Looking In

Do you ever feel like you’re on the outside looking in? I hate that feeling. Always have. Some people don’t mind it. They don’t feel the need to be included in everything. They’re fine going on about their lives and letting others do the same.

I am not one of those people.

looking in kitchen

I love the abstractness of this photo. It was taken looking in to the kitchen from through the backdoor. I like how the darkness of my clothing allows you to see in to the kitchen on one side, yet the bright snow pops up on the other side, showing Isabella all dressed up and ready to play. The weird yellow bits in the middle are my Pittsburgh Steelers gloves!

In grade school I felt the need to be in every friendship bracelet making circle. In high school, I was devastated if not invited to a sleep over. In college if someone had a study group or party and didn’t invite me, my world was turned upside down.

That’s just how I roll.

When I first started at my current job 4 years ago, I was put at a desk that was sort of by itself, on the outside of the “pod”. I could hear everyone chit chatting and laughing but was not included. It’s not that they didn’t want to include or didn’t like me, they just didn’t think of it because I wasn’t sitting with them. Out of sight, out of mind.

I hated it. I always felt left out and alone. It took 2 years for me to be moved to a desk within the circle and that was a happy day. Suddenly I knew what was going on. I got the inside jokes and invited out to lunch.

I would much rather be on the inside than the outside.

And so would Samson.

looking in samson

Samson looking in the backdoor during the snow storm. I’m really happy with how the ice crystals are so clear and defined while his fuzzy head is, well, fuzzy.

Maybe I was a Labrador in another life?

As an added bonus, I’ll include some video I shot of Isabella dancing during the Super Bowl half time show. She was standing up in front of like 30 people bouncing away! She wasn’t “looking in” – she was seizing the moment! The other kiddos joined in too! I was so proud of her.

My heart grew 10 sizes.

* This post was linked up to the You Capture challenge.This week’s theme was “looking in”. Head on over to I Should be Folding Laundry to see some more  great photography.

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Colorful

Cold

Morning

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Colorful

I love color. The more color, the better.

colorful cupcake

Pixie stick cupcake I made for a party this weekend.

There was a time in college, during my “artsy fartsy” phase when I lived in a black and white world. I wore a lot of neutral colors and my photographic eye only looked for shots that would work on black and white film, because that’s what we had to shoot in. But then I started shooting in color again and my eyes were opened. Color is everywhere and even the littlest things can be beautiful.

colorful blender

Fruit in the blender, ready to be made into a green monster smoothie.

In my weird mind, every color has a personality. Just like every month has a color. I think this comes from grade school. I remember teachers having bulletin boards up for each month and generally, each month had its own color.

January = light blue

February = pink or red (duh)

March = you’ll never guess…ok fine…green

April = pink or yellow

May = pink or green

June = navy blue

July = red/white/blue (color me shocked)

August = orange

September = royal blue

October = orange/black

November = brown

December = red or green

To this day, when I think of a month in my head, I assign a color to it according to the above chart.

colorful BMG

Giant balls (heh), streamers and toilet paper flying at the end of the Blue Man Group show!

Color personalities are pretty universal too. Yellow = happy. Red = anger/jealousy/passion. Blue = sad/mellow. I actually consider this when getting dressed in the morning. If I’m in a crabby mood, I’ll pick a brighter, sunnier color hoping it’ll lift my spirits.

Unless I’m also having a fat day in which case black always wins. Always.

colorful coats

Coats hanging in the garage – love the lighting of this one!

My favorite color has always been blue. Not because I’m an inherently sad person but because it looks really good on me. As does red. Those have always been my go-to colors when buying clothes.

colorful playground

Isabella playing on the indoor playground at the mall.

Lately my house has been invaded with pink and purple, much to my dismay. I suppose that’s what happens when you have a little girl. I’ve tried my hardest not to surround her with “girly” colors. I for one have never been a fan of pink. Only recently have I added a few pink items to my wardrobe. I want Isabella to know that girls can wear any color they want! Boys too but let’s face it, it’s harder for a boy to pull off a pink shirt than it is for a girl to get away with a blue one.

colorful car ride

Isabella in the car, just before a meltdown.

Sometimes, if I’m feeling lazy or blue (pun intended), I still gravitate back to dark or neutral colors. They feel safe. And easy. Color can be easy too though and it almost always lifts my spirits.

Especially if it comes in drink form. 

colorful pink elephant

Pink elephant drink from a girl’s night out on Monday!

* This post was written as part of the You Capture series.This week’s theme was “colorful”. Head on over to I Should be Folding Laundry to see some more “colorful” pics.

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Cold

You Capture | Morning

You capture | Festive

Cold

I hate being cold. I hate the feeling of ice cold hands and frozen feet. Unfortunately, it’s all too common this time of year in Nebraska.

It never fails, no matter how many layers I wear, that when I climb in bed at night, my feet are solid blocks of ice. I have to tuck them under my legs to try and warm them up. My hands are always cold too. But then some magical mystery happens overnight and I become a furnace. I end up kicking my feet out from under the covers and turning on the fan. Strange.

I’m a cold-blooded person in general. You can find me at work in the summer wearing pants and sweaters/sweatshirts because the A/C is freezing me out. And I always bring a jacket to restaurants and move theatres.

Isabella is not cold-blooded. Just today she was running around the house in short sleeves and was totally fine.

The other night, however, after her bath I decided to trim up her hair while it was wet (which makes it much easier to cut). When I was finished, she proclaimed that her head was cold and she wanted to put her hat on.

cold after bath

She also said that she needed a cookie to warm up. I complied.

Hey, I totally get that logic.

In general, we’ve been spoiled with a nice winter so far for Nebraska. Not too many cold days and barely any snow. Fine by me! Over the weekend we all went to the zoo. It was in the 40’s and a decent day for it (and a family outing to cross off my goals list). 

cold bella zoo 

Still, Isabella insisted on wearing hat and gloves with her puffy vest. Plus the super cool sunglasses for good measure. No autographs people.

But our time was due and sure enough, we got snow Tuesday morning.

cold parking lot

That’s the parking lot of the gym. I thought it looked pretty cool (Ha! no pun intended), all striated like a zebra. Still fairly untouched by blade or vehicle. But not cool enough for me to linger outside too long.

cold neighborhood

It wasn’t a lot of snow, but it was enough for me. The wind is what I hate. It blows right through you. And makes for a bad hair day.

cold creek2

The weather people are claiming it’ll be back in the 50’s by Sunday. I sure hope they’re right. I’m not ready for a full out, hard core Nebraska winter. I’ve had 35 years of it and that’s enough, thank you.

Why don’t I live in the South? 

* This post was written as part of the You Capture series. Head on over to I Should be Folding Laundry to see some more great “cold” pics.

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You Capture: Morning

You Capture: Festive

You Capture: Industrial

You Capture | Morning

“Morning’s here….the morning’s here! Sunshine is here! The sky is clear!”

I don’t know why but pulling this post together got that silly song from Friends in my head. I love Joey.

So the theme this week was morning and I tell you what, it’s hard to remember to take pictures in the morning, when you’re busy getting ready for work and what not. But I managed to snag a few pics that pretty accurately depict the basics of my daily morning routine.

morning gym

The first thing I do every morning is go to the gym. This is what the gym looks like in the 5:00 hour. Not too busy. Although, you’d be surprised at how many early morning gym rats there are. I like working out in the a.m. because I can get it over with AND I don’t have to fight for equipment. One day last week I went after work and good gravy was it crowded. Every single treadmill was taken! I hate that. So, I go early and avoid the rush!

By the way, that picture makes me feel like I’m falling over or dizzy. Not sure that’s a good thing. I was trying to change things up by shooting from a different angle but instead it makes me feel drunk.

When I get home from the gym, I make one of these for breakfast.

morning shake hulk

It’s a green monster spinach smoothie. Yes it looks gross. No you don’t have to drink it out of an Incredible Hulk glass (by I am silly like that). It’s like the perfect breakfast. You basically mix some kind of fruit (banana, berry, oranges, whatever you feel like), a protein (peanut butter or protein powder), oatmeal (for staying power), yogurt, milk (white, chocolate, soy, almond – whatever you fancy) and lots of spinach. Then mix it all up.

morning unblended

(Heh. Notice the Incredible Hulk shot glass in the background? I totally did NOT plan that but as you can see, the comic book man cave is spreading and taking over the house!)

You can’t taste the spinach. All you taste is the fruit and protein mixture. They are really good, super healthy and believe it or not, it actually keeps me satisfied until my morning snack! Great way to start the day!

Then it’s time to shower and get ready for work – with my trusty canine companion by my side!

morning samson1

He generally sleeps through the whole thing. That is when he’s not stealing treats from the counter.

Then it’s time to head out the door to work. If I’m lucky, Isabella will wake up before I leave and I can kiss her good-bye.

morning bella1

Today she was just waking up as I was heading downstairs so I popped in for a quick kiss and “I love you”.

morning bella2

Ah. This face gets me through the day. I always feel like there’s something missing if I don’t get to see her in the morning.

So have you seen the moon lately? It’s been huge and bright and beautiful! I tried to capture a pic of it early in the morning when it was still dark out but haven’t been able to get it just right. So today I snagged this one on the drive in (I was at a red light, don’t worry – no photographing and driving!).

morning moon day

My intent was to focus on the moon but I love how the rest of it turned out, with the colorful sky up top and warm earthiness at the bottom.

So that’s my typical morning! Like Samson, I’m big on routine. If anything gets too much out of sync, it throws me off. Like the other day when I spent time taking the pics of my smoothie and therefore forgot to take my wallet out of the gym bag. I got all the way to work before I realized I had left it at home with my stinky tennis shoes. CJ was my knight in shining armor and brought it to me. Thank goodness for fearless husbands!

Don’t forget to head over and check out more “morning” pics at Beth’s!

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You Capture: Festive

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You Capture: Summer Sun

You Capture: Festive

I haven’t done a You Capture in a long long time (like since September). Just haven’t felt like taking a lot of pictures – particularly assignments. But there’s something about the holidays that makes everything seem photo worthy.

My angle on this topic was to take pictures of Christmas trees from different and interesting, well, angles.

festive purple tree

This is Isabella’s playroom tree, taken from above. I wish the purple had come through a little brighter but the lighting wasn’t quite right. Still, there’s something magical and mysterious about this one.

festive reflection

Our big family tree, as reflected in the mirror atop the fireplace mantel. I like the contrast of the modern spiral tree in front and the traditional tree in back.

festive vodka

This, my friends, is a bottle of home-made hazelnut infused vodka. A co-worker gave it to me as a gift. Isn’t that awesome and totally original? I haven’t tasted it yet but I’m thinking it’d be real good with some Kahlua and ice. Or just in my morning coffee. Would that be wrong?

festive samson

And last but certainly not least, Samson asleep on his chair, in front of the tree. Yes, that is HIS chair. It has a special blanket for him and everything. He really REALLY wants to get up and snuggle with us on the leather couch but he’s not allowed. He tries though. He’ll come over and stare at me, batting those big golden lion eyes. It melts my heart. And then I send him to his chair. Sorry dude, we paid too much money to have you claw up the nice new couches. Besides, he looks super cute with all 90 lb.s of him curled up in a tiny little ball on his chair.

As I was getting Isabella ready for bed last night, she started singing “Police mom and dad” to the tune of “Feliz Navidad”. Should I be concerned that her first fill in words to a song involve calling the po-po on us? Whatever it is I didn’t do it! I’m innocent I tell you!

And that will do it for this You Capture. For more, head on over to Beth’s!

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You Capture: Industrial

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You Capture: Ordinary Moments