Day 58/365: Besides photography, my other love in life (besides my family) is scrapbooking. I have been scrapping since 2000. I can look back on these pages and literally see my life unfolding. The images in these books are of those around me whom I love and events that have shaped all of us. The time poured into these albums is priceless. I have put my all into these books when I work on them. I have spent countless hours working on these - some of those hours alone and some of those hours have been spent with great friends who love scrapping as much as I do. Those times are so enjoyable - visiting while creating our own works of art is so relaxing and comforting.
Day 57/365: This might not be a typical idea. At least not with the picture that I am showing. What I am trying to express with this photo is that, surprisingly, this project has really done more for me as a mother than a photographer so far. At least that is how I'm feeling. But to explain myself a bit more, today I was riding along with my kids and they were talking and talking and I was halfheartedly listening. I was focusing on the windy conditions and how my truck gets pushed all over and also the bright sun right in my eyes. All of a sudden, as I was noticing myself notice how beautiful the sun looked over the clouds, I realized that if I can notice outside influences so clearly, why am I not wholeheartedly concentrating on my children who have so much relevant stuff to tell me? So, we pulled over. I stopped. I looked. I truly listened. Sometimes we let the little conversations pass by because we hear the same thing over and over again. But if you think about it - that's what they hear. They hear parents and teachers repeat things over and over... I think that's an important way to teach our children. Repetition. So, when they want to tell me a story for the 50th time, I need to stop, look, and listen. How else will they know how much I appreciate them and how much I enjoy hearing how much they learn? How else will they know how much I love them?
Day 56/365: Twice a week I am a lucky auntie as I get to pick up my niece along with my daughter after a day at daycare. These girls are so sweet and play so nicely together. For both of them, not having a sister, being a cousin is the next best thing. Another thing that I think is even better is that they get enough of a break from each other that when they do get time together - things feel fresh and new and there's no fighting like siblings tend to do... Seven months part these two girls and I hope and pray that they grow to be best friends. After all, no one understands their crazy families like each other! :)
Day 54/365: My daughter loves to be tickled. All three of my kids will lay on my lap for hours (if I let them) while I tickle their backs. Today, my daughter had me lay with her while she enjoyed a tickle. I love this time with my kids because it truly just feels like "us" time. One on one with each of my kids. When we can look in each others eyes and just talk. It took my breath away when my daughter reached up and pushed my hair out of my eyes. A precious moment that I will have forever. Thank you to my husband for capturing this for me!
Day 52/365: Oh how I want to experience everything that my children do in their life! I want to watch them grow and see them succeed and go on to experience their dreams and see them fall in love and start families. Oh how I want to notice the little things. I want to be there for all their ups and downs and I want to see how they experience life in their own way and by their own standards. They are so small now. But yet, the years are flying by and it is surprising to me. It's so hard to believe that the boys are 7 and my daughter is 3 and even though these years have passed I can remember vividly the day each of them were born. I hope they always hold onto the fact that between me and their father, they will always have someone to turn to and hold on to. And then if you take their father and I out of the equation, that they will have each other to hold on to. I want to take my time with their lives. I want to make sure that I notice things. I want to make sure they know that I notice them and that I notice all of the things they want to show me and tell me. I want to notice my life. Not just let it pass me by.
Day 51/365 These cold winter days are good for one thing for sure. Right now, I am cuddled up next to my hubby, with big fluffy slippers, comfy pajamas, a super thick quilt, and a bowl of ice cream. (Yup - that's how a real Minnesotan does it). :) But today, as I enjoyed watching the snow and had fun capturing the beauty as it poured out of the sky, I couldn't help thinking of somewhere warm. I dream of visiting Bora Bora someday. Where would you escape to?
Day 49/365: This is our own family badger. He usually finds himself being traded night after night between by two boys.
Some of you may be familiar with the show/cartoon Wild Kratts. Yesterday, we got to see a whole episode on the Honey Badger. I saw three little minds soak up as much information as they could. My daughter couldn't get over how cute it was and they boys thought that they were really smart. It was so neat to see them perk up the minute they heard their name and then they actually got to see the little critter moving around. They really got to understand quite a bit about our name. And that was just the coolest thing ever! They really showed me how proud they are to have their name and I'm so happy that I am a part of giving it to them.
Day 47/365: Oh the joys of the young ones getting older and able to fend more for themselves. This is a catch 22 in my world because I don't want my kids to grow up. And it's killing me that they are. (It's just happening to fast). But, when things such as shower/bath nights come around - it's extremely helpful for the older ones to handle things on their own. And, then it's even better when you get to see this on your shower walls. This so made me smile. Blake was obviously thinking of his sister and his brother, and then he had to say "I love you mom and dad." Makes my heart happy for sure. :)
Day 44/365: I was a lucky friend last night when a great friend came unexpectedly to my door... We had a big long visit, made some dinner, visited some more, drank a little wine, and visited some more. Love these unexpected visits.
Love the conversation between two friends who have known each other for countless years and who have experienced SO much together!
Day 42/365: In the inside cover of this book there is a short note written by my mom that says this: "Danette read this while on vacation in August 1993 - 8 years old." I have kept this book all these years. I remember getting this book, reading this book, and loving this book. This is the first piece of writing that I remember truly loving and has since fueled my love even more. This story is a short 58 pages but I remember that it took me quite a while to get through at 8 years old. Today, however, I found myself reading a 260 page book in a few hours. I go through spurts - I will read like crazy for a couple of months - book after book, and then I'll go a couple of months without.
My love of reading is something that I hope to show and teach my kids. Books are amazing! They are worlds that you can escape in. You can become a beautiful princess or a pirate sailing the huge seas. You can immerse yourself in fiction or fact. The opportunities are endless.
I read something once that said that the pages of every book contain a magic to each individual reader. I am a true advocate of not judging a book by its cover - the saying is true because you never know where a book may take you.
Day 40/365: This might look like the most ridiculous thing ever. Believe it or not, this little piggy has sat on my windowsill in my kitchen for as long as I can remember. I don't remember where I got it - or even what appealed to me about it. I do think it's cute but it's no bigger than my thumb and I have no idea what it's really supposed to hold with the metal stand out of its back... Last year my boys would come home with these little hearts for me around this time of year. They were making Valentine's Day projects at school and they asked their teachers if they could have a heart or two to bring home to me. Gavin wanted his heart to live here on this piggy's stand and Blake has his heart on my bedside table. They are so happy knowing that they have given me something that I see on a regular basis. And these things really make me smile. Also today, Gavin and Blake got their Valentines ready for their party that they will be having in their classrooms this Friday. It was fun watching them fill these out (making sure that the boys didn't get something that said "be mine" on it - and then giggling when they put a girl's name on one of those instead). It sure made my hubby and I giggle - soon enough those "be mine" cards and treats will really mean something real! But I'm not going to lie - I'm quite happy that my boys still think girls are weird and want to have nothing to do with them. (Except mommy that is)... :)
Day 38/365: These Legos have been together for 20-21 years. My hubby made these when he was between 10-15 years old he's guessing. He has saved these for his kids to play with. Today, while her brothers were at school - she got to enjoy these all to herself. She enjoyed playing with daddy and driving all over the couches. I love how my kids can experience joy from the things that we had as children. We are hoping that they enjoy these same things for many years themselves.
Day 35/365: I love photography because it allows me to slow down and notice more. I take time to look around with a keener sense of awareness. I notice details - I notice colors - I notice textures - I notice all the beauty that surrounds me on a daily basis. Even without my camera! And by slowing down I feel like I can breathe easier and it allows me to slow the hectic pace that life throws at me.
Today was a day of reflection for me. My boys are now 7 years old. As a mom I found myself going back in time today and thinking about when they were welcomed into this world. It was an insanely memorable day which was the beginning of many memorable days.
Today, I was pulling out some old jackets in my closet and checking my pockets. In one of those pockets, I pulled this heart out. My boys are collectors. Sometimes, Mommy is the keeper of these collections. I think they got this heart from their grandparents and I remember they would trade off who could keep it in their pocket. I don't remember when I was lucky enough to be trusted to hold this little treasure but it was a special find for me today. This was a little token of those little boys who are growing up so quickly. A little reminder for me to hold on to those heartwarming memories that are passing us by.
I have taken on a challenge to take one photo a day for this entire year. I have been excited to join up with an amazing community of talented photographers who have also taken on this challenge. The goals I have for myself this year is to, first of all, complete the whole year of 365 photos. I also want to allow this challenge to teach me all I can about the equipment I have in order to better myself as a photographer. I am excited to learn and experience so much this year through this challenge. Thank you for taking the time to look through my journey. It truly means a lot to me.