The Carousel

For my daughter. She just started high school and it’s a bit overwhelming. She’s doing great, but it’s a little scary.

The picture above is her at the KC Zoo, having fun on the carousel. She was 6. Shot with a Nikon, 35 mm, manual. It was a fun day.


Hold on tight, dear.
Don’t let go.
The carousel twirls faster
The more you know.

Life goes by
In a furious blur.
But it’s oh-so thrilling,
Full of adventure.

Up and down.
Always turning.
Moving forward.
Always learning.

You might get sick.
You might lose your head.
You might just love it.
Turn the world around instead.

Don’t be scared, Darling.
You have to be strong.
You’re not alone.
Mom’s here all along.

So throw your hair back
And laugh at the ride.
Have fun on the carousel.
Don’t leave it untried.


Proud of you, Honey. You’re so special. One of a kind. Brilliant, beautiful and bound for glory! Don’t settle for less, always challenge yourself. Don’t worry about what people wear, say or think. You belong to God. Your value comes from him.

And always ask for help! We’re here for you. Your teachers, counselors and parents. It’s normal to feel anxious, everybody does!! 🙂

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Movement!

tips for lb loss^These are bad tips! Do not follow! LOL


Lost another 2 pounds. So I am 317.6!! I hate to say I’m fighting for every pound now, but I am. I’ve been stuck for several weeks. But I have to be honest with myself. I’m eating not so great.

Whenever I eat protein, it can have a tendency to tear my gut up. So I have backed away from the amount of protein I should be eating. I need to revert to protein-eating and whole foods.

It’s hard. I become complacent. I don’t always eat when I should, eat often enough or in the amounts that I should. Mostly, I have to eat small amounts because I can’t have large portions. But sometimes I would rather feel a little fuller and go longer without food than have to eat every 2 hours. I wouldn’t say I get hungry either. I get cravings. A hankerin’ for some food taste. I don’t get physically hungry any more. It’s weird!

But how often does a person actually feel hungry in a day? Like, actually hungry? Or do you just want savory flavors in your food hole?

I would be snacking all day if I ate a bite and nothing else. But that’s how I should be eating.

Eating 3 squares a day is what we all know. It’s what we all are accustomed to. It’s what we have time for! Our whole days are structured around breakfast, lunch, dinner. Right?

It’s hard to change. Hard to accept the change in thinking. It’s like quitting smoking and wondering what to do with your coffee break! LOL

Today, in an effort to change and stimulate my body and think outside the lunch box–I am eating whole foods. Edamame, cherries, apple, cup of coffee. No solid protein, just alternative protein like yogurt and fibrous protein-packed veg. No treats. No gummy bears, no low-fat/low-sugar candies, no chips, no cheese, no soda, no juice, no calorie drinks, no sugar. Except for whole-food fruits. I’m not even supposed to have that, but come on. Roasted veggies sound good. Baby organic carrots in the oven? Mmmm. Roasted-soft garlic? Yassss! It will, at least, keep the skeeters away. ;D

 

For My Cowgirl

The picture on the post is Lilli wearing my dad’s old straw cowboy hat.


Before I had a girl,
I thought she’d steal my husband’s heart.
I was scared of sharing,
Expecting battle from the start.

What I didn’t know
Is that she stole my heart instead.
I wanted Dad to heap
Love and kisses on her head.

My daughter is my strength.
She’s taught me more than I could teach.
She’s my tough defender
When I’m sick or sad or weak.

She’s my will, she’s my power.
She’s my endless, eternal drive.
She’s the reason I get up.
She’s the reason I’m still alive.

Before I had a girl,
I didn’t understand
How much I’d love another girl.
I’m her biggest fan.


Love you, Cowgirl.

Schpider!

spiderDon’t look, Dad!
It’s a terrible sight!
If you can’t see him,
It’ll save you a fright.

I’ll protect you.
Don’t worry now.
I can tame spiders.
Mom taught me how.


Lilli and Dad at the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art in 2009. She was 6. We were being goofy and I thought this would be a funny picture for my black and white film photography class.

Candid

Can I just say, this is one of my most favorite candid shots of my family?

guy and lilli.jpg

Shot on film. Developed in the lab as an exposure test. Scanned in.

So the strips in exposure are from trying different levels in the developing lab, to get the right one, under the direction of my Photography 101 professor. (I had just returned to school for the second time to get my two-year graphic design degree) I never developed a final exposure, so all I had was this one. But it’s my favorite. The looks on their faces are precious. The almost-smiles break my heart.

This was Fall 2009, so Lilli was just 6 years old, Kindergarten. So adorable. Her face is just one big piece of cutie pie. Most of the time, I would just ask for a kiss because I couldn’t resist those soft, suede-y cheeks. She looks like a French child from a black and white independent film. Zut alors! Those bangs!

So glad I caught this moment on film. And I kind of like the strips.

This could be an ad for Nikon with the bag in the background! LOL Live free and Nikon!

And Guy! You’re so handsome! Sacre bleu!

Sad-urday

Yesterday was a sad day for me. Really tough. But fascinating.

I was a mock juror yesterday for a local mock trial firm in the Tampa area. I can’t say who I was working for or what case we were hearing. But I can say it was for a car accident working towards a civil settlement.

I should explain. Real case. Real accident. Not a real judgment or decision we were offering. It was a test before trial. The two parties involved were trying to reach a settlement and determine how a jury might find.

Needless to say, the occupants of the car had their lives changed forever oh-so many nights ago. It was hard to hear and hard to evaluate/judge. Who’s right, who’s wrong, who’s responsible and for how much.

It was a grueling almost-12-hour day for me, but a drop in the bucket compared to the families affected by the incident. Negligence was at play, on the part of the driver, along with recklessness. Many other jurors agreed.

I think we all assume too little when we undertake the responsibility of driving. We often take for granted the luxury of driving and allow ourselves to be distracted. Easily. How often do you rummage through your purse while driving one-handed? How often do your children ask about the mysteries of the universe or where their favorite toys are or if they can have some treat from the backseat while you’re navigating from Google Maps while negotiating a multi-ton vehicle on a 70 mph highway? How often are you looking for the perfect driving music on your phone or radio or CD player? Instead of 10 and 2 and using your peripheral vision to spot surprised deer, raccoons, rabbits and other cars and people!

I am a freak about my driving. I rarely let others drive me. I’m a defensive driver. Overly cautious. Sometimes too much to the frustration of my husband. I have driven professionally and pay close attention to the road. I often drive with two hands, white-knuckled! But even I make mistakes. Big mistakes.

The driver from yesterday made a big mistake. The biggest mistake a person can make. And he blamed everyone else.

That was tough.

Ever made a big mistake and instantly wanted to take it back? Ever made a big mistake and blamed the world around you, immediately, because you couldn’t accept the weight of your own idiocy? Ever made a big mistake and no one noticed, but the guilt inside ate away at you silently? For years? Ever made a big mistake and lied about it and no one ever knew?

We all fall short. We all sin. Small and big. And we all get grace. That’s tough. The rain falls on the just and unjust alike. None of us deserve grace. But we’re all made in the image of God. That’s tough. Because to find God’s face in someone so evil or ugly or un-remorseful is almost impossible. Almost.

So I’m going to pray today. For that young man. For this country. For myself. For those who died. For those that will live with their mistakes and consequences. Pray for God’s will and perfect plan.

That’s tough.

Troublesome

Cities on fire,
Sliding into the sea.
Countries bleeding
From Killing spree.

Forests catch flame.
Humans to blame.
Cars take aim.
Hate makes claim.

To every place your attention settles,
The world will so finely, kindly remind–
No matter where you travel,
Your searching eyes will Chaos find.

Students shot.
Violence wrought.
Journalists caught.
Fraught, taut, distraught.

Children attacked.
Homes blown apart.
Families destroyed.
Bombed-out, cut-up heart.

Crumpled on the ground,
Freedom is downed.
Goodness unfound.
Wicked abound.

With absolute certainty,
One thing I know,
Resilience from tragedy
Is something you grow.

Plant your feet.
Shout from the street.
Pull down the sheet.
Bring love where hate and evil meet.

If your crops are burnt?
If your shores are black?
If your bodies are dying?
We can’t go back.

We can only move forward with knowledge and the rejection of evil. We can no longer passively ignore the bullies of the world. To stay silent is to participate.

How to Recognize an Art Student

LOL this is hilarious. i can verify that my daughter’s drawing arm is very buff while her other arm is weak and flabby. so funny, Lilli! best yet.

Pencil Princess

I’m absolutely ecstatic to present to my citizens this finished, colored piece done in watercolor pencils! Other than my Pencil Princess profile picture, I haven’t ever finished coloring a drawing with watercolor pencils, so I’m very happy with how this one turned out.

Ever wondered how to tell art students apart from “ordinary” people? Now you can with this easy trick: is their non-dominant arm weak and noodley while their dominant arm is super buff and muscular from hours of drawing? If the answer is yes, then you have found yourself an art student.

The reason for this strange phenomenon observed in “art kids” is due to the fact that the non-dominant arm’s only primary function is delivering caffeinated beverages to the mouth if the right arm is busy, while the dominant arm is responsible for many activities (including drawing, painting, browsing memes, etc.)

Below is a depiction of…

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Rage Against

Dylan wrote about the dying of the light.
Rage against fading sight.
Don’t gently go into the night.
Keep those fires burning bright.
Right to the end.

And I say rage again.

Rage again at hatred’s wave.
Rage again at a black man’s grave.
Rage again at racist rave.
Rage again at the killing of brave.
To-bloody-day.

It’s not too late to turn around.
Our love isn’t buried in the cold, hard ground.
As humans, as Americans, as Christians–we’re bound
To breathe back life to Liberty drowned.
Now.

No man has a right to steal.
Our freedom under heavy boot heel.
I’d rather die than ever kneel
To pay for a politician’s shady deal.
You’re dying for money.

No man has a right to kill.
And Washington isn’t going to foot the bill.
This is no longer an exercise or drill.
This is the sound of the People’s will.
No more!

Rage against this political machine.
To do nothing is supporting the obscene.
It’s time for us to intervene!
Remember the words from 1634 Racine,
Malone (The Untouchables) asks,
“What are you prepared to do?”