Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Feeling Good

Thankfully I am feeling much better physically after my surgery. Things seem to be healing nicely and I have returned to almost all of my normal activities. I do seem to be a little short on sleep lately and writing a blog at night isn't helping :) but I wanted to do it yesterday and never got around to it. We have been enjoying the weather and have went out birding several times. My mother was kind enough to come and spend a week with us as I was recouperating and watched over the girls. This also led to a couple nice bird outings with just Malcolm and I, though the birds seem to have won as we didn't see any new bird species. I am continuing to take pictures of the girls after a week of taking hardly any so I thought I would get a couple up. Though keep checking...maybe in a day or two I will get up a couple more :)

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Caption Suggestions Part 2

As many of you know we edit almost all of our pictures, mostly correcting only for white balance, exposure, and other minor changes. Sometimes however we get more inspired within photoshop and try to make the picture either a bit more interesting or give it a creative feel. That is the case with the past two tiger pictures taken at the Henry Vilas Zoo here in Madison two weeks ago. There is a glass plane between the tiger and the girls in each picture as well as a dark edge between the panes of glass. To make it less apparent that a window exists I took out that dark edge in both pictures (You can see what I mean in the picture below!). In the one above I also selected the tiger and the girls separately to make them lighter and match closer to the background, which was not even close to the way it looked in the original out of camera without using a flash.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Surgery Update...

I had my gallbladder taken out this morning at 7am and was in the hospital until 1pm. Everything went well and supposedly there were stones that they found so hopefully that will be the end my problems. Today I am quite sore and I would best describe it as feeling as though I have been used as a punching bag. Though the most distressing thing is that though I had 4 incisions, one of them happened to be through my belly button, which is not only the most painful but the absolute "grossest" thing ever...YUCK! For those of you who know, I have a thing against bellybuttons in general and when Michaela used to stick her finger in mine (like she does her own, thinking she will get a laugh) I about climb the wall :) So we will see how it heals.

I appreciate any prayers that were sent my way and continue to pray that things will heal quickly. Supposedly I am not supposed to lift Michaela for two weeks, but we will see how it goes.

Thanks again everyone.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


With wonderful weather today we spent time outside at Olbrich Gardens. It is still too early for tulips but daffodils and crocuses were already up. Christine wanted to try out a newly acquired 80-200mm f2.8 lens. Based on our initial results, we will likely be using this lens often at Derek and Kali's wedding.

I wanted to practice more on the wide angle lens also. These pictures are from Olbrich today with the Sigma 10-20mm. Practice, practice, practice....maybe then I will remember to bring the tripods for the flash units also.

Remind me also not to have a leg coming at the camera with a wide angle lens, it looks huge!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter

We were blessed with a visit from Malcolm's parents this weekend and his Grandma Betty. The weather cooperated with us this weekend which made it all the better.

Great Grandma Betty had quite the Easter basket for the girls.

After a nap today we went to the park on the bikes, with both the girls together in the bike trailer for the first time. They each have a mild case of the sniffles, so the cold wind of the bike ride made it even worse.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

That DARN Key!

After a year Christine found the bike lock key today......yes....THAT key. The one that Michaela took into the kitchen and failed to return with after only a minute. We then spent an hour looking for it to no avail, and then took Michaela into the emergency room for an X-ray to make sure she didn't swallow it. Even though our guess was confirmed with the X-ray, it still serves as a reminder of how quick things can change and how BAD of parents we can become with one quick action.

Here is the culprit.

It was under the refrigerator after all.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

April Fools Nightmare

Yesterday was quite the day for us, and almost all in a bad way.

Christine had her first gallbladder attack since February 2008. At that time she was in her first trimester with Danielle's pregnancy. In 2008 we were considering surgery to remove the gallbladder, but because Christine was pregnant we pushed it off since there would have been a small risk to Danielle. Now the attacks appear to be back, and she was in pain for a couple of hours yesterday in addition to being sore for a few more hours afterwards. We are still trying to figure out our plan of attach, but right now a schedule removal surgery without being in the emergency room is what we are hoping for.

Tuesday night a nasty virus attached the computer (Not the one that was on the news though), which I was unable to remove or stop from spreading and corrupting much of Windows XP. In order to fix the computer I spent yesterday at home, which worked as a blessing in disguise when Christine had her attack. I copied new pictures from the computer's hard drive so that they would not be lost when I completely reformatted the hard drive with a clean install in order to wipe away the virus with a clean slate. Luckily I had backed up to a removable external hard drive just a month ago so there were not that many new pictures to copy. After reformatting the hard drive and a clean install last night the computer appears to be clean without the virus. I have almost everything back on the computer, but there are still have a few programs missing with needed installations left.

We purchased another lens yesterday also, in the midst of everything else. Christine will be taking wedding pictures for Derek and Kali this summer and there are a few camera related pieces that we would like for their wedding. We were able to get our camera sensor's cleaned last weekend, and would like to get a few lighting pieces for their wedding in addition to this lens. The Sigma 10-20mm lens works on our Nikon cameras and is an wide-angled lens, which ends up distorting the edges of the pictures more than with a portrait lens. You can see what I mean about distortion with the picture of Michaela below. She was only about 3 inches away from the camera when I took the picture.

After a bad day though, the next day is almost always a good one!!