Picture A Day - January Recap

I made it!! I made it through the whole month of January and didn't cheat once!! I am very proud of myself! I am still loving this project. It has pushed me creatively in ways I never thought it would. It not only has made me pick up my camera every day but I have had to think about what I want to capture each day. I did give myself a few different themes to help with the days so I don't have to come up with something original everyday. Tuesday is SPT... Self Portrait Tuesday, Thursday is Things I love Thursday, and Friday is Friday Faces. I think it will be fun to add themes here and there when I have a bit of a creative block. I plan to make it through this whole year and hopefully I will have a 365 page book made up to capture our life through pictures in 2010!



OK, so here's the deal, I'm going to put myself out there because I think it may just be a little bit therapeutic to do so please don't judge me, just love me anyway! I have come to a point in life where I know I need to make a change. If you know me in real life you know that I don't have the easiest children (well except Colby, He's like luggage, we can cart him anywhere and you don't even know he's there, he just so content with life!) But my 2 older children can give me a run for my money, and that little one too, but she 2 so we'll forgive her for being so difficult. We have disrespect and obedience issues.
My solution to this has been to YELL.
I YELL a lot.
I try really hard not to yell but then my kids go and do something that MAKES ME CRAZY and I loose it. This has begun a vicious cycle that is why I am in the situation I am in now anyway. I swear if I had a nickle for ever time I say "go get ready" in the morning to my kids I would be a millionaire by now.
So I struggle.
I struggle with the fact that I am a 30 something mother of 4 that is not the kind of mother I want to be. Even worse I'm not the kind of mother my kids NEED me to be. I struggle with taking in the fact that I CHOSE to be a mom, it was all I ever wanted to be when I grew up. I had the picture perfect image in my mind that I would have these respectful obedient kids that would do all that was asked with a smile on their faces and when confronted with the reality of real life kids I have not handled very gracefully. I find myself wishing I could just curl up in bed let them deal with everything themselves.

Last year Terry and I took the "Strengthening the Family" class put on by our church. If you are a member (or not) and a parent, or ever plan to become one, you MUST take this class. The sooner the better. But when you do don't do like I did and try KINDA to do what is taught in the class.
We learned so much in the class but the thing I took away from it most was that you (I) need to show and outpouring of love to your(my) kids. I am always telling them what they need to be doing, not showing them how proud of them I am for what they do do! I do have great kids who are tremendously intelligent (probably part of the problem, they outsmart me all the time) and talented.

So here I am, now what? I want to be woman who does more that just seems to have it all together. I want to to take the real life kids I am blessed with and not only smile through the "reality" of it all but ENJOY it! I want to have that joy of motherhood. The kind when I can look passed the nail polish spilled on my bathroom floor and see the hand print left by it. I hope to find that joy. There is no magic pill I can take to make it all better I just have to do it!! I want my family to grow and be happy. To take refuge in each other. To SMILE A LOT! To spend more time together when we aren't worrying about who hasn't cleaned their room or practiced their instruments. I know If I can do this the problems we are having will just disappear.

I have seen on many blogs that I read of women who choose a word that they want to be their word for the year, some examples are
Just to name a few, well I have chosen a word...are you ready? Ok get ready to be wowed!


Now when I say enjoy, I mean that in a very specific way. I already "enjoy" many things, I enjoy food, I enjoy photography, I enjoy blog browsing. But I want to take time out to enjoy MY FAMILY, My kids especially. I don't take the time out to enjoy them. I plug my Ipod in my ears and work, tuning out life. The first thing I am going to do is to start enjoying the forced 30-60mins a week I get one on one time with my kids, I say forced because it's time I spend in the car traveling to and from lessons, ONE ON ONE. It is just about the only time I AM one on one with each kid so I will use this time to talk to my kids about who they are and who they want to be. You may even get to hear about some of these little "interview" sessions I plan on having with my kids! In fact you can probably count on it because if you have met my kids you know they are characters and have amazing minds!

All right I'll let you go now because I have totally rambled on now for like 7000 words so have a nice day and go ENJOY your kids!


10 on Tuesday vol. 2

OK, so I kinda blew the whole posting more often since here it is a week later and I only posted
ONCE and it was actually this morning. But I am holding strong and I am going to get this thing
down!! So Here we go...

1. Remember that medication I told you about in my last 10 on Tue. post? Yeah well I gave up
on it. I was on it for a week and a half, I only lost 2 and a half pounds and it made it extremely
hard to sleep at night. I may try again when I am in a better place in my self control situation!!

2. I started a new book on our trip. Busy Bee Lauren recommended it. It's kinda different in a
demon hunting, monster killing sort of way, but it's a good escape and who doesn't love a good
escape. You can read about it here.

3. Sam is home "sick" today. I didn't want to fight with her about her NOT being sick so I let her
stay home. Does that make me a bad mom?

4. I ate a Lean Cuisine for lunch, It was yummy and only 360 calories. I felt good that I had a low
calorie nutritious lunch so I treated myself to half a bag of Reisen Chocolates. I SUCK!

5. When Brett got home from school today I asked him how school was he gave me his usual
"fine" I then came back with "how was PE" (he was really worried about starting PE this
semester because he says he's not a "sports kid") He then said "good, I ran the mile today, I was
second place I did it in 9 min and 16 seconds." WOW!! I was so surprised, I don't think I could
run a 9 min mile right now!! I literally teared up with pride!!

6. "Nose Nose" (that is what we do at our house instead of "eskimo kisses"

7. I got my highest score ever on scrabble this weekend(the real one not on xbox,
I have rocked the 400's on xbox but you kinda get to cheat on there!!) it was 367.
That is pretty high if you ask me!! I rock the 2 letter words!!

8. I used the last of my bread bags that I bought when I started making bread in May of last
year. That means I have made more that 100 loaves of bread!!

9. I am having a bit of a hard time getting back to reality after my heavenly weekend away with
the love of my life. we had so much fun and it was so amazing to reconnect. We need to do that
more often.

10. If there is some generous reader out there who would like to be my patron and purchase any
or all of the things on my amazon wish list you can go here. Kthanksbye!

Good night to all! Have a nice Tuesday!

Love in Oregon...A photo Essay

For Christmas Terry surprised me with tickets to Oregon for a quick getaway to the ranch. We has so much fun and it went way to fast. I decided it would be fun to document all the things we did in pictures for a photo essay of sorts!! We dropped the kids off on Friday morning at school and Bonnie to Aunt Shell's house and left for the airport.

We arrived at the ranch at about 2:30ish and settled in. I grabbed a quick nap on the chair next to the fire so I could catch up on some sleep and then we headed out to dinner. I forgot my camera to take a picture, (great way to start out on my photo essay huh!!) but we ate at a little italian joint in south medford, it was delish. We didn't have time to make it to a movie so we went back to the ranch and watched a dvd. We woke up saturday morning and had breakfast at the Apple Peddler, it again was yummy!!

We did catch a flick in town and had some yummy popcorn. Sherlock Holmes was AWESOME!! I loved it, the action was great and the story was well written, the actors weren't to shabby themselves!!

We then drove over to Jacksonville to grab some dinner and shop around in the fun stores.
I bought fudge.
I ate it all.
My butt is huge.
*Note to self* Don't buy half a pound of fudge EVER!
we then had some yummy mexican food in Jacksonville and ate way too much chips and salsa, but it was so yummy.
My butt is huge!

It was to cold outside by the river for me to go down but I wanted pictures of the moss growing on the ricks by the river. My darling hubby took some for me! Isn't he a fabulous photographer?

I love the ranch in the winter, this cool moss grows on the road and it looks all eerie and stuff!!

We played Lot's of scrabble. Sunday was really rainy!! I MEAN REALLY RAINY! It's didn't stop all day so we hunkered down and snuggled by the fire, and I kick Terry's can at scrabble!! Well he may have won a few but I dominated at least once!!

Monday we just got up and cleaned and headed to the airport. What do you do when you are waiting for your food in the airport bar and grill?? This is what we did! I know we are total dorks but at least we are dorks together!! And we make cute baby dorks together!

All in all it was an amazing and cheap get away, we need to do that more often.

I just realized that a photo essay probably doesn't have words along with but that goes against my resolution of writing more on my blog so o-well!!


10 On Tuesday Vol. 1

Here goes my very first ever 10 on Tuesday, Just to be forewarned, I will probably reveal way to much about myself, I have a tendency to do that!

1. I have kept up with my 365 project so far, we are on day 19 and I haven't missed yet. I plan to do a recap every so often here on the blog but if you can't wait you can see my progress HERE. I am loving the challenge and the great community that it has provided. My photo peeps know how to make me feel good and leave me comments keeping me motivated!

2. I mentioned a few posts back that we are potty training the Bon Bon, and so far so good. We are on day 10 and we have only had a few accidents. Isn't she the cutest thing EVER!

3. I started a new medication last week that my doctor prescribed. It's called Bontril, any one heard of it? It is an appetite suppressant to help with the lovely 25 pounds that I have put on in the last year. It makes it a little hard for me to sleep but it is helping with the not being hungry thing. I have to remind myself to eat which is good. I have lost 2.5 lbs since last Wednesday. I imagine my system is a little bit in shock because it is used to consuming mass quantities of food and sweets and is now not so it's holding on to all that it can thinking that I am starving, I hope that changes and I start shedding the lbs. I'll keep you updated.

4. I recently discovered THIS blog. It is cute! Busy Bee Lauren is a twenty something Mormon newlywed who has a very clever way of writing and a fabulous sense of style that is totally unique. She loves her husband almost as much as I love mine and she reveals way to much about herself, like me!! I have wasted a bunch of time reading her archives and giggling!!

5. We are in the process of preparing for Junior Festival for both violin and piano. We have participated in junior festival for the last 5 years and this will be Colby's first time, he'll do great! He has no problem performing. As a result of all of the practicing the same song over and over I now wake up with them going through my head and we are only 2 weeks in. Festival isn't until March. Good thing I like the songs my kids picked! We'll see if I still like them in a feww more weeks!

6. Brett decided a few month ago he wanted to learn Fur Elise by Beethoven. It's a REALLY hard song! He never ceases to amaze me that kid! He really can do anything he sets his mind to. When he gets it all polished up I will record it and put it on here so you can be treated to what I get to hear every day!

7. Terry surprised me with a weekend getaway for Christmas. It's just a quick trip to Oregon. That lovely $19 flight just might be responsible for the recovery of my sanity. We leave this Friday. It will probably be rainy and cold all weekend but I don't care! I will be able to have 3 solid days with out having to hear MOOOOMMMMMM!! I can't wait!

8. I love Netfilx! It makes laundry day go so much smoother!

9. I saw someone do this on their blog and i thought it would be fun

I sometimes...
-spend too much time on the computer
-go a week without blow drying my hair

I always...
-want dessert
-take baths

I never...
-get that last load of laundry folded.
-watch commercials(thank you DVR)

10. 35 People have visited my blog in the last 24 hours and I haven't gotten one comment...NOT ONE, c'mon people speak up!!

Well there it is. The first installment of 10 on Tuesday, a random collection of thoughts brought to you by the scattered brain of a stay at home mom!


200 WOW!

I just realized that the last post I did was #200!! I started this blog on October 17, 2007. That was 824 days ago, when you divide that by 200 post that averages out to a post every 4 or 5 days. Not to bad form me when you consider that I have a bit of a commitment problem! I would like it to be more but life has a tendency of getting in the way. As many of you who have been my loyal readers you know that I have been on a steady decrease of my frequency of posts. That needs to change. I have never been much of a writer, I would like that to change also. I have set a goal to WRITE more here on my blog. This blog is a record of my life and the life of my family. We have always heard that a picture is worth a 1000 words, and while that may be true there are things that can't be revealed through a photo. There is also a lot of things that happen in my life that i just don't have the opportunity to capture in a picture. The first thing I am committing to do in my effort is to do something I have seen on other blogs called 10 on Tuesday. 10 random things that may be related or can be something totally random that I want to keep a memory of. My kids do funny stuff all the time and I think to myself, I should do a blog post about that, but I don't a have a picture to go with it so I just let it go, forgetting it completely. Sam did something really funny the other day (what am I saying she does something funny everyday!) but I didn't write it down and now I have no recollection of what it was. Sometimes I will talk about the funny things in that I think may get a reaction on Facebook but that won't make it into my blurb books that have become the records of our lives (since I haven't scrapbooked in 4 years!)

So stay tuned and keep me motivated, if you like it when I update I need to hear your feedback. Leave me comments, if you don't feel comfortable telling me who you are you can stay anonymous. (just be nice, you know I'm talking to you!) I am asking for your help in reaching a goal here people!! When I get lots of feedback I feel motivated to post more. It only takes a few seconds to say hey "I liked this" or "I know how you feel about that" so come on and speak up!!

And since it is against my religion to post without a picture I will take you to a place that has been on my mind a lot lately. This was taken on our 10 year anniversary trip to Hawaii. I was skinny. I was trying to get pregnant. It was warm, (not cold and rainy like right now!) It was nice not having to deal with kids for a week, I get to have a few days without kids starting this Friday! I want to go back, but not until I am skinny again!


aaaaaannnd action.

I just couldn't stand looking at that hideous big nosed glasses wearing picture at the top of my last post so I am hoping to bury it a little bit with this post. If you have no interest in photography or Photoshop, just stop reading now and don't waist your time, or you can go check out my new favorite time waster Taste Spotting. I have had a lot of people ask me about Photoshop actions. What are they? Which are your favorite? and how do I get me some? Actions are the best thing to happen to photography since, since....well they are just really awesome! In photoshop there are different things you can do to your pictures, adjust contrast, adjust the saturation add sharpening to name just a few. There is also a feature in photoshop that lets you take all of these different steps you take and "record" them in to what is called an action. After you record your action you just press play and photoshop does all the work for you. I love me some actions!! I have tons. Some I have written myself with the help of my fabulous photography teacher Wendy, some I have downloaded for free and some I have bought. Here are a few of my favorites.

1. This picture is sooc (straight out of the camera) not a bad shot if I do say so myself but lets see if we can't give it a bit of a boost!
2. This is an action I call Kristin's Crisp Color Boost (Wendy taught me this one!) Nice But I'd like to smooth out her skin a bit.
3. Magic Skin by MCP Actions this is a action I use on almost all of my portraits it just make the skin glow and look perfect. I also used Pioneer Womans sharpen this action on her eyes to make them pop! Just a tip Pioneer Woman has all of her actions for download FOR FREE! I will use this shot as my base for all the rest of my examples.
4. Pioneer Woman's Seventies action, quite possibly my favorite action, I never use it at it's full power, I adjust the opacity of it down to about 50-60%. It give that soft creamy vintagey look!
5. Over Exposed Vintagy WOW! by Itty Bitty Actions. It's a fun one, looks kinda funny by these others but trust me if it was by itself you would think it was cool!!
6. Old School also by Itty Bitty Actions
7. Urban by Brenda Acuncius
8. This is a vignette action also taught to my by the fabulous Wendy, it just makes your subject really pop.
9. This is actually a free action and I can't remember where I got it but it helps you put a texture on your picture, kinda like my header. The texture is actually one I bought from Brenda Acuncius.
10. And Finally my FAVORITE Black and white action. I have downloaded, bought and made a ton of black and white actions but none of them even come close to this on!! I Pink Puffy Heart IT!!

So tell me which one is your favorite??

that is it in a nutshell, if I have left something out and you are totally confused and think I may be speaking a different language shoot me an e-mail and I'll see if I can't help clear it up for ya!!


The 0's

I have seen a few do this on their blogs and I thought it would be fun to play. I thought we entered a new decade, however my husband who knows everything tells me the new decade doesn't start until next year. Let me first off say, I apologize for the crappiness of the pictures up to 2005, it was b-d, before digital. I want to recap the last decade since we have officially left the 0's, they were some good years. We started off by welcoming in child #2 into this world. Samantha was born on February 21, 2000

We celebrated the second birthday of #1, Brett and the 26th birthday of his daddy. Also the 22 year of my life!! We bought a boat (I shouldn't say we because I really had no choice in the matter) We rounded out the year with our annual Christmas card photo.

2001 - Spent Easter in Hurricane with gram, Spent summer in Oregon, Saw mom and dad off to Africa. Rounded out the year with our Christmas card picture.

2002-Went to London, Ireland & Africa with gerry and Sheri, Had the Goodrich reunion, took a few trips to California

and rounded out the year with our annual Christmas card picture.

2003 Mom and Dad came home from Africa, Brett turned 5, Sam turned 3 Kristin turned 24 Terry turned 29. Brett began kindergarten and Kristin got pregnant, hence the no annual Christmas card photo!

2004 - It snowed in Las Vegas and stuck for more than a minute, Kristin and Terry went to Ireland (he turned 30 there)

We welcomed child #3 Colby into the world on May 19. Spent the summer (or part of it anyway) in Oregon Brett began piano lessons. Took a Trip to California with the Whole Conk family.

and rounded out the year with our annual Christmas card photo.

2005 - Sam turned 5 and Started Kindergarten

Traveled to Guatemala with the Zob's NO KIDS!!

Samantha started violin and played her first duet with Brett

Went to ride the Polar Express and rounded out the year with our annual Christmas card photo.

2006 - We started out with the Baptism of our oldest kid.

Went to Hawaii with gerry and Sheri to celebrate 10 years of wedded bliss.

Took a lot of trips to the sand dunes and rounded out the year with our annual Christmas card photo.

2007 - Pregnant with #4 took a trip to Seattle/Canada with Michelle and Mike Young

Took a trip to California with all the Conks and welcomed #4 Bonnie on October 25.

And rounded out the year with our annual Christmas card photo.

2008 Took a trip to San Francisco.

Samantha got baptized

We bought and moved into a new house.

and here is our Christmas card!!

2009 - Colby started piano

and Kindergarten

Brett officially became a middle schooler.

And we did something at Christmas time

Whew...I think that my have been the longest post in history. It seems as though I only talked about trips and births but that is what I have pictures of. We did a lot more that that in the O years. They were good, I can only pray the next 10 are as great!


365...a year in pictures

I am nuts! Completely CRAZY! I must be to have committed to this project. I'm only a week in but I am loving it so far. We'll see how I feel about it in a month or two. My reason for committing to this project, I just want to capture my family in non portrait settings. It seems to me that I am just tending to take pictures of my kids that are beautiful pictures but I have no idea what we have going on in our lives because all I take are pretty portraits. So my intention is to take REAL LIFE pictures and that means not worrying about the load of laundry on the couch or the bin of toys strewn all over but beautiful pictures that capture the loves of my life! I figure I will try to keep up this blog with an update of my 365 project every month or so. Well here we GOOOOOO!

Day 1/365 ---Ringing in the new year with a little painting with light.

Day 2/365 ---The Sweetest thing in my life. Potty training and all (a post on that later)

Day 3/365---Lovin on the Bon is such an easy thing to do!

Day 4/365---Back to the grind. First day back to the normal routine after Christmas.

Day 5/365---SPT Self Portrait Tuesday. 2 of my favorite things Polka dots and Reading

Day 6/365---The beautiful sunsets of Las Vegas

Day 7/365---May the force be with you. A typical day in the home of Star Wars fanatics.