Saturday, July 30, 2011

veggies in my back yard!

remember my garden?
if not, i first posted about it here: gardening 101
and then posted about it here [with a couple photos of abby too :)]: life!

okay so now that we're all caught up on the past, let's fast forward to today.

i have actually harvested a few things !!

the first thing that came in was my beans - and even though some sort of bug devoured half of my bean plants - we've had beans for the past few weeks :) and they're SO yummy!

the second thing to come in was my lettuce - my family never did lettuce when i was growing up, so i was at a loss for how to pick it and when. 
well, now i know - because i missed the prime picking time and i lost a lot of it [think: we got one salad out of it, and i threw away enough for 4 or 5 salads, boo]
thankfully lettuce is super cool in that once you cut it off - it will grow back! so, it's coming back and i'll definitely be ready to get it this time :)

my eggplants? they never appeared. i have no clue what happened to them but they never came up :(

and my green peppers? they are there but they're still super tiny, not sure if i'm going to get any peppers off of them or not.

i have cucumbers though!
i like to think of the fat guy on the left as my "bloated cucumber" - he was the first one i found and he hasn't really changed too much. but now i have a bunch of "normal" ones coming in and i can't wait to pick those!

anndd - of course i have zucchini! i planted my zucchini seeds almost a month after i planted everything else and they're the biggest plants in my garden [of course :P]

and my tomato plants, even though they aren't that tall yet, they have baby tomatoes on them!! woohoo!!

remember the flowers i planted out front that i had no clue what they were going to look like?
check them out NOW !

they shocked me the MOST - they grew up huge and big and beautiful and i LOVE to look at them every day :) 

so - all in all - this gardening thing really isn't too hard.
i think i've had great success this year just because, besides my eggplants, everything came up! and that was a huge success in my book.
andd - it looks like, i'll probably harvest at least a little something from each of my plants! probably in the next few weeks my garden will really kick it into high gear and i'll have zucchini & cucumbers & tomatoes coming out my ears :P

i have learned some things along the way: like, next year i will definitely start my green peppers & tomatoes inside for a few weeks so they get a head start on life.

oh and of course, what's a post without a picture of abby?
[please don't mind how dirty the window in my screen door is - she stands there and watches me whenever i'm outside so it's always icky :P]

Thursday, July 28, 2011

sheep are scary

naomi & i went to the troy fair today and took PJ assuming that he'd have a grand time.
we'd get balloons and fair food and see all the animals!

well, we got the balloon and at the fair food, but the animals?
let's just say the sheep there were really scary :)

this is PJ's "please save me, aunt kara, from the evil sheep!" face :)

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

She's a Keeper

we were laying in bed.
and when we go to bed - abby assumes it's time to play.
so we'll romp around with her for a minute, and then she'll usually curl up next to D.

so we were laying in bed.
and i said what i was thinking out loud:
"aren't you glad we got her?"

fast forward:
two nights later.

same routine.
get in bed.
play with abby.
she curls up next to D.

and as we were laying in bed,
D says what he's thinking out loud:
"i'm so glad we got her."

(insert *warm fuzzy feeling* here)

Sunday, July 24, 2011

I Heart Faces - Water

this week's challenge at i[heart]faces is "water".
and i knew exactly what photo i wanted to use :)

the weekend before last, when D&I were on vacation, we spent the weekend with my family at their lake-house. and D's favorite pass-time while we're at the lake is being dragged behind a boat :)

he's learned how to ski [on 2 skis as well as 1], kneeboard, and wakeboard [which is quite an accomplishment, as apparently for a tall guy, that's pretty challenging].

he loves the water.
[and he's pretty crazy too]

be sure to head over to i[heart]faces to see more "water" photos!


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Saturday, July 23, 2011


i admit it.
i have given a photographer a run for his money.

when i was 3 years old [almost 4] i was a flower girl in my aunt & uncle's wedding.

and you have to understand:
i was an extremely shy little girl. 
and my mom was terrified that even with all our practicing, the morning of the wedding i would see all the people in the church and refuse to walk down the aisle.

pfft - that didn't bother me.
not at all.
because i knew as soon as i made it down the aisle to the very front row, that's where my Meme & Grandpa were sitting and i was able to jump in the pew with them.

the thing i was terrified of - 
was standing up on the stage with the rest of the bridal party.
even though both my mom & dad were in the bridal party, and i loved my uncle paul & soon to be aunt dawn soo very much - i was petrified of standing up on the stage in front of all those people.

so - like a little angel i strutted down the aisle, tossing my flowers and looking pretty, and as soon as i made it to the end, i hopped in the pew where my grandparents were waiting [with my stuffed bunny too].

i was so delighted with myself that i had done it, especially since everyone was so scared that i wouldn't.

i sat there the whole ceremony, not even realizing that the worst was yet to come.

after the ceremony, i watched as the photographer started placing people on the stage.
formal portraits of the bride & groom & their family.

i had no problem going up on stage now - all of the people were gone and going up for a family photo with all the people i loved so much was easy.

but then they asked me to do something i refused to do.

the photographer wanted me to stand on the stage, alone, to take a portrait of me as the flower girl.

no way, jose.

and no amount of coaxing would get me up there.
i'd go up with my mom - sure.
i'd go up with my dad - sure.
but by myself - no way in the world.

they explained to me what they wanted - how i was the flower girl and had such a special job that i deserve a picture all to myself.


looking back, all i can think of is that poor photographer. all he wanted was a photo of this cute little girl and she was shutting down on him.

after a long time of coaxing [and maybe even a little bribing] i ventured up on stage with my mom.
and then she slowly backed out of the frame.

i slowly opened my eyes and gave the photographer one quick smile.
because - that's all he was getting.

he was probably sweating it out, knowing that he only had one shot and he better not blow it.

funny that i remember so vividly that encounter with a wedding photographer from back when i was 3 years old. and now here i am, taking on the role of a wedding photographer.

and praying that i never have to deal with a little stubborn, shy flower girl, like i was :)

Thursday, July 21, 2011

today i'm thankful for --


that's how quickly the temperature is rising.

in the time it took me to take this picture, upload it, run it through photoshop, and upload it here - the temperature has gone up .4 degrees.

i knew it was bad - because when i came home from work [45 minutes ago], it was the hottest it's ever been in my house - 90.1 - and that was yesterday afternoon, in my kitchen while i was baking apple crisp & shepherd's pie :)

and now it's 3 degrees hotter and still going up.

absolutely crazy.

so today - i'm extremely grateful for D's little window air conditioner from his college days.
and i promise not to complain at all about being cooped up in our bedroom to edit photos.

ps - it's now up to 94.9 - i'm kind of curious how hot it's gonna get in my house before like, the windows break or something LOL

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Aaron & Mandy [Senior Photography, McKeesport, PA]

the year 2006 was a big year for me.
i got my driver's license.
started going to college.
and got my first "real" job.

which is where i met Dory.
at first, while I was doubling going to both high school & college, i only worked the closing shifts at KFC. but once summer rolled around, i began working in the mornings - which were the shifts Dory owned.

she ruled KFC. and i don't mean with an iron first or anything like that.
she wasn't the general manager or even the assistant - but she knew everything. and she kept that place in line.

and she still does :)

i worked at KFC for a little over 2 years before i took my internship with disney world and moved to florida.
in those 2 years, Dory & i became good friends.
and we rocked that place.
and i loved going to work and being able to work with her. even though she was my manager - she was also one of my good friends and i couldn't imagine working somewhere where someone like her wasn't my boss. she has honestly been my standard for a good boss ever since [and she set a high standard if you can't tell :)]

almost every day those 2 years i worked with her, i heard about her kids.
she has twins - aaron and amanda. and they were [and are] both the joy & pain of her life :)
she would get calls from them, calls from the school, calls from her husband about them - i totally felt like i knew her kids even though i had never met them.

and last week i finally got to meet them.

dory left me a message on my facebook wall a while back, asking if i could please do her kids senior photos sometime this summer when i was down visiting my parents.
to which my reaction was, what!? her kids can't be seniors already!
somehow, they grew up really fast and they're about to start their senior year of high school.

and they're just as cool as their mom :)

Aaron has plans to move down to florida and go to school for music production.
this kid is major talented - i think he could probably play any instrument his heart desires, as he currently plays: drums, trumpet, bass, guitar, and more.
and he writes his own music too - it's good - i know because he played me some :)
ahh the perks of being a photographer :)

and his sister Mandy - watch out world, she's just as sassy as her mama.
Mandy has plans to stick around the area and go to school to be either a vet's assistant or a full blown veterinarian.
i totally remember Dory telling me how gifted Mandy seemed with animals, even when she was a little girl, and she wants to stretch that gifting into a career which i think is fabulous!
and the "sticking around the area" part makes her mom really happy :)


hehe: i asked them what kind of a relationship they have with each other - being twins and all.
they honestly admitted that they have their good days & bad days - days when they hate each other and days when they might like each other a little bit.

com'on though - they definitely look like the best of friends though, don't they?

Aaron & Mandy:
thanks so much for letting me hang out with ya'll last week - i had a BLAST and wish you all the best of luck on your journey ahead into the college world! you guys are going to do amazing, i know it :)

and Dory:
i miss you - and i will definitely be taking you up on that invitation for lunch next time i'm down :)

Monday, July 18, 2011

I Heart Faces - Props!

this week's challenge at i[heart]faces is based around "props" - and i had a really hard time deciding what photo to use :P

seriously, i just did a rockin' double senior session [stay tuned, it's coming up next!] and i took a lot of pictures of a boy & his guitar - but honestly, i couldn't pass this one by.

this is my baby sister :)
and i love her to pieces.
and one of these times i go down to visit my family - i'm going to sneak her into my suitcase & bring her home with me :) [psst, mom & dad: you didn't hear that!]

she's so precious and we all spoil her so much :)
and now she gets to star in my i[heart]faces submission - her and a beautiful bunch of flowers that D actually picked for me - but i was letting ruby hold for me :)

be sure to head over to i[heart]faces to see more "props" photos!


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Monday, July 11, 2011

Cassie's Bridal Portraits [Milan, PA Photographer]

wedding days are soo hectic.
and fast paced.
and, just soo fast.

you plan and plan and plan, 
and in a matter of hours, it's all over.

so that's what makes bridal sessions & day-after sessions so much fun.
you get to get all prettied up and have some time when you can really relax and enjoy yourself, without all the pressure of time constraints and knowing that your guests are waiting for you.

so you'll understand why i was so excited to hear that cassie wanted to do a bridal session before the wedding. it turned out fabulously!

and it was one of those days - where it rained all, day, long.
and all i wanted was a little bit of sunshine so we could get some portraits outside.

when i arrived, it was still nasty & gloomy, so i resigned myself to shooting the entire session indoors.

we started out and immediately got beautiful results.

a few poses later, i glanced out the window and squealed.
because the sun was out.

so, we hustled outside [because we had no idea how long the sun would last] and wow -

i literally can't even post all of my favorites because there are wayy too many.
cassie is a beautiful beautiful lady and she was a perfect model.

after soaking up the sun [and saying lots of "thank you Jesus!" prayers]
we headed inside for one more photo i had in my head.
and i'm crazy about how it turned out :)

so, thus marks the end of my cassie & caleb posts :) 
if you missed the first 2 parts, you can revisit them! here is the link to part 1 and part 2.
once again - thank you so much for including me in such an awesome part of your lives!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Cassie & Caleb Part II [wedding photographer, Herrickville, PA]

let's review :)

last saturday was an utterly gorgeous day in which cassie & caleb tied the knot.

yesterday i posted all about them getting ready and the actual ceremony.
but the second part is always better than the first - so here we go :)

if you missed the first part, you definitely don't want to miss it.
you can find it right here: cassie & caleb part i

when the wedding ceremony was over and the family formal portraits shot, i herded the bridal party outside for some photos.
UNfortunately, it was about 111 degrees [in the shade] and the guys complained the whole time about being in suits and - something about melting into puddles of sweat & dying?
i don't know - i didn't listen to a word they were saying :)

seriously though, it was wicked hot [and i was actually listening to the guys, as well as contemplating how i was going to survive melting into a puddle of sweat too], so we sped through photos as quickly as possible.

it was honestly the fastest portrait shoot i have ever done.
but i think we got some fiiine results :)

and right as we were at the point of melting, we dashed back inside to snap a few more portraits in the entry of the church.
[which is also where the very first image is from :) it's one of my new all-time favorites!]

having barely survived the wicked heat of the outdoors, we headed downstairs to the fellowship hall, where all of the guests were waiting for us.

i totally have to take a minute and say how amazing everything looked.
it's really quite difficult to decorate for your own wedding. i mean, we all look through bridal magazines and countless websites for ideas, but seriously, without a wedding planner and lots of money - it's really quite challenging to make your reception look beautiful.
but cassie & her mom & a whole bunch of other people who helped, made the place look stunning.

they covered all the windows so it was dark, and then had strung icicle lights along the ceiling, as well as lighting candles on the tables.

it was beautiful.

just like their simple ceremony, they had a simple reception.
they did a first-dance -
[and i don't exactly know what it is, but something about this moment, hmm, i could stare at this for a long long time]

and then a father-daughter dance.
which is always one of my favorite moments at a wedding.
there's just something really special about a daddy giving his little girl away and then celebrating it by dancing with her.

caleb's aunt made their cake - it was beautiful!
and i watched her set it up - there is a reason i'm a photographer and not a cake-maker. i would totally be a basket case transporting and then assembling my creation. but she was as calm as could be, even when it was sitting a little lopsided, she calmly straightened everything out :)

and as they were cutting the cake, they told me they were going to be nice to each other.
in other words, no smashing cake in the other person's face.

but, somehow, plans changed at the very last second [maybe they realized this might be the only opportunity to do this without severe repercussions, i don't know] and cassie got a face full of cake.
shortly after, caleb also got a face full of cake :)

alrighty, so there's so many more photos i could post. 
seriously, i had originally picked out about 50 photos for my blog and i had to do some nasty cutting.
but i'll end with this.

cassie & caleb - 
thank you so much for allowing me to be a part of your special day! 
i had a blast and i wish you both all the blessings in the world, and a long & happy life together :)

just kidding :)

we're not finished yet!
i still haven't gotten to show off the bridal session cassie & i did a few weeks back! it's coming soon!!