Wednesday, May 27, 2009

they got married...

and I don't even have pictures of them...

wow, I'm a terrible friend!

That's right though, after months years of planning, this wedding thing finally happened! And it was sooooo worth it! I barely budged my camera out of it's place in my big giraffe D&G bag not just because I was too busy dancing my butt off, but because we were in the hands of an amazing photographer. I had and have no doubts that the pictures captured that day are going to be phenominal :D

I did manage to sneak in a few pics here and there. Mostly, I wanted to capture my mom and dad dancing during the anniversary dance.

But more than a little dancing occurred this weekend. I love that weddings can often last for days. Especially when you're a part of them... half the fun is the getting ready, and winding down :)

So I'll start at the beginning. I'm sure Melissa is going to love me for all the details I'll include here ;)

Friday afternoon began with a trip to high falls to drop off Andy (who i only have for 3 more days!) (that's both happy and sad, and more about that later) to his mom whereupon i got lost in downtown AGAIN. I can't seem to go up there without getting lost. It's like, I know so many streets, I even know what connects to what in many parts... but it's like all the streets go crooked and I get so confused!

After finally figuring my way out I booked it to the nail salon where Amy, Bunny and I all got pedi's. Whilst picking out a nail color, the two of them noticed a bug bite on the back of my arm that appeared to be growing with a fierce intensity.

I had noticed the bite before, as I was annoyed about getting a bite just days before the wedding and it would for sure show in my strapless dress if it didn't subside quickly. But up to that point it hadn't warranted any kind of attention. The spot began warming up and getting quite hot. All of a sudden, this random lady grabs my arm and starts gushing about what happened to me. I was like, "omg, i can't believe she is squeezing my bug bite like a pimple." but was too shocked that this was even happening to do anything about it. She said to me, "it's ok, I'm a mom."

OH! Really? Ok, well, ya know, then I guess this is all ok. LOL! She seriously said that to me.

Anyways, after her inspection was complete, i was instructed to put some ice on it and take some benadryl if it seemed to worsen. Bunny so kindly measured the bite using her middle finger as a measuring instrument and I went along my merry way getting my disgusting feet cleaned and polished.

After leaving the nail salon I only had a couple things to finish up before going to Melissa's and getting ready for the rehearsal. When I arrived at her apartment she was also in the process of getting ready and after we had both showered, we began dressing. Only to find that the bra she bought for the wedding and was planning to wear it to the rehearsal as well didn't fit. Trauma ensues. Jim was immediately called upon out of desperation to go to Victoria's Secret and exchange the bra but when reality set in that plan was schnixed. Seriously, sending a boy to exchange a bra for the correct size with only a half hour before we needed to leave the house? Simply put, it wasn't happening.

We, however, were able to find something that would work for the evening and resolved that Bunny and I would find the right bra in the morning.

Anyways, the rehearsal went on... it was long and somewhat laborious, but hey, that's what rehearsals are. Only one moment of almost trauma/drama from the groom's mother... but that was quickly squashed by the minister... thank God for him.

After it was over we headed to the restaurant for the dinner where I began noticing that my arm was heating up considerably and my entire arm was beginning to hurt. Not just the spot where I'd been bitten 4 days prior. It seemed very odd to me that I would be having a reaction to something that happened so many days ago, but to be on the safe side, I went to the rite-aid nearby and stocked up on benadryl lotion and the pills.

By the time we got in the car... here

to head to the beach... I was startin to feel the effects of the antihistamine. I was a freaking zombie by the time we got there. It was about all I could do to muster one word answers... ARGH!

That night, i put ice on it and took some more benadryl before finally letting myself collapse into a heap. I slept like a rock all night and woke up in the morning with not so much pain in my entire arm, but it had seemed to settle in just my wrist.

What a night. I mean, I'm so glad I didn't end up having to go to the hospital, but i was really close to making that call. And then waking up with it still hot and a lot of pain in my wrist... what the heck?

The day wasn't about me though! and I could have cared less if I had a migraine that day! Melissa and Jim were getting married and that was all that mattered!!!

We began the day so nice and relaxed. With only 4 of us who spent the night at the apartment and our estimated hour of awakening at 8am we were able to just lay back and enjoy eachother's company. We made strawberry banana smoothies and ate bagels... sat around wrapped in blankets as the a/c had to stay on for the sake of the flowers.

At 10 o'clock the hair stylists arrived and the age-old ritual of getting ready officially began :D I only took a moment to snap a couple pictures of the beautiful bride while she was getting ready.

About 11 we all realized that lunch was essential. Amy and I made our way to the east ave wegmans and got some subs... along with some coffee and chocolate. you know, the necessities. We both had our hair done at this point but were definitely not dressed. Amy's "running shorts" are a sight i'll not soon forget...

Once we returned, I took Melissa's dress outside to take some pictures of it as the photographer wasn't coming until it was actually time to get in the dress. I couldn't have been happier to do it!

This is by far my favorite kind of photography :) Alicia stood by and helped while I climbed the tree outside her apartment building to get these shots, and the rest of them stood watching out the window yelling at me that i was crazy. I already knew that ;)

I love these shoes!

and I LOVE this dress :D

Once we were all done getting ready, the limo arrived and we were off to the canal to take some bridal party pictures. I simply cannot wait to see them! Amazingly enough, i think the 5 of us were more nervous (or was it just me?) about the wedding than Melissa. On the drive to the ceremony, my stomach was all in knots and I almost started crying more than once.

As we all made our way to the altar, I realized that my tears were amazingly few. I appreciate a good cry now and then, but I really didn't want to be a blithering mess up there! The ceremony and vows were perfectly beautiful.

Once the ceremony was over, there was plenty of time for bridal party pictures, but let me tell you, once we got in to the reception, that's when the real fun began :D

The details of all that went on are best left unwritten, but I will say this. My calves still hurt today and they haven't hurt from running since about my second week in. YAH.

We partied hard until about 10 when things began to wind down and Melissa and Jim prepared to leave for their first night as a married couple! The night was still young so a bunch of us decided to head downtown for a little more fun. We settled on meeting at one of the bars on Monroe and subsequently brought all the leftover wedding cake with us. There wasn't like a little smidgen on cake left. Oh no. There was literally only the small piece that Melissa and Jim had cut off to feed eachother missing. The crowd was fed by the extra sheet cake. So, we took it upon ourselves to share this cake love with anyone who would partake. Unfortunately, not much was eaten... but that's ok, we had fun trying :)

By that point, it was around midnight and I was about beat. Besides almost having a slight panic attack when I realized that the cake that had cost a small fortune was about to have multiple faces planted into it... i was beat. Alicia and I piled ourselves and the cake into her car and made our way back to the apartment where we unloaded everything and shortly thereafter passed out. Well, she did. I couldn't sleep. I laid there for the better part of 2 hours awake before finally hitting a fitful state of sleep. When I still hadn't really slept by 6, I got up, showered, packed up and left for home. Amazingly enough, I made it to church that morning and managed to stay awake well into the afternoon.

Long about 4pm I realized that there was no way I was going to make it through the rest of the day awake. So I went for a run. That ended pathetically, but I looked like a superstar sprinting down main st. Moreso because I wanted to get home for some water than to show off my mad athletic abilities *wink*

And in case you're not sick of hearing about my entire weekend yet, I'll add-on. After my short little excuse for a run, I packed myself into my little civic and headed over to Amy and Brian's whereupon I stopped to give Jim's little brother Mike some of the leftover wedding cake and traipsed around walmart for awhile. Amy, Brian, Possum and I all sat around Brian's backyard burning scrap wood and having a good time. You know, the kind of times when nothing but good memories are made :)

I'm so glad that this is all over, but now that it is, I wouldn't have traded any of it for anything. All the drama and tears, heartache and hard decisions that had to be made... it was all worth it in the end. And one of the reasons i've come to love melissa so much is her ability to love so many people at once :) I love the friends i've made because of her and wouldn't trade the time i've spent knowing her for anything.


Friday, May 15, 2009

yep, i posted twice. sue me.

In the midst of my very honorable efforts to work on Tuesday's session, I was highly distracted by Sting's new tank. I bought the vase almost two weeks ago, but it's taken me this long for my vision to become complete. Unfortunately for the lovely little plant I chose, the tops stick out of the water and are consequently parched. Gasping for air water.

I think he likes the new look. I like it way better than before. I also am developing the habit of photographing him in almost total darkness... hey, it is what it is. what can i say?

In actual, more important, news that you actually care about, I will be shooting my second err third (counting my very first 4 years ago) wedding tomorrow. It's supposed to rain the entire day. But hey, if you remember correctly, I have experience with that. It's gonna be great no matter what :)

now, on to the star of this post. and his antics*. he wishes for me to caption these as follows.

whatchoo lookin at?

my name shall no longer be Sting, you may call me Swimby (ps I did not approve this name change)

a shadow lurking among the forestry, watching you as you sleep.

*yes, I am aware that i sound like a completely crazy cat fish lady. it happens.


Monday, May 11, 2009

My own version of fix-it Friday, on a Monday :)

My mom and dad are in Michigan visiting my brother and his family right now. She called me tonight and told me that they are working on getting their foster daughter's senior pictures printed, but for whatever reason, the place they were printing them was totally screwing with the image size.

So, originally, they were sent to me to check that they were the correct size etc. Which they were. Strange then that they were printing out pixelate. Nonetheless, that is an easily fixed problem as it was probably just a computer glitch. When I got this pic, they asked me to fix it up, crop, change the color etc. And I was more than happy to oblige!

Here is the original:

Before I did anything to it, I went in a used the healing brush to retouch a few places on her face and smooth out her skin. I loooove that tool. And if you've used that tool, but never experience it's sister (the patch tool) found in the drop down box of the healing brush, you're seriously missing out! It has totally changed my retouching ways ;)

After I was satisfied with the retouch job, I ran this amazing action I got as a freebie off I love this action and use it often.

It doesn't do much with the density though, so I opened the brightness/contrast sliders and threw the contrast up to about 60 and the brightness around 15.

To me, this was more fun than the fix-it fridays (although I do enjoy those :) because I know the person who is using this pic.

If you want to try it out and show me what you might have done, feel free! I'd love to see!


ooo look, pretty flowies!

I've been finding some super amazing fine art photographs on etsy that I am just falling in love with. I have always loved macro stuff, but never actually had a macro lens, and never even really have been able to play with one.

So I decided to rent the canon 100mm f/2.8... to see if i like it of course ;) However, problem is, for this instant gratification girl, the lens isn't available til 5/20. Ugh. Not like i really have time for this stuff right now anyways.

So I'll just use what I have. Plus it gave me a great excuse to use lightroom... which i'm still getting used to. but i like it so far!

Now, I am happy for the most part with these pictures, and i'm not going to sit here and pick apart what I think is wrong with them. I will say though, that I would have liked someone to help me do these. The combination of a 5ish pound camera in one hand, paper in the other, and a slight breeze made for really hard focusing. That's pretty much my only beef.

I read this on... uhhhh... shoot I don't remember... but it's this lady who does fine art prints on etsy and they are BEAUTIFUL. I pulled out my scrapbook paper that has been collecting dust the last year and a half or so and toted it along with me while photographing these flowers.

Seeing a theme here? lol

I seriously cannot wait to get my hands on the 100. I hope it's as good as I'm imagining. These close crops were all done with the crop tool and I'm hoping I won't have to do that as much with the 100. GAH! I want it now!

Oh, and a sidenote. Apparently I am so out of the loop by not using flickr yet. So I'm doing my best to try and figure it out. I've had one for quite some time, but am now using it to upload my pictures. Can anyone tell me how I make the pictures link directly to my photostream?


Saturday, May 9, 2009

happy with who I am

While i was growing up, and in high school I had a horrible self-image. As most teens do. I was never extremely overweight, but i was never at the weight I actually should be. And in my mind, that was as bad as being 500 pounds.

When I was a freshman, I clearly remember overhearing a senior girl talking to her friends one day and telling them how she had weighed 152 and lost 20 pounds and oh thank God, because I was such a blimp. Great for my self-esteem as I already weighed more than her max at 152.

Looking back at pictures now, I realize that I was not a big kid. That at best if i had just joined a sport, I would have toned up and look fabulous. But due to my severe lack of physical dexterity and coordination, team sports were something more humiliating to me than the weight I kept as a tradeoff.

I've learned a lot over the years about learning to be happy with my body, but I've also learned that it's not about being happy, but truly valuing what God's given you.

That being said, I know now that just being happy with my weight or my appearance aren't enough. That is why I have been making changes in my lifestyle to keep my body healthy while not worrying so much about how it actually looks. When motivated to change by outward appearances, the work is hard and the results are often negligible.

I've tried many ways to lose weight in my short lifetime but decided over a year ago that I would die fat before I would be known as "the constant dieter." Life's too short for dieting!

So instead friends, make healthy changes. Start small and work your way into it. If you try diving in head first and immersing yourself in unfamiliar surroundings you will no doubt be screaming for air (or massive amounts of devil's food cake more likely) within a week or even days!

At this point in the post, I feel as though I should be writing out a list of things I've done to ease into a healthier lifestyle, but I don't know if I even can... we've made a lot of changes in my household the last couple years... I don't even remember where we started.

I'm not going to lie to you and tell you that if you just stop eating potato chips, or cut out any one thing, you will lose weight and forevermore be happy and healthy. I have definitely made a lot of stops on the way to where I'm at now with my eating and care of my body, and I have a lot more to make.

What I will tell you though, is that it's more about your focus than your results. If you change your eating and lifestyle so that you can lose weight or look better, the fact is, you will most likely not make it to your goal weight. However, if your focus is based on reading your body and learning about what is good for you, and what is not and earnestly desiring to care for yourself the way God intended you to, you will most likely begin to see your body change as a side effect.

Mostly, since I am offering only personal experience, I hope that this post will be encouraging to those of you who read it. I hope that it might cause some of you who feel trapped in your body to think outside the box and feel energized that it's not about how you look, but being a good steward of what you've been given that's important.


Friday, May 8, 2009

I'm goin to Maryland!

and taking my business with me!


Monday, May 4, 2009

i <3 faces: hats

Every week when I <3 faces rolls around, I look at the requirements and try to figure out if I already have a picture that works. I would love to have the time to come up with something new each week... but alas, I do not!

But this week, the requirements are a face, and a hat. YES! Something I have!

This is Emily. She is a senior graduating this year. We've been planning her session pretty much aaall winter... and finally, the nice weather came.

In other news, I am making plans to go to maryland in June! I'll write another post about that because I need to get some interest in the DC area before I can make my plans official ;) So, be watching for that post!


Saturday, May 2, 2009

still running strong

It's been 11 weeks since I began running and let me tell you I cannot believe i'm still doing it.

In fact, up until this last week i was just loving it! It got harder this past week, but I've noticed that since I've begun eating healthier and exercising that I am able to read my body a lot more clearly. I definitely have a stronger sense of what I need and what I don't need. What I can take, and what I can't. It's a great feeling!

The day before Easter, I ran my first mile with no stopping for walking breaks. HUGE milestone! It's so stinking psychological. Well, since then I've been all about pushing myself just a bit further, and a little more and a little more...

So much so that I have totally pooped myself out. And went from staying out through 2+ miles to like 1-1.5 miles. Depressing right? my mentality has been that I should just run through it all... but I am seeing the downside of that. If i just run til i can't run any further, i'm only out there for like 15-20 minutes. And from the beginning I said I would go 30 minutes minimum no matter how far I went!

So, today I went back to intervals. 5 minutes running and then a little break and continued on like that for 30 minutes. Well, actually 29, but I was home, and I wasn't about to run around the yard. Still got 2.2 miles in though and that's pretty hot for not being able to go more than 30 seconds at a time less than 3 months ago ;)

Oh, and for those of you wondering, I have actually lost more weight as a result of all this. I'm right around -13 pounds. It makes me happy to know that just by treating my body well, it rewards me like this :) I can't lie and say that I don't get excited to see the pounds go away, but I've never lost this much without "dieting"

Good lord, I'm so over dieting now lol!

In fact, I'm headed downstairs to eat a choco-chip cookie right now ;)


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