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Monday, March 25, 2013

Introducing Kirsten Ashley Photography

I know there have been crickets on the blog for about a month now. I am so backlogged with images to edit, it'll take me another month to catch up. But the main reason for the hiatus I am proud to announce, is the launch of my new company -- Kirsten Ashley Photography. That's right folks, it's official. I received my Handwerkskarte last week that allows me to have a registered local business in Landstuhl, Germany. I have been hard at work since January ironing out all of the details for this spectacular debut. I can barely convey how excited I am!!!!!

Kirsten Ashley Photography is lifestyle sessions capturing everyday moments that make up your life. I offer sessions for families, portraits, high school seniors, children, couples, & engagements. I also have five categories of fine art images to be sold as prints: Architecture, Adventures, Foodie, & Fenestrations, & Mother Nature.

If you are interested in booking a session please visit the website and feel free to contact me with questions.

To visit the site: Kirsten Ashley Photography
To visit the Photography Blog: Kirsten Ashley Photography Blog
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There will be a huge amount of catching up on the blog soon, I promise. In addition to tons of images to edit and post I'll be seeing the Aiduk girls this week in addition to a triple date with the Amrein's and the Thompson's. Laura and I are heading out to do some seriously location scouting today and I just hope the weather cooperates. I wish you all a beautiful Monday!!!!

Friday, February 22, 2013

Bad Day? Here's Some Fasching...

Generally on weekend mornings I am awake before my husband. Let it be known that neither of us are morning people. I just happened to be just slightly more *holds fingers out to show exactly how much* of a morning person that he is. So I'll leave him swimming in his own lake of deep REM saliva (not judging, as I have my own twin lake on my trusty pillow) and skip off to the living room to edit pictures under the rosy light of a morning sunrise. Fast forward three to four hours. My husband awakes to find me cracked out on caffeine showing similar signs of a coke addict going through withdrawals with parkinsons. My hands are trembling my stomach is growling loudly enough for the whole neighborhood to hear, and I'm so focused on getting my editing done that I have to ask him to repeat his story three times. Needless to say we have a hard time re-engaging with each other once we're in our own separate worlds (ao maybe, I have a problem re-engaging... but that's not today's life lesson okay?)

An odd tradition has developed under such dire circumstances where my husband makes breakfast for the both of us on the weekends. Now would be a good time to mention how my husband is in the early stages of learning fine cuisine. He has a few staples he can live by sure, (BEST SCRAMBLED EGGS OF MY LIFE!!!) but complicated words like saute, julienne, or caramelize  send him running for the hills completely stressed out. For those of you that know me, I am the wife that has been making homemade pie crust since she was in eight grade (Thanks Mom!). It doesn't take a genius to discern that we are on opposite sides of the culinary fence.

On this particular morning D as always, asked me what I wanted for breakfast. To his horror I replied "Pancakes! But I don't want to make them..."  Now, the thought process going through my head was that I REALLY wanted pancakes. I think I had dreamt of the fluffy bread discs smeared in butter covered in enough syrup to make my father shudder at the sheer amounts of high fructose corn syrup I was ingesting. I also knew, more than likely, that if I didn't make said pancakes, we would be having something more bland like oatmeal or the ever popular scrambled eggs (albeit best of my life!) and toast. I also never in a MILLION (yes, Jesse Aiduk... one MILLION) years would have guessed I'd receive the following response. D - "Sure babe, I'll make you pancakes!".

WHAT?!!?!? seriously!?!?  I'm secretly wondering at this point what the catch is, but instead of questioning (for fear of scaring the husband into retracting his statement and the aforementioned pancakes) I simply go with it. My only stipulation was that he had to use a recipe. (Note: Bisquick will run for it's life before crossing the threshold of our apartment... mmmkay?) Truth be told, D doesn't care for recipes (due to the complicated cooking lingo) but I figured it's pancakes(!) and he should be relatively safe. About an hour later, tantalizing breakfast smells are wafting throughout our apartment and my stomach is responding in-kind. D is all happy and proud of himself in the kitchen hollering things like "Hope you're close to a stopping point soon, they're almost ready!"  I'm. So. Excited. My husband is making me pancakes for breakfast. NO, I DON'T THINK YOU HEARD ME. MY. HUSBAND. IS. MAKING. ME. PANCAKES. FOR. BREAKFAST!

This is where the whole operation takes an unforeseen nosedive. Somewhere in the middle of all of the excitement I hear a completely forlorn "oh no......" from the kitchen. My feminine ears are awesome at hearing subtext distress, so I immediately freeze and ask in my most soothing gentle wife voice "Is everything alright.....?"  *crickets* I'm rather alarmed so I put down the computer and climb out of the over-sized chair hole I've made myself that morning tentatively making my way toward the kitchen. I walk in perplexed because at first glance, nothing seems amiss. My husband has a beautifully yummy picture perfect stack of pancakes sitting by the stove, but his face tells me something went horribly wrong. He shaking his head in disbelief saying over and over again "I just don't know what I did wrong....."  He has me taste a flapjack.

I take a generous bite and chew for about 2.5 seconds before spitting it out in my hand (I know, I was shocked I didn't have more self control too...). They're awful. I mean so awful that no butter/syrup combination ever has a chance at masking the bitter taste in my mouth. I try to remain calm and use most of my inner yogi strength to keep a straight face. (aka no laughing) "What did you do?", I asked gently. "I don't know.......", he replies looking completely ashamed/disappointed/embarrassed/forlorn. My heart breaks. He was just trying to do a good thing. What made it worse was that he was SO proud of himself... and had made the entire batch of bad pancakes. He said he wished he would've caught it earlier in the flipping process. At this point, he needs some time to recover his ego. I also knew better than to try and comfort him/bring him back so I let him go.

Thirty minutes later my stomach is grumbling louder than ever and I still (stupidly enough) want pancakes. Especially since my entire house smells like IHOP. So I tip toe into the bedroom where I find D browsing imgur on his phone. I'm not sure how to inspire him to try again (or if it's even an option at this point) so all I can manage to say is "Hey...."  He looks up at me with these sad green eyes and says hey back. I calmly told him everything was okay, that it wasn't the end of the world, and that I would be willing to help him try again. Allow me to clarity... By help, I meant that I would be he su chef - doing the dishes, chopping things, melting butter etc. Basically he would be head chef, calling all the shots. To my amazement he agrees. So we troop back to the kitchen armed with sheer determination to figure out where his pancakes when horribly wrong. As it turns out, he did everything right, EXCEPT using baking SODA instead of baking POWDER. Hence the incredibly bitter aftertaste. I never would have guessed it would make that big of a difference (ie cause me to spit a pancake bite out in disgust) but apparently it does.

At long last I got my amazingly-delicious-made-by-my-handsome-husband pancakes. I want to stress how delicious they were. My dreams the night before had become reality on my breakfast plate. I also secretly had visions of D making pancakes for our family on saturday morning when we have kids someday... (WTF? where did that come from?!??) I was really proud of D for having the courage to try again and figure out where he went wrong. My favorite part of the morning is when I realized he can literally flip pancakes in the air WAY better than I can. When I say way better I mean it, because I don't even try to throw them. It's ended badly for me. (REALLY badly...). He was tickled pink at the thought his skills trumped mine. Frankly, so was I.

To my dismay, at the end of this, D leans over to me and says "You can blog about this if you really want to...."  I teared up instantly. I couldn't help it. My husband knows me so well... and I wasn't even going to ask him if I could broadcast this story to the world in fear of seeming insensitive (who, me? Never...). So today's life lesson is:  If you screw up a batch of pancakes beyond edible repair, laugh it off.... you can always make more. AND you'll give your wife blogging material.  So thanks D. I positively adore being married to you.

This year I finally got to experience German Fasching. My fellow photographers Megan, Jess, and I all teamed up to catch the parade festivities going on in Ramstein/Miesenbach. Here are some important things you should know before I brighten your day with hilarious images.

**Photo credit to the above photo goes to Megan DeYoung**

What is Fasching?
Also known as Fasching, Karneval, Fastnacht, Fasnacht, Fastelabend, Fasching is pre-lent festivities celebrated by the catholic regions of German speaking countries. People celebrate by dressing up in seriously crazy costumes. Lavish Carnival parties are thrown (Think Count of Monte Cristo Masquerades) and parades with wild floats and candy throwing abound.

My favorite thing to learn about Fasching is that "In pre-Christian times, carnival celebrations symbolized the driving out of winter and all of its evil spirits. Hence the masks to "scare" away these spirits. The carnival celebrations in southern Germany and Switzerland reflect these traditions." ( Heck yeah man! I am all about driving this winter soul sucking darkness away! Bring on the sunshine and blue skies!!!! One more person at the parade (or three in our case) makes all the difference right?

This parade was the sh!t. Seriously. There we were freezing our fingers off in the cold with three ridiculously large cameras looking like paparazzi (especially with Jess's creeper gigantic zoom lens) trying to understand what the heck the germans are saying and why someone would dress up like a chicken. Then there was the German Oma across the street drinking a beer (which she would deftly store one pocket) while housing a whole bottle of wine in the other pocket. This woman was at least in her late 60s. All in all, a fantastic day. Oh and did I mention we dressed up??? I hope you enjoy the photos and they add some sunshine to your day.

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Lots of excitement in store for this weekend! But I can't tell you about it until next week! I hope everyone is having an AMAZING Friday! Miss and love you all!