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A little Christmas Cheer.....


Our tree this year, don't mind the treadmill in the background...it wasn't a gift, but it sure looks special doesn't it, lol :) I guess Billy & I should use it once in a while hu?

I thought the light coming in from the front door & side widow was pretty-what do you think?

Waiting on the boys to get their sleep-selves out of bed so we can unwrap gifts.  And yes that is a bottle of soda under the tree-what can I say-Gavin put it on his list... :)
xoxo, lela
with love, Lela
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finally, feeling human


Well, we finally have internet.  Finally, after five months of being without it, I am feeling like a queen right about now.  Tomorrow I can finally going to post some photos from Christmas...and I hope you'll enjoy them.  I'd do it tonight, but I am actually enjoying being on the laptop instead of the main computer :)

xoxo, lela
with love, Lela
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merry christmas & happy new year


I want to wish all my friends & family a very Merry Christmas & a Happy New Year.  Why am I doing it now, well I don't think I'll be around much during the holidays this year.  Around facebook, blogger & email I mean...I want to take a break from the electronic world and spend some real quality time with my family, and my extended family.  Those who really matter, those who through out the year have been there for me and my family & have taken the time to be with us....I realize that list isn't very long-because people are so "busy"....but just the same-I want to spread the love....

xoxo, lela
with love, Lela
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introducing



xoxo, lela
with love, Lela
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not on facebook....


Family means a lot to me, even though we don't always see eye to eye or get to really hang out with each other as much as we each want to.  My son Weston is actually best friends with his cousin Dylan, so obviously family love & appreciation has been passed down to my own sweet kids.

Yesterday, I posted something on facebook about "someone" criticizing Molly & Luke for having Macen in the photo with Dylan & Maylee on the family Christmas card.  That person said that they didn't want to show off a Christmas card to their friends of that person's grandchildren and have Macen in the picture to.

I posted something about it on Facebook & people responded & a lot of people were upset.  Because people were upset, my sister asked me to remove it & I did this morning.  But people were not upset with me, they were upset that someone would say something like that about a one year old.  He's a member of our family!  Just because his mother doesn't take care of him and his mothers sister does-doesn't mean he's an outcast and unworthy of love, respect & appreciation for who he is.  I am PROUD of my sister Molly & her husband Luke for stepping up and taking Macen into their home when his own mother couldn't care for him.  He deserves to be smiling right there beside my sisters birth children.

It hurts my feelings, it violates Macen to say something so vile, not to mention upset my sister.  I wanted to get my feelings out there, not on facebook-but on my private blog ;) where I can voice my very unsolicited opinion.

It seems, that over the years we have picked up people who are now members of our family by marriage-that think they are to good for our family & try to pretend they are all the time....and the person that made that particular statement about my baby nephew isn't the only straggler we picked up...there is another...this person also sits around passing judgement on people who she doesn't truly even know or has taken the time to get to know because this person doesn't 1. agree with certain things or 2. thinks that their own shit doesn't stink...when in fact, this person has the stinkiest shit around....the REAL people in the family, are just to nice and polite to tell them that....and that person is very lucky!!!!!  Because, I think that one day-they'll be told, and it won't be pretty.....

I guess the point to all this nonsense I have just wrote is that we are all one big family, despite where we came from.  How can you expect us to welcome YOU, someone married in & not someone that was actually born into our family...even if you do not agree with the fact he isn't living with his mom...he's a baby! A sweet helpless baby that hasn't done anything but be born...and then be taken away from his mom, for a reason we won't even get into.....he's not running around judging you....in fact, if you were to go visit with him, he'd smile at you...and talk to you, and play with you!  Ugg...

xoxo, lela
with love, Lela
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martins


I still remember my brother Matthew at this age.  All new and perfect.  Now he's going on baby number two, this is Layla May Martin, born just a week ago today!  She is so tiny & so sweet.....just like her momma 








xoxo, lela
with love, Lela
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heavy hearted


The level of discomfort and sadness I feel right now is overwhelming.  I wish I wasn't at work right now, but at home with my family.  My heart literally aches for the families of the children & teachers of all that was involved in the shooting in CT.  It I feel like I have experienced a loss, yet I do not even know the individuals involved in any way shape or form, I do not even have family that live in CT.  From other things I heard, the shooter did away with his own parents before coming to the elementary school to fire upon unarmed children & teachers.  Unprepared innocent victims.  What a coward.

What runs through my head over and over is what the other children, who were not being sprinkled with bullets must have been thinking.  Terrified I am sure.  It gives me chills to just try to think what was going through their little minds.  And as a parent, how do you explain something like this to them?  Is it even possible?  This is something they'll remember for the rest of their lives.

Praying for the families.

xoxo, lela
with love, Lela
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happy friday


This week has been the longest week I've had in a very long time.  Getting up and leaving the house in the dark & getting home from work in the evenings in the dark make for a very tired and very grouchy me!  I tried all week not to be so pissy when I get home, but a few days it slipped out of me.  I hate to even complain because I know a lot of people have it worst then I do...but I am so stressed out with everything going on in our lives right now that I am having a hard time dealing with them.

Our truck is back in the shop, complications from the original accident I say-but Class A Collision says it's from a stick.  Either way, we had to put in another claim with Progressive & pay another $500 deductible I am done with Progressive.  I think we're switching to Nationwide.  I have had the same insurance company for about 10 years now, maybe longer & haven't had any claims until recently & my deductible is so freaking high.  And with having Gavin on the insurance now, I cannot afford to change it or lower it either.  ALL other insurance companies have a vanishing deductible...so yeah, we're switching.  At this time of year, Xanders birthday & Christmas we really cannot afford $500....and really want to just take CAC to court over it...and may still do that....

I know, complain complain....and like Billy says, complaining about it or stressing myself about it doesn't change anything...and he's right, and it really doesn't make me feel better-I just don't know what else to do.

On a happier note, we are going to see Layla May tomorrow, pretty excited about that!!!!  I cannot wait to take some pictures of her, oh yeah and hope we get several great ones.  Having a little family get together on Sunday for Xander's birthday, he's turning 9...so we'll have yummy snacks & cool gifts....that will be fun to...and then Christmas is right around the corner.


xoxo, lela
with love, Lela
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feel like screaming....


I just feel like screaming right now.  Billy just got off the phone with Class A, the people that fixed the truck after Billy hit the deer....they were looking over the truck to repair the radiator and fan shroud because the fan came apart & flew into the radiator-tearing up the radiator and the fan shroud..well the verdict is.....there was a stick in the radiator-and apparently that caused all the damage.  They said that Gavin must have ran over a stick and that caused the radiator to get messed up.  Really?  A stick!?  I am beyond upset right now.  I am just so angry that we cannot catch a dang break with that truck, and it's sucking us dry.  Insurance paid for most of the costs to get the truck fixed-but we still had to fork out $500, and now what-we fork out $500 more to get this issue fixed, or maybe even more...?  Gavin didn't run over a stick, that part is bull-he doesn't remember running over a stick and he never said he ran over a stick.  They are lying.  LYING to get out of doing what is right and that is fixing our truck FOR FREE since it was their work that cause the new issues to begin with.  Why can't people just do what's right....all I can do is pray that someone does what is right..and gets the truck fixed...it's Christmas people!!!!

xoxo, lela
with love, Lela
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Layla May Martin


Who said Facebook isn't useful.  Today, I got a peak at my sweet brand new baby niece because one of my brothers friends/co-workers posted a snapshot of her on his facebook & tagged Matthew & Sarah on it.  She's gorgeous & her name.....Layla May Martin.  How cute is that?  We are heading down for a visit on Saturday & to take infant photos of her.  We cannot wait to meet her!!!  Congrats baby brother...love you!!!!!

xoxo, lela
with love, Lela
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Little Sneak


Just wanted to share a little of the photos I took last night of the Brock family out in Trenton.  What a beautiful loving little family, about to welcome their second daughter-who I get to photograph in January!  What a great way to bring in the new year!




xoxo, lela
with love, Lela
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color OR b&w



xoxo, lela
with love, Lela
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New Closet Please


Sometimes I feel like I just need to burn my closet down & replace it with all brand new and sparkling .  I feel like I really need an update, yet I don't have the extra funds at this time to purchase anything new.  I need new shoes, pants & blouses for work...I need new jeans & socks...and would love a new purse.  I need to win the lottery, hell I guess I need to play first to even be able to win haha...

xoxo, lela
with love, Lela
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Merry Christmas!


xoxo, lela
with love, Lela
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Digital Polaroid?


http://photojojo.com/store/awesomeness/polaroid-z340/
Oh yes, I think so honey!
xoxo, lela
with love, Lela
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Oh'Em'Gee!


Today, unlike most days-I am totally frustrated.  I seem to just be spinning my wheels, over and over again!  I guess I don't realize the difficulty of things sometimes.  Do I need a clue, or does other people!?

xoxo, lela
with love, Lela
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if you insist


xoxo, lela
with love, Lela
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The Boys, Fall 2012







xoxo, lela
with love, Lela
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taking a moment


I feel so out of it, I don't have time to do anything it seems these days.  I am not on schedule, I am not focused and I am not getting things done like I feel I should.

I wonder if what they say is true, I wonder if I had ADD!  OMG!  No wonder I can drink 100 cups of coffee and it doesn't wire me out.  I want to do so much this month....decorate the tree, Christmas shop, birthday shop, cook & bake..spend time with family, do sessions....take photo so the boys for our Christmas card, order Christmas cards....get some better self portraits with my new shorter hair...but this is the best I can come up with...a cell phone pic....with the glow of my monitor in my eyes....ahhh!

There are personal things I'd like to accomplish this month as well... you know, shave my legs-pluck my eyebrows...buy some more smelly good lotion.....find a better mascara!!!

It's so funny sometimes, people say "I don't know how you do all that you do..." or even ask me "how do you do what you do..." and for the answer see the above paragraph....hahahaha!  I also don't get to see my friends as much as I'd like, shop as much as I'd like & I don't get to watch as much tv as I'd like :)

Oh..and I am still trying to find the time to clean and unpack my office....

I love my life--I really do, but I'd love to just slow down & take a breather!


xoxo, lela
with love, Lela
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One Week


This time next week, my brother Matthew & his wife Sarah will be expecting their second child (a little girl).  Sarah goes in for a c-section Monday morning.  Since they live down in the Tampa area & it's a "school night" we probably won't be able to get down there to see her while she's in the hospital, however-we plan on going down that Saturday to visit, help out, take some pictures & drink some homemade beer that Matthew makes in celebration of her birth.  I am pretty excited.  This month offers a lot of travels, food, smiles & tears (the good kind)

xoxo, lela
with love, Lela
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Pre-Christmas


It's time to get a Christmas Tree.  When our family moved, we disposed of our very old. small & falling apart 6 foot fake Christmas tree.  I thought, at the time-oh I'll just get a new one...well, what I didn't realize then (SEVERAL MONTHS AGO) is that those things are not cheap!  I am kicking myself for tossing out that old one now, even though it was looking very sparse   I don't want to shell out $130 for a tree to put in my house for a few weeks.  I feel like Scrooge when I say that, haha.  I'd love to spend MORE and get the ones with lights, because that would make my life so much easier-since it's my "job" when putting up the tree to string the lights..haha.  But those are even MORE expensive.  Not to mention, the box once I do purchase one won't even fit in my car.  Ah well, this weekend I hope to beg my sweetheart to go Christmas Tree shopping with me, hope he goes for it.

I also hope to maybe accomplish a little Christmas shopping as well.  Maybe get the stocking stuffers.  The three boys have already given me their extensive Christmas lists.  I think I forgot to mention to them that we are not rich, they want four wheelers and go-carts, haha.  In another life I suppose, lol!

I also, again-hope to get the boys all together to snap our holiday card photo.  I have done free sessions with some of my family & very close friends-but I have not taken any of my own family yet.  Everyone will have gorgeous cards to give away & mail but me.  I must get on the ball & get that accomplished this weekend.  Especially since my husband has already completed three things on his virtual honey do list....he's so wonderful...I on the other hand, am slacking in the honey do department :/

xoxo, lela
with love, Lela
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something different.....


xoxo, lela
with love, Lela
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My sister & her kiddos









xoxo, lela
with love, Lela
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Back Light :)




Okay, so a session ago I played around with the bright evening sun as it was just about to go behind the trees-lovely right?  I was brave for about 15 minutes.  
xoxo, lela
with love, Lela
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smh


I just googled what "smh" means...it means:  Shaking my head; used to show that one does not approve of something or that one cannot believe how ridiculous, bad, etc

Totally made me LOL (laugh out loud) because of who the person was, and the context of what they wrote on facebook that actually made this person want to "smh".  I thought of another word, hypocrite.

I have been in this world long enough, and have dealt with other peoples shortcomings, and my own.  I try not to call people out on them, because I recognize my own so well & try to be understanding/and forgiving of others.  But of course, when I am called out, I do try to defend myself....but get a "smh".  Facts are, we all do things that bug other people, we all have sucked as a family member or a friend, and if we don't think we have-someone is kidding themselves.  When I've had an issue with someone else, I have come to them directly-not "called them out" on facebook.

Life sucks sometimes people, and you can go around saying what you want-but the fact of the matter is you don't know shit....I don't know shit...unless you're living in my house with me, under my roof and in my pocket book-you have no idea what's going on with me on a day to day bases and shouldn't point your dirty little finger at me.  But instead, inspire yourself to do what you're asking of others and that's to just shut the f up......

xoxo, lela
with love, Lela
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cut it please


Well, this weekend I did the unthinkable, I cut off my long locks. I know I know, big deal right?  It took me forever to decide to cut it, and when I do finally cut my hair it's always spur of the moment.  My daughter probably won't be to happy that I didn't go to here for a cut but like she's told me about her having her picture taken..."I can use several different photographers mom..."

I think I will go to her, however for a color-I was thinking about getting some blonde highlights...we'll see-that's pretty bold and for those of you that know me on a personal level, I don't do bold...ahaha....

xoxo, lela
with love, Lela
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another bad weekend...no?


There is a person that I know, that I only see Monday through Friday.  I've known this person for over two years, and for over two years they have yet to have a good weekend.  So many bad weekends have been discussed that I have literally stopped asking, "so how was your weekend..." because I get the same answer, "oh it was horrible..worst weekend ever..." and it always seems so strange to me to never EVER have a good day and I kind of feel bad for this person, because that's a sad life.  I am so thankful for my kids and my family.  I am thankful for my friends, even though I hardly get to talk to them..or hang out with them...

xoxo, lela
with love, Lela
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editing, is it to much sometimes?


The first one is natural, just resized & sharpened.  The second one has been lightened in the darker areas to the left, eyes given a bit of a sharpen, brighten, darkened the lips a little &-some skin smoother/brightening & an all out color contract adjustment.  Oh, the second image I used the liquify tool to smooth out my cheeks...To much, or just enough?  My daughter got me thinking about this this morning.....

xoxo, lela
with love, Lela
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lace scarf love.....


xoxo, lela
with love, Lela
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being thankful


It's November 1st.  And today I decided I am going to do an "I am thankful for..." post every day, well not a post everyday but add to a page every day.  Click here if you'd like to see!  I think that these posts will be simple & grand, because I am strangely thankful for not only the big wonderful things in my life, but also the small things that hardly get noticed sometimes by others...like my pretty new lace scarf for example.....

This year really did start off in the most dreadful of ways.  I have been tested beyond limits with my trust, my womanhood & my value as a wife.  I was on the brink of ending a relationship with someone I cherished deeply and probably always would if it had ended.  But I have put that behind me and moved forward and this is where I am now, months later & so thankful for being able to press myself past the nasty & ugly and keep myself and my marriage above water.

This is what basically inspired me to try to keep up with a daily reminder this month of why I am thankful!  I hope it's received well & enjoyed, I hope it sparks a thankfulness in yourself and I'd love to hear about it.

xoxo, lela
with love, Lela
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weekend agenda.....


Going to be a busy week, and weekend.  Teresa asked me to provide her with at least 50 images for a project/brochure she's doing for one of her graphic arts programs, cool right?  I have to get those together.  I need to finish editing a session from last weekend & I have another session THIS coming up weekend.  I need to really finish unpacking...I know right.....and I need to do laundry!  I will probably do some tonight to combat being tied up all weekend.  The little guys have TWO games on Saturday & a birthday party on Sunday!  Ouch!  Hope I make it through....

xoxo, lela
with love, Lela
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hallow-ween!


I must be a horrible parent.  I do not want to do anything for Halloween.  It's expensive to buy all three kids customes, it's expensive to take all three (including my husband and myself) to a local cornmaze or haunted house.  For us to all five go, it's over $40-just seems like such a waste of money to me.  I cannot wrap my head around making the cost seem worth it.  I don't even consider myself cheap.  I mean, I don't skimp on what type of shoes I buy them, or stylish name brand clothing, I get them what other kids are wearing and we do go on family vacations to theme parks, beaches & normal things-it's just these holidays like Halloween, Valentines Day, St. Patricks Day & Easter I do not want to spend a crap ton of money on candy and just things in general that I'll 1. throw away, or 2. will just fall a part.  I guess I should try to concentrate on the memories being formed by the event?  I don't know, I have struggled with trying to find a common place my entire adult parenting life when it comes to those things.  And it's not like they've never experienced these things, they have-I've taken them trick-o-treating before & bought them crazy customes that ran $20 each.....but in the end, they don't sit around and talk about the FUN TIME they had at "this place" or "that place" they just talk about how much CANDY they got...well I can BUY them candy, lol!!!

Help!

xoxo, lela
with love, Lela
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How to create an instagram timeline cover




Love Instagram? Me to!!!!

I created one of these loves on the www.statigram.com page. Log in using your Instagram credentials.  Click on PROMOTE at the top menu area.  Scroll down to “Promote on Facebook” “Profile Cover” and click on Create Cover….wait for it to populate your images into a cover….right click to save.  Easy Peasy!

xoxo, lela
with love, Lela
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art love


This weekend I had the kids do a little art project I have been wanting to do for a while-spray paining a wooded deer head cut out and a big J.  They did a great job, despite the strong gusts of wind blowing grass, ants & other objects into our wet paint.



xoxo, lela
with love, Lela
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my love


xoxo, lela
with love, Lela
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MY OPINION!



It's come to my recent attention that my opinion only means something when it matches someone else’s opinion. If it goes against what they think, I get a frown, or a dirty look or a threat of making me walk back to the office, with a smile-to break up the awkwardness of the situation.  And I am okay with people have a different opinions, I never call people out by saying “well that’s what YOU think…” I just listen to people complain, bitch, judge, rant, put down & just talk in general.  It’s just funny how people only see you “judging” when it’s not what they think, or it’s about someone they don’t know or like…otherwise you get to hear what their thoughts are about “rednecks” or “poor people”, or people they work with or people in their lives they do not like, do not agree with or do not respect.  This conversation really has altered how I feel about things, and not sure what I am going to do about it in the future.  I really only have two choices, I could just keep my mouth shut & never talk about my own thoughts, opinions, issues at work, or home…as I am being judged….by someone who doesn’t think I should judge…or I could just stay away from this person….what to do-what to do????

xoxo
with love, Lela
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go gators.....



Looky here what I just bought from www.etsy.com, CUTE right?  And made right in Newberry Florida ;)

GO GATORS :)

with love, Lela
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totally fixable


Well I talked to Larry, our Progressive agent last night on my way home from work.  Turns out our truck is fixable, and since it's worth more then the repairs they are going to fix it.  Needs engine work, new water pump, ac condenser & radiator...ouch, not to mention a new fender headlights & side panels & hood.  It's going to cost over $5k to get her back on the road, and once the parts are ordered-it will take about two weeks from that point-so we are looking at maybe a month without our third ride....
with love, Lela
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Teresa....




My baby!  Hard to believe.  Gorgeous right!?
with love, Lela
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[name=Lela Johnson] [img=//1.bp.blogspot.com/-fRz7-iUqasU/XRoB26MolRI/AAAAAAAAfWc/3CaBGHCxMrMJ1LmRpQs_UyJ-SbWQOHMXgCLcBGAs/s1600/SQUARE%2Bsmall.jpg] [description=Mrs., mama, grandma, introverted homebody, wannabe world traveler, master chef (in my own kitchen), coffee/wine connoisseur, shopping addict & occasional photographer] (facebook=http://www.facebook.com/withlovelela) (twitter=http://www.twitter.com/withlovelela) (instagram=http://www.instagram.com/withlovelela) (pinterest=http://www.pinterest.com/withlovelela)

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