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A Very Relevant Repost…in my opinion

*Yes, I know, some of you have already read this post but with the new year and the new blog it seemed only fitting to post my thoughts and hopes for this year right here so I can keep track of my progress.  I promise I’ll have some new material soon!*

My dear friend, Rachel, has done it again. She’s gone and inspired me by her blog post on her outlook for 2010. Choosing a word of the year, she sort of streamlined her resolutions to revolve around that word, that idea, and I thought it was brilliant. Sometimes the simplest things are the most worthwhile. I immediately started thinking about what my word would be if I would have been the one who had thought of it first. It wasn’t immediately obvious, but after looking specifically at some of the things I want to accomplish this year, I finally came up with one doozie of a one-word motto.


Discipline and commitment are what I am going to require to achieve my weight-loss/get-healthy goals.
Discipline will help me grow and succeed in my new business.
Discipline will keep my relationships healthy by setting aside the quality time they deserve instead of the multitasking of which I’m often guilty.
Discipline in prayer and scripture will allow me to grow in the Lord.
Discipline is how I plan to stick to my meager wedding budget.
Discipline will help prepare me for being somebody’s wife.
Being disciplined will help me sleep better at night, literally.
Discipline is one thing I wish I had more of, so I’m going to create it and stick to it.
Discipline will only help my creativity.
Discipline will yield more paintings & photos and therefore, a better talent overall.
Discipline will make school far more painless.
Discipline is my word of the year. I plan on wearing it out.
“It was character that got us out of bed, commitment that moved us into action, and discipline that enabled us to follow through.”
-Zig Ziglar
I just know it’s going to be a worker bee kind of a year and I welcome it. I’m going to be just like this little guy and discipline is what will get me through it with my sanity in tact.
In addition to a word of the year, I’ve been thinking about all the things I want to do in 2010. Here is a list of some resolutions, some big, some small, in no particular order. I do believe though, that every one of them is attainable, but I can’t promise I’ll get through them all. Without further adieu, here are some resolutions I believe I can keep:
1. Start hiking. In order to achieve this goal I have purchased a rad new pair of North Face Hiking shoes, and I’m headed in the direction of an annual parking pass for OC Regional parks. Wanna go for a hike? Hit me up!
2. Book a minimum of 5 weddings for the year. The more the merrier, but 5 is a good minimum goal for year 1, I think. 10 would be absolutely incredible.
3. Kick my fingernail biting habit.
4. Drop 50 pounds before my wedding.
5. Take a yoga class…regularly. Anyone out there with an LA Fitness membership and an appetite for yoga? I really want a yoga buddy, fitness classes intimidate the hell out of me.
6. Do more nice things for the people in my family just because.
7. Involve myself more deeply in my super awesome church.
8. Read more.
9. Watch less TV.
10. Go to bed earlier.
11. Truly brand my photography business.  (starting with this pretty new blog!)
12. Take a vacation.
13. Take more day trips.
14. Make a new friend.
15. Eat something I’ve never tried before.
16. Read every book for my new book club no matter what.
17. Communicate in person more often. Really get to know people.
18. Create my own recipe.
19. Cook a type of cuisine I’ve never made before. Greek? Indian? Thai? Any suggestions?
20. Play a sport for the first time in years, but go easy on me please.
21. Buy more cute but practical shoes.
22. Take a photo every day I can.
23. Create a conceptual shoot from start to finish.
24. Attend a photography workshop.
25. Find some ways to volunteer or donate my photography services for someone in need.
26. Spend some quality time with my mom & brothers.
27. Have an adventure! Hopefully several.
30. Sign up for some kind of important “walk” and train until I can achieve the mileage.
31. Buy a piece of art for our new home.
32. Have a swanky dinner party.
33. See a local attraction I’ve never been to.
34. Paint 16 hours per week, minimum. Be disciplined and treat painting as if it were a job.
35. Be in front of the camera from time to time.
36.  Create a painting from the Masters.
37. Keep a sketchbook.
38. Eat organically as often as possible.
39. Be green as often as possible.
40. Revisit some of my favorite movies.
41. Let Branden plan some things HE wants to do and go along with it, no questions asked.
42. Stay off the Diet Coke.
43. Downgrade my Nikon D80 to a backup camera and buy a D700.
44. Make my living solely from photography/painting by the end of the year.
45. Attend a concert.
46. Drink a martini. Preferably of the French variety.
47. Individually thank every single person involved with making my wedding happen.
48. Get to know my current friends on a deeper level.
49. Rid myself plus sized clothing once and for all. Ugh. See #4.
50. Read some of the books that have been sitting on my shelf for years…unread.
51. Spend more time with Sharon.
52. Streamline my workflow.
53. Destash some of my jewelry supplies.
54. Find a creative way to thank Dr. Jon White for fixing my back. I’m his prized patient but I’d like to give him more than an x-ray to show off!
55. Set aside quality time with my brothers when Branden & I move out.
56. Have a girls’ night.
57. Get straight As Spring semester.
58. Get to a point where I never need pain meds…even after a long long day of shooting a wedding.
59. Watch 5 classic movies. Any suggestions?
60. Learn off-camera lighting techniques. I officially have 2 flashes and a borrowed copy of The Hot Shoe Diaries to get me started!
61. Shoot a roll of film. Manually/Holga/Polariod/Whatever, just film of some sort. I’d love to experiment with some old Holga cameras though. I love digital, I just want to explore some more.
62. Get up early enough to shoot a sunrise.
63. Upgrade my blog to something a bit nicer.
64. Actually print some of my photos and display them.
65. Learn something new about something I know nothing about.
66. Buy a wide-angle lens.
67. Unsubscribe to the ridiculous number of magazines I now receive. It was great when I was stuck in bed after surgery but now it’s just nuts.
68. Go to the dentist. Twice.
69. Find a new favorite sushi joint since ours closed their doors for good.
70. Have a mani-pedi day with Branden.
71. Attend a new (to me) museum.
72. Play a board game.
73. Laugh so hard I cry.
74. Do something spontaneous.
75. Let bygones be bygones.
76. Set up an accounting system for my business. Quickbooks anyone?
77. Reconnect with some old friends.
78. Attend a photography gallery/exhibit.
79. Take a photography class.
80. Spend more money on paying off debts and less on those things I don’t actually need.
81. Get a photo(s) published, even if only on a well-read blog.
82. Plant a new herb this year and discover its uses.
83. Create a more useful workspace.
84. Un-clutter digitally.
85. Buy a desktop computer.
86. Back up my backed up files with an online service.
87. Digitize stacks of old photos.
88. See a theatrical play.
89. Do a project out of my Photojojo book.
90. Create a business plan.
I was hoping to get this list to a nice round number, like 100, but that didn’t quite happen. I may add onto it if I think of some more, but until then… there you have it!

[…] change.  The one thing I really wanted to do was become more disciplined…remember?  In this post?  Well, for the first time in most of my adult life I’ve been referring back to that […]


Brand spankin’ new!

Hello World!

So…how do y’all like the new blog?  My blood, sweat & tears have been put into this baby lately and I have met my self imposed deadline of finishing everything up before I start school in about a week…okay so there were actually no blood, sweat OR tears, but I have been working myself silly trying to find the perfect combination of fun and sophistication while trying not to take anything away from my photos.  Something that was me.  Tell me the truth…is it a success?  There may be some fine tuning still to come but for the most part, I think I’m liking it!  Aside from a little more branding (check out the slightly different, new & improved logo) I wanted to make sure I included everything that I have going on in one place.  I think I’ve remembered everything but sheesh!  I’m all over the internet!  As always, I love me some feedback and even a critique if you’re so inclined, so send me a note or leave a comment and tell me how it is.

How amazing are the larger photos!?!  And this new blog is a dream come true.  With that old blog of mine, I was wasting an insane amount of time uploading pics to flickr, computing the proper dimensions, embedding the flickr photo link into the blog and finally publishing the post.  It took FOREVER!  And the photos still weren’t nearly as large as I would have liked  :( But now, it is gloriously easy and quick and I am one happy blogger…to say the least.  Do me a favor, take a minute to bookmark the new site and come back often!  The old blog will still be visible here, but from now on, this is the place to be.  Don’t forget it.

Without further adieu, my first newborn shoot of the year.  I think each time I have the opportunity to photograph a new life I enjoy it even more than the time before.  It was difficult at first but my love for babies is growing exponentially with each new little one I meet and my love for capturing them in all their adorableness is growing even more.

This captivating little guy is Ias Jehrine Ramos.  What a cool name is Ias?  I kind of love it.  His mommy and daddy are so happy to add baby #2 to their family and after meeting him I can see why.

Ias was wide awake for our whole time together.  Wide awake and wonderfully calm and happy.  I think he liked me, maybe that’s why.

I cannot get over all his hair!  So unexpected since his big brother is blonde!

So strong already.

I had to take advantage of Heidi’s beautiful rug.  It may be a little girly but I loooooove it!

All swaddled & cozy.

This is the first time I’ve added some grain to a color photo in post-production.  I think I quite like it, how ’bout you?

Big brother Dosque is still getting used to a new baby in the house, but he seems to be coming around.

I can’t wait to see more of this sweet little guy.  Lucky for me, Ias belongs to some good friends of mine, so I’m pretty sure I’ll be taking his picture again sometime!  Looking forward to it for sure.

Amanda Patrice - January 19, 2010 - 9:13 am

Love the blog! Love the portraits!


elsie - January 18, 2010 - 5:48 am

gorgeous new blog my sweet!


No. 17 Cherry Tree L - January 17, 2010 - 9:37 pm

It looks really great Melissa! I love the new format and the larger pictures are amazing!! Way to go! Well worth the work!


Heather Potts - January 17, 2010 - 11:28 am

I love it!