Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Some Pictures to Tide You Over

We are off! Tomorrow we leave for our Christmas vacation to Chicago! I just thought, since I won't be posting a thing during the two weeks we are away, that I would finally post some baby bump pictures to tide you over until I am back. Here goes: (thanks to Kevin for taking these of me. He hates doing it:)
I am definitely showing! It's a little hard to deal with the fact that I am this "bumpy" at only four months along, but I looked at a picture of me at the same stage during my pregnancy with Anslie and I am realistically only slightly bigger. Let's hope for the "bigger" to stay in the middle section instead of spreading out all over my body like last time :) There you go! I'll try to remember to do these monthly. Oh- and we find out what we are having on January 14th, so stay tuned for that exciting news! And don't forget to vote on our poll on the right side of this page as to whether you think we are having a boy or girl. Merry Christmas and happy voting!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

We all need to read this!

I love my sister, Tera, dearly and one of the things I love most about her is her sense of humor. Here is her latest post on her blog, It's a long read, but trust me, it's worth every minute!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Check Out 101 - A Guide To Using Manners In The Check Out Lane

I recently picked up a job working in the evenings at a retail store. I realize that I am being paid to cashier and that the customers that come into the store are paying for my service. Yet, I think there are things that people forget, common courtesies. Yes, even though you are the customer and I am there to check out your items, a service you are paying for, I don't believe that this gives people the right to leave their manners at the door. I am just asking for a little common courtesy, from one human being to another. Because yes, even though I am the cashier, I am still a human being. So, I wonder if maybe people don't realize the rude things they do sometimes? Maybe manners are a long lost art? So, I thought I would share some tips. We'll call it

Checkout 101 - A guide to using manners in the check out lane.

  1. You may be hungry, even standing in line while you are waiting to buy groceries. But please, do not pick your nose, roll your booger between your fingers and eat it while standing in my line. I'd be happy to direct you to the bakery or the cafe if you are in need of something quick.
  2. If you are going to let a fart sneak out, please make sure it isn't going to be loud. I am an adult, but if someone farts in the check out line at the store it will be really hard for me not to laugh. I am immature sometimes.
  3. I will kindly bag your merchandise in reusable bags (though they are my least favorite thing to do). However, would you please give them to me at the beginning of your order? If I have bagged all of your groceries in plastic bags and then you say, "Oh! I forgot, I have reusable bags!" I may not happily take your merchandise out of the plastic bags and replace them in your reusable bags. And I may be saying nasty things in my head even though I have a smile on my face. You deserve it.
  4. If, after I have rebagged all of your stuff in your reusable bags, do not lecture when I throw the bags that you didn't want in the trash. The person standing in line behind you doesn't want your used bags. I don't really care that it takes 80 years for a plastic bag to decompose. If you tell me this, I may respond that I don't really care because I will be dead in 80 years. To which you may respond that I should care because my children will have to pay the price. To which I may then respond that this will be their price to pay, just like my generation has to deal with your generation taking all of the social security that I've paid in to. Just the facts, buddy. You should have thought about that before you forgot to give me your reusable bags.
  5. If you come in an buy a box of condoms and only a box of condoms I may have to stifle a grin. I have sex. I know you are hoping to have sex soon. But if you are only buying condoms I can't pretend I don't see them. I can't pretend whether I noticed if they were "ribbed for her pleasure" or if they are "magnum". And then when I look at you to tell you your total, I won't help but imagine whether I feel sorry for the person you are buying the condoms to use with or not. I'm immature. I know. Deal with it.
  6. Please refrain from biting your fingers while waiting for me to scan all your items. Our hands may brush while exchanging money and receipts and I really don't like the idea of having your spit on my hands too.
  7. Please start writing your check out before I give you a total and all of your groceries are loaded in your cart. There is plenty of downtime while I am scanning all of your merchandise and bagging it for you to get your check started. Waiting until I am standing there and my line is growing with other customers to ask me to borrow a pen or to even dig your checkbook out of your purse is rude. Maybe you don't realize that my managers grade me on how quickly I finish your order. This may cause me to get in trouble.
  8. I'd appreciate it if you would give me the check you took so long to write out before you start recording it in your checkbook ledger. I realize getting it recorded is important, but you will have the receipt with the exact amount on it. I AM PATIENTLY WAITING. But on the inside I feel like ripping the check out of your hands.
  9. Please do not bring your 12 year old child in to the store to purchase $59.72 cents worth of toys and then tell your child that the cashier doesn't mind how you pay. Please then, don't help your child count out $59.72 cents in change. It takes a long time and I will have to deal with the impatience of the customers standing in line behind you. Counting out change is what the coin star machine is for. Visit it.
  10. I'm sorry if you had a bad experience with a previous cashier. It wasn't me. Give me the common courtesy of not having to pay for their mistakes.
  11. GET OFF THE PHONE! It is so rude to have a conversation on the phone while I am trying to talk to you. I don't know whether to interrupt you to tell you the total on your order or if you will think I'm being rude by interrupting. Just give me a little common courtesy and get off the phone. I promise I'll be as quick as I can and you can go back to talking to your bff about who did what.
  12. If one of the items you are buying rings up at the wrong price, please kindly bring it to my attention. I will be happy to get the price fixed for you. Understand that I am not the person who inputs all of the prices into the computer. I merely scan each item and the price comes up on my screen. Be kind. It's not my fault.
  13. Do not yell at me because there is not an express lane open. Again. Not my fault. I'd be happy to bring it to my managers attention.
  14. Do not make a smart mouth comment to me when I ask if you'd like to open a store credit card. It's my job. I have to ask. I may disagree with having credit card debt as well. But I need my job and so I ask. Deal with it.
  15. If the person in front of you is still unloading their items to purchase, it is rude for you to quickly throw up a purchase divider and start putting your items on the conveyor belt. This may cause the person to have to hand me each item, one at a time, because you have taken all of the space on the conveyor belt. I'm pretty sure that in Kindergarten we all learned to take turns. When the person in front of you is done unloading their stuff, and if there is still room on the conveyor belt, then you may unload your stuff too. Patience my child.
  16. By chance, if you decide you don't want to buy something I'd be grateful if you gave it to me. Throwing grapes on top of the soda coolers at the checkout lanes will cause the grapes to cook, it's hot up there. It will destory the grapes leaving a sticky mess. You don't need to hide the items in the candy bars or with the magazines. I'd be happy to take it from you and place it in the go back bin at my feet. Just a little common courtesy. I have to pick up after my children at home. Your mother doesn't work here.
  17. If your card is declined, you don't need to make up some funny excuse about why it won't go through. You spent all your money, it happens.
  18. If your second card doesn't go through either, just be quiet. No explanation needed.
  19. If after you have had two credit cards declined and you want to write me a check, I'll take it, but I may be questioning whether it will bounce. You can't blame me.
  20. After my machine declines to accept your check don't act surprised. You had to know this was coming. Do you ever check your bank statements?
  21. If after you have had two credit cards declined, a check declined, you'd better bring along a friend who will be willing to pay for your $478 order. That's what friends are for right? She's a better friend than me.
  22. I'd be happy to take your coupons. I use them too. Though, I'd appreciate it if you would not wait until I've given you your total and am waiting for you to pay to say, "Oh, I think I may have a coupon for something I bought", and then spend the next five minutes while I am waiting and others are waiting in line behind you for you to go through your 5000 coupons looking for the one you think might be there. Plan ahead.
  23. I do not lick my fingers to get your bags open. It is common courtesy. You don't want my spit on your bags. Please do not lick your fingers to sort through your coupons or to separate your checks or count your money. I don't want your spit either. If you do this, I may think about hocking a loogie in your bag, for good measure.
  24. Please do not wipe your runny nose with your fingers. The same fingers you are holding the five dollar bill that you are about to pay me with. Have you heard of H1N1? A little good hygiene would go a long way.
  25. If you have a coupon stuck to an item you are buying, either bring it to my attention or rip it off and hand it to me. I am busy trying to check you out with lightening speed. I may not notice that there is a tiny coupon stuck to the side of a box of crackers. If you realize I missed the coupon, do not berate me. It was an accident. We all make them. Please bring this mistake to my attention before I total your order, you've paid, and I've handed you your receipt. Then, when you notice, please don't say to me, "Did you get my coupon? You missed my coupon." I didn't realize you had a coupon, you didn't tell me. I'd be happy to fix the mistake for you, it will only take a minute. I'll even apologize for it. Just be nice for heavens sake.
  26. PLEASE, PLEASE do not throw things at me. I am a human being. I deserve at least that much respect. If you don't feel like getting closer to the conveyor belt to place your things on it, please don't toss it at me. Don't bounce it off my hand scanner or my computer. I find it really annoying and I will have a hard time not throwing it back at you. I'd spank you if you were my child.
  27. If I ask you to have your child sit down in the cart don't give me dirty looks. I'd really appreciate it if you would have your child sit down. To be honest, I could care less about you or your child or whether or not your child falls. What I do care about is my job and I've been told I could be fired if I see a child standing in the cart and I don't say anything and the child falls. Lawsuit happy people will look for any excuse to sue, even at the expense of their child. So sit!
  28. I am required to check inside all boxes, back packs, purses and bags that you buy. I realize that most people don't steal, but some do. Someone before you who handled the bag you are buying may have even stashed something inside causing you to steal. I am protecting you, and helping keep prices low by preventing fraud. So please don't give me a dirty look if I have to check inside of a bag you are buying. Again, it's my job.
  29. If the person in front of you is trying to pay for their order, please don't push your cart into them or push your cart in the way of the credit card machine so they have to ask you to move your cart so they can pay. Again, patience. They were there first.
  30. Don't make a stupid comment to me if I ask you if you'd like your milk bagged. Some people do, and if I don't ask, that will be the time you wanted it bagged and you will have another excuse to be rude to me.

There. I feel better now!

*All are real experiences I have had

Friday, December 11, 2009

Snow in San Diego!

Ha, ha! Gotcha! But there is a cute little shopping center we frequent that blows fake snow every evening at 6pm and 7pm during the holiday season. It's really cute and looks like the real thing (as long as you cross your's actually soap bubbles). Anslie had fun and I thought these pictures were cute. Especially the ones where Kevin and I both have our eyes closed while we are smiling like goof balls. That was not planned :)

Anslie was shouting "cheese" for this picture. So cute, but I have no idea who taught her that because I never, ever, take pictures...

Disney Does Christmas Right!

My dear friend, Golda, invited us to her work Christmas party. The wonderful thing about that is that she and her fiancee, Mike, both work at Disneyland! We had the once in a lifetime opportunity to enjoy Disneyland sans tourists and hang out with one of my favorite friends in the world! What a fun night. And to make things even better, because the party went from 8pm-12:30am, we left our babies at home with a sitter and enjoyed the night free of whining, crying, and poopy diapers. Frankly, that alone would get me to go just about anywhere! These pictures were all taken with my point and shoot and without a tripod, so don't hate all you photo skeptics out there! :)

Our group: Kevin, Anslie, Me, Golda, Bellalina, and Mike
Kevin in front of DL's giant, gorgeous Christmas tree.
Main Street
Sleeping Beauty's Castle. So pretty....and about to get even prettier....
It was fun to watch a lighting ceremony with the lights synchronized to music.
So gorgeous!
Waiting in line for It's a Small World.
This was another beautiful light show!
The next morning we took the little ones to Disneyland so they could enjoy all of the holiday fun too. Anslie fell in love with Bella right away and they became fast friends.
Ready to get on the carousel. Anslie was really excited about riding the horses (for the first time).
It doesn't look like it in this picture, but she really liked this ride. She kept asking to go on it again after we got off.
The other ride we went on was, of course, Dumbo. Anslie LOVED it, especially when Kevin made it go way up in the air. This is little Bella riding Dumbo ALL BY HERSELF (Ignore the giant hand holding her up on the right side).
The soon-to-be Young Family.
Bella and Dumbo.
Another of Anslie's favorite things at DL was Winnie the Pooh and Tigger. She squealed when she saw them, kept giving them hugs and kisses, and touching their noses. So cute! That was my favorite part of the day.

This is what Anslie thought of having to leave. We were all a little sad.

We had such a wonderful time and are so grateful for Golda and Mike's generosity in asking us to enjoy their special Holiday event with them. It really was a once in a lifetime experience for us and we are really happy we got to spend it with such great friends!

Thanksgiving Festivities

We had a wonderful time spending Thanksgiving at my Aunt Gina's home. We saw lots of family we haven't seen in a long time and even made some new friends. Here's a few pictures from our fun Thanksgiving holiday!

Anslie and Grandma Carolynn making fruit salad together. Anslie thought her yogurt smoothy would make a great addition to the salad and Carolynn surprisingly allowed her to do it. She was very brave!
Anslie taste-testing her work.
Anslie playing with her cousins, Monroe and Rebecca. She had such a fun time she didn't stop to eat even one bite of Thanksgiving dinner.
T:My dad and his cousin's wife, Debbie, and his cousin, John.
B: Cousin's wives, cousins, and a family friend.
Aunt Rachelle! Anslie LOVED her aunt Rachelle. In fact, she was the first person Anslie asked for when she woke up in the morning. They were great friends!
B: Rachelle and I
T: Dishing up the goods. And boy, were they good!
B: My Uncle Deryl, Aunt Gina, and cousin Devon
My baby and I
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone (a few weeks late). I hope your holiday was as wonderful as ours!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Our Trip to Hollywood

Over our Thanksgiving vacation we day tripped it out to Hollywood for a few hours. Kevin has never done the touristy thing and we were lucky enough to get a personal tour of the Disney Productions Studios by my dad's cousin, John, so we though, why not?! (Feel free to correct or add anything to this post, guys, if I messed up the facts or forgot some important details.)

Here are some photos from our adventures! We had a blast and I was so glad to be able to experience this again, both as an adult, and with my sister, daughter, and sweetheart. And thanks to John who was a fantastic tour guide!

The streets were named after Disney Characters, of course...
John said this is where the highest head-honchos at Disney spend their work days. He also explained that the 7 dwarfs are holding up the roof of this building because it is by the success of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs that Disney is what it is today.
Our group, me, Kevin, Anslie, and my sister, Rachelle, hanging out with Walt and Mickey.
John took us through the Archival studio where there were costumes, props, etc on display from the actual movies. Pretty cool.
Mr. Tumnus after he is turned to stone and the wardrobe from The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe. (Not re-creations, guys...these are what they actually filmed!)
T-B, L-R: Where we spent half our day in L.A., a faux New York Street used for filming, a multiplane video camera originally developed for the filming of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs to create depth of field and perspective on the film.
I just thought this was a cool looking warehouse on the Disney Lot.
L-R: The building where Disney's artists do all of their top-secret art work, Stage 2 is where Mary Poppins was filmed in it's entirety.
We made it!
Okay, so we didnt' actually hike all the way to the top. Kevin and I at the highest point you could drive to to get to the Hollywood sign.
L-R, T-B: A gorgeous church in the middle of all of Hollywood's craziness, Grauman's Chinese Theater, El Capitan Theater.
The Kodak Theater
Our only celebrity sighting of the day: Jimmy Kimmel playing tetherball on the streets.
Anslie eating ice cream from El Capitan Ice Cream Shop and posing with a few of her favorite celebrities' stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

A Lot Can Happen in 2 1/2 Weeks!

You can say that again! Let me do a quick recap here of what we have been up to and that will explain the lack of blog posts. I bet you will forgive me after this!

We packed all our stuff and drove the 13 1/2 hours from Roswell to San Diego from the 12th-14th of November. We stopped at our dear friends' home, the Wests, for our first night's stay. Day two held 8 hours of road tripping for us, and then one of the best hotel stays we have ever had at the Holiday Inn in Yuma, AZ. Maybe it was because we were tired. Maybe it was because our perspectives were skewed after living in Roswell for 6 months. But the beds and pillows in the room we stayed in were HEAVENLY! Day three only left 3 1/2 hours of drive time for us, and let me tell you, we were elated when we got back into San Diego County lines again! Paradise! We met with the realtor who is managing the property we are renting to get our keys and then, voila, we moved in to our new home! Of course, "voila" doesn't quite give justice to the fun of unloading a U-Haul and unpacking boxes.

A couple days after moving back to SD, I had the pleasure of photographing my sweet friend, Kenna's, brand new baby girl, Eliana, or baby Ellie as they call her. Talk about getting right to business!

We were in town for exactly one week before we hit the road again, back to my home town of Lancaster, CA, so that I could shoot and attend another dear friend's wedding. Kimberly and Adam were such a laid back bride and groom and their families were just as cool as cucumbers as they were on their wedding day. It was almost shocking! After the wedding, we spent the next 4 1/2 days in Lancaster with my family enjoying each others company.

Another dear friend of mine, Golda, was in town for the week and her parents happen to live a few doors down from my parents, so it was awesome to be able to hop over to her house whenever we felt like visiting! We didn't even get to do that when we were in high school! :)

Our trip to Lancaster also encompassed a trip to Los Angeles for Kevin's maiden voyage of the Hollywood scene. We met up with my sister, Rachelle, and then headed to the Disney Production Studios where my dad's cousin, John, gave us the grand tour of the lot, the Archive Studios, and of course, the world-class commissary. The food was delish, and John told us they change everything on the menu everyday. Rarely do they have a repeat of a menu item more than once a month!

We were lucky enough to spend at least half of Thanksgiving Day with family. Fortunately for us, since Kevin had to work TG night, they held TG "dinner" at 1pm so we were able to eat our fill and then get on the road for our 3+ hour trek home again to San Diego.

Of course, getting home from another trip meant mountains of laundry, unpacking, and organizing, so we have busily been chipping away at our household responsibilities. Throw in church, shopping, and toddler wrangling, and there you have it. Our lives for the last two weeks.

Another exciting thing that happened over the last couple weeks is that I am finally out of my first trimester! That's right, folks! For those of you who don't know, I am pregnant with our second little rugrat! We are due at the beginning of June 2010 and Kevin and I are looking forward to our new addition. Anslie still doesn't quite understand what I am saying when I tell her there is a baby in my tummy. She lifts up her shirt and pats her stomach and says "baby", or she pulls the top of her shirt out and peers inquisitively down it. But she LOVES babies and baby dolls, always pointing them out when we are out in public. I know she will be a great big sister and I am excited to offer her a new little sibling to play with and care for next year!

So, am I forgiven for not blogging for the last couple of weeks? Yes, I thought so. Here's to being better in the future!

(PS - I have lots and lots of pictures to post, but I will post them as I am able to get them up. Seeing as how I have a wedding and engagement/family portraits to process, it might be a few more days. Hang in there. I'll get em up, I promise!)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

My work is Published!

For those of you who don't remember, ran a "Best Faces Ever" photo contest back in July. My photo was one of the winning photos selected to be published in an I Heart Faces Blurb book! Well, it's finally finished and ready for purchase! Click here to see a preview of the book (my image is on the third page.) Very Exciting! And thanks to Amy from I Heart Faces for all of her hard work, sorting through images, formatting, and publishing her little heart out to get this wonderful piece of art finished!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

First Time for Family Portraits!

Yay! We finally had some family portraits taken by none other than the wonderful Tonya Peterson. She is such a talented photographer and I am lucky to be able to call her my friend. Check out these beautiful portraits!