Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Mrs Kristinas family - Anderson Family Photography

I have known Kristina for more than a few years now & even though we don't talk or hang out often, I consider her a good friend just the same (those are the best kind of friends in my opinion, there's no pressure of dividing my time between so many people in my life & you know they're always there for you no matter how many times you go for coffee with them). I was so happy she asked me to take a few family photos, I just wish I had more than a quick 30 minutes at the park. So many ideas, so little light but we managed to get a few cute pics & the best part is, she loves them, I couldn't ask for more. I wish I had a dollar for everytime guys complained about getting their photos taken & Matt (her husband) was no exception. Kristina being the patient, wonderful teacher that she is, found a way to convince him of changing his attitude before she was forced to send him to the principals office. To get out his frustration, Matt decided to shake the tree for a great action shot below, ha.
I love this last photo. Thank you Kristina, Matt, Wyatt (and of course their dookie Jake), you guys made the evening fun & a special thanks goes to Matt for explaining how a girl should treat a real truck (Jon's Chevy). He cracked me up but hey, at least the man cares & I did learn a few things. I know Jon will be happy to know Matt's looking out for him (I mean his truck), lol. Hope to see you again soon!!!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

We're thankful to still have power & rain &...

I'm going to have another cup of coffee & enjoy this day as much as possible. Our well pump went out yesterday afternoon!!!! Yep, how lucky are we? The day before Thanksgiving, Nice! This isn't one of those personal posts you would usually see this time of year, maybe with my own family photos, saying lots of happy-happy, mushy-mushy stuff but this is really how I feel right now. I'm happy my kids are healthy & I'm still in love (always will be) but sometimes life delivers you a whole lotta punches & you just have to fight your way through the ick to find the happy side of the situation. Well I'm feeling the ick (along with a few other friends I know) & we're getting those punches back to back (& we keep turning the cheek for another...), it'll happen to you too, if it hasn't already, when you least expect it, we all know that's how it works. It's how we respond, that makes the difference & I'm trying to keep this Thanksgiving happy by serving up some positivity as the main dish with maybe a little complaining on the side, followed up by a big helping of pumpkin pie. Hey, doesn't everything go better with pumpkin pie?
I think experiencing these punches sorta prepares us for down the road, when we'll possibly face worse situations, that just keep coming more than they are now & honestly, I'm simply taking it one day at a time right now. After all, it could be worse & today, we're very thankful to still have power & rain run off (along with many things we're thankful for, trust me, it's not a small list by any means). To stay positive, we keep comparing our situation to camping with lights & a heater, it does kinda help. Everything happens for a reason, we just may not know what the reason is today but I'm sure in time if we keep listening, we'll see why this happened. But turning those sore cheeks sometimes isn't a pretty thought (constantly getting sick, things breaking down with no money to repair, bad news about family members health & lots of other life experiences) but we all get through them & find happiness to keep us truckin' along down the road, it just takes faith & time.
Thanksgiving with my kids was yesterday but it wasn't meant to be either, it's hard to believe how much you depend on a simple luxury until it's not there when you need it. Being mom, I had to make a hard decision. I wanted to enjoy what we had, so we dove into the juicy ham with yummy glaze that finished an hour after the disaster was discovered. Yes I made ham, I'm not big on turkey & I'm the one cooking, so nobody complains. I gave my kids their own pumpkin pie to take with them as a consulation prize, then I reluctantly took them to their dads early. I sorta feel like a failure for not making a nice dinner for them (how was I going to wash all the dishes) but they understood & I knew that Grandma had a nice dinner planned for them the next day. Getting in the truck (which I'm thankful to have to drive) they kept saying I shouldn't say, "It could be worse". Pointing out what could happen. I followed their points with a joking "shut up". Don't burst my positive bubble. I'm thankful they stay positive during these unexpected situation, I love them for that.
So there, I'm done with what maybe sounds like complaining, but trust me, I'm thankful & grateful for what we do have (have I said that enough in this post, lol) & I always do. Like the fact it rained last night. If you've ever been out of water, you know how happy you are to see the rain... & a bucket.
These photos are that of my friend Shanna & some of her family. I had the pleasure of being best friends with Shanna in High School a few years back (ok, maybe more than a few years back, lol). It's funny how life & facebook, brings you together even after many, many years of losing contact. Her mom & dad, (sitting in front row & in photo below, they live here in CA) gave A LOT for me when it was needed most, including I wouldn't have graduated from High School without them (not to mention having a cap & gown) & most importantly, I wouldn't have the strength I have now in people (& to go through all I've gone through) & to make the best of these difficult times. It reminds me of what I have to be thankful for, they gave me a second chance at happiness. What truly good, caring, giving people, I'm so thankful for them, they have no idea.
Although my path didn't start as they would have liked. They really did know best, leading me in a positive military direction. I should have listened more to them & less to a certain boy but things are meant for a reason & I wouldn't change a thing. I think I turned out alright. Maybe I'm a little stubborn, clumsy, whiny, not very good at math, get cranky when I'm tired & who doesn't always want their way, lol. But after all is said & done, I'm overall trying to lead the life of a good person, especially a good mother for my kids & good wife to be for Jon.
It was nice to see them all again & to get this short time to do some family pics. I felt a little pressure (ok a lot of pressure) to do a good job while praying for the rain to hold off for just a few more shots & it did.
I absolutely LOVE the photo above of Shanna & her husband, Jim. It's funny how people react when you ask them to do something difficult, like simply looking at each other. Especially when we just get started & every bodies a little uncomfortable in front of the camera,...heck, I get nervous too & I'm the photographer :)
PERSONAL NOTE:...I got a head cold the night before the session, so I wasn't at my best photographically, like needing a little fill flash but I wouldn't have missed taking these photos for the world. Seeing Shanna & her family together made me realize how much I'm thankful for the people who helped me through those tough times, when I was still too young to understand how much of an impact it would have on me today & I'm incredibly glad Shanna & her family are still in my life today. To say I'm grateful each day for everything that I have had, continue to have & what's still to come, is an understatement. Okay, so I guess this got a little mushy-mushy.
Happy Thanksgiving Everybody!!! Have a great day & Be safe!!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Amber, Brandon & family

I could take photos of this family all day long....& if it had been warmer, I would have. Talk about your little troopers, it was sooo cold outside (I'm from a long line of cold weather haters) but sometimes you just have to do what you have to do :) & these kids did a great job & so did mom & dad, especially after Micah showed his dad how to smile really good. How cute is that?
These last 2 pics are some of my favs from the day. I love these kids, absolutely LOVE them & so do my own kids. I don't know what I would do without my own kids helping me at this session (I don't typically take them to all my family sessions), my daughter held both of these kiddos to help keep them warm (yes they had jackets) while I was taking a few pics of mom & dad. Thank you again to Amber & Brandon for this time with their family, can't wait to see which photo they use as their Christmas card.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Matson Vineyards "Crush" - Redding CA

This was my first "Crush" with the local winery, Matson Vineyards & I had an absolute wonderful time. I apologize for not remembering what kind of grapes they were harvesting (or the names to any of the equipment used, except for maybe the basket they put the grapes in, but that's probably not what it's called either) & a huge THANK YOU!! goes out to Lynette (she runs the Tasting Room), for the attempt in explaining everything to me. Please don't ask me to repeat what she said.... & that's my memory without a drink, scary huh. It used to be like "a steel trap", getting old stinks.
The first part of the crush was harvesting the grapes. I had a blast wandering around, finding different vines to photograph. This local off site harvesting location had very pretty grounds. BTW, these photos were taken Oct 2.
Just a few more people that came to help that day. It was a pretty good turn out with helpers.
I LOVE these next 3 images, the light was beautiful, especially the last of the 3. Click on one of these photos to view them larger, love Googles new display.
See, pretty huh? Alright, so you didn't actually get to see very much of the grounds, but that's not why I was there. It was all about the grapes, getting them picked & crushed...& without the use of feet. 1 member was pretty sad when he heard they don't do it like that anymore, he joined in & helped out anyways, ha ha. That guy totally cracked me up. When we got back to Matson, we were all rewarded with jambalaya, green salad & french bread. Mmmmm.
Continuing on, the next part of the crush was separating the grapes from the stems with this machine...
...that literally spits the stems out, so you better stand back if you're wearing nice shoes.
Then they add something to them before they go to the squisher (not sure what kind of oatsy stuff it was, I will be updating what it is, as soon as I know for sure), cut me some slack on my terms & lingo, just kinda keeping it simple.
The mixture gets sucked through a hose then goes into the squisher.
You can see all the grape juice seep through the cracks. At the bottom was a spout collecting all the juices produced by the squisher. Everybody kept filling their glasses & enjoying the sweet treat as if it were coming from a fresh spring, mmmmm, fresh grape juice.
Lid, we don't need no stinkin' lid.....
It's the makings of pure wine yumminess! And the process has only just begun, I can't wait to see what a few years (or however long it takes) will bring to Matson Vineyards from this crop. Thank you again to Matson Vineyards for letting me take photos of this unique event. If you're interested in volunteering for a crush (such as this), trying their tasting room or more details about becoming a new member (it's totally affordable if you love wine & love buying local merchandise), contact Lynette @ Matson Vineyards (530)222-2833.
I hope to keep going back for more photos & continuing the search for the right wine for me. I don't drink it that often but I love learning more about how it's processed (as long as it's baby steps from now on, ha ha), giving it as gifts to friends & the pleasures of sampling, without the pressures of buying. Yep, can't wait to go back. Happy harvest Matson & Happy Birthday to my sisters Vicki & Gloria (yes, they're twins)!! Vicki pours in the Tasting Room, so please give her a bad time for me & tell her Hi. Thanks!

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