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Wednesday, January 30, 2013


Boy has it been a busy last couple of weeks!  One of the biggest moment in my hobby/sort-of-professional career in photography happened this past weekend.  If you didn't already know, because I plastered it all over my personal and photography Facebook page, I displayed my work at my first exposition! 

Yup, that's me in all my nervous, smiling glory in front of my just set up exhibit.  I almost look like I know what I am doing, don't I?  In all honesty I had an amazing time.  It was great to actually talk about my photography.  When people came up to my booth I would let them look at my photos and try and guess where they were taken before telling them the correct answer.  It was almost like a "how well do you know the Northeast Kingdom" quiz and people loved it.  Some people even bee-lined for me, saying they had been following me on facebook with fervor.  How cool is that?  I got to meet virtual fans in real life!

Now the whole exposition thing wasn't just easy-peasy.  I had a lot of set up to do for it.  Since I had never done one before there were a lot of things I had to buy up front.  I needed something to display my framed works on.  An inventory to sell, and little things like a table cloth and lightning were all extra costs for the first show.  While I didn't make back everything I spent I think I did really well considering it was my first show.  After it all I at least have inventory and the set up for when I do my next exposition.

Yes, next exposition.

I haven't signed up for one yet, but come this spring/summer I plan on doing another one or two at least when towns start having outdoor fairs.  It was just too much fun to only do once...  Plus, I get so super excited and think that maybe I'll just be a step away, a handshake away, or a sale away from making it into the big-leagues.  

One can dream, right?

Until then, I'll just settle for this little bit of exposure!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Keeping it Off

A year ago I embarked on my weight loss journey.  I was heavier than I had ever been at any point in my life.  The baby weight had clung to my waist, hips, and thighs and refused to 'melt off' like everyone claimed it would.  My self esteem was at an all time low and I had to do something about it.

Fast forward a year and I am in better shape, slimmer, and healthier than I have ever been.  How?  Well, somehow, even with an infant that has morphed into a toddler, I make half an hour a day for myself to exercise.  Whether its the gym or getting in five or ten minutes on the elliptical at a time while Emily terrorizes the living room I somehow squeeze it in.   Its become a habit. 

Bottom line you have to make it part of your routine.  You take a shower everyday, do your hair, and put on make-up.  Why can't you exercise everyday? 

You can.

I think the easiest thing about making the habit of exercising stick is to do it every. single. day.  When you don't skip a day or two a week in your regular regimen you aren't as tempted to skip an extra day, just like because you shower everyday you don't like to skip a shower even if you're not in the mood.  It becomes what you do everyday.  You start to feel good, just like after a nice warm shower.  

And if someone says they don't have the time to exercise I don't want to hear it...  I work a full time job, have my own growing business, work part time, am classes after school to keep my certifications, raising a toddler, and have a clean house.  ...okay, maybe my laundry is a little out of control, but I hate folding laundry.  There is always time... even for fifteen or twenty minutes.  

So, that's it.  The key to keeping it off is just keeping at it.  Making the habit, keeping the habit, and forgoing excuses.  Exercising has become as much a part of my life as making dinner or taking a shower and I think I owe my success to that. 

Six months ago and now... I thought I hadn't been losing weight (honestly the scale hadn't moved more than a couple of pounds) and I didn't think I was making progress at all.  It was discouraging and I wanted to slack off on exercising -- it would be so much easier, right?!  But, this is why I periodically take photos.  The difference is apparent, but hard to see from the inside.  When you feel down, unchanged, or discouraged look back at a past photo.  Sometimes the difference is right in front of you and you can't even see it!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

New Car Problems

Don't let the title throw you off.  I absolutely love my new car.  Its amazing.  It warms up in an instant.  Its comfortable.  And its nice.  But, its a very high tech car and it was its amazing computerization that led me to miss out on something cool the other day...

On my very short, one mile drive to work I get to listen to approximately two minutes of the radio.  During those two minutes every weekday they play an audio clip and listeners are suppose to call in and guess what movie the audio clip is from.  Since I hear the clips every day and since I have a baby and sit at home watching movies frequently I have called in and won twice in the last few months.  They always give away pizza and movie tickets.  However, the last couple of weeks they have really upped the ante on prizes.  They've been giving away a pair of ski passes every morning!

Now, I don't ski.  

At all.

I actually ended up as a patient in an ambulance with a severely sprained ankle that still has some weakness from the last time when I tried skiing. 

But, I am never one to let an injury or my irrational fear get me down, especially if its free.  That's my four letter word.  So, for the last three weeks I have been intently listening to every audio clip every morning in hopes of recognizing it and being the first one to call in.

After weeks of not even recognizing a single movie (they had picked obscure clips since the prizes were much more expensive than normal) I finally recognized one the other day.  It was a small, short line from the moving Being John Malkovich.  Excitedly I dialed the radio station and my phone connected immediately just as I put the car into park at work.  

This is where everything went awry...

To my horror the radio DJs voice blared over the car speakers as my phone, in its high tech automatic way, synced to my car's audio system.  One would think its a very handy thing, to have your phone automatically sync and blare your calls through the speakers except that it mutes your voice until you acknowledge that you want to speak openly in the car rather then into your phone.  Since my voice was muted the DJ said "hello?  hello?!" and then quickly hung up before I could even register how to unmute my fancy car phone.

The one time I knew the answer and got through my extra-fancy car was too high tech for me and blew my chances at getting ski passes.  Talk about 'first world problems'....  

And I have not recognized any movie sound clips ever since that moment either.  It figures. 

Sunday, January 13, 2013

I Want To Come Back

This is the view from our land up north. Our land sits empty and waiting for us to one day make something of it. I am dreaming of the day where I can sit next to the woodstove while looking out a picture window at this view. A day where I can watch the lenticular clouds form over the mountains as the sun dips down behind the snow covered landscape. I need to come back, not just visit.

Friday, January 11, 2013

A Big Suprise

My husband has never been the big romantic type.  I think I can count on one hand the time he has surprised me with flowers.  Occasionally he'll surprise me with my favorite French Onion Soup for lunch at work or bring home a little snack for me that he knows I'll love, but most of the time he is just as plain as can be when it comes to surprises and suspense.  That's just who he is and I am okay with that.  

Plus, I am a hard person to surprise.  With our crazy schedule and my (more than slightly) OCD personality I don't make it easy for him to whip out something unexpected to make me swoon.  

But today Shawn outdid himself.  

And I mean really outdid himself!  

My work days, especially lately, have been beyond hectic.  There is a lot going on and a lot constantly changing and much of my day is spent trying to stay caught up.  Mostly you can blame the fact that I have been given charge of the schedule for the nursing department.  While my personality lends itself for such a task it is incredibly stressful of late.  Over the last couple of weeks I've frequently stayed after work well after my normal end of business time and come in early.  Getting groceries has even been a challenge this week.  

Shawn was already being amazing enough, cleaning the house, cleaning out my car, and even making dinner when he hasn't been working.  Then today at work, late in the afternoon, Shawn randomly appeared in the hallway at work.  He was grinning and said "I need you to come outside for a minute."  I had no idea what he was talking about and began to follow him.  

Moments later we were outside and a new car appeared into view.  Shawn ushered me to get in.  I was stunned.  "A test drive?"  I asked him as I was overwhelmed by the smooth leather seats and glowing digital display.  It was way more car than I have ever had the privilege of sitting in before. 

"Nope.  This is yours"

I was stunned.  Mine?  This is mine?  As the words rang in my head I wondered where my old car was.  Shawn explained he had spent three days wheeling and dealing with this car, cleaning out my old car, and making the trade.  It was already done, finished, and wrapped up.  The car was mine to drive away when my work day ended. 

The car was everything I could have ever wanted.  Heated seats, leather, hands free phone, digital displays, heck it even has mood lighting!  I drove it gingerly around the block and parked it.  There were just so many buttons and options that I sat and looked at them, wondering over all the options my car possessed. 

To make the whole surprise even better Shawn informed me that when they connected my old car to the computer while he was making the trade it indicated that my transmission was shot.  Over the last nine months I had taken my car to the dealer complaining that I thought something was wrong with the transmission three times.  It just wasn't shifting right, not even since a couple months after I purchased it.  Each time they hooked it up to the computer they said the transmission was fine.  The third time they flushed the transmission just to appease me, but it still didn't shift right.  Now the dealer where my new car came from said not to worry and they would deal with the other dealership that was clearly neglectful.  So, I was unknowingly saved from a dangerous car as well. 
In the driveway once I got home from work!
Now, this just goes to show that sometimes the type of relationship where you don't always get dozens of roses and boxes of candy ends up being the one where the surprises are just a million times more thought out and meaningful.  I'm one lucky woman...

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Photos of 2012

I haven't talked a lot about my photography on here over the last year, but the truth is that my "business" has been growing little by little.  Each year I do more photo shoots than the last.  Each year I sell more prints than the last.  My facebook page has over ONE THOUSAND fans.  

That's crazy.

Honestly, I read every single comment on all my photos and sit back in amazement thinking 'man, are my pictures really that good?'.  Then I start thinking crazy things like being a famous photographer with a gallery and published book and nights where I speak in front of artsy crowds about photography composition. 

I like the way my father put it when I was last talking with him about my photos...Its a great hobby and the best thing about it is that it pays for itself.

So, I wanted to share a summary of some great photos I took over the last year.

I can't wait to see what photos of 2013 I'll capture....