Archives for August 2011

Well, 1994 Was A Good Year For Hair.

In 1994 and 1995, maybe even 1996, you could not swing a dead cat (don’t ask me, it’s a Michigan-saying, I think. I intend to not swing cats, dead or otherwise, ever. No worries) without hitting someone with her hair done in the oh-so-famous “Rachel” style.

The Rachel, if you can’t tell from that picture of Jennifer Aniston above, is a cut that is FILLED with layers. Lots. And. Lots. Of. Layers. It was cute at the time, and it marked an era, and Friends was a cute show anyway and it’s always fun to get that “Smelly Cat” song stuck in your head (AND OH MY GOD WITH THE CATS AGAIN. I’M SORRY).

But time passed by and so did the style and that was fine.

And then Friday I went to get my hair cut – I didn’t really have a plan. I was long overdue to have some split ends clipped off and I didn’t have any real direction beyond that. “How about we lighten up some layers?” my stylist said. “It will help your curl spring up and be so cute!”

Okay. Sure. Fine.

At the end of the hair cut, I had her blow it out (I can never get my hair that straight), got back to my car, checked it in the rear view and realized, Oh no. This is the Rachel cut. I will never survive with this many layers. My curls are NOT going to cooperate. This is not going to be good.

In fact, I’ve been scared to let it curl. I straightened it again, fearing that if I see how it curls up, how it doesn’t work the way I want it to, that I may cry.

Which is silly: It’s only hair.

Not only is it ONLY HAIR, my hair grows super-duper-speedy-quick.

If the layers really are too messed up for my curls, I’ll just cut a few more inches off (Ugh, that hurt to type), and I know that it’ll grow back and that it’s just hair and I’m being silly and ridiculous.

Tomorrow is the day. Tomorrow I let it curl and see what happens.

Wish me luck.

Thursday Ten: I’m A Rotten Bartender Edition

1. As I type this, I am sipping on a far from professional style Cosmopolitan in a plastic cup.  Why? I am toasting some good news my friend got today. Hopefully she celebrated with a cocktail hours ago – but I’m happy for her. So cheers. This drink tastes like paint thinner.

2. The girls have received their teacher selection letters for the coming school year and I’m curious to see how this new year will go. Pumpkin has a teacher that The Princess had a few years ago – so she’s a “known entity”. I’m still a bit concerned how it might go – they might not be the best fit. The Princess’s teacher is a self professed lover of technology – so I have a feeling I might like her – or at least I’ll be able to relate to her. I half hope my kid’s class has a Twitter account. That would be fun.

3. One of my new favorite websites to check out daily is The Daily Shoot. The photo prompts are great for the days when I’m lacking in inspiration.

4. Last night I dreamed I was standing on the beach in Muskegon in a lightning storm, watching the ferry pull away from the dock while I was trying to photograph the flashes of lightning. Then I was at my sister’s house. And then there was pie – a chocolate pie and a Heath bar pie. I don’t know what any of that means. (I wonder how dream Sarah’s pictures came out – I’ve never tried to shoot lightning).

5. Today I went out to lunch with my mom – we had an awesome lunch at a local Mexican restaurant. And I got…tacos. I had forgotten that I had pork tacos in the slow cooker at home so that dinner would be ready when I got here, so dinner was…tacos. It was a good day for tacos.

6. My current favorite nail color? Gray. I know, right? It sounds bizarre – but I really like it. I don’t love traditional polish colors – and tend towards dark or funky colors. Love it.

7. I have a wedding to go to this fall. I don’t really think I’ll wear this dress – A) because I don’t own this, and B) because I’m not naive enough to think I could buy and wear a strapless dress and wear it for an extended period of time without having a major wardrobe malfunction. But I need a dress. For a wedding. And I don’t know what to buy. The bride… ah, the bride. I have known her since we were leeeeetle. And I’m kind of surprised her wedding doesn’t have a theme. That requires costume. So who knows, maybe a butterfly dress would work.

8. I gave up on stylish shoes for work today and went in wearing Nike mary janes. OH MY GOSH. My feet were so much happier. I’m still trying to get used to “dressing up” for work. Working from home, I sure didn’t wear shoes if I didn’t have to. It’s difficult to adjust.

9. This afternoon, I decided to take a picture using Camera +. Of all my smart phone photo apps, this is the one I use least… and why? It’s a pretty handy little app! What are your favorite photo apps?

10. I was going to post a vlog today. I even shot a short video in the parking garage this morning. But you know what? There’s dim lighting and there’s creepy parking garage lighting. So, yeah. No go. Soon. Probably. Maybe. We’ll see.

And two weeks remain

Of summer, that is.

This morning, many of my friends are sending their children off for the first day of school – and some of them performed the first day of school rituals last week, or even earlier than that. But here, we have two more weeks. Two more weeks because of a tourism law, I’ve been told, that prevents Michigan public schools from starting school before Labor Day. A law apparently created to get Michigan families out for at least one more week of traveling and spending money in the Great Lakes state before saddling us with a school year schedule and confining us to our own little necks of the woods. Oh, had they only created a law to prevent gas prices being hiked way up before Labor Day, too – perhaps more people would travel and spend money and give the economy some love.

Ah, but I digress. And I don’t want to digress on economy and gas prices because surely someone will come and argue me down, and I don’t want to hold my own there, and besides I have a whole lot of opinion and if you come at me with “numbers” and “facts”, then, I guess you win, buckaroo.


We have two weeks until school starts.

This year feels different to me than years past, and I am kind of excited about that. It feels different because though I am doing some work from home projects, the bulk of my working time these days is spent outside of the home, in an office building. I still have a bit to learn about balance as far as trying to get my “at home” projects done — I’ve been trying more to work after bedtime for the kiddos (though as I type this, which may or may not be “work”, they are happily playing in the playroom and neither is screeching at the other and I feel comfortable getting things done while they are pleasantly occupied).

Previously, summer meant a massive juggling game. Kids home all day, work expecting me to be available and tied to a laptop for x hours a week and that severely limiting when we could go out and what we could do – and while I tried to maintain balance, now that I am working outside the home part time, I can see that I didn’t do such a great job of juggling. And that’s a bit of a tough pill to swallow.

Now, while I still look forward to the beginning of school it no longer feels like it is with the harried frustration of a mom trying to “do it all” – but with an excitement for my kids to get back into a routine (I think they need it), to make new friends, learn new things and to start new chapters.

I am grateful for the years I stayed home with my kids, and that working from home offered me a great scenario and opportunity to have what I often referred to as “the best of both worlds”. I wanted to be making money, be contributing, and to have projects and a life beyond being needed in my home — but I didn’t want to miss all the little moments that I was able to be present for because I had a flexible schedule – field trips, doctor’s appointments, class parties, and even beyond that – first steps, first words.

When The Princess was in daycare full time after she was born, I remember having a conversation with her babysitter: If she takes her first steps while she’s with you, please don’t tell me. I saw Pumpkin’s first steps. I saw when she rolled over the first time. All of those things, I was there for. And I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

But it was time for me to go back “into the real world” and just as they face their new beginnings in two weeks, mine was nearly a month ago. And while each day for me is a new adventure, and adapting and learning new things, as will be each day for them. I’m looking forward to sending them off to school on the first day – I’ll have to be late for work – with their new backpacks full of pencils and supplies. Part of me is so torn that I won’t be here when they get off the bus that day – that there are moments I am going to miss now – but… it’ll be okay.

New school years signal new beginnings and I’m excited for what is in store for my fourth grader and first grader. I think they’re going to have very good years. And it all begins in two weeks.

Thursday Ten: Just A Few More Days Edition

1. As I type this, today is 353 of my current 365 project. Whoa. Another year coming to an end, though I’ve already decided to keep on rolling and kick right back into YEAR FOUR of taking a picture a day starting September 1.

2. As the year draws to a close, I’m getting ready to put all 365 photos in a video – and I’m using stupid Windows Movie Maker (ugh) and there’s a song that though it’s converted to an MP3, it won’t import into the program. Why not? Any ideas? If you wanna help me with that, that’d be awesome. It is, of course, the one song I REALLY WANT in that darn thing.

3. So, what was up with the stilts on Project Runway last week? Meh.

4. Today, my sweet grandpa turns 85. He can’t hear a thing I say, but he’s he cutest old man ever. Love him. He’s always been one of my favorite people – he’s just a lot of fun and full of mostly positivity. EVERYONE loves my grandpa. He’s that kind of guy. When I was a kid and he would call us on the phone, the two of us would race to see who would say “GOTCHA!” first. I don’ t know why. And he always had Lifesavers. Still does. Happy birthday, Grandpa!

5. This afternoon, I was sitting in a conference room listening in on a webinar thingamabobber and staring out the window. Wonder when the last time that window had been cleaned was. It was COVERED in spider webs and there were huge spiders chasing each other. Kinda glad I’m not afraid of spiders.

6. My hair is long overdue for a trim – and I’m wondering, keep letting it grow or cut a few inches off? It’s getting really long – which is both a great thing and a “oh my gosh is my hair too long” thing.

7. Pumpkin has this thing lately where she picks a pet of the day from her billions of stuffed animals. I admire her ability to remember all of their names – but whoa, this is one crazy habit… especially when we are five minutes leaving the house because she hasn’t picked a pet of the day yet and she can’t pick that one because it’s a Golden Retriever and those all have to stay together and she can’t pick that one because it was her pet of the day yesterday and… Oy.

8. I haven’t worked out in two days which in turn has made me feel like garbage. I need those endorphins to feel human. I think I’m going through withdrawal.

9. I took my camera to work today so I could walk around taking pictures during lunch. It felt so good to be outside with my big girl camera instead of my point and shoot. I miss taking pictures just to take them – lately I feel rushed to shoot a picture of the day at day end because I’ve been so swamped. Boo.

10. Random question – you’re flipping a coin. In the air, you have to call it. What do you choose: heads or tails?

Weekly Winners – Long Time No See

It’s been a long time since I’ve participated with Lotus’s Weekly Winners – mostly because life gets busy – and with summer I’ve had moments where I’ve felt uninspired – like I wasn’t always taking the kind of fun shots I like to take. Sigh. Anyway, here’s a small peek at my week.




Hi y'all.

Thursday Ten: Don’t Mess With My Commute Edition

1. Soooo… President Obama was in West Michigan today. If you thought I was going to get all political up in this space, you don’t know me very well. Lemme just say, I was a teeny tiny bit concerned that Mr President’s return trip to the airport might get in the way of my evening commute. You don’t want to get in the way of my evening commute. But, fortunately… I think he took a helicopter back to the airport. And it was well before the 5 o’clock drive. Thank you, Mr President.

2. After a rotten night of sleep last night, I decided to try a 5 Hour Energy shot at work this afternoon. It didn’t work. It tasted awful, like it was melting the enamel off my teeth, and then it made my head feel weird, and then I got really queasy. So, uh, I was way worse off after taking it than I was before I took it. Evil crap.

3. It’s Project Runway night. Yay.

4. Twice this week I’ve gone shopping with my daughters to pick up new clothes for work. I just need them – my work at home attire doesn’t really translate to a professional office. Monday, I bought the shirt The Princess picked, last night I bought the shirt Pumpkin picked. One was distinctly more my style. Today’s shirt, as my mom said, “Doesn’t look like YOU at all.” Nope, it didn’t, but it was fun and funky and was on sale, so… whatever.

5. Being outside of the house means that I’ve had a bit of a change of scenery to take pictures of new places and new things. When I remember to bring my camera. My point and shoot is getting a lot more play these days because I haven’t felt like lugging my dslr into work every day. Maybe next week I’ll take it again.

6. Today I started teaching myself Adobe InDesign. It (along with PhotoShop) is on my computer, and the deparment uses it for a lot of stuff. Frankly, I didn’t do too badly with my first attempt at creating a document, so I’m pretty excited. And I hardly had to bug anyone (too much!) to figure out what I was doing.

7. Today my brother turns 37. Though I’ve always felt like the older sister, it’s nice to know that chronologically I’m STILL YOUNGER.

8. Just under six weeks until ArtPrize. Who’s excited? I AM. This piece was my favorite in last year’s Art Prize and didn’t even make the top ten. It’s called VESSEL and it’s by an artist named Amanda Katz. I went to see this piece at the Meijer Garden probably FIVE times over the few weeks of Art Prize. Loved it.
25 | 365

9. I had a manicure done a week and a half ago with the shellac polish that is not supposed to chip and is supposed to last two weeks. It was so chipped by Monday I peeled it all off. Now my poor fingernails are naked. So sad.

10. Has school started where you are? Seems like a lot of people were sending kids back to school this week – not in Michigan… we have another few weeks of summer.

Thursday Ten: My body is 96% water Edition

1. This week has been chaotic and good and tiring and crazy. I’m getting used to getting out of the door in the morning. I guess Pumpkin has made it easy because she never let me learn how to sleep in. I still don’t need to use an alarm in the morning.

2. I’m so hydrated. I don’t know when the last time I drank this much water has been. Working in an office has reminded me to keep on drinking water. Pretty sure I didn’t even hydrate this much on my 40-mile Avon walk. Yeah, I know. I should have.

3. Project Runway is back! Yeah, I’m such a nerd for PR (and Tim Gunn – mad mad love for Tim Gunn). I thought it was interesting the way they showed part of the designer selection process this season. I don’t recall them doing that before. If you’re hooked on the show (like I am), do you have any early favorites? Here’s hoping we don’t have a repeat of Granny Panties Gretchen this time around.

4. Remember when I said I wasn’t sure if I liked my cappuccino with soy? Well, I tried it on purpose. It’s good. So now I know… and knowing is half the battle.

5. Today is the last 9 p.m. sunset in Michigan and then….Fall is coming. I can’t say that I mind. Not at all.

6. My picture of the day has been slightly less interesting having spent the better part of the past few days in an office. I’ll work on making time to get out and about and shoot. I miss spending more time holding my camera – will have to remedy that right-quick.

7. Right now, a lot of my favorite people are in San Diego for BlogHer. If you’re one of ’em, you’re probably far too busy to read this post – but have fun, y’all!

8. It only took me two and three quarters days of work to figure out how to lower my chair so my knees weren’t smacking into my computer keyboard. Don’t you roll your eyes at me. Chairs are tricky.

9.  Saw “Crazy Stupid Love” over the weekend, and though admittedly, I’m not a Steve Carrell fan (at all, and no, I don’t watch the office) – I really enjoyed this movie. But I like movies like that – where not a lot of stuff is necessarily happening, but it’s about people. Give me a movie about people evolving over one where stuff is blowing up any day (See also: Good Will Hunting, When Harry Met Sally, and other stuff not directed by Michael Bay).

10. After extensive studies, I have determined that Q-doba > Chipotle. Don’t hate.