Archive for July, 2008

… and Brian has been home for 4 days this month. Tonight we had a really beautiful sunset (for here, you know) for the first time in ages and ages. I really wish I had a better location to grab these, but if I had loaded up the baby and driven aimlessly looking for a perfect Wisconsin farmhouse to use as a foreground, well.. you know… the sun would have already been gone.

These will have to do:

The kids took me to the park on Wednesday. I’m already allowing myself to get mildly depressed about the end of summer, but I finally have Bailey back on schedule, so we should at least be able to enjoy a little more of it now.

Oh, now I know why people use these borders… it makes even bad pictures look good. I fought them for a long time, but there really is a noticeable impact! Here are a couple from Wednesday. It was really bright, so there were only a few. The rest are in my flickr.

Bailey is so good at the rolley slide now. This time, I let go of my fears and let her go down all by herself. It was only after several days of practice, but I still hold my breath when she’s up there alone.

I’m posting this late because I was consumed with other things and I completely forgot. Brian got back into town late on the 3rd and I planned a big extravaganza for the 4th. You know… get in the car, go to the carnival, waste money, watch the fireworks. BIG, BIG plans for a Janesville Friday night.

Is it possible that the same carnival rides I remember from my childhood are still in service? I am still almost ashamed that I even let my child go anywhere near some of the rides. I came home and deleted almost every single picture I took because I was so mortified at the terrible condition of the rides. Brandon’s favorite ride consisted of single-seater helicopters that were all rusted through and missing their propellers.

In this one, I cropped out the sad little dangling wires where propellers were once attached so you can almost imagine this ride in its shiny, sparkly new glory.

I gave up on editing this one when I realized that putting your child into a roller coaster car that is apparently held together with tape is not something you want to showcase in the family album.

After exhausting every possibility for carnival enjoyment in about an hour, we left for dinner at the very same Olive Garden where Tony Romo and Jessica Simpson had dinner last week. Claim to fame!

Later, we hung out on the porch and watched the neighbors’ fireworks display, but we skipped the party (kids don’t mix with drunken adults setting things on fire near a swimming pool). I used it as an opportunity to grab some fireworks shots.

You can see those fireworks shots in my flickr set from the 4th.

We’ve been here in Janesville for 3 years and I’ve always felt that we really don’t have much natural beauty here. I have tried to convince myself otherwise, but Janesville has really not come through for me. Today I took off at sunrise in search of something beautiful and came back with almost nothing.

I’ve been thinking more about this and I’ve realize that we do have natural beauty here, but that the city of Janesville has not done an acceptable job making this beauty accessible to the general public. The vast majority of our Rock River shoreline is locked up in private residences. We have bridges over the river, but nowhere you’d want to stop.

The city of Janesville calls itself the “city of parks” — but I have yet to find a truly photogenic park. I do find playground equipment and public pools, but true raw natural beauty that would require a camera, no. The Janesville flickr pool reminds me of this reality every time I check it. Train cars and old buildings, even bowling alleys and pictures of Taco Bell… but not a single thing that would inspire me to wake up at 5am and set out with a tripod.

This morning, I went looking for the sunrise in my stylish rental car. I drove for over an hour, mostly downtown and near the river. This is what I shot first and it’s the only one I liked enough to process. Everything else left me with a blah feeling that makes me very insecure about my own abilities. I would love to discover Janesville with someone more accomplished. I’m open to the idea that it’s just me.

… that is Bailey sitting next to me in her high chair eating black bean soup and rice. Sleep creep again. One bad night leads to a late morning and then another late night. I am almost positive that it would not kill this child to sleep on a regular schedule for more than a week at a time, but I can’t say with 100% certainty. More research is required.

We had a really nice day celebrating my birthday with the family in Antioch. I absolutely love showing up with prints and coming home almost empty-handed. I know it doesn’t seem like much, but it means something to me. It means something to have these people in my life who care about us enough that they want to fill their homes and their albums with images of my children and moments that I captured.

Tomorrow, I want to drive around aimlessly with my camera. Brian just walked in the door and he’ll be back in the air on Tuesday — I need just a bit of Sunday for me. I will make the best of this city, no matter how much I would rather be somewhere else. It’s not New Jersey and the people we love are here. I need to remind myself of that as often as possible.

Brian’s job is sooooo rough… Myrtle Beach this week, Atlanta next week… just off playing with toys and making people happy. If I believed in reincarnation, Brian would be my shining example — that man must have done something pretty darn good in a past life to deserve the one he’s living now.

I’ve been working a little more with off camera flash and it’s all still kind of fuzzy, but since I can’t bounce off the ceiling or walls in this house (green walls, people), I practiced bouncing off of some of the only neutrals in the house — the kitchen blinds. Half of them are neutral, at least. We won’t discuss the green ones they put over the sink.

Hard to focus in a self portrait, sorry… but I think the lighting worked well.

Breakfast with the kids. He’s so focused on her.

Sometimes he looks like such a young man, but in this picture he really still looks like a baby to me. Almost 6… SIX!

And my self portraits… a haze over both because the focus wasn’t perfect, but really… not possible.

AND… Happy Birthday to Me! It doesn’t really bother me, but I do find it kind of funny that I’m spending my birthday here while Brian parties in Myrtle Beach and my mom is off enjoying 2 weeks in Europe! I treated myself with a sugar free iced coffee and I ate some potato chips — the real kind.

Oh… I should also add that GM came through after TWO WEEKS and got me a rental car. How generous of them. I have no word on how long it will be before they inspect and make a decision about my car, but until them I am enjoying a stylish white minivan. I miss my car, but something about a minivan is just so neat. It’s so easy to get the kids in and out and I do love the space.