Friday, December 26, 2014

Tis the Season to....

....wish you a Merry Christmas.

I enjoyed putting together my Christmas card this year. I wanted to include some groups of my friends, family and co-workers who play big parts of my "everyday" life. 

I know you have heard many stories about my family. You may have also heard a story or two about volleyball, work or The Girls. Now let me introduce you to them.
This is my Wednesday night volleyball team (with a sub from Tuesday night). We are actually missing two players. One is out on maternity leave and the other was sick the night we took the photo. The four guys are teammates that I have played with for at least 8 years. 

The guy on the far right is one who elbowed me in the head back in April. 

The girl on the left is one of my former 4-Hers from M-P. 

This past fall, I started playing on Tuesday night as well. This particular Tuesday night, we played against some of my Wednesday night teammates, so I was able to get a picture with a few more teammates. Cameras and team photos at volleyball are very unusal. I am thankful that I have these two photos for my archives.
The Girls (minus two) traveled from near and far for my birthday. Super fun night and so special to have them make  time to get together. I have known these lovely ladies since my college days. Even though our lives have moved us many miles apart, we are the type of friends who will be sitting in the nursing home together. :)

This wonderful group of people are the ones whom I get to see almost everyday at the office. One co-worker was out sick the day we took the photo. And the other 32 co-workers are in our other 3 offices.
I will let you do your own google search to find our staff page to put names with faces. 

Even though you already know my family, since they are featured on the blog so often, I still wanted to share this photo with you. 
My brother got married this summer. It was a casual wedding on a beautiful summer day. This is my entire family. We are excited to be adding one more in March, as my brother and his wife are expecting their second son. 

It takes me a long time to put together a Christmas card each year. Some years I don't send one out because I never think of an idea I like well enough. Even though I was very last minute with getting these finished up, I am happy I was able to come up with an idea this year. 

 Merry Christmas and Happy New Year
~ A

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas

Annual family Christmas picture. 
It was J's turn to direct the lineup.
We are finally getting pretty good at this. We only needed 3 pictures and one edited face swap to get the perfect one.

This year the kids asked if we could do a crazy one too. It didn't take much to pull that one off.
From my family to yours....Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Birthday Art

Since I am getting caught up on birthday celebrations, I wanted to show you this wonderful birthday art.

My co-blogger, E.H.B., and her siblings made the three square paintings for me and sent them across the ocean to decorate my craft room.

My nieces added the watercolor and color pencil drawing.

I am a "sucker" for gifts in which my friends and family share their talents with me. 

Thanks ladies and gentlemen for these treasures!

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Cooking Birthday Weekend

Back in the spring, C and I got to enjoy her birthday weekend together. It was a great way to begin her summer vacation. 

The theme of the weekend was cooking.

We spent the day a my friend's dairy farm. She taught us to cook homemade pudding and ice cream and he let us bottle feed the dairy calves and watch him milk.

We missed this birth by minutes. 

A few other highlights of the weekend were:
fishing with grandpa

cooking on her own
lunch at Ruby Tuesdays
starting a sewing project (we still need to finish it)

and playing in the antique wheel chair while texting her mom on my phone :)

Happy memories for a ten year old and her aunt! It was the first time she fed a calf, caught a fish and skinned a fish. She froze her one pound catfish and was so excited to take it home and fry it with her mom and dad. 

I wonder if she made them pudding and ice cream too?

"What I wanted most for my daughter was that she be able to soar confidently in her own sky, whatever that may be." - Helen Claes 

The same goes for nieces.

P.S. Grandpa and I caught fishes too. C was very proud of the fact that hers was the biggest.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Happy Birthday little boy

Your birthday is a special time to celebrate the gift of 'you' to the world.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

A bad day behind the camera

I love to talk to other photographers and learn from them. Karl, Jay, Merle, Donna, Steph, and Bobbie are some of the people I have personally had the pleasure to listen and learn from them. They are more than a blog post or online lesson. They are friends and family and mentors.

And I hope they are forgiving, because I am going to break one of the rules I have heard many times...."don't show them the bad ones."

Yesterday, we had our Unit wide staff meeting. It was my job to take new staff photos of all 40 of my co-workers. I was excited to have a great location with beautiful natural light. It was an overcast day, with just the right amount of diffused sunlight, shining through the wall of windows.

I set my camera for continuos clicks, so I could avoid the eye blinks and relaxing smiles. 

I tried a few self portraits using the timer. Somewhere in that process I hit a button on my new camera and didn't notice.

Forty portraits later, I loaded them to my computer to find out they are all out of focus. Some might call it soft focus. I call a big fat failure.

The camera had been set on manual focus the whole day. :(

These are the bad photos of great people.

We work in four separate offices, in four different counties. We have a Unit wide staff meeting once a year. It is not quite as bad as messing up the photos of a wedding, but it is not going to be as easy to fix as retaking senior pictures. 

As I learn my new job, I have been eating a lot of humble pie. I have made so many mistakes. This is just another one to add to the list of mistakes to learn from. But it feels like I will be eating humble.....what's something bigger than pie? or something I eat more than pie? humble hummus? No, I don't really eat much hummus. humble turkey? That's big, but not quite the image I'm looking for. humble happy pills. There we go. I can eat a lot humble happy pills. But it feels like I will be eating humble happy pills forever.

Does anyone have any great words of wisdom before I go to work on Monday and have to break the news to my co-workers that their staff photographer is a failure?