Happy Mother’s Day!

After the last few busy weeks and weekends full of writing assignments and photo shoots and hours up on hours of photo processing, I have to admit, I’ve been looking forward to Mother’s Day. I figured, if nothing else, it would give me one whole day where I had a good excuse to just lie around and be lazy if I wanted.

Too bad Cadence and Electra weren’t in on the plans. They both woke up early and loudly this morning, so I made the coffee a little stronger than usual. 🙂

All in all, it was a really good day. My folks gave us tickets to the afternoon Husker baseball game, so Steven, Cadence and I headed out to cheer them on. Cadence is absolutely obsessed with baseball. She loves watching games at home on TV with her Daddy, and always has a blast when we head out to the ballpark. Steven can’t wait to take her to her first Mets game in June (though technically, she attended one in utero with the Kennedy clan when we visited NY back in the summer of 2009). Her latest thing is making sure she hugs all the baseball statues that line the sidewalk in front of Haymarket Park…

The ticket takers at the gate were cracking up when she had to run and hug the very last ball before she’d even enter the ballpark, and then make sure she hugged them again and told them “Bye bye” on our way out.

Crazy girl.

After the game, we just spent some time hanging out and lounging at home. Of course, I couldn’t keep my hands off the newborn photos I took yesterday, and managed to get enough processed to post the official Sneak Peek on Facebook before I head to bed.

And after an evening watching Celebrity Apprentice (Aubrey O’Day finally got fired tonight, which was the best Mother’s Day gift EVER!) and The Killing and eating some Indian food with my hubby, I am one happy girl. 🙂

To my four FABULOUS mothers, and all the other mothers out there, I hope you all had a wonderful day!

StoriTyme Photos – I Heart Faces April Entry

Head on over and check it out…

Take Me Out To The Ballgame!

Technically, Cadence has been to a baseball game before. Back in July, her Pawpoo, Granny, Aunt Whitney and Uncle Collin took her to a Colorado Rockies baseball game. At just under 1 1/2 years, she was a little less inclined to actually sit still and be content through a whole 9 innings, but she did really well. Steven even claims that Cadence is a lucky baseball charm because he caught a foul ball off the bat of Melky Cabrera in the 7th inning. But, now that Cadence is over 2 and has watched a whoooooooooooole lot of baseball with her Daddy (Let’s Go Mets!), it’s safe to say that baseball is her favorite sport.

Cadence’s Papa Duane and Grandma Jayne came to visit for the weekend, and we all headed out to the Husker baseball game on a beautiful March afternoon. The minute we walked into Haymarket Park and Cadence got her first glimpse of the boys on the field, she started hollering, “Oooh baseball! Baseball!” With the exception of a couple innings where we headed over to the kids’ playground and took a walk to eat a funnel cake, Cadence spent the entire afternoon clapping, dancing, hollering, laughing, and cheering for the Huskers.

Yeah, that’s our girl! 🙂

Here are a few of my favorite photos from our day at the game…

Excavation 2012 – Day #20 – Hello Hello Old Husker Phone

I’m not even sure exactly when I bought this old phone for my parents.

I know it was a Christmas present, and I know I purchased it while I was living in New York, so it could have been anytime between 1998 and 2007, though I’m leaning more toward 2003ish. When I found it, I figured it would be a perfect addition to my parents’ Husker room because, instead of a regular ring, it played the Cornhusker fight song whenever someone called.

How’s that for classy, huh?

Bad part was, there was a good five second delay for the fight song to actually start playing, which meant every other phone in the house would ring first. The phone also seemed to have only one volume–SCREAMING LOUD–and the fight song didn’t stop until it reached the end, which meant you either had to wait so long that you would risk the caller hanging up, or answer the phone and apologize profusely for any short term hearing loss the caller may suffer as a result.

A couple years ago, when Mom and Dad finally disconnected their home phone service, this little baby found its way back to me. I’m not exactly sure if there are many official rules regarding re-gifting, but I’m pretty sure sure that re-gifting a gift back to the original gifter is generally frowned upon.

Unfortunately, when it comes to anything Husker-related, I have a hard time saying no.

With a new baby in the house, we thought it probably wasn’t the greatest idea to have a home phone that rang louder than an air raid siren, so we packed the phone in a box and forgot we even had it. After finally deciding that it was ludicrous to keep a phone company for a landline we never even use, it’s time for the ol’ Husker Fight Song Phone to find a new home.

Any takers?

365 Project – Day 322 – Yesterday Once More

So, yesterday was the first day that I missed a day on my 365 Project blog.

Day 322.

Not bad.

And I certainly had a good reason.

I spent yesterday morning testing my equipment, packing my back, and getting ready to go to Omaha to photograph a wedding. I left the house at 11:30, listening to the Husker game on the radio, hoping for a win, and praying that somehow the sun would come out and warm things up a bit.

No such luck.

Not only did the Huskers get shellacked by Michigan, the day that dawned cold and cloudy only got colder and cloudier. But if I had to see my team get beat and spend a day in the cold weather, there are few ways I would rather be spending it than hanging out with my amazing friend and fellow photographer Cristen, and photographing the wedding of an amazing couple like Julie and Jared.

I already put the sneak peek of these photos on my StoriTyme Photos Facebook page, but I had to share them here because Facebook can make even the most beautiful photos look compresssed and crappy. So, without further ado, I’d like to introduce the gorgeous newlyweds, Julie & Jared. Thank you both for letting me share in your day! And a BIG THANK YOU to Cristen for driving all the way up from sunny, 61-degree Kansas to spend a cold, gray day being a rock star 2nd shooter!

365 Project – Day 315 – Why I Am Proud to Be Nebraskan

If you’ve turned on the television or radio, or opened a newspaper in the past five days, you’ve probably heard at least a little something about the sex abuse scandal going on at Penn State. Our media has been doing what they do best this week–taking a negative story and horrifying the general public with all sorts of speculations and worst case scenarios while reporting just enough of the truth to keep everyone tuning back in for more.

Yes, there were unspeakable crimes that took place at Penn State, and I truly believe that these initial allegations are only the tip of the iceberg. But I don’t believe that the 24/7 media coverage is doing anyone any good. Instead, it has only managed to create an atmosphere so unstable that students ended up rioting and some peoople were speculating whether Nebraska players and fans should even travel to Pennsylvania for today’s matchup between the Huskers and the Nittany Lions. Hell, some people even questioned whether the game should be played at all.

But personally, I am glad that the game was not canceled. Like the first Major League Baseball game played by the New York Mets following the 9-11 tragedy, the Penn State family needed something that could bring them together and start them on the road to healing. And today, I believe they found that something.

Husker fans arrived in Happy Valley, not quite knowing what to expect, and yet they did what Husker fans always do…they greeted their hosts with warmth and humility and looked forward to a day of football. Even from my seat here in my Lincoln living room, I could feel the emotion as the Penn State players started their slow march onto the field. And then, something extraordinary happened.

This first YouTube video was captured on the cell phone camera of a Penn State fan attending the game…

And here is a video a clip of what we saw on the televised broadcast, as the players and coaches and staff came together on the field before kickoff. And for those of you who don’t know the man leading the prayer, that’s Ron Brown, Nebraska’s Running Backs Coach. Not only did he share a very powerful message with both teams before the game, he also wore blue to support the Penn State “Blue Out” to raise money and awareness for child abuse.

And finally, a clip from one of the AP reporters who got close enough to record some of Ron Brown’s inspirational words as he shared them with the players, coaches, cheerleaders, staff, and press that gathered around him at midfield…

And if these links done work or for some reason you can’t view the videos, just go to YouTube and search “Nebraska Penn State pregame prayer” and you’ll find them.

Today, more than any other day, I watched my team with a renewed sense of pride. Ron Brown was right. All eyes were on this game today, and both the Huskers and the Nittany Lions played their hearts out on the field and showed everyone who was watching what being an adult and being a team is all about. Growing up is about learning to face what life throws at your with grace. It’s about doing what’s right, even when what’s right is not popular. It’s about doing what you can to help others in need and standing up for what you believe in. It’s about overcoming obstacles, facing adversity, and never, ever giving up.

It’s hard to hear everything Brown said in that short video, but a few of the reporters that spoke with him afterward asked him if he could relay some of his message, and he said:

“I said ‘Why us? Why us, lord? Of all the years. Joe Paterno left Brown University and came here in 1950. Nothing changed here forever. Then all of a sudden, it all changed this week. Why this week? Why Nebraska? Why this Penn State team?’ We can’t control those things. What we can control is our attitude, our spirit, that we bring to this game. There are a lot of little boys out there, watching this game, trying to make sense out of life. They are asking, ‘What is manhood?’ May we demonstrate to them what manhood is, to come out and play the game of football, with ferocity, with passion. I thanked God for choosing our teams to play this game. We were the little boys who grew up playing football. This was our moment to show the world. There are a lot of issues out there, a lot of questions, regarding child abuse. What we can do, on this field, is show them what respect is, respect for each other, respect for God. And then I asked God for his hand of safety. A lot of people didn’t know what was going to happen today. They saw people rioting the other night. They wondered what might happen today. They thought this place might explode. I felt like God held his hand of healing over the stadium today. I know some people may not understand that, but I think there was a reverence in the crowd today. A respect for one another, for the players, for the game. I think that’s what we saw today.”

Like Bo Pelini said in his postgame interview, what is going on at Penn State is much bigger than football, and a lot bigger than the game that was played on that field today, bigger even than the moment when the two teams came together and bowed in prayer and the more than 100,000 fans in the stadium fell silent. I may not be an overtly religious person who goes to church every Sunday and prays on a regular basis, but I know the hand of God when I see it. Something happened in Pennsylvania today. An important lesson was learned. A ray of light began to shine in the darkness. Today, like every other day, I am proud to be Nebraskan.

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