Saturday, December 20, 2008

It's begining to look a lot like Christmas

Actually it has looked liked Christmas for awhile for now, but since I have been paying attention to my real job (you know the one that actually pays my bills) and since finals came upon us life has been hectic. But now all the grades have been turned in and I am ready to catch up with my blogging. I will start at the begining though, since that is where the story always starts. We spent some time with our families over Thanksgiving and got into the Christmas mood right away by attending the Festival of Trees.
I always loved this event when I was young, and I have not been in ages, so I thought it would be fun. While it was fun and we got to see some very cool and weird trees,

I remember it being a lot bigger, of course I was probably a lot smaller.

We returned home and as any academic knows those few weeks between Thankgiving and Finals in insane. You have last minute grading and finals to write and then grade and in between that all you need to do all of the holiday stuff: decorate, shop, send out cards, clean, cook and do laundary. But we did get around to decorating. We of course had to buy our tree from the Lilly Farm, we didn't even look anywhere else. And Lilly took to decorating like a champ. She was especially taken with this one Snowman on a sled that sings. She helped as much as she could while I let jeff do most of it and just took pictures. She was mostly unimpressed until it was time for the treetopper. That she really enjoyed.

A few days later i thought that I would try some of thos neat pictures I have been seeing everywhere of children and lights without a flash. This did not go well. It seems as though to do this correctly you need a combination of a cooperating child and a steady hand. I had neither. I am still trying to save some of these in PP, so I will post more soon.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

A Christmas Tradition

In keeping with the great holiday tradition of making small children sit on the lap of a total stranger dressed very strangely and then taking pictures, we took Lilly to the mall. We dressed her up in a cute little coat/dress combo that I call her Jackie-O outfit and set out to stand in line with other cute children and their parents. I stood there watching one after another child scream when they were set in Santa's lap, but I was confident that my little bug would be just fine. So I walked right up to Santa and set Lilly down, adjusting her cute little outfit and tried to walk away. Miss Lilly looked up at the nice Santa and started to scream. I was a very bad mommie and laughed my ass off. I know I should have been more feeling, but it was funny. I got her to stop crying for one shot, so that is the one we went with. This is scanned in, so please ignore the smootz. Finals start on Monday, and I will grade 1.2 million exams in four days, but once that is over I will get back to taking my own pictures. I am so looking forward to Christmas break- one glorious month off!

Sunday, December 07, 2008

My Play

I crawled out from under all my grading today to play with an adorable picture for my play this week. Normal blogging will resume soon, if I am not crushed under research papers.

I did a bit of cropping, made it black and white and then did some cool oil painting. Oh i have so much fun with this stuff!

Monday, November 24, 2008

On the Road....Again

As you can see I found some intereting things to do to occupy my time while I let my finger recover. The blog overhaul was the biggest project, it was actually not that difficult thanks to the awesome ladies at Cutest Blog on the Block. The only trouble I had was putting my pictures on in the header, but with photoshop and a patient husband I was finally able to accomplish the feat. We are on the road right now, in Chicago for a few days and then off to the QCA for a few more all to celebrate Thanksgiving. Of course we will be doing this all again in a few weeks for Christmas! Oh well, we are having fun and my awesome husband got us tickets to see Wicked before it closes her in Chicago! I am also taking more pictures as I am almost completly back to normal! Here is the first pic I was able to take without almost crying from finger pain. This is one of my new favorites because I think Lilly looks so much like Jeff here. And this is SOOC, no post processing. Enjoy and look for an update when I get back to WV!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Out of Comission

Many (ok like 2) people may be wondering where the hell I have been. I mean I make a promise to update my blog more and to take pictures and the like, so where have I been. Well I have been taken out of comission for a few weeks due to this.

That is a badly sprained finger. This had made it somewhat difficult to type (though I have adapted) and really difficult to take pictures. It seems my fancy camera needs two hands, even this pic I took with my phone because I could minimize shake. I would like to tell you some heroic story of how I did this, but the truth is much more boring. I fell. I stepped off of the porch to untangle the dogs leash and then I tried to step back on the porch and missed. I was holding the handle of the retractable leash and when I fell it snapped my fingers back. Only the middle one was really hurt, although the other ones are bruised. I also have some wonderful bruises on my knee. Yes I am a clutz. Although I would love a different story, especially considering what finger it is one would think I could have a great story. But neither my student or I could come up with one that makes me look good. Any takers? A prize to the best story on how I hurt my finger...what do you say?

Thursday, November 06, 2008

My Play Again

This is a little late, but better late than never. I actually paid attention to what I was doing this time with picnick. I cropped this a bit to focus on the hands and then made the color brighter. I also sharpened the lines and raised the temperature a bit. I actually just got Photoshop (thanks hubby) but realized I have no idea what to do with it, so I will maybe try playing with it next week.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Yes We Can

Yesterday at around 11pm eastern standard time I felt the world change. It stopped, took a deep breath and then continued to turn, bringing the dawn of a new day, a new hope and I for one am glad. But now is the time that we as a people need to come together to work on making our world a better place. Now everyone who knows me will agree that I am one big ‘ol bleeding heart liberal and that is fine I will own that mantle. But I wonder at the things that classify me as such because this is what I believe. I believe that we as a country must remember out history even as we move beyond it. I believe that our founders thought that they were doing something very special and we should always keep that spirit alive. This means embracing people of all ethnicities, religions, classes and ideologies. This means welcoming debate and discussion and remembering that We the People means every last one of us: poor, rich, black, white, purple and blue. I believe we should always strive to be the land of opportunity that was envisioned. This means that everyone has the right to education and healthcare. Now I know that many of these systems are broken and I don’t know how to fix them all, but I know that we have people in this country who do. I believe that no one should die of a preventable disease, and no one should die because they could not afford a doctor and no one should graduate high school without being able to read, or be denied a college education because they cannot pay their tuition and feed themselves at the same time. I believe that we should cultivate relationships with other countries because we truly do live in a global world. I believe that men and women should be paid the say money for the same job. I believe in leaving adult women to make their own choices concerning birth control. I believe that any two adults should be able to fall in love and get married if they so choose regardless of their sex. I believe that I am my brother’s keeper and while you cannot help everyone we can offer a hand up when people need it.
And finally I believe that democracy works, no one can deny that now. But now is the time for us to come together. We have a lot of work to do as citizens and now is not the time for division. We are not all that different and we can celebrate our differences at the same time that we work together. So I ask everyone, even if you did not vote for Obama, let’s give this a try together and maybe we can make this world, this country, a better place when we leave it.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Here's mine

I have been following the Shutter Sisters blog for awhile and decided to give the challenge a try. So here is my self portrait.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!!!

It is Miss Lilly's first halloween and I searched for the perfect costume. I wanted her to be a lady bug, mostly because I call her bug. But we had a hard time finding it, so we bought a poodle costume all pink and fuzzy. The poodle did not go over well. I wish I had pics but Lilly threw such a fit we had to take it off and hide it because if she even saw some pink fluff she would start to cry. So then I found the perfect ladybug outfit, but Lilly was not too thrilled with this one either. She would not cooperate for pictures, so I had to work with what I had in post processing with picnick.

First we have crawling bug. She is not too happy with that hood and the original picture was, well not great. So I cropped it a bit and did some highlighting.

Next we have my attempt to show off the wings on the costume, which Lilly refused to show on her own, this you will see some of me behind her. This one was cropped to get the cat and me out of the frame. I sharpened and brightened the color and then applyed some cool effect called vignette, which I really just used to try to block me out of the background.

And finally we have my favorite Halloween picture, which is funny since you cannot even see the costume, but I find it adorable non-the less. Miss Lilly finally grabbed the strap to the camera, so instead of trying to take it away, I snapped a few pics. This one is SOOC, no post processing because I did not think it needed it.

Figuring I fought the good fight I broke down and while at the Mall trick or treat party we stopped into the picture place and had them give it a try. Miss Lilly was actually a good girl and we got some good pictures, which I will post once I scan them in.

In all I think that Miss Lilly's first Halloween wasa success! Now on to Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

My Play

So for those who read this blog and do not know what the heck I am doing, I have started to frequent a blog, dolcepics, by an awesome photographer names Laura. Anyway, she has a thing each week where she posts a picture and people can play with it in post processing. This is my first time and here is my play! I used picnik for the first time which I found much easier than photoshop online (free version). i would love to say what I did, but I honestly have no idea, I just started playing.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Show me the teeth!

Did you know that Lilly has two bottom teeth? I didn't think so. You see she gives real big smiles to everyone in person (she is a big flirt), but every time I get out the camera to try to capture those teeth she all of the sudden becomes shy. Since I am new at this photography thing I took a few tips from some of my books and blogs and just starting shooting. I enlisted Jeff's help to make her smile and laugh and just started snapping away. The bad news, I did not get the teeth. Yeah 20 pictures and no teeth! But I did get this:

Almost all of the pictures were not worth much, although who knows maybe I will get them into photoshop and be able to do something with them, but at first glance they are super boring. But this one is SOOTC (straight off of the camera...I'm learning the lingo!) and I think it's pretty good. The only thing I would change may be the slobber coming off of the mouth. I am going to play with the others this weekend, so I will post anything good I come up with!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Look ma...

Last May on mothers day I mentioned an overwhelming urge to own a really good digital camera to take pics of Lilly and start a new hobby. Those who know me know that I try out new hobbies occasionally looking for some creative endeaver that I am good at. Some annoy me so much I throw glue sticks (hello scrapbooking), some stick. I have picked up some books on photography and have now started to frequent some phtotography websites and am really getting into it. I will now indugle my new hobbie on this blog, which I am sure most people will like because my favorite photo subject is sweet Miss Lilly. I have been taking 10 million pictures just practicing and all the advice tells me and I finally tried some post processing with the free version of photoshop online. In this picture I was trying to work with natural light and shadows and a just woke up from a nap baby. In post process I was able to fill in some back light and do some cropping. Yeah me. Let me know what you think!

Monday, October 13, 2008


Seriously kid, I love you more than anything, but would it kill you to grow some hair? We have two bottom teeth and some coming in om the top, but no hair to speak of....what I would give for some hair....I blame the P's side for this, I had a ton of hair! Oh well, enjoy Lilly's first professional pics, notice the distinct lack of hair....

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Saturday, October 04, 2008


Ok, so I was tagged a few weeks ago, but I got busy and there you have it. Jen and Swanny over at My Life with Dogs hit me again with a list of 6 more quirky thinks about myself. Mostly I have spent the last few weeks trying to come up with a list of quirky things because I think that everything I do is perfectly normal. When I mentioned this to Jeff he laughed and said something to the effect that I am about 80% quirky and 20% normal, and he was skewing a bit because he loved me. So without further ado:
1. I firmly believe in the Curse of the Goat at Wrigley Field. I mean come on, statistically how can you logically explain 100 years since a world series win? Or even half that since we went to the world series? I also believe that if you sing Go Cubs Go before the end of the game, even if the Cubs are up by like 10, they will lose the game. I have been known to threaten with bodily harm anyone who even contemplates breaking this rule.
2. Jumping off of that, I also believe that what I wear, where I sit and what I eat affects the Cubs and the Bears. My Bears sweats have been relegated to the closet on game days because every time I wore them the Bears lost. I always have a Coke when I watch the Cubs because they play better when I do this. I also will not listen to anyone who attempts to tell me that my sweat pants have nothing to do with the outcome of the game.
3. I NEVER pass a Starbucks without getting some coffee. Jeff has stopped arguing with me about this. Now if there was a Starbucks easily accessible (ours is in the mall) I would probably not feel the need to stop every time I see one on the road, but I probably still would. I would happily live in Starbucks if I could and on bad days contemplate throwing it all away to become a Barista.
4. I think anything is better if it is pink. I have pink golf clubs and towels and plates ect. Recently I saw a pink Kitchen aid mixer (but since I already have one Jeff vetoed it) that I thought was awesome and a pink dyson vacuum cleaner!! How awesome would that be? But the thing I crave the most? The new pink Mac Book Pro. I would give my eye teeth and maybe my first born (calm down I would still her back) for one of those.
5. I love really bad TV, I mean really bad, shallow turn your brain to mush TV. I love grey’s Anatomy and have recently gotten into Gossip Girl. It is so good it is bad. I figure that in my job I do nothing but read good books, so shouldn’t I be able to come home and watch so bad TV? Well who cares what you think, if loving Gossip Girl is wrong I don’t want to be right!
6. I like things to be in their proper place, I have threatened Jeff with divorce if he does not learn to put his dirty clothes in the laundry hamper instead of next to it. I mean really how hard is that???
And who shall I tag? I think all of my peeps over at killarney’s irish blog

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Friday, August 29, 2008

Catching Up Part I

Wow where in the heck did the summer go? School started this week and I realized that so much has happened since I last posted that I may need more than one catch up post. So where did I leave off? Oh yeah, July. Well July was a very busy month with a lot of traveling and much fun to be had by all. Fist at the end of June Jeff had a birthday in which he turned the big ol’ 34. This did not seem to bother him at all, but I think that is because the x-box 360 soften the blow. Lilly finally got to try out her excersaucer and to no one’s surprise she loves it!

Soon after the 4th we were off to Columbus for the weekend. MomP came down for 5 days for a visit and she flew into Columbus so instead of just making a day trip, we got a hotel room and made a weekend of it. Miss Lilly enjoyed the zoo, especially the aquarium and although we did not get a lot of pics because it was rainy off and on, we did see some kitties, just like Ella and Louie. MomP got in with no problems and before I knew it it was my birthday and I got exactly what I wanted, a big cookie. I was a bit more upset about turning 33, and I am still dealing with that but I am trying to move on! MomP’s visit was too short and soon we all piled in the car to head for Chicago and a family reunion. It was great fun and Miss Lilly had lots of fun out with Grandma and Grandpa and meeting s few of her cousins for the first time.

She also really enjoyed her bouncy seat at grandma’s.
The week came to an end and we were off once again to visit my parents in the QC. There was more hanging out with the grandparents and aunts and uncles as well as a cool party at Aunt La’s, but there are too many pics to post from that leg of the trip, so I will save it for catching up part two.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Hair Envy

Miss Lilly is getting so big that I can hardly believe that she is almost 5 months old! She is eating some solids like and what can I say this girl loves her food! She is still refusing to grow some hair. It doesn’t bother me when people think she’s a boy, but there are lots of super cute hair bows that go with some of her outfits and she can’t wear them. And I am curious what color her hair will come out to be. I agree with my sister-in-law who thinks that it would be funny if we had a blond blue eyed baby. But at this rate I will never find out, although her eyes are still blue. Lilly had her first trip to the park last week, and she seems to enjoy the swings, but did not like the grass touching her feet or hands. What can I say she is her mother’s daughter. She also enjoyed her first Charleston Festivall especially the street fair. Look at the cool catfish they paint here to celebrate local artists. I would like one but you would be surprised how expensive they are! We met up with some friends there and their little one who is about four weeks older than Lilly, and yes I have some hair envy! Miss Lilly is also tiring of her car seat stroller combo because she can’t see everything from that position she we end up carrying her around a lot. I think we may have to go straight to the stroller, but she maybe a bit small yet, for now the Bjorn will have to suffice. We have an eventful few weeks coming up here, GrandmaP is coming for a visit next week and Jeff and I are taking Lilly to the Columbus zoo since she loves animals so much. We are lucky to have a dog and cat that have no problem with being grabbed and pulled. Then we are off to Chicago for a family reunion and then off to the QC for a visit. Should be fun and I will post lots of pics when we get back!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Too long

It has been far too long, but we have been super busy here. The semester has ended, so we are officially on summer break which will hopefully allow me some time to update a bit more often, but I am not promising anything. We had a good mothers day here and Jeff and Lilly got me a new fancy digital camera, a Cannon Rebel XIT. It is an SLR and much too expensive, but I think Jeff really wants that X-box for his b-day! I would take a pic for you but I would have to use the old camera to take pics of the new one, and that sort of complex irony might just split the space and time continuum, and so you will just have to be happy with some awesome new pictures of Lilly taken with the new camera. So I went a bit nuts with it, but isn’t that what we bought it for? We also bought a Baby Bjorn to help save our backs when Lilly wants to be held and walked around, I think it has backfired because she loves the dam thing and usually wants daddy to carry her around in it. We also got out to the mall where Miss Lilly saw a giraffe that she just had to have (she then preceded to chew on its nose). Oh yeah and we also had a primary, and while it was a landslide, can you guess who Lilly voted for?


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