Monday, January 31, 2011

The Blue Cloak Wonder and Pink Suit: How Not to Take Life So Seriously

I dream that “Molly Maids” cleans my house. And that on Saturday, the only thing I come downstairs to (after sleeping in until 9:00am) is the smell of fresh bacon sizzling on the skillet and a nice cheesy omelet hitting my breakfast plate. If I may continue this dream… let’s throw in some chirping birds, fresh morning warm breeze blowing in through my window screens and opening the front door to get a better view of the white picket fence lined with assorted colors of lilies that surround our front yard... Ah…sigh….

Instead, I roll out of bed as the Addisyn alarm promptly goes off at 6:30am. I roll up onto the edge of my bed and stretch my hands over my head. Then I sleepily reach for my cell phone to check out the time in hopes that it would show a time later than 6:30am as if a later time would make all my tiredness disappear. 6:30 a.m….what is she? A rooster! With one big inhale of fresh air, I find motivation to make it to my feet and stumble to her room while avoiding all the land mines of clothes and toys that are scattered about the upstairs. We venture downstairs where my dreams of fresh bacon and cheesy omelets are replaced with the reality of needing that first cup of coffee. I start thinking of the things I need to do this weekend: pack away Addisyn’s birthday decorations, dust, vacuum, clean floors, laundry, grocery shop, edit pictures, and the list goes on and on…All I want to do is avoid the mess and enjoy my day off.

Cue the Blue Cloak Wonder and Pink Suit- one super hero and his trusted sidekick who have taken Saturday by storm. Just when my day couldn’t get any busier, they come to my rescue by showing me that I don’t have to take life too seriously. They fly around the house and make more of a mess, but in their dust, they fill the room with laughter and smiles. They have this amazing power to roll one great day into the next and the only thing that is left in their wake is the satisfaction of a great family weekend.

My life right now is all about balancing the ebb and flow of the monstrosity that is my “things to do” list and every time things get a bit too busy, I know that I can be rescued by the Blue Cloak Wonder and his trusty sidekick, Pink Suit… I’d take them over Molly Maids and a white picket fence any day.

Meet Pink Suit and Sir Oinks A lot


Sir Oinks A lot in the arms of the Blue Cloak Wonder with the Ring of Power - taking a break while Pink Suit fills the room with laughter


Pink Suit taking a break with the Blue Cloak Wonder trying to get reenergized from the Lantern of Candy and Ring of Power



Close-Up of the Ring of Power...


Pink Suit taking a break.


Retiring for the evening...



With Love,


Friday, January 28, 2011

Photog Friday - Networking

Hi, everyone!

I want to continue the talk on composition next Friday because it is OH Sooo very important.  However, I thought today's topic was timely and just as important when it  comes to learning more photography. This post is going to be short because it's pretty simple. Get out there and NETWORK! Find, meet, befriend, other photographers. This will help you to grow in your photography and your business. Today I met with a local photographer in Delaware. Her name is Kaila Regina and she is pretty amazing. She has so much love and energy and she is giving. I used to get discouraged when I would reach out to photographers and they didn't return my email or phone call and then I met Kaila, and she restored my hope. Today we shot pictures of each other, bounced ideas off of one another and she taught me some neat tricks in how to deal with light. Please visit her website by clicking on her link here.

Kaila, I would second shoot with you any day. Thank you for today. You are one amazing chick!~

Thursday, January 27, 2011

One More for Love The Story: Chapter 8 - Consistency

It’s a good idea to go into a party with low expectations. What we expect out of an event can significantly alter our experience. For example, if I would have gone into Bobby’s house expecting to see Rachel McAdams in a Martini glass… that would be setting the standard pretty high. Given the track record of Bobby’s parties, that type of expectation would lead to certain disappointment. However, because I was expecting Betty White with a cup full of pennies, I was pleasantly surprised when I was greeted by two fairly attractive women in their early twenties shortly after my getting to the party.

After saying high to Bobby and the rest of the crew, I found myself a seat at the couch expecting to discuss who the best guitarist ever was and play video games until 5:00 a.m. as was a typical night at Bobby’s. No sooner did I sit down on the couch than did the two new girls approach me in conversation.

“Hi, I’m Melissa and this is my friend Karen.” Said Melissa, standing barely five feet tall, looking at me with her big brown eyes and straight, dirty blond hair.

“That’s me”, said Karen with a smile. She was only about five-three herself, but looked much taller standing next to Melissa. Karen had brown eyes as well, but her hair was curly and a much darker shade of brown.

“Steve Hart. Nice to meet you.” I said and purposely remained sitting so not to tower over them with my six foot two inch frame.

“Nice to meet you.” Responded Melissa with a smile before they both left to mingle with a couple of other guys.

I later came to find out that Melissa and Karen were friends of Bobby’s friend Roy. He worked at a southern Delaware casino and invited one of his co-worker slot attendants, Melissa, over to Bobby’s house for the mid-week get-together. She brought her friend Karen; thus proving the mistake of assuming that because the girls were from the casino they were over 70 and addicted to slot machine gambling.

Melissa and Karen both seemed nice. I had never met either of them, but was glad to have them at the party. Adding two new girls to our crew of nocturnal maintainers brought an energy that drastically shifted the dynamic of our party. Instead of forming to the couch and passing around the XBOX controller, we were up throwing darts, playing card games, listening to music, and socializing amongst each other.

The party was small. It was me, Bobby, Bobby’s friend Roy, Roy’s wife, Melissa, Karen, and three other guys. The ratio was in my favor and within an hour of arrival, I approached Melissa and asked if she needed a partner for a game of 301 (a dart game).

“I think I remember you from somewhere” I said, knowing fully that I had never seen her before in my life, but that was the best line I could come up with so I had to see it through.

“I think I’ve seen you somewhere too.” She fell for it. We continued to talk and play darts and by the end of the first game it was obvious that Melissa was with me and off the market for the rest of the night.

I could tell Melissa was really into me. Everything I did was amazing, every band I liked- she liked and every joke I told was hilarious. It was a “me too” conversation and I knew it…

“So what’s your favorite band?” Asked Melissa.

“Matchbox Twenty.” I responded.

“Me too!” She said enthusiastically.

“ What about this band right here?” I asked pointing to the speakers while Mr. Jones by the Counting Crows filled the room.

“Uh, yeah, they’re ok.” She responded vaguely.

“Really? I love this song!” I said humming the tune.

“Oh yeah, me too! Oh, this song, yeah this song is awesome!” She said smiling then turning up the volume on the house system.

Yep, I was stuck in a “me too” conversation, but I chose to chalk it up to nervousness on her part and just enjoyed feeling like I could do no wrong for a night. I left the party with Melissa’s phone number and the impression that I had met someone with relationship potential. I called her a few days into my trip to California and talked to her every night for the two weeks I was gone. Then when I flew back into Philadelphia, she was there in her bright yellow Ford Focus ready to drive me home. Within a few days of my return, we made our relationship exclusive and exchanged the titles of “boyfriend” and “girlfriend”.

There it was. Life had finally come to some sort of consistency. I continued to be the most incredible person Melissa had ever met and grave shift was allowing me the freedom to perfect the art of aircraft maintenance. For the first time in a long time, I knew what to expect both at work and at home.

By the time early July 2005 rolled around, I had everyone’s work routines down. I arrived for the 7:00 p.m. roll-call a half hour early to check out a tool box and to find out ahead of time what problems I’d be troubleshooting that night. Smitty was outside smoking cigarettes and making a case for why the Denver Broncos would be Super Bowl Champs in 2006. Kevin wasn’t there yet, but would be showing up late and sneaking into the back of the formation just before we were called to attention. Sergeant Marx had been there since 6:00 p.m. getting the maintenance reports and looking up wiring diagrams at the break room table with a cup of coffee and a bag of chips.

After checking out my tools, I got up with Sergeant Marx about broken planes and possible fixes. The conversation took us right to 7:00 pm. We probably would have missed roll call if I hadn’t seen Kevin racing into the building and bursting right into the roll call room. Sergeant Marx and I got up from the table and quickly took our places in the formation just as Master Sergeant Portis called the flight to attention.

“Flight, ten-hut!” he called. We responded, snapping the heels of our boots together and pinning our hands to our sides as we came to attention. Master Sergeant Portis picked his clip board up off the table in front of the formation and started reading off the names of the people on night shift.

“Airman Bellos?” Master Sergeant Portis called with authority.

“Here Sir.” Responded Airman Bellos.

“Sergeant Creyton?” called out Master Sergeant Portis.

“Here sir.” Said Sergeant Creyton.

As he continued down the list, I thought about the last five months I had spent with Melissa. I reflected on how relieved I was to no longer feel the need to scour the east coast for a person to be with. Melissa was really nice, but she didn’t make my heart go…

“Airman Hart?” called Master Sergeant Portis, interrupting my thought.

“Here sir!” I replied, startled.

“Sergeant Marx?” Master Sergeant Portis continued.

“Here.” Replied Sergeant Marx.

Where was I? Oh, yeah, Melissa was really sweet to me, but…

“Sergeant Morey?” Called out Master Sergeant Portis.

She’s not on this shift. I thought, breaking bearing with a small smile. One of the day shift people must have ended up on our roll call sheet.

“Here sir.” Replied Sergeant Morey.

Monday, January 24, 2011

One Year

Life minus Love equals zero” – Rick Warren

I began the journey of motherhood a little over one year ago. The night Steve and I left for the hospital to be induced, he asked me what I was most excited about. “I am ready to love her”, I replied. It was and always has been that simple…

This past Saturday almost fifty of our closest family and friends gathered in our small 1800 square foot townhouse to celebrate Addisyn’s one year birthday. And, although the craziness of decorating, cooking, cleaning, and preparing for the party consumed me from 7:00 am to 6:00 pm, the reality of all the love that surrounds my little girl became evident as I tucked her into bed after the last guest left. I touched her heart, kissed her forehead and felt the well of tears building. For an hour and a half we celebrated her first birthday and it was absolutely perfect, but to know that all those guests came because they love my little girl was more special than all the detailed decorations and yummy party food. The love in our home was so much bigger than any party I could ever throw for her.

Here are some of the details of the party...of course I covered everything EXCEPT for asking someone else to take for my daughters 1st birthday party, I have pics of the details before and her the next day, but not much in between. :-(

*this is the banner I was working on all week. The flags are made of scrapbook paper and letters are as well. I found stencils on the internet that I traced right off my computer. Tissue paper flowers are on each side of the banner.

Every part of Addisyn's sweet shop was covered with something that had to do with love or pink and red

Cupcakes were decorated by a friend from church. Thank you, Bobby Jo!

One of the candle bowls was entirely too big for the Pixy sticks it held. So I filled the gap by adding heart garland throughout the vase.

All the guest signed a frame and wrote something special about Addisyn. I plan to hang it in her room with a One Year Pic in the center.

She was cute as can be and even shared some with momma..Wish I had that pic :-(

She loves her new princess mobile :-)

Sunday, January 23, 2011

One More for Love The Story: Chapter 7 - Night Shift

“It’s sixty-five feet to the ground” Said my trainer Sergeant Marx, as I peered over the edge of the top of the C-5’s mighty T-tail, breathing the cold winter air and exhaling a warm fog.

“How old is this harness?” I asked him, wrapping my frozen finger tips around the thin strap coming from the back of my harness that was connected to the plane by a single bolt.

“Don’t worry about it Hart” Said Sergeant Marx, reaching under his beanie cap to rub his bald head. “If you fall you won’t die. You might break your back, but you’ll live.”

Easy for him to say. He was merely poking his head through an access hatch at the top of the tail. I was crouched down six stories high, in fifteen degree weather, taking the screws out of a panel at the highest point of the plane.

“What time is it?” I asked, taking the last screw off the panel.

“One a.m., shifts half over.”

“Six hours down, six to go.” I replied, handing him the panel and a bag full of screws.

Grave shift was tough. I had been out of my training class and back on the flightline for a few months and was in the middle of experiencing my first real winter working on the planes. Smitty, Kevin, and I all requested to be on grave shift because it meant there would be less management around to tell us to clean the break room, stock the snack bar, or mop the bathroom floors.

“Can you pass me a flashlight?”

Sergeant Marx reached into a tool bag and handed me a small flashlight. I shined the light into the hole where the panel used to be and saw a broken wire coming from the back of one of the components.

“I see the problem. It’s a broken wire. We’re gonna have to order a new one then run it up through the tail when it gets here.”

“Ok, let’s call it in.”

Sergeant Marx and I left the plane and went into the break room of our main building to get warm and to order the new wire. After placing the order, we sat down at one of the break room tables.

“How long have you been out here on the flightline again?” I asked, watching Sergeant Marx make quick work of the bag of chips he had just purchased from the snack bar.

“Fifteen years.” He said in his raspy voice.

It might as well have been fifty years. He looked tired. Not tired like he needed a good night’s sleep, but the kind of tired that only years of twelve hour shifts in maintenance could put on a man.

“This place can wear you down.” He said, seemingly reading my mind. “When we have this conversation five years from now you’ll have a better idea of what I’m talking about.”

Don’t get me wrong, Sergeant Marx was a great maintainer. He knew the plane inside and out and could fix any problem that was thrown at him. He was highly respected and the “go-to” person for last minute problems. He was the best of the best at his job and everybody knew it. But, as I sat across from him that day, I didn’t see myself fifteen years down the road. I was good at my job and getting better by the day (or night), but I always thought I’d be doing so much more. I had pictured myself giving presentations in front of people or meeting with commanders; not tucked away on night shift ducking under the radar. I wanted to be inspiring people to do better or leading them through a problem. It was this conversation with Sergeant Marx that reminded me that part of the reason why I joined the military was to finish my two remaining years of college and get the degree I had started back in California. I’d have to look into that next semester.

There were two sides to the night shift. On the one hand, the work environment was as advertised. It was an excellent opportunity to learn my job with little demand of me to do other menial tasks. On the other hand, my personal life was upside down. Most people woke up at 7:00 am. I woke up at 4:00 pm. Most people were enjoying breakfast and coffee before work. I was having dinner and an energy drink. While working, it wasn’t that big of a deal. A twelve hour shift quickly became a fourteen hour shift. By the time I finally got home and had something to eat there was just enough time to take a shower, go to bed, wake up and start all over again. My personal life, however; was a different story.

We were mid-week partiers. A guy named Bobby who worked on my shift would throw get-togethers at his house in the middle of the week for all of us who were stuck having days off on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. I found myself invited to one such party the day before I was set to take a trip to California for two weeks. I had woken up at 4:00 pm and had a voicemail from Bobby that went something like this:

“Hey Steve, it’s Bobby. We’re all getting together at my house tonight. A buddy of mine invited some girls over from the casino. Should be a good time.”

Ordinarily I don’t like to go anywhere the day before I’m going to be on a plane for six hours. I like to stay at home, double check my packing, set two alarms, call my Mom, stuff like that. Also, after breaking down the message, the only real draw were the girls from the casino. It sounded intriguing and almost instantly I began visualizing the Vegas casinos I’d been watching on CSI. There would probably be a burlesque girl splashing around inside a giant martini glass and a bikini model standing on each side of the stem…and…visual gone. Reality check. I lived in Dover, Delaware. Not Atlantic City and certainly not Las Vegas. There were definitely beautiful women in Delaware, but I had been to the casinos before and most of the “girls” there weren’t college seniors they were senior citizens. They didn’t have martini glasses, they had bifocals and a scowl that would freeze your soul if you got too close to their cup of pennies. Still, I was curious. I’d be staying up until 6:00 am any way. Hanging out with Bobby and the crew sure beat late night infomercials and turkey hot dogs. I left my house ready for anything, but never expected to meet my next girlfriend.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Photog Friday- Slow Down And Get Another Viewpoint! (Part II)

Welcome back to Photog Friday. Last week, I started a topic on composition. If you missed it, check it out here.

I gave myself an assignment to take a pic of the same subject from ten different viewpoints to be able to capture a better piece of the story and here are my results.

1.) From the front of the model

2. From the side of the model

3. From the side and lower than eye level of subject

4. Wide angle from the front lower than eye level

5. Wide angle from the front higher than eye level

6. Wide Angel from front at eye level

7. At a 45 degree angle from subject

8. From the side with model turned to front

9. Close up of model in the front

10. From above the model close up

The point to this exercise for me was to show that another viewpoint can produce more creative pictures and to look outside the box. I think that through doing an exercise like this you can get an awesome picture that you would have missed otherwise. I love the results of picture 5 and picture 10.

Tune in next Friday for Photog Friday and until then get out there with your cameras and practice!

Monday, January 17, 2011


Anyone who knows me knows that I don’t frequently have guests at my house for entertainment. Don’t get me wrong. I love being entertained. Throw a good football party with some yummy appetizers, I’m there. Need some dinner guests that enjoy great conversation? I’m your girl. Want to come over for some good p.j. wearing, girly movie watching, and junk food eating time together? Yes please. BUT and a big BUT, when it comes to organizing, planning, preparing, and then executing a party to be held at my house I normally run for the hills.

Enter this little girl....


And my non party planning days are over with.

Though I dreaded the preparation that is necessary to throw a party, I must confess that party planning for my little girl has inspired me in all sorts of creative ways. More than that, I am already thinking of next year’s theme. Yep, I’m hooked. Party planning had me at streamers, tissue paper flowers, and all the LOVE that I get to put into this. Oh my… I do believe I might very much enjoy this.









Looking forward to the party,


Friday, January 14, 2011

Photog Friday - Slow down and get another viewpoint!

Yay! I am super STOKED with a capital S-T-OKED to be starting “Photog Friday”. I am thoroughly enjoying my life in the “mommy” blogging world and I want to discover more about the craziness and wonderfulness that is blogging. I need MORE! And I think using “Photog Fridays” as a platform to bond with other photographers or photography enthusiasts is exactly what is missing. In short, let’s get to know each other! I am promising I won’t be giving expert technical advice, but

The following are some reasons why you might want to check out this blog post every Friday…

-If you love photography and want to learn more…like me.

-If you want to practice photography, but do not have any guidelines or assignments.

-If you are bored at work, ready for the weekend, and need something to read

-If you want to chat about life, love, and photography

-If you want to get to know me more (because I want to get to know you more)

-If you are starting your own business and want to relate to someone, this girl is for you.


-If you have a weird addiction to reading mommy and photography blogs much like I do.

So let’s get started…

Composition is something that I used to struggle with often. I would approach each subject from the front and then begin snapping away and all I would end up with was a full 16GB compact flash card and only about five pictures, worthy of telling the story. One of the first lessons I learned is that if I approach from the front all the time, I could miss the opportunity to tell the story. So I am giving myself an assignment this week and I would love for you to join. I am going to find a subject to photograph and then I am going to stop, take a breath, slow down and take a picture of the subject in the same place, but from ten different viewpoints. If you feel like your pictures are coming out flat, please join me in the fun. It is all about PRACTICE! Remember to take your time and to think through each shot. I will post my update (with pics) to this post next Friday, but in the future I will have the pictures ready for you. I was so excited about Photog Friday and I couldn’t put it off another week.

With Love,

Stacy Hart

P.S. It wouldn’t be a complete blog post without even one picture. Here is a pic that I took from the front, but isn’t it ever so cute?

Monday, January 10, 2011

Snow day please!

As far as I am concerned, winter is the season of guilt free laziness. Where unexpected snow days can cancel wonderful photo sessions, but still don’t disappoint. It just means long mornings sluggishly stretch into afternoons and then, without notice, the sun rolls up the pink and golden blanket as it retires for the day and casually waves to the moon to take over. There is something soul fulfilling about being “trapped” indoors and finding no shame walking past piles of clothes on the floor or canceling outdoor errands that would have inevitably left you begging for a fireplace and a hot cup of cocoa. Yep, rather than cleaning the dishes in the sink this past Saturday afternoon, I found my cozy spot in the corner of the room, nestled in a familiar armchair and accompanied myself with a blanket, slippers, glass of wine and a good book.

And right now, I kinda like the sound of sports announcers in the background as I curl up under a blanket on the couch and pause in the middle of typing this blog post to watch Steve and Addisyn destroy Mega Block planes and call on me to join them for random dance party sessions and human sandwiches. It has been one of those weekends where comfort and coziness wins over productivity and I am actually okay with that. And although not a thing was checked off the “things to do” list, my motivational spirit was revived because of it. Yep, winter is my recovery season and I love me a good snow day because it gives me a reason to hibernate from my list without guilt.

At first this little girl loved to look out the window to watch as the snow softly covered the ground...


She was happy to see snow again and so we had big plans to fill up her belly, dress her in her new snow gear and get outside...

I can't resist taking pictures of those baby blues...



but each time we thought she was ready to go outside, we would look and see this...





and we knew we were all done for. Nap time was seconds away...and that is exactly what happened.


When everyone was awake again, it would be too late for the snow.

Our evenings were filled with "Where's Addisyn?... There she is!", dance parties, and running away from a horse that looked a lot like Steve.



We attempted the snow day the following day, but the snow was almost gone. Addisyn wasn't a big fan of standing on her own in the snow and I was perfectly fine opting for some indoor snuggling action.

Hoping for another snow day soon!
Stacy Hart

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