Monday, November 30, 2009

Christmas on the Plains

Having lived in Colorado my whole life (up until about 15 months ago), I have always clung to the picture of a Rocky Mountain Christmas in my mind. I just couldn’t imagine the Christmas season without snow. I loved the feeling of waking up to a world dusted in glistening powder, the sun making each flake sparkle like diamonds under a bright blue sky. It seemed to me like the feeling of Christmas just couldn’t possibly be the same without the picturesque snow covered pines that created the perfect white Christmas.

This year, however, things are different. Oklahoma is a long way from the snow covered slopes of the Rocky’s, but it is filled with its own unique beauty. The last of the leaves are falling, and everything is starting to look quite dormant. The fields have all been harvested, the grasses are brown, and all around me nature is prepared for winter. It has a quiet and peaceful mood to it, especially on days when I wake up to a slight frost covering the ground, and fog that has settled into the trees and valleys. The hushed beauty of the plains is just as breath-taking as the mountains, if only we stop and take the time to notice it.

On Saturday Dwyatt and I went out to snap a few pictures for our Christmas card, in hopes of capturing some of the beauty of Oklahoma. We ventured out into a corn field about 2 miles away from our house. We parked the car next to a giant pumping unit (for an oil well…) and trekked all over the field with my camera, tripod, picnic blanket, two glasses, and a bottle of wine. We waited until right before sunset and the light was gorgeous! It was quite the adventure trying to direct and capture our photos all on our own. Thank goodness for my wireless remote!

After about 40 minutes of running through the field, sitting in the grass, laughing, snuggling, and tolerating the Oklahoma wind, we finally achieved our goal! We then turned the photo shoot into our own little date by sitting on our blanket and enjoying a glass of wine while the sun slipped over the horizon. It was a memorable experience, and we decided this is going to be one of our annual traditions.

Since I haven’t included a picture in the last few posts, here is one of my favorites from the day:

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Full of Thanks...and Turkey...

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!  This year was the first time I have spent Thanksgiving with friends instead of family.  Although I missed my family dearly, I really enjoyed an afternoon with friends whom I treasure.  We were all so proud that we could actually pull off a full Thanksgiving meal, complete with all our family favorites, without the presence of a parent...  Wow, I guess we really are grown up :)

I find myself thinking about what I am most thankful for this year, and really it all just boils down to being blessed.  I feel blessed in so many areas of my life: my family, my friends, my home, my job, and most importantly my husband.  Each one is a blessing that I am so very thankful for, and I know that they are all gifts from an awesome God. 

Tomorrow kicks off the beginning of the Christmas season, and I couldn't be more excited!!  We are hopefully going to do some online Black Friday shopping, and begin decorating :)  I will be sure to take some pictures... 

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Chasing a Dream

I’m writing again… 2 days in a row! What an accomplishment :) For those of you who read yesterday’s entry, I told you all I have some exciting news about a new opportunity. That’s what I want to announce today!

I have recently been asked to photograph my very first wedding!! The dream of Caitlyn.Marie.Photography becoming a wedding photography business is taking shape! A huge hug and many thanks go out to my trusting friend Krista and her fiancĂ© Jason. So how exactly did this happen? Let me tell you the story…

One day during my daily ritual of checking facebook, I realized I had a new message. I love messages, by the way, because they mean someone wanted to tell me something either too important or perhaps just too long to fit in one wall post. So, with a feeling of excitement I opened my mail box and found a message from Krista. We had not talked in awhile (other than a few random wall posts congratulating her on her engagement…), so I was thrilled to have a message from her. Imagine my shock when I opened the message and read:

 “I have shown Jason some of the pictures you have on here [Facebook]. We both agreed that your photos are really good, and really cool! I guess we were just wondering what the possibility would be of you wanting to travel to Lincoln to photograph our wedding?”

My jaw dropped, literally, and my heart was racing a million miles a minute. I sat there just staring at the screen for quite awhile with all sorts of thoughts and emotions flowing through me: 

* Oh my gosh!!! Is this really happening?
* This is a dream come true!
* Me? Really me? Are you sure you didn’t mix me up with someone else?
* Of course, absolutely, can you get married tomorrow? I can’t wait!
* Umm… am I really capable of doing this?
* I need to buy some more equipment! 

Once I finally pulled myself together, and was able to think it through, I replied to Krista a few days later. With several emails back and forth we have decided that I am indeed going to photograph their wedding! I am still nervous, but I am so very thankful for the opportunity. 

Krista and Jason, just let me say that it is friends like you who will have the largest impact on my success in this business. I appreciate you trusting such an important job to me so early on in my career. I will forever be thankful to both of you for believing in me. I can not wait for your wedding. It will be a beautiful day, filled with laughter and joy, but most importantly it will be the day that you are joined together by God. I can’t wait to be there and help you make those special moments turn into the memories of a lifetime.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

A New Leaf

Why is this so hard?

Perhaps it’s because I have so much to say, and don’t know where to start. My head is filled with dreams, visions, and plans for the future. I want to share them with you. I want to let go of all my fears, open up, and finally let everyone know the real me. I want to stop worrying about what others think of me or of my dreams and just go for it, no matter what!

This blog is going to become my avenue to do just that. I have been writing in this blog for a year now, and although I have made some fun entries, I still feel like I have been holding back. I don’t know what I’m afraid of exactly, but I just need to let go and be myself. This is not to say that I haven’t “been myself” over the last 12 months, I just think I need to write on a deeper level.

First off, that means I need to write more often. So far I have had spurts where I do ok for a week or two and then don’t write for two months… this needs to change. Secondly, I need to realize that writing a blog doesn’t mean I have to have a remarkable subject for each entry. I really just need to write about whatever I’m thinking and feeling. Beware! Strange stories about trips to the grocery store and running around my neighborhood may appear soon!

I want this blog to be somewhat of a digital diary. I want to be able to look back and read these entries in five years and see how far I’ve come. I want to use this blog to share all my hopes, dreams, fears, challenges, mishaps, successes, and adventures that life throws at me! So far it seems I have only shared events and successes… that’s not the whole story.

So why have I been holding back? Well, it’s probably because I’m actually a big chicken. I find it hard to open up sometimes, because I’m scared of what other people will think. Silly, huh?? I know I need to learn to get over that fear and believe me, I’m getting there! Writing this blog entry and “turning over the leaf” so to speak is part of my new commitment to just be myself… my confident & fabulous self!

As most of you know, one of my dreams is to become a professional photographer. Ready for the big dream?? Here it goes:

I told you I dream big… so now the question lies how do I get there from here? Well, that’s what this blog is going to be about. Tracking progress and experiences.
I want to be an internationally renowned wedding and portrait photographer. I want to capture love stories for couples stretching from Oklahoma to Singapore and beyond! I want to capture personalities and moments that turn into treasured memories. I want to be able to hold my own with the best in the industry and give back through hosting workshops all over the world! When people book me as their photographer I not only want to deliver incredible photos, but also an experience they’ll never forget. I want each client to become family by the end of the shoot, and I want those relationships to last. I want to do all of this while staying true to myself and always giving thanks to the Lord for my many blessings.

Honestly, right now I don’t have enough photo shoots to post to make this a full time photographer blog, so you all are just going to be getting lots of stories from my personal life and getting to know me :)  I am in the “portfolio building” stage, and so I will be spending a lot of time sharing my thoughts and experiences on building my baby business.

I am so excited to start this adventure, and now that I’ve spilled my heart out to you all I have a ton more to write about! I do have some exciting news for Caitlyn.Marie.Photography to share with you all… but that’s for another post. Stay tuned, and please share this blog with anyone you think might be interested in also joining along for the journey. I would love to hear all your comments along the way!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Friday on Thursday...

I love when Fridays come on Thursday!  Lucky for me this happens every two weeks.  I work what they call a 9/80 schedule which basically means I get to have every other Friday off.  So, I only have 50 minutes of work left for the week!

I am so excited that Blogger has recently made some updates to it's system and I can now post larger pictures without first routing them through Flickr.  Why is this so amazing you might ask?  Well, because Flickr is blocked at work and so I can never see any of my own pictures, or post any new ones while I'm here!!  So, since I'm super excited about this new feature, I have been looking for pictures I have on my work computer that I can post for you all.  Work pictures is basically all I've got.

Let me tell you about my job...  I am a project engineer for a new gas processing plant.  We are developing the Cana field (about 50 miles west of Oklahoma City) and we are now installing compressor stations, pipelines, and the processing plant to handle all of the gas.  I was actually in the field today bidding out some well connects to get our new wells connected to market! 

This picture is how the Cana plant site started out... wheat.  Lots of wheat.  We literally started from "grass roots".  Although I was initially disappointed in how much wheat we were cutting down for this plant, all my sadness quickly subsided when I realized just how much wheat we have here in Oklahoma!  It's crazy...

This next picture is of me on one of the giant CAT 3616 compressors that is being installed at our 1st compressor station.  I have a feeling we will be installing a lot of these in the near future...

Finally,  this is my latest picture of the Cana plant.  I was in charge of building the office, warehouse, and fence.  Not very hard core engineering I know, but I was still very  happy with how it turned out none-the-less.  I definitely learned a lot about being a project manager... 

Well, I hoped you enjoyed this little insight into my life as an engineer.  I hope to get some more pictures on here really soon! 

I have also been doing a lot of deep thinking lately and have some plans for this blog that I will write about in another entry.  Look forward to that... I'll try and get it done this weekend. 

Take care everyone!