Friday, August 31, 2012

linked 52: sunset (aka God's show)


sunset reflected

God showing his Glory on a frazzled feeling day filled with a trip to the neurologist and back to school night for Max (who knew going to elementary school was so complicated now? - for the parents.) I stepped outside with my iPhone to see if the sunset was going to be good. I had done so the past few days in hopes of capturing a photo for the theme this week. What a wonderful surprise to see such beautiful clouds and vibrant colors. (And believe me when I say that these photos don't do it justice)
I wondered where everyone else was... How was it I was the only one out here in the culdesac admiring this stunning view? Max came out at one point, but that was only to show me the safety goggles his dad had given him (um, yeah, cool buddy...but look at that amazing sunset!) He quickly went back inside.
For some odd reason I am continued to be perplexed by the fact that I was the only one out there.
Surely God didn't mean this sunset just for little old me...
Surely he meant it for all of us...

My conclusion was an unfortunate one - that even God must compete for our attention these days; for our time away from our phones and iPads and computers and TV and books and dishes waiting to be cleaned and clothes waiting to be folded. For our attention from all of our worldly distractions, and our laundry list of things that just have to be done, and our busyness, and our thoughts.
Truth be told it made me a bit sad.
For even I came inside to a husband and son happily absorbed in some other activity, oblivious to the stunning, you'll-never-see-another-sunset-exactly-like-this-one-again, going on outside.
So my hope for your this holiday weekend - put down your "stuff", turn off the TV, gather everyone in your family and go outside. Catch God's stunning show. Ooo and ahhh over the colors and light and drink it all in. Your "stuff" and your stuff to do will all be there when you come back inside (yes, unfortunately the dishes hadn't miraculously been washed or the clothes folded when I came back inside...)
Then come back and tell me how standing small beneath a beautiful sunset sky made your God seem just so big, and how it made you feel like that show was just for you.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

more to come.


More to come about our summer fun when we return from a trip north to Seattle.
And I promise I will post some color photos. ;-)

Saturday, August 11, 2012

one year ago today.

One year ago today we said a very sad good-bye to our sweet Maggie. I can still recall so many details of that day, and saying my tearful good-bye to her in the car. If I let myself, I can be transported back to that day to the point of feeling it all over again. Tears and all. I read my posts from that day and the following Monday and was almost in tears. She now takes her place by the back door, in the form of a rock. Yes, a memorial rock with her ashes inside. Max calls it the Maggie Rock. This also (almost) marks the six months that we've had sweet Sammy Sue in our lives. The six months without a dog in the house, while cleaner and easier, were much lonelier. Eric and I would both agree that Sammy is Maggie Jr. - just as sweet as sweet can be. 
She is gone, but she is not forgotten. 

Friday, August 10, 2012

linked: shadows

There are two of me, one does the right thing - one cannot see.
Standing back to back
Who is the strong one in the last act?
Every path I take, roads I go down
choices I make.
Take me right between patches of light
and darkness in me.
Oh we have to keep a watch on our shadows
Every move they secretly make
We try to be so close to Heaven
but then our shadows -
they run away.
They pull us away. 

Shadows - Amy Grant

52 Linked 2012 A new theme every week.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

before & after: black & white

Last Thursday fellow blogger, Erika, shared some Before & After photos, and dared us all to post our own Before & After. My friends, Tracey and Susan, both posted great B&As! Loved them both. So, I thought I'd join the crowd. Though I can't imagine anyone comes looking at my photos and wonders how I created a great edit, but I'm going to pretend that they do! ;)

Here is my image SOOC. I knew as soon as I looked at it in camera that I would likely convert to black and white. Just too much color and distraction going on in this photo for me. I don't know that I could have created a color edit I would ever like.

I opened the imagine as a RAW file (though shot as a JPEG) and made the following changes:
temperature -6
tint -4
Exposure +35
brightness +20
clarity +15
saturation -10

I decided to try this Clickin Moms tutorial for converting to b&w. I love all of  Melissa's work and especially love her black and white conversions, so when I saw her Clickin Moms tutorial I just had to give it a whirl!
I applied a gradient map, and then adjusted the levels to my liking. I flattened the image, sharpened and then resized for the blog. That's it! Voila! Pretty easy. And I really like the edit. I usually use Florabella's Vintage Chocolate black & white action. I really like the warmth it adds to a black & white image. But perhaps I've found a new way of converting to black & white.


I'd love to see your Before & Afters! :)

(As you can see in the color photo, we were deciding on a new paint color for the family room and kitchen. That olive green was nice eight years ago when I chose it, but it was time for something a bit brighter for our gloomy Pacific Northwest weather. I'll get around to posting photos of the new color one of these days.)

Friday, August 3, 2012

linked 52: water



A couple of macro shots for your Friday.
Happy Weekend, friends!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

july 365+1

July 365

I think July is my favorite collage so far. The color, some of the great shots I got, all of the photos of Max. I will be back in September for my August 365 post. Until then, I might not be around in this space much or in your spaces either. I'll be back at some point though. I just really need to take some time to re-evalutate things.
Enjoy the rest of your summer, friends.

PS - If you miss me here, you can find me here and here.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012


half empty

Somewhere along the way in life I gave-in to being a half-empty kind of person.
I don't like to admit it much more than most people like to hear it. There is shame to be had in being the half-empty gal.
"Half empty? That's no way to be."
"Half empty? But your life is great. What do you have to be so half empty about?"
I've heard it all. I've heard people laugh about it. I've heard people tell me I'm not grateful enough. Unless you've ever for a moment in your life seen the glass above as half empty, then you will never understand. I could talk till I was blue in the face and you would still sit there wondering what I just said.

I am not going to go into some long-winded discussion to justify why I see that glass as half-empty. I can sum it up in saying that I hate getting my hopes up about things because my experience has been that I am usually let down. And what kills me the most is that I still get my hopes up even though I try so hard not to. I get my hopes up because I care, I know that much. I may be a half-empty gal, but it doesn't mean I don't care. In fact I'd like to think that means I care a bit more than the half-full gal. I'm guessing that the half-full person can see the good in all of it, whether things go the way they had hoped or not.

Being let down by people or the outcome of something hoped for never gets any easier. Each blow can hurt just as much as the last. And though the bruising eventually goes away, all of the little hurts just seem to add-up, thus reinforcing the half-emptiness:
"It will never change."
"Things just don't go as planned for you"
"God doesn't listen."
"I must be doing something wrong."
"People don't really care."
"I need to pray more"
The little whispers paving the road to hopelessness.

I just wish I could make the caring about it all go away. I know there will be days where it all bubbles-up and catches me off guard like while driving home from dog training class last night in tears, the entire, long route home. It wasn't really all about Sammy whining the entire class and not paying attention to me, or making me look like the bad owner who doesn't know how to control her dog. It was more about the second child we don't get to have. And a move back to our home town that isn't going to happen. And the people I work so hard to reach out to only to feel as if they have no desire to know me. It was all about those things little and big that I hoped so much for that didn't go as planned. A long list of disappointments.
These moments will come, I'll be angry that I succumb to the unkind whispers in my ear, the self-doubt, the feeling of being alone and unable to count on anyone, the tears, and then it will pass. Leaving me with a headache, puffy eyes and a glass a few sips emptier.

The interesting thing about that glass above - in any other context, I think we'd all say that glass is half empty and offer to fill it to the top.

And those are my deep thoughts for the day.