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The Awesome And Totally Creepy Reason I Love Google Photos

I recently have begun using Google Photos to back up all of my phone pictures and photos in general. I guess – theoretically – it’s unlimited storage as long as you’re using high res but not MAXIMUM resolution of photos. I haven’t tested it out to see if the resolution is printable, I should probably do that, but I also haven’t official transferred everything over from anything else yet either. SO, it’s still a transition from DropBox and Flickr anyway.

Screen Shot 2015-11-28 at 4.13.31 AMBUT! The Search function? Is so amazing I almost don’t care about the printability. In Flickr I had to tag everything but Google Photos. JUST KNOWS. If you go to the “search” bar it finds faces and categorizes them for you to search which came in real handy when I was trying to do a mosaic for my sister-in-law’s wedding. I mean, creepy as crap that it just quickly categorizes your most popular faces and lets you choose those (and name them in some cases as I’ve done with a few) and to search.

BUT THEN, you can also see the “locations” that it derives from geotagging. I’ve not categorized any of those photos, I’ve just uploaded them. YET! It actually grouped them all, and even separated the photos when I went to Colorado that were Breckenridge from the ones that were taken in Lakewood. I thought it had reached it’s insanity and then yesterday? Bambi escaped. (He’s back!) He didn’t return after a bit so I wanted to post a plea on Facebook. And for a split moment I thought I wonder…

Screen Shot 2015-11-28 at 4.14.18 AMSo, I went to the Search function and scrolled past “people” and past “locations” and there was a “things” section where it grouped similar items I guess. There were things like “hiking” and “graduation” (I guess from the caps?) and “selfies” but then? There was a “cats” option (as well as a “dogs” options) and I clicked it. AND THERE THEY WERE! Tons of pictures of Bambi to post to Facebook!

So! If you’re not creeped out? USE IT! IT’S AWESOME! If you are creeped out? Then I totally understand but I find it’s better not to think about it.

Remember When I Didn’t Sleep In My Own Bed For Years?

I’ve mentioned before that Donnie and I are not super sleep-compatible. He likes to fall asleep watching TV and I like it dark and quiet. He tends to be a sleep-cuddler whereas I have a distinct sleep bubble and if you so much as BREATHE on me in your sleep I wake up pissed off. So, when Nikki went through her “I want Mom to lay down with me” phase I willingly obliged because then I could go to sleep in the quiet and darkness like I loved and Nikki never tried to cuddle with me in her sleep. Then, as time went on, I realized that my back MUCH preferred her few-years-old mattress to our decade-old mattress. At this point Donnie and I agreed that we’d buy a new mattress when we moved so that maybe I could one day enjoy sleeping in our room again.

And then we never moved and Donnie was still sleeping on that beat up mattress.

Well, as Nikki is getting past the phase where she HAS to have me in bed with her, I kinda miss sleeping next to the man I married so I suggested that maybe…MAYBE…we get the new mattress before we move and just use our old bed to stage E’s room better as it currently housed an air mattress that had 14 leaks in it.

Long story short? LAST WEEK WE BOUGHT A NEW BED!

We downsized to a Queen since that’s kinda the motif in our lives lately, downsizing. The lady at the mattress store made us lay down in a King and a Queen a few times on the floor so we really understood the difference. You know, because it’s a complicated concept. We still stuck to downsizing and Donnie picked out the mattress as my only opinion was: EVERYTHING IN THIS STORE IS BETTER. We had it delivered and I’ve been sleeping in it almost every night and it’s been GLORIOUS. Donnie is watching TV on his phone with headphones so the light/sound is minimal and his subconscious seems to have gotten used to being alone in bed because he doesn’t try to cuddle while he’s sleeping. IT HAS BEEN WONDERFUL. I used to think we’d just always been the couple that couldn’t sleep together since we just don’t fit well as sleepers, but an extended time without and we seem to have settled into a good rhythm where it works again. AND I HAVE A NEW MATTRESS AND I LOVE IT DEARLY.

I’m still periodically laying down with Nikki and Wes at night but I’m waking up soon after they fall asleep and rolling back into my own bed where I seem to now officially sleep better. It’s amazing what a new mattress can do for your soul. And your back.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Hello all. It’s 3:08am and I’ve already been up 30 minutes. I woke up having weird dreams about stressful situations so I figured I might was well get up for the day. I’ve got a lot of stuff to do today as we’re hosting Thanksgiving this year! Since I’m a lazy herbivore and Donnie prefers to eat like I do (but he also hates restrictive labels) his Mom is bringing the animal carcasses and I’m doing sides. Y’all? I don’t want to alarm anyone but…I’m making VEGAN MASHED POTATOES and I’m terrified it’s going to go terribly wrong.

Should I have bought some instant potatoes to be safe?

I’m going to head out in a bit for a run and a charity boot camp before settling into a day of cooking and cleaning. Dinner is not until 5:30 so I’m banking on having plenty of time to peel/dice/vacuum after my run and workout.

I’m very Thankful today for a family that I don’t think will hate me if I screw up several side dishes due to my attempt at vegan variations.

I don’t think.

E is home but he’s dividing his time up between us and his friends so I’m just grateful for any moment I get. I went to lunch yesterday with him and one of his childhood friends who I love like my own child and it was just lovely having the same type of conversations with them that I have with my friends. Having adult kids is kinda awesome.

I hope you have a great day full of anything that makes you happy.

2015 Christmas Card

Christmas Cards 2004-2015

Here is our 2015 Christmas Card! They arrived yesterday which gives me PLENTY of time to send them out which means I’ll still be mailing some as “Happy New Year!” cards like I always do. This is my second year using a pre-fab template from Shutterfly because they finally have some with enough holes for photos that I feel like I can give a good representation of our year. Last year was the first year I did that, every other year prior I made the collage myself and either sent it as a 4×6 photo or just used it as the “front” of a blank card in Shutterfly. This year’s turned out GREAT!

2015 Christmas Card

And now, for a walk down Christmas Card memory lane!


2004, the year we sent out TWO photo collages, one with the animals and one with the humans.

2005, Nikki had only been with us for 2 months yet she was 99% of the collage.


2006, The first year I put a race photo in a collage.

2007 - A
2007-A, The card created from our family portrait session, we didn’t mail them out because WHO MAILS OUT JUST ONE PHOTO?

2007 - B
2007-B, The cards we ACTUALLY mailed out. Special guest: Donnie’s first half marathon which he ran in a COTTON T-SHIRT. How terrible did that feel? How glad was he to eventually discover tech fabric?


2008, The year of the Wessy-Man!


2009, This was not the FINAL collage we mailed out, but it’s the only version I could find. The final did have those photos in that basic layout, but I did NOT use that font or that coloring for the background/text. I PROMISE.


2010, The year of the super-cute kid photos.


2011, The year I got kinda decent at taking pictures of her family/kids.


2012, The first full year we spent as athletes so the year that became a dominant focus of our cards.


2013, The year I put way too many photos on the card.


2014, The year I finally used a collage template from Shutterfly because they finally started offering some with TONS of spots to insert photos.

Example #4,787 Of How Zoot Worries Too Much

I have a couple of weird hangups about stuff that I’m not sure have any basis in logic and might just simply be more signs of some of my deeper anxieties. I just realized this morning that two of them kinda go together, so I thought I’d share them with you and see if your thoughts are “Wow! That’s an interesting perspective that I’ve never considered!” or if your thoughts are, “Zoot really should be medicated.”

Too bad I’m not verified on Twitter or I’d totally do a poll with those two options.

Thing 1: I Refuse To Use Ad Blocks

I have this idea that, if I’m visiting someone’s website then I should have to see their ads as a way to support their content. Most websites only make money because of the ads on the sites and even if I’m not clicking them, blocking them entirely is basically blocking any chance they have of making money off my eyeballs and I feel like – if I’m using their content in some way – then my eyeballs should pay for that somehow.

I don’t have ads on my site, but if I did and it was actually a way where I could make money to pay for the server space I use, I think I’d be irritated that people turned on some sort of ad block to keep me from making any money. They want to read my words, but they don’t want me to make even one cent off of them reading my words and that would really upset me. SO! No ad block.

BUT! If a site has an annoying pop-up ad that is impossible to get rid of? I close out the site and never return. No content is worth annoying ads to me.

Thing 2: I Feel Sometimes Feel Guilty About Reading Books From The Library.

If I checked out a book at the library and REALLY loved it, then I kinda feel guilty that the author has not compensation for that. If I loved it and there’s any way I think I might want to read it again, I’ll buy it just so that they’ll get some sort of financial kickback for my enjoyment. I like using the library to test out books, and if I read them but didn’t LOVE them, I don’t feel guilty. But if I truly loved it and would recommend it to someone else? I feel bad that the author gets not even one penny from my enjoyment.

I wish there was a way to just like, donate $1 or something to an author if you read their book at the library and liked it. I can’t afford to buy EVERY book I love, but I do wish I could do SOMETHING. I do try to recommend books I love if I don’t buy them so that maybe SOMEONE will buy them in my place. And I do still buy a lot of books, just not ALL of the ones I love because if I did that we’d be sooo poor.

So – do you have any similar hangups? Or is this simply me overthinking life ONCE AGAIN.