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 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 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

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 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 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


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 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, 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 wall is brick from where there used to be different 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, what do you guys think? I need some help and advice from people who know me!!!