Archive for 'Personal'
I took my boys to the dog park for the first time and both of them could not be any happier. It was such a wonderful day and spending the few hours watching my boys run around and play with other dogs was so entertaining, especially since Cider never likes to give anyone any privacy but he had the biggest smile of the day.
Going back to my List of things to accomplish through out my lifetime, eating steel cut oats made my list. I have heard of this food staple and always wanted to try it, so I was happy to have made my first bowl. It took much longer to prepare compared to the wonderful instant oatmeal that you just pop in the microwave. But I knew my colon would be thanking me later for the lengthy wait and the fantastic consumption of fiber that my insides so desperately needed. Plus, as I waited for my oatmeal to stew, I made myself a healthy breakfast scramble in case the 30 minutes it took for the oats to cook tasted horrible.
In all honesty, I didn’t know what to expect which is pretty common if you’ve never done something before. To my surprise, steel cut oats really didn’t taste much different then instant oatmeal. It was a little hardier but nothing that a little bit of brown sugar couldn’t cure. Really the only difference for me was the length of time it took to make it. Steel cut oats certainly is not something I should be making when I’m on the go, but I know my insides were thanking me of treating myself so good that morning.
Thank you Hodgson Mill for your quality Steel Cut Oats.
About a month ago, I met with my photog friends for some lunch at my favorite, Electric Cheetah, where I enjoyed an amazing meal and of course some great laughs. We later headed down to East Grand Rapids where we walked around, took pictures of random things including ourselves, and enjoyed some ice cream in the sun. Of course, ice cream only had us rolling with more laughs. For anyone who doesn’t know Sam, she is hilarious. There is something juvenile about her sense of humor that makes me fall in love with this girl and I think it would be safe to say that I speak for Jill and Jenn, who was with us that afternoon.
I love ice cream and I love my friends.
Well if you can’t tell by now, I am playing some massive catch-up. Over a month ago, my good friends from Holland had put together a little photo scavenger hunt around downtown Grand Rapids. It was really nice to see some old classmates of mine and do some catching up. Anyhow, everyone was given a list of a subject and we needed to interpret it one way or the other. It was a great opportunity to think outside the box and get creative with each idea.
Originally, I began in at John Ball Park, but moved my way towards downtown where my friends were wondering around. I didn’t get everything on my list but it was definitely a great way to get my mind to warm up to some creative ideas.
I had fun, Sunday Shoot Group!
By the way I added my little haikus as I had mentioned before.
Inspiration has hit me again. I love feeling inspired. It always gets my gears turning and smoke coming out of my ears. It makes my heart beat and at the very least, get me off the couch. I’ve always have made to-do lists at least once a year but have kept them in my journal. In the past couple years, I’ve narrowed down to five, but it was a really big five. Five things to do that required many little things to accomplish those 5 major things. They had to be done in five years and the interesting thing is that I’m half way through all of them, like buying a car. My husband and I have managed to save plenty of money to buy a new car and within a couple more weeks it will be sitting in our garage. I have to say it makes me feel pretty good knowing that my husband and I have worked very hard in the past few years to even get to this point and paying for a vehicle in cash deserves a big pat on the back for that one….but not yet because the car isn’t quite here. Back in the end of 2001 the 5th thing on my list was to become a photographer. Well what do you know? That’s a big check off the list. Number 26 was to get a dog. Well, I can put a check and another check because I have two canine buddies in my household.
It’s nice to keep to-do lists because it’s a reminder of even the little things you accomplish. One of my favorite things to ask people is to list at least 5 things that they have accomplished in the past 10 years. With that being said getting married and having children are not included. However, if you have at least stayed married passed 5 years then it can count. I will share with you my five things. I finished college…twice. I bought a house. I have participated in 2 triathlons. I started a business. I’ve paid off an XXXX amount of dollars in debt. I can easily say I am proud of myself.
Recently, I stumbled across my girlfriend’s blog where she listed 200 things she wanted to do in her life and it had my heart pumping again. She had so many things that I wanted to do and some things I had already done, such as, Go skinny dipping. Ha!! I might as well be an ambassador for that one. And then this evening, I was watching my wonderful Oprah, and she had 4 boys from the show called The Buried Life. Apparently the show was based on a list of the things these 20 something year old boys wanted to do and they did it. Along the way they help strangers accomplish at least one thing they wanted to do during their life time. It was such a beautiful and profound way of paying it forward and I’m inspired by those kinds of things.
So here it goes. I’m making my list of all of the ridiculous and non-ridiculous things I am going to do. I AM GOING TO DO! (And I’m doing 201 and so I have a longer list than my girlfriend’s list of 200.)
At the end of 2010 2011, have my student loan paid off. 7-2-11
2. Go to church at least twice a month.
3. Back pack the Philippines.
4. Pay for a vehicle in cash. 4-16-10
5. Ride my bike through the White Pine trail tour, which is two days long.
6. Swim in open water for 2 miles.
7. Go scuba diving.
8. Attend a Buddhist Temple.
9. Attend a Muslim Temple.
10. Attend a Jewish Temple.
11. Speak fluent French.
12. Volunteer with inner city children or under privileged children.
13. Volunteer in a Deaf/Hard of Hearing Community Center.
14. Participate in a hip-hop dance battle.
15. Swing dance.
16. Have my work up in a gallery.
17. Travel to 10 different foreign countries in 10 years.
18. Have my work published.
19. Rock climb the Grand Canyon.
20. Camp in the Grand Canyon.
21. Go on a girlfriend getaway on an Alaskan cruise.
22. Renew my wedding vows in Hawaii.
23. Go to a legit Fairy Forest Park in Maine.
24. Go snow shoeing.
25. Try cross-country skiing.
26. Visit the country of Japan.
27. Island hop to 30 islands around the world.
28. Try out exotic dancing on amateur night.
29. Go to a topless/nude beach.
30. Ride a burro.
31. Protest for dolphin rights/safety.
32. Backpack Europe.
33. Go deep-sea fishing.
34. Shoot a gun.
35. Feed homeless people while I’m hungover.
36. Work on a farm.
37. Work at Pier 1. (Love that store)
38. Eliminate eating any foods containing refined corn product.
39. Participate in a figure or bikini competition.
40. Adopt a child in the Philippines.
41. Help an under privileged child finish school and go to college.
42. Go to Annapolis.
43. Educate foreign families to end sex trafficking.
44. Help small businesses flourish.
Repaint my computer room. 10-26-10
Attend a second level of anasara yoga. 1-3-11
47. Photograph a live UFC event
48. Be a guest on the Oprah show for something good.
49. Go to a college frat party and do a keg stand.
50. Have my mortgage paid off by the time I’m 40.
Photograph a wedding in New York City. 6-1-10
Revamp my blog.
Get organized around the house…. Starting the computer room. 11-3-10
54. Get a new computer. 9-13-10
55. Finish the P90x program.
56. Do 50 pull-ups.
57. Do 100 push-ups.
58. Run a 7-minute mile.
Participate in the 5/3 River Bank run. 5-14-11
60. Own water front property.
61. Take my husband to Vegas.
Grow a vegetable garden. 5-1-12
63. Kiss my husband every day for a full month.
64. Hug at least one person every day that is not my husband for a full month.
Put a garden around my mailbox. 4-10-10
Finish reading 5 books by the end of 2010. 6-3-10
67. Become a viral video that is of either good nature or extremely funny. Preferably extremely funny.
68. Touch Leonardo DiCaprio.
69. Kiss Hugh Jackman…on the mouth )
70. Frame my painting that Cut gave me.
71. Teach photography at a college level.
72. Tour the Upper Peninsula.
73. Write to Ventron.
74. Send my uncle a calendar.
75. Meet Howard Schatz.
76. Photograph meals I make for a week.
77. Take boxing classes.
78. Learn to properly sew.
79. Write a random letter/card to people I know once a month.
80. Organize both desks.
81. Spend only time after 5pm each evening on the Internet.
82. Ride a motorcycle.
83. Go to the Ben and Jerry’s Creamery in Vermont.
84. Go polar bear swimming.
Eat steal cut oats for breakfast. 4-12-10
86. Do a colon cleanse.
87. Try surfing.
88. Go inside a Hedonism resort.
Visit my girlfriend in Boston. 5-31-10
90. Learn to make Cuban meatballs
91. Touch up my tattoo.
92. Go on a trip with my cousins.
Update all my software. 9-13-11
94. Go on dates by myself.
Redecorate my shelves in the living room. 9-17-10
96. Attend an Indian wedding.
97. Become vegetarian for one month.
98. Get a Brazilian wax.
99. Climb the tree in my front yard.
100. Every place I visit watch the sun come up.
101. Get to know my clients more.
102. Shoot commercially.
103. Photograph using film once a year.
104. Pray more.
105. Beat Jay in a weight loss competition.
106. Be in bed by 1opm every night for 3 months.
Get a brand new printer. 9-3-10
Recycle my magazines. 7-26-10
109. Read the Twilight series.
110. Read the Harry Potter series.
111. Rescue an adult dog in a real rescue situation. a.k.a. owners who have neglected the animal
Put up new window treatments in my bedroom. 8-6-10
113. Send a box of chocolates to a dentist.
Make homemade vegetable juice. 5-14-10
115. Enter in ArtPrize.
116. Eventually return my friend’s plastic camera.
117. Shop at the Mall of America.
118. Fix my mother’s dollhouse.
Take the dogs to the Dog Park. 4-26-10
120. Have pictures done with my girls.
121. Run the naked mile.
122. Meet a Victoria’s Secret model.
123. Ride a helicopter.
124. Sing for deaf people.
125. Drink strawberry wine in Chile with Carolina.
126. Eat food in Cuba with Brenda.
127. Photograph a wedding in Puerto Rico.
128. Read the Bible from cover to cover.
129. Compete in a rap battle.
130. Meet Kimbo Slice.
131. Do a back flip.
132. Successfully rescue a wild animal.
133. Have my DNA tested.
134. Sing in the Swiss Alps.
135. Plant an Asian garden.
136. Plant a water garden.
Send Jenn C. some candy. 8-12-10
138. Make my uncle a dinner.
Have a formal dinner party with my closest friends using dinner china and all. 12-4-10
140. Get one more tattoo.
141. Have dinner with Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie.
142. Re-do my final project.
143. Accomplish 90% of this list.
144. Buy a new home in cash.
Own a pair of Baby Phat shoes. 1-15-11
146. Own a medium-format digital camera.
147. Visit the outback of Australia.
148. Volunteer at a hospital in Africa.
149. Wear my gardening hat when I garden.
150. Play all X-Box Splinter Cell games.
151. Finish Mini Ninja.
152. Put up canvas pictures of my dogs.
153. Would like to try Hang Gliding.
154. Make a wedding cake.
155. Learn how to make sushi.
156. Put a huge slip in slide in my yard.
157. Dress up in old golfing attire and go golfing.
158. Would like to attend a huge water balloon fight.
159. Get in a food fight.
160. Trash my wedding dress.
161. Go to a spa resort for a week.
162. Watch a Lord of the Rings marathon in one day.
163. Go to an independent film festival.
164. See the Northern lights.
165. Learn how to work on cars.
Have the ends of my hair dipped in orange. 9-5-12
167. Dress up in 50′s clothes and go grocery shopping.
168. I want to wear matching t-shirts with my husband that say “I’m with Stupid” and have the arrows point at each other.
Eat crab legs in Boston with Toni. 5-28-10
170. Learn to do one trick on a skateboard.
171. Have sex on a beach.
172. Have my ducts cleaned in my house.
173. Make an outdoor living room.
174. Meet a professional prostitute.
175. See Jack Johnson in concert.
176. Be in a real Hollywood movie.
177. Act in a local play production.
178. Build a tree house… a cool tree house.
179. Plant over-sized sunflowers on the side of my house.
180. Do a pub-crawl with a bike in Ireland.
181. Learn how to Hula dance.
182. Learn to be a Ninja.
183. Build my own hot lights.
184. Try water skiing with one ski.
185. Own a motorcycle.
186. Buy a brand new truck with cash.
187. Build a X-mas light sign that says “We House Foreigners.”
188. Make wine in Italy.
Buy a bigger juicer. 3-10-11
190. Plant a fairy garden.
191. Go on a family trip with my dogs.
192. Go fishing with my uncle one more time.
193. Write a letter to Chapel Hill cemetery.
194. Zip line in Costa Rica.
195. Build a raft made of plastic milk jugs.
196. Go White water rafting.
197. Learn a new craft.
Renew my contacts. 3-28-11
199. Write a poem once a month.
200. Try tantric yoga.
201. Have my work on a cover of at least 5 magazines.
P.S. Today’s my mother’s birthday so I will celebrate by doing household chores and gardening.
202. Compete in an Ironman
Photograph underwater 7-31-10
204. Accomplish at least 10 things off my list per year.
205. Pledge for the Pound for Pound challenge.
206. Set up a workout regimen and complete it.
207. Donate blood.
208. Become a successful Before and After.
209. Run a full marathon.
210. Visit the seven wonders of the world.
211. Try on a real wedding dress.
212. Save a person’s life.
213. Go to a nudist colony and camp there.
214. Sing “Upgrade U” at a wedding.
215. Quit my day job!
216. Do 10 handstand push-ups.
217. Sell my art at Art Festival
Do a juicing video with Sam V. 5-14-10
219. Go to a Pistons Game.
220. Go to a Major League baseball game.
221. Write a will.
222. Speak fluent Tagalog.
223. Plan my funeral.
224. Take life-guarding classes.
225. Send a friend flowers each month.
226. Become Chelsea Handler’s new best friend.
Find possible living relatives. 2-4-11
228. Ride the Iowa Ragbri.
229. Beat Heather Monroe-Malkin at this list.
230. Eat at the 1913 Room.
231. Heather M-M licking my butthole.
232. Build an igloo.
234. Be a speaker at a photography workshop.
235. Become a Big Sister.
Eat at Charley’s Crab. 10-6-10
237. Read all of Robert Ludlum’s novels.
238. Plan a wedding event.
239. Stand on top of a bridge.
240. Attend a photo workshop.
241. Attend one of Jesh’s workshops.
242. Eat a morel mushroom.
Rap a song on one of Cut’s original beats. 5-30-10
244. Swim with dolphins.
245. Dance in the rain with someone I love.
246. Go to an NFL game.
247. Read Immigrants and Citizenship: Process and Policy text book.
248. Read a book once a month…audio books count.
249. Learn how to book bind.
250. Renovate my backyard.
251. Read to the elderly.
252. Work with Special needs kids.
253. Have family over for dinner once a month.
256. Run a 10k
257. Visit Jon in the UK.
258. Visit Richie in Australia.
259. Visit Florita, Jay, and Andy in the Philippines.
260. Have family visit me here in MI.
Lately, I’ve been finding myself to make changes. Changes to my mind. Changes to my heart. Changes to my soul. I recently came back from a trip from Las Vegas that not only inspired me in improving my work as a business person and as an artist but also myself as a person. Ironically, Las Vegas seems to be the least likely place to have this kind of reconnect with oneself, but that is just what happened. I was there for a week with some of my good photography friends from Grand Rapids and I could not have spent a better week as I learn and grow in the business. I am inspired by humble people. People who make a point of not taking the relationships they make for granted. People who love people and are grateful to have people in their lives. My heart is warm right now. My heart is open and I’m ready for every next step in my life. I’m ready to walk. I’m ready to run. I’m ready to dance. And I’m ready to sit and watch for others like myself to do the same, because, that kind of energy only feeds off of each other. That’s how all of us can pay it forward.
In the past 10 years, I have learned to realize the kind of blessings I have had for myself despite my adversities. The choices I’ve made through and after those adversities not only make me stronger but also proof that anyone is capable of being a better person. I’ve learned that, hands down, I have the best friends that any girl could ever ask for. I have a wonderful family who continues to open their home to me and treat me no different. I have an education. I have a roof over my head. I have a job that not only keeps that same roof over my head, but pays my bills, and keeps food in my refrigerator. I have a husband who loves me…who truly loves me…and I love him. All of these things make me grateful, that deep down, I have unquestioningly (if that really is a word) a wonderful life.
Overtime, you will notice some changes. Not just appearances but the way I express to you who I am. Because I am cynical. I have a sense of humor. I have ideas. I’m loud. I make mistakes…lots of them. I learn from my mistakes. I try. If I say I’m going to do something, there is a 99.2% chance that I will, and if I do decide I’m going to do something, there is a 98.7% chance I’m going to finish it. (I just wanted to throw out percentages because I wanted to sound all scientifical)….I’m going to finish the the things I start. I get anxious. I get scared. I get lazy. I get hungry. I get tired. I go to sleep. Then, I start my day all over again and try to do better than the next day….and I hope you are still with me as I grow to be a better version of who I am.
As a Christmas gift to my husband, I figured we needed a new addition to our little family. I had him picked out for over a month from a rescue that specializes in puppies called Puppy’s Breath Rescue. The puppy was intended to be a suprise so it was never mentioned that we were getting one any time soon. However, I did keep bringing up questions like, “I hope you’re ready for another dog?” or “Wouldn’t be nice if we had another dog around?” To be frank, I was nervous. Chris and I picked out Chewy together and the fact that I picked Cider out without the consultation of my husband nerved me a little. I’m hoping he likes the dog or that this little guy doesn’t become some kind of terror. But I had faith that Chris would fall in love with him at first sight. Shoot. This is the same guy who watches hours of animal planet and gets googily-eyed anytime he sees a puppy on TV. I am also a true believer that how your children turn out is the outcome of how you, as a parent, raise them. We have raised one puppy successfully before, I know we can do it again. So Libby and I made our trek to Grand Haven to pick up our sweet baby. We stopped at the pet store to pick up supplies and headed home. That was when I asked Chris to close his eyes and Libby set little Cider on his lap. Yes. Chris was surprised and yes, Chris was in love with him. We’re all in love with him and he has been a great addition to our home.
I take alot of pride that both my husband’s family and my family are huge animal lovers and all of our pets have come from rescues, and I will continue to adopt pets from rescues as long as I am alive. I also encourage that if you are looking to add a four legged friend to your home to check out Petfinder.com. You can search within your area, breed, age, and sex of the kind of pet you are looking for.[slideshow]
Spreading holiday cheer involved my two 4-legged children, Chewy and Mody. Although both of them were not to thrilled with the session, they were both good enough to stay where they were suppose to be and let Mommy finish the job.
Califf and I spent our Saturday evening with our neighbors, Geoff and Gina. A couple times a year, they have a tattoo party with tattoo artist Gerald from Stigma Tattoos. They spiced things up this year with a costume party in light of Halloween. So I brought my equipment and had a mini photo session with everyone who came and everyone who got tattoos. Needless to say it was a fun night had by all.
August 22nd was a kick off to the first annual Wine & Art Festival located at the Commons of Traverse City, MI. There was food, dancers, and live music to accompany many of the local artists and wineries in the Traverse City area. Even though it was a little drizzly here and there it was a successful turnout and plenty of wine to go around.
Great work Turtle Creak Casino and Leelanau Wines for sponsoring the event!!