Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Planning and celebrating

Right now there is a lot of planning (wedding) and celebrating (babies)! So this post is no surprise.

Yesterday, Matt and I headed north to taste some different pastas for our grooms dinner. We arrived and met with Sarah and she brought us to this table that was set up with white linens and 2 glasses of water and a pitcher of water. So we sat down and Sarah and the chef brought out our pasta. We got to to try 4 different ones: marinara, marinara with meat, vegetable primavera and chicken mornay. They were sooo delicious!

For our grooms dinner we get to choose we went with marinara with meat and vegetable primavera. Oooh so exciting. While we were there we checked out the room and it is a nice big room with a private bar and bathroom...woohoo! Anyway we are looking forward to celebrating with our friends and family.
On our way back home Matt said "Honey, should we put it all on red." Like a silly girl I said "sure." So we stopped off at the casino, had fun but came out behind. Thanks Love for letting me play with your money (that made it easier).

Last weekend we had a baby shower for Lynn. She is due to have a girl on September 15th. It was nice because a girl that I work with need this Sunday off and could work for me on Friday worked out perfectly because I got a good night sleep and was able to make it to Teris' to help prepare the food and decorate! We had a good group of girls come. Apparently we picked games that no one had played before so everyone thought that was great!

Lynn got some really great gifts!

Lynn and Rachels' due dates are only a week or so apart. Rachels' shower is going to be this coming Saturday.

A wedding, a baby. New Beginnings, New life! Lets celebrate!

Celebrate the moments of your life!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

My ABC's...

A B C D E F G...H I J K L M N O P...Q R S...T U V...W X...Y AND Z....Now I know my Abc's next time won't you sing with me!!

On one of the photography forums I am a member of, there was an assignment back in March/April where for 26 days in a row, you had to take a picture of something starting with the letter of the day. It was really challenging to come up with something every day...and it was also a lot of fun. As you can see, I cheated a little with things like "Not Again" pertaining to the snow, but it was all in fun!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

What if...

Today, I was reading an article about how to change the world, here is the link
Goodness Graciousness: How to Heal the World in Fifteen Minutes#links
It talks about a way that no matter what religion you are (if any at all), what part of the world you are from, what language you speak, whether you are young or old, male or female or any other sort of category we put eachother in, it would work to make the world a better place. The suggestion was to sit in quiet contemplation and intention for 15 minutes a day. Sometimes the world seems so busy, there is so much to see, so much to experience...and yet how often are we really experiencing? I find myself doing a million things at once. I am listening to the radio, going back an forth from checking my email, editing pictures, reading articles, answering the phone...etc. Half the time I am not sure I even taste what I am eating, because that usually gets done in front of the computer too. When I get myself out of my routine to take a walk or meet a friend or see a movie...I feel so refreshed! And of course photography relaxes and energizes me at the same time!

So with this article fresh in my mind...I kept thinking what else could change the world little by little? How could we each make our corner brighter, safer, happier?
I headed out to get some groceries and was listening to "Jimmy Eat World" ( a CD that I bought purely for one song about 3 years ago and never really listened to other songs) and I found that I actually like other songs on there...Hooray! Anyway I thought to myself " What if I told a stranger I loved them" then I thought well that might be creepy and then saying "I love you" to Matt or my parents or brothers may not be as meaningful. Well how about "I like you"...hmmm....that was getting closer but still didn't seem quite right. How about "you're important to me"....ding, ding, ding!! A winner!! In my book it is a winner, and I don't think it would require actually saying it, but believing it and thinking it. So, I am going to try it on for awhile.

I mean what if the person in front of me on the freeway was driving me crazy because they were driving so slow and I thought "you are important to me"...would it get me to where I was going any faster? No, but it might get me to where I am going a little happier. I am just throwing things out there.
Or even the cashier at the grocery store...they may look like they are not having a good day, what if I thought to myself "what you are doing is important and you are important to me". Thoughts precede what would follow? I don't know.
I do believe that every moment is an opportunity to serve the world.

What do you think would change the world? Leave me a comment and let me know your thoughts!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Crawl 4 the Cure and more...

On Friday afternoon, Matt and I headed north for an adventure...and was it ever an adventure! We got to the campground around 5pm and set up our bed in the Cube van. Our friend Larry and his whole family (siblings, parents, nieces and nephews) were all camping for the weekend. They introduced us to one of their fantastic traditional camp pies and dessert pies. Here is a picture and description
So basically we buttered the outsides of the bread and added sauce, cheese and whatever else we wanted in our pizza and then cooked em over the fire. They were so tasty!! Then for dessert, it was bread again with some canned apple pie filling...mmm. I can't believe I never heard of these things before, and neither could Larry and his family. They were teasing on us. I tell you I want some of these pie cookers...they just make so much sense!

The campground was right on a lake, so after dinner Matt and I headed to the lake. We were standing by shore admiring how clear the lake was (sorry no pics) and then Matt saw a couple fish jumping a ways down the shore. Well, he decided to walk the shoreline and see them. He got about half-way to his destination and a boulder moved out from under him and he went flying in the water. The boulder hit his foot and then was on top of him...he struggled to get it off so that he wouldn't be crushed. Thank God he did! His foot took a hit...looked like he had an apple in his foot when he got out. He was able to move his foot all around..but probably has a hairline fracture. His foot is still swollen and black and blue. Poor Matt : (

If I would've got this from a better angle you could see the huge lump he had.

On Saturday he was feeling pretty good and the wrapping we did kept his swelling down and he was able to put his boots on. We headed out for jeepin' at 9am. The rock is so red and the puddles looked like tomato soup! This is Larry, Bev, Valerie and Holly going through the big puddle.

...and headed up a hill. After the hill Matt realized that his gearbox broke, nothing we could fix at the time. So we thought, eh we will just head out and do some other touristy things while in town. Well, a neighboring jeeper happened to have an extra jeep, so we borrowed that and were able to jeep the whole day. We had a lot of fun. Sometimes it sounds like the whole jeep is just going to break with all the rocks banging around under the frame. It can be scary at times, but it is alot of fun and I love being a part of something Matt loves so much.
And the views were beautiful! I love that we can combine both of our interests. Almost anywhere we go jeepin' there is great scenery!
Oh my gosh...we were so dirty! I thought I got a really nice tan...nope it was all red dirt evenly placed on my face....hahahha! By the time I got to take a shower, there wasn't any hot water left, so that was interesting! We had a great time minus the inconvenience and pain that Matt had to suffer, it could have been soooo much worse with that huge boulder on top of him.

Other News: My friends' Karmen and Michelle from work both had their babies on July 19th!! Michelle was due on July 8th and didn't find out what she was having...she had a boy! And Karmen was due on July 23rd and she knew she was having a boy. I got to talk to Karmen today and she sounded great, they were on their way home from the hospital. She didn't have any drugs...GO KARMEN!! She knows that is what I intend to do when the day comes and she said I could do it. It gives me hope!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

So are the days of my life....

What a week...a good week! Well I worked Wednesday night through Tuesday night. I was suppose to go to a fun lake party and visit with Matts sister and nephews on Saturday but unfortunately the apartment above me was getting new carpet...and it took 3 days to prepare and I didn't get the best sleep. I was very sorry to miss Wendy (Matts sis) and the boys, because now they are back in Japan :( I wish they weren't so far away...the boys are growing up so fast and we are missing it. I hope they will be at the wedding!

On Monday evening I met up with Emmy at Jakes (such yummy food!) and I got to see the pics from her Ultrasound. Baby is healthy...they are not finding out what it is...and I just love that. I think it is so exciting to wait and see if it is a boy or girl. There is very little in life that is a huge wonderful surprise. Ultrasounds are just so fascinating to me, I think I am going to be able to go with her to one of them...YAY!! Emmy and I had a very nice talk, like we always do and the food was delicious. Love ya Emmy...can't wait to meet and hold your baby! By the way Emmy is due 10 or so days after my wedding! She says she will drive a wheelchair down the aisle if she has too...ahahahaa!

Wednesday I called Emily on my way home from work and she called me back a little while later and wanted to know if I could come to get my haircut. Hmm....sure. So without any sleep I headed North to Emily's. She cut 3 inches off my hair...and it is still super long. I also got some long bangs...just that simple thing seems to add a lot to the look. She said my hair is really healthy...which is amazing because I do blowdry it every day. This is a good thing because when I do decide to cut it I can give it to locks of love.

And of course baby John was there too...he is getting so big. He is full of smiles these days. I was holding him and singing " Jumpin, jumpin, jumpin John" and bouncing his feet off my legs. He was just giggling. I am so happy to see my friends transform from non-mom to full fledged is a beautiful trransformation! Here is baby John.

After leaving Emily's I stopped at the bank where Marianne works. She is so cute pregnant. She is due on August 8th....coming very soon. It was good to see her.

Then I was off to the shop to visit Matt. He has been very busy with fixing up one of the jeeps this week. When I got there all it was, was the engine on some wheels. He totally amazes me with everything he knows and can figure out. His brain is always calculating and analyzing things. This weekend we are going to do the Crawl for the Cure...a jeep event for MS. I will post pictures of that next week.

Since I was in the area, and trying to keep myself awake, I dropped by and saw my mom. We sat and talked for awhile and she had some yummy oatmeal chocolate chip bars that I just couldn't pass up. Thanks mom for being a good cook..hopefully I got some of those genes! I know alot of what my mom knows she learned from her mom. I never met my Grandma, but feel that I know her through my moms stories. She was blind, but was an amazing cook and overall amazing woman. Sometimes when I need guidance or feel that something has happened that reminds me how wonderful life is I will pray to her. I think she is one of my guardian angels.

There are always photo ops at mommas house. I saw this beautiful black and white dragonfly buzzing around and it would land on a flower and I would inch my way towards it, taking pictures from every distance...and get closer until finally a trust between this beautiful insect and I. I move around taking pictures from different angles and locking in focus and looking at what is in the background that would really bring him/her into clarity. I felt so peaceful watching it and moving around it, so as to not disturb but just appreciate.

After getting some nice shots of the dragonfly, I moved on. I found lots of texture as I walked from the house to the far side of the barn. I noticed this part of a tree. Looks like there used to be a branch there and it has broken off. Even broken, it remains is different than it was before...something is seen that could never have been seen before. Reminds me of life...and that sometimes we go through times where we are broken and feel helpless and unloved or unwanted, and then someone notices us, or we discover a new part of ourselves and we heal and blossom and we become better than we were. Isn't that what life is about? Transforming over and over so that we are continually better people.
And new fruit emerges....
and old memories remain...
the old barn is such a cool place. So many memories. My brothers and I would spend endless hours playing in the forts we made when we were young, when I became a teenager it became a place to hang out with friends and a place to get away.
some more texture...

I thought the picture below was cool...I like the perspective of the little plants against the bark.

An old metal couch...added some texture to it in photoshop, just to give it more of an old feel
Today I had lunch at Olive Garden with my friend Wendy and her sons Alex and Cam. Wendy and I have a renewed friendship...we were good friends and then as teenagers we lost eachother and then became friends how people come back around into your life. We had a nice lunch together.

As we get closer to the wedding I am appreciating where my past has brought me and look forward to a future with Matt and all the "fruit" that will emerge from our togetherness!

And I will close with lyrics to a song that rings so true to me, there were so many times that I felt all alone, but now the sun surely shines! This song is on the "Hope Floats" soundtrack. I decided to add the video too, just in case anyone would want to hear it.

To Get Me to You : Lila McCann

"Well I, I still can remember times
When the night seemed to surround me
I was sure the sun would never shine on me
And I, I thought it my destiny
To walk this world alone
But now you're here with me
Now you're here with me

And I don't regret the rain
Or the nights I felt the pain
Or the tears I had to cry
Some of those times along the way
Every road I had to take
Every time my heart would break
It was just something that I had to get through
To get me to you
To get me to you

Well I, I still can recall the days
When I had no love around me
Makes me glad for every day I have with you
And I, I look in your eyes and know
I'm right where I belong
And I belong with you
Always belonged with you

And I don't regret the rain
Or the nights I felt the pain
Or the tears I had to cry
Some of those times along the way
Every road I had to take
Every time my heart would break
It was just something that I had to go through
To get me to you
To get me to you

And if I could I wouldn't change a thing
Wouldn't change a thing baby
Because your love was waiting there for me
Waiting there for me baby

And I don't regret the rain
Or the nights I felt the pain
Or the tears I had to cry
Some of those times along the way
Every road I had to take
Every time my heart would break
It was just something that I had to get through
To get me to you
To get me to you"

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Love my Canvas!

I just gotta say that I love these canvas bags! I never thought something so simple would make me so happy. I love them because..

1. They don't add to the mess of bags under my kitchen sink
2. They are large enough that I get by using 3 of them for my grocery shopping (so far)
3. They are sturdy and I am not afraid that they will break half-way to the door
4. They help save the environment by not adding carbon into the air through the making of or recycling of paper and plastic bags
5. They have long handles so I can carry them over my shoulder

If you think they would make you happy too, this is where I got mine

I know they have them at Cub and other stores, I just didn't want mine to say Cub on them.

The following video just gives me a sense of Unity, Peace and Love. It connects the whole world. People are people. We love and fear and worry and laugh and dance and sing. Besides the fact that it is a sponsored video, it has a good vibe to it! Gotta have your volume up to get the full effect! Enjoy!

Monday, July 7, 2008

Family, Friends, Food + Fireworks = FUN!

Our weekend started on Thursday with my cousin Ryans' wedding. It was a gorgeous evening wedding. Matt and I always forget to get a picture when we are dressed nice...not this time! We got a pre-wedding pic outside!

It was fun to hangout with the fam and have a couple glasses of wine and some deilicious food. I didn't take too many pics though, but I did grab a couple during the first dance. Here is Ryan with his new wife Jess. I tried a different treatment in Photoshop and added some texture to it ( I like it, they look classy!). Congratulations, hope you are catching big fish in Alaska!
My cousin Jacquie is going to be my personal attendant for our wedding. I am so excited about that. I used to read her this crazy little childrens book called "Bony Legs" when we were younger, such good memories. Here she is with her boyfriend Chris...I just think they are so right together. After the reception my brothers and mom came back to the apartment and we ate some popcorn and pickles and my brothers and Juliana spent the night. Sleepovers are fun, although we didn't pull any tricks on the first one to fall asleep....if we would've, Lance would've got it bad!

Friday the 4th, I slept in and Matt worked on the brakes in his Jeep. Then we went over to Jamie and Lynn's. We barbecued some burgers and dogs and had a couple drinks. Lynn made these delicious shots with Vanilla Vodka, Baileys and Root Beer....taste like a Root Beer Float! Teri, Luke and Shawn bought some awesome fireworks and we had a Show!! This is a picture of the "War Drum". This thing had personality, it went about 7-8 feet in the air and kept changing color and design. At one point there were 3 flames coming out of was wicked. I know this looks more like a galaxy than fireworks, but I just wasn't set up to take the best fireworks pics.Lynn and Jamie have a trampoline so Matt and I were jumpin' on there for awhile, I don't think we are quite as flexible as we used to be. Matt pulled a hip muscle or something. We also could lay there and see the Milky Way in the relaxing to lay there with my love and look at the stars.

And there were smores, but the fire was huge (started out like 12 feet tall by 20 feet wide, I could be way off, but it was BIG!). So after the fire shrunk we could toast some marshmallows, it was still too hot for those 3 foot cooking forks, so Matt wrapped one around a piece of wood. Here he proud!

Saturday met up with Travis, Netti, Bernadette, Richi, Johnny and Shelley and watched Polocrosse (Polo with LaCrosse nets) at the Chateau St. Croix. Very cool and interesting sport. Thanks to Travis we had some cheese and crackers to go with our wine!

After the Polocrosse, we met up with Matt and Sheri at the Sunrise River. We tied our tubes together, minus Matt(such a free spirit) and headed down the river. It was about 4pm when we started and there was a lot of shady areas, so it wasn't the warmest ride, but it sure was fun! There were quite a few areas where we had to lift our butts in order not to hit a rock...everyone looks out for the group so it works out. I was tied to Travis and a cooler tube at the beginning but about half way down I was a free spirit too so Matt and I would hold onto eachother and help eachother out of being stuck. After the river we headed to Matt and Sheris and got there just in time to say goodnight to Ashley...she is so cute! We ate some steaks and chilled for a bit, but we were so beat from being in the sun all day that we headed out kinda early.

Sunday afternoon Matt and I went to see "Hancock"....a really good movie. Definately had some surprises and was a different take on a super hero. We both thoroughly enjoyed it! Then he was off to work and I headed to Cub to meet my mom. My mom and I put some steaks, vegis and bread on the grill and we had it along with some salad for dinner. It was a nice dinner with my momma.

I had an awesome weekend! Now this week, plan more for the wedding!
And I thought I'd end with a 4th of July inspired quote.

Without freedom, no one really has a name.
~Milton Acorda