Posts made in January, 2012

Little Things: Paid In Full

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The second of our three vehicles is now paid in full….and ahead of schedule!  We now have our Honda Odyssey and our Toyota Tacoma paid in full.  We have had the van for 2 ½ years (we paid cash) and the truck for almost 2 years.  The only thing left is the motorcycle…which we’ve owned longer than any of them.  Guess what?  I’m paying that one off THIS WEEK!

Okay…this isn’t really a LITTLE thing…it is a HUGE accomplishment….but it was the little things that got us here: buying used cars, following a budget, skipping a lot of “extras” and committing to the goal of not having debt.

My husband, in particular, often struggles with “the big picture”:  “How do I work so hard and I can’t have X”   This escapes my realm of reality.  I think we are doing FANTASTIC!  Our home and student loans are our only debt.

The little things can literally add up faster than you think.  One penny at a time.


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Playing With the Sun

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I’ve been playing with the sun a little bit lately. It is much more difficult than it would seem….to photograph a sunset. The various degrees of light….trying to adjust your exposure…

Add to that the fact that I took these pictures in my car, pulled over on the shoulder of I-29, while it was freezing cold outside and semi-trucks kept whooshing past and scaring the crap out of me (not to mention making the ground and my camera shake)…. I think I did okay.  Click on the photos to get a larger view …they look a little better that way. (I said a little….what do you want?!?!)

These photos were all taken from the exact same spot….over a course of about 20 minutes. I changed my angle, my zoom, my ISO, aperture and shutter speed…. but sat in the exact same spot.

They also have very little post processing. Obviously. They are sort of very dark…. I’m still not getting the hang of post processing….but I think that comes after I get the hang of the whole taking the picture thing.




I like the tiny details of life below the vast expanse of sky…. the small farm and the old school iron bridge….




The small pools of water that show up in thanks to a little reflection of what is left of the sunlight make me happy.  Even more so….. the layers of clouds that give the picture a little bit of an illusion:  looking closely you could swear there were mountains in the distance….. there aren’t.





The ferociousness of the storm front that worked its way through sunset was awesome in of itself, add to that these rays from heaven showing promise behind the fury…. goosebumps.


My favorite of them all.  Behind the storm and right as the sun is ready to slip from sight, this is like two pictures in one:  If you focus on the top…these clouds look like a winter scape to me, drifts of snow blown smooth across the prairie.  On the bottom you see the sun set and those illusive mountains (which are nothing but more clouds in the distance).





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Little Things: Smile

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A smile is not always a little thing;  sometimes its the hardest thing to conjure….but it is always the easiest thing to give away.

When I drop my son off at Kindergarten each morning, I park in the parking lot and walk him across the drive.  I could wait in line and throw him let him jump from the car as I glide past the entryway….but this little bit of extra effort makes him happy.  It is less stressful to him (and, frankly, to me) to hold his hand and walk up to the classroom door where I can hug him goodbye and plant one large, embarrassing Mom Kiss on his face as I send him off into the world.

This morning when I was returning to my car, one of the women who very faithfully directs traffic and monitors the parental drop off craziness each and every morning said to me:  “I just love seeing you every morning, you always wear such a great smile”.


Despite my harried mornings, despite my often dragging spirit and the bags under my eyes… I’ve been smiling…and apparently it makes someone else’s day.  THAT is something to smile about.

It’s the little things in life that make the difference….and not always just to ourselves.


This photo was taken by my friend Kristen from Dine and Dish during a photo shoot that my other fabulous friend Sandra from Sandra Hale Photography was doing during our (not so) recent get away in November.

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Little Things: Planning

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A little thing like making a list can make a huge difference.  Just breaking it down and facing what most needs to be done, a place to ground yourself and refer to when life starts to spin out of control.

I fell under the bus last week.  Well, really at the end of the week.  Making cookies for SuperBoy’s birthday treats at school….then putting his party together on Saturday….

I’m back on track for this week. The next two weeks are relatively event free so I want to make the most of them to get caught up around the house and with my work…really get back on track from the holidays…FINALLY.

I started with this list…not for the day, but for the week.  Tomorrow I might try to break it down into a daily thing but today is already rolling.

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The Apple Doesn’t Fall Far From the Tree

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This is the story of the four minutes I spent in the Apple Store in Leawood, Kansas on Wednesday:



I wanted to make a quick run by the Apple Store in Leawood today because, well, we were in Kansas City and I really wanted to get the camera connection kit for iPad to use during my photographic outing tomorrow.

All three kids (ages 2, 4 and 6) in tow… I steeled myself and we headed into the store.

The kids were immediately wide eyed and in a manic trance when they spotted row after row of sleek iPads and MacBooks.  Having been pre- threatened warned advised to keep all hands and feet to themselves, they ran frantically forward yelling “Mommy!  Look at THIS one!!” and before I could look they were on to the next shiny object.  At one point SuperGirl exclaimed, “This store makes THE BEST THINGS!” 

Why yes, yes it does my brilliant child.

I quickly filled my Apple employee in on what I needed and told him to “run like the wind” as it would be less painful for all of us.

He did.

Poor thing looked shell shocked.

He was all of 24.


He was friendly; while checking us out he said to SuperBoy, “Maybe if you’re really good YOU will get one of these one day!”

SuperBoy looked at him with what I thought was a look reserved solely for me when I require something obscene from him like “Change your underwear”.

“We already have our own iPods. Mommy and Daddy have iPhones.  Mommy just got one of those iPads and her computer has that Apple on it, too…I just don’t know what its called.”

Like, DUH.

SuperGirl, who was whirling by, stopped for just a moment and chirped:

“Don’t forget the Apple TV!”



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