Merry Christmas

Sigh, I took the plunge. I did it. I spent money on me.

That’s a very hard thing to do these days. It didn’t used to be. I had gotten to place both mentally and financially where I allowed myself to not just have the things I needed, but also the things that I wanted. It took me over 40 years to get there but I did get there.

And then it was ripped away with the tide.

For almost 2 years now I’ve been back in that other place. That place where I stay up late worrying about money and security. Money = security to me. I need it in the bank to feel secure. Just knowing it’s there helps me sleep at night, sometimes. Those nights when I don’t lay there playing whatif scenarios for how it could all wash away again and worrying that there isn’t enough.

I’m never going to be as financially secure as I was there for a few golden years but I work hard at reminding myself I’m far from in trouble. I have a good job, and I make a good salary and while sure with two kids it’s easy to blow through each paycheck. I’m pretty good at not doing that.

So today I splurged and spent money on a “want” that I’ve been wanting for some time. A camera upgrade.  My old camera is now almost 4 years old. I just checked, it will be 4 in December. And in technology years – that’s what 87?

It’s had some wear and tear and still in good shape. But it’s slow, for a DSLR it’s slow. And 80% of my shots now are of sports and a 1/3 of those are in some pretty crappy low light gyms. So fast is important. Fast is needed. The (new) Precious though, she’s twice as fast. And her buffer is huge. Which in photography terms means more shots in a row – essential for sports.

I started to do this back at the start of swim season but one trip to the camera store convinced me to wait. Just holding the D7000 and seeing how different the dials and menus are from my older model Nikon – I knew I had a pretty steep learning curve in front of me and I wanted to be able to take that curve on with some time and patience. I didn’t want to get a whole season of crappy swim shots because I was working with new equipment.

I’ve said this here before I’m just not one of those people who can buy a piece of equipment or gadget or car or even a piece of software not want to know how every bit of it works. I have to know what every button, every menu, every option does. Taking on new equipment for me is not a light weight transaction.

So now we’re between sports seasons. And I’ve found a really great resource for learning.

I have a new fan-girl crush on Jared Polin from FroKnowsPhoto. He’s awesome. I love that he’s just so real with this advice and how he talks or explains things – there is no pretention at all but he’s wicked smart and knowledgeable.. He seems like the kind of guy you’d want to hang out and have a beer with and you’d always come away knowing something you didn’t know before. I love those sorts of people.

I started with this video where he just does a walk around the camera and discusses what each dial and button does – he manages to be so basic, but never boring, never condescending. Did I already know what the majority of the buttons did – sure I’ve been using Nikon DSLRs for 10 years now, but I still learned stuff that I didn’t know. (and it was the tipping point for me to take the plunge on the purchase)

I started the 2nd video where he discusses the menu system and while I watched it before – I’ll be watching it again today as a walk through as I set up my camera the first time – he is that thorough.

As if all that “new” wasn’t enough – I’ve also taken advantage of the special Adobe  is running right now (9.99 per month) and upgraded my Photoshop to the Creative Cloud version that includes Lightroom. So I’ll be managing and doing post production tweeking for all my shiny new photos in Lightroom now. More new stuff to learn!

Anyone know any great (free) resources learning your way around Lightroom?

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My Mothering Motto

I don’t want my children to follow in my footsteps

I want them to take the path next to me and go further than I could have ever dreamt possible.

Image

I believe this is the source http://instagram.com/p/cP3Mp4SN0z/

I might be wrong, someone will surely let me know.

Anyway I love the way this sums up what my approach to mothering/parenting is.

I’ve never been able to put it so succinctly or gracefully as this but that’s it right there.

Everything I do is with this end goal in mind.

Picture of the Day: Getting Her PhD in Little Sister

PIcture of the Day: Getting Her PhD in Little Sister

Yesterday as I’m talking to P about Homework, S walks in and gently touches her older sister the arm. She then smiles and informs us,

“Mr Adam just killed a snake and he let me touch it and I just touch you with the hand that touched it.”

Summer Vacation Day 16–Poor Man’s Wave Pool

 

Do poor men have wave pools? Regardless, in protest of my refusal to take the kids to the local water park other wise known as E-Coli Central they have developed a new game called Wave Pool.

This consists of them bouncing up and down a lot with noodles and causing the water to splash so much it comes out of the pool. I remain appalled at the amount of energy this takes and that they have it to spare.

 

Makings of the poor mans wave pool

Summer Vacation Day 15–Houston We Have a Problem

So, I decided to take a break from the pressure of blogging (seriously did I just say that) by creating a simply summer photo blog project instead. Yeah that’s going to work.

It took exactly 15 days to eff that one up. On day 15 I had to take a quick trip to Houston to video tape some forklift drivers – don’t hate me for the glamour people.

Puddin’ was told “take pictures” when I was gone. From the airport I texted The Dr. to ask him to actually write it on her list of things she must do while Mom’s gone. He was all yeah yeah fine. Then he didn’t do it.

And she didn’t do it.

Hell’s Bells people, didn’t you feel weird that no one was pointing a camera in your face all damn day?

Fortunately I snapped this one in Houston Hobby Airport. At least it represents what I did that day – and is foreshadowing of a even bigger day next week. Yeah foreshadowing.. that’s what it is..  that’s the ticket.

Houston

Summer Vacation Day 13–Yard Boy

During the summer I fully support the Boy Scouts in their endeavor to spend time in the great outdoors by my staying OUT of the great outdoors and letting THEM mow the lawn. This one – Florida born and breed – is earning money to go to Maine and camp out for two weeks in the wilderness. LOL, it doesn’t matter that it’s going to be July, he’s going to freeze! But I can’t wait to hear about his great adventure when he gets back.

Summer Vacation Day 12–Boating with Barbie

She asked me for a string so she could tie the boat behind the Barbie Convertible and a Purple Bear could pull Barbie around.

I told her that it sounded like the beginning of a series of very bad decisions that seemed okay at the time but that Barbie would regret for the rest of life.

She looked at me like – you poor woman – and just walked away.

Summer Vacation Day 12 - Boating with Barbie