Wednesday, December 31, 2008

goodbye 2008

1. Where did you begin 2008? in avoca with alicia, at smokies... to be specific... and later getting pulled over for "drunk driving"

2. What did you do in 2008 that you’d never done before? oh probably a lot of things... but the biggest thing was building my photography into a business!

3. What was your status by Valentine’s Day? single and just fine with it :)

4. Were you in school (anytime this year)? no! for the first time since i was 3!

5. How did you earn your money? mostly through my job as a nanny, but as the year progressed I made a lot doing photoghraphy

6. Did you have to go to the hospital? thankfully no

7. Did you have any encounters with the police? haha YES, one on new year's eve last year

8. Where did you go on holidays? I went to Maryland for Easter, and I may go again this year. Fourth of July was in Mexico and Thanksgiving and Christmas were at home with my parents and some family

9. What did you purchase that was over $1000? My 5D!!!

10. Did you know anybody who got married? Beka and Jared, Meghan and Steve, Matt and Danielle

11. Did you know anyone that passed away? not anyone that i was particularly close with

12. Did you know anyone who had a baby? Michelle and Sherrie

13. Did you move? no, but i wanted to! and hopefully i will be in 2009

14. What concerts/shows did you go to? i don't really go to concerts often...

15. Are you registered to vote? yes

16. Who did you want to win Big Brother? i didn't even know that was on

17. Where do you live now? with my parents

18. Describe your birthday. I worked and then went to cadre

19. What’s one thing you thought you’d never do, but did in 2008? started a business

20. What has been your favorite moment? there have been a lot... but i think my favorite moments have been watching a friend of mine's life be changed by God.

21. What’s something you learned about yourself? just that every year i get older, i realize how much i DON'T know about being an adult LOL

22. Any new additions to your family? nopers

23. What was your best month? probably july

24. What was your worst month? march

25. What music will you remember 2008 by? the deluge band cd

26. Who has been your best drinking buddy? def melissa. hahaha! but we just drink sparkling grape juice

27. Made new friends? yes, lots of them

28. Lost friends? yes, one in particular, but we won't go into that here!

29. Favorite night out? probably thursdays or fridays... but not one night that i remember

30. Compared to this time last year, are you:
i. happier or sadder? happier, most definitely
ii. thinner or fatter? same i think
iii. richer or poorer? i have more money

31. What date from 2008 will remain etched upon your memory, and why? i am bad at recalling specific dates and events... but the trip to mexico i will always remember and everything that happened there.


Tuesday, December 30, 2008

last night...

oh how the wind blew... it blew and blew

and I sat on the couch, *not* enjoying the sound as I knew I would soon have to go out in it.

it rattled the windows, and broke the hinge on the door.

It blew through the cracks and sent a chill up my spine.

I knew though, I would have to go out eventually.

I had 15 miles to drive home, and 50 feet to run to my car.

it crossed my mind, more than a few times, the thought of a mountain lion attacking me on the way to the car...

after all, according to *unnamed person* there have been wild mountain lions let loose around here to control the deer population.

the wind and the lions were not my only enemy last night...


Something far more real, and definitely unexpected.

I made it to my car. Safely. With no mountain lion attacks, scratches or bite marks.

The wild chihuahuas stayed put for the night (claimed to populate upstate NY by the same *unnamed person*)

I was all but 3 miles from home...

And there it was.

In the road...

It blew and whipped.

at first glance it was a shadow...

and then it was not.

the formless void took shape...

and then it became clear.

It was a large... black...

garbage bag!

and my car crashed squarely into it.

the bag exploded and trash flew everywhere.

the rest of the drive home, I heard the remnants rattling underneath.

And this morning, I exited my house to find a large piece of plastic emerging from below...

fused to the undercarriage (go ahead, laugh because i used that word, I did)

upon my discovery, I laid down to dislodge it, but the melted parts would remain intact.

I circled around back to see if any more had stowed away to find that the rear of the car was literally sprinkled with small shreds of garbage.

In short, last night, my enemy was not the obvious...


mountain lion

wild chihuahua

No my friends.

it was a garbage bag.

a rogue waste receptacle.

I need to get to the car wash asap.

My car smells like burning plastic.


Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas!

it's so good to be sitting here again celebrating another Christmas. I'm excited for what the day will bring, but honestly, I've been reflecting the past day or so on how amazing this time of year is. The gift of God given to us here on earth... what a miracle. I believe in miracles, and honestly I'm excited to see what miracles this Christmas brings :) Even if it's a miracle in my heart...

God is good. Thank you for being a part of my bloggie world, I love each and every one of you!

Merry Christmas!

This was taken at our Christmas eve candle lighting service tonight. it is indeed one of the worst pictures i've ever taken. however, due to the extreme darkness that was involved during the taking of this picture, there is no way that the two of them could have planned on making the same face at the same time. I didn't even notice this until i pulled the picture up and saw Jay's face emerge from the blackness... hullarious.


cookie decorating on a snow day

The other day, on the kids snow day I decided that it would be fun to come to my house and make the cut-out cookies. All went well for awhile, as you can see from the below pictures... but it wasn't long before things went south.

This one's for Jim

Unfortunately, for the sake of the process, the actual decorating part went painfully slow. I decorated an entire rabbit family in the amount of time it took them to decorate one cookie. Their cookies were lovely though, but in my family, cookie decorating is serious business. It needs to get done as quickly as possible to maximize eating time potential.

Before the decorating even began though, they got ahold of my video camera and went to town. while i was going through all the footage to edit, I found some less than appropriate mooning, which I kindly cut out. however, i laughed SO HARD when I saw it! (note, if you're watching this from the actual site, you may want to scroll to the bottom and pause the music player :)


Monday, December 22, 2008

my first v-blog

i don't know where the inspiration for this came from, except that i was more in the mood to talk than to write. which i'll end up doing a lot of anyways, since I didn't cover everything in the video!

I would like to pay tribute at this time, however, to my Mom and Melissa for surprising me with one of the sweetest and heartfelt gifts i've ever gotten. I was feeling really down about Christmas this year and about 3 weekends ago, Melissa came over while I was gone and my mom and her decorated my room :) They wrapped all the pictures on the wall like presents and put huge bows on them. then the strung Christmas lights all around the one room. i seriously cried when I saw it.

Anyways, you will see the result of their work in this video... plus a lot of other things i can't believe i'm airing publicly... (might i add what a lovely angle the camera is at on this first frame)


snow day

how perfect is it that 3 days before Christmas there would be a snow day? It would actually be even better if it was tomorrow! Then Christmas vacation would start just that much sooner ;)

The house got very quiet, and I wondered what in the world they could be doing so quietly...

So i ventured upstairs to find out...

this is what i found :)

and no, Claudia is not sick contrary to the way it may look. She wanted to "look sick" for the picture. I think she did a pretty good job LOL!

And this was obviously taken with my cell phone haha. I love the ethereal glow coming from the right side of the picture...


Wednesday, December 17, 2008

the post in which i bear my credit soul...

Today I had the privilege of looking up my credit report on

I went on to see because recently I applied for a car loan and was denied by two different banks because of "delinquent payment history"

I also received a notice yesterday about one of my store credit cards credit limit being lowered because of "recent delinquent payments"

Hmmm... NOT OK! I am known for being a serious FREAK about making sure my balances are paid in full at the end of each month. And if by chance I have ever made a late payment, I have always been able to resolve the issue. I've been very proud of the fact that I have good credit and i've been striving to keep it that way so that later on when i want to say buy a house or something trivial like that, i'll be able to.

Anyways, turned out that I had a $67.06 balance on my capital one card. So I was really upset, but realized that if it was indeed my fault (which I assumed it was) i was more than willing to pick up the slack and just pay it. But before I did that, I wanted to call and talk with them about making sure that they understood that I wasn't just neglecting to pay it due to a lack of fundage, but as a complete oversight and will they PLEASE TAKE THIS OFF MY REPORT!

Well, when I called, I was given to an account specialist who stated that I had a balance of $67.06 and that if I would like to pay it in full right now then I wouldn't be sent to the creditors blah blah blah.

Not 2 minutes later as I was getting ready to authorize the payment he said that the balance to pay in full was now $70.something (i don't remember the exact cents)

*tires screeching* wait a second, hold the phone! Which is it buddy? I mean i know it's only like a $3 difference, but I know enough to know that these people are specific if they aren't anything else. So I said, "could you please tell me exactly what my balance is because I just heard you say 2 different amounts."

He didn't give me a straight answer.

Instead he said something about finance charges...

So that got the wheels in my brain turning and I asked then "why are these supposed finance charges not appearing on my STATEMENT!?"

And i was answered with an explanation that went something like this:

"well you see ma'am, finance charges are ecrued because of interest on purchases. It is applied to the total balance when you receive your statement and are subsequently responsible for paying them."

Well, that's mighty interesting now isn't it? I have no problem paying interest on a credit card that I know has an interest rate on... however I am NOT ok when I am paying interest on a balance of ZERO.

It was at this point that I realized that I HAD INDEED paid off my card in full back in July, and that there was a $.54 finance charge applied to my card in AUGUST that resulted in $67 of late fees over the next 4 months.

I don't know about you, but that's some seriously good interest off $.54. Sign me up for that please, i'd like to take part in whoever's gettin the benefits of that!

I had held it together mostly up to this point... but after realizing this, I totally wigged. He told me there was "nothing they could do since I had received the statement in the mail" blah blah blah

So I asked for a supervisor/manager.

I explained to her that had these charges been as a result of my own delinquence to pay off my balance in full, I would have no problem paying the bill right now. However, because i was being charged late fees off of a finance charge that was applied to a BALANCE OF ZERO I was absolutely unwilling to pay this bill.

She said that she could waive 2 of the late fees, and since I knew that was only $30 (less than half the bill) I insisted that while I appreciated that, it was still not acceptable and the bill needed to be balanced to zero again.

After a few minutes and minimal voice raising, she came back to tell me that she had waived all late fees and FINANCE CHARGES THAT HAD ECRUED ON THE FINANCE CHARGE FROM THE BALANCE OF ZERO.

Thank you.

And with that, I would like to close my account with Capital One. You better believe I pulled every card I could think of including the commercials that advertise capital one being the card that has no "hidden fees" and the whole "no hassle" deal. I'm telling you what. I have NEVER ever had a problem like this with a credit card. And as I'm sure you can imagine that i will never be opening an account with Capital One again.


Monday, December 15, 2008

frustrated... sort of

***warning: the following post is not going to be interpreted for people who don't know photo speak. i'm sorry, i'm just not in a mood to translate, besides, even if i did, it wouldn't really make it more interesting!***

I was using CS3 for a month on a trial version while I wait for CS4 to come to me... however, my trial ran out two days ago. And i've still not gotten the new version. Therefore I had to revert to using CS2 which is still on my computer... unfortunately, the bridge's default for opening raw is set to CS3... which means, quickly, that I can't open ANY OF MY RAW FILES on my computer!

I looked around for a good portion of the afternoon trying to find a solution... to no avail.

I have a whole lot of pictures that i've been preparing into some (what i think are) great Christmas posts. But without the software it's a pile of stupid numbers... err, or something.

Segue, looking on the bright side, it has forced allowed me to take some time off from this stuff. Thankfully I've caught up to a point where that is actually ok. And my last order went in this morning! The order where if you didn't order, then you ain't getting stuff from me for Christmas... yah.

Well, maybe you'll get a love note (ahem, alicia)


Saturday, December 13, 2008

Gingerbread houses (take 2)

As I sat down to commemorate this momentous occasion of creativity that has once again occurred with the children, I was very excited to link up to LAST YEAR'S POST about making gingerbreak houses. However, when I went back to that post, I realized that the slideshow I had created had somehow been hacked and now displays pictures of some mamacita and her boytoy on their cruise to timbuktowhoknowswhere.

Therefore, I am not linking to it. But if you care to go back in the archives and find it, you are more than welcome.

But fortunately for you, I have carefully documented the entire process in picture form and am now prepared to share it all. You're on the edge of your seat, I can just feel it!

The pieces displayed for all to see...

thanks to Wegmans! I seriously. love. Wegmans. Seriously, goodness knows I would have loved to be able to make the pieces myself... but that just wasn't happening this year. These are soooo much nicer than what I rigged last year. We did the whole mini milk carton and graham cracker deal last year... and the frosting did NOT work.

I had great plans of taking andy to school and going out to buy ingredients for frosting/mortar and then booking it back to the house whereupon I would assemble 3 gingerbread houses...

however, the best laid plans are all too often laid to rest when preschool teachers have "classroom gingerbread house making" planned already! So I couldn't get to the store and back to the house and then back to pick him up with enough time so I just went to pick him and his carefully constructed house up after picking up the necessary ingredients.

This would be a picture of me not swearing while trying to keep these houses from falling apart...

Gluing these babies together proved to be a much harder task than originally antipated. The sides kept falling over, and I most surely did NOT let any cuss words slip out of my mouth during that time... nope, I didn't.

Let me tell you, last year I only used confec sugar and milk. That DOES NOT WORK. I found a great recipe this time and while it took awhile to dry, it was hard as a rock and PERFECT. It's all thanks to the egg whites and cream of tartar... seriously KEY ingredients. Here is the recipe I used. Leave the milk in the fridge, and do not use it if you want your houses to stick together people!

Once I finally got the houses to stick together, I moved on to organizing the candy. Look how much stinking candy we had! I may or may not have eaten enough to make a fourth gingerbread house...

There's something about the candy in these little ramekins that satisfies some sort of urge to be ocd. It's like all perfect, and untouched... yah, that didn't last for long.

All while I was preparing for this frenzy, I was playing my current favorite playlist off of And this also, my friends, is where the magic happens. I realized I've never taken a picture of my little lappie. I love that the wireless now works and I have a new battery that allows me to take it all over the house and have oh so much fun with it :)

Soon enough, claudia and syd got home from school and Andy got up from his nap and the decorating began.

The frosting had not completely dried, so I instructed them to be very careful while touching and placing things on it...

Unfortunately, being very careful to a 4 year old is not quite as careful as is necessary...

and we ended up with one gingerbread house beginning to fall apart at the seams.

This made for the beginning of a very sad afternoon. I explained that he would need to wait longer for his house to dry before he finished decorating it... but 4 year olds don't really get the whole waiting thing. Attitude ensued. Crying began. Irrational outbursts of emotion overtook the airwaves.

So I asked him what he would like to do that was special instead of decorating right now. And he said he wanted to play "sink or float" This is a game that we got from his preschool a few weeks back and he LOVES it. He would play it pretty much all day if i let him. And it's exactly what you think... you get a whole bunch of stuff from around the house and sort it into two piles predicting which will sink and which will float.

Well, when he was done playing, he decided that the nice warm water would feel really nice on his feet. So he stood in the tub, and then asked for a chair...

He then proceeded to sit there and ask me for various things such as gumdrops, chocolate milk, a backrub... you get the picture. and he did it all with this look on his face. What a little stinkpot!

I realized after I had left for the day that I forgot to take pictures of the finished works, but they were really nice. I would like to say that I'll take pictures tomorrow and then share them... but I just don't think i will! why make empty promises?

We had a lot of fun though, and I am going to miss doing this with them next year... :(


Wednesday, December 10, 2008

sooooo not with it

I love, and when i say love i mean leerrrrrvve reading blogs. I am no longer obsessed with making my blog popular or writing fun and exciting stuff... if it happens it happens, and i have a lovely little blogging community that i'm quite happy with.

I've notice a trend though... these little etsy shops keep popping up everywhere. And I think they are GREAT. but i never seem to have time to go shopping around on these little guys. am i like totally out of the loop that I've never bought anything off one of these?

I was thinking that it may just be a really great way to get some Christmas presents this year... if it weren't 14 days from said day. oops. my bad. there i go again NOT thinking ahead. although, I did decide that for NEXT year, I will be on the ball with Christmas cards. I sent out a card when I was 21 I think... it was super cute, and I need to do it again. Especially seeing as how I made a whole boatload of cards for other people and took a whole boatload of fabulous pictures for OTHER PEOPLE. What about me?!?! Let's spread the love! haha

So I've already got it planned out... and my Christmas card will be in the works by September. Probably BEFORE. oh man, do i sound like i'm making new year's resolutions already? I despise NYR's (my abbreviation)

On a totally non-related note, I am sooooooooo SICK of the cold yuck weather already. I was editing a shoot from the summer today and yesterday (don't worry, i'm not that behind, it was taken intentionally for my purposes to be given as a Christmas present, so noone is missing them) and I realized how much i MISS the variety of shooting outdoors. I've got the whole shooting indoors thing down ok, but honestly, I'm getting bored. That's why being a photographer is a good job for me. I get bored easily and have to think of new things to satisfy my creative cravings. I need to be outside, i need water, heat, sun. All things that I do not have. and i know many of you sympathize with me. we should have like a winter support group or something. Seriously.

Please, tell me you don't want to be here RIGHT NOW.

Ahhh... well, whatev. I'll have to think of some way to keep myself from going crazy this winter. I don't know if you picked up on this if you were reading my blog last winter but i was BORED. Seriously, utterly, horribly BORED. I know for sure I won't be as bored this winter, but I gotta figure out what i'm gonna do with myself...

so as I started this post with my ramblings about etsy, i was thinking about starting an online store if i have as much time as I anticipate. Maybe start selling cards/storyboards as a completely separate entity from my photography business...

That would be a lotta fun...


mini-shoot madness

It all started with Melissa wanting me to take her picture sitting on the plate. With the Christmas balls.

How cute.

Oh melissa look how cute you are! Cutsie tootsie wootsie!

I'm fairly certain baby noises were being made here...

So... SHH! Don't tell anyone she is really twenty something and could possibly have a baby of her own quite soon... I won't tell ;)

But it was hard to regain control after that happened... It started going down hill quickly

And soon Jim and I were practically having a second dinner...
Scarves are nutritious... don't know if you knew that. But now you do.

Anyways, these are all pictures from the other day when Melissa and I did our 5 mini-sessions in one day. It was soooo great, but soooo much WORK! I often think of this song when I think back on that day... LOL!

Anyways, we had fun, and I'm still posting sessions from that day over on my photo blog. Go check it out!


Monday, December 8, 2008

haha i got elfed!

Send your own ElfYourself eCards

Saturday, December 6, 2008

It's beginning to look like Christmas!

Each year it gets harder for me to get in the Christmas spirit. I believe that the true spirit of Christmas can be found in the eyes of a child. There is a wonder and excitement that is held within their little hearts... and a faith that cannot be matched by years of wisdom.

Children are a piece of heaven on earth... our little ones are so close to God's heart because they've come straight from Him... they're hand-picked, each and every one... and when God lets them enter our lives, it's a reminder to us of how beautiful life is.

I am amazed at God's handiwork and amazing love as I share in the lives of the children I take care of everyday. All too often I get caught up in the stress of life... and I forget how much I can learn from them.

Oh look at me go... bein all sappy and whatnot. I've been feeling quite emotional the last few days. Whether it's the time of year, or hormones or the fact that i'm a stuffer and it's all spilling out now... whatev.

I'll tell ya one thing though. This little boy made my heart melt on Saturday. God is so good to me. Seriously.

What I wouldn't give to have a child like Joshua. He is a complete beauty...

This family found me on craigslist for an ad I posted for Christmas cards. To see the rest of their shoot, go over to the blog.

I'm sure I'll have more blibber blabber to share as the days pass til Christmas... so bear with me. I actually am a very emotional person... I just find that I try not to allow myself to be all that often because it's just too much work! Does anyone know what I mean?!!?!?


Tuesday, December 2, 2008

goldfish unrated

you asked for it... well at least laural did. The story i alluded to in my post about potatoes and fish.

an excerpt to refresh your memory:

Apparently an opaqueish grocery bag is a coffin fit for a gold fish. Goldie (which was not it's real name as the fish did not actually bear a name due to some unfortunate circumstances surrounding how the fish were obtained and a series of events that caused me to hate them deeply for a long time) would not have fit down the toilet hole... so to the dumpster he went.

Now I will start at the beginning. The story of how these goldfish came to be.

Back when I was a mere 10th grader, I had little to do with my time. Somehow I had very little homework, ever. Maybe I just did it all in school, I honestly can't remember. I just know I almost never did any at home. Oh except for global hw... that was horrendous.

Ok, so when I wasn't doing global vocab, I needed other things to occupy my time. And since my family was never much into tv, the only channels we ever had were network. Which meant simply that the only tv there was to watch was
Where in time is Carmen Sandiego and Zoom (yes, i still watched zoom when i was in 10th grade)

We had a kitty kat but I needed something more. So i decided to start harboring fish. I started out with feeder goldfish, you know, the kind you buy for like $.12 to feed to bigger fish? I named them all variations of Winnie the Pooh characters... there was Robin, Pooh, Christoper, Christopher Robin, Tigger, Piglet, Eeyore... etc this list goes on awhile.


They died on a quite regular basis.

I kept buying fish, and one would die... I'd buy like 2 more. Little did i know that in order for fish to grow healthily, they need approximately 1 gallon of water per inch of fish. So I'm gonna take a stab and guess that having 6 inch and a half fish in a one gallon bowl probably wasn't the best setup.

Also, it didn't help that because I didn't like the stinky fish poo, I cleaned the bowl almost daily. With soap.

I became known as a fish killer.

Well, I decided that my love for fish was being thwarted by laws of nature and if i was serious about being a fish owner, I would have to move to the big guns.

So i went out and bought myself a 10 gallon tank and all the setup that goes along with it. I put those really pretty fan-tail goldfish in there and black and orange mollys and also neon tetras. I found them all to be aesthitacally pleasing and the fact that they didn't cost a whole lot was a plus too.

Soon though, I got bored with just a 10 gallon and wanted to move to a bigger tank. So i started searching and found that they are quite expensive, and on my 10th grade (well by this point 11th grade) income, I really couldn't afford to buy one. So I searched the classifieds and found a 45 gallon tank and all the accessories for like $70 or something. Still I could not afford it, but since it was around Christmastime I asked my parents to buy it for me as an early present... and i would then forego most other presents that year.

It worked! They wanted to buy it for me and i was STOKED.

So I got the tank, the set up, everything and proceeded to set it up as well as my 10 gallon all in my bedroom. You can imagine that a 45 gallon tank would take up quite a bit of space. It's not like I could put it on a bookshelf like I had with the 10... no way. This thing took up almost as much space as my twin bed. And my room wasn't that big to begin with.

It wasn't long before I realized that I wasn't able to enjoy my fish tank up there and convinced my parents that it would be best appreciated where all could see.

In our very large kitchen.

Thus the move to the kitchen and the point of this story begins.

By this point I had several goldfish. All picked for varying points of attractiveness. These were no longer feeders... they were the nice big pretty fat ones. I loved them. I also had the mollys and several neon tetras and also a frog and an albino plecostamus. You could see its heart beat when it was sucked onto the side of the tank.

Well, now that the tank had moved into a "family area" it was now subject to any and all other fish that other members of the family wanted to put in it. The deal was basically this: If i had my tank in family space, then the family was allowed to put whatever they wanted in there.

I was not happy. This was after all, MY fish tank. I couldn't help the fact that I was only 15 years old and the only space that belonged to me and me alone was 8x12.

But there it stood. And soon, 10 majestic angelfish descended upon the waters.

Did you know that goldfish are aggresive by nature? We found this out quickly when my goldfish began eating the angelfish's fins.

Needless to say, I really didn't care much. As the angelfish were against my wishes to begin with. The battle continued and eventually it boiled down to me having to relinquish my goldfish for the sake of the angelfish. Does that make sense to you? It was after all MY tank.

I was so annoyed with all of this, I expressed to my parents that what was supposed to be one of the greatest Christmas presents ever was no longer a present at all... and that since their fish had taken over my tank, i wanted to give it up and let my dad have the tank.

They agreed and the tank was no longer mine. I got the normal Christmas presents that year.

Slowly, the angelfish died off, until there were only 3 left. Springtime had rolled around and my dad had taken up fishing in his friend's pond for bullfish. However, in the process of catching said bullfish, he caught 2 coy. aka ENORMOUS GOLDFISH.

What do you think happened to those goldfish? They came home with him and went
straight in the tank with the ANGELFISH!!!

My life had come to an end. Heartbreak ensued.

My fish, my hobby, my joy... it was all over. That was the day I forever gave up fish. (except the occasional grilled salmon)

Those d**n goldfish have been living in that tank for the last 8 years. And finally, last Saturday, one of them finally died.

Oh, and the 3 remaining angelfish in the tank when the huge goldfish began life in there. Yep, they died. Quickly. The goldfish killed them.

I'm not bitter about this, really.


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