Day. Seven.

Your favorite movie(s).

This list used to be pretty extensive, before I met Tom. I was always buying new movies at the local Blockbuster for super cheap. If I liked the movie, I would watch it over and over again.

Enter Tom.

Tom isn't really into the whole "watch a DVD" thing. I can count the number of movies we have ever rented from the local video store on one hand. And the number of times we have watched a movie from our own personal DVD collection? Zero.

So I suppose I've been able to narrow down my favorite movies because really the ones that pop into my head are the ones that I absolutely love. I don't even remember what the other ones could have potentially been, lol.

Dirty Dancing

Pretty Woman

Dan in Real Life
(This one is my absolute favorite)

Dumb and Dumber

Love Actually

I could watch any of these movies over and over (and, well, let's be honest - I actually have watched each of these movies over and over). Especially Dan in Real Life - I don't know what it is about that movie that makes me feel so much like I can relate to it. It touches on every emotion I think I have ever felt, and it's one of those rare movies that draws me in and actually makes me feel like I am a part of the plot.

It also makes me love Steve Carell even more.

Day. Six.

A picture of something that makes you happy.

So much about this picture makes me happy.

My husband.

My son.

Blue skies.

Lake Michigan.

Warm weather.

The relationship between Tom and Thad.

This picture is a perfect summer day. It seems so far away, living in Michigan, before we will see those days again. 

It has yet to snow here this winter (knock on wood), but every now and then there's a lite flurry and you can feel it in the air. 

Snow is just around the corner.

Cold weather. Clunky boots. Thick jackets. Shoveling. Scraping. Warming up the car. Slipping. Falling.

All of it.

It's all right around the corner.

So for now, I'll continue to stare at this photo, and remember all of that which makes me happy. :)

Day. Five.

Your favorite recipes.


Ok, here goes.

Recipe #1:

Boil two cups water.
Add noodles, breaking up if desired.
Cook 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Remove from heat.
Stir in seasonings from flavor packet.

Now you have Top Ramen!

Ok, but really, I am the worst cook. Half the time I base my decision to make something on whether or not I know what each of the ingredients are, so I don't look like an ass at the grocery store, searching for something that I think is a noodle, but is actually a spice.

I have no idea what would taste good with what. I'm more likely to add an Italian spice to a Mexican dish, and vice versa.

Oh! And I am so incredibly impatient. I turn the stove burners on high for everything. Everything. And it drives Tom nuts.

But, I will say that there are a few things I have come to make in the past few years that I like:

Recipe #2:
Kielbasa with peppers and onions.

Cut some beef kielbasa, or chicken sausage, into bite sized pieces and throw it into a pan with a touch of olive oil.

Then cut up half an onion (red) and two red peppers.

Once the kielbasa has cooked and is browned a bit, throw in the peppers and onions.

Cook a few more minutes.

Season with salt, pepper, and a touch of garlic.

Serve over whole grain brown rice.

Recipe #3:

Katie's Awesome Spaghetti.
Boil noodles. I prefer penne, but I know most of America does the long, spaghetti kind.

Set the noodles to the side.

For the sauce, brown a package of Extra Lean ground beef. Make sure it's extra lean. If it's not, that's just disgusting.

Pour in your favorite jar of spaghetti sauce - for me, it's something that always involves cheese and garlic. Nothing with meat already in it. Jarred or canned meat? No, thank you.

For seasonings, add pepper, garlic, onions, red wine, and a whole lotta crushed red pepper.

Your child will cry, but you will love it.

Then, throw your cooked noodles in and stir it all together.

Thank me later.

The next three of my favorite recipes come from The Pioneer Woman. I have never made anything of hers that Tom didn't absolutely love (to include her apple pie - which I made two of for Thanksgiving - which were gone by Friday. Um, Thanksgiving was Thursday. You do the math).

Recipe #4: Dreamy Apple Pie.

Recipe #6: Monkey Bread.

Recipe #7:

My mom's chili, with just a couple of changes by me.

2 regular cans Light Red Kidney Beans 1 extra can of spicy chili beans, 1 can of black beans
2 Regular cans Chili Beans
1 Regular can Spicy Chili Beans
2 Regular cans Mexican Stewed Tomatoes - Blend them up in blender so you don't have the chunks (unless you like chunky cooked tomatoes)
2 lbs of hamburger (seasoned with a ton of chili powder)
1 small diced onion (Optional).
Chili Powder
Garlic Powder or Salt
Onion Salt
Celery Salt

Fry up the hamburger with all seasonings EXCEPT Chili Powder.  Drain meat. If you are putting it in crock pot, put it back in to the fry pan first (after you have drained the grease) and saute the meat with the Chili Powder. Then put it in to the crock pot. If you are cooking it in a soup pot, you can fry the meat in the soup pot to begin with - so you'll just be returning it to the soup pot after you drain the grease from the meat.

Saute the Chili Powder in to the hamburger

Add all the remaining ingredients (beans and tomatoes).

Cover and bring to a boil.

Reduce heat and simmer for at least an hour - but as long as you want, keeping it covered. 

Stir regularly so it doesn't burn and stick to bottom of the pan.

Then, when it's ready to serve, serve it with jalapenos, sour cream, cheese, onions and Fritos.

Um, hello Heaven. Lovely to meet you.

Day. Four.

Your parents.

I'm not really sure how to write about two of the most important people in my life, so I guess I'll break it down individually, and then kind of fill you in on the relationship that I have with each.

My dad: My dad just turned 63 years old on Thanksgiving Day. Had I been with him to celebrate, I would have probably called him an Old Fart and made comments all day long about how ridiculously old he was. Those of you who know the relationship I have with my dad would totally understand this - he and I are relentless with one another. We tease, we tease, and then we tease some more. It's never meant to be mean, though. It is all in fun and love.

Need an example? This might mortify you, but I promise it was AWESOME. By the time I turned 18-years-old, my best friend and I had nicknamed one another "Fatty." Let me be clear - neither of us was even close to being fat. We were both physically active, cute girls. But, somehow the nickname stuck and we started using it on others, while they used it on us. Including my dad. So, for my 18th birthday, my dad picked out a cake that was shaped like a whale. Literally...it was a whale cake for his "fatty" daughter. To any other girl in the world, it would have probably been devastating. But I remember I laughed and laughed. It was hilarious!

My dad - scary enough - has a twin brother. So there are actually two of him walking around this world. Scary thought. If you work at a store, and you ask my dad how he's doing, he'll tell you, "If I was any better, I'd be a twin." That always embarrasses me because I see the look on the clerks' face as they're like, "Ok, weirdo. Not even sure what that means."

He has a heart of gold. I have never met a more patient man. In all my years growing up as a huge brat, I only saw him get visibly angry once. 

People are drawn to my dad. He's funny, and welcoming and very personable. He's never shy, or quiet, and - unless my sister is around - he is typically the center of attention and the life of the party. When she's around, though, she takes the cake. ;)

One of my dad's best qualities is that he can be very serious when he needs to be. We can be joking around one minute, and the next minute he can do a total 180 and offer me some incredibly important life lesson. He's never nagging, and he is always very straight forward. If my dad doesn't like something, he tells you. And if he's proud of you, he will tell you that, too. And if he is lying, you'll know - he is the worst liar in the world. Lol.

My relationship with my dad has always been strong, but I think it's become stronger as I have grown older. Oddly enough, we are not related by blood, although we are often like two peas in a pod. He became a strong presence in my life when I was 4, and he married my mom when I was 6. He likes to tell people that he "tamed the beast" because when he first met my mom, I was the child from hell. I think he helped to serve as the male influence that I was desperately needing.

Now, I can honestly say that my dad is one of my very best friends. And honestly, he is much the person I like to model myself after when making decisions in this life. I always admired his laid back personality, and his sense of humor. I could only hope that some day Thad will look upon me with the same pride and admiration that I have for my own dad.

My mom: My mom turned another year older in June (I'm not sure if she would kill me for stating her age, but isn't it some kind of secret code amongst women to keep that number private?). And, since day one, my poor mom has been the punching bag of the family.

When my dad and I weren't busy making fun of one another, we were busy teaming up together and picking on my poor mom. In fact, we still do this. She's such a good sport about it, though. I think she almost enjoys the attention. ;)  Don't you, mom!? Lol.

My mom is a woman whose mind is swimming with ideas. She is always coming up with some creative project, or some fun activity for the family. If you've ever seen our house at Christmas time, you would get a sense of what my mom's creative side is like. No wall is left untouched, and every inch of the house is adorned with crafts I did starting in preschool. There is an entire village with fake snow and people in the bay window. There are two Christmas trees. It's amazing.

She started her own salon while I was still in high school and has been incredibly successful in its growth. Her clients adore her, and Christmas morning is usually spent watching her open all the gifts from a million people we don't know. We complain about it, jokingly of course, but it's fun to see just how loved she truly is.

I think one of my mom's best qualities is her incredible loyalty. And I am thankful, because I know I picked up this same sense of loyalty. As a mom, she is the very definition of a mama grizzly. She would walk across the street to get in a fight if it meant someone had done me harm (not really, but you get the idea). I swear, I think if I told my mom that I hated my grandma, then she would hate her too. Lol. Ok, maybe not to that extreme. But close. ;)

The other thing I love about my mom? She wants to please everyone, but not at the risk of becoming a doormat. She's very good at brushing aside those who try to give her shit about minor issues or mundane problems. She sees her energy and time as best used when not being wasted on worry, or hate, or concern for those who just don't matter. I think that's awesome - imagine all of the energy we could save if we could distinguish between those who matter and those who don't. Often times people who matter hurt us, and that's when the relationship is worth the repair. The other times? Just move on.

My mom is so good at that. I'm envious!

Through the years, we have always been very best friends. I tell my mom everything (which my husband hates, lol). But how could I not? She's sympathetic when I need to cry. She's angry when I need to vent. She's an open ear when I need someone to listen. And she always gives great advice. I definitely strive to model much of my parenting after how she was with me. She was my friend, but she was also my mom. She was definitely a perfect mixture of both.

Mom and dad, I love you both very much. Well, mom, I love you more than dad. Ha! Just kidding daddy! Lol. 

See? It's funny.

Day. Three.

Your first love.

This is kind of a weird one for me to write about. Those closest to me probably know who I am referring to, but it's still odd to put it all out there. Especially since there's a chance he - or members of his family - could potentially read it. But, I'll continue on.

First, I want to make it very clear that I think there are two different kinds of love.

My very first true love - the love that is forgiving, and understanding, and strong enough to knock your socks off - is Thaddeus. This might sound weird to some people, but until you actually have a child, I think it's very tough to actually have a grasp on that kind of love. It's instantaneous. From the moment I found out I was pregnant, I could not imagine my life without my son. Of course, I have never felt a connection that strong with any man in my life, even my husband. While I feel now like I couldn't live without Tom, it wasn't a feeling that I had the moment I met him. It was a feeling that had to develop over time.

The other kind of love - the lustful love - the love that involves forgiveness, patience, understanding and all things that could potentially change - is the love I have truly felt for a couple of people in my life. But the first? The first will always have a special place in my heart - as I think it does for everyone.

My very first true love stemmed from a friendship, and it never developed into a relationship. I think this was the first time I truly put myself out there for a man. And, while the results weren't exactly what I had hoped for at the time, I am glad that I did the things that I did.

We became very close while we worked together, and were eventually neighbors. He was a bit of a party guy, and I was definitely not. But we had a lot of common interests - to include offensive wit, sarcasm, and a love for the written word. Aside from hanging out on almost a daily basis, we came to have a routine on Thursdays when we would exchange something that each of us had written. I think it was the first time that I allowed someone else to read the words I had within. My writings were never about him, but about other private matters in my life, and he was always very accepting and very willing to give me feedback. I think it was almost therapeutic for me.

When he graduated, we still kept in touch. Every now and then I would make the drive to his place - it was a few hours away - and spend the weekend there. We'd usually grab a bite to eat, drink a ton of beer, and then go back to his house and listen to music. It was very laid back. And it was enjoyable.

When he made the decision to travel to Europe and planned to be gone for a long, long time, I made the decision to tell him how I felt about him. I had known for awhile that I loved him, but it was all so new to me. And of course, having not been in a relationship with him, the idea of actually telling him was terrifying - I was just going balls to the walls. Zero to 60. 

So, the night before he left, my girls drove me down South. I left my silly little love letter on his front door, and we drove home. Literally a 6-hour drive just to drop something off and not tell a soul that we were there.

Looking back now, I really wish I had kept a copy of that letter. I would be so interested to see what I wrote. I remember writing some music lyrics at the end - and I can remember the exact song. But I don't remember what I actually told him.

Who knows - he and I are still friends - maybe he is reading this and can send me a copy!? Lol.
Obviously, my grand master plan didn't go exactly as I had imagined. But it didn't turn out bad. It just didn't turn out at all. I have never regret my decision to tell him how I feel, and I am thankful that it didn't destroy the relationship that we did have. We are still friends, and I am sure that the next time I am in Texas, we will meet up. Maybe have a beer.

It's so funny what happens when you get your heart broken. It feels like the most devastating thing in the world, of which you will never recover. But then God reveals his plan.

Now I am happily married with the most wonderful little boy on the planet. Neither of these people would exist in my life had my plans been as I had hoped they would be back then. Which is why we should never regret decisions that we make. Because the way that things happen - the choices that we make - the paths that we walk along - all lead us to where God intended for us to be.

I will admit, however, that there are moments when I hear a certain song and it takes me back to that time and place in my life. It's always nice to go back in time and remember certain things. Which is why, as I said before, I think every man and woman holds a special place in their heart for the first person they felt they had truly loved.

Happy. Turkey. Day.

Every 365 days, I am once again reminded why I (a) hate to cook, and (b) should never be allowed anywhere near a kitchen.

Actually, I'm exaggerating. Thanksgiving dinner turned out to be a pretty big success, with only one minor glitch.

The menu?

Grilled turkey.

BBQ chicken.

Kielbasa with red pepper and onions.

Cheesy au gratin potatoes.

Jalapenos stuffed with cream cheese and wrapped in bacon.

Apple pie.

The only problem that presented itself all day was with the apple pie, when I mistook "2 tbsp flour" for "1 and 3/4 cup flour." How I made the mistake I will never know, but I ended up having to basically re-do the pie. So annoying.

Thanksgiving is such a weird holiday to me. I really don't understand the point of spending an entire day in the kitchen, just to sit down at 4pm, eat, clean up, and then be miserable for the rest of the night because you stuffed yourself so full of food.

If I want to be thankful for something, I can do that any other day of the year. Why do we have to designate an actual holiday for it? I am thankful for many things in my life, all the time. Not just on the third Thursday in November.

But, I will admit, the food was delicious. And while I'm not much of an apple pie fan, I am a big fan of the Reese's cups I have hidden in the cupboard. So maybe I'll reward myself after a full day of cooking with some of those.


I'm thankful for Reese's peanut butter cups.

And Heineken.

Oh, I am thankful for Heineken.

Oh! And this guy right here:

Happy Turkey Day!

(P.S. - Happy birthday to my dad and my uncle today! Love you both!)

Day. Two.

Meaning behind my blahg name.

You know how when people ramble on about nothing, and it's boring to listen to, you say (either in your mind, or aloud), "Blah, blah, blah?"

Well, that's kind of the same deal. 

Blah, Blah, Blah + Blog = Blahg, Blahg, Blahg

Get it?

Ha. I'm so clever.

Happy Turkey Day, by the way!

Hopefully your apple pie fared better than mine! ;)

Day. One.

Introduce, Recent Picture, 15 Facts

For those of you who are new to my blahg or have never met me in person, this is me:

I mean, my hair is no longer that dark (I've gone back to blonde), but for the most part, you can see what I look like.


Ok, for reals. This is me:

And for reals, my hair is no longer that dark. I really have gone back to blonde.

And 15 facts about me? I'll do my best!
1. I used to love having my photo taken. I was constantly being told how photogenic I was and how great my smile was. Then I gained a shit-ton of weight and - oddly enough, became a photographer - and now my favorite place is behind the lens. Not in front. If I do get in front of the lens, it's for random photos like the one above...where you can truly only see my silly side, and not my extra flab. 
2. I love to laugh. And even more, I love to make others laugh. I've been told that I'm pretty good at the latter, although my husband insists that I'm not nearly as funny as I think I am. I just think he's a tough crowd to please.
3. I love a good pair of black leggings, and I could care less that I am not the type who should be wearing a good pair of black leggings.
4. I am very quick to give up on people. Maybe I have been burned enough in my lifetime to know that there are only a handful of people in this world who you can truly trust and love, and know that they will trust and love you in return. So I don't get too bent out of shape when a longtime friend turns her back on me, or even a family member chooses to turn her back on me as well. I understand that that's life. No one is perfect, so why should I expect them to be?
5. As you already know, I have a pretty annoying-ass disease. Yes, I said annoying-ass. This disease has changed and shaped me (literally) in many good ways, and many bad ways as well. I am hoping that the bad is only temporary, and just a side effect of the medication. I am hoping that the good sticks around forever.
6. If I were to die and go to hell, I am pretty sure hell would be just like a Meijers grocery store, full of really old people in motorized carts. Because yes, this is my personal hell, and the reason why I try to avoid the grocery store at all cost.
7. I have a weakness for a good pair of jeans with really long legs, and a nice blousy shirt that doesn't cling. If I find this in the mall, I will practically panhandle to be able to afford it.
8. My entire life, I grew up telling people I wanted to be a teacher. Somewhere, somehow, I got a job as a teacher and I think I'm actually pretty damn good at it.
9. I worked as a waitress at Chili's for a little over 6 years. Even though my waitressing days have been over since 2007, I still have nightmares about greeting tables, being in the weeds, and having to deal with customers, my boss, and one particular girl named Sarah.
10. I am a firm believer that a person's teeth tell a lot about who they are, and where they came from.
11. I am - and always have been - spoiled rotten. I can't think of anything I have ever wanted that I didn't either receive, or was given an opportunity to earn for myself. I don't think this has made me a bad person, but an incredibly appreciative and grateful person. I realize what I have, what many others do not, and why I should be thankful to God - every single day - that He has blessed me with such an amazing life, full of so many amazing people.
12. I used to have a real issue with using metal silverware to eat. I have since outgrown this phobia by about 90% - I still can't use a metal spoon to eat hot soup. I always have to go to my plastic reserves.
13. I was offered a full-ride scholarship to the University of Colorado out of high school. I turned it down for an education that cost me $85,000. Then, I was offered a full ride scholarship to Western University Law School out of college. I turned that down for an education that has since cost me almost $200,000. Clearly, there is something wrong with my brain.
14. One of my favorite things to do these days is sit on the couch with my husband, watching sports on mute while we listen to music and drink wine. In fact, right now, we are watching a tennis match and listening to the Beatles while I sip on Riesling. Perfection.
15. I moved from California to Colorado when I was 10 years old. I then spent the next 8 years telling everyone how much I hated Colorado, and how I could not wait to get back to California. However, the moment I moved out of Colorado, I realized how truly amazing and wonderful it is. Now, there isn't a single day that doesn't go by where I don't imagine myself back in those mountains. In addition to that, you couldn't pay me to live in California. What a hell-hole that place is!

30. Days.

People are often telling me that I am very creative. And while, yes, I do believe creativity is one of my stronger characteristics, I must admit that my ideas aren't always original.

Kids poking at fish for photo purposes?

Yeah, totally not my idea.

But it's cute, isn't it?

I have mentioned before that I get a variety of my ideas from other blogs, or things I read on the Internet. On one of the blogs I keep up with, Amanda is writing about 30 different things for 30 different days, of which the list has already been generated. I thought this was a great way to keep up with my blahg for the next 30 days, especially since I know how incredibly busy I am going to be. But I can't just leave my readers hangin'! ;)

So, here's the list:

Day 1-Introduce, recent picture, 15 interesting facts

Day 2-Meaning behind your blog name

Day 3-Your first love

Day 4-Your parents

Day 5-Your favorite recipes

Day 6-A picture of something that makes you happy

Day 7-Favorite movies

Day 8-A place you've traveled to

Day 9-A picture of your friends

Day 10-Something you're afraid of

Day 11-Favorite tv shows

Day 12-What you believe

Day 13-Goals

Day 14-A picture you love

Day 15-Bible verse

Day 16-Dream house

Day 17-Something you're looking forward to

Day 18-Something you regret

Day 19-Something you miss

Day 20-Nicknames

Day 21-Picture of yourself

Day 22-What's in your makeup bag

Day 23-Favorite vacation

Day 24-Something you've learned

Day 25-Put your iPod on shuffle, first 10 songs

Day 26-Picture of your family

Day 27-Pets

Day 28-Something that stresses you out

Day 29-3 Wishes

Day 30-A picture

There are some days where I will obviously blahg more than once. For instance, tomorrow, I plan to write about the things of which I am thankful. But, since I am also going to start this 30-days thing either tonight or tomorrow, I will also be writing about either myself, or the meaning behind the name of my blahg.

But I figure two entries in one day is just a bonus, right!? ;)



I love Christmas.


Thaddeus brought home his first official report card today. He, thus far, is clearly cut from the same cloth as his father. Lol.

Actually, his report card -- or, "Progress Report," as they call it -- was excellent.

On a scale of Usually, Sometimes, and Not Yet, this is how my favorite monkey fared:

1. I can make choices by myself. Sometimes
Teacher's Comment: He sometimes needs reminders to move his choice tag.
2. I leave my parent/caregiver easily. Usually

3. I play and share cooperatively with other children. Sometimes
Teacher's Comment: Normally does a good job but sometimes has a problem sharing items.

4. I have appropriate control over my feelings. Sometimes
Teacher's Comment (this one is my favorite, lol): He is getting better at learning to use his words instead of his hands.

(Can you see me shaking my head at that last one? He is so like Tom.)

5. I participate in cleaning up the classroom. Sometimes
Teacher's Comment: Needs reminders to stop playing and start cleaning.

6. I wait my turn when speaking in a group. Sometimes
Teacher's Comment: He is getting better at raising his hand.    

7. I am willing to try new things. Usually
Teacher's Comment: He never has been scared to try anything.
8. I sit and pay attention during circle time. Sometimes
Teacher's Comment: He normally does a good job but he will follow what other students are doing, which causes the need for reminders.
9. I show my love for God through singing. Usually
Teacher's Comment: He does a great job singing.
Additional Comments: It has been fun to have Thaddeus in class. He has grown up a bit in the past few months and has become good friends with all the students in class.

Good job, Monkey. I love you.

New. Stuff.

You know, 10 years ago, I honest to God would have laughed in your face if you had told me that I would be spending my money on Baby GAP clothes and photography props someday, instead of BCBG high heels and Coach bags.

But it has happened.

And I love it.

And I love my new floors and backdrops.

Although, let's be honest, a new Coach bag is pretty nice every once in awhile, too.

Finals. Time.

Well, it's Week 11 'round these parts which means that final exams are slowly but surely creeping up on me.

So, you know what that means --- I will be blahging more and more!

I have to say, I think I have officially reached that point in my law school career that I never saw reaching. And no, I'm not talking about graduation.

When you first start law school, you are feverishly working to get every case brief done - Facts, Issue, Analysis, Rule, blah, blah, blah. Any third year law student will tell you that that work ethic comes to a screeching halt at about your second year. Surprisingly, I held off until the end of my third year, but yes, I am definitely experiencing major senioritis.

At this point in the term, I have usually begun to create my stack of flash cards for each class and have put the finishing touches on each of my outlines. Typically by now, I've contacted our babysitter about all of the extra days that we will potentially need her so that Tom and I can sneak off to the library. My attention span in my classes is usually greater at this point in the term, as most of my professors have started to drop the, "Pay close attention to this case for the final exam," hints.

But now?

Oh no. No, no, no, no, no.

I'm doing fairly well in my Business Organizations class. I prepare each week, and actually have kept up with my outlining.

But Equity and Remedies? I zoned out in Week 1.

I don't even think I know where my textbook is.

When I come to class each week, I sit there and work on my other classes, or I get stuff done for my photography business. 

Or I Facebook. Ssssshhhhhh.

I have not even attempted to outline for E & R, and I just found out -- literally a few minutes ago -- that there is no Emanuel study guide for this particular topic.

In other words, I'm screwed.

How did I get to this point? With one month left, I don't even know what Equity is.

And Remedies? Are we talking about the homeopathic kind? Because my mom teetered on being very into that kind of stuff, so I know a thing or two about how to cure a cough, or how to prevent the onslaught of a cold.

But if you're talking about remedies related to the law, then I don't know.




Doing well on this exam is going to be a true testament to my level of intelligence. If I pull this one off, then I'll know for sure that I am a genius. ;)


The State of California seriously needs to take a moment, step back, and breathe.

First the Happy Meal, and now a ban on plastic bags?

Here's an idea, Golden State: Stop worrying about petty shit, and start worrying about something important.

Like the fact that your air in Los Angeles contains just enough hazardous particles to kill off an entire country of 8-foot men.

Or the fact that you are officially a minority majority state and that status is bleeding you white.

Or the fact that you're in debt up to the top of the Golden Gate bridge, and there is no end in site.

Or the fact that you failed to legalize pot, but having done so could have helped with your massive deficit.


That's all I'm going to say about that.

Now, on to other matters. More important matters---the show Sons of Anarchy.

Do you watch it?

Because I do. And I love it. It's quite possibly one of the greatest shows on television.

However...this whole "Jacks can't find his kid, and we're running around Ireland like a bunch of fools" theme is getting a little old.

Find the kid already.

Change the theme music.

And come back to America so I can begin to understand what in the hell you all are saying.

Please and thank you. ;)

In case you're wondering, yes, I'm a little stressed. Lol.

See this handsome little guy in the picture?

He's super cute, right? Gorgeous blue eyes. Clearly well dressed. ;)

Well, he's also on the down-swing of the behavioral pendulum. We were up for awhile. And for awhile, it was really nice. But he came crashing down recently, and he came crashing down hard.

This child is giving me a serious run for my money lately.
I never thought I'd be that mom, but I totally am.

Some of the things that seem to be pouring out of my mouth these days include:

"There is no way Santa is coming to our house this year. He is just going to fly right by."

"1...2...I better not get to three, young man...3."

"Thaddeus, you cannot hit Mystic with your sword. That hurts her."

"Did you just tell me to shut up!?"
"Thaddeus, you cannot just hit people because they make you mad. Punching mommy in the back of the head because she won't let you have a toy is not appropriate."

"Time out!"

"No, you cannot have a piece of chocolate for breakfast."
"Why, why, why can you not pee and poop in the potty like a big boy!?"

"Thaddeus, please don't throw buckets of water out of the tub. This isn't a community pool. It's a bathroom."

* * *

Remember that movie with John Ritter and the little red-headed boy that he adopted? I can't remember what it was called. Anyways, that is what my household reminds me of these days--that movie.

Don't get me wrong, it's mildly entertaining having a wild little boy running around these parts--despite being totally exhausting.

And it makes for some really good stories...

Like the other night, when Tom was in the kitchen making Thad his dinner.

Thad was running around with his sword, and his knight's helmet on. He's really into dragons lately, and always wants to watch the movie How to Train Your Dragon.

Anyways, apparently he ran right into the kitchen, raised his sword, and screamed, "DRAGON SLAYER!!!"

It caught Tom totally off guard, which meant he had absolutely no time to...ahem...protect himself.

And yes, Tom took a sword hit right to his man parts.

And even now, about a week later, I still can't decide if the story makes me laugh because it's just frickin' hilarious, or if it makes me mad because I wasn't there to witness it.

Either way, the term 'Dragon Slayer' has taken on a whole new meaning in the Jeter household.


People compliment me all the time on my photos of Thad.

"Oh, he must LOVE the camera!"

"Gosh, look at that smile. You're so lucky he just poses for you!"

"What a photogenic little boy. You are so, so lucky."

Um, negative.

None of the above is true. 

Thad hates the camera, with a capital "H." He is learning to like it more and more (now that he gets the concept behind it, and he can view the photo he just took), but it's still a long, rough road when picture time rolls around.

Today I attempted his Christmas photos.

He got home from school around 11:30, we ate lunch, and then I set everything up. We attempted photos around 12:15. 

By 12:30, I had a crying toddler on my hands, and I was done.

I started rolling up my backdrop. 

I put my stand away. 

Rolled up my floor.

Sat down at my computer, and told myself I'd try again tomorrow.

But Thad wasn't having it. You see, if he had taken good pictures, I told him we would go out and buy a toy. So he was ready to try again.
I re-set everything back up.

This time, thankfully, he cooperated.

But even through cooperation, this child gives me a run for my money.

I got all of the photos I wanted to get, and I am putting our Christmas cards together right now.

But here are some of the "outtakes":

Fake smile + TV on = no chance in hell I am getting a good one.

"Um, Thad, turn the letter around so I can see the red part."

Being silly. He laughed really hard right after this photo.

"Mom, I'd much rather make the Y stand upside down than hold it up for a photo. Geesh."

The usual "monster" shot. Every photo shoot needs one.

More fake smiles and TV distractions.

I was hoping he'd stand up, put his hands in his pockets, and give me a nice smile. This is what I got instead.


I actually brought myself down to the level where I was yelling the word, "FART!" just to get him to look at me.

And, of course, the shocked look. I think this was just before another "monster" yell...

I'm so, so glad Christmas photos are done for the Jeter family. Now all I have to worry about is Christmas photos for my clients. And, compared to Thad, those should be a breeze. ;)

Something. New.

All three of the Jeters woke up with sore throats and head colds this morning, so there was a lot of laying around and watching TV. 

In addition, there was also a lot of Internet searching for various items that might be beneficial to my photography business.

This is how I learn. I spend hours and hours searching the Internet for new ideas, ways to get them done, etc. 

And today, I finally figured out how I will not only make my family's Christmas cards completely awesome, but how I will be able to offer the exact same awesomeness to my clients. 

I'm so excited!
It's so wonderful to find myself being fulfilled by some aspect of the arts. Photography is all about creating--and the same can be said for the post-processing time put in as well. I grew up knowing I was meant to be creative. 

I was meant to write.



Show my artistic side.

Photography allows me to do all of these at once.

Is it not so lame that I get excited enough about Christmas card ideas that I actually think to blahg about it!?

But I suppose I should be thankful. I may be lame, but thankfully I found the place where I belong.

It only took three different college educations to figure it out! ;)

Oh! And, tomorrow, after I get Thad from school, we are going to attempt his Christmas card photos. 

I have two new backdrops and two new floors. And Thad has an array of brand new clothes.

Like, I think I might even begin to foam at the mouth, I'm so excited. 


Don't judge me.


Today, I:

Woke up to the sounds of Dora the Explorer in my bedroom, and a little guy singing about a backpack.

Had but a few hours to myself while Tom and Thad went to the gym.

Ate about two-thirds of my child's french fries at lunch.

Played several rounds of Wii tennis with Thad, while simultaneously dodging his swings at the television.

Wiped two boogars without a Kleenex off of Thad's face.

Noticed that all of Thad's new jeans are now too short.

Realized that Thad just recently hit a major growth spurt, which explains why he has been eating like a cow.

Calmed Thad down when he awoke only 1 hour into his nap, having dreamed about some fire in the house.

Was forced to take 100 pictures of Thad drinking his Kool Aid Cool Burst. 

And then 100 more photos of him wearing his fireman jacket and matching hat.

Actually let Thad hold my camera and take a picture of me wearing his Iron Man mask.

(It's a tad blurry, but the kid clearly knows a thing or two about composition and the rule of thirds!)

Ate all of the green peppers off of Thad's plate because he wouldn't believe me that they weren't pickles.

Played one million games of soccer, basketball, baseball and golf.

Made a family book with Thad for his class next week. We colored pictures of different members of our family, and answered questions about the things that he likes.

Attempted to edit photos, but then changed my mind.

Scrubbed Thad for what seemed like hours in an attempt to get NON-Crayola markers off of his hands and face. WTF was I thinking!?

Got smacked in the face when Thad jumped from off the counter and into my arms.

Listened to Thad giggle as he consistently made himself toot.

Tickled Thad on my bed until I thought he might pee his pants.

Got body-slammed by my 3-year-old...more than once.

Received at least a dozen kisses and "I love you mommy"s. 

Let Thad call his grandma and grandpa so he could tell them about how he had taken all of his plastic bugs, and put them in the back of his toy truck.

Read the same story I've been reading for weeks at bedtime - some book about Fire Engines.

Entertained at least two, "Mommy, I'm thirsty"s before finally telling Thad that he HAD to go to bed.

Heard Thad say his prayers at least 4 times. It seems to be his new favorite thing, and I really can't complain about that.

Seriously, my life these days is nothing I would have ever imagined it would have been 5 or 10 years ago. 

But, I wouldn't have it any other way.


Editing photos is actually a pretty fun job.

Yes, it can get tedious; but, for the most part, it's my opportunity to be creative.

And, all photographers know that it's the time when you take 400 photos and bring it down to 25 photos.

Usually those 375 other photos contain kids crying.


Bad smiles.

Bad lighting or color that just won't work in the post processing.

Chopped limbs.
Kids looking in the wrong direction.


And, every now and then, you capture something like this:

And it totally makes you laugh out loud.

I remember this exact moment when she fell, and I promise, she did not even shed a tear. She did a total face plant in the dirt, but got right back up and smiled for some more photos.


Ah, I love my job.

Dear. Thaddeus.

Your little hand's wrapped around my finger

And it's so quiet in the world tonight.

Your little eyelids flutter cause you're dreaming

So I tuck you in, turn on your favorite night light.

To you everything's funny, you got nothing to regret.

I'd give all I have, honey

If you could stay like that.

Oh darling, don't you ever grow up

Don't you ever grow up, just stay this little.

Oh darling, don't you ever grow up

Don't you ever grow up, it could stay this simple.

I won't let nobody hurt you, won't let no one break your heart.

And no one will desert you

Just try to never grow up, never grow up.

Oh darling, don't you ever grow up.

Pizza. Hut. Field. Trip.

Thad's class is learning about foods and cooking right now, so it seemed appropriate that they take a field trip to the one place where you can't go wrong with a 3-year-old----Pizza Hut!

They got to take a tour of the restaurant, and then each of them got to make their own pizzas and wait for them to come through the oven.

It was cute watching how excited all of them were about this. I can remember doing the exact same thing when I was younger, although I was like, 13 and a Girl Scout.

Wow, I was a total douche really cool.

Anyways, none of the moms remembered to bring a camera, so I was the designated photographer.

I'm sure you already know this, but I didn't mind. ;)

This is Thad's total partner in crime. They are two peas in a pod. All morning long we called them the little monsters, because they were running around acting like, well, monsters.
Whenever I ask Thad who his BFF is, he always says, "Keegan."

See what I mean?

I remember when Thad first started school, I was questioning my decision (since he is the youngest in his class). This trip with the rest of the kids eased my fears a bit. He does just fine, and keeps up without a problem.

Preschool is seriously such a blessing. I don't know why anyone would want to avoid it. They learn so, so much!

And you get like, 3 hours to yourself! Lol.