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December 2010

November 2010

Her Perspective...

She's quite expressive, my little girl.


She loves to draw and write stories all the time.
When she was six she told me when she grows up she wanted to be an "ee-lus-tray-tor" She could barely say the word, Illustrator.
Out of all the things, a vet, a teacher, a doctor, a photographer for goodness sake.. out of the blue, that is what she said.
I try to keep all her drawings and her stories, but it's hard to keep up sometimes.
So as I cleaned (rearranged) her room.. (something I told her I would do, for several months now, bless her for being so patient and understanding) I found these in her special drawer....
I laughed so hard and cried at the same time.
Thinking.. where does time go?
Wasn't it just yesterday she was connected to me at my waist, or sitting up on my lap, as I pretended to be interested in that one episode of Dora celebrating her birthday?

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Thanksgiving 2010

Our Thanksgiving Holidays started off early. The kids were out of school and stayed out.


I started cooking our feast the night before. I don't mind staying up late to do so, I'd rather stay up late than wake up real early. I guess that's our tradition. I even cooked the Turkey the night before. I guess if we had company over I would cook it that day, but being it was just us, I decided to cook it early and save the ham for the next day.


I spent most of the night (and many nights) catching up business stuff while waiting for the oven to beep :)

I took tons of photos from our Thanksgiving Day.. AND.. AND.. I even printed out those Thankful Cards I mentioned. I bought the album, I have the scrapbooking papers, now I just have to merge the two.

Thanksgiving CollageCOPY

Our Thanksgiving Day was very relaxing. We woke up to tons of snow! I love waking up to a fresh blanket of snow, while the oven is on filling the house with the smell of ham, the kids still in bed, hubby sleeping in, and coffee ready to be served.

Izzy decided to have a sleepover with the neighbors. It's always nice to have her friends over because they play so well together. I served them up some chocolate chip pancakes while watching the Thanksgiving Macy's parade. I love the smell of the Sweet Potato Casserole, that I absolutely love, probably my favorite dish next to the pies.. and then the Turkey and Ham.

The dogs are going stir crazy smelling all the food throughout the house.

I did send hubby out to pick up some pies because I forgot the Carnation milk to go into my Pumpkin Pie, so he made quick stop at Peggys and got their Banana Cream Pie (yum) and their Pumpkin Pie.  And I have had it ever since (in fact, I am gonna have one when I'm done typing this(.

We were all ready to eat by noon, Turkey, Ham, Green Bean Casserole, Sausage/Cranberry/Apple Stuffing, Sweet Potato Casserole, and Pies!

We took the dogs and kids out to have some fun and I can't believe how much it snowed over night. We dug ourselves out and built forts, created snowballs, and started an all out Snowball fight. I found myself crawling on the ground behind cars as I tried to outrun Rudy. Too bad hubby knows how to really throw a snowball (ouch!).

We came back in, all set for Round 2 (out of 15) of eating.

We layed lazily on the sofa watching TV, stuffed from eating way too much!

We headed back out in the early evening to dig ourselves out even more! But our gracious neighbors of over 6 years plowed us out with their 4-wheeler. We all hung outside chit-chatting as our dogs went crazy chasing one another. And I don't know what it is about new fallen snow, that makes me feel like a kid all over again. But we ended up spending the rest of the night, sledding down hills, running through waist deep snow, and playing in the playground!

Just feeling all around Thankful...

  • for my life & my health. I feel like I'm exactly where I want to be. There's always somewhere I want to be, or something I want to do.. but being content in where I am is truly a blessing.
  • for an amazing husand (His Thankful Card totally made my day/week)
  • for a brand new adventure with my kids. Each day is a new adventure with my 'munchkins'.
  • for passion, hobbies, career... they all roll into one for me.
  • for living in Alaska. Now that I know that we have a few more years here, we've all taken a different perspective on our stay because we know that there is no more extending. Once this tour is over, it's over. We may come back or stay state side. Either way, it's officially our last few years here.
  • for my puppy. I love this guy, he is a constant reminder to 'slow down' and enjoy life :)

I hope everyone had a great weekend full of Thanks.
Can't believe it's already Monday and it's back to the Grind for all of us :)

Longest Thanksgiving Break.. ever!

Once again, sleek ice and frozen roads has kept the 'munchkins' at home


and it looks like they will be home tomorrow (Wednesday) as well. And if I did my math right, that means they will be home Thursday & Friday too! Now usually, this kind of unexpected situation would put a damper on my day... but I'm so glad they are home. We get an early start to our Thanksgiving break.

I'm sure my teenager wasn't expecting a crazy day at the commissary to kick off his vacation. Lines wrapped around towards the meat section, near aisle 3! That's crazy!


So we shopped light, only the neccesties, like the Turkey for one :)


Even though the kids were home today, I was up and ready to go early in the morning. I didn't hesitate to jump into work. I finished editing yesterday's shoot. I'm finding my work flow is getting quicker and easier, especially studio photos. Once you get the lighting right, I run the batch through Lightroom and I am done. I may take a few snapshots through photoshop to add a little of this and that.

I have learned a few things about myself as I dived into a new adventure.. The Quickbooks Adventure that is... I don't give up to easily, nor get intimidated easily. Now I'm not a numbers person, nor a detailed (well in reference to itemizing) kind of person... but now that I've spent countless hours on categorizing the different sessions, the varying expenses, and figuring out my way around this system.. I whizzed through some of our busiest months, which was over the Fall and finally felt a weight lifted off my shoulders. I finally get it. Let's just say I'm so glad I don't own a business where I have to do inventory and set up multiple vendor accounts. Phew!

But I also did learn, about myself, that I get slightly obsessed when I want to achieve something. Now that may be a good thing, in some cases. But I just don't know how to quit or rather, tone it down to make way for everything else. Literally for the past week, I slept thinking about how there should be an easier way to adjust the credit card amount when processing a card... Then I figured it out. Then I dug deeper into figuring out where I should place all the amounts that I spent using my personal fund to build the business. I'm not able to balance the things I want to do, like hit the gym or do some early Xmas shopping, or even leave my house for that matter. Instead, I literally locked myself at home, reading, learning, and mastering this new found interest. I just wish I could set it aside and know that I have several months before we get our taxes in order. I've got this one track mind... that is a good thing, when getting things done.. but seriously I need to tone it down. (Well, I say that now, because I'm just about caught up...)

I really wanted to print out our Thanksgving cards today.. so the kids could write what they are Thankful for... That is what I will do tomorrow :) Happy Wednesday!



And I'm not talking about me on ice, cause you all know I never got to Level 2 in my ice skating classes a few years back. I'm talking about the roads today and looks like tomorrow. So for all you non-scientifical people (is that word?) the ones that are basking in 70 degree weather or heck even the 50's .. When it snows, it's nice and fluffy :)  We are all happy making snowmen and snowball fights. Then it get's really cold.. like really cold (cause after all we are in Alaska) like 15 degrees, maybe even 8 degrees. All that fluffy snow gets rock hard. And snowballs would really hurt! Then.. all of a sudden, mother nature thinks it would be "fun" if she warmed us a bit, maybe she she feels more of a remorse for us Alaskans.. and she kicks up the heater to about 30's.  This would start melting that 'rock-hard-ice' and then to top it off, she thought why not add some "freezing rain".  So what we are left is a GIANT, Ice Palace, called the Streets! Too bad our automobiles are not equipped to maneuver  the Lutz, Flip, or Axel lifts.. cause then we could all raise our numbers (for example I would've gotten a 8.5 for the spin I did outside our neighborhood).

So needless to say.. it was a mess, a complete mess. The roads, the everything. I debated for the longest time to let the kids go to school.. but at the end, they did along with the other 5 students :) They ended up watching movies most of the day. Go figure, cheers to education! But everyone is safe. Hubby had the shortest workday. He went in at 11am, probably reached there at 12pm, came home by 3 pm, probably left work at 2pm. Meanwhile, mama bear, enjoyed the few hours of quiet to do a 'quickie' .. Quickbook that is!

But before I knew it, I left to head to our studio for our maternity shoot. Our client was pretty much due in a few weeks, so I'm sure rescheduling was not an option. Besides she was already at the mall getting some outfits, despite hazardous conditions. That's what I call dedication or really wanting pregnancy photos, better yet, wanting us to take her maternity shots. That alone, was enough motivation to get my granny butt out there to brave the roads.

The shoot was... AWESOME.
The drive was.. SCARY.

So here I am.. 11:45pm sitting in front of my computer, sharing my day... because I can, because the kids will be home tomorrow anyway.. and I don't have to wake up at 6 am (well technically I have to get up and feed the dogs..but I can lounge all day long!)

Oh yes, I did say dog(S)  plural.  I have my girlfriend's dog for a few weeks while they are off basking in something other than freezing rain. Kai has a playmate/girlfriend.. but I think she's a bit much for him.. He likes to lounge, she likes to fetch all day. He likes to cuddle, she likes to fetch. He likes to run in spurts, she likes to run ALL the time! I do have photos, Erica to prove that she's still alive. Uploading them is a different story.


I will end with some fun shots of the Behind The Scenes from this weekend's very COLD photoshoot:


FYI, I'm not scolding the little one.. I'm saying "I'm gonna tickle you.."


This kid made being on a sheet of ice fun.. I'm actually nervous behind the camera.. praying I don't fall on my behind. :)

Happy Tuesday to all.. and stay off the road Alaskans.. if you can't "granny drive it" Slow down!


He's 15 today...


Where does time go?
Wasn't it just yesterday, I swaddled him home, locked myself in the bathroom and cried... wondering how in the world am I gonna raise this little boy?
I can still see it, his first steps in his Mr. Potato Head costume during his first Halloween.
Now he's 2, sitting in front of the TV watching Blues Clues, yelling "A clue behind you!"
Flash forward. 15 years old. Sophomore in Highschool. Skinny jeans, boxers hanging out, vans in every color, Hollister Shirts, earphones on, texting with one hand, playing Black Ops, walking around like he's all that, yelling at his sister to get out of his room... a typical teenager.
And just when he's on my last nerve...
He turns around and reminds me just how much he loves me :)
Then I ask him, what does he need now? :)

He's a good kid.
Too much of a social life if you ask me.
He may have a slight sailors mouth on him, but you can totally blame me.
I'm quite 'expressive' myself.
And he'll never admit, he's a softy, a sensitive soul.
Even though his rugged exterior will make you doubt that.

I still can't believe he's gonna be off to college in 2 years.
Seriously.. hold on to your kids.
Cause 15 years... goes by in a flash.




Where'd Wednesday Go?

Still wondering...


But it started out with great company at Snow City for breakfast.


My girlfriend's baby, Ryder. She is so cute and chubby, a real life roly-poly :) I still can't believe she just had baby!

Don't let that sunshine fool ya, it is freezing out there!



Sitting on a mountain of frozen snow waiting for Izzy's bus to arrive. Walking around on frozen snow is a workout in itself.


 Today was my "get out of the house and do some errands will ya" day.

I nabbed a quick breakfast with Erica and Cortney. Then drove to Keri to wish her a happy birthday. And my favorite part, The Commissary, (not really). I don't mind going to the grocery store, I actually like the peace and quiet. It's coming home and carrying all that stuff inside the house and upstairs, that's the problem. I'm talking $300 worth of grocerries up the stairs and then putting them away! I have to say I don't just shove stuff in the pantry, nope not me. I like to neatly stack things, organize them, and then put them away. So it's like I'm constantly reorganizing my pantry every 2 weeks. But I do have the next 2 weeks methodically planned out.

Tonight we had a Chef Salad, tomorrow some Halibut with veggies.

I can barely keep my eyes open... I really did have some funny thoughts during my drive today but now I can't even remember why I was cracking up.


I've Been...

  • in a very dark place for the past 2 days trying to dig myself out. It's the worst, and I wouldn't wish it upon anyone. Buried deep in months worth of .... paperwork! That's right, paperwork! I introduced myself to Quickbooks the other day. Why I didn't do it earlier, I don't know. Maybe I underestimated this much paperwork? So, I really thought I could "teach myself" this side of the business. Apparently, accounting is a trait you have to be born with. And this "creative soul" does not have an "accounting" bone in her body.  So I spent a chunk of my day reading the manual, staring at diagrams (they even had arrows pointing to where I should enter the info) but I still did not get it. It would be like me telling a non photographer, how he/she should set their ISO and settings at while standing outside on an overcast day. So, although no physical numbers were entered into the system, I did sit down and figure out the categories or lists in which I would organize our income and expenses. And that is a helluva accomplishment if I say so myself. I also realized that I don't necessarily need to write up an invoice, because all of our services/products are paid for right away. So I made sense of some of it.

Izzy took this photo of me at tonight's Basketball game:

Which I had to keep, because it shows how freakin tired (and cold) I am. I could barely cheer for the boys or keep my eyes open. And yes, today is the Alaska I know, a good 8 degrees :) I didn't even want to take out my coat in the gym :0

Off to bed I go.. before midnight, everyone is exhausted! I'm sure there was something meaningful I wanted to write but I can't seem to get it out of me.

Thursday, Friday, & Saturday and a lil' bit of Sunday too

Whoa.. I need to hit that rewind button.

Thursday, Veterans Day... had the day off with hubby.
Productive? No.
But we had a quiet lunch at Bear's Tooth and enjoyed their Garlic Fries yum!
Ran into my good friend, Steph and her family too... Should've had lunch with those guys :)






Felt like an oatmeal kinda day.

In Izzy's lunchbox, I sometimes leave her surprise letters that she can read during lunch. She loves these sweet surprises! I wrote in the letter that I would not be home when she gets home because I was having dinner with Ms. Keri. (She gets a little sad when she comes home and I'm not there, but if she knows ahead of time, she's fine with it..)


I can't believe I didn't take one single photo of my dinner with Keri. But we talked all night, so I forgot to bring out the camera. We celebrated an early dinner at our favorite spot, Damis.
Then I had to rush to Central to pick up Ethan and his friends from their night out at their school.
Came home, to help Izzy with her Turkey Project. 


This is the usual crowd in my house... all these kids are pretty much mines over the weekend. And every time we go out, like that day, I always get swift second glances. And here at Red Robin, it was already assumed by the people next to us and the waiter, that they were all mine. And as usual, I don't digress. In fact the people next to us, gave the boys their extra basket of fries, saying they didn't ask for another one and it looks like the boys needed it more than them! I overheard the people across from us, wondering how old I was, saying I looked too young to have all those kids, her friend said "it's probably their big sister", then my oldest said "Hey mom, can I play with your iPhone?" Then the girl said, "I guess it is their mom!"  I just smiled as if to say, "Yup, they are mine!" :)

Later that night, Izzy decided to sleep over the neighbors house. Sweet Surprise! Hubby and I did not know what to do! So we opted to go to Simon and Seaforts for half off appetizers during Happy Hour. IMG_3509

We didn't do much after like catch a movie, because I think hubby was a bit 'chocolate wasted' by the end of the night.. well he drank awfully quick with no food in the tummy so he was a bit flushed.IMG_3511


Playing outside.
Kai loves the snow and begs to go outside.
So we hung outside all day.. it was warmer (30's) which is nice.





Another week in my life...

I'm getting ready for December Daily!
I've decided to do it in a 6x12 format. When my supplies come in I will share them.
I will use Ali Edward's overlays as well, she formatted them to 6x8's but I'm sure I can find ways to use them in my format.

AND.. I'm gonna get these printed :


The kids and I were reading last years album and we laughed so hard! The things kids say/write!
Can't wait to see what they say this year!
I'm gonna do the same kind of album in a different color much like Cathy Z's style:



Yup.. the scrap bug has hit me hard.
I hope to get cracking on this Studio Calico kit I got from Tina too.. it's been yelling at me for a whole week to "use it!"

A little more relaxed this week. Just holding my breath for a busy December. I can do it! (Insert super-woman-cape and all).


Wednesday: November 10, 2010

A quick cup and it was off to start my day.
Since I've been working from home, I rarely go out. Let me rephrase that, I never go out! I really have to plan it out when I leave the house. This week it's Wednesday.  It will be my errands, go the gym, and grocery store day.

Had to take this one of my son eating and texting. Who texts at 6:30 am, apparently his friends.IMG_2576


 Kai.. begging discreetly.


Before I head out, I take puppy for a walk ... that's the look of, "It's too freakin' cold to walk the dog!" Too bad he LOVES it!




It was time to head out the door. First stop, gym. I can't even tell how long it's been, but spin has always been one of my favorite classes... and even though it's been months, I love it!  With my butt hurting and legs wobbly and all.



The day just seems to fly by... with no camera in hand, luckily Izzy took a hold of it and caught me cooking. That night we had some salmon, shrimp, and my new fave Brussel Sprouts (Thanks Paula)



Ethan took this out of focus (forgot to move my focus points after I used it) of Izzy and I peeling shrimp. She just loves to help in the kitchen.

Dinner was good.

Random thoughts that day: (throughout the day, my mind wanders)

  • Thank you Fed Ex lady for placing my package via USPS, I won't tell...
  • Spin class really kicked my ***... must blog about it on my "R" Lifestyle... that thing, is it still there?
  • Feeling good today.. craving veggies.
  • Loved that Papaya Salad and Garlic Tofu from Thai Villiage.. just what I needed.
  • Lightroom to the rescue!
  • I do not like leaving my house... I feel like driving is a waste of time :) I'm such a homebody.
  • He works so much and such LONG hours... (I need to stay strong).
  • Ugh, that song by Cee-Lo is so not good.. but so catchy.
  • He is such a good dog, who needs so much attention !
  • Off to bed early!