Friday, September 28, 2012

Five Minute Friday {Grasp}

It's that time again - Five Minute Friday. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.


He grasps my finger, his tiny little hands gripping mine with fervor. He’s determined to not let go, to hold firm in this adventure of walking. Taking these steps isn’t easy. They’re scary. Mommy’s got a firm hand to hold onto, and this little guy will not let go.
He grasps the floor with his feet, his little toes curling against the cold tile. His steps are short and shaky, but he squeezes mommy’s hand tightly and forges ahead.

He’s so much more cautious than his sister was, but maybe that’s a good thing. Maybe he won’t be as independent. Maybe he won’t try to ride on elevators by himself. Maybe he’ll stay mommy’s little boy a little longer.
Maybe he’ll just keep grasping that finger. Or maybe he’ll let go and go on to master some new things.
That finger will always be there, held out for him to find if he ever needs it. But he’s so close to letting it go.
And maybe mommy will go on to grasp the fact that her little boy is getting to be a big boy.
You know what's funny? Today was a bad day. My sweet boy was a drooling, cranky, teething mess, and yet this is what I write about when I'm not overthinking. As anxious as I am to get through the messes, I promise I'm still savoring the sweets. :)
Five Minute Friday

Monday, September 24, 2012

Energies And Allergies...And A Fountain Deep And Wide

“Deep and wide, deep and wide…”

Hannah sings in the backseat of the car. It’s a song she learned at church – one that I actually never learned as a kid – but I know it’s about a fountain flowing deep and wide, a fountain that never runs dry. It’s a fountain of love born out of grace, always there to refresh a weary wanderer.
Oh, how I understand that fountain of love more than ever before, as a parent. A mama’s love is as deep and wide, as ever-flowing, as longsuffering, and at times, as painfully beautiful. It’s a love that separation or loss or hurt or anything could never, ever take away.

It’s a love that I hope she’s learning about as she absorbs knowledge like a sponge, soaking it all in. I hope I am teaching her enough. I hope I am everything I need to be for her, at this vital age.
But all I need to do is make sure she knows that my fountain is always here, ready and waiting when she needs it. She may forget every once in a while – because, after all, learning is a process. It takes time. It takes mistakes. It takes patience.

Sometimes we get stuff backwards. We might have something completely wrong but are so sure that it’s right, simply because it’s what we’ve told ourselves over and over again in our heads. We keep repeating it because it’s what we know to be true, what we’ve come to cling to.

But part of the learning process is letting go of the wrong and clinging to the right.

When she wants a treat, she won’t always ask for ‘snack fruits’.   

One day she’ll no longer call it a ‘stump tree’.
She’ll get it right when she asks to play with the ‘paint fingers’.
It’s just part of the process. We have to get it backwards for a while.

That kid amazes me every day – as does her little brother who’s not so little anymore – and I’m incredibly thankful for them. I don’t know what I’d do without that deep and wide fountain of love they’ve brought into my life.
I don’t know what my life would be like without conversations like these:

*Cough, cough*
“Mama, I have too much energies.”

“I know you have energy. You’re bouncing all over the place.”
“Yeah, that’s why I’m coughin’. Cause I have energies.”

“Ooooh, you mean allergies, honey.”
“Yeah, I got lotsa allergies.”

“Well, you have lots of energy. Energy is what makes you jump around and run and play. Allergies are what make you sneeze and cough.”
 “Yeah, that’s why I got lotsa allergies. Cause that’s why I’m coughin’.”

*Overemphasized cough*
“I don’t think you have allergies. But I’m certain you have too much energy.”

And I’m certain she’ll use that energy and those learning skills all throughout her life – whether she’s facing the planned out, predictable, and mundane…or the wild, uncharted adventure that twists and turns far off in the distance.
She’ll get the words right.

She’ll seek the fountain.
It’s all part of the process.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Focus {Five-Minute Friday}

I'm glad I discovered Five-Minute Friday. It's great practice to write solidly for five minutes without editing. I have a free thought journal (separate from my regular journal) that I write stream-of-consciousness in, and sometimes the stuff that comes flowing out astounds me.

Sometimes it's stuff I wouldn't normally share publicly. Consciousness gets crazy. ;)

Anyway, here's my first five-minute post. This week's topic is Focus.


Looking out at the ocean

I look through the lens and press down the shutter button halfway until I hear that beautiful beep.

I love when I get the stuff in focus. I love that sound that tells me the picture is clear. I push the button down all the way and hear that satisfying click.

Sometimes the pictures are fuzzy. Sometimes they’re clear, sharp, lovely.

I wish my life was always in focus the way I wish those pictures were. I wish I could push a button and make everything like crystal, sparkling with a beautiful light.

I don’t always know what to put in focus. Sometimes I choose the wrong subject, sometimes I wonder if I should have taken a step to the right. If only I’d taken a second to recompose…

Photography is an art we have to learn. Life is an art we have to live. It’s hard to know when to shift our focus, when to put other things in the foreground, what to put in the background…

I’ll never take perfect pictures. But I’ll take a few great ones.

Along the way, I’ll get some amazing shots.

Five Minute Friday

Thursday, September 13, 2012

No Words, Just Pics: A Typical Day {It's A Dog's Life}

6:45 a.m.
Little girl wakes up
7:01 a.m.

8:00 a.m.

Kids in the playpen
8:15 a.m.
8:45 a.m.
8:47 a.m.
9:00 a.m.
10:00 a.m.
11:00 a.m.

Kids will be kids

 12:00 p.m.

12:30 p.m.

1:30 p.m.
2:00 p.m.

4:00 p.m.


5:15 p.m.
6:00 p.m.

7:00 p.m.

9:30 p.m.
 Awesome, isn't it?

Mama’s Losin’ It
Don't forget about my giveaway!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, September 9, 2012

My 1st Blogoversary & Giveaway

I’ve officially been blogging for one year today. Considering I began this adventure when I was still pregnant with my now nine-month-old, it’s hard to believe – as it is with so many of life’s affairs – that so much time has already passed. I started this blog on a whim, and I have to say, I’m so glad I did.
For those of you who know me personally, you know it’s somewhat uncharacteristic for me to be spontaneous and unguarded, which is why blogging has challenged me and helped me to grow more than I ever could have known it would. It doesn’t just keep me writing, it doesn’t just keep track of the most treasured moments of my life, but it also allows me to share those things and keep me connected.

So many of you have given me kind words of encouragement, and I don’t think I could ever adequately express how much I appreciate those words. I love knowing that I’ve written things that have resonated with you, brought back memories, made you laugh, given you hope. That’s what you all do for me, and I’m so thankful for each and every one of you.
And to think, all this wonderful fellowship began with one simple post.

As a special thank you, I’m giving away a $10 Amazon gift card to one of my lucky readers. It’s not much, but hey, it’s only my first anniversary, and the traditional gift is paper. Stick around twenty more years, and perhaps you’ll get some diamonds. J
To enter all you have to do is log in below and complete as many of the tasks as you wish. Each task lists the number of entries that it’s worth. A winner will be chosen randomly and announced next Sunday.

Thanks again to all of you, and I hope you’ll keep hanging out with me on my panoramic playground!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Writer's Block

When I was younger, a long, long time ago, in a house that didn’t have fancy things like a computer or the Internet or Blogger, I scrawled my ideas on notebook paper in the forms of silly stories and poetry and carefully composed my thoughts in a little purple diary with a tiny lock on the side.
Sometimes I think I did better back then than I do now. There’s something oddly gratifying about the scribble of a freshly sharpened pencil lead against clean, white paper that doesn’t happen with keyboard clicking. Not to mention there was significantly less eye strain.
My first story, inspired by R.L. Stine’s Goosebumps series, was titled “The Horror of the Bunkin Party.”
What is a ‘bunkin’, you ask?
Well, you see, people in the south tend to leave the g’s off the ends of their words, such as when they say something like, “I’m fixin’ to go to the store” or “I’m gettin’ some bacon cause I’m cookin’ turnip greens.”
My mother, a true southern gal, referred to sleepovers as ‘bunking parties’, and I assumed that ‘bunkin’ was just some sort of adjective that described a sleepover where you made pumpkin buns or something.
When I finally discovered the error, I promptly changed the title of my story to “The Horror of the Sleepover.” Cause, you know, I’m so original.
The story was hilarious. I think. I don’t really remember it. (If I have any regrets in my life, it is only that I don’t still have that story.)  I just remember giggling to myself as I wrote it and reread it a thousand times.
All my young life I dreamt of being a writer, not knowing that a writer is simply one who writes. I was a writer – I just didn’t know it. When an idea hit me, I stopped what I was doing to go write it down. I would get up in the middle of the night to write down a dream so I wouldn’t forget. I’d write down silly things that made me laugh, and it all brought me a great deal of enjoyment.
It’s easy to take a hobby too seriously and forget that it’s fun, that you actually love it. When you’ve so tightly woven something into your identity, it can feel like a chore. You think you have to do it perfectly all the time or it’s no longer a part of your definition.
My fifth-grade self knew that the thoughts didn’t have to flow out in flawless fashion. Even if it’s goofy, even if no one reads it, even if it doesn’t make a difference in the world, it’s still okay to write it. Even if it has a really bad title.
It’s what I would do…when I was younger.

Mama’s Losin’ It

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Favorite Photo From August

So I decided to enter this photo in the Click It Up A Notch contest for August. I was really happy with some of my straight-out-of-the-camera pics from our beach vacation, and I'm trying to take more time to learn and practice photo editing a little more, so I thought it would be great to get a little feedback. It was hard to choose just one, but I thought this was a fun pic to work with:

I know I broke the horizon rule (it's not level), but that just makes it quirky, which I like. And I love that the seaweed colors match what she's wearing.

Click It Up A Notch