Sunday, January 30, 2011

Project 365: Day 30

Day 30: This is my "Oh my's 11:30 and I'm ready to go to bed but just realized that I forgot to take a picture today" look. :) Maybe tomorrow I'll take a picture of me looking normal and not half-asleep. =)

Project 365: Day 29

Day 29: Two pictures today! The first one was taken by me as my goal is to personally take a picture every day, but I thought it would be fun to be in one. The second was taken by my cousin of me and a bunch of my friends. We went square dancing and so were all dressed up in plaid. :)

Project 365: Day 28

Day 28: I ran several errands today including stops at both libraries in town. At one of them I decided to take a picture. I love the library. :)

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Project 365: Day 27

Day 27: Today I went to the dentist for a cleaning. So I decided to take a picture of the contents of the "goody bag" they sent me home with. Three different kinds of am I going to pick which one to use first?!

Book Review: Lady in Waiting (Susan Meissner)

I would imagine that, for an author, writing two stories simultaneously and splitting them up so you have part of one story followed by part of the other story, and so on, would be a bit of a challenge. Susan Meissner does it perfectly with her book, Lady in Waiting. The book follows the story of Jane Lindsey, antique store owner, wife and mother who is trying to figure out how to save her marriage, in one part, and the story of Lucy Day, seamstress for Lady Jane Grey, future 9-day Queen of England, in the other.

Jane Lindsey and Jane Grey have something in common: both are waiting for a change in the direction their life is going. Both feel trapped and not able to make a choice as to how their future will play out. Fortunately, Jane Lindsey realizes soon enough that she is able to choose. Unfortunately, Lady Jane Grey realizes too late.

While I enjoyed the book, I found myself most drawn to the sections from Lucy’s perspective about Lady Jane Grey. I was not familiar with Jane Grey before I read this book but I found myself doing some research on her after I finished the book. Lady Jane Grey really was queen of England for 9 days before her cousin, “Bloody” Mary I took over the throne. Sixteen-year-old Jane’s fate was eventually sealed and she realized that even though she thought she never had the right to make choices for herself, she had made the choices that had gotten her to this point in her life and she had to live with those choices.

Jane Lindsey realized that she had control of her life, too. She could choose to constantly wonder why her husband walked out on her and on their marriage, or she could choose to do some things she had always wanted to do and hope to save her marriage in the process.  And in the end, she made the right choice and we are left to believe that things worked out well for Brad and Jane Lindsey.

I found this book to be a fun read. I loved the fact that it incorporated two storylines .And I loved the historical element with the story of Lady Jane Grey.

Many thanks to Waterbrook Multnomah Publishing Company for providing me with a review copy of this book! Please use this handy ranking tool to rate my review. I would appreciate a 5-star if you think it is worthy. :)

Project 365: Day 26

Day 26: I went to a local coffee shop with a friend that I haven't gotten together with in quite some time. However, neither one of us ordered coffee! She ordered hot tea and I got a strawberry Italian soda. Probably not your typical "mid-January-in-the-northwest" beverage-of-choice, but the sun was shining and it sounded so good....and it was. :)

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Project 365: Day 25

Day 25: Tonight was ice cream party night at Awana. All the girls who were 1/2 way through their handbook got to have ice cream sundaes. We had a leader's meeting after the party and got to eat the leftover ice cream. One of my friends and I raided the candy bin before the meeting and grabbed some boxes of nerds to use as an ice cream topping. It made a tasty treat. :)

I have completed 25 days of this challenge. Only 340 to go. ;-)

Project 365: Day 24

Day 24: You may or may not be aware that I used to work at our local Great Harvest Bread Company. I in fact, I worked there for 3 years. While working there I, of course, got to taste all the different breads. My favorite, hands-down is the Cinnamon Chip bread. I haven't had anything quite as good. I went in yesterday to say hi so some of my former co-workers, since I hadn't been in there in months and was able to get a loaf of Cinnamon Chip bread. I'm thoroughly enjoying it, I assure you. :) I meant to take a picture in the store (it is an old house converted into a bakery) but I forgot until I was already back out in my car. Next time, for sure!

Project 365: Day 23

Day 23: Here's some more snowmen from my collection. I gotta admit...I was going to take a picture at my friend's house when we were playing Wii, but I realized I forgot my memory card. Again. So I scrambled to take a picture once I got home. Good thing I have a snowman collection, huh? :)

Saturday, January 22, 2011

New Header!

You may have noticed the new header on my blog! This is not at all what I was envisioning when I sat down to re-do my header, but I love it WAY better than what I was envisioning. I am going to try to make my own template/background to match, but haven't quite figured that out yet, so for now I'll stick with a custom header. :) Now I think I'll try to come up with a business card for my budding photography business. And maybe play around with a logo. :) I'm having fun with Photoshop....can you tell? :)

What do you think of the new header? I would love your thoughts.

Project 365: Day 22

Day 22: Today I went to a Girl's Day with some friends. It was at the home of one of my fellow Awana leaders and it was quite fun eating soup and playing games. A couple friends and I played Phase 10. I've only played it a few times in my life and had a lot of fun. I made it through all 10 phases but since we did not keep score we had no winner. :)

Friday, January 21, 2011

Project 365: Day 21

Day 21: Today I went with my mom to her Daughters of the American Revolution meeting. I have no intention of joining for at least another 30 years, but since I am between jobs it seemed like a good time to go and see what goes on at these meetings she goes to every month. They meet at an old house downtown that has lots of character. I took my camera because I knew there was bound to be something interesting to photograph, and my eyes were drawn to the bright-colored hardbound books on the bookshelves. I knew they would make a very colorful photo. Yes, I took it at an angle on purpose. One of the things I want to do with this challenge is play with different angles and things like that. :)

Project 365: Day 19

Day 19: Apparently I forgot to post Day 19, although I definitely took a picture. I was actually planning to take a picture at my friend's house when we were playing Wii Fit, but of course I took my camera but forgot to make sure there was a memory card inside! So I had to quick come up with a new picture once I got home. So I decided to take a picture of my new cozy shearling slippers. They are the Kirkland Signature Shearling Slippers that they were selling this winter. I got them for Christmas but just now decided which pair to keep (I had two sizes to decide between). They are SO cozy and I hate taking them off my feet because then my feet aren't nearly as warm as they were when I had the slippers on. I can see why wearing fuzzy slippers as shoes is "in" these days. :)

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Project 365: Day 20

Day 20: I've been taking a ballroom dance class on Thursday nights, and as I was driving to the class with my friend Alyssa tonight we noticed that the sunset was absolutely amazing. I was bummed to realize that I had forgotten my little point & shoot camera, but remembered that my cell phone has a pretty good 3-megapixel camera. Alyssa and I were both delighted when we got stopped at a stoplight long enough to get a picture of this amazing sunset. Unfortunately this picture does not do the sunset justice, but you can still see that it was beautiful. Thank you, God, for this amazing display!

Andrew Peterson - Dancing In The Mine Fields

I was listening to the radio as I drove home tonight. I had just switched the radio to one of our local Christian radio stations. Almost as soon as I switched, this song came on. I had not heard it before, and I thought it was a really awesome song so I thought I would share it with all of you as well.

Andrew Peterson - "Dancing in the Mine Fields"

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Project 365: Day 18

Day 18: I have wonderful intentions of taking a picture of my entire snowman collection (since it is growing and growing and is worthing of showing you all), but today I thought I would share one of my newest additions, and one of my current favorites. I got this little guy at the new Hobby Lobby store that opened up near us. He was just too cute to pass by, and I like to buy myself a new snowman every year, so he was this year's new addition. Isn't he cute? I just love snowmen. :)

Monday, January 17, 2011

Project 365: Day 17

Day 17
Day 17: My friend texted me to let me know that the sky was particularly beautiful tonight. It's hard to truly capture the sunset from our house as there are too many other houses and trees in the way, but I was able to get this shot...and with the exception of that annoying telephone wire in the middle of the picture, I rather like the shot. :)

Once Upon a January Sunday

I spent Sunday afternoon with friends. We hadn't really had the opportunity to hang out downtown, outside in while...since summer, I would guess. So it was great fun and I'm glad we got to do it. The weather was great - about 50 degrees - and it was a wonderful afternoon.
 This pond is normally not frozen (obviously) so it was kind of fun to see it frozen. Some of my friends tried walking on it (the ice was about 5-6" thick, I think they said) but I was not brave enough. Of course. :)

 We walked down by the river, too, because it was quite pretty.
 Here's the whole gang...minus myself, since I was taking the picture, and minus one of the guys who didn't want to be in the picture. :) Some of these people I've known and been hanging out with for years. Some of them I have not known fore more than a year or two. But all of them are awesome people, and great friends. :)

 And to close...the bird you see in this last picture (if you look really closely) is a bald eagle. :) Click on the picture to make it bigger if you can't see the eagle. :)

Project 365: Day 16

Day 16: Our weather during the latter part of last week was rather abnormal for January. Instead of being the frigid temperatures we expect (and what we experienced at the beginning of last week), it was a balmy 50-degrees outside. It felt lovely. I spent the day with friends after church. We went to lunch, and then walked all over. Eventually we went out to Higgin's Point which is a good spot for watching bald eagles. We noticed it smelled kind of odd out there and realized eventually that the shore was littered with dead salmon. So I thought that would make a, well, "different" sort of picture for my daily shot. :)

**Edited to add: My friend Abe informed/reminded me that the salmon are kokanee, nicknamed blueback. Thanks, Abe. :) **

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Project 365: Day 15

Day 15: My mom suggested that once a month, as close to the same date each month as possible, I take a picture of the same spot in our yard, and watch the transition from month to month, season to season. I have decided to try to take a picture of our yard on the 15th of each month. After taking one picture I thought I would actually take two different directions off our deck. And I figured out how to put them together into one picture. So here is our yard on January 15, 2011. In other news, since I am half-way through January, I have now completed 1/24th of this challenge. Not a very large percentage (only 4%), but's a start!

Project 365: Day 14

Day 14: I was cold and it was a bit rainy, so I decided that a delicious mug full of hot cocoa, topped with whipped cream and sprinkled with rainbow sprinkles sounded absolutely lovely. And it was. :)

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Project 365: Day 13

Day 13: Quite honestly, I almost missed taking a picture today! I forgot to take my camera to my ballroom dance class, or I would've taken a picture there (and the sunset tonight was absolutely breathtaking and would've been nice to document, too!) But, lucky for all of us, I did not let the night completely escape without taking a picture. So I decided, for lack of other inspiration, to stack up some of the books I have checked out from the library, and take a picture. So that is what this picture is. :) I think I better start reading my way through this stack!

Project 365: Day 12

Day 12: Every Wednesday  night I get together with some of my friends for "Girl's Group." We have been meeting for about 5 years or so. The group has grown and shrunk over the years but the five of us have been the only members for about 3 years. We sometimes use a study guide for a study but this time we decided to pick a book of the Bible, and do a chapter a week. We're each taking turns leading the discussion. Tonight we began the book of Esther.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Project 365: Day 11

Day 11: Today happens to be 1/11/11. Pretty awesome. I have been fighting a cold (I think it's actually been a series of colds) for a little over 2 weeks now. So I have been using an awful lot of tissues. And my skin has been majorly suffering from dry skin thanks to the winter months, so I have also been using an awful lot of lotion. So I thought today, for lack of a better idea, I would take a picture of my tissues and lotion. I know, not that exciting. Oh well. :)

Monday, January 10, 2011

Project 365: Day 10

Day 10: The sun was shining onto the snow, making it sparkle this morning. I decided to take a walk (maybe not the smartest idea, since it was about 20-degrees outside, but it was still nice) because I wanted to take some pictures of the glittering snow. I went down to the local golf course. I took a bunch of pictures, but this one is one of my favorites because I like the leaves, still remaining from fall and trying so hard to stay attached to their branches during winter. Too bad there wasn't a spring flower nearby to add to the picture. :) I played around with editing on this picture and used actions to do an edge burn and an HDR effect.

I am already 10 days into this project and haven't missed a day yet. Not bad, considering I wasn't sure if I would make it a week without forgetting to take a picture. I'm enjoying finding things to photograph. Hopefully I can start getting a bit more creative soon. :) I am also excited to see that my readership has grown in just these 10 days. Thanks so much to everyone who is visiting my blog. I appreciate it! :)

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Project 365: Day 9

Day 9: My mom and I decided to play Boggle after dinner tonight. It was the first time we had played that game in quite awhile and we had a lot of fun (although she totally beat my a lot!).

Project 365: Day 8

Day 8: I went to a friend's house to watch movies, eat dinner and hang out. I took some Valentine's candy for us to enjoy. These conversation hearts are some of my favorite candies ever. :)

Friday, January 7, 2011

Project 365: Day 7

Day 7: Ivars. Keep Clam.

It Just Might Change Your Life

I recently read Blind Hope by  Kim Meeder and Laurie Sacher. I was particularly excited about this book because I love a good dog story. Also, my family used to raise guide dogs to help the blind, so when I heard that this book was about a blind dog helping a sighted person, I knew I had to read it to see what it was all about. The book arrived and once I started reading it I had such a hard time putting it down. In the book, author Kim Meeder talks about the impact that blind dog Mia had on her owner, Laurie Sacher. What I was not expecting was the impact this book would have on me. 

In the story, Laurie explains how once her dog (Mia) went blind, Mia had to learn to trust her owner (Laurie) even though she couldn’t see her. She had to pay close attention to hear how and where Laurie was leading her. She had to trust that although she couldn’t see Laurie, Laurie was still there loving her and protecting her and had her best interests in mind. Laurie explained how she came to realize how similar Mia’s relationship with her was to our relationship with God: we can’t see Him, but we know He is there. We have to trust that although we can’t see Him, he is still there loving and protecting us and He has our best interests in mind.  These are all things that Laurie already knew, but the full impact had never truly hit her until she witnessed her relationship with Mia. 

This quote, taken from the book, really hit me:

“Just as [Laurie’s] dog had run away from her, she had run away from God. Instead of running to God, she had spent her life running after everything but God. How could she follow a voice she had hard but had never taken the time to actually understand? How could she expect God to lead her life when she had repeatedly chosen not to follow him? Just like her dog’s relationship with her, Laurie had not yet spent enough time in God’s presence to truly know him either.” (p. 46)

This book provided me with a new perspective on ideas I already knew. Through reading this book I have been encouraged to spend more time in God’s presence so that I can grow to know Him better. To trust Him in all things even though I cannot see Him. Things I already knew, and things that can be hard to put into practice.

Before I end this, I have to also mention that the ranch that Kim and her husband Troy run (where Laurie works) sounds absolutely wonderful……

I highly recommend reading Blind Hope. If nothing else, you will enjoy reading about the adventures that Laurie has with Mia. And you never know…the book just might change your life.

Special thanks to Waterbrook Multnomah Publishing Group for the free review copy of this book! 

**Edited to add: Please visit this page to see my original review on the Waterbrook Multnomah page. Please rank my review, 1-5 stars, as this gives me the chance to be entered for prizes!**

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Project 365: Day 6

Day 6: These deer were visiting the yard across the street from us today. The one deer was definitely more alert than the other and almost seemed to pose for the picture!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Project 365: Day 5

Day 5: My mom bought some snowshoes last year and we got so little snow that she wasn't able to try them out. So today was the day. We went over to the local golf course, her to practice snowshoeing, me to take some pictures. I bundled my camera up in my scarf to keep it warm and dry when I wasn't taking pictures. It seemed to work out well. :)

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Project 365: Day 4

Day 4: Tonight was Awana. We were missing quite a few girls this evening and so since there weren't many girls with sections to listen to, one of the helpers (who happens to be a wonderful friend of mine) hung out with me out at the secretary table (I am one of the secretaries). We put her to work putting together a collage of pictures from our Western Night a few weeks ago. It turned out really great...and I thought a picture of her putting the collage together would be perfect. :)

Monday, January 3, 2011

Project 365: Day 3

Day 3: Tonight I went to the college-age Bible Study that I attend at a local church. Afterwards, a few of us were sitting by the fireplace in the church lobby, talking and eating, when I remembered that I still needed to take a picture today! I asked those who were still there to let me take a picture of their feet. That didn't work quite how I wanted it to (too many feet!) so we went with hands instead. :)

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Project 365: Day 2

Day 2: Because my mom being out of town until the middle of last week, we postponed Christmas. Tonight was the night and what fun it was discovering what was in all those packages! Here's a snapshot of what I got for Christmas this year (minus the UV filter for my camera lens which was already on the lens when I took this picture). :)

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Project 365: Day 1

Day 1: My mom and I went to Cabela's today when we were out and about. I am not a big sporting goods store kind of person, but I do think Cabela's is kind of fun. Right in the middle of the store, visible when you walk in, is a giant mountain with all sorts of wild animals on display. These deer were so cute I just had to snap their picture!

Project 365

About a week ago a friend told me about something called Project 365. The challenge is to take a picture every day for one year. I thought it sounded interesting, so I thought about it for the past week, and looked at blogs of others who have done the challenge, and decided that I am going to participate this year. From what I read online, it sounds like this is a good way to improve my photography skills and I am hoping to also use this challenge to improve some of my editing skills, too. I can't promise to edit every single picture I take, but this could be a great way to learn more of what Photoshop has to offer, too. :)'s to a year of pictures! If you, too, are taking part in Project 365, feel free to link to your blog, or wherever you are hosting pictures, using the linky tool below, so that others can see your photos, too!

Happy New Year!