Kathleen Lewis gave me this beautiful necklace for taking pictures at her husband's funeral. Her daughter-in-law, Leslie Lewis, makes all kind of great jewelry and this is one of hers. I got to explore her studio yesterday and we talked some about photographing her work. I thought I better try it out and make sure I gave her good advice. Also, I'm putting off doing laundry and going to the store and other post vacation chores. Shooting a necklace and blogging sounds a lot better than what I should be doing. Check out Leslie's creations at www.leslielewisdesigns.com.

Wyatt's second belt promotion was this week. His last one was the night Hank spent in the hospital. He's had a great time in Karate. He's stopping for a while to try fiddle lessons. Right now I just want him involved in one major activity at a time. I don't want to overbooked my kids.

He's getting a 1/2 size rented fiddle for Christmas and starting after the new year with a teacher.

Before: We bathed Wyatt and Hank in one storage bin until they got too big to fit together so then they upgraded to their own bins.

After: Toys, bath water colors, more space and lots of baths.

Before: I didn't adjust the white balance on this picture so you could imagine just how horrible the bathroom was. Actually, it wasn't that bad and had a pretty good look. Not having a tub and the fact that the shower insert was not water tight (leaking in the basement), made the remodel a priority. We went down to mostly studs, put in a tub, new window, tiled around the tub, new floor, wired for a bathroom fan and outlet and replaced the wall tile with bead board.

After: I love it. I couldn't get a great angle without taking off the door or knocking out a wall, but here she is. Please note, this is our only bathroom and it's really small, but I am totally loving it. Fist off, I am a bath taker. It's like coming home to have a bathtub. Having a bathroom fan, an outlet in the bathroom and every detail picked out according to my taste is heaven.

Oddly enough I have a few minutes to myself right now. Hank is asleep. Wyatt is playing at the neighbors and I am taking a little break from work (what I usually do during Hank's nap). I thought I'd post a few thoughts.

Thanksgiving: I love having family come to visit. The kids were in heaven with two sets of grandparents. We had great food, conversation and the annual day after thanksgiving hike. I even went to New Moon with my mom and Kathy and we had a great jam here at our house. What more could a woman want: family, food, happy kids, twilight, live music which includes a handsome fiddler husband? It was great.

Christmas: our tree is up, though not completely decorated. It is so fun having Wyatt and Hank excited about everything. They were so hyper when we put up the tree. Wyatt, despite my talk last year, believes in Santa. I don't mind, it's really cute. So far I haven't done any shopping or even really thought about it. For some reason I feel gloomy when it comes to Christmas shopping. Actually, I'm realizing I don't like shopping much at all, but especially Christmas shopping.

The Bathroom: It's done, except for a few minor details. Pictures will be up soon. It is beautiful. I thought I settled on a color of towels but it turns out I'm going to go back to my first instinct and then we'll do the bathroom shoot. Having a bathtub has been wonderful. I'm pleased with how it all turned out. I'm not sure when we'll be up for our next project. We are a bit depleted on savings and enthusiasm for home improvement. The roof should be next and I think we'll hire it out.

Fitness: AFter several months of wanting to close the deal on my weight loss/fitness goals but lacking the intensity, I signed up with a trainer at my gym. I figured having someone push me along and knowing I was paying for it might help me get what I want. So far I have been so sore that I feel injured. I mean, so sore, can't get out of my favorite chair without help sore. I figured I have to either go for it or get over it (as far as the 10lbs go). *note: I'm not actually fixated on lbs, but that's easiest way to talk about it. I don't care what I weigh as long as I am a bit leaner.

Photography: I'm still obsessed but having some ups and downs. I've had a few recent great classes. I get ahead of myself sometimes and forget that I need practice and be taught and practice some more. Willie reminds me to enjoy photography as a process and not always think I have to reach some kind of destination over night. I thought maybe I wanted to charge for taking pictures, but I'm not ready for that. I just want to have fun and create pictures that make me happy. My newest project is going to be about 17th St. I have a lot of ideas. I really like to look in people's windows in the neighborhood at dusk. The pictures above is our front room the other night.

Politics: Several months ago I declared that I was over politics. I didn't know if that was really going to happen. The good news is that it did. This just means that I don't want any of the negativity that goes along with it (no TV news, conversation with my conservative friends, etc) affecting my life. It's a pretty nasty game at times and I don't like to see people being mean to each other. It's been refreshing not really being into it. Cute Wyatt saw Sarah Palin's picture on the front page of our newspaper and said, "oh, mom, you and dad don't want to read her book". He was right, but I felt bad and told him that she was a nice lady and I was just mad at her because she was mean to Obama but I'm not mad anymore. Kids can pick up so much.

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