Sunday, January 25, 2015

3/52 Light

M4H Project 52 - Light

Friday evening, as we drove west on I-20 towards McKinney, it was clear before we'd even left Shreveport, that the sunset was going to be amazing.  
And it did not disappoint.  As we entered East Texas, the sky seemed to be on fire and I took a few photos through the windshield.
It's great to have a husband that doesn't seem to mind pulling over on one of the exits so that I can take yet another picture.  I was able to step outside the car to capture the colors that were sure to fade as quickly as they'd appeared.  I love the sweeping clouds below and how they contrast with the darker clouds above that form an almost straight line across the sky.  

2/52 Storytelling

This year, I am trying my hand at the M$H Project 52.  Each week, we are given a prompt to interpret as we wish through photography.  I joined the group in the second week, so I still need to go back and catch up on the first prompt, but the second week's prompt was Storytelling.  I must admit that it is extremely intimidating to see the photos that other participants post, but I am hopeful this project will help me improve my photography skills in addition to documenting my life through pictures.

For this prompt, I took a few more pictures of baby D while he was at my house one afternoon.  The challenge in this for me was capturing some sort of "story", while keeping his face hidden from view, since the photo will be posted on a private Facebook group.  The picture I chose was taken just after he'd fallen asleep.  He had been playing on a blanket on the floor and was so happy as he rolled around , holding onto his feet as he looked at books and musical toys.  Even at 5 months old, he already loves books---especially ones that he can get into his mouth.  This little book is just the right size for his tiny hands and he eventually fell asleep while looking at it.
I wish that I had thought to take pictures of my own children's hands and tiny feet when they were babies, but most of their photos were taken from afar with a low-quality pocket camera. Learning to use my DSLR is allowing me to capture moments that I never want to forget and stories that I want to always remember.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Valentine DIY Kit

Here's a quick and easy gift that I put together in a matter of minutes--nothing fancy, but fun.  We're going to see the grandkids this evening after work and since they don't live close by, I wanted to bring them something fun to do when we're not with them.  With Valentine's Day just around the corner, I decided to make up a little "Valentine DIY Kit".  I found a cute photo box at Michael for $1.99 and then walked down the shopping center to the Dollar Tree to fill it up with goodies.
**pens, tiny stampers and glue (love these little Elmer's glue tubes!!):

**lots of stickers, foam hearts and doilies (they were always my favorite)---Joy's foot is optional.
**googly eyes and a package of sequins(and I bought a set of tiny plastic jars to store them in, but the biggest eyes didn't fit, so I just put them in a ziploc bag)
Obviously, the dogs very much wanted to be  part of this project!
**and last, but not least, blank cards to decorate--red for Michael and pink for Adellelyn.  On top, I tied a stack of tiny heart-shaped notebooks, just because they were cute.
The total cost for all the goodies, box included was about $20 and there are enough supplies to make at least 40 valentines!  Hope they have fun!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Papaw's Beard

Ron loves babies.  And the feelings seem to be mutual.  Baby D loves his goatee and would love to be able to get those glasses into his mouth.  Snuggles and kisses often yield squeals of delight and an occasional giggle.   It just doesn't get much better than baby giggles!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Crafting With Callie - One Little Word

With a day off from work yesterday, Callie and celebrated by having our first ever "Craft Day".  She and Luke came over this morning and, with supplies spread out across the dining table, we set to work.  Both of us are participating in Ali Edwards' One Little Word class, so that is where we began.  I love that Ali encourages you to use her prompts and interpret them in your own style.  Callie's word for the year is "CHOOSE" and mine is "HOME" and we have very different styles of creativity---she tends to excel with the written word, while I prefer the visual arts to express myself.
When he wasn't helping us with our creations, Luke rolled around on the floor by the table.
For my cover page, I again used watercolors to make a simple drawing of my house.  While my goals for my word include a lot more than the physical house, it is a great visual reminder of the word.  
I included a photo of myself and a description of the reason why I am going this project this year, particularly since I never finished the project last year.
For January, we were also prompted to answer a few questions about our chosen word.  I used the watercolors to paint a wash background for each question.
I painted a wash on the other prompt page, as well, but was less than thrilled with how it turned out, even after mounting it on a piece of colored cardstock.
I added a patterned border and black zig-zag stitching and like it much better now.
Finally, we were asked to list our intentions for the year---what actions we wanted to take to bring our word into our life in a meaningful way.  I created my own page for this documentation, and cut a page protector in half lengthwise.  Strips of washi tape seal the edge.
I may be jumping the gun a bit on the OLW project, but I felt like I needed to organize my thoughts a bit more before actually getting to work on making my word a part of my life, so I made task cards listing specific tasks I want to do this year.  I plan to replace each card with a photo of the task as it is completed.  I think this will also help me to reflect on how things are going throughout the year and remind me of what's next on my list.
We had a great time on our first Craft Day and were quite productive---the only thing missing was Jana.  But, she actually was doing a little work on her own OLW project as well, with yet another wonderfully creative style!

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Mississippi Blues 2015

Last weekend, Ron and I travelled to Jackson, MS for the 2015 Mississippi Blues Marathon.  We drove over Friday evening, arriving just in time for the race expo.
Callie and Jordan came over as well, so after picking up our race bibs and swag bags, we brought a carb-rich dinner to their hotel for us all to enjoy.
We knew it was going to be a cold run, but nothing quite prepares you for a wind chill of 19 degrees except lots of layers, some of which we ditched along the roadway.
None of us were as prepared as we'd hoped to be for this race, because babies and hunting tend to take priority at times, but we all hoped to give it our best shot.  We posed for a quick pic with the others from our USA Fit running group before lining up for the race.

Ron and Jordan signed up for the Half Marathon, while Callie and I ran the Quarter Note.  I set a personal goal of finishing in an hour and a half---slower than I'd like to be, but what I hoped was an attainable goal for this race.  Fortunately, the sun was out for the most of the duration of the race, but the temperatures hovered just under the freezing mark.  Jordan's parents had driven over to keep Luke during the race, but Dennis served as their chauffeur as well, since he wanted to watch the outcome of the race.   After I finished my portion (Callie was already done), we waited for the guys to come across the finish line a little later.

While none of us were at our peak performance, we did meet our own personal goals--I came in at 1:29, 1 minute faster than my goal.
Callie ended up finishing 5th in her age group for the Quarter Note!!
It was too cold to hang out, so after getting hydrated, we headed to the car so that we could go back and get hot showers.  Only, our car wouldn't start.  My 6 month old, new car!!!   After trying numerous times, giving it some time and trying again, it was clear that this was not going to be an easy fix.  I called Roadside Assistance, who agreed to send a tow truck---in a couple of hours.  It was REALLY cold in the car, but we had our mylar blankets and jackets and it was better than being in the wind.
Callie and Jordan returned to help us push the car out of the parking garage (since the tow truck couldn't get inside) and then headed to our hotel to gather all of our belongings, while we continued to wait.
Did I mention that it was cold????  Cold enough that all of the fountains at the Convention Complex were frozen solid!
Finally the tow truck arrived and took our vehicle to the local Ford dealership.
Naturally, they couldn't service the car until after the weekend, so we were forced to rent a car to get home.  After the day we'd had so far, we treated ourselves to "race rewards" on our way back to Shreveport.  Yeah, I know that we should have been inspired to eat really healthy foods at this point, but that Whopper, Jr. tasted sooooo good!
I'd like to say that the drama ended there, but of course, things never go quite that smoothly.  We returned to Jackson today to pick up the car, fought a battle of sorts to be reimbursed for the rental car and finally headed back to Shreveport in my repaired car.  It was a frustrating experience, but I am so thankful that Callie and Jordan were still in town when it happened, that it wasn't raining and we weren't stuck on the side of a road.  Things could have been much worse!!  Besides, today's trip gave me the opportunity to do some stitching for a tiny new baby that will be arriving soon.