Meagan Musing: June 2011

Meagan Musing


My Nana

We lost my dearly loved Nana last night. My mom was with her and she slipped away very peacefully in her sleep. She would have been 80 in August.

I so wish I were a better writer so I could do her justice here in this space, but I'll try my best.


She was the most fun grandmother anyone could ask for. She loved her family fiercely and there was nothing she enjoyed more than to gather us all together and cook for us. She loved her husband, our Pop, more than anything in the world. We were worried she'd never get over losing him nine years ago, but the last few years she was able to really enjoy her single life, even if she still missed him every day.

She loved all levels of basketball, but mostly she loved the Dallas Mavericks. She and Pop would actually listen to Mavericks games on the radio back when they were terrible and only won 12 games a season. I'm so happy she lived long enough to see them win the championship.

Not too long after Pop died we took her to a Mavericks game and sat very close to the court. Mom had worked it out so that she could meet Don Nelson down on the court before the game and, oh, she was so surprised and so happy. He was quite the basketball hero to her. She even made a sign to wave that said she would like to be Michael Finley's grandmother. :)

{This was her Facebook profile photo. She was so hip!}

When I was eight and my sister was five, she and my Pop took us and my cousins who were 12 and 14 to Disney World for a week. We drove all the way from Oklahoma to Florida in their motor home and I'd never had more fun!

That trip will always be so special to us and I know it was for them, too.

I could tell lots and lots of stories. I will always remember how fun and silly she could be. Growing up, trips to Nana's house always meant staying up late to play games. We girls could play and laugh until two o'clock in the morning.


Nana moved out of her house several years ago to be closer to my mom, but that house will always be Nana's house to me.

Everyone who knew her enjoyed her; she was an amazing friend and loved by so, so many.

She lived a full, happy blessed life and I'm thrilled we had as many wonderful, healthy years with her as we did. It is so comforting to know she's in heaven now, reunited with Pop.

Edited to Add: I just found out she will be buried on Saturday, July 2, next to Pop on what would have been their 62nd wedding anniversary. So very fitting for such a loving couple.



Baby Girl Bedding & 34 Weeks

Our crib bedding finally arrived last Friday afternoon. I was so excited to get to put a bit of the nursery together.


Sweet Shot Day

We ended up going with the Pottery Barn Lily bedding. It is a good thing I ordered it back in April, because they've now taken it off their website, and I guess they aren't selling it anymore.

Our set was backordered for two months and then they extended it for another 3 weeks. I was getting worried about it.


I've ordered drapes and a new glider based on the colors in the bedding so I'm very relieved to have it.


It is so girly and ruffly, but since we went with the light french gray walls I feel like it's not too over-the-top pink.



Our drapes are panels made with a soft plaid with the light pink, blues and greens. I'm really happy with them and can't wait for them to get here.

I'm working on the closet a bit this week and will start washing onesies and dresses and swaddles soon.

34 Weeks today:

WEB_34Weeks_IMG_6414, so close.

And, I can't resist sharing this shot of Andrew because he just looked too darn cute in his little overalls yesterday.


{Also, if you haven't voted yet, could you spare a vote for me in The Paper Mama's Best Shot challenge? I'm #15.}

The Paper Mama Top Vote for Me!

Thank you!

Labels: , , , ,


Whoa! Top 30!

I made the top 30 in The Paper Mama's Your Best Shot challenge! I'm so excited! I'm really honored to have my photo selected along with all those other amazing images!


Now I get to ask you for votes!

The Paper Mama Top Vote for Me!

{Just click the button above and scroll through all those awesome photos. Then vote for me - #15 - and someone else, too (but only if you want to) because you can vote for up to two photos. But make sure you vote for me!}

Voting ends this Wednesday the 29th at 5PM Pacific.

Thanks so much! Wow!



Scavanger Hunt Sunday

I finally decided to join the scavenger hunt challenge at Ashley's blog. I don't know if I'll be able to keep it up every week, but this week's prompts really encouraged me so I thought I'd give it a shot.


These doors lead to the back yard at my sister's place. In the spring they often leave them open to really bring the outside in.


Oh, if only had my son's eyelashes. I wouldn't be such a slave to eye makeup. I hope my little girl gets them too.


This old, run-down garage is right next to my local Sonic. The bright yellow paint has always stood out to me.

{Leaf Veins}

A leaf at dusk with my 100mm. I love the creamy background.

{Faceless Portrait}

I shared this one earlier this week, but it's perfect for this prompt. I love this bathing suit, and I really wish I looked like that right about now! :)

This was fun!

Labels: ,


Our Week

Andrew's summer Mother's Day Out program started this week. He was a little unsure about going back to school on Tuesday, but there were no tears and he walked right in and got to playing with the other kids.


We're back in the same program we were in last year, and he even has the same teacher. She is so sweet with the kids and Andrew loves all the activities. I'm happy that he's happy and I get a little bit of a break. It's a win-win.


Last school year his class napped in cribs, but starting this summer they moved up to napmats. I ordered this cute napmat on Etsy, but it didn't get here in time for school to start.

Cue bad mama moment. I've felt guilty about it all week, but the school had an extra for him to borrow and he slept on his monkey blanket and his loaner napmat both days this week so I guess he wasn't too traumatized.


We went to run errands this afternoon after MDO and I got hot - like oh my gosh, I'm going to rip all my clothes off and lay down on the tile floor - hot. We got home and had just enough time to change and get to swimming lessons, but I just couldn't motivate myself to get up and get ready.

We were late, but we still made it and Andrew had a blast. He kept sticking his whole face under water just for the fun of it. He's so silly.


One of the things I struggle with the most as a mother is finding a balance between teaching/guiding, and still letting him be a two year old and have fun.

Sometime I'd like to elaborate on that a little more, but for now I'll just say that this week I've been trying to lean more toward the fun end, and I think maybe it's made things a little easier around here.


(I'm linking up this last shot with two great photo challenges - you should check out the other entries!)

Happy Friday everyone!

Labels: , ,


Your Best Shot

Okay, I decided to go ahead and enter The Paper Mama's Your Best Shot competition. I'm sure I have very little chance considering the amazingly talented ladies who have entered so far, but what do I have to lose, right?


I just love the light dancing on the bubbles and the look of concentration on his face. He's so much fun.

The Paper Mama

Labels: ,


Picture Color Week 2 & 33 Weeks

I've done a pretty good job of staying on top of my Picture Color assignments and I'm so proud of myself. When I did Picture Holidays I fell behind and had a really hard time catching up.

But so far, so good this time.

Here are my Week 2 shots - June 6-10:

{White on White}


WEB_IMG_5932_Edit1{Exclamation Mark}



And...I'm 33 weeks along today.


Seven short weeks left. I had a great doctors appointment on Monday and I'm still feeling okay, but I'm definitely on the downward side. My back is starting to ache which is a big bummer. And I'm having some serious round ligament pain at night when I lay down. I couldn't figure out what was going on at first, but my doctor assured me it was just the muscles stretching.

They're these sharp pains that feel like leg cramps on both sides of my belly. So painful.

I never had anything like it with Andrew, and I'm not a fan. But at least the pains only come at night and I can usually walk it out after just a few minutes.

But it'll all be worth it. I'm getting so excited to meet her. I hope she looks like Andrew.

Labels: , , ,


My Favorite Photoshop Actions - Part 2

A few weeks ago I told you about some of my favorite (free) Photoshop actions. In addition I mentioned my actions from Paint the Moon and Flora Bella, but said I'd come back and give you more details.

So, now I'm back with some more information for you.

I really like the Paint the Moon action sets and I wanted to invest in one that had some fun, color pop actions, but that also included helpful, workflow type actions.

So I decided on the Picture Perfect Portrait Mega Set. It's a little pricy, but I'm pretty sure I used a coupon, and I would say that it's worth it even at full price.

I use many of the artistic touches regularly. My favorites are Creamy Haze and Sweet Prairie (Vintage).



The Sweet Prairie on landscapes can be absolutely beautiful. I love it. They're all very tweakable, but I often find that these are just right.



I also love it on portraits:



Sweet Shot Day

Also included in the set is a a group of resizing and sharpening actions and "helping hands" that includes a fast rounded corners action that's great for web sized images.

I use her sharpen and resize for web for almost all the photos on my blog. I love that the sharpen layer has a mask and I can easily adjust the opacity.

This action really speeds up my publishing to the web.

Flora Bella's actions are fun and kind of whimsical. They're a little heavy for my style so I usually end up tweaking them a lot. I almost always have to turn down the contrast. But they're all beautiful.

Here's an example:



I cleaned up some of the dirt off his face (how does that happen??) and ran Milk at full opacity, with the contrast turned way down. I then ran Swoon at 20% to give it a little bit of a pop.

One of the things I like most about their actions is that so many of them work well together.

I lean more toward clean edits so I don't use these as much as some of my other favorites, but I like having the option to add a little more of an artistic touch if a photo calls for it.

Do you have any favorites to share?

Edited to add:
I didn't know Annie from Paint the Moon was going to be featured at today, but what a timely post! If you're coming over from Sweet Shot Tuesdays, welcome!

Labels: ,


Father's Day Weekend

We spent a big chunk of this insanely hot Father's Day weekend in the pool, and I'm so glad. Otherwise we would have been trapped inside because it's seriously brutal out there. It's been over 100 degrees for the last seven days and I'm ready for it to cool off a bit. Even 90 degrees sounds good right now. :)

But the pool was nice and cool and perfect. And it gave Andrew a chance to practice his swimming skills.


He's like a fish! He was in the pool for at least three hours yesterday afternoon and then another two this morning. We had to convince him to get out to eat or he would have stayed in even longer.



Another beautiful sunset out at my parents' place; they get to see this every night.


A few clouds rolled in on Saturday and we thought we might be lucky enough to get some rain, but it just made for a really pretty sunset.

I wanted to work on my silhouette shots so Kelsey and Matt volunteered to be my subjects. :)


Aren't they cute? I still have a lot to learn though. I think I should have gotten down a little lower and moved them to the right, closer to the sun.

Oh well, I'll get another chance this summer and they didn't seem to mind the modeling work.

Did you see Brian in the first photo up there? He's the best at swimming and playing with Andrew. He's so sweet and patient with him. I knew he'd be a great dad even before Andrew got here, but I'm honestly amazed at how good he really is. He's so busy with school and work, but if he has a moment of free time you can bet he's here, playing in the backyard or doing bath time.

I couldn't be happier with the dad he is. I'm so looking forward to seeing him with our little girl later this summer.

My dad, Andrew's Papa Jack, has jumped right in to his grandfather roll. He's so much fun with his grandsons and loves to spend time with them. Andrew just adores him, and I think it's the greatest thing to watch them together.

We lost Brian's dad over four years ago, but I know he, too, would have been an amazing Granddad. I hate that he'll never get to know Andrew and this baby girl, but he sure would have been happy being their grandfather. And we'll get to tell them all about him.

Brian and I have been so blessed by our dads and our grandfathers. I love that we get this special day to celebrate them.

I hope you had a great day celebrating all the great dads in your life!

Labels: , , ,


Basketball Celebration

We got to do the coolest thing today.

You may have heard that my Mavericks won the NBA championship for the first time ever this week. And they did it with hard work and dedication and lots of teamwork. I am so proud of them, and of my city.


The victory parade was this morning, and then they hosted a big celebration at the AAC for season ticket holders and we knew we had to go - to the celebration inside with air conditioning, not to the parade outside in the 100 degree weather.

I'm just not that brave.


It was so cool to see them all so happy and celebratory. Dirk had the biggest smile on his face the entire time. I bet he won't stop smiling for weeks.

I never bring my camera to games because it just seems silly to lug it around and I'm usually too busy watching the game and cheering to worry about it, but I wanted to document today with more than my iPhone.


It was quite the lighting challenge though. There were spotlights and crazy colored lights shining down on the players and the trophy.

Ahhh...that shiny trophy.

Here is Dirk talking about how awesome the rest of his team and the fans are and completely giving everyone else the credit for his success.


It would be great if more professional athletes were as humble and unassuming as Dirk. But I guess that's what makes him so special.


I don't have a telephoto lens so I just brought my Tamron 28mm-75mm and it was hard to get close shots. (Our seats are up in the platinum level so quite a ways from the stage.)

I had to do some heavy duty cropping to get some of these shots, but I'm still glad I brought my camera. These are totally worth it.

At the end they finally dropped confetti on the crowd. The team didn't have any kind of a celebration after they won the Western Conference at home and they didn't have any streamers in Miami either. So I was happy to see it today.



The whole thing was just so exciting, and I'm really happy we were able to get there today.

Go Mavs!

Labels: ,