Monday, June 29, 2009

speaking out for short-legged women everywhere

ever since i graduated from juniors to misses (and since i stopped growing) i've found the necessity to drift over towards petites.

it never fails--a cute pair of pants, fabulous through the hips and waist, and then ten miles long so that my feet are completely covered up and the cuffs drag the ground.

or this time of year--a pair of shorts that wears like capris or cropped pants--or cropped pants that just look like highwaters. arrrgh.

so i ended up in petites, and i'm just frustrated. many other short-legged girls have commiserated with me on this one. why does "short legs" or "small framed" automatically mean i want to dress like my grandma?
(and i love my grandma dearly, but we don't exactly share the same wardrobe. yaknowwhatimean?)

the petites section is always so much smaller, with only a few racks of clothes. the selection is limited, they rarely carry the same range of styles and colors, and half the pants have elastic waistbands or drawstrings. the designs are just older and not all that appealing to the young women who have to wander over there for a pair of jeans that fit.

i went searching for a pair of bermuda shorts on sunday at kohls, and it took forever to find a pair that didn't look like capris. once i did find petite bermuda-style shorts, they only had one of a few different sizes, which didn't include my size. so i went up one, hoping they'd shrink once i washed and dried them, but that's yet to be seen. but they're not capris, so we're starting somewhere.we need a store for the short-legged/short-waisted women (not always the same--i have a longer torso, so i can buy some regular shirts, though this year's style always hang a little too low on me. argggh again!)
everything would be petite. all of the shelves and wall-racks would be low enough for us to reach without needing one of those fancy hook thingies. we could wear cute little flats with pants without worrying about getting our cuffs dirty or soaking up the puddles on a rainy day. all skirts would fall at the knee instead of mid-calf, three-quarter length sleeves would actually fall in the middle of the forearm instead of at the wrist, and don't even get me started on maxi-dresses.

now i know there used to be a great store called petite sophisticate. a good portion of my wardrobe came from there when their store closing sales coincided with the start of my "professional" wardrobe. i can always count on new york and company to have my perfect fit with their "short" styles.

and i'm also a long-time lover of "what not to wear" and i know what stacey and clinton would say--"dress the body you have now, not the one you want it to be, and find a good tailor!"

but in the back of my mind, there's got to be a place that doesn't require tailoring, purposeful "drying shrinkage," or rolling up the cuffs. and i bet there are a ton of other women out there with me. am i right?

"wedding bells" week at i heart faces!

it's my first time entering the weekly contest over at i heart faces, but the wedding bells theme is one that i knew i could work with!

so i pulled out this one out from last year. alan and rachel actually just celebrated their first anniversary, but it's still one of my favorite shots.

head over to i heart faces to see the other wedding themed pictures!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

a few more...

lynn wanted to do the "parts" collage, and this is just one that i threw together using picnik last night. i think it works pretty well...

and, as promised, the outtakes from our final "family portrait" shot. david was getting creative here with his facial expressions. click on the collage to enlarge it to check it out :)

cleaning out the camera

another opportunity to "clean out the camera"--here's what we have this week:

an exercise of humility with washing each other's feet on a sunday morning. the more amusing thing to note here--cameron (green shirt) has size 14 feet. he also got the smallest bowl possible, and his foot doesn't even begin to fit in there.
(this went along with their theme at camp this week)

chris, the children's minister, got his hair sprayed pink after we raised over $1,000 for mission work in haiti during VBS. it was a competition between the boys and the girls, and obviously--the girls won.
(he said this was his mug shot.)

and finally, my dinner for tonight--another big salad. lemon pepper tuna, tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, sharp cheddar cheese and toasted pita bread with roasted red pepper hummus. so good! i've been loving big salads lately.never know what you're going to find on the camera...

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

baby joshua

i had the best time (as always!) with david, lynn and joshua this evening. it was also great to meet lynn's parents and have jessica, one of my youth group kids, watch part of the session. she's going to be working with me for her senior project on photography, and we're excited about exploring different techniques in taking photos.

i had spotted this new location over on 10th st. and asked lynn and david if they would help me test it out. i'd seen it used in a couple of other local photo blogs that i follow and wanted to try it for myself. love the variety of textures, colors and the lighting--could've done without the bugs! but it was worth it for these shots...

then we headed back to david and lynn's place for some "studio" time.

there are tons more on flickr, so please click over on the right and check them out!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

perfect summer saturday

this was the first saturday in a long time that i spent the entire day without traveling or being elsewhere in general for the weekend.

i slept in. until 9. this is a huge deal, as the animals haven't let me sleep past 7:30 or 8 in a while. i leisurely watched some shows on the DVR, made a big pot of coffee and broke out the waffle iron to make us breakfast. after we got ready, we ran a few errands and headed over to heather and johnny's to celebrate johnny's birthday.
we helped set up a net and then attempted to play badmitton and volleyball while also staying somewhat cool. it actually wasn't that bad in the shade, and there was a decent breeze most of the time.
we decided to take a break and head inside to have some cake...
johnny and heather are big golfers, hence the cake design.
and then the boys had an opportunity to practice their golf game by playing tiger woods on the wii.

once we got home, it was time to figure out dinner. we ended up pulling a couple of different things out of the freezer to cook on the grill. tuna steaks and shrimp--so delicious!
pepper was happy to be out on the back porch with us and getting some bites in when she could.
we ended dinner with some freshly cut watermelon (which justin likes to put salt on--check out that sunset!)
it was one of those perfect, relaxing summer days--captured through my lens.

Friday, June 19, 2009


same tree, four hours later when i came home for lunch...

it reminds me of those flash mob videos, like with the shirtless guys in abercrombie and fitch, or a funny one i just saw with gold m.c. hammer pants in a store in LA. (google it, seriously.)

our tree got flash mobbed by bees. and as quickly as they came, they left.

hopefully they didn't leave too many stragglers behind...

a slight issue..

this is our sycamore tree. we planted it about a year and a half ago. planting trees are important in our neighborhood because there aren't any otherwise. our house was built in the middle of a big tobacco field (or squash/pumpkin, based on some of the plants that have come up in the undeveloped areas.) the tree is doing great as far as growth, but when i got home from VBS last night, justin shared that we have a slight... um, issue? with our dear sycamore tree.
yeah, that trunk is not supposed to look like that. no sirree...

definitely not like that...
oh. dear.

any suggestions? justin says we can call animal control (since we believe they are honeybees) and they'll come out and do the whole smoking them out deal. why they chose our poor, not-even-two-years old sycamore tree is a mystery to me.

and just so it doesn't feel left out, here's our pin oak that we planted at the same time. it's having a tough time and spent the majority of the spring in a horizontal (rather than vertical) position. it's incredibly flexible, though, and hasn't broken even though the huge support poles we tied to the trunk did. we're now trying to stake it, which works until it rains, and then the soft ground makes the stakes move and we start all over again.
but seriously, those bees? any suggestions?

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

cute babies and bible school

this afternoon, i had the pleasure of finally getting to meet ms. marley, who was born last week to krissy, dennis and big sister maddie. krissy is one of my coworkers and is greatly missed for the next few weeks while she is on maternity leave. she gets to spend it with one of the cutest babies ever, though, so it's worth it! whereas maddie is "all dennis," marley is certainly "all krissy." i also loved seeing my shelves and letters up on the walls in the girls' rooms, and they looked great!

tonight was the fourth night that i've been out at VBS--still loving it and enjoying my kiddos, but man--i'm glad tomorrow is the last night. since i spend most of my time with the teens, our small group and now the worship ministry, it's a nice change of pace to work with the kids, too. many of them i remember from my group last year, but they're now a year older and able to do so much more! i've been coming up with impromptu games to keep them occupied during downtimes and it's just hilarious watching them interact with one another--and some of the things they'll say!
(below--dale and david, goofing off in the sound booth; building a wall in the story of nehemiah; and mr. joshua, with whom i just set a photography date for next week--more of this sweet guy to come!)
tonight's amusing verbiage came from one of our girls, who was helping explain what a bully is.
"it's a boy cow that's mean and usually black."

and finally, the reason that i've still been able to work in my exercise time this week. just take a look at some of the energy we burn off during our music time!

alright, that's it for now. just a couple more days and then the sweet, sweet weekend...

Monday, June 15, 2009

Sunday, June 14, 2009

weekend in winston-salem

this is about the--sixth? maybe, sounds about right--weekend in a row where i've traveled 2+ hours to visit family and friends. granted, this was the longest trip so far, but well worth it. i have too many friends that live too far away, so when i travel towards the western side of the state, i try to see as many as possible!

friday night was spent with maggie and baxter. maggie and i have been close since middle school, were in each other's weddings and have been through a lot as we grew up. she's been living in winston-salem since she graduated from wake forest, and i kept meaning to get by and see them but it had never worked out. we were able to schedule it so that i stayed with them on friday night after i drove up, and we enjoyed a delicious dinner and just a fun evening of catching up.

maggie and baxter have two basset hounds, chloe and cooper. i saw cooper as a puppy, and he has now become a 60 lb big ol' dog who has the sweetest eyes. they both posed pretty for me so that i could capture their cute expressions.

on saturday morning, after a great french toast breakfast, i traveled over to the other side of winston-salem to see this little guy...

it's hard to believe that three months have passed since he was born. i couldn't wait for him to wake up so i could see him and spend time with him. while he napped, i help patrice sort through some things for an upcoming yard sale and talked about the last few months. within minutes, we were both in tears (of course!) but it was just so great to sit and talk with her. reading about life through a blog is just not enough--though it is a great way to stay in touch and in the loop with everything. then... jonah woke up. and when he wakes up, he means business. after a clean diaper and a bottle, he was more at ease and i got to see some of his personality come out.

we all agreed that his eyes are the most captivating feature on him. matt and patrice talked about how the doctors and nurses from the NICU still stop by to check on him and share that "there's just something about him."

it was also so interesting to watch matt and patrice at work. with all of the babies around us now, i'm used to the typical "diaper change and bottle" routine. but jonah definitely has a more complicated routine, with medications and making sure his bandages stay dry.
we were gearing up for an early dressing change so that we could go over to sean and jennifer's house for dinner, friends from matt and patrice's church. the whole bandage change process really does take about an hour and a half, from the bath...
to prepping for the new bandages...
and then undoing the old bandages, washing each limb, wrapping them with three layers of gauze and other materials, and then putting the tubifast sleeves on top of all of it.
because of the odd timing of this dressing change, jonah ended up falling asleep during the middle of it. he was so sweet, just very calm and relaxed, loving the kisses he was getting from mommy and daddy during the process. they also play "baby einstein" videos during the change to keep him focused on something else.
by the end of it, he was clean, freshly bandaged and fast asleep.
we got him ready to go out and i followed them over to sean and jennifer's for dinner. it was awesome to meet them and spend time with their adorable son, jude. before too long, it was time for me to get back on the road and head home. i was singing with the praise band this morning, so i knew i needed to be back before it got too late.

i can't say enough about matt and patrice. they're one of those friends that i can easily pick up with, even if it's been months since i've last seen them. i feel connected to jonah, being one of the first ones to see him and the "unoffical" family photographer. i can't wait to help patrice learn more about her new camera (a d40!) and watch this little guy grow. she was already talking about his first birthday party and what a celebration of life it will be. and i know i'll be right there with them, celebrating jonah's amazing story and the glorious life he is living out, praising God for bringing him this far. i'm already trying to figure out the next time we'll be able to get up there, and i wish so much that i lived closer and could help out more often. there really is something about him that draws you in, and you just know that he's a special kid. i pray that he falls into a more normal routine and that his skin strengthens and heals as they continue to keep his fingers uncovered.

if you do want to help this family out, they're selling the jonah magnets through patrice's blog--just click on the paypal button on the right column. i personally prefer the blue one, but they have one in wake colors now for those that don't care of that particular shade of blue :)

alright, i'm way behind on my sunday afternoon chores, and VBS starts tonight. gotta run!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

it's summertime...

which means i'm finding the best and cheapest ways to stay cool. i am not--how shall we put this?--built for the heat. justin agrees that "my people" were made for rolling, damp english moors or countries that see fewer than 75 days of full sunlight. but yet, here i am in eastern NC in the summer... it becomes the battle of me against the heat. and sunburns. and poison ivy. and mosquitoes. wait, why do i live here again?

so, i make up for it by purchasing cute, cool summertime clothing. i have fallen in love with the ribbed tanks that can be found anywhere this year, especially layered with different colors (which kinda goes against the whole "staying cool" thing, but it is nice to change things up a bit.)

i've found great jewel toned ones at jc penney's, and they're now $5 a piece. five bucks! in the fall and spring, i layer these under jean jackets and cardigans, so they work all around.

i have been building up my collection of cool summer dresses. i love dresses because they're light and make a quick and easy outfit. there are lots of styles out there that are super cute and also quite inexpensive. i actually enjoy browsing discount stores to see what kind of deals i can find, and you'd be surprised where i get these! this one is at wal-mart for $14--i've gotten several compliments when i've worn it.

and i picked up this one at k-mart yesterday. and it's my new favorite dress. the pattern is fun and sorta tropical, but not so over-the-top that you can only wear it at the beach. for only $14 again.
and i found another cute dress at sam's club a few weeks ago for $15. can't find a picture of it online, but i'll see if i can post one soon. though i don't make it to marshall's or tj maxx that often, i try to check out rugged wearhouse every now and then to see what they're carrying. last month, i got two ann taylor loft dresses for $10 a piece. i love it when i find brand name stuff for waaaaay cheap.

the other way i stay cool? complete change in food. my morning coffee becomes iced, and my oatmeal becomes cereal (or a peanut butter and banana sandwich, which is my typical breakfast.) my soups and microwave lunches become....
big delicious salads. i concocted this "greekish" salad with grilled chicken, feta cheese, cucumbers, tomatoes, chick peas and cucumber ranch dressing. and i loved every bite of it. plus my sweet leaf mint and honey green tea. best stuff in a bottle. seriously. go to your local sheetz and try it.

the final way i try to stay cool--swimming. and i had all great intentions of swimming last night, but...the weather had other plans for us. by the time i was able to get to our youth group pool party, they were hauling everything inside and the thunder clouds were rolling in. we still had a great time gathering everyone in the garage for a little worship music and a devotional.
it was such a cool experience to be in the garage, with the singing filling up the room and the sound of pouring rain outside. i just had to video a small section of it as we were singing our last song...

i'm hoping for another opportunity for pool-going in the future. without the thunder.

so, how do you stay cool in summer?

Monday, June 08, 2009

a little delayed...

but i have good reason. see, i wanted to include some pictures from this weekend, but i took them all on the little camera that i keep in my purse. and the cord for that camera? yeah, it looks like this now:
there are some important parts of this cord that are now no longer attached, thanks to pepper. so i had to wait until i bought a card reader this afternoon before i could upload those pictures. sad thing--she did this right in front of us while we weren't paying attention. always notice when the dog is a little too quiet.

also, we decided to buy a new kong this week for pepper. we were hoping a larger one would keep her from putting these toys under the couch and then digging them out, in turn tearing up the underside of the sofa. so we bought the red one this weekend, a size up from the turquoise one in this picture.
it still fits under the couch. fail. i'm thinking staple gun to put the lining back on the underside of the couch, and maybe putting rolled up towels to keep the toys out? our poor couch.

so, we had a very uneventful friday night with justin working late and sudden downpours that made it a good evening to stay in and eat take-out. on saturday, justin got up early and tracked down his palm pre while i slept in and enjoyed a lazy saturday morning. once he got back and we were ready to go out, we went and tossed around a few options with u.s. cellular about the best way to get my blackberry later on this month. after another quick trip to the mall and petsmart, it was time to head towards raleigh to eat at the pit.
my brother just recently ate at the pit and decided it was the place to take dad for an early father's day outing. dad has heard about ed mitchell and has been wanting to go to his restaurant for a while, and THEN after it was featured on "bobby flay's throwdown" on the food network last week--well, we just couldn't miss out.

we got to see the huge grills outside the building, including the "pitmaster" that was featured on the show the previous week.
they had a great selection of meals, including chopped and pulled pork bbq and some delicious ribs, as well as great southern sides like baked beans, mac and cheese and fried okra. so good! we made reservations, which was helpful, because there were a LOT of people waiting to get in. i love the downtown raleigh area--this was in a different neighborhood, several blocks away from the city market/moore st. park area where we've typically gone. but it definitely had its own personality! i loved the cobblestone sidewalks and colorfully painted window and door frames.
we stopped by alan and rachel's place after dinner and got to visit with bella and chester again. bella is lots of fun to play with, especially with her kitten antics and energy.

sunday was one of our full days of church and chores. it started off with this impromptu story-telling session before sunday school. we were all hanging out up in the loft, and it turned into all of the kids coming in and listening as everyone shared stories about the weekend or past camp experiences. we always find a way to have fun, and i love how relaxed the group dynamic is.
funny thing is--we're also pretty impulsive. which means we started out our "planning session" that morning by talking about the renovations we want to do in the loft and ended it by taking down all of the ceiling tiles in the worship room until we had a pile of insulation about five feet high in the middle of the floor. just to see what it would look like. it has definite potential... (pictures of that later, i'm sure.)
then it was worship, lunch, laundry, coupon-cutting, grocery shopping, girls ministry group, small group and back home to get ready for the week. see what i mean by church and chores? i love it, though. especially when i have an awesome session with the teen girls AND get to hold ayden at small group. it's those little things that make it all worthwhile.

today was amber's birthday at work. we had an awesome lunch at olive garden, where she got the traditional singing and birthday cake...

i was proud of my handiwork here--nice writing, right?and we celebrated again tonight at bw3's with some of her "outside of work" friends. always a good time with this group :)

and now i'm about to crash. i can't believe how quickly the weekend went by. i can't believe the school year is over. so excited to get in our summer schedule and so excited that i get to see matt, patrice and jonah this weekend (yay!) and visit with maggie and baxter (woo hoo!)

what are you excited about?