Thursday, May 31, 2012

Giving Up

I really thought, after my last big lesson, I'd have a little time to just kinda cruise through life for a few months.
Apparently God thought otherwise. And this time I'm sharing about it midway through, instead of waiting until I've gotten through it.
Something I've always disliked about myself is that I give up too easily. Like, way too easily. It's pretty funny, for someone obsessed with finishing things, that I'll stop so early in the process, so much of the time.
This morning, for instance, I almost gave up on three things.
Three. Before 8:30 in the morning.
What turned it around so that it became "almost"?
This song:

I wanted to stop running this morning. Possibly get rid of the treadmill and stop altogether.
I wasn't any more uncomfortable than I've been the past few runs. (I can't wait to get to where running is fun. Right now it feels good to complete it, but it's exhausting and difficult and not "fun" yet.) But I wanted to stop. 
And then this song came on. And not only did I keep running and make it to the end, but now I'm ready to try to finish the other things, too.

I still want to give up. But finishing the run proved to me that it doesn't feel good to quit. It feels much better to finish. 

I'm afraid to fail. The things I quit are things I don't feel like I have a chance at completing victoriously. But I think I could succeed on at least some of those things, and I'll only know if I can do it, if I keep trying.

So here is me, officially saying I'm not giving up. Even in the face of incredible difficulty, on little sleep and an empty coffee canister, I'm not giving up.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Keeping up

I'm not doing a good job keeping up with this blog.
Or life in general.
I'm not complaining. I enjoy it when things are busy, and I tend to be more efficient when I have to get things accomplished. But it means things slip through the cracks.
(which is a much nicer thing to say than "I still procrastinate like crazy").

This morning I did a small photo shoot (pictures of the office staff), so I used my kids to make sure my camera settings were right.

School's going really well. We've just changed our spelling curriculum to "All About Spelling." We've only done one day so I won't say much, but they both did great and it looks like something that will teach them well and that they'll enjoy.
I love that they're doing a couple workbooks this year. I know it's consistent, and they know what to expect, and neither of them mind it. Jasmine still doesn't want to do much writing, but she's okay with how much is expected of her.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Birthday Time

It's hard to believe, but Jasmine turned 7 last week.
She's officially a "big kid."
She can reach almost everything.
She understands things when Josh and I spell them out (we're in trouble!!!)
She's funny and creative and so imaginative. I love her so much. She's filled our lives with so much love and joy.

We made her a "tea party" theme for her birthday. I couldn't post these pictures until today, because they use some scrapbook papers for the banner that weren't released until today.
She walked in and said, "it's perfect!" If you've ever spent time with her, you know how infrequent those compliments are!! 

I love you, Jasmine!

Monday, May 07, 2012

Eating Vegan

We just finished a full week of eating vegan. I could check off #92.
It was a tough challenge. Not the meat part so much as the dairy.
My favorite food group is cheese. You know it's time to go grocery shopping when the feta runs out, and heaven forbid not having parmesan in the fridge.
But it was a fun challenge!

Here are a few helpful hints, should you decide to try to go vegan for the week:
1. Don't have bacon sitting in the fridge. It will taunt you. Every time you go in there for a glass of water.
2. Make sure you have more meals in mind, and shopped for, than you'll need. Certainly don't plan on eating peanut butter and jelly more than probably twice. You'll want more variety than that.
3. Bananas are a great snack.
4. If you decide to make eggplant parmesan for dinner, it's a good idea to do a separate container of chicken nugget parmesan for the kids. They'll thank you.
5. Take your daughter's picture. She's cute.

Thursday, May 03, 2012

New Ventures

I think it's pretty obvious that photography is a big part of my life.
(and if it's not, welcome to my blog! This must be your first time reading!!)

One huge part of photography is editing the pictures after the shoot. In Photoshop, it's possible to make "actions," which are a set of steps that you (or someone else) records and saves, and that simplify your life. You don't have to go through all the steps to get the finished result. They're a lot of fun.
And I've discovered that they're fun to make, too!
So with one click, I went from the picture on the left to the one on the right!! Awesome, huh?

You've likely also seen that I like to make collages of my pictures.
It's much easier to create these if the shapes are already set up. In the photography world they're called storyboards. I much prefer to grab them once they've been made already, instead of having to take the time to create it (and line things up) while I'm itching to show off new pictures.

So...I started putting them together to sell!!!

My friend Michelle, another administrator at TheDigiChick, where I've been an active member since Jasmine was a baby, had wanted to make fonts for ages and ages. So the two of us teamed up and created...

drumroll please....

Charm Box Studios!
(Charm is a combination of our names. But I'm careful of how I say that, worried I'll start getting called "Char" again. It's Charla. or Charlene if you're family and have known me too long to change now ;) )

We're guests at TDC for the month of May. I'm so excited that we get to do this, and can't wait to see if others like the actions and storyboards much as I do!!
Go check it out!!

And our Facebook fan page is here: