Sunday, October 27, 2013

Right Now

web2013 10 18_nolie and potato head_edited-1

waking up early and trying to make some headway before the boys join me.

listening to “For the Good Times” by Ray Price via YouTube obsessively. One of my mom’s favorite songs that I probably hadn’t heard in 30 years until John Legend’s “Lay Your Head on My Shoulder” brought it to mind this week. Would love to hear Adele remake this cheesy yet wonderful song.

working on three galleries and freaking out about my schedule over the next few weeks.

struggling with saying no to great opportunities that come at the wrong time, with balancing the need to make money with the desire to freely give my time or talents.

needing to constantly remind myself that every yes means not having time for other priorities.

watching Homeland…in about ten more minutes. Also “The Way Way Back” this weekend which was delightful. Though it was slightly painful to watch Steve Carell play a jerk.

eating Goodness Knows Very Cranberry squares. While editing.

drinking more water and pretending I don’t know that pumpkin spiced chai is everywhere. Lamenting finishing our last box of PG Tips tea…

wanting more time. Always more time.

reading Short Nights of the Shadow Catcher: The Epic Life and Immortal Photographs of Edward Curtis---actually listening to on CD. Looking forward to our book club’s next pick, The Snow Child, as I’ve missed the last couple (see wanting).

thinking that September had a wonderful pace to it, with white space and some actual free time and wondering how/why I always seem to lose that.

loving fall weather and that our boys played outside all day today---basketball on our driveway this morning (I lost playing HORSE with the bigs), Sean playing soccer at a friend’s after lunch, Nolan on a hike with Duke and me to the Radio Tower, and then all three spent the evening playing in the yard with our neighbors’ grandkids. How I wish we had more kids on our block all the time!

planning on a birthday weekend with my sister in California and Thanksgiving in Chicago.

feeling grateful for all of Brian’s progress on our basement (so close to finished!), for health, for a surprise bouquet of sunflowers, for the luxury of angst about problems that are mostly of my own making, and for these three little men most of all.

 

This post is inspired by the ever-inspiring Elise and her Currently series, and my own post from long ago.

 

 




Friday, October 18, 2013

letters to our sons | October 2013

I have great intentions, but without deadlines most of those don’t come to fruition. One of the main reasons I created a blog was to capture this time when my sons are young. So I’m excited to join a group of friends, moms, and fellow photographers as we share about the boys in our lives on the third Friday of each month. We will be writing a letter to our sons each month. You can follow our blog circle to Kirstin Gourley next, and continue all the way back here.

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Dear Sean,

Today you asked me why I was heading to my office instead of joining you and your brothers for popcorn and “The Ransom of Red Chief.” When I told you that I had a letter to write to you, you replied, “But I’m right here---why would you write me instead of tell me?”

Perhaps you were right, but I don’t think you could sit still long enough for me to tell you, and you would blush and ask me to tickle you instead of talk as soon as I said I love you. I am writing to you right now, to you at 8-and-a-half-years-old, but also to you at some older date when you might read this. Mostly what I want to say is simply that I see you, I love you, and am amazed by you.

sean reading at bookstore in denver

Eight is the year you became a real reader, though you’ve long known how to read and enjoyed books. In the past though, you really preferred to read with someone. You liked reading for the shared experience. This year you made the leap to enjoying it on your own.

To borrow Whitman’s phrase, you contain multitudes. Shy at times, but an extrovert at heart. Joyful and exuberant, but eager to retell any sad story you hear. I don’t pretend to have fully grasped you by any means. You confound me, challenge me, and teach me, just as you did as a toddler. You were probably three by the time it dawned on me that you were an extrovert in a family of introverts, and just giving you more opportunities to be social made you more content.

2013 07 17_3 friends

From day one you seemed fully in your body and at home in this world. You love to move, whether it be racing toward home plate or shaking your boogie in a dance off. You play with gusto, and I see more than a bit of your dad in you as you race to be the first, to climb the highest. You have his love of adventure, his physicality and his competitiveness.

2013 08 02_2611 sean up high 

I often tease you that you are a combination of my two favorite men, because I see so much of your dad and my dad in you. Years ago I was describing a habit of yours over the phone to my mom, how I had noticed you would ask questions you already knew the answer to just for the sake of conversation. She immediately replied, “Don’t you see it? You’re living with your father.” And I laughed so hard, because I hadn’t seen it but she was exactly right. Just like Grandad, you are so good at arguing for the sake of argument---sometimes taking the opposite side of what you really think just for fun!

2013 09 01_6053 sean and frog

And like your father and granddad, you have such a kind heart. As tough and rough as you are, you can cry, usually not over bumps or scraps but because your feelings have been hurt or because you hurt for someone else. I pray that you never lose that ability, Sean. It’s helped me be a better mother, because I could sometimes forget just how young you were. So clever and so articulate, but still so young.

2013 07 26_sean serious

2013 08 26_4562 sean's goblet sundaes

You are an adoring younger brother, ever at Aidan’s heels, and a strong and protective older brother, leading Nolan in play. You are naturally responsible and often harsher on yourself than anyone else is. God helps us if you ever receive a B. I love that you hold yourself to high standards, and that you follow through on your commitments. Those are great traits that will take you far (though hopefully not as far as your teacher predicted when he told you that, at this rate, you would soon rule the world). Yet, I also hope you will have as much compassion for yourself as you do others, and welcome the mistakes that teach you as much if not more than your successes.2013 07 28_3938

2013 08 31_4278

I’m grateful to be your mom, Sean. To have this close-up seat to watch you grow and explore. At 8 1/2, you say you want to own your own island and a castle in Ireland someday, that you plan to be a writer and illustrator and actor and possibly a doctor too (ETA: I forgot blacksmith, your latest calling). Unlike your brothers who both say they plan to be bachelors---and have tried to get you to promise the same, you’re confident that you want to marry “and have a bunch of kids.”

Thank you for all you’ve already taught me, and for all the joy and lessons ahead. May you always be as eager for any excuse to celebrate as you are today. May you always be the loyal friend and trustworthy brother that you are today. And may you always know that you are loved by me.

More than all the stars,

Mom




Monday, October 14, 2013

Photo + Quote | October Blog Hop

"Be who you are and say what you feel,

because those who mind don't matter,

and those who matter, don't mind."

-Dr. Seuss.

Each month a group of photography friends and I interpret a famous quote through images we have captured. Here’s a confession, and I hope you won’t hold it against me:

I really don’t enjoy Dr. Seuss. (*gasp*)

How the Grinch Stole Christmas is a work of perfection, agreed. I stand in awe of his writing and rhyming in that one. But the stories with more nonsense words than real ones, the sheer length of some of his plot-less stories, and his funky illustrations all wear me down. Doesn’t The Cat in the Hat freak you out just a little?

Well, I know I’m in the minority in this one. I appreciate the impact Dr. Seuss had on children’s literature, and the life-lessons in several of his works. I haven’t let my own distaste deter my children from enjoying him. The first book Nolan could read from memory was Mr. Brown Can Moo, Can You? I love the Dr. Seuss-themed quilt his grandmother made him. I even threw him a Dr. Seuss-themed birthday this year.

nolan's 5th bday collageweb2013 03 11_1894_edited-1web2013 03 11_1948_edited-1bday collage2

So forgive me if I slip There’s a Wocket in my Pocket to the back of the bookcase in hopes of never reading it again.

Hopefully Dr. Seuss was right, and those who matter won’t mind… that I’m not a fan.

Photo+Quote is a monthly series that I’m using to dig deeper into my own archives. On the 15th of every month we are challenged to pair a chosen quote with a photograph.You can see how the other photographers in the series interpreted this month’s quote by following the blog hop to Pam Parasi of P Squared Studios.




Henry | Moab Utah Newborn Photographer

2013 09 19_1032013 09 19_112 little details

2013 09 19_115

2013 09 19_129 yawn

What an honor to capture a bit of this sweet boy when he was less than a week old! Such a sweetheart. And I’m a sucker for a big baby yawn.




Friday, October 4, 2013

Kelby’s Worldwide Photo Walk in Moab

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Tomorrow is the Worldwide Photo Walk and I’m so happy to say Moab is part of it for the first time this year!

We’ll be meeting at 10AM on Saturday on the front porch of Eklecticafe. All ages are welcome. Just bring a camera and join us as we capture Moab’s downtown in a one-mile loop walk.

With all the beautiful scenery surrounding us, Moab’s downtown is often neglected in our photos! I’m excited to try capturing some HONY-style portraits, if I can overcome my introvert-instincts.

Check out this page for the amazing prizes offered. Yes, it is world-wide so it’s not really about the prize competition, but I hope everyone uploads their best images to the WWPW 2013 Flickr group. And PLEASE submit one photo to the Kelby Photo Walk official page (link to upload won’t be available until that day) to be eligible for the prizes. One person from our Moab group will win a digital version of The Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 5 Book for Digital Photographers (Voices That Matter).

Some Q&A and rules for the competition:

  • Q. How do we submit our best photo to the contest?

    A. Once the day of the walk arrives (but not before), when you log into your account at WorldwidePhotoWalk.com and go to your walk page, you’ll see a box where you can upload your best photo. The suggested dimensions are 1000px on the longest side at 72dpi, and the maximum file size is 1MB.

    Once your image has uploaded, you’ll see it on screen and be able to confirm that you’ve uploaded the correct image. If you change your mind and want to submit a different image, you will have until the cutoff date (October 14 at 12:00 noon ET) to upload a new image. After that, no changes can be made. 

  • Q. Do I have to enter the prize competition?

    A. Absolutely not. This is a totally separate part of the experience, and if you don’t want to enter your images, you absolutely don’t have to (it’s just to make the experience more fun). Some people freaked out last year thinking they were required to enter, but just know you absolutely don’t have to enter your images. You can go and shoot for the day, and never let anyone see your photos. Ever. They can be your private,secret photos.

  • Q. What kind of editing are we allowed to do to the photos we submit to the contest?

    A. We’re pretty Photoshop and Lightroom friendly around here, so there’s not much we’re going to say “no” about. That said, here are a few guidelines for things to avoid…

    Collages aren’t allowed because you’re technically submitting more than one image.

    Photos that are submitted can be edited, but you can’t include anything that wasn’t taken during your walk. For example, you can’t drop in a sky that was taken on a different day. You can edit images to make them black and white, infrared, add contrast and saturation, remove distracting elements, create HDR images and panoramas, use plug-ins like OnOne, Nik, Topaz,

  • Q. Can we submit more than one image to the contest? What if I want to share more photos from the walk?

    A. Only one image can be submitted to the contest here on the Worldwide Photo Walk site. But if you want to share more images, you can share them on Flickr! You can find the official Sixth Annual Worldwide Photo Walk group right here. Your walk leader may have also set up a Flickr group just for your walk, so check with them for info on that.

    So to be clear, here’s the simple breakdown of all this:

    Contest = WorldwidePhotoWalk.com
    Fun = Flickr

Here’s a link to the youtube video on how to add the phone app if you want to use your iphone: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=115NcT52A-c&feature=youtu.be

Sign up today to join us here if you haven’t already!


Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Anthropomorphism Photo Challenge

Giving human characteristics to a non-human is this month's challenge for the Clickin' Moms group. 

Oy vey. A challenge it was. I only came up with one idea:

Duke the Deep Thinker




I tried to get him to wear the glasses. He said no way. I wanted to have him looking forlorn with his head resting by that copy of Old Yeller in the background, but he was too excited by the scene. 

Books have that effect on our whole family.

I can't wait to see what other photographers in our circle came up with, as this was easily the hardest challenge so far. You can continue through the blog circle as well, starting with Maggie

ETA: Others found it challenging too! Our circle is small with only three participating this month.





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