Friday, September 9, 2011

Flashback Friday: Days of film

It seems forever ago, but before there was digital there was film. I loved it. Don't get me wrong digital is awesome you can easily and quickly take a lot more pics. It's also cheaper than having to buy film and store it, process it, stare through those magnifier at each pic to decide what you like. Before retouching came around it was so much cleaner and fresher. Don't get me wrong DI has it's place, but sometimes they overdo it so much that I can't even recognize myself. Altering actual facial structures to the point where it looks like plastic surgery gone wrong. I can see how it is confusing seeing photos and than seeing people in real life and not being able to recognize them. Work days go a lot faster with digital. Clients can immediately see exactly what they are getting and be satisfied or unsatisfied and change the direction it's going. You know what else I miss? Polaroids. I loved being able to take home a polaroid of the job I just did especially because a lot of the time you don't see the final product. Even if you do it always looks so much better. They were perfect for keeping a journal of what I was doing. So this post is dedicated to the days of film when you got exited about racing to the agency to see the new film and be a part of the selection process. Now it seems you take the pictures for a test and the photographer edits a handful of pics for you to choose from. I don't even see it until the final product. I've lost half the fun of doing a test. Plus you don't get to see the mess-ups like eyes shut, goofy faces, blurry photos, chopped off heads, etc. I love the mess-ups.


Saturday, September 3, 2011

My other family.

So I know I have mentioned before that I practically lived in Dallas, well this post is about this summer and getting to see my other family again as well. Enter Jacki and Ty. Well Jacki was quite literally like one of my best friends. I know crazy because she is sooooo much older *wink*. Ty was my first agent. He's the one that got me into this craziness. He saw me when I was 11 and said, "I am going to have my eye on you. If you grow taller I am going to want represent you." At the time I thought who is this creepy old man and what is he talking about. He did approach me at church and he was married to a Fair so I figured he couldn't be too creepy. Two years later and having completely forgotten about the previous encounter sure enough he asked me to come down that summer and do a test to see if I was photogenic and would be able to work in the industry. My parents agreed and fast forward 17 years later we are still friends. Sadly, I only got to see Ty at church as he was working when I went up to visit the rest of the family. When I first went down to stay with them Blaine was just 5 months old so to see him entering his senior year of High School made me feel really old.
Here I am with Blaine and Si. These boys are crazy, but fun. I can't believe they're so big now. We had to get the blue steel going. Leyla was born the same year as McKayla except her birthday is in January and McKayla's is in October. They first played together when McKayla was 3 1/2 and this summer when they saw each other it was like they have played with each other their whole lives. They got along so well. Made me wish I lived closer to home so they could visit with each other more often. It is nice when your kids are the same age and get along so well.
Jesse is the same age as Maddox except he is also a January baby and Maddox's birthday is in July. They definitely didn't quite get along as well as the girls due mostly to the fact that as a three year old someone else your age is more likely to take your stuff and not give it back. Nevertheless they had a lot of fun playing with each other. I think they connected on the whole we like to make trouble and be wild side.
Some say that we are like sisters, but every once in a while I would get mistaken as her daughter. Yea she was never very happy about that. She isn't that much older than me. I am hoping that we can always stay connected. Friendships are hard especially when you are dealing with long distances. It takes a lot of effort and time to stay connected. My goal this year? Trying to stay connected with all of those that I love especially family and not excluding those awesome friendships which bring you together like family.
The whole point of my blog is to stay connected with the ones I love at least on my life and what I have been doing. Luckily in this day and age we have ichat, skype, facetime, internet, and online gaming with family and friends that can keep us connected. My kids have enjoyed facetime with their cousins. It is nice to know that even though I live so far from my family we can still be close and see each other. Yesterday I even got to see my nephew in his new glasses he just started having to wear. Little things like that makes me happy. I hate being the last to know about what is going on in my own family. I also talked on the phone with my brother for almost an hour and a half! I know it's crazy. I think that is the longest conversation I have had with him in a long time and I hope we have more. It's easier to carry on conversation when you know what is going on in each other's lives. Sometimes it might seem like your are struggling to keep the conversation going, but the more you do the easier it becomes. Didn't mean to go on forever, but I guess my point is make an effort in keeping the conversations going in your families and with your friends. Don't let facebook turn you into a hermit who never actually carries on a real conversation with anyone. As a social network it lacks in actual social developing skills. Who do you want to connect with more?

Friday, September 2, 2011

Flashback Friday: JCPenny

Some of my first modeling jobs included a lot of catalog work, which was great because back then they booked you for the entire day and it paid really well. These days most of the department store catalogs only book you for a couple of hours at most a half day at a time. Also JcPenny headquarters were in Dallas at the time that made it easy for me being an Oklahoma chick to go down quite often. I think the headquarters are probably still there now, but by the time I turned 17 or 18 they started shooting in places like Miami instead. Or they only booked you for a couple of hours. Which made going down for just an hour or two just not seem worth it anymore.

The year I started working I moved to Dallas for part of the school year. Inner city school was a change for a country girl. We had to go through metal detectors to get into the school. Definitely an adventure. I remember doing my best to avoid the wrong crowds in the hallway afraid something would happen to me if I looked at them the wrong way. But I made some good friends and it was good I was an honour student so at least I was in classes with kids who didn't get into trouble.

Summers after I started working I spent partially in Dallas and the rest of the time travelling around which is fun when you are in Junior High and from a small town. By the time I finished my freshman year we (my management, parents, and I) decided to switch to home school so I could travel full time and pretty much live in Dallas.

Going back home this summer I realized why I didn't really know how to get around Ft. Smith very well. It was because by the time I got my license and was driving I was never home. I only drove to Wal-mart, church, the mall, and the movie theatres. The occasional stop in other places, but never really spent a lot of time driving. I also discovered just how fashion has changed since I was a teenager. I remember very clearly thinking that the 80's were bad for fashion and how cool we looked compared to them. Now looking back I actually think the 80's had some good stuff. A lot of bad stuff, but more good stuff than I think that came out of the 90's. It was definitely not very flattering especially for one like myself who was a little curvier than most models out there. I know you probably think I am crazy, but seriously I was! So enough of a back story I found some old JCPenny pics I wanted to share.


So here I am barely 14 years old. Who had a denim dress of any kind? Or who ever wore denim head to toe? I know. That was a bad look, but people did it.


I actually think I owned skirts similar to this one. Who wore flannel? Lots of flannel and the knee high socks with the mary janes. I know I wore this one frequently. Although I still think this look is cute. The whole schoolgirl thing going on.


This one is the kicker though. Who wore the high waisted jeans or pant with front pleats? Whoever started this style should be shot! Tapered leg and all. So unflattering. Maybe that's why they had my sit down. Not to mention the shoes. I think they are more appropriate for a grandma then a teenager. What do you think? Stylist also like to put me in pigtails a lot. Sometimes braided and sometimes not. I think they wanted me to look Native American or something. I remember always thinking Pocahontas they want me to be Pocahontas. Actually before Princess Jasmine came along every time we played dress up or pretend I always had to be Pocahontas. Not fair I just wanted to be Aurora or Ariel, just once.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Maddox doing his GQ thing.

So Yesterday as I got my little monkey ready for church he looked at me and said, "I so handsome." I of course agreed and then asked if I could take a picture. I quickly took out my phone, because he changes his mind really quick so I have to hurry and take advantage of the moment. After I took one shot he looked at me and said, "No. Get your awesome one camera. In the black bag." That's right he demanded better quality photos. So I obliged and took a bunch while he just posed and gave me some GQ moves that I have never seen from him before. Even though it seems I have tons of pictures of him he really isn't the easiest kid to photograph. That is until yesterday. Maybe it was because he knew he looked good so he was showing off. Who does that remind you of?

I hope that more opportunities to get some good photos out of him without his crazy faces are in the future because this was fun.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Flashback Friday: GO Team GO!

So a good thing about my vacation from blogging was I retrieved some valued pictures from my mom's house. Can I say it is so much fun to look back and see not only how awkward I was and maybe still am and how fashion has changed since the 90's.

I will start by saying my fabulous sister was the cheerleader in the family. Strong with no monkey arms. Peppy and filled with team spirit not awkward and grunge like I thought I was. I was definitely the black sheep. Refused to go along with the norm, which when you grow up in Oklahoma includes cowboys, country, football, pool halls, and numerous other things. Instead I was into alternative, speech/drama, sledding on car hood in the winter, and catching craw daddies in the creek. I have to say I did join one main stream thing. Band. What? I loved it! Traveling to all the games, competitions were the best, and marching in front of the crowd. I guess I showed a little team spirit.


So here I am posing for a dance costume. I worked several times for this cheerleading/dance catalog. Definitely out of my element, but at least I have a little dance background to look decent in the photo.


Ok. You see it broken wrists and all. Should have had my sister give me lessons.

This one kills me. I look so out of place. I have always wondered the numbers on these. How many uniforms were actually sold because of me? My guess probably not as much as the other girls. They had a lot more spunk and experience. I was only 14/15 in these photos. I like to think I got better as I got older.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Vacation 2011

So I thought I would share this photo book with you. I cannot promise that I won't post some of the same pictures and blog more about my vacation. I had such a fun time playing that I might have to talk about it for a while. Enjoy!

Click here to view this photo book larger

Maddox turns 3!

So I know I have been absent for over a month, but I was enjoying my summer and my family, and well I have been lazy! This year Maddox is Cars crazy. Well when is not not something crazy? If it isn't Cars it is trains or Toy Story or zombies. Yes. Zombies!

I had a lot of fun decorating and preparing for this one. It was actually the first time I actually put effort into Maddox's Birthday. I have put a lot of effort into his cake and the food, but no decorating. Well in hindsight this year is the first year we actually ha beautiful, hot weather. As my mother can attest his first birthday was wet and cold and his second wasn't really that much warmer either.

I didn't really take pictures of decorations, but I had this banner hanging around the deck, down the fence, and across the yard. There were signs for the different stations.


We had Mater's Obstacle course, Fillmore's organic fuel (drink station), Flo's Diner, and Ramone's Body Paint Shop (which my friend Natasha and I painted various Cars characters and symbols). Obstacle course was a hit. I was worried the kids would think it was boring, but I timed them so they had fun doing it over and over trying to better each other. It was a nice hot day, perfect for swimming. Even some of the adults jumped in to cool off. The cake was another hit. I personally wish I would have been more patient with it because it ended up being really messy, but when you are putting it together until 3 o'clock in the morning you just want to get it done. Why was I doing it so late? Well the day before was a really busy day and I wanted to get it done so I wouldn't be stressed on Saturday.




He might not look happy, but he actually loved his cake in fact I caught him just staring at it for a long time before his party even started. This look on his face is actually because he is really worried that someone is going to take his cake or some of the cars on the cake. Not a false worry though because some kids really did want to take his cars from the cake and we all wanted to eat it.

For his actual birthday we went to the splash pad and then the park.


He had to bring his new cars with him. Not only that, but we were at the park and all he wanted to do was play with his cars so we went home.


After the cake I made him I settled for a store bought brownie for his actual birthday.

It was a good birthday so good in fact he continued to think it was his birthday weeks later. So happy birthday to my crazy, loud, entertaining, dramatic, monkey! I love you!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Canada Day 2011

So I know that Canada Day comes before Independence Day, but I am American first so I had to blog about that first. This was another first for me in Canada. We went to the Canada Day Parade @ Port Credit. Let's just say for the small community it was an okay parade.


Maddox was sure that all of these cars were his friends. One he was sure it was Ramone, another was Doc Hudson, and I think he thought he saw Sheriff too. I spotted his silver convertible that he received when I got my new car, but I forgot to take a picture!


Waiting for Red...hi Red!


This one reminded me of a post on one of my favourite blogs. Little kids were getting their pictures taken with these giant stuff animals. You know what the sponsor was? An adult play store. Yep! Totally inappropriate.

Some of it rather interesting though.

For instance a mermaid? I guess advertising spas. She was a hit with the peeps around us.

This was fun entertainment, but not quite sure the girl dancing with the booty shorts and the knee length boots (in the heat of summer?) was thinking when she picked that outfit.


This was just random people dancing with music blaring from the trunk of a car. Not quite sure what they were promoting though. Crazy Canadian fun?

Canadians do have great music and this band lifted the mood better than most parading down the road.

Then we walked down to the La Villa Bakery and waited for the one and only Mike Holmes to cut the gigantic Canada Flag cake. We waited in the hot sun for probably 45 minutes, but at least they brought around watermelon and yummy Canada Day sugar cookies for everyone to enjoy. The cake? Actually not bragging or anything, but I like my cakes better. Then again maybe making a cake that big diminishes the yumminess of the cake. I should probably just try some from that bakery another time in order to pass further judgment on the cake.


Monkey fell asleep on the walk to the other side of Port Credit where they had activities for the kids. Bouncy castles, giant bumpy slide, and carnival food was exactly what was needed. My only problem? I forgot to leave the house with extra cash. So all I had on me was 16 dollars for food. That was using all of my coins too! Marcus chose boring pizza, McKayla picked delicious poutine (if you have never had it you are missing out!), and I picked an elephant ear. Which was stolen from me by my children ugh! I remember my dad making these. It was really good.



Finally the heat got to me and a headache started coming on so I gave the kids a few minutes at the overly crowded playground, which was actually quite nice,and then we walked back to the car.


I was extremely happy that I let the kids experience the celebration of Canada Day because well they are Canadian too. But I remembered why I never went before. Going to very crowded street celebrations alone with three kids is exhausting! I wish my hubby didn't have to work every holiday in the summer. Actually every weekend in the summer! I was also very happy I chose to go to Port Credit instead of The Square because while it was probably nicer with more entertainment and brand spanking new grounds I am sure it was 100 times more crowded. We missed the company from McKayla's dance studio perform. I actually had no clue where they were performing and when, but was hoping to catch it. Oh well.

Happy 143rd Birthday Canada!

Oh and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge I did not see. They were in the capital Ottawa celebrating Canada Day. Special side note loving her wardrobe. Very nice.

Can I just say I watched a couple of videos, but this guys opinion of Canada was similar to mine. I am not Canadian, but I love Canada so I celebrate Canada Day.

Fourth of July in Canada

My bestie refused to be in the photo and insisted that I being the American should pose.

So believe it or not I celebrate Independence Day here in Canada every year, but seeing as it is three days after Canada day it always feels like a four day holiday. This was the first year I celebrated it with friends too. Not just any friends, but my best friend and her family, my FIL, Spanish Missionaries, and another couple from my church. Hosted by my bestie we had tons of yummy food, but for me the highlight was the cake!

She decorated American style with the red, white, and blue and we had some great adult conversation, mostly hilarious stories, while the kids played in the backyard.

They even posed for a photo for me. If you look real close only my monkey decided to crazy up the photo with his crazy eyes. The bum. Oops not supposed to call names. We are currently trying to keep monkey from calling people "meany" and "baby". Let's just say very rude when some random person says hi to him and he says with mean face, "MEANY".

So thank you to those founding fathers who had a vision of a free land where we could worship as we please and have so many opportunities opened up to us. Thank you to those who have fought and are fighting to protect our freedom as well as the freedoms of those who cannot defend themselves. Thank you to the many people all over who make the American Nation something to be admired and modelled after. Thank you to best friends who love you enough to throw BBQ's to celebrate your holiday. Thank you to God for keeping us safe and pouring out so many blessings upon us.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Follow the prophet, follow the prophet, follow the prophet...

So after three years of waiting for the new Young Women Campsite to be finished this weekend was it. Not only do we get our own awesome campsite 15 acres of developed land, which includes, an amphitheatre, running water, showers, toilets, eating hall, fire pits, Young Women memorial garden, shelter pavilions, trails, floating swim docks, canoes, soccer, baseball, and volleyball areas. With over 400 acres the campsite is truly peaceful. Even with the thousands of people that showed up for the dedication.

I was on the fence whether I wanted to go or not, but I really wanted to see the camp. After two hours of driving we finally arrived with rain gear seeing as it decided to rain on us. My kids were slow moving in the morning so I didn't get there as early as I would have liked to. So my parking spot? About 7 km from the campsite. Yea I know. We pulled up and were told shuttle busses would get us there. I didn't realize a Malibu was a shuttle bus. Okay they did have a couple of those vans too, but I was thinking, along with another lady, we are mormons don't you think there are a few minivans around that could shuttle the hundreds of us? Because well we only had an hour to get there before it started and going 4 at a time was not going to do it. Luckily some of the chartered school buses that had brought people from the 8 stakes which will use this camp were generous enough to act as shuttle buses. So sweet I couldn't be more thankful to them. We arrived to hear prelude music and I immediately knew we got there just in time.

Still raining and muddy ground, but actually not as muddy as I thought that it would be, we got comfortable to listen to the speakers. We sang "O Canada" which even though I am not Canadian I still love to sing and am proud for my children who truly are Canadian. The Young Women choir sang another song and because I was so far back I had to really listen to hear them, but the fact that it was so silent as they were singing said something. Like colourful angels they stood there dressed in white with value coloured scarves around their necks. I was proud even though I have no clue if any of my girls made it to sing in the choir or not.

President Baxter, who is 2nd counselor in the Ontario Mission Presidency, spoke first. He told of the miracles in how this camp was able to put together. Sister Barb Murphy, Church Service missionary, spoke and invited all those in the church to come to the campsite and find those peaceful spots to meditate and grow closer. Then Sister Ann M. Dibb spoke, "M" for Monson yes she is President Monson daughter as well as a counselor in the General Young Women, she spoke and the rain started to slow. I had hope that we could put down our umbrellas and that the sun just might come out. Some Laurels (16-18 year olds) from London Stake sang a beautiful musical number to set the mood for President Monson. As we know he started and made us laugh. He thanked us for giving the camp his name, which we did because of the impact as mission president he was all those years ago. Before he stood to speak McKayla pulled on me and said, "I can't wait to see him." They stood on logs so the could see over the crowd. I remember when I was a youth in the Young Women org. I went to a Youth Conference in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Four stakes of teenagers gathered to listen to the prophet at the time President Gordon B. Hinkley. Granted it was a longer conference and there was a different spiritual message, but I still remember those things that he said and the feelings I had when I listened to him. I actually cut a trip to Milan short just so I could fly back in time to make it to that conference. I was so glad I did. So I jumped at the chance for my kids to be able to see in person the prophet. Who is just a man, but for us like a rock star.

Had to take some pictures. I wasn't the only one either everyone was snapping like crazy. I am surprised I only took maybe a dozen others were commenting that they had taken like 30 or 40 shots.

When it concluded and we sang "How Great thou Art" a song which almost always brings me to tears everyone crowded in closer hoping to shake hands with President Monson. It was really great he waved and we waved back. And I have no problem if my children want to emulate this rock star.

The difference between this and a real rock conference? No crowd surfing.

I was amongst those trying to get really close. I think if I didn't have my kids I could've forced myself through to shake his hand, but this was as close as I could get. He waved to the crowd and we waved back.

When it finished we waited another hour and a half or so to get shuttled back to our car. Luckily another bus driver was sweet enough to give us a lift or it would've been dark before we got out of there. I actually would have love to venture the property and see more of it, but by myself carrying a cooler and a bag for all of our other stuff and trying to keep an eye on the three kids I opted to go home. Although it did peek my curiosity enough that I want to go back. If only my hubby liked camping. I look forward to my children being able to use that camp. President Smith had told of a young man who was helping to build the camp who said he was doing it so that his children one day will be able to benefit from this camp.

I hope that as my girls go off to camp in a couple of weeks they value what so many people have done to make it possible for them to enjoy such a beautiful facility. My second hope is that my kids will remember getting to see the prophet and hear him bless that land and bless us.