Posts Tagged ‘Instagram’

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With Grateful Hearts

December 26, 2014

We just sat two hours in traffic for a trip that should have taken roughly 50 minutes. It had surprisingly only taken those 50 short minutes the previous 5 times we’d done in the past three days. I think we’re ready to sit at home for a little bit.

Newsboys drummer Duncan Phillips asked on his Instagram photo post this morning “As we end another Christmas season, I wanna know if you all got what you wanted, and if so, what was it?” and I will keep my opinions to myself about some of the posts but it got me thinking about our Christmas.

While so much has changed–friends have lost loved ones, friendships have died an unnatural death because of earlier events this year (see Parenting 1, 2, & 3), and for the first time in many years I wasn’t able to go to the local Candlelight Tour of Homes (something that always got me in a Christmas mood and something that I did for me)–I am not as moody or not in the Christmas spirit as I was last year or in other years if the Chief wasn’t home. Maybe my month of Thankfulness has left a residual feeling of good will or a peace that allows me to roll with things a bit more. Maybe it is because the girls are older and we were sans the spoiled temper tantrums we had last year although they are still pretty good at picking on one another.

Whatever it is … I’ll take it.

Sure I don’t have the energy I’d like, but it isn’t leaving me in a depressed funk. I think the Chief has been a little more understanding of the lethargy that makes me a little less than productive (and yet I managed to sub 3 days straight for the first time and I think he appreciates that even more). I think the Chief and I are a little more appreciative of each other.

So to answer you, Mr. Phillips, what I got for Christmas:

1. being able to sponsor two students at a residential foster case school along with our scout troop and being able to send T1 and T2 on a mission trip with the church to deliver those presents and minister to those students. I think our children got the bigger blessing of being able to serve others and gain an appreciation for the smaller things in life.

2. the Chief asked for a relief to cover him for two extra weeks and then a week before Christmas that relief told the Chief to stay home for Christmas. I guess because I’ve had experiences with other MMs and their spouses not being so generous or taking our small children into account I am especially grateful. I plan to send a card and some cash in the Chief’s seabag to give to his relief as they do the change-over to say “thank you and enjoy a night out on us.” As of this writing we still aren’t sure of when the Chief will actually rejoin the ship.

and 3. being able to anonymously give. As the Chief and I had conversations about life insurance and other uncomfortable but necessary things in light of a recent tragedy, I told him that it was weighing on my heart to by-pass the online funds and give directly to the family a substantial cash donation so that they could have some now. The Chief agreed on my amount and we asked our congregation to facilitate a check to allow us to be anonymous. The other part of this story is that I had been looking since Black Friday for a wok for the Chief–something he’s asked for but he has specific needs and because I wouldn’t just go and buy him a table saw, I’d usually just get him a gift card, I was about to give up and do the same for the wok–and on the 21st I had confessed to the Chief that I really didn’t have anything for him under the tree. He just shrugged and said, “We just took care of my Christmas gift [the check]”. When I say I admire the Chief for his generosity, that is an understatement. Truly.

And it is these things I think that have carried the Christmas spirit through this month for me. A busy but fulfilling and rewarding month (even if my race wasn’t ideal) and one that wasn’t too stressed out. We enjoyed our scout talent show and party (and saw a menorah lighting for the first time); the girls’ winter concerts and the Chief was here to see them!; a holiday party at one of my best friend’s; babysitting my nephews while the girls were on their mission trip (and giving my sister and her husband a night out by themselves for the first time in a year); Christmas Eve with my in-laws; Christmas day with my parents; and another family gathering on short notice today–even if we say in two hours of traffic to get home.

If I had to look back, I am so blessed to be in such a different place than I was a year ago, even with all the changes. And I love being able to give to others and present enough to do so.

Merry Christmas to all. God Bless.

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Writing Workshop: FALL!

September 26, 2014
The remaining vine has a few fruits starting. Yeah! I love fall and I love pumpkins!

The remaining vine has a few fruits starting. Yeah! I love fall and I love pumpkins!

So my front flower beds are a joke. Way back when I hired a landscaping firm to landscape for us and they did a lousy job. The Chief has tried every weed barrier and trick known to man and the weeds are outrageous. Of course the girls and I do not weed and this is horrible because I know weeding would be a way to show the Chief we love him … he usually spends two days when he gets home weeding and trimming back trees.

Last year both of us chucked rotting pumpkins over the rail not really caring where they landed. They sprouted amongst the overgrown weeds! I was so excited and laughing because the vine actually grew up a tree instead of spreading out on the ground. I wasn’t sure we’d get any fruit because the “accidental” spaghetti squash only produced an invasive vine. But lo and behold this week the chief found fruit on the pumpkin vine while he was clearing out the brush and weeds! I stopped him just after he pulled out one of the vines. “No! Please save one of them for me! I want pumpkins! I promise to plant them proper next year!”

The Chief is being nice about the condition of the flower beds this time… maybe because T1 and I actually worked on one half of it and made an effort.

P.S. In addition to weeds, the flower bed has grown corn and sunflowers from bird seed. I wouldn’t be so lucky if I tried to plant a garden…

If you want to know more about Mama Kat’s Writing Workshop, click on that trophy over there….

This week’s prompts:

1.) The first day of Fall is September 23rd, take a photo and share what the first day of Fall looks like in your next of the woods.
2.) Share a quote you love.
3.) Write about an embarrassing moment!
4.) Write a blog post inspired by the word: late
5.) Pinterest inspired! Try something you saw on Pinterest and share the results.

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A New First?

March 14, 2014

I think I just wrote my first letter to the editor! If you’ve read my blog long enough or know me on FB, I don’t try to get political. I have my views, I speak up when necessary, and I let my actions speak for themselves. But this time I just felt I needed the editors to know I was disappointed.

The magazine in question is Outdoor Photography. I got a subscription because my children were selling magazines for a fundraiser and I didn’t like too many of the choices. I’ve always wanted to get into photography but, well, like most of my endeavors unless pushed I rarely move forward with it. But I like this magazine and all the amazing outdoor photography and photography tips.

To my great disappointment in the April 2014 issue is an ad on page 19 for photo editing software that extolled the virtues of taking a photo of a rather pretty young lady and manipulating it to the point that I was left shaking my head and wondering what on earth was wrong with the first picture?

I know editing software is a must. I play with the lighting effects; I’ve cloned out a stray foot or wonky background. Heck, I’ve even blended out a pimple on my nephew’s forehead. I’ll even agree to whitening the eyes and teeth (haven’t figured out how to do that yet). But to give this beautiful young woman a nose job, new cheekbones, and new chin and reduced jaw line to try to achieve some fake and unrealistic view of beauty is just wrong. They even played with her beauty mark and removed a mole on her neck!

“Transform your portraits into polished, cover-worthy images. Capable of sophisticated enhancements, yet extremely easy to use.” Digital Photo Buyer’s Guide Nov 2013 said of Portrait Pro’s product.

Wow.

I felt compelled to write to the editors because I have recommended their magazine to the girls I mentor through scouts as they work on digital photography. I will think twice about recommending the magazine. There are other ways of demonstrating the value of retouching than saying “your everyday subjects just aren’t good enough.”

Seriously, what message does this send? And trust me, I’ve been watching the friends of T1 play with such “enhancements” to their photos that they post on Instagram and I’m heartsick about it. Is it any wonder they think less of themselves and think they have to market themselves as pieces of meat with ads like this and so many other horrible images out there?

I encourage anyone out there with a photography interest to contact not only Outdoor Photography but Portrait Pro to ask them to change their advertising messages. I also encourage you to support forward thinking projects like the Eleanor Project and get their message out to girls and women of all ages that beauty radiates from within.

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Merry Christmas & Happy New Year

December 27, 2013
Merry Christmas to all! Happy New Year!

Merry Christmas to all! Happy New Year!

I’m trying to stay off the computer (FB in particular) for these two weeks the children are on school break but my smart phone is replacing it and I still check e-mail and am beginning to really like Instagram. Really–I’m only on Instagram to stalk my child. Really.

Nothing out of the ordinary for Christmas, just having the Chief home has been great.

Both children managed to throw tantrums on the 21st and 22nd (one each day) and after 5 hours of shopping on the 23rd I was feeling pretty depressed about a lot of things. The freezing rain did not help. How did we go from 70 degrees on the 21st to 38 degrees on the 23rd? My mood improved for Christmas Eve at my in-laws and Christmas Day at my folks.

T2 is under the weather with a confirmed ear infection. I took her to the clinic on the 26th and didn’t even notice I was wearing two different shoes.

The girls and I have been overloading on Doctor Who (maybe too much, according to the Chief who would like us to be a little more productive).

But it has gotten me thinking: if my friend can have a Harry Potter themed 40th birthday (keep in mind, her birthday is just after Halloween), can I have a cosplay costume party for mine? Would anyone come? The Chief will be at sea so he shouldn’t be bothered by the logistics of such an event. T1 would love to come to the party as Katniss and doesn’t think it would cause too much damage to her reputation if I threw such a party.

So if I don’t get back on here to post for New Years, I’ll be on shortly after that. The Chief and I are trying to make plans for our anniversary…

 

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