1. Why do you blog?

I honestly started this blog because I wanted a place where I could share my pictures with family and friends. I had just gotten my first real camera and was excited to show off some of my skills :) Looking back on older posts now, it is easy to see how much I have improved... and how much more I have to learn!!

I also blog because I think it is a really fun way to document our lives. A digital scrapbook of sorts that will be here to read forever. I often find myself going back and reading old posts; reminding me of some of the fun things we've done, thoughts I've had and adventures we been on. These are memories and pictures that might have been forgotten or lost somewhere on my computer had I not documented them on here.

And finally, the main reason I continue this blog is to help keep our family and friends updated on our lives. It helps keep my American friends and family up to date with our life over here, making the distance not seem so far. I also secretly hope that my stories and pictures inspire people to come visit us as well, hehe. Is it working??!!

[A few of my amazing friends who came to visit back in February 2011]
12 January 2013- faq001

Of course, this blog is only a fraction of our lives and what we do. I would really like to start writing more meaningful posts instead of just recapping our weekends and trips to the beach. I enjoy reading blogs where people tell story's about the good, the bad and the funny and want to keep evolving in hopes of inspiring and helping others by normalizing the ups and downs of real life through sharing my photos and thoughts.

2. How did you and Max meet?

After finishing up my graduate program at the University of Florida (GO GATORS!), I decided to venture off in to the unknown (Australia) for a year before settling down and starting my career. Through a series of crazy happenings, my travel buddy, Jenna, and I ended up in a tiny, TINY town serving drinks at a pub (the story leading us to this place will have to be reserved for a post of its own, but I'll tell you now, it is a good one!). In the meantime, Max had decided to take a short term job in the same town, flying in and out for a few months. The cliff notes version of our story goes something like this...

Girl works in pub and serves same people day in and day out. One day, a new Boy arrives at the pub for a few games of pool. Boy orders drinks and Girl introduces herself to him. Boy is shy but Girl keeps talking to him anyway. Boy and Girl finally decide to have a meal together, after which Boy walks Girl home and nervously kisses her on the hand (something Boy and Girl both still laugh about today).

[my first weekend in Brisbane with Max- oh, young love]
12 January 2013- faq003

Boy and Girl spend every nonworking hour together, make plans to travel the world and quit their jobs. Boy and Girl travel the world (or a few places at least) and meet each other's families where Boy decides to ask Girl's dad THE question. Boy and Girl travel back to Boy's home where Boy gets down on one knee and puts a shinny ring on Girls finger. A year later Boy and Girl marry and two years after that, welcome a beautiful baby boy.

[Thailand, 2009]
12 January 2013- faq004

The End... for now anyway.

3. Why did you move to Australia?

This question could probably be answered in the form of a chapter book, but in an effort to not bore you to death, I'll try and keep this answer short and sweet.

Basically, my "move" to Australia was an accident. My intentions were to come over here for a year to experience life outside my little southern American bubble. After meeting Max, and then Byron, I knew moving here was the right thing to do.

[Max's birthday- 2009. Look how little Byron was back then!!]
12 January 2013- faq002

My dream is to eventually move back "home" for at least a portion of our lives so that our children will know and understand where I come from as well. Every year we reevaluate our timeline, which seems to grow longer the more settled we get as a family. Byron has one more year of high school, after which we might actually look at making some real plans (fingers crossed). If someone could find us both reliable jobs and an awesome house in a location where Max would feel a bit at home, we might be able to move sooner... Any ideas are welcome :)

4. What kind of camera do you use?

I use a Canon Rebel T2i with both a 15-135 mm 3.5 and 50 mm 1.8 lens (with the 50 mm being by far my favourite). This is an amazing camera for beginners like myself because you can experiment and play with the manual settings, but there are also a bunch of different automatic settings you can use while you are still in the process of learning. I usually shoot in AP but still use the manual settings from time to time. I really want to learn a lot more and graduate to manual soon :) I would also LOVE a new lens but can't decide which one I get next... any suggestions??

5. What program do you use to edit your photos?

I use Photoshop Elements 9/10 to do all of my editing. I recently upgraded to CS5 but got overwhelmed and haven't played with it in a while. I try and keep the editing down to a minimum because it can be soo time consuming if you get too carried away. I find that the Elements version of Photoshop really does everything (and more) that I could ever want but I would recommend taking advantage of the 30 day free trial before you make any purchases. Also, there are tons and tons of free Photoshop tutorials online if have no idea where to start. 

6. Do you make pregnancy videos for other people?

Well, I never have before but would be happy to help anyone make a video! For some reason when I uploaded mine on to Vimeo it came out a bit blurry and not as sharp and focused as the version on my computer. I still need to see what can be done about this, but would be more than happy to help you make a pregnancy time-lapse if you are interested :)

I grew a person! from Michelle de Baugy on Vimeo.

7. Seriously, what is up with your spelling?!

Okay, no one has ever actually asked me about this before, but I often wonder what people think when they read this poorly written blog that is full of grammatical errors and spelling mistakes, so I thought I would explain...

Firstly, I do sometimes (okay, not very often) proof read my posts before I publish them. But being that spelling has always been my personal achilles heel (yes, I just looked up how to spell achilles!) I don't often catch my own mistakes. You know how your brain sometimes sees what you meant to write and not what you actually wrote. Well, mine does that all of the time. Sorry.

Secondly, since moving to Australia I am constantly torn between the idea of switching to all Aussie spellings, keeping my roots planted firmly with my American ways or just using a bit of everything. Referring back to point one, I decided to use a bit of everything in hopes that people who read this blog just assume when something is spelled (or spelt if you are an Australian) incorrectly it must be because I am using American/Australian spellings or terms instead of thinking I am just in ignorant fool. So yea, I write and spell fluently in American, Australian and Michellan.

And finally, I like to write this blog in a very informal, conversation-like format with lots and lots of commas and "..." After years and years of schooling, I am well versed in the art of academic writing, but on here I, just, really, like, to, use, commas, okay?!? :)

8. Did you make Lachlan's baby announcement?

Yes! I conned my poor husband into helping me take this picture of our 1 week old baby on top of a pile of books :) What did we learn? Newborn photography is really hard!

birth announcement

After designing the announcement, I struggled to find a place to get them printed. I ended up going with Tiny Prints (an American company) and had them shipped over to me in Brisbane. Even though I designed the announcement myself, I ended up paying an arm and a leg to get them printed. So if anyone knows of a company that does quality printing for invitations, cards and photography, please send their contact information my way! I would be forever grateful!!

9. How so I start a blog of my own?

So you want to start a blog of you own do you? Well, good news- It is so, so easy!

There are heaps of free blog hosts out there for you to choose from. I went with Blogger myself but know a lot of people who use Wordpress as well. All you have to do is create an account, choose a template and start writing! As you get more interested or involved, you can think about buying your own domain name (like what I did: www.ourlifedownunda.com) and making your blog a bit more personalised by creating your own headers, playing with HTML code and maybe even creating our own website. I have stuck with Blogger myself and just changed a few things slightly to make it more personal while still keeping it super simple and "clean" looking. If you have any questions about starting your own blog, feel free to ask away!

10. I really want to make a digital scrapbook. Where do I start?

I wrote a post on this a few months ago. You can find that here!

[a sample digital scrapbook page]
20 January 2012- IPPL1

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