Wednesday, December 31, 2014

New Years Confession

Hope. Want. Work. Time.

This is not a resolutions posts because most resolutions fade and become forgotten.  I feel the need to write (say) what I would like or how I want the next year to be with a hint of honesty.

I have the tendency to be lazy sometimes. Other times, it isn't laziness, but more prioritizing my life, my needs. I don't blog everyday. I could if I got up earlier or stayed up later. I know there are things that I could say here, but you get the point.

Here are a couple goals I wish to focus on. I find that lists are helpful a me I will continue to use them to keep me organized. {I really should print some to have them more visible }.

Bible Study
In the last couple weeks before I go to bed, I've been doing a bible study from She Reads Truth. Honestly, I feel like I've learned which is great because I want to learn and grow closer to God. I've lost my way in the last few years. Wandered seems to be a good word. As a family, we need to find a church. A place where we all feel comfortable. Back to bible study, I recently purchased a journal on the book of Philipians. I asked if anyone wanted to do it with me, but no one did so I guess I am doing it on my own.

Find my photography voice
Can you believe that this time last year I was looking forward to my first photography class? I had never shot in manual mode. I'd only had my for a couple of months. The last 6 months of 2014, I managed to do 5-6 photo sessions which was a scary, fun filled, and tiring adventure. I want to grow and expand my photography! There is so much to learn. I yearn to grow, but I have got to put in the time. I think my niche will eventually fall somewhere with Tweens, teens, and families/couples.

As mentioned earlier this week, I am going to attempt 365 project. Everything that I have read mentions that this is a growing and learning procress. I have got to push myself to try new skills and attention to detail.....make mistakes. Within this project, I hope to work more with manual and make it more second nature.

Be a Present Parent
Less distractions. Less worry about what us to "get done" and more time being in the moment as a parent. I have one child and I want her to know (or feel) that her father and I are there for her. Our love and attention are ever present. This is by no means an anthem to throw away my me time or delete all of my social media, but more of a reminder to strive for/ continue to put the most important things in my life first. I want us to go and do things as a family. I want to teach her and show her so many things, but it isn't about making large lists and outlandish plans.  It starts at home in our everyday and extends out from there. I am not perfect. I won't be EVER! I will be there. I will be consistent. I will be her rock and safe place. I will be her companion. I will be her mom.

Where do your thoughts lie on as we approach the last hours of this year? Where do you want to go? Who do you want to be? Where do your difficulties lie?

Life is not always simple or easy, but it is significant in so many ways.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

New Photographer Wishlist Update 4

In April, I shared my original  "wishlist" of things I would like for my photography hobby and the first update and the second update soon followed.

Here is the original list stands presently:
  1. A new lens up to 250-300 mm for distance and eventually maybe a macro lens
  2. Lens Brush for cleaning 
  3. Clear filter cap for lens
  4. Kelly Moore camera bag (or a large Michael Kors bag)
  5. Photoshop elements or lightroom
  6. Take a class or have time to learn editing in above programs
  7. A personalized or decorative camera strap from Etsy. 
As you can see, the original list is complete except for the macro lens. Did I actually finish one of my plans? Yes, I think I did. {high five to self}

If I am being totally honest, I can live without a macro lens for now. I have recently found a new lens (Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II)
 that I am wanting REALLY, REALLY bad!!! If only I would have put it on my Christmas list? LOL

The "wanting" of this lens began when my photographer mentor suggested I get a lens with a lower F-Stop with help with the grain in my pictures. So on Amazon I went to see what was offered. Additionally, I looked at other photographer suggestions and critiques. The price is not outrageous, but that also concerns me about it's quality. I am really interested to see how it does with portraits.

In regards to my photo shop workshop, it was quick. I wish it would have been longer and had more opportunity to practice, but that is the thing with PS you have got to work with it and watch tutorials. I am still learning. Youtube is very helpful.

Other things that I have acquired that was not originally listed: camera hoods, PS actions, and a tripod. I really like PS actions especially the free ones! I got the tripod on a black Friday sale at Wal-Mart. It's not the highest caliber, but for $10 it was worth grabbing to try out.

What have you purchased or acquired recently for one of your hobbies or interests?

Saturday, December 27, 2014

10 Quickie Things

Here is a quick recap of the last couple days for me:

  1. I did three blog posts this week! This one makes four. I usually am able to keep up with th blogging more when I am on vacation from work!
  2. My cousin Kaitlin got engaged on Christmas Eve while she was in the North Pole! No joke. How magical is that?! It's straight out of a Hallmark movie. I totally want to do their engagement pictures when they return to Florida.
  3. Little Miss had a great Christmas! She is one lucky little girl. I don't think there is one present she loves the most. She wants to open them all and I am doing my best to avoid hints getting lost in the shuffle.
  4. I got two new nutcrackers this year to add to my collection. So far I am at seven nutcrackers. I am going to try and buy at least one more with an after Christmas price tag!
  5. My hubby and I hosted Christmas dinner for the first time. It was a combination of his family and mine. It was nice to have everyone over. The food was delicious. We cooked prime rib. It was a huge roast at 23 lbs. I think we over cooked it a little bit. I know some people like it on the more rare side.
  6. I am going to try and make a soup with some of the leftover meat. Any good suggestions for a recipe?
  7. Our new dog Sally has to go to the Vet for a pre-spay exam and she has an infection that has to be addressed.
  8. As much as I love the holidays and Christmas visits and family gatherings, I am tired and ready for a couple of hours of nothing but lounging.
  9. I want to to to a craft store and check out their clearance items. The hard core shoppers probably already wiped out the good stuff.
  10. I want....nay need a pedicure and to get my hair did.
BONUS: The Hubby forgot to set the alarm and I was late getting up today. Luckily, Little Miss decided to sleep in today too so it worked out.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Another Simple Moment: A Beautiful Christmas

{my simple moment} – A new ritual. A single photo, maybe two – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, significant, blessed moment. A moment I want to treasure and remember
inspired by SouleMama
"A Beautiful Christmas"

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

30 Before 30: Part 3

For the original post on my 30 Before 30 click here.
For Update number two click here.

Are you you properly caught up? Good!

What do you think we've been trying to cross of the list next? To be perfectly honest, the one "item we've focused on recently was one of the things I thought we WOULDN'T DO in all actuality.

The Hubs and I have been looking at getting another dog, a corgi, very seriously. This whole idea started to snowball about two weeks ago. The Hubs matter of factily said I think it's time for another dog.

We've toyed with the idea before, but it never went further than that. This time he started making calls and searching the internet! {this let me know if was serious this time!} I reiterated the fact that I didn't want another "big dog" {medium to large breed}. I wanted a small dog and if we were getting one I really wanted a corgi. We've both had experience with the breed and we know they are great when properly trained. For those of you unfamiliar with the breed here is a picture of one randomly pulled from the internet. This is a red and white Pembroke corgi.

This is the breed of choice for the Queen of England!

Now, as our search began, we started by laying out our criteria or what we were looking for in our potential new fur baby.
  1. Young adult (less than 5)
  2. House trained
  3. Good with kids
  4. Good with other dogs
  5. Crate trained (optional)
  6. Leash trained (optional)
  7. Cost less than $300
The first place we checked was local animal shelters and rescues. The Hubs and I adopted our first dog, Morgan, and she is awesome! There are great dogs (and cats) looking for forever homes. In our case, however, looking for a corgi makes our search very specific limits adoption.

Next, I started contacting Florida breeders via email. I spent a couple of hours over the course of these last couple weeks looking for contact information and checking listings. I did end up find a breeder in West Palm Beach who had almost exactly what were we looking for, but she wanted $1000 for him which gave us a pause because it was a good over our price point. Plus, 3 hours is a long drive to check out a dog and possibly not like him or have our dog not get along with this new "fur friend." So the search took a break on our party.

Of course, by this point, my Hubby mentioned our dog search to his mother who in turn mentioned it to his grandmother and they were getting us numbers of people they knew from showing dogs or recommendations.

Fast forward to yesterday....the Hub's grandmother calls. "I think I may have found you a corgi." It turns out a breeder not far from us decided she was ready to find a new home for one of her dogs. The breeder, Ms.Linda, did not want to breed this little lady anymore and was willing to place her with a new family for FREE! According to the owner, this little lady met all our criteria so needless to say we were excited and made arrangements to visit the next day.

Here is Sally's first picture on the ride to her new home today! I promise to post more cute pictures soon.

She is a four year old, tri-colored Pembroke with AKC papers. When we first met her she was super sweet and loved all the attention she got from me and Little Miss. We were smitten.

The next hurdle in this new adventure is acclimating her with our first dog, Morgan and our home. This will take sometime and patience. Luckily, I am vacation and I have the time to give both our girls some attention.

Well, that;s the long-short version of this "doggie tail" (pun intended). I will do a follow up post down the road.

New Year New Photo Challenge

I am not a new year resolution person.

I have a history of flaking out on photo challenges. I didn't finish not one of the Instagram challenge I  posted about this year.

Now, I want to try a 365 project!? Say what!? {shakes my head}

It's true. I want to try. I've been inspired and slightly encouraged by the photography blog, Click It Up A Notch.

Here is some background on a 365 project:
  • Have your camera with you at all times
  • Take a picture a day taken by phone, camera etc.
  • Post to your blog
  • Share, grow, comment and try new things,
  • There are no set rules that are hard and firm. You can miss a day!
For more specific information, Click It Up A Notch has several posts on the project.
– How to start a photography blog
– 11 tips for completely a Project 365
– Tips to make your 365 photography project a success
– #1 tip for completing a Project 365
– Project 365 journaling cards
– 365 Photography Project Tips

I can be totally jazzed about this and nervous at the same time? I am more of a hobbyist when it comes to photography, but to truly want to learn and grow! I know from my Mom-a-razzi class that it all starts with picking up your camera as much as possible.

I hope you support and encourage me on this project or are inspired to join me.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Another Simple Moment: Childhood Captured

{my simple moment} – A new ritual. A single photo, maybe two – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, significant, blessed moment. A moment I want to treasure and remember
inspired by SouleMama
"Childhood Captured"

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Conversations with my toddler: The Bike

Being a parent can be a difficult and sometimes trying endeavor. It  can also be a very entertaining time as well. Here is an actual conversation between me and my daughter.

Little Miss: I don't like my red bike. I want a pink one.

Me: You have a pink bike, but it's not here. It's at Nanny and Papa's house.

Little Miss: Buy me another one! {money doesn't grow on trees you know! Cheeky little kid}

Me: No. We are not going to buy you a new bike. We'll just throw this one away and you can just have the one at Nanny and Papa's. {there that will teach her to be grateful for what she has} Do you want me to throw it away right now since you don't like it anymore?

Little Miss: {frantically} NO! I LOVE IT! DON'T THROW IT AWAY!

{lesson learned for now}