Wednesday, September 26, 2012

6, 7, & 8 months...where have I been?!

Looking for my head...

This past summer was a blur.  Stress, upon more stress.  Just like your awkward middle school years you wish you could forget...

As for stress I can tell you how my body handles it.  FOOD.  Mainly sweets.  It has taken me longer to lose the baby weight with baby #2.  Sure, you can chalk it up to having zero time to get any exercise (weight lifting for sure...18 lb infant and 25 lb toddler), but when you take into consideration the amount of weight I've lost in nearly 4 weeks, I'm probably on the same weight loss track with my 1st kid or better!  And our scale broke during the move, so I really have no idea how much I've lost.  All I know is the clothes are getting looser!  And the coveted pants I want to wear again I can get snapped AND zipped...but excuse the muffin top....there are a few more laps around the neighborhood to be walked before they fit comfortably. 

Why in 4 weeks?  It has been 4 weeks since we moved into *OUR* home.  Not my parents' home.  Not the rental.  But OUR home.  The first home Nate and I picked out as a married couple....for our family.  The first home that FITS us.  All 4 of us.  And all my photography stuff.  And all my craft stuff.  And Nate's baseball cards from childhood.  Aw, I can't make it seem like it is MY house...he does have some 'junk' taking up space. 

But I digress...there's just no better feeling than arriving at your final destination.  Especially when it is home...well, our home here on Earth.  It feels like the stress has just melted away.  I really cannot fathom how children handle it.  I taught at an elementary school which had a pretty transit of school district, in/out state and country.  Even with my 2 year old son I could tell he wasn't settled.  He didn't mind so much living with his Nana and Papa.  But I could tell he didn't like the rental home at all.  He had all his 'stuff' to make it his room.  His toys.  His bed. His blankets.  His pillow.  Everything.  But somehow he knew it wasn't 'home.'  For two months straight he would wake up every night and be scared of something.  For two months straight in the morning and want to go 'bye bye.'  He didn't care where.  We could drive around New Circle Road, hit up the McD's drive through.  He just didn't want to be in that house.  Fortunately it was summer and we had the family pool pass - so we spent several days at the pool this summer.  Or Target.  Eating popcorn.  I've created a monster now.  When we pull into Target's parking lot he squeal's with delight, " opcorn!" 

And I digress again...but since we moved into our new home, he hasn't once begged to go 'bye bye.'  Somehow he knows.  And what about Lauren?  Ha, I think she could care less! I do not believe all the change affected her like it affected the other 3 Mitchells. 

And speaking of Lauren, here are her 6, 7, and 8 month pictures.  Honestly 6/7 were taken together...pretty much two weeks apart because like I said...that's how life was this summer.  What a story to tell her when she gets older.  And she turns 9 months more pictures to come soon!  Yay!

6 months

7 months.
Seriously, can you tell she wasn't 'feelin' it' just as much as I was?!  They aren't great pictures, but the documentation is complete.

8 months...back in the groove! 

Showing off my 2 toofies!

Mommy's favorite.  Picture, that is.  ;)

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Hand wash in warm water with mild soap

Good thing boys are washable.

You want me to do what, Dad?!

This is cool, Dad!

I can't believe you're telling me to do this!  Your AWESOME, Dad!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Lesson Learned

Through life we learn lots of lessons.  The same goes for owning your own business.  Here are some lessons learned since I started my business.

1.  As soon as you upload images from a session, not only save them on the computer, but back them up in a separate location.  For weddings, also burn to disc.  You may also want to keep the memory card until all editing is complete and discs are in the bride/groom's hands. 
2.  Keep all original image files until customer is satisfied with final images.
3.  Require payment prior to ordering customer prints - I've been stuck footing the bill before...OUCH!
4.  Require a nonrefundable payment for scheduling mini sessions.  If someone doesn't show up for their session that means I just lost the opportunity to earn $100+ and sit around with nothing to do for 30 minutes...
5.  Have a charged spare battery or battery cartridge to hold AA and AAA batteries.
6.  Bring extra memory cards to a session.
7.  Have an extra camera for weddings.

8.  And now another lesson I've learned...have an extra camera handy for ANY session.  All of these lessons and the last one I mentioned I've learned first hand.  I was in the middle of shooting an engagement session.  For a couple who drove to Lexington, KY from Pennsylvania.  And they only come into town 2-3 times a year.  And my camera stopped working.  In the middle of the shoot.  Heart racing, sweaty palms, I'm sure I was fire engine red from embarrassment.  I followed the directions prompted on the screen to remedy the problem, but my camera still didn't work.  Fortunately my parents live near by and have the same camera I have.  Whew...a 5 minute trip to their house to borrow the camera.  Swap out my battery (but not my battery, lens and memory card.  Fortunately I already save my personal settings on their camera as well so I was ready to shoot!  This mishap set me back about 15 minutes, but we made up the time for the shoot.  Whew...I was able to finish the shoot without a hitch! 

It felt good to get the shoot completed, but I had some trouble-shooting ahead of me.  Apparently error 099 could mean a few different things.  I browsed through photography chat forums to see if anybody else had been given this error.  There were a few things to try to eliminate certain problems, but none seemed to work.  I gave up and decided it was time to take 'er into Murphy's Camera.  I had printed off the images when the camera started to malfunction, perhaps the images would help to diagnosis the problem.  It did, their staff thought it was a shutter blade which had broken.  Such a little piece, but a BIG bill to swallow.  The store would have to ship my camera back to Canon to have it serviced.  It would cost a few hundred dollars AND I'll be without my camera for 4 weeks.  Double OUCH! 

A few hundred dollars and a camera gone for a month. Boo!  There's the option of upgrading my camera body...because as you know models are pretty much obsolete as soon as they roll off the assembly line since the next bigger and better model is already in the works. I was going to upgrade at the end of the year.  Looks like I'll be doing it sooner.  So I guess this is my way of figuring out I waited too long to have that extra camera handy for ALL occasions. 

Lesson #8.  And here are the images.  Oh, it makes me cringe when I see them!

No, it is NOT my shoulder strap.  :(

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Take THAT, Pinterest ~ Wedding gifts

So I heard about a lady who has a blog who tries just about anything she finds on Pinterest.  Some are awesome ideas, some not-so-much.  Anyway, I decided it was high time I actually contribute something rather than borrowing ideas ALL the time.  By the way, the 'Thank you, Pinterest' post will come later.  Most of my Pinterest pins regard the home and the kids' rooms.  C'mon...we just moved into the new house a week ago, like I've had time to paint their rooms and hand make all the artsy-fartsy stuff I'd like to showcase.  I have however, picked out paint chips.  I step down...a few more to go!

Anyway, here are my Pinterest contributions...Here are my shower and wedding gifts for my cousin's upcoming nuptials.  Market tote embroidered by Stephanie Parker with My Pink Tulip.  I use her for all my monogramming needs...other than Joni with Thirty-one gifts

I used the Market tote as a 'gift box,' if you will, for the mason jars I gave her.  My cousin's home has a warm, rustic theme, so what better way to decorate than with mason jars!

Each mason jar was wrapped with burlap and had some sort of decoration such as crocheted flower, bow, braid or button. 

Inside one of the mason jars I printed off little cards with ideas on how to use the jars.  Drinking glasses, food storage, candle holders...just to name a few...

All stacked and lookin' pretty! 

I also had Stephanie monogram some towels for me.  As a newlywed I loved seeing our new last name, initials and monogram on everything! 

Along with the towels I purchased a hamper - to use as a hamper and gift wrap! 

I used real ribbon to tie a bow. 

I threaded the ribbon through the hamper handles and up over the top.  Nothing fancy with the ribbon tying...perhaps Pinterest has some tutorials on ribbon tying!  ;) 

So here you have it...two ideas for shower, wedding, house warming, or whatever gifts!

This mini photo session also helped me cross something off our 'farm bucket list.'  Once we were down to one week before leaving our rental on 20 acres with free range chickens, I realized there were some things I wanted to do, or do again and document with video or pics.  I loved this window seat in the rental house.  However, it was such a tight space it wasn't very realistic to get Isaac to sit still enough for a picture.  Not to mention Lauren is just too little to sit on the ledge...not safe!  So I was able to use this sweet little space for these pictures!  Too bad the new house doesn't have a window seat....yet...mwahahahaha!