• ~Psalm 46:4-5~

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a day in my life

There are so many little moments that escape me as they slide by. I thought I’d try to capture some of them today.

4:56 am – Hubster came in to kiss me good-bye before leaving for work. A few seconds after the door slammed it occurred to me that I should have asked him if the snow came.

5:01- Fell back asleep.

6:30 – Alarm clock radio turns on and our friend the DJ announces that snow did not fall last night. (No surprise.) My school is not delayed. So I have to get up.

6:45 – Bri wakes up and calls for me. She scampers around the house using her favorite phrases. “I watch Sesame Street?” “I eating.” “Want buh-nah-nuh.”

6:56 – I’ve now tried on three different outfits involving multiple layers. I finally settle on two layers of pants, a long sleeved shirt and a sweater. The budget cuts have seriously impacted the school’s thermostat.

7:00 – Start dressing Bri for the day. The laundry needs to be done! Cute pink dress with long sleeves, thick white tights and a pretty sweater.

7:23 – Run outside to start the car. Bri freaks out, thinking that I’m leaving without her. Load up the supplies for the sweet tea lab. Then back inside to make my lunch, Bri’s milk and the pot roast for dinner. (Love that crock pot!)

7:30 – Finally heading out the door.

7:45 – Drop Bri off at daycare. Give her milk and a banana to eat in addition to the toast and grits that the daycare serves. Get a sloppy banana kiss from Bri before leaving. (Best part of my day!)

7:48 – Realize that I’ve left the ladle at home and will definitely need it for lab today. Head back towards the house. Gonna be late.

8:02 – Pull into my parking space at school with ladle and lab supplies. Spot a kid from third period. Wrangle him into carrying lab supplies to the classroom for me.

8:15 – Pledge of allegiance. Moment of silence. Announcements.

8:21 – Begin teaching Chemistry students. Go over homework.

8:35 – Notes on ionic bonding. Oxidation numbers. Electron dot diagrams. Naming ionic compounds. Practice problems.

9:10 – Class changes.

9:15 – More Chemistry students. Lather, rinse, repeat.

10:05 – Class changes.

10:10 – Physical Science kids arrive. Spend twenty minutes reviewing the mixture station labs from yesterday. Discuss terms like heterogenous, homogenous, miscible, immiscible, concentration, molarity, colloids, suspensions and emulsions.

10:30 – Break up into lab groups. Each student gets a small concentrated cup of tea and each student gets a large diluted cup of tea. Groups have sugar and individuals are instructed to add the same amount of sugar to each cup. We discuss concentration, dilution, and the kids get to drink the tea. They record their results and conclusions.

11:00 – Clean up and wrap up.

11:05 – New class of Physical Science kids. Lather, rinse, (lunch) repeat.

12:30 pm – Planning period. Begin typing up lesson plans for next week. Research testing requirements for continuing certification. Realize once again that we have a four day weekend next weekend. Happy dance.

1:22 – Run to the potty. Won’t have another break for two hours!

1:25 – Class changes. New set of Chemistry kids.

2:30 – Class changes. New set of Physical Science kids.

3:20 – School day ends. Clean up sticky wet desks and spilled sugar. Realign desks. Finish typing lesson plans. Post them for parents to see online. Make copies for Monday. Empty splash bucket from lab. Clean up lab supplies and stack them near the door so that I’ll remember to take them home. Lock laptop up.

4:35- Finally leave the school. Head over to the daycare.

4:45 – Chat with the ladies in the front about the photos I took for the Chamber of Commerce. One of the photos is the cover image for the new community magazine.

4:47 – Find Bridoodle playing near the door with Baby (her baby-doll) and a wooden stove. Poor Baby. I squat down to talk to her at eye level and instantly find myself surrounded by two year olds. One little girl hugs me from behind. One little boy plays with my hair. Two kids crowd in to say, “Hi!” Bri becomes protective and jealous. I scoop her up and away from the crowd. We collect her things and head for the door.

5:00 pm – Walk into a cold house. The pot roast smells heavenly. Turn on the heater. Turn on the TV – 40th anniversary of Sesame Street. Sit down to check e-mail, facebook, Twitter, etc.

5:26 – Hubster calls to tell me he’ll be a little late getting home. Nothing major. (I love it when he calls me like that!)

6:03 – Put some rolls in the oven.

6:26 – Prep the table for dinner. Bri sits on her stool chattering away. “I color. I color Mickey Mouse. See? See Mommy? I coloring.”

6:47 – Sit down with Hubs and Bri for pot roast, carrots and potatoes. Yummy!

7:03 – Spontaneously decide to make honey toast for dessert. We all eat a piece. Deliciousness.

7:18 – Hit the shower while Hubs cleans up the kitchen.

7:32 – Dressed in PJ’s with a towel on my head, I find Hubs on the computer and Bri “reading” books.

7:48 – Time for Bri to go to bed. We say prayers together as a family. Bri’s feeling pretty silly tonight. She gives me really long kisses where she wipes her mouth back and forth across my cheek. We laugh hysterically.

7:55 – Start typing this post! Edit photos. Watch mindless TV. Wait for Hubster to fall asleep on the couch so that we can head to bed.

asking for “mowh”

The other day Bridoodle and I were eating lunch together, while Officer Hubster was out chasing drug dealers and writing traffic tickets. We were at home in our jammies. I’d whipped up some boxed mac ‘n cheese (with a handful of cheddar added in for extra yumminess) and we were happily munching on plates of steaming cheesy goodness. It was a beautiful mommy-daughter moment. Bri was examining each bite with a “Yummy!” and an “Mmmmm” thrown in frequently for good measure.

As I neared the end of my plate, Bri stopped and looked up at me. “Want mowh.” She waved her fork over her macaroni.

I smiled but upon closer inspection realized that she still had four or five bites left on her plate. “Sweetie, you have plenty. You don’t need any more. Eat the bites on your plate.” It was heart warming that she liked my cooking. (Don’t laugh at me for calling Kraft mac n’ cheese cooking.)

However, a tiny familiar voice piped up inside me. “That’s just like you, Cindy. Aren’t you always asking for more when you already have plenty? Didn’t you just ask God for more money, more time and more funness?”

I listened to the still small voice. I held the thought close to my heart for a few days. It reminded me that I am blessed beyond my wildest dreams. That I have an awesome family and plenty of toys. That my job lets me stay home when one of us is sick and then I still get to spend all summer by the pool. That I get to explore the world of photography almost unhindered except for my own habit of spending money too quickly. I really have no reason to ask for more.

I’d almost forgotten about the incident until tonight. We sat down as a family for a simple dinner of buttered noodles and green beans. We had crescent rolls set aside with local honey for a semi-dessert. Bridoodle got a surprise glass of chocolate milk, much to her delight.

She happily ate her noodles and her green beans. We both held our breath watching our picky eater chow down on a GREEN vegetable. (Usually she turns her nose up.) She chattered away between bites. “Daddy eat beans. Mommy eat beans. Bri eat beans.” After eating about half of the green beans she looked up at Hubster. “Want mowh. Want mowh beans.”

I quickly counted up the beans left on her plate. “There’s still …” A movement across the table distracted me.

Hubster picked up the bowl and looked at me grinning. “What kind of father would I be if I denied my little girl more green beans?” He doled out another spoonful onto her plate.

The message slammed into my heart like a baseball bat connecting with a ball. Tears welled up in my eyes. Hubster’s grin fell off his face and he stared at me like I was crazy. “Are you okay, Cindy?”

I squeezed my eyes closed and bowed my head a little, for just a second. I figured my husband could chalk it up to PMS. Father, my prayer was silent, please help me to ask for more green beans and not more macaroni and cheese. Forgive me for seeking things out of selfish desires. I want to ask for the things that will help me grow spiritually. Help me see the green beans that You’re eager to give me. Thank you for this message. Amen.

For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? If you then who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him! ~ Matthew 7: 8-11

Twenty Ten

I blinked and it was over. 2009 has come and gone. There was a lot of stuff worth remembering but personally, I’m ready to “Keep Moving Forward.” So rather than re-cap the year, I’m going to re-cap the last few weeks and then move on.

Our Christmas budget was about $200 short of last year’s amount. So I didn’t send out Christmas cards thisĀ  year and I was super careful with my spending. As a result, Bridoodle had an ENORMOUS stack of gifts under the tree. I found some great deals. Seriously, there were so many gifts for her that she couldn’t open them all on Christmas day. We had four left over when she went to bed. Best. Christmas. Ever!!!

Hubster’s family came over to our house for Christmas brunch and he went to work that evening. So he got to see all of the unwrapping and eat yummy food before working. It was perfect.

Our daughter’s most treasured gift was the kitchen set that we assembled on Christmas Eve with parts strewn everywhere all the while watching The Christmas Story. (“You’ll shoot your eye out!”) I loved being in our own home for Christmas Eve and Day. We usually travel. It was so much fun to fill stockings and pile presents in our own living room. (We might make this a standing tradition!)

Bri’s second most favorite gift was a foam puzzle of the Disney princesses. It cost a whopping $1 and she pulls it out every day to play “puzzah.” She knows all of the princesses by name too. “Snoh White, Cinewella, Kasmine, Awiel and Sleeping Cutie.” (My favorite is Sleeping Cutie.)

For New Year’s Eve we went to a 1920′s themed mystery party. It was the sequel to one we’d done for Halloween and it ROCKED. I had so much fun! The hostess and I have been dreaming and scheming together for a couple of months. I call her the Ethyl to my Lucy. She’s awesome. So when I suggested a slideshow in addition to my regular shooting for the party, she was totally on board. It was a big hit and I feel confident that I can do it again for a wedding reception. I’m stoked!

After the party we went home and put Bri to bed before jammying up to watch the ball drop. We sipped sparkling white grape juice (a tradition that we’ve kept our entire marriage so far) and flipped channels. Unfortunately the sight of J.Lo in a skin tight unitard pushed us over to the Letterman show. We watched it and giggled deliriously. Hubs had been up since 4am for work. We kept flipping the channel so that we wouldn’t miss the ball dropping but somehow we did. At 12:09 I finally turned around to check the clock! So we laughed and headed off to bed. Apparently we missed the first nine minutes of the year!

We spent New Year’s Day on the couch recuperating. Then we went out to dinner at Outback. Bri could not handle the ten minute wait (so glad I called ahead because otherwise it would have been forty minutes easy) and we sweated though a couple of her meltdowns before being seated. Other than that though it was fabulous!

The next day we started a diet/excercise regimen. We bought a chin up bar and real dumbells so that we can do P90X together. The first workout kicked our butts! It was actually really fun. I can’t believe that Hubster can do 12 pull ups! He’s amazing! I can’t wait to see what we can do at the end of the program. Our reward for finishing it will be a trip to the beach this summer.

Looking ahead to the upcoming year I have two goals. For my business- I want to do three weddings this year. For myself- I want to be a better Bible Study leader and connect with my girls more often and on a deeper level this semester.

day 5, day 6, and day 7

I posted my pictures over on Flickr at the right times, but neglected ye olde blog. Here are the pictures for the rest of the week.

day 5: silver theme

Don’t be alarmed. Officer Hubster let me play with his toys. I didn’t really get arrested.

I did however manage to castrate the male part of my tripod so that my camera is permanently … screwed. (I find that lame jokes are my way of dealing with frustrating situations.)

Any tips on fixing this situation?

day 6: T’was The Night Before Christmas

Our Christmas traditions so far have largely incorporated traveling. This is the first year since we’ve been married where Santa will find us sleeping in our own beds! The stockings are hung. The new kitchen set is assembled.

There is one tradition that we’ve maintained through the years though. Even with all of the travel. Hubster always reads the Christmas story from the Bible on Christmas Eve.

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!

day 7: Santa Knows Where I Live

My Christmas toys included a 3 piece studio lighting kit! I am stoked about putting it to good use. But first I need to take a nap! Merry Christmas!!!

It’s been a lovely run and I can’t wait to see you all again in the spring!

Day 4 ~ Ring Shots

Another excuse to play with a fun lens! Taken with the macro addition added onto my lensbaby muse. I placed my engagement and wedding rings on my red pajamas and shot away! Not nearly as glamorous as it looks.

I had the hardest time choosing one of these for the shot of the day. Which one’s your favorite?

Day 3 ~ Twinkle Lights

Today I took a self portrait in front of the Christmas tree. I used my 50mm f1.8 lens which has a really shallow depth of field. I wanted most of the image to be blurry except my face. Problem? It’s hard to use your eyeball to focus on your own eyeball. I got pretty close. Here’s how I did it!

First I set up my camera on a stool so that it was approximately eye level with me when I was sitting on the ground. Then I used one of Bri’s new toys (I’m in the middle of wrapping presents over here) on a similar stool to focus in on. I set the focus to be sharpest on the number 24.

Then I hit the auto-timer setting and scooted over to push the play-doh stool out of the way. I tried to line up my eyes with the spot where the 24 had been. And here is the result:

My bangs were more in focus than my eyes, but I liked the twinkle so much that I didn’t care. I think my smile looks a little weird in this one but it was the second runner up:

Day 2 ~ Treat

Today’s seven day theme was “treat.” I know I’m going to sound so spoiled, but it took me most of the day to pick out a treat for this shot. I had an abundance of options but I couldn’t pick one!

Hubster finally suggested that we go get hot fudge sundaes and rent some movies. That made my ears perk up! So we headed over to *Bruster’s ~ much to Bridoodle’s delight! She loves ice cream!

It was too cold outside to play for very long. Hubster was only patient enough to let me set the auto-timer twice. I was pretty proud of myself for being able to get the shot that fast. Usually I toss out dozens of outtakes.

Did I mention that I have the best family ever? I think setting up the shot was the real treat!

*And just in case you’re curious, I didn’t receive any type of compensation for this post. I don’t do reviews. I just like capturing life as we live it.

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