Thursday, October 8, 2009

October 8, 2009

What Pumpkin Treat Are You?

I Am Toasted Pumpkin Seeds
You are serious and dedicated. You are a quiet person, and you're often lost in your own pursuits. To be honest, you sometimes hardly notice the changing of the seasons... except that you feel a little more calm in the fall.As the days get shorter, the nights get longer. And there's nothing you like more than a quiet night at home.And you believe a cold, rainy day is the perfect excuse to stay home all day and enjoy the quiet. Not that you need an excuse!

Take the quiz here

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

October 7, 2009

Fall. Just the name brings back wonderful memories. I LOVE fall. I love that it starts out with a crispness in the morning and warms to the most comfortable temperature during the day. I love that you can smell the leaves burning at the farmhouse down the street. I love that when I walk out of the house in the morning, the colorful palette of leaves line the path and crunch softly beneath my feet. I love to see the yellow, orange and red mums that were so carefully planted at the first sign of coolness and the pumpkins that sit on the porches in the neighborhood.

Of course, it is easy to love the fall season when you live in Texas because it also means that you can now do outdoor activities without having a heatstroke! One of my favorite things that we do every year is go camping. We pack up our tents, sleeping bags and warm clothes and head off to the most wonderful campsite in Oklahoma. We meet my parents, sister and her family and we spend the most glorious long weekend camping out, hiking, geocaching and visiting. I guess what I love most about fall is that it means family to me. Love. Togetherness. Happiness. We start to pull our family close, spend more time at home and out of the cold. It means the beginnings of holidays and thankfulness. The ending of a good year and a promise of a better year to come.

I LOVE FALL.......

Saturday, September 26, 2009

September 26, 2009

Your Rockstar Name Is: Miss Vicious
Rock on!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

September 20,2009

A Fair to Remember...

I know, its dumb, but I couldn't help myself. Growing up in Texas, it was a yearly event to go to the fair. I loved going. Not only did we have a day off of school, but the fair was a big event in Texas.

I can still remember the morning of our annual "fair day". My younger sister, Amy, and I would wake up with a great anticipation. My mother made us matching outfits and we were so excited that we could finally wear them. After a big breakfast, we would head out to the fair. I will always remember looking for Big Tex, the giant Texan who greeted all the fair goers at the gate. I can still here his voice in my head as he welcomes us to the fair and reminds us to eat a hotdog and ride the rides.

I can still feel the excitment of walking up to the ticket booth and my dad buying us a big book of tickets to use to ride the rides and play the games. As we walked through the entrance, we could smell fall in the air, popcorn and candy apples, hot dogs and cotton candy--and the faint smell of hay and animals. I could see the huge ferris wheel and we would head straight for it. Ironic now, since I can't stand heights, but I loved the ferris wheel. I always felt so free as we went around and around.

We would spend all day, riding the rides, seeing the exhibits and looking at all the animals. I can remember falling into the car and being so exhausted that I would be asleep 2 minutes after we left. Those are the memories that I want for my children too.

Although I no longer live in the Dallas area, we have our own fair here in Waco. It is a huge event that lasts for about a week. But more than the rides--they seem so cheesey and much less stable than when I was a child--we go to see the rodeo. It is an event we look forward to every year. I love to see the look of excitment on my childrens face as they watch the big bull try to throw off the rugged cowboy or their horror as he goes after the rodeo clown. We always enjoy a great laugh when we watch the little ones ride the sheep to see who can go the farthest. We have also made it a yearly event to go through EVERY camper at the show and make our dream list.

It is that time again--only a few more weeks--and we are already excited and ready to go. I can only hope that my children have as good a memories as I do about the fair, and that they, in turn, make those memories with their children.

Friday, September 11, 2009

September 11, 2009

Over the years, I haven't really LOVED sports. I mean, I sit in the same room when my husband watches them, I even--sometimes--enjoy them. I have been to baseball games--I LOATHE baseball--basketball games even a hockey game or two, but I have never really fallen in love with a sport.....until softball.

My husband is a softball coach at our local high school, and a couple of years ago, we nudged our 11 year old daughter towards softball. She instantly picked it up. She was, after all, a tomboy at heart. She could and can't get enough of it. We signed her up for our local little league and proceeded to start the season. I still remember her first tryout. It was cold and dreary and all the parents where huddled in the bleachers watching their little league hopeful. You see, Midway Little League is a dynasty. They have gone to the World Series for 11 of the past 13 years. Everyone wants to play on this team. We were not like that though. We just wanted Leah to play, have fun and learn a team sport. Learn how to be a team player. But here we were on that foggy, chilly morning, along with all the other parents, secretly hoping our child was better than atleast a few of the girls. Good enough to make the team.

When the list came out, her name was on it. That day changed the rest of our lives.

Over the last three years, we have played little league, travelled ALL OVER Texas to qualify for the World Series, travelled to Oregon to play in the Little League World Series in 2008, played in NUMEROUS tournaments with her select team, watched her hit her first homerun, a walk off gland slam that won the game for her team, and now, this Spring, she will play highschool ball. This is what we have been working so hard for. You see, she wants to play college ball. This is just the next step on the road to meet her goal. Somehow, in all the travelling, picture taking, sideline coaching and cheering, I fell in love with the game. More, I fell in love watching my daughter play the game. Some people may look at the next 4 years of games and tournaments as a hassle, but I am excited to see the possiblities. I can't wait to see her meet her goal and go on to play in college because that means I will have ATLEAST 8 more years to watch her play. If I play my cards right, and my husband gets his way, our 7 year old will be following in her big sisters footsteps. She will have some big shoes to fill, but if anyone can fill them, she can.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Random Questions

I like to take part in challenges at my favorite scrapbooking store--Sweet Shoppe Designs, and this is their blogger challenge this month. Thought is would be fun to hear what your answers are so post a comment and let me know!

Here are todays quick and quirky questions:

1. Do you wash your own car or do you go to a car wash?
Neither--it stays outside so I never really got the purpose..
2. Are you wearing socks right now?

On my way to run so...yes
3. Where were you 3 hours ago?

IN BED..and it was so nice :)
4. Do you have laundry waiting to be done?

Of course....
5. Can you pick objects up with your toes?

can't all mothers?? I thought it was a prerequisite to having children. A talent you learn
when you are so big you can't bend over...

Monday, April 20, 2009

April 20, 2009

So, I had my first REAL photo shoot last night--that is some one is actually paying me to take their pictures-- and after going through the 500 pictures I took--no lie--I culled it down to about 100. I started to process them and would like your opinion BEFORE I send them to her. Let me know what to change or do different. I am so worried about these--I want to do a good job and turn out a good product. After posting the pictures, I can already tell the two at the bottom are a little to blue, but what do you think? Let me know.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

March 24, 2009

Here are a few I took of Courtney for her 7th b-day!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

March 22,2009

the boys



Black and white


Black and white

I am WAY happier with these. I think I figured out that the pic I was using with his jacket reflected on his face and I just don't like it so much. I think I am liking black and white more and more--you really see the person then and not all the colors. Anyway, I redid the one of him shirtless and like it better too. It WAS very yellow, so I think I toned it down a bit and made him less jaundiced! If only it had beed that easy when he was a baby instead of having to put him in all those machines! HA! Well, tell me what you think--don't hold back because if I am going to try and do this for other people, i have to know what works and what doesn't!

Friday, March 20, 2009

March 20, 2009

Is this one better???

March 20, 2009

We are out to take more pics. Just thought I would add these to see what you thought.

I like this one to include with announcements????

Is this too soft and sexy??

I hate to say it but I really like this one.

I will put more up later.....let me know what you think.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

March 19, 2009

I love this one of Michael

this is my favorite of Andrew

Well, I got to work for a little while last night. I was having fun playing around with CS3 and trying different techniques out on the pics. They passed the Andrew test--he really liked them. Of course, who wouldn't when the subject is so good looking??? Anyway, thought you might enjoy looking at a few. Let me know what you think!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

March 18, 2009

Here is a preview of what I am working on. Let me know what you think! I LOVE the boys pictures and I am so happy with how they turned out. can't wait to finish them all! Check back tonight and tomorrow for more!

Friday, March 13, 2009

March 11, 2009

We have been so busy lately--I know, I know, I say that all the time. And it's true! We had Courtney's B-day on Sunday with just our family and tomorrow she will have her first b-day party ever with her friends! She has three little girls coming over and we will go to Build-A-Bear and Peter Piper Pizza and back home for cake and ice cream! She is beside herself with excitement! I will have tons of pictures to upload soon, but I wanted to put up a picture I was working on tonight. She got several new outfits for her birthday so she posed for me with a few of them on. I thought you might like to see one of them. She is so cute! I love her little freckles! I will try and get her b-day pics up soon so you can enjoy those too!

On another note: MY BOY IS COMING! MY BOY IS COMING! I can hardly wait!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

March 4, 2009

Hey everybody! I am so excited about a new technique I learned and I thought I would share it with you--especially since I know that you have the same problem every now and again.
So first up, I want to show you a picture that I took SOOC. It is BAD....VERY bad. In fact, before yesterday, I would have tossed it.

Oops--forgot to change my settings.

BUT, since I really wanted the picture, I decided to try and save it. Now, normally when I have done this, it a.) doesn't work and b) if it does even remotely come close to working, it is SOOOO grainy that it really wasn't worth my time because I ended up throwing it out anyway. But, with my new found discoveries on PSE, I found that these photos can be saved.

Here is the after pic.

Hard to believe isn't it???? Even the color is back. Usually when you have to lighten it as much as I had to, you lose all the black till it fades to gray.

Want to learn how to do it?? If the answer is no, you better leave now because I feel a tutorial coming on....

First, Open the picture in PSE that you want to correct. When you have it opened, look to the right (where the little picture is--the one that says background next to it) Right above that picture is a black and white circle. Click the circle and it will come up with a menu--hit levels. That will create a new level adjustment layer for you. Now, when your level box popped up, in the middle of the box is what looks like some kind of graph. If your picture has perfect levels, then it will look like little black hills. If, your picture looks like mine, it has a big black mountain to the left side--that is bad--very bad. So, in order to fix it, look for the white slider that is attached to the graph--not the one a little below it that looks like a gradient, but the one attached directly to it. Move the white slider(on the right) all the way till it touches the beginning of the black mountain on the right side. You will notice the gray slider moves along with it. Can you see the picture getting lighter??? So, your goal is to have the black slider at the beginning of the black mountain on the left side, your gray slider in the middle, and your white slider on the end of the black mountain on the right side. that will balance out your lighting.

My picture looked like this when I was done with the levels adj.

To me, it is really, really, yellow and red and really, really grainy.

Soooo, want to learn how to fix that too??? i knew you would. It is so easy you will wonder how you ever got by without it!

First, with your picture already open, click on the same black and white circle you did before but this time when the menu pops up, click on Hue and Saturation. When it pops up, you will see an edit box that says Master and it has a drop down menu. Hit the drop down Menu and you will see it comes up with a list of colors. For the most part, I never touch Red or Magenta because it messes with the skin color but, because this picture is SO yellow and red, we will have to play around with them both. Go to the red first and after you click on red, you will then need to go to the saturation tab. Slide the tab to the left to decrease and right to increase that color. I am going to slide mine to the left and decrease the red tones--just a bit. I don't want to take to much out of it because the field IS a red dirt. When I get it to where I like it, I go back up to the color tab and the drop down menu and pick yellow. I decrease the yellow in my picture to where I like it making sure not to decrease it so much that the softball loses its color. Now, because I can see the grassy field back behind it, I am going to once again click the color tab, go to green, and I am going to increase--by about 20--the color green, This will really make the color pop. Then press OK. You just created a layer mask. Over on the left side of your screen, you now have your background layer and above it will be what looks like a computer and a white rectangle. The great thing about this is that if you start to work with it and later on realize that you want to adjust the color a little more, you can double click on the computer thing and it will pull your menu back up. You can then make your necessary adjustments. YEA!!

So here it is with the color corrections. Not near as yellow and the red is toned down.

but still too grainy.

So now, I am going to do the best part. For this, you will need to go to this website scroll down to the last orange dot and and download the Noiseware Community Edition-Standalone version. It is free and I promise you--you will LOVE it.

Now we are going to get rid of the noise in the picture. Since the noiseware is a stand alone version and not a plug in, you will need to save the picture, minimize PSE and then open your new software. Just click OK when the first window pops up. Go to the Open Folder pic--on the left side and Open your new picture and then go the the spot where it says default and go to the drop down menu. If you have time, you can play around with all of them--just hit undo between tries. I used the nightscene for mine because my pic was so dark. Make sure your preview is ON--it is right next to the default menu. Hit go on the menu (it is to the right of the default menu.) Your picture is fixed. To see the change, click and hold on the picture. You can see the change when you let go. Go to Save as and save your picture.

Here is my finished pic.

And that is how you save an unsavable pic.

Now you go try it and let me see what you did!

Monday, March 2, 2009

March 3,2009

I just finished a template for my photography offerings. I thought it would be nice to offer a little collage type thing for ALL the photos. I think it would make a nice display. What do you think?


It's time to PARTY! I finished Courtney's invitation and thought you would like to see it

Isn't it cute???

March 2, 2009--evening

Did you notice anything different on the blog today??? I did. It is official, I have my first blog follower (thanks mom) Isn't it exciting? I would love to think she comes to read my witty blogs, but I think she just comes for the pictures! Anyway, I am adding a little gift for my older sister(Ha) the one I promised her because I said she was older when she really isn't. But, I am working on trying different things, getting ready to start my photography business on the side-if I wanted to see what you thought about these storyboards. Once I get my templates set up, I will be able to put a combination of pictures on one page so the can have a nice framed print when it is done. This is just my first. They make great cards or announcements. If you like them OR if you have another suggestion--leave me a comment. (you will be my first and I know you don't want to pass that up!) :)

March 2, 2009

So awhile back we had our little photo shoot with the cousins. I FINALLY finished processing those last night. I thought I would share with you what it was like to shoot these kids.

Now, at first, things started out ok. We actually got them all together--minus Andrew,of course, but the thought of pictures seems to make Amys' boys cringe. Of course, mine had just had a photo shoot at Tonkawa Park the weekend before, so they were not too happy about doing it again. But, like I said, it started out ok.

We took the boys pictures......

Aren't they precious?? never would know that underneath it all there is a dark side...a picture-hating dark side.

then we took the girls pictures......and I won't show you those now as I am sure you are sick of seeing them..(that and I haven't finished them yet....)

We even took Mimi's picture. Isn't she pretty. She doesn't look a day over 40! I love my older sister! HA!!
But all the fun came at the end of the day, when they had had enough. This is what you get when that happens....

see what I mean... picture-hating dark side. And they want me to take more..... In their dreams.

till next time....