Wednesday, December 31, 2008

New Year's Resolutions

I have thought about this a bit.....remember when we would all discuss what our big New Year's resolutions would be (or at least my friends did). I can remember years when I *made* my friends come up with one. It was always the same stuff- lose weight, be better with money, start up a new hobby, get organized, get rid of a boy or something similar. This year I decided that I am not going to really make any resolutions. I usually really like doing this but I think that the purpose is to change something that you don't like about yourself and I don't really feel like doing that this year. Not that I am perfect, and I am not saying that AT ALL, but I feel like I have had a very good year this year. If I look back on it then I don't want to make it negative by talking about what I want to change. Sure, there are things that I wish were a little different, but I am also really thankful for what I have and what I have accomplished this year. In honor of that, here are a few things that have made me really happy this year:

--Watching all the friends of mine who have become parents. From the outside looking in, it is so cute to see how as the belly grows they all promise that things will still be the same and then they get the little buddle of joy and immediately fall in love and nothing is ever the same. I am lucky to say that all my friends are great parents.
--Along those same lines is watching my little sister become a mother and to watch and see just how good of parents her and Zach are to Ariyana. Oh, and that whole falling in love thing, yeah, that would be Ariyana for me....I would do anything for that child!!
--Keeping my photography business going and having about 20 clients that I get to see every three months. I have really enjoyed watching all of the kids grow up and growing my own skills (the money isn't bad either).
--Entering a photo contest and having a photo selected!
--Being able to count down the number of weeks until my move while just using my fingers (exact date not know) and having it all work out for the very best. I really couldn't have asked for a better response from everyone involved. I am really excited about it and having Craig here for a week just made me more excited.
--Growing closer with some of my friends that I have lost touch with or haven't seen in a while (mostly through this blog and facebook but it has still been great). Also, growing closer with some of the friends that I do see more often.
--Starting a completely new department at work and being successful at it. The best part is gaining the respect of the people who told me that there was no way I would accomplish what I set out to do and now have thanked me for the progress.
--Buying a rental property and having it rented a week later (thanks Drena!!)
--Learning so much about myself this year. I can't really explain that part and I never really believed in the "finding yourself" thing but if I did believe in it then I would say that this was the year it happened for me.
--Not knowing anyone who has lost their job due to the economy! Times have been tougher but I am glad that my friends and family have been ok. I hope that continues to be the case.

There is one thing that I am going to try to do next year, starting January 1st. I really want to improve my photography with natural light so I am going to start some sort of place (blog, flickr, something) to keep up with all my photos for the year. I am not going to be unrealistic and say that I want to do a photo a day (though I would love to do that) but I am going to try to get in at least 325 pictures next year and none can be on the same day. If any of the rest of you that dabble in photography would like to participate then let me know and I will set up a group on flickr or a blog where we can all post. I want to make a collage out of it at the end of next year. The goal is to use no flash at all, and no strobes, off camera lights or anything like that. So, just sun and lights you can turn on in your house. If you are interested, let me know and I will start the group. Craig would probably do it too.

Anyway, that is my only goal for 2009. Sure, there are other things that I could do like be organized, cleaner, and eat healthier, but those are sort of on-going goals anyway.

Hope everyone has a Happy New Year! Be safe tonight!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Playing with my camera

I want to get together a few pictures (ok, a lot of pictures) of Atlanta before I move. Tonight on my way home from work I noticed that the sky was really crisp and clear and I always see this view when I get off my exit. They have the road closed there right now because of all the crazy construction that is going on all the time here so there was a perfect place to pull over :-) There were some buses at Atlantic Station for something and they were being escorted by a police car and I jumped a mile when I saw the blue lights go on....I didn't know where it was coming from at first and then when I realized it, I laughed at myself :-) Anyway, here is the picture.....and you can see more here.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Back in the corporate job

I just caught up on Molly's blog where she mentioned my name, not once, but TWICE in her post about being back in the Corporate world and how tired it makes her. She asked how I did it....well, to be honest, it is HARD. I litearally work from 9am until midnight, if not later every night. I take a break for exercise some days and if I don't have any pictures to edit, questions to answer, orders to fulfill, or new appointments to schedule then I have more time to myself, which I immediately fill with something else like crocheting. On weekends I work from 8:30am until about 4pm most days. I guess her post sort of made me think about my personality. I had a few previous posts about how it was hard for me to relax and just lay around and do nothing over the holidays (though I did get better at it). I think that this fact works well for me when I am basically working two jobs. And, she also made a good point about how your 9-5 job is never 9-5, but neither is a job where you own your own business. There are lots of people who I hear say that they want to own their own business because they work too much and/or don't want to work for someone else. That sounds great but when you get right down to it, you will work harder with your own business. I have had clients call me earlier than I was awake on weekends and pretty close to the time I would be going to bed on weeknights. My name is attached to everything to do with my photography so I am more likely to make sure that everything goes smoothly. I didn't quite jump into it like Molly did, but it did happen a little quicker than I thought it would. I am lucky in that I really do enjoy doing it, just like she does, but it does get hard to find time for it. I tried really hard to take a break over the holidays so I could sort of get refreshed a little bit. I also didn't schedule any sessions for this next weekend so I could have a full two weeks off. I think that will help me to reset some of my energy and to get some things accomplished that I wanted to in order to better position my business.

of course, now that I am sitting back at my desk in the corporate world, I just keep thinking about the list that I should be making of the things that I need to get done for my photography business. I guess I am still trying to find the balance myself. It seems like whenever I am doing one thing, I am just thinking about what else I want to do. Luckily though, I don't bring the corporate job home at all. I work hard when I am in the office and when I am out, I am out!

So, really there was no point to this post, but I guess her post just made me think which made me ramble. Hopefully I will have something more interesting for you later today.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Lazy again

Just for the record, I didn't get any Christmas cards out this year so please don't take me off your Christmas card list if you sent them this year. I promise to send some out next year. I actually got them today :-)

Yesterday was one big whirlwind of driving and visiting. I must say that Craig handled it great. We got up at about 7:30 so we could drive to go and see Ariyana open her presents at 9am at my sister's house. It was fun and she definitely knows how to open them...you have to get her started a little bit but then she is off. My sister and her husband cooked everyone breakfast and we hung out. Next was a 45 min drive to my Dad's house for my presents and watching Ariyana, then another hour to my mom's to get more presents and have dinner and then an hour and a half home so we got home around 11 last night. Craig is super shy (which many of you know) but he has been around my family a bit so he was joking with the boys and making fun of me with the best of them yesterday. I was glad that he had fun. I alway go on and on about my niece but he has only been around her once when she was about 8 months old in July and he didn't see her for that long so this was the first time he was going to be around her a lot. When we were at my sister's she walked over to him and said "eh, eh" and raised her hands....she wanted him to pick her up, but he was a little iffy about it. He had a drink in his hand so he used that as an excuse to not pick her up...but by the end of the day, let's just say that Craig was playing with Ariyana's new toys more than she was....he is such a sucker...like all of us. He set up a couple of her toys for her and she got this little doggie that you pull on a string and his ears and tail flop (highly recommend it if you have kids that are young and can walk). He showed her how to use it and then for the next hour she just did laps around the house....he would go get her if she went too far and pick up the doggie if he tipped over and stuff. It was really cute! He ended the night by throwing a little ball around that she liked to chase. It was fun to see him interact with her. He totally fell into her spell of cuteness. I took a ton of pictures so I will post some later.

I luckily didn't have to return to work today but I am going to take pictures of Natalie Martin and family so I get to see little Case :-) Craig is leaving tomorrow and I am really sad...we had a lot of fun and it seems so much better now that we know I am moving there. I even went out and got some Christmas decorations today in the sales that we can use next year..fun.

The only downside to yesterday and some of today is that my asthma has REALLY been acting up. I don't know what the deal is...it started yesterday at my sister's house but she has a dog and I forgot medicine so I thought that might be it....but then it never really got better. I had to get up about 3 times last night to take my inhaler and without being around a dog, I haven't had that happen in years.....literally! The only thing that has changed is I am on new birth control and I am wondering if that has some effect. Seems weird but it has always been a side effect of mine around that time of the month to have my asthma act up a little so I am really curious if this is the cause...I sort of hope so and I can just switch back, otherwise, I have no idea what the deal is. I hate going to the asthma doctor because he is so extreme about everything and my asthma really doesn't bother me that much anymore.....hmmm.

Hope everyone had a great Christmas! I will be posting some pictures soon!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Trying to be lazy

I have realized that I am not good at being lazy. I can't just lay around and sleep and watch TV, it makes me antsy. If Craig wasn't here then I might volunteer to go help Drena and Adam with Oliver or something :-) Let's see...here is a rundown of the week so far for me:

Sunday- sat around ALL day and only left the couch to go and get dinner. I watched several movies and started my blanket while Craig napped
Monday- got up and actually took a shower and took my car in to have the timing belt replaced..nothing like spending $750 on your car around the holidays but with Craig here and an easy ride for something that would take all day, it seemed like the best time. Got back and sat on my couch again until about 4:30, went to get Ariyana's toy gift (Craig wanted to help) and then went to dinner at McKendricks...yummy. Back to the couch.
Tuesday - I actually walked to the store (car still in the shop and Craig has a stick) and got breakfast food, came back and cooked, then woke Craig up. Ate and went to get my car, then we played some Wii (Craig sucks at tennis and tries to blame it on the fact that he can play real tennis to which Dudley agreed, I think that it is an excuse) and then we watched a couple movies until we had dinner with Jennifer Dudley and her bf, then back to the couch.

So, in all that time on the couch, I have worked on a couple things. I have been wanting forever to change my website pictures to be more my style as opposed to a couple that I have on there that are the only ones that I had when I first started so I worked on that. I was going through every album and making a list. It is a little hard because I have a lot that I like but they tend to be some of the same kids. Hopefully that will not be an issue. When I get it more updated I will let you guys know and I would love it if you would take a look and let me know what you think.

I also have been thinking a lot about the whole photography business. I was trying to decide what I want to do with it. I want to do it in Ohio but I don't know if I want to start it while I am in my apartment and then have my clients have to learn a new place or not...I am not sure. I also have had several clients here who have asked how often to have pictures done after a year and I really like doing it and since I have to be here once a month for work, here is what I am thinking. I will do my clients here and maybe start it in Ohio too. I think that I could just tell them what weekends I would be here and they could plan around that (or not get any done but most will plan around it). I don't want to stay here every weekend because then what would be the point of moving but I am thinking that if I had to come for work I could stay a day or two. I wouldn't do the volume that I do now (about 4-5 each day per weekend) but it would be nice to still get to watch the kids grow, take pictures of my friends' kids and do the occasional wedding. We will see...just something I was thinking about.

Another thing that I did while sitting around is to start to crochet this blanket. Yes, I am a dork and get a crocheting magazine so I can get the patterns. I have all of the last year's worth :-) I like crocheting so I figured I would try it out...if you guys have anything that you want, just let me know :-) I now have about 7 of the octagons now and need about 20 and about 12 squares so I still have a ways to go. I am sure that I will get a lot done today because our plan today is to lay around and watch movies all day and then open our presents from each other. I have no idea what Craig got me...the last couple years I have gotten jewelry but that is definitely not what I got this year so I am a little confused as to what is might be. We are going to have a busy day tomorrow because we are going to Alyson's to watch Ariyana open her presents, then to my dad's house and then my mom's so we are going to do our presents today. It should be fun but makes for a long day!


Here is a picture of my blanket pieces so far...I haven't done any of the yellow or purple pieces yet. I hope that it turns out well....maybe I will have it all done by the end of the weekend.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Vacation

Today is my official day of vacation, although yesterday certainly felt like one too. Saturday I spent all day cleaning and I mean ALL DAY!! The only time I stopped was for 2 hours to go take pictures of Oliver and then again to go get my nails done. Other than that I cleaned. It felt good to get it all done but who knew that you could spend all day doing that in such a tiny place? Craig got here about 7:40 on Saturday night and we left for Carrie and Judd's party at about 8:10. I was pretty proud of him for still going since he had been driving since 11am. The party was lots of fun....I even have a couple of pictures that I will post later. Yesterday we spent all day laying around. Craig sleeps later than I do I got up and got some photography work done while he slept. Turns out that the lady from Friday night really liked the pictures and placed an order so I got those together and then started working on Oliver's pics. It felt nice to get it all done. We watched movies and TV (I watched Cars and thought about Rebecca's son Zachary wanting to be Lightning McQueen). I have been working on this really cute blanket that I am crocheting so I did a lot of that yesterday too. It was just a lazy day. At about 6:30 we decided to go get a movie and some dinner....that was pretty much all we did all day. Today is not looking like much more is going to occur. I had to take my car in early this morning to get some very costly maintenance done and then we have been lounging ever since...actually, Craig is laying next to me snoring right now...he can sleep so much more than I can!! Later we are going to go pick something out for Ariyana for Christmas. I got her some books and clothes but we want to get her a toy and I think that we are going to eat at McKendrick's tonight because I have a gift card to use there. I am pretty sure that after that we will be in a steak and potato coma so it will be more laying around. I will probably have my blanket finished before Christmas at this rate. I have to make 20 octagons and 10 squares. I have 4 squares done so far. I can't just lay around and watch TV all day though so I have to be doing something....hence the crochet project. I will post some pictures when I am done!

Not sure how much I will post coming up (though if Craig takes a nap every day then I can) but I will definitely post some pictures of the first Christimas that Ariyana will remember :-)

Merry Christmas everyone!!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Update on Previous Post

I just got done looking at all the pictures and they are ok...hopefully they will like them. I am not as upset as I was but still a little disappointed. I think that I am just in a slump with my outside of the studio stuff....I feel more comfortable in my studio and am not as good outside of it..maybe I need to take a class.

Rough Photography Night!

Tonight I was going to one of my favorite client's house to do newborn shots of her baby that was born on the same day as Oliver. It didn't go as well as I would have liked. I feel like I was off tonight. I had packed everything up last night and put it all in my car and was all ready to go...until I got there. Then I realized that I had left my hot shoe adapter at home...I know, photographer lingo but basically it is the thingy that makes the strobes to flash and give me light. There is no natural light at 7pm in December. Luckily I had my little external flash with me and it is supposed to also make the strobes go off. It is not as effective though....plus you have the light from that flash in addition to the strobes oh and my strobes were acting funky from the flash. So basically I am in a house at 7pm with lights that will not work and a cute little baby to take pictures of. Sometimes the flash would go off, strobes would go off but the screen would be black...hmmm...that sucks. It was really embarassing and I felt absolutely horrible! I apologized over and over again and told her I would do another session for free and I would come back tomorrow and all that stuff. Finally the flash worked for a few and we got some cute pictures but just not the kind I like. They are not my style and not what I like my work to look like but they will serve the purpose until she has another session (which we are going to do in a few weeks when her parents are in town...she said she would pay and I said no she wouldn't!). I let her look at the pictures on my camera (which I never do because people can't envision the final product but I wanted to make sure that she liked at least one so she could use it for her announcement. I just was so upset. I called Craig as soon as I got in my car and I barely remember the 20 min ride home. He tried to tell me that I did everything that I could and that they said it wasn't a big deal so it probably isn't and I am doing a lot to make it up to her but it just upsets me. These guys are some of my most favorites so I hate that it happened to them. I hope that I can make it up to them somehow. There are a lot of "good" pictures, but they just aren't my style. I just hope that she likes some of them too.

So, tomorrow I am doing Oliver's pictures...I sure hope they go much better but at least I am doing those in the daytime and I came home and put that little thingy straight in my bag!! Sorry to vent but I am just disappointed....

Ok, off to see if I can find the good ones so I can send them to her tonight. Oh, and Drena, this was her second and she said it was super easy...4 pushes and she was out...she had a similar experience to yours on her first one so I thought you could appreciate that since it is fresh in your mind :-)

I need to go home!

I am just sitting here not really doing anything. It isn't like I don't have stuff to do, I just don't have anything that I can start now, work on for an hour and then put down for a week and a half so better to just not start something huh? I had an appointment with my personal trainer tonight but he cancelled and I have a photo session with one of my clients who had a baby the same day that Oliver was born at 7 which is right over near here. I think that I am going to go home in between and get a lot of much needed cleaning done before Craig gets here. That will be almost as good as a workout, right? Maybe some Wii playing to supplement :-) I think that if I could get that cleaning done I would feel a lot less stressed in general. It really is the only major thing that I have left to do! This is also what makes it even harder to sit here at work when there really isn't a new project that I can start. I was going to try to make it to 4:30 but now I am thinking more like 4! I just get so antsy when it gets close to vacation time :-)

Thursday, December 18, 2008

A season of giving....

This year Morgan, Jennifer and I decided that we were not going to give each other presents, but instead we were each goign to do something for a charity and then just go to dinner and share what it was that we did. Last night we all met at Chow Baby to reveal what it was that we did.

My charity wasn't the normal ones that you hear about at Christmas time but I saw it in a magazine and it just seemed like a fun thing to do so I did it...I like to give where I am actually involved so it seemed like a good fit for me :-)

Morgan's charity was a charity where you can buy "shares" of animals that are then given to people in communities to help them become more self sustaining....I thought that was a really cool idea.

Jennifer's charity is obviously something that helps people locally. She also gave to the Empty Stocking Fund and Toys for Tots :-)

It was sort of fun to do something different this year...especially when this is a year that all the charities are suffering a little bit because everyone is suffering a little bit in general.

I am counting down the day and a half that I have left at work...I am ready for a break...and a piece of Godiva chocolate that is sitting in my boss's office...unfortunately she has her door closed...GRRRRR.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The Ohio Discussion....

Today when I was walking back and forth in front of my boss's office she asked if I would be available in 15 mins. "um, sure" (this was 5:15 and I could see the year end eval sheet on her desk). Crap, it was time for my long awaited discussion about moving to Ohio and I wasn't really prepared. After about 30 mins she called me in there and told me to close the door. She went over everything, which was basically that she was really happy with what I had done with a department that I started from scratch. She was glad that we were as far as we were and all that jazz. She went through it all and then asked if I had any questions. I told her not really but that I did want to talk about the Ohio move. She said she knew that we were going to have this conversation and wondered what my Christmas present was going to be (I assured her that it was not going to be a diamond). She said she was very open to it and she appreciated my honesty from the beginning because my name has been mentioned for some projects and she said no to it because she knew I wanted to move (which is fine by me because, despite my complaining sometimes, I actually enjoy my job and feel like I make a difference and I didn't want to be on any of the projects she was talking about anyway). She said that her one concern was that I wouldn't get face time with the big wigs if I was not in Atlanta. I get that but in all reality, until the economy went in the tanker, I was gone about 70% of the time and most people sit at least 2 floors above me...I don't ever see them anyway. I see them on the road at conferences and they invite me to ride on the Corporate jet, but I don't hang out with them in the office. She said that she wasn't sure what my 5 or 10 year plan is but she thinks that I could go really far (I think that my no bs attitude serves me well at my job.....I don't take bs and I don't give it. I will tell people when I think that they are not doing what they should or are doing it wrong and I will be honest with people even if it is not what they want to hear and the thing is, I usually know what I am talking about.). I am not meaning to brag on myself but I am pretty good at what I do right now....I won't say I was the best auditor but I will say that the job I have now is exactly up my alley. Anyway, so she was thinking that it might be a good idea for me to have time in Atlanta....um, sold!! So, it sort of seems like I am going to get my cake and eat it too....I will get to move to Ohio to be with Craig, but I will probably be back at least once a month to get face time in Atlanta (and time with all you guys). It sort of seems too good to be true....but I like it! I told her that I was keeping my place here for now so I didn't mind being in Atlanta one week a month to get the face time and work on stuff here. Seems to work for me. I also didn't have the heart to tell her that in 5-10 years I probably want to have one or two kids and be a photographer. There was no need to mention that now because who really knows what will happen in life? I don't even know what I want. You have to also know that my boss has worked there for 20 years (though she probably started around the same age that I did) and she is the breadwinner in her family....her husband is a stay at home dad :-)

On a different note, I went and saw Drena, Adam and Oliver tonight. Oliver is adorable! He has Drena's lips and I think he will have her eye shape but the rest looks like Adam....he has a FULL head of the softest dark hair you have ever seen and his skin is so soft and pretty! He made the cutest faces and I held him for a while.....so cute. I hope that she lets me get some newborn pictures of him with all that hair...he is so cute and I would love to have him in my portfolio!! She will regret that offer to have him be a hat model :-) Did I mention he was cute?

Monday, December 15, 2008

I didn't know I was pregnant....

NO, NOT ME!! I AM NOT PREGNANT, but I am sure that I got everyone's attention!



I was watching this show last night because there wasn't much on and I was just flipping through the channels and saw the name and was intrigued. Sure enough, it is a show about exactly what the title suggests...women who are pregnant and didn't know it until they had a baby. I have never been pregnant but from listening to my friends, I just don't see how it is possible that you wouldn't know anything. I only watched two of the little stories (they are done in Rescue 911 style if any of you ever watched that show...complete with the bad acting and "dramatizations"). The first story was of a lady who was 42 and was still having periods but irregularly and thought she was going through menopause. She didn't really gain weight and had no cravings or anything else. She also had a tilted uterus so anytime the baby kicked it would hit her bladder and she would just feel like she had to pee. Her story I could SORT of see...but the thing was that she had a child already so she knew what pregnancy felt like and when she went into labor she didn't know what was wrong....she was on the bathroom floor in pain when her husband realized he saw a baby head..WHAT?????

The second one was an obese lady who thought she couldn't get pregnant because she had high blood pressure, was obese and because of the two wasn't having a period. She went off the pill because she couldn't get pregnant and then she went on a crash diet to lose weight and lower her blood pressure and lost 30 pounds. The "doctor" on the show (not sure if she was a real doctor but I am sure what she said was true) said that the weight loss was probably enough for her to ovulate and then she got preggers. The thing with this girl was that she had the morning sickness and some other symptoms you would think are typical (ie, I have heard of them). I guess she never went to the doctor because they first thing they would have done was give her a pregnancy test. I had a stomach virus once that literally lasted 3 months on and off and they must have tested me 14 times even though at the time there was no possible way I was preggers. I know that the people who I know who have had morning sickness didn't just have it for 3 or 5 days, but more like 3-6 weeks.....I would think that if you were sick that long you would be worried that it wasn't your standard tummy virus. Guess not. She ended up "going into labor" in the middle of the night and when she got to the ER they told her she was pregnant. They were trying to figure out how far along she was when they left the room and she felt like she had to go to the bathroom. She goes in there and says she felt something leave her body and it felt like it ripped from it. She still had no idea...but she was in such pain from, I guess what she thought was a massive poop, that she called the nurse at which time they came in and found a baby in the toilet....floating around with the umbilical cord already detached. I don't get that one. Even if you thought it was just poop, wouldn't you look in the toilet to see why the hell it was so painful.....or for blood or something? I would have...not to be graphic but damn. They rushed her out and the doctors were getting the baby. Since the show takes so long because it has all those dramatic pauses for commercial and since the thought of a baby floating in a toilet made me nauseous, I changed the channel. It just amazed me that these people went full term like that!

Anyway, I figured that since Drena went into labor today, I would dedicate this post to her and Oliver...thank goodness she knew she was pregnant!

FYI, we were texting a few hours ago but I just sent her one and haven't heard back....could mean that things have progressed. A couple hours ago her water was broken and she had the IV in. I am sure she has more important things to handle now......hopefully we will all see pictures of Oliver soon!!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Productivity at its best...

I still had a ton to do today ...even after all that I got done yesterday. My tree is still not decorated but hopefully I will get to that later today. Right now I am editing pictures. I had 3 sessions and a birthday party to do and since editing is my least favorite part, I figured I would get it overwith before I move on to the next thing. I am hoping it will only take a couple more hours and then I can decorate the tree and maybe go to the grocery store. I want to make some yummy things for the people at work. I have found it is the best way to go about it...I like to bake, but don't need to eat it all. Both the girls around me at work have a sweet tooth so this way I get to make it and eat a little bit and they take care of the rest. They are expecting something big for xmas after my turkeys at Thanksgiving and I think that I have an idea, I just don't know if it is going to work.

Good news...my mom found my other xmas box last night at her house. She had put it out in the big garage and not in the one attached to the house like all the other xmas stuff :-) Glad it is found.

It is so chilly outside today! I don't know why it has to be cloudy just cause it is cold but it is the perfect day for me to be stuck in the house and getting stuff done. You know how everyone talks about spring cleaning? I don't really like that. In the spring it is nice out...I want to be outside. Today however, is a great day for cleaning! I already feel better after the stuff I got done yesterday..but I am only halfway there.....which really means I should get back to it! Hope everyone is staying warm.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

'Tis the Season

I am exhausted!! Let's see...today I got up at 8, had two clients this mornng (which seems like forever ago now) and then the fun began. I had a ton of stuff that just needed to be cleaned out....and my mom was coming to help me get my tree which meant I needed to clean up everything so that we would have somewhere for the tree to go. This meant cleaning out the stuff I had just laid in a corner in my room, moving my table from the living room to my bedroom (just until after I take pictures of Erin's lovelies tomorrow), taking all the recycling out, moving the chair, moving all my props, and taking the bike upstairs. Whew! The bike proved to be the biggest problem. I have that storage unit upstairs and I wanted to just lock the bike to the "cage" that is my storage..think of a HUGE dog crate...that is what they are like...I fit in it and everything so it is decent sized. I get out the lock I bought months ago when I was going to move it (I am a bit of a procrastinator) but after about 30 mins of trying to figure out how to change the combination I said screw it, we will just stick it IN the unit. It sounds simple now but 30 mins on a lock was quite frustrating at the time!

Finally we were out for errands. I had to go pick up my picture because the show it was in ended and it didn't sell (only 3 did). My mom had never been to the farmer's market so we were going there, then to Target to return stupid lock and some other stuff, then Lowe's for my tree and then home. We we got to Lowe's we found out their trees were 25% off...sweet. I got my real tree for $24!! I guess sometimes it pays to wait! We started to leave and I thought we should go I-20 home because there was so much traffic around Little 5 Points. I didn't think about the fact that I had a TREE on my roof. My mom was getting nervous so I got off the next exit and we proceeded to spend the next 30 mins lost in the ghetto! Finally we ended up at Lakewood and found our way home. When we got home I got all my Christmas stuff out of her car (no storage for it here and she has room) and we get it all inside and open it up....I find part of my tree stand, but not the rest....hmmmm. Then I realize that there is a box missing :-( She called her husband but he couldn't find it so we had to go back out to get the stand and some lights. I have all the important stuff...the only thing in that box was the stand, lights, and the stocking holders (one broke anyway so I don't have a full set anymore). I was glad that nothing major was missing. I am sure we will find the box somewhere. When we got back again we started to put up the tree....the problem was that we only had them cut off a few branches cause my old stand was shallow. This one was not! Of course, I live in a condo and have no tools...so after trying many things we ended up using a kitchen knife to cut off a ton of branches. My tree is now stable! That was another hour and a half process though.

So, here it is 11:30pm and all my tree has is lights...and that is all it is going to have tonight. I still have a lot of cleaning left to do but I am going to do that tomorrow after Erin leaves and after I go shoot the birthday party that I am doing tomorrow. I don't have anything after 12:30 though so at least I can finish all cleaning and decorate tomorrow! Then off to edit....at least it will all be done before Craig gets here.

And, I had dinner with Drena the other night but I couldn't coax Oliver out. Then last night I had a dream about Drena's birthing experience. She had a good one and the funniest moment was when she and Adam were in a parking deck running toward the hospital (no idea why I was there) and her grandma was trying to hand her a camera....except it wasn't a modern camera, it was a huge one that shot 8mm movies. I don't even know if those cameras were huge or not back in the day, but it cracked me up that I would dream that. In the dream I had the task of explaining to Grandma why Drena and Adam didn't have time to get her camera. Talk about random!

Now that I have written a book, I am going to go clean off some of my memory cards for tomorrow :-)

Thursday, December 11, 2008

One more...

Sorry, one more that I did tonight :-) It is one of my favorites so I wanted to post it...

Not much else going on with me....work has been really busy so this week flew by!! My mom is coming this Saturday to help me get and put up my tree. I get a real one so it is hard to do on my own. I am excited...I just need to figure out where to move all this stuff in my place! Mom is going to help with that too :-) Moms are always good at that kind of stuff so I know she will help me figure it out. I am sad that I had to wait so long to get it but with 6 sessions last weekend and two more on Saturday morning, it didn't make any sense to get it before now. I also get to see those gorgeous twins of Erin's this weekend :-) They have grown so much lately!!

So, since I have no pets, kids, or wedding, I think I will take Drena's idea of a travel photo...hopefully people will at least get a laugh out of it so check your mail :-) (though I haven't ordered or designed them yet so no promises). I need to make a to do list!!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

My latest projects....









These are some of the hats that I have been knitting/crocheting lately. There are a few more but I don't have pictures of them yet. I am going to add them all to my etsy website which you can see in the sidebar if you know anyone who needs any little gifts for xmas. I just like making them and figured that if they didn't sell I could always donate them! I had to use Pooh as a model since I don't have any little ones running or crawling around!








Just a little video to put in you in the Christmas mood. This is not the guy who sings it but this is a great version of the song!! I seriously was crying in my car yesterday because I was laughing so hard. You have to listen to the whole thing because it really gets good around min 2!!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Stay away sickness

I am trying my darness to keep away from all sick people. It has gotten a little ridiculous at work. Please, if you are sick, DON'T GO TO WORK. We don't have a set number of sick days at work so all these people who feel the need to come in and cough all over anything have no excuse. My boss was out Monday with a stomach flu, the girl next to me has been hacking up a lung for a week now, and she got a call yesterday from the daycare to pick her baby up because she was sick..who she also brought to work and today she just blew her nose all day. The girl across the hall from me was out today with a sick baby (ear infection) and the other girl I have been working with got a cold this weekend. Oh, and I also got the pleasure of hearing someone get sick in the bathroom while I was trying to pee the quickest I have ever peed in my life....I do not do throw up!



I had a great and busy weekend! Six sessions and my niece for the whole day on Sunday. Ariyana was still trying to recover from being sick herself so she was a little whiney and just wanted to be held (which I didn't mind other than when I had my client here). She did really well with my client too. She even wanted them to hold her (such the social butterfly). We had fun even if she wasn't feeling exactly herself.



Yesterday I went to the personal trainer and I thought I was going to die. I felt drained and just exhausted after a mile. It was so sad. I decided that I should skip my step class today and just rest. I came home from work on time and even stopped at the store to get some Zinc (I am already taking Vitamin C everyday). Tonight I want to just relax, get a couple of photos edited and probably knit or crochet. Some of the girls at work have decided that they want a "lunch and learn" on Thursday to learn to crochet...so funny. I am going to teach them. I just love to do it in the winter time...just seems like what you should be doing on a cold night. Craig teases me about it, but it is really relaxing to me!

Hope all of you are staying healthy and getting all that Christmas shopping done. I can't decide if I am going to send out xmas cards...I don't have any cute pets, cute kids, or wedding pictures to put on one.....hmmmm.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Ariyana time...

Not much to report today..I barely remember what happened at work but it was over before I knew it...seems so long ago that I left for work. Craig and I devised a plan for me to fly up Valentine's weekend to make a final decision on where I will live (it will be a month out so I can sign what I need to). We also thought of the idea of me renting a house in the area that we both really like there (can you tell we are indecisive) and you can't really do that very far in advance anyway.

I am supposed to get Ariyana again on Sunday. I am really excited but a little worried. She has been EXTREMELY sick all week...this child normally scarfs down food like she is never fed and my sister couldn't get her to eat or drink anything yesterday. She has had a fever for 4 days. My sister tried giving her Pedalyte through a dropper but she didn't keep it down the second time. She just wants to be held all day by whoever is with her (my sister one day, Zach one and my mom one). Zach just sent me a message that she showed signs of improvement today. The other problem is that I have a client coming on Sunday. I thought she was coming on Saturday..I had it written down for that day but her husband works that day so I have to keep it on Sunday...should be interesting to have Ariyana here while I do that....I hope she will sit somewhere and play with something. I think that she will because she is shy around new people and I told my client we could do it earlier (appt is at 3pm) if they didn't want her here but the client said it was fine. I was sort of hoping that she would change it. Oh well. I am still looking forward to time with my little bb :-)

I am ready for the weekend!!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Working 9 to midnight?

It is tough working two jobs :-) I finally got all caught up on my orders for my photography yesterday and then I got one this morning....and I have 5 sessions this weekend and 6 next weekend. I wonder how many of them will want pictures by xmas....hmmm.

Anyway, not too much new on my front. After really thinking about it and after having Craig talk to some of his friends in Dayton, I think that I am going to choose the Residenz. I know that some of you suggested downtown and that would be cool if I could really walk places but unlike now when I can walk to the grocery, post office, bank, restuarants, and the park, I can only walk to one of them there. There is no public transportation that I can use to get to any of those places (other than a bus maybe, but who knows) and I can't use it to get to work. Combine that with the fact that I would have more room for cheaper by not living there, I would be closer to Craig and work, and it seems sort of silly. I haven't fully decided yet though...it might change several times before I actually move.

So, I started my new "diet". A little background. You can go to this website and enter in everything you eat and then get a little analysis of fat, protein, carbs, cholestorol, and other stuff. I started doing it a little while back and then tried to be good about it when I decided that I needed to reduce my body fat percentage. When I looked at it before I was aware of what I was eating, it turns out that about 70% of my calories came from carbs. I also talked to Adam some about what he knows about nutrition and dug up some stuff from when I went to the nutritionist a while back.....the result? It looked like carbs are definitely my downfall. You know I am really anti cutting out food group diets, but in this case it was so obvious that I was eating too many carbs. I decided to try a couple weeks with no bread, pasta, sweets, or potatoes. This has been extremely hard for me but supposedly if you do it for a few weeks then your body will adjust and you will process them faster and just not crave as much. I also read that I could go through Carb Withdrawal.....weird. After having done this for 3 days though, I will say that I feel better. I don't feel stuffed when I finish eating but I feel satisfied and then I am not hungry as quickly. I don't feel like I am as run down but that could just be a coincidence. It definitely makes me feel lighter which is sort of a weird side effect that I am not sure how to explain. We will see how it goes but it seems pretty good so far although I am not sure if it has affected the body fat percentage or not but maybe over time. The hardest part is snacks...I usually grab some popcorn or something sweet probably and now I can't. Also, it does force you cook more but I sort of like that anyway. I have some yummy lemon-lime cilantro chicken in the oven :-) Don't worry though, I still am getting plenty of carbs...the last few days they have still been about 20-30% of my calories....

Other than that...I have been knitting some hats (mostly at Craig's)...I think that they turned out pretty cute and I am going to try to take pictures of them this weekend so I can show you guys if I don't get to it before then.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Dayton Apartments

Many of you asked if I found an apartment that I liked, and instead of writing it several times, I decided to post it here. We went to 6 different apartment buildings and I narrowed it down to three. That is about as far as I got. I need some help on the rest, so I will present to you the pros and cons. You guys know me, so let me know what you think.

The Landing:
Pros: Cute old building, parking and water included in the rent, located downtown, my front door would be inside, secure, washer and dryer included, and it is the cheapest place

Cons: Smallest of the ones I am considering as far as square footage (about 860), downtown (I haven't decided if this is a pro or con yet...see below)

The Cannery:
Pros: super cute for anyone who is artistic ....one wall is brick from where there used to be different buildings...it is so cool and probably the main reason I want to live there, open floor plan with good windows and light...would be fun to try natural photography, is it above a cool bar (where Craig and I had our first date), walking distance to the baseball field for the minor league team there, spa on the premises, good square footage (1180)

Cons: downtown, the parking you have to pay an extra $75 a month for or take a chance on the street (she said that there isn't usually a problem), parking is located almost a block away...not only is that COLD, but not super smart maybe, no washer and dryer but hook-ups, not much closet space.


The Residenz: I just want to say that at first I didn't consider this place because it spelled the name all ghetto, but apparently it is really nice.
Pros: Near Lincoln Park (across the street), square footage good (about 1000, I like Floor plans d and e), quiet, could ride my bike to stores, LOTS of storage, closer to the highway for work (not by too much), closer to Craig (again, not by too much), parking is free and two feet from my door.

Cons: more apartment like, as opposed to condo...hard to explain the difference, not downtown, no washer and dryer, but hookups.

So, the downtown thing: I am not sure that I want to live downtown. I am pretty torn by it. I like downtown because I can walk to places but it is sort of the type of downtown where things are spread out and sometimes you have to walk through not as nice areas to get where you are going. There aren't any groceries down there, traffic could be bad and it would probably take longer to get to work. I just really like the fact that the places down there do not feel like cookie cutter apartments. It is more trendy and fun then the other place. The thing is, I live downtown now and it is fun and near a lot of stuff but it has really made me sacrafice with space and no one really likes to come down here and hang out now that Morgan has moved away. So, do I live downtown again because it is fun and artsy or do I live near the park? You should also know that Dayton has the most extensive bike trails of any place I have ever seen so I can ride my bike a lot of places without much trouble...therefore, being a little out of the city wouldn't be bad. It is also the kind of city that is sort of going through a renovation. Places close a lot and there are lots of empty store fronts right now but they have been doing some revitalizing and it will probably boom again. Craig didn't get to see the Landing but he liked the other two. I think that he is the same as me...thinks that the Cannery is really cool, but if I am being practical then the Residenz is probably the best option. UGH, so hard to decide....so, what do you guys think? I need some help and advice from people who know me!!!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Roadtrip from Hell!!

And I am still on it! I am in my 8th hour now (only took 7.5 to get to OH) and I still have 120 miles to go! I sat in bumper to bumper traffic in Knoxville where it took me an hour to go 20 miles, then I had 60 miles at about 60 and now it has taken me 30 mins to go 2 miles....yep, you read that right...2!!!!!!! It sucks cause I am alone and my back hurts when I drive a long time or in traffic so doing both is certainly not good! I have only stopped once too! For those who know my bladder, that is an accomplishment but it also means lots of car time with no stretching. I am thankful that I am not traveling with any kids but some company would be good!

I had a great time in Ohio and will have to fill you all in on the apartments and gravy situation (need some help in the apartment arena). But that is all a little much to type on the bb, even only going 10 mph. Actually, according to the odometer I am going no mph and I guess if I do the math it is about 4 mph.

Also just had a client call cause she sent me an email yesterday that I didn't respond to. She knew I was outt of town. Owning your own business is tough sometimes.


So, if you are bored, give me a call!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Safe in Ohio

I made it here safely. I was really ready to be here by time I got here though. My boss left work around 12:15 so I left around 12:30 and was on the road at 12:45. I didn't hit ANY traffic anywhere...it was amazing. Atlanta always seems to have traffic on 285 and Cincinnati is sort of the same way for some reason but no traffic at either place....YAY!

On the way here I did see 5 car accidents, 10 cops, one car on fire, and one sign in the gas station/Burger King that read:

Lost Engagement Ring
1/4 ct Marquis Cut
$100 reward

I also spent 2.5 hours on the phone with my employees doing performance reviews and completed about 2.5 CDs of the book Lost and Found. I didn't look anything up about it before I got it, just picked it up at Borders because it was only $2.99. It is not bad at all...tends to have a lot of topics related to being gay...sort of. It is written pretty well, and I like that each chapter is by a different character (and the lady reading it does different voices). I will let you know if is worth a read (or listen) when I am done with it but so far, so good.

Today Craig had to work so I am here working and then going to look at two apartment buildings by myself since they aren't open this weekend.. The Landing and First Place which are both downtown. I am still trying to decide whether I want to live downtown or over near the mall/target shopping areas. Then last night Craig brought up a place that is near a park...sort of like where I am now. They have an amplitheatre at the park where they have concerts....last year there was Willie Nelson, Backstreet Boys, Flock of Seagulls and some other people that I can't remember. That might be a good place for me too. I am just going to try to look at all these places and then narrow it down. They don't seem to be much different in price but they are sometimes in the size you get for that price.

Hope everyone has a Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Ohio Bound

I got my packing done...didn't take as long as I thought but that is because most of the bathroom stuff will be in the morning. I also finished making the turkey cookies to use up the supplies I bought. It worked out pretty evenly so that was good. I am going to take some to work tomorrow.


Craig is sick tonight :-( Said he didn't feel good starting after lunch and seems to have a lot of symptoms. Sometimes it will only last a day with him so I really hope that is the case this time too. I would hate for him to be sick the whole time I am up there. I don't usually catch it from him but you know how boys are when they are sick...or at least he is...


On the healthy eating front, I talked to Adam and I think that I have come up with a plan to get rid of some of this nagging body fat. I am going to start when I get back from Ohio and we will see how it goes. Doesn't seem too difficult to do and pretty similar to the eating that I was doing when I was in town forever between jobs next year. He seems to think that it will help me so I am willing to give it a try.


In case people aren't going to check again, I hope that everyone has a great Thanksgiving! I will let you know how the gravy turns out.... Just to give you all a good laugh...here is a picture of the "gravy" from last year :-) Yum Yum!!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Busy Weekend

I can't believe that in 48 hours I will be in Ohio. I haven't packed or done anything. And, what am I doing instead of packing? Watching TV and knitting, of course. UGH. I will get it done tomorrow.

Yesterday I did my first actual shooting on my own at a wedding. I was really nervous but I think that it went well. The major pictures I was in charge of were the bouquet/garter toss and them leaving, plus the dancing. I will see what the photographer I work with says when he sees them.

Here is what I spent an hour doing last night instead of packing....sad, I know. These little things were harder to make than the directions implied. The cookies broke easily (I used the low fat ones). A couple tips...use dark icing instead of white to put them together so they blend in better and cut the tip off of the candy corn because it will stick to the oreo better. My family seemed to like them today when we did Thanksgiving with my Dad. They are a little sloppy though and I decided not to do eyes on them. I am going to try to finish the rest of them tomorrow ...after I pack...so I can take them to Ohio with me....

I also started working on my pictures from Atlanta. Tonight I went and did one of the Atlanta skyline...once I get them off my camera I will post one.
Today we did Thanksgiving with my dad...and I made the turkey. This meant that I got up at 6am to put him in the oven...luckily I went back to sleep after that. The top picture plus these two are from my Dad's.
Here is Ariyana playing our fun new game....she liked to have that on her face and walk around and laugh...I put it on there just playing with her but every time she would lift her chin it would fall off, she would pick it up and run back over to me with her face out for me to put it back on there. I wish I was so easily entertained.

She does this face now...it is so funny and we have no idea why she does it but she continues to do it because we laugh at her every time :-) Alyson doesn't like it but I think that it is cute. See her little teeth? She has 7 now!!! She got 3 new ones since I had her last. Luckily for my sister she doesn't really act any different and there is just a new tooth there....don't all you moms wish it was that easy?

Thursday, November 20, 2008

This helped...

The other night a couple of us where talking about how funny it is when people come out of the wordwork on Facebook. Well, today I got a friend request from the girl who lived up the street from my Grandma in NJ when I was little. We used to play all the time when I visited my Grandma...I was actually at her house on NYE in 1989 when my Grandfather passed away and I got the call from my mom. We were penpals when there were still penpals! I think that it will be cool to see how she is doing and what she is up to these days. It helped to cheer me up :-)

Cranky

I think that I am cranky today. Not really cranky but just a little bit....maybe easily annoyed is a good way to describe it. Today Dudley and I had a personal training session and the traffic was so horrendous that it took me over an hour to go about 10 miles. I was late and annoyed. Luckily it worked out and I didn't miss too much. Ran another mile...not quite as fast as the other day but still a decent time. As I was running I was thinking that maybe I wanted to work on my mile time so that I could reliably get a good time and then once I got there maybe I would add miles and try to keep the same pace, but we will see. The traffic had me already cranky (the #1 thing I will not miss about Atlanta) and then we had to get weighed and do our body fat percentage at the gym. That certainly didn't help. I swear that I am just the type of person who has to really pay attention to everything I eat if I want to get the body fat down. I just hate being like that, I hate watching everything I eat and I know that it is not something I want to do the rest of my life. I have tried to pay attention to what it is that I do so wrong. I mean, I like to cook, don't eat tons of processed foods, and don't really snack (other than string cheese or some light popcorn or dried fruit) and I work out 4 times a week where I burn about 400 calories per session. Usually when I am in town I am pretty good but it still seems like I have to pay attention to everything if I actually want to lower the body fat. I also tried to figure out if I am one of those emotional eaters....you know how they always talk about that, but I don't think that I really am. I mean sometimes when I am upset I don't eat anything and sometimes I do....there doesn't seem to be a pattern or anything that is not normal. I do eat sometimes when I am not hungry. It is mainly at night. I use the excuse that if I don't eat something then I will be starving by the morning. I guess that isn't really an excuse but more of a reality. Maybe I just need to find something different or less to eat. I also tend to eat all my food when sometimes I am full before it is all gone. Other than those two things, I can't really figure out what I do wrong. Not that I think that I am fat or anything but I do have a really high body fat percentage that I would like to lower. If anyone has an realistic ideas, let me know. I am not into doing any sort of weird no carbs, no sugar, only eat green foods sort of diets. I think that maybe I will really make an effort not to eat processed stuff (sometimes I have lean cuisines for lunch) and try to eat more veggies and stuff. I know that will be hard when I start traveling again but maybe I can form some good habits now. I might not be traveling again for a little while anyway.

I am glad that tomorrow is Friday! I don't have too much going on this weekend....helping shoot a wedding on Saturday during the day and then doing Thanksgiving with my sisters, hubbies and my Dad on Sunday. I also think that I earned good points last time I got Ariyana so I *think* that I scheduled another date with her in December. My sister said she didnt think that they had anything that day so hopefully I will get her and for longer this time!!!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Christmas Cards

Since this is all I have been working on for the last few days, I thought I would post a couple. They are nothing fancy since I have to design everything myself (including all the backgrounds, the stripes one by one, rudolph who is made of shapes, and the snowflake which started as lines). There are lots of people who design these backgrounds and digital papers like the cool ones that Carrie uses for Charlotte's book (although she designs some of hers too!) but none of them will let you use them for "commercial" use and even though the designer would probably never find out, I would be upset if someone used one of my pictures that I took for commercial use without telling me. Anywho, I put Ariyana in all of them to protect the innocence of my clients , even though the picture didn't always fit exactly right, and normally I would change the colors to make sure it matched their outfits.....









Too Quiet

I know that most of you don't have this problem because you either work from home, stay at home with kids, are teachers or some other sort of profession where you don't have this issue but I am lonely today. There are only a few people on my hall at work anyway...most of the offices around me are either empty or the people travel like I normally do. Today my boss is at an offsite meeting, the girls who sit next to me and across from me are both home with sick kids I am sure. I wish I could say I had a sick kid at home so I could do work from home (I don't actually want a sick kid because that doesn't sound fun and I would feel bad for them the whole time they weren't feeling well). Sometimes when it is too quiet I find that I have a hard time concentrating so I have to take little breaks. I was trying to think of what I could do today to break it up. Spin class with be good, it is pasta day in the cafe..yummy, I did just book hotels and flights in Greece (cheaply I might add) so I could look up things to do there, figure out what I am going to get people for xmas, maybe buy some things online for xmas. Hmmm, not sure what else but this took up a minute or too. Back to work...at least I am working on something that I like.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Vices and The Big Thank You

I listen to Q100 in Atlanta and this week they have each decided to give up a vice: smoking, diet pills, sleeping pills, sugar, and the Crackberry. Got me to thinking what I would give up for 5 days that would be considered a vice....I am not sure because I feel like the only thing that I am addicted to lately is chocolate. What would you guys give up?

Also Q100 is doing this Big Thank You project and whether or not you agree with where all our troops are, they are still willing to risk their lives so we can enjoy our freedoms. That is more than a lot of us can say so drop by the website above and leave them a little message!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Fun stuff

I was a little tired after my weekend but I am making A TON of progress at work today so that makes me feel a little bit better. I spent every minute that I wasn't at Drena's shower yesterday getting xmas cards made/designed and getting pictures put online so clients could look at them to decide what they wanted in their xmas card. It took a while but then today when I got the emails about how they loved their cards and pictures, it was all worth it. I have one more to do tonight and then I am going to get the rest of the pictures from my trip uploaded and try to find the receipts for all my business expenses for the year...yikes!

I had a massage on Friday after work and I HIGHLY recommend it. I went to Spa Sydell and I will admit it is a little cheesy and there were times during the thing where it really hurt, but I feel so much better now. My back doesn't feel as tight, I seem to sit up taller and my lower back which bothers me a lot hasn't bothered me at all since then. I know it is too early to tell much but I think that I could seriously get addicted if only they weren't so darn expensive. This guy I work with says if we do it at a doctor's office we can get insurance to pay for it so I am going to check into that...I really don't care about the scented candles and don't use scented oil anyway cause of my sensitive skin so I can go do a doctor if he can make my back feel this good and make me feel less stressed. We will see if I feel the same way after my personal training session tonight where he will probably make me do back/arms or something.

My countdown to Thanksgiving has officially begun. i got a lot of party evites today so I am ready for Christmas. I refuse to decorate for Xmas before T'giving so I am excited for T'giving to come. It actually starts for me this weekend when my sisters and I are getting together with my Dad on Sunday to have turkey with him :-) Then I am going to Ohio next week. Craig actually has to work the day after, but don't fear...I will be hitting the mall to see what kind of deals I can find. They have a good mall with all the normal stores and then anything that is not in the mall is right outside it in like 19 million shopping centers. They also have a place like Atlantic Station so I can also check that out and I think that there are outlets only 20-30 mins away. I am happy that I am driving there so I will have my car to get around.

Hope everyone else is having a productive Monday :-)

Saturday, November 15, 2008

I survived and Greece!

I will say that 6 hours of photographing kids will wear me out faster than 8 hours of my regular job but I was pleased with the results. You know what that means, tomorrow I get to go through all those pictures and get them in albums for parents so they can order them and get their xmas cards out on time. I have one more session tomorrow but he is only a month and a half old so he will not be crawling, crying, hiding, walking away, tearing the background, or pitching a fit at all which will be a lot easier than I can say for some of the sessions today. Also, for all you moms out there...PLEASE, if you ever go to a photographer who works out of their house or meets you somewhere (ie, not a chain when they are there from 9-5 whether you show up or not), be on time....or at least within 5 mins. It is hard when someone is late and you are the only one working and have another session coming soon. After talking to Meghan today (checking up on her kiddos), I realized that I haven't really written that much in the private blog lately (was telling her some stories from today). I will try to do that tomorrow to catch you guys up and fill you in on today. (after the pictures from today are all up).

Tonight Dudley came over and we booked hotels and flights for our island hopping in Greece in February. I know you said not to do that Molly but we couldn't play it by ear so we decide to go ahead....I got lots of advice from people who have been so I feel good about our decisions. It was hard to find places that would sleep more than 2 people (my sister Jennifer is going too). Here are our hotels for Athens, Crete, and Santorini! I am very excited!! I can't believe that it is only 3 months away because it seems like we have been planning it forever!

In other news....Alyson sent me this video tonight of Ariyana very clearly saying baby!! HOW CUTE!!

Friday, November 14, 2008

TGIF

I have no idea where the day went! I had meeting after meeting, after meeting! UGH, I don't feel like I really accomplished anything today! Oh well, it is FRIDAY! I decided to book myself a little massage today and I am pretty excited about that. It is with some guy name Robert who apparently is the 4th most requested massage therapist out of 40 at this location (or at least that is what the guy told me on the phone :-) ) After the massage I have to go home and clean though to get ready for my Holiday photo sessions tomorrow. Hopefully those will be fun. I don't have a Santa so I figured I can avoid all the screaming kids and will just have to deal with the kids who are too young to sit still for you! I am used to it so that is ok with me.

I am going to start a little Atlanta photo project before I move to Ohio...I would like to have some really good images to take with me since this city is always changing and evolving and it will be fun to see what it will look like in 5 or 10 years. Any suggestions of those must-have shots? I don't want to leave anything out!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

A mile is a mile is a mile

No funny stories for you today....feeling a little stressed today...being an adult is hard sometimes. I have tons of projects that people all want done by year end but they are all hard, and since they don't want my staff to do them, I have to do them.....which means I have to shift some work to my staff but they have a ton of stuff to do too so now I have to have a talk with them about being efficient and maybe working a few extra hours..that is an awkward phone conversation. If they were in Atlanta then they would hopefully just see me working late and take the hint but there isn't that on the road so I have to actually mention it. I also have to do their raises and year end reviews soon and all that comes with that, and I am supposed to have vacation coming up and Craig is actually going to come here for the whole week!!

On the up side and to go with the title of this post...I went to the personal trainer today and after all the stuff we did (including a 10 min warm up light jog and lots of weights and squats) I had to run a timed mile...he wanted me to do it in under 10 mins....I had my doubts because I have always run around a 10 min mile when I did long runs and it has been forever since I have run at all....I tried my best and walked for about 10 seconds two or three times to catch my breath and when I finished he said I did in 8:55! That is great for me (though I know a lot of you probably run faster). I was very happy with myself and it made me happy....it is all about the little things.

Now I am deciding whether I want to enter all my financial stuff into my accounting software to make my taxes easier in a few months or if I want to work on a hat that I am making...hmmmmm.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

I pulled a Molly

Sorry Molly, you know I love you, but this is totally something that you would do!!

On Wednesdays I have a routine at lunch. First I go to spin class, take a shower, go up to our cafe for yummy made to order pasta and then go upstairs and eat it at my desk. Since I go straight from the gym to the cafe, I have to bring my wallet to the gym. Normally when I get back to my office, I stick my wallet back in my purse. You can probably see where this is going.

So, as mentioned in the previous post, I needed a hair dryer. While I was at Target I decided to pick up the remaining ingredients I needed for the food I am making for Drena's shower, some things I needed anyway and then saw that some of the Thanksgiving stuff was on sale (side note: Today I told Craig what I was going to make for Thanksgiving and left off gravy completely by accident. He replied "are you going to try gravy again this year?" HAHAHA So, in case my new plan fails, I got a jar of turkey gravy at Target so either way, I am set. End side note) so I got some of that since I will be getting to Dayton the day before Thanksgiving and I like to have the stuff I like, you know. Go to the cash register to check out and go to get my wallet as she is ringing me up...yep, you guess it, still in the gym bag at work (I only change out the clothes every day and just leave all the shower stuff and shoes in there). Hmmm, I remembered that I had my checkbook in my computer bag in the car so I asked her if I could write a check. On my way to the car I realized that she is probably going to need my DL# and I don't know it. Awesome. BUT, I remember that I have my credit card number memorized. I go back in and tell her I know the credit card number or I can write the check (I have $100 worth of stuff by the way). She says it is fine to write a check. She puts it in the screen....and it asks for DL#. Problem. I know some of the numbers so I ask her how many are in the whole number thinking that I know most so maybe I can remember the other one. She is not from here and says she has no idea. I tell her again that I can use the credit card so she tries that. Then we get to the end and because it was hand entered she has to call over a manager to put in a pin to approve it. We were both worried that she would ask for the card but she didn't. On the one hand, not very good internal controls or security but on the other hand, I am so glad that I didn't have to put everything back and in my defense, I did have my work badge with my name and picture on it.

My day is providing lots of entertainment for you guys :-)

Oh, and one other thing...one of the new loft places in Dayton (they are renovating a factory) emailed me back and said they would be happy to show me a place but they hadn't started construction yet and would not be available for 14 months.....odd that the website says Spring 09. Reminds me of when H&M was supposed to come in Spring 08 and it was really like June or July...except this was on a much worse scale.

Think I can get sympathy for this?

So, funny story (or maybe not so funny, but I am telling it anyway). While we were on our trip I kept hurting my feet...sounds weird I know but it happened. The second day in Death Valley I got out of the car and scraped my foot against this awful hard, cactus-like bush thingy and it HURT! I was in some serious pain. Craig looked at me sort of the way that boys tend to look at you when they think that you are being a wuss ....then fast forward an hour and my foot is hurting! The plant had drawn blood and I was resolved to the fact that this was some exotic plant that had poison in it and while it would not be enough to amputate, it would annoy the crap out of me. My foot starts to get a little red and puffy around the site (it was near my arch on the inside of my foot) and shoes were starting to bother it. I also had a dull pain like a bee sting (or what I remember a bee sting feeling like since it was like 1st grade the last time I got stung). I whined a little but didn't get much sympathy and was told I would be fine. Fast forward two days and it looked a little more puffy and sort of like a zit...infection, right? So I thought that maybe I should try to see if there was anything in there.....too hard to tell so I will let it be. Now, fast forward about 3 weeks to yesterday and I happened to look at it in the gym when I was changing my shoes...hmm, still a little round hole and while not puffy, it was tender if I touched it...and now there seems to be a red line underneath the skin that is spreading from it. This didn't seem good...why would it be tender 3 weeks later. I told Craig last night about it and he suggested that I have a doctor look at it. I joked that I had my yearly appt tomorrow and she was a doctor, right, so I would just ask her. I asked him if he felt bad for making fun of me and he said 'a little'. In all reality I would feel like an idiot if I went to the doctor for this thing so I asked him what they would possibly do. He said that they would probably pull out whatever might be in there and then see if it was infected. Hmm, that didn't sound like fun. I decided that I would try the age old trick of putting neosporin on it and a band-aid....that is what we always did when we were little if we couldn't get a splinter from the dock out...surely it would still work. Of course, you get splinters on your hand and my skin on my feet is a lot rougher but I decided to try it. My next step was going to be to ask Erin what she thought :-) So, neosporin, band-aid, shower and left it on. Then I went to the gym and another shower and band-aid was done so I took it off....just looked at my foot and it felt more tender and I could see something poking out...so I started to try to get it...and sure enough...out came a 1/4 inch piece of that darn bush! I measured it..that thing was in my foot for 3 weeks...boy will Craig feel bad for acting like I was a wuss now and not believing me when I told him my foot was red and tender! It also sort of feels weird now so I think that I will put some more neosporin on it with another band-aid until it heals...thanks for tuning in....definitely one of my more exciting posts! :-)

Off to get a hairdryer since my sparked this morning and the last thing that I need is to catch my hair on fire one morning!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Business is booming

So, I found out more about the layoffs and it really had nothing to do with the economy so I feel good about that now...the flip side of it is that some things were not being done correctly and guess whose group gets to clean that up?? Mine! And, they don't want my staff to do it, they want me to do it....I guess that is job security. They want it done by the end of the year but I just don't see that happening....it is a lot to clean up with only a few weeks to go....we will see.

Photography is going AWESOME. I haven't been too busy as far as time taking photos but my new pricing structure definitely changed my clients and I just got my biggest order ever! Very excited about that. This weekend is my Holiday card special so hopefully people will need to send out lots of cards (and like the pictures).

I realized that I never finished up on the whole Dayton thing....so here is the scoop, which I think that most of you know by now, but anyway..
I am going to move to Dayton in March..I know, it seems far away but not really. I wanted to finish out the holidays here and honestly, you can't drive a moving truck through the KY mountains in the winter (Jan/Feb) and I go to Greece at the end of Feb. The plan is to move when I get back from Greece. I decided to get my own place for 6 months because we have never lived in the same town and I don't want to put undue stress on us. We are going to look at apartments over Thanksgiving (which I spent my morning making appointments for) and I am very excited! It is amazing how at peace I felt with it all after making the decision, so thanks everyone who listened to me and Meghan for putting it all in perspective. It is nice to have a countdown date too...makes it not as hard to be away. I didn't say anything for a while because I didn't want to jinx it. I am still a little worried about the job aspect. I really love what I do and I feel like now is a bad time to rock the boat but I am going to talk to my boss about it at my year end review. Hopefully it will go well, and I will find an apartment and even though I will miss you all, I am ready for the next step in my life.

Monday, November 10, 2008

My latest project

Since I pretty much had a whole day yesterday where I didn't really have to do anything I decided to make my little bb a new hat. Last year a made her a bunny hat with ears and everything but she has outgrown it now. So, for those of you who were at Meghan's, here is one from the book....It isn't perfect because I had to learn some of the stitches, but what do you think? Ignore the unclean photos, I just put it down and took a picture.



Layoffs

Not me. Yet. This morning a guy (the only guy from the floor above me that ever comes down to talk to us) came in and said that he had been laid off and they had restructured one of our departments in finance. He had no warning...you think that Mondays are normally bad, this has to be the worst. I didn't believe him at first because he always jokes about stuff but finally he convinced me. It scared me. I know our economy is bad...how could you live in America and not know it...actually, how could you be alive and not know it. This just hit really close to home. Usually accounting is a pretty safe profession. You still have to pay bills, save money and account for things, right?? Well, this department did those things for one of our business segments and now they are gone. It has me wondering many things....will they let my employees go before me, will it just be all of us, are the layoffs over, will I be able to find another job? I will say that at least for that last one I looked up jobs both here and in Dayton and there are some things out there but who knows if that stuff is just put out there all the time in case they need someone, but really they aren't hiring. So, what could I do if I lost my job? Hmm, any suggestions :-) Sorry to be a bummer, but I just feel a little shocked today!

Update: Just talked to my boss and the layoffs had nothing to do with the economy and they are actually rehiring for the same positions but to get more qualified people since the people who were in those positions just sort of migrated there and were not the most qualified for the positions they were in. I feel better! Sad for them though.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Exhausted!



I haven't really slept as well lately and I was wide awake at 8:30 this morning...not a problem since I was going to get Ariyana today and knew I wouldn't get much done once I had her so at least this way I could get some stuff done....nothing exciting, I just needed to do laundry and boring stuff. Went to the farmer's market and then off to get Ariyana. My sister had her at Target for pictues, insulting to me, but whatever she wants to do :-) and that was really crowded so it took forever. Finally I got her at about 1:15 and brough her back to my house. I fed her and then we played for a while before heading over to Dudley's for her party. Ariyana was really shy when we got there and all she wanted to do was lay on my chest but she warmed up pretty quickly to Drena (she was sitting next to me) and was walking around a little bit. We didn't get to stay that long because I had to drive her back to the mall of Ga to return her by 6:45. It was a short day but we had fun and I was glad that I got to spend it with her. I certainly feel like it is later than 8:40 and since Craig went to a friend's house to watch a game, I think that I am going to go to bed early! I have a ton that I want to get done tomorrow.

Dawgs barely pulled out a win so it is probably good that Craig and I didn't go.....last time he went to that game was when we lost :-( not that it matters much for our season now, but I would hate to lose to them twice in KY in a row!!

Hope everyone is having a good weekend! Here are some pictures that I took of her today while I had her at my place...Alyson wanted one of her in her Halloween costume! The other one is in a new prop that I got for Christmas :-)


Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Gator in Jean Shorts...and Cutoffs to boot!


Here you go Rebecca, mind you this was taken in line at Panera with Morgan's bb but it is a classic shot! I wish you could have seen the front of his hat...it was also awesome and almost airbrush like!

Vitamins

Nothing political :-) YAY! So, I was curious, do any of you take vitamins other than maybe a multi? I have been really tired lately even though I get 7-8 of sleep and people always say to take vitamins..then there are all the specialty vitamins that make your hair/nails grow, make you have good skin or whatever else seems to be the hype de jour.....just curious if any of you have taken anything that you felt like really worked. How long did you have to take it before you saw a difference? Just curious.

History....

I am obviously very happy today that Obama is our President-elect and I am aware that most of you don't share the sentiment. I have a little photo essay for you guys from yesterday but I will have to wait until tonight to post it. It is basically just the line I waited in and then Jenn, Drena, Adam and I running around town to get our freebies. Couple things that I wanted to mention.

1. I am very happy that our country was able to elect a black president. I have mixed feelings about the news coverage though. I understand that it is a wonderful thing that one of the last racial barriers was broken and now we just have to work on the gender barriers (which I feel will be closely behind). I was a little disappointed by the coverage though. I literally kept switching channels because every single channel had the one black anchor that they would go to and all they talked about was the fact that Obama was black and this was such a victory for them. It was a racial barrier victory, no doubt, but it was also a victory for change. Not one of them mentioned the fact that 60% of white people also voted for him, along with a huge percentage of the Latino population or the fact that he is half white. It was like they completely ignored the fact that some of us voted for him because we believe that a change in this country is needed and we agree with his policies. That angered me a little bit and almost spoiled it for me. I don't like that it was made into black people vs everyone else issue. It is a victory for them on the racial front but I believe that it is a victory on the political front for all of us.

2. I think that McCain gave a very classy speech. I actually really like McCain except that he went a little far right for me in this election. I think that before he was forced to the right he was a really good senator and I think that he has some wonderful ideas (I even agree with some of his more than Obama but you have to make a choice on election day). Sometimes I wish that it was back to the old days when the runner-up was VP...I think that Obama and McCain would be exactly what we could use. So, having said that, I really hope that McCain keeps his word and continues to help. I am not dilusional and I don't think that one party can do this all on their own. We need both parties to fix the mess our coutry is in and I feel like McCain is a very good person to help fill that role. I am sorry, but I am glad that Palin is going back to Alaska. She is not the woman that I want to represent the first woman elected to the White House.

3. Again, I am not dilusional and I don't think that things are going to happen overnight. I know that Obama has a long road ahead of him and he has a lot of support yet to win. No President would be able to step up and fix this right away. I hope that he lives up to my expectations of change and no more "business as usual". I really want something different and one of the main reasons that I got involved so much in this election is that I have been disappointed in the last 8 years (the only years that I have been able to vote in a Presential election). I will be very disappointed if he just goes back to the same old, same old that we have had in the last 8 years. I hope and trust that he will pick good people to take with him to the White House.
4. I am comforted by the fact that he won by so much and the fact that most of the wealthiest states (the ones who will end up paying for his tax increases and such) voted for him. It gives me hope that there are more people that agree with me and don't mind paying for programs that they think will help people or improve our country. Looks like they aren't ready to pack up and move quite yet.

5. I learned a lot about myself in this election. I learned that I am more compassionate and generous than I ever thought I would be. I know you can argue that the higher tax rate will not affect me but it might one day and I really do feel at peace with that. I learned that even the reasons people gave me for why we shouldn't have some of the social programs that I agree with didn't outweigh my genuine feeling of wanting to help people and believe in people. I learned a lot about my friends. I was glad that some people shared their views because I am of the mindset that you should learn how people who don't agree with you think. You should learn where they get their information and how they interpret information. I learned that I agreed with them on some things that I didn't know I did and strongly disagreed on others, not because their facts were wrong, but just because my opinion was different. That is an important difference to me. I also realized that I don't think like very many of my friends but I like that we are still friends and that we don't let politics get in the way because it really never should.

Ok, I know you are all sick of politics so I will end it here...I just felt I had to post something since I was the one who started the whole political discussion....pictures from election day later (not political though, just funny). All any of us can do now is wait and see.