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No coal here

It's official. Santa was good to me this year! As I've gotten older, Christmas presents are always fun to get, but I haven't had a "Jackpot" Christmas for years, until now! This year, I didn't really have an idea of anything I wanted. I have more articles of clothing than any one human being ever needs in a life time, and no room to store anything else; and I didn't really "need" anything, and I knew my wants were all too expensive for Santa, or other family members to get for me (broke brothers, and grandparents who are WAY too generous, but living on retirement). So I didn't really give anyone ideas.

I love that Santa pays attention and just so happens to "KNOW" every year, whether told or not. It's that little bit of Christmas Magic that after 25 years I still haven't figured out. My only conclusion is that "Mrs. Claus" checks my internet browser history to see what I've been eye-balling! Here's just a few of the goods I made out with this year:

::: A telephoto-zoom lens for my camera! I've been dying for one of these. especially for those people who (like me) are very particular about their personal space and can't stand when I'm "right up in their business" clicking away.

::: A Wii!!!! I've wanted one of these for over a year, and I'm excited to say Mom came through this year! I spent pretty much all day playing sports games, and working off all the crap I've eaten the past week. Grandma & Grandpa also threw in the remote recharge station and an extra remote.

::: An External hard drive. I know most people would be disappointed with this one, but I couldn't have needed anything more! I put so many RAW files on my computer after every photo shoot, convert them to .Tiffs in Lightroom and then to .JPEGS in photoshop and then make numerous copies of different outcomes, sizes, slide shows etc. My poor little laptop is just pooped and can't hold it all. I've been going through jump drives like water, and I figured a new external hard drive will be just the ticket.

::: I also received a few "helps for future purchases" The first being a coupon for the entire set up of Rockband (All band pieces included) for only $100. I will be picking that up this week!

::: And my last favorite thing(s) were gift cards. Normally I hate gift cards, but this year I got gift cards from all my brothers so that I don't have to save so much/for so long for the other camera lenses I want!

EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM ($1300.00)

EF 50mm f / 1.2 USM ($1600.00)EF 15mm f/2.8 Fisheye ($650.00)

Like I said, I pretty much made out like a bandit! I also got a few articles of clothing, and while I should return them (literally I have no where to put them unless I hang them from my ceiling fan), they're really cute. I also have one more present from "someone" that I haven't opened yet, but I have this much of a hint...

I really did have a WONDERFUL holiday. Being 25 the **sparkle** had kind of worn off for me, especially with all the things going on with my family not being able to be together for the first time ever (We went from 15 to 7 people this year). I'm excited for the little time we all did have together, and that for the first time in YEARS I was able to feel like a kid again, and really just get lost in Christmas.

PS the fact that it snowed all day really helped too! (It never snows in Las Vegas, esp. on Christmas!)


Christmas Cheer

Call me Ms. Procrastinator! I finally started my Christmas shopping today... and I finished it, but UGH it was the worst experience ever! I left my house at about 1:00 to head down to Fashion Show... and then I sat in traffic for nearly 2 hours! Are you kidding me? Then at about Rancho, my gas light came on... Awesome. There was nowhere to exit and get gas. Charleston was the next available exit and the line to get off there was not moving at all! Ugh, I was finally able to exit at what I thought was Spring Mountain West, and get gas, only to realize that when i was back on the road heading east I was not on Spring Mountain, but on DI. Lame. Once I got to the mall things started to look up.
I definately had a parking fairy cause I got the spot second closest to the elevators! I was worried and did an Austin Powers parking job, becuase I was in my dad's gargantuan truck, and had no clue how to park this thing.
Anyway I was able to get everything I needed and PINK wrapping paper!!! So cute. I wrapped a few (above) and decided to save the rest for tomorrow.

I then headed over to my grandparent's house to spend time with the family. While we were eating dinner, I noticed my grandma had a new diamond on one of her fingers, she said it wasn't new, but she'd recently found it in her closet while hiding presents. She went upstairs and brought down a box of jewlery (all diamonds) and we had a little try-on party. OMG some of these puppies were HUGE! I mean freakishly huge. All of the jewlery was yellow gold, which I'm not a fan of, but I "inherited" this ring and I think it's so perfect!!! It's just a 3 stone ring with a one carat center stone and 2 half-carat stones on the side. I've been wanting to get myself a right hand ring for my birthday and just havent found anything I like, but I think this will be it. It's a size 9 (to fit over her arthritis knuckels, poor thing) so I have to get it resized tomorrow (I'm only a 4!). But I'm very excited to have it.


It's beginning to look a lot like...

you know the rest...

We didn't do much by way of decorations this year. It just seems like Christmas snuck up on us! We at least managed to get the tree up, and decorate the mantle. The biggest decoration I miss this year is our village! Normally at Christmas every flat surface on the first floor of our house is covered with "sparkle" batting and then topped with glass Victorian Christmas Village pieces (and not the cheap ones from Target, the super nice ones from Bombay Company).
They maee me think of what Christmas should be like: snow on the ground, shoppers, ice skating on a pond in town square, snowball fights after school, shops open late, cobblestone walkways, and the train station full of visitors and gifts ordered from far away... *sigh*
I'm so excited that I was able to get 10 days off of work so that I can enjoy the holiday with my friends and family! I'm also so grateful that I had a great month at work and can afford to do so, including extra money to pay all my bills for next month! Still, I'm feeling a little overwhelmed, tomorrow I have to start... and finish all of my shopping!
Ugh that's the only bad thing about Christmas.

Merry Christmas!


Looking Forward...

Here are a few things I'm looking forward to right now!
1. The next two weeks are going to be a Photo-Frenzy! I have 1 wedding, 1 family session and 2 engagement sessions, I'm going to be snap happy!
2. How well my engagement session of Kirsten & Sean turned out, I got a sneak peak of their order today, and I feel as though I can gloat a little, and say, I'm rather talented
3. Starting and finishing all of my Christmas shopping.
4. My hair appointment on Monday, not only are my roots out of control, but I'm finally out of the "my-hair-was-so-damaged-I've-been-letting-it-just-grow" phase, so I'm excited to get a haircut whose style doesn't resemble a mop.

5. My super cute manicure and pedicure I got today! Christmas red, and little candy canes and piontsetas airbrushed on my toes.
6. How busy my work has been, and my schedule for the next two weeks, I'm off all next week, but the following week I'm working 14 hour days 6 days of the week.
7. My family all being in town for Christmas! Except my dad, and my Fweetie who will be in a few days later.
8. My new boardgames to play with all of my family, I bought: Crainium Wow edition, Would you Rather, and Loaded Questions Adult Version haha


Last night while I was hard at work, I noticed a man at one of the tables (not in my section) staring. It was like every time I walked by his eyes were a tractor beam on my face. It was a little uncomfortable. Well I didn't pay much attention, but about as he was leaving, he sent our hostess over to ask me if I had a few minutes to talk to him. I work in a wine bar, where I'm an constantly hit on by drunk older men, and tonight I just wasn't in the mood to deal with it. So, I told her I was really busy and to tell him sorry but no. Crisis averted.
Drunk creepy old man 0
Morgan 1
Well about an hour later, she came back over to me, this time with a business card. (geez this guy didn't quit) She then told me that he was a casting director for Warner Brothers, and thought I was beautiful, had great energy and seemed very personable and said if I was interested in acting to give him a call....
Well to be honest I've never thought of acting, ever. In fact I'm sure I'd be horrible at it.
I'm very cautious of these things, I've been approached a number of times in my life, and I never done anything about it. These kind of people can be rapists you know. Well one of the boys I work with is a model, and he got a card too, so that started to make me feel a little more at ease with it.
When I got home from work, and googled this guy, and the only thing that came up was his facebook page. I also noticed that his business card is just a white business card with the WB logo on it (I could make this on photoshop in 30 seconds) and his personal information including e-mail (not a WB address either) and SKYPE name, whatever that is. Did I mention his name is spelled wrong? His excuse to the hostess was that in Belgium, or Russia or where ever he's from that his cards were printed, they don't have the letter "Z" in their alphabet, so the "Z" in his name is handwritten.... Strange the letter doesn't exist in your country and yet it's in your last name....
Are these GIANT RED FLAGS to anyone else? Needless to say, I'm smart enough to chalk this one up to a scam... But Josh (the model I work with) called me today. I guess he called the guy after work last night, and at 4 today is going in to meet with a talent agent.... If Josh comes back alive, maybe I'll call this guy and bring my dad (who will in turn bring his guns) to see what this is all about....


Let it snow Let snow Let it snow!

I'm so excited! When I woke up this morning, it was snowing, and hasn't quit! And it's not typical Las Vegas snow that melts the second it touches anything, it's actually sticking!!! Finally something has put me in the Christmas Spirit!



"The best way to get your life clean, is to get your hands dirty."

I heard this quote today on an Orange Juice commercial, and I love it!

PS. I was up until 7:23 this morning, and I'm now exhausted. I've been looking for a new logo/letterhead/business card for my budding photography business, and I've been talking/brainstorming to 3 different graphic designers. I liked their ideas, but each one wanted to charge me $300+ for their services. I thought, "I can do better, and for free." So I did!

My website is under MAJOR CONSTRUCTION until after the holidays, but I'm so excited that I now have an official logo, letterhead (3 kinds), and a super cute business card!!!



Every Wednesday afternoon, I have to go to a Wine Class at my work. It is here that I learn about wine, and also how to sell the particular wine we learn about to guests, along with food pairings, etc. (There really is a lot to know other than wine can be red or white). Well today when I went in, I learned we would not be having "wine class", instead we were going to learn about the new "foodie explosion" in the United States.
Today, we had an Olive Oil tasting! Apparently Olive Oil is in the United States now, what Wine in the U.S. was in the 70's; everyone knows what it is, but it's not fully appreciated. Being a member of the church, I figured I know A LOT about olive oil (we learn about it every time we learn of the atonement; what it's used for, along with how it's made, and symbolism).

Surprise! Just like wine, olive oil is very diverse and complex. There are as many varietals of olives as there are grapes. Also just as the French are snooty with Wine, Italians are with Olive Oil. For example; did you know an Olive Oil can ONLY be considered Extra Virgin olive oil if it is pressed from the first harvest of that year, and is under 18 months old?!?! After 18 months it is simply Virgin Olive oil, and after another year or so it technically can only be considered Olive Oil. In Italy, this rule is very strict, once their oil passes it's 18 months maturity, it is then shipped to the U.S., here the labels don't have to be changed to remove the "Extra" because we have no protocol about it!

Also have you heard of Light Olive Oil? Don't buy it, it's garbage! At the end of the pressing process, when there is hardly any of the good stuff left, the presses are filled with boiling water, which extract the last little bit of good oil, then the olives are pressed again. You get "light oil." Not less calories, just less flavor and less oil. You're paying the same price, if not more for water. Interesting...

Anyway, back to the class... I got excited because I love bread and olive oil, so it would be an excuse to eat. I was wrong. Apparently when at an olive oil tasting, you drink it!!! We poured about 2 oz. of each olive oil into a glass and learned the proper way to taste, before gulping it down! Here's how:

1. Pour the oil in a small glass and gently swirl in order to release all the various aromas
2. Inhale, first briefly, then deeply trying to capture all the different aromas ...
3. Sip a small quantity of oil from the glass trying to keep it in the front of your mouth between your lower lip and your tightly shut teeth....
4. Inhale breathing first delicately then more vigorously, so as to vaporize the oil in the oral cavity where the taste buds are...
5. While swallowing, try to identify and catalogue all the different aromas and flavors by exhaling from the nose so that the vaporized oil particles can reach the nasal membrane giving even more precise sensations... (if it's a good, young oil, you'll feel a "pinch" in the back of your throat!)
6. Once we have collected sufficient information we can expel the oil (either by swallowing or spitting)!!!!

Needless to say, by the end, I felt sick to my stomach. I'm not used to the texture, or the flavor. It was educational, but I won't be repeating the practice. So Nora's Wine Bar is now saying, "So Long" to two of our three olive oils (Frantoia, the house favorite, and the Ranniri, the guest's favorite). We will now carry three Sicilian oils, the Monini (eww, it tastes like grass), Bio (pronounced Bee-oh, an organic oil with aromas of clay, and walnut finish), and Molinazzo (a buttery oil, with spicy/peppery finish).

If you never tasted olive oil, I recommend it. I never knew until today that there were "aromas" and "flavors" in them. But the younger the oil, the stronger and more concentrated the flavor and "pinch". I hope you try this, and if you don't on your own, come see me at work! We offer a tasting of 3 oils with every meal!

PS. Don't ruin olive oil with Balsamic Vinegar. We learned about that in my food class too. Real balsamic vinegar sells for nearly $25/oz. The kind you buy in the grocery store, in bulk, or get at restaurants has more in common (chemically, and flavor-wise) with Coca-cola syrup than real Balsamic Vinegar!


Glad to have you back

PS this actually a photo of Britney, not me.
I don't see the resemblance, but apparently a
lot of you readers do. Just to clear the air
Click the photo to listen to the Circus Album. I have to say, I'm a fan. I'm glad she's doing well, and keeping me dancing! I've also been rocking out to "Piece of me" click the pic below to get your groove on.

Great Conversation!

I just had a great conversation with Santa! He called because he had questions about my Christmas list. Apparently the elves couldn't remember what I already had and what I wanted... Something about the model's letter/number combination and the accessories were causing confusion. We discussed many things: body options, lenses etc. At the end I rated the top 3 body styles in order of best to not-so-best, and then the 5 options of lenses from AWESOME to still-better-than-what-I-have.
I have a feeling Santa is going to be good to me this year!!!


The More You Know

Today I learned:
1. You can buy caskets from Costco.
2. Coca-Cola is originally green.
3. All Polar Bears are left handed (just like me!)
4. The state of Tennessee used to be called Franklin.
5. "Pants" used to be a dirty word in England
6. In Arizona it is illegal to hunt Camels (are there camels in Arizona?)
7. Al Gore's roommate in college (Harvard, class of 1969) was Tommy Lee Jones.
8. In every episode of Seinfeld there is a Superman somewhere

9. A duck's quack doesn't echo
I love my job, and listening to people just talk. It's quite fascinating what you can learn!


Look How Far We've Come

We had to hold off on Birthday Celebrations until today when Colby could fly in from Salt Lake. Afterall triplets can't celebrate their birthday when only 2/3 of us are present. I posted the following picture just to show how far we've come in 25 years. Yikes, that's a scary number, but I figure the more I say it the more I'll accept it. This picture was in every newspaper you could imagine across Utah. We were the first set of triplets to be born in LDS Hospital in Salt Lake City! I love love love it! You can clearly tell who's who which I think is so funny.

Happy Birthday to Ev
Happy Birthday to Me

Happy Birthday to Colby
Happy Birthday to us!


Before & After

This is my friend Thomas from work. For about a year I have beenmaking fun of his long hair and hinting that he cut it. Things like, "in my house boys had short hair and only girls have long hair." or I refer to him by ladies names. Imagine my surprise when he calls me up today an asked if I'd go with him to cut it! Apparently last night he was referred to as a Charles Manson look-a-like, I guess that was the last straw.