Friday, June 11, 2010

I Heart Faces Fix-It-Friday #58


Over at I Heart Faces on Fridays they have a Fix-It_Friday challenge that gives everyone the opportunity to practice fixing photos.  You can also look at all the other contributions of fixed photos to see how others chose to FIX IT and learn from each other.

This is the before photo:


I copied the original layer and then began to make changes.

I played with the curves to lighten the photo and then burned the edges to add focus.  I couldn’t help myself… I also added a touch of color to the sky.

I loved the sunburst in this photo!

This is the after:


Friday, February 26, 2010

I Heart Faces - Fix it Friday

I am extremely excited.  Due to the million & one things that always seem to pop up on Friday, I haven’t participated in a Fix It Friday… until today.  I am thrilled.

Photography is a hobby that is quickly becoming a passion and I only hope that one day it will become a career.  I have a long way to go and a LOT of learning to do before that happens though.

Today due to the Fix It Friday challenge, I learned how to apply a mask and played with the curves of the photo to get these final results.

This is the before photo:


This is the after:


By playing with the curves I was able to brighten the sky and then lighten her so that we could see her cute little face.

I absolutely love learning about photography.  Now if you’ll excuse me I have many many many photos like this that I need to go back and fix.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

My Valentine

In 2004, Prince Charming swept me off my feet and I fell madly, hopelessly inlove.  He is a man with amazing character and is truly someone that I could respect.  I love his heart and not only who he is but who he wants to become.


This is one of our engagement photos. 

I could stare at this photo forever.  He looks so good in blue.  The color is just the perfect backdrop for his gorgeous eyes.

engagement photo

We had an outside wedding planned and at the last minute, all of the plans had to change and we had to move the wedding indoors.  The arrangements didn’t turn out exactly like I had wanted but to be honest… it really didn’t matter to me.  I was marrying the man of my dreams and we were getting ready to start our lives together. 

Kissing - wedding day

Off to the honey moon.

Everyday I fall inlove with this man all over again.  I fall inlove with his character, the way that he touches me, his silliness (yes, even the fart jokes), and his commitment to our marriage.  I will gladly spend my life finding new ways to keep our love alive and growing if that means that I get to hold his hand forever.

Into the sunset - wedding day 

I just couldn’t seem to keep my lips off him.  :-)  Okay, okay.  Just maybe the photographer was telling us what to do, but I was more than happy to oblige.

Kissing again - wedding day

The outdoor wedding would have been amazing and beautiful but it was so hot, muggy (it had rained that morning) and the air felt so thick.  I had to move the event inside to make sure that no one (us or one of the guests) passed out due to the heat.   However we were able to get a few photos in the area where the wedding would have been.  They are definitely some of my favorites.

wedding day

God has blessed our marriage from the beginning.  I have always felt that he was the man that I was supposed to marry.  He was the one that I was waiting for.  We have reached milestones and shared many experiences, both good and bad.  I am so thankful to be sharing this journey with him. 

I love you Corey!  Happy Valentine’s Day.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

They Are Taking Over the World


I am never disappointed by son’s ability to make me smile.  Yesterday on the way to take Lauren to school, Evan became extremely frustrated.  I could hear his heart rate increase from the front seat before he passionately said, “MOM, why are the bulldozers RUINING our world?” 



I laughed and explained that they are just making the roads wider and the roads will be much nicer once they finish.

He still didn’t find any humor in the situation,”Well their mommies must not have taught them to clean up their mess before they started something else.”

I was so thankful that I had just swallowed my drink of water because I have no doubt that I would have been wearing it otherwise.


The child is only three, but in our world he has not seen a road that leads to our home that is Construction-orange-free.  It’s sad to say… there are three different highway/main routes that we can take to get to our home and all three are under construction and have been his entire life.  So from his point of view, the machines are taking over.

Toys R Us

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Of course I do, but do you?


Evan: Mom, do you know where my balls are?

(I have to admit, I wasn’t quite sure how to answer that one.  So I answered it with a question).

Me: Yes, but do YOU know where they are? 

Evan: He giggled hysterically and said “OF COURSE!”

(I still have no idea what “balls” we was referring to at that particular moment).



Monday, January 25, 2010

All about Canon Lenses

This is the lens that I currently own and LOVE dearly.  The images that this little baby takes are just short of magical.  This is the lens that I use for the majority of the photos on this site.  (On occasion I will use a Tamron lens, but it is most definitely not my preferred lens).



EF 50mm f/1.4 USM $389.99


(Here is a sample photo from the Canon website).

Recently (more like two months ago), I had a few (two) people ask about my thoughts on lenses and what I use.  I’m sorry that it has taken me so long to respond, life “encouraged” me to take a break from blogging. 

Here are some of the lenses that I drool over.  I have used some of them, but I don’t own any of the following lenses.  As you may have noticed, I shoot a Canon camera.  So if you have a Nikon camera, I apologize because I haven’t researched lenses for a Nikon camera body… at all.




The EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM $1179.00

A standard zoom lens usually comes in most camera “kits” when purchased.  It is one of those tools that everyone should have in their camera case, if not attached to your camera.  Just looking at the aperture on this lens makes me drool and dream of bokeh (The dreamy-hazy effect on your background that just makes your sharp, crisp subject stand out).  Ahhhh!



The EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM $799.99

This is another standard lens that has caught my eye.  The aperture, or f-stop, isn’t as good as the 2.8, the focal length is greater. 




The EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM *new

This lens is new and will be released in February of 2010.  So Canon, if you are out there and need anyone to test this lens and review it.  I will be more than happy (ecstatic even) to help you out in any way that I can.





The EF 35mm f/1.4L USM $1479.00

As I told you earlier, the 50mm that I own is a dream.  The only problem that I have with it is that I have trouble with getting group photos.  Anytime that I want to take a family photo or picture of my daughter’s friends at her birthday party I have to switch to a lens that I don’t really like.  Well this beauty would be the answer to that problem.   The wide angle would enable the user to include the entire group or room of people without distorting those in the photo.  I have seen other’s photos that were taken with this lens and was very impressed with how sharp the subject appeared.

I hope this information is what you were hoping to get.  If you have any more questions, I will try to answer them a bit faster next time. :-)

Now I’m off to go play cars with my son.  Of course I will be taking pictures!


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Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Completely Twisted

A month ago my step-dad had an accident and died.  Exactly what happened, no one really knows.  All I do know is that his spleen ruptured and then he suffered and died from massive internal bleeding. 

A woman that he worked with called an ambulance and then took him to the hospital.  Hours passed and it wasn’t until the hospital staff suggested that his family be notified she did not call my mom.  Later after this psycho woman threw herself over my stepdad’s dead body and she told my mom that she wanted to become her best friend just so she could remain close to Ronnie’s spirit, we found out that they had an affair.

I am angry.  It is hard enough to watch my mom mourn her husband’s death but equally hard to watch my mom live through the hurt of finding out about his unfaithfulness.  I didn’t respect Ronnie even before his death.  I avoided him but I also accepted him because he was the person that my mom chose to spend her life with.  He was a mooch.  My mom worked and paid for everything, supporting Ronnie so that he could do what he enjoyed.  She wanted him to be happy.  He enjoyed finding treasures and collectibles and reselling them at Flea Markets.  My mom paid for all the items, bought the buildings and stores to house the things, bought him many vehicles and paid for his gas. 

Now my mom is having to pay this woman to get her out of her life.  Ronnie was helping support HER.  It is such a mess.  Karen, the mistress, was stealing the merchandise from the flea market while my mom was busy making funeral arrangements.  The insanity just keeps going on & on.

Now my mom’s world is more than a bit upside down.  My heart is breaking for her.

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UPDATE (or rather explanation): Right after Ronnie passed away, we let HER (the mistress)  run the store while funeral arrangements were being made, family was arriving in town, and people were coming over to pay respects.  We weren’t sure if the rumors were actually true at this point.  We had already been to the store and taken a visual inventory.  It wasn’t until a few days later when my sister walked into the store and witnessed her changing the tags on the merchandise that we became aware that she was stealing.  She was claiming that she was Ronnie’s business partner and so she was going around adding a “k” stating that the item was purchased together and she was entitled to half of the profit. 

By this time, unfortunately, the matter had become a “she said/she said” issue and it was just one person’s word against another.  So it quickly was escalated to a legal matter.  Since we couldn’t prove that it didn’t happen the way she claimed, and we couldn’t prove that she wasn’t a partner we had two options: (1) to buy her out or (2) to let her stay and continue hurting my mom and stealing (adding her initial to the merchandise tags). 

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

True Happiness

I know that we are only 4 days into the year but I just have a feeling that 2010 is going to be a GOOD good year.  I am so sorry, that song has been stuck in my head for days.  What 2010 and tonight…. they are interchangeable, right? 

That is one of Lauren’s favorite songs so we play it often.  My little baby girl started preschool in 2009.  It wasn’t bad enough that she already believed that she thought that she was 4 years old so that meant that she ALREADY knew everything, (Her words, not mine) but now she thinks that she is old enough to start planning her wedding.  (I tell her that she has to wait until she is 30).

This little “Know It All” skipped past the stage of life where she felt the “need” to discover herself.  She came out of my womb already knowing.  At the age of 3, she began telling people that she is going to be a “Choirpractor” (chiropractor) when she grows up.  (Hey, I have to make a big deal about the way she says it.  It’s the only word that makes her sound like she is 4.  Most of the time, I feel like I am talking to a 20 year old).  She is already saving for college.  I tell her that she has to save her money because mommy & daddy are broke.  (I have to say that every time we go to the grocery store or we would come home with the store.  These kids LOVE to eat and they have high metabolisms).

I joke, but my daughter’s unwavering faith in God is truly refreshing.  She is so strong willed, but as long as that strong will is in line with her faith then she is destined to make this world a better place, whether we like it or not.  She doesn’t have a problem righting things that are wrong, and telling others to do so as well.  (She could care less if the person is supposed to be her authority figure… they better shape up & step up to the plate). 

While I am a little excited that she is so mature for her age, I also can’t help but want to pick her up and snuggle with her and still sing all the sweet lullabies that she begs me to sing for her.  (Pretty soon she will realize that Mommy sings REALLY out of tune).  Life passes so fast, I just want to push pause and hold onto this moment.  Right here.  Listening to her infectious laughter and squeals as she plays in the snow.


I love her zest for life and how she isn’t afraid to take on a new challenge.  I admire her love to be social.  Ok, for her it’s not so much a love, but a need.  She enjoys being a part of other people’s lives as well as touching there lives and leaving an impression.  She is constantly thinking of others and is daily drawing pictures for multiple people.  Note to family & friends, mailwoman, cable guy, and Don, the electrician:  I am sure that we have at least 20 cards, notes, and pictures for each of you.

It wasn’t that long ago that my OB said that I wasn’t going to have kiddos and then viola!  My little gift from Heaven arrived 11 months later.  She is truly a miracle and has always been one of the greatest blessings that I have ever experienced in my life. 

I am so excited that Corey & I get to share such a blessed experience in parenting this little beauty.


Beware.  Lauren turns 5 in ten days so this is probably not the last post dedicated to how much I love Lauren that you will see in the next few weeks.  I may or may not turn into a sappy mess by then. 

Please forgive, misspellings and run-on sentences that may be worse than normal.  It is really late (or early I guess) and I am operating on no sleep. 

Until Later,

Sleepy.  aka Jessica

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