Monday, April 30, 2012

My Life - My Life (Day 30)

My life is a gift.  I do not know how long my life here on earth is but I make sure to make the very best of everyday that I am given.  I am blessed with my husband and my daughter for they bring me much joy.  I wasn't really sure how to take a picture of my life so I thought I would just capture some of the day to day things that happen (okay so cleaning doesn't happen everyday but it was happening today).

Sunday, April 29, 2012

My Life - My Shadow (Day 29)

This is my shadow as I was taking pictures of Anna playing with her little mower on our patio.  I like the texture that the concrete patio adds to this picture.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

My Life - My View Day 28

Since I don't have much of a view from my house I decided to do a close up shot of the view that I do have. Last summer, Eric planted two trees in our yard. Before that we had none. Here is picture of some of the new growth on one of the trees. This isn't a very good picture and I was too lazy to head out in the cold rainy weather to try again. I used too large of an aperture (f 1.8) causing too shallow of a depth of field. Ideally I would have like to have all of the little buds in focus.

Friday, April 27, 2012

My Life - My Music (Day 27)

After staying home to be with Anna I started playing the piano again. Anna enjoyed playing with me, I can't decide if she likes turning pages or changing the setting to organ the best. If I am remembering correctly I think I started taking lessons in first grade. My piano teacher’s house was just a couple houses away from my Great Grandma Una's house. I would get to visit with her while my sister and/or brother would be having their lesson. These weekly visits meant that I got to know my Great Grandma pretty well. For one of my classes I did an interview with her called The Life of Una.
I remember not liking having to practice (I am sure how much of should of practiced and how much I actually did practice weren't anywhere close to each other). I do remember loving to play the piano for my dad during the summer. He would (and still does) take 15 minute power naps after lunch during which I would play some songs for him. I wish I had a picture of him lying on the living room floor (since his clothes were too dirty from working in the shop to enjoy the comfort of the couch) while I played songs on that old ivory key piano. I liked having someone to listen to me and supposedly he really enjoyed listening.
I even have a scar from that old piano I used to play. If I am remembering correctly, we had a baby sitter and I decided to walk on the back of the couch like a tight rope. I lost my balance and fell right onto the edge of the piano causing a nice little gash in my brow line.
Now I really do love to play the piano. I am a little rusty but find that it brings me peace and relaxation to sit down and play.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

My Life - My Books (Day 25)

I really don't like reading much but I have found myself reading more over the last year.  I went and collected my books that I have read in the last year. I will quickly to through each book starting at the top of my stack:

1. The Prodigal God - This is the first book that my Thursday morning bible study did.  It was a great book that went into depth about parable about the prodigal son (Luke 15)

2. not a fan. - This book is about how as christians we need to be a follower of Christ (Luke 9:23) and not just a fan.  Also a good read.

3. Heaven is for Real - My mom gave me (and all of my siblings) this book after she read it.  It is based on a true story about a little boy named Colton and an amazing experience he had when he was four years old.  This book had me hooked so it was only a matter of a couple of days before I was done with it.

4.  The Digital Photography Book - This was a Christmas present that I received from my in-laws.  I wanted to learn how to take better pictures with my point and shoot camera.  My husband said that I would want a big fancy camera if I read that book.  He was right.

5.  Super Baby Food - I found that I have done alot of reading since having a baby.  I liked this book and used it as a reference when I started solids with Anna.  I don't agree with everything that she says but I thought it had some great guidelines for making your own baby food.

6. Digital Landscape Photography - I purchased this book to read during a recent vacation.  I haven't made it all the way through the book - it is very detailed and I feel like most of it was over my head.

7. Blood Covenant - I put this book on my Christmas list after hearing the auther speak.  For whatever reason I have found the mob to be quite interesting and this book is a true story about a guy who quit the mob and gave his life to Christ. 

8. The Practice of Contemplae Photography - I purchased this book also to read during my recent vacation.  I found that it had alot of good info for me to use to improve my photography skills.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

My Life - My Favorite Outfit (Day 24)

Well I am not much of a shopper so I don't have tons of clothes so it didn't make me very long to determine my favorite outfit.  I really like this shirt - it is comfy but looks a little more dressy than most of my comfy shirts.  I also like these pants because they are jeans but are more dressy looking than my normal jeans (which I think all have holes in them - I suppose I should breakdown and take on the impossible task of jean shopping soon).  I like to complete this outfit with my favorite shoes (see Day 5).

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

My Life - My Happy Place (Day 23)

This photo prompt got me thinking that I have lots of happy places. You might think its odd that I choose to take a picture of Toodles and I doing laundry in my little laundry closet. No, I don't LOVE doing laundry and yes, I would LOVE a laundry room but the reason I choose this for my happy place picture is that I am thrilled that I have my own washer and dryer and that I have a little girl who gets super excited every time I tell her it’s time for laundry.

Here is a glimpse into our laundry routine. I separate all the dirty clothes into baskets while Toodles is busy taking some of the clothes out of the baskets. We then make our way downstairs. She normally runs over to the stairs (with about the same energy as when she runs down the hotel hallway to the pool) and is ready to start this exciting task. If she isn't already all the way down the stairs the sound of the laundry closet doors (which are really loud) guarantees she will be standing next to me within 15 seconds. I start the water running and add the laundry detergent and such all the while Toodles is saying "More, more, more," telling me she wants to help me. I put her on top of the dryer and let her take all of the dirty clothes out of the basket and into the machine. She also likes to think she is adding soap and stain remover into each load now. I tell her it’s all ready to go and she closes the lid for me.

Toodles also loves "helping" me fold clothes. She will take everything out of the dryer. I sit on the floor and fold everything as it comes out. She even climbs into the dryer to get the socks in the way back of the dryer (sometimes her baby doll even gets involved into this whole process).

Although sometimes Toodles isn't as helpful as she thinks she is - it does make me happy that she LOVES helping me with the laundry. I am sure it won't be long and this will no longer be fun for her and she will do it as part of her chores (I envision lots of future eye rolling and such). 

On a photography side note:  I got to practice taking pictures in low/bad lighting - my laundry is located in a closet in the downstairs hallway.  Again I guess I have another example on how your pictures are less sharp because of having to use a high ISO.  I also for the first time today learned how to use a template in my Lightroom 4 editing software to put together this series of three pictures - I always like learning something new. 

Sunday, April 22, 2012

My Life -My Sweet Tooth (Day 22)

I have a HUGE sweet tooth so this photo subject wasn't hard for me.  I decided to make a batch of my newest most favorite recipe - chocolate dipped brownies.  I love sweets of all kind - fruity candy, ice cream, chocolate, etc. my list goes on and on.  Thankfully I have learned a little bit about portion control but I can't seem to give up completely on my sweets.
On a photography note - I decided to challenge myself today by switching my auto focus to manual focus.  This is my very first attempt at manual focus.  I am sure I would have gotten a better results on auto focus but it was fun gettng manual a try. 

Saturday, April 21, 2012

My Life - My Favorite Color (Day 21)

I like lots of colors but I would say that pink is my favorite. I guess I can't really come up with a good explanation of why it is but I just like pink.

Friday, April 20, 2012

My Life - My Breakfast (Day 20)

So today my family got going a little later, we all slept in about an hour past when we normally get up mostly due us not feeling well. Toodles and I were eating breakfast and I remembered that I better take a picture for my daily prompt.

This isn't my typical breakfast - I normally have two slices of toast and a cup of diet coffee (by diet I mean coffee with milk instead of delicious creamer) and watch the Today show. But today Golden Grahams were looking especially delicious so I thought it would be a good way to start my Friday morning.

So in setting up this shot I decided that I should play with my aperture (which controls light and depth of field) to decided what I wanted my focus of my shot to be - my food or my Today show.  I thought that the two pictures are a good examples of how to use your aperture to determine what you want the subject of your picture to be.  I decided my subject would be food but still thought I would share my subject of the Today show.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

My Life - My Hobby (Day 19)

I love doing so many different types of crafty stuff - I have never been lacking in the hobby area.  So I decided that I would make a collage of what I do when I have some hobby time.

1. Photography - I have also enjoyed taking pictures but even more now that I don't have to buy film and develop it.

2. Paper Crafting - I have lots and lots of paper which allows for lots and lots of different things you can do.  Here are some flowers that I made in a Paper, Paper, Paper class that I took with my mom, sister in-law, and aunt.

3. Traditional Scrapbooking - I really enjoy traditional scrapbooking.  I really started scrapbooking back in college about 12 years ago.  The scrapbook shown is one that I made for my trip to Salzburg.  My most recent and almost completed scrapbook would be my 52 Weeks of Anna.

4.  Digital Scrapbooking - I also love digital scrapbooking.  I make a yearly scrapbook and I have decided that digital is he way to go.  They are faster, less time consuming, and produce a much smaller sized finished product.  I have also noticed that I do better journaling and include more information when I don't have to handwrite everything out.

5. Pinterest Projects - I have found lots of neat craft projects on Pinterest.  This book wearth is one of those ideas. 

6. Fabric Flowers - I also enjoy sewing.  These are the latest sewing project that I have done.  I usually prefer to sew small little projects.  I am not into quilting... yet. (Never say never, right?)

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

My Life - My Inspiration (Day 18)

What inspires me? Well lots of different people and things inspire me for different reasons. I choose to depict what inspires me when it comes to my hobbies (spoiler alert) which is tomorrows prompt. I see lots of great ideas in magazines and here is one of the ways I organize them. I Mod Podge this binder so I could organize all of the pages that I rip out of magazines. My other major source of inspiration when it comes to my crafty fun is Pinterest but I wasn't coming up with any creative ways to take a picture of my computer screen showing my pinboards.
Here is one last shot of my idea binder.   I couldn't decide between these two pictures so I decided to post them both.  I really love the color of my binder in the first picture but I also like the way this black and white of the photo turned out. 

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

My Life - My Favorite Stuff (Day 17)

My favorite stuff - I had to think a bit of what to picture for this prompt. My husband actually mentioned my Miche bag which I thought was a great idea. I love this bag! It has different magnetic shells so I am able to change my purse in a matter of a minute.  Another reason why I would put this purse into a favorite category is because of its size - it is big enough that is acts as a diaper bag, a camera bag (thanks to the amazing insert that my mom made) and of course as a mom purse.

Monday, April 16, 2012

My Life - My Guilty Pleasure (Day 16)

I would have to say that lattes and specialty coffee drinks are one of my many guilty pleasures. I can drink coffee straight but I really do take pleasure in my coffee when sugary syrups and heavy cream have been mixed in.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

My Life - My Lunch (Day 15)

My lunch, at approximately 11:30 according to building clock, was at Granite City.  We meet friends there to catch up and enjoy a delicious brunch.  Six slices of their smoked applewood bacon along with other delicious food and two and a half hours later it was time to go.  It was a great time but we needed to start our venture back home.  It was pretty much a gloomy, windy, and rainy trip most of the 309 miles.  We enjoyed our trip and thrilled we got to visit with so many of our friends but it always feels good to make it home.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

My Life - My Family (Day 14)

My Family - By Me
Here is my family - my husband, my daughter, and me.  Due to our travels this weekend and a busy day I determined that our hotel room was our best spot for a family portrait.  Anna was in pretty good spirits for this photo because she just got up from a nap. 

I wouldn't consider this a very "good" picture when it comes to me working on improving my photography skills.  With an overcast afternoon and limited lighting in the room makes this picture a good example of what happens when you use a high ISO - you get lots and lots of noise. 

My Family - By Toodles
So my little Toodles was really interested in my wireless shutter release while I was trying to take our family picture.  I let her play with it while I was making some adjustments to some of my settings.  She actually took a family picture all on her own (I am sure dad would have smiled if he would of known that she was actually going to take a picture). 

Friday, April 13, 2012

My Life - My Evening (Day 13)

Let's go swim!
So for today's prompt I couldn't pick a single picture so I decided that I will tell a picture story of part of my evening.  The first picture is a picture of Anna on her way to the pool.  We traveled for five hours in the car and visited with some friends.  During supper we asked Anna if she wanted to go swimming and we got a really big nod of yes.  Finally at 7:30 p.m. (already a half an hour past her bedtime) we made it to our hotel and we were ready to hit the pool.  She was so excited she ran the whole way.  I know that this picture isn't a very good picture but what I love about it is that I don't think either of her feet are actually touching the ground when I snapped it. 
So yea!  We made it to the pool and dad was ready to venture in. 
But it wasn't long and things started going down hill.  Anna wanted me to get in the pool with them so I put down my camera and joined in the fun.... and by fun I mean getting into a pool that freezing - no wonder why Anna was ready to get out after about 30 seconds.
So we got out of the pool after about ten minutes.  It wasn't thirty seconds after being out that Anna was thinking that the pool was a fun idea again.

We decided to give up on the whole swimming idea and call it a night.  We wrapped our shivering little Toodles up in a towel and made our trek back to our room.  I snapped this picture in the elevator on our way back to the room. 

Thursday, April 12, 2012

My Life - My Eyes (Day 12)

Well this isn't a very exciting picture but it was a challenging one to take.  This is the natural color of my eyes, no editing done in my software.  If you look closely you an tell that I do wear contacts.  I am very much thankful for vision correction via glasses and contacts because without them my life would definately be less detailed.  Just to give you an idea of how bad my eyesite really is - when I go to my eye doctor I cannot see the big E on the chart.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

My Life - My Space (Day 11)

   I would definitely consider my office/craft room to be my space. I love that I am able to have a room for my work and my hobbies - it may get messy at times but I can clean it up with a smiple close of a door.
   I am always telling Toodles that there is no good for her in my space. I have decided that it is for the good of the both of us that I use a child gate in the door way - this way she doesn't get in trouble for touching everything she is not to and I don't have to get after her for doing so. When I do bring Anna into my space with me she loves it (hence the big smile while she sits in my office chair) especially when I let her drawn on paper with a pencil.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

My Life - My Transporation (Day 10)

Here is a picture of my 2005 Chevy Malibu.  My form of transporation is nothin fancy but this little car of mine has been nothing but good to me over the 70,000 some miles we have traveled around together.  It does have a few small issues - my outside temperature gage isn't working properly (it is very consistant at 35 degrees even on 60+ degree days) but overall it works pretty good.

Monday, April 9, 2012

My Life - My True Love (Day 9)

Romans 5:1-5
Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God.  Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance;  perseverance, character; and character, hope.  And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.

My true is love is my God which brought me an interesting challenge in regards to taking a picture for today's prompt.  I decided to use a picture that I took last Sunday of the beautiful morning sky that He made.  I love the way the sun was coming through the clouds, I thought it gave them a heavenly look.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

My Life - My Sunday (Day 8)

    Today I celebrated Easter with my family back in Crookston.  Most of my family had breakfast at church while a couple of us hid a some eggs before going.  During the service today as the pastor was reading scripture from John I thought about what it must of been like when John and Peter found his tomb empty.  I picture them overfilled with joy while they exclaimed "He is risen!!"  and after a long day of spreading this word how tired and sore their voices must of been.
The Crew
Once we got home the kids did a quick Easter egg hunt before we had lunch together.  Since my whole family was home there was plenty of excitement. 

Saturday, April 7, 2012

My Life - My Town (Day 7)

   Yes, my town holds the current title of the world's largest buffalo - pretty impressive huh?  So I thought I probably should include a picture of our towns claim to fame.
    My husband I moved to Jamestown about four years ago.  We love it here because it is a small town with great people and we are closer to both of our families.  We have been blessed greatly by the friendships that we have formed since our move.  It seems like we have been here our whole life. 

I liked this sign of one of our local gas stations - I think it has so much character.

Friday, April 6, 2012

My Life - My Morning (Day 6)

I LOVE mornings - I think I have always pretty much been a morning person.  I wish that I could say that every morning I wake up and do devotions or exercise but I don't.  Each morning is always a little different for me depending on what we have going on that day. Every morning I do love opening up the shades in my house to let the light in.  I always take a second to appreciate my view - whether it is snow, fog, sunshine, or clouds.  I didn't notice how insanely dirty my windows are until I took this picture, I guess I simply just look past these dirty windows each morning and enjoy the view.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Fun Easter Flower Decoration

Here is a super fun and easy Easter flower idea that I found on Martha Stewarts website about making Daffodil Candy Cups.  I used her pattern for some of my flower but after growing tired of cutting out flowers with a scissor I got out my Cricut.  I made sure the flower shapes that I cut out with my Cricut had a center large enough to support my little muffin cup liners.  I have 24 flowers cut out and ready for Easter.  I am thinking that some of my nieces might enjoy helping me assemble them.

My Life - My Favorite Shoes (Day 5)

These are my favorite pair of shoes. They are flats so they are super comfy and easy to walk in. I love that they are shiny black too! It will be a sad day when these fall apart on me.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

My Life - My Reflection (Day 4)

Anna and I headed outside to look for some reflective surfaces.  There is a nearby walking park that sometimes has puddles that I thought would work well but since we have had such a nice Spring there were no puddles to be found so I went onto Plan B.  I used a picnic table as my tripod and gave my sunglasses to my lovely assistant. 
I wasn't overly thrilled with how the shots turned out mostly because I wanted the focus to be on Toodles and/or my reflection.
So to get better control of where I was focusing I decided to take control of the camera.  I like how my reflection s in focus on this shot but I all you see is my camera.

I am pretty sure my assistant was thinking "Are we done yet mom?"  "Did we get the shot?"

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

My Life - My Smile (Day 3)

For today’s picture I decided to try and apply some compositional rules that I have been learning from an online video that I purchased from .  I haven’t made it through all of the videos yet but here is what rules I applied:

Simplify – I made sure that when I setting up the shot it was against a blank wall

Closer – Instead of taking a headshot of me smiling I decided to get closer to my subject, my smile.

Rule of Thirds – Notice how your eye was immediately drawn to my smile?  I would have liked to think it was just my wonderful smile BUT it is because I positioned my smile in my picture where an eye naturally goes first. 

Monday, April 2, 2012

My Life - My Handwriting (Day 2)

My Neat Handwriting - Very Time Consuming
Oh boy did I have a dilemma when I saw my prompt for today.  My normal day today handwriting is insanely messy because I am often writing a note down quickly.  It is so bad that sometimes I can’t understand them later.  Anyways, I decided to take a picture of my hand writing that is intentionally neat.  Today I worked on my 52 Weeks of Anna scrapbook.  For each week, in my very own handwriting, I journal what she did each Sunday.   I also decided to include a shot of some random notes that I found around the house to give you an idea of how bad my daily handwriting really is.
My Messy Hand Writing - Time Saving

Sunday, April 1, 2012

My Life - My Home (Day 1)

Home isn’t what our monthly mortgage payment is paying for – that would be our house - but under this blue sky and roof is my home comprised of my husband, our one year old daughter and me.   Home has always meant to me a place where I feel loved and secure which fills my heart with joy.    I still call my parent’s house home and often when we visit friends and family we hear “Make yourselves at home”.   I am blessed that I can feel that I have more than one home.

Hello I'm... (starting another photo challenge)

   I got an email the other day from Paper Catorie about doing an April Photo Challenge and I have decided to give one a try again.  I really enjoyed doing their Picture the Holidays challenge that I did in December.  I haven't been taking as many pictures lately and I love trying to improve my photography skills so now it's time for me to practice, practice, practice everything I have learned from reading blogs, books, and watching podcasts. 
   April's photo challenge is called "Hello I'm.." and it is about others getting to know me (I sure hope that I am not too boring of a subject).  Since I like to include a picture with each post I thought I would include this one.  Here is a picture of my little Toodles at the gate I have up at my office door.  I would title this picture "I'm trying to finish up some work while Toodles is trying to get moms attention by being naughty." 
   So again I will do my best to kept somewhat on schedule, I may get to be a day or so behind but I am hoping to keep my blog updated similar to what I did in December.  Anyways, wish me luck!