Sunday, December 21, 2008

nutcracker 2008

So we are drawing to the close of another Nutcracker season here with the Wise 5.  For the first time ever all of the offspring were in the production.  Little man asked the Artistic Director if he could audition too.  He figured he would have to be there anyway.  She wound up casting him as the rabbit in the battle scene!  A pretty big part for a pretty little boy.  Here's the notes for the above picture.  The mowhawked rabbit is being lifted by the mouse king.  Abby was a Mouse Queen attendant (in this particular cast) in the green shirt on the right.  Miss Mo is a cadet with the sweat pants and rifle in the back.  This was the only pic I had of he three of them together!

As crazy as the holidays get, we really do feel privileged to be a part of this production year after year.  I was granted permission to take photos during performances.  The only camera granted permission.  I will have to share once editing is done!  Hope you all have a great holiday!

Friday, December 12, 2008

one of my favorite subjects

My sweet nephew Charlie that is.  I figure I am about due for another post.  Been about a month.  How did I get to be that kind of blogger?  I would love to be able to sew and blog a bit over the holidays.  Keep your finger crossed for me will ya?  The gallery show was fab.  I hope to get a few of those shots up on flickr soon.  There was wine, cheese, chocolate, and art.  Oh and did I mention the live music?  We had a great time.  I felt a bit out of my league.  The other three artists were art and photography professors at the University of Kansas!  And I am a mom from Topeka.  Geeeez.  

So does everyone have all of their Christmas shopping done?  If you do...I hate you.  I have never felt so random and unorganized during Christmas before!  And on that note I will sign off before the rambling starts.  Hope to write again sooner rather than later.

Monday, November 10, 2008

topeka's got it good (food at least)

So when I decided to make photography my living and not just a hobby I thought it would be a slow increase at first.  I was SO wrong.  I have been crazy busy!  I have a strong initial client base, and my phone has been ringing off the hook with referrals!  And because that might not make me crazy enough, I was chosen as a featured artist in December at a local gallery!  Can you believe it?  Part of me is excited about the new adventure we are on, and part of me misses the rhythm of my life just a few months ago.  Time to find a new rhythm I suppose.

The pictures are from our favorite restaurant here in town.  It called the RowHouse.  A tiny place tucked into a rowhouse by the capitol.  One menu.  Many wines.  Unbelievable food.  Best service I have ever had.  In Topeka.  Man I'm in love.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

that time

I have been watching all of you venture out (yes I have been reading even if I don't comment or write) to get your fall pumpkins and gourds and such.  But first it was too hot here.  You can't get pumpkins in the heat.  Right?  Then the heavens opened up to rain for DAYS!!!  But all of the stars lined up yesterday (including my hubby being home).  The wind had a chill and a bite.  Jackets were needed.  The sky was a crisp and clear blue without haze in sight.  Ahhhh.  Perfect pumpkin weather.

We have brought the kids to the same pumpkin patch for the past 11 years.  When my first was just a babe we came here.  Parker was only a few weeks old on his first trip.  The is history here and a sense of the changing seasons of our lives.

Only in the past few years would they attempt this jump.  You see, my gals really are pretty wimpy.  Parker, not so much.  Note Morgan plugging her nose like she does when she jumps off of the diving board!

And a ballerina jump from Abby.  Anyone surprised?

Hope you all are enjoying these first real days of autumn!

Friday, October 03, 2008

a lovely day to fly

I was truly blessed today by a dear friend who took me flying.  He called to see if I wanted to go to southern Kansas.  I said YES of course.  We made the same trip a few weeks ago and I forgot my camera.  I wouldn't make the same mistake twice.  (more pics on flickr by the way).  Ever since I was little I have loved to fly.  The feeling of soaring above it all.  Free.  No phones.  No email.  Just sky.  It helps that Beaumont Kansas doesn't have a cell tower!  Or a paved landing strip.  You land on a grass strip and taxi down a public street to a quaint little hotel and restaurant.  A little town stopped in time.  

Just south of this small town is a HUGE wind farm.  I didn't get as  clear of a shot as I wanted (below) because the haze was a bit of a problem.  If you have never seen one of these in person I highly suggest it.  Its like leaving a town caught in the past and then suddenly flying over the future.  It makes me happy to Kansas on the forefront of the surge towards energy independence!  They look so clean and elegant against the green of the earth and the blue of the sky.  I hope you all had a good week, or at least as relaxing of an end!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

life as normal

Life around here is back to normal.  Normal being a very VERY relative term.  Thank you all so very much for your kind words for my friend.  She did pass away on September 11 after a long and courageous fight.  Your prayers and thoughts were definitely felt around here.  Please continue to keep her husband and two small children in your thoughts as they transition into a new and scary life without mom and wife.  

And because life isn't crazy enough around here, we decided to get a puppy.  Meet Sadie.  She is about the sweetest thing I have ever seen.  She's a Yorkie Maltese mix (a Morkie).  I wanted to name her Mindy.  The kids didn't get it.  Sigh.  

Trying to catch back up with my life and yours.  What's new out there?

Sunday, August 31, 2008

the big ::c::

(A drawing is coming, promise)

I haven't felt much like blogging lately. I wish I could say that I have been too busy (i have) or that I really didn't miss you (i did).  But I have had a cloud around me lately.  A very dear friend of mine was diagnosed one year ago with stage four ovarian cancer.  She was admitted into a hospice program a few weeks ago.  I wish you all knew her.  She is fabulous!  Strong and stubborn.  Sweet and still more than a bit of a smart ass.  She has kids that are 9 and 6.  She could be one of the coolest moms I have ever met.  And she is dying.

I have been sitting with her while her husband is at work about three days a week.  I don't have words for any of this.  Just sadness.  In no world is this fair.  I spend my days thanking God for every second I have with her and for every second I have with my own children.  

Will you all do me a favor?  Pray for her.  Pray for her sweet family.  Pray for every minute and hour that she has left.  And pray for me will you?  That I can be strong when she is not.  That I can show grace when there is very little around.  She has taught me so much.  

Tuesday, August 12, 2008


Three years.  Wow.  Has it really been that long since I started this journey called blogging?  I started this blog to keep family and friends up to date on our daily goings on.  To show off baby pictures and loose teeth and trips to the park and the zoo.  In some ways that is what it will always be. How was I to know what was to come next?  

I will never be able to put into words what all of this has meant to me and my life.  Everyone who has read or reads this blog has effected me.  Some have inspired.  Some have made me laugh.  Some have consoled me when life has simply gotten too tough.  Some have become sweet acquaintances.  Some have be come dear friends.  All have made my life richer.

Because I have been blogging for three years, there will be three giveaways.  One will be fabric from my stash (a generous selection), one will be vintage pillowcases, and one will be a pattern and some fat quarters.  Leave me a message and let me know which one you want.  I will draw the names on Monday.  

Thank you all for being such a huge part of my life.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

where have we been?

Well to grandma's of course!  Getting ready for school to start next week.  Losing my mind.  Big giveaway later in the week.  Dude.  I guess it is already later in the week.  Maybe first if next week.  I do have a blogiversary coming up! Hope this makes you smile!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

can't wait get to know you better.  My mother-in-law brought this gem to me over the weekend.  She is a bit dusty and well worn.  But she has completely stolen my heart.  She belonged to my husband's late father.  The best I can figure, she was born in 1966.  

Look at the view finder!  I know it will take time to figure out all of her quirks.  Time I look forward to taking.  As much as I adore my Nikon 3, there is something about being forced to take my time.  Set the shot.  Wait for the developing.  No immediate gratification on his one.  God knows I need a bit of that in my life right now.

I will post pictures when I get her cleaned up and figure out how to load the film.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

belly dancing is awesome

And so is this gal!  Me and my gals, along with a few friends had the absolute pleasure of seeing her dance on Saturday night.  And let me tell you, she is really really good!!  Lori, I am totally in awe!  She said after the show that belly dancing is what ballerinas do when they get old (did I say that right lori?).  I don't know about that, but this old ballerina is ready to GO!  However the world may not be ready to see anything that has to do with this post-three-kids-and-a-few-too-many-donuts belly I got going on.  I'm afraid it may keep dancing when the rest of me has stopped.  If you live in the Lawrence KC ish area and missed this you really did miss something great.  

Speaking of something guys are awesome.  Thanks for all of the love about my new business.  I have been a bit of a nervous nellie and you really did perk me up.  Any area folk heading over to the Anthropologie shin dig Wednesday?  

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


There is an awful lot of new around here these days.  A new friend was born early this morning.  A dear sweet soul who came into this world after a long and emotional year for her parents.  So sweet.  So perfect.  So pure.  Welcome dear friend.

And something else is pulsing over here.  I appreciate all of your patience.  No, I'm not pregnant.  This has brought with it almost the same type of anticipation however.  I would like to introduce you to ImageWise Photography.  After years of playing and dreaming about being a professional photographer, I have made the jump.  Eyes closed, peeking through my fingers.  Will you guys hold my hand?  So many people who read this blog have made this reality.  Everyone of you inspire me.  From the creative awesomeness of other bloggers to the close friends and family who allow me to shoot their pictures constantly.  Here we go!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


Have you guys ever felt like everything in your life is going waaaaay faster than you can keep up with?  Yup.  That's me right now.  I have about ten pots boiling on a stove that only holds four!  Aaaack!  

Not that I am complaining.  More like whining.  All of the things in my life right now that are driving me to pull my hair out are the things that are also giving me the most amount of sheer joy.  

Is this post cryptic enough for you?  Curious?  Why don't these pics match anything about this post?  Trying to create mystery I suppose.  Actually just not quite ready to let you all in on my new little secret.  

The pics are from the state capital building here in Kansas.  In case you were wondering.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

long long weekend

The Wise 5 are all heading to different places this weekend.  Miss Mo is spending 4 days with my sis in KC.  Little man is having a sleep over with a friend (his first one).  Abby and I are heading to Wisconsin for a few days.  Talk about planning!!!  Its hard enough getting everyone ready to go out of town, but trying to get everyone organized to go different places?  I don't suggest it.  Stupid stuff.  Like we all use the same toothpaste.  I had to go out and buy 3 more tubes!  And brushes?  And shampoo?  Permission for treatment in case of emergency forms.  Snuggly bears and blankets.  Good golly miss molly.  When it comes right down to it I don't like leaving any of my kids.  Lots of kisses this morning.  I plan on enjoying that part for as long as I can!

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

i would like to introduce you...

to the newest member of the family.  My new Nikon D3.  Yeah.  I can't believe it either.  I have been planning on upgrading my lenses, but this was NOT on my radar at all!  And this thing is insane!  The aperture can run up to 6400.  Dude, I could shoot in the dark with this thing.  The quality and crispness of each shot is awesome.  Of course, I still need to explore the bells and whistles.  I'm a Canon girl you know.  

Why the new camera you ask?  I'm not quite ready to say why, but you all will be the first to know.  I think I may need to name these guys too.  They are with me nearly as much as my kids.  Any ideas?  Canon and Nikon is rather boring.  

These pics were all taken at Crown Center in Kansas City.  More pics, most is color, are on flickr right now.  You know, in case you were curious.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

don't have a stroke

Yes.  This is the third time I have posted this week.  No one die of shock. My track record over the past few months has been pathetic at best.  But I think I may be getting some creative mojo back.  I started with some small projects.  Those work best for me.  And Erin inspired me to make a new camera strap.  I made one a few years ago  when I first got the camera, but I like to change things up a bit.  Can you believe I am as ADD about a stupid camera strap as I am about the purses I carry and shoes?  Okay, maybe not that far of a stretch.

Above is a bit bigger project.  Soon it will be the red heads new bedspread.  Its simple and pink.  Just the way she likes it.  If only I were sewing it as fast as she would like. So here's to some renewed crafting.  I am a MUCH happier person when my sewing machine is humming and my children are not staging some sort of a mutiny.  Aren't we all?

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

new wall art

I pretty much love putting fabric on my walls.  Any excuse to use my favorite fabrics is usually okay with me.  But this was too easy.  Almost too easy to call it a craft.  But I love the way they turned out.  Here's how:

Choose the most awesome fabric that you totally love.  Cover an inexpensive canvas.  Pull out the ever handy staple gun.  Secure on the back.  Duh.  Too easy.

I secured a few pics of the flint hills to the canvas with plain silver thumbtacks.  I may make another one of these to use as an inspiration board next.  God knows, it will likely take another 5 minutes out of my day.  And as summer rolls along, I'm all about fast crafting.  Hope you all have been able to get a few fast projects done as well! 

Sunday, June 22, 2008

is it summer yet?

Oh heaven's yes.  Yes it is.  We have momentarily traded storms and rain for heat and humidity.  Dude.  I hate humidity.  There is nothing cool about walking out of the house and having your hair plastered to your face with sweat immediately.  Is it fall yet?

Luckily we have a fabulous pool membership with lifeguards that spoil my kids to pieces.  Pretty sure they would live there.  The guard above was on her break and the first thing she asked was if Parker wanted to go off the diving board with her.  She caught him about 7,234 times before she had to go back to her chair.  I suppose cocktails in a lounge chair isn't such a bad way to spend these hot days.  Maybe some crafting this week.  Maybe. 

If you are interested, the summer ballet intensive recital was last Friday and I have posted scads of pics on flickr (click on badge at right).

Sunday, June 15, 2008


The past two weeks have been full of tights, ballet shoes, and leos over here.  I know that's pretty standard here in the Wise house, but the past few weeks have been a flurry.  See if you can follow this.  Morgan has had a dance camp for 3 hours 5 days a week.  Abby has had a workshop for the same amount of time  These times run back to back.  So 6 hours.  Abby has another week of her workshop.  Both girls have 4 weeks of classes in the evening, Monday and Wednesday.  Abby helps with a class on those days as well.  That adds up to  34 hours a week.  Anyone wanna know what we have been up to?  Yeah.  That's about it.  The pi above is of Miss Mo during her presentation.  She did such an amazing job!  A few more weeks to go.  Then no more stinky tights for a month and a half!  Hooray!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

i have no idea

...what it was that I planted last year.  I threw down a few packets of seeds.  They never really did much last year.  But boy howdy if they didn't take off this year!  However, I don't have the foggiest clue as to what I planted.  Mommy brain or something.  The top flowers are everywhere.  Just a million of them in the bed.  The flowers are so sweet and delicate.

Now this one is really confusing me.  The tallest stalk is nearly 5 feet.  The deep colored blooms just opened yesterday.  This is my secret garden.  Only because I never know what's going to come up!  Some of you are just masters at this stuff.  Please help!

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

rainy days and mondays (on tuesday)

The fact that I wrote this Monday post on Tuesday should let you know how the past 24 hours have gone.  The day started with 2.5 inches of rain in an HOUR!  We don't really have a stream running through our front yard on a normal day.  But this day would not prove to be normal.  My sister came into town with her babe (a very good thing).  A little chaos.  A little homemade ice cream.  Pretty good.  Oh except Parker had a filling yesterday and had a reaction to the sedation they gave him.  Threw up in the dentist chair and everything.  He cried all evening and then got a random burst of energy which landed his head square on the corner of the desk.  He say that it was the baddest day EVER! 

Today we got the news that my dear hubby will be making a move back to shift work.  This is NOT my favorite news.  It means me having to take 99% of the parenting duties back.  We did this for 7 years.  We can do it again.  Just not looking forward to it.  But there has to be a sunset at the end of all of this right?  Like the sunset after the storm yesterday.  I could use your prayers and support right now.  Sigh.  Here we go again.

Monday, June 02, 2008


End of may. Beginning of june.  Yup.  Time for ballet recital.  They did sooooo well!  I was a beaming mama all night long.  

Sunday, May 25, 2008

in memory

He was 16.  It was June 6, 1944.  The day American troops landed in Normandy.  He was 16.  Parachuting behind the lines.  A medic.  Unarmed.  He was 16.  He was the first medic into Buchenwald Prison Camp.  He stayed with his unit through fire fights.  He bandaged the wounded.  He was brave.  He served.  He was 16.

My husband's father died five and a half years ago.  He was a veteran of WWII and the Korean War.  Today we went to the national cemetery in Kansas City to lay flowers on his grave.  What a humbling experience that really is.

I read newspapers.  I read a lot of blogs.  I know that American sentiment isn't high these days.  Some of that sentiment is well deserved.  Some is downright embarrassing.  But spending a day at a cemetery like this reminds me of an awful lot.  Reminds me of why a waving flag will make my heart jump.  Reminds me of what these brave men and women have given.  Without these soldiers we would never have been a free nation.  We saw markers from the Civil War.  We saw paper markers from 2008.  All the same.  Not one soldier greater or bigger than another.  Some dying in he line of duty.  Some dying as old men.  Some having served at 16.