Monday, August 31, 2009

My Girl and I

Hubby took the pic. I handed him the camera all set to go and said, "shoot." Did a little processing and thought I'd share with you. I'm fairly shy around cameras . . . and I don't know if to date I've posted a pic of myself on here. 'Bout time. Hey, nice to meet you:) 

H2C Part 2

I missed the most touching moment of the event with my camera -- the fabulous and fast runner above is Jaime and her oldest son and mother came to see her in her first leg. We had pulled off Hwy 26 to wait for her so we could cheer and offer water midway through her run. She came to a full stop, hugged and kissed her clearly very proud boy. So sweet. Several of us were a little teary as we loaded back into the van to catch her at the transition.
Sure, we talked about our kids, exchanged stories on toddler misbehavior and cuteness, compared ages and schools. There were phone calls and text messages keeping moms connected with partners and children. At the finish line, two of our mommies were met by husbands and cute tots. They joined their moms in the team photos 'cause let's be honest, every mile we logged in training was a feat of organization and teamwork with our families. 
Today I decided to shake the ol' legs out with my regular spinning class. One of my classmates is an iron man triathlete. He gave me grief about rest days and fatigued legs, all in good humor. We talked about a triathlon in Canada yesterday and he said, repeatedly, that I could/should do an iron man distance. You know, when my kids are 12! It does take time and effort and a single-mindedness that is hard to accomplish when you juggle multiple roles and responsibilities. 
Besides my own need and love for sports, I want to continue challenging myself and surrounding myself with the kind of women who do the same because I'm raising two children -- a daughter and a son, that I want to go out into the world seeing possibilities for themselves and each other that are not based on gender or imagined limitations. I love that I can bribe my spunky 3 year old daughter to eat her food by saying that if she does, she'll grow big and strong and run like her mama! Or that when I come home from either the gym or a run, they run to give me sticky, wet hugs and tell me to take a shower. Right now, they think I'm fast and strong. Soon enough, they'll be faster and stronger. 
Run, Mama, Run! (This is Kirsten and her little girl . . . sorry, none of mine as they were home with daddy. Perhaps next year)

Hood to Coast Relay (part 1)

We did it! Two urbanMamas teams successfully completed the Hood to Coast Relay this past weekend. This was my first H2C experience and I LOVED it. 
Quick primer for the uninitiated, each H2C team is made up of 12 individuals and two vans. The race consists of 36 legs, anywhere from about 3.5 miles to 7.5 miles in length and of varying difficulty. This year there were 1,000 teams and if I do the math correctly, that's a whole lot of runners, vans and volunteers. Speaking of math, each team is responsible for keeping their own time and charting it on a bright yellow paper to be turned in at race completion. Very quickly, it was determined who was most comfortable with this awesome responsibility (not me!) and who best keep far, far away. 
Here are my van-mates. I'm on the far left and the other ladies are Jaime, Merry, Kirsten, Nancy and Arabeth. Our start time was 7:15AM in the morning which had us meeting up in NE Portland at 5:00AM to load up, eat bagels and run over last minute details. Below is Kirsten, our official time keeper for a good portion of the relay. 
Nancy was our first runner and while she barrelled down the mountain, we decorated our Freightliner Sprinter. Don't they all look spry and chipper and ready to conquer the road? That'd be because none of us had run yet! Just you wait until the second installment when we'd been running, sweating and not much else for several hours . . . 
I've been sitting with this entry for awhile, wondering how to best sum up this experience. If I use any more caps or explanations marks, I'm in danger of sounding like a hyped up cheerleader in high school. I've talked recently about flow activities and for me, running and competing in one form or another is a grounding, centering experience. Working as a team with strong, inspiring women is phenomenal. Since high school and college, any competitive sport I've engaged in has been individual . . . which is fine, but I need and look for community and connection. Nothing like 6 women in a van for 30 hours for quickly becoming comfortable with one another! Laughing like school girls at jokes that if repeated here, wouldn't be funny. You just had to be there -- or perhaps equally sleep-deprived and dehydrated! Cheering out open windows, poking fun at the "officals" (many of the "official" shirts were misprinted), passing around bags of cookies and water bottles -- that's good stuff, folks! 

I'd been worried about my calves for a few months -- stretching, ice baths, chiropractor, new shoes, etc. Nothing seemed to make the problem magically disappear so I met up with my team mates a little afraid that I'd either bonk out because my training hadn't been up to snuff, catering to my aching legs, or that I wouldn't be able to finish because of an injury. But lo and behold, I ran faster than I thought I could for all three legs and felt strong. It was the energy of the team and other runners -- there is a synergistic energy in events like this. Each runner's success is the sum of the team's optimism and support. Well done, mamas. Let's do it again!

More pics to come . . . 

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Dolled Up

Uh-oh, watch out. I've finally discovered a thing or two about textures and layers . . . but it may be too much. I feel like a young girl that's just been handed her first blusher. Haven't got a clue how to blend and be subtle and sophisticated. In fact, the first day I was allowed to wear cosmetics of any sort (at a very self-conscience 14 years of age), I went to a youth group function and was told by a leader that I looked sick. As in actually ill. Apparently the apples of color on my cheeks looked something like the flush of a fever -- there was laughter which likely increased the surreal effect of blush on my cheeks! My lingering phobia of cosmetics aside, I've had fun tinkering with these pictures.  But is it too much? Do these little butterflies need a tissue and a mirror?
Another weekend is coming to a close. A basket of clean but not folded laundry is at my feet. A bowl is waiting on the counter for me to mix up some baked oatmeal for breakfast this week. My kids may finally be asleep . . . and I don't know what to do with myself. There is often a bit of angst about watching the sun go down on the weekend, anticipating the return of routine and the expectations of the week. We're a crazy lot, us humans. We pine for our "down time" and then get all anxious as we watch the minutes tick by, robbing ourselves of being truly present. 

We moved around quite a bit while I was growing up and towards the end of my 5th grade year, we were packing up again. I was old enough this time to know what this move would mean -- uprooting from a place that had become comfortable, struggling to make new friends and get situated all over again. The school year wasn't over yet so we must have had weeks if not months until the move but I was dreading it, sick with sadness when I thought of leaving one friend in particular. She and her family invited me to a dog show out of town. I wasn't supposed to be able to go because I was grounded for something or another. My mom relented when she saw how important it was both to me and my friend. That morning, the family came to pick me up and I burst into tears. I was too sad to go! My dread of saying goodbye quite literally robbed me of the opportunity to spend a wonderful day with my friend. 

Perhaps a rather heavy metaphor for the angst and general bad humor I can feel at the end of a beautiful Sunday such as today. I look around at the unfinished or partially finished chores and think of the days that stretch ahead and I just get grumpy -- sometimes. Not all the time. Thank god, my husband says! I guess, it's not just the end of a weekend . . . it's the end of the summer and the beginning of momentous things as well. Its an in between place. Transition. A place of growth and ambiguity and a touch of ambivalence

On that note, I can smile with acceptance at my moodiness. This will pass. I continue to grow and change. One day, I may even wear eye shadow:) 

Last Days of Summer

Big D starts 1st grade tomorrow. I'm feeling a little numb on the subject. He's thrilled, excited, can't wait to get a little space from his Sis who he's been cooped up with all summer. I know his starting grade school is another proof that he's growing up -- as if the size 7 pants that are nearly too short aren't proof enough, or the smart mouth he sports now and again . . . but he still hangs on our necks when we tuck him in and asks for "huggies." He's still my little boy and I guess, he will be a 1st grader tomorrow. 

In prep, we've done the essentials. Bought the reams of paper, packs of pencils and new socks and undies. We'll stock his backpack today and lay out his clothes for the week. In some ways, though he is the only member of the family going back to school - it feels like some sort of fresh start for the rest of us as well. I'm determined to get back to my weekly menu planning and we've instituted a daily routine for both morning and evenings. Let's not fool ourselves, though couched as necessary for the well-being of the children, these charts are for mama and daddy. Helpful reminder of the important things -- regular teeth brushing and special family time. 

Big D and I have started a ritual of reading a chapter book together and then he writes a sentence (or an approximation thereof) summarizing the chapter and illustrates it. With daddy, special time has been playing Candy Land and Shoots and Ladders. Little Sis is struggling with the new bedtime arrangement that puts her in 15 minutes ahead of brother. It was time. Big D needed one-on-one time with his parents and some sort of recognition for being 3 years older than his spunky sibling. 

Today is full of odds and ends as we get ready for a big week. Friday is the relay that I've been prepping for all summer. So, need to get together such essentials as a reflective vest, flashlight, sleeping bag, pain meds . . . Oy, the legs. Have I mentioned this relay before? 197 miles, Mt. Hood to Coast in a team of 12 in two vans. We start at 7:15am Friday morning and anticipate being done early afternoon Saturday. Send my calves healing thoughts -- they are busy protesting this running and last night found me in a cold bath, followed by icing and Ibuprofen. UGH. 

I have fun photos to process, hopefully today of a nature walk we took yesterday. I'm smiling just thinking of how much fun they'll be to share!

Monday, August 17, 2009


This is what we did today, the kids and I. Met family friends at an art studio-like place, painted, chalked, dappled in clay. It was messy and fun and colorful. 

And They All Fall Down!

I'm fascinated with motion in photographs. Experiments in the past have included capturing the falling blocks in a toppled tower the kids built, water fall and fountains, elusive hummingbirds and other flying things and now, dominos. Oy! I find it so difficult to get the blur or frozen action that I see in my mind's eye. Never mind trying to focus on a moving object! Practice, practice, practice. 
At least with dominos, I know where to focus and can wait for the action to happen. The kids were adorable if a little frustrated in their attempts to build trains of dominos. Sis has little body awareness -- it was if her leg or hand knocked down the dominos without her conscious knowledge! Much to the frustration of Big D. Of course, once a train was completed, they had to wait in anxious anticipation for mom, sprawled out on the floor, to give them the thumbs up to knock them down.
It's Monday morning again. A week commencing full of tasks and chores and hopefully some fun along the way. After chores, I hope to take the kids on a walk, maybe cruise some garage sales for more doll house furniture and meet a friend and her kids for some crafts. Then tomorrow, work. 

I'm finding my patience severely tapped in the last few days by my kids incessant silly and talk. In fact, I just sent Big D to sit on the stairs TWICE for goofing off at the breakfast table. While reprimanding him, he continues to be silly. Both children have not grasped the concept of asking a question and then allowing you a moment before repeating the question over and over and over. UGH! There is no silence in my mind for my own thoughts. I think we all need to go back to school . . . 

I don't like feeling like this kind of mother, grumpy, irritable and no-fun. There is nothing inherently wrong with their behavior and noise. It's just that my tolerance for chaos is so low. And when my attention is pulled in different directions, it makes it all the more difficult to go with the frenetic energy of my children. I know that I need to let go of some of the unnecessary things so that I can appreciate the moment with them. That'll be my goal today. 

Sunday, August 16, 2009

The Little Things

Nothing profound to share -- just some of the little things the family and I found on our walk yesterday. They are both my "helpers," looking for what they feel sure are good subjects for photographs. Mushrooms were a big hit as were these unusual looking seed pod things. It looks as if hundreds of little seeds are contained within this ball. I wonder how they are released. I didn't even think to experiment! 
The other day Big D asked who the shuttersisters are so I explained about a group of women who share with each other online. Though he was interested in the idea, especially given a couple of our fountain pics were recently on their site, he informed me that he wouldn't want to be a sister. He'd prefer to just look at the pictures! Funny boy. Both kids are very intrigued with the idea of gender right now. Sis is convinced that she'll grow up to be a mom or a dad -- it could go either way and her preference depends on the parent currently in her favor. Big D has informed her that she is a female and that dad and he are males. She picked that up quickly! Never mind that personal pronouns remain interchangeable and the actual relationships between various family members nebulous at best. She asked me today if I could be her sister. Sure, sweetie, we can pretend that. Then commenced an amusing car ride in which I alternated between responding to Big D's comments to Mama and hers to Sister . . . Hubby is a bit lost as to what his role is in the new family arrangement.
I'm not sure what this little flower is but I love the color and that it looks like a snapdragon. Maybe it is . . . I drew funny glasses on it in PSE but thought it probably didn't add much to the overall effect:) 

Besides nature walking, we kept busy getting ready for school (1st grade starts in one week!), running in prep for the Biggest Relay on Earth (or some such thing also known as Hood to Coast), trying to nap with non-napping children and playing with Dominos. Oh, fun pics to come of that! 

Friday, August 14, 2009

Flight of the Bumblebee

Usually, I tend to keep my distance from these furry little insects. But there is something so endearing about them, especially from behind my lens. Today, the kids and I took a stroll down the block, the intent being that I would ask a neighbor if I could photograph her garden. When no one answered the door, we stood on the sidewalk -- mama captivated by the lavender's buzzing hosts and the kids collecting acorns. Today's been productive and domestic. Mopped the floors, did some laundry, grocery shopping and the crowning achievement? Eyebrow wax with kids in tow! Yes, now that takes some serious moxie. My children sat within three feet of my poor tortured brow while the irritated wax lady (I'd declined her offer to wax my upper lip despite her assurance there was a lot up there that needed to go) ripped  hair off my face. Promises of Taco Bell kept them in check and after, Big D informed me that I looked different and he liked the way I looked before

My poor kids. They've been to all sorts of places that both they and I never dreamed we'd be -- together! Big D waiting in the dressing room while I try on swimsuits. Darn tooting I was letting him out of my sight! Or Baby Sis sitting on my chest for the 6 week check up with the OB following her birth.  And of course, family trips to the bathroom while out in public. Thank goodness for large stalls! Moving on . . . 
As you've probably guessed, each pair of photos includes an altered and SOOC photo. Just tinkering. I finally feel as if I'm understanding how to use layers, etc. in PSE. Perhaps now I can (should) cancel my subscription! It's kinda like a gym membership. Great in the beginning, when you're all excited, motivated and flabby. Then, you tone up a bit, start to get distracted and before you know it, you've paid for two years of monthly fees and you haven't stepped foot inside for nearly as long! Well, its not nearly that bad. The tutorials are very helpful and I would recommend it to anyone trying to figure out how to use photo editing software. 
On Monday, I waxed eloquent (and likely dully) about the idea of Flow. Vows were taken and now I'm here to report my relative success in keeping them. As for TV viewing -- down dramatically. I caved a bit last night but I've got a very good excuse. Itching. Seriously. Went for a run and was nearly incapacitated by itching. Run turned to walk which turned into swearing and frantically (and hopefully stealthily) scratching at my thighs, abdomen and hips. Good heavens! 3 long miles later, arrived at home and dashed into the shower. It was awful! I of course consulted the medical professionals online and decided I disagreed with the consensus that intense itching while exercising was likely due to a "prolonged period of inactivity." Um, no. I'm pretty darn active! Then I recalled that I forgot my allergy med in the morning and decided that explained everything. After such an exhausting ordeal, I had to watch a little Law and Order with dinner but then I turned it off and read. 

Curious thing about turning off the TV this week -- I've slept better, hubby and I have had decent conversations once the children had gone to bed and I feel great about how I'm spending my time. I'm reading, fiddling with photos, talking with friends and when I feel like nodding off, listening to my body and heading upstairs to bed. It's a good thing. I think I may need to continue this trend for another week . . . 

What's Your Play

I've been peeking in on dolcepics for some time but this is the first time I've decided to try her What's Your Play challenge. It's a great concept! She posts a pic and then we all get to play with, creating limitless variety in a single image. I love this photo -- what a beautiful child and honestly, I'm not sure I'd want to change a single thing. This is the very thing that often keeps me from "playing" with my own photographs! There is a freedom in playing with someone else's:) I ended up playing with some effects, light curves and photo filters to make these changes. And I finally discovered the "old photo" effect that has been alluding my search for several days. You can see the original below.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


Yesterday the kids and I visited our local berry farm to do some pickin'. These are Triple Crown Blackberries and they are, indeed, as huge as they appear in the photos! Big, warm and sweet. Does anything taste more like summer than a fresh blackberry? 
The kids were delightful. Eager, messy and full of exclamations and comments and questions. Big D was the "spotter" - searching ahead down the long rows for perfect berries. Sis for some reason couldn't figure out how to both carry her little bowl and pick berries so she resorted to demanding that either I or brother get them for her. Out in the open, I could let them prattle along, generally smiling to myself at their childish sweetness. They weren't going to bother anyone with their incessant commentary. 
We took our bowls of berries home and while they napped, I baked a pie. Perhaps my very first blackberry pie. The general consensus is that it is yummy! And tastes good with vanilla ice cream. 

Now, in the interest of full disclosure, the domestic scene I have painted for you was followed by others, less serene . . . there was the drive downtown, parallel parking with the nonstop demands for dialogue from the back seat, two kids dangling off each arm while making my way across the busy city streets and begging, begging, begging to please stop! Stop talking for just a minute. Stop dragging on my hand while impersonating a frog. Stop asking and asking and not waiting for a response. Oh. My. Brain. 

But we all survived, ate pie and kept the vow to steer clear of TV for the week. Instead of finding my brain numbed out on stupid summer TV (no offense! Trust me. I do my fair share:) hubby and I had a delightful chat with one another. Went to bed at a reasonable time and slept soundly. A good day! 

Monday, August 10, 2009


This weekend found us attempting a little family art using lotsa shaving cream and food die. The idea was from Family Fun, a great little magazine full of craft and activity ideas. Project involved smoothing the shaving cream in a cookie tray, dotting and swirling with food color and then pressing white card stock on top . . . 
Now, there are a few kinks in the otherwise fabulous execution of the project -- the first being the use of a squeegee to "smooth" the shaving cream. It is my humble experience that shaving cream does not want to be smoothed so do the best you can! 
Shaving cream appeared everywhere in a most tenacious manner -- hands, legs, deck, Adirondack and finally disappeared with the help of the garden hose. No permanent damage was done though mama's hands were funny colored for a few hours. 
In other kid-tastic news: 
1. Yesterday we took the kids out to ride their bikes. Big D is still getting comfortable without training wheels so there is lots of whining and shrieking . . . at one point, I overhead hubby asking him what his problem was. Big D's response, "My socks are too tight." Ah, yes. But of course. 
2. Sis was out of bed for like the thousandth time last night and when hubby asked what her particular problem was, her response was that her headband had fallen under the bed. Emphasis hers and repeated as if that particular detail, all the way under the bed, needed especial attention. This particular dilemma was almost too much for hubby to comprehend. As I continued to eavesdrop while giggling on the couch, he said something to the effect of, "How did your headband fall off under the bed while you were laying on your pillow?" Yes, how  indeed. Problem solving involved hubby putting the headband on the dresser for safe keeping and redepositing the child into her bed.

Now, I'm observant enough to notice that the common thread in my silly children's behavior was their father . . . hmm. Perhaps I should ask what his problem is:) 

In not so fantastic news, our little love affair continues with Uncle Sam and his insistence that we actually owe him more money. Anyone else get love letters from the IRS? They're terrifying. Pray that you don't. The system assumes that you have deliberately defrauded the government of their rightful dues and they don't really owe you any sort of explanation or assistance in figuring out how to navigate the appeal process, etc. This sets very poorly with my right-minded self. So this week's task is to figure out what our next step ought to be . . . 

Sunday, August 9, 2009


No, haven't finished the book but I've read enough to be inspired. The general gist of it is -- 
when left to our own devices, we fall victim to "entropy" or disorganization and angst. We are happiest when we are challenged and have some means to measure our progress towards a meaningful goal. It organizes our psyche and keeps the chaos at bay. The "flow" state is when we lose sense of ourselves, totally immersed in an activity that fully engages us. Flow activities can be challenging physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, cognitively. . . . We have all (at least I hope so!) experienced flow. For me, it has been in physical challenges/competition, in my work with children and families and in learning. 

Several things have really stood out for me in reading this book this weekend: 1. that research shows that most people experience a flow state more frequently at work than they do at leisure though most people will say that they'd like more leisure! So what do you make of that? Are we culturally set up to believe that work is "bad" and that leisure is "good" even when leisure is often not as fulfilling and rewarding. Perhaps the problem is with how we spend our leisure. The book makes the excellent point that leisure spent in spectator activities (think media) leave people feeling slightly depressed and restless. It is certainly true for me. There is no challenge, no meaning-making, no potential for growth in a great deal of our down time activities. 2. we need human connection and to experience "flow" in our relationships, we need to invest time, energy and value in them. We need to share common goals/challenges and find meaning in how we pursue them. 

It's all still percolating for me and I do still have a few concluding chapters to get through. But I have some resolutions to try out with you. This week, my hubby and I have decided to turn off the TV and instead fill our bits and pieces of leisure with more challenging pursuits. Perhaps that will result in increased blog entries:) We'll see how it goes. TV in the evenings has been my drug of choice for quite some time. Especially at the end of a work day and there doesn't seem to be anything left to give. I just numb out for an hour or two and then crawl to bed. But I don't feel rested from my viewing time and my beloved stacks of books, well, they're still stacked! My second resolution is to institute Flow Friday -- I want to dedicate whatever entries happen to show up on here on Fridays to pondering the practical ways I can turn my attention to parenting and living in a meaningful way. 

Friday, August 7, 2009


In kindergarten, I failed to learn my alphabet in a timely fashion and there were those (aka my teacher and grandmother) who worried something wasn't quite right with my brain. They may have had some slim reason for concern as I had been quite ill the previous year and hospitalized with pneumonia. Nowadays, docs reassure over-anxious parents such as myself that high fevers do not actually delete brain cells . . . but moving on. The summer leading up to 1st grade found both of my teacher parents toiling with me and a set of phonics books. Their hard work and dedication (and my resilient brain cells) persevered and I learned to read. And they'd be the first to tell you that I haven't stopped reading since! 
I thought I'd take you through a tour of the current stacks of books littered about my house. Yes, fascinating, I'm sure. The above pic features one of the piles with actually completed books -- well, one at least. The Irving novel, A Son of the Circus. He's a favorite of mine and this bizarre novel is no exception. The others represent my slightly eclectic tastes these days -- a little Victorian Bronte, spiritual searching and of course, what therapist would be without a book on schizophrenia. 
This delightful stack is currently on my kitchen counter. Did I mention the other was on my dresser? It is. (And one by the bed and another in the closet and a third on yet another dresser. I may have a problem. Do you think there's a 12-step group for obsessive book collecting?). Clearly this stack is all about work "stuff" and rather than continue to bore you with those, I took some pictures of some of my most nostalgic oldies . . .  
Ah, Gene Stratton Porter. She authored the little gem on top of the stack -- Girl of the Limberlost. My grandmother (the same that thought my brain had gone to mush) discovered all three of these volumes in her garage and I hoarded them and read them and have placed them in positions of honor in my bookshelves for over two decades. I'm such a nerd. 
Old books are beautiful. I love the feel of worn pages and soft, used bindings. You kinda want to reach into the picture and thumb through these pages, don't you? You'd enjoy it. I promise! 

The reality is that currently, I keep stacks of books about to remind myself that I do actually intend to read them eventually. I'm afraid to put them away. 'Course truth be told, I'm out of shelf space . . . but if I had the space and I tucked them neatly away, I'd forget I wanted to read them! Probably the best thing would be to quit collecting them to begin with. I should be disciplined - complete one before beginning another. That's what I tell my kids about their toys. That doesn't work either!

This weekend's task, among other things, is to finish Flow. I'm nearly there and then I can tell you all about it;) You know you can hardly wait! 

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

In Search of Calm

Today promises to be hectic, full, with barely any breathing room. Starts at 7am and moves right along with 3 hours of meetings and 8 hours of back-to-back clients. I'm a little tired just thinking about what awaits me in a short while. So I thought I'd distract myself -- um, meditate -- on a few of this weekend's photos.
Sunday we were at a family farm to celebrate a 2nd cousin's soon-to-be marriage. I'd been hoping to stalk the wheat fields near our home at dusk one day last week but then they suddenly were gone! I'd missed my golden opportunity. Or at least I thought I had until we made the hour drive south and came across these beautiful fields. I love the warmth of the golden heads of wheat. 
And I really don't know what my deal is with barbwire! Perhaps the juxtaposition of something so dire looking against something so inviting. Or the contrast in color and texture. Anyway, I like it! A lot. 

I feel as if there is more that needs to be written. Things on my mind but the clock ticks. Perhaps tonight, or tomorrow. Cheers.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Splashing Good Time

I've finally gotten around to pulling up summer photos of water play pics from the deep-dark archives . . . These first two are from this summer's fountain visits. Big D clearly enjoys all manner of silly, jumping and charging through the water with reckless abandon. 
Little Sis has come into her own in the water this year. She doesn't seem to need Big D  in order to explore the fountains. She darts into the water, giggling with delight and then comes back to announce, "I got my whole face in the water, mama!" This summer marks the beginning of a whole new level of independence for both kids. This mama can sit on the periphery, snapping pics and offering the occasional word of encouragement (or correction). It's lovely!
Our first summer of fountain-exploration was when Big D was a wee mite of 1 year. We played in the water and savored his very first icecream cone on Father's Day '04. We took lots of pics and most include legs and fingers of parental persons, balancing the unsteady toddler. Many are just slightly soft in their focus. 
This photo is in Big D's 3rd year -- a baby sister had just arrived. He's enjoying the play and freedom while mama sits in the shade, likely nursing.
And this is just last summer! Kiddos are 2 and 5 years. What a difference in the last several years -- both in the children's growth and in the photography! 

It's hard to belief it's August already. We haven't even dipped our toes into some of our most favorite fountains. The summer is slipping away so quickly . . . I hate to see it go. Soon Big D will start 1st grade and we'll settle into a new school-time routine. I'm setting the challenge for myself to savor these last days of summer with the children. Play, laugh, create memories in the sun!

Sunday, August 2, 2009


It's early Sunday morning and we're going full swing at our house. Kids are up, we're up and the coffee is on. I'd like to spend the day clicking and editing and generally feeling all artsie-fartsie but alas, other responsibilities have come up. We're heading to the country for a pre-wedding reception for a 2nd cousin of hubby's. But it's a farm! Potential for fantastic photos and we'll hit a fountain on the way home. It'll be good. I'll breath and it'll be good:) 

In other news, I'm beginning to feel a little frustrated with my limited knowledge and experience when it comes to photography. Granted, I've only been clicking since January and I suppose I should have patience with myself . . . I'm not sure now what the next step should be. Do I think about a different lens? (been solely using my 55-200) Another class? Just more time behind the viewfinder? I'd like to get closer to my subjects when doing macro -- maybe I need to start there. I'm so very open to suggestions or thoughts on your own growth as a amateur (or otherwise) photographer.