Thursday, February 23, 2012

5K fun and MORE!

We set up TEAM BILL my friends!  If you or anyone is interested in running the WildRide! WildRun! Against Cancer with us, go to their website and sign up!  It's $25 per runner and we are doing the fun run.  I'm really proud of my friend Jenny - it's her first 5k!  We will have a lot of fun, of course, and will be doing it in the memory of any loved ones we've lost to cancer.  If you don't want to run, just come out and cheer us on.  We will need some of it when we are beat down near the end of the race.

Take a picture, it'll last longer
The City of Richardson Photography Contest results came in and the ribbon ceremony was Tuesday night - my sister in law Becky got a FIRST PLACE ribbon for her Photo Journalism piece from Occupy Dallas.  A great picture!  YAY BECKY!

She and I went downtown this past Sunday looking for things to snap pictures of and I discovered that the West End Marketplace is closed permanently.  Whaaaaa?  I had no clue, but then I don't really catch any live TV very often.  Sad face here...  I spent a lot of my young years down there and have some really distinct memories of the fudge shop at the entrance, the putt-putt place in the center, and, of course, the arcade downstairs.

I love this statue.

As we were walking around I had a Laverne and Shirley flash, I think.  Didn't they have a basement apartment and you saw feet walking passed their windows all the time?  This made me think of that.  So, I planted myself on the cold pavement and just happened to catch a couple walk by hand-in-hand.  

Isn't it funny?
I love talking about my kids and telling our story.  For those that read that don't know, both my kids are adopted.  We spent several years dealing with infertility and treatments and pregnancy attempts.  We were introduced to adoption by chance (a friend of a friend adopted).  We both spent our childhoods with close friends who were adopted and have adult friends now who are adopted.  We also have two really close friends who experienced being a birth parent whose children were placed for adoption with a private agency.  It was really with us the whole time, we just didn't see it as our plan until then.  We explored private adoption because, like most, we wanted an infant.  However, we did not have the savings account to support  that type of private adoption.  We finally decided on becoming a licensed adoptive home through the Department of Family Protective Services.  (CPS)  Our lovely daughter came home to us at 4 years old on March 30th, 2010.  We didn't expect our family to grow again for a LONG time, but then we were notified in August of 2010 that she had a biological brother that needed a foster home.  We quickly changed our license and our son came home to us on September 7, 2010, he was 10 weeks old.  We finalized her adoption on 10/13/2010 and his on 10/13/2011.  What a lucky day the 13th is for us!!

So the funny part is, I frequently find myself in discussion with people, who don't necessarily know our story, talking about adoption and CPS (a  lot people have a bad opinion - I think they are great!  They love these children and want the very best for them.  I can't imagine a more difficult job.)  Infertility is a monster and if you haven't personally experienced it, I can't really describe it for you, but it is a profound sense of loss.  To most of these people, I say check out adoption.  Maybe it's for you and maybe it's not, but I'm here to say that I could never love my kids any less or any more if our circumstances were different.  When I was a teenager, I used to say I would have 10 kids - um, no.  :)  We'll see if our 4-some changes, I don't like to make many promises.  

Make a new memory today...

Sunday, February 19, 2012

It's not raining!

As my daughter just said, "It's a good day to go outside".

I need to get my butt in running gear.  The Warrior Dash is quickly approaching (April 21, 22) and with the bronchitis I had this winter, I've been seriously slacking on getting prepared.  The Warrior Dash is sure to be muddy and a blast!  I'm pretty excited about all the people that are going to be joining us.  And possibly more to join!

Some people made a serious splash in the mud pit.
Warrior Dash 2011

Would you do it?
Warrior Dash 2011

Then, very shortly after, on May 19th, my good friend Jenny and I are submitting a team to run the WildRun! Against Cancer in Richardson.  (Two 5Ks inside a month.  I must be completely nuts.)  All the proceeds from this event benefit the Methodist Richardson Cancer Center.  Both Jenny and I lost our fathers to cancer in 2010 and both of their names were Bill.  TEAM BILL will be running!

Now if I could just figure out to how run and take pictures at the same time...I think they make helmet cams for that!!

Thanks for stopping by!
Love - Jill

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Dallas at night

We put the kids to bed and I kissed my husband bye-bye.  My friend, Marcus ( and I went to do some night-time shots.  It was the beginning of my Signs Project (much more to come....this is just the idea) and Marcus wanted to experiment with timed shutter release.  

Now this IS Dallas, so you don't want to go out by yourself with expensive equipment, so it's always nice to have a little muscle, no matter how little that muscle may be.  My muscle happened to be a MAGlite flashlight that weighs a few pounds and Marcus.  His muscle was me.  I think I got the better deal as my flight response works much better than my fight response but don't tell him that.

This sign inspired my Signs project idea.  Stay tuned.

So as I said, we went out night shooting.  I captured a neat shot of a DART bus turning the corner of Haskell and 75.  It's a ghostly DART bus...(insert ghostly sounds here oooooooo-ooo). 
6sec shutter speed/ISO 100/33.0 mm 

I need to work on my noise reduction (noise is the graininess of the picture).  So after fun shutter release experiments we went downtown to find interesting things.  We happened upon the Omni Hotel.  If you've watched the news in Dallas lately, you'll know it is being criticized for it's corner rooms that leaves little to the imagination.  You can see naked peeps if they leave their blinds open.  We did not see anything remotely naked...I repeat did not see.  Not that we were looking.....  The hotel has some really cool light shows which are better suited for video but you get the idea. 

Far left lights would be the "offending" rooms
.6sec shutter/ISO 200/18.0 mm

I love the lines of the Dallas Convention Center.  Such a pretty architectural design.

So as I sign off for today.  I say thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed it.  I also send my love and best wishes to my family in Houston today.  We lost my aunt Diane Gaskill to cancer and today, they celebrate her life.  

Love - Jill

Inspired by a friend, I decided to start a blog.  I have a few projects in my head that are fighting to get out.  I will likely post a lot about photography (um, yeah...hence the title), adoption (lucky mom of two adoptive children) and many more things.  I go through a lot of my days wishing I had my camera on my shoulder all the time as I see a photo opportunity or an interesting perspective.  Photography is my hobby and passion.  I have two great kids, I think I mentioned that, and we spent some time as foster parents, so that is another topic I love.

If you are dying to know, I shoot with a Canon EOS Rebel XSi and have a few great lenses that I love to experiment with.

Thanks for reading!  Come back soon!