Thursday, July 31, 2008

What Would You Do?

I heard an interesting question on the radio the other day and have been thinking about it, but haven't come up with one answer.... but I'm curious if any of you can....

Q: If you could keep only one memory from your childhood, which one would you choose?

No Thumbs Today

My head isn't feeling ok today.
This morning when I woke up I stretched and got an encredible pain in my brain, it went away after a few seconds.
I think I have poor circulation in my blood vessels to my head. My head is affected by many things my neck or body does.
Anyway, I'm having a hard time concentrating on a session I am supposed to be proofing.
I did this session when I was not at the top of my game. I was dealing with a bunch of stressful stuff, and I didn't capture this couple the way I wanted to. I have a few cool images (like the umbrella one below), but nothing that shows their closeness, or their relationship. I'm wondering if I should just offer a second shoot.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

I Love a Rainy Day

Usually I want to nap during rain storms. Open the windows and listening to the rain pats. I love that my bathroom has a sunlight, I can listen to the rain tap on it at night.
The other day we had some really great downpours just before I was supposed to do this session, and so we took advantage of a big rain puddle.


Sunday, July 27, 2008

No Rest for the Righteous

We seem to belong to the encredible shrinking ward. We've had so many families move out in the last few months, it's really sad.
So today I got called into the Bishop's office to be asked to take on yet another reponsibility.

So now not only do I get to be Enrichment leader (which is my official calling), on the primary board (helping dh teach the 10-12 year old boys), but now I also get to be the ward bulletin person. I was really hoping that I'd get out of one of my other callings. Oh well. Maybe in a couple of months here, if we get new people in the ward :)

Friday, July 25, 2008

What's exciting?

Man, can I first just say I am digging my play list today.... ah! ah! ah! ah! Stayin' alive, stayin' alive! *Jen busts a move*

Ok, today is an exciting day for my husband and my mother-in-law. Today I get my new fridge and stove. Apparently they are more excited than me because they keep talking about it, and she wants to come see it, and he is asking me if I am excited. It's cool. But I have a fridge and a stove, they just aren't that great.
Am I old because I don't get excited over stuff like that? I dunno. I'm old enough to have a driving kid, so maybe I am too old to be excited for new appliances too. Maybe if it was a huge deep fryer, or an indoor grill, or a Roomba or something I don't already have I'd be more excited.
I'm just going to be happy not to be throwing out my produce each week by the fist fulls because we didn't get around to eating them, like I'd hoped, before they froze.

I am on the other hand excited to be finally assisting another photographer with a wedding tomorrow! I've been trying to get a position assisting a wedding photographer for over a year now, and none of my photography friends think of me when they need one, so it's exciting I finally found one who wants me! YAY!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

When did I get this old???

When did I get to be old enough to have a child who drives? No. Really. Tell me. When? Because last time I checked I wasn't barely old enough myself!

Ok, so last week my oldest son got his drivers permit and let me tell you, if I wasn't stressed enough over this wedding and the computer crashing and trying to keep my home together and everything else, now I have a 15 year old asking if we can go somewhere so he can practice driving. Now I have a knot in my stomach and my toes are permanently curled around the end of my flip-flops and I'm pretty sure I've left a nail or two in the passenger seat in the van.

For the most part he is doing pretty good. I'm really trying to only suggest the necessary things while he is driving, such as.... "Slow down! Slow down! There goes our road!........... turn around up there."

But for the most part he's doing really well.
Me, on the other hand.....


At last I am done working on the gallery for June's wedding! My computer crashing made me way behind in editing, and I crunched all the work in from Sunday afternoon until last night when it was time for me to leave and meet up with them to show them.... it came down to the wire!
I'm seconding for another photographer on Saturday in Wisconsin. There is no pressure there, I just give her the unedited images and be done with it... I don't have to edit, which is super nice. I can use the prints for my album samples, but nothing on my websites from it.
I have another paid session, that couple down below, and a couple of Extreme Bridals to edit. I should be done with all of those by next Friday.
Next month I only have a wedding and a family session, but in September I have two newborns and seconding a wedding set up and another in October too. So there's some steady work going on now... I love that.
I've also had two inquiries this week for weddings for 2009.
My goal is also to revamp my website in the month of August, to reflect more of the things I want to be doing, rather than what I have been doing. I'd like to set myself apart from the chain stores.
I promised the kids we'd play today if they let me work the last three days, so we are off to the pool for the afternoon. Ciao!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Loving Color!

I love all the color this last wedding had in it!
P.S. I erased the last post because I found out that it was not all correct and many points were misleading, however I still would never vote for the guy.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Tonight's Session

This cute couple found me through one of my brides last year, and I'm so glad they did! They just celebrated their 3rd wedding anniversary last month and wanted some fresh relationship pictures. I had a lot of fun planning for and carrying out their session.

Their session was done mostly down on Grand Ave. in St. Paul. Weather seemed to be threatening this session at the beginning of the day, we had some good downpours and the storm spouted off some tornado activity east of us, but thankfully the weather cleared up just in time for their session, and we made some good use of a puddle!

We ended the evening down by the train tracks and a brightly colored wall.

I've shared this with them on my business blog as well, but wanted to share it with you guys too.

(click on image to see larger version)

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

What a mess

I didn't realize how much I had in my computer that I relied on until it was all gone. This one is nice, and fast, but it doesn't have my photoshop, and I can't get it installed because it doesn't run with vista. So, I had to order the new one, thankfully my dh gets student discounts on everything.
I'm also happy that Lightroom works with Vista, so I can at least keep working on editing that wedding until I get photoshop back.
Dh called the computer doctor and they are telling him maybe tomorrow. Bummer. We thought it would be done yesterday. Jake's just antsy about it!
I have to say, Vista really bites. It's messed up my whole game plan.

Monday, July 14, 2008

I miss you!

Anyone following my tragic escapades with a bad luck bride know that I've lost all my personal stuff on my personal computer. That means I've lost the link to Your Blog!
Please, if you ever want to see me again, leave, mail, email, send a pigeon, helium balloon... however you want to get it to me, the link to your blog again!
Because although I don't visit every day or even every week for that matter, and only sometimes I leave a message, I do visit and I do keep up with you. So please, please, please, pretty please get it to me!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

This blog is titled-

Either- My Husband Reads My Blog... And took pity on me.

or-That Bride is Cursed!

We started yesterday taking my van to have the breaks replaced. My van goes through more breaks and rotors than it should. Maybe because all of my driving is around the town? I'm not a hard breaker... maybe I'm slowing down too far in advance? Anyway, while we were out we thought we'd look to see if I could just get a tower over at Best Buy for my computer. I like the screen I have, it's a good sized, "17. We looked at what they had, or so we thought. We didn't look around much, now that I think about it. We only looked basically at the HP because there was a guy there showing us all of them. Turns out he was just an HP rep. and we hadn't noticed that his tag said that and not Best Buy. We left feeling a bit sad that everything I would need would still be so expensive. I thought I could maybe swing 6-700 dollars.

Then we went to the grocery store and home to wait for Car-X to call us about my van. When we got home I was telling dh about how if I had any money there are other things I would buy before a computer... like a new stove or fridge. Our stove is a very basic gas unit. No window, no self cleaning, no light, burners with pilots that stay on all the time and sometimes blow out for no reason and gas us. We'll come home from being out and smell gas when we come in. I know it's one reason our gas bill is so high. Also our fridge's thermostat and ice maker are on the fritz. I have put my atomic clock with the thermometer in it and played with the settings and either on 9 or almost 0 (off) it stays in the low 30's and keeps turning my produce to ice.

Dh then mentions that Home Depot is having a sale on appliances, so we left the house after the car dealership called, to go have a look. We found a great stove for a great price. Electric ignition and self cleaning! Woot woot! Then we looked at fridges, and they told us they'd knock 10% off for any appliance with the energy star. We found one, and since we bought the stove and fridge and they are both Maytag we also get a $100 rebate! Aaaand... free delivery and recycling of our old appliances! Woot woot woot!

After that I was thumbing through the adds for Best Buy and saw a computer we didn't look at while we were there... one that had all I needed for under $800. So we went back and took a look at the Gateway computer set up. It has quad core processor, 6 GB Dual channel memory, and it wasn't even $100 more to upgrade to a 22" screen. Well, Mr HP came along and helped us get the boxes we needed, but then eventually talked us into a $1300 HP package (a good deal on them at Sam's Club kept tempting us too). But when it was time to ring us up, they couldn't find all the pieces for the HP deal.

Mr. HP was checking out for the day and Mr. BB (Best Buy) took over helping us. While calling Roseville to see if their store had what we needed, he asked us why we changed our minds. I pointed to Mr. HP. Well, then Mr. BB proceeded to talk us back into our cheaper, more memory computer selection which had been hanging out by the cash register for the last hour... and I'm so glad he did! I was really sweating buying something that was nearly $5-700 more than I was prepared to spend.

So we get the computer home, after they installed everything and made a recovery disk for us. We took apart the other computer. Joel had bought some more RAM for it and a new graphics card because we planned to give the computer to our oldest son. He put the new stuff in (after making a couple of trips to get the right kind of card) and the thing won't start up! Enter me crying. It just won't start.

Now, I have saved all my original images on a separate hard drive, and disks, so those are ok... however, all my work on 5,000 images from my last wedding has not been saved. It was all sitting in my Lightroom program waiting to be saved in their individual folders. The other night I decided it could be done in the morning because I'd stayed up so late trying to get them all sorted in their color codes for what part of the wedding day they occurred. My computer shutting down on me twice that night. And there they sit. Waiting. The originals are ok, but my work is what's sitting there. So since it won't start, and I have to show them their images next week, I have to start all over.

This is a huge lesson to me. Save everything as you do it. Later might be too late.
So I am convinced that that bride is cursed. Her curse has affected me now 4 times! Once- with my camera breaking before her wedding, twice- the rental being junk and ruining her picture's exposure, thrice-my assistant's memory card going corrupt (but thank heaven's for small miracles) and fourth- now this. I can't wait to get her pictures done and get her away from me, out of my life. Hasta la vista baby!

I love perspective

I love so much how when the Lord knows I'm struggling, He sends me answers.

Today's talks in church were especially inspiring.

We've all heard the saying, "When you don't feel like praying, that is when you need to get on your knees and keep praying until you do feel like praying."
At Julie's funeral her pastor shared a journal entry he'd read where she wrote about her confusion at finding herself not thirsty for Christ. I'm thinking it was more the thirst for "living waters" that she was lacking. After pondering this situation out in her mind she decided that she must drink until she felt thirsty. Very similar points, I think.
Today's topic was about choosing the right and following the Prophet, in one of the speakers talks, she was talking about darkness and read specific scriptures that state that darkness cannot remain when there is light. She talked about how children have a natural tendency to fear darkness. At night when it's dark outside, and it's time for bed, and mom and dad are about to turn out the light, it's comforting to have a night light. It dispels all the darkness. She compared darkness to the darkness of the world, and how sometimes the darkness can seem to envelope us, but the light of the gospel can dispel the darkness. We cannot remain one foot in darkness and one foot in light.
This is the sifting hour, I have no doubt about that. We either will follow what the Prophets and the Gospel tells us, or we don't. It's not always easy. It's not always convenient. It's not always popular. But maybe sometimes we have to drink to be thirsty for it, or pray until we feel like praying, or just doing what we are supposed to, until we have a testimony of it.

Friday, July 11, 2008


I got this today in a Daily Gems email

A Child's Instruction on Prayer

"When my son Daniel was six years old, he saw that I was worried because I had to attend a stake conference. I was unsure about what to teach the Saints. He came up to me and said, "Daddy, that's really easy."
That's how children see everything.
"Let's see, Son," I told him. "Since it's easy, tell me what I can talk to them about."
"Talk to them about prayer," he told me. "That's a good subject," I told him, "butthey've heard a lot of talks about prayer; what could I tell them that's new?"
"That's easy too, Daddy. First tell them, 'Before you start to talk to Heavenly Father, think about thethings you want to tell Him.' "
"That sounds like a magnificent idea," I replied. "And then?"
"'Well, once you've thought of it, tell it to Him! When you finish, wait and see if He has something to tell you.' So, through our prayers,the Spirit speaks to our spirit and testifies to us of the reality of our Savior."

I know someone that is dealing with a difficult situation and has to make a hard decision. He's asked those who believe in the same god as him to pray for him.
This is confusing to me. We all belong to the same God, whether people acknowledge it or not and whether we all think He has the same traits or not. He hears all of His children's prayers. He listens to each of them. He answers each of them. Why would someone think that He would not hear one of His children's prayers because one is not clear on His exact qualities? This person does not understand the fatherly atributes that God our father has perfected.
I also think it's sad that this person doesn't understand personal revelation, and that as patriarch of his home he is promised the blessing of being able to receive revelation for his family.

Imagine an Atom

You have the nucleus of protons and neutrons and then you have electrons circling about it.
That's what's in my stomach.
No, that's not what was for breakfast. That's how I feel in the pit of my stomach. One center thing and a million things buzzing around it, creating noise and confusion.
I'm having a hard time with people lately.
On one hand-
Julie's death is still haunting me. WWJD has turned into What Would Julie Do, for me. I think about her often in the day, and wonder how she would handle things. I think it's because she's one of the more perfect people I've known personally. When I get frustrated with my kids, I feel guilty, because then I think of her and how she loved kids and how she probably wished for marriage and kids herself and if given the chance she'd never yell at her kids, and just loved them.
Because of her death I've been trying to reach out more to people, but they don't seem to be reciprocating, at least the people I know. Strangers have been much more welcoming to my attempts than people I know. But in my journal I wrote, I'm not going to give up. I'm going to keep trying, no matter how long it takes.
On the other hand-
I'm tired of yucky people. I have a neighbor that plays horseshoes and every minute or so we can hear "&#*$%*!" from his house, five houses down. Other people in between us often fight loud enough for us all to hear.
I also have another neighbor who is about 300 lbs. and wears skirts and tank tops every day, and also has her 13ish year old daughter who is equally heavy in her age group wearing the same thing. One day when we were entering the neighborhood and the tornado alarms were going off we saw them running for the shelter carrying dolls with them. I thought maybe they were trying to save precious heirlooms. But then a few days later I saw them in Sam's Club with the dolls in the shopping cart. No, these were not pretty dolls in fancy dresses. These were worn out Chucky looking dolls with cut hair and dirty ugly clothes. I'm a bit worried about their mental stability and all the countless others in this neighborhood that are suffering from lack of reality, sanity, or normalcy.
Then there's the little stranger boy who walked up to my son in our front yard and punched him in the face, taking off so I couldn't find him, although I tried to hunt him down.
I'm ready to give up on people because I can't handle their issues, problems, mental instabilities, whatever you want to call it. They are unsafe to me, and I like a safe, organized, clean world. I don't feel my children are safe from, dare I pass such a harsh judgement... the word that comes to mind is "freaks". And wow, what kind of monster does that make me, to think of my fellow brothers and sisters that way? I'm never going to make it to Heaven.
And then on this foot-
I've also been doing a lot of thinking... yes, again.... about my business.
I've found some really fun items that I would love to add to my products besides prints, but I don't know how people will be with them. It seems most of my customers are interested in just prints and getting a deal on them, and not the icing type of products... like handbags with their kids pictures on them, or cypress albums, or a Press Printed Book with all the pictures of their session. These things aren't cheap, but are OH SO FUN! But my customers don't seem to understand that I'm not Sears, I'm a Custom Photographer.... "Think Lexus vs. Hyundai, think Nordstrom vs. WalMart." as one fellow photographer has said.
I've thought maybe I should just get these products with my kids in/on them and show them about so people see them and want them, heck, I'd love to have them myself!
My computer is still struggling. It shut down on me twice yesterday. I have plenty of memory. It's just really old and can't handle these new big programs I have running. This makes my work take me longer than it should because the programs run slow, and if I have to shut down, well there goes 20 minutes because it takes forever to start up again. But all the money I am making is going towards paying off my teeth, so I'm not able to even think about getting a new computer any time soon.
But I think I'll get a handbag... Now I just have to decide on a picture for it.
On the other foot-
Well, that leg is haunted so I don't have an issue with it, other than it's haunted (Gilmore Girls fans will know what I mean).

Wednesday, July 9, 2008


I found an awesome new (to me) blog for LDS moms today, by way of an email I got. And in this blog they gave a link to Bill Marriott's blog. Well isn't that neat! I know some of you may not be interested in the inner workings of an older gentleman's mind, but I am fascinated by it. He even has his entry in audio so you can hear him say it instead of reading it. So in case you are interested in what the Chairman & CEO of Marriott International would find interesting to blog about, click on that link up there!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Trying to get it back together

Last Easter we started a project in our home where we gutted the kitchen floor and replaced it, put in new cabinets, put in wood flooring in three rooms, and there it sat. Doorways were unfinished, same with baseboards and quarter-rounds.
This weekend we got most of it done! We got all the baseboards in the kitchen, family room and living room done. Then we also got the corners put on the cupboards. It was a lot of work!
I got to use a nail gun for the first time.
It was kind of nice working as a team, he cutting the wood, me stapling it to things. I only had a couple of problems with a few areas where I stuck a nail in the wrong spot and it came out the other side showing, but I think for the most part I did a pretty good job! :)

So now comes the tedious task of putting everything back, and let me tell you, the urge to just toss everything is SO STRONG! The truth is, I simply cannot stand clutter. This is a wedge between my husband's and my personalities. He has a difficult time throwing things out, and I have a difficult time looking at all the stuff piling up. I have a hard time thinking, or functioning in chaos. I need things neat, orderly, in their place. If there's no place for it in my tiny home, there's no need for it in my life.

I've lived with this chaos for the last 3-4 months and I am itching like I have poison ivy of the organizational kind to get my house put back to it's order. I think of it as a Godly trait. After all, doesn't He say that His house is a house of order? Well then, that's just one less thing I have to work on to become more like Him :)

I have to get my computer area back into order. This is hard because I am really wanting a whole new setup for my computer, but really, I need a new desktop computer before I can buy a new desk for one. Last night it turned off on me suddenly while I was working on a wedding, telling me that a device driver installed on my computer caused Windows to stop unexpectedly. What is a device driver? It doesn't sound good. Neither does my computer when I start it up. Joel heard it the other day when I started it up and asked what that noise was. I told him it was my dinosaur whining about having to wake up.

My desktop is over 5 years old now. It's pretty prehistoric as far as computers go. But I hang onto it because I can't get the screen on my laptop to display the correct color for prints. I've tried, and can't get it accurate. So I hang onto this one and work at it so I can know what my prints will come back looking like.

Maybe if I pick up one more wedding I could get a new computer, but for now, the weddings and sessions I do have will be covering my teeth, which I consider to be a business investment, lol.

Well, all this rambling is because I'm procrastinating all the work I have to do to put everything back together again, and the trip I'll have to make to the thrift store to donate all my unwanted goods. Maybe I can find a desk there.

Monday, July 7, 2008

I learn something new every day...

I got this in an email from my old boss today-

"Aluminum Foil
It's true This is for REAL...I received this email from a friend today. And, being the doubting Thomas I am, went immediately to my role of Reynolds wrap. Darned if that little tab isn't there ... on both ends yet!! I've been using aluminum foil for more years than I care to remember. Great stuff, but sometimes it can be a pain. You know, like when you are in the middle of doing something and you try to pull some foil out and the roll comes out of the box. Then you have to put the roll back in the box and start over. The darn roll always comes out at the wrong time. Well, I would like to share this with you. Yesterday I went to throw out an empty Reynolds foil box and for some reason I turned it and looked at the end of the box. And written on the end it said, 'Press here to lock end'. Right there on the end of the box is a tab to lock the roll in place. How long has this little locking tab been there? I then looked at a generic brand of aluminum foil and it had one, too. I then looked at a box of Saran wrap and it had one too! I can't count the number of times the Saran wrap roll has jumped out when I was trying to cover something up. I'm sharing this with my friends that did not know this. I hope I'm not the only person that didn't know about this. "

Now I must confess, I myself have never noticed this either! Boy, and I really am one for reading directions, I don't know how this one got by me. I can't wait to share this with others! :)

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Weather Changes

Summer has finally arrived in Minnesota. It's been very warm the last several days. It's been nice swimming weather. I break a sweat just sitting in the sun watching my kids play t-ball.
Well, you know what happens when the weather changes and the sun gets hot (or it gets below freezing) and people are out traveling and it's always inevitable that you'll start seeing cars along the side of the road. Flat tires, over heating, etc. are kinds of things that happen when the weather changes.

Whenever we've looked at cars the most important thing I look for is air conditioning. If the car doesn't have it (which pretty much all cars now days do) I won't buy it.

Today, while I was at a stop light, the most important feature of my van went out. Poof! Gone. No fan, no whirr, no hair blowing in the breeze, no comfort, no cool, no movement. Just dead air. It didn't take long for the heat to take over the van again, smothering yucky heat. I can't breathe well in heat. At night in the winter when I'm freezing and I put my head under the blankets I always have to have my mouth and nose poking out. I can't stand to breathe hot air. It gives me a headache. My air conditioning going out gives me a headache too.