Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Our Year in Review

I thought I'd do a recap of what happened this past year. There are many year in review websites that tell what happened to the WORLD, but I'm going to share what happen to just *us*.

  • seriously. Nothing. LOL. No exciting blog posts, no pictures. Only thing we really did was visit some friends of ours in KC.

  • Miss Ester was born on Ground Hogs day. I still haven't heard if she saw her shadow or not.

  • The glass shop moved to Olathe
  • Tayen was born
  • I got my Cricut {I love you Cricut.... oh, and Tayen too, but not Kenton}

  • We left Kenton Glass
  • Gene started a new job in St. Joe
  • Life got better
  • Foot got worse, it was the beginning of foot HELL.

  • Had a herd of racoons living under the house
  • DOCTOR Becky Graduated from KU
  • and they moved to PA. :(
  • David Cook won American Idol (new idol starting SOON)
  • Went to the zoo with Gene on memorial weekend
  • had a big assed flood

  • The corn was planted around the house, we planted 5 new trees next to the house. Only 40 more to go.
  • Spent a day cropping with Stacy and Linda.
  • Dad passed away on June 23rd.


  • Got Married!
  • Cheyenne, Madison and Cadience stayed with us for 3 weeks.
  • Crop dusters visited us on a regular basis.
  • Bought a pool.
  • Went to the fair.


  • School starts again - Seth is a Senior, Tanner an 8th grader
  • Had my class reunion, but skipped out of most of it
  • Bobby cut off a significant part of his hand
  • Gene replumbed the house.


  • Tanner turns 14
  • Went to Santacaligon Days with mom, Amber and Torrie - and eventually Gene too
  • Took the pool down :(
  • Got my 50mm F1.8 lens


  • Had the Bridal Fair that went AMAZING
  • The economy goes to hell in a handbasket, and takes gas prices with it
  • Got a new foundation on the house
  • Installed a new back door
  • Removed the deck from the front of the house
  • Finished up the new website -


  • Went out and got ourselves a new president. Good luck with that.
  • Had a big assed garage sale. No really. Big.
  • Got my Canon 30D
  • The corn was harvested
  • Thanksgiving at Carol's
  • After thanksgiving at mom's
  • Black Friday shopping with Mom and Amber
  • Seth turned 19!
  • Bought a new computer


  • 2 ice storms - both sucked
  • Quite a bit of snow, which I actually didn't mind
  • Chris and Amy and the girls came to KS to surprise Gene and visit family
  • Went to Laura's baby shower
  • Ordered my new 70-200mm F4L ef lens
  • Christmas eve at Carols, christmas morning here, Christmas afternoon with Amber, Full blown family christmas here the 28th
  • New years Eve dinner tonight, with my husband. I get to pick!

We're terribly exciting ppl aren't we? LOL

I posted here 210 times in 2008, so my first resolution for '09 is to beat that number!! Whoooop.

Going to think about my resolutions, and accomplishments for '08 - those I'll post tomorrow, if I get around to it. Gene has the day off so maybe we'll go do something fun!!



My favorite photos - 2008

I could not narrow down my very favorite photos for 2008 to just 5 - or even 10. There were so many that weren't just technically spectactular photos, but also photos that reminded me of this year and the things that happened.
Most of these are in random-ish order.
{It's official}
Gene and my engagement picture. Technically, Tanner clicked the shutter.

{The Midway}
Lights of the midway set against the courthouse during the Nodaway County Fair.

{Torrie's Post POST Bridal session}
Torrie was great to play along, and let me take some photos of her for my portfolio, in her wedding dress, a couple YEARS after getting married :)

{Growing up}
A reminder that I'm getting old, and so are my kids. My oldest is a senior - this is my fav senior pic. You know you're getting old when you have to remind your kids to shave.

{I do not have an A-T-T-I-T-U-D-E!}
Maddie, part of a session we did whil they were visiting. One of my top 3 fav portraits for 2008.

{Sunset Kiss}
Amber and Cole, at a fall shoot. This was Amber's fav pic, and mine too! In fact, I caved and let her have the 16 x 24 canvas I had made of it for a Christmas gift. (with the stipulation I get visitiation rights)

{Grandpa Love}
There's just something about this photo, that I love so much. It's not a portrait anyone would buy, but you can see the love between grandpa and his girl. I also love how happy Gene looks. Have I mentioned in the past few days how much I adore that man? It's my desktop wallpaper at the moment.

I waited months for this shot, and it came at the perfect time. After 1/2 year love relationship with the corn, this was saying goodbye.

{Amy and Zac}
This photo nearly made me cry. Not because we are close personal friends, or it was life altering, it was the shot I was going for. It was the shot that made me realize, that this isn't just an accident, my photography, that I *can* create something that I see in my mind, and this was what I was trying to capture.

The weather has been kinda crazy for a year, and we've had many ups and downs from -25 windchill to the surface of the SUN hot. BUT.... I love it here. I love that even when it's so cold you can barely breathe, I can step outside and see literally the entire sky. That things just look different here.

{Welcome to the world little one}
Inspired by another photo I saw, I wanted to capture a tiny piece of life here, throughout the seasons. The tiny sprig, was just an unexpected bonus.

And now a couple photos that I did not take, but were important for our year:

This is my Dad back in the 70's. *this is how I remember him most* He died in June. I'm sure my mom actually took this photo, as I remember the polaroid instant camera we had. And I kinda remember the photo being taken, or maybe I just think I do. Either way, it's my fav pic of my dad.

{Mr. and Mrs. Cease}
July 4, 2008, I married the love of my life.
Photo by Jaime de la Cruz (a very lovely person btw) and post processing by me. I owe to Jaime also, the gift of getting me interested in Flickr. It's because of flickr that I have become intensely interested in making my photos better. I study photos i love and try to figure out how they did it, and how to make myself better. If you want to take better photos, I suggest you do the same. Thank you Jaime!

And now.. for my very favorite photo of 2008:
{Dandelion on a Dewy Day}
I have fallen in love with macros. I love discovering new teeny tiny worlds right in front of you. I love taking a photo, then opening it on my computer, blowing it up and exploring a whole new place never seen before. See the full sized version here.

This photo literally made me gasp when I saw it on my computer. And now it hangs on the wall in my living room in 16 x 20 size. And I still sit and stare at it sometimes.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Guess what I got!!!!

Merry Belated Christmas to ME. I'm about ILL I'm so excited!

Mom gave me some $$ for a Christmas gift, I've been saving and so I got my first L lens - canon EF f4L 70-200mm It was more than my budget by a long shot, but it's a good investment. And I HAVE TO HAVE ONE anyway. Well, I could get the cheap off brand but dammit, I'm so worth it.
I also picked up the 430 EX II speedlight flash I need, AND a studio light - which was pretty cheap, I shoulda bought 2 but I mainly bought it to mess with. I had a backdrop system in my cart, but put it back when Gene said I should get the better lens.
I'm so excited!! I'm going to be sitting at home for a week stalking waiting patiently for the mailman!

Christmas piccie overload

I promised Christmas pictures. There are so many more, but really, I'm not a big fan of christmas photos and I'm tired of uploading! If I missed ya, SORRY!

First.. we spent Christmas eve at Gene's mom and dad's house in KS.

This is Sarah, "trying on" her new jammies.

Oh, if we couldn't all be so excited about the little things.

Gene, unwrapping his teeny tiny crown royal in a really large crown royal bag. My question is, is that bait and switch? What *exactly* happened to the big bag David?

Next, Christmas morning at our house.

Seth mainly got clothes. 19 year olds are hard to buy for. Expecially when they want things like cars and game systems.

Tanner, opening his new cell phone. He's had more in one year than I've had my entire *life*. He's on cell phone buying restriction.

Then we went to Christmas dinner at Amber's house.

Gene and Copper bonded. For some reason, she loved it when gene thumped her on the nose. I think she shoulda bit him.... like I do.
Our last Christmas was at our house on Sunday.

Tayen was much more interested in the boxes than the things in them.

Here is us, getting mom. We bought her a ticket to see John Edward. She's been dying to see him for years. ME TOO. I'm planning on going with her, but have not bought my ticket yet!!

Jingles finally got his christmas gift. A box! He was entertained for quite a while.

Just being cute.

Amber bought Allison a hat. She tried it on, and someone said she looked like she needed to be on Brett Michael's "Rock of love". To which amber was a bit offended as she said they were all skanks. I can't confirm this as I've never seen it. We suggested she do her best skank pose, and this is what she came up with. Personally, I think she looked more like she was line dancing. So according to Amber, if you line dance, you're a skank.

not really, but that outta get her riled up.

Oh Tayen, by the end of the day, I felt like that too.

Four Sisters.

My fav pic of the day... even tho I look like I was drug through a keyhole. We this is our second pic together. That's Chris on the left, then Amber, then Torrie holding her daughter Tayen, then of course, my stunning self.... taken by my SIL Lori.

I know I'm missing pics that help tell the story of the day, but like I said, I am tired of resizing pics. I know. I'm sad.


Now for something more interesting.

Why Do My Cat's Feet Smell like Fritos Corn Chips? Just in case you were wondering.

Monday, December 29, 2008

super catch up post


That was quite a ride! I'm sort of glad that Christmas is now over, but also, kinda sad to see it go. This was the first year that I really didn't loath it by the time the 26th rolled around. 2 things that I did different this year, was I did not send out christmas cards (well, I sent a couple, and intended to send a couple more, but wasn't having fun, so I didn't - thus the photo below - it was my christmas card to you). I also took my sweet time putting out christmas decor. In fact, the final pieces I bought *after* Christmas and put them up on the 27th.

I think to make it stay "fun" I'm going to take it down about as slow as I put it up. I really don't have a ton of stuff anymore, what will take the longest is the Christmas tree as I have hundreds of ornaments (and got rid of quite a few too). It will probably be last to go.

Another thing that I did to make Christmas go more "fun" was not to worry as much about the photos. On-camera flash was ok. Slightly blurry is ok too. Of course I wasn't going to go without taking photos, but I just didn't worry so much about perfect photos. Speaking of which, I'll share those photos in a separate post as there are a lot over 4 days, it makes life easier.

Christmas eve was spent at Bud and Carol's house. Steve got to make it, as he did not go out on the road like scheduled. That was good to be home for Christmas, the bad side to that is no pay! Laura is about to pop - we all made guesses at what day she'll go. I said the 27th, so I was WRONG. Cross your fingers that she makes it past the first so she doesn't have to pay her deductible twice.... heh. No really!

Everyone did a good job of giving gifts, I swear Gene's family knows me better than I thought. Becky and David gave me some Prima scrapbooking flowers that I'd only picked up and put back 3 times. Carol gave me a WHOLE LOT of placemats - there were some Christmas ones (which I used in the above pic) and some cabin style ones. She also gave me a really pretty red necklace and earrings. Laura and Steve got me a beautiful pink scarf. Somehow, Ester knows 4 words - dada, banana and "crown royal". She bought uncle gene a teeny tiny bottle. I bet she was a sight at the liquor store.

It was a Shiatsu christmas at Cease Fire Ranch. I bought Gene a chair massager we both fell in love with, and he bought me a foot and neck massager. At this point, there's really no need to get out of bed other than to go to the bathroom and I'm sure one could make arrangements for that if need be :p Gene also got me a beautiful necklace, which I didn't even get to wear, the connection was bad, so I have to take it back and have it fixed since it was handmade. I also got that nailer that I've been wanting, now I need an air compressor!! I really really hate nailing finish nails. Tanner got me some candles and some new slippers that I needed badly as I was being cheap and wearing 2 mismatched slippers. Really. They were both black, but one was fuzzy, and one was just fluffy. Both were worn out. Seth got me some floor mats for the car, and god knows I needed them. I got tired of the ones I had and finally tossed them in the trunk. I don't know what happened to them after that!

After our Christmas morning, the boys went over to their dad's house and Gene and I went to Iowa and had lunch with Amber and Cole. Mom was there and my uncle Kermit and aunt Karen were surprise last minute guests too. I haven't seen them in a while, so it was good to see them again. Gene had a great time playing with Copper. We're considering getting a boxer, but I'm having a hard time committing to it.

Friday after Christmas, Amber, Tanner and I went shopping and had fun. Tanner did not as he missed out on getting to go to a few shops. You see, my STUPID CAR just wouldn't start after getting gas. Just nothing. I knew what the problem was. We needed new battery cables and had this problem not too long ago, but gene kinda rigged it. This wonderful helpful gentleman stopped and tried to jump us, but I knew it was not going to work, and in the end, I had to pop the clutch. I felt so back woods, but it got us home! I did not want to stop anyplace else, so we didn't get to see a couple places.

Saturday was cleaning day. I had a lot to do, which it looked like, but really not as much as I expected. My biggest problem is really no storage so things have to sit around where I can look at them. These include the plastic storage tubs that I "inherited". Great to store stuff in to keep bugs and *water* out... ;) But sucky when you have so many there's no place to put them. I have started to give them away to ppl. Seriously, how many can one person really need? I gave away a bunch of laundry baskets too. 1. That's all you really need. And it needs to be empty most of the time. I have 2. and it's too many. Anyway, I admitted to myself that the cute guestroom will have to be the cute guestroom/storage room temporarily and my dining room can stay cleared out. I truely think the dining room is a huge waste of space. I wish I could find a way to utilize it more than it is now. I suppose when the bar stools are in, and the bookcase/bar is built, it will be more interesting. Pics someday when that happens.

Yesterday was Christmas with my family here. Everyone made it except Darrell - Torrie's husband. He had to work. 19 people in total. It was kinda tight, but we had fun - I think everyone had fun anyway. We had way too much candy - thanks mom. And not enough Veggies. Thank god I had some canned veggies in the cabinet. I would do it again, but it would be Carol style - frozen lasagnas (which btw, were very good). Seems like life would be much easier. AND, I just used paper plates despite my china fetish - I just didn't want to do that many dishes. I made a ham (ehhh.. it was ok) and a Turkey - it was pretty good.

I was definitely glad the day was over.

Today was spent doing dishes, and some laundry. I had to cut it short because I had a meeting with a bride (whom btw, is AWESOMELY sweet.. Hi Amy!) I also was in recycling heaven. I feel kinda lame, but I sorted through all of the christmas wrapping again. LOL. I separated the paper/plastic/ribbon. Kept a couple boxes, and most of the tissue. The trash/recycling man will be miserable Wednesday.

I think that catches us up to now. Not mind altering, amazing stuff. Just what I've been doing. I will post some pictures. Maybe tonight, but probably tomorrow.

I'm also going to share my favorite 10 pics from 2008, what I've accomplished this year, and what are my goals for the next year. Yes I know it's cliche, but I'm totally fine with being a lamb and making resolutions on the first of January.

More tomorrow. I want to scrapbook!!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas!

The Cease clan wants to wish you all a very
Merry Christmas!
Seasons Greetings - whatever you might be celebrating this time of year!
I doubt you will see me post for a couple days. There's the Ceases, then home, then Amber's, then preperation for my family's dinner. Heck, to be honest, this post was actually written a week ago and put on a timer.
No worries, I'll be here in full force soon.
Blessings to you!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008


1. I don't really like the Ultra Concentrated Joy Antibacterial dishwashing liquid I bought. It's certainly not ultra, nor concentrated, so I'm placing some doubts on the antibacterial claim.

2. I don't know if it's losing weight, or the cold weather, or both, but my wedding ring is spinny and loose. Now why would my body think that the appropriate place to lose more weight is my hands? May I direct you body, to my ass.

3. Watch for falling ice! Took Tanner to do his paper route, and as I approached the highway at the end of our road, I slowed down a bit more than usual because it's so slick out. A 20 foot section of ice fell off the telephone line right in front of my car. Had I been driving like usual, I would have a broken windshield right now.

4. Speaking of falling ice. It's warming up. The ice is melting. THANK GOD because I'm tired of sliding around. Except for our road, it's still a sheet of ice.

5. I guess our county grader is tired of talking to us. He came through and graded the ice for us, putting some nice little lines in it for traction, and he kicked up some gravel. Last winter, didn't come through here one single time. He probably got tired of us complaining directly *to him* how poorly he was keeping this road up. Tis true.

6. So much work left to get done. Glad family christmas isn't until Sunday. Major house cleaning after Christmas. BUT, still have food to make for tomorrow, a couple gifts to wrap, one to put together, 2 to make. *seriously*. And I must vacuum. The carpet is bleh. Note to my family - if a bit of dust is gonna get you worked up. Don't come :p

7. Made christmas cookies with Tanner yesterday. Not too bad except they give me heartburn. Not looking forward to the almond bark pretzels he wants to make. ARGH. Those things are like heroin. I want to finish the year down about 5 more pounds. This shall be a challenge.

8. I'm fairly certain the neighbor's dog is insane. Not only did he wake me up a few days ago by barking every 3 seconds - to the point that I had to get up and look out the window and make sure someone wasn't dead in the middle of the road. Nope. Just needed to bark a bit I suppose. Today, I found him laying in the middle of our road. You know, the one covered in ice. Just laying there, taking a lie-in. DOGS!

9. Working on a christmas week type album. A bit of info for each day. Ali Edwards is working on a christmas month album, and that was *too much* for me to know I'd be able to keep up with. Lots going on this week to document. I'll share some pics later.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

snow snow, go away, sunflare come out and let's play

When you're down about the weather. When your back yard is ice/snow/ice sandwich, when no matter how hard you try, you can't get warm, you can always pull out pics of green grass and bare feet and it makes you feel warmer, at least in your heart.

Here we're playing with light - a nice sunflare across the lens - some people love sunflare, i'm one of em. I also punched up the saturation *a lot* to make the grass much greener and to balance out from the sunflare.

Now, back to looking out my window. Did I mention I'm kinda hating winter?

Saturday, December 20, 2008

It's pheasant weather

This weather, reminds me of my father.

We had ice, and not a lick of it melted yesterday. My car is still frozen shut, but mainly just because I didn't even try to open it. Today, sitting on my dining room floor, painting a cabinet to go in my bathroom, and the wind picks up. I peek out the window, and on top of the ice, we're getting snow. It's coming down pretty hard.

When I was little - and I mean really little, maybe 5 or 6, I would go hunting with my mom and dad. Now mind you, I really don't remember the actual animals being killed, but I remember getting bundled up in a pair of coveralls like we were anticipating being stuck in a snowbank for a week. I remember mom packing bologna sandwiches for lunch and sitting in the middle of the truck, straddling the stick shift and my dad warning me to plug my ears as he shot.... out the window. BAD DAD!! lol. I couldn't even see over the dashboard. I just remember that when the ground looked like that, it meant it was pheasant weather.

We didn't have a ton of money back then, I never knew that most ppl didn't eat pheasant and quail on a regular basis. Yes, I suppose my father loved to hunt, but it had a nice side effect - food for 3 kids (there were only 3 of us at that point). It was not unusual for my mom to fry up a few quail for dinner - I remember it being very good, but not alot of meat on it. I haven't had quail/pheasant in 30 years! I guess I was sheltered in ways, because I didn't realize until high school that not all kids had deer for supper or their mom made the fancy dresses for the upcoming wedding or the only blankets you owned were the quilts grandma made you.

Later, when I was a bit older, my dad and his brothers and buddies (mom too) would go coyote hunting. At that point, I was kinda over having to be with my mom 24/7, and I guess once I could see over the window frame, I really didn't want to see critters being killed - and I'm still pretty much that way. Heck I don't even know when pheasant season is in Missouri... does anyone even do that anymore?

All I know, is that when I see harvested corn, with snow settling in the rows - I think of my dad, and how much he'd loved to be out in this mess right now.

Friday, December 19, 2008


So now about that surprise....

This has been in the works for about 3 weeks.

Let me go back a bit. Chris, Amy and the Girls moved to TX over a year ago when Chris went full time Army. Last year, we did not get to see them at Christmas time.

This year, they had decided to take leave and come to KS/AR/OK for Christmas to see everyone. They even told their dad that they were going to make it, and then somewhere along the line, they decided to fib a bit and tell him that Chris couldn't get leave. Then somewhere in there I think they realized that to make this all happen, they were going to need my help.

They told Gene that they were going to be able to come, but they had to put brakes on the car, and that was going to eat up their travel budget. All along, I was in cahoots with Amy and Gene's boss. Trust me, it was a bed of lies from the whole lot of us. I was actually quite proud of my performance. LOL. I even had Amy call Gene on Wednesday night and tell him that the packages had come in the mail that day - all the while, they were already in Olathe!!

Thursday morning, Gene got up, and within a few min, I was up too, but getting ready secretly in the bathroom. It's not as hard as you might think to flat iron your hair in the dark!! The car had already been 90% packed. I finished up and left around 7:45. I hauled arse to KC.

Gene's boss and I had the whole thing planned. See, Chris also need a windshield so it was an almost perfect cover. Except we couldn't get him to STOP WORKING and go visit his mom for a bit. I ended up calling Wayne about 4 times in the morning. Ooops. I feel bad because I know I was starting to bug him but if I didn't he was going to show up at Dale's Body Shop, who did not know him from adam. LOL. *another lie concocted by me. hehe*

Finally, we got him to the point of visiting his mom, after I lied and said his dad hurt his hip again, and wouldn't go to the dr, so head over there and nag at him. We watched for him, and all of us hid in the back bedroom. After several min of him chit chatting with his mom and dad, we sent Cadience out to ask for a drink of water.

Then we all just stayed in the back room while he was confused all to hell. LOL.
Then one by one, everyone piled out of the bedroom and each person was followed by a "What the hell!?" - with me being last. heh.

Cadience is at the bottom of that dogpile.

I told Gene that he needed to soak it up, because this was the surprise 50th Bday party he was not getting. LOL. That was way too much work. But we did definitely get him.

We talked for a bit, Chris/Amy/Girls went to visit Grandpa Brent really quick over his lunch, and then they came back to open gifts.

{Cadience in her Christmas dress we got her, with one of the 9000 Tinkerbell things I couldn't resist buying}

{Miss No-Front Teef Madison with her HSM pants. She took the best pictures. It was like every single item was made of gold!}

{The infamous Shuffle that I finally conquered. I missed her opening it, I just heard a scream}

{Grandpa and Chey, listening to music together}

{Trying to determine who is due first}

We had a really good time. About 8 times Gene said it was the best Christmas ever, and that he wished it was Friday instead of Saturday. I agree to both! Unfortunately, the day went much too fast and we were worried about the weather, so we had to say our good byes and head out.

Normally the trip from Olathe to home takes around an hour and 45 min, hour 30 min if you drive el Diablo crazy. KC wasn't too bad at all, but we did stay around 60 mph. The further north we drove tho, the slower we had to get. Nodaway county was pretty much the worst. I just started driving down the middle of the highway - I was scared of getting pulled into the ditch by a bit of icy snow. There was hardly anyone out but us. I think we passed a couple cars, and that was it.

Add to that, my windshield almost acted like there was oil on it. Somewhere around 1/2 way home, it finally started to clear up! From St. Joe to home, we drove around 40-45 mph. Coming down the big hill, we did about 20. I didn't spin out once, nothing major happened but I figured if a deer ran out in front of me, he'd just have to go down because an swerving and I was in the ditch.

Speaking of in the ditch, it was very surreal, south of st. Joe, there were many cars in the ditch/median. Just like trash tossed aside..... literally small *piles* of cars. In about 1/10th of a mile, I think I counted 6-7 cars.

So that trip that normally takes 1.75 hours, took almost 3 hours. I was glad to be home!

This morning, I got up and took a few winter pics. Not as bad as the ice storm last year.

{Hell froze over.
{This used to be some of the flowers on the other acre}

{I'm gonna say 3/8 inch}

{A little icle perspective}
{Which always makes me think "You'll shoot your eye outttt!}

One Christmas down, 2 more to go!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

These boots were made for ass kickin' ....

"Give a girl the right shoes, and she can conquer the world"

- Bette Midler

This morning, I got up and around early. The list of errands and tasks was long and the days seem to get shorter, not longer. So I was getting dressed and picking out what I'd wear. Shoes are an issue for me sometimes. I have the issue with the plantar fasciitis still, something that has some support and yet cute and comfortable - not as easy as you might think.

Add to that snow on the ground and the promise of it being kinda slick.

I remembered my boots.

A few years ago, I bought a pair of "combat" boots on a whim. The boys and I were in going to the grand canyon, and I had not really thought ahead about my footwear. See, I have a fear of heights, and really, the grand canyon kills a couple ppl every year. I kinda wanted to reduce that risk and flip flops or platform heels really didn't seem to be the way to go. I dunno, I'm just sayin'.

So I made a stop at Walmart and for some reason I decided that these boots were keep me at the top of the crevasse, and not at the bottom. In theory anyway

I fell in love with them and wore them on a regular basis. I've always felt strong wearing them for some reason. I call them my ass kicking boots - although I've kicked very little ass with them.

I wore them a lot at the beginning. It seemed like when I was down or feeling kinda weak, I could wear them and they made me a little taller, a little more grounded, a lot more *stronger*. I would wear them and think "bring it". I loved that they made me different from your average "girl". I admit I like to "stand out" sometimes in my clothing choices, which usually are my shoes. So that's why this bum foot really has be down.

They are now showing their age, I haven't really worn them since last winter, but something about them tells me that I can't get rid of them. They are special to me because they remind me to be strong, and they help me remember when I wasn't.

So when I suggested to Gene that instead of pretty bedazzled stilettos, I wear my combat boots, it seemed like a logical thing. Him? Notsomuch. Needless to say, I wore neither the stilettos nor the boots. That pesky foot had it's way again. But I did plan on bringing the boots, and having Jaime take my pics with my boots on, and I had one pic in particular I wanted. I got there that day and I'd forgotten my boots. I'll get that pic, if it means I have to drag the dress out, fix up my hair, and drive all the way to Iowa in the spring. Heck maybe I'll be 25 pounds lighter too. bonus!

As the happiness set over me that I had a good excuse to wear my boots today, I started thinking about the power of shoes. Yes - shoes have power. I know that seems strange, but think about how a simple pair of pumps with a pair of jeans and a t-shirt, has a completely different feel than a pair of tennis shoes with the same outfit. You see, the simple little shoe, has the complete power of how you feel, how you carry yourself, where your confidence lies in how you're presenting yourself. That simple shoe sets your stage for your day.

A pair of shoes can be full of memories - whether they be happy or sad. They can remind you of where you've been with a simple shoe print in the sand - or in the snow. They can make you feel grounded and strong and supported.

That's a load to carry for a pair of regular old shoes, and the secret is, that it's not the shoes, it's how those shoes make you feel, because the real power is in just little old you. The shoes are just a reminder of where that power was all along.


Expect nothing from me all day Thursday. I will be gone all day. There's a surprise in store for Gene, but because I don't want some asshat to ruin it, I won't tell what it is until Friday :)

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

"Behind the music" -- *THE* dress

I finally sat down and made a list of "required" pages for my wedding album. I have around 1000 photos, and I will never be able to scrap them all, so I decided that I'd just make a list of what I'd like to see in it.

Kinda like writing a list of goals or resolutions, it's really kicked me in the pants, because when I sit down, I don't hmm and haww over what to scrapbook. I have a list. I have pictures. I have paper. I have my cricut! GO!

So I wanted to share a page I finished this past week. It's about my dress. Yes, I know some of you think it's weird - guess what. *I*do*not*give*a*damn* It made me happy, I felt beautiful in it. I'll remember it the rest of my life. I'd wear it to the grocery store if I could.

Here's my journaling:

"They say when you find "the" dress, you'll just know it. Well, long before an engagement ring or a proposal, I happened to be watching a show. On this show, they featured a bride that got married during a concert, and she was wearing this American flag dress. I instantly fell in love, it was so different from anything that I've ever seen, and being a non-traditionalist, patriotic, and a republican, I knew it was the dress for me!

So it was the dress, that set the stage for the entire wedding. It took a bit of research, but I finally found the dress. It is designed by Lady Roi and was part of a line they did after September 11, 2001.

The dress received some flack from many, it's a love it or hate it type of dress, but it didn't matter what others thought, I loved it. Unfortunately (or fortunately??) it leaves pretty much one day of the year that you can really pull off a dress like this! July 4th.

I ordered it, and waited 3 months for it to come. I had it shipped to the glass shop in Riverside so that it wouldn't sit outside all day. I was so excited! Now, I was either optimistic, or stupid (or both) but I ordered it what I thought was one size smaller. Unfortunately it really was about 2-3 sizes too small (I suppose so they could get more $$ out of me). I could have probably lost 10-15 pounds, but 50? Yes, I suppose I could, but It wasn't happening. So, non-returnable dress had to be altered, and me, being the sewing queen, said NO WAY was I paying for alterations when I had a sewing machine, made my own prom dress, made patterns out of my own head. So I set out to alter it.

My original plan was to add straps and a 3/4 sleeve to it since I do not wear strapless or sleeveless. Sorry, I don't feel THAT good about myself. :) After a while, I realized, that it was going to have to go on over my head if I did that, and I wouldn't have an army of women to dress me so plan C. A jacket - which by the way, I made, and I merged 2 patterns into one, AND put all the beading on myself. Yes I'm a glutton for punishment.

Altering the dress was probably one of the hardest sewing experiences I've ever had. There were some tears, and it was very scary cutting down the middle of the back of the dress. You see, the zipper went up the side, and if I was going to give myself a couple more inches, I needed a panel in the back, so I had to CUT THE DRESS right down the back. That was scary! The panel went in, along with a corset. The first time I actually got the dress on, and zipped, was almost a year after I received it. I nearly cried! I had to add darts to the top to help keep it up properly, and it was done! I toyed with the idea of hemming it but decided that I'd be happy with it as it was - and I was tired of sewing on it. I rebeaded about 20% of the top, and it was ready!

Regardless of how anyone else feels about the dress, I loved it, and felt beautiful in it, and wish I had a reason to wear it again!"

There. I posted already.

Hello again. I'm posting finally so TN will stop checking my blog 14 times a day. I know I am awesome and interesting, but really... get out more.

Saturday, I got up early, which in itself is sad because that's supposed to be lie-in day, packed myself up - just me - and head off for KS for Laura's baby shower. I did not get lost one single time. Go me. I now can drive to Mary's house without directions because once I get it right without mistakes, I'll remember how to get there forever.

We had a lovely brunch, and Laura opened some really nice gifts. Stephanie helped, and entertained herself with bows.

After the shower, I headed back for North KC and made the huge tactical error to try to cut from 435 across Barry, but oops, there was a bridge out. I prayed the van ahead of me was trying to get back on Barry too. They were. Blind faith got me there with about 5 min to spare but the parking lot was PACKED FULL. No kidding, I've never seen the Boardwalk like this before *ever*.

I met with my 2 brides, and both meetings went well. Both brides were really sweet and sounds like they're going to have lovely weddings.

Of course, what is a trip to the boardwalk, without stopping at Archivers? Seriously. I dropped cash there. Probably not a lot compared to some sb'ers, but a lot for me. I had coupons. I haven't been for a while. I had catching up to do. Nuff said.

Gene and Tanner stayed home and cleaned up the mess left from the guy that put up the foundation. We're going to have to rent a truck in the spring to go to the landfill, but in the meantime, it's no longer in my driveway. Much better!!

I've been decorating. Have Christmas at your house, that will get things cleaned, put away and/or decorated. I'm actually very glad because the only thing I had on my walls for almost a year was a deer head, and that's so not my style (the deer head and no decor).

I got my 3 prints hung. I couldn't bear to crop Jiggly-puff out of the pic :)
I like it, but it's pretty dark. I might end up painting the inner part of the frame cream colored.

All three pics were taken here at "the ranch".

The christmas decor is in full force and I'm STILL NOT DONE! Tanner and I put a huge dent in the dining room on Sunday afternoon/eve. The buffet that I have in my dining room, will eventually be my master bath double sink, but in the meantime, it's just in my dining room looking like it belongs there, unless you open a drawer, and you see that it's really a great big tool chest.

My tea set, center stage

I love this big star. I bought it at Gordmans (the only time I've been to one, which is Amber's fav store and she shops there all the time. grr lol). The black background it's hanging on, is actually a table top. I bought it at a garage sale, and it will eventually be used when we build our entertainment center. Until then, it's "art".

I actually was going to give away this snowman set, but decided that I needed a little something to go with my big huge vases of flowers.

This wire tree about made it to the donation bin too. I've had it for years, it was originally where I held my shiny bright collection before I very much outgrew it. But, it got a reprieve and holds all solid shiny brights, and turned out kinda pretty. That makes the 5th christmas tree. What's wrong with me?
Don't answer that.

My favorite stuff to decorate with is of course my old ornaments. I swear I was born at the wrong time, because I love the old christmas decor (and halloween and easter too). I'm slowly getting rid of the "new" stuff and replacing it with old stuff. The little chair was actually Torrie's when she was little, she didn't want it so it became mine, it found a perfect spot under the light tree to hold annie and my stocking from when I was a little girl.
I have part of an old red/white quilt that I just wrap around the base and I put my empty shiny brite boxes there, and this year I added my "new" roller skates like they're a new christmas present (back in 1954 maybe).

So today, I'm enjoying the snow from the window, trying to finish up my christmas wrapping and nearly there. I have a few things to make or assemble. I'm going to try to get that bathroom cabinet hung so I can get it out of the middle of the floor. I have a dollhouse that needs some love - well, honestly I have 2 that need some love. Gotta catch up on some emails and the good old stand by - pay bills.

All this from my jammies. I think I'm going to avoid walmart, although I keep forgetting to buy adhesive so I can finish my christmas cards - all 3 of them. :p
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