I like to think that we live simply, without many frills or toys or major expenses. Of course, it's the inner tight wad in me that guides me to live this way and in my opinion it's worth it when we can save money and spend quality time together for free. Nate usually tends to agree with my 'live simply' philosophy but he's also the one who has to chill me out a little bit and bring me back to earth when I go a little overboard.

So while we do have cable TV we do not have a DVR/Tivo, no high-def stations, and my beloved television I purchased with my first paycheck from my first real job was suiting us just fine. I mean it's not even 5 years old, is 27 inches, and serves it's purpose of providing us with the minimal TV we watch in this house. Sure, it's heavy as hell and not 'cool' like the sleek flat screens that hang on walls. Sure, Nate curses it's existence every time we move while he contemplates throwing it out the window. But when we only watch TV for couple of hours max and mostly on the weekends, I figured all was well.

That is until my silly little technology-loving husband got The Urge. You know the one, ladies, when a guy gets into man mode and decides he needs the hippest piece of technology ever just because. Nate has been pushing for a flat screen TV for at least a year and every time he brings it up I try to explain my point of view to him clearly: we do not watch TV, we own two very nice his and her Mac computers, and therefore we do not NEED (and yes, the 'need' word got thrown around here) a new TV. He's a persistant little bugger, my friends, and finally we came up with a compromise.

I told Nate that I would be okay with a flat screen TV if we didn't purchase it with our 'regular' money. I proposed an idea, saying if he paid for half of it by picking up extra days at the hospital (he usually only works two weekend days each month) then I would pay half with my 'extra' spending money from J.Lorene. He immediately took the bait, signed up for about 10 extra days at work this summer when he didn't have class, and proceeded to research the hell out of flat screens. Man, that boy loves research.

And so, my friends, after much hard work on both of our parts and a perfect example of compromise we have now entered the year 2009 (or maybe flat screens are more like 2006 or something, huh?). I present to you our big fatty 42" TV. Please note the difference in it's depth:


And there she is. We will discuss Theresa from Real Housewives of New Jersey at another time, my loves.

It's funny because I swear Nate told me he was thinking of a 32" size but when I walked in and saw this beast of a TV I knew I had been duped. Such a guy obsession, isn't it? Big TVs must be the equivalent to fabulous decor for women or something.

One thing that irks me to end is the fact that my beloved 'old school' TV has no home at the moment. And so it sits in the middle of the room like a giant eye sore, screaming for attention and fighting it's demise. I'm thinking Craigslist might be a good option. Anything but the center of the room, right?
And that is how my husband became the happiest dude in town. I think it's a nice television and all but I can honestly say I don't care that much either way, but if it makes him happy then I'll go with it. Maybe he'll be more lenient when I want a new camera lens or something else that he could not possible care about. Yes, there is always compromise.

Of course, now he is researching digital cable....just so he can get all of those HD channels his little heart desires. Until then he has to settle for about 4 stations in HD, poor guy.

And he sold me the idea of mounting the TV on the wall simply because it will free up more space on the ground if we get rid of our entertainment center. But who knew wall mounts are so expensive?

So I ask you, dear readers, do you have a flat screen (I'm sure some of you have had one for years and might even have multiple ones)? And if so did you hang them on the wall? And for those of you that did, was it a total nightmare? I plan on staying out of that whole process but the idea of hanging a giant TV on the wall freaks me out a little bit. I just picture massive chunks of drywall ripping out and resulting in the treasured TV smashing on the ground. Tell me this doesn't actually happen..


Don't mind me, just coming down off a Coldplay high. The concert last night was worth every single penny which is saying a lot since we dropped mad cash on our covered seats. Turns out row SS was the perfect location for us to jam out like fools while remaining dry during the brief but torrential downpour. I'm sure that sucked for the thousands in lawn seating, right?

Where do I begin my biased review of this concert? Perhaps with the venue itself...Alpine Valley which is about 30 miles south of Milwaukee and situated right on top of a ski hill. I had never visited AV although Nate attended a ridiculous amount of DMB concerts here during his (glory) high school days. Speaking of glory days...
marathon training, what? note the ski hill in the back
This picture nicely illustrates the following: Nate likes to pretend he isn't training for a marathon, hence the gigantic beer and stogie. Also, see the ski hill in the background? And isn't the stage pretty sweet? I figured we had to make the most out of the beautiful light early on in the evening, since cameras WERE NOT ALLOWED into the venue. Sigh. Why do I always follow the rules like a big fat tool? I swear, the recording from Alpine Valley said no cameras of any kind, so we stuck to our stupid cell phone cameras for every shot we took, but yet I observed numerous point-and-shoots and maybe even one or two SLRs in the crowd. Breaks my heart, I tell you.

So anyway, we got there fairly early and the opening bands were alright. But when they started getting the stage set up for Coldplay everyone started to lose it. The Viva la Vida tour is definitely in full swing now as this was their 138th stop. Of course, Chris informed us that we were the best crowd yet and I'm sure he doesn't tell that to all of the crowds, right? Sure. But we were insanely loud and I must say, it's pretty awesome to be surrounded by fans who adore the band and aren't afraid to sing along with every lyric. Lots of die-hards around us, for sure.
Viva la Vida tour, stop #138
Then the lights went down and one of my favorite songs--Life in Technicolor--started to play. I was very proud of myself because on the car ride down I informed Nate that Coldplay should totally use this song for their's just the bomb, really. So they came out and everything was still dark and we see these little sparklers going in circles as they ran across the stage, behind a see through screen. Talk about an awesome way to enter a concert...I'll have to remember that one for my next rock star life. The screen lifted and the lights started flashing in coordination with the bass and thus began the most amazing concert I've ever attended.

They played every single one of my favorite songs and then some. Chris Martin is both hilarious and strangely adorable with his English accent and insane amount of energy. Such an entertainer, too. For instance, he apologized for making so many mistakes and said he was sure the critics would wonder how he even gets paid for what he does. But he said that seeing his horrible 1996 Justin Timberlake haircut on a 50 foot screen was just a little distracting, so please forgive him. I actually liked his curly mop:)
hello, chris
And those 50 foot screens? You can't tell from this picture but they were extremely entertaining and I'm sure they were high-definition cameras or something because it was crystal clear. Nate said it was like watching a really good music video with all of the different cameras zooming onto the different band members. I had to force myself to watch the actual show on the stage instead of the big screens they were that cool.
Coldplay in full force
Chris was all over the stage and danced around like a crazy man.
Rock out

And then they played my favorite song, Yellow. Giant yellow balloons filled with confetti were thrown into the crowd by the sneaky staff and we were like little kids trying to bat them around. Fun idea and I love the yellow theme:)
get it? yellow balloons?

Then the boys showed that they aren't completely full of themselves as they walked up into the lawn seats to play a few tunes! Who does that? I'm pretty sure the fans sitting in that section of lawn were losing it.
They came up to the lawn seats!
It was in the lawn where they played Michael Jackson's 'Billie Jean' with their own unique English twist. I personally loved the tribute but I've read some people on FB who didn't appreciate it. Like I said, I'm pretty easy to please with concerts:)

Towards the end of the concert, they played the song 'Lovers in Japan/Reign' and all of a sudden thousands of tissue paper butterflies came fluttering down from giant cones. They shot out of the cones multiple times during the song and I thought it was one of the coolest things ever. Oh how I wish I had a decent camera with me!

Sigh. It was amazing, you guys. When they played 'Politik' the lights flashed with every beat which is one of my favorite lighting effects. Playing 'Vida la Vida' made the crowd go nuts and belt out every lyric (even more than the other songs). Other highlights: 'Death and All His Friends', 'Fix You,' 'Strawberry Swing,' and 'Green Eyes.' They even turned down all of the lights and made everyone do a cell phone wave across the theatre....all 35,000 of us made for a pretty sweet light show.

Are you bored to death yet? Can you tell I was in heaven?

I had to dig a little bit, but this post about my lifetime to-do list says it all. Ignore the fact that all of my pictures are screwed up on that post and focus on #3. Yep, big fat check mark after last night. (And actually, I think I can check off a few others, too). Do you have a 'must see' band on your list?

Bottom line: Coldplay rules. It was the best concert I've ever attended and I would love to see them again. Highly recommended to all.

UPDATE: I just realized something...I kept staring at the date today trying to figure out why it was important. Someone's birthday? No, Keri's was yesterday. Then I remembered: it's our 7 year dating anniversary. Not sure if you can still celebrate those types of annis when you're married but holy years together. Seems like forever and just like yesterday in some ways.

Okay, that is all...

dogs, fruit, and me

We are back from our fabulous trip down south and I must say, something must be wrong with me. I just went through the pictures I took from our 5 day trip only to find a mere 50 pictures....and not a single one from the wedding last Saturday. Am I feeling alright, I must ask myself? Apparently I was not in my usual photographic mood. In fact, all I managed to capture are the following subjects: dogs, fruit, and myself. Hmmmm, I wonder if that symbolizes something really deep?

Well, anyway, here is Henry totally peeved at me because we are making him wear this 'Gentle Leader' when we go on walks. It's an extra collar that loops around his nose and the leash attaches underneath. When he tries to pull our arms out of our sockets in delightful excitement, his head pulls to the side and he HATES it. So much that he stops pulling. It's genius, if you ask me, and not cruel or gruesome. But don't believe this face, you guys...I promise it's not that bad:

gentle leader=death glares

Then little Lucie, my mother's pride and joy, agreed to a few snapshots as well. Note: she does not wear a gentle leader and she pulls my mom around like a toy doll. I love her spiky fur around her eyes, don't you?
lucie lou

Mom outdid herself cooking as usual and I got really into the fresh fruit she served. I figured it'd make for a nice 'bowl of cherries' shot:
life is just a bowl...

And this watermelon makes my mouth water right now.

I liked this moment Nate got of me and Henry, smooching:

Then....peeved again. That is just his signature look, I suppose.

Oh yeah, I did actually get to visit with my family! Mom, me, and Memaw....three generations. I think we are looking more and more alike these days, don't you?
3 generations
(Sorry Nate, Dad, and Michael...apparently no boys allowed in my photo journey this time.)

And lastly, Nate squeaked this shot by me so I decided to play around with editing. I've discovered that turning an image to black and white, then warming it up a tad is my new favorite thing to do.
yours truly
So yeah, sorry for the awful representation of our trip. I'll do better next time.

Also, I could SO get used to a three day work week. Wow. Tomorrow is Friday?

And Coldplay is Saturday. Eeek! I'm calling right now to ask about SLR cameras...cross your fingers!


We attended wedding #2 of the year yesterday and it was a success, of course. Kansas City is enjoying Milwaukee-like temps, the bride was gorge, and the company was hilarious as always.

For instance, one of our friends introduced us to a man neither of us had ever met before. This guy was probably 40s-50 years old, the proud owner of an intense country twang, and highly entertaining. Please observe our interaction with him:

Country Twang guy: "So where are y'all from?"

Nate and Julia: "We live in Milwaukee right now."

CT guy: "Y'all have any kids?"

N and J: "No, not yet." (brief awkward pause, wherein Julia overanalyzes this question fully and cringes at yet another question about when we'll have kids.) "But we have a dog who is basically like our son." (I threw that one in there for good measure and also because it's true)

CT guy: (eyebrow raised, staring directly at Julia for this one) "Y'all are gonna get rid of that dog when you start dropping calves."

{let that sink in, you guys. 'Dropping calves' can only be assumed to be a reference towards having children?? Am I a cow now? Will I be expelling cattle from my nether regions anytime soon? Hooves?!?! Tails?? GAH.

And as an aside, how DARE he suggest we'll ever get rid of Henry. Our baby, our first-born. NEVER, I say. Never.}

N and J: "Oh my, I'm not sure we'll drop a calf anytime soon...."

CT guy: (on a roll now) "But y'all are gonna have purdy lookin kids, whatcha waitin for? "

And this was the moment that I couldn't contain my laughter any more. I'm fairly certain he was trying to be funny and not being serious, but who knows. When I told my parents about this interesting encounter, my dad---who raised cattle on our farm nearly all of his life---said, "Well, I've certainly heard that term before but never in reference to humans. " They found it hilarious, too, once they got the image of me dropping a cow out of their minds.

And now, my Missouri vacation continues. Ahhhhhhh. We don't leave until Tuesday and I cannot tell you how fabulous it feels to be back home just lounging around with my parents. Nate has successfully golfed himself into a coma, Mom has cooked an obscene amount of food already, and Henry is more spoiled than any dog should be. It's a rough life, I tell you.

So with that, I'm back to my vaycay. Just hold onto that phrase of 'dropping calves' for future use, okay? Has anyone experienced such an odd encounter with a stranger about having kids? Geesh.

Here we go again

Is it just me or does it seem like I travel every.single.weekend? Yeah, I thought so. Did I mention that July is one helluva month packed full of events?

Thursday night, our little family (Henry is coming, too!) will pack up the car and make the 8 hour drive to Jeff City to see my parents. I would whine and complain about how looooong the drive is, especially after working a full day, but really---arriving at 1 in the morning is basically what I did this past Sunday. And I freaking flew then. So driving can't be much worse than my experience last weekend, right? Plus I'll have my boys with me (and I fully intend on taking a hefty nap while Nate drives, duh).

While we are 'down south' visiting my rents, we will also make the additional drive to Kansas City for wedding #2 of this summer. Can't wait of course and the SLR will tag along as well. Then we will go back to Jeff City to spend more quality family time with them until Tuesday, when we make the trek back. Are you exhausted from reading this yet? I know I am.

Here is the kicker: sure, I've been to St. Louis umpteen times this calendar year and once my Mom even made the drive to visit with me. But since my parents live two hours west of STL, I have not been to my actual hometown for a real life visit with my parents since Christmas. I'm quite certain that makes me the worst daughter of the year. Ugh. Where does the time go? We did this last year too---visited for Christmas and then not again until August. I actually remember writing this same post last year, about how awful it was that I only make it home twice a year. It's still awful and I hate it. Glad that is cleared up.

In weather news, it's supposed to be 'cold' down there all weekend and barely get into the 80s. Or in other words, they are supposed to get Milwaukee weather for a few days. I'm actually kind of bummed (don't tell Nate) because I enjoy my fill of hot, sweaty, humidity when I visit. It's like a comfort zone to me and I love being like, "Yep--back in good ol' Missouri" when it's 100 degrees outside. Sweaty upper lip=home to me. Is that weird?

So anyway, this is a bunch of rambling to say that I will not return until late next week and I will most likely be even more exhausted than I am at this moment, which is quite hard to believe. But there will be pictures, for sure. And more ramblings. Try to contain your excitement, you guys. :)

The {Real Life} Terminal

You've seen the movie The Terminal, right? When Tom Hanks lives in an airport for an obscene amount of time? Yeah, just call me Tom.

I flew to St. Louis this weekend for Lindsey's bridal shower. All was right in the world, it was super fab, blah blah blah. I arrived back at the airport at exactly 3:30 for my 4:30 flight on Sunday. Said my goodbyes outside to Hannah and Michael and breathed a breath of relief to see that my flight was still on time despite a little rain shower or two. Whew. I mean, if it's plastered over every flipping big screen in the entire airport, it must be just fine, right?

I breezed through security and found myself a comfy little spot in which to settle before they boarded our plane. Life was great.

And then.....crazy hooker flight attendant dropped a bomb on our butts.

"Ahem, attention passengers, some of you have heard the news already, but...." (you know right then and there things are headed south)...."your plane is stuck in Orlando because a lightbulb is out on a wing. It's a critical light and they do not have a replacement in stock. Therefore, your plane is not scheduled to arrive here in St. Louis until at least 8 pm. I apologize for any inconvenience."

You can guess what happened next, can't you? People lost their freaking minds. Yelling, loud sighs, passive aggressive comments....not to mention there was a three year old boy running around like a wild banchee throwing shoes at innocent bystanders and telling his parents to flat out 'SHUT UP.' It was basically Armageddon, you guys.

I tried to take a deep breath and relax a bit. There was absolutely nothing I could do to get home any faster. I now had 4.5 hours to kill without anything to occupy my time. My, what a great time to get rid of internet on my phone, eh? Fabulous move on that one, tight wad.

So I splurged on two gossip magazines and treated myself to a little Quiznos. I soaked in my surroundings and found that people watching in airports is probably the most entertaining thing you can do when stranded in an airport for ungodly amounts of time.

This one lady almost gave herself a stroke while screaming "THAT IS UNACCEPTABLE" into her cell phone with one finger in her open ear. From what I could gather this lady was talking to a different airline about a different scheduling that doesn't occur until the end of this month. Hey lady, I got news for you, there are bigger fish to fry at the current moment. Your uptight behind ain't going anywhere for a good 4 hours because of some chaos in present day. Why not let the poor dude on the other line catch a break, so that you can focus on the current dilemma.

You see, not only was my reject flight stuck down south because of technical difficulties, but the entire Atlanta airport was on a ground freeze---no planes in and no planes out. So the other folks patiently awaiting their flight to Atlanta were also in a bit of a tizzy. Americans who are in a traveling nightmare do not behave like civilized adults, you guys. It was like a social experiement of some kind, I swear.

So all of a sudden it's 7 pm and crazy hooker attendant says, "For my Milwaukee passengers, the good news is that your plane is getting ready to take off right now. It's a 2 hour flight up here with a 30 minute turn around. So I'm hoping to get you out of here by 9:30." Okay, that is just great....another 2 plus hours of mind-numbing boringness. I took it upon myself to get ANOTHER magazine and some PB M&Ms because gosh darn it, I deserved them both.

Please note the times on the screen.

I have never once in my 28 years completed an entire crossword puzzle, but Sunday was a first in many aspects of my life. I finished one AND I did not leave Lambert Airport until 11:15 pm. Please take the time to calculate this for a moment, my friends: got there at 3:30, flew out at 11:15. Nearly 8 miserable hours spent inside the jail cell known as Lambert.

Which means I got home at 12:30 and almost vomited from fatigue (is that too dramatic? I can't decide). It was even worse when I had to get up at 6 for work this morning. Gouge my eyes out with a spoon, please. Nate was so happy to have me home, of course, since I was the epitome of a delightful wife.

Trying to be a Pollyanna during this highly dreadful event was kind of fun. I mean, Milwaukee is absolutely gorgeous at midnight when all light up. The view from my tardy plane was enough for me to snap a really blurry pic. I kind of like it:

Milwaukee at Midnight take two
So yeah, that is how I morphed into Tom Hanks this weekend. Love how it is only a 6 hour drive but I spent 8 in an airport and one in the air.

Okay, now that The Terminal period of my life is over, I present to you project Bridal Shower.


Winos much?

bridal shower flowers

The lovely bride:
the bride

wedding flower inspiration

Lots of us, but not all of us. Probably the best turn out for a bridal shower yet:
Bridal shower

The bridesmaids.

Six more weeks until Lindsey's big day! And yes, we will be flying the same carrier in six weeks. Please Dear God, let any delays be less than 8 hours this time.

Let's hear some traveling horror stories. I'm sure you all have at least one, right?


A smattering of random tid bits....

1. Henry volunteered his services for another photography session. I wanted to play with altering my point of focus a little bit and he obliged. I love this next one a lot, even though it's a little soft and dreamy:
dreamy little henry

And who knew a closet full of color would be such a fun backdrop for the most adorable paw in the world? He obviously had a bone this morning hence the sticky fur sprouting out. What a life.
favorite paw

If Henry could talk, I'm sure he'd say "You know you want me. Yeah. I'm hawt" or something provocative like that. Such a ham, this one.
he tired

2. Remember how I was just in Missouri for Lindsey's bachelorette party? Well now I'm headed back down there for her bridal shower thrown by us bridesmaids. I'll be gone Thursday night through Sunday again and cannot wait to see the girls for this more formal affair:) My good friend Maggie (and fellow bridesmaid) loves all things paper as much as me. She designed Lindsey's shower invites and her wedding invites. Let's take a second to drool over them, shall we? Is this not the CUTEST shower invite ever?
Lindsey's shower invite

And her wedding invites are to die for. As a closet blog reader but rare commenter, Lindsey saw Lauren's awesome invitations and used them as inspiration. Lindsey's colors are obviously black and this fabulous aqua color and I just love how they turned out.
the whole line up

Lindsey's invite

The thermography she used for her printing was divine. You know how I love texture, right?

And their calligraphy was fantastic. I have no idea who they used (sorry, Lauren and Mike!) but I dig it.
Sigh. I cannot wait for her wedding. And our bridesmaids dresses are in so we'll see how much I'll need to have altered in the bust. That's always the fun part of being in weddings....taking a major blow to the old self-esteem as the seamstress goes 'wow, you have a lot of room up top.' No kidding, lady.

3. Remember how I was all pumped for my new pink blackberry? I was borderline obsessed, actually. Well, if you recall, the salesman convinced me that we'd only pay $15 more per month than we did before the upgrade. I should have mentioned that we get a little corporate discount through the hospital with Verizon, so the BB data plan was supposed to be much less than the advertised price. Also, the dude convinced us to downgrade our minutes package since we rarely talk on our phones to anyone outside of the Verizon network. Between the corporate discount and the lower minute plan, dude sold me on the idea of only paying $15 more.

Then my lovely husband decided that he needed internet on his phone, since I had it on mine. Totally understandable, but there is another $15 per month. Then we got our first bill and I had a panic attack---we did NOT get our corporate discount on the data plan nor the minute plan. So all of a sudden our bill was $75 more than it used to be. I freaked. My rational inner tight wad started to scream obscenities about how frivolous and unnecessary it was to have internet on both phones. Especially when we have two very nice computers at home. And especially when my cell phone is turned off and shoved into my purse all day long at work, since I can't exactly check personal calls or emails while running around a hospital. Sure, the BB was beyond cool but was it worth it?

Nate and I had a few very long discussions about the whole thing. It was difficult to be a rational adult when it was just so much fun to have a BB. I think if we used our phones throughout the day it would be different. If my job paid for it I'd be all about it. But in reality, I do not NEED the fancy phone. It's a luxury and I knew that from the beginning.

Then the next day, my problem-free car threw a little temper tantrum. I got it brand new back in 2001, it has almost 90,000 miles on it, and I've never had any upkeep on it besides regular oil changes, new tires, and new batteries. I love my car and the fact that we do not have car payments right now. So when my car would not start one evening I knew my time had come to put some money back into the stupid thing. My father-in-law is Mr. Fix It and he is racking his brain trying to figure out what is wrong with my baby. It sounds like it's not getting any gas but it has a full tank. Then just a few days ago it wouldn't start at ALL so now maybe there are multiple things wrong with it. Ugh. Potentially facing some major bills on the car front solidified my decision to return the BB and get a 'regular' phone instead. Being an adult sucks sometimes but in the long run, I think saving the extra money on our phone bill will be worth it.

So after spending multiple hours back in the Verizon store, feeling like a tool for returning the coolest little gadget ever, I came home with this baby:

new phone take 2

not quite a BB but still okay

Sure, it's not nearly as pimp as the BB but it's still pretty sweet with it's touch screen and full keyboard option. We got rid of the BB data plan, Nate forfeited his internet plan, and we did downgrade our minute plan. So all in all we are paying less now than we did before the BB stint. And now I can breathe a little easier knowing we freed up a little extra dough each month.

And so I ask you, dear readers, have you ever had to make sacrifices in the name of saving money? This was a tough one for me, as a self-professed tight wad, but I have a feeling that a lot of people are doing the same types of things in this economy. Keeping my eyes on the prize-- a big fatty savings account is easy sometimes and very difficult at others. Anyone else with me?


As you saw in my previous post, we spent the actual Fourth of July at the concert. On Friday, July 3, we also made the trek downtown but this time our sole purpose was to see the city's fireworks display. Last year we made the mistake of underestimating the traffic downtown and thus we almost missed the beginning of the show as we drove all around looking for a decent parking space. It was highly stressful as we sprinted down towards the lakefront dodging people left and right, just to claim a lawn spot.

So this year we decided to do it differently. We went to dinner near our house at 6:00 at Juniper 61---one of our newest faves. I mean, just look at my 'Midnight Mojito'. Isn't it beautiful?

midnight mojito
And our appetizer of chips and dip was out of this world. And huge. We definitely took home leftovers from this little excursion.
pile o chips

After dinner we headed dowtown and arrived at 7:30---nearly 2 hours before the show would begin. We brought our adorable 'all weather' picnic blanket, beer, Triscuits, and plenty of bug spray. Oh, and the camera. Of course we brought the camera.

We found a fabulous spot right near the Lake and planted ourselves down for the long haul. One of my favorite things about downtown Milwaukee is that it's so vibrant, and people are always out and about--whether we are running at the Lakefront, riding bikes, shopping, or just exploring---people DIG this downtown. And I must agree with the locals: it's pretty fabulous.

For the fireworks it seemed like all of Milwaukee poured into downtown. Some families set up huge tents and had horseshoes, basketball, volleyball, and other games set up as they barbequed all day long. You could tell some of the little kids had been playing outside for too many hours because they were just a little bit cranky, but highly entertaining. Some of the adults had obviously consumed entirely too much Miller Lite as well. It was a scene perfect for people watching, that's for sure.

To pass the time, Nate decided he would give himself a little lesson in photography. Apparently I was his unwilling subject:

But when we he went all 'rapid fire' with his shots, I demanded that he stop taking so many pictures. How dare he waste my memory card! The result is some hilarious pictures of me pleading with him to turn over the camera. Nate says this is one of my 'classic' faces. I think it's just plain scary.
omg, stop it nate!

I was on the hunt for a perfect Fourth of July shot and here is what I found. God bless America. And the tiny bokeh in the background. Bless that, too.
vintage flag

The pier was full of docked sailboats, while the Lake was full of active boats. I thought this was a neat nautical shot. And now I want a sailboat.
i'm on a boat

Another one of my symbolic American shots:
fourth of july

So finally at 9:30 the show began. Milwaukee does not play around with their fireworks. Economy be damned, our tax dollars went to a great cause this night as an hour long display shot off from three different locations. Plenty of 'oooooohs and ahhhhhhhs' were heard along with the high-pitched squeals of little kids. My tripod came in quite handy, of course, and here is my favorite shot of the skyline with one of the displays coming off the US Bank building. Note the people watching the other display from the Lake.
Milwaukee celebrates

One of my favorite shots is this one, which was not with the tripod. I just like the feel of it, even though it's a little shaky:
one of my faves, sans tripod

But I must say, the tripod plus my telephoto lens and a really long exposure made for some cool abstract shots. I got a few classic fireworks shots, too, but I like these close-ups even more.
a fave from the works


(my favorite type of fireworks, besides the boomers, are these----when the ends sprout off into tiny little explosions)
love the sparklies




Of course I took entirely too many shots, but whatev.

You can see my whole fireworks set here:
fireworks mosaic 2009
Nothing like a showy display of fireworks to make your American Pride shine a little brighter. Did you see fireworks this year, too? Are you as obsessed as we are?
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