My husband does not seem to understand that working on his laptop in the family room is not really possible without endless distractions from a two-year-old. So he was happy when I decided to take Nathan to a playdate in the park. Nathan was happy too, even though we moms were kind of chilly. It was in the low 60's and overcast, but we all knew it was probably the last chance to hit the playground before the COOOOOLD weather comes.
Some men arrived at the park the same time we did and warned us that they would be cutting down a couple trees just adjacent to the playground. This made me pretty nervous, but they just told us to keep the kids on the playground. The little boys LOVED watching a backhoe, a dumptruck, a wood-chipper, and a chainsaw in action. When they brought the tree down the men finally got out the yellow tape and "blocked" off an area where they were working. But we had to go running after a few escapees now and then. It was totally crazy, they really should have closed the park. Pictures to follow.
This is my friend Elizabeth and I at her vacation lakehouse in the Poconos. We discovered that the shore around the lake consisted of a nice smooth clay, and of course who hasn't heard of clay masks to tighten pores?!! Yes, we "purified" the clay from the GROUND and put it all over our faces...and feet! I have no idea what we were thinking. This had to be her idea.
One piece of bad news is that I learned my cousin is going to Iraq in January. He's in the FBI. They wanted someone from his FBI group and since he was the only single guy with no kids he volunteered. Needless to say, this did not go over well with his mother.
May your turkey plump,
May your potatoes and gravy
Have nary a lump.
May your yams be delicious
And your pies take the prize,
And may your Thanksgiving dinner
Stay off your thighs!
And may you remember to whom it is we owe our gratitude for His endless blessings and unconditional grace.
Have a Happy Thanksgiving!
It's been a pretty good year, with some ups and definately some downs. We'll skip the downs. I have made LOTS of new friends this year. I discovered two new passions this year, yoga and photography. Business is pretty good, I know longer go to sleep at night worrying if my little company will make it. And now I have a place to go to at the beach whenever I want. We joined a new church family and it is really starting to feel like home.
I have high hopes for the year to come.
1. When you looked at yourself in the mirror today, what was the first thing you thought?
I love when my hair is straight.
2. How much cash do you have on you?
3. What’s a word that rhymes with “DOOR?”
4. Favorite planet?
Earth. It sure is nice living here.
5. Who is the 4th person on your missed call list on your cell phone?
Wayne, our CEO.
6. What is your favorite ring tone on your phone?
Pachabel’s Canon in D
7. What shirt are you wearing?
A pink LA Free Weight gym t-shirt with a pink fleece top over it.
8. Do you “label” yourself?
9. Name the brand of the shoes you’re currently wearing?
10. Bright or Dark Room?
11. What do you think about the person who took this survey before you?
He’s a very cool guy, even if his politics are misguided.
12. What does your watch look like?
Stainless steel Bucherer watch I bought in Switzerland.
13. What were you doing at midnight last night?
I’ll never tell ;)
14. What did your last text message you received on your cell say?
”Josh Boltz is in the bar.”
15. Where is your nearest 7-11?
Next to the high school, on my way to daycare.
16. Whats a word that you say a lot?
17. Who told you he/she loved you last?
18. Last furry thing you touched?
My dog Pepper.
19. How many drugs have you done in the last three days?
Four. Not including coffee or alcohol.
20. How many rolls of film do you need developed?
Who develops film anymore?
21. Favorite age you have been so far?
22. Your worst enemy?
His initials are MW.
23. What is your current desktop picture?
A very smiley Nathan.
24. What was the last thing you said to someone?
Ok. Talk to you later.
25. If you had to choose between a million bucks or to be able to fly what would it be?
26. Do you like someone?
27. The last song you listened to?
John Mayer, Back to You
28. What time of day were you born?
29. Whats your favorite number?
30. Where did you live in 1987?
31. Are you jealous of anyone?
Just a little.
32. Is anyone jealous of you?
Very possibly could be.
33. Where were you when 9/11 happened?
34. What do you do when vending machines steal your money?
Usually get frustrated and leave.
35. Do you consider yourself kind?
Yes, very. Except to my mother, which is bad.
36. If you had to get a tattoo, where would it be?
I’ve been considering getting one on my lower back.
37. If you could be fluent in any other language, what would it be?
Spanish would be the most useful, but French would be fun.
38. Would you move for the person you loved?
39. Are you touchy feely?
Nope. Sometimes I wish I was.
40. What’s your life motto?
It’s not that big a deal. There’s no point getting so stressed out over it.
41. Name three things that you have on you at all times?
There’s nothing that I have on ALL the time. Even my wedding ring comes off for yoga class.
42. What’s your favourite town/city?
New York City
43. What was the last thing you paid for with cash?
44. When was the last time you wrote a letter to someone on paper and mailed it?
I’ve started handmaking notecards, so I sent one to my sister back in October.
45. Can you change the oil on a car?
No but I can check it. I probably could change it with minimal instruction.
46. Your first love: what is the last thing you heard about him/her?
I think my first real love was probably my husband.
47. How far back do you know about your ancestry?
I know a fair amount about my great-great-grandparents.
48. The last time you dressed fancy, what did you wear and why did you dress fancy?
Depends on what’s fancy. Last black-tie event was my sister’s annual gala last December and I wore a black velvet top and shimmery black skirt, I think.
49. Does anything hurt on your body right now?
My neck is sore. I need a massage.
50. Have you been burned by love?
- I love this new show Heroes
- I can't figure out what's going on
- Studio 60 is the smartest, funniest show I've seen in years
- I need more sleep
- I also need more exercise and veggies
- My best friend was in town from Nashville this weekend
- She and her boyfriend stayed with us
- I took some cute pictures of them
- Church on Sunday was amazing
- We celebrated 40 Days of Community
- I wish I could join the music team...no time
- Karaoke made me miss holding a mic
- I photographed a baby shower Sunday
- The house was dark so my stupid flash created lots of shadows
- But I think the photos aren't too bad
- The mommy is gorgeous
- Rasberry wheat beer is great
1. Something you sieze
2. Something that shakes
3. Something purple (because purple is the color of the month!)
I thought I would tie this in a bit with my very interesting day yesterday. My girlfriends from MOPS (moms of preschoolers) and I had planned to meet at a local bar/restaurant for karaoke night. The PLAN was to laugh at all the locals singing. The problem was it's now off-season and our group of seven were almost the only ones there. So guess who did the singing?! We had a blast till the wee hours of the morning.
1. So something you SIEZE is the OPPORTUNITY! Or the microphone, especially for my friend Tammy who keeps telling us how she's destined to be on Broadway even though she's never sang or danced or acted in her life. Here she is doing a little Patsy Cline.
Mysteriously, when it was my turn to sing, Norton the Nikon's on camera flash refused to pop-up, so the only evidence of my craziness is unrecognizable :) I figured out later that the flash sticking down is from the last time I had my camera in a bar with me (Dallas) and the bartender dumped beer ALL OVER my D50 and me. Jerk.
That's me singing When God Fearin' Women Get the Blues by Martina McBride. I picked it because it's such a fun, upbeat song and I didn't need the words. I also sang Let's Get it Started by Black Eyed Peas, and a couple others I don't remember.
2. Something that SHAKES would be my house during that wicked storm we got yesterday. I was sitting at my computer working, which is right next to my front window, as the wind really started to blow. Suddenly I heard a snap and looked out to see a tree fall on a power line and OH. MY. GOODNESS. the fireworks display. Here's the tree...I didn't want to get too close because that wire was still live.
3. Finally something purple.
This is one of my best friends, Alexis, who just ran her first marathon in San Fransisco a couple weeks ago. She ran for TEAM CURE which raised money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, and her team color was purple. I'm very excited for her, and even happier that she just bought her first house and is moving from 40 minutes away to 5 minutes away from me. The only problem is now she wants me to be her running partner! Yikes.
The male callers to the talk-show infuriated me, so I called in and gave my two cents. Any mom knows a baby older than about 6 months will NOT stay under a blanket. Most moms know that breastfeeding keeps babies' ear valves regulated during take-off and landing of a flight, which keep baby from screaming. I THOUGHT everyone knew that public breastfeeding is a legal right. Apparently not. Men were saying "that's what family bathrooms are for." Uh, NO, that's NOT what family bathrooms are for. Would YOU like to eat your lunch in a public toilet?
I wanted to scream as one man said he didn't want to have to explain to his young children at a baseball game what "those two THINGS" the mommy had were. UNFRICKINGBELIEVABLE.
I know it's a lot to ask people's attitudes to change about breasts as sexual objects, but if we are going to put commercials on TV pressuring every mother into breastfeeding, we need to get over our weirdness about breasts. No, I do not belong to La Leche League. No, I am not a breastfeeding fanatic. I nursed Nathan for 6 months and didn't really enjoy it much. But I got sick and tired of being kicked out of my own living room because of some ignorant person's discomfort. The next time I nurse a child, I will not be exiled to what feels like Siberia for 45 minutes every three hours.
It's birthday week at The Kept Woman's house, so we were supposed to show our favorite present of all time. That would probably be my iPod, but I don't have such a photo. So you get the rocking chair I got for Xmas of 1978. Yeah, the chair was a better present that my new baby sister. (just kidding, sis!) I still have the chair, and Nathan isn't too fond of it just yet. Give him time, he'll love it. I was three when I got it, he's only just two.
Very few of you will remember my story about the first time I was ever pulled over for speeding. The bottom line is, I was doing 100 mph and I didn't get a speeding ticket.
Fast forward to my trip to Dallas a few weeks ago. As I mentioned, I brought Nathan and my mom with me and left them at my aunt's house in Highland Ranch for the week. I rented a car and drove them to my aunt's and stayed for dinner. As I was leaving to head back downtown to my hotel, my aunt gave me directions out of her neighborhood to 35E. As I walked out she said "And the speed limit around here is 35 and they MEAN 35."
I was in a bit of a hurry to find my hotel and hook up with my friends for some partying. I hopped in the car, made a couple of turns, and picked up my cell to call my husband. No sooner had he picked up the phone when I saw the lights go on behind me. I freaked, threw the phone down, and pulled over. I didn't know if cell phone use was verboten in that town or what. I suddenly remembered the two glasses of wine I'd had at dinner.
I proceeded to fumble around, trying to get my window down. I could not find the window button. Knowing how cops are about drivers opening their doors, I opened it VERY VERY slowly, just a crack, as he walked up. I explained that it was a rental car and I could not find the window button. The officer pushed the lock button on the door and tried to find the window button for me. Then he motioned to my center console, where my jacket was laying, and suggested I look there. Sure enough, under my jacket was the window button. Odd place for it!!
I told the cop that I had literally JUST gotten here and rented this car. He said I was doing 37 in a 35 zone. No sh*t. I apologized and said I didn't know, I was from out of town. He asked for my license, which I told him was in my luggage in the trunk. I asked if he wanted me to get it. He said "No, just give me the license number." I looked at him like he was crazy. Who knows their license number??? I told him it was a Pennsylvania license. He looked surprised and said "what are you doing here? did you just move or something?" I said "No sir, I'm just visiting, sir. I told you I JUST got this rental car today." He took my name and address and went back to his car to look me up. I prayed the arrest warrant for my unpaid parking tickets in college wouldn't show up. (Just kidding Mom, that thing is ancient history!)
I quietly laughed to myself over what my aunt had told me. I knew it would be no big deal, pay the fine, no points since I'm out of state. But there was no avoiding telling Mike because he was on the phone when I got pulled over.
The officer walked back and said "Ok, I'm going to give you a warning this time. Be more careful in the future. Thank you for your courtesy, miss." I smiled and thanked him and went on my way.
You can just guess how many guys I told that story to later that week said "I bet you didn't even get a ticket, did ya?"
Side note... when I sent this article to a friend of mine to read, the first thing he emailed me back was "Sarah, 30". There's nothing worse than being identified by your age.
Anything of our choosing. So in keeping with this week's them around here of my photography, I give you a Yes! photo, a NO! photo, and a Maybe... photo.
Yes!! I'm so excited about the new lens. Although it IS tricky to get the right things in focus. Here's one from the other day of Nathan laughing and jumping and squealing over something on TV.
No!! I was so hoping to get good yoga pictures of Mark's beginner class but I didn't want to disturb people by sitting IN the room. I thought I could pull off taking the pics through the windows, but alas...it failed.
And a Maybe photo. This is harder to define. This picture was taken in really bad light, and there's a ton of background "garbage". But the subject is just so darn cute that it's an ok photo. Not as good as the black and white one of the same baby a few posts ago, but good enough to enjoy.
While I was working out and chatting about the elections, the office girl mentioned that she and the two therapists were planning to take some kind of group photo for what I'm assuming is a company Christmas card. (Hi Nikki!) They were just waiting on the other therapist who apparently had Santa hats. Nikki reads my blog and scopes out my Flickr, so she knows about my photography addiction. I asked if she'd like me to take the picture and mentioned that my camera was in the car. The rest is history.
On a side note, remember the post about the guy I met in rehab who served in Iraq? He did a couple of commercials for Rick Santorum. He did great! Now apparently he's interested in running for office himself someday.
This picture is one of the reasons I went to the mall today to get my new 50mm lens. I snapped this last week during playgroup at my house. I don't think the mom even noticed. So I developed it a bit and printed it out before seeing her again at Basket Bingo on Sunday night. She flipped out when she saw the print and begged me to come do a full session ASAP.
Also, Jen aka yoga girl asked me to come shoot her bunny. I mean, uh, photograph her beloved rabbit, October J. I'm not a fan of rabbits in general but this rabbit is pretty amazing.
So, one new lens down, two more lenses (at least) and a flash and studio lights and backdrops and business cards and I'm all SET! Oh yeah, and time. There needs to be 28 hours in a day.
Also I need a business name for my business cards. I am not a fan of my last name, so I'm looking for something else. Something memborable and reflecting my perspective. "Impressions Photography" was one I liked, but I think it's a bit cliche. Ideas are welcome.
Hey all you forgetful types...today is ELECTION DAY! I don't care whose side you're on, GO VOTE!
I spent much of the morning bopping around my local polling places, snapping photos and talking to people for a story I wrote for a new news site called NowPublic.com. It's pretty cool, you can submit photos and links and stories. You can add footage to existing news stories. Anyway, here's a link to my story and my footage, called "Voter Turnout High In Tight Pennsylvania Races". One thing about online, real-time reporting...no one to look over my shoulder for typos and misspellings and such. I could have made all this up and no one would really be the wiser. But I didn't.
This week the alarms reminded me of a chanting exercise we did in yoga class last week where we sang several Om's in succession, each person in the class beginning their om at a different time, after someone nearby. Most Om's were pretty timid. I guess people are afraid of singing in public. I am not, I used to do it in front of my whole church every week. Jen has a very nice vibrato, which Mark says is the reason he became hooked on yoga. Mark, on the other hand, is a bit tone-deaf, and his Om is difficult to follow because I never know what pitch he will start on, and occasionally the pitch shifts mid-Om. Jen's Om is pretty much always at the same pitch.
Does it bother me to live within spitting distance of a major nuclear power plant? Not in the least. I wish there were more of them around.
From We Need His Kind by Peggy Noonan:
"But here’s an exception: the state of Pennsylvania, which has been this year a bright patch of meaning. Its U.S. Senate contest has been the great race of the cycle, the one about which conservatives in their hearts most care. And not only conservatives, but those who know, for whatever reason and in whatever way, that there is something truly at stake here, something beyond mere red team and blue."
and further down...
"A month ago Mr. Santorum and his wife were in the car driving to Washington for the debate with his opponent on “Meet the Press.” Their conversation turned to how brutal the campaign was, how hurt they’d both felt at all the attacks. Karen Santorum said it must be the same for Bob Casey and his family; they must be suffering. Rick Santorum said yes, it’s hard for them too. Then he said, “Let’s say a Rosary for them.” So they prayed for the Caseys as they hurtled south. A friend of mine called them while they were praying. She told me about it later, but didn’t want it repeated. “No one would believe it,” she said. But I asked Mr. Santorum about it. Sure, he said, surprised at my surprise. “We pray for the Caseys every night. We know it’s as hard for them as it is for us.”"
Interestingly, a few of my photos from Flickr got picked up by some journalist for a news story on the last days of the campaign. I gave them permission to use them, including this one of Nathan.
The other photos were from the Santorum rally I went to a little while ago.
1. The Good
2. The Bad
3. The Ugly
Well whatever. My Good was basically my whole trip to Dallas last week. Good traveling with my mom and son. Good seeing my aunt and uncle. Good catching up with fun friends and going dancing four nights in a row. Good brain food talking technical stuff with smart people. Good body image since my diet and exercise paid off with 10 less pounds. Good presentations because I got a ton of compliments. But I will focus on the good hair. This hair cost me a small fortune...but almost everyone mentioned how good it looked. Why can't I have my stylist with me every morning? You may not think it looks like anything special, but go back here to see my normal curls. It's nearly impossible for me to NOT have frizz.
The Bad is how I've been eating since I got home from Dallas. Halloween is great and fun, but I am a candy addict. I have been forgoing meals in favor of this.
The Ugly is Pennsylvania politics right now. I know many of you won't agree with me, but I am truly devestated by the inevitable results of the upcoming election here. I know people are upset by the war and the Republican scandals and such, but IMHO the backlash is going to hurt our country and state more. I'm embarressed that my state will be represented in the Senate by the likes of Bob Casey, when we had the best Senator around in Rick Santorum. Most people around here I talk to don't even know why they don't like Rick, it's just a gut reaction, a go with the crowd thing. And I think my congressman Curt Weldon is getting a raw deal too, with these allegations of tossing one favor to his lobbyist daughter. Big stinkin' deal. He's done our district a world of good in the bazillion years he's represented us. Now he may lose to a man with zero experience and a strong liberal bent. *sigh*
WHY do all my friends keep telling me how much they PAID other people to photograph their families?? WHY do I feel so incredibly jealous and disappointed that they didn't ASK ME! WHY should I expect them to ask me when I don't make it known that I'd really LIKE to do that for a living?!! WHY am I so freakin' chicken to stick my neck out there with my half-ass equipment and go for it?? I mean, I wouldn't CHARGE them anything yet so what's the harm, right?
At least four separate moms today were complaining to me about bad photo sessions, outrageous prices, and photogs not releasing their copywrites. Is it a sign? I want to do it for them but I just don't feel like I have the time or money to invest in more equipment and more learning about techniques and Photoshopping, etc. I mean, I DO have an actual job that pays pretty darn well. Plus a kid of my own. Plus a gym I like to go to. Plus a MOPS group to lead. Plus a Senator to try to get reelected. Plus a husband who is unhappy that I don't cook or clean or pay bills more often. Comments? Questions?
Another random thought:
Meet my new pet tarantula I found when I moved the recycle bin in my garage last night. Body was 2.5 inches, plus legs makes at least 4 inches long.
Apparently not. I went to a leaders meeting for my MOPS club tonight and on the way out the door I reminded everyone to vote this Tuesday. I offered to come watch their kids so they could get to the polls, regardless of who they would vote for. They all gave me blank stares. One girl...a girl I THOUGHT was reasonably smart...gave me a funny look and quietly admitted that she had no idea who was running for what. I refreshed her. "Santorum verses Casey for US. Senate. VERY IMPORTANT POSITION. Rendell verses Swann for Governor. Weldon verses Sestak for Congressman." She said "Ok, but whose on which side?" I about fell over.
I think this time next week I'm going to be bawling my eyes out over the state of politics in PA. A man I not only trust and respect, but have great personal affection for, is going to lose his position of tremendous influence for the good of our state in the US Senate. Every time I see a Rick Santorum commercial I am both pleased by what I see and saddened that it is for naught. The man is as honest and straight shooting as they come. He's got the passion and conviction that more politicians should have. He commands the room when he speaks, even a room of 99 other blowhards. He will be replaced by a pansy with no direction, no plan, and zero personal presence who is running on his father's good name. Yes, this time next week I'll be cryin.
There are tons of adorable kid costume pics in my Flickr (click on the mosaic over there --->)
I visited his class for a few minutes and snapped him giving some love to his girl Sasha. Starting Thursday he'll be in a new classroom and will have to part ways with the petite princess.
Then we went to my friend's party for lunch. I met lots of other cool moms, and I hardly had to pay any attention to Nathan at all because the weather was perfect and they had an outdoor playset.
Finally my mom came over and we took Nathan out Trick-or-Treating. He walked and walked from house to house like a little trooper. Up and down big hills! He didn't even want me to carry him. Must've been over a mile. But he was rewarded with a pumpkin FULL of sweets. I also learned a valuable lesson...even a little candy before bed is a BAD idea. He was in his crib chattering till after 9.
The cutest pumpkin on the block!