My Photo Editing Adventure

It’s probably been a good two decades that I’ve been using Photoshop and other photo editing software on my computer and just this week I’ve learned exactly what it can do! It’s amazing!! I always considered myself more of a designer and always tried to steer clear of any photography related work, I left that to the photography professionals. For years I’ve been using Photoshop for adding and removing things from images, cropping, cloning or maybe an occasional basic filter, mainly edit the photo’s just enough to look good on whatever I’m actually designing.

Most of you know that I just recently got married and about a week ago I received my photos from the wedding, although they’re very beautiful and the photographer did a great job there were a few little tweaks that I wanted made to some of them. I knew I had all of the software to do what I wanted to do but had no idea how to do it so I did a few little searches on Google and low and behold there were a hundred different tutorials on doing exactly what I wanted. As I started playing around with what these “experts” were telling me I just kept finding myself being drawn in deeper and deeper until the next thing I knew two hours had passed, my baby was waking up and I didn’t accomplish any of my other chores!

I’ve been using masks within Photoshop for a little while now but knew there had to be more to them and now I think I’ve fallen in love. I had never used Adjustment Layers either and really had no idea what they were even for, now I love those too! I’d finish one picture and then I would quickly search for another picture that I thought could use a little more TLC. I was beginning to feel like an awesome photographer by the time I was done but sadly it had nothing to do with me using my camera and taking a quality picture. Although the couple of pics that I wanted to edit looked amazing by the time I was done I was also a little saddened thinking that there could be some people out there that call themselves photographers but all they really do is edit them on a computer, Ansel Adams may be rolling in his grave watching laymen like me calling themselves photographers because they have an SLR and photo editing software. Either way, I won’t be promoting myself as a photographer but I will be playing around with Photoshop a little more in my spare time, Adobe sure is brilliant 🙂 Here’s an example of my handy work, can’t wait to see what else I can do!

PhotoEdit

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Ethan’s Two!!

The older you get the faster time seems to slip by, my baby turned two years old today and I can hardly believe it! Reminiscing our crazy day two years ago and how close I cut things on actually getting to the hospital in time. I think my husband would put me on house arrest if I had another kid haha

Ethan has been such a joy in our lives and I cannot believe just how fast two years has gone, how much he has grown over that time and how smart that little stinker is! He definitely knows what he wants and will do everything in his power to get his way. He’s ornery and adventurous but at the same shy around others and a cuddle-bug with mommy!

Big brother Drew is definitely his role model and he loves doing EVERYTHING that Drew does. It’s hilarious watching his antics as he copies his older brother and thank goodness Drew is very patient and allows Ethan to follow him around and mimic him. Although he loves to follow his brother everywhere the two of them couldn’t be more different. For example, little Drew was such a ham and loved getting his picture taken, he would pose and hold his props like a pro! Ethan however, is a different story, I took him to White House Fruit Farms yesterday to take his two year pictures and let me tell you that kid HATES getting his picture taken. I’m not sure if it’s because he doesn’t like it or if it’s because he knows you want his picture so he has to do the opposite of what you want but he did everything in his power to not look at the camera or smile. I did manage to get a few good shots though! Here are some of my favorites from yesterday’s photo-shoot!

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Wedding Weekend

What a wonderfully chaotic weekend! Let me just say this first, it feels fabulous to have that huge weight lifted off of my shoulders and I have a whole new respect for weddings! Actually having a venue that handles weddings definitely has its perks but I think all in all things worked out well and so many people came together to help us pull this thing off! Warning this post is longer than most but read on for my fun adventure!

Getting the decor set up
Getting the decor set up

The morning started off gorgeous, at least in the Youngstown area, I had high hopes that the weathermen were once again going to be wrong and we were going to have a gorgeous day, a little hot and humid but none the less still beautiful. We managed to get everything set up, it was looking great and we were ready for the big day. Then my sister and I left to get our hair done and it seemed that all hell broke loose. As we’re driving to the stylist we were carefully watching the sky’s getting darker by the minute and trying to stay hopeful that if it did rain that it was only going to hit Youngstown and not head any further South where Buffalo Hollow was located. As we sat in the salon chairs we could hear the sudden downpour of rain but tried to remain hopeful. As we texted our boyfriends looking for status of what was happening just 20 minutes away we were trying to stay optimistic then we left the salon with umbrellas in hand and realized the temperature had suddenly dropped about 10 degrees. What happened to the sun? The humidity? The warmth?

We had been running late, the stylist was late then things ran over and we arrived back at the wedding with a half hour to get dressed and make up on. No time to check on décor, guests were already arriving and I was desperately hoping that the guys all remembered my vision and that things were perfectly placed. It was a drizzly mess, those that were truly supporting us were driving an hour or two or three just to get to us on the now dreary day. People were tired of driving, some got lost, they were just plain tired but with galoshes and umbrellas in hand everyone awaited the wedding. I was dressed and ready to go, I too was waiting. Every ten minutes or so someone would come upstairs and tell me plans changed due to the rain and would update me on how things were going to go. I would then continue to wait until someone else would tell me things changed. If I was starting to get frustrated then I knew the guests had to be frustrated. Thankfully we had the bar open and actually started hors’ de veurs early. An hour late the wedding finally begins, with plan A back into effect but by that point I think we were all a frazzled mess. Procession didn’t go anything like I had planned, there were no chairs, half the people didn’t walk and I walked too soon. Regardless we made it to the “altar” where I proceeded to mess up one of my lines, I’m guessing I had a million other things that I was thinking about. The unity ceremony went smoothly and now it’s official, we are officially married! Now onto the reception!

Things started off fairly well here, we went to get our pictures done by a wonderful photographer Michelle Moore of Moments By Michelle. She’s AMAZING working with children and dogs, we were chaotic from beginning to end but she was a trooper and pulled us all together and the pics that I’ve seen so far turned out amazing, especially for how frazzled I felt! Little Drew’s pants were rolled and he was wearing sandals but it actually made the outfit cuter and true to a real “newsboy” feel (at least that’s what I’m telling myself), big Drew forgot his shoes and was wearing his Birkenstocks with argyle socks and Ethan’s shoe’s had to go so he wouldn’t get my dress muddy so he was barefoot! Loved the images I’ve seen so far and cannot wait to get the rest of the pics!!

Now back to the reception, where I learned that our caterers who were to bring real dishes and silverware actually had Styrofoam plates and plastic utensils wrapped in cello bags, made for a very unhappy bride, but I sucked it up and trudged on. The food was from Bojangle’s and was delicious even though we didn’t get our corn fritters that we had hoped for. They did have some delicious grits in their place and most people loved them even though they were never really grits fans in the past. We also ended up doing pies from Das Dutch Haus instead of the traditional cake, I’m not a huge cake fan, and those were delicious too! Everyone loved them and loved all of their options of flavors. The one thing Drew and I wanted people to walk away saying from our wedding was that we had amazing food and that was definitely the consensus so we did well there! Hardly anyone was drinking though; I’m guessing because of the dreary weather and knowing that they had to drive all the way back home. The lack of drinking also meant no one was dancing, I didn’t think there would be many dancer’s but was really hoping for a few, well, besides the kids who were loving the music. When the dancing was to begin it was realized that no one put the programs out for the guests that I had worked so hard on!! Ugh, my heart broke as I saw my entire basket of programs sitting off to the side L I was so excited for those! Then as the reception started dying down I noticed another bag sitting off to the side and it was ALL of the toys for my kids table!! The kids had fun running in the field but I was saddened that my kids table was non-existent! I apparently didn’t relay my vision to the guys when I left as well as I had hoped.

Everybody left much earlier than I had anticipated but it ended up working out well. We had time to clean up and get our bonfire started, kids were all in bed on time and the adults were able to enjoy a lot of laughs around the bonfire. I think we sat out there for a good 4 or 5 hours watching the fire burn then Ethan woke up (he is not the camping kind of kid) I could not for the life of me get him to fall back asleep in the tent and ended up enjoying my night on a dirty, nasty couch inside a building – not a tent – with my little heating rock on my chest. Not sure how camping trips are going to go for us in the future but I sure hope Ethan learns to love them, otherwise we might have a long road ahead of us!

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At the end of the day we’re married, living happily ever after! And I think we both have a whole new respect for weddings and will think twice before making negative comments about someone’s wedding in the future! J

Summer Fair Fun

Fairs tend to mark the end of the summer, a time to see your friends and classmates that you may not have seen all summer long. The Canfield Fair, in Northeast Ohio, is just that, it falls during Labor Day weekend every year and in this area most schools start the Tuesday after Labor Day. It is one of the biggest fairs in the area and has everything from farm animals, Ferris wheels, tractors, awesome food, cotton candy and elephant ears to nighttime events such as the demolition derby, tractor pulls and concerts. The funny thing is I had never even heard of this fair until I moved out here about 7 years ago and now we try to make it a point to go every year.

This happened to be Ethan’s first year at the fair, we didn’t make it last year since he was so young and the swine flu was on the rise but he had a blast this year. I think all of the many animals were his favorite. As much as he Moo’d and Neigh’d as we would walk by the animals he wouldn’t pet a single one, that is until we got to the Angels for Animals tent and they had a little kitten out! J Now that little guy was just his size, he said “nice kitty” and pet him on the head with two fingers. Think he would have added the kitten to our family if he could have!

Now poor little Drew wasn’t feeling so hot when the day started, he had a head cold then being out in the high noon sun and heat, he was fading fast. Thankfully we decided to stop for some shaved ice and it perked both boys right up. After that Drew’s only request that day was to see the sheep shearing! He was a little bummed when he thought we missed it but thankfully they had another one coming up, we let him pick the seats and he really enjoyed watching how farmers handle the sheep!

As for me, right outside of the sheep barn and sheep shearing was a little hut where a little lady was spinning some wool. As much as I loved watching that and wishing I had a little wheel to spin my own, I loved what was just past her in the hut…homespun yarn!!! I couldn’t resist and had to buy two skeins to support the local artisans. Now I cannot wait to use my new yarns that are sitting proudly on my little table at home waiting for a fun idea to hit me!

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You never know what you’re going to find at the fair but there’s always something for everyone! I think big Drew just enjoyed the environment of the fair, he doesn’t really care what fair he’s at, he just loves them all the same. I hope everyone else had a fun weekend and perhaps even enjoyed a nice fair this weekend!