Doing What I Love...and the Randomness of Life

White Sands, New Mexico

I've been meaning to post updates of our Summer road trip as it happened but technology and life got in the way. I did, however, post a few photos on Facebook from my iPhone. A few unexpected things came along the way - getting notified of a last minute opening in the night photography workshop by Grant Collier in Colorado Springs as we were enjoying coffee at Plateau Espresso in Alamogordo, New Mexico (thus changing our plans and hurrying up to Colorado) to "losing" Sagey in a large store to staying at The Stanley Hotel only because we arrived too late to check into the campsite and then extending our stay at the hotel for one more night just because it was so beautiful. We did happen to come upon a most wonderful pizzeria, Pizzeria Locale, in Boulder late that night right before we drove up to Estes Park. Unexpected occurrences...the randomness of life.

I have yet to upload the rest of my photos and to edit the ones that I like. With us having returned the week that school started, my priorities shifted and the road trip blog post(s) have been pushed aside - for now. I still plan on writing about it but it'll be more for the sake of our family to remember the two weeks we spent on the road together this Summer - an experimental road trip with a 5-year old (who actually turned 5 on the trip), a 3 1/2-year old, and a 2-year old. What surprised both me and my husband is how well the three behaved on the drive and the trip in general. It was a very long drive with limited healthy food options (or any food that one night when we drove through the land of nothingness) along the way. Eating healthy on the road is definitely a challenge, particularly when you're not very well prepared and don't know what to expect. 

Do what YOU love. Dare to be different. Don't just follow the crowd or you'll be swallowed up in the sea of conformity. The girls dressed their little brother in a dress and he didn't mind even a little bit.

So, the past week was filled with many events... from meeting the girls' teachers and getting the girls ready to start preschool and kindergarten at the end of last week to knitting a few more pieces for my shop, which has consumed the time I should have spent doing work around the house and which still so desperately needs to get done, to receiving my copy of Photographing Children Photo Workshop where I quickly flipped to two of my photos of my children that Ginny Felch was so wonderful to include in her newly revised book. Thank you Ginny for that! You'll never know how much I appreciate that opportunity. I remember buying her first edition back in 2008 and wondering how I could possibly be able to apply the vast wealth of information to photographing my own children's lives (this was right before Sagey was born). The shop is yet another story - one that's filled with frustration of its own from time to time, but only if I give it too much thought. It's supposed to be my creative outlet and I need to get back to that way of thinking about it instead of feeling as if I need to force new products out the door - if only they would fly out the door which might just motivate me to list the finished items instead of procrastinating. Alas, things are not always as we'd like and we have to make do with what we have.

The unfinished.

Also last week, we remembered my birthday and I had a flu over the weekend which I'm finally getting over. Yes, I said "remembered my birthday" because it's not a celebration as you once thought of as a child with balloons and a cake and presents. My husband tried to make breakfast for me but somehow it always ends up that I'm the one who makes breakfast for everyone else and cleans up afterwards (being the control freak that I am I guess I have that coming to me). I find it hard to understand how someone who can fix and figure out almost anything - including solving complex networking issues and building intricate Internet networks for companies worldwide - cannot manage to make Turkish coffee. How many times has he asked me "How many spoons of sugar do you add?" or "How many spoons of coffee?". I must have showed him and told him a thousand times (or so it seems) in addition to him seeing me make the coffee on a daily basis. Sometimes, but only sometimes, I envy those of you who get breakfast in bed - for Mother's Day, birthdays, and anniversaries. Then again, I'm happy with they way things are at the moment. "At the moment", only because you never know what will happen tomorrow. My father planned on and looked forward to traveling to Europe and across the States after retirement. He never planned on a life-threatening illness taking his life at the early age of 59. You might think you know what will happen in the future, but there is always that element of randomness, the unexpected. My life is far from perfect but it is certainly real. For the most part (at least within our home), my husband and I tell things as they are - take it or leave it. It was refreshing to meet this lady at a Starbucks during the last day of our trip who spoke her mind and wasn't afraid to do so...also an unexpected and random trip since the local "popular" coffee shop was apparently not open on Sundays and the other recommended one did not open for another two hours.

Besides photography and writing, anyone who really knows me knows that I love printed books. Ones that I can hold in my hands and flip through at random or read from the Preface and Table of Contents (yes, I'm that type) to the end (but not the Index). At one point, a couple years back when I decided to open up and focus on my shop, I stopped ordering and reading books - cookbooks, photography books, John Grisham and Patricia Cornwell novels, books on writing, psychology, and anything else that sounded interesting (such as The Lucifer Effect which I've never completed). A month or so before our road trip, I started venturing on Amazon again and discovered so many interesting books. Now, I'm getting ready to place another order for several more books, including a brand new release I just discovered earlier this morning entitled The Secret Life of Pronouns. It's not that I actually need any more books at the moment as I haven't had the time to actually sit and read, to the end, even one book (something else I need to work on). I thought I would be able to read during vacation and if I didn't suffer from motion sickness (car, boat, bus, etc.), I just might have managed to read at least one book. It's a good thing that I left behind six books from the huge pile that weighed down one of my backpacks. That being said, my plans for the rest of the year include actually reading the books I have ordered thus far and collecting more books to read next year. I also plan on working on recipes and focusing more time on photography - food, my children/our lives, and nature (hoping to attend the second annual Colorado Photography Festival next year - for all three days and not the one day I went this year due to us not making it to Denver on time). As for the might be time for a bit of a creative break. It might be just a week or for only a few days. Perhaps when my hand dyed silk ribbons come in next week I might find that much needed inspiration. Sometimes when things are not going as you'd like or you're creatively drained, you need to step away for a while and focus on something else that brings you joy. For me, life is random and unexpected - like our road trip. If it wasn't, it would be boring. Life is too short - embrace its randomness.

White Sands, New Mexico