Thursday, September 23, 2010

I Promise...

I won't always post videos. But this was too good, I had to pass it on.

You only get one shot...

Monday, September 20, 2010

White Knuckles

My friend Stefanie sent me this, and it made me really happy :)

How'd they get all those dogs to do that? Incredible. Thanks for sharing Stef!

Dear Clients:

Somebody please buy this hat (or any other on this site), I want to photograph a kiddo in it SO BAD:
(photo from sweetpeatoadtots etsy site)

I'm dying, it's so cute. I will love you forever, and even offer some free prints.


Monday, September 13, 2010

4 Questions

I was tagged by the lovely over at the Hiku of Id, and I can't lie, I'm really excited. I feel so cool to be tagged to answer her four questions. And it's good that she gave grace to those of us who are slow, because I just realized I had been tagged :) So here it goes!

A. Tell me a story about a vivid memory you have when you were in the third grade.
Oh geez. First off, I have a terrible, terrible memory. Really bad. Like, I really don't remember things vividly before 6th grade. And sometimes my childhood buddies will bring things up from HIGH SCHOOL, and I have absolutly no recognition of them.

But, with all that said, I remember getting reprimanded in 3rd grade by my dad, Walter. He always had this thing that he would make fun of my teachers names. Kindergarden, First, Second, and now Third grade, he would as me "how was Mrs. (insert silly teachers name) class today?" And now I know he was just being a sweet dad, trying to be involved in my day. But for some reason, it just really irritated me. 

My third grade teacher was Miss Weathers. And she was my first young, pretty teacher I had ever had. So naturally, I thought she was the bee's knees. And my dad would call her Miss Weather-Bee. And it jus made me soooo mad. So one day, we were in his big gold Buick driving through Kicking Bird Square and I told him of my distaste for my teachers nickname, and I came back with "I'm going to call you Wall-Turd from now on." So I got in trouble for saying turd. But i think he secretly thought it was funny.

B. If you could go back in time and visit the you who was a senior in high school the night of your graduation, what would you tell them? Would you give them any advice?
I've actually been thinking about this a little lately. And I think this is going to sound bad, but bear with me. I would have told myself to have a little more fun in college. I was pretty strait laced all through-out my time in college. I don't think I did enough crazy things. I had a good time, and in general a good college experience, but I think I could have kissed few more boys, and drank a few more (or any) beers :)

C. If you could go back in time and have a drink with any person in history, who would you visit and what would you drink? (If you choose a Biblical person that's fine, but you also have to answer with a nonBiblical person, too.)
This is the one that I had to really think about the most. And I wish that I had a really inspirational answer. But I think it would be Leonardo Da Vinci. I'm a little embarrassed to tell you this...but I love the movie Ever After. Yes, the cinderella story with Drew Barrymore. Anyway, they depict Da Vinci as one of those people who have great vigor for life, and I feel like it must be true with all of the things that he was interested in! Wikipedia credits him to being"  Italianpolymathpaintersculptorarchitectmusicianscientistmathematicianengineerinventoranatomist,geologistcartographerbotanist and writer." Plus he's an Italian. How much more interesting than you get? And I would drink lemonade, and he would drink wine. Because I imagine us sitting on a second story Itailian villa looking over a vinyard basking in the eventing sun. And wine seems appropriate, but I don't like it. 

D. What children's book would you say best describes your personality? Why? 
Remember when I said that I have a terrible memory?? Well...I don't really remember the characters of children's books very well. This was my favorite question, but I feel like I can't give a good answer. But sometimes I feel like I'm the mouse from "If you give a Mouse a Cookie." Not necessarily because I'm always asking people for things (or at least I hope I don't!), but because I feel like I'm always looking forward to the next bigger and better thing and sometimes I forget to live in the moment and love and appreciate where I am in life.

Ryan says I'm Cindy Loo Who because I'm sweet and little and innocent. I really have the wool over his eyes, huh?? :)

Sooo, the other part of playing tag is tagging others. Sooo, tag, you're it.
Candice from Chia Seed Me
Katie from My So Called Life
Lauren from Reflections on Life's Little Treasures
And Tags Backs Haiku of the Id!

Here are your questions:
1. What is your guilty pleasure television show?
2. If you could be invited to any celebrities wedding, which one would you want to go to (past or future)?
3. So far in your life, what have you done that you are the most proud of yourself for?
4. What do you think the greatest invention of your lifetime is, and why?

This was fun!!!

You're Invited!

Has anyone ever participated in a 365 project? It's where you take a photo every day for a year. A group of friends and friends of friends have started one, and this is your official invite to join! We are a group of people, all at different points in our photography skills. The only thing we really have in common is that we are all committing to it. There are 3 rules:

1)  You have to take a photo everyday for a complete year
2)  Upload them at least once a week
3)  Have fun!

If you’re worried about not knowing what to take pics of, we have even come up with weekly theme ideas. You don’t have to use them, but if you are an assignment person like me, it’s perfect.

I think it will be really fun, and I hope you will join us! The first day of our project will be 9/20/2010. The last day will be 9/20/20111. Our flickr group is “4 Seasons of Photographs.” Find us and join, or leave a comment and I’ll direct you to the right place!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Grandma Gruel

On Friday I attended the funeral of a very special lady in my life. A lady who's home I spend almost every Sunday of my high school having lunch at, laughing around her dining room table with her family--both biological and 'adopted.' She was the matriarch of a family that is extraordinary, and I know a lot of that is due to her.

It's funny what you learn about people after they are gone. She was the daughter youngest daughter of Japaneese immigrants. I always knew she was couragaous because God gave her two rambunctious boys to parent. But I learned how much courage she had to be a young woman and she moved away from her family in Montana, to Washington, and then to NYC and then to Japan, all during/just after World War II.  How scary it must have been, but what great things she experienced because she did.

I always knew she loved God. But I learned that she gave her life to Christ when she was 5 years old, and when she found out that she had cancer, she decided that she didn't want treatment. But she DID want a lobster dinner. Because she wasn't scared to pass on, because she knew who she belonged to and where she was going.

I knew she was hospitable. Not only because I spent many a sunday's at her dining room table-- Grandma Gruel at one end, and Grandpa Gruel at the other. And it was like the two of them were surrounding us with their love and support. But one thing her son said in the Eulogy was that she always 'made space to people to be themselves.' And I think that is so true. And when you looked at the people sitting in the church, I bet that she touched every single one of their lives by loving who they are, in whatever place in life they are.

I knew she was a cute little lady. But I didn't know what a hot mama she was! This was one of the photos that they had framed at the funeral. So gorgeous!

I always knew she was wise. Some other things that touched me about her from the eulogy was that she taught her sons that they should always have "hyacinth for the Soul." That no matter whee you are in life, you always need to have a little bit set aside to do things that make life worth living. Spend a little to go to a movie, or have a drink with a friend. And she always gave us girls relationship advice-- that we needed to wait for a Trout, and not settle for a bottom-sucker fish. And I remember, when I told Grandma & Grandpa Gruel I was getting married, the first question they asked was if he was a trout. :)

The thing that really made me think the most about the funeral was the phrase 'ego integrity vs. despair.' It's basically that when someone comes to the end of their life, they either look back and see that they lived their life the best and fullest that they could have, or they are in despair that they have come to the end and it is too late to do things right. And one thing that gives me comfort as I grieve her passing is that she definitely had ego integrity. She looked back and felt good about her life.

Saturday would have been her and Grandpa's 60th wedding anniversary. Grandpa went to meet his maker about 3 years ago, and I know she has missed him greatly since. I kind of like to think that she wanted to spend that day with him.

I have a knot in my chest and tears in my eyes thinking about how next time I go to her home she won't be sitting at the end of the dining room table, looking over all the people that she loved. But I am so thankful that she was part of my life, and I hope to be like her as I travel through the rest of my life. I hope that I can love people well, and live courageously, and invite people to be themselves in my life. I hope I can look back at the way I have lived my life, and feel good about. And I'm so thankful that I was able to learn all of these things through knowing and loving Grandma.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Bad News Bears

Oh no. This is bad news for me. I saw this on one of the blogs I read, More things from Martha to lust after. She launched a new line with Home Depot for Kitchen cabinets. Dang you Martha for being making me love you so!

Please, of Please, can I have this kitchen someday? I love the little sitting area, and the open cabinets, and then beat board (is that what it's called) ceiling. The grey cabinets. The simple handles. I even love the green color. Not to mention the farm house sinks that I'm obsessed with.

In particular, I'm obsessed with kitchen design. I think it's because I don't particularly love mine. It is a very workable space, and I'm so blessed to HAVE a kitchen to cook in, so I feel bratty wishing i had something different. The owner before us painted the cabinets black and put a dark counter top in. It looks nice, It just doesn't get a lot of natural light, so it feels very dark and heavy. And we are afraid to paint it. 1- because we are lazy and don't want to do the work. 2- they were professionally painted, so I don't think we'd do as good of job.

Here are some other kitchens I love. Don't know where the images are from, they just reside in my 'dream house' file on my computer. I'm sorry (and jealous) if this is your kitchen and you're not getting credit for it.

Don't you love the rounded cabinets on that last one?? xoely

Wednesday, September 1, 2010


So my co-worker texted me this morning:
“If you could have any job with no worries about money, location, etc. what would it be?”

Woa Traci, that’s heavy for 8:28 in the morning. Especially since we share an office, but have an unspoken rule that neither of us really talk before 10:30 because we KNOW we both don’t function well in the morning.

Anyway, it caught me very off guard, so it made me think a lot. My initial thought was “duh, a photographer.” Which is awesome, because it helps me to know that I really love what I’ve been doing. But then I thought a little more…if I could do ANYTHING, without worries, without consequences, just lived it up, what would I do?

Could I just be a professional creative hobbyist? Do some photography work here, some wedding invitation design here, some wedding planning here, some interior decorating here. I think that would be awesome. But maybe a little frustrating, too, that I couldn’t dedicate all my time to that.

Then I thought…maybe I’d be a wedding stylist. Come up with a vision for a bride, and help her to chase after it. But then I got nervous that I would run out of ideas. But then, I figured out what the perfect job for me would be.

A buyer. That's what I would be. For a really fun and unique store that liked ruffles, and textures, and high class things. I could see myself in high heels and cute pencil skirts (because this is in my dream world, right? I do that there), my heels tapping on the concert floor as I came up with the vision for the new fall line. And it’s perfect because I don’t have to have the ideas, I just have to choose the good ones. And the fun of being able to mold people’s ideas of style. And see people wear/use things that I chose to put in the store. Oh yes, being a buyer would be the cat’s meow. And then eventually after I was tired of the heels and skirts, I would open my own store and just buy for my own shelves. And by shelves, I mean fun tables and mismatched book cases. And I would have a little sitting area so I could feed my friends cupcakes and milk when they came to visit.

So, I ask you: If you could have any job with no worries about money, location, etc. what would it be?

Image (of my imaginary lets) thanks to BR