Monday, May 31, 2010

And So... a Summer of Fishing Begins

Every year, we spend our Summer's busy with all sorts of things. With John working third shift, some of those things won't be happening. But, Fishing is something we will manage to fit in. Picnics of bologna and cheese, handfuls of wax-worms and night-crawlers...
Lots of time spent explaining to Layla that you don't need to put the actual fishing pole into the water to catch something, and that you can actually fall in, no matter how sure you are that you wont.

It's time again to catch a whole bevvy of bluegill that Lydia wants to rescue, and her thinking we need the net to pull them all in ;)
It will be full of tangled lines, lost bobbers, and lots of sweaty faces.

I know I'll work off a few pounds chasing the kiddos around, and I will inevitably forget to bring extra clothes at least once. But we will be together, and we will be enjoying the simple, free, wonderful memories there are to be made. And in times like these... well... you need that.

The kids have already been once without us, and we had this trip just yesterday. And then, for Father's Day, we always go! And I really do love it... with all my heart.

Hunter's Graduation

Graduation Season is upon us! And my cousin Hunter just had his party!!
Amber my cousin, and his sister hosted it at her new house, which is lovely... and we had a great time (( you can visit her blog here ))

I will probably never be a good event photographer, but it sure was nice just enjoying seeing everyone! And snapping a few photos along the way :)
I am so proud of Hunter and the milestone, he has reached, of graduating... and I can't wait to see what life holds for him.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Goodbye May

Goodbye May
You have been sweet
and sometimes dreary
but i enjoyed your rainy days, your flowers and lilac breezes

I enjoyed all the treasures you sent my way
and all the promises of a beautiful June you made
I loved the accomplishments you held for my life
and all you taught me

I loved how green and growing you were
and how crisp your skies were
I sure will miss you.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Realities and Blessings : Week Eleven

Realities and Blessings : Week Eleven

Hello Again ... Welcome Back... or just Welcome ( for those of you visiting for the first time) -- this is another week of Realities and Blessings...

Thanks to the Amazing Maegan of
Life Set to Words , who shared this inspiring idea and encouraged us to play along ... I am one of many women finding more blessings and more hope each day... thank you Maegan. xo 

Just one this week... things are so busy here...

Reality : It is, SO hot out, sticky, sweaty, gross hot. My springtime is gone, replaced with the frustrating wave of summer. I miss my sometimes chilly spring. Here come the sunburns and higher electric bills since we have to run those stupid ac's

Blessing : It means it's  time again for afternoons in the creek and at the beach! Even though the car ride with a drivers side window that is stuck closed will be hot and miserable, the water is going to feel so good! It means it's time for water balloons, and little pools in the front yard, at mamaw's and nanny's house too. It means Layla is turning 2 in just wee bit (June 5th). The sky is a clear, bright, bold blue, the clouds are the purest white. The fruit is sweet and I get to wear my sunglasses everywhere! Time to roll down those windows, turn up that music and sing everywhere I go! Hello Summer, this year, let's try to be friends.

Have a Great Week, Full of Finding your Blessings

Friday, May 28, 2010

Thank You Jessica :)

Thank You Jess...

And not just for this adorable tin :) but for your friendship.
For listening and never judging... for careing and never forgetting to let me know you're there.
For your patience and your sweet spirit.
For enabling me in my addiction of vintage tins and photography.

I would be so lost without you...
You mean the world to me and I never want you to forget that.
You're seriously like, the coolest chick I know... and the best momma ever!
You make these amazing cakes and embrace life in a way that astounds and inspires me.

You make me giggle when I shouldn't and when I really need to.
You remember all the things we did in highschool... and all the things I wanted to do too.
You are the most sincere person, with the biggest heart.

And I love you so much!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Sonny and Cher

And it's fish this time, bluegills... Sonny and Cher...
Lydia asked me to rename them... so I did... ;)

Today, while layla caught up on some napping and we maximized on some serious cuddle time, Lydia and Rooster went fishing with Mamaw and Papaw. And came home with BOTH of Lydia's catches... 2 perfect little bluegills. We're going to keep them a few days. The kids are loving watching them. I sort of am too, but keep that on the down low since I am that anti-pet patrol most of the time ( I have to uphold my image ).

They are really sweet, sharing the tiny tank so nicely.

We'll see how it goes.

Memorial Day

For love of country they accepted death...  ~James A. Garfield

There was a time, not so long ago, when an entire nation believed.
An entire nation stood behind what had to be done to protect what we held so dear.
A whole country of men, women and families, moving as one... support abounding, and pride in holding our security.

But that time has gone...
And now, the few stand, heads held high, accepting death for the love of their country and what she can be, the freedom she represents.
War is ugly. War is sad and angry... but war is not empty. It is not simply violence and hate. I know that war is the inevitable. It is the looming cloud. Our freedom comes at a price, the highest of costs. And no matter how much I would like the world to be beyond that, it isn't and I know that war is necessary, till the world heals... 
Like a mother should protect her child when it is in danger, so these brave men and women fight, unwaivering to protect the soil we call "home" from corruption and devastation. They fight for our saftey.

Some of them return home... ever changed, ever marked for all they have seen or done. They come how new. They come home tired.
Some of them never come home. 

The job of a soldier is not to march in line, spotless uniform, medals gleaming in the sun... the job of a soldier is painful, trying, and seldom seen by those who he(she) protects. It is thankless on the highest level. It is ridiculed and mocked.  
It is lonely. It is terrifying.
It takes parts of them forever.
On this memorial day, and everyday, I do take that moment to think of them with pride. To appreciate all the bravery I know of and all the courage I will never hear of.
I take the time to be thankful for their gifts. The one they paid for with all or part of their life.
I think of the victims some have become and the heroes they all are.
I think of so many.

War will always be ugly
but this freedom...
it is truly beautiful.

But the freedom that they fought for, and the country grand they wrought for,
Is their monument to-day, and for aye.
~Thomas Dunn English

a memory borrowed

The back reads "Mother in Florida" in my wonderful Nana's distinct, familiar penmanship.

What a treat to find this while searching for something else entirely. The smile on her face is so special to me. My great Grandma Rose was a nervous woman, tired and soft. She loved us so much... and still, up there in heaven, free of her worries, I know she still does love us, and is running around with this smile on...

I thank God for gifts like this... someone else's memory, that he puts into my hands when I need the smile.

You Asked... Now let me explain...

You Asked...
Now let me explain

I can not tell you what the overwhelming response to my "Ask me Anything" post! I was never the interesting, fun, cool girl in school, so to have so many of you play along tickles me to no end.

I had plans on a video blog, I was so excited to shoot it, but I can't get any of it to work so I'll just type the answers here and do a vlog for something else!

Let's get started

1. What's your favorite lens to shoot with?

I wish I could say something really awesome, the truth is there are a lot of lenses I would love to have, but till the money is there I only own 2 lenses... the 18-55mm lens that came with my Xsi, and a 75-300mm Zoom. 
Truthfully, I love the kit lens. I am so happy to have a dslr, that the lens is just an after thought, but upgrading from a point and shoot I can really see how capable this lens is, it really is a great learning lens.

2. What's your favorite color? 

I am definitely a color kind of girl! I love aqua's, teals, deep blue greens, ocean colors. There is something so calming and fresh about them. And I get a sense of joy just looking at them.

3. Would you ever do a photography gathering for a small group of like minded women to come together and learn from each other...taking photos around your area?

I would love to do something like this! My cousin, Amber and I have something similar planned for later in June. We're going to do a photo walk together and I am so looking forward to it! However, there are many photographers who are from Ohio, like I am, and I would adore getting together with them for an afternoon of shooting. I love that you can share photography, but that it is still your own.

4. Will you create some more actions?!

It means the world to me to be asked this! I am such a beginner at this whole concept of making actions. I really want to prepare a large set the next time I create some. I want to do some light, vintage ones, some new black and whites and a set of deep rich toned actions. I also want to create some more textures, but, I am a ways off from any of that :)
Right now I am enjoying Dawn Gordon's   free light room presets and I treated myself to some of Sarah Cornish's (my4hens) actions. She has some awesome freebies and I am simply in love with the Fresh Cut Flowers  set!

5. If you could go anywhere in the world to take a photograph, where would it be?

I thought a lot about this... traveling is something I would love to do... I always have been fascinated with Europe and Africa and all the history they hold. But if I can only pick one place I am going to have to say Vatican City, in Rome. I think it's such a beautiful city and they have these amazing stone bridges with large sculptures and carvings. There are three that cross the water there, and if you stand to one side you can see the lights in the distance, the architecture all around you and beautiful reflections in the water... it's completely stunning. I see this amazing shot, with rich tones and beautiful bokeh. Something so magical.

 6. how did you meet John?

When I turned 18 my Mom and Dad told me it was time for a job. I applied 2 places, Big Lots and the McDonalds across the street. McDonalds offered me a lot more money but I chose Big Lots since it was more laid back and I didn't have to go to some course like McDonalds used to make you.
One day, while working with Doug (my boss, John's friend) John walked in with someone. I start elbowing Doug and whispering "Who is that??" to which he responded, "that's just John"
-sigh- John...
I was so smitten. I thought Wow, he is so hot, I have got to meet him!
And he must have thought I was pretty all right since he proceeded with flirting with me the entire time he was there. He came up, grabbed my micro phone speaker and says "Johnna, we need a price check"

A couple weeks later we actually worked a Saturday together, and spent the entire time avoiding working at all and deciding we would be perfect for eachother... and that was that... from then on we were inseperable...

thank you Big Lots, and thank you Doug and thank you God.

7. What is your daily schedule like?

Busy! I get up between 5 and 7, drink too much coffee, make breakfast for the kiddos, then John comes in and since he works thirds, I usually make him some sort of dinner-ish food. He usually wants pizza. I clean the living room, settle the kids, check Facebook, Blogger and Flickr. I straighten the kitchen some and by then the kids are in some kind of fight. I usually try to visit the grandparents through the week and I usually try to fit in at least one trip to the grocery a week. We take a walk around town, usually enjoy a picnic type lunch and we play play play. I am always busy, there is always something to tend to... and I do it all with my canon draped around my neck ;)

8. Where do you see yourself in five years?

There are 2 places I could be.
Either the schools will have gotten even worse... which I fear may be the case, at which time I will probably be supervising some sort of homeschooling. Maybe an online school where it will be easier to get them a diploma.


I will have 3 kids enrolled in a public school and I will have the time to enroll myself into the photography or art classes I so long to take. Nothing fancy, just to keep learning and carve out the space for me that I am sure I will need if my babies are gone all day. 

9. What would be your advice to a beginner photographer??

I feel incredibly inadequate at answering this, since I feel like such a beginner myself... and I only call myself a photographer in a joke-ish sort of way. Sure I love photography, but I am so far from where I want to be.

But... the best advice I can give you is 1)Seek out what you desire doing, find inspiration in Magazines and online. Not to copy, but to give yourself an idea of how to begin. 2)Learn basic terms since you will need to know what people are talking about! 3) Seek out honest critisism. When I decided I wanted to pursue learning photography, I joined a flickr group Life Thru a Lenz which is an AWESOME forum where you receive honest, thorough critique on the photos you post. I learned a ton there. They don't try to make you feel good about crappy photos, they are kind and nice about it, but the point out the weak areas of the photo and many times will give you advice on how to fix it. Also... another awesome place to learn is Helping Hands if you are ready to learn those are great places to start!

10. I know that you would not change your Amazing life for nothing. But if you got the chance to keep everything you have now but change one moment, what moment would it be and why?

This is hard to choose. You See... I am one of those people that really believes that every single thing we experience shapes us. Our bad decisions teach us, as do our good ones. I do wish that as a whole I would have been more kind. I struggle with the fact that I attended school my entire life, then in my senior year I asked to be taken out, and got my GED. While it was a terrible time in my life, and home seemed like a good option, I still fight the feelings of "failure" for not graduating with my class. I hate that I let, what I find so stupid these days, get in the way of my life. 

11. Who are your very best friends?

I'm lucky enough to be married to my best friend... but in my life there are a handful of awesome people I consider to be my best friends...
 My Mom... she is always there, supporting me, being honest with me and keeping me grounded.
My Mother in Law... who prays with me and also encourages me.
My Brother and Sister are my best friends... although we are all at different places we are so close in spirit and we have a special bond.
My Cousin Amber, for a million reasons.
Jessica... she just gets is :)

12.  Do you love where you grew up & how you where raised?

Essentially I grew up where my children are now growing up. The same county at least. I was blessed enough to grow up in the country. As a child I had tons of yard to play in and I spent lots of time bottle-feeding baby cows, milking Bubba, watching baby chicks pop out of eggs and running cornfields all hours of the day. It was a pretty surreal and special place to grow.
I also was blessed with parents who loved and love each other very much and a sense of security all my life. I had very different but equally special relationships with my grandmas and a mom who was always there, teaching me and playing with me. My mom also was able to stay home which fostered a lot of security as well. And I lived a wonderful perfect life. Any hardship I faced was my own doing,  that's for sure. 

13. Whats the best thing about your small town?

That it is, in fact, small. It's small enough to walk everywhere, small enough to know who and how people are. It's safe and laid back. Crime isn't a big issue and we are all on about the same financial plane. My husband runs for the fire department and we know several of the police officers. It's just nice knowing that there are people around who care. ALSO... I am only 15 minutes from my Mommy and 5 from my Mother in Law... that's a huge blessing.

12. Your processing is always, and I mean always, so perfect. Is it just that you have a brilliant eye (probably this)? 

I'll be honest... I don't at all know what I am doing. I just know what I like. I also go through phases of liking things that other's really don't. I think my editing has tamed down a lot. I struggle with finding the balance between too much and not enough. But thank you, all the same... and I mentioned in question 4 some of the processing stuff I use, but I will also throw a shout out for Rita's Actions and Tutorials  since they have gone a long way in helping me!!

13. How long have you been photographing your world in this way? Your style seems very 'visual diary' and I love that?

I find I thrive when I am moving and seeing and enjoying. Not trying to recreate something or put pressure on a shoot. I love photography and I take somewhere around 100 shots a day! It's rare that I don't take at least 20! I see things all day long that I want to capture. I love the world I live in and I want others to see the beauty I see.
I would say I was always turned this way but only for a year have I been embracing it. I thought that I had to do very structured things, I really wasn't thriving... and when I said "Whatever, I am going to enjoy this!" I started to see improvement overall. Now when I set goals I set goals that push me but never limit me! 

14. When can I come visit you!!!???

Is this Jenny Elliot ... if so, I wish you would come visit me soon! I would love to meet up!! xo

Thanks Again for this, it was a lot of fun!!!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

the release

So, we said bye to Tortuga today. Around noon we headed over to Mamaw and Papaw's (John's Parents) House.

What a horrendous morning Tortuga endured. First thing Rooster tossed him, then Lydia wouldn't stop trying to put clothes on him. I felt awful for him. And made him stay in a little red bucket near me, till I was ready to go.

We let him run around the yard at Mamaw and Papaw's and he immediately tried to escape, looking over his shoulder to see if the "enemy" -- aka my children, were watching... he made it all the way to the fence and Lydia spotted him, ran over and carried him back. It was funny but sad. Then, after we spent some time playing, we went to find him and he was gone!! I feared the worst since they live beside a train track. I decided to go check the tracks, and there, headed right for them, was Tortuga. This little dude must have a death wish... Needless to say I took matters into my own hands and brought him to a little wooded area in the bottom of the yard away from the kids, the train and the other immediate dangers. I patted him, and said goodbye.

And hopefully he makes it... he stands a better chance without us, I'm sure ;)

Monday, May 24, 2010

thank you, again

Thank You
for your prayers
your well wishes
your virtual hugs and
all your kindness...

today was better and things are looking up

what would i do without you