Sunday, February 27, 2011

Week 9

This week has been all about the warm weather and we are loving it. We have spent as much time as possible outside. I also got my new lens this week so being outside gave me plenty of opportunity to put it to use.

I wish with the beautiful weather I had used it to run a little more. I did take a walk outside with Aubrey in her stroller and ran twice on the treadmill. I am so looking forward to longer days and warmer weather so I can get back outside and run. Much more fun. 

Getting back to the new lens. This lens is a 100mm lens, which has really made me work on my skills. Its a totally different beast to use because it needs a faster shutter speed to prevent camera shake. I've really had to work on thinking about the shots I am taking and making sure I am getting good settings to get those sharp eyes. I took at least two hundred pictures this week working on focus and I think I am starting to see some progress with it. There were tons of shots that were good, but at a 100% crop, the eyes still were not what I wanted to see. But, the ones that were good have boosted my confidence a little, which is good because I was getting really frustrated the past few months. The only thing that I hate about getting this lens is now I want more nice lenses like it but my bank account doesn't agree. It will probably be next year before I can consider buying another lens, but that is ok. 

As much as I hate to end on a bad note, I do have to share some bad news. Todd's dad went to the hospital yesterday and after a lot of tests, it was decided that he had a 2nd heart attack. His first attack in 2006 was much more serious, but this attack was still not good. He is being kept at the hospital in Mooresville and will be transferred to CMC main in tomorrow for a heart catheterization. So, keep him and our family in your thoughts over the next few days,

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Week 8

I spend most of the week recuperating from my running escapade last Sunday. I ended up with some major shin splints and sore legs until about Wednesday so I did not run once, which is completely pathetic. I did lift weights Wednesday night and I had forgotten how much I enjoy that, so I really need to pick it back up. My running has completely slacked off in the past few months and I can tell in my clothes and I am not happy with that. So, I am going to put that back as a major focus in the next few weeks because I can't afford to put much more weight back on.

I did manage to finish The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. It was not my usual dramatic love story, but still very good.  I haven't decided if I am going to read the other books in the series, maybe after I finish a few other books. I have decided, however, I liked using the library's free e-books so I will have to look into doing that more often.

I spent a lot of time with my camera yesterday working on focus outside in the gorgeous weather. I'll take 65 degrees in February any day. Most of the shots were just throw away shots of my dogs eyes, but I did just happen to glance up in time and see this cute little face. I really didn't have time to change my settings so while this isn't the greatest technical picture, I love Aubrey's facial expression, so I kept it.

I also got this shot earlier in the day while she was running around with the shopping cart some friends gave her for her birthday (Side note: Thank You Lyndsey and Marc, she LOVES that thing). She was running around like crazy so I didn't get great settings on this one either, but she was just cheesin' and I had to take it.

Also photography related. I ordered a new camera bag this week. I love my current bag because its perfect for carrying my camera/accessories, my phone and a wallet. But, I really need something with a cross-body strap and something a bit bigger to hold my lap top and other random stuff for longer trips. I've been eyeballing various camera bags until this bag was announced. Not only is it beautiful, it's perfect for what I want and I just couldn't resist. I am a little bummed that it won't ship until March 10, but I can live with it.

Hope everyone has a great week!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Week 7

This week was a tough week. Todd and I both felt pretty crummy all week. Todd has a cold and I haven't been sleeping well so we were quite a combination over the week. Add a toddler who is dealing with both of those issues and you have a nut house. I feel bad for the dogs because they were dealing with 3 unhappy humans.

However, even though I felt bad, I still managed to work on my goals during the week. I used my crock pot again (that's the 2nd time in 2 weeks, its getting a workout after 3 years of sitting mostly dormant) to make some yummy Italian chicken. 4 frozen chicken breasts, a bottle of Italian dressing and 8 hours of low cooking combined with rice made for some yummy dinners. I loved not having to cook each night and still having a home cooked meal to come home to made it even better.

I did much better with running this week. I did one night of intervals, one night of light jogging, and then managed to squeeze out 3.25 miles today in the gorgeous weather. Today was my first run outside since November and I forgot how much of a beast my neighborhood is to run. It was so nice to be outside and made running so much easier. I am really questioning however my goal of running a 4-mile race in March. I just don't know if I'll be ready. I've decided to wait until the week before to make a final decision, but unless I get some dramatic outside time in the next few weeks, I just don't see it happening.

I'm trying to get through my book of the month and I am not making much progress. I am reading The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo and while it is a good book, my attention span is not so good. I just can't sit down and read right now for some reason and it stinks. My e-book runs out on Saturday so I'm not sure how much I well get read by then. Having nice weather this week probably will not help either. Excuses, excuses.

I spend a lot of time with my camera Friday and today working on focus. I struggle with focusing inside and I think its because of the low light and my impatience in waiting on the camera to auto focus in that light. I also made it my mission to use my 50mm lens more because I haven't used it at all since I got my Tamron 28-75mm in August. My house is just not 50mm-friendly because of the weird angles and walls in my downstairs area. I still wasn't happy with the 50mm today so I made the decision to sell it. Hopefully, I can sell it and my kit lens which could give me at least a third of the cash I need for the 85mm I hope to purchase in the spring.

I Aubrey-related news, I noticed this week that the last 2-year molar has broken the skin. Can I get a hallelujah?! Finally, after over 18 months of misery, the light is at the end of the tunnel. I am so excited to think we done with that chapter of our lives. She can stop feeling so bad and we can enjoy our happy toddler. Win-win for all!

Also I noticed this week she has started singing. She's always said a verse or two of a song, but never really singing. She sang part of the alphabet song (A-G, the lmmop, then mumbled next time won't you sing with me). She also likes to sing the Fresh Beat Band music and Dora music (if you don't watch Nick Jr, you won't recognize them and count your blessings). She also sings twinkle, twinkle, little star.

So, here are a few pictures from the week.

Playing with her favorite book/toy of the moment, the Dora song book.

We are working with Aubrey on drinking from a big girl cup. She does pretty well, but only in small spurts.

The girl is obsessed with a carrying a bag with her wherever she goes.

She loves our iPhones, especially when we get the "circle time" game on it for her.

I hope everyone has a great week!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Week 6 Update

I guess this week was spent recuperating from the past week's craziness. Todd and I didn't do much through the week once my mom went back home. I did manage run once this week, which is still great. I also added another new meal to our repertoire, a yummy concoction of chicken, salsa, corn, all thrown in the crockpot for 8 hours. Yummy. I finally started reading The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, which has been my first e-book checked out from the library for my Nook. So, I feel like I did some good work on my goals so I'll call it successful.

Here are a few pictures from yesterday. We went out to dinner with Todd's parents and sister and then went out for a few drinks while the IL's baby-sat.

Aubrey and Todd being silly.

Hey, Todd can use my camera occasionally! I always wonder what Aubrey is going to think about me being in so few pictures. So, I handed it off and posed with my cutie.

Todd and his sister Traci. (taken with the P&S because who really wants to drag a DSLR to a bar?!)