December: 10 on 10

This year has not been one of my favorites.  It definitely wasn’t the worst year, but might be bottom 10.  And at the very same time, so much wonderful has happened this year.

I graduated my youngest daughter. After homeschooling all three of my girls over the last 20 years, I finished strong.

I started school myself. I have realized my dreams for myself and am reaching for them.

I was published in a printed magazine.  Not once, not twice, but three times.  This feels so unreal to me, I hardly still believe it.

My family is closer than ever and we continue to learn how to love and know each other better. I am amazed at how free we are in this house, while still holding each other gently and with grace.

These are all very good things. Life-giving things.

For my last 10 on 10 of 2016, I am going to go back and find my favorite 10 images of the year. Because, sometimes, looking for the best parts gets us through the worst parts.

I had pneumonia for the first sixty days of 2016.  Meanwhile, while I laid in bed, my favorite tree bloomed.  I couldn’t climb a ladder to shoot it and had to stand at the bottom of my tree and shoot up. Somehow, this feels like my whole year.  I stood at the bottom and looked up to the One thing that continues to give me hope, time and time again.

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And then, there are my children.  They bring me joy and contentment each day.  I look back at my images, and I see the beauty- inside and out- of my girls.  They have grown to be powerful, loving,  and determined women.  I am one proud mama.

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And then, there is my loverboy.  This man.  I don’t know if I will ever find the words to express how much I love him.  He supports me in ways I have never been supported.  He loves me in ways I have never been loved. He sees the good and incredible in me with such passion, I almost believe he sees what must be true.

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I also started a blog with my friend Megan, An Ordinary Grace.  Purposely looking for what the week has meant to me and shooting it has helped me find hope each week.  Reminding myself to hold all of life, the sour, the peaceful and the beauty has helped me learn to love better; myself and others.

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I did this project, telling stories in ten images, with some amazing photographers this year.  Start with Kim’s post and then click on through to the other’s stories. You will not be disappointed.

 

November 10 on 10

I just got back from four days in beautiful June Lake. While I wait for my film to be developed, I have some photos from my iPhone.  And just in time for my trip, Mastin Labs released Filmborn, a photo editing app “designed to bridge the history of film photography with its digital future.” I had so much fun playing with this new app in such a beautiful setting.

Our view outside our cabin was stunning.  I couldn’t believe I got to wake up to it each day.

Just a short walk down the block and we were graced with this view.

On one night, we drove up to Mono Lake to watch the sunset. It was glorious.

We also took an afternoon and drove around Mammoth.  It was a cold and cloudy day, but the views and lakes were beautiful.  Seeing the full lakes and snow-capped mountains gave me a little hope for a slight relief from this drought California is experiencing.

We also had some time to walk around the small and quaint town of June Lake.  Fun pubs and good views… it really was heavenly.

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I can’t wait to get my rolls of film back, but until then, I will have to fake it with Filmborn.

To see more stories told in ten images, journey on to Leilani’s beautiful blog and then click on through the blog roll.

10 on 10: October

My school is up in San Jose.  While it is a long drive, I am fortunate to have a group friends that want to drive up and visit the city and the cities surrounding San Jose with me.  I am also super lucky that San Fransisco, on of the most historical and hipster cities in California, is only an hour away from San Jose.

I loved tromping around one of my favorite cities with some of my favorite people.  Here is my day in San Francisco in black and white.

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You know we had to stop into the Buana Vista for a few Irish Coffees… or some caffeine with some sugar and whiskey.

 

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After a few drinks, we got out our cameras and went on an adventure.

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My crew… they are amazing.

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Seriously, any town that allows puppies in bars has to be a place you stop in often, right?

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I can’t wait to get back.  Maybe next time I will share my journey in color.

 

I am telling a story in ten photographs with some wonderful photographers. Click on to  Megan’s blog and see her story then click on through to other stories told in ten photographs.

 

10 on 10: September

I needed to know I was loved. I needed to get out of my head. I needed to find my own light.  So, I called a friend and we walked.

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You make choices every day and almost every hour that keep you walking in the light or moving away toward darkness.

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Knowing your own darkness is the best method for dealing with the darknesses of other people.

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Walking with a friend in the dark is better than walking alone in the light.

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I am so thankful for friends that come along side me, and without wanting to change me, they walk quietly in my darkness while I search for my own light.  It is something I think we all long for and need.  May I never, ever take advantage of this great gift.

My talented friend, Stephanie, is also telling a story ten images on her blog. Please visit her lovely space and then click on through the blog roll for more stories in ten images.

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This year my friend Megan and I started a weekly blog titled An Ordinary Grace.   We are documenting as we search for love between the bullshit and the divine.  And while life can bring a lot of bullshit, it is also filled with the divine.  I am noting that I seem to be capturing hands holding things as I photograph this project.  I was curious about this pattern. Deep down, I think it is more powerful than I expected.  As I search and journey through this life, much depends on what I pick up and what I put down.  We each get to decide what we hold and what we decide to leave behind, don’t we?

I choose to hold quiet.

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I choose to hold peace.

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I choose to hold knowledge.

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I choose to hold growth.

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I choose to hold new life.

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I choose to hold deliciousness.

I choose to hold my own view.

And the view I see through my spiritual companions.

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I choose to let go.

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After seeing these all together, it is no surprise that this is my favorite picture of me, taken by my lovely husband.  I love how he sees me.  I feel so calm and so alive all at once while I hold my camera and allow it to help me focus on my view.  I hold it with great joy and appreciation.

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What are some things you are holding?  Are they things that bring good things to your heart, or are they things you should think about letting go of?

 

10 on 10: August

It is my birthday this week. My husband gave me an amazing gift: a new Canon 5Diii with a 35mm 1.4Lii.  I have always wanted a 35mm lens and I cried when I opened it. I had some fun with it right away, and now I really want to get to know them both better.

 

My babies were kind enough to let me practice on them yesterday morning.

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They are so sweet together and love each other so much.

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They bought these “&” necklaces for each other. It is to remind them that they are never alone.

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I also played with my new lens in the back yard.  The details this beauty can capture are divine.

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I can’t wait to get to know the camera and lens better.  I know it will take time, but the time it will take will sure be fun!

 

I am doing this project of telling a story in ten photographs with some lovely photographers.  Hop on over to the talented Maite’s blog and then click on through the blog roll.

 

 

 

10 on 10: June

I had some time with my middle daughter, Dani, in June.  We had breakfast and went thrifting. I always love time with my daughters, especially when I have them all to myself.

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I’m doing this project with some great photographers. Click on through to Jennifer’s beautiful blog then, continue on through the blog roll.