Saturday, January 31, 2009

Maximum Color

Ryan has more signs in front of the Tilly's stores. Three MAXIMUM COLOR signs and one SUPA DUPA SALE sign. WAY TO GO!!

Studious Peter

What a stud-muffin

Friday, January 30, 2009


Ryan got glasses today... I am excited to see them when he gets home :) Hopefully we will have a photo to show off the specs soon. I honestly don't even know what they look like, so hopefully they aren't like Harry Potter goggles or something, hehe.

Marriage Class

Ryan and I are heading to a Night About Marriage this evening at North Coast. We are planning on attending the breakout session of The Art of Love & Respect.

Friday, January 30, 7:00-9:00 PM
Event cost: $10/couple
Child care for the event: $10/child, family max $25

Chris Brown will be our introductory speaker on the trials of marriage.

We’ll offer 5 breakout workshops you can pick from. For planning purposes, when registering let us know which session you are most interested in. You can change your mind the night of the event:

Dave Enns – Fighting Fair—Working Through Disagreements & Conflicts
You ever feel stuck in a conflict over the smallest issues? Did you know that disagreements can be a sign of health in your relationship? This workshop will help equip you with the tools to “fight fair” and work through the conflicts you encounter along the way to, not only survive, but also appreciate each other in a greater way.
Ned Mervich – Grounds for a Great Marriage- Appreciating Our Differences As Men And Women.
Every marriage is a mosaic of differences that each of the partners bring into the marriage. Some of the differences are quite complimentary, adding color and depth to the relationship. Other differences are not at all complementary, often resulting in conflict and tension. In this seminar we’ll look at two of the most common of these seemingly contradictory differences — male-female differences and personality differences.
JD Larson – The Art of Love & Respect - Learning to Speak Their Language
It’s hard to believe, but even after years of marriage you may not know what language your spouse speaks. That is, the language they use to give and receive love. Your relationship may have reached the “crazy cycle” where respect isn’t given without love and love isn’t given without respect. This workshop will be partly based on Dr. Gary Chapman’s The Five Love Languages and Dr. Emerson Eggerichs’ Love And Respect as well as some other fundamental truths about mastering the art of love and respect.
Holly Barrett– Love Busters, the Basics of a Dynamic Marriage
Why would any of us hurt the one we promised to love and cherish? We’ll look at how to identify and overcome habits that destroy romantic love and instead change our behavior to focus on building our love for each other. For all the differences men and women have, they still want the same thing: satisfying, loving relationships. Take the time to learn habits that meet the most important emotional needs of yourself and your spouse.
David and Lisa Frisbie – Happily Remarried
Dr. David & Lisa Frisbie are Christian family counselors, authors of ten books and dozens of articles about married life, often focusing on remarried couples. They are nationally recognized experts on the post-divorce family: single parents, remarried couples, blended and stepfamilies. They have been a part of our North Coast family for the past decade.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Women's Pay

Obama touts equal-pay bill at signing ceremony

President Barack Obama signed an equal pay bill into law Thursday, declaring that it's a family issue, not just a women's issue.

The president picked the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act for the first piece of legislation to sign as president.

He appeared before a packed East Room audience for a ceremony, and Ledbetter stood at his side.

His entrance in the room was met with hearty cheers from the many labor and women's groups represented there. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the first woman speaker in the history of Congress, and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, were present. Clinton went further than any woman previously in her campaign for the presidency, although she ultimately lost the Democratic Party competition to Obama.

More of the article here.

Tom's Sample Sale

We're hosting our first Sample Sale of the year February 6th & 7th at the TOMS HQ in Santa Monica, CA. Get your hands on some styles you can't get in stores at $20/pair.

See ya there!

Stop by the TOMS HQ February 6th and 7th to find styles you can't get in stores for $20/pair.

Friday February 6th 10am - 7pm
Saturday February 7th 10am - 3pm

As always, for every pair you purchase, TOMS will give a pair of shoes to a child in need. One for One.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009


We set up Ryan's Etsy store last night. He is planning on posting some of his art on there (he just has all of his art in our garage, but isn't really trying to sell it). I will keep you updated, so keep your eyes peeled :). He also mentioned that he will be updating his website soon. He has some great pieces that he hasn't recorded lately, so when he takes the pictures of them I am sure he will be able to add a ton of work to his portfolio on his site.


Any suggestions?

Any suggestions on how to advertise my stuff? I have The McDot Shop up on Etsy and my LensLife published on Lulu. All I can really think of is posting it on my Facebook and Myspace and posting a few blogs about it on here. I don't want to pay any money to advertise... Just trying to think of creative ways to get my art out in the world. Any ideas? Anything would be great!! Thanks in advance!!

Oh yeah, I have also posted on Craigslist under the Artist section and emailed Oprah and Ellen to see if they would like to check out a book and talk about it on their shows :).

Monday, January 26, 2009

New Painted Vases

Check out some new pieces in THE MCDOT SHOP. 3 new painted vases and one new painted canvas. What do you think?!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

New Life For The Pickle

We got some new tires for the Crazy Pickle yesterday!! (Both of the rims were bent and were sort of wobbly when I rode it) We dropped it off at Alan's yesterday and they put the two new rims, tubes and tires on my bike. We went after church and Ryan dropped me off while he drove the car back home and I rode my bike. The tires make a HUGE difference. I wanted to get some bright colored tires, but decided on the all black look. The only thing let to get is a little better seat.

Check it out:

No More Christmas

Ryan and I finally took down our Christmas Tree yesterday. I know, it is SAD, but I guess it had to go (especially because we have been thinking about moving lately - just downsizing to a 1 bedroom since we don't use our second room like EVER). The living room looks sooooo empty without the festive tree there. It was a good run though... We had the tree up for a good 2 and a half months, so I guess we are getting as much out of it as we can, hehe. Although putting up the decorations and then taking them down again is a lot of work, I am already looking forward to pulling them out again and decorating for next year!! :)

Hehe, check out the picture that I found... It even has today's date on it... I guess it really was time to take down the tree :)

New Pieces

Be on the look out for new pieces in The McDot Shop. Ryan and I were out in the garage doing some art yesterday afternoon and I have 3 new pieces to add (we just have to set up the little studio to take the pictures of them). They are 3 separate bud vases (we actually used them to hold the colored sand at our wedding). Each of the vases are painted on (2 look like tie-dye or fireworks and 1 is a little scene of a tree and the sky).

I will try to be sure and post them today, so check out The McDot Shop soon!!

Are you looking for...

Ryan and I are trying to downsize - get rid of things that we don't need or use. We have put a bunch of stuff up on Craigslist and taken about 8 garbage bags worth of clothes and such to Goodwill. I thought I would post the Craigslist ads in case any of you were interested.


2 Longboard Surf Boards

Shortboard Surf Board and board bag

Snowboard Boot Bindings

Wall Shelves

Running GPS Unit


Snowboard Pads

Cupcake Stand

Let us know if you are interested in any of these things!!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Lens Life


PS The cover is blue, not yellow, but the blogger made it color...

I published my book!! Check it out!! Thank you to EVERYONE who has been so supportive and encouraging along the way!! I know my book is on the expensive side, but I hope it will be well worth it. It is a Hard Cover Book, 73 pages, etc. Let me know if you have ANY questions about it.

I came across an awesome challenge. It was an experiment to take one photo every day for a year. The idea is that the collection will help to show what is important to you, make you a better photographer & leave you with some great shots. I haven’t edited or altered the photos in any way. I wanted the natural beauty to shine through, not my creative ability using editing tools. I began taking pictures everyday & posted them on a blog that I dedicated to the project. Each day a new photo was posted with the date being the subject & the comments telling the name of the piece, the place it was taken & a few details of what each picture shows. If you would like to read any of the details or would like to see where a picture was taken, please feel free to check out the blog at: Just because I have finished this chapter in my photography, the story of my life will continue to be found through pictures. Hope you enjoy looking at my life through a lens.

Friday, January 23, 2009

5 Years

It's hard to believe that today is 5 years since Vanessa and Ryan went to be with Jesus.

Here is the article on Pastor Glenn's website from after the accident.

Last Night

We missed last night's episode of The Office, but we will be sure to watch it this weekend.

Prince Family Paper

Michael and Dwight go undercover to do a bit of industrial espionage on a paper company competitor. Meanwhile, the rest of the office holds a debate whether Hilary Swank is hot.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


1. How Do You Catch a Unique Rabbit?
Unique Up On It.

2. How Do You Catch a Tame Rabbit?
Tame Way.

3. How Do Crazy People Go Through The Forest ?
They Take The Psycho Path

4. How Do You Get Holy Water?
You Boil The Hell Out Of It

5. What Do Fish Say When They Hit a Concrete Wall?

6. What Do Eskimos Get From Sitting On The Ice too Long?

7. What Do You Call a Boomerang That Doesn't work?
A Stick

8. What Do You Call Cheese That Isn't Yours?
Nacho Cheese.

9. What Do You Call Santa's Helpers?
Subordinate Clauses.

10. What Do You Call Four Bullfighters In Quicksand?
Quattro Sinko.

11. What Do You Get From a Pampered Cow?
Spoiled Milk.

12. What Do You Get When You Cros s a Snowman With a Vampire?

13. What Lie s At The Bottom Of The Ocean And Twitches?
A Nervous Wreck.

14. What's The Difference Between Roast Beef And Pea Soup?
Anyone Can Roast Beef.

15. Where Do You Find a Dog With No Legs?
Right Where You Left Him.

16. Why Do Gorillas Have Big Nostrils?
Because They Have Big Fingers.

17. Why Don't Blind People Like To Sky Dive?
Because It Scares The Dog.

18. What Kind Of Coffee Was Served On The Titanic?

19. What Is The Difference Between a Har ley And a Hoover?
The Location Of The Dirt Bag.

20. Why Did Pilgrims' Pants Always Fall Down?
Because They Wore Their Belt Buckle On Their Hat.

21. What's The Difference Between a Bad Golfer And a Bad Skydiver?
A Bad Golfer Goes, Whack , Dang!
A Bad Skydiver Goes Dang! Whack .

22. How Are a Texas Tornado And a Tennessee Divorce The Same?
Somebody's Gonna Lose A Trailer

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Solar Financing

Solana Beach offers solar financing
Residents can defer cost of installation

SOLANA BEACH — Edging ahead of San Diego, Solana Beach has become the first city in the region – and the third statewide – to launch a financing program that eventually will help homeowners and small businesses buy solar panels without paying the full price upfront.

The program will allow residents to pay for the “clean energy” systems over 20 years, with interest, through their property tax bills.

Solana Beach is part of a growing number of local governments trying to take advantage of Assembly Bill 811, a state solar law passed in July that authorizes cities and counties to establish the long-term payment plans.

Berkeley and Palm Desert have their financing plans in place. Officials in San Diego, Encinitas and the county recently announced similar proposals but haven't put their projects out to bid.

Cities will use the financing as a tool to help meet their targets for reducing carbon emissions, said Andrew McAllister, director of programs at the California Center for Sustainable Energy.

More of the article here.


I had my FIRST sale on Etsy... Will you be the second?!

Check out The McDot Shop!! I am hoping to add some more pieces this weekend, but there are still 16 pieces up right now to peruse through :)

Elephant Seals

On the drive back down south yesterday we stopped along the coast and saw a BEACH FULL OF ELEPHANT SEALS!! They are HUGE!! I took a little video - check it out :)

Santa Cruz Pics

Check out the pictures from this weekend. Most of the pictures are of the beautiful surroundings up there, but it was super amazing. Check the pictures out if you get a chance.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Come on Boys!

COME ON PISTONS!! I do NOT like the closeness of the games lately and I definitely have not liked the last couple outcomes!! Here is the preview for the game tonight:

Pistons-Thunder Preview

The Detroit Pistons have an eight-game winning streak over the Oklahoma City Thunder franchise, but the way they've been playing recently, that doesn't mean much.

The Pistons will try to avoid matching their longest losing streak in nearly four years on Friday when they visit the Thunder.

The Pistons (22-15) have lost three straight, but the last two losses have been particularly embarrassing. Detroit had a six-game winning streak over Charlotte end on Tuesday before falling 110-106 in overtime on Wednesday to Indiana, ending an eight-game run over the Pacers.

"We've got to finish games," said Rodney Stuckey, who scored a team-high 30 points Wednesday. "That's pretty much it. We're kicking ourselves in the butt. We keep losing games like this, it's going to hurt us at the end of the season. Hopefully, we can figure it out and get it turned around."

The rest of the article here.


We are taking a road trip up to Santa Cruz this weekend. Ryan, Kevin and I are piling in Kevin's car after work today (I'll be taking the train up to Irvine to meet them after they get off at 5) and driving up to Santa Cruz. Google maps says it will take us a little over 6 hours, so hopefully factoring in LA traffic and such on a Friday evening we will make it there by midnight. I don't know much about what we are doing this weekend other than that we are hanging out, going to a Big Foot museum, checking out the Church that Kevin used to go to when he lived up there, etc. Ryan always said that I would love Santa Cruz, explaining it like it was a California Ann Arbor, so I am pumped to check it out. I am sure I will have plenty of pictures and stories to retell when we get back. Which reminds me, Monday is MLK Day so we won't be heading back down to So Cal until Monday afternoon (so you won't see any updates till after that).

Have a WONDERFUL weekend!!

5 Months


Hehe, yes I know it is silly, but it is OUR silly!!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Growth Group

GROWTH GROUP STARTS BACK UP TOMORROW FOR THE SEMESTER!! WHOO HOO!! We have had about a month off now, but it seems like forever. We are all stoked to see each other. We are having dinner as a group tomorrow, a pizza bar. Yippeeeee Skippeeee!!


I published my book today!! I ordered a copy for myself to make sure that I like the way it turned out before I start telling people about it. KEEP YOUR EYES PEELED!! LENS LIFE WILL BE AVAILABLE BEFORE YOU KNOW IT!!!

(A sneak peak of the cover that Ryan designed for me... THE COLOR LOOKS MUCH DIFFERENT - blue, not green, but at least you get the idea of what we have going on... )

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Sea Kittens

PETA Attempts To Make Fish More Adorable

"Sea kittens" is the new term being used by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, for the creatures they believe are in dire need of an image makeover: fish.

"PETA thought that by renaming fish sea kittens, compassionate people who would never dream of hurting a dog or a cat might extend that sympathy to fish, or sea kittens," PETA campaign coordinator Ashley Byrne says.

Byrne says that rebranding fish as sea kittens was obvious.

"Fish not only have the same ability to feel pain as a dog or a cat, but they also communicate with one another," she says. "They have complex social interactions; they form bonds; they express affection by gently rubbing against one another."

The PETA campaign boasts a colorful, interactive Web site aimed at children and their parents. It offers sea kitten bedtime stories and a design-your-own sea kitten in hopes it will build compassion in families.

More of the article here.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Taco Bell

I think if Ryan and I didn't get married where we did, I could have seen us doing something like this :)

Wedding Bells Ring at Taco Bell

NORMAL, Ill. (Jan. 12) -- Wedding bells meant Taco Bell for Paul and Caragh Brooks.

Customers inside the fast-food restaurant continued to order tacos and burritos as the couple sat Friday in an orange booth at Taco Bell and exchanged vows.

"It's appropriate," groom Paul Brooks said. "It's an offbeat relationship."

Employees displayed hot sauce packets labeled with the words "Will you marry me?" They decorated the restaurant with streamers and balloons.

More of the article here.


I know that some of you out there have been enjoying a winter wonderland, but us here in San Diego have been enjoying SUMMER WEATHER and I cannot be more excited!! This weekend the weather made a turn for the BETTER!! Saturday and Sunday were both sunny and 80! This week is cooling down a bit, in the 70s, but I am STILL LOVING IT!! Ryan and I went out for some bike riding and geo caching on Saturday morning - good thing the CRAZY PICKLE is back in action!!

Parking Citation

I just got back from walking down to the City Hall to turn in my letter to contest the parking ticket that I got Sunday morning. WHAT A BUMMER!! I am crossing my fingers that the citation will be reserved or overturned or whatever the term is.

Here is the letter I wrote:

Thank you for the opportunity to contest this citation. The parking citation that I am writing in regards to is Citation number ********. I believe that I was wrongfully given a ticket while I was parked completely legally at *****************. The citation that I received stated that I was ‘parked hazardly on corner. Cars must exit alley in other lane + photo’. As you can see from the pictures below, there are no painted curbs in this area that would prevent parking on the street or in this position. When I was ticketed I was neither blocking the alley nor the sidewalk. My husband and I have been living in this apartment complex for over 6 months. Since we have moved in, there has always been someone parked in this spot. The issue that I have is that I or other residents have been parking in this spot for as long as I know of and I have not seen anyone receive a ticket. Because there is no signage posted, no paint curb, etc, it is extremely hard (if not impossible) to deduce that this position on the street would be in some way an illegal or hazardous parking position. If in fact this spot on the street is going to be considered an illegal position from here on out, then I would expect nothing less to have some sort of signage or the curb painted to notate to residents that if they park in this position they should be expecting a parking citation. I also would expect that if this position would be deemed illegal that this citation would be reversed since there was no signage prior to the citation. I look forward to hearing back from you on this matter.

Thank you for your time and understanding.

I also attached 6 photos showing my innocence - hopefully they feel that way too :).

John Legend

If you're out there.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Format Change

I changed my blog format again. I would like to keep it constant, but can't really find anything that I am so stoked on that I don't want to change it. I guess we will keep it here until I find something different.

Do you like the simpleness?

Hair Donation

So I don't know if any of you have noticed, but my hair is getting longer :) - it normally does that, huh? Anyway, I am planning on donating it once it is long enough. I did this two years ago and sent the hair to Locks of Love. They require 10 inches of hair I believe. I think I would have to grow it at least another 2 or 3 inches before I would be able to do that again. I wanted to see if anyone out there either A. knew of ways to get your hair to grow faster (i.e. vitamins, etc) or B. knew of different reputable hair donation groups that may have a requirement of less than 10 inches. I am sort of over the whole longer hair thing and would like to get it cut before we go to the Virgin Islands, but if I need to keep growing it for another couple months I can do that too :).

Fun Show

Ryan and I found an AWESOME show last week. We were flipping through the channels on Sunday evening, waiting for Extreme Makeover Home Edition and we came across HOLE IN THE WALL. Have you ever seen it?! Ryan and I spent the whole hour laughing and then trying to make our bodies into the shapes that the wall asked of the contestants. If you haven't seen it before or know what I am talking about, I would definitely check it out. :)

Two teams, dressed in spandex and hard hats, face down a moving barrier that features ever-changing cut-out shapes. They have to contort their bodies every which way in order to fit through the wall or else end up being swept into a pool of water. As they successfully face down each wall, the patterns get more difficult.

Kashi Roll

Ryan usually takes a protein bar with him to work every day in his lunch. I try and switch it up and get him different kinds whenever they are on sale. Last week I picked up a couple of the Kashi Roll bars (my mom loves them, so I figured Ryan might like them). We tried one of the Caramel Peanut bars this past weekend and MAN WAS IT YUMMY! It actually reminded me of the outside of a Caramel Apple (with the caramel and the nuts). I would suggest you try it :). The only down fall of it is that it seems to scrap the roof of my mouth when I take a bite out of it.

Let me know what you think.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

New Pieces

I POSTED NEW PIECES!! Check out THE McDOT SHOP. My Etsy Store is up and RUNNING! I posted 10 new pieces tonight, so in total I have 17 pieces up so far!! What are your thoughts?!


Sorry for the lack of posts lately. I have actually been trying to work more on my Etsy's store. I have been making some glass jars (well modge podging on them) so that hopefully I will be able to add a few more pieces to my store this evening. I am also thinking about making prints of some of my pictures that I have taken and put those up for sale. If you have any favorites from my Lens Life that you think other people may want to purchase, let me know and I can put them on my list of pictures to print. Thanks for your patience!

PS I haven't had much feedback on my Etsy's store. Have you checked it out yet? What are your thoughts?

Monday, January 5, 2009

The McDot Shop

I have posted 7 ITEMS to my Etsy Store (which I have named The McDot Shop). I would love to hear some feedback, whether it is good or bad. Check it out if you have a chance (and tell your friends :) ).

[I have also added an Etsy Mini on the right column of my blog, if you haven't noticed.]

Etsy Store

I am working on my Etsy Store today. I am looking to post my paintings and such to see if anyone would be interested in buying my pieces. It will probably be a work in progress for a while, but I am excited about getting it going. Hopefully tonight I will be able to post the link with some of my pieces up already. (PS The banner is the banner that my TALENTED AND AMAZING husband made for my store)

Stay tuned for updates :)

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Crazy Pickle

We put my new bike back together this evening after we got back home from the Pistons game. It is AWESOME!! Check out some of the pictures here.

We have to put the basket back on, but everything else is pretty set to go!!

Pistons Game

A little too close for comfort, but at least they kept it exciting for us!! Pistons win by 1 (with about 2 seconds left because of a goal tending call). Check out some of the pictures here.

Thanks Mom and Dad for the Christmas gift!! We had a blast!!

Some of the article about the game:

Pistons take 12th straight from Clips behind Stuckey's 24

LOS ANGELES -- Allen Iverson was having one of his worst shooting games, so the last thing the Los Angeles Clippers wanted to do was help him out.

Iverson got some timely assistance from Al Thornton, who was called for goaltending by referee Tommy Nunez Jr. after swatting away a driving scoop shot with 4.9 seconds on the clock. The ruling gave the Detroit Pistons the deciding points in an 88-87 victory on Sunday.

"You know you're having a bad-shooting game when you get the game-winner -- and that don't even go in," Iverson said after going 7-for-22 from the field and finishing with 18 points and 10 assists.

The rest of the story here.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Go Pistons!

Tomorrow morning Ryan and I will head up to LA to watch the Pistons take on the Clippers. My parents got Ryan tickets for the game, so Ryan has graciously offered to bring me along (or maybe I assumed I was going and now he doesn't want to hurt my feelings, hehe). I am sure we will have plenty of pictures to post.


Go Bolts!

Sproles' big day lifts Chargers over Colts in overtime

SAN DIEGO -- Peyton Manning has his MVP award and nothing more, outdone again in January by the San Diego Chargers.

Speedy little Darren Sproles scooted 22 yards for the winning score 6:20 into overtime and the Chargers beat the Colts 23-17 in an AFC wild-card game Saturday night, ending Indianapolis' nine-game winning streak a day after Manning won his third Associated Press NFL MVP award.

Sproles came up big on a night when the Chargers played the final 2 1/2 quarters without LaDainian Tomlinson, who stood on the sideline in obvious discomfort from a groin injury.

More of the article here.