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Featured, Things I hope my children will read one day

I’ve never been one for New Year’s resolutions but in the spirit of the hour I can always remind myself of these things…

December 30, 2016

If you want to do something to improve your happiness this year work everyday to be less judgmental.

If you have the chance to lift someone up — take it.

When things get difficult find a way to laugh.

Celebrate your wins and celebrate with your friends when they win.

People will mess up — forgive them.

You will mess up — forgive yourself.

When someone is speaking to you listen and listen well.

Everyone you know is more special than you know — treat them that way and watch the world change.

And…

Time doesn’t stand still but sometimes we should.

I wish you genuine moments in the coming year — moments that will fill you with such joy, peace or happiness that they get placed securely
in your hearts and minds forever.
 

Happy New Year everyone! 🌟

Featured, Nature

A Winter Blend

December 21, 2016

All I can tell you is that I felt exactly like this.

I love blue and clouds and winter and water and…

Honeymoon Island
Dunedin, Florida

Featured, Things I hope my children will read one day

Sharing my happy

November 22, 2016

Yesterday my husband and I shot the first in a series of photos that will be a personal project for us. One that’s been on my heart for a while now and I couldn’t be happier about it — thrilled actually! It’s a collaborative photo series project I call “Title Tracks” that we’ll even be video documenting as we go along so that our children will have this journey to look back on one day and knowing that feels like…flying.

Scott has written the whole story and included behind the scenes photos and the final image at this link https://scottkelby.exposure.co/title-tracks, I hope you’ll go take a look, I’d love to share my happy with you.

Have a wonderful day everyone.

Featured, Things I hope my children will read one day, Travel

Because sometimes you find yourself doing the last thing you thought you’d ever be doing. That’s weird.

October 23, 2016

I’m calling this “Slingshot Sunday” because it’s too early for “Throwback Thursday” (even though a slingshot and a throwback are not quite the same thing…whatever…bear with me, lol)! Anyway, I was going through some old vacation photos and was reminded of the time when…

We were spending a glorious week of family vacation on the beautiful island of Maui. It also happens to be the ONE AND ONLY time
I ever went surfing.

You see, I’m one of those people who was never quite the same after seeing the movie JAWS and before you say anything — I absolutely know that my fear of sharks is irrational and because of that I wish the sharks no harm. Instead, I just avoid them at all cost. And until the ONE AND ONLY time I went surfing I had done a very good job of keeping out of their house.

But then we went to Maui on vacation…

And our son who was known at that time as the “Little guy” (because he was only six at the time) decided he wanted a surfing lesson. When he asked me if he could go…well…it went something like this in my head…

Oh my god — my baby! My bite size, shark bait of a child wants to go surfing in shark infested waters?! How can I get him to change his mind without him knowing I’m terrified and without terrifying him?!

But in that moment I realized that making him afraid of something he needn’t be afraid of was even more terrifying to me than letting him get in the water so, I stood in front of him, swallowed hard, gave a sort of reassuring (something just broke a little in mommy’s head) smile and said,
“Okay, I’ll make the arrangements.”

Morning of the lesson…

Got to the beach and was greeted by…hmmm…how to describe him? Well, did you ever see Keanu Reeves in that movie Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure? Right. He sounded like that, except he was like 55. Putting his voice with his face was a challenge but we carried on. He gave our son his (on the beach) instruction and they were about to head in the water when my son stopped, looked at me and said, “I’ve changed my mind Mommy — I don’t want to do it anymore.”

Oh no! He sensed my fear! I’ve ruined the water for him! What can I do to make this right?!!!

I should preface this next part by telling you that it was at this moment I realized that I was pretty much dressed for the mall. Pants, shirt, shoes, (and all the undergarments you would expect) but why was I taking a mental inventory of what I was wearing? Oh no! I knew what I had to do…Ack! Ack! Ack!

My heart is racing, my breathing becomes rapid and before I even know what’s coming out of my mouth, (my stupid, stupid, mouth), I say, “What if Mommy does it first? Then would you go?” Yikes! What did I just say?!! Maybe he didn’t hear me?! Maybe it’s not enough to make him try?!
Maybe, but then…

“Sure Mommy, that would be great!”

Ack! Ack! Ack! I hate my stupid mouth!! I’m dressed for the mall! I am terrified of being in the water and with the eating machines that live there! Aargh!!

I finally accept my fate and let Grandpa Keanu pull me out into the depths and when I was sure I was far enough out that the Little Guy couldn’t see me…I start to cry crocodile tears. I’m not kidding. Full on, facing your greatest fear, crocodile, terrified tears. And that’s when Grandpa Keanu says, “Dude! Why are you crying?!” And I say, “Because I’m terrified of being in the water — with sharks — but I didn’t want my son to be afraid of them because of me!” (Insert BIG ugly tears here).

It was then that Grandpa Keanu and I bonded for life because he yelled (while pointing his finger in my face),“You are the best mom…EVER!!!! Woohoo!!!”
(I still say Woohoo to this day) “Now here’s your wave Mom! Don’t miss it! Get up! Get up! Get up!”

What?! Wait! No! I’m not ready!! Oh for the love of everything holy I am not going in this water!!

So, I stood up, bent my knees, held my arms out for balance and rode that wave all the way to the shore. Truth be told I would have walked on that water before I would have fallen off that board! Hahahaha!

From behind me I heard, “Woohoo!! Dude! In 25 years of teaching I have never seen anyone ride in on their first wave!!”

Thank you Grandpa Keanu—I love you too!

I came in so fast that I practically fell onto my son and husband who were both standing on shore, jaws dropped, staring at me (looking like I had just surfed in from some underwater mall’s wet t-shirt contest) and trying to catch my breath through the tears and giggles of relief and joy. I couldn’t believe what I had just done — what I had accomplished?! I mean, I just faced one of my all time greatest fears and in front of my darling baby boy — what a moment!! I looked down at my precious Little Guy and said, “Okay Honey, it’s your turn and you’re gonna love it!”

And he says, “Oh, that’s okay Mommy, I really don’t want to do it anymore, I’m having a great time collecting these shells with Daddy — aren’t they awesome?!”

ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!!!!

Bahahahahaha!!!!

Featured, Nature, Travel

“Alice: How long is forever?”

September 27, 2016

“White Rabbit: Sometimes, just one second.”

— Lewis Carroll, Alice In Wonderland

I often have moments that feel that way and this one, on the Oregon coast, felt just like that.

Have a lovely day everyone.

Featured, Photography, Tips

You say you don’t “see” like a photographer but you want to — maybe this will help…

September 14, 2016

I’ve wondered how to start this conversation and, thankfully, the statement of a friend sparked one that helped me figure out how to do it —
I like that about friends.

This post is for those of you who have been snapping pics with your phone and realize you’re enjoying it or perhaps just because of all the advancements with their image taking capabilities you’re now curious and want to do more. Whatever the reason, this conversation might help you. Certainly couldn’t hurt. 😉

Friend: “I can’t get pictures like you do with your phone. I’ve tried.”

Me: What do you think is keeping you from doing that?

Friend: “I’m not an artist, like you. I don’t see the way you see things.”

I’ve heard people say this before — a lot. That “seeing” is their problem with photography. Versions of what I’ve heard over the years are: “I don’t know how to see.”
“I’ll never see like this person (or that person).” “I’m not an artist.” And so on…

Me: I think you’re putting the cart before the horse.

Friend: “How is wanting to see putting the cart before the horse? I hate it when you do this.”

Me: Hahahaha! I’m going to let that last thing go and say, “Stop trying to see and pay attention to how you feel. Pay attention to those moments
that tug at you.”

Friend: “This sounds harder than seeing.”

Me: Hahaha! Let me explain. You have a shot of your son and nephew that is awesome and you’re proud of, right?

Friend: “Yes, I love that photo of them! They were so cute trying to stack the sand fast enough — not realizing it was never going to work.”

Me: Well, when you were watching your son and nephew attempting to build that sand castle was it because of the picture you saw or was it first because of how you felt about what you were seeing?

Friend: “I think I see what you mean.”

Me: It’s like I told my son when he was first learning to drive, “Your hands will follow where your eyes are looking.” Similarly your photos will follow what you’re feeling. Just train yourself to pay attention to that and when you feel it, shoot it!

Friend: “Okay, I get it! But how do I frame it up?”

Me: You’re talking compositionally, right?

Friend: “Yes. Once I know what I want to take a picture of, how do I know how to compose it so that it doesn’t just look like a phone shot?”

Me: Actually, I do have a super easy and fun exercise to help that. 🙂

I’ll write about what I told her in my next post but, for now, pay attention to how you feel and give yourself some time to practice that. I hope it helps.

I wish you all the very best.

P.S. This little cafe in Nice, France (where I had an intimate dinner with my husband) made me feel like I was in the pages of a Hemingway novel.
Oh, Hemingway…