Forty

On Sunday, in the quiet hours of the morning, I officially turned 40.

Over the last 48 hours, I’ve whispered to myself “You’re 40!”  multiple times.  I’ve thought about my mom and what she was doing when she turned 40.  I’ve asked my dad what it feels like to have a 40-year-old kid, and I’ve looked at my husband and proclaimed, “I’m 40!” more than once.

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December 10 on 10

The last month has been filled with travel and family.  We spent a wonderful 10 days in beautiful Palm Springs, CA, celebrating my uncle's 70th.  Of course we had to steal some time away to visit Joshua Tree and take in some of our favorite sites in the area.  It was so hard to say goodbye at the end of our trip, but what wonderful memories were made!

This post is part a blog circle, celebrating every day life.  Please continue on in the circle and visit the very talented Mandalyn Renicker as she shares a glimpse in to her daily life over the last month.

Laundry

I realize this is a silly thing to complain about, but David and I have a very awkward closet in our bedroom.  The door is in an awkward place, the shape of the closet is awkward, and it's even though it's a walk-in closet it's really not big enough for two people to use. Because of this most of the items we launder on a regular basis live on our guest room bed after they have been washed and dried.  When company comes to stay, we stack our clean clothes in piles around our room and return the laundry to the guest bed when our company has left.  

Perhaps it's because they've been frozen for a year and are looking for ways to expend their excess energy, but my nicely folded piles of laundry were disrupted by our November visitors.  Here's to hoping the destructiveness is almost out of their system!

Morning Surprise

Those of you who know me, know that my commute is pretty much one of the worst. Ever.  In order to beat traffic I'm usually up between 4-4:30 am.  This gives me time to wake up, have a cup of coffee, get ready, and be out the door before the heaviest traffic starts.  Even though I'm used to early mornings you can imagine my surprise when I stumbled downstairs and into the bathroom at 4 am to find this:

HAPPY DINOVEMBER!!!!  THEY'RE BAAAAAACK!!!

September 10 on 10

This post is part of a blog circle that takes time each month to reflect on what life over the last month looked like for each member.  Please continue on in the circle and visit the  Lisa Howeler, as she shares a glimpse in to her family's life.

To say the last month has been a bit crazy would be an understatement.  I started out with the best intentions of shooting with purpose everyday, but other than focusing on some film work (first 5 sets of images), photography was pushed a bit to the side.  The moth took an unexpected turn when our sweet cat, Zipper, suddenly started having seizures.  Our days quickly became focused on emergency care and overnight stays at the vet to try and quiet her brain and all the misfiring that was going on - at one point she was having seizures every 2-3 minutes.  To say we felt helpless would be an understatement. Thankfully, with the help of a wonderful neurologist and lots of medication she is on the road to recovery and we are seeing her sweet and adventurous personality start to show again.  We don't know the cause of her seizures but we are happy the meds are working - we have weathered the storm and are enjoying the sunset afterwards. 

August 10 on 10

This post is part of a blog circle that takes time each month to reflect on what life over the last month looked like for each member.  Please continue on in the circle and visit the  Lisa Howeler, as she shares a glimpse in to her family's life.

I can't believe it's August already!  

The summer has flown by, and it's hard to believe that kids will be starting back to school soon.  Summer this year has been a quite one for our household this year.  Since mid-June I've been struggling with persistent pain on the upper right-side of my body.  Although I've suspected for years, it was confirmed with 100% certainty that I have gallstones and a gallbladder that needs to be removed.  Not feeling confident in what foods cause the pain to flare-up, and not wanting to risk a potential ER visit away from home, or for that matter emergency surgery, we have stuck close to home.  

Although I'm feeling better now, between work and not feeling well, I haven't had much energy to pick my gear up and shoot.  It's been frustrating; I've had so many ideas for some personal photography projects for this summer and they have all had to have been pushed to the back-burner.  One "project" though seemed perfect for this time where my body has forced me to take it easy - film.

There is something about film that I absolutely love, but words fail me when it comes to describing why.  I think part of it has to do with shooting film is something I do so completely for myself.  Not wanting to waste a frame - I slow down so much and really think about each shot. And a silly as it will sound to some, waiting for scan day is like waiting to open presents on Christmas.  I check my email far too many times the day I expect my scans and can't wait to open them and see if I was really able to capture what I saw.

Below are a few glimpses in to my everyday, from my August batch of scans.   

                                                                               Yashica Mat 124 G, Lomo 400, FIND Lab

                                                                              Yashica Mat 124 G, Lomo 400, FIND Lab

                                                                                      Pentax 645Nii, Ektar 100, FIND Lab

                                                                                    Pentax 645Nii, Ektar 100, FIND Lab

                                                                                   Pentax 645Nii, Ektar 100, FIND Lab

July 10 on 10

Business took me New Orleans for my first ever trip.  I was thankful to have a couple half-days to explore out a little from my hotel and get a small taste of this fascinating and mysterious city.  I can't wait to return again someday and explore more!

This post is part of a blog circle.  Please continue on in the circle and visit Laurie Shultz, as she shares a glimpse in to her world.

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May 10 on 10

It's 10 on 10 time and this month I decided to challenge myself to be more thoughtful in the way I use my cell phone camera to capture my everyday.  While I'm working on finding a safe place to relocate our camera gear to a more central part of our house, so that it's more accessible for every day use, the truth remains that the camera I have most frequently with me is my cell phone camera.  I have seen photographers capture truly stunning images with their cell phones...I get excited when a cell phone picture I take is in focus.  Just like any other piece of photography gear, to really master using my cell phone camera I need to thoughtfully practice using it.

While the challenge was to use my cell phone camera, what I feel most proud of this month is how honest these images are of our furry four-legged critters.  I have struggled with how to incorporate these guys into my every day shooting - let's be honest not everyone is a fan of people who share tons of photos of their pets, but I love this series.  So much so that I think they will not only have a home here on my blog, but also on a wall, someplace in my home.

This 10 on 10 post is part of a wonderful blog circle.  Please take some time to follow the circle, and visit the talented Lisa Howeler at Gladwynn, for a peek in to her daily life.

Thirty-Nine

I don’t think there is a better way to celebrate a birthday thank watching the sunrise the hour you were born.

Saturday morning started at 5:15 am with a hot shower, a hilarious birthday card from my husband, and staring at myself in the mirror.  As I studied my face I wondered if I looked my new age – could people tell I was a year older…beginning the last year of my 30’s?  The wrinkles around my eyes and on my forehead seemed more pronounced than they did the day before.

Many times people consider the “0” birthdays as the big ones, but for me it’s always been the “9” birthdays that feel really significant.  They’ve been the ones I’ve looked back and reflected on what the last decade of life brought me, as well as a time that I looked forward to try and present my best footing for the new decade ahead.  Needless to say, there has been a lot of contemplating and reflecting the last few months, and definitely excitement, but also some fear and feelings of really being aware of how precious our time with loved ones is.

After showering, packing up and checking out of our hotel, the next stop was Starbucks for that all-important free birthday drink, and then on to Bombay Hook to catch the sunrise.  It was cold, and neither David nor I were prepared for that kind of cold, but I could help but feel lucky to be standing next to my best friend, enjoying the beauty around us.  

March 10 on 10

Those who know me, know how much I love Chincoteague Island.  It's my place to escape the business of every day life and slow downs and enjoy just being.  Being on the island, especially during the off months, reminds me to enjoy the quiet and simply listen to nature and savor the beauty God has provided for us.  Most of all, I love spending time with David on the island.  I can see us there in our 70's, 80's, and hopefully beyond, lugging out our photography gear and still loving spending quiet time with each other observing and photographing the beauty of the nature and the wildlife on the island.

This blog post is part of a photography blog circle.  Please take a few moments to continue on in the circle and visit  Elizabeth as she shares 10 images from the last month of her everyday!

February 10 on 10

Making the decision to take on a 10-on-10 project was not an easy one.  I had tried before and fallen flat on my face about 3 months in to the project.  Capturing my everyday is not an easy task for me. My work and commute take me away from my home base for nearly 12 hours each weekday, and between you and I, I struggle to see the beauty in the monotony of those 12 hours. Get up, go to work, come home, make dinner, go to bed.  And, if I'm being BRUTALLY honest with myself, it's not just a struggle to see the beauty in the monotony, it's an intrinsic struggle with whether or not it leaves me fulfilled.  Don't get me wrong, I love my job and I love the people I work with, but there's just something about the repetition.

This month, in an effort to find something beautiful (other than my husband) in my weekday norm, I decided to photograph a day.  As I went through my images at the end of the day I struggled with how anyone could find the meaning in the images or understand the story I was trying to tell.  But after staring at the images for 40 minutes, it hit me;  sometimes the story we tell needn't be one that others can easily understand or follow. Sometimes all that matters is that we understand our story in front of our eyes.  With that thought swirling around in my head, I suddenly started to see where there was meaning and beauty, and even a story to tell in my everyday.      

This post is part of a 10-on-10 collaborative blog circle.  Please take some time to follow on in the circle and visit a photographer whose work I have long admired, the very talented Carey Pace, as she shares her 10 images!

Williamsburg

I first moved out of state and away from the comforts of home and my family in 2003, and in the 12 years since that move I have been able to celebrate Christmas with my family, on Christmas, maybe two or three times.   When I reached out to my dad and brother in late summer I was highly doubtful that schedules would align to allow all of us to be together, here in Virginia, for Christmas but to my great delight they were both on board with making it happen!  It was such a wonderful low-key Christmas, just spending time with loved ones - so very special!

The first 11 years of my life moving every three years was my norm.  My dad served in the Army until I was in 6th grade, and during that time he was stationed in the DC area twice.  We definitely made the rounds to all the historic sites, museums, and cultural events the area has to offer when we were kids, but it has been close to 30 years since I've ventured out and visited most of them again.  Dad, being retired, decided to fly out about a week ahead of my brother and I was so excited when he mentioned he wanted to visit Williamsburg!  As a little girl, I was obsessed with all things involving times past - it didn't necessarily involve a certain time period, but if it meant wearing "old-time" clothes I was down!  Needless to say, Williamsburg was a wonderland for my costume loving little-self!

I hope you enjoy our day at Williamsburg, and if you'd like to check out our time at Jamestown, be sure to read this blog post.
 

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January 10 on 10

David and I have frequently planned trips around our love of wildlife photography.  It's not often that we remember to take in the historic opportunities our great state has to offer, making our trip to Williamsburg and Jamestown (with my dad) such a fun one!

I hope you enjoy a quick "tour" through the Jamestown Settlement, as seen by me!

This blog post is part of a 10 on 10 blog circle - 10 images documenting and sharing everyday life, shared on the 10th of every month.  Please continue on in the circle and visit the talented Lenka Vodicka, a photographer and creative, as she shares a glimpse inside her daily life!

Dinovember: Football

Happy Monday everyone!

First, let me apologize for not getting the Dinos to you yesterday.  They were so tuckered out from all the nuptial partying that this is how I found them.  I myself was so tired that I didn't find them until well after dinner.

This morning, was a different story.  After a good bit of rest, it appears the Dinos had tons of energy to blow off, and what better way to do it that a game of football.

Feeling too unsteady to play carpet football, the Dinos knocked over an old painting and decided to play canvas (arena) football. 

A bit of a bossy pants, Vlad insisted that he play quarter back.

Peder ran back and forth because he'd seen pro football players do this on the TV, and..why not?!

Brutus did his best to intimidate Bronte, but that only thing scary was his breath.

Vlad was all set to throw and touchdown pass...

...but realized his team was still just roaring and making a bunch of noise.  Maybe reviewing the rules of Football would have been a good idea.