Monday, July 28, 2014



Pre-sunset photo shoot selfie. Trying to ignore the butterflies in my belly. :)

...a few minutes later...

A nice family just walked by and warned me of a raccoon hiding in the bushes just behind me. Maybe I shouldn't ignore the butterflies! Ha!

[from last Tuesday]

Monday, July 21, 2014


There's nothing particularly special about these trinkets...costume jewelry in a tiny 80-cent woven tray.  I just liked the way the window light played with them on my dresser.

Correction:  There is something particularly special about one piece in this basket.  It's a Tree of Life pendant, given to me by one of my friends for life, but the front is not visible here.  She found the pendant on Etsy and gifted it to me when I was pregnant with my son.  Something just for me when I was busy taking care of everyone else and preparing for the arrival of a new baby.  As Miss M would say, "That was so thoughtful of her! We should write her a thank-you note."  (I did write her a thank-you note.)

...Bonus points if you can locate a bobby pin, a ponytail holder, and a Star of David...

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Poolside Dominoes

My in-laws own a timeshare near our home, and a few weeks ago, they came to spend some time there.  One afternoon, we took the kids to splash around at their condo's pool.  At an umbrella table just outside the baby pool fence sat a group of ladies who were in their retirement years.  They wore swimsuits and hats, ordered snacks at the cabana, and played dominoes at a leisurely pace.  One of them glanced my way, and complimented me on the insulated picnic basket I had brought, loaded with snacks for the kids.  As my two splashed with their dad and grandma, I watched those ladies from the corner of my eye.  I was wistful, longing for deep friendship, wondering who I'd be playing dominoes (or mah jong) with in my later years.

That longing for friendship and community was one of the themes of the book I read recently, This Ordinary Adventure.  I couldn't have stumbled upon it at a better time.  As I've mentioned before, I've been feeling restless in my little town, and part of that is my lack of feeling truly connected to others in a deep and meaningful way.  I have acquaintances, and we all mean well, but we all have children and get bogged down and busy with everyday living.  It's hard to get to know each other well, let alone keep up a rhythm of keeping in touch. 

In the book, Christine Jeske describes it like this:

In eighteen months back in the United States, we had invited over dozens of people but could name only a couple families we had found time to see more than once.  We had slowly made a lot of acquaintances.  Very few were close buddies who would just stop by unannounced, who would help make major life decisions, who would trust us to watch their kids at a moment's notice or be at home when we needed someone to laugh at the latest messed-up haircut.  We were tired of a few dozen sprouting acorns of potential future friendships, and ready for at least a few strong oak tree friendships. (p. 147, emphasis added)

There is nothing I can add to that, so, Amen.

One of the things Christine suggests to combat the isolation is to host a potluck.  I think we will try that and see where it leads.  Maybe we'll find the "tribe" (as I've described it to my husband) that I've been looking for.   Not just women friends for me (which would be a Godsend), but family-friends for all of us.  People we can be ourselves around without judgment and with whom we can share real--not Facebook/Instagram--life.

Monday, June 30, 2014

On an ordinary day, the "eat-in" area of my kitchen looks like this. Yes, the table is ordinarily off-center from the painting and light fixture because of my squirmy children. My daughter wiggles while she eats, and my son just likes to move furniture, so the table is almost always askew.

On special days, I turn that area of my kitchen into a natural light studio.  It's easy.  I just remove the painting from the wall and shove all the furniture to the other side of the room.  I turn out all the lights and raise the blinds, so that the electric lights will not clash with the natural light from the window.  I position my subjects in front of the wall where the painting once hung, and I start shooting.  Sometimes, if I have an extra pair of hands, I will use a white foam board as a reflector to brighten up shadows on faces.  I have hung a backdrop (i.e., a neutral gray bed sheet) a couple of times, but I like the look of the white wall better, so that's what I usually employ.  Sometimes I bring in furniture from other rooms, and sometimes I don't.

I take pictures like these, and nobody can tell that they were taken in my kitchen.

If you're thinking about trying this out, stop thinking and do it.  It's so much fun, and it allows you to focus on taking portraits rather than spending a lot of time scoping out locations.  (I love location shooting, but I also love the creativity that a studio allows.)  If you do try this, link up to some of your work in the comments!

Saturday, June 28, 2014


Throughout the course of a day, I think of many things I could be blogging about, but by the time I have a minute to sit down and blog, either: a) I can't remember what I was going to write about, or b) I'm so relieved that the kids are finally napping, that all I want to do is sit down and read a book or watch something silly and inconsequential on Netflix.  So, the blog doesn't get written.

This is why I love Instagram.  I can take a picture and write a caption in the comments.  It's visual and verbal--my two favorites.  So, I'm going to try a new thing for those days when I have ideas but not the wherewithal to write an actual blog post.  I'm going to post my Instagrams (is that what they're called?) here.  My apologies to those of you who also follow my Instagram feed!

First up:  Earlier today... [The caption read: "I went to the library to pick up 'A Year of Biblical Womanhood' by Rachel Held Evans. That book was checked out, but in the space on the shelf where it would have been, I found this gem. Perfect for me, as I have been feeling restless in our sleepy little town. Coincidence?"]

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Sliver of Home

sliver of home 

I was cleaning up in the kitchen the other day when this view stopped me in my tracks. Something about the light pouring in through the (unseen) window was captivating. I tried to capture it in a photograph, but I don't think this one really does justice to the moment. Maybe the film version will have succeeded where the digital one fell short.  (If I get the roll of film developed any time soon, I'll have an answer.)  The daisies in the pitcher on the cabinet were our gift to M after her very first dance recital. The pitcher itself was from our DIY wedding reception.

I thought I'd find a photo of the pitcher in use at our wedding, but there are none (that I know of). So, here's a photo of our beautiful cake. (The pitcher is barely visible in the upper left corner.)

And now I'm thinking about how perfect our wedding day was...

Monday, June 16, 2014

Checking In

The kids are napping, so I have a quick minute for an update.

Currently reading:

In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day by Mark Batterson
The Confident Woman by Joyce Meyer

Today's takeaway isn't from these books, specifically, but what I've learned about myself.  As I've stated before, my soul leans toward melancholy.  So, I had a light bulb moment yesterday.  Instead of reading inspirational books here and there, then forgetting about them, then sinking into the mire of everyday living, I need to constantly fill myself with what is good and positive.  If that means consuming a steady diet of these introspective/aspirational books (along with the fiction and memoirs that I love), then so be it.  I have to get over my book-snobbishness and feed my soul.

Nap time is over.  Gotta go!