I can't believe my school district has started school again already. Where did the summer go? I do think I spent it well. I love fall, with colorful foliage and crisp breezes that require a new wardrobe. I can't believe Nathan's second birthday is two weeks away! I've got a very busy month ahead playing hostess to many gatherings of women and relatives. Tonight is my new MOPS group of eight women, and I am their fearless leader. Oh yeah, and only three days till KICKOFF! We are....PENN STATE!!! I only hope I'm not sitting in Beaver Stadium soaked to the bone from Ernesto on Saturday.
So I'm back from another long weekend at the beach. Nathan and I left Friday and came back today. My sister and her new baby-that-never-cries drove up from Richmond so I could see her again. We had very good weather. Hubs gladly stayed in Philly and had the house to himself all weekend. I feel like an oaf for not running or doing yoga for four days.
Highlight of the weekend was Nathan entertaining a large crowd at Harpoon Hanna's dockside tiki bar in Fenwick Island. The have live music in the evenings so some guy was singing and playing all kinds of covers on a guitar. After dinner Nathan ran over and broke into his enthusiastic, hysterically funny dancing. The kicker was his festive blue hawaiin shirt. Even the singer was laughing so hard he could hardly go on singing.
Last night was a family picnic at the school. I thought it would be nice to meet some other parents, so I signed us up to go and bring a bottle of soda. I got there and quickly realized we forgot a blanket or folding chairs to sit on. Lots of other parents did too. The food was kid friendly and nothing special. I met a super nice Indian couple whose beautiful daughter, Jasmin, is in Nathan's class. Hemang and Anita. I really like them and wish there were some way to get to know them better. And their daughter apparently really liked me too. Anita and I shared stories about how our kids never seem to eat anything at school but eat lots of food at home. I think they are too busy watching each other to eat.
The best part about this picnic was the entertainment. I knew there was going to be some children's music, but I had no idea it would be a cool rock band. Penny and the Pinecone People. The kids loved them and so did I! Nathan busted a move and everyone started laughing. He is a bigtime dancer and hysterical to watch. I'll try to get a video and show you.
One day they asked to see a picture of my son. I referred them to my blog and Flickr account.
The next day my therapist, Tracy, says "Sarah, you have 800 pictures of your son online! And not one in your wallet!" I said "So? I have a few on my phone, they just aren't very good."
When I returned from the beach Tracy laughs and says "So did you take 300 pictures this week?" I replied, "um...no...about 300 a day. But I only uploaded a few!"
Click on the strips to see larger versions.
"The Washington Post ran a clip and then they edited it and they had in what they wanted us to see these men saying," he said. "Unless I missed it, I heard not one black man say anything about being a father. I heard not one black man say, 'my responsibility,' not one. The edited version of these people with a camera on a drive-by – I'm looking to media. I don't like people who see and can't tell the truth. . . . A man tells me, 'It's not as bad as it seems.' I don't want to hear that shit."
I second that. I hate the "drive-by media". And no, I am not a Rush Limbaugh fan.
Tawk amongst yawselves.
One quick post and then I'll get back to work.
This picture is from last Tuesday evening, when my best friend was in town from Nashville and we hiked around Valley Forge before going out to dinner. Right now the park is full of tall brown grass where the hundreds of deer hide, and acres and acres of milkweed. My mother-in-law teaches first grade and every year she goes hunting for Monarch catapillars for her class among the milkweed. So I figured I should be able to photograph some butterflies at the park. I was right.
She and I hiked four or five miles as the sun sank in the sky (in my brand new Merrell sandals - a story for another day). Then we went to Bahama Breeze and sat on the deck. She's vegan so she only likes certain resturants, and even that night the waiter got it wrong by putting cheese on her sandwich. You should've seen her face when she bit into it.
Great things about that evening:
huge national park
deer and butterflies
Norton the Nikon
fabulous walking trails
cute new sandals
that were $80 but I got 'em free
getting checked out by a table of guys
camera phones and text messaging
having an awesome best friend
I just feel like I have SO much to learn, and I'm so eager. Wish I had more time and money to invest in it. I think it would make me very happy to shoot people for a living, mainly babies, kids, and families. If you haven't looked at my Flickr, you really should. I'm dying to get more feedback, technical and emotional. Which shots really strike people?
4 jobs I've had:
3. ice cream scooper
4 movies I could watch over and over:
1. Fight Club
3. Pretty In Pink
4. Breakfast at Tiffany's
4 places I have lived:
1. Media, PA
2. Cincinatti, OH
3. Pittsburgh, PA
4. State College, PA
4 TV shows I love to watch:
1. Grey's Anatomy
2. Take Home Chef
3. What Not To Wear
4. Sex and the City
4 places I have been on vacation:
4 websites I visit daily:
2. Yoga Journal
3. Black Shoe Diaries
4. Poop and Boogies
4 fave foods
2. Chocolate Chip Cookies
3. Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
4. P.F. Chang's Chicken Lettuce Wraps
4 places I'd like to be right now:
1. P.F. Chang's (that last question made me hungry!)
2. walking on the beach
4. seeing my baby niece
4 people I am tagging:
1. The Butterfly Girl
1. Your mailbox
2. Your bag
3. Your supplies
This was kind of a boring one, which Kristine admits. Here's my mailbox. In the snow.
Here's my new purple bag. It matches my purple placemats, the trim on my table, the dishes, and even the curtains. And the concert t-shirt I posted about yesterday. I like purple.
Here are my office supplies. Not shown is my brand spankin' new super laptop and printer/copier/scanner/fax. I was too lazy to take new photos of those.
There was a very nice bar in the balcony lobby and a waitress brought us drinks in between bands. I wasn't driving :) Oh yeah, Frank Black, godfather of grunge, main man for the Pixies, opened for the Foos singing a bunch of stuff with just an acoustic guitar. He sucked. I love Frank Black and I was very disappointed. Every song sounded the same.
The Foos far exceeded my expectations, because I didn't really love their new acoustic album. But they had extra musicians and did a lot of older songs which made a great set. And Dave is a great storyteller. Oh and I got a really cool new shirt! I usually don't like their shirts, and most concert t-shirts only come in men's styles which look like crap on a girl body. It is a bit tight, hope it doesn't shrink. Here it is:
On a completely different subject, I am so psyched to be going to see these guys tonight. Why? Cuz it's an acoustic show in a small theater and I will get to see my alltime hottest celebrity crush, Dave Grohl.
My blogpal, Lori, is going as well. See ya there, chica!!
One of the fun things about vacationing on the Delaware seashore is the huge number of retail outlet stores in Rehobeth Beach, which are all on the main drag to or from the beach. After several days of sitting on the beach or at the pool, Mike mentioned Friday morning that it looked cloudy and maybe not such a good beach day, so we could go shopping. I almost lept out of bed for joy. Turns out he really wanted to hit the Nike outlet for a new pair of trainers.
Across from the Nike outlet was the Carter's children's wear outlet, which sometimes has cute things for Nathan. We wandered in and I noticed that most of the fall clothes really weren't very cheap at all, which often happens at outlets these days. Many of the circular racks had big signs on top that said "25% off" or "2 for $25". Just as I was about to give up, I spied a rack full of nice fall shirts on the top and blue jeans on the bottom, with a sign just like all the others that said "2 for $10". I did a double take. The retail tag on the shirts was about $15 but the tag on the jeans was $22 each. I picked up a couple shirts and a couple pair of jeans and looked around to ask someone if they really were 2 for $10. Just as I walked toward the register I saw a woman at the counter pointing to the same rack saying "See right there, it says on top '2 for $10'". The cashier called over another employee, who looked at the rack and said "I guess it is what it is." The problem was, the woman had a big stack of these jeans and they were ringing up $15 each. The cashier didn't know how to ring them up to give them to the lady for $5 each, so she ran to grab the manager.
The manager came out from the back room, identified the problem (the sign was WAY wrong) and started trying to ring the woman up while they changed the sign back to "2 for $30". She was having all kinds of trouble giving her the discount because she had eight or so pairs of jeans and the discount was too high. I waited quite patiently while the customer and I smiled at each other and the manager said "you are getting these for a steal" not very pleasantly. She saw me in line next and asked if I had only two pair, so she rang me up first. I took my two pair of jeans and two shirts at $5 each and walked out with a big smirk on my face.
Apparently walking around in public with a big digital SLR slung around my shoulder makes me look like some kind of professional photographer. Ok, so maybe taking hundreds of shots as I walk has something to do with it. And maybe the tripod and wireless remote add to the image. But I didn't have those with me on Thursday as we were walking up onto the boardwalk from a photo session on the beach and a family accosted me. They were taking some family photos and the mom asked me to take a few for them. She said I looked like I knew what I was doing. Not having to ask how to zoom or turn off the auto-flash probably confirmed that. I roll my eyes every time I ask someone to take a picture with my camera (my point and shoot) and they ask where the shutter release is. Except they don't call it that.
When someone hands me a camera, I can no longer take just one shot. It's a compulsion. I framed the family, said cheese and shot. They started to move and I stopped them. I said "just a couple more!" I reframed and shot, and shot and shot. They just laughed. I couldn't help it, they looked so cute!
The next evening I waited till the sun was low in the sky and set up a few yoga self-portraits for my yoga journal on the lake beach behind the house. I used the tripod and tried not to think about the few neighbors that might notice and wonder what the heck I was doing. Most of the condos around were empty and the lake was very quiet that night. After my photos I dropped my tripod back on the deck and walked Nathan over to the playground for a bit. Of course I shot lots more pictures of him playing, but the sun was too low and behind the trees so most didn't turn out.
Just then a minivan pulled up and out came a family of six all dressed in white shirts and khaki pants, headed toward the beach. I knew immediately what they were there for. I didn't see a tripod or a non-uniformed photographer, so I wondered how they were going to accomplish this family portrait. I watched from about 25 feet away as the mom fiddled with the menus on her tiny point and shoot and then attempted to set it on a park bench while the rest of the family lined up. My first thought was "you people are about thirty minutes too late for the right light." My second thought was "oh man, I gotta do this." So I walked over and laughed and said "just let me take your pictures!" They seemed so relieved as they noticed Norton the Nikon over my shoulder. I lined them up and took shot after shot, turning off the flash and worrying about camera shake as the light was getting pretty dim. The dad said "you look like you do this for a living." to which I replied "I do, I just don't get paid for it." I didn't want to seem too intrusive, so I handed back the camera and walked Nathan home. They asked which house I was in and I pointed. As I walked away I kept thinking to myself "I should've moved them back towards the water, turned them toward the West, and reposed them. I should've taken the pictures with MY camera and offered to email them. Now THAT would have impressed them!" But it was Nathan's bedtime and I was suddenly feeling shy as I watched from my window as they took pics of just the kids or just the grandparents. I REALLY wish I could've seen the results of my work.
Part of why this week has been so relaxing is Nathan's good behavior and willingness to sleep in. I love that the bedrooms are on the same floor as the living area, because in the morning Nathan feels free to run back and forth from our bed to the toys and leaves me to lay around taking my good old time getting up. This morning I wasn't showered and dressed until after nine...that's VERY late by my standards.
Last time we were here we shared a room with Nathan and he woke us up at 6 am every morning. He has never even tried to climb out of his crib or pack-n-play, so we have to get up and get him out and give him a bottle. This time we have separate rooms. We set up his pack-n-play in the guest bedroom, wedged in between the two twin beds so he would feel a little more cozy. The first morning we stayed here I mentioned I got up early to go to yoga class, and ended up doing it solo out on my deck. At about 7:30 I was relaxing in downward dog when I looked between my legs and spied a little face watching me. I went back inside to join the boys for breakfast. Nathan was in a great mood running around the living room. Suddenly I realized that the master bedroom door was only slightly ajar, as I had left it earlier, and Mike was still in bed. I just as quickly realized that Nathan had climbed out of his crib himself and opened his bedroom door for the first time ever. I knew he was quite capable of doing it, given how tall he is. After his nap he did the same thing. Later that night he let himself out three times, before we decided to move the crib away from the twin beds. He hasn't escaped again since.
It is amazing how relaxing the past few days have been. With the exception of a few struggles to get the wireless internet working, we are carefree. I love my mom's beachhouse, and Nathan has finally adapted to the sand and surf, although he still won't go in the ocean. I have had great fun taking some amazing pictures, some of which are on Flickr and more will be up soon. For you non-Flickrites, I'll post a few here too.
The only bummer has been that the yoga classes on the beach I was so looking forward to were cancelled. I guess our community lost its resident yoga instructor. I got up Tues for a 7am class and nobody showed up. So I asked and found out there is no more yoga. Pilates and kickboxing galore, but no yoga. Wah! So I just went back to the house and put my mat out on our deck overlooking the lake and practiced solo. Very nice!
Loving my new laptop so there will be more posting soon!
1. Your spices.
After I looked at this I thought, "Why do I have three things of ginger, two paprikas, and two montreal steak seasonings?" I love ground ginger!
2. Salt and Pepper
This is technically Bridget and Pepper. Pepper was named for her hair color, which is known as "salt and pepper". I once saw some completely white mini schnauzers at a pet store and I wanted to get one and name it Salt. Mike would not allow a second dog. It would be cute AND cheezy to have dogs named Salt and Pepper.
3. Spice up a picture.
How cute is that face?
Last time we went to the beach, Pepper came along. She is welcome at the beachhouse, and at my sister's house, but this time she is being boarded, which we affectionately refer to as Puppy Camp. She is pretty mouthy and territorial around other dogs and people, and it was a pain in the neck to keep her quiet during her walks at the condo. My husband declared that she is not going to stress him out on his vacation. Puppy Camp is expensive, but she's in good hands. But she's such a nosybody that I don't think she rests much while she's there. When we pick her up she always heads right for the couch and sacks out for a couple days. She needs a vacation from our vacation.
Anyway here's the meme:
When did you first start blogging and why? February of 2005. Holy cow, has it been that long? I was a brand new mom in a new town with not much to do. My husband started his political blog first, and I felt the need to get up on my soapbox, even if it was just bragging about my baby.
What don't you talk about? My job, definately. I'm not stupid. I may be part-owner of the company, but I still don't need to get the boot. Or maybe it's BECAUSE I'm part-owner of the company that I know better than to spill anything. Also I don't talk bad about anyone in my family, or about marital problems, or about sex. Mainly because my mom reads every day.
Are you and your blogging persona the same person? I would say, yes. I don't show my negative emotions very much on the blog, but I don't in real life either. I have them, I just don't show them. Oh, and of course I don't usually tell you about the stupid mistakes I make. Unless they are harmless and hilarious.
How do you use blogging to build friendships? I consider some internet friendships to be REAL friendships. I have one close friend I have been friends with for over ten years, and we've never met in real life. I know it's not quite the same, but some people I really do care about, like ieatcrayonz and Spikey1, as examples. Plus meeting bloggers like TBG and Lori in real life is always fun. Can't wait to attend the Blogger Blowout in Dallas this fall!
How would you describe your writing style? I write like I talk and think. Conversational, I guess. Not very well scripted.
I'm not tagging anyone. Seeya.
Recall that the king size bedding set contained 24 pieces, including comfortor, sheets, pillows, shams, curtains, etc. It's not cheap looking either, very silky and plush. The whole set was $150 at Macy's. Now see that headboard back there? King size with wood posts and iron rails coated in an olive green color that matches the bedding...$75! Jackpot.
Moving on. Dropped Nathan off at daycare and he didn't even cry. Work was productive and relaxed. Met my mom for lunch and stuck to my brand new diet all day. Did I mentioned it's hotter than H-E-double-hockey-sticks here? Nathan slept for three and half hours while I shopped for a laptop online. I was struggling with all the different options and Mark, my yoga instructor/IT helper, magically appeared to instant message me into laptop heaven. He's cool like that. I got a rockin' new Dell for my new portable office that will be shipped to the beachhouse next week! God forbid I should go a week without checking email. Jackpot.
After dinner we went to the gym and I worked my tail off, which felt great. Literally, because after that and my good diet day my scale read almost four pounds less this morning. Jackpot.
Here's the clincher. Remember the Photodoto.com summer photo contest I entered? I wrote about it a few days ago. Well they had a drawing for a free Flickr pro account among the people that wrote about the contest and I WON! Jackpot!! Too bad I didn't win for my photo, but when you compare it to the winners you can see why. Since I already have a paid-for Flickr pro account, I can extend it or give it away. Any budding photogs in desperate need of more uploading capacity?