Wednesday, November 19, 2014

IKEA Twine

Ok, ya'll I'm going to get real with you. (Not that I've ever really withheld anything from this blog, not much is off limits for me, apparently.) But after the last two weeks I've had, it's put me in a place where I'm ready to make an announcement. I needed patience. And ONE time I asked God for it, and He actually took me seriously. He's been giving me a plethora of opportunities to practice. Let's rewind. You probably know that my Mac laptop and I are inseparable. It goes everywhere with me. James bought it in 2009 and it has been a trooper. Never did we have any severe issues with it. It's never been in the shop. And I've rarely had a complaint about it. Fast forward almost 6 years and I'm using it for every aspect of my life. Photography (ridiculously), CRC (big time), parenting/wife-ing (pinterest, no shame), and of course blogging (hey-o!) It's my resource and tool for everything, my connection to this incredible world, it helps me to play out my God-given purpose in this life.
It all started with a bad computer charger cord, I'm told Apple is notorious for "sucking" at making these. Well ours lasted several years before it quit. No biggie. Just bought a new one. A week later my precious computer freezes, tried restarting and no gain. Crashed. My most important business asset, gone. I freaked. I cried. I crashed. I run everything off of an external hard drive (because I didn't want my photography gig to run my computer into the ground), so most everything was backed up. A week later it comes back from the shop, fixed. Woohoo! Just some crazy corrupted back files. Didn't lose a thing. But the computer was running horribly slow and freezing continually after the "fix." And then this morning. Oh this morning. A morning of mournings. (See what I did there?) Since Monday my external hard drive had been acting weird. Stalling and not allowing me to open files. I figured it was just moody, we all get that way sometimes. But this morning I finally got the files to open and immediately started saving them to the laptop so I could work on them. As I'm transferring files, I blow a breaker with the new computer charger cord (what?) Then I realize the cord no longer works. The brand new one, shot. Then the external hard drives stalls, I eject it and the computer freezes. Restart, crash. This was one hour of my morning, (next Trevin would have 2 accidents and color with marker all over his leg, but that was the good part.) So here I am with no charger, no cord, no hard drive, and about 3 weeks of work to do. And I pray that this is my last patience test for the season. (Gotta admit I've come a LONG way. I still have a smile on my face today.)
So this brings me to my announcement. And as much as it hurts to say it, I've been praying about it, discussing it, and considering it for a while and I'm officially convinced that God has made Himself clear about what's next for me. After only a year and a half of photography, I'm stepping away from that opportunity. I know God had a purpose for it in my life at that time, but He's opening up new doors and quite obviously, closing others.  My photography has outgrown me and I couldn't keep it up and continue to do everything else I've been called to do. I've tried to keep track of the pictures I've taken... 3 senior sessions, 1 maternity, 2 newborn, 2 engagements, 2 weddings, church projects (directory, website and VBS), many special events (surprise parties, prom, CRC camps and events, anniversary parties), one totally awesome proposal, several Christmas card photos, and 15 family sessions! And an endless amount of my child. I have several sessions lined up for the next several months, (including another senior, 2 family, and a maternity) and I'm currently working on editing a shoot or two. So my picture taking days are not completely over, but I won't be taking any new sessions.  I've loved it, and it's hard to believe that I'm actually tearing up as I'm typing. It was something I was really proud of myself for accomplishing. I was self-taught. I started out not knowing a single thing about photography and now I can speak the language without bluff; aperture, ISO, shutter speed, exposure compensation, and focal points make total sense to me now. Thankfully it's a skill I can continue using in my own family and as a hobby instead of a career.  It has been so fun, and I'm really grateful for all the people that trusted me to take their pictures. (Honestly, family alone could have kept me employed for a decade.) Y'all have referred me, encouraged me, challenged me, and supported me through every stage.  I am so blessed by each of you.
Enough of the sappy stuff, let's move on!

Some days we play in the rain.

I know you guys have been dying to hear about IKEA. I mean what's not to love about 4 awesome friends, driving many hours, to buy cheap Swedish furniture?

We found these classy Nebraska gals at a gas station. Bonus.

I left home about 4:30 AM so we could make it to Merriam, Kansas in time for store opening. We only got lost once, but made good time.

I wanted to get a new bed for Trevin. We'll be moving him out of a crib before long and I found an awesome bed at IKEA that would work perfectly for a small room. The only problem was that we didn't bring a big enough vehicle. The bed was too long for the car. So I asked the cashier if they had straps I could buy to tie it on top, she told me that they're free out by the loading area. So I went out there and found a metal box with big white letters on it that said, "TWINE." That was what we were supposed to use and drive 250 miles with. So we attempted.

But after a lot of failure and knots all over the place, a nice IKEA worker stopped to help us. He gently told us we were doing it wrong and seemed confused when he saw our system. We soon found out he was on break, nice guy to help out anyway. Then we found out he worked in the kitchen at the IKEA restaurant and not actually in the store. Really nice guy. Then we found out it was his last day of work. Seriously, he should not have even cared about our hopelessness. I tried to slip him a $20 bill, but he refused. What key of excellence is that, class? Integrity. Thank you IKEA kitchen man.

How many NE girls does it take to tie down a bed? One Kansas man.

Even though the IKEA guy did a nice job helping us, we still decided to hit up Home Depot to buy some ratchet straps. You know what is crazy? They don't come put together! You have to lace them or string them, or whatever. Well we're not complete idiots, we know how to work a ratchet strap. We just didn't know how to put one together. So we FaceTimed Mitch Nuss. We were all laughing so hard that we got no where. And in fact I made a mess of mine. I threaded it through backwards and then around again and then started tightening away. It was a large knot by the time I was done.

Once again we were needing some assistance. Another kind gentleman stopped to help us. He got one strapped down and then he took a look at mine and said, "Um, yeah, you're gonna want to throw that away." I worked on that strap for 1/2 hour and got it completely untangled. Don't be impressed. When I got home, James promptly taught me how to start the ratchet strap so I won't have that issue again. But I told him that I wouldn't have that issue again, because now they were ready to use. We are honest gals. And there's not an ounce of feminism amongst us. We need men in our lives. That's the truest truth I've heard since the Gospel.

After IKEA we hit up a large mall and we shopped until we dropped. Proof right there. Too much fun for one day.
Ashli is that sweet gal that I want to do absolutely everything with. She makes life more enjoyable and I feel like I could stalk her, thankfully she's family now, so it comes naturally and not awkwardly.
Taylor is the only person I know that rocks harder than me. I can always count on her to show me up on the dance floor and make me laugh at ridiculous things. She is the most honest person I know and has so many qualities I admire.
Nicole is always there for great, deep conversation, making me better, learning life together and sharing babies. I'm cooler just by hanging out with her.

Fun fact: We got called "stupid white girls." And not even by the guys that helped us in Kansas, (because they would have had reason.) Nope this was in Lincoln, NE, Target. Thankfully only feelings were hurt in this exchange and not our bodies, because these girls looked like they were ready to pounce. So that happened.
In all we had a great trip. We came home with a lot of goodies. I'm so grateful for these friends. Life would be so boring without them.

It wouldn't be a good blog post without a potty training update.

We speak a lot of potty language in our house now. Trevin doesn't yet understand  what is acceptable to say, and what is just rather awkward. He's been known to say, "It's coming out!" "Ooo lotsa pee in there!" And of course, "Mom, catch the drips!"  Never dull.
There were three things we needed to master after our potty training boot camp.
1. Use the actual toilet instead of that disgusting potty chair.
2. He still would poop in his undies.
3. He insists that all the clothes on the bottom half come off when he goes.

We successfully have transferred to the toilet with a child seat! Victory. In public, he will go on just the toilet if he has to, but prefers his Lightning McQueen seat.

Yeah he still poops in his underwear...

And he'll only leave his underwear and pants on his ankles for James, but insists that everything comes off when I take him. Partial victory? (This means, boots, undies, and pants all come off in public.)  

Halloween happened, too! Trevin went as a lumberjack. And it took some bribery to get his beard drawn in.

My friend, Paige, showed her husband, Tom, a picture of Trevin's costume. Tom's reaction was,
"What is he? His dad?" Basically.

Speaking of James... He finally found "the one." I'm so proud of his hard work and glad he can enjoy his new toy.  

It was Antiquities time again! Trevin was a champ and I fell in love with him all over again.

Here's the Hogan clan! I was so glad I got to photograph this family at a gorgeous location. Talk about a perfect Fall session.

That's all folks!

Shifting gears, growing on the farm...