Saturday, December 31, 2011

December 365

The final month of my 2011 "365 photo project" is complete!! Yay!  One photograph a day, for 365 days.  Whew!  I'm ready to begin my 2012 project.  I love reviewing the chunk of days at the end of the month.  I love looking back over the year and actually remembering each and every day.  I love being able to remember photographs that had meaning... and some that didn't because it was 5:00 and I just needed something for the day so I photographed my water bottle or my dinner.  I love bringing my camera with me everywhere I go even though it makes my purse really heavy and might be causing me chronic back problems that have nothing to do with my newly diagnosed arthritis.  I love bringing you along with me... so here's to the end of one year, and the start of another....
 I love finding the perfect shade of lipstick.  Ordinarily, I'm a lip gloss kind of girl, but the other day I happened to stumble into the grocery store looking for a few items, and found this frosty pinkish color.  Well, fell in love with it, is more like what happened.  The shade is Revlon's "Satin Plum" and it's the perfect wintry pink color. 
 Sitting on the couch at night, snuggled up with my man watching the movie, "A Shine of Rainbows," realizing that I never picked up my camera once all day (which is uncharacteristically odd) but the glow of lights drew me in, and the perfect photo op was born.  (This is also another way to say that basically I was too lazy to do anything but photograph the view from where I was sitting.)
 I love listening to my kids take turns reading our morning devotional book.  I love messy morning hair, wayward bowls of half-eaten cereal, cozy pajamas, and sunshine streaming through our east windows. 
 It is a well known fact, that I love babies and almost always want another.  Or twelve.  I'm all done having them... but it doesn't take the want-more out of me.  I love their tiny newness.  I love their noises and stretches.  I love their downy heads bumping into my chin.  One thing I love the most.... is their yawns.  So incredibly adorable.  These sweet little feet in my hand belong to the baby of my girlfriend Amy, who happens to be a professional photographer.  She snapped this photo on my camera, so I thought I'd toss this in as a guest appearance in my 365's. 
 I love times of quiet with Jesus.  I also love Isaiah 61:1.  I think I might paint it onto a subway art-ish board.  I believe it's my mission in life.  I believe it's your mission in life as well.  It's the kind of mission we should be obsessing about.
 I love this boy.  I love his dimples.  I do not love the fact that he located some very old (and rotten grapes) in his bedroom recently. 
 I love fun.  I love food.  I love fun food.
 I love fresh greens.  I love old wood.  I love twinkly lights in the background. 
 I love aqua glitter. I love little metal houses for four dollars.  I love making a mess.  I love being covered in sparkles the rest of the day.
I love my little moleskine journal.  I love sitting on the couch next to my baby girl, a bucket of sharpened colored pencils between us, consulting one another about our drawings. 
 I love my big framed "MERRY" artwork, my chippy supply cupboard, and tiny boxwood wreath tied with a red velvet ribbon. 
I love holiday stamps.  I love having all of my Christmas cards ready for mailing.  I love checking the mail in December.
I love my baby girl.  I love her creativity.
I love that my friend Amy let me come and play with her newborn while she photographed him.  I love babies with santa hats and fluffy white blankets.  I love that I got to put Amy's Christmas tree lights on her tree for her.  I love my friends.
I love waking up to new blooms.  I love how that feels like a promise for the day.
I love indulging in a little silly-ness with my daughter who was aghast that our sketching dummy is naked all the time.  I love that we came up with a skirt for it and a bow for it's neck.  I love that we laughed and laughed as we posed it. 
I love baking.  I love baking with my kids.  I love it when something turns out yummy and cute. 
I love delivering goodies to friends and neighbors.  I love having my hoodlums home with me.  I love them even more when they aren't fighting. Ha!
 I love my big chicken wire frame.  I love hanging it up for Christmas cards.  I love it when people stop to look at all the fun photos hanging.  I love memories that spring up as I see faces of long lost friends and family.
 I love trying.  I don't always get it right.... but I know the goal.  I love that early morning light, when the promise of a fresh day with no mistakes awaits.
 I love that my man has always called me his "beautiful bride."  I love that I know he will always call me this.  I love that he does it even when it's not exactly true!  I love his love for me.  I also love that he got me this gift....when I specifically told him not to get me anything... he shouldn't have... but it was sweet that he did.  
I love watching my kiddos play and have fun.  I love watching the excitement and anticipation build. 
If ever there was love in a photo... this was that photo.  I invited pretty much everyone I knew to our church's candlelight Christmas Eve service.  I was standing on the end, with my man next to me, then one of my sis-in-laws, her man, my mom-in-law, my parents, my hoodlums, and in front of our row, was my uncle and aunt, two of my cousins, their significant others, and a whole passel of little ones.  I stood there singing Silent Night, looking down a candle lit row of faces I love with all my heart.  (And I was also really happy that my mama kept my son from accidentally lighting my uncle on fire with his candle.  Bwahahaha!)
 I love this photo... out of all the photos I took during our day, this was the best because the chaos had just ended... so real life.  (And um yeah I did use a bunch of free postal boxes... but don't worry, I reuse them all for my Etsy shipping!)
 House all clean, decorations put away.  Love that.  A man who always knows what to say when I'm hurting, love that!  Time with family, love that too! 
 I love sweeping out the junk and cleaning up the mess.  Tree gone, decorations boxed up, and moving forward with life.  Grasping the tails of the joy that was momentarily stolen.  Brighter days ahead, I just know it.  Love that.
Family movie day together, thanks to Christmas gifts from grandparents.  I love my husband and my kids and I love spending time with just them after lots of holiday extended family togetherness.  Ha! 
 There might not be anything sexier than a man with a dishtowel over his shoulder as he scrubs dishes.  I love my man. 
I love that my brother and husband went bowling with my hoodlums and then played some Wii games with them while my sis-in-law and I hit Ikea and then worked on her baby's room!  I love days with them so much and wish I lived closer so we could do it more.
And like closing the cover on a book... today we close out the last day on a year we are happy to be finished with.  I can't say I've loved every minute of this year... but I've learned a lot and I've loved some of the moments during the process.  I think I'll leave it at that.  And I hope... and pray... and hope again that our home sells (for real) this year, and we can have at least a taste of what it must feel like to be settled both in home and heart. I hear that's a really wonderful feeling...

May 2012 be a year of new beginnings for all of us!  Happy New Year friends. 

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Feeling tweaky (in a good way)

I honestly have to fight the urge to take the tree down on the night of Christmas, once the kiddos are tucked into bed. (Please tell me we can still be friends?)  Just to be clear, I have NEVER acted on that urge...I'm just saying, that as soon as the holiDAY begins winding to a close, I always feel ready to get the house cleaned, and put back together!  This year was no different, and our tree was extra droopy and crunchy.  (Y'all may remember that I chose the most pathetic tree on the lot, and left myself open to a ton of ridicule because of it's general wimpy-ness.  It barely made it to Christmas morning.) 
 On the 26th, I began winding lights around cardboard and packing things away.  Oh it felt so good... Our home has been on the market about two months now, so it felt right with the world to get it back in order, in anticipation of selling!  (hopefully maybe)
 Previously, we had a rocking chair and side table sitting against this wall.  When we put our tree up, I moved our rocking chair into Ava's room, and the side table into my room.  I decided to leave them there, opening up our living room for future showings.  But the wall where our Christmas tree had been needed a light or something... After thinking about it for a few days, I decided to move this little console table here and stock it with family games.  Though I have loved it in the dining area, I am really happy with the change and the best part, is that it doesn't take up a ton of space, so the room still feels open.
 I found this old, chippy, blue box in one of my favorite stores a few months ago.  It was used for spare radio parts but is perfect for playing cards and smaller hand-held games.  Also, I have a little bit of a thing for boxes.  I don't know why... but I just love them!
 It's already gotten more use than it ever did when it was in my dining room. 
 This tiny canvas had to go here too... "Yes" is my word for 2012.  I promise to talk more about this in January, but I'm so excited because I really feel like God gave me this word.  Do you have a word for the year too? Something that you are working on, or stretching for, or making your mission? (Wait, don't tell me... we can talk about it in my upcoming post okay?!  Be thinking about it though, cause I'll promise to ask you again!)
 I filled an old wooden bowl with some sand and tossed in all my white pillars.  It felt simple and clean and that's just what I was looking for as I continued to sweep pine needles throughout my entire house.  (And seriously, HOW do they get in the bathroom?  How? I ask you.)
 This spot is a little bare now... but it also opens up the area just a bit more and apparently space is important to people looking at prospective homes.  I must give the people what they want.  (Sadly, most of them don't want 1500 square feet.... but that's a job for God not me.)  I have no idea what to put on my chalkboard right now, so I think I'm going to leave the "Hallelujah" up a bit longer cause I just love it. 

 I don't know about you but sometimes doing a little bit of tweaking... moving something from one room to another (even if it was never intended for that room) is totally refreshing.

When do you begin taking your Christmas decorations down?