Cross Country and Halloween

Whew! It has been a crazy couple of weeks around here! First a trip to Colorado to see family, and then a few days later, a trip to Nebraska. My 9-month-old daughter has been on more airplanes in her short life than I was on in the first 22 years of mine!

Just wanted to post a couple recent pics. First, a few of my little sister at her Cross Country meet. She placed 4th on her team and qualified for Regionals and Varsity! Woohoo!


Then, Halloween sort of snuck up on us this year with everything going on. Just shy of 9 months, we figured Cadence was much too little to enjoy Trick-or-Treating this year, so we decided to hang out as a family at home and pass out candy to the little neighborhood kiddos. I did get a few shots of Miss Cadence manhandling the Halloween candy. Of course, it didn’t take long for Electra to get in on the action. Apparently, tiny packages of Whoppers are irresistable to both babies and dogs. Go figure.





A Fistful of Condiments

Steven and I had a lunch date with our favorite Foerth on Friday. We were planning to meet at the Chick-fil-a for a quick bite to eat before heading to pick up Steven’s mom and brother at the airport. First, we had to drop off some photos at Momma Dawn’s house, and since my brothers Beau and Eddie are currently on a two week break from school, Steve invited them along to eat with us.

We pulled into the Chick-fil-a parking lot, looking around for Foerth’s car. Instead, we saw Foerth jogging toward us, dodging in between parked cars.

It was just a typical day with Foerth. We joked around with him on the way inside to order our food. Steve took Beau and Eddie’s orders, then sent them along to find a table. I followed them, and got Cadence strapped into her high chair.

“Do you think we need an extra chair?” I asked Beau and Eddie. “Or can Foerth just squeeze in the booth on your side?”

“No way,” said Eddie. “Foerthy Foerth can sit over here with us. There’s plenty of room.”

Along came Steven with our drinks. He set them down on the table, and then headed back to the front to retrieve napkins and ketchup. Next came Foerth. In one hand, he carried an extra large Coke. The other hand was overflowing with packets of various condiments.

“Dude! What is all that?” Eddie asked when Foerth dumped the packets on the table, and then began pulling even more from his pockets.

Foerth looked at Eddie and said matter-of-factly, “It’s mayonnaise. What does it look like?”

“Holy cow man! How much mayonnaise do you need?” Eddie exclaimed.

Steven arrived before Foerth could answer, dropping a few packets of ketchup in the middle of the table for the boys to share.

“Dang! What is all that?” Steven asked.

“It’s mayonnaise!” Foerth said abruptly, as if annoyed that he kept having to answer the same question over and over again. He pulled a plastic bag with the Chick-fil-a logo from his pocket and began filling it with the mayonnaise packets.

“And what the hell is that?” Steven asked, pointing at the bag.

“Um…a bag. What does it look like?”

“Foerth,” said Steven.


“Foerth, what’s with the mayonnaise?”

“What do you mean?”

“Foerth, what are you doing with all that mayonnaise?” Steven asked.

“What?” said Foerth testily. “I’m out of mayonnaise.”

Steven and I looked at each other, and then started to laugh.

“Foerth, where did you get that bag?” Steven asked.

“They gave it to me,” Foerth replied.

“Wait a minute,” I said. “Are you telling me that you asked the lady at the counter for a bag so you could steal mayonnaise?”

“What?! Foerth!” Eddie said, and then he and Beau burst out laughing.

“Oh Jesus, Foerth,” Steve said, shaking his head. “Why don’t you just go buy some mayonnaise?”

“What? And waste it?” Foerth snapped. “I’m moving in less than a week. How am I supposed to eat a whole jar of mayonnaise?”

“You know, they make tiny little jars right?” I asked, laughing. “I mean, if you wanted to make yourself a tuna sandwich this week, you could’ve just bought one of the little jars.”

“Whatever,” Foerth said, blushing. “Eddie move over.”

“No way dude, you’re sitting in the middle,” said Eddie, standing up so Foerth could squeeze in between him and Beau.

By the time our food arrived, we had moved onto other topics, and Steven and Foerth were arguing loudly over who was going to win Sunday night’s football game–the Giants or the Bears. Eddie took the top bun off his chicken sandwich, removed the tomatoes and put them aside, and then began to sift through the condiment packets on the table. After a moment, he leaned over and nudged Foerth.

“Yo man, can I get some mayonnaise?” he asked.

“Go to hell,” said Foerth. And in spite of several minutes of pleading, Eddie never did get any mayonnaise.

But…I looked it up online

So, we meet up with Foerth for lunch today. Foerth and I arrived at Chick-fil-a about 10 minutes before Steve. Foerth is being his usual twitchy self, and all of a sudden he goes:

“So, I gotta ask you and see what you think…I found this little like pimple thing in Indy’s groin area.” (Indy being Foerth’s mangy little dog). Here’s a pic for those of  you who have never had the pleasure of meeting Devil Dog.


“Okay, first of all, what the hell were you doing looking at your dog’s groin area?” I ask.

“Oh, you know, he was lying on his back on the floor, and I just sorta noticed it,” says Foerth. “Anyway, how long do you think it takes for a black widow bite to set in? I looked online and it said the worst pain is in the first 1-3 hours. I noticed this thing at six this morning, so it can’t be a black widow bite, right?”

“Okay, so let me get this straight,” I say. “You noticed a pimple on Indy’s groin and you think it’s a black widow bite? Wouldn’t you have noticed if he got bit? Did you actually see a black widow?”

Foerth is quiet for a minute, thinking. “Well, no, but I looked online and it might be one. There are a lot of black widows here, and who knows when it might have bit him. He doesn’t seem hurt though, and he’s not licking it or anything, so he’s probably fine, right?”

“Right, it’s probably nothing,” I say.

Foerth is quiet for a minute.

“Yeah it’s probably nothing,” he says.


“But nothing came out when I tried to squeeze it, so it can’t just be a pimple,” he says.

It takes me a second to process what he just said. And when I do, I almost gag a little.

“Wait…did you just say you squeezed this pimple-thing?”

Foerth is quiet for another second, as if he can’t decide whether he really wants to continue with the story now that he has begun to spill the details.

“Well, yeah, you know, I wanted to make sure what it was.”

“Foerth, that is disgusting! Why the hell would you do that?”

He starts to turn a little red and get embarrassed. It’s not hard to tell when Foerth is embarrassed because he paces a lot and can’t seem to keep still. So, he’s pacing around me like a caged animal, and I’m trying really hard not to drop Cadence because I’m laughing so hard.

“Well, I…I don’t know…it would just be my luck if it was a black widow bite, and then he needs medication and surgery and all sorts of other…”

I interrupt him. “Foerth, it’s not a black widow bite! Jesus, it’s probably just an ingrown hair. Why the hell are you so bent out of shape about this.”

Still pacing.

“I don’t know, I just noticed it this morning. I’m sure it wasn’t there before…” he says, but I interrupt again.

“How do you know? How often do you look at your dog’s groin?”

“That’s disgusting,” he says.

“No, what’s disgusting is finding a freakin’ pimple on your dog’s groin and then squeezing it! What the hell man?”


About that time Steve pulls into the parking lot.

“Oh my God, wait til I tell Steve,” I say, laughing.

But Foerth isn’t listening, instead he’s muttering to himself as he digs his phone out of his pocket.

“Why am I even asking you, I can just call his vet…” he says. Apparently, he has the vet’s number programmed in his phone.

“Foerth, don’t do that, I can just ask my Aunt Jen…”

But it’s too late.

“Um, hello? Yes, I have a question. I have a small 18-pound terrier and, um, this morning I noticed a small…well, sort of pimple thing in his…uh…his groin area. I was just wondering how long it would take for a black widow bite to take effect…”

“Who the hell is he talking to?” Steve asks, walking up.

I fill him in on the story thus far.

“Yo! He gave his dog the herp?!” Steve yells.

“Well, no, I didn’t actually see a black widow, but I was looking online….” Foerth continues as he walks far enough away from us that the receptionist can’t hear Steve yelling out the names of various STD’s.

A few minutes later, he hangs up, disgusted.

“Well they are no help!” Foerth says, stuffing his phone back in his pocket. “They said I should just call poison control.”

“Foerth gave his dog the HERP!” Steve yells again. Then asks quietly, “Foerth, were you touching your dog’s penis?”

By this time, we are standing in line in the Chick-fil-a, and Foerth has turned seven different shades of red.

“No!” he says. “But a black widow bite…”

“FOERTH! IT’S NOT A BLACK WIDOW BITE!” I insist. “Seriously dude, you are acting freakin’ crazy right now! What has gotten into you today?”

“Nothing,” Foerth says. “I just don’t know what’s wrong with Indy…”

“Is he acting strange?”


“Does he act like he’s hurting?”


“Does he even seem to notice this little pimple-thing you found, except maybe when you were trying to squeeze it?”


“Then he’s fine dude, let it go!”

We place our orders and find a table. While we eat, Steve changes the subject and the boys talk about sports, movies, Foerth moving back to NY in a couple weeks. As we finish up, Foerth gets all quiet again, and Steve looks over at him. 

“What’s wrong with you?” he asks.

“Nothing,” says Foerth.



Silence for a few moments. Then Steve leans over and says quietly, “Dude, you gave your dog the HERP!” And Foerth turns red all over again.

“But if it’s a black widow bite…”


Well, it’s official. Cadence is on the move. In early August, she began army-crawling, dragging her little body across the floor on her elbows, and it didn’t take her long to graduate to full-fledged, hands-and-knees crawling. Funny how quickly it happens.

Suddenly the world became a much more interesting place for my young daughter. Instead of feeling immobilized and frustrated, she was now free to explore, and explore she does. She ventures down the hallway to see what’s there. She is fascinated with the shelves full of books and dvds, pulling herself up to stand and making sure she leaves her fingerprints on every last one of them. She keeps us busy and entertained with her newfound adventures.

Just last week, I was in the office working on some photos. Cadence was on the floor playing quietly with a few of her toys and listening to music. Behind us, Electra was asleep in her dog bed. I couldn’t help but snap a quick photo with my phone at how awkwardly (and soundly) she was sleeping.

I was sort of half paying attention as I sorted through photos. Out of the corner of my eye, I watched as Cadence crawled over to where Electra lay sleeping. She patted her twice on the head, and then gave one of Electra’s floppy ears a squeeze.

“Cadence, be nice to your doggie,” I said.

Cadence pulled her hand back. She looked at me, then at Electra (who hadn’t even moved). Then, she turned and crawled over to her sippy cup to take a drink.

I turned back to the computer and continued working while Cadence chatted softly to herself. After a few moments, I noticed that it had gottten awfully quiet. I glanced over to where Cadence had been sitting, but she was gone. I turned around to make sure she hadn’t returned to harass Electra, and this is what I saw.

Laughing, I grabbed my phone and snapped a quick photo, thankful that Electra’s bed had just been washed and that Electra had enough good sense to vacate it before Cadence decided to just climb in on top of her.

Promises, promises

Once again, my blog has been neglected. And once again, I come back to it, trying to figure out a way to keep up, to keep it going, to keep myself from pushing it aside and forgetting it amidst the million other things demanding my time these days. When I’m not trying to keep up with my 7-month-old daughter (who is not only crawling, but also pulling herself up on everything and having her share of spills and head bumps along the way), I am visiting restaurants and writing articles about them for a local magazine, starting up a photography business, and trying to juggle the myriad of other things that need to be taken care of in the meantime.

For awhile, I thought the answer was to change the theme of the blog…to move away from my writing and focus more on my photography, and yet I always end up finding myself going a little stir crazy without writing. Finally moving forward and starting my photography business made starting a photography blog necessary, and I decided keep the two separate. Plus, I’ve always needed to purge my thoughts on paper at regular intervals to keep my head clear and my soul balanced, so it seems fitting to keep one space dedicated to that alone.

And so, here I am. I’ve made my way back like a scolded child–penitent, guilty, and ready to begin anew.

Calico Jack’s opening

Saturday, Steven and I headed up to the Westgate City Center in Glendale. I was assigned an article on Calico Jack’s Cantina, which opened April 29, and was given the opportunity to take some photos to run with the story. For my first time shooting for a magazine, I am pretty pleased with my results. 🙂

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