Thursday, December 17, 2009

getting down to the home stretch

project 365 is getting down there. i mean i'm 15 days from finishing out the year. wowza! frankly i'm quite surprised that i haven't missed a day (yet). but i am quite thankful for it. awhile ago stan asked if i got a prize or something for finishing out the year without missing a day. i love the goal-oriented man! hee hee. i told him the 365 pictures were my prize, and we sat in the living room scrolling through all of the p365 pictures to date... remembering each little moment, and watching the girls grow before our eyes. each picture has its story, some more interesting than others. but it has definitely portrayed the journey of our life through the year. i already love looking back on it.

i had a new experience today. my sweet little emma, who can tend to be a roller coaster of emotions, did NOT want to do her reading homework tonight. and when i say she did not want to do it, i mean there were tears and sobs and the whole 9 yards. she finally calmed down, and had gotten about half way through her reading time when it started all over again. i stopped the timer while she cried, she said she missed daddy. (she always misses daddy when she's sad. not that i blame her, i do too. but then, you still gotta get your reading homework done!) anyway, she retreated to her room for a bit, came out... cried some more... then finally settled down, and finished her reading in a very pleasant mood.

she helped straighten up a few things around the house with me afterward, then shyly came up to me and said, "mom, i'm really sorry. i was just so angry and had a hard time controlling myself. when i was upset about my reading, i cut you out of that picture you gave me of you and me and daddy. i'm so so sorry. will you forgive me?" i had a hard time keeping a straight face. and while the whole moment conjures up a lot of new and mixed emotions, at the moment it struck me as funny. i did my best to keep a straight face, then talked about anger, forgiveness and a few other heart to heart type things. i asked her to bring me the picture. she brought back a snip of part of my head. i've gotta find somewhere special to put that snippet {lol} of a moment.

i've been thinking of all the different pieces of that moment. how young she is to be cutting my pictures up. how exactly she chose to carry out her fleeting moment of anger. how she wasn't afraid to tell me, and to ask for forgiveness for something i didn't know she had done. how quickly and painlessly the moment changed back to everyday life. how only moments later she asked if she could be the picture of the day... being a mom isn't always pretty. it's filled with it's moments of blissful joy and it's moments of being cut out of a family picture. it can be beautiful and it can be ugly, but it is a life i wouldn't trade for any other.

i guess i got a little long winded there, so i'll try to be a little more speedy with the rest of the pictures. tuesday the girls had their christmas music program at school. emma wore her christmas dress and torrey wanted to wear her "special white dress" because it reminded her of dad. (she wore it to his pinning ceremony in september.) i even figured out a way to stream video from my iphone to the internet so stan could watch them sing. it was a bit like the blair witch project of a video, but he got to see it anyway!

monday morning we woke up to just enough snow to cancel school for the day. the girls ran around, sledded down the 'big hill' and build snowmen outside for hours. i was inside most of the day working on projects, and finishing up writing my latest review for the scrap review on provo craft's gypsy. you can check it out here.


sunday i got another chance (you'll see the first attempt two pictures down) to play with my super cool christmas/birthday present from my amazing husband. a new studio lighting kit! it's a whole new world, and i really know almost nothing about it. but i'll mess around and figure it out fumbling as i go. it's all set up in my living room right now, so i'm sure i'll have to figure out where in the world to keep it all eventually!  but that's a pretty darn great problem to have, i think!

saturday we headed out to the lights of christmas at warm beach camp to take pictures and check out the million plus lights! we've been every year (but one) that they've been open. i'm pretty sure we'll be back a few more times before the season is out.

so this was my first attempt at using my super cool new lighting get up. i know it's sort of an odd picture, but i watched this scott kelby training video on this start to finish picture with lights. since i hadn't used them yet, i figured it was a good start. and my very gracious model was willing to test it out for a bit when she got home from school. thank you torrey!

we had a super cold (for us) stretch here for about a week. the girls checked out our pond after school to find it frozen solid! what fun. so in her warmest winter get up (i.e. a lightweight jacket and sockless-shoed feet) emma slid and "skated" across the pont. we checked out the cool gas bubbles that were trying to make their way out into the world, and the scavenged duck decoys frozen into the water... nothing like a cold day surprise in your own backyard!

wednesday was just a quick shot of torrey in front of the christmas tree. i know i'll probably end up with 100 of those from having our tree up since mid october, but i somehow never tire of it. it's that deep love of christmas and all that it stands for... that sweet baby so long ago who came to save us.


monday and tuesday were after school shots by one of our leafless trees on our frosted lawn. staying outside just long enough not to freeze our little fingers off.



saint nicholas day wine tasting
saturday i spent the day with my brother, jason, (who flew out from colorado) and my sister wine tasting at the saint nicholas day wine tasting at some of the many amazing washington wineries in woodenville. a perfect early birthday surprise from my brother.

have i ever mentioned how lucky i am to have my mom live so close to me? she's only just over a mile away, and i talk to her almost every day. she puts on her headset, and i put my phone on speaker, and we wander about our morning routines chatting about mostly nothing and sometimes something. i can't think of another soul so patient as to listen and share daily ramblings the way my mom does. this particular friday morning we met up for breakfast at the restaurant just down the street before heading out on a few errands together. it wasn't a planned date, just a "hey what-cha doin'? wanna hang out and run errands with me?"  i love that. i don't tell her enough how much i appreciate these little daily moments, and how much i missed them when she was out of town a few weeks ago. i have the best mom ever. i love you mommy!


Whippet said...

Congratulations on keeping up with a photo a day. I'm going to try it this year. Hugs to you and the girls:-)

Tracy said...


Congrats on making it to 365 (I know you will complete it)...I tried, but failed. I will do it in 2010 - after getting great ideas from all of your inspiring photos.

Jennifer said...

Congratulations on the 365 project! What an accomplishment! I love the story about Emma and your picture, and it is so true. Parenting is not for the weak!

Stay strong and store that little snippet.

Have a great day!

Stan said...

Wow! I can see you really poured your heart out in this post. The part about Emma cutting you out of the picture makes me proud to be her father. Her pure honesty that she would commit the act in the heat of passion and then fess up and ask for forgiveness. We could all learn a lesson from little Emma. It's hard for me to put into words how this post affected me other than I'm d___ proud of my family. I love you and miss you very much. Always...

Jen said...

Loved this post... more than you'll ever know.

Jackie said... made me tear up :) i love spending time with you too :) and love hearing the stories of what emma is doing cuz it so reminds me of you...and more than i want to admit...probably what i was like...i love you too honey!!!!

american girl primitives said...


I really enjoyed your post about your dd. My husband and I are separated right now. He is Air Force and will be retiring in March, we bought a house and moved before him. He lives about five hours away but unlike your girls my kids have never spent a lot of time away from their Dad so it's hard on them. I know what it's like to play both mom and dad tackling homework etc.

Enjoy your mom too as long as you can, I lost my mom 2 years ago and now that we live in our old hometown I would give anything to chat with her on the phone or run errands with her.

I loved your pictures, have fun with the lighting!


Frogs, Kittens and Dolphins said...

Thanks for your post about Emma! We're having a rough Mommy day around here too! It can be so exhausting - - but then the special moments! It just makes it all worth while!!
Merry Christmas!

Chrispea said...

Emma sounds a lot like my son Ethan... he's the emotional one in the house... we've had our most recent homework battle over the Inca's and Cortez. I'm so proud of you doing the whole 365... I was going strong until mid-October when my illness got in the way... I think I'm allowed a free pass tho! ;) You're lucky to have your mama so close, she's pretty awesome!! Merry Christmas.

Luv2talk said...

Hey! Great shots, as always. Great story too!

Did you get me email? Did I do something wrong and it's floating out there somewhere in cyber-space?

Keep in touch, sista!

Tina said...

Hey Noel, both your girls are such great kids, but look at their parents. The pictures you posted of the girls are gorgeous. Hope you have a wonderful weekend!!



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