Monday, August 29, 2011

Life as Usual

On the Boardwalk
Monday, August 15, 2011

My kids, 7, 5, and 4 love to play Monopoly.

They only sort of know how to play and so I get endless enjoyment out of listening to them trading properties and building little green houses.

Last Call
Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Each time we visit the house and wander around I am amused by the empty drink containers left behind by the works. I don't know why exactly this amuses me. Somewhere in my head there is a poem or a short story about what each drink choice says about each worker. I can't quite make this idea come into focus for me but am amused just the same. So today I documented it.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

I spent all day (and night) editing a short video entry for a chance to attend a Photography Business workshop.

I shot my video here in my bathroom.

And I didn't win, FYI. But life goes on.

Losing my cool
Thursday, August 18, 2011

The car (our only car) has been in the shop since Monday. When we picked it up today the bill was a little over $1300. (Plus the cost of the rental car we'd been driving for 4 days.)

Don't ask me how I felt about that.

Of course I assumed that after paying that kind of money to have the car fixed that the consolation prize would be that at least now the car worked.

So imagine my dismay when is started to overheat while I was picking the kids up from school.

This was taken about 5 minutes before it started dinging and flashing at me.


 Notice also the outside temperature of 117 degrees.

Friday, August 19, 2011

The damage we found this morning........(tree down, screens blown off windows)

....After last night's rain storm


Icky germs
Saturday, August 20, 2011

Today I picked up from the pharmacy the SECOND antibiotic for some member of our family in just 2 weeks. I certainly hope this weekly trip to the Instacare is just a fluke and not something we are going to make a habit of.

But while I was waiting for the prescription to be filled I got the kids new toothbrushes. They got to decorate them with the enclosed stickers, a project that kept them happy and entertained for a full 45 minutes. Seriously. Which made those slightly overpriced spin brushes worth every penny.


Dear Grandma
Sunday, August 21, 2011

I love the letters that the kids write to their grandmas!

Zoey still very much has kindergarten handwriting but she is actually a really good little speller. Well, phonetic kindergarten speller, but still pretty good. She is completely into writing lists and stories and poems right now.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Now the real challenge begins

Up until this point it's been fairly easy to find something to take a picture of each day. The environment was still new enough that I could find something unique each day to document. But now that we've been back in school for a few weeks now and have sort of settled into a new routine each day is beginning to be same old, same old. If you know what I mean. So this week I really had to stretch to find something to photograph each day.

I did succeed, but I can tell that going forward from here I'm really going to have to try harder to think outside of the box to find something interesting to capture each day.

This little pig built his house of wood
Monday, August 8, 2011

Been a little while since I posted a progress shot of the house. And it really is starting to look like a house! Wahoo!!!!

Picture 728

One Step Closer
Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Yup, we are now one step closer to being true Arizonians. Our Utah plates expired at the end of the July so today Harrison and I braved the DMV. We were rewarded for our efforts with a shiny, new Arizona licence plate to call our own.

Picture 737

Spirit, Hope, Believe
Wednesday, August 10, 2011

I've been discovering lately the joys of having jewelry that is not only pretty, but that also inspires. A physical reminder of something important. So I've been doing a fair amount of soul searching as of late and I wanted something to remind myself that dreams do come true.

I also happened to have $10 Kohl's cash that had to be spent by today.

And, as luck would have it, I found these on the Clearance rack for $10.

Picture 743

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Earlier in the week Andria  requested a picture for a project she was working on. So since I happened to be having a good hair day I took a few minutes this morning to snap a few self portraits.


And then, since Adam had strep throat I spent the rest of the day at waiting at the Instacare, then waiting at the pharmacy, and then snuggling a sick boy. Which meant I completely forgot to take any other pictures.  So you are stuck looking at my mugshot as today's picture.

Men at work
Friday, August 12, 2011

There is no way to sugar coat this so I'll just say it: I hate the twice-daily school run. Between drop off and pick up it's 2 hours in the car each day that I could live without. Especially since the A/C in the car doesn't work all that great the temps are still over 100 everyday.

So imagine how *happy* I was to discover that there are now not one but TWO construction zones I must pass through to make the school run. This has increased my daily drive time from 2 hours to 2 1/2 hours.

My blood starts to boil as soon as I start to see the signs.



Zoey at Zoe's
Saturday, August 13, 2011

We were out car shopping today (nothing will make you hate a car faster then broken A/C in the AZ summer) and we stopped at a little place called Zoe's kitchen for lunch.

My Zoey was, of course, in heaven thinking she had her own place.

My Zoey at Zoe's Kitchen

The food was actually really good, and the cookies were as big as my head!


Go Towards the Light
Sunday, August 14, 2011

The view from my bed this morning.


Well, the view from my bed every morning to be honest.

But last week at Skip's Summer School Roberto Valenzuela talked about (among other things) looking for lighting patterns in natural settings that you can recreate to make interesting photos.

So even though this is what I wake up to every day today I stopped to recognize and appreciate the ethereal glow from the big window in the bathroom, and then got to work practicing my craft and looking for ways to make interesting photos using this light.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

If you like Pina Colada, and getting caught in the rain

I DO like Pina Colada! But what does that have to do with anything? Read through at least Tuesday to find out. ;)

How much WOW can you fit in one room? 
Monday, August 1, 2011

Today was the first FULL day of workshop, and I do mean FULL.

This was also the day I spent crying. I mean full-on runny nose, blotchy faced crying. But that's another story for another day. (And another blog.)

This picture was taken later in the evening at a open/unscripted panel discussion with any of the presenters who felt so inclined to show up. And yes, by then I had, thankfully, stopped crying.


From left to right we have Bob Davis, Jerry Ghionis, Tamara Lackey, Bambi Cantrell, Jules and Joy Bianchi, Bobbi Lane, Roberto Valenzuela, Matthew Jordan Smith

Amazing photographers who were SOOO generous with their time and knowledge. I was blown away at how much they really seemed to want to help each of us be successful!

Feeding my mind AND my stomach
Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Today was full of hands-on demonstrations, like this one.


It was a LONG day and afterwards I set out with fellow attendee Matt Vanecek to find something for dinner.We had almost resigned ourselves to McDonald's when we decided to take the tram next door to Treasure Island for one last punt.

At the bottom of the escalator was a bikini clad woman handing out full color fliers of some sort. If you have ever been to Las Vegas you know you should usually avoid scantily clad women handing out anything...but she said the magic words: Free Food.

We took her coupon and discovered it was for a free entree at one of the restaurants, Kahunaville.  Buy one entree, get one free.

I ordered the Pina Colada Chicken, which turned out to be the single tastiest meal I had my entire trip. And pretty to boot!


Welcome Home!
Wednesday, August 3, 2011

My time in Vegas at a close, it was finally time to return home. This is the happy sight that greeted me at the airport!


If the shoe fits
Thursday, August 4, 2011

When we drove past the house today there was one shoe on the back of this truck. Just one, single, lonely shoe. And it amused me. What can I say? I'm easily amused.

Weekend Plans
Friday, August 5, 2011

The kids LOVE the iPod touch. They are junkies and would play games on it all day long if I would let them. (Their current obsession is Plants vs. Zombies.)

The only problem is there is one iPod and 3 kids. So after school typically looks a little like this.


Happy Hour Tragedy
Saturday, August 6, 2011

If you know me well you already know that I am just a tad bit obsessed with Sonic Happy Hour.

Today my addiction bit me in the but, literally.

Harrison had fallen asleep in the back seat so I was trying to juggle my drink and his. (Our Audi has no cup holders. Apparently Germans don't drink and drive.)

Which means that before we made it home I was wearing 20 oz. of ice cold Cherry Sprite.

Happy hour tragedy

Together again
Sunday, August 7, 2011

Sundays are usually the days I attempt to sleep in, just a little. Unfortunately my kids still wake at 6:30, on the dot. And if I am not up fixing breakfast they feel it is their duty to personally come find me and snuggle me until I get up. Which means by 7:00 am on Sundays my bed usually looks like this.


I think we need to buy a King Size mattress, or start locking the door!!!!

Friday, August 5, 2011

A week of firsts

First day of school, first time traveling by myself, first time my baby turned was a big week!

Back to School
Monday, July 25, 2011
Day 57

Today was the first day of school-but not just any old first day of school. It was first day so school in Arizona. For Adam it was the first day back to public school after doing home school. First day of school EVER for my little kindergartner.

First day of School

Remind me again why we moved to Arizona in the middle of summer
Tuesday, July 26, 2011
Day 58

Sometime during the night the AC quit working. We called the property manager at first light and he told us the soonest his AC guy could arrive was 5:00 pm. That was 11 hours away!!!! Before he arrived the temperatures in the house rose to over 90 degrees. This did not make for happy kids or happy parents.


Around 5:00 a different AC guy called (long story) and diagnosed the problem over the phone, but couldn't get parts until morning. Trust me when I say it was a LONG night!

Breakfast at McDonalds
Wednesday, July 27, 2011
Day 59

I waited and watched the clock all night until 5:00 am-the time McDonald's dinning area opens. And then we got dressed and headed to breakfast because McDonald's is close and they have air conditioning!!!!



Thankfully the HVAC guy came as I was taking the kids to school and had everything fixed and working by around 9:30 am. Thank goodness!!!!!

And Then He was 4
Thursday, July 28, 2011
Day 60

We celebrated his birthday last Friday, making today relatively quiet, but today is my baby's birthday. He is now officially 4 years old.

And then he was 4

The Last Supper
Friday, July 29 2011
Day 61

I am leaving very early tomorrow morning to go to Las Vegas for Skip's Summer School . I will be gone 5 days, the longest I have ever been away from my kids. So we spent the night in style with dinner at Chino Bandido.


It's a Circle of Life Thing
Saturday, July 30, 2011
Day 62

While in Vegas I splurged and bought tickets to see The Lion King. I felt so guilty for spending so much money when we were stretching financially just to get me to Vegas for the workshop in the first place-but I SO BADLY wanted to see it. And I was NOT disappointed!

Circle of life

Here is the stage before the show began. (Before the two big, tall guys sat down directly in front of me.)


It is crazy how much I love live theater. As the opening strains of Circle of Life were being sung I started to cry. I was so excited and so moved and it was stupid and embarrassing but I cried!

And then, because we are completely insane, we got reduced price tickets to Mystere at 9:30. (Reduced because they were for same day.) The show was, of course, amazing. But having gotten up at 4:00 to make my early flight meant I was really too tired to truly enjoy it. Note to self. Two shows in one day is just TOOO much!

Despite being completely wiped out by the time we got back to our room at the Stratosphere we took a trip up to the top. We got a free ride because we were hotel guests, and we were only staying one night, and it really is a much better view at night-so we dragged our tired selves to the top. Took a quick picture. Then we went to bed!


You had to be there
Sunday, July 31,
Day 63


My water glass at the Paris Buffet. This picture was taken for the benefit of a select few, who know who they are. Enough said.