bake and cook fun meals for the next year, and I’d have a chance to make my own book! I’m excited thinking about it, and I’m praying for clarity about the idea, and would really really appreciate your prayers too! It’s still in the idea stage, and it needs a lot of refining and focusing if I’m going to use it as my thesis project.

Even if I don’t end up using it for my thesis, I hope that since I’ve grown in my photography I can start working on a cookbook anyways and slowly build on it until I have enough recipes and photographs to complete it!

So back to the baking. I halved and then altered the cupcake recipe and something didn’t translate quite right and they sunk a little in the middle, but they were still very moist and lemony. The frosting was delicious (I think I’ll omit the few pieces of pineapple I threw into the frosting next time to try pure mango frosting). It was tart and sweet at the same time and didn’t dry and get all crusty because honey keeps it moist. My only complaint about the frosting was that it wasn’t thick enough to pipe and then hold its shape. But everyone that had them only had good things to say so I’m pretty pleased. I promised some girls from church (who saw my Twitter or Facebook postings about the cupcakes) that I’d make more for them on Sunday, so hopefully I’ll be able to perfect some of the flaws from this first round.

I’m stoked to find some more yummy recipes and start creating my own. I usually bake cookies and cakes, so I’m taking a break to try out and find the best cupcake recipes. I’m not sure whether to find some more light and delicate fruit cupcakes or go all out for a rich chocolate espresso cupcake. Any suggestions?

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Ziggy & Elizabeth

Meet Ziggy!

She's a one year old lab. Sadly she has a neurological disorder and her back feet drag slightly when she walks. But she is so cute and so happy and playful! The vets aren't sure how quickly the neurological disease will spread, but hopefully it'll slow so she won't have to be put down soon! [please pray!]

Her owner, Laura, was my buddy in French class this past year. Today I did portraits of her puppy for her. ;] Elizabeth came with me and afterwards we hung out!
I love catching up with friends. Elizabeth and I got to the Sparks Marina early and so we took a walk partway around it and just caught up and talked. I love Elizabeth to death! She is such an awsome woman of God, a sweet friend, and completely adorable. Almost 3 years ago she was my maid of honor and almost a year ago I got to be a bridesmaid in her wedding! But she and her hubby live in Reno so we only get to hang out every once and a while because we all work and lining up schedules can take some time.
Our freshmen year of college I was commuting from Gardnerville and she was living in the dorms. I constantly left my house, forgetting to put on deoderant! I'd call her up and she'd meet me and let me borrow hers. ;] She also fed me numerous times in the school's lunch area because she had meal tickets and I didn't. She was in the crappiest dorm in the entire school but she made the best of it and then the next semester or year she was able to move into the nicest dorms in the school. gosh. I love her to death!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Heading Home

I’m on my way home now! I just got to the airport, its about 4:00 pm. I thought my flight left at 5:00 so I left the hotel at 3 thinking it’d take 30 minutes to get to the airport and then I’d have 1.5 hrs to get through security, to my, gate, and have enough time for any emergencies or delays or whatever. Well I realized after I got here that my flight leaves at 5:30…. So now I have an additional 30 minutes to hang out at the airport. Oh well.

I had super butterflies again before heading here. I just get nervous that I’m not going to know what I’m doing or that something could go wrong. It didn’t help that when I grabbed my luggage I realized it was pouring rain, with loud booms of thunder and flashes of lightening. It was coming down so incredible hard! I took a taxi to the airport and about halfway there the rain went from pouring (so hard it was like a blizzard of rain) to being completely dry. Praise God that it is completely dry here at the airport.

Anyway, I’m glad to have a little bit of time to work on catching up with editing photographs and 365’s. I’m way to far behind (again!). I just can’t seem to keep up, I have so many other things going on that cause me to fall behind. At least I’ve been good at keeping up on taking them!

I’ll try to post some New Orleans pics at some point! (No promises though as I always seem to promise pictures and then never make it around to getting them up. But I’ll try hard!!!) 9 more hrs and I’ll be home!

There are three adorable little girls sitting in front of me. Each has the same dress, but in a different color with their name embroidered on the front. They all have beautiful blond hair tied up in big colorful bows. So cute! ;] Someday I’ll have my own children. I really hope I at least one daughter, if not a couple.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Secret Agent.

Today I had just finished a big committee meeting (4 hrs with no breaks!), I’d been drinking tons and tons of water and had to pee like a racehorse! The bathroom was on the completely other end of the hall and so I half waddled half ran down it to get to the bathroom, which I promptly tried to open and was just as promptly met with a deep “whoa – whoa!” And thankfully the door was barely cracked and so I quickly shut it. There was another door around the corner, which was unoccupied, but the toilet was disgusting. I wasn’t about to wait outside for the man who I’d almost walked in on to finish and I also didn’t want to have to wait for the elevator to go up to my room to use my bathroom.

I knew there had to be stairs somewhere (we were on the 8th floor), and I found them behind an almost unmarked door. The stairwell was just like from movies – completely empty, somewhat dusty/dirty and clearly rarely used. First I ran up one flight of stairs to the 9th floor, but realized this was a floor of rooms and there were no public bathrooms. So then I tried to go down to the 7th floor, but this door was locked with an employees only sign on it. Gah! I really had to go by this point and so I went one more flight down to the 6th floor. When I opened the door I realized I was in some sort of office, but it was like I was in the back area of the office. I had no clue who’s office it was or if I was allowed to be there, but I could clearly see a door marked “Women’s” and there was no stopping me. I quickly glanced around (like a secret agent woman) and then calmly walked into the bathroom. As I entered a woman exited and I smiled and nodded and tried my best to act like I was supposed to be there. She nodded back and walked away.

Yeah! Success! On my way out I opened the door slowly, glanced around and quietly slipped back out the door to the stairwell and went back up to the meeting room to gather my stuff. I only regret not bringing my camera to document and better tell my story. ;]

Monday, June 22, 2009

Hello from 37,000 feet!

Hello world from who-knows-how-many-thousand feet! I’m currently on a plane on my way to Denver and then New Orleans. I’m attending the RESNA conference as part of my training to assist with some wheelchair standards balloting and other administrative/secretariat work with my office job. [note- I found out later that we were flying around 37,000 feet]

I was so incredibly nervous. This morning Jeff woke up at 5:00am to go to the gym, and I figured I’d sleep till almost 6, but I couldn’t go back to sleep. (Which is a bummer because I couldn’t get to sleep last night until midnight or later.) So I got up, did my hair and finished packing my bags. Jeff got home, we ate breakfast, said goodbye and headed to work.

Around 10:00am I started getting major butterflies. It was the weirdest feeling. My stomach felt like it was being vacuumed out. My boss and I were planning on leaving the office at 11:30, but didn’t get out until noon, and so then I was really worried we’d miss our flight or be late or something. But since he’s in a wheelchair (and he flies all the time & knows all of the stewardesses and check-in people) we bought lunch and made it into our seats in only a few minutes. (And they upgraded me from my crappy seat at the back of the plane to sit in the third row with extra legroom so that we could sit together and go over work.)

I haven’t been on a plane since my honeymoon. And honestly I don’t remember much of those flights except for looking out over parts of Mexico that were very odd landscapes of desert and weird bushes and swamps. I know that some people don’t like flying, but I thought takeoff was kind of fun. I like the feeling of being pushed into my chair – it makes me feel like I’m a racecar driver or something. My favorite part is looking down on everything. You get to see clouds from above, blue skies below you, the layouts of cities and towns, and the amazing formations of mountains, valleys, & waterways. It’s so beautiful from up here. I imagine this is only a sliver of the kind of view God has of earth.

My rough butterflies have gone, but I’m still nervous. The farthest east I’ve ever been is around Colorado. I’m going all the way to New Orleans?!? Is that considered east or south? I’m very excited to see and experience a different city’s culture and I’m stoked to eat Creole and Cajun food, but I’m nervous about the work part of the trip. I have meetings all day Tues, Wed, and then Thurs, I’m meeting with tons of people through RESNA’s organization. I know some, but not nearly enough to fully comprehend what is gong to be going on during the meetings. But I’m hopeful I’ll be able to pick it up quickly and learn the lingo and such.

My boss and I spent the first part of this plan ride working on things for the meeting and the office. Then he said he wanted to take a short nap. I would love to take one, but I can’t sleep with people all around me, so I figured I’d take out my computer and work on some stuff… then I realize that while I did manage to back up 100 gb of pictures I’d been putting off for months, I forgot to copy the pictures I’m yet to edit onto my computer off of my external hard drive so that I could work on them on my plane rides. Oops!

Hopefully there’ll be somewhere I can plug in my hard drive during my layover and I can transfer some pictures over to work on during the next flight. If not I’ll just keep writing blogs or something and make sure I copy them for my plane trip home on Thursday.

Oooh! Turbulence! No joke I’m looking out the window at eye-level clouds! When I was little I told myself that when I was older I would take a flight or something, capture a cloud in a jar and bring it home with me so I’d always have a cloud to look at. ;] If only that were actually possible.

In other news Jeff and I upgraded to iPhones last Friday. I am so glad we did too. I’ve been using a piece of junk phone for the past couple years and another crappy phone before that and so on. I love being able to check my email and…
Sorry, I got cut off on the previous entry while on the airplane . It was time to turn off electronics so I had to shut down my computer. Its now Wednesday night (technically Thurs early morning here in New Orleans). I’ve been super busy the last couple days with standards meetings. Tomorrow is my last day, and I’m spending the morning in some paper and poster presentations and then heading back home!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

God's Love

Romans 5:8 - "but God shows His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us."

The last couple of days I've been in the dumps. Its been rough at work, I've been falling behind on some housework, I'm fighting getting sick, and I'm all around exhausted. I didn't want to read my bible or study, but I found myself praying more and more not only for myself but for other people. And as I prayed for other people, I felt my situation become less and less difficult to deal with.

God is so mighty. My day is trivial in the grand scheme of things. In the overall plan of my life, one day of hardship is nothing. And in comparison to what others deal with on a daily basis not only in this country, but across the world, I have an amazingly blessed life. I have a job, I have a house, a car, a husband that loves me, friends that care for me, a church body that prays for me, and God that watches over me. I don't deserve any of it. Nothing I can do can merit what I've been given. So I have every reason in the world to be thankful and grateful and humbled.


Monday, June 15, 2009


Gah! Yesterday and today I've just been down in the dumps. I've felt completely bleh.Maybe it's the result of too much laundry and too much [and long] work.
So I'm taking a break.. and relaxing and recouping by watching a movie coupled with editing photos.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Martinez Family Portraits - Sneak Peak!

So here's a sneak peak at some family portraits I did for the Martinez Family on Tuesday.

Martinez Family , originally uploaded by HarmonyHilderbrand.
I was so incredibly nervous... It never fails. The night before a photoshoot I work myself up into a freinzied excitement. The morning of I'm going over my checklist in my head [did I charge my batteries? is my memory card empty?]. But then a couple hours before the shoot rolls around and I get extremely nervous. Its kind of like I doubt my photography skills, or fear I'll make some horrible blunder in my internal camera settings and shoot the entire thing and realize I ruined all the pictures. At least I know I can't shoot without a memory card in the slot.
Anyways Jeff and I got to Sand Harbor a little early and so we shot a couple pictures of the two of us (see my 365 project) and then some jumping pictures. When the Martinez Family arrived we started walking around the beach shooting journalistic style. It was such as blast! They have two adorable little girls, ages 1 and 2. The one year old was extremely outgoing and reached out to me as soon as she was out of her carseat! The two-yr-old was shy, but had an adorable little smile. Both kids were probably the best children I've ever shot! They were such a cute family! More pictures to come soon.
p.s. - Here Jeff & I jumping (June is for Jumping - don't ya know?)
He had such a blast.. [even though he won't admit it].

Sunday, June 7, 2009


That's right! I finished my 3 weeks summer school course. I can't believe how fast it flew by! Now I'm 3 credits closer to graduating.

In celebration [and since June is for Jumping] I did a jumping portrait for my 365.

Now that school's done I really feel like I can finally relax. This weekend was great. Saturday jeff and I went to Chili's for dinner [because Jeff was craving ribs.. and Jeff never craves anything] and boy was it delicious! Then we came home and watched an amazing movie - Defiance with Daniel Craig. If you haven't watched this movie, then you should. It's based on a true story about the survival of a group of Jews in the forest during the Holocaust.

Saturday I finally caught up on my 365 project. I was almost a full two weeks behind on uploading! But now I'm all caught up and looking forward the rest of summer. I've already started making my summer goals list [okay so I'm nerdy like that], and its way longer than I'd expected. I don't think there's anyway I'll get it all done. Among my goals is go through all my pictures and rebuild my portfolio for my website. Every time I've tried to do this I've failed, because its a lengthly process to go through all the pictures I've ever taken. But I'm determined. If I take it a few months of pictures at a time, then I should be able to complete it by the end of summer.

I'm really looking forward to fun outings this summer. I may be working full-time, but I plan on using my weekends to go hiking and camping and taking outings to the beach. Maybe Jeff and I'll even take a road trip! I also hope to get into shape. Not that I'm horribly out of shape, but I want to run a marathon some day [part of my life-goals list... I'm very goal oriented] and I'll never be able to if I don't start working up to it.

Anyway, I'm thrilled to be done with school and am so excited for summer!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Final Catch Up

So once again I just haven't had time to really catch up with everything.

I've been a good girl about shooting my 365 pictures each day, but I'm way behind on editing and uploading.. and I'm still putting it off.

Because this is my last week of three for my summer school course. I have a paper due Wed, presentation on Thurs, and Final on Fri. After that I'll be done. And therefore I'll have time in the afternoons/evenings/weekends to work on editing pictures, updating blogs, etc.
But for now I need to be a diligent student and finish out the week strong.

So hang-in there, and check back soon for more regular posts.


Quick update on past week or so:

I had a blast in Reno celebrating our friend's birthday on last Saturday. We went to the Grand Sierra Resort and played some slots (we each got $5 in free-play, and we all lost it except Justin who doubled his). Then we ate at the buffet. The night was still young so we also drove go-carts and played some miniture golf.

On Sunday Jeff woke up at 1 or so in the morning with an extreme pain in his abdomen. He was trying to convince me I needed to take him to the ER, while I was convincing him it was just gas or something. Jeff took some medication we had and then we stayed up for a couple hours looking up symptoms online until the pain subsided so Jeff could sleep. We were able to get up for church, but had to come home and take a nap mid-day. Then we went to the Shuler's home, and awsome couple from our church who have a beautiful house and backyard. We sat on their patio and discussed marraige and then we all headed over the to the Borgman's house for a movie.

Now I have to mention that when I heard we were watching Nacho Libre.. I was not thrilled to say the least. I barely remember that movie, but only remember thinking it was somewhat stupid and dull. However, as they promised me, "you haven't seen Nacho Libre, until you've watched it with the Borgmans." They are crazy! They know all the lines, and think the movie is hilarious. I have to say I did enjoy it. However the thing that got me was how Brian (our pastor) would come up to Jeff and I and drop a line from the movie in total casual tone, and Jeff always thought it was hilarious and it took me forever to catch on.

Monday was memorial day and so we went to the church's annual memorial day picnic. I had a blast taking pictures of people playing games, we ate some delicious burgers and hot dogs, and of course watermelon! I also got my exercise in playing a good hour or two of soccer. Pictures to come later.

Last week in school I had a midterm and another paper, both of which I am happy to say I aced! (One thing you should know is I'm kind of a nerd. I'm in the honors program and I try really hard to get good grades).

This past Friday-Sunday was women's retreat. It was awsome. There is so much I want to say about women's retreat, so I'll have to save it for another post. In short, good teaching from an amazing woman of God; wonderful fellowship and building relationships with the women from church; beautiful weather and amazing scenery.

Today is my Mom's birthday (I have no idea how old she is... I'm afraid to guess for fear I'll guess older than she really is). Happy Birthday Mom!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Catching Up.... Again!

Haha.. so much for blogging more often right? its been almost two weeks since my last entry.

I finished up my online class and thought I was done. I'd been planning on taking a summer school course, but it didn't start until June so I thought I'd have some time away from school. But then I found out my boss wants me to start working more with standards work.. which is awsome because it means more experience, plus its something that once I've learned it I can continue to do from wherever I live. The most exciting part? My boss told me he wants me to attend their standards meeting in June in Louisiana. My first business trip!!!

BUT.. that meant I couldn't take my summer class. I really do need to get 3 credits in this summer so I dropped the class that started in June and opted for a mini term class - a class that runs for three weeks, 5 days a week, 3 hours a day. And it started May 18th. So good news is, the class is super interesting, and the material is easier to remember because you have class daily. Plus I'm already done with one of the three weeks! Bad news is, I'm still working, so my days have been packed full and I'm exausted by the end of the day.

Yesterday I played Bunko.. and I one the prize for most bunkos! I've never won the bunko prize! Guess what I got? I beautiful potted plant to put on my front porch. I'm stoked, and I hope that since it's an outside plant it will be easier to keep alive.
Last night Jeff and I finished the 3rd season of Heros. If you don't watch Heros, you should. Go rent seasons 1-3. We were addicted after the first episode. I don't know what we're going to do now that we finished season 3.

This morning it was so nice outside I decided to take Gracie for a walk to check out the garage sales. I rode my beach cruiser and she walked at my side. (Well.. more like she tried to drag me off my bike for the first 20 minutes, but eventually she got tired and did walk at the side of the bike) I got suckered into buying like 6 or 7 glass bottle thingy-ma-bobbers. I only wanted to buy 1 or 2 but the lady said she'd give them all to me for $3 bucks.. so I said okay.. Now I'm trying to figure out what to do with all of them. I had to ride home to drop them off before I could keep riding because they were heavy in my bike's basket and i was afraid Gracie would pull and they'd fall out and break. I tried to convince Jeff to go back around the neighboorhood with me but he didn't want to so I took Gracie for another mile or so run and when I got back to the house Jeff was sitting in the driveway out of breath. ;] After I'd left he grabbed his skateboard and skated around the neighboorhood looking for Gracie and I so he could have Gracie pull him... only we missed each other by a couple minutes and so he never found us!

When we got back home we let gracie play in the sprinklers (I've decided its her favorite thing to do). She tried to bite and attack the water as its spraying out at her and it is the funniest thing to watch. Drying her off was a crack-up too. All I have to do is hold the towel out and she'll rub up against it and roll around on it. ;]

Tonight we're heading up to Reno to celebrate Elizabeth and Justin's birthdays! Yay! Our whole friend group is finally 21 (me included) and so we can finally go places as groups!

Oh and I'm still doing my 365. I'll try to post some of those pictures on here soon. Or you can click here to go view the series on Flickr.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Catching up.

I've been way behind on blogging.. but at least I've kept up on my 365 project. Each image usually has a short blurb that's like a mini-blog on flickr.

Here's an update on the last few weeks of my life:
I've been consistent with my 365 project. I haven't missed a single day! And although I may not be as creative everyday as I'd like (especially these last couple weeks with finals), I've become a lot more comfortable in front of the camera. Which has allowed me to become more comfortable with who I am as me. And I've been carrying my camera with me everywhere and just taking pictures everyday. I love it!

School is just about over. The last couple weeks were hectic. I'll spare you the details, but I had way too many finals and papers due all at the same time. I only have one more online test and online essay and I'm done! (until summer school that is.)

My website has been up for a few weeks now and I'm already getting emails and interest from it! I'm very excited. Summer is a great time to do portraits and weddings!

Friday was my 21st birthday. I'm finally legal to do everything except rent a car. It was a great day. I spent most of the day inside either at work or home working on homework but I was in a great mood none-the-less. I attribute it to the good weather (Cake and strawberries at work helped too). Jeff and I went to dinner at Chili's and then stopped by a casino on our way home. Casino's are strange. There was a man and woman on a stage above the bar playing a guitar and singing, but the woman was obnoxious. She kept doing a woot woot noise and trying to get everyone else to join her. Plus there were tons of adults dancing in an area between some tables and the bar. It reminded me of a bad high school dance. Anyway, I put a dollar in a slot machine (I had to search for one that had the pull-down handle). It was fun for the 30 or so seconds that it lasted. I didn't win (despite my secret belief I'd hit the jackpot). Then we came home and finished the last few episodes of the first season of Heros.

Jeff and I have recently become addicted to Heros. We got rid of cable because we decided it was too expensive, but we have netflix and an xbox so we just added tons of movies and TV series to our instant play and we watch that instead. We first started watching The Office, but we quickly finished all of the 4 available seasons, and then decided to try Heros. We're so addicted to Heros that we'll stay up till 2 in the morning watching episode after episode, despite that we have to get up early to head off to work.

Anyway, Saturday we went up with a small group from College group and watched an Ace's baseball game. They lost 8-5, but it was fun. I don't think I've ever been to a baseball game before and it was fun. Then we had a BBQ at our house. I made an awesome cake and Jeff cooked up burgers and hot dogs. Lots of friends came over and we all hung out.

Sarah brought me a super cute gerber daisy (its planted in a pot so it will keep growing!). Jaime brought strawberries she bought from a guy on the side of the road and some awesome peanut butter chocolate ritz cookies that she made. Ashley and Nicole brought a pretty bouquet. Randy brought me a bent card (ha ha he rode his motorcycle so he didn't have anywhere to put it but in his helmet).. but the card was a neat fuzzy cupcake. Alisha gave me some beautiful earrings and I also received a couple gift cards.

I got pictures of everyone, especially those who tried to avoid it. We decided to play spoons... and did 3 practice rounds before I decided we should do cake. I cut up my beautiful cake and it was awesome! Then everyone was out back and Ashley, Nicole and Jaime were all sitting on the hammock. Jeff told me to go sit with them and take a picture and I did. Only they didn't actually want me there for the picture. On three they pulled out silly string and started bombarding me. I curled into a ball. The hammock broke and we all fell on the ground. It seemed like a good 5 minutes until they ran out. The fumes were horrendous! Poor Jaime though. I ended up being completely curled up on her and while my face was hidden, hers was not, and she got a face full of silly string while I only had it in my hair and all over my body. ;] It was fun though. They got me good.

People started heading out. A few people stuck around and I opened the cards and we had a little bit of champagne and we all watched an episode of Heros. The the rest of the crew left. Jeff and I watched another couple episodes of Heros and went off to bed.

Today we heard an awesome sermon at church, came home and worked on homework and then headed to my parents for a joint Bday and Mother's day celebration. [Fun Fact: I was born on Mother's Day.. what a sweet present!]

Anyway, that's the past couple weeks. More to come I'm sure.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Photography special

Yay! In honor of my birthday I'm giving everyone that books a portrait session by May 22nd 10% off the session scheduled for a shoot date between may 11th and may 31st.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

2 down, 50 to go

So I've completed 2 full weeks of my 365 project. That means only 50 more weeks to go!

I'm so proud of myself. I'm getting less shy in front of the camera, and I haven't skipped a day yet! Plus, I'm starting to get inspiration from my day to day life for pictures.

In other news... I have 2 weeks of school left! { Oh my gosh! }
I thought I'd written my last essay for the semester.. until I logged onto my online art history course. Duh! Completely forgot about two more essays in that class. But at least they aren't nearly as long or hard as the one I just finished for History of Photo.

I'm so excited for it to be summer! I'm planning on working a whole bunch to pay off things (like last years taxes, our car, etc), and hopefully saving for a new camera lens or a computer! I'm also taking one summer course - 'listening'. Jeff's excited for me to take the class - haha just kidding, although even though he doesn't say it, he probably is. I'm excited because although I listen well (I think I do at least), I suck at retaining what I hear. So maybe it'll be a good course?

Other reasons I'm excited for summer:
I hate being cold - bring on the warm weather!
I want to go on walks and hikes with my doggie!
I want to hold and go to BBQs!
I'm excited for summer foods like watermelon and strawberries.
Farmers Market! {need I say more?}
Green grass, blue skies, pretty flowers.
And so on...

Friday, April 24, 2009

Altered Realities Project

Altered Reality #5, originally uploaded by HarmonyHilderbrand.

Click the picture to visit Flickr to view the rest of the photographs from this series.

Collaged Stereotype Project

College Stereotype #1, originally uploaded by HarmonyHilderbrand.

I promised everyone that I would post images of my photography projects from last semester.

Click the picture to visit flickr and view the rest of the series.

This series was titled Collaged Stereotypes.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Spring is Here!!

bright colors. daffodils. camping. butterflies. clouds. dresses. picnics. frisbee. tulips. flipflops. lemonade. sidewalk chalk. daisies. bbqs. playgrounds. chirping birds. swimming.

Spring is Here! But if feels like summer! I cannot believe how warm it is! I love it.

The best part is I have 2 weeks until school is out (and until my birthday!).
This week I finished my final paper for the semester and finished printing my final photography project! Now I only have a few final tests week after next and I'm done!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Earth Day

Happy Earth Day!!

"A generation goes and a generation comes, But the earth remains forever."
- Ecclesiastes 1:4

So today may be earthday.. but I didn't do anything for it. Sorry hippy friends... I actually dug this plant out of my yard for the picture... ;]

Saturday, April 18, 2009

365- Here I Come!

I decided I am going to do the 365 project. What does this mean for you? I'm going to start taking pictures daily! Which means more pictures for you to see and enjoy!

I was debating back and forth this past week.. the whole while shooting images -just incase I decided to do it. On Thursday I decided I might as well commit to it... And yesterday was day 7, which means I've already finished one week! Only 51 more to go.

I'm nervous.. but very excited. I'm hoping to grow as a photographer, and get over my fear of self-portraits. New images will be posted on Flickr.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Its Here!

;] So last night (or early early this morning) I got my website uploaded! I'm so excited!

Now it is pretty basic/simple.. but I figured I could always spruce it up later.. but it'd be better to get it setup even if it was basic. There are a few bugs I have to work out and things to update.. but I feel so accomplished.

So in honor of my website lauch I'm giving 25% off each booked photography session for the rest of the month!

Now I just have to get my art section done and uploaded; and upload to flickr.. ... and of course finish my homework! [I'm so behind!]

Thursday, April 16, 2009

What a busy bee!

These last couple of days have been so full! But they've been good too!

Yesterday morning Jeff and I got up really early ~5a! [okay I know some of you do get up this early regularly.. but Jeff and I do not]. Jeff was leaving for Wyoming to go to the Kenpo camps. Once we got him out the door (~7a), I worked on some online homework, shot and edited some pictures for my photo project.
~12p: I headed to school
~7p: I was done with classes and headed to the photo lab to print! I was able to print 6 of my 12 prints! That's got to be a record. ;]
~9:30p: I headed home... worked on homework and then on my website
~3:30a: I went to bed [I lose track of time easily when Jeff isn't home and I'm focused on something]

~9:30a: I got up and got ready. [I tried so hard to get up earlier but I couldn't do it]
~11a: Headed off to school (... took a french test - easy & I got my Archaeology research paper back - I got an A!)
~2p: done with classes, headed to photo lab to edit and print
~6p: Headed home [only got 3 more prints done this time.. but that means I have 9 of 12 done and I still have two more days next week to print the rest]

When I got home I checked the mail and Guess What?!? ... I was awarded a scholarship!! ;] Last week I applied (completely last minute) for the Art Department's Scholarship Pool.. and low and behold.. they liked my application and my work! Yay!

I told myself that tonight I would get started on a huge photo biography paper I need to write this weekend.. but I also told myself that I could work on my website for an hour (kind of like a reward for all the time I put into my photo project). Well, I lost track of time again.. but I got the basic website complete! It needs some love and tender care on design and wording and elements.. but it is complete enough that I am ready to present it to the world! So, I bought my domain, purchased hosting.. and started setting everything up! My website should be up (hopefully) by the end of tomorrow! ;] I am SO excited! I did it!

;] Now I just need to do my biography paper...

Oh and I completely forgot to mention that Jeff and I decided to get rid of Cable TV because it costs a fortune.. but we never bought a dtv converter box.. so the only channel we get is Channel 2 and it has a weird double shadow of all figures and a crackly sound. I resorted to watching The Office on Netflix (Instant Streaming).. I've already made it through all of season 1 and half of season 2.


So I changed the name of the blog and redid the colors.

These are a sneak peak for what I'll be doing with my website that I am currently working on! ;]
More to come soon.

.. and I still haven't decided on 365. I want to, and I've been trying to shoot daily just incase I decide to do it.. (So in theory I've already started.. but I'm not making it official because I'm not 100% sure. )

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Project 365?

So I've been considering taking up a project 365. [what's that?] Project 365 is where you take a photograph each day, every day, for an entire year (hence the 365). Some people do any photograph each day, others do self portraits.

An awsome photographer in my class is currently doing a 365 self-portrait project. You should view her work here. It kind of spurred me to start looking at how others have done the 365 project.. and made me wonder if maybe I should try it.

I really want to. I think it would help me grow as a photographer and artist. However, I have lots of doubts. First, I highly doubt I'd be able to stick with it for the full 365... I don't have a lot of time each day to compose and shoot.. let alone enough time to get the images on my computer and uploaded? Eek! Plus, there are lots of other things I should really start doing daily before I commit to something like this.. such as reading my bible, cleaning, doing homework, making dinner, showering... [just kidding.. wanted to see if you were still reading].

But then again.. it would force me to be more creative, make better photographs, and grow! Although I love photography, and its my major and all... I've seemed to take less and less photographs on a regular basis as time goes on. And how in the world can I grow if I never shoot? I'd want to do the any photograph.. simply because I'm horrible at self-portraits. When I say horrible... I mean absolutely awful. I applaud everyone that can.. because I find it extremely difficult. But then again.. if I did the self portraits it would help me grow in that aspect. If I can create an awsome self-portrait then theoretically anything else should be much easier.. right?

And... maybe if I'm able to commit to something like this it will help me to commit to other things. I've heard it takes 21 consecutive days to make a habit. I wasn't sure I'd be able to blog on a regular basis.. but hey- I've done pretty well thus far!

We'll see. I'll sleep on it and decide.

Happy Easter!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Its not goodbye.. its see you later.

I don't remember the first time I met Jessica. We met briefly and that was it. The next time I hear about her, it was when Jeff told me Akiya was getting married. "Ha ha.. Akiya... married!" I laughed. But it was true! and to some girl named Jessica who lived in Reno.

We became friends, and I asked her to be one of my bridesmaids. She didn't know it at the time, but she was pregnant at our wedding! Indie (her daughter) is a cute and not so innocent little girl now.

It was only natural that since Jeff and Akiya were best friends, that Jessica and I would become best friends. Some of my fondest memories are with her.
Jessica has a great heart to serve the Lord. She and Akiya decided to move to Kentucky for Akiya to go to Boyce (a bible college). They were originally going to wait until next year, and we had talked about all moving together. But God closed doors here and opened doors for them to move sooner.

Last week Akiya, Jessica and Indie moved to Kentucky. When I gave Jessica a hug goodbye she said, "Well.. goodbye forever." I laughed. "Its not goodbye.. its see you later."

Wednesday, April 8, 2009


Why can't I be a better photographer?
Why am I not more artsy?
Why can I never seem to get my camera to focus, or render the colors the way I want?

I have no time for creativity.
Grades are too important.

Why can't I let go?

You artsty people make me sick, but I'm jealous.

Where did my creativity go?

I'm too structured. too organized. too critical. I overthink. I'm impatient. I need to practice.

research papers. taxes. chores. work.
no time. fit into the puzzle. throw away my lists. boo. i need them.
let go. breath. organize. relax. stop worrying.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

A new start

From a few days ago…

In a few minutes I’m about to meet up with a person from my past that I haven’t spoken to in the last few years. Without a lot of detail, we had a falling out and haven’t been able to repair our friendship. I struggled with a lot of anger and hurt but realized that if Christ is our center ground then there is no reason for discontent. I’m excited. But I’m nervous and uneasy at the same time. It’s that uneasy feeling in the pit of your stomach and the top of your throat that creeps up on you right before your final speech in communications class in high school.

I’m not nervous because I think we won’t get along. I’m nervous that our interaction will be fake, a superficial front for any feelings we have about the past. I want to repair our friendship and be able to put the past behind us and move forward and start fresh. I’m willing. I’m hoping they’re willing. And I hope we can both recognize it.

If tonight goes like I hope… then one more bump in the past could be smoothed, and I’d gain another friend in Christ.


Good news! ;] Everything worked out wonderfully and it seems as though we have a fresh start. And to be honest, it feels the same as when we were good friends. Sure it will take time to be really close, and we both know there is a past there.. but that past doesn’t interfere with now.

At first I felt a little uneasy, I wasn’t sure of what to say without being fake. But that quickly faded. We caught up on our lives from the past few years and what we’re doing currently. It was great. We had laughed, we reminisced and we had fun.

God is good, and does good things for His glory. Praises be to His name. ;]

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.”

Proverbs 3:5-6

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Sneak Peak...

Here's a real quick sneak preview of my next photography project. Enjoy! ;] HH
[[And I promise to post pics from my last project soon!]]

Many years ago in another world, parallel to ours, lived two people, Janel and Johnathon Doeghuet. They resided in a town called Pauper-Bagueville. In this town, everyone was open and honest. People were unique and different and accepted each other as they were. One day a man visited from out of town. His name was Mr. Pressure. He scoffed and mocked Janel and Johnathon, for their clothes and they way they acted. At first Mr. Pressure’s remarks didn’t bother Janel and Johnathon. However, a few days later Mr. Pressure returned with a few of his friends, Mr. Superior and Ms. Influence. The three of them went to work on, not only the Doeghuets but also all their friends, family, and townsmen.

Out of fear of being ridiculed Janel and Johnathon Doeghuet changed their names to Jane and John Doe. However, this only worked for a little while. Mr. Pressure and Ms. Influence had done quite a number on the town and it was now the town that was singling out Jane and John for being different. The Does, out of fear of being made the laughing stock of the town, resorted to wearing brown paper bags over their heads. Surprisingly, this seemed to do the trick. No one recognized the Does, but rather they seemed to blend right in with the rest of the town.
It wasn’t but a few months later that everyone in the town was wearing paper bags. Two years later, brown paper bags had become as common as underwear. A person never left their house without their brown paper bag, and often, they didn’t even remove it when they were at home. The only time they’d take off the paper bag was when they needed to change it. You see, the brown paper bag had become their identity. They’d often choose one bag for one group of friends or occasion, and another bag for another group or occasion.

Eventually, the citizens of Paperbag Territory (Mr. Superior had created a monarchy of the town and renamed it.) forgot who they used to be. They’d so succumbed to the identity of their paper bags that their inner honest open self had faded away. Jane and John Doe had completely forgotten their old names, lives, and the events that had happened. Because of their dedication to their brown paper bags and Paperbag Territory, the Does were put in charge of the Department of Outsiders and Outcasts. Their job was to keep watch for people who dared to be open, honest, and unique.

So I warn you, look out and stay away from Paperbag Territory. For if you are caught, you’ll be locked up, and it won’t take long before you’ll succumb as well to the brown paper bag.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Going Under...

Its official.. The Body Shop at Home is going under.

Not that its a big deal.. or that I care that much (I had already decided in December to quit and started selling out my stock)... But now all the consultant supplies I was going to try to sell to other consultants is worthless. ;[ Bummer.

What I find strange is.. well maybe strange isn't the word.. ridiculous is better. What I find ridiculous is they kept on like nothing was happening. It's like they said "we'll just keep making new catalogs for new seasons, new consultant kits, new promotions and contests." Then they annouce this morning that The BodyShop is closing the At Home division. So to compensate all the people that work in the At Home division, they are giving extra commision and bonuses until it closes out at the end of April. They're also paying back any new consultants for their kit and will reimburse everyone that was supposed to win a trip to cancun with an equivalent trip.

Anyway.. if there is anyone that did want to order anything through my BodyShop account.. just email me. They will still have specials through April 30th.
Along the same lines.. I just found out that the Old Navy in Carson is closing as well! ;[ I'm bummed because I love shopping their clearance.. but I guess I'll just have to hit up their going out of business sales.

What is up? I know the economy sucks and all.. but it seems like everyone is acting like it is the absolute end of the world. How many recessions have we had in the last 20 or 30 years? I know there have been multiple ones.. and clearly we've made it through all of them. Maybe I just don't remember the others because I wasn't in a consumer/employee/bill paying position?

I think the state of the economy should force everyone to look over their finances, recognize where they don't need to be spending money and cut back. Cook meals at home and have family dinner time. Skip going to the movies and play a board game. Get some face to face time.

More importantly, rely on God. He's soverign over all, which means He's soverign over the state of the economy, and over our finances and lives.

"Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus" 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Where do I start?

I've been doing photography for a number of years now, and my goal is to establish myself as a professional photography mainly within the fields of portraiture and weddings. I've done both as side jobs for a few years now. However, I'm yet to begin to really establish myself.

My goal for the end of this year is to have an established website, portfolio, and price list. However, I'm not really sure where to begin.

I created a basic website for my photography as an assignment for my information systems class last year. You can view it here. I have the knowledge to be able to create a better website, and I started making one over summer (and its awesome thus far), but I don't have time during school to complete it. I keep having requests to view my website and I hate sending people to the one that is online. I did some research, found a number of online places that have templates you customize for monthly fees or you can pay to own a nicer template for a little bit more. I'm getting to the point where I'm thinking that it might be a good idea to use one of the customizable templates for at least a few months until I'm able to complete my website.

The next problem is I'm not sure if I should stick with using my name for my photography, or use a separate company name. I have one in mind, but I'm just not sure about it yet. Unfortunately I can't exactly start a website until I decide on this. On the one hand, my name will never change, but on the other hand I could use a name for a company and that way it can be an established business under its own name, and possibly be intriguing to clients.

Those are the two main problems I need to take care of, then I can focus on other concerns. One such thing is to make sure I am doing business properly. Business Licenses, taxes, etc. Lots of fun stuff...
Another time consuming piece is sorting through all my pictures to decide what to include in my portfolio. Then I need to assess the amount of time I put into various photoshoots and assess my pricing.

The problem is that with school right now I don't have enough time to do any of the above. So I put it off, and delay starting anything. The longer I put them off, the longer I put off being able get jobs and grow.

What to do? I guess I just have to wait on the Lord and in His timing it will work out.

The Red Envelope Project

Please check out this website and consider participating.

At the time of this post 410,611 sent or pledged so far.
Thank you!

Monday, March 9, 2009


I am exhausted. I feel like I'm a steam engine that's been running at full speed with with no fuel for weeks. Everyday when I wake up I think about when I'll get to go back to sleep.

This past week was an especially long and rough week. I had lots of homework and projects. I spent every night in the library printing and every morning catching up on homework for other classes.

I keep telling myself, "Just one more day. Tomorrow you can go to bed earlier." ...or, "I'll take a nap when I get home." Now its turning into, "just make it through the week.. Next week is spring break and you can rest then."

Unfortunately, there seems to be no end in sight. Spring break may be next week, but shortly thereafter I have some papers and exams due, so I should really be spending the majority of my break pounding those out so I won't be stressing over them later. Theres just too much to do and too little time.

Everything suffers when I have weeks like last week. Jeff was sick, but I had no time to take care of him. Dinners consisted of Taco Bell or soup. I didn't do any chores or housework and although Jeff and I picked up yesterday, the house is already a mess again, mostly due to my finishing up my photography project. Worst of all, I let my devotions fall to the wayside.. which in turn causes more stress and anxiety.

I was talking to a friend in class the other day and sharing how I wished I had a magical clock or something to stop time so I could catch up on homework and sleep and then restart the clock when I was caught up. He remarked that although this would be neat, it would mean I would have to be God. It made me think. So often I think of silly things that I wish were possible, without stoping to realize that God controls everything. And although He's not going to magically stop time for me, He is my strength. He only gives me what I can handle.

Things may be hard, and I may be tired, but it is only a small trial in life and so tiny compared to the trials of many all around the world. If I am able to wait on the Lord and be faithful to trust in Him, I can be a witness for Him through my trials.

"Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will care for itself, each day has enough trouble of its own." Matthew 6:34

"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."
Philippians 4:13


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