A Return

2012 was mostly terrible, with a sweet, joyful ending. We tragically lost Tim’s mother and welcomed a beautiful daughter within the space of seven months.

I won’t be writing about the former, but I did want to explain why I disappeared. I didn’t feel comfortable discussing Tim’s mom here, but nor did I feel I could continue writing about silly things while ignoring it. So I just stopped. It was one less thing to worry about. Instead, I just kept plucking away at life – working, spending time at home with Tim, going on mini trips around Oregon, cooking a tiny human. And slowly, we are still healing. So that’s all I will say about that.

Now for the happy part. I’m resurrecting the blog (which needs a new name, I think…) so I can tell stories about my daughter, who amazes me every day. Just don’t call me a mommyblogger, ok?

So without further ado, meet my new favorite photo subject, Evie (pronounced “Eee-vee” – think of Wall-E saying “Eeeva!”):

EShe’s pretty much the greatest ever.

{gratitude.2012} Intro

Oh, what’s that? You thought that after months of not blogging, I would simply introduce my big Self-Portrait Project and call it a night?

Nope. I have another surprise! In addition to taking a self-portrait every week this year, I will also be participating in gratitude.2012, masterminded by Karen Walrond of Chookooloonks. Karen is one of my very favorite photographers, and I’m excited to be taking part in one of her projects.

Every month, Karen will send out a newsletter with photography tips, words of wisdom, and prompts for photographing gratitude. So periodically, I will be sharing the photos I take of things for which I am grateful, posting them on the Flickr pool, and writing about why I’m thankful.

Tonight, it was being able to take a walk to the park, in beautiful Eugene, with my husband.

This time last year, we didn’t know where we would end up. We thought living in the Pacific Northwest was a dream that was years away from coming true. Everything was up in the air and we had no idea when we would be settled. Tonight, we took a walk up the street to Washburn Park, explored the neighborhood a bit while daydreaming about the future, and came back to our house and ordered pizza. So delightfully normal, which is what we’ve been wanting for years.

I think it will be a good year for photography, and gratitude, and growth. Thanks for following along.

{52 Self-Portraits} Week 1

I’m equal parts excited and nervous to introduce my new photography project: a year of weekly self-portraits. Since my 365 project ended, I’ve found that I haven’t been motivated to make time to shoot, even though it’s one of my favorite things to do. I needed another project to keep me going.

A self-portrait project had been on my mind for a while, but it just seemed kind of…exhibitionist? Narcissistic, even? But I got more excited about it when I discovered Xanthe Berkeley’s 52 self-portraits. I can’t say it any better than she can: “Sometimes it’s a struggle to not come across as vain, but instead I like to acknowledge this journey as learning about who you are and how you see yourself.

This isn’t just an excuse to put my face on the internet 52 times. In fact, I’m doing this in spite of that. I am excited to have a week to think up ideas for a shot and try them out. I want to get better at basic things like composition, focus, and especially lighting. Most of all though, this is me becoming more comfortable with myself and maybe, in some small way, inspiring others to do the same.

So…here we go! My first of 52 self-portraits:

1/52

Catching Up

I hate it when I let the blog go untended for this long. It always makes the next post seem more daunting. So, bullet points.

*Part of the reason I have fallen off the blogging wagon is what’s been going on in Japan. We are fine – Okinawa is farther away from the mainland than people realize. But watching this disaster unfold, so close to me, has been devastating. Fears of more aftershocks and now radiation just make it that much worse. I’ve sort of been curled up in a metaphorical fetal position for the past week and my anxiety, usually kept at a reasonable level, has started to get the better of me.

*Some good news  – Tim and I are starting a new, exciting adventure in a couple of months. It will involve a move to a new state, a new job (hopefully), and probably lots of ramen noodles. More on that soon.

*My thesis data collection is almost finished. Progress! Now I just have to write the damn thing (easier said than done).

*My last weeks in Columbia were filled with all kinds of awesome. A road trip to Cincinnati, the True/False film festival, and my first real photo shoot. Photos and posts to come.

*Tim and I have started working out together everyday. He’s got us on a pretty strict routine, and I love it. I feel so much better when I exercise, and it’s nice to have a workout buddy to motivate me.

Off to work out now! It’s good to be back.

Project 365

A few months ago, I started Project 365 – challenging myself to take a photo a day for one year. I felt weird sharing it with anyone at first, thinking there was a good chance I wouldn’t finish, or people would find it silly, or whatever.

So far it’s going great. While they may not all be winners, and while I still don’t know beans about photography, I can tell I am improving, which is pretty exciting. So, if anyone cares to have a look, my Project 365 blog can be found here.

My only rule is that I have to take a photo every single day. I try to post daily, but sometimes I miss a day or two. As long as I took a photo each day to post, it’s fine. I haven’t missed a day yet. In fact, most days I end up with too many photos to choose from. I have already learned a ton, and gotten lots of shots I would not have gotten without this project pushing me.

 

Blerg.

When one doesn’t have a job, and stays home all day in one’s pj’s, and has given oneself some time off from thinking about one’s thesis for a week, one might think the blog posts and other creative pursuits would start flowing like wine. Not so, dear reader. Here are some of the things I’ve been doing today instead of anything productive:

*Reading so many blogs that I realize I need to buy some tights and boots, and wishing I were stylish enough to wear tights and boots.

*Trying not to freak out about money, health care, the military, the future, etc.

*Eating half a bag of Sour Patch Kids before noon. Later I will have a stomach ache. Tim will ask what I ate that caused it, and I will tell him I don’t know.

*Re-watching old episodes of The Office and Always Sunny.

*Spending HOURS on Etsy finding things I want to buy for myself and others. Subsequently, finding things on Etsy that I want to use to decorate our future home, then freaking out about how far away that is.

*Finding a ton of new blogs to put in my Google reader, the easier to waste even more time in the future.

*Wishing we were back here

I’m thinking I’ll murder the rest of those Sour Patch Kids while I pop in some Office. Sigh.

Greetings From Okinawa…

It has been such a crazy wonderful couple of weeks, and since arriving in Okinawa a few days ago I am still trying to wrap my head around everything. I have tons to do, but starting a blog from Japan is something that has been gnawing at me for a while, so I just had to get going on it. There will be lots of pictures, reminiscing, and snippets from everyday life. I will just be dipping my toes into blogging at first, until I get used to writing more often. But please do check back for new posts, and leave me comments! It can sure get lonely out here when the husband is at work, and a girl can only watch so many DVDs in a day.

A few previews of upcoming posts that are rattling around in my head:

Wedding Lilies

Our incredible two-day wedding extravaganza…

Olympic National Park

Our equally incredible honeymoon…

Churaumi Aquarium

And cool things we do in Okinawa.