• ~Psalm 46:4-5~

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Bring on the Bagpipe Music

Bridoodle received this adorable kilt from her aunt M and uncle J for Christmas. They lived in Scotland for a year as missionaries and brought this home for a present. Today, she rocked it out in the church nursery.

Her favorite lovey these days, Baby, gets to travel everywhere with her. We take Baby to daycare every day and to church. (Although this morning I forgot to grab Baby on the way out the door and since church had already started before I’d finished buckling Bri into her safety harness, I didn’t go back. I think the whole neighborhood could hear the wails for “BAAAAAAAAYBEEEEEEEE” on the way to church.)

After church, I wanted to grab some pictures of Bri in her new kilt, so she and Baby modeled for me.  Baby’s pretty good at sitting still. Bri – not so much. She did enjoy showing Baby the view from our window.

Then she hopped down from the couch and brought a favorite DVD over to me. “Watch Elmo Burthday?” She tilted her head and batted her eyelashes at me. I snapped the camera a few times hoping to catch that expression. She turned away annoyed and marched over to the DVD player. Then she pushed the open button, removed the current DVD and put her Elmo Birthday DVD in the slot. I sat there open mouthed before I realized that I should take a picture. (Hello? Nobody would believe this otherwise!)

She was so proud of herself. And so was I. My baby girl is growing up!

Day 3 ~ Twinkle Lights

Today I took a self portrait in front of the Christmas tree. I used my 50mm f1.8 lens which has a really shallow depth of field. I wanted most of the image to be blurry except my face. Problem? It’s hard to use your eyeball to focus on your own eyeball. I got pretty close. Here’s how I did it!

First I set up my camera on a stool so that it was approximately eye level with me when I was sitting on the ground. Then I used one of Bri’s new toys (I’m in the middle of wrapping presents over here) on a similar stool to focus in on. I set the focus to be sharpest on the number 24.

Then I hit the auto-timer setting and scooted over to push the play-doh stool out of the way. I tried to line up my eyes with the spot where the 24 had been. And here is the result:

My bangs were more in focus than my eyes, but I liked the twinkle so much that I didn’t care. I think my smile looks a little weird in this one but it was the second runner up:

Ooops! I missed a day.

Honestly, I’m actually surprised that I made it all the way to the half way point of NaBloPoMo (posting every day in November) without missing a day. I didn’t think I’d last a week! The lesson I’ve learned this go ’round is that I’d rather post a few good posts each month than a babbling post every day. I think my posts turn out better when I take some time to stew over them for awhile. So I don’t think I’ll be blogging every day anymore. I’m going to just hit the highlights instead!

So why did I fall off the wagon? It was a pretty good reason in my opinion. Yesterday we had some very special company. My sister-in-law and her husband came over for a visit. It was wonderful to hang out with them because for the past year they’ve been living in Scotland – that’s right – the Scotland – located on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean. Needless to say we had lots of stuff to talk about and we ended up chatting pretty late.

Then Hubs and I had to make a decision on Bridoodle’s plans for today. She has a pink nose that we think is a little fungal infection. Personally I think it’s kind of cute, but I’m her mom. And her eye started gunking up yesterday which means we have another old friend- pink eye. So I pulled out the eye drops from last year and we’ve been applying some over the counter fungal cream to her nose. Poor thing! We felt like it was a good idea to keep her home today since pink eye is so contagious during the first 24 hours. All the other daycare moms can thank me for playing hookie (hooky?) from work. I’m sooo sacrificial!

 

lost in the beauty of it all

I’m having a hard time finding a place in the Flickr-verse. On Twitter I feel comfortable. If I show up then I can chat comfortably with 500 of my closest friends. If I take a two month leave of absence, no one misses me. Facebook also feels like home. I know lots of people and it’s fun to check in on them at my convenience. It’s a great way to waste time when I should be folding laundry or doing the dishes. (Kind of like blogging ;o)

But Flickr, oh Flickr. I have a hard time there. My little networks have either fizzled out or grown ginormous. It’s not comfortable anymore. I don’t have a niche.

There’s also something about Flickr that brings out the insecure high school girl in me. “Oh that picture is breath-taking. I’ll never shoot anything as good as that. I should just take down my photography website. I stink.”

I’ve seen the camaraderie of the 365 group and it is alluring. It always amazes me when someone has 20 or more comments on a Flickr photo. But I struggle to make it through one run of 7days. How could I possibly take and edit a year’s worth of photos in addition to all that I’m already doing?

I’ve also seen people who add each and every photo that they take to twenty or so groups. I guess that does increase the number of comments that you’ll get but it seems a little strange to me. Like a combination of cheating and grandiose thinking.

I’d like to find a group where my pictures don’t seem to be swallowed up in a sea of gorgeous pictures. I want to find a small enough group where I can comment on everyone’s stuff without being swamped. I’d really like to find a group that challenges me without making me feel like a horrible photographer. Does that exist? Have you found something like that? Let me in on your secrets!

kit-kat post

I had to think of something clever for this post title, because my original idea would have made you hit “mark already read” in your feed reader. You can go ahead and do that if you want!

I’m sitting at home in a quiet house all by myself for the next few minutes. Today was a rainy gray day and I got soaked on the way to the car, so I decided to indulge myself with some alone time at home. I changed into jeans before grabbing the computer. It’s eerily quiet around here.

Every day after school I stop by the daycare to pick up Bri on my way home from work. Then we go on to do our normal errands or we go home. It seems like I melt seamlessly from one role (teacher) into the next (mother) and the next (wife) and the next (photographer). I rarely stop to just be me.

So today I thought I’d take a thirty minute break. And it was fun. It’s nice to know that I still like myself, because I don’t get to spend much time with just me anymore!

almost pregnant

We had an evening of being almost pregnant a few nights ago. I’ve had plenty of them over the last five years. If my period’s even a day late then I start to worry. There have been many frantic moments where we waited to see if there would be two pink lines or just one on the pregnancy test.

But this time it was different. This time I held the smallest glimmer of hope that it might be for real. Hubs and I joked around with big goofy grins on our faces. He told me to go lay down after dinner so that he could bring me some ice cream. We talked in a silly voice and patted my tummy, while asking Bri if she’d like to be a big sister. I imagined a tiny baby growing inside me and was already loving this future child.

So I was really disappointed when my monthly gift arrived the next morning. I know, I know. It was only one evening of make believe. I can’t even imagine the heartache that must accompany a miscarriage or a stillbirth after months of dreaming. We weren’t even trying to conceive. The sadness that followed me the next day seemed disproportional to the happiness of our little evening.

I guess I’ve been suppressing this baby bug more than I realized. Our plan to wait a year or two makes so much financial sense, and yet my heart and arms are aching for another baby. It’s a good thing I have a newborn session in a few weeks. Maybe that’ll be enough of a fix for now.

photog gear

I’ve been building my equipment base over the last six months by reinvesting my earnings. This week I won a bid on ebay for a 50mm f1.8 lens. And last night, Hubs and I sat around playing with all of my toys. It was lots of fun. He didn’t realize that I have four lenses now! I guess I’m moving up in the world.

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My new lens lets me control the depth of field so precisely that I can focus on Bri’s bangs and her face will be blurry. How crazy is that?

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I can also focus on Bri and her Daddy can be blurry in the background. She thinks it’s really fun to put the flashlight inside her mouth. A few minutes before this picture she was doing this in front of the mirror.

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This new lens is a little bit more difficult to use than my usual partner in crime. It doesn’t have an internal motor, so I have to do a lot of my focusing by hand. When you’re shooting little kids, it’s really nice to be able to let the camera do all of the focusing for you. By the time you focus on them yourself, they’ve already moved away!

But I am totally in love with the way it creates a nice blurry background. You probably didn’t even notice the vacuum cleaner behind Bri in the picture above. I’ll be able to use this little lens for indoor shoots without worrying about busy background from normal house clutter. It’s going to be perfect for the newborn shoot I have next week! Yay!

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