Saturday, August 7, 2010

It's true! I can walk and take pictures at the same time!!

Can you believe it?? Who knew?

I went on the Scott Kelby 3rd Annual Worldwide PhotoWalk on July 24. I surprised myself and really had a fun time. I sort of went a little bit out of my comfort zone. I didnt' know anyone and I wasn't sure what to expect and almost chickened-out the morning of the walk. I figured everyone would have 10 different kinds of lenses and talk in photographer lingo the entire time. I couldn't have been more wrong! My little Nikon P80 fit right in and I held my own. Saw a couple people I knew, and lots of different kinds of cameras. I still think I should have bought a disposable camera and brought it out when everyone opened their camera bags. THAT would have been a fun thing to capture on camera. HA!

I took over 250 pictures in less than 2 hours. How fun is that??!!! Of course not all of them were worth keeping, but several of them I am really proud of and am actually thinking of framing. It has inspired me to do more walking and picture taking. I think my next venture will be Gage Park. Kind of fun to see these places where we live, and see every day, in a different light and at different angles.

Here's just a sampling of my work in Downtown Topeka, Kansas, on that hot, sultry July morning: (let me know what you think - there's more on my facebook page!)


Sunday, June 13, 2010

Back Pain Sucks!

Ok, It was the Friday of my garage sale a couple weeks ago. I woke up to ABSOLUTELY no feeling in my right foot. It just kind of flopped around. "I don't have time for this," I thought. It's bad enough my back had been killing me for weeks, now this??!
I had an MRI done to find out what was going on. I found out I have a bulging disc in my lower back and it's pushing on a nerve that goes STRAIGHT DOWN MY RIGHT LEG to the tip of my big toe. PAIN and numbness at the same time! Who would have thought that was possible? The MRI showed the bulging disc at around L5 for you chiropractic types. I was sent to an anastesiologist this week for a cortisone shot. They feel as if the dropped foot-thing is temporary and should come back to life once the nerve has time to heal. Meanwhile, I continue to walk around very unstable! (Even more so than normal)

I had significant relief for the first two days of the shot. However, the pain seems to be creeping back. I'm pretty discouraged by this information. I am supposed to call in the next week to let them know how I am feeling. We may be looking at a second shot. I hope not. My 39th birthday is this week, and I feel like my body is letting me down. This is partly my fault for treating it so terribly for so long. But dangit! I'm not ready for all these doctor appointments!!

On a happier note, Brady went to Dallas for the last week for driver training for his work. While he was there he got to see the Texas kiddos and took a few pictures for me. I sure miss them. Hopefully I'll get to see them soon. THEY ARE SOOO CUTE! Here...look...




Friday, May 7, 2010

Mother's Day weekend

Mother's Day is Sunday. It's the first year that I don't have a grandmother to buy a card for - it's a little bit of a revelation I had today while strolling the card aisle at the Wal-Mart. (Yes, Barb, I know...I could make my own cards....blah, blah, blah) It's kind of wierd. I wonder how my dad is doing with that?

My mom and dad are coming to visit tomorrow. I'm excited to have my mom here on Mother's Day. I'm so excited that I can't clean the house, do the sheets for her bed, or shop for a gift for her. That's what I'm telling people. :)

I've told the boys that I don't want anything this year - except a clean house.

But they just insisted on buying me me these beautiful roses today....well, okay, I got them for myself while I was out getting something pretty for my mother-in-law, but I told the hubby he could take all the credit for them. All I want is a clean toilet - that I didn't have to clean. He swears that he'll take care of all of it. However, I'm the one home from work today and my parents will be here in the morning. Do the math people. I'm not holding out much hope.

This extra time on my hands has me reflecting on previous year's Mother's Days.

Mother's Day 2000 - I was pregnant with Braden and everyone made such a big fuss over me. Telling me there were going to be so many wonderful Mother's Days ahead of me now that I was going to be a card-carrying member of "the club."

Mother's Day 2001 - What a great moment. I will never forget the FEELING of that first Mother's Day - for the first time ever I had a child to share with the world. Braden was dressed in his most-handsome outfit and I got to experience the wonder of Mother's Day with a beautiful baby boy all my own.

Mother's Day 2004 - Hubby went and had a great picture taken with my son and presented the framed photo to me.

However, I believe it was Mother's Day 2005 that put some things into perspective for me....Brady had to work that day and I thought it would be a good day for mother-son bonding. Notsomuch. We were in Target and the devil took over my child. Right there. Right by the carts. Barely in the door. He was screaming within an inch of his life that he was not going to get in the cart and wanted to go home. (How embarassing!!) Instead of fighting with him. I grabbed him and took him to the car without so much as a word. All the while, his arms are flailing, and he's screaming at the top of his lungs how much he hates me and I'm the worst mom ever - in only the way a 4-year old can. "Happy freakin' mother's day," I remember thinking to myself. REALLY?! THIS is what I signed up for? I'm pretty sure I joined the wrong club. However, once we got home and he had time to cool off, and dad got home to a sulking wife and child, the sulking child came up to me and said, still sniffling and trying to catch his breath from throwing a three-hour fit, "I'm sowwwy mommy. I yub you. I didn't mean to huwt your feewings." We cried again, this time together, and he's never again said that he hates me. NEVER. I wonder if he remembers that day?

As bad as the "Freakish Fours" were, I love that little guy more than my own life. He's growing up to be such a great little boy. He even held the net for the girls on his volleyball team this year. Before too long he's going to be in Middle School, High School and college. The other night he wanted to crawl up on my lap. At first I said no, you are getting too big for that. Then I immediately took it back and decided that as long as he still wants to snuggle with his mom, he can never be too big for my lap. Truth-be-told, there have been a few times that I'd probably still slide onto my mom's lap if I wasn't so afraid I would crush her like a cheap bag of potato chips.

Friday, April 23, 2010

It's April...

And here I am finally blogging again! So much for my New Years Resolution. A picture a day? Who was I kidding??

It's been a busy year so far. Let me just tell you, not all of it's been great. So much going on, so much to update. Let's start at the beginning.

My grandmother, 101 years young, passed away suddenly on January 10, 2010. Is it possible to pass away suddenly after 101 years? It kind of felt that way. As my dad said, "I guess we couldn't keep her forever." I just happened to be visiting my parents when it happened. I never imagined being there when the call came in, but I was. They asked my dad to come to the nursing home to be with her. The end was near. Mom and I followed close behind him.

I tried to be strong so my dad didn't worry about me, but towards the end it was very difficult to keep my emotions in check.

>>Hard to see my dad lose his only living parent

>>Hard to watch my mom be strong for my dad

>>Hard to call my brother and his wife in Ft Worth who wanted to be with his grandma one more time, more than anything at that moment, but with a baby on the way and being 7 hours away, realistically knew that was not an option

>>Hard to email my other brother in Japan and tell him the news via email. Can't even imagine how that would be to get the news via email.

But the worst, was coming home to to tell my 9-year old son that he would not be able to see her again, or sit next to her on great-grandma's chair again and have her tell him how much he's grown since she last saw him. She loved him very much and he thought it was pretty cool having a great-grandma. An honor I never had as a child. She loved all of her grandchildren very much. She just lit up talking about all of us and our kids, and our kids' kids!

I thought it would be appropriate to list a few of the things my grandma, Mildred Seckman, taught me:

1. You always send a thank you note. Always. And use pretty stationary to do it.

2. You should always present yourself as a lady and keep your house tidy. Do your hair. You never know who may show up to say hello today. (Still working on this one....I don't think Grandma would understand Jammie Day or the dishes that are still in my sink from last night's dinner)

3. Be a good hostess. Offer something to drink when you have visitors. Her and grandpa always had a pot of coffee on. They loved a good cup of coffee. Anytime I walk in to someone's house and smell coffee I think of them.

4. Special dishes are used on special occasions - but even the kids get to use the good stuff. They better not try to wash them, or scrape their knife across them while cutting their meat, but they can use them at the table. Kind of hard to relax and enjoy Thanksgiving dinner with my mom staring a hole in me, waiting for me, or one of my brothers, to scratch the good china. Grandma ALWAYS washed the plates after the meal. I tried to help her ONCE, only once. I was quickly ushered out of the kitchen and handed the crumb brush to clean the table. Not the same grandma, not the same.

5. Write the dates and information on the back of your pictures. "Your mom has always done that for me," I remember her saying. (Ok, so, I'll have to use an archive-safe pencil so my scrapbook friends don't retaliate, but I'll try to document my pictures better. Especially those I give away.)

6. Know the history of your family. Grandma always loved to share stories of her life with anyone who would listen. I was always perched, ready to hear another story about her (in my mind) very colorful and vibrant life. Especially the story of her and my grandpa, John. I loved those stories. I still love those stories.

7. Love your family. Love your spouse. Take care of each other. She did all of that and then some. I am better for having her as my grandmother.

I could go on and on, but I won't. I'm too teary-eyed now. I don't want to make her out as the next candidate for sainthood, but she was my grandma and I love and miss her terribly. Time has passed, but it's still emotional thinking about her being gone. I'm thrilled to have a couple pieces of her artwork, several pictures of her, some great memories of summers at the farm, and a box full of letters and cards from her, to remember her by. Some of my most treasured possessions are the memories I have of all of my grandparents. I wish this for Braden.

Not even a month later, on February 4, Brady's Aunt Terry passed away. She had been sick for awhile, but not sick enough to leave us. She took a turn and was gone within hours. She was always so quiet, but so much fun to be around. Not to mention, loved so much for her thoughtful ways. I learned so much more about her after she passed. I wish I had known what a great seamstress she was. I would have like to have talked to her about that. I'm sure she could have taught me a few hundred things.

I have Aunt Terry's sewing boxes and feel close to her when I go through them. You know, I think you can learn a lot about a woman by seeing what's in her sewing box. Now that I think about it, I was always interested in what was in my Grandma Siebenmorgan's sewing box, and my mom's too. All of these ladies had wonderfully full boxes with thread, buttons, thimbles, fabric swatches and pattern paper, and scissors .... only to be used for sewing. Me? I have one of those free travel sewing kits that you get in the fancy hotel rooms. My scissors? I usually find them in the garage next to something sticky, or in my kid's to something sticky.

In the middle of this, on January 19, 2010, we were so very blessed to welcome the newest member of our family, my nephew, Jackson Dean Seckman. Jason and Mindy are fantastic parents to three kids now, twins Maddie and Mason, and little Jackson. Jackson is just a doll! Of course, I haven't been able to visit yet, but I can't wait to get there to hold him. Hopefully he won't be in highschool by then! Might be kind of embarassing....for everyone.
In March, just when things might be slowing down a bit, my dad found out he has prostate cancer. He's being very positive about it. I know in my heart that he'll be fine. It's just one more thing for my parents to deal with. Can't they just be retired, and enjoy life?

Not near enough energy to rehash the rest of the last couple of months, so maybe I'll just add some pictures and a couple of captions...

Went to Orlando for work at the end of January, and took the boys with me to have a little bit of a vacation.

Braden's hockey team was seeded 6th in the end-of-the-season tournament and ended up winning the whole darned thing!

Braden started volleyball this season. Loves it! He's a natural - just like his cousins Dani and Jordyn.

My niece, Dani, went to prom this year and asked me to help her with her hair and make up. That was fun to do something girlie. Thanks Dani, for inviting me to help!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Is it April already?

It must be April Fool's Day - with this sunshine, you'd never know the wind chill is -13 (that's NEGATIVE THIRTEEN DEGREES!!!).

Look at this - our neighbor has been using his snowblower and doing all of our block's sidewalks. I love neighbors like this!

This is just a pretty picture I took (changed to black and white, kinda cool)...

C'mon SPRING!!!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Happy Birthday Frank

A tip of the birthday hat to the best father-in-law ever!!

A great night of take-out from our favorite local Mexican restaurant (Taco Villa) and laughing and telling stories with the family. Oh, and Frank's birthday cake - Spice Cake. Yummy!

Happy Happy Birthday Grandpa!

(Grandpa and Braden)

(Grandpa and Jordyn)

(Grandpa and Dani)

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Day 2 of 2010

Day of shopping for some new hockey equipment for Braden in KC this morning. This afternoon: I had a very important appointment with my K-State Snuggie! We spent most of the afternoon and evening together. It was nice to get re-acquainted.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Day 1 of 2010

2010, can you believe it?

I am going to try to take (at least) one picture a day for a year! Here's my first picture.

Braden and I made these little yummies today. Bake round pretzels with a Hershey's Hug in the middle at 275 degrees for 3 minutes on parchment paper. When they come out of the oven, push M&M on top. Cool and remove from parchment after they have set.