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Archive for December, 2006

Happy New Year!

In case I don’t make it back here before the grand festivities because I’m partying too hard, or, you know, asleep, Happy New Year! Please be safe. I want you around to read for another year at least. 😉
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*cough, cough*

Ah, ahem, excuse me. As you can see, a little remodeling is going on around here. Bald Man is helping to give me a more personal site to reflect my individual personality. I’m so sorry to subject you to even MORE of me. But I guess that’s your fault for showing up here, yeah? 😉

Anyway, we’re trying to see what’s going to work here. Figuring out a way to share my original photos in the headers and wherever else I can put them without driving you nuts. But, again, you willingly show up here. And thank you for doing so! I would write even if you didn’t show up, but it wouldn’t be nearly as fun.

So, anyway, thanks for your patience. Share thoughts and ideas if you have them. Thanks for being here.

(Hsien: Aren’t you so excited? It’s about time, you think? 😉 )

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Yeah, the kids are crazy here. The Christmas buzz is still alive and well. I wonder how long this high will last.

Did you have a good Christmas? I had a good time opening the gifts with the kids and Bald Man, but was feeling pretty sick. I, therefore, did not make the trek over the river and through the woods (which, while writing over here, I realized IS the way to grandma’s house, weird). I missed everyone, but was able to spend the entire day in bed. By. My. Self. The WHOLE day. Just me. Nobody else. It was a gift in itself. And oh so quiet.

And, no, I wasn’t just faking it to get a day to myself. I would feel waaayyyy too guilty to do that. But, hey, I can be thankful for what a bad cold brings, right?

Anyway, among all of the great gifts that we received, we are fully restocked with all of our Illini gear (thanks, Jack) so that the detox can continue. They aren’t clean, yet.

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Yeah, the kids are crazy here. The Christmas buzz is still alive and well. I wonder how long this high will last.

Did you have a good Christmas? I had a good time opening the gifts with the kids and Bald Man, but was feeling pretty sick. I, therefore, did not make the trek over the river and through the woods (which, while writing over here, I realized IS the way to grandma’s house, weird). I missed everyone, but was able to spend the entire day in bed. By. My. Self. The WHOLE day. Just me. Nobody else. It was a gift in itself. And oh so quiet.

And, no, I wasn’t just faking it to get a day to myself. I would feel waaayyyy too guilty to do that. But, hey, I can be thankful for what a bad cold brings, right?

Anyway, among all of the great gifts that we received, we are fully restocked with all of our Illini gear (thanks, Jack) so that the detox can continue. They aren’t clean, yet.

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With 2 days to spare…

merrychristmas.jpg…we are done with the shopping! Can I get a ^5? (That’s a “high five” for you non-computer geeks, and something completely different that I don’t know if you are among the uber-computer geeky.)

Yup, I think we have completed all of the shopping, without even having to hit the mall the last night out. The “mall area”? Yes. But not the mall itself. Which is fantastic because it was a madhouse looking kinda thing driving by it.

Hopefully now we can just enjoy the holiday. And in case I don’t make it back before then, Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and the best hopes and wishes to each of you in the new year.

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I got the best gift this year. No, no, I didn’t go searching through the closets looking for whatever someone might have stashed away for me. I am horrible at delay of gratification, but even I’m not that bad. (That trait would belong to my sister.)

No, one of my closest friends said (editorial paraphrasing here), “Hey. Bring the kids over at 11am, come back after you and Bald Man (no, she doesn’t call him Bald Man, but that way you know who I’m talking about) have gone out for dinner.” Really? Seriously? All THREE kids? For the WHOLE day? Way cool. Especially since she has three herself! Crazy lady. But hey, I answered “yes” before she had a chance to realize what she offered and backed out of it. (No, she wouldn’t do that.)

C’mon, now, is that an awesome gift or what? Time! She found a way to give the gift of time! And I loved it. I am an introvert, and there’s not much opportunity to cater to that facet of my personality when I’m home with kids all day. So one of the best parts of my day was sitting at a restaurant eating lunch with only a book as my dining companion. Wonderful.

Bald Man and I did have a nice evening out at a wine tasting (our first, very fun) and then coffee and dessert at a great local restaurant, Coco’s Bistro. Yum.

It’s good to have friends who you know will take care of your kids. Friends who inspire the type of trust that allows you the freedom to enjoy an evening and to not worry about your children though they are not with you. To whom you can count on to model good behaviour, kindness, and love. I thought these were such friends. I really did. And then we arrived to pick up our dear little ones, and found I’d been betrayed.

You see, I am a fan of the Big Ten schools in general, and of the Fighting Illini in particular. I do, however, have a great dislike for a certain Big Ten school (you can tell how much I dislike it by my refusal to link to it), and particularly for its athletic program. Unfortunately for me, I also happen to live in the state in which this school is located. And, due to that fact, a great many of my friends, most of whom have been born and bred here (hey, they did all breed here, weird) are great devotees to this particular school. And they like to taunt me. Can you imagine?

Well, the taunting I can handle. I’m strong. This latest stunt, though, has just about tested my limits. Along with teaching my oldest her square roots (which, by the way, was cool), our dear friend (the husband of the duo) taught my dear, impressionable, innocent children the slanderous chant of the wicked team. And of ALL of the things that I try to teach them each day that they can’t seem to keep in their tiny brains for more than 2 seconds, for some reason this little chant has managed to stick around. For days. And days.

So, yes, my little darlings are taunting me all day. In my kitchen, in my car, in my bedroom, my darlings are badgering me with, “O-H” and the reply, and the “Go Buc*****!” Grrrr.

So, yeah, I’ve got the kids in detox now. I only chant with them if they’re chanting, “I-L-L” “I-N-I”. I went so far as to tell my youngest when he was using the “b” word that what he was saying was naughty (which, funnily enough, my IL friend Jackie did as well without me having told her that). I think Bald Man thought that was going a little too far. But he’s finishing the OH cheers with them, so he’s on my list, too.

Anyway, remember friend, revenge is SWEET. I see a lot of orange and blue coming your way. 😀

And, in all seriousness, thanks for the great gift of a day out. Despite the brainwashing, it was a very special gift. And thanks for the, “I’m blogging this.” t-shirts. Whaddya know, you were right? 😉

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julia8.jpg

Isn’t she beautiful? A friend let me grab a few shots of her and her little one with the borrowed digital. A cropping or two and a b&w switch later, and voilà, a cute baby photo.

I’ve really struggled being pulled into the whole digital photo arena. Not that I’m really in it, I use my mom’s camera. I’ve loved taking photos for as long as I can remember, and I’ll take a picture of just about anything. The underside of an overpass, my boot, an air vent or anything else that strikes me as interesting. I get a lot of weird looks from some family members, but I really don’t care. It interests me, I learn every time I shoot, and it brings me joy.

I get the biggest kick out of getting the perfect shot. I was soooo excited a few years back when I bought my zoom lens (75-300mm) because it completely opened up potential shots for me. Really, I was on cloud 9 and wasn’t coming down anytime soon. One day I’ll share some of my favorite shots using that lens. They’re all film, so I’ll have to scan them. But, anyway, there is nothing like the thrill of getting the perfect shot.

I’ve never been one much for cropping and filters and all that. They do make for some awesome photos, but I’ve just never been big on editing photos. I like to be able to show a photo and say, “This is what I captured.” I like the authenticity. I like the validity of the moment and the image. I like the purity of it. Call me a snob, call me a traditionalist, call me whatever. It’s just how I like to shoot.

So that brings up to May of this year when I started blogging. Ahh….blogging. Blogging has brought me an avenue of expression, a new job, some new friends, and a new medium in which to share my photos. Photos that are much easier to share if they’re digital. Photos that are so easy to edit and become useful when they’re shot digitally, cropped digitally, edited digitally, enhanced digitally, etc. So, while I’m not completely switched over, I am becoming very used to the benefits (endless shooting w/o worrying about running out of film, knowing immediately whether or not I got the shot, sharing photos wayyyy easily) and enjoying them immensely.

And, really, how could I not love it? I shot, downloaded, cropped and changed the color on this photo in less than 10 minutes. And I think it’s pretty darn cute, yeah?

BTW-I did ask my friend before I posted this photo. You’ll never find me publishing a photo of someone else’s child without permission! Thanks, friend, for letting me share it. And thanks to the other friend who was with us (who takes great photos) who said, “Maybe you should have her turn more toward the light.” One of those “duh” moments for me. Thanks, friend, for helping me get the right shot! 😀

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