Wednesday, December 31, 2008

This Year

Some things I did in 2008

I got snowed in at the lake house with my husband
Drove 9 hours to Boise on Valentines Day
Bought Josh a wonderful birthday present (an xbox)
Celebrated Josh's birthday at Gallway Bay
Left a job, and kids I love
Moved to Boise, Idaho
Learned how to be far away from family on our own
Lived in our very first place that was "ours"
Learned to bake and cook (kind of)
Enjoyed having a real summer with sun and heat
Went down to Texas to gain some much needed confidence and knowledge in photography
Met a few great people while I was down there!
Turned 21 and celebrated my birthday with the coolest people in the world.
Ate at the cheescake factory and had my first legal drink, A Gin Rickey.
(That one up there makes me sound like an alcoholic)
Moved back home to live next door to my mom for awhile! SWEET!
Spent time at the lake with my husband and friends
Celebrated friends birthdays
Loved fall
Lived in a hotel in our new town for a week (most boring week of my life)
Got all decked out with my husband for Halloween
Moved into our new, lovely apartment
Stressed out over finding a job
Decided what I want to do to supplement my photography
Got excited about it.
Missed my dad
Got excited about the holidays
Celebrated our first anniversary as a married couple! We made it!
Enjoyed the holiday season
Made a trip home every weekend in Decemeber except for one
Had a few sessions
loved my family, loved my husband, loved my friends
Celebrated Christmas with family
Was bored, worked on business stuff (always)
Lived, laughed, and loved.

What did you do this year?

Friday, December 19, 2008

Words To Think About

No post today. I will post a baking masterpiece tomorrow, but I found this awhile ago and love it. A quote I always come back to, and thought I would share.

" To live content with small means; to seek elegance rather than luxury, and refinement rather than fashion; to be worthy, not respectable, and wealthy, not rich; to study hard, think quietly, talk gently, act frankly; to listen to stars and birds, to babes and sages with open heart; to bear all cheerfully, do all bravely, await occasions, hurry never. In a word, to let the spiritual unbidden and unconcious grow up through the common. This is my symphony." William Henry

lovely, right?

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Things That Are Making Me Smile Today

Just a quick post this evening! Things that are making me smile today:

1. Pottery Barn Desks and organizational stuff. Nothing is better than a good desk and some sweet organization boxes and such. My heart is filled with joy when I see the beauty of an well organized space.

2. The Snow! Yes, Beka, I like the snow. Yes, I drove in it, and yes it was a pain in the ass, but there is something so wonderful about the snow. The world sounds different when it snows. It's so pure.

3. Apartment Therapy: I check this site everyday, and stick numerous pictures in my "Things I Love File" In my computer. This is the coolest file you will ever see. It is full of beautiful things that make life just a little bit better.

4. Our Christmas Tree. I think this is the best smell in the world. I was afraid we wouldn't be able to smell the tree, but every time I walk in the house I'm over come by the wonderful smell. I never want it to end.

5. The look on Josh's face when he comes home from work! He's so sweet when he gets excited to see me.

6. The thought that tomorrow can be just as good as today...

What made you smile today?

Have a lovely evening!


Tuesday, December 16, 2008

New Years Resolutions

I know we are a couple weeks from the New Year, and we haven't even had Christmas yet, but I've been doing alot of thinking (surprise right?) about what I want to come out of this next year. I've never been a huge fan of resolutions. Mainly because I think we put too much emphasis on making them, and we set goals too high to achieve, and then we are disappointed. I've heard people say, "One way to achieve your New Year 2009 goals is to aim low" A part of me understands that, but at the same time it upsets me because we are already being told that, no, you probably won't get done what you want, you won't achieve what you want to achieve... Why bother? I think the key to being successful this year is not to aim low, but don't weigh so heavily on achieving exactly everything. If your goal is to lose 30 pounds, and you lose 20 that's a huge success. I think we need to put better things on our lists too. I have alot of things I really want to accomplish this year. Alot of them having to do with my photography business, but there are some that I want just for me... and the people I love. So write down your list of New Years Resolutions, try to achieve them, but more than that enjoy the journey of getting there.

My New Years Resolutions:

1. Try to take a photo every day. Do the 365 day challenge. If I miss a day, make sure I take two the next.

2. Finally set up that much needed website. Scrape together the money and take the plunge that needs to be taken.

3. Buy that new camera I need desperately. (Man this profession is expensive)!

4. Feed my soul. Do things I want to do and need to do. Read a book, and write as much as I can. Really feel every emotion to its utmost potential.

5. Better my marriage. Love my husband even more, be a better wife, be more patient.

6. Be a better friend. Keep the relationships that I hold so dear to me. The friends I have are amazing, and I couldn't live without them. Spend more time and better quality time with them.

7. Become closer to God and pray more.

8. Try new baking recipes, start learning to play the guitar, learn to knit and sew. This goes along with doing things I want to do. I want to do it all, even if it takes me forever to do it.

9. Have more sessions this year. Every year for me has been an improvement, but I'm hoping this year will be a big year for me. I hope to be full time by the end of the year, it's going to take alot of hard work, but I can't wait.

10. Be a better daughter, sister, grandaughter, cousin, niece, whatever!

11. Find a way to start giving back the way I want to. Find the connections, get the word out, and help people who have been touched by the same hardships as I have felt. I AM SO EXCITED TO DO THIS! I can't wait to get this in motion!

12. Live, Laugh and Love more. I have been so blessed in my life. I have a wonderful family, beautiful friends I wouldn't trade for the world, and a job I can't wait to start doing full time. I want to eat more good food, spend more time in deep conversation with the ones I love, I want to drink more wine, laugh until I cry and feel the greatness of the life that God has given me.

What are your New Years Resolutions?

Have a wonderful Holiday Season! Merry Christmas!


Friday, December 5, 2008

The Clutter Surrounds Me

Have you ever noticed that no matter how long you live in a place there is always that box of stuff that never gets unpacked, but instead just magically grows feet and makes its way through your house (or apartment) in our case. Well, there is more than one box, there are several boxes that just keep shifting. We end up taking out of the boxes what we need at the moment, and then throw the box back on the shelf in the closet, or push the box to the side.

After just over a month of living in our new apartment, Josh is still using 3 to 4 boxes as a nightstand. Are those boxes empty? Of course they aren't. They are chock full of crap. I seriously don't know what's in any of them anymore. One box is full of camera gear that I don't use often. But I never NEVER throw a camera away. I have quite the collection started.

There are black velvet boxes full of books stashed on top of the shelf in the closet. Basically the bedroom is totally off limits to the 4 guests that have stopped by. Can you picture me trying to lift a box full of books over my head and onto the shelf, my huge muscles bulging? It takes all the strength I have to hoist it off the floor in one fluid movement. If its not in one fluid movement, forget it. As soon as my flow is compromised the grueling task has to start all over again because I swear on my life that I only have the muscles God was nice enough to provide me with when I was born. I'm teased all the time. I can't even open a jar.

If you know me well, you know that this clutter is seriously bothering me. I pick up probably three times a day. It makes my skin crawl, and my mother makes fun of me that when I have kids I won't be able to keep a pristine house. Yes, I have forgotten to empty the dishwasher on occasion, again last night I got the talk of "I don't know why you didn't empty the dishwasher while I was at work."

What I wanted to say? "I was to busy watching soap operas and eating bon bons that I really just couldn't take the time to empty that dishwasher.

This was what I thought after the first initial mean comeback I decided not to use:

"Well because I edited photos all morning until my eyeballs wanted to fall out, I made the bed, I picked up the house, I worked on my wedding session guide, I cleaned the dishes in the sink, I picked up the bathroom, and THEN, I went to target to get a new outfit for this weekend, I found something I liked, but you wouldn't like it so I trudged it over to Penny's and their clothes were a joke. I couldn't ever tell whether I was in the petites or the plus sizes. What the hell does misses mean? By then I was defeated, but decided to take my chances at the Macy's here in town... It smelled weird, but I kept going, searching and searching for a damn pencil skirt, no I dont want a tulip skirt, or an old lady length skirt, I'm talking about a pencil skirt. Did anyone help? No. And then I had to sneak in past these unobserving cashiers to get into the dressing room to try on these things as quickly as possible because I had to get to the grocery store to get the groceries and dinner all before you get home. Hallelujah they all fit, and I looked damn good in that skirt I found, so before I could talk myself out of the skirt, because I feel awful buying myself something I don't absolutely need, I ran to the counter as fast as I could, and waited while the lady ahead of me had a 15 minute conversation about the heart association that she already donates to, so she doesn't want to donate today with Macy's. I was then happy to find that I only had to pay 13.99 for the skirt, so after I got out to my car, I drove back over to target to grab some tights that I'm not going to wear like I thought I was. I then went to Safeway to buy your deodorant and toilet paper and that frozen pizza that I am so good at making. I got home, had to try on my outfit, and then because I dont know anyone down here, I ran (literally) in my heels to the leasing office to get the assistant managers opinion on my outfit. Your opinion is important to me obviously because when you say no to this outfit, and then "that's a little much for this occassion," I change right away and get all depressed because I liked that outfit, but I won't wear something you hate. I needed a womans opinion to tell me it looked nice. We got to talking, (like you know I like to do) and then all of a sudden after 15 minutes of talking to her I saw you drive up. You were home, I didn't have the dishes out of the dishwasher. (I'm going to hell). So while you are going to the bathroom I had to pick up all the crap I had left on the floor because I hate when you come home to a mess. I feel like a terrible wife. Half and hour later I am making that excellent 'homemade" pizza and have yet to empty the dishwasher.

And that was where we were. I only said half of this to Josh, but just picture how fast that was going through my head, and how fast I said the last half as I walked away to pick up a few more things before I sat down to edit a few more photos. Yes all the clutter was still in the house, and it's still here today. I might die with all this crap of ribbon, wrapping, camera gear, books, printer paper. It will never end because there is always something else I have to do... Like empty the dishwasher.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Bad Things Happen To Good People...

I found out really early that being home alone all day is not my strong suit. I make the bed, empty the dishwasher, do the laundry and then work, and then do it all over again the next day. Talk about driving me crazy. Hopefully, soon things will be picking up even more (I'm editing a session right now and I have two more coming up). I can't wait till I am busy! Oh how glorious it will be! Until then, this is what happens when I have nothing to do while taking a break from editing. I know this is a scary picutre, if you have small children you might want to cover their eyes! Have a wonderful day!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

You Know Your Husband Loves You When...

I've discovered in the last two and a half years that Josh and I have an odd relationship. Some would say that it is warped, I say that it's real. Maybe relationships aren't supposed to be like the relationships I have with my family members, but the way we interact with each other is the only way I can stay sane.

Case in point: Josh and I are sitting in front of the TV watching the news, like we do every night. From five o'clock to seven, like little sheep herded by our Shepard we sit every day just like thousands of other people getting our daily feed of depressing stories. The depressing stories seem to drone on like that awful teacher that you had in high school with that damn (pardon my language) monotone voice that made your cringe in agony. The voice that made you think about unlatching the windows and jumping off the roof of the school, only to break your legs, and not end your suffering as you had so hoped. We hear stories about our plummeting economy, Auto Industry Bailouts nixed for the time being,the rule breaking golfer that confessed, starving people all over the world and The Crapple Cup as Eric Johnson calls it.

And so brings us to our story: It is a known fact throughout my family, and many of my friends that I absolutely hate football. Josh asked me once why I hate football so much. "Is it because you don't understand it?" he asked. "No. I just don't like it." "Then what?" I told him that I hated that we spend 5 hours watching a game that only should add up to an hour. I also hate the fact that we cheer over two guys smashing heads and scream at that guy down there who clotheslined that other guy not only because he didn't want him to make a touchdown, but because deep down he is a bastard. And the thing I hate the most about football, (aside from the much overweight men in shiny tight pants, and the highly inflated egos) the victory dances after a touchdown. Yes, maybe you did make a great play, but you couldn't have done it by yourself. Some guy last weekend tore his ACL while doing a victory dance. Was there a twinge of sadness in me when that happened? No, but there was that twinge of satisfaction and that feeling of "serves you right for being so arrogant."

So why wouldn't I make fun of Josh when he has been making a huge deal about the Crapple, I mean Apple Cup coming this weekend? Sometimes I swear that he is the only person who cares about which awful team will win. Because in his words, "What's awesome is... Someone has to win." Like with most games, there is always a winner. People rarely tie 0-0, well there were those years back in t-ball when we ran around picking daisies in the field, but that's another story. We have even rescheduled our anniversary dinner from Saturday to Monday (I know our anniversary is Monday, but Josh planned dinner for Satuday, and I thought we could spend the day doing something nice together). No, instead we are trekking it up to Monte so Josh can watch it on the big TV at his parents house and I am venturing off with my mom to spend money I don't have at the Christmas Bazaar in Elma.

Apparently Josh felt the need to give me a little jab, which he usually does after I make fun of something he so covets. How dare I make fun of his scared sport of choice. Something so many men hold so dear that we reschedule anniversary dinners, skip church, and find ourselves attached to a chair, surrounded by cheap beer and chips only getting up to pee and gather more crap to eat.

The insult that ensues I felt was funny enough to make me cry, probably not funny to you, but is a small look into the relationship that I have with my dear husband. He proceeds to take my insult with stride and the statement that he wishes I would suffocate. Would he help me while I was dying one the worst deaths ever imaginable? No, he claimed. But he said that while I suffocated he would make it known that he, in fact could breath, all the while taking in gasps of sweet oxygen while I slipped into a breathless hell. No, he didn't say it in so many words, and yes it was an insult but I felt loved right then. Loved enough for him to think up such an awful thing to say... Yes, folks, this is the world that I live in. Jabs and insults abound, but I know that when my husband looks at me he truly loves me, and that is more than I could ever hope for.

Have a wonderful day!


Tuesday, November 18, 2008

My Anniversary Present

Our first anniversary isn't until next Monday, but Josh's present came in the mail yesterday, a whole week before our anniversary, and to save myself from saying the same thing over and over again, "No you can't open it" and "No, I'm not telling you what it is." I knew we wouldn't last 7 days, so I gave Josh his present. I'm promoting bad health by getting him a variety pack of 50 cigars and a nice mahogany humidor with the temperature gage and other little do dads inside. I feel awful that I'm saying, "Here! Go smoke some." But I'm assuming he won't be smoking all 50 at once. I didn't think about that, though, when I first decided what I wanted to get for him back in August.

Now, my present was too big to fit in our tiny mail box, and because I was out of town yesterday, I wasn't available to sign for my gift. I heard a knock at the door at 9:30 and they dropped off a huge box. Try waiting until 3:45 to open your anniversary present. Not cool. I do admit I tried to look in the box, but I couldn't see anything, so I waited paitently (yea right).

As soon as Josh got home I got to open it, and here is what I got!

If you read this blog, You might have seen this picture before. It' a Monet painting, my favorite! This is a replica, obviously. So no it's not a real painting, but I still love it so much. It's beautiful and I can't stop looking at it. It makes me so happy! My husband gives wonderful gifts! I can't wait to hang it on the wall. Josh, if you read this, I love you so much! Sorry about the awful pictures, these are just a couple quick snapshots. I hope you are having a wonderful week!

Monday, November 10, 2008

A Break From The Computer...

I think depression has set in with this whole job search. I know I need to get out there and look, but I'm always discouraged about what I am going to do, and what I am quailfied for. I spent a couple of hours scouring the internet trying to find something in the area, and I haven't found much. For anything that is going to be of any interest I will have to travel 40 minutes each way to Vancouver every day to work. Between job searching, laundry, vaccuming, cleaning and searching for some inspiration, fixing my blog, and working on photography stuff, my eyes were about ready to fall out. I decided I couldn't look at the computer for another second. So what am I doing on here? (I'm very contradictory). Anyway, I decided I would take some time to slap another coat of paint on one of my canvases I'm trying to reuse. I decided to finally paint what I've been planning on it. Trying to cover up a painting that is already on it can be done, but it's proving to take alot to cover it up. This is coat three, and I'm thinking of at least slapping another coat on it.

So what was underneath it? Well, I don't think I have a picture of it, too bad, there's no proof other than from those who have seen it, but it was a replica of an Audrey Hepburn picture from Breakfast at Tiffany's. The one with the long cigarette and the cat on her shoulder. It had the pink background and everything. It was almost finished, save for the cat and a little bit of shading, but I wasn't feeling it anymore, and obviously didn't like it enough to leave it as a canvas sitting in the back of my closet, so I'm going to revive it into something I hope I like.

This was just another canvas in the long line of partial paintings. I have three in this apartment, I threw one away when we moved, and I'm not sure, there might be one at my mom's. I am notorious for starting a project, getting bored with it and letting it sit forever until I decide, or not to come back to it. It started in childhood with coloring books. I colored the parts I wanted to, and when something seemed to boring to color, I went on to a new picture. No one else could ever color a picture in my color book because there were only partially uncolored photos. Sorry friends, but I guess if you want your color page could be our page and we can go in it as a collaboration? No one ever liked that idea. And 18 years later, I am the same way. Funny how some things just stay with you.

So here are a couple pictures, one to give you an idea of what was underneath, and one to give you a view of the progress of the preparation of the new painting to come. Do I know what I'm painting? Yes, and I'm not saying. :) Don't be sad, it didn't look this good. Close, but no cigar.

And now: There's some texture visible still where

Audrey's cigar, tiara and jewelry are

Not sure what I'm going to do yet! Sorry for the terrible photo.

Too bad I can't get paid to do the things that I do during the day. :( Have a wonderful Monday!


A New Look

I have changed my blog template due to the fact that my photos were always getting chopped off on the right side of horizontal (landscape) photos. There is nothing worse than only seeing part of a photo. Your comments and thoughts on this new blog setup would be much appreciated! I hope you are having a wonderful start to the week!


Saturday, November 8, 2008

Things I am Loving Right Now

I haven't felt any inspiration to do anything creative in awhile. I haven't done much aside from getting packed and then getting unpacked and now settled, but tonight I was in desperate need of inspiration so I started to visit a few blogs I love to stalk and let them take me where they felt I needed to go. I went from one blog I visit, to one I will now check up on, and then that led me to a site I've visited before, and had forgotten about. I was talking to Josh a bit ago, and had the realization, which I said out loud that, "I am just so obsessed with everything... I just love pretty things: paints and wallpaper, paper and furniture, interior design, clothes, and people and photography. How can I surround myself with all these pretty things."

I've found that I am a complete mish mash of likes and loves. I think I remember my mom mentioning that my room always looked like a complete havoc because nothing was ever cohesive. I'm getting better with what I choose to put in my house, but if I could have it all I would. My style ranges from the love of victorian furniture to clean lines of some modern stuff to totally distressed and cozy. What am I going to do with myself? So I thought, because I am so excited at some of the finds I arrived upon tonight, I would share them with you... Sorry if you don't like them. Let me know what you like! I would love to hear all about it! Seriously... Comment.

Finally something we agree we like, the bed. Josh likes it because it looks like a throne. He thinks he's king apparently.

I'm usually all about color, but there is something about a white room I find so peaceful,
as long as it doesn't look like a hospital room.

I've always wanted a library with so many shelves I need a ladder. HEAVEN

See, I can go from all white to black walls just like that. LOVE the tub!!!

Can't remember where I found this but this
cabinet and organization and colors are to die for.

In love with this artist out of England. I am determined to buy most of her stuff for my childs room, although I dont have one. I can stock up in preparation for some day. I almost didn't show this I don't want anyone else to know my secret loves.

This is from the movie "The Holiday" Kate Winslets bedroom from the little cottage in England. I needed to find it because I loved it so much. Sad, isn't it?

Last one... Love this bathroom so much. A tub and a pretty shower. I love a good bubble bath.From one of my most favorite blogs ever:

So there you have it, a menagerie of things I love. A mish mash, right? What sort of things do you love?

Have a beautiful rest of the weekend!


Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Day Two...

Blah. Check. Tired. Check. Stressed. Check. Bored. Check.

That about sums up what's going on for me. Sure I could go wander about downtown Kelso, and Longview, but there really isn't that much to see. I've picked up the apartment, made the bed, and checked into internet and cable providers, and I am appalled by how much it costs to have these things installed. Not only does it cost $130 a month for these things, but it is going to cost you $300 just for us to install it for you. Are you serious? I don't think installing cable, internet and phone lines is an art, but I could be wrong. If it was, then maybe I would consider paying that much, but probably not.

My eyes hurt, my head hurts, I feel awful. You know that blah feeling when you do nothing all day. I hate that. I feel like a terrible person. I'm heading home tomorrow to go through more stuff and get stuff for the move ready, so that will be a nice break. Then its back down here again in the evening.

I can't wait till we are all settled and I'm doing something. There is nothing worse than that in between area when I'm stuck trying to get everything done all at once, no one seems to know anything and everything seems so so so expensive. Like I've said previously, I may have a small heart attack soon. I know Josh worries a little bit, but really doesn't let it show, and just denies it anyway. I'm a mess poring over what I can do, and what I have to do to get everything in its rightful place and he seems oblivious to it all. Is that a guy thing? I think so. Well we all know that he is the sane one, and I'm more than a little off my rocker. If it wasn't for him I know I would be much more worse off than I am now. He keeps me in line.

Josh gets home in just under an hour! Have a wonderful day. And don't worry, I won't go completely crazy.


Monday, October 27, 2008

My First Post From Our New Town

Day 1 of being in our new town:

I'm about ready to venture out on my own today to go see what I can find in Kelso and Longview. I've been holed up in this hotel room all morning trying to get caught up on a few things, but still can't post any new pictures on my photo blog or flickr due to the fact that I can't get hooked up to the wireless here at the hotel on my computer. As much as I depend on my computer to do the things I do, I find that I want to throw it out the window most days. I've witheld so far, thinking better of destroying something I depend so much on. Anyway, we are starting our new life, and I'm excited, but at the same time I already miss home.

There's just something about your hometown that feels right, that will always feel like, "This is where I belong." All your childhood memories are wrapped up in this town, you feel comfortable, and to step out of that comfort zone that you have surrounded yourself in is a big deal. I'm finding that I feel like nothing that bad could ever happen when you are in the town you love and surrounded by the people who love you. Like we're in some sort of bubble where we are. I know we need to step out... But sometimes I wonder why? I've started to remember a few little things that I sometimes forget about my childhood. Some things that I tend to take for granted by forgetting to remember they ever happened.

Josh and I were driving up to Olympia the other day and I wondered how many times I had taken that trip in my life. How many times have I seen those same trees and never paid any attention to how beautiful they are? Josh mentioned how beautiful everything was and said he'd never noticed before. We are only an hour and a half away, but not seeing those things on such a regular basis will be sad, but at the same time it will make us pay attention more.

I've come to realize how much I love life. I mean really love life, and sometimes I find myself overwhelmed by how many blessings big and small that I have had during my 21 years here. Little things like the turning color of the leaves. It's simple, but I love it. The bad sometimes feels like to much, but the good out weighs the bad most of the time. Life is beautiful.

So now Josh and I have to take on the task of learning to create new memories, our own memories. Memories that we can build our life together on. And I'm excited about all the new things and all the new possibilities to come. I'm welcoming the hard times along with the good times because I know life is so much sweeter when we know struggle. I'd like everything to be easy, but it never is.

So I'm determined to like being down here, and determined to do new things and love life more. We move into our apartment on Saturday. I'm so excited, but in the meantime I'm hanging out in this hotel room by myself. If you are ever in the area come visit! We would love, love, love to see you! I will keep everyone updated on our progress this week and so on. And hopefully soon I will be putting some pictures up! Have a wonderful day!


Thursday, October 23, 2008

7 Random Things

So I was tagged by Beka on her blog, luckily I check her blog when I get online because otherwise I wouldn't have seen it for weeks! So here goes.

1). I also hate when the shower curtain is left open. How hard is it to shut? Who wants to see all your stuff in your shower? I like the flow of the room when its shut. Such an easy way to make a room look cleaner.

2). I wish I could bake something cool every day. I wish I had the money to bake something cool every day.

3). If I could be a jewel theif and get away with it, I just might do it. Although, it's never as cool as they make it look in the movies.

4). If I could go into anyone's closet and where their clothes it would probably have to be Jackie Kennedy.

5). I'm trying to talk Josh into buying me an acoustic guitar for Christmas because I really want to learn to play. Yes, I should have listened to my mother when she suggested me learning ten years ago.

6). Right now I'm feeling completely uncreative and uninspired. There is too much other stuff going on. I don't remember the last time I wrote in my idea journal, and that's sad.

7). I hate most breakfast foods. I like bacon and omlettes but that's about as far as it goes. Cereal is okay too, but it has to be a specific kind.

I tag... Elizabeth Thacker, if she ever checks this:)

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Going Crazy (What We're Up To)

So, I've been a little scarce around these parts lately. Partially because of the lack of almost all forms of entertainment. No cable, no internet. I know, it's sad that I've come to that. Josh and I are spending almost 24 hours a day 7 days a week together and I really think we are on the verge of commiting a murder. Anyone in such a close vicinity would want to strangle even their best friend if you've continued to live like this for 2 and a half months. We do quite well, considering we spend nearly every waking moment together. Why is it though, that even if I do want some space I still don't want him to go and do anything without me? I must be crazy.

Why wouldn't I want some peace and quite from that ever continuing College football game on xbox that sounds in my ears while I'm trying to edit photos? And why wouldn't I like a view of an empty couch where my husband so eagerly takes position in front of the tv with that ridiculously intense look on his face like he just won the superbowl? Most days I want to pull my hair out, but no I still want him around. I guess after almost a year of marriage I still think he's beautiful and I still really do like him, even if he only gets up from the couch to eat Top Ramen and go to the bathroom.

Things have been pretty crazy around here for us lately. We spend almost as much time in the car as we do in the house. You should see our place, it looks like a hurricane came through. Boxes everywhere, more boxes now that we moved things out of Josh's parents place. I'm sure we could fashion some sort of cardboard mansion if we knew it would stand up well. It would be alot cheaper than our apartment, and with as many boxes as we have it would probably be the same size. Of course, there is all that crap, I mean valuables, that we have accumulated over the year of marriage.

We've found that we don't know whether we are coming or going and I can feel my anxiety rise and I have instant heartburn. I think I will have a small heart attack soon. Don't worry though, I'm young, so I should be able to pull through. Luckily though, there is a small light at the end of the tunnel. Josh will be starting a new job next friday, and we will be living in a hotel for a week! Our nomadic life resumes. We get to move into our cute new little apartment on the first of November. The prospect of getting to live in one place for a year excites me to no end. I'm already planning on where to hang things and what color to paint our 1 accent wall. I'm thinking something really cool...

The next obstacle? Alyssa finding a job... Nice. I've found that I'm not good at much. And I really don't think I have the patience to work at a mall during the holiday season. I'm thinking about something more full time, like answering phones in that sunny voice I hate so much. Or typing on the computer with my crazy typing skills that I learned from all those years of ICQ in Jr. High. No, Mavis Beacon typing software, you did not work, typing to that cute boy at school on ICQ did though. Professionals just really need to leave it up to the kids with crushes to learn how to type. Your silly "ASDFGHJKL" crap doesn't work. It just doesn't. Now for fun, I type on the keyboard while I'm listening to a song. Sad that I think that is fun, but is so much entertainment. So there is that, and what else I have not a clue. I'm not sure I'd be a good waitress, again, the patience thing. I can't stand people being mad at me if I get something wrong or I'm not fast enough with that. I have terrible balance when it comes to plates too, and if you've ever seen me, I only have the muscles I was born with. My brother continually tells me that I looked like a Jewish prisioner of the Auschwitz concentration camp when I was in highschool. He is right. I was certainly a beauty.

So, I'm on a quest to find something I'm good at, while making some money to help pay this insane rent on our tiny one bedroom apartment. The upside? I probably won't get stabbed walking out my front door and there is a tanning bed in the apartment complex, who can complain? A cancer bed I can visit every day at work! Will I go, probably not, but the thought that I could makes me happy.

So this is where we are: driving eachother crazy, stressed to near heart attacks, poor and getting poorer (not a word), jobless (as of now) and loving eachother every minute. It's good to be young isn't it?

Have a beautiful evening, and remember to love life no matter how stressful!!


Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Completely At Peace... If Only For Just A Few Minutes

Lately things have been so hectic, I feel like I'm a chicken running around with my head cut off. I love it, really. That feeling of adrenaline (will I get everything done I need to do today)? Usually, the answer is no. Today is no different. There always seems to be a reason why something hasn't gotten done. Today it was, "I can't get my Session Guide emailed to my clients for this weekend, and the ones next week because my computer is in the shop, and I can't remember what I wrote in the first one. But I did look for apartments, check emails, write my client, go to the doctor (boo), and have dinner with my husband, my brother and mom. I have my priorities straight. Is the kitchen clean? No, is the living room picked up? Sort of. The paper the cat tore up all over has been vacuumed, but the vacuum is still sitting against the wall where I'm sure it will take up residence for a few days. I'm not strong enough to lift if out of the living room, and up into the hall. No, Josh won't do it either... So there it will sit. :)

Yesterday was the busiest day I've had so far this week. I flew to Boise at 8:45 A.M. finished cleaning the apartment, and was back on a plane flying home at 8:00 P.M. I flew at the two best times to fly. My flight home was probably the best flight I've been on. I was exhausted, my feet were killing me, and I was irritated at the three guys who had been sitting behind me at the gate because they had been talking about the opinion of their vote in the upcoming election. There must have been 20 of us hovered around the t.v. at the gate watching the Presidential Debate. I cared what Obama and McCain had to say, not Joe blow behind me. I just wanted to get my flight over, and get home to see my husband. I am so tired of flying that I would walk to Boise if it didn't take me a decade. Needless to say, I was in an alright mood, but that could have changed at the drop of a hat. My head was frantic figuring out what had to come next, when I could get to sleep, and what had to happen tomorrow.

We took off from the tarmac, my favorite part of the flight, and I peered out the window at the sky. I love looking down at the houses, all the lights. Everything seems so small. It give you a sense of greatness. What we do is important, but at the same time our lives in this immediate space is so small. And when I saw the sky, my breath was taken away. I have seen my fair share of gorgeous sunsets, but this one had to be the top. I've seen it in Monet's "Dusk" painting, but have never experienced it myself. It's a sight that is impossible to tear yourself away from. It's my favorite Monet painting! Something about the reds and blues and the peacefulness of it all calmed me and spoke peace into my heart. All of the worries I had went away and the only thing I heard were the sweet words of John Hiatt coming from my ipod. I was completely enveloped. I could live those few moments forever.

I had this odd sense that no matter what I get done and don't, or what happens during the day God will make sure everything is just as it should be. I felt like this sunset was a secret for me, something only I saw, anyone else could see it, if only they had peeked out their windows to see. It was a reminder of saying to me, "Look at what I have created, and look at what I have given to you... All of this is for you." It's for all of us really. What an amazing gift.Sometimes I find it hard to stop and look around with so many worries, and so many tasks to do. I'm glad I took the time to look.

Have a blessed night. Remember to take a few minutes to enjoy what God gave us!


Monday, October 6, 2008

Just Because

4 things I did today
1. Went to the doctor to have my ears cleaned out:(
2. Went to Olympia with my mom: got new pants and a purse.
3. Finally made the apple pie I've been putting off making
4. Had dinner with Josh's parents.

4 things on my to do list
1. Take two flights tomorrow one to boise to close on our apartment, and one home after everything is done.
2. Figure out how to get through tomorrow's schedule.
3. Plan for this weekend's session.
4. Look for a new apartment.

4 of my guiltiest pleasures
1. Stalking blogs that I love while I should be doing other things.
2. Watching Reba and Golden Girls.
3. Cuddling our kitty Cairo even when she tries to run away.
4. Obsessively planning for sessions.

4 random facts about me
1. I love everything about magazines. The way they feel, smell, everything.
2. I love going for drives
3. I think about things to write about before I blog.
4. I love Vanilla Chai Teas from All Wrapped Up!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

I love my husband!

Last Saturday I had the privilege of photographing Megan and Scott, like I said in the previous post. I had told Josh a couple days earlier that I wanted to do something more romantic together. With all our moving around and such, and the lack of funds we really try to stick around home and find things to do, like rent a movie instead of going to the theater. I came home from Megan and Scott's session to find Josh making dinner. I knew this was going to happen, but didn't know that he had a surprise waiting for me. My darling husband had set up a candle light dinner outside on the picnic table. The food was wonderful, the company was wonderful. This is one reason why I love him. It was freezing outside, but so worth it. Here is his beautiful dinner and a picture of his wonderful set up!

Cinnamon Pancetta Carbonara

Josh's set up!

This carbonara was sooo good! Tonight I made Sweet Potato Ravioli with Lemon Sage Butter. No pictures tonight. The ravioli wasn't as pretty as in the magazine. I just hate that! I hope you have a wonderful day!

Alyssa and Josh too!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Hello Everyone!

Megan and Scott have made their debut on my photography blog, and I just wanted those of you who check this and not my other one to be able to take a look! head on over!

I hope all of you in the little town of Montesano are enjoying this beautiful weather we are having. Isn't it glorious? I will blog soon... I hope. I'm trying to figure out something cool to talk about!

Have a beautiful rest of the day. God Bless!


Monday, September 22, 2008

Please Pray

I know this is a little late to be posting this, but just a quick note! Josh has an interview today with Cowlitz County PUD. He's a little nervous. I am too! If you could please say a little prayer that he does well that would be wonderful. He is already surrounded by so many wonderful people praying for him, but a few more prayers couldn't hurt. I will post more later! Thank you so much. Have a blessed Monday!


Friday, September 12, 2008

Random Thoughts

I don't have anything to blog about really, but I thought I would let you see a few of the thoughts that go on in my head on a day to day basis. I've always been a doodler, my mom is too. I doodle while I talk on the phone, will I watch movies, basically whenever I feel like I'm not busy enough with whatever else I'm doing. I usually have to be doing something with my hands to be content. Josh asks why I can't just sit and watch a movie. I get to antsy. I always need to be doing something else. So, like I said here are some of the thoughts that I had the other day as I was on the phone with the leasing office of our apartment and while I was searching the internet because I was bored.

The new biz cards!

The close up
Hope you have a wonderful, blessed Sunday!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

My Bucket List

I think as we grow older and work over comes our lives we tend to forget about the things that we wanted as a child, and even the things we really want as adults. There are always the immediate wants, and even needs that we come upon on a daily basis. For instance we need more laundry detergent, we need more food in the refrigerator, and we always need more money. And while those things are needed we rarely stop and take just a few minutes to think about what we really want in life. Some things we really want are material things, and others are not. I don't see anything wrong with wanting a few material items. I love gadgets of all sorts, and I love lots of different things, but there has to be room for those other things that make us happy as well, and things that we can do to make others happy also. So, with our current state in this seemingly never ending nomadic lifestyle that Josh and I have become so accustomed to, I have had some time to really think about some of the things I want in life. Some are probably unachieveable, and my life will be no less special in the eyes of God and in the eyes of friends because I didn't finish everything on my list, but I'd at least like to check off a couple. At least just to enjoy life a little more and leave with the satisfaction that I did a few things. So here is my bucket list. At least the first 100 things on my bucket list.

These are in no particular order of importance, I just typed what came to me in the moment. I'm sure there will be a hundred more things I want to do tomorrow. You don't have to read through this whole post, because I know it's long, but if you do, I hope some of the things I have written stirs a desire within you to take the time and do the same. Take the time to realize your dreams. They are beautiful.

1. Make a difference in someone else’s life.
2. Spend a whole day lying in a field of grass with not a care in the world.
3. Celebrate a birthday at a wine bar in Italy.
4. Read all the books want to.
5. Own a villa in Provence, France or Tuscany, Italy.
6. Go on a wine tour through either of above countries, or Napa California.
7. Find a niche I can carve out for myself in photography.
8. Find a way to use my profession to give to families that are dealing with Parkinson’s.
9. Be the person God wants me to be.
10. Always do things that would make my dad proud.
11. Write a book.
12. Have children
13. Raise my children to be good and moral human beings.
14. Read my bible more.
15. Learn how to speak French and Italian
16. Laugh more.
17. Love more.
18. Spend an entire evening having conversation with friends and/or family over a delicious meal, and amazing wine.
19. Really take the time to learn yoga.
20. Dig deep and find who I am as a creative person and what I want.
21. Buy that 5D I’ve been drooling over.
22. See Paris again.
23. If I do go back, get up the guts to buy something wonderful to bring back.
24. Find peace within myself.
25. Never stop learning and gaining wisdom.
26. Become a better photographer.
27. Be a person that someone else looks up to.
28. Let my friends and family know how much they have touched my heart.
29. Have wonderful relationships with friends, family, and even my clients.
30. Continue to be me.
31. Continue to improve the person that I am becoming.
32. Go Sailing.
33. Be a good wife.
34. Be a good mother.
35. Go to Washington DC.
36. See a Van Gogh painting in person.
37. Learn to bake better!
38. Dress amazingly.
39. Try Sushi
40. Run barefoot
41. Build our dream home.
42. Take more bubble baths
43. See Michael Buble, Billy Joel, and Tom Petty in Concert.
44. Write more.
45. Visit the museums I’ve always wanted to see.
46. Learn to sing La Vie En Rose in French, not just English.
48. Be a master organizer.
49. Take a 103 day cruise with my husband.
50. Swim with dolphins.
51. Create something.
52. Take photos people fall in love with and can’t get enough of.
53. Donate a lot of money to causes I believe in.
54. Have breakfast in bed.
55. Go to a bed and breakfast and spend the entire day in bed if I want to.
56. Paint more.
57. Feel inspired.
58. Actually do the things at Christmas that I’ve always wanted to do.
59. Have a Great Love.
60. Leave behind words and a life to encourage others and inspire them.
61. Live well
62. Learn to dance.
63. Keep the friendships I have, but build new ones as well.
64. Learn to ski.
65. Spend a Christmas in the mountains with close family.
66. Find the time to scrapbook.
67. Spend the money on the wonderful creative things I see online.
68. Drive Faster.
69. Become a member of the SWAT team. (Childhood aspirations).
70. Help someone in a significant way. Not for me, but for them.
71. Listen to Christmas music with my kids, starting in February.
72. Be young at heart.
73. Keep the dreams I’ve always had, and never let go of them.
74. Achieve some of my childhood dreams just like Randy Pausch would want me to do.
75. Swim in the Mediterranean again. And next time don’t be so scared of running around topless.
76.Make memories.
77. Eat pizza on the sidewalk in the middle of the night in Rome again.
78. Go to Greece.
79. Name my kids weird names that no one else will like because they aren’t as cool as me.
80.Have a rose garden.
90. Spend time on the front porch with my coffee, my husband and my rocking chair.
91. Don’t be afraid to fail, and don’t be afraid to succeed.
92. Always tell my children how wonderful they are, and give them encouragement.
93. Buy the bathtub couch from Breakfast at Tiffany’s and put it in my office.
94. Design children’s clothes that are beautiful and simple.
95. Learn about people. Always listen with an open heart.
96. Always see the wonders that God has created and try not to take it for granted.
97. Be stronger.
98. See the winter and summer Olympics in person.
99. Continue to love the job that I am doing, and continue to be inspired by the people I work with.
100. Have a beautiful and full life.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Look What My Wonderful Husband Made!

So, It has been a decade again, and I am working up some stuff to write about, but I'm not quite there yet. In the mean time I would like to make you jealous by showing you what my wonderful husband made me (and him) of course for dinner the other night. Josh is a huge fan of Mexican food, and while I'm not, I usually get forced into trying most things because Josh wants it so much. We are having Tamales soon, at Josh's request, I'm not really looking forward to it, but I'm sure I will end up liking it in the end, like I did with this meal. These are Flautas from a special interest magazine put out by Better Homes and Gardens. This magazine, we only have one copy mind you, is a must have for Josh. I cannot believe how many times he has looked at the pages, and he has reminded me many times that I am NEVER, and I repeat, NEVER aloud to get rid of it. So, I'm assuming that we will be willing it to one of our children, or even a grandchild when the time comes to pass it on. Yes, it is that important to him, i am sure.

Like usual, I was very leery about this meal, but I was completely and pleasantly surprised that I actually really liked what Josh made. Not that he never makes anything good, he is a great cook, but like I said, I'm not a huge fan of Mexican food. I'm looking forward to having them again sometime. So, without further delay, Josh's beautiful meal. He even plated the meal just so, to make the food look even more delicious than the picture in the magazine. Thank you so much sweetheart for the wonderful meal! I love you so much!

I promise, for those of you who are interested, I will have something entertaining to talk about soon. I'm working up something good. I can feel it coming. I hope you are having a wonderful Sunday!

God Bless,


Thursday, August 7, 2008

Because Maybe I'll Need It Again Some Day!

I'm wondering how two people can collect so much "crap," I mean completely valuable things in such a short amount of time of being married. On the 24th, Josh and I will have been married for 9 months... I think I counted right. And I cannot even begin to fathom how much "valuable" irreplaceable stuff we have purchased within the span of these nine months. I do have to admit that we started collecting well before we got married. We started purchasing things together while we were in Germany last year, so almost 8 months before we were married we were already gathering this items, in preparation to display them proudly throughout our house. But, the real question is, "How much of this stuff has any value, and how much of it do we actaully take pride in?" I could probably do away with half of this stuff and not miss it, but there is that small chance that I may need it, and why buy it again later if I already have it now?

I remember as a child I refused to get rid of anything. Barbies, dolls, dress up clothes, crayons and markers were pushed strategically into my bedroom closet, and held captive in there for years in fear that they would all come rushing out if I was to open the door. My dad made shelves in my closet to hold "shoes" in other words, yes there were shoes on that shelf, but it was also a place to hold more stuff! I had stuff everywhere, and when I mean everywhere, I'm pretty sure that in every nook and cranny there were remnants of me. I had barbies in plastic containers, a load of dolls in the huge drawers that made up my bed. Not only did I have clothes in a dresser and my closet, but I also had another huge drawer under my bed full of clothes. Clothes were prominent in my life, although I look back now and wonder what I was thinking. I think all of us have those thoughts at some time. I had things in the extra bedroom, I'm sure stuff stashed away in my brothers room. And random things hiding throughout the house, and at least 5 pairs of shoes strewn throughout the house. Oh, what makes a house a home.

I remember going through things when my mom said it was time to get rid of some stuff and just bewildered at what to get rid of. Everything I had, had some sort of sentimental value. "Grandma gave me that for my birthday when I was five." I would say with a look of shear horror as my mom would start to place it in the "Get rid of"box. She would reply with the, "Grandma won't mind if you get rid of it." Have you asked her yourself? I would think sarcastically. My grandma died when I was eight or nine. It's sad that it's been so long I can't remember. Alas, I would end up with half of the stuff from the get rid of box going through it after my mom walked away. My brother was worse though, he kept absolutely every toy he ever owned and put up a huge fight when he was told whatever he had needed to go. I'm pretty sure he kept broken toys... Just in case.

When I moved to Germany I found out what I could live without and what I needed. I had the necessities while I was in Germany. I had a bed to sleep on, blankets, a pillow, I was clothed and fed everyday. I had my camera, I cannot live without one, and I had Josh. Sure I had a few things that I didn't absolutely need. I had a few books, and I had my pictures of my family, that falls more into the category of need, and my mom had sent a sketch book and art supplies. I was in heaven. I lived life without being surrounded by possessions and I felt free, like I could do anything because I wasn't tied down. But somehow it ended up taking a few days to get all that stuff boxed up when it was time to go. I had collected things from around Europe and somehow my crap-valuable things expanded.

And while I would like to live a life of freedom and not have things to weigh me down, I am the first one to say I like pretty things too much not to buy them when I can. I think I like too many different things to never have anything around. I like trinkets, furniture, art, clothes, books just to have books, jewelry, cameras, shoes and electronics. These are the things that surround me now, and these are the things I'm thinking of torching before Josh gets back from school today. The things that bother me the most are those little odds and ends that don't really have a box to go into, so I end up with this small box of Miscellanous (that's how I label it) valuable things and sometimes not, that I don't know where to put, little tiny things like a button for this, or a lid for this. Why aren't they with their companions? Well, I already boxed it up, or I don't know where their companions have gone off to for the time being.

My friend Kendra gave some good advice and told me to start with a room and work from there. I have that in mind when I start, but I've never been one to go from room to room. More power to her that she can do that, but apparently I am to ADD to stick with one place. My mind wanders to something else I need to do, and I abandon that box in the bedroom for the one in the kitchen. Josh followed me around all afternoon yesterday turning off lights in rooms I wasn't in because I had been flitting about so frequently I'd just leave the light on until I got back. Not good.

So, I'm here alone again today, while Josh is at school. I'm taking refuge for a few more minutes in the internet, dreading the start of seperating and boxing. I've done all of this myself, because as I told Josh last night. God just doesn't come down and pack it all for us. Someone has to make the packing happen, and that person is me. Josh said maybe if he prayed hard enough, God would pack up the apartment, but I don't think packing up our apartment is on the top of the list of things he needs to get done this week. So, I'm left doing the labor as Josh supervises as he does so well. Like I said, I could just dump it and tell him God already took care of it and the boxes are already packed in the trailer! That's definitely an idea I am willing to consider.

So where do we find the happy medium? Where do we find that balance of keeping things streamlined but having enough of the stuff that makes us feel like we are at home? I think that is all we want, a place that feels like only "ours." A place to call home. What is your home like? Do you collect things and never put them out? And then collect more? Or do you minimalize? Have a wonderful Thursday! We're getting closer to the weekend!

God Bless,


Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Save Me!

So, I can't remember if I mentioned packing up in my last blog, but I started last week, but didn't really get into it until yesterday. And today, I am sitting in a sea of boxes that seems never ending, and even worse than that, there still seems to be a sea of pardon my language, "crap" overflowing throughout this apartment... I've set up a make shift desk out of boxes. I could probably just use the table, but for some reason I hate sitting at the kitchen table to work. Josh has set up shop there, the printer and his laptop have called this area home for the last couple months. Leaving Josh and me to sit on the floor at the coffee table for dinner. Terrible I know, what would my grandmother think? The woman who refused to put the container of butter on the table, but instead took the time to place it gracefully in the bowl. My grandma was never a fashion faux pas, and I highly doubt she was anything less than perfect when it came to setting a table. I could be wrong though, but I doubt it.

Anyway, back on topic! There are a few things I hate in life. I know that is a strong word but there are a few things I absolutely cannot stand. Like when I misplace something and can't find it when I need it, but that's a whole different story. On the top of my list is packing. I cringe at the thought, I'm in a bad mood the entire time, and I think of ways to get rid of our stuff... Ways like lining up a big garbage truck and dumping it all out the window, burning our things in the middle of the living room. Leaving all our stuff here and just getting new stuff later. I think better about all of these, and pack with hostility. I know I should just let it go, but it's soo soo aggravating to me! Anyway, obviously I'm taking a break from packing so I don't go crazy! I hope you are enjoying your week! Say a little prayer for me that I don't go insane! Here is a picture of my progress and a cool one, I think of me!

UPDATE: I'm packing again today, but haven't started. I'm sitting in that sea of boxes again wondering where to begin! Any suggestions?! Have a great Wednesday!

God Bless!


Friday, August 1, 2008


My father in-law asked me how girls can drag their birthdays out for a whole week, getting random things from friends every day in the week leading up to your actual birthday. Not so for me this year. I got my birthday present from Josh a month ago. So no surprise from him, but my mom and brother are flying in, in about two hours to spend the weekend with us! YAY! Only bummer about this weekend? I'm turning 21 and I probably won't be able to have a drink. My license expires on Sunday, my birthday, I sent for an extension (this nice piece of paper that says that in fact I am twenty one and I can still be using my license) but I have yet to see it. So this magical piece of paper needs to show up today, or tomorrow.... I'm really thinking I'm out of luck. I'm a huge loser... Why don't I just get a license here in Idaho? I have to take the written test and I think the drive test to do it. I don't use this word alot, but DUH. I'm telling you all this because I want some sympathy... I'm not huge on drinking, but I've been looking forward to having a drink with dinner and not being the party pooper all the time. I've waited 21 years, isn't that long enough? Well, gotta go get ready! Have a wonderful Friday!

Hopefully there will be pictures to come!
God Bless!


Thursday, July 31, 2008

The Perfect Age?

I haven't posted in what seems like forever. And the last thing I posted I think was to tell you all to go see my photography blog. Well, today I have something to talk about. Yes, I know, shocking, considering that I haven't had too much to say while Josh and I have been here. But, my "sanity" will be restored shortly when Josh and I head back to the motherland we affectionately call Washington. I don't like Idaho, and I have kept that no secret from people who have asked me this question. I've enjoyed my time here, I am by no means miserable. I love the weather, and I love waking up in the morning knowing that today it will be nice, and there is a 99% chance that tomorrow will be nice too. I like being in the middle of everything and I like going out to places to eat, but aside from those three things, I haven't found much else to like. I've met a few people, all josh's friends from school, I like them, but I haven't made the effort to make friends here. I noticed quickly that the majority of the people I've come across here are not friendly, people in the apartments here keep their blinds closed and when you pass them in the parking lot they can't even seem to muster a hello or even a vague smile. But, this is not what I'm here to talk about today. No! Here's what I'm really here to talk about.

On Sunday I turn 21, finally. And while I'm looking forward to this birthday more than I have all the other ones, I'm not overly excited. No, I don't dread getting older, while I look back on my childhood with this overwhelming nostalgia at the same time I welcome each new year with open arms excited to see what new things I can experience and what new things I can learn. I remember as a child telling my mom that I didn't want to get older, I wanted to be five forever. Being five was perfect. I look back on it and realize it really was. But my mom would always find a way to help me segue into my next stage (and age) without being traumatized. Moms are good like that. I do find myself saying goodbye to the 12, 16, 18 and 20 year old with a sort of sadness in my voice. A closing off point that seems like I'm saying goodbye to that part of me, I will never be that age again, and I will never experience things again in that moment, and at that age. But then I say, "Hello!" to my new age and find I'm determined to love where I'm at.

I've always wondered what the perfect age is. At 5 we are still babies and everything is done for us, but we lack the responsibility and the independence that we long for, the same for being 10 and so on. We spend our childhoods longing for that day when we are old enough to go and do things by ourselves but once we get there we find ourselves wanting back the days of simple times and pure untainted and unjaded joy. We are always striving to be older. 10 is huge, you are no longer in the single digits, for some reason 12 is pretty big, you're a tween, right? 13 is enormous! I remember getting a 13 inch tv with a VCR for my thirteenth birthday 14 and 15 pass without too much excitement, but 16 we've been waiting for since we were 5 and we could almost comprehend what driving was. Those comments when you were young about, "Wow! your six now? You should be driving soon!" Are no longer excrutiatingly far away, but right there before you... You can touch it now, those people lied when they said soon.

And so the world goes, next we look forward to 18, then 21. And then we think we've arrived...

But have we? There is so much more to age than just what you can do once you reach them, and there will always be an age that you have yet to reach that will have some advantage that you can't have right now. But then we reach a certain age when getting older, and waiting impatiently for that next stage is no longer a part of us. We turn to dreading the next year. Most dread turning thirty, and of course turning forty is terrible.

With age comes experience and wisdom and I am so excited to attain that. To experience life and enjoy it is something I strive for. Life is such a gift and I am so excited to enjoy this gift God gave me!

So with that said, is there really a perfect age? At anytime in life do we have everything?

Have a wonderful day everyone!!

Little Alyssa

Little Alyssa

Fashion Sense


This is scary


Me at almost 21!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Head On Over

To my photography blog! There is a new picture from last weekends crashcourse. There probably won't be a picture on here today. I want you to check out the other blog... Seriously, go there now! The link is on the right! Have a wonderful day today!

God Bless!


Tuesday, July 22, 2008

More, More, More

So, in continuation with my revamp, I decided to go with a list of new things you will see in the coming months. It's going to take me a bit to get everything done that I want to get done, so bare with me, this is a journey! So, also in continuation with this my photography blog mention yesterday I'm going to post this on there, so at least I have something over there. I haven't blogged since March 24, about my photography. Sad... So, this picture is one of my favorites, I like a little more off beat photos, I like the intimacy of photos like this one. I'm giving Lizzybees the credit for this advertisement idea because she posted it first!

Revamp pic


Monday, July 21, 2008


So I came home from my adventure in Texas this weekend with a new excitement and passion for photography. I came away with more knowledge in my one day spent with Shauna than I ever did while I was in school. My head was full of business and photography, creativity and determination to get my little photography business off the ground. I probably felt almost every emotion I could have felt after being thrown nearly ten years of experience into one day. I felt excited, overwhelmed, full of information, confused as to how to sort it out, happy that I might just be able to pull this whole thing off, nervous that I might not be able to. Pumped at the things I can do, and a little down that I don't have everything that I need, but knowing it just takes time to improve.

I'm a person that wants everything perfect right now, but I realized I can do the best that I can do with what I have, and I do have alot! So, I'm revamping! New business and new art. All improved and different. In the months to come you will see products, and prints, you'll see more of me, lucky you! And hopefully I will get to see more of you. First thing I really need to check off my list, actually writing on my photography blog. So for those of you who check this blog, go check my photography blog. The link is on the page on the right. So I'm working away the rest of this summer and trying to get everything finished so I can be happy and I can make you all happy! Here is a photo from this weekend. Hope you like it.

Crash Course Photo

Friday, July 11, 2008

Yummy Cheesecake Pops!

My project didn't turn into a disaster! These are cheesecake pops. Yes, there is cheesecake inside, covered in chocolate and then sprinkles. Good for a party. The whole recipe makes 30-40 pops, but there was no way I could fit that all into my freezer. I think I ended up cutting the recipe in half and then left some cheesecake just to eat. It is so nice to accomplish something I didn't think I could do. I don't know if it's quite a masterpiece, yet, but I'm sure I will be giving it another try! They are so yummy, but eating more than one could probably kill a person! Here are a couple pictures! Hope you like them=)

Aren't they pretty?! I just love the colors.

Yes, I did do this on purpose. I wanted all the colors to blur together.

K, I should be done blogging for the day! Have a great day!

Another Sneak Peek For The Toyra Women!

So, I know how much torture people go through while waiting to see photos. I waited 6 or 7 weeks for our wedding photos, but knew what kind of work goes into post processing... That wasa little compensation:) So, I thought I would let the girls see a little more proof of their beauty! Girls, I hope you like them as much as I do. There are so so many! I'm at 110 so far! Enjoy!

I love that her hair is all messy, and her eyes look so beautiful!

This is classic. I love this...

I want to let you girls know that I'm working hard to get these done and have them be perfect! Hope you like them.

And later: pictures of my "project"

God Bless!


Thursday, July 10, 2008

The makings of a Masterpiece... Or a disaster?

So right now I'm taking a break from editing photos, so I thought I would post a photo of what I'm doing today. Now, I've taken up a little project I found on a few random blogs because I loved what I saw. So like the title of this post, this little project will either be a masterpiece or a disaster. I'm leaning more toward the disaster area. I'm using the lollipop sticks that you see here, and if you took the time to look, I'm sure you didn't but just in case you did, they were listed on the list of things to do the other day. Endless excitement right? I figured, nothing was frusturating me today, why not try this out?! We'll see if I should just stick with editing photos or become a triple threat... I have to be good at three things, though, for that... Right? Anyway, this is scary old me. Josh was kind enough to take a picture... I think I will stay behind the camera from now on!

So, what do you think I'm making, I'd like to hear all about it!

Have a great day!


Tuesday, July 8, 2008

I actually do, do things...

So, I'm the first to admit that I have a little bit of a "Type A" personality, and I love organization,feeling productive, and I love working. I know that there are always days where going to work seems like the worst thing in the world, but I never feel more myself when I'm hard at work actually feeling like I'm doing something and being a part of something bigger. So, while I've been her I've been super bored, and a little depressed that I haven't done anything. I know, I should probably get a job, but that's coming, and I have been keeping busy, it's just not the busy that I'm used to... work... If I'm not being productive, I'm completely wasting the day, and my dad thought the same way. If I'm not up before a certain time, I might as well just forget it...
I remember getting up early in the morning on the weekends to chop firewood with dad. We would roll out of bed, decide against brushing our teeth and crawl into jackets and boots. We would stash away that idea to put on clothes and just throw everything on over our pajamas in hopes of getting to jump back into bed. No such luck. I find myself judging my self worth on how much I am doing, and how much I am getting in return, this is probably unhealthy, but I thrive on productivity. It's so invigorating.

So, I decided to take a few minutes to write down the things that I needed to do today, and check them off as I went along. Since I took this picture, a couple more things are in progress. I still feel blah today for not doing much, probably because it took me so long to do these things. Have you ever felt this way?!
I made dinner and I'm editing photos too. I need some cuddle
time too! I'm not sure I'm up for laundry, though.

This is what we had for dinner. Clean Tostadas. My friend
Shauna put this on her cooking blog. We had this a couple weeks
ago, but inhaled it before I could get a picture. SOOO good.

This was a recipe for Grilled Cheese and Cherries. It is alot
prettier than it tastes... I didn't like it:( Won't make it again.

So I'm working on a little something with the lollipop sticks mentioned on my list. I'm really excited, I just need the talent to do it! Hopefully, this week I will be able to accomplish my goal of creating the masterpiece!

I hope you have a blessed Tuesday


Monday, July 7, 2008


I had the wonderful opportunity of photographing my cousins this weekend while Josh and I were home for the fourth of July. Like most Fourth of July weekends in Washington it was rainy off and on. Our session was scheduled for Saturday, and when we all woke up on Saturday morning to rain not only at the lake where Josh and I were staying, but in town too, we decided around 1:00 that is just wasn't going to happen. So, we squeezed in the session yesterday morning before Josh and I made our eight and a half hour drive back to Boise. It was worth it, though. I'm loving the photos, there are just so many to choose from! So I took pictures of these wonderful ladies because Billie, the older sister, is heading off to Washington D.C. in August to attend American University. Can you believe that?! One day people could be voting "Billie Toyra" for office. The sky is the limit with this girl, I am so proud and so amazed at not only her excitement for it, but determination as well. I am so proud of her. I probably won't get to see her until Thanksgiving if not later... Depending on where Josh and I end up living.

Little sister Josie is carefree and loves the camera, she keeps everyone laughing. And mom Roni Sue is the super talented, super creative magician wedding coordinator, who just happened to do the Josh and Alyssa Lillegard wedding back in November.

These ladies are all so beautiful and so much fun. My family is my life! Thank you girls for giving me the opportunity to take your photos! Here are a few favorites!

Aren't they all so beautiful!? Anyway, I hope you enjoy the photos! Have a wonderful Monday. God Bless.


Thursday, June 26, 2008

Things I Adore

I've been spending some time looking at pretty things this morning, things that makes me smile and things that make me happy. While things aren't the only thing that make me hapy (that would be sad) I have to admit that I adore pretty and wonderful things. So, I thought why not post a little blog about the things I adore, and I'm hoping you will write down a few things too. I've only been getting comments from this wonderful girl named Nicole, and while I absolutely adore her and her comments, I want to hear more about you people... The few people that read this. So here goes. I use the word adore here instead of love be cause I love the word adore. Does that make sense? Here goes.

adore: 1. To love somebody deeply: to love someone intensely
2. To like something very much: to like someone or something very much.

*Magazines, paper, cards and stationary. I know that's way more than one, buare all paper products. This falls into a bit of an obssession area. If I could I would probably subscribe to almost every magazine out there. I love the way the pages feel, the smell, all the new excitement in new magazines, and I clip things out and keep things I like, and that inspire me. And I have another obsession with all things stationary and card related. I have to pick the perfect card with the perfect design whenever I get a card for someone.

*Large bath towels... That are soft... Back before Josh and I got married I went through stores picking out my favorite colors. I found these great dark teal Nate Berkus (Oprah's interior designer on the show) towels that were like half off. I adore them. Josh hates teal and turquoise, and pink.... and purple for that matter, but I think he is okay with these towels.

*Glorious bedding. We're too poor to buy some really fluffy gorgeous bedding, but I love gorgeous bedding. I love sheets too. For the wedding we got a couple of sets of 400 count sheets:) ahh..... I like bed frames too... different types.

*Flowers. Mostly roses. I want a huge rose garden. I also love orchids, peonies, lilacs, daisies, daffodils and poppies just to name a few. Oh, and Alyssums are pretty sweet too. ;)

*Cherries. It's cherry season, and we aren't home where I can get a huge bag and devour them within a half hour. I usually got a couple bags a week. I'd make myself sick from eating them, but I forget easily, and I can't get enough of them. We bought two small bags last weekend. And when I say small they were just a pound each, but they were much better from the farmers market than the grocery store. We also got organic bananas from Ecuador, and dried mango! (As I was eating my banana my brother told me that tarantula's sometimes grow in there. But the said he was lying) of course I almost died.

*paints and canvases. There is nothing like these two things. They hold so much promise and can create so much beauty. Not so much on my paintings, but on others. I love the look of paint on a canvas, it warms my heart.

*Iced tea. Josh calls me "the connoisseur of tea" wherever I go I have tea and the I analyze it. I don't like lemony iced tea, although I do occasionally like a lemon in it (not with the recent findings, though) I very rarely put in sugar, and my absolute favorite tea I've ever had is at BJ's Pizza in Lahaina, Maui. Next is Cheescake Factory. I like that little bit of minty fruit flavor. Sad, huh?

* Cameras, I don't think anything gets me as excited as I get when I see a beautiful old or new camera. They are beautiful. There is a Canon 40D down at Best Buy

*Movies: They are such an escape, I love everything about them. I want to be a movie critic, but I would like most everything, so I don't think that would work.

*Interior decorating. I love these types of magazines the best. I love paints and furniture decor I love it all. Maybe I should do that?

*Old books. I love falling apart, old smelling books. Classic books are my favorite. When we were in Rome we came across this book/ thrift store type thing. We spent forever in there looking at different things. We came out with a few things, a couple Roman holiday posters, some old albums and a book of Shakespere's plays all in Italian!

*My husband. Of all these things I adore him the most. We have our problems, but he is so good to me. The other day he went to take the garbage out and had picked a leaf for me because he couldn't find a flower. He felt bad it wasn't something more pretty,but the thought was wonderful. I love my leaf. I even took pictures to document it.

These are just a few things I love. I could proably go on forever and ever. What do you love? Send me some things! I'm begging here! I will leave you with a couple pictures. I keep a file on my laptop of "Things I Love" here's a peek at a few things that are tucked away:

The Hasselbad Camera

Two loves books and interior design (Domino Mag)

Iced Tea! Photo from

Tell me about some of the things you adore/love!

God Bless!


Monday, June 23, 2008

Kyle's Photo Shoot!

Finally, finally, finally I had someone to photograph.... I've been dying to get some pictures to work with, some pictures of a realy person. I take photos of Josh every once in awhile, but Josh loses interest quickly and lets me know it.

This weekend my mom and brother came down to Boise to spend the weekend visiting, eating, taking photos, and going to the movies! All were fun by the way. I took the first group of Kyle's senior photos yesterday. I know it's early, and by the time June rolls around next year he will be so much more grown up, but from this set we can get a headshot for the yearbook! I can't believe Kyle is already a senior, and it's even harder to believe that he will be 18 in August.

It seems like just yesterday that we were making treasure maps together. Me, wanting them to be more authentic so I would be lighting the edges on fire to create that burnt old look, and Kyle observing naively only then to be handed the flaming piece of paper because I was scared after it caught fire. Luckily he didn't end up with third degree burns, but this weekend he claimed that he has nerve damage in his hand and is more immune I guess you would say to pain in his one hand due to the scorching fire I accidently started.

Anyway, back on topic. Kyle, my mom, Josh and I all headed downtown to the city center of Boise to take pictures. Where Josh and I live, in the newer part of town, everything is new developments and sod farms. Bleh. So we went down to see what we could see. And we found! We found old buildings, doors, some steps and alot of hot weather!
Thank you for being such a great model kyle! It was so much fun! I love you so much! Here are some of my favorites!

This was nice=)

Had to throw this one in there.

I can't get this one to work with a watermark or get it big!

What's going on? But here it is anyway, just small.

Isn't he a good lookin' guy! Thanks so much kyle! More work to do! Have a wonderful day and let me know what you think!

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