Monday, December 26, 2011

Stupid Cute

I consider myself to be fairly smart. Smart enough, in fact, to have pulled off 5 A's, an A-, and one B+ within a 21 credit semester at school. I can carry a conversation about pretty much anything with comparable ease (with the exception of sports... don't try sports with me, because you'll only end up with a humoring smile from me and, I've heard, a headache of monumental proportions).

Somehow, though, a little two month old has the capability of making even the most intelligent people seem completely idiotic. Like when I'm holding my little niece, Ava, trying to get her to smile, and all that seems to work is "A-a-a-a-bu-bu-bu-bu... A-a-a-a-a-bu!" I even stoop to crossing my eyes and blowing raspberries on her chubby cheeks.

Or take my dear, old mom, for example: 2007 Teacher of the Year, Masters' in Educational Leadership, and new Vanaema (grandmother) of twins. Instead of the dignified speech and composure, this woman sings old childrens' songs with lyrics that have neither rhyme or reason, trying to fit everyone in the family--including the dogs--into said song as though they would be offended should they realize Christopher didn't hear their name one of those times.

And then my sister, who's positively lost her marbles since pregnancy and the subsequent lack of sleep after birth, comes up with words to describe her children such as "grump-o-potamus". This is in between absolute memory lapses that render her exhausted.

Yup, it's true... cuteness can make you dumber...

...but it's totally worth it to see a face like this, don't you think?

Friday, November 25, 2011

Now I Can

Michael Ririe is a fellow student of mine at UVU. I first met him when I went to Italy a couple summers ago. While we were the only two photo students in Italy, he was definitely farther ahead of me (and even helped me pick out a new tripod when the cheap one I brought died!) Mike is an immensely talented photographer, and I've enjoyed having classes with him since study abroad.

This past summer, he also exhibited a show both in Provo and Orem, images entirely focused around an organization that helps provide intensive physical therapy to children. The organization is known as "Now I Can", and their goal is to get children to a level of independence they wouldn't have otherwise.

After watching my brother-in-law work through this kind of therapy after an accident that left him paralyzed, I can't even imagine that being the only life a child knows. Seeing the images was heart-wrenching and inspiring. Mike managed a beautiful balance of the best and the worst of this experience for the kids--the moments where you can see they'd rather stop, and those where the success has been achieved. The entire purpose of these exhibits was to raise local awareness about Now I Can in hopes of getting them more support.

Now Mike is trying to raise the money to create a photographic book of these images. All proceeds will go directly to Now I Can as well as some of these books going to places where the organization can raise funds to help more children. I encourage all my friends to check out the photo essay on Mike's website as well as go to this link to donate to get this book going. I can't think of a more worthy cause for you to donate to this holiday season!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Giveaway you should check out!

My friend Chessie is having a giveaway on her blog HERE. It's a $25 dollar gift card for Trendy X-change.

For more information check it out!!!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Childhood Games

Do you remember those little rhymes and songs you used to play as a kid? How about this one:

"Hi... my name is Joe... and I work in a button factory..."

Well, I'm here to testify that you never know when such vital lessons will come in handy for you. Yes, I said that Joe (who works in the button factory) is both vital and handy for you, personally.

Tonight I was trying to get a shot of dancers moving. While my tripod and remote shutter release helped time this, I decided I needed another light... which meant I needed to hold another thing-a-ma-jig called a "flag" to make the image how I wanted it, and I still needed to hit the little button that would set the flash off.

This left me holding up a big black "flag" with both hands, pressing the release with my thumb and balancing on might right foot as the big toe on my left foot pressed the red button that made the lights go pop.

So I can say, my dear friend Joe, that I know how you feel... but some seriously awesome things come when you know how to push all those buttons :)

A BIG thank you to Melanie, Jaclyn, and Hannah for making this picture possible!

Friday, November 11, 2011

The Older I become...

... the more I know there are certain things I couldn't just "join up" on if I were to get married.

For example... if I married someone who enjoyed snowboarding... you would not see me getting all geared up to hit the slopes. Nope. I would, however, go along in a cute sweater and with a good book, waiting like a good little snow bunny at the lodge with a large mug of cocoa.

Or if I married a sports fanatic... don't expect me to be sitting in the stands with my face painted and getting to know the names of the players, their stats, the names of their families and dogs and exercise routines... But I will make sure there's finger food ready when a game is about to come on as long as he knows I'm going to spend the duration of the time at a bookstore or holed up in a crafts room.

And if I were to spend the rest of my life with someone who loved video games, you won't see me grabbing a controller and leveling up. I'd kiss him on the cheek and head off to enjoy some chick flick and dinner with my friends.

See? I'm great at compromise.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Midnight Self Portraits

There's really nothing worse than carting around photo equipment, making four trips from my car to the dance studio, only to have no one show up and have it all have been for naught. As much as I need the exercise, I could have gotten that in half the time and with an even smaller fraction of irritation.

I got home and got to thinking that I needed to do SOMETHING with said equipment. If for no other reason than to make me feel better about having checked them out. So I did something radical... for me at least. Self portraits!

Yes, yes, I know I don't make for the best subject, but I've been trying to step outside of my box lately. And, hey, I didn't mind how these turned out. Which says something.

I only wish someone had been here to take pictures of my roommates' faces when they saw me rearranging furniture and setting up lights at 11:30 at night. Good thing I don't have class until 2:30 tomorrow!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Christopher Isaac and Ava Daphne

I drove home last night, woke up this morning, have gotten ready for church, and then realized... no more babies to hold! Life just got boring again.

At least I had fall break to see my new niece and nephew. Look how sweet:

Ava Daphne has her vanaisa reading "One Fish, Two Fish"

Christopher Issac and Granny. He makes the funniest faces.
And the best video we got this week of Dad reading "Green Eggs and Ham" to Christopher.

(and sorry it's on its side... I don't know how to change that.)

Give us a few years and we'll have some avid readers on our hands!!!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

What a day!!!

Episode 4 of the podcast is up...

Found out the BFA portfolio is due in one week...


And these two cuties are FINALLY here!!!

One more week until I get to hold them! Just gotta survive :)

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Update on Life

I haven't had a lot of particular excitement lately, but in the spirit of keeping up on what has become my only form of journaling, I'll list off the fun that is life:

1) I now work as a TA for the best art history teacher on campus. (Best job ever! I get to help students who actually want my help, work for one of the sweetest people in the world, and it gets me thinking art history all the time.)

2) School is crazy great. While 21 credits can be a little overwhelming at times, I really really love my classes. This includes ASL Literature, Advanced ASL, Fine Art Photography, Advanced Photography, 19th Century Photo processes (I have some really fun projects in mind from what we've done so far!), and 20th Century Art History. Oh, and History or Photography, which I started working on this last summer since I'm doing a sort of different course of study with it. The big plus to that one is it's given me more to read than I've been able to in a long time, which---believe it or not--- has helped with my photography as much if not more than anything else.

3) I've got an awesome podcast going with a group of other students. When I started, I was a little worried I wouldn't find anyone as passionate about making it happen ... I was wrong! Really great people and we're having fun with it! (Go check it out... listen... learn... become edu-ma-cated).

4) Living in Orem is awesome. I liked Provo while I was there, but you can't beat living down the street from campus. It's nice to know I could walk if I had to.

5) My friend Chessie has gotten me into a fun kick of exercise mode. Unfortunately, some foot issues are flaring up again. If you remember just keep me in your prayers or wish me luck and hopefully it's just a little swelling. Either way, I'll keep up the being healthy.

6) I'm looking forward to Tuesday when my niece and nephew are finally here... and when in a week and a half when I actually get to hold them!

I have to admit, I kind of like when life gets into these little swings of just doing and going and being productive. And I'm grateful to friends who are constantly saving me from myself by reminding me not to take on more than I can handle!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Just a few thought

I'm not generally one for getting all emo or airing out my frustrations online, but sometimes I get tired of having to keep it to myself--to sit here realizing no one cares about how they've made me feel. That no matter how hard I try to swallow my wants and needs, the second I mention one I'm labeled "selfish" and told I think it's "all about me". After I've given all I can, I'm never looked at with an eye that judges my workload or a heart sincere in considering my thoughts and concerns. It's about what they want, instead. How my inability to do what they want right now is a terrible inconvenience to them.

I got to thinking about a quote from Power of Myth, a book of an interview with Joseph Campbell I read this summer. The book discusses the myths in our lives and what's thought of as important to humans by virtue of the myths we create. At one point Campbell starts on the idea of dragons:

"... There are people like that, and we call them creeps. There's no life from them, no giving. They just glue themselves to you and hang around and try to suck out of you their life."

What happens when you realize that those dragons are the people you love the most? The ones you'd do anything for? What do you do when you need them to take a moment--not one in a disaster or when you're at your most helpless physically, but when you just need to know someone sees you as important enough to take a minute. Just a minute. To look, to see, to talk. To experience something that's important to me. Or to support me in a decision. To nod and say "I understand" rather than "Why did you do that?" or "Couldn't you just..." with some version of events that works better towards their ends.

I don't know why I feel so compelled right now to share this, except I imagine I'm not the only one. Maybe someone out there needs to know they aren't alone in fighting the dragons.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Art History Podcast

My cousin put my life perfectly the other day. He said "it's all about your perspective. My glass is half full... yours is overflowing and you need two more glasses to catch it." I'm sorry to say he wasn't talking about my superb sense of optimism, though I'm working on that. I like being busy. So I do things like podcasts.

Yes, podcasts. I'm part of a group of students running an art history podcast on UVU campus. We've got an amazing group--several art history enthusiasts like me, as well as one spectacular audio man. Take a minute to check it out at

We'll soon be up and running on iTunes U as well, which will make it easier for you to get our podcast as it comes out!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Family Portraits

With a family that is constantly on the go, working on one project or another, I would have to wait forever to get them to sit long enough for me to get a picture (and that's if I could convince them to be in a picture in the first place). So I took it upon myself to do something a little... different.

Ava Daphne and Christopher Issac Arling

Cory Allen Arling

Megan Kristina Arling

Melanie Jayne Teemant
Mike Teemant

Self Portrait

If you like this project, please go to my facebook page and hit "like".

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Guest Post

Hey all! Wanted to share with you that I've posted some thoughts on a book I got to read (finally!) on a blog called

Sounds epic right? That's because it is. The club is meant for all those who want to achieve the goal of reading 1,000 books in their lifetime. I know plenty of you who I'm sure are well on your way, so go over and follow/join up! They're also always looking for more people to contribute thoughts on books they've read, so if you're interested or know anyone else that would be, spread the news and I'd be happy to get you in touch with the person in charge. 

And, may I say, after all my school reading this summer, I think I earned getting to read one novel! 

Monday, August 22, 2011

My trip to Hogsmeade

I'm too old to be geeking out like this. To say I geeked out may even be a bit of an understatement.

My friend Yvonne met me and we went into the Universal Studios Island of Adventures park. Weaving in and out of the other sections of the park, I was looking for one thing: Harry Potter World.

We saw some snakes...

But no Slytherins. 

This guy looked like he was about to have a basilisk come out of his mouth...

But it was a false alarm.
I even thought at one point I saw Dumbledore...

But no such luck. 

We kept following the signs...

And just when I was about to find the Promised Land, Yvonne blindfolded me.
I jumped up and down, happy as a clam and made my way through the amazingness that was Hogsmeade. There were Beauxbaton girls, and Durmstrang boys... Honeydukes (where I got myself a chocolate frog) and the Owlry were packed like any other Hogsmeade weekend, and I nearly died when Moaning Myrtle started yelling at me when I went into the girls' bathroom! They really thought of everything! 

Oh... and if you ever go... make sure to try the Butterbeer. Cheers until later!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Exercise is bad for you.

Fact: no matter what nutrition guru you talk to, they will find something wrong with the way you’re trying to be healthy. Being certifiably chubby, I attract this attention the way a large, fatty steak sitting on the kitchen counter for three days attracts flies.

 “Have you been coming to the gym often?” a little size two asks—ponytail bouncing as she jogs in place. She doesn’t even have to try and stay that small. I know it, she knows it, and every Tom, Dick, and Harry using the mirror to "discreetly" check out her rear knows it. Still, her feet move as fast as her metabolism and my energy drains just watching her.

“Yes, I’ve been very good,” I inform her. “I’ve been running for 20 minutes every day!”

“What?” she stops, eyes widening. “No, no, no, you shouldn’t do that. You need to vary your heart rate.”

Some yoga-yahoo hears us and half slithers, half dances to where we stand. “Too much strain on your muscles will make your body retain fat. It’s better to do flexibility training.” Limbs extend from places that couldn’t possibly exist in this dimension as I tilt my head over to try and politely make eye contact. Her head is twisting around her leg and I start to wonder if she’s had bones removed to make this possible.

“What do they call that move?” I ask her.

“The dodo bird.” At least I think I hear “dodo bird”. Her voice is muffled with her mouth pressed up against her outer thigh.

“It’s all about strength,” Bob the Bodybuilder interjects as he picks up 200 lbs dumbbells from behind me, alternating bicep curls on the right and left. “You tear the muscle, then they grow back even bigger. That’s what really burns your fat.”

I cringe at the thought of tears in any part of my body. Aren’t tears supposed to be bad? I’m certain I’ve heard terms like “tearing a ligament” or “tearing muscles” thrown around on Grey’s Anatomy and it never sounded like a good situation to me.

“I’ll stick to the running,” I say. 

As if I’m not even there, they continue to go discuss the latest studies they read from one health magazine or another. It isn’t until they all manage to get on the topic of the latest fad diet by Dr. McSkinny that they find some common ground.

“You’re not following that nonsense are you?” Master Yoga asks.

 “Nope! But I’ve stopped eating carbs and added more fruits and vegetables to my diet,” I tell the gym cult. 

“What kind of vegetables?”

Although I can tell by their faces this isn’t as simple a question as it seems, I plow ahead. “You know… the basics: green beans, baby spinach, carrots, corn.”

They nearly faint in unison. “Corn? Do you know how starchy that is? It’s terrible for you!” It was a good thing I didn’t mention the potatoes. 

Someone else pipes in. “It’s the green beans that you’ve got to stop eating. Do you know what’s in that crap?”

No. I absolutely don’t know what’s in that crap, but I’m careful to circle my head between a nod and a shaking in hopes they’ll let it drop. They don’t. I’m told I shouldn’t eat grapes for breakfast, because they’ll cause bloating, and avocadoes are out of the question.

A war ensues as they go back and forth:

Protein shakes!
Carb load for running!
Green drinks!
Nuts and berries!
No you need meat!
Avoid milk products!

It’s official. Food is bad for you too. Avoid it at all costs. 

They’re throwing lists of diet suggestions while putting down the others’ faster than I can recognize what foods they’re talking about. I start to slink back towards the exit as Ponytail lunges towards Bob while Yoga tries to untie herself to get in on the brawl. 

“Well I’m just going to go home and get some sleep,” I say in farewell.

All heads turn towards me. “Oh, make sure you get plenty of that,” Bob says. The others nod. The one thing they can all agree on… lots of sleep.

So here’s my conclusion: forego eating and exercise to find a comfortable bed. 

Because, after all, exercise is bad for you.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Dear first niece and nephew,

You should know that I will be your favorite aunt. There are two giant teddy bears waiting, lots of board books, BYU Cougar onesies, and that's just the beginning!  I plan on having so much fun spoiling you!

Auntie Rie just has one little favor to ask:

Can you come during Fall Break?

I know it will be a while before this makes sense to you, but Auntie Rie is taking a whole lot of credits this semester and could really use your help making it easy to drive to Vegas to see you while not missing any school assignments. I was looking through my schedule and between 20th Century art history, ASL literature, and advanced photography, the best time would definitely, definitely be fall break.

Thanks babies!

Aunt Rie

Monday, August 1, 2011

Boys just don't get it...

Get what, you ask? I could make lists to answer this question, but today I refer to one thing: shoes.

Ever since camping at the beginning of June, my foot was doing better. I was walking well and got the big OK from my physical therapist to stop coming to see him. (I miss the foot massage, don't miss the ice.) For a while everything was normal until I, once again, twisted it. I'm talented that way.

Mostly I'm still fine. Fine enough that I can wear whatever shoes I want... so long as I have my brace on.

The fact is, my brace only fits in a few of my shoes--despite the claim that I would be able to wear all my shoes with them-- and one of them is a pair of black wedges.

Only boys seem to think I shouldn't be wearing "heels". Classmates, supervisors at work, and guys in the ward have all made random comments about this. They don't get it. Why would they?

Girls, though, don't even seem to notice. I'm asked about why I'm wearing the brace and given a little nod of sympathy and a "nice shoes" to finish it off.  They know the truth of the matter:

Cute shoes make everything better.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Out of the mouths of babes

My cousin and his family are back from France for the summer and I finally got to see my three favorite little French speakers in the world!

After a big hug they stepped back and started with the compliments...

"Marie I love your hair!"...

"I love your nails!"...

"Your makeup is beautiful!"...

"You're so pretty!"

To which I replied:

"Now I remember why I missed you all so much!"

Gotta love family.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Harry Potter Day

At risk of writing things that don't make sense (I told someone earlier that I "took a nap in my parking lot"), I'm posting to share a couple photos from yesterday.
When I got there, makeup was being done on Travis as Voldy. He kind of looked Blue Man Groupish, but once it was more grey he looked awesome. Rumor has it that he even won a wand for such awesomeness. (And to think he originally was going to take off the costume before seeing the movie!)

Rachel-the-seamstress proved that she was Rachel-the-makeup artist. Melanie had decided she wanted me to be Bathilda Bagshot (yes, technically not a Deatheater, but I think the idea came from the fact that I was bringing snakes). I kept forgetting I even had the makeup on until someone would comment on how great it looked. 

My friend Chessie came with me to the photo shoot as well. She kept on about how she wouldn't dress up, that it wasn't her thing, that blah blah blah blah blah. Excuses, excuses. One mention of a poofy skirt that Melanie had and she transformed into Cho Chang gone bad faster than you could say "Avada Kadavra".

These were desserts being served at the student food court on UVU campus. There were Butterbeer pudding cups, Cockroach clusters with licorice wands (you could tell thy were cockroaches because of antanae made from black licorice). I love Harry Potter spirit!

After the movie--which I loved!-- I felt like an entire chapter of my life has come to a close. Melanie kept the fun going. Dressed as Bellatrix, she approached a woman dressed as Molly and they did their own rendition of the death of Bellatrix to top off an already theatrical night.

NOTE: these are unedited pictures from a cell phone. Judgers don't judge. You know who you are.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Harry Potter Eve

Ah, Harry Potter! I remember when I first picked up book one, which lay feathered out with use from Matthew, who had already caught the bug. I finished it one morning in first hour my senior year of high school and I was itching for the next... but couldn't wait to get home for it... so I started book one again.

My family calls me "obsessed". I call myself "literate". And perhaps even "with it".

So with it, in fact, that I'm with the cool people. You know the ones. The people who dress up, stand in line for hours, go to midnight releases; the works. When HBP (book six, for the Harry Potter uneducated) came out, I mimicked the green dress Rita Skeeter wears in the fourth movie, making a purse and all. The kiddo who came with me dressed as Fred AND George. I made a sweater with a "F" on the front and a "G" on the back, and he spent the whole night at the release party switching it from one side to the other. (I must find my picture of the two of us!)

Needless to say, Harry Potter has brought some good times. And last night, there were just a few more.

My friend Melanie from school is holding a Deatheater photo shoot tonight before the movie we're going to. She's coordinated all sorts and variety to come dress up and embrace their inner nerd. To help with this, I volunteered with the sewing on some robes for He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named!

And cast in the role? Our dear professor Travis! If the fact that we're going to these lengths isn't quite enough, he came over for a fitting. The most entertaining fitting of my life, actually. As it was said last night "Voldemort wouldn't have a one-size-fit-all robe". We started pulling and prodding and hold-your-arms-up-demanding.

Another use for a wand

After realizing it was pointless to pin back the gads of fabric on the sleeves, I quite simply got out scissors and eyeballed it. It would have been easier if he didn't keep pulling his arm back in fear.

"You gave me an A this summer, I have no reason to cut you," I told him.

"And there's more grades to come," he threatened as Melanie extracted some personal revenge by taking photographs. 

Luckily Melanie's friend Rachel knew better than me how to do alterations (it's one thing I've never had much practice at). Soon we had everything pinned up and ready and Travis went off to make his elder wand as we had some crazy times, using Melanie as our mannequin. Travis doesn't know this yet, but we're going to have a "who wore it best contest" tonight at the photo shoot.

Today will be made interesting as we start on makeup and bring my friend Gus the Snake on set. More pictures to come! And may you enjoy Harry Potter Day as much as I will!!!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Daddy Day

Happy Father's Day everyone! Especially to my own Dad!

I've always been what you might call a Daddy's girl. My dad has been one of my greatest examples and my biggest helps. From advice to rebuilding a VW bug for a laurel's project, he's helped me in every way imaginable.

One of my favorite memories of my dad was when I was young and he used to tease by responding with "okay, Fred." I can remember, while thinking it was funny, also being irked at the nerve that he would call me by a boy's name.

"My name's not Fred!" I'd protest.

"Alright, Barney."

It could go on forever, really. He'd cycle through a list of dorky boy names and get me going at the same time. A few years ago I asked he if did that to all us kids and he said while he did, he got the most reaction from me.

Dad's always played games with us. Even when he was tired and laying in the middle of the living room floor, he'd make attempts at catching us as we ran around screeching "It's the tickle monster!" I'm grateful for a dad who was always there for us, to play, to teach and to assist. Thanks Dad! And Happy Father's Day!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Book club!

Monday night, I went out with a couple friends (names shall not be mentioned to protect the innocent... and embarrassed). When we found out that one of the gals in our group had bought the book Flirting for Dummies we decided to go check out said book at her apartment.

While flipping through the pages, I got an idea.  A terribly funny idea. A wickedly, wonderful, hilarious idea.

"Us two need to buy it and we can have a book club!" I blurted out. I'm not great at keeping wicked, wonderful ideas to myself after all.

"I can't be seen with a book like that in my room!" _______ said. (She knows who she is.) "I'd have to hide it under my bed!"

Nevertheless, we ventured to Barnes and Noble where we found out that title wasn't in print, but was online.

"Wait!" Says I. "They have it in e-book!Now you can hide it away on your computer, _______!"

______________ was not impressed.

Of course _________ still bought it and ____________ is going to have to go back and review the first chapter for this week.

I figure it's a requirement in life to read at least one how-to book that no one should ever have to read. But as the book states:

"Never mind the energy crisis, we're facing a communication skills meltdown and it's everyone's responsibility to do their bit. Honing your flirting skills is a way to reconnect lines of communication and engage with other people..."

See? We're just doing our part! :)

Thursday, June 2, 2011


I had an amazing (and productive) birthday! I:

1) Got up early and hiked Ensign Peak to get some good pictures of the Salt Lake Valley

2) Washed my car

3) Spent the morning with the Wrights (one of my favorite families in the world! They were in town and I jumped at the chance to see them!)

4) Brought nerdbomber Wright #1 with me to physical therapy and class (where one of my professors brought doughnuts I couldn't eat, since I'm still going strong with my New Year's goal... I felt bad... it was SO sweet of him!)

5) Went to Saltair with my class and said Nerdbomber came with so we could all take pictures.

Oh, and I opened a really cool gift from my mom and should be making lots of books very shortly!

Thanks all for the birthday wishes!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Photo Illustration and Being Kind

So a couple weeks ago in my photo illustration class, we were given an assignment to photography "abuse". We could pick any kind of abuse. I chose BULLYING.

I'm sure we've all seen it happen. In my mind, bullying happens as much from neglect in noticing people who are beaten down by words and action than anything conscience we do. I was able to go down to the Vegas Valley and had a group of student volunteers to help me. My idea was to use two images for each concept: one with the problems that build up, the second showing someone being kind. There is a foundation that has permeated the Clark County school district in the best way possible. The Josh Stevens Foundation is an organization started in honor of Josh, who passed away a month before his 13th birthday. (Go to the link above to read more about Josh!) The idea of this foundation is to reward kids who are caught doing genuinely kind things. Their motto:  


So here's what I got during that shoot!

Just a little additional explanation: to me, the words that we're called get stored up. So I wanted to have the locker filled with the things that are sometimes said without thought. The students wrote all sorts of stuff on white paper and I used their hand writing. So they were definitely more than just models!
How often have you not done something kind because you thought people would think you were stupid? (Others as well as the person you may want to do something kind for) Moments I will never forget are those  when I do something in spite of nagging worries and the person tells me "I needed that today". This set was one I did with that in mind.

The other half of this one didn't quite work out (I couldn't quite catch the right moment... the kids did awesome!) I think the idea in this one is a little more straight forward, but it featured our one guy who came. 

A last thanks to everyone that helped make the shoot happen and everyone go visit the Josh Stevens Foundation. (There. I linked you twice. No reason to not go check it out now!)
I hope this is a movement that makes it nationwide.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Julia Gulia

A few months ago, I was able to go up North a bit to take pictures of a cousin of mine who's "graduating" from high school this year. The quotes around that has to do with the fact that she's already started college classes, taking the opportunity to do a sort of duel enrollment. Julia is one of the most amazing girls I know, and though she's almost ten years younger than me, when we talk sometimes I realize that I'm the one looking up to her. Here are my favorite ones from our Senior Shoot!

Congratulations Julia!!!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Mommy Day

As last year I told a story as part of Mother's Day I thought it might be a good tradition to keep up for both Mother's Day and Father's Day this year.

I've had a chance to think of one of the greatest ways my mom has been an example to me lately. A good friend from Florida just graduated and wrote a fantastic tribute to his dad. (I'd really recommend reading it here.)

It really got me to thinking about my own mom going back to school. I was a little older than my friend when my mom went back to school full time. We lived in Barstow, CA--where my siblings and I were born--and there was a community college there. To be honest, I don't remember her taking classes there, but I know she took as many there before there weren't more options and this was the main factor in moving to Henderson. Mom started taking classes at UNLV and I was about eight at the time.

I know I don't remember all the sacrifices. Mom worked, Dad had given up a business in Barstow and worked in constructions. There were times I know he worked by the light of lamps because he was paid in piece work rather than hourly. They were still always there for school projects and activities. I remember sometimes going with her to classes. Sometimes us kids would be guinea pigs in projects; memorizing state capitols or reading Anne of Green Gables and doing book projects, even though it was summer. They were usually the fun kind of projects, though, so I don't think we minded much.

In one class, I know we helped her out by teaching her Hyperlink (an OLD program) for a music education class. She put together something fun, but I think us kids deserved the A in that case.

There were all the times she substituted in our class. (It was always fun if we were doing particularly well in that class). Students loved her. I had classmates ask when she stopped subbing because she had her own class. They were disappointed. She was a good sub.

Her graduation day was a big deal. Our aunts came down from Utah for it. I don't think I realized then what participating in that did for me. While all four of her kids have taken a while getting to our own degrees, none of us have questioned whether or not it will be worth it. All four of us have made efforts to complete an education, and have had to work hard to do so. Her example has taught us how important education is and I, for one, am beyond grateful!

Happy Mother's Day Mom! And keep on rockin' the realm of edu-ma-cation!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Foot update

So it's been quite a while since the accident, but I'm finally in some physical therapy for the foot. Lately it's just been walking down stairs and walking for long periods of time that really bother the foot, but I figure it's better to get it done and have full motion than wait and hope it comes on its own.

The thing about physical therapy: they lure you into thinking it's all fun and games. First they let me stick my feet into a hot jacuzzi tub for fifteen minutes (heaven!), then after a couple exercises the assistant massaged my foot. It felt so good and nice... then they have to go and bring out the ice pack and ruin it for me. Oh well, c'est la vive.

(Oh, and I have to mention a big THANK YOU to my sister-in-law who gave me exercises long ago when we thought it was sprained. I started using those when the boot was off and it's definitely helped give me a head start. Hope you don't torture your patients with ice though!!!)

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Ever wonder...

... what waking up 10 minutes before you're supposed to be at work looks like?

It looks a lot like:

"I totaled my car and broke my foot and can't stand long enough to do anything with myself"

Or even:

"I don't care if I get mistaken for a werewolf and would rather hit the snooze button".

Eh. Whatcha gonna do.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

An Easter Thought

The other day as I came home from my Spiral Jetty adventures, I turned down a street to get to my apartment and there were police lights at the next intersection. Sirens rang from a bit of a distance and two cars sat in awkward angles to the streets main paths, people gathered around. One woman sat in the front of the car that looked as though it had been sideswiped. "I hope she's okay," I said to my friend, watching the faces as I passed by them.

Before February and my own accident I always felt for people, but there's something different when I see it now. Even when I heard about a friend's husband getting into an accident on the freeway shortly after I went through that, I had this sinking feeling of being there with him. It was terrible. I understood that. It's never expected, never wanted, and it throws your entire life into chaos, even if you're physically better off than you could have been.

With Easter coming up I was thinking about this and the difference between the sympathy I would feel for people in a car wreck before to the empathy that reverberates through me now.

Ever wonder why Christ had to suffer? Why would he need to feel our pain? Our sorrows? Because there is a love and connection that comes with having true empathy for others. Christ suffered to understand. Christ loved us enough to know us the best way you can know others: to know how they feel.

I know it's a bit early for Easter, but we spend a whole month celebrating the birth of Christ. I'm thinking a week isn't too long to be celebrating the great sacrifice of the Atonement. Happy Easter to all!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

It's 3 a.m.

And my brain won't shut up. After a few hours of "sleep", I've realized all I've done is daydreamed about all the things I have to do over the next few weeks and now I have a knot in my chest and I can't even feel tired enough to really get rest.

So what am I doing? Going to the gym. At three in the stinkin' morning. Hoping to hear about the internship soon.

Friday, March 25, 2011

The Secret is OUT!

I'm going to be an AUNT! I've been given the go ahead to shout it from the rooftops.

There are a million reasons why I've always wanted to be an aunt before I was a mom, but here are the best ones:

1) You get to spoil the kids and send them home for someone else to discipline them
2) You get to be their favorite person in the whole world (partly for the reason above)
3) You may actually have funds for buying nonsense items and frilly, frilly clothing. I've already spent about $30 on board books and stuffed animals
4) You plain old have more energy for them!

Needless to say, I'm figuring that whole baby picture thing out right about now and I can't WAIT until November!

Oh yeah, and it's going to be twins too :)

Sunday, March 20, 2011


After three nights in a sleeping bag...

with the wind whipping the fabric until I thought it was going to cave in on us...

and rain...

and freezing cold...

I get back into a warm bed, with clean sheets, and walls, and I remember...

THIS is why I'm a City Girl!

Arches was gorgeous, though. See?

(more to come on the travel blog

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Spring Break!

YAY! This is SO needed!

Initially I planned to be flying out to Orlando to visit my mission. Of course, life happens (and so do car accidents).

The good news is that a friend from school planned out a trip to the arches. We will see how hiking with crutches is. Ha! Pictures to come!!!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Photography website/ facebook page!

I called my family at 6 in the morning (their time) to announce that I now have my own website. In my defense, I was extremely excited, on very little sleep myself, and knew they were usually up at that time getting ready.

There are still a couple more things I need to do (mostly adding links and writing a bio), but it's generally there. Curious to see?

Also, look up Marie Teemant Photography on facebook and hit "like" if you get a chance.

Yay for new things!

Monday, February 28, 2011

Would the real Miss Chester please stand up?

A couple weeks ago I had a bunch of great girls volunteer to come and model for me during my studio time as I gimped around in my ankle brace (this was pre-fracture knowledge) It was a ton of fun and I was glad they all came. I wanted to share some pictures from one person in particular, though, and that's Miss Chester-the-bester.

Chessie and I met through an online writing site and talked for ages via instant message before figuring out that her aunt and mine served as mission companions once upon a time. Every time she's down from Logan (just like said photoshoot weekend) we try to hang out with our other bud Bean (we're not sure what Bean's actual name is, we've been calling her that for so long). So here's a little spotlight and a shout out to real Chess that I know.

Chessie is ALWAYS on the move. Jumping, dancing, playing... you name it, she'll be doing it with enthusiasm!

The many faces of Chessie. She's not a good influence on Bean.

That's not Chessie! She's rarely grumpy! (Except over stupid boys, but who could blame her?)

She gets shy every now and again.

What a beautiful model though...

And an even better friend!