This and That #1

1. I have been trying to catch up on NCIS lately. Finally made it to the part of last season where Ziva’s replacement shows up. I really, really wanted to hate her, but darn it if they didn’t come up with the most ridiculously awesome and entertaining character to take the sting out of Ziva’s loss. Emily Wickersham, you’ve made me a fan.

2. Man, gift wrapping is becoming more and more complicated.

3. I really want to make these coasters. That means I have to re-learn how to crochet. And how to read crochet directions. And how to crochet properly.

4. That first link from #3 is on Green Wedding Shoes. Also on Green Wedding Shoes? Next to Me Studios! That’s us! Chris got Jon + Laura’s wedding featured on GWS on Thursday, 12/4. Woot!

5) In between my NCIS binges, I’ve been rocking it out musical style to Rent. (The live Broadway version, not the silly movie.) My laptop recently stopped playing DVDs, which was a bummer for my Rent disc, but luckily for me the whole dang thing is up on Youtube.


Fall is for Football

IMG_5280.JPGIt’s gotten a bit crisp around here. Perfect for going out to the field after school and watching my 8th grade boys play flag football! Man, if you want nostalgia, watch a middle school football game. You’ll wonder how in the world you suddenly ended up an adult, because wasn’t it just yesterday you were that little?!

Ten on Tuesday

1. Where in the world does all my time go? I just want time to sit and do nothing! (End of rant; if I let myself continue, it’ll take up the other 9 items.)

2. What we’re learning in class: In Math 8 (8th grade math), we’re in the middle of our statistics unit. We just learned about strong vs weak correlation, and we’ve moved from that right into estimating the correlation coefficient. Is it on the Common Core standard for 8th grade math? Not really… (though the CC standards are so vague it probably can’t hurt)… but it’s in our Connected Math books, and so we do it. My kids are doing wonderfully on it any rate. I’ve been baby stepping them toward the idea of guessing the strength of a scatter plot’s correlation with a sliding scale (as strong as possible, very strong, pretty strong, not very strong, etc.), so the jump to using numbers to describe the strength wasn’t too much of a stretch, thankfully.

3. What we’re learning in class: In Algebra, we’re finishing up our Properties of Real Numbers unit. It’s been a relief for my kiddos, who started out the year with a full blown unit on functions (including function transformations, sequences, recursive and explicit formulas, and all kinds of other crazy stuff that was never in Algebra 1 before Common Core). Today was gloriously beautiful, so we agreed if they could handle it, we’d go up to the lunch tables to work on the practice test. It was a wonderfully peaceful fifth module, and my kids found some random places to hunker down with their work (one girl balanced–for the whole module, mind you– on the metal handrail that leads down the stairs to the 6th grade classrooms. Wish I could post that picture, but the girls around her are facing the camera and recognizable, so here’s a farther away photo of the kids at the tables.



4. In business news, we have been ridiculously busy this month. October ended up being out craziest month of 2014, with I think 5 weddings total. We’ve still got 2 more to do before the month is out, so relaxing weekends (ha!) are definitely not happening around here. We’re looking forward to having most of December off, save a couple family shoots really early in the month.

5. Two weekends ago, we had a double header weekend, where we had a wedding on Friday, followed by a wedding on Saturday. This was the first ever time I’ve asked for time off at my school, and I’m still shocked I got the go ahead. Normally I don’t ask for time off for Friday weddings–Chris will just hire a second on those occasions–but this wedding was in Palm Springs, so it would have required us to pay a second shooter for a hotel night and travel costs. Way too much. So I was able to leave my lovely kiddos in the hands of a substitute, and Chris and I left Thursday night, stayed the night with his parents, shot a gorgeous wedding at the magnificent ACE hotel, crashed at his parent’s house again, and took off Saturday morning back to San Diego, going straight to the hotel where Bride #2 was getting ready. It was a whirlwind for sure.

6. And before I forget, we had the Amigo Booth for both of those weddings, and you know I love photo booths. 😉 I’ve already posted a few from the ACE hotel wedding, but here’s one from the Karl Strauss venue from Saturday. I was feeling sassy that night.




7. This picture. I die. That cat loves Chris way too much, to an annoying amount most of the time, where he has to be put out of the office so Chris can get work done (or play video games). On this night, Jack curled right up against Chris’ chest and just contentedly watched his human play.






8. I am really looking forward to fall break next week. Just two more days to go! I’ve got big plans to work ahead on my next few units, so let’s cross our fingers this actually occurs, yes? Breaks have a way of making you think you’ve got all the time in the world, then the Sunday-before-the-Monday-you-go-back comes out of nowhere and slaps you in the face.

9. Oh, yeah! Speaking of fall, we’re gearing up for our Fall Mini-Shoots soon. (Because we aren’t doing enough shooting already, right?) These are fun because they’re short and sweet and they bring out all our fave clients who want Christmas card pics. Win for everyone!

10. We did my sister’s engagement shoot on Saturday. The night before, I literally had a dream that she was only four-years-old. But look at her, all old and marriable! Just a few more months till the #davisidos!


Four years.

Today one of my 8th graders asked who my best friend was. “My husband!” I said. (Obvi, As the 8th graders say.)

Who else is going to cheese ball around with me like this?

Or this?


Four and a half years ago he asked me to marry him, and I said yes with absolutely no hesitation. He is my amazing best friend, my scruffy faced hotty. The only other person who cracks up with me every time  Blurred Lines, Royals, or Get Lucky comes on because we sing the Jimmy Fallon/Rashida Jones/Carrie Underwood Christmas lyrics instead:

I sure love that guy. We celebrated four years this week, and I think we’ll keep this BFF thing going for quite a while more. 😉

This week in 8th grade…

  • My last class surprised a birthday girl who came late by pretending to be deep in thought on the warmup when she came in, only to start playing Dora the Explorer’s happy birthday song insanely loudly over the speakers when she was about to take her seat
  • I left my purse in the Language Arts room at lunch. Twenty minutes into 4th module, one of our burliest 8th grade guys walks into my room, my purse swung over his shoulder, and waltzes through all the tables to deliver it to me. I didn’t even realize he had my purse till he reached me.
  • “I’m wearing a skirt today!” from a gymnastics lover who’s always pulling her leg over her head. She was taking a chance with skirts (totally remember feeling that way when I was that age!) and was feeling proud of it.
  • “I’m wearing a skirt today!” the other gymnastics lover who’s always pulling her leg over her head. Same exact same thing. Why are 8th graders so cute when they’re so pleased with themselves?
  • I asked for the gentlemen in my first module to pull down the empty chairs in our room (I have a half class there in the mornings), and on Monday a couple girls ended up just doing it themselves. One of the boys: “Well, they’re already getting it.” Me: “A real gentleman would take the chairs from them and say, ‘No, ladies, allow me.'” Every day this week, two of the boys have made sure to take down all the chairs before the girls get a chance. 🙂

A September Day in the Life

7am: Wake up!

7:40am: Arrive at school. On this particular day I was all set to prep some stuff, but a parent came in to chat and I just barely got the warmups passed out before my kids showed up at the door. (Oops, I was supposed to get them before they gave up hope that I was coming for them.)

8:10am: First module, which is my 14 kid module. This year those 14 kids are pretty quiet, which is vastly different from last year’s 14. But I also have some low kids in that class, so it’s nice to be able to give more individual attention then. Today we learned functions.

9:25am: Second module, where I do the same lesson again, but with 28 kids who are much more enthusiastic about it. They LOVE functions! They especially love that I teach them to recognize them by the x values that are “cheating” on their y boyfriends/girlfriends. And they are just as outraged that the y values are “allowed” to cheat on their x boyfriends/girlfriends. Sometimes math isn’t fair. In this class, Stinson and his sixth graders filtered in to get Chrome books (I am keeper of the quad Chrome book carts this year, huzzah!), and Stinson decided to steal one of my kiddos’ lunch. Said kiddo chased him out the door and ended up on an errand for the principal after that.

10:40am: Third module, where I do the same lesson again with a different 28 kids, who are equally enthusiastic about functions. My “intern” stopped by to observe today (a future math teacher who’s putting in observation hours), and I put him to work helping me throw awesomesauce cards around the room when someone correctly explained to me that the table we were looking at was not a function, before I’d even explained it. (My kids are geniuses!)

11:55am: Lunch. I went to Subway today and got my usual turkey sandwich toasted. I mention this now because this is totally out of the ordinary for me. The toasted part, not the going to Subway part, that is a regular part of my life.

12:25pm: Prep period. A parent volunteer came in today to make copies for us, so I spent the module going through next week’s lessons and gathering the papers I need copies of. She made ALL my copies for next week for me, what a great day! 🙂

1:45pm: It was my day to run snack shack. No one really bought anything, probably because water’s gone up to fifty cents and non one wanted to leave the shade of the lunch tables. So I spent the twenty minutes talking with Mikayla and Sarah about In n Out (Sarah’s never been!), Chipotle, and slurpees.

2:05pm: Fifth module, which is my Algebra module. We surprised Christina, who turned 13 today, by playing Dora the Explorer’s Happy Birthday song when she came in to class late. We talked about and graded the practice problems from yesterday… finding the domain and range of graphs, not an easy topic, but they seem okay with it so far. Then we had fun making an extensive foldable about relations, domain, range, and functions. This class is actually my loudest class, which is funny since they’re also my most advanced class. Last year’s equivalent class was so quiet while dutifully doing their work; these kiddos are SO loud while dutifully doing their work. Oh, and Mr. Keough came in to pass out licorice to all my kids; I requested him to go around the room a second time so they’d be chewing and I could explain our next activity. (Like I said, they’re loud kids.)

3:15pm: Pickup in the hot, hot sun. Put 8th graders into cars, chatted with some parents, chatted with Keough about how funny it is that my Algebra kids are so lound.

3:45pm: Back to the classroom to clean up and set things up for tomorrow.

4:00pm: McDonald’s drive through for a blessed coke.

4:15pm: Home! While I was gone, we had our house cleaned top to bottom, and boy does it look and smell nice right now! Gave Chris a good bear hug and told him about my day, while he told me about his.

4:30pm: Checking emails, sending out reminders to parents, updating the class blog, etc.

5:30pm: Made some canned chili for dinner; Chris went to meet some old co-workers for drinks.

6:00pm onward: And now I’m here working away at future lessons, with Jack fast asleep on the desk beside me. Well, technically I’m breaking to blog, but in about thirty seconds, I’ll be back at the planning.

Life of a Photographer

It ain’t easy being a photographer…








But sometimes there’s a photo booth.

(This one specifically is the fantabulous AmigoBooth, which we offer in our wedding packages. I’m not biased in the slightest when I say, the pictures from this booth blow all other rinky dink photo booths out of the water. It does have one downfall though… Your photographers may disappear for a few minutes to have some AmigoBooth fun of their own.)

Around here

Just to show a few things going on currently….

Hand cutting classroom decor

Seeing Once in a giant group, including Daniel and Jackie.

A new baby Holz! Seen at the beginning of year school barbecue.

Chris getting to sleep in with our own adorable babies.

Finally, they are getting used to just coming in the office to hang out, instead of reek havoc.

Be still my heart; baby Cowen is insanely cute. And on the blog!

Also on a blog, this time RusticWeddingChic, you can find Marc and Allison’s wedding from last summer! Hurray for being published!

First day of school friends dinner, because the Cowen’s happened to be down here. We went to Miguel’s for dinner and drinks Monday, then watched the kids play in the fountain while we hung out.

The Beginning

It’s that time again!

Pull out those uniforms, kids, and make sure you’ve got yourself enough pencils to the last year!

(No, seriously. Please make sure you get enough pencils to last the whole year. I’m so over running out by January.)

Last minute, hand cut classroom decor/inspiration.

Wowzers, my homeroom parents came through this year on Kleenex and wipes. I got more this year with my class of 14 than I did the year my homeroom size was 34.

20140830-094332-35012148.jpgThis year’s classroom setup, which is the same as last year’s because I don’t like change.

First day of school outfit

Drawers literally bulging with math journal supplies. (If only they didn’t dwindle so fast…)

Here’s to a fantastic 2014-2015 school year!

It’s that time of year again…

T-1 days until school officially starts. And once again I’ve a mix of feelings. These feelings include:

  • excitement
  • devastation
  • creativity
  • disappointment
  • energetic
  • exhausted
  • thinking, “yeah, I’m the best teacher ever!”
  • thinking, “holy crap, how did I ever get hired to teach children?”

I don’t know why the looming thought of the beginning of the year causes so much doubt and despair, but it always does. I never feel prepared. I never feel adequate. I never feel like I want to get to know 130 new thirteen year olds, even though I said that at the beginning of last year and I ended up loving those kids so freaking much.

Summer was just too fast this year. I worked too hard to really enjoy it. And even though all that hard work is paying off now (I actually feel like I’ve got a real handle on these Common Core math standards now), man, it just feels so daunting.

All right. It’s time to man up. I’ve got some more wall decorations to cut out.