Sunday, November 7, 2010

Let the Festivities Begin!

I've seen it coming.  Even before I started thinking about colorful leaves and halloween costumes, the first hints of Christmas started to appear.  A handful of holiday decorations in the stores, the big toy dream book in the mail, a commercial here and there hinting at trees and garland.  No matter how much advanced notice I get, Christmas seems to sneak up on me every year.

Anyone who knows me, knows that I am a world class procrastinator.  I like to think that I work better under pressure but I really think that I am just lazy.  I like to joke (ok, it's not really funny) that I like to wait to start my Christmas shopping only after the winter solstice has occurred.  If you subtract Christmas Eve, that leaves me a total 2 or 3 days to get all of my holiday shopping done.

This kind of behavior drives some people crazy - like my MEF who not only has her shopping done already - everything is also wrapped and mostly tagged.  If I had to guess, I bet she already has gifts for 2011 already purchased!  I know that part of my last minute behavior was created years ago.  My employer always handed out Christmas bonuses - in the form of cold, hard cash - several days before Christmas.  At that time, it was a necessity to wait for a cash infusion to get the holidays in gear.  I guess it became such a habit that I never even thought about starting earlier.  

My last minute shopping frenzies have been known to send my credit card company into panic mode thinking someone hijacked my card and went on a hopping spree!  I have never been much of a online or catalog shopper because the last minute shipping charges are killers!  A certain stuffed penguin was a last minute "must have" that ended up costing twice as much due to the guaranteed Christmas Eve shipping charges!

Inspired by other - especially my MEF - I vowed to start shopping early this year.  I actually had at least one gift purchased BEFORE the 4th of July!  Killing time before a recent flight I happened upon a perfect gift for someone special and managed to figure out a way to get it home without crushing it!  Since I feel like I have a head start already, I am going to keep the momentum going.  I vow to keep picking up things here and there.  I could use a boost by winning this gift certificate to keep my inspired to finish early!

See you all at the mall - but not on Black Friday - I'll be the one at home snuggled on the couch in my pj's watching you all on TV!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Halloween is Over....

Can Christmas be far behind?

'Santa' is growing an awesome beard this year!

"Mrs. Claus" might need a shave though!

I never figured that a half-full bag of batting
and a discarded santa hat 
could be so much fun!

You better be good- Santa is watching you!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


It is hard to believe that it has already been a year 
since little Punky B came into our lives 

Happy Birthday Punky B!

Happy Birthday Punky B!

She loved the icing on her cake but she never really ate any cake!
Sweet little one didn't get any icing on her pretty yellow dress 
and she graciously shared her chocolate icing with her Dada!

She got tons of toys but her favorite seemed to be her new baby doll!

Give the baby a kiss for us too Punky B!

(I have to give a big shout out to my niece, Miss M who helped me pick the pictures and type the words- we have to help her spell but she did an awesome job!!)
 Punky B and Miss M!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

M&M's go to Cali

OK, we didn't really go to Cali but little Miss M thought it was so far away that we had to be in California about 15-20 minutes into our trip!
We were only going about 30 miles from home, 
not the 1830 it would take to get to Disneyland!

What is better than ice cream on a warm summer night?

I am so in love with those blue eyes....

AYKM??  This is the "normal" face I get when I ask her to pose for me!!

Someone seems to be channeling Ed Grimley!!
(plus I love that he buttoned his shirt crooked!!)

I am happy to report that they received a "most excellent" behavior report for today!

These are not edited photos - this is straight out of the camera!
Complete darkness and a light up bucket make for interesting photos!

We had a blast at Civic Park tonight!

Friday, July 30, 2010

My Momma is Crazy!

I love my Mother-I really do-
but there are times that I think she is a little bit off her rocker!

Mom has always had a passion for sewing,  I don't think any big event in my life as a child ever included a store bought dress.  Graduations, proms, dances - 
all beautifully dressed in my Mother's wonderful creations.

Recently, she has been creating costumes for the local theatre groups.
Some shows are easy, some are not.
I have no idea the true number of hours she puts into the effort
but I'm pretty sure it is substantial.
I try to help when I can but I donated my sewing machines to her sweat shop -
plus I can barely sew a straight line with a ruler.
I generally get "elastic" duty.  I sew a little pocket for the elastic and thread it in.
That is about as far as I can be trusted when it comes to sewing!

The latest play she is costuming is The Producers.  
I helped make the jewelry for the Little old ladies and the girls in pearls.
I stitched some sausages onto a belt and sewed on some snaps.
Mom - she created about 300+ costume pieces - I feel like such a slacker!

Here are some shots from the first act of the final dress rehearsal.  
I wish I could have stayed for the second act!

Mom, you are A-M-A-Z-I-N-G-L-Y talented and I am so proud to show off your work!
Love you!

The Girls with the Pearls - lovingly handsewn on!

I love the pigeons!

The dress really does look like the Chrysler Building!

Yes, it is a giant knitted g-string!

That is a lot of Little Old Ladies!

I can't wait to see the rest of the play!  
Break a leg!  I'm sure it will be wonderful!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

jack - part two

I didn't get all of my editing done tonight ;-(
Mommy won't be able to stand it if I don't give her something
so here are a couple more of the adorable Jack!

Thanks for the wonderful rug!

I love this one!

Gotta love Cleveland!

Mommy - I promise to do my "homework" this weekend!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Noah * Alissa * Jack

Here is a sneak peek of one of the cutest guy's I've ever had a chance to meet...

He is going to be such a heart breaker when he grows up!

Isn't this a great looking family?!!

Cleveland Rocks!!

Jack loves his Mommy!

Daddy is pretty cool too!

We can't leave out the original babies - Merv and Bogey!

They love Jack too!

Sorry, Noah - for some reason the microwave kept hiding from the camera!  

How can you resist those baby blues?

That's all for now - thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, July 10, 2010


Just chillin' out this morning trying to calm my nerves.
Why am I nervous?
I have an official photo shoot this afternoon and I am anxious.
I know it will turn out great...
I know I will get awesome shots....
I just want this to photo shooting gig to work out for me.

Wish me luck!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Fireworks 101

Fireworks!  I have tried a million times to capture them but have never been very successful.  This year, I had the right equipment, did my homework beforehand and was excited to try it all out.

The results? - Eh.  I'm not 100% impressed with the results.  
I am uber-picky so please bear with my ambivalent feelings about these shots.  I love the concept of the shots, but I am not happy with the clarity and sharpness. I blame that on the lens that I used not the technique.

So, if you still have a chance to shoot Fireworks, here are my tips:

1. A tripod is absolutely required.  If you don't have a tripod, find something to rest your camera on (the hood of the car, a rock,a cooler) but DO NOT hold the camera.  If you are a caffeine addict like me, the camera will shake when you attempt this!

2. You need to change the settings on your camera.  My camera has a function called "bulb".  This basically allows you to choose how long to keep the shutter open.  Push the shutter button and hold it until you are done.  Not all cameras have this function so the key is to choose the setting on your camera that keeps the shutter open as long as possible.

3. Timing is everything.  I was fortunate enough to be very close to the action and I could hear each shot before you could see it.  I would open the shutter just before the first burst and would leave it open until the firework started to fade.  The general rule of thumb - If you wait until you see the sparkle, you are probably going to be too late!

4. Be patient!  You won't get every shot.  It takes a few minutes to get the rhythm of the show down.  Some colors look great in the sky but don't show up well - like blue.  Some shapes don't translate well.  If it is windy, your results might be very different.  We were lucky to have a very still night last night.

5. The most important thing, unless you are getting paid to shoot the fireworks display, stop playing with your camera and enjoy the show!  Take it from me, I have completely 'missed' some displays because I was too concerned about getting the perfect shot and I didn't get to enjoy myself.  Remember, there is always next year!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Happy 4th of July!

May your day be sunny,
your BBQ yummy,
and your fireworks bright!

Have an awesome 4th everyone!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Monday, May 10, 2010

What is green, pink, and blue?

Despite the baseball hat and the lack of hair,
this is the sweetest little girl I know!

I kept hearing 'awes' when I was walking my sweetie the other day.  
I know she is the most adorable thing ever but complete strangers
were completely taken with her.
I stopped and peered into the front of the stroller only to find
Cutie Pie was bust chewing on the straps and staring at every one
with those amazing baby blues!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Of Footballs and Flowers

I never thought my nephew would be playing football,
but here is proof that he is in the game!

The "games" are pretty comical to watch at times but the kids seem like they are having fun!

In the meantime, I also got the exact opposite of manly activities from my niece...

She picked this flower just for me!
Well, maybe not just for me, but it was sweet!