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Saturday, January 8, 2011

a BeLAtEd gift

Here are just a few of the 'engagement' pics I took of my friends at the end of October. Unfortunately with my crazy life I am just now getting around to finally turning them here is to a very belated Pre-Wedding Gift...that came Post-Ceremony.

Friday, January 7, 2011

In the Jungle

Sydney and I came across this video on YouTUBE the other day and she has requested it almost everyday since. Thought I would share her rocking out to it.

Don't forget to pause the IPOD player to the right so the Blog Music stops in the meantime.


Thursday, January 6, 2011


Basic Bridger from Tyson Berndt on Vimeo.

Just another reason why I hate my brother for moving away to Montana...glad he's making the most of it...this one is pretty kick ass...and its REALLY making me miss skiing!

Maybe next year!

Just Sharing...

I took these shots of Sydney at Loose Park back on Halloween...and finally got around to working on them today so I thought I would share...

YOUcapture - my 10 best pics of 2010

Some of these may look familiar if you follow my blog or have visited during a previous YOUcapture episode...but here are 10 of my was definitely hard to choose. I feel like I actually had quite a few this year because I took the time to get my camera out and be creative more than usual...enjoy!

Clouds following a rainstorm at the new house.

The LongHorn Restaurant near our campsite in Arizona...I love the quirky entrance, but also the sky and that the sun was starting to set.
I love the contrast of Sydney's shoes against the woodgrain on the floors of our old house.

Syd's chunky crayons...just loved the colors and the silly characters.

Sydney riding the Gondola to the top of the Mountain in Keystone. I love how innocent she is...and how intrigues she was as we continued to climb.

Our Wedding Rings hanging from the bottle of wine Matt and I opened on our first Valentine's Day back in 2000. We didn't have a wine opener at the time so we pushed the cork into the bottle spraying red wine all over my kitchen! I remember it too well!

This is a picture of our wedding rings on the tree branch outside our old house. I love this because you can see Sydney just inside the front door. A reminder of the place we started our life together with her.

This picture is now very dear to us. It was taken just a few months before Cody our Yellow Lab had to be put to sleep due to Kidney/Liver failure from ingesting something. He was lounging next to the fire-pit with all of us napping...definitely one of my favorites.

This was a shot I took of a tree in our new backyard. I just loved how it looked against the sky. It is one of those trees that we will probably have to take down sooner rather than later because it might be I am glad I got this pic.
This picture sums up so much for me...the honor and respect that I have for my husband and our friends who he works with on the Fire Dept...but also a reminder of our friend John who passed away this past year in a house fire. I took this picture about a month after the incident. I realized I hadn't taken any pictures of Matt's gear and it was just something that I needed to do. After 11 years on the Fire Dept this helmet was finally retired as they received new ones. It now hangs proudly on the wall in my house.

For more YOUcapture...check it out here.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011


On a much lighter was Sydney & Uncle Timmay on Christmas night at my parents.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

the idea of CHANGE

I was reading this post over at I Should Be Folding Laundry and I found my thoughts drifting to the fact that every year I too make a list of 'resolutions' to change so many things in my life...and at the end of the year I usually find that I haven't changed a thing. CHANGE...change is the number one thing I have total control over and the number one thing I find my self rarely achieving. Why is it that CHANGE is so difficult for most of us. We want things in our lives, but we are quick to complain when we don't have them, yet we are the ones in control of our own destiny and very few of us actually get off our butt's and make the changes we want to see in the world...instead we continue to sulk in the things we don't have and continue the cycle of complaints.

And I will fully admit that I too am one of the complainers...I complain about not losing the weight I want, not having enough time for myself, not having the time to do the creative things that inspire me, not having enough money, etc..etc...etc...the list could be endless. And you know what...I find myself more often sulking in my own thoughts than actually getting around to doing something about it. Now that is something that I want to see CHANGE!

Making a list of resolutions is a way of putting down on paper all of those things that constantly flood your brain that you would like to change or achieve. It's not stupid...its a perfectly good tool to get you in the mind set to make a move. Once again I am going to list some things I want to try harder to change this is to finding the off switch to my internal complaining mechanism, and instead turning on the switch that pushes me to taking a good hard look at exploring the things that I want to see change in my own world.


1. EMBRACE who I am. Take more pictures of myself...hence the one above. I hate to be photographed because I don't like my weight...the weight I have vowed to take off for the last umpteen years...but it is a part of who I am right now...and rather than ignoring it...I am going to try my best to embrace it rather than hate it. It may not be what I ultimately want to look at...but it is my body, and I can't just trade it in for a new one.

2. BE GREENER - Lessen my carbon footprint. It's funny how you can move into a new environment and it can inspire you to want to change so many former bad habits. For whatever reason...this house has me completely inspired to change the way we live. Recycle more, Compost, Grow Veggies & Herbs, Find a ReUse for things, be greener in the way I clean and the products I use, produce less waste in many ideas floating thru my head...but I want to set the example for Sydney and her generation...and the only way to do that is to show her. Be that example.

3. Get rid of the clutter - get REORGANIZED! By getting rid of some of the clutter it will help me simplify how I use the spaces within the house better, and just lessen the things I have to clean or frankly worry about. BUT in ridding the clutter, its also about how to get rid of things without just throwing them into a garbage can. What can I make into reusable gifts? What can I give away to good will or to friends? What plastics or electronics can I recycle safely?

4. Be ACTIVE. I started doing Crossfit back at the end of the summer with my friend and Crossfit Guru Jim. I let it go when things got crazy again and I regret that I once again allowed myself to fall off the wagon. So I am ready to get back into it. It was a great form of exercise for me and I hope to return to it very soon. I want to feel better and in turn I know it will help in my weight-loss endeavor.

5. EAT BETTER - Most of us eat crap...because that is what the world around us has produced and tempted us with for oh so long! It is one of the hardest self-control practices in my life. I love food...all kinds of food. But the problem is that I don't have a metabolism that lets me eat anything I want and not gain a pound...oh no. What I want is to stop feeling like crap...literally. I want to feel like I can get up in the morning and have the energy I need to get through my day. Well that comes with eating things that don't clog up my arteries and spike my cholesteral. And it is the only way I am truly going to lose some of this weight and feel healthy again.

6. Be CREATIVE and let the juices flow. I love doing creative projects...and I have a backlog of so many things that it is hard to know where to begin...but I feel like I have let this one huge characteristic of myself get lost over the years. It is an outlet for me that I have always enjoyed. In a coming post I will share with you the space that Matt created for me in the basement for me to do just that - craft. I am slowly organizing all of my things and believe me, I can't wait to finally have a place to go to work on these projects! Check back soon!

7. BLOG more. That may sound like it takes time away from doing all of these other things...but it is just another thing that I love. However, when I look back over the last few years of having this in place, I realized that I should be sharing my thoughts more. I am a visual person and I love to share with all of you my photography. But there is also the writer in me, the person who have thoughts and feelings spewing from her that she never puts down on paper anymore. Well, maybe 2011 will be a year of sharing more...more about myself and the world I wake up to everyday.

8. PHOTOGRAPH even more

9. Find BALANCE. I know that life is crazy and not everything that occurs is within my control. But an overall balance of how much time I spend doing certain things is...and I need to figure out a way to create some of that balance. Remove the things from my life that create negativity and insert the more positive things or people I need to accomplish a way of living that I can enjoy.

10. LOVE more. LAUGH Often. HUG those close. INSPIRE and be INSPIRED. Make new MEMORIES with family and friends...

and don't be afraid to SHARE it all with the world!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Reflections 2010

In 2010...

  • Rang in the New Year before midnight with our friends the Brown's and then @ home with Sydney fast asleep in her new 'big girl' bed and Matt falling asleep reading a magazine. What can I say...were getting old(er)!

  • Filled out and sent in my first census as a wife and mother.

  • Once again...didn't lose the weight I wanted.

  • Put our first house on the market to sell!

  • Road-tripped it to Arizona with Matt and Sydney for the Overland Journal Expo...saw some beautiful scenery, sweet-ass rigs/gear and met some amazing new friends!

  • Sold our house on Riley...(the name of our first dog whom we had before moving in) and moved into a house on Cody...ironically the name of our second it was not planned.

  • My parents had to put their dauchsend of over 10 years to sleep.

  • Assisted with my 4th Flamin Hottie Auction Fundraiser ... raising $400+ for Cancer awareness
  • Celebrated Sydney's 2nd Birthday
  • Went Camping at Smithville Lake with some dear friends...

  • Fell to my knees in sorrow after finding out we had lost our friend John Glaser, Matt's fellow co-worker in a house fire that same weekend we were camping. He left behind his lovely wife and two young children.

  • Stood hand in hand with my fellow fire fighter wives/fiances/girlfriends, tears streaming down our cheeks watching our our husbands/fiances/boyfriends drive past in the fire trucks honoring John as we prepared to say good-bye to our friend.
  • Laid to rest the first ever Shawnee Fallen Firefighter.

  • Moved into our new house the day following the funeral.

  • Assisted with the First Annual Bunkers for Brooke Golf Tournament honoring Brooke, a 5 year old Leavenworth Firefighter's daughter who passed away in a house fire.

  • Celebrated my 30th Birthday.

  • Attended the First Annual GLASERFEST in Martini Corner in honor of John.

  • Attended my fourth Relay For Life of Shawnee & Lenexa KS as a Flamin Hottie

  • Found out our 90 year old neighbor Orville had passed away after Matt and I went over to the house to check on him since he hadn't been answering his phone. I wish we had had more time to get to know him...he was very sweet and I am sure had ALOT of stories to share!

  • Took a phone call from my older brother informing me that our younger brother's best friend had drowned in a bridge jumping accident at the Lake of the Ozarks...once again fell to my knees in sorrow and disbelief. He too left behind his wife and daughter of 9months.
  • Think I heard my heart literally break from sadness.
  • Laid to rest my brother's best friend and my fellow classmate Jason Kyle Adam.

  • Celebrated 7 Years of Marriage.

  • Traveled to Colorado with Matt and Sydney and Camped alongside Dillon Lake.

  • Changed banks for the first time since I had opened up my first checking account with my Dad.

  • Picked up my camera as often as I could and documented the things that inspired me.

  • Hugged and Re-Hugged those that were feeling heartache and sorrow just like I was.
  • Shared 10 incredible days with our friends from Germany who came to Shawnee as part of the Sister City Exchange Program.
  • Visited the Liberty Memorial for the first time ever and walked thru the WWI Museum with Carl Dicapo himself!
  • Toured the Boulevard Brewery for the first time.
  • Spent an enjoyable two days at the Lake of the Ozarks with our German friends.
  • Built a fire pit in our new backyard with Bricks I found piled up along our back property line.

  • Failed to attend the Banff Mountain Film Festival in Lawrence for the first time EVER.

  • Assisted with my second PINK HEALS event...

  • Shared many outdoor summer/fall nights by the garage/firepit with family and friends.

  • Hosted our first annual Pumpkin Party!

  • Went back to VEGAS with the girls in celebration of Wendy & Kevin's Wedding!

  • Read the Sookie Stackhouse series in a ridiculously short time frame...

  • Unfortunately had to put our dog Cody to sleep after finding out he had ingested something that in the end caused his kidneys/liver to fail.

  • Celebrated Eleven Years with Matt since we started dating...

  • Cried A LOT.

  • Laughed as OFTEN as I could.

  • Took on a temporary Receptionist position at a downtown office and made some wonderful new friends! I miss our daily interaction already...

  • Cheered Matt on as he went back to school for his BA...and he's halfway done now!

  • Decided I wasn't ready to take on pregnancy #2 just yet...

  • Wondered if I wanted to every be pregnant again...maybe 1 and done is okay.

  • Questioned myself, and others.

  • Found CROSSFIT
  • Found out just before Christmas that Matt's Uncle had two arteries surrounding his heart that were 99% blocked and another 80% blocked...yet another Epperson man went through open heart surgery...he too ended up needing a quadruple by-pass just like his brother did last year...he passed with flying colors and is doing great!!!

  • Once again grateful to spend Christmas with my entire family...happy that no one had endured any injuries or that we had experienced any death or illness within our own family.

  • Watched my baby rapidly growing into a toddler before my eyes.

  • Listened as Sydney quickly picked up on her colors, numbers, and letters in awe of how amazing kids are and how fast they learn everything.

  • Smiled

  • Struggled and watched others struggle

  • Remembered

  • Still Procrastinated at times

  • Gave in at times, and gave up at times...

  • Admired

  • was Inspired

  • Made new Friendships
  • Should have spent more time with some friends and didn't...
  • was always GRATEFUL and forever THANKFUL

I have said this to others and will state it again on here...2010 was a rough year. Not only for what I feel I experienced, but what others around me went through as well. It was defined by death, divorce and down right sadness most of the time. As I look back on this year's list I am reminded that even in times of sorrow and grief, there were many things to be grateful and thankful for. Times of laughter and times of cheer. But in the end the things that stand out are some of the things that hurt the most and that is what this year will always be remembered for. I always look forward to a new experiences...etc.

Here's to Two.Thousand.and.Eleven

I wish you all the best in this coming's to finding reJUVINATION as I reJOIN the workforce full-time and try to get reENERGIZED as I reINVENT and reDEFINE myself as an individual, a wife, a mother and a woman in need of some balance in her life...