Thursday, May 31, 2012

Edit Me Challenge

So,  from some prodding and reminding from my online friend Branson I remembered to enter the Edit Me Challenge this week....and I am so glad that I did! The subject matter of the image is one of my favorite things to take photographs of, an old barn. (My other fave's are old windows, doors and hardware!!) This week's image is provided by Sarah from the Stiles Files...thanks for the amazing image Sarah!

Here's my edit...what do you think?

This week I just went with a clean, color pop edit. I love the image as it is...just with a little photoshop pop!

1) I started off with cloning out the two power lines that were going through the middle of the image. 

2) Next up I sharpened the image.

3) Then I did a couple of curves layers to bring out the red on the barn, the green in the field and the blue in the sky.

4) I then added a little haze & tint to the image and did a little burning around the edges to add more focus to the barn in the middle.

ps. Head on over to the Edit Me Challenge to see all of the other amazing edits from this week!!

pps. Did I tell y'all that I won the last Edit Me Challenge that I entered?!? How awesome is that...I was so excited and I just got my prize in the mail yesterday and I LOVE it! I think that I will be buying something else from the shop for my office...Head on over to Etched & Sketched to check out their awesome prints!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

This summer is going to be hard on me...

I am struggling more now than ever before with having to be a working mom. My son is out of school for summer…and all that I want to do is be home with him. Having fun with him. Enjoying time with him while he still wants to do things with his old mom.

I’ve never had these feelings so bad before. I really, really want to be home. But it’s not in the cards for me right now. I have to work or the bills don’t get paid. I have to work or there will be no groceries to make dinner with. I have to work and all that I want to do is be home with my baby.

But I know that he is having fun this summer…he’s in a great summer camp program that has 3 field trips each week. He will get to go to the aquarium, the movies, the batting cages and the zoo. He will have fun…probably way more fun that staying home with me! And while that does make the feelings a little less strong, it doesn’t make them go away.

So, to all of the working mom’s I have a couple of questions for you…How do you handle the school breaks with your kiddo? Do you use family or enroll them in summer camp? Do you ever feel down when you see all the photos posted up on facebook & twitter by the other moms/dads showing all the fun that they are having? 


Thursday, May 24, 2012

I wonder where he get's it from...

With a mama that is a photographer and graphic designer my little one didn't stand a chance when it came to inheriting a creative gene...

ps. I shared this last week on my business website...but I couldn't help but put it here too! Sorry if you've already seen it!

Too many choices!!

Every end brings a new beginning...the school year is over here in AZ and we are now onto new challenges and we have finally picked a new school for Caleb for next year!

We have been in a weird predicament with him...and the choices for us have been so vast and varying...the school system down here in Arizona is so so different than what I am used to from small town, rural Washington state. 

First off, it's very competitive. Secondly the district that I live in has open you don't have to enroll your child in the school that you are within boundary for. Because of these two things there are so, so many options available for parents: we could put him in the classic school that we are within the boundary for; we could take get on the waiting list/lottery list for the many different charter schools around us; we could take him to the school that while it is not within our boundary it is the closest school to us; the list of choices goes on, and on, and on. 

When my husband and I thought that we finally had made our choice, putting him into the school that we are within boundary for, we were thrown for a last minute loop. The school was going to begin offering a charter school type program that teaches a full grade level was a new option for kids going into kinder and 1st grade at the school. The old "classic" style of school was still available at the school, but the new option is now available too...ugh. Just when we thought we had it settled! 

Well, at least we have settled on a school. Now, it's just a decision about what type of curriculum we want!!


Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Week 1 - Clean eating

Since last week's big disclosure about the state of my weight and health (ha ha it wasn't known by anyone that knows me!) I made some big strides in how I was living my life! I decided to eat clean and exercise. I did really good on the eating clean part...but the exercise, well...not so much!

I started using My Fitness Pal (if you're using it too...find me one there. My user name is mamaschell1) and I began by tracking everything that I ate & doing my best to stay within my calorie goal of the day. I'm pretty proud of myself because I actually did a pretty darn good job at the tracking and the eating better! No fast food, no frying food, & making all around better choices. With that...

I'm happy to say that I lost...

6 pounds this week! Yay!!

So my goals for the next week are the same...more exercising and keeping up with the calorie counting and clean eating!


Monday, May 14, 2012

Hi... I'm fat

So in case you couldn't tell from my photos...I’m fat.

Not in the “I just ate a huge slice of cake and I feel fat kinda way”…but in the actual I’m 100 pounds overweight kinda way. In the I weigh what I did when I gave birth to my son 5 years ago kinda way. In a I wear the biggest size clothing ever kinda way. 

And if I continue on this track I'm afraid I won’t live to see my son grow to be the wonderful man that I know he will become. If I continue on this way I won’t live to meet my grandchildren or grow old with the love of my life. I'm also afraid if I don't fix this that my son is going to be made fun of in school because his mom's so fat. I don't want to be that person...I don't want to put my family through that kind of pain.

I need to change. I need to lose weight and inches off my body. I need to gain muscle and endurance. I need to wear smaller size clothing and I need to get off my butt and begin to take the steps to doing it.

So today I am starting. I signed up for My Fitness Pal and I’m going to begin tracking my calories. I am going to get out and walk everyday. I am going to attempt to do cardio 3x's a week. I also signed up to to do a relay with friends up in Oregon at the end of August.

As of today, I am taking a stand against myself. A stand against my bad habits. A stand against my addiction to sugar and carbs and deep fried foods.

I love my life but I’m afraid of losing it due to my unhealthy lifestyle. I want my outside to shine as brightly as I do inside and I am hoping that you will help me to be accountable. I need to be held accountable…it’s the only way that I can get through this journey. I need help because I’ve failed so many other times.

I’ve done just about every fad diet out there: HCG, Atkins, South Beach, Cabbage Soup. Heck I’ve even contemplated bulimia as a way to get skinny. But in the past I think that because my goal was only about “being skinny” I failed. I didn’t take the whole journey into account. I didn’t think about how I needed to change my entire life and view of food and exercise if I was going to change what size of clothing that I wear.

Today I begin my change. Today I will begin making small adjustments to the way that I eat…changes that I hope will become habits that will eventually lead to an entire new lifestyle, new body and a healthier Jenn.


Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Edit Me Challenge

It has been so, so, so long since I participated in one of these challenges! Last night when I was catching up on some blog reading (wowza was I behind...way, way behind. sorry friends!) I saw the preview post on my friend Branson's blog and I decided to try my hand at the image. Let me tell you this image was so inspirational...and I had so much fun with it! (Thanks for supplying the image & judging this week Andi!!)

My steps:
1) Sharpened the image
2) Curves layer to brighten the shadows up a bit
3) Got rid of what looked like bruises on the leg
4) Adjustment layer to pop the color on the dress & cute shoes
5) Added a little haze to give it a vintage look
6) Finally I added a texture layer and masked off the little sweetie so it wasn't on her. 

Isn't this just the sweetest photo?!? AHHH I LOVE it!

Make sure to head over to the Edit Me Challenge website to check out the other great edits and possibly do one yourself!! 


Monday, May 7, 2012

When competition isn't good

I’ve always loved a good competition. Whether it’s to be the first one to finish a race, a cheering for my favorite team during a great basketball game or just playing a board game with my family…I think it’s healthy. BUT there are times when competition isn’t good. Times when it isn’t healthy. And one of those times is competition within motherhood. I just don’t understand it. It doesn’t help anyone and instead just puts an invisible wall up around us.

There seems to be a constant battle of one-upping each other within motherhood. A battle of whose child is the most advanced or best dressed or emotionally stable. We argue about everything from the best car seats & how long to have a child rear facing to cloth diapering vs. disposable to breast feeding vs. formula feeding.

But what seems to be forgotten about in this competition is that we all strive to do the best with what we have. We all want to give our child the best, but what I might deem the best choice, might not be the same as what you might choose.

AND guess what??

That’s all right. It’s perfectly all right because we are all in this together.


We all LOVE our children and are doing our best. You don’t know me and I don’t know you or your personal circumstances or how you were raised or your belief system so I trust that you are doing what is best for your child. And all that I ask of you is that you trust me too. Trust that the choices that I make for my child are the best for us and for my household and for the man that I hope to raise my son to become.

And I ask that we all start supporting each other and our choices instead of competing with each other. Becoming a mother is hard. One of the hardest things that any one of us can do and instead of tearing each other down, why don’t we concentrate on building each other up instead?

So all that I ask of you today is to reach out to another mother and praise them about something that they are doing. Call up your friend and comment on something in their parenting style that you admire in them…whether it’s how little Johnny is doing in school or how amazing it is that little Suzie started walking this week or even just telling them they are doing a great job raising their children. Just do it. RIGHT NOW!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Friday, May 4, 2012

Living Life

What I've been doing while on my bloggy break:

reading, walking, working as a graphic designer, taking up running, hiking, going on picnics, flying kites, date nights, perfecting my margarita recipe, went to disneyland, easter egg hunts, going to the movies, watching soccer, learning, photographing my kiddo, swimming, bbqs, getting a new hairstyle, birthday parties, girls nights out, going to plays, working as a photographer, working on eating better & being more healthy, spending time with friends, tasting new wines, sitting at our fire pit teaching my son how to make s'mores, friday night happy hours with my neighbors, enrolled my son in kindergarten, enjoyed long drives, tried out new restaurants, made new friends, and so so much more. 

I've been living life.

I've been enjoying my life and living it. And it's been wonderful.

This year I set a goal for myself to become more connected and I've spent the last 3 months reconnecting to my family and close friends and it's been amazing. I feel renewed and more confident in myself. I feel more at peace with my choices and more in love with my husband and son than ever before. I am happy with where I am in life and the last few months have shown me how lucky I am to be where I am. And I won't take it for granted ever again. 

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