Archive for the ‘photoblog’ Category

In so many ways I’m not ready for November. Time keeps marching on through a fog of struggles, each new month marking the passing time. I hadn’t necessarily planned on doing another 30 days but last minute I changed my mind. You may see some recycled pictures and a lot if iPhone pictures but I need this now more than I have in the past, so here we go. 

Today I’m grateful for Netflix, microwave noodles, Sprite, club crackers and the bottle of zofran that hangs out in the back of my medicine cabinet.  Oh and the do not disturb setting on my phone. 

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I can’t even begin to wrap my head around the elementary school shooting in Connecticut, let alone find the words to describe how I feel.  It stabs me at my core and becomes nearly paralyzing if I let it.  Today there is another funeral for a child taken too soon that didn’t make national news because unfortunately her story, while tragic, just isn’t news worthy on a national level.  The second story did emotionally paralyze me for a few days.

Both have similar undertones, I refuse to allow fear to dictate my choices.  It’s not that I’m not afraid or I don’t care or as was suggested in a vitriolic online rant that I don’t love my kids enough to care it’s that I’ve lived my life making choices based on fear in the past and I adamantly refuse to go back there.  Not in my home, not in schooling choices for my kids, not in political decisions I make — some of my very worst choices were ones I made out of fear.  Each morning I get up and I make my decisions based on what I think is best, putting my kids first.  Not what makes me least afraid, not what I think someone deserves but what is going to make us the strongest family possible.  If there is a lesson to be taught, what is the best way to teach it?

I just can’t turn this tragedy into a political platform, no matter how hard I try.

So each day I get up and do the menial things that build my life.  None of them are life changing or exciting, but they are me.  Each morning the sun does come up again, a neighbor steps in to help when they probably don’t realize how much their help is needed right then.  The world seems to pause just for a moment and you can see beauty in the stormy sky before the wind starts to howl and blows cold through your bones.


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Christmas season is fully here.  Do you know how I know?  The Christmas Devotional was tonight so my mind has officially clicked into Christmas mode.  I’ve had Christmas music nearby since Thanksgiving, been mmmhmmm’ing and taking notes about everything the kids want while admiring the Christmas lights going up {go ahead, make fun of the bananas–I know I do} but it still didn’t feel like quite like Christmas until tonight.

I watched the devotional with a group of new friends, and it made me realize one more time that this year is going to be the best Christmas ever.  I don’t have a why for you, I didn’t come into lots of money, things aren’t magically all falling into place and going perfect, in fact it’s been a rough several weeks for me.  Except it’s Christmastime.

Two Christmases ago after a very trying and emotionally draining time Michael said “Mom, isn’t this the best Christmas ever?  Look at how many people there are who care about us!”  That year I realized that no matter how well prepared or ill prepared we are for Christmas to come Christmas Day is magical.  Last year I still managed to stress and worry despite some conscious efforts to just enjoy the magic of the season but this year feels different, I haven’t even once thought of myself as Scrooge or muttered “bah!  Humbug”  I’ve felt love and support from friends and neighbors, I’ve not stressed over the “can I have?” {no I don’t know how that happened} and I’ve just been able to breath a little.  I don’t know that the whole season will be this stress free but I’m not going to question it I’m just going to enjoy it.

Did you know that CCPD wont’ shut down traffic on main street just so I can take a picture?  {no, I didn’t ask — I also didn’t ask them to move deer crossing signs near school crossings either}  This isn’t the picture I wanted, but I’m waiting until next weekend when the kids are here to put up our tree so this is the picture you get.

Now, I’m going to go find the story about the barometer, we were having some technical difficulties.

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Home early from work and I realize that I’m missing my 30 days posts already and we’re only the first day into December.  Well, 1 day 20 minutes. So, here I am with a photo and thoughts running around in my head trying to make sense of each other and I find myself here.

I don’t know if it’s habit or if it’s how I’ve processed a difficult month that happens to be leaking into this month too?  Perhaps if I had someone to talk things through with late at night besides cyberland I would feel differently, but I don’t.  The end of 30 days project has me feeling a little lost too, not sure what voice and direction I want the post to go.  {Maybe I should have worked on a picture of a map?} 

I took this picture up the canyon at sunset {yes, I know you are shocked} and toes cold enough that I still shiver a little looking at the picture.  Having never been to a tropical island my experience with beautiful skies is that the stormier, colder, windier that things are the more beauty there is to be found.  It was tempting to sit inside the car having my toes warmed by the heater but it was prettier in the cold — yes even a few feet make a big difference.  I wish I was as good at seeing the beauty in my storms as I am seeing the beauty in a stormy sky.  Also worth viewing it in lightbox


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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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For those of you in the middle of nursing school, trying to get into nursing school, working on endless prerequisites for nursing school know that there is a light at the end of the tunnel and no it’s not from a train.  It’s from the NCLEX and you will survive.  So will your patients.

I first felt like I was living in a tunnel just waiting to get out in nursing school.  It lasted for what seemed like an eternity.  The first semester with Lynn?  I felt like it was as long as the rest of schooling I’d done up until that point.  I was completely over “Utopia General” long before mid-term.

I’ve since come to realize that life is just a series of tunnels {trials really, some we get ourselves into like the nursing program and others we get put into kicking and screaming} that yes we can get through and we will be able to walk in the sunshine again.

30 Days of Gratitude:  Day 24 -- Light at the end of the tunnel

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