Monday, December 26, 2011

Grief overshadowing the holidays this year

I haven't done well on my blogging last few months, I accepted a new job position with H&R Block as an office manager and my time has been so consumed by training and children when I am home that this blog has taken a back burner to all that.

This time of year is usually a fun filled time of happiness with lots of family get togethers.  This year has been so strangely different.  The weather although colder hasn't been what I call winter Christmas season weather (don't get me wrong I love for work and travel reasons that it hasn't snowed) and for some strange reason it just hasn't gotten me in the same spirit of the season. Then last Monday (December 19th) I read in the evening that my sister had little ones at home with the flu on her Facebook so I made sure to keep checking her status updates hoping that everyone would be doing better.  By Tuesday she had written that one of her kids it was hitting harder than all the rest and so she had to take him to the Dr where he had given the baby anti-nausea pills and sent back home. Wednesday December 21 I was at work trying to get some cleaning done at the office when I read that Josiah had to be taken by ambulance and I remember posting that its always scary when its a little one I hope he gets better.  What I didn't know at the time was that he hadn't gotten any better with the meds given by the Dr the night before and as they were preparing to take him back to the Dr he had suddenly quit breathing.  He was with Jesus before the ambulance even got to their house and so they were unable to revive him.  I broke down in tears at work I still am having a hard time not crying at the thought of a child 4 years old being taken so early in his life. (you can read my sisters story on her blog: Duckygirl's recipe for happiness)
I have a shaky relationship with my sister but felt the call so deep inside and so strong that I needed to be with her so I made preparations for the 7 hour trip there.  Friday I made my way with my husband to Illinois to be with her leaving my 4 with other family and to hopefully spend Christmas happy if not with me.  I didn't arrive up there until after midnight so Saturday morning I went to her house.  From 10-4 I was visiting with my sister something that we hadn't done together in over 7 years.  We hugged alot and shared stories of kids.  She has such an unbelievable awesome support system up there to where someone is there for household chores and someone is assigned meal drop offs and I am relieved that she is so well taken care of in this time.  I had planned on staying however long I was needed for but was told that it added additional stress to an already bad situation so I left but had done what I felt was needed of me.  I told her she was loved and gave her so many hugs and got to be there for her even if it was only for 6 hours.  I still wish I was there but feel that pushing the issue might make more harm than good in our relationship but also felt if I had sat at home and not gone that it would have been seen as more unfeeling and caused harm so the trip was good for us.
We pushed home that night and made it in about midnight again, Christmas morning we were up and heading out once again to pick up my children when 30 minutes away from home my van lost all connection to the transmission.  Had to get someone to rescue us (thanks to my husbands mother) and changed vehicles to his truck.  We had a beautiful time with my family and the kids, good food, lots of visiting and presents but my thoughts were still with my sister in Illinois.  We had to come home and visit with my husbands family that evening so more food, visiting, and presents and when we had all our family at home we just collapsed exhausted.
Today Monday December 26th my nephew that I never got to meet will be laid to rest and I am crying so hard today thinking of my sister and how hard today will be on her... Please keep that family in your prayers today! 
My husband is spending the day collecting our van and seeing what can be done to fix it.  I hope that I am able to be on here more but starting January 2nd I will be working 6 days a week.  I may help put my mind to something else than thinking of the little boy in heaven now and the birthday he was to have January 3rd

Thursday, September 8, 2011

edit me week 17

Well its that time again to post my edit me contribution.  This weeks photo is from Jill over at jill samter photography:
As per usual I edited with Adobe Photo Shop Elements 7
I did alot of little steps to this photo starting with adjusting the levels and then the S-curve.
I straightened the photo and cropped it, added a photo filter to the sky to make it more blue after adjusting the color to make it a faded look.  I added Coffee Shops frame and Bam! Here is my edit:

check out other edits on Branson's page:

Friday, September 2, 2011

I know I am behind on posting my edit-me submission but I TOTALLY spaced it Wednesday and with working Tuesday and Thursdays this was my first chance to join in! So here goes: The photo this week is submitted by Stephanie from behind the camera and dreaming
I did A TON of steps to this photo but mostly I didn't want to blow out the red on the baby so I adjusted the levels first once regularly and the next time just lowered the red channel.  I then ran a CoffeeShop action called baby powder room to further reduce the redness on the babies skin and make it look more soft and the S-curve action to make the colors POP just a bit more.  I used a Pure action called Soft Summer and masked off the baby so the background was softened and then used an Everyday action called vignette and sharpen to further sharpen just the baby and soften the edges of the photo. I finally cropped the image to a 5x7 size and here are my results:

my goal was to make the child sort of glow in light while the background is softer and darker to place more emphasis on the child.... I think it works for this picture and makes for a nice clean edit
check out other edit-me's at Branson's blog:

My Reflection of Something

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Edit Me participation!

I have to make this a quick post as I have a class to teach today for work but here is another lovely adorable even picture from Jamie given to us to put our edit magic to work!
and this is my final edit:

I did several things to the photo in Elements 7.  I adjusted the levels and made curves pop with Coffee Shop action curves.  I also used Coffee Shops action called baby powder room on the skin of the girls and the Urban Grit action 25% on the rocks.  I also used a Pure action called Pure soft summer to give it a little Glow effect.  I hope that hits on everything I did LOL... I was going for a nice color edit that showed off all the wonderful color in the photo and the fun relationship between the girls!
check out more Edit Me's at Bransons blog:

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Many changes this week.....

I have been absent from the blog more than usual and am soooo very late in my opinion to linking up with the edit me challenge but here goes:
This is the original photo given to work with from Amy
and then of course this is my interpretation
 I started by adjusting the layers (in photoshop elements 7.0)
I also used a couple CoffeeShop actions... first s-curve and then urban grit on the boat.
I ran a couple Pioneer Woman actions as well edge burn and changed the color to blue and then lovely and ethreal and did the lighten layer over the dock.
I then used a copy layer of the background with an artistic twist opacity about 50%
finally I added a Kim Klassen texture called canvas love in lighten mode
So whatcha think?
Check out other edit me submissions here:

My Reflection of Something Now onto the changes in my life! Goodness the biggest change is that my boss at work quit and moved thus leaving her position open for the taking. So I am now officially the Office Manager! wow and yikes all in one. Assuming this role at this time of year means lots of catching up cause I have a class to teach to get new tax preparers in the office and all this is new to me. And I bought myself a laptop... first thing I did was install Elements LOL Well life is gonna get just a bit crazier and I'm still trying to not have that change my blogging world too much!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Edit Me week 13

After a week of guest judging I am glad to be able to participate in the editing part of this fun link-up!
Here is a photo taken by Amber from Amber's Articles
it is a very moody storm chasing picture and this is my interpretation:

lets see if I can remember my steps now LOL
first thing I did was adjust the levels that seems to be a favorite to do first for me.
then I also did a layer of levels with everything but the ship masked off so that I could lighten just the boat some
I ran a Pioneer Woman action called Lovely and ethreal and used the lighten layer on just the sea
I added a photo filter of blue to tint the color some
I next cropped the photo
I ran another Pioneer Woman action called Edge Burn and adjusted the height of it so that it didnt darken the photo back up and put it on about 45% opacity
I ran a Coffee Shop action called S-curve to pop up the color just a tad more
Finally I ran a Coffee Shop action called Sun Kissed to put the lens flare on it.  I put the flare on the edge of the cloud peaking out and then removed the orange tones layer and contrast bump layer.  I also played with the opacity on the lens flare layer itself.
I think that it added a sense of optimism to a dark and moody picture and the crop style I used more like a panoramic view cause I can see it framed and on the wall in the long style like that.
and of course if you would like to see more edits of this lovely photo please stop by Branson's blog and check them all out!

My Reflection of Something

Friday, August 5, 2011

First Day of School

It's not even Fall yet and already the kids are headed back to school! I never remember starting school quite this early but my oldest was so excited to start her new year as a 4th grader!
this is the morning after I had a complete mental breakdown crying on my living room floor over the RED Kool-Aide packets.  Which spread red (waiting to dye anything RED) Kool-Aide dust all over my couch that I have had less than a month! What possessed these kids to think it was Fun Dip? It can't possibly taste good! After a strong vacuuming, bathing 3 lil ones, and some quick spot clean-ups I decided I had had enough for the night and put everyone to bed early including myself.  It doesn't seem quite so stressful today but last night I COULD not handle it!  That could have something to do with the fact that my husband has been MIA due to his two weeks of annual training (thankfully that ends Saturday....tomorrow) He can't be back soon enough cause I almost lost my sanity!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Photo Touch-ups

Since being a Guest Judge over at Branson's Edit-Me challenge I was missing the editing for this week and then I found Faith at Simplicity-my life in photographs wanting this picture edited... So yay I can do this!!!!
Here is the SOOC:
It is a gorgeous picture already but I thought I would touch it up just a bit like soften the skin and lighten the red tones on the baby.... its not a huge change but I like the softness of it
and if you wanna see a side by side of it:
I thought it looked really good what do you think?

and to see some more edits head over here:

Edit me Guest Judge

Good Thursday morning to all! I meant to do this post yesterday but got distracted...
This week I am the guest judge for Edit Me!!! Wow I am so excited to see this picture
Get editing touches by some very creative people.  Just looking at some of the submissions this morning and I will have a BIG job cut out for me! so follow this link:

My Reflection of Something and help me out by letting me know which ones you like the best!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

End of July already?

Wow! Where did the summer go? I can't believe that August is just around the corner and that my daughter goes back to school on the 5th.... I feel like she has only been off school for two weeks... (ugh to getting back up at 6am) So to mark this event I am going to participate in Click it up a Notch's best photo of the month with this:
It is by far my favorite picture of July! It so gives the summer spirit and of course pictures of three little angels....who could go wrong with that?!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Photoshop Issue

I have been having some photoshop issues today with the program wanting to quit on me... guess messing with the actions was causing it grief so until I track down my disc and reinstall it I was without any actions so I used textures to try to go with the effect I wanted for todays challenge.
We were given this image from Beth at Our typical life

now normally with a image of people I wouldn't go as far as adding this much texture but with the program issues I ran into and the image I had stuck in my mind of the old oil paintings of cherubs I came up with this:
I'm not sure how it will do this week with the guest judge but I hope she likes the creativity anyways!
And like always if you would like to see other interpretations of this photo check out the other edit me submissions!

My Reflection of Something

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Living room makeover!

Saturday I had the opportunity to pick up some new to me living room furniture so I could finally get rid of my hideous couch! I have always had hand me down furniture gotten from people getting new stuff and this is the first time I have had something I have picked out (well with my husband) I am so excited with the way it looks:
Please ignore the blue blanket stuffed into the couch. I didn't realize thats where the kids had stuffed it until after I uploaded the picture!  
Saturday after my husband got home from work before picking up the furniture we all took a walk through the city park:

Hubby stole my camera and snapped a few pictures of his own (these are the results after I changed it to auto... the first few on manual mode werent so good)
and last but not least I have my edit for the edit me challenge over on Branson's blog.  The photo this week was from Ginger

I edit with Photoshop Elements 7. I had aquired several actions so in reality I was playing with this photo ALOT! I used a Kim Klassen texture called Serendipity played with the levels and the sharpness.  honestly I should have written down the steps I did but with the un-doing I would have messed that up to, next week I will try harder! LOL hope you enjoy!
My Reflection of Somethingand head over to see more edit me submissions!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Bottle removal

I have had an awful lot of people react to my twins still having bottles and they are 1 1/2. Not that I really think it is their business as to how I raise/deal with my children but I have talked to the dr about it.  They are not overly concerned with the twins still on the bottle because they assume they were preemie.  Now I believe they were not 6 weeks preemie so maybe I should go back to my own original deadline of bottles gone at a year so now *sigh I am 6 months behind schedule.  I tend to resist hard and taking bottles away is never easy especially with 2 lil ones begging for them ... at 3  A. M. !!! Not exactly prime time for my patience.  I stuck to my resolve and have not given in to the temptation of giving back the bottle but I am very sleep deprived today and hope I can stick to my guns again tonight.
Now to fun stuff!

  I got this picture fourth of July weekend.  My sister's daughter is only 4 days younger than my twins and all 3 of them sat down together on the front steps to help shuck the corn. I love all 3 of their expressions but didn't really care for the cooler and bucket cluttering up the photo so here is my edit:
adorable right?  I think it also captures the essence of summetime!


and then, she {snapped}

Paper Heart PhotoThe Daily Wyatt

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The 9th week of Edit-Me!

As you all know by now I love entering this challenge! So here is this weeks photo to edit submitted by: Mandy

I thought there was an awful lot of room between the lil man and the flowers so I cut and pasted him closer and cropped up the photo.  I ran a levels layer a PW action called lovely and ethereal and an action called pure soft summer.  I played with the color by adding a gradient layer and a photo filter of lavender.  I also added a texture from kim klassen called stained linen.  So with all that in mind here is my result:
To see more edit-me's head over to Branson's blog:
My Reflection of Something

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Family fun!

Of course the 4th of July weekend isn't complete without visiting family! Here is a few photos I took of the weekend fun:
 My sister, her hubby, and two cute kiddos
 Logan pointing "over there".
 The best corn shuckers EVER!
 a private moment between sisters
and the best made face of the weekend LOL

Friday, July 8, 2011


Recently I ordered a few things through the web involving picture printing on special order type things....
I ordered Fathers Day cards from two different sites:
Site #1 was for my husband from Tiny Prints and from site #2 two cards for both grandfathers from Card store
I found that both printers did an excellent job even with the freebie coupons I had.  On the other hand tiny prints ended up being free all the way around including shipping and came 2 days earlier than the card store.  I am kind of a late thinker and ordered the cards the Monday before the actual holiday and the tiny prints order came in plenty of time where the card store order came the Monday AFTER.  (Not that the grandfathers complained about getting such a cute card one day late!)
Then I ordered from Walgreen's a 4x6 brag book with a freebie promotional they were running.  I am pretty disappointed in this one.  Their expected delivery date was off by 5 days!!! So in real life that is FOREVER to see how it turned out and the wait wasn't worth it in my opinion.  The quality of the printing is pretty grainy and the laminating on the back cover is already got small bubbles in it.  Bottom line is I wouldn't pay full price for their brag books and I would use them for maybe distant relatives rather than a grandparent gift. :(

Thursday, July 7, 2011

edit challenge week 8

This week we have been given this wonderful old west photo from Jen

 I use Adobe Photoshop Elements 7 for my editing
step one I ran a levels layer and adjusted the gray slider to 1.57
step two I bumped the saturation up +14
next I ran a photo filter on the sky only to give it an extra blue boost
then I ran a Pioneer Woman action called Lovely and ethereal
next I ran a Coffee Shop action called urban grit only on the wagon
I used a Kim Klassen texture called yester year 2 times first on multiply 100% then multiply again at 10% then on color burn 28%.  I then used a texture from Shadowhouse Creations  called vintage 2 twice. first on saturation at 27% then on color dodge at 60%...... So what do you think?

Go Here to see more edits!
My Reflection of Something