Monday, January 17, 2011


Having time off is fabulous.  Plain and simple.  I have loved every minute of these last days off, and I so look forward to the coming week too.  But, I must admit that among all that joy and relaxation, I spend way too much time thinking about how quickly time is going.  About how much I still want to do.  About how many days are left until I go back to work.  About all the things I won't be able to get done before next Monday....


I swear I am my own worst enemy. I do this to myself all the time. Weekend, holidays, vacations, whatever.  I just may drive myself crazy one day.

Now given this lead up, you'd think I have a miserable job that I despise, but that is far from the truth. I have a great job.  A job I really enjoy and feel very fortunate to have.  Yet, I still play these mind games with myself. 

It all comes down to my feeling that their isn't enough time for everything I want to do. Or should do.  (the dreaded "should...")  Instead of being in the moment, I too often feel deprived of having enough time.  And I constantly refer to that three page to-do list in my head.  The list that never gets completed.  Not even close....

Of course, while I'm wrapped up in my head, I end up missing the beauty and life going on right in front of me.  (you know, the Everyday Extraordinary stuff....). 

One of my 2011 goals is to live in a state of abundance. I will do my best to recognize and celebrate all of the great abundance that I do have in my life.  And for everything else, I will live "as if" I do have it in abundance and then work to create it in my life.  Basically, fake it until I make it.  Simple as that.  

Clearly this time thing is a sticking point for me.  Funny thing is, if I'm honest with myself, I do have enough time.  Time in abundance. It's more about how I use my time.  I need to rid myself of all those time-wasters, regardless of how big or small.  I need to make sure my time is spent on the things I value and cherish the most.  And if that isn't possible right now, I need to to actively work to make it happen.

Most of all, I must take a deep breath and be fully present with whatever is right in front of me.  Right here, right now.  (Screw multi-tasking for a change.  I need to focus!)

This weekend, I decided to practice.  I vowed to do my best to be present.  To be mindful and grateful for what was unfolding in any given moment, without allowing myself to wander off.....

You know what?  It was hard.  Really hard. (of course!) But, having a lens to look through helped.  It gave me something to focus with.  And to focus on.  Clearly, everything I really want is right in front of me, right through my lens. 

The following pictures are a snapshot from our weekend. "As is."  It is my attempt appreciate all the extraordinary, from moment to moment.  In all of it's simplicity and mundane-ness and beauty.


Anna told me she was drawing "Mama with big hair."  (looks like my cut from the 80's)


Anna, post bath....


The kids LOVE riding their scooter/bike in the house. I LOVE that they can get some indoor exercise without me having to get all dressed up and go outside with them.  (I live in Minnesota, and I HATE being cold.  Go figure...)




A group hug for Grandma and Grandpa, from Anna.


Anna got a haircut.  To date, I think this is her third cut in her nearly four years.  Her hair is growing in excruciatingly slow.  Turtle-going-up-hill slow.  But, even so, a good haircut makes it much better.  (Anna loves a chance to go visit her stylist-friend Marina.  I can guarantee Anna will talk about Marina for the next three weeks.  Plus, Anna gets a sucker at the end.  Or three.)


Oh, this is MUCH better.

Our nickname for Anna is "curly," which has nothing to do with her hair.  But, clearly Anna's nickname was a sign of things to come.  Mama, with hair as straight as spaghetti, covets that natural curl....


Thankfully, there was still enough length for a pony-tail.  With more than a few clips, we were able to pull it off. 


Henry's new obsession is the "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" books.  He received the set for Christmas, and we're plowing through them really quickly.  They are perfect for his age.  They are chapter books, but also have drawings on each page, which really help him gauge the context of the story.  And, even if he isn't reading one of the books, he seems to be toting one along with him.  (If you'd see my bag, you'd realize he gets that book hoarding tendency from me). 



I really did my best to be mindful the entire weekend.  When I cooked....


And when I was cleaning up afterwards....(my zen dish-washing meditation...)


My favorite pictures from the weekend captured all the love and laughter and just plain fun.

Anna would squeal "no can't get me.  You can't give me a kiss."  Her favorite game.  Then she'd run, but not too fast.  When Papa would catch her, she'd insist "no, no....more, more..."



Oh look.  It's me in my new readers. (I figured I had to be in at least one picture!)


Legos, legos, legos.  Henry's other obsession.  Henry had a sleepover with his friend Josh the other night, and this is nearly all they did.  Mind you, I'm not complaining.  At all.  I love that he wants to build and create and make up big lego adventures.  It's just that I keep stepping on the darn things. 



There were lots of quiet moments.  Anna and the iPod.


Henry, early morning....



Be still my heart....


Henry loved making these next pictures.  Zooming by the camera.  Just a blur.  "Mom, I'm SO fast!"



Finally, a bedtime snack and the weekend is over. 



So, I did my best.  Clearly I have much work to do.  But I am determined to live with abundance.  Because that is what I have.  Abundance.

And, as always, I will be grateful!!


  1. these are really wonderful photos! i especially loved the pony tail shot and the pics of your hubby holding the little kiddo in the green hat. so precious. and i like the those blurry action shots, too! love movement like that in photos.

    how true what you wrote. it's such a balance. i struggle with getting things done. my to-do list lingers behind my back and fills the rest of the home as i sit in its farthest corner to do my blogging, photo editing and cyberspace visiting. but i have to give myself grace, because i KNOW that we are all drawn to do what we are passionate about. i am an artist, and blogging and photography are two of my artistic mediums. if i ignore those to do all that is on my list, i would be doing myself a disservice, because blogging and photography SHOULD be on that list!

    i know women who LOVE to cook and clean, and that is there passion, so that is where they spend there time. {so not me!} well, i guess i am rambling. but i wanted to say, one of my very favorite quotes {it's hanging on my fridge} is my emerson... "we are always getting ready to live, but never living." when i read that, i thought, "how true!" and even i do it, as free-spirited of an artist i am, i am always just waiting for life to happen or getting ready for it, but no doing it!

    that's when i say, let the to-do list go a little. and i think your photos here have shown you can do that! i think that's awesome!

    all the best to you in the new year as you seek that balance. i love your photography! and i see a great deal of potential in it... it is already so good. i can see it getting even better! you have the eye! i can't wait to get better lenses and practice on my soon-to-arrive kidlet! =)

  2. Just incredible. We lead such similar lives except for a few things. One...I don't have any little bows for hair at my house. tell stories through pictures in a way that I've never seen! So nicely done my friend!!!