Friday, November 27, 2015



While the shoppers were out scoring their bargains
and our teens were still snoozing
Lee went with me to the lake nearby.


It's been full of migrating geese for the last week or so,
just as the temperatures are hovering at freezing or a little below.



I expected more ice on the lake, 


but only across the street on the little pond did we find that.


At the edge of the lake we did find some evidence 
that if the wind dies down long enough,


the ice will prevail.

Lee photog 3

Now that I have two cameras, 
I handed the one that had the shorter lens on it to Lee.
He had to figure out how to change the settings by himself--
pretty impressive!


Tracy Photog2


The geese were awfully entertaining.


I think this one had just come back from Black Friday shopping.
She was cranky.






The scene across the pond was equally picturesque.


I loved Lee's perspective.



He has quite the knack for finding natural frames.
I never even noticed this hollow log.



I'm sure there are still bargains to be had.
We had a wonderful Thanksgiving, and there are so many festivities yet to come.
This morning was just the perfect time to soak up the quiet.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015



As the trees empty their branches,
the days grow shorter,
and the winds blow in a November chill,
this truth warms my soul.

God has made everything beautiful in its time.
But no one can fathom what he has done from beginning to end.

Our God is unfathomable. I find that so comforting.
If we could figure him out, he would be no bigger than we are.
But instead, he is infinitely beyond human.
Far beyond our grasp, but not beyond our reach.
Because he himself reaches out 
to reveal himself to us
in his time.

His has not yet finished telling us his story.
The colder days are a great time to pull a chair up by the fire and listen to him.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Set in our ways

Apples 2

It's easy to think that teenagers have little time for tradition,
with all of their activities and friends.
(The activities and friends deserve another whole post, but alas.
When you're doing them, there is little time for blogging them.)

Apples 1

This boy may have turned Sweet 16 in September
(^^^see, he has his own apple named in his honor)

Apples 3

but he is not too old to ask to go to the apple orchard.
He wanted to pick his own honey crisp apples,
because "the little grocery store ones just aren't as sweet."
The people in the front where you pay said the honey crisp were gone,
but Ben was not to be deterred from scouring for stragglers.
The big ones.


Ben also volunteered to go to the pumpkin patch with me.

Pumpkins 3

And no one wanted to be left out of the carving.
Bethany reminded me that we had plans most evenings during the week,
so we needed to carve them on Tuesday.

Pumpkins 1

Lee used to be the back up scraper outer,
but now that his services are no longer needed for that,
he provides the entertainment.

Pumpkins 4

I have to have my own pumpkin to carve.  Always.

Pumpkins 2

Pumpkins 5


Raking 4

Ever since she was tiny, 
Bethany has been our leaf stomper.
Or smasher.
Whichever, it's undisputedly her job.

Raking 3

It's a given that some of them will come right back at us.

Raking 1


You know what's awesome?
I was in the middle of putting this post together when she came in
and asked me to make chocolate chip cookies with her.
Could she have done it herself and let me finish what I was doing?
She didn't have to.
I'm so thankful the big kids love their traditions too.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Perfect Imperfection


It's another perfectly lovely autumn in Minnesota.
As many times as I've gone out to enjoy the transformation over the years,
there is no end to the places to discover the beauty.
Each year brings new surprises.


Right now, the colors are spectacular.


As I looked more closely, however, I noticed I wasn't looking at perfection.


In fact,


I was looking at decay, 


death, and decomposition.


All that beauty from what some might pass over at first glance.
From what could be considered flawed or defeated.


It reminded me of what Ben told me when I picked him up from school yesterday after a chess match.
"Well I won, but it wasn't pretty."
He made a mistake, but he stayed vigilant and thoughtful, and took advantage of another opportunity
to redeem himself.
Sometimes beauty comes out of something that isn't pretty--
and redemption makes it all the sweeter.


I have photographed a lot of amazing people lately.
My goodness, I have seen so much beauty!  Every one of them.
But I'm sure most of them are hoping I'll be careful to hide whatever they think "isn't pretty".


I hope when they see themselves they see so much more than
the flesh and bones.
I hope they see the life and the heart.


I hope they see some of their story.
I hope they notice some of the transformations that may have gone unnoticed.
In a good way!


I hope they see light in their eyes,
and love and laughter.


I hope they see that the seasons of their lives that bring difficulty and decay
eventually lead to restoration and rebirth.


I love the redeeming, restoring God
who made us with delight,
who covers our imperfections with His glory,
whose power is perfected in our weakness,
and whose reminders of beauty ring out all over the earth
through every season's transformation.
I love that He is transforming us, with all of our imperfections,
into something lovelier than we dare to imagine.