Tuesday, January 31, 2012

January Favorites...and a little Disappointment

Yay!  I remembered to post a favorites list for the month!  I am pretty proud of myself.  So, I give you, my favorites for January: 

This is the first book in a trilogy, and I've gotta' say, this is one of the best books I've read in a LONG time.  It had me hooked from the first page, and not a lot of books have done that to me.  One of my friends recommended it to me before they announced they were making a movie, but I just now got around to reading it.  Since I've read it, I am really excited to see the movie in March.  Let's hope they don't botch the movie like they do with a lot of movies based off of books......

I have been completely addicted to "One Tree Hill" lately.  We have Netflix streaming through our XBox, and this is what I've been watcing for the past month.  I used to hate this show...probably because I never really gave it a chance.  Now, it's one of my favorites.

Imagine my disappointment when I learned that this show is not available on DVD or Blu-Ray.  I LOVE THIS SHOW!  I always used to watch it on Nick at Nite.  I've searched and searched for this show to buy, but have been unsuccessful with each search.  So, what is reason #12645 why I love Netflix??  They have "The Wonder Years" on their instant streaming list!!!  This is another show that has completely taken up my TV time lately.  :)

Lately, I have been craving Arby's medium roast beef sandwiches.  And no, I'm not pregnant.  I get like this sometimes with certain fast food places.  I crave their food for awhile, and then I don't want it again for a long time.  January seems like it is my Arby's month.  Next month will probably be Wendy's.....who knows....

Now, onto the disappointment portion of the post. 

I have some Easter mini-sessions booked and I have some really cute ideas.  Of course, Ryder is one of the kids having their mini-session, and I have had this adorable idea in my head for him for awhile.  Today, I saw that another kind-of-local photographer did the same idea that I had planned on doing for Ryder's session.  I know in this day and age, it's near impossible to be original, especially with child portraits and those kinds of sessions.  But still, I was a little bummed about it.  Plus, I don't want people to think I am copying their ideas.  I know most people wouldn't think anything of it, but, there are those few who get upset and mad.  Oh well I guess.  I can't help what other people think.  I can just do what I do and be happy and proud of it. :)

That's it for the ramblings today, folks.  Have a good rest of the day, and thanks for reading!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Good Day

Today has been a good day!  I started my first online photography class today, and, even though it is only day one, I can tell this is the best route for me to be on.  I am so happy that I finally decided to take the plunge and go back to school.  It's going to be a lot of hard work, but, I know I'll have fun along the way, and I know it will pay off in the end.

After work, I met Darren at the car dealership to pick up our brand new vehicle!!!  We went perusing for vehicles this past Saturday, and found one we are absolutely in love with.  So, what did we end up getting?  It is a 2012 GMC Acadia!  I LOVE IT!!  I can't wait to drive it more tomorrow.

So, all in all, today has been a good day.  Let's hope tomorrow is just as good! :)

Have a good night, and thanks for reading!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

The Anticipation Comes to an End....and So Does the Flu

The flu bug has been running rampid throughout our house this week.  Last Saturday, Ryder got sick twice, but then was completely fine.  Darren and I were fine all weekend.  Monday night I woke up suddenly just not feeling right.  I tossed and turned the rest of the night, and, well, it didn't end so pretty.  Then, Darren wound up feeling crummy too.  Our house was definitely NOT the place to be Tuesday and Wednesday.  Luckily, we are back to our healthy selves.....but I'll tell ya', it had been awhile since I had gotten the flu.  I forgot what it was like.  Yuck.

As promised, I have something exciting to share.  To me, it is some pretty darn exciting news.  Here we go folks!

 Remember awhile back, in this post actually, when I discussed going back to school for a business degree?  Well, Darren and I sat down and really talked about it and thought it through.  I ultimately decided to put it on the back burner.  I was too busy working, doing the mom  and wifey thing, working on the insurance designations, and ultimately, learning more about my new passion, which we all know, is photography.

Well, recently, Darren and I talked again about me going back to school, but this time, it was about going back to school for photography.  I am happy to report that beginning Monday, I am the newest student at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh, working to obtain a degree in Portraiture Photography.  I AM SO PUMPED AND EXCITED!!!!  Once I finish, this will give the title of being a professional photographer!  I am so eager and ready to get started!!!  That means....

I really get to test my skills, and take pictures and get really awesome critical feedback.  Know what else it means??

I get to take pictures for homework.....I get to do something I LOVE for homework!!  I am so excited!  

I have been waiting and waiting to announce it, but I wanted to wait until it was official.  It became official a few days ago, but, I was a little preoccupied with the chummy flu, and didn't the chance to say anything.

That's all I have to report for now, but I feel like I have just gotten a load off of my chest, and I am so happy with that this post is FINALLY out in the open.  It all feels more real and solid to me now! :) Have a good night everyone, and thanks for reading!!!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Snow Time "Fun"

Last Saturday we took Ryder out in the snow for the very first time.  We thought he would enjoy it a little more than he did.  If we stood him in a spot, he wouldn't move.  He wouldn't try to walk to a different spot, or even sit at the spot he was at.  He was completely still....and had the same look on his face the entire time.  It was funny, but I wish he would've enjoyed it a little more.  There's always next time. :)

He stood in this same spot for probably a good two or three minutes.  Darren was the one that had to finally move him...haha.

He had this same look on his face for probably about 90% of the time.   Oh Ryder......you're too darn cute!

Not much expression change unfortunately.

So we decided to sit him down, and put his mitten in the snow for him.

Kinda' weirded out.

Wait, is that a little half smile? :)

Of course, tasting it was completely necessary.

Then, we saw this truck coming down the street.

Hello, Jeffro!

Ryder, with the same expression as before, staring at Jeffro and his truck.

See you later Jeffro!

Would you look at that?  It's Ryder!  With the same expression on his face.  C'mon kid, change it up a bit!  :)

Darren and Ryder

Me and Ryder.  This is probably the worst picture I've seen of the two of us together, haha. 

He was trying to get up and was having major difficulties completing the task.  Poor kid.

That concludes the snow time "fun" picture extravaganza.  Hopefully next time there will be less expression-less faces, and more smiles, laughing, and actual snow time fun.

Have a good day everyone!  As always, thanks for reading! :)

Friday, January 20, 2012

[insert shameful face here]

I am a horrible blogger.  I really am.  I promised to start updating this more, and I haven't kept up on my end of the bargain.  I'm sorry. :(  I have some really cute pictures to share, but, in all fairness, I've been staying pretty busy lately.  I will try to update this tomorrow or Sunday and share the cute pictures.  They involve outdoor snow-time "fun."  You'll understand the quotes around fun when I share the pics. :)

I have some pretty exciting news that I'm dying to share, but, I'm going to wait until it's official.  So, keep your eyes and ears open!  :)   I'm sorry, I just became one of those people that gets you all hyped up for some news, but then I became the downer that says I can't tell you just yet.  Dontcha' hate that? But, don't fret, I should be able to share this VERY soon! Until then, have fun thinking about what it could be, haha. :) And NO, I'm not pregnant!

The weight loss is going awesome!  I am losing at a nice healthy pace, and I'm feeling wonderful.  I recently bought a pair of skinny jeans, just to test the waters.  I wasn't sure how I would look in these nifty little jeans.  I needed something sleeker to wear with my Uggs and other boots, so I decided to give them a try.  I love them so much, I bought another pair!  They are really comfy, and actually, they are pretty flattering jeans.  Skinny jeans....who knew they could be so awesome?!

Tonight me, Darren, mom and dad are going to a Rascal Flatts concert.  I've seen them in concert once before, and they were amazing.  Jessie and I saw them at the Assembly Hall, and it was such a good concert! I can't wait to see them again! 

Well, that about wraps up today's blog ramblings.  Thanks for reading, and I promise the pictures and fun and exciting news soon! :)

Sunday, January 15, 2012

I Love Weekends Like This

I love weekends busy with photo sessions. :)  Here are the sneak peeks I posted on our photography page on Facebook.  Enjoy! 

The first pictures are from our maternity session with a family expecting their first child.

The next ones are of our session with an adorable 3 month old. 

Like I said, I love weekends like these.

Have a good night!  Thanks for taking a peek!! :)

Thursday, January 12, 2012

The Tale of the Road Raging Man

Today was not unlike any other day for me.  I got up, got myself ready, got Ryder ready, dropped Ryder off at the sitter, and made my normal trek to work.

At the four way stop in Chenoa, I stopped first, and then another car coming from the North stopped....but he didn't want to stop.  Since I stopped first, I went ahead through the intersection.  This did not make Mr. Honda (this is what I've named this man because, you guessed it, he drove a Honda) very happy.  Oh well, learn the rules of road dude.

So, I continue on to take the ramp to get on I-55.  There were some slower vehicles ahead of me on the ramp, plus a semi already in the left hand lane letting all of us merge onto the interstate.  Once the semi passed us, I then merged into the left lane to pass the slower vehicles.  I looked in my rear-view mirror first, and Mr. Honda had the same idea.  However, his idea also included following me a little too close...which he had done the entire time we had been on the road together.  To say I was a little frustrated is a huge understatement.

This continued as I passed the slower vehicles, and the semi.  Once those vehicles were clear, I merged back into the right hand lane, and who do I see speeding up to pass me....  you know who.  I glanced over, and I see he's trying to tell me something....with his middle finger.

In my head, I'm thinking:

Oh boy!  It's Mr. Honda, and he's showing me some lovely sign language.  I love you too, Mr. Honda!  I sure do hope you have a great day, because just being on the road with you this fine morning has been a pleasure.  Especially since there is blowing/drifting snow...I love being on the road with people who speed and can show us all neat finger tricks. Thank you, Mr. Honda.  

I did not see Mr. Honda during the remainder of my commute to Bloomington, but boy oh boy did he leave a lasting impression.

Until we meet again, Mr. Honda...let's hope that never happens.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Day 3....and No Looking Back

Today is day three of my healthy eating deal-a-rama.  It's going really well.  I only allow myself a certain number of calories a day (I promise, it's a healthy calorie goal) and then I have a certain number of calories I work to burn off (also a healthy calorie goal.)  It's pretty tedius, but I'm going to stick to it.  I saw the best results when I was counting calories/following this plan before.  When I quit that plan and started Weight Watchers, I still saw some results, but not near at the same calibur as before.   I think this is definitely the plan for me.

I will say, my breakfast and lunch items/menu are pretty redundant, but, it's ok.  I don't want to stray too much this early on in the game.  Once I get better acclamated at the healthy eating again, I will find new things to chow down on.  Until then, it's plenty of yogurt and salad.  Yippee.  Dinner is a bit easier, because I'm actually at home to cook the meal.  Sometimes there are leftovers, so that gives my lunch some kick...but then again, leftovers can get pretty redundant, too.  Oh well....it all works out in the end. :)

My plan is to start the Couch to 5K Running Plan on Monday the 16th.  For some reason, starting a new thing on a Monday usually works best for me...regardless of what it is.  I am pretty excited to get started.  I remember loving the feeling after a good workout and/or run, and I can't wait to have that feeling again.

Well, that's all for now folks.  I know the ol' blog has been lacking some serious picture time lately.  Buuuut, I promise, that's all going to change this weekend. 
Have a good rest of the day, and thanks for reading my ramblings. :)

Monday, January 9, 2012

"I just felt like running."--Forrest Gump

I have been looking into different activity avenues for this whole weight loss/healthy lifestyle gig.  I think I've found one that I want to try.  It's worked for tons of people, so why not give it a try, right?  It's called The Couch to 5K Running Plan.  I don't have time to visit a gym regularly, so I rely heavily on walking for exercise.  This plan combines walking and running as one workout, three times a week.  It is an 8 week program that builds up from the previous weeks.

When I was walking a lot a few months ago, I would get the urge to run, but I would constantly stop myself, because I felt I wasn't in good enough shape to do so.  With this plan, it builds your momentum each week by adding more running to the workout.  By the end of the 8 week program, you should be able to run a 5K, or 30 minutes, depending if you're going by distance or time.

I was on the track team in junior high, but I was a sprinter.  I've never been a long distance runner.  In high school, I would work out regularly to keep in shape, especially for color guard, but again, I was more of a sprinter.  I did a lot of roller blading, bike riding, but not a whole lot of long distance running...just sprinting, since that's what I had always done.

I think with the whole long distance running concept, I am constantly psyching myself out.  I mean, come on, the terms "long distance" and "running", when used together, freak me out a little bit.  I have to get out of that mindset.  I've entered into the world of healthy eating and walking, why not running, too? 

I hope to start sometime this week, but if not this week, then next Monday for sure.  Wish me luck!  I'll be sure to post updates when I can. 

Also, I am on the hunt for new healthy recipes for all meal-times.  If anyone has any suggestions, please shoot them my way. I think Darren is tired of eating chicken and brown rice everyday. :)

Thanks for reading, and take care! :)

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Well...I got nothin'.....

I really don't have anything to write about today....not a whole lot has been going on.  I go back to work tomorrow after my mini-vacation from work.  I've been off for 5 days, and this time, it actually felt like 5 days, not just two like it normally does.  It's been nice, but I am ready to get back on my normal routine.

I am finally ready to buckle down and get back to eating healthier and working out regularly.  NO....this isn't a New Years resolution.  I was doing this before the holidays, but I took a little break, because really, I wasn't about to deprive myself of christmas cookies and pie.  I always said I was going to start again after the holidays.... So, I bought a new pair of workout/walking/running shoes, and have stocked my fridge with some of my old favorites (chicken, brown rice, lots o' veggies, etc.)  It was a nice break, but I definitely need to get back on track with the weight loss and healthy lifestyle.

This past weekend, I decided to cruise the "countryside"...aka...take a ride in the country... and take some random pics of different things.  I am mastering the art of shooting in full manual mode, and really, I've learned a lot so far.  I love having all of the control and love being able to set everything on my own, which will determine how the picture will end up.  So, here are a few pics I took.  I really didn't have to do much editing, which makes things a ton easier.  Enjoy. :)

I did this one in two colors.  In this first one, I left it in color, but brightened it and did some other minor things.

In this one, I applied the sepia color tint.  For some reason, for older buildings, I love images in black/white and sepia tones.

This is one of my favorites.  Railroad track pictures are so much fun. :)

Well, I wish I had more to share, but I'm not gonna' lie, it's been a lazy couple of days.  Take care, and thanks for reading! :)

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