Thursday, June 30, 2011


The first time I was rained on at a concert. Which is amazing considering where I live.
Amazing concert. Simply wonderful. She's so funny, so cute, and sooo talented. They just ooze talent.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

38 on the 28th.

I had a great birthday yesterday! The day was SO much better than the day before. Max even went to his swim lesson without any fuss. I asked him if he'd go to his lesson for me; if he'd do that for me as my birthday gift. And the little wise guy said, "It's not your birthday present. I'll just go." Smiles. I enjoyed coffee and a mani/pedi with a good friend while Max was at Vacation Bible School. It was a fun time.
This was the year of the camera related gifts, as I received a fun new camera strap cover, a polarizing filter, a new battery (I was in need of a back-up!), and a small travel charger. All just perfect for my trip to Denver in a few weeks. Max and I had pizza for dinner. This momma was not about to cook on her birthday! And my husband even surprised me with a small chocolate cheesecake. Oh, so very rich, but yummy!
Tonight I'm headed to the Alison Krauss concert with a friend. It was supposed to be a couples night, but her husband had last-minute work travel, and my husband just offered to stay home and save us the babysitter money. (Plus, while he would go with, I'm not sure folk music is his favorite.) At this point I'm just praying it doesn't rain!
Update on Mr. & Mrs. Robin: There are now three eggs in the nest! She laid one egg a day for three days in a row. I told my husband I though it was quite brazen of that Mrs. Robin to go laying that many eggs right there in front of me when I can't even produce one good, mature egg of my own! :) He thinks it's good sign and will bring us some baby luck. We shall see. (Hope it doesn't mean I'll have triplets.)
I think I will always miss having my mom cook my favorite meal and bake a cake for my birthday. I guess that's the kid in me that keeps me young at heart. It is very much a tradition I would like to continue for my family. Birthdays are special days. They come just once a year. I hope Max will always feel like his day was all about him and his parents smothering him with extra love on that day. I hope he will feel as completely, utterly and unconditionally loved as my parents make me feel.
And thanks to you kind souls out there who sent me birthday wishes! It was so very sweet of you. Thirty-eight is pretty good so far.
Post Edit - My drivers license photo - hideous! Just awful. I may be getting my photo retaken in a few months. (Ok, this is actually post edit #2. I had to correct a grammatical error.)

Monday, June 27, 2011

maggie monday. and my last day at 37.

It's 9:54 pm and I just got out of Max's room after putting him to bed at 8:30. And he wasn't even totally asleep. He asked me to stay and sleep in his room longer. I fibbed and told him I had to go potty, and that I'd be right back. (The little white lies we tell for the sake of our sanity.)
So, I've got two hours (plus a few minutes) left of being 37. And if I didn't have to be up early to get Max up and ready for Vacation Bible School I'd likely stay up till midnight and savor all these last few minutes of my youth. Don't get me wrong, I know 38 isn't that old. I've got two glorious years left till I'm 40 and I cry like a baby.
My last day at 37 went like this:
7am - Cell phone alarm goes off. Hit snooze.
7:10am - Alarm goes off again. Hit snooze. Again. (It should be noted here that when I worked I set the time on my clock about 20 minutes fast, just so I could hit snooze a million times and still get up semi-ontime. Crazy? Perhaps. But I liked fooling myself into thinking I was sleeping in later.)
7:20am - Alarm goes off again. Ok, I'll get up.
7:30-8:30am - Shower. Do hair and makeup. Get Max dressed and make him some breakfast. Wash one Aleve, one Claritin, and one Gabapentin down with a glass of water (breakfast of champions).
9am - Drop Max off at the church.
9:20am - Starbucks drive-thru for some coffee and food.
9:30am - Arrive at the Department of Licensing. Yep - it's renewal time. Do I take the risk of having my picture taken? Or just renew and keep the photo that I don't hate from 7 years ago?...Oh, wait...I don't have to make that decision right now because while the DOL is open, it is only open for auto licensing. Not getting renewed today.
9:45-11:45 - Target, Borders, Michaels, Pier One, and Safeway.
Noon - Pick-up Max.
12:30 - Home for lunch. And all Max will eat, once again, is a peanut butter and honey sandwich. (Did I mention this was all he'd eat for breakfast?) Renew license online. Find out that I really do have to go in and renew in person since I renewed online the last time. Great. Back to photo dilemma.
2:20 pm - Camas Library for the kid's magician show.
3:15 pm - Max wants to leave, so we head to our 3:30 swim lesson.
3:25 pm - Drag Max into the locker room at the gym (after he's attempted to leave once) to get changed.
3:28 pm - All out battle of wills. Let's see...I was hit once or twice. Called stupid a handful of times with a few "you blockhead!" thrown in for good measure. (All the while wondering what the heck to do in terms for discipline in a public place!)
3:29 pm - Carry Max over to where the other nice, well-behaved kids are eagerly awaiting swim lessons.
3:30 pm - Gently push Max to his teacher while trying to get him to let-go of my hand.
3:31 pm - Annnddd....that's my kid crying and carrying-on about not wanting to swim...mortified.
3:32 pm - Swim teacher asks me to take my child or come and try to persuade him to get in the pool; she's got three other kids in her class to teach.
3:33 pm - Too frustrated to care at this point, I pick-up Max and we head out the door.
3:38 pm - Car ride home filled with me telling Max that "we signed up for swimming and we paid good money that we can't get back and we will be coming here every single day whether he likes it or not."  In exchange for the not swimming for a half hour, he had to spend an hour in quiet time up in his room, without me.
4:00 - 5:00 pm - The dreaded late afternoon nap. (On the other hand, my 20 minute snooze was quite refreshing after battling Max and allergies all day.)
The rest of the evening is a blur of uneventful, everyday things...leftovers for dinner; making Max something to eat (since he doesn't just eat what we eat and I don't want him to get any skinnier. I could devote an entire post to this topic alone, but I don't want to bore you too much.); taking a few photos just to experiment with flare as the sun is going down; a little time to myself spent contemplating motherhood and what I'm doing wrong as a mother (another post I will bore you with because I think so many moms out there are filled with doubts and worry about whether they are doing any of it well enough, and unless we are open and talk about, we will continue to feel alone. There is comfort in knowing you're not alone.) Pajamas on, teeth brushed, one story read by daddy, daddy to bed, three more stories read by mommy because we signed-up for the summer reading program at the library today, a tad bit of Benedryl for Max's stuffy nose (allergies), and a LOT of wiggling around from a boy who will now fall asleep much later due to that dreaded late afternoon nap.
My last day at 37 in a nutshell.
Sorry no photos's too late. Ok, I couldn't leave you without at least one photo. Quickly edited in Picnik. No time for Elements tonight.
And if you've made it this far - thank you for listening to me ramble about my all-too-normal day. It's nice to know people listen even when you don't really have anything interesting or exciting to say, but still would like some adult conversation/interaction. Motherhood has felt far too lonely for this momma lately...
It's now 10:52 pm. Time for a few chips and salsa. (I'll be a pound or two heavier tomorrow for eating carbs so late, but I don't care. I bought the Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred DVD at Target today.)
So long 37...thank you for being so good to me.

Friday, June 24, 2011


Last Sunday afternoon I noticed a Robin had started building a nest on a planter on the deck off of our bedroom. I watched for awhile as Mr. Robin flew back and forth, gathering grass and debris for his nest. I went about my day and check on the progress every time I was in our room. It was really quite remarkable to see this little engineer's work. As I told my husband, "He's built a nice little place for his lady bird to have babies." The nest sat empty for a day and I wondered if it was really going to be used or not. My husband's reasoning - the bird was out looking for a chick (pun intended) now that he had a nice nest built. I mean really, what self-respecting guy is going to try to find a chick without first building a really great home to show-off to her, right? (Good thinking husband. Good thinking.)

On Tuesday morning I noticed Mrs. Robin (I'm assuming it was the Mrs.) chilling in her nest, all fluffed-up. I went about my morning and later, when she was gone, I took a peek and found one lovely, little egg. The perfect shade of Tiffany blue. I'm excited to watch this little family life unfold right before our eyes. I think it will be a great experience for Max to see how birds go about creating their family. I will keep you updated on Mr. & Mrs. Robin's little family as it progresses.
Happy weekend! (I just couldn't wait till Monday to post this one...)


Is it Friday already? with only one week left in June? I kind of feel like it's still spring since our weather is still very spring-like. Still waiting for a few HOT days of sun. Perhaps July and August will make-up for our cool and dreary June. One can hope.
I've been able to spend a little time playing around in Elements this week (after Max is all tucked-in bed, of course.) It's been fun. As you can see, I made a new header. Finally figured out how to use the fonts I like, instead of the limited fonts that Blogger provides. I love those ah-ha moments when you figure something out that's been boggling your mind forever!
I bought the above blueberries for the sole purpose of putting them in that little bowl and taking their picture. (Shhh...don't tell my husband.) And after I was done taking their photo I devoured them! I did a little processing in Elements. Not too much though. I'd like to be able to get my photography to a place where I don't need to do too much correction in Elements (not that I really know how to do much in Elements at this point.) And you will likely notice the different watermark. I'm not sure I like it...I'll probably be experimenting with different designs for awhile. I do know I want something simple though.
We've had a good week. Max finished swim lessons and is all signed-up for summer lessons which start next week. And I'm sooo looking forward to Vacation Bible School next week! YAY! Mini preschool in the summer, if only for a week. And the bonus is that it falls the week of my birthday, so this momma will really be enjoying those three hours of freedom next Tuesday!
Not much else exciting to report this week.
Thank you for all the nice comments about the Max mustache photos. I was quite happy with that series - technically and just because I got my little guy to sit still and pose for me for a bit. (I keep thinking if I had a girl she'd likely pose for me all the time and I could get her all dressed-up in cute outfits...but maybe not...)
Hope everyone has a nice weekend!
Happy Friday, friends!

Monday, June 20, 2011

i heart faces: let's hear it for the boys!

Let's hear it for little mustache Max! It's all about the boys this week over at I Heart Faces.

mustache max.

I know you all have been eagerly awaiting my mustache photos, right? (I know you all missed me so much last week. Or maybe you didn't even notice! LOL.)
Picture 263fd

Picture 259fd

Picture 258fd

Picture 265fd

And there you have it! I took these before my trip to Seattle. Max actually sat still for me (well, ok, I told him he had to let me take photos if he wanted to play with the band-aids.) I processed in Picnik. Didn't have much time to play around with Elements last week.
The weekend was long, but ok. Max was having a bad day of sorts on Saturday and I'm sure I wasn't the greatest mom that day. Got a few stares at Safeway when Max wouldn't stay with me and I grabbed him, scolded him in the store, and promptly left with him under my arm. Yea...not my finest moment. Funny thing is that I always gave "those" moms the stink eye for scolding in public before I had a child. And now I get it. In that moment I was in my own little world dealing with my child. And I didn't care one iota about the stares (well, I noticed them, but didn't care till later. We live in a small town and the likelihood of running into someone you know at the store is quite high.) It's been a difficult few weeks with Max. He's been testing his boundaries and independence, and thus my patience. I always thought I was a fairly patient person until I had a child. Not so patient after-all. It's the one thing I really need to work on. And work on a lot harder.

On another note - I think I picked-up my camera three times in the past week. I just wasn't feeling inspired. It's so hard for me to see the everyday with new eyes. I don't have the most creative mind in the world, so I tend to look at things around me and think, "That would be a boring photo." And so I don't take photos. And then there is my lack of models. Sigh... Max doesn't really like me to take his picture these days. Oh, and the golden hour light! There were a few days late last week that were just gorgeous! But alas, I was getting Max ready for bed. And who knows if he would have sit still for me to experiment with that golden light. It is so softly, beautiful though.

The husband is doing ok. He is back to work after three days off plus the weekend. He had surgery Wednesday and now has a titanium plate and some screws in his left collar bone. He would like to be called Titanium Man now, just so you know. No matter what the circumstances he always knows how to make things funny. I think he had a nice Fathers Day despite his set-back. I know he really would have liked to have run the Vancouver Marathon, but there is always next year (and he can run the Portland Marathon in October!)

Look at me rambling again...
Well, happy Monday, friends! I do plan to play around with the above photos in Elements. So don't be surprised if you see them again.

Monday, June 13, 2011

a break.

Seattle was fun. I shopped, ate at a couple of favorite restaurants, had a few tasty margaritas and a couple of delicious cupcakes.
It was a great two days off from mom duty.
But by the time my friend and I arrived in Seattle Friday night, dropped Max off with Omi and Opa, and arrived at my parent's house (about four hours later) my husband called with good news and bad news. The good news was that he wasn't going rafting the weekend before my birthday, so I wouldn't have to find a sitter if I wanted to go out with friends. The bad news - he wasn't going because he broke his collar bone.
And not only did he break it, he broke it in two places.
I feel really awful for him. He had big plans this summer - running the very first (and his very first) Vancouver Marathon (on Father's Day), riding the STP with his dad, doing the things he enjoys doing in the summer.
His plans did not include surgery, or not being able to pick-up his son or play with him.
Having an immobilized arm is not easy. I've been there. It was just three years ago that I had a fractured shoulder-blade and I was that person who couldn't hold or pick-up her 16 month old for two months.
So after a long drive home, and an afternoon and evening with a very, very whiny boy who told me I was a "blockhead" (too much time watching Charlie Brown), and told me he didn't like me anymore (I know, I know...don't take it personally, but it still hurts a teeny bit) I have decided to take a break.
Just for a week or maybe two. I'll still be reading all of your wonderful blogs and drooling over your gorgeous photos. And I may even find some time to pick-up my camera and learn a little Elements. We'll see...
(P.S. - Don't worry. I haven't forgotten about those super cute mustache photos. They are still tops on my editing list. It'll be worth the wait. I promise.)

Friday, June 10, 2011

tgif! preview...

You give a boy some mustache bandaids and...
mustache time! have a few good laughs.
Lots of funny photos to come. In fact, I took so many that I'm having a hard time choosing which ones to share. I may just share them all! And I want to try to process them in Elements.
But in the meantime - I'm off to Seattle with a good friend. Girls weekend! (With sick boy in tow to be dropped off with my in-laws.)
Happy weekend, friends!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

some pretty.

It's been a week.
A cold. A cough. Pink eye. Ear infection.
A sad boy. A grumpy boy. A boy just trying to deal with all this yucky stuff.
Two trips to two different doctors - one for me, one for Max.
Three trips to the pharmacy.
Coming home to find dog pee on the carpet, yet again....
It's also been a good week.
An early birthday present from my mom and dad.
Two very enjoyable days with six other aspiring photographers and one amazing teacher.
pretty in pink

I needed some more pretty in my life this week. So I bought this lovely pink bouquet at the store the other day, while picking up a second prescription for Max.

{I will tell more about the photography class next week.}

Friday, June 3, 2011


double vision

Picture Inspiration week 15. Double Vision. This week we were supposed to create a diptych with two differing points of view of the same subject. I love the gorgeous maple trees in our backyard/greenbelt. They are enormous. And one leaf is about three times as big as my hand. Simply huge. I love to hear them rustle in the wind. Or to hear the pitter-patter of the rain. Both such pretty sounds.
(Yes, I'm getting caught-up on my assignments! YAY!)


canopy of green
From the ground up. Picture Inspiration week 13.

tgif! random edition.

rain drops

The first two days of June have been filled with lots of clouds, a few downpours, and the occasional glimpse of sun. One day I'm totally used to it and it doesn't bother me. And the next - it's so dark and grey and wet and dreary. It's supposed to hit the low 80s this weekend. But I've lived in the Pacific Northwest long enough to know that seeing is believing when it comes to weather.

I finally uploaded Elements to the desktop. And after it was loaded I sat there wondering, "Now what?" I'm excited to have it, but feeling overwhelmed at where to start. So overwhelmed. Since I don't have any good books on Elements I've decided to start by creating a watermark for my photos. Should be simple enough, right? We shall see...

Not a lot going on around here. Max has started swim lessons and seems to like it. He's a little hesitant about putting his face in the water, but most kids are at this age, right? And this big kid is still afraid to put her face in the water. (Maybe I should be taking lessons?)

I haven't been posting much this week because I kind of don't really feel like I have anything interesting to say. Not that that has stopped me from posting some randomness before. But you know how sometimes the randomness sounds just fine, and sometimes, if you really think about it, the randomness sounds, well, just so random and dull? (Already, this post sounds so dull.)

I haven't taken all that many photos lately either. Yesterday, between rain showers, Max and I ventured into the backyard for a bit, and I brought my camera with me. I actually took quite a few photos. I'll post a few next week. Oh, but I was shocked yesterday to see this photo posted on the Shutter Sisters 365 page.

I guess that's all I really have to say for now. Sorry this post isn't more exciting. I guess it's hard to write about things when none of it sounds very exciting in my head. Anyway...I hope you all have a great weekend! And get out there and enjoy the sunny, warm weather if you have it! You know where I'll be if the sun comes out!

Happy Friday, friends.