Monday, February 28, 2011

Day 19 :: Something You Regret

I don't have regrets.

I know that sounds lame or fake or like I'm trying to prove something perhaps, but the truth of it is that I don't. If I do something stupid that I should supposedly regret, I chalk it up to being human & grow from it. Or at least I try. But I don't like to dwell on the things that I should have done better any more than is healthy.

So no regrets for me.

Sunday, February 27, 2011


I did a photo shoot yesterday of the most adorable little man, Zander. I've taken all of his pictures since he was born, so it was really fun to see him growing up & being such a "big boy". I just thought I would share a few of my favorites with you.

Day 18 :: Your Favorite Memory

It's impossible to pinpoint one exact moment that is my very favorite. I'm sure that's true for most people. One of my more recent favorites, however, was when James was born. I mean, seriously, I waited (& counted down) for nine long months for that day to come, so when it finally did, it was the most wonderful experience. And I'm not gonna lie, having a baby is some hard work, but every time he does something new, like giggle or roll or smile, that becomes my new favorite moment. So I can't pick just one.

Day 17 :: Your Favorite Birthday

This one is EASY.

David proposed to me on my 27th birthday. (This, consequently, is his excuse for not trying to "outdo himself" when it comes to my birthdays since he obviously can never top it.)

I could stop right there, but I'll go ahead & briefly tell you about this fabulous birthday in a little more detail...

I took the day off of work, but David still had school or work or something, so I had to wait allllll daaaaaaay for him to get home. I can't remember every single little detail of this day anymore, but what ended up happening was that David & I went for a walk down Seven Peaks Boulevard. This particular walk was right near our apartment complex & we'd taken many walks down this way before. Along this path was a very large buckeye tree. As I'm from Ohio, I became good friends with this buckeye tree that we'd often pass by on our walks. Anyway, so we took our walk & David took my down to our "special tree". First, he busts out some roses from his satchel (which was kind of impressive because he successfully hid roses in his man bag. Who seriously can pull that off?). Then he gives me a birthday card. So far so good. But inside of this card was a folded up piece of paper. I open the paper & it's got this comic on it.

Here is the comic:

(Only David could use a comic as a precursor to a marriage proposal.) Below this comic was written some lyrics to a mushy love song that we liked. When he could tell that I was done reading it, he asked me to marry him.

And that was that.

Best. Birthday. EVER.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Day 16 :: Your Dreams

David & I talk a lot about the places we'd like to go or the things we'd like to do. Ultimately, we're very happy with our lives, but there are a few things that we dream about. Here are a few:

Move Out of Utah - That's the first thing on our list. Utah has been good to us for this time in our lives (after all, I did meet the love of my life here), but we are definitely ready to be moving on. And soon.

Buy a House - Of course, this will hopefully come once we move out of Utah, but we'd really love to have a place of our own. (And with a big kitchen, says David.)

Visit Europe - Particularly London (for me) & Germany (for David). That is our rich fantasy dream. We've got some coins in our Tootsie Roll bank, so we're on our way!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Day 15 :: Your First Kiss

I was five when I first kissed a boy. (Don't judge me.) His name was Aron Wise. My mom babysat him & his little sister on occasion. We were playing one day & decided that we wanted to know what this kissing business was all about. And that's all.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Why I'm Awesome Today

Today, I was able to run a few errands. Among those errands was some grocery shopping. Upon arriving home, I was able to carry the following into the house in one trip:

- Two gallons of milk
- Two grocery bags
- A 12-pack of soda
- A diaper bag
- A baby in a car seat

Not only did I manage to carry this all in at once by myself, but I managed not to drop or break anything. And I managed to not wake up my baby.

And this is why I'm awesome today.

Day 14 :: What You Wore Today

Um, no. Not blogging about my clothes again. It was bad enough the first time. So I'll talk about what James is wearing.

Pajamas. With yellow duckies all over them.

See? Much more exciting.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Day 13 :: This Week

Since yesterday was a holiday, David didn't have school or work (since he works for BYU), so we had a nice, relaxing day. We got a little bit of cleaning done & started watching 24: Season 8 on Netflix. I work Monday & Friday evenings, so I still went into work for a few hours in the evening. David took me into work so that he could have the car to bring James into the studio once my shift was over & I could take his three month pictures (which you can see in my previous post). He did a fabulous job for David while I was away & during his photo shoot!

That's today. So far, James & I have taken a little nap. About ten minutes ago, Matthew came over & now we're all chillin' here together. David gets home at 2pm today (due to having Monday classes today because of yesterday's holiday), so I'm hoping that, together, we can get some other things checked off of my To Do List.

I don't have anything especially fabulous planned for tomorrow other than to hang out with my little man. One thing from my list that I would like to get done is my mending. David has some new pants that I need to hem, plus a few shirts that I'm going to attempt to patch & see if they can be salvaged well or not. That's my goal.

Again, nothing big planned except to go visiting teaching that afternoon.

I work again on Friday evening, after which David, James & I are going to a friends house for a fun get-together. A couple of our friends are moving to California very soon & we're having a little bash to send them off properly!

James' Three Month Pictures

Here they are! This gorgeous little man of mine did such a great job today taking pictures. I just can't get enough of him.

Look at those eyes!
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James hasn't been able to hold his head up for very long before, so when I put him on his tummy like this, I totally expected him to put his cheek on the floor rather than look up like this. Since he was doing so well, we turned him around & got the following pictures.
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Awesome big ears.
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This one is my favorite! He smiles like this all the time.
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Who's back there?
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I don't know why, but this picture makes me laugh. He just looks so bored!
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"For real, Mom. Let's be done now."
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Day 12 :: What's In Your Bag?

Baby stuff.

Since having James, I've kind of given up the purse & just put my wallet, keys & cell phone into the diaper bag.

Oh, the exciting life that I lead.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Three Months Old

The super handsome James is three months old today! I can't believe time is going by so fast. I love my fabulous baby boy!

Day 11 :: Your Siblings

I have one sibling. This is my little brother, Tony. He is pictured here with his fabulous wife, Jen.

Tony is exactly 14 months & 14 days younger than me, which I'm sure was loads of fun for my mom when we were little. Being close in age, however, has made us really good friends over time.

I usually only get to see him once or twice a year when I make it back to Ohio for one reason or another. Luckily, I will be going back at the beginning of March & he, along with the rest of my family, will finally get to meet the handsome, handsome James!

And in case you didn't know, this is where James got his middle name -- from his Uncle Tony! Lucky him!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Day 10 :: What You Wore Today

From top to bottom...

Olive green army-esque knit hat.
Black shirt.
Black undershirt.
Blue jeans.
Felix the Cat socks.
Red and black argyle skater-type shoes.

I feel safer knowing that I've posted this. Carry on.

Day 9 :: Your Beliefs

Rather than sitting here & thinking of the best way to describe my beliefs, I decided to do something else.

On the website, members of the Church are encouraged to create personal profiles so that those who are investigating our beliefs may connect with everyday members & hear what they have to say. So what I decided to do was post my profile.

Hope this helps to answer any questions that anyone might have. If not, I would be more than happy to go into further detail with you!

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About Me

I got married in 2008 to the man of my dreams and we had our first son last year. I started getting involved in portrait photography over a decade ago through the generosity of friends who were willing to allow me to use them to "experiment" on. More recently, I've been working as a portrait and wedding photographer. I have a real passion for studio photography and love to create beautiful images that others will cherish for the rest of their lives. The best feeling? Seeing the look on someone's face when they catch a glimpse of what I've created for them and knowing that they've fallen in love with it. Well, that, and seeing my little boy smile.

How I live my faith

First and foremost, I live my faith in my home. My husband and I read the scriptures and pray together daily so that we may, as a couple, draw closer to our Savior and have his Spirit in our home with us. I also show my love for my Savior by serving others. I am currently serving on a committee that sees to the needs of women at church. We take a special interest in those who have recently become mothers by trying to provide them with emotional support and other resources that may help them as they transition into this new role in life.

Why I am a Mormon

I became a Mormon when I was 15 years old, along with my mother and my 14-year-old brother. I lived in an area where there were plenty of religious people, but very few Mormons. When the missionaries contacted us, I knew nothing of the beliefs of the Church. At the time, I didn't have a burning desire to associate myself with any religious organization, but once I started learning about the gospel, that quickly changed. It didn't take long for me to receive the impression that this was definitely a good path to take in my life. Since then, I have strived to live worthy of the Holy Spirit so that I can continually feel those sweet feelings that prompted me to change so long ago.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a ward/stake/branch?

Many churches refer to their collection of members as their congregation. While this is still true for us, we more frequently use the terms ward, branch or stake. The term "ward" would be interchangeable with the term "congregation". One could say that someone is "a member of my congregation" in the same way that they could say that they are "a member of my ward". It is just more common to hear us use the latter. The term "branch" can be used in the exact same way as the term "ward". The only difference is that a branch is a much smaller congregation than usual. The term "stake" refers to a specific grouping of multiple wards and branches in the same vicinity. Again, one could say that someone is "a member of my stake" and be referring to someone who is not a member of their own ward or branch, but attends another ward or branch nearby.

Are all Mormons required to serve a mission?

No, they are not. No one is required to serve a mission. All young men are told that they should prepare to serve a full-time mission and that they should do so as long as they are able. Young women are encouraged to serve as long as they feel so inclined after much thought and prayer. Many faithful members of the Church are unable to serve full-time missions due to health concerns or other circumstances beyond their control.

How can we stop the spread and influence of pornography?

We can all begin by keeping all forms of immodest or immoral media out of our homes. In our house, we don't own or watch any R-rated movies, nor do we subscribe to premium television channels. We also have a protection filter on our internet that will block inappropriate web content. This is a personal decision that my husband and I have made together. It allows us to enjoy good, clean entertainment freely without being overly concerned that something immoral is going to pop up unexpectedly. I feel strongly that we can all make a difference by controlling what we watch. My motto is that if we don't watch it, they'll stop making it.

Friday, February 18, 2011

James' New Trick

My baby is not only the cutest baby that ever was, he has now mastered a fabulous new trick that will no doubt launch him into immediate stardom. Someday, you can say you knew James "way back when". So just sit back & enjoy this glimpse of his awesomeness.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Day 8 :: A Moment

After writing my last post, I started to think about all of the moments that I've had with David. The one that keeps coming to mind as I think about what to write here was from back before we started officially dating.

After meeting David, we became friends fairly quick, especially since I was already friends with most of his roommates. We started to hang out together all the time & most of the people in our ward were just "waiting for us to get our act together".

I was the Relief Society president at the time. Being in a small single's ward meant that everyone knew our business. And by everyone, I mean including the Bishopric & other ward leadership. Anyway, we had a High Councilor in our ward, Bro Oldroyd, who was especially fabulous & always took an interest in the lives of the people in the ward.

One day in late March -- actually, on Easter Sunday -- David & I were having dinner together in his apartment (as friends) when he told me that Bro Oldroyd had asked him if we were dating. Obviously, David tells me this to see if I would respond positively to this news (which I did), but he still doesn't say anything about wanting to start dating, nor does he make any sort of move. Sheesh!

So the next day, I decide that I've had enough of this "friends" business (I mean, after all, eight months is a heck of a long time!), so I went over to his apartment as usual. After we had been hanging out for a while, I said, "Let's go for a walk." Before we were even away from our apartment complex, I turned to him & said, "Are we dating yet?"

His response? "Do you want to be?"

Really, boy?

Needless to say, that's when we started dating & the rest is history. It just always makes me giggle to think about this moment. And I like to tease David about how lucky he is that I took the initiative. Actually, I like to tease him about that a lot.

I love my formerly socially awkward husband. :)

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Day 7 :: Your Best Friend

As I've been reading this blog challenge on the blogs of some of my friends, I've noticed that they have all had one thing in common -- everyone has posted on day seven about how their husband is their best friend.

And why not? I mean, who wouldn't want to spend forever with their best friend?

And fortunately, I can say the same thing. I don't feel like I need to list every fabulous quality that I love about David right here & now, because I do that on a regular basis in my day-to-day blog posts. But I will say that having a baby really lets you see just how strong your friendship is. When you don't have time to be romantic & lovey all evening because it's spent changing diapers & fighting for naps & giving baby baths, you have to shelve the romance for a little while & become a real team. And David is the best teammate.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Day 6 :: Your Day

My day was pretty normal. I hung out with James for most of the day & also watched Matthew, a friend's little boy, for five hours while David was at work. During that time, my friend Thuy came over for a little while. (It was so nice to have company!) After David got home, I was tired of being in the house all day, so we went to Target because we needed to buy diapers & wipes. Super exciting outing, I know! Now, we're at home. David is in the bedroom doing his homework while I hang out with James some more & watch Lost.

James hanging out with his pal, Matthew.
(He is only 5 days older than James.)

This picture was taken yesterday.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Day 5 :: Your Definition of Love

I guess it's fitting that this post should fall on Valentine's Day.

Love has many different faces, as most of us know, so I just thought I would share a few recent examples of how others have shown their love for me through kind acts.

* Today, my fabulous friend, Lisa, stopped by to lend me her baby carriers & gave me a delicious Valentine's Day treat of homemade cookies & chocolate milk.

* My neighbor, Kayleen, offered to watch James for an hour so that I could do my most recent Mormon Artist photo shoot & my friend, Jennifer, volunteered to watch him for a couple of hours so that David & I could attend the temple together.

* My brother, Tony, called me earlier this week because he wanted to let me know that he borrowed a Pack 'n Play from one of his friends for James to use when we go to Ohio in a few weeks. He said that he was cleaning it up & everything so that it'd be all ready to use when we get there.

* Today, David helped my bathe James, after which he got him all ready for bed while I got to take a nice, relaxing shower.

I know there are plenty more examples of how fabulous the people in my life are, but at least this gives you an idea. Happy Valentine's Day!

Day 4 :: What You Ate Today

For real? What I ate? I'd think there would be something cooler for me to blog about today, but no, I'm blogging about my eating habits for the day.

* Got up in the middle of the night last night (technically early this morning) to feed James & was really thirsty, so I had a glass of milk.

* No breakfast.

* Had a deli sandwich with a can of soda for lunch.

* Had a cheesy chicken casserole dish with a glass of milk for dinner.

* Ate a few Cheetos. (I have a love-love relationship with Cheetos.)

* Had another glass of milk.

* Had another soda.

* Ate half of a graham cracker with peanut butter & chocolate chips on it. I stole that from David.

* Also had a cookie. David made it, so eating the cookie was inevitable. Don't judge me.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Day 3 :: Your Parents

My Parents

This is the most recent picture of my whole family; my dad, mom, brother & me. It was taken at my brother's wedding in October of 2009. The weird thing is that my parents have been divorced for the past 19 years & I truly cannot recall the last time we had a picture taken with all 4 of us. One thing can be said for my parents -- they were always civil with one another in front of my brother & me.

So, here is a little bit about my parents:

My Dad

Name: Daniel
Birthday: 21 March 1958
Bio: Lives with his wife & her daughter in Lincolnton, NC. Works as an auto mechanic. Was once offered a job on the pit crew of a very popular (now retired) NASCAR driver.

This part is a little harder for me because I had a pretty strained relationship with my dad for quite some time up until recently, but I still want this to be a positive post.

There were multiple events that helped us on our way, but the defining moment was when my father spoke at my brother's wedding. After the best man's speech at the reception, my dad went up to the microphone, unprompted, & starting talking about how proud he was of both my brother & I. To make a long story short, he mentioned how he realized how much he missed in our lives & how proud he was of the both of us. It was really kind of a neat moment, especially since I had cousins & other family members there who were not too pleased about seeing my dad since he decided not to come to my wedding the year before. (That's another long story for another day.) Since then, my dad has joined Facebook, which, despite how lame it might sound, has helped us stay in touch better.

My Mom

Name: Burnita, or "Bonnie"
Birthday: 15 October 1959
Bio: Lives with her sister in Westerville, OH. Absolutely loves suspense & horror films. Former model.

My mom is, by far, the most fabulous person I have ever known. She was only 2.5 years older than I am now when she had to start raising 2 children on her own. I know that this couldn't have been easy for her, but what I remember most was how she worked 2 or 3 jobs at a time, took classes to earn her degree & still found time to attend many of our band concerts & sporting events. I still have this hilarious (& very sweet) image in my head from our high school marching band days of my mom sitting in the bleachers at a nighttime football game with her big ol' tote bag full of H&R Block homework because I asked her to attend this particular game. And even though she had a lot of homework to do & could have feasibly told us no, she came anyway. She always put us first & did everything with a big smile on her face. If I could even be half as good of a mother to James as she was to us, I will consider myself extremely fortunate.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Day 2 :: First Love

Josh Miller.

Josh was my high school boyfriend for a year and a half (which is a pretty long time when you're in high school, honestly).

I met Josh when my family joined the Church. Since I met him when I was 15 & you are asked to wait until you are 16 to begin dating, we didn't start "going out" (as the young folk like to call it) until 6 months after we met. Our first real date was when he asked me to go to a Homecoming dance. Since we went to different high schools, I didn't know anyone there except for the two other girls from church that went to high school with him as well. I actually kind of liked it that way, though. It felt like I could start fresh with new friends.

Story Break! There was this one time when my mom picked my brother & me up from an activity at the church building & she offered to give Josh a ride home, too. For whatever reason, she asked us if we wanted to go to Pizza Hut & said that Josh could come with us, too. (Hooray for pizza!) When we got there & were seated, there was this guy who worked there who came up to our table, claiming that he knew me from somewhere. I had no idea who he was (& I've always been really good at remembering people) & I told him so. He came back again later, still talking to me & swearing that he knew me from somewhere. Well, apparently this exchange made everyone think that he was hitting on me. (I just thought he was being a weirdo.) The next time he came back to our table & started talking to me, Josh nonchalantly put his arm around my shoulders. He just kind of got this slightly embarrassed look on his face, finished what he was saying & left. And he didn't come back over. Everyone thought it was hilarious because I guess having Josh hang out with my family made him look like my brother rather than my boyfriend. I felt a little sheepish because I'd never had a guy outwardly hit on me before. And it made Josh feel pretty awesome to have someone flirt with his girlfriend right in front of him. Um... anyway, good story. Story Break Over!

Anyway, the rest of this story is kind of a bummer. We were nearing the end of our senior year when Josh started to ask me if I would wait for him when he went on his mission. I didn't tell him no, but 17-year-old me couldn't tell him yes, either. We stopped dating three months before graduation. Josh actually stopped going to church shortly after that because of a falling out that he had with his family & consequently never went on his mission. See? Bummer.

On the bright side, I met one of my best friends, Diana, because of dating Josh. She is his oldest sister & we still remain good friends to this day. Hooray for happiness! :)

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Day 1 :: Introduce Yourself

Birth Name: Tiffany Marie Atwell
Birthday: 10 July 1981
Hometown: Tiro, Ohio (population 281)
Schooling: Buckeye Central High School in New Washington, Ohio; Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah

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My Family

I met my husband, David James Tertipes, in July of 2007 while living in Provo. We became pals instantly and our mutual friends quickly dubbed us as "that couple". You know, the couple that parades around as "just friends" when everyone else in the world knows better. That was us. And, luckily for David, I could only handle that for eight months. We started "officially" dating in March of 2008. David proposed to me 3.5 months later, on my 27th birthday. We got married on 20 September 2008 in Columbus, Ohio. We decided to start our own little family a couple of years later and our first son, James Anthony Tertipes, was born on 20 November 2010. He gives us more joy than we could have ever possibly hoped for!

My Faith

I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, or more commonly referred to as Mormon. I joined the Church in March of 1997, when I was 15 years old. Since then, I have strived to live my life by the principles and teachings of Jesus Christ. I know that I am far from perfect, but I have faith that through the atoning sacrifice of my Savior, that I will one day, along with my husband and child(ren), return to live with my Father in Heaven. The knowledge that I have of who I am and why I am here gives me strength and purpose as I journey through life.

My Passion

I am one of the fortunate few who gets to take their passion and make a living out of it. For me, that is my photography. I love all sorts of photography, but I have a real love for studio portraiture. I am currently on maternity leave from Fotogenix, the portrait studio I have worked at since June of 2005, and I hope to be returning to work (very part time) within the next couple of weeks. I also volunteer as a staff photographer for the online magazine Mormon Artist. I do this because I get to meet fabulous new people and hone different photography skills that I otherwise might be less motivated to work on.

My Politics

It would sound too non-committal or politically apathetic to label myself as middle of the road or moderate, but I guess that's as close as I can get. I like to be well informed. I like to listen to all sides of the discussion and then I form my opinions accordingly. Political and social extremism really bother me. I feel like people like Glenn Beck and Bill O'Reilly have nothing better to do than bully people for not agreeing with their political ideology. I also feel very strongly about voting. Growing up in a swing state will do that to you. However, I find voting in Utah to be very depressing. No matter how you vote, the Republicans are always going to win (unless you are Jim Matheson), and that's just plain sad. I think that every place can do with some diverse thinking to help get the job done more effectively.

My One True Love

British entertainment.

I know, I know. I love those geeky sci-fi shows like Doctor Who and Torchwood. The best part about it is the comedians. Britian, by far, has the most hilarious comedians I have ever heard. (Most American comedians are crass and just not funny. Except Brian Regan. We connect.) David and I watch hilarious panel shows such as QI and Mock the Week. I also love watching their sketch comedy shows such as A Bit of Fry and Laurie, The Catherine Tate Show and That Mitchell and Webb Look. I like to watch some of their stand-up shows on You Tube as well. My favorite actor, for as long as I can remember, has always been Colin Firth. And I am dying to visit London one day. I think I might have been British in another life.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

30 Day Blog Challenge

I stole this from the blog of my dear friend, Amanda, and I thought it was a great idea; especially since I've been at a loss for interesting things to write about lately. And if you want to join me, please do! I'd love to read this on your blog as well!

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Day 01 - Introduce Yourself
Day 02 - Your First Love
Day 03 - Your Parents
Day 04 - What You Ate Today
Day 05 - Your Definition Of Love
Day 06 - Your Day
Day 07 - Your Best Friend
Day 08 - A Moment
Day 09 - Your Beliefs
Day 10 - What You Wore Today
Day 11 - Your Siblings
Day 12 - What's In Your Bag
Day 13 - This Week
Day 14 - What You Wore Today
Day 15 - Your First Kiss
Day 16 - Your Dreams
Day 17 - Your Favorite Birthday
Day 18 - Your Favorite Memory
Day 19 - Something You Regret
Day 20 - This Month
Day 21 - Another Moment
Day 22 - Something That Upsets You
Day 23 - Something That Makes You Feel Better
Day 24 - Something That Makes You Cry
Day 25 - A First
Day 26 - Your Fears
Day 27 - Your Favorite Place
Day 28 - Something That You Miss
Day 29 - Your Aspirations
Day 30 - One Last Moment

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Fabulous Photo Shoot 2

Here is another shoot that I did for the magazine last Friday for Kym Mellen, a theatre professor at BYU. Just thought I'd share a few images from this session, too. :)

PS - I promise I'll have something real to blog about soon.