Friday, 24 December 2010

me and my boy

This was one of those moments that catch a person's breath. It truly is perfection.

Saturday, 18 December 2010


Today's photo is about 'recharging'. The challenge: in the hustle and bustle of presents and preparations and shopping and planning and wrapping, take a few moments, take a deep breath and stop, even just a for a few moments. Did I do this today? Not really, well, actually no - not at all.

Usually my days are pretty intense - full of activity and 'doing' rather than stopping and 'being'. Recharging for me ends up being a late night affair that usually includes a glass of wine and a couch and a pretty amazing guy after the kids are in bed and my projects have come to a halt for the day. We talk and laugh and listen and discuss and dream.

In a nutshell, this is how I recharge (and in this case a picture is worth 1000 words):
(the toque? It's still really cold here... and I forgot to mention that Mike is usually eating during this time as well - yes, those are crackers in his hand)

And no matter what happens during the day and no matter how late either of us gets home from evenings out, this time is so very very sacred for both of us, it always. always. always. happens.

Sunday, 12 December 2010

A Whole Lot of Happy

I am working on Day 10 of my December Daily album, which just happens to be the day of Eden and Aaralyn's Winter Solstice Concert.

I asked them to sit down before we went to the Winspear Centre (where they were performing) so I could take some head shots. Of course, they were over-the-moon excited and over-the-top hyper, so I should have know.

Two very goofy girls...

and a whole lot of happy going on around here...

Friday, 10 December 2010

Catch up

These short December days slip by so very, very quickly. It is so very easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the "shoulds" and "ought tos" of life that the moments that make this season so very special get lost.

This is part of the reason I am participating in the daily picture taking inspiration of the photography class "Picture the Holidays". I was hoping that it would give me a few moments in the day to pause and reflect and reframe.

And for the most part it has. There are days when baskets for the Mustard Seed need a few more things, so I volunteer to round them up. And there are church meetings that have to be attended. And there are Sunday services that need planning. And the girls need black socks for their concert. And dinners need to be prepared for my own and other families. And of course, there is always the laundry and those d*%m toilets that need cleaning.

So I am playing catch up on my daily picture taking and my December Daily album. And I'm ok with that. The fact of the matter is, I don't get to the picture everyday, but the daily prompts change how I look at my day and how I go about my day. For example, a few days ago, the challenge was 'reflections' - trying to capture something in a mirror. All day I had been looking for some way to do that, and it just wasn't happening. At the end of my day, I was doing the dishes (after spending most of the afternoon cooking and using every pot in my house), I washed one of those very large stainless steel bowls, put it on the rather large pile of dishes, and saw myself (elbows up to dirty dishwater) in the reflection. And there was my photo! However, I didn't stop to take the picture. I actually didn't want to - not because I didn't want to capture it, but because I was in the moment and thought that taking a photo with my camera would spoil the moment for me. So, I took a picture in my head, and spent the rest of the time thinking about life.

And that is what I love about this class. It so changes the way I have looked at my world. Here are a few photos from the other challenges:

This one is about "the little things", like toes peeking out of blankets while watching my all time favourite Christmas movie (The Polar Express)

Another challenge - to find signs 'out there' that speak to your soul. Sadly, but not surprisingly, Starbucks nailed it on the head: Stories are gifts: share.

And the challenge for today (and yes, this means I am all caught up!!): translating the ambience we see with our eyes and the glow we feel in our hearts into something photographic. While at the girl's Winter Celebration tonight, one of the classes did a fabulous ribbon dance, and I played a bit, and voila! here it is:

Now it's time to move onto my December Daily...

Sunday, 5 December 2010

"My Soul" and "The View"

Yesterday's challenge was capturing 'the thing' that replenishes my soul. There are a few I could have chosen from, but I think the one thing that, as Tracey Clark wrote "is the magic remedy that no matter what, will give us the perspective that we need" for me would be sitting down behind the piano and playing. Sometimes it is Bach, sometimes it is Chris Tomlin, sometimes it is just whatever comes to mind. But when I get up from playing and singing, I feel renewed in my spirit. And that is such a gift.

And today;s assignment? Taking in the beauty outside. And if you don't already know, I detest winter. I don't like the cold, I don't like the snow, I don't like that I have to wear socks and boots and scarves and toques and puffy jackets. However, I have grown to appreciate the beauty of the winter when I look outside. For the month of December, we splurge a bit on our electricity bill and light up our back yard with white lights. This is the view from my studio (which will soon be a third bedroom...), and this is actually one view I could never tire of. So, so pretty...

Friday, 3 December 2010

All You Need Is Love

Many, many eons ago (or so it feels) Mike and I took a marriage course which consisted mostly of hanging out with other couples. It happened to take place around Christmas, and one of the gifts of the hosts to each participant was this heart ornament.

It's a bit cliche and a lot tacky, but it makes it's way out the ornament box each year, and I just can't get rid of it. It is a gentle reminder that the Christmas season isn't just about goodwill and joy to all, but also an example of True Love.


"Reframing" to me, is just a fancy word for opening up our eyes to see beauty and joy and love all around us. It sounds easy, but we are inundated with literally thousands of messages a day that tell us we aren't good enough and we don't have enough.

It is hard to find joy in what we have been given when deep down we don't think it is enough.

It is hard to find love when deep down we don't think we are good enough.

It is hard to find beauty all around us when deep down we envy those who have more (or better) than we do.

And when I look at my children running into my arms, I realize that they are saying that I am good enough. And when I see my children happiest just being with each other, I realize that they are modelling the idea that people are way more important than things. And when I see their eyes light up at the Christmas lights in our neighbourhood at night, I realize that beauty is more about enjoying, not having.

Seeing the holidays through my children's eyes is one of my biggest challenges and one of my greatest joys.

Wednesday, 1 December 2010


Alongside my December Daily project, I also decided to embark on a 31 day photo journey called "Picture the Holidays" (which will, in fact, probably make this project a little easier). I am hoping to learn a bit more about photography and about using my camera and I am also hoping to create a bit of space and time this holiday season.

Today's photo is about the here and now keeping my eyes open to all things for which to be grateful. This morning when I got the email, I looked around me and realized that I really don't have to look too far to find something I am grateful for. I was sitting at my desk with a cup of coffee working on my December Daily album and felt a deep, deep sense of gratitude where I found myself in that moment.

Among other things, this class encourages adopting a state of mind that calls for present-mindedness, slowing down, believing in the magic that in fact does happen during this season, opening up to love, receiving, and of course, being grateful. Perfect for this time of year.

I've said it before and I am going to say it again, the camera is an amazing tool. It is so amazingly wonderful to see moments of real life coffee and creative messes.