Julie Ziegler Memorial Gymnastics Meet

We traveled across the state of North Dakota to attend the Julie Ziegler Memorial Gymnastics Meet at Bismarck Gymnastics Academy. We don't mind the travel, however. When we travel to Bismarck, or Mandan, we get a bonus, we get to visit my twin uncles and their families. We had a very nice time, and a big thank you goes out to Joel and Rhonda for hosting us for the weekend. Hopefully we didn't wear out our welcome because we will be attending a meet in Mandan next weekend!

Miss J had her best meet yet. She scored a 9.0 on floor, a 9.1 on beam, a 8.8 on bars and maintained her vault score of 8.2. This resulted in an all around score of 35.1, good enough for 5th place all around out of 50+ gymnasts. The RRVG team placed 2nd out of 10 teams. My apologies for the photo overload! Because of the configuration of the gym, I was able to use my favorite lens and got some great shots....I couldn't choose.


A Valentine

I received these lovely flowers from my Valentine on Valentine's Day. Thanks, Gym Dad!

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Mad Baking Skills.....

.......or NOT! In fact, I am known for just the opposite....my BAD baking skills. Don't get me wrong. I can cook. I can cook circles around most people; I make up recipes on the fly, run the outdoor grill better than any guy, and am known to throw together a big Thanksgiving type feast for Sunday dinner.

Baking, however, is not my forte! There is something about all the measuring that throws me off. I'm more of a "that's close to a cup", or "that's about a tablespoon" type of cook. I like to eyeball my measurements and modify ingredients to suit my family's tastes. This style is not conducive to baking.

After many trials and much error, I've all but given up on baking. That was until I saw the recipe for Rainbow Cake on MckMama's blog. It seemed so simple I had to try it. Gym Dad laughed at me, Sister K laughed at me, but boy did I surprise them (well, ok, I surprised myself a little too!). If I don't say so myself, it turned out great!


Happy Valentine's Day!

You've Touched My Heart

You've given me a reason
For smiling once again,
You've filled my life with peaceful dreams
and you've become my closest friend.

You've shared your heartfelt secrets
And your trust you've given me,
You showed me how to feel again
To laugh, and love, and see.

If life should end tomorrow
And from this world I should part,
I shall be forever young
For you have touched my heart
~author unknown


This one goes out to the one I love...

...to Gym Dad, Happy Birthday!! To my hard working, gymnastics car pool driving, tool collecting, golfing, curling husband I love you! Hope you have a wonderful day!


Be my Valentine...

I remember the excitement of Valentine's Day as a child. Sitting down at the table to address my greetings to my classmates I'd anticipate the upcoming party at school. I remember the thrill of getting valentines that came with treats attached. I also remember the embarrassment of getting a valentine from the cute boy in class. (or was that really excitement?)

Miss J addressed her valentines the other night. She meticulously filled out each name tag with her best handwriting, sorted out the candy, and lined up the finished product. I silently observed this behavior and was quite amused. This fact I know is true........she is her mother's daughter!

Each year I have tried to create something unique for Miss J to hand out on Valentine's Day. This year her valentines were inspired by a concert ticket.

Give me your best shot at Better in Bulk


Kim Lupo Memorial Gymnastics Meet

We traveled over 200+ miles of snowy, icy, wet, slushy, and greasy roads to get to Miss J's 4th meet of the season. I spent around eight hours stiffly hunched over steering wheel with tense shoulders and arms. I am thankful that the visibility was perfect and that didn't add to the driving stress.

The adventure was certainly worth the extra effort as we were present to watch Miss J's team take home 1st place and Miss J finish 6th place all around out of 47 gymnasts.


Little Man

This past weekend we stayed with our dear friends while traveling to Miss J's TNT gymnastics meet. It was a great opportunity to spend time with our new favorite man, Carter Jay, on his three month birthday. I blogged about his arrival in early November and the news that Gym Dad and I were bestowed with the honor of being his godparents. He is growing so fast. He is now full of smiles, coos and giggles. True to form, I couldn't resist the opportunity to take a few photos. Not wanting to be left out, Miss J and Carter's Sister, Maddie, joined in on the action.

Give me your best shot at Better in Bulk


Photo Editing

Do I do it? Heck ya! The art of photo editing, and it is an art, enables the artist to put his/her personal stamp on the medium. It allows you not only fix red eye, lighting, color, or contrast, but affords the opportunity put an artistic spin on the image such as; boosting color vibrance to make bright colors pop, reducing vibrance to give a washed out antique look, adding textures to backgrounds, and transforming color images into black and whites.

I enjoy taking photographs. Miss J will be the first to tell you that and Gym Dad has given me the moniker Mamaratzi. As much as I love taking photographs, I enjoy editing them even more. I love to take the raw imagine SOOC (straight out of camera) and wave the magic Photoshop wand to take the photo to a whole new level.

Check out this image SOOC, taken last summer of Miss J

This image's color was enhanced

This is another color enhancement...I love the faded jeans look!

I added a texture to the background of this final image

Check out Pixel Perfect for more before and after photos!


TNT's Winter Challenge

Our third meet of the season brought us to the last weekend in January and to TNT Gymnastic's Winter Challenge. TNT is a spacious facility which creates a number of issues for those of us attempting to take pictures. The dim lighting only compounded the problem. I gave it my best shot and this are the few that were salvageable.

The photography might be substandard, but the performances were great. Our girls finished 3rd overall, ahead of all other North Dakota clubs, and was only edged out of 2nd place by Bemidji by .4 of a point. It is great to see the girls do so well. Miss J placed 5th all around out of 57 gymnasts. Moreover, she improved her vault and beam scores which is proof that practice is the key.

P.S. Check out the tongue hanging out! I wonder if she gets bonus points for that???


Birthday Girl

It is hard for me to fathom, impossible even, that my baby girl is nine years old today! Where has the time gone? It's the last year in single digits. She will soon be a teenager....choke cough cough!

Where has the time gone?? I mean, how did we get from here.................

to here???

Happy Birthday, Baby Girl!


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