Sunday, November 30, 2008

things change

As the holiday for the giving of thanks comes to an end and we slip back into our daily routines I am melancholy. The air has been crisp and cool, light is soft and days seem to pass quickly this time of year. Family and friends are near and memories are made.

I had a little wake-up call this weekend and it's reminded me to savor every single minute of my life. Right now. As it is today. It's been the of the kind of perspective you need every once in a while to get you surefooted; to bring you back to what matters most.

When the leaves float from their branches with each puff of the autumn breeze I remember that nothing is forever. Everything changes. It's a state of mind that makes me appreciate the moments as they are and as they pass; leaving memories and of course in my case, photographs. I know that goes for you too.

What kind of memory making did you do as Thanksgiving came and went? Share your Best Shots!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

A Fully Awesome Day in LA

If there is one thing about living in So Cal that is great it's that we're in pretty close proximity to anything and everything you could ever want to do. In this case I'm talking about doing it up Hollywood style at the historic and totally cool El Capitan Theatre. This my friends, is not your typical movie theater. It's an ideal venue to see a movie with your family for sure. It's small and intimate with an old time vibe that takes the experience to a new level. Beautiful architectural details, rich fabric curtains and the unmistakable Mighty Wurlitzer organ that is being played as you stroll in and find your seat. And please note-they have special movie seat boosters you can use for your young ones. Fully Awesome. I'm not trying to be overly-dramatic but it is something to be experienced for sure. It's even worth the drive from Orange County.

Even though I've lived here all my life, I've only visited this landmark twice but both times were absolutely wonderful. Our first trip was for The Little Mermaid Sing-a-Long where Ariel actually opened the show. Talk about a hit!

This most recent trip was to see the latest Disney offering Bolt in 3D. Bolt didn't open the show like Ariel did but a grand Holiday Spectacular did and it was delightful and oh-so-very Christmasy. All the characters were there in their holiday best. Mickey, Minnie, Pooh Bear and all the Princesses. My youngest daughter was mesmerized. She even got a high-five from Goofy (dressed as Santa of course). That's big time.

After the opening act they showed the movie which was an ACTION PACKED adventure. Did I mention it's in 3D? Wow. And the 3D glasses you get are like real glasses, not paper, thank you very much. My oldest daughter and 8-year-old nephew LOVED it. My 5-year-old did too but the storyline wasn't as easy to follow for her as for the older kids. The movie got more fun (as in less on-the-edge-of-your-seat and more belly laughing) when the hilarious character Rhino the hamster got introduced onto the scene. I think he might be my new favorite animated character of all time. His one-liners were so funny that they've already become popular banter in our home.

After the movie we enjoyed shopping and a snack at the malt shop that is connected to the Theater. From the last trip, I was smart enough to be sure my girls brought their own money for a Bolt souvenir. Worked like a charm. You'd better believe we brought home a big fat overstuffed hamster home with us, bucked teeth and all.

If you are looking for something fun to do with your family I would highly recommend making a day of it to experience the magic of the movies the way it should be done. Bolt (along with the Holiday Spectacular) is playing now through Jan. 4th at The El Capitan Theatre. It's a great way to unwind and spend some warm and cozy holiday family time together during some of this winter vacation time we've got coming. You won't regret it. And you won't want to go to just any old movie theater again.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Open Your Heart

In the spirit of true Thanks and Giving, Kelly Rae Roberts is hosting a fundraiser full of heart. She and Jen Lemen are working together to make a little magic happen in Rwanda. The money donated will go directly to building Odette's mother Esteria's house. The one she's got now has since collapsed and is uninhabitable. And Kelly Rae is even giving away one of her amazing paintings as an incentive. Giving and Giving. It's so inspiring.

With even the smallest donations we can create something big together. Visit Kelly Rae's blog and donate what you can. Let's help make the magic happen, shall we?

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Past, Present and Future

I just revisited this interview I did with Maile of Daily Relish and couldn't believe how time flies. It's been a year!

Then there is this new little tid-bit at Our 365 about baby's first holiday photos which I wrote a while ago but was just published this week.

And last but not least I can only share three little words that you never want to hear in the same sentence with The Oprah Winfrey Show...cutting room floor. Which leads me to the Future part of this post where I reiterate what I know deep in my heart; all I have experienced up until now is merely the tip of the iceberg my friends. A dress rehearsal as my sister calls it. Despite my obvious disappointment, I take comfort in knowing the sky is the limit and I am flying.

How about you? Have you had any chance to reflect on what you've come from, where you are now and where you are going? This time of year is the perfect time to be thankful for what we do have and to look forward to the bright and brilliant future. I know it's going to be amazing. Can you feel it too?

Sunday, November 23, 2008

On Growing and Grace

Amidst all the recent hub-bub around here, my oldest daughter turned 11. That is some pretty big news! I haven't really even had the time to reflect and get too melancholy about it. The thing is, although I have the expected motherhood twinge of disbelief that my baby is growing up I am more in a place of total and utter gratitude and appreciation of who my daughter is now.

This year as we celebrated at the hippest bowling alley around I marveled at my daughter interacting with her friends; confident, comfortable, vibrant, funny, sincere, warm and happy. She's amazing this kid. My daughter. And she's growing up.

And did I mention full of grace?

Did you capture any highlights of your week that told such a story? Enlighten us with your Best Shot on this lovely Monday.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Celebrate the Click

click necklace button 165


Although I no longer have a baby in the house *sniff sniff* I was eager to check out the new book by Desmond Morris Amazing Baby. The rumor was that it was a beautiful book adorned with interesting and relevant content but more importantly for my aesthetic, stunning photography.

Amazing Baby is all that and more. I am not easily impressed when it comes to the design of the baby book genre but this one is GORGEOUS. And very substantial-note the photo above right for scale. Choc full of insightful and enlightening text about the nature of baby and toddlerhood (as told in a fresh and unique perspective) Amazing Baby is one of those books that would never be left and forgotten on your bookshelves. Any parent would happily set this on the coffee table as not only a valuable resource but as a work of art.

Amazing Baby
would make for the perfect baby shower gift. You can pick it up at Amazon.

Review brought to you by The Parent Bloggers Network.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

(Less than) 24 Hours in Chicago

What I Know For Sure

Life is full of surprises.
Magic is happening behind the scenes of our lives whether we recognize it or not.
I am surrounded by an incredible support system both off-line and on. Thank you all!
I choose to live in Southern California for a reason (namely the weather).
Having your hair and make-up done by professionals is worth the trip.
The last few days have been a grand adventure.
This is only the beginning.
And last but certainly not least,
what happens at the Oprah show, stays at the Oprah show.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

The Map of my Heart

In the ebb and flow of our everyday lives we walk and wander our own unique path. Some days it's a stroll; a slow but steady meandering, one foot in front of the other. Others we use our big tall legs to walk, taking confident and bold strides into the future following only the map of our heart.

For me, the last few days I have been asked to find the strength of my legs to walk boldly toward a place that is hazy in the distance. Although I cannot make out exactly what it looks like, I can feel that is somewhere I need to be. A place I have mused about for my future. I had no idea my future could come so quickly.

I spent my Saturday filming a segment for the Oprah show. A dear friend, my fairy godmother, my husband and kids and a bunch of strangers (who are no longer strangers) all with me in my home for one of the most surreal experiences of my life. The feeling might only be eclipsed by my flying out to Chicago for the shows taping on Tuesday.

I know, I know I must share the details. But right now my head is spinning and my knees are weak and I am using every bit of strength I have to keep walking, trusting, enjoying, soaring along my path and the opportunities that lie before me. It's all so very overwhelming-good overwhelming but overwhelming none the less.

The shot above is the Best way to describe what I am feeling right now. I captured it in our entry way only moments after everyone left our house and the dust began to settle.

Big huge grateful exhale.

Let's see what Best moment you caught this week. Something from the map of your heart I hope.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

A Little Bit of Bliss

Mrs. French (Traci with an 'i') and Mrs. Clark (me, Tracey with an 'e-y') have a little cross- posting fun happening today at Traci's blog Bliss and Shutter Sisters.

Come on over and find your bliss, if you will.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Best Shot in the Magic Mirror

Today's timeless moment is offered in celebration Springtree Road's Black and White in November.

What have you seen through your lens this week?

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

This Day

"This day is filling up my room.

It's coming through my door.

Oh, I have not seen this day before."

-Karen Peris (The Innocence Mission)

to listen click here and play song #7. it's perfect for today.
Karen Peris is my most favorite singer/songwriter ever.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008


Sunday, November 02, 2008

A Purrrrrfect BSM

From pumpkin carver to Cheetah is no time flat. Meeeeeow.

I cannot wait to see this weeks Best Shots. Something tells me they are going to more festive than any other week to date (except for maybe last year or the year before that).

Go ahead, show us the Halloween goods!
And you are welcome to share more homespun goodness over at The Sundays at Home post at Shutter Sisters for a chance to win a copy of America at Home.