Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Black and White Wednesday

Check out these beautiful blossoms! They're just the way I prefer my spring flowers: preserved as a photograph, pollen-free!

I mean, I love spring and all, but this year Mother Nature decided her World looked better with a coat or two of yellow paint and consequently my eyes, nose and throat are rebelling against me in every way imaginable.  It's lovely, but I'm ready to sink my teeth into summer.

So what do you think of the editing? I used Lightroom 2 and realized that I could spend an hour or more on a single picture so I stopped and that's the result.

Anyway, play along with everyone at The Long Road to China!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Mom 'n Me Monday

My friend Crystal took these photos of me with the kiddos when the babies were only 7 weeks old... I had no idea how much they'd mean to me later, as we're tipping the scales at 11 months now.  I have so few photos with me and the girls as infants - any of the kids - and I'm already sad.

That's why Mom 'n Me Monday is awesome.

Though, it defeats the purpose to always use old pictures.

(Cut me some slack, we're moving and trying to clean up the house and yard here while finding a new place to live!)

Anyway, head over to the Peanut Gallery to play along!

BWS tips button

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Raw(e) SHOES!

So Sami at Sailor & Company does Raw(e) to challenge us to take great photos with NO editing... I mean, editing is tons of fun, but every once in awhile, it's refreshing to not touch the picture - not even cropping - and see how it turns out.

This week her theme is shoes, which for me, is useless since I own a pair of boots, about two pairs of heels and a billion pairs of ratty flip flops.  I'd just rather be barefoot. 

The babies are too wee for shoes just yet, but Jack has a wicked shoe collection... too bad all he wants to wear are Crocs (yuck) because he can put those on by himself.  So, when he wore his badass DC skate sneaks with his Christmas shirt and jeans to have his school photo taken, I was really excited.  He looked like such a little frat boy and that totally fits his goofball personality.  I was actually trying to get him to sit still so I could tie the shoes after school when I realized how endearing it is that they're always untied. 

Head on over to join in or check out the other unedited works of photography magic!

You Know You're A Mom When-sDAZE

My good friend in Arizona - The Arizona Mamma herself - came up with a clever Wednesday meme that I'm thrilled to be able to faithfully participate in! Hell, I could participate all the DAZE of the week if  I wanted with this one... Yikes!  (Say the title out loud... I admit it took me forever to make the connection to the fact that it's a Wednesday meme... I kept saying When-esssss-days... okay...?  But then, I'm the one that screamed at my husband after about a week of watching the commercial, "What the hell does Lowes... Tee mean?!" only to have him AND my father in law stare at me and ask, "You mean, lowEST - as in the most LOW - as in prices?" Duh.)

So anyway, as parents, you know we all have those moments that are singular to our trade and when we do, they're unmistakable.  For instance, you know you're a mom when...

... your "purse" dumps and you mutter under your breath about how you aren't taking wheeled toys anywhere anymore as you chase down various toy trains or cars in the checkout line and cram them back in with stray cherrios and your grocery list...

...(and said list is written in crayon...)

... you have to tell your husband that the wine opener is next to the airplane cookie cutter in the drawer with the bibs...

... your infant daughter feels your shaved legs and pulls her hand back and stares up at you in disbelief because she's never felt it before and thinks you must be a stranger...

... you have a conversation like this: "Honey, we can't pick THOSE flowers because they're not ours.  They don't live with us.  Why? Because they decided to live here.  Why?  Because they have extra bees here.  Why? Because the bees apparently don't like the big tree in our yard.  No, we can't cut it down to get more bees and flowers.  Why?  Because our scissors aren't big enough.  Okay?  Look, we're home, let's go inside." and you pride yourself for being able to come up with enough irrational responses to crazy "why" questions to evade and delay until the flower-swiping urge has passed....

... and you feel super cool and sneaky when you figure out a way to flip multiple pages of a book you HATE reading so it goes faster...

... and just a little proud when your three-year-old catches you because he understands that there's a gap in the story.


So join on in, leave a comment, link up, have fun with this if you want over at Our Daze in the Desert!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Hey, Sunshine!

Well, after my somewhat dreary last post, I'm thrilled to report that I'm feeling better - much, much better!  I've spent a good amount of time in deep reflection and in trying desperately to narrow my focus and reset myself.  I'd been caught up in trying to stabilize our whole life and missing out of the joys that individual minutes can offer - even if the next one brings a stressful phone call or a broken window, the one that follows has the potential to be as wonderful as the previous was frustrating.  To use a simple photography analogy, I'd been trying to capture my life with a wide-angle lens, but what I really needed was a macro lens.  I've got my aperture open wide now, and I'm letting the background blur beyond recognition and the beauty directly in front of me come into sharp focus.  It doesn't always come super easily, but it's a skill worth working on because each day I'm given is too precious to waste worrying about perfection.  It's an on-going effort since change is swirling around me and it's easy to get side-tracked, but being able to write about it, to talk about it with my amazing husband and to feel the support of my incredible friends and family has helped immeasurably.  So thank you - Kate, Tanya, Arizona Mamma, Sonora - you ladies, especially. 

Thanks also needs to go to my kiddos - Addie has been especially bubbly over the last few days and Jordan has been charming at refreshingly surprising times, and Jack has been absolutely perfect. 

I've been delighting in the conversations I've had with Jack lately - he's just a remarkable little guy and can be so funny.  The other night he wanted to go out to play in the yard after dinner, but the pollen was out of control and I didn't want to take freshly bathed babies into the yellow-coated grass so I made an excuse about there being too many bugs (there were bumble bees trapped on our screened porch).  Jack looked at me in that earnest way kids do and said, "Don't worry Mama, I'm Super Jack! I'll get bugs; you stay here if you're scared."  I'd not heard him refer to himself as "Super Jack" before so I was bemused to see where this was going.  "Oh, Super Jack, eh?"  "Yes," he said, "See, it says SOOOOOOOOOO-PER JAAAAACKKKK," as he moved his finger along his shirt which clearly said "my mom rules".  "See, right there!" He said as he thumped his chest.  "Oh, I do see that now, thanks.  Well, Super Jack, how would you go about 'taking care of the bugs'?"  "With my cape and the water hose."  Huh.  I love that he had it all planned out.  So I casually mentioned, "Oh, gee, did I mention these bugs are BEES?" He looked shocked and said, "Bees?! Okay, Mama, Super Jack can stay eeeeeeeenside." 

I mean, with conversations like that, how can you hang on to stress for too long?

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

(Not At All) Wordless Wednesday

I hate that it's been so long since I last posted anything meaningful.  I hate, in fact, that my life is in chaos right now. 

I'm actually going to make a confession: I'm having a really hard time with quite a bit right now.

I know.  A chink in my SuperMom armor.

We're facing a huge - HUUUUUUUUUUUUUGE - transition and the universe seems always to work in opposition to what would be the easier route for me so issues tend to require the most complicated possible solution.  And that exhausts me.  I'm feeling a little like every time I get my footing and hop up to stand tall and ride a wave, another swell knocks me down... one I didn't even see coming.  And I'm swallowing a lot of water.  I'm not drowning, exactly, but I'm certainly not surfing with any amount of grace or coordination.

Wow... it feels better to be talking about it.  Really.

I don't like to admit I need help or to acknowledge that I can't do everything for everyone always, but the other day I was clearing away lunch dishes and Jack said, "I miss you, Mama."

Ladies and gentlemen, that stopped me in my tracks.  Really?  I'm right here.  Except I'm not... not always.  I'm pretty distant and not always my perky, plucky, sassy self... and it took a 3 year old to make me realize that I'm in grave danger of missing out on the best parts of my life because I'm flailing around like a monkey on LSD trying to figure out what's going on and trying to gain some modicum of focus amidst the flurry of change going on around me.

So I'm trying.  I'm working on myself a little bit and recognizing that I'm no less of a woman or a mom or a wife, but I am looking at this as an opportunity to grow and become stronger and make sure that when I look back on this period of my life, I can be proud that I did everything I possibly could to live and to thrive and to revel in my blessings instead of exist or endure or get through "it".  You know? 

I didn't mean to pour all of that out, but I'm finding that peeling back the hard shell is refreshing and if this blog is for nothing else, it's for me. 

Gee, and all I really wanted to do was share some Easter pictures with you... wow!


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