Hey! I'm Emily... homebody, amateur philosopher, professional photographer, mama and wife. This is my little world-- a place for me to preserve the little snippets of my life that bring me joy, make me think, or show my creative leanings. I'm so happy you're here. If you get a minute, please introduce yourself in the comments. If you like what you see, you are invited to follow my blog through your RSS Reader. Just click the link at the bottom of the page to add me.
Thank you for being part of my little world... :)

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Me:

Me:

Saturday, March 31

Jaime- Your Turn!

So... I LOVED taking these cute kids' pictures! Once we got outside to play, taking great pictures of them was a snap! Now, more opinions are needed. Which of the versions of these pictures do you like best, and why? (Sadly, I'm discovering that there isn't ONE magical version that I like best every time, so it looks like I will have to start trying to get the right one for each individual photo. Lots of work. But worth it for the finished results!)

{1: Original, unaltered}

{#2- First attempt}

{#3- Second attempt}

{#4- Third attempt}
{#4- Fun Sepia!}


{#1- Original, unaltered}

{#2- First attempt}

{#3- Second attempt}

{#4- Third attempt}

Jaime, I especially want your imput, since you're the one getting the final pictures!! I LOVE playing with them because your kids are so darn cute!

In other news, Joe and I are hanging out at home today, listening to General Conference on the Internet in our P.J.'s. Not so formal, I s'pose, but I feel so peaceful and happy today.

Not like yesterday.

Last night I was SIDESWIPED by the WORST headache and sick feeling I have felt in a long time. (The worst because it was combined.) Joe and I were at a movie and I was trying to endure it for his sake, but it just kept getting worse and worse. By the time the credits began to roll, I turned to him and told him we had to get out of there. Walking was painful to my head. Riding in the car was bad for my stomach...We drove the long way home, me wishing i was dead, or at least headless.
Joe was so sweet, though, and carried my stuff inside and set up my little "sick nest" the way I wanted: blanket on our living room floor, pillows, "puke bucket", glass of water, lights dimmed... And I just concentrated on going to sleep to kill the pain. I swear I wanted to DIE. My head was ripping apart and lights/noises/smells made it worse.

YIKES!! I hope I don't go through that EVER again. The headache came from a pretty severe crying thing earlier in the afternoon. I had an experience that I'm not even sure I want to go into. For now, let me just say that I felt more prejudiced against, in the most heartbreaking way, than I ever have before in my life. Joe was such a rock for me while I cried and cried and cried to him. Needless to say, it led to the KILLER headache later in the evening. HATE crying headaches. Esp. when they are so severe that they cause that barf-feeling.

YAY!!!! Happy end to this little post! (SORRY!!!)

Rest assured, I am MUCH better today, happier, more at peace, thrilled to have a mellow, God-filled day with my true love, Joe... In my P.J.'s.
So I'm okay.

Love y'all!

Wednesday, March 28

My Classroom is HOT.


And I don't mean SEXY. I mean, 85 degrees or more.
They say they'll turn the air conditioning on next week, but that doesn't take care of THIS week.
*sigh*

Makes me grumpy, lethargic, and unwilling to really exert myself a great deal while at school.

Another hot day tomorrow.

Blah.

Goodnight.

Monday, March 26

Okay: Feedback!!

This is a photo I took yesterday of my friend Maria's daughter. The first one is straight out of the camera-- no photoshopping.

I am playing with some conversions and techniques, and I am afraid that i look at these images so long that I begin to lose objectivity. So I need you to vote on which version of this photo you like best. Plase feel free to tell me why, specifically, your choice speaks to you. I wanna hear ALL Y'ALL's opinions, even if i barely know ya. Seriously!

{original}

{#1}

{#2}

{#3}

{#4}


Thanks for your help! I gotta go to bed!

(Happy, DanP? There is ONE of the pics!!)

Sunday, March 25

Bad Me. It's 2 a.m. Again...

oh well.... It's the tail end of my break, and I'll make the most of it, darn it!! Above, self-portrait at Mary's spa while I waited for my models to arrive. Dang good lighting there, I must say.
Above: not my house, just a stock photo. But I LOVE that it is the perfect weather for windows to be open and curtains to billow in the breeze. It feels so fresh and new!

And the open window noises are soothing to me... even though I live a mile from a hospital and can hear sirens many times during a night. I guess after two.5 years, I'm used to them.


One of the gazillion photos of the wedding I photographed yesterday...This one is just a quick conversion so I could have a B&W to put on here. (I love the photo, but I think I don't like the conversion. )

These two were the most IN-LOVE couple I have EVER photographed. EVER. It was really mesmerizing. Fascinating, really. I mean, I ADORE Joe. Love him more than life itself. Yet we didn't seem like this on our day... not to the level these two were at. Seriously-- NO ONE has ever been like this in my memory.
I honestly could hardly get them to look at the CAMERA!!

Someone (I think Genny?) proposed that a reason might be because this bride is SO YOUNG (18!!). it was proposed that maybe because she is not only new to LOVE, but new to the whole social lesson of how to act in public and what is acceptable might make this display more poignant, true, and overtly sincere.
Still-- it was pretty breathtaking to observe. Makes me want to get more gooey with my hubby more of the time. Public be damned.
My mom put it well, though-- on a wedding day, it is truly an endearing sight. Any other day, (like in the front row of the singles ward last week), it's pretty nauseating.

*smile*

So hopefully they'll tone it down a teensy bit in the years to come. If not, well, all us jealous, romantic types will just have to step it up a notch in our own romances!

Here's a few more gooey pictures of the lovebirds and then I am headed to bed. Alone. (Joe's at work. I'll have to make out with him tomorrow. *wink*)



(Here, he is so overtaken by her beauty that he had to pull out his cell phone to get a picture of her for his wallpaper. I am SO serious.)
{Hey... any post-processing tips, anyone? I am just getting to work on these, and I wanna get better and better.}

Friday, March 23

One Little Treasure Hunt...



Artichoke Annie's, this huge, relatively new antiques warehouse is right outside of my hometown in Columbia. My dad took my sister Sarah and I there on Saturday and we easily wasted two hours there... it was SO COOL!
Check out just a few of the treasures I found and wanted...

{the perfect vintage kitchen nook... so many great linens, dishware, accessories, cabinets...}
{Dad in a STYLIN' top hat... Strike a pose, Dad!}

{This reminded me of Katie... Wish I had the $28 they wanted for it... I'da bought it for ya!}
{i LOVED the old toys.... I could see using a few cool ones to decorate a kid room someday...}

{Joe. Not an antique. Yet. But really really cute, even when he's goofy.}

...In other news: Beckie and Kyle-- your mix CD's are almost done!!! They are REALLY cool. And only 45% the same as each other. 20 totally random songs I am loving these days...

(any other lurkers out there want a copy? let me know in the comments, or email me at southerlandgirl@yahoo.com!)
(make your own "cassette tape" at www.says-it.com/cassette/)

~~One Song on Both Mix CD's-Preview Here. ~~
(Mozilla Firefox has issues with this program, so use Explorer if you really want the preview.)

...{taken out to make room for a new song on the sidebar}...

LAST but Not LEAST....

This is what spring break is all about....mmmm.... naps!!!
...and sandals and warm weather....For a few moments here and there, at least!
Okay. There is a portion of my week so far. I'm sure I'll get motivated to give ya a little more later. The week isn't over yet!!

Sunday, March 18

My Kid Sister's Growing Up!

I am in Columbia, MO for the first part of my spring break... Kirsti wanted me to take a photo or two of her in her prom dress. Here she is with one of her good friends, Mariah.
This prom was a COOL thingy: 5 stakes in Missouri got together and had a Church Prom, complete with classier, more modest dresses, charmingly lit REAL ballroom in a century-old hotel in downtown Columbia, and a dinner provided. It was fun to see how great each of the girls looked.

Tomorrow, I head off to Kirksville, MO to hang out with my friend Melody and make art. I am excited! This Spring Break is going to be all about creativity, inspiration, friend/family time, and replenishing the "well", so to speak.

When I get back to my own computer and supplies, I will blog more fun stuff.

Plus, I have lots of cool photography journeys planned for the week, so there will be fun photos to come, as well.

(Thanks, Jaime, for the photo frame tip... Photos on Wednesday??)

Friday, March 16

Spring Is TRYING So Hard To Get Here....


and I am hanging on 'til it does.

here's the VERY first forsythia bud on our bush. Showed up last tuesday. There's several more, now.

I get to start Spring Break in 12 hours. Guess I should go to bed. It'll come faster.

*smile*

Tuesday, March 13

Some Things I Am Kinda Proud Of...

I promise I'm not tooting my own horn here, I just really really like when my creative vision actually turns out in reality. It's not as often as I'd like, but it DOES happen.
These are the only scrapbook pages I've had the motivation to create since Christmas... Part of my lessened drive is due in part to the Blurb coffee table books I have been creating. I have been getting my creative fix putting photos into these books, so arty layouts have gone on the back burner. Still, I LOVE doing it, so I am trying to get off my computer-addicted bum and do some more.
(P.S. If you haven't considered making a Blurb book for yourself, you MUST try it. It is easier than it looks and in many ways it is VERY cost-effective. Plus, everyone will think you're the COOLEST when they flip through your book and realize they're looking at YOU in the pages. *smile*)
My bessie Genny gave me an incredible, eye-popping, thrilling quantity of patterned paper- among other things- for Christmas, so that has been like a little treasure waiting for me to dip in. I have used some of it, but there are a gazillion more sheets, and I feel like the richest lady alive when i look at it all. So I shall do more with it soon.

{dedicated to my kid sis Kirsti... Click to enlarge}


{Dedicated to my desire for winter to be over...Made in the heart of February}

(scraplifted from Rebecca Sower's layout, here:)
p.s. Many many of my "best" layouts are really borrowed from more talented people. I have come to peace with this. I am MORE than happy to give credit anytime. I LOVE being inspired and motivated by talented folks. So. What are you waiting for? Find a layout you love and "scraplift" it!

{just a few things joe loves about me...}
layout borrowed from SOMEWHERE. Anyone know that could help me? I'll find it eventually.


PHOTOGRAPHY PRACTICE!!

{this is Kennedy. My first newborn shoot. Remember the maternity shoot last month? This is the result! I went to their house and had a really great time playing with this beautiful newborn and catching a few really sweet photos.}

{This is Katie, one of my sis-in-law Mary's employees at the spa. In trade for some yummy spa treatments, I am taking the stylists' photos for their business cards, photo wall, flyers, etc. }

one thing about spa people: they are inevitably beautiful. Easy to make look good in a photo!

More photos to come at a later time. for now, I am still sick, still running a fever, and wishing i could stop using this entire roll of toilet paper to blow my nose. (yeah, I am THAT trashy-- no kleenex.)

Until later, thanks for looking!

Monday, March 12

Smart.

Did you know that George Washington Carver invented SWEET POTATOES?

*well, according to one of my students' oh-so-intelligent research papers...
(I told her that actually, GOD did.)

Sunday, March 11

Saturday LATE Nights Are My Bad Habit.

I can't help it! Joe usually works overnight, and so I am home and have no one to tell me to go to bed, and I don't have school in the morning... So I diddle around, play on the computer, make projects, clean, talk on the phone, whatever! And before I know it, it is like 2 a.m. and I am sleepy all through church! Yikes!
So, since I am doing it again, I thought it was time for another REAL blog entry. To start, here are the rest of the photos for my online photo assignment. These are some/all of my journals I have kept since I was 19. They are my treasures.
{the next one is the very first one... before this little old book, I was NEVER consistent at journals. After it, it has become a part of my creative life. This is the one that started it all. I cherish it! I even made the blue/yellow clamshell box in bookbinding class so it would be preserved/protected.}
{the top of the stack is my current one. The pile goes in chronological order, bottom to top!}
The assignment for our first week was to just play with camera settings on inanimate objects. Instead of just snapping photos of my keys or dirty dishes or whatever else is lying around, I really wanted to take a minute to think of an inanimate object i would WANT photos of. I eventually though of my journals. After getting the idea, I then had fun dusting them off and giving them a photo shoot in front of my window. I have been wanting to work on the backlit look, with the bright light in back, and so this was a great opportunity to practice.
I am pretty tickled with the end results! What I learned:

1. I am a manual settings girl, all the way.
2. even a great photo can be even better with a little photoshop.
3. inanimate objects can have soul.

~ Melody and Eirik~

Melody and son came to spend the night this past Monday, headed to the airport to following morning. This is a quick shot I took of Eirik, practicing with my new lens (Canon 50mm 1.8). He is SO cute. Impossibly cute. A truly happy kid.

Also... Here is a shot I was trying to get with my new vintage coat. I wanted to get an antique/edgy mix, so I played with contrast and burning to get this final picture. My tripod broke while taking these, and it was 29 degrees out and windy, so that look on my face is one of intense, frozen, irritated concentration. (Thoughts in my head as I am doing this: "Please don't tip over and break my camera that is attached to a 2-legged tripod resting on the broken third leg while the wind is blowing and my hair is getting in my eyes and the self-timer is almost out of time no time to fix it now *SNAP*")
yeah. SO, needless to say, the facial expression ended up being the last of my concerns. After three or four shots, I gave up, disgusted. Still, I was pretty happy that I could salvage the B&W one. And this one, too. (Urban Acid Action)

A few more random things, just to keep me from going to bed for another handful of minutes:

1. New Friends Bring New Blogs: Jaime Young, in my ward, is cool-i-o. so is her blog. She is so talented, funky, stylish and good-natured. And her kids are really cute.

2. This song is from Everything is Illuminated. Joe and I get a kick out of it, so I bought it on iTunes for him. The guy is Ukranian.

3. This makes me laugh. (Prepare for St. Patty's Day Randomness.) They change their funny skit every so often, so bookmark the page and go back sometime.

4. I just gave our bed a makeover. I am in LOVe with changing the look of our bed, so I have about 5 or 6 different duvet covers and three or four sheet sets. All very different from each other. It is too fun! Here is the latest: a duvet cover I just got on sale from Pottery Barn (WAY cheap!), new khaki sheets from Wal-Mart, and two new pillows under the pillowcases. I am SO excited to go to bed tonight, even without Joe to share it with.

(So why is it 1:15 and I am not there yet??)

ok, NOW.

Saturday, March 10

I HAVE to go to bed. Seriously.

Later on this Saturday, after I have gone to bed and then woken up again, i shall post some random stuff. I feel the need to get back out of my work madness and reconnect with myself and the world in general. I might even go to a movie with friends or something. Yay!
Goodnight.

toothpaste for dinner
toothpastefordinner.com