Thursday, March 26, 2009

Make Your Ears Happy

My friend, Lee Ellen, just uploaded the two songs she wrote and recorded that I mentioned in one of my past posts

Check out "A House to Clean" and "How Should I Feel" on her MySpace page:

Do yourself a favor and make your ears happy by listening to some Lee Ellen goodness...

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Upcoming Adventure

So I have exciting news... I have a commercial project coming up that I am really excited about. I was approached by my friends Lisa and Becca at CAS Wall Decor to shoot their new product line for the season at their manufacturing plant in Orlando, Florida in April. 

CAS stands for Creativity Assortment Style. They offer a huge selection of framed imagery, a mirror collection, and other decorative items. I'll be getting to shoot their product line for their catalog and website. I'll spend a few days in Florida working, and possibly making a day of it at Walt Disney World with Becca. I've never been before, and it's on my life list, (and I helped send a few hundred Wish Kids there during my days working at Make-A-Wish) so I hope I get to cross it off my list of things to do... Wish me luck!

Thursday, March 19, 2009


I realize I've been M.I.A. with photo session pix, and I apologize if that's what you're here for... but that will be changing shortly. With the weather getting nicer outside, my calendar is starting to fill up a bit. YAY! (My allergies, on the other hand, are not appreciating the weather change as much... My throat is a wee bit sore!)

Work in the world of AMFAM has been insane these past few weeks, and I have been slightly scatterbrained (huge understatement), but my goal for these next few weeks is to get my life organized... starting with taxes. I've been putting it off, but alas, it must be done. And soon. It might not be as bad as I'm dreading, but if there is any kind of refund involved, you can bet your booty that Jen is buying a new wardrobe. Yes sir, new shoes, new jeans, new fun shirts, new handbags, the whole sha-bang. My closet is very malnourished at the moment and something must be done about it to plump it up...

My smilies and frownies of the week:


* Got my new mortgage statement in the mail, and my monthly payment went down $11 buckaroos. yeehaw!
* The sun is out. The weather is amazing. I am inspired to clean up and organize. That just doesn't happen for me in the wintertime...
* Church was awesome on Sunday. 340 of my family in one room! 
* Work = very busy = very good.
* Long walks and good talks with friends...
* God is faithful.


* I have this nagging feeling that I'm forgetting something...
* Sore yucky throat. Hope it holds up for Sunday singin'. I may have man voice...
* The garage didn't clean itself like I asked it to...
* Ate out way too much this week. arghh!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Words of Affirmation

I'm a big Words of Affirmation fan. I like to give words of affirmation because I know it is important to lift up and encourage others, but more importantly... I LOVE to receive them. Words of affirmation are how I feel loved and appreciated by those I care about. (What's your love language?)

I got a random voice message from a long-time friend last night. She said that the only reason she was calling me was because she wanted to let me know that many times she has taken my friendship for granted, but that she wanted me to know how much she appreciated my spiritual guidance, prayers, and friendship through the years. She said that I meant a lot to her and that she thought I needed to know that for another week. She ended by saying that I affect a lot of people in my life and then she thanked me again for being there for her.

This is me receiving words of affirmation. --> :) I think my heart smiled when I listened to that message... It meant so much to me to hear those words. So many times we don't realize how our actions positively affect those closest to us...

Have you encouraged someone today?

Words to live by: 2 Timothy 4:2
Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

GarageBand Junkie

I was officially introduced to GarageBand last night on my Mac... and I'm in love. For those of you who don't know, GarageBand allows you to play and record your own music and lay your own tracks right on your computer. Pretty impressive. And it's able to generate some pretty good-quality stuff.

My girls Lee Ellen and Kacey came over last night to work on a great song called One Voice by the Wailin' Jennys, and 4 takes later, we had a pretty good track. Since then, I've already spent countless hours laying down piano, guitar, and vocal tracks for some of my favorite songs. It's slightly addictive. And I'm so excited. I've always wanted to write music and lyrics, but every time I've tried it's like pulling teeth, with nothing but painful results. But this... this gives me a glimmer of hope that maybe, just maybe, the creative juices will flow, and I can get something together that I am proud of.

Wish me luck.

Monday, March 9, 2009

A Look Into the Past

My Grandma, Alverta, turned 93 last Sunday. (Ninety-three years is a looong time, FYI.) She was born in 1916. She grew up wearing feed sack dresses and playing with corn husk dolls. She walked to school for miles in the snow. She raised chickens. As an adult, she worked in a chocolate factory (just like in that one "I Love Lucy" episode).  She survived the Great Depression. She also worked in a factory that made parts for war equipment. She met my grandpa, who immigrated here from Germany, and they fell in love and got married and had my dad. She stands at a whopping 5 feet tall and 93 pounds. To this day, it still irritates her that she has dark hair with a few grays, rather than a full head of white hair like the other ladies at church. 

This is just a brief glance into her 93 years on earth.

There's a lot more about her that is still a mystery to me, but each time I'm with her, more truth is revealed. 

As I was spending time with Grandma this weekend, she pulled out a photo album that she treasures. On the very first page was a picture of a beautiful 8-month-old baby girl taken in 1916. She was outfitted in her best white dress. The picture was in perfect condition. It was a picture of her. 

Her picture reminded me of why I love photography. A picture has the ability to capture life and emotion, history and hope. And through the years, even without words or explanation, its image can still speak powerfully to those who are able to view it with their own eyes.

Capture. The. Moment.

Grandma at 4 years old.

My great-grandparents sitting in our front yard. 
I grew up in the house my great-grandfather Witte built,
 and my parents still live there.

My grandma in the back, with my great-grandparents.
Again, this picture is in my family's yard. 
We still have the cellar and the shed there.

A picture I took of Grandma last year. 
My favorite photo of her.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Glass Jar Photo Frames

I came across this idea today for a new twist on photo frames: See directions at I might make some of these magically appear at my house...

Smilies & Frownies

Here's my list of today's Smilies and Frownies. Smilies outweigh the Frownies. Woot.


*The sun is out. Woke up to chirping birds.
*Good hair day.
*Warm enough to wear a skirt. And cute boots.
*Early Payday.
*The Boss is gone for two weeks. Party!! (Not really, but it's fun to act like it...)
*Photography projects coming up.
*The AmazingFantabulousness of Photoshop
*AMFAM bonus + Dog/house sitting = Paying off debt = Home improvements coming soon!
*Rio Branco, Brazil in August. Polishing up on my Portuguese.
*Music. Singing. Practicing guitar. Getting callouses.
*No Mr. Grumpies today in the insurance world.
*44 oz. Diet Coke
*I heart my friends. 'Specially the silly ones.


*Missing church at River Bluff this Sunday. Boo. Going home to A.C. to celebrate Grandma's 93rd birthday. Yay. Yay balances out the Boo.
*Messy kitchen.
*Still have to get my car's boo-boo fixed.
*Need to go grocery shopping.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

More River Bluff Kiddos

Here are some more kiddos from church that I photographed a few weeks ago. Altogether now... say Awwwwwww.


Why, you ask, am I WOOOOHOOOing? Well, people, Jen just made her last student loan payment to MOHELA, and it feels GRrreat!! Keeping my scholarships all four years at SMSU definitely helped out in the student loan department, so I didn't start with a huge amount of debt. I absolutely hate having debt, so I am excited to have this yucky monthly payment out of my life forever!!

With all the extra wads of cash, I'll have now, I foresee some home improvements in my near future...