My top 2010 memories (a few of them at least):

11) Finding & being blessed by my job at OSU is tied with helping friends welcome new family members into the world.

10) Holding the first annual Camp Sharp for Girls.
9) Discovering photography.

8) Remodeling my kitchen.
7) Being a part of the 2010 Miss Ohio pageant.

6) Taking a road trip to Washington, D.C. & Arlington, VA.
5) Watching my friend become Miss Ohio 2010.

4) Traveling to Vegas for Miss America 2010.

3) Bringing our puppy, Carmen, home from the shelter.

2) Graduating from The Ohio State University.

1) Celebrating one year of marriage to my incredible
husband, Steve.
Have a safe, happy & blessed new year blogger friends & readers! 2011 is going to be great!
Merry Christmas!

It's a slow day at work today. Getting together with family tonight is what's helping me through. Our Christmas festivities begin this evening with a few family members who are "out of town." We're eating out...Mexican! Yum. Tomorrow we will be baking all day, preparing gifts and pies for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

I am singing in a wedding on Monday and have the rehearsal Sunday. The bride is the daughter of the Ohio Partners in Character Education director! I'm really looking forward to it. Hopefully my days off won't go too fast. But then again the week after will be another short one as we prepare to ring in 2011!

Steve and I went to Sylvania on Saturday for Becky's send-off celebration to Miss America! It was such a great event and Becky did an outstanding job during the "show."

The party was at a country club that holds many memories for Becky and her family. She is remembered there as the "pot of gold baby!" I won't go into detail but it was one of many stories that her dad, Mike, shared with us. It was wonderful getting to see so many faces, family, Miss Ohio family, and friends as we all gear up for the holiday.

Christmas music it was for Saturday evening. Traditional Christmas carols were performed by most of Becky's Top 5 from Miss Ohio: Shannon O'Neill, Marisa Bucheit and Ellen Bryan. I was absolutely honored when Becky asked me to sing "Blessed" for her. I sang a 'different' version this time around.

As most know, talent selections for MOSP/MAO range from 90 seconds to 2 minutes in length. So the version of "Blessed" I've always performed in the past was that 1 minute 58 second one. Obviously there's more to the original song sung by the amazing Rachel Lampa. There's a break in the song that I will never attempt. (Who am I kidding? I've attempted it, but will never do so in public!) I got to sing almost the entire original version of the song for Becky on Saturday!

The song is very fitting for what she's about to experience.

As she introduced me to sing, she had so many humbling things to share about our history. Of course she made me cry so when I grabbed the mic all those things I wanted to say slipped my mind, so I would like to share them now:

I was truly honored to sing for Becky at her send-off that marks a new journey at this stage in her life. Becky kept saying she can't believe this send-off is hers, it's not mine, it's not Karissa's, it's not Erica's...it's Becky's! Believe it sister. God has prepared you for something and even though we don't know what the future holds we do know that God's plan is awesome and His will be done in January! Becky has touched so many lives all ready as Miss Ohio and she'll touch so many more as Miss America! Win or no win though, she's got determination to do the best job she can at whatever God has challenged her to. She has grown SO much since that day we met back in 2006 at Miss Greater Dayton! It's been such a joy to see her become this outstanding woman who is now and forever will be my "Miss Ohio Sister." I was so blessed at Miss America, Becky, and I hope you will be blessed; too.

Soapbox...sorry 'bout that.

I didn't take the "big" camera on Saturday and I so wish I would have, as these photos aren't the best quality. My paparazzi husband tried his best:

Christmas Cheer...it's in the air! Last night marked my sixth year volunteering for Salvation Army of Central Ohio Christmas Cheer program! It's such a great program and Steve wanted to go along this time.

Steve was a rookie but did a stellar job! About four weeks ago we volunteered at one of the S.A. office/church locations to get families registered for C.C. Last night we signed up to be shoppers in the toy shop during distribution! This was my first time as a shopper, years passed I checked families in as they arrived at the Ohio State fairgrounds.

Being a shopper was an eye opener! You get a one-on-one experience with the families! We didn't stop once for nearly three hours, but it went by so fast. I wonder how many families I took through the toy shop.

Steve & I are pictured here just as we were beginning to go through the toy line. I think he had fun, too!

There were a lot of great parts to the evening but I really enjoyed seeing some of the young kids faces when they were presented with gifts that you could tell just made their day! For instance, one young girl got her very own MP3 player and another 12 year old was asked if she liked Justin Bieber. She shook her head "no." She was then asked if she liked Taylor Swift and when she said "yes" they pulled out her latest CD! The look on this young girls face was priceless!

We're really looking forward to Becky's send-off tomorrow! I will definitely share pictures when we return. Until then...

Maternity photos for Crystal Jo turned into a baby shower for Pixie Jo!

A few weeks back I had the honor to shoot maternity pictures for the fabulous Crystal Jo (of Crystal Jo Foto) and her wonderful hubby, Jason. I was nervous. She's the professional, not me, but she did teach me and she is the best! Myself and another photog snapped some pics at the shower, too.

Click HERE for Crystal Jo's blog to see awesome pics from her shower and beautiful moments captured at the same location as her wedding...

From maternity...the mother & father patiently waiting (& having a good time while doing so):
To shower...preparing to shower their little one with love:
The Miss America Organization announced yesterday an opportunity for America to vote for a finalist in the 2011 Miss America Pageant, presented by DSW live from Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino in Las Vegas on Saturday, January 15, 2011 on ABC. Vote now for Becky to become America's Choice!

Becky's Video

You can vote once per method: 1) "Like" her video by following the link above, 2) Text "MAOH" to 24470, 3) Voting for Becky at MissAmerica.org/VideoContest, and 4) "Like" Becky's video at Youtube.com/MissAmericaOrg!
Go Ohio!