Saturday, June 30, 2012

Before and After

A few weeks ago we went for a bike ride before bed and I brought my camera since the sun was low in the sky and was casting that beautiful evening glow on everything it touched. Everytime we bike anywhere, I am constantly thinking, "Oh, I need to photograph that!". There is so much that my mind will perceive as photo-worthy. But then when I get the capture, it isn't as beautiful as I see it in real life. So that's when Photoshop comes in handy.

It's so easy to over edit a photo and make it look almost worse than sooc. But, in some instances (like this one) the image needed a LOT of help. With people, less is usually more. But landscapes, in my opinion, open up a whole knew world for editing. This one in particular. It probably took me an hour to finish. And it still isn't perfect. I won't give away the areas that wouldn't pass if I were to put this on a canvas print (which is what I intend to do - if I EVER can finish my website and get my little business going). But in my attempt to edit it to a more professional standard, those flaws would absolutely need to be fixed.

Through my eyes, the edited image on the right is SO much better. There is so much more depth and color and I love how it's got that dreamy softness about it. What do you think?

surry with the fringe on top

Today was HOT and humid. I was planning on painting but since it was so beautiful out, it seemed a shame to waste it inside a stuffy bedroom. It's all taped up and ready to go, it can wait until the next rainy day, which looks like it might be tomorrow.

Instead, we called up Gram and told her to get her booty out of bed because we were going on a picnic. We thought it would be fun to rent a surry at Lindenwood and then let the kids play at the park. So we picked up Gram and all her stuff (I swear, she is worse than toting around a baby) and headed to the park.

We had a nice short picnic - due to bugs, let the kids play for a while and then were off on the surry around the park. Usually when the three girls, Andreas and I go, it's a workout. Today, it was hell. Not that I had a bad time, only that it's a lot of work peddaling a surry with a 74 year old out of shape partner. At one point, Eden asked her if she was out of breath because she was huffing and puffing and could hardly talk. To which she replied very nonchalant, "No, this is just how I breathe."

Halfway through the ride, Eden and Gram changed places. So with Gram in between us, Eden and I peddaled our hearts out through the park. It was quite the workout! I was sweating bullets. But it was really a great time. Lots of giggles. Then we topped off the afternoon of fun with a trip to Tutti Frutti where I enjoyed the soy version of the frozen yogurt. Still magically delicious.

It is becoming more apparent to me lately that there is something wrong with my gut. I might be lactose intolerant. I'm not positive, but in order to rule it out, I need to stop eating dairy for a while to see if my symtoms get better. This is something that is going to be very difficult for me because I like love my cheese. I rarely drink cow's milk anymore, only if I forgot to buy almond milk and I'm jonesing for cereal. But avoiding cheese and butter and ice cream and yogurt is going to be a sad challenge for me, if in fact it is a lactose issue. Like that week I went without any wheat or products containing wheat, you start to realize how much stuff actually contains it. What a pain to have to be so aware of everything you put into your mouth, but even a bigger pain to eat something that causes such gastrointestinal distress. And all the time I've spent poking fun of my husband's gut's karma biting me in the butt!

Sorry, I don't know why I thought you'd be interested in hearing about my gut health. I went off there.

Anyway, we got home and the girls drew pictures while I vacuumed out the van. Then I made wheat rotini with red sauce for me and potato gnocchi with a creamy buttery rich cheese sauce for the girls. Of course I had to taste the white sauce I made (from scratch - no recipe) and it was SO damn delicious that I had to eat some of the gnocchi with it. And I had stomach pains all evening. SEE! I told you how hard avoiding dairy was going to be! I love food, what can I say?

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Just a thought...

If you are an architect, (as I'm sure there are plenty who read my blog daily) here's a bit of advice for you:

Do not plan a home to have the master walk in closet only accessible through the master bathroom. Because chances are, when you need to get dressed, your husband, who claims he doesn't suffer from IBS, is holding up the bathroom for what seems like hours on end. I'm seriously thinking of hammering my way through the wall and creating a new door.

Thank you.

Beach bummin'

Went to the beach today. It was hot, 90 degrees, but cloudy so it was perfect. Apparently, Eden doesn't like going to Buffalo River because of all the bugs in the water and she says the sand at Detroit Lakes is softer. So we ended up going to DL. And we had the entire beach to ourselves. I guess mid week on a cloudy day is the time to go. Better than fighting the crowd at the pool, I guess. Of course we had to drive an hour to get there, but that's alright. I am looking forward to spending a few hot summer days at the pool though. Quick drive AND I get free admission for being a gym member ;)

We brought our favorite beach books. Ladybug Girl At The Beach and How Will We Get To The Beach. Of course we didn't read them, they were having too much fun hunting for shells and splashing around.

Tonight I would love to take them to see Brave. We just saw Madagascar 3 a week or so ago and the previews looked good. I think it's a perfect night for pizza and a movie. We'll have to try and talk Pappa into it.

Tomorrow, Eden gets 5 teeth pulled. Hope she does ok. They are just baby teeth that are being stubborn so it shouldn't be that bad. I remember getting teeth pulled when I was a kid. I swear I would have gone again and again just to get the gas. The feeling of floating in that dentist chair. "oh, you want to stick a needle in my mouth? Sure! Crank up the gas while you're at it! Bring out the drill too. Let's have a party!" See, the dentist was killing my brain cells long before I had a chance to do it. I blame him for my stupidity.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

walking on the clouds

Eden and I were sitting outside one night and she looked up at the clouds and said,

"Those two clouds look like people. It's you and me, Pom, walking on the clouds." My kids call me Pom. Pom wonderful, to be precise. Just like the juice.

But she was right, they did look like two people. Her and I, walking on the clouds together. She is always telling me how much she loves me. Always calling, "I sit by Pom" at dinner time. Forever wanting to sleep on the floor next to my side of the bed. Just always thinking in terms of her and I. Whenever she talks about future plans, I'm in them. It's nice to feel so loved by a child.

One day, we will walk on the clouds together. But hopefully not until after we have both lived a long full life.

Monday, June 11, 2012


I've been playing around with some editing styles in photoshop (my absolute favorite thing to do, next to being behind the camera). I thought I'd share some of my results. I like faded, hazy, textured.  I like bright, vibrant, crisp. I like it all. For me, the hardest part is trying to decide on the final outcome of a photograph. Sometimes I will have 6 different looks for one photo because I can't decide on the one I like the best. Maybe this is why there is hardly any space left on the computer!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

ah summer....

Had a BBQ on Friday so we could all visit with my aunt and uncle who drove up from New Mexico.

What a beautiful day and evening. A nice night to sit around the fire too. It was a blast. I have the best family - so much laughter and good times with them.

Today we braved the heat and headed over to Rib Fest. I had some really delicious chicken (no, I didn't have ribs at rib fest) and a few reeeeeeally greasy cheese curds. What I really had my heart set on was a funnel cake. I haven't had one in many years. But the cheese curds sort of ruined it for me. We stopped at Tutti Fruit on the way home. Ever been there? It's fantastic.

 Then we came home and took a nap.

ah summer.....

Friday, June 8, 2012


This spring we had 3 beautiful blue robin eggs in a nest on our front porch. Two of them were stolen and when only one remained, we were scared it would be snatched up as well. But we were hopeful that the mama bird would do her best to protect her last baby.

Eventually, we didn't hear wings flapping outside our window anymore and were certain that mama robin abandoned her nest. We waited and watched and listened for many days, but she never did return. It was really sad. We were all hoping to see some baby birds in that nest. The nests in our yard over the past few years have not produced many live birds. It makes me wonder how any birds make it into this world at all. Kind of reminds me of those sea turtles that hatch on the beach and then get snatched up by birds on their way to the ocean. Not many survive.

Eden has always been so motherly and kind hearted. She was so excited to see the eggs and so hopeful that we would get to watch baby birds grow. Once we realized that the mama bird was not coming back, she was devastated. She wanted so badly to take the egg inside and keep it warm herself so it would hatch. But we wouldn't let her. I'm pretty dim when it comes to birds but I'm pretty sure if there was a living being inside this egg, it would have hatched by now.

So Eden so lovingly made a grave for her Turbit. That's what she named it. This name actually has a little story behind it, but maybe I'll save that for another day. Below is the picture of Turbit in a hollowed out coconut shell (George - also a story) with memorial flowers. Such a fine resting place for a baby bird who never got a chance to fly.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Lazy day

Yesterday was THE best day ever! Gorgeous weather, Saturday, picnic....need I say more? I so love beautiful summer days when you have nothing to do but enjoy the day with the people you love. We took the kids and the dog and had a picnic at one of our "spots" just down the road. It's not the most scenic and serene place, it's just a little boat landing, but it's got lots of big trees and grass and it's more exciting than the back yard. And it takes less than 5 minutes to get there. Sometimes we like to take day trips to various wooded areas and state parks for our summer picnics. Since living in Denmark and taking many bike rides and walks through the forest we lived near, we really appreciate being together in nature. It's such a nice break from "city" living.

As you will notice from the pictures below, I gave up some control of my precious camera for a while. Hanna took a picture of me that was incredibly hideous and I was whining about it and trying to grab my camera away but then she said, "But we have hardly any pictures of you, mom" and it made me think....

If I died tomorrow, would I really want them to have only a few silly photos of Pom Wonderful (that's what they call me) I let them go free with my camera. I had a bazillion pics to go through, much of them the same, but it was cool to see their skills.

Notice Lizzy barking at us? Haha...silly dog.

We hammed it up for a few pictures.

Emma and Eden spent a lot of time chasing butterflies and even caught a few! And released them of course.

It was the most spectacular day. And today, we are POOPED OUT! All that fun in the sun I guess.