Sunday, November 27, 2011

December Photo Challenge

it's glaringly apparent that i don't blog regularly. you can't even call it irregularly. and i have attempted a couple/few photo challenges, but i always seem to let my life & priorities allow me to fall behind on challenges. so i am challenging myself. i am hoping that if i create my own challenge, i will be bound by a self-contract to complete it. i want you to know, i do complete my work. i complete my photo sessions on time & stay on top of my work. but stuff like this...i get caught up in my work, my family, my coaching and i 'put it off' for various amounts of time. if i don't consider it a priority, i procrastinate until i can't procrastinate any longer. anyone else a procrastinator? i have found throughout my life though that i do some damn good work at the very last minute. heehee

anyway, enough about my procrastionation, back to the december 2011 photo challenge. i invite everyone and anyone to participate. i am encouraging non-photographers especially to give this a shot. i want you to think outside the box and find your inner creative genius. each day has a word or small phrase to capture. interpret that word how you'd like and photograph your interpretation. there is no right or wrong way to interpret these words as it is your opinion...your art. post these photos in an album on facebook. to link back to me, tag my business page in your caption as the challenge host (ie: challenge hosted by: laughter and love photography). make sure to use the @ symbol so that it actually tags my page so i get the notification to visit your photo! oh, sneaky me, you have to be a fan of my page to tag it. you can do this by first visiting
i will be giving out $20 gift certificates as a reward to local, non-pro photog participants that complete the challenge and meet all the qualifying requirements. to qualify you must tag all your photos to my page. you also have to post the photos each day & complete the challenge on time. only one participant per household. please be honest and use this challenge to have fun.
feel free to share this challenge with everyone you know so we can get more creative juices flowing throughout the month of december. my ultimate goal for this challenge is to get more people to appreciate the art in photography.

Friday, November 11, 2011


i am on a soapbox today and here is your warning...proceed with caution.

so i am a sobbing, snot-bubbling sap today and i feel that the only way to feel better is to get this out. even if nobody reads it, at least it's out there. and for the people that may read this, i am prepared to lose 'friends', fans and possible clients because of this. but i feel it needs to be said and i need to get it off my chest. these are my opinions, it does not mean that i am right, it is just how i feel. and you can't argue with someone's feelings. you may not agree with me, but please at least respect my right to express these feelings...hey, there it's my RIGHT...because i am an American.

if you know me, you know i'm extremely sentimental and emotional. i'm loyal and protective. i'm opinionated and passionate. and i am also a very proud person. i'm not talking about arrogance or ego, i'm talking about pride.

i have pride in myself for building a business out of a dream. pride in myself for being a person of integrity, self respect, honor & honesty. pride in myself for always standing up for what i believe in. pride in myself for not letting people take advantage of my loyalty and giving nature anymore. pride in the few people i consider to be a true friend because they support me, listen to me, help me up when i'm in a funk and are genuinely happy when i succeed at my business. they aren't competing with me, they don't expect anything from me, they just want my friendship, love, encouragement, and support in return. i'm proud to have surrounded myself with positive people and rid myself of negativity.

i'm proud of my coaching position. proud that i get to work with young women and have a hand in molding them into good athletes, students and members of society. i am proud every time they succeed at something and can't wait to tell me or show me. i'm proud of every high five, hug and thank you i've received. i am proud that i am making a difference in some of their lives. 

i'm proud of my husband, both as a man and a daddy. i'm proud of all that he's accomplished in his career. i'm also proud that he is MY husband. i'm proud everytime he tells me he loves me because there are days when i'm not so easy to love.
i'm proud of my marriage. proud that we've been together nearly 10 years and married for just over 6. proud that we are best friends and still very much in love. proud that we have never given up on eachother or our relationship when sometimes it would've been easier. i have pride in how we've worked as a team to fight, claw and hold on for dear life to get to where we are today. pride in the fact that we live a great life, not surrounded by material possessions but by love. i'm proud that we live simply and work hard for what we do have. i'm proud of the life we've created and future we have before us. i'm proud of our greatest accomplishments, our 2 babies.

i have pride in my kids. i am proud as i watch them grow into respectful, well-mannered little people. i am proud when they eat all their food, brush their teeth, wash their hands or pick up their toys. i am proud when they say yes m'am or yes sir. i am proud when they address adults as miss and mister. i have pride in their love for eachother. i am proud of every little thing they do and say, even when they are rotten. they are mine and i am proud to be their mommy.

i am proud that i come from a long line of military that fought to keep our freedom. i am proud that i enlisted in the Marines. i am proud that even though my health kept me from going, i had the guts to try and serve our country. i am proud of my freedom and my rights. i am proud that i don't just say it on certain holidays, but i show it, i act it, i teach it, i believe it. i have pride in my country. i am proud to be an american every single day, not just on veteran's day or memorial day. EVERY SINGLE DAY!

and here comes the rant...

where is the pride in America the whole year, not just on holidays? where is the pride in our rights and freedoms? where is the pride in your country that you no longer want to say the Pledge of Allegiance, or put your hand over your heart during the National Anthem?

am i in the minority that i still believe in the way our grandparents and great grandparents were taught? that good morals were just as important as the manners that were expected? that holding a door open for the next person was polite? that saying thank you meant you truly were grateful? that not getting what you wanted all the time, was not the end of the world and you could, in fact, survive on only what you needed?

what has happened to the respect and integrity people used to have? the appreciation in the military that fought so many wars? the obligation people felt to support our military while at war? such a respect of our freedoms and rights that they wouldn't dare dishonor our country? the respect for our president, whether or not you agreed with him? the respect for our government, regardless of your political stance? when did it become ok to bash everyone if they didn't believe the same as you?

when did the appreciation of a gift get overriden by the feeling of entitlement? when did people stop believing that hard work and dedication would get you far in life? that an unemployment check was disgraceful and any job was better than no job at all? when did credit cards become a necessity? when did people forget that they don't need all those fancy clothes, a big diamond ring, a mortgage you can't afford and a car that's more expensive than your child's college education? when did expensive toys and luxuries go from a hard-earned accomplishment to a selfish expectation? when did an ipod, ipad, Wii, nintendo ds, xbox, more than one computer per household, a cell phone for every kid, and a brand new car for your kid that's just gonna wreck it and didn't even work for said car (this list could go on) become necessities? when did dinner as a family stop being important? when did a text become better communication than a phone call? when did buying your kids all the new 'toys' become more important than love and discipline?

when did the sanctity of marriage become a joke? when did divorce become an easy way out? why do people get married if they're not going to fight for their marriage? when did it become ok to interfere with another person's marriage? why are cheating spouses bashed and home wreckers get off scot-free? when did people stop respecting other people's family? when did having a family go from a privelage to a social inconvenience? when did it become ok for parents to stop parenting? why is the responsibility of raising a child left up to the daycare provider, teachers and coaches? where is your pride while you're allowing your kids to be disrespectful, dishonest, immoral, ungrateful, entitled, and lazy? why are you letting your kids break rules? why are they getting bad grades and you're blaming the teacher? why do you expect your child to be an athletic all-star when they're not willing to put in the effort? why is it the coach's fault if your child is lazy and doesn't get any better? why are you allowing your child to exploit themselves in a sexual way? why are you not invading their privacy to actually get to know your child and have some control over them? why are they sending naked photos of themselves through the internet or their phones and you're not punishing them? when did it become a bad thing to punish your child? why are you rewarding your child's bad behavior?

when did you forget how to just be a good person? when did you lose focus on what was an important necessity and what was just a luxury? when did the pride of having a job, a roof over your head and a healthy family stop being enough? when did you become so arrogant that you felt you deserved anything without earning it? when did you go from exuding confidence to being the epitomy of selfish behavior? why do you feel you deserve respect when all you do is disrespect?
why are you spitting on the graves of the military men and women that died for all that you have today? why are you taking your freedom and rights for granted? why are you a hypocrite that thanks our military on a holiday, but disgraces the integrity of our country the rest of the year?
why, why, why?
why are you like this american people??


Thursday, August 25, 2011

My friend B

This is my friend B. 
She recently participated in and completed The Susan G. Komen's 3 Day For a Cure. She walked 60 miles over a period of 3 days to raise money to help fight breast cancer. 
I am an extremely proud friend!
I could write a really long blog and dump my guts here, but I think the photos that you will find below speak louder than anything I could possibly write.
 These photos are from the closing ceremony. I went to congratulate her at her finish and remind her that I was with her in spirit through the whole walk.
This was my first time seeing a breast cancer walk or event. I've always been involved with the Relay for Life. But I'll tell you what, it was extremely emotional and touched my heart. Seeing 1500 walkers...their families...the staff that made the walk possible...all of the pink...all of the was breathtaking!
Congrats B, I am one among many that are proud of your accomplishment!
I love you and am grateful to call you my friend.



If you would like more information on Susan G. Komen's 3 Day for a Cure please visit:

Wednesday, August 3, 2011


first of all, so what if it's been 2 weeks since i last blogged AND it was a SWW. i have lots of stuff going on. i have a family and it's my monkeys birthday time. their birthdays are 9 days apart, so it gets kind of busy around here with birthdays.

so what if i decided to change my business name. i couldn't stand it any more. it didn't 'feel' right. now i feel like the new name has given me a fresh start. i can showcase more artistic photos and they will be more accepted. for some reason, my 'old' name had its own identity with photos and they were very traditional. not me. but being in a small community, that's what people expect and like...traditional...because it is what is accepted. it's not a knock to my community at all, because i love it...but i am hoping to bring some new and fresh ideas to my photography approach.

so what if we took our monkeys to daycare on my hubby's day off. we have big plans of cleaning and 'getting stuff done' as my hubby says. it's nearly impossible to accomplish any task with them home. they want to help and let's be honest, they aren't really much help. also, a little quiet alone time is nice once in a while. we had many years together without kids and once in a while, we like to be alone...and not just for an evening date. besides, it's dreary out and our monkeys would go bonkers with boredom here at home, so they are having a blast with their friends at daycare today. there i justified it. so what.

so what if i'm going to be the mom that has a huge board of photos at my monkey's high school graduations. and so what if most of the photos are going to be as embarrassing as possible. and so what if my daughter just turned 3 and my son is only starting his first year of school (pre K). i can plan ahead for things that bring me joy...such as embarrassing my kids. ;o)

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

So What Wednesday

my friend E has been blogging for just a few months. every wednesday i look forward to her "so what wednesday" posts. they make me smile, sometimes laugh and they reassure me that sometimes it is ok to say "so what". i have enjoyed them so much that i figured i should give it a shot. today is my 1st SO WHAT WEDNESDAY!

so what if my kids have had lunchables for dinner more often than not lately. they are easy to take on the boat when we go on our evening rides.

so what if i tell the kids to put the dogs outside to potty. they literally fight over who gets to do it and get mad at me if i dare to do it myself.

so what if i spend unmentionable amounts of time browsing the stores of etsy. have you been on there? it's an endless amount of awesomeness!

so what if i bought a bottle of cheap white wine and it tastes horrible, yet i continue to drink it because i will NOT waste wine. i even cooked with it in an attempt to use it up faster.

so what if i stayed up late brainstorming business name ideas. i still can't stand my business name and WILL come up with something i LOVE...even if my fan base votes against it (again), i have to follow my heart on this one. btw, i have a good idea...i think...

see what my friend "E" is saying "so what" to!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

to get personal?

so i've been thinking all week about "what to blog". i have wondered if i should keep this strictly a blog dedicated to my business or if i should let it get a little personal. since my business name contains the word "personal", i've decided to venture away from keeping it all business and letting the real me come out...but just a little...i don't want to scare you guys. :oP
for those of you that may read this and don't know me in real life, here's a smidgen of who i am. i am a mom. i have 2 kids i call my monkeys. tyler and haley, also known as boo-boo and bug. i don't know why i give nicknames, but i give almost everyone or everything a nickname. my 3 dogs all have nicknames. even my camera has a name. since it's a rebel, his name is james dean...jimmy for short. :o) i am in the process of buying another camera, an upgrade. she is much more glamorous than jimmy, so her name will be marilyn monroe. hahaha i know, i'm silly, but it's the little things in life that keep me giddy. i've already brainstormed names for when i live on my dream farm and have all my critters. yeah, yeah, yeah, i should really put all my creative ideas into something more productive, but this is seriously how my mind works. HA!
and of course, i've gone off subject. sorry, but get used to mind wanders.
besides being a mom, wife and artist...i am a cheerleading coach. this will probably get mentioned quite often through my blogs because "my girls" as i call them, are extremely important to me. but don't tell them that, they'll try to start getting away with slacking at practices. ;oP

Thursday, July 14, 2011


bloggin' seems the "thing to do", especially in the photography biz. so i suppose i should get with the times and start babbling about my thoughts and ideas through this online outlet.
throughout my life i've owned several diaries and journals. but after a week or two of daily entries, i'd forget about it. i've never been good at documenting my life in written form. hopefully this bloggin' thing goes better than my journals...may they rest in peace.
i'd like to preface my future posts with an apology. i am a rambler. and an opinionated one at that. but the cool thing about this being online is you can just click off the blog if you don't like what i have to say. ;o) also, i will be typing in all lowercase letters. i don't know when or why this habit started, but it's how i type online. i type very fast as it is and find that i can type much faster if i don't have to take the extra tenth of a second to hit the shift key. lazy? probably. but it works for me. i'm not illiterate and have fairly good grammar in my real life...but online, i feel anything goes...and lowercase letters is my way of being a rebel.
now if you'll excuse me, i have to go find some followers...