Tuesday, September 30, 2008

the hot air balloon shot I DID get

This shot is actually from yesterday, day one of "document your life" week. We were in the park earlier in the evening. JT pointed out a "boon" in the sky. Wouldn't you know... a hot air balloon was going right over the park!

Of course, the battery on my point-n-shoot camera had just died. I was SO UPSET. Seriously, I haven't been that upset over a missed photo opportunity in a while. It would have been an awesome shot with JT pointing up at the balloon... all in the frame, big as life.

So instead, I got a picture of him at bedtime under the hot air balloon mobile...

document your week

gettin' a bath, brushin' some teeth

Ok, so I'm following along with Ali Edwards' document a week in your life project. I took a bunch of pictures Monday evening. But let's see how I do the rest of the week, especially during the daytime. I tend to fall off the wagon as the week goes on. Tonight's photos were pretty cute. This one in the tub is a favorite from the batch. It's going to take me a while to process and post all of them. Tomorrow's excitement: swimming lesson!

This project should fit in nicely with the start of my Big Picture Scrapbooking class with Cathy Zielske, Design Your Life, that starts October 2. (Holy cow, that's soon.) I convinced Jenny to join me, so it's going to be even more fun to participate in the class with one of my best pals!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Centerville store

custom killing, originally uploaded by brungrrl.

I took this picture over the weekend. It was the local store where John grew up. It's a small store in the middle of nowhere, Ohio. John described it as a "store and slaughterhouse". Apparently, though, they describe what they do as "custom killing" rather than slaughterhouse.

Ahh, how marketing is different by location, eh?

(And yes, I know my car is missing the gas cap. I like it that way.)

Sunday, September 28, 2008

life documentation

I might have mentioned that I'm loving the atmosphere, community, and conversations on Twitter. Since I can update status from my phone wherever I'm at, I can make sure that I'm documenting an event while it's in progress.

As an example, here are the tweets just before, during, and after our vacation in June. That was such a precious gift of family time for us. I'm looking forward to documenting it in a scrapbook. These tweets will certainly help me remember the important moments from that trip.

And yes, I hear what you're thinking... "why not just keep a journal and write it down?" That's a good idea, too. And for many trips I have done just that. But on this trip, it was easier to capture the moment in 140 characters or less and upload it to a server for later viewing.

There is a lot less pressure in a 140 letter tweet than 40 lined pages of literary opportunity.

Vacation Tweets:

JT climbed all the way to the top of the stairs tonight when we got home (with me following close behind). I'm not ready for this yet.
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#grateful for safe travels and wonderful family and friends. Vacation was good... only a little glad to be home.
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JT speaks loudly into his toy phone, just like grandpa.
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Tears at departure. All hyped up on Bo Jangles sweet tea for the ride.
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Pitching pistachios at squirrels in the rain.
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Last day on beach. JT getting tan. Parents getting sad for vacation to end.
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We are just gonna stay here. John & I figure we can make friends with new campers every week so we always have lodging.
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Chasing kitties and making vacation videos.
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Saw dolphins today. Caught sand fleas. JT petted a sand shark then cried when we turned it loose.
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Stuffed from another of aunt joan's home cooked meals.
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JT & I swam with stingrays and jellyfish today. It was freaky, but cool.
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Heading to the beach
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Introduced JT to gators tonight. He doesn't think they are as cuddly as bunnies.
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JT loves the ocean! Squeals with delight. Tried to drink saltwater from the bucket.
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JT napping. Gators sunbathing in marsh. Squirrels scavenging deserted campsites.
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@pwhyte already been to piggly wiggly
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Arrived South Carolina 0530.
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Rolling in our rented Chrysler 300, JT sleeping.
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Household chores are getting done one at a time.
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#grateful for vacation. Next week's tweets from the beach!

Brookgreen Gardens 08

Saturday, September 27, 2008

first year, completed

Oh, remember I promised to show you the completed First Year project? Well, here it is....

LO: My First Year

I have to admit, sometimes I would sit down and backfill a month or more at a time. Thank goodness for the blog, emails to Nana, iPhoto, and the daycare notebook.

LO: My First Year

A year in the life that is as low commitment as 2 or 3 words per day would be a great project for any person at any age. I love this project... the colors, the handwriting that makes it so personal, the ability to spread out the whole set, the visual chronology of photos, and 365 good and bad memories of JT's first year ever.


It's election season! Ok, while it is presidential election season, that's not what I'm talking about. What I care about is the annual calendar contest at my work. I've made it every year for the past 5 years or so. It's kind of a big thing for me.

Here is where you come in. I can submit 2 photos for consideration. I have selected a handful of my favorites from the past year and put them in a flickr set. View the set and comment on the photos you like best. I'll use your votes to help decide what to submit.

'09 calendar contest candidates

I have to submit by Tuesday... I'll let you know which photos I enter and if I make it!

Friday, September 26, 2008

tag crowd

A tag crowd of the most used words on my blog. I love this view of what I've written. I would love to use a TagCrowd or Wordle image in a scrapbook layout. I'll let you know when I get that accomplished, of course. Happy weekend!
created at TagCrowd.com

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


A couple Saturdays ago, my friend Kathy asked me to help her learn to take better photos of the cakes and cupcakes she is baking. She has been taking classes and making some gorgeous creations. She is quite talented.

Ok, let me back up just a second. One of the first times I ever talked with Kathy was at a scrapbooking night at our church. She did the make-n-take I demonstrated, proclaiming all the while that she is not creative at all. Let's just say I was suspicious of that statement when she took my scrapbook layout idea and turned it into a work of art.

So now, about two years later, Kathy has apparently discovered her creative side.

When I arrived, one of the books she had as a reference for the kind of photos she wanted to learn how to take was Cupcakes! by Elinor Klivans. Woman after my own heart... this book is DELICIOUS. I have no idea what the recipes are like, but the photos are sweet and dreamy.

I showed Kathy some basics about taking good photos and how to manage the light and shadows with the camera and tools she has. I'm looking forward to seeing more pictures of her gorgeous cakes. And hopefully we can get together sometime when she's baking so I can take pictures of her in the kitchen and we can try to shoot some photos like the the ones in the book.

It was such a fun time collaborating with someone else on a creative endeavor. It's something that I don't do nearly often enough. She completely loaded me up on inspiration. Now, to find some time to act on the inspiration...

(Note... the treat shown here was from Kroger, as all Kathy's cakes had already been delivered the day we did the shoot.)

Sunday, September 14, 2008

the chair

My dad returned from Wisconsin today. This time he's back for a while... we are very excited to be seeing more of him! He showed up with this toddler-sized rocking chair for JT.

We tried to encourage JT to try it out. He doesn't really like to be encouraged. Must have something to do with his 14-month old independence streak.

Later, when we weren't expecting it, he tried out the chair. At first, he needed some help getting in it. It tends to scoot away as he backs into it.

He has the rocking motion down perfectly. And he has worked on getting into the chair more gracefully and has a near-perfect dismount every time.

The chair is just perfect for reading. He spent much of the afternoon discussing this book of planes, trains, and trucks with Nana and Grandpa.

He can get folks really pumped up for trucks.