Tuesday, October 16, 2012

TY & I need a change!

Thanks to everyone that responded on my photography post! It truly excites me to know that so many people I've never met in person would hire me out. One of my goals for the new year will be to take a leap of faith (or Hope...get it?!) and just start offering photography sessions. Since I've done a good handful of shoots, people will have some idea of what kind of work I do. So if they like it, they'll book a session..if they hate it, well.. they don't have to. 

And speaking of photography, I did a session with two mommies and their kiddos in our local pumpkin patch this weekend. I loved the way a few of the shots turned out and almost hated a few others. That's how I've been learning though. I wanted to share a few of the shots I loved.

I think it's safe to say the overall shoot was a success. The mommies were happy and I got some more practice in.

This coming weekend Darren and I are taking a day trip to the mountains with our friends Brandi and Tyler, who were married a little over a year ago. We're going to try and find some cool spots where the changing color of the leaves stand out to do some "rock the dress" style photos. I figured she would be the perfect candidate since they're newly married. And she is beautiful and tiny. Bitch.  Anyway, so that's the plan. I've never done anything remotely bridal at all..so let's hope I don't embarrass myself!


 After blogging pretty regularly for the past few months, I've found I really enjoy it and have slowly started blogging more and more. It's totally like an addiction! That being said, I've started to want to blog about other things aside from weight loss. That is still a main focus, but after testing the waters with a couple other subjects..I think I'll give it a go.

So..now I need to figure out a new name. The one I have right now was basically something I came up with after 10 minutes of brainstorming and I thought it was cute because it rhymed and weight loss was my original reason to start a blog. Now it irks me every time I come to my blog. It's so cheesy! But then again, I'm an overall pretty cheesy person...so whatever.

How did you choose a name for your blog?
Did something just come to you or did you have to sit and think about it?

Thursday, October 11, 2012


Can I even call it that? I in no way consider myself a photographer. Yet!

I'll start with a little background on my love for 'picture taking.' Ever I since I can remember,  I've been poppin' my coller I've been obsessed with it. When I was 13ish, I would set up different scenes and backdrops in my bedroom and take photos of my friends with a disposable camera. Oh man..I should find those. I would pose barbies and take photos of them. And I've always been drawn to beautiful photos. I've just never known exactly HOW to produce them. I thought if I had a camera...well..I could do it. Wrong..very wrong! When Mackenna was born, I would pose her and take photos of her with a regular old point and shoot Sony camera. I thought I was good then and that's a little embarrassing to think about. Here's a few pictures I did of her with that point and shoot camera. Don't critisize too much on these. I know they're horrible..it gets a little better, I promise!

I know...yikes! But the passion <-- I HATE that word has always been there. 

 So anyway, I guess my parents have known that, so they bought me a super nice Nikon camera last Christmas. Since then, I've been practicing and can even see a HUGE improvement just in the 10 months I've been doing it. Next are some of my most favorite shots.


 ** Please let me know what you think! And/or any photographers out there who have any tips they wanna offer, you can e-mail me at Jenabel_87@hotmail.com. If I were to start a business right now, I would most likely offer a 1-2 hour session with print release and a CD of the images. I know a CD isn't the BEST option, but for starting out, that's all I really know to do. Other photographers around my area who are also starting out do this and charge $50-$75. I really wanna start being even more serious about it and possibly making some money at it. I just don't wanna seem like a fool with a camera. So...would you hire me? I need to know!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Letter To Myself

With my birthday coming up, I thought it might be appropriate to do a letter to myself like several others have already done. Here it goes..


Dear high school me,

You will become less awkward as times goes on. You won't always be a bean pole and you will learn how to pluck your eyebrows. As far as that horrible name some people call you, brush it off. They're jealous and they won't even matter at all in your life ahead. You will get your first real boyfriend and you think you will marry him. You won't. GREAT decision! You will dump him eventually for the "cool" guy, who will break your heart. It's okay though, you learn a lot from it and eventually move on.

Don't quit dance. The boyfriends you have in highschool won't be your husband. So stick to what you love doing. And quit skipping school for gravy biscuits and cuddle time with your boyfriend! Making good grades will make your life a lot easier in the long run!

Stop..just stop going to parties and pretending to drink beer and then pretending to be drunk. And act overly silly and annoying. You're not respecting yourself at all and will later regret it.  It's okay to be the only one not drinking at a party. That's a good thing. And you'll have plenty of time to drink when you're legal.

Dear highschool graduate me,

FINISH Cosmetology school!You're good at it. Your parents work way too hard for you to waste all that money. Quit letting petty things influence BIG decisions. And if you do quit, at least finish your next ambition, which will be dental hygiene. That's an even better choice. And you won't always have the time or the fortune of your parents paying for your school to be able to do so.

Your first trip to a club will come soon. It's very stupid to drink Vodka and Gatorade in gas station Styrofoam cups. You won't fool the cops that way and your friend isn't going to hide the evidence just by shoving it under the seat. Go ahead and tell your parents. They will be pissed, but at least they'll have time to save the money (or make you work for it) to hire a lawyer and save your ass from a record and a stupid class with a bunch of real-life losers. Did I mention being nicer to your mom? She's your best friend. Be thankful she's as "mean" as she is.

Before you get your job at Hooters, realize there's a stereotype. And if you plan on working there a while, get used to the fact that it's all you'll be able to show on a resume. Most professionals don't (and won't) take Hooters seriously.

You will have a couple more boyfriends. The relationships will teach you more than you think. They might be a handful of jerks, but you'll appreciate your husband more when you find him.

Other than being able to support yourself, Hooters will have it's advantages. You will form some lasting friendships and one lasting relationship. You will meet your husband here and you won't expect it. He's not a club rat like he's trying to make it sound. He thinks you're cool so he's trying to impress you. Don't worry. Go ahead and go out with him.

The next few years will be the most fun. Have fun and enjoy this time. It's not cute to drink yourself to sickness though.

Your period will be late and you know why. Quit putting it off. You're already 5 weeks pregnant. It's okay though, because your boyfriend, Darren is the best guy you could ever imagine. He won't run. He is your best friend. Matter or fact, he'll be there every single step of the way, propose when your daughter is born, and work his ass off to support you both when she's here. You have found one in a million. Consider yourself lucky. As far as your parents, of course they will be mad at you again. Okay.."disappointed." You will understand that once your daughter is born.

All in all, you're doing a great job. You will be very happy with how your life unfolds.
You're a good girl. Just stick with that. No need to try and be anything you're not.


Only a few years older, but much wiser,


Saturday, September 15, 2012

Versatile Blogger Award

 So apparently "The Versatile Blogger Award" is going around via Fitness Unscripted. (Mama Laughlin's Fit Camp) <-- Have I mentioned how in love I am with this group? Anyway, the lovely Erin L. at http://shesabigstar.blogspot.com/ nominated me for the award from her! Whoo hoo! I feel so special. I never "win" anything! Thanks again Erin!!  To make absolute sure I do this correctly, I'm gunna copy and paste the "rules" from Erin's page so everyone else will know what to do.

According to Erin, the rules of receiving this 'award' are:
1. Nominate up to 15 fellow bloggers who are relatively new to blogging
2. Let the nominated bloggers know they have been nominated
3. Share 7 random facts about yourself
4. Thank the blogger who nominated you and link back to them in your post
5. Add the Versatile Blogger Award picture to your post

1. I am a total clean FREAK. By that, I don't mean my house isn't a MESS 75% of the time, but it's clean. I can not turn my inspection radar off when I go to other peoples' houses. I don't judge at all, but dirty sink faucets, dusty fan blades (and decorations), and un-mopped/un-vacuumed floors SCREAM at me. Eeek!

2. I have the LOUDEST yell ever! And I can't sing. If I could...I'd be GREAT. If my friends are in contests and it's judged on crowd applause, they know to invite me. For real.

3. I am still scared something will grab and pull me under my bed when I get up in the middle of the night. Also, I check my closets and showers before getting into bed in case a monster is hiding out in one.

4. I like artificial bacon bits better than the "real" bacon ones. It's the crunch.

5. I can straight up shake my ass like a ghetto girl in a rap video. (And talk like one!) And yes, I am as country as it gets.

6. Before having a child, seeing those dramatic birth stories on TV, where the mother is SCREAMING bloody murder like a freakin' maniac did not phase me. I knew it was fake and added for extra drama. WRONG! I was THAT LADY in the birthplace when I was in labor. I screamed I wanted to die, bit my husband, and just SCREAMED because it effin' hurt. And I told y'all about my loud yell right?! (I believe everyone's labor pains vary from tolerable to NOT tolerable..mine were NOT) And my epidural did not work. ...Nor did the anesthesia for my C-section. ANYWAY..

7.  I won best looking in my high school's senior awards. I still don't know how that happened. It was probably a cruel joke. Whatev!

And for my Versatile Blogger Award, I shall nominate... dun dun dun...

Lindsay at -http://onelastshotforlindsay.blogspot.com/
Julie at -http://justmejuliejulie.blogspot.com/
Kaylynn at - http://kaylynnsreality.blogspot.com/

Ready. Set. Go!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

A Vacation & a Pig Pick'n!

Holy crap.. I fell off the face of the Earth. Or so it would seem from the blogging world. Truth be told, I've actually been extra busy! Too busy to get in here and write about it anyways. I could write blog (I'm not a writer, nor do I aspire to be!) on my iPhone, but I hate doing it that way. Call me old fashioned.

So.. last time I updated, the family & I were about to go on our summer vacation to the beach. Weight-wise I got to 146 (See last post) before we went. My goal was 139, but oh well. I ended up braving it one day and semi-rocking my bikini. I say semi because I definitely didn't feel totally comfortable. Comfortable enough to post the picture on my actual FB though..so I consider it a small win. I also posted it on "Fit Camp" with the caption some like "Finally braving a bikini today!" Some ladies said some things like "Not really braving it.." and I think I know what they meant by it. Or at least I hope I do. I took it as a weird compliment. Weird meaning..they were saying I looked good, but at the same time I wasn't being brave, there was no need to have to be brave since I was already skinny. Well.. I do not feel skinny. Nor do I think I look skinny...yet. I've read in several other blogs the term "Skinny-fat." That's me right now, in my opinion. Yes, Im 25ish lbs lighter, my face is smaller, & my legs are smaller. But, I still have back boobs, a muffin top, a beer gut, and saggy boobs that could be on a 50 year old woman's body. (FACT- my actual 51 year old mom's boobs look better than mine and they are not fake!...UGH!) I know you can't really tell from the picture. That's WHY I chose that top. I didn't wanna scare everyone off of the beach!

The whole week at the beach, we pretty much ate whatever. Although, we did have a gym in our resort, I did not use it. I did, however, wonder in to find a scale. Hopped on and was pleasently surprised. I was only up to 149. Don't remember the exact day, but it was near the end of the week. And when I say we ate whatever...I mean BAD. Pizza the first night, burgers, frozen Lasagna, chips & various dips, cake, icecream etc. It rained almost the entire week. Which did indeed suck HUGE balls. Out of the 7 days we were there we only spent 2 whole days on the beach. But all in all...it was relaxing after you consider we did have our 2 year old so it was lot of work too since she's never really been away from home. (Bedtime was HELL. And it didn't help that idiots kept shooting fireworks- oh about 100 yards from our balcony at midnight EACH night. ....assholes. Who actually shoots fireworks and has FUN at the beach?!... kidding. But obviously, that was annoying.)Here's some of my favorite photos from our trip!

 She made her first Build-a-Bear on one of our many rainy days. You know that thing was $50?!

 These 2 are some of the only REAL photos I got to take. The bottom is Mackenna and her                 Pawpaw.                                                                                

 The 4 generations. From left to right - Mackenna, me, Mom (Mawmaw), Grandbob. (Her name is Bobbie Faye and she didn't wanna be called Grandmaw, Granny, Nana, etc. when I was born..so Grandbob it has been ever since!) & bottom is Mackenna, Pawpaw, & Daddy's sand-ship creation.

All in all...it was fun! Then this past weekend my family hosted their anual pig-pickin' at our lake cabin. (Pig-pickin' is a BBQ for all of you non-southerners!) They've done this anual BBQ for quite a few years now and I definitely look forward to it each year. It's normally in the fall and we do bonfires & the rest of that redneck goodness, but the past few years the BBQ has taken on the title for whatever celebration is due and thus takes on the time of year suitable. This weekend it was to celebrate my stepdad's graduation. I think I mentioned previously, he went to college part time for 10 FREAKIN' YEARS while working to support my mom and myself! So yes...he deserved the party this year. So of course I ate BBQ like crazy & drank too many beers. OH! One good thing.. I have cut way down on the smoking. I only smoked ONE cigarette last night while watching Bachelor Pad & drinking 4 beers. I usually have 1 cigarette PER beer. That's a WIN!

So there's the 2 main things that's gone on lately. My next blog will be about something I've really been thinking a lot about. And it's Mackenna's health. I've been realizing how my health and things I do really affect her. It's kinda scary!

Hope everyone has a fantabulous week! =)

Friday, July 27, 2012

My Weight-loss Story

So after many ways of trying to lose weight (I will get to all of them) I've decided to blog about it. I've seen quite a few others doing it & think it's probably a good way to hold myself accountable. Maybe I can even inspire someone to lose the weight they've been wanting to just as I've found a lot of inspiration from other blogs. Okay..here we go. I'll start by telling y'all how SKINNY I always used to be. I believe in the picture below I was 19-20 and weighed around 120 lbs. This is how I had always been up to this point. This picture, I believe was taken in 2007 and this was one of mine and my husband's first dates. I've looked back at this very picture and thought "I will be that skinny again!" too many times to count. Hell, I've even posted this picture on my facebook page saying that to my "friends" who probably could care less. SAD!

When I turned 21, it was a sad day for my weight. I was one of the 2349238539485 females who I'm sure that's happened to. Not right away though. At first, I drank the girly drinks. Liquor only. No beer, whatsoever. Hubby on the other hand was a different story. So somehow our "date-nights" changed into us sitting on the tailgate of his truck drinking beer, eating pork rines, and slim jims. I know...quite the romantic, wasn't he? Here's me and him (kissing again...sorry) on my 21st birthday, and then some of various "drinking" nights.

So here begins the start of some serious weight gain. Since I could drink in public now (and had moved into an apartment with my best friend), Darren and I would ALWAYS go somewhere and "party" in the evenings. Usually wherever had $1 draft beer. It's what all of our friends did and was a good time. Unfortunately with those $1 beers came fried food. Fried pickles, chicken tenders, french fries, and lots of ranch were among my favorites. Yes, we live in the south if you haven't figured that one out by now. And usually we would even go to "Cook-out" after whatever bar we were hanging out in that night. *Cook-out is a fast food place basically serving what you would expect by the name. Burgers, hotdogs, onion rings, corndogs, milkshakes...all that stuff* Embarrassing confession- Two of our favorite things to do were go to "Cook-out" and watch Food Network (on my bed) as we devoured our fried goodness and/or go to the grocery store and get a "Junkfood feast"and do the same. (Food Network/bed) So as you could expect, I probably gained 15-20 lbs in a couple years of doing this.

All of this time I was working at a quaint little restaurant called Hooters.  I had worked there for oh I don't know 2-3 years and up until this point weight was never an issue. I even did many swimsuit contests and did fairly well in them. (They were all rigged anyways!) The reason I'm even mentioned working at Hooters to you all is because this is where I really started to realize I was becoming a fatty. Of course, I noticed when I started to have to wear a "small" tank top instead of "extra-small", but the kicker was when I was put on the "30-day plan." (VERY different than the 30 day Shred!) If I didn't lose weight (no given amount), I would essentially be fired when my 30 days were up. It was up to me how and what I was gunna do to lose the weight. I know I know, but it sounds worse than it was. I signed a contract (basically) when I was hired to keep the appearance I was hired with. It still sucked and I'd never allow my daughter to work there now, but that's a whole different story. *Short version- Even though most of the girls who work at Hooters aren't whores, that stereotype will remain forever (I heard all you people reading mumble "SLUT!" when I mentioned Hooters) and I'd rather her just not have to deal with that....and all of the other stupid crap I know I dealt with there.* ANYWAY, I did try to lose weight...ate right, worked out, all of the good stuff. In the end, I ended up getting another waitressing job at a local Tavern and finally quitting Hooters altogether. At this point, I remember buying shorts for my new job and buying size 9's. Up until now I had been in a size 3. Here's a way old Hooters picture for laughs..

Getting to a bigger accomplice of my weight gain..3 months into working at Hickory Tavern, I became pregnant with my daughter. Yes, unplanned. Yes, before marriage. ALERT THE PRESS! Anyway.. I ate pretty much whatever I wanted during that 9/10 months. Thank goodness one thing I craved were steamed vegetables. I really didn't gain all that much weight either..only 30 lbs. Here's me a week I believe before giving birth to my sweet baby girl.

Yes I look huge. But, I was all (mostly) belly. And my sweet Mackenna weighed 9 lbs 3 oz, so she had to have some room in there, dangit! 

This next part really has nothing to do with weight loss (besides the 9 lbs 3 oz. that were just cut out of me.), It's just too important in my life not to share. And sweet too....y'all are gunna just love it. When Mackenna was born, Darren made a onesie for her. When I was trying to decide on what "first outfit" we should put on her..Darren said well.."What about this?" and it just so happens on that onesie were the words "Will you marry my daddy?" Of course I said yes..(after I figured out what was going on...I was still loopy from being asleep in surgery.)

She was born July 10th and the next May, in 2011,  Darren and I were married. During the time in between, I pretty much sat on my butt at home with a newborn. I looked forward to her nap times, because that was when I'd again watch Food Network and stuff my face with whatever junk I had in my house. My overall self confidence suffered BIG TIME. There were days I didn't even try to look somewhat presentable. I'd be lying if I said there were no days I didn't at least brush my hair. Not to mention, since I wasn't pregnant my old love, BEER showed up again in my life.  My "OMG!" moment happened when I was bridal gown shopping. Pretty much every dress I tried on made me look HUGE and after only one store and 5 or 6 dresses I simply picked the one I looked the least fat in. Janurary of 2011, I began trying to lose weight. I went to a doctor and was put on a low carb diet. Well..I lost 14 lbs in 2 weeks and then gained about 10 back, to make a long story short. On my wedding day, I actually cried because of how ugly I thought I looked. It was a combination of my weight, my hair, everything. Here's a few pictures..

After we were married I pretty much went a whole year eating whatever I wanted and not caring. I was too happy to worry about it. I married my best friend and had the most beautiful baby I could ask for. I realized I HAD to again worry with my weight when I reached 175 lbs. That's what I weighed when I GAVE BIRTH, y'all! And this time, a 9 lb baby couldn't be used as an excuse. Here's some family pictures we had taken which I never (just like my wedding pictures) even really printed because of how huge I think/thought I looked!

In January of 2012, I joined Weight Watchers. I would recommend Weight Watchers to anyone wanting to lose serious weight and not knowing which way to go about it. I lost 25ish pounds in the few months I went. I had a few months where I didn't try to lose, but didn't gain either. I finally found my motivation again in "Mama Laughlin's" blog.Now I'm doing it on my own. With the help of "My Fitness Pal", counting calories, working out, and basically changing everything my family and I eat, I plan to be 130 lbs before the end of the year. I'm currently a little less (Hopefully) than 150 pounds. I'm going to weigh Wednesday. My confidence has returned and that in itself has made my life (and my family's life) better.  I actually want to DO things now! I even take the occasional self-absorbed self-portrait again. But in my eyes, I deserve the right to do so! ;) Here's my most current photos. Still a ways to go but darn PROUD of how far I've come so far! Whoo hoo!!