Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The Basement is DRY!!

Last night was kind of a long night for us. As I've mentioned several times now we are nervous about our basement and water. We live n a flood zone and lots of people talk about getting water in the basement.

We cleaned it out. Moved things off the floor. Put our washer and dryer up on cinder blocks and hoped for the best.

We listened to the sump pumps all day long.

Just before we headed to bed at 10:00 last night we went to check on the basement and I was slightly terrified at what I saw. There was water around this...

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Not a lot and thankfully it's formed like a funnel around it so it held it all there in a puddle. We scooped the water out and tightened it some more. But I was nervous. Too nervous to sleep well. We set the alarm for every two hours and checked it. Well... Mike got up and checked it. I think he finally got it tightened so much that we might not ever be able to get the plug out but when he woke up at 5am to check there was no water.

Thank God!

Like I said though, I didn't sleep well at all. I was always listening for the pumps. They were running at least every minute to pump water out. I would hear the wind or a bump or something and then I would just listen to make sure the pumps were still coming on. If those pumps stop working we are in trouble!

And just so you can have an idea of what I am living with... I took a short video of one of the drains/pumps. We have two of these in our basement...

Last night there was at least twice as much water running in. I can hear the water all day long. I can hear the pumps all day long. I am so incredibly thankful for whatever owner before us had those put in! And I hope they continue working because we have two more days of rain.

Liza is on a two hour delay. Other than school I think we'll all sit here in our cozy clothes staying dry and warm.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Jake -- Senior Session

Last week was gorgeous and I did my best to fit in a few photo shoots with people that were asking because I knew it would probably be our last nice week. Thankfully I jumped on those 80 degree days because we are now at 42 and nothing but rain in the forecast. My first shoot of the week was with Jake. He's a senior and wanted some pictures. I like his family. :)

I made myself use my 50mm lens... which I never use... because I need to learn to like using it. I don't feel that my zoom lens is giving me sharp enough images anymore.

There were several times where I was all "umm... sit like a guy." Guess I need to do more people watching! ha.

Here are some of my favorites...

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Is being nervous the same as being fearful? I guess I have a little bit of both mixed together.

The last time we had a good rain I said "this is the first good rain after moving to the new house." Why was that significant?

Remember this...

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The plug in my basement floor. It keeps the water from coming in. So far it does what they say it should do.

But now there is this...

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I'm ok with the rain. Our neighbor says "just leave the plug in the floor and you should be fine." Ok. We'll do that. But what has me concerned...

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The wind... along with all that rain.

Everyone around us gets water in their basement but the previous owner had ours "waterproofed". There are french drains and sump pumps in the basement. They work just fine. But if the wind is blowing like crazy that means we could lose power and if we lose power the pumps won't work. If the pumps don't work... does that mean lots of water in my basement?

I guess I'm nervous (with a little bit of fear) because I don't know my house yet. I don't know what to expect. I don't know how all the pieces work.

But I also realized that there is nothing I can do about it. I'm trying really hard to just let it go and not dwell on it. Not an easy thing to do. If the power goes out then the power goes out and we will just deal with whatever happens. Worrying and being nervous about it (really those two things are the same) will not change the outcome.

I guess the good thing about this storm is that it motivated me to clean out my basement. When we moved in we just put things down there that didn't have a place yet. Last night Mike and I went through almost all of it and put things away. And threw a ton of stuff out. We got it all off the floor and put things in the attic that needed stored in a safe place. It feels good to finally have all that done but now I need to sort through my attic as well and get that organized. Someday.

Hopefully the biggest hindrance from this storm will be that I can't do laundry for a week... because my laundry drains in the same hole that I can't unplug when it rains.

Is this storm affecting you??

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Scavenger Hunt Sunday

Taking pictures of specific things definitely stretches me. This week some prompts were easy for me and some were hard.

1. Patterns
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Not an easy one for me. Thankfully we had a gorgeous, 85 degree day and I took the kids to Living Treasures. Love this baby girl. I think she's about 3 months old now. Adorable!

2. Machine
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I don't advertise myself as a photographer because I don't want to be full time business and I still have loads to learn. But word has got around and people call me. This week I took Jake's senior photos and he wanted one with his dirt bike. Considering that I haven't photographed a guy before and all things guy were a bit of a stretch for me... I really like how this turned out!

3. Signs or Logos
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We went to a farm and enjoyed their corn maze. I saw the enter sign and asked Liza and Jason to go stand by it when Liza started doing crazy poses. Jason watches Liza so of course he started crazy posing as well. We hit the exit sign on the way out too. :)

4. Rocks or Stones
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We spent one of the gorgeous days last week playing at the park and throwing rocks in the creek.

5. Sparkle
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This was the hardest one for me. You would think that with a six year old girl who loves all things pink and princess and sparkly that I would find something but I didn't. However, when we were at Living Treasures I noticed the sun reflecting off the water and decided to see if I could get it to sparkle. While trying that I thought "what if I can get a duck passing through the sparkling sun?" And this was what I was able to get before my kids got bored and insisted that we move on. It was fun figuring this out.

Thursday, October 25, 2012


October 25th in Pennsylvania and it was 85 degrees! I had to paint my toenails again because I wanted to wear my flip flops.

I wasn't about to waste a completely gorgeous day so after I picked Liza up from school we headed to Living Treasures. I pulled into the parking lot and was surprised with a little bit of spring.

It was so refreshing to see the bright colors of the flowers!

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All this glorious weather is soon coming to an end though. Winter is on the way...

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The Ten Year Checker Game

I don't think I ever told you the full story of the one time that Mike and I played checkers.

It was years ago. Before we were dating. When we were just friends. I'm thinking it had to be sometime in early 2002. We were in college. Hanging out with a group of friends. Playing games and being dorks... because being dorks is what we all did best.

Mike and I found a checker board and decided to play.

I managed to get the upperhand right from the start and I dominated that game. Completely.

He was sweating. He did not want to lose to me. But it was pretty obvious that he was going to.

We're a bit competitive.

Jump by jump I snatched up his pieces. I had kings. Several of them. There was no move he could make that was safe.

He had two pieces left and I had a whole lot more than that and then it happened... I made a move and he was blocked in.

Mike let out a huge sigh of relief and claimed "I can't make a move. It's a draw. No one wins."


And that's when the argument over who won the checker game began.

Mike insisted that it was a draw. That there was no winner.
I told him to look at the evidence.
Draw or not... count the pieces. He lost. I won.
Mike held his ground...

...for ten years!

Ten years people!!! Whenever The Checker Game came up he insisted that no one won... meaning he didn't lose. For ten years I have tried to get him to say "Laura, you won that checker game."

Last night The Checker Game came up again. And he still couldn't admit defeat. I tried it all... nagging, sweet voice, total manipulation... nothing worked. He wasn't going to give me that satisfaction of the win.

But do you know what I did first thing this morning? Hung out with my good friend Google. :) And do you know what I found out about checkers???!!

A player wins the game when the opponent cannot make a move. In most cases, this is because all of the opponent's pieces have been captured, but it could also be because all of his pieces are blocked in.

That's right friends!!! I won The Checker Game! And Mike hadn't left for work yet so I got to hear him say those sweet words I've been waiting to hear for ten long years...

"You won The Checker Game."

He wasn't very enthusiastic about it but I made sure to do a little victory dance and made up for his lack of enthusiasm. I'm nice like that.

It feels good to finally have that victory. :)

The Checker Game was the one and only time we ever played checkers. I pretty sure it will always remain as the one and only checker game in our history.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

It's True...

...I have the best husband in the world!

Yes, I am going to spend a post bragging on my husband... because he has done something that is so brag-on-my-husband worthy. If you don't like that kind of thing feel free to click the little X on this tab and come back another day. :)

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But I bet you just hung around because you are curious as to why I think my husband is the best. :)

You see... we've been living in this house for about five weeks. It was time for me to have some friends over. I was long past due for a girls' night so I started planning one... even though my house is not finished. I figured if I waited until my house was like I wanted it to be that I would never have anyone over... ever.

I set the date and asked a big favor of Mike... would he please take the kids and spend the night at his mom's house so that I could have some friends over?

Without complaining or questioning or anything negative he said "I can do that."

Hooray! Girls' night was on!

But the real brag-worthy stuff happened on Saturday... the day of girls' night and him leaving to stay at his parents' house with the kids.

Mike actually had Saturday off. He was kind enough to take care of Jason all three times he woke up in the middle of the night so that I could get a good night of sleep. In the morning Mike got the kids breakfast, made the menu for the week and shopping list and then took the kids with him to do the grocery shopping. It made it much easier for me to get my house cleaned up... I finally got those boxes in Jason's room unpacked!

When they came back Mike got the kids lunch and helped me with the dishes. Then he packed the kids stuff for overnight and headed out.

All so that I could have a nice night with some friends at my house.

Completely selfless he was that day.

Completely amazing.

Perhaps if I was more like him our marriage wouldn't have so many issues.

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1 Corinthians 13:4-7 (The Message)
Love never gives up.
Love cares more for others than for self.
Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have.
Love doesn’t strut,
Doesn’t have a swelled head,
Doesn’t force itself on others,
Isn’t always “me first,”
Doesn’t fly off the handle,
Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others,
Doesn’t revel when others grovel,
Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
Puts up with anything,
Trusts God always,
Always looks for the best,
Never looks back,
But keeps going to the end.

Mike loves well! And I think he's the bestest ever!

PS... I hope that your husband does things that make you want to shout that he's the best in the world. I also hope that when he does those things you do take the time to shout about it and brag on your man. :)


Monday, October 22, 2012

Family Shoot

A few weeks ago I did a maternity shoot for Ashley on a farm that she knew of. Shortly after I finished up with her photos the family who owns the farm called me wanting some family pictures. I headed back out to the farm on a cold fall day and got them some great photos. Made me want some pictures of MY family!

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What I love about this shoot is that the family didn't try to dress all up in a way that wasn't them. They were themselves and they looked comfortable and I think it worked so well! What they wore in no way screams "Farmers!" but it does say "this is who we are" and I think that is so important pictures.

The mom is sooo beautiful! Seriously!

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And look at how adorable their kids are...

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A really lovely family.

They gave me some challenges. One was trying to get some dogs in a picture... the dogs weren't very cooperative ha! The other thing they wanted was a picture with their tractor in it. That was kind of fun and a first and I'm happy with what I got. :)

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My favorite pictures came at the end though...

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Another success. :)

October has been busy with photo shoots. Always happens that way because everyone wants the fall colors and the beautiful leaves. I have another photo shoot tonight... a senior and then I just have some babies on the schedule. 

I like taking pictures.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Scavenger Hunt Sunday

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I found this pink hoodie at the thrift store for $2. Liza loves it and I think it's adorable when she goes about with the hood up.

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At the old house we could only hear the sirens. Liza and Jason are pretty pumped that they can now SEE the firetrucks as the drive by.

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This is my cheat for the week as I did not take it within the week. But I still love it. :)

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I love looking in on Liza as she sleeps. She has to have all her soft things... her pillow pet, silky blanket and cuddle-uppet are all staples.

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Yesterday Mike asked me if I knew where he wedding ring was. I remembered him giving it to me to hold last weekend when his fingers swelled too much for it to be comfortable. I also remembered putting it in my purse but when I looked in my purse it wasn't there. I thought it must have fallen out and been lost for good. But this morning I woke up and remembered that I used a different purse than usual and there it was... tucked away in the pocket right where I put it. I was thankful... and so I stacked them up by the love verses and took a photo... because we never got ring pictures when we got married. So there they are... our almost ten year old rings in all their scratched up glory.

Friday, October 19, 2012

No Excuses


Well over a year ago I decided I was going to say yes to God no matter what. It was my "self project" to become a better person and a better Christ follower. It's been an exciting journey. I've not mastered that way of YES 100% but I'm much closer to it than I was two years ago.

Somewhere along the way I realized that there is something else in me that needs some work. (As there will ALWAYS be something else in me that needs some work.)


I'm going to start on my journey of NO EXCUSES.

What is an excuse?

From dictionary.com-- "An explanation offered in defense of some fault or offensive behavior or as a reason for not fulfilling an obligation."

Pope Alexander said "An excuse is worse than a lie, for an excuse is a lie, guarded."


So why don't I eat right... like I know I should? Because I chose not to.
Why haven't I exercised in forever? Because I am lazy.
Why didn't I say yes to God? Because I chose disobedience.
Why wasn't I kind to my husband? Because I chose to be rude.
Why didn't I help that person? Because I am selfish.
Why didn't I spend time with God today? Because I chose sleep, the internet, someone or something else.

Do you see? When I take the excuses away I have to expose the truth... and the truth can be really ugly sometimes. Excuses make me look better.

So here goes... learning to live life without excuses. Exposing the truth of who and what I am.

Help me Jesus!

Thursday, October 18, 2012


My Jason has a bit of a coloring obsession.

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A few months ago he came home from church with a spectacularly colored picture. I was certain someone else did it because only a few days before he was just scribbling with one color all over the paper. But this picture had clothes one color, hair another, skin another, etc. And it was almost all in the lines.

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Ever since that he's been a grown up colorer.

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And he's a bit obsessed. He will color for hours each day. All he wants to do is color. He doesn't want to nap because he wants to color. He'll clean up so he can color when he is done.

He colors all. the. time. And he colors the entire page.

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I guess I need to go buy more coloring books for the boy!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Reupholstering Kitchen Chairs

Just after we put an offer on this house we got an email that someone was giving away a dining room table with six chairs. We grabbed that up because not only was it free but it was also perfect for the dining room in the new house!

The chairs came like this...

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It's not bad but the corners were wearing thin and I wanted something new.

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So I started looking around and found this article through pinterest

and decided that reupholstering the chairs was something I could do.

Rachel, the one who guides me in all things house decorating, went to JoAnn Fabrics with me because I need some help in picking out things that actually look good. I can't always be trusted on my own. :) Friends are a good thing to have!

We found this fantastic fabric that is nice and thick and normally really expensive for only $4.50/yard! 

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Woo hoo! I love a good deal!

Last night I got around to working on one of the chairs and then I stood back and admired it and called myself awesome.

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I did another one today. I have four left to do but I'll get them done because I'm having some friends over on Saturday... it's a good motivator! Plus, I just love the new look so much! I can't wait to have all of the chairs matching. 

I'm still working on getting the house painted...worked on the fireplace again yesterday and put one coat on the upper part of the hallway. The hallway will take a while because it needs to be done in steps. I'll get to it on the days I feel like it.

My next project after the chairs will be Liza's desk. I was given a mirror and a bench and I think once I get some fresh paint on those and reupholster the bench it will be a cute desk that doubles as a vanity. Liza will love it and probably spend her days staring at herself in the mirror.

What's your latest project?

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