Erin Cobb made me do it.  She drew me in with her shiny press printed book and talk of real moments and real memories and day to day photos with meaning and simplicity.  I can’t resist any of those things.  Especially since on the day she posted, I had been looking through my strikingly empty personal photo folders.  It hit me.  Hard.  Yes, I have a good reason for not photographing my family all that much this year.  Yes, we were busy, we were struggling, we had dark days.  But you know what, there were shimmers of hope, even on the darkest day and I cannot convince myself that I couldn’t have found one single beautiful moment to embrace and capture.  Even if it was the quiet at the end of the day, or a hug, or the light hitting someone or something just the right way.  No, I didn’t have time for quite a few months.  But we are steady.  And much like after we lost photos to hurricane katrina, I feel the need to capture new memories, to make up for lost time, to capture those I love in a real, meaningful, simple, imperfect way.  I thought about doing a 52 weeks, but I wanted more.  365 sounded good, but why waste a day.  Why wait until January 1st?  Why not start right away?  So I did just that, several weeks ago.  They may not all be in focus or exposed properly.  I can guarantee they will not be perfect, but neither are the people in them, and that is just what I love about them so very much.  Both the photos and the people.

Lyndsay Stradtner’s One Frame A Day

Here is my post for today.  Ty worked so hard on lighting the house this weekend.  We spent so much time outside, cleaning out the garage, having a garage sale, digging through outdoor decorations and getting them up.  The little kids were literally outside every second of the day that they were not sleeping or eating.  He and Jase did the front and Ty even did the back porch.  It looks fantastic and finally puts us in the mood for Christmas.  It has been a difficult year for us with so many changes.  It turns out Christmas is a pretty toxic holiday….which means the inside of our house is less than jolly or cheery.  I’ve had a hard time with that and I am struggling to come up with ways to compensate.  I had a great big pity party the other night and then shook it off knowing that there is nothing more important than Teagan’s health.  Yes, it is hard, it sucks, big time, but we can deal.  I’m trying to come up with ways to make it warm and inviting without all the normal stuff.  Crafts with the kids are helping!  We may not be decked out with Christmas cheer inside of our house, but the outside is now nice and spirited.

I LOVE blow up Santa.  It does NOT bother me at all that he deflates into a depressing pile of dead lump of santa during all daylight hours.  And my husband did NOT complain at all that I dragged him outside with me in the freezing cold to take these shots.  He did NOT make inappropriate jokes about my cool bokeh shot relating to my bad eyesight.  And he did NOT belch in my ear while I was shooting (ewww).  Nor did he grumble, gripe or complain at all when I asked him to move the cars for a better shot.  And he most certainly did NOT complain when he had to move said cars back again while I was defrosting inside.

None of those things are true.  All lies.  Santa bugs me to no end, I tolerate him because the kids love him and because it gives my (aforementioned grumpy) husband something to poke fun at me about.

Speaking of poking fun, you know what IS true??  There was no level involved in the hanging of any of these lights (scroll down to #’s 8-10).  To that I say hallelujah, Merry Christmas and thank you Ty!!!