Friday, December 30, 2011

Good-bye, 2011!

My Friday night: Watching Say Yes to the Dress, drinking a Sprite/Lemonade drink that I mixed up about seven hours ago at Jimmy John's, sort of working on a difficult puzzle, eating Velveeta Shells & Cheese, and hanging out on Pinterest with my buddy Sierra.

All 24 year olds should have exciting Fridays like this. Seriously.

No, but really...I'm going to take a break from all this fun stuff and do a nice little re-cap of 2011. Because HOLY COW, it's almost over!! So let's all say a big huge HELLO to the year 2012!

This has been one hell of a year for me. So much has happened and so many changes have made their way into my life. First and foremost, I graduated college. After spending five years in one place, feeling like all you're doing is repeating last year over and over again, the end seemed so far away. But then suddenly it came out of nowhere and here I am with a fancy diploma and the ability to check "yes" in the little box on job applications that ask if you graduated. It's a fun feeling. Have I used my degree to my advantage at all? Nope! Will I someday? Probably not! But the people I met and the skills I am now able to apply to my work are very worth the ginormous amount of student loan debt I put myself into. I've made lifelong friends at DSU and so many memories that will stick with me through 2012 and all the years to follow.

In 2011 I moved 400 miles from home and into a city that pretty much scares the crap out of me. It's been an experience already, and I do enjoy this city with its bazillion amazing places to eat. (Philly Ted's, Schlotzky's Deli, Jake's BBQ, Firehouse Brewery, Arnold's Diner, and Black Hills Bagels, just to name a few.)

I had an internship with a really fun company and was called a "professional photographer" for the first time in my life. I met lots of cool people and read lots of cool books during these days. I visited George, Tom, Ted, and Abe (aka Mt. Rushmore) every day, and got to witness lots of people seeing it for the first time. My favorites were the older ladies who would gasp "Ohhh my, look at that!" and I realized that I had the coolest job in the world.

I met some incredible people while working in Keystone. Three crazy Canadians, and Ally, who grew up 20 miles from me, along with Robinn and Genny and Don and everyone else who we worked with all summer. I gained lots of confidence in myself and my abilities and was able to make friends with people who I would have otherwise thought I had nothing in common with.

On some less serious notes:

This year I had my first three photos published in a real book. I also had my very first photography show. I spent a summer away from home and missed my brother's entire baseball season, including his State Championship game, complete with his late-inning home run hit. I met someone who changed my life, and because of that, met some people who I know I want to be a part of my life for as long as possible. I lost my grandma, but I still keep her voicemail on my phone so I can listen to her any time I want. I saw some great musicians play in concert at a county fair and had the time of my life with new friends. I held hands and I hugged. I cooked lots of meals, I drank lots of tea, and I ran lots of miles. I fell in love with a new band (Mumford & Sons) and I fell in love with a new song (Head Full of Doubt.) I made plans for my future. I smiled and I cried and I laughed and I prayed and I realized that my life is my own and I can do whatever I want.

This past year has opened my eyes to myself and the people around me. I've changed a lot, and I can't wait to see who I become in 2012. =)

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Happy Birthday, Jesus!

Anyone else spending their Christmas evening watching football? Good times...GO BEARS!!

Just wanted to share a few fun Christmas photos. There's only three. The lack of snow kind of takes away my crazy motivation to take pictures. The near 50 degree weather was super nice, but I enjoy the snow way more.

Halle's birthday cupcakes. =)
Just a few Christmas bows. So shiny! =P
Last night's sunset, on our way to my aunt's house. <3
How did everyone spend their time this weekend? I drove home on Thursday and will be going back to Rapid City on Tuesday. Last night we had our traditional Christmas Eve get-together with my dad's side of the family. Ate some food, went on a hay ride, and had a gift exchange. Today we spent the day with my mom's side of the family. Ate some more food, played our gift exchange game (always so much fun!) and then sat around and ate some more food and played a board game. I have one incredibly amazing family and even though Grandma wasn't here this year, we still made the best of the time we have together. =)

Almost time for the New Year! Need to make my resolutions which I never follow! Woo!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Tuckered Out

Just in case I don't get here this weekend (Which is highly likely, considering my posting stats these days...) I want to send out a very Merry Christmas to all my friends right now. So...


That was fun, huh?


Last weekend we had our family Christmas party at my parents' house. It was a fun time, for sure. We spent the majority of the evening playing board games. I think we collectively received 5 new games between all of us, so we tested most of them out to make sure they were up to the Livingston Family Board Game quality. Most of them passed.

I have the cutest sequence of photos to share with you.

My nephew, Tucker, must have been looking for a place to get away from everyone, and found some shelter under the kitchen table. Take a look...

And to add to the cuteness of this little boy, we quickly found out that he had fallen asleep. In this position, under the table, with his little plumbers butt hanging out.

A little while later, we decided to check on him again...

Holding his booty in the air must have been a little too much work...However, can't say this looks much more comfortable.

Apparently he didn't either.

A little while later...


Here's a close-up of this cutie-pie:

Cutest little boy in the world, for sure. And he sleeps under tables!! I just wanna hug him. All the time. Forever. The end.

I hope you all have a joyous and safe Christmas weekend. God bless! <3

Wednesday, December 14, 2011



Thought that would be a good place to start. I've been silent on here for a long time, huh? That's because I don't really have much going on right now. I moved out of Rapid City hoping to land a pretty awesome job up in Aberdeen - things looked good when I left. Then I got home (where I had planned to stay for just a few days, a week or two at most) and everything kind of fell through and I was having terrible luck with jobs. So, I've been sleeping on my parents' couch, looking online for jobs, and feeling generally pretty crappy about everything.

My student loan payments started this month. And I freaked out and said "Here I am, unemployed, with bills coming in and no way to keep paying for them." So, I decided that moving back to Rapid City is my best bet right now. I wont have to pay full rent, and both Brian and I will have someone to hang out with. Win-win, for the most part. In turn I have to sacrifice some things that I was really hoping/planning/excited for, but I know I need to do this and all I can say is that we'll see what the future brings. So I'll be heading back out there on Sunday, hopefully the old Exploder can make the trip!

Anywho...So now that my sad life update is finished, here's a few of my photo adventures since I last talked to you all...

My brother's little family. =) One of the first days I was home, we took a trip to Newton Hills and did a fun little photoshoot with them. It was lots of fun, the weather was perfect, and we got some great shots. These are some of my favorites...

Soooo cute!!
I was feeling inspired last week so I called my sister and told her to bring the kids over for some Christmas photos. We had a fun little time doing this photoshoot, and got some good new pictures out of it. I'm really happy with how they turned out. I have the CUTEST nieces and nephews in the world. =)

Monday was Dustin's first game of the season. They played Canistota, and basically got their butts kicked. But I know they'll fall into their groove soon. It was still fun to watch, and I'm glad I was home to see it.

Free throw concentration!!

Wooo!! So now we're somewhat caught up. There's more photos that could be thrown in there, but those were the main ones I wanted to share.

Hoping it snows soon so I can get some fun winter shots again...Those are always the best!


My name is Denise and this is the home of my Photography 365 Project. Here you will find many photos and lots of words and hopefully something interesting. Feel free to leave comments and kind words whenever you wish. Thanks for stopping by!