Click Away!

Thursday, April 3, 2014 with 1 comment

Join me at Click Away!

So, I’ve raved about ClickinMoms before. I found them when I was attempting to learn my DSLR, and cannot say enough good things about the generosity and overall camaraderie that I have found. It’s a forum mostly for women, and even though the title is ClickinMOMS, there are women from all ages, single/married without kids, etc. There are a lot of us “amateur” and “hobby” photographers, but also a ton of women who are professional photographers that have the talent and know-how to run a photography business. I’ve met some wonderful, smart, witty and creative ladies and love any chance I get to share my love of photography with them.

That said, the admins at ClickinMoms have decided to host a conference, to allow those of us who have been clamoring for a “get together” in the US, and combine it with learning experiences. It will be Sept 11-13, in Salt Lake City, Utah, called “Click Away”.

At first, I’ll admit, the price tag for flying out to SLC and then registering for the conference AND the hotel room was a bit much for me to schedule, especially when we’re still paying for the infant rate in daycare (fondly referred to as our “second mortgage”). I was determined that if I had to miss it this year, I’d make it a priority for 2015. Then they held a contest on Pinterest, basically to just “pin” photos that inspired you. Winners would receive free admission to the conference.

This was the board I entered: Pin Away to Click Away

And lo and behold, I won!! I couldn’t believe it! So I looked at the logistics, and it looks like I can fly stand by down there, and just pay for a one-way flight back to town (to make sure I get back in time that Sunday). I also managed to arrange to share a room with two other ladies, to help cut down on the hotel costs. And the hotel is right across from the conference, so I don’t need a car. We’re still working things out, but I’m getting more and more optimistic! I’m so excited!!!

I’m excited for the learning opportunities, but more-so, I’m excited to meet these women. I’ve “known” them online for a long time, and I can’t wait to see them in person. 3 whole days of non-stop photography AND I get to explore a new place?? I love to travel and even though I wish the whole family could go, I’m also admittedly excited about the opportunity to just do it on my own.

So cross your fingers for me that we can make this work! If you are interested in going, let me know! I can give you a discount code to use towards admission :)

(Benjamin is 5 years 3 months 2 weeks and 5 days old and Juliet is 11 months 3 weeks and 5 days old)

Project Life for Blurb

Tuesday, April 1, 2014 with no comments

Just popping in to give a quick shout out to something I stumbled on today. I’m still trying to perfect my workflow for my photobooks. I’ve waffled back and forth between printing photos and going digital and doing a “photobook” vs. a traditional album. Even when I decided to go digital, the process for editing in Photoshop was proving too cumbersome. I needed a book software that already had these templates in them, that I just had to drag my photos into. Voila, I found Molly’s site and her Project Life Blurb Templates. They are templates specifically for Blurb, that allow me to just drag my photos into the software and put into the templates. I seriously can’t wait for tonight to put them into action. Molly, thank you for your hard work in putting these together, I can’t wait to get my first book complete! What a timesaver!! And I love Molly’s site… her post about over-analyzing the bookmaking process was spot on for me (obviously) ;) Looking forward to reading more about her!

Off to get started! Well, after I get caught up with Juliet’s baby blog, that is ;) One thing at a time!

(Benjamin is 5 years 3 months 2 weeks and 2 days old, and Juliet is 11 months 3 weeks and 2 days old)

Protected Posts

Friday, June 28, 2013 with no comments

Just a reminder that there are password protected posts on this site, that do not appear unless you’ve logged in on the right hand side of the page. If you need the username and password, just contact me using one of the methods on my contact page and I’ll be happy to share it with you :) It’s not super secret, it’s just a way for me to control who sees the more personal posts.

Happy Friday!


(Benjamin is 4 years 6 months 1 week 6 days old and Juliet is 2 months 2 weeks 6 days old)

filed under Public, website
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Baby Updates

Saturday, April 20, 2013 with no comments

Eventually I’ll start posting the baby updates over here, but for now, it’s easier to keep all her photos at the baby 2.0 site :)

Welcome, baby Juliet!

For this just now hearing the news, Juliet Christine was born at 1:25pm, on 4/8, weighing 11 lbs 9 oz and measuring 22 inches. For comparison, Ben was 11 lbs 7 oz, and measured 21 inches. I thought she’d be smaller as a girl, but nope, she passed her big brother! So crazy!

We’re all doing wonderfully, and enjoying the time off together :) Here’s hoping these next few weeks don’t fly by!

(Benjamin is 4 years 4 months 5 days old and Juliet is 1 week 5 days old)

filed under baby, Juliet, Public
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Goodnight and Goodbye, Sweet Lily

Tuesday, February 26, 2013 with 7 comments

Today was one of the hardest I’ve been through. We knew this day would come sooner than later, and today, we said goodbye to our wonderful baby, Lily. We watched her closely this week, and each day as she regressed a little more, we knew it was time. She had progressed to the point where she no longer could navigate around the house (we think vision in both eyes were now affected), she seemed confused and weak, had trouble standing on her own, and didn’t even flinch when we mentioned “treats” or “hungry”. She no longer wagged her tail, and seemed to be so, so tired. She was tired of fighting.

I called on Saturday to make an appointment when it was clear that it was the right thing to do, and then prepared ourselves to say our final goodbyes. It was the hardest call I’ve had to make, and all weekend it clouded my thoughts to think about her leaving.

As the weather turned warmer this weekend, I took her outside and also looked for my opportunity to capture some final photos of her. She’s so beautiful, even when she’s sick and not feeling like herself. She picked this spot Sunday afternoon. Words can’t express how much I love this dog, and how much my heart aches with missing her.






This morning we got Ben ready for school, and then Joe dropped him off while I stayed with Lily for a few more hours. He met me back at home, and we rode to the vet’s with Lily together. The hardest goodbye I’ve ever had to face. She went to sleep peacefully, finally relaxing and getting the rest that she needed, with Joe and I by her side.

It’s the small moments that are the hardest. The treat jar on the shelf, her favorite ball in the corner. The quiet of the house. No more padding of her feet, no more jingle of her collar. When I accidentally drop food on the floor, and look to call her to clean it up, and she’s not there. It’s the little things, that after nine years of having her underfoot and in my heart, that trigger the sadness all over again. She was so much a part of my life and my family that it just feels so empty without her here. There is definitely a hole in my heart that will take a long time to heal.

To the “seat stealer”, “baby bean”, “fun police”, “crazy dog”, “pie stealer”, “bean-bean”, “baby dog”, “baby girl”, “lovey”, “lickey-dog”, “smiley”, and “sweetheart”… we love you so much, and our hearts are breaking without you. We know you are in a better place now, with no more pain, and no more sorrow. I long to see the day again where I can feel your licks on my face and rub your velvet ears once more.

I know somewhere up there someone is giving you lots of belly rubs and tennis balls to chew.

Goodbye, baby girl.

filed under Lily, Public

Happy Birthday, Lily!

Friday, February 8, 2013 with no comments

A bittersweet day today… 9 years ago today Lily was born at a breeder’s home in Massachusetts (family friend of a friend). We picked her up 9 weeks later, but I always celebrate her birthday on this day. So to the baby girl who the vet didn’t think would last until Christmas, Happy Birthday, you made it, old girl! :)

It’s bittersweet because though she is still here with us, and still coping with her tumor and the medication side effects, I know it’s most likely to be her last birthday. So last night I stayed up really late and fired up iMovie. I put together a slideshow of all my favorite photos of she and I, and later of her, Joe, and even Ben.

I hope you can see the love shine through that we have for her, and how happy she has made all of us:

Lily Tribute on Vimeo

We love you, Lily, and are so happy you are still here with us, short as your time may be.

(Benjamin is 4 years 1 month 3 weeks and 3 days old and baby girl is 31 weeks growing)

filed under Lily, Public
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New (to me) Camera!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012 with 2 comments

You know how they say that if you put an idea or a request out into the ethers, and if you visualize it (sort of a la “Law of Attraction”), it will come true? A few weeks back, I decided that for giggles, I’d put an ad out on Craigslist that said I was in search of a used camera. That if any photographers out there had recently upgraded their own camera, but had an older body sitting around, I had $100 to give them for said camera. I actually got some emails saying what a ridiculous request it was, that why don’t I “go buy a point and shoot” for that kind of money. Because no one believed that anyone had that big of a heart to generously donate an expensive DSLR “just because”.

Of course, these people have never heard of the wonderful women (and men!) at the ClickinMoms photography forum. I see that sort of generosity on a daily basis, from the abundance of business and technical knowledge and critiques that the professional ladies dole out, to the friendships and positive thoughts others provide. It was here, that I stumbled upon a “Pay it Forward” post. These posts are entirely about just paying generosity forward… and her gift was her used Canon 40D DSLR camera. The exact one I was asking for in my Craigslist post. You simply had to respond that you were interested, and she would do a random drawing to determine the winner.

Long story short, I won the random drawing, and am now awaiting my own Canon 40D camera!

Even though it was introduced way back in 2007, it’s still an upgrade from my current Canon Rebel XT. I love my Rebel, and even though it’s a “beginner’s” camera, it still took wonderful photos, and I feel like I know it inside and out. But I’ve long outgrown it, and have been attempting to save for a “newer” body. But with Lily’s health and a new baby, my camera priorities took a back burner. With this upgrade, the 40D will definitely bump me out of the “amateur” realm, and I’m so ready to take on that challenge of learning this new camera! I still don’t have any plans on going “pro”, but love taking my hobby up a notch!

Alicia of Alicia Gould Photography was the generous contributor, and she requested that my only requirement was to also pay it forward. So now I’m trying to find a way to pay this amazing generosity forward in my own way, in my own local community. So if you hear of any opportunities, let me know! And thank you again, Alicia, from the bottom of my heart… I’m so grateful for this camera!

(Benjamin is 3 years 11 months 1 week and 5 days old, and baby girl is 20 weeks 4 days growing!)

Still Standing

Friday, November 9, 2012 with 1 comment

I would have thought that when Lily’s brain tumor was diagnosed, I would have realized that her time here was limited, come to terms with her inevitable death, and cried all I could cry. But denial is a powerful thing. Yes, I saw the tumor on the screen. Yes, I knew she had fallen over a few times, and wasn’t her true, normal self. The past few weeks though have been filled with so much love and fun times with Lily, taking her to parks, watching her wade around up north in the streams, and having her chase a ball or two in the back yard. We were so happy with her progress, that on Friday, the vet decided to try and dial down her dosage of the steroid she is on (prednisone). So instead of the 1 1/2 tablets she was getting, he wanted to try and just give her one per day.

At first, it was like Lily was almost 100% back. She was trotting, playing, and even barking at us again when we got to rowdy playing in the living room :) It was different than her normal bark, but still, it showed her spirit was still there. She even flipped over for a belly rub ;) We were riding high seeing her so happy, and it gave me huge optimism that she might last longer than everyone originally thought.

We woke up Wednesday morning to our dreams crashing down. Lily had declined so rapidly overnight, that she couldn’t even stand. When she tried, she fell, her head tilted, and her eyes looked like she had spun in circles too many times and couldn’t focus. It was awful. I immediately started crying. Ben saw my tears, and came over and in his sweet little voice told me not to be sad, and kissed my cheek. I love that kid. I pulled myself together, and waited for the vet to return my phone call. Joe announced he would stay home with her for as long as he could, until we had instructions on what else to do. We hand fed her some food (her lab appetite never quits), and I left to drop off Ben at school.


Waiting at work, the vet finally returned my phone call and told me to give her an extra dose of prednisone, but warned me that unfortunately, she’s progressing as we all knew she inevitably would, and the double dose of meds might not be enough to bring her back. I broke down at work, and finally had to excuse myself to come home. We made an appointment to bring her in the next morning, and in my head, I thought it was an appointment to say goodbye.

By the time I picked up Ben from school, and Joe had returned to work, Lily was miraculously standing, without falling over. Her eyes were back to normal, and she seemed wobbly, but mostly stable. I couldn’t believe it. In the same amount of time that she had declined, she had just as quickly recovered. She was tired, but could at last rest.

Long, exhaustingly emotional day today. Love you, Lily.

So at the checkup the next morning, the vet was happy to see that she had improved, but again warned us that another relapse was inevitable. It could be days or weeks, but she will eventually have another horrible episode, if not worse, than we saw on Wednesday. We discussed surgery, but with the recovery being so hard, and her extended quality of life being poor and limited, we opted not to pursue that option.

Later that day, I took Lily outside for a few more photos. The sun was shining, and Lily was smiling and enjoying the slight chill in the air. My heart is so heavy with sadness at the thought that our goodbye is coming so soon, but it’s also so, so thankful that I get a little more time with her, to show her how much we love her.

smiles today

smiling today

Our plan is to take it day by day, be thankful for every extra day we get to spend with her, and understand that her next episode means that it’s finally time to say goodbye. It will be one of the hardest things I’ve had to do, but it’s all we can do, to ease her suffering.

Love you, Lily.

Ben is 3 years 10 months 3 weeks 4 days old

filed under Lily, Public
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