Friday, June 28, 2013

Experiments with Light and Skater Boi

I always enjoy experimenting with new photo techniques. I've seen a few commercials using light painting and my father-in-law has sent some links my way. Anique and I were talking about it and after watching some YouTube videos (have you seen this one? AMAZING!) we decided to try it ourselves.
These are definitely amateur attempts and it was the middle of the day so we were working in my closet. I would love to try it at night too.
I drew Anique and then I used this iphone app to do the flower. My camera picture had much better resolution and the drawing was much smoother. I'm a fabulous artist right?
Bailey has been working on improving the height of his Ollie.
From Wikipedia: The ollie is a skateboarding trick where the rider and board leap into the air without the use of the rider's hands. Particularly on flat ground, it is not intuitively obvious how the liftoff is achieved, making the trick visually striking.
Yes, I looked that up because I know nothing about skateboarding and couldn't explain it nearly as well. In my words... it's a jumpy move.
We decided to take some pictures of him in action. He has been surprisingly willing to be in front of the camera lately...weird
I hope to have an exciting announcement in the next week or so. Can't wait to share!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Yarn Balls and the Entryway

I felt much more productive on my first day of my new beginning. That sounds better than unemployment right? Yesterday, I maintained what I had cleaned the day before (health right?) but didn't make it much further in my mission to transform the house into a glistening palace of ...something. Not sure where I was going there.

However, I did work on the entry way a bit (creativity). This is definitely a work in process. I hung up my dry erase calendar (brought home from my desk at work) and hung up the window frame as well. I chose to hang the little paintings inside the panes so they would add some color to wall.

I brought some of my bottle collection down and used them as well. Now I have to say, I'm not a fan of the duck/chick but Anique is convinced that is the best place for it. Until I can come up with a convincing alternative, it stays.

My friend Daysha gave me the glass sea ball when we first moved in almost 12 years ago. It has moved from location to location but never had a good home. So, I decided maybe it would benefit from some other ball friends.

Anique and I broke out the Elmers glue, which we watered down just a bit in a bowl. I blew up some balloons and Anique made sure the yard and twine ran through the glue mixture while i wrapped the balloons. It was quite messy.

Here's what I learned: Hemp string works best by far. It is much firmer and held its shape the best. If you pop the balloon before it is COMPLETELY dry, the ball deflates with the balloon. As you can see, from my awesome white dome.

I need to find a basket or bowl for them but doesn't that glass ball look happier now that it has friends?


Monday, June 24, 2013

The Beginning

I made the decision to leave my job of 10 years. For the second time. I put in my notice last November but was convinced to stay. This time I was less emotional about the decision and far more sure it was the best decision. I love my co-workers, many of whom have been there as long or longer than I have. I just couldn't take the actual job anymore. Companies change, I have changed, responsibilities change. I just didn't click there anymore. I wasn't happy. 

Today is Day 1 of my new beginning. I am focused on health, happiness and finding a new direction. 
Okay, so today I am cleaning the house but that does kill germs so I'm putting it in the Health category! I'll take walk too...

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Growing Garden

I am not a gardener. At all. Honestly, I don't enjoy the dirt. I don't enjoy the way it feels and how it always gets under my nails. Now paint and spackling don't bother me. Weird huh? 

Anique always wants to garden. I send her to both her Nana's houses to get her fix. She goes to the garden show with my mother-in-law. And over the last couple of months they start sending plants and seeds home with her. 

So now I'm desperately trying to make sure nothing dies. My window is full of plants. She has escarole growing on the deck. What is that? How do we harvest it? And what do I do once it's harvested? 

Suggestions? Back to the Internet...there must be a YouTube video somewhere on escarole...

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Random Bits

I was going through the pictures on my memory card and found this one. I was so excited about making coconut macaroons. I had been craving them for weeks and took photos of the final product and then promptly forgot to post anything.

I ate waaayyy too many of them and will probably avoid coconut macaroons for awhile now. They were super duper easy to make though. I used a modified version of this recipe. I was out of almond extract (I think the last of it went into a batch of playdough) so I used a little extra vanilla instead.

These cookies were super sweet. They would probably be good dipped in chocolate. I had mine out but after a morning of making french toast for 3 teenage boys and a 9 year old with a bottomless stomach I ran out of oomph before the final step.

Ken's dad, Bill, came over and worked with Ken to replace some of the boards on our entry stairs.  So lucky to have family close and with the expertise and motivation to do repairs. I should probably post this on my 365 days of gratitude...but I have to get my little one ready for school. (Photos by Anique)

Also, I made the decision to leave my job after over 10 years. It wasn't a good fit any longer and while I'm nervous about a new beginning, about our budget, about...well you get the point, I'm excited for a new beginning. My desire is to find something more creative. Work on my portfolio and find something that I will enjoy doing for the years to come.
Ken and I have been wearing our FitBits and competing to see who can get more steps. I have to say he is kicking my behind. I'm going to have to step it up (pun intended) to stay on par. This is probably a good thing.
I still haven't gotten my texture tuesday post up but I haven't given up on it yet this week. 
Okay, now officially running late for getting Anique off to school. Can't wait for the school year to be over!

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Spirit Week

Last week was Spirit Week at school for Anique. She did crazy hair, Gator wear and finally Raid Your Parents Closet Day. Her and my mom worked together to come up wig the perfect outfit. Too cute! 

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Freshman Formal and the End of Year Dance

Last Friday was the end of year dance at Anique's school and the Freshman Formal for Bailey's school. Ken took Anique to her dance where they danced and snacked. I hear it was quite an event and Anique was super excited about the breakdancing demonstration. 
Ellie's mom and I took Bailey and Ellie to the lake for pictures before the dance. When we were done with the pictures I dropped them off at the dance for a couple of hours. Then dinner at Conto's with the whole family. Ellie and Bailey have been dating for almost a year now. I think she is mostly getting used to our random crazy life.
Both kids looked snazzy in their dress up clothes. Can you believe how grown up they look? How did this happen?

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Texture Tuesday - Time Flies

Recently, we switched cell phone companies and my husband (and the store reps) convinced me I should switch to an iPhone (I still miss my Windows Phone). He helped me get it synced with the "family" iPad. We set it up so all of my pictures also went to the iPad.
I picked pictures for the lock screen and the background and all was well. It's given me a chance to look at pictures that I haven't seen in awhile and reminisce on how much the kids have grown and accomplished. Sometimes, it's too easy to store everything away and not look back because of the business of today.
The kids have also been enjoying having the pictures on the iPad. The pretty tulips have long since disappeared on my lock screen. They seem to enjoy finding the craziest "outtakes" of each other and choosing those. I never know what I will see when I turn it on.
The picture above is of Anique when she was just over 3. It's hard to believe she's 9 now. Time really does fly by!
Linking with Texture Tuesday

Monday, June 3, 2013

The LOW Down

I know I'm not alone. I know others have challenges far greater than my own. I know I am strong and capable. I know I have a family who loves me and whom I love.

Yet, despite all I know, I struggle with anxiety and my spirits can swing quite low when it seems like lifes "challenges" are coming from several directions at once. When I am fighting through these feelings, I tell myself I'm letting it be bigger than it really is. The rational part of me is saying, "just suck it up and deal with it". The emotional part of me, is saying, "I'm tired of fighting the same battles."

When I hit these periods, I am exhausted. Every day, every minute feels like I am slogging. Normal daily activities take energy I don't want to expend. I feel like I'm constantly dropping balls, missing details, and letting down those who depend on me. Which stresses me out even more. Eventually, I come out the other side. The weight lifts, I can begin thinking clearly again, and normalcy--in all its chaos resumes. The challenges haven't gotten any easier but finally both sides of me are in agreement, "This sucks, yeah it's the same old crap but we have to deal with it."

I try to keep this blog a happy place to visit so I apologize for putting all that out there but wanted to explain what was up and why I had just fallen off the edge of the world.

With that said, I have so many projects to try. Photos to share. And so on. Life is crazy but I'm fortunate to have a husband who loves me even when I'm crazy.