Saturday, December 31, 2011

Should I or shouldn't I?

As another year begins I start to think about that ol' pesky project 365 again.
I did it once and really enjoyed it...
Taking a photo every day for a year.
Actually, the year I did it, I took two photos every day:
one photo of "the day"
and one photo that was a self portrait
I made two books at the end of the year and I love them both

I've started up again twice since then
Once I sort of just stopped out of boredom or lack of energy or something
and the second time I was motivated and doing well but my photos were just not doing anything for me.
I didn't feel like they told a story or that I was making improvements or trying very hard in any way
so I stopped.

I do like the idea that a project like this motivates me to improve my photography
or to get out and photograph new things
So if I'm going to do it again I have to commit myself to doing that
in one way or another.
A book of photos that are boring and have no meaning is just
boring and meaningless!

I'll keep you posted.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Looking Back II

Making my way toward Christmas...and the current date as I go through my pictures
After Thanksgiving the next big event is the finding of the perfect Christmas Tree!
Our tradition is to cut one down and everyone takes a turn with the saw...and that means Grandma and Aunt Judy too!  We don't spare anyone in our traditions. No siree.

But we found a beauty that is nice and tall for our big ol' family room!

Austin manned the ladder as we decorated.
This year we decorated in record time.
I did all the lights (not sure why I have this nasty job since I get welts all over wherever I touch the tree but whatever)
and then everyone pitched in with the decorating.
usually my kids peter out early on but this year they did better than usual and we got all the ornaments on without any weeping, wailing or gnashing of teeth!

Grandma and Aunt Judy helped of course and we even forced Grandaddy off the couch to put on his token ornament so he could say he officially helped!

the finished tree is delightful!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Talking to Ryan (Elder Hill)

We got to skype with our missionary, Elder Hill today!
He's on a mission for our church, 
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
as most of you know
and he gets to call on Christmas and Mother's Day
(we email every week).

But this time we got to skype with him so we got to see his cute face.
It was so fun.
I realized that I could take screen shots so I did that occasionally during the call.
Eventually one of the kids told him that I was doing that so he started posing.
I love all these grainy shots we have of him.

Good ol' Ryan!

Looking Back

I've been going through pictures and getting organized and realizing just what a bad blogger I've been.
Since I (in theory) use my blog as a journal of sorts
I don't like it when I realize that I've left out all sorts of things.
So I'm going to take a few minutes and do a little looking back at some of the things I meant to write about
in the last few weeks!

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving with Frank's parents and Aunt Judy here.
It was awesome having them here.

Judy and Janice were even up for getting crafty with me as I tried to duplicate an idea from one of my favorite DIYers from the internet addicted to decorating

 We went to a football game to see Carter play in the marching band

My favorite people came to Thanksgiving dinner.
You will be able to easily see why they are my favorite people...

Then we had a lovely dinner enjoyed by all

and the teenagers managed to find a way to entertain themselves as well...

A great Thanksgiving for 2011!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The Mystery Gift

Here is a picture of Frank's mystery gift to me.
I thought I had an idea of what it might be...

But one of his traditions is to put little notes on his gifts
and his little note kind of threw me for a loop

"There are many benefits to losing weight.
Hopefully this gift will deliver results for you!"


He's not dumb enough to put a note like that and actually be referring to my weight!
I don't think...

We'll see.

He got Carter a gift and his note was, I thought, really obvious.
But it is driving Carter nuts.

It says, "When stealing mine doesn't work, there's always Christmas"
I thought Carter would know right away what it was.
But he has no idea.
And several times a day he says
"yes?" (thinking he has something to actually ask me)
"What do I steal from Dad a lot?" 

Saturday, December 10, 2011

The crazy story about the train

As you may or may not know, I went on a one day trip to New York City this week.
One of my best friends from High School was there on a girl's trip and I just couldn't stand the thought that she was so close and not go and see her.
so I just hopped on a train and crashed their party and saw her!
It was so fun!

We saw Ellis Island, which has been totally revamped since the last time I was there.
We went to Times Square and Rockafeller Center
We shopped
We ate great food
And talked and talked and talked

On Friday it was time for me to go home.

Jennifer walked me to Penn Station where we discovered that my train was delayed 50 minutes
apparently it had broken down
Here we are in Penn Station

I finally boarded my train for my 4+ hour trip.

My final destination is Boston which is the end of the line
and it's a pretty long trip
So I don't pay a lot of attention to what is going on around me
I read, I play Sudoku on my phone, I sleep
You know...pass the time

I do try to listen to what stop we are on so I have an idea of how close I am but I really don't pay a lot of attention
(which will become obvious in a minute)

So, we get to a stop and I'm playing on my phone 
I'm into it and not paying attention to the world around me at all
I notice a girl having trouble getting her luggage to fold up properly
and it takes her forever
I remember thinking that she better hurry up because the train never stops for long at each stop

After awhile this older woman who also just happens to be foreign comes up to me
and asks if I am "for South Station"
I say that I am
and she replies "oh, because there's no one left on the train"

I jump up and look around and sure enough, the train is 
completely empty!
I was so into my game that I didn't notice we had stopped (or for how long) or that the entire train emptied out around me.
She tells me that she took awhile to gather her things but that we can leave together.
I am super embarrassed but we walk up towards the exit together.

We get to the doors and they are shut.
I reach over to open them but they don't open
I push a few buttons
They are locked.
We are locked in an empty train.

The woman starts getting kind of freaked out
and says that she is so glad I am there because she's scared and doesn't know what to do.
Her English is not perfect so I think she's glad I'm there to talk to whoever we find
Oh I hope we find someone.
I tell her that we should just head toward the front of the train because certainly there are workers somewhere (!)
I get all the way to the dining car (the second car in the train) and open the doorway
Two workers are in there cleaning up or something and they literally jump when I open the door
and look at me quite startled.
"Can I help you?" one of them asks.
"Yes, we'd like to get off the train."
"uh. YEAH."
Then he says,"The conductor said the train was empty. We're about to leave."
I say, "Well there are two of us and we can't get out.  The doors are all locked."
He gets super nice and says, "Well, I'd be happy to help you get out."
He helps us to the door and helps the older lady with her luggage.

The two of us get off the train and look at each other 
and give each other a hug.
Yes, we are strangers but we both needed a hug right then.
We had been off the train for about...oh...ten seconds at that point.
We are in mid hug when the train LEAVES.
Yep, it takes off down the tracks the other direction.

The two of us just stared at each other and pretty much simultaneously said to each other
"We could have been on that train!"

Well, obviously no one ever checked to see if the train was empty.
But I am a serious dork for being so into a game of phone Sudoku that I don't notice my train has stopped!
And if it wasn't for that woman, I would DEFINITELY have been on that train.
I imagine I would have noticed when I started moving backwards...

So we laughed and walked together to the station.
We hugged again as we said goodbye.

And I can't get myself to play phone Sudoku for some reason.