Sunday, May 31, 2009

Lesson Learned




I had the privilege of doing a family photo shoot for a family of 5 yesterday. They saw the add that I posted on Craigslist for free outdoor photography sessions (so I can build a portfolio) and they took a chance on me. I picked the site because I had wanted to take pictures there for quite some time because it offered so many different style settings. The area is a tall grassy lot with big trees, railroad tracks off to the side and a neat brick wall around the corner for some vintage style pictures. I took some time last week to practice on the areas that I would take pictures to make sure I had a good feel for the lighting and the best places to pose the family. I felt much more sure of myself after scoping the area out and so I set a time with the family for this past Saturday at 5PM. Joey and I got there early so I could set up and make sure I knew what I was doing. Well, isn't always like life to throw a wrench, a curve ball, or a BOMB in your nicely organized plan! The beautiful tall grasses that I was looking forward to taking pictures in were being mowed upon our arrival..literally mowed from 2 feet tall to 1 inch tall right before my eyes. No more cute yellow flowers, no more romantic breeze to billow through the grass, no more nuthin'! I sat that and watched the tractor as it plowed down my field of dreams and began to sweat and feel a little dry mouthed. Maybe only a photographer could relate to the situation that I found myself in but, let me just say that it basically makes things extremely difficult at the very last second when your setting has been destroyed. Thank God for a wonderful, encouraging, supportive husband! Joey was such a champ and he helped me to make the most of what I had been given. He posed for me in all of the spots again so I could retest the lighting and the backdrop now that the grass was gone. He spoke positive words into my heart and turned my attitude right side up again. We prayed together before the family arrived and God truly did help me to make the most of things after that and I felt his comforting presence all around me. Thank you Jesus! It was a really good lesson though for me. We can do all we can to try and make things smoother for ourselves in life and we can think that we will know how things will pan out but, they seldom ever play out like we hope. Even in the roughest of seasons when the curve balls really mess up our plans, it is so good to seek the Lord and his peace and his will! He will always pull you through so have faith! I'll share a couple pictures from the family shoot for fun but, if you want to see more of the pictures in the future...tune in to my photography blog at http://caseymartinezphotography.blogspot.com. This family is absolutely adorable. The mom is 8 months pregnant and is as beautiful as ever! It was a real treat to take pictures for them! Joey LOVES his new truck and that is about the only update there:). We sold the old truck on Saturday and we both feel so relieved to have that out of the way. That's all for now!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

What We've Been Up To

Our first time playing Corn Hole at a Memorial Day BBQ with friends. Joey LOVED it!
I would explain the game but it would take too long..check it out online!
These two are on opposite teams with two other people 20 feet away from them
TA-DA!! The New 4 door 4X4 truck has finally arrived after a year long wait by Joey
WE drove over 9 hours to pick this sucker up in Virginia. Long day on Saturday!!
The old faithful Beast. We are hoping to sell it to someone tomorrow Lord willin'.
On Sunday we painted for about 12 hours. I've decided to paint over the gold little by little as the color is just not me and it never was what I expected to begin with. Here we have just done a coat of primer which took 5 hours. Next step was slopping on a soft beige. I don't have pictures of that yet but they will come eventually! I am much happier with the new color:). So yah, long, busy, tiring weekend to say the least but, we got TONS accomplished!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Last of the DR

I get a kick out of this picture of Joey walking under this sign
It may not look amazing but, this pasta bowl was DA BOMB! And we watched a fight break out 10 feet in front of us....(below)
while we ate on this super crowded holiday beach. Locals kids got in a fight with knives...bad news. The police came out and arrested a few of the tough guys. It was pretty intense!
Joey waiting for our American Express card to clear for the tour...it never cleared...bummer.
Me making the most of a boring stop in Santa Domingo:) lol.
The inside of our first hotel room. The second was more or less the same.
Breakfast on the beach as usual. I did love our mornings in the Dominican. They played worship music softly in the background (in spanish), the waiters were absolutely amazing and very fun to chat with. The food was great too!

So my friends, this concludes our Dominican pictures/adventures. It already feels like this trip was eons ago. How sad is that. Time just flies by way too fast. All I can do is take it one day at a time and savor all that I can, hence the title of the blog. I love the bible verse from Matthew 6:34 "Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." Ain't that the truth! I look forward to another vacation hopefully next year although not nearly as elaborate as the DR trip was. I realized after this vacation how rarely Joey and I have traveled alone together over the past 5 years and that is going to change...no, really, it is:)! haha...we shall see:).

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Hodge Podge Again

Joey and I sitting at the indoor ice cream window. Ice cream was soooo expensive!!

Joey and I enjoying lobster in papi sauce for dinner at "La Casita" Great food, lovely beach view!
I have always wanted to write out our love in the sand. Check:)
One of the many breath taking sunsets in the Dominican Republic
Joey snorkeling in the ocean by our hotel. He saw some neat fishies.
Me chilling on one of the pretty outdoor beds.
The only wildlife Joey got to see. Bummer for him.
There were hundreds of these kite surfers out one day..mostly all kids too!
Our complimentary breakfast at the resort with a gorgeous view of the beach!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Toothpaste - The Miracle Paste??

Okay, I tried to find a better picture of toothpaste online but, they were all kinda disappointing so my apologies on this boring picture. Anyways, I can scarcely contain my enthusiasm here! I have always heard that toothpaste can be a great acne treatment but, I never really experimented with that theory because I have not had many break outs in my life...until coming back from the Dominican sweat country. I don't know what happened to me; maybe it was the food or the constant sweat drenched face that I lived with...or maybe it was the pillows, but I broke out bad, worse than I have ever experienced before in my life and it depressed me big time upon coming home. I dont' like trying weird stuff on my skin because I have super sensitive skin so I was just ignoring the break out and washing it with a light cleanser once a day and it just got worse and worse. I couldn't take it anymore and one night out of desperation I rinsed my face with water, dried it off and dabbed a thick layer of toothpaste on each individual break out. I let it sit on my skin for 30 minutes. It burns, but personally I like it! I rinsed it off after that and seriously, no freaking joke, the tight, red pimples deflated completely and began healing the next morning. I have since done it one more time and have had the same exact result!! It's sooooo amazing I just had to share. Call me weird if you want, but don't knock it until you try it. Let me know how it works for you. :-)

Thursday, May 21, 2009

A Wedding



We attended a wedding this past weekend for some friends who are in our bible study group, Miriam and Jeremiah. They are so cute together and it has been so fun to be a part of their relationship pretty much from the beginning. Their wedding was beautiful! They had the ceremony at a hotel in a huge white outdoor tent with chandeliers and sweeping toile hanging from the ceiling. We danced from around 8 until around 12 at night. We had a blast to say the least. Joey and I love dancing and lemme tell yah, I'm so glad we share that common interest!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Random Dominican Pictures

This was the entrance from the beach up to our resort. CUTE.
This little girl's name is Evelyn and she was at our resort. She liked my long hair:) CUTE.
This young man's name is Joey. He looks grumpy here but, I just caught him looking serious.
Joey chillin' in the resort lobby while we wait to be picked up for a tour
This is a frumpy picture of me on our last day at the Velero. Nice Resort.
This is us looking for bowls, cups and spoons and cereal so we could eat breakfast in bed
This is JOey walking down the main tourist road in Cabarete. It is a very, very busy road.
This is the only picture I was able to capture of the start of our 27 waterfalls hike..Beautiful!
So, I am down the the last of the DR pictures (today and tomorrow) and these ones don't really have any rhyme or reason so I am going to throw em' all together. Overall Joey and I give the Dominican a 7 out of 10. It wasn't amazing but, it was by no means awful, it was alright. The rapids and the waterfalls were beautiful and I could have done those two things and been happy! The mountains of the DR are absolutely gorgeous, the cities are extremely busy and crowded which we didn't care for. Some people like that, some people don't. We enjoyed getting the feel of a different cultures, traditions, food and language. My spanish got much better even in the 9 short days that we were there. Joey and I don't feel that it would be necessary to vacation in the DR again as we have seen much of what it has to offer and we like to go to new places each time we travel. The highlight of the trip for both Joey and myself was simply being able to spend some uninterrupted quality time together. We had no cell phone calls, no work e-mails, no errands to run, no little dogs demanding our attention and no house to clean. We just relaxed together, talked, ate good food, listened to the ocean crash against the shore just outside our window and soaked up the peace and quiet. It was good for our marriage and good for our souls, so for that, I am truly grateful to the Lord. That alone made it all worth it!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Santa Domingo - DR Capital City

Love this picture of us in front of Diego Columbus' house
Joey hanging out on Diego's balcony. The view was lovely.


Sitting at a cafe with Diego's house in the background. I felt like I was in Greece or something.
Leaning on a cannon near the fort in Santa Domingo
I don't know why but I just like this picture. This was by the gift shop we stopped at
A very, very old cathedral constructed in the early 1500's!
Our day started out with the worlds worst and smallest cup of coffee...not a good sign!

Santa Domingo is the largest city in the Dominican Republic and it is also the capital. As a result it is extremely crowded..ummm, imagine Los Angeles on Steroids and that pretty much sums up Santa Domingo, at least according to mine and Joey's experience. There is a lot of history in SD though because Christopher Columbus's son, Diego, resided there. Joey and I booked the tour thinking we would get a good dose of history and that we would get to see lots of neat things...it didn't go down quite like that. We got up at 4 AM in the morning, were picked up at 5 AM and then proceeded to pick other people up for an hour and drive another 5 hours (6 hours total) just to get to Santa Domingo. It was a grueling ride in that bus lemme tell yah. Then when we got to SD, we only saw a couple historical things, ate lunch (that wasn't included in the tour even though our brochure said it was), visited a cave and headed home for the 6 hour ride back. Ummmmm, if you go to the DR, do not waste your money on this tour. Drive yourself or have a taxi take you and do your own tour. The one good thing that came from that trip is that we got to visit Diego Columbus' house. That was neat. Joey and I were so exhausted when we got back and that was the night that Joey started feeling really sick so we canceled our tour for the following day to recover:). Live and learn right:)

A little history blurb on Santa Domingo:
It was founded in August 1496 by Columbus' brother Bartolome, who moved the temporary capital from Hispaniola's northwest coast. Christopher Columbus set up it's first settlement, Navidad after discovering the island in December 1492. Columbus later established a community he called Isabela in the northwest, which Bartolome later moved to present-day Santo Domingo

Friday, May 15, 2009

This was supposed to be all couples pics..



But it turns out that I am not impressed with the angles my tripod offered us. I got annoyed very quickly that hot, muggy day in the Dominican Republic, so what was supposed to be lots of great couples shots, turned into solo shots. I guess better something than nothing I suppose.



Joey was great at taking pictures. I really think he and I would make a great husband and wife photography team! Maybe someday I guess:).

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