Monday, June 30, 2008

I can't do it

I stopped strictly following the "Ultra Simple Diet".

I know! I know!...I'm a failure.

My chiropractor laughed at me when I said this. I told him that I had been going through so many mood swings and I just felt BLECH on the diet and he said that I was probably just detoxing. I told him I didn't have time to feel like that especially right now. He told me to try it again later at a time when I don't have so much going on.

I still feel like a failure.

What a sad post for my 100th post.

Let's brighten things up by letting you feast your eyes on the bluest pair of eyes you have ever seen.
Isn't he the cutest? These were taken almost a year ago I think. He has grown so much since then and he has the most beautiful blonde hair. I think this one is my favorite. Funny side note, he is actually slobbering all over my lens cap grasped tightly in those chubby little hands. It never got so much love from me. :DAs you can see, I desaturated this one...all but his BLUE eyes. I then took a yellow brush and made his adorable blue ducks stand out a bit more.I call this one my Olan Mills shot. It is just too babyriffic. To go along with the perfect pose I used my newly acquired blur effect to make it more studioesque. {{wow, I am all about making up words today}}I can't help but loving this shot too. It is so typical of his personality. Friendly and all in your face. You can just imagine him giving you wet, open mouth kisses, can't you?

Friday, June 27, 2008

You'll never know...

I am not strong. I have never claimed to be strong.

This is day 3 of the Ultra Simple Diet and I am struggling with cravings...and mood swings. At one point yesterday I felt oddly empowered and felt thinner and by the time the night was over I was in bed in a pile of frustration at everything.

Today especially I am having trouble with cravings. I want a big juicy turkeyburger from the place right across the street from my office. My husband is trying to keep me strong via text messaging (misspelling included):

Me: I want food.

Me: I don't think I can do this.

Spencer: You can do it. (trying hard not to visual Rob Schneider from "Waterboy")

Really can't all ican think abt is food

Lunch is soon you can do i know you can

But i don't want veggies (wow you can hear the whine in my voice)

Sorry you have to or you will never be happy

What if it doesn't wnrk? Suffering for nothing

You'll never know

I really love him..he comes through for me in a big way sometimes.
I am posting a beautiful picture today to endeavor to evoke the calm feelings I need to have.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008


So little old me who is not very technologically savvy tried to upload a new who likes to change things like I change my clothes. Well, in case you couldn't tell, it backfired. So this post is me effectively putting up a sign that says "Pardon our progress". I cannot tell you how glad/thankful/ecstatic I am that I have a sister who can work miracles. Hopefully by tomorrow night everything will be back up and running normally.

Thank you for your patience and, as the 1980s Bartles & James commercials went, "Thank you for yer support."


So I have been super excited about trying this new detox/cleansing diet for quite a while now. It’s not often that a diet comes around that I can stomach all the ingredients without having to pick out this and that and that…oh and that too in order for it to conform to my picky tastebuds so when I saw the Ultra Simple Diet I was REALLY excited. I stayed up last night making the broth and getting my lunch together and getting the ingredients ready for my b-fast smoothie all with wonderful thoughts in my head.

SOOOOO, ask me how it’s going the first morning. Go ahead, ask me, ask me.

HORRIBLE! So horrible I want to cry from the disappointment. This was supposed to be my boost. Cleanse my body and move on to better care for the poor neglected thing.

How bad could it be you say?? Two cases of involuntary retching so far…

First, the smoothie. All the ingredients looked great…harmless. Little did I know how one tbsp of peanut butter can affect the whole taste of a large smoothie. Did I use fresh blackberries? NO! Can’t taste them, must have forgotten to put them in. So I get to work with only about 1/4 to 1/3 of it gone and I have the brilliant idea to just sike myself up, hold my nose, and CHUG! And that is how the first case of retching occurred.

Second parts of my breakfast consist of the juice of one half of a lemon with hot water and 1 cup of green tea. So, here I was thinking that the less hot water I used with the lemon the better it would taste and faster it would go down. {{dramatic pause}} NEVER…let me repeat this for clarity….NEVER try to drink lemon juice with only about ¼ cup of hot water…that is unless you like the feeling of your body convulsing in involuntary retching.

{{DEEP disappointed sigh}}

So, what am I going to do…especially after going online to this website only to find out that I picked the diet with the lowest ratings? I am going to alter it, that it what I am going to do. I am going to make smoothies that do NOT have peanut butter. I am going to mix the lemon water and green tea and add a little Kroger brand splenda (already an improvement as I am drinking it now) and I am going to forge on because I truly think I can handle the rest of the plan. It’s better than the master cleanse detox plan where you drink a huge glass of salt water in the morning and lemon water or tea throughout the rest of the day with NO food. Can’t handle that one…nope…not even going to try.

My cup almost runneth over

Did you know that fingernail polish remover will only remove the fingernail polish if you don’t rub it? If you accidentally get it on your nails and avoid all friction thereon until it dries, it will not harm your perfectly done nail job. Amazing.

Soooo…let’s update. Last week found me with the revelation that my husband just might be right and I need to start getting to bed early to make my life less of a living hell (see this post for the full explanation). Now ask me how well I have done putting this theory into practice.

Do you even have to ask?

Let’s just say that Monday night I was up until a little after 1:30. L NOT good. Needless to say, when my alarm went off for me to get up early so that I could get to work early to make up for the torture chamber visit yesterday…I turned it off subconsciously instead of snooze. And this would be the one night that I forgot to ask Spencer if he had remembered to set the alarm.

Do you know that they say firemen are more likely to die early from heart problems? This is because they are in a state of rest, or sometimes sleep, when the fire alarm rings and then it jolts them awake and causes their heart to jump (not literally…at least I don’t think) and this is detrimental to their heart.

6:15 a.m. scenario at my house. Spencer sits bolt upright in bed and looks out the window. “What time is it? Oh shit! What time is it?” (side note: my husband never cusses so he was definitely panicked)

I immediately jump out of bed, wide awake, cursing the whole time.

I feel sorry for firemen.

But I must share with you the fruits of my labors. I have within the past few weeks, and even more so this weekend, learned more about Adobe Photoshop than I have the whole time since I have been introduced to it. I don’t know how I ever survived without it. Once I begin working on it, I am totally addicted and entranced. Even more exciting for me is the discovery of this website. This woman is absolutely amazing and hee-hi-ho-larious to boot. She has this kick butt tips on how to use photoshop and a whole new world has been opened up for me. My cup was about ready to spill over because I finally see what my photos have been missing to where they don't quite "POP" like other peoples. Only thing that would have made my joy complete is if I could afford the printer I so desperately need...want. SO let me share some of the fun I was having with it.

This is an image of my absolutely gorgeous friend Leslie from Cali. Good shot, I love it so that is why I decided to play with it.

Now, you probably can't tell as much until you make the image bigger but I used a few newly learned tricks to make create more blur while still keeping her features sharp. This way her skin looks creamy and dreamy...ok that didn't sound so good, but you know what I mean.

Now, THIS is more dramatic. I call this my "movie star" shot. I was able to accomplish this by using the altered photo you saw above and adding a cool new action that I downloaded from the pioneer woman's website.

In the middle is the original shot and surrounding are my alterations.

Unfortunately, the way blogger works, when I create a diptych, they do not upload so very big but hopefully you can click on this to make it bigger to get a better idea of what I was talking about. :D I'm having so much FUN!

So much so that I continued playing with the same technique mentioned above on my favortie shot of a bride from the last wedding I shot OVER A YEAR AGO....sheesh I am out of practice.
Cool huh? And here I selected the eyes and then desaturated the rest of the shot to give it an old timey feel. I'm really digging it.

So, I'll have to show you guys the pictures I worked on of this adorable little boy in our congregation next time. I think I have inundated you with enough pictures for today.

Monday, June 23, 2008

More Fun in the Sun and Waterplay

This is my favorite shot of my fearless little man holding on tight to his daddy's hand and to his Misa's hand as they get ready to jump in "together"

I took so many photos of our time at the pool a few weeks ago that I felt that I must share some more with you. Since this was a huge milestone for my little man, as I discussed here, I took quite a few..ahem...a LOT of shots. I had it set for multiple exposures. I couldn't miss a moment of action...or his hilarious expressions.

What you see below is a succession of shots that I took of him as he took a running leap into the pool. I love his many expressions ranging from what looks like fear in the first shot to pure glee. {{SIGH}} Good times, good times.
Here we see little man with eyelashes any girl would kill for. Makes me feel sorry for all those little girls who grow up to apply fake eyelashes. Isn't it odd how little boys seem to always be blessed with the greatest eyelashes.

By this point, Liam had gotten a bit tired of having his picture taken and went so far as to hide behind people before finally running for the back door. Still, I am glad I got this shot of his CRAZY pool hair.

Thursday, June 19, 2008


I was talking to Spencer about bedtime yesterday and he made a point that I cannot deny but have a hard time putting into practice. He asked: If I know that going to bed late is going to adversely affect me for the whole next day, why don’t I just drop what I’m doing and go to bed? (like he does, which, by the way, infuriates me that he does this)My response (in my head at least): Because then nothing would get done! That’s why!

But would it?

Let’s look at this from the perspective of the domino effect:

Go to bed late in order to get things “done”

Get about 4 hours of sleep
Wake up late
Get to work late
Fall asleep on the drive to work and/or at work
Inability to concentrate or perform basic tasks
Problem-solving skills greatly diminished/incapacitated
Fall asleep on the drive home
Crash on the bed/couch/chair once home for at least 30 min to an hour if not more before getting up to prepare dinner
Sit at dinner table too tired contemplating what needs to be done
Finally get up and start doing things at 9:00 pm and get to bed YET AGAIN at 11 or later.

Go to bed at 10:00 pm

Get at least 6 hours sleep (marked improvement from the 4 hours above)
Get up on time (I know because I practiced this for a brief moment in time)
Get to work on time
Greater possibility of not falling asleep on road…or at work
Cut back on slowly growing dependency on energy pills
More productive workday i.e. ability to concentrate and such
Less likely to crash once I get home so then I can get more things done EARLIER in the evening in order to . . . get to bed EARLIER

Hmmmm my husband just might be right.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Reaching out through a mental fog

I have been in such a funk recently. I can’t seem to get out of it. I hate how I feel and I know that I am worrying my dear husband. I can’t concentrate on anything and my mind keeps firing off thoughts randomly that I can’t follow to completion. A million things can be getting done and I don’t want to do any of it…correction, I don’t have the motivation to do any of it. I want to wish it all done instantaneously and ::whoosh:: it’s done.

Spencer texted me this morning:

“We are doing a coffee shop called the human bean. I didn’t get it at first.”

What a cool name for a coffee shop.

I’m tempted to cut all my hair off again. I want to go to Cali (isn’t that a cool way of spelling that name…like California) and telling her what I am feeling and having her go at it. Except for the fact that I think that will make me even more unhappy with my fat face. That’s it. Starting today I am going on another sugar free sabbatical. I am announcing it on here so that I can actually stick to it. This time I am not getting any sugar free candy or ice cream as a crutch. Fruit…no sodas…and natural, harder to breakdown sugars like cane juice only occasionally like in my favorite teas.

So I am getting incredibly discouraged with all of my online endeavors because they do not seem to be going anywhere. I get next to no traffic in my shop or in my blog and I just don’t feel the love as I hoped that I would. I think my expectations may be too high. I wanted everything to take off right away reaffirming that I do have talent and people would appreciate that talent if only I got it out there for the world to see. In my head, I knew and know this to be unrealistic but my heart takes it personally.

I’m so excited that my sister-in-law is coming into town today although it is for a sad/sweet reason. Helping mom and pop-in-law move. It is going to be a busy next few weeks. It doesn’t seem real yet.

I have no idea what to get my in-laws for their anniversary coming up in July.

There are so many things that I am going to miss about my in-law’s house. The large inviting living room, the kick butt open kitchen, not to mention the kick butt upstairs shower, the pool that I never took enough advantage of, the amazing hydrangea bush by the back door. . .

Is this not the most beautiful Hydrangea. I absolutely love this flowering bush. It's fast becoming my favorite. {{Soon to be on sale in my shop for anyone who is interested}}

. . .because it is the hardiest most beautiful one I have ever seen…and the memories. I know that selling a house does not mean selling the memories, those are yours to keep, but it does mean selling all the future memories that won’t have the chance to be made there.

I felt the same way when Mom and Dad sold our home of almost 10 years on Lennox Drive. We moved into that 4 bedroom, 3 bathroom home (not just a house) with an ailing grandfather, two teenage girls and the parents. By the time it was sold, only the parents were left. However, good reasons don’t take away the sadness.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

As my sister would say. . .

. . . WARNING! This is going to be a LONG post. . .but with LOTS of picture goodies.

I am FINALLY getting around to posting pictures of my trip to Savannah with Sara. Although this is not a fact to be congratulated as I just bumped it up ahead of Date Day pictures from the beginning of the year and Charleston pictures. I still haven’t gotten the rolls of FILM that I took on our date day developed yet. Procrastination, Abra is thy name.

Moving right along. . .it has been a week since Sara and I went to Savannah. It was just as it was supposed to be. Relaxing with no plans. My drive to Macon to meet up with Sara was quite eventful and HOT as hades. It took me about 2 ½ hours to make a 1 ½ hour trip and once I had almost reached my destination I got flashed by a passing motorcycler. Scarred for life, I must say.

The only plan that Sara and I had was to try to eat at Lady & Sons, Paula Dean's restaurant in Savannah. However, you have to make a reservation in person by 9:30 AM at the latest in order to even get a dinner reservation. We got there at about 12ish. Hmmmm. We ended up eating at Panera Bread. Quite a letdown by comparison. After wandering around some shops we decided to do something we had never done before. We took a guided tour bus. Wish we had decided to do this earlier because it would have been awesome to be able to do the hop on and off option to see more of the city.

We ended our tour at the city market where we got a wee bit silly. . .
Normally, this is not the kind of thing I would do, but I have learned to not care as much and, HECK you can’t spend your whole life a stick in the mud.

Being that we were in Savannah, I had to get my obligatory bag of Saltwater Taffy. On the tour we had our eyes peeled for the church that we knew had Jehovah's name on it. Once we saw it we got all excited and saw this other family get all excited too. Turns out that they were also Jehovah's Witnesses which we didn't find out for sure until we were getting off of the bus. It's so nice to meet your brothers and sisters anywhere and just talk like you are old friends. Anyway, we had taken note of the streets the church was on and went back to take pictures as you see above.

That night we had all kinds of plans…most of which we did not follow through with. We ended up going to this awesome little Italian restaurant 30 minutes before they closed. {{evil grin}} Then on to our search for a liquor store. HA! I am telling you, 10 o’clock PM is not that late, I don’t care what you think. Unfortunately liquor stores do not think the same way as I do and the search for one that was open ensued.
As the picture indicates, we found one. And since this was a “no holds barred” cheating on your eating weekend, I suggested that we must get some Krispy Kreme goodness…conveniently located across the street from the liquor store…except for the fact that we didn’t notice this and got about ¾ of a mile away before making a u-turn to get back to it. {{whoops}} I swear we weren’t drunk yet.
Sunday was beach day! Highlight of my trip and when I took most of my pictures. So we packed up and were just about ready to go get some seafood before we headed to Tybee Island when “horror of horrors” I could not find my little camera. I was calm at first. . .that is until I had searched through my suitcase…and my purse…and my bed…and Sara’s car…and my camera bag…and Sara’s purse…and Sara’s suitcase…and the ENTIRE room…TWICE!! At this point I was understandably near tears. Then as I went through the hotel room one last time I yanked at the bedspread on Sara’s bed (I had already done the same thing to my bed) and THERE IT WAS!!!
A few stops on River Street, one specialty drink, and bellyful of seafood later, we were on our way to Tybee.
I've always envied Sara her freckles. I wanted freckles so bad growing up that I used to draw them on with Mom's eyeliner/eyebrow pencils.
Sara took this shot of my hand as I was stretching laying on our newly acquired beach towels.
I absolutely LOVE this picture of Sara. Surprisingly she likes it too. I took it right after she was laughing at me over something clumsy that I did.
I have become stalkerazzi as of late taking my love of observing people one step further.
Then, !!CHEESY ALERT!! we drove off into the sunset.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Growing Up and Moving On

The Perfect form for a bellyflop
SO this was a wunderbar weekend…A friend that I have not seen in FOUR years was in town and I drove to Macon to hang with her and my seester and my little bit of a man. She had never met Liam and it took a bit of getting used to for her to see me as a mom. After all I was always just her best friend’s little sister.

Sunday was great. After I spent the night with my mommy and daddy I drove back home to go to the meeting and then hang out with the COOLEST couple in the world.
They are expecting a little girl in October and I swear, she is one of the cutest pregnant people I have EVER seen. Isabella Mila Vazquez is what they are naming their daughter. What an awesome name. They tried to mix the Cuban and Russian/Polish heritage in her name. I LOVE it. Anyway, we hung out in the pool and grilled out and then I pampered Jenny by giving her a footrub and painting her toenails because I remember how hard it was for me to reach my own toes after a certain point.
I think one of the best parts of the weekend was how my little man was able to finally conquer his fear of the water in one fell swoop. It was gradual at first, but then, yesterday it all changed. He was jumping in OVER AND OVER again. . .
. . .and asking to be thrown back and forth between people until we were all too tired to continue doing it.
It was mind boggling how this little person who, just 3 weeks ago, was screaming bloody murder if you even suggested going under water with him was now willingly putting himself face first in the water. I’m tearing up just thinking about it. Since the first and last time Liam ever went to the beach was when he was 1½ years old, Spencer and I have decided we are going to take a weekend towards the middle of July to go to the beach with him. This will be nice for him especially after overcoming his fears in the pool. The only bittersweet part of his conquest is that Grandpa and GrandNettie have FINALLY got a contract on their house and will have to be out of it by July 2nd which means no more ready access to the pool. It makes me SO flipping sad that this house I have come to love will no longer be a Morris house. I am happy beyond words that it is being sold because my lovely in-laws are simplifying their lives to better serve Jehovah but even the sweetest cup we put to our mouths in life usually is accompanied by a few bitter tears.

Friday, June 13, 2008

More "Stinkin" Flowers. . . I can't help myself

You know, as tired as I am of photographing flowers, they are SO freaking beautiful and the ones around our house are blooming so I can’t help it. I try to find new and different angles but don’t always succeed. One of my favorite flowers is a hydrangea. I fought to have those on the men’s boutonnieres in my wedding because the girl who was doing my flowers was telling me that guys HAD to have roses in the boutonnieres that EVERYBODY used roses for the guys. Don’t I know many weddings as I have photographed, I also know how ugly roses are when they wilt and how heavy they are…So I put my foot down for once and there were NO roses for the men. YAY ME!!!

We exchanged many and kick bootie gifts this year for anniversary which I have not as yet even been able to show you guys (all kinds of goodies) but the BEST of all and the only one I will probably end up posting is "the surprise" that Liam worked on with Grandpa. LOVE it and it is a perfect addition to our little garden. Priceless.