Friday, September 24, 2010

I've Been Busy

If I could marry this wedding, I would.

Okay. Well, not really, but it almost makes one wish one could when one actually captures a photo like this:

Monday, September 20, 2010


If I could

but inherit

my father's tenderness,

my mother's determination,

I will be



Thursday, September 16, 2010

Not Quite Right

My mom is in surgery right now.

And my life is continuing just like normal. Just like every other Thursday. Just like nothing else is happening 180 miles away. Just like her life isn't altering in the least.


And not quite right.

Friday, September 10, 2010


Every family has a history. Every family has a past.

Hair color, eye color, height.

Pedigree, nationality, wealth.

Alcoholism, abuse.


My family has a very old history of blond hair, blue eyes, European ancestry.

But now my family has a new history, a recent one, a scary one.


Yes, cancer has wormed its way into my family history, threatening to overcome us, to tear us apart. But it won't; we won't let it. Because with this history comes another one, a stronger one.


Monday, September 6, 2010

Friday, September 3, 2010

Lulu Photo Book--A Review

I love photo books.

I love the opportunity to document and preserve events.

And since I can't bear to delete the thousands of extra pictures I take, I especially love that I can take the best photos, put them all together, and print them in one pretty book.

Since I have a Mac, I usually do all of this through iPhoto, but I'm always open to exploring other options.

Like Lulu. Lulu offers self-publishing and book printing, from books to eBooks, photo books to calendars.

Lulu graciously offered to let me put together and print a photo book of my choosing, and since I owe my mother-in-law one for last Christmas (hi, Mom!), I said, "Yes, please!"

My Review

I like pretty, and I like options; Lulu has both. While Lulu doesn't offer a huge variety of themes, I liked the ones they do have, from holiday themes, to simplistic, to funky.

And Lulu is so easy to use! I just uploaded my photos (which took awhile, due to my slow high-speed internet), rearranged them, and voila! Lulu's program is very straightforward, too. Every command is easy to find and easy to use. There's even an option to save your work, so you can come back and add/edit more later. This busy momma likes that a lot!

I also had a great personal contact at Lulu, too, who answered all my questions, previewed my book for me, and even suggested a few changes. Thanks, Taylor! You were a wonderful help!

I have to say, though, that shipping took an inordinate amount of time. Although, that was probably due to there being a few more shipping stops between Lulu and me, since they gave me free shipping.

And while I love the layout and the background and the photo matting of my book, the print quality of the photos was, honestly, disappointing. I have a DSLR; a nice one. And it takes very high-resolution photos. But the images in my photo book were grainy and the edges of the objects in my photos were distorted. The colors, however, were vibrant and true to the originals.

Overall, I'm pleased with my photo book from Lulu, but not ecstatic. It is pretty and well-bound, and will make a lovely gift.

This post was written for Family Review Network and Lulu who provided the complimentary product in exchange for my honest review.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Grade One, Day One

Somehow, this happened:

Somehow, my little girl, my firstborn, grew up.

And I'll admit, that no matter how excited I have been for her to reach first grade, no matter how ready I have been for her to be in school all day, no matter how thrilled I have been that she gets her kindergarten teacher for first grade... eyes welled with tears when this happened: