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April 2007

Lazy Monday.

I did not even look at my To Do List.  (gasp!) I did not even check my emails (till later that evening that is).  I've got several clients rescheduling wanting to do outdoor sessions since it's much nicer out these days. I just have to figure out the best times to do them, being that the kids will finish school in a few weeks (May 23).

Last night as I was editing Baby Malia's photos, hubby and I listened to music from the 90's.  It was so much fun to sit and reminisce including our song from 1993, "Weak" by SWV. LOL!  Funny how you have not heard a song in years and then you still know every single note and lyric! And music has a way of taking you back.

Working on my Hawaii Album.  I'm on page 19/20 and I'm only on day 2.  Hmm.. it may be a bigger book than I was planning. But I'm totally loving working in double page spreads!

Here's my drawing board for scrapping a multitude of photos, I open about 20 photos and work from there.


Then I open up two 12x12 blank canvas' and start plugging those pictures in.


Lately I've just been adding Paint Brush Swashes from Katie Pertiet over at

Keeping it simple. 

Alright, I just finished Heroes and WOW! That show quickly moved to the top spot back when I saw the pilot episode and it has not failed me yet!

"Bum"ming Around.

This weekend was nothing short of just bumming around!  We (The Aspnes, Smiths, and us, The Baruts) went for a bike ride along the coastal trail on a balmy  Saturday afternoon in good ol' AK!  Here you can see Anna's hubby making sure her gear is in tack! LOL! 

He's a stickler for having the latest and greatest!  If anyone is gonna do it right, you can count on Mr. Aspnes to do it the right way.

It was so much fun, to get out and bike ride for... (let me ask Mr. Aspnes exactly how many miles we did, because you know he had that mile calculating thing for his bike!)  but I think it was about 6 miles.  It was just me, my bike, the fresh air, my ipod, and the families!  Little did I know, that not having a cushioned "Bum" Bike would literally leave me in a whole lot of "Bum" pain.  And these trails were not as flat as I thought. Needless to say, I know now that I will get a $300 bike like Anna's who had no problem with her "bum!"  These are definitely the days that make up for those long winter days because we have been nothing but out of our houses!

Which led to our IMPROMPTU BBQ.  Originally it was a photo shoot for this little sweetie:


But we decided to re-live these past few weekends and throw another BBQ.  (Not to mention we already have the next 3 weekends booked!)  LOL!

So lots of fun with family and friends, just relaxing, ignoring that never ending lists that is waiting for me tomorrow.  But we made the most of our weekend, that's for sure!



But with no direction.

Have you ever felt that way?  Like you have a million and one things you want to do, to get done, to see getting close to being done.  You run around like a maniac racing against time, that you forget what this is all about?

I got my wake up call from a good friend, Marsha aka (trulyblessedbygod).  She emailed me that literally pegged what I've been feeling for a few weeks now.  In the midst of trying to find balance in this life of mine, I'm starting to find that my To-Do lists have lists... and it's never ending.. I read an entry today that relates it to being stuck in a cul-de-sac and can't get out. I feel like I do things in an orderly fashion.. everything is timed and I may be off by a fraction of a minute.. but it gets done, like clock work.  And I wake up only to do it all over again.  I feel that the world around us expects us to get all these things done..

  • well mannered and clean children
  • clean house
  • dinners on the table
  • stylish wardrobe
  • time with children and family
  • church attendance
  • a booming career

At the same time I'm trying to find God in my chaotic life. I've realized that in order to even begin to find balance, my priorities need to change.  Of course, it's so hard to adjust to any sort of change.. but I know that change is just another sign of growth. 

I kept this verse close to me throughout the day:

"For God is not a God of disorder but of peace, as in all the meetings of God’s holy people."
2 Corinthians 14:32 (NLB)

I know I get so caught up in what the world expects from me, as a mother, as a person who wants to succeed, as a wife and as a friend. But I realize that I can only begin to enjoy His peace by choosing the plans He has for me.

I know that I have not done much for myself for the past 11 years, since the birth of our first child.  Since then, everything that has been done or decided on has always been based on my children's wants as opposed to what I wanted first. And I know that is the mother in me. And now that I am challenged with embracing the talents God has given me and finding ways to grow with them, I am finding it so hard to balance life.  It's almost like I want to do it all with the sheer frustration, that I can't.  And I get to thinking, why yes I could be one of the greatest photographers in Alaska (nice thought)... at the expense of time with my family, friends, and time for our God.  It almost seems pointless if you cannot find the balance.  At times like this, I know I need to step back and see the big picture. It all seems cluttered right now, I just want to find that peace I'm searching for.  And I know where it is... it lies in a heart that yearns to know our God.

So what's the first step?  To un-clutter all that is being cluttered. What is it that holds me back from reading my daily prayers/devotion?  What do I need to do less of and more of?  It's always that first step, huh?

Then I get an awesome email from my girl Melissa:

"The purpose of meditation is not simply to let us feel good in a noisy world... Rather as we shut our mind in with God and reflect on His words, we will know Him and be changed by Him- and that is the purpose of our lives."  - Sheila Walsh

It's the never ending stuggle of us women today to want to do it all, but What really matters at the end of the day?  I want to have a career I can be proud of one day, but I don't want to miss all the memories that are to be made in the meantime.  I guess this is where having an older women to mentor and advise would be awesome!  Where are they? LOL

Happy Friday, I hope everyone finds time to relax and to just enjoy another blessed day, don't worry about that list, it will be there on Monday!  :)


Anna caught one of those "special" moments when we didn't realize that the camera was being clicked.  Like I've always said, hubby is a man of very little words.. and he hugs me like this, every time I'm done in the kitchen, which is usually every evening when he comes home from work..  It's his way of saying "Thank You."  And when he does, I always say "I know baby, I know.."  because unlike him, I am a woman of many words!

Alright.. off to catch Lost. 

A Special Guest.

Adrienne and Toya asked me to be a part of their Inspirational Wednesdays! So Adrienne asked me a few questions about scrapbooking, now I talk to Adrienne pretty much everyday, so girl, I don't know what I was so nervous about while she recorded our conversation.  I was hoping to hear Toya's voice too, but her line was down that night. So if you want to hear me blab about scrapbooking, go check i tout!  It was fun! Thanks ladies, it was an honor. But I cannot wait for next week's Inspirational Wednesday it's gonna be SIMPLY AMAZING!

Click on over to Adrienne's blog to see a very embarrassing first layouts!  (Even one from 1991, when I was a freshman!)  I've got a few more to add on to that...

The year was 1991, I was roughly 14 years old and yes, i had limited resources and funds in scrapbooking supplies!

Exhibit A.. This is one those "sticky" albums (yikes).  There is evidence that I indeed cut out words from the famous Bop and Tiger Beat magazines, (know which ones I'm talking about)

***yes it's a runway show.. don't ask!  :)  ****
Exhibit B.  I told you, I cut out heads!  LOL!  That is me in the driver seat!  I used a cut out car and a cut out scenery.  Ah, good ol' scrappin days!

Alright earth to Ronalyn!  I am working on my Hawaii Album, from our trip last December. It's all digital and will be printed in a 12x12 format.  Here's a little sneak peek from the drawing board (I did not flatten any images yet).  Double pages, makes the book flow!



Now time for some serious stuff...


(blank)    No words, ladies... none.  I'm sorry, can someone pass the tissue please?  Alright, I'm really trying to hold it all together.. as I read what I'm about to say:  (sniff, sniff) 

Melissa_r My girl, Melissa R, is NOT the next Pussycat Doll.  (wahhhhh... wahhhhh)

That's right you heard it.. not even Chelsea.. (can you see where I'm getting with this?)  Yes, it was Asia.  To refresh your memory from previous posts, I am not an Asia fan (sorry). I'm not a sore loser (okay I am, so I will leave the Asia comments to myself and the hubby). But, that's okay. (sniff).  She'll come out with her own stuff, and Chelsea too. Phew, that's good, I got that off my chest.  Life goes on.. on to the next reality show.  LOL!

Picture, Picture.

Show of hands, aren't Mondays exhausting days?  Most of us are still recovering from the weekend. 

Here's a little something from Anna because hubby and I organized her hubby's birthday bash this weekend I LOVE flowers, and you could tell I don't get them much because I did not have a vase to put them in.. this is my kitchen utensil holder LOL!


Alright ready for more pictures?  Anna took some awesome photos from the Birthday Bash.  We enjoyed being outdoors. So I will share hers since I have not combed through mine.

I decided on Kabobs as part of the menu that day.  What can I say, I'm the meat lady.  I love cooking!  I will leave the sweets and pasta to Anna.


Alright, we never go anywhere without our cameras!  Sorry, Scrapbooker in me.


She caught some fun moments.  What can I say I am a big kid inside!  (Kids don't leave your toys around, I will play with them!)


You ever wonder what a photographer wife and her photographer friend do at get togethers?

Well they take a picture of a picture. Simple.


And catch the in between moments like these.


At the end of the day, it's all good.  I got my cookie and coffee. 


Okay.. of course there are tons more, but I'm hoping she uploads more to her blog.

Alright, stay tuned for tomorrow's post.  It's gonna be fun!  And make sure you listen to Adrienne's and Toya's   Inspirational Wednesday.


Wow, What A Weekend!

Unfortunately, I'm just too "knackered" (As Anna would say) to even begin to recap the weekend.

Well, guess what I was doing on a Saturday night from about 10:30 pm through 6 am?  And it's not sleeping.

How about something like this:


That's right witnessing another child birth!  You gotta love being the mom who is done having kiddo's. I just go and watch everyone else have their babies!

While on the other hand, my confidant and fellow photographer, Anna  was doing this:



Needless to say, after about 7 hours, her little girl was finally here!  (That makes girl Number Three!)



Along with the labor and delivery, we had some celebrations, BBQ'ing, riding bikes, beautiful warm weekend, date night, and more scrap worthy moments!  I will be sharing as I go.. but for now, the back of eyelids is all I will be seeing for now. 

Finished Product.

Digital Scrapbooking.  It's mess free, easy, fun, and with new kits coming out every week, it's hard not to stay addicted to it.  Not only is it my job, it's a hobby, and it records a moment in our lives so that we can always remember it.

When I started back in 2003, I remember saving them all to my hard drive. I later found out that the Epson Matte Paper is the best for printing some of my projects.  Epson later made these so that you could print on both sides.  Then I ventured out into getting them printed at printing companies which was amazing, just costly.  Finally, something like this comes along.  As time went on, it became clear that this industry had to get used to the idea that people actually scrapbooked, digitally. Not only is the paper world embracing digital, they have incorporated digital ideas in their line of work as well.  Such as rub ons or stamps that were first introduced digitally is now in the market for the traditional scrapbooker. It is getting easier and easier to maneuver in this digital era. Now more than ever, printing and getting your finished product out there is easier than it has ever been.  Shutterfly has made it a point to stick with the times by offering such products.  Making your work come to life.

This is the first time I have printed out an entire album, digitally, in a hard bound book.  (Granted it was a gift for a dear friend).  And I loved it! Creating it was simple.  It really depends on the ease of your work flow.  (And we can talk about work flow later.)  With such ease, I was able to place these pages into Shutterfly's templates and send it off for printing.






When doing hard bound books, take note of the dimensions and the area in which the page bleeds.  You can read more about it here.Needless to say, when I received it in the mail, I was more than pleased!  It was very exciting to see your creation IRL (In Real Life).  Digital scrapbooking has come a long way.  The kits that are available now are amazing.

I created this 5x7 scrapbook in a few hours and ordered on the same night. (I don't have the album with me, so I took a pic from my shutterfly projects.)


I urge you to gather up your layouts and get them printed, if you are anything like me, you've got them stored in your hard drives!  Definitely  give Shutterfly a try, you will not be disappointed!

Hearts Break.


It was a heart breaking day, as we come to grips with one of life's harsh realities.  The question still remains, even from the lips of my 9 and 11 year old, "Why, mommy, why?" Today, I had to explain to my children, why anyone would want to purposely hurt another.


The truth is, as much as we want to turn the tv off and ignore what just happened. This is the kind of thing, you should talk about with your children.  Because this kind of stuff is real.  It still is hard to comprehend that this kind of thing can even take place where our children/teens go to everyday, a school. The children today that are only in the 6th grade are learning about things I did not even know until I was 16!  Parents, don't put your blinders on and become oblivious of what your children are saying, doing, and acting. Get involved, know their friends, watch them, listen to them, and talk to them. Don't just put on your "Parenting Armour" and tell them what to do, how to do it, and when to do it.. Stop, take the time and listen to them.  Understand, what it was like to be that age again. More importantly, understand, that the times have simply changed.


What I'm saying is, don't just preach, but practice what you preach. Instill, morals and values in their lives. Become a role model. We can try to shelter them from conflicts, but when they are in school, it really is all up to them. Teach them what's right and what's wrong. Give them direction.

As my oldest enters Middle School in the fall.  I'm cringing, wanting to hang on to him, almost afraid of letting him go.  He will have to leave the base quarters and enter the "real" world. But the one thing I do know, is that so far, we've done a mighty fine job raising this guy.  We're gonna keep him close to us, with just enough room to grow. But I encourage you listen, or just read the lyrics to this amazing song, by Superchick. (May God's love be the foundation of your family)

HERO By: Superchick
No one sits with him, he doesn’t fit in,
But we feel like we do when we make fun of him,
'Cause you want to belong, do you go along?
'Cause his pain is the price paid for you to belong
It’s not like you hate him or want him to die,
But maybe he goes home and thinks suicide,
Or he comes back to school with a gun at his side,
Any kindness from you might have saved his life...

Heroes are made when you make a choice...

You could be a hero,
Heroes do what’s right,
You could be a hero,
You might save a life,
You could be a hero, you could join the fight,
For what’s right, for what’s right, for what’s right...

No one talks to her, she feels so alone,
She’s in too much pain to survive on her own,
The hurt she can’t handle overflows to a knife,
She writes on her arm, wants to give up her life,
Each day she goes on is a day that she’s brave,
Fighting the lie that giving up is the way,
Each moment of courage her own life she saves,
When she throws the pills out a hero is made...

No one talks to him about how he lives,
He thinks that the choices he makes are just his,
Doesn’t know he’s a leader with the way he behaves,
And others will follow the choices he’s made,
He lives on the edge, he’s old enough to decide,
His brother who wants to be him is just nine,
He can do what he wants because it’s his right,
The choices he makes change a nine-year-old's life...

Little Mikey D was the one in class
Who every day got brutally harassed,
This went on for years until he decided
That never again would he shed another tear,
So he walked through the door,
Grabbed the .44 out of his father’s dresser drawer,
And said, "I can’t take life no more!"
And like that, life can be lost,
But this ain’t even about that,
All of us just sat back and watched it happen,
Thinkin', "It’s not my responsibility
To solve a problem that isn’t even about me,"
This is our problem,
This is just one of them daily scenarios
In which we choose to close our eyes,
Instead of doing the right thing,
If we make a choice
To be the voice
For those who won’t speak up for themselves,
How many lives would be saved, changed, rearranged?
Now it’s our time to pick a side,
So don’t keep walking by, not wanting to intervene,
'Cause you just wanna exist and never be seen,
So let’s wake up,
Change the world,
Our time is now...

All Photos courtesy of



Did my weekend go? It didn't even go to this guy.

Oh, that's right, it's not MY weekend.  I just find the weekends getting shorter and shorter.  There simply was no relaxing, no sleeping in, and no bumming around.. There's that on going list from the Monday that I'm still trying to fulfill.  Groceries, meal plans, photoshoots, editing, cleaning, (oh the cleaning!), Isabel wanting me to ride bikes with her outside all day!  The list goes on and on.  Then I find myself in a state of {frustration}


  • that I have not even found some sort of peace
  • because no matter how much you clean, it keeps getting messier!
  • that I have NO weekends.  I work 7 days a week, literally.
  • that my 11 year old and I fight like siblings.
  • that I simply cannot find the balance between what I want to do and what needs to be done.
  • that I put everyone's needs ahead of mine.
  • that the snow has not completely melted yet, so when I went for a bike ride, my behind got all dirty!
  • because my 4 year old, loves to be held in order to go to sleep.

On the other hand, for every negative, there is as twice as much positive.  (Believe me I'm not a pessimistic person!)

So Thankful...

  • that it's warmer and the days are longer.
  • For my girlfriends and Scrap Tuesdays.
  • Dancing "Buy You A Drank" with hubby in the garage today with it wide open and the neighborhood kids rockin right along with us.
  • For our bikes.  Watch out, I'm a bike-ridin-fool.
  • New kits at designer digitals.
  • My last photoshoot, graduation shoot.  Time to find all the seniors!
  • Once Upon A Child, they buy gently used clothing, and I made 80 bucks!
  • The neighborhood kids, they are so  much fun!
  • The commissary, they are cheaper than regular grocery stores! 
  • The renovated BX, now we can have Starbucks, eat Chinese, have Ice Cream all in one place!
  • My MAC's.  They all network!  I can work in the living room and access all my files from the other 2 in the computer room. (So I got to watch Psych with the family in the living room and work!)
  • My oldest son, who knows me well enough!
  • My MOMMY!  2 more weeks of radiation.
  • Sunday morning, with all the kids in the bed with us, taking a whiff at their breath in the mornings (eeww).
  • Good news.  (A good friend just found she is expecting!)
  • Life.  Yes, hard at times.  But no body said it was gonna be easy!

Alright.. off to bed for now.  Here's a snippet from Friday's Shoot: