Monday, December 22, 2008


Wednesday, December 10th
Boise, Idaho

Mom, Dad and I hooked up their camper to the suburban and headed down the road 'for the winter'. We didn't get away as early as we had hoped... but we did get out of town. We drove from Boise to Idaho Falls. We lived in IF for 13 years. Mom kept up with some friends over the years so we parked in Dave and Sara's front yard for the night. She fed us well and we had a nice visit with them.

Thursday, December 11th
Idaho Falls, Idaho

We got up early to meet another great friend for breakfast. Our next door neighbor for those 13 years came across town to have breakfast with us. It was great to catch up on his family as well.

Then we headed down the road with our destination of Cora, WY. Brother Wade is working with some cousins servicing equipment on oil rigs in that area. It was a fun drive through familiar scenery. We spent so much time camping and rafting in the area when I was a kid. We pulled into Wade's and Ty's about 1pm. They have a snug little house with a great view. We had fun hanging out with them for the rest of the day.

Friday, December 12th
Cora, Wyoming

We got up and had a great breakfast, fixed by the guys. They do very well for two guys 'baching' it. They know how to keep a clean house and cook tasty food.

We needed to get down the road because we kept hearing about weather that was coming from the west. And the wind did blow us around a bit across Wyoming. We ended up driving to Sydney, Nebraska. We stayed that night in the Cabela's campground there. It was a nice campground with hot showers and wireless internet.

Saturday, December 13th
Sydney, Nebraska

By this time we knew it was going to be a long day to make it all the way to El Dorado, Kansas that day. We drove to York, Nebraska and started south. When we started south the wind really started blowing us backwards. It had been a slow going trip already, but now it was really slow. We finally pulled into Sandy and Rodney's about 9pm and were so happy to be here!

To be continued...

Friday, December 19, 2008

Where was I?

So I got as far as Thanksgiving week in my update.

Once all of the family left, I camped out at my friend's house and worked and worked and worked on all of the portrait work I was behind on. It was good to have some consistent time with my computer. I feel like I am really starting to be good at my editing software.

Then Misty and Peter went to Portland for the weekend and Mom, Dad and I were the babysitters extraordinaire. We had the kids for two and a half days. It was fun and we managed to go to the park twice as well as get in all the required naps and meals. My only complaint is that those kids get up early EVERY day. I felt a little lacking in sleep by the time the parents got back. They only nodded in agreement to my complaint.

I was able to take family photos for some friends in Boise. It was fun to do them outside on a nice day for some fantastic people.

I took one day to go through all of my stuff, store things away at Misty's, and pack the things I would need for a few months on the road. Then began the big adventure... but I will save that for another post.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


It was pointed out to me that I spelled your name wrong in my slide show. I am so sorry, sweet niece. Here is your very own picture just to make up for my slip as super aunt.

I hope you have a wonderful day!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Back Again

It has been a while since I was able to post. But it isn't out of laziness... it is busyness and lack of internet at times.

I left you at the end of my 3 week trip to Kansas. The day I flew out I took family photos of two fantastic families, quickly packed my bags and ran to the airport. Grandma and I were headed back to Boise, but had a bit of a rabbit trail to Bozeman, Montana. Boise was fogged in and we would need more fuel to circle the airport. We were able to land at nearly 2am.

Over the next few days both of my brothers and their families came to town. We had a lodge rented in Idaho City for the holiday. So we had a lot of fun playing cards, eating great food and being together. Here is a little slideshow of some shots from the weekend.

Friday, November 21, 2008


After an unfortunate sequence of events a few weeks ago, Laila needed to take out a fiberglass shower from her master bath. Knowing that I grew up with a mom who took her demolition very seriously, she wanted me to help. I didn't do much more than than take the screws out of the rod and carry out pieces of the fiberglass. But it was fun. Laila had never heard of a sawsall until recently and this was her first experience using one. I think she liked it. After about 3 hours it was cut up in chunks and out of the house, the carpets vacuumed and the evidence of the messy job was gone.

Oh, and Laila soon put on a long sleeve shirt... things got a little ichy.

Thursday, November 20, 2008


Today my blogging topics seem slim. It is nearly 11pm again and I am at a loss. I will, of course provide you, my readers, with a photo. But I have run out of words for the day.

Here is a little light painting that Cora and Alli did this summer. It is a mountain with a rising sun. Not bad for a first attempt.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Right Now Tag

Outside my window... it is dark

I am thinking... about how much work I have to do. This is a good thought because I am trying to build my new business. But it is also a bit overwhelming as I am not sure when exactly I am going to get that work done.

I am thankful for... family that loves me for who I am in spite of my gypsy-like lifestyle these days.

From the kitchen... there are leftover smells of my grandma's home made chicken and noodles that she made for us today. And it was yummy!

I am wearing... my pajamas. It is 11:30pm after all.

I am creating... a cookbook. I have been helping put together a cookbook of some of my grandma's favorite recipes with old family photos. It has been fun. I just wish I had the time to put into it that my fussy personality wants to.

I am going... to go to bed after I finish this blog.

I am reading... nothing. I have a habit of starting a book and then devouring it as quickly as possible. This makes for an expensive book habit if I let it get out of hand. And with the work that I mentioned before, I really don't feel like I can spare the time. So right now my reading is limited to referencing my photoshop books.

I am hoping... I can buy a house someday and have my own place in this world. This has been on my mind a lot lately. Not a new dream, just one that comes back every few years. It would be even more fun if a wonderful guy came with that house... I agree, Kim, a girl can dream.

I am hearing... my typing on the keyboard with a background of the forced air heating blowing in. Not very poetic. But being warm is nice.

Around the house... all is quiet.

One of my favorite things... a really good Americano with lots of cream and two packages of raw sugar. Mmmm. But I enjoy this most in the morning.

A few plans for the rest of the week... I will take a family's photos tomorrow, teach another photography class on Friday morning, and take another family's photos Saturday morning before I finish packing up to fly back to Boise on Saturday afternoon with grandma. And in between all of these activities... quality time with Laila's family.

Here is a picture thought I am sharing... I love having people do fish lips after they have been smiling for awhile. I have quite a collection going.

Here are the people I`m tagging... Anita in SC, Sarah B in AK, Jen H in TN, and Marie VW in AK

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Happy Birthday

Today is my aunt Laila's birthday. Isn't she gorgeous? I love it when people say that we look alike ;-)
If you haven't sent her birthday wishes, I am sure she will accept belated ones.

(and now I am caught up, whew!)

Long Hair

I grew up with really long hair and it became a part of my identity for a long time. So I can relate to my cousin Elaina and her hair. She has been growing it out for a very long time and has planned to send it to Locks of Love. Sunday was her big day for the hair cut. Here are a few of the fun shots from the event.

Now she feels like her hair is SOOOOO short. But it looks great and her mom is relieved not to have to brush and braid it every morning.

My First Class

Sunday was a full day. I took family photos of Laila and Phil's clan in the morning. And then in the afternoon I taught my first every photography class.

I was a bit nervous for the class, but I knew I had more than enough material to talk about. And I spent a lot of time researching point and shoot cameras so that I could speak to any camera that came. There were 10 people that came. Mostly my aunt's friends. But I felt like it went well and people learned something. I want to send them an email evaluation form to see if I get some feedback on how I can make it better for next time. I essentially talked for 3 hours and answered questions and helped people figure out their cameras. I went over the basics of exposure, shutter speeds, aperture, and metering, gave them tips on how to take pictures of people, landscapes, and macro. And then the class was over.

I am looking forward to teaching the class again. I hope I have lots of requests for camera classes. Teaching is fun for me and I know people really want to know more about photography.

More Friends

One of my favorite parts of coming back to Kansas is that I get to see so many friends from my college days. I have to start contacting them early and schedule my time but I even then I only see a few.

Friday I drove to my old roommate, Jan's house. There was lots of tea as we caught up on our lives for the last few years. We spent part of our evening taking family photos. Aren't they cute?!

I spent the night with them and had a leisurely morning together before I headed over to another old roommate's house.

Robin was my math-loving roommate who has the perfect job as a high school teacher. I had lunch and spent several hours with her and her three little ones.

It is so fun to have great friends that you can see every couple of years and it still feels like it was only a couple of weeks ago that we saw each other.

Good Intentions

Wow, I have a lot of catching up to do. I had good intentions of being right on time with my blogging each day during the National Blog Posting Month (NaBloPoMo). But when you skip more than a day and then try to catch up, it is easier to talk yourself out of posting. But I will attempt to catch up with... oh, 5 posts, I think. We'll see how far I actually get tonight.

This post is for last Friday.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Quality Time

I have been spending a lot of quality time with my computer in the last few days. Today I spent more than 7 hours with it. I think with that much time that I should give it a nickname. Hmm... I will have to think more about that. If you have any suggestions, I will take them.

The last few days I have been preparing for a beginning photography class that I am going to teach on Sunday. It should be fun and educational for me as well. I would love to teach more classes and this will help me refine my topics and content. And I am sure that this means more quality time for me and my computer.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Old Family Photos

I am spending this week with my grandma. When I arrived yesterday she told me of her project to put together a family cookbook with old family photos in it. It took me about 4 hours on Monday to get her scanner to work and then I only scanned in about 10 before it decided not to work again.

I tried again today and was much more successful. I told Grandma that the grandkids would appreciate the really old photos more than the ones of us when we were grade school. Then things got fun. She started digging out tubs of old photos. She could tell me some of the people in the photos but if she didn't know someone she would just tell me to throw it away. After nearly 5 months of photography school everything in my body screamed, "NOOOOO." I told her I would take anything she didn't want, but we weren't throwing anything away. We even came across negatives that are at least 70 years old. I began dreaming of the photo montages and art I could make with all of these treasures.

My aunt Sandy came later in the afternoon and more old photos came out, and family history papers and old ledgers. She sat on the floor and sifted through things and I scanned and asked questions. She assured me that we weren't throwing anything away as she tried to piece together some family names and photos. It was a fun treasure hunt through our family history. And I managed to scan in 40 images for the cookbook.

I wish I had a really good scanner so that I could have some of these images to work on. Maybe Grandma will let me take a few with me to scan in and work with...

Top photo: Maxine, Robert, Grandad Jim and Larry in 1938

2nd photo: Joy and Cleo

3rd photo: Grandad Jim and Grandam Joy's wedding photo

4th Photo: Grandpa Jim

5th photo: Freddie and Grandma Cherryholmes (I think he looks like my nephew Joe here)

Seeing Old Friends

After the chilly photo shoot, Lorrie and I drove to Kansas City for the night. We met up with another college roommate, Jenia, and college friend, Carrie. Carrie also spent 2 years in Japan just after college with me. These are a few shots of Carrie's family (her husband is Jeremy, Sophia and little Sampras)

Jenia and Carrie left their kids with their husbands for the evening and the four of us had lots of fun catching up on life and hearing about other friends from college. It was truly a girls night with pasta and lots of visiting and laughing.

On Sunday Lorrie and I met her parents for lunch. Then we combed a very large bookstore for nearly an hour before heading home.

I love having friends that I haven't seen in more than 10 years (Jenia) that you can sit down with and feel that only a few months have gone by. What a blessing to see you girls! Thanks for spending the evening with me.

The Clan

Saturday I drove north to meet up with my college roommate, Lorrie and her family. It was so fun to see them again and to try to capture a bit of their wonderful personalities. The wind made it very cold, but they were great about being outside for family photos.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Brain Candy

I don't remember where I heard the term, but I have adopted it. It is the perfect description of a type of book that I enjoy. Brain Candy, no nutritional value, purely enjoyment and pleasure. I don't have to write a paper on it. I don't have to learn a skill from it. It is just something that entertains my mind and allows me to disconnect from the real world for a little while.


My friend Kim has written several times about her affinity for books. Although I don't think my addiction is quite at her level, it may be close.

I love books. I love being around them. Going to a book store to just wander around and browse is a terrific way to spend time. But a really good book, now that I love. If I stumble across an exceptional story I can devour it in less than a day (depending on the length). There have been many nights that my eyes are so tired that they are watering, but I only had one more chapter to finish.

A really good book satisfies my mind, heart and soul. If I spend money on a book and it turns out to be mediocre then I am disappointed and a bit dissatisfied. But if I spend money on a terrible book, I feel betrayed and cheated. I feel like a book is like a meal.

A really good book is like an amazing meal that lingers as a beautiful memory. A mediocre books is like going to a fast food restaurant, unsatisfying and predictable. And a terrible book is like going to a restaurant and leaving angry that you just spent money on horrible service and food.

This weekend I bought a book. I don't think it will last me the week, but I am enjoying it.

Friday, November 07, 2008

November 7th

Happy Birthday to Shane. What a great big brother you are!

Happy Birthday to Keiko. I can't wait to see you again one day!

And Happy Birthday to Alli of my Montana family.

Hope you all had a wonderful day!

Thursday, November 06, 2008

6th Picture Tagging

My friend Sarah of the Adventures of the Hashbrowns tagged me a few weeks ago. I am a little embarrassed to say that I forgot about it until just this morning when I was getting caught up on my blog reading. So this is for you, my friend.

For all the randomness... this is my 6th picture in my 6th folder on my internal hard drive. This was from the Missoula farmer's market this summer. They were just so colorful, I had to pull my camera out.

On my external hard drive...
Yes, I actually filled one 250G internal hard drive this summer with only images and had to move to storing some photos on an external hard drive. This photo was taken as part of a class exercise on custom white balance in the first few weeks of the summer.

I am tagging Kim I., Amy T., Joani C. and Amanda M. What is your 6th Picture?

Wednesday, November 05, 2008


The month of November has been chosen for the auspicious designation of National Blog Posting Month. Last year my friend Kim challenged me to post every day with her for the month. This year I am traveling so I am not sure what my internet connection will be along the way. So I am doing my own version of NaBloPoMo. My plan is to write a blog every day and post them when I have internet access.

I feel pretty good about the fact that I posted at least once a week the entire summer. But it does get a bit more challenging to blog everyday. Hope you enjoy the month of posts.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Senior Photo Shoot

Yep, I really do like taking senior photos. I know that they can be cliché and over done. But I like teenagers and taking pictures of them. Monday I took Natalie's senior photos and we had so much fun. She was so sweet and beautiful. Her buddy came along and stepped in as my assistant. She was a huge help. The very strong Kansas wind, however, was no help. It did help for this 'fan hair' shot, but mostly it was working against us.

I can't wait to see what Natalie thinks of her images.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

A Project

I started a new project this weekend. To read about it and see some new images, go to my photography blog.


This week was full and fun. Thursday Missy and I had a fun opportunity to take pictures of Matt and Mel's 2 1/2 month old twins. They were so sweet. Here are a few favorites.