Monday, May 16, 2011

Photo Shoot

I have the best little models ever :) This is my niece Alaina Katherine.  She is six months old and the most precious thing ever.  I have so many photo ideas for her, so this is just the beginning!  The pictures of Alaina in the bonnet are not from the shoot, but I thought they were too cute to leave out.

Thursday, May 12, 2011


It has been quite a while since I posted last, so I figured I would let everyone know what I have been up to.  I am done with classes for the semester, and I will be starting back up in the fall.  I am also helping coach my little sisters' softball team and my little brother's baseball team when they need the help.  I quit my job as a server.  I couldn't stand it anymore.  I have been at the place since it opened--five years.  The people haven't gotten any better, and there is only one person who has a position of authority that I respect.  Most of the people there cannot tell their heads from where the sun don't shine, so I had enough.  I'm in the process of looking for another job.  I'm waiting on an answer from one place, and I really hope I get the job.  I'm also trying to get motivated to write.  I love to write, but at the moment I'm stuck with the direction I want to go with my novels.  I might just have to find a new method.  

I'm also working at my parent's store.  They are opening an optical here in town, and it's been a lot of fun getting everything to come together.  I can't wait until it's actually opened and we get some traffic going.  Even though I don't have an actual job, I'm still keeping so busy that I feel like I don't have any time for anything.  

I also just got hooked up with an insulin pump.  I LOVE IT!! It's so convenient and so much easier.  I don't know why I ever thought they were bad news.  Probably just denial I guess haha....But the pump is a life saver.  If you are a type 1 diabetic reading this, I would recommend looking into a pump.  It's saved me so much time already, and I've only had it for three full days.  

I've been trying to do a lot of photography, and things have been really nice there.  We had a bat  laying on our driveway with a broken wing, so I got quite a few good pictures of it.  My mom and I also spotted a snapper on the gravel road just by our house.  We've also had gold finches, bluejays, and orioles out at our feeder.  Spring and summer are so awesome for photo ops.  I'll post some pictures at the end of this post.  Hope everyone is doing well!!

 Had to get my pupils dilated for my last eye exam.  They check for nerve damage since I'm diabetic..Luckily, everything looked good!

 My 6 month old niece, Alaina Katherine.  She is such a little bundle of joy!

 My new insulin pump!! I LOVE it :)

 These pretty blossoms were all over Omaha, Nebraska when we went to Nebraska Furniture Mart.  Best place ever.

 Just a dragonfly.  I love them.

 The nasty, but really cool, bat that was on our driveway.

 The snapper that was right down the road by our house.

Monday, May 2, 2011



Spoiler Alert!
This book is haunting.  Hanna Baker committed suicide, and thirteen reasons led her to do it.  All thirteen reasons and interconnected, and Clay Jensen is one of the reasons.  Clay has practically been in love with Hanna ever since she first came to his school, so he has no idea what he could have done to affect Hanna so much.  Hanna left a box of cassette tapes explaining why she did what she did.  The tapes get passed around, and we find out the thirteen reasons are thirteen people.  The story is told by both Clay and Hanna's tapes.  We get to see the reactions of Clay and feel his pain.

When I first started reading this book, I was immediately hooked.  There is something so horrifying yet appealing about reading about suicide.  When I started the book, I loved it, but I also thought Hanna was crazy.  How could someone kill themselves over someone not saying goodbye, someone using you, or someone starting a rumor about you?  I thought "Wow, she doesn't have it that bad.  People go through that stuff everyday.  Heck, I've been through almost all of what she's been through.".  I don't think that anymore.

But her decision wasn't just based off of these things that had happened to her.  It was a lot of other stuff that resulted from each happening.  I still cannot fathom actually following through with ending my own life, and I'm sure many other people cannot either.  I've had fleeting thoughts about it when things got really tough, and I'm also guilty of thinking things would be easier for people, but I would never follow through.  But I also empathize with Hanna and anyone else who has been pushed to that choice.  I'm not sure how a person gets so far where all they think about is ending their life.  This is such a sad prospect to me.  You would think that there would at least be one person to make all the difference and reach out to them.

I am a person who is very very understanding of others.  I do not judge, I try not to judge unless given multiple reasons to, and I always see the good in people.  Despite all of this, this book made me want to be a much better person than I am now.  I want to be that one person who can make a difference in a person's life.  If that difference determine's a person's choice in ending their own life, I want to be the thing to keep them grounded and provide them with a little happiness.  A smile can make someone's day, and some people lack that simple act of kindness in their lives.  Even if you can't understand how someone can not stand to keep living, at least try to understand the reasons that would push them there.  Try to be a better person.  Reach out to everyone you can, and touch their minds, their hearts, and bring them happiness.  Even if just a little.  A little might make all the difference in the world.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Water for Elephants

Glorious.  I. Loved. This. Book.  I've been debating on reading Water for Elephants for quite some time now, but every time I picked it up, I thought, "Ehh...I'm not so sure this is going to be for me."  A friend told me it was the most amazing book ever, and all the other books I knew she liked, I liked.  I figured I was safe.  I'm one of those people who buys books if I plan on reading them.  I love the look of books on my shelf, and I swell with excitement when I see my collection growing.

I bought this book, and boy am I glad.  I finished reading it three nights ago, and I was left craving.  The plot is so well thought out and unique.  All the information had some type of truth to it, and I think that is one thing that made it so great.  Sara Gruen definitely did her homework on this book, and it paid off.  

The book starts off fantastic.  It's enthralling right away, and I couldn't stop turning the pages, because I needed to know what would happen next.  The main character, Jacob, started off as an old man.  He is ninety-three or ninety.  Which one, he cannot remember for certain.  I fell in love with his character, not when he was described as a younger, attractive man, but when he was ninety-three or ninety.  He had me laughing on the floor at times, and other moments my heart would be breaking from the pain he went through and his honesty.  I giggled like a little kid, uncontrollably at times (even when people were shooting me funny looks), and I cried like a baby at the same time.  The emotion in the book was so tangible and strong, that I felt so much of the sadness, happiness, fear, hope, and despair at times.  

This book is now a major motion picture, starring Robert Pattinson and Reese Witherspoon.  I will definitely go see the movie once it comes to town, but I don't think it can compare to the book, like most movies based on books cannot.  I would recommend this book to ages 16+.  There are several graphic parts with sex in them, and any younger would not be appropriate.  I guess I can't really be the judge of what parents want their children reading, so parents of young children might want to read it first.  Despite that, it's a wonderful, moving book, and you'll find yourself wanting to go to the circus as soon as possible!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Harry Potter Heaven

This. Is. Bliss.  Hands down, one of the best places in the Universe.  And by universe, I mean the whole universe and not just Universal Studios.  This is Hogwarts, in case you are wondering.  

Back in January, my family and I went on our vacation to Clearwater Beach, Florida.  We stayed at a beach house right on the beach, and while it was too cold to swim or even be in suits, we still had a lot of fun.  The highlight of the trip for me was Universal Studios: Islands of Adventure and the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.  Disneyworld was also AMAZING, but that will be a later blog with pictures included.

I knew the Harry Potter park would be beyond amazing, but I had not expected it to be quite so breathtaking.  The castle itself is magical.  There was Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade rolled into one, with a little bit of Borgin and Burkes.  They had Ollivander's, Honeydukes, Zonko's, The Three Broomsticks, The Hog's Head pub, and more.  I felt like a kid again, and I wasn't the only 20 year old to feel this way.  There were adults everywhere dressed up in Harry Potter get-up, and I felt like it was about time I saw how many other people share the same obsession as me.

The rides were incredible.  The Forbidden Journey was my favorite, and that one takes you through the castle, and then you get thrown around (even though most of the time you're not moving) following a screen.  The screen is moving, and you are taken on an adventure with Harry.  We waited in the longest line I have ever seen for anything.  It moved quite fast for how long it was, and we only waited for about 45 minutes.  The wait was definitely worth it.

Durmstrang and Beauxbaton students put on a show outside of the castle.  Their outfits were perfect, and they all looked like they just stepped out of the movie.  

I ended up getting the coolest tee-shirt, hoodie, and hat.  I wanted the matching gloves so badly, but they were expensive, and I thought I wouldn't have enough money for the rest of my trip.  I also got Dumbledore's wand.  It's so pretty! My little brother got a wand, and he got Hedwig.  She is a stuffed animal puppet and has a handle in her so you can turn her head.  She makes noises and sounds JUST like Hedwig from the movies.  Three of my sisters all got wands as well.

Every little detail for this place was thought of, and I didn't feel like anything was really missing. You got a tour of the castle when waiting in line for The Forbidden Journey ride.  Honeydukes was awesome, with so many candy choices.  The Bertie Botts beans were in packages just like in the movie, and they even had the disgusting flavors.  I thought it was pretty cool how they could make each flavor to actually taste like dirt, vomit, bogeys, and earwax.  Absolutely disgusting, but still appealing just because they are Bertie Botts.  They had chocolate frogs, sugar quills, taffy, cotton candy, and pretty much everything you could think of.

Zonko's was just as awesome.  They had extendable ears that actually worked! They had a pair out so you could test them out to see if you wanted to buy them.  I really wanted a pair, but I figured they could wait.  Everything you would imagine Fred and George having was there.

Butterbeer carts were set up in the streets in giant barrels, and the butterbeer being served came out of a tap like regular beer would.  You could get it chilled or frozen.  I thought this was different.  I had always expected butterbeer to be warm, but it still was delicious.  I didn't get around to trying the pumpkin juice, but that's because it was crazy expensive (probably because it was in such a cute bottle), and I don't like pumpkin very much.

The Three Broomsticks was attached to the Hog's Head, and it was so fun.  Kind of spooky...There were shadows on the walls and music playing, and it just gave it such a cool feel.

I could go on and on about this park, but I won't.  That would be an infinite post, and I don't have time, and I don't really want carpal tunnel.  I'll post some pictures for a visual.

 The Hogwart's Express and the entrance of the Harry Potter park :)


 Real wizard's chess!

 Pumpkin juice!

 Bertie Botts and regular jellybeans.

 The Three cool. 

 Barrels full of delicious butterbeer :)

 Thought this was a funny sign!

 My dad and little sister Madison

 Hogwarts :)

 The mirror of Erised

 House Points

 Dumbledore's office

 Sorting actually talks.

 Awesome view of the castle.

 Cute little butterbeer stand workers.


 Durmstrang and Beauxbaton students

 Buckbeak :)

 Madison, my fellow Slytherins and me.

 Hogwarts all lit up

 Chocolate frogs

 Bertie Botts!!

The Hogwarts last time.  I didn't want to leave!!