Family Matters

In between rain storms yesterday, and I'm talking serious downpours here, I scooted my family off their lazy Sunday perch on the couch, and kindly asked them to join me in making fools of ourselves in the front yard. The reason? Picture Fall of course!

Our assignment yesterday was to experiment with the self-timer on the camera to get our actual selves in front of it. I remember telling my mom recently that I think the reason pictures of photographer's feet and shoes are so popular right now is that that's the easiest way to show that we (the picture takers) were actually present on that vacation, holiday gathering or any other day, special or not. Maybe it's our natural inclination to be wary of the camera as we age, and so we stay safely behind it, sharing the world as we see it but rarely showing ourselves to the world. Well, not anymore!

This was a lot of fun - I couldn't exactly get everybody to jump off the steps at the same time, so we tried it over and over. I kind of wondered what the neighbors were thinking, but we have nice neighbors, so they probably thought it was totally normal. I'm so glad I processed it with the fun zoom on it - I kind of look like I may have jumped off the roof! I got a ton of nice feedback through the Picture Fall community, and Tracey Clark herself (our teacher) called the picture "super-awesome!" and wrote, "THAT should be your holiday card for sure." Plus a little smiley face at the end of the comment! Squeeeeeel!

But wait, that's not all...imagine my surprise tonight to find that Ms. Clark posted this very picture on the Shutter Sisters website as the Picture Fall picture of the day!!! Look! Aaaaahhhh! This is such an honor! I'm all giddy and giggly about this! Thousands of people could see this - or maybe just 3 or 4 people, but nonetheless, wowee wow wow wow! She picked me and it has made my day. : )


My Sunshine

As an active family of climbers, explorers, and goof-offs, we have been remarkably lucky to have had very few extra visits to the doctor over the years with our kids. Maybe we should have gone in for a few bumps here and there, but things have always been just fine. So when Oliver got out of the shower the other night and we noticed a largish bump protruding out of his little groin area, I immediately thought - hernia. Guess what? I didn't even need to go to medical school for that diagnosis, because I was right!

The on-call doctor thought that that's what it sounded like over the phone, but recommended that Ollie go to the urgent care clinic just in case it might be serious. Great. Right at bedtime on a school night. Poor baby! I stayed home with our daughter so she could get some sleep, and off they went with my baby in his jammies to see what was up. That hernia thought it would play hide-and-seek, because by the time they got him onto an exam table, it had jumped back into his body! Hilarious, but based on my fresh internet education on hernias, I knew it might try that.

I took him in to see his pediatrician the next day, and Oliver surprised me by saying, "Can't I just go to school? I really want to go to school! Mama, I think they're having snack right now!" Sorry buddy. She confirmed our suspicions, but made me feel a little bit better by saying, "It's not an emergency." Then she made me feel worse again by telling me that the next person I'd need to talk to was a pediatric surgeon. My baby needs surgery!! Oh my.

I'm thanking my lucky stars that we are not in a much worse situation, of course. Everyone I've talked to about this has said that it's a very routine procedure, and that these doctors can do this kind of surgery while blindfolded, and playing Scrabble on their iPhones. Fantastic.

But I'm imagining the moment when I have to let go of his little hand and they wheel him away from me to cut. him. open. Yep, still not cool with that part. At least I know a few moms who have gone through it, and they've told me that it's no biggie. Ok, that's not what they said, but I'm trying to cope by focusing on the fact that I know their sons, they lived through it, can still walk, cough, and laugh out loud while blindfolded, and playing Scrabble on their mom's iPhones. Sheesh.


Crying Like a Baby

When I heard the news on the radio this afternoon that the Chilean miners trapped down underground for 68 days (68 days!) would finally start coming out, I was absolutely reduced to tears. I was driving at the time, and quickly jammed my sunglasses onto my face so other drivers wouldn't think I was weird (because we all pay so much attention to what other people look like in their cars, right?). I also remembered my super sweet mantra that I've adopted to get my bearings in situations like these. Repeat after me, "watermelon, pickles, potato salad, limes." Works every time. I got that one out of a magazine, and you're welcome.

Tonight I tried to explain to my kids what was going on as we watched the coverage on CNN. (Anderson Cooper, how do you manage to cover something like this live, and not even tear up? You must be using my mantra.) I compared the ordeal to being trapped on an airplane for two months, with food and a little t.v., but no windows or fresh air, no friends or family, no showers for anyone or probably even toothbrushes. Oh yeah, and it's 90 degrees and everyone around you just stripped down to their skivvies.  I'm kind of going looney just thinking about it, let alone live it! For real! Rachel said she could probably take it for five days. I said I'd be nuts after about 16 hours. I'm not even sure I could make it to Australia now after thinking about it like this.

But when I saw that capsule finally break the surface, and the first miner came out, I think I cried harder than his own wife! That's just me though (watermelon, pickles...).

Anyway, I just wish a little peace for these guys and their families, their brave rescuers, and all the people that helped drill that crazy tunnel. I hope they get really rich from interviews, and book and movie deals, and that they never have to go underground again. Because if I were one of them, I wouldn't even go in my basement.

Gotta go - the third one is about to come up!! Pass the hankies!


And We're Walking...

Yes people, we have a plan! Call it what you will; Nob Hill, Uptown, The Alphabet District - I'm thinking Northwest Portland is going to be the perfect place to do our little photo walkabout. Here are the deets:

Sunday, October 10th at 10:00 am (that's this weekend folks!)
Meet at the Starbucks on NW 23rd & NW Overton

This is the one by Good Sam Hospital, not the other one down the street. Get that other one out of your head! I will be there a little early and my "signal" will be that my camera will be out on the table keeping me company. Please come! You're coming, right?! Well, at least I know that Kat is coming, and she lives in Italy for crying out loud!

Just a word about the marathon and the snarled traffic - avoid. I've checked all the appropriate websites and it seems that if we stick to I-405, or the streetcar, or landing there in a hot air balloon we'll be just fine. Oh, and forget about the bridges too. Good luck, and we really hope to meet some new photogs on Sunday! It should be lots of fun.


Picture Fall!

Picture Fall started yesterday, and I can't wait to get going on the assignments! I can already tell by looking at the gallery that this class has taken it up a notch from Picture Summer. People are contributing from all over the world, including Norway, Germany, and Italy (I told you about my buddy, Kat - she's doing it too!), plus of course, all across the USA and Canada. Some Mondo Beyondo girls are in on the action as well. 

You know, when I got all sucked into reading blogs last spring it seemed like this huge, slightly overwhelming new world that I didn't know existed had just opened up and swallowed me - and I was willing to go along for the ride (no chewing necessary). What I see now, and just loooove, is how connected this world is, how these people know and care for each other, encourage and lift each other up - and now I'm a small part of it! When I asked my husband to get me a really good camera for Mother's Day, I had no idea that wanting to take better pictures, and signing up for an online photography class would lead to such a wonderful community, but it did! I'm feeling very grateful this morning for all the blessings in my life, and hoping that you have something to smile about today too.