Easter Saturday Update

Hello everyone!!!

[Disclaimer: This is a long post, sorry!! Lots of pictures (again, sorry! It may take a little bit to load). It won't hurt my feelings if you're super busy and only have time to read the captions on the pics! I tried to put them in italics and centered under the pics!]

We've had a pretty good Easter week so far. Work wasn't bad for me, I don't know if I've mentioned in blog-form, but I took over the World Championship Registration for everyone Midterming, and for all 3rd Degrees testing to 4th and below. It's CRAZY. But also very cool. I really feel like I'm contributing to my company - and that feels great, especially since April 4th was my one year anniversary at ATA. It's super cool. I'm hoping for my "One Year Evaluation" here soon. I may need to nudge Mr. Jacobs about it... I don't know.

Also work related. Tom had a great week. He had a really good evaluation at work. And feels like he is truely appreciated. It's really good. I'm really happy for him. Other than that, things have been pretty quiet on the home front.

Tom is about 4 pounds from his first "mini goal" - to lose 45 pounds. I am sitting about 2 pounds from mine. - which was to lose 40 pounds. What do we get to reward ourselves with for reaching our mini-goals? A tattoo!! I'm so excited and scared at the same time!! eek!! It'll be my and his firsts!! Any suggestions??

Oh! Thursday night, we had a wicked storm blow through our area - the lightening was FANTASTIC!! I wanted to try my hand at a really cool technique that I'd been fascinated with for soooooooooo long. I wanted to catch lightening on camera... And I did:
This was my first attempt. My shutter speed was set to like 8 seconds... which basically means that my shutter stayed open for 8 solid seconds. I thought this was going to be a lot better than it was, but I think my shutter actually closed just as this lightening bolt danced across the sky.

This was my second attempt. we have this HUGE tree just to the East of our house, and the lighting looked cool through the tree - I wanted to catch it in open sky, but you gotta face where the lightening is playing!!

This was the best one of the night. Definitely the most defined. The reason why I left my aperture open so long is because I was shooting with no flash, no bulb - only the darkness. The longer the shutter is open, the more light the camera pulls into the shot. Which is why the sky looks off color - also because it was tornado weather... sometimes that makes the sky look all hazy and pinkish. All in all, one of my favorite "still life" photography sessions. I was quite pleased with the results. Oh!! Tip for anyone trying this technique... USE A TRIPOD!! If you move - even the SLIGHTEST bit - you're entire shot will be blown.

Friday night was my sister and her husband's 10 year anniversary! Yay them! It was also the Brett and Nikki's testing date at Taekwondo. Yay them! They both did really, really well!

Nikki always loves having her hair in pigtails... They just look so cute while she's bowing!!

What?? Brett smiling? Holy crap!! He was grinning at Cathy and Tim - because as you see - he's in his sparring gear - when they spar, the crowd is supposed to make lots of noise. The kids that are not sparring are supposed to beat and stomp on the floor - supposed to be good for those that are sparring... I just thought it was noisy. Anyways, the kids that were sparring had to tell their parents to make lots of noise for them... thus, Brett's grin!

This is a really cool shot, because if they were sparring in tournaments - Brett would have gotten some points for this shot on this girl... Anyway, because they had three sets sparring at once, I wanted Brett to stand out - thus, I made everything but him black and white... cool, huh?
Nikki's round kick - she looks so serious!!God forbid anyone try to get her. Something cool that I noticed, when the Tiny Tigers (6 and unders) are testing, their instructor (Hailey is Nikki's instructor) stands with them and walks them through their form or their 1-steps, depending on what they are doing. Anyway, Nikki was always one step ahead of Hailey - she gets dance routines and choreography really quickly... She's a smart cookie!

Anyway, we'll find out the kids scores next week. Actually, I'll find them out first... hehe. Ms. Cupples' school is in my region - thus, I get the scores and get to enter them into the computer, we print out the certificates and ship them back to the school. hehe! I can't wait until Brett gets his Black Belt... Lord help us... he'll have to put up with us throwing a big bash for him... Taekwondo is the first thing that I have seen him really get into... Brett's a green belt (testing for his purple) and Nikki is an Orange Belt (testing for yellow).

Well, since it was Cathy and Tim's anniversary, we kept all three kids... and this is the first time in FOREVER that I have not taken about a million pictures of them here at the house. Anyway, I had a project I worked on with them last night... I'll have photos of it tomorrow... It is an Easter Surprise for Cathy and for Nana (my mother).

Then, Today we went to an Easter Egg Hunt with Cathy and Tim and the kids... that was a lot of fun... too many people for me... I have issues I know... big crowds make me feel like I am going to die. haha!!

Tom and Nikki waiting to go outside for the Easter Egg hunt, she crawled up in his lap... How adorable are they?!?
The Ball Men: Brett, Tim, and TJ

Nikki, giving TJ some tips on how to pick up Easter Eggs quickly!

Brett's age group's grand prize was an XBox 360, and he wanted that sucker so bad... he really went to town grabbing all the eggs... some other kid got it... but he did get a HUGE load of candy!

TJ did pretty good, Tim helped him, by holding the sack - he got a pretty good haul too. I think he would have rather had all those Easter Eggs than the candy and stuff that was inside of them!!

Nikki was our little winner in the family - she got 11 little slips of paper that said "Prize" on them, she got to cash them in for some super cute Easter decorations.

Our local fire department was there too. TJ love the big fire truck!

Brett didn't seem that impressed haha!

I really liked the pic of TJ - he had a BLAST. I think all the kids did...

Tomorrow, Tom and I are going to my parents' house for an Easter lunch. Should be fun! The kids also get to give Nana and Cathy their Easter surprises. Yay!

I'm off to search the web... sorry this is so long... and it's got lots of pics, so it might have taken a LONG time to load... sorry!!

<3 from us!

Happy Easter to all!!!

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