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!

My First Wedding

A little over a month ago I photographed my first wedding for a friends mom. I was scared, nervous, excited, nervous, scared. Wait did I already say that?? I stayed up late studying after studying. Lots of studying in the Ramirez house. I knew I only had one chance to get it right. They knew I’m new to this. Still…wasnt totally comfortable.

I am so thankful that it was a friend, and a laid back momma. You hear that you should never photograph a friend’s wedding, but luckily it was a friends mom. Well, maybe it turned out awesome because the bride and groom were great.

This is the lovely bride. Lupe!!! I ❤ her tons! Everything went great. Some things, well everything, was a learning experience. I learned that a flash can only handle so much before going bizzerk on you. It started running through all the programing modes and making this weird whirling sound at the reception. Yeah, maybe I should look into a new one… 🙂

I figured out I need to find a good slide show maker. Any suggestions? I learned that I don’t have to stay on manual the WHOLE wedding, shutter priority will work too :).  I learned to wear something comfortable!!! Lots of studying….lots of learning.

I want to thank the Lopez family for letting me be a part of their beautiful day! They were truly wonderful, and trusting. I seem to catch breaks every now and then, and this was one of those times.

On another note, I have a ton on the way for all y’all. I have two families, a boy who decided to paint his face with mommy’s makeup when he was supposed to be napping, and another wedding :).

Romans First Trip to Disneyland

We took Roman to Disneyland for the first time last Friday. The picture above is at the very end of the day. Roman was wiped out :). Do it right or go home!!!!

I had reservations about taking Roman at such a young age for a couple of reasons. 1) He’s a little scared of giant costumes i.e. Mickey Mouse, Goofy, the Red Robin guy (there’s a story behind that). 2) He’s so young, and I wonder if he’ll even remember it. 3) Goes along with 2. If he may not remember it, is it worth shelling out the money to go? Disneyland tickets are NOT cheap.

After months of talking it over with Sal (who was all for it from the day Roman was born) and arguing with myself about it, we decided to do it. It didn’t hurt that ticket prices dropped by $30.

The best part of the day (for me anyways) was the Finding Nemo ride. If you havent been to Disneyland, Finding Nemo is a little submarine that goes half way under water. You look out the little port holes and see the whole cast of Finding Nemo hologram style. It’s really cool. You hear what they are saying, see them swim around, and are part of the adventure.

A little while before this picture was taken, this was the end, Roman was off my lap and had his whole head in the port-hole. He was talking to Dori and Nemo and the shark, waving his little hand as fast as he could. He kept yelling out Hi Nemo! Hi Dori! Hi Shark! He would turn back around and say “look momma!!!”. The joy on his face, the speed of the wave, the excitement in his voice…made it all worth it. The lights were turned out and the volume was up when tears were rolling down my cheeks. This little boy who I love more than life itself was having the best time of his life and “meeting” fish he had watched since birth.

We hit Toon Town after Finding Nemo and explored and played. Well….kinda. It was time for Romans nap and he was hungry. So we ate lunch and realized he had started to go down the dark path to evil. We had anticipated this though, so no biggie. So we started to head for the gate and finish the circle of Disneyland.

On our way out we found some ducks.

This was the end of the day. Poor little guy and family were worn out. I’ll leave you with the best picture of the day wich was also the first….

He was soooo excited to meet Mickey Mouse….until he met him. Lol! He was a little bigger in real life than I think Roman expected him to be.  All in all Disneyland was awesome! Cant wait to go again!

Class of 2011

After what feels like forever, I finally finished my Associates. I now am the proud owner of a piece of paper that has my name on it next to something that says Business Administration. Even though it took forever it was and is completely worth all the effort it took me to get it. 

I’ll give you all a little background on why this degree took so long.  Lets start waaayyyy back at the beginning. Yes. 1999 when I graduated high school.  Jeezzz it’s been forever, but I digress. I enrolled in college right after I graduated high school with a full load. Did I proceed to go? Um hell to the nah. I proceeded to party! Uh huh. Did the same thing the next semester. And all of this without ever dropping a class. Oh and count one more semester in there for good standing. So 3 full load semesters later and I have all F’s. OUTSTANDING! Ugh.

So finally figuring out that this wasnt magically getting me a degree I enrolled in the Air Force. Now don’t get me wrong, I am so glad I did, and wouldn’t be where I am today if I hadn’t, but when you see those damn commercials about how you can go to school when you’re in the military….Bahahaha! Um not unless you want to be a plane mechanic. Which I did not. So I spent my time in the Air Force in Idaho and loved it so much I decided to stay and go to BSU after I got out. Well I went for a little over a year before I started to do the same thing as before. See above. Hey! I never said I was the brightest star in the sky! Anyways, I finally moved back home and started working on base here. I also started going back to the school here. Only this time I did MUCH  better. I actually passed all of my classes with flying colors. Minus math. I got a couple C’s there, but C’s earn degree’s! Lol.

Anyways on to the pictures…

The day was absolutely full. I woke up super early…for me anyways and went out with Jake to go on a photo walk. We didn’t take many pictures cuz it was already crazy bright but I learned a lot more. So that was pretty cool. Then I ran to a massage and adjustment, then off to my hair appointment, then home to grab something to eat then up to the college!

I bet you’re wondering about Roman being on stage with me??? He ran up there to give me these roses! The crowd went crazy and I was completely speechless with joy. What a sweet sweet boy I have. :)!

Yep! There I am! About to graduate. A big thank you goes out to everyone who mad it possible for me to do this. You know who you are!

Im a Sucker For….

…jewelry and flowers. But what girl isn’t?

Ahhh, so its been pretty busy around here. It was my and Sal’s 4 year anniversary and Mothers Day.

I have so many flowers in the house. Luckily only a couple have caught the wrath of Roman. Lol! He loves to rip the petals off and throw them.

This ring was a gift from my mom for finally graduating with my associates. Opals are our birthstone. So pretty. She’s had it forever. I’ve wanted it forever. Now its mine! Yay!

I got this necklace from a great friend for Mothers Day. It has Gigi’s name on it. So perfect. Thanks Jake.

I am so blessed to have the family and friends I do! Thank you everyone!

Roman Turns 3!

So my little boy turned 3 on Easter. Wow! Where did this time go? I swear it feels like I was just leaving the hospital with him yesterday. I also threw an old pic in to show you the before to present. Bonus!

This fabulous cake was made by a wonderful person! Thank you so much Denise! Roman picked a John Deere theme and Denise made the awesome cake and sent me templates for this cute banner!

Ahhh….chaos of screaming kids and tons of presents! I freak out during it, but after I realise I LOVE every moment! Im not sure why it wouldnt let me space the pictures like I wanted to, but oh well.

I think some people (love you guys) were waiting for some good pics. Ahahaha! Yeah, I put down the camera again. I wanted to be in the moment. Sitting next to him as he opened presents.  Holding him as he blew out his candles. All that jazz. Im looking forward to seeing everyone else’s pictures! 🙂

I have two more posts. Hopefully Ill get to them soon. I have the pics, just havent downloaded them yet!

Sunday Funday

Has a whole new meaning when you have kids. Spending time with family is what makes the day perfect! This whole weekend was pretty great if I do say so myself. We spent last night with my parents and celebrated his birthday.

Roman loves blowing out the candles :). 

The card that we got Grandpa :)! Happy Birthday! We love you!

Sal’s sister came into town too. She brought her adorable family! The kids played. Tata (Roman’s Grandpa on Sal’s side) BBQ’d. Love it!

I thought this photo lent itself well to a cool preset called Bitchin Camaro.

Doesnt he have the most beautiful eyes? Lucky boy. I didn’t do anything to them except for adjust the normal things like blacks, lights, highlights, etc. He’s just handsome on his own. 🙂

I asked him to pose sit for me so I could take his picture and this is what I got. Such a model. 🙂

I also learned something new tonight. You shouldnt edit when your laptops not plugged in. Haha. Hope they look okay on everyone’s computer!

Trona Sunrise

I got up unbelievably early today to head down the road about 20 minutes to Trona, CA. I wanted to catch the sunrise, but without someone counting on me I wouldnt have gotten up. So I called my Dad and asked him to go with me. It was his birthday yesterday, so I thought while we were in Trona we would have breakfast with his granddaughter and my niece Lexi.

For those who don’t know what type of town Trona is I’ll break it down really quick. If you blink you miss it. It smells like rotten eggs because it’s home to a Borax mine. The highschool football team plays on a dirt field. It used to have a HUGE salt water public pool. The roads are red.  A lot of movies were filmed here including but not limited to The Planet of the Apes; that desert scene…ya that’s Trona.  The people are close-knit and are very protective of each other and the town. 

While I hate mornings, Trona did not disappoint. The clouds colored the sky with blues an pinks and oranges. Beautiful. 

Trona has a lot of abandoned houses and for lack of a better word…junk, laying everywhere. That’s not a bad thing though! It makes for some cool photo’s. This was my first time shooting a sunrise, and I learned a couple of things. You need a tri-pod. My dad bought me one, but my brain didn’t wake up and remember this morning :). And you need a coffee. Got one of those a little later in the day.

I plan on going back and trying again soon. The scenery would lend itself to HDR so easily. I’m excited to see how that works out! BTW that’s really teal you see through the window. That wasnt me.

I really like over saturated processing right now. Or desaturating to get a B&W. Maybe it’s because I’m a beginner :).

One of the coolest murals I’ve seen in a long time.

One of the mines.

Enjoy your weekend!

Milestones

How freaking awesome is the processing on this picture? I love it! Thanks to presets :)!  What a beautiful day in sunny Southern California! I’m not even sure how hot it was! It was definitely hot enough to go swimming in the blow up dragon/volcano pool we have. 🙂 So the title of todays post has multiple meanings. One of them have to do with the rug rat you see above.  The pool that was previously mentioned has a dragon on it. You have to go through his legs to go down the little slide. Roman for some reason is terrified of it. He has never let us blow it up, let alone get near it. For the last year he asks “what is dragon doing” when we go in the garage, which is quiet a bit.  So weird because he loves the movie How to Train Your Dragon but he’s not having any of this one! But…today he actually let us blow up the pool and the majority of the dragon (not the head). He even went through the legs, as long as we were standing right there :). Growing up so fast, but still so little. I love it!!!

Another preset that I’m in love with! On to the remaining milestones.  One and a half were reached today! First…I got a promotion! Freakin soooooo excited! I have the best boss ever, and am so thankful to have had him! Its great when the big guy takes care of his employee’s! I officially feel like I’m a big kid at Journeyman Level! Thank you!!!

The half…I picked up my diploma for my Associates of Business Administration! I finished back in December, but just now got the diploma :). Trying to decide if I’ll “walk”. I wont for my B.S. because it’s all the way in Alabama, so…. Yeah, not sure yet. I’ll figure it out.  What an amazing Monday! I plan on carrying on the momentum for the rest of the week :)).

Juju’s Birthday

It was this little cuties Birthday and Baptism party on Saturday. This is our niece Juju. Full name not to be disclosed ;). I can’t believe that she’s already 1. How time flies!

We baptised Roman when he turned 1, but it was nothing like this party! Nobody ever tells me nothin!!! That’s a George Lopez reference f.y.i. :). They had a pinata, a taco truck, bolo, music, everything! I’m taking notes you guys!!! Next time! 

This is the lil miss with her Nina. So cute! There were so many photo’s to choose from! LR3 is getting a little easier for me. I plan on ordering a book soon to really get the hang of it, but I’ve already cut my basic editing time down drastically. While I think the 365 plan is long gone by now, I do plan on posting at least a couple of times a week. It’s really important for me to chronicle a year of our life, but doing it everyday is stretching me a little thin. And the reality of it is that I’m doing this for Roman, but if its taking away from Roman, or adding another hour to my schedule at night that I don’t get to sleep (making me a grouch in the morning) it’s not worth it everyday. 

I was feeling pretty guilty about it for a while as you guys know, but I think I’m at ease with posting every other day instead of every day.  Priorities right?  Thank you every one for assuring me that whatever I choose is okay! I’m glad I have met you all, and look forward to sticking around and progressing with every one, but being way less stressed! Ill leave you with this lovely little face that makes me smile from ear to ear!

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