It’s rarely silent here, and I feel like there hasn’t been so much downtime in the last 9 days for us. It’s the last week of 2012′s Focus 52 and I decided to focus on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve, at moments when it was mostly silent.
This is after Santa has arrived (with lots of gifts from us, Uncle Eric, Aunt Meghan, and Grandma & Grandpa under the tree). Our elf, Gumdrop Fred, decided to pose for one last photo before his departure for the North Pole.
Fast forward a week to New Year’s Eve … the littlest member of the family didn’t make it until midnight, or even 11pm! He wouldn’t wear the hat while awake, so I snuck it on his head for the photo.
Soon after, his older sister succumbed to sleep. She was very upset this morning when she found out that she slept through the ball dropping. She decorated her 2013 crown herself, and she wore it again for a good part of the morning.
And so now it’s a new year. I’d like to do another year of 52 themed images, as it’s a good way to think about things differently than just randomly taking photos during the week. I’m hoping for a good year, with my family and friends, and lots of moments to remember together.
Thanks for spending time visiting my blog. I hope that you have a happy and wonderful new year.
It’s the week before Christmas, and it’s time to wrap the gifts. For those who know me, or who have been following my blog for a while, you know that I don’t wrap with paper. I’ve been using cloth gift bags for a few years now, and every year I sew a few more to add to the collection (mainly because I don’t have bags the size I need).
The prompt this week is to capture the gifts, any way we choose. That’s how I read it, anyway. I spent yesterday morning wrapping the majority of the gifts that I have for my family. I placed them under the tree and fired up the camera. It was a very dreary day, and the light was scarce. I didn’t want to use my flash, so I set up a spot light on the ground, pointed in the direction of the tree. That’s the first time I had played with a spot light for light augmentation and I was happy with how it worked out.
In addition to the cloth bags, I also use the fronts of Christmas cards from previous years to label each gift. It’s nice to look back on the handwritten notes on the cards, before I cut the front off to use to attach to the ribbons.
I love coordinating the colors of the cards with the fabrics of the bags – I don’t do it with all of them, as the kids won’t care. But it sure looks pretty to me.
The large gift against the wall is one that my daughter is DYING to open. I sure hope she likes what’s in it. :)
The blue doesn’t typically say “Christmas” but I love the shimmery texture, and it says “holiday” to me.
And that’s your peek under our Christmas tree. I’m looking forward to taking the set of photos that show the joy on the faces of my children (and the adults in the family too!) on Christmas morning.
Wishing you a very Merry Christmas!!!!
I had great plans for bokeh … but it was one of those weeks where I didn’t come close to getting everything done that I had wanted to. Of course, every week is like that for me, but this past week seemed faster than usual.
I really wanted to get colored lights as my blurred background (bokeh is a Japenese word that refers to blur). I ended up playing with the lights on the little tree in Jack’s room, as I built a tiny tree out of his wooden blocks.
I had to “steal” blocks to build the tree, when Jack wasn’t looking. I sent him to go get his toothbrush ready so I could steal the blocks to build the tree above.
This is how his room was when I first entered it that night. He was making a “track” with his blocks, and didn’t want me to touch any of it.
And this is the tree I was allowed to make with the few blocks he had leftover (which is why I sent him out of the room to make the tree I really wanted to make, without him having a mini-meltdown for removing track blocks).
I do like the nice bokeh of the little lights on his little tree … and if I had had more time to play, I would have done shaped bokeh instead. I’m hoping to still play with that this week, but there’s still plenty to do to get ready for Christmas this year.
This week’s prompt was timely, in that it was time to decorate the Christmas tree. With an early Thanksgiving this year, I didn’t want to have a tree up with over a week of November left. We put the tree itself up on November 29th, but we didn’t have time to decorate it before leaving town the following day to visit my husband’s family. In fact, we didn’t get the time to decorate it until the following Tuesday, December 4th.
So for six days, our family room looked like this, bare tree and storage containers emptied on the floor (thanks, kids!)
The fragile ornaments had been wrapped in tissue paper, and kept in boxes away from the rest of the ornaments. My lovely younger children took them out of their protective nests and dumped them on the floor.
I loved seeing the younger two kids decorating the tree. Jack initially didn’t want to be involved in actually hanging the ornaments, claiming he didn’t know how. But luckily he got over that, and he was a big help decorating the tree.
Andrew even hung ornaments (of course, I told him that he wasn’t allowed to play his video games until the tree was done, so he did have some motivation)
The tree, after everyone had gone to bed. Gumdrop Fred (our elf) was so excited about finally having the tree decorated that he climbed to the top and hung out there for almost 24 hours!
The next theme is bokeh, and I know that I am going to have a lot of fun playing with that one! :)
When I think of layers, I think of cake and onions (not together!). Normally, having a theme like “layers” on the same week as my birthday would make it easy to get layers. Nope. I didn’t have a traditional cake this year. Mom baked me a cake on Saturday, but that was before this week started (and it was a single layer cake). On my birthday, we had cake pops. So no cake with any layers to photograph … and I wasn’t about to cut an onion just for a photo. Besides, I kind of figured that the sky was the way to go …
Driving around last night, I was wishing I had my camera. The sky was just so pretty, and there were just layers of color. So tonight I brought my camera with me when I took my oldest to gymnastics. I knew the sun would set on my way back, and the view from the ridge by our house would be beautiful. Sadly, the traffic home got me to the ridge a little later than I wanted. But I think I still captured the layers that I saw in the sky.
The Blue Ridge Mountains are in the distance. I was hoping to catch more of them to make them a layer, but I just didn’t have the light (plus new houses have been built and they definitely get in my way when I’m trying to capture the horizon).
Just imagine if we had cirrus clouds in the mix, that would have definitely made for some colorful layers in the sky!!
This week we’re focusing on “thankful”. I have a lot to be thankful for. I wanted to think beyond my immediate sphere of husband, kids, house, car – the things that are a part of my every day life. I am thankful for those things, and I’m sure I take a lot for granted most of the time.
Tomorrow I turn 40, and I have had a great first 40 years. I wouldn’t have had those 40 years if it wasn’t for the two people in the photo below – my parents. I am thankful for my parents. Without them, well, I wouldn’t be here. They played a bit part in shaping who I turned out to be. And thanks to them, I am aging very nicely. I certainly got the good aging genes from them.
I love that they still hold hands. We should all hold hands more often.
Maybe next year, I’ll take the month of November to photograph one thing I’m thankful for every single day. I know others chose something to be thankful for each day, but it wasn’t that kind of month for me. Maybe November isn’t meant to be my thankful month, I might have to chose another month to recognize all that I’m thankful for. Or maybe I do it on the 26th day of each month – that might be a fun project to take on. There’s always time to find ways to be thankful in different ways …
Taking this week’s prompt to a different kind of level. I’m in an interesting place right now, and have been extremely contemplative. And I want to share what I think all married couples should remember, and it is this:
No matter how long or short you’ve been married, always take the time to appreciate your husband or wife, and remember the promises you made on your wedding day.
Make sure that you know your spouse, find out what makes them tick on a regular basis. Because we all change, evolve, discover new things about ourselves. New interests, new hobbies, new passions, new needs. Know those things about each other, and try to spend time doing what’s important to the person you love. And ask him or her to do those things with you, the things you hold close to your heart.
I promise to be true to you in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health. I will love you and honor you all the days of my life.
And I have kept those promises, and will continue to do so.
But I’m realizing now that loving and honoring includes much more than saying “I love you” and being together. Meeting each other’s needs on all levels is what matters. Emotional, intellectual, physical, social, spiritual, financial, mental – we each have a set of needs that have different priorities. We are not the be-all and end-all but we need to help each other realize each other’s dreams. And it’s important to remember to reach for those dreams together.
It’s never too soon to rediscover your spouse, but if you wait too long, it could be too late.