I must say that I have been neglecting my blog.  It needs to stop! :) Lately, I have been so busy with working that I haven't really had anything exciting to post about.  Mom left us and went back to Florida, the snow arrived yesterday, and we have just been hanging out around the house this weekend with Gracie.  College football has been over now for a month almost, which is very difficult on Sam, he lives for football! Luckily for him, NASCAR will be starting up here shortly, so he can let those guys driving in circles occupy some of his time.  

Friday night we went to a read-a-thon with Gracie at her school.  The kids got to wear PJ's and listen to stories, while the parents got to listen about the importance of reading with and to your child.  They (they - it is funny I think, because whoever they may be are always saying something) said that by the time your child reaches school age, you should have read to them about 1700 hours.  WOW, let me say that I do not believe most kids get this amount of reading time.

I remember growing up, my parents always read to us.  When I was younger mom always read to me, but when I got a bit older (I even think I could read by this time) Dad use to read to me (maybe I was being lazy and it was easier for him to read and me to listen).  I would fall asleep and he would stop reading, which in turn would wake me up, and I would then proceed to tell him I had been awake the entire time, and I had NO IDEA why he was stopping (I was dead asleep 9 time out of 10)!

I love to read, and I think that it is so beneficial for people to develop their language/reading skills. I had read the entire Thoroughbred series of about 150 books, by fourth grade.  I think if you find something you really enjoy, reading is a great pastime.  It  relaxes the body, and allows your mind to wander into a creative realm, that modern technology doesn't.   With all the modern inventions, we become lazy and complacent with our ability to read and write without the help of spelling and grammar check.  We can type a string of letters into google and it knows what we are talking about, even if it was nowhere near the actual word you meant.  I think we need to realize how important it is to develop good language skills (how many errors I have in this short blog post!?).  Anyways... I am going to get off that topic...

So, today, we decided to play a little in the snow, and luckily I had my camera in tow and snapped a couple that are decent!! Gracie is so darn cute, she makes it easy!
First Entry of 2010
"A New Decade

We are a week into 2010. Wow, can someone tell me where does the time go? It snowed in my hometown of Dunnellon, Florida last night/today which is a bit crazy. I think it snowed one time in Florida over the last 25 years (do not quote me on that though). Perhaps the political global warming hoax is going to change into the global cooling --> and the government will start warning of an ice age.

Christmas came and went in no time at all. Mom, like usual, was sick over her birthday and Christmas. I cooked Christmas dinner for the family (Mom, Dad, Sam, Gracie, Melinda, Jason, Robby, Jacob, Valancy, Dad, Jon, Aunt Bev, and Nick). We had prime rib, taters, green beans, cauliflower with cheese sauce, rolls, and a few other things here and there! It was pretty good! I have to admit I was rather proud of myself. It is not that I do not like to cook, or that I cannot cook, I enjoy it sometimes and I am good at it, but after working anywhere from 10-14 hours per day, I really just do not feel like cooking or going to the grocery store. Going to the grocery store is the worst thing. It is always so busy and generally a pain. Lately, however, mom has been staying with us, and she does not seem to mind going to the grocery store or cooking. She has been spoiling my husband, delivering him his meals to him while he relaxes on the couch. This is something he had better not start to expect.

For Christmas, Sam got me an amazing lens for my camera. This should really come in handy this spring/summer as I assist David Robinson of Aspect Photography with weddings. I am very excited about that, cannot wait to get that baby out there and capture some great pictures! I got Sam a new laptop, since his old one pre-dated me and had completely died. Christmas morning he opened that bad boy up; turned it on... nothing... they had conveniently forgotten to install Windows 7 operating system on it. Therefore, needless to say, we had to go back on the day after Christmas and get a new one! The screen on his laptop is 18.3 inches, and we cannot find a bag that it fits in, other than that though, it seems to be working pretty good!

For the New Year, my in-laws came to visit. Sam's Brother Clay his wife Patty and son Travis came up to DC and spent a few days with us. Unfortunately, I worked the first two days they were here, and got sick for the next two with some stomach bug, so I missed all the sightseeing. I did get to spend some time with them though every evening. It was great to see them, and I hope they come back before another year and a half has gone by. We love to have family come visit, and since we are in DC, it is nice for people that have not visited this area before. There is so much history and interesting things to do in DC that it is a great place to visit!

With the recession, travel has decreased and occupancy at the hotel has been down. We have been doing a bit of a renovation project to get the rooms looking good for the busy season (hoping there is a busy season)! I have been spending a bunch of my time at work, and not been doing as much with photography, however I know I have a couple weddings I will be assisting with, and I might even be taking some engagement pictures for a few of my cousins. My cousin Jon and his fiancée Stacey are getting married in July, so I might do some pictures for them. Matt proposed to Andrea over the holiday season, and she said yes, so there is a wedding in their future too! Sam's cousin Mandy is also getting married in July. Heather and Jeremy are approaching the 1 year out mark for their wedding! I do not know of any others at this time, but it is definitely going to be a season of weddings!

I am available for photography gigs. If you know anyone that would like me to take some pictures for them or if you read this and you would like to get pictures of children, pets, you, your parents, etc please do not hesitate to leave me a comment with contact information or email me at, I would love to! Until next time, thank you for stopping by my blog!

December 5, 2009

Florida Gators vs Alabama Roll Tide

Yesterday the snow came with a vengeance. It began as rain, however around 9:00 am the rain turned to snow and kept snowing most of the day. We had a big football party planned for the SEC championship game against Alabama. Sam and my cousin Matthew had made a bet at the beginning of the season that Florida would go to the National Championship game. The bet was for dinner at outback for four. Needless to say, Sam will be buying. The game began poorly and continued to get worse. Our poor gator boys got womped and stomped. The crowd consisted of a Tennessee Volunteer couple, a South Carolina Gamecock couple, a split Florida State/Virginia couple, another Tennessee fan, and then Mom, Sam and myself rooting for Florida. Matthew, being the FSU fan and P-I-T-A that he is rooted for 'Bama loudly the entire game. If you are a true Alabama fan, congratulations on the win, if you are not GET OFF THE BAND WAGON. Don't just root for 'Bama because your team was too pathetic to beat Florida yourselves!

Florida just didn't play well all day yesterday. Our receivers couldn't seem to catch the ball and I am not sure our defense even showed up. It is sad it had to end this way, after such an amazing season, however I guess we should be glad for such a great year. We have been fortunate the last few years with all our championships. Timmy it has been great these past four years, you surely are a class act and will be missed on the Gators from now on out.

I guess we can now look forward to a great dinner with Matt and Andrea ( on Sam's dime) and a sugar bowl appearance for the Gators! Thanks to everyone for coming over and hanging out with us for the game.

Next weekend we have Air Force Christmas party at the Gaylord Center which should be a bunch of fun!! Until then...


A Sunday Drive in the Country and a Christmas Tree

After a great Gator win yesterday over that other Florida team (FSU), we decided today to head out to Purcellville, Va to get a Christmas tree. This will be our first tree that we picked out together for our house. Last year was hectic due to a right before Christmas trip to Florida, and a negative interaction with a deer on highway 121 (I still argue that it ran into me) . Moral of the story we never managed to get a tree. Well early Christmas morning (about 3:30 am) I went over to the motel to get the gifts and stopped at Melinda's house (my sister) on the way home and stole her 3 ft artificial tree for us. Sam never realized I had even left, and so when he got up Christmas morning, he was pleasantly surprised.

Fast forward to this year. We were determined to have a tree the entire holiday season, so today we went to get ours. Sam wanted to just go over to the BX which is about a mile away and get a tree, however Mom and I wanted to make a day of it, so the hubby grudgingly agreed. (We have this little agreement, his weekend day is Saturday and we do what he wants and my day is Sunday and we do what I want). So with a little pushing from me, Sam agreed to go. Mom and Melinda had went to a Christmas tree farm a couple years ago to cut their own tree, however this farm didn't have the kind of trees they wanted, and so they headed over to a place called Loudoun Nursery. Mom recommended we head on out to this nursery for our very own tree. It wasn't too bad of a drive and that part of Virginia is so beautiful!!

Upon arriving, the gentlemen asked us if we wanted to cut our own tree, however he didn't have any Frasier firs available to be cut, so we decided to just choose one from the already cut trees. We needed one in the 7-8 foot range. It is funny, because normally Mom and I are very picky about our trees like they say on Christmas Vacation, "it was an ugly tree anyway" well we do not want one of those trees. So, the usual routine is to have the Christmas tree stand attendant open up about every tree they have to make sure it is perfect in every way. Straight trunk, very full, tall enough (but not too tall for the angel to fit, Clark), and soft so that we know it will last at least until March or April. With that said, the guy was a good tree salesman, and we didn't even open one tree, we just grabbed one in the right height requirement and loaded 'er up. Well, all I can say is- it better not be an ugly tree! With the tree tied very securely (thanks honey) on the car we headed on out.

Well mom was driving, and it has been my parents hobby since I was about 8 years old to look at real estate, so we had to see a few of her "houses" out here while we were "so close". My parents never buy a place, they just house hunt as a hobby. Over the years, we have looked at so many places, yet they have never actually bought anything. They keep saying they are going to eventually purchase one, however I am curious what they will spend their time doing if that actually happens. Anyways, while on our drive out in the country we stopped by a few of her new properties of interest, and then headed on home. Sam fell asleep in the backseat for much of the trip, but it was still fun!

Next blog entry will have to be our newly decorated tree :) Or perhaps when the Gators beat ALABAMA next weekend :)

Until then.. here are some pictures from the DAY!

He is scary!

We didn't have the correct saw to cut the bottom of the tree off to absorb water

Three Doodles and Turkey Day!

So we went out to my Aunt Bev's house to celebrate Thanksgiving. Stacy and Jared had flown in from Colorado and they brought their new "POOCH!" home with them. Yes, his name is POOCH! (with the exclamation point). We watched football and ate some seriously yummy food! I honestly think Thanksgiving dinner is probably one of my favorite foods (all of it, even the cranberries). Aunt Beverly insisted we bring Bella and we couldn't disappoint our hostess, so I got up early and bathed her and combed out her hair, and along she came. Well, as everyone knows, she is CRAZY, so she began the fun by bleeding on the cream colored carpet from some cut on the pad of her paw :(. Great! We ended up having to put her in her crate due to the bleeding the running around the house like a maniac.

About 4 months ago, Aunt Bev got Cooper, her own miniature Golden doodle. Cooper is much smaller than Bella and is also much redder in color. Cooper seems to be slightly more mellow than our doodle bug.

The doodle fever continued to catch on, and Stacy and Jared recently added POOCH! to their household. Well, being the camera junkie that I am, I had to take a few pictures (oh about 200) to document his cuteness, and boy is he ever cute!

Currently, I am stuck at work right now, and November is one of the slowest month's for hotel rooms in the Washington, D.C area, so if anyone would like to come and visit the Nation's Capital just let me know, I can hook ya up with a pretty decent deal on room :) ( With that said, I had enough time to update my blog, since it has been so long!!

Thanksgiving is a time to be with family, and I am glad that I got to spend it with my hsuband, parents, brother, cousins, and canine family-- however Sam and I both missed all our family down in Florida and we hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving!! We miss you all.


Here is a Picture of the other 2 doodles when they were cute pups like Pooch! The first is cooper and the second is Bella. She of course is the cutest of all (and no I am not biased :)


Bella girl