Friday, November 15, 2013

Friday's Letters

Dear Friday.  Woohoo!  To some, it's the start of the weekend.  To me, it's the middle of a grand four days off of work.  Yay!  Dear cold.  You, my dear, suck.  Dear Germany.  We haven't had tons of great weather lately, but it cleared up for one day last week and gave me a chance to capture your gorgeous countryside [above].  I love you when you're not rainy.  Dear Husband.  We haven't quite figured out this new schedule of ours (FYI, your mid-week days off are awful), but we have to soon so that we can start getting out of the house again.  Dear November.  Almost over, already?!  Time has flown!  Dear December.  You can still hurry up and arrive, though.  I'm ready for my family to visit, Christmas Markets to start, and snow to play in.  Dear U.S. of A.  We're doing the countdown…two years til we live on your chaotic, spread out, dirty streets again.  I'm not so stoked to leave behind my beloved Europe, but I could do with some easy shopping, amazing food, and movie theaters in English.  Dear everyone.  Hope you're having an amazing week, have an amazing weekend, and are just good to go in general!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Bookish Sundays: The Cuckoo's Calling

Title: The Cuckoo's Calling
Author: Robert Galbraith
Synopsis [℅ B&N]: "A brilliant debut mystery in a classic vein: Detective Cormoran Strike investigates a supermodel's suicide.

After losing his leg to a land mine in Afghanistan, Cormoran Strike is barely scraping by as a private investigator. Strike is down to one client, and creditors are calling. He has also just broken up with his longtime girlfriend and is living in his office.
Then John Bristow walks through his door with an amazing story: His sister, thelegendary supermodel Lula Landry, known to her friends as the Cuckoo, famously fell to her death a few months earlier. The police ruled it a suicide, but John refuses to believe that. The case plunges Strike into the world of multimillionaire beauties, rock-star boyfriends, and desperate designers, and it introduces him to every variety of pleasure, enticement, seduction, and delusion known to man.
You may think you know detectives, but you've never met one quite like Strike. You may think you know about the wealthy and famous, but you've never seen them under an investigation like this."
℅ Barnes & Noble
Review: I usually tend to review books in the order that I read them, but this particular novel is fresh behind the eyes and could do with a little talking about.
As another of JK Rowling's attempts to branch away from Harry and Hogwarts, I was a little hesitant to pick Cuckoo up.  Her last novel, Casual Vacancy, was an epic fail (in my opinion, at least).  This one, however, is definitely a go to.  If you're a fan of whodunnit crime fighter private eye types, go ahead and give this a whirl; you won't be disappointed.  Set in England, of course, you may face the occasional lingo or turn of phrase that doesn't quite translate to our American ways, but Rowling does a much better job at using worldwide phrasing this time around.  This isn't your typical love story (although I thought for a minute it would be and was groaning in horror), but does incorporate heroic military types, jaded famous starlets hopped up on drugs, mothers on the edge of death, secretaries hanging onto the coat tails of adventure, and more.  
Alas, our beloved Cuckoo has thrown herself from her balcony…or has she?  Hired private eye, Cormoran Strike, has recently left his fiancee for the last time, and is now living in his office, a fact that both mortifies and intrigues his temporary hired secretary.  As Strike begins to unravel the mystery of why Lula (Cuckoo) either killed herself or was killed by someone else, he meets a very interesting caste of characters.  Thrown into a world of the elite combined with the dredges of humanity, he must figure out who amongst Lula's friends and associates would push her off the edge.  Could it have been the power hungry neighbor?  The coke-head boyfriend?  Perhaps the diabolical uncle or the unsuspecting homeless girl?  Strike's job isn't easy, but he's the best of the best.  Not every single bit will be a page turner, but it will make up for it in the end.
As always, if you happen to read, please let me know what you think!  I enjoy hearing other perspectives.  

Friday, November 1, 2013

Friday's Letters

Be Freckled Photography
Dear Friday. Hello, dearest.  Dear November.  What what?!  You came around a tad quickly.  I'm not sad, just a little surprised at how fast September and October passed.  Dear December.  I'm more excited for you to arrive…family flies in for the holidays, Christmas Markets begin, a little snow fall to please the pups…I could do with some December in my life.  Dear work.  Have I by any chance mentioned that I have a new job?  No?  Well, I do!  I start Monday as a full time kinder aid.  I'm pretty excited to have a regular schedule, work with cute little kids, and earn some income.  Hooray for me!  Dear camera.  We've been pretty busy, hanging out on a regular basis to freeze some memories for clients.  I love you so.  Dear clients.  You all make me so happy!  Not only with coming to me, but always supporting me and encouraging me to move forward.  Thanks for everything!  Dear husband.  Now that the kidney stone that's been plaguing you since Budapest is out of your system, let's plan on not going through that ever again.  Dear school.  I'm so close to being done with you!  After this semester, I'm not going back.  It's a huge decision, but I'm so so so happy with it.  Goodbye forever, WSU.  Dear peeps.  I've missed you!  I'm back in the game, and ready to hear what's been going on in your lives as well as share a little more about what's going on in mine :)  P.s.  Anyone know of a great website designer than can help me set up a photography business page?  After much thinking and debating, the business thing is happening.  Would love some help putting my design ideas into action!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Summer is Ending

Well, it already ended.  But in my recaps, we're just now hitting the end of August...after a full three months of hosting, travel, and husbands returning, I topped it all off with a quick trip to France for one of the world's largest balloon festivals.  I had no idea what to expect, but next year I'll be more prepared.

Since then, it's mostly been back to the grind.  I've dealt with another semester of school (and am so fed up with it, that I'm officially done with school forever).  We both started working again, and I even managed to find a full time job at another school, and will be starting next week.  We've been walking dogs, and preparing for family to visit for Christmas, organized our travel plans for next year, and building up camera supplies.  I even took an amazing trip to Croatia with some girlfriends which I'll share next time, along with some of the more amazing sessions I've had the privileged of handling this fall :)  Almost there!  Soon I'll be able to start up with some Bookish Sundays, Friday's Letters, and dive into why getting pregnant has become such a sore subject (again).

Oh, and don't forget to remind me to write about kidney stones.  That's a good one.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Husband Came Home

Next in my belated summer recap is the return of the love of my life.  If you hadn't seen, DH deployed in 2012 for six months, then turned around and did the exact same thing this year.  It wasn't one of my happiest periods, but that reunion is always something to look forward to.  I had a friend from the area capture it, and then whisked him off to Budapest, Brussels, and Brugge for some time to ourselves before he had to go back to work.

c/o Heidi Lynn Photography 
c/o Heidi Lynn Photography
c/o Heidi Lynn Photography
Budapest, Hungary 
Brugge, Belgium 
Brussels, Belgium
Budapest, Hungary, and a gorgeous watermark right over my face :/
Budapest, Hungary
Budapest, Hungary
Brussels, Belgium

Sunday, October 6, 2013

After the Hiatus

This blog, once a steady stream of words and photos, seems to have become less the trickle that I intended, and more a stagnant pool of nothingness.  Oops.

I have no one else to blame; I started to have a life outside of the Internet world, and while I did my best to maintain virtual social aspects with my reality of work, school, and dog walks, I just couldn't do it.  I kept telling myself that summer would see a change, but it never did...instead, I delved deeper into a chaotic life, and soon this site was forgotten altogether, although not because I didn't feel a desire to keep it going.  Instead, I just wasn't sure where to start back up, or how to play catch up on what life has brought me since whenever I last posted.  I can't even remember what it was about.  Now, after a few words from husband, mother, and a couple others, I've decided to do my best to recreate this online personality because truthfully, I miss it.  I miss my blogger friends, I miss sharing my stories without the stutter that sometimes appears in real life, I miss using big words that I don't really know how to pronounce even though I understand what they mean.  So.  Here I am; please hang with me as I retrace my steps over the past few months to explain how husband came home from deployment, I hosted two Belarusian women for three weeks, I lost a job, I got a pretty new lens and camera, I traveled the world, and who knows what else.

If you happened to see the past couple posts, you know that I still do some photography sessions.  I managed to book a wedding over the summer, which was just as overwhelming as I thought it would be, and the same day that occurred I welcomed two 11 year old girls from Belarus into our home.  I had offered to host them because that last month before husbands come back from deployment are the absolute worst.  They drag, they limp, they craaaaawl by; so I found a way to keep myself occupied.  I'll share a photo or two from the wedding (which I hope was not my last, even though I hated the pressure of it) as well as the girls.

Ah, Katya and Nika.  They were very sweet, intelligent young ladies that left crumbs in the bedroom and shoes in the entryway.  I suddenly went from living alone with two dogs to having kids...something I am not familiar with at all.  They enjoyed Skpying with their families as much as possible, Pringles, walking the dogs, and having photo shoots in the thunder storms.  The entire time they were here, we managed to have the most beautiful summer Germany has seen in decades!  It was a huge stroke of luck.  I'm really not sure what else I could say about them, other than they changed a little something inside of me.  I felt like I, an extremely selfish and self-centered person, actually gave back.  They cried when they left and asked me to come visit, which I don't plan to do, but I know for sure that I will host again next summer.  If you have any particular questions, feel free to email me: I'd love to share about the program and help as many kids in need have a better chance at a healthy life as well.

Here are the pics; tomorrow, I'll share how DH came home to me just in time to see the girls off, our whirlwind trip to Budapest, Brussels, and Brugge, and why I won't be going back to school.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Friday's Letters

Dear Friday.  You kind of showed up abruptly this week.  I had all these things planned, lists to be completed, to-dos to be done...none of it happened.  Oops.  Dear Husband.  I think we're officially within the one month mark of you coming home to me (plus or minus a few days).  As much as I'd like to say that this deployment flew by, it really didn't.  Your homecoming has been long awaited.  Dear summer.  I thought I'd be bored without a job for the couple months until DH came home, but I have been gladly mistaken.  Lots of puppy walks, time spent with friends, photo sessions, shopping days...I've enjoyed this time off so far.  Dear Russian girls.  I made an impromptu offer to host you young ladies for a few weeks this summer, and have since gone back and forth between whether or not it was the right decision.  I'm still extremely terrified, but I also can't wait!  One more week until you arrive, and we spin into a whirlwind of trips, activities, games, and sign language since we won't be able to understand each other.  I wish I had more experience with children, but I'm sure I can handle a couple 11 year olds...right?!  Dear upcoming wedding session.  I'm more confident in my ability to keep two children alive than I am to capture a wedding.  So much pressure!  Thanks for your faith in my abilities, but are you two sure you don't want to back out for someone more experienced?  Dear self.  Weight loss goals have been met, but not exactly in the way you planned.  You never once turned on your super cool interactive Xbox games designed to shed those pounds, and instead relied on dog walks and smaller meals.  It worked, but I still call you lazy.  Time to make a life change...starting NOW.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013


If I thought life would slow down once school released for the summer, I was dead wrong.  Here's what I've been doing with my time, and what will NOT be happening next week since I'm letting myself take a break and catch up on to-dos.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

The Awful Confession

I admittedly rely on my husband a TON when he's around, but during the days that he's away I've come to realize how independent and self-reliant I can be.  Need to hang new curtains on rods that are about ten feet off the ground?  No problem.  Take care of dogs, work, chores, school, and social life by myself?  Got it.  Not kill myself from boredom when the only things I ever talk to are dogs and the straight iron (which seems to never realize what its job entails...STRAIGHT, dammit)?  Done and done.  But recently it hit me that I'm almost too good at these things, and I've begun to worry that DH coming home might be more difficult than the last time.

I don't know how to be married anymore.

Not to say that I'm living up some single life, hitting the town every weekend or chatting up boys.  But I don't remember what it's like to have to take care of two people instead of one, or how to share the load, or how to share a bed with another human being.  I don't know how to be part of a team instead of army of one.  And that, my friends, breaks my heart into pieces.

The time is drawing closer to when DH will be walking down that long hallway in the passenger terminal, ABUs faded from desert sun and A-bags in hand.  He'll have raccoon eyes from wearing sunglasses too much during the day, will think it's cold during our summer after dealing with 120 degree temps, and will want real food as soon as we step out the terminal doors.  I'm terrified because all I can think of is how will he know when Sass needs to be let out?  He doesn't have a clue where I put anything in the kitchen, I'll have to play tour guide in our own house.  Does he even know how to get home?  What about dog walks when I'm not there?  How am I going to fit him into my schedule?  The man will have served six months on deployment, and all I can think about is how we're going to get back to where we were before.  Am I a horrible person?  Yes.  But I don't know how to fix this.  My husband has become a computer face, a text message that arrives intermittently throughout the day, an email asking me how I'm doing.  I make plans with this electronic figure and schedule vacations or dates, but it doesn't compute that he will transform into a real human in the very new future.

Calling all expert military spouses in the world: what should I do?  How do I prepare myself for a room mate when all I've experienced for so long is living on my own?

Friday, May 31, 2013

Friday's Letters

 Dear Friday.  I greet you with mixed feelings...relief that another week is coming to a close, bringing my DH and I closer to reunion, and dread as my weekends fill up faster than I care for.  Dear Husband.  We're getting closer and closer to you coming home!  I'm excited to start experiencing Europe with you.  p.s., thanks for my birthaversary gift!!!  Dear photography.  I'm making the plunge and starting a photography business.  I'm still very, very unsure and pessimistic about this step, not completely agreeing with the idea that people will actually pay for my quality, but you'll never know if you don't try.  Bulking up my portfolio this summer with last minute experiences, and hopefully have Be Freckled Photography up and running by the fall in the KMC area!  Wish me luck.  Plus, any and all feedback is more than welcome!!!  Dear future.  I've come to a crossroads in my career and don't know what the right decision to make is.  Major in photography?  Continue on my original path of becoming a book editor?  Why oh why can't you just pipe up and offer some advice?!  Dear Ninja and Sass.  The amount of growing up you've done over the past year is astounding.  I'm no longer afraid of leaving you home alone, find walking you to be a treat instead of a chore, and as always, completely enjoy your snuggles.  But, I also miss your puppy cuteness.  Growing up sucks!  Dear new gear.  Excited for this rain to clear up so I can head out and give you all a test.  New lens, new filters, new're all going to be so stellar, I can feel it.  Dear friends.  Life is changing rapidly around me.  The quarter-century mark approaches quickly, and I find myself making bigger and more life altering decisions more frequently.  How do you handle it all?  I'd love to hear your opinion on the business front, as well as any recommendations on how to handle so much change.  I'll be writing a more in depth follow up once school is out and I no longer have a job to occupy so much time.  Can't wait to reconnect with my blogger world again!


Friday, May 17, 2013

Friday's Letters

Dear Friday.  You are the symbol of the start of a very long upcoming four weeks.  Bring it.  Dear Garmisch, Germany.  I'd much rather be where you are than where I am right now.  I don't think three days was long enough to completely enjoy all you have to offer, so I guess I just have to make a trip back sometime.  I'm already lagging without my daily fill of mountain sunrises, foggy hills, colorful sunsets.  Dear Husband.  Thank you so much for letting me go on the Edelweiss Photography Tour!!! I learned so much, and will be able to apply it to capturing the memories we make here in Europe.  You're the best!  (I'd still rather have you home, but this was pretty close to being just as good).  Dear Brad and Bailey.  Gentlemen, you are astounding.  You taught our little photo tour group a ton without batting an eye.  Now if I could just steal all of your talent, I would be set for life.  Dear pups.  I missed you!  Dear work.  Grinding it out.  Dear summer vacation.  So not looking forward to the sheer number of empty days between the end of school and work, and the arrival of Husband.  Time to fill you up with lots of trips and outings.  Dear peeps.  Hope you all had as wonderful a week as I did!

p.s. If you're interested in seeing pictures from the photography tour, would like to visit Bavaria and stay at the military resort, or simply want to see some astounding photos from that area taken by Brad, check out Edelweiss Lodge and Resort on Facebook!

Monday, May 13, 2013

Garmisch, Germany

While the rest of you wonderful people are being responsible and working jobs or taking care of children, I've decided to go on a photo tour expedition.  No guarantee I'll come back with anything amazing, but here's a glimpse of my surroundings at the moment.  Too much to do to edit, so these are straight off the camera!