Category Archives: Photography

In Knots

img_2605My stomach has been in knots for weeks. And will remain in knots for at least another week. Until this crazy election is done and gone and we can all take a deep breath. I hope I can take a deep breath.

In the meantime, between panic attacks and sips of Pinot Grigio*, I want to share this article that I posted to Facebook nearly a year ago.

It’s a good reminder.

To be nice to each other.

To look out for each other.

To take care of yourself.

*Pinot Grigio is certainly not the best way to handle shitty days, but it helps. Friendly cows with crazy tongues at darling orchards help too. 

Labor Day Weekend

Well, that’s a wrap folks! Summer is officially over. School is about to start. This weekend I finally pulled out the nice camera and played around a bit. I’m rusty, but nice to play with aperture and depth of field again. We went for a hike at Hyland Park and then took our annual trek down to the Guthrie for some family photos. More on that in another post!

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Seven

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And just like that, today she is seven. Or will be, actually, at 1:55pm this afternoon. She was bummed when she learned she wasn’t technically seven yet. But we let her open her presents this morning anyway.

There are no words for how I feel about this kid. We had no idea what we were getting into that snowy March day back in 2009. But nearly every day since has been full of laughter, smiles and maybe some candy. She is full of love and energy and can whip up a scrumptious smoothie. She’s brave and adventurous, sometimes too much for her Mom to handle. She is compassionate and thoughtful and adores her rescue pup and her oversized goldfish.

So, thanks, kiddo. For being so amazing. And for making my days so much brighter. We love you!

Holding on to Six

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In two days my daughter will turn seven. SEVEN. S.E.V.E.N! It sounds so old. It’s so far from preschooler or toddler or infant. She’s a solid grade-schooler if that’s even a term.

Just this morning I told a woman, “she’s just six.” Years past I would have said “almost six” or “four in three days.” But for some reason, that I’m too afraid to admit, I’m holding on to six.

Six is fun. It’s a fun word to say, with an x hanging on the end. Not many words use an X, and even fewer (yep, your mind went there, mine did too, but we’re talking about my daughter here), put most of their emphasis on that greatly underused consentant.

Hell, Six is even a fun word to look at. The contrast between the curvy S and the straight-laced, yet unexpectedly fun X? And the little I with it’s little dot. It’s just a fun word.

But seven? I’m not ready for seven. I’m not ready to visit the land of the tween, even if it’s just for quick moments. And I’m not ready to have a second-grader. But really, I’m not ready to say goodbye to six. To say goodbye to the baby that surprised me every day. The baby that asked to be held. The baby that I could bring with me wherever I went. The baby that I carried with me for 10 months.

Which is why, last night at 11:24 when she woke with a nightmare I didn’t even question her request. Of course you can sleep in our bed. Of course I’ll let me cuddle into my side, rest your head in my armpit, lay your hair across my face.

Those moments come far less often than they have in the past. I’m hanging on to every one of them. And for the next two days, I’m embracing six. And every unexpected surprise that comes with it. For 48 hours, I’m holding on to Six.

A New Year…

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The last few weeks have been spent shopping and baking and wrapping and celebrating. And we’re not done. We’re having friends over for New Years Eve and then our annual Best Neighborhood Ever Progressive dinner is this weekend. Thankfully, I was able to take some time off to slow down and fill up. I’ve been writing a bit, thinking a lot, and reading constantly.

I also signed up for a class through Creative Nonfiction and I can’t wait for it to start. The class I chose requires me to write 300 words each day,  Monday-Friday. I can find 300 words, right? I KNOW I can crank out 300 words. Just these two paragraphs are 110 words already. Now it’s at 115, see how easy?

And with the new year comes a fresh attitude and hopefully some fresh snow. I’m not making any resolutions this year, I’m not going on a diet, I’m not going to tell myself I’ll do something just to do something. I’m just going to try to smile more, eat more vegetables and slow down.

So here’s to a New Year. Enjoy!

(179 words)

Monday Monday

It’s Monday morning. The world thawed out this weekend and I’m pretty sure we even hit 40 degrees. There was a lot of hockey this weekend, a bit of sledding, lots of cooking, a rocking game of bowling and a bit too much wine. photo[2]So between soggy snow pants and a crock pot full of chunky tomato soup, I’d call it a good weekend.

Goodbye 2013, Hello 2014!

Wow, 2013 was a rough year. My Dad passed away. We listed our house nearly six months ago and we’re still waiting to close. Our daycare center was turned upside down by outdated laws and greed.

But so, so, so many good things happened! We spent nearly two weeks in Paradise. I played hockey with a new team that became like a family. Daughter turned 4 and has become one amazing little girl. My Dad found peace after a long struggle that took both his body and his mind. We welcomed the sweetest, craziest puppy from our vacation on the islands. I completed my third triathlon in (personal) record time despite all of the above. And we spent a few days enjoying the fog of the north shore… just the two of us.

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There’s one more night to enjoy before we say Happy New Year. We’re making Shrimp Tacos and watching The Princess Bride. Whatever you decide to do, have fun, be safe. I’ll see you next year.

 

Happy Holidays….

Minnehaha Falls

Minnehaha Falls

We wandered over to the Minnehaha Falls yesterday. It always takes a while with daughter because there are rocks to climb and snow angels to be made. But it was well worth it to see the frozen walls of ice. The Falls are spectacular when they’re flowing, but I think they’re even more amazing in the winter.

I’m taking the next nine days off. That will bring me to the new year. Still working on those resolutions, but I’ll be back on the first to share them.

In the mean time I’ll be eating and sharing and relaxing.

Have a safe & festive holiday! See you in 2014!

Hello! (Again)

from the office window

Welcome to Paper & Clouds.NET!

I’ve moved to this new space with this new look and I’m excited to get down to it. Here you’ll find all the old posts I’ve been posting for the last three years. Three years? That’s crazy.

And before that, you could find me at thewriteingredients.wordpress.com.

My hope with this new space is a new found dedication to writing. Maybe it’s a full essay, maybe it’s a short blurb, maybe just an image.

Here goes….