Saturday, September 26, 2009

Among the Fishes

Yesterday we took Evan to the Georgia Aquaria for a bit of baby visual stimulation and he loved it. His mouth stayed open in complete wonderment and curiosity and his eyes barely blinked. There were many attempts at grabbling random jelly fish, sharks and stingray's. 


Here's my brother, behaving like a japanese tourist as Evan instructs him on where to point the camera.


A funky family shot


Something about my camera was just too good to pass up a grab.


Later that night we hit the bar for a Red Sox game and some good old Gerber Baby Peach Puree, yum-eeee


Friday, September 25, 2009

Look Who's Come to Visit


Its my nephew Evan. The little guy hopped on plane from Ireland to Atlanta for a 10 day vacation with his Auntie Shinks and Uncle Husband.
And only because he had so much luggage and no other reason, he let his dad (my brother) and his mom (my sister-in-law) tag along so they could do all the heavy lifting. 

He has completely taken over the house since his arrival. Settled in very quickly and made it all his own and there's been nonstop smiling, kicking and laughing along with gallons and gallons of drool. We're loving it.

Yesterday we took him to a very special place for a picnic and a stroll around. We snapped a few photos so all his grandparents, who are missing him loads, can see that he is safe and having a great time.

Check out the happy baby.


















Monday, September 21, 2009

Alaska Update

Alaska's name is Simba and tonight, Simba is back with her rightful owners. To be honest, it feels bittersweet. Obviously Simba was beyond excited and pleased to be returned home to who she knows and loves, but honestly, I have to say, even though it wasn't very practical for us to keep Simba, it didn't stop us planning and figuring out a way to make it work. If we couldn't find the owner, then no question she was going to stay with us. There was just no way we would hand her over to animal control, no way. Bad endings have been known to happen in animal shelters and neither of us could've handled that, so like it or not (and I can tell you, Fintan did not like it, not one bit),  Simba would have become the newest member of our family.

But it was not to be and it's probably for the best. Simba is much happier with how things turned out and of course his owners are over the moon too. 

I did however snap a few pics of little Alaska, aka Simba for my "Shinks Magical Moments of Unselfish Actions" scrapbook (I use the word "book" loosely here, as of right now is really just a page)



Such a pretty girl and those icey blue eyes.



Enjoying the trip in the car.



Those eyes were amazing.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

St. Simons Island & Saints in General

It's been a crazy busy week/weekend but cos I'm just about to tuck myself into bed before the start of another work week, I'll give the brief version and expand later.

 - Friday after work Husband and I drove to St. Simons Island, 1. because I was helping shoot a wedding there on Saturday and 2. just cos we fancied a little weekend together.

 - Tonight we are playing host to an unexpected house guest. Our guest? Well that would be one lost, lonely, wet, cold and hunger husky we are calling Alaska. I discovered Alaska wandering around one of our neighbors houses in the middle of a rain storm. The neighbors daughter was freaking out cos she didn't know where the dog came from, there was no sign of the owner and she was sure Alaska looked hungry enough to eat her. After much effort on my part calming first of all, the neighbors daughter down and having her make a dash for the safety of her home, I secondly managed to get Alaska on a leash and over to our house, where I fed her some of Fintan's food, which she inhaled, dried her off and let her settle into my freshly painted sunroom for the evening. Tomorrow we'll get cracking on finding her owners but for now, she is sleeping hard, dry and warm on a blanket sponsored by Adidas. 

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Boyd Family.


A couple of weeks ago myself and my new photographer friend Amy reconnected for another photo session. Amy for those who may not remember, was the photographer who was awesome enough to allow me tag along and shoot little Erin and her family a few months ago (click here for a recap)

This time however, I was shooting solo (scary) and my model was Amy herself, her handsome husband and their 2 year old daughter Rami. When I tell you I was nervous and intimidated, I was nervous and intimidated. The pressure of shooting a professional photographer, while you are still very much a rookie, is like diving into the deep end of a pool, with only basic swimming skills and no water-wings for assistance. Its tough, overwhelming and riddled with self-doubt. But Amy trusted me. She trusted me enough to give me the chance to either sink or swim and for her bravery, I say "Thank You".

It was also a refreshing change for Amy to be released from her duties behind the camera and take her place next to her husband and daughter so they could be photographed as a complete family. Up until now, their "family" photos were mostly Rami and her dad, minus mom, as mom has been the one operating the camera doing all the capturing. So very exciting for me to work on getting them some real family moments.

And here are just a few of the moments I managed to capture from our afternoon together. Hope you enjoy.


























































Sunday, September 13, 2009

Weekend Highs & Lows

High
 - Finally started and finished painting the kitchen. Alle-piggin-luia.
 - Hit a friends birthday party hard Saturday night.
 - Fintan slept until 6.45am. Total lie-in. He usually starts head-butting me around 5am, looking for breakfast and to be let out for his early morning run.

Low
 - In bad shape as a result of hitting friends birthday party hard.
 - Toothache, toothache, toothache. Now have to schedule a visit to the dentist this week, major suckass.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Struggle Riddled

Wow have I been struggling through the week. That whirlwind trip to Europe kicked my butt. Who knew that 3 days of intense long haul flying, shopping, sightseeing and partying could leave a girl void of any motivation, energy or interest in doing anything but getting through the work day and eventually to her bed.

Coffee drinking became my new habit for the week. I forced myself to pound multiple cups of the stuff daily so I could give myself that false chemical energy necessary to do simple things like, oh I don't know, STAY AWAKE perhaps. 

I also had plans on working through the photos from my last 2 shoots but just could not seem to get to them. Hopefully this weekend I'll complete at least one.

Until then, here is a sneak-peak of 2 year old Kyle from my shoot with the Havener Family. When I tell you this little fella kept me on my toes for our entire shoot, I am not kidding. He made me glad I still workout and have a decent level of fitness. Total energizer bunny and total cutie.






Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Jam-Packed Weekend


Friday Night
Caught an evening flight from Atlanta to Brussels and cos I never sleep on flights and each seat was not equipped with its own tv monitor for our movie viewing pleasure, I read. I started and finished an entire book on the flight. 

Saturday at the Crack of Dawn
Arrive in Brussels. Husband meets me at the airport and we take the train to our hotel in the heart of Brussels. It was just a 15 min train trip but I managed to get verbally abused, in French, by the ticket collector man cos I dared to rest my weary legs on the seat opposite me. Honestly, I didn't even notice I'd put my legs up there to start with. It was a reflex to the travel fatigue. But when the ticket collector man began his verbal rant, in French, which I speak pretty well, I thought he was crazy. "What are you talking about, feet on seat???" Then I looked and saw my offending feet, resting their weary selves on the soft, soft seat. Oops. I took them down but dude would not let it go. On and on and on about the feet and the seat. "S√©rieusement dude, se taire".

We arrive at the hotel, dump the bags and head off for some breakfast. After breakfast we took to the streets of Brussels for some sightseeing and some shopping.


The sightseeing part of the day






Husband and his big American self try not to get head smacked in the wee European doorway.


This was so cool, a segway tour. Basically a line of about 10-12 touists cruising the city on their segways.

Late Saturday Evening
Catch a flight from Brussels to Rome. Wait 90 minutes at Rome airport for a car that is taking us the 2 hour drive to Rieti. Car shows up, with a flat tire and no spare. Wait another 30 minutes for substitute car. Car arrives and we hit the road. 30 minutes later I look out the window and we are back at the airport. Driver is lost. Driver does not know his way to Rieti. We head off again, drive for roughly another 30 minutes before we  pull over again. Driver is completely lost and stressed. And even though I don't speak Italian, I know he is stressed cos every few seconds he breaths heavily and mumbles. Luckily we are sharing the car with a French photographer and his iPhone and French photographer just so happens to have an "App for that", so he GPS's our driver back on track. Props to the iPhone.
Arrive at the Villa, somewhere after midnight and catch the end of the agents dinner we were suppose to attend. Oooopsie

Sunday Morning
Take a stroll around the amazing Italian Villa that is our home for the next day or so. 



The Villa


View of Rieti






Thought these flower pots were pretty cool.


Sunday Afternoon
Husband is still on-the-job, so in the afternoon we hit the stadium for the Rieti track meet. But who do you think one of the athletes competing was?? Only my BFF Derval, aka Scratcher. So I not only got to catch up with the Hubby, but also my bestfriend. Bonus to the weekend.


This is Scratcher in action. She's 3rd from right. The white girl. She had a bit of a mare performances, so I promised Scratcher I wouldn't post a photo beyond hurdle one, cos thats really when the wheels started to fall off. But who cared? This was a mini vacation as far as we were concerned. And really the race was just eating into our enjoyment time.



Someone who did have a good race, Asafa Powell. Here he is blowing the field away.

Sunday Night
Post meet paaaaarrty complete with complimentary beverages of our choice. My choice? Italian white wine, until I discovered there was also complimentary champagne. Game on.


The Husband and The Shinks



The Scratcher, The Shinks and Steve The British Pole-Vaulter


The Scratcher, The Champagne, The Shinks and The Piotrek (best co-agent, in the world)



Later that night, having drained the bar of its champagne and tearing up the dance floor, we decided to head back to the Villa. Here The Scratcher hustles a ride.

Result. Ride secured.

Monday Morning at the Crack of Dawn
Shinks, not in peak condition (damn you free champagne), catches a 5.30am car back to Rome airport for her flight to Atlanta. Boooooo.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Major, MAJOR Points For Husband

Husband:
So whatcha doin for the weekend?

Shinks:
Well, its Labor Day weekend so I have Friday and Monday off work. Friday I was going to paint the kitchen, maybe unclog a drain or 2. Hit a barbecue on Sunday with some friends and run a 10k on Monday. You know, just really gettin crazy with it. Takin life by the horns all weekend long.

Husband:
Oh, so you wouldn't be interested in meeting me in Brussels and flying to Italy for the weekend?

Shinks:
Hmmmmmm, let me think? I really am pumped about painting the kitchen, as for unclogging drains, whoever says they don't love that is a big fat liar. Then there's the ................HELL YA I WANT TO MEET YOU IN BRUSSELS AND FLY TO ITALY FOR THE WEEKEND.

Husband:
Ok, give me a few minutes.

                              - A few minutes pass. Roughly 20 to be exact.-

Husband:
Your all set. You leave tomorrow (today). Fly into Brussels, meet me there and that night we fly to Rome.

Shinks:
Holy sh*t

Husband:
You excited?

Shinks:
Yes, Yes and Hell Yes.