I will be honest with you. Things have been a bit odd around here. Not bad odd, but busy in strange ways, and slightly tired and disorganised. Simon is home for a bit, which is good of course, and accounts for the donuts (which in turn account for our headaches and slight nausea this afternoon).
I spent a great deal of time over the past week and a half sorting through our digital photos. I printed something like 70 of them, which accounts for the photo wall finally getting up (Lukas, take note). Not all of the prints were for me, of course. Many had to be distributed among family...
...which accounts for an afternoon writing letters and such. Which I of course enjoy very much. For the record, I used MPix to print and was terribly pleased with the result. You can calibrate your monitor to their settings which means that the prints actually do look like, well, what they look like. And the black and whites were true black and whites instead of oddly tinged, and lovely and crisp and sharp.
All of this before we head up to BC this weekend to visit Simon's family. I will not be blogging while I am gone. I shall see you all my lovelies when I return. Except for briefly this afternoon when I post this week's HIdden Word. But then, truly, I am removing my sadly disorganised self from blogdom for a few weeks.
This week I turned 34. It doesn't, if I am honest, feel very different from 33. But there you go. I remember my mother telling me how much she enjoyed her thirties, and I can see that. I am no longer worrying about who I am, but working on how to use what I have learned in different, better ways. My family is established, my goals are clearer, priorities are more in order than they were ten years ago. Each year I find myself less concerned with how things may be perceived, and more concerned about the spirit in which they are done.
Growing up. It is a process, and an ongoing one at that.
So. For my birthday my sweet children and dear husband gave me tea in a new teacup, bird bowl, a dragon handle for the wood door (I don't know how to describe that-- it is a door by the fireplace that holds wood and opens into the garage. Very cool, and especially useful for tometens. Or so I'm told. Anyway, it now has a Nepalese dragon to guard it!), and a new white blouse (see photos below).
We also, on my birthday, went up to visit my Dad. His birthday was earlier this month, and he has been requesting an updated family portrait, so we went to work on that! It was challenging because the lighting was quite bad. I never process my photos in photoshop for the blog. Part of the joy of photogrpahy for me is the gift of the moment as it appears in the photo. But I can process, and for these I needed to, to go from this:
to get this (and because of the light, Ana's face isn't in focus. I may have to work on this one some more):
And it ends with someone hiding behind the pot plant sulking.
We rounded out the afternoon with a rousing game of monkey in the middle. My Dad has MS, so we took all of these in the cafeteria of his care home (hence the weird lighting), which turned out to be a rather good monkey in the middle pitch.
And although I did not take any more photos, we all went home to Mum's where we met Amy and Philippe and had a lovely tea with treats from the bakery that April selected. My first macarons. I think I am in love...
It is nearly mid-July and we had not made it to the coast yet. This was a sorry state of affairs, so we rallied and headed out to day. Actually, Bella ended up going to a friend's instead, but she is forgiven as her friend is about to move cross-country. So my salty companions were Ana and Asher. And they are good companions, indeed.
We hunted up and down the shore, finding things that we documented for Daddy:
a rock with a face, a rainbow of rocks, kelp to twirl, a shell with a hole in it, a shell with a rainbow in it, a rock with lots of holes in it, a bit of dead something, a feather with mist drops clinging to it, a crab claw, a periwinkle shell, a bit of polished orange shell, a seagull skull (we brought that home).
I tried to take pictures of Ana, but she only made this growly-exasperated sort of face at me:
We also found a beautiful fallen birch tree, half-buried in the sand, the holes that fed sapsuckers still clear, it's trunk showing signs of both moss and kelp.
The photos are not perhaps as spectacular as they might have been due to dirty lens issues. This normally does not bother me, as I would rather simply document than worry about the lens. But I do wish this photo hadn't been mucked up:
In any case, it was a good, good day. And oh, I will sleep well tonight.
So last week at the creek, my camera got splashed. I am still not sure what is wrong with it. Sometimes it seems fine, other times not. And I can not tell if it is an issue with the body or the lens. I was hoping for a body issue as I would like to update, but I think it is a lens one. Which is terrible, as it was my favourite lens, the one I use 90% of the time.
In any case, all of this to say that yesterday I attempted to take photos with my iPhone. It didn't work out so well. But we had a good day anyway.
It was all good and we even managed to get home to freeze and jam berries. Whoot.
Tonight I have three girls in the house, but two of them aren't mine. And one little boy. And oh yes. We had a lovely Holy Day. But I gave up on the i Phone photos.
This past week saw a whirlwind visit with Grandma Jane and Auntie Kim. So whirlwind, in fact, I utterly forgot to so much as locate my camera. I tend to do that-- take pictures sporadically, with either complete overkill or nothing whatsoever.
The visit was most enjoyable, and I hope they had a good time. We managed to get the house put together enough to host these very easy-going guests, and it feels so good to be able to do this now. We have also started getting our paintings and pictures up, which makes an enormous difference as far as feeling at home goes.
Since I don't have any relevant photos, here are the remaining photos from the grand photo shoot. I am pleased to report that both grandmothers have selected favourites for printing (some form this batch, some from the previously posted one), which met with approval.
Phew. They are rather lovely children, aren't they? I am terribly fond of them.
Spring break has begun! In celebration, I immediately went and made my children dress up nicely and run around and sit still and do any manner of tortuous task so I could take lovely photos of them. Perhaps that is not entirely accurate, but I did take portraits of them. Lots and lots of pictures, my dears. Every year around this time, I take their photos for Naw Ruz (the Baha'i New Year, which coincides with the first day of spring). And Simon's mother has been asking for portraits of her grandchildren. I know she means "real" ones; the ones in a studio with a painted backdrop, and a carpeted table to lean on, and lots of lights all around. So I tried to do that for her, I truly did. I even made sure the children had matching outfits (sort of-- same colour scheme, at any rate). But I couldn't do it. I knew just the sort of canned smiles and awkward poses and flat eyes that would entail. Alternatively, professional portrait studio sessions run into the hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars. Which is why I did it myself. Again. Because I want to capture the hands on shoulders, the leaning in towards your beloved siblings, the mischievous twinkles, the little expressions that I know so well, and a photographer they've just met never, ever could. I want to know that that perfect photo is a result of someone tooting, and me commenting on the fact; genuine, uninhibited laughter. So here I give you a collage of round one, the "Bright" pictures, taken at the field across the street, and in front of the backyard fence.
(Obviously they are of better print quality than what you can see here in real life). Professional or not, I love them. That was as far as we got on a rather chilly, windy day before it started raining and my subjects insisted on coming in for hot chocolate and a warm-up break.
I put them right back to work (I gave them marshmallows-- I can demand anything if marshmallows have been given). It's funny, but I like the hot chocolate shots just as much as the "portrait ones". They aren't at all processed, just straight out of the camera. Anyway, I will be back soon with the next round. All relatives, I hope you are taking notes and will inform me of favourites by the end of this undertaking.