Monday, April 27, 2009

the explanation

Remember this picture?

At the end of this post, I told you to be specific when guessing... well, you were. I sincerely hope that "anonymous" was Alicia, because if not, then I have definitely have a weirdo blogstalker on my hands here... what do you think?

You are spoon feeding the girl of your dreams ambrosia (food of the gods) in the drama room perhaps? Or helping her remove a troublesome piece of food from her pearly whites?

And while it may look as though someone is brushing my teeth, Courtney was a little closer with the nasty medicine theory.

But here's the real story.

(ps every post from here til May 23 may just be about Melissa's wedding or very closely related... because basically, I don't have anything else to write about. ha!)

April 18th was a beautiful day. It's nice that those days are coming closer together finally.

I have never been to a more beautiful bridal shower, and while there was certainly no lack of drama, the location was perfect. It was held at the country club Melissa's aunt belongs to. Most of the bridal showers (ok all) have been in churches or someone's living room *grin*

The food was incredible, the presents were abounding but most of all, Melissa looked so beautiful. Ok, like, I'm not a guy, and when I saw her, I was like oh SNAP son! If she looks this good today, what is she going to look like on her wedding day?!?! Jim's a lucky man ;)

Melissa's little cousin brought her all her gifts... so cute!

Again with the cuteness... what the heck?

We all kinda forgot about the whole "giving stuff away for games" thing... oops! but melissa is amazing, and forgave us lol! She did a way better job than I woulda done for this anyways haha! I wouldn't have been nearly as generous. She framed 3 of her best landscape pictures and then made up these baskets that were to die for. I mean seriously, the whole she-bang of B&B works stuff, a photo album and matching candle. Seriously Melissa, what the heck? ;)

This is Melissa's teacher of the deaf, Mrs. Donovan, from kindergarten to sixth grade. This woman made a profound impact on her life, what an amazing thing it is to have such a relationship sustained all these years

The flowers at the country club were to die for. I coulda stayed out there breathing in their beauty far longer than I actually did ;)

look how classy I am with no shoes on. Yep, that was because I was running around taking pictures of flowers. No shame I tell ya :D This is the wedding party minus one who couldn't make it. From left to right: Kristina (melissa's cousin-to-be), Bunny (hopefully soon melissa's cousin-to-be ;), Melissa, me, Amy (only the coolest person ever next to me of course)

And then there was cake. Yes the cake. And oh my how it was delicious. Some people must notta thought so though, because when everyone had left there were still a few places untouched cake *gasp!* at them!

So below, you will see...

Amanda being fork-fed someone else's confiscated cake! Alicia was the server... Jim's mom was the scowling observer... Amanda was the one saying OMG take a picture RIGHT NOW!!!

And that my friends, is how it happened :)


Sunday, April 26, 2009

the bachelorette party

As you know if you are a reader of my blog, one of my bestest friends Melissa is getting married in like, a month. AHH! a month!? yes, a month.

So, this past weekend we (the bridal party) got together and had ourselves a little shin-dig bachelorette party.

We started planning this way back in February and it finally all came together and paid off! We rented a cottage at Letchworth State Park for a night and it was soooo cute!

Pictures really don't do it justice. It was so perfect for the 4 of us, we couldn't have asked for more!

After we arrived at the park, unpacked our things at the house, we decided a few necessary things were in order. AKA buying supplies to make s'mores and going to the Charcoal Corral for ice cream.

But before we left the park, we drove over to Wolf Creek and walked along the trail for a bit. sooo much fun playing with shutter speed for this one :D

Then, on our way out, the sunlight was like pretty much out of control amazing. Lens flare galore, beautiful colors, sooooooooooooo cool!

So, after we found our s'mores supplies and had our ice cream, we came back to the cottage and foraged for wood. Our fire was pathetic, but it did the trick. Smoke infected clothes and hair were acheived.

The next day, we got up at like o'dark hundred aka 7:30. lord only knows why we were up that early when children were not involved. We had planned a surprise picnic for one o'clock so, for 5 hours we had to find things to do so that we were in the right place at the right time for the surprise to take place.

That proved to be the biggest challenge. Because of the ungodly hour we had awakened, we had to lollygag around for soooooo long lol! last minute showers were pretty much a life-saver. Like, we're pretty much ready to leave, but oh wait! my hair still smells like smoke... i wasn't gonna take a shower, but mmm, i'm thinkin i might want to now. HAHAHA!

We hiked up to the top of upper falls to where the train tracks are and stalled for another hour or so... when there was a car fire deterring everyone from getting in the park! Who has car fires in the middle of a state park?!?!

Everyone managed to get down to the south end though and the picnic was a success. We had a lot of fun, and a lot of sun. I'm cheesy, I know :)

I'm so excited for the wedding! Only 4 more weeks!


Wednesday, April 22, 2009

auto-focus, I love you

How I wish that the moment of this picture had been captured more accurately. However, the beauty of this picture is that it actually does encapsulate all that was happening.

I'm leaving it to you to figure out what's going on ;) I'll update with the story after a few responses

Be specific ;)


Monday, April 20, 2009


Lately i've been working on transitioning my life in a lot of ways and feeling the burden of a lot of other things as I do so.

- I'm preparing to take on my business full-time
- really working at getting my body more healthy
- getting ready for melissa's wedding (who am i kidding, if i think that is a transition for me what the heck is it to her then!)
- working with the youth group
- working in general

while that list looks quite small, it takes up most all of my brain space.

This creates a problem. I unfortunately am letting a few things fall between the cracks... mainly, my spiritual life. My walk with God.

I have been thinking for literally weeks now that I am doing so well focusing on just a few things, that if I try to add anything else in (including God) I will fail... at something.

Who am I kidding?


How do I suppose I have gotten to the place where I am today. It is incomprehensible to me to try and understand how the gifts I have inside of me burning a hole through every part of my life have not been given to me by God.

How could I think that the person I am is not affected by the God who created me?

I feel like a loser for thinking that one of the things I could "cut out" would be God. I know God doesn't think I'm a loser, because I am confident (and I earnestly mean that) that He is understanding of my downfalls and is still there when I get my head screwed on straight.

If i've learned anything through the discipline it's taken to get my butt off the couch and run it's been that it's exactly that.


At first, I would run everyday. Because I was afraid if I didn't, I would quit. Or i would lose momentum and not be able to get back on. It's been 9 weeks and I have gone from barely being able to run 30 seconds at a time to running almost 3 miles yesterday!

I look forward to running now! I love the feeling of being outdoors and going and going and going. I feel like nothing can stop me and I am so confident that what I'm doing is good for my mind, body and dare I say it, my soul.

Enough is enough. I know that I possess the discipline it takes to be close to God. and walking with God isn't a discipline once you get past the point of waiting in the silence. There is only so much silence before you start to hear... So, that's it. Choosing the life of a Christian is not something I do only as a religious conviction, although I know that being a Christian gives me a moral compass that I would truly be a mess without...

It's about getting to know the One who gave me desire. Passion. Energy. Ideas and creativity.

And that's pretty much it. Getting to know Him... because without Him, I'm nothing.


Friday, April 17, 2009

i <3 faces: fix-it friday

I have in the past actually downloaded the pictures for fix-it friday... but then somewhere along the way threw it all away getting annoyed with the project for one reason or another. However, today, I did not feel such annoyance. Instead, this was a little like therapy for me. Maybe it's the fact that I've been trying to learn so much about working with raw files that working with a jpg was like a breath of fresh air... :)

This was the original:

I actually really liked the crop on this picture, so I chose not to change that part from the original. After a few adjustments this is what I came up with for color:

I use photoshop cs3 and I have a few actions that i just love using.

Here's what I did for the color one:
boutwell magic glasses (tra action) - 100%
fresh and colorful (pioneer woman action) - saturation 40%, soft light 100%, light 25%
brightness - +20
contrast - +30

Then the black and white conversion was actually a little more difficult than I thought. Since the original didn't have a lot of depth or contrast, I ended up adding quite a bit to make it stand out without being too contrasty (in my opinion)

black and white boutwell magic glasses (tra action)
contrast - +50
bitchin bw - (tra action)
contrast - +30

Then there is this for comparison

If you like this and would like to try it yourself, head on over to I <3> and check it out!


Tuesday, April 14, 2009

it's not over

The traditional Easter baskets sit here filled with candy haunting me... well not really actually. But it sounds dramatic.

Yesterday, all Andy wanted to eat was candy... so after letting him have a couple pieces, I finally said, "ok, that's it. No more candy for awhile. Easter's over."

To which he replies, "no it's not. Why can't we just keep having Easter?"

Well, that ended our conversation about that. Until I got on the computer this morning and began reading Michelle's Easter post. She had linked to the video from my church this past Easter morning and I clicked on it to see the cardboard testimonies at the end.

In the very beginning of the video, Pastor Josh gets up and says his Easter greeting and includes this phrase, "Jesus came to tell us it's not over... the world said it was over, the devil said it was over... but Jesus said, 'It's not over!'"

That's the part that Andy grabbed onto and said, "Easter's not over!" and looks at me like, see i told ya so! now where's that candy...



Monday, April 13, 2009

the main happenings... and my inability to multitask apparently

I have been feeling a bit one-track minded lately. It seems that my multi-tasking abilities aren't what they used to be. Well, at least when it comes to blogging.

Last week I had a minor meltdown with my computer where i frantically began deleting things in order to make it work again. All I wanted was for photoshop to work... and I got it to. Except in the process of cleaning up the hard drive and memory and all that, I accidentally got rid of the sound driver. Or whatever that thing that controls the volume is. Oops. So now, photoshop now works again on my computer, but I can't hear sound on it at all.

Before all this happened, I decided that was it. The last straw. I asked my friend Jim if he would help me build a new one... or rather build it for me lol

He agreed. So I went over and we picked out all the pieces and I ordered them on Wednesday. Most of it just came in today so i am almost all the way there to having a brand new super computer.

Thursday night, i was majorly pmsing, but didn't realize this until in yet another attempt to figure out how in the world I was going to wear the dress appropriately, I had a complete meltdown. I'm talking sobbing like a baby asking my mommy for a hug kinda meltdown. All is well though, now, on the dressfront as I have figured out what it's going to take to be happy with it.

I am days away from having only 2 months left here as a nanny. It makes me both sad and happy to think about. I've spent 2 years here. More time here than with my own family really. When I think about it, I mean reeeallyyy think about it, I can't help but to cry. But I know it's for the best. I will be able to really pour myself into my business. I don't feel like i can even do that now... because I'm afraid of getting too behind and not doing a good job...

And I just realized that I haven't even blogged about the wedding last weekend! It turned out to be a just awful day weather wise. We weren't able to do any outdoor pictures... which totally stunk, but all in all, it turned out good. I wasn't as nervous as I was before the wedding. Plus, they love the pictures! so that is totally a plus lol

I have finished quite a few of them and put them on facebook, but forgot about the poor little blog and those of you who aren't friends with me on fb. I will be posting them on the photo blog tonight or tomorrow :D

I did a senior session this past saturday and that went sooo well. however, I am annoyed beyond words with adobe bridge for changing my camera presets. Like, when I pull up all the raw images, it automatically adjusts every picture to what it thinks it should be. I like my pictures just the way i stinking take them! AAAARGH!!! If you know what I'm talking about and know how to fix it pleeeeeassee tell me. In fact, i'm off to try and figure out the answer to this problem RIGHT NOW.


Thursday, April 2, 2009

but i CAN

post a picture of the shoes...

Guess how much I paid


the post where i just can't do it

Today, I am refusing to post a picture of myself in the dress.


Because I am feeling gross and it doesn't look a whole lot different than it did before.

I actually lost 2 pounds since the last pic, but I mean seriously, unless I was like 6 weeks old, 2 pounds isn't gonna make that much of a difference lol ;) But whatevs.

I need to go out and buy some good undergarments for this article of clothing... it is just not going to be ok going commando this time. Cuz, pssst! guess what. I did that last year.

So there, no picture. Not that I didn't take it... I just can't post it...


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