As 2011 draws to a close, I am thankful for the gift that this project has given me: an invitation to open my eyes and see the beauty in the ordinary and not so ordinary, and find that in all of it, God meets me there. It has been a call to worship.
The photos I took this year are filled with treasured moments, however brief--some savored at the time, and others in retrospect. This line from the song “Beautiful One” sums up my year:
“You’ve opened my eyes to your wonders anew
You’ve captured my heart with this love
‘cause nothing on earth is as beautiful as You.”
I'm ending my year with these "Memories, Dreams and Reflections 2011", prompted by Ashley Sisk at Ramblings and Photos. Not all of them were posted on this blog, but I chose my favorites from this year that matched the themes.
I am happy to have taken the leap this year into shooting with a DSLR. I am especially thankful for the wonderful photographers and instructors who gave me the push to shoot in manual. I have probably deleted a lot more photos than I might have otherwise--but I have learned so much about my camera and my craft that I could not have learned any other way.
2. I Love You
I can't imagine life without this man. Lee is the anchor of our family, steady and sure.
3. Still Laughing
This is Bethany's friend Sarah, who cracks me up all the time. We were lucky enough to have her brother on Ben's baseball team so the girls could hang out while the boys played ball. We went to this park during a break in a tournament, to see the famous chiming clock. Sarah got caught up in the moment and conducted the music, oblivious to the crowd of onlookers.
4. Winter Wonderland
Our tradition on Ben's birthday is to go to a Twins game when his beloved Tigers come to town. This photo is pretty early in the game, apparently. He is still smiling.
Love this one of Bethany and her friends on the last day of school.
7. I Was Inspired...
...by many wonderful photographers this year. Katie Lloyd convinced me to turn my auto focus off sometimes and shoot with a soft focus. Just one example of the wealth of knowledge shared freely in the photography community.
8. Spring Fever
9. Travel or Vacation
We were blessed with a few vacations this year, but I enjoyed none more than our visit to my old stomping grounds on Lake Superior's North Shore. Breathtaking!
10. Summer Days
11. A Day In My Life
I could certainly have put a ball game photo in here, but almost every day has a little down time and some laughter. It's one of the most beautiful, simple parts of my life.
12. All Smiles
I loved this moment. We were waiting at the garage where our car had been towed. It was the result of a frustrating day, but the kids were just having a fun time with each other. I wish every frustrating moment could be filled with grace like this one was. The reality is, it could--what's needed is eyes to see the grace.
13. Autumn Harvest
14. Family or Home
16. Let's Do It Again
I have so much fun making lefse (or anything else, for that matter) with Bethany. We need to make some more soon. YUM! I love this shot because Lee took it. He is catching on to my endless pursuit of a great angle. :-)
17. I Miss You
These kids and their family moved back to Costa Rica this year. We had so much fun with them that it was very hard to see them go.
19. Dress Up
Christmas with Lee's whole family was such a treat!
22. My Favorite
Seriously? How do you choose a favorite photo or moment or memory from a whole year? But any moment that two kids forget their differences long enough to enjoy each other like this is a winner.
23. Don't Ever Change
Bethany is strong-willed, independent, and always 12 steps ahead of me doing it her own way. I love that. And it drives me crazy.
Ben (or Thing 3, as the case may be) has a very charming and witty sense of humor. I love his imagination and sense of wonder, AND the fact that he seems determined not to grow up too fast.
My marriage to Lee is something I treasure. Of course there are always things we could improve, but we have trust and affection and commitment to each other. He is a gift I will never take for granted.
24. Just Because...So There!
I couldn't be without a photo of the animals at the zoo. This is one of the places I am most aware of the creativity of God. Sometimes the animals are incredibly engaging, coming to where we are truly to play with us. I love to think that God is right there, filled with delight at his creatures enjoying each other.
25. Hopes and Dreams
My hope and dream for 2012 is nothing other than joy. I took this photo using a long exposure and a little red light, in the bathroom with a mirror. It took patience and determination, and it gave me a lot of joy. My prayer is that I might patiently wait for the things that take longer than I would like, and that I might learn to enjoy the process more and more.