30 is the new 20…

Oh goodness, I hope not. I turned 30 a couple of weeks ago, and the weeks leading up to that were a little bit of a rollercoaster.  I was happy to be done with my 20’s one minute, the next minute I would feel upset that I wasn’t “young” anymore.  See, I was looking at 30 through a 21 year old’s eyes.  30 was ancient to me. If I was to have a conversation with someone past 30 (and not a good friend) I subconsciously thought of it as unsolicited advice.  And I’m sure many will now see me as giving unsolicited advice.  And guess what….I’m okay with that.

Looking back at the last year, with the help of this little blog, I have realized a couple of things about myself and my life. For example…

#1. I have a crazy busy life! And I loved it that way! Absolutely loved it. In the last couple months I have figured out, that it’s not all it’s cracked up to be.  I felt that I needed to prove to myself and maybe one other (if I’m going to be completely honest)person that I could handle the world on my shoulders, and I’ve finally figured out that it’s not worth it.  I have cancelled my plans to continue on to my masters degree and instead am planning on taking the test for my professions certification.

#2. I am constantly searching for something to fulfill me.  Now, I don’t mean like a child, or a family, or a career. I mean something that is purely selfish and self-fulfilling.  I wanted to do something only for myself, that would make me happy. I didn’t care if it made anyone else happy.  I went through a running spree….the next great marathoner I was not! I started a blog…which is hit and miss for me sometimes. I’m walking this line of how much do I share, how much do I keep to myself? Do I keep my real personnality in check or do I just let it all hang out?  I wanted to buy a coffee shop, or open a day care! My most recent adventure in photography finally fit the bill though.  I know because I’ve been obsessed for over a year…that’s a decade in my time. Im not worried about if people will like my personal work, I mean I hope they do, but it’s not my #1 concern. I think I’ve finally found that one thing! Yay!

#3. I have a pretty awesome life. Like everyone I have had some very hard times, that I wouldn’t wish on even my worst enemy, but in between those hard times are great times!  I have been very blessed at work. I had an amazing boss who gave me plenty of good advice and reality checks. I have an awesome little boy who cracks me up at least hourly. He teaches me patience daily, and has pulled me through some of my hardest times in my life. He really is my heart. I have an amazing husband. We have gone through our hard times as any married couple will tell you they have if they are being honest, but were still here! He’s an amazing father. I never have to worry about going on travel for work, because he’s competent. That was very important to me when making my “list”.  I live comfortably. I don’t have to worry about how Im going to find food to put on the table, or how I’m going to clothe my family.

I’m looking forward to my 30’s.  I pictured myself knowing how to handle situations better, how to talk less and listen more, how to not take things so seriously, to rise above things. Basically I think that I’m going to be able to rise above myself and put more effort into the bigger picture.  I want to bring more babies into this world, and become more involved with the March for Dimes. I want to learn how to take better photographs and use off camera flash so that I can become involved with NILMDTS.  I want to build another house where we will stay forever. And I want to be comfortable with the decisions I make, and not look outwards for validation.  The 30’s will be great! Thank you everyone for joining me on this rollercoaster ride!

Sea World and My Hiatus

 Ahhhh….I’ve been on Hiatus for a while. I feel like I’ve been saying that every time I post for the past couple months. LOL! But what can I say! I’ve been living life! I do however look forward when it’s not so busy with the “musts” but full with the “I get to do what I want to do”, like post more often, take more photo’s, spend long nights at my parents pool, wander in the desert, all that good stuff. Soon! I’ll be done with school in December so I’m hoping for some time after that. That’s if I don’t roll straight into the masters program. Shhhhh!!! Not sure how many people will be happy with that decision, but sacrifice in the present will lead to benefits of plenty in the future.  Or that’s what I like to tell myself anyways!

 

So I owe you all a HELLO, well anyone that still reads this, but I’ll just let the polar bear wave for me. As you can tell we went to Sea World last weekend. I was in La Jolla for work last week so the family came down to spend some time at the amazing hotel and hit up Sea World. Sal and I also caught a football (soccer) game on Wednesday. We watched Real Madrid vs. Guadalajara Chivas. We had a great time, and Sal was like a giddy little school girl watching Christiano Ranaldo play. He had the camera and I think the majority of the pictures are of him. Which is fine by me!!!

Roman recently watched Free Willy from beginning to end and is now in love with whales. So we got up Friday morning and headed to Sea World to meet all of Sal’s sisters and kiddo’s.  We knew we had to see Willy (Shamu- but try telling Roman that) and didn’t have anything else planned. There were so many of us that we didn’t really make plans besides that. Before the show started we stopped to see the seals. We fed a couple of seals, and one blasted seagull that took a sardine right out of my hands. Damn him! LOL!

We saw Nemo and Dori too! 

I have a photography challenge coming up where I will be in low light so I tried my hand at high ISO with no flash. I thought it turned out pretty good. Not good enough, but not bad. Maybe a little more brightness in LR? Anyways, this was the shark exhibit that Roman loved. He usually runs through these tunnels not really paying attention, but this one had his full attention. What is it with guys and sharks? For any of you interested, it’s shark week right now. LOL!

Finally, in the artic area a beluga whale giving the crowd a show :).

First Day of School

Roman’s first day of school was last Monday. I know I’m a little late posting but I’ll get to the reason in a bit. For now lets chat about school….

Before the first day of school, we had talked to Roman about it. We told him about all the friends he would make, and all the playing he would do. He was excited! He was out the door before we were with his lunch box in hand.

He was in the Navigator ready to go!

Ahhh….and here he is with his Dad.  But wait….what is that you see???? Is that a half-smile half frown???

Awww…..there it is. The fear, the trepidation, the uncertainty!!! Yep. You can follow the emotions through the pictures. See, I’m not sure we explained that we would be back. Yeah, I left that part out as I was pumping up school.

Anyways, we walked him in. He sat down at a table and started playing a game with locks and keys. We talked to the teacher, said our goodbye’s and we were off. But there was still this uneasy feeling in my stomach. I kept telling everyone that I was probably more worried about it than him.  Ahhhhh…..but Momma knows best.  When I went to pick him up Roman and his teacher were sitting in the lobby waiting for me. I must have stopped dead in my tracks and looked like I got hit by a semi, because the teacher calmly told me that “Roman had a rough day”. Uh huh. So I said “what happened?”  The teacher then informed me that he started crying at 10:30 and it lasted for about 45 min. My heart sank. I asked Roman what was wrong when he told me “I’m mad at you Mamma”. I asked why and the reply was “because you went to work”.  SHATTER- My heart broke. I held back my tears as I told him it was okay and that I would always come and get him.

The rest of the week went the same way. Except there was hiding in the morning, yelling, and crying.  I couldn’t keep it together at work. My concentration was blown. I couldn’t eat (which shows on the scale now), I was crying off and on. Basically a hot mess. Not a good look.

This week however, has been much better. He still hesitates in the morning but hasn’t cried once. My mind and heart are right again. Which I’m sure my boss appreciates. 

So on to the other reasons I havent posted for a while (like that’s not enough or something!). Well here goes…my cousin is staying the summer with us. It’s a little hard adjusting to a 17-year-old living in the house and on the computer. Our new puppy is really sick. He’s eating dirt apparently and is currently sleeping at the vets. Sal went to Mexico (check the next blog). I had finals (two A’s). And hell…life was happening.

Well I know that this has been a long blog, and if you’re still reading….THANK YOU!!!

 

 

Like a Sponge

First off, I would like to say sorry to all of you that I usually comment on. I’ve been crazy busy lately, and really just havent wanted to be near the computer. I hope I caught up with some of you though! Hopefully more tomorrow. The weather is horrible right now and supposedly for the remainder of the week, so I’ll have plenty of time. The past week or so has been full of getting ready for taxes, finals, and Roman’s birthday. Super busy! I’m currently done with one final (ugh Western Civ II) and working on the paper for the next one.

Anyways, on to the title of the post! I have been thirsty for more EVERYTHING about photography lately. I found a couple of great tutorial sites about LR and natural light and….well everything that when I am on the computer and not doing homework at night I’m reading everything I can. I even put the photo of Roman’s crazy eyes in a Flickr critique group. And guess what!? It got ripped to shreds! Lol! But I’m happy about it! I was at a point for a couple of weeks where I was stuck. I know and knew that there is a ton more to learn, but I was stumped on what was next. Its like I saw all of these paths leading to a light, but wasnt sure what path I should take. So I think I’ve figured it out. Composition. I’ve learned the rule of thirds, now I need to pay attention to everything else in the photo too! Haha! Who woulduve thunk it? Ohh and I’m going to look into ISO. I hate going above 400 on my camera because they come out so grainy, and that’s usually not the effect I’m going for. I know you can get a good pic above this, but I havent figured out how to yet.  So much to learn!

Boy’s are always dirty at this age aren’t they? He was laughing so hard that I actually caught a smile! Oh and the garden pic…yeah those are toys at the end. So far this garden (there are two) has had a bike ride over it like it’s a freakin BMX track or something, a dog jump all over it, and dog poop on it. Oh and its supposed to freeze tomorrow night. After our 90 degree weather last week I was sure we were on to spring! Ugh!!! So far all I have got to grow IN the garden are cucumbers strawberries and radishes. Not sure they will be here after tomorrow night though. UGH! Oh well, to tell you the truth I really enjoy my time in the garden. Even if nothing grows. Okay…that’s a lie 🙂 I better get one cucumber, one strawberry and one radish at this point!

Versatile!!!!

That is the name of the award that was bestowed to me a couple of days ago by an amazing blogger/photographer/mommy and the list goes on. Her name is Holly and she writes Photo By Holly here at WordPress.  Everyone and anyone should definitely check out her page. She is a courageous person that is always positive, even in the face of adversity.  Thank you tons Holly!!!

The rules are simple.

1) Thank the person who honored you and give a link to their blog.

2) Tell 7 random facts about yourself.

3) Pass the award to 15 new found bloggers.

4) Contact each blogger onto whom you pass the award and let them know.

5) Let the giver of the award know you accept it or not.

Well let’s get to it! I have done #1 with no problem! 2 is much harder… Ummm…yeah…here we go.

1.  I always said I never wanted kids. Bahaha! Look at me now! I would have a bunch if I could.

2.  I eat at least one bag of gummy bears a night.

3.   My favorite movies are Disney Movies.

4.  I have only recently begun to enjoy shopping, but I hate spending money.

5.  I was in the Air Force, and have fired an M-16, Saw, 50 cal, as well as a bunch of other guns. I have a Berretta Tom Cat.

6.  I research and plan everything to death!

7.  I would rather drive a stick shift than an automatic car any day. And make it FAST!

Wow…now that that’s over J.

I would like to pass this on to 15 other bloggers but honestly, I do not have time to keep up with that many and half of the people I do follow have already been given this award. So here are some that to my knowledge haven’t got it yet and totally deserve it. I have heard that people don’t appreciate this in the blogging world though, so if you’re one of those people…sorry.

1.  David Williams. He takes amazing photo’s, has been nothing but supportive, has a beautiful family, and always keeps me coming back to see what he’s doing, every day.

2.  My 3rd Eye.  Sasi always has helpful tips and I love looking at his photos!

3.  Emily’s Photography Blog.  This lady can take amazing photo’s, paint, and has the cutest “kids”.

4.  Jolene’s Life in Focus.  She takes amazing photos, as well as puts a lot of thought and SOUL into what she writes.

5. greysqrl.  He takes great photo’s, has an adorable family,

6. M. Cooley Photography.  Michelle is a lawyer by day a photography lover for life.  She is always helpful, even when in the middle of getting married and enjoying her honeymoon. 

7.  Amanda Pfeifer’s Blog.  Crafty for sure. She has two beautiful babies, and documents their life beautifully!

8.  Wesley’s Photoblog. Have just recently found his site, and I’m glad I did. He has a great eye and is doing great portrait work.

9.  the 365 project.  This lovely lady just started her 365 photo project in January and has done better than I have!

10.  Journey Photographic. Traveling the world and taking amazing photo’s along the way. Lucky!

Well, I think that’s all I’m going to do for now.  15 is a lot!

If you are one of the recipients – you can either save the Versatile Blogger image, and then post to your own page, or you can copy the image location, and put in the html code.

A big thank you to anyone who stops by my little blog! I appreciate it!

Sal noticed these flowers when we were on our way to the V.A. today. I have never seen them and they were only on the side of the road, not in the desert, and only for a couple of miles. Does anyone know what they are? They were so pretty and they smelled so good!

Flats

I’m sick of wind! I work a lot outside, and when you come inside and your hair is crazy looking, it’s not a good thing. Cleaning out your ears with more than two Q-tips. No bueno.  It’s not a good look!!! Anyways, I decided we would plant some more “flats” as they are called in the gardening world (who knew?). Gotta keep the munchkin busy when its crap outside. 

Gotta love dirt indoors…yeah, not really, but luckily I have mostly tile floors. I’m sure everyone is sick and tired of hearing about this garden so on another note that is completely off the subject…does anyone ever see their “views” skyrocket in an hour or two? Mine did today but I’m not sure if it’s a “bug” or something. I’m thinking it was, because it wasnt just by a few it was like 70 hits in two hours. Not normal for my little ole’ blog.

Afterwards we read about animals. What you see here is the crocodile! Ahhhh….scary! I’ve been reading a lot about B&W lately.  I see the term “flat” used a lot, but I’m not sure what it means. What makes a good B&W photo? Emotion, shadows, etc. etc.??? Help would be appreciated!

I know there is a lot of debate about textures and if they improve or ruin a photo. I would have to be on the side of artistic expression, therefore improvement, for lack of a better word. For those who have been with me on my journey so far, you know I love to use textures. Here’s the thing though. I don’t do them necessarily to make a photo better, but to play. It keeps me inspired to see different looks for the same image.  I think about what photo’s I would like to try to take and what texture I would like to apply to it. Mostly though, I do it to learn how to work the archaic PSE I have.  I find out new things every time I try to apply textures. I just learned today that you can apply textures to 3 different layers. Not sure why you would do that, but I’m sure there’s a reason. I also learned how to make a layer by itself in PSE today….I think. Its fun! So I do it!

As a side note about watermarks, I have found some amazing tutorials on watermarks, and always appreciate it when people are willing to teach (I think I say that a lot, but it’s true), however, until today I never fully understood that when you put a watermark on a texture or layer it doesn’t work. Maybe its just me, but I have to put it on my duplicate of the original. Maybe it’s because I have a really old version of Elements or maybe I missed something? Either way…learning by leaps and bounds.

Half-Assed Sabitical, Here I Come!!!

Let me start off by saying I ABSOLUTELY love taking pictures. I love playing with them in PSE and I love posting them for all to see, but I am soooo frikin tired. I feel like I have run 10 miles and back and did it again. It has nothing to do with photography and everything else to do with whats going on in my life. There’s nothing horrible going on or extremely taxing (anymore), but I am exhausted.

Now please don’t think that I’m complaining in this next part; I’m just merely explaining a little. I go to school full-time, work full-time, and have a little family. I am beyond busy and getting on the computer after doing homework or whatever-it-is-I-do-that-sucks-my-energy-out, is the last thing I feel like doing right now. However, I made a pledge to myself to do this 365 photo challenge and I have been amazed at how much I have learned and at how much I have fallen in love with photography. I know I have missed a few days, and a lot more than a few days have been sub par pictures, even for my standards, and I don’t have high ones when it comes to my ownbpersonal photography :)~, but I plan to keep going. I may not write as much, post multiple pictures, or comment as frequently on other peoples amazing blogs for a week or so. It’s okay though, because when I come after my half-assed sabbatical, I’m coming back full force!