Friday, August 29, 2014

Five on Friday

1. Long Weekend

Yahooo!!!  Is everyone else so excited?  Its crazy how much happiness comes with an extra day on the weekend.  I have a photo session with 2 Seniors this weekend, but other then that, no plans. Well, I say no plans, but I have to stick with my P90X, I have a house to clean, I have a pile of laundry, I have chores I need to do.... so its basically work.  But work at home is so much better then work at work.  Can I get an Amen?

2. Fantasy Football

I don't even care.  I make it known that I'm not a huge sports fan.  I don't have time to even understand how games are played.  Sitting down on a Monday night, or a weekend & watch a game - or even a FEW games?  Yeah.. not in this girls schedule. #alwaysbusy
But Ricky went to his Fantasy Football draft last night.  So I know I'm going to see a lot of papers around the house, hear a lot of "Oh man" or "Oh yeah", have a lot of "Turn the station over so I can see the score" ... People take this stuff seriously.  SER-IOUS-LY!!!!  I don't get it.  At all.  Have a great year you crazy sports people.

3. Joan Rivers

I'm sitting on the edge of Twitter every minute trying to see if there are any updates on Joan Rivers... like she's a great aunt of mine or something.  I just really like her.  I know she says things that gets her in trouble - but she's a comedian. That's what they do.  Did anyone watch her when she was on Celebrity Apprentice? You can't say the woman doesn't work.  She's clever, has a smart mind & you can tell she really cares about people.  If you haven't seen her documentary - you really should. (that's the name of it in the picture above) ... I hope I'm still that active & doing everything she does at 81 years old.

4. Loom Knitting

I did it! I made my first hat on my loom ... in less then 24 hours.  Granted, I thought it was going to be an adult size hat, but its only going to fit a small child, but I'm learning.  I don't know how to gauge the sizes of these things yet.  & while I like the look of straight, regular knitting better, this at least feeds my fiber fix that I've been missing so badly.

I sat & watched hours - I'm talking HOURRRSSSSSS - of loom knitting videos on youTube yesterday & I'm ready to crank out some socks & slouch hats & scarves.  I just want to make things again.

I do have to keep an eye out though on Harvey Dent. He just keeps staring at the looms.  They are round.  Which to his eyes are his favorite toys - Frisbees.  If you follow me on Instagram or Twitter, you know his destructive ways are still in full force... it would be nothing for him to tear up a loom... or two... or three...

(Just this week)

5. Brad & Angelina... & Jennifer

So Brad & Angelina got married... & the whole word rejoices?  Apparently... not in my world.  In my world, I'm like, "That's nice... move on"... but its on every entertainment page over & over & every entertainment news show.  Its not like they haven't been together for the longest time & a dozen kids ago...

The one thing that irks me is how they still, STILL, bring up Jennifer Aniston.  I heard on a show last night, "I think they planned their wedding because Jennifer Aniston has a new movie coming out & she's doing press for it"... really?  REALLY?  & one of the headlines I saw just this moring said, "Jennifer Aniston looks sad about Brad & Angelina"... oh my gosh people... MOVE ON!

Me thinks she's over it...

For the record, I think Justin Theroux is WAY hotter then Brad Pitt...

Are you #TeamJennifer or #TeamAngelina?  #TeamBrad or #TeamJustin?
Do you loom knit? (send me some tips)
What are your long weekend plans?

Thursday, August 28, 2014

#ProjectThankful14 ... volunteers, t-shirts & National Dog Day!!!

“Every once in a while God allows you to stub your toe as a kind reminder to be grateful for the miraculous body attached to it.”
Richelle E. Goodrich, Smile Anyway: Quotes, Verse, & Grumblings for Every Day of the Year
08.21.14 Red Scarf makes me happy
Sometimes its the small things in a day that makes you happy
... & how can a red scarf not make anyone happy?...
This was given to me as a Christmas gift by a sweet friend.
We actually saw it when we were in a store headed to Women of Faith.
I had no idea she snuck back in & got it for me & kept it for a few months to give to me at Christmas... that's just precious right there...
So when I wear it, I think of the kindness & thoughtfulness of friends.
08.22.14 Cold Brew Coffee
I've been seeing a lot of blogs talking about cold brewing coffee for iced coffee.
I was excited to try it so Friday night, I got it all together, did what the YouTube video told me do & let it set.
Verdict?  It was alright - nothing amazing.
To me - not worth all the hassle... maybe if I was a REAL coffee freak, I may be able to tell the difference
... but I'm glad I tried it... & glad I have some extra mason jars now.
08.23.14 Cancer Sucks!
I have seen this shirt on many a race & every time it goes by me (because everyone goes by me) I say I want one
... well, we went to the fair on Saturday & there they were
... & my hubs got me one!
I want to wear it every day to talk about how I feel exactly about cancer.
08.24.14 Volunteer
I talked about this in Monday's post
... still am so thrilled I did this...
Its been something amazing to see all the posts on Facebook in the Ironman Louisville page & blog posts people have written specifically for the volunteers from the race.
The appreciation is amazing.
I totally can't wait to do it next year!
I'll be a little tired - its following the day after I shoot a wedding, but I'll still be there!
08.25.14 First day doing P90X
So many people have scared me about doing this program.
I had bought it from a church friend a LONG time ago - even forgot I had it.
Ran across it & thought, why not? ... I decided I'm doing the "Lean" program which is more focused on calorie burn, more then the bulking up.
Let's get the calorie burn first & then after 3 months, I can always go back & bulk up
... & yes, it has some moves that COULD hurt my shoulder, but I've been doing this thing called exercise for so long, I know moves to substitute.
I'm excited to see how this works for me.
08.26.14 National Dog Day
Every day is National Dog day in my house.
Look at Zoe - she kept running from me & I wasn't about to have a blank square in the pic... & Harvey was wondering if he was in trouble getting his picture taken.
How we love our babies.
... side note... please keep prayers going for Sydney - she's starting to not eat & just looking tired.  I don't even want to think about what lies next - I want to focus on the amazing fighter she is.
08.27.14 Yarn back in my hands
I miss knitting so much... I actually grieve holding knitting needles.
Stupid bicep tendonitis.
So when a friend of mine started sharing adorable hats & things she's made with a knitting loom, I had to give it a try.  Equipped with a 40% off coupon, I headed to Hobby Lobby - picked up a clearance skein of yarn & let me tell you... last night, I already got about 6 inches of a hat done. & it didn't hurt!!!!!!!!!!!
I can do most of it left handed, not hurting my bicep tendon!
If you need me, I'm going to be on YouTube or sites that show me all the things I can make with these babies...
(I'll post a pic of my first hat from this when I finish)
What are you thankful for this week?

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Humpday Confessions: Music

Vodka and Soda

With MTV VMA's this weekend... which I didn't even watch... I am inspired by music this week... so let's confess some things about MUSIC today

... One of my first albums was Stryper, To Hell with the Devil... & Whitesnake's album - the one that had all the songs Tawny Kitaen rolled all over the cars with.  Could you get two more opposite albums?  Definitely showed I loved hair bands.

... I always used to listen to my brother's Hall & Oats albums.  They were just here in concert a few months ago & I really wanted to go see them.  Hall & Oats had a lot of good songs if you look over their play lists.

... Yes, I was a New Kids on the Block freak in the 80's.  I never could pick a favorite though. Love the bad boy, Donnie but I always loved Jordan.  Who doesn't love the front man?

... I have a memory of Dolly Pardon always playing growing up.  She's classic.

... I take the first comment back - I remember my FIRST album.  It was a kid's worship album by the Gaithers.  & do you know I can still sing some of the songs from it.

... My brother was a John Cougar & a Bruce Springsteen fan... until John Cougar & Bruce Springsteen became popular.  My brother is a rebel.

... Country music was always coming out of my dad's garage.

... I always hated country music, but some of it has grown on me through the years. I always said its a true sign that I'm aging.

I kinda understand this a little bit now

... I had a poster of the Monkees on my wall as a teenager. Yes, I was a teen of the 80's but Davy Jones just made me happy.  MTV had a thing in the 80's where they would play The Monkees episodes over & over. I was hooked. I saw the Monkee's in concert 3 times in my life.  Davy Jones and Mike Nesmith both share my birthday.  I am still in mourning that Davy Jones passed away.

... Let's not count how many times I've seen Steven Curtis Chapman in concert...

... Steven Curtis Chapman & KISS were both main staples in our wedding.  Perfectly describes who Ricky & I are.

... I never knew I could know so many KISS songs until I married my husband

... He never knew he could know so many Steven Curtis Chapman songs until he married me.

Yep - I loved him even back in the mullet days

... I don't get hard core rap music. 

... I think radio needs a Broadway station #thankyouPandora

... If you put my ipod on shuffle, you would probably get every genre of music song after song.  I really do love it all...

... except Jazz. I hate & loathe Jazz. I don't understand it.  It only makes me want to pull my hair out.

I hate jazz... but I do love a good moment for jazz hands

... I don't understand how people sit in an office, or in a car & don't have music playing.  I think that's a definition of insanity.

... I've always been a fan of soundtracks from movies.  Its a way to get a variety of songs in one place.  Clueless, Dirty Dancing, A Walk to Remember & Charlie's Angels are some of my favorite.

... Disney soundtracks are on a whole other level.  I will never be too old to break out in any Disney song that is played.

... At a wedding or a funeral, I'm usually good until I hear the first beat of a song.  Music makes me cry the most at emotional events.

... Taylor Swift irritates me

.... Elvis "Always on my mind" is probably one of my favorite all time songs.  I kinda like the Willie Nelson version too.  I think I loved this song after seeing the movie about Elvis & Priscilla where he recorded it to try & get her back.  I'm a sucker for a love story.

... I feel so un-American when I say this, but I'm not a huge Stevie Wonder fan.  When they would have Stevie Wonder nights on American Idol, I would just turn it over. 

... Speaking of American Idol, Bo Bice, Clay Aiken & Colton Dixon were some of my favorites. 

... I love Song Pop on Facebook just to remember old songs I haven't heard in forever.  Anyone else play?

... Songs from the 80's can instantly take me back to my teenager years. 

What's your favorite kind of music?
Does music bring back memories for you?
Does Taylor Swift irritate you too?

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

How weddings have changed.....

Weddings... they are so different now then they were when I got married.

We'll be celebrating our 19 year anniversary in just 2 months... I'm already trying to push for a Disney trip next year to celebrate our 20th.  It's just called for I think.

But being a photographer at weddings & seeing all things Pinterest in weddings, I see how different is was when I walked down the aisle in 1995.

Here's some things I noticed....

We never had Save the Date cards

Fall save the date photo idea -

It really is such a cute idea.  But isn't that a lot of extra postage?  I think it is a cute way to start spreading the word on when the wedding is going to be.  But things spread quickly more on social media... I would do the pictures for it, but spread the word on Facebook & Instagram... & then let people wait anxiously to see if they are getting invited. Build up some anticipation.

We never had Couple's Showers

Couples Bridal Shower Cake

Bridal showers were just for the bride back in my day.  Ricky would sit at home & wait for me & my mom to pull up & he would unload the car & then we'd have our own little private shower as he would go through everything we got.  It was like Christmas morning for him.  Ricky's not a big 'in the lime light' kinda person anyways so I'm sure he didn't mind this one bit, but I have been to couple showers now & love that the groom is there & that guys are invited to the showers. 

We didn't have gift giving to ask for bridesmaids / MOH

I really love the cute ways that they have all over Pinterest on how to ask your friends to shell out lots of money for a dress they'll never wear again.  Some of the ways are so fancy & creative. This is for some creative people ... or some really rich people. I've seen where the bride gets necklaces or jewelry & have the question engraved on that, or on the box somewhere.  It's definitely a cool keepsake between friends.

We never had Choreographed dances

I would have been ALL OVER THIS.  Ricky is thankful every night in his prayers this wasn't a thing back in the 90's.  From dancing DOWN the aisle (my grandmother would have had a heart attack) to amazing reception dances with the whole bridal party?  I think this is fantastic!  I love when I see such neat dances when I photograph a wedding. I had one father that did the best dance with his daughter.  At the end, I asked how long they practiced... she said he just dances like that. It wasn't even planned.  Even better!  I totally could have pulled off a Dirty Dancing dance routine in the 90's...

These next two things really hit me in the photographers heart...

We never had Engagement Pictures

Engagement / those colors are perfect together - good wardrobe choice

Nope - wasn't really a thing then.  You didn't go out & get pictures of the two of you before the wedding day.  If you did, it wasn't like the fun pictures that people do now.  I love that people use engagement pictures & make beautiful guest books with them. We had the same ones that I think people use at funerals.

Wedding pictures were MUCH different

Bride / Prep / Wedding

Now that I do wedding photography & I take pictures of the day, I am so jealous when I hand over wedding pictures.  I want my day captured.  Wedding pictures then were basically you standing in the front of the church with your bridal party, your family & your groom.  That was it. Honestly, my wedding pictures were like 75 pictures.  That's everything.  Wedding, reception, family pictures.   All in a grey album with plastic cover.  Stupid.  I want the beautiful moments of getting ready, & the smiles between friends & the details of the day.  I love wedding pictures of today.

One thing that may be a blessing that they didn't have then? 

We didn't have Pinterest

I love Pinterest.  But mercy, Pinterest gives some expectations.  People see all these amazing things about weddings on there & they want them all.  I remind my brides that you are looking at the one good picture from someone's entire day.  Put a bunch of people's ONE PICTURE in one place & it looks like everyone's wedding day is perfect.  Not have the expectations that every thing is going to turn out Pinterest Perfect.  People can get a little obsessed with it...  #iamtalkingaboutmyself

In the end, I still loved my wedding... & still am in love with the man I married... the only thing that matters

So did you use any of these things for your wedding?
If you've been married forever like me, what didn't you have that is out there now?

Monday, August 25, 2014

The weekend I had hundreds of strangers sweat on me.... Ironman 2014

I had an amazing weekend.  I could talk about Saturday & the trip Ricky & I had to our State Fair (which by the way, I didn't eat one nasty fried piece of food there... blah)... but this weekend was all about IRONMAN LOUISVILLE to me...

My morning started early with me watching the swimmers get in the water & start their day.   It blows my mind how early these people start & how long their day is ahead of them...

The heat was still there... but the temperatures dropped to 92 degrees. YAHOO!!! ... (insert very sarcastic attitude)... at least the heat advisory did actually drop. 

Truth be told, I did think it was hot, but it wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be. 

That is, until I stepped into the tent where I worked for the day...


So yeah, I choose to work hands on with the women athletes in the tents as they were in T2 (Transition 2)... I feel so technical saying T2.  But these women were coming in from a 112 bike ride & were sweaty & exhausted, & we had the job of helping them change & prepare for a 26.2 mile run.

Because its basically a changing area, all the tent had to be enclosed.  In a 92 degree day, an enclosed tent is basically like 105 degrees inside... with no air... It was stifling.  It made walking outside waiting for the next person feel like it was paradise.  #perspective

I wasn't sure what I was supposed to do with this being my first year in this area.  I literally got a brief overview that took 15 seconds & then they said, just follow someone.  So I stuck with a few of the ladies dripping in sweat - I knew they had been there for awhile.

I was told the first thing was to give them a cup of water, ask if they wanted some cold water thrown on their back, take their helmets & their gear & help sit them down... then the goal was to have them talk to us, make sure they were making sense, see if they had any injuries, anything that needed assistance.  & then just help them change.  Whether it be just changing socks, shoes.  Getting their hats or visors on them.  Lathering them up in sunscreen. Even stripping clothes off of them & putting on clean clothes.  Which, have you ever had to take off a sports bra or put one on when you have sweat all over your body? 

Let's just say, by the end, I was the PRO at stripping off bras & putting them back on people.  #newjob  A lady even told me when I put her bra on her, "I had no idea it could be that easy.  Can I take you home with me?"

It started off being slow enough where 2 people could work with one person at a time... but the crowd zoomed in & everyone was 1 on 1 with each athlete.  I even at one time was working with 2 people at the same time.

You had to make sure they had everything they needed, make sure their bib was tied around them, & then make sure all their gear they left behind was put up & back in their bags & ready for them to pick up at the end of the race.

It was a LOT to do... & so busy... & so hot...

& I'd do it again... every time...

Why did I love it so much even though it was awful in the heat?  Those one on one conversations I got to have with women. 

Someone said, "oh, you're working in the tent?  People are going to treat you like dogs in there"... I know every person I worked with, & all the other volunteers agreed, every single person was so appreciative & kind to us.

I saw a girl who looked like a baby... turned out she was 23... but I told her I thought she was 16 & I wanted to give her advice on being careful out there.  She hugged me & said, "Thanks, I needed someone to tell me they cared"

I had a woman who was from Scotland that we got talking about accents.  I told her that I loved hers & she said, "You definitely have a Kentucky accent"... then we started saying words the same to see what each sounded like.

I had a lady who came in whose daughter had come through earlier.  She & her daughter had trained together & was excited to do their first Ironman together.  Her daughter was way ahead of her but she left a note in her mom's bag that I pulled out & handed to her & said, "you may want to read this"... her daughter drew a picture of the two of them crossing the finish line together" & it said, "I may finish before you, but I'll be there waiting on you"... the mom started crying... so of course, I started crying... & then quickly wiped away her tears so we could keep her dry

I had quite a few people who had notes from loved ones tucked inside of their bags for them to read...

I had a lady who scared me & I had to call medic on.  She wasn't talking right & she couldn't get calmed down.  The medics gave her salt pills & Coke to try & get some things back in her system.  She just was not doing well.  They talked her into going to the medic tent & letting them check her.  When she was panicked about having any penalties or being pulled, I sat & talked with her & told her she would be fine, but she needed to be safe & smart.  I got her laughing a bit & then she agreed to get checked.  I prayed for her... I wonder if she finished.

I had a lady whose feet were so swollen after her bike ride, she couldn't get her shoes on.  I had to rub her feet & massage them until she could bend them a bit to get circulation back in them.  In the end, we gave her some pickle juice to get cramps from over taking her & getting her body moving again.

I had a lady who was a total diva.  She brought a Princess towel, had to change her full wardrobe, even brought make up & a brush & redid her hair.  I laughed & said, You are coming in here totally prepared.  She said, "Looking good makes me feel good"... whatever works for you lady.

I saw a lady who came in at the end who was struggling.  She sat there for about 10 minutes & kept saying, I'm not sure I can finish.  She had to be in her 60's.  I knelt down to her & told her that she had to make the decision but whatever she decided, she already completed the swim & the bike portion - something I have never done - something I could never imagine doing - that she was amazing no matter what decision she made.  I saw someone walking her out of the tent.  Not sure what she decided.

I loved it because their names were on their bibs & as I wrapped them around each persons waist, I made sure to see their names & then use it.... making it personal.  I'd hug them or pat them on the back & say their name & tell them to finish strong / have a great race / you are amazing... always leaving them with encouraging words.

The best part was when they said back to me, "Thank you so much for helping me.... "... "You are the best volunteer".... "You made this so much easier for me"...

It was so worth being in that 'hot box' in the end...

I figured up a few things to let you know if you want to work in the women's' changing tent.

You DONT want to:

* Being in a place that feels like a hot garage on a summers day bothers you
* If the sight of naked women bothers you
* If stripping the clothes OFF women or dressing them again bothers you
* If the idea of someone throwing up on you bothers you (I got lucky - I got out puke free - others weren't so lucky)
* Touching people's sweaty socks & feet bother you
* If getting dirty bothers you

My legs from kneeling in mud helping putting on shoes for hours on end

You DO want to:

* If hearing people's individual stories makes you happy
* If  you want to meet people from around the world.  I met someone from England, Scotland, Germany
* If you want to be inspired to see greatness
* If you want to make life easier for someone
* If you want to be an encouragement.

This is what I got on a picture I put on Instagram last night...


I think all the volunteers had the same attitude... making the race better for these amazing athletes.

I spoke with a lady who traveled down from Indianapolis to volunteer.  She said she was going to work the course but then realized how much they needed tent people & she said, "I thought, this is what it is to serve others. To be hands on.  To really be a face of Jesus"... I loved this lady.  & I just said to her, "Amen"... it honestly was a spiritual God-given moment to me as well.  To look people in their eyes & help them.  To encourage them. To even say quick prayers of safety over them as they left.  Serving doesn't have to be in mission fields to spread the love of Jesus.

At the end of my shift, I was a sweaty, stinky, tired, but it was the best feeling.

I got home, took my shower & got ready for bed.  I kept thinking of the people STILL out running on that road to the finish line. I pulled up the web site & watched the live feed on the finish line.  I actually saw 2 of the women that I helped get ready cross the finish line.  I was like, "I KNOW HER... I KNOW HER"... I felt proud myself to see them cross & hear those words, "YOU ARE AN IRONMAN"

A total stranger to me... but someone whose life crossed mine... even if for a few minutes.

It was a great weekend....

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