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Category Archives: weekend challenge

weekend challenge: self portrait

This is the second weekend challenge that I have been a part of with Dana Pugh at Short and Sweet Photography. Our first one is here. (her pick)

This weekend challenge was to take 1-3 self portraits. Of yourself. By yourself. Why in the hell did I come up with this one?!?!

Saturday morning came, looming, and all of my grand plans and ideas sounded either super involved or lame. We also had plans with Jason and Summer (Jeff’s sister and husband) and their kids so I had an excuse to forget about it until that night. As I sat outside in the middle of a war between the kids and the grown ups (the only neutral adult since I was carrying the camera) I realized with a start that I had forgotten all day, and the light was fading. It was basically dusk.

In the hopes of just warming up, I took this shot. Pretty standard fare, hold camera over your head and smile kind of shot.


After viewing it on the back of the camera I realized it was too dark to be taking photos and stopped. I had one idea that I had always wanted to be brave enough to try. I would need to do it the next morning. I was going to take a portrait of myself upon waking Sunday morning. No glasses, no make up, (not that I wear make up on a daily basis. I don’t.) no washing the sleep from my face. I love Jeff and the kid’s ‘just woke up face’ and have many photos of them in that state. All warm and smooshy and lined and woozy. I was curious how I looked to the outside world and wasn’t sure I could really tell just by looking at myself in the mirror. The camera doesn’t really lie.

I realized the next morning as I pulled open the blinds and reached for my camera that I wished I had made the challenge this, exactly. A ‘just woke up’ self portrait. Just one. Honest, warm, smooshy, lined, and woozy.

Here I am at 9ish Sunday morning. Little processing, and no skin editing (unfortunately for my grandma forehead).


I look like a sleepy little alien.



PS: Sorry for the lateness of this post by the way. We had some really fun plans Fri/Sat/Sun/Mon/Tues and I am only now beginning the slow forray into the internet after four days “off”.

PSS: If you joined in on the challenge, please do link in the comments!

weekend challenge: grateful

Last week, Dana Pugh from Short and Sweet Photography updated her Twitter feed with:

Picture 5I replied:

Picture 10

She replied:

Picture 8

And it was on. However, Saturday came and went without me picking up my camera. Not because I didn’t have things I was grateful for…actually I had a lot to be grateful for that day. Sleeping in, cleaning up the house together, my family, Pixar genius, nachos, Anna sitting next to me sharing every giggle, my uncle Michael coming over with board games to play with the boys, Shane and Rachel joining us for dinner, and a nice long conversation after the kids went to bed. But the camera didn’t come out. I was lazy.

So Sunday I was determined to do what I had planned. The day started with a newborn photo shoot. I drove south, towards San Diego. We Southern Californians were graced with our first day of blue sky and sun in WEEKS. I drove with my windows down, soaking in the ocean as I flew past San Clemente and into Oceanside. There is a long stretch of highway where the ocean is just. right. there. with nothing to block the view. It is hard to drive with your eyes on the road. Mine always drift over to the water. But I didn’t stop and take a photo. I had my newborn shoot.

I am grateful for my job. I am grateful that I get paid so well for doing something that I deeply love. I am grateful there are people in this world who choose me, out of the millions of options. Thank you, dear sweet people. Thank you.


I am grateful for fresh flowers. I am grateful I can afford to spend some of our money on fresh flowers every week. I am grateful my grocery store has such a beautiful selection. I love having flowers on my table, above my kitchen sink, in window-sills through-out my house…I love picking them out every few weeks with Anna.


I am grateful for art. Especially the art they bring home from school or create on the floors and tables and corners of the house.


I am grateful that I have the ability to pay someone else to clean my house. That I am helping to support a single mom in this economy. That I don’t have to do laundry, or mop the floor, or scrub the toilets. That I can spend the time I would be doing that with my family or doing projects around the house. I am grateful that once a week, my house gets the Olivia treatment. I am grateful for her hard work. Her shoes on my front step always make me smile.


I am most grateful for us. That we get to spend so much time together. That we actually LIKE to spend so much time together. I am grateful that he is our leader. I am grateful for his sense of humor, the way he smells, how warm and smooth he feels when we snuggle together, that he always knows the right answer. I am grateful we have made it this far, I am grateful for the hard work we have both done in order to have made it this far. That learning more about how we work is important to him. I am grateful that he takes off my glasses and turns off my light most nights, even after I have sworn up and down that “No, I am not falling asleep yet…zzzzz.” I am grateful that he goes grocery shopping. That he loves music as much as I do, even if it isn’t always the kind that I like. I am grateful my children have him as a father. I am grateful for all the days passed, and all the days to come.


You can find Dana’s challenge here. If you participated, please link in the comment section! :)