Saturday, July 30, 2011

every year, the night before....

Here I am again, in the same emotional state as I was exactly 365 days ago. And the year before that. And the year before that. Today is the eve of my only child's birthday. My Abigail. Tomorrow she will be 8. Every year, the night before her birthday, I sit alone and reminisce the year before.... and force myself to accept that my baby girl is a year older. One more year closer to leaving the nest. One more entire year, has slipped by in the blink of an eye.... Then the waterworks come. I do this alone of course and I have never missed this occasion on any July 30th since my baby was born. But I wonder if I'm destined to do this for the rest of my life and I wonder if other moms do it too? Abby is probably the only child I will ever bring into this world (health issues). I watch everyday life turn into nothing more than tomorrow's "memories"....

I loved being pregnant with Abigail. I was very content with my hands on my swollen belly feeling her move and kick around as if we were already together even though I couldn't see her. When she was born, I felt like I truly started living. My entire life has revolved around her since she was born and I don't regret a minute of it. I finally began to understand things my father had always said to me about how I broke his heart without even meaning to. The first time I heard the words "I got it mommy it's ok, I don't need your help anymore",...... I clenched my jaw and fought back the tears and allowed myself a bitter sweet smile. I was glad she was learning from me, but sad at the same time to watch each phase of her young childhood years come to an end. I miss when she was a newborn and I would nurse her to sleep while I petted her back and kissed her little forehead. I miss when she was 1 and she said "mama... I yuva yew!" (I love you )... I miss the time when she was 2 and she toddled off to play from cuddle time and exclaimed "I love you mommy! and chicken nuggets!". I miss when she was 3 and we were in the mall and she said "mommy i just like to hold your hand, it feels nice". I miss when she was 4 and she was "taking care" of me because I had a headache. She got me an ice pack and "petted" my head like I was the baby lol. I miss when she was 5 and she said "mommy, did you know that you're my bestest friend?" (but she was very serious like it was important to her that I knew). I miss when she was 6 and she got frustrated and first said "dude!" (I laughed so hard because thats my expression lol) I miss this last year watching all the changes she's gone through turning from a little girl into a young lady..... and now.... she's turning 8..... I anxiously anticipate what this next year will bring. I'm excited and a little scared....

I'm amazed at how quickly she learns things that I never expected her to understand. Very proud of her compassion for others. Her ability to forgive (I could take a good lesson from her in that). I adore her sense of humor as it evolves with her growing wit. I'm very grateful for the way she loves me for being the silly, quirky, emotional person that I am. She's the honey to my tea!

I wonder what she'll be when she is all grown up. Not that I want her grow up, I'm no where near ready for that, but I can't help but wonder who she'll be someday..... I hope she has more than I do by time she's my age, I hope she's seen more of the world, and I hope she's not afraid to reach for the stars like I used to be.....

This year the night before her birthday she is nearly up to my shoulder in height. She has recently ditched her former tomboy wardrobe for a more grown up feminine version of herself. She likes to spend her afternoons riding her bike and her evenings with her nose in a good book. I look at that little girl and I see myself 23 years ago.... just with a different hair and eye color lol.

My parents came down last night and spent the night with us and we had a little party for her, so we already did presents and cake and ice cream, so I have a picture of my ever growing girl to share already.

I love you Abby girl! Happy Birthday Baby!

P.S. I love YOU ... and chicken nuggets!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

I am so proud I could just pop...

this isn't photography related (I'm sure you've noticed not all my posts are). But I will be taking pictures as this unfolds to share with you. My daughter, who is still 7, won't be 8 until Sunday, heard about Miss Rachel Beckwith and her inspiring, tragic story.

Rachel Beckwith

Rachel was raising money for charity to provide clean water for people in Africa. She had just turned 9 years old. Little Rachel lost her life a little more than a week ago in a horrific car accident. She had not yet reached her goal of $300 before she passed, but was only $80 short. But since the accident, word got around about her charity, and now many wonderful generous people have donated money to Rachel's charity fund in excess of $496,000. My Abby was blown away, that Rachel was just a kid like her, but had big dreams to help others. It inspired her to try to raise money to help a charity that she likes.

It is a shame that Rachel never got to see her goal met while she was with us here on earth. But I do believe that she knows now. Rachel has inspired so many of us with her generosity and kindness to others.

My daughter has always been my little dreamer. When she was 5 she donated her long beautiful hair to Locks of Love  She had full knowledge of what she was doing, and she was the one who talked me into letting her do it when I didn't want to cut her hair. When we filled out the form to send the hair in, Abby was the one who made sure it was sent off and celebrated at the mailbox.

(we changed shirts due to the amount of hair sticking to her clothes lol)

Then last Christmas while she was 7, early in the morning when she could have slept in and watched cartoons and been inside away from the bitter cold winter wind, my baby bundled up warm and happily went with me to serve as a bell ringer for the Salvation Army outside the food court at the mall. And she was a pro at friendlness, greeting people, and thanking them.

Abby was so moved by Rachel, that she decided she wants to start her own charity fund, to purchase a water pump and seed growing kit through World Vision.

The details for the water pump are HERE
and the details for the seed kit are HERE

Abby needs $252 to make her dream come true.

To get us started we opened up a facebook page called "Abby's Dream" letting friends and family members know that she is raising the funds to purchase these items. We are in the process of working on a bank account. The bank tells us we need a form from the IRS so they can title her bank account Abby's dream. This way, people she doesnt know can send her money as well. Plus when anyone donates, they'll know their money is going exactly where it is promised to go. Our other dilemma, the IRS needs a $62 P.O. Box for an address on file, otherwise we'd have to give them our home address for the number, and we don't want the world knowing where we live for obvious safety reasons. (see our bump in the road??).

So right now we are both feeling a bit discouraged. I am going to the bank tomorrow to see if they will let us open her a regular account to deposit the funds & for now we'll just take donations from those we know, while we work on the IRS thing. At least with a bank account, we can work on setting up a paypal thing online so others can donate too.

We are also going to put together a bake sale and a raffle. I am going to raffle off a photo package and see if other area business's can offer us something to raffle off as well.

She is also working on her fundraiser chart. This way when she meets her goal in incriments of $25, she can color in the graph and take a picture of it to show her "fans" her progress.

If you are reading this message and you are able to make a donation to Abby's Dream, plus contact me at or
We are taking cash & checks at this time, but for now checks will have to be in my name, Christine Ward.

She said if she gets more money than her goal, she will simply buy something else through World Vision. Any leftover funds that are not used after that will be general a World Vision donation.

Her goal is to raise $252 by the end of August, when summer is just about over. When she meets her goal, she can make her purchase and let everyone know on her facebook page!

I am so proud to have a daughter who such a giver at a very young age. I told her to keep dreaming her dreams, and to dream those dreams BIG!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

*insert giggly noise*

Sometimes it's rough huh? I think once in awhile, we all deserve a break.. but that's me.....

Take a moment today to let loose.... and just be you, without the formality, the serious face, the wall, the front.... smirk for crying out loud. Laugh at something you probably shouldn't. Make an obnoxious noise out your car window when someone bends over. Brighten up the world a bit... I'll do it with you. *wink*

Saturday, July 23, 2011

doodle bugs birthday is coming up....

My doodle bug is going to be 8 on the 31st of July. *tears up*  I hurried up and did my shopping and wrapping while she wasn't here for a bit... I'm a dramatic gift wrapper..... it's another one of my quirks.

and that "rose" is just the leftover peice of the pink foil paper I twisted and wrapped floral tape around the bottom to create a "stem". I'm proud of that thing lol

So now I have to put all of this away and hide it before she comes home. We're going on a Lake George cruise for her birthday. And today I ordered her cake... it's going to be a giant cupcake with chocolate cake, with pink buttercream icing. Totally cute. I'll post more pictures next week from our outing and party.

Friday, July 22, 2011

crappy camera phone pictures...

I have a love/hate relationship with my phone. Mostly hate. I do love that its not big like everyone elses phones... its easy for me to text on and I've finally learned how to navigate it in cell phone land... for the most part. I HATE the camera on it. I don't have one those nice phones where you can adjust stuff for your camera. Mine is as is. And as it is, it sucks. But there are times I've had no choice but to resort to using it when I really wanted a picture of something.  With my camera, I have to tote my bag along, my lenses, etc, put it together when I need it... which honestly isn't as bad as it sounds when I say it like that, but it's not always feasible. I also like that when I take a picture, I can immediately post it to my facebook to share with my friends and family.

So I'll share a few of my favorite pics that I took with my camera phone. Some people don't understand the point of even having one... I didn't either... until I realized when I was out in public... there are just things worth saving.... ;)

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Poor Kitteh.....

My poor cats endure such torment between myself and my Abigail. Abby is always following them around to hold them, tucking them in, bringing them toys etc. I pretty much do the same. I make them necklaces, put make up on them.... Ok I only did that once. Poor cat reminded me of how silly Dumbo looked with clown make up on. Next time I do that I will so get a picture for my blog.

We love our felines. Greycie was trying to take a cat nap (pun intended) today in Abbys room and Abby took full advantage of her sleepiness and called me in to take a photo. I was very proud of Abby lol. The pathetic look on Greycie's face was so worth it. This cat is a very good sport. lol.

Greycie was reading "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" with Mr. Bookworm. :)

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

I love my fwows :)

Fwows: Pronounced "fwowz".
"Fwows" is the word my Abby used as a baby to say "Flowers". So "Fwows" is "Flowers".

I love my flowers! From my Abbys class that is! This last school year I had the opportunity to serve as homeroom parent for Abbys class. I loved it. I planned class parties and stuff. We had a great time and did some good crafts and I got to meet a lot of other class parents. I was just elated on the last day of school when the class invited me in one last time and presented me with this beautiful gift! Flowers! But not only that... the flower pot was painted by each student! I got a little lump in my throat when they gave it to me and I saw that each of their little hands had put something on it. I totally DIG these kinds of gifts. I'd rather have this over a dozen long stem red roses anyday! I sprayed it well with some krylon kamar varnish to seal it to prevent the paint from smearing anymore. This way she can get all the fresh air and sunshine she needs. I already have a perfect home for her in the kitchen during the winter. Right now I have my fwows on the porch and everytime I walk by them or water them I'm reminded of how precious this part of life is.... when our children... are still little....

I'm sure this gift was Abby's teachers idea (of course she kindly gave the kids credit, as most wonderful teachers do)... and I think it's just brilliant. I knew I liked that lady! lol She was a great teacher honestly and I loved being the homeroom parent for her class.

that bright pink ladybug with the curly legs was my Abbys contribution lol

and even more on this side :)

Thank you kids!!! I had fun with you and I'll miss you!! Have a good summer and enjoy 3rd grade!!
"Abbys Mom"

A frog that said Andrew.....

I went camping last week. It rained a bit, but we stayed nice and dry in the tent. The daytime was great for the most part. I took an attempt to ride in the canoe and chickened out like a big baby. Then my dad took me out and talked me through it like a little kid, but it worked. I actually started to enjoy myself. lol. My Abby went out with him and she was spinning around in her seat and helping him paddle in no time, little show off. It was quiet and peaceful.

We had a real treat when a Mommy duck brought her babies right up into our site and they weren't shy at all. They gave me a lot of opportunity to take photos.
We were there 2 nites and both nites, I hardly slept a wink. All the noises. Yikes. I was very paranoid of bears. We took every precaution to make sure we had no food or drinks to attract critters to our tent. I was paralyzed each time I swore I heard a sniffing noise lol. As I laid there I listened to the sounds of nature. First of course was the breeze, and the soft rain. Then I heard some tapping in the trees from the racoons. Loons were in the background. That was hauntingly beautiful *thumbs up on the loons*. Then the frogs. The were frogs EVERYWHERE. I could make out 5 distinct frogs communicating back and forth. There was a croak. Another higher pitched double croak in the other direction. A squeaky sounding one far away. A really deep croak right on the shoreline outside of our tent. And then this delicately feminine sounding froggy that I swear kept saying. "Andrew, Andrew". But she said it so casually and gentle, almost a note deeper the second time she said "Andrew". I listened to "her" for hours. That frog was saying Andrew. lol She said "Andrew" until nearly 5 am! And by time she stopped, the people around us began to wake up and make noise. I got no sleep at all. I was tired and miserable. You could say, I wasn't a very happy camper. haha.

I took hundreds of photos, but I'll just share a few. :) I also wanted to mention, these are completely untouched photos not digitally enhanced. I only put a watermark on them. The second photo is the same duckys as the first photo. :)

Monday, July 18, 2011

I need a change.....

I need a change.... I'm a very restless spirit. Although what is familiar is comfort, I tend to get a little bored with my surroundings after a time just from the whole monotony of the every day colors & substance matter burned into my retinas. It's like plain oatmeal everyday. Who the heck wants that? (for those of you who raised your hand, I'm sure theres a pill that can help you) Sometimes it can be something little that fills my void. Sometimes I'm ridiculous...... and melodramatic. Who, me?

So I stood there (errr, actually I was sitting right here in this chair like I usually am) debating on whether I should rearrange the livingroom? Didn't happen. No energy, thought I'd start small. I began by thinning down my decoration inventory a bit. I parted ways after many loyal years to some of my embellisments of the "wanna-be" kind. That would be.... just some faux greenery and stuff I've been toting around for years that I've reorganized in everyway imaginable without consulting Martha Stewart for new ideas. Don't worry guys.... not the tree. She stays.  So I took all my boring crap a.k.a. "another mans treasure" and crammed it into a few boxes and stuck it all out by the curb with a "FREE" sign.  Now my neighbors can't say I've never done anything for them.

Small change. It feels less cluttered in here. Good. It was worth it. BUT.....I was't satisfied with that. I thought. is it something drastic I need? Is it ME? Ok..... maaaaybe... if I change what I see in the mirror everyday.... that'll kick this right in the gut and cure me! So I bleached my hair blonde. Yea. I'm blonde now. After a few days, the shock wore off. Now I'm used to it.
I barely scratched my inner itch. The void was back. Tried a little retail therapy. Ain't got moneh so it was the Dollah Sto'. That was cool. I almost got an antique type writer at a yardsale that still worked. I half regret leaving her behind. If anything, I could have used her for a prop...... but I'm trying to be frugal over here....
Although I am looking forward to wearing my gigantic dangly iridescent blue shell earrings that I'm sure will turn my skin green.

Too hot. No money...... then it dawned on me. I know what I can do for free while I sit here on my rump in the air conditioning that will change what I look at on a daily basis!!! I have been really bored with my logo and the general color scheme of my website. Why not update those? So I did. And I wrote this useless blog full of rantings and hollow thoughts you just plain didn't need to even know about to explain it! Sorry about that.

I feel better now. Until next week......

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Greycie is camera shy....

I shot a couple hundred pictures of my girls (cats) between last night and this evening. Mostly just pictures for myself of them playing. But I've discovered that while Libby is quite the poser, Greycie seems to have a bit of anxiety with having her picture taken. Of course I don't actually think she has any clue what a camera is, but she does seem to be a bit shy of it. It took forever to get her to let me take pictures of her, without her running and hiding. I coaxed her with food. She wanted a perogie. lol. Of course now that I am done she's sleeping peacefully in plain view. Figures.

I also wanted to mention to my fellow photogs, that if you have a hard time with red eye or green eye with your pets and the red eye tool is too harsh or not working, use the burn method and see if that darkens your critters pupils :)

Greycie wearing her pink "bling bling meow". (Cat jewelry line I make)

Greycie in the beginning attemping to hide from the camera... lol

and as always... when you get to the bottom be sure to click on "older posts" to see more. :)

Saturday, July 16, 2011

just in case you were wondering what I would like for my birthday this year.....

The first thing I want for my birthday which will be on Saturday, September 24th, the second day of autumn,  is for everyone to remember, that it will in fact be, my birthday. I will be thirty something, just as I was last year... don't you dare (ask)......

 I know I have a lot friends and family members who enjoy peeking into my blog (thank you guys so much and I love the feedback!!) so now that I've gotten your attention.... let me show you guys what Miss Chrissy is lusting after..... And I'm sure once you see it, you'll laugh.. because it's so "Me". *smile*

Aren't they so sexy?

AND... the best part.... is they would be totally useful to me! I'm not really happy with the camera bag I have now. With this one, my equipment (lenses & such) would also be better protected from scratches and very secured in this gorgeous ensemble. With that strap cover, it would provide better cushioning on my babys strap so it wont rub the back of my neck or shoulder too much as it sort of does now during long shoots. So if you love me and you see this, you'll feel the urge to get this for me, or to team up with someone else who loves me and pitch in together. You totally know this is my style! It's bad enough some of you see anything in damask and think of me isn't it? *smile* You could even call a few family members and spread the love even more! Not only would yours truly get what she would totally LOVE and be able to use for her birthday, but you could get in touch with family members you don't normally call that you've been meaning to! I mean... just think of all the possibilities! This is a win win situation for us all guys!!! I'm so glad I posted this for us!


Friday, July 15, 2011

my little mountain girl....

I have a bazillion things I will be adding here within the month... I've been as busy as a bee.... Summer has been so fun! Right now I just wanted to share a couple of pictures that I know I will always love. I'm sure someday, these photos will bring tears to my eyes. I knew as soon as I loaded them and saw them, this is going down in the family history books lol.
I went camping up where my parents live for a couple of days. I live right outside the Adirondack Mountain Park, but my parents are right in it. On the last day I was there as I was leaving camp, my dad showed up and my daughter wanted to stay there with her Papa for a few nights along with an uncle and some cousins. She's a Papa's girl. I'm an only child and so is my love bug. So my daddy is really attached to my baby and vise versa.
My father grew up in the Adirondacks so this is very much home to him. I am a 6th generation "Adirondacker", but I did spend many years down south in the city until I was a teenager, when I was violently transplanted into the mountains. It took me awhile to adjust to this place, but it's definetely home now.
Before I left, my daddy & daughter went out on the canoe for a peaceful ride. It was her first time in a canoe and she learned very quickly what to do. She was even spinning around in the seat, unlike her scaredy cat mama (show off lol). And I snapped a few from far away (zoom). My baby is growing up so fast! And my dad is turning her into a mountain girl. She loves to camp, fish, boat, you name it. When she first showed up I expected her to sit and complain about bugs but instead, she went on the hunt for firewood. lol. And by golly, she found it. lol. Here is my baby and my daddy in the canoe :) and yes.... I am quite aware that I am my fathers clone. lol

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Family photos in the park....

You know whats way better than getting family photos done in a portrait studio with a generic or obnoxious backdrop and sitting in weird poses that will embarrass you and be outdated in 10 years? Skipping that whole scene altogether and having FUN family photos done in the park where are you are more relaxed, timeless, classic, with a beautiful backdrop provided by mother nature that will never go out of style!

I had one such smart family give me the opportunity to do that for them this past weekend. What a fun group with three little cutie pies to work with! I loved it! Thank you so much guys for working with me!

and as always.. be sure to look at the bottom of my blog for "older posts" to see more.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

God Bless America!

I hit Crandall Park for the 4th of July celebrations this year! Very glad I did! It's a short walk from my house, so I was able to avoid traffic, there was so many nice people there, the weather was absolutely perfect, beautiful classic cars, and the Glens Falls Symphony Orchestra, which I can not say enough about! They were awesome! And I was thrilled to discover my daughter also shares my joy for the symphony! It was very inspirational to hear beautiful patriotic music playing in the background during the fireworks!
There were also some great vendors at the park with some really fun treats for the young and old. I may have indulged in a snow cone.....
I didn't sit not once, because I was having too much fun walking around and shooting! I was also very blessed to come upon a gracious family who welcomed me to photograph an intimate family moment during the star spangled banner while they sang and lit sparklers together. I was not able to catch their names, but if anyone who sees this recognizes them, please let either them or myself know and I'd be honored to give them a disc of the photos I took.
Here are just a few of the hundreds of photos I took!

and as always... be sure to check the bottom of my blog and click "older posts" to see more!

Friday, July 8, 2011

oh how they make me puuurrrrrrrr


There were some beauties parked in the back of Crandall Park on the 4th of July, so people like me could come over and drool and dream.... and take pictures :) The car owners were most gracious for those of us like myself who were snapping away and admiring their treasures. Some day, by golly, I will have one of these. You mark my words!! If I ever strike big or win the lotto I am so totally getting myself a vintage beauty and pimpin it out! She'll be either pink or red, with black and white leather and velvet interior, rhinestones around the mirrors, sexy shiny chrome, with a lacy looking pearlesque finish on the hood! Mmm hmm!! Yup. I will dream her to life!

But for now... here are photos of the cars at Crandall Park.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Kristen Stewart Confirmed For 'Snow White And The Huntsman'

Kristen Stewart Confirmed For 'Snow White And The Huntsman'

YES. I have got to see this. Kristen Stewart has blossomed as an actress so much since the first Twilight Movie. At first, for me, it was hard to buy into "Bella" because she didn't seem comfortable in her own skin. It was "Edward" who kept me hooked until the second Twilight, "New Moon" when Kristen finally made me believe, she was "Bella". And she's only gotten better. Now that she has that ability to play such a cut throat, emotions through her fists character, I'd really like to see her in her newest project, "Snow White And The Huntsman". I bet this is gonna be good!!!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

A little vintage humor....

I am not the creator of ANY of these. I simply found them floating around on the web, with no way to trace the original artists who made them. This is the kind of thing that totally cracks me up! Here is a small collection of my favorites.


this shot was the most difficult. It's not easy to snap a zooming dragon fly. :)