First Marathon

2 short days ago, I ran my first  marathon with the Sunflower Stride team at the Pro Football Hall of Fame Marathon in support for Prayer from Maria Children's Glioma Cancer Foundation!

Before race day I already felt like I reached one goal because I  raised $630 for the Sunflower Stride team, that means I reached my goal of raising $500.  YAHOO! On race morning I woke up at 4 am to get ready to run my first marathon for a great charity.  I did not sleep that much the night before my marathon. I was nervous and excited! The farthest I ran was 23 miles in my training. I had to trust my training and all of the hard work I have been putting in to it. since the week after Christmas

When I arrived at the Pro Football Hall of Fame Marathon ( HOF marathon) on April 27, 2014, on a Sunday morning,  the sun was coming up and the wind was blowing. When I arrived at the start line I turned on my iPod duffle to my Marathon running list that starts the song  "Hall of Fame ( feat. Will. I am), by the Script. I start to stretch and set my Nike watch. I  was excited, nervous and had cold or bronchitis to. But I have been eating healthy and drinking alot of water.  But I want to bet my goal time of 5:15:00. As I started running the race I was getting excited and in the moment and I  had to tell myself slow down because I was running at a pace of 8:30 a minute. It was to fast.  As a wise friend told me to start the race slow, because your heart rate will be going fast any way. I had to slow down and pace my self at the 11-12 min per mile pace, because I  did not want to use all my energy and hit a wall at mile 20. So I stayed focused throughout the whole race and had a pace under 12 minute per mile pace. The marathon and half marathon runner stayed together till the split of 12 miles and all I seen around me was half marathon runners. But I felt great throughout the whole race, playing catch up with another runner named David, who I found along all of the half marathoners.  David and I would  run together while talking, keep on passing each other, enjoying the run.  I would give spectators on the street high five and they cheer the runners on. I even gave some lady my gloves, because I was to hot and did not  want to just litter on the ground but give them to someone who can use them and it was some old lady.  I use a marathon pacer band to stay on pint and I had 5 minute to spare half way through the course and even had time to go to the bathroom two times. But I know I would need those 5 miles that soon became 4 miles towards the end of the race. Specters was even giving out oranges, twirlers and the HOF marathon gave out Cliff gel packs.  The course was great, it was windy throughout  the race and their was alot of turn in the race, but over all it was great. I  enjoyed every minute of the race and felt great afterwords. I could have pushed myself to go a little faster but I was afraid if hitting the hall and using all of my energy. I learned and really enjoyed it. I finished the marathon in 5:11:09.  I started the race strong and finished strong. After receiving my metal and they gave out fleece blankets with HOF marathon on it. My Uncle Aunt and Cousin was their as I crossed the finished line. I felt unstoppable when I crossed that finish-line.  I started training for the marathon on December 24, 2013. I have met great friends, achieved many goals and learned a lot thought out my training for my first marathon. I want to thanks my running friend and family for making it such an incredible journey!  The Sunflower Stride team raised a total of $7,441.00 in support for Prayer from Maria Children's Glioma Cancer Foundation. 

The marathon was on the day I started running last year. It showed me what I have achieved in first year of running (first 5k's, 10k, half marathon's and Full marathon). It was an amazing day and I am still on a runners high from that race! Haha!

Portrait of My Grandma

Last Friday, I had the honer of photographing my Grandma! It was a nice sunny day on April 4, 2014.  I was so exciting to photograph her and very nervous to pose her. After I cleaned her house and made dinner. I put her hair up in curls and she did her make-up. I thinker she enjoyed it and I got some really great images of her. The one I like the best is her natural smile, when she was laughing. It took some time for her to get conformable and once I put her in her normal environment she looked more relaxed. She looked amazing! But I need to practice with the flash and learn how to eliminate the shadow.

St. Patricks Day Event

Monday was St. Patricks Day and last weekend I had a St. Patricks Day party with the nephews, because they were coming over to spend the night anyways! So I created a St. Patricks day event on Saturday, March 20th. Everyone wear green. The sun was shinning but the wind was blowing. Everyone was excited to come to Mamaw's house. Jacob got up at 7:30a.m. and wanted to go Mamaw's when we woke up. The kids was sup-prized. I created a small goodie bag with a green neckless, little skate board, a glowing animal, wind up robot, and a small bag of mikes and ike. My Grandma came over to see the boys and have dinner and desserts with us. The dinner menu was macaroni and cheese with hot dogs on the hot dog machine. Everyone ate all of the food! That is a plus.  I also made yummy dessert with a St. Patrick's Day twist. The deserts was green pouch (sprit and green sherbet), gold jello, truffle desert, rainbow vanilla cake with green food coloring, St. Patricks hats and green brookies. The green brookies was a hit and Nathan like the St. Patrick hats. Dylan liked the jello and Jacob liked the cake! I think  I hit everyone's taste buds!

 Then to close the night after everyone got showers. We had a move night where we bust out the pop corn machine, set up the congestion stand junk food and put a movie in. Everyone enjoyed the congestion stand that Nathan was in charge  of and everyone had to pay a penny for candy and two pennies for popcorn. Nathan was the one that watched all of the move. Dylan and Jacob played around. Over all everyone had a  great day.

Then the next day I was able to capture a photo with all of the boys eatting cinnamon rolls for  breakfast! That is a must have in the am when spend the night at Mamaw's house. The party  closed with snow cones creations. Everyone made their own cone and did a great job! I was so happy that I was able to document all of the boys in the same image when eating breakfast! It was one of the top images of the weekend.

I hope everyone has a great week!

Retiring My Second Pair of Running Shoes!

        Today after my 15 miles run, I decide to retire my Asics Kids Gel-Excite GS  running shoes that has 372 miles on them! These shoes was purchased the day before my first half marathon, because my first pair of running shoes has a whole on the side of the adidas shoes and I discovered it when getting ready for Akron Half Marathon. These shoes was used on three half marathons, one 5k and the training for my full Marathon that is in only 58 days away.These shoes have been through the rain, snow and sunny days! The dirt and mud on these shoes mean a sign of age and the journeys the I have been on. These shoe have been so great that I have not had any blisters, red spot on my feet! I think it is time to retire my $55.00  dollar pair of  running shoes and replace them with a new pair that is identical to theses!

CreativeLIVE: Photoshop Week 2014 Notes

CreativeLIVE: Photoshop Week 2014   last all week February 24-28, 12 instructors, 5 day and over 30 classes where you can watch free education on Photoshop and Lightroom. The workshop had 2 channels with live feed where you could select what channel you want to watch. I watched  the Lightroom and some photoshop classes the following are notes from the classes I watched.

Habits of Success Photoshop Users with Dave Cross Notes:
Dave Cross's Check list to do is the following:

  1. Click on the tool look at option bar see how it is set, check BEFORE use
  2. NEVER work on background layer, always add layer to edit image
  3. If you find a tool and want to reset it do the following:  Click on the tool you want to reset, then look at the tool bar in the top left corner see the tool you just clicked on. Then click on the upside-down triangle next the tool and window will pop up. Then click on the sideway triangle  and see options and move your mouse down to rest tool.
  4. Never flat and save image,  F is flatten, FUCKED in Photoshop. SAVE master copy of all the layers then make a copy click on "Save As", save JPG formate. Master file in "PSD", not save as Tiff, SAVE as PSD. Tiff can have layers, but can not see, SAVE PSD
  5. Command+option+T is to repeat the thing you just did. Make a square click off it then push the command+option+T,  adds a copy box over it
  6. If you merge layers like flatten, but you can group layers in a folder
  7. To put text in a image you can make box for text, full then block the blend, then change opacity.
  8. Change color in image to bright it do layer mask invert the black the color red, color everything with brush to leave red color, make what you want, do course to make adjustment.
  9. Keyboard shortcut and menu set make custom. Go to tool bar Edit then Menu.
  10. Keyboard short cutes use v= for move, foreground color kicker-PF, background color picker= PB
  • Collection is a folder on hard drive
  • Make collection for different subjects, but have same image in it
  • Collection is face folder stored on drive
  • Collection set in the set you create collection
  • You can look for keywords collection content change, you can adjust collection make criteria for collection
  • Collection is constantly searching catalog
  • Collection is good for always need to market, wedding, florist, nature, go to the collection all of the best stuff pops up. Create criteria for it like exposure date to a point
  • Lightroom dull the image for you
  • You can make smart collection with words then  use target collection folder with in a folder
  • You can export collection as a catalog, not image, just data, want to export negative file all images. When export make sure you check mark the option average preview pop up when open Lightroom, check all the boxes except for the negative, check smart previews
  • Smart preview biggest 5x7 export to print quality can do all you want to do
  • BEST TIP:When clicking on Lightroom hold down the option key, so you select what catalog to open
  • Also learned I could create a collection on images I want to edit. Then when done I can connect the external drive to sync the corrections I made. Great for traveling and don't what to take a drive with you.

  • Build in preview have 1:1 ration
  • Build smart preview to work on fill off line, check market, so zoom in zoom out, create raw file, can export files for blog files
  • Apply the following during importing photos: develop set can import presets for example: import all images black and white when import.
  • JPG is contrast by interest, Raw is bland, because of alot of contrast.
  • TO DO: set style of camera to JPG in camera  pull down, RAW is contrast pull down show blend. Shoot RAW and JPG full size, upload in Lightrorom, then check treat JPG file next to Raw file  and make sure they are on.
  • Click on image look at image, if you look at the image and click on the frame of the image you are selecting it
  • Sync........ means turned off
  • Select images you want to sync, then click the sync....... Button. A window will pop up check mark what you want to sync
  • The quick develop panel have lot of options to an image
  • Keyword: select the highlight image then type in keyword it will select go on all images. Spray can  dose keywords to.
  • Keyword: Click on frame image type command K, then keyword pop up and type them
  • Most images have 10 keywords
  • Spray can dose different setting, play around with it
  • Presets are develop preset will do it global on all images
  • Aspect ratio has presets
  • Mask effects have presets
  • On the tone curve click on the button that has a bar or graph, you can create presets
  • Camera calibration has presets
  • Camera checker passport you have to make a profile for camera
  • To locate preset folder got to Lightroom- then presets- then click on the preset folder, shows where it is different locations. Camera Profiles is located in Camera Raw fielder also camera curves are in there, not in Lightroom folder because both Lightroom and camera raw use it
  •  REMEMBER: Lightroom presets ONLY have one folder deep in Lightroom, can only see one folder deep
  • You can copy presets to another folder  in a folder not in Lightroom to store them for backup, I use Dropbox to store them. 
  • Copy lighten presets add over write to Dropbox to have presets to the folder to have them on another computer
  • Creative presets rules:
    1.  Make folder organized fashion 40 to 30 presets in folder at most
    2.  Have an every day favorites folder
    3. The presets are coded with it to have in order to separate make a box with no check marks (---Grain-----) after presets to keep organized. Organized by what you use NOT how you use them, it is organized cod by numbers to organize presets
    4. Have presets in a rational way, use like warm, grain event, the navigator shows what it is going to do
    5. Make them spastic make them do little thing the presets when making it, so you have options
    6. Target presets
    7. Create remove presets of not  no it, remove grain to pul thing or remove claret presets
  • Work in develop panel them work in preset last
  • When creating presets  look agh e check boxes and do the following: 
    1. uncheck the box- "the only process version", that means it will only use the version of Lightroom you are using, Lighroom only use that version
    2. Click on any box you adjusted and want to go in the presets that you just created
    3. NEVER check mark the boxes in the Basic Tone area
  • DNG Profile editor Google it, then save profile to add to 
  • Best color bit depth is bc 8 or 6 bit you get mix up with black and blue and get lines in image
  • LEARNED: Export JPG - checkmark remove from location
  • Calibrating tool xright pro or monkey is just the same
  • Creating book he use blurb or smart albums

To close the week of they had a course called Photoshop week Panel:Photoshop This is where three instructors ( Dave Cross, Jack Davis,  Colin Smith and the judges where Jared plat and Khara Plicanic) have a battle on creating the inspiration images in Lightroom and Photoshop to the best they can in a timed event where you can watch their image come alive and see them at their best. You can watch the  battle by clicking the above link.

Happy Friday Everyone!

PEAK and SEEK: Yoga and Camera

LAST weeks highlights.

Seeks are....

  • I enjoy yoga, but only did it 2 day this week. My goal is 3 times a week.
  • It needs to stop being so windy outside so I could crush some miles.
  • I slacked on my training for the marathon, but will pick up next week.

Peaks are.....

  • CreativeLIVE  has Photoshop week next week.
  • I signed up for Akron Full Marathon in September
  • I let my little nephew use my camera  and I must say he has great form for only being 3 years old. 

Valentines Day and 2 Deserts

This week I baked two deserts.

One Monday, it was a cold winter day and my little nephew, Jacob, came over to spend the night.  I figured it would be fun to make Brookies with him. We made this new desert I found on Pintrest and wanted to do a test run on it! It is called Brookies, because it is made out of chocolate chip cookies and brownies. Jacob enjoyed mixing the brownies mix and chocolate chip dough in the bowls. It was funny because he tried raw chocolate chip dough and did not like it. He spit the dough in the bowl, while my sister, Jessica, was going to town eating the dough out of the bowl.

To make the desert you basically mix chocolate chip cookie dough in one bowl and Brownies in another bowl. Then you put both of them in a greased pan in a line. I made long strips of brownies and chocolate chip cookies. It turned out  to be a really great desert. It was so great that the next evening it was gone. What I learned for next time is make the stripes of chocolate chip dough and cookies vertical, not horizontal and make the stripes smaller.

Yesterday was Valentine Day! It is a day that your boyfriend, husband, or gentleman show the girl how much they appreciate them. My mom wanted to make sugar cookies for Valentine's Day and she asked me to help her. She mixed the dough and I did the rest! I  really enjoyed being creative when decorating the cookies!

2014 GOALS

Last Monday and Tuesday I watch some of CreativeLIVE's workshop called "Goal-Setting for the best year yet with Dory Willer." The workshop was about setting goals and achieving them.  You should have 10 goals each year and as you achieve them you create another one. Then you break your goal down into steps and then to make a list of steps you want to achieve each month. So one day a month you create a to do list for each week so you can reach your goals and mark them off the list. Then you write you top ten goal on a piece of paper and put it in a place you will see it every morning. You read them and think about them. Then every week you evaluate what you did last week, what you learned and what you will do better next week. I must say it is hard to have only 10 goals.

My 10 goals for 2014  are the following:

  1.  Run 2 marathons and 2 half marathons 
  2. Take my Nephews to 5k run
  3. Learn how to proper expose my image in camera, so I do not have to adjust a little in Lightroom
  4. Learn Photoshop at a tool in photography
  5. Create a portfolio with photoshoots
  6. Read 3 books in February
  7. Do yoga 3 times a week for a Febuary 
  8. Learn how to use off camera flash
  9. Have an amazing Halloween Party, it will be my 5th year! Get a theme and an outline
  10. Get license


Looking back at the beginning on January 8th, 2014. I was babysitting my little nephew Jacob, who was 2. He enjoy looking at photographs and was looking at a album of his brothers when they were a baby. So then I pulled out the scrapbook that I started when he was born. I wanted to record 2 years of his life in a scrapbook like I did for his two other older brother. Jacob really enjoyed looking at the pages of his life when he was a baby and pointing at people in his family. So then I got thinking that it is the right time to finish his scrapbook, that should have been done in February 2013 for his birthday. Then his birthday snuck up on me and I only had a few days to accomplish what takes 2 weeks.

This week I finally finished my littlest nephews scrapbook of his second year of his life from 2012. I competed 51 pages in 4 days with the help of my sister, Jessica for  his 3rd Birthday Party.  I enjoyed selecting the images to put in the scrapbook, because I was able to relive the experience.  While developing the pages I notice my photography has improving. But sometimes it was overwhelming because it was hard to select the best times. The reason for that was that I was emotionally attached to them. I posted this comment on my Facebook page, "I just experienced the vacation with my sister and her family to Myrtle Beach, Sc again because I just went through 2018 images in Lightroom by selecting and rejecting images from 2012. The images are for my little nephews scrapbook!" I would like to thank Jessica for gluing, sticking the photos and the embellishment on the pages as I layer them out and designed them. The book became so big that I had to create new binding for the middle. You can see the photo below the top one is before and the photo on the bottom  one is the finished product.

Without the help of Jessica I would not have been able to get 4 hours of sleep before the party. Thank you so much Jessica!

My thoughts for the night.

Tonight I am think of many thing that are in the future and that I am working on. Here it is:

1. OMG! I just experienced the cation with my sister and her family to Myrtle Beach, Sc again, because I went through 2018 images in Lightroom. I was selecting and rejecting images from 2012 form y little nephews scrapbook.

2. I need to get running tomorrow 15 miles, because I slacked off today only ran 4 miles.

3. I need to get Jacob scrapbook done for his birthday on Saturday. If I get it done it is pure magic and hard working.

4. I need to make time to finish reading the running and photography book I started.

That is the end of my thought for tonight! I hope everyone has a great week.

Running for a Stranger

Today I ran in honer of a runner who I never met and never will. Meg is unable to run anymore because she is a special angel in heaven.

Her story has been all over social media. Meg Cross Menzies  "Meg" was a Mother and an avid runner, who was doing a morning run on Monday, January 13, 2014, when she was hit by a drunk drive. But the running community  created an international day for running in her honer. In just 5 days over 90,00 people singed up to run in her on today. An event on Facebook called Meg's Miles, the hashtag in her memory is #megmiles .

So tonight I run my first night run at 6:30 p.m.  and 18 degrees outside! Just after I made homemade pizza for the family, I put my running gear on (wicked t-shirt,wicked zip up and my outer Columbia jacket, Underarmer tights, adidas pants, socks, my strip buffer, craft hat, black  gloves and reflective gloves, and my headlamp, iPhone and earbuds). I started my Nike app and turn my music down low in Megs honor. Then laced up my shoes and turned on the headlamp to hit the sidewalk (usually hit the road). When I run I usually do not think I just relax and enjoy my run, but today was special because I was thinking about Meg and how her three kids and husband will miss her dearly. So to night I ran 3 miles, one for each of her kids.  My thought are with Megs family and friends! It was a nice run, I felt the cold air on my face and I can see my breath in the air!  I was thankful that I was able to run to night.

I just hope Megs story helps other and saves life's!

New Year: Looking back and Looking forward

 Looking back I had a nice year... 
-I discovered running and I ran  12 races ( 8-5k's, 1-10k and 3-13.2 miles a half marathons). I decide to train for my first full marathon in April 2014  and run for a charity at the same time!  Two pluses!
- I also decide to pick up the flash for my camera and not be afraid of it! I still need to practice a lot. 
- I encouraged other to discover running like my nephew Nathan! I did two 5k  race with him and really enjoyed it want to do another one! So I hope to take time to  get him to at least 3 next year!
- I upgrade the New Year's Eve bash this year, the party was a blast! Everyone had fun!
Looking forward.........
-I want to run 2 full marathons next year, a half marathon and beat my PR ( personal record). Also some 5k's to get my speed up!
- I want to stay uptodate with Lightroom and give everyone images in Dropbox to share as the event happens.
- I want to understand lighting and figure out how to use flash and strobe to highlight my subject better.
-I want to create a  photography portfolio to share.
- I need to get my licenses.

Have a wounderfull week!

Christmas Present

Evey year the adults have a gift exchange on Thanksgiving Day, where we put our name in a hat with a list of three thing on it for under twenty- five dollars and then we swap present on Christmas Day. I usually don't get in it, but this year I did decide to participate in the gift exchange. I received an amazing book! It is Vivian Maier's Street Photography, hard cover book!  Yes! Vivian Maier story is very interesting and her images are inspiring! The page of the book is filled with raw emotion that she capture on the streets! Each photo leaves you wanting more. The photos are black and white with some pages all white,  so you can just focus on the one image at a time! I think. My favorite images is of a little boy and a girl look out of a car window! I would highly recommend every photographer to check this book out! You can watch Vivan Maier's story by typing her name in  the YouTube search!