Tuesday, August 31, 2010

My Burden Is Made Light

I saw this video going around, but never took the time to watch it. I was busy. Well, this morning I took the time to watch it and I'm so glad I did. It's worth watching if you haven't seen it yet.

Monday, August 30, 2010


By now, many have heard about the Bishop in Visalia, California who was shot in killed during church yesterday afternoon. Anytime you hear something like this, it's tragic, and your heart aches for the family and friends of the victim. But it becomes more intense when it's a member of the church...you feel, almost in a way, that a part of your own family has been touched. There is a closeness among members of the church. A unity. I always think about Mosiah 18:21 that talks about having no contention and "having their hearts knit together in unity and in love one towards another." When something like this happens, I do feel a great sadness because worldwide, I feel my heart knit together with other members of the church.

My brother lives in Visalia, so I was immediately concerned, thinking this possibly was in his ward. That was not the case. Church was canceled for them and they stood close by the computer watching for updates as the day progressed. My sister-in-law told me it was a very emotional day for everyone. The Sannar family was very well-known in the area and were great people. It's just devastating, and the details of what happened are just...disturbing. If you are interested, you can find the reports from witnesses. But, I don't care to share them here on this blog post.

As I was talking to Ted (my brother) he said something that brought me a lot of peace, and I choose to believe it. He shared with me his own belief based on speculation, that Bishop Sannar is a hero. Ted continued to tell me that he believes, as a bishop, Bishop Sannar may have felt that things weren't right with this man -- the shooter-- , not only through whatever conversation may have taken place in his office, but also through the gift of discernment and as a steward over his ward, he tried to get the man to leave. The man shot and killed Bishop Sannar, but perhaps he laid down his life to protect those who were in the building. And maybe this wasn't a conscious decision, as much as his character dictated what he did...he tried to keep others from getting hurt as well. Because at the time, the congregation was there in various Sunday School classes.

We were reminded of the shooting that took place many years ago now in the Amish school house. How tragic. It was devastating. Could this have turned into something as horrific? Maybe. The truth is, we will never know. But, maybe even just for my own peace of mind, I like to think of Bishop Sannar is a hero...a man who was fulfilling his calling, and in a horrible situation, he died...maybe saving the lives of mothers, fathers, and children in the building.

Either way, he leaves behind a wife and 6 children -- one infant who was just blessed 2 weeks ago. The shooter is dead...Bishop Sannar's family will never have real solid answers in this life, but I do know that they have access to the healing powers of the Atonement, and that they will have many many people praying on their behalf.

None of us are immune to physical harm or tragedy, but it's how we react that protects our spirits. I'm grateful for a gospel that teaches me that and guides me to the source that can bring eternal peace and comfort ~ and also teaches that families are eternal and we will be united again, as families, if we keep the covenants that we make with our Father in Heaven...and today, even as they cope with sadness and pain that I have never known, I think the Sannar family is grateful for those things as well.

Friday, August 27, 2010

This Mare Eats Oats

I have a friend ~ Maren. Maren's a pretty impressive lady. I remember when I met her at BYU just being in awe of her beauty and talent...she's an all around great gal.

I was honored when she asked me to be a guest poster. She has asked a group of women to share "How I Do It." And today...I'm featured. If you care to take a gander -- go on over and check it out.

Camp Richie 2010

This year, I had the awesome opportunity to attend Girls Camp. I love my calling. I was only there a few days as my assignments were to be the Sunday night fireside speaker and work with the 6th levels on the Monday night Faith Walk. It was so fun working with them, and it was so so so fun being there. This stake's girls camp is over the top. Crazy! So fun! While I was there I met some great, no...incredible, young women and made some friendships with people my own age too ~ that's always nice, to say the least.

I also decided to take advantage of the activities available. I tackled the climbing wall...and that is HARD stuff! Man. I get a little competitive with myself, so when I struggled with it, I had to keep doing it over until I felt like I had mastered it. My body was quite sore that evening, but it was well worth it. By the time I got it, I could get up to the top and ring the bell pretty quickly. I was happy.

I swam in the gorgeous cold water. But I mean, really...look at this lake! I couldn't pass this up. I got water certified, which meant I had to swim many laps doing several different strokes. I can normally bust out the swimming pretty ok, but up in that altitude, by the time I was done, I was pretty sure I was going to pass out. After certification, I went kayaking (for the first time) with one of my girls ~ Sadie ~ and I still couldn't quite catch my breath. I was feeling sick and my head was borderline explosive. So, after going around the lake for a bit, I had to wimp out and we had to go back in. Luckily, she was cool with that. I wanted to get up for the 5am swim, but never made it. 5am people! That's EARL-Y! In really cold water! Maybe next year.

And finally, I did a little rapelling. This is a scary thing. Yes, indeed. Especially when you're not in love with heights, such as I. I met Daniel Hawes, one of the priesthood leaders from the stake there, and after he shared his conversion story with me -- hello...very very inspiring...VERY inspiring -- he told me to come and risk my life rapelling. Well, he didn't quite say that, but that's how I heard it. I decided to take him up on it. Xenia, his wife and Camp Co-Director, was headed out and I asked her where the rapelling rock was. And because of Xenia's compassion for me, she rappelled with me. (Not the most flattering picture, but she's a babe. It was really bright up there, and my face looks a little swollen -- or maybe that's just my face. Oh how sad.)
Yes, as I look down, I think, "Really? Really I'm going to do this?" I was quite scared to take that first step over the cliff edge -- and I was holding on for dear life with my left hand. Now, that hand does nothing for you, but it made me feel a whole lot safer. My left hand and forearm were pretty sore the next day though. hm

Daniel and Xenia. It's as if they do this every single day....with such ease and comfort. Crazy I tell you!

And off I go....with some final directions given to me before I head down. (No, she is not touching me...we are at least 15 feet apart there). I was nervous at first, but it wasn't too bad once I got going. I decided to do it again the next day so I could enjoy it more and go down a little faster. It was a lot of fun.

Girls Camp here is far different from my days of Girls Camp growing up...but it was so much fun. I'm glad I had the chance to go, even if it was only for a few days. Not only were there tons of fun things to do, but it was so nice to get away from the busy stuff of daily life. No distractions. The Spirit was so strong there, and I was grateful to be there.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith

What to say? Where to begin? I opened the cover of this book with a bit of concern. A close friend of mine had just said she read it and was awfully upset with the ending. Oh no. It was next on my list and I was quite worried. But, I decided to read it anyway.

I was immediately intrigued with the voice. Cassandra is a teenage girl writing in her journal. Her journal sessions make up the book, capturing moments of their life. They live in an old castle -- how cool is that? -- except that it's not so cool because they are extremely poor and living in a cold, dark castle. In the family is Cassandra, Rose, and Thomas (all siblings), their father and stepmother ~ Topaz ~ and some dogs. To me, the family is quite lovely. I love all the quirks. Stephen isn't family, but practically is since he's lived with them since he was young. Though you don't get this in the first bit that Cassandra shares through her journaling, you later find out that Stephen is quite the humble hunk. They meet some Americans who inherit land there in England, Neil, Simon and Co. and they become friends.

Overall, I really did enjoy the book. I was extremely aggravated with Cassandra, though in the end I feel like things worked out for her how they should. I adore Stephen. Simon isn't all that bad either. I really rather respect him for the most part. But all of them, even Stephen, do stupid things that kind of irked me.

This is definitely a "girl" book -- filled with love story. But there are also parts that are funny (like the bear scene at the train station). And as annoyed with Cassandra as I got, I thought she was representative of that age...falling in love, becoming obsessed ad nauseam, making life 1,000,000 times more difficult than it has to be ~ but not too much or else it would have been hard to read. They are not a religious people, but there was a point where Cassandra dabbled into Christianity...but even then, it was short lived. I thought that was even a pretty good representation of people, especially teenagers. How many of us look for answers to anything, and even when you discover it, it's just easier to complain instead. Yeah.

There is a movie version of it that I'd love to see, but it's "R" and I think I know why. There are scenes that were eluded to in the novel...and I'm sure they're there in the movie.

Would I recommend it? I think so. Not to everyone. But I'm glad I read it.

Why We Need....

to live on a lake. This is clear evidence of the great joy that abounds when given time at the lake. Look at her go! And for a brief moment, we see Callie, with a bit of trepidation, slowly sliding down the slide. She's so funny. She LOVED her life jacket! What 2 year old loves wearing a life jacket? Hey, I'll take it. We'll never have a problem forcing her to wear it on the boat!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Toledo Zoo

(Oh, look at Callie's happy face)

While we were in Michigan, we took a little trip to Toledo to visit the zoo. It was fun, but the Detroit Zoo is better -- and closer. We just thought we'd check out a new zoo. Glad we did, but next time we'll stick to Detroit. It was a really really hot day, but the kids were great and had fun. Callie was running, tripped and scraped her knee. It bled and she was upset...still talks about it. It may scar, but with her skin being so dark, minor scrapes and scratches linger a little longer. I never know. Anyway, it was a fun day. Here's a recap.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

More Nicknames

I can't believe I forgot some of the earliest nicknames we have for Sammykins.


Not sure how I forgot these ones. Because, she is clearly, all of the above.


So, yesterday something very exciting happened. I think I'll just write a few lines here about it...thanks.

I took a shower, like I try to do most weeks, and after...I got dressed. I put my jeans on, and after pulling them up, I went to zip them. They were already zipped up! WHAAAAAT?! Yes, that's right. I slid them on without having them unzipped. This is a huge deal for me folks. Huge. Last I checked, I had lost 15 pounds. I know I still have a lot of work to do, but it's good to see some changes happening. Yippee skippy I say...yippee skippy! After a week of a bad cold, I'm excited to get back to the gym and work work work to get the rest of it off. Wahoo!

Friday, August 20, 2010

At the Beach

Between the time we got home from Michigan and I took off to Girls' Camp, we had a few days of fun. During one of those days, I really wanted to go to the beach. So, to the beach we went. Now, my experiences of "the beach" -- meaning, the beaches in California (because I've been informed by many Californians that my beach in Michigan isn't really the beach) -- have been nice. Warm. Southern California. Other than that, my experiences with the ocean have included Caribbean cruises, Cancun, Pacific coast of Mexico, coast of Florida -- Gulf of Mexico side....all very warm and pleasant experiences. When I said, "Hey, let's all go to the beach!" I was unprepared for the beaches up here in the Bay Area. It was cold and windy. Poor Nathaniel didn't last long. I admit, the girls weren't diggin' too much until about 15 minutes before we left...then they were really starting to like it. We would have stayed longer, but ya know. We'll just take another trip sometime.

Callie loving the uncle attention.

Too windy for Sammy. Poor girl.

Marcus and Bryan decided that since they were at the beach, they were getting in. I thought they were crazy, but it was really fun to watch them. They were inspiring though. If we hadn't been leaving so soon -- I was tempted to jump in myself. After awhile, my legs were getting numb from standing in the water, so it can't be that bad if all of you goes numb, right?

Bryan engulfed by waves.

Marcus chest deep in icy water.

Bryan -- funny, now that I look at it...this pictures reminds me of Arielle from The Little Mermaid -- splashing up from the water (except, of course, Bryan isn't Arielle. Maybe...more like he reminds me of King Tritan. Is that better?). But doesn't it look like he should have a fish tail?! hahaha Oh, I crack myself up. But really, now that I'm thinking about it, he looks like a merman. hehe Oh that's good.

Maybe I'm glad I didn't go in after all. It really was cold.

Concentrating as she eats her mini oreos. Clearly that little dress wasn't a good enough "cover up" for this cold day at the beach.

Ok, I get it. You're not happy.

But I took Sammy down to the water anyway, and she seemed to like it enough -- as long as she was holding on tight.

By the time we were leaving, Sammy was loving the sand and having a great time, Callie was enjoying digging in the sand, and of course, the men jumping in in all their bravery made for a great 1 hour visit to the beach!

Thursday, August 19, 2010


We all have nicknames, right?

I was born Jeanette. I go by Jenny to most, Jen to some -- Jeanette to my mom and some other family members. I like all those names. Don't call me Jennifer and we'll remain friends. But Jen, Jenny, or even Jeanette are all fine and acceptable.
Marci, who I call Marse -- though I've been known to call her Marse Farse Carse Larse, calls me Jen Jen Phen Phen.Emily, who I call Em, used to call me Jeanettey Speghetti. Maybe she just called me that once or twice, but it stuck in my memory.
I've always called my sister Lisa, Lees.
Quinn was Quinnith.
Later in college, that -ith transferred over to Becky, and she became Beckith.

Nicknames. Most of us have a few.
But, there is one girl who has more than anyone else I've ever known. Introducing...

Sammy Lee
Sammy Sam
Sammy Sam Sam
Sammy Samwich
Samantha Bantha
Li'l Sammer
Sammer Jammer
And Grandpa Green's favorite:
Samantha, the Bantam Menace

I know I'm missing a few...but this was just from the top of my head. She already has so many names, and poor girl, I see no sign of us slowing down on coming up with any more! I mean really, is this normal?

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Big Brother

I was uploading pictures from our camera...which I haven't done in a really long time. Yes, this is from back in Michigan. I remember seeing these on the camera...thought they were cute...then once they were up on the computer I saw the huge eyes in the background. do do do do do do do do do do do do doooo freaky

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Now I Can

Recently I learned about an intensive therapy program that is in Orem, UT. Orem! Right close by where we USED to live. I don't think it was around then, though. Anyway. It's called Now I Can. While we were in Spokane, WA, I talked to Echo (our physical therapist) about doing an intensive physical therapy session for Samantha. One session lasted 4 hours a day, 5 days a week, for 3-4 weeks. Echo was pretty sure she could justify it with our insurance since Samantha's case wasn't so mild -- to say the least. But Echo thought Sammy was too young. It's really tiring and hard on the kiddos. So her rules were the kids had to be 4. I trust Echo. She was phenomenal for Sammy and is actually quite well known in throughout Washington and the surrounding states. (How we lucked out with her, I'll never know. Well, I think I do know...) Sammy is now four, but we don't live in Washington anymore. Echo is no longer our therapist. This isn't an option. Sadness. Then I came across Now I Can. They offer this intensive therapy that sees results, and I would love to get Sammy in for a session. How much does it cost? About $2,000 a week. How many weeks? 3-4 weeks. You do the math. We don't have that money...I mean, we're living with my in-laws for a reason. BUT, sometimes they offer financial aid. There are so many families out there like us. I found this on a friend's blog (Lindsay, can I call you a friend? Are you ok with that?) I just cut and paste it here because she explains it all really well. All you need to do is vote and you could provide families (like ours) with help to get their kids into the intensive therapy that they need. Vote! And vote everyday until Monday.
FRIENDS! I need 30 seconds of your time to help some special kids. Obviously if I didn't think this was important I wouldn't be reaching out to you, if you agree feel free to forward a link to this on to your family and friends.
Four years ago, this little girl came to Now I Can with a walker… and after 4 weeks…she donated it to them! She had learned to walk. Now I Can is a unique charity that offers children with disabilities hope to be able to sit, stand, and walk as other children do. As a charity, they are a unique facility in the United States that offers as much discounted and free therapy as possible. Miracles large and small happen daily at their center. Now I Can wants to help every child reach their goals of independence, regardless of their ability to pay—and now YOU can help without spending a dime.

Now I Can is in position to win $30,000 from APX Alarm this Monday, August 23rd! This money will help many children desperate to have an opportunity to benefit from their unique therapy. A typical 3 week session of therapy costs $6,000,which is a daunting amount for those who already have mountains of medical bills. Now I Can was started to help kids who struggle to say “now I can” as they learn new skills. Four years later, they have helped hundreds of children, and they have all become an inspiration in this important effort to help children reach for a stronger future. Now they need your help.

Please help by “voting” for Now I Can today and once a day until Saturday, August 21st. It only takes a moment and will bless a life forever. Here are the simple directions (printscreens attached for those wanting better directions):

1. Go to http://apps.facebook.com/apxgivesback

2. Enter your email and password to log in to Facebook

3. Click on "Like"

4. Share info "Allow"

5. Click on "Start Voting"

6. Click on green "Mountain" region symbol

7. Scroll down to find Now I Can and click the “Vote this Charity” button

8. Return every day until Saturday and post invitations to invite all your fb friends to join you

On behalf of disabled children and their families--thank you for your time and for sharing this with as many people as possible. We only have five days to do this for the “Now I Can kids”!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Together Forever

It's too late this evening to take the time to upload some pictures from yesterday. I'll do that later. However, I had to take the time to write down about this little girl. Yesterday we celebrated Callie being sealed to our family. Oh boy was she all excited when she saw there was a white cake with white frosting waiting for her. All day, she just wanted that cake. She was a bit confused though, as she said, "It's my birthday." But after I told her we were celebrating her "sealing day" to our family, she seemed to come around. "It's my Seeing Day Mommy! I want cake." hmm mmm Callie. That's right.

It's hard for me to remember it being just me, Marcus, and Sammy. She is such a joy -- a true joy -- in my life. All day today, Marcus and I were gone at a seminar to learn a new therapy that we will be doing with Sammy. Colin and Analisa watched the girls for us while we were gone. When we walked in the door, they were at the dinner table eating. Callie screamed in pure delight as she saw us. Marcus went over and said, "Callie!" with his arms stretched out to give her a hug. She ran right past him and jumped into my arms. Now, she partly did this because she knew she was being funny. I could tell it in her eyes and her giggle. But isn't it the best when your child is so thrilled to see you?! I mean, really. Callie adores her daddy too -- no doubt about that. And after a hug and kiss from Daddy, Samantha came toddling over to see me too. Over the past few years, I have felt incredibly blessed.

There are a few dates that will forever be special to me...August 13, 2008 will always be one of those. I so clearly remember sitting in the temple and my mom coming in with Callie all dressed in white. She looked gorgeous. She just glowed. And I felt so honored to have been chosen to be her mom. We have a bond that is strong, and each day, as we dance together in the kitchen, draw pictures, go on walks and go running, sing songs, read books, and just talk (and believe me, she talks and talks and talks!), that bond grows stronger. She is my daughter and I love her more than I can express. She's one cool chick and I love being around her. And I'm pretty happy to report that I think she thinks I'm pretty cool too.

I recently wrote a post and then took it down. Some of you Google Reader readers saw it still, though. Someone left a cutting comment stating that they felt sorry for my children because I sheltered them from the world...seeing that I don't allow Caillou anymore in our home. Well, I've thought a lot about this. And I've decided to say this one thing: No one should ever feel sorry for my children. I mean, you're all entitled to feel what you want, but for goodness sake's, don't waste your time -- I may not be a perfect mom, but I'm good enough in their eyes. It seems like their pretty happy little girls. And we're all pretty happy to be stuck together forever.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Bench or Bucket?

HELP!!! My current stress level is through the roof I tell you! We need a car...yesterday. We're looking at minivans. I need input. We have found a couple good options within our price range, but am I willing to give up the bucket seats in the first row of the back seat?! I don't know. I've done the bucket seats. I love the bucket seats. But we can get a car for the same price that is 20,000 miles less if I go with a bench. That's a lot, right?

So, you who have minivans, or opinions, give me your advice...please. I'm pleading. With the daily driving, is the bucket seat really that much of a difference? Do you have the bench and it works just fine?

Need to know. And why can't I get this annoying font to get any smaller!!!!??? Sometimes Blogger drives me crazy. Anyone else out there? Sheesh

Monday, August 9, 2010

Callie's Sophisticated Humor

The other day, Callie approached me. Something unusual, that I can't quite remember, happened. We kind of laughed about it together... she with her great big cackle. And then, Callie stopped, looked at me, and in her 2.5 year old sophisticated humor said:

"That's funny. Not ha ha funny, but weird funny."

I couldn't believe what I heard. I began to laugh so hard! She got a little shy, but then seeing that I wasn't making fun of her, joined in on the laughing and enjoyed the effect of her wit.

What a funny funny girl! Yet another reason I like being around this little girlo.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

I Capture the Samsquatch

Back in June, Samantha turned 4. That's a big deal. And we were excited to celebrate her age progression. Yes, excited in deed. I try to get the yearly pictures taken, but it's become increasingly difficult for JCPenny to get a good picture of her. See, Samantha is not what one would call cooperative. Usually by the time we get to the studio she's crying, how unfortunate, and not willing to sit still in a small studio. I mean, there are drapes and things to check out, and if she won't sit still any other time, why then when she's surrounded by such fun? Furthermore, cheaper -- or, less expensive -- studios only take a few pictures. If they get a good shot, great. If not, too bad. I'm sick of that. (Yet another reason to get my own good camera.)

Today I went over to Jen and Ray's house. We chatted. We laughed. We enjoyed the day. And then I used her Canon Rebel to take some shots of the girly girl. This was my opportunity to try out the Rebel for myself, and also to take Sammy's 4 year old pictures. Here's what we captured:

Friday, August 6, 2010

Oh I'm Tired

Not sure what it is... why I've been feeling especially tired lately. Today when Samantha woke up at 5:24 am!!!! I was just so so tired I could barely function. I do NOT like that feeling. Every movement, all day, has been done by willing myself to do it. I know I don't get enough sleep, but nothing's really changed in that category. Samantha has been sick -- and I think I picked up a little somethin' somethin' myself -- so that probably has a lot to do with it. But I'm already tired of being tired.

And since we're talking about tired, here's my incomplete list of things I'm tired of:

* Being tired
* Having Samantha wake up before 6am
* Having Callie scream "Mommy" when she goes to bed -- just go to bed lady!
* Putting Samantha's DAFOs on
* Knowing I should be putting her theratog on but not doing it -- guilt's a killer
* Having to watch her every single second so she doesn't break anything -- including herself
* Trying to figure out a new car situation
* Disappointing people
* Not having enough time in the day for many things
* Not having fat burn off fast enough -- grrrr you fat!
* Callie's tantrums
* Sammy's crying -- sometimes it just gets old
* The fact that Samantha will never be on a soccer team, or in a dance recital, or possibly even eat food without my help
* Feeling like I'm finally at a good place, and then slipping off the cliff into the ravaging waves of frustration again
* Seizures -- we haven't had any lately, but I hate them
* Little brains -- sometimes "average" sounds superior
* Samantha kicking her legs when I try to change her diaper -- AHHH the frustration -- even though just typing that right now makes me giggle -- she's such a pill
* Samantha pooping in the bathtub! It's happened twice this month!
* My impatience
* Complaining

There, maybe it's out of my system now because as I typed that up, I started giggling and smiling thinking about all of those frustrating things I was tired of. That's just weird and very unexpected. Perhaps I'm not tired of it after all -- maybe I just needed a quick complaint session. Because, what I'll never be tired of is seeing Samantha when she gets off the bus, having her hug me all day long -- she squeezes my neck so tight -- and Callie screaming in delight "Mommy!" as if it's Christmas morning. Life is good.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

The Backyardigans

While we were in Michigan, we made a little discovery -- and it was a discovery of great importance in the life of Callie J. Green. That's right. The Backyardigans. Maren has mentioned before in her blog how much Leah loves the Backyardigans, but we had never ventured that way, until Michigan that is. My parents have limited channels, so the key times we turn the tube on...there was nothing on. Bummer. I let Callie watch a little bit while I get Sammy ready for bed -- first thing in the morning she watches a bit to wake up. I know. I know. There are better things we could choose to have her do -- but I choose not to choose those choices because...gosh darnit, I'm tired. So, anyway. I noticed that our backyard friends would be on, and did a little DVR action. Robot on a Rampage. It was a full hour long. And I have to tell you, I don't know how many times we watched that. She LOVED it! I mean, looooovvved it. She would giggle as soon as Austin (the robot repairman) started dancing and she knows all the songs.

These backyard friends, well, I became fond of. They are kind, imaginative animals that really have good, catchy songs...and their dance moves are impressive for cartoons. So, Callie's allowed to watch The Backyardigans. She has our go-ahead on that. For the plane ride back to California, I picked up a DVD at Walmart and I have no idea how many times she's watched it. 15 minutes here...15 minutes there. Hey, at least Caillou's out of the picture now.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Samantha's Photo Shoot

These are the pictures I took of Sammy with Dad's camera. I played around with his zoom more, so some of these are a little blurrier...but I thought they were still cute. One thing that I love about a camera like this is that it takes pictures quickly. That means I can capture the picture in the moment I see it. These are the many faces of Samantha Lee. She's such a sweetheart.

Monday, August 2, 2010


I'm in love. Real, true love. Marcus is great, so are the girls, but my new love is Dad's camera. See, I'm in the market for a camera -- a really good one -- and I've narrowed it down to 2. Any input is appreciated, because though I've asked for this input before, I'm serious now. I'm buying a camera within the next few months.

Nikon D90 -- I'm a little bit of a Nikon snob. Not sure why. Perhaps it's because that's what my dad has always used. And most of my cameras have been Nikons. I've heard great things about this camera -- seen great images from the camera, etc. Overall, I'm a fan.

Canon Rebel: Also have heard good things. In fact, I was recently informed that this camera has a stabilizing component in it which makes it more user friendly -- especially for the novice photographer. (That's me by the way.) I still have to look into that to see if that's true or not...but though I'm not a huge Canon fan, this is a rather compelling deal, and one I need to truly consider.

So, what it will come down to is peer reviews, how comfortable I am using the camera -- do I like it, can I feel it -- and price, of course. And, I'll need to buy another lens too, so, ya know. Price really is a big factor.

While in Michigan, I played around with Dad's camera -- the Nikon. This was my first "test" and I have to say, I was rather happy. Here are some shots of Callie that I took that day.

That was just basically a sequence of her running, but it makes me so so happy. I still have to try out the Canon...but I have to say with that camera in my hands and getting some of those pictures...it was an experience. Instead of just taking pictures, I felt like I was experiencing a moment and I could more easily capture that. I know that sounds so cheesy, but it made me so happy and looking at the pictures reminds me of that. No matter what I decide, shooting with my dad's camera made me realize that it is important to me to buy a camera like that. It's really worth it.


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