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Archive for the ‘Photography’ Category

Pink and Pinkier

There’s the barely pink blush of spring.

Then there’s the LookhowpinkIcanbe show off of spring.

~mwe

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And it was all Yellow

What’s better than yellow in the spring time?

~mwe

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Going Green

I took way too many pictures on my spring break outing to share in one post, so I’m going to divide them into themes.

Today, we go green.

~mwe

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I’m a list maker.

I put even minor things on my to do lists.

First, because it relieves the stress of trying to remember every little thing I need to do.

But my favorite part of making lists is being able to cross things off.  When I’m able to cross even one thing off my list, I feel like I’ve done something with my day.

A couple of weeks ago I made of list of things I needed to get done as I wrapped up winter quarter.  I also included the title for a blog post I was thinking about writing: Choose Joy.

The next few days, every time I checked things off my list I saw it staring back at me:

Choose Joy

It wasn’t long before I decided I’m keeping it on my list.

Because you know what?  I forget to do it ALL the time.

How can that be?  I mean, it’s JOY.  It feels AMAZING.  It makes my heart burn – in a good way.

But I often find myself choosing everything else.

Stress.

Boredom.

Anxiety.

Frustration.

Discontent.

Why do I do that?  Why do I so easily forget the things that bring me joy and fall into the things that keep me down?

Does this happen to anyone else?

(Let me say, I believe joy is different from happiness.  Joy can exist in the face of adversity and even sadness.  It makes the worst of situations bearable.  It’s a sense of peace.  A sense of contentment.  A deep, abiding love for life and all that comes with it.  But when it’s not there, everything is off balance, irritating, upsetting. In short – wrong.) 

So true to form, I spent most of my spring break doing random things.  I appreciated the unusually warm, early spring weather, but didn’t really get out to enjoy it.  So on the last day I had to myself, I decided (with a little coaxing from my husband) to go to one of my favorite places to take some pictures of spring in all it’s glory.

Because that brings me JOY.

Here’s a little preview.  I’ll share more in the coming days …

~mwe

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How is August almost over??  Where did the summer go??  No, I mean really – where did the summer go???

Camps, swimming, sleeping in, lunch dates, fairs … it all went by way too fast.  My kids are starting their second week of school and it already seems like a distant memory as we get back to schedules (which isn’t entirely a bad thing.)

Even our family vacation, which was just 3 weeks ago, seems so far away.  So in an effort to keep it fresh in my mind  I decided to share one of my favorite parts with you.  We visited Jekyll Island, along the coast of Georgia.  I had been there once with my parents the summer after I finished 5th grade, so I was curious to see if it was what I remembered.  (For the record, it wasn’t.  Or at least my memory of it wasn’t.  Well, part of it was – the beach.  But I didn’t remember anything else on the island except the hotel we stayed in.)

This was the first time my kids have been to the ocean since they were toddlers, so they were excited to put their feet in.

We spent time on the beach…

the Georgia Sea Turtle Center…

watching dolphins…

As the boat captain said, trying to take pictures of dolphins is like trying to photograph lightening.

and enjoying life at a slower pace.

Sunrise

But one of the most amazing places we saw was called Driftwood Beach.  This beach, on the northern tip of the island, is a landing spot for all kinds of trees.  Walking through the brush onto the beach literally took my breath away.

At first, all I could see was the trees.  Enormous trees.  Scraggly trees.  Dead trees.

But the longer I stayed, the longer I noticed there was more.  The beach was teeming with life in and around the trees.

And I noticed something else.

Beauty.

Such amazing beauty.

It’s a lesson I’ve learned many times in my life, but one I always seem to need reminded of … beauty is found beyond the obvious.

It’s in the big, monstrous.

It’s in the tiny, microscopic.

It’s in the dead.

It’s in the empty.

It’s in the light.

It’s in the dark.

It may take 15 hours in a mini-van to find it.

But it’s also there when I open my eyes every morning.

~mwe

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I took a 2 1/2 hour vacation today.  Alone.  And it was lovely.

This may not seem very notable, but let me assure you, it is – for a couple reasons.

First, I can’t remember the last time I did such a thing.  Yes, I go to the grocery store alone or an occasional errand, but for the most part – especially during the summer – someone is always with me.  And not only is someone always with me, but whatever it is we’re doing is for that person.  Taxiing back and forth to practices, rehearsals, the dentist, the orthodontist, the doctor … I could go on but I won’t.  While none of these alone drives me crazy, the steady, seemingly never ending list sometimes has the potential to drive me over the edge.

So what’s a mom to do when she feels like she’s living everyone else’s life but her own?  She gets away, right?  Let me assure you, the thought has crossed my mind.  I’ve researched all kinds of retreats and getaways.  They all, however, seem to come back to the same limitations – time and money.  Oh – and the fact that I’m not a huge fan of traveling.  I love being in new places, but getting ready and getting there often leave me deciding that staying home is a better option.  (Let me say here, my husband is more than supportive of me taking a little vacation.  It’s usually my own “inner voice” that shuts it down before it happens.)

The fact remains, though, that I still feel the need to have a little alone time.  Go somewhere of MY choosing, do what I want to do there, for as long as I want to do it, and leave when I’m ready.  So as I was driving home from church, I had an idea.  The art museum.  Yes, I could go to the art museum.  I’m not on call to take anyone anywhere for the afternoon.  Robert would be home.  And the best part?  It’s free on Sundays.  I brought it up to Robert and he immediately knew what his answer should be.  He’s a smart guy.  When I told my girls good-bye they asked where I was going.  When I told them they said, “Alone?  Without me?”  And as hard as it was to say, my answer was, “Yes.  Alone.  By myself.”  A smile and a kiss and I was out the door.

Let me tell you there was still that little voice that tried to talk me out of it.  Somehow even an afternoon seemed selfish.  But once I was in the car I was positively giddy.  I couldn’t wait to get there and walk around experiencing the artwork and taking pictures.  (Yes, contrary to what the older gentleman next to me in the first gallery asked his wife,  you can take pictures in a museum.  At least this one.  As long as you don’t use a flash.)

Here are some of my favorites …

This was part of an outdoor Alice in Wonderland chess set.

So was this. I'm crazy for the crazy look in this cat's eyes.

A display of American coverlets

I fell in love with this little girl. Her name is Lady Gertrude Fitzpatrick and the painting is called "Collina" by Sir Joshua Reynolds.

There was an exhibit of works by a Columbus artist named Aminah. These all represent different spirituals.

Amazing Grace

Another piece by Aminah

"Endeavor" by Lino Tagliapietra

"Endeavor" by Lino Tagliapietra

Dale Chihuly ... love love love.

Glass and stone

More Chihuly

And some more ... did I mention I love his work?

As I was driving home, I realized how glad I was I took the time for an afternoon to myself.  And how less traumatic it was on everyone than I thought it would be.  Maybe I don’t need to go away and spend a weekend or a week alone (mind you, I’m not taking that off the table – it just doesn’t seem quite so urgent.)  Maybe a few hours every couple of weeks would do wonders for me.  Maybe it would do wonders for my family.  Because as hard as it is to admit sometimes, my mother’s example of giving every minute of every day to every one else may not be the best example for me to live by.

Sometimes … once in a while … a person needs to be herself.  For herself.  And no one else.

And when she does, she may even start to feel a little like Julius Caesar …

I went where I wanted to go.  I saw what I wanted to see.  I read everything I wanted to read.  For as long as I wanted to stand there.

Then I had ice cream.

It was quite a lovely day.

~mwe

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Summer Cool Down

This picture makes me think … cool.

How about you?

~mwe

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