Monday, August 30, 2010

lalaland has moved!

new name, new look, and new posts! see you there!

jill of all arts

Monday, August 16, 2010

coming soon ...

jordan + kara: the story of their wedding day.

did i mention that i am now a wedding photographer? yeah ... more on that later too.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

mccarthy family

finally finished this super fun shoot from a few weeks ago. liz responded to my facebook shout-out for toddlers, and we met at bella vista park on a sunny morning for these photos. the boys were cute as buttons and all smiles!

more smiles ...
note to self: WHY do i always put kids on swings, then try to take pictures of them!?! oh yeah ... because when it works, it really works!
and even more smiles!
plus just a little bit of serious.

thanks, david, liz, and boys!

Friday, August 6, 2010

at the gateway starbucks and former quizno's

me: oh no! the quizno's is closed! now that the park in vancouver is paved over, almost nothing is left of the night you proposed to me!

joel: "except our undying love."

Thursday, August 5, 2010

small things

when i came home from the gym this morning, there was a jar of jam on the porch. thank you, jam fairy, whoever you are.

and thank you, bekah, for the sign that now hangs right inside the front door. it is doing good work there. everyone needs a sign like this - it's healthier than chocolate and cheaper than therapy.
plus, it sparkles.

Friday, July 30, 2010

beautiful mundane

ran some errands yesterday ... decided to pull out my droid and run a few shots through vignette - a very cool phone editing program. when i first heard of the editing programs for camera phones, i though "psh, that's ridiculous. why on earth would you want to bother editing phone pictures???"

i'm eating my words.

i don't do the whole zen thing, but there is something peaceful about stacked rocks ...

Thursday, July 29, 2010

coming soon ...

more pics of this little guy's sweet family!

i love toddlers.
and playgrounds.
and sparkly dewy summer morning light!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

slowly catching up ....

rather than post everything from the last couple months in one ginormous frightening post, i think i'll do it a little at a time.

starting with pictures of a very, very, very patient friend. this poor friend has been waiting for these pictures for a long time ...

back when she was in town, becky and i had a few fun hangout dates and a super fun photoshoot on hawthorne. we certainly didn't plumb the depths of hawthorne's delightful funkiness, but we scratched the surface - at took some fun photos in the process!

she seriously has the most incredible eyes i have ever seen. they're amazing.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

going crazy here ...

i'm not even going to try for a random update blog this time. no way, no how.

i am not going to try to chronicle every time appliances, automobiles, and felines have malfunctioned in the last couple weeks, because the number would be in the dozens. i am not exaggerating. i tried to count and gave up at 28.

i am not going to share how i locked myself out of my car, my house, and my bedroom within a few days. we are getting very friendly with the locksmith.

i am not going to talk about the spiders.

i am not going to mention how many times i have exploded hot milk all over myself or how many bruises i have from walking into walls, doorknobs, etc... mostly from lack of sleep.

i am not going to give an account of our activities from the last couple weeks, because huge things like moving, starting a new job, and starting nursing school have overshadowed the smaller things, like, you know, planning a bridal shower, prepping for cyt middle school camp, making our old house rent-able, putting on a showcase for our spring cyt class, multiple photo gigs, houseguests, my first piano studio recital .... like i said, little things.
[intense sarcasm]

and i am not going to complain, because we have had a lot of great times with a lot of people, and God is teaching us (by us i mean me) not to stress. i'm a very slow learner.

but seriously, you know you're not getting enough sleep when you start seeing monsters in your takeout.
so a great analogy struck me tonight, almost literally, and i thought i'd share it. (because i'm not going to sleep until 2:30am anyway, so what's 15 more minutes?)

the setting: our new house.
the time: grabbing dinner right after worship practice.
the culprit: demon spawn pamina. who else?

there we were, having a peaceful 5 minutes before diving into our homework and camp prep, when we heard a curious sound, like clipping fingernails, from the hallway-stair region. joel investigated and found that the cat had brought in a mouse and was playing with it, not catching it - playing with it, on the stairs. i was immediately plagued with uncontrollable laughter (like i said - crazy person here) while joel and the cat caught the mouse.

i call this shot "scared mouse covered in cat spit in tupperware".
so, the analogy. bear with me. so the cat is the universe, or my schedule. i haven't figured which. i am the mouse, being chased frantically around the staircase of life. until my knight-in-shining-armor comes to rescue me, sweep me up into the tupperware of rest, and deposit me into the ivy hedge of peaceful existence. unfortunately, my knight-in-shining-armor's white steed is usually stuck in traffic these days.

i told joel i'm a crazy person. he smiled really big and said, "but you're my crazy person!"

Friday, May 28, 2010

restaurant rocket science

in preparation for working at starbucks, i have to obtain a food handler's card. (my most recent one expired in 2005.) so today i am intently studying a manual with paragraphs like this:

"Germs such as bacteria and viruses are everywhere. Think of your hands and fingernails as easily "contaminated." Just because they look clean does not mean they are clean. Germs are too tiny to see with your eyes. If you do not wash your hands in the right way and keep your fingernails trimmed short, your hands can put germs in food that will be eaten by your customers. They may get sick from these germs. This is called 'foodborne illness' or 'food poisoning.'"

somehow it seems appropriate that the manual is published in comic sans font.

i emailed the previous paragraph to joel (cause it's, you know, educational...) and he responded:
"not all germs are too tiny to see with your eyes, little brothers for instance.

i expect the oregon food handler's card people to revise their manual accordingly.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

blessing management 101

ok, so who made the rule that everything always has to happen at the exact same time? was that murphy? ahh, murphy, if only you knew ...

my blessing cup is pouring over right now - pouring over into late nights, early mornings, stress attacks, everything involved with juggling so many blessings! it's all so fantastic - new home, renters, new friendships, new piano students, new piano teacher, new nursing school, new clothes for nursing school, new job, end-of-year piano recital (oh yeah, did i mention my students' recital is this weekend?), new photo business direction, cyt class showcase and middle school camp (did i mention that i'm music directing middle school camp - by myself?) ... i'm so blessed, i can barely keep my head on straight!

so this morning i'm here at central bible church, helping joel run sound for seussical's schoolday shows and making faces at my webcam... oops, gotta go - joel's calling me. i need to get my 3 minute lesson on how to run a crazy complicated soundboard!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

life, the camera phone version

joel was gone evenings all last week with seussical tech week, and i had to stay home and work. so he bought me flowers, which the cat claimed.

this picture is from back in january when tim replaced our door. we're signing escrow for the new house today, and it's so weird to realize that we won't be living here anymore. instead, a nice couple named casey and caitlin with a cute little boy will be living here. having renters lined up feels so good!
so i bought this necklace recently. it says "helvetica", which is a font. nobody gets it - everyone seems to think it's either a disease or a demonic spell. so i'm clearing things up here and now - it's a font, people.
we've officially caved. not only have we visited ikea several times of our own accord in the past few months, but we actually own several pieces of ikea merchandise now. the funny story behind these pictures - we recently dropped by ikea to pick up a cabinet unit for the kitchen. we found the exact cabinet in the as-is section, but had no way to haul it. joel worked things out with the deaf gentleman who helped us (first time i've seen joel use his sign language to communicate in a needed situation - so cool!), and left to trade a truck while i spent a full hour sitting right here babysitting a cabinet with no cell phone battery and nothing to read. it was not cool, and i am documenting this wasted hour of my life for posterity.

my favorite part of the day is the morning, right after joel leaves for work, when i curl up with my cereal and bible next to the window. the cat usually joins me.
did i mention that we have a resident laundry fairy? oh and by the way, the laundry fairy doesn't actually do laundry, despite what you've heard. she merely indwells it, parasite-fashion.
a while ago, heidi and i decided to go to powell's books, a fairly simple endeavor only slightly complicated by our decision to take the max. i retrieved directions from my phone, which maliciously routed us to a powell's warehouse on nw 29th. we were past 23rd when we discovered the error (i should mention at this time that heidi had been having some misgivings for a number of blocks), and so the walk from the max to powell's took us 2 and a half hours.
kairis did quite well with the detour, but was glad to be out and having lunch by the end.
we stopped for lunch at an awesome cafe 2 blocks from powell's. i don't remember the name of it.
after 3 hours of walking ...
endeavor church ... we love being involved, getting to know people, and using our gifts almost every weekend! last weekend joel used his spiritual gift of coffee-making, much to the delight of all.
this raised bug had "endeavor" printed in big letters on the side. i tried so hard to get a good picture of it ...
i've started seeing a podiatrist again because of ongoing issues from my accident. i have lots of lovely issues, not just with that foot, but related to walking as well. so i've been spending a lot of time here, studying that ubiquitous faded jazz festival poster which seems to reside in 80% of gresham businesses.
this is a picture of my face, yesterday, when i was woken up from my migraine nap by a phone call from starbucks, offering me a job! i really am excited, though the picture doesn't quite capture the emotion.

i've been looking for something supplemental for a while to take more pressure off of joel as he begins nursing school. it will be a lot to balance, but i find that i get more done when i'm, well, doing more. it's some snowball effect ... plus, starbucks is just plain awesome.
speaking of starbucks, our favorite date these days is to hop in the car, grab starbucks, and take an hour-long drive listening to npr's "wait wait... don't tell me!" podcasts.
highly recommend.
i am so in love with this guy.
(and i know he's going to give me the stink-eye when he sees this pic - love you, dear!)
typical ...
so there it is. random update blog, cell phone camera style.

the short-yet-spicy modeling career of lani and becky

i love it when becky vestal is home from school in pennsylvania. when we get together, we're no longer a budding neurosurgeon and a responsible business owner. no, we pool our maturity, divide it in half, subtract half of that, then stomp on whatever's left. the stomping is the fun part.

yesterday becky had the adventure of being introduced to the hawthorne buffalo exchange, which in addition to being a really awesome place to get fun cheap clothes, is also a really awesome place to make a fool of yourself. we chose option b.

the scary part was that we actually received a few compliments on the outfits in the following pictures. oy.

we started pretty tame, with a sweet little army print sequined crushed velvet dress for me, and a colorful befringed tunic-y thing for becky.
that was boring. this was funner.
(btw, becky, i actually really like that dress on you. just saying.)

definitely the highlight of our outfits - skinny pants, bike shorts, and sequins. this is the only time that my legs will ever be subjected to skinny leg jeans; it is recorded here for posterity's sake. becky's bike shorts, though - i think she found a keeper.
and our final number. bummer that you can't tell from the picture that becky's leggings are pleather. we accidentally stumbled into another store that had plenty of pleather, but we didn't try anything on in there. not even the thigh high lace up boots.
sigh ... i'm going to miss that girl.

(and becky, i'm very sorry that i didn't publish the picture of the yellow sunflower-print buttoned romper. it was just a little too ..... well, yeah.)

Friday, May 21, 2010

the "peoplescape"

after one of my earliest sessions, i received the critique that many of my photos seemed to be more about the background than the subject. this has stuck in my head for several years now, and i've revisited and mulled over it many times.

i'm very thankful for this comment now, because it brought to my attention a style element that i have fallen in love with! after much experimentation and thought, i have decided that distinctive backgrounds and "landscape-y" sorts of portraits are a part of my style that i want to highlight. i just redid my website, and dedicated a whole section to "peoplescapes" - i love them that much!

i had a great chance to experiment a few days ago with my good friend stefanie. i elicited her help in scouting out a location, practicing various techniques, and brushing up before the outdoor photography season really hits. thank goodness for people who actually enjoy being in front of the camera ... what would we photographers do without them?!? stand around morosely clicking at the backs of other photographers, i suppose...

playing around with the vertical selected focus that seems to be everywhere in portrait photography these days ...
stefanie's safari shot ... heh.
we weren't actually going for a pose-on-a-rock sort of picture. this was a brief moment before she jumped off the rock. the rock jumping didn't work out so well, but i loved this one!
haha. i love telling people to frolic. you never know what they'll do! :)

and, on a last note, occasionally i see a session that makes me die just a little on the inside - in a good way. this session by red leaf studios is one of those. you should check it out, along with the rest of their blog and website. wow, do these people have eyes! (and it probably helps that they live in one of the most photogenic locations left on the planet.)

Thursday, May 20, 2010

will someone remind me why we have this many books?

... cause i've packed about 17 boxes of them, and still have a ways to go. :P
however, when we arrive in our new house, our books will be totally organized for the first time in our married life because i'm packing them in categories! yes, it took me 6 years and 4 moves to figure out this ingenious idea.

this diminutive pile represents all the packing i've accomplished so far (plus some boxes in the shed), and we're moving in 2 and a half weeks. i just know i'll be pulling an all-nighter the day before we move.
it's weird how bare everything is starting to look. doesn't really feel like home anymore.

well, the living room looks bare. the study, on the other hand ....

yeah. i never really did get on top of that room.

eagerly anticipating a lot of life change in the next few weeks! i may be adding a new job to my queue soon (more on that later), we're moving, joel's starting nursing school, and we're going to have renters!

speaking of renters, wow, has God provided! when we first started on this house journey we knew we'd need renters but couldn't really do much about it at the time. now, we have renters lined up for both places - our current home, and the basement of our new home! i can't wait to start developing these relationships, it's going to be so fun!

so for now, we're in the prepping, waiting, and fulfilling other commitments phase. joel is in the middle of tech week for seussical, which is keeping him enjoyably busy. i'm staging a new guerrilla marketing attack with my photo business (new and improved website! and preparing for my studio piano recital at a local retirement home.

and i got my annual haircut on friday.