Archive for November, 2012

This isn’t what I’d planned on writing today and I don’t have a picture or even a concept of a picture to go along with it but for now I don’t care.

I’ve posted before {this year and others} about my gratitude for various parts of the gospel.  Tonight I’m grateful for the church and the safety net of people automatically in place.  The friendships that grow from there are wonderful and having great neighbors helps, but knowing that a late night call can calm fears and give hope when needed — even if things aren’t dire is comforting {that warm fuzzy inside sort of comforting that I wish could last forever}  Tonight I’m grateful for people who answer the phone, those who pick up the phone and call when needed, those out there ready and waiting even if they’re never needed.

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It’s not the easy days that shape our character or carve beautiful landscapes out of the mountainside, it’s the tough days that you want to go hide under a blanket and don’t {or perhaps do for a while and then you get up and face the world with a brave face} That’s when we truly become who we are meant to be.{yes I was really cold.  The wind was blowing and my toes are finally just warming up}

This one really is worth clicking on it to see it bigger or even better, click here to see it in lightbox.  I promise, it’s worth it.

30 Days of Gratitude: Day 29 -- Tough Days (different edit)

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I noticed this evening I’ve passed up 900 views.  Not bad for a blog that I write to no one and for myself, right?  I have been sharing my 30 days posts, but before that not much.  We’ll see if I keep spamming FB with my posts or not, I haven’t decided.  Part of me is curious about who’s reading what I’m writing and if it’s the same people or not {I highly suspect a lot of my readers are FB friends}

As the 30 days project draws to a close I’ve made a few observations.

  1. I stuck with it this year with just a little bumpy patch through Thanksgiving weekend when I was out of town.  
  2. I am nowhere near done being grateful — I *am* grateful that if at the end of the day I realize I haven’t taken a picture today it’s okay I can still go to bed and not stress.  Today’s snap of a picture that made me frustrated I didn’t have the time or the light I needed made me realize how important it is to me that the images reflect my feelings.  
  3. I have really missed shooting.  I think it’s a part of me that got lost for a while in the turmoil.
  4. This year feels worlds different than other Holiday seasons, kind of hard to explain but I’m going to sit back and enjoy it.
I really do shoot for myself and write for myself, a blog is just an easy place to think through my fingers {I noticed a blog titled that today, I don’t know if I subconsciously stole it from them or not, but I do feel a twinge of guilt using it} I want to keep shooting, even through and around the barriers that block my way.  I’d really like my last few November posts to be strong but I don’t have a clue yet what to do for them.
I am going to do a weekly gratitude post, it will give me more time to get a great image and hopefully have some meaningful words to go with it so don’t fret — I’ll keep spamming you a little more.

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Yes, I know and I’m not going to entertain discussion about how I used the on board flash. You don’t like it you can move right along. Getting a picture was more important than waiting and getting the picture I’d hoped for.

Michael gave us a run for our money when he was an infant, so much so that Charlet thought the best restaurant in Salt Lake City was The Rainbow Cafe and the folks at Ronald McDonald House knew us by name. So much of that experience has led me to where I am now, how I treat patients and their families and showed me that I can do things I didn’t think I’d be able to. We watched his growth (and shrinkage) ounce by ounce and stood on the brink of interventions I am grateful that we didn’t have to do. He’s now 12 and 5’8″ and just over 100 lbs. When I was putting him in newborn sized clothes on his first birthday I never, ever thought we’d get to the point that his feet are bigger than mine and he’s just shy of outgrowing me.

Along with figuring out how to grow he’s also done some pretty amazing things. Anything that needs “some assembly required” he’s your go to guy. Anything hands on he’s all over it, making sure it gets done and done right. {Hmmm, aren’t dishes hands on?} When I look at his hands I see Gromps’ hands.  I first noticed it in this picture by P&G Photography.  I wanted to capture his hands as I see them, similar to this one from summer 2006

However, he is at an after school program until 5 when we’ve lost light and I’m not letting him tear apart another bike for the sake of a picture {although I was tempted if we’d had light} so I popped up my on board flash and got this one.  I love you Michael, you continually do things that amaze me.

30 Days of Gratitude:  Day 28 -- Michael

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It’s not uncommon for police departments, fire fighters, and EMS to get attention and much needed kudos for all they do to keep everyone safe. Not as often noticed but still important are Search and Rescue (SAR), road departments {yes, county road guys I saw your road closed sign as I drove past and got stuck on ice yesterday} utility companies that come out at all hours if needed.  Not as high on keeping us safe but still very appreciated are the trash guys who make my life so much easier.

This picture is of Dancer a SAR dog from Mesquite finding me over the weekend with my nephew Charles being the one who was working him.

30 Days of Gratitude:  Day 27 -- Keep us Safe

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From the first glimpse of life in the springtime to late fall desert blossoms I’m grateful for them all.

30 Days of Gratitude:  Day 26 -- Flowers

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30 Days of Gratitude:  Day 25 -- Simply Grateful

Friday when we were rappelling I started to get pictures of some of the knots in the ropes {yeah, that was when I realized I had the wrong lens on for what I wanted} starting to formulate a 30 days post in my head.  Trust.  Safety.  Adrenaline {nixed that one, I wanted this post to be more thoughtful}  Bounced back and forth between safety and trust.  We’re only safe when we’re obedient though, that should fit into there somewhere too.

I kept thinking of the list of things we do to help keep us spiritually safe, started to turn it into a mental check list for where I am at too. You know the list of Primary answers that answer almost everything {because the plain and simple answers are truly where our strong anchors are} I had those on the list and like every other time I made a list about things that need to be done I started to get overwhelmed.  I haven’t {anything} enough lately.  Things have been going well and of course habits starts to slip.  Fall asleep exhausted before evening prayers.  Rush out the door without spending some time to read and ponder.  Do I have to mention how easy it is to skip Family Home Evening when I work on a Monday?

I stopped brainstorming this post and made a mental note that those kinds of lists don’t manage to keep me on track.  I got my picture of the knot, well not the exact picture I’d hoped for but I’m happy with it anyways.  I was harnessed up, hair pulled back, gloved up and clipped onto the rope.  That safety line that would keep me tethered and safe not free falling to hard ground below.  I even had my camera with me, debated about having Kim stop me on the edge of the free fall to get a picture {frustrated at myself for having the wrong lens on}  I back up to the edge, grateful that my arm has healed to where I can go rappelling again, listen to a few jokes about the camera {I had it inside my shirt so it wasn’t bouncing around} and back up.

If you haven’t been rappelling the initially leaning backwards over the edge of a cliff is by far the scariest part, also important to note here is that your dominant hand is your brake hand {I’m right handed}.  The longer it’s been since you’ve been rappelling the scarier it is.  The list runs through my head.  Can I see red on the harness?  Does the figure 8 look right?  I don’t have the gloves with the wear spot in them do I?  Are the leg straps on the harness tight enough I’m not going to get that tiny bit of slip that makes your heart race?  Camera staying out of the way of the figure 8? {how do people secure their camera equipment who go rappelling with it?}

Soon all the fears go away and I’m having fun, thinking next time I’m leaving my camera elsewhere {besides, I don’t have a single picture of me rappelling ever I bet I could trust one of the older girls with it and get a picture of me}.  Maybe, it is my baby after all.  I’m at the edge where the free fall starts and you have to lean back just like you do initially and I take a breath and lean back.

In a fraction of a second I realize my right hand has lost it’s grip. I’m trying to figure out if I can move my left hand to be a brake since I wouldn’t have to step over the rope and WHY???  I have had very few gripping problems with my right hand.  How far from the edge of the free fall to the bottom?  Is that very big rock at the bottom below me or Felisa? Drop and roll, I can’t forget to roll.  Oh, what will rolling do to my camera.  I can’t break anything I don’t have anymore time off of work.  I don’t want to ruin everyone’s rappelling trip.

Then the rope goes taught and I slow down.  I realize I’ve only slipped a foot {if that, but I promise it was scary and a million things ran through my mind} and have my back to the wall.  I still don’t know if at that point my brake hand would work but I couldn’t figure out how to spin myself around.  Kim lowered me safely to the ground and all was well. I’ve never had to rely on the belayer to keep me safe, other than when going down with kids and having them help do some of the work but I’ve always been grateful they’re there.  This weekend the gratitude goes a little  farther.

Sitting up on the hill taking pictures I realized that one thing on the list that I’ve been missing is the importance of good friends.  Friends who know that a simple tug on a rope will lower you safely down, friends who know the difference in “can we go for a walk sometime, I’d like to talk” and “is there some time today we can talk?”  isn’t about word choice but something deeper inside.  A phone call to just see how things are going or a text on a day that could be extra lonely.  Good friends have kept me safe, stopped me from falling off the edge and kept me grounded.  Thank you, from the bottom of my heart.

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