Yesterday was my birthday… the big 33. : ) I’m normally a big fan of birthdays, even (especially?!?) my own, but 33 kind of came and went without much excitement on my part. Could have been the weather, could have been that my kids were all home from school bickering all day, could have been that this past year was tough enough that it made thinking about another year a little overwhelming… whatever the reason, I was in a bit of a “birthday funk” yesterday. Blah. The sun needs to come out and the weather needs to warm up and we need to all be able to go outside and blow the stink off. I’m ready to see my first robin and know that green grass and warmer temps are on their way. Like, pronto.
Even though I have a natural tendency to look on the bright side, I still have my blah days. I think it’s good for people to know that, good for me to say it. It’s important that I remind myself that blah days happen occasionally. They’re days to take a few extra moments to yourself, watch a funny show (my latest favorite… Modern Family!), take a tub, hug your husband (or wife!), make some tea… whatever you need to find a bit of peace in the midst of it all. I did all of those things yesterday, and they did help… what do YOU do when you’re feeling blah?
On a COMPLETELY unrelated note, I had a really fun session on Friday in Downtown Naperville. Big kids, their parents, and their awesome pooch. The snow was falling lightly and I loved the way it showed up in some of the pictures.
Doesn’t this look like a great family?
When I was done with their shoot, my hands were FREEZING (I’ll think twice about bringing along my gloves next time!) so I popped into the Adagio tea store to grab a cup of tea. I had never been in a real tea store before, but after about 2 minutes, I was hooked! I’d never really understood the whole “loose-leaf” thing until Friday, but I discovered that it really is SO much better than the Celestial Seasonings stuff. I ordered a cup of Almond Rooibos tea, then loved it so much that I ended up buying a whole bag of it and a tea strainer to boot. My “quick cup of tea” ended up costing me about $22, but I’ve had so many great cups of tea since, brewed at home now, that I don’t regret it for a second! Yummmmmy yum!!!
There’s been so little snow this year that it’s felt like such a treat when it does come… totally the opposite of how I feel most other winters! One of my favorite kinds of sessions are the ones in which clients brave the wintery outdoors to tromp around in the white fluffy snow. The lighting is always so wonderful (hint, hint, Sweet Shots people… the snow bounces light perfectly!) and everyone just seems so alive and happy.
Even though we were all pretty chilly, these pictures seemed to radiate a certain sweet warmth to me. This is such a special little family and they absolutely rocked their snow session.
Oh… one more thing about snow sessions… they are FAST, obviously! I’m quick when I need to be. : )
Ok… the 5K!
Ever since I blogged my bucket list for 2012, I’ve been trying, trying, TRYING to become a runner. I’ve blogged about it a few times since then, but in the past 14 months I’ve hit obstacle after obstacle. Most of those obstacles had to do with shin splints (ouch ouch OUCH!) and then an injury related to my shin splints (apparently you can get frostbite from frozen ice packs… check out that picture to the right.), and I was totally discouraged. HOWEVER… one of the things I’ve learned on my journey to better health has been that setbacks are inevitable, but they don’t have to keep you down. So I’ve been running again, and thanks to a fantastic trainer named Tim (who will be getting a blog post all his own one of these days) I ran two miles in 30 minutes yesterday!!!
It’s pretty easy to do the math… I’m running 15 minute miles at this point, which is probably slower than a snail to any runners who are reading this. To me, though, it’s really quite a victory. It means that I can run for 1/2 hour without stopping, and if I bring my speed up little by little, I might actually get to my goal of 3 miles in 30 minutes.
To motivate me, I signed up for a 5K yesterday!!! It’s the Seven Bridges Season Starters on May 19th… I just picked one that looked close and not too big or crazy. I decided to be brave and throw out an invitation to you guys… anyone want to join me? I figure those of us that run it can hang out and eat bananas afterwards as we bask in our amazing accomplishment and feel like real runners. : ) Hehe. Anyway, even if I can keep my feet moving (aka… no walking!) the whole time I’ll be thrilled. If you want to do the 5K with me, go sign up and let me know! It would be super-awesome to have some friends there, and we could keep each other motivated as we did our training!!!
YAY for chasing dreams, ya? : )
I’m excited to share a few different things today… : )
First, I’ve finally begun offering one-on-one mentoring for other photographers and/or parents who are ready to take their photography to the next level! I’ve had so many requests for this over the years, but I’ve always held off because my kiddos were little and it was hard to get my thoughts together about exactly how I wanted to do it. During this slower winter season, however, I’ve finally taken the time to organize my ideas about mentoring, and I’m SO excited about beginning! Here are the details:
One thing I love about the art of photography is how wide of a creative spectrum there is. Obviously, I’m a big baby, child, and family girl, but I absolutely love it when other opportunities arise. I’ve had quite a few headshots lately, and thought they’d be worth sharing with you guys!
This fabulous girl is the one and only Cottage Mama (aka Lindsay!) and she runs one of the cutest and most creative blogs around. She also teaches sewing classes, which I desperately need to take. : ) Check out her blog, The Cottage Home, if you have a chance… I’m sure you’ll love it!!! She also sells some amazingly sweet clothes for girls here… definitely worth a peek!!!
This young man came in to grab some updated head shots for all of the social media related parts of his business. There’s never been a time in history when head shots are more important than today… images carry so much weight and the face that you put out there can have a *big* impact on your success, positively or negatively!
And finally, this beautiful psychologist came to grab some updated shots for a new brochure and a website. We had fun! : )
If you need head shots, just shoot us an e-mail and we’ll send you the info. If your significant other might, feel free to send this along… I’ve heard that I make taking head shots a lot less stressful than usual… ha! : )
We had a pretty awesome weekend… my parents (ok… promise not to hate me!) took our three kids up to the lakehouse on Saturday morning and are bringing them back this afternoon, so Jonathan and I had a weekend to ourselves! Aaaauuuuggghhh!!!!! Of course I missed my kids, but it was pretty awesome to see just how quiet our house could actually get. Who knew?!? : ) I had a Sweet Shots class on Saturday morning and a Sweeter Shots class on Saturday afternoon, so my weekend didn’t officially start until Saturday night, but it was really, REALLY fun!
When I got home I got a text from my big sister, Lisa, that they had just begun fostering two eight week old Shar Pei puppies. It took me all of about one minute to get my shoes on and be out the door and on my way to her house! At heart, I am a BIG TIME dog lover (which is subdued, for now, by a husband who isn’t a big dog fan), so anytime I get wind of puppies I simply cannot stay away. Plus, she mentioned that her house had ample wine and ice cream, specifically peanut butter and chocolate. It usually takes me about 20 minutes to get to her house, but I was at her door in 15. : ) After spending some pretty awesome snuggle-time with Tiny, Meatball, a glass of Simi wine, and a bowl of Oberweis, I fell asleep on her couch and didn’t leave till the next morning. Hehe. Remember people… my kids were out-of-town. : ) It was so awesome to spend time with my sister, her family, and these two adorable puppies!
One more fun note on the puppies… they are NOT, in any way, Shar Pei puppies! I don’t know who told them that, but it was pretty obvious to me (when I was a kid I was obsessed with dogs and their breeds, ha!) that they are Rhodesian Ridgebacks. We looked it up online and sure enough… they look just like Rhodesian Ridgeback puppies. I was kind of proud that I knew that!
Yesterday afternoon, Jonathan and I went out to the movies… not very common for us but such a fun time! We saw Silver Linings Playbook, since Jennifer Lawrence was up for best actress last night at the Oscars. I have to say… I absolutely LOVED the movie. It was really down-to-earth and strangely relatable. I thought Jennifer Lawrence, Bradley Cooper, and Robert De Niro were all awesome and the whole story was so uplifting. It’s a bonus when we go to the movies and I actually love what we watch!
On the way home we decided to stop at Target and grab some appetizers and have our very own Oscar Party. It was so fun! We sat on the couch and watched the Oscars and just enjoyed being together. I LOVED the dresses, I loved seeing all the stars interacting, I loved watching people get credit for the amazing work they had done! I didn’t love Seth MacFarlane, though… oh my goodness! I don’t really like his style anyway, but he totally lost me after the Lincoln joke. : ( I know he can be a funny guy… it was too bad he stooped so low last night.
I had the teeniest newborn come into the studio on Friday! Just over five pounds and absolutely beautiful! Her parents adore her, for obvious reasons…
So there! A really awesome couple of days! I have five whole hours before my kids get home so I’m still considering this my “weekend”, hehe. : ) So much fun!!!
In the fall, one of my clients had hoped to have their shoot at a barn…
After a bit of looking around, we found the perfect spot! : ) I love these kids, I love their family, and I love their new puppy!!!
Here they are:
Now, onto the blueberries and bananas!
I’ve been on a road to better health for the past year or so, but beginning this fall I decided to really crank it up a notch. I can’t wait to share some more details about this journey with you! One of my major focuses has been clean eating… no more processed foods! I’ll bet a lot of you are already there, but for me, it was a big jump. We’re talking about the girl who had a pretty huge addiction to McDonald’s cheeseburgers and Diet Coke, both of which I’ve successfully avoided for the past 5 months at this point! I never would have believed that I could have given those things up, but changing habits is a slow and steady process, and the foods I enjoy now look very different from the ones I used to
pig out on eat. : )
Anyway, one of my favorite morning treats right now is a blueberry banana smoothie… I can thank my dear friend and fellow photographer Maggie McBride (who also makes fabulous hats and bows!) for the idea!
To make it, pop the following in a blender:
1 cup of blueberries
2 ounces of tofu (I know… but you can’t really taste it and the protein keeps me full for hours!)
1 tablespoon of honey
I like to blend them all on “liquify” because I have no patience and it seems to be the fastest one. : )
It makes a TON, and keeps me going *almost* until lunch. Can’t argue with that!