20 June 2012

because apparently i like things crazy...


Just over a week ago this little lady wandered into our life...
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And things haven't been the same since. 




We call her Yula, Russian for "downy." As far as we (and anyone) can tell she is a purebred Siberian Husky. 


We have no idea what her story is and how she ended up wandering into our garage, but she is now part of the Harmon Squad.




(and I know you're thinking it, and yes we searched hard for her original owners but none were to be found. According to the animal shelter, we did more to find them than most do) 




So I apologize for the silence around here, it was totally unexpected and not at all intentional. Puppies are a lot of work, that's all.


Especially when you've never ever owned a dog in your entire life. We've definitely been learning as we go. Thankfully she is amazing and has responded incredibly to training. (like, shook her bell on the door tonight to let me know she needed to go out to pee kind of incredible)


A random stranger who stopped to admire her on one of our walks made this remark upon hearing the story of how she joined our family; "God gave you a gift." And I couldn't agree more.


She has stolen my heart.


(and for those of you who know me really well, know that I am not a dog person. At all. And still am not. I love this dog, and still despise pretty much every other dog I meet. I know, I'm not sure how it's possible either)


And while I am exhausted and overwhelmed and totally in over my head, she is part of our family now, no doubt about that.


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So please excuse the silence around here, we're getting into a schedule but I'm guessing it'll still take some time before I'm able to do more than just keep 5 humans, a fetus, and a dog alive.


And if you have any advice for taking care of and training puppies, please share!! Pretty much every snippet of time I'm able to get on the computer is spent reading up on training and huskies and anything dog related. But it's not the same as getting advice from someone you know who has gone through it. In particular, we're in the process of kennel training and would love tips on that, as well as anything related to puppies and small children. And, does anyone know how to introduce a new baby to a puppy without one trying to kill the other? Thanks in advance for whatever!!

05 June 2012

an overheard conversation...

about the zombie apocalypse.

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Rob: "Max, if (Aunt) Laura was a zombie, would you shoot her?"

(Max thinks about it for a second)

Max: "Ugh. (said with all the despair a 5 year old can muster.) I don't have a gun."


I get Max on my team when the zombies attack!










(disclaimer: Rob is master of asking random ridiculous questions (for example, "Max, should I pee on mom?) and Max never ceases to entertain us with his answers. He really takes the questions into serious consideration before answering.)

04 June 2012

sunday best: pregnancy edition

So, pretty much the only maternity items I own are dresses. This is for the simple reason that I have yet to find a maternity piece that actually fits right... and dresses are the easiest to make work. This one is no different, I absolutely love it except for the fact that it's about a foot too long. I would hem it, but I've discovered that stretch knits and I don't get along when it comes to a sewing machine. And I'm pretty sure it would cost just as much as I paid for it to get it professionally altered. Plus I'm feeling pretty lazy these days (I blame it on the heat). So I just deal with it.

dress: Target Maternity (bought it online, otherwise I probably wouldn't have gotten it due to the length)
sweater: Old Navy (little girl's!)  (normally I wouldn't have bothered with the sweater since it's hot as hades right now, but I learned last week that the church building is now kept absolutely frigid so I made sure I was covered)
shoes: Charlotte Russe (one of the best purchases I made last summer, they go with everything)
belt: Forever 21

jaxharmon_sundaybest_june3

And I'm really glad I started doing these Sunday Best posts because it means I get pictures of myself that I like, a rarity. Especially when I'm pregnant. This week I got a new one to add to my favorites:

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(don't you love my ombre hair??? Move to El Paso and you can have it without any effort too!!)


I would also tell you what week picture this is, but I honestly no longer have any idea how far along I am. Baby Center and my doctor both tell me different things, plus I'm measuring off and the baby is measuring off, so who knows when he'll pop out. I'm hoping to get things straightened out at my next visit...

01 June 2012

weekly interrogation: Barry Phipps!

I'm so excited to welcome Barry to this space today! He's one of those people who seems to ooze wisdom and a general 'coolness' :) He's both a photographer and a musician AND happened to study at the same school my sister now attends! Since I just visited said school a couple weeks ago, I can now say it is a pretty awesome place and am not at all surprised Barry thrived there. I mean, once you check out his work it's pretty obvious how talented he is!




name: Barry Phipps
website: http://www.barryphipps.com

1. What do you “do”?
Like most people, I do lots of things, but the thing that I’m most crazy about is photographing people, so let’s say I’m a photographer interested in photographing people and people related things.

2. Why do you do what you do?
I don’t have a choice. It really is something I have no control over. That sounds pretty cliche’, I know, but I really have no choice but to do stuff that is impractical. 

3. Where are you from?
Southern California, The Ozarks (Missouri and Arkansas), Kansas City, MO and my current home in Chicago.

4. Favorite color?
I used to know this. It’s a Pantone blue, light blue and kind of egg shell like. I couldnt’ tell you the exact number, but it’s a light sky blue. It used to be brown when I was a kid and red when I was in college.



5. Favorite food?
There are these crazy pancake type things in Nara and Kyoto in Japan that I can’t stop thinking about. There was an amazing place in Nara that only had tuna on the menu, served in countless different ways.

6. Favorite shoes?
The Alden “Indy” boot, which I like to call the Alden Work Boot, which is what it was called until Indiana Jones wore them in the first movie.

7. Favorite place in the whole wide world?
My parents house in Rogersville, MO. It’s the house I grew up in from third grade through high school. I hated living in the country when I was a kid, but now I see the amazing beauty of the place. 

8. Favorite piece of playground equipment?
The sand around the jungle gym. There was a bunch of stuff in there that I could pick up with a magnet. Maybe it was iron bits. I don’t know.

9. Your funniest story?
Funny. I was just thinking of this. I know for a fact that I have a funnier story, but when I asked my wife about this she brought up two stories that she thought was funnier, but we soon realized they were more sad than funny once we started thinking about it. One was about how in 8th grade I FINALLY got an Izod shirt for Christmas, only to outgrow it immediately. I took the alligator off of the shirt and sewed it on to a non-Izod sweater and was outted by a preppy for having a “fake” Izod sweater. Another story was when I moved from California to a school in the country and mistakenly thought that a little cup of butter on my lunch tray was actually ice cream and stuck it in my mouth and then had to swallow it because everyone was looking at me because I was the weird new kid from California. I had a look on my face like “What are you all looking at? This is how we do it where I come from.” Sad, but so is the story I’m going to go with:



The year is 1986 and I’m a senior in high school with a couple of extra credits to burn. This is right before things called “computers” started popping up. I decided to take typing because I thought it would be an easy class. I had two friends in the room and we used to pass notes to each other and make fun of the teacher, who was an old school ex Mad Men secretary who would slap you on the wrist if you looked at the keys while you typed (which I am doing at this very moment). I was on thin ice, as I had already “acted out” more than a few times and was on strike two. When the last dumb note was intercepted by the teacher and I was finally kicked out of the class and forced to take a study hall, I picked up my stuff, stormed out of the class and yelled on my way out: “FINE! WHAT AM I EVER GOING TO NEED TYPING FOR ANYWAY?”

I think of that every day as I sit down at a computer. That fall I started working almost every day on a Macintosh SE 30 in the computer lab at the Kansas City Art Institute. Funny or sad. You decide.

10. Mac or PC?
Mac since 1986, which ties into question 9.

11. Manual or automatic?
Manual everything. Make everything hard. Manual transmission, manual cameras (Sunny 16!!!), recording music on old tape decks, developing my own film... I love to make everything harder than it should be. 

12. What do you consider your best asset?
The same thing I consider my worst asset. My one track obsessive mind. Multi tasking is over rated. Do something and get it done.

13. Guiltiest pleasure?
My wife and I eat out too much. We love it.

14. Biggest pet peeve?
When the drummer in the band is also the lead singer (The Eagles, etc.) It’s just not right to have the drummer be the front man.



15. What do you consider priceless?
The pursuit of the next meaningful photograph, but not the photograph itself. I love connecting with strangers through the lens. I have spent my whole life as an introvert who doesn’t know how to understand and appreciate people and I am making up for lost time by trying to connect with people with my camera as a buffer and an excuse.

16. If you could sit next to anyone on an airplane, who would it be?
My gut reaction would be Garry Winogrand, but after some thought I realized Diane Arbus would be fantastic, but then I thought about how great it would be to be in the middle seat between Garry and Diane and just listen to them talk to each other. Ultimately, I’d like to have a conversation with Garry AND Diane and also listen to both of them talk to each other while I photographed them distracted by the conversation.

17. What would you choose as your last meal?
One roll of 220 Portra 400 in a Contax 645 in good light. I’m serious.

18. What era in time do you connect with the most?
The 60s. Not the “Laugh In” Flower Power Austin Powers stuff, but more of the “Kinks are the Village Green Preservation Society”, Beach Boys “Smile”, Winogrand, Friedlander, Arbus, Avedon, Chuck Close, Velvet Underground kind of 60s.

19. Your motto for life?
Good question. Still working on it. I’ll name check my favorites in the meantime: 
“Inspiration is for amateurs. I just get to work.”-Chuck Close
“If your photo isn’t good enough you’re not close enough.” -Robert Capa
“To me, a good photograph is one that is in focus and of a famous person.” - Andy Warhol
The Lee Friendlander “Uncle Vern” quote (that is too long to recap) about the generosity of a photograph.

20. Best advice you can give?
It’s not what happens to you in life that’s important, but how you deal with with it.





Some of Barry's work:


First, he was featured on another site earlier this year so you should check it out and watch the awesome video:
http://matterobserved.com/2012/02/15/a-day-with-barry-phipps/


These tree pictures make me swoon. I never thought dappled light would be something I'd miss:
http://www.barryphippsphotography.com/2012/05/2485.html


In the words of my sister, precious. And I'm sure their family will treasure these someday:

Um, stunning. With a capital S:


I can't get enough of this wedding. And the stomping on the glass shot? UH-MAZING:
http://www.barryphippsphotography.com/2012/03/wedding-%E2%80%A2-the-drake-spiaggia-%E2%80%A2-chicago-il.html


And this wedding makes me want to get married all over again in some far off place and have Barry photograph it:
http://www.barryphippsphotography.com/2012/01/wedding-%E2%80%A2-karina-anthony-%E2%80%A2-paris-france-%E2%80%A2-new-years-eve.html






I hope you enjoyed reading about Barry as much as I did!




If you'd like to participate, just click on the 'weekly interrogation' tab at the top and follow the instructions there. Hope to see you here!