Wednesday, July 31, 2013

I Got an Award!

...a Liebster Award that is!  I have received this a couple of times before, but this time was nominated by Kelly at Today Was a Fairytale!  Thank you, my dear!!  Kelly is also my ONLY sponsor at the moment...if you are interested in sponsoring My Mind's Lens {IT IS FREE WITH THE PROMOTION CODE!!} CLICK HERE

Here are the rules:
1. Link back to the person who nominated you.
2. List 10 facts about yourself.
3. Answer the 10 questions posed by the person who nominated you.
4. Nominate up to 11 other blogs with 200 followers or less.
5. Ask 10 new questions for the nominee-blogs to respond to.

1. I have never been to Europe, but would love to go.
2. When I was a little girl, all of my dolls were named Samantha.
3. I recently decided to re-join Weight Watchers and get in shape.
4. I have moved 6 times in the last 5 years.
5. My favorite kind of candy is *almost* anything gummy - but chocolate is good too!
6. If I had to choose between black/white photos or color I would choose B&W in a heartbeat.
7. I am horrible at accents, impersonations and quoting movies/TV shows.
8. One of my all-time favorite movies is Sound of Music (but I doubt my husband has ever seen it).
9. I like the idea of staying organized and can usually stick with it for a week or two before slacking off.
10. Most nights I would rather stay home, drink a glass of wine and watch a good movie with Tristan than go out.

1. What do you find it easiest to blog about? Sharing my photos - but that can be hard too when it comes to picking which ones to share!
2. Is there a topic that you'd like to blog about but are too scared/nervous to write about?  The scariest thing for me to blog about is anything personal or how I feel about something serious.  *Like I note below* I know that there are people that I know personally who read my blog and it can be hard to be completely open because of that.
3. How has your blog changed since they day you started it?  Originally my blog was 95% photos - and landscape photos at that.  Now I have a lot more portraits to share and also incorporate various subjects.
4. How has blogging changed your life so far?  I spend a lot more time on the computer - just ask my husband!
5. Have you ever been able to meet, face to face, any of the bloggers that you follow? Nope...
6. Is there a blogger (or a few) that have helped motivate you or really touched you in any way?  Julie, over at A Beautiful Day, has been one of my biggest cheerleaders for quite a while now.
7. Does anyone in your real life know about your blog?  If yes, what do they think?  If no, what keeps you from telling them?  Yes - I'm not sure what they think of it, though.
8. When you run into a writing block what do you do to help you out of your funk?  Not post anything for a few days...ha!
9. What are your hopes for your blog over the next year?  I'm hoping that my blog continues to grow, maybe a little quicker than it has so far.
10. Do you have any advice you'd like to share with bloggers who are just starting out? Do it for you, not anybody else.

1. I'll Love You Forever
2. Lizzy's Luggage
3. Beyond Grace
4. Martinis & Bikinis
5. Girlfriend Jill
6. Mr. and Mrs. Foster
7. My Life As...
8. Life By Nadine Lynn
9. Sassy in Sequins
10. Daisy Bisley

1. What is your best piece of blogging advice?
2. Do you prefer blogging in the morning or at night?
3. If you could meet one blogger in person, who would it be?
4. For those who don't already know, what is the primary focus of your blog?
5. Why did you decide to start blogging?
6. Sweet or sour?
7. Hot or cold?
8. Do you believe everything is black and white, or do you prefer the idea of that gray area in the middle?
9. What three songs would be the hits from the soundtrack to your life?
10. If you could live anywhere else, where would it be?

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Black & White Wednesday - And a little running around...

If you missed it yesterday, I have a couple of busy weeks ahead of me and would love if some of you wanted to guest post for me here and there.  I will still be posting as well, but won't be able to every day.

It can be a DIY project, photos from your favorite trip, or just something funny and entertaining.  It's completely up to you what you write about.  If a few of you could help me keep everyone else captivated for a few weeks, I would be very grateful.

If you are interested, send me an email and let me know the name of your blog (and the web address), as well as what you would like to post about.  If you could also include a short little bio, that would be great.  Maybe this will give me a chance to get to know some of my readers a little bit better, too!!

You can email me at : kaeley *dot* a *dot*

After my senior portrait session tonight {more of that to come later}, the skies were beautiful and I took full advantage of that on my way home

It was a little bit of a hike to get to this waterfall for part 2 of the senior portraits, but sooooo worth it!

I've always thought people were weird for pulling off the highway at this viewpoint to take pictures...I mean, it's just a bunch of mills.  But, it actually is quite beautiful.

Can I get a quick little applause? This girl stuck to her guns and got her hiney out of bed at 5:30 to get some pre-work gym time in. I've said it before: I'm not an early morning I'm pretty proud of myself.

However.. it felt like fall this morning.  No bueno!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

~Calling Guest Bloggers~

I am beginning to realize that the next few weeks are shaping up to being pretty busy.  I will still be around, but I'm not sure how consistently I am going to be able to post.  If anyone would be interested in guest posting for me in the next two to three weeks, that would be AMAZING!

It can be a DIY project, photos from your favorite trip, or just something funny and entertaining.  It's completely up to you what you write about.  If a few of you could help me keep everyone else captivated for a few weeks, I would be very grateful.

If you are interested, send me an email and let me know the name of your blog (and the web address), as well as what you would like to post about.  If you could also include a short little bio, that would be great.  Maybe this will give me a chance to get to know some of my readers a little bit better, too!!

You can email me at : kaeley *dot* a *dot*
{or click the envelope icon in the sidebar!}

I look forward to hopefully hearing from some of you!
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Blogging With a Purpose: If I Could Turn Back Time

If I Could Turn Back Time {and do something over}, I'm not sure if I would.  As part of my self-makeover of the last year or so I have really tried to live without regrets.  There are two situations that I did think about when reading this prompt, however.  One is a little too personal and I'm not quite ready to share that one.  However, there is one thing I have considered what my life may have looked like if I did make a different decision.

*Please note - these photos are a little oldish and not the best quality...but you get the idea!

When I graduated from high school, I already had my Associates degree as well.  A local community college has a program called "Running Start" in which high school students can enroll at the college and attend college-level courses instead of taking courses at the high school.  These college classes satisfy the high school requirements, allowing students to complete their high school credit requirements, while simultaneously working towards a college degree.

My high school was very small and has been struggling for years to provide challenging classes and good teachers.  So, at the end of my sophomore year I decided to enroll in the Running Start program and complete my junior and senior years of high school at the college.  Do I regret this choice?  No.  The result is that within two years of graduating from high school, I also had my bachelor's degree.  At the age of 20 I was working at my first full-time, career-type job {the same one I am still at now!}.  I got a huge head start on life.

So why would I want to do things differently?  I grew up in a small community and I still took one or two classes at the high school, so I still saw my friends on a fairly regular basis.  Looking back, and even at the time, I feel a little like I was an outsider once I was no longer at the high school full time.  I can't help but think there were things I missed out on, even if they were small - like little inside jokes from something that happened in a particular class, or some of the events during Homecoming week.  I think I would still be closer now with some of my friends from high school, because I would have spent more time with them then, if I hadn't done the Running Start program.

Fortunately - I still have this girl!  And now, we are family...I married her brother :)

The other downfall to this path I chose, is that I only spent 2 years at the university.  I didn't have as much time to be a "college student" and to develop deeper relationships with people there.  Plus, I was taking classes with people two years older than I was since I was two years ahead, so they were in a slightly different place in life. Don't get me wrong, I am very happy about where I am right now.  And I don't think I would actually change the decisions I made.  I just wish I could have the best of both worlds :)

What would you do if you could turn back time?  Link up here!!

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Monday, July 29, 2013

Weekend Shenanigans

1. Friday I was fortunate enough to have the day off...from work anyways.  Instead I worked my butt off at home - including going for a walk, cleaning the bathrooms, doing dishes, vacuuming, catching up on laundry, editing photos, and I don't even know what else!  I do know I was busy ALL DAY *and not on my computer much* until I finally showered shortly before Tristan got home around 5.

2. Since I was home, I threw together a kind of strange lunch *one of my friends already asked if these were pregnancy cravings...and NO, it was not....just trying to eat somewhat healthy while still feeling satisfied*

3. We spent a couple of hours over at Tristan's mom and dad's house on Saturday playing with the nieces and nephew.  They were so excited about the pool that Aunt Karlee bought earlier in the day - it took all that they had to not jump in before it was filled!

4. Friday night we had some friends over for drinks and barbeque.  We hadn't seen a couple of them in quite a while so it was good to catch up.  The boys also started working on cars, which was interesting to say the least.  But hey - I got a new air intake on my car out of it and it sounds pretty good!

5. Saturday evening was spent at the fair with some other friends and their four girls....who LOVE Tristan!

I didn't get any photos, but we also went and visited my grandparents at the coast for lunch on Saturday.  We hadn't seen them in awhile so it was good to visit.  {I had a really yummy Turkey & Swiss Panini with pesto on good!}

To finish off the weekend, I had two photo sessions yesterday afternoon - one with a 16 month old and her parents, the other was the first half of a senior portrait session.  The senior photos may have been one of the funnest sessions I've done yet.  This lovely young lady and her sidekicks {mom, sister, boyfriend} seemed to have a good time and were very entertaining.

This family was a lot of fun, too!  She was a busy little girl and had me running to stay ahead of her!!

I MIGHT be back later this afternoon for this week's Blogging With a Purpose - we will see how work is going.  It might be tomorrow....

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Friday, July 26, 2013

All Over the Place

GOOD MORNING! Yes, it's a good morning because this girl doesn't have to go to work!  Thank goodness for "too slow" days sometimes...There are a few different thing on my mind this morning, so I'm just going to jump right in.

First of all, make sure you stop by A Beautiful Day today, where I am guest posting.  Julie is always such a gracious hostess, I love working with her every month.  *And visiting throughout the month as well :)*

Second, it's weigh-in day and sadly I did not do as well this week as last.  I loss less than a pound - disappointing.  That's what happens when you go to the fair, have a few glasses of wine and miss a couple of days at the gym, I suppose.  At least I didn't gain weight.  Looks like someone will be working extra hard next week!

Finally, I have been receiving so many comments lately from people who are "noreply-comment"ers...This makes me sad.  I love all of my followers and the people stopping by from various link-ups during the week.  I read all of the comments that come in and try to respond to them all, as well.  So when I don't have the opportunity to respond, I feel bad.  For a while, I wasn't even aware of this setting and I wonder if a lot of other people don't know about it either.  If you want help in changing this setting, let me know!  Then we can actually have a conversation!!

Annnddd...because I am excited to be starting my weekend 8 hours early, I'm linking up with Whitney for #backthatazzup Friday.

Don't Stop Believin' by Journey on Grooveshark

Come on, who doesn't love some Journey?!

Well - I'm off to make something of my day off.  There is lots of housework to get caught up on and a very dirty car in the driveway that needs some love.  *My honey will be so proud of me when he comes home to a clean car!!*

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Thursday, July 25, 2013

Little Things People Thursday

Did I start doing photography professionally so that I could chase little kids around the park?  Definitely not - I can do all the chasing I want when the nieces are around!  I started doing photography professionally so that I could capture sweet faces like this one for families to enjoy for years to come.

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Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Black & White Wednesday

"Always kiss your children goodnight - even if they're already asleep."
-H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

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Tuesday, July 23, 2013

#NOtivation: Inspiration

For the last few weeks, I have seen other gals linking up for #NOtivation Tuesdays. Well, in my new-found effort to get healthy again, I decided to join in this week and link up with Mallory and Hallie.

Let's be honest - I really struggle with being motivated when it comes to working out and eating healthy.  Countless times I have mentioned how good I am at talking myself out of going to the gym after work or picking up a bag of chips instead of an apple.  One of the things that I try to remind myself is that making good choices when it comes to my health is going to benefit me in the long run.  Another truth: I feel so much better throughout the day when I have a good breakfast, and later in the evening after a good workout.  So why can't I remember those things all the time?!

Two years ago, when I got married, I was in the best shape I had been in a long time.

As I mentioned the other day, since then I have gained some of the weight back that I had lost in anticipation of this day.  These pictures from our wedding are a huge inspiration for me to get back to that place, and even go further.  My face was slimmer, my hips were smaller - I just looked healthier overall.  I can't wait to feel that way again.

Another major inspiration for me is the idea of having kids in the future.  I want to not only be in good shape before getting pregnant, but have a healthy pregnancy and be able to chase our kids around someday.  I don't think it would be fair to them to have a mom who couldn't keep up.  It's also important to show your children how to make healthy choices, not only tell them.  You have to be an example of healthy living.

My husband is usually a good cheerleader.  He lets me know that he is proud of me when I reach little goals that I have for myself and I know that he will always think that I am beautiful.  But I want to be healthy for him as well.  Let's be honest - we want the men in our life to think we are sexy.  Yes, they have promised to love us unconditionally, but wouldn't this be an added bonus?  And I think that one of the sexiest things about a women is when she is confident and feels good about herself.

Finally - my gym partner.  There are definitely days where if she wasn't going to the gym, I wouldn't be there either.  Having accountability is huge for me.  We push each other to go a little bit longer, a little bit harder and a little bit more often :)

However *I'm doing a little happy dance here* yesterday she had to stay late at work and I went to Zumba alone.  I'm pretty proud of myself!  My inspiration to go it alone?  I got to add 4 activity points to my Weight Watchers tracker!

Here's my little word for the year again, popping up in other aspects of life:


What is your inspiration when it comes to being motivated to work hard for your health?  Write about it and link up!

Mal Smiles

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I've Teased You Enough

Somehow I have managed to put off posting pics from our mini-vacation for more than a week.  Other things just kept popping up.  Anyways - I'm going to keep the words to a minimum and just show you the photos.

It's not camping without a good drink!

We did go on a couple of little hikes while we were there - one around Lost Lake and another down to the Nehalem River, both with the trucks, of course.

Our camping trip was a success, although we came home with way too much leftover food.  At any rate, it was a relaxing weekend and I am already planning another weekend *hopefully soon*

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