Friday, December 30, 2011

Kitty Love

Although we have more cats than this, he is my favorite.

He mostly does what he's supposed to, and gosh he's pretty! He is also one of the few animals that lets me take photo after photo without running away or trying to lick the lens.

This morning I woke up early-ish to get a good start on the day. Yesterday, when I was looking through pics and articles I posted throughout the year, I found a few photos that I want to have printed and added to my etsy shop. Today, I hope to send them to the printer's and add any more pics I might have missed.

Only two more days in 2011! Time flies when your having fun, I suppose. ;)

Have a great day today!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Selected Entries from Merrie Melody 2011

I went through my blog looking for my favorite entries; entries that say a little something about the human condition or about my person growth this year. I hope that you enjoy them, too.

Would we miss Him too?

On "Becoming"


My New Year's Phrase & words

How to Survive Homeschooling/Parenting

A Tribute to My Mom

My Personal Eulogy to My Mom

What I'm learning about death

Just wait it out.

Reflecting::December 26th

I hope that you have enjoyed the posts, the pictures, the jokes, and the other what-nots from Merrie Melody throughout 2011. This blog is therapeutic for me, and I appreciate you taking the time to read my thoughts or look at my pics, and when you "like" it or comment about it, it makes my day.

Here's hoping that 2012 will bring much joy, laughter, and prosperity to all of you.
With love,

A Christmas Doll

Last night, after everything was darkish and hard to photograph, I decided that I better shoot something for today's post. Great timing, huh? Anyway, so I looked around the house for something of interest... and I realized that there was something special that I haven't shown or told about yet....

On Christmas day, Amber, Karen, Emily & I ran by my sister's house; she was expecting all of her children there by 5:30 for dinner. We brought with us a big plastic storage box full of my mom's porcelain dolls.

Early last summer, before my mom's health started failing, she was talking to me about what to give everyone for Christmas. I reminded her of her collection of porcelain dolls and said that I thought all of us girls would like one for our own, so that was the plan. (There are still some girls to get a doll, so if you are one of those girls, know that I will be getting together with you soon :)

We all chose a doll. It was interesting to see who took which. When it was my turn, I thought I'd have a hard time, since they were all so pretty, but there was one that stuck out for me; one that reminded me of me, a bit, and I wondered if that was why my mom bought it. Here she is:

My mom told me over and over, when I lived at home, that when I moved out she would have to get some dolls to keep her company, since she'd had her children with her for so many years. She did, too.

It was nice to be able to include her in our Christmas. This Christmas was a hard one for me, since I've always called and wished her a Merry Christmas early in the morning unless she got to it before I did and called me first. I hope that she had a nice Christmas too.

Anyway, as for the photography, this is the before-the-external-flash pic:

And then with a little flash, but not quite enough and it wasn't quite positioned right:

And then with the right amount of flash: (same pic as the first)

It feels like magic :) I truly love having the right tools for the job. (And thanks, Steve, for supporting me in photography, with the time and money. You are awesome! :)

Have a great day, and I hope that you have some magic in your life today, too! :)

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

a little bit of something

I have agonized over this post for weeks. Not that this is a *special* post, it is just when all of my photos have been used up and I'm left with n.o.t.h.i.n.g. Most people would just remain silent, but not me! ;)

Here is some family news:

Remember these kids?

We sold them the day before Christmas, which was a pretty good time for us, since we weren't done shopping for Christmas but our pocketbook said we were. I'll miss them though.

I think I've already told you, but I did my first *real for money* photo shoot about a week before Christmas. It was thrilling! I found that I really do like working with children, even especially the totally wiggly little boys. They are silly and make me laugh. Things went well, and next year I'll have a better idea of things to try and things to not do/use. You know how *that* goes. ;)

I read a book by Stephen King entitled, On Writing that I thought was fabulous! (minus the language...I had to watch myself very closely so that I didn't start swearing like the proverbial sailor after hanging out with that guy through his books for a few weeks!) I learned a lot and enjoyed it very much; I highly recommend it!

Today, Michael and I are headed off to his physical therapy session. He *loves* going to PT and *loves* his PT instructor. Afterwards will be lunch with Steve and perhaps a quick stop at a thrift store (as quick as *that* can be, anyway.)

Have a super great day, and I'll try to take some more pics for tomorrow. :)

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

There's a new sheriff in town...

Isn't he the cutest little sheriff?! Emily snagged these cute little jammies for Karen during the Black Friday sales. Aiden loves them :)

Monday, December 26, 2011

Reflecting::December 26th

Yesterday I got thinking about life from the past, life in the present, and just a bit about life in the future. Mostly what I was thinking about was photography.

When I was 16, I went and visited my dad, and while I was there, I took some pics. They weren't terrifically amazing, but I thought that they were pretty, and I tucked them away in a scrapbook. That year, one of my friends started taking a photography class. I deemed him a guru and brought a few pics from that summer to show to him and see what he thought. He looked at them and said that they were "nice". I didn't join photography.

In my high school's photography classes, well, heck, in my entire high school, were kids with vast amounts of money and lots of talent. My family didn't have the money, and I doubted my talent. I didn't want to join and fail. But my love for photography was there, and my longing for an SLR was there too.

Soon out of high school I got married, had babies, and had more things to worry about than photography, though I loved going to art museums and seeing the paintings and photos there.

Over the years, I have played with many point-and-shoot cameras for recording milestones and memories, but it has only been in the last three or so that I started playing with landscapes again

Last March, I visited the DSLRs in in the electronics department of Walmart like I'd been doing for several months and found that the one I was looking at (Canon's Rebel EOS XS) was GONE!! I went to the photo department and the lady said that they had discontinued carrying them. My heart sank. I had saved up half of the money several times in the past few years just to have emergencies come up and use the money I had saved. The other Rebel EOS's (XSi, XTi's) were much more expensive than the XS, and Walmart had the least expensive XS's of everywhere I'd looked. She asked if I wanted her to call other stores and see if they had any left, and I said yes please, so she did. (The story of the hunt for my camera is here In a nutshell, I found a display XS for a reduced price at a close by store and snagged it.

I am *so* glad that I bought that camera, and I have learned a few important lessons about photography, too, but the most important lesson of all is to never underestimate myself. I knew I loved photography, but it was fear that held me back.

I got thinking of all of this when I went and shot portraits for my kids' dance teacher, shooting individuals and groups. I realized then that I had wasted a lot of time by being afraid. 25 years in fact. My friend who took the photography class went on to get his degree, become a photojournalist, and do his own photography on the side.

And here I am, finally doing what I love. My only regret is that I didn't do it sooner.

The moral of the story is: believe in yourself and don't let fear of failing stand in your way.

I hope that you had a wonderful Christmas day yesterday, and I hope that you can find rest and peace today.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Pictures of Christmas::Dec. 22

Matt told me that I had to disclose the following information if I put his pic here on the blog: "Tell them I was only in it for the candy cane!" So there you have it :)

Emily took Steve's & my picture with Santa during the photo shoot. My glasses kept glaring, so I took them off; Steve slid his down to be like Santa. :)

Are you almost done with your Christmas preparations? I need to check my list again and see where to go from here, and at some point I *really* want to make neighbor gifts. It might have to wait until New Year's, though. :/

Have a great day!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Pictures of Christmas::Dec. 18

Over the course of this week, I bought an external flash for an upcoming photo shoot.... so of course I had to play with it a bit :)

I'm so glad that these people (and my other kiddos and grandkiddo too) are part of my life. And the two animals? They are some of the favorites from my menagerie.

One week to Christmas... let the countdown, begin!

My Christmas wishes for you this week are:

First of all, for your sanity while you are out shopping for last minute items.

Secondly, that you will find every item on your shopping list.

Third, this is for all of you crafters out there: that all of your last minute projects-to-be-made get crafted up all nice and easy like and no problems arise.

Forth, that somewhere in all of the last minute confusion you have a chance to sit down and PONDER. That you have a moment to think about the real Reason for the Season.

Fifth, and this will be mostly on Christmas day, that you notice that extra twinkle in your little one's eyes. I wish that the excitement of Christmas could always be as strong as it is in young childhood.

Have a wonderful week! (I'll be back with single pic, but probably mostly silent, posts this week :)

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Pictures of Christmas::Dec. 15

Picture a stable in Judea.
Picture a sacred, silent night.
And can you hear
The angels near
And see the star so bright?

Picture the little baby Jesus.
Think of his life and words so dear.
Sing praise to him;
Remember him,
As you picture Christmas this year.
(Words and music: Patricia Kelsey Graham, b. 1940. © 1983 IRI)

(note to self: take a picture of a nativity DONE!)

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Pictures of Christmas::Dec. 14

Having a birthday party might not be your idea of getting ready for Christmas, but to me, Matt's birthday starts the clock: 10 days 'til Christmas!

Matt is a great guy. He takes care of the chickens on our backyard farm. He also spots for his brother and sister at their animal chores occasionally. His school teacher (he started public school this year) LOVES him. He gets along great with kids his own age, boys and girls alike. This kid is super well-rounded. He is simply a delight.

Happy 12th Birthday, Matt! I hope that today is as great as you can imagine!
Love you,

And I hope that all of you have a great day too!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Pictures of Christmas::Dec. 10

The following is to serve as a reminder to me to try this photo magic sometime: Wrap a person in Christmas lights to give off enough glow to photograph. Amazing! :)

Zach Gill - Party Hard from Brushfire Records on Vimeo.