Tuesday, April 29, 2008

And I Quote...

As I was putting my youngest daughter down for the night and we were laying in her bed chatting about the day, she sweetly put her hands on my face and gazed at me. With a big sigh, she sleepily exhaled, "I love you even though you are my mom."

Sunday, April 27, 2008

She's Got Legs

My Best Shot Monday is an ode to my tiny dancer. This photo captures her as the rogue ballerina that she truly is. Part princess, part tomboy, 100% herself.

The vibrant color she brings to our family takes my breath away; sometimes leaving me exhausted, sometimes leaving me simply overwhelmed with gratitude.

Do you have something to share that makes your heart skip a beat?

Hey Mamas, Shutter Sisters is co-sponsoring another Mama Focus Contest just in time for Mother's Day. Be sure to visit Shutter Sisters on Tuesday (whoops, I meant Wednesday) for the scoop. Or if you're too eager to wait, just visit Mamazine right now for all the details.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Portrait of Mom

There's a mom celebration going on that I heard about via the Parent Blogger Network. It's a little something called Portraits of Mom. There's photo sharing going on and of course, prizes. And if you're in San Francisco or Brooklyn, you can even waltz into a Windows Live studio to get a free portrait with your kids which is something all of us photo moms could really use (as we're never in the photos because we're always taking them). Be sure to read the rules because the pros aren't eligible to enter to win the prizes. I hate that when that happens.

Along with the campaign, the PBN asks us (and YOU are included in the us) to describe our portrait of mom. And timely enough Paige just shared Hand it Over at Shutter Sisters and so I couldn't help but want to share this portrait of me as mom that my talented sister took.

I love having portraits of my kids and I as seen by someone other than myself. I do shoot self-portraits (as you alredy know), but a view through someone elses lens is always refreshing.

What makes this shot especially compelling to me is that it brings to life how I feel about being a mother.

I'm in the center. I am the center. My children revolve, spin and exist around me, both in their reality and mine. Although this is changing and I already see signs of their gradual flight from our insulated, circular nest- right now, this is our life and I am still the center. And for a mother, this can as difficult as it is delightful. Being a mom means giving oneself. The hardest part for me is giving myself without losing myself. I have been vigilant (maybe to a fault at times) about holding on to me as me, beyond me as a mother. And still, now that I am a mother, they are a part of me. As I see it, they aren't separate from me but at the same time, they are. I might be talking in circles here but I have finally discovered, it isn't an either/or. It's a both.

As a mother I have become a richer, fuller me and as my girls continue to grow and change and move away from me as the center, I can only hope I too grow and change gracefully, ever becoming the best me I can be, as a mother. As myself.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Losing Sight of Love

Thursdays have become one of my favorite days. Mostly because of the Love. I have found it one of the most pleasurable pastimes now, to collect image after image of Love as I find it (or maybe more as it finds me) through my lens. Literally, figuratively, symbolically, true.

Within the last year or so of my life, I feel like I’ve hit somewhat of a stride. I’ve been contently chugging away; on track and on time, sure and steady, authentic and real. I recognize I’m evolving into the person I want to be. Softer, kinder, more gentle—to others and to myself. I’m more open, more in balance, more aware. More loving. Maybe that’s why Thursdays feel so good. I’m happy with where I’m at and where I am going.


But there are always those days. Days like today where my peace train is jolted by an unexpected and violent derailment. My body tenses and my throat burns triggered by a raging range of emotions. The screech and spark of metal on metal permeate my very core as I try desperately to avoid the inevitable crash. To no avail, petty thoughts and past baggage pile up like boxcars jarred and jackknifed, one on top of the other, twisted and tangled.

Sometimes I forget that to be one’s best self you must pay attention and keep your eyes on the road. I am reminded, as I sit here amidst the smoldering wreckage, when you lose sight of Love, you lose your way. The road got dark and somehow I dropped the map.

With Love long gone, I slowly pick myself up, battered and bruised. The only thing I can do now is look for Grace. Grace will help me find Love. They’re old friends. And thankfully I know that they are no strangers to messes like this one. I also know they’ll help me clean things up and get back on track when I’m ready. And as that morning whistle blows, you’d better believe I’m letting Love take the wheel.

My Love Thursday photo is an ode not only to Love but to her true companion Grace.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

My Sunny Best Shot Monday

You are my sunshine, my only sunshine,
You make me happy when skies are gray.
You'll never know dear how much I love you...

We're you lucky enough to capture a little sunshine this week?

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Got Photo Tips?

If you're interested in gathering a few tips and tricks to add to your photo knowledge arsenal, pop over to the Hip Slope Mama blog. They asked me to offer some of my ideas over there so be sure to go check it out.

Happy Clicking.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

You're on the Air

Well, actually we're on the air.
But you could be too.

All you have to do is call in to chat with Kate and I LIVE this evening from 6-6:30pm PST to Motherhood Uncensored's Blog Talk Radio show. Want more info? Click HERE.


Edited to write: To listen to the show, see the sidebar (over there to the right) for the play button!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Breathing in My Best Shot

Still reveling in the wide open spaces of central California, I wanted to share another photo with you from the other weekend. We took walk after walk through fields of mustard and tall grasses, breathing in the clean cool air of the vastness that surrounded us. Sigh.

I said it was heaven, right?

What little slice of heaven do you have to share this week?

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Getting Our Spring On

Taking into consideration the obvious theme of many recent photos and various posts on the subject, I guess it goes without saying that I love the promise of early spring. With the beauty of every blossom I am inspired; each new bloom, each tender bud, each tiny revealing of color emerging from sleepy green stalks and woody branches.

My girls and I have been enjoying discovery walks, photo excursions and crafty afternoons all in honor of spring’s arrival. About a month ago we began working on a collaborative project we're calling The First of Spring. It’s a mix of photos, paintings, leave rubbings, words, and even a super-springy poem (courtesy of my 10-year-old). As the finishing touch we bound the pages in an HP Photo Book to have something to commemorate our celebration and creative burst.

Sharing my camera with my kids is a given. Yes, I’m one of those moms that hands over the big, heavy, expensive SRL to my kids and let them have at it. They were definitely excited to take photos for our project. But what added to the fun was the painting and the writing that we added to embellish the book and make it a true mixed media-scrap book kind of thing. The do-it-yourself-book binding worked perfectly with all of the elements (to my delight) because the binding opens easily and pinches closed to hold all the goodies together. I think I might even have the kids paint on the cover (it's linen) as an added touch.

Because more than anything, I suppose I’m gushing over my children's enthusiasm and creativity, I wanted to share some photos of our process (like the one I shared over at the April Snapshot at HP) as well as the spring poem my daughter wrote for the book. If you can't read the poem, feel free to pop over to the original collage created at Tabblo. Adorable!

Perhaps this inspires you and your kids to get busy as bees this month in celebration of the good green earth. Feel free to share your ideas and links to your own projects here in the comments.

Happy Creating!

For more photographic inspiration visit Shutter Sisters.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

New Places, Friendly Faces

I spent an incredible weekend with some great friends just north of Santa Barbara. There were hills to roam, animals to befriend and lots of wine to drink. OK, in my case it was beer but you get the picture. It was pretty close to heaven on earth.

How about you? Any new places or friendly faces you'd like to share on this fine Monday?