Monday, January 9, 2012

2011 family pictures

I've toyed with the idea of closing this blog down, but I think I'll leave it. I'm coming to grips with the fact that I'm just not a blogger.

I came across a beautiful post today by Tara Whitney, and I wanted to quote a piece of it before I share some of our family pictures with you.

“Not looking” can make a shot really unique and personal. However, getting them to look at you can be a special kind of challenge, and therefore, a special kind of satisfaction. What I personally want to fight against is the idea that if one or more people aren’t making a pleasant face at the photographer, if the photo is imperfect in some way, that means the photo isn’t worthy of framing or sharing or loving. Those are usually my favorite and the most important to me down the road. Even if a child is having a crap day – well, okay then – we all have crap days. That is what is honest. That is what is unique about them. That is the very reason for freezing your family at any moment in time, in my eyes. More so, a thousand TIMES more so, than the image with everyone looking with a perfect face into the camera.

That pretty much sums up our family picture adventure. One or both of my children were constantly not cooperating. But I love the pictures anyway.

BTW, our pictures weren't taken by Tara. Didn't want anyone to get confused. They were taken by a very talented lady I work with - Sonja Lackey.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

a year in review - April 2010

This blog has been seriously neglected. Sorry about that if you actually read along.

I totally forgot about this project. So glad to pick it back up as it sort of relates to the reason I signed in (see this post).

This is about the best I ever get when I try to get the two of them to pose.

cool photography links

Some pretty cool photo ideas I ran across today. I think they're probably cooler as a collection, but they might be fun for personal use anyway.

Dear Photograph
Back to the Future

Friday, March 11, 2011

a year in review - March 2010

one of my favorite pictures - Aiden and Uncle Terry

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

book no.1 - Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America

I had wanted to read Nickel and Dimed by Barbara Ehrenreich for a long time, and I had it listed on my wishlist at Bookcrossing. (As a side note - Bookcrossing is amazing. I haven't been very active there in, oh, probably 8 or 9 years, but it's a site worth looking into if you have the time.) A fellow Bookcrosser got in touch with me and offered to send me the book. I said OK and then forgot about the book again until it showed up in my mailbox.

The basic premise of the book is that the author goes undercover as a blue collar worker in various cities to see if she can make enough to survive. She sets herself up in each town with a place to live, and goes about finding a job and then working it. She lives thriftily and sees if at the end of the month she has made enough to pay for the next month's rent.

You can probably guess from the full title of the book just how well she fared. The book offers an interesting insight into low wage jobs and not much more. (I found the chapter on maid services particularly fascinating.) I've worked some of these low earning jobs myself, so I guess I already knew first hand the probable outcome. Fortunately I've had family to support me. You do feel for the people stuck in this vicious cycle.

The author isn't particularly funny, and she doesn't offer much that I, and most of America I suspect, didn't already know. She seemed to have a particular hatred for drug testing - I guess because she's a pot smoker. But she goes off on the injustice of drug testing on multiple occasions in the book, and I got bored with that pretty quickly. I see no harm in companies drug testing their employees, and I seriously doubt they do it to dehumanize prospective employees and exert their power and control from the onset.

All in all the book was an OK read. Nothing earth shattering was revealed in its pages, and the writing style was ho-hum. Not a bad read if you have it lying around, but I wouldn't go out of my way to find a copy.

Monday, March 7, 2011

New Year's resolutions

I started this post in January. Can you believe it's March now? Oh, well - things have been crazy (what's new) while we've tried to adjust to our new schedules.

I don't usually make hard and fast resolutions, but I do try to reflect on my life and see what needs to be changed or worked on. So, without further ado, here's my list of things to work on for 2011:

  • stand up straight - I don't think my posture is horrible, but it could certainly be better. I'm going to make an effort to notice when my shoulders are slumping and to pull them up.
  • spend more time playing with the kids - Amelie has complained several times that I never make time to actually play with them. So I'm going to try to do better.
  • make a schedule and stay on it - I'm horrible at time management. I start something, get distracted and start something else, and before you know it the whole day is gone and very little has been accomplished. I'm hoping a schedule will at least help me get a little more done.
  • get Amelie caught up on school work and stay caught up - We've actually made some strides toward this now that I'm working and not in school. I try to get her through at least two days' work every day I'm at home with her. It doesn't always happen, but each little bit gets us that much closer. We're also working through breaks that are built into the schedule. We may have to work into the summer, but I think we'll be ready to start second grade on time.
  • make time daily for prayer and devotions - I'm trying to make time for this at breakfast time. I find if I put it off until after that it often doesn't get done. My mom got me a subscription to Magnificat so that has helped.
  • have a baby - I know I'm not in control of this one, but I hope to either have a baby or be well on my way to having one by the end of the year. When my insurance kicks in at work I'll be heading to the OBGYN to see if they can find out the reason I've had so many miscarriages. Hopefully they'll find the problem and it will be something fixable.
  • put $1000 into savings and pay off $3500 worth of bills - The $1000 will be easy since we're getting a nice tax refund. But the $3500 will take a little more planning and budgeting. It be really nice if we could get even more than that paid off.
  • make exercise a regular part of my routine - I'm so terrible at this, but I have to do it. I need to get healthy, and I need to lose some of this extra weight.
  • declutter - I've already started this one, and it has made a big difference in the apartment. I'm also trying to partially follow the FLYlady system to stay on top of chores. It's nice to be able to relax at night in a semi-clean apartment.

Monday, January 31, 2011


I'm a bookworm. But over the past seven years or so I just haven't been as voracious as I once was. There are so many books that I want to read, and I really want to make reading a priority in my life again.  While I was driving tonight I came up with a challenge for myself - one book per week for a year. Some weeks I might read more and some weeks I might read less, so it should work itself out in the end. Since it will be February in an hour I'm already a little behind (I've only read two books since the new year began).

So, 52 book in 2011. Care to join in?

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Advent reflection no.2

I came across another reflection on Advent, very similar to my last post. This one comes from Fr. Frank Pavone, national director of Priests for Life.

“She wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn” (Luke 2:7).

The fact that there was no room for Jesus, Mary, and Joseph in the inn at Bethlehem on the first Christmas should make us wonder, because the birth of Christ was foreseen and planned by God from all eternity. Hundreds of years before it happened, the prophets announced he would be born of a virgin (Is. 7:14) and that Bethlehem would be his birthplace (Micah 5:2). Many other details of his life and death were also foretold. Did God, then, forget to make room for his only Son? How is it possible that there was no room, when the child born at Christmas owns the inn, and Bethlehem, and the world, and every inch of room in the whole universe?

Obviously, God did this on purpose. There was no room in the inn, because this demonstrates that world has rejected God. The world makes no room for the God who created it. There was no room in the inn because God wanted to show that His Son comes as a Savior, to reconcile a world that is at enmity with God. Being turned away from the inn foreshadows the fact that the Savior himself will be rejected, despised, and ultimately crucified, and that all this was part of God’s plan from all eternity. Ultimately, the lack of room in the inn symbolizes the lack of room we make for him in our hearts. When our hearts are filled with all kinds of other desires than God, we gradually crowd him out altogether.

No room at the inn also means that we fail to make room for our brothers and sisters. The first great commandment is to love God, and the second is like it: Love your neighbor. Christ willed to be left out, because he is always in solidarity with those who are left out, shut out, and crowded out. That is the position of the unborn children today. They are crowded out of the busy schedules of so many people doing so many good and important things, but who don’t have a finger to lift to protect the lives of these children from abortion. They are crowded out of legislative agendas, preaching schedules, career plans, and volunteer activities. There’s just too much going on already; there’s no room in the inn.

Christ comes at Christmas to change all that. Today, he does not seek an inn; he seeks room in our own hearts and lives. And he asks that as we welcome him, we welcome everyone whom he welcomes, including the children most defenseless and forgotten. We welcome the Divine Child, and in doing so, we welcome every child. As we celebrate Christmas, we sing in “O Holy Night” the words, “Chains shall he break, for the slave is our brother, and in his name all oppression shall cease.” Amen! Let oppression cease and let Christmas come for the unborn!