So after 8 1/2 years, I made a new home on the internet . . .
Family and friends, you may want to update your bookmarks and/or links.
Over the next month, I will migrate all my posts and eventually shut this blog down.
MyFitnessPal - Free Calorie Counter
So after 8 1/2 years, I made a new home on the internet . . .
Family and friends, you may want to update your bookmarks and/or links.
Over the next month, I will migrate all my posts and eventually shut this blog down.
I made the comment the other day that my family is rarely all home together these days, we'll except to sleep.
So what's been going on this week?
I am on a 1200 calories or less diet. I eat a lot of salad and drink a lot of green smoothies or Shakeology.
The kids think that a lot of what I drink looks like vomit or baby excrement. I guess I can see their point.
I have been trying to hit 500 calories or more a day in exercise. I think I need to up that to 750-1000.
I have lost 7 lbs so far. I have 54 to go.
Ryan plays indoor soccer on Tuesday night in a over 35 men's league - he will sometimes play 2-3
games a night. Zack and the twins had their final games of the season in their respective leagues on
Wednesday and Thursday. Zack's team had games both nights and closed out the season very
strongly with a 2 game total of 12 goals which launched them to the top spot in their division. They
were singing We Are The Champions in celebration Thursday night. Super proud of those boys!
They have been only together as a new team for one season as an independent team. Beating
established clubs is a big deal and they have worked really hard to get there. The goal is to continue
to improve and eventually move into the gold division.
Next up for the boys is a tournament in AZ on Memorial Day weekend. Ryan is coaching the twins and
their team this weekend in AZ for a tournament. They lost their 1st game because they were matched with
a team 3 years older? Ridiculous! 8th and 9th graders against juniors in high school? Not so evenly
matched. The girls won their 2nd game 2-1. Sydney scored both goals. The girls celebrated their win
last night. They have one more game later this morning before they head home.
I rarely craft or make anything these days unless it is for a client. This week I got the
opportunity to help Madison make a photo collage frame as a gift for her distance coaches.
I taught little dude how to use a Cricut and helped him print pictures for his wax museum project. They
are not allowed to assemble them at home, but since we usually have project boards floating around the
house, Zack used one to lay out and plan his design.
Madison and I also went to a craft night activity for my ward but since we were late, ended up not crafting
and instead just chatting. Hopefully I will get a chance to sit down and actually complete the crafts and not
add them to my huge stash of unfinished projects in my overflowing craft closet (once upon a time I used to
be cr8v - Ha Ha!)
Since Ryan is out of town, coaching the twins' team in a tournament in AZ, and Uncle Dave's ward was
holding their campout on a holiday weekend, Uncle Dave and cousin Seth went to our annual Father and
Sons ward campout. Zack and Seth set up their own tent and I am not sure all the activities they did but
they must have had fun because they passed out cold on the way home from exhaustion. I asked for
pictures but this is all I got since Dave's phone died.
On Saturday, Zack and I worked on his project in between my sessions and then went out to Outback
I have been the wolf den leader in my ward for quite awhile. This week, another Cub Scout turned 9 and
moved up to Bears. I have lost track of how many I have had the opportunity to lead but I think I am on my
4th round of boys graduating. I am hoping the boys have learned something from their time in our den.
I am currently what they call double-dipped (I have 2 callings) and am also serving as assistant camp
director. I have been trying to come up with some ideas that don't suck and drip with lame sauce for a camp
T-shirt design, decor to dress up our campsite, a ward craft, and daily devotional handouts. Let's just say it
is a work in progress. Almost ready to throw in towel a little bit and resort to Pinterest. Was hoping to come
up with a fun new idea or two or three or four. Hopefully inspiration will strike soon!
I had 3 shoots this week which is closer to what I want to be doing - optimally I want to be doing 4 per week.
I have been averaging 1-2. I have spending countless hours learning though. Did you know I spend copious
amounts of time seeking out inspiration and studying photography? I am very passionate about my work
and am continually refining it.
The brain just refuses to shut off.
Until next time, blessings!
Posting from my IPad with an app. Trying to see if this works.
2. Friendship. I have very few people who I can say are genuinely my friends and who have my back. I realized this even more so when I turned 40 and my sister-in-law was asking who I'd want to celebrate with. To be honest, I could not name very many people. It had been pointed out to me that certain people were not really friends because friends don't treat you or your family poorly. It really made me sad to finally realize this. I have a handful of really good people in my life and for those few I am thankful.
3. Life moves too quickly. My oldest graduates in a few short weeks and then it is off to college. My twins are starting high school next year. My son starts jr. High. My time with them at home is quickly winding down and it makes me crave the time when they were all small. Raising teenagers and a soon to be teenager has been eye-opening and a bit tough. They are growing so fast and becoming more and more independent. It makes me proud and to be frank, freaks me out a little.
4. I have been 4 weeks soda free now. I also am on a low calorie diet and exercising, working to lose all the weight I have gained in my many months of funk.
5. I still photograph people. It is what I do and am very passionate about. I have been very busy learning and educating myself to be better.
6. The kids are all very busy. Between sports, school, church stuff, and other things, there is very little down time. Ryan also. Work, coaching soccer, playing soccer, community involvement, and his church calling keep him on the go. I cannot wait for summer vacation.
7. Travel - hopefully Chicago twice, San Francisco again, Mexico, Utah, Florida and next year Brazil! 3 of these are work/play trips. I hope to also maybe do a fun road trip with the kids. Travel is something I very much want to do as opportunities arise.
8. Pictures. I have LOTS of them to post. It is my intent NOT to share my work here anymore. If you want to see it, check out my website or go visit my photography Facebook page. I will be updating galleries and making lots of changes (yet again) soon. From now on, just personal stuff and family stories here.
9. Walks and one on one time. I have been walking in the evenings. Sometimes by myself and sometimes with a friend. Tonight I had the opportunity to walk with my oldest daughter. We talked for 2 hrs and then went out for smoothies. I enjoy the one on one time with her.
10. If you still blog, let me know. I noticed many don't anymore but for those of you who do, that I know you still do, I still read and enjoy catching up on your stories and life happenings.
1. Murphy's Law - anything that can go wrong has gone wrong
In the past week, we have had several things break on us:
Can you say "SUCKY"? And very expensive? Thankfully and hopefully we have everything fixed for now. It just sucks to have to hand over a check for things you don't want to be spending money on.
2. I got out for a night with some girlfriends to see "Wicked" last week at the new Smith Center. The production was amazing, the building is beautiful, and it was good to see some friends I don't see very often and meet ones I have only know mostly online (I ran into a couple of gals). I cannot wait to take my girls to some of the productions next year. Especially excited for "West Side Story" and "American Idiot"
3. I have been burning the midnight oil a lot lately. Worry has been plaguing me and I have been spending many hours designing and tearing apart my website and other stuff. Hoping to announce my website is finally done in the next couple of days. Be sure to CHECK IT OUT. I customized it myself. It is a website, blog, and shopping site all rolled into one.
Here is a really cool senior album I designed the other night:
4. Zack earned his Webelo Scout award and is well on his way to earning his Arrow of Light and advancing to 11 yr old scouts.
5. The girls have been playing indoor soccer Monday nights with a women's league since the rest of their team is playing high school ball and they are still in 8th grade. They do pretty well against the older, experienced ladies.
6. Zack's team went down to Flagstaff to play in a tournament. They did decent, only losing once the whole weekend. The team kept a core 8 players from their old team and added 7 new guys to make a brand new competitive team. OUr regular season starts in a couple of weeks.
7. Ryan was ordained to a High Priest and called into our ward's bishopric as 2nd Counselor. It has not been that big of an adjustment as Ryan has been serving in the bishopric(s) as a clerk or executive secretary. We are used to him being gone early for meetings and staying after on Sundays. The only difference is I have lost my shoulder to lean on during sacrament meeting.
8. Madison earned her Young Women's medallion and also received her Patriarchal Blessing.
9. I have been gone a lot. I spent two weeks in California helping my sister get the nursery ready for my new niece who is arriving in November (we did a complete room makeover) and helping take care of my nephew (he is like one of the cutest babies ever). I will be going back to California in November to help out and to photograph my new niece and do some family pictures.
10. Getting ready for Halloween. Last year I didn't decorate for any of the holidays except Christmas. I was too busy and too whatever about the whole thing. This year I am still busy but I figured I will make the time. I have a bunch of awesome stuff pinned on Pinterest and so I am hoping to carry out an idea or two to spruce up our homefront. I also went Goodwill treasure hunting and managed to find some great pieces to make this year's Halloween costumes. My sewing machine and I are going to be best friends for the next long while.
So that is just a small smattering of what's been going on at our house the last couple of weeks or so. And with the clock ticking 4:25am, I guess I should call it a night.
Where did the summer go? It went incredibly fast and it seems like just yesterday we were doing a little happy dance celebrating it's arrival.
When I was a kid, summer seemed to last forever and now that I am like way older, it seems like summer (and the rest of life for that matter) is on the 4 arrow fast forward.
On Monday of this week, I sent the kidlets back to school. By some miracle, the morning wakeup has not been too bad on them. (However, it has been BRUTAL on me. I didn't sleep for 3 days and so by day 3 I was super uber miss cranky pants) I still can't sleep. Oh well.
Madison is a SENIOR! Holy crap! She is a SENIOR! I confess it is really kind of freaking me out. How did my baby girl grow up so fast? Madison is taking 4 AP courses and doing the Culinary Program again this year. She is really digging the new block schedule as on her odd days, she can come home and chill right after seminary for awhile (she has no 1st period) and on even days she is home by around 11:30. She was way ecstatic to get Sister Taylor for seminary this year (she is a lot of fun but yet manages to teach the kids a great deal). She is not doing cross country this year but plans to do clubs and run track in the spring. Madison is the Laurel President in our ward and she also is busy busy working as a Hot Dogger selling lemonade.
Sydney is in 8th grade this year. She is doing the usual round of classes with Art as her elective. She loves to draw and is thinking perhaps that she would love to work at Pixar one day. Sydney is playing soccer with an indoor women's league for the fall (while the rest of their team is in high school season) and is doing really well. She is also excited to finally finally be taking piano lessons with Sister Jex next week. She has been wanting to take lessons forever and either we didn't have the money for her to do so or we have been so stinking busy we couldn't fit it in her schedule.
Obviously, Chase is also in 8th grade this year and frankly wanting to get it all over with so she can get to high school! She is also doing the usual round of courses with Advanced Orchestra as her elective. She is still playing violin and takes lessons once a week. I am hoping she sticks with it for high school but we'll see. She has a million other things she wants to do. Chase is also playing indoor with Syd on a women's team and has been kicking butt on the field. Note Chase cut her hair because while being a twin is cool and all, it is not cool to be mistaken for her sister sometimes. Plus she wanted to do her own thing.
Zack is in his final year of elementary school. 5th Grade. Seriously! My baby is in 5th grade. That also has been freaking me out. Zack may be in 5th grade but he acts like he is 25 sometimes. He talks to adults and carries on intelligent conversations with them. Everyone always remarks on that to me. He also can be quite the normal 10yr old boy. Especially when he is with his friends. Zack is busy with Scouts - we need to wrap up his Webelos and earn that Arrow of Light! He is also quite busy with soccer - formal practices twice a week, informal everyday, and soon games. We will be traveling to Flagstaff in a couple of weeks for a tournament.
I confess with school back in session and all, I still haven't got a routine quite down - I am still in summer mode. Hoping to get caught up and in the groove by next week. And hopefully, I will find time to post to the blog. I noticed I blogged once at the summer and then nothing. Now that is going to make for a really big hole in the blog book for this year. I promise we did stuff this summer. Really we did. I swear!
The other thing of note with school back in session is that all my kids have grown a few inches. Especially the twins. It is so weird to talk to my kids and have them looking right at me instead of me having to look down at them.
School is off to a good start. I confess I envy my kids. I miss school and the excitement of learning new things and hanging out with friends everyday. Another crazy thing - my kids are all in their last year before they move onto the next big thing - college, high school, and jr. high. Just yesterday I was lugging the twins in a stroller and sending Madison off to kindergarten. See I told you. Life is on the 4 arrow fast forward. I can only hope with everything happening at such a frenzied pace, that my kids gain some good experiences along the way.
With the end of the school year, also comes the advent of the soccer tryout season. Last year, our girls left their club team and our family started an independent club team LV Galaxy. We recruited friends and girls from the recreational league looking to take their game play to the next level. We had a great year, improving skills, and playing well against some of the established clubs in the valley. I think the fact that we took a bunch of girls who had played together previously and most without any experience at the competitive level and were able to take them to compete against teams that have played together for several years in competitive leagues is one heck of accomplishment.
With the end of this school/soccer year, our family along with a couple of friends chose to form another independent club team LV Tactical FC . This team will be a U11 Boys team that Zack and and several of the kids he played with this past year will be a part of.
I along with my husband Ryan, his assistant coach, my SIL Jen (who is one of the team managers), and the other team manager/coach have been very busy trying to get our teams all put together for the upcoming 2012-2013 season. We ran a soccer skills clinic this past week and on Saturday we started our indoor soccer season at Longevity Sports Center.
I haven't been blogging very much because (in addition to work) I have been designing flyers and forms, building websites, and setting up email and Facebook pages for both teams.
Soccer is a big deal in our family. We have invested a lot of time, talent, and energy into this endeavor. With both teams, we do not collect club fees nor do we collect coaching fees. The coaches and the support staff all do this for the kids and the love of the game.
If you would like to check out our teams, you could do so by visiting us on the web at :
and if you would like to share your support for us, you can "LIKE" our Facebook pages
LV Tactical FC rocked the start of the indoor summer soccer season with a win this past weekend! I will leave you with a video of highlights from the game . . .
Last week my daughter went to her first formal dance.
And I have to applaud my daughter. After all the crap she endured in connection with this thing termed "The Event" - a sort of "Prom-like" event organized by stakes in our area, which I thought should be a great and wonderful experience in the life of a teenage girl and ended up a lot of it being so NOT, she still got dressed up, put on a smile, and made the best of it.
And she looked beautiful . . .
Working on 3 different websites.
One for the girls' soccer team - you can check it out HERE
A new site for something I cannot talk about just yet.
And a new blog site for my photography. After many years of being with the same company, using a flash site, I decided to finally take my site down. After 2 other photographers in the last year started up on the internet with the same exact site template, I felt I finally needed to heed the advice of a very successful portrait photographer I met at WPPI. Build a brand. Customize and build something unique and set yourself apart.
There are a million photographers (fish) in the sea. Why on earth should someone pick me?
My husband has been nagging me to update my old site for some time. He is very good at what he does and very honest. Always. He thought it boring and lackluster, not an adequate representation of the work I do. I confess I hadn't updated it in 2-3 years. While the site looked great, I felt it lacked what I call the "wow factor". And while I had customized it with my logo and colors and all that, it just didn't scream "ME". I want people to visit my site and remember it as being "Chris Jenkins". I had a client back in the beginning when I first had the old site who could recount much of the imagery I had posted there. I have only had that on a rare occasion since. I have a few photographers whom I admire that everytime I visit their site, I am "wowed". I want to strive to achieve that for myself.
I also have been feeling that my work needs to be better. And so lately I have been "looking" and paying more attention to trying to "capture those special moments". I also have been taking on "special" sessions to diversify my portfolio.
I also feel that I need to grow. As my husband says, right now I occasionally get paid for a hobby I happen to do really well. Can you say "OUCH"!? I need to grow into a successful business.
I haven't been blogging very much because all of this has been taking up pretty much all of my time. And I have had to use skills I didn't know I had or acquire skills I definitely didn't.
I love this blog. I love that it is here and I am free to post whatever thoughts come to mind. It just makes me sad that I haven't had the opportunity to post. I guess if you want something, you have got to create the time. Hopefully I will be creative enough to do so.
The problem with being someone who suffers from bouts of insomnia like I do is that I often find myself very much alone in the very quiet hours in the dead of night or the wee early ones just before the dawn.
With not much to keep me company.
Except an abundance of thoughts that swirl around in the big head of mind, cohabitating within the brain that often refuses to shut off and let me rest.
Yesterday was a doozy of a day and I ended it feeling very crushed.
Crushed because I failed to master the life-work balance, crushed that I ran out of time to complete all the projects that I had outlined for the day, and crushed that almost everyone seemed to be a bit disappointed.
What I fail to understand is that despite all the good things one accomplishes, why is it that the "shortcomings" are what get noticed?
Is it even possible to be and do everything everyone expects 100% of the time?
I know I have lost sleep and worked myself in to a frenzy trying.
Maybe that is wherein lies my error. I should be adopting the Yoda philosophy. I shouldn't be focused on trying. I should be focusing on doing.
I want to be a better mother.
A better wife.
A better sister. daughter.
I want to be more expressive in my creativity.
I want to be a better artist.
I want to be a better person. A more generous one. More understanding. More forgiving.
And yet despite wanting all these things, I fear as I journey toward them, it will be never enough.
I am many wonderful things.
BUt I am not yet many things people expect of me.
I hate this feeling lately of never enough. It bugs and weighs heavy.
I pray one day I will learn to overcome it.