Monday, March 31, 2008

playing around

I downloaded the trial version of PhotoShop Elements & am playing around a bit. Using a tip I read on The Pioneer Woman's photography blog I edited this photo using the "hard light" tool. What do you think? Can you tell the difference?

*** edited - Rebecca is using the photo I had posted here in a scrapbooking contest. It can't be posted anywhere online if it's going to be published. Here's hoping I can't put it back up. ***

This is going to be addictive.... I can tell. ;o)
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i want some skillz

I've started reading another new blog (surprise, surprise), The Pioneer Woman, and one of the sections is about photography. Ever since we bought the Canon Digital Rebel XT I've wanted to learn more about taking better pictures. A recent post on The Pioneer Woman's photography blog talked about lighting and more specifically north facing light. The only north facing window in our house is in the breakfast room, so I took Jonathan in there, sat him on the table, and snapped away. I got a few cute shots, and the lighting was okay, but not terrific. (Maybe because it's cloudy?) After reading another post, this one on using "auto contrast" in a photo editing software, I decided to play around with the pictures a little. I think they turned out pretty good.... for a newbie. If nothing else, they'll be fun to scrapbook.

*** edited - Rebecca is using a photo I took this day in a scrapbooking contest & it can't be posted anywhere if it will be published. Here's hoping I can't put it back up. ;o) ***

I hear so much about using PhotoShop to edit photos, maybe I'll try PhotoShop Elements, it's not nearly as expensive & from what I've heard has everything I'd need. I'd love to learn how to take more interesting photos. I already have the most interesting subject... everything else is easy, right?
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word for the year

This year and last Ali Edwards has had a challenge on her blog to choose a word that you want to represent your year. I'd been thinking off and on lately about a word for this year but nothing was really standing out to me. Then, as I was cleaning the kitchen this morning, I was thinking about it some more and it came to me!


The definition is simple, to connect again, but it conveys exactly what I hope to accomplish this year. I want to reconnect. With God. With myself. With Chris. With my family and friends. I'm not exactly what this will look like, how I'll go about doing it, but I know it is something I want to strive for.

Do you have a word that represents your year? Share it in the comments if you do!

Thursday, March 27, 2008


As I said in my last post, tonight was mine & Rebecca's 2nd installment of Get Off Your Butt and Stop Procrastinating Night (GOYBSPN). My project for the evening was to clean out the refridgerator. Chris helped, he's kind enough to be in charge of emptying the science projects leftovers. I gag anytime I do it. Which of course is an indicator that I don't clean out the fridge near enough. Here are the before/during/after pics:

The aforementioned science projects leftovers.


Doesn't it look lovely now? I got quite inspired & pulled out all of the door shelves & drawers and washed those. I also wiped down all of the other shelves. It's amazing (or maybe not) how nasty the inside of a fridge can get if you neglect it. Well, I plan to make a much more concerted effort in the future to keep it clean.

Unfortunately I wasn't able to complete my wedding album. The page protectors that I bought don't fit. Grrr. I may try to head to Archiver's or JoAnn's to see if I can find the right ones there. Otherwise, I guess I will have to put them in a separate album.

I think Rebecca got quite a lot accomplished this evening as well. She'll be posting about it on her blog soon, I'm sure. Head over & check it out.

So, another GOYBSPN has passed successfully. Won't you join us next week? I promise you'll be glad you did!
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At the park today

We got together at the park for a playdate/picnic today. The weather was so nice; though it was a bit cool in the shade. I didn't get any pictures of Jonathan on the playground, but here he was watching everyone feed the ducks. I swear he would've jumped into the water if I'd let him.

Doesn't he look kind of sad in this picture?

Yesterday was weigh in day.... another 2.2 pounds gone! I was in shock again. I didn't walk at all last week & had a few too many jelly beans on Sunday, but I must've been pretty good otherwise. My total now is 29.6 pounds lost. I'm finally starting to feel a bit better about myself; which is nice.

Tonight is GOYBSPN #2. I'm not 100% sure what I'm working on tonight, possibly cleaning out the fridge. I also have the page protectors so I can put the reception pages in my wedding album. We'll see. I'll try and take some photos of my progress no matter what I work on.
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Monday, March 24, 2008

I can do it myself, Mama!

Granted, Jonathan can't exactly put that sentence together yet, but I think his holy temper tantrum could loosely be translated as such. It's kind of funny, I'd just said to Chris' mom this afternoon that I need to start letting Jonathan try to feed himself with a spoon; he must have been listening! When it came time for snack some time later I obviously offended him by trying to feed the pudding to him as I always do. Not today, Mama! Here's the photographic evidence of what happens when a 17 month old feeds himself pudding:

Looks as good as it tasted I'm sure!

Every day he becomes a little more independent. On one hand I'm excited to see what the future holds; what this next journey of toddlerhood is going to be like. But, on the other hand, I'm very sad to say goodbye to my little baby; where has the time gone?
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Sunday, March 23, 2008

One more

I wish Picasa would let me post more than four pictures at a time... grrr.

Have you ever seen a cuter red-headed little boy? I didn't think so. ;o)
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More Easter pics

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Happy Easter!

We're headed to Chris' parent's house here in a bit for an Easter Egg hunt! I hope I'm able to get some good pictures of the little man.

Church was great today! This was the third week we've visited Lawrenceville Church of God and I for one really like it. I think Chris does too. Next week we're going to try a new Sunday School class that's geared more towards couples our age. The last two weeks we've gone in class with a couple we met at Nagoya, our favorite restaurant! Their class is great, but it was originally intended for parents of teenagers, therefore most of the people are older than us. I'm hoping that we like the class next week, it would be great to find a group that we have more in common with.

I hope you all have a great day!
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Thursday, March 20, 2008

for the first time since I don't know when...

I actually have clothes in my closet that are too big!!! I honestly can't remember the last time that happened. The weather is supposed to be really nice tomorrow, so I tried on my khaki shorts... too big! I then spent the next 10 minutes trying on nearly every pair of pants/shorts in my closet and there were several things that were too big! I just can't get over it. The scale has been going down, but I hadn't really noticed a change in my body too much. I mean, the butt & legs of my jeans are baggy, but the waist still fits. I guess thats what having a baby will do to you.

I can't tell you how good it feels to see evidence of my progress other than on the scale. It's given me new motivation to keep going; not that I was planning to quit, but a little extra push never hurt anyone.

Now I just need to find some exercises to get my legs toned up... any suggestions?

Wednesday, March 19, 2008


Here's a picture of the little man from today... he's getting so big. He's discovered how to climb onto the sofa/couch by himself, and he looks so proud when he's done it.

Today was Weight Watchers.... amazingly I lost another 1.4 pounds. I was honestly shocked. As usual, the weekend was a struggle for me, but I did walk two days so that must've helped. My new total of weight lost is 27.4! Chris and I are planning a trip to California in May for our 10 year anniversary so I'm going to really be focused so I can lose as much as possible between now and then. I may actually have to go clothes shopping pretty soon. At least for some new jeans, these are pretty baggy.

Well, I think I'll head to bed. I've got to go out tomorrow & get stuff for Jonathan's Easter basket. Again with the procrastinating. (see previous post) G'night.
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a new tradition

Tonight was mine & Rebecca's first Get Off Your Butt and Stop Procrastinating Night. While scrapping at Archiver's on Saturday we were talking about projects that for one reason or another we'd each been putting off. So, we decided to take action & hold each other accountable to at least work on the projects, if not completely finish them. My project has been a *long* time in the making. When I first started scrapbooking, I think 4ish years ago, I decided to do a wedding album. It took forever; mostly because I'd get bored & work on other things then go back to it. I finished the pages, oh I don't know, probably 2-3 years ago, but haven't ever put them in the album I bought. I imagine you can guess what my GOYBSPN project was. Amazingly enough it only took me about an hour to get the pages organized, in order, in the page protectors & into the album. Now why on earth have I waited so long to do that? When I was finished, I took the album to Chris and said, "Now that we're about to have our 10 year anniversary, would you like to look at our wedding album?". As I was working on it, I came to the conclusion that I may have to purchase a separate album for the reception pages; although, I if I can find the right page protectors I'm going to try and fit them in this album. I took some pictures as I was working:

We checked in with each other a couple of times during the night & were so proud to say we were making progress. We also discovered that just the knowledge that today was GOYBSPN we found ourselves tackling other projects we'd been putting off. I filed a stack of bills that had been paid and straightened the office a bit; she made some phone calls she'd been putting off. So, I believe we've decided to make this a weekly event. The projects don't have to be big, just something that we've been procrastinating. My father says he has the "spiritual gift" of procrastination, and sadly I think I've inherited it.

I think each week I'll post what I've worked on for GOYBSPN; yet another way to hold myself accountable. Would you like to join us in our new tradition? Just think of all the things you'll get done...
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Thursday, March 13, 2008

Well, that's good to know...

You Act Like You Are 31 Years Old

You are a thirtysomething at heart. You've had a taste of success and true love, but you want more!

You're responsible, wise, and have enough experience to understand a lot of the world.

You're at the point in your life where you understand yourself pretty well.

You are figuring out what you want... and how to get it!

Take the quiz & post your results in the comments!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

some other random stuff

First of all... Your well wishes worked at Weight Watchers! (wow, that's a lot of *w*'s) I lost 2.2 pounds this week! That puts my total weight lost so far at 26 pounds. I couldn't be more thrilled about that. Needless to say, I will continue my walking regime. I didn't walk today, but I did chase Jonathan around at the park, so I'm sure that counts for something. Weekends are always a struggle for me, so I'm going to really try and plan ahead. Especially for Saturday. I'm scrappin' with the girls at Archivers, so I need to make sure & take snacks & try to figure out lunch.

I'm sure I mentioned back around Christmas that Chris bought me an iPod Nano. For the most part I use it to listen to podcasts instead of music. I've found several that I enjoy listening to on a regular basis & I thought I'd list them here...

* ScrapHappy
* Manic Mommies
* Jumping Monkeys
* Grammar Girl's Quick and Dirty Tips

I would highly recommend any of these podcasts for various reasons. ScrapHappy is obviously about scrapbooking, Manic Mommies & Jumping Monkeys are both geared more towards parents and Grammar Girl is, well, about grammar. I've learned alot from each of these; and had fun doing it. I don't think you have to actually have an iPod to listen, you can just download them onto your computer.

Okay, I'm off to bed...

as promised

Here are a couple of pictures from the park today. Sadly I didn't get any really good ones. It's hard to lug my big camera around & chase Jonathan at the same time.

Doesn't he look like such a big boy in this one?

Poor thing, I didn't think to put sunblock on him & he's a little red on the cheeks & nose. I need to look for a good hat too; one he can't pull off.
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Tuesday, March 11, 2008


I found this on Jen's blog... the most amazing internet video I've seen... Check it out!

P.S.... wish me luck for Weight Watchers tomorrow; I walked 3 days this week, let's hope it's enough to counteract Saturday's snafu.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Back on this side of the pond...

Haley got back Saturday night from her trip to England. It sounds like she had a really good time. Go here to check out her pictures: Haley's England pics. As usual she got some great shots. I honestly think she should be photographer; she's that good.

I was a bad, bad girl on Saturday. My food choices left a lot to be desired. Chris' grandmother had promised to make me her fried pork chops when Jonathan was born; and I finally got them Saturday! I did pretty good at first, but then proceeded to eat four rolls!!! This is why I'm on Weight Watchers, because I do stupid things like eat four rolls. Not to mention that for dinner that evening we ordered pizza and I ate three slices! Seriously?! However, I did go for a walk Sunday afternoon to (hopefully) counteract at least some of my transgressions. That's three days this week I've walked; Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday. Needless to say, I'm not expecting great things from the scale this week. But, each day is a new day and I can recommit. Every day.

Speaking of exercising; Chris has started running. He'd decided that he needed to start exercising; to get in shape and to help relieve stress. A couple of weeks ago he'd received a much needed & deserved bonus from his job, so he went & bought himself some running shoes & and iPod. He got up Saturday morning & ran (in the snow!!!) and also ran Sunday afternoon. Right now he's running about 2 miles; and hoping to work up to much more than that. I'm so proud of him for doing this.

We finally made it back to church on Sunday. We visited Lawrenceville Church of God. (I'd post the link but their website is pretty worthless.) Some people that we've met at the Japanese restaurant we eat at every Sunday go there, as do several people Chris knows from ages ago. We went to the 8:30 service; which was EARLY, especially with the time change. I had to get up at 6:30, but it felt like 5:30. No fun. I enjoyed the service, and I'm pretty sure Chris did too. We're going back this Sunday, and will probably attend Sunday School too. I can't remember the last time I went to Sunday School.

I know I need to take some pictures of Jonathan & post them. The weather is supposed to be really nice this week so I'm sure we'll head to the park. I'll make sure & take some while we're out. Stay tuned...

Thursday, March 06, 2008

a little something fun

1) Answer the questions below
2) Take each answer and type it into Photobucket
3) Take a picture from the results and post.

1. The age you'll be on your next birthday: 32
thirty two
2. A place you'd like to travel: Ireland
3. Your favorite place to be: home
4. Your favorite object: books
5. Your favorite food: chicken enchiladas
creamy chicken enchiladas
6. Your favorite animal: bulldog
7. Your favorite color: pink
8. The town in which you were born: Oceanside, CA
Oceanside Ca.
9. The town in which you live: Loganville, GA
10. The name of a past pet: Pebbles
11. A favorite celebrity: Patrick Dempsey
Patrick Dempsey
12. Your name/nickname/screen name: Misti
13. Your middle name: Dawn
14. Your last name: Mann
Ranjiv Mann
15. A bad habit of yours: procrastinating
16. Your first job: Bojangles
17. How you feel about your life: content
18. One word to describe you: Insecure
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