101 Update

Happy Monday!  I know, I know… happy Monday?  It’s kind of an oxymoron, right?  But the thing is, I just had a great weekend, and this week is looking to be fabulous as well!  I spent Saturday second shooting a beautiful wedding in Westbrook , CT with Tania Sones, who, as you all know, I consider to be the bees knees.  I also feel the same about Westbrook, so it was a double scoop of awesomeness!  Westbrook is where I grew up going in the summer with my mom’s family, including my sister and my cousins Brett and Shea.  We had so many good summers down on the shore and I haven’t been back in at least 15 years, so it was so nice to be down in that area!  Then yesterday one of my bestest friends ever Jenn came out to visit and we had an amazing afternoon of eating our way through the Big E.  Tomorrow I have a tattoo consultation…yay!... Wednesday is dinner with Tania at the City Steam Brewery, my favorite Hartford brewery… Thursday is dinner at Brew City (yes, another brewery… do you see a pattern yet?) with Jamie Doyle, and then next weekend I am off to Maine with Jenn to take my friend Chelsea ’s engagement pics!  And as if all this excitement is not enough, I have absolutely, positively FALLEN IN LOVE.  That’s right, it’s true love, and I am in it… with WHCC and Miller’s Labs :)  I have been ordering product NON-STOP and I cannot wait to show my new brides all the awesome stuff they have to look forward to.  I am proud to say that I now offer a variety of custom Save the Date and Thank You cards, three types of engagement guestbooks, and three different layouts of albums with endless cover options.  I am so psyched about all this new product, and every time I see the postman or UPS guy heading my way with a package I literally let out a little squeal… and not just because WHCC puts a Blow Pop in with each order (although that does help!)  Miller’s is equally amazing and I just ordered the most beautiful emerald green leather album from them…. that’s right, emerald green… HEAVEN.  Okay, anyways, I know I need to tone down my excitement and get right to my very exciting Monday post.  It’s been awhile since I updated you on my 101 progress, so here goes!  Lots more to go but I’m feeling inspired!  I need to stop with the exclamation points, huh? ;-)

1. Learn how to play chess.

2. Go to a book signing.

3. Submit a photo or spread to a magazine.

4. Cook a four course meal…without poisoning anyone eating it.

5. Take a Jasmine Star workshop.

6. Smoke a Cuban cigar… because deep down I am a 75 year old man.

7. Trace the Irish roots of my name and see if I have any relatives still living in Ireland.

8. Get a massage.  I have never had one before and I imagine they are very enjoyable.

9. Start an antique camera collection for decoration.

I'm officially counting this one as done!  A few weeks ago I was at the camera shop where I get all my equipment, and I asked the guy there about some old cameras he had up for decoration, and how much antiques like that usually run.  He told me anywhere from $5 to $5,000, depending on what it is.  He also mentioned that lots of people bring in old cameras from old estates, thinking they might be worth something when they're not, and he has to just throw them away.  I perked right up and asked if he had any lying around.  Wouldn't you know, they were exactly the kind of thing I was looking for!  So every time I go into the shop now he gives me the ones people have brought in.  Here is a picture that Meg and Josh Souder took of me in Nashville with one of the cameras!

10. Read the Bible.

11. Learn how to use a round brush.  I am seriously challenged when it comes to hand/ hair coordination, and I think it would really help my bouffant.

12. Stay at a bed and breakfast.

13. Go to a driving range with my Dad and try not to humiliate myself too much.

I made a plan with my dad for Father's Day to pick him up at 11:00 and take him to the driving range and lunch.  I had a long wedding the night before, and that morning I was running a little behind.  I planned to go to the ATM and then swing by and pick him up... when I hear a knock at the door at 10:45.  There is my dad, fifteen minutes early and positive that we had planned for him to pick me up.  Needless to say, I was thrown off guard, and got ready as quick as I could.  In my haste I forgot that I needed to get cash... I also forgot (but was reminded by my very golf-oriented father) that flip-flops are not appropriate for the green.  We make it to the driving range and wouldn't you know it, they don't take plastic.  So my father has to pay for his own Father's Day golf date.  So we start hitting a bucket of balls... and I top EVERY.SINGLE.ONE.  I could not hit anything!  And of course it is like 95 degrees out.  So we finally give up and quit, and my dad suggest lunch at a place nearby.  Well, wouldn't you know... THEY ONLY TAKE CASH TOO.  Hello?!?!  Who carries cash anymore?  So yup, my dad treated for lunch as well :)  Thanks Dad!

14. Leave 100% tip for a great server.

Labor Day weekend SUCKED this year.  And that's all I will say.  But thanks to some awesome friends (hi Shelby and Julie and Boston friends!) , it was a little more enjoyable, and a few of us ended up going out in Boston on Saturday night.  We were at Sissy K's and ended up with a fabulous waitress named Kirsten, who literally took it upon herself to find me a boyfriend.  I would point out a guy that I thought was cute, and she would do her thing and come back ten minutes later with his marital status, family history, favorite color... she was simply awesome.  So I asked my friends if they thought she could be THE ONE, the one great server who I left 100% tip for.  They agreed that she was amazing, so when our $60 check came, I tipped her $60.  She was so flattered and ended up taking care of us the rest of the night.  Here is me and her fabulousness!

15. Write 10 “just because” letters to friends or family. (0/10)

16. Write a love letter.

17. Collect every Paul Simon album, cause the man is pretty much the bees knees.

18. Watch the sun set over the ocean, stay up all night talking, and watch the sun rise at another spot close by.  This might be tricky because it means that someone will have to put up with me for a solid 10 hours, but I’ll put it down anyways.

19. Bring flowers to the cemetery once a month for the length of the challenge. (4/33)

20. Volunteer photography services for at least 5 charities (2/5)

21. Register to vote (I know, I know…. I am a little tardy to the party, but better late than never right?)

22. Plant a garden of Gerber daisies.

23. Finish at least 3 scrapbooks for myself (0/3)

24. Update my resume and change the formatting so it looks bad-ass.  And by that I mean more professional.

25. Commission one piece of artwork from Mark Gallagher.

26. Read an entire newspaper from front to back.

27. Wash and clean the interior and exterior of my car.

28. Take a writing class.

29. Buy a GPS, so I can stop being the cool kid with the Mapquest directions strewn about my vehicle.!

30. Go to a tarot card reader.

31. Walk the entire Freedom Trail.

32. Write to my favorite singer, actor and author to tell them how they have inspired me. (0/3)

33. Go on a first date… and maybe that will lead to a second?

34. Learn how to bake muffins or cupcakes.  I’m a good baker, but basically anything in tins has eluded me up until now.

35. Have a girls night with my sister and stepsister and try to get to know them better.

36. Learn at least one really funny joke.  The last one I was able to retain was in 3rd grade, and isn’t really funny to twenty-somethings.  Or even 3rd graders, I’m sure.

37. Complete photo project of Southie.

38. Purchase small business insurance.

Finally!  I ended up purchasing insurance through the same place that covers my auto and rental insurance, so it was easy breezy to get coverage for my small business.  Thank you Bates Fullam! :)

39. Celebrate one Festivus- complete with pole and the Airing of Grievances.

40. Create a mosaic mirror.

41. Make a funky necklace that I can actually wear.

42. Volunteer on Thanksgiving and Christmas at a local soup kitchen.

43. Complete 3 Better Photo online courses (0/3)

44. Take my mom out to dinner “just cause”.

45. Have my old sorority shirts made into a quilt.  I don’t chide myself into thinking I could ever sew something likes this myself, but just the simple task of getting them together and finally getting this done is enough for me.

50. Save $5,000 before moving to Vermont.

51. Join a book club.

52. Have a bonfire and toast marshmallows over the old memories I don’t need anymore:)

I feel like once in their lives, everybody needs to do this.  I have had some bad boy drama in the past, and had some things saved up in a box that I just didn't need anymore.  Old pictures, letters, notes that came with flowers... who needs to keep that stuff?  But the stuff I wanted to get rid of the most really didn't have anything to do with a boy at all.  Last year, I lost my best friend of ten years.  No, she didn't die, but according to her, our friendship did, and pretty much one day out of the blue she decided that it was over.  I'm sure anyone who has ever lost someone like this, so out of left field, can attest to the fact that it almost does feel like a death has occurred.  When you spend ten years being someone's friend, spending holidays together, vacationing together, sharing dreams and making plans together... and then it's all over without warning... it's a horrible loss, and one that I definitely did not take too well.  I definitely wish this person nothing but the best, and maybe someday we'll be friends again.  I went through an angry phase right after our friendship ended where I just wanted to get rid of everything that reminded me of my best friend, every picture, every souvenir, everything.  But then I realized that would basically erase ten years of my own life... ten great years that I don't want to erase.  So it came down to burning just a couple of things... one of which was a long framed collage she made me of different pictures and best friend quotes.  Ali came over to toast marshallows with me and she pointed out how ironic this quote was on the board, so I took a picture as it was going up in flames :)

53. Go white water rafting in Maine or Vermont.

54. Go skiing again.  I used to be really good, then I got cocky and went down a black diamond at about 100 miles an hour and broke my arm in 7 places, and I never went back.  Would really like to get over the fear and at least try a bunny hill or something.

55. Tell myself I am beautiful at least once a week… and BELIEVE IT.

56. Go to a comedy show and laugh out loud with my friends.  Jenn, I see Harrison Stebbins in our future:)

57. Try fifteen different kinds of martinis (7/15)

58. Work on New England photography project.

59. Drink Moonshine.  My relatives in Tennessee have already agreed to help me with this when I go down in July  :)

In July, I went down to Nashville for my cousin's wedding.  There was a 3 hour gap between the ceremony and the reception... what better time to try moonshine?  My uncle had promised to get some for my visit, and when I saw him walk in with a huge jug of clear liquid, I knew I was in trouble.  The moonshine was disgusting and the burn was baaaaaaad, but later when we added more ice and strawberries it went down a little smoother :)  This is a little photo sequence I like to call "Dear Moonshine, I hate you."

Look at how happy I am... I have no idea what's coming...

And down the hatch... I love my Aunt Susan's expression in this photo... she knows what's about to happen!

"AHHHHHHHHHH it burns sooooooo bad!"... and my dad laughing in the background...

End sequence :)

60. Add song lyrics to my tattoo.

61. Have my contracts reviewed by a lawyer.

62. Pay a toll for a stranger.

63. Send a birthday card to 5 different people I have fallen out of touch with. (0/5)

64. Go to a clam or lobster bake.  Kind of sad that this would be like a life goal, but really I’ve never been and can’t imagine anything better in the summer than good seafood and beers with my friends on the ocean somewhere.

65. Make a Christmas tree ornament.  I own about 300 but have never attempted a homemade one.

66. Read 5 books that have won either the Pulitzer Prize or the Nobel Peace Prize. (1/5)

67. Photograph someone who has inspired me.

68. See three musicals that I’ve never seen (aka I need to stop seeing Rent, Sound of Music and Phantom of the Opera REPEATEDLY every year) (2/3)

69. Go horseback riding.  I haven’t been since I was 11 and got the worst hay fever EVER.  I really need to get back in the saddle again…pun totally intended.

70. Go to the Von Trapp Family Lodge.  I have literally been to Vermont every summer since I was in the womb, and I have never been there.  It is a travesty.  Especially since I have this image of Christopher Plummer working as the concierge, and it just makes me want to go there even more.

71. Take 3 photography workshops or seminars. (1/3)

72. Make at least 5 new wedding albums to show clients. (3/5)

73. Spend a summer day antiquing, garage saling, and flea marketing for some cheap finds.  And yes, I just turned flea marketing into a verb.  Cause that’s how I roll.

75. Change old picture frames out with new pictures.  Sounds ridiculous, but I literally still have some picture frames filled with pictures from my high school prom.  It’s a problem.

76. Take a trip to the Harpoon brewery in Vermont.  I’ve been a “Friend of Harpoon” for four years and have yet to visit anywhere except the Boston brewery.  Some friend I am.

77. Watch every Anne of Green Gables movie.  You can stop judging me now.

78. Go swimming on New Year’s Day at the L Street Bath House.

79. Buy a Cape Cod bracelet.  I have always wanted one and think they’re gorgeous but have just never gotten around to getting one.  No time like the present!

80. Attend a photography exhibit.

81. Take iron for a week and then donate blood.

82. Find a photography mentor.

83. Bring in donuts/ coffee for co-workers, along with a note for each one telling them why I appreciate them.

A few weeks ago, we had just moved offices to our new location and were about to add someone new to our team when I decided to do this for my co-workers.  They were so surprised and so touched by the notes I wrote... it was a really nice day in the office and I felt lucky (again) to work with such good people.  Love you guys!

84. Attend church every Sunday for a month.

85. Pop some champagne, light some candles, and take a bubble bath.  Alone.  Sexy, I know.

86. Go to a Cape Cod League baseball game.

87. Take Lola for a hike.

89. Go strawberry picking and make fresh strawberry shortcake (and by that I mean the dessert AND the drink…. yummmmm)

Why doesn't anything ever work out as planned?  So the first time Ali and I tried to go strawberry picking it was literally pouring.  Like, a monsoon.  The second date we could finally make to get together and go, we drive all the way to the farm, and they had closed a half hour before. Whatttt?!?!  It was like 2 in the afternoon.  Apparently, when it's hot, you have to go strawberry picking at like 8 a.m. or the farmers get hot and go inside to sit in front of their air conditioners (not that I blame them).  So we settled for picking up strawberries at the grocery store.  Okay, so it's not TECHNICALLY what I listed here, but cut me a break :)  The shortcake was fabulous and my strawberry shortcake drinks, while being nowhere near as good as the ones in Vegas, were not too shabby either!

90. Take a “me” day and organize my life: get rid of stuff I don’t need, catch myself up on photo editing and archiving, catch up with all the people I wish I could talk to more, etc.  End the day feeling relaxed and rejuvenated that I was so productive.

91. Have a girls wine and cheese night at the Melting Pot.

92. Go to Canal Street in NYC for a new knock-off bag.

93. Take at least 5 landscape photos that I am proud enough of to put on the wall.

94. Finish at least the “biographies” section of my book project.

95. Attend a film or book festival.

96. Use a Christmas-y picture I have taken myself for my Christmas cards.

97. E-mail one photographer per month to compliment their work and introduce myself. (4/33)

98. Participate in a day of drinking with friends, for no particular reason except that it’s Saturday and we’re happy to be alive!

99. Ride on a train.  I’ve never been on one before!

100. For every task I don’t complete, I will donate $20 to the Massachusetts Military Heroes Fund.

101. For every task I do complete, I will save $10 for my trip to Europe.

I have also kept up with #20 and done more volunteer photography for Rays of Hope, as well as an OpLove session with another scheduled.  I am enjoying keeping up with #57, and have tried 4 more martinis since my last post... cherry with Ali at Cal's, an orange creamsicle at Max and Dylan's with Ava (soooooo good), and a bumbleberry and a French martini with Kerrie...

I also added to #68 and saw Wicked with Ava, which was AMAZING!  Neither of us had ever seen it before and the Boston Opera House was the perfect place to see the show... here is us holding up our playbills!

I also started #71 and took a photography workshop with the amazingly talented Souder Photography in Nashville!  Meg and Josh were so fun and I had a great time.  My stuff will never be at their level but it was still so amazing to see how they work!  Here is us at the end of the day...

And, as I mentioned, I have been making crazy amounts of product lately, so I have #72 more than halfway done, as I have made 3 new albums to show clients!

That's all for now... be back soon with another update! xoxo