Monday Mingle 1.31.11

>> Monday, January 31, 2011

So I am going to give this vlog thing a try. Do you know how hard it is to vlog? Sheesh. I thought looking at myself in my 52 week self portrait project was tough try listening to yourself too! Seeing as it was my first time doing this I watched it back and had to laugh at my "phone voice".

Ok, thanks, bye. Just call me mama dork lol :) Wanna vlog? Link up with Eighty MPH Mom and her Mingle Monday's with me!


52 Weeks of Me - Daily Activities (5/52)

>> Sunday, January 30, 2011

What do you do in a day. If I had a more open house there would have been a lot of Jessie's but we have an older split level so you get to see a part of my day in just the living room. I wonder how many of these PS'd selfies we are going to see. Ruby loves to put together puzzles and will go and get them and bring them out for me to put together with her. I take them in the bathroom when I need to shower and she is content putting them together the whole time. Love it! Matt is going to chuckle at me actually folding the diapers. They live in the corner of our bedroom lately and when I need one I go to the basket. I remember when I loved cloth diapering. I would fold them immediately and put them in the appropriate baskets so that they were right there and easy to use (so Daddy would use them). When Violet was born I still had Piper in dipes because she was only 17 months old. After your third kid though it isn't as fun anymore and your fluff isn't as clean. Lots of poop stains. I am sorry to the cd community but I don't have time anymore to sun my diapers for nice clean insides and it is too cold for me to drag my happy butt outside with my drying rack. Oh, and I got a super great deal on diapers from Amazon so I am not even a die hard anymore. Lastly, there could not be a shot into my daily living room activities without a shot of nursing Ruby. That child has absolutely no intention on letting it go. By the way. Marley laid in the exact same spot sleeping the entire time we were doing this. I am not happy with the lighting because I had to use my little Speedlight. You would think that with that big window my living room would be lighter but it wasn't.

everyday activities

I used my 18-200mm to so I could get the whole room at 18mm settings were f3.5 1/200 iso 500
Question - what could I have done better because they were all so grainy. I just didn't have the time to reshoot or I would have played more. I bounced the flash angled off the ceiling because the camera was in my hallway. I tried to reduce the noise in ps and then I think I totally ruined it by sharpening it. Anyway, if you have any suggestions it would be awesome! This also shows me that I need a lot of work with my flash :)

Join Cara and I in the 52 Weeks of Me project, it's never too late and is really a lot of fun! Please add your self portrait to our flicker group. Next week is At Arms Length.


A piece of history

>> Friday, January 28, 2011

On Monday after we left the house I took the pictures of the girls at we climbed in the car and they all immediately fell asleep. As I was driving home I decided to make a detour and try out a location that a photographer friend has used before. They all got 30 minute naps and when we got to the park I asked them if they would let me take just a few more pictures. They said no. Not only did they say no but Violet burst into tears over it too. It's all good. We walked to Kerr Mill which was right next to the park and I tried to explain to the girls how the old water wheel used to make power for things. I must admit that I have problems wrapping my mind around stuff like that too but I tried. How I wish my engineer husband would have been there to assist with my lame explanation. It sure was a relaxing scene though. Since they didn't want their picture taken I decided to shoot a few of the wheel. This was actually the picture I first used Pioneer Woman's "Vintage" action on and I liked it. That then made me use a tweaked version again yesterday. I go though really liking something and playing with it a ton and then you might never see me use it again.

(4/52) MCP


Team Up Thursday - Stacked

>> Thursday, January 27, 2011

I can never let a good thing alone. When I saw my stack of quarters I was bored *yawn* so I played, and I played, and I applied an action, then played some more. Step away from the PS Jessie! There was absolutely nothing wrong with the original it was just, like I said, boring. I love seeing what other people read and what interests them and Angie's shot this week gives us a glimpse into what she reaches for. I have not read a whole book in a few years now so I do not know one of those titles. After I get the girls down I over edit pictures and blog or visit blogs. Maybe I should read a book, hmmm.


Do you want to try and do Team Up Thursdays with us? Email Megan, she has someone looking for a partner right now! There is more Team Up Thursdays at Melody's and Megan's.


Wordful Wednesday - Where have you been all my life?

>> Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Or at least for the past year that I have been really visiting other blogs. What or who do you ask? Google Reader that is what! I never spent much time in there because I follow so many blogs because you have to in order to enter most contests and honestly I don't really want to read all of them. I do however want to read people's blogs that I find interesting and especially to follow people's blogs who comment on my blog. What I have done in the past is just go to my own blog a few times throughout the day and look at the very bottom which is most of the blogs that I read daily. Then, I took some time with Google Reader and made a new folder and put all of my daily reads blogs in it and it has changed my life! For the blogs that I didn't really comment on anyway I easily read through the posts. It is all right there in a nice little package on my computer. Maybe I am catching up with the rest of the world finally!

A shot from our beach trip last September. I am cold! I want spring to be here! I want September to come soon so we can go back to our beach!

More Wordless Wednesday at 5 Minutes for Mom and for the more chatty ones like myself there is Wordful Wednesday. These 2 mamas probably know the awesomeness of Google Reader :)


A canvas you say?

>> Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Why yes. Do you remember me entering a little giveaway a month ago well I won! Heck to the Y.E.S. I did! What did I win you ask? A $100 Amazon gift card (yet unspent but will probably go for something boring like a booster seat) AND wait for 18X24 canvas from Seriously psyched until I saw that I have a deadline for such canvas and it is 2.10.2011. Umm, I got nothing! So, seeing as though the kiddies didn't have school on Monday I decided "What the heck" and took them to one of my favorite places to get THAT shot. What do they say about best laid plans? My normally smiley girls turned into grumps with fake smiles.

cropped to show their disinterest

What? Bribes and all? Yes, grumps. I am getting nervous. Tick. Tick. Tick. But wait...smiles. I am not sure who they were smiling at but it was nice to see them after 30 or so shots of staring at me glassy eyed.

2 weeks to go - the pressure is on!!


52 Weeks of Me - Focus on Unusual Elements (4/52)

>> Sunday, January 23, 2011

I was going to have the focus be somewhere on my body (earring, tattoo, freshly painted finger nails) but decided instead to focus on the little gadget that is visiting the zoo because I haven't returned it yet. Sorry Rachel it will find it's way back to you soon! To get this shot I had the older girls hold a black sleeping bag in front of me. To get an even background I duplicated the background layer and adjusted the curves until the background was nice and black. Then I erased back the camera. Normally I just burn the background a little and it works but it would have taken longer on this shot and I am an impatient PS'er.


and our Piper playing with the Brownie too. I'll bet it will be her that shares the love for photography. She is drawn to my camera every time I get it out. She got such a kick out of this old fashioned Kodak. I am going to keep my eye out for one of our own.

a girl and a camera

It is never too late to join Cara and I in the 52 Weeks of Me project! Please add your self portrait to our flicker group. Next week is Daily Activities.


the fun you can have!

>> Friday, January 21, 2011

What do you get when you take an old Kodak Brownie and play around while the babies are sleeping? A really fun time for mama! I have heard of people making adaptors for their old cameras and then taking pictures with their digitals through them. Really? How fun! My girlfriend Rachel lent me a couple of her old cameras. One was a Kodak Brownie Reflex that I immediately was drawn to. It reminded me of the camera that my great grandparents used to have. Doesn't that kind of memory just give you a warm fuzzy feeling? THEN I found a group on flickr called Through the Viewfinder. They only take pictures through the viewfinder of other cameras. I don't have an adaptor and I am no pro but I very shyly submitted one of my self portraits this week. When you hit the submit button you just hope people are kind or just not comment :) Here was me playing with this toy this week.

me and the brownie

and then the family member who always seems to be sleeping
Marley "Through the Viewfinder"

Without an adaptor you see the camera so I may even try to put together one of those before I give her back then get it outside and see the beauty the old girl can show me.


Team Up Thursday - Black and White

>> Thursday, January 20, 2011

How funny is it that Angie and I both came up with unprocessed black and white shots? Her's could not be more black and white :) How cute is her cat? On a cow rug? I bought some roses the other day at the store. They were on clearance :) Such would be me - cheap. I chose this shot because I loved how simple it was.

Do you want to try and do Team Up Thursdays with us? Email Megan, she might already have a partner for you! It is so fun to see everyone's interpretations of the theme. Or if you like just viewing all the dipys there is more Team Up Thursdays at Melody's and Megan's.


Wordful Wednesday - Touch of Grey

>> Wednesday, January 19, 2011

I am in a black and white mood. Our TUT theme this week is black and white. My idea for the 52 Weeks of Me project is going to be b/w (if it works). Another 52 week project I am doing on flickr is Shades of Grey too. Trend here?

(3/52) MCP

and then this little one who is giving me her best "you promised me chocolate goldfish after the last picture you took" face. I still think she is beautiful even when she is mad at me :)

I guess it is a good theme for winter but these are hard themes for me because I love color! I mean we live in a red house for Pete's sake! More Wordless Wednesday at 5 Minutes for Mom and for the more chatty ones like myself there is Wordful Wednesday.


A dog, Metallica, and a run

>> Monday, January 17, 2011

I have been walking Marley since she came to live with us. Before that I wasn't doing much of anything. Marley doesn't love going to the backyard by herself and I worry about her getting enough exercise because she lays around much of the day. Oh the life of a dog. Saturday Matt only worked half a day and after I got Ruby down for her nap I grabbed the yellow dog and went for our normal 3 mile walk. We got to the top of our hill and Metallica came on my iPod.

Gimme fuel, gimme fire
Gimme that which I desire

I began to run. The song was blasting in my ears urging me on. It felt good. The cold air burned my chest but I kept going. I felt so alive. More alive than I have in months. I felt strong. And then I started crying. And crying. I can only imagine what the people that passed us in their cars were thinking. It was not the "I feel sorry for myself" cry that I have been doing but it was me crying over our loss. It felt different and so hard to explain. It was a cry that I will probably do many more times. I am so far from healed inside but I want to say thank you for all the wonderful comments, emails, and phone calls from my breakdown last week. Each one of them meant the world to me and made me know that I am not alone like I feel so often.

I wouldn't have been out there had it not been for the yellow dog. Can Marley be helping this mama heal? Maybe this big girl came into my life at this time for a reason. She got me to get out and do what I love again. She is by my side even when my babies blow me off to go and play in another room. I don't know the answer but I am sure glad that she is here with me.

The above shot was taken on Sunday. Marley does not wear that pack when we go out but I brought my little camera with me in case I saw something I wanted to take a picture of so we threw it on her. I did find something that I wanted to take a picture of - Marley. Do you know how hard it is to run and take a picture at the same time?


52 Weeks of Me - Focus on the Eyes (3/52)

>> Sunday, January 16, 2011

Cara's list of themes is only getting harder! I knew that I wanted a single eye shot when I saw the theme and I knew it was going to be a challenge. Lately I have had this love of shooting wide open and I wanted to try and shoot my eye the same way (f2 on this one). I had a lot of fails but this was close lol :) I also liked the way it looked b/w rather than in color. Looks like I need a good tweeze!


It isn't too late to join Cara and I in the 52 Weeks of Me project! Don't forget to add your self portrait to our flicker group. Next week is Focus on Unusual Elements.


Left Behind

>> Saturday, January 15, 2011

As Piper is growing up she is invited to a lot of things that Violet is not. I have tried very hard to give Violet her own little life without Piper as well but the 3/4 year old crowd doesn't have a lot of independence yet. Wednesday during our 3rd snow day home I received a call from one of Piper's school friends. They were wanting to pick her up for a playdate. How excited was she? My Violet was heartbroken because she was supposed to have had a friend over here that same morning but the little girl was sick. Now Piper was getting to leave and she had to stay here. So unfair! I got out the paints, let her eat her crackers & hummus in the living room, and sat through no less than 5 books that she wanted to read to me.

My favorite out of all her artwork today
V's artwork

While she was reading

Her playdate with the little girl from preschool was rescheduled for next Wednesday and we got a surprise visit from the USP guy (what she calls him) - a very pretty skirt that mama ordered her before Christmas. Not too bad of a day after all.


Ice, Ice, Baby

>> Friday, January 14, 2011

A little bit of snow here in NC will shut things down for a day but put a little bit of ice on top and it is a week before we are recovered fully. Businesses close, school is out, and parents are trying to figure out new indoor things to do with the kids. I enjoy having them home with me on these days but it all comes at a price. No day off in January, no day off in February, and I believe now we are into March. Just hoping for no more storms so that our spring break is safe.

This was the snow/ice on our deck from Wednesday afternoon. I am so over winter. The theme at Live Every Moment is COLD. This mama is ready for some WARM though :)


Team Up Thursday - ALL IN A ROW

>> Thursday, January 13, 2011

This is our first TUT of the new year. Angie was sick last week and I totally spaced that we might even have had it :) We are back though and ready for a fun new year of team ups. When I saw this week's theme I knew exactly what I would do for it. I am sort of cliche that way. Angie's is cool. I don't ever see that line of buses because I am home waiting for ours to bring Piper to us. I love her interpretation this week a lot!

More Team Up Thursdays at Melody's and Megan's.


But my blog seems happy...

>> Wednesday, January 12, 2011

A few weeks ago my husband and I were talking about a shirt that Violet got him for Christmas. I asked him if he'd like another. He said yes. I was talking about a shirt he was talking about a kid. Today I am ovulating. I know this. TMI - maybe. I asked him if we should try again right away and he mentioned something about a bad back. I asked him if he was afraid our baby would have one. He laughed. We are not trying, at least not this month. I don't think I am near ready or know if I want to chance miscarrying again. This time was just too hard on me. My dreams are still filled with my baby. They won't go away and I still wake up each morning at 4 am. Sometimes because of the nightmares. The m/c that I can't seem to get out of my head. Sometimes just because of a noise but it is no better. Most days after an hour or so I fall back asleep but it is that hour that I cry. It is during that time I can't get my lost baby out of my mind. It is tonight as I read about yet another pregnant mama due around the time I was that I can't help but cry. I am so sad. I am so pissed off. Why does this keep happening to me? I should be half way through the pregnancy but here I sit without my baby in my belly. I will be 40 years old in a few months. When I tell people this they so sweetly say "Oh, I know of people who have had babies much later than that" - really? I know that I am high risk and I am not sure that I want to risk it. Was it my age? No one can tell me. No one can give me a reason. Habitual aborter. That is what is on my chart. Really? If only you could feel the pain in my heart for just one minute. I eat too much. I drink too much. I cry too much. I am yelling too much (again). When will this change? I wonder if I will ever feel normal again?


Wordful Wednesday - Baby It's Cold Outside

What do you get when you take this

topped off with this?

No school for 3 days!

Let's see what tomorrow brings.

More Wordless Wednesday at 5 Minutes for Mom and for the more chatty ones like myself there is Wordful Wednesday.


I heart faces - Smile!

>> Tuesday, January 11, 2011

She is full of them that is for sure. This was taken on Monday and we were having a snow day. The girls and I painted our nails, watched some movies, and ate popcorn. Violet was happy and it shows. Even though her mama was totally slack and didn't bring them outside because it was too cold (below 30) and Ruby wouldn't have lasted 10 minutes. Go ahead and call me a slacker, I am wearing my big girl panties :)



The girls and I - January 2011

>> Monday, January 10, 2011

Last year I tried to get a shot of the girls and I every month but sort of slacked. Again this year I will try but it is hard to do. I was trying to do a reflective surfaces shot for my 52 week project and everyone came running to investigate. Even Marley is in it. The other dogs hide when I get out the camera because they fear that I might dress them up I think. Unfortunately we tried a princess costume on Marley from our stash but it was too small.



52 Weeks of Me - Reflective Surfaces (2/52)

>> Sunday, January 9, 2011

Nap time. It is my quiet time. Some days I blog and some days I just sit around and enjoy the peace. Yesterday I had a self portrait to do. I dragged an old mirror upstairs and went to work. I liked this one best because I knew what was going on in the house. Nothing. I also liked it because even though I had cleaned the mirror it appears that before they went to their rooms a little hand had investigated it first. That made me smile when editing.


Don't forget to add your picture to our flickr pool. Next week Cara and I are doing Focus on the Eyes. Join us!

Grab a button if you want to :)



>> Friday, January 7, 2011

We dog sat Marley last year. For almost 2 weeks she lived with us. While here I just couldn't believe how well she fit with our little family. The other 2 dogs had no issue with her whatsoever. This past November her owner called and asked if we would take her to be ours. Matt and I talked a lot about it because we weren't in the market for a new dog. I have never even thought of myself as a lab owner. They are pretty crazy dogs but this one wasn't. It was my husband who finally said yes because he REALLY liked her. Marley's old owner decided at that time last November that she couldn't give her up and I can totally understand that because this is one great dog. This past Tuesday though I got a call from her again and this time she made her decision and was ready to live with it. Her father brought the dog to us that night. I will say it again, this is one great dog!


When I get on the floor she immediately comes by me to get some love. How I wish that bookshelf wasn't in this picture. This big girl is one of us now :)


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I am 45 years old and married to my best friend Matthew. We are the parents of 3 girls, 2 dogs, and a cat. This is the story of us, try to stay awake.
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