Sunday, February 28, 2010

Theme Develops

I have to begin by saying, what the heck happened to blogger overnight? Oh my. This will take a little getting used to.  Yesterday found us back at Forest Park on a walk with another family. This time with camera in tow. And guess what I found! A fire hydrant in the most unlikely place. 

Everyone gathered around looking a bit stupefied while I snapped a few pictures of the oddly placed and artistically rusted and moss-endowed hydrant. Since taking my first hydrant shots a few weeks back, I see them everywhere! Saw three on the back of a truck the other day. Two red and one yellow. Wish I had my camera . . . 

Of the three different processing choices, which is your favorite? I'm feeling a little partial to the fading vignette on the last one. I've begun to discover my personal "style" -- turns out I like colors that pop and a more gritty feel. I admire the soft pastels and faded colors of many of the photographers I follow . . . seems those aren't the pictures I've taken recently. Hmm. Guess I'll see what draws my eye and allow this new sense of myself as an artist to develop!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010


Every night my hubby and peak in on the kids before heading off to bed ourselves. We straighten blankets, tuck in stray arms and legs, kiss them them on the foreheads and feel generally blessed by all their sweetness. The quiet at the end of the day.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Sun and Blossoms

It's a miracle! Multiple days in a row of SUN. The trees and bulbs are confused. Blooms and shoots can be seen everywhere. This is such news that its in the news . . . Yesterday afternoon, we packed up the kids bikes and went to an amazing park with everything that a young family could desire. Trails for riding and walking, playgrounds and swing, gardens for photo-happy mama. There still isn't much color which was a bit disappointing. Found exactly three blooming daffodils but someone had manhandled them. Not pretty for photos. And then I found two blossoming cherry (?) trees. And the sun was low in the sky. Be still my heart :)
I have to confess that the lens flare in the first photo is an after the fact addition. Let's just say it was the way the photo should have been taken;)
Ah, happiness.

The sun is still with us this morning though there was a frost. I wonder what the return of freezing temps will do to all the new green life. I'd be ok if it reduced the awakening spider population but that's just my irrational phobia speaking. Today we will work in the yard and I will meet a friend for a trail run. All of us waterlogged Portlanders are soaking up the sun in desperate doses. You never know when it'll return for good. This is a sweet anomaly.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Playing with Fire

Valentine's night, hubby and I stayed home with yummy Thai take out, Dexter and a fire in the fireplace. I was struck by the patterns the chain mesh created and the beauty of the shifting flames.
Today's post is going to be a bit of a hodgepodge. This past weekend was unstructured, relaxed and there was SUN!! My only regret was not taking more pictures. I took my camera in the car yesterday when I friend and I went on a trail run in Forest Park (urban park in PDX). My plan was to take it out when we met our families for hot chocolate in a very fun part of town -- more of those urban pics I crave. Alas, I did not do it! But I did call a fellow photog friend of mine and asked if we could set a date to take pictures together.
The collaborative blog is still in the works. I think we're serious about it! So keep a look out. And I'd like to share this week's goals with you -- a little accountability, if you will. I am going to take my first ever Yoga class on Wednesday night and I will read as much as I watch TV in the evening. Seems doable. . . . I'll keep you posted!

Happy Tuesday!

Saturday, February 13, 2010


Things are coming together. Thoughts and ideas. Routines and practices. I'm reminding myself to be patient. Observe and be grateful.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Early Spring

Just a quick salute to Spring and ShutterSisters . . . Spring has sprung in the Northwest. And every year I worry that perhaps its too soon and that frost will come and kill the fragile buds and blooms. The little willow in the backyard, pictured above but a pictures from last year, has the tiniest, greenest little leaves. Oh, so sweet. The sun has been our and the bulbs are up. My heart is happy, happy, happy:)

Monday, February 8, 2010

More of the Same

Yesterday after the crazy of 7 year old parties and family hair cuts were out of the way -- we took the kids to ride their bikes in an empty parking lot. The idea was that I would continue reading about close-up photography and watch from the front seat of the car. In actuality, I provided an immense distraction for Little Sis! Every few feet, she would stop, command my immediate attention and then run back to the car to check in. It was very sweet. I had to warn her to watch where she was going many, many times as she veered in the direction of the car, grinning broadly and saying, "Look, mama! Look!" Another endearing behavior was making her way around the car, opening each door and popping her head in to say, "I'll be back when I'm done, ok mommy? I"ll be right back."
Big D has gained significant confidence and was tearing all over the place. He would occasionally turn too sharply and take a tumble but he is light years beyond where we ended last summer. Last week, he was riding in the same parking lot with daddy and really enjoyed the speed bumps. Only problem was that he would close his eyes! That is apparently resolved now.
With all this cuteness on two wheels, you would be justified to wonder why I was taking pictures of a fire hydrant! Just trying my hand at the techniques in Understanding Close-Up Photography (mentioned in last post). I'm excited! It has me thinking about all sorts of themes and ideas for photography projects.

Sunday, February 7, 2010


I'm attracted to the grunge of city scape and street photography but find myself self-conscience when it comes to taking the pictures. Yesterday, we took a stroll with friends along the waterfront and were able to stand on the last of three bridges that were raised for a barge and its little tug boat.
Of the few pictures I took on the walk, these two are the only keepers. I think the key will be to find a similar minded photography buddy and take my time . . . without little children threatening to fling themselves off the pier or in front of speeding bicycles.

I've started Understanding Close-Up Photography by Peterson and am feeling inspired! I'm beginning to get a better understanding of what lens to use and when to get the effect that I want. Now to practice, practice, practice!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Blue, blue eyes

Pics from adventures at the park yesterday. It is surprising to me how well Little Sis can keep up with Big D these days. She runs and charges, hardly looking where she is going and my heart leaps into my throat. . . well, actually, I tend to holler warnings and commands to cease and desist. As the words leave my mouth, I know that I'm some what over playing the risks. I'm one of those overly careful moms. UGH. My kids will not thank me for that, I suppose. And it won't prevent all the disasters I imagine.

A lovely day was had by all here. No naps which means early to bed for the kidlets, leaving the parents to their own devices. I wonder what kind of trouble we can get into?

Still more to come on the collaborative project we're cooking up!


This month's word at ShutterSisters is nurture. I haven't found enough time in recent weeks to spend with my camera but yesterday, inspired by this word and my beautiful children, I took my camera out and watched for opportunities to capture their sweetness with each other. They do plenty of squawking and hollering but there are plenty of moments of tenderness, too.

Lots of fun ideas percolating this morning . . . hope to take a walk with the family at the water front. I've been meaning and wanting to go down there with the camera and today's the day. Crossing my fingers that the weather will hold. And hubby and I are thinking about doing a collaborative blog. Still giving that thought and when we've hashed out the details and the vision, you'll hear more!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Sweet Baby Boy

This past weekend I had the pleasure of spending a few hours with a dear friend and her little boy. Our mission was to capture all his sweetness at this fleeting baby stage. He made it so easy . . . he is such a happy, content baby.

I am not a real photographer, accustomed to taking portraits and producing photos that will please proud parents, etc. Well, other then myself:) This was a gift from the heart to a dear, dear friend. She is one of those rare kindred spirits that make it easy for me to be my best and most authentic self. And her story is one of courage and grace. I think in our friendship, I have received far more than I have been able to give her. But I will not embarrass her by waxing any more eloquent as I know she will read this ;)

I must admit, this was fun, fun, fun. Could I do this again? For others? Oh, I imagine so. My children would appreciate the break from being mama's only models!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Stream of Muck

Let's start with these two angelic little faces . . . ah, breathing, enjoying, cherishing. And now moving on. It's not that there's so much muck, really. Just random, seemingly unconnected thoughts and realizations that need airing. If you aren't in the mood for the cathartic ramblings of a hormonal woman, you may want to linger with the cherubs above and come back later:)

1. Turns out, shocking as it is, that I'm generally a whole hell of a lot less confident than I appear. Give me a task, a job to do, even something that needs teaching -- and I'm fine. But the unstructured social interactions of new acquaintances. Yikes. I become, or at least wish to, a shrinking wall flower. Today I participated in a three person group, one of which is a dear friend of mine. I broke into a sweat, felt a little panicky and was sure that I was making a complete ass of myself.

2. Likely contributing to my social angst is the fear that my authentic, unguarded self wouldn't measure up to the standards of those I'm with. I measure what I say, wonder if I laugh too much or too loud, then wonder if it was really funny or if I'm just nervous . . . avoid dangerous topics and generally try to find a quiet spot to watch from.

3. Then every once in awhile, I'm reminded that this is all about my own hang ups rather than what may or may not be going on in other people's minds. I had an interaction this weekend in which I explained to some other women a concern I had about something happening in my child's religious education class. I didn't anticipate crying but I did. Which I hate. But clearly I was afraid that they wouldn't be able to hear me -- I felt like the other. The only working mother, the mom who doesn't bring her child every week and I dared to have a concern. My politics and doctrine are all wrong. I was touched and a little ashamed by their open armed response. They got me tissues, patted and hugged me, reassured me that my concern was valid and offered ideas and support.

4. I crave reassurance. There is a scared and uncertain girl in here somewhere who really wants to be liked and admired. Someone to say that I'm doing a good job. While they're at it, I'm sexy and skinny and not a day over, oh say, 22 years old.

5. Balance. It is the word of the year for me. Part of balance is being able to hold my own ambivalence and uncertainty. Stay present. Observe it. Acknowledge its existence and not admonish myself to do better, grow up, etc. Just sit along side that scared girl and reassure her that we're in this together. We're not there yet. Our journey is still unfolding. This moment is good enough. I'm good enough.

6. I should probably change the title. Doesn't sound very self-accepting, now does it. How about Unfolding.