Friday, April 29, 2011

lovin' free fridays

drawing to the end of a long week i'm grateful that there is nothing on the agenda for today.

(well nothing, but vacuuming, laundry and typical every day mom stuff)

i'm grateful that the fridge is full of leftovers.
i'm grateful that the rag quilt i've been working on is finished! my first ever, and i think it turned out kinda cute. next time, i'm going to make smaller seams.

and i'm grateful for these babies, who worked their mango/oatmeal yumminess into our kitchen. for recipe, click here. of course, i have a fridge full of fresh healthy fruit and i choose to bake it into something fattening.

::rolling eyes at myself::

will i ever learn?

i need a good book to read.... any suggestions?

Monday, April 25, 2011

Crustiness of Picking Sides

Today I would like to address the issue of picking sides. Do I have to? Cant I be Switzerland?

I'm not sure why this has frustrated me lately. But it began with the whole Mac vs. PC debate. It seemed that you would get into a conversation with someone, the topic of computers would surface, and all of the sudden you found yourself defending the fact that you own a PC instead of a Mac. I probably take it personally because the computer is like a member of the family. Not only would I find myself under attack but being belittled because I chose a PC. There is no middle ground. You must pick a side. Why? I love my PC, but I also love Macs, if I could afford one. They are both awesome for different reasons.

Another debate I find myself forced into the the Canon vs. Nikon debate. Seriously? They are both superior in the DSLR industry. I bought a Canon because at the time, I felt that I could get the best bang for my buck. I've been 100% pleased with the quality produced from my camera. I have no complaints about the product (don't ask me about their customer service, and I'm sure there are people out there just as dissatisfied with Nikon's CS). These two play cat and mouse and you cant go wrong either way. There is no middle ground and once again, you must pick a side.

Then there is the much larger issue of politics. I find myself torn here as well. I feel like I'm attacked all the time with little darts tossed at me. Defending what and why I feel the way I do. Especially in this time of governmental unrest and distrust, I feel that it's important to make educated decisions about the issues individually and not just to pick a side (a party) and follow them blindly. I'm not a Republican, I'm not a Democrat, but I'm a citizen of this country and believe in defending my rights.

For example, people assume because I feel strongly that I have the right to bear arms, I must be a crazy gun-toting dangerous Republican freak. A classic example of this dynamic was when the Democratic Congresswoman in Arizona was shot, and before anyone had specific information about what happened, there were posts on facebook and twitter and all over about this person who shot her and how he must be a crazy right-winged nut and how guns must be outlawed (by the way, the guy ended up just being a whack job with views all over the board, not the type of law-abiding citizen that would obey a gun law in the first place). Using a tragedy to force an agenda is wrong in every way, but I see it being done more and more. Why are some so quick to put people on a "side"? So they can pounce? So the have further justification to hate the other side?

The reason I'm addressing this tendency to force others to "pick a side" or to put others in a specific category is because I see the hatred that is beginning to form. It wasn't like this when I was younger. You could have opinions about things and others wouldn't agree, but you could discuss things and become educated on others views. Now, there is instant and apparent hatred and walls put up. No one wants to listen to anyone from the other side. It reminds me of the Civil War in America, where they had to pick a side and sometimes it meant fighting to the death against your own family and friends. It really scares me, the hatred that is out there. Whether it is hating "team Jacob" or the fans of an opposing sports team, it's not acceptable on any level. Is society given too many liberties and is mankind so bored that hatred is the outlet?

Please don't make me pick a side. I love the beautiful patchwork quilt of this world. If it were all one color and pattern, it wouldn't be beautiful.

Friday, April 22, 2011

My Favorite Good Friday

COOPER: mom, i don't wanna go, my car isn't fast
MOM: hmmm, that's not a bad idea, dad, should we just stay home?
DAD: um, shouldn't you go? you are a den leader....
oh yeah, i forgot

but we're glad we went. i'd never been to a pinewood derby.

for those of you who were as clueless as myself on this whole thing... the boys are given this.

and with their dad (or mom), they are to shape and cut the car, paint it and mount the wheels.

luckily the Lowe's by us has a pinewood derby workshop saturday where the boys can go and get lots of help on their cars (this is great for people like us, who dont have the proper tools).

nick took cooper and they came home with a pretty sweet looking little car.

fast forward to last night (the night before the race). we still needed to mount the wheels. nick brought home his dental tools to buff and polish the nails to make them slicker. we had bought some graphite lubricant, but i guess i had purchased the wrong kind because it melted the plastic on the wheels, EEK!! nick worked hard to try and get the wheels balanced and everything, but really the car just didn't roll well. i was a bit apprehensive about letting cooper race it. i could just picture his pouty little face when his car came to a dead stop before the track even flattens out.

we arrived at the race a little early and i told a guy there about what happened to cooper's car, he said, "let me see if i can help" and i pointed cooper out. he grabbed cooper and his car and they went into a corner, where this man put some graphite powder (the right kind) in the wheels and taped it shut.

well, thanks!! because cooper won FIRST PLACE!!! he is still on cloud nine. i apologize that i didn't take the time to edit these photos, they're not the greatest. i've only had this camera for a day!


here is the final and winning race... it was SO CLOSE!! too bad i stopped recording so early.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Crusty Monday

feelin' crusty this monday. because it's spring break and i feel like one of my arms has been chopped off. because i'm waiting for my new camera (i had to send the other one back and canon is being lame about this whole return thing). so i'm waiting and seething at canon, considering switching to Nikon. (notice how i capitalized Nikon? canon doesn't deserve it right now).

i have lots of things planned for the boys. and no camera. how much does that SUCK?

good thing my phone has a camera.

phbblltt! (that's how i spell the sound of blowing raspberries)

Friday, April 15, 2011

Friday Favorites

weeks go by so quickly these days. and fabulous friday is here again. a time to be positive.

i couldn't help it. i was browsing youtube last night and stumbled across this beauty... after a few tears, that i hid from nick because he doesn't love it like i do, i thought about the story. the themes of forgiveness, God, honesty, trust, charity, love and more make this a classic, well-rounded novel and play.

i'm reminded of the awkward days of my youth, when i would blast this soundtrack and rock in my dad's big leather rocking chair and sing along for hours. putting myself in the story. then later, when my mom got me 5th row center seats!! i remember smelling the smoke as it rolled off stage and feeling like i'd been sucked back into revolutionary france.

i love this scene where valjean is escaping the rebellion, with wounded marius in his arms, through the tunnels, he sings to God asking him to spare the man his daughter loves, to take his life instead... so simple, so selfless, i'm a totally gushy woman who loves musicals and get sucked right into the sap.

amazing right??

4 Valjeans? it's like the icing on the cake of les mis. who is your favorite valjean?  i'm partial to Irish-born Colm Wilkinson (1st singer). although that Alfie Boe (4th singer) is amazing (in another version of this same performance you can see him getting all teary-eyed and having to pull himself together before he comes in). freakin' awesome.

i thought this info from Wikepedia was fun (The London production of Les Misérables opened in October 1985, and transferred to Broadway in March 1987. Originally, the American Actors' Equity Association refused to allow Wilkinson to play the part of Valjean in New York, due to their policy of hiring only American actors. At this, producer Cameron Mackintosh refused to open the show unless Wilkinson played Valjean. Actor's Equity subsequently relented.)

what more could i ask for? besides TICKETS?

it never fails to touch my soul. i'm sure i'll be responsible for at least 10 more hits on the counter today while the kids are at school.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

wednesday oddities

actually a little time to breathe today.

well, in theory i should be cleaning, doing laundry and trying to play catch up.

but i demand some me time.

so i was editing some photos that i took out on the salt flats in utah a few years ago and found this photo.

nothing unusual right? now if i fiddle with the brightness and saturation a little.... (obviously this photo isn't the greatest, i only posted it to show my point)

sometimes when you edit photos, you can bring finer details into view. also when shooting directly into the sun, you can get some funky effects. so in fiddling with this photo i noticed something unusual. aside from the spots, which probably means the lens was dirty, something caught my eye.

can you see it?

i'll give you a small hint. it's on the right side of the photo. don't look too hard or you might not spot it.

for the answer click here.

Monday, April 11, 2011

what is emily going to complain about today?

since i spared everyone last week and decided to take a break from my moanings and complainings, i decided it's time to dive back in. now, in talking to the husband last night, i thought that maybe i should do away with crusty mondays, because there is a large gaping hole in my life for where optimism and positive thinking should reside. now that being said, i think as long as i stick to "minor" things--like cup rings on the coffee table, molds and mice, and defective electronics--i should be able to laugh through my complaining and open a forum for possible coping mechanisms/solutions. now for today's complaint....

::bad customer service::

we've all had to deal with it. and i'm one of those door-mat type people that just shrugs, walks away, gets home and regrets not having stood up for myself a bit more.

friday was such a day. i was totally discriminated against at my local Safeway (i'll spare you the details)
then there is a problem with my brand new dear camera and Canon's customer service has been quite lacking in that department (once again, i'll spare you the details)

i'm just frustrated and think back to when i worked in retail and how, no matter who my customers were, i did everything within the power i was given to "hook" them up and send them home smiling.

and why is it that when we have a bad experience the crustiness lingers in your soul. like, i'll forget about what happened, but still be grouchy and think, "why am i so grouchy? .... oh yeah! it's because of what happened this morning at the store..." or whatever.

so rasberries to YOU naughty, haughty customer service rejects.

take this VENT for all the whopping 6 people who read my blog!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Friday Favs

i tried really hard to come up with a friday favorites post today that did NOT center around the new camera or photography in any way, but i'm going to resolve myself to the fact that i'm failing miserably. i thought about my beloved glider chair, my favorite spot to sit and read. i thought about the gas stove in the family room and the warmth it provides. i thought about my bedroom and the haven that it is... and then i thought of my camera and how i want to play with it some more. and just gave up.

i love photos! of course i had to break her in today. it's a little different and going to take some getting used to. it does so MUCH more than my little rebel (don't get me wrong, the rebel is an awesome camera and i would recommend it to anyone)

now if i could just get that laundry folded! and stop following mason and mikan around with a camera in their faces.

**video not shared for artistic reasons, just for entertainment, i obviously dont know how to keep my subject in focus**

Thursday, April 7, 2011

It's like Christmas!

i'm so giddy with excitement.... when i got the automated message last night that my package was coming today and that someone would have to be home to sign for it, it was like santa calling a 6 year old to say, "i'm on my way, make sure the flue is open!"

so it showed up on my doorstep today a few minutes after 5pm.

oh man, i can wait to break her in.... why don't they send them with a fully charged battery?

anyone want to be my guinea pig and let me shoot them?

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

trying something new

because the more hobbies a girl has the less she eats.....

so on the way home from picking up the kids, i stopped at the beach and took a few (86 to be exact) shots.

i have taken an interest in HDR photography. although i think most of it looks unreal and kinda bizarre, it's fun and some of it can be very beautiful, if you don't "over-edit."

so here are my very first attempts.....

please cut me some slack, i have a long way to go!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Monday Monday

Monday Monday, so good to me,
Monday Monday, it was all I hoped it would be
Oh Monday morning, Monday morning couldn't guarantee
That Monday evening you would still be here with me.

Monday Monday, can't trust that day,
Monday Monday, sometimes it just turns out that way
Oh Monday morning, you gave me no warning of what was to be
Oh Monday Monday, how could you leave and not take me.

Every other day, every other day,
Every other day of the week is fine, yeah
But whenever Monday comes, but whenever Monday comes
You can find me cryin' all of the time

Monday Monday, so good to me,
Monday Monday, it was all I hoped it would be
Oh Monday morning, Monday morning couldn't guarantee
That Monday evening you would still be here with me.

Every other day, every other day,
Every other day of the week is fine, yeah
But whenever Monday comes, but whenever Monday comes
You can find me cryin' all of the time

Monday Monday, ...

every time i go to do a monday post i sing this song in my head. so i just had to post. especially since it's hard to be crusty after a wonderful conference weekend! i usually do a LONG post about all that impressed me in conference and what changes i need to make after my eight hour spiritual beating. i'll spare you.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Fantastic Friday!

feelin' only appropriate to praise the sun today

i like to consider myself "solar-powered"

it took me many years to realize that i need kisses from the sun to keep me in my happy place

living in utah was an experience for this california girl. i will admit that i did love the snow. but i loathed how long the winter lasted. it was like a month into winter and i was ready for spring. but i had to endure 4+ more months of bone-chilling cold. i dealt. whatever.

but being back in this mild climate has done wonders for my psyche. i love the sun. i love the mild sea air. i love the mist and fog. i love that i never need heavy coats, mittens or snow boots just to take kids to school.

my favorite thing. the sun. and living where it can kiss my cheeks often.

*photo by Curtis Martin