". . . our stories are what make the difference, and if we can tell them honestly we can hope to help each other. In the end, we have nothing to offer each other but our stories." ~ Emma Lou Thayne

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Sunday Expressions: Who's CHEERING You ON?

This week I've been sick and had a lot of mixed emotions. I always get a lot of anxiety going away from home... This video/song spoke to me for this week. It reminds me that even if no one else is near, I can always count on HIM to catch me if I fall, let me fall if it will make me stronger, and ALWAYS CHEER me ON!! So I GO... and I will survive... and hopefully get feeling better and have some FUN in the process! 

This week I add prayers for: 
the people in New Zealand... 
Krista to find her voice again... 
Lisa's family to get better... 
and for our ship NOT to have ANY TROUBLED WATERS!!
GO sung by Erika Jo
Bridge Over Troubled Water sung by Charlotte Church
Video clips of Michelle Kwan
Videos compiled by 

Friday, February 25, 2011

"Creative" Lies you can PROBABLY Get Away With... Hubby's Birthday ADVENTURE!!

This has been Hubby's birth MONTH!! It seems we just keep celebrating his life!! Last weekend we went to St George for his birthday. It was going to be a little "getaway" for he and I *wink*wink* for his birthday. The part he DIDN'T know was that it was actually planned by "Heartbreaker" and MOST of the kids showed up DOWN THERE!! He and I arrived and "decided" to go to dinner... Him "We could just do take out and bring it back to the condo..." ME... the BRAT... "NO! I want to sit and enjoy a nice meal." Him... "OK, if that's what you want." Me "We're celebrating your birthday... we should do it nicer than take out..." HIM... "Hehehe... yeah... I though we did that ON my birthday..." Me "So what." I'm sure he thought something was weird because I kept getting texts and I had to be "CREATIVE" with my excuses... since I am NOT the text champions that ARE my OFF SPRING... They need more time... *sigh*... SOooo... GROCERY STORE... REDBOX... and GAS!! Enough stalling... they are READY!! We get back to the room and I stand back to let him be the GENTLEMAN he IS!! WOW!! Good thing he's HEALTHY!!! He mighta' had a HEART ATTACK!! 7 out of the 10 kids were able to make it and we were crammed into two 3 bedroom condos. LOL!! He DID think it was QUITE ROOMY for the 2 of us at first... but you know... it was the ONLY room they had LEFT!!  ;p  

He had a blast and I was mostly in bed sick... EVEN THERE!!! Talk about a BUMMER!! So I brought my camera... but I didn't really USE it... Hubby got some great shots though... and of course I don't have access to it at them moment. Perhaps I'll edit one that I LOVE and share it with you on another "CREATIVE" post soon!! I'm willing to bet he will be doing a nice post on the weekend when we return... I link you to it when that happens. 

I DID take this one ON the actual birthday, though... but the "creative" FACE is ALL HIM!!! LOL!! 
Now I am heading off again... still sick, but HOPEFULLY getting the GOOD EXPENSIVE STUFF (MEDS) into my system so it's not a WASH!! SO HOW DO you flush out chronic sinusitis and bronchitis in a couple of days?? IS it possible?? We shall SEE!!! Dun ~ Dun ~ DUN!!! I'll report more on THAT later!!

In the meantime... if I'm found in a dark corner of a ship hacking and rocking (the pathetic kind... not the fun kind...) crying for my babies... just rest assured that they will be safe at home being cared for... forgetting all about ME... learning to love OTHERS!! *sniff*  LOL!  So for those of you that don't know... when I don't feel good, my DOGS cheer me up... but when I ABANDON them by going away WITHOUT them... they sometimes hold grudges... Good thing they are more forgiving than PEOPLE!!  ;D

I wanted to participate in Shah's Weekend Creation event. But since I likely won't be able to link in the post, I hope someone does it for me.  ;D 

The weekend was AWESOME for him... 
in SPITE of me and my WHAHMBULANCE.  ;p
If you want a good laugh... 
I'm SURE living in the 'HOOD with THEM is what gave ME a MAN COLD!!  ;p   HEY!! It jumped over BLOCKS just to come GET ME!!! This is ONE POWERFUL MAN COLD!! (For the record... I AM NOT a MAN... I'm just feeling quite pathetic this go round...  *sigh*)

I showed Hubby the clip but I can't say what he said/did... I'd be in BIG TROUBLE!!  ;p  (HAHAHAHA!!! And those of you that are CURIOUS ANYWAY can't even DRAG it out of me... or BRIBE me... for at least another 10 days, anyway! NEENER NEENER!!)  ;p  

HOWEVER, if you want in on the "secret" of WHERE I'll be... Krista holds the Key... ;D  BAHAHA!! A riddle... and she can't TALK... DOH!!! She CAN type, though... ;p  Sorry about the PUN HUN... (((HUGS)))  I REALLY DO hope you get your voice back!!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Awareness Wednesday: What's YOUR CAUSE? - Distracted Driving

Awareness Wednesday Button

Save MY LIFE  

and YOURS!! 

The warnings are everywhere
WHY does this problem continue to 
Here is a HARSH REALITY CHECK that I personally feel should be shown in every Driver's Education class... and I had to sign in to verify I'm older than 18 to view it. UGH!! They figure it's too graphic and scary! Teens NEED TO SEE IT, too!! People (because ADULTS are just as guilty...) think they are invincible and that it can't happen to THEM... 

And may I add... it's not JUST phones, but a whole myriad of distractions... eating, changing the radio/DVD... grabbing something that slipped... yelling at kids... your pet... The things you CAN control, DO IT! The things you can't, keep your priority on the road and tune OUT the distractions. Just a couple seconds DOES make a difference!! 

Please be sure to take your AWARD!
Awareness Award Button

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Project 52 Update for Writer's Workshop

It's been a while since 
I reported on Project 52... 
45. Get a "Finalist" or better at Better Photo.  So far, I received a Finalist on the above photo from January. We'll see at the end of the month if it goes any further. ( Haven't gotten further than this yet...) 

46. Date night at least 2/month.  Last week we went to dinner and a movie. We saw True Grit. (My personal opinion... this one trumps the original by a LONG SHOT!!! I was ALSO BLOWN AWAY by the performance of Hailee Steinfeld as Mattie Ross! Holy Cow! This girl is only 8 months older than my obnoxious 13.5 yr old!! The talent she portrayed and professionalism!! WOW!! Just... WOW!!) Since this weekend we're going to St George, I guess we can count that as a long continuous 3 day date!!  ;D  Right? 

47. *K.I.S.S on blog posts,,, I hope I'm living up to that... I'm trying to. LOL!! Sometimes it's so simple I don't post.  ;p  Hehehe!!

48. *K.I.S.S. on the photography... Hmmm... I'm letting my business license lapse and reducing tremendously. I need to get back to the LOVE of it and away from feeling the OBLIGATION of it... I need to get a better BUSINESS sense before I renew my license. I need to learn how to earn my worth and not be an easy target to be taken advantage of. (Just so some "friends" know... I'm NOT referring to YOU!)  ;D 

*K.I.S.S. = Keep It Simple Stupid

1.) A vacation to remember.

2.) Finding the balance. How do you manage?
Having a hard time with this, but I'm working on it... 
3.) Husbands. A post that hopefully will not get you in trouble. 
Last Friday this was a nice post... ALL about Hubby!!  ;D
4.) A memorable date.
5.) How’s that New Years Resolution treating you? 
Project 52 is all about goals for 2011. My progress updates is above. I have a page dedicated to this, too. As I look over the things I have finished or made progress on... I find it interesting... but NOT surprising... that I haven't tackled ANY of the organization goals yet... * sigh*

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Awareness Wednesday: What's YOUR Cause? Link it up! - Take Care of YOU

Awareness Wednesday Button
As  most of you are aware... the previously most used LINKY tools went to a paid subscription of $24 a year. Honestly, I don't make money through my blog, in fact I spend... and as other things, I have a bad habit of putting more money INTO things for others than the value. At this point, I don't get hardly much interest in my "LINKY" type projects, but I feel they are important and will continue them so those of us that with to share in these areas can unite. I think I am the one that usually benefits the most, as I go and read all the interesting posts you link here... opening my eyes to things I did not know and sharing things I've learned. I think what saddened me the most is that there was not more notice given before cutting us off and turning all of the linky tools that existed OFF! Having NO access to the things previously linked. It really sent me for a LOOP. I want my LINKS BACK!!  *sigh*

Honestly, I've been in a bit of a rut for a while now. I am need to scale back on many things INTERNET. If I COULD just sit at my computer around the clock perusing all the welath of infomation, creativity, wisdom, humor.... that I find through all your blogs... I would BE THERE!! However, I have a 13 yr old boy currently FAILING a few classes. A 12 yr old anxious to begin a k-12 homeschool program... A Hubby that loves to traves and DO all things with a family (with VERY DIVERSE) personalities on a spur of the moment. Family wants to eat... Now that I have my CPAP... I'm able to sleep more... (Insomnia time was web browsing time)... and if I could bury my head in the covers with earplus in and STAY... most days I would GLADY DO THAT! 

I am a horrible business person. I lack confidence in being "good enough" with my photography in spite of the courses of training and experience. I have given discounts to friends and family which almost ALWAYS turn into a LOT MORE work for me, being taken advantage of, bending over backwards trying to please them and nothing is good enough! I paid more out in taxes and fees than I take in. I HAVE given my guidelines and requested to go through my lab, but many insist on taking files to local one hr idiot machines where people push an auto button and don't have a clue how to print a decent picture... Then it is spread how crappy the pictures exposure or coloring is. I calibrate my monitor EVERY MONTH and the photos come out beautifully through my lab. 

Then I get those that think photography is fun and people ask them to take their picture and how much do I charge... Hard to answer, as it depends on:
  •  who it is
  • what's it for
  • how large prints will be wanted
  • what are the subjects
  • location of shoot
  • how long for the shoot
  • how many changes
  • how many prints are desired
  • Do you have a clue how to get the best images from YOUR camera?
  • Do you know how to edit... WELL?
That list has MANY variables. Then there's the next step... IF you do this as a business... EVEN IF you do not charge for it (as I was told by a tax worker... of COURSE), you must maintain a business license, collect sales tax, pay business fees, property/use tax on ALL your equipment YEARLY, etc... Between ALL that AND my web Gallery and out of date website... I pay more out than I get in.... but I learned that I must limit what I take to avoid a meltdown.

When I go into any of this I get the glazed over eyes and they don't want the details... But HEY!! If this is what you want to do... THIS is what is required by law... It's the honest way and if your caught... you WILL PAY for doing business without a licence. So this makes me the word that rhymes with witch and few in my ward even speak to me anymore. They are happy to pay someone that doesn't have the overhead expenses, I guess... I guess they don't have so many outrageous requests of what to Photoshop since she doesn't know the program well... 

At any rate, I'm letting my business license lapse this year. I'm reducing some stress... I'm going to finish the NYIP  course to better my skills even more hopefully (so far it's all been stuff I'm familiar with, so it's frustrating... I know... just get it over with...) I will do things just for close friends and family and that will be limited. I'm in a rut and I need to claw my way out or let it consume me. Consumption is what's been happening... I need to try the alternative... take care of me a bit more and stop trying to please the WORLD! THAT's impossible!
The post from Words in Sync hits me on the head right now...
Thanks for participating.!

Everybody go to your previous links and relink them so we can share your causes!!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentine's Day in Perspective

I think of a Valentine 
as those you share your heart with... 
whether they be family, friends, neighbors, etc... 
There can be a special one... 
but that doesn't rule out the others! 
There are ways to look at it in different lights... 
LOVE has many different faces! 
This holiday is frequently viewed in a negative light to some not in a current "ROMANTIC" relationship... I do see their point... BUT, if we could see this as a "make someone smile... who has made YOU smile" day... or a "think of others you care about" day... maybe that would help it be a bit better. It doesn't need to be a day to spend money... You can post a message by e-mail or facebook... make a call just to let someone know you thought of them... Share a piece of your heart... ♥
A neighbor bring us a plate of cookies for 
She DEFINITELY made me smile. ... ;D
So Happy Valentine's Day, my friends... 
sharing a piece of my heart with YOU!! 

♥ (((HUGS)) ♥
1.  Did you get any Valentine's Gifts?
2.  What is your favorite topping on something toasted?
3.  Do you pick out your outfit the night before?
4.  What food item do you absolutely despise?
5.  Righty or lefty?

#1) Did you get any Valentine's Gifts?
I awoke to a box of Ferrer Rocher on my bed! 
YUMMY!! Since it's a BOX, do I have to SHARE?? 
LOL!! (Don't worry... I WILL!)  ;p 
We are going on a little trip, too...  ;D 
#2) What is your favorite topping on something toasted?
It TOTALLY depends on WHAT it is that is TOASTED... 
If it's toasted bread or English Muffins... 
Strawberry or raspberry preserves...  
But if it's a BAGEL... 
I LOVE Mixed Berry Cream Cheese on it! 
Not a HEALTHY option... 
but OH SO YUMMY for an occasional splurge!
For Italian or French bread? Butter/GARLIC! 
PUMPKIN SEEDS? Butter/lightly salted.  ;D 
3.  Do you pick out your outfit the night before?
Not unless there's something important 
OR on vacation... 
(VACATION gets obsessively planned 
day by day WAY in advance 
for me AND Hubby... so as NOT to CLASH... 
LOL!  I'm TRYING not to be so OCD 
about it this next time.  ;p) 
4.  What food item do you absolutely despise?
5.  Righty or lefty? 
(Doesn't that apply to EVERYTHING?) 
LOL!!  ;p
MOST of the images in this post are not mine. 
Photos of me and Hubby and the HEART are mine.  ;D

Friday, February 11, 2011

Happy Birthday Hubby!

The world IS a better place because he's in it!
He's a GREAT husband!
The best father, grandfather...
I love that our youngest is so much like him!
I love how he was happy to take my baby 
in his arms and make him his own... 

and willingness to take mine... his... and ours... 
into a big pot... and blend to make OURS... 
I love that even though he wasn't originally excited
about  having critters, he understood my need...
 And although sometimes he PRETENDS that 
I'M the one that loves them and he just puts up with them... 
I KNOW he loves them, too! LOL!! 
I love that he has compromised and lets me tell him what to where (pack for him and lay out daily... LOL!) when we travel now, to avoid my whining about his lack of "matching" skills! LOL!!
I Love that he understands and shares 
my passion for photography.
I love that he is a man that gives service to others freely...
I love that he is a spiritual man in all he does... 

I love that he has been enjoying cooking 
and baking more and more as time goes by... 
I love that he's enjoying my Kitchenaid 
and new pots and pans as much as me.
I love that he WANTS to take me 
awesome places with him...
And most importantly,
 I love that he finds it in his heart... 
and ability to love me... in spite of me... 
There is SO much to love...
I've just scratched the surface!  ;D 
Happy Birthday, 
All images are mine except the cake which is linked 
to it's source that I found through Google images. 
This is a German chocolate cake, blue is his color, and R is his first initial. Aside from the rich fondue frosting... he would love this cake... so I'll stick with coconut and pecan topping when I make him German chocolate cake...  ;D
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