Wednesday, September 30, 2009

keeping up with life [barely]... and you?

Right now I'm just doing my best to keep up with the present. Football ends this week for my little guy, the cat goes back home tomorrow, and I'm gearing up for a busy month of family sessions.

I keep telling myself this is only short-term craziness.

Our new Bible study began last week and with it, a different group of ladies (a few familiar faces and several new). It will be fun to see what God has in store for us this year, the stories already have been amazing.

We've been healthy here, aside from a little cold that blew through at the start of the school year. THANK GOODNESS for Ren's tonsillectomy over the summer; his illnesses have pretty much been the only ones plaguing us over the years.

Sixth grade homework is nuts. For example:
Train A, traveling 70 miles per hour (mph), leaves Westford heading toward Eastford, 260 miles away. At the same time Train B, traveling 60 mph, leaves Eastford heading toward Westford. When do the two trains meet? How far from each city do they meet?

Jenny bought seven t-shirts (one for each of her brothers) for $9.95 each. The cashier charged her an additional $13.07 in sales tax. She left the store with a measely $7.28. How much money did Jenny start with?

There are two numbers whose sum is 72. One number is twice the other. What are the numbers?

There is a number such that three times the number minus 6 is equal to 45. Find the number.
It makes my brain hurt just thinking about the hours put into a whole worksheet full of these last night. Poor Meeley :-(

I'm am bound and determined to get to bed at a decent hour tonight (and I still have a fish bowl to tend to). It's been pretty quiet out there in the blogosphere... soooo, what have YOU been up to?

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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Tyler | Minnesota Senior Portrait Session

I spent a better portion of the afternoon at Legends Golf Club photographing Tyler, another 2010 senior. He's been playing golf for 12 years. TWELVE. Excuse me... THIRTEEN years (thanks for setting me straight, Dad).


So naturally, he wanted to incorporate his love of the game into his senior session... and I was happy to oblige :-)

Thanks again for a fun afternoon!

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Sunday, September 27, 2009

Alex | Minnesota Senior Portrait Session

Meet Alex, another senior from the Class of '10. We battled the elements today - everything from wind to rain. Top that off with a zillion outfit changes and you've got the makings of a not-so-fun afternoon for most young men. Alex was a trouper, even skipping out on the last thrilling minutes of today's Vikings game to make the session. Thanks again, Alex!

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Saturday, September 26, 2009

iPhone apps are da bomb

My family and I were looking for something to do last night when I stumbled upon Ring Mountain via the Urbanspoon iPhone application. (You can get a feel for it by checking out their slot machine widget.) Ring Mountain has 30 flavors of homemade ice cream and 30 flavors of gelato, in addition to some pretty incredible soups, salads, and sandwiches.

It will be a place we return to... often!

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Friday, September 25, 2009

Photo Challenge Themes for October

Here are the weekly themes for October:

September 27-October 4, 2009: Signs of Fall/Spring
October 4-10, 2009: Words
October 11-17, 2009: Trees
October 18-24, 2009: Black & White Images
October 25-31, 2009: Food

If you'd like to join our Flickr group for ideas and inspiration, just let me know!

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Thursday, September 24, 2009

someone has a birthday today

And that someone is twelve. Happy Birthday, Meeley! As a special birthday surprise, we have a guest blogger today:

Ren says: cheese.

(Apparently, his brother doesn't have anything profound to say either.) May your day be filled to the brim with free time, pizza, video games, and cheese. We love you!!!!

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Wednesday, September 23, 2009

how to reach the winner's circle

Do you see what this means—all these pioneers who blazed the way, all these veterans cheering us on? It means we'd better get on with it. Strip down, start running—and never quit! No extra spiritual fat, no parasitic sins. Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we're in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed—that exhilarating finish in and with God—he could put up with anything along the way: Cross, shame, whatever. And now he's there, in the place of honor, right alongside God. When you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go over that story again, item by item, that long litany of hostility he plowed through. That will shoot adrenaline into your souls!

Hebrews 12:1-3 (MSG)

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Monday, September 21, 2009


Meet our new houseguest, Leo. I picked him up on Friday. In addition to having a photo session that evening, the hubby and I had plans to unload our children for the weekend. Two quick date nights and another session later, the kids were home. It's all been a blur of football, photo edits, and meowing ever since.

I have a session I'm trying to get out the door... once I have a chance to catch my breath, I'll be back! Have a great evening.

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Saturday, September 19, 2009

Charlie | Minnesota Senior Portrait Session

Had a quick session today with this young man. I kept telling him "trust me, I know it feels goofy but it will look GREAT"... the truth is, when you have a nice looking model everything looks great ;-)

Thanks again, Charlie!

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Eagan Hockey Open House | Minnesota Event Photographer

Here's a sneak peek from an event I photographed for the Eagan Hockey Association.

I even received a fun invite to the Eagan Hockey Mom's Night Out... but alas, I'm not an Eagan Hockey Mom (or any other hockey mom, for that matter). If you are and would like more information, click HERE.

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Wednesday, September 16, 2009

whew, what a whirlwind!

Thanks to all of you who booked sessions with me this fall and winter, it's sure to be a great deal of fun!!

In addition to working out the kinks in my schedule, I've also been dealing with new phone issues. (You may have noticed my iTweets.) Thankfully, both the kinks and issues have been successfully resolved.

Had a leader meeting this morning to prepare for the start of Bible study next week. How wonderful it was to be back! If you're interested in joining us, click HERE for registration details. I have unplugged my pots hung up my hat this year, leaving my longtime "coffee lady" duties behind. No more cart, boxes of supplies, or hot pots to lug around. No more shopping for the masses - stocking up on creamer, tea, and the like.

I'm so excited!!!

Before I forget, I don't think I've properly addressed the whole PUMPKIN SPICE SHAKE thing here on my blog. I've been yapping about it on Facebook and Twitter but have yet to make the official announcement here:

Culver's Pumpkin Spice Shakes are back!

And they are by far, the best pumpkin treat around. Just ask Tilly, she joined me last week for a special birthday treat.

Her birthday, not mine. If I remember correctly, she's like two. (Seriously, she ALWAYS rubs it in how young she is compared to us old folk.) As we were tooling around last week, we stumbled upon this magical product: Glimmer Mist.

Incredible stuff. (I'll be sure to share it at a future crop.)

Well the school transition is still a little rocky, especially for my oldest son. The stress of multiple deadlines and the looming threat of dropped grades for late or forgotten work has been giving him nightmares.


We're doing our best to help him weather the transition. He is extremely organized but grades are extremely important to him. I've been trying to lighten the mood with our daily texts by sharing all sorts of silly jokes with the help of this lovely website.

It seems to be helping. As are the prayers... everytime he begins to stress, I remind him of these verses:
  • The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Deuteronomy 31:8
  • "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11
  • I can do everything through Christ who gives me strength. Philippians 4:13
And that has helped A TON.

Well it's late and I'm sleep deprived so I'd better call it a night. Have a good one!

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Tuesday, September 15, 2009

If you'd like a discounted photography session, today is your last day to claim one!

There are still several discounted sessions available but today is your last chance book. Details are HERE. If you have any questions, let me know!

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Sunday, September 13, 2009

it's called "freelensing" and i'm in love ♥

I discovered this cool photography technique last night. It mimics the tilt-shift lens which I also ♥ (but not enough to fork out $1,200). To achieve this look, the image is taken with the lens not attached to the camera. You can find more information about the technique HERE. (I was inspired by this local photographer, his work is incredible.)

I can't wait to give it a try at a session - fun, fun, FUN!

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Friday, September 11, 2009


A hint for the September Faithbooking Crop:

Our next Faithbooking Crop will be on Saturday, September 12th (tomorrow!!) from 9:00 am-4:00 pm at Hosanna Lutheran Church in Lakeville. The crops are FREE and include snacks, beverages, and make-and-take supplies. Feel free to work the crop around your schedule, just let me know if you plan to attend and I'll be sure to have a spot ready for you.

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Tuesday, September 8, 2009

there's a new phone in town

I have been teased mercilessly for my 12+ year old phone. Some have likened it to Zack Morris' 8-pound brick, others have said it reminded them of this:

I called it "hip & cool" because I was "doing the green-thing" by keeping the old paperweight. You might even say it had a "retro look" to it, which could also pass for "hip & cool" (at least that's what I said).

After admiring this phone from afar, I finally bit the bullet.

I can't believe I waited so long!

I'm due for a Faithbooking Crop hint/reminder and have been tying up loose ends on a few photography sessions... the light is near!! Now that the boys are back in school, I actually have chunks of time at my disposal. I plan to put it to good use :-)

Along those lines, I stumbled upon a "Time Management" section in a new desktop organizer. (Remember when I tried to go paperless with my calendar? Okay, I swear I remember doing a whole post on the topic but can't for the life of me find it.) I had trouble going paperless, missing all sorts of appointments and such. I quickly reverted back to my old system and life was good. Anyhow, being that the iPhone was in my sights, I thought it important to step into the Paperless Calendar Zone again. Which I did. But as a precaution, I purchased a very small desktop organizer.

Very small.

Just in case.

As I was saying, I stumbled upon a "Time Management" section in said desktop organizer. It appealed to me on many levels so I thought I'd share it here with you (it could prove to be helpful for students, someone working out of the home, or for an extremely busy family). Here we go:

  • Keep a time inventory/log for a few days. Use an alarm set at 15 or 30 minute intervals. Every time the alarm goes off, write down everything you've been doing. Rate each activity according to its importance: "A" for vital, "B" for important and "C" for marginally useful.
  • Analyze your time.
  • Identify time wasters.
  • Reserve your prime time (determine when your energy level is highest and schedule important tasks during that period).
  • Establish goals (long-term, mid-term, and short-term).
  • Set priorities.
  • Keep a daily planner.
  • Plan 60% of your day, leaving 20% for buffers and unanticipated developments and 20% spontaneity. (I love this... plan for spontaneity - go figure.)
  • Be flexible.
  • Pace yourself.
  • Transfer unfinished tasks to the next day.
  • Consolidate tasks.
  • Learn to say no with finesse.
It has me thinking that perhaps analyzing time, could be quite time-consuming in and of itself. Anyway, I'm hoping to make the most of my time so I can enjoy the time I spend with my family.

And that's all good.

Perhaps I'll even get to the point where I'll keep only ONE organizer. (Just think of the time that would save!)

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