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 :).

Girl’s Just Wanna Have Fun!!!!

The lovely Jolene and I ^^^^^^^^^^ got dressed up, did our hair and makeup, and hit up the sleaziest laundromat in town.  Woooo Hooo!!! This is my first experience with Photoshop, and the amazing Jake helped me out with the processing. I think it looks pretty cool!!!  This is the first time I have played with Photoshop, I had no idea how to even open an image before Jake showed me. LIFE SAVER!!!!

Friends!!!

I posted 6 months ago about a baby girl being brought into this world by my best friend Amanda.  I got the pleasure of finally getting to meet her this past weekend.  Unfortunately her and her family live all the way on the east coast so I don’t get to see them that often. But I must say that she is the best baby ever! We went to the March of Dimes walk and she was great the whole way! We went shopping and she never even peeped. She smiled so much and was so easy to make laugh. We took pictures on Sunday and has so much fun!

The whole weekend wasnt just about baby though, it was about family and friends. And friends being so great they might as well be family.  Amanda is married to Keith, who I refer to as my brother. He is so laid back and chill! Absolutely love him. However…he did buy Roman a Nerf gun, then we had to go buy more, just so we could join in the fun, now I’m finding Nerf darts EVERYWHERE! Ridiculous! Another fabulous friend came Sunday too. He’s not just a friend though he’s Roman’s Godfather. The great thing is that everyone knows each other from our Air Force day’s.

I feel so lucky that they flew all the way from the east coast, then drove an hour and a half the day after they got to my house, to participate in the walk with us. Thanks guys! Love you!

And The Award Goes To….

Mr. Bill Deem for being the Best Boss Ever!!!! Yeah, I know this is an unusual statement, but I am sad that my boss has retired.  Last Thursday was his last day after 38 years of work. I wont say how old that makes him, or he’ll remind me exactly how many years I have until I retire. Ugh.

Bill hired me a little over two and a half years ago to work in the Base Safety Office as a Safety Specialist.  I had some background in safety but wasnt fully aware of what it entailed. I felt instantly at ease with the other employees and confident that I could trust my boss.  He has always done what he said he was going to do and has helped me advance as a person and employee.  He supported me when I lost Gigi and gave me that gentle push to face the public again when I was terrified to.  He was my biggest cheerleader when it came to my accomplishments and the best teacher when it came to areas that I wasnt up to speed on…which were and still are a lot!

He taught me that Buck Owens is Buck Owens, and you can only go through Death Valley to get to Trona (other than Ridgecrest).  He supported me when I requested leave without pay in order to spend more time with Roman when I realized he was growing up way to fast. He let me take day’s off to play in the snow with Roman.  He knew all of his employee’s in and out, and how to best manage them individually.  He knew that I would probably come into work sometime that week and tell him I needed to leave…in 15 minutes, but he was always understanding and never made me feel bad for it.  He gave me advice that I think were sometime from personal experiences. He encouraged my academic hunger and facilitated payment for it.  He told me the meaning of “whistle britches”…which I still need to talk to my dad about since he used to call me that, and brough pomegranates from his tree in for the office to have. He made the best breakfast ever called Armadillo Eggs! Yum! I learned how to tell someone off without them knowing, and how to pick your battles.  This list could go on and on and on…. but there is so much. So much that he tried to teach and I havent mastered yet. Or things that I absolutely refuse to learn or agree with (Fresno is not good at football). Or things I just plain old missed.

The most import thing though is that he made me laugh. Every day I looked forward to the safety walk and the nuggets of wisdom he so generously shared with me.  Thanks Boss for making such a lasting impression, and giving me an example of an extraordinary boss! When I “own it all” I hope I’m half as good as you were.

The Pressure Is Off

Funny thing….now that I don’t feel like I have to post, I’m looking forward to it again. I’m not so stressed about it. I don’t worry all day about what I’m going to take a picture of. I’m letting it come to me again. I feel like picking up my camera and traipsing about for my own enjoyment. Weird, because I’m that person who does some of my best work under pressure. Or at least I like to think I do. So I went out today and took pictures of nothing…and LOVED it!!! Dont get me wrong, I always love taking pictures, but I felt freedom again. Free to take crappy pictures, free to take no pictures, free to take pictures of stuff only I would probably like. I’m not trying to take pictures for anyone else, just me.

Here’s a fun picture. One day about a month ago, Roman and I were coloring the driveway with chalk. I wasnt paying attention at some point obviously, and when it was time to go inside what did my eyes see???? This amazing contemporary art piece by Roman Dean himself!!! Not sure how to get chalk off of stucco without destroying it, so it stayed. I’m really not to concerned with it to tell you the truth, and when its a bit warmer outside I’ll try to wash it off.

This is a picture of the Nectarine tree we planted in the back yard of my parents house shortly after we lost Gigi. It was dedicated in remembrance of her by our family.  Last year it had an amazing yield of Nectarines, but I think this year is going to be a little slower. It seems that every other year is an off-year for fruit trees here.  We call the fruit Gigi fruit, and the flowers before the fruit are so pretty! My dad trimmed her up this year and replanted all the little branches and they are taking off. We plan on planting a bunch of them in our yard this spring :).

My moms best friend is visiting from Alaska right now and they asked me to take their picture. I have to say this is probably one of the best pictures I have ever seen of my mom, and it’s not because I took it (even though it’s not bad if I do say so myself). It’s because she’s really smiling! She’s not faking it! Love it! Anyways, I’m off to bed! See you all when I see you ;).

Tyrick’s Birthday

Ahhhh, Ty’s turning 3!!! These kids are growing up way to fast!! It makes me sad :(.

I love going to Ty’s parties! His Nana cooks the best food, and it’s always so non stressful. Nothing like Roman’s parties. Haha!

These two were once again thick as thieves! I loved it! They played for 3 straight hours, leaving a trail of destruction behind them :).

King of Hearts

Today is Valentine’s Day! A day of love, or a day that rubs the fact that you’re single in your face. Some people love this holiday, other people think it’s a Hallmark holiday. I’m in the middle. I think we should take the time every day to show that special someone you care.  The majority of households have both parents working now, and schedules are jammed packed for the kids, so it’s easy to lose sight of the other person in the relationship, and while I think it should be an everyday thing, I think it’s a nice reminder to slow down and tell that special someone how you feel. 

On to another story… Every Valentines schools usually have a dance. Some call it Sadie Hawkins; others (like ours) call it King of Hearts.  Instead of choosing a queen or princess, a king is chosen.  Way back in the day when Sal was a senior in High School and I was a sophomore I had a crush on him.  However we didnt get to know eachother until 2006 I digress though, Sal was voted King for the King of Hearts dance back then and it still makes me smile now. He has the picture from the dance with all the guys in it, and I love looking at it. They were all so young, but didn’t know it. I should have scanned it in, but I’m still under the weather, cough, cough. Okay, I’ve never tried to scan anything on my printer yet, so I’ll have to work on that.

Roman got a couple presents (like he needs anymore), but I always loved getting something from my parents when I was younger. As you can see he brought some of his toys to the party to help make something for Daddy when he was at school. I started playing with the setting and this was taken in Monochrome. I kind of like it.

Valentines is for friends too. A dear friend of mine, Kari, made me home-made chicken soup today when she found out I was sick. It makes me smile from ear to ear to know I have people surrounding me that care so much about me! Thank you Kari! I hope everyone enjoyed your Valentines as much as I did, and if you’re in that lonely heart club, no worries! Go with the line that it’s a holiday made by Hallmark :)!

Vapor Trails and March for Babies

Let me start off by saying that there is a picture of Gigi’s urn at the end of this post, so if that bothers you, you have been warned.

What a beautiful day here in sunny California! I live in Ridgecrest, California, which is home to  Naval Air Warfare Station (NAWS), China Lake.  What you see above is a vapor trail from the fighter jets flying at sunset.  I love when I hear the “green” people talk or post something about how they are chemical trails. Ahhhh….a little investigation leads to a lot of knowledge. 

On another note I have created a team for the March for Babies.  We will all walk on April 30th in Gigi’s name.  I am so excited for this event for the obvious reason, and because my best friend and family will be walking with us.  They currently live in South Carolina and will be here during that time and donated their time and money to walk for team GigiRoman. I am so lucky to have such a great friend. Hopefully some of Sals family and mine can also join us. AND….we have met and beat our goal to raise $200 before the march! In only one day! Thank you to all of our friends and family who have donated. It really is very meaningful that you have helped out a cause that is so near and dear to my heart. The generosity shown today warms my heart.  If you would like to walk with us or donate the link is below.

I’ll take some good conversation please!

I didn’t post last night, but I did take this picture. Instead of posting I went over to a dear friends house and had the yummy stuff you see in the picture, along with some lasagna she made. We talked for many hours, about what was bothering us, about what makes a good friend, about where we were coming from, about what were planning, how were feeling, and many more things. It was filled with a range of emotions from seriousness and some tense moments to big belly laughs. A friend is more than someone you always get along with or someone who tells you what you want to hear. A good friend is someone who disagree’s with you at times but makes a point to understand where you are coming from. A good friend is there for you when you need them, they hold their tounge when the other is obviously not in the right mind and a good friend gives unconditional support when the other needs it.  They find happiness in what the other finds happiness in, and they never judge how a person mourns.

I was supposed to go on a hike this morning with this friend, but woke up feeling yucky. So hopefully this friend understands that, and accepts my rain check. Maybe I’ll go and cheer her on at her 10k next weekend in Death Valley as a way to make it up to her :).

New Life

I am posting early for a very good reason today. My best friend Amanda is getting induced tomorrow, but because she is on east coast time I will still be asleep when she goes into labor. Cadena, I am soo freaking excited for you and I cant wait to meet Rilynn. I know she will have the laughter from both of you and her good looks from her auntie. I love all 3 of you!

The poster was specially created today by Roman and I. I’ll give him the credit for the good part…whatever that is 😉

“New life makes loosing life easier to understand” ~ Jack Johnson

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