The Resolutions...

With the new year quickly coming upon us, I started thinking ... as everyone does ... about my goals for 2012.  What do I want out of 2012?  What do I want to look back on and see when I'm sitting in this position next year examining my goals for 2013?  Who do I wanna be?  I thought I'd take note of a couple of goals I have set for myself...

Shoot More - Think Less.  No, I don't mean shooting as in people...with a gun, I mean take more pictures.  Stop worrying about what other people think.  Stop worrying about what I think.  Just do it. 
I want to take my camera everywhere and not care when people look at me funny for taking a picture of the dessert I just ordered.  I want to get back to my "practice practice practice" ideals when it comes to my photography, and just.shoot.everything. 

Reward instead of Indulge.  I work a full time job, and because of that I have limited time to actually do the things I want to do.  But, I do have a bad habit of just coming home and indulging in doing the thing I've been thinking about doing all day long - like making a new piece of jewelry... or writing... or reading ... or taking pictures ... or editing pictures, etc.  And in doing this - I tend to neglect the other chores in my life.  Cleaning, cooking, going to the gym... all fall by the wayside because they are things I really don't wanna do.  I just want to flip on my DVR'd episode of New Girl and make a cute pair of earrings.  But, this year I know and I have the goal to reward myself AFTER I've done all the things that need to get done.  I can't plop myself down on the couch unless I've gone to the gym and folded that pesky pile of laundry. 

Lose the LBSes.  My last goal leads me to this goal.  Stop choosing the couch over the treadmill and just friggin' do it.  I have a treadmill in my office AND netflix streaming to the TV in the office.  AND a new Kindle I can prop up and read while I'm walking merrily along.  I HAVE NO EXCUSE.  Just get off my lazy, good for nothing BEHIND and own that treadmill.  The battle of the bulge will end in 2012.

Ramp up the Biz.  2011 was the first year of Carmon Leigh Photography and I am going to mark it down as a learning year.  2012, however, I am hoping to be "my year".  I want to ramp things up.  Offer specials, get involved, really dedicate my efforts into making this business get off the ground and succeed.

Write.Write.Write.  I used to journal, like, all the time.  I have almost 10 journals somewhere (I should probably find those) that I poured my heart into when I was in HS and College.  I graduated college and I couldn't tell you the last time I really wrote in a journal.  I used to write short stories and poetry too.  I don't know the last time I've taken pen to paper to write anything that might possibly rhyme.  I want to get back to that - where I just had creativity flowing through me all the time.

I'm looking forward to what 2012 will bring and putting 2011 behind me :)


After the Merry Christmas...

I've been MIA...Out of the office...Gone.
We've been traveling and I've been sick with a pesky cold that won't go away.
But, I did have a very Merry Christmas. :)

We drove down to South Carolina to spend a few days with Derin's dad and step mom.  We hadn't seen them in a very long time so it was good to get a few days in with them and catch up.

Christmas Eve we went over to my parents house to meet with my side of the family.

*note the doggie treats on the right hand side. They love their grandoggers

Christmas morning we woke up at my parentse house and opened our gifts from them and each other there.  We hung out there most of the day until around 4pm we headed about an hour west of where we live to see his mom and stepdad and that side of the family. 

Santa was very good to me this he is every year.  Apparently, I'm ALWAYS the epitome of "Good".  My husband would disagree, but we won't listen to him.  Remember, I'm the good one...I never lie ;)

He got me a Fender acoustic guitar this year for Christmas.
One comment in the car a few weeks ago ... "I think our friend Kenny can give us Guitar lessons..."
And here I sit...callouses already forming on my fingers.  But I can't complain, I've talked about learning to play the guitar for years and now I have no excuse; with my very own beautiful black Fender (complete with hot pink strap...he knows me so well)

My mom and dad didn't fail to impress either.

My very own Kindle Fire... complete with awesome case from my cousin Robin. 
There have been several negative reviews about the Kindle Fire...but considering I'm no technology snob, I have no complaints.  It does exactly what I expected it to do.  I can read my books, surf the web, play a few games, and watch my Netflix... while I'm lounging in the tub.
It is perfect for what I want to use it for and I love it.

I got the hubs an xbox... so I haven't seen him since the Monday after Christmas.  Well, I've seen him...but its been in passing while I walk by his determined, obsessed self shaking my head wondering what I'd done buying him that and the Call of Duty game.  Oh well, maybe I'll get a husband back in a few months when he's tired of the game. ;)



Heart Therapy: Values

Happy Tuesday!

I am linking up with Eisy Morgan again today to talk about little'ole me.  This week the topic is "my values".

What are my values?  

Education: beliefs and philosophy on education for myself/family:
Education is important to me.  I have an undergraduate and graduate degree - but if my (hypothetical) kids were to ever tell me they weren't going to college...while I'd expect them to have a great backup plan, I wouldn't be heartbroken.  I know people who are doing much better than me financially who didn't go to college, so it isn't everything. 
Politics: I'm registered Independent, and I generally don't follow one party or the other.  But, I do believe this country is due for a reform.  I am for whatever party can make that happen.  

Three things to not get me started on: Immigration, Welfare, and the deficit.
Religion: I am a C...I am a CH...I am a Christian (if you don't know that song, I'm sorry)  I believe in God, and while I have had my ups and downs and questions...I know that there is a greater Power working in my life.
Parenting: The most challenging job in the world.  I am not a parent yet, but I hope to instill the value of hard work, and that we're not all handed everything we want the moment we want it.  Spoiled and demanding children turn my stomach.
Love Relationship: What characteristics are most important:  Laughter, respect, admiration, compassion, and just pure and unaltered LOVE.  I LOVE my husband... in every sense of the word, and when I took my vows, I meant them.
Men: Derin.  I always said before we got married... "If I don't marry him, I wanna marry someone just like him."  I got to marry the real thing. ;)
Friends: What kind of Friends am I attracted to?  Um, the AWESOME kind.  I want my friends to be genuine, honest, and HILARIOUS.  And, I've got that.
Movies: what kind do I like best?
Girlie movies.  Romance, Comedies...etc.
Books: Favorites?
Twilight, Anything by Deeanne Gist or Julie Lessman.
Jewelry: What is my style?
All kinds.
Fashion: I try to keep with the times, but sometimes I fail.
Cars: Lexus IS 250 or the BRAND spanking new Kia Optima...those are really cute!
Architecture and House Style:
I will just refer you to my Pinterest... But I love Pottery Barn.
Again...Pottery Barn.
Gemstone: Diamonds are a girls best friend.
Weather: I love fall and spring.  Nothing too hot or too cold.
Geography: Send me somewhere tropical.
Season: Fall and Spring.
Music for Listening: 
Van Morrison Channel on my Pandora.
Music for Dancing:
Leisure Time Activity:
Reading, Photography, Being Creative/Artsy, Travel.
Kick-up-your-heels fun:
Walking/Jogging/Wii Active
Television Show:
Sons of Anarchy.
The New Girl. (I heart Zooey)
And I like the weird stuff:
Ghost Hunters
Paranormal State
Food to cook/eat
I bake...
And I love Icecream
Texas Roadhouse.
They have THE BEST grilled chicken salad.
Shopping Place
Again, send me somewhere tropical.
But I want to go to Ireland, revisit Paris, and see Italy and Greece.
Sport to play 
Navy Blue 
As though you couldn't tell... 
Fabrics: good ole Cotton.
Flowers: Peonies
Conversation: about what and with whom?
Anything and everything.  I love to talk. :)
Favorite Age Group to hang out with?
My age.


It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...

... In our house. :)
We put up the tree last week, finally.  We've been soooooooo busy this year that we've been delayed on everything.
The colors in my living room are red, brown, beige, and green...So I did a red and gold theme with a little bit of country/homemade touch.  I'm not super into having to have the biggest and the best Christmas tree.  Ours is perfect for us <3

 I love our "B"

Our old stomping ground :) 

Derin got me this ornament last year because I love to bake for the holidays :)

 Yes...he's all mine ;)

Merry Christmas. Peace on Earth.


Weigh In Wednesday

This is officially the third week of my "lifestyle change" - and while I haven't been perfect (too many Christmas parties!!!!)  I've been good.
I feel better.  I have more energy.  I've been a better mood (for the most part).  The only downer is that I don't see the lbs coming off as quickly as I'd like.  But, honestly, I don't know how much I've lost because I can't get a straight answer from my scale.  The stupid thing will give me 5 different readings... up and down -- all over the place.  I can't be sure if I've gained 4 or lost 10.  I've been trying to gauge it by my clothes, but they don't seem any more loose than before.  So, to be perfectly honest with myself... I am getting a little discouraged.  I am thinking those damaging thoughts "well if this isn't helping me at all then why am I killing myself to do this?"  
I can't let those thoughts take me down though.  I can't let them sabotage what I have accomplished in these past three weeks.

I'm still eating better.  Starting off with Turkey bacon and a grapefruit for breakfast most mornings. (When I run out of grapefruit if I haven't hit up the store I grab a slim fast shake)

I'm packing my lunch most days.

I've still been struggling with getting work outs in.  This holiday season and being super busy isn't helping me out any at all.  I just keep telling myself that after the holidays and I'm not busy until 9 or 10 every night I'll start to incorporate it into my schedule.  Hopefully that will be the missing link on getting this weight to fall off. :)

Grown up Christmas List...

 In our household we're getting ready for Christmas.  The tree is up...the lights line the front porch...the presents are getting wrapped.  Gradually.  I'm reminding myself to "Be of good cheer"...

During this time of year I dread that question that my family asks me... "What do you want for Christmas?"  
I'm old enough now to realize that actually answering that honestly would be completely out of the question... My "wants" have completely moved away from things that people can just purchase for me - to things I have to save up for and buy myself.  But, I guess that is what happens when you grow up...and you're not rich enough to buy your spouse a Lexus and surprise them with it in the snow....

So, I have compiled a short Grown up Christmas List...

1.  I will go ahead and admit that I know this is actually under the tree...Thanks Mom and Dad :)
image via Amazon
  I'm so super excited about this gift this year!!  I have wanted a tablet like nobody's business but I'm wasn't about to spend $500+ on an iPad.  My husband tried to buy me a Kindle last year for Christmas but I told him while I enjoyed reading and would like it -- I didn't really want something like that I couldn't use for other things... ie, apps or surfing the web.  So this year -- tada!!!!! Exactly what I wanted.  I get to read all my kindle books I downloaded on my phone and read on its ity-bity little screen.  Headaches be gone!

2. I won't get this for a while due to it's $1700 price tag...but oh isn't it dreamy.

image via Adorama
 As a photographer - I'm all about prime lenses.  And, this is my next big purchase.  I've tried it out and I adore the creamy bokeh that this baby produces.  Saving up -- but it will no doubt take me a while.  So anyone wanting to donate to the "Carmon wants something ridiculously expensive" fund... I'm for it.

3. My husband is outdoorsy -- so by default... I kind of half to be.  So, this year I actually do want one of these

Not necessarily that exact one... but a kayak.  My husband goes fishing down the river all the time in his and he would love for me to join but I don't have a kayak...  He keeps talking about buying one.  Maybe I'll have a kayak shaped gift under the tree this year?

4.  Another outrageous purchase I have to save up for but can't wait to actually lay my hands on one day...

This actually came in at my office -- and I'm coveting it like nobody's business.  I can't wait till we get it all set up so I can play with it :)

While I have been talking about gifts - please don't forget the real Reason for the Season... Santa isn't King, folks.  
Merry Christmas!

I know my ABCs

Here's a fun little something I found on Sincerely, Kylee

I thought I'd play along :)

A= Available - Negative.  I'm blissfully wed. :)
B= Best Friend - The Hubs is obviously my BFF.  But, I do have some awesome girlfriends who I have known forever who completely rock my world 
C= Cake or pie -  I can clean out a chocolate creme pie in a heartbeat.

D= Drink of choice - Diet Coke.
E= Essential item you use everyday -  My cellular ;)
F= Favorite color - Pink and Navy Blue... as if you couldn't tell.
G= Gummy bears or worms - No gummy.  I don't like the texture.
H= Hometown -  Greensboro, North Carolina.
I= Indulgences - Shopping for good reads at the bookstore.
J= January or February - February...'cause it's my birth month.  That's right.  The whole month.
K= Kids and Names - My Furbabies: Dakota, Delia and Boomer.
L= Life is incomplete without? - The Hubs, my parents, my friends and my furbabies.
M= Marriage date - May 22, 2010
N= Number of siblings - Zero.  Just me :)
O= Oranges or apples - Apples. 
P= Phobias or Fears - I'm terrified...I'm talking crying hysterically terrified, of fish.  It's called: Ichthyophobia.
Q= Favorite Quote - She believed she could, so she did.
R= Reason to smile - Being healthy and happy.
S= Season - Fall. 
T= Tag 3 or 4 people - Anyone that reads this is tagged! :D 
U= Unknown fact about me - I've never had a broken bone in my life.
V= Vegetable you don't like - Broccoli.  Gross.
W= Worst habit - Biting my nails/cuticles.
X= X-rays - Of my knee after I was in a car wreck and flew into the dash.
Y= Your favorite food -Arroz con Pollo...yummm
Z= Zodiac Sign - Aquarius.

Tag, you're it! Now go make yours and leave me your link in a comment below, so I can get to know you better. :)


Heart Therapy - Insecurities

Today I'm trying something a little different... I'm joining in with Eisy Morgan to write about my insecurities as a part of her series.

Personally, I am insecure about a whole assortment of things, but I think right now in my life the most prevalent thing I am insecure about is

My Weight and Appearance

This insecurity is nothing new.  I've been overweight for the majority of my life and while people have always said "You have a Beautiful face" all I hear is... "you have a beautiful face but the rest of you is horribly disgusting".  I've tried --and failed... and succeeded, and failed again...miserably -- several diets.  Currently, I'm working on a "life change" to change my bad eating habits.  It has been hard.  I haven't seen results as fast as I would like.  I cried this morning to my husband about how this is why diets never work for me. 
I often tell him that I wish I could be prettier for him; that I'm sorry that he has to be embarrassed by me.  Of course, his response to that is that I'm being ridiculous.  I'm a beautiful woman.  I have no doubt that my insecurities weigh on him.  He can't stand it when I talk bad about myself.

But, my feelings about myself started young.  I was picked on, as most overweight children are, and you never quite get over the memory of guys screaming at you that you're fat, or children taunting you because of your size.  I've stopped going out with friends to bars or concerts or whatnot because I'm ashamed.  I don't want to be surrounded by cute skinny girls in the latest fashions that I cannot fit into. 
Most of my friends are slim, and I'm not sure they fully understand how I feel.  If you've never been treated harshly or rudely BECAUSE of your weight - then you can't imagine what goes through my mind when I'm trying to get dressed in the mornings or when I'm trying to get ready for a party or night out with friends.

I'm doing my best to change my bad habits about food, and I hope that and adding in some more exercise will get me to a healthy weight.  I know that I will never be super thin, but I would like to feel comfortable in my own skin.  All so I can get rid of this -- insecurity

Officially Week Two

It is officially week two here on the road to skinny minny-dom.  I've hit a couple of road bumps but all in all I am still firmly on my wagon.
I have been a little disappointed with the weight loss.  I figured with all the water, and less carbs and fat and sugar and processed foods, the pounds would be falling off.  But, that hasn't happened.  Last week I only lost 1.6 pounds.  Not the results I was looking for.  
I am continuing on though, not letting myself get discouraged.

For example, today... I had an AWESOME wrap I made for lunch.  Let me say it again...ahem, AWESOME.
Low fat/Low Carb wrap, with spinach leaves, chicken breast meat, 1/4 cup of skim mozzarella cheese , 1/4 cup of reduced fat feta (MmmMmm good) and a drizzle of homemade ranch dressing with fat free skim milk (I kept the regular mayo in the ranch mix - a girl has got to have some sort of enjoyment in her life, c'mon)  The angels were singing.  I found something that tastes good that isn't horrible for me.  Saints be praised!