Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Breathe {inspiration for Wednesdays}

"Rain, rain, go away!!!"...but as the rain goes away and the sun dries us out a bit, I venture outside only to find my gardens filled with WEEDS!!  Those stinky plants that creep in alongside the flowers and become eye-sores in the soil.  Grrr...I hate weeding!!  Probably because it feels like a never ending battle....and maybe a little because I promised myself I would take care of them little by little this year (every year!) so I wouldn't have this problem.  But here I stand - trowel and bucket in gloved hands - needing to weed.

It reminds me a lot of my life actually.  After a season of inattention in an area, I return to find "weeds".  (Heck, even if I am paying attention the weeds pop up.)  You know...weeds - those bad habits that we pick up along the way.  Little things that seem like they are no big deal until they start to choke out life.  (Still don't get it?  Let me list a few of the weeds I see in my life....spending too much time on the computer, saying "yes" too many times, eating poorly, sitting around when I should get out and move, get the picture.)

I stand on the edge of the garden of my life and sigh.  I know I need to dig out the weeds, but it all seems a little overwhelming.  This is where my real yard becomes my teacher...

1.  Start with a small space.  Maybe it is just me, but if I can focus on a small plot of dirt and get it weeded, I gain energy to move to the next little piece, then the next and so on.  The same is true in my life....I need to focus on one little piece at a time and remove the weeds from that space.  Only then can I look at the next area.

2.  Kneel.  It is hard to weed without getting on your knees or at least bending low.  How else will you identify a weed from a keeper?  The weeding posture teaches me about how to approach my life.  I think we need to have an attitude of humility to look at our lives, identify, name our weeds, and do something with them.  Perhaps kneeling to weed also reminds up that getting rid of unwanted habits also requires a little praying too!

3.  Get the root.  I used to let my kids help weed the garden, but realized they loved to pull up what they could see but didn't know to dig deep and get the root out.  Sometimes I am like that.  I just want to take care of the surface because digging out the root of a bad habit is really, really, really (did I mention really?) tough.  However, as every good gardener knows (or anyone who has taken biology) if you don't get the root out, the weed will return over and over and over again.  

4.  Mulch it or plant something.  Once the weeds are gone, the best thing to do is replace their ground cover presence with something actually beneficial like mulch....or I guess you could add flowers or veggies in their stead.  Either way, it doesn't keep them from ever returning, but the space the weeds could take up is now used for something else.  Maybe the same is true in our lives.  We need to replace bad-habit-weeds with good habits or we will be left with a void which only becomes new real estate for new weeds!

{Bonus Observation....Get the weeds before they go to seed!  Once you let your weeds scatter and travel, they create way more work for you (and your neighbors)!!  In everyday language...once you see your bad habits in your kids or affecting those around you, there is a lot of work to be done!  And it involves a lot more humble kneeling!!!}

May your April showers bring May flowers...not weeds!!

Breathe, smile and go slowly.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Can You Hear the Music?? {My family}

A mama is allowed to be proud, right??  I got home from my trip and the next morning got to go to my son's track meet.   Can't you just hear the Chariots of Fire music playing???

There is a line in the movie (Chariots of Fire) where Eric Liddell tells his sister..."But God also made me fast, and when I run I feel His pleasure!"  (I think this picture looks a little like that!)

At the first track meet the boy running next to Luc beat him.  The story was a little different this time around, as the bottom picture shows!!

I was so impressed this this dude!!  He ran the relay (and his team qualified for the next meet), then he ran the 100m (and he qualified), then he ran the 800m - CRAZY!!! - (and he qualified for that), and after all those, he ran the 200m (and even qualified for that one AFTER running the 800!!)  I think if I could harness his energy, I'd be rich!!

The 800 metre....

My mama's heart was swelling with pride at my little boy... was his dad's!!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Kiss Me: Heidi and Aaron {Graham Engagement Photography}

Ahh....young love is in bloom...and these two sweethearts are planning their future...

I got to hang out with Heidi and Aaron a week ago (thanks for your patience in waiting!!) and had a great time photographing them! Since Aaron was on leave (from Italy, I might add), they knew they had a small window of opportunity to do engagement photos and I am so glad they called me!!

Loved watching these two interact, snuggle, and laugh!!

I like that they brought a change of clothes....a little fancier!

Of course, we had to get that gorgeous ring in a picture...

Heidi and Aaron, I had a wonderful time with you!! I wish you all the best in planning your wedding and in your new life together!!

Check out a few more pictures on the Red Thread Facebook page!!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

One of My New Favorite Things {Red Thread Treats}

Besides being a mother of two amazing kids, I have the privilege of being a "fairy godmother" to four other little girls (with the fourth one being born just days ago).  I have had the amazing good fortune to get to hang out with them this week in I've been a little MIA from the blogging world.  (I have some beautiful pictures of my fairy god-children, but trying to keep up with a 7 year old, 4 and a half year old, a 3 year old and a newborn has left little time for editing pictures.)
However, I thought I'd share a little sweet treat with you!!!  My new favorite medium for images has got to be METAL!!  I ordered this 8x10 of this cutie the other day and when it arrived I decided I had to have metal pictures of my kids all over my house.

I don't know if it does it justice, but the picture just shimmers and the colors jump off the surface at you!!  How fun to have this little sweet treat sitting on your desk at work....or better yet, get a serious of 6 or 9 for a wall in your house!!

See you next week...when I am back in the land of cloudy skies and coffee!!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Kiss Me: Lindsay and Nick {Seattle Engagement Photography}

I had a great time the other day with Lindsay and Nick - who are less than a month away from getting married!!!

I LOVE the colors they great against our Pacific Northwest Beaches.  I also loved how they interacted with one another....a little flirty, a little laughter, a lot of smiles, and a good handful of kisses.

I happen to adore this set of pictures....especially the one on the right!

Now I don't know what to think...I love the colors, but I really like the black and white...with those red shoes!!

Lindsay and Nick had their second date here - Spud down at Alki Beach - so of course, we needed to get some shots of where it all started (or close to it)!!

The next three images on the beach give us a glimpse into the tenderness between them....what a privilege to be able to capture it with my camera.

Lindsay and Nick, I had a great time with you two!  I cannot wait for your big day in May!!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Breathe {inspiration for Wednesdays}

On Wednesdays I always try to write a piece that I think will inspire others, usually from something that inspires me.  It is my way of sharing a bit of my story and life with you and hopefully, as we find we have commonalities, we will find the world a little smaller and more connected.  I am working on a couple of original pieces, but....

Today I want to share with you a book that I just finished reading that was a great inspiration to me!!  

I came across the author when a friend of mine posted this YouTube link on her facebook and it became the first-ever Thursday "Breathe" post!  She made me laugh and cry - sometimes at the same time - and I knew I wanted to read anything she had written.

In the book Brene talks about WholeHearted living (an adjective which I hope people will use to describe me someday!), but what I love is that this isn't a typical self-help book.  She doesn't talk about "how to" because, as she admits, we all know "how to" do a lot of things but we don't ever do them.  Instead she invites us into a conversation about being aware of what gets in the way of WholeHearted living.

So here is the imperfection that I am learning to see as a good thing...I don't even know how to transition into the next paragraph, except to say that I was challenged by many ideas in the book, but none quite so much (for now) by a quote she put in the book on the myth of scarcity:

"For me, and for many of us, our first waking thought of the day is "I didn't get enough sleep."  The next one is "I don't have enough time."  Whether true or not, that thought of not enough occurs to us automatically before we even think to question or examine it.  We spend most of the hours and the days of our lives hearing, explaining, complaining, or worrying about what we don't have enough of....We don't have enough exercise.  We don't have enough work.  We don't have enough profits.  We don't have enough power.  We don't have enough wilderness.  We don't have enough weekends.  Of course, we don't have enough money -ever.

We're not thin enough, we're not smart enough, we're not pretty enough or fit enough or educated or successful enough, or rich enough - ever.  Before we even sit up in bed, before our feet touch the floor, we're already inadequate, already behind, already losing, already lacking something.  And by the time we go to bed at night, our minds race with a litany of what we didn't get, or didn't get done that day.  We go to sleep burdened by those thoughts and wake to the reverie of lack....What begins as a simple expression of the hurried life, or even the challenged life, grows into the great justification for an unfulfilled life."
(quoting Lynne Twist)

That hits me straight in my heart....where sometimes I am not sure I even know the word "enough".

I leave you with a picture of the book on my very imperfect desk......(yes, it does look like that on most days!!  And how sad is it that on the note under my book there is a reminder to shower!?!?!)

Get it from the library, buy it, borrow it....and may it be an inspiration to you to live differently!!

Breathe, smile and go slowly.

Monday, April 11, 2011

A Mom and Her Girls {Federal Way Family Photography}

A funny thing happened the other day...the clouds rolled away, the sky turned blue, and this big burning ball (I think other people call it the sun) appeared in the sky!  AND these three lovely ladies graced my camera!!

Jessie (the older daughter) is a dancer, so she thought she would teach Mom and Nicki how to skip "down the yellow brick road".

I think Tricia is one HOT MAMA!!

But her girls (as with all kids) keep her humble and down to earth!!  (And probably make her question her sanity at times!!)

Look at this beautiful girl!! look AMAZING!!

You too, Jessie!!

I really enjoyed watching these two interact...such sweet sisters!

Thanks Tricia, Jessie and Nicki!!  You were so fun to hang out with in our little pocket of sunshine!!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Motion Picture Family {Seattle Family Photography}

Meet my motion picture family....not because they are in movies, but because we had to take pictures while in constant motion with this little guy!!  I LOVE being with full of life and fun, even an "ordinary" day is interesting to photograph!!   I do believe I called them my Rock Star family on the last session, and they still are...they've just added a lot of motion as this little guy has grown!!

We started off at home in the backyard...Gabe decided to pick some flowers for his mom.  (And yes, I know the bottom left picture is out of focus.  I had a fixed lens on and couldn't get any further back, but I just LOVE his I put the picture in!)

Headed down to Pike Place Market...

...and did all the things that an urban-dwelling families do.

I wish I could show a series of pictures from everything we did down at the Market, but this post would be SUPER long.  Suffice it to say, we chased pigeons, touched fish, climbed in and out of chairs, bulldozed our way through the crowds, said hello to all the dogs, tore a piece off the posters going into Post Alley, ate our first plum and watched the ships...Whew!!!  Then we sat and took a little break...

I love that mom and dad had the skateboard in the car!  Gabe is a little bigger than the last time I photographed him on it...he really knows how to move it!!

Quite possibly one of my favorite pictures...ever!!

Mom took Gabe for a ride, but he was SO sad when he couldn't do it all by himself!!

We quickly found new ways to occupy going up and down the stairs.

Or running through the sculpture park.

(Another different kind of family portrait!) 

Once back at home, I got to see the many faces of Gabe.  (I think the last one is his is-this-lady-ever-going-to-be-done-taking-pictures? face.)

Getting tired...but not too tired to introduce me to his stuffed monkey, Taco.

Thanks M Family!!  I had so much fun with you (again!) and absolutely loved getting to photograph you in motion!!