Sunday, September 25, 2011

merry Christmas in September

5x7 Folded Card
View the entire collection of cards.

Monday, June 27, 2011

down by the river

some "practice" pictures i took while we were at the greenbelt today. i hope you'll bear with me while i'm trying to improve and i'm inundating this blog with photos. now, if we could just get charlie to smile without scrunching up his entire face!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

priceless conversations

On Friday J. was having a hard time treating his sister nicely. He decided to pray and ask for the Holy Ghost to help him be nice. After he prayed he went to talk to his sister.

J: S! Guess what! I got the Holy Ghost!
S: Where?
J: In my heart!

Friday, June 10, 2011

wabi sabi photography

wabi sabi, originally uploaded by jowrites365.

i've been thinking a lot about photography lately, and why i'm drawn to it, and what kind of pictures i want to take.
at millie's ballet dress rehearsal i worked really hard to get some decent pictures of her dancing on stage. i turned off the flash and cranked up the iso (because the pop-up flash on cameras can be so icky.) after her part of the rehearsal was over, she and her classmates leaned against the wall of the orchestra pit, watching the older girls with a little bit of awe. i saw millie standing there with her legs crossed, and i saw her more petite classmate standing on her tippy toes, trying to see over the partition, and it looked so sweet, like one of those moments you can not plan but they mean so much when they come around, y'know? so i pulled my camera out and quickly took off the lens cap, and not wanting to miss the moment or mess it up, i switched the setting from manual to auto, and i pressed the shutter release, and the flash popped up, and this is the picture that resulted.
i can see why a lot of people wouldn't like this picture. there are no smiling faces in it, it isn't very well composed, i had to use a flash to take it, the list goes on and on. but i LOVE this picture because it says so much about the moment in which it was taken.
and now we come to wabi sabi photography. i was reading this post (i love that blog!), and when she mentioned "imperfect beauty" i thought, "THAT'S IT!" that's what i love but i never had a term for it. imperfect beauty. that's what wabi sabi is, the japanese concept of beauty that focuses on the imperfect, the unfinished, the asymmetrical. those are the kinds of photographs i like.
and i decided right then and there, if i ever start a photography business, it'll be called wabi sabi photography.
the end, thank you for reading my rant.

p.s. this concept goes along so well with the lyrics from one of my favorite songs, by leonard cohen, that i've shared here and on facebook so many times before. but it bears repeating:

ring the bells that still can ring, forget your perfect offering, there is a crack in everything, that's how the light gets in.

Monday, June 06, 2011

the dance

millie on stage
(my pictures never look right on blogger. does anyone know how to fix this?)
sometimes, when i forget how lucky i am to be a mom, i feel like motherhood is a series of breaking up arguments, soothing away tears, diffusing tense situations, and disciplining when things have gotten out of hand. sometimes it seems as though there aren't a lot of heart-swelling-with-joy moments, even though i know there are. i got to have one of those moments on saturday.
millie has been taking ballet for the last year, and saturday was her first performance. when i first talked to her about performing, back when she started to take ballet, she said she didn't want to. she said she wanted to take classes but she didn't want to get up in front of people on stage. i signed her up for class anyway, thinking she would be fine with it as time went on and she became more confident.
for two weeks before the performance, millie was telling me how nervous she was and that it was giving her a stomachache. i was worried that she would put up a fight and that it might come down to me saying, "you have to do this." but she kept going to practice, and rehearsal, and dress rehearsal, and she kept telling me how nervous she was, but she kept going. on saturday we were at the auditorium for three hours before the performance even started. i took lots of pictures and video of the run-through and i talked to millie before she went backstage. she seemed excited and not nervous at all.
when her part of the performance started i had planned on taking a lot of pictures, but i decided to put my camera down. i just stared at her like i was witnessing a miracle. anyone who knows my millie knows that she is usually very quiet, even shy. but on stage her smile was bursting from her face and she performed like it was the most natural, easy thing on earth. i found myself getting all teary at the sight of her, soaring on that stage, doing something that she thought would be too hard for her to do.
is there any prouder moment for a parent than being witness to your child excelling at something they were afraid of? there might be, but right now i can't think of any. :)

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

oh what do you do in the summertime? seriously.

a couple of summers ago.

no. really. what do you do in the summertime? when all your kids are out of school?
don't get me wrong. i love my kids. so much. and i love the summer. but sometimes it can be a little bit overwhelming to try and think of ways to keep them entertained for hours on end.
i was making my own list when i saw this great post on sugar city journal with a lot of great tips. check it out if you want. i put up my idea in the comment section, if you're interested!

Monday, May 16, 2011

nine years later

IMG_2895, originally uploaded by jowrites365.

this is my husband, standing a few feet from the spot where he proposed to me nine years and a few months ago. on this day nine years ago we got married. about this time we would've been taking pictures, deliriously happy and smiling so much that our faces hurt. it was a good day. and we've had so many good and bad ones since.
but honey, i'm so glad that i picked you to spend them with.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

hiatus OVER

so i haven't been doing any blogging lately, or any checking on anyone else's blog (for which i apologize for being a bad blog friend.)
i thought i was done with rough patches. but what i've come to learn and accept is that the rough patches are never over, and that's o.k. when they come i just have to slow down my personal growth for a while, like a tree in a drought.
but i want to get back to blogging! i've missed it! and i just got a new camera and i'm just testing it out and trying to figure out all the manual settings, but that will be good incentive to start blogging a lot more and putting more pictures up.
if anyone is interested in buying my old camera from me at a drastically reduced price it's this one right here. i also have a nikkor AF 50 mm f/1.8 lens that takes great portraits. the nikon d40 is a great beginner dslr, and i learned a lot with it. let me know if you're interested!

Thursday, April 07, 2011

j. tonight

tonight j. ran down the hallway and crashed into his sister. when i was putting him in bed i told him that he could pray to Heavenly Father for forgiveness, and that He can forgive our mistakes. he told me he would say his prayer after i left the room. this is what i overheard:

"Heavenly Father, please forgive me for hurting my little sister. i'll say sorry in the morning. please bless me. in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen."

Monday, February 14, 2011

lovely love quotes

on valentine's day, i find myself thinking about love, about what it means to love people and especially what it means to me to love my husband. here are some quotes that i find resonate with me more than any others. and happy valentine's day.

"To love is not a passive thing. To love is active voice. When I love I do something, I function, I give. I do not love in order that I may be loved back again, but for the creative joy of loving. And every time I do so love I am freed, at least a little, by the outgoing of love, from enslavement to that most intolerable of master, myself." » Bernard Iddings Bell

"being deeply loved by someone gives you strength while loving someone deeply gives you courage." -lao tzu

"love is what you've been through with somebody." -james thurber

Sunday, January 30, 2011

the csa: or in other words, how not picking out my own produce helped me plan meals faster than usual

ok, so, joining a csa is one of those things i've been meaning to get around to for about a year now. and last tuesday i finally remembered to make my bountiful baskets order, and nate brought it home yesterday. what a thing of beauty. we chose to get an organic basket which was ten dollars more ($25) but still a great deal, and in our box we got:
a bunch of spinach
a bag of carrots
some broccolini
a bag of yams
a bag of pink lady apples
some blueberries
a bag of celery
2 red peppers
some haricot vert (green beans)
a really unripe spaghetti squash
grape tomatoes

at first i was like, "whoa. fennel." i've never cooked with fennel before. and i have to admit that i didn't recognize the spaghetti squash as a spaghetti squash until i saw the sticker on it. (i knew it was a squash, ok? i just didn't know what KIND of squash!) after looking at everything i started to feel kind of overwhelmed. but then i decided i paid 25 bucks for this stuff, hence, my goal for the next couple of weeks is to not let any of it go to waste. so i hit my recipe books and the internet and i came up with this menu for the week:
monday: fried rice (to use up leftover rice and ham) with chinese celery salad.
tuesday: tuesday is sometimes taco night around here (partially because it's fun to say, "TACO TUESDAY!" and partially because it was suggested in my new favorite cookbook, the family dinner, which i must post about later.)so we'll have tacos with our leftover meat from last taco tuesday with some black beans or pinto beans mixed in.
wednesday: baked rigatoni with italian sausage and fennel, but instead of using the jarred marinara sauce the recipe calls for, i'm going to make a sauce by roasting the csa grape tomatoes using this recipe. on the side: sauteed broccolini. (i'm so excited because in this one night we'll be using tons of our csa produce! all the fennel, one red pepper, all the grape tomatoes, and all the broccolini.)
thursday: breakfast for dinner, buttermilk pancakes, bacon, and green smoothies (using our csa spinach.)
saturday: invite in-laws, make italian-style meatloaf muffins, roasted garlic mashed potatoes, and green beans with bacon and crispy garlic butter, which is a menu completely from rookie-cookie's blog, which i highly recommend (every recipe i've made of her's has turned out great--so maybe i'll make one of her dessert recipes and make it a rookie-cookie night!
sunday: sunday is nate's cooking day, hooray for a night off!

wish me luck! although it's quite simple this is a pretty ambitious menu plan for me considering i haven't been feeling amazing lately. but family dinner and making good quality food for my family is one of my highest priorities lately...maybe i'll tell why in a future post.
what are you making for dinner this week?