Friday, September 23, 2011

dependency

My beloved macbook pro has decided to not function for me.  This is a tragedy, not just a minor annoyance.  You see, all day long, I edit photos on my laptop.  I need my laptop to work.  I have an appointment at the Apple store this afternoon, and I am for real praying that it is something that can be repaired easily and cheaply.  Because, if  that's not the case, not only will I have to replace my laptop, but I will also have to replace my photo editing software.  Not cheap.  Booo. 

My laptop being out of commission has made me fully realize my dependency on it.  I have tons of bookmarked sites and stored passwords and more.  It really is like an extension of my brain; except better, because it doesn't forget things like my brain does.

Also, my laptop being out of commission made me think about another dependency I have.  Since I can't edit photos on my work computer {no photo editing software}, all day I sat and mindlessly clicked back and forth between Twitter and Facebook, Facebook and Twitter.  Okay, so I also checked and replied to some emails and stopped by a couple of blogs.  But really, my dependency on social networking is a bit pathetic at times.  Don't get me wrong, I mostly love it.  And I see lots of positives in regards to social networking.  In fact, just within the past week, I have booked two photo shoots for people I connected with solely via Twitter or Facebook. 

But this afternoon, I came to a decision.  Since my laptop isn't working anyway, and I have a good friend in town for the weekend, I am going to take this weekend off from Twitter and Facebook.  Sort of a social media fast, or cleanse or whatever you want to call it.  Two days.  I'll be back on Monday morning.  And I will miss it desperately, I am sure.  But  you know that saying, "Too much of a good thing..."  Nevermind, I don't really believe you can get too much of a good thing.  So I'll just admit that my social network addiction isn't always a good thing.  Let's see if I can go for two-and-an-almost-half days without it.

Peace.
~abi~

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

borrowed sentiments

One of my very favorite bloggers is Ashley Ann over at Under the Sycamore.  She is a fantastic mom and crafter and photographer.  I love her heart of generosity and her laid back outlook on life.

A couple of days ago, she wrote a post that I just loved.  It's about her love for photography, and it echoes my sentiments.  You can read the whole thing over here, but I am copying and pasting my favorite part below:

The joy of photography for me is in the “click”.  A moment frozen, remembered, cherished. I don’t just “click” on the picture perfect moments. In fact, many of my favorite images are from an attempt to see the beauty in something that appears very mundane. Photography has been a gift. Photography is a gift.
I print pictures. I make books. I blog photos. But, even in all the sharing and saving…the joy is in the taking the picture. I have hard drives and disks full of little moments, little details…beauty in the mundane. Maybe I’ll use them one day. Maybe the kids will enjoy them. But, then again maybe I will lose them all. Maybe in one swift moment hundreds of thousands of moments captured will be gone. If that day comes, I’ll cry. I’ll grieve the loss, but in the end….I’ll pick up my camera again and risk losing it all again….because it is more about the slowing down of life that happens when I pick up my camera. It is more about seeing beauty in what can feel very routine and mundane. Photography is a gift.

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Ninety-nine percent of the time, I would read the above paragraphs and think about how photography is a gift in relation to capturing moments with people I know and love.  Or even capturing cool moments with strangers.  Ninety-nine percent of the time, I mostly just love photographing people.  I am not a landscape/scenic photographer.  But today, when I read those words again and was thinking about what photos to blog with this post, I thought about some scenic photos I shot in Montana when I was there a few weeks ago.  Maybe it's because I was very overwhelmed thinking about trying to decide what "people pictures" I would use, out of the literally thousands that I have on my hard drive.  But mostly, I think I chose the scenic pics because it IS so unusual for me to shoot images like that.  I love, love Montana, and I forced myself to stop the car several times and get out and take a few pictures and it was exactly like Ashley said, it was more about the slowing down of life and absorbing the beauty of the moment. 

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I hope you are all having a lovely week.  We're halfway through it now.  Come on, weekend! :)

~abi~

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

tuesday toes...dark green with glitter tips

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{Thanks, B, for the pretty polish.}

p.s.  Guess what?  I'm going to the fair again tonight! :)  Who will be there!  Find me and say hi.

Monday, September 19, 2011

reasons i love this photo

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Let's talk about the photo above for a moment.

There are several reasons that I love it...

One, I love the girl in it with me.  Her name is Kylie.  At least once a week, Kylie and I hang out.  I say that I am her mentor; but really, she teaches me a lot, too.  Kylie was in my small group at Switch {LifeChurch's teen program} awhile back before moving to the Yukon campus.  We really bonded from our initial meeting, and I didn't want to lose the relationship I had formed with her.  So, I talked with her about getting together on a weekly basis.  We talk about God and boys and life and everything.  We are open and honest with each other.  We laugh {a lot!} and cry and read and pray and eat and chat.  My life is better because my Kylie girl is a part of it.

For Kylie's birthday this year, I wanted to get her some cool thrift store clothes, because she appreciates my thrifting skills and she likes to be unique like I do.  So that brings me to another thing I love about this photo:  our outfits.  I found Kylie's dress, along with a couple others for her, at a Goodwill for less than five bucks.  My dress, tank top and belt were all also found at various thrift stores for dirt cheap.  Oh!  And my fabulous earrings -- they're one of my favorite thrift store purchases ever. 

Also, our shoes make me smile.  I got those Frye boots for a great price at Marshall's last year.  I think I paid sixty- or eighty-something for them, I can't remember for sure right now.  But either way, if you know anything about Frye boots, you know that's a great deal!  Kylie's shoes were purchased on a fun night of adventures on one of our Tuesday hangout nights.  I love how they perfectly match her skin tone. 

And please don't think I am a total narcissist for this, but I really love how my hair looks in this pic!  My friend Jamie Roark gets all the credit for my hair ever looking good, because I mostly just neglect my hair, with minimal washing, brushing, or styling.  Jamie has done my hair for awhile now, and I have never been so happy with it!  For over a year now, I have had red hair with pink in it, and along the way we also added in the oh-so-popular feathers and even some hair tinsel.  I love, loved my fun hair when it was pink and red and feathery and tinsel-y; but this last time we decided to go in a slightly more glamorous direction.  We ditched the pink and the feathers and tinsel and we added a little dark red-brown.  I love it!  Thank you, Jamie!  {She's at DK Salon, if you need a hair girl!}  We discussed making it even darker next time.  I'm super excited.  Plus, I love that it is getting so. very. long.  Woohoo!  I have this idea in my head that women who are past their thirties don't look that great with super long hair {of course, there are always exceptions to the rule}, so I want to rock the long locks while I can.  :)

The last reason I love this photo so much is because yesterday was just a really good day for me.  I went to church, stopped and saw my friend B {who snapped this photo for us}, and spent most of the rest of the day at the fair with Kylie, where we ran into/hung out with my family and some friends.  It was just a lovely day, and I will always smile and remember when I look at this picture.

I hope you all had a great weekend.  Anyone do anything fun?  You know, there's still a whole week left of the fair.  Get out there!  Maybe I'll run into you. 

~abi~

Friday, September 16, 2011

i heart okc!

I have always enjoyed living in Oklahoma {for over half my life now}.  I am such a MidWestern girl.  My roots are in Iowa, and that's where all my extended family is, as well.  So Iowa has a special place in my heart, too.  But lately, I am falling more and more in love with Oklahoma, and especially Oklahoma City.

Admittedly, a big part of that has been my passionate love affair with the Oklahoma City Thunder.  There is probably nothing I enjoy doing in this great state more than heading downtown on a game day and watching my boys play.  I love the energy and the feeling of unity in and around the newly renamed Chesapeake Engery Arena, aka the ThunderDome.  In fact, there's really only ONE thing I want for my birthday this year {okay, that's an exaggeration, but this is what I want more than almost anything else}, and that is for this stupid NBA lockout to end and someone to take me to the New Year's Eve game {my birthday!}.  Floor seats, meeting James Harden, and a kiss from a cute boy at midnight would pretty much complete my fantasy for that night.  I'm just sayin'.

Aside from Thunder games, probably my favorite thing to do in OKC is go to Live On The Plaza the second Friday of every month.  The plaza district is an awesome little area of Oklahoma City over on the 1700 block of NW 16th.  It is full of great local shops, and lots of super cool and artsy people show up for Live On the Plaza.  It's some of the best people watching in the state, I promise. 

Of course, this time of year, I can't talk about things I like to do in Oklahoma without mentioning the State Fair!  Oh my word, how I love going to the fair!!!!!!!!  Talk about people watching.....duh.  Obviously, the fair is the BEST place for that, but in a whole different and not so cool and artsy way as at Live On The Plaza, ha!  And can we talk about the food, the animals {Iowa girl at heart, y'all -- I love looking at horses and cows and especially the baby pigs!}, the music, the rides {although I never really ride very many rides because I'm too poor for all that ;)}, and more!  Every year, I would say that I am at the fair at least four to seven of the ten days that it is here.  Did I mention I love it?!?

Talking about the fair makes me think about the Festival of the Arts that occurs every April in the heart of downtown OKC.  I have attended it pretty much every year for the past nine years or so, I believe.  It is always a great time of good food, cool art, and still more interesting people to see.

I already mentioned The Plaza District, but some of my other favorite areas in Oklahoma City include the new and slick Classen Curve {rePUBlic is the coolest place, so good!}, the awesome Western Avenue area {Cafe Nova on the weekends for good music, drinks, and dancing -- yes please}, and of course good old Bricktown.  The other day, I was in Bricktown doing a photo shoot, and as I watched all the people and heard live music playing and smelled delicious food from the restaurants, I literally felt my heart stir with love for this city!  Sounds ridiculous, I know.  But really.  Being in the midst of our not-too-big-not-too-small city makes me so happy!

Obviously, I can't talk about Oklahoma City without mentioning the places I love to shop here!  You all should know by now that I am a thrift store shopper, for real.  Of course, this means that I frequent Goodwill {and even have their discount card, that's how cool I am}, but since we're talking local, let me tell you three places to try.  The first two are thrift stores, and I'm sorry but I don't even really know their exact names, so I'll just tell you where they are located.  One is on the corner of NW 23rd and Council, and the other is on the corner of NW 23rd and MacArthur.  In fact, last night, I ran into the one on NW 23rd and MacArthur and spent about ten minutes and twenty-five  dollars and got two sweaters with the original price tags still on them {one was $49.00 and the other was $108.00 - one hundred and eight dollars!!!} among other things!!! :)  Anyway, the third place I want to mention isn't so much a thrift store, but more of an antique/vintage place.  It's called the Rink Gallery, and it's off of NW 36th on Rockwell.  I mostly find cool stuff for my house there.  Oh, and I've scored some sweet jewelry there as well! 

The one store I want to mention that isn't a thrift store is Tree and Leaf Clothing.  There are several really cool, local clothing shops in OKC, but Tree and Leaf is my fave!  Maybe because they make rad Thunder apparel, or maybe because they're so nice and chill.  Whatever it is, I am a fan. 

Oklahoma City has LOTS of really, really great restaurants, and I could make a long list of recommendations {maybe I'll have my friend B or Kathleen do a guest foodie post soon!}, but instead I'll tell you my top two faves.  First, I gotta shout out Saii, the yummiest sushi place in OKC, in my opinion.  Mmmmmm.  But my number one fave restaurant in Oklahoma City is an awesome little hole in the wall place called Bella Vista.  It is over on the south side off SW 59th on Western.  Seriously SO GOOD.  Go there.  But please don't expect anything fancy.  Just expect the most delicious food ever!  And thank me later.

So there you have it, a pretty comprehensive post all about why I <3 OKC.  I would love to know some of your favorite things about this awesome town, or your hometown or favorite city.  I hope you didn't get too bored with all my wordiness here.  Obviously, I can go on and on about my love for Oklahoma!

~abi~


Thursday, September 15, 2011

true life stories...peroxide and teeth babies and such

I get a lot of comments on my teeth.  Yes, my teeth.  About how white they are, mostly, although I also get comments on how straight they are.  {Really only the top ones are straight, the bottom ones struggle a little.}  So, I would like to take this opportunity to thank God and my parents for the straightness of my teeth.  {No braces here, woohoo!}  And I would like to thank good old peroxide for the whiteness of my teeth.  Yep, you know hydrogen peroxide, that comes in the brown bottle for like a dollar?  That's the stuff.

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{Side note: I don't even like this pic of me, really, because my hair was super faded and in dire need of a cut and color.  AND because of the weird lighting I look like I had either been overly spray-tanned or rolled around in a bag of Cheetos -- neither of which happened!  But the pic shows off my teeth pretty good, so there ya go.}

A long time ago, I used to use Crest WhiteStrips, which worked, too, for sure.  But they cost way more than a dollar.  And if you know me at all, you know I am a cheap girl.  {Not like that.  Stop it.}  Then I read an email forward {you know, like your mom sends, with all the stuff that might or might not be true at all} about all the awesome stuff peroxide can do, and one of the things mentioned was teeth whitening.  And around the same time, I think my bff Jen told me she had started to use peroxide to whiten her teeth.  So I tried it.  And it works!  No worries, it even says on the bottle that it can be used as a mouthwash.

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{It's my blog, so here's another, better pic of me, still showing off my teeth. ;)}

On top of using peroxide as a mouthwash, I am and always have been an obsessive tooth-brusher.  I like clean teeth.  In fact, I like clean teeth so much that I would probably never date a boy who had jacked up teeth.  Not like a little crooked or something, I mean dirty and gunky.  Ewww.  Yuck.  Can't do it, can't go there.  Shudder.

I notice when people have nice, clean teeth.  And I appreciate it.  I once liked a boy who had lovely teeth: nice and straight and white and clean, if they were just a little bit big.  I told my friend B that if I married said boy, my small teeth would balance out with his larger teeth, and we would have nice teeth babies.  Alas, I am quite certain that I will never be having teeth babies with that particular boy; but I might just refuse to settle for someone who is not a good tooth match for me.  Just sayin'.

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{The term "teeth babies" is pretty creepy sounding to me, so here's a creepy pic of me dressed up sort of like Victoria from Twilight, about to bite B's neck.  Speaking of teeth.....}

So, now you know something about me that you {maybe} didn't know previously.  Tell me something about you in the comments, please.  Make it interesting.  And don't try to steal my awesome phrase "teeth babies".  It's a good one, I know.

~abi~

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

one of the coolest, most talented kids i know, for sure!

A couple of months ago, my friend Forrest Wright asked me to do a photo shoot of him.  I was thrilled, because I am pretty sure that the shoot was originally my idea.  You see, I am the self-proclaimed Number One Fan of Forrest Wright.  For real.  This kid is legit.  I honestly don't know if I have ever believed in anyone's talent and ability to succeed as much as I do his.  Maybe it sounds like I am gushing, but hey, I am his Number One Fan. 

When I arrived at his house, Forrest had neat piles of clothing and accessories laid out for me to choose from for the shoot.  I was super excited, because I love it when I get to play stylist on my own shoots.  Of course, it doesn't hurt that this kid is a thrift store shopper like me, and had some great pieces to choose from.

We chose the wardrobe, grabbed his guitar and long board, and headed out to some random locations I had previously scouted out. 

The light in parking garages is almost always fantastic...

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Next we headed over to shoot in front of this old laundromat that I had been wanting to shoot by for forever...

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Seriously less than one week after we shot there, this laundromat was completely bulldozed.  So glad we got these shots there first.  And I'm sad it's gone.

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Forrest~
You are the real deal, and I am so glad that we are friends and that you let me take pictures of you. :)  Please don't forget me when you are a celebrity.  I believe in you!

~abi~

ps Check out Forrest covering Amos Lee's song Sweet Pea...



And more of videos of his music can be found on his Facebook page here.

Oh!  And here is the cutest video ever!!!!!!!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Thursday, September 8, 2011

do you believe in magic?

My sister Amber makes fun of me for being very superstitious. The funny thing about that is, in general I don't even wish people good luck. I am much more likely to say, "God bless." Or, "I'll be praying for you." Or something along those lines.

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I truly believe that God is in control of the universe. But I also {mostly} truly believe in jinxes. And in not saying things out loud if you don't want them to happen. Except in the case of reverse psychology. But anyway, you get my drift.

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All of that to say that I don't reeeeally believe in magic. But when I uploaded these images of my friend Kristen's daughter Madison onto my computer and looked at them, the only word that came to mind was "magic". However, I must say how amazing God is for creating the magical light that bounced off my camera just so...

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God bless! ;)

~abi~

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

true life stories...this one's for you and me, living out our dreams

A few nights ago, I settled into a seat on a flight home to Oklahoma from Montana. I pulled my thin, striped sweater up around me, and I breathed in the faint scent of an outdoor fire mixed with coconut citrus. I covered my eyes with my sleep mask and I covered my arms with my sweater, but I couldn't cover my thoughts with sleep.

The scent of the fire took me back just a few nights, to sitting in front of a huge outdoor fireplace in Big Sky, Montana, with my dear friend Jill and some other random people. It was a good time. Then my thoughts drifted back over the past several days I had spent in Montana. It was a wonderful trip, one which will always bring a smile to my face whenever I think of it. But then, my mind wandered even further back.

You see, the smell of citrus coconut has been my summer scent this year. The possibility of me ever choosing to wear it again hinges on the outcome of some things from this summer. You see, this summer hasn't exactly been the most peachy of seasons for me.

Let's sum it up this way: I stumbled a bit on this path called life, I didn't get the boy, and my dog died. Okay, not really on that last one. But it seemed to go with the "poor me" theme. {Fact: I've never even had a dog that was solely my own. Terrible, I know! Please cry real tears for me; and tell whatever cute boy I end up with that all I want is a puppy that will grow into a huge dog and be mine-all-mine!}

Okay, so back to the thoughts of my summer. As I reflected on Summer 2011, I thought again about something that has previously pricked me on a deeper level. I feel like I've maybe even mentioned it on this blog before, but I am too lazy at the moment to search through my past ramblings.

Basically, my disturbance is this: Why do girls need to end up with some boy in order to feel complete? Why are females expected to have a love story, ala Pioneer Woman's Black Heels to Tractor Wheels tale? Why did Ariel have to get the Prince in order to be happy? Why weren't LEGS enough to complete her? ;)

Now don't get me wrong, I love love stories {especially Pioneer Woman's and Ariel's}! And yes, I certainly do want my own love story, for real. But in the meantime, I've got a lot of other stories that I think are worthy of telling. Even if it's just to remind myself how blessed I am and what a wonderful life God has given me.

And believe me, I'm not pointing fingers at all of you, saying "You guys don't think my stories are worth hearing unless they start with me-and-a-boy and end with and-they-lived-happily-ever-after!" No, I am looking in the mirror and saying that. In the quiet moments, such as when I'm on an airplane and the scent of my sweater pushes me into overly deep thinking, I tell myself that it's okay.

It's okay to be a female who is thirty and single. {WowDidIJustWriteThatOnMyBlog?!?} It sounds so lame when I put it like that. So how about this: It's okay to be a girl who is single and gets to travel and hang out with her friends and spend time with her family and mentor teen girls and lead a small group for her church and volunteer with the youth and the kids program at church. It's okay to be a girl who is single and can therefore work two basically full time jobs. It's okay to be a girl who is single and can flirt with cute boys whenever she wants. ;)

It's okay, right?

~abi~

ps This post is for Megan, who gently admonished me about not blogging enough lately -- and wrote a blog post tonight that pushed me into putting this post-in-my-head onto my blog. Also, this post is for all the single ladies in my life who deserve men who will put a ring on it! ;)