Monday, October 27, 2008

Beautiful cathedral

Is this not the most breathtaking church you have ever seen in your entire life?! When we were in Chicago, we hauled ourselves to church Sunday morning. Boy, oh boy, am I glad we did. This amazing Gothic cathedral + my fantastic Sigma 10-20 = love (but not more love than I have for The Bean, of course). The thing that struck me the most was the amazing woodwork that covered the entire ceiling of the church. It was like nothing I've ever seen before.

And the Archbishop of the Diocese of Chicago celebrated Mass, which was pretty cool too. But how AWESOME is this church?

"Cheezborger, Cheezborger, Cheezeborger!!"

Of course, when we were in Chicago, we went to the world famous Billy Goat Tavern. Actually, I shouldn't say "of course," because we actually hadn't planned to go there. But we were hungry after church on Sunday and that was the first place we stumbled across. And I shouldn't say "stumbled across" because if we hadn't walked past it the day before, there is no way we would have found it. It is in a sketchy looking area, basically under Michigan Ave. in what looks like a dark parking garage. While the Billy Goat was definitely not on our diet, we just had to have a cheezborger, chips - no fries! and a Coke - no Pepsi! (and actually I had water and Brad had lemonade, so how boring are we?) It was fun and, while the burgers were more bun than burger, it's an American experience.

PS The lighting was super funky, which made my camera go bizerk, hence the funny colors and horrible white balance in the photos (and why it looks like my shirt is brown, not black!)

PPS I'm assuming they normally have a great crowd. When we were there at 11:00am on a Sunday morning, we had the place almost to ourselves.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

my new most favorite thing ever

(aka Cloud Gate in Millennium Park in Chicago)
To say that I am obsessed with this fantastic piece of public art is probably the understatement of the century. I first met the Bean on Saturday morning, during our morning tooling around Chicago with a professional photographer who showed me all the best angles and shots in the city (see, told you Brad did this trip up right!). The Bean had a lot of fellow tourists around it, but we instantly connected. I got a few shots, but was generally displeased with the crowds. So I made Brad get up with me at the crack of dawn (literally) Monday morning, so we could share a sunrise with the Bean on our last day in Chicago. The combination of very few people around, my amazing Sigma 10-20mm awesome anniversary gift lens and the yummy morning light made me fall even deeper in love... The result? A LOT of pictures for your enjoyment!

Let them eat cake!

In celebration of our one year wedding anniversary this past Monday, we got out the top tier of our cake which has been hogging up space in our freezer for the past 366 days! It was pretty good, for year old cake. Ok, I take that back. The fondant on the outside was disgusting - really sugary and slimy and stretchy. Yuck. The fruit inside was completely dehydrated. But the filling and cake part was actually ok. Of course, I set up my tripod and got some completely cheese-ball shots of us cutting the cake and feeding it to each other, wedding reception style :)
Just as yummy as on our wedding day (almost)... and sorry about the lousy picture quality!

After cake, it was time for Brad to open his presents! Since the first year traditional wedding anniversary gift is paper, I put together our wedding album for him and also got him personalized stationary. As you previously saw, he got me my lens and our trip to Chicago, which, while not paper related, were pretty awesome.
Traditional one year wedding anniversary gift = paper = our wedding albumTraditional one year wedding anniversary gift = paper = personalized stationary
Thanks to everyone who sent us a card! We got lots of nice ones

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Photography Class Assignment #3

This week's assignment was to do things with shutter speed. I was able to get some great slow shutter speed shots in Chicago and on the Metro on my way home last night. The part of the assignment about stopping action with a fast shutter speed? Guess I'll be doing that one on my lunch hour today ;)

slow shutter speed = motion blur

"Pan-Action" - focusing on a subject, while the area around them is blurred. Thank goodness for all the cyclists out on Lake Michigan Saturday morning!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

I *heart* Chicago

Chicago. How can I even begin to describe what an incredible city it is? How it made me almost cry to have to leave yesterday. How my wonderful husband pampered me to the nine's. How I took 758 pictures in a two and a half day time frame!

Our trip to Chicago to celebrate our one year anniversary was the absolute best! We stayed at the historic Drake Hotel ("call me, 3:30 in the morning, we've gotta talk, I'm at the Drake Hotel in Chicago"), got picked up from the airport by a white stretch limo, were driven back to the airport in a BMW (since our limo got in a car accident on the way to pick us up!), were wined and dined on a dinner cruise and on the 95th floor of the Hancock Center, were led around the city by a professional photographer, fell in love with the Bean, ate deep dish pizza, walked a gazillion miles and spent a lot of time looking up.

I'm still sorting through the previously mentioned hundreds of pictures, but here are some from our point and shoot to hold you over.

mini golf on the Navy Pier

ready for the architecture boat tour

Friday, October 17, 2008

One Year

(A few days early since we're jetting off to Chicago! And yes, I took the pumpkin picture above especially for an anniversary blog post!)

As I was digging the top of our wedding cake out of the freezer this morning, I was filled with disbelief that this day is finally here. I can't believe we have been married for a year already! The year has gone by so quickly. There have been many ups and downs (but the ups far outweigh the downs) and many, many changes. We both have new jobs now, a new apartment, a few extra pounds around our middles and more than a few amazing memories. I had no idea what married life had in store for me; however, it has been the greatest time of discovery in my entire life. To have someone there every day to prop me up when I'm feeling down, to love me unconditionally, to be my biggest cheerleader and to be my most constructive critic (in a good way!).

Brad - I love you more now than on that beautiful fall day when we said "I do" - something I didn't think was possible! I am so excited to be spending a great weekend with you in Chicago to celebrate! Happy Anniversary P :)

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Walking for a great cause

On Sunday, Brad and I walked in our third Hydrocephalus Association walk. For those of you unfamiliar with hydrocephalus, it's why I have a tube in my head. It's actually a faily common condition in babies, where basically the fluid that your brain sits in doesn't drain from your head properly. So you get a tube put in that drians the fluid down to your chest, heart or abdomon.

This walk always inspires me and makes me feel so lucky. I've had my shunt since I was six months old and have only had one major revision surgery. There were ten year olds at the walks who have had 20 or 30 surgeries and people who are really debilitated by it. At this walk a met a girl who is two years younger than me who just had her very infected shunt actually removed. She basically now has to wait and see if the symptoms of hydrocephalus return and if they do, she has to have a whole new one put in. Oh yeah, the removal surgery was her 25th surgery.

You can find lots more information on the National Hydrocephalus Association website:

Anyway, wanted to share some pictures from the walk, as I was the official "walk photographer." Next year Brad and I are organizing the Washington, D.C. area walk, so get your checkbooks ready - just kidding... sort of ;)

just finished the 5.3 mile walk
This fantastic kids book they had about hydrocephalus and shunts - I wish they had stuff like this when I was young! The amount the young people know about their condition is amazing
group shot (that's Brad's head sticking up in the middle of the back row)
our sponsors
inspiring young people