Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Edit Me, Patriotic

This weeks theme for the Edit Me challenge, is Patriotic. We were also instructed to add some text. I wanted to give this photo an old-time, nostalgic feel, with a great patriotic quote and tone. Here is what I came up with, I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

Original Photo, not taken by me

 My edited version, which I personally love. 

My Reflection of Something

Monday, June 27, 2011

Pride Parade!

Onto the second half of my weekend! Sunday was the Seattle Pride Parade. This was my first year attending, and I regret not going before! Talk about a good time! I cannot wait to be a part of it next year!
The people are a blast to be around, and the energy is incredible

 To preface this next part, I feel I must tell you that my God Mother is the Assistant Director for the ENTIRE parade! She works on this event all year long, non-stop. I cannot commend her enough for this! Well, we met up with her yesterday - yes, we actually managed to find her! - and she pulled me aside and said "Come with me! You have a camera, you can pretend to be media!" At first I thought that maybe I shouldn't, but HELL! Why not?! So I followed her, and got to basically be "behind the scenes"! I got to hang in front of the announcers booth, which is right where all the floats and performs stop to show off and do their thang! It was simply put - AMAZING! I got some free "swag" from her, and got some incredible shots! So I feel like I must share SOME with you! I literally had over 1.400 photos on my camera! Did I mention this parade goes on for about 3 hours?! 
Again, like the night before, I was surrounded by, and overcome with, Inspiration:

After seeing so many people embracing who they are, and what they believe in, it would be downright silly for me not to do the same for myself! Or you, for yourself! So please, whatever it is that you may be passionate about, no matter WHAT it is, be PROUD of it! Embrace it. Embrace yourself. And be accepting of others. Because at the end of the day, that's all we have. TODAY!

Concert for Equality!

Wow. What a weekend! It was Ah-mazing, and oh-s0 humbling. 
So amazing in fact, that I am writing two separate posts, for both days! 
To start it out, two of my favorite people in the world {my mom and my aunt} joined me for the Concert for Equality. It was held at Seattle Center's Mural Amphitheater. 

And I did!
There were 4 acts total, but the best performance was by the humbled, beautiful, crazy-talented Crystal Bowersox. Chances are, you probably have no idea who she is, unless you watch American Idol - She came in second place last year {season 9}, to Lee DeWyze. Those two contestants are actually my favorite from the entirety of the show!
Anyhow, she was SO GOOD! Just her and her guitar. Perfection!

The other 3 acts were good too, don't get me wrong! The first one was a local gal, about my age, doing something with techy-synchronizing machines. Not exactly my cup of tea, but I appreciate her art. The second was a Lesbian band called Betty. You should check them out, they are so much FUN!! And the third was Thelma Houston, who brought the funk! She sang a lot of Motown - it was a BLAST! 
Then when Crystal came on stage, she chatted it up with the audience, and held and impromptu Meet & Greet! 

Surprisingly, there could not have been more than 100 people total in attendance...CRAZY! I mean, you could go sit on the stage with her if you wanted! It was like our own private backyard concert! We LOVED it, and had a blast! I got a picture of my mom and aunt with her, and she signed my camera strap! YAY!!! 

But between acts, I would look around and see nothing but Inspiration. Here is a lawn full of individuals who do not have the same basic right as myself. And it is simply NOT FAIR. You cannot convince me otherwise. I was able to get some great candids of the people around me, and our surroundings. But for privacy purposes, I am not going to post them. However, I will post a few of the surroundings from that night!

Space Needle at sunset
Overall, Saturday night could not have been better!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Yay for New York!

I feel the need to write a post about this, because it's all about the LOVE!
Last night, New York became the sixth, and largest state, to legalize gay marriage! And above that, same-sex couples can marry as early as the end of this July!
When I heard this news last night, I actually teared up a little bit, and felt...relieved. Same-sex partnerships are FINALLY getting the recognition and equality that they deserve! Woohoo!

Read about it HERE

 In fact, this weekend I will be attending my first Seattle Pride Parade! And tonight, I will be attending a concert in Seattle that contributes all proceeds to the cause! I am pretty excited about fact, I can't wait go! 
There are so many organizations out there that advocate equality. Which is sad, if you think about it. Why does there HAVE to be organizations for such things? That is why I was relieved last night...I feel as if we are headed down the right track.  

Two of the many organizations that I have joined, include:

Attached to SO&P, is esurance who is sponsoring the Parade this year. And if you simply LIKE esurance on Facebook, they will donate $10.00 to The Trevor Project! Does it get any easier than that?!

Now I am not ignorant, and I know that there will be people reading this who strongly disagree with this subject as a whole. Not to mention this huge step in American history. So I ask you graciously, if you are one of those people, could you please not comment at all? This is not to be confused with the notion that I do not want to hear your opinion, because I actually do. But please, just this once keep this in mind...
So to sum it all up, I am so proud of New York, and the six other states that have broken down the barrier! I just HOPE that Washington is soon to follow!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Edit Me

I believe I missed this challenge last week, but now I'm back in the game!
For this weeks photo, I personally would not have done much in terms of editing. I actually prefer the SOOC shot. However, I figured that for the sake of the challenge, I would have FUN with this one! I added a canvas-like texture, to make it look a little more artsy...and I am quit pleased {if I do say so myself}!

 Original Photo {not taken by me}

My edited version

My Reflection of Something

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Father's Day/Birthday Weekend

This past weekend was a much needed BLAST! Getting some well deserved Girl time, celebrating my besties Graduation and my birthday on the same day worked out quit well! We had a bon-fire and a few too many drinks. Which is highly unusual for me! But we figured, every once in awhile won't hurt!
The following day was Father's Day, and we let the guys go shooting all day, while we went to the store and picked up some yummy food for a nice backyard BBQ!
We TRIED to send the kiddos to bed early, but does that every REALLY work? NOPE! While they ended up playing in the back room, the 4 of us chilled and watched a few stand-up comedy shows. Which were all hilarious by the way!
To sum up our weekend, it was so much fun! The guys enjoyed their time just as much as us girls did! SUCCESS! And oh yeah! Here are their absolutely adorable dogs that I just could not pass up taking some photos of!

I hope your Father's Day weekend was just as much fun!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Coffe Talk

Here I am, still in my pajama's. OK, so it's still technically early morning to most, but for me, I a lot that I need to get done today! I need to get my laundry done, and get our bags packed!

We will be leaving tonight on a 4 hour drive to stay the weekend with one of my Besties! She is graduating from college today with HONORS, and I couldn't be more proud of her and all of her extremely hard work! 

Tomorrow her Hubby is throwing a Graduation Party for her, which also just so happens to be MY birthday! So it will be a day full of Fun and Festivities! 
Then of course, Sunday is Father's Day, and us ladies will be letting the guys run free, to go do whatever their hearts desire! They work their booties off, and deserve to have as much FUN as they want! While they are off having a good ol' time, we will be BBQ'ing them a nice yummy dinner.

Needless to say, we are looking VERY FORWARD to a nice FUN, RELAXING weekend {away from home}!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

River Rafting!

So I've been a little absent, yet again. But in my defense, I had a hectic week last week, and was out of town this past weekend. 
In fact, I just got home last night. 

To preface my weekend, let me begin by telling you that my birthday is this Saturday {Surprisingly enough, this year it is NOT falling on Father's Day}!
And to celebrate my birthday, my Mom had a GREAT idea! "Let's go River Rafting"! How could I say no to that! I have always wanted to go, and she has wanted to go again, for quit awhile now. It was pretty much a last minute decision, but she booked it! After all, that's pretty much how we roll! 
Now we have family that lives in Eastern Washington. East Wenatchee, to be exact. We had originally planned on going to visit them for a few days, soak up their sunshine, and RELAX! Which we still did, of course! But we through a little loop in the trip this time - Whitewater River Rafting down the Wenatchee River!

We booked our trip through Osprey, which is right at the end of Leavenworth. 
We went on Tuesday morning, got there around 10am. The trip ended about 4 hours later around 2pm. At that point they make everyone a BBQ lunch, then shuttle you back to Point A. But let me start at the beginning:

When we got there we had to sign in, and sign a waver {of course}, then go get our gear. Which includes a wet suit, booties, life jacket and paddle. After everyone had changed, we loaded up on their shuttle and headed down to the launching point.
Once there, we all got a crash-course on paddling and safety, etc...then we found our raft Guides, and loaded in!
Our guide had told us that the water was nice and high, and that we would be going through some Class 3 rapids! Woohoo! We actually hit a Class 4 at one point!

 This is not our raft - just a photo I found online

We could not have asked for a better day, or more beautiful weather! It was perfectly Gorgeous and warm outside! At the Class 4 rapid, the girl in front of my got ripped out of the raft, so that was exciting! Then our guide tried pulling us off shore so that the other rafts could catch up to us, and he ended up waist deep and under the raft! We had to pull him back in, too! Good Times! 

It definitely got my adrenaline pumping, which in turn made me CRASH by the time we had gotten back to my families house! And of course the next morning, my legs were sore as hell from using muscles that I didn't even know I had! You have to "Lock In" the raft with your feet and legs, which hold all of your body weight in the raft...Anyways, I was sore!

But overall, it was a GREAT water, and a GREAT experience for my first rafting trip, not to mention a KILLER birthday present from my Mom! 
After all, it is kind of her M.O. to go do something, rather than give something, as a present {which I love}! 
I was obviously unable to take any photos, but here is what I could find online:

If you have not yet had the chance to experience this, I highly suggest you do so! It is a BLAST!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Oh Happy Day! A Giveaway!

Thanks to Nikki, from Perpetually Engaged, I found this great blog with an AMAZING giveaway! There is NO way I am turning down this chance! 
It is a trip for two to PARIS FRANCE!!!!
OH HAPPY DAY {indeed}!

Check it all out HERE!!!

Wee Bit Wednesday

I saw this link up, and thought that I would make a post today with more words than photos! This is a way for readers to get to know the person behind the blog:
 {one} how many times have you been a bridesmaid/maid of honor?
Five! I had actually never added them all up before...

{two} what’s the last thing your do before you fall asleep at night?
I usually read. It's the only time to do so PEACEFULLY! 

{three} you just won your dream vacation, all expenses paid. where are you going?
Easy. EUROPE! Anywhere in Europe would do, really...HONESTLY! France, Italy, you name it, I would be there in a heartbeat!

{four} what is your favorite outdoor activity?
Walks with family, and nature drives to different mountain parks and dams. It is not only a great way to spend time with the family, but to be outdoors and take TONS of photos! 

{five} as a child, what did you want to “be when you grew up”? did you end up there?
I changed my mind from time to time, but the one thing that I remember vividly, was wanting to be a Marine Biologist! And nope, obviously didn't end up there!

{six} what are 3 things your dream home would have that you don’t currently have?
1. A beautiful gated entry
2. A live-in house keeper!
3. A hot tub or pool

{seven} what’s for dinner tonight?
You know, honestly I haven't thought that far ahead yet! So to answer, I have to say I don't know!

{eight} if someone stopped by your house unannounced on a typical Saturday night, what would they find you doing?
Lounging in my PJ's watching a movie with the family, and most likely with a glass of wine in my hand!

{nine} what’s your average monthly water bill?
We have a community well, so we can use as much water {hot or cold} as we want, and we always pay $68.00 month. No matter what.

{ten} what do you do to relax?
Surf the net, or watch something on Netflix. Although, now that Weeds and True Blood are premiering this month, I will probably be watching those late at night... And again, with a glass of wine! 

Edit Me - Week 4

Remember how I said I was addicted?

The original photo not taken by me:

 My edited version:


My Reflection of Something

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Construction vs. Destruction

Alright, so it's been awhile. About a week, actually. But I've been busy doing the day-to-day life stuff. You know...the stuff that happens between empty and full? The stuff like the alternator taking a crap in my car this past weekend and bucking up to get it fixed. THANKFULLY the Hubs does this for a living and had it done in about 15 minutes flat! It's the moola that bites you in the butt...
Luckily we had an absolutely beautiful day on Saturday, and spent the whole day in the sun! Which made up for the the end!

But onto the post title: there was this big lot of trees and forest by my house - in Four Corners to be exact - which is now gone {Hence the past tense in the above sentence}. Now I understand that expansion happens, and we "have" to build more to make more, etc...but it deeply saddens me. I mean, I guess I knew it was coming, but to leave my house one morning and drive past Mother Nature at her finest, then to come home that same night and drive past an EMPTY field, is shocking! 

Can we not, as a whole, come to an agreement that we just don't NEED to tear down more trees and forests, just to build more stores? Do we really need to "feed the greed"? Have we not consumed enough material items yet? How much more do we HONESTLY need? 

I do understand the need for technology and such things; Grocery stores and gas stations. But do we need them on every corner? Rumor has it that this lot will be the future home to a Fred Meyer, and a shopping experience similar to The Landing in Renton. Which will be nice, but come on! There is a Fred Meyer about 15 minutes away from here, and I'm fine driving that distance! Especially if it could have meant keeping the trees! 

Now driving past that lot everyday, it just doesn't look the same. Sometimes, in fact, I almost miss my turn at the light thinking that it's further down the road. If only that land could talk...Imagine what it would have to say!  

I don't know...I guess I could be labeled as a Tree Hugger. Which is a label I will gladly accept! And I suppose that this would be the reason we decided to live in the woods! We love trees!