Thursday, February 25, 2010

Photostory Friday: 365 Week 8

Hosted by Chris

PhotoStory Friday
Hosted by Cecily and Amy

Day 50

Something Sweet

February 19: These are not your run-of-the-mill candy hearts -- these came from a Twilight themed box that I got for my wife. So that "always" means a little something extra. The box was aimed at Team Edward, even though my wife is most definitely Team Jacob (she's also a diabetic, so why I went and got her candy is something of a mystery too...)

I just couldn't make myself put on the "U R My Life" heart.

Day 51

Body Parts

February 20: You can either do this, or you can't. It's genetic. How about you?

My kids didn't get much of an inheritance from me, but they did get this.

Day 52

Black and White (with a little something extra)

February 21: The completed Guitar/Decoupage Project. I won't say much, because I plan to post more extensively about it later.

By the way, can I call it something other than decoupage? It just sounds so....unmanly.


Day 53

Sky Shot

February 22: If some old school photographer ever tells you not to shoot directly into the sun, tell him to make like a tree, and get out of here.

In fact, never let anyone tell you what kind of picture you should take. People often ask me what makes a good picture. That's easy -- if you like it, it's a good picture. That's what I love about this medium -- especially digital photography -- you have so much latitude in your creativity. You can literally shoot until you get the picture that you want.

I've been asked to speak to a group about photography in April, and I'm mulling over what to say, so I'll ask you: What kinds of photography related topics would you like to hear about?

Day 54


February 23: I'm grateful for my Peeps. Everyone of you!

Day 55

Something I love

February 24: I'm on a bit of a cupcake binge right now, and I recently discovered this marvelous item.

What is Easy Frost you ask?

It is, quite simply, the greatest invention of the 21st century -- the natural evolution from Easy Cheese -- it's Aerosol Frosting.

I love technology.

I can hear Heidi mocking me.

Day 56

Something I hate

February 25: I hate cavities.

But they LOVE me.

A little business: Tell me how you're feeling about your various 365 Projects. I'd like to know about your  successes and your frustrations.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Weirdness -- and Things I Did Once #9

Do you ever think about the way people perceive you?

I do.

I like to believe that people think of me as clever, witty, eclectic, fun, handsome (okay, let's come back down to earth). But the point is, I think of myself as, basically, normal, and I assume that others feel the same way.

Turns out, that ain't necessarily so. My case in point:

You may recall my little arm hair incident, from a few weeks back. If not, here it is in a nutshell: I got a giant glob of foam insulation stuck to my rather hairy arm, and had to shave my right forearm. That's the short version, if you'd like the details, here they are.

Well, a week or so after this traumatic event, my in-laws were over for dinner. They'd been there for MORE THAN AN HOUR, when my mother-in-law couldn't hold it back any longer.

Mother-in-law: Chris, can I ask you a question?

Me: Why certainly, you can ask me anything. You're like a mother to me.

Mother-in-law: Why is half of your right arm shaved?

And before I could answer, my father-in-law pipes in:

Father-in-law: Yeah, I was wondering about that too.

Me: Well, why didn't you just ask me about it?

Father-in-law: Well, I just thought it was one of those weird things that you do.

Mother-in-law: Yeah.



Just how weird do these people think I am? Sure, I've done this, and this, and this, and this, and this, and this, and this.....phew......and this. And THIS was a doozy.

But, do you really think I'm weird enough to just randomly shave half of my right arm?

I wonder what else they think I do...

Come to think of it, my parents rarely let me play in the front yard as a child -- and I'm pretty sure they weren't worried about my safety...

And just in case you're still wondering if I'm not just a little cracked...

Things I did once: #9

So, I was about nine or ten, and we'd gone to visit my grandmother. As I walked into the kitchen, I noticed, on the table, a very large serrated bread knife. And naturally I wondered how sharp it was. 

And naturally I wondered what would happen if I drew the knife blade across the palm of my hand. 

And naturally it cut my hand wide open. 

I actually remember thinking -- as I looked at the self inflicted gash on my hand -- "Huh, should have seen that one coming..."

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Finding a Voice

I'm a daddy blogger. I accept that now.

It's an interesting thing to be -- especially in the blogging circles where I orbit.

If you've spent any time here, you may have noticed that most -- nearly all -- of those who read and comment on my blog, are women. I'm not really sure how that happened, to tell you the truth. But it did, and it's just fine with me, though I have to admit, being a dad blogger in a vast ocean of mommy bloggers occasionally gets a little surreal. Sometimes I feel like a sideshow freak, that people have heard about, and drop by to see if it's real -- like the world's smallest horse at the county fair. Sometimes I feel like a favorite pet. Heck, sometimes my gender even gets lost in the mix, and someone new to the blog just assumes I'm one of the girls.

Sometimes I feel like Cyrano de Bergerac, standing in the shadows, just out of sight, saying things that women love to hear.

I started blogging because my sister-in-law, Pam, told me I had to.

I didn't know if I had anything to say to the world. I put out a few posts occasionally, and nobody read them. I just wasn't sure what this blogging thing was all about, and why would anyone care enough about what I was writing to come back and see if I had written anything else?

Then one day Pam told me I had to join this new blogging event, hosted by her friend Cecily, called Photostory Friday. And suddenly people were reading my blog, and coming back week after week. I have thrived on that. I began to find my own voice -- and that voice came through most clearly when I talked about my family.

When I wrote about beauty, I was writing about my family. When I wrote about joy, I was writing about my family. Whether the topic was popcorn, or cancer, or Christmas trees, or sorrow, or gratitude, or olives -- the underlying theme always comes back to my family. This little blog has caused me to look at my family -- and the world -- in a whole different light.

I'm not vocally eloquent. I have a slow and deliberate thought process. I feel things deeply, but when I speak, my mouth moves faster than my brain, and I fear saying something that I cannot retract. Words can be unintentionally sharp and painful -- or dull and lifeless. Writing gives me the chance to take the raw word, and shape it and polish it, before I send it out into the light of day. And that's been the real blessing of blogging.

In trying to say what I want to say, I find myself thinking deeply about the relationships in my life. Diving below the surface, I have found great meaning and gratification in my life. I realize daily -- and more than I ever did before -- how blessed I really am. I've learned to write from those depths, and the words you read here are now as close to the way I think, as they have ever been.

I'm grateful for the voice that has emerged on this blog. It is my voice -- the voice of a husband and a father who is very aware of all that he has.

This voice would not have come through without the feedback, and wonderful comments,  of so many friends from so many varied corners of the world. I don't exactly know why you're here, or what I said that brought you back the second time, but I'm thankful for each of the friends I've made through this little hobby. Your lives are so interesting  -- and we share so much common ground, don't we?

Whatever brought you here, and whatever keeps you coming back, I thank you for helping me to find a voice.


Thursday, February 18, 2010

Photostory Friday: 365 Week 7

Hosted by Chris

PhotoStory Friday
Hosted by Cecily and Lolli

Day 43

Something Sweet

February 12: Do you remember the urban legend about the Indian and the star, on the wrapper of a Tootsie Pop? More importantly, do you know anyone who ever cashed in?

Day 44

Body Parts

February 13: My Valentine's contribution for the week.

Emma's best friend is a little boy across the street named Blake. Now I'm not predicting impending wedding bells or anything, but I love watching the two of them play together. When I was very young, my best friend was the girl across the street too. With Emma and Blake, there really are no boy/girl issues -- all they know is that they have the most fun when they play together. We like having Blake around.

And he laughs like a chipmunk.

Day 45

Black and White (with a little extra)

February 14: I love the Olympics. Summer, winter -- it doesn't matter. I love everything. I love to watch the constant push to be swifter, higher, stronger.

Salt Lake hosted the Winter games in 2002. It was an amazing experience, just being a host city, and every time the Olympics returns, those feelings return as well.

Salt Lake was left with quite a legacy following the games. The world class venues are now the main training grounds for many of the members of Team USA.

This is a picture of the Olympic Cauldron. There's a neat little museum surrounding it now, but the cauldron itself mostly serves as a resting spot for passing birds.

I've often wished that the various host cities would re-light their cauldrons whenever a new Olympics begins.

Imagine that -- every couple of years -- this flame that represents brotherhood and sportsmanship and goodwill, burning brightly, all over the world.

How cool would that be?

Day 46

Sky Shot

February 15: The day was gray. Just gray. Blah.

Day 47


February 16: Today I'm thankful for another day of life on earth -- a day when I could go out and get the sky shot that I should have gotten yesterday.

I realize I took a picture of this same bridge a couple of weeks ago.

Please forgive me -- the lines are just hard to resist.

Day 48

Something I love

February 17: I do have other children, I really do. It's just that they're older, and they're off doing other things these days.

I love Emma's eyes. They are the most expressive feature of a very expressive child -- when she's angry they burn, when she laughs, they dance, when she says I love you, they pull you in.

The rest of the time, they just look like this.

Day 49

Something I hate

February 18: I'm hating looking for something to hate. It's hard!

I thought I had it in the bag today -- it was supposed to snow -- during the morning commute. I don't mind driving in the snow, but I HATE commuting in the snow -- because the idiots come out in full force. So, I was going to take a picture of the snowy morning commute.

Only, it didn't snow.

But the weatherman promised the storm was delayed, and that surely it would hit on the commute home. Good news -- I REALLY hate commuting home in the snow. But it didn't snow. Again.

So I took a picture of 6:30 am -- the time of day I dislike most of all.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Swifter, Higher, Stronger


Shani Davis


Shaun White


Lindsey Vonn

What a night for Team USA!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

To My Love


It makes you feel like you're breathing for the first time. And, in the next moment, it takes your breath away again.

Love is undefinable. Love is a thousand spoken words and a million unspoken thoughts. True love is an unbreakable bond. Love is walking hand in hand, stealing a kiss when the kids aren't watching. Love is stealing a kiss when they are watching too.

Love is light, an unquenchable flame. Sometimes the fire burns as bright as the sun, sometimes it glows just enough to fight off the darkness, but it never goes out. Love goes before us, like a light upon our path, and it follows us to see that we reach our destination.

Love is in the words we speak, and the words we hear. Love is not blind, but love has an expansive vision. Love sees us as we really are, but it also sees us as we should be -- and as we can be.

Love runs in our veins. Love is the seed that becomes the forest. Love is why we celebrate and why we sacrifice. Love is why we walk and run and dream and cry and laugh. When there is nothing else, there is still love.

Love is you and love is me.

Love is us.

Love is life.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Photostory Friday: 365 Week 6

Hosted by Chris

PhotoStory Friday
Hosted by Cecily and Mamarazzi

The themes go on

Day 36

Something Sweet

February 5: The directions on the package of a Vanillaroma air freshener say to unwrap the tree a little bit at a time, over several days -- thereby getting the most fragrance for your dollar.


I don't know anyone who does this.

We rip the plastic wrapper off, and for three days or so, every time we open the car door, we are blasted, full in the face, with a little cloud of Vanillaroma goodness.

Day 37

Body Parts

February 6: These are parts of Emma's body -- because she has the cutest parts. If you look really close, you can see the cute little wart on her big right toe.

Day 38

Black and White -- with a little something extra

February 7: Emma, being glamorous. Don't hate her because she's beautiful.

Day 39

Sky shots

February 8: When the sky looks the same every day for weeks, you have to find some way to break up the monotony.

Day 40


February 9: These are the bricks on the front of my house.

We didn't buy our house until we'd been married for fourteen years. We still have another thirty years to pay. It's less that 1,500 square feet. But it's our dream house.

We love our neighbors and the neighborhood. We love our flowers and our yard. We love the memories we've already made here, and the promise that the years to come hold. I'm so grateful to have a home to call our own.

Day 41

Things I love 

February 10: I love the stocking cap that may wife knitted for me. It's part old fashioned sledding cap, part "Ebenezer Scrooge" night cap.

The picture is a little blurry, because I was using the self timer and chasing the light -- and the only place I could take the picture was in the parking lot at work.

People were watching.

Day 42

Things I hate

February 11: If I'd been thinking, I wouldn't have placed the "things I hate" at the end of my photographic week. Sorry about that.

I hate the check engine light.

It might as well be a dollar sign.

Or a sign that says "You're not really a man, because whatever is wrong with me is nothing that you'll know how to fix."

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Messing around on a Sunday afternoon

So, I heard a rumor that you wanted to see some of the pictures I took of Emma on Sunday...

La Vie Dansante.

Her eyes are blue. They are not this blue.

Happiness is about seventeen and a half teeth.

The warmth of the February sun can make you drowsy.

I think maybe we've gone a little overboard with the vampire thing in our house. 

She's laughing under there, I promise.

You're still there.

I think she's channeling Steven Tyler...

My little China doll.