That's really all I wanted to say today. But in the meantime, I can say a little bit about the 4th of July. Our 4th of July was really on the 5th, apart from the fact that I had to work on the 5th. I left work a bit early to go home and prepare for the company 6 guests (this is one of perhaps only two occasions during the year that we ever even have anyone over!) for a cookout and the unparalleled view from our deck of the town fireworks display happening that night. The fireworks are launched from a small island in the middle of a man-made lake a few blocks away, so there is certainly nothing lost by distance in either sight or sound. Just ask Samantha - even with her headphones this year, and as excited as she was ahead of time to get to see the fireworks, it was still too much for her (her sensitivity enhanced by the late hour so far past her bedtime), and she retreated into the house on her own to watch TV instead. I'm sure she'll outgrow it one day, and at least for now I was happy that she is old enough to go in and entertain herself while the 8 of us remained outside, enjoying ourselves. We were relieved that everyone decided to leave immediately after the show, and all three of us went to bed at 10:30. And all three of us had to be up at the butt-crack of dawn, Steve for work, Samantha and I for a drive to New Jersey to visit family. Gotta keep moving, right?
|Before the fireworks, getting juiced up on the red wine. Nah, her cup's on the left... ;-)|
I've also been pleasantly surprised that my new Droid Razr takes way better photos than I thought it would, and even has an HDR option! If you're not familiar with HDR, it's a process in which multiple exposures are taken of each shot, near-simultaneously. One image is as-is, one is slightly over-exposed, and one is slightly under-exposed. This is very beneficial when you have a lot of back-lighting, and ordinarily the image in the foreground will often be poorly lit and under-exposed. The HDR function helps to brighten the foreground, and gives your whole image an almost 3-D effect, with heightened colors and texture. Below is an example. Both images are completely un-edited, other than cropped for effect. I kept the faces out of them because, frankly, they weren't very flattering photos, but you can still get the idea. LOL The first shot is without HDR. The 2nd shot is with. The difference is pretty amazing!
So. That's about it for now. Just a quick update, trying to get back into the swing of blogging. It's just so hard in the summer, when there's so much to do and schedules are so out-of-whack. But it's par for the course, and the normality (hahaha) of Fall is just around the corner. Not like I'm looking forward to that. Summer's too fun. Oh, and the NDSC (National Down Syndrome Congress) conference is next weekend! I'm definitely looking forward to that - while I'm going solo and can actually take in some of the sessions and do more than I could last year, I will really, really miss my girl. Rumor has it that next year's conference will be in Indianapolis, so I'll have to think about driving there and bringing her (and Steve, if he's willing!) with me.
Who else is going this year? Who will I see there? How will I find you? It's so hard to identify people without their kids...