Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Twinkle Lights, Popcorn, and Camping...

 So, if you remember this post  you remember we have become avid campers. However, we became such with borrowed equipment from a sweet friend. It was time to get our own. Borrowing from a camping guru like we did was great though... we knew exactly what we needed!
So, we scoured sales, thrift shops, and online sources and compared prices and tried to really keep it simple (read: not expensive) to go on our first camping trip of the year. We did it, and it was a smashing success if I do say so myself. Here are some highlights in my favorite blog form... the list.

1. was not even close to right about the weather for the weekend. "Highs in the 70s" were no where to be seen, but hey, we DID see our breathe in the tent!

2. Wet Wood = lots of smokey fires. I felt so, um... robust smelling by the time we left.

3. When the rude college age kids in the next site over wake you up at 2am with their loud yapping, just roll over and let it go... and take solace in the fact that your kids will be up at the butt crack of dawn and you won't be shushing them. at.all. Glorious street justice :)

4. Popcorn made over the campfire may give your arm a cramp, but it tastes SO good. (this was one of the supply "splurges" that I used some of my birthday money on. SO worth it!)

5. Get the Ikea french press so your husband can have his coffee. Caffeinated spouses = happy spouses.

6. Two words. Twinkle Lights. ( we had many people stopping to look at these. they were SO festive. I plan on adding more for the next trip!)

7. The best part of camping? No internet or wireless. Ahhhhh... :)

8. Reading The Hardy Boys by the fire was almost so stinking picturesque, I wanted to pinch myself. I mean, here we were, reading, sipping hot chocolate, sitting by a fire, while the wind whipped through the air. If one of my kids hadn't farted and brought me back to reality, I might've thought I was dreaming.

9. If your husband doesn't smoke a pipe, I am sorry. Camping just isn't camping until that pipe tobacco scent is wafting through the air.

10. Oh, those twinkle lights? They light up the camp site a lot more than you realize... or maybe you do realize it as you tinkle in the woods before bed... the ever so twinkle lighted woods. Ooops.

Friday, May 10, 2013

The Day I Stopped Clicking

If you know me, you know I am a pretty consistent picture snapping Mama. Ok, maybe consistent is putting it mildly... maybe I am more like a...


Here is proof, this is a book I recently got. (Which is super cute by the way.)

But recently, if you look into my computer files, you will see a sharp decrease in the number of photos I've been taking. It wasn't on purpose, but I thought more and more about the why, and the how, and the purpose behind all that clicking. Ok, and truth be told, my computer is almost out of memory. I have a reeeeaalllly hard time deleting photos off and trusting they are on the hard drive. What was I to do? Stop taking pictures? I am a firm believer in documenting life with photos, but was I really doing that?

As I began to be honest with myself I saw some issues with the constant clickage.

I had forgotten how to simply experience the memories I was trying so very hard to capture. 

I realized this when I was SO busy clicking away on a hiking trip, that when Micah asked what I thought of the view, I realized, if I didn't have the photo to look at, I would have no clue. I had only glimpsed it through my iPhone and my Canon view finder.  I was more concerned with filters and the proper shutter speed than actually seeing the view!

 I started to realize, I need to let my mind's eye have the first click sometimes.

I need to experience the moment more and stop worrying about having the perfect shot of the moment.
I know I want photos to show my kids as they get older, their spouses, and someday, hopefully my own grandchildren. But when I think back to what my Gramma shared with me about her life, I don't remember it because she had a shutterfly photo book, or showed me her instagram feed. I remember because her memories were so powerful, and she was able to share them in such detail, that you felt transported to that place where your mind makes its own images of what it all may have looked like. I have a perfect photo in my head of her first apartment in the US, and what arriving there was like after sailing into Ellis Island.  Oh, to be sure, I would love... LOVE a photo of some of these things, but her words and memories were powerful too, in their own way.

So, back to me and my chain-smoker-esque photo ways. What am I going to do differently? I have promised myself to...

Experience first. Photograph Second.
Live first. Snap Second.
Write the memory in my mind, and then say cheese. 

That next hiking trip... I can vividly describe to you the way the sky looked that day, the many shades of blues we saw. How a storm rolled in and the cloud front was like a dark curtain over the valley. I can show you a photo too, because I did take one... but not until I had lived the moment with each of my boys first, and that my friends is why those photos are special.

The memories and the documentation of life just got a little sweeter again...