Archive for June, 2014

I’m not the first and likely not the last person to write about this.  I will likely have to hear it more often before I actually get it more than temporarily.

I’m not beautiful, pretty or cute.  I come to terms with this mostly avoiding mirrors and such until I see pictures of me.  Being the one behind the camera it’s easy to not be in many pictures, that might be one of my favorite parts of being behind the camera.  Couple this with the idea that pictures should be very, very close to perfect to be kept from my really into photography days and it’s like I have some kind of photogdysmorphic problem. Yes, I made that up. The problem isn’t though.  I have thousands of pictures of flowers, kids, skyscapes, landscapes, sunsets, textures, motel signs, street signs, etc. I like to document my life as I see it, capture the beauty I am able to see around me from simple footbridges to majestic sunsets.

footbridge on the way to The Big Tree

My beautiful Mom hates pictures of herself.  She is most likely to goof off and pull some of her famous funny faces in front of the camera instead of letting us capture her as she normally is.  I’m okay with that, she has an amazing talent of making people laugh and pulling faces.  Her face is beautiful though, see. How can you not love her?

Mom at the cabin for her birthday dinner 2014

Isn’t she amazing?  She hasn’t seen this picture yet but I’m sure she’d pick it apart.  She’s not happy with her hair right now and, and, and.  There is always a list of ands.  I’m very well acquainted with them myself.  The old photographer me wouldn’t have hung onto this picture, or taken it in the first place.  Those cars?  Too distracting?  The focus and framing?  Off because the kids took this picture and I had to crop it way down to get it to follow the rule of thirds.  Who wants such a flawed picture?  Well, I do.  It’s how Michael sees his Grandma.  A wonderful, happy woman with a bright smile and a delicious cake on her lap you can’t see.  This picture is us, family gathered together to celebrate a wonderful woman that has cheered most of us on to get us to where we are now.

This same trip, with both Charlet and Michael having the camera there are pictures of me.  Pictures I don’t like and ones I wanted to delete.

Me, at Grandpa’s Cabin for Mom’s birthday 2014

My cheeks are chubby, I don’t have any make up on and my hair had a mind of it’s own including visible fuzziness and I don’t like the way the shirt makes me look. and, and, and.  I have a hard time seeing anything good in the picture, including flaws and imperfections that aren’t visible.  I can see the looming to do list that I never seem to finish, the stress, the inability to be enough of anything for anyone on my own. Who needs a visible reminder of that?  Not me!

I’ve read, and agreed with, articles talking about the importance of not waiting until the weight is lost or whatever goal it is that is keeping you from wanting to be in pictures because pictures are important.  They show the relationship between a young mother (who may still have some extra weight) and a toddler, the beautiful Grandmother being sung Happy Birthday surrounded by her kids, grandkids, and a great grandbaby who all think she’s the greatest ever (of course that’s because she really is)

I’ve adjusted ever so slightly and will consent to pictures like this one because Grant is cute enough to make up for what I’m lacking. Isn’t his little mohawk the cutest thing ever?  I adore him and so I keep the picture.

Grant and me at Grandpa’s Cabin 2014
I also am a fan of the picture of me that really isn’t a picture of a person.  Feet at the beach (I’ll take one when I’m at the beach, if I ever get there) or something that shows a part of me, perhaps an insight into my personality without actually being a picture of me. It’s me, that’s my hand and it’s a picture I treasure without having to deal with an awkward smile, hair fuzzies, or lack of pristine make up (or any make up at all this trip!)
As I look at the pictures from this trip, most of which I didn’t take it’s a little easier to look past the soft focus, missing catch lights, busy backgrounds, and other flaws because each picture captures a part of what going to the cabin is.  Spending time at the cabin with family is amazing.  Fun, stories, games, laughter and love — if you don’t want to be part of that then you can go somewhere else.  One of my favorite pictures is horrifically flawed.  Two teens trying to a selfie in low light with a DSLR but with flash turned off and who knows where the focus or focal length was.  I love it, it shows the relationship that these two have been building up between them. Thumbnail size it’s just fine!
Charlet and Michael weekend of Grandma’s birthday party 2014

I’m keeping the soft focus, low light, technically flawed pictures and I’m taking a breath and not deleting the pictures of me where I see nothing but imperfections because 100 years from now I don’t want someone to be looking at my pictures and assume my children are motherless because I was too picky over something as silly as a photograph. I may not be beautiful but I hope when my kids see pictures of me that are able to realize how much I love them and that they are the center of my entire world forever and always even with fly away hair, no make up, and unrested eyes.

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I blog because I like to write.  I blog for me and no one else, the only promoting I do is sharing some of the posts on Facebook.  Writing lets me think through and say things that I can’t think of in the moment.  Sarcastic comments are almost always on the tip of my tongue, and so is the ability to depreciate a compliment.  I’m working on the compliments, but I’ve only gotten so far as saying “thank you” and there are times that I want to say more but I feel lost and for once all my words leave me.

I also love to read blogs.  Friends, strangers, local people I don’t know really well, artists, medical folk, mommy blogs, cooking blogs, photography blogs — it really doesn’t matter I will read and enjoy a variety of blogs.  When people have topical blogs it makes me wonder how they do it though.  I know people spend more time than I do on their blogging habits from designing to beautiful photography and multiple drafts of entries where mine is more of a mind purge into a quickly thrown together spot on the internet but to have several posts per week on highly defined topics is crazy.  Food blog?  Okay, we’ll discuss recipes and pictures of beautiful food, maybe even a gone wrong section but how many days can you do that?  Pictures, editing, multiple drafts and all?  Same with whatever topic the blog may be on.  So, from me you are going to continue to get a mish mash of random stuff written in train of thought style.  If I get my blog prettied up, it will have topics for things I like blogging about but it’s still going to be a fairly eclectic collection.

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Happy Father’s Day

I hope that today is a great day for everyone, yet I know it won’t be. Today will sting for the Mom’s doing double duty and I’m not just talking about single Moms. Military moms, moms who are married to the father of her children but he isn’t very involved, wife who’s spouse is ill or disabled and many other situations I’m unaware of may not love this day quite as much as others. There are those who long to be fathers but can’t or haven’t yet, fathers who have lost a son, fathers trying hard to improve strained relationships, fathers who take time today to make a list of every perceived mistake. To everyone who fits in that category, be kind to yourself because you deserve it.

Last night as I worked on a special project I was thinking about the fathers in my life and how not one of them is the greatest dad, but how most of them are the greatest dad for their children. I have known some not so great dads but all of the ones I’ve known and talked with have kept trying with varying degrees of success. It might not be a Hallmark plot line but seeing a guy working to be the best dad he can warms my heart — even if the rest of the situation is sad or strained. 
Dad Thanksgiving 20??

To my own Dad who probably won’t see this, thanks for teaching me patience in frustrating situations, showing me what unconditional love and support are, teaching me how to roof, drywall, run electrical, plus more things than I should list and for always having my back. I love you and you are the greatest dad I could ever ask for and I hope you have an amazing day. 
To the boys, thanks for being my brothers. Being there to answer my questions, shoulders to cry on, advise givers and antagonists for as long as I can remember has been wonderful. This little (non-spoiled) sister is grateful to be able to look up to you. 
To the guys in the ward who have helped be an example to my kids from showing them how to work and serve to building pinewood derby cars and early morning cross country runs thank you for filling a gap no one else could. 
It would be glaring obvious if I didn’t mention my kids’ dad but finding the right words is difficult, so the condensed version is what you get. Thanks for giving me three wonderful children, without them my life wouldn’t be complete. 
Happy Father’s Day everyone. 

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Tonight was opening ceremonies for Utah Summer Games and once again I sat enjoying summer thinking that this has been the perfect summer. The kind written about in novels and portrayed in movies. I spent some time holding hands I used the peaceful quiet as an opportunity to think backwards and analyze if this was my perfect summer. As a child summers were fine, but just marched off time. I never knew what Hard Things were nor had it ever really crossed my mind leaving me unaware of the value in boring mid-summer days.

Somewhere along with adult responsibilities showing up summer fun went running away, caught up in the doll drum of routine life and stress and was nothing more than a tick marking passing time.   I did fun things, many of them but I rarely enjoyed any of them. 
This summer I’ve spent hours watching the water run over rocks, the moon rising, the sun glistening off the lake. For once time seems to have slowed down and the view from the slow side roads has been beautiful with wild flowers, beautiful skyscapes, and smell of grass in the air. I would love to freeze this summer forever and I’m grateful for the summers full of Hard Things, tears, and deep sorrow to give me the perspective to love every summer evening this year and cherish it for the beauty in each warm breeze. 
Flowers from my yard

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List of things I want and/or need to accomplish this summer, in no particular order.

•Enjoy all the good about summer. Late nights, gorgeous evenings, flowers, sun on my face. 
•Paint the house
•Wildflower festival at Cedar Breaks
•Star party at Cedar Breaks (anyone know how busy those are?)
•Feed the ducks at Parowan’s duck pond
•Family and friend party
•Hike to Big Tree
Cedar Breaks overlook after snow storm

What is on your bucket list?

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For years weekends usually consist of either work or lists of things that must be done. Once in a while something fun will come up last minute but rarely do I look forward to weekends in general.

Times change, my perspectives have changed, and I’m finding myself looking forward to weekends, even working weekends. I think it’s been since high school when I’d look forward to weekends just for the sake of it being the weekend. 

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I know fully well that lonely can be so intense it physically hurts. Surprisingly my loneliest times have been when something positive happens and it seems silly to bother anyone over little things, or when there is an a-ha moment you want to talk about but the best you can do is to blog about it. The hard times I’ve had caring shoulders to cry on, swing conversations, and walks to share.

This past week I wondered how it is possible to have ever felt invisible. I have so many marvelous friends who do amazing things for us, even more than I realize I’m sure. It’s like my family has their own cheerleading squad. 

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