The CHERISHED Life of Heather Leigh

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Wedding Day Emergency

On Saturday, August 9th, my cousin Deborah got married to the love her life, John, at the beautiful MacRay Harbor in Harrison Township. My sister and I had helped Deb earlier in the summer to select and assemble the wedding invitations. She told us that we should consider this help as our gift to her.

But, of course, I wanted to do something more for her than just the invitations, and since I've been on a scrapbook-gifting kick lately, I told her I would do her guestbook for her as my gift to her.

Obviously, this wasn't going to be just a guestbook, it was going to be a scrapbooky guestbook. The plan was for me to take a picture of every couple at the reception and ask them to write a special note to the special couple with the special pen on the special scrapbook paper I had purchased just for this occasion.

I was looking forward to putting this gift into action when I got a phone call at 7 am on the day of the wedding. My first thought was, who in the SAM HELL is calling me at 7 am on a Saturday?!?!

My anger was quickly diffused when I heard the voice of THE BRIDE on the other end of the line…

"Heather? This is Deb. I'm having a bit of a Wedding Day Emergency. My photographer broke her ankle yesterday and can't shoot our wedding today. Shawn says you take pretty good pictures and I was wondering if you would be our photographer."

OK, first of all, I wasn't fully awake when she called and my knee-jerk reaction was HOLYSHITNOWAY. I'm a SCRAPBOOK photographer (a mediocre one at best), not a PHOTOGRAPHER photographer. My camera has TONS of settings, and I think I know how to use TWO of them! Things like aperture and shutter speed are utterly lost on me. And Deb wants ME to take her WEDDING pictures?!?! That's a HUGE responsibility!!! Heart racing. Mind spinning. I think I was more freaked out about this whole thing than the bride was!

But, not wanting to rustle the bride's feathers any further, I told her not to worry, relax, finish getting ready, enjoy her day. Between my sister and I, we would either find a replacement photographer or take the pictures ourselves.

Time to kick it into high gear.

I immediately called my sister and we put our heads together. We came up with a couple of plans.

Plan A was for me to get a hold of my friend Amy's little cousin, Jami, whose hobby is photography, and while she's never shot a wedding, I'd seen some of her stuff on Flickr and it's pretty good and she had just spent a week at photography camp at Michigan State University.

Now it's 7:15 am and I have to somehow get a hold of Jami (by calling and waking up Amy - sorry Aim) so that she can contact Jami who (if she agrees to do this) needs to get to the wedding venue by 11 am, where the wedding was to commence at noon, which means she needs to leave her house by 10 am, and if she can't do it, we needed to know so that my sister and I would have time to put Plan B into action.

Long story short, Jami said yes (money talks) and by 8:45 am I was able to call the bride and tell her we had found a photographer for her. Phew!

Like I said, Jami had never shot a wedding before. Added to her inexperience is the fact that she's young (she's going to be a junior in high school this year). She's a total sweetie, but she's very shy and she was a bit overwhelmed/intimidated by the whole ceremony thing and not knowing exactly what to do, or where to stand, etc. But, in my opinion, Jami SAVED THE DAY. Granted, I've only seen 4 of the 400 photos she took, but they've GOTTA be better than what I could have done.

Additionally, there's NO WAY I could have been the official photographer AND still have done the scrapbooky guestbook gift I had planned. I worked on that guestbook from the moment the reception started until the very last guest left. With the exception of slurping down my soup and scarfing down my salad, I worked on that guestbook the entire time. I saw the scrumptious looking dessert table, but I didn't have time to eat any of it! And I only had one glass of wine the entire time….AT A WEDDING! (I know, I can hardly believe it myself). It was hard work, but so so so worth it. I can't wait to assemble the album and give it to the happy couple.

Between my guestbook photos and the many other photos I took during the ceremony, I managed to take about 200 pictures. Here are a few of my favorite shots from this beautiful day (and a couple from the day before):

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Halloween Socks

Yes, Halloween Socks.

So, Jordyn cleaned out her closet earlier this week in preparation of buying new school clothes. Last night, she and I went through her THREE trash bags full of things that don't fit and that she doesn't wear any more.

Among the items was a pair of Halloween socks that still had the tags on them. I was going to put them in my gift closet (I could see putting them in a Ghosting basket this fall) so I set them aside from the rest of the stuff.

These socks had little orange jack-o-lantern pom poms on the back of them and when Owen spied them, he lost it. Oh that giggle. That infectious, hilarious giggle of his. He was drawn to them and had each of the pom pom jack-o-lanterns talking to each other for a while. Giggling and chatting.

He kept asking if these were his socks. Of course I said yes, you can have them at Halloween...figuring that by Halloween he would have forgotten all about this conversation and "his" socks.

He then proceeded to ask me if he could wear them now. Please mommy, Please? I said no at first, but then I gave in realizing that the $1 or $2 that these suckers probably cost, would be worth it to contribute to his joy.

Well, let me tell you, he put these socks on last night and has not taken them off.(Did I mention that they are way too big for him?) He wore them to bed (he never wears socks to bed!) He plans to wear them to the pool party we are going to later today (he already asked me if he could). I wonder if he'll want to wear them INTO the pool? First day of preschool, maybe?

Oh, Owen, you make me laugh.

Friday, August 22, 2008


(You know it's been a long time since you've posted when you have to actually LOG in to create a post.)

For the last couple of weeks, I've been keeping a gratitude journal. I keep it at my bedside and try to write in it every night (nights with too much alcohol consumption excluded).

I record things that have happened during that day for which I am thankful. Things like

~Relaxing on the deck with a glass of wine while Kev made dinner.
~Liam's good night prayers (Truly a treasure, and after he says amen he follows up every prayer with his hand stretched towards the ceiling and says "Here angel, take this up to God, please." Like he's passing the angel a note with special delivery instructions to God.)
~Owen's ability to crack himself up and his infectious laugh. (Literally, Owen cracks us up, we don't always know what he says and even when we CAN decipher what he's said, it's not that what he says is funny so much as how funny he thinks he is and this incredible giggle that accompanies it. Hilarious.)
~Jordyn's new found passion for cooking. (I've long wanted Jordyn to find something she's REALLY interested in - other than the Disney channel - and it looks like cooking might be it. Now, if we could just train her to have dinner ready on the table when we get home every night!!)
~Getting my fall pots and planters planted already with mums, aster, and sedum. (Gardening makes me happy.)
~Having a wonderful support group in my latest exercise and fitness endeavor (Thanks, HOTTIES!)
~Living in a war-free zone and the freedoms I and my children are afforded in this country (Unlike Georgia & Russia or Iraq)

Since I've been doing this, I've looked at the world with a slightly different perspective. A more grateful perspective. Instead of thinking things like, "My job sucks," I think "I'm getting paid well." Or instead of thinking, "This traffic jam sucks," I think "I have the mental and physical capacity to drive." Instead of thinking, "I'm a big fat slob," I think "I'm making an effort to get healthy."

Then, when I read this guy's blog, I give many many many thanks for not having been touched by such enormous grief in my life. Knock. On. Wood.

So, if you haven't purposefully thought about it lately, what are you grateful for today?

Be aware of your blessings. Be mindful of them. Celebrate them, no matter how big or how small.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Don't Talk to Me...

So, I'm walking in to work this morning (I have to go through a large portion of the RenCen before I get to my tower) and I pass this gentleman (obviously not one of my coworkers, probably a Marriott guest) with a black t-shirt on that says "DON'T TALK TO ME". So, I'm looking at this t-shirt and thinking, "Well, ordinarily, I wouldn't want to talk to you, but now that I see that shirt, I think hmm, I really want to talk to this guy, just for shits and grins and because he's telling me not to and nobody tells me what to do." But of course I don't say anything to him and we keep going on our merry (or not so merry) ways.

Well, the weird lady a few paces behind me passes the same guy and says to him, quite rudely, "Why Not?" Did she really expect an answer from him? She turned around and kind of stopped as she watched him continue walking past her in silence as she repeated, "Why Not?" Again, no response from him. DUH. She shrugged her shoulders and continued on her weird little way.

All I have to say is, if you REALLY don't want people to talk to you, don't wear a shirt telling them not to.