Monday, January 31, 2011

Welcome to my life

A couple of weeks ago, Nic invited me to join her at a little "how do I work my camera?" session a professional photographer was holding just for her. Of course, since I know nothing about my camera, I said "heck yeah, count me in." So, after a little schedule coordinating with the hubby, I got to run out this afternoon to join Nic. Unfortunately, it was also the afternoon that we had a vet appointment for Bella to get updated on her shots. The hubby decided to be brave, take one for the team, and take Olivia to the vet with him.

On my way home, I called David to see how the afternoon had went with the kiddo. He was completely out of breathe and sounded like he had just ran a 10K. Since I was concerned, I asked if everything was okay?

"Every thing's fine, I was just trying to get Olivia and Bella into the vet........by the time I get in.........I turn around to see Bella has pooped in the floor..........then I had to wait and hour...........do you know how hard it is to keep Olivia still for an hour..........then she wanted to crawl all over the floor and it was disgusting...........I'm just worn out......Taking her anywhere is so difficult......."

All I had to say.....Welcome to my life.


Saturday, January 29, 2011

Apologies

Sorry, I did not mean to leave everyone hanging the other day. Unfortunately, Wednesday when I was in the middle of posting part 1 of the adoption stuff, the laptop completely died and I had to finish posting from the kindle. After two days, I was about to throw it into the wall, cause a kindle ain't made for blogging for sure. We hadn't gotten the desktop back from the repair shop (a.k.a. Mr. Pound), so I had nothing to work with. We got the computer back on Thursday night, but I've been non stop since and haven't gotten the time to really sit down yet. I'll finish it eventually, but I'm just not feeling it right now. I'm tired and I'm coming down with a cold. Plus, our schedule is for some reason CrAzY this week or two....

So, I'll let you in on the latest updates soon.

Just wanted to apologize for the last post and for wasting your time reading this lame post.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Out in the Open: Part 1

So either you figured out my earlier post or your completely confused.

If you are in the later group, I'll help you out...

Yes, we're Adopting!!!

Okay, technically, we're not exactly adopting just yet, but we have started the process as of last week and hopefully by the end of the year, we'll hear the pitter-patter of more little feet running around the Mabrey house.

I haven't known how to really begin with all of this, but here it goes....

First off, we've always wanted to adopt. Even before we were married, we would talk about one day eventually we wanted to adopt. We have both always said that we had felt a calling to adopt on day. In fact, (besides a few times when Olivia first got here and a few rough times during her first year when we declared she would be an only child) we have always thought in terms of "not if" we adopt, but rather "when" we adopt. Naturally, we just assumed we would have all the children we wanted by birth and would then adopt. It was something that we viewed as years away. Well, right now, we're feeling like we're done having children by birth.

Secondly, we really didn't know how to "announce" that we were adopting. We chose to tell only our parents and other than that, only three other people know (actually four, we told an old co-worker who now works at the Carter's store where we bought her little sister shirt. Awkward conversation during checkout....yes, please! Y'all know those awkward moments seem to attract to me). I didn't want to call everyone on the phone (like we did when we found out we were pregnant with Olivia) because it's not like we were pregnant and it just felt weird to me to call people to tell them we had decided to adopt. Honestly, I thought people would be disappointed when I called to tell them something and that something wasn't that we were pregnant. Not that our family won't be supportive, I just realize that it might be unexpected to some. Also, we were afraid that some might try to talk us out of it. It's not that we don't want to answer people questions or concerns, but it's a decision that we feel is best for our family. It was also one of those things that we wanted to find out more information before we officially decided. So, please don't get your feelings hurt if I didn't call anyone personally to tell you.

Moving on...

After Olivia's first birthday, we slowly began to talk about when exactly we were ready to add to our family. Towards the end of the year, we had both seemed to agree that time wise, it would be best for us to get pregnant sometime late Spring or early Summer. To be completely honest though, after we seemed to decide on when we wanted to have another baby, the fear began to rise in me about the actuality of being pregnant again and having another c-section. I kept it to myself and told myself I would be fine, but inside, I was really dreading it and it wasn't a conscious decision, but I realized was making sure it didn't happen (you catch my drift?).

At the beginning of January, I was having a conversation with Nicole about something and made the comment that "I just wanted to adopt a four year old." Nicole's response was she thought I should. I was kinda taken aback by it because, I had actually started to have thoughts of us adopting a child older than Olivia. When I questioned her response, she shot back that she thought we would be great adoptive parents for an older child. So, the wheels started turning.

I kept it to myself for a couple of days and then I kinda threw it out there to David. I'm sure he thought I was joking at first. After a few more days and a tearful conversation, I had convinced him that it was something I was really considering. I was ready to add to our family, but I realized that I was not ready to be pregnant again. To say he was thrown for a loop by my suggesting we adopt now is completely understandable. For the last few months, all we had talked about was getting pregnant again and now I was saying I did not want to be. It's my fault, that during all that baby talk, I had left out how I really felt about being pregnant again. In his true awesome fashion, he finally looked at me and said he had never cared how we got our family and if that's how I felt, he was in.

Here are a few of the major questions I think most will want to know answers to...

How are we going to go about it? We've decided to go about the adoption process by fostering to adopt through our local DFCS (Department of Family and Children Services). Besides the Pope's, we actually know several families who have gone this route and have had success with it (and got awesome children), so naturally, we've decided to go that route. Also, we already have a good understanding of how it works and what to expect, so we feel prepared to go through the process this way.

Naturally, the next conversation to come up was what age did we want to adopt? As you might have guessed from Olivia's new shirt, we've decided that we want to adopt a child that is four or under and here's the kicker....we've decided we want a sibling group. So, like her new shirt says, odds are Olivia will end up being a little sister for now.

Why that age and siblings? Well, because there are A LOT of them out there. Almost everyone who adopts wants a baby. Very few people want a child over a year old. Even less people want a sibling group. Also, after talking to a few people, we feel like four and under will hopefully come with a lot less baggage. Obviously, since they are up for adoption they have had a rough life, but most of us don't remember under the age four when we're adults. So, yes it is a bit of an odds thing. We figured our chances are a little better if we asked for children that people usually don't want.

What about Olivia? Promise, we still love her. Ha! Actually, we know Olivia is going to love it. Olivia always does awesome around other children. She actually behaves better around other children than she does at home alone. Also, when we started thinking about it, we thought it would actually be better to adopt other children now while she is so young, because she will grow up not knowing any difference. To her, they will have always been around and always been her siblings. As my Dad put it, "it's no different than bringing step children into the family." Which actually, I had never thought about before, but it's true. Obviously, there will be a big adjustment to our family with the addition of any child (birth or adopted), but it's nothing that we don't think we can't handle.

Do we have a specific sibling group we're looking for? Actually, we do. About a week ago, we were talking about it in the car and I said to David that when I see our family in the future, I see us having all boys and Olivia being our only little girl still. He looked at me and said that he couldn't believe it, but that he too envisions the same thing. To us, that was God speaking to us. So, we're pretty set on adopting a sibling group of all boys. Maybe it's because I have always been convinced that we would always have boys and I was in complete shock when we found out Olivia was a girl. We are for now though going to keep our options open and see what kind of calls we get, so for right now, we've put on our forms we're open to anything under four. Also, because Olivia's safety is still our number one priority, we have decided to not take on any child that could possibly be a danger to Olivia in any form. In other words, we do get the chance to be a little picky on who comes into our home. Most likely, our kids will come from a home where neglect and/or drugs were a constant presence. So, they will need stability and a family that will love them. Two things we can provide.

Right now, we are just asking for support and prayers from everyone. We know that whoever comes into our home, our family will love with loving arms. We have no clue how long this process will take. That is part of the reason why we struggled with when to tell everyone. We weren't sure if we should wait till we had our first orientation, when we get done with training or what, but we've been told several times that it will most likely happen faster than we think, so we wanted to go ahead and have everyone adjusted with it. The process could take a month or up to a year (we have no clue) we just didn't want to show up at Easter or something with a few extra kids and completely throw our family.

We have our orientation meeting this afternoon to turn in our first roung of paperwork, so hopefully, all will go well and we'll get to start our training this weekend! Yep, I said this weekend! Of course, I'll keep you updated as we progress.

Part 2 tomorrow...


Almost Wordless Wednesday


Did you catch it?

More to come later....


Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Call me a Parenting Genius!

After 16 months of parenting, David and I can both admit that we made our biggest parenting mistake before we even had a child. To be exact, we made it even before the idea of having children entered our minds.

We bought a car without a DVD player.

Let me stop for a second....yes, I realize you can buy one to strap around the headrest, but let's be honest, one that folded down from the ceiling of the car would have matched my heated leather seats much better than the one that attaches to the headrest. Being honest.

In December of 2007, we went out in search for a new car for me to drive. Now looking back, I'm not quite sure why I needed a new car, but at the time, I did. We did think ahead enough to realize that we should get an SUV, because we would probably want to have a baby within the next few years and at that time, all we knew about babies is that they come with a lot of stuff (which is true). I remember at the time, the car sales man asked if we were interested in looking at one with a built-in DVD player. I also remember I quickly shot back that it was sad kids couldn't even ride in the car anymore without tv and no, we would not be needing to look at one, because I would not let my kid ride around all day in the car watching tv.

Oh, how naive I was then.

It's amazing how awesome a parent you are, until you actually become one.

Fast-forward three years later and for Olivia's second Christmas, what am I begging for....a DVD player for the car.

I reasoned with myself that we were about to go on a long trip and that it would without a doubt be used several times a year. Thankfully, Olivia's Nana and Grandpa scored her one on black Friday. After Christmas, we went on that long trip and I can say that the DVD player was a gift sent from God himself. She was quiet and watched movies for what turned into an 11 hour car trip. Yes, Olivia was still for that long...I told you God sent it himself.

Here's where my parenting genius kicks in...

I have successfully convinced my child that you can only watch tv when in the car.

I told you it was genius.

After the trip, it took me a few days to clean out the car. So naturally, the DVD player was left up. I originally planned on taking it out and her to only use it when we go on long trips. One afternoon, we got in the car to go to wal-mart and while I was strapping her into her car seat, she started pointing at the DVD player. We only had a ten minute drive, so I thought "what the heck..." and turned it on. Well, one month later, we're still letting her watch it while we're just driving around town. Considering she's only in the car maybe 20-30 minutes a day at most, she's still under the recommended toddler tv time.

Obviously, this only works because she doesn't watch tv at home. After reading so much about how tv for babies will stunt their speech development and set patterns for how much they read when they're older, I've gotten in the habit of not turning the tv on during the day. Sometimes I'll turn it on during nap or if something is good on Oprah, but then we turn it off till after she goes to bed. The few times lately when I have turned it on and she's around, she will go over and turn it right off. At first, we thought she was doing it to play, but nope, she'll turn it off and then walk away from it. It's like when the tv at home is on, it bugs her.

However, as soon as we get into the car though, she wants the tv on. I have gotten a few looks in the parking lot, when I strap her in and immediately turn on the tv, I'm really tempted to yell at them that she doesn't watch it at home and I'm not some mother who plants her child in front of the tv all day!!! I'm sure they wouldn't believe me though, but whatever, it works for us. I've also learned that helps with the problem of ten minute power naps. She doesn't fall asleep when she watching it. This is big for us because on the ten minute drive home from wal-mart, she usually would fall asleep and then would refuse a real nap after her ten minute power nap. She's the queen of power naps.

So, that is how I have successfully figured out how to keep my kid from watching too much tv.

Parenting genius.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Happy Monday!

We had a rough night last night (some may have already read on facebook), but I had my cup of coffee with an extra shot of caffeine and I'm making it through the day.

Actually, that cup of coffee must have done wonders, because I've been more productive today than I have in awhile. I decided to switch the closets that David and I use because I think his opening and closing the drawers in the closet are waking Olivia up in the mornings. They needed to be painted and the closet David was using needed a little repair to the shelves. Originally, I was just going to swtich our clothes over, but I decided to go ahead and paint them both. So, I've been priming and painting walls and shelves all day (and I put David to work as soon as he walked in). Right now, all our clothes are thrown in the middle of our bedroom floor, so I'm trying to knock out this project and not let it turn into a weeklong one.

Our weekend was low key and quiet. Friday night dinner with the parents, Saturday morning pancakes, celebrating Gabe's 1st birthday, pizza with the whole crew, church Sunday morning,and a lazy Sunday aftrnoon. I would say it was a good one.

This week wil hopefully be a low key one too!

I'm currently blogging from the kindle and it's not easy. The desktop is hopefully being fixed right now. The laptop is about kuput and we found out not worth even investing a little money to be fixed. I'm afraid to touch it because it might not turn back on and i would be devistated if i lose all my pictures. So, let's pray we get a little extra back in taxes since that will be the only extra money coming in anytime soon. Waffles are not selling at the moment. So, I'm not sure how much I'll get to blog this week.

I'm heading back to painting...I'm determined to have the closet project done in 24hours. There's always a first time for everything.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Reasons....

Sorry for not posting all week.

I honestly had not even realized that I had not posted all week until Thursday. Then it was kinda like "hmm, I haven't posted all week" followed by a little shoulder shrug. Of course, a few of my fans reached out to see if I was still alive.

I'm happy to report that I am in fact alive and well!

This past week just has been a weird one. It seems like we've been running around like crazy all week and I feel as though I have nothing to show for it. Does anyone else feel that way sometimes about how they spend their time, or is it just me?

I do have a couple of reasons for not posting...

1. I just haven't been in a bloggy mood. Lately I've felt that blogging was just another thing on my list of things to do and this week, it was feeling like more of a chore than something I enjoyed doing. In fact, the one day I did sit down to write a post, Becky wrote the exact post on her blog with how I was feeling here. She pretty much summed it up for me. Not that I consider myself a Pioneer Woman or have anywhere near the readers Becky has, but I think every blogger feels like that at different points of time. So I told myself this week to not worry about it and to just blog whenever I felt like it.

2. My computer is having some serious issues at the moment. I'm sure it has nothing to do with a certain 15 month old who is not afraid to climb up on top of the desk or counter to reach the computer and bang away on it. I honestly try my best to keep it as far away as possible from her, but evidently, I'm not doing a great job. David's trying to work on getting it fixed cheaply. Money for a new computer will not be in our bank account anytime soon, so we're trying to make do. That also is the reason for no pictures of that certain baby at the moment. My computer can no longer handle anymore pictures for the moment. Yes, there are ways to fix that, like buying extra memory, but there were a few things that had to take priority and be bought this month (i.e. a bridesmaid dress and a new vacuum~our floors were seriously disgusting and I'm embarrassed to tell you how long it had been since they were last vacuumed). So hopefully things can be fixed soon and it will be a little easier to blog. Right now, every post seems to take forever to write.

This past week was filled with breakfast with friends from Texas, David working different shifts, MOPS meetings, church, and our now daily trips to the gym. I've been good and keeping up with my goal to make it at least four times a week! So far, my favorite class is spin. I always feel like I get a good work out after that hour!

Today we celebrated this big fat baby's 1st birthday!

Olivia is.....still Olivia! She loves going to the childcare at the gym. She made two little friends there her age who's momma's are taking the same classes as me. So she sees them pretty much everyday. One of them is a little boy and he always runs up to hug Olivia when she walks in. She just stands there and stares at him like he's crazy! It always cracks me up. She's been having trouble sleeping lately and keeps getting up through out the night, so I'm not quite sure what that is about. Hopefully, it will end soon. She has however become an official bag lady! I'm so proud! She LOVES taking my old purses (or anything that remotely resembles a bag) and carrying it around on her shoulder all day. She cracks us up walking around trying to stick anything she can find in her purse! I'm trying to get a picture of it, but she's at the stage right now, anytime I pick up the camera she runs in the other direction!

Oh and for our special date last week....David (kinda) surprised me and took me to see Beauty & The Beast at the Fox Theatre in the big city! Beauty & The Beast has always been one of my favorite Disney movies growing up (and still is) and I've heard from several people that the musical was fantastic. On Thursday night when I found out David had arranged for an all night babysitter on Friday, I suggested going to see it. I'll be honest and say that David really wasn't looking forward to it. He thought it was going to be lame and was taking me to do his hubby duties. Well, we were both really surprised! It was honestly much better than we both thought it would be and was actually quite hilarious. Though it was appropriate for all ages, they threw in a lot of one liners that were over the kids heads (think the Shrek movies). We decided to make it a traditional Atlanta night out of it and went before the show for some chili dogs at The Varsity. Both the Fox Theatre and The Varsity are historical Atlanta landmarks. Evidently, we weren't the only ones with the same idea because there were a lot of people dressed up at The Varsity, which isn't the normal attire for there. We had a great night and I was so thankful we got the chance to go. I would highly recommend it if it comes to a city near you!

(after note: Sorry, no pictures of date night. Your not allowed to take pictures at the Fox (I got in trouble last time), so I didn't bother taking my big camera. Plus, by the time we dropped Olivia off, we were kinda rushed on time to eat and make the show, so I didn't think about getting my point and shoot out. Sorry!)

Other than that, all I have to say is that I'm ready for Spring!!!!!!! I am soooo over this cold weather! Thankfully, we don't have snow, but it is still COLD!!!! I'm ready for flip flops and not having to wear a jacket!

Hope everyone is having a great weekend!

And I'll try my best to do better next week!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Five Things

1. We are slowly thawing out here in Atlanta. It was bad people. Bad. Thankfully, since we actually live a little farther south of Atlanta, we started to get back to normal yesterday. Kids went back to school, businesses opened, the waffle house food trucks came in...all is becoming right with the world again. I will say that those first three days of the week were the longest three days of my life. It can pretty much be summed up in this....

Thanks to my cousin Christa in Maryland for sending that so true description.

2. Thanks for all your sweet comments on my Life with a Toddler post. It always cracks Nicole and I up on the post that we think will get the most comments and the post that actually do. I would like to state for the record that the potty chair has never been "officially" used if you catch my drift. I bought it at Ikea before Christmas just to have her practice sitting on it (which she is scared and cries anytime I try). No bare bottoms have officially touched it, so the sippy cup was safe. I am also ashamed to admit that I went in that bathroom this morning and the cup is still there. Yep, I snapped the picture and then just closed the door. You would think being stuck in the house all week would encourage me to clean the house, but no, it has the exact opposite effect on me.

3. I also have to admit that I am loving the toddler stage she is in right now. Some people are baby people and others are not. I fall into the later. I can admit that I actually like my child now. I've ALWAYS loved her of course, but I was not a fan of the baby stage at all. And I've finally come to terms with that's okay. Anytime I say that and others respond "you don't mean that," it drives me crazy, because actually, I do mean it. Honestly, when I really stopped to think to about it, when another baby is around...I rarely ask to hold it. If I do, it's quick and returned. If my friends and family really stop and think about this, you'll realize "she's right." However, the toddler stage is soooo fun!!! I am enjoying my days with her now.

4. Two weeks into my 2011 Goals, I'm happy to report that I am doing pretty well. I've signed up at a gym that has childcare provided and I've gone so far seven times in the last two weeks (they were closed for two days with the ice storm), I've already finished three books this year, my patience with Olivia is much better (I want to attribute this to the gym. The fact I get a hour to myself everyday helps me greatly), and we've already had a great date day last week and going on another one tonight. I might actually get all my goals accomplished this year!

5. David surprised me last night (he was actually going to surprise me today, but his mom accidentally said something about it to me...ooops!) with an exciting date for tonight!!! I'm really excited about it and can't wait to share about where we're going tonight!

Hope everyone has a great weekend!!! Stay warm!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Life with a Toddler








Never a boring day.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

That's why I don't bother...

You might have heard, Atlanta is iced in.

While everyone's facebook statues on Sunday night were hoping and praying for snow, I was praying it wouldn't do anything.

Some parts of North Georgia received snow and ice. We were the lucky ones to receive just ice.

BLAH!!! I hate it.

David of course still had to go into work because, heaven knows, people cannot live without the waffle. He got up and was out the door by 5:15am. I was wide awake and praying dearly he made it to work. He had to go pick up three other employees, so he was all over town. He finally text me at 7am saying he had made it to work. Fortunately, it was not all in vain considering he called at 9am and said they were already only $200 dollars away from making their entire day's sales goal. By yesterday afternoon, they were at the point if they had a second day like that, they were going to be completely out of food. Let's pray the truck can get here on Wednesday, or I'm sure all hell will break loose.

Evidently people cannot drive in the ice/snow to make it to work or school, but they can drive the waffle house to eat...go figure.

Yesterday afternoon I spent 15 minutes getting Olivia dressed to go outside to play and some pictures. At this point and time I had not realized yet that the entire driveway/sidewalk was completely iced over. So as soon as I opened the front door, she was out. I go after her, without my camera and leaving the front door open. Olivia was already halfway down the driveway and I was scared she was going to fall and bust her head open. I figured we wouldn't be out there long, so I just left it.

Suddenly, Olivia starts whining and pointing up to the street. I turn around and see Bella running up the road. I stand there for a few seconds trying to decide what to do....do I leave Olivia and go after her? Run Olivia into the house and go after her? Or just let her go? I decided to pick up Olivia and we go half running up the road calling after Bella, who just keeps running in the other direction. I'm sure that having three dogs run away in less than a year will look bad on my record, so I keep going after her. Finally, she decides it must be too cold and starts walking back towards us. By this time, we're about four or five houses up the road, it's sleeting, Olivia is crying, and I've got on nothing but yoga pants, a sweat shirt, and rain boots. I'm sure the neighbors thought I was half crazy walking down an icy street carrying a toddler and a dog, who each weigh 20lbs. a piece. By the time we made it to the front door, I was about to drop them both.

And that is why I don't bother.

There will be no more pictures of my child playing in the snow anytime soon, because the next time my child is allowed to play in the snow/ice, she has to be old enough to go out by herself.

Plus, I still hate it and going out in it. period.

Make fun of me all you want, I don't care. I hate the snow, ice, and cold weather. If waffle had stores on a Caribbean island, I would ask for a transfer immediately.

And we've both got cabin fever like crazy already. Olivia has been off the wall these past two days and I've been wanting to curl up in a corner and cry. I even had not a tinge of guilt when David walked in from after 11 hours of work yesterday and said "here, I'm done." while handing Olivia over.

He already called this morning to say that most stores were already open today and he would be home at a decent time to take us out, or at least let me go out by myself. He's been driving my SUV these past two days since the weight is better distributed than his truck, so that is why I'm stuck at home. I don't trust myself to drive on the ice, let alone, drive on ice in his big truck.

Which I have a question.....what happened to global warming???? I've lived in Georgia my entire life and we hardly ever got snow growing up. Maybe once every five years or so. We have lived in this house not even a year yet and it's already snowed three times since we've been here. That is absolutely crazy to me.

So over it already.....

Monday, January 10, 2011

Because I'm a lady...

One day last week, Olivia and I were taking advantage of a nice afternoon and playing outside. Out of no where, the mail lady came around the corner and started backing into our driveway. I was honestly freaked out. I thought...What the heck is she doing??? Then she jumped out of her little mail truck to hand me a package. Oh, I guess she was doing her job? Duh, silly me!!!

When I saw the package, my heart fluttered.

That very special delivery was for me.

I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that I decided to buy nothing after Christmas with my Christmas money...I decided to spend the money on one of these...

Jo Totes~Camera bags for ladies

Because we all know I'm more concerned with what type of camera strap is on my camera and what I'm carrying my camera in, rather than actually learning how to use my camera or buying something useful say like a new lens.

Truthfully, I've had a debate for awhile now on whether throwing it in my purse was such a great idea. Especially after it was broken. Though I know that's not how my camera was broke, after you shell out $200 to fix a camera, you think twice about where you throw it.

I have a real camera bag, but let's be honest, it's ugly. Plus, I have enough I'm lugging around already when I leave the house. I don't want to have to lug around a purse, a diaper bag, and a ugly camera bag.

About a month or so before Christmas, I stumbled across Jo Totes through another blog. I immediately bookmarked it, because I knew it was way to close to Christmas to make a purchase like that for myself. Though I won't lie...I did think about skimping on groceries a week or two in order to have it before Christmas. I was good though and we did not have to eat mac n' cheese for two weeks.

While we were up in Virginia, the day everyone else in our crew decided to go shopping, I turned the trip down and instead asked my dad to take me to an ATM, so I could deposit my Christmas money and buy my camera bag. Then I rushed back to order it. I was convinced they would sell out before I could get mine. thankfully, even though they were almost sold out of everything, they still had the exact one I wanted.

I loves it!!! It's absolutely perfect! It's a purse and a camera bag in one. That's why it's for ladies! ; ) There is enough room for all my stuff and I can carry my camera around on a daily basis. It's padded and comes with dividers to organize your stuff and it has lots of pockets. It's a bag lady's dream. Best of all...I don't have to worry about my camera getting damaged in my purse. Plus, it doesn't look like a camera bag, so I can still carry it even when I don't take my camera with me. The best part about it is that it's not heavy when you have all your stuff and camera in it. It must be magic.

Now that I have my own, I'll tell you that you need one for yourself. Most of them are sold out, so you may have to wait till spring for the one you like, but I guarantee it's worth the wait!