Am really feeling the need to embrace 2012. Had a nudge last week that I would be putting my Story in book form this year. No idea what it will look like but for my family, at the very least, it needs to be done.
Looking forward to DH's retirement in July. Big life changes but living through turning 60 this year, has prepared me for More. We are both looking forward to being able to go when we want, where we want. I have had that priveldge for the last 14 years, I am here so show him the Way.
I have been going through photos, getting ready for next year. I make 4 books through Blurb every year. This year, I added another. Street photography has changed my life and don't see that that trend is going away. 2011 was a year of learning, growing, anticipating and stretching. What will 2012 bring? None of us know but hopefully, the year we just came through, will help us make a smooth transistion. One can never be fully prepared. I believe we don't get everything we need, until we need it. Can you practice for what is to come? I have tried but can't say I am prepared. Every day convinces me, I was never meant to be...
Merry Christmas to you and yours. May your days will merry and bright. Wishing you the very best for a wonderful new year. See you Jan 2. XO zalaine
Posted by firstname.lastname@example.org at Wednesday, December 21, 2011
With the exception of one game-change maybe gift swap, which in the end, didn't happen - I am done shopping.
I have officially entered the Comfort and Joy part of Christmas. What ever happens, happens. Whatever I have forget, we don't need. At this point, there is nothing that could be added to Christmas that would significantly, add and change the day.
We have enough food.
We have enough gifts.
We have enough comfort and joy.
It is time to start, unwind and realize that what we have is all we need. That the time we spend together is precious and better than any gift one could receive. It is time to start living in the Moment because as fast as it came, it will be gone.
I have had more than my fair share of comfort and joy this year. Some of it purposeful and some of it, completely unexpected. I loved all of it. Looking forward to the next few days and more comfort and joy. Take it, for yourself. Whatever it looks like in your life, grab it and hold on tight. There are so many paths, pick one and keep your eyes open. Comfort and joy are there for the taking, but you have to do your part...
Posted by email@example.com at Tuesday, December 20, 2011
The countdown has begun. In a week, it will all be over except for the overflow. The reality of January and whatever that looks like in your neck of the woods. Even though we have not had one day of snow, we know that at some point, it will be here.
But that won't get us through the next 5 or 6 days. If your gift shopping is done, you may have wrapping to do or worst, a few trips to the grocery store for whatever you need to get you through said days. These are the days you will feel the push the most. Why? We have lived over the top for the last month. Everything is bigger this time of year. The hype is starting to get to us. We have decked the halls, painted the walls and baked our little hearts out. We have eaten too many cookies, been dazzled by too many lights and we don't know how to stop. The music, the books the movies, overload that we can't begin to fight.
I have glowing lights in my front room, 24 hours a day and I am thinking, I LOVE IT! I could keep these lights up all year but the truth is living on the mountain top wasn't meant to be our default. If we keep it up, we will flame out. If we were smart, we would find pockets of time in the next few days to reassure ourselves that every year, this is our time. To be a kid again. To enjoy the lights, the sounds, the smells and to find the way to strike a balance.
Finding myself enjoying the holidays in the simple things more than in years past. In the little things, not getting caught up in what to do next or if there is enough butter in the refrigerator. There is. It will be fine...
Posted by firstname.lastname@example.org at Monday, December 19, 2011
Last Sunday before Christmas. Last time to get that Christmas feeling. My OverMy Head class had none of that today, yet I think it was my favorite week yet.
I love Professor Tim. A scientist by trade, with his heart and head fully involved, it is not a walk of straight lines. Today, I didn't understand about 25% of the words he used. Another 25% of his talk, was way over my head but I have come to learn, no matter who the speaker - you don't have to get it all. You may have to go back and look some things up on your own but having to understand every premise or theory, is not part of the Grand Plan.
Yet today, the last Sunday before Christmas with no Silent Night or Come All Ye Faithful being sung in the back ground, he gave me the greatest gift he could and it went like this...
You can't weigh a chicken with a yardstick.
Greater words have never been spoken. He didn't just say it once, he said it several times. On some level, he gets it and gets it big. He will go back to his college professor job and higher thinking tomorrow but for today, he should be so proud of himself. Faith is based on prior accounts, it is built upon the past. Hope is based on the future, on things to come. Together with us in the middle, we stand on truth. The triangle of Love.
But the simple truth of Christmas is you can't weigh a chicken with a yardstick. It doesn't work. It never has. The Story stands alone, take it or leave it. An improbable way to save the world, yet it did. We are living proof. We are not Home yet. It is frightening to live here, Sometimes. Ask Mary and Joseph, imagine they will have quite a Story to tell Someday, I for one - can't hardly wait...
Witness to a Christmas miracle this weekend, besides making me grin from ear to ear, just affirmed what this year has taught me. For Miss The Glass Is Half Empty, this mind set of utterly knowing that anything can change, in a heartbeat.
Not based on any particular miracle which would explain this, it seemed to come out of nowhere. I remember thinking, Where is this coming from? The year has not diluted my new found belief in any way. While I know in my heart and head, that trials will come - the miracles I speak of of those who seem to come out of nowhere. There are not life-changing, death defying miracles but the little ones. The one you never saw coming.
To see one at Christmas time may be a bit more magical because we are all feeling like a woman who is 38 weeks pregnant, full and anxious. Adreniline is pumping and with every time, Oh Come Let Us Adore Him, crosses our path, we are almost in tears.
You never know where or from what direction, oen is headed your way. Our only job is to catch them, and love them. And, thank the One who sent it...
I have lots of photos in every room of my house. Lots.
Every photo that has gotten wall space is done in black and white. All but the kids room, nothing but color in that room.
I will probably never have one of the photos made into a canvas, I change photos out too often. No sense in spending lots of money on a print because more than likely, it will be replaced soon. The first few times I replaced a photo with the a new one, I had the hardest time throwing the last favorite away. Finally decide that it would be good for family history to layer the photos, behind the frame. Someday, there will be a treasure tove of Photos of Old, with the newest - front and center.
16 x 20 is my choice of size these days.Tonight's new batch added a new layer to one frame and a new frame that will start its own legacy. This one hangs in the kids room, the other - a black and white collage of the 3 Smith's of 2011, stands against the wall in our family room.
Treasures all over the house, hidden yet waiting to be rediscovered and reloved. Someday, all things will be new again, never so much as with those things we keep close to our hearts...
Posted by email@example.com at Wednesday, December 14, 2011
Our favorite football team is switching to a different conference in 2013. They had just moved to a new one, this year. It was reported that if they made a move after only one year, - there would be a 21 million dollar penalty for not finishing out their 2 year contract.
21 million dollars. Makes the buyout programs that come with our cell phones sound downright, puny. No other place in life other than cell phones and cable, is this early penalty thing done. Costco, you pay an annual fee and you get to shop. Their service and quality stands alone. You want to renew your membership every year. They have quality products and don't need to hold us hostage for 24 months to keep us.
Thinking that the electronics markets need to follow the Costco way. Make a product and conduct yourself in a super manner and people will flock to you...and stay. We humans are a lot of things and given the right circumstances, loyalty is one of them. Would hate to be a part of anything that held people hostage. Whose product/idea was so poorly formed and executed, that they would bring themselves to try and mandate, loyalty. Imagine telling someone you would be their friend for 2 years and if they decided to unfriend you before the end of those 2 years, there would be a prorated penalty. Makes you laugh but the logic is one we live with everyday.
Hoping that Someday, this practice will be obsolete. Not just because it is insane but because, they no longer feel that their product is inferior and that holding people hostage is their only option...
Posted by firstname.lastname@example.org at Tuesday, December 13, 2011
Whatever your sense of who Santa is and how he fits into your life, it is tough to ignore him.
There have been times in my life when he was worth, everything. My sister and I use to go to bed early Christmas Eve, talking 2 in the afternoon, and trying to sleep until Christmas morning. That's commitment.
Even after all these years of knowing the real meaning of Christmas, he is still special to me. There is Something strangely comforting about someone dressed in a big, red costume - breaking into your home, dropping a bag of presents, eating the snacks and obviously, cleaning up after himself that never makes you think, that is creepy.
Usually, one who has a hard time seperating the Real from the not so real Christmas Story but this year is different. Whether caroling or shopping or being bombared by retail elves, there is no war inside of me. I am trying ot enjoy every song, light, decoration or internet Christmas home tours. The twinkling light that DH HAD to have, which in itself is a gift, remind me that there is a bit of a child in all of us.
Keaton knows about Santa and Gage is cynical enough to get it but Miss M is still in full Santa mode. The cool thing is even when you grow up, Christmas can be a magical time, if you try. With less than 2 weeks to go, I am all in. No time to waste. Christmas 2011, I love ya...
Posted by email@example.com at Monday, December 12, 2011
There is nothing that puts me more in a holiday mood that a child and Christmas music and if that kid has my blood flowing through his veins, even more so.
Last week it was Keaton, this week at church, will be Gage and Morgan's turn. If you listen really close, I swear you can hear angels singing. I truly believe that they were there at every Christmas concert I sang in as a kid even though I didn't know angels existed. I imagine God in the background, smiling.
Warm and fuzzy, just the way All Things Christmas should be. But, we all know that Christmas is not merry and bright for every child. Not every child will have a fan club show up for every activity, Christmas-related or not. Not every child will have a full belly from Thanksgiving to Christmas and if they do, it may be macaroni and cheese, if they are lucky. Those Salvation Army pots will be gone the morning after Christmas but guess what? People still get hungry in January.
This just hit me while talking to a friend today. I tcaem to me that I am emailing my pastor friend and suggesting working out the logisitics of keeping a red Salvation Army pot, next to our giving box, year around.
We don't pass a plate at our church. That was one of our founding ideas and we haven't changed it in 16 years. Thinking a red pot might be just the thing to keep our minds on Things Bigger Than Us. Is there a reason we shouldn't be merry and bright all year? Can't think of one...
Posted by firstname.lastname@example.org at Sunday, December 11, 2011
We all know the bibical Story of Christmas, whether we believe it or not. As a kid, it seemed as unlikely a Story as the whole idea of God. It never stayed on my radar for long but it was ingrained in every holiday I have ever had.
The truth is, we don't know that Jesus was born on December 25. We don't know if it was ice cold or swealtering hot. The basics are what we have and everything else is just speculation.
I am good with the speculation. The Story itself, seems like such an improbable tale. An unmarried girl and a man who takes her as his wife, anyway. No place to stay and having to give birth in a small, covered shelter in the midst of barn animals.
The Story of the shephards and their travel to see the new baby, seems highly unlikely yet I see it as truth. The Story stands by itself, any speculation on my part would add nothing to the conversation. I accept it as it stands.
Let my mind go free with this page tonight. Kept adding and tweeking until there was nothing more to add. In art, all is subjective. It doesn't change the truth. Does it add to it? Perhaps. Art could be explained as the marriage of what we know with what we don't know. Art imitating life, a truer statement may not be said...
Posted by email@example.com at Wednesday, December 07, 2011
Earlier this year, Papa and I bought tickets to take Keaton to the Idaho Shakespeace Festival. Shortly after that, we bought Miss M a bicycle. We tried all summer to find somewhere to take Gage but each time, we came up short.
He never said a word about his turn. Never. A few weeks ago, we asked mommy and daddy if a bike would be a good idea. His was busted and he was to get Keaton's hand me down bike that also was in need of much repair. When you are the middle child, you get lost...Alot. Very rarely do they expect it will be any different. Maybe that is why Gage never brought it up.
so 20 days before Christmas, on a cold morning - we got shopping. He didn't understand we were going to buy a bike today. He seemed completely in awe that it was winter and so close to Christmas and we were buying Something Big.
After much discussion, we left and he decided to look elsewhere. Then we got out to the car and he changed his mind. We went back in to the store and he choose the one that had been on his radar because of its cool factor. We got it out, he took it out for a spin and the rest is history.
Sometimes, it is just your turn. Out of the blue, usually. Completely unexpected and with a sense of not being worthy, we need to just accept it and move on. We all need a turn. A turn that is just ours. It is not selfish nor is it wrong. It just is...
Posted by firstname.lastname@example.org at Tuesday, December 06, 2011
The whole DidYouSeeTheGarageDoorGoDown is getting worse and worse. This has nothing to do with age, we have done this, forever. We have individually and collectively returned to the Mothership many, many times. I can not remember the garage door, not being down.
A year or so ago, I came up with a new plan. Seemingly, it would end our personal dilemia. It is not about knowing that the garage door is down it is about remembering, watching it go down. To mark the memory of closing the door and remembering said closing. That did work for a while but as conversations with each other, loud music and generally not paying attention kicked in, we were in trouble, yet again.
We left the house for church, got half way there and the words just came spilling out.
Do you remember watching the garage door go down?
No, but I am pretty sure it did.
How sure are you? 50, 75 or 90 percent?
Pretty, that is how sure I am.
We went with pretty and forgot about it a few minutes later, obviously secure in our pretty mindset. On the way home, I said, That is it. From now on, I will make myself take a picture of the downed door. No more wondering or turning around. I have had it!
So this morning when I left the house, out came the camera. All the way to the cable office, I smiled knowing that I had proof in my purse that burglars and thieves might as well go elsewhere, this is no Place to mess with...
Posted by email@example.com at Monday, December 05, 2011
It has been a little over a year ago since the photos of Vivian Maier were uncovered, right after her death. She had boxes of undeveloped film and a huge undertaking was under way to develop and publish them. Her book was up for pre-order back in April and it arrived at my doorstep on Friday. I am a ahhappy girl.
You see, I was instantly smitten with Ms Maier's street photography and my personal life has changed dramatically in the last year. I found my calling, I knew intuitively that street photography was to be my course. Looking back, I had already started down the Path but didn't realize where I was headed. When I look back over my street photos, all together, keeping each other company, I am giddy. Have always loved black and white photography. I have even done my digi layouts in black and white. For me, it became crystal clear and I have not looked back.
Not only has my photography changed but Something I can't prove but wholehearted believe, is that when you are talking photos of strangers, you start to have a special affinity for them. I look at the photos of those I have captured and find myself, thinking about them. What do their lives look like? What are they now? The very older woman, sitting at the Apple desk, tryin got find pictures for her book. The street preacher who has one person's attention. Those at Flyimg M, who drift in and out.
It would appear that Miss V didn't want her photos made public. She was a nayy and took to the Big City on her days off and shot all these wonderful photos that she never intended to share. She must have assumed, they never would be. I for one, am glad that they are able to be enjoyed and studied. Thank you Miss V, whether or not you agree, you have taught us much. Be good with that and welcome the thanks. We all share this Journey. None of us live in a vacuum. In the end, you have given us a great gift. Smile and say thank you...
Posted by firstname.lastname@example.org at Sunday, December 04, 2011
A dear friend had to take an emergency trip to do a very unChristmas like task, a funeral. Not a funeral that was expected nor easy to accept. She has been in my thoughts constantly since she left, we have texted a few times and during this day of driving. I had to stop the car and text her. Right, then, right now.
I was going down the street, looking for some place to pull over. Pulled into this little shopping mall, parked my car, heading toward the sun, got out my phone and got out the words that had haunted me for the last 3 miles. It went Something like this,
Oh Come let us Adore Him is not just for Christmas. It is for today, tommorrow and all the Days after that.
Sometimes you just need to hear what you need to hear.
Sometimes you just need to know that you are loved by someone, far away.
Sometimes you just need to pull over and do what you are suppose to do.
Do what you need when you need to do it. Learn to listen, practice paying attention and act, when it is time...
Posted by email@example.com at Saturday, December 03, 2011