Tag Archives: embrace the camera

A Beautiful Day for a Hike

It’s been so warm outside! It’s almost impossible to come up with an excuse to NOT be out there. Last week the four of us went to a nearby park that has a small network of trails. My son LOVES this sort of thing. He loves to lead the way while we follow. My daughter also enjoys being out in the woods, but we’re usually slow to get our act together on the weekends and we didn’t get to the trails until almost lunchtime, which is always followed by a nap for my daughter. So, she was starting to fade and we had to carry her much of the way. (I confess, part of me really looks forward to when we drop that afternoon nap!)

Of course, I had to bring my camera (much to my husband’s dismay, who said “Next time we go hiking, no camera!”) I guess I’m just not smooth enough with it to not let it slow us down. But I know if I hadn’t taken it, I would have been wishing I had. So, it’s always better if I take it along… “just in case”. ๐Ÿ˜‰

It wasn’t long after we set off that my daughter asked to be carried. (Why do I always forget to bring that Ergo?) We took turns carrying her, but she got a special treat when Daddy put her on his shoulders.


Everybody follow while big brother leads the way!



The hikers share the trails with horses and their riders, so much of the trails are a bit muddy and heavily trodden, with horse “droppings” for us to dodge along the way. It’s not bad, but you do have to watch where you step. Little sister was happier walking in the drier stretches.



But she still wanted at least a little help getting around some of the muddy spots.


My son didn’t mind the mud. He was having a blast!


“Daddy, take a picture of me and D!”


Hiking around a bend, we came upon a small stream. The kids love to explore streams and big brother’s favorite thing to do is to jump over them.


“I told you I could jump over it!”

Little D mostly just looked around and watched with curiosity…





At one point she was mesmerized by a large pile of horse doody on the trail.


I’m not sure what she spotted overhead, but it must have been interesting!



A little wooden bench along the trail makes for a nice break and photo-op. ๐Ÿ™‚



Little D started to lose steam, so it was back up on Daddy’s shoulders!


When we got back to the parking lot, my son insisted that we sit at a picnic bench to have a snack break before heading home. So, that’s what we did. Then we went home for the rest of lunch and nap time.



We’re really loving this warm weather. However, whenever Mother Nature feels like sending some snow our way… at least enough to pack a few snowballs or make a small snowman… we’re ready. ๐Ÿ™‚


Missing a Friend

Today would have been my college roommate’s 38th birthday. In May she lost a five-year battle with breast cancer. What do you say? She was much too young. It’s hard to make sense of it because it doesn’t make sense.

I meant to write a post for Glynnis weeks ago and share some pictures, but I just didn’t know what to write. I think part of the reason has been shame. I feel shameful that she fought this fight for five long years, yet the last time I actually saw Glynnis was at my wedding, almost 7 years ago. I regret that, while she did a good job emailing us all to update us on her condition, I did a terrible job of reaching out to her, let alone going to see her. What kind of friend was I? I wasn’t. Sending a few emails to a friend battling cancer hardly cuts it.

I don’t know why I didn’t try harder to call or see her before it was too late. It’s not that I didn’t want to. It’s that time just flew by me. I took time for granted. I didn’t think she was going anywhere and I was too removed to realize the gravity of it all. The truth is, based on the messages that Glynnis sent over the last few years, she was a master at keeping her eyes on the bright side. She made it easy for us (or me, at least) to believe that cancer wasn’t a real threat to her. Even near the end, while at home with hospice care, she was reaching out to everyone else through her Caring Bridge page, letting us all know that she was alright. Sure, she asked for help…. but mostly for her husband and son. In fact, just one week before she passed, she posted her last message, where she talked about her plans for regaining the strength her in legs. Her body was failing her, yet she showed nothing but courage and determination.

So, this meager post is my tribute to Glynnis.

I’m sorry, G, for not doing more while you were still with us. You were a great friend and am so grateful that Ship brought us together. I remember receiving that welcome letter from college, where they listed you as my assigned roommate, and I remember being confused by the order of your name as it was printed on the sheet. So, when I called your house to introduce myself and discuss who was bringing what for our dorm room, I confused everyone when I asked for you by your middle name, Erin.

Remember how we were robbed a good 9 square feet of dorm room space because of that stupid hallway phone booth that didn’t even work? But, luckily our phone cord was about 25 feet long, so we could stretch it out the door and into the booth when we wanted a private conversation. So, it wasn’t a bad deal, after all.

And remember the message-in-a-bottle we left in the ceiling of our room, only to find the girls that were in that room the year before had the same idea and left a message-in-a-bottle themselves?

Our sophomore year dorm room was much cooler than the freshman year room, especially with the bunk beds we scored! It was fun to chat at night in our bunks. Thanks for taking turns with the top bunk. I gotta tell you… I love you, but it drove me a little insane that you would kick off your socks in the middle of the night and, without fail, they’d always drop down into my bed! ๐Ÿ™‚

We shared lots of secrets in those dorm rooms, and in the room next door (Jennifer and Lori’s). I’m thankful that, on the sloppiness scale, you and I ranked about the same, which made us a perfect match, I think… along with our frequent bouts of silliness. Oh, and how about those afternoon naps we would take? Nothing like a two-hour nap in between our last class and dinner at the dining hall! We always kept Lori and Jennifer waiting… but those were the best naps!

This is my favorite picture of us… dancing in the gritty mess on the floor left behind by the old rug we called “the sand trap”!

You did have quite a silly side! That’s what I really loved about you: your silliness, spontaneity, and wit. I feel like all the four of us did those first few years of college was laugh until we cried. Seriously, I wish I had a crazy story to tell, but what I remember most is laughing… just laughing. I wish I could hear your laugh just once more.

It would be pretty amazing to play softball with you one more time, too.

After your memorial service, the three of us were regretting the time we’ve lost with you and we promised to get together at least once aย  year for a girl’s weekend. So, in July we kept that promise. It was a great visit. We told stories, looked at old photos, and did lots of giggling. But the sounds of your voice and your giggles were missing. Still, it was great to reminisce about those years in college and to have you there in our hearts. We’ll do this many more times and every time we do, we’ll carry you with us. And never again will I let time with a special friend slip away from me, the way I did with you.

Happy Birthday, G! We love you and miss you.

Embrace the Camera: DJ’s Second Birthday

Last year when my baby girl’s first birthday rolled around, I couldn’t bear to not spend the day with her, so I took the day off and had some quality mommy-and-daughter time. This year I wanted to do the same thing. Today is DJ’s second birthday and since she only takes one nap now, we could squeeze a little more in than we dad list year (which wasn’t much except for a little bit of shopping).

We started by visiting the garden store. That was more for mommy, but DJ didn’t mind. After that we went to Bounce-n-Play and spent a couple of hours there, though that might not have been the best choice on mommy’s part because DJ is still a little too small and timid to climb on some of the bounce houses/slides. She had fun in the toddler area, though. We had lunch while we were there. I could tell my girl was getting tired after lunch, so we headed home, stopping on the way for some frozen yogurt at Sweet Frog. We got chocolate frozen yogurt and topped it with cheesecake cubes, strawberries, pretzels, Reese’s pieces, and cookie dough balls. DJ liked the pretzels and Reese’s best.

I didn’t take my camera along (though, I’m regretting it a little) because I didn’t want to lug it around and I wanted to try to just be present and enjoy our time together. I did take several photos with my phone, which aren’t great quality. Here’s a fun little series of photos of me and my girl after our sweet treat.

This is her favorite funny face to make. Isn’t she cute?

Embrace the Camera: Wine Festival Fun

A couple of weekends ago I went with my son and his grandma to Ash Lawn-Highland for a wine festival, where we met a couple of other family members. It was my birthday weekend and I was really excited to be able to spend a little time relaxing at a wine festival. There are a ton of wineries here in central Virginia, but with two small kids and a husband who is not much of a wino, I haven’t been able to do much wine tasting or touring yet. I’m looking forward to touring some of the vineyards this summer with some girlfriends, though!

D enjoyed the festival a lot too! He got to see some animals, the most exciting one being a peacock! Here is a photo and him and me with the chickens.

The roosters were neat, but the peacock was especially exciting, though we didn’t get to see him with his tail fanned out.

D’s other favorite part of the festival was listening to the folk band that was performing. He even asked me to go over and tell them they were good singers. I couldn’t get him to tell them himself or to go with me, but the singer seemed tickled by the compliment when I relayed the message. She even looked over to him, smiled, and waved, which tickled him. We bought one of their CD’s and listened to it on the way home.

Ash Lawn-Highland is so beautiful and scenic! D thought so too; he especially loved checking out the herd of cows that passed by in the adjacent field.

And, of course he never passes up an opportunity to have time with Grandma!

Now… on to planning that winery tour! ๐Ÿ™‚

Embrace the Camera: Four Generations Times Two

In honor of the upcoming Mother’s Day, I thought I would share these two photos because they both include two special mothers in my life: my mom, Carol, and my grandmother, Elinor. My great-grandmother, Pearl, is in the first photo with us and the bottom photo shows us with my baby girl at her first birthday party. So, between the two photos we’ve got five generations!

Happy Mother’s Day, Mom and Gram! I love you both!

Four generations the day of my christening, summer 1974

Four generations at my baby girl’s first birthday party, June 2011

Embrace the Camera: Me and My Girl

One of my first blog posts, Getting in the Picture, is about using a tripod and wireless remote shutter release to try to get in more photos, rather than always being behind the camera. As the primary photography of the house, I end up in few of the photos we have of my family. Since participating the Simple Things Sunday link-up, I’ve discovered that Rebecca at Simple as That participates in another link-up called Embrace the Camera. The point of Embrace the Camera is to encourage us get in the photo with our loved ones, especially our kids. They’ll love having these photos one day.

I’ve been meaning to do more self-portrait photos with my kids, so I’m going to join the Embrace the Camera link-up as a way to get myself to actually do it. So here is my first post. Like the photos from December’s post, I took this photo using my camera on a tripod with a wireless remote shutter release. You can see the remote in my daughter’s hand. Like my son, she thought it was a hoot to push the button and make the camera go “click!” and after several shots she wanted to go look at them on the camera’s display screen.

It took a bit of trial-and-error, and a lot of deleting after we filled the disk, to get the focus right and to avoid cutting off the tops of our heads. (Maybe next time I’ll change it from continuous shooting mode to one shot mode; then when my daughter holds the trigger down, we won’t fill the disk so fast!) That’s the beauty of digital cameras, though; you can shoot away and delete anything that isn’t a keeper. Also, by using the remote shutter release and letting your kids run the show, you’re sure to get some fantastic smiles!

I definitely plan to do this more often and I’m going to use Rebecca’s list of “50 Photos to Take with Your Kids” for some inspiration. That will be my biggest challenge… getting creative with these shots. Thanks for visiting!