Ha! He Married Me!

So I read some posts on "How I Met My Honey" hosted by ramblingsbyreba.com. I decided that I wanted to play along, too. I like coming out to play.

Let me just say that I was no longer in my 20's when I met the love of my life. In fact, I was a good couple of years into my 30's. I had longed to be married and have a family in my mid-twenties but God had a different plan for me. Over time, I figured that marriage wasn't going to be a part of that plan. Still, I believe God's promises for my life, I trust Him in all I do; and I still stand firmly on Jeremiah 29:11 - For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

With that being said, at the same time I moved to the West Coast, the GID moved to the West coast. We lived a one & half miles from each other on the same street for the first couple of years. I road the bus my first year on the west coast and during that period he had a funny part-time job standing on a street corner, dancing with a sign. I passed him every day for a month. I remember the character dancing on the corner. Then as quickly and easily as our paths unknowingly crossed, time moved us in opposite directions. This is our story.

How I Met the Guy-I-Dig, a.k.a. GID (My Honey)

In the late winter of 1997 a long-time friend called me and asked if I was interested in working part-time on the weekends at a local theme park as a DJ. By this time I had moved from the entertainment industry to non-profit but I had actually been pondered a second job temporarily to bring in some extra income. I just didn’t want anything stressful on the weekend. She gave me a name and number of an old friend of hers that she had been working with for several years. So I pulled out my acting head shots, quickly updated my acting resume and sent them on their way – forgetting that I ever did any of this.

[and this is LONG before baby-brain.]

Months later, I arrive home from work and check phone messages, a guy left a message regarding working for him at K&P Productions? [What? I have a job, it’s a little late to call me now, I’m in non-profit, I don’t want to go back to entertainment – I’m HAPPY!] So a couple weeks I finally get around to calling him back as a courtesy; after all he found someone else, I’m sure. Within moments I realize my mistake, we immediately hit it off bantering back and forth and we end up on the phone for about an hour. Finally he says, “So you want to check out what I do?” I respond, “Sure.”

“My only concern,” he continues, “is that you may not fit under the umbrella we have set on the stage…” What? Great, silent confusion sets in. “Well it says here on your resume, that you are 7 feet 5 inches tall.” D’oh!!! I’m so glad we were on the phone at that moment.

A week later I entered the theme park with a pass to meet this guy. As I walked around the picnic area, he came walking up to me, clipboard in hand, ball cap on head [I love ball caps on guys] and dark sunglasses, “Are you Rose?” He shook my hand and - I have to say reluctantly – I felt something. A spark. A moment. The annoying clich├ęs of all my friends words chiming -When-you-least-expect-it,You’ll-know-when-it-happens Meet through-a-friend - words rushed in; for just a second.

Nah. I shook it off. I was fairly jaded by this point.

A week after that, I was standing in a parking lot of a restaurant below the theme park entrance. He pulls up in a green Jeep Cherokee [cool] to guide me to the employee parking area, he isn’t wearing sunglasses. He has gorgeous green eyes. That was late June 1997. I started working with him on a weekly basis. It was pure fun. Weeks went by and I started dating some men through church and friends, suddenly they were all around so I thought, What the heck. Why not have fun! I hadn’t dated anyone for *gulp* ten years! At all.

They were all Christians, they were all nice but they were all wrong. During this time that guy I work with talked to me more often, he would say things, do things, look at me and I would tell a friend after each of these incidents to get her objective opinion because it seemed as if he liked me. I became slightly confused. During that time, I also learned he was newly divorced and had a 7 year old son; eek, complications. Not to mention that fact that we were “geographically undesirable” for each other, as I would later learn from him. We lived 25 miles apart – in traffic that is about 45 minutes to an hour on any given weekday. Then during an evening phone conversation he asked me about my date, I told him that the person wasn’t right for me and I had no interest in seeing him again. He (overly-happily) exclaimed, “Good!” Wait -What? “I didn’t like his name.” he added. Okay, I responded verbally as I thought –I think he really likes me

We began hanging out with a group of friends, impromptu dance parties, bowling nights, movies, museums. It was perfect; we were having fun without cares and stresses of dating. Then on one of those playful evenings as my girlfriend (the one that introduced us) and I were sitting at a stoplight late in the evening in a car behind him and his friend. Suddenly his friend got out, ran back and laid a kiss on my friend’s cheek! At the next stop light she returned the favor. She was close to the guy and his friend, she had known them for a quite a while. I was new to this group, but then she dared me to go kiss the guy (on the cheek of course)…

Oh yeah baby, remember those hot Indian-summer days, long past, when you would sit up in a tree fort or in someone’s basement playing Truth or Dare? I hated that game.

I took the dare.

We parked at the next stop; so I got out of the car, ran over to the driver side of his car where he had just stepped out and laid a kiss right on his…lips!!

The world spun.

I didn’t expect that. I heard him saying, “She kissed me!” in a giddy voice. I knew in that moment that I felt something for him. Everything suddenly became different. Only did he feel the same?

His busy season began to wind down but over the next few weeks, we talked on the phone and saw each other occasionally but no longer weekly. We played it safe, teased each other and secretly hoped for dating failure. The friend whom told me about him started dating his friend. (the 2 initiators of the kiss - mm, now we know why they did that...)

Shortly thereafter, we all spent Thanksgiving together since our families lived out of state. That night, as we took a walk after dinner, he took my hand and held it. Butterflies made an appearance. Later he asked me if he could call me and ask me out on a date. He called the next day. We went out the following Friday, December 3, 1997.

Over coffee that evening, he asked, “So, what do you want to do with your life?”

I thought it was over, no more dates. [Seriously, I'm not all that interesting - I don't keep 5-year plans on hand...] But he called the next day, and the next. Soon he became the “Guy-I-Dig” as the word “boyfriend” sounded so ODD coming out of my post-twenty-something mouth, and I became the “Gal-I-Dig” to him.

Two years, a couple of bumps, and one day later we were married. On Saturday, December 4, 1999. And I thought I would never get married…

But that’s another story.

Pictures: Top - Out and about with friends from left our dear friend and giver of beloved espresso maker, me, GID's friend
from kiss-night, the GID, & beautiful girl that introduced me to the GID ( also from kiss-night and now happily married to each other with 4 children of their own!)
Second picture - Thanksgiving 1997, Im' in green and GID is on far left. Everyone in the photo was single at the time and now all are married with children! Oh, how time flies!

Pictures of the Day

I'm still loving me some Lightroom. Here are some pictures that I never finished processing in Photoshop. I ran them all through Lightroom and fell in love with them all over again. We had visited a friend at her Hotel room in Santa Monica last fall, the room was full of white light and fluffy white bedding for Harrison to enjoy

I should have skipped breakfast...

A report came out last week that skipping breakfast of not could determine the sex of your baby. Seriously. Dude. Give me a break. I have a hard time swallowing that not eating breakfast could spike my chances of getting a girl. First of all, I LOVE breakfast, it's the most important meal of the day. Even on a diet, I don't skip breakfast. The only times I skip breakfast is when I'm running late to get somewhere and stressed, or when I'm not feeling well and can't keep my beloved breakfast down [like during pregnancy]!

Maybe that's why I absolutely love Simply Breakfast Photo blog. I simply love breakfast.

The real point to this story...

Had I read the article at the time I was getting ready to conceive, I probably would have skipped breakfast - just for the heck of it. It's worth a try, right?

Everyone who knows us, know that we were hoping for a girl. We have a beautiful boy young man already. Wouldn't it be nice to have one of each? I really wanted to pass on my "girl stuff" including things from my childhood that my mom had saved for me. I wanted to have those "girl-y moments" like High Tea. And frankly, I like going to the flea market and antiquing - something that Harrison hasn't like getting stuck doing since he had lungs to express it. [that would be from day1.]

But I knew in my heart, even before the ultrasound confirmed it. I knew he was going to be a boy.
Years earlier, long before meeting the Guy I Dig, while on a retreat I found a Victorian baby book. I loved it. So I bought it as a promise/hope/belief that I really would someday be married and have a child. Later, a friend pointed out that it looked more like a boy's baby book. Gah!
Then as we were trying to decide on a middle name for a girl I told the GID that we should have a boy name ready just in case. That came like silk. He would be named after our fathers - paternal first, maternal second. A perfect name. Finally, as we walked in to the office for our ultrasound the day we would find out the sex. The GID says to me, "you don't even look pregnant from behind." One of those "way you carry" wives tales. I knew right then who God entrusted me with. I knew his name. I knew that he was meant to be, that God knew every hair on his head already.

So I would have skipped breakfast, true story. But the REAL truth is. Harrison was meant for us. He fills our lives with joy and wonder every day. I am blessed that I have a beautiful, healthy boy and that I can fill that perfect [purchased long ago] baby book with everything "Harrison". We have so much fun together, I couldn't picture it any other way.

And I never had to go hungry in the morning to do it!

I've Fallen In Love!!


How is it that I lived all this time without Adobe Lightroom??

Oh. My. Gosh!

I downloaded the 30 day trial version yesterday and I am already addicted [and I don't even know how to use the darn thing yet!]

I took like 200 + pictures last week while on outings and I was able to process 95% of them in no time at all. (The other 5% were really true throw aways.) Normally, I look at the 100 of so pictures and process about 10.

AND Presets!! So Cool! They're right up my alley! I know that many professional photographers are all about the BEST SOOC they can get and not really playing with the photo much - just to pop the color or convert to b&w, etc., but I'm not a professional and I stopped trying to strive to produce perfect SOOCs with my Casio p&s. So I love to play with my images and process them into art that I like.

Not to say that when (and if) I do get a DSLR, I won't work at getting better "straight out of camera shots"; I most certainly will, as I will no longer have the excuse that "it's the point & shoot that I use".

In the mean time I'm going to go play with Lightroom! I only have 29 days left! Hmm, Mother's day is coming up... Makes a good gift.

I'm so in love!

Theme Thursday - Before and After

I did a self portrait a couple of months ago and wanted to try tweaking it a little - cloning out the pictures in the background, but then as life has it. I got busy with other things. Well, I finally played with it and I decided that I really like the original better. (Part of the reason, is I don't remember all the steps I took in processing it - as usual I'm blissfully stumbling through the program)

Here is the result and the SOOC shot.

Here is the picture from the original post...

At the same time I also reworked an older picture of Harrison using textures , here is the SOOC shot.

Here is the final...
It's pretty clear that I love playing with the post-processing of my pictures, it's one of my crative outlets. The original pictures were OK but not great. I love the fun results.

No new picture for today because we're out taking pictures and need to do some downloading!

Check out Land of K.A. for more before and after!

Happy Earth Day!

"In the beginning you laid the foundations of the earth, and the heavens are the work of Your hands." Psalm 102:25 ... "And it was good." Genesis 1

"The highest heavens belong to the LORD, but the earth he has given to man." Psalm 115:16

Unfortunately, I have to work part of the day, but later Harrison and I will plant some herbs and take a nature walk. What are you going to do?

Go be good to the earth today.


Remember that diet?

Yeah, that's the one.
I'm still on it.
True story.


I'm soooo desiring this today...

And although I had a dream nightmare that I snarfed on numerous desserts and broke my diet, I haven't broke it in my waking hours!

[Oh how I dream about it though.]

Then I found this in the fridge today...

Whoo-Hoo! Whip Cream!! No carbs, less than 1 gram of sugar and it's JUST enough to hold me over... for a few more days!

My Precious... Don't Touch it! It's Mine!


You caught me! Absolutely Yummy!

Theme Thursday - Spring!

Just some pics today. I took this one at the beginning of March as the Spring blossoms were already in full bloom in Sunny CA.I don't take a lot of "flower" pictures, but I was happily surprised when this one came out so nice.
Stacy's photography tip this week was about achieving the "300" look from the movie by the same name. Her photos came out quite nice, my photos on the other hand...well you decide. Unfortunately, I didn't have time to take some new shots to play with.

I think I tend to lean toward extreme looks in my processing. The first picture is from the park last week, it's not a great quality shot but I tried Stacy's processing steps on it, it's cool.

The second one is from early Summer of 2006 - Harrison's first time playing in the sprinkler. I admit, I swayed from the steps this time and did my own thing including adding a couple contrasting photo filters layers and a gradient map layer.

On another note, I finally created a tutorial of how I did this shot. You can find it here.

That all from me for now, go check out other Spring delights at Land of K.A.

Photo Effect - Action Shot with Multiple Images Merged

A month a ago (I know waaay back then...) I posted this. A couple people asked me how I did it and I said I would try to do a tutorial so I'm going to do my best. this is for Sassy Pants because I TRY to keep my word! [I'm not good at teaching - especially when most of the time I stumble through "happy accidents" in PS Elements.]

First of all, I use Photoshop Elements 3, so I work with layers. Since I'm self taught, I tend to wade through each photo effect like a bull in a china cabinet. [Not that bulls actually wade in China cabinets - nor do they even fit... Another cliche that I find, well, curiouser and curiouser. The origin of said cliche being Bull in a China Shop - makes more sense. Yes? But I digress.]

Where was I? Tutorial, yes.

Here are the 3 pictures that I started with, I took 2 at one point in the day and took another one when we came back to the attraction.
I used the vertical as the original, I sharpened (defogged) it using the Unsharp Mask filter. Then I repeated the process with the other two pictures.

[Since I only have PSE3, I can't run very many actions, or record my own so - A.) I have to repeat the steps on each picture manually and B.) that's why I can't always remember the steps to my photo editing projects.]

Next I cropped the 2 horizontal pictures leaving only what I needed. Now they are ready to add the the original document.

Then I drug the first picture over to the original document to create a new layer.

I changed the transparency to 50% to see my picture underneath. I resized the new layer to match it as best I could to the original picture (background layer) . (You can play with the opacity to achieve the result you want once you have the picture placed where you want it.)

Next I used the Eraser tool set in brush mode at 50% to erase all the edges around the layer until only Harrison was left. (example 1 & 2)
example 1 - New layer at full opacity, partially erased

example 2 - New layer at 50% opacity with background layer

Then I added the second picture as a new layer and repeated the steps. (example 3)
example 3 - Second layer added but not sized yet.

After added the two layers the original was left with some fog from erasing around the 2 new layers. (example 2) I wanted the "3rd Harrison" to be full opacity and crisp.

I clicked on the background layer and created a duplicate layer. I moved the copied layer to the top of the layer stack and then erased only the areas where the I wanted the other layers to show through

example 4 - all layers except the original background, I've erased the areas to allow the other layers to show though leaving a halo effect.

Finally, I flattened the image, ran the Unsharp Mask one more time and saved it as a new file.The final result

I hope I my steps sense, if not feel free to ask me, and if you have an easier way to create this effect link it to the comments!

A Day Late and a Dollar Short

Ya Miss Me? Computer problems. What can I say. I have 100 messages in my Outlook email box to sort through so I thought I would publish this post that I never was able to after said computer problems!

It was ironically titled: A Day Late and a Dollar Short - because I was. Now I really am late!! Enjoy, I'll update on the diet soon!

April 4, 2008

Imagine my delight when I read a post yesterday from Irene at ShutterSisters about being uninspired and the end of Polaroid film. And then she highlighted one of Jen's photos in her post! Not only does Jen have beautiful, inspiring Polaroid photos but she also loves Diptychs!

I have actually been inspired as of late by Polaroid pictures on flickr and some blogs that Irene happened to mention. [how ironic, I started this post a week ago]
I had just dug out our Polaroid instant camera. [what timing, eh?] I actually found out about the film going out of production at the end of January from a camera shop owner. I thought about picking up more film at the local Costco shortly thereafter but I didn't. Now it's gone. I have nine photos left.

I could still buy more, maybe I will.

Here are some of my favorite from the past:

I've always LOVED this shot - just a slice of life with some dear friends.

For about two years I volunteered at a mission feeding the homeless every Thursday. The most fulfilling thing I ever did. I'm pictured with a guy names Snake!

During our second year of marriage and first Married's Retreat through our church.

Oldie but goodie! Check out the Barbie house!
What OLD and loved Poloroids do you have laying around?

When All Else Fails...

Get a haircut!!

Although really, another day of diet patrol went just fine, no sweets. Woo Hoo! It's easier when I work at home because I didn't keep the junk in the house (except for that bit of left over candy from Easter and a couple lollipops from Halloween.) But it is only day 2.

So here is the haircut - mind you, I still don't like pictures of myself.

[I had to delete a couple that made me look like a man trying to be a woman...Eek!]

These were a couple I liked best.

Hello, My Name is Golightly and I Am a Sugar Addict

It's true, today was the first day of our diet.
[a.k.a eat healthy 98% of the time; a.k.a. kill the sugar addiction!]
We made it through day 1.

I went to work and sat at a desk next to an open office filled with coated nuts and Hersey's kisses and jelly beans and Hot Tamales and crackers and chips and honey pretezels and soda in the fridge. And each time I entered the room sweat broke out on my brow. How I wanted to grab a piece of candy! Or 10.

How is it that you just become hungrier and needier for the junk food as soon as you decide to be strong and diet?? Oh the psychological power of food!

Then as I'm meeting with the Executive Director to discuss some media, a person walks in with a container of sugar cookies covered in thick pink frosting and sprinkles. Mmm.

I declined.

I came home and ate a cheese stick. And a tomato.

I didn't buckle.

So for dinner the G.I.D. and I ate pork tenderloin, sauteed spinach & red bell peppers with garlic and a side salad. Not too bad for dinner; and food should be beautiful to look at.

But then I wanted sweets! [I remember there is some hidden chocolate mini-bunnies and jelly beans, OH! how about ice cream?! Don't we have some of that left over?!! Or one little spoon of Skippy peanut butter... Come on...

I'm like one of those women on Survivor who sit around and talk about all the food they can't have instead of doing some work around the camp. Then when they get voted off for not doing their share of work, they can't figure out why the heck they got voted off!

but I digress.

and today is only day 1!

BTW HipMamma, I do love my pasta and bread!!

Eat, Drink & Be Merry - For Tomorrow We Die-et

So I went to a wedding this evening that took place on a baseball field, complete with peanut vendor (from Dodger Stadium) At the reception we had popcorn, salted soft pretzels, nuts, beer, wine, hot dogs, salad, tri-tip, gelato/ice cream, champagne & traditional cake - and that's just what I had! I enjoyed it all because tomorrow morning, come hell or high water (or just an over whelming craving to eat some hidden chocolate eggs) I am going to start the process of losing weight!

That's right folks, between work deadlines and internet downs I will also start a diet to finally shed those unwanted post-baby pounds! I don't have much to lose, just enough to find my waste again. It's the disciple of doing it and the act of maintaining the healthy eating again that I need to cram into my little brain.

And if that isn't enough for me in one week, I will also be getting my locks chopped off! Yeah!!

Finally, I will be discarding half my closet, as I have not worn over half the clothes in there for 3 years. The word is, if you don't wear something for a year, get rid of it. But as usual, I can't let go of things.

I hope I like the new hair cut (the big event is Tuesday). I'll let you know.

As for the diet. I'm prepared and ready to go. And *gasp* we're doing the Atkins diet again. We had great success with it the first time and I lost 30 pounds. That was 4 years ago. But I've been undisciplined and anything that comes into the house that I don't let Harrison eat, well... the G.I.D. and I eat it.

After all, we have to protect our child from junk food, right?

So, with the junk food, and increased pasta intake and processed foods lately (for the convenience) our weight has gone up and our healthy eating habits have gone down. Atkins helps us kick start back into healthy eating and whole foods again, as well as burning off that unwanted fat layer.

I've got to stop the sugar craving COLD TURKEY!

A Lost Art Form

Melody at Slurping Life wrote about the creative expression of writing with pen and paper.
Funny, I have thought often about handwriting lately. I have found that I can hardly write a check anymore. And that a desire has once again bubbled in my to have nice writing. [I know it has to do with something I read somewhere...] I never had great penmanship but I remember working really hard on it as a child and even received a Certificate of Excellence in the 5th grade. [Maybe they made a mistake] Recently, I have desired that ability to WRITE again. I mean write note cards out for people in pretty, feminine writing.

Although my spelling is another issue!!...

I always longed for beautiful, flowing cursive writing. I love the writing on the back of vintage postcards, people rarely write like that in this age. It's a lost art. I too have lost my ability to write in script, I started printing everything in college. Then it became uppercase printing. Maybe it has to do with being left-handed. I've always gone about some things differently due to being left-handed and I'm notorious for running my palm through not-yet-dry ink.

Yet, when I wrote creatively while young, I alway wanted to use pencil and paper to write out my stories and poems. I needed the freedom to just - write and even erase. Final versions would eventually get typed out. At the same time, I journaled for many years; it was a release of teen-angst or confusion, a record of events and experiences, a healing act. Although in that act of releasing, of healing, I began journaling less as it seemed to only stir more anxiety rather then release it.

I stopped writing.

Then came the means to have a computer in every home. I was able to express myself again without thinking so much about my writing - and I had an automatic spell check!

Yes, pen and paper is becoming a lost art.

But it defines us, too. How we express and present ourselves to others outside the online community.

Sometimes everyday experiences can evoke many memories in me and I want to scribble them down as I recall them. I don't want to "lose" them again.

I took the above picture a few weeks ago because I liked the "realness" of the moment but I realized it had a piece of paper with random thoughts written down - about journaling, memories and writing. Since I don't consider myself a great expresser of thought, [and I can't spell to save my life] the picture left me feeling vulnerable so it sat hidden. Now it seems appropriate for this post.

I have volumes of notebooks holding scrapes of paper in them with poems, stories and thoughts all laying out a road map of who I am. They will never go anywhere, I can't throw them away. They represent who I wanted to be, who I was, who I became.

Now if only I had the lovely handwriting.

Inspiration and Style

Having internet problems here so posting will continue to be spotty for a few days. I've been playing with diptychs. the process of putting two photos together to create or complete a story.

I discovered them in the process of enjoying a couple of my favorite photo blogs and fell in love with the idea and simplicity of them. Check out the some interpretations here. Lately, I've started creating some. You can see more of my first attempts here.

Which leads me to Stacy's Thursday theme this week, it was about our individual style. I have found in the last year as I started Harrison's blog for family and friends that I lean toward a certain style of photography. I love natural light inside and out. (A challenge for the point and shoot camera I own) I love the cross-processing and a grainier, grittier look [at times], micro photography of everyday things, black& white photos and I love telling (or seeing a story) in pictures. Do you feel all that love? Well, most of my photos are not wall-worthy but, lucky for me, I have chair and picture rails all through my house and don't need to hang a lot of pictures.

So if you don't see me for a couple of days, it's probably our internet service giving us grief so I will be here when I can, working on this.

But do send me some bloggy love!

In the mean time check out these wonderful people!
My Polaroid Blog
Noticing Project

I Get Knocked Down - But I Get Up Again

I keep getting these really nasty headaches lately. They leave me rendered useless for 2 days - plus, sometimes. Such is the case over the last 24 hours. So there was no bloggy love. No Best shot for Monday. I couldn't even sit near a computer for days. (Which worked out on Sunday because we were getting any internet love, either!) But there was a lot of truthiness in how I looked and felt.

I actually discovered the truthiness post a couple weeks ago, but being the truly self-conscious, issues-hugging person that I am, I wouldn't post a picture of me first thing in the morning! Nope. BUT... I also do a great job at succumbing to peer pressure under the right circumstances when it doesn't involve running off a cliff with a pack of demon-possessed pigs or a herd of brainless, number counting sheep.

[Or any other animal that likes to swan-dive off of cliffs for that matter...]

So what am I saying is...ugh. I have a picture.

I have took a picture.

It's not pretty. Maybe before you scroll further, you should consider putting your coffee down.

Or sitting down.

Or at least ushering small children out of the room.

Oh, wait, that's my wedding picture.

Here you go...

I know, not much better. Check out the jowls - eek!

I'm seeing some similarities in the face with Ren the Boxer here...

At least today my excuse was a 36-hour headache. I look like a bull dog
[What will my excuse be tomorrow?]

And I suppose this my best shot for Monday? Well it was my only shot Monday.

So there you go. How do you like that cozy, comfy, royal blue robe I'm wearing? I love it - Victoria's Secret, circa 1999. A bridal shower gift. One good thing in the morning - that and a cup of coffee!

[I need a haircut.]

Visit Tracey at Mother May I and see much better shots this week!
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