Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Photo Pairs: Then and Now

Luna arrived about a year ago. She was to quote Clara "the best Christmas present ever!" Facebook sends memories every now and then, and last week, they sent the top photo (which I posted last year). So, I snapped the second photo using my ipad to show what she looks like now. She is a great dog! And has definitely become a permanent part of our family.
This seems like an appropriate pairing to finish out the year of Helena's photo pairs meme . . . a year's worth a growth and a year's worth of photo pairs. I've participated most weeks, and I really appreciate Helena hosting this meme. She's got some new ideas percolating for 2016. Why not pop over to her blog to check them out and other photo pairs at Helena's blog.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Christmas Cards

I sent out two Christmas cards this year - the top one featured a photograph I took in the Still Life photography class. The second featured photos of my kids. Both created using tinyprints, which is a division of Shutterfly. I sent out about 100 cards this year and received more than usual, I think. I was so pleased to receive many beautiful hand made cards from blog friends around the world! Thank you all so much.
I hope you enjoy these and that you had a wonderful holiday. I'll share a wrap up soon, as well as some thoughts on my one little word for 2014 and 2015.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Photo Pairs: Wrapping Presents

A simple before and after pair today. I've really enjoyed posting Christmas-y pairs this month for Helena's Photo Pairs meme. Head over to this link to check out the penultimate pairs.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Me on Monday: Weekend Before Christmas

Happy Monday Everybody! How was your weekend?
Mine was a getting a fresh haircut kind of weekend.
A walking the dogs on the bluffs on a windy day kind of weekend (satisfying #10 on the Wintertime Photography Scavenger Hunt).
A going to see the new Star Wars movies with my two boys kind of weekend (loved the movie and loved spending the time with my husband and son).
A grading an endless number of exams kind of weekend (the cats like to help).
And finally,
A baking cookies for the cookie exchange I attend every year kind of weekend AND
A celebrating kindof weekend because my plate of Italian Ricotta Cookies (ringed with brownie Christmas trees) won the vote for "prettiest cookie"!!! Long time blog readers know that every year I strive to win a prize at the cookie exchange (and rarely succeed).
So, all in all, it was a very nice weekend before Christmas around here.
How was your weekend?
You can check in with Sian over at From High in the Sky to see others who are waving hi on Monday.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Better luck next year! (A Christmas tail)

Weekend before last, we got our Christmas tree. We went for tall and thin this year (our ceiling is 12 feet tall, and it comes pretty close once we put the start on top). We strung the lights and brought out the ornament boxes. The first ornament on the tree?
Same as every year! The Santa Star I made in kindergarten. As an added bonus, it counts as item #4 A Star in the Wintertime Photography Scavenger Hunt. 
Speaking of which, why have one snowman for item #5 when you can have three?
Right now, I'd love to have a photograph of the fully decorated tree all lit up, but no . . .
Because these two
They look so innocent, don't they? But between the two of them, they managed to destroy all the lights on the bottom half of the tree (and a few ornaments to boot)! Well, they're both still technically babies. So, better luck next year!

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Photo Pairs: Funky and Formal Christmas Decor

Long time blog readers will know that I collect Nativity sets, and I enjoy displaying them every December. The beautiful, formal one above was made by my mother-in-law. This year, I found a rubber duck Nativity set and couldn't resist it! I think the two of them together make a perfect pair for Helena's weekly photo pairs meme. Check out other pairs on her blog here.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Me on Monday: An Entertaining Weekend

#21 My Own Handwriting
(for the Wintertime Photography Scavenger Hunt)
How was your weekend? I spent some time addressing Christmas cards and doing some online shopping. But mainly I spent time enjoying a wide variety of entertainment.
On Friday, I spent time in front of the TV waiting for my boy to come home for the holidays and watching my husband's favorite Christmas movie:
(I think I've mentioned before that my favorite Christmas movie is Die Hard, but I wait to watch that until Christmas Day). 
Then on Saturday, we headed over to Berkeley where we shopped, wandered around campus and checked out the place where we met 35 years ago!
Davis House Coop, where we both lived our last couple of years of college, looks exactly the same as I remember. Afterward, we went to see a play:
It was amazing! The best play I have seen in a long time and really made me want to get back to attending theater more regularly. 
And finally, went to an old fashioned tavern Sunday afternoon to listen to music.
An entertaining weekend, indeed!
How was your weekend? Check in with Sian at From High in the Sky to see who else is waving hi this Monday morning.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Do you Christmas journal?

Every year when I put out my Christmas decorations, I take out my Christmas Journals and flip through them. I decided last month not to do a journal this year, and, after flipping through my journals, I kindof regret it. Because I love these so much! The box contains 5x7 art journal style cards with all kinds of Christmas memories created in Shimelle's 2006 Journal Your Christmas class. The yellow journal contains instagram photos from 2010 (in a December Daily format) and the 2009 journal contains a bunch of Tim Holtz style tags with journaling about finding the joy in Christmas with teenagers (instead of small children). 
Last year I made a "December Daily" that really focused on a photo a day and captured our life in December. No matter what format I have used, I find that I am really glad that I did it. And I will definitely do one next year. What about you? Do you Christmas journal?

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Photo Pairs - Hello from Santa!

Took a walk in the neighborhood the other day and saw this Holiday Camper. I think it makes another festive addition for Helena's Pairs Photo meme. See more entries at Helena's blog. Are there signs of the holidays cropping up in your neighborhood?

Monday, December 7, 2015

Me on Monday: Welcome Christmas!

On Friday night, Paul and I poured ourselves a cup of cheer and wandered along Main Street during the annual "Nights of Lights" festivities. It's small town life at its best, and we were happy to see lots of old friends, including this elf who runs the after school day care center where both our kids went from K-5th grade. 
On Saturday night, Clara and her friend Carmen got dressed up to go to a concert (confusingly being performed by The Weeknd). The girls were nice enough to let me take their picture before they scooted out the door.
It was also a getting a Christmas tree and decorating the house for the holidays kind of weekend. More of that in a future post, but I did want to add this shot of the outside because it counts as #3 Outdoor Lighting for the Winter Photo Scavenger Hunt.
How was your weekend? Will you be sharing it over at Sian's blog, From High in the Sky?

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Winter Photography Scavenger Hunt (hosted by Joy and Eileen)

#8 A Wreath
As most of you know, I host a summertime photography scavenger hunt. Well, two wonderful bloggers (Joy at Daisy Row and Eileen at In My Playroom)  were inspired by this and host a wintertime version.This is their second year, and I really enjoy participating. I went for a walk in the neighborhood the other day and made a credible start.
Here's this year's list:
1.   A robin redbreast
2.   Tinsel
3.   Outside lighting
4.   A star
5.   A snowman
6.   A puddle
7.   Berries and/or nuts
8.   A wreath
9.   A tree that has lost all its leaves
10.  A windy day
11.  Your favourite pudding
12.  A fancy button
13.  Street art
14.  Afternoon tea
15.  Candle light
16.  A chimney
17.  A ladder
18.  An arrow
19.  A fountain
20.  Cutlery
21.  Your own handwriting (this one is compulsory and cannot be substituted)
If you find any of the above hard to get you may substitute one or more from the subjects below, except No. 21 which is compulsory.
Alt A  A supermarket trolley or basket, filled with shopping
Alt B  An animal statue
Alt C  Metal railings
The hunt goes until March 21, so you have plenty of time to join the fun. Will you be joining along?

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Photo Pairs: Christmas is coming!

While in Phoenix last week, I spied a beautiful Christmas tree. I think these two images make a perfect photo pair to kick off the holiday season. For other photo pairs, check out Helena's blog.

Monday, November 30, 2015

Me on Monday: Thanksgiving Weekend

My friend, Sian at From High in the Sky, hosts a place to check in from the weekend in a 
convenient list format. What kind of a weekend was it?
- It was a four days off from work Thanksgiving Weekend,
- a happy that the boy found a last minute ride home weekend,
- a relaxing dinner with friends on Thursday and drinks/left overs with friends on Friday weekend,
- a creating photo Christmas cards weekend,
- a starting to binge watch Jessica Jones on Netflix weekend,
- a hanging out with the boy, watching football and soccer kind of weekend; and
- It was a taking the dogs out for many walks in the beautiful weather kind of weekend.
What kind of weekend did you have?

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Gratitude on Thanksgiving Day

Today is Thanksgiving Day in the U.S. I've been keeping a gratitude list this month. I posted week 1 a while ago, and today seems like a good day to post the rest!
The first few come from when I took a trip to Eugene at the beginning of the month to visit my son Henry in Eugene, Oregon.
6-grateful for an on time flight and a movie theater that serves beer
7 - grateful for a quiet room and comfy bed; grateful for my son's help
8- grateful for a dry place to sit while watching soccer; a hot shower; and a much needed nap
9 - grateful for plans coming together
10 - grateful for a new beginning 
11 - grateful for family
12 - grateful for a walk on the bluffs with Paul and the dogs - sunshine, cool air, beautiful views and exercise 
13 - grateful for upbeat music on the radio and my students 
14 - grateful for signs of progress and a good friend who listens  
15 - grateful for Shanghai soup dumplings and date night with Paul
16 - grateful for a crisp, sunny day; good health; and help from the high school
17- grateful for a full tuition grant and a smile from my daughter
18 - grateful for a friendly stranger with directions and a well-placed in and out burger.
19 - grateful for soccer victories and dinner with an old friend 
20 - grateful to be a soccer mom and the connection it gives me to my boy
21 - grateful for the boys winning the national championship in club soccer, Henry being named to the all tournament team and (most of all) being able to share it all with him.
22 - grateful for a safe trip home and a relaxing afternoon 
23 - grateful to hear Henry's coming home for thanksgiving and that Clara found a school.
24 - grateful for my comfy home and loving husband at the end of a long day.
25 - grateful for my children 
26 - grateful for my brothers and sisters, my parents in heaven and best friends who have become family 

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Me on Monday (or Tuesday)

Spent a long weekend in Phoenix, Arizona watching my boy play soccer in the national club championship tournament.

The boys won the national championship!
And Henry was named to the All Tournament Team for his outstanding offensive play!

Who could ask for anything more?
Well, apparently I could. Because I also got to sneak in a dinner date with one of my favorite blog friends, Deb of Paper Turtle. Overall, an outstanding weekend!
How was yours?