Hmmmmmmmmm. . .

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

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I <3 Faces – Pink Week

I ❤ 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! 😀

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!!!

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

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Ric’s trip started off on June 28th, Trisha’s started on June 30th.
On June 27th, Ric went to Highland to load up Mom’s van and then spent the night at Mom and Dad’s. Sunday morning he was on the road headed to CA. I talked to Ric a few times while he was on the road. He was definitely making good time. He made it to CA by Monday evening. My trip started bright and early on Tuesday morning. I had to be at the airport by 4:30 a.m. Our good friend Katie took me there. Hopped on the plane and was on my way. We had to make a pit stop in Atlanta. (Man, I hate that airport!) I was there for over 4 hours, plane was delayed a few times. Finally made it to CA around 2:30 p.m. Went to baggage claim to meet up with Ruth and Eric, while we waited for Mom to get there. While waiting at the airport for Mom we had only one celebrity sighting. It was Neal McDonough from Desperate Housewives. Ruth grabbed her camera to take a picture, zoomed in (we weren’t too close) and took the picture. The flash flashed really bright, and while she was checking out the picture that she got, he looked over to us and just smiled and waved. He was so cute there hanging out at baggage claim with his wife and adorable kids. 🙂

Mom finally arrived around 5:00 p.m.
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She thought we were hilarious!
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So yes, I spent more than 12 hours in the airport that day. NOT a fun day. All the while, Ric was enjoying the day at Venice Beach. He stopped at the airport to pick up some of our luggage, because all four of us (Mom, Ruth, Eric and I) weren’t going to fit in the rental car with all of our luggage. Ric went back to the hotel to unload some things and Mom, Ruth, Eric and I went to get the rental car, and then head to the hotel. TLC put Mom and one of her assistants (two rooms) up in The Hilton. It was so pretty (even if they didn’t have free WIFI). 😦 When checking in we requested joining rooms, which we got. So the boys (Eric, Ric and Steven (who wasn’t there yet)) in one room and the girls (Mom, Ruth and I) in the other. Yes, that DID make for a FUN weekend. I have never laughed so much in my life! Haha

After unloading luggage, checking on the cold stuff in the cooler downstairs, etc., Ruth, Eric, Mom, Ric and I headed to dinner. We ate at a great restaurant just a few blocks down from the hotel. (We were in Glendale, CA at this point.) Dinner was great (can’t remember the name of the restaurant) and then it was time to head back to the room. That night Mom had to make some sugar veil in the room. It was quite interesting “cooking” in a hotel room, with a “travel stove”. We stayed up probably a little too late laughing and having a good time.

The next day Ric and I got up and did some touristy stuff (downtown Hollywood/LA), etc. Ric and I then had to head back to the room to pack up the van to get all the cake stuff to the studio.
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Cakes. . .
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Opposing team. . .
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Then drove to the studio, and unpacked the van again.
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(Lots of packing and unpacking throughout that weekend.) It was pretty neat getting to be in the studio. Seeing the “removable wall” and stuff like that. Mom and her team were in the blue kitchen. (GO BLUE!)
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We hung out a little while with the team while they got stuff organized and such.
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Ric and I with Mom in the blue kitchen.
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They didn’t show it on the actual show, but the Blue Team did some actual welding on the set. Here is Eric’s welding helmet.
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Then we left the team to finish up, while Ric and I finished our touristy stuff. While we were in Downtown LA we bought a map of the stars’ houses. We could have taken a guided tour of these houses and such, but it was so much more fun and laid back doing it on our own. We saw all kinds of celebrity gates. Haha (The addresses lead us to a lot of gates, rather than houses, because of celebrities gating up their house.) It was when we were checking out Luci and Desi’s old house that we came upon the house that Michael Jackson had just passed away in just one week prior to us being there. It was interesting. Memories, florals, people, etc., everywhere! After our tour (it started getting dark) we enjoyed dinner at Mel’s Drive-In and then headed back to the hotel to see how Team Blue was doing. Another late night spent talking and laughing.

The next day the blue team had to leave pretty early to do studio things. Ric and I decide that this day we would go to DISNEYLAND. AWESOME time! We were back REALLY late that night! The team snoozing by the time we got back from Disneyland.

The next day the blue team had to leave SUPER early to get to the studio to start filming. That day Ric and I went to Universal Studios. We had a great time there. Had dinner at Subway at the City Walk, and then headed back to the hotel. No one was there when we got back, so we got ready for bed. I fell asleep. It was only a few minutes later that the blue team called to let us know that they were ready to pack up the van and would like some help. Mom wasn’t allowed to tell if she won or not, but it was at that moment that I found out that THEY WON!!! (I was the first one. . .well, Ric was, because he was on the phone with Mom, since I had fallen asleep.) What an awesome feeling. I really couldn’t wait to get to the studio then. When we got there, the losing teams were destroying their cakes. So, no pictures of their cakes. Mom had to go back to the hotel with the recording team to do some interviews, while the rest of the blue team, Ric and I helped clean up the blue kitchen. Of course, I made my way around the studio to find the WINNING cake to take pictures of it. 🙂
*Warning, there are a lot!*
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Clean-up, then back home to go to bed because the blue team had one more early morning.

Before that, I gave Mom her “award”. 🙂
(I KNEW she was going to win!!) 😉
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To be continued. . .