Monday, November 23, 2009

Leaving

I have submitted an image to a contest. If I am selected, my image will be published in a JPG magazine. If you are aware of photography magazines or if you have an interest in magazines, then you may already be familiar with JPG.

If you read my blog at all, then you also know I am a photographer--good or bad--I am a photographer. As well as many other things...

Anyway, please vote, click here to vote.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Sadness

So far this month has been filled with ups and downs...

My friend’s sister-in-law gave birth to a little boy was born with a defect in one of his heart valves, after two open heart surgeries, he is finally home with his family. Another surgery is to follow in about 5-6 months.

The musician at my wedding passed away. He had been sick for a while, so it was reassuring in that he was not taken from his family too soon. He was an elder--in his 80's. He lived a long, love filled life with 7 beautiful, talented and prosperous children, each with children of their own. My only regret is I didn't keep in touch with him like I should have.

My husband celebrated his 35th birthday in the manner in which most single men might like to enjoy it... at Hooter's wearing balloon boobs, of course. ::shrug:: I don't understand it, but the pictures I saw where actually quite hilarious and very demeaning toward women. Hopefully a future employer won't find these. Our two-year old was not up for a night on the town; therefore, I played babysitter while daddy enjoyed his boobs... I mean, booze. :\

Yes, he is still unemployed. The Monday after Thanksgiving will be exactly one year since he had a real, full-time job. He has had jobs that paid, some even paid well, but none were permanent. This month he has been on two interviews. That is very exciting—then I heard on the news there are at least 8 people applying for every position available. I just hope someone picks my husband.

The Air Force is looking less and less like a possibility. Since April I have lost 30 pounds, but I seem to have hit a plateau. I have held firm at goal weight + 10. Those last 10 pounds need to come off. I have changed my entire routine to accommodate exercise and diets. I guess I will either have to wait until June to apply or give up the attempt.

We are supposed to be going to my grandparents this Thanksgiving. I am very much looking forward to it but there are no funds for gas. I am hoping my mother’s “new to her” minivan will have enough room for us, them and all out belongings. I sent out an extraordinarily long e-mail to everyone scheduled to ride with together: mom and dad; me, hubby and the kid; sister and her live in boyfriend. I was terribly long. My mother claimed 30-minutes were spent reading my email. I offered a prize to the first person to respond to that email—just to see who would actually read it and follow the instructions—I thought my mother would be the only one. And she was. My sister and her boyfriend never even mentioned the email and my dad claimed to have simply skimmed it. Where is the love?? Lol… it was all in fun. But, my mother will get a prize—prize to be determined.

Ok, that’s all for now. Just in case… Happy Thanksgiving. J

Friday, October 16, 2009

Monday, September 21, 2009

Delayed Reaction

Ok, so I have gotten myself a bit overwhelmed with various obligations.

Bridal formal yesterday prooved to be a huge success with 22 images selected, that's several days worth of editing.

Her wedding is October 3, so I have to have the formal completed several days before her wedding.

I am scheduled to take the AFOQT October 12. My study time has been severely compromised because of the previous obligations. Therefore, I am going to rescheduled the AFOQT for the first week of December.

That should give me plenty of time to edit wedding images and then prepare for the test.

Still hittin' the gym/park 6 days a week.
Still need to lose 10+ pounds...

Suggestions?

Friday, September 11, 2009

too little too late

I have too much to say and not enough hours in the day.

Worked 40-ish hours at my day job
Spent 12 hours at the gym this week
Worked 10-ish hours at my contract photo job
Nursed a sick child
Lost 4 pounds

All in all it's been an ok week.
I still have 10+ pounds to lose.

Must.

Have.

Sleep.....

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Service to country

Met with the AF recruiter today. Incredibly nice guy. My husband was in attendance and made lots of uplifting banter. Not that any was needed, it's just his way.

I am really feeling more confident about my decision to pursue the Air Force as my future career path. I watched the video of OTS we picked up at the recruiters office. Definitely brought home the reality of my path.

Feel free to comment.

If you are so inclined, please visit my blog friend, Niobe, her sister was involved in an automobile accident. It doesn't look good. Visit her blog and leave supportive comments.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Sitting, waiting, wishing...

That is probably one of my favorite songs. Jack Johnson, in case you're wondering. The video is awesome, too. It's filmed in reverse. Here's a link to the video on you tube.

This title is an accurate depiction of how I feel at this very moment.

I am sitting here. Obviously.

But more importantly, I am theoretically sitting here, too. Sitting in life. Stalled out. No opportunity for opportunities to advance my careers--my health insurance day job nor my photographic moonlight job. Zero chance of being able to sell my house (if I wanted to) and not actually lose money. My husband is still unemployed. So, here I sit. Waiting.

Waiting for what? Well, several things, actually. The most exciting thing is my child's birthday party. It is scheduled for tomorrow at a local park. I have lots of family in town that we haven't seen since May.

The next most exciting thing is... well, the Air Force. Now I know you're probably sitting there, scratching your head and wondering WTH and where did that come from? Well, it came from many months of thinking about what *I* could do to change my current "seated" position. So I have decided to apply for Officer's Training School (OTS) to be an Officer in the United States Air Force.

Since my husband has been unemployed for so long, I have become a very pro-active individual. This is not to say I have just started being pro-active. oh, no. I have always been such; however, now, it's manifested itself into serious crunch time. Get it done or get out, kind of change.

Here is how I look at my situation:
I grew up an Army brat. Hindsight is 20/20. Looking back at my life as a teenager living in Germany, I realize those are some of THE most awesome days of my life. I would never change that opportunity because is sculpted the person I have become today.

My husband could certainly benefit from the discipline of the military; however, he does not have a degree and he is 35. The Air Force requires commissioned officers be commissioned prior to their 35th birthday and have at least a Bachelor's degree. So, if he were to join as an enlisted (E-1) his base pay would be slightly less that $17000.00 a year. Frankly, that is not enough for us to survive off of, much less be able to live. Ok, fine... He would also get housing allowance, and other benefits; such as: free health insurance for all of us, free trips all over the world, etc. However... and here's the drawback... I would have to quit my job. Granted, that is what I am considering anyway (aside from the Air Force); however, I would be forced to quit a good paying job for possibly nothing. With the national unemployment numbers as they are, I would be absolutely stupid to do that considering I'd have a great chance of not finding a job with the pay I am currently earning.

This bring me to my next point(s):
I have a degree and I am less than 35. My husband is already unemployed, so there would be no job for him to quit. As an O-1, I would be earning nearly double what he would as an E-1. Additionally, O-1 salary is about $2000/annually more than I currently earn, add on to that the housing allowance, dependent pay, etc... and I could be making nearly $60k a year (depending on the location we get stationed). That's my salary and my husband's (required salary) combined.

Yes. I know there are draw backs...remember, I grew up as an Army brat. We were station in Germany when the wall fell and when the first gulf war started. My father was never deployed, thankfully, but he could have been, easily. And it's something we had to deal with, daily. I know being in the Air Force (or any branch of the military) means I will have to spend a great deal of time away from my family. I do not like that part at all. However, being deployed for a job that is helping to support my family vs one that has rejected me for promotions time and time again seems like a better solution than staying in a dead end job longer than necessary.

And this brings me to the wishing part of my life. The only thing that is standing in my way of getting selected for a slot at OTS is my weight. Granted I am in relatively good health--someone might look at me and say, "Oh, she could lose a few pounds, but she's not fat." Well, the AF has a weight limit. And I need to lose 15 pounds, legally and morally, QUICK. I've hit the gym everyday (except Sundays) for the past 2 weeks. I have not changed the way I eat--2 veggies, 2 fruits, 3 proteins, low carb/fat; therefore, with all the running and weight training, you would think I would have lost 10 pounds already. Yes, I know muscles weighs more than fat; however, I walk/run 6 miles a week and I do light weights with lots of reps. I'm wishing this weight would come off quicker. So, WTH?

I doubt very seriously I will change my mind. The Air Force might decide for me; however, I won't change my mind. I will work my behind off at the gym, cut carbs, cut fats, etc... to lose this weight.

In addition to the CFE I am supposed to be studying for in my current day job, add to it now the AFOQT, Air Force Officer's Qualification Test.

Don't wish me luck... I need a miracle.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Two Months Later and it still hurts

It’s been over two months since my last post. My life has changed.

To get you caught up I have attached the epic novel also known as “a day in the life of me”. I tried to make it as short as possible. Needless to say… that didn’t really work out so well.

June 20th

I was scheduled to be 2nd shooter at a wedding for the studio with whom I freelance. At 4 AM my husband wakes me up complaining the steak he had for dinner the night before has been lodged in his esophagus since the first bite—he had not been able to force it down or drink water. In an effort to remain calm, I gave him the choice of going to the ER or sticking it out to see if it will pass on its own. He chose to stick it out. Fine. He went to work around 8 AM and I left for the wedding around 10 AM. By this time, I had already contacted the studio and advised them of the situation. I complained to my friend (also the studio owner) about my husband’s lack of pro-action; also I offered suggests on how to get the job done if I was to be delayed because of an eventual ER visit. She agreed and instructed me to keep her posted. No problem.

In the mean time, I am in “constant” contact with my husband via text message. Around 11 AM he said he was still not able to eat or drink—by this time over 12 hours had passed since the steak became lodged. I was getting increasingly concerned, angry, scared, etc. I gave him another choice: go to the doc-in-the-box or the ER; but, do NOT stay at work. End of discussion. He said he would head to the doctor. Great. As a side note, I work in the health insurance industry full time, so I called some of my nurse co-workers to see if they had advice. No one returned my calls. Fine. I have one friend who is a physician, so I called her. In the calmest and sweetest southern drawl she said, "go to the ER, immediately." Ok. I knew it was a serious situation, but really? The ER?

During this whole time, I am in “constant” contact with the studio via text message. By this point, arrangements have been made for the 3rd and 4th shooters to be at the wedding to take my place and I would go to the reception site to get the set-up shots. (Yes, that’s right it takes two shooters to equal me, but that’s not the point I’m trying to make.) Anyway, we arrive at the ER, fill out all the paper work and (since we didn’t arrive by ambulance) we wait. Once the ER doctor realized my husband had food lodged in his esophagus we were escorted to a room, and my husband was set up on an IV of saline. The doctor comes in and starts shooting the breeze, just chit chatting about various hobbies my husband enjoys. (Later, I learned it was an effort to get him and, ultimately, his throat to relax and allow the food to pass naturally.) After several minutes, the food was still lodge. Keep in mind, the food is right at the top of the stomach and bottom of the throat, so he could still breathe absolutely fine, he just wasn’t able to eat or drink. Then the doctor indicated my husband would have to be injected with several difference muscle relaxers, a blood pressure medicine and insulin as a second resort to dislodging the food. If those didn’t work: endoscopy, to extract the food manually.

This next part might make you think I don’t care, but the reality is my husband has been laid off from work twice in the past 9 months; with the most recent being mid-April. So, by the time this happened he had been laid off from his full-time job two months and was working part-time: Sat and Sun only. We have a kid to care for; we cannot go without him working or me working my freelance. So I felt a HUGE obligation to be at the wedding/reception; not for the sake of the bride or the studio, but so I could feed my child with the money I would be paid from shooting. With this in mind, I called my husband’s BFF to come and sit at the ER while I left to shoot the wedding. My thoughts were: he’s at the ER; he’s safe; if anything goes horribly wrong, he’s in the best place possible. I hated leaving and felt like a loser wife, but I had/have to take care of the one person on the planet who depends on me: my child.

While all this is going on, I am still in contact with the studio via text. I message her with my plans of leaving the ER and heading to the reception site to shoot. I never hear back from her, and in all honesty, I didn’t expect to hear back from her since, by this time, the wedding had started and she couldn’t take her eyes off the bride. I fully expected her to contact me once the wedding was over and they were starting the after ceremony pictures. But I never did. The wedding started at 2 PM, I made it to the reception site also at 2 PM. Normally a wedding will last 30-minutes or longer. Since this wedding was not filled with ceremonial traditions, I assumed the wedding would last 30-45 minutes; the formal post-ceremony portraits would last another 30 minutes and then the 20-minute drive from the church to the reception. Any reasonable person who has attended at least two weddings in their life time could conclude the primary shooter would have arrived at the reception site around 3:30 PM. Right? MAYBE 3:45 if the wedding started late or the pictures ran a little long.

While I am at the reception, the medicines my husband had been given didn’t relax him enough for his throat to release the food, he ended up having to be sedated and scoped to remove the food. Granted, my mind was not exactly focused on the job at hand; however, I thought if the situation were reversed and this was my gig and I knew one of my employees was a bit over stimulated, what is the least I would do? Send the 3rd/4th shooter as relief as quickly as possible? Right? That’s what you would think happened. But, nope, that’s not what happened at all.

Around 4 PM the 3rd shooter did show up. When he arrived, I let out a sigh of relief and nearly burst into tears, the type of tears you get when you have been rescued from a never ending nightmare. But just as my eyes welled up and a smile barely crossed my lips…he walked right past me without speaking. Shock and disbelief are not powerful enough words to fully describe how I felt at that exact moment. Yes, the 3rd shooter did show up but he did not show up to relieve me. Oh, no. I found out later, he had been instructed by the “bride” to photograph the band and the cake. (Uhm… What!??!!? Is that not what *I* was doing there?) Fearful I might miss the bride and groom’s arrival (they had not arrived yet when #3 showed up) I didn’t leave my post by the front door. I had shot the cakes, all the food, the set-ups, nearly every guest at the reception; therefore, I felt I had nothing left to capture. Around 4:10 the newlyweds arrived. I rebussled the bride’s train and with a smile and a flash, I captured their entrance into the reception, their first dance and some pictures of them mingling with family and guests.

My friend (and studio owner) did not show up until 430 PM!!! Nearly an HOUR after I expected her. When I finally saw her, I again sighed a huge sigh and nearly burst into those tears I described earlier; only this time, add in the fact I wanted to punch her in the mouth and run to my car, never looking back. She approached me with a look of grief; she gave me a hug and I began to tremble from all of the adrenaline and emotions. She said, “We need to talk.” I thought to myself, “You’re d@mn right we need to talk.”

We ended up going into a side hall where we had some privacy. We began with chit chat: how did the wedding go, how’s your husband, etc. Once the formalities were out of the way the dialog went something like this (paraphrased, of course):

Me: What took so long for you to get here?
Her: The pictures ran long.
Me: Ok… but why were you over 20 minutes delayed after the bride and groom?
Her: Traffic.
Me: Fine. What’s up with #3? He came in, didn’t speak and I haven’t seen him since.
Her: The bride wanted to make sure the band and cake got shot.
Me: I shot them. But he (the #3 shooter) didn’t even check-in with me (the #2 shooter). He dropped off his gear, moved his car, came back to grab his gear and I haven’t seen him since.


She gave me the same excuse about having to shoot the band and the cakes and he was just doing what he was told, blah, blah, blah…


Me: So, you mean to tell me, he doesn’t have to check-in with me, the lone shooter of the reception—forget about the fact my husband is in the ER and I might need to leave—because he was told by “the bride” to shoot x,y,z, when you know good and well I am here, capturing those very things WHILE my husband is in the EMERGENCY ROOM with food lodged in his throat? I have not had enough time to stop and take a break with going to the ER and then here. I have not had any lunch and now it’s going on dinner time.
Her: Well #3 has low blood sugar and he canceled his morning appointments to come to the church to take your place.
Me: #3 HAS LOW BLOOD SUGAR? Oh, please…at least he has had time to stop and get something to eat before he arrived at the church. I haven’t. I left my house with the full intension of going to the church; but instead I ended up at the ER, where there is no buffet or even an opportunity to grab a bite; I stayed there as long as I could until I had to be here (at the reception site); waited over an HOUR for SOMEONE to show up to relieve me and when that someone does shows up he doesn’t even check-in with me to see what, if anything, I DID capture? And now you’re standing here telling me it’s all my fault that I didn’t get a break??
Her: Well, there has definitely been a lack of communication in this situation.

Feeling she was insinuating that it was me who failed to communicate, I went OFF:


Me: What? “A lack of communication?” Are you kidding me? I have been in COMPLETE contact with you: texts, phone calls… You have been made FULLY aware of what I am doing; however, *I*, on the other hand, am in the dark. You have been “courting” me to become “partners” with you in your studio and you think *I* have a communication problem??? #1, I think… no, I KNOW I need to leave. I can’t believe what I am hearing, I can’t believe this is actually happening like this, I can’t believe you are defending HIM. I better leave before I say something I might regret.
Her: Yes, I think you better leave.

There is so much I am leaving out for the sake of sparing your eyes from reading every detail; I know it doesn’t really look like it, but it’s true. For example (real short, I promise): the newlyweds were so late to their own reception, the mother of the bride asked me where they were. Well, I didn’t know, I was wondering that myself. I said: “Ma’am, I’ve been here since 2, I haven’t talked with #1 since before the wedding. I’d be happy to call her for you.” Of course the mother was in agreement. When I called #1’s cell phone, the #5 “shooter” answered and was snippy with me even though I had explained the bride’s mother was inquiring.

::sigh::

I was so very angry at #1, at the situation, at #3, at my husband, at the world, that I called my good friend, Macy, in a panic. She and I have been friends a short time, but we clicked instantly. I had confided in her about my concerns with joining the studio and possibly giving up my own studio, my own vision, long before this day. So, while I was driving to meet up with my husband, I called her. While I was recapping everything that had transpired over the past 5 hours, I was getting even more worked up about the situation; and as I progressed through the day’s events, it started to sink in that I was doing her a “favor” by ensuring the reception site had coverage and she didn’t seem to care my husband was ill. As I repeated to Macy the words exchanged in the conversation #1 and I had, it became more and more clear that I could not even consider joining her studio. The dream of quiting my full time job after 13 years and work full time as a photographer was crashing down around me; my husband was very ill and I was not able to be with him. My lungs became tight, I was beginning to struggle to breath and I started hyperventilating, I got tunnel vision and my ears went deaf. I was only 2 minutes from my destination; I realized if I didn’t calm down, and calm down quickly, I would pass out and crash my car. I later learned I had post traumatic stress syndrome.

It took nearly 2 days for me to have the ability to tell my husband what happened the day of the wedding. And then I had to tell him in segments, so I wouldn’t get myself wound up again.

Today, as I type this blog entry, it's still very difficult to comprehend the events of that dreadful day, my husband takes medication every day for Eosinophilic Gastroenteritis, he is still unemployed 2 months later and I still work with the same studio. I have made every attempt to schedule a face-to-face meeting with #1 to discuss this situation (and others); and as of today, we have had no such meeting. Other situations have come up that I feel were not handled nor sufficiently discussed. Therefore, the future I thought I had with the studio will never be.

Although, I am no longer considering being #1’s partner, we still work together on various projects on an as needed basis. She helps me on my studio’s projects and I help her with hers. But my mind and heart will not allow me to sign any contract of partnership with her. I’d have to sacrifice so much to be her partner, and yet, she’s not willing to reciprocate. That, to me, is not a partnership. In her insinuation that I have poor communication skills, with that frame of mind, she does not yet know I will never partner with her. Selfish? Yes. Childish? Probably. Regrets? None.

And I am grateful to have a "healthy" husband, no matter how ... fill in the blank ... I think he is. I am grateful to have an opportunity to work with #1 without my worry of a partnership agreement and all the concerns about closing my studio. I am happy to say my husbands unemployment has kicked in and we are surving on that, my income and the benevolence of family and friends.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Brief Update

I just want to give a brief follow-up to my last post:

Everyone is fine. Now. A series of doctor visits are to follow. Details of those will be available as the appointments happen.

Hind sight is 20/20 and so I probably overreacted. Slightly. I am still pissed and have been compiling my documentation to insure I post accurate accounts of the events.

I still have a life changing decision to make, but it's not as easy as it seemed to be when I posted last.

I will post most of the details in my next post. Advise on how to proceed will be solicited.

So much for a "boring" life.

I liked boring much better.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

I'm feeling faint.

today.

was.

the worst day.

of.

my.

life.

Little/no sleep last night.
Research illness, determine death is a possible outcome.
ER visit.
Potential nervous breakdown in the middle of a wedding while shooting it.
Being treated like low-man-on-totem-pole by the low-man-on-totem-pole.
Mild anxiety attack.
Moderate anxiety attack while driving, coupled with hyperventilating and high blood pressure, tunnel vision and an overwhelming desire to cuss someone.
Contemplating a life altering decision.

On the up side... it can only get better.

Right?

Friday, June 19, 2009

Don't mean nothin'

For the better part of my...

No.

For my ENTIRE 20's, I was in college.

I worked full time for the company in which I am still employed* and went to the local University to earn my prize!! My degree in Art Studio.

Oh, I didn't always know I wanted to be an artist. My first degree path was Math. Yes. I am a geek. I love Math. There are infinite things to learn, but once you learn them, they don't change. It's awesome. Then, when I had only 4 classes remaining in the path, I decided programming was the better avenue for my future. So, I registered for the C++ programming class. It was a 200 level course, and I felt like I would be able to successfully complete that course. No problem. Right?

WRONG! See... Prior to that class, I had only dabbled in any kind of programming. I knew (and still only know) just enough to get me in trouble. I should have known that class/degree path wasn't right for me because my Great-grandmother's funeral was on the first day of class. The funeral was held 2 states over and if I missed the first day of this particular class, the University would have systematically dropped me from the course. My unbelievably caring and giving husband offered to fly me there and back. He worked the night shift that "day", flew me to my Great-grandmother's funeral and back, and then went back to work that night. I'm still not able to accurately articulate how much that really meant to me. Unfortunately, all the thoughtfulness and sacrificing he gave couldn't get me a passing grade. I dropped the course with a WF (Withdraw Failing) and a grade of 23%. Horrid.

So, I had a "come to Jesus" meeting with myself and realized I LOVE to learn and master software programs, and I am pretty good at taking pictures, so what better degree path than Art Studio: Graphic Design and Photography? No better. That's what I thought, too. :) So I declared my major and registered for the first available design and photography classes.

I was in love... I was meant to be in the photo classes. I enjoyed the darkroom far more than any normal person should. The smell is unforgettable and my eyes never seemed to take too long to adjust to the amber (safe) light. The systematic and methodical process of developing film and printing complimented my OCD tendencies. I knew exactly how long it would take me to complete everything and still have time to experiment with some burning, dodging, filters, etc... I enjoyed the design classes as well. But the main reason for adding graphic design was an effort to market myself, both, to prospective employers and my own photography business.

After 10 long, hard, unforgiving years... I finally graduated on 2006. The first in my family (paternal linage) to obtain a post secondary degree. My mother didn't graduate high school; she eventually obtained her GED. My dad is, in my opinion, brilliant with OCD tendencies. He calls them idiosyncracies, but let's just keep it real. Shall we?? But even still he only took a few college courses, and at the age of 55, still hasn't finished.

So, I've mentioned before about my own photography business. I can't afford (and never have been able to afford) to market myself. So, by advertising via word of mouth, my website and some social networking sites I was hired to shoot 10+ weddings from August 2004 to December 2006. Since December 2006 (when I found out I was pregnant), I have assisted in 10 more weddings. Sounds pretty successful, huh? I mean... considering I still worked 40 hours each week, I now have a child in addition to a husband. In fact, I am assisting with a wedding this weekend for the studio that has been courting me to join their creative team. (And I will, just as soon as they can pay me at least my current annual salary.) So, in the mean time, I freelance at "a hefty price." (Her words, not mine.)

Well, I was having a round table meeting with the studio owner/lead photographer for the wedding tomorrow as well as the #3 photographer on the job. The #3 photog is a marketing dude with some years of experience in photography, just not in weddings. I've been told he wants to get into that aspect and so he's "interning" with the studio. He and I were chit-chatting and I inquired if he's day job was hiring. (I mean, after all I DO have a degree in graphic design and photography!) He laughed and said "uhm...No." Leaving me with the feeling I wasn't good enough for their group. I'll admit, my graphic design is rusty, at best. But I try hard and I take crit's very well. So, I could fit in there. I boasted about my education in the design field and my years of photography experience. He proceeded to inform me the designers that "work for him" (his words, not mine), don't have degrees in design. But they're brilliant their work is "high-n-tight". In addition, the only person there who has a degree in design is the programmer. So basically "you're degree doesn't mean anything." (His words. NOT mine.)

What?

Seriously?

After all that work...

it doesn't count for anything?

I guess I am destined to always be a geek loser.

happy friday.



* - my current employer is in no way, shape or form related to art or the creation of art.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Woulda, Coulda, Shoulda...

I should really blog about WTH is going on in my life right now.

But it's the same crap, just different days with a slightly more downward turn.

Although, that's not completely accurate.
Hubby did get that temp job. And he was able to work 36+ hours last week. So his paycheck Friday will be decent. But the hours for this week looks like they will max out at a whopping 16!!

WHOA! Stop the bus... :\

It sux.

Big time.

One of my BFFs had a spare Verizon phone, so I was able to remove the data plan from my package. According to the Customer Service Rep I saved $61! yippy. (Can you feel the sarcasm?) I am waiting for another "friend" to send me another Verizon phone so I can get the Hub's data package removed and possibly save ANOTHER $60+.

Here's what I have learned about Verizon and cell phones...

If you have a PDA/Smartphone like my Treo or a BlackBerry, Verizon requires you to have a data package in addition to your monthly minute/text plan. For me, that was an additional $30-$45 per month on my plan (not including taxes and all the extras they tack on). Now multiply that by two (me and the hubster), and you have an additional $60 to $90+ per month in cell phone bills.

Since Hubby and I both had data packages we were not able to combine our accounts to "share" minutes. I don't know why. We just weren't. I never asked because, at the time, it never bothered me to have two separate accounts. But that was when he was working and making decent money.

So... With the impending arrival (Thank you "O", AHA: JT) of a second non-PDA/Smartphone my "partially employed" husband will be able to have the data package removed from his plan, we will be able to consolidate accounts, share minutes and further decrease our monthly spending because Verizon offers a $9.99 add a line plan. Potentially saving me another $40-$50 per month.

That's a total combined savings of almost: $175 per month. (That's a weeks worth of daycare and a full tank of gas for me (one week) and my husband (a month, at the rate he's going without a job).

By now you're probably wondering my I don't just cancel one or both of the phones all together? Well, I'm so glad you asked. I'll tell you...

We don't have a home phone. Years ago we felt having a home phone was superfluous. So we killed it. I've heard about a home phone that's $19.99 per year. I haven't checked into it because I'll be honest... people won't call it. If they want to talk to me... they call my cell. They don't want to call the house, get Hubby and have to ask for me. People are lazy. So am I. It's easier to just keep my cell phone. (For now.)

HubbyHub is job hunting and needs to have a reliable way for people to get in touch with him. Although, I don't really know how "reliable" it will be if it gets disconnected because we can't afford to pay the $120+ monthly bill.

Me? What about me? Well... It's impossible to run a business without a way for people to contact me. Yes, I have a "real" corporate job. But I would lose that job if I were to try to run my photography business from there. As I have previously established, Hubby is "unemployed" so we need some income to be able to pay for what is absolutely necessary: mortgage, gas, groceries, daycare, etc. I supposed I could cancel it if we had a home phone, but what about all of the business cards with my number on them? These are potential clients that could potentially give me money.

Additionally, I feel every woman should be have a cell phone. If I were to get into an accident, get stranded, fall ill while drive (not likely, but still). There would be no way to get in touch with my family to let them know and if EMTs or police had to contact someone to get permission to perform services to help me, they wouldn't have a clue who to contact in an emergent situation. I've been stranded on the side of an extremely busy expressway, in the middle of winter without a phone. It's not fun. In fact, it's frightening. No one stops, and when they do you're either too desperate to care about your safety or you're so overly cautious you don't allow them to help you. I felt very helpless and vulnerable. (And if you know me personally, you know I just can't allow that to happen ever again.) I even bought my 21-year-old sister a phone because her's died and she couldn't afford another one. She got stranded, and at the time her phone didn't work.

Another reason Hubby or I should not be without a cell phone is because we have a child. Since I work 30+ minutes from home (not to mention the road construction planned for the next 5 years), I would be able to call the daycare and let them know one of my parents will be picking up Cuddle Bug. Further saving me $5 per minute every minute I was late. (And you know... just as soon as I cancel my cell phone one or all of those horrific things will happen.)

We'll try combining accounts first. If I see we're still "wasting" money on cell phones... well, then...

I might just consider suspending my number.

Temporarily.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Temp

The hub got a temp job.

He starts Thursday.

It's better than nothing.
I am proud of him for feverishly job hunting.

Maybe this temp gig will find it's way to a better paying, full time, with benefits, Monday through Friday, 8 to 5 gig.

in the meantime I've:
  1. contacted the mortgage company about a Loss Mitigation Plan
  2. contacted my 401(k) agents and decreased (50%) my contribution
  3. met with my HR rep and decreased my federal and state tax withholdings
  4. contacted the leasing company on my car about a re-fi
  5. found a suitable, non-data package requiring cell phone so I can decrease (50%) my bill
  6. made payment arrangements with the power company for last month's payment
  7. made payment arrangements with the water company for last month's payment
  8. adjusted my credit card payment (50%) to reflect only the minimum due
::sigh::

what else can I do? I am open to suggestions...

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Vacation Until Tuesday

I'm on vacation until Tuesday.

I will have some pictures from the concert I attended on Monday, 18th.

ColdPlay.

They were awesome!

And I got some GREAT shots!

I had a great birthday, too.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Social Butterfly

I have several social networking sites where I post blogs full of pictures of my clients, my family and friends.

I've had one site for over three years and there are over 155 posts. Obviously I don't blog daily, but if you do the math...

52 weeks per year times three years...

that's about one post every week. And there were times when I posted something daily, and other times I would go weeks without posting.

I am starting to find out that location is no longer working for me.

But what do I do with all of the posts? All of the pictures? Experiences? Feelings? I don't want to just abandon them. And the thought of moving each post to a blog designated for that part of my life would take more time than I have to dedicate, at the moment.

Also... what about the comments? All the love, support, suggestions and ideas? What do I do with those??

I've been thinking about this for a while.

I really like blogger. It's very WYSIWYG. I experienced other blog hosts as a reader and now as a user. (My friend showed me her blog while she was editing it.) It seemed very intricate and involved with all the downloading of software. ugh. No. Thank you.

Although, I am creative and I have a degree in graphic design... Web design is not one of my strong skills, in addition to that, I have very little time to actually blog, and much less time to actually get creative with the blog layout and design.

I'll probably stick with blogger. I like the functionality of it. I can make it private or public, allow comments or not. I can save drafts until I am ready to hit "submit". I can attach labels to make things easier to find.

::sigh::

So...

I guess... :\

I just need to bite the bullet,

get a sitter,

a Diet Coke,

bag o'chips and get to copying and pasting.

damn it.

:|

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Down

I've lost 9 pounds (give or take a few ounces) since April 22, 2009.

My Ethiopian Baby belly is going away.

yipp.
yipp.
yipp.

sicky baby

my child has been sick.

again.

this time with vomiting and diarrhea.

lovely.

The pedicatrician says it's a virus and to (basically) starve it out.

I can not and will not with hold food from my 20 month old.

At 23.5 pounds... starvation ain't gonna happen. Sorry.

I have, however, reduced the amount of greasy, sugary, and spicey foods from the menu.

Cleaning up diarrhea and vomit before 7 AM is not a mother's dream job.

But I do it because I love my child.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Officially a Surrogate!!

My IRL friend is laying in wait as the transfer of fertilized eggs try to implant.

Visit her blog here to follow along the path of Surrogacy.

Blessings my friend... for you grow miracles.

Friday, May 1, 2009

SICKY!

I've been sick.

Again.

I'm finally starting to feel better.

I've been busy with babies.
Three friends in five days gave birth.

CA-RA-ZY!

Here is a glimps of the smallest of the three...

Born April 25, 2009, 4:28 AM
Weight: 3 lbs
Due date: June 22, 2009




Monday, April 27, 2009

Weird Wild Wordle

I first stumbled over this website via Melanie at DAILY SONRISAS.

I am an artist... Not an author. Here is how the creative behind Wordle.net described his concept:
Wordle is a toy for generating “word clouds” from text that you provide. The clouds give greater prominence to words that appear more frequently in the source text. You can tweak your clouds with different fonts, layouts, and color schemes. The images you create with Wordle are yours to use however you like. You can print them out, or save them to the Wordle gallery to share with your friends.
It's very cool. You can copy and paste lyrics from your favorite song or poem, or type in a web addresses to a blog to create word clouds, like I have done.

I'm curious as to what your word cloud looks like... so, give it shot, and post a link so we can all enjoy your clouds.





Friday, April 24, 2009

Mondrian

Piet Mondrian-esque rendition of me...

Get yours here.

Thanks Niobe.
I adore art and just don't seem to have enough time to be creative.
I agree with you, I feel this suites be quite nicely. Especially the color combinations. Reminds me of my eyes.


Thursday, April 23, 2009

Most (recent) embarrassing moment: "No hablo"

ok...

lol....

last week I had dinner with my sis, her new man, my hubby and child at Habanero's Mexican restaurant. Sister's b-day is coming up soon and so, i thought it would be fun to have the restaurant people sing to her.

ok...I'll be honest...I wanted to show off my bilingual ability just a bit. Since I took Spanish in college, I wanted to use it, plus I wanted it to be a surprise when they came around with that GI-MONG-US sombrero. So, i thought it would be pretty cool for me to tell our waiter, in Spanish, that it's sister's birthday and then sister would be surprised! :) nice idea, huh??

lmao...

I'll be honest again...I don't know Spanish THAT well, so when I told the waiter "Feliz Cumplianos" (while making the air arrow toward sister with my eyes), I wasn't sure if he would understand that I was trying to tell him it was HER b-day and NOT that I was wishing HIM a happy birthday. kwim?

Little did I know......the waiter.....would NEVER understand what I was trying to tell him .....

ANY WAY... I'm sitting at the table with everyone, I'm speaking in a language for which I am familiar but not fluent and the waiter says,

"uhm...ma'am...I'm sorry, but i don't speak Spanish."

WTH??? omg. I was so embarrassed. Of course sister, her beau and my hubby DIED laughing.

So much for being cool.... I'm just a big ole dork.

B-12

Earlier in the week I had a doctor visit. it was a standard, no frills, visit with some lab work. I feel as though I am a healthy individual. Although, various ailments do run in my family: diabetes, high cholesterol...blah, blah, blah.

The lab work came back and with it came a phone call.

I have low B-12 levels.

Needless to say, once I got the call, I immediately researched B-12 deficiency and the side effects of such a deficiency:

* Numbness or tingling in the hands or feet
* Insomnia
* Loss of memory
* Dizziness
* Lack of balance
* Depression
* Digestive problems
* Dizziness
* Liver enlargement
* Eye problems
* Headaches
* Hallucinations
* Inflamed tongue
* Breathing difficulties
* Loss of memory
* Palpitations
* Neurological damage
* Tinitus or ringing in the ears

(Ironically the individual who compiled this list, must suffer from B-12 deficiency because they repeated some of the side effects: loss of memory and dizziness.)

Anyway, of the side effects listed above I suffer from:
* Loss of memory (I consider my severity mild; like: where did I put my keys?)
* Depression (who's not these days with the economy, etc.)
* Digestive problems (absolutely...)
* Eye problems (I wear glasses. but, I have since 5th grade.)
* Palpitations (these have been more frequent recently.)
* Tinitus or ringing in the ears (more frequent in recent days.)

::sigh::

So, Monday, I start my round of B-12 injections. I have to have 1 injection per week for four weeks, and then once per month until... who knows? I'll find out Monday.

The injection will be intramuscular.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Secretary's Day

For a while I was the only "Secretary" on my floor. I have it in quotes because my titles is not Secretary or any variation there of. At the time of my hire, I had no experience as such, either. When I was promoted to my current position, the manager at the time felt I should be the Admin for the three departments that occupy my floor, in addition to the duties of my position. Needless to say, I pitched a fit. I'm not qualified to do the job. It's the same grade level and pay as my position but I have no experience in that function.

Eventually someone was hired to BE the Admin for the three departments. She did a bang up job, and I was glad to have her for when I needed assistance with my own work load. The Friday before I returned from medical leave after giving birth, I was informed she, the Admin, was going to another department. Great. With the economy looking grim I knew I would be the one stuck with all of the Admin duties, in addition to my regular job function, for an indefinite period of time.

In all honesty, it wasn't that bad. Expenses for 25+ people, ordering supplies for three departments, maintaining my own timeliness, accuracy and production goals were easily met daily. I actually enjoyed being... well...busy.

With the prospective contracts coming in the future, my company made the decision to hire another person to fill the position of Admin for the three departments. At first, I was glad because then I could focus on my own job function and less about the administrative aspects of running this business.

It has been wonderful getting to know my new friend. She's eager to learn and eager to be helpful. It's funny how things work out, because she is far more OVER qualified to do the job of admin than I ever will be. But yet, she does it with grace and class.

Happy Secretaries Day to you, my friend.
I should be more humble and grateful to have a job.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Sleep, hair, camera... OH MY!!

I got up extra early today because I have a doctor appointment this afternoon. No cause for alarm, it's a scheduled visit. But I am so sleepy. I could lay my head down on my desk and fall fast asleep in a matter of seconds. I sleep very soundly. Although, I never had a problem falling asleep or staying asleep with Cuddle Bug in the bed. We've had a family bed since birthday. It's been almost 20 months now, and I still love it. I sometimes have a difficult time sleeping when the bed is empty (for example if I wanted to nap).

The point I am trying to make is: empty bed or full bed...right now I could SLEEP!

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.............................


Oh...

I got my hair cut. She cut off quite a bit. Ten+ inches. Below is a picture I took of the mop my stylist excised. I also have a picture of me with my new do, but it's with my oh, so crappy camera phone. I'd LOVE to get a new phone, but it's just not in the plan at the moment. Should I include that picture as well, or just wait until I have an opportunity to take a better shot?

I let you be the judge... Here are both images. One with a really nice point-n-shot and the other a POS camera phone.


Friday, April 17, 2009

My gear...

Well, it's antiquated. I know this. But it's done me well, and I am forced (due to financial restrictions) to continue using it for the foreseeable future. Unless someone wants to be my rich benefactor or sugar daddy... then I'm pretty much stuck. :(

I have at my availability two Nikon D-70's for all of my professional sessions.

I usually use the Nikkor kit lens: 18-80 mm. But I also own a Quantaray 17-300 mm that I use when I am forced to maintain a substantial distance from my subjects. (And NO, I don't mean because of any restraining orders. I mean because some religious buildings do not allow flash during religious ceremonies.) I chose that lens because it was what I could afford at the time. It's suited me fine for all of my needs. And it's still in great condition.

I own a 50 mm that I luuuuuuuurve. If I could shoot with it all the time I absolutely would. It gives me the range in depth of field and shutter speed that I need. In fact, I have a shoot this weekend with this lens in mind. ::giggle::

I have a pinhole adapter that is fun, but not practical for any kind of photography where motion might occur. But it's a cool toy.

I have an SB-800 stand off flash. I love this flash. I've had it since day 1, and I still learn something about it every day. The capabilities of this flash are stellar.

For all of my point-n-shoot opportunities I use a Canon G-10. Best money I ever spent. I am able to be creative with all of my familiar SLR functions: AV, TV, M and it comes with a 3200 ISO option. LOVE this camera. The 3 inch LCD isn't too shabby either. The video function is crazy-cool! This little camera is my buddy. I never leave the house with it. It's BETTER than my Visa.

All in all... I need to upgrade. I know. I would love a D-90 or better. Since I have several lenses and low fundage, I am "forced" to maintain with the Nikon. I need a better sensor and higher ISO to capture and get the images I see online everyday.

For all the those reading this... I am ALWAYS up for suggestions, tip, crits, etc. If you want to see my website, fire an email to: deshaineATdeshaineDOTcom and I will be glad to forward my site address.

Egg pics and more

Well, as usual I have far more on my mind than I do in my blog. Some is funny, others heartbreaking. Either way I am here... and will be here.

So, I thought I would share my egg pictures from Easter with my family.

One thing I have decided is I need to upgrade my photo gear. I need new cameras, new lenses and new computer to edit my new pictures I'll be taking. I need a rich benefactor. Any takers?? Any one know how to get one of those pay pal buttons so people can contribute to my campaign??

Alas...

Here are the pictures. By the way, I didn't realize you could shell the eggs and THEN dye them. Very cool. Now if I could just get one of those egg molds.





Wednesday, April 15, 2009

eck

I've been sick the past few days and then of course there was the holiday.

nothing terribly exciting to report.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

I don't watch the news.

That's right. I don't watch the news. But that doesn't mean i don't know what's going on in the world. I just don't feel the need to expose myself to the dirty details of how many homeless people clutter the streets, how many people are unemployed today, how many murders happened since January 1 and how it's risen since last year. I don't feel I need to know how many children are abused, rapped, kid napped, murdered or missing. I get the Amber Alerts, so I don't need that additional torment from the news.

I don't read the news paper because it's almost as bad. The only difference with the news paper is the extraordinarily detailed financial and sports sections. Of which I neither understand nor care to understand.

I am not an uneducated woman. I know what's going on in the world. I know about the upper level activities: the missal in Korea, the mob of people that are unemployed, the suicide rate is probably increasing. (Simple deduction can tell you that.) Surprisingly the birth rate is increasing. But that could be from people not having health insurance. Oh, gawd...then there's Octo-Mom. Don't even let me get started on THAT. During the election all I heard about what how this candidate was saying this or that. And that is always one sided anyway, so what good does that do ANY one?

I would, for once, like for the news people to pass along GOOD news. And ONLY good news for the whole hour/half hour. Is that even possible?

I want to know about the local parks and what special activities are going on there. Tell me about communities having picnics or parades or air shows. Tell me about the local nursing home that had 50 people donate time, money and services to make it a better place.

I get so tired of hearing about how many died in Iraq/Afghanistan. It's a (VERY) unnecessary evil of the world. If you are reading this post first, let me just add this: I am a child of a career military man. I support our Troops to the nth degree. And I do that blindly. It's not their individual faults for the reason they are there. I support our President (past and current) blindly because, after all, he is/was our President and it's his responsibility to make the best decisions for our country as a whole. Period.

I do, however, thinks it's the responsibility of the media to cover what is necessary AND what is good and positive. After all... our children are growing up in this.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

By the way...

My jury duty has been canceled.

I figured when I got my notification that I didn't have to appear until Wednesday and then with Friday being a "holiday"...

oh, well. story of my life. i suppose.

Cherry On Top

I just realized my zipper has been down since the last time I used the restroom.

Lord knows how many people I have walked by until I realized the situation.

I do know that I walked past my office cleaning ladies, and neither one of them said anything...

at all.



Not sure what that says about me, them or how the past 7 days have gone for me. But...

there it is:

humility.

at the rawest.

oh well.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Ill

I've had a very sick child for the past two weeks. After being diagnosed with pink eye, we have come to be re-diagnosed with allergies, instead. I absolutely loathe giving my child anything (especially medicines) that are unnecessary. So, needless to say, I was PISSED to learn we had been treating the wrong issue. But at least now we know. Zyrtec will be our staple for a few weeks.

Now I am starting to feel ill.

As for my jury duty, I purchased a book: A Killer's Kiss, by William Lashner. I read the first few pages while at the book store. It was interesting enough for me to purchase it. I hope it will be worth the $7. I checked the website for the US District Court, and I have been postponed until Wednesday. I have a feeling I will be released from duty with the holiday (Easter / Good Friday) quickly approaching and considering I've been postponed until Wednesday. I will say this... I am kind of disappointed. I was truly looking forward to being on a trial of some sort.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Complete Randomness

Today I:

Studied a bit of the CFE exam
Read about American Idol
Read random Twitterers
Tumblr'ed a bit
Researched a quote regarding "clear conscience" (to no avail)
Conversed with Giggles regarding "life" (in general)
Read a blog from an old "friend" about how to prepare placenta for encapsulating
Researched dread locks the right and wrong way to get'em
Commented on random people's tweets, blogs and tumblrs.

I must leave now to pick up cuddle bug from day care.

All of the above is true and real. What did you do today?

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

bored and boring.

From 2005-2006 I froze my tail off because I was in the process of losing 60+ pounds. Today is no different... I am freezing and I need to lose about that much. Since 03/19/09 I'm down 3.06 pounds. Yea me. (_/_)(__)(_\_)

I feel like such a big girl today. I have on heels and I'm studying my CFE exam questions. I've successfully completed two of the four sections. There are a total 1,500 questions and the two sections I've finished totaled: 525. The section I am working on now has 600 questions and I've answered over 250 correctly so far. I would much rather be doing a multitude of other things but I really want to get this exam finished. I won't be able to take the actual exam until I have successfully completed all four section with an 85% or better. So far my average is: 91.5%. I achieved a 94% on the Law section and an 98% on the Criminology section. Currently in the Financial section and I did surprisingly well on the Money Laundering sub-section. :\ There are 21 sub-sections to the Financial section... ugh.

It's required to have three letter's of recommendation. The letters have to reference your morality and must include an anecdote about working with me. I requested letter's from an FBI Special Agent, IRS Fraud Agent and a Business Attorney. My manager has to also write me a letter of recommendation. I received her's last week and OMG! It was a GLOWING recommendation. I was actually left speechless. I have to supply my education and work experience as the required qualifications of a Bachelor's degree (of which I earned in 2006) and time in service (of which was satisfied in December of 2006, but I got pregnant so I put my request to order the prep course on hold).

And here I sit with my exam ticking away while I type this blog. There is a minimum time requirement for the prep course. Once that time has been met I will be eligible to submit my letter's of recommendation, education, time in service and prep course exam information to the ACFE organization. Once verified, they will send to me the necessary password to unlock the actual exam.

Fun times.

Feel free to hit me up on twitter or blip... I get bored with all of the questions and answers that don't always seem to make sense.

I have been called to appear for jury duty next week. I mentioned before, I don't really mind jury duty. I really wish I would get selected for a trial. But since I am actively pursing my Certified Fraud Examiner designation and I've been an employee of the largest health insurance company in the state... I doubt I will be selected. But... How knows? I have to call this Friday to verify I am actually supposed to show up bright and early Monday morning. I will know more details after Friday.

Monday, March 30, 2009

I swear

Every time I say or hear a swear word, I remember someone saying: cussing is a sign of ignorance. And I believe that to a certain degree. Because in the heat of the moment I am not smart enough to think of a non-profane word to show just as much {fill in the emotion: anger, joy (yes, joy), passion, rage, etc.} as I feel at that exact moment. So I say the swear word instead. I don't feel it's necessary to type out George Carlin's "The Seven Words You Can Never Say On TV". You're smart enough to figure them out. I don't judge people for any reason, much less if they utilize the unnecessary profane word. Sometimes I think the use is quite hilarious: http://www.zug.com/pranks/colon/

What is your opinion of the use of swears or colonics?

Thursday, March 26, 2009

The Greeting Song

I've got too much Red Hot Chili Peppers on my MP3.

Every other song the past hour has been RHCP.

help...

me....

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

emails

I've gotten numb to getting to know 'friends' from the internet.

I stay online because my mommy duties have had a momentary reprieve.

and I get bored.

I am only interested in getting to know the person you want me to know.

and letting you get to know the person I want you know.

although my life is somewhat private, I hide nothing.

from any one.

for any reason.

when asked.

so ask away.

the CAPTCHA is off, so be anon if you wish.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Bradford is dead.

That's right, no one can call me a tree hugger now...

Chopped down the Bradford Pear tree in my front yard last night.

Planted a White Flowering Dogwood.

I'm giddy.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Karma, Faith and Destiny

And no. These are not my favorite baby girl names. These are the things I believe with regard to 'religion'. I've mention I am an ordained minister and I searching for a title. Something other than 'Reverend.'

My grandfather is a Baptist Minister; so, to me Reverend is reserved for 'real' ministers. I don't want to disrespect what others believe. That is not the purpose of this post. It's to express my feelings and general outlook with regard to: karma, faith and destiny, AKA: religion.

I believe everything happens for a reason. That reason is not necessarily due to G-o-d, but to a higher 'being' or spirit. I use those term loosely because I feel everything has a spirit of some sort. Whether it's the strand of Mardi Gras beads I have hanging on my lamp, my ideas and creations, all the way to my child (and unborn children) and the people around me. There is a spirit to everything. All of these things have a past, have a present and will have a future. And with all of these the future is undetermined.

Let's start with: destiny. I sort of addressed it in the previous paragraph. To further expand, I believe everyone's destiny is pre-determined. So, even if you think you have a choice, your choice has already been made for you and you are destined to make that decision: right or wrong. Your path is unchangeable. The destiny of the Mardi Gras beads is to hang on my lamp for eternity, until my (or someone else's) destiny takes over. Destiny....

Karma is a Bitch! And she'll get you! lol... (When my husband and I come back from the beach we always know we're getting close to home when we see the sign that says: "Go to church! Or the DEVIL will GET YOU!!" I can't help but laugh every time I see the sign. But I digress.) To me, karma is similar to destiny. What comes around, goes around mentality. Your karma is (in essence) your destiny. Things happen to you based on the 'decisions' you make. Good things happen to bad people and vise versa bad things happen to good people. It's their destiny. It shapes and molds them into the person they are MEANT to be. I believe everyone has a purpose in our lives. For some people it is clear what their purpose is: teacher, lawyer, parent, etc... Other people must cease to exist in order for us to learn from them. Your karma lead you to your wife, your destiny is to be a widower with a child to care for. A THOUSAND great, fantastic and magnificent things happened because of her passing. You are a changed person, you changed your karma (unlike destiny) to be good karma.... When you started a foundation in her name that helps other widow/widowers, like youreself.

My faith is strong. My faith can be surmise by saying this: everything happens for a reason-- karma is what get's us to our ultimate destiny. I firmly believe and have faith in that statement, that it will never let me down. And for years I've said: "What comes around goes around" and "Everything happens for a reason."

I'm curious on your take on what I've expressed and your belief in church, God and religion. Feel free to email me at: deshaineATdeshaineDOTcom or add a link to my comments section to your blog about religion. Go ahead...it's your DESTINY!!! ;)

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

baby making...

Well, not exactly BABY making...but making STUFF for baby!

I finished the baby blanket for Saci's baby boy. It's AWESOME! I can't believe I actually sewed with a sewing machine and created something worthy of keeping!!! lol...

I also finished his taggie blanket and sack for the taggie.

I will be making a pillow, too. I just need to get the stuffing and decide if I want the pillow to be sealed or have a zipper..... a zipper would make for a new challenge.


Speaking of challenges...

YEAH GIGGLES FOR LOSING 13 POUNDS!! You are an inspiration! Keep up the hard work!!

I am thinking I might create another blog with my food diary in it. I need to be held accountable for my diet, whether good or bad.

It's just a consideration.

Friday, March 13, 2009

I'm taking a title...

I became an ordained ministered a couple of months ago. I did it with the sole purpose of being able to marry people if (in the worst case scenario) I'm at a wedding and the minister doesn't show. I have to order a certificate from the church to prove to the state that I am able to perform marriage (and baptisms and funerals, but the state only needs it for weddings). I decided I wanted to name a "church" for myself. I use parenthesis because I don't actually have a physical church and my beliefs kept me from naming my "church" WITH the word church: Spiritual Gifts Holy Community is my "church's" name.

Sooooo, on the certificate I thought it would be interesting to have a title other than "Reverend". If I don't select a title, Reverend will be assigned to me. Which is fine, but I wanted something LESS related to an actual title for a religious person. I am taking this designation very seriously; hence the reason for your help. The list below is the list of pre-approved titles to select from. Obviously some of these I would never consider because of gender (Brother, Father) or specific religious association (Deacon, Reverend). I am also able to create a title for myself. It will have to be approved by the head of the church that ordained me; but, after looking at some of the titles below, I don't think getting a tasteful name approved would be too difficult.

My primary function as a minister is to perform marriages. I would like to create a website, one day, and offer my services publicly. Your opinion means a great deal to me, otherwise I wouldn't ask. If you have several suggestions, send them. I might be able to combine a couple of titles to make the perfect title.

I appreciate your help and I can't wait to hear your suggestions.

Blessings-
"Reverend"

  • Apostle of Humility
  • Apostolic Scribe
  • Arch Deacon
  • Ascetic Gnostic
  • Bible Historian
  • Brother
  • Brother of Soul
  • Canon
  • Cantor
  • Colonel
  • Christian Mother Superior
  • Deacon
  • Dervish
  • Disciple
  • Elder
  • Emissary
  • Field Missionary
  • Flying Missionary
  • Free Thinker
  • Friar
  • Lay Sister
  • Martyr
  • Messenger
  • Matriarch
  • Metropolitan
  • Missionary
  • Missionary Healer
  • Missionary of Music
  • Most Revered
  • Mystical Spiritual Counselor
  • Parochial Educator
  • Patriarch
  • Peace Counselor
  • Preceptor
  • Revelator
  • Saintly Healer
  • Scribe
  • Sister
  • Soul Sister
  • Spiritual Counselor
  • Spiritual Warrior
  • Starets
  • Theologian
  • The Very Esteemed
  • Universal Philosopher of Absolute Reality
  • Universal Religious Philosopher

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Short update

Neighbor lady had her baby girl yesterday at 6:05. Baby weighed 7 lbs 9 oz and was 20 inches long. I am to go to the hospital after work today to take some pictures.

I didn't run last night, but I did do yoga. And it was a great workout. I'll probably run tonight to catch up.

I ate too much at lunch... ugh. :Q

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Babies, babies, babies

Let me preface this post with: No. I'm not pregnant. I have no desire to be pregnant any time soon. But, yes, eventually, I would like to have another.

Now that I have killed that elephant in the room, can I continue?

I have several girlfriends and family members who are preggers:

Neighbor Lady pg with a baby girl
Lil man's wifey pg with a baby boy
Blondy pg with a girl
Cuz's wifey pg with a boy
Lith is pg with a girl and
Saci pg with a boy.

And they are all due in that order..... girl, boy, girl, boy. CRAZY!

I had the first baby shower a couple of weeks ago for Neighbor Lady, don't know that I'll be invited to Lil'man's wifey's shower, Blondy's shower is 3/28, won't be going to Cuz's wifey's shower because they live out of state, Lith's shower is April 5, and Saci's shower is scheduled 4/25 (the day of HELL! see previous post.)

Neighbor Lady has toxemia, so she is at the hospital right now, probably getting cervidil for her induction tomorrow. I am so excited for her and her hubby because she had a miscarriage in January '08. This baby girl is so special... I hope the labor goes quickly.

On happier news...
I think I am going to postpone my 5k run. I still plan to train for it, just not run on the 25th. I am going to see if there is another race the next weekend somewhere else.

I talked with Giggles and she liked my logo/t-shirt idea. I'll work on that this weekend.

I finally got the shower invitation for Saci finished. I sent it to the other hostesses to criticize...er, I mean, approve. (::sigh:: that is a post all of it's own.) It turned out great. I really like it. I'll post a mock up in a day or so. I still have to work on the direction card and the thank you poem. Waiting on Saci to get back with me on the poem.

Monday, March 9, 2009

4/25 = 5K + BS + W

I learned yesterday I have triple booked myself April 25. I agreed to run a 5k, be a hostess for a baby shower AND shoot a wedding. (say a prayer for me.)

Here's the bad part...I can't "get out" of any of it. Not that I really WANT to "get out" of doing any of it, but if I could, at the very least, reschedule one of these events, I most certainly would.

I am still looking for music for my mp3 player. I need some "move your butt" music. I don't really have a preference of musical style. I tolerate more of it than enjoy it, but any suggestion given will be considered. My email address is: deshaine at deshaine dot com. Feel free to email me, and often. It's not my main email account, but I do check it daily, sometimes multiple times a day.

I went to c25k to get a training schedule. They only had a 9-week schedule, so I modified it a bit. And, according to my calculations, I should be ready to run the 5k one week prior to the actual race. Which is phenomenal. Now I just need to get off my butt and DO it.

I think I may poll my training partner and see if she wants to create a "running club"; and if she agrees, then I think I may create a logo and t-shirt concept. I have this great idea, but I want to talk with her about it first before I post it here.

The baby shower is for my bestest, bestest friend, Saci. She was so amazing for everything she did for my shower and while I was pregnant, that I couldn't think of not attending her shower. I am a hostess for her shower and part of my duties is to design the shower invite. I completely stole an idea off of a website and I plan to modify it slightly to make it my own. She really liked it as is, but did offer some suggestions, and I am glad to make those changes happen for her. She designed my shower invite, so I have no issue doing hers. I'll post a mock of it later.

The wedding is a high profile gig and it will pay me quite well since I will be a lead photog at the ceremony and during the reception. Some of those images will be posted as well.

I really love having something to do. Gives me sense of feeling needed.

On another and completely unrelated note...
I got my pistol permit renewed and my minister license should be in the mail next week.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Red Hot Chili Peppers

So, I am training for a 5k which is happening at the end of April. I walked/ran 2 miles yesterday.

Ok....ooooooook. It was more of a WALK than a run. But still I got out there and did it. It was extraordinarily embarrassing to running, knowing, in my mind, that I look ridiculous doing it. ::sigh::

Today I think I am going to get some stupidly soft socks, ridiculously expensive running shoes and an absolutely necessary set of gel inserts. I can already tell my knee might give me issues if I don't take care of these things now.

I've never had issues with my knees, but then again my body is different now post pregnancy.

But I digress...

The purpose of this post is to request music for my run. I'll download the necessary tunes, but a list of music to motivate me and assist in passing the time would be phenomenal.

I'd actually prefer an e-mail with your list: deshaine at deshaine dot com, but feel free to post the list here, too.

Your support is appreciated.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

US District Court Juror # 05187609823

yea...tha'd be me.

I've been summoned for jury duty for the US District Court beginning April 6. Failure to appear and I could be held in contempt of court.

I have been called to jury duty more times than any other person I know. Seems like every other year I am summoned. Why? I wasn't born in this state. I've only lived here (on and off) since late 1993. I am a home owner, but so is my husband who, incidentally, WAS born here and has lived here HIS ENTIRE LIFE.

I can't say I am sad to be called because I get a free pass from work and I might get sequestered. That could be kinda fun. There have been some BFD cases on the "V. V." lately. Not that I ever really watch the TV or listen to the news, it's just to sad and depressing for my taste, but we have a several friends in the local Federal Law Enforcement divisions here in town. Specifics are never given, but it's mentioned, in confidence, that "something" is going on.

Who knows? I may get a murder trial, or a big drug ring to determine innocence or guilt. I have 5 days to fill out the form that was attached to the summons and then I have to call back on April 3rd to make sure my presence is required. I'll keep you posted.

In the meantime, I have agreed to run a 5K for my local high school. I would like to think that my child will be too smart to attend public school. I am not saying people who went/go to public school are dumb, taking into consideration I was a military brat and I DID graduate from a prestigious, all though not an ivy league, college, I still consider my self smart. However, I feel cuddle bug will get a better chance at being successful as an adult if he has the opportunity to go to private school. I've been eating words lately, so I am sure this will no miss the dinner plate.

Hubby, cuddle bug and I went to the park this morning so i could walk/run/embarrass my self around the track. I managed to make it 4 times around (the equivalent to two miles). I ran less that a quarter mile combined. (Hey!! I never said I was in shape... ) but i did walk the rest. I can feel myself getting in shape. now if I can just convince my sweet, loving and "supportive" husband to... uh, well... SUPPORT me.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Such a Good Husband

Jack wakes up with a huge hangover after attending his company's party.

Jack is not normally a drinker, but the drinks didn't taste like alcohol at all.

He didn't even remember how he got home from the party.

As bad as he was feeling, he wondered if he did something wrong.
Jack had to force himself to open his eyes, and the first thing he sees is a couple of aspirins next to a glass of water on the side table.

And, next to them, a single red rose!! Jack sits up and sees his clothing in front of him, all clean and pressed.

He looks around the room and sees that it is in perfect order, spotlessly clean. So is the rest of the house.

He takes the aspirins, cringes when he sees a huge black eye staring back at him in the bathroom mirror.
Then he notices a note hanging on the corner of the mirror written in red with little hearts on it and a kiss mark from his wife in lip stick:

Honey, breakfast is on the stove, I left early to get groceries to make you your favorite dinner tonight.

I love you, darling! Love, Jillian'

He stumbles to the kitchen and sure enough, there is hot breakfast, steaming hot coffee and the morning newspaper.

His 16 year old son is also at the table, eating.

Jack asks, 'Son.what happened last night?'

'Well, you came home after 3 A.M., drunk and out of your mind you fell over the coffee table and broke it, and then you puked in the hallway, and got that black eye when you ran into the door.'

Confused, he asked his son, 'so, why is everything in such perfect order and so clean?

I have a rose, and breakfast is on the table waiting for me??'

His son replies,
'Oh THAT... Mom dragged you to the bedroom, and when she tried to take your pants off, you screamed, 'Leave me alone B!T(H, I'm married!!'

Broken Coffee Table $239.99

Hot Breakfast $4.20

Two Aspirins $.38

Saying the right thing, at the right time:

PRICELESS

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Kidisms 20090305

My child picks up the remote control, points it and screams "V. V.!"

The first time my child saw snow: "WAIN! WAIN MOMMY!! WAIN!!!"

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Tuesday

Upon my weekly lurk of blogs I like, I found a blog that has really got me drawn. I started from her first post and have read half so far. In this post she mentions the poem listed below. I'd like for my readers, followers, lurkers and stalkers to participate with me by telling me what day you were born and if the poem rings true... Don't know what day you were born try this link.

Monday's child is fair of face

Tuesday's child is full of grace

Wednesday's child is full of woe

Thursday's child has far to go

Friday's child is loving and giving

Saturday's child works hard for a living

But the child that is born on the Sabbath day

Is bonny and blithe and good and gay


I was born on Tuesday and I think the poem is accurate for me.
I gave birth to my child on Friday, I absolutley agree.
My husband was born on Monday, definiately agree.

The irony is both sisters and my mother were born on Tuesdays.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Me, physically

Well, since I only have a few minutes left before I head to the hacienda to play with my cuddle bug, I thought I would give incite to my physical attributes.

This might be a short post... badumTA!

I am a towering 5'1". I have 2 sisters, both of whom are taller than me. I have recently inquired as to their perceived notion as to why I was shorter considering I am quite a bit older than both of them (7 and 11 years older). My older-younger sister, LaLa, said it had to do with my active participation in gymnastics as a teen. I don't necessarily agree or disagree, but it does seem kind of odd that I would be the shorter of the three and I was the only one who did gymnastics for any lenth of time.

I also did cheerleading, ballet, tap, jazz, acrobatics (it's like gymnastics but it consists of only floor tricks). Before you get the idea that I am some sort of snobby "cheerleader"... I cheered 2 years: 7th and 8th grade. We moved (military family) in the summer before 8th grade so I cheered with a city team in the new town, but that didn't last very long. In addition to all of those "girly" sports I was also on the softball, basketball and volleyball teams. I really LOVED gymnastics and softball the best.

I am white...well kind of a creamy light beige, I guess. i tan VERY well. But it's not good for me, so I don't do it as much. When I was a little girl I had the most precious freckles on my cheeks and nose. They have since gone away and now my skin is "peaches and cream". Since I have started using my new skin care I really love my skin now. Rarely do I have breakouts. I was never one to get tremendous amounts of acne growing up, but now it's even less thanks to my BC products.

I wear a size 5.5 wide shoe. Again, the reason for the wide feet is attributed to the gymnastics. My mother has wide feet. Both of my sisters have regular width feet. My father has regular width feet.

It's difficult for me to find pants the fit me the way I feel pants should fit me because I am short. Before I got pregnant I had cute figure... Pregnancy can really mess up your body. I am working to get it back, it's just slow and low on the very long list of priorities. I tend to have more shirts that pants because I can buy 'off the rack' and not have to try it on; where as the pants need to get tried on at the store prior to purchase.

My eyes are by far my best feature. When I think about what my eyes look like I always think of a pine tree. A pine tree has bright green pine needles and dark brown bark. That is what color my eyes are: green on the outside and brown on the inside. I love my eyes and I have had many a photographer tell me I have beautiful eyes. I will try to search for a photo to post.

My hair is a different story. My roots are dark brown with a black undertone and it's striped with massive amounts of gray. It's embarrassing. I try to keep it colored but with this economy and my hubby without a steady job, that's one luxury that has had to go by the waste side. I love to get my hair "did" because my hairdresser is A. MAZE. ING. She colors it the color I feel like I should have: a brown with red and blonde highlights. Then she blows it dry getting rid of my naturally wiry, curly hair. My hair, when straightened, is past the middle of my back. It's layered slightly to take the weight off the ends, but for the most part it's one length. If you were to see me on the street 9 times out of 10 my hair will be in some sort of clip, scrunchie, band, knot... I CAN NOT stand it to be in my face. Sometimes when I wear in back in a pony tail the tiny hairs around my temple fly loose and they curl up, it looks like I have devil horns. It's not cute.

I have all 10 fingers and toes. The only abnormalities (read: not born with) are my 5 piercings: 3 in one ear and 2 in the other. The ear (my left) with 3, one of those is in the cartilage up high on the out side of my ear. I also have a tattoo of a lizard on my lower abdominal area. My nick-name is "Camille". ;)

I have had 5 surgeries: right ankle, left wrist, two laproscopies to remove endometriosis on my girly innards, and a c-section to give birth to my cuddle bug.

I think my teeth are pretty. I have never had braces...only a retainer when I was 7 or 8. I am very luck because both of my sisters had braces. I have had all 4 of my wisdom teeth removed through oral surgery. I think I've had 2-3 root canals. I grind my teeth at night and over time that has caused my teeth to become worn away.

Have I completely bored you with aspects of my physical body? because I can go on...

My photography

One reason why I haven't posted my photography is because I blog from my extraordinarily boring corporate job, and they have security measures in place blocking photo hosting web sites like flicker and photobucket. I can't even view images from those sites. But I do have some images here on my computer I can try to upload straight to blogger...

Here's a bit about my experience as a Photographer:
I started shooting professionally in August of 2004. My first paid gig was a wedding for a friend of my sister's. It was a small wedding at a small venue. It was the perfect jumping off point. I learned a billion things that day and made a life long friend. 10+ weddings later I've decided I'd rather not do weddings by myself any longer and so I contract freelance with a local studio. I do mostly family portraits or model portfolio sessions from my studio while being 2nd shooter for big name weddings here in town. I have my own lights and backdrops but until last year, my only studio was my living room or God's country. Since I am working to merge my business with another photography studio I have access to a shooting space. That is so cool... I pay a nominal fee to use the space, but it's worth it to avoid having to clean my house and ask my family to leave so the people can come and I can set up the backdrops.

Attached are some images I shot in my home/studio. D, the preggie, and R, the male man, are not related and don't know each other. These are the only ones I have readily available to show. Excuse the poor images resolution since I had to add a watermark, I don't know how these will turn out. If you're interested in seeing other works, post your email address and I'll be glad to message you with my website.





























































Monday, March 2, 2009

Me, mentally

Ok, so I thought I would give you a partial run-down of my mental thought process.

I think first I will say this: Today...I am in a mood. I am a woman and I have hormones so I get moods from time to time. Today my mood stems directly from several incidences at my office. Everyone shall remain nameless, but I still hold them responsible for my mood.

I will jot down the 5 things that represent my emotional and mental behavior. This list may grow longer as things come to mind.

1. I LOATHE to do things twice if once would have been sufficient.

For example, working out at the gym once is insufficient to gain a better physique. So, going to the gym on a regular and consistent basis is an acceptable repetition. However, if someone asks me to complete a task for which incomplete or partial instruction was given, and I am not informed of said missing information prior to beginning my research, then I do not feel I should have to re-do a task that I could have done correctly the first time..

2. I do not hold a grudge, just the memory of the incident.

I pride myself on this. I feel it important to never hold a grudge because that reflects poorly on you as a decent and righteous human being. We are given the ability to be gracious and forgiving and it’s my opinion holding a grudge is a degradation of your character and a complete waste of energy. However, I never forget the wrong that was done. Forgiving is divine, forgetting is puerile.


3. I don’t nag.

And I truly believe I don’t. When I ask someone to do something, I fully expect them to do it. If they don’t I inquire as to the reason the task wasn’t complete and then we agree on a designated completion date and time. Then I note item #2.


4. I would rather do things myself.

Yes, this is true. And the adage is also true: if you want something done right the first time, do it yourself. I believe this 100%. However, there is not enough hours in the day to take care of the hundred-million-billion-trillion things that I, as a human, woman, daughter, sister, friend, mother, and wife must do every day to function. Then add in the things I’d like to do for myself…. Forget it. But I digress.


5. Once my mind is set, no amount of discussion will change my mind.

This goes for the way I feel about the most benign discussion topics to the most detailed events possible. Once I have my mind set, it’s set. Unless….. You can convince me beyond a shadow of a doubt, with proof in your hands. I had a full blown yelling match with my dad about the length of time we lived in Germany. I told him it was from 1989-1991 and he told me it was until 1992. We literally argued to the point of yelling about the duration. It finally took him saying “DO YOU WANT ME TO BRING OUT THE ORDERS????” (Military family) Finally I was gave in and let him “win”, even though I still believe we left in 1991.

More tomorrow….