Monday, October 31, 2011

the girls and boy

costumed crew
a snowflake fairy, a jengo fett, and a rumpled cowgirl fairy...or princess or butterfly or something.
whatever they are, it's cute, and these three are sweeter than a thousand mini-chocolate bars
(and so much better for me.)

Friday, October 28, 2011

after a rough start to the week

I needed to remind myself why we home school
(let's go to the beach -because it's a beautiful day and we can!)
kate and the sea
I needed to see them laugh and play and not cry over math
(can you imagine counting all these grains of sand? how many shells are in your bucket?
how do I make a dollar for the bridge toll?)
sand play
we needed to hold hands and take deep breaths
so that we could carry as much fresh air home with us as possible
(along with our buckets of shells and sand and memories)
sea colors
and then we left sandy and smiling, reminded.
(this is what it's all about...)
43/52 shadows

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

project 52(ish)

fairy wings2
fairy wings3
fairy wings4
Way back in January I joined up with the mcp actions project 52 group on flickr. The purpose, to take one photo per week for one year, each illustrating a pre-set theme (unless I choose otherwise- it's my 52, there will not be a test.) I thought the project would be a good way to grow myself technically. I tend to shoot everything and shoot it quickly and then hold my breath as I open the files to see how'd-I-do? I wanted to slow down and be intentional with my settings, envision a photo and then plan to capture it. I wanted to practice photography as a skill rather than just take photos as a mom (although that's ok too.) I'm glad to say that it has done that for me, despite my less-than-diligent participation.
When it hit me that there was only ten weeks left to go I was at first seized with guilt over not keeping up as I should have, but quickly let go of that as I started browsing back through the set. A few of my favorite shots have been kate's plastic shoes on week 18 , those baby birds on week 29, week 4's footprints in the snow, and week 22 in Arlington Cemetery (which was featured on the mcp actions blog here.) But I don't think anything will ever top that week 1 photo of my crew drinking cocoa in Annapolis on New Year's day. I love growing this skill but the more I do, the more I realize that for me it's just not about getting the technically perfect shot. For me, it's more often about being in the moment enough to notice the things worth remembering.
A day after taking hundreds of pictures of my girls playing Stellaluna in the backyard, I can tear apart each photo for all of its technical flaws and totally miss the point. These are my girls, my beautiful girls. In a few weeks, a year, I'm not going to notice grain or blur or stray toys in the shot, I'm going to see them as they were that day. I'm going to see big brown eyes, wild hair, that shirt that Kenna calls her "daddy shirt", and Kate's baby teeth smile. I'm going to remember how they loved that story and how I laughed as they turned play silks into bat wings. I'm going to look at these pictures and see them just as they are -truly beautiful.
silkies and a fan
fairy wings1
project 52 ~ week 42 ~ true beauty

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


Remember that tree that held the baby mockingbirds back in June? Despite my efforts to figure it out, I never knew what kind of tree it was. That is until last week when it bloomed and I realized I have a camellia. A huge, healthy, blooming, Camellia!
I think the happiest gardeners are the ones like me, who really don't know all that much about plants or gardens. Because then little things like camellias blooming where you thought you had a boring overgrown shrub can bring a week's worth of excitement. And a pretty picture.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

some things

Sunday afternoon
The weather is gorgeous, the water is blue -I want to sail.
But the Summer Wind, still back in North Carolina, will soon have a new owner.
And that makes me sad. And that is all I can say about that.
running feet
(photo by tristan)
I run several times a week on a treadmill that sits in our screened-in back porch
I use the term run loosely, just so you know. It's often more of a staggering, stomping, trudging, kind of walk.
But now that the weather has turned cool-ish, it's a nice place to be and a good time to catch up on podcasts from Tim Keller (they're free -you must listen!)
can you identify this?
I took a picture of this mystery vine at my sister's house feeling like the name of it was on the tip of my tongue -where had I seen it before?
Then I started seeing it growing wild along the roadsides, where power lines meet cotton fields, and I remembered it is the very same Cypress Vine I once planted around my mailbox.
This coming week promises to be busy. Probably too busy.
Which must be why I so desperately want to go to the beach.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

date nights

On Sunday evenings we drop all the kids off at church and go to Starbucks.
(What? I see nothing wrong with that?)
date night
We sit at a tiny, wobbly table with coffee and books.
(Shawn reads big thick complicated military theory textbooks and
I breeze through some fiction and play with my camera, noticing shadows.)date night
For two hours we're like a couple of college kids we once knew.
(Except now we know how little we know.)

Friday, October 14, 2011

photos with flare

cracked filter flare
The other day I ran outside to catch some pictures of my veggie garden as the sun was just coming over the fence. I thought the light would be pretty on the leaves still dripping from the sprinklers and it was. I love shooting into the sun to catch interesting flares but what I was seeing was a little more flarish than usual. Cool.
Then I ran in to switch lenses and discovered the reason...
cracked filter
Not cool. This is my second filter loss on this lens, and thankfully, being totally oblivious to the fact that it had happened (when? I don't know) made for a much less painful experience. After taking a minute to sigh a big "thank you" to the filter, I removed it and ran back outside to capture the flare I had been going for in the first place...
fall garden flare
(And then I switched to my 50mm and will not be going back to the 18-200 until I have a new filter in place!)

Thursday, October 13, 2011

the boy's room

tristan's new wall
Two cans of chalkboard paint and the artistic vision of a seven year old boy were all it took to create a total room transformation in less than a day. I can't wait to see all the fun wall art that comes from this.
tristan's new wall

Friday, October 7, 2011

crayola crafting

We finally got around to that other project I mentioned. It was super easy, totally fun for everyone, and the result is going to look way cool hanging in Tristan's room...
melted crayon art
(We did another old favorite melted crayon craft a few weeks ago -see it hanging back there in the window?)
There are variations of this crayon-melted-on-canvas idea all over Pinterest and the web. I really liked Meg's version over here, and I think hers were the pictures that convinced me to try it.
melted crayon art
I figured the hot glue gun portion of this project was better left to me, myself, and I, so I fixed crayons onto canvas late one evening while Shawn browsed netflix for us. (I can rarely just sit still and watch t.v. can you? I think it probably drives the husband crazy.)
Also, I wanted to choose the colors to match my boys decor because I'm controlling like that.
melted crayon art
The hair dryer melting portion of the project is completely kid-friendly and so fun to watch. When those colors start to run it's like magic. Seriously, this could become an addiction. Tristan even had the genius idea to make four canvases, each one with colors of a season (how gorgeous would that be?!)
It was dark when we finished up this evening so I'll take a picture of the final work once we find just the right spot for it in T's room. He suggested we hang it on the ceiling. We'll have to see about that.
melted crayon art

Monday, October 3, 2011

if you need me I'll be outside...

"One of the many reasons why gardens are increasingly precious to us in this day and age is that they help us to escape from  the tyranny of speed. Our skies are streaked with jets, our roads have turned into race-tracks, and in the cities the crowds rush to and fro as though the devil were at their heels. But as soon as we open the garden gate, Time seems almost to stand still, slowing down to the gentle ticking of the Clock of the Universe." 
~Beverley Nichols, Forty Favourite Flowers
purples in pots
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