Archive for the ‘Photography’ Category

Homer Photo Contest

Filed under: Photography — Amy @ 2:25 pm

Well, there’s no actual “prize” per se, but they will use my photo in next season’s tourist catalog.

Homer Wildlife Photo Contest Winner

Filed under: Homer,Nature,News,Photography,Photos — Amy @ 4:35 pm

Hey guess what?  This photo won the Wildlife category of the Homer Photo Contest, an annual amateur photo contest run by the Homer Chamber of Commerce.  At least, I think it was this photo – the man from the CoC said it was an eagle landing on the beach and I think this was the only one I submitted that fits that description.

Honestly, I entered the contest several months ago and don’t remember which photos I entered, or exactly what the “prize” is – but I believe they use the winning photos in the tourist magazine for the following season.  So it looks like one of my eagles will make it into real, live, bona fide PRINT.

I’ll add more detail when I talk to the man from the Chamber of Commerce, which should be sometime next week.


Filed under: Kaelin,Koren,Photography — Amy @ 5:21 pm


Thank you all for your kind words, as well as nickname suggestions!


Her Father's Eyes

Filed under: Photography — Amy @ 9:51 pm


Sleepless in… Dallas

Filed under: Blogging,Photography — Amy @ 5:07 am

Doesn’t have quite the same ring to it, does it?

It’s 4:30 am. I’m awake because half an hour ago the pets woke me up by getting into the plastic “treats” bag and distributing pieces of it around the dining room. Apparently they were out of food. They are no longer out of food and are now sleeping soundly.

I’m not.

Ok, I can now add “Kaelin kicking the wall” to the list of “Things That Go Bump in the Night.” I will also mention that the only part of her bed next to the wall is the headboard.

/end random sidetrack

Haven’t been around here much lately. I’ve been otherwise involved, I guess. Have I told you that I maintain 2 blogs? I do. One is for “real life” and the other one is here. Supposedly, this one is all anonymous-like, and my family and church friends don’t know about it, so I can do things like gripe about people and say things that would be considered offensive if I put them on my “real life” blog. Uncensored and all that jazz.

Anyway, as of late I’ve been more involved in “real life” so this place has sort of gotten the shaft. Which is probably a good thing really, as it means I obviously don’t have a lot to gripe about and feel much less like someone with 2 personas.

I’ve taken up photography recently. I’ve always been interested in it, and own a pretty good camera. But lately I’ve been more interested in improving my techniques, and actually trying to learn all the gizmos on my camera and even learn the theory behind ISO and Aperture and Shutter speed, etc instead of just playing it by ear. The problem with digital photography is the ability to take good photos without actually knowing what you’re doing. But it’s like any skill – if you want to take photos that look good to a trained eye, you have to actually learn the craft.

That’s somewhat hard for me, because I’ve found that to truly learn something, I essentially have to learn it twice.  That would have been good to know in school.

A few years ago, I studied photography, did a lot of reading up on settings, f-stops, yada-yada.  But it doesn’t sink in to my recall memory until I go back and learn it a second time.  Which is what I’m doing now.

The problem I’m discovering is that photography as a hobby is expensive. I could probably justify it if I had plans to do it professionally some day. But the thing is, I don’t want to do it professionally. I just want to be good enough to do it professionally.

I consider that a shining moment of self-awareness. For much of my life, I’ve been trying to mold my hobbies into careers to justify them. Which only ends up biting me in the butt because the expense of a budding career is far greater than the expense of the hobby.

For instance, scrapbooking = expensive. Buying wholesale lots of scrapbooking supplies to save money per item under the delusion of making money by reselling them in an online store = stupidly expensive.

The problem with not doing it professionally is that I’m running out of subjects to experiment on. Basically, all I have right now is Kaelin. And although she’s a great subject, I think she tires occasionally of the camera. I don’t blame her. I’m also getting too used to taking pictures of her. Which typically means the pictures are better, because I can predict what she’s going to do and how she’s going to look from certain angles. But still – I need some variety.

Perhaps some day I can coerce J into doing a father/daughter session when he’s not working or otherwise occupied.

Munchkin Monday: Easter

Filed under: Kaelin,Munchkin Monday,Photography — Amy @ 11:05 am

We attended my parents’ neighborhood Easter Egg hunt, as is our annual tradition.  This year, it was being sponsored by our (huge) church, so the attendance was at least double the usual (and it’s usually a fairly good turnout).  The egg hunt for Kaelin’s age lasted approximately 10 seconds because the ratio of eggs to children was completely underestimated.  I’m told they actually had 1,000 more eggs to put out, but the HOA queen wouldn’t let them.  Kaelin scored 1 egg during that hunt, and she only managed that one because a nice lady took one of her son’s eggs and laid it down in front of Kaelin to pick up.  Thank you Nice Lady, whoever you are.

Fortunately, Kaelin is still of the age where she doesn’t realize she didn’t get “enough” eggs.  We let Kaelin jump in on the older kids’ hunt and she managed to find 3-4 more eggs, so she walked away with enough treasures to satisfy.  I did see some kids in tears over the lack of eggs to be found, and was glad we didn’t have to cross that bridge yet.

Her favorite part of the day was meeting the Easter Bunny.  She met him 3 or 4 times because she just couldn’t get enough.  She gave him hugs, high-fives, shook his hand (paw?) and posed for pictures in his lap.  Mr. Bunny is totally the Mac Daddy.

Oh yeah, pictures…








After the egg hunt was over, we walked back to Grandmommy and Grandpa’s house.  Ok, J and I walked – Kaelin (as usual) ran.


When we finally caught up to her, she was sitting on G&G’s front yard, waiting patiently and playing with some of her “loot” from the egg hunt.



Filed under: Kaelin,Photography,Such is Life — Amy @ 10:01 pm

It snowed here a few weeks ago.  Random.  One day it was 70 degrees, the next day it was snowing.  And then it went back to being warm again.  Texas weather in the Spring is so fickle.


And yes, here in Texas we take pictures of the snow because in this part of the world it’s marginally equivalent to earthquakes or aliens or Heidi Montag’s shot at a singing career.


We happened to have some friends in town from Seattle, which made the snow even more fun – the more the merrier, right?  And because it was FREAKING COLD outside and I didn’t have any warm maternity clothes but I didn’t have to go build the snowman because Scott volunteered.  Sweet.


I excel at lazy parenting.


Finger Painting

Filed under: Kaelin,Photography — Amy @ 9:45 pm




Stuff We Do

Filed under: Kaelin,Photography — Amy @ 9:37 pm

I have this problem.  The further behind I get on something, the less motivated I am to catch up.  Blogging is no exception.  So I’m going to take a shortcut and fill in the gaps with pictures instead of actual content.

Since we got back from London, we’ve had singing and dancing sessions just about every night to this “mock” hip-hop boy band for kids called Boyz in the Sink.  Kaelin is our star singer and we consistently get reports from her Sunday, Tuesday and Wednesday School teachers as such. You know how in every children’s choir, there’s always that one kid that stands in the front row and sings every word of every song at the top of his/her lungs?  Yeah.  That’s my kid.

She also likes to dance.




Catching Up

Filed under: Friends,Photography,Travel — Amy @ 8:31 pm

Almost a month ago, we spent the weekend in London. What, I forgot to mention that? Yeah, I know. I’ve been busy.

J planned a surprise trip for my birthday as sort of a last hurrah before we have two kids and never never ever get to travel ever again because I’m convinced that grandparents would be completely unable to handle two of our kids for more than a 24 our time period. OH, THE ENERGY. What I would do for that kind of energy, especially right now.

We arrived in London on a Saturday morning on no sleep, and spent the day walking around and squeezing as much as we could in the short time we were there.

We had the fortunate experience of traveling with our friends, a couple who had never been to London before. We had a great time showing them around, and having traveling companions made an enjoyable trip even more fun.

We stayed at the Andaz hotel, which is a new concept in hotels, and has only been around since about September 2007. There’s no check-in desk – when you walk through the door you get your own “concierge” who checks you in, gives you a tour of the room, and serves you drinks while you wait.


By the way, a little tip for anyone considering such a trip – the Andaz’ published rates are equivalent to like $8 billion per night – but if you call up and say you’re planning a special trip for your pregnant wife, and can they cut you a break, they’ll slash the price for you. It really wasn’t that bad of a deal.


The hotel had little bowls of fresh plums everywhere. They were delicious! And they have complementary breakfast (menu – not buffet) which is wonderful … especially since otherwise it’s the equivalent of $50 per person.


Our first stop was St. Paul’s Cathedral. We were unable to take pictures inside the cathedral, but we climbed all the way to the top and got a great view of the city.


I’m considering that climb to be my greatest accomplishment during the trip. My leg muscles were sore for days. I slowed everybody down, but I made it. The others didn’t complain too much when I used the “climbing for two” excuse.

After St. Paul’s, we went to Lord of the Rings, the musical. Technically, it was phenomenal. It was all the show that money could buy. The script itself was more like a recap of the movies than an actual story by itself. They had to squeeze so much into 3 hours that if you haven’t seen the movies or read the books you’d probably be pretty lost. And the guy that plays Pippin is just plain annoying. But visually, it was fascinating to watch.

After the show, we took an evening stroll along the Thames.


I just love London at night.

During our stroll, we stopped for dinner to enjoy some genuine British “fish & chips.” The waiter put the plate down and in front of me was the biggest slab of fried fish I have ever seen.

And I at the whole thing. Without even realizing it. Apparently I worked up quite the appetite climbing to the top of St. Paul.

After dinner, we went to the Tutankhamen Exhibit at the O2 Arena. It’s coming to Dallas in the fall, so if you’re around here I strongly encourage you to see it when the time comes.

On Day 2, we headed over to the Tower of London to see the Armory, the Crown Jewels, and whatever else we could fit into the hour we had at our disposal before the flight back.


The White Tower inside the Tower of London.

We then returned to our hotel, checked out, met our driver and began the hour-and-a-half drive to the airport.

And missed our flight.

Public Service Announcement: FYI, American Airlines at Gatwick Airport has its own security that you have to go through IN ADDITION TO regular airport security. So if you arrive at the airport 5 minutes after the security guys have gone home (!!!) you will not be allowed to check in and board your flight.

Also, there’s only one flight per day to the States out of Gatwick.

Also, it costs $260 PER PERSON to change your flight, plus the shuttle fare to Heathrow Airport where the later flights are.

Also, there are no more direct flights to Dallas, so you have to be routed through Chicago.

This Public Service Announcement has been brought to you by the Association of Exhausted and Sleep Deprived Travelers Who Obviously Needed to Waste Some More Time Attempting to Return to the Comfort of Home.


So the flight back was an adventure… But perhaps it was good that we were so exhausted because we had reached the point of sleepless insanity where you can’t do anything but laugh in the face of ridiculous inconvenience.

We made it back to our house about 1am (which was 7am London Time), having been awake for yet another 24 hours.

Bed has never felt so good.

In the future, perhaps we will try to spend more time at our destination than on the plane, but overall this was a really fun trip and we’re glad we took the weekend to go. Especially since it will probably be the last time we can travel internationally for a long time.

2 Years, 2 Months

Filed under: Photography — Amy @ 6:15 pm

I don’t think I ever got around to posting these. They were taken sometime in December. Somebody needs a haircut…



Hey, wanna know how to get a 2-year-old to smile for pictures? Take a multi-colored fan duster that looks like a clown wig gone wrong, and waive it around – then stick it right in the kid’s face.

Hey, wanna know how to guarantee that your kid gets sick within 2 days? Take her to a photo studio that sticks a multi-colored fan duster up the nose of every 2-year-old.

Santa Baby

Filed under: Photography — Amy @ 9:21 pm

Thank you all for the sweet comments about the current pregnancy. It’s been rather easy so far and I haven’t had any trouble with morning sickness. That is one nice difference from the last time, even though my sickness the first time was rather manageable.

I’m now approximately 12 weeks and due on June 21. My parents will be gone on a coincidental, but rather poorly timed, trip to Israel until the 20th. We’ll see how that works out.

It’s been disgusting outside today. Which is annoying, because I had a lot of errands to run. And I was really hoping to be out and about in 37 º weather and pouring rain. I’m nothing if not adventuresome.

On the bright side, Kaelin and I went to visit Santa at the mall yesterday. She was absolutely fascinated at first sight. She gets the Santa thing and knows he brings presents on Christmas. I haven’t gotten much out of her on what she wants Santa to bring her this year, except something blue or possibly green, and maybe a doll.

She was really excited about Santa until she found herself in his lap, and then she started getting a bit nervous and calling for Mama. But Santa, who obviously has a few years experience, immediately distracted her with some giant jingle bells and we even got her to flash her brilliant smile … which the photographer didn’t capture. At least she doesn’t look like she’s being forced to eat out of the litter box.


You would think that for $13 a picture, they could manage to hire a photographer with some skill – like knowing how to center a camera. Kaelin nearly got cropped out of her own picture. I had to trim off several inches from the other side of the picture to make it look somewhat balanced. But eh, what can you do.

About Me

Hi. I'm Amy. I started this website in 2005 as a place to deposit my journal and photos. It has gone through a few incarnations and masquerades as a family site, but since I'm the only one who contributes to it, it's really all about ME, ME, ME.

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