Peace and Pandemonium

Wednesday, December 31, 2008


I must have been GOOOOOD this year...

...because I made out like a bandit!!

Isaiah knows me so well! I just LOVE Barack!

Santa, is that a 50 mm 1.4? OH MY!!!

Steven, you will always be my Bond and I will always be your Vesper. (minus the betrayal and tragic ending) :)

I am in 40's style heaven while wearing these babies! Oh Sophie how did you know?

Matias your taste is superb! Seriously!

What did you get for Christmas this year?


Christmas 08

I'm going to be honest. I struggled this year. I managed to neglect sending Christmas cards. I didn't deliver Christmas goodies to friends and neighbors. I didn't even bother to mail gifts to out of state family members. Despite all of these short comings on my part, as the big day approached (with quickening speed I might add) I was finally able to throughly enjoy the spirit of the season. It was a beautiful, white Christmas filled with giving, joy, and so much love!

In the end we did our fair share of spending "so as to boost the fledgling economy" and my kids are up to their eyeballs in new toys. Great!

Saturday, December 20, 2008


Her Eyes, Mouth, and Dimple How Merry!

Every night before the kids go to bed Steven reads us The Night Before Christmas in a different accent. He reads it this way much to Isaiah's dismay although I think he's beginning to think it's funny. I think it's hilarious and it makes the same story each night seem new. The reason I tell you this is because the lines of this poem have been in my head so much. Happily, they started to take on new meaning when I applied them to these pictures of Sophia...

Her dimple how merry!

Her cheeks are like roses!

Her eyes how they twinkle!

Her droll little mouth is drawn up like a bow!

I laughed when I saw her in spite of myself!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


The Wind

On this morning, the sun was beautifully diffused and soft behind the clouds. I didn't really know what I was going for with these, I just knew that the lighting was gorgeous and I wanted to be my model. I also knew that I didn't want my face in the shot since I had literally just rolled out of bed, got dressed, and left the house. :) I found this field and set up the tripod. The trickiest part of this whole thing was the phantom focus point. I pretty much had to guess at where I might stand and then race to stand there not having a clue as to where "there" actually was.

The other really cool thing about this morning besides the lighting, was that the wind was really blowing. "Cool" meaning both awesome and freezing!! For this next shot the wind started picking up so I pressed the button and ran "there" all the while thinking in my head "Blow wind! Blow wind!!!" Then like magic, the wind blew straight at me with full force. Right then, the shutter snapped. This shot turned out exactly how I hoped it would.

By the time I got home, winter had officially arrived. The ground was covered in a couple inches of the first beautiful, white, glistening snow of the season.

It all happens so fast doesn't it?

Friday, December 12, 2008


My Predicament(s)?

The inner struggle between feeling like there is always so much to do and I need to do it all, but then resenting the fact that I put that on myself. Why do I feel like that? Because I see other people doing everything therefore I need to do everything? This is not true for me.

Wanting to accomplish great things yet being frustrated because I fail. I have such high expectations for myself yet who is to say what is great and what is not?

Being desirous to express myself and my beliefs, to be understood, but also knowing that I don't have to explain myself to anyone and that is ok too. Maybe even preferable?

These contradictions within myself have been bouncing back and forth in my mind and lately I have been realizing that less really is more. With Christmas just around the corner, the need to meet expectations set by myself and others, fulfilling all of my obligations, caring for my loved ones, a deep powerful desire to create, blogging all of the above, and balancing the ACT that is life, it has all become almost too much to bear. I am someone who drops everything once I start to feel over burdened. I feel like I need to combat the busyness of this season with a non-action type of attitude so that I don't go completely crazy. I have been reading a lot of my favorite books lately. The books that seem to gel everything in life together for me. These books are special in that my insight into them is increased each and every time I read them. Books like The Prophet, Tao Te Ching, The Art Of Living, On Man and Nature. This is where I find my sanity. This is where I find my acceptance. This is how I figure out my circumstances.

I have decided that what I need right now is to allow myself to be where I am without striving for something more or better or different. I need to let life happen around me and instead of reacting to it and trying so hard to mold it and shape it. I will choose instead not to. I will allow it to be what it is and release my expectations and attachments to it. I will maintain the understanding that everything in life happens for a reason and a good one at that. I have enough, I am enough, I don't have to measure up to anything or anyone. I can just be me. What a relief!

This verse if from the Tao Te Ching. Brilliant on every level.


In the pursuit of learning, every day something is acquired.
In the pursuit of Tao, every day something is dropped.

Less and less is done
Until non-action is achieved.
When nothing is done, nothing is left undone.

The world is ruled by letting things take their course.
It cannot be ruled by interfering.

Thursday, December 11, 2008


I'm not ready for this

Why cant there be Peace on Earth and good will toward men? Why is it that we have to send our loved ones to foreign countries to fight wars and enforce peace? I often wish that we lived in a gentler world where all this contention didn't exist.

My brother Michael deploys tomorrow to Afghanistan for a whole year. I cant really process that this is actually happening. Our family has been expecting it for a long time now, in fact, it's been 7 years since Michael joined the army and this is his first deployment so I guess that is a silver lining, but now that this day has finally arrived I'm in total disbelief. I called him yesterday and cried and cried. I couldn't help it. He is my little brother. The one person aside from my parents that has been a part of my life for the longest amount of time. He has been my friend for 28 years and my brother for much much longer. I love him! I feel like a huge piece of me is going away. I'm very sad. I always told him not to join the military because I know myself and I know that if a deployment ever came I would have a hard time handling it. Michael, knowing this would be a way for him to reach his goals, joined anyway. His first day of basic training was Sept 11, 2001. The day the world changed. By then, it was too late. He was already enlisted.

On the bright side, a lot of good has come from his time with the Army. He learned to fly a Chinook Helicopter (which is used for transporting troops and cargo, he refers to himself as a "bus driver") and because he worked hard and is a smart guy, he gained rank and stature within his program. He is a warrant officer which means he is a specialist in his field. His schooling is paid for and he and his wife have benefited a few times from his awesome government health insurance. Am I stretching here?? He studied really hard for a lot of years and learned how to do something he really wanted to do. To say that I'm proud of him is a huge understatement. Words really cant reach the depth of my pride. Michael is a hard worker and a bright young man who has prepared diligently for this task. I know that he is ready for this. Unfortunaly, I don't think I am. :(

In a book called The Art of Living by Epictetus there is a verse on becoming a citizen of the world. I totally think of Michael when I read the following.

Be a Citizen of the World
One cannot pursue one's own highest good without at the same time necessarily promoting the good of others. A life based on narrow self-interest cannot be esteemed by any honorable measurement. Seeking the very best in ourselves means actively caring for the welfare of other human beings. Our human contract is not with the few people with whom our affairs are most immediately intertwined, nor to the prominent, rich, or well educated, but to all our human brethren. View yourself as a citizen of a worldwide community and act accordingly.

I hope that Mike can find the joy in serving the people of Afghanistan, his fellow soldiers, and our country.

I love you Mike!! I'm honored to call you my brother. Good luck, have fun, and come home safely. Please.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008



These were the images I submitted for my week 4 assignment in the Eye Candy workshop. The workshop is over now so I am much less consumed with side projects. However, working on my own projects was a lot of fun and I plan to continue seeking out what moves me. The final project for the workshop was "Personal Projects". I have yet to submit anything. I feel like this concept will take me longer than one week to produce but I am very excited to continue working on this over the next couple of months. I do have a few ideas, some that I've had for a long time. It's about time I put them into action.

These images are of my mom. For this series she let me write all over her body with markers. Thanks to her brilliant mind, I think we came up with some very appropriate words that really get to the core of who she is and what she believes.

And now, the intriguing and stunning...Claire.

On her hands it reads:
I have only passed through you quickly like light and you have only surrounded me suddenly like flame.


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