Sunday, January 31, 2010

I am so thankful for those people who do not judge me by my appearance...

I am so thankful for those people, here on flickr and in my life, who do not judge me by my appearance...

January Grateful Daily Project
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I am so thankful for those people who do not judge me by my appearance...

No matter how disheveled and a mess i am outside, no matter what lack of glamor or festivity i bare, there are beautiful people in my life that have given me the chance to "be" outside that first impression. They are the reason that life is brilliant and beautiful and the reason that true love exists.

thanks for following me this month, and taking this journey of gratitude. January was a struggle at times but full of blessings... goodbye january.


thirty one reasons :: january

Saturday, January 30, 2010

I am so thankful for ... { catching up }

...So, I got behind on my thirty one reasons project, but I am going to get caught up NOW in this one post...

I am so thankful for sippy cups...
January Grateful Daily Project
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I am so thankful for sippy cups...

Do I even need to elaborate :) In a hectic day we moms can all be thankful for a little invention that makes our lives a little less messy... ;)

I am so thankful for Alice, in wonderland
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I am so thankful for Alice, in Wonderland ...

For all the wonder she still excites in me, for that transportation to another world and for all the dreams from my childhood.

I am so thankful for a creative daughter ...
January Grateful Daily Project
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I am so thankful for a creative daughter ...

I think I have said before, Lydia is all about this "going green" stuff, she chants "reduse reuse recycle" all day long and tries to collect any and all trash for "projects and inventions" While, room cleaning day is stressful for the mountains of "inventions" that have to be tossed, I admire her creative ambition and her desire to preserve the resources we have. She is such a little hippie and I wish I was more like her...

I am so thankful for this ever-messy face ...
January Grateful Daily Project
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I am so thankful for this ever-messy face ...

This little miss gets at least 2 baths a day, and about 10 major wipe downs and 3 outfit changes... she is so messy! But she wants to do everything herself and I am trying to embrace that self-confident way she has about her... and foster that security and drive... so till then, I will just keep cleaning her up :)

I am so thankful for sweet gestures when you least expect it ...
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I am so thankful for sweet gestures when you least expect it ...

Today was a long day, and as it was winding down I had a knock at the door, it was Amanda, my Brother in Law's fiance... with a prayer bracelet, she said she thought I might need it, or like it.
While I am dealing quite well with my grief, the gesture really touched me, I read the inscription, Love Live Laugh, and hugged her. I treasure things like this, when you feel the hope and the charity that still beats in this world.

what a day ...

I know it could be worse, but i'm really thrilled to be saying "goodbye" to this week.

today was my great gran's funeral which was just surreal. i just felt so bad for my granny and daddy ... at the same time i wanted to be a million miles away. on the upside, my cousin Thom, who's in the army, came up with my aunt. i hadn't seen him in like 2, maybe 3 years, so i just kept hugging him :).

family dynamics are so in your face in times of sadness, people trying to hold on to hope that they won't be alone when they die and hoping that the mistakes they've made weren't really as big as they know they are. they hug and kiss and share i love you's, all the while we know we won't be any closer tomarrow than we were yesterday. it's sad. it takes it all out of me... i think because, I DIDN'T WANT IT THIS WAY...

Thursday, January 28, 2010

almost out of body

I'm not sure why I can never seem to shake rejection, or why things seem to touch me so deeply. I don't know why I get insecure about what people keep saying is "no big deal" or why it's such a chore to hold back or to push forward tears.

I've been so distracted lately. Not angry or sad really, but lost in this haze of what I feel, what I should feel and what I don't know how to feel. I imagine everyone has been there, and if you have, you know, all too well, that it's a surreal, almost out-of-body place to be. I feel like, during times like these, that I can't quite get my finger on anything, it all seems out of reach or slipping from my grasps.

I wonder why it is that I keep searching into things, for something deeper. I have a hard time believing that what's on the surface is sometimes all the further it goes, I guess.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Time Can Do, So Much

time can do, so much

1917 - 2010

About two hours ago, it's 4:05pm, my great grandma passed away.
It's a little surreal.

I knew a woman in housecoat, that smelled like soft, ivory soap, and spoken in a sweet tone, with a wonderful high laugh that sounded like a song. She fed me cookies, and candy and that famous red-cinnamon applesauce. She told me stories about her "good ole days". She had a house full of framed photographs of her family, and good things to say about every one of us. She loved the Lord.

I took Lydia to see her after she was born and on her 90th birthday we attended and Rooster met her as well. I have a photo I took of her that day, where she looks so radiant. Where she feels loved and is beaming love, and that is how I see her. That's what I saw when I closed my eyes today and thought of her.

I love her deeply and I am so glad that she is finally free. Free from her own faults and the swarms of hurt around her. Free from pain and sorrow. In heaven, dancing and singing and laughing that song like giggle.

There are generations of us now, My Dad, his Mother, his brothers and sisters, My cousins, My children and My cousins children... all with baggage, all handling our own lives differently.

We're all out here, trying to make sense of things, missing her and trying to make our own peace.

I love you Great Gran, I'll see you soon and maybe we can swap a few stories over a bowl of red-cinnamon applesauce...


The Three Perspectives Project { shell }

The Three Perspectives { shell }

2 of 52

Left to Right
Sarah, Maegan and Johnna

I am so excited about this project with Maegan and Sarah, working with such amazing photographers is really going to inspire me to be so much better! It's sure to be a great year!!

Visit their Photostreams here
Maegan ::
Sarah ::

While choosing an ACTUAL shell isn't all that interesting, it does have some significance. Lydia loves shells, so do I, she has shells from her Aunt Rianna, her Aunt Becky, that she had found herself and a few more from who knows where. I have this little dream of taking the children to the beach to collect sea shells... spending all afternoon as sandy explorers, jumping into the ocean and building sandcastles.

maybe someday.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


I have a few collections, mostly old books and old or reproduction advertisements and tins. I like things very worn and very "broken in". It just makes me warm all over.

My latest collection is one that, honestly, I didn't think I could afford... After seeing my amazing flickr friend, Keli's beautiful "brownie" series ... (go see it, it will light up your whole day) ... I was really drawn to the idea of vintage cameras, and looked them up on ebay. I didn't want to be a copy-cat, ya know, but I started researching affordable, vintage cameras and looking into what my options where to collect. I had always wanted some cameras, if nothing else, for props, but I thought they'd be too much. Imagine my surprise when ebay yielded several hits for some wonderful, great looking vintage cameras! I actually settled on the 6-twenty and decided I would ask the hubby, it was going for $10 with the shipping... i was giddy like a school girl. I also found several others, but this was the cheapest and it was the camera I wanted... I showed them to john, trying to tame down my enthusiasm... he was impressed with the price and i started showing him how affordable they were. One of the ones I had looked at earlier in the day was ending in 15 minutes, John clicked it, to look and said, is that the camera you wanted, plus 5 more, I said ... yea ... and he bid. We WON!

O my gosh, I am beside myself, 5-12 business days cannot come soon enough... ;)

I've got the following coming ::
Brownie junior 6-20
Brownie starflash (with flash )
Brownie starflex
Brownie Hawkeye with flash
Brownie Hawkeye Instamatic
4 flash bulbs for the star flash, boxes and manuals for most of them and the instamatic even has film marked 1966 ;)
Another one... from the 80's... and a few other goodies.
I've been trying to research them and from what I can tell they range in years from 1930 to 1980, what fun!

all this for less than 30 dollars... prepare to be flooded on flickr with lots of vintage camera photos this spring ;)

I already think john is the best hubby in the whole world... but i thought he deserved some props for the awesomeness that he did for me. I love that he doesn't have to understand my joy to support it, he is a wonderful man!
speaking of that, we celebrate 6 years February 7th... how do you like that!

thanks for letting me glow!

Here is the link to Keli's Amazing Work ::

Monday, January 25, 2010

- connections -

- connections -

Parallel Vision
Word of the Week "connections"

visit the group here ::

when i saw the word of the week i immediately knew what i wanted to do.
love notes...
and not those sappy kind you write in junior high (not that there is anything wrong with them - i used to have some committed to memory ) but the kind between husbands and wives... mothers and daughters, children and their grandparents.
Growing up i was blessed to have parents that loved each other and a mommy who could stay home, yet even as ideal as that is... communication is so important. I treasure the memories of little notes scratched onto scrap paper... always ending with "i love you".
something so small but so tangible. something that said, no matter what goes on today, you are mine and i am yours, and i love you.

I am so thankful for those expressions...

I am so thankful for those expressions ...

January Grateful Daily Project
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I am so thankful for those expressions...

I mean, c'mon. this is the reason he is so rotten, this is the reason i giggle when i need to punish, this is the reason i see so much of his daddy in him... this is God's way of lighting up my days.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

I am so thankful for my little red chair...

I am so thankful for my little red chair...

January Grateful Daily
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I am so thankful for my little red chair...

brown, and broken down, ready to be trashed when the weekend sales were over, I delighted in finding this treasure accidentally. I carried it home with plans.
I pulled out a red can of spray paint and coated the already peeling paint in a nice thick layer. LOVE! it will probably one day be my little pink chair, my little robins egg blue chair, maybe my green or black chair, but it will always be special and it will always be the perfect spot for a child to sit.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

I am so thankful for glitter...

I am so thankful for glitter...

January Grateful Daily Project
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I am so thankful for glitter.

fairy dust in a little plastic container... it turns everything into magic and makes me feel like a child again!

...that was when i carried you...

Today is one of those days that reminds me of the "footprints" poem...

when you saw only one set of footprints... That was when I carried you.

It was a day where you rejoice... and you wonder... you feel tested and you feel free. Days like that tend to be melancholy... but... I am thankful for them. They keep me grounded, and ever-so humble. They also make for fond memories when I look back on them.

It was in the upper 40's today... we went to the park, for just a bit... I was planning on being there before noon, unfortunately it had to wait till 3:45 but... we did get to go and the kids did have a blast!
I love the "off" weather we have been having. It's wonderful!

sisters are forever

(more photos on flickr)

Friday, January 22, 2010

I am so thankful for photography...

I am so thankful for photography...

January Grateful Daily Project
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I am so thankful for photography...

before i realized what a gift photography could be, i don't think i really ever SAW the world... now, i see it... gloriously.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

think deep thoughts...

i warn you now, this may be long...

rainy day sparkle

I have been doing a lot of thinking today, about where I am in my life and in my self-discovery... I know it sounds a little corny when you say it like that, but up until last year I couldn't separate myself (in my mind) from my roles as a mother and wife. Maybe all momma's struggle with that, but I found myself lost when I didn't have something to tend to. I felt weird, to say the least, and I struggled to figure out who I was...

Last year I feel like I really embraced my own interests... like photography, and writing again, but this year I want to focus on making myself a better person, inside and out...

This is day 2 of the diet. I feel like the biggest pansy. I struggle with things like this, and it's not like it is THAT hard, ya know. This is longer than i usually make it though and I think this might be the first time that I am changing my eating habits for the right reasons. Sure, the weight loss is going to boost my confidence, but just feeling better and having more energy is the goal. I have put this off for way too long and I am ready to be a healthier mom and a better example. Of course, 2 days in, I haven't lost any weight, but my stomach is already flatter since it isn't full of oatmeal cream pies ;) And, I like the way drinking more water is so simple and it makes this HUGE difference. My goal is 20 pounds... I know I can do it... and I cannot wait to get there!

I got outside today, for a little bit, and got some raindrop photos like I had been wanting too... it was exciting, at least for me, since I knew what I wanted. I came close but I need more practice. Other than the rain drops I got a few other shots... see below...
rainy day @ huestons woods
rainy day @ huestons woods
rainy day @ huestons woods
rainy day @ huestons woods
rainy day @ huestons woods
rainy day @ huestons woods
rainy day @ huestons woods
rainy day @ huestons woods
rainy day @ huestons woods
rainy day @ huestons woods
It was really pretty out, if it hadn't been raining and muddy it would have been awesome... Saturday it's supposed to be 45 so I am going to try to talk my sister and brother into a photo shoot... wish me luck with that ;)

And, I actually got the start of a poem onto paper today... I like where it's headed :)

I think I've finally found where I belong
Amidst the evergreens and early morning fog
Winding the back roads of someone else's town
... and I'll be around ... I'll be around ...

Somewhere between here and there
Where the promise of simplicity still lingers in the air
And there is nothing left to hold me...
I can find myself free ... find myself free ...

well... I know, it isn't much, but all the same it was a productive day ;)

Have a great weekend!

I am so thankful for old bottles...

I am so thankful for old bottles...

January Grateful Daily Project
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I am so thankful for old bottles...

( I sorta cheated here and used the same photo that is in the center of my triptych... but I edited it differently)

I love these old glass bottles with their great printed advertisements or thick muddled glass. I love the stamps and the disscolorations. I love the stains and the way light passes through them.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

I am so thankful for old family photos...

I am so thankful for old family photos...

January Grateful Daily Project
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I am so thankful for old family photos...

the ones that tell stories, or send me on a journey to another time, those that remind me of everyone's legacy and the promise of growth and wisdom... my link to the past, something to pass on.

The Three Perspectives Project { red }

The Three Perspectives  {red}

1 of 52

Left to Right
Johnna, Maegan and Sarah

I am so excited about this project with Maegan and Sarah, working with such amazing photographers is really going to inspire me to be so much better! It's sure to be a great year!!

Visit their Photostreams here
Maegan ::
Sarah ::

I chose a fire hydrant for many reasons, when we decided on the theme, red, it was the first thing I thought of. John was a fire-fighter when I met him, volunteering his time to something that could change lives for anyone he came in contact with, it was a scary job, full of sacrifices and risks, he saw so much and had to deal with so much, but he wanted to make a difference. He wanted to help someone... and he did... his bravery DID save lives and it's one reason I love him so much.

He's a hero.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

{ 1986 }

{ 1986 }

easter, 1986, bonnet and sundress, ready to hunt some eggs.

how can it be that this is me, that I actually was this little, and that I was someone's baby. How is it that more than twenty years have passed. life is funny, like that.

I have the most gorgeous, wonderful parents. They are and were so kind to me... taught me so much and were so patient with me. I was blessed to have them, that God let me be their daughter and that even into adulthood I still have them, guiding me ever so gently and being there in every way.
My mom had me when she was 20, and I had Lydia when I was twenty too... so she has been there at the same stage in her life as I was. We have walked such similar paths and she did so, much more gracefully than I. When a woman stands in front of you, strong and wise, you forget that she was once the same age as you, feeling the same feelings... seeing things the same. Daughters are blessed to have mothers. Even if they make mistakes. A mother is like nothing else.
My Daddy, who I still call Daddy is my hero. I know they say all little girls feel that way, but the truth is... he is my hero. Growing up he was this bigger than life, cooler than any other guy. I just knew he was the strongest, tallest, fastest and toughest. :) My daddy, well, he just loves me, and that means the world to me.

I better quite typing, I'm getting all misty-eyed. But... I love my parents.

I am so thankful for that face...

I am so thankful for that face...

January Grateful Daily Project
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I am so thankful for that face...

that's the "layla smile"... gorgeous isn't it. if you ask her to smile, this is what you get, i always wonder what is going on in her head that she thinks THIS is a perfect smile... it sure is perfect to me, it's the pick me up like no other, it's pure magic!


You are as young as your faith, as old as your doubt; as young as your self-confidence, as old as your fear; as young as your hope, as old as your despair. ~Douglas MacArthur

i really believe that. although till i read this I didn't really think about it. funny how the obvious is brought to our attention that way.

Monday, January 18, 2010

... peace ...

- peace -

I had some errands to run today, and after I checked the word of the week for a flickr group I'm in I headed out to enjoy the peaceful morning and capture it, since that word of the week was "peace".

peace, what a concept, what a broad spectrum.

I have peace in my relationship with Jesus Christ... in the knowing that he can carry me through any and all obstacles I face. Peace in the promises of heaven and my blessings here on earth.

I have peace during these morning rides, when all the world is either off to work or still having breakfast in their cozy homes. It was before 10 when i headed out. It's my favorite time of day. the air is still clean and fresh, the fields are still and you just feel "at peace" in every sense, I poke along at 45 miles per hour just enjoying it, listening to the kids talk and sing.

I have peace everyday that I wake up to my kids waking up. It may sound slightly morbid but I tend to have unfounded fears of loosing my kids, that someone might steal them, that they might stop breathing in the night, that that little bump they got on the head might be a concussion. I really try to put these fears in their place, but everyday when i wake up to them tornado-ing through the house, I breathe a sigh of relief and feel an overwhelming peace about things.

Peace to me is more than just silence, it's a state of mind... accepting that nothing is perfect, it never will be... and that it's okay, because what matters is already mine...

Have a peaceful week, hugs

I am so thankful for quiety, lonely mornings...

I am so thankful for quiety, lonely mornings

January Grateful Daily Project
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3 of 52

I am so thankful for quiet, lonely mornings...

I love to do my daily tasks before noon, i am the most motivated and the traffic is the least hectice. I like to take the back roads and drive really slow, sometimes just 45 mph, just to enjoy the world waking up. the air still smells clean and the fields that are all over preble county are so still. It's so simple and yet it clams my whole spirit.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

I am so thankful that I can see the grass again, and it's green...

I am so thankful... that I can see the grass again - and it's GREEN

January Grateful Daily Project
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I am so thankful that I can see the grass again, and it's green...

I cannot believe this weather. When you are cooped up inside for a week at a time, being able to go outside and not freeze your bum off is a real blessing. I love the fresh air we've had lately and all the signs that Spring really isn't too far away...

Saturday, January 16, 2010

On the Global Scale, I'm not even on the list... but here in Camden...

All right, today was a bummer.

I know, I know. In the global scheme of bad days, I'm not on the list, I'm not even near the list... not on the backup list ... I'm a blessed person, and I know that. I have the best 3 kids a momma could hope for, they're healthy... I'm healthy, we have running water and clothes, we have food to eat and a car to drive. I have family that loves me, and I'm only about 10 minutes away from any of them :) Life is good, people would kill for my life... but in the moment, on the "Camden Ohio" scale, I'm having a bad day.

It's not that I broke down and sobbed, or that everyone was mean to me... that the kids wouldn't listen and I have no money. We never have any money ;) and I don't generally sob, but it was the kind of day where all that stuff you have been dealing with, hits you. All the things that have been said to you, true or untrue, all the things that broke you down... for some reason you can't shake them. It's that kind of day when you just hurt. You think, "what if i really am that girl. what if i am totally unlikeable, annoying and stupid" I feel 15 again, and unsure... insecure... scared. I feel on the brink of crying. I feel like a little girl inside a body and life that are so much bigger than me, or my abilities. I feel like a massive failure. I feel like I need some help.

Most of the day went like this. i couldn't shake it. and then, cleaning up the living room I heard, on tv, that thing i NEEDED to here... the help i had needed all day ::

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

There ya go...

pick yourself up... dust yourself off... it really is all right.


my problem with the day wasn't what had been said or done to me... it was, that I hadn't let go... that i hadn't persevered and kept hope... I was holding onto things done to me that I couldn't do anything about. i was letting hurt ruin my day... love is patient, love is kind...

I smiled. tomorrow will be better.

I am just thankful for JANUARY...

I am so thankful for january...

January Grateful Daily Project
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Lydia wanted to make a mosaic of "Momma's Photos" so we did... and I got to thinking, WOW, January is over half way over... it's insane that we're actually here, in 2010, and that time is flying by, even faster than usual...
It really hasn't been that bad, besides a few rough snow days, the winter has been mild, the days have gone pretty smooth, the kids have stayed healthy besides 2 rough mornings... and we have been able to take walks and visit parks and really explore winter better this year than any before it. I think this was the first year that my double stroller made it out in the winter time :)

I have a lot to be thankful for... so today, my grateful daily is more of a sentiment than a photo... I am just thankful for JANUARY...

I am so thankful that to him... all things cool must be 'ghostbuster' related

I am so thankful that to him... all things cool must be 'ghostbuster' related

January Grateful Daily Project
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I am so thankful that to him... all things cool must be 'ghostbuster' related

For about a year and a half... or maybe 2 years, Rooster has been ALL ABOUT "Ghostbusters"... he has a real, 1984, stay puft doll, and loves him to death, my husband has the collectors DVD's which came with a small "making off" book, Rooster sleeps with it, and treasures it.
If you want him to wear a hat, say "It's a Ghostbuster Hat" you want him to eat his brocoli, tell him "Ghostbusters eat that"... his boots, his coat, his stroller and his crayons are all "ghostbuster things" even though none of them ACTUALLY are...

Maybe I should be ashamed that he loves ghostbusters... but... I'm not, and I love playing it with him. I'm usually Peter since he likes Ray best... and he always reminds me "Don't Cross the Streams"!

PS: I chose this since what he is saying is, "I'll go down that ghost buster pole if you hold me momma"

Friday, January 15, 2010

... if i could write for you a symphony ...

does anyone else feel this incredible spinning of time?

the overwhelming sense that a day is just not long enough and that things are going to change much to quickly for me to adjust properly...

that's how i feel right now. maybe it's because i spent so much of last spring summer and fall outside and exploring with the kids that since we are cooped up most days of winter, it feels unbearable. maybe it's that lydia starts kindy in a few months and while it will only be for a few hours a day it feels like my whole life is changing. it's bigger than kindy, it's the beginning of her school career, the beginning of her having less time to play with me... and in turn i am reminded that the other two babies are just a skip behind her.

Anyway, I have been making a sincere effort to enjoy winter as much as possible. In the month of january i have taken them to 3 different parks, took them on 2 around town walks, i have taken them to walmart and kmart just to look at the toy isles numerous times and we have went sledding about 4 times. not too bad, right, that's better than last year.
I want these last few months before school starts to really be great for lydia, so that she knows that i love having fun with her... that i like exploring and learning with her... that i do miss her when she's away.

I don't know... just, try to enjoy everything you can...xox

pretty day


I cannot believe it, it's january and it was 45 degrees out today, that is nearly spring weather. something has gone all topsy-turvy with our weather, but I'm not complaining... I have missed jacket/sweater weather, and being able to be outside. i just want to treasure it while it lasts.

We walked to the playground, played for a while... and when they got muddy, we headed back home. we were out for 2 hours and it felt good!

Here are some photos from the day...

january walks
january walks
january walks
january walks
january walks
january walks