Video of the Shortest Commercial Runway in the World! (It’s on Saba of Course!)

My friend, Rebecca, posted this video on facebook and it made me so homesick for Saba!  Gosh, I really miss it there, and I’m not looking back with rose-colored glasses either.  I really loved living there while I lived there.

When you watch this video, please note the crazy landing and imagine me 10 hours into labor with Hannah, chartering a private plane to get me off the island so I could deliver her on St. Maarten.  Then, try to imagine me flying back to this island with a three day old baby, (held in David’s arms) post c-section.

All I can say about the landing is OUCH.

Enjoy!

Transporting Cars To Saba

I ran across a page on facebook which displayed old images from Saba.  These pictures were taken 50 years ago (sadly, I don’t know who photographed them) before the road was completely built on the island.  Cars are still transported this way today.  Well, I don’t know if the locals have to jump in the ocean to pull the boat on canoes, but you get the idea.  After a car arrives on Saba, it never leaves. (Unless of course, you imported the only Mini Cooper the island has ever seen, then you do ship it off the island after your 20 month stay.)  Cars come to Saba to be driven until duct tape can no longer keep it together.

These are great images.  Wish I could give the right person credit for them.  Saba hasn’t changed much in 50 years, the island (and the people) look exactly the same, except I remember it in vivid color.  🙂

Famous Neighbor

Our favorite next door neighbor (and fellow medical student) on Saba was a professional ballerina in her previous life.  (Previous life refers to any period of time BEFORE you started medical school.)

Now, she wasn’t just any professional ballerina.  Shannon danced with American Ballet Theater.  (Affectionately referred to as ABT.)  She has traveled all over the world dancing with ABT, and really is just amazing.

Her story is incredible.  She started dancing at the age of 14, and was hired by ABT when she was 18.  I’m just going to go ahead and do the math for you, THAT IS ONLY FOUR YEARS from the time she set foot in a ballet studio until she was dancing with the most prestigious ballet company in America. Dancing with the company at ABT with only four years experience is literally unheard of.  There is so much more to her inspiring story that I haven’t shared, that I would love to write about (because it is really, really amazing) but unfortunately, it’s not my story to tell. Her story is so inspirational, that after I saw the movie “The Blind Side” I thought of her.  Honestly, Hollywood needs to hear her life story and make a movie out of it.

I found this video clip of her practicing the Arabian Dance for the Nutcracker with The New Orleans Ballet Theater.  (Keep in mind that she no longer dances with ABT, and remember how she’s actually a doctor now?)

After watching this video, I’m sure you understand why I never attended any of the yoga classes she taught on Saba.  I’m pretty sure my lack of flexibility would have disqualified me from her class.  😉

Go Shannon!

You Must Visit These Caribbean Islands

This is the year my parents and David’s parents will celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary.

They got married on the SAME DAY.  SAME YEAR.  SAME TEMPLE.  (Just a few hours apart.)

This is an absolute coincidence, of course.  They met after David and I were engaged.

With these big events coming up later this year, both of our families have started to talk about how to celebrate.

My sister-in-law threw out the idea of going on a Caribbean Cruise (Which actually sounds exciting now.  When you live in the Caribbean, taking a cruise there doesn’t sound that fun because you already live there.) and started to mention cruise lines since she has taken a couple of cruises.

David and I immediately started to talk about destinations because, well, we’re sort of like locals in that respect.

As honorary Caribbeans, (a title I bestowed upon ourselves after living there for 2 1/2 years and birthing our first baby down there) we explained the ins and outs and whereabouts of the islands.  Where to go, what to avoid, and what is a MUST SEE.

You might also be an honorary Caribbean if:

  • You can say the number “three” with the correct accent
  • You know what and when “Old Night” is
  • You can spout out by heart the exact dates of hurricane season
  • You can name the islands in the Dutch West Indies, French West Indies, and independent islands without googling them
  • You know what it means when you’re told, “The boat didn’t come in”
  • You know which language is official, and which one is predominent for each island
  • You know which islands are bathing suit optional (so you can avoid them or join the party)
  • You know how much your life can be turned upside down if the winds are too strong
  • You know the dates of “peak” season and “off season”
  • You know what it means to “make eight”

(Any further suggestions from honorary or actual residents of the Caribbean are certainly welcome in the comment section.)

David and I miss the Caribbean SO MUCH.  I especially miss it over the holiday season.  I love seeing fireworks from neighboring islands on New Year’s eve and enjoying the perfect Caribbean weather this time of year.

So . . . it is my duty as an “honorary Caribbean” to tell you about the two islands you must see. (Please note: the images in this post are from travel websites, they are not my own images.)

First, if you have money to burn, you MUST, MUST, MUST go to Saint Barths.

Did I say MUST? I mean HAVE TO or you will regret it for the rest of your life!

See, I obviously regret that we didn’t make it over to Saint Barths (which I could see from my kitchen window) while we lived on Saba.  But, since we were medical students when we lived there, it is very safe to say that we didn’t have any extra money to burn.

We’ll be going back because Saint Barths is calling my name!  Not like today, or tomorrow, or even next week, but when we’re old and super wrinkly and have finally paid off medical school, we’ll be there with bells on.  And since I’ll be so old by that time, I probably won’t care how much sun I get and who sees my jiggling old lady legs.

Next, you MUST, MUST, MUST go to Anguilla.

Not optional.  It is a MUST.  If  you miss this beauty, then it’s like your visit to the Caribbean is null and void and you should ask for you money back.

Obviously, Saba and Sint Maarten are “MUST SEE” as well, but I won’t take time to mention them here because it’s like a no brainer.  My entire blog from Jan ’07 to April ’08 is about these two islands.

Book your Caribbean vacation now!

In 2009 I’m Surprised I Didn’t Lose My Mind!

2009 sure was a crazy one.

I’d like to say, “It sure was a lot of fun!”

David is a fourth year medical student,

Which means, with his time, he is quite prudent!

I’m a photography student and stay-at-home mom.

I’ve tried to manage everything and stay calm!

In Utah, we started the year.

We lived by family, it was nice to be near.

In February, we made our first move of the year . . . Kansas City!

It was beautiful and really, really pretty!

Living in Kansas, we felt so blessed.

I still can’t believe we moved to the Midwest!

We  enjoyed living in Kansas, it’s full of nice folks.

To our surprise, we learned we’d be moving to New York.

Shocked, we thought, “Is this a joke?”

We loaded our car with our kids, Paris, and other good things that we needed.

Pulled a little U-haul and off to New York we proceeded.

The kids traveled well.  Paris was fine.

There were only a few times I thought I would lose my mind!

We visited some Saba friends on the way in Ohio.

We ate so much food and had so much fun, Oh my!  Oh!

We loved living in Rochester. We loved it so much!

Seven short weeks was not long enough!

On our move back to Kansas, we heard some bad news.

We had to move again.  We didn’t get to choose!

School regulations made it impossible to stay,

So we packed up the house much to our dismay.

We found ourselves in Utah once again this time,

David went to North Carolina, oh my!  Does this even rhyme?

We are all together as a family as we speak,

Which is great for us because we love to kiss our kids’ cheeks!

Who knows what the future holds for us now.

I just know there are more moves for us, HOLY COW!

All things considered we are doing quite well.

In fact, I think my heart might swell.

Aside from the moves that have made us nomads and gypsy’s,

Other exciting things have happened that made us quite tipsy!

First, Dallin calmed down A LOT.

No more a screaming baby, who’d have thought?

Hannah sings, dances, and entertains.

She’s already worn out her first pair of ballet shoes and has a lot of brains.

David is busy, school is crazy.

Bummer for him, there’s no time to be lazy.

I started school at the Academy of Art.

Mastering photography, I’ve learned a few things to impart.

Paris has done a mighty fine job as our only family pet,

We’re not looking for another dog, at least not yet.

2009 was full of surprises,

Four cross country moves, I said a lot of “goodbyes.”

I say, “Bring on the New Year!”

Heck, I’ll even say it with good cheer!

In 2010 I just ask for one thing,

Please don’t tell me we’re moving to Beijing!

A Brief 10 Hour Reunion With Some of Our Favorite People

The halfway point along our route was Dayton, Ohio.  We were excited to stay with our good friends Brent and Michelle who we knew on Saba.

Michelle and I can both talk a lot.

Actually, I think Michelle can out-talk me.

That’s a fact.

_dsc5886-edited-1

This is Brent and Michelle’s street.

_dsc5892-edited-1

It was so humid in Dayton, you could see the humidity in the air.  🙂

It was a fun filled hang-out-and-chat fest during our 10 hour overnight stay.

Their kids are so cute,  exactly as I remember them.  Just a little taller.

This is Delainey.

_dsc5845-edited-2

She will be six next month.

_dsc5853-edited-1

When she was born, she came out talking.  (Or so I’ve been told.)

And now, I interrupt these images with Grant explaining all the rooms in their house.

_dsc5856-edited-1

He is very accurate . . .

_dsc5848-edited-1

He doesn’t want to miss counting any room . . .

_dsc5889-edited-11

I would now like to shift your attention to the front door.

This is Paris.

She is whining.

If you listen really hard, I bet you can hear her through your monitor.

She is THAT sad about being left inside.

We now return to more pictures of darling Delainey.

_dsc5863-edited-1

She has such rich brown eyes.

_dsc5908-edited-2

And a very happy smile.  Hannah sure loved playing with her toys.

_dsc5906-edited-2

When Hannah woke up in Delainey’s room, she exclaimed, “Mommy!  Look at all these girl toys!  Are they for me to play with!?”  Delainey has quite the collection of pink girl toys.

_dsc5874-edited-1

And now, we return to Grant.

Until tomorrow,

Peace.

Meet Two of My Friends

Say hello to my friends Ray and Leigh.

I knew them on Saba.

Leigh is a medical student.

That’s how we met.

_dsc5609-edited-1

They now live in Kansas City.  Funny how we keep moving to the same place.

_dsc5634-edited-1

They’ve been married for awhile.

_dsc5647-edited-3

Looks like it’s working out for them.  🙂

_dsc5624-edited-1

They are planning to adopt.  Do you know of a baby for them?

_dsc5676-edited-2

They plan to use some of these pictures for their adoption profile.  This one will send a good message.

_dsc5545-edited-2

So will this one.

_dsc5538-edited-1

Leigh has great jewelry.   (Maybe she’ll  give me her great pieces when she gets bored of them.)

_dsc5680-edited-1

Leigh and Ray are such a great couple and will be wonderful parents one day.

And, they were so flexible when I called them on short notice for this shoot.

Great couple + flexible schedule = Great parents, right?

Let’s find them a baby!  🙂

Baby Inca

My friend Nicole, (she lived on Saba the same time I did and her husband is also a medical student doing rotations in Kansas City) just had a baby girl at the end of May.

I’ve never photographed an infant, so I asked to photograph her new little one.

_dsc5038-edited-1

She was a doll.

_dsc4954-edited-2

Inca is actually crying here, not yawning,. But she’s still so cute!

_dsc4957-edited-2

I shot these in my kitchen.  I put up a black sheet on a wall and used the light from the window.

_dsc5061-edited-1

I think it did the trick as a “make-shift” studio.

_dsc5119-edited-1

Look at that hair!

_dsc5153-edited-1

And her sweet little hands!

_dsc5142-edited-1

This was Nicole’s idea.  So sweet!

_dsc5022-edited-1

_dsc5154-edited-1

Aren’t babies the best?

Kind of makes me hungry. . . for lunch that is.

There is Much to Blog About

There is much to blog about.

I have  many pictures to post.

We had a wonderful time with our friends in Texas celebrating the 4th of July and Dallin’s birthday.

Now that we’re back, I need to catch up on some assignments (remember how I’m in school full time?) and upload some photos.

But for now, know that this delicious birthday cake got our birthday boy very, very messy.

_dsc4124-edited-1

And it made him so very happy.

_dsc4132-edited-1

And this delicious cake made the adults very happy.

Self Portrait

I had to shoot a self-portrait for an assignment. This did not make sense to me on many levels.  Photographers like to be BEHIND the lens not in front of it!  Needless to say, this was a stressful assignment.

These pictures were taken ALL BY MY LONESOME, with no help. Do you know how hard it is to focus the camera when it doesn’t know exactly where to focus? If you move one centimeter in front of or behind where you focused the camera, the image will be all out of whack.

Trust me, I had enough ghetto photos to prove this theory.

What I’m trying to say, is that not only did I shower, shave my legs, give myself a mask, paint my toes, pull this dress out of storage, steam it, put on make-up, and do my hair, but I set up the picture and shot it ALL BY MYSELF.

_dsc3793-edited-2

I did four different concepts for this shoot, and I’m posting images from shoot number four.  Trust me, the first three concepts were GAG.  In fact, I deleted all but two images from my first three attempts.

What to do, what to create, what story to tell, what image to put across . . .

I asked my husband of 12 years what he thought I should do.  What represents me?  Who am I?  He smiled and said, “Sweetie, if you don’t know who you are, then you have a bigger problem than coming up with an idea for your self-portrait!”

This got me to think.  I feel like I’m in limbo between two different worlds.  One world I refer to as my “previous life” and one world I refer to as my “current life.”

In my previous life, the one where I had a career, worked hard, and got paid for it, we owned a bridal store.  I designed bridal and formal gowns and traveled to Asia several times working with top designers.  It was common for me to appear on Good Morning Texas promoting new lines, or modeling formal wear at Dallas Market Hall.  I produced and emceed  hundreds of fashion shows in several states, and it was usual for me to attend a black tie event weekly.

After several years in this profession, we sold our store, house, and cars, and moved to the Caribbean so David could attend medical school.

Not only did I leave a career I enjoyed, and  a home I loved, but we moved out of the country to live on a tiny five square mile island called Saba in the Dutch West Indies.  Shortly before moving, I found out I was pregnant with our first child.

My life changed 180 degrees!  The Caribbean is the one place in the world that can make anyone “stop and smell the roses”.  Having a child on top of that teaches you that you can’t always have a rigid schedule.  In a nut shell, I chilled out a LOT.

I’m no longer the fast talking, high paced, results-are-the-only-thing-that-matter woman.

I feel more balanced.  I like who I’ve become.  I have thoroughly enjoyed motherhood.   But there are days I wish I had a plane to catch, some project to oversee, a new design to submit.   Or heck, just a really good pay check for working hard at home.

Hopefully this explains my pictures.

I chose to sit on the stairs in my home, in a cocktail dress, (which I had to dig out of storage) with my children’s pictures behind  me.  I do hope the expression on my face conveys the feeling of being caught in the middle.  Trying to find the balance of both worlds that make me who I am.

_dsc3821-edited-2

This second picture was just an extra.  I liked it, but there is a little too much negative space.

Don’t expect many more self portraits in the future.  This assignment was very stressful to execute and made me age 10 years. You all know how I feel about aging!