Friday, July 09, 2010

I'm Not Dead!

I know many of you have been just to set your mind at ease let me be the first to tell you that I'm still alive!!!  Woo-hoo!  I know, shame on me for celebrating Mother's Day with you and then bolting.

I have to honestly tell you that crafting for me has gone by the wayside.  Work has taken it's toll on me creatively speaking.  It makes me sad, truly.  I've got a room full of fabulous stuff and no desire to work it {insert sad face}.

To be perfectly honest there has been one other thing taking a bite out of my crafting time, and that's my Nikon D90.  I'm sure a lot of you know that I have loved photography for a number of years now.  It's my "other" love.  And it has only been in the last 6 months or so that this love has taken on more meaning in my life.  I have decided I want to try and take this hobby, or love of mine, even further.  Now, instead of perusing card blogs, I have a million photography blogs in my Google Reader.  I am constantly gathering as much information as I can about taking better photographs.  I've bought wonderful books that I can immerse myself in even deeper.

I want to take this thing professional.  I know, shocker.  But that is a long way off.  My first plan of action is to start booking some portfolio building sessions with friends to practice my shooting.  My vision is to take bold, colorful images of children/families and seniors (the high school kind).  You know me, color speaks to me in a way not many other things can.  And I want to take that love of color and transition it into my photographs.  And the more natural the poses, the better.  No stuffy traditional poses for me.  I want to capture the emotion, energy and love of everyone I am priviledged to take photos of.

So, what do you think?  Are you surprised?  Is there anyone still reading this blog (I know there are a few of you still left!)?  I am also happy to share with you that I am starting another blog called Captured in Color, which is the name I chose for my new business.  I think it captures what I'm about better than any other name I came up with.  Bold, colorful images of beautiful people (not beautiful people in a stuck up way).  I think I like it.

If you'd like to check out my new blog, I have my first post up.  You can find me at  Captured In Color.  Stop by and visit me and leave me some love!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Margarita's and Mom's.

These guys are the reason I'm called Mom.  And I was lucky enough to spend the day with them on Mother's Day.  They make life difficult for me once in while, since they're not perfect children.  I don't know about you, some of you might have perfect children.  But I assure you, these adorable gentleman are not.  I've shed many  tears on their behalf.  I sometimes think I'm a horrible mother when they push me over the edge with their shenanigans.  But, in the end, when the tears have dried, I thank my lucky stars God chose me to be their Mom. Even when they drop (and consequently shatter) a dinner plate at the Mother's Day buffet we went to at a restaurant in River Falls, WI Sunday evening....

This lovely lady is MY mom.  She's as good as they get.  Do you think we look alike?  I love her so much and am so thankful she is still in relatively good health and good spirits.  I am her only daughter, the youngest of four children.  I can only hope I'm as good as her some day!

And finally, here's a card for you.  I was feeling a little margarita-like one day and dug this stamp out of the hardly-ever-used anymore pile of stamps I have collecting in my stamp room.  The paper I used was a piece I got from my friend Lue, and I ADORE it!  It was in a 12x12 pack of paper from K & C I think.  I need to go searching for it online, because I've never been lucky enough to find it in a store.  The margarita stamp and sentiment stamp are both from Amuse.

Well, tonight is a great night for TV watching....IDOL, BIGGEST LOSER, and GLEE!  And it's Taco Tuesday at the Westerman household tonight for dinner, so no big clean-up necessary.  Gotta love that.


Sunday, May 09, 2010

To Mother, With Love

Without You

Mom, without you, there would be no me.
Your love, your attention, your guidance,
have made me who I am.
Without you, I would be lost,
wandering aimlessly,
without direction or purpose.
You showed me the way
to serve, to accomplish, to persevere.
Without you, there would be an empty space
I could never fill, no matter how I tried.
Instead, because of you,
I have joy, contentment, satisfaction and peace.
Thank you, mom.
I have always loved you
and I always will.

By Joanna Fuchs
In loving honor of my mom.  She is my inspiration.  I hope I am half the woman when I am older.  Always loving, always supportive, always loved.

Happy Mother's Day Mom!!!
Your Daughter Amy

Thursday, May 06, 2010

A Card and a Cat

You'd be right if you thought life around here has been crazy since we accepted the new job offer!  I'm happy to tell you that we found an apartment for Doug on the very first try--it's an efficiency, so it's small, but for now, it will do.  Once he's had some time to live in it and see how he does, we'll know if he needs to move up to a one bedroom.  The apartment is directly across from Lake Winona and the bluffs, oh my, is it a gorgeous view!  And the caretakers of the apartment have been in their job for 18 years....their names are Cliff and Betty, and I have a feeling they'll take good care of the apartment AND of Doug, LOL!  The good Lord was definitely watching out for us.  It's clean and affordable.

The next few weeks will be crazy as well, trying to get supplies gathered to set up a second household (can you say garage sale???), and wrapping up the end of the school year for my oldest.  He moves back home the same weekend we ship Doug out!  It looks like he'll be starting his new job on May 17th.  So excited for him!

Well, a few weeks ago I was lucky enough to go up to my friend Lue's cabin for a girls weekend (that's Lue in the middle and Teeny on the right) of stamping and scrapping.  I got quite a few cards made, although not as many as I typically get done when we go away.  Todays card is one of those I managed to get done.  I love the colors of the paper and how I tied in the chair in to work with the paper.  I don't worry about "perfect" matches, and I hope you don't either.  As long as they are in the same color "family",  you should be ok.  You can see that the blues in the background paper and the blue I used for the chair are not exact matches, but close enough to work.

On a funny note, we had a great time at the cabin.  However, let me tell you that Lue is a cat lover.  Me, not so much, but only because I am horribly allergic to them.  Teeny isn't a cat lover either.  Well, there was this cat that would come up to the cabin sliding glass door all day long and meow, meow, meow to come in.  Lue didn't know whose cat it was, but being that she is a cat lover, she would feed it warm milk and some turkey meat.  By Sunday, we were so sick of the darn cat, so we tried to ignore it.  But cats are persistent!  This fella wouldn't leave us alone.  From my stamping spot at the table, this is the shot I got of the annoying cat sitting on the deck railing (which is on the side of the house) and leaning WAYYYYYY over so he could get our attention through the window (at the front of the house) and meow some more!!!!  Doesn't he look possessed????  Just looking at his little face makes me laugh all over again.

Here's hoping you all have a wonderful weekend.  Thank you for all the well wishes for the new job.  Please keep us in your prayers that all will go well in the transition.


Friday, April 30, 2010

Finally. Wonderful News!

Well, it's been 2 and a half long years, but I'm finally able to write the blog post that I've been itching to write for months. I wanted to let all of you know that Doug has been offered (and has accepted) a new job!!!!  

His new position is with Winona State University, as the General Manager of the student run radio and TV stations on campus.  Students in the Mass Communications degree program are required to participate on both stations as part of their major requirements, just like it was required of both Doug and I when we went to college at Bemidji State University so many years ago.  In essence, Doug has come full circle.  Twenty six years later, he’ll be hanging around the campus radio station once again, but this time as a mentor and as a teacher, not as a student.  He is excited to have the opportunity to impact the lives of so many students.  To this day, we fondly remember those professors at Bemidji State University that impacted us so greatly!

As far as moving goes, our plan is for Doug to live in Winona during the week, and for him to come home to Lakeville on the weekends.  We have a 16 year old son who will be a junior in high school next year and uprooting him to a new school isn’t something we want to do. Both boys (Eric will be in his second year of college next fall) are extremely attached and involved with our church, Mt. Olivet, and the thought of taking them away from that is heartbreaking.   We are thankful they love it and that they continue to want to serve there.   We realize it will be a very rough road, but the road we’ve already traveled has been rough and we are confident the Lord will help us see this through as well. 

I can't end this post today without taking a moment to thank all of you, my faithful blog readers.  You know who you are, but I'll name just a few that have religiously prayed for me and supported me with your loving comments.....Jacki, Peg M, Jenn in GA, Julee, Kim C., Melody, Chelmom, Mudmaven, Janine, Bristowmom,  Anita C, etc, etc, etc.  I could go on and on.  There are many, many more of you that never gave up on me and I thank you!  Your prayers, love, and support have sustained me through many dark days.  You constantly encouraged me and believed that good would come once again.  Some of you believed when I had a hard time believing myself.  Through it all, God has been faithful and has sustained us.  Truly, it was not of our will that we made it through intact.  We still shake our heads at the wonder of it.  What we are confident of is that we couldn’t have done it without our faith, family, and friends. So thank you, from the bottom of our hearts.  We are excited about our new venture!


Thursday, April 08, 2010

A Card and an Easter Update

Here's a simple one for you if you are short on time or energy!  I made this at the retreat I was at in March and I loved it--I need to make some more of these!The heart stamp comes from the new SU! set, but for the life of me, I can't remember what it's called and I borrowed it from my girlfriend so I don't have it here.  The squares were punched with a 1x1 inch punch.  I used a bunch of Bo Bunny polka dot scraps.  I told you I use this paper alot;0)!  
So, what's up with all of you?  Is there anyone out there anymore?  I am wondering if anyone reads this blog or have you moved on to bigger and better things?  I know that my readership of blogs has changed...and the types I read vary with what my interests are at the moment.  I think I read less card blogs and more photography, decorating and quilting blogs now.  So I get that, if that's the case.  Maybe I've scared you all away because I share too many photos.  I have another blog I plan on starting up again that will be strictly photography based.  I love to share my photos but often wonder if this is the best avenue to do that.  I think the card makers get bored with my photos, and if I invite people interested in photos only to come here they'd be bored with the cards.  Oh, what's a girl supposed to do?

As far as life around the Westerman household, all is well.  We are in the process of waiting to hear if Doug will be offered a job he interviewed for on Monday.  The job would be PERFECT for him, but it would require a move from our home of 17 years.  It would be tough, but we would be so thankful for the opportunity.  It sounds like we won't hear for 2-3 weeks, ack!  Why do employers do that????  Hurry up and wait.

Easter was wonderful!  Here are a few photos (ok, LOTS) of the special day, which was held at our house.  I think in total there was 20 people.  But it was GORGEOUS, so we got to spend the day outside.   Yay!!

These are my three guys while they were tossing the football around in the backyard before our guests arrived.  Are they not the most handsome guys you've ever seen?

This is my nephew Daniel and his new wife Laura.  I used a 70's PSE action on this photo to make it look retro.  Love how it turned out!

This is me and my SIL Diane.  Don't we look like a couple of Easter eggs with our colorful sweaters, LOL?

This is my adorable mom.  When we all get together, we do a lot of this.  Laughing.

This was one of the first attempts to corral the troops.  By troops I mean cousins!  We were missing one on Easter, but they were still in fine form without him. I'm sure you recognize my two!

Not surpisingly, this is the best picture I was able to capture where whey were mostly all looking at the camera and in a straight line.  All the others were variations of the shot above this one!  Usually we take one picture of the kids in chronological order, which is what they were probably trying to accomplish in the shot above this one.  For this one, however, we had them line up from tallest to shortest.  

This is my niece Rachel.  The only way I could get a picture of myself to prove that I was actually present this day was to take a picture of my reflection in her shades, LOL!

This was a shot I took of the gang that was watching the festivities below from a safe spot up on the deck!  From the left is:  Liz (SIL), Laura (nephew's wife), Diane (SIL), Chris (brother), Doug (my hubby), and then my mom and dad.

After the group shots, I broke them off into boys and girls.  I absolutely ADORE this picture of the 5 boys! They are, in order from left:  Daniel, Eric (mine), Luke, Scott (mine), and Jacob.

It was finally the girls turn, and just let me say, I love having the chance to take pictures of girls!  They love the camera (unlike my boybarians) and make my job fun!  Here they were trying to be bad ass girls, even though they are the sweetest girls on the face of the earth.

Some more PSE 70's action!  They are, from front to back:  Rachel, Mary, and Jessica.  Thanks girls, for playing along with your Auntie Amy!

Well, if you're still hanging around, that's it for now. Have a great day.  Get out there and take some pictures. They tell a story that someday you're not going to be able to!!!


Sunday, April 04, 2010

Easter Blessings

I am wishing all of you a blessed Easter!  He is risen indeed!!!

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