Tuesday, April 29, 2008
Saturday, April 26, 2008
After watching this very quick flick, I am convinced that the British have it right!
Thursday, April 24, 2008
Yesterday I picked Mark up from work and took him to a handful of shoe stores. After perusing Famous Footwear for at least an hour, Mark settled on two pair of shoes that would sufficiently replace the two pair (running shoes and brown dress shoes) that Bubba recently found, chewed on and managed to rip the tongues out of. Mark found me in the women's section and produced the two pair, announcing in a 'you'll be happy with me' tone that the two pair were on sale. "Really?" My own tone showed genuine excitement and I moved in to check out his find.
"Are you kidding me?" is what came next. Although the two were on a buy one get one 1/2 off sale, Each pair was over $50.00 and together would be nearly $80.00! In my years of buying shoes, I have never spent that much on a pair of shoes. Call me cheap, but I know I could find a better deal for the same pairs or better. I convinced Mark to leave the offensive priced pair at the register and check out just one more store with me. I have often found great deals on quality shoes at Kohl's, so we drove the 1 1/2 blocks to Kohl's and ventured in to see what our bargain hunting skills would find us.
Within 20 minutes we were walking out to the van grinning ear to ear. We not only found the exact same pair that Mark was ready to purchase at Famous Footwear, but we found the two pair at $15-$20 cheaper! And to top that off, after looking at the selection Kohl's had, Mark actually found a pair of dress shoes he liked better for less than 1/2 the price of the pair he had found at Famous Footwear. We spent a total of $46.00 at Kohl's for running shoes and dress shoes! After adding up how much we would have spent at Famous Footwear and adding in Tax, we saved nearly $40.00! (Now that is what I call Bargain Shopping!)
Point of the Story: If you are going to go shoe shopping, try shopping around first...or just give me a call!
(And in case you were wondering, I did not buy a pair of shoes yesterday...)
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
Sunday, April 20, 2008
Since we purchased our fixer upper (code for severely ravaged crack house) we have fixed nearly everything under the roof. After we finished the basement portion of the remodel, the skies turned gray (literally) and we had our first rain storm of the season. We were surprised to find out that the foundation leak, thought to have been repaired by the previous owner, had not been repaired at all, and our newly carpeted baby's room was now damp with the season's storm.
We planned our solution to the problem and deducted that we would need a back hoe, shovels, a warm day and a good sealer. One trip to home depot supplied us with the necessary tools to seal the leak and yesterday, when the weather looked sunny and warm, we contacted a friend who had access to a small back hoe. While I was away at my photo shoot, the men labored to dig a large, deep hole.
After my shoot I rushed home to check the progress of the working men, only to find the project at a stand still. Moments after I had arrived home, Mark, wearied eyed with the days work and what he assumed my reaction to his news to be, announced half heartedly that they were just about finished digging the hole, unfortunately on their last dig, they had also cracked the Main Sewer Line. "What?!? You did what?" I gaped at him. Calmly he replied, "Don't worry." As simply as that, he turned, walked into the house and called the plumber. It was my turn to watch as his expression changed from calm to, "Are you kidding me? It is going to cost how much?!?" He in turn must have seen my reaction to his reaction and calmly said again, "Don't worry" as he turned to the phone again and dialed more numbers.
5 minutes later, 2 wonderful apprentice plumber friends showed up to take a look at the damage done. In that minimal, squinted eye, plumber way of communicating, the older shorter plumber friend looked at me and nodded, "No problem." The men crawled down into the hole and worked tirelessly on cutting the pipe and securely replacing it.
2 hours later, those wonderful friends of ours had the sewer line fixed, generously announcing that the total cost came to a mere $20.00 (the price of the parts) Of course, I agreed to give them free photography for years to come.
At the end of the day, I shrugged off the sewer line fiasco feeling grateful that the cost was a mere pittance compared to what it could have been. I walked into my home to find a letter from the state. Apparently they just now calculated that we owe $500 more dollars on our 2004 taxes than originally estimated!
A confusion of feelings washed over me. I felt like we narrowly escaped a major financial burden just to walk smack into another one. Considering our recent Jobless struggle (see previous posts) I am grateful that Mark has found a new job and will be starting tomorrow and we will have the money to pay for these unexpected taxings, but COME ON?!? Do the bills already have to start racking up?
So, the point of this long and drawn out drama is: Years ago I had a poignant conversation with a very spiritual and uplifting man. I expressed to him that I felt like as soon as we saved up enough money to cushion our savings, or to do anything out of our normal budgeting expenses, some major catastrophe would happen and we would have to use all that we saved to fix the problem. A particular instance happened just prior to that conversation. Mark had a bonus of $1000.00, and the next day both front axles on our van went out and the cost to fix them was about $1000.00 dollars! I aired my frustrations to this man, and he replied that I must be thinking about our situation the wrong way...and in fact, God was simply holding our van together until we had the funds to pay for it.
So although we escaped the major cost of the sewer pipe repair, we must have enough extra money coming our way to pay for the added tax expense imposed by the state...and God must have been holding back the state until Mark had found a job...and the good fortune bestowed to us by plumber friends is God's little sock in the arm saying, See, I'm watching out for you Kid!
Saturday, April 19, 2008
The oddest memory came to mind earlier today as I readied my camera bag for a shoot later this afternoon. The song "I'm going to the chapel and I'm going to get married..." played through my mind as memories of visiting my 'Californian' cousin flooded my mind. I think I was 13, visiting California, making preperations for my older cousin's taffeta adorned wedding, when I was shoved into the back of a pickup with my 'Californian' cousin. To bide the time we sang a loud obnoxious version of that song over and over again.
Now I am off to shoot another bride, on her special day at a local chapel. She seems so young, but she isn't much younger than I was when I took the marital leap of faith. Obviously we have had our ups and downs (reference to my previous post), but it has been a great ride. I hope this beautiful bride has as much joy, laughter, and fun as I have had.
Friday, April 18, 2008
1. To get this jumping shot I brought a chair along with me to the shoot. I had Katy jump off the chair and I laid on the ground. I used my 70-135 mm lens and upped my shutter speed to 1/500th. I think my f-stop was at 5.6. I wanted to expose mostly for the blue background and pick up mainly her sillouette and just a hint of color on her clothes. I love the sun glare in this shot.
I laid as low as I could in the grass about 10 feet away and I used a 85mm fixed lens. My Shutter speed was probably 250, and my f-stop was 4 or 8 (sorry I can't remember the exact). I desaturated the picture a little in photo shop and added in only yellow saturation.
3. This picture is one of my favorite candid. I had Mom and daughter sit and talk while I worked on setting my camera...hahahaha...really I was just snapping shots. I like the angle of this shot. I used the paint brush tool on a low opacity to white out the edges of the picture, I added a boarder by using the canvas/percent size . I think my shutter was 250 and my f-stop was 8.
I liked these pictures, so I thought I would share my info...if you have any tips or advice for me, please share too. I love getting new advice or info. Also, I am just learning this photo shop thing and I would love new ideas...Please Share!
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
Yesterday...I completely abandoned my dedication to Monday's Get Fit Tip.
Yesterday...I woke up feeling like a giant stinkin' slug.
Yesterday...Mark walked out of the room when I was talking to him (apparently he thought I was finished talking), and I felt upset. No, I felt irritated, like the kind of irritation you feel when your efforts spent on solving the mysteries of the rubix cube prove to be futile. I don't know why his sudden departure spurred a nagging irritation from deep within my giant slug embodied self, who at the time was still parking it on the bed, with no intention of getting up and ready for the day. But, I felt the need to complain. Today of all days was his birthday and in our current No Job situation, I felt as if I could do nothing...so I did nothing, and I felt horrible. There you have it. I laid in, late into the morning, stinkin' like a giant slug of an anxious naggy girl, shooting turdy comments out for the sake of feeling better...and of course I didn't, I felt WORSE!
Eventually I pulled myself out of bed, shuffled over to the fridge and pulled it open only to be disappointed with the lack of contents therein. My fridge looked to have been carelessly raided by a thief who only left the tattered remains of half filled condiment bottles. I haven't been to the grocery store in a few weeks. Mark is still out of work and I have been doing my best to keep my always hungry mob of boys fed on the contents of our cupboards. Thanks to a few mysterious angels, the last couple months have given us the necessities we need to live on and sometimes an occasional more. At first I found others generosity to feel embarrassing or even shameful, but I quickly shed those prideful walls and fully accepted the love and kindness so many have shown. Unfortunately today gratitude seemed to have escaped me and pity, pride, and 'Pissed-off' seemed to be the only qualities I possessed.
Mark knew well to steer clear of my down and out grumpiness and he fled to the office to work on 'straightening up'. He never even mentioned that it was his birthday, not that he would have to, because I knew. But just knowing I didn't have enough extra money to go out and buy a cake mix spread bad thoughts in me like a bad seed taking root. But seeing Mark, doing his best to lighten my mood on his day started a little feeling of good in me. It was at about this point I had that inner dialog with myself. You know the one, with the good angel on one shoulder and the lazy, crazy, slug angel on the other. The slug angel gave quite a fight, but eventually the good won the battle and I decided to make an effort to snap out of my furious fog. I texted a friend to go running, changed my clothes, and brushed my teeth. 30 minutes later she was ready to meet, and called to let me know.
I walked into the office to let Mark know I was leaving and he waved me off! He was on the phone and made it clear he couldn't speak to me! Of all the annoying things to do. I finally get in the mood to be in a better mood and he wont get off the phone to watch the wild baby so I can jog off my frustration. You can believe this spun me into another downward annoyance.
10 minutes later (can you believe he made me wait 10 minutes) he walked out, looked up at my fuming self and smiled. And, quick before I could launch into a full blown 'I've had it', he announced that was the company he had spent the last month interviewing, and second interviewing, and 3rd interviewing at. In his quiet manner and tender voice, he broke down my frustration, annoyance and anger. He announced, "Erin, I got the job."
I stood speechless (for the first time that morning...well probably for the first time in a long time) and then broke down in tears. Tears streamed down my cheeks and flooded my eyes as he embraced me and echoed again, "Erin, I got the job." I very quietly whispered, "I am so sorry for being so upset. I love you. Can I tell you Happy Birthday now?" He smiled...and as simple as that, I knew that he had forgiven me.
I am so grateful for all who have offered a kind word and a helping hand through this difficult time. Thanks to friends, family and neighbors we have been able to keep our home, feed our kids and stay (mostly) sane. I cannot express the joy I feel to know that our prayers have been heard, answered and a way provided. Love, erin
Yesterday...was a great day!
Saturday, April 12, 2008
The bright beautiful Spring Sun woke me from my deep slumber and called me out to exercise. I felt the pull to the great outdoors as I laid in bed, reached for my cell phone and texted my exercise buddy. She agreed to engage in our hour long torturous hike up the mountain and we set the time to meet. An hour later Joann, Amanda (Joann's younger sister), and I strode step after step up the steep incline of our neighborhood. Joann and I fared a little better than Amanda, considering we had traveled this route 2-3 times a week for the last month or so. And poor Amanda, moved as fast as she could muster considering she had never hiked with us before and even though the phrase, "please stop!" lingered on the tip of her tongue, she kept quiet and did her best to keep up. As we reached the last 1/3 of our hike, we noticed a Garage Sale sign, a beaming glorious beacon in the the dark!
Lured to it, I encouraged Amanda to make it just to the yard sale, where she could have her first rest of the day. The signs of relief flooded her expression. I looked ahead at the sign, scrutinizing it for what I could expect at the sale, and realized that the sign was pointing in the opposite direction of the yard sale I could clearly see on the street up ahead. Being rational, I decided that it wouldn't be prudent to our workout to venture off the exercise course to a yard sale in the wrong direction. We continued on ahead to the yard sale that covered the lawn of a home a few more homes away.
As we approached the yard sale I perused the items strewn across the front yard. Mostly clothing, yard accessories, and baby supplies made up this yard sale. I spied an item that looked like a prize to me and asked the man sitting in the front yard, "How much is that?"
A look of confusion clouded his expression and he replied, "This isn't a yard sale, we are just cleaning out our garage!"
hahahaha...I busted out in laughter. Well so much for exercising and stopping at yard sales!
HOT TOPICS awkward moments
Friday, April 11, 2008
My niece came to visit last week and helped make a cake for my mom's 60th birthday. My sister and I noticed how quiet she was being...and everyone knows that quiet plus kids always equals trouble. We found her on the edge of the counter digging into the batter bowl, covered in chocolate cake batter!
Thursday, April 10, 2008
Congratulations to all of you who participated in our first month long GET FIT CHALLENGE. I hope that you saw great results, and you changed a few unhealthy habits...I know I did. Thanks to this challenge I kicked my Diet Pepsi addiction and I worked out almost every day!
Here are the list of winners in the categories that they were chosen. Winners in the first two categories were chosen randomly, and the winner in the third category was chosen through a committee (my husband and I). For the sake of privacy, I did only mention first names and initials of last name, or your posting name. If you are on this list, please see my contact information above, email me your home contact information, and I will send out your winnings in the next week.
Personal Blog Mention:
Comments Posted on this Blog:
CONGRATULATIONS!!! Check back to see when we will start the next GET FIT CHALLENGE! (May 1st)
HOT TOPICS GET FIT CHALLENGE
Tuesday, April 08, 2008
I just finished this shoot for the cutest couple, Reed and Leilani. They were so funny and were willing to go anywhere I came up with...even the middle of the road! I loved it. Here are a few favorites from the shoot, but I did update my website with some of their pictures:
Look at the "IN LOVE" section of my site and you will find them.
Monday, April 07, 2008
1. If you have not yet reported your points for the GET FIT CHALLENGE do so by clicking on the link below, then read through the entry and then leave your points in the thoughts area.
GET FIT CHALLENGE -- REPORT POINTS
2. FIT TIP OF THE DAY: Now that the weather should be warming up a little, take a stroll outdoors. The spring sun and the energizing feelings from a brisk walk will get your blood pumping and help you to get rid of the winter blues. Get out and walk for a healthier today and tomorrow....
ok, so you are saying you don't want to go on a walk. Well park your car at the far end of the parking lot at walmart, walk your kids to school or take the stairs instead of the elevator...one of these will get your heart pumping.
HOT TOPICS Monday's Fitness Mania
Thursday, April 03, 2008
For the Month of April, I am offering a Super Sweet SENIOR PICTURE SPECIAL!!! (Senior, as in Graduating from High School Senior). This special will only last through the month of April, so if you are interested, or you know someone who is interested, don't hesitate to call.
what you get:
- a minimum of 30 spectacular shots
- permission to print your shots where you want
- high resolution DVD containing all the shots from the shoot
- 1 - 1 1/2 hours fun shooting time with me
- images edited, air-brushed, enhanced and beautified within 1 week
- only $50.00
To check out more of my work, see my website: http://www.erinsummerill.com/
To contact me, see the tab above for contact information.
Wednesday, April 02, 2008
Tuesday, April 01, 2008
Hello Get Fit Challenge Contestants. Today is the day you have been working for all month. Now is your time to shine! In the thoughts section of this post, please enter your points.
You need to enter your weekly totals(since the last two days of the month were Sunday (a free day, and Monday a regular day, those days won't count in your totals), your monthly total, a challenge you faced, and how you overcame it, and if you lost weight, your total weight loss. See example below.
Ida B. Dawinner
week 1: 38 points -- 0 points weight loss
week 2: 42 points + 4 points weight loss (2 pounds)
week 3: 56 points + 2 points weight loss (1 pound)
week 4: 36 points + 2 points weight loss (1 pound)
Monthly Total: 172 points + 8 points weight loss = 180
Challenge: I really struggled with eating Easter candy; I ate so much that I lost no weight the first week even though I was doing all my cardio and toning! I over came that challenge by throwing all the Easter candy away and mocking others who I saw eating it.
Total Weight Loss: I lost 4 pounds this month!!!
Enter your totals like the example above. You have one week to enter and the winners will be chosen a week from today.
HOT TOPICS GET FIT CHALLENGE