Sunday Night Chit Chat

I can’t believe my little missy is going to be 1 this week!  It doesn’t seem possible!  Since I had the day free, I decided to do a couple photo shoots with her.  One was in her Halloween costume, and the other one was her one year photos.  If you want to see photos from each session, you can check out my facebook page: J Lancaster Photography.  Here is one from her one year photo shoot that I am just in love with!

IMG_9933_edited-1I love the way she is looking at me in the mirror.  She is just too cute! (And yes, I may be a little biased.) 🙂

Anyway, on to the chat:

What are you…

  • Reading: Still nothing.  I find that I read articles online a lot.  And I seem to fill my time with nothing that actually is improving my life.  Still need to work on that.
  • Listening To:  Miss C’s sound machine through the monitor.  The tv was on, but Hubs just turned it off so he could head to be (I will be heading there soon myself).
  • Watching: We just got done watching The Amazing Race.  Now nothing.
  • Cooking/Baking: This morning I found a recipe online that was for banana/oatmeal cookies.  You take 2 overripe bananas, 1 cup of oatmeal and squish them together.  Then spoon on to a cookie sheet and cook for 15 minutes at 350.  I added a bit of cinnamon after they came out of the oven.  I wasn’t a fan of the texture, but Miss C loves them!  And I don’t feel bad about giving her these “cookies”.  They are just banana, oatmeal, and cinnamon.
  • Happy You Accomplished This Week: I got all of Miss C’s birthday shopping done (aside from the food for her party).  I need to add up how much I spent, as I hope to stay under $100 for the whole party.  I think I still have about $40 left for food, so I think I may be able to do it!
  • Looking Forward to next week:  My baby is turning 1!!  Her birthday is on Wednesday, and I am taking the day off work to spend with her and Hubs.  We are having her party on Saturday and will get to see lots of family!  So excited!
  • Thankful for Today: Beautiful weather!  I am never good at actually getting my daughter’s photos done in a timely fashion.  I usually schedule other things on the days that I want to do them.  This time, though, I stuck with the day I had scheduled, and it worked out perfectly.  The weather was just ideal!
  • Bonus Question; What was the last movie you watched? Did you enjoy it? Any that you currently want to see?  I am not a movie fan.  That is Hubs’ job.  Last movie I watched at home: The Lion King.  Did I enjoy it? Of course!  Last movie in a theater: Despicable Me 2.  Did I enjoy it?  Definitely!  (I am noticing a trend that I watch children movies a lot).  I want to see The Butler that came out a while ago, but don’t know when we will get around to it.

Your turn!  And make sure to link up at Carla’s blog!



Stay-at-Home Sunday

I plan to stay at home all day today, but don’t worry… I have plenty to do while I am here.  Miss C is taking her morning nap right now, so I used the time to set up for her afternoon photo shoot.


I plan to put her in her Halloween costume for the photos.  If she is cooperative, then I have a cute outfit that I want to do some one year photos in.  We will see how it goes, though.  I am happy to report that the only things I bought for this setup were the pumpkins!  I lucked into the chair (which desperately needs fixed up) at a garage sale.  It didn’t have a price, so she gave it to me for free.  The burlap sack on the ground was given to me by my dad.  The suitcases were my grandpa’s, and I asked if I could have them when my parents brought them home.  The basket was part of a gift basket we got a couple years ago.  The leaves are from our tree out front!  Love it!  I can’t wait for it to warm up and start taking the photos this afternoon (hopefully around 4:00).

I also made a new watermark last night.  I woke up around 1:15 and couldn’t fall back asleep.  So what else should I do?  Get on photoshop and play around.  I had wanted to change my watermark for a while now, so I messed around with it until I got it how I liked it.  I like that it isn’t overpowering in the photo, but it is clear enough to read.

Ok… here is my plan for today:

  • Finish blogging
  • Eat breakfast
  • Clean the kitchen
  • Play with Miss C (and possibly take a walk before her second nap)
  • During her second nap, try to finish the first coat of paint on a set of cabinets
  • Photo shoot!
  • Grill out for dinner
  • Sunday night chit chat
  • Bathe the babe
  • Finish some stuff for school tomorrow

I think that should keep me busy.  Let’s hope I can get it done!  Check back throughout the day to see how I am doing!

Any plans for you?  Are you going to cheer on the Chiefs?


Goals Update

We are halfway through October, and I have not done a very good job at checking in each week.  Time to get down to the nitty gritty and see how things are going…

October Challenges (Nothing like skipping a couple of months)

Financial Challenges

  • Stick to the budget (My budget is already made, I just need to stick to it.)- I would give myself a C.  I have done relatively well, but we have had a few expenses that were not planned or necessary. 
  • Spend no more than $100 on Cadence’s first birthday (this includes gifts, food, decorations, etc.)- I have spent nothing yet, so it’s hard to tell how much I will.  I guess I am on track so far. 🙂
  • Balance checkbook each night.  (I am terrible at this!)– I get a B.  I have kept up with it more than once a week… which is more than it used to get done.  It is not currently balanced, as Hubs and I both filled up our cars today, and I haven’t put that in yet.
  • Put $200 into savings.  (I currently have it budgeted to put in $150, so I will need to scrimp and scrape to try and get up to $200)– I have put $10 in so far, but have $95 waiting to be deposited when I go to the bank.  I think I will be able to accomplish this, thanks to some awesome photography clients!

Photography Challenges

  • Finish ABC challenge (You can follow my challenge on my Facebook Page.)– A+!  I did it!  I finished A-Z!  I want to do another challenge, but I think I will wait until busy season is over, and possibly try on in the new year.
  • Try to book one more session in October.- A+!  I am booked more than I had anticipated.  I am busy every weekend from now until Thanksgiving.  Only one of those weekends am I busy with other things besides photography (the weekend of Miss C’s birthday party… I didn’t think I could handle the party and do a photo session).

Health Challenges

  • No snacking on candy at work– Big fat F!  Stress level at work is just too high!
  • Take a walk at least 15 days this month– I have walked 3 times this week.  I probably need to pick it up a bit if I am going to make it to 15.  
  • No pop for the whole month of October!– Another big fat F!  I think I need to adjust this goal.  Instead of saying no pop, I need to limit it to a certain amount each week.  Maybe 2 a week.  Then I can decrease from there.

Home Challenges

  • Keep the house picked up (Pick up after myself with everything)- Maybe a C.  I haven’t left the house a mess, and I do try to clean up a bit.
  • Do one load of laundry everyday- D.  I did well for a while.  I ended up doing all the laundry this past weekend.  I don’t yet have enough for a full load yet, but once I get enough, I will do one a day.
  • Get weeds pulled in the back yard- F.  No time yet.
  • Finish painting kitchen cabinets- C.  I did finish one set, and started painting another set.  I don’t know if this will get completely done this month.

Personal Challenges

  • Make my quiet time a priority and make it more meaningful.- C.  I started out the month doing very well with this, but unfortunately I have let it fall to the side.  I am still working through the book of James.
  • Go to church each Sunday.– F.  Haven’t done it yet.  Miss C’s schedule is not the best for church right now.  I shouldn’t let that be an excuse, but she takes a morning nap at the exact time of church.  And she is not a child who will sleep anywhere other than her crib or pack and play.

So I guess I am doing ok.  Not the best though.

Did you make any goals this month?  How are they going?

Sunday Night Chit-Chat

We have found ourselves at another Sunday night.  The weekend went too fast, again, and we are now facing Monday.

4444fd34ead493201a3dedb2800c37e6This weekend has been super busy, and I don’t feel like I actually had any time to really relax and enjoy it.  I have a feeling that is how most weekends will be from now until the new year.  My October and November are booked for photography, and December is always a busy month.  I guess I should just get used to feel frazzled.

Here is my chit-chat:

What Are You…

Reading?  Still nothing.  I really do know that I need to start reading, but I just can’t find time.  I am going through the book of James in my quiet time, so I guess that counts.

Listening To? The TV and the dryer.  Last load of laundry is drying!

Watching? The Amazing Race is on, but I am not really watching it.

Cooking/Baking? Made spaghetti for dinner.  That is as gourmet as it gets around here.

Happy You Accomplished This Week? Surviving.  This was an insane week at school, and there were times that I really wanted to walk out and not come back.  I made it though, and will hopefully make it through this next one as well.

Looking Forward to Next Week? I have a one hour photo shoot on Saturday and hopefully will get to take photos of Miss C on Sunday.

Thankful for Today? The beautiful weather!  It was just a perfect day!  Miss C and I went for a walk for about 30 minutes, and it really was just glorious.  I hope to get out and take a few more walks this week.  I am not looking forward to winter weather yet.  I hope that maybe we can make it into November before we have to turn on the heat.

*Bonus Question* What is your favorite part of Thanksgiving food-wise? I don’t think I can decide on just one thing.  I like turkey, mashed potatoes, and stuffing all covered with gravy.  Mmmm… makes me ready for some good food!

Your turn!  Answer here or link up at Carla’s blog.

Where did this week go?

I feel like this past week flew by!  (Although I am sure if you would have asked me on Wednesday, I would have said it was CRAWLING by).  At school we had a pumpkin patch field trip and visit from the fire truck on Monday.  On Wednesday we had our book buddies come and read with us.  On Thursday one of my kiddos got hurt pretty bad on the playground, and that has been sticking with me over the past few days.  On Friday we had a work at school day with no kids so we could get our classrooms cleaned, grade cards done, and some plans made.  Of course one day is never enough, so I have a list from Friday that I have brought home with me to do this weekend.

Also on Friday, my mother-in-law come for a visit.  Miss C had a great time with her Grandma D!  We went to the pumpkin patch after I got home on Friday, and then went for a dinner out.  Here is Miss C with a great big pumpkin!Image

She wasn’t too sure about the pumpkins at first, but she eventually got up the nerve to actually touch them.

Yesterday Grandma D was still here, so she watched Miss C while I ran a few errands.  It was nice to have some time by myself, but I missed my weekend errands with my girl.  I enjoy having her with me so I have someone to talk to at the stores.  I had to go to Target to get a few things and then to the grocery store to get our weekly haul.

Yesterday evening I had a photoshoot with my co-worker’s sister and her family.  I was lucky enough that my co-worker came to the photo shoot and watched Miss C on the set for me.  She did so well… although there was quite a bit to watch with a family of 5, including 3 children.

Since I had so much to do out of the house yesterday, today is my day to stay in and get lots done here.  Here is my to-do list for the day:

  • Laundry (Last load is in the dryer, and it includes our sheets, so it will have to come out of the dryer.)
  • Clean the kitchen (Well, as clean as it can be with painting supplies on the counter)
  • One more coat of paint on a set of cabinets
  • Finish list of school things
  • Take a walk with Miss C
  • Make spaghetti for dinner tonight (We were supposed to have it last night, but it didn’t happen)
  • Possibly more painting on the cabinets, if time
  • Edit at least half of the images from yesterday’s photo shoot
  • Do Sunday Night Chit-Chat tonight

I think that is a pretty good list of things to do.  I think if I really get to it, I can get it done!  Hopefully I will check back and be able to cross a few things off.

Do you have a lot to get done today?  Or do you plan on having a relaxing Sunday?

The Digital Perception

I know this is not a new subject or idea, but I thought I would share my feelings and opinions about it.  The digital perception is how people perceive you or your life online.  (Or at least that is my name for it.)

Now, there are things that I love about the internet.  I love being able to share parts of my life with you guys.  I love being able to have a business page on Facebook, although it is becoming more and more frustrating as they change their algorithms.  I love being able to stay connected with friends and family who I otherwise would not see or talk to often.  I love being able to share photos of our daughter with friends and family who would not get to watch her grow up.

Then there is the other part of the internet that is soul-crushing and hard to deal with.  It seems like everyone around me has a better life than I do.  They are getting out of debt faster than we are, or they don’t have debt to start with.  They drive newer cars, have newer and fancier furniture or electronics.  They have the newest, trendiest wardrobe.  They are crafty and have the best decorated houses.  This makes me feel like poo.  I know that it is just the perception that people put out there.  They want others to believe these things about them, and they are doing a good job at it.

I just want to make sure that everyone has a clear view of me. 

  • If you think I am crafty… I try.  I don’t have time for it now, so I am not crafty now. 
  • If you think my house is organized and neat… I want it to be.  My house is usually in some state of a mess.  Toys are usually on the floor and dishes are on the counter. 
  • If you think I am good with money… I am a spender.  I have trouble holding on to my MAD money each month and usually spend it on Starbucks coffee. 
  • If you think I am thin because I work hard… Hate me, but I don’t.  I hate working out even though I want to love it, and I hate eating well. 
  • If you think I love my job… I try.  I have wanted to be a teacher my whole life, and I try to remind myself that there has to be some reason that God planted that in my heart, but I question everyday if I am in the right profession. 
  • If you think I am a crazy busy, great photographer… ha!  I still feel like an amateur most days.  I am still learning and trying to improve.  When I say a month is booked, it means I have one session a weekend or am busy that weekend and can’t book one.  I don’t like booking more than one a weekend, or else I don’t have time for my family. 
  • If you think I am constantly happy and content… why do you think I make so many plans to change?  I am always looking at how to change myself to become a different and “better” person.  I struggle with being happy and think that if I change something, it will magically make things better.  I struggle with SAD, and we are just gearing up to start our short winter days.
  • If you think I have my life all together… I wish i did.  I feel like I am drowning most days, and I am sure if I actually wrote out my to-do list, it would be longer than I am tall. 

So there ya have… I don’t want anyone to have a digital perception of me that is not true.   I am not perfect and never will be.  I will continue to strive to be happy with my life and myself.  I will strive to be content with my situation and where I am in my journey.  But I need to accept that I am not perfect… and those people who seem to be perfect… well, they probably really aren’t either.

Sunday Plans

It’s a lazy Sunday for this guy…


…But not for me.  Let me give you an idea of my to-do list for today:



It was a busy day yesterday, and I did get things done, but there is so much to do today.  I need to get a lot of things cleaned around the house.  I need to run to the pet store so the pups done starve.  I need to get things done for school, because this upcoming week is going to be CRAZY (4 day week for the kids, field trip on Monday, fire safety week, bully prevention week, end of the quarter assessing, etc.).  I think there may be a movie day in there at some point, just so I can get some things done at school.

Ever feel like you are going 500 mph?  That is how I feel now.  And I don’t think it is going to slow down until the end of May.

What do you have on your to-do list today?  Or do you get to have a lazy Sunday like Sir Bandit Boo?


Can’t Sleep…

I should be sleeping, but I can’t.  I can’t turn off my mind.  I could be doing a lot of stuff right now, but I am really not in the mood.  I was going, going, going all day today, and just want to take some time to rest.  If Miss C wakes up tomorrow morning as early as she did this morning, then I am going to be in for a world of hurt.

My day started at 6:30 when the stinker woke up.  I did get a lot of this though…


Baby girl snuggles!  This is a rarity in this household.  Usually she drinks her bottle and then is up and ready to go.  Luckily she let me just hold her for a bit before she decided she wanted to play.

I got the menu made for the upcoming week and the grocery list ready to go, and we left around 7:45 to go to the store.  The grocery store we go to is in a college town, and it was Homecoming today, so we wanted to be in and out before the crowds started.  We got home and someone was rather fussy.  I fed her and then put her down for her nap.  Then I took a shower and worked on editing some photos from a while ago.  

Once Miss C woke up from her nap, we left and met Hubs for lunch.  His coworker bought pizza for us!  It was fun, although Miss C is having major stranger anxiety and burst into tears a number of times while we were at Hubs’ work.  She really needs to get over that.  After lunch, we went to my sister’s to hang out for a while until I had to leave for my photo shoot.  I got lost on the way to my client’s house, but managed to get there only 10 minutes late.  We spent half an hour outside at a beautiful location on a beautiful day.  I couldn’t have asked for a better photo shoot!

I got home around 6:15, quickly made tacos for dinner, then set to work editing photos from today.  My computer was amazingly slow, and Facebook was not cooperating while I was trying to upload them.  It took almost an hour and a half to cull through 150 photos, edit 5, and upload 5.  It should not take that long at all!  I was ready to throw my computer out the window!  (I need a new one, but it just is not in the budget at all).  Maybe someday.

That gets me to about 9:30 when I went to lie down and go to sleep, but I couldn’t actually fall asleep.  Hubs has to get up early, and instead of tossing and turning in bed and keeping him awake, I figured I could come out here and blog.

I have a list of things I want/need to do around the house tomorrow, so yet another busy day.  Hopefully the little one will cooperate with me and allow me to get some stuff accomplished.  We have company coming in next Friday, and I really need to get the house in presentable shape.  Wish me luck!

What do you do when you can’t sleep?  Any tips on how to make yourself sleepy and get to dreamland?


The Best Laid Plans…

Last night and tonight I was planning to accomplish a list of 10 things before 9:00 pm.  Last night and tonight, I have not gotten them done.  Last night I only got one thing finished.  Tonight I believe I have gotten 2 finished (well, the second one will be finished as soon as I hit the “publish post” button).  I probably shouldn’t have started this challenge until we were back on a normal schedule.  The last two days, Miss C has been with my sister in the afternoons instead of my mom.  My mom is out with my grandma who had a bad fall last weekend.  She ended up breaking her L-5 vertebrae and is currently in the hospital.

Since Miss C has been with my sister, I haven’t been getting home until about 7:15 each night.  That is past Miss C’s bedtime, so I am usually tending to her and getting her ready for bed.  It is usually 7:30 by the time I sit down, and I have to edit my daily picture, deal with the dogs, get a few things done around the house, etc.  So my 10 items aren’t getting done.  Tonight I had to burn some photo discs for clients, and that takes up some time.  It is just too much to try and get done in too little of time.

Tonight is Hubs’ last evening shift!  He is going to be working normal day time hours on Saturdays, Sundays, Mondays and Tuesdays!  That means I get him home in the evenings!  That also means he gets some good quality time with Miss C on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays.  I think that with this shift change, it will be easier to get things done in the evenings and stay on top of things on the weekends.  (At least that is what I am telling myself.)

Needless to say, I am exhausted and have been fighting a terrible headache since this afternoon.  Time for bed!  But before I go, here is my sweetie checking out the deck:


Oh October

You know I love me a new month!  It is fresh and clean… a whole new start!  Of course the beginning of a month can’t happen without setting some goals!  I have already put my goals on my 2013 Monthly Challenges page, but if you haven’t meandered on over there, I will do a quick recap of them here:

Financial Challenges:

  • Stick to the budget (My budget is made, I just need to stick to it)
  • Spend no more than $100 on Cadence’s first birthday (this includes gifts, food, decorations, etc.)
  • Balance checkbook each night (I am terrible at this, but getting better)
  • Put $200 into savings (I really don’t know if we will be able to do this.  I made this goal before we got our utility bill.  Now I think the utility bill will eat most of that up.)  I do have some photo sessions in October, so maybe I will be able to make it!

Photography Challenges:

  • Finish ABC Challenge (I just did Q today).  I am so proud of myself for sticking with this challenge.  It has been so much fun!
  • Try to book one more session in October.  I already did this earlier this week, so my October is officially all booked up!

Health Challenges:

  • No snacking on candy at work.  (I am terrible about this during our plan time… especially when we collaborate)
  • Take a walk at least 15 days this month.
  • No pop for the whole month of October.  (Oops… I forgot about this one and had a Coke today.  I rarely drink pop, but I was craving it so badly today.)  So now… no pop for the rest of October!

Home Challenges:

  • Keep the house picked up (Pick up after myself with everything).  Well I picked up the house this evening, so we are off to a pretty good start.
  • Do one load of laundry everyday.  (Oops… did not do one today)
  • Get weeds pulled in the back yard.  I hope to get this done this weekend while Miss C naps at some point.
  • Finish painting kitchen cabinets.  I hope to do some painting in the evenings once Miss C. goes to bed.  That seems to be the easiest time to do it.

Personal Challenges:

  • Make my daily devo time a priority and more meaningful.
  • Go to church on a regular basis.  I want to become a regular member at one here in town so I can get to know other families that live in our area.

So there it is… It is out there for everyone to read and help keep me accountable.  I think I will try and do a check-in each Tuesday to let you know how it is going.

Did you make any goals for the month?

And now, after all of that reading… here is a photo for you to enjoy.  Little stinker pulled her toy basket off the shelf and can now tip it over so she can reach in and pull out ALL of her toys.  I think she is trying to sabotage my goal of picking up each night.