Image by Laura Ketteman

Image by Laura Ketteman

Thursday, June 23, 2011


It has been brought to my attention that my sweet Uncle Bill has wondered what his 34 (almost 35) year old niece looks like, without "all that makeup on her face."  So, this is for you, Uncle Bill.


And I think it's safe to say that we can ALL agree that Laura is a little more public-friendly when you can actually SEE her eyes!  :)  Thank goodness for makeup!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Playing With Pics....

KS1 took this photo of my wonderful husband and me yesterday, on Father's Day.  I thought we'd have a little fun with it today.  :)

This is the original photo (SOOC):

First, some cropping.  Shadow lightening.  Add some contrast. 
Something MUST be done with the garden hose in the background.  Yuck.

OK, garden hose removed:

I've really tried to decrease my use of vignettes.  I tend to go overboard sometimes. 
But I think the dark edges will be nice on this photo:

Last, but not least, a little color and texture effect.  Why not? (I can never leave well enough alone.)  While we're at it, a little more contrast. 
Voila.  :)

Saturday, June 18, 2011

We've Come A Long Way, Baby! :)

I suppose I probably bore some of you with my "health-related" posts.  Well, no one is MAKING you come back and read more!  :)

I was thinking the other day, that it has been just about a year since I really started actively making changes in my lifestyle to become healthier. 

Technically, it was a couple of years ago when the changes FIRST began.  You know the saying... "The first step to recovery is admitting that you have a problem."  Well, the realization hit me in '09.  Baby steps.  I've told a little bit of that story before.  What started it all...

But last year, in August '10, I made the switch from baby steps, to a FOR REAL, TRUE BLUE endeavor to get healthy.

Yes, I wanted to lose some weight.  BUT... more importantly, I wanted to really change the course for my family.  I wanted to be a healthy mom for my boys.  I wanted to set a better example of how important it is to take care of yourself!  Excersize more!  Eat what's good for you!  Sounds easy enough, right?  Yeah, not really.  It meant undoing a LOT of unhealthy habits.  It meant getting educated, working hard, and paying close attention to things I'd never thought about before.

I've learned SO much.  As I said, I'm sure there are those who get tired of hearing it, I'm sure.  It has become a bit of a passion for me, honestly.

How much has changed in the last year???

Well, here we are...

Then and now. 

KS2 took both pics.  We tried to recreate it as closely as we could... from the location to the colors of clothing.  The first was for my "twi-mom" post a year ago (BTW, who's excited about Breaking Dawn, Part 1 coming out this November???  I AM!!!)  :)  Anyway... now this snapshot makes a pretty good "before" pic, although I've decided there's no such thing as a final "after."  The more you learn about this kind of thing, the more you want to strive toward healthier goals.  There is SO much more to it, than just losing weight...

But in case you're wondering, that's a difference of 35 pounds.  :)

Fortunately for me, I never had to feel like I was alone in my efforts.  I've also written a bit of my husband's journey in the past.  He is quite an inspiration, and a HUGE encouragement.  It took a long time for him to finally convince me that it was all well worth the effort.  I can be a little stubborn sometimes.  Good thing I married someone who is patient and supportive. 

So, there you have it.... a little more about me.  :)  Here's to healthy living!  :)

Friday, June 17, 2011


Okay, I know it looks gross.  And I'll admit, this one was NOT my best work.  :)  But I have become QUITE the fan of these creations in the last couple of weeks! 

A friend of mine (who is probably one of the healthiest people I know) reminded me that a simple smoothie-drink can be a GREAT way to give your day a healthy boost!

Here's what I've discovered:

1.  You can disguise spinach REALLY well... other than the fact that it's green.  The color is kind of a dead giveaway... but the flavor is subtle!  When you pair it with berries, you'll never know it's in there.  That's my kind of veggie!  Hehee!

2.  ADD ICE!  It makes the drink well worth drinking when it's nice and cold.

3.  PROTEIN is a must!  I used to try to drink those protein powders in plain, ol' milk (soy, almond, dairy, whatever).  Never again!  This is a MUCH more delightful way to enjoy them!

4.  Experiment!  You might find a blend that you REALLY like.  Then again, you might find yourself chugging it down out of necessity, just because you feel guilty for pouring it down the drain.

5.  Use yogurt.  It definitely adds to the creaminess.

6.  My best BASIC start to every smoothie:  a cup of almond milk, 1/4 cup of organic, plain yogurt.  1/2 cup of ice.  1 serving of protein powder (right now, I'm using Aria vanilla OR Juice Plus dutch cocoa).  Then, throw in whatever healthy ingredient you desire.  Peanut butter.  Berries.  Veggies.  Voila!  ENJOY!  :)

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Summer Break.

We are still trying to keep a loose schedule around here for my little family.  I don't have us going by anything rigid or strict, but we're keeping a good balance of at-home days (to relax and/or do chores) and play days... which may include an outting for just the boys and myself, OR a visit to see family or friends, etc.  It's working well, so far!

Yesterday, we enjoyed an afternoon at the park.  The boys brought their skateboard/scooters... and sunscreen, mind you.  :)  They played, while I read.  It was quite pleasant.  The sun wasn't quite as hot as it has been, and there was a nice breeze.  We followed up our play with a treat at the local Mobile station.  It's an exciting day around here, when the Cardinals score 6 the previous night/day.  $.25 drink day at Mobile!  YAY!  :)  My boys are obsessed with the syrupy, sticky, artificially colored beverages from that place.  KS3 loves to mix some very interesting "slushie" combinations into his cup.  I won't lie... I'm not disappointed when the Cards only make 5.  :)

Here are a few snapshots from our day:

Picnic at the park.

KS3 made his own "double stuff" out of his "joe-joe."  Of course, he did!

A peek-a-boo strand of red hair from his bike helmet.  Too funny.  :)

KS3 named these icecubes after himself and his brothers. 
He sat on that pavement for a good half hour, playing with icecubes.  Silly boy.

LOVE the Kindle!!!
(....Matt G., if you ever happen to drop by here.... Do you see what that is??? 
Yes, that would be Chapter 10!  You may congratulate me.)

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

A bit of SUMMER!

School is out.  The weather is UNPREDICTABLE!  We are making the best of the warm, rainy days.  :)  Here are just a few snapshots of our life this week...

Always make time a for a summer treat!!!!

Always make time to enjoy the simple things! 
(WHY do little boys love to walk along a curb???)

Always make time for something special!
(Courtesy of my thoughtful brother and sister-in-law, KS1 and I were able to enjoy the Hillsong concert last night.  We had a great time!  I love mommy/son dates.  :)

Monday, June 13, 2011

More Maternity....

You know what happens when you have a family member into photography???  You get GREAT deals on photo sessions... sprinkled with an extra dose of love... BUT you have to be patient.  :)  My sweet brother and his gorgeous wife have been waiting since last month for me to finish their maternity session.  They've not uttered an impatient peep.  Well, today, I finished it up for them, so I thought I'd add a few more from our afternoon together.

To know them is to love them.... This little collection speaks volumes.  My brother decided to help his dear wife climb up into a tree to "capture a moment."  UP they went into the tree... STRIKE A POSE!... and down they came from the tree.  You KNOW I couldn't miss taking pics of the journey!  :) 

P.S.  Have I mentioned how I can't wait to meet my new nephew???  :)

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Mom's "green thumb."

My mom planted these a couple of years ago.  She can't get ANYTHING to live (well, in plant life, anyway... she managed to keep her kids healthy and well!)... but these things keep coming back, year after year, no matter what.  They must be hearty.  I'll give them that!  :)  Love ya, Mom!  :)

Tuesday, June 7, 2011


My love for pictures... I come by it honestly.  This is a wall in my parents' bedroom.  A wall full of memories of their family.  Each of their children, from newborn to highschool senior.  Her parents.  His parents.  Their grandbabies. 

Nope, you can never have too many pictures.

Monday, June 6, 2011


I was given the privilege of spending the morning with this sweet family and their youngest son, who has just graduated from highschool.  His dad serves as one of the pastors at my church, so I've known of their family for several years.  This was the first opportunity I'd had to spend some quality time with them, and it was truly a pleasure.  I love to see parents of boys (young men) who have managed to "do it right."  It's always great to have more examples to follow!

Last but not least, I stole a quick moment with the proud parents.  :)  Sweet, sweet family!

Thursday, June 2, 2011


This is my beautiful sister, a couple of weeks ago.  I've ALWAYS envied this HAIR!  It's funny... she is a licensed stylist, and one of the FEW I know who keeps her hair simple and healthy.  Occasionally, I've known her to throw a couple of random highlights into those blonde locks, but otherwise... it is what it is... just the way God gave it to her.  :)

She went to get it "trimmed" the other day, and her friend got a little scissors-happy.  No worries.  Her hair grows at the speed of lightning... BUT, for my entertainment... I HAD to snap a couple of pictures, because it's the first time EVER that our hair has been similar in length...  Mine is often shorter.  Hers is typically longer.  So, this was a Kodak moment, indeed (Actually, it's a Canon moment, but that's not how the commercial went...)  :)

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

SO many things to blog about!...

It's the end of the school year.

There are always all sorts of happenings and comings and goings before the summer break arrives.  I'm not complaining.  I'd rather be busy than bored!

I thought I'd do just a little catching up for anyone who is interested.  Today, I'll add some pics from my sister in law's baby shower that we had a couple of weeks ago.  We had a spectacular time.  :)  If you're my "friend" on FB, then I'm sure you've seen them... but if you're NOT... ENJOY!  :)

My photo
ilLaurastrations Photography began in Spring of 2009.