HI! I’m alive!

It has been one year and two days since I blogged.
WOW, time flies when you’re having fun!

Last year was a busy year, especially September and October. This year will be no different! To say I was busy is an understatement. I’m still trying to catch up on 2010 editing. In 2010 I shot 9 weddings, I second shot 4 weddings and I had 33 misc. sessions that I shot. I already have 12 (possibly 13) weddings booked for 2011. I have to say, that EXCITES ME!!!!! Not to mention the 3 that I already have booked for 2012. The photography business is treating me well.

Ric is still searcing for a permanent teaching job. Seems as if teaching jobs are pretty scarce in the world today. :( He is still substitute teaching though. Last Summer he got a permanent Summer School teaching job, teaching Civics. He LOVED it! I enjoyed seeing a smile on his face each and every day, knowing that he had his own class, was able to do his own lesson plans, etc. My favorite story from his Summer of teaching is the fact that he had the principal’s daughter in his class. After the class was over, Ric received an amazing letter from said principal. The gist of it was telling him how his daughter hated Civics/History/Etc., UNTIL she took Ric’s class. That is all she would talk about every day and she really was getting into it, because of her awesome teacher! YES. . .these schools don’t know what they’re missing! Mr. Awesome Rocks!

Our favorite thing from 2010 is our 5th Anniversary Cruise. Our amazing parents went in halves to send us on a Caribbean Cruise. HELL YEAH!!! We left out of Port Canaveral (near Orlando). We went to Nassau, Bahamas; St. Thomas and St. Maarten. Two of these islands were islands that we visited on our Honeymoon Cruise (St. Thomas and St. Maarten). The trip was awesome. Our last day on our trip we spent at Disney World. We did an anniversary photo shoot with a great Orlando (now Ohio) photographer, who also got us in to Disney World free, because he is also a “cast member”. HELL YEAH x 2!!!

Here is one of my favorite pictures. Who can resist Mickey Mouse ice cream when at Disney World?! Yes, we’re silly, but we LOVE to laugh!! =D
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Last year I promised that I would try to “visit” more. . .I’m not making that promise this year. . . I know I’m not going to be able to keep it! (Sorry!) Visit later.. ..hopefully there will be something new to read!

Life Post

I have been CRAZY busy with photography related stuff lately. Don’t really have time for that thing we call life really. With shoots on the weekend, full-time job during the week and photo editing in the evenings. . .I just can’t find time to enjoy life right now. ONE OF THESE DAYS, when I can do the photography thing full-time, I will be able to enjoy life more, HOPEFULLY!



I turned 31 on 9/28. You will never guess what my awesome, caring, loving hubby surprised me with. I walk in the house, and there is a card “from the cat”, and it was signed by “Elvis” and “the new guy”. . .he told me to go into the bedroom, and I walk in and there sits this CUTE little guy, who was only 3 months old. SUCH a cutie!!!! That evening we went to my parents’ house for dinner, and took Elvis and SIMBA along. Elvis hated Simba pretty bad. He didn’t stop hissing at him the whole time we were there. It has gotten a little better since then, they play better now, but Elvis still gets annoyed with Simba and hisses at him occasionally.



Isn’t he cute?!?!













The weekend before Halloween we had our annual Halloween Party/Scavenger Hunt. It was our smallest group this year, but we still had a TON of fun! There were so many other parties going on the same day, and others out of town, so we were missing some of our regulars. :( Oh well, still lots of fun had by all!



I was ready for a hair change, so on Halloween went to my friend Felicia at The Best Litt.le Hair Hou.se to have my hair cut. I went out on a limb for this one. I got it cut shorter than ever, it is slightly longer on one side than the other (on purpose), and I added some color to it. Not tooooo much, but just a little. Oh, and it isn’t any normal color either, it is PINK!!! For the first few days, every time I got a glimpse of my hair, especially the pink part, I would giggle and smile. haha It sucks that these bold colors fade so fast. . .it is pretty faded right now – kind of like a light pink, but I still LOVE it!






Halloween was a great time spent in Highland with my parents and Grandma, as well as my BFF Colleen and her family. This was the first year that I have actually ever Trick-or-Treated in my parents’ neighborhood, even though I have lived there since the age of 8. Every year we would go to Gma’s, even the past few years as adults, so we wouldn’t be in our own neighborhood. Since Gma moved into an apartment, we decided to just go to Mom and Dad’s, and my BFF and her family came there, and we Trick-or-Treated in their neighborhood. It has turned into a tradition for my BFF and her family come to Highland, have dinner with us and then we go Trick-or-Treating with them (they have 3 kiddos). It is always so fun. Watching them go from house to house, seeing their excited faces, etc. I just need to say that, they are the most caring and loving children. They are always more worried about getting every one else’s favorite candy before even getting something for themselves. Sav knew that my Mom’s favorite was Banana Laffy Taffy, so she kept her eye open for that, and luckly at the 2nd or 3rd house she got one and was SOOO excited and couldn’t wait to give it to my Mom. It was the sweetest thing ever! After we get back to the house, they dump their stuff out, see all the candy they got and then pass it out to everyone, including my parents, Gma, Ric and I, etc. They are SUCH caring children!!! I <3 them!



Friday morning we woke up to a call from Ric's Mom, letting us know that Ric's Grandfather passed away. He had found out a few months ago that he had lung cancer. RIP Papa!! Ric's Grandmother isn't doing well either, so please take a minute to say a little prayer for her! She is such a SWEET lady!!



In November Ric and I went to Graffton and walked on the trails and took some pictures. We had a great time, but because of fiddling around that afternoon, we got there kind of late, and didn’t have much time to walk the trails, because of it getting dark earlier. It was such a GORGEOUS day though! For our first anniversary Ric had made reservations there for us to go horseback riding, and then two years ago we went there to walk the trails with some friends of ours. I love going there, the view is absolutely gorgeous!! The drive there is kind of long (about an hour), but the view during the drive is definitely worth it!



For August and September Ric volunteer assistant coached a PeeWee Football team (for Mascou.tah). I can hardly explain the feeling I get when I see his smiling face while he is talking about all his kids, his excitement and happiness when he comes home from practices and games, etc. He just LOVES doing this so much, and loves his kids so much!! I was only able to make it to one game that season, because of all the sessions/weddings I had, and unfortunately was their last game. It wasn’t a very good game to go to, because the opposing team was playing “dirty”, but it was still great to see him out there with “his kids” and the way he interacts with them. He is going to be such a great teacher (and Daddy some day)!!! It is obvious, considering the nickname his classes that he subs for has given him. . .”Mr. Awesome”. (He is pretty awesome!!)



On November 12th Ric and I celebrated our 4th Anniversary. We spent it low key by having dinner with my parents and dessert at no other than, COLDSTONE! :D (My favorite!)



December came and went, and man did it fly by!!! This year I stayed in IL for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, and Ric went to Viriginia on the 20th. I flew out to VA on the 26th, and spent time with him and his family. On Dec. 30th we took a bus to New York so that we could ring in the new year in Times Square. We were home on January 4th and now life is slowly, but surely, going back to normal.




One of these days, I will come back and write a story about our trip to New York and being in Times Square for New Years. It was AWESOME! :D

THANK YOU!!

I haven’t been around to write lately, but I wanted to take the time out to come and thank all veterans, as well as all those who are fighting/have fought for our Country!



THANK YOU!!!!!



Hmmmmmmmmm. . .

In case you are wondering where the heck I have been. . .this might answer that for ya! :)

I <3 Faces – Pink Week

I <3 pink. . .so I had to participate this week. :)

This picture was taken by me at my cousin Courtney’s wedding, 5/23/09. I just love the way it turned out. The glow, the smiling faces, etc. :)

Life’s Crazy ~ Need a Breath!

I haven’t been around for a while. Things are CRAZY CRAZY around here! I apologize in advance that this entry is going to be all mumble jumble. Deal with it! :)

It seems as though my whole FAVORITE season of Fall has been swept away with things to do. Going here, going there, going everywhere. I’m missing out on the great season. But, in an attempt to be more positive in life, thanks to my Sister-in-Law who put a whole new light on things, “Thank you for reminding me that I’m actually doing something I love!” (Most of the time. . .when it ISN’T M-F 9-5.)

I can’t wait until the day that I don’t have to have this full-time job. I have said that for a few years now. I’m finally starting to see a light at the end of the tunnel. Though, I do get frustrated on a daily basis. WHY can’t I just quit my job and do this full-time? WHY can’t I get my name out there more? WHY are there people that started AFTER me that are getting more clients than me (or so it seems)? WHY are there people who refer other people to certain people and not me? WHY are there people out there in the same field as me who started around the same time as me (or others in general), who just don’t feel like helping out. WHY when I ask their advice, do they pretend like they are better than someone? WHY are there so many darn photographers in the area I’m in? WHY did I pick a profession that is SO hard to get into (so it seems sometimes)? WHY can’t some lovely school hire my Husband, who SO BADLY wants to be teaching? WHY are there teachers out there who lie and cheat the system, yet they still get to teach, when there are people (like my Husband) who would be SO good at teaching? (Tenure is an evil thing sometimes.) GEESH. There are more whys, but we’ll stop there! Remember, I’m TRYING to be more positive!

Anyway. . .
This past weekend Ric and I went to VA to visit his Parents, two of his Siblings, and his Grandparents. We had a great time hanging out with them. The first day we spent most of the day with his Grandmother, who is in a rehab center after hip surgery.

Saturday after going to one of Amanda’s Weight Watchers meetings (what an AWESOME leader she is), Amanda, Ric and I went to King’s Dominion. We had a great time, and a LOT of laughs.

(Picture stolen from King’s Dominion website.)

On Sunday, Mom S., Timmy, Amanda, Ric and I went to the Renaissance Festival in Maryland. It was so much fun, and we had a great time!

(Picture stolen from Renn Fest website.)

On Monday we went to say goodbye to Ric’s Gma and headed home. We got home later in the evening.

If I ever get a few minutes, I will come back and make an entry dedicated to our trip, including pictures, but who knows how long that will be. :)

Now I feel SOOOO behind. I have three weddings, one maternity and one family shoot to edit. I have another wedding this coming Saturday and three family shoots this coming Sunday. AHHH. . .breathe!!!!

As Amanda would say. . .”Thank you for . . .”
. . .reminding me that I’m alive! :D

UCO: LA or BUST!! The Experience of a Lifetime! (Part II)

The next day the blue team had to get up early one more time to head to the studio to pack up the cake to head to The Reagan National Library. One funny moment was all four of them walking out of the hotel room, me waking up out of a deep sleep as they were walking out of the door, and saying “BYE LOSERS” and everyone giggling. Ha They were headed to the studio to pack up the cake and drive it about 45 minutes to Simi Valley, CA to the Reagan National Library. Ric and I got up a little bit later, got ready and headed to Simi Valley also. We stopped at a store to buy some wine, so that we could have it with the winning team later that evening, as well as stopped for lunch. We had JUST gotten our lunch when Mom called to let us know that they were going to be introducing the cake a little earlier than they thought, like in 10 minutes. We were about 15 minutes away, so we had to rush to get to go boxes, get in the car and get there. When we arrived we thought there was NO way that we were going to be able to make it there for the introduction of the cake, because the Fourth of July event that they were hosting there was CROWDED. So, instead we worked our magic and told the guards that we needed to get up closer because we were with the TLC people. It worked. I jumped out of the car while Ric parked, and made it literally RIGHT when they were wheeling the cake out to introduce it. PHEW, I did NOT want to miss that. Ric made it in just a few minutes later, he missed them wheeling it out, but made it for the actual introduction.
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Then Mom stood there for a while and answered all the “fans’” questions. The little kids were asking question after question after question. It was so cute!
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Camera crew. . .
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Interviews of the little kids and other “fans”.
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More detail shots. Yes, the “Land of the Free, Home of the Brave” signs are different.
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The rest of the team just chillin’.
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More questions from the little kids.
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They introduced the cake and Mom. I had been on the phone with Dad, so that he could hear all the commotion, since he wasn’t able to be there. :( More screaming and clapping for Mom. Then we had to do to “Take 2, 3 & 4”. (I’m not sure why they had to record it so many times. Haha) This is the part that we are missing on our home video that Ric had recorded at the event, as well as the video that I took on my camera, which is also missing. It is a mystery. . .I don’t get how they could just be GONE. :( Oh well, we have pictures, and the memories in our head. What an AMAZING experience! Nothing quite like it.
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This is when Mom hit the trigger to make the BBQ grill smoke. . .all the people were “ooohing and aaahing”. haha
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The President of the Raegan Library actually introduced the cake, and while he was standing there, he got just a LITTLE too close to the icing grass. haha
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Group photos. . .
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More cake recording. . .
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Time to cut the cake. . .
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Time to dig in! (Not really, the kids got in trouble for doing it. . .TL.C didn’t want any legal issues!)
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Mom, Uncle Sam and I
(Ric was touring the National Library.)
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Then Mom had to do even MORE interviews.
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Bye Bye Uncle Sam!!!
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After they introduced it, the crowd got to eat some cake. (Not the actual cake that they built, but just some sheet cakes that they were serving.) Then Mom cut her cake, while the camera crew was on her again. After all that excitement was over, the rest of the group had to wheel Uncle Sam to the dumpster and Mom had to go straight back to the hotel with the camera crew for some MORE interviews. She said that she has never talked so much about herself in her whole life! Ha Then we toured the Library, saw some amazing views of Simi Valley and headed back to the hotel to meet up with Mom. Then we all went to do some shopping in Glendale, as well as dinner at Cheesecake Factory. We were all pretty much Zombies by then. The team was tired from all the work that they had done that weekend, and Ric and I were tired from all the activities that we had done that weekend! Back to the hotel to pack up (:() and then more hanging out and chatting for our last night together.

The next morning Ric transported the team (except Mom) to the airport and then came back. Then we all got up and got ready. This is what our room looked like from all the trash and stuff that we left for the cleaning lady (sorry!)!! haha
I’m sure she LOVED us!
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This really was an experience of a lifetime!! Even if Mom does get called back (there is word on the street that this is a possibility), it just won’t be the same!! The awesome people that we met, the experience itself, the event afterwards, etc.

I have made lifelong friends from this experience as well. Steven and Ruth of course, but mainly Eric and Patty (Eric’s wife, who I met when they were here for the practice run a few weekends before the show). I talk to them on-line all the time, it is great getting to know them better, even if it isn’t in person. And, I’m trying SOOOO hard to get them to move back to the good ol’ State of Illinois! ;)

DEFINITELY an experience of a lifetime!!!

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