Sunday, September 28, 2008

Urban Family

So I drug my family downtown to a fun, urban, future photo shoot spot yesterday to see how pictures would turn out. We were only there for about 20 minutes, but it was fun to play around. I am very excited about doing some client photo shoots in this area. I only used two spots and there are about 7-8 spots at this same area that would be GREAT for photos. So what do you think? Do we pass the urban family test?

Monday, September 22, 2008

Boden - 4 Months

37 pounds, and all caught up on his shots
he goes NUTS with plastic water bottles or two liter bottles
loves to steal something to chew on, and then run from us
sleeps inside every night
is outgrowing his night time crate
adores holland and dylan; he loves to chase and lick them
has learned to "sit" and "shake" on command
buried his new kong and we still haven't found it
he cleans the kitchen floor from all of dylan's drips and drops
takes daily walks with jonathan
has started to eat kleenex
(thanks to dylan feeding him one through the crate)
goes nuts when we drive up in the driveway
has broken our lock on the fence from jumping so hard into it
loves to dig and dig and dig
chases squirrels
loves to have his tummy rubbed/scratched
likes to ride in the car
loves to play tug of war
likes to fetch (but only a couple of fetches)
He's a pretty good dog, that Boden!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Super Soccer Kicker

I don't know who has been more excited about Holland playing soccer. Her? or Me? I played soccer in high school, college, and I've also played on a couple of adult leagues. I seriously wish that I had started at a younger age because I really love playing. It's such a great game. We have both been counting down the days and today was the first game day! Holland came walking up the stairs this morning at 6:45 with her soccer ball in her hands. "I'm ready to play soccer now", she exclaimed!

Okay - she wins. She may have been a tad bit more excited because I just wanted a couple more hours of sleep at 6:45! Soccer game or not.

She told me yesterday, "I am excited about a million, Mommy".

Yeah, that's probably more excited than I am!

Anyway, we were having a discussion at breakfast this morning and I was attempting to teach her about sportsmanship. You know - telling her the whole spiel about it's not about winning or losing, it's just about having fun. (as you can imagine, I was fumbling to get those words out because most of you know - I personally believe in my heart that it is ALL about winning!). She ever so nonchalantly said, "I know Mommy. I want the other team to win anyway."

"You do??" I said (trying not to sound accusingly)


"Why do you want the other team to win?" ("I gotta hear this", I thought!)

"Well, I want them to have fun."

"Oh! that's so nice of you, Holland", I said (however, not really believing what I was hearing!) I actually turned to Jonathan and said, "Is she my daughter?!"

A few seconds passed and then she came up with this....

"But, Mommy, I have the super soccer kick so I'm probably gonna win anyway!"

Whew! That's more like it!

And so she did - or so their whole team did, I should say. They won: double digits to zero! And one of those double digits was scored by Miss super soccer kicker, herself! Go Holland, Go!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

"Mommy, I Made You a Love Letter"

translation: dear mommy, i love you in my heart. holland

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

September 16, 1998

10 years ago today, Jonathan asked me to marry him.

And, what I am about to share with you is shocking!

Mr. Romantic, Mr. Writer/Poet/Painter, Mr. Renaissance man proposed to me in a very unique way!

No, it was not with a sky writer while strolling on the beach hand in hand at sunset.

Nope, not over the scoreboard at a Mariners baseball game.

Not a hot air balloon while sipping wine and savoring the view of the gorgeous country side.

No. No. No. He didn't write me a lovely poem or paint me a gorgeous piece of art.

On top of the Eiffel tower? Not even close. The Space Needle? Not there either.

It was pretty plain and simple.

No fire. No wine. No candles. No cuddles.

No profession of his endearing love for me.

It was .......... over the phone.

Yep. that's what I said - the phone.

And, furthermore, he first proposed "hypothetically".

Can you believe it?

Shocking, I know.

Absolutely, incredibly SHOCKING.

And you know what the best part of it was? I didn't think a thing about all of those crazy fairytale ideas that I had fantasized about for so long.

All I could think about was Yes! Yes! Yes! Absolutely without a doubt, Yes!

Happy Proposal Day, Babe! Thanks for asking!

I love you!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Another Car Conversation

Yesterday, Holland and I were driving down the road, headed to one of her classmate's birthday parties, and out of the blue, she asked,

"Mommy, where did Daddy find you before he married you?"

So we carried on a lengthy conversation about mine and Jonathan's dating days. She kept suspensefully asking, "And what happened next, Mommy?" "What happened next???"

And so the story was told......

Saturday, September 13, 2008

A Surprise Email

I just received a super surprise email from Tracey Clark, who is the founder of Shutter Sisters. I have been visiting Shutter Sisters blog off and on for about 6 months now, and I absolutely LOVE it. It is a group of women photographers/writers who rotate days of the week to post inspiring photographs, and written related pieces.

A few months ago, there was an announcement that they were going to put together a photography book entitled, "Daily Click" to showcase a variety of their blog reader's daily clicks. They have a flickr group that you can upload your shots to, and they will periodically post pictures from this photo stream on their blog. Anyway, I knew they were putting together a book, but I forgot all about it until I stumbled upon a blog post that was making a last call for votes on pictures to be published in this book. As I scrolled through the pictures that were selected for possible publication, I found one of my very own pictures that someone had nominated. WOW! I was incredibly surprised and honored to be among such other amazing photographic works.

I quickly pressed the back button numerous times to get back to the post about the contest and it's details. Shucks! I had missed the deadline for voting. BUMMER! I would have had all my family and friends vote for my picture! I then proceeded back to all of the entries and started looking at each picture and how many votes they had. Mine was ranking right up there with those with the most votes! Unbelievable!

That was months ago.

So today, I checked my email and there sat an invitation for me to submit my picture for publication. It had been chosen! How cool is that? It 's super cool because it was all done without me trying to manipulate my vote count with the votes of family and friends! Other photographers and a whole host of "wannabes" chose it. Very, very cool!

I will keep everyone posted as to when the book is available for purchase. If you are interested in photography at all, I think it will be quite a selection of inspirational shots!

You may recognize the shot as I have posted it here before, but here it is again:

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Ten - A Day Late

1. Oops! Yesterday got away from me and I forgot to post. Actually, it looks like all of last week got away from me, and I forgot to post. Sorry about that. I have some good excuses, I think!

2. One of my good excuses is that I went to Seattle for a "girlfriend getaway" with my friend, Mary. I must say, there is nothing quite as refreshing as a quick, little kid less trip with a girlfriend! We had a wonderful time. We shopped, and shopped, and shopped. We even managed to shop for ourselves (which both of us have a hard time doing). We stopped midway through the day for an afternoon Asian pear mojito to rejuvenate ourselves, and then continued on our shopping way. We had dinner at a wonderful, Spanish tapas restaurant in the university district, stayed up late talking and looking at photography stuff, and finished the getaway with a quick irongirl 5k/10k run around greenlake. We have committed to having these getaways at least quarterly! We may have to decrease (or even eliminate) the shopping part of it if we want to convince our husbands to let us do it again though!

3. I have a ticket to Italy, and the trip is just about 5 weeks away. I am so excited! I am a little nervous about the girls being away from us for that long, but I am seriously hoping they will rise to the occasion. I mean, who wouldn't want to spend a week with Grandma and Grandpa?! I figure Holland will totally be fine, and if Dylan has a traumatic experience, she's too young to remember it. Right?!

4. I have finally picked my photography logo, and now all I need to do is have some marketing materials printed up! I am super excited and very nervous! I have two clients scheduled, and at least 7-8 more that need to be scheduled. That's not too bad of a start!

5. So I have jumped on the facebook bandwagon, and it is pretty addicting (as is everything else online). I seriously didn't need another computer time waister. It is such a fun way to re-connect though. I have reconnected with long, long ago friends, ex-boyfriends, co-workers, friends of friends, etc. The only weird thing is that I have been having facebook dreams! I am dreaming about different circles of people from many, many phases of my life ago, and it's kinda weirding me out.

6. Dylan has adjusted quite well to being in the toddler room at Holland's school. She was so cute on Monday when I dropped her off. She climbed up the stairs, sat next to a cute, little guy named Jeremiah, and leaned into his cheek for him to give her a kiss. She did this over and over again! I haven't ever seen her initiate too many kisses, especially to non family members so I wonder just what is going through her sweet, little instigator mind!

7. Holland is starting soccer in a week 1/2, and I can't even wait. I brought home her socks, shin guards, cleats, and a new ball the other day, and she just went nuts! She was running and sprinting and dashing around showing off all of her "super soccer kicks" which actually look more like cheerleading herkie kicks! (click here if you don't know what a herkie kick is!). I had no idea she would be so excited about playing, but she has asked my just about every day how many days are left until she gets to play "for real". I think it might just be time to dust off the 'ole video camera OR upgrade to a new one! (just kidding, babe!)

8. Boden is getting so, so big. He has been coming into our house at various parts of the day for short periods of time. We are trying to get him use to being in the house since winter is just around the corner. I think it is going to be a harder transition for me to get use to him being there than anyone else. Any suggestions as to how I will cope?!

9. We are having a really great week as far as weather is concerned. I hope, I hope, I hope it sticks around for a few more weeks. I absolutely adore fall, but I'm just not even close to being ready for what comes after fall. I don't even want to say the word! I actually cringed when I wrote it a minute ago in the blurb about Boden!

10. I just tried to go back and post the herkie video, but I was having trouble. So, who did I call? My very own-personal-tech junkie-resource librarian-hubby. He certainly comes in handy! Thanks, babe!

Happy Wednesday, everyone!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Speaking of Ten.

1. It seems like it has been a few weeks since I have posted a "ten" post. Actually, I am surprised that I have even posted anything at all in the last few weeks. We have been crazy busy with the end of the summer wind down. Now today, as Jonathan went back to work, I am suddenly feeling depressed that our summer is officially over. We had such a long, long winter that in my own, little, fairytale world I totally expected a super long summer to compensate for the dreary, drawn out winter we had to endure. Fall is definitely in the air - maybe, just maybe it will linger on.

2. Speaking of lingering on, my heel pain is not going anywhere. I went to a doctor and also a Physical Therapist, and I got an official diagnosis of plantar fascitis. This is when the fascia in your heal becomes very tender and you actually have little tears in the tissue. It is very sore to touch, and it is hard to bear weight on it. I have been resting it for two weeks, but I attempted to go to running practice last night. I can hardly walk this morning. Not good. I talked with my coach and she said it can be 6-8 weeks (at least) for soft tissue injuries to heal. She suggested to just take a break, and was really against me training for the 1/2 marathon. I am very upset about this, and I'm now quite sure how I am going to handle it. I am definitely going to need a new outlet.

3. Speaking of outlet, we went to the premium outlets in Marysville last week. I did some serious power shopping in just about two hours! Holland was my main focus as she was in need for some fall clothes. I found quite a few deals, and now she is set for school to start.

4. Speaking of school starting, Dylan is going to start "school" tomorrow in the toddler room at Holland's school. We absolutely adore her school, and we are very eager for Dylan to follow in Holland's footsteps. However, I am a little worried about Dylan starting so young. Holland had a whole other year at home before she started. I am sure she will be fine, I think it is mostly mommy guilt that I am feeling. (You know, the whole second child gets the short end of the stick theory). Holland is going to be very close by and she will be able to go in and help out with Dylan if she is upset. She has been waiting and waiting for her to come to school so she can show off her big sister skills! Jonathan also works close by so he can go in and check in her from time to time. Since she is going to be there on MWF, this means that I will currently have Fridays to myself.

5. Speaking of having Fridays to myself, I am going to try and book some fall photo shoots on those days. I am hoping to shoot some fun family shots for fall and also even start taking some Christmas card shoots. If you live in the area and are interested in having me do a photo shoot then let me know! I have recently found an online photo lab that so many professional photographers use (thanks to my already-well-established-photographer friend, Mary). They do an amazing job so this means that I will be able to offer seriously professional work!

6. Speaking of offering seriously professional work, I hired a graphic designer online to make a logo for "ashley potter photography". She sent me the mockups in an email, and I am very excited about them. I might have her make business cards and some other marketing items also, but I haven't decided about that, yet.

7. Speaking of marketing items, I have completed all of my photo shoots for the Isaac Foundation autism fundraiser calendar. I had my brother-n-law, who is a photographer, help me narrow down my first set of "contenders". He was full of praises and had some very encouraging words for me. I was starting to freak out that I didn't have calendar worthy photographs, but he was begging to differ. I think when I really look at individual photos and not look at the whole photo shoot then I discover some real gems. I am going to have (my previously mentioned) well- established-photographer friend, Mary, help me look at the photos also. We are hoping to get the calendar put together in the next month so we can get it printed and start marketing it for 2009. I also want to put a collection of the photographs on exhibit somewhere in April for autism awareness month.

8. Speaking of the month of April, Jonathan and I will be celebrating our 10th anniversary that month. We were suppose to take a trip to Italy to revisit the church we were married in and celebrate these amazing ten years. However, we are feeling like it just isn't feasible to get a family of four over there with the current state of the economy and also the current state of our finances. It looks like we are going to get to go in October though because one of Jonathan's college buddies (the one who arranged our wedding in Italy) is finally getting married himself. Jonathan is going to be the best man. Another one of their college buddies gave Jonathan his frequent flyer miles to get to Italy as a wedding gift to the college buddy that is getting married! Jonathan was going to just go by himself, but his parents graciously offered to buy me a ticket AND keep our girls for a week! I was initially very wishy washy about it, and I'm not sure what that was about. A week in Italy without children - can there be anything more appealing?

9. Speaking of without children, my sister and her husband are officially "empty nesters". They just dropped off my niece at college this last weekend. She is going to attend Jonathan's old Alma Mata, Whitman College. Today is her first day of classes so I want to wish her well..... Good Luck, Gabrielle! You are going to love it!

10. Speaking of loving it, we went to a Lucinda Williams concert this weekend in Riverfront park, and we absolutely loved it! She was great. I hadn't heard much of her before the other night, but had gotten rave reviews from my sister and my cousin! They both came over from Seattle with their husbands in tow and we had a wonderful weekend! We are looking forward to more weekends together!

Happy Tuesday!