IMG_5563This little girl’s parents, Brandon and Hannah, were good friends of mine in college and now live overseas. We had so much fun reconnecting at Chick Fil A for a couple hours this afternoon and our girls became fast friends.

march photo project.


Yesterday was my two hour beginner photography class with Ashley from Joyful Images Photography and it was everything I hoped it would be. We spent the first hour going over photography basics and the second hour shooting photos in her studio. She is a great teacher and I felt so many things start to make sense by the end of the morning.

If you’ve considered a photography class I’d say: Go for it! I have no desire to do anything with photography beyond taking photos for this blog, but I am so energized to put the things I learned into practice and keep improving.

I would add (and this is just my opinion) that I feel like I got even more out of the class because I had learned some things on my own first. I’ve studied our DSLR camera’s manual and also went through the Pioneer Woman’s beginner photography blog series, then tried to practice what I learned through the January photo project. Oh, and my new lens has helped a ton. It’s made my efforts much more rewarding (and David actually got it for me at Ashley’s recommendation).

All of that to say, I felt like by the time I went to the class yesterday all the terms were at least familiar to me and I had a good sense of what I’m struggling with, exposure-wise, and the questions I wanted to get answered.

Now my camera dial is set to “Manual” mode which is terrifying and exhilarating.

And so I begin the March Photo Project.

daily photo project.


So I totally flaked out there at the end of my January photo project. But I made through almost the whole month, so I’m pleased. I did actually learn some things, namely that lots of practice really is the key to getting better (at just about anything, right?).

I still can’t shoot in full manual mode but I can tweak my exposure a little better at this point. Also, I learned that one of my big weaknesses is that I just don’t take my camera out and about with me. So in the end you can only take so many interesting shots of your own house/yard/kids.

Thanks for bearing with me and encouraging me in the process.

I’m excited because I’ll be taking a beginner two-hour photography class March 1st. I’m going to take February off of my daily photo posts, and then have another try in March when I have some new skills to practice.

In the meantime, my birthday present to myself is a new hobby.

Not involving books.

Or screens.

I’m learning to crochet!

I’m teaching myself using blogs and youtube videos (okay so yes, this hobby does involve screens for now), and I’m surprised by how much I’m enjoying it. Also, learning to do anything crafty with a little girl in the house is the best: she ooh’s and ahh’s over every wobbly-stitched creation and begs, “Mom, make me another doll blanket!”

Why crochet, you ask? Simply because I tried knitting a few years ago and didn’t love it. I can’t promise I’ll ever become passionate about crochet either, but so far one needle is a lot easier to cope with than two.

Also because David has taken to puzzles lately and in my imagination we’re sitting together in these cozy winter evenings, happily absorbed in our old-fashioned hobbies. Also I hate doing puzzles.

You never know, you may be getting a washcloth from me before it’s all over.



I know, I know, I’ve dropped the ball on my photo-a-day this week. But I have a good excuse. Our (only) bathroom has been incapacitated since Friday morning. So we’ve been nomads, wandering to and fro throughout Columbia, searching for a place to go potty.

David and I joked that we’re real homeowners now. All those dreams about a kitchen remodel or adding a second bathroom? Well, turns out our first major expense renovation is one no one will ever see: all new plumbing under the house.

I’m a planner, and I had big plans for this weekend and week. But they were all thrown out the window and I was left trying to surrender those plans with a good attitude (which I did not always succeed at doing). So my floors weren’t damp-mopped and my closets didn’t get organized.

But what did get done?

– An unexpected sleepover at Kenny and Shari’s, and some much-needed catch up time with my sister-in-law (who made me gluten-free cookies to cheer me up).

– an invitation to one of our church’s life group hang-outs because we needed to eat dinner on Sunday night

– two days spent in the home of a brand new family in our church, the Burkhalters, and a sweet friendship begun

– texts and phone calls from friends offering to help us

– I finished the last of the Harry Potter series in the long hours waiting on the plumber

– our next-door neighbor called and begged us to come use her toilet last night, so the kids and I sat and had our first real conversation with her as we joked “There’s nothing to break the ice to bringing your kid over to take a #2.” Another new friend.

– we have a great plumber, whom I will forever be devoted to because he stayed and worked at our house until 9 last night so we could move back home.

– our bathroom was such a wreck from having the toilet taken out and re-installed that I scrubbed it from top to bottom at 9 pm

So there you have it. It’s been a productive week after all. And I woke up this morning, in my own bed, to a white world of snow outside.