Thursday, March 31, 2011

Thankful Thursday #2

Ok, so I got some bad and frustrating news this morning in relation to school. So, I really need to focus on this list today. I am blessed.

Thankful Thursday

1)Supportive family. Wouldn't make it without them!

Here's a few of them :)

2)Books. I love to read. Any suggestions on my next read?

3)Paid time off. Boy have I needed it!

4)Video games. It's actually a good way to connect with the teen of the house. When we can agree on something to play that is. 'Cause me and Black Ops...don't get along.

5)My son being four. Something about him changed since he turned four. I can't quite place it. But he's smarter and even funnier. I think four will be more fun that three was!

4th birthday

6)In between seasons. I love the weather in between! It's not too warm and not too cold.

7)My new carpet cleaner. It's made the house bearable again! Dogs and kids have made it not so pleasant. This new carpet cleaner has given me my house back! If you're in the market for one, we bought the Hoover Steam Vac Spin Scrub. I also recommend the Hoover cleaning solution that comes with it. It's worked better than the others I've tried.

8)Air freshener. I live with stinky boys. 'Nuff said.

9)My co-workers. I really do work with some great people. There are a few, and I think they know who they are, that really make a difference in how my day goes. And with upcoming schedule changes, I know one of those people will be around less! Luckily, I have all the rest who help make the day go smoother (because you can't count on the patients for that!)

A couple of my fab co-workers.

10)Statistics being over! I passed the final with an A and now it's time for physics, ugh. But let's focus on Statistics being over!

Let's make it a great week!


Wednesday, March 30, 2011

WW-You Capture-Vibrance

So, since I passed my final (90% oh yea!), and life has been going a little slower. I don't have a whole lot to say! So today's post will be a little more on the wordless wednesday side. Nothing wrong with a little change, right?

The theme at You Capture this week is vibrance. On our walk through the neighborhood, Brandon and I saw lots of vibrant color! The weather is getting warmer. People are starting to plant flowers and things are starting to bloom.

So that's what I went for.

By the way, these were all taken with my camera phone. In other words, not the greatest pics of all time. Also, none of these flowers are mine. I do not have a green thumb whatsoever!

All edits were done with Picasa and Picnik.

Hope you all are having a great week!

Purple is my favorite color. Couldn't miss a chance to catch it!

This one is my favorite! The color is blinding! It's gorgeous. And also purple, so of course I love it! These flowers are planted around a stop sign in someones yard. I love that they decorated it!

Someone had on a very vibrant shirt that day too!

I had to do a lot of editing to this to make the flying petals (seeds? what the heck do you call it?) show. I love this picture because I've been taking shots of him doing this for years. He can finally do it himself! My little man is growing up :)

Check out more vibrance at the You Capture link below. And more wordless, wordish, wordless posts at the other links!




Wordish Wednesday

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Birthday Bash!

Busy, busy week! I still have one major event (statistics final exam) to survive this week and then I can say I made it!

One reason I've been busy was preparing for Brandon's 4th birthday. We had his birthday party at Chuck E. Cheese this past Sunday. We've been putting off this kind of party until now, but it seems that a Chuck E. Cheese party is a rite of passage. A necessary event in one's childhood, so to speak. So, we did it. And he loved it! Everyone seemed to have had a good time, even the older kids (yea, and I do mean parents!).

I figured that there could be no better representation of YOUTH, than a kid having a blast at his Chuck E. Cheese birthday party. So for this week's theme over at You Capture, I am prepared.

I must add a side note. I'm sure you photography moms will understand my devastation. In all the craziness of getting ready for this party, I forgot to pack extra batteries for the camera! My camera died before the party even started. Luckily, I had my new phone which has a great camera and was able to get a few good shots. Even better was when my mom-in-law loaned me some batteries later in the party. I was able to make up for the lack of shots in some ways, but I know I missed a lot of memories, which makes me sad. Hopefully my mom-in-law got some good pics that will fill in the gaps!

So here we go, some pics from the party!

Didn't know my camera would get decent shots. Good to know :)

A gift from his Nanny

You know that pizza is calling your name.

We had a good day!

Thanks for stopping by! Please leave me some comment love and feedback on my pictures! Also check out the sites below for more pictures or blog fun!

the long road


Wordish Wednesday


Thursday, March 17, 2011

Thankful Thursday #1

In what feels like a "Get to Know Nicole," I tell the top ten things I'm thankful for this week.

Top 10 this week (in no particular order):

1) My son. Two days ago, my precious boy turned 4! I'm so thankful that he is happy and healthy and playful and smart and, get the point. I have been blessed with a super, awesome kid that God made just for me to raise. He is exactly what I need. Just the right amount of nice and just the right amount of naughty.

Kenny and I on our 4th wedding anniversary

2) My husband, Kenny. Ok, I admit it. I take him for granted. He takes care of us, provides for us, sacrifices so he can spoils us. He is a good father, a strong support, and a major factor in my growth. And too I often forget how lucky I am to have him.
3) People and/or events that provide an eye-opening experience. Sometimes people or events come into our lives to make us realize the things we should be THANKFUL for. It's important to not only recognize these things for what they are, but to be thankful for them as well. I have recently had people come into my life that have made me realize how good I've got it, particularly related to my husband.

4) Photography. My stress reliever! No matter what I'm stressing about, 9 out of 10 times, photography will help me forget it for awhile. Picking up that camera and looking for art in the world, helps me relax and focus on the beauty around me.

5) My job. As stressful, angering, and saddening as my job can be, I have learned so much about people, about myself, and about the world. I have been humbled by the lives of my patients, their struggles, their successes. And I have grown in ways I never thought possible, simply by walking into that building everyday.

6) Cozy socks! Ok, this may seem silly. But these warm, fuzzy socks just make my life better. No, seriously. And not just because my hubby likes it cold and I'm too cold all the time. But there is just a real since of comfort when I slide those socks on. It's almost as good as a hot bath.

7) Facebook. Yea, I know, there's plenty of things about this social networking thing that we should NOT be thankful for. However, there is some good in it that I'm thankful for. I recently found out what my favorite thing about facebook is. After the devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan, I worried about a friend who lives there. I had no clue how to contact her, aside from facebook (and skype), to see if her and her family were ok. When I signed on and she had posted a reassuring message that they were fine and far away from the affected areas, a weight was lifted off. How THANKFUL I (and many others!) were to see that. And love it or hate it, Facebook provided us with that.

8) Misty. Could God have provided me with a better friend and confidant? I think not! She listens to me rant and rave about whatever particular issue is on my mind at the time. And I'm sure she gets tired of listening to me sometimes, but she never shows it. She gives me great advice, "therapizing" as needed, tough love (also as needed), and a friendship that survives distance and time. My goal is always to be as good of a friend to her as she is to me. Personally, I don't think I'm up to par, but I try!

9) Photo Challenges! I haven't done too many so far. But since I started When You Wish Upon A Star, I've discovered many! I've got them all mapped out and try to do at least one a week. These events have inspired and challenged me and my photography skills. It's exactly what I wanted! So let me give a big shout out and thanks to the bloggers at I Should Be Folding Laundry, The Paper Mama, The Long Road to China, Twisted Fate Photography, I Heart Faces, and Trendy Treehouse for providing motivation and creative ways to improve our photography!

When You Wish Upon A Star
10) This blog! I never thought I could be a blogger. I've tried in the past, but my daily ramblings on life were boring me. I started looking at blogs again and realized a common theme. The most successful and fun to read blogs are ones where the blogger talks about things they enjoy, whatever it may be! So I thought, well, what do I love? What do I do that is interesting and other people would enjoy hearing about? It hit like a bolt of lighting out of nowhere. Photography, of course. And so I changed my blog and When You Wish Upon A Star was created. And though slightly stressful, I love the opportunity to share what I love and get feedback on how to do it better. I'm thankful for every comment. And I'm so thankful to the community of photography mom bloggers out there. I realized I'm a part of a large group of very talented women who can teach me so much! It felt good to find my place and be a part of something that I think is important and valid. So thank you bloggers for your support and teaching!

And that's a wrap.

WOW! I had a lot to say. If you survived this super, long blog post- Thank you for reading. Now, you deserve a nap!

Oh, and Happy St. Patrick's Day!


For future reference, I will shorten these Thankful posts in the future! I guess this was a long way to get to know me and next time, I'll keep it short and sweet :)

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

WW- You Capture- Emotions- Black & White

Ok, EMOTIONAL this week!

But not in a bad way :) Just another opportunity to pull out the camera! The topic for You Capture this week is Emotions in black & white. Here's my entries:

So sometimes at bedtime, Brandon wants me to lay down with him for a little bit. I usually say no because it just keeps him awake longer. He gives me a fake cry and sad face.
Pitiful, right?

And sometimes I give in (purely selfish, all for the cuddle time) and lay down with him. And it makes him so happy.


Gotta love that little man. Who, by the way, turned 4 yesterday!

Check out the other entries at You Capture, more black and white photos at The Long Road to China and more blogs at Supermom!


the long road

Wordish Wednesday

Thanks for stopping by! Leave me some comment love and feedback on my photos!


Monday, March 14, 2011

Photo Challenge - Sun Flare

So the first time I did a photo challenge, I took a picture of a sun flare. And here comes I Heart Faces with a sun flare photo challenge. Too bad my photo didn't have a face. Oh well, a reason to pull out the camera and get creative! It was late in the day when my son and I got outside to play (and take pictures). The sun was so high in the sky, it was hard to get it in the shot. So, like I said, I got creative! Please excuse my sweet, messy boy. We were painting before this picture was taken and he got it all over him! Ahh, boys. :) Here's my entry:

Come participate in the challenge (it closes Tuesday @ 9pm CST). And check out some other great sun flares here:


Thursday, March 10, 2011

Picasa Love!

I'm late! Wednesday post on a Thursday!

Ok, so I'm also a little late on this notion. I mean, it's just a big, fat, DUH moment. But I LOVE Picasa! I downloaded it last week and barely played with it, thinking it was just really Picnik, and I was already using that. And then I had some pictures to edit and I played around with the Picasa editing tools and WOAH! It's awesome! And my favorite part, it's easy and fast and don't forget FUN!! Below are some examples of the editing I did.

The back story on these photos: My cousin, Dana, and her two boys came down to Georgia for a short stay. They live in North Carolina. We had not seen each other in YEARS!! We had never met each others children. We took the boys to Kangazoom in Smyrna. It's an inflatable bounce house play center. We had a blast! It was super fun and great exercise. It was great to see my cousin again and bond with her boys! We can't wait to see them again.

Here's the original. I was laying down shooting pics from inside the inflatable bounce house, so things are crooked and off-center. And for the record, I do not take great pics indoors, so even more reason to love Picasa!
Here's the edited version. I was able to straighten it some, which also zooms in on the subjects. You lose some picture quality, but I think it was worth it. FYI- I LOVED THIS TOOL! I fixed the lighting some, but this was about as good as it was going to get. Models: Dana, Tyler.

Original. Off center, dark and too far away from the subjects to enjoy.
Edited. Much easier to see and much cuter! Models: Tyler, Brandon

Edited. Cropped to focus on subject and lighting and colors improved. Model: Tyler

Edited. Cuts out some of the distracting background, to focus on the subject. Model:Zach

Original. The subject of this picture is barely noticable with all the other distractions in the picture.
Edited. Much better :) Model: Brandon

Note: Since I like to be honest about my photos. All the pictures were edited with red-eye remover as well, but for some reason the originals do not reflect this fact. Therefore, I must say it's possible that other edits may have occurred and saved to original without my knowledge. So, to the best of my knowledge, the pictures listed as original are original, with minimal editing.

Here are some more fun (and edited!) photos from our fun day at Kangazoom! And for those of you in Georgia, I would highly recommend Kangazoom. It is an inexpensive way to have some great fun with your kids. Parents are free! They also do birthday parties!

And for a late entry into You Capture- Body Parts. Here's a body part I love to see! A BIG SMILE on my little man's face while he's running, jumping, and having so much fun!

I hope you enjoyed the pics! If you have any advice on using Picasa to edit photos, I would love to have your input! I'm still learning about it! Is there other editing software that you prefer? What do you recommend?

Wordish Wednesday