Finding and creating adventures in everyday life.

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Photo Challenge 2018 – Week 33

We went to the coast a few weeks ago while Colin’s Mum was here from New Zealand and had a lovely time. Below are a couple of my journal entries from our time there talking about one of my favourite memories from the Summer.

Journal Entry – Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Week 33 5

There’s something magical about children and the sea. They face down and challenge it to games of skill and courage.

Week 33 8

I hear Zane’s shivering hum, but they show no signs of coming in or wanting to come in and probably won’t until we tell them to.

Week 33 7

Their hands are so cold they can barely bend their fingers, and yet they bend over and plunge their hands into the wet sand, grabbing handfuls and race back into the waves to jump and throw sand and bury their feet while trying to stay standing as the waves pound against them.

Week 33 9

Over and over again they leap into the waves and I see the vast expanse of ocean beyond them, not the placid, gentle ocean of a tropical beach on a clear day, but the crashing waves of the Pacific Ocean on the Oregon coast. They look small and I shiver at the thought of them going out too far, but they stand strong and yell a challenge to the sea and then turn and run, laughing, towards the shore as the waves chase them down and dwindle until they are ankle depth and then disappear altogether. Then it’s time for the boys to turn and run back out into the crashing surf – out into waves that come higher and higher as they successfully face the waves before and they venture a bit further out.

Week 33 6

Week 33 10

I sit on the shore, comforatable on my blanket, in my warm hoodie, taking photos, capturing memories with both my camera and my mind. As a worst case scenario thinking, I’ve already thought about what I will do if I see one of them go too far and get knocked down, but I want them to push their limits and be brave and take risks. I’m watching and rejoicing as they do what kids so at the beach. I’m also a little bit jealous of their carefree abandon and wonder when, as we grow up, getting cold and wet outweighs the joy of jumping in the waves.

Maybe today is the day that I will join them and make some memories.

Journal Entry – Thursday, August 23, 2018

Thinking about yesterday…

We arrived back at the house after 5 pm – it was cool and foggy, but I was determined to venture out into the ocean with the boys. Off we went to the beach. I must admit, I was feeling a bit of, “This is something I should do.”, and those first steps into the water were freezing! After a few minutes, all I can say is that it was pure joy. The boys showed me the game they had been playing in the waves earlier and I joined in. We had so much fun. I was soon numb and no longer noticed the temperature (so this is how they last so long without coming in!). We jumped and ran and ventured further and further out into the waves. We laughed so much as the waves hit us and we occasionally fell down.

Week 33 1Week 33 2

Week 33 3

Because I was with them, the boys went farther out than they had yet gone, into bigger, fiercer waves. I felt brave and powerful even while feeling small and fragile in the face of the waves coming at me. Finally, we came out of the sea and Daddy was waiting with dry towels and I still didn’t feel cold even though my legs and feet were bright red because of all the blood racing to my extremities trying to do its job.

We walked back to the house and the breeze felt balmy even though Colin insisted it was cold. At the house, Colin hosed us all down, getting the sand off – he was, perhaps, a bit too thorough with me and I was soaked and chased down the driveway with the hose, to everyone’s amusement.

Then it was hot showers and hot drinks all around. I honestly had the best time and will cherish those moments of shared experience in the cold ocean with Jude and Zane. It also won’t be the last time that I do it. Feeling very grateful.

Now I am left with a lot of deep thoughts, metaphysical musings about our roles as parents – protectors, partners, pushers.

Sometimes we watch and encourage and allow them to be brave and bold on their own.

Sometimes we participate and by our very presence, they go farther and do more than they would have done on their own.

Both are important, both have their own challenges and joys. We need wisdom when one should be done over the other.

As our children are out their on their own, we are learning and growing in faith and courage and joy.

When we leap in and join them, we are also learning and growing in faith and courage and joy.

Week 33 4

And right now, in this moment, this quiet morning on the coast, as I reflect and muse, the boys simply have a solid, wonderful memory of their Mom leaping out in the cold waves with them. They aren’t thinking about how I looked in my swimsuit or the fact that they are becoming more brave because they spent time in the ocean. They aren’t concerned with whether we have any good pictures to try to capture the moment. They aren’t deep in thought about life lessons, they honestly just had fun, and when it comes down to it, so did I.

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Photo Challenge 2017 – Week 3, Artistic: Red

This week’s challenge was to do something artistic with the color red and make red the focus. When I first stated thinking about possible ideas for this week, I immediately thought of Iron Man. I love Iron Man. I also wanted to incorporate the snow as a background and then as the snow began to melt this week, there were puddles everywhere and I love reflections. So here is my shot for this week, Iron Man in red, reflected in a puddle with a background of white snow.



Words on Wednesday – Thoughts on my Photo a Day Challenge in 2016.

I made it! I loved having a daily challenge in 2016. And it was, indeed, a challenge. In the end, I missed 6 days where I took no photos of any kind. That’s a bummer, but it also means that I took 360 photos! (I actually took so many photos this year and I love it!)

Day 01 2016

Day 1 2016 My First Image of the Year.

I shot the majority of my photos on my Canon D7200 that I got the year before. I took a photography course in October of 2015 and it was amazing! I have shot my photos almost exclusively in Manual mode since then. I took some photos in the challenge with my phone, but most of them were with my DSLR.

Day 29 2016

Day 29 2016

I have discovered that I love the journalistic style of photography. Capturing moments of everyday life.

Day 121 2016

Day 121 2016

I was lazy at times and only grabbed photos in the moments before falling into bed. This was good and bad. It caused me to look around my home and find those interesting (to me) scenes and images that I might have missed.

Day 207 2016

Day 207 2016

I didn’t do much planning at all. I just tried to be mindful of seeing things and getting my camera out and grabbing a shot. I carried my camera with me almost constantly, which I’ve never done before.

I definitely see the world in photographs. I love the idea of capturing and keeping moments. Nostalgia and memories are so important to me.


Day 261 2016

I did increase my skills with the camera, just through constant use. However, one of my hopes for this challenge was to try new techniques and explore more of what my camera can do and that didn’t happen. It turned into more of just getting a shot each day rather than planning shots and creating something. I don’t regret it at all and I got some amazing shots, but I do want to push myself more.

Day 246 2016

Day 246 2016

Looking ahead to 2017, I am embarking on another Photography challenge. It will be a weekly challenge and I found the prompts online. It will be something that I will be able to take the time to plan and work on various techniques. The website I found the challenge on is Dogwood Photography, and I like that it is more than just a list of prompts.

I imagine that I will return to the Photo a Day challenge in future years. Despite its challenges and frustrations, I loved doing it.

Day 115 2016

Day 115 2016


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Photo a Day 2016 – Days 345-366

Day 345 – Colin and I helped out in the 4th and 5th grade class at church and the kids had to make Nativities out of Play Doh.


Day 345 2016

Day 346 – Getting jars and jar lids ready to our neighbor gifts.


Day 346 2016

Day 347 – Moon Rise.


Day 347 2016

Day 348 – I usually carry a huge bag day to day, but when I go out for an evening, I love being able to use one of the many vintage bags that I have – this one from my sister.


Day 348 2016

Day 349 – We had a big snow storm and I love it!


Day 349 2016

Day 350 – Two days off of school because of the snow required walking to the park to play in the snow and get some energy out.


Day 350 2016

Day 351 – Back to school for one day before the Christmas break. Parties and fun. Jude made a gingerbread house.


Day 351 2016

Day 352 – What a beautiful place we get to live in. Winter wonderland indeed.


Day 352 2016

Day 353 – Icicles.


Day 353 2016

Day 354 – The slushy, messy aftermath of snow.


Day 354 2016

Day 355 – Out looking at Christmas lights with the family.


Day 356 2016

Day 357 – Christmas moments – West Wing, Josh and Leo.


Day 357 2016

Day 358 – Dabbers.


Day 357 2016

Day 358 – Jake, the Snow Dog.


Day 358 2016

Day 359 – Homemade sushi for Christmas Eve Dinner.


Day 359 2016

Day 360 – This boy and this face.


Day 360 2016

Day 361 – The advent Nativity is complete and Jesus is in the manger.


Day 361 2016

Day 362 – Pretty lights.


Day 362 2016

Day 363 – My moon boots. Never got them as a child, but snagged them as an adult.


Day 363 2016

Day 364 – Snowshoeing. Beautiful day.


Day 364 2016

Day 365 – Jude and Zane have been eating the gingerbread house they made at Grandma and Grandpa’s. Jude decorated a couple of pieces for Zane. They said, “I love you, Zane. From Jude”. It’s not always sweetness and light, but my boys do really love each other.


Day 365 2016

Day 366 – Ringing in the New Year with my boys. Final photo in this challenge.


Day 366 2016

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Photo a Day 2016 – Days 319-344

Day 319 – One of my favorite karate buddies.


Day 319 2016

Day 320 – There’s always random toys and whatnot lying around.


Day 320 2016

Day 321 – School project – Georgia.


Day 321 2016

Day 322 – Sparring Gear.


Day 322 2016

Day 323 – Jude worked on a Rube Goldberg Machine before school.


Day 323 2016

Day 324 – Local Bookstore – The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe Stair.


Day 324 2016

Day 325 – Always safe when you’re jumping into Daddy’s arms.


Day 325 2016

Day 326 – Canyon Walk.


Day 326 2016

Day 327 – Lava Fields.


Day 327 2016

Day 328 – Running across the Bridge.


Day 328 2016

Day 329 – Cheers to Thanksgiving!


Day 329 2016

Day 330 – My boys – Puget Sound.


Day 330 2016

Day 331 – Cousins.


Day 331 2016

Day 332 – Portland Bridge


Day 332 2016

Day 333 – And the tree is up!


Day 333 2016

Day 334 – The boys love their London Underground duvet sets that they received from our NZ/UK visitors. I love when they ask me questions about the various lines and stations.


Day 334 2016

Day 335 – My extremely talented friend and the boy’s piano teacher is directing a children’s theater production of Elf. We were invited to the dress rehearsal and it was fabulous!


Day 335 2016

Day 336 – Breaking in a new pair of Docs.


Day 336 2016

Day 337 – The Advent Nativity has begun. The boys are being creative and making the animals into super heroes.


Day 337 2016

Day 338 – This kid cracks me up! The fortune says, “You are the center of every group attention.” Pretty much. Also, look at those eyes!


Day 338 2016

Day 339 – This year’s photo ornament. My boys.


Day 339 2016

Day 340 – Right before double carpal tunnel surgery. I’m ready for relief from pain and numbness. Also, a bit nervous.


Day 340 2016

Day 341 – Winter Berries.


Day 341 2016

Day 342 – The boys wrote to President Obama and thanked him for serving our country. They received an amazing package of photos, information and a letter from the President. Super cool!


Day 342 2016

Day 343 – Checkers does love the stove!


Day 343 2016

Day 344 – Hat, gloves and scarf drying in front of the fire after play time in the snow.


Day 344 2016

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Photo a Day 2016 – Days 284-318

Day 284 – Just a boy and his companion, Beaver.


Day 284 2016

Day 285 – Sad Face. No Photo.

Day 286 – Jog a Thon at School. High Schoolers came out to cheer on our kids. Looks like Jude had a great time.


Day 286 2016

Day 287 – Sad face again.

Day 288 – Jake stayed with us for a couple of weeks. Love his face.


Day 288 2016

Day 289 – A typical Saturday morning scene at our house.


Day 289 2016

Day 290 – Moonlight through the trees.


Day 290 2016

Day 291 – Stormy sky, autumn tree.


Day 291 2016

Day 292 – The bouquet of flowers that Colin and the boys made me for Mother’s Day – they never fade or die!


Day 292 2016

Day 293 – A childhood rite of passage.


Day 293 2016

Day 294 – Adventures in Cold Brewing.


Day 294 2016

Day 295 – Hey Jude.


Day 295 2016

Day 296 – Pumpkin Patch Shenanigans.


Day 296 2016

Day 297 – Beautiful Boy.


Day 297 2016

Day 298 – This lovely sign is the cause of much marital strife.


Day 298 2016

Day 299 – Checkers


Day 299 2016

Day 300 – The colors of Fall.


Day 300 2016

Day 301 – Zane summing himself up in one word.


Day 301 2016

Day 302 – The view from Black Butte.


Day 302 2016

Day 303 – Experimenting with water blur along the McKenzie River.


Day 303 2016

Day 304 – We rented a cabin on the McKenzie River and it was wonderful – peaceful and recharging. This was our backyard.


Day 304 2016

Day 305 – My wee Hobbits visiting from Middle Earth.


Day 305 2016

Day 306 – Colin and Checkers performing their acrobatic tricks.


Day 306 2016

Day 307 – Kickin’ It.


Day 307 2016

Day 308 – Sunsetting.


Day 308 2016

Day 309 – Our Middle Earthian Family.


Day 309 2016

Day 310 – Pom Pom


Day 310 2016

Day 311 – Cool Twilight Clouds


Day 311 2016

Day 312 – Crackling Leaves.


Day 312 2016

Day 313 – Clouds over Pilot Butte and the boy’s school.


Day 313 2016

Day 314 – Hazy gradient.


Day 314 2016

Day 315 – Homemade sushi dinner with Vietnamese spring rolls.


Day 315 2016

Day 316 – Making stuff with the amazing Dojo Ladies.


Day 316 2016

Day 317 – Night Sky.


Day 317 2016

Day 318 – Sometimes you wait a long time to do something. And then one day, you do it.


Day 318 2016

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Photo a Day 2016 – Days 269-283

Day 269 – Had a lovely tea party with the family.


Day 269 2016

Day 270 – Missed it. Dang it.

Day 271 – Practice, practice, practice.


Day 271 2016

Day 272 – Zane at a karate class – mostly focused.


Day 272 2016

Day 273 – Autumn has arrived.


Day 273 2016

Day 274 – Ya gotta have faith.


Day 274 2016

Day 275 – Checkers.


Day 275 2016

Day 276 – Out with the Girls for a birthday treat. Had absinthe for the first time and it was amazing.


Day 276 2016

Day 277 – Sometimes your kids struggle and get stuck, it’s hard to see. Then they work hard and overcome it. Jump the hurdle Zane!


Day 277 2016

Day 278 – Sad face, another miss.

Day 279 – Jude surrounded by some of the things he loves. Books about science, karate, Minecraft, his video camera tripod.and fancy drink stirrers.His room is also a mess.


Day 279 2016

Day 280 – Block man, just having a chill out.


Day 280 2016

Day 281 – My lovely book necklace that my sister gave to me.


Day 281 2016

Day 282 – First pumpkins of the season!


Day 282 2016

Day 283 – Cool clouds over the Lava Lands.


Day 283 2016


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Photo a Day 2016 – Days 259-268

Day 259 – Spider web! I really don’t like spiders, their webs can be quite beautiful though.


Day 259 2016

Day 260 – It’s Fall! Candles and coziness.


Day 260 2016

Day 261 – Leaping!


Day 261 2016

Day 262 – The leaves are falling.


Day 262 2016

Day 263 – Macrame. My Grandma used to macrame and I’ve always loved it, but have been very intimidated by the process. I finally bit the bullet and did a very simple design. I would like to try some more complicated designs, but so glad that I finally went for it and just did it!


Day 263 2016

Day 264 – I love our dojo. Doing karate is such a challenging and overwhelming experience. I love the way things are done in out dojo – it’s tough, it’s hard, the standards are high. At the same time there is so much love and encouragement. This is one of our senseis receiving a black gi which is a big deal.


Day 264 2016

Day 265 – Shooting into the Sun.


Day 265 2016

Day 266 – Birthday Self-Portrait. More and more myself, everyday.


Day 266 2016

Day 267 – Living Room camp out. The boys and Daddy love to sleep downstairs in the living room.


Day 267 2016

Day 268 – This is Colin, on his birthday, teaching kids at church. He really is so talented in many ways – musically, intellectually, humorously and he’s great at teaching. I love watching him lead and guide his own kids and the kids at church. He’s pretty cool.


Day 268 2016

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Photo a Day 2016 – Days 249-258

Day 249 – Labor Day cornhole. Mom, Dad and Jake.


Day 249 2016

Day 250 – Climbers


Day 250 2016

Day 251 – First day of school – Brothers and Best Friends


Day 251 2016

Day 252 – Punch!


Day 252 2016

Day 253 – Sunflower at Sunset


Day 253 2016

Day 254 – Jake after a hard day of putting together IKEA furniture.


Day 254 2016

Day 255 – The system that the boys use to climb the fence to turn the water on.


Day 255 2016

Day 256 – Even scratchy, prickly weeds can be beautiful.


Day 256 2016

Day 257 – Karate and the rising moon.


Day 257 2016

Day 258 – The boys and their neighbor friends have created an impressive river system in our front yard.


Day 258 2016

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Photo a Day 2016 – Days 240-248

Day 240 – Beautiful buck in one of our city parks.

Day 240 2016

Day 240 2016

Day 241 – Brilliant clouds over Pilot Butte.

Day 241 2016

Day 241 2016

Day 242 – Sunseting.

Day 242 2016

Day 242 2016

Day 243 – Jude and his portrait of Checkers.

Day 243 2016

Day 243 2016

Day 244 – Cuddles with Checkers.

Day 244 2016

Day 244 2016

Day 245 – Open House at School. Hard to believe that Summer is almost over.

Day 245 2016

Day 245 2016

Day 246 – Sunset at Cultus Lake.

Day 246 2016

Day 246 2016

Day 247 – Sunshine through leaves.

Day 247 2016

Day 247 2016

Day 248 – This spider on my front porch is just way too big.

Day 248 2016

Day 248 2016