Monthly Archives: October 2008

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there’s no place like home


What a beautiful night for some trick-or-treating! This year, we had Boba Fett from Star Wars and our own little Dorothy Gail with her little dog, Toto, too. :)



Jake decided he would get into the whole dressing up thing this year, too.


I think he was inspired by Twilight and the other books in that series since he just finished those.

The colors of this tree were gorgeous!



The police always park a car in a nearby parking lot and give treats out to all the kids. It’s always one of our final stops before we head to McDonald’s for a late dinner.

As we stood on the sidewalk waiting for the kids to come back from a house, I looked over and saw Jake at the end of this wall just standing there all still and freaking out all the passersby. Scaring little kids, too.

The kids had a great time tonight! We came home and popped in Monster House! It’s a favorite of ours and since it takes place at Halloween it’s now our go-to movie for this holiday.

Hope everyone had a fun night. Don’t eat too much of your kids’ candy! ;)

my week


This week, while working nonstop on editing, I have also been documenting my week. I wanted to do this when Ali blogged about it recently, but I just felt too overwhelmed with everything I had going on so I waited. On Monday, I decided this week was as good as any and I began shooting the everyday stuff I do. Hoping to have a few minutes here and there next week to get all the pictures loaded and put them together in a little mini book or at least make some scrapbook layouts for them. The above photo was taken with my computer when I sat down for work today. I really do have a lot of junk in this office, including my piano sitting right behind me in the middle of the room. I had plans to get the rooms all organized and moved around how we want them, but then fall weddings started again and I got sidetracked. So it will have to wait until next month. In the meantime, if I feel like playing a song all I have to do is turn around …. and remove the piles of papers and magazines from the piano lid. :P

Work is going pretty well. I’m a little behind, but doing my best. Today I posted some pictures from my last wedding of the year over on my photo blog. Just two more photo sessions on Saturday and I’m done with all my shoots for this year.

Chloe came home from my mom’s today with a puffy watery eye and as the night went on it steadily got worse. Poor Chloe has pink eye. It’s all bloodshot and watery with gunky stuff in the corner. Poor girl. We called and got her a prescription for eye drops. That was fun trying to get her to let us put a drop in there. Hope it clears up quickly. :( Especially for Halloween on Friday. She’s so excited to go trick or treating in her cute costume.

I’ve completely exhausted myself. I’m fighting off sickness. I’ve had that achy “I feel a cold comin’ on” feeling all week, but I can’t let it get me because I’ve got way too much to do.

Nighty night.

today, tomorrow, two years from now


for some reason I never hit “publish” on this post, which I wrote last week. Oops! It was stuck in the “draft” folder and I just found it. So here is my post that was supposed to post last Wednesday:

edit. edit. edit. Worked all day on Heather’s pictures and got a slideshow up over on the photo blog.

What else is going on around here? Sad to say, not much of anything except work. That’s what I get for shooting so many sessions and four weddings in a month. :)

Still attempting to eat healthy. Can’t seem to make myself drink the green smoothies right now since it’s getting into the colder months. I am craving coffee, especially after dinner while I’m working. Still down 20 lbs. and holding. Need to keep up the good eating, but get more active.

Still working on the Dave Ramsey financial program. Trying hard to come up with a budget that will work for us and making some tough decisions in the process. It’s going to take a lot of sacrifice over the next couple years to get our finances back in order so we are in a better more peaceful place. These two years without a regular income have been very trying and it looks like it’s going to take us another couple years until we can finally get our heads above water. :(

Feeling a little sad this week. Last year at this time, I was planning a little 3-day getaway for me and Jake. We went to Lakeside Inn, relaxed, walked, ate, did a little writing. We loved it so much that we decided to make it an annual thing each November. Unfortunately, we don’t have the extra money to go this year, but that just means that we can start saving now to be able to go next November instead. Something to look forward to. Here’s my blog post about our getaway last November, complete with lots of pictures!

my fong dong

a.k.a. Gary Fong’s Lightsphere

We’re off to a wedding together today! :)

i’ve been tagged

Kelley tagged me over on her blog, so I thought I’d play along tonight before I get some sleep.

10 Years Ago (1998):
1. I had been married for three years but was living with my parents while Jake was deployed to Bosnia for the second time in our young marriage.
2. I was working in a sporting goods store in shipping and receiving.
3. I went to the movies at least 2 or 3 times a week.
4. I purchased our first home by myself.
5. I welcomed Jake home from Bosnia and from his tour in the Army.

5 Things on Tomorrow’s “To Do” List:
1. Sleep in.
2. Get the kids packed and ready to go to my mom’s for the night.
3. Pack up all my camera gear.
4. Shoot Lindsay and Jim’s wedding.
5. Spend the evening with my husband.

5 Things that I would do if I were a millionaire:
1. Pay off all our debt
2. Set money aside for each of the kids for college
3. Invest
4. Help our family
5. Take a nice vacation and bring the family along

5 Places I have lived:
1. Bucyrus OH
2. Delton, Hastings and Grand Rapids, MI
3. Clarksville TN
4. Baumholder Germany
5. Hastings MI (again)

5 Jobs I have had:
1. Counselor at Boys and Girls Club summer camp
2. Summer factory work at Flexfab
3. Bookkeeper for ProActive Ventures, Inc.
4. Cashier/shipping at Bob’s Gun and Tackle
5. Self employed photographer

I’m supposed to tag 5 people to do this, but it seems like everyone else has already done this on their blogs. So if you haven’t, feel free to play along and leave me a comment with a link to your blog. It’s always fun to read this kind of stuff every once in a while. :)

online proofing

I’ve had some friends and other photographers recently ask me what company I use for my clients’ online proof galleries so I thought I would share my experiences here and help someone in the process of choosing who to go with.

When I first began this little career path, I was looking for a company that would let me post my photos without charging a large monthly fee and would allow me to handle the print fulfillment myself. I found several out there, but settled on a company, who shall remain nameless on this blog (if you would like to know who they are please email me), that had what I was looking for. After numerous complaints from my clients that the gallery wasn’t working or that their credit card wouldn’t go through, I switched to SimplePhoto. I went searching online and on the photography forums to find a company with a similar setup. SimplePhoto was perfect for me!

One of the things that I loved most about them right away is that when a client places an order, their payment goes directly into your Paypal account. This was wonderful news to me because the other company paid in the form of checks every 2 weeks or so and it sometimes took a while to get them once they were sent. So hearing that the payment was there instantly made me very happy.

While the other company charged no monthly fee at all except a commission when you made a sale, SimplePhoto charges $10 minimum per month or a small percentage commission on sales, whichever is greater. I am more than happy to pay $10 per month. My SimplePhoto gallery was easy to set up and I was able to customize it to match my business colors. Best of all, I’ve never had a single complaint from my clients since I signed up. The site always runs just fine, the pictures load quickly and the shopping cart is pretty easy to use.

I haven’t really had to deal with their customer service at all since it was so simple to set up, but they were quick to email me as soon as I signed up to let me know they were there if I had any questions or needed any help with the customization. SimplePhoto is awesome!

I hope this has been helpful to some of you out there searching for an online proofing company. :)

freaky chloe


Yes, that is my daughter with a pair of underpants on her head. She’s peeking through the leg hole. Why, you ask? Well, she recently watched an episode of Charlie and Lola, where Lola wanted to be the sun in her school play. Lola goes around the house and gathers everything she possibly can find that is yellow and wears it to school in the hopes that her teacher will choose her to play the sun. So … I guess Chloe decided that she wanted to be the sun because she kept asking me if I had anything yellow and then she came in my office wearing her Snow White dress, a pair of her yellow underwear (clean, of course) and some yellow pants from a Pooh Bear costume with one of the couch pillows stuffed inside to make her more round like the sun. I laughed out loud at that one and I couldn’t let her go without a picture.

A little while later, I heard her watching Freaky Friday for the twentieth time in two days and I kept hearing the same part play over and over again. She would listen to the final song and then replay it over and over. I could hear her in there singing along, so I snuck around the corner and peeked in at her. She was pretending to play guitar along with the show and singing every word. So cute! Snapped a few pictures of her “performing” for me. haha!

This week has been packed with work. I’ve been sitting in front of my computer from about 9 am until midnight every day trying to keep up. I did allow myself to take a break on Tuesday. I went out to my parents house and met Kelle and Rachel, who brought along her sweet baby Derek. It was so good to see Kelle again so soon after our trip to Naperville last month. I miss my friend. We took a few pictures of the baby, of course.
                  
Teacher conferences were this week. Chloe is doing great in kindergarten. She is already at the point they want the kids to be at by the end of the year. Also met with Zach’s teacher yesterday. You may remember me mentioning last year that Zach’s teacher was concerned about him being easily distracted, distracting the other kids and not staying on task. I was so worried how he would do this year because I knew there was going to be more independent work involved. Well, I love his teacher! She is awesome! She said he is doing well and is past where they want the kids to be in math and reading. He does tend to get distracted or want to wiggle around, which is why she seated him in the back so he can get up if he needs to and she isn’t that concerned about it because he is finishing all his work on time. She just has to remind him every once in a while not to bother his neighbor and he is starting to check himself on it now, too. I was so relieved to hear this. She totally gets him and that is exactly what I prayed for.

The weekend ahead:
– A photo shoot Friday evening (hoping the rain stays away because it’s been showing up in the forecast all week) :(
– My last wedding of the year. Lindsay and Jim in Saugatuck. I’m very excited for their wedding. Jake and I went to Chicago this summer and took engagement pictures for them and we got along great. So I asked Jake to come help me with this one. It’s always nice to have him by my side because he has that artistic eye and is great at capturing the moments. I wish we could work together more often, but it’s nice to take him to a wedding or two each year. Plus, I’ve barely seen him in weeks, so it will be nice to spend the day together, even if we are working. :)
– Sunday – a day of rest!
– In the coming weeks, a meeting or two about next year weddings, possibly a couple last minute photo sessions, then editing editing and more editing. Pretty sure I’ll still be editing when we carve the Thanksgiving turkey.

Happy weekend!

the weather was sunny and HOT


Well, it turns out that I did leave a colder Michigan behind on Friday. The weekend temps were only in the 50’s here and it was in the 80’s in lovely Naples, Florida every day I was there.

My hotel was only a couple miles away from the wedding location, but Heather and Jeff stayed in a hotel very near the beach. So I spent part of Saturday with them at the beach and sitting by their hotel pool before I hopped in a limo with the bride and her bridesmaids to head to the wedding. It was a beautiful day and so gorgeous at the beach! I was glad I got to see the ocean while I was there. You really can’t visit Florida and not go to the ocean. It’s like a rule or something. ;)


The weekend went by far too quickly. I got up at 3 am on Friday to drive the 2 hours to the airport in Detroit, caught my 8:30 am flight and was in Ft Myers by 11 am. Heather and Jeff had already been down there in the Orlando area for a week of vacation and they headed down and picked me up from the airport. Had some lunch before they took me to my hotel. It was so fun being able to hang out with them and they were so awesome driving me around and taking care of me all weekend! (Love you guys!)

By the time I got to my hotel, got checked in and settled, my lack of sleep had totally caught up with me. I tried to nap, but couldn’t. So I resorted to a few self portraits instead.


Reality TV. :)

The sunset was gorgeous and the light filled my room and gave everything this really really warm glow.

My view before I hit the hay!

The wedding on Saturday was beautiful. I’ll have some pictures on my photo blog hopefully later this week. Still trying to recuperate from my travels and get caught up on everything around here.

the longest blog post ever


Oh my gosh … I’ve been working on Laura and Steve’s sneak peek for daaaaays it seems. Normally, I can get a sneak peek done in a day, but I kept sitting down to do this one and I’d get on a roll and then something would distract me (life, kids, email, etc.). So … I was up until 3 am last night (stupidhead!) choosing which pictures to blog and editing them and resizing them, etc. etc. etc. Finally … I just hit “publish”. Cue the angels singing. Aaaaaaaaaah! The skies parted and a beam of light just shined down on my computer. LOL! Seriously, their wedding was so beautiful and there were so many pictures that I had the hardest time choosing. I hate it when that happens, but I guess it’s a good thing to have too many great pictures, right?

Today is getting ready/packing day. I am off to Florida early tomorrow morning for a wedding on Saturday. Hoping to relax a little on Friday and Sunday. I feel like I’ve been on overdrive for weeks now. I’m exhausted and need to have a little quiet time to give my brain a rest.

beautiful fall?


Is this really fall? Because it’s been 80 degrees for days now. Not necessarily a bad thing, except for the mosquitos. They are everywhere lately. ugh!

My wedding this weekend was absolutely beautiful. Lindsey and I had a great day! A long day, but a really really good one. Can’t wait to share some of the pictures later this week on my photo blog.

Slept in on Sunday. Woke to a headache, aching muscles, etc. The usual wedding “hangover”.

In the afternoon, we drove to Middleville and took a walk on the Paul Henry Trail. Lots of people out walking and riding bikes and enjoying the gorgeous weather. The kids brought along their bike and scooter and loved taking off down the trail. The path goes right along the Thornapple River and with the trees really starting to get some color now, it was just gorgeous there.

Not having such a great Monday, though. Loaded pictures from Saturday’s wedding and, while all of mine were just fine (thank God!), one of the cards that Lindsey used is corrupt. :( I know there are some wonderful shots on there that Lindsey captured of the guys before the ceremony while I was with the girls, so now I have to figure out a way to rescue some of those pictures if I can. So … we’ll see what happens with that. I’m hopeful, but pretty sure the card is toast.

Feeling kind of down about the financial situation again today, too. Thankful for Jake’s job, hoping he gets hired in soon, looking at getting part time jobs to take a little of the strain off. I really hate money.

Working hard on sessions this week. Hoping to finish up Heather’s family pics in the next few days and post a little slideshow. Those pictures make me smile. Her family is just so cute.

Off to Florida on Friday for a wedding. Looking forward to that! Although, I thought I’d be escaping the cool fall weather for warmer Florida temps, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. :D

AJAXed with AWP