Thursday, October 4, 2007

Look What Logan Found

I went diving about 10 days ago with Scott, my Navy dive buddy dude. He just became Chief at the ceremony a few days before our dive. He showed up with the gear he rented for us, and produced a net bag with rocks in it. He had several in there, about 8 of them, and they were painted to look like navy uniforms in black pants and blue shirts with the little insignia on them to denote rank. This was a project he had to do in Chief's school, and they represented a division of sailors. He had to make up records and all kinds of info for each one of them. He decided that on our dive he was going to place them in a circle somewhere on the ocean floor.

Cool, I'm all for an interesting ceremony with some meaning. We headed out to the sea wall for our dive. The tide was still high, but on its way out soon.

It's very cumbersome and awkward to walk with an air tank on your back and a mask and fins in your hands as you navigate the bumpy coral and eroded concrete steps. It didn't take long for Scott to get frustrated because he was also carrying a bag of rocks. About 15 feet out, he was over it and said, "Ok, I can't carry all this, I'm placing them right here." We went on to have a fantastic dive and enjoyed ourselves very much.

This past weekend after my photo shoot, I saw the Neathery family hanging out on their driveway. I needed to hose off my shoes and they were out there hosing off their gear after a snorkel. Anne (mom) was holding baby Knyte Lukas:

(had to show you that - he's gorgeous) and the other 3 kids and dad were cleaning up after a snorkeling trip. Anne says, "Look what Logan found, check this out..."

Logan (fellow kindergartener of Mia's and all-around sweetie-pie) walks over and opens his hand to reveal a blue & black painted rock.

I start laughing hysterically. Anne isn't really sure why, but says, "I know! Isn't that a hoot! I wonder what that is... that's just so funny, he was just swimming around out there and swam down to get it." I'm still laughing and she still doesn't know why.

Through the tears I explain the story of the previous week's dive and Scott's inability to realize that when the tide was LOW, some kid might discover his little division of sailors down there. Logan only found one - but I think he might be looking for more now. Maybe he'll bring the poor guy home to be with his buddies. But I think he's probably happy to have found a home with the Neathery boys.


You're six. Technically, you're still 5 because you were born at 11:45 am PST on October 4, 2001. But I suppose that's splitting hairs.

You bring us so much happiness and laughter and FUN. You're a beautiful, smart, sassy and STUBBORN (shush, people, I know where she gets that) little, I guess I mean big, girl. And though we wish we could stop time to hold you at this amazing age of discovering and learning and lovey doveying - I realize the age where I'm not your favorite person rapidly approaches - we can't.

So here's a picture of you this morning in your new skirt that Grammy got you for school (that I still had to cinch in at the waist with those elastic/button thingies - and why did it take so long for someone to figure out to do that, because it's the best thing EVER for skinny kids) and with your big strong hunka hunka Marine Daddy who loves you more than Rubio's fish tacos. And would probably give up his right arm, the Wii and the PS3 if you signed documents saying you'd never become a boy-crazy teenager.
I have to admit, even though it does make me cringe a little, your recent discovery of how "cute" boys are makes me smile. Last night we went to Chili's after your request to go there (Dad has a 10-mile hump at 6:30 tonight so he won't be home to celebrate with us), and the Turner family joined us. The Turner family is made up of beautiful Hawaiian mom, Kanoe and Marine Dad John and 3 gorgeous kids, Cole, Natalie & Ella (almost 7-yr-old Cole & 5-year-old Natalie are on Mia's soccer team, Ella is 2 and ADORABLE). Mia sat at a 2-person booth with Cole and behaved like quite the young lady. I couldn't help but get a flash of things to come watching her & Cole talk and color together at the separate table. Eventually Ella & Nat joined them, squeezing into the little seats they were on, because they didn't want to be left out & sitting with - ew - grown-ups.

We had such a nice night, and Mia declared, "Cole is so cute!" and the immediate, "HEY there, easy on the 'cute' - he's a nice boy and all but I don't know that you need to go and start with the 'cute' and everything there, kiddo..." came from her father like a recording.

Yep. The prediction stands. About eight years from now he'll be on the front porch polishing his rifle and wearing a wife-beater and his camouflage pants when her date comes to call.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Cry And Laugh

I prefer to be sad before happy so I end on a smile. Thanks [b]ecker, for my links of the day. I sure hope you're right about my Padres, because the Norv & the Chargers are breaking my heart.

And a quick HOORAY! The Office is back! It was great. 

Monday, October 1, 2007

THE Studio

Those of you who already know me, or have been up-to-date here on my blog, or have met me and gotten to know me here on the island know a few things about what I've been doing. For those who don't, besides being the kindergarten kid's mommy, Marine wife, busy homemaker and diver (among oh so many other things) - I've been carrying around our camera a whole lot. This place is just photogenic! And the other thing Okinawa has going for it is that it's FULL of families, and many of them have LOTS AND LOTS of kids! And these families come from all kinds of interesting places, and all branches of the military, and my camera truly loves them. And I love meeting them.

Shortly after we moved into our place, I was lucky enough to meet a neighbor named Leighanne, and on my first visit to her apartment, I noticed some lovely pictures of her beautiful daughter Aubrey on her walls. She told me they were taken by a photographer here on the island, Serena Nicole. I looked up the website, and when I commented to her about it, Leighanne said, "I think she might be looking for an assistant or something, it was on her blog...." Well, it was. And when I read that she was looking for photographers, I thought to myself, "Self- what do I have to lose?"

I filled out an application online, put together a little portfolio of pictures I'd taken of kids & families & babies in San Diego (THANKS, friends!) and of course of my own kid, and sent it in. That evening (I want to say within 2 hours!) a woman called me to tell me they're having a "shoot-off" at Araha beach, and could I come that week? Um - um - yeah, ok. That day we did a 15-minute shoot of a family of three, and then I got a call-back, and then the next week I visited with Serena Nicole and her assistant, Shelia, and they critiqued the previous week's shots a bit and asked me back for a 45-minute shoot on that weekend. I guess that went my way too, because a few days later I was offered a job!

During the month of September, we spent each Sunday training together, and several weekdays scoping out the cool and interesting locations where we'd be shooting. I say "we" and "together" because we're a team! Meredith - my fabulous first shooter - "Thing 1" - also keeper of my favorite local blog,, and an all-around smart and sassy lady with a contagious smile and that fantastic northeastern sense of humor that I just GET. (I was destined to befriend this woman - I was already emailing with her before we applied for the job together!) I would be "Thing 2" - second shooter. And Erin, the amazing assistant who juggles our extra gear, the clients' shoes, paperwork to fill out, toys to make the kids look up and SMILE, and oh so much more - and she's the most sweet and wonderful person - the kids all fall in love with her. (So do the parents, she's quite a looker too!) I'm so lucky to have befriended this bunch, and to be working with such a great and talented crew!

Ok - so without further ado - the website launched today and you all can finally SEE what the buzz is about, and you can see the gallery with pictures we've been taking of some downright gorgeous families:
(be patient - it's brand new - today - so it might be in & out for a little while)

(for additional info including some comments from the families we've shot so far, see THE blog at

Questions?? Ask away! If you're living here in Okinawa, or know people here - spread the word! We want to fill that calendar with appointments. I can't wait to see your family there. (Holidays are coming... now's the time!)

Thanks to EVERYONE on this list for kind words, support, help, encouragement, and love. I'm really happy that my path led in this direction, I'm really enjoying it.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Mia's First Game

A couple of shots of our kid enjoying her first game....

She played defense here, and they were clear that she wasn't to go past mid-field:

In the thick of it - she went for it with gusto!

I love this game!

The rest of the shots can be found here.