New Year’s Eve: A Low Key Affair

New Year’s Eve was certainly quiet at our house. We tried to scrape some plans together sort of last minute, but it the end, all our peeps were also having low key celebrations at their own house. Much as I love a reason to party with our people, it really was a great relaxing time at home with just Chris and the munchkin kitties. I don’t know if it’s just the first year of teaching mayhem or what, but I’ve enjoyed this Christmas break so much more than past years. Maybe it’s because I truly feel I’ve earned that quiet and solitude this year… whatever it is, I’ve been loving being at home, getting to practice my sewing skills (still working on them), playing around, and just doing things slowly. Sigh. It’s going to be so sad to go back to craziness on Monday.

Our New Year’s Eve day looked something like sleeping in to an unholy hour I won’t even write here, and then it was off to lunch at Subway and to Ikea to pick up a new bookcase for my classroom. I’d decided it was no longer a matter of choice, I needed something with which to organize everyone’s homework, all the daily handouts, and piles of stuff that grew every day, and my projector cart just wasn’t cutting it anymore. Chris put the bookcase together in my classroom for me and I seriously love it already. There’s nothing even on it yet, but I love it. It will organize so much of the kids’ stuff on a daily basis, which means I can focus on the teaching and not so much on the keeping track of everything.

After our Ikea adventure, we decided in exchange for Chris putting my bookcase together, I would vacuum the house with the serious shopvac and overall clean up the place so we could ring in the new year with a newly organized house. So the house looked amazing for 2013.

We phoned in a huge sushi order (so we could eat all evening) and popped in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part One…

… while keeping Jack from stealing our red dragon rolls.

For some reason, this was the Harry Potter movie Chris decided he wanted to know what was going on. So we paused a lot while I explained the intricately woven details of Harry Potter’s journey… maybe with more details than he wanted. I mean, who can say? Harry’s got a lot going on.

Jack and Sawyer slept between us for most of the evening, except in the beginning when all Jack wanted was for Chris to hold him. Jack loves Chris. Way more than he loves me. And he loves me a lot, so that’s saying something.

We finished up both movies with a few minutes to spare, so we snapped one last “Chris and Jordan 2012 picture” while people started throwing fireworks off outside our house. 
Then we crawled into our warm bed, cranked the bedside heater up and talked about how we could be better to each other in the new year. It was a delightful little conversation, perfect for the opening hours of the new year. I decided I would be better at doing things right when Chris asked me to do them. (I am horrible at putting things away for “later.” He’s going to work on wanting to help me do things like put bookcases together more. I lobbied for him rinsing all the food off his plate when he puts it in the sink, but that just started an argument on rinsing vs. washing, and I gave up. 
Happy 2013!

Christmas pictures

We got an email today from Chris’ mom about doing family Christmas pictures while we’re up in Redlands for Thanksgiving. That of course led to me reminding Chris we need to do our own Christmas pics. Which led to the following conversation:

C: “Everybody wants Christmas pictures from me!”
J: “Well, I don’t want it to be like last year where I looked like crap just because we ran out of time and happened to find a wild field at sunset after a family shoot.”
C: “That’s not my fault. You should be prepared at all times for Christmas photos.”
Touche. From here until December 25, I’ll be glamming it up on a daily basis.
Flashback to last year’s “just-finished-a-shoot-and-hey!-look-there’s-a-cool-field” last minute photo shoot.
And for those of you who are noticing that it’s been almost two months since my last post, yes, I am still alive. Teaching 8th grade Algebra is literally taking up all of my time. Between lesson planning, and making instructional videos, and grading, and inputting grades, and creating tests and bellwarmers and interesting activities, I think I’m just lucky to be able to sleep. First years at a new school are the worst. Fortunately, my co-workers are all great and encouraging.


On one of our recent engagement shoots, we started a new thing of handing off our cameras to our couple and letting them take pictures of us–sort of a payback of sorts. We found after two hours of them, them, them, smile here, look over here, look at him, don’t look at her, this was a welcome break. Taylor and Buck (whom we love love love!) were the first ones to get to try out this new experiment, and I am so pleased to get such an awesome picture out of it! Look at how hot my husband is! And my hair is being perfect, even for just a millisecond. (I’ve seen the next picture in this sequence–it definitely went back to ruffled and tangly real quick.) Thank you, Buck, for capturing this wonderful photo, and to my wonderful husband who has amazing editing skillz (that’s right, with a z)!


This was Monday night this week. In our office. At around 11pm. (We burn the midnight oil every night around here.) Sometimes we listen to music. Sometimes we watch episodes of current TV shows on Sometime’s we’re goofy.  Sometimes we don’t talk to each other for an hour because we’re so focused on our projects.

Sometimes it’s hard to be night people. It makes being have-to-wake-up-in-the-morning-to-make-it-to-work-on-time people quite difficult sometimes.

The Haps: April 2012

She spent her spring break organizing the house and learning Adobe Captivate via

He only got a Good Friday break.

They did the recycling, got the car washed, and hit up the La Mesa farmer’s market on his day off.


She is on her third Master’s class. And is kicking it’s behind, thank you.

She loves that there are zero essays and plenty of technological projects.

He has his own homework: keeping track of all the business expenses.

He is also a wiz photo editor. (Four week turnaround? Try 1.2 weeks. He’s just that good.)


They have been making lots of green smoothies lately, because they are trying to be healthier.

She is getting good at making salads, but almost smoked the house out making a curry last week.

He is getting good at eating whatever she makes. (Even if it has eggplant in it.)

He texted her today that she should be proud: he ordered a veggie sandwich for lunch.

She didn’t text him back that she’d gotten a $.69 coke from McDonald’s that morning.


He is a craigslist stud and found two of the cameras they wanted, in amazing condition, for amazing prices.

He is currently reading up on the D700 manual before bed.

She hasn’t gotten to play with her D700 yet. (Sunday’s newborn shoot will be the first play date.)

They finally came to a compromise on their new logo and website. (It’s going to be awe-some.)

They have booked six weddings so far this year. (It would have been eight, if it weren’t for everyone getting married on August 11.)

They are planning a road trip vacation before all the weddings start.


She had an interview for a teaching job on Tuesday.

He brought her their wedding flowers on Wednesday.

(She hasn’t heard anything, but the flowers are bright and cheerful.)


February the twenty-second: Leaf Watching

The story of today:

Chris asked me how my day was. I rattled off a list of things I’d done, including tutoring, my CA professional development meeting, what I had for lunch, leaf watching with the cats, working on homework, and taking a nap.

Sometime around 11pm, he was surfing through his Instagram feed and started laughing out loud. “You really did leaf watch with the cats!”He had found the above picture, and was highly amused that this was an actual event I had photographed during my day. What can I say? I liked the colors of the porch, wood floor, Sawyer, and my shoes. Seemed like a perfect photo op to me.

January the eleventh (the one with post-Christmas)

There were a few things on our lists this year we’d really been hoping to get but didn’t. So a couple weeks after Christmas, Chris and I both put in orders for the things we simply could not live without. 
For Chris, it was more camera gear. A freaking ridiculously sturdy tripod, a new camera bag to take on minor trips, and… something else that I forget now. But it was important to him.

For me, it was my iphone accessories! I still have 15 days (and counting) until I actually can buy my phone, but I wanted to be prepared for that blessed day two Fridays from now. I got my Speck fabric case (it’s summery!) and an armband case for when I go running. It will be awesome to run without clutching my ipod in one hand and my phone in the other.

Like how Sawyer camera bombed my photo here?

Meeting Prince Charming

My husband’s ‘like’ of my last reminiscent-themed post has spurred me to look through the old photo files. I was looking specifically for the first photo I ever took of him, or the first one of both of us together. Haven’t found it yet, but I did find this little gem in the Picture of the Day archives of really early 2009:

This was part of our first conversation, where I had just told him we should be friends because I thought he was awesome because he made a book for Ryan for Christmas (that’s the 365 he’s referencing), which Ryan then showed me because he knew I’d appreciate it, and of course I did. (Chris now highly recommends creating books for Christmas gifts, because you never know, it just might score you a spouse.)

On further search, I think this may be the first picture I ever took of Chris. This was in January 2009, on a day that Ryan and Chris had invited me out after church to go picture taking and exploring. I didn’t want to go. But then I remembered that my Word of the Year was fun, which was an attempt to force myself to get out of the house and talk to people. (My apartment was just so darn comfortable!) So I went, and I remember we went to La Jolla to check out the Museum of Contemporary Art, then to Mount Soledad, where these pictures were taken- our first shots of each other.

2009 turned out to be a good year. Turns out making FUN my word of the year had its benefits, since I met my future husband 16 days later.

And that, my friends, is why you should make New Year’s Resolutions.