• Gratitude
  • Day 10: Celebrations.

    Today, I’ve been running around to get stuff ready for my oldest daughter’s birthday. Tomorrow, she turns the big 5. These days, I look at her and am struck by how much she’s grown. During the Halloween costume contest in our neighborhood, they had kids line up according to their age groups. I looked over at her age group and there was Delaney, towering over all the little kids in the 4-5 group. Wait, whaaaa – when did this happen?

    So, yeah, she turns five tomorrow and I’m so excited to make her day special. It’s been a hard week so I’m ready to focus on my family, to celebrate the good that is here now because, god knows, life is going to be very hard once that man assumes his position. But for tomorrow and this weekend, good shall prevail.

    I’m thankful, so thankful we have the means to make our children’s milestones special, and that despite all the craziness, there is still so much good to be embraced.

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    Celebration goods.
    Photo information:ISO 3200 | 24 mm | f/2.8 | 1/60 | presets: Garden
  • Gratitude
  • Day 9: Hope.

    The day I lost my father, four years ago, is easily the worst day of my life, bar none. But last night? Easily a close second.

    My heart aches for people of color, for gay, queer and transexual people, for women and those with ‘disabilities’, for those with mental illness, for those who pray to a non-Christian God.  For those who depend on the minimum wage, on welfare and food stamps, who need our social network to live another day. My heart goes out to those in the minority groups that are profoundly affected by the results of this election.

    I’m lucky in that I’m a white woman. I may be Deaf, but I grew up privileged, by a family who loved me and had money to ensure my success. My family took an interest in my education, in my success, and I was encouraged similarly in the education systems that fed my mind and my curiosity of the world. Not many Americans can say this. It is for these Americans, I grief for, along with my daughters who through this election, were basically told that they aren’t valued citizens.

    I’m thankful that this sham of an election has resulted me in taking action. I will no longer take our government for granted and will make every effort to show up at ALL elections. I will find ways to participate in my local government and social organizations. In fact, I contacted Planned Parenthood about the possibility of volunteering with them. I hope to do so much more, for my fellow Americans who aren’t as lucky as I am, and of course, for my girls and their friends.

    What will YOU do to ensure that our country retains its values of love, liberty and freedom for ALL of its citizens, regardless of gender, disability, race, religion, et. al?

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    The Gates of Hell has opened and unleashed Sata…err Trump upon us.

     

    Photo information:ISO 400 | 24 mm | f/2.8 | 1/350 | presets: Garden
  • Gratitude
  • Day 7: Stay at Home.

    First, I have to say, I can’t believe I actually finished seven days of writing. Granted, my posts are brief and probably chock full of grammatical errors and bland insights, but they’re being done. Truth be told, I’m enjoying the process – it’s become a nightly habit to edit a picture and then write for about 15-30 minutes. It’s a huge stress reliever, an activity I’ve come to look forward to after the kids are in bed.

    My gratitude for today is the fact that Willie’s company allows him to work from home. I’m not sure how he feels about it but I know the girls and I love it. It’s nice to see more of him in the mornings, during lunch and after he clocks out. In the picture below, here he is, playing with Alise during lunch time (yes, we had PTerry’s for lunch – migod, their fries are hard to resist, especially when you drive by it multiple times a day).

    Willie, I’m thankful that you have more of a presence around the house, and I know the girls feel the same way too.

     

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    One Love
    Photo information:ISO 3200 | 24 mm | f/2.8 | 1/90 | presets: BW Look 3

     

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    And then God said, ‘Let there be light!’
    Photo information:ISO 3200 | 24 mm | f/2.8 | 1/90 | kelvin: 3,200 | presets: Garden.

     

    Jesus. I really have a long way to go with photography.

  • Gratitude
  • Day 6: Stormy Days.

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    Even the pumpkin wants out of this misery.
    Photo information:ISO 400 | 24 mm | f/2.8 | 1/180 | kelvin: 6,150 | presets: Garden.

    It’s been gloomy the last few days in Austin. I had to dig deep for this, but I will say this: I’m thankful for days like today. When we get our sunny weather back, I’ll be much more appreciative of them and make good use of them. Sometimes we all need reminders like this.

    Much like, during the (hot, sweltering) summers here, when I get bogged down by all the heat, all I have to do is remember those long, cold-to-the-bone winters in Minnesota, alone in an old house with a toddler and a newborn, while the husband was out traveling for long periods of time. Think below zero temperatures for days on end – there were times when I didn’t – couldn’t – leave the house. Instantly, the Texas heat feels just fine, let’s move along – preferably to a place with air conditioning, of course. #lol

    But yeah, when the next sunny day finally rolls around, I’ll be outside welcoming it.

     

     

     

  • Gratitude
  • Day 5: An Ode to Naps.

    What can I say? I love naps. So does my youngest daughter (so far!), as seen here. Weekends are the best because usually, I’m usually able to find some time to squeeze in a short nap. So, here, this is my ode to naps, to sleep – I’m thankful for the days when I get good, quality sleep. I think my little girl would agree.

    Side note: a funny story about the stuffed animal with Alise. She never took much interest in the bear until I put on a bunny shirt, complete with bunny ears, on him. Now, she has to have him with her at alllll times.

    Peace.
    Peace.
    Photo information:ISO 12800 | 24 mm | f/2.8 | 1/90 | kelvin: 4,250 | presets: Garden.
  • Gratitude
  • Day 4: The Love of Words.

    The household's version of the Reading Rainbow.
    The household’s version of the Reading Rainbow.
    Photo information:ISO 12800 | 24 mm | f/2.8 | 1/90 | kelvin: 4,950 | presets: Garden.

    I’ve always loved to read. I loved it so much, my father used to punish me by taking my books away if I didn’t do a certain chore. You can bet it got done, and fast too.

    I’m full of gratitude that my little girls love to read as much as I do. They are completely and utterly engaged once the book is flipped open, curious about the world within the pages. I’m thankful that my husband who isn’t a big reader, is of full support of their interest in the printed word.

    Thank you, thank you.

    Also, all of those little toes. I die.

     

     

  • Gratitude
  • Day 3: The Husband.

    This guy, you guys. He’s the best. Willie makes me laugh, even when I’m in a pissy mood. He’s also a father, through and through. After a long day of work, when he gets home, he takes over without complaining so I can lay down for a minute to catch my breath. This, here, is my husband and best friend, and I’m full of gratitude for having married a great guy. To many, many years of happily evers, baby.

    Also, that smile? Makes my heart aflutter, even after 10 years of marriage.

    The BFF.
    The BFF.
    Photo information:ISO 12800 | 24 mm | f/2.8 | 1/280 | kelvin: 2,800.

     

     

  • Gratitude
  • Day 2: The House We Live In.

    It’s not a house that makes people slow down when driving by, ‘oh hon, there’s our dream house!’  In fact, when I first pulled up in front of it for a tour with the relator, I admit it, I was disappointed – it was bland, nondescript from the outside. We had been looking for a house for almost a year at that point and promised to each other that if this house didn’t do it, we would be sticking with our current one near downtown Austin.

    It all changed when I walked in. It was different, it definitely wasn’t your cookie cutter homes that are prevalent in the Austin ‘burbs. It was old but it had charm and personality. It was that guy you didn’t notice at first glance but the minute he spoke, you were utterly captivated by him. When my husband took a look at it, he fell for it just as hard as I did. It was OUR (unconventional) dream house in a neighborhood that is the stuff of childhood bliss.

    So, this leads me to my Day 2 of gratitude: I’m so thankful that this house is ours. I’m so thankful we were able to provide a beautiful home for our little girls to grow up in, to create happy memories that last their lifetimes (and perhaps, line their scrapbooks).

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    ‘The power of Christ compels you!’
    Photo information:ISO 200 | 24 mm | f/3.5 | 1/180 | kelvin: 6,850.