5 Years!!

5 years ago today Colleen and I celebrated our own wedding. It was the single best day of my life.

In an attempt to let you know what it was like to be there — This is the wedding ‘slideshow’ I made and we played out our wedding… If you are at work watching this, it is acceptable if you don’t sing along. ūüėČ

Camera Cookies

I’m a member of a photography group that decided to do Secret Santa this year… ¬†We were limited to a few dollars, so we had to be creative. ¬†Facebook stalking to find out non-photography interests, googling for cool products, etc. ¬†Some people got memory card wallets, lenses hollowed out and turned into cups, mini camera-shaped thumb drives, etc… ¬†When I¬†received¬†a package that said “Warning: Stow-away-asaurus’ I was thoroughly confused… but when I opened it up confusion turned to happiness as I saw a set of camera-shaped cookie cutouts. I love sugar cookies, so this will give me more reason to make them. ¬†Traveling the better part of the past month, I just now got around to being able to actually use them…. Photography never tasted so good. (Then again, it doesn’t really ever taste… hrm…)

Oh, P.S. ¬† After I made these I had a little leftover dough… so I ate some raw (mmmm!) and made the rest into a nice big heart which I planned to¬†surprise¬†Colleen with in the morning (she had gone to bed). ¬†I proceeded to forget about in the oven for 45 minutes until Colleen awoke and yelled from the bedroom, “Is something burning?!?!”. ¬†Yea, I made a black, smoldering heart. ūüôĀ

And P.P.S. ¬†When making cutouts, you can’t put the doughy cookies as close together as I show in the photos of the cookie-sheet… ¬†they spread and make one BIG cookie. ¬†Stupid Joey..

Polar Plunge

Yes, it was cold.

Every year Colleen and I have a dozen-or-so of our friends up to northern Minnesota for a winter ‘cabin’ party. It generally involves doing fun stuff like shoveling off the lake and playing hockey… and almost always includes stupid stuff, like cutting a hole in the ice and jumping in. ūüôā

Colleen may look like she is smiling, but that’s pain… I’m pretty sure.

(Okay, this photo is 3 months old… better late than never, right?).

Here comes decade #4

I just turned 30. ¬†I’m now older than 42% of Americans.

Not totally sure if I’m pumped about this or not. ¬†People say that I’m now old enough to know what needs to be done – yet young enough to still do it. ¬†I hope they are right. ¬†I do have a 99.003% chance of making it to age 40 – so that’s something to be pumped about.

Up-and-coming will no longer describe me — does that mean I’m “there”? ¬†I like to think I’m still on my way.

81% of women have been married by age 30, 72% of men… I’m on track there. ¬†What other things was I supposed to have done by now? ¬†Meh – ‘supposed to’ is boring… I’m happy with what I’ve accomplished.

“You’re younger than I expected” was something I got used to hearing when meeting people for the first time. ¬†I’ll need to recalibrate my expectations.

I loved my later teens and 20’s – I had a great time and the world was laid out before me. ¬†I might have uncovered a bit of the map now, but I believe there is still a lot left — my dreams still exceed my memories — so I’m good to go…

Speaking of people that have big dreams … Here is an¬†engagement¬†session from last fall: Kelly and Justin, and their dog. ¬†We strode around Minnehaha Park in St. Paul and took full advantage of the off-leash dog park. ¬†I’ve got to get my guy¬†down there sometime too…

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Another one bites the dust….

It‚Äôs the New Year – time for some reflection and refocusing. What worked in 2010, what didn‚Äôt; perhaps more importantly: what needs to change to make this upcoming year better than the one recently past? ¬†I truly believe that simply going through life without some sort of¬†reflection¬†and change based on said reflection is silly. ¬†We don’t even go across town without a plan including map, times, address, and itinerary… yet we often go decades without any thought as to where our life is going.

2010 was in many ways a great year for me – it was my most successful year in business yet and has resulted in a better booking season for the future year than I could have dreamed. I transformed an unused part of my home into a beautiful and functional new meeting and work space (almost complete – photos soon) and grew a half-ton of gourd that the neighborhood kids were bonkers over. I managed to stay connected with friends that I feared would slip away; and kindled new friendships with people that could have easily been nothing but a fleeting passing of strangers. I got to be with, and capture images of, a bunch of truly cool people during the most intimate moments of one of the most special days of their lives. ¬†Colleen and my’s third year of marriage has shown the first two weren’t just lucky flukes. Family and friends have been more-or-less blessed with good health; and have shown more support than one could reasonably expect. For these things, and many others, I am eternally grateful to what 2010 brought, and to what it showed us.

However, 2010 also was also extremely hard. ‘Doing’ all the time, I rarely had time to spend just ‘being’. I lost a lot of this year planning and prepping for the next years; a lot of now prepping for someday. ¬†To much planning hurts just as much as not enough. Though I love what I do, I missed many memories of my own making memories for others. I only blogged around a dozen times in 2010 – that’s a sadly small amount. ¬†Family life was a bit hard – both because I was not available and because the company my wife worked for since college shuttered it’s doors. I could have done better supporting her. ¬†I only got to wakeboard twice. My grass suffered from neglect. ¬†Much of my time was spent letting perfect be the enemy of good. I use too many emoticons. ūüôā

Kona Dog as Pet Police and Colleen as Prison Bride

Lessons learned, things to change: I have to purposefully focus on not biting off so much; even if I know that when I do, family and friends will help me chew. Kona is kind of high-definition awesome. Relaxing is not necessarily a ‘waste of time’. My wife¬†is beautiful. ¬†Making a list and sticking to said list are completely different things – I need to work on the latter. ¬†Good friends are worth it. Things will only work well for so long without maintenance – be that a car, a camera, a marriage, or even your own body. ¬†I’m really slow at drywall, but can fish electrical wires like a… uhm… fisherman? (and by that, I mean: ‘good’… heh) ¬†Listening harder is almost never the wrong choice.

Branch covered in snow at sunrise

I’m going to go work out for the first time in 6 months. ¬†The best kind of start is a good one, right?

May 2011 be great to you and yours….

Summer has officially come to MN…

The raspberries are ripe, the peas (and other veggie garden wonderfulness) are growing, and Mama Duck was successful in keeping Kona away from her nest long enough for the ducklings to hatch and make it down to the pond…

p.s. For you photo geeks, these are basically straight-out-of-the-camera JPGs..