Monday, December 10, 2012

Stay Focused


It's not easy at this time of year.
There are so many things that demand our attention.


Today I decided to take advantage of some beautiful sunlight in our home (a precious commodity these days!) and see what it would take to get a clear focus on the true meaning of the season.


 It was harder than I thought.  Here's what I discovered:


 1.  Be still.
(And make adjustments when needed.)


2.  Don't let the animals' back sides get all the attention.


3.  Expand your depth of field.  
Just because there are other things in focus doesn't have to mean the main thing is out of focus. 
Look at the big picture.



4.  Clear away the clutter.


5.  Get in closer.


6.  Get a fresh perspective.  The view from above is...



In these busy, beautiful weeks, may you find time and space
to focus on what matters most.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Christmas Village


I have a little Christmas village.


Just a few buildings, and a skating rink.


I haven't gotten it out yet.  But this was even better.


A trip back in time
to experience it myself.


My friend Carla went with me.












Nostalgia at its best.

Friday, December 7, 2012

December Photo Challenge: Week 1

Dec. photo challenge

iHeartFaces is hosting a December photo challenge to encourage people to have their cameras out during this festive time of year.  I loved their prompts, so I'm participating by posting on their Facebook page.  Since the rest of what I've been doing centers around reorganizing and purging my home, I've had little to blog about.  (Although when I am done, I will post some before and after pictures.  More after than before!)  I thought I would share my first week of photos here, and will hopefully keep up and post the rest as well.  

Day 1:  me (no introductions needed here, right?)


Day 2:  elf


We don't do the "Elf on the Shelf", although I would certainly have tried it if our kids had been younger when it came out.  Lee actually bought this elf when he was single.  If you knew him, you would know how shocking this is.  Not because he isn't whimsical, but usually his whimsy doesn't involve money. He bought a lot of Christmas decorations the year he bought his first house.  (Of course, we were dating, so he had me along to help him.)  He's a pretty festive guy!

Day 3:  shadow play


These matryoshka dolls that a friend brought me from Russia have shown up here before.  I don't think there has been a year where I didn't do photography experiments with them.  They are too much fun.  Here the bay window in my kitchen gave light from two directions to make a Christmas tree.

Day 4:  what you're reading


I am studying this book with a group at church on Wednesday nights.  I don't think you can really go wrong with Philip Yancey.  Prayer is a topic near and dear to my heart, though I am not a prayer warrior by any means.  I think Yancey does a great job of exploring some important truths about prayer, while at the same time acknowledging that prayer takes many legitimate forms, and ultimately, how it works remains as much a mystery as the God whose character far surpasses our understanding.

Day 5:  someone I love...

DSC_1324 not quite the morning person he used to be.  It's hard to pour the syrup with your eyes closed.  I am sure this prompt was intended for me to actually photograph a person, but I have to be very choosy about when to bring the camera out around my family these days.  The more frequently I point the lens their way, the fewer good shots I get.

Day 6:  a burst of red


I needed a little fresh air, so I decided to go the zoo and look for my red there.  These sumac berries caught my eye, and then suddenly this squirrel appeared just. that. close.  He froze for a moment as I pulled up my camera and even adjusted it.  Then one click and he was gone.

Day 7:  the view from here


We live far enough north that the days are incredibly short at this time of year, and the view from here is most often dark!  It's hard to take pictures.  Soon the days will start to get longer again.  I was so happy a couple of years ago when someone mentioned the "blue hours", right before dawn and after dusk.  I had never realized that darkness can be so colorful.  I took this as the kids ate breakfast this morning at about 7:00.