Thursday, January 29, 2009

Photostory Friday: Joy

PhotoStory Friday
Hosted by Cecily and MamaGeek

I was going to show you a picture of the fist size, bluish blob that has been wreaking havoc through our lives this week. 

But, I changed my mind.

Instead, I will tell you about joy.

Joy is not the same thing as happiness. It is a deeper and broader emotion. We feel joy like we feel sunlight, or softly falling rain. It surrounds us, and envelops us. It's effects linger, long after the cause has passed on.

Catastrophic events have a way of focusing our attention, of stripping away the non-essentials -- the things we thought were so important. So much that we thought we couldn't live without, suddenly seems superfluous, and meaningless. This past week has done that for me. 

I've been thinking about the things I can't live without. The things that truly bring me joy. The list is pretty small. 

I find joy in friends. I have always made friends easily, and I'm grateful for that. Friends get you through, when you have nothing left. 

I find joy in the beautiful things of the world, whether it's music, or art, or words or pictures --or the works of God's hand. I think beauty comes from within, from the soul -- each soul, and is left behind on the things that our lives come in contact with. 

But, mostly, I find joy in this little group.

They are my inspiration. 

They are my hope. 

They are my life. 

They are my greatest joy. 

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

An Update, and 365: Week 4

Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumor (GIST). 

That's what we call it. It's a very rare form of cancer, affecting only about 1% of cancer patients. We'll see an oncologist on Friday, and luckily for us we live in Utah. 

Utah has the Huntsman Cancer Institute -- one of the premier cancer research, and treatment facilities in the world. 

Honestly, now that it's out in the open, we both feel a weight has been lifted (one of them anway) -- at least we have a direction to move now. It seems to be a treatable disease, with surgery and medication -- we'll know more after Friday. But it seems to be unresponsive to Chemotherapy and radiation. My wife is not complaining about this part. 

We don't know what happens next, but we face forward, and we do whatever it takes to beat this uninvited monster. 

Now, to all of you: Thank you for everything. Your words, your prayers, and your thoughts have kept us going these last few days, and they will see us through the end of this. 

I can barely see the screen now. My eyes are blurry. Hope is very powerful. Love is very strong.

You have given us both, and there are no words to express my -- our -- gratitude.

My stupid eyes won't stop watering. 

365: Week 4
What a difference a day makes...

Day 22

January 22: An old friend. I am a big Star Wars fan -- at least of the original movies. They have always been a part of my life. And I was on the ground floor of the Star Wars Merchandise collecting phenomenon. I had ALL of the figures. And almost everyone of them suffered an ignominious fate at my hands (those hands were usually holding a golf club). But C3PO here is original. He was from the very first wave of Star Wars toys in 1977. I have no idea how I've managed to hold on to him so long. Probably because he gets lost for several years at a time. There's a very old Stormtrooper around here somewhere too...

Day 23

January 23: The day that changed my life. My wife went to the hospital for what we thougt was an ulcer, and instead, we were told "It looks like Lymphoma." That turned out to be not quite right. That night my wife stayed in the hospital, my kids were at my in-laws, and I headed home to the empty house, with the task of breaking the news to everyone. I felt dark all over, and almost stopped taking pictures right there. Instead, I took a shot of the blackest thing I could find -- the shirt I was wearing. 

Day 24

January 24: At the hospital. Sharon has always maintained that Matthew is her best snuggler. Both of them needed this.

Day 25

January 25: This was how I spent my weekend -- driving to and from Ogden Regional Medical Center. This was about as clear as it got -- in fact, Friday night, as I tried to see my wife, it was so foggy that I could not find the hospital -- and I know RIGHT where it is. I snapped this out the front window of the van. Whatever it takes to keep the streak going.

Day 26

January 26: A sight I rarely get to see. Emma has Kindergarten in the afternoon, so I don't very often get to take her to school. She won't let me walk her to the door. She's a big girl. So I stood out by the van and took pictures of her, with my zoom lens. I wonder if I made the ladies in the office nervous?

Day 27

January 27: White Salvation. We can breathe again. The only good thing about snow this time of year is that it clears out the smog and the inversion (Salt Lake had the worst air in the country all of last week -- what an honor!). That bright shiny thing that you can see through the tree is the sun. At least I think that's what they used to call it. It been so long...

Day 28

January 28: A diagnosis. And life goes on. Two weeks ago, I told you that Jordan, my oldest, had moved on in the Reflections contest at school, from the school level, to the district level. Tonight she moved on to the Regional competition. Have I mentioned how proud I am of her?

Drop by next week. It's got to be better than this one. 


Sunday, January 25, 2009

Good People


We don't know what's coming in the next few days. The doctors still say the mass in Sharon's stomach looks like cancer, but they are a little baffled that the CT scan came back showing only the one mass. Considering the size (about fist sized) they fully expected it to have spread in to other parts of her body. It hasn't. I don't know what that will mean, but right now we're taking it as a positive. But, come what may, we are coming to at least some level of acceptance, that we may have to build our lives around this for at least the foreseeable future. The reason we are able to do that is because of each of you. 

Sometimes, when you stare into the darkness, you can't see anything else around you. But, when your world comes crashing down, you find -- I have found -- that there are so many people out there to bear you up. Thank you to each of you for your prayers and kind thoughts on behalf of my little family. I beg you to continue. 

I have an old friend who is going through a very similar situation right now. She asked why bad things happen to such good people. I'll tell you what I told her:

I don't know why bad things happen to good people. I suppose bad things happen to everyone. But, I believe that it's the good people that get us through the tough times. 

There are a lot of good people out there. 

I know, I've heard from so many of you. 

Thank you.

Friday, January 23, 2009

I don't know what to do

Four words can change your life.

She is sitting there, having just been brought back into the room, after the procedure. Nurses are poking and adjusting and monitoring. She looks at me and whispers "They think it's Lymphoma."

How do I put on a brave face? I didn't expect that. I didn't even know it was a consideration.

My wife went to the hospital today with fatigue and shortness of breath and stomach pain. After many hours, she finally had the endoscopy. What we expected was some kind of intestinal bleeding -- an ulcer. Instead the doctor came back with a picture of a fist size mass attached to the lining of her stomach. He thinks it's Lymphoma. We'll know by Wednesday, when the biopsy results are in.

I've been trying to learn something, anything I can. I can't figure any of this out.

One word changes so much.

I don't know what to do.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Photostory Friday: Guitar Lessons

PhotoStory Friday
Hosted by Cecily and MamaGeek

For Christmas, when I was in the seventh grade, my Grandmother gave me a guitar. Up to that point in my life, I had no interest in anything musical (other than the radio, and that doesn't count). The next year I took a semester of guitar lessons -- the only formal musical education I've ever had. I learned three chords, and that, until you develop calloused fingertips, it hurts to play a steel string guitar. And that's about it. 

In the twenty or so years since that time, I have been trying, with varying degrees of success, to teach myself to play this instrument. I am not a great guitar player, by any stretch of the imagination, but I've always wanted to play the guitar. Girls dig guitar players. 

I'm in a philosophical mood tonight, so I'm going to tell you the three things I've learned, from trying to play the guitar. 

I've learned that talent is not enough, usually you have to work.

God gives each of us many abilities, but I view talent as potential, behind a locked door. Work is the key to open that door. When you took piano lessons, it was called practicing. I come from a musical family, but for many years I believed that that gene had skipped a generation. Then one day, on impulse, I bought a piano (the same way we bought our house -- aren't we shrewd shoppers?). I thought I should teach myself to play (I would not recommend this method to most people) and I did. I am, by no means, a virtuoso of any kind, but the piano came very easily to me, and I discovered that I had a knack for playing by ear. This turned out to be a fluke. I thought that since the piano had been such a breeze, that surely I could master the guitar. 

Not so. 

I've been trying to play now for twenty years, and only when I practice regularly, and with real intent, do I progress at all.

I've learned that quality matters. 

Doing something just right -- craftsmanship that gets it right, no matter the time or the cost, has always been high on my list of human virtues (if not on my list of accomplishments). I've owned several guitars over the years, from pawn shops to online stores, and from everywhere in between. Each instrument has cost more than the one before it. Each has also been a higher quality instrument than its predecessor. It's quite amazing how much better a sub-average guitar player sounds on a well made instrument. 

I've learned the need for constant tuning. 

Unlike a piano, a guitar should be tuned each time it is played. All the plucking and picking and playing, and even sitting idle, causes the instrument to go out of tune. Usually (unless you have kids) it will only go out of tune by almost imperceptible degrees. But, left unchecked, over time the notes become too sharp, or too flat, and one day you find that you're no longer making music.

You're just making noise. 

But, daily attention, and minor adjustments, keep the instrument in tune, and sounding beautiful. 


A voice way back in the cluttered recesses of my mind is telling me that I should apply these lessons elsewhere. 

Life is funny. 

I never learned much from my guitar instructor, but the guitar itself turned out to be a pretty good teacher. 

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

365: Week Three

If this past week were any more thrilling, I would have had to take two pictures everyday.

Day 15

January 15: The time I hate above all others. Six o-clock in the morning is when my alarm goes off. It's when I have to get up, Monday thru Friday. It's when my dreams end. (I had no idea how hard it was going to be to take a picture of a digital clock -- it took me five minutes to take this picture!)

Day 16

January 16: In Utah this week, we have had the worst air quality in the country. That's saying something. Why? The dreaded inversion. This is a winter phenomenon where a high pressure sits over the Salt Lake Valley, and forces all of the air pollution  to stay put. It also forces all of the cold air to stay in place, thus the inversion: it's actually warmer up at the ski resorts and the Sundance Film Festival than it is in the valley. Air pollution is kind of pretty, isn't it (the sun is about to set behind mountains -- yeah, they're still there). By later in the week the sun was red. Very biblical. 

Day 17

January 17: Why is it that my favorite jeans always become the most comfortable, right before they disintegrate? 

Day 18

January 18: This is what I spend my Sundays doing -- ironing (well, and making pancakes). Apparently I've been going a little heavy on the starch, lately. 

Day 19

January 19: I couldn't decide between this shot and one of the big pink stain on the carpet, where Emma tipped over a can of "Sleeping Beauty Pink" paint, that her mom was using to paint a pink wall in Emma's room. I opted for this one of Emma's newest tooth loss, because that grin makes me shake my head in a good way. Unlike the pink blob, which just makes me shake. 

Day 20

January 20: Do you know what the best part about being a grown up is? I can eat my cookies anytime I want to -- even BEFORE my dinner! Don't tell my mom, okay?

Day 21

January 21: Looking for beauty in an ugly place. I realize that if I am going to take a picture every day, some of them are going to have to be at work, so I thought I had better see if there was anything worth looking at. One byproduct of the Inversion that we're stuck in, is that we end up with quite a bit of fog, and fog causes frost to coat everything. Once the sun comes up, you have beauty -- even at work. 

See you next week!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The Things We Do Right

Inauguration Day.

This is a great day for America.

I don't want to talk about politics or parties right now. I don't want to discuss pettiness and differences. Not now.

This is a moment to be treasured by all those who love liberty. Today is the day that all the world stands up and takes notice. This is America's finest hour. This is the bedrock of the American Experiment.

Barack Obama was sworn in today as the 44th President of the United States. He is the first man, of African American decent, to rise to this office. It is a major step forward in the writing of the story of America. The United States of America is one step closer to realizing the truth of it's founding declaration -- that all men are created equal. It is a day long in coming, and a day worthy of rejoicing.

But that's not what I am talking about.

There was a phrase spoken today -- over and over again -- that cannot be overused: The peaceful transference of power.

The United States is a kaleidoscope of opinions, and colors and ideas. We don't always see eye to eye with each other. Often we vigorously disagree with one another. We all have thoughts as to which direction our nation is going -- and where we think it should go. Sometimes we speak civilly to one another, sometimes we scream and yell. That's our right.

Sometimes the person who stands at our head is someone we agree with, sometimes they are not. But that person serves at the discretion of the people of the United States of America. And he -- and someday soon hopefully, she -- goes into office knowing that, in no more than eight years, he will step aside for the next president -- often a person with vastly different views than himself.

We have done this forty four times in a row now. Do you know how remarkable that is? No guns, no cannon, no threats, no blood.

It is done in an instant.

With an Oath and a Handshake.

God Bless America.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Photostory Friday: Rock On

PhotoStory Friday
Hosted by Cecily and MamaGeek

We got Guitar Hero for Christmas. We all have a great time playing it -- except Emma. 

Emma doesn't play. She rocks. 

She dances. She bangs her head. She jumps up and down. She sticks her tongue out. 

Emma is five. 

Emma is our little free spirit. She meets life on her own terms. There is no guessing where you stand with Emma. She will tell you. She's as blunt as a sledge hammer, and as sharp as a sword.

She sings, loudly and often -- and most loudly while sitting on the toilet. There is always a soundtrack running through our home -- from "Livin' on  a Prayer" and "Eye of the Tiger," to her most current obsession -- the soundtrack to Mama Mia. There is a constant chant (from the bathroom, mostly) "Soo pah pah, Troo pah pah."

One of my greatest fears, as a parent, is that I won't be able to help Emma channel her will and personality into a rewarding and productive life. It's a never ending struggle between reeling in and letting go. 

Often I get the urge to clip her wings and try to keep her grounded. But it passes -- some spirits are uncontainable. 

Keep on rockin' my little Freebird!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

365: Week Two

Welcome back for week number 2!

It's been the most exciting week of the last seven days of my life!

Day 8

January 8: The only sun I see, as a free man in January, is on the drive home from work. But even the pretty sunsets are not worth stopping (well, and I was on the freeway) so I just rolled down the window and shot. 

Day 9

January 9: This is the view from my office. Actually, it's just how I see things -- I'm actually shooting through the railing of the porch outside of my office. I love my job. That's obvious, right?

Day 10

January 10: There are people who can take good pictures of the moon. I'm not one of them. Yet.

Day 11

January 11: 11:59 pm. This is the picture that almost stopped this project in it's tracks. See, we got this really cool game for the Wii, this Christmas. And I was doing really well. REALLY WELL!

Day 12

January 12: The end of our weeklong devotion to the study of evaporation. It turns out that water left in direct sunlight (blue) evaporates faster than water left in the shade (red). Who'd a thunk it?

Day 13

January 13: Like I said -- the only sun I see is on the way home. Tuesday it was following me like a devoted fan. I thought maybe if I took it's picture, it would get out of my mirrors, so that I could see to drive. It didn't. Maybe I should stop taking pictures while I'm driving.

Day 14

January 14: The big winner! Jordan won the Reflections competition at school, in the photography category, and tonight was the "Awards Banquet" -- and the bestowal of medals. She now moves onto the next division. I am very proud of her, she's already surpassing her dad. If you'd like to see her award winning picture, go here (it's the landscape shot). It also won second place in the county fair. Her father couldn't do any better than third this year. 

See you next week?

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Jack is Back!

Chris will be unavailable to play for the next twenty or so Monday nights, from 8:00pm to 9:00 pm mst. 

I wish I had written this list:

1 Some people see the glass as half full. Others see it as half empty. Jack Bauer sees the glass as a deadly weapon.

2 When a convicted terrorist was sentenced to face Jack Bauer, he appealed to have the sentence reduced to death.

3 When bad things happen to good people, its probably fate. When bad things happen to bad people, it’s probably Jack Bauer.

4 The only reason Jack gave Nina mouth to mouth in Season 2 was because he had to kill her himself.

5 Jack Bauer never retreats, he just attacks in the opposite direction.

6 Jack Bauer doesn't need a receipt to return something to a store, just a gun.

7 Withholding information from Jack Bauer is now classified as a suicide attempt.

8 The city of Los Angeles once named a street after Jack Bauer in gratitude for his saving the city several times. They had to rename it after people kept dying when they tried to cross the street. No one crosses Jack Bauer and lives.

9 When asked what he got on his S.A.T's, Jack Bauer promptly responded "Blood."

10 Passed out, surrounded by terrorists and nerve gas, and handcuffed to a table leg, Jack Bauer laughed to himself and said, "I have them right where I want them."

11 Once, someone tried to tell Jack Bauer a "knock knock" joke. Jack Bauer found out who was there, who they worked for, and where the bomb was.

12 The 2009 budget for the US Military covers Jack Bauer, two pistols and four billion rounds of ammunition.

13 When Jack Bauer ran out of ammo, he caught 3 bullets in his chest and used them to reload.

14 Jack once shot himself 10 times, just to prove 50 cent is a loser. He proceeded to wrestle an alligator while talking to Chloe about schematics.

15 If Jack Bauer was in a room with Hitler Stalin, and Nina Meyers, and he had a gun with 2 bullets, he'd shoot Nina twice.

16 If everyone on "24" followed Jack Bauer's instructions, it would be called "12".

17 Life doesn't give Jack Bauer lemons. Life asks him which fruit he wants.

18 Jack Bauer doesn't need to eat, sleep, or use the bathroom because his organs are afraid of making him angry.

19 ...and on the seventh day Jack Bauer said, "I'll take it from here."

20 Jack Bauer’s calender goes from March 31st to April 2nd, no one fools Jack Bauer.

21 There have been no terrorist attacks in United States since Jack Bauer has appeared on television.

22 The state of California plans to reduce violent crime by changing the method of capital punishment from lethal injection to Jack Bauer.

23 Jack Bauer once forgot where he put his keys. He then spent the next half-hour torturing himself until he gave up the location of the keys.

24 Jack Bauer does not get taken prisoner. He puts himself in a disadvantageous position so as to make his next several killings more dramatic.

25 Upon hearing that he was played by Kiefer Sutherland, Jack Bauer killed Sutherland. Jack Bauer gets played by no man.

26 Jack Bauer let himself be drugged, beaten and captured inside a crate on a Chinese ship heading out of the USA with no way for help to find him. Now he has them right where we wants them.

27 Only Jack Bauer can fly a plane from the luggage compartment.

28 Jack Bauer is the only human in the world with the ability to make Chloe O'Brien drop the personality disorder and patch him through.

29 Jack Bauer sleeps with a pillow under his gun.

30 Superman wears Jack Bauer pajamas.

31 If you wake up in the morning, it's because Jack Bauer spared your life.

32 When Kim Bauer lost her virginity, Jack Bauer found it and put it back.

33 When Christopher Henderson tried to shoot Jack, his gun was, in fact, loaded. The bullets were just too scared to come out.

34 When life gave Jack Bauer lemons, he used them to kill terrorists. Jack Bauer hates lemonade.

35 When Jack Bauer plays dodgeball, the ball dodges Jack Bauer.

36 If it tastes like chicken, looks like chicken, and feels like chicken, but Jack Bauer says its beef. Then it's beef.

37 Superman is one of the few individuals who could possibly survive a confrontation with Jack Bauer. But that is only because he can fly away.

38 If Jack Bauer's gun jams, it's because he wanted to beat you with it.

39 Jack Bauer is currently involved in a complex law suit with the California Department of Justice due to their attempt to ban Jack Bauer as an "Assault Weapon". Jack maintains he is primarily used for hunting and target shooting, and is quite safe to have around families. But statistics don't lie.

40 Jack Bauer doesn't have a firewall on his PC. He has a Bauerwall. It's basically just a JPEG of Jack Bauer. No virus has ever attacked Jack Bauer's PC. Ever.

41 Jack Bauer can break anyone and anything, but he will always break the protocol first.

42 Lets get one thing straight, the only reason you are conscious right now is because Jack Bauer does not feel like carrying you.

43 Jack Bauer could strangle you with a cordless phone.

44 Jack Bauer played Russian Roulette with a fully loaded gun and won.

45 A standard deck now contains 48 cards. Too many people were getting hurt for trying to play Jack.

46 It's no use crying over spilled milk... Unless that was Jack Bauer's milk.

47 If Jack Bauer gives you his word, return it immediately and run.

48 On a high school math test, Jack Bauer put down "Violence" as every one of the answers. He got an A+ on the test because Jack Bauer solves all his problems with Violence.

49 Jack Bauer once won a game of Connect 4 in 3 moves.

50 Jack doesn't believe in Murphy's Law, only Bauer's Law: "Whatever CAN go wrong, WILL be resolved in a period of 24 hours."

51 Tony was once shot in the neck, rushed to the hospital, underwent emergency surgery and was back on the job in just a few hours. Jack Bauer still can't believe that loser went to the hospital first.

52 Jack Bauer was never addicted to heroin. Heroin was addicted to Jack Bauer.

53 When someone asks him how his day is going, Jack replies, "Previously, on 24..."

54 No matter how or when you die, the last thing you see will be Jack Bauer.

55 The Berlin Wall fell because Jack Bauer needed to get to the other side.

56 American Idol is only popular because it has a commercial for 24.

57 When 24 airs on the Spanish channel everyones lines are translated except for Jack's. The reason for this, nobody speaks for Jack Bauer

58 Superman's only weakness is Kryptonite. Jack Bauer laughs at Superman for having a weakness.

59 When Special Forces raided an afghan training camp, they found an empty camp and a pirated copy of 24 Season 4.

60 Kim Bauer was an accident. Not even the pill can stop Jack Bauer.

61 In 96 hours, Jack Bauer has killed 93 people and saved the world 4 times. What have you done with your life?

62 There is the right way, the wrong way, and the Jack Bauer way. It's basically the right way but faster and more deaths.

63 Killing Jack Bauer doesn't make him dead. It just makes him angry.

64 Most pilots need 5,000 feet of runway to land a plane. Jack Bauer needs 100 feet and a gun.

65 When Jack Bauer goes to the airport and the metal detector doesn't go off, security gives him a gun.

66 Jack Bauer arm once wrestled Superman. The stipulations were the loser had to wear his underwear on the outside of his pants.

67 Messenger bags owe Jack Bauer for single-handedly stealing them from the clutches of emo fashion and making them genuinely cool. Same thing with hoodies. And crying.

68 Jack Bauer doesn't miss. If he didn't hit you it's because he was shooting at another terrorist twelve miles away.

69 "You don't know Jack" is a blessing among terrorists.

70 Jack Bauer doesn't take fingerprints, he takes fingers.

71 Jack Bauer set an ordinary flash memory card to self-destruct. Don't ask how he did it, he's Jack Bauer.

72 Jack Bauer does not use doors. He makes his own.

73 Don't ever ask Jack Bauer what is going on. He'll explain in the car.

74 Osama bin Laden's recent proposal for truce is a direct result of him finding out that Jack Bauer is, in fact, still alive.

75 When Google can't find something, it asks Jack Bauer for help.

76 Jack Bauer teaches a course at Harvard entitled: "Time Management: Making the Most Out Of Each Day."

77 Sun Tzu once wrote, "If your enemy is weaker, conquer him. If he is stronger, join him. If he is Jack Bauer, you're dead."

78 Jack Bauer once opened a can of whoop ass. All he found inside was a mirror.

79 If Jack Bauer was in a room with Hitler Stalin, and Nina Meyers, and he had a gun with 2 bullets, he'd shoot Stalin and Hitler so they wouldn't have to bear witness to what he'd do to Nina.

80 Jack Bauer's favorite color is severe terror alert red. His second favorite color is violet, but just because it sounds like violent.

81 Simon Says should be renamed to Jack Bauer Says because if Jack Bauer says something then you better  do it.

82 Jack Bauer wasn't born, he was unleashed.

83 In the 18 months where Jack Bauer was presumed dead, Tony Almeida was put in a coma, Michelle and David Palmer were killed, a major hurricane ravaged the Gulf Coast, and Rob Schneider made another movie. See what happens when Bauer isn't around?

84 Jack Bauer has never caught a cold. How do we know? Colds still exist.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Photostory Friday: What the...?

PhotoStory Friday
Hosted by Cecily and MamaGeek

WARNING!! This post contains a rated PG word!

It's January. It's cold outside. The snow is grey. I just washed my brand new, leather wallet. I have to register my Bronco, and the windshield is cracked and the check engine light is on.

It's times like these when I reflect on happier circumstances. Last year, one of the happiest times for us was our trip to Disneyland. At Disneyland, our kids engaged in one of the great California sports: Autograph collecting. It took a little coaxing for Emma (to you and I, Mickey Mouse is a beloved character -- to a not-quite-five-year-old, he's a six foot rat), but eventually she came around, and participated fully in the sport. 

There was Mickey Mouse, Minnie, Pluto, Goofy, Jack Sparrow, Winnie the Pooh, and of course all of the Princesses. At one point we came upon a flock of children (or is that a gaggle?) surrounding Alice (of Wonderland fame). She was singing and dancing and signing autograph books, for the adoring masses, when suddenly, who should burst upon the scene? The Queen of Hearts! 

The kids scattered like someone had dropped a grenade -- they were diving through windows, climbing up the front of their parents, running like mad for Fantasyland.  

Except Matthew. 

My son stepped forward, took the Queen by the hand and kissed it -- thereby winning her approval AND her autograph -- the only one in that crowd to do so. 

But that's not why I love this picture. I love this shot because it (inadvertently) caught the expression on Emma's face. This was the same look on the face of every kid in that crowd (except Matt), and describes perfectly what each one was thinking:






Wednesday, January 7, 2009

365: Week One

This post was inspired by Candy over at Everyone has a story to Tell... Candy is a great photographer, and has decided to take on the immense challenge of documenting the life of her family through a photograph a day, for the entire year. She also invited/challenged others to jump on the bandwagon. I've been undecided as to whether I was up to it, but I've been taking pictures everyday, just in case.

 I've decided that I'm going to go ahead and commit publicly to do it, and I'm probably going to post the pictures about once a week. Even after only a week, looking back at a snapshot from each day tells me so much about that day -- so much that I would not have consciously thought of, or else would have forgotten already.  It's a fascinating exercise. 

Thanks for the inspiration Candy. 

Here goes:

Week 1

Day One

January 1st is my favorite day of January. In fact it 's the only day I like in January. See -- January first is my last paid holiday until Memorial Day. And it's snowy. And it's cold. And I have to register my car in January. These are things I dislike immensely. But I love the first day of the year. Today we celebrated with pancakes.

Day Two

January 2. My first day back at work -- this was not a day I was looking forward to. It was grey and snowy that day, but before the storm blew in, the morning began with a brief, but beautiful sunrise. This was taken from the porch outside my office, and it was the prettiest thing I saw that day -- at least until Utah creamed Alabama in the Sugar Bowl that night!

Day 3

January 3. The one thing about snow that I do love is how pretty it is the morning following a big snow storm -- when the sky is blue, and everything else is white. The sky was blue that morning I promise, but I just thought the tree looked better in black and white. I was supposed to be going to the store, to get eggs -- instead I drove around the neighborhood taking pictures of the snow. 

Day 4

January 4. All that cold and snow takes a toll, and we are all down. Notice that we have three bottles of Nyquil -- that's because I like the green stuff, and everyone else likes the cherry flavored. Okay, maybe like was the wrong word.  Notice how empty the bottles are too. 

Day 5

January 5. In January I pull out all my Jimmy Buffett music. It makes me think of warmer places -- places I have never been. One of my favorite songs from Buffett is "Changes in Latitudes/Changes in Attitudes."  Right now I'm thinking about 20 degrees north latitude is about right. It sure beats the 20 degrees I'm currently in (I work twenty miles from home -- it took me two hours to get home tonight. I'm hating snow).

Day 6

January 6. This is the only snow man I want to see until next January. We collect sculptures by Jim Shore -- I love the folk art vibe. 

Day 7

January 7. This is what our lives will revolve around for the next week. Evaporation. Yes kiddies, it's science fair time again. For Matthew's first science project, he has decided to see if water evaporates faster in the sun or the shade. I think I know how this is going to turn out -- but I'll let you know. 

So there you go, one week down fifty one to go. Check in again next week to see how exciting the second week of January was. 

I'm on pins and needles!