Wednesday, September 24, 2008

"exchange" the movie

I've mentioned in previous posts that while I was in Mexico I performed a drama with about 8 other people. It was called the Exchange, and since coming home, we've had the opportunity to perform it 3 more times.

I FINALLY was able to get a hold of the video... I tried recording it myself (well letting someone else record it with my camera) like 3 times and somehow it always got messed up!

This is actually a better recording than I could have done with my camera, and because this particular performance was at my church, the lighting was very cool.

Unfortunately, it is a quite dark recording, so it's hard to see a lot of what's going on and because it has to be low-res to upload you can't really see our faces.

But I still get chills everytime I see it... It's very powerful...


Tuesday, September 23, 2008

I *heart* trees

In a recent post, I wrote that I love trees.

Love is actually a very mild and non-descriptive word for how I feel about them.

So I decided to write an entire post dedicated to describing what I DO feel about them.

I know, I know... it sounds kinda silly probably, but me and trees go way back. It's not like one day I woke up and allofasudden decided to love trees.

I remember being as young as 4 years old laying on my bed in the afternoon watching the willow leaves change shape in the wind outside my window. I would pretend that the leaves formed the shape of all kinds of animals and different things that floated through my little mind.

Here's another thing. My mom and dad are very "plant oriented." Since my dad retired from UPS he has worked only part time at a church and spent the REST of his time manicuring our one acre country club lawn. Needless to say, he has a green thumb. I on the otherhand could really care less about the care of plants and other such nonsense. However, I do enjoy them... and since my parents are so well versed in flora and fauna, I often find myself knowing tid-bits of information that other people of my education-level are stunned to find out I know.

Here's an example:

my education-level equivalent: wow that's a really cool plant. I like how the leaves have white centers in that cool/funky pattern.

me: oh yah, that's a josta.

my education-level equivalent: that's a jostaWHO? why the heck do you know this stuff?

me: (here is where I go on to explain my parents love affair with the flora and fauna of the northeast)

All that aside, I'm glad to know these things, somehow it makes me appreciate God's work that much more.

Today was a beautiful day... and I was compelled to take advantage of it since there won't be many more like this for quite a while. I took a blanket outside and laid it under the canopy of trees in the yard and read my Bible and another book that i'm studying right now.

It was seriously amazing. I mean, I used to wonder why I felt so much closer to God in the summer than I do any other time of year. I don't wonder anymore.

When I can be outside, it's like His presence is everywhere... The world is as He made it, and I can't help but enjoy it...


This is something I've been wanting to say for such a long time on here.

It's finally happening! I've done the research and I am currently/actively working on the website for my photography business!

Most likely, when I actually launch the site I will create another blog that will be more photography related, but for now, I'm just going to be using this one... you don't mind do you? ;)

From time to time I may ask for input also... I'm trying to come up with a good design for my logo and I think that sometimes looking at it for too long skews my opinion.

- So for right now, what do you think of the header I have on right now for the announcement?
- Do you like the font, the way it flows?
- for the business name, should it be Amanda Slakes Photography OR

Thanks guys! <3 you all!


Monday, September 22, 2008

Nope, not me!

MckMama is beginning a new blogfest called "not me! Monday"

It is really quite funny and although in the beginning I didn't know how to do it, I quickly figured it out and decided that this actually make for some pretty hilarious blogging :)

So here goes nothin, as I tell you what I didn't do this week:

On Friday night I most certainly did not stay home and sort pictures. I did not stay home just so that I could save my car from accumulating any more miles... nope not me!

I did not tell my good friend that I couldn't babysit just because I wanted to sleep in on Saturday am...

On Saturday night I did not go to the overpriced movie theatre and movie hop... and I most certainly did not see two of the most disgusting movies I've ever watched in my life one right after the other...

and while i was at the movies, I absolutely did not buy a medium refillable diet coke for $5.50. And after I was done not buying it, I did NOT decide that alicia and I could together get it refilled 4 times for a total of 220 ounces of diet coke.

I DID remember that diet coke has caffeine in it only after I was done not drinking ounce #48.

I did not keep drinking the DC after realizing that because that would have been plain stupid...

I did not go to the bathroom at the movie theatre 8 times in 4 hours... that's just gross. Who drinks that much anyways?

On the way home from the movies, I didn't almost get pulled over for speeding... and I seriously did not pull down a road not on my normal path just to avoid the cop.

After I got home I didn't hide the car in the back and sneak into the house because the cop was not driving around on my street looking for me...

I did not start doing laundry at 2am so that I would have clean clothes by the time i had to get up at 6:30... nope, not me!

Well, that's what I didn't do the last few days... what didn't you do?

Go on over to MckMama and link up so I can see how much you didn't do this week :)


Saturday, September 20, 2008

i'm too analytical

It seems to me that I get the most comments when I write about awkward or gross things.

Come on you guys, seriously, is that what we've lowered ourselves to?

Ok, ok... i can understand the highly mathematical logic behind this,

"IF it makes me laugh, THEN I will comment"

Why do we do this? Because we are sick and find that when we are reading about someone else's disturbing reality we find some satisfaction knowing that WE ARE NOT ALONE!

Every so often I check my google analytics (if you haven't installed this into your blog, you totally should)

It tells me all kinds of things, such as:
- how many hits I get on my page per day
- what countries my blog is being read in (currently including but not limited to india, egypt, france and argentina... there are actually 28 countries, but i'm sure you're not interested in the complete list)
- what people typed into google to get to my blog

Oooooo, and this is where the fun begins.

I seriously cannot handle some of the things people have typed (because i've never typed a question into google like it's my best friend.


So here I am going to share some of these nuggets (ps i hate that word)

1. "can amusement park ride trigger asthma attack"

The answer to that, I do not know. However, I do know that it may trigger you pee your pants.

2. "I am a failure at life"

Wow, thanks for that. I mean seriously, I can't think of a better compliment than that MY blog would pop up after typing in such a meaninful statement...

3. "I feel like I have to burb but I can't"

Well ya know, sometimes when that happens to me, I go to my friend google and type it in there... just in case someone out there happens to have a solution to helping you BURB. I hope that my post about my dad's suburban helped you out with that.

4. "my life is not exciting so I want to go home with God"

Well, I'm not sure that is the solution...

5. "travelers diarrhea turkey batman"

Hmmm... I'm pretty sure that when they happened upon my post about Otis aka Kyle their search didn't end... just a guess...


So far, those are the only ones worth being mentioned on here. There are a lot, but none as exciting... who am I kidding actually, this isn't exciting...

Well hopefully at least it will be interesting. And if nothing else, I hope it inspires you to get your own google analytics. it will provide you with entertainment of that i'm sure.


Friday, September 19, 2008

5 random facts about moi

My fabulous blog designer Lex has tagged me for the meme. Hers however, was actually 6... I wrote 5.

as you will see though, this may count as #6 in an unconventional way. the fact is, I hate doing things in weird increments.

For example, this meme is 6 questions and not 5, that bothers me. So i made it 5.

When I am photoshopping a picture, I usually have to make sure that I adjust things in increments of 5. Sometimes I compromise for the sake of the picture... but it's gotta be an important couple of numbers. otherwise, let the rounding begin.

And for what it's worth, I've actually gotten better at *NOT* doing this recently. I'm trying to let my "gut" guide me as i photo edit, but sometimes it just has to be in fives. So here goes my 5 random factoids.

1. When my mom goes away for more than a day, I start to miss her :( if i was a guy, i think they would call me a momma's boy... but since i'm not (at least last time i checked) i'll settle for momma's girl.

2. i secretly like being overtired... because it means my life is full of things to do and (usually) happy

3. i am in love with trees. I love them... in the summer, in the winter and everything in between. in the summer i simply faint at the sight of light coming through the leaves... and in the winter when the branches are snow-laden I feel like i'm inside of a fairy tale. (i'm going to eventually write a whole post about this lol)

4. There are only 3 foods which I absolutely detest and WILL NOT EAT. EVAH.
- mushrooms
- cottage cheese
- oatmeal (my aunt once made me eat oatmeal when i was about 4 and I threw it up all over the floor. she then spanked me for "making myself puke" i can assure you however, there was nothing voluntary about it. I hate hate hate it!)

5. I love kids (no surprise there) however, I do not want to HAVE kids of my own for a very long time. I seriously don't know if i would be able to handle it. I get to go home at the end of the day... I'm sure that when I eventually DO have them, I will be fine, but right now, the mere thought sends my heartrate up and makes me feel anxious. I'm ok with not having any right now!

Well that's it... for now. I'm sure you all feel enlightened now and much more in tune with who i am. which after all, is the point... you know you love me!

And since this is a meme, and I don't do this all the time, I would like to hear some random facts about YOU. It doesn't matter who you are, if you want to post your own, go ahead and then we'll all have fun reading :)


Wednesday, September 17, 2008

I'm freaking out right now!!!

Today is the day!

I've known this day was coming for awhile...

And i've had mixed feelings about it.

But now that it's here, I'm about ready to scream and jump up and down!!!

Today, they introduced the BRAND NEW Canon 5D Mark II!

I know, I know... I'm a dork...

But I'm a photographer, can you blame me?!

I've been planning on buying the 5D for a couple months now... and am quite close to having enough money.

I've done my research baby, and the 5D is exactly what I want/need and more than I could ask for.

It's an amazing quality pro-level camera and I have not heard ONE BAD thing about it.

So now, they came out with it's successor... what am I to do?!

It's so brand spanking new, that I can't even find the price anywhere.

I imagine it's a boatload, but still... a girl needs to know!

So if you know how much it is, or find a site that actually lists the price, help me out here!

And if you're a fellow photographer, please feel free to leave your drool comments.


Monday, September 15, 2008

when molehills become mountains

Last night there was a CRAZY storm. It was seriously hurricane type weather. And while i'm not accustomed to hurricanes being that i live in UPSTATE NY! I was very surprised by the severity and magnitude of this psycho storm.

Yesterday was an inordinarily hot/humid day. Especially considering just last week I was wearing a hoodie again and sleeping with all my blankets on.

It was so hot when I went to bed that I slept on top of the made-bed fluffiness and used a light blanket to just drape over my bottom half

I was probably asleep by 1030 or 11 and around midnight woke up because the branches of the tree outside my window were hitting the garage so violently I was seriously scared.

Huge crashes and whacks were occurring at what seemed to be 5 feet from my bed.

It was about this time that Alicia came up to go to sleep as well and as she climbed into the loft I simply said,

"What the heck is this storm all about?!?!"

To which she replied by telling me how the tree outside my window is swaying back and forth in a very precarious manner.

I then said,

"Well go ahead and rest easy now... good and faaaaaar away from the window. I'm gonna be the one to go first if anything happens."

She laughed... but I was dead serious. I thought that tree was going to crash through my window and an enormous shard of glass was going to puncture one of my vital organs!

My fitful sleep was again disturbed shortly thereafter by the fact that the power was out.

Wanna know why that would make me wake up? Because my friends, I had successfully created an outline of my body on my bed with my own sweat.

The fan had gone off.

Then I was thanking God that the wind was blowing so hard, for surely, if the tree and glass hadn't killed me, then the heat certainly would have.

As it turned out, I ended up even having to close the window because the noise was soooo dang loud, I figured I would rather die in my sleep from heat exhaustion than risk not sleeping one more minute (at least i would die peacefully that way)

Anyways, I am still alive (obviously) and there are only branches strewn about the yard. There's actually a tree split down the middle here at the house I work in, but other than that...

Man, I would not bode well in hurricane lane... no, no i would not.

It's true about what they say though... molehills seriously do become mountains at night!


Saturday, September 13, 2008

omg i never blog

I've always been of the mind that I would NOT write blogs like this. But i am feeling the need to express myself in this way, at this moment. So I would like to say it now.

Oh my goodness, I never blog.

On that note, I have something to share.

My latest shoot and one of the most beautiful girls I know.

I also thought I would share something else with you while I'm at it.

You might think that as a photographer, I am all charismatic and whatnot. And when I go out with people to take their pictures I'm super smooth and polished etc.

Let me assure you...

I am a completely the opposite!

This may sound weird, but it's true!

I get into this mindset where I'm trying to figure out what's going to look cool and tell my people to do crazy things sometimes... then when it's not working I just say forget it.

I often wonder to myself if I totally drive people nuts while doing this... but honestly, the bottom line is that I end up with good pictures for them.

And that's how I do it!

I dislike doing the same things over and over. And while I may repeat some things that I know look good, I always try to mix it up and fit into the person's individual style.

Anyways, I don't know that anyone needed to know that. But since I find it weird/interesting that I do this, I thought you might like to know too!

So this is Leah... this gorgeous girl you all saw. I love her so much. She is a total sweetheart as I'm sure you can see in her eyes.

She has a beautiful smile! and what was so funny about doing pictures with her is that I thought she would be totally posing it up for me because that's her personality, but she totally wasn't! In fact, whenever I would turn to her with my camera she would more or less shy away!

But when I would turn around to grab something from my bag, I would see her strike a pose or do something goofy, and I would whip around to try and catch her... but alas, she was faster. I managed to draw her out though, and I'm very pleased with the results.

I am currently/actively working on a website that I hope to be up within about a month. I am also going to be doing a promotional for my business, which if you haven't gathered (due to my lack of blogging!!!) I am currently in the process of starting.

So stay tuned for updates on that! And hopefully more (consistent) blogging will be in my future...


Wednesday, September 10, 2008

$1000 check

This past week I went to a conference where I heard Bill Johnson speak. I mentioned this in my last post but didn't expand on purpose. I wanted to save those reflections/thoughts for this separate post.

Anyways, i have had a real passion for seeing God work supernaturally ever since I went to India and saw it happening firsthand. I've heard Bill through like dvds of different conferences he has spoken at, but what an opportunity to hear him speak in person.

I am not one to pin greatness on people. And that's not what i'm doing here. I just know that I was seriously impacted by what he had to say and wanted to more or less get my thoughts written down.

So here's the thing. I have seen healings occur, as you've heard me speak of on here in the past, and I have been trying to STILL figure out how to categorize watching the seemingly impossible, happen.

I have heard people say that if you don't believe enough, then someone won't be healed. I have heard people say that people don't get healed because of some greater reason God has in mind...

I don't know that I believe either of those so much.

This is what Bill said that made a ton of sense to me.

So get this:

Jesus already paid for healing when He died on the cross. When we pray for someone to be healed, it's like we're delivering a check that's already been made out to them.

If we are just the carriers, then it wouldn't make a difference whether we believed it would happen or not. Like, if I have a check in my hand for $1000 to give to my friend alicia, and I didn't believe that I was holding a check for $1000, it really wouldn't matter. The fact remains, I am still holding the check for $1000... now I just have to hand it to her.

It's an interesting concept. And while I'm still figuring out how to mentally take in all that I have seen and heard in the last year or so, I am choosing to realize that God is at work among us...

and whether I believe it or not doesn't matter at all...

Which is pretty stinking cool.


Tuesday, September 9, 2008

dried plums are WHAT?!

I've been eating sugar-free for a few weeks now. I have had the occasional sugary substance when it has been socially appropriate, but for the most part, I have avoided eating it.

As a result, I've been more active in looking for alternatives that are still yummy but much more healthy.

Sooo, get ready because I'm about to share with you not only my most favorite find, but also a shocking revelation (at least to me ha!)

The other day I was working with my friend Traci on some stuff for our youth service on Sunday. I was super duper hungry and there was a bag of dried fruit sitting on the desk. It wasn't hers, but we were both like, yah who cares, and I ate some anyways.

Most dried fruit has added sugar, and honestly most times I just don't like it because it's too sweet. But this stuff was amazing! It was a mix of pears, peaches, plums, and apricots.

I loved it, but i didn't want to be sooo rude and eat the whole thing, so I restrained myself, to the dismay of my very hungry stomach.

Two days later, I decided I must find this stuff. And buy it for myself.

I found it at wegmans. So I bought, I ate, and it was good.

Now, the majority of the mix was the dried plums. And they were my FAVORITE. In fact, I had decided that the next time I bought this, I would get the one that was ONLY dried plums.

They are so tasty.

Throughout the day, I guesstimate that I probably ate about 10 of the plums.

And later that night, I went to the miracles conf up in the city. And WHILE Bill Johnson was speaking, I felt a serious rumbling down below the stomach region.

I didn't want to get up because I didn't want to miss anything. But as I assessed where the nearest bathroom was, I realized that if it happened I wasn't close enough to any one of them to get there on time. I needed to be proactive and go NOW before it was too late.

But I didn't.

I will spare you more details, and just let you know now that it actually turned out to be fine... but in the midst of my quandry I texted Melissa and Alicia to see if plums made you go. Thanks to the wonderful world of technology and texting I quickly got the response verified on the verification station (aka the internet) and found out that they indeed DO.

Fast forward to the next day.

Everything worked out ok. No serious emergencies or problems occurred.

I was talking to my mother about this scenario and she looks at me like, "you seriously didn't know that?" and I was like NO! i DIDN'T know that, thankyouverymuch.

Apparently, dried plums are actually PRUNES!!!

OMG. I would have NEVER eaten that many had I known that!

So, please tell me, did YOU know that before you read this? If you did, it's ok, i'm not going to feel like a moron... it will just make me laugh that much harder hahaha!!!

seriously... who eats that many prunes in one day anyways... oh yah, I do


coffee connoisseur?

I am most certainly NOT an expert when it comes to coffee.

Here is what I know about it.

It smells good.

A frappucino means it's cold and like a slushie.

A mocha has chocolate in it.

There you have it.

However, I have been learning to like the taste of coffee more and more. I'm not a big coffee drinker, and I don't really "need" the caffeine.

There are certain occasions when caffeine is just what I need to do the trick, but I guess the fact of the matter is that I never became dependent on it, because it doesn't actually give me energy. It more or less calms me down. Which is odd, seeing as how it is an upper.

Anyways, I bought myself an almond flavored cappucino this morning and it was seriously oh so tasty.

I have decided. to. broaden. my. coffee. horizons.

Any suggestions? What's your favorite coffee drink?


Thursday, September 4, 2008

i'd like to thank


umm, is this thing on?

*loud shrilly feedback noise*

Oh hi...


I'm new at this so please bear with me. I don't even know what to say really!

So I'll just start and see where this goes.

All of these months I've been sitting in front of this computer pining away for some comment love and possibly, just maybe, someday being nominated for a bloggy award.

I've never complained... have you heard me say anything?

Well, my patience paid off and wouldn't ya know it, I was nominated for an award that I couldn't be more proud to accept!

Thanks Jyl!

I can only speculate why she would nominate me for this award, and since I'm so humble it's hard for me to think that maybe she loves me for my amazing photography skillz.

Or maybe because she knows how it's cool to pee your pants.

ooooor, I think it's really that she finds some sick satisfaction knowing that she has the resolve and resistance to NOT EAT AT MCDONALDS anymore...

Whatever the case, I am honored and pleased to accept this award. I mean, heck, it's just one more reason to open my blog each morning and stare at it in complete awe realizing just how much I love my blog... (i may or may not actually do that)

And now that I have received such a lovely award, I would like to distibute the love asitwere and let you know who my faves are!

I'd like to say that these ladies entertain me daily, but due to the realization that people DO HAVE LIVES besides their blogs (pssshh! who ever heard of such a thing!) I will reserve judgement on just how often any one of you blogs!

Because we all know that I've never gone a day... or two... or a week... without posting.

So without further ado, here are my picks!

1. Michelle at Not So Daily Chronicles
2. Melissa at He Who Kneels Most
3. Laural at Mamasphere
4. Andrea at Sgt and Mrs Hub
5. Susan at Fordy Days and Nights

If you wanna share the love too, now that you have received this award, feel free to pass it along!

1. Winners: Feel free to put the logo on your blog.
2. Link the person you received your award from.
3. Nominate 5 other blogs.
4. Put links of those blogs on yours.
5. Leave a message on nominees' blogs (so they know they were nominated!)


Wednesday, September 3, 2008

first day of school

Today was the first day of school for the kids...

This girl seriously cracks me up.

I tell her, ok let's take some pictures...

And she just goes for it. She goofs around and has fun, and I always end up with cute and fun pictures of her. Of course, she's also gorgeous and so when she does look at the camera and smile, you know that in a couple years she is no longer going to be allowed out of the house.

Sydney is going to middle school! She decided to try riding the bus in the mornings... so we waited for it to come this morning.

It was scheduled to come at 8:05, and at approximately 8:06 a long yellow bus sped by the house. No stopping, no slowing down.

What a bummer! we waited another 5 minutes to see if another bus would come... but it didn't.

So we got the keys and were just about to head out in the car when...

her actual bus pulled up.

And this time... it's not a short bus hahaha!


he's not even my kid...

but I definitely cried on his first day of school.

what am I going to do when I actually have my own!?!


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