Friday, July 31, 2009

A Wonderful View

Last week my favorite photo was a (closed) door, so of course this week I had to choose a window! I'm all about the symbolism around here.

This past week I headed down to Orlando to hang out with the very lovely Lori. This photo is of the car window (duh) as Lori drove us to Sand Key, Florida. The hilarious Anke is in the front passenger seat. And I have sooooo much to say about this trip, but it's late and I need to wake up in 5 hours to head out again, this time to Spokane, Washington to visit my nieces. Oh, yeah, and my sister and brother-in-law, too. :)

More this weekend. Have a great one, y'all, I know I will! :)

Friday, July 24, 2009

One Door Closes...

There've been some doors closing around here lately. You know what? That's not always a bad thing.

I recently reconnected with one of my high school friends on Facebook (and to be honest, he was kind of a peripheral friend rather than a close friend). He wrote on my profile, "Cameron has always seen the sunshine of the day. Even in a hurricane during an eclipse!" I don't necessarily think of myself as an eternal optimist, but obviously Billy must have seen that in some way during high school! (Which is hilarious, because that is when I would have guessed I was LEAST like an optimist!) And then another friend commented on my optimism, so I guess I've been thinking about it lately more than usual.

Being an optimist is a great skill when you're a military wife. Moving around all the time, finding new friends, finding a new job everywhere you move, finding new homes, rearranging your stuff to fit each new home; being flexible definitely has its advantages.

So when a door closes in your face, it's not really as bad as it could be. I tend to think of it more as a sign from God/the Universe that whatever it was wasn't supposed to happen, at least yet.

I didn't get chosen for Crafty Bastards. No biggie. I didn't expect to since I'm a newcomer and there are soooooo many applicants. A few other doors slammed shut this week, too, but I'm keeping an eye out for the many open windows I'm expecting.

And if a door (or two or three) is going to slam shut, let it be a gorgeous door like this, right? [Photo taken in Venice.] I know there are a few windows about to swing open and I will welcome them gladly. :)

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone! I'm headed off to Orlando and I'll hopefully have time to let you know all about what happens while I'm there! :)

Monday, July 20, 2009

Today, I Am Grateful

Over a month ago, my husband's cousin's wife friend Ingrid sent me a poem that she said reminded her of me. It happened to come into my inbox at a really great moment when I really needed it. It brought tears to my eyes that she thought of me when she read this ode to living with gratitude. Thank you, Ingrid.

To Say Nothing But Thank You

All day I try to say nothing but thank you,
breathe the syllables in and out with every step I
take through the rooms of my house and outside into
a profusion of shaggy-headed dandelions in the garden
where the tulips’ black stamens shake in their crimson cups.

I am saying thank you, yes, to this burgeoning spring
and to the cold wind of its changes. Gratitude comes easy
after a hot shower, when my loosened muscles work,
when eyes and mind begin to clear and even unruly
hair combs into place.

Dialogue with the invisible can go on every minute,
and with surprising gaiety I am saying thank you as I
remember who I am, a woman learning to praise
something as small as dandelion petals floating on the
steaming surface of this bowl of vegetable soup,
my happy, savoring tongue.

Today, I Am Grateful that I can focus on my gratitude, that I have practiced being thankful every day so that it is a habit and easy to turn to during the dips on the roller coaster of life.

Today, I Am Grateful for a husband who is truly my very best friend, who listens to me and values me and teaches me and adores me, who tells me that I rock and am strong and smart and beautiful. I am so, so happy to be married to this man.

Today, I Am Grateful for friends who are just a phone call away.

Today, I Am Grateful that I'm learning to trust myself and be bolder and braver.

Today, I Am Grateful for my upcoming trips to Orlando, Spokane (Washington), and Portland (Oregon), each for different reasons, each which will feed my soul in very different and very important ways.

Today, I Am Grateful for our magical mythical credit card "points" which enabled all of the plane tickets for those trips (and that the balance on that credit card is zero).

Today, I Am Grateful that in 15 years I've gone from "get me the hell out of here" at my high school graduation to being excited to see everyone again at our reunion in less than three weeks; I'm happy to have grown and completely let go of past drama. They say that success is the best revenge, but true happiness means not even wanting revenge. I'm so happy I'm there. I want the best for all of them, truly, and I'm saddened by their misfortunes; fifteen years ago I would not have believed that I'd ever feel like this. I'm looking forward to catching up and laughing with them.

Today, I Am Grateful for perspective.

Today, I Am Grateful for all of our South Korean and European adventures.

Today, I Am Grateful that I ate an entire blackberry cobbler all by myself over the past few days and my scale did not jump up 15 pounds. It did not even jump up one pound. I don't know why this is but I will frickin' take it.

Today, I Am Grateful for clean water from our taps, for our dishwasher, our washer and dryer, air conditioning, the DVR, Wi-Fi, cell phones, and all the things that make my life thousands of times easier and more comfortable than it otherwise could be.

Today, I Am Grateful for a car that is safe and reliable and paid for (and that I see a car as a means of transportation rather than a status symbol).

Today, I Am Grateful for Old Navy capri pants, Teva mush flip-flops, and graphic t-shirts, which seem to be my summer uniform this year.

Today, I Am Grateful that I can call on my neighbors for help if I need it; they have embraced us into their "family."

Today, I Am Grateful for Maeve Binchy books; I love escaping into her charming worlds.

Today, I Am Grateful for growing up in a home where meals made from scratch were the norm, not just reserved for special occasions.

Today, I Am Grateful that I know I'm going to be in a swim suit in public in just five days and that thought does not make me feel like throwing up from anxiety, and that my lack of anxiety has little to nothing to do with how I actually look in that swimsuit.

Today, I Am Grateful for comfy pajamas and complete control of the remote.

Today, I Am Grateful for good health insurance.

Today, I Am Grateful that a random guy in a falling-apart car smiled and waved at me while we were stopped next to each other at a red light. I'm thankful that I smiled and waved back, instead of being a dork and ignoring him for fear of "leading him on." I'm thankful that three blocks later when I turned right, I looked to the left to check for cars and we both waved again before I pulled away.

Today, I Am Grateful for the ability to figure things out and the confidence to try doing things myself.

Today, I Am Grateful for small, beautiful moments.

Today, I Am Grateful that I held something back, and that I let something go.

Today, I Am Grateful for hope and possibility.

Today, I Am Grateful for a community of friends spread across the country who support me and encourage me (in ways they know and ways they don't) to be a better artist, a better person, a better friend. And make me laugh my ass off. I'm really grateful for the laughing part.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Boys' Weekend

Jason is at a boys' weekend with my dad and brother-in-law (and a whole ton of other men-folk) in Oregon.

Jason doesn't usually come back from these things with many photos, and I imagine it is sort of a "rule" of the camp to not bring home evidence. :) But here's one he took way back in 2001 while they were out hiking around.

Have a great weekend!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Favorite {Photo} Friday--Il Moto

I'm working on a big catch-up post that I should be able to finish tomorrow. In the meantime, here's a semi-related photo for Favorite {Photo} Friday today!

This was taken in--read the sign--Assisi, Italy. Yes, as in Saint Francis of Assisi. It's a gorgeous town. Jason and I stopped there on our huge super-long motorcycle tour of Italy which I wrote a little bit about here. I love this photo because it's one of the only ones from the whole 12 days that features Jason, me, and the motorcycle. And I loved Assisi. I'd say "If you ever have the chance, you should go..." but, well, duh.

More tomorrow, friends! TGIF!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

The First of Many July Creations

Today I'm working on my application for Crafty Bastards.

Here's one of my submissions, a new piece I just made this week. I fused all the links, hammered some of them, and hammered some discs to throw in the mix, too. I was intending to put it on Etsy but I think I might just have to keep it. Shh, don't tell Jason. :)

Here's my second submission:

I can't wait to make a bunch more of these and list them on Etsy.

Lastly, here's a collage of various different pieces, some have been around a while and some are new:

It makes me want to create some more! But first I need to finish this application! :)

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Happy Fourth of July!

My favorite rendition of one of my favorite songs. Never fails to make me cry!

“Every good citizen makes his country's honor his own, and cherishes it not only as precious but as sacred. He is willing to risk his life in its defense and is conscious that he gains protection while he gives it.” ~ Andrew Jackson

Thank you to everyone who has served in our military, been a family of someone serving, has promoted peace and patriotism, and/or feels grateful to live in this country of opportunity. Happy Fourth of July!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Favorite {Photo} Friday--Just Do It

While we lived in Italy we'd see these yellow fields come into bloom every Spring. I love flowers so I'd always look at them as I drove past. I'd even imagine having my photo taken in them (like I'd seen so many of my friends have photos in fields of flowers). But each Spring passed and the flowers would die out and I'd lost my chance.

The last Spring that I knew we'd be there I took my chance. I went home and grabbed my tripod and I drove out to the field. And you know what? I felt like an idiot. People could drive past and see me out there and I really felt like a fool, setting up my shot and then running and diving into the flowers and trying to look cute. I was nervous that whoever's field it was would come and ask me in Italian just what the heck I was doing and please leave ADESSO (now).

But I did it anyway.

I took quite a few shots that day and this is the only one that I really love, but guess what? I love it. And I'm so glad that I just went out there and just did it, already. I let go of the fear of looking foolish for those 15 minutes or however long it took me. No, scratch that. I didn't let go of the fear--I just pushed through and did it anyway, despite the fear.

I need to do that more often. You should, too. :)

Have a great weekend!

p.s. The mountain behind me was also behind our house and was the view out my kitchen window. The flowers are rape, whose seeds (rapeseed) make canola oil. And I know the lighting conditions were crap on that day that I hoisted up my courage, but I think that the sunniness of the bright yellow makes up for the lack of blue sky. :)

Again, have a great weekend and a safe and happy Fourth of July! :)