Wednesday, December 31, 2008

In Review

Scene It! Style Happy New Year
Barley Cat adopted only because he was crazy
Atlantic City with my G-Ma, gambling for the first time, won $91, stopped there.
We would like to offer you a position!
Fell in love with New Orleans!
Told Michael I was leaving my first real, real job
Started a new job, became part of the capitol beltway traffic
Crystal Grottoes
Got rid of Old Blue, bought the Silver Fox
First Wine Fest of the Season - giddy on tour, almost got kicked out with Julie
Started a Blog
Kris and Karley got married!
Daren graduated
Held Abby’s baby, the first time I held a baby in years
More Wine Fests…Perhaps 3 at this point?
Got fed up with Fieldpointe, moved to Howard County
Closing out wine fest season at the MD Wine Fest
NYC for Krissy’s Bachelorette Party!
Krissy’s Wedding!
I cut someone’s hair….scary
Held Nicole’s baby! So cute!
Kari and Jason got married!
Lost my cell phone for the first time ever
Election – having more faith in my country
Booked more weddings for next year!
1 Year without Poppop
Met Theresa’s Josh
Worked Thanksgiving
Best Holiday Party Ever
Biggest Loser
Family Christmas

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Would You Rather Saturday!

Would you rather cough the sound of bagpipes or fart the sound of a rapid-fire machine gun?

:-) Happy Weekend!

Friday, December 19, 2008


It has rained everyday since Tuesday and I would very much so like it to either stop or turn to snow.

This is where I intend on staying until my wish is fulfilled.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Monday, December 15, 2008

uh oh...I'm going to blog about sports

Let's talk about this photo people...

I went to the Raven's game on Sunday. It was a pretty dismal game and the fact that I couldn't feel my ears or toes afterwards didn't help much either.

I have heard a lot of people talk about this game and thought I would throw in my two cents too. First of all, yes the Ravens lost, but you have to admit it was a good game. Both teams sported awesome defenses, the Steeler's had two turnovers, there were some sacks/tackles that I was surprised the players got up from (I would have been knocked unconscious), there was fighting on the field after every play, and the hot chocolate was not watered down.

Now, this photo. To bring it all back for you, the Steeler's had the ball on the Raven's 4 with 43 seconds left on the clock, Roethlisberger, trying to find someone open, runs from the middle of the field to the side and back until he sees Santonio Holmes, that bastard, in the end zone. Originally, the play was not called a touchdown. But, even though I didn't ask them to, because I matter so much, the refs reviewed the play and reversed the call.

I have some problems with that. First off, I have seen the play over and over again and honestly, there is just not enough evidence for anything to be conclusive - did the ball cross the plain? Didn't look like it from my seat, which was only a few feet from the fiel. Were both his feet down? Eh, maybe before Ed Reed knocked him face first into the turf. Did he have ball control? I didn't think so.

So, why did the refs overturn it? Because, as Frank would say, football is fixed. :-)

I know someone who would be really, really glad he was not officiating this game. Hi, Mr. Ed Hoculi!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Would You Rather Saturday!

Wold you rather live in a world where women were given equal pay, opportunity, and access to jobs or a world whee men experience the pains of the birth process along with women?

Friday, December 12, 2008


Happy Friday from my crazy, funny, sweet, photogenic animals!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Why I Can't Turn On My TV

As you can probably already tell from the obscene amount of complaining I do on this blog, I have very little tolerance for many things. I complain a lot, I am antsy a lot and lack patience all the time. But I am hoping some of you may be able to sympathize with the agony I go through when I turn on my TV mainly because of these commercials in particular.

The first one that makes me crazy is the commercial for Progressive. You know the scenario: the skinny blonde lady needs a good rate on her car insurance and FLO decides to show her how much she can save by using Progressive. Here is my problem, according to the autmoated sign in the background, she is saving about $300 and claims that, that is enough for a new pair of shoes. UMMMM OF COURSE IT IS! It is more than enough. Shoot, for that much, I could by at least 60 pairs of shoes from Payless. At least 10 if they are higher quality. And then FLO has the nerve to say, in reference to what she can buy with what she is saving, that she could also get "a big tripped out name tag." OMG, you are mad annoying.

The second set of commercials that make me want to throw my remote at the TV are the Subway commercials. Yes, please, I would like to see a slew of people singing about $5 foot longs. The newest one is by far the worst. The construction workers attempt dancing and the two business dressed ladies have horrible, horrible pitch, causing my to go into a whirlwind of anxiety. It onestly does reach a point where it is just too painful to watch. And answer me this, why is it that I go to Subway and never, ever spend only $5? Ridic.

The third set of commercials, the biggest offenders of bad advertising and the ones that just take the cake for the worst commercials ever are So help me God, if I ever see this guy in public, I will trample him, tie him up, sit him in front of a huge tv with the volume turned to obscenely high volume and force him to sit alone in a dark room to watch those stupid commercials on repeat until he has officially lost his mind, much like I already have. To top it all off, this guy is from Canada, his name is Eric Violette. Just another thing we can blame Canada for. But I guess it would not be fair to just blame the singer, perhaps I should tie up the person who thought up these dumb tunes too: David Muhlenfeld. Although, in his defense, I think he knows these commercials are making people psycho. He stated recently "Repetition alone will make something stick in a listener’s head. The question is, once your song is in their head, will they want to stick that head in an oven?” Well said, David.

In case you haven't had the chance to turn on your tv in the last few days, I thought I would show you the latest of the commercials warning everyone of the woes of bad credit...renaissance style? Ugh.

Where is an oven when you need one?

Monday, December 8, 2008

Pet Peeve

This time it is literally a "pet" peeve. Above is not either of my cats but it illustrates exactly what happens at my house daily.

As many of you know, I have 2 cats: Barley, the big, fat, whiney but so much fun, orange one and then Sushi, the small, petite, dainty, princess-like, gray one. I have their food dishes right beside one another. They both have their own food and water dish and for the most part usually stick to using their own. The area around and under Sushi's princess dishes is clean, immaculately clean. The area around Barley's looks like he collapsed in it, very much so like the photo above. And then he comes to me, meows and meows, until I get up and follow him to his dish and put more food in it. Just like I did only hours before. Granted, I am exaggerating this doesn't happen everyday but Jesus, he is such an attention whore.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Do you see?????

Do you see what I have to live with? They are playing Edward 40 Hands...omg.

The blurriness may be due in part to some sort of wine...and my inability to find my flash in such a state.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Would You Rather Saturday!

Would you rather be missing toes or have webbed hands?

Friday, December 5, 2008


I think if I just copy the picture into this post, it won't have the same effect for you.

A friend sent me this today when I was complaining about god only knows what. It made me happy and I hope it lifts your spirits this Friday too!,and,creativity,commercials,feelings,humans,life,time,favs,,under,eighteens-0363110f93565cf50471946c93b7ab7b_h.jpg

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Vicky = Villian

I am obsessed with the Biggest Loser. I love that show to pieces. I watched it last night with the boys while simultaneously eating a semi healthy dinner followed by a huge piece of chocolate cake washed down with a swig of coke with an Ambien (more to come on my Ambien addiction later). So motivating....

But seriously, the people on that show are inspiring and extremely motivating. EXCEPT for one. I was so pleased today when I logged out of my yahoo mail and was taken straight to the news page and saw an article entitled The Biggest Villian on 'Biggest Loser.' YAY! Finally someone else sees the evil that she is! THAT BOY I live with likes her the best. I think after last nights episode she is just an evil, selfish, greedy pansy who likes to put on a scene for national display. I feel bad for her 2 very young children because their mom is an embarrassment.

Yahoo! is listing these as:


1. Bob, the ever-positive Blue Team trainer, commented early on that she was the "most conniving person" he'd seen on the show. To be honest, we hadn't noticed, but let's just say that if Bob has something negative to say about someone, we pay attention.

2. Vicky boasted that her team lost a challenge because the prize wasn't worth it. Talk about poor sportsmanship! Whether the prize is good enough for you or not, at least make an effort -- it's an additional workout, dummy.

3. In recent episodes Vicky started making faces during weigh-ins, and even worse, she started to openly mock Philip when he spoke, even when he was on the scale. That's crossing the line. When someone steps on that giant scale, awaiting their fate each week, it is a moment that must be respected.

4. Even Vicky's alliance pal Ed warned cameras that if you cross her "she'll claw your eyes out." When Amy C. voted Brady off two weeks ago, Vicky totally lost it. She cursed about Amy during her confessionals, posted a "revenge" sign on her bedroom door, ignored Amy altogether, and vowed to knock her out of the competition. And Amy was Vicky's teammate! Then when Amy saved Vicky from elimination the next week (because she felt so guilty about Brady), Vicky returned the favor by sending Amy packing the moment Amy was on the chopping block. Apparently Vicky is a 37-year-old woman with the mentality of a mean 13-year-old girl.

5. When football legends Jerry Rice and Steve Young stopped by for a challenge where the prize was a charitable donation, Vicky was still in 100% scheme-mode. She figured that the challenge twist would be that they'd have to run the course twice, and the winner would be the one with the most improved time. So she WALKED the first time, with Jerry and Steve shouting encouragements from the sidelines while she lied to them about being embarrassingly slow. She was correct about the twist and of course she ran the second time and won the challenge, but there was no way the win was worth it. Talk about a lack of respect for yourself, your peers, and Steve and Jerry. We were disgusted.

Again, evil pansy. :-)

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Vogue Pup

My dog is seriously a wannabe model. She totally has mad modeling skills; so much so that it is just nauseating. All I do is take out my totally kick ass camera and will lay on the floor, she does the rest. Every time I am about to snap a photo she will turn away and look back in time for the shot. She also gives me those puppy dog eyes that are just so irresistible. :-)

Monday, December 1, 2008

When will the ringing stop?

It’s that time a year again. I will have a headache before I even enter most of the stores I frequent. Just like this past week, prior to Thanksgiving, mind you, when I went to Wal-mart. Much to my dismay, I could here the ringing from the middle of the parking lot, and as I approached the automatic front door, my worst fears were realized: The Bell Ringers are back.

But not only are they back at Wal-Mart, they are back in full force, at grocery stores even, at a 7-11 in VA. And I can hear the ringing before I get into the store, while I am in the store, when I leave the store and for a little while in my head when I go home. Then it just subsides into a really mean headache. You know, the kind that makes you feel like your heart is going to pop right out of the middle of your forehead.

In all honesty though, while I usually don’t put money in the bucket every time, I guess I am glad they do it. It reminds me of how fortunate I am, knowing that I am walking in to a store to make a purchase that I am able to make because I am lucky enough to have a job this holiday season, and not standing in line, filling out an application to get a meal from the Salvation Army.

But really, the bells?

Saturday, November 29, 2008

The first of many: Would You Rather Saturday!

I hereby declare that every Saturday will be Would You Rather days! Why? Because it is something I can pre-post and they are fun!

Every Saturday I will propose a would you rather type question. These questions are going to be very random because that is in my nature and they will sometimes be silly. I will be expecting answers in the comments section!

This Saturday's would you rather question is:

Would you rather be able to read everybody's minds or know everybody's future? (Either way you can't tell anyone what they are thinking or what their future is).

Friday, November 28, 2008

Black Friday Traffic Madness

First of all, Jenn, it makes me ill to think that when I was getting off work this morning at 6am, you probably had already hit up 17 whole malls and other little shops along the way. You and your mom are some crazy biatches.

Second, what the flip is with all of you?????? You know who you are. I am talking about anyone who was on 495 between 4:53pm and 5:48pm. I’m pretty sure you were all wildly intoxicated or are just still in food comas which, in either case, driving for you should be strictly prohibited.

Let’s first start with YTB 04*. I don’t have any idea why you think it is A-okay to slam on your brakes for no apparent reason whenever you feel like it. I think you might just like to see the lights reflecting on my windshield. You did it hmmm, I would say at least 3 times before I switched lanes, only to find that there was no one within a good 1500 ft in front of you. And I was not following closely at all. I was scared shitless of all of you drivers today for some reason and was driving not only the speed limit but at least 2 car lengths away from you.

To the piece of crap pick up truck that more than once failed to look beside him to see if there was someone in the lane before nonchalantly attempting to cram your vehicle into said lane, without putting your blinker on mind you, you are a jerk. And I am so glad I have a loud horn and stellar reaction times.

Lastly, you, with your hugely unnecessary SUV acting like you own 495 W. There is no reason why during rush hour you need to be barreling down the road like a lunatic at 90 mph, I don’t care if you were a cop. You totally cut me off, and have blatant disregard to others. And I hate you. I hate you not only because you drive like a donkey but because of your car. It is as if to say F U world, I am the only one that matters. My comfort and obsession with huge vehicles is far greater than having a planet for my children and grandchildren to grow up on. You obviously have a small penis…I mean…. Shit, Melanie reads this, so does my Mom.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

May your stuffing be tasty
May your turkey plump,
May your potatoes and gravy
Have never a lump.
May your yams be delicious
And your pies take the prize,
And may your Thanksgiving dinner
Stay off your thighs!

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

And some holiday funnies!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Thanksgiving Eve Meanderings

Out of all the holidays, Thanksgiving is probably my least favorite. I have worked every Thanksgiving since I was a teenager, and as I sit in my office right now and until 6am tomorrow, and then tomorrow night and the next night, I am trying to pinpoint exactly what it is I dislike so much about Thanksgiving.

I hate saying this, but I honestly think it has something to do with the fact that Thanksgiving was the one holiday where we didn’t stay at home. Christmas we have people to our house, New Years is family game night, our birthdays, not that they are holidays, but they were spent in the comfort of our own home. Thanksgiving is the one holiday where we left our house, went to my aunt’s house, or my grandparent’s house or God only knows where else to have dinner.

But leaving the house isn’t really the problem; the problem is you never know who else is going to be at the family member’s house you are going to. You forget that there is a totally different side of the family you are not used to encountering. And I think this particular Thanksgiving, when I was probably in 5th or 6th grade was the one that did it in for me. (NOTE: Please do not get offended by the rest of this post, I am not meaning any type of disrespect, I used to work with people with disabilities, and I commend anyone who has worked with/lived with/had anything to do with people with any sort of disability. It is tremendously admirable.) That Thanksgiving we got up the usual time, got dressed, probably skipped breakfast and began the 2ish hour journey to my aunt’s house, my mom’s sister’s house. Everything was going the way it usually went, food was cooking, football was on, everyone was catching up with everybody else, good times.

And then…my uncle’s son showed up. Dun dun dun. And he brings, a client, I guess you would say, from where he worked at the time, with him. Not only do I not really know my uncle’s son, but I definitely have not had any type of interaction with someone with any type of retardation and I was frightened and annoyed that this person was there in that house, with my family on Thanksgiving. I remember thinking that the tradition we usually do every year…ugh, was going to be incredibly awkward. Every year everybody gets 5 popcorn kernels and we all have to think of something different to be thankful for, for each kernel, and there can be no repeats, 2 people cannot be thankful for their mom, only 1 could be. It was made even more awkward by the fact that my brothers and I had figured out that the only thing this guy who was drooling on himself and refused to remove his thick winter coat was able to say was “Church,” “Soap,” and “Kappa pee pie.” Please don’t even ask about the last one, I have spent years trying to figure out if he wanted a piece of pie or needed to use the restroom.

Eventually, Thanksgiving was over, and we were on our way home and I guess it was then I was really thankful for being the way I am and having my health and my family to be with not just on holidays, but anytime I need them.

And even this Thanksgiving, while I will not be with my family or my friends, I continue to be thankful for every single one of them.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Come, Sit, Stay...what was the other one?

Sunny had her first puppy obedience class last Saturday. She made some new friends, including a cute Collie among others and she made it clear that she wanted to attack and kill the Great Dane that was there as well.

She has got sit and stay down pat. The one she has trouble with is "please don't chase the cats, they are not toys." I think she thinks Barley's fluffy tail is her own personal play toy and poor Sushi, Sunny just doesn't understand that Sush is a scaredy cat. But in all honesty, it has gotten better faster than I thought it would. Sushi spent the first 2ish weeks under the bed, only coming out to eat, pee and poop. I think now she is starting to realize that is no way to live, and staying under the bed is not going to make the dog go away, and has been making appearances daily outside of the bed room.

Yay for progress. :-)

Friday, November 21, 2008

Teasers - Kari and Jason!!!

I am so glad that my Karbear let me photograph her wedding! The wedding day went by so smoothly and the whole day had a very relaxed feeling.

She wore a simple yet gorgeous white gown.

Not to mention really cute shoes.

I love getting ready shots...check out the awesome natural light!

I always love a good mom of the bride shot. She looks so proud. And she currently holds the honor of coolest mom of the bride ever!

The brothers of the bride.

And my favorite. This is the moment I wait for in all weddings. The moment when the groom sees his bride coming down the aisle. I love it.

Gorgeous bridesmaids!

Beautiful setting. Not to mention perfect weather.


I love this, I have a slew of photos of them just totally unable to keep thier hands off each other right after the ceremony! Totally spontaneous!

First dance.

And to the jerks who I had to edit out of almost every photo...this one is for you. I will probably beat you up the next time I see these faces. :-) Kidding...kind of.

Kari and Jason, I had so much fun at your wedding. I really hope you enjoy these memories of your day! Love ya!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Check Back Soon!

I finished Kari and Jason's photos in record time! I will be posting the Teasers tomorrow! :-)

Monday, November 17, 2008

Music Ed Day 3

How about some ladies today? I’ll be honest, I don’t like many woman’s voices. I am pretty particular. I don’t really know how to describe why or without sounding offensive. I think some woman’s voices are just whiny, too high pitched sometimes and I prefer to hear a solid, deeper, rough yet still soft and smooth voice of a man.

BUT today I have only females.

First, I want to tell you about my first party in college. I think this is the day I realized I picked a totally cool and awesome place to go to school. My first party in college was a post Pergola Party-party. There is – cough I mean WAS a tradition – at Hood called Pergola Party. It started with a Big Sis Little Sis dinner and then they are supposed to read us their favorite bed time story and “tuck us in.” Cute. Except for after we get ready for bed, and the big sis’s leave, they come back about 20 minutes later banging on the doors, wrecking havoc and make us leave the dorm. When we get downstairs to the front door there was all of the upperclass(wo)men with shaving cream and silly string spraying us and leading us to the Pergola in the center of the campus where they sing about how much they love us and all that good stuff. When I just wrote that, I realized how horribly stupid all that sounds but in all honesty, it was adorable and a lot of fun. You actually felt accepted after that. It helped knowing that all the big sis’s had been through the same thing and it was all in good fun.

Anyway, after the big foam party-ness, we all got showered and changed and went up to what was then the empty “triple” on the top floor of the building. I had the coolest big sis ever, Torrey Campbell, she really took me and my roommate under her wing and made sure we had drinks and were having fun. I was such a virgin to alcohol then, she made us fuzzy navels and I remember having no idea what the hell she was talking about. I blame it on being the oldest child in my family. We were all just hanging out talking when someone asks this girl Laura to sing us all a song. I was shocked that this girl had the softest and most beautiful voice ever and played the guitar perfectly. How awesome is this? Classes start in a few days, I am with what will soon be lifelong friends and I am in a room with really talented and intelligent people. This is what college students do and I am doing it. Awesome.

Anyway, her name is Laura Secker and her music can be found at It is beautiful.

Okay…enough rambling.

Lori McKenna – How Romantic is That?

I mostly just heart the lyrics to this song. I love when songs tell stories. And it is live, not a recording.

Sugarland – Stay

I wanted to post the real video but YouTube has the embed option disabled on all of them. I love the real video. It’s pretty raw. And this is one of the few female voices I love.

Meril Bainbridge – Mouth

So old, so old. But I heard this one the radio the other day and I forgot how catchy and fun it is. And dirty…

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Music Ed Day 2

Slowing it down a bit with boys that play the piano.

Jon McLaughlin – Beautiful Disaster

I could watch this guy play piano all day long … and he can totally sing to me whenever he wants.

Paul Tiernan – How to Say Goodbye

Yes, from the awesome Nick and Norah.

Secondhand Serenade – Fall For You

I know this song is already popular but I really like the piano.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Consider this your musical education :-)

You know how I said I associate a lot with smells? Well, the other huge thing that I associate things with is music. Music has always had a big impact on my life. I grew up in a family where everyone played an instrument, at least until high school; my mom plays piano, my step dad could probably play any instrument and can play anything he hears on the radio on the piano within seconds of hearing it, my brother Brett got pretty good at the guitar and sax, Daren played something…I think it was the bass clarinet, unit high school, Melanie plays the viola, and I play piano and did percussion in the high school wind ensemble and marching band…. Don’t make fun.

Anyway, music to me is awesome. And every once and awhile I go on these new music binges where I search and search for songs or artists I have never heard of and then play the crap out of all their songs until I get sick of them and start my next binge. I take great pride in loving a song before it gets to the radio and I would say this happens once every six months.

I am currently in the process of bingeing and wanted to share with you some of my new favorites. I am thinking I will post two or so a day for a few days. Don’t want to overwhelm you all at once.

Devendra Banhart – Lover

It is truly really hard not to just fall in love with this song. It reminds me of a good summer song. It’s helping me get through the initial shock of how flipping cold it is getting outside.

We Are Scientists – After Hours

This is a funny video. Bestiality for the win?

And a bonus one because it is day one:

Alex Woodward – Beautiful Now

I think I want someone to sing this to me after I feel ugly from having boat loads of babies.

Friday, November 14, 2008

In Remembrance

A year ago today my Poppop died. I don't think I will ever forget that morning. It's amazing how a completely ordinary day turns into a totally unexpected one. I had just made my way down to my office at the group home I was working then working at. I was about to check tickets, you'd have to had worked at Way Station to understand, and was calling Lindsay about something probably not work related on my work phone when my mom's picture shows up on my other phone and that annoying Uummmbeeeeeerrrrreella sound was ringing loudly. I answered, holding both phones up to my ear and was unsure as to what to do because I had Lindsay's line ringing still and I had Mom, sounded frantic and like I was breaking up on the other, and I was in shock already. In the mean time Lindsay answered and I had Lindsay saying "Hello???" in one ear and Mom saying "Dan? Dan? Dan?" in another. I could tell by the tone of my mom's voice that she was desperate about something. I quickly got off the phone with Lindsay and listened to my mom tell me about how Frederick Memorial Hospital had just called her and said she needed to get there immediately. Knowing how the ER works at FMH through experience with other members I knew this wasn't good.

And I guess in some ways I knew or should have. But on that less than 5 minute car ride to the hospital I was just praying I was wrong. Maybe it was something else. Maybe I still had a chance to say goodbye. But maybe I am right.

I rushed to the ER where I found one of my favorite great Aunts and a really kind social worker who let me know my Poppop had passed away and that my Grandmother was in the room with him now with a neighbor.

I walk in to find my Namaw's super sweet neighbor and my Namaw with tears pouring and hankerchief in hand. She keeps saying over and over again, "What are we going to do, what am I going to do, how I am going to get along with out him?" Which of course, makes me cry for two reasons: 1) my poppop who I had so many awesome memories with is gone and 2) I loathe seeing my Namaw upset about anything.

After that it was a whirlwind of emotions. Family came and went. FMH was actually wonderful, they let us have that room for so long, even as the faint smell took over, which I tried to ignore but now it is hard to walk into a hospital without smelling death when it is around. (I associate a lot with smells. Side Story: I came home from school once in middle school and asked my mom when Namaw came by today because I could still smell the lingering scent of her perfume). They took care of my Namaw, who hours later was flown to Washington Hospital Center for almost a week while she recovered from what I believe was a broken heart.

I'm happy to say that my Namaw has done wonderfully this past year. She has said in the past that the one good thing that came out of all of this mess is the relationship that her and I have formed. I have visited her almost weekly, sometimes more and sometimes less and I love it and am happy to do it.

Anyway, I know this is posted on my old myspace blog but I though I would post my favorite story in honor of my Poppop today. It's "Fall of Freddie the Leaf." Love you, Poppop!

Spring had passed and so had summer…

Freddie the leaf had grown large. His mid-section was wide and strong and his five extensions were firm and pointed.

He had first appeared in spring as a small sprout on a rather large branch near the top of a tall tree.

Freddie was surrounded by hundreds of other leaves just like himself, or so it seemed. Soon he discovered that no two leaves were alike, even though they were on the same tree. Alfred was the leaf next to him. Ben was the leaf on his right side, and Clare was the lovely leaf overhead.

They had all grown up together. They had learned to dance in the spring breezes, bask lazily in the summer sun and wash off in the cooling rains.

But it was Daniel who was Freddie's best friend. He was the largest leaf on the limb and seemed to have been there before anyone else. It appeared to Freddie that Daniel was also the wisest among them. It was Daniel who told them that they were part of a tree. It was Daniel who explained that they were growing in a public park. It was Daniel who told him that the tree had strong roots, which were hidden in the ground below. He explained about the birds who came to sit on their branch and sing morning songs. He explained about the sun, the moon, the stars and the seasons. Freddie loved being a leaf. He loved his branch, his light leafy friends, his place high in the sky, the wind that jostled him about, the sun rays that warmed him, the moon that covered him with soft, white shadows.

Summer had been especially nice. The long hot days felt good and the warm nights were peaceful and dreamy.

There were many people in the park that summer. They often came and sat under Freddie's tree. Daniel told him that giving shade was part of his purpose.

"What's a purpose?" Freddie had asked. "A reason for being" Daniel had answered. "To make things more pleasant for others is a reason for being. To make shade for old people who come to escape the heat of their homes is a reason for being. To provide a cool place for children to come and play. To fan with our leaves, the picnickers who come to eat on checkered tablecloths. These are all reasons for being."

Freddie especially liked the old people. They sat so quietly on the cool grass and hardly ever moved. They talked in whispers of times past. The children were fun too, even though they sometimes tore holes in the bark of the tree, or carved their names into it. Still, it was fun to watch them move so fast and to laugh so much.

But Freddie's summer soon passed. It vanished on an October night. He had never felt it so cold. All the leaves shivered with the cold. They were coated with a thin layer of white, which quickly melted and left them dew drenched and sparkling in the morning sun.

Again it was Daniel who explained that they had experienced their first frost. The sign that it was fall and that winter would soon come.

Almost at once, the whole tree, in fact the whole park was transformed into a blaze of color. There was hardly a green leaf left. Alfred had turned a deep yellow. Ben had become a bright orange. Claire had become a blazing red, Daniel a deep purple, and Freddie was red and gold and blue. How beautiful they all looked. Freddie and his friends had made their tree a rainbow.

"Why did we turn different colors," Freddie asked, "When we are all on the same tree?" "Each of us is different. We have had different experiences. We have faced the sun differently. We have cast shade differently. Why should we not have different colors?" Daniel said matter-of-factly. Daniel told Freddie that this wonderful season was called fall.

One day, a very strange thing happened. The same breezes that in the past had made them dance began to push and pull at their stems, almost as if they were angry. This caused some of the leaves to be torn from their branches and swept up in the wind, tossed about, and dropped softly to the ground.

All the leaves became frightened. "What's happening?" they asked each other in whispers. "It's what happens in fall," Daniel told them. "It's the times for leaves to change their home. Some people call it 'to die.'" "Will we all die," Freddie asked? "Yes," Daniel answered. "Everything dies. No matter how big or small, how weak or strong. We first do our job. We experience the sun and the moon, the wind and the rain. We learn to dance and to laugh. Then we die."

"I won't die!" Freddie said, with determination. "Will you Daniel?" "Yes," answered Daniel, "When it's my time." "When is that?" Asked Freddie. "No one knows for sure." Daniel responded.

Freddie noticed that the other leaves continued to fall. He thought it must be their time. He saw that some of the leaves lashed back at the wind before they fell, others simply let go and dropped quietly. Soon the tree was almost bare.

"I'm afraid to die." Freddie told Daniel. "I don't know what's down there." "We all fear what we don't know, Freddie, it's natural." Daniel reassured him. "Yet you were not afraid when spring became summer. You were not afraid when summer became fall. They were natural changes. Why should you be afraid of the season of death?" "Does the tree die too?" Freddie asked. "Someday. But there is something stronger than the tree. It is life. That lasts forever, and we're all a part of life." "Where will we go when we die?" "No one knows for sure, that's the great mystery!" "Will we return in the spring?" "We may not, but life will." "Then, what has been the reason for all this?" Freddie continued to question. "Why were we here at all if we are only to fall and die?" Daniel answered in his matter-of-fact way, "It's been about the sun and the moon. It's been about happy times together. It's been about the shade, and the old people, and the children. It's been about colors in the fall. It's been about seasons. Isn't that enough?"

That afternoon, in the golden light of dusk, Daniel let go. He fell effortlessly. He seemed to smile peacefully as he fell. "Goodbye for now, Freddie." He said.

Then Freddie was alone. The only leaf left on his branch.

The first snow fell the following morning. It was soft, white, and gentle; but it was bitter cold. There was hardly any sun that day, and the day was very short. Freddie found himself losing his color, becoming brittle. It was constantly cold, and the snow weighed heavily upon him.

At dawn, the wind came that took Freddie from his branch. It didn't hurt at all. He felt himself float quietly, gently, and softly downward.

As he fell, he saw the whole tree for the first time. How strong and firm it was! He was sure that it would live for a long time, and he knew that he had been a part of its life, and it made him proud.

Freddie landed on a clump of snow. It somehow felt soft, and even warm. In this new position he was more comfortable than he had ever been. He closed his eyes and fell asleep. He did not know that spring would follow winter, and that the snow would melt into water. He did not know that what appeared to be his useless dried self would join with the water and serve to make the tree stronger. Most of all he did not know that there, asleep in the tree and the ground were already plans for new leaves in the spring.

…The Beginning

And perhaps the Eulogy I wrote too.

Some of my favorite memories of Pop-pop have all happened at the lake house. I remember my first fishing pole, which I believe is still up there. It doesn’t go more than 5 feet when you cast it, but none the less, the last time I went up there, I used it. Pop-pop taught me how to fish. One of the first things that I had to get over if I wanted to fish with my Pop-pop was that I had to put the worm on myself. That meant digging my finger into the nasty, wet feeling dirt that came in that small Styrofoam container we got from the country store from the guy that only had one eye. Pop-pop explained that is what happened to people who didn’t know how to cast properly, you take someone’s eye out. I remember because there were so many of us kids, I only had a limited number of worms and it always seemed like my worm was always getting eaten without the ball going down to let me know that a fish was nibbling. Pop-pop would always give me another chance and give me an extra worm. I knew I could count on him for that, being then, the only grand daughter.

I remember the fireworks every 4th of July. Pop-pop would always make us sit in our lawn chairs at least 50 feet from where they were going to fire from. He was safe that way. I remember his smile when he lit the one he had to nail to a tree that spun around in circles and made incredibly obnoxious noises.

I remember the swing that my parents and my grandparents pushed me on that was near the drive way of the lake house. It went so high and over a tiny section of the lake. I knew nothing bad would ever happen though because my Pop-pop was there.

I remember back to school shopping at Apple Blossom Mall. Pop-pop and Namaw would take us all day to get 4 new pairs of jeans, 4 new shirts, shoes and a book bag. We would always eat in the food court. He was always really proud of all of his grand kids for anything we did academically and was happy to send us to school looking just as snazzy as he looked all the time.

I remember him on my brother, Brett’s, 16th birthday. Brett had gotten a car, a car that he still has and Pop-pop got him a complete car care safety set. One of the gifts was in a box in a very familiar shape. Brett opened it, Pop-pop was laughing hysterically. It was a wrench in case he ever had a flat tire. Unsure how to wrap it, as it was a large, 4 sided wrench, clever Pop-pop went up to James Gang and got a pizza box. My whole family was laughing because Pop-pop thought it was just hysterical and was in tears from laughing so hard.

My latest memory of Pop-pop was me coming over just a few months ago to show him my new camera. As I was sitting there explaining to him all the different buttons and gadgets he had a painful expression on his face. When asked what was wrong, Pop-pop responded that he could not get the volume on his hearing aid turned down and my normal talking voice sounded like I was shouting incredibly loudly. I whispered for the rest of the visit. I imagined poor Namaw having to sit really close to the TV to hear her programs while Pop-pop could sit a normal distance away and still hear perfectly fine.

Pop-pop has taught me in the last few days to never save anything for the perfect day. I have learned that silverware tarnishes when it isn’t used, perfume turns to alcohol and never smells as sweet as when it was used, candles melt in the attic over the summer, plastic left on lamp shades makes them wrinkle and stories that are left unsaid become dated and sometimes it is too late. If I had one more day to spend with Pop-pop I would tell him so much. That I love him, that he raised the best family, and that he did everything just right. I would listen to his stories and maybe even let him teach me Morris code, which he could tell I had no interest in from the beginning.

I imagine that Pop-pop used everything he could with his life. I imagine him being asked to give an accounting of his life at the higher court. I dream that it would go much like this: “So, empty your pockets. What have you got left of your life? Any dreams that were left unfilled? Any unused talents that we gave you when you were born that you still have left? Any unsaid compliments or bits of love that you haven’t spread around?” And Pop-pop’s answer would be “I’ve nothing to return. I spent everything you gave me. I’m as naked as the day I was born.”

And Pop-pop would have it no other way.

It is definitely true that those we laughed with, learned from, leaned on and loved the most leave us the best memories. I will miss you Pop-pop.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Teasers - Anthony, Mandy and Dylan!

This past weekend I had the privileged of shooting a Christmas photo session for a family I photographed last year. I know Mandy from where I used to work and I admit I have not been the best about keeping in touch since I left. I was very happy to get to spend a couple hours with them and was even more thankful I got to have dinner with them afterward. Dylan has gotten so much taller since I last saw him, and looks so much more grown up. I was so amazed!

Thanks Martinez Family!


Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Happy Birthday, Brett!

Today is my brother Brett's 21st Birthday. He is a senior at WVU and when I called him at 5pm he was actually still working on school stuff and was not wildly intoxicated, surprisingly enough.

Anyway, to understand my brother's personality, I am posting these two funny pics of him. First, him on the ab lounge with my old tanning goggle things we found the day Frank and I moved out and the second, the infamous hot tub photo. To put that one in some perspective, he is 6'2" and looks like an infant with a huge head in that pic. And last, a serious one that I like but he would tell me to delete.

Happy 21st Bet Woooooomiam!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Coldplay - The Scientist

This time, I care that you watch the video. I have loved this song for so long but only recently saw the video.

Sunday, November 9, 2008


I got a dog. Her name is Sunny and I am head over heels in love with her. Enjoy these photos, stories to come soon.

Thursday, November 6, 2008


"...the true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals: democracy, liberty, opportunity and unyielding hope."

-President Elect Barack Obama

Obama supporter or not...this statement is so simple, true and proud...and makes me think that he has an awesome speech writer.

Yes, Becky, I stole this, don't be mad, wanted to spread it on. It gave me goosebumps a bit. :)

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

LG env2

After Karbear's wedding I did this horrible, horrible thing. I lost my cell phone. You should have seen me wondering throughout a very dark golf course to all the places I took photos. The anxiety I had that night was extreme. I realized I have not spent one night without access to MY cell phone since I was 16 years old. Pretty sad. I couldn't send text messages, I couldn't call anyone because ever since I got a cell phone I stopped memorizing numbers...including my home phone. Ha! Funny thing about that...when I went up to the front desk at Turf Valley where the wedding was to tell them my phone was missing and is probably somewhere on the golf course, they asked for my contact information. More specifically they asked for my home phone number. Sadly enough I could not tell them what it was because the only place I have that number written down is in my phone that is in the dewy turf in the pitch black night. Before you go getting all "My 1st grader even knows his or her home phone number," please know that I have not had a home phone number in years because all I had was my cell phone. So there.

Anyway, I am pretty caught up with numbers, but I know I am still missing some. So, if you haven't sent me your number after I sent out an email, you should send it at your earliest convenience. :)

And honestly, I had no idea switching your phone would be so simple. All I did was walk right up to the kiosk for Verizon at Columbia Mall, picked out a new phone, chatted up the guy helping me and was on my way to Express with my new maroon LG env2. Awesome.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Kari and Jason are M-A-R-R-I-E-D!!!

Kari and Jason just got married and I was honored to be the one to photograph it all. More to come soon!