Saturday, February 27, 2010

Photography class was fun on Saturday. The instructor gave us so many pointers and little secrets that I'm sure by the time I publish this blog, I will have forgotten.

I got a new editing program called Capture NX2 and I played around with it a little bit tonight. This was just a small cell phone pic, but it's one of my favorites for the memory that it holds.

This is the day Josh made the biggest decision of his life to date.

Josh in the Armed Forces recruiting office with his U.S. Marine Corps packet.

It's hard for me to look at this photo without getting emotional. You're going to see this image a lot this coming year, I'm pretty sure of it. Just warning you. This will be an experiment on how many ways can you render a photograph?

But this is one way, what do you think?


Friday, February 26, 2010

My new Nikon is born!

Looky -Looky!

SOMEONE in our family may have gotten a new camera this week...

Hhmm...I wonder who it could be?

This is my new boyfriend. I'm not sure what his name is but he works at Penn Camera and knows a lot of stuff and stuff is very important. He also has an employee discount, hence, the fact that he's my new boyfriend. Johnny said it was OK. When it comes to our bank account, he's a sharer.

OK, fine. His name is Chris and he kept me from going into full blown psycho overload that evening. The minute I walk into a Penn Camera I get dizzy and start to giggle. But Chris was great and he helped me spend all of my money, go see him sometime.

OOOhhhhh....what do you think is in the box? (Just play along with me here)

FYI ~ This is your answer to how weird a woman can actually be.

I won't tell you the song I sang to my new baby, that stays between the two of us & my therapist.

And this? I'm not really sure what this is. Maybe I was hoping for Vogue to call?

Do they have a plus size edition?

Meet my new Nikon D90 digital SLR....wait for it....wait for it....



Meet my 18-270mm lens! Hee-hee...

Johnny thinks his snowblower is big and shiny. Eat your heart out, Dear.

I'm going to leave it at that  ;o)


My dogs? Legally blind from the 368 pics I've already taken of them.

They're hiding from me & I may never find them again  :o(

I'm headed off to a photography class about an hour away ~ but it was FREE!! And I like free. So here I go to learn how to use my new baby.

And Johnny....I don't even have to wait for it to snow to use it.

Have a great weekend everyone!


Photo contest day 4 - Miss Piper

Before I close for the weekend I wanted to show you the photo I entered of Miss Piper in the photo contest. It's the last day, day 4. There are now 38,688 submissions and counting. I guess the contest closes at midnight. Soooo many Koo-koo people out there....I'm just saying....

Look at these eyes

Our Piper has been living with us now for 3 1/2 years and I can't really remember a time without her. She's so expressive with her eyes. Every day she looks at me with that sad little face and I just have to cuddle on her. She knows this about me. I think she practices those looks in the mirror when I'm gone.

Her submission ~

I don't know how I'd get through nearly 39,000 submissions if I were judging the contest.

I'd need a lot of tissue. And I'd have about 34,000 winners.

I'd sure need a lot of prizes.

Ok, I'd have nearly 39,000 winners. I lied.

So. Four days, four entries. I'll take four prizes, thank you very much :o)

Sorry, I'm such a proud Mommy. Shoot me.

I don't really care who Pioneer Woman judges as "The Winner" of her photo contest because I know that my girls are gorgeous and clever and sweet and well mannered if you bribe them with lots of Pupperoni treats...I can go on all day, I mean it. The point is, they win in my book. And in my blog!

As Johnny always says, "These tiny little souls make our lives complete."

I totally agree.

There is a lady in Northern VA that is not disappointed that the 5" of snow forcasted for her county went JUST above her to the OTHER side of the beltway, leaving HER driveway nice and clear.

There is a man in Northern VA who owns a brand new shiny snowblower, however, that IS disappointed.

The lady is giggling  :o)~

The man is pouting  :o(


Thursday, February 25, 2010

Photo contest day 3!

Day 3 of the photo contest, yay!  Now there are more than 34,000 entries. Lord help us all against those weirdos that think their dogs are soooo cute. What has this world come to?

To say I love dogs is an understatement. You know, I find that individuals who are raised with dogs know a level of love and intimacy that people who weren't raised with dogs don't know. They "connect" better on a personal level with other people. Does that make sense? It's just my observation. And you needed my spot of wisdom...why again?

(OK... I guess having a cat would work too, but I don't like to chat about cats. I'm itching just thinking about Johnny's face becomes the size of a watermellon around too many, ew -- oh, didn't I tell you that I don't, that cat's aren't exactly my favorite animal?) Don't judge me. Soooooooorrrrryyyyy.

Johnny had a dog named Daisy when he was growing up & he tells me the cutest stories about her. I think that's why he's such a good Doggie Daddy to his puppies and cares for them so well.

I feel sad for kids who don't grow up with a pet. I believe a family pet teaches kids to think past their own noses and become responsible for another being's health, happiness & welfare. It teaches them love and respect, nurturing & sympathy/empathy. It teaches them that life is not forever, and nor should it be, and that we love, lose, love, love, lose and then love some more. And that the time we have when the pet is alive makes it all worth it. It's the cycle of life. It's real. It's the same in the human world. No different.

In a perfect world (OK, so it's MY perfect world) every child would have a puppy. So there. I'm done now. Amen.

(OH! And buy a very, very good vacuum cleaner because you can lose a small child in the shedding season).

I almost chose this photo to enter of my sassy Peanut ~

~ Miss Peanut and her Duckie ~

But I was in a goofy mood today, kind of silly, actually. So I chose this photo instead ~

~ My nosy Chihuahua ~

Here is Peanut's submission

Haha, I'm still laughing. And that was the point.

Of course Peanut has the cutest, wettest, wiggliest nose in the whole contest!

But I do like the upside down puppy to her right. He's a close 2nd ;o)

Gosh he's cute! Look at all of that extra skin and is he smiling? I believe he is :o)

After I submitted Peanut's entry I literally sat here for an hour browsing through some of the other submitted photos. My heart needed this today & I had a blast. Sorry laundry basket. I'll see you tomorrow. Puppies beat laundry. Deal with it.

Can I tell you what perusing thousands of entries does to the soul? Miracles! OH MY GOD, my heart melted. I laughed out loud and I said "Aw" more times than I'd care to count. "My heaven" will be filled with dogs. I mean FILLED! No cats. Hee-hee. Don't hate me.

I also found out that Peanut is not the only nosey dog in America!

So cute! I love, love, love wet puppy noses.

Haha! You nosey little fella!

Wow, look at those eyes!

Speaking of eyes....I'm in love. This looks just like my (former) pug Schatzi.

I want this dog.

And this cutie makes my heart melt.

I am now a puddle of goo.

I want this dog, too.

This one? I just threw it in to gross you out ~ to see if you were paying attention.

I mean, have you ever??.....Look at the size of that.....ugh.

(P.S. I do not want this dog)

How clever! The heart says "Puppy Love" I know what my valentines will look like next year!

.....or I'll be in the animal hospital E.R. with candy hearts lodged down Minnie's throat....

Tell me your heart didn't just melt a little. C'mon...just a little?

If it didn't then you'd better take your heart off of the freezer shelf you keep it in. NOW!

My heart did, it's nearly gone. I want this dog dangit!!

This is why I can never step foot into a shelter and why I have 3 dogs. I can't say no. They own my heart and soul.  I had to do this today, to go into a "puppy love" zone. It's where I go when my world is just a teensy bit off kilter. There is no greater love than that which you will recieve from a dog. That's one thing I know for sure.

Tomorrow's Day 4 and the last day of the puppy photo contest. The photo? Of my Piper girl. I'd better get to snappin.

Josh Update

We got a small update on Josh's Marine Corps status this morning from Gunny.

For the good news....Josh has lost 10 pounds, 10 more to go!!  Way to buckle down, Josh!  OO-RAH!

......And.....for the great news.....they have 2 slots open for AUGUST and as soon as he meets his weight goal they are going to put him in for one of those slots to ship off to boot camp.

My heart is doing flips this morning. Or is that my stomach? My heart is doing something, but I'm not sure what. I'm excited for him and this not knowing any time frame stuff was getting us all a little anxious. Now we have some kind of tangible goal to shoot for.

Josh was so thrilled with the news that he grunted and groaned, pulled the covers over his head, rolled over and went back to sleep. Afterall, it's not 2pm yet, what was I doing waking him up anyway? Bad mommy!

Every Marine recruit has a soft spot for a chihuahua. You can't be that hard core. You just have to act like you are. Peanut is his girl. He looks for her first thing when he comes in the house.

It's funny, I just realized someone is always holding Peanut! You all are going to think she has broken legs and we're just good at keeping it a secret.

So Josh will go to PT today at the recruiting center and show Gunny the progress he's made on his training. He can already exceed (by far) the pull up and sit up requirements, he just has to run 3 miles in a certain amount of time.

Gosh, my belly is doing something today. And my heart. I think it's just Mother-Love issues going on. I love this blog. I have a place where I can put all of this "stuff" then I can hit publish and walk away. Laundry is calling. So are the dishes...the dogs need baths....God, take care of my boy. I need to vacuum, what is for supper, I can't believe August, wow, this dream of his is getting real....And what is my stomach and heart doing today?!?  UGH!! 

I think I just need to enter another photo of my dogs in the contest!! YES!! That will make it all better. My puppies always make everything better.


Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Beef Minestone Soup! Can I make your mouth water a tiny bit?


Snow? In Austin???

When I read the posts from all of my Austin friends on Facebook yesterday that they were expecting bit time real snow I'll have to admit my first thought was of my sister Kat's FB post last week of the "snow" on her windshield:

Do you see it? Try squinting. Maybe tilt your head a little bit. Now?

Yeah, neither did I. But Kat swears it was snowing.  {{sigh}}

My poor, poor, sheltered Southern Sister.

So as I was reading all of the posts I was giggling and thinking "oh this is going to be good....they 'might' find a single snow flake and shut down the city!! OH NO!"

So I was prepared to giggle. I was prepared to giggle a lot.

But I wasn't prepared for the pictures that I got in my email around mid day. Holy Cow! It snowed! It really snowed in Austin!

I'm gonna warn you; I'm a cryer. I call it "emotionally open & extremely secure about it" and my sister calls it "being a basket case." We're very close.

My emotions are bad enough with normal, every day life, songs, commericals and just talking to myself outloud (I'll deny that comment if you ever repeat it), but it's really, really bad when I watch children, more specifically my nieces experiencing things for the very first time.

And don't get me started on my "I was born into this world specifically to have a daughter" issues because I won't be able to see clearly to type this blog entry.  {{sniff}}  That is why God gave me my Madison to love along with my Josh. And now I have a Shelby too! Does it get any better than this?

I wanted snow for Madison sooooo badly. I took geeky videos this winter of snow falling just for her. I posted soooo many snow scenes just for her. I posted pictured of icicles just for her. I made a snow angel just for....OK, I lie, that was all for me....but can we go with "sorta for her?" Just so I look like a cool Aunt. :o) 

I told Madison the other day that I would send her snow......and her little teensy voice on the phone "Oh, Aunt Brenda, I really wish you coooould." (Go ahead, little girl, break my heart, I don't need it).

Well Madison? How did you like my present? Am I just the greatest Aunt EVER?!?!

So pretty in pink ;o)'s where I start to get weepy. Really weepy. (Sorry)

My sweetheart made her very first snowman. His name is FRED.  {{Sniff}}

And now.....for the Coup de grĂ¢ce.....turn on the waterworks.

My little girl made a Snow Angel.

UGH!! My heart!

What? I warned you. Don't say I didn't.

I have to go now. There's a box of tissues with my name on it.

Shut up, Kat.

Day 2 of the doggie photo contest. I'm allowed to submit one pic a day for 4 days. Tomorrow I'll submit my best shot of Peanut, but today, oh heart be still......

Do you see why they have us wrapped around their fingers, er, paws? See??!!?

Why yes, I know! She is the cutest long haired Chihuahua you've ever seen! I totally agree!

Anyway, here's Minnie's submission:

Alrighty now, if you were the judge. Who would you pick?

(Remember, I know where you live)

(And I know where your children go to school)

(And I know where you go out to eat)

I don't really on that last one, now I'm just being a bully.

Did you notice that there are 34,100 entries up to this point and there's still 2 days left? Wow, there are a whole lot of crazy people out there who think their dogs are cute. They need help. Serious help.

P.S. I still can't draw a straight arrow on photoshop. But I'll address that later.