Category : Nature

With all the fun there is to drink up in summer — the ice cream, the trips, the homemade sangria, the bike rides, the concerts — there is also a need for stillness, for quiet. A need to replenish, to sleep late, to read all day.

dandelions_rsI’m over at Mortal Muses today wishing us all some rest. Click HERE to check it out.


Friday, June 27th, 2014 0

It’s that time of year — time to gather with some soul sisters on the coast of Oregon. This marks the fourth year this group of sisters, Tribe, will be communing with one another alongside the majestic Pacific. And I’m ready. I’m ready for the ritual, the comfort, the ease of being with these beautiful women. I’m ready to review the past year, to share the triumphs and the defeats. I’m ready to whisper my greatest longings, to give voice to the big dreams I’ve been cultivating. I’m ready to laugh with my whole body, and I’m equally ready to release the tears that have been welling up.

PX70_CP_Starfish_rsI’m ready for connection and sisterhood. I’m ready to feel secure in my creative journey and these next big steps I’m taking. I’m ready to allow for and accept the support I so desperately need. I’m ready for the dose of inspiration I get from these kindred spirits, from this community we lovingly call Tribe, to walk steadfastly into the adventure of the creative unknown. I’m ready for the self-care, the refocusing, the re-committing to mySelf and the life I want to live.

PX70_CP_Surfers_rsI’m ready. I’m off to my happy place. xoxo


Monday, June 9th, 2014 2

As a photographer, I aim to convey emotion in my images. For Day 3 of ‘Roid Week, I chose to share two photos that are imbued with a sense of melancholy. I again selected images taken with two different cameras. I also chose two photos that were comprised of very different content — at least on the surface.

First, a still life photographed with my “new” Polaroid 195 camera

Fuji100C_Dying-Rose_rsAnd second, revealing a new self-portrait from 365 Impossible Self-Portraits

600-Color_Day266_Fishnets-Face_rsI’d love to hear what these two photos invoke in you. What do you feel as you take them in?

And please, please, please, check out all the amazing photos in the ‘Roid Week Flickr pool. If you’re needing a dose inspiration, that is THE place!


As I was getting all ready to share some highlights and tales from my recent trip to NYC with Lindsey and Deb, I got to thinking about the slightly larger group of photography sisters from which our spin-off trip developed. I’m missing these ladies, or “birds” as we’re affectionately called by Cherish. While the three of us had a grand time in the city, I wish that our whole group had been able to be together for this latest adventure. And since we didn’t get our acts together to do our photo riffing for this month, I thought I’d revisit the last time we birds were all together in Tofino.

Exp600_Flip-Flops-Tofino_rs

The ever-adorable Lindsey in her bear hat…

PX70_CP_Lindz Tofino_rs

A gift of the ocean…

Exp600_Octopus-Tofino_rs

A little TTV of Cherish…

PX70_CP_TTV-Tofino_rs

Finding myself through the sea grass…

Spectra_Softtone_Double Grass Tofino_rs

And wondering what adventure awaits us next….

Spectra_Softtone_Tofino-Gate_rsAhh…Tofino.

Miss you, birds. xoxo

*For those interested, all photos in this post are instant film photography images using expired Polaroid 600 film, expired Polaroid Spectra Softtone film, and IMPOSSIBLE Project PX70 film. 


As I sit here alone on this mid-January morning, listening to the mighty wind rip through the Midwest and seeing that it’s -4 degrees outside, I’m not very present. I’m already dreaming of this coming summer, planning a trip to Barcelona and Paris. I’m also reminiscing about warmer days with dear friends, surrounded by sisterhood and inspiration. The bitter wind that blows across this prairie feels so harsh, even as I make the short walk from work to my car, bundled up in goose-down with hat and mittens. I wonder how the Pioneers made it. My escape is looking back and planning ahead. To get out of this moment. Clearly, I’m not practicing off the mat very well. So be it. For today, anyway.

Deb_Secure_rsCome escape with me over to Mortal Muses where I’m sharing some more reminiscing photos today.


Thursday, January 23rd, 2014 2

Our splinter group of Shutter Sisters is continuing our new tradition of sharing 10 photos on the 10th of each month. We started with sharing 10 photos from our time together in Tofino, then followed that up with 10 festive photos enjoying the holiday season. This month, with the new year upon us, we decided to focus on “restart” as a theme.

As I’ve said before here, I do love a fresh start, a clean slate, a new page on the calendar. So, how have I been I been restarting this year? First, the holiday decorations were carefully put away…

600-Color_Vintage-Ornaments_rsThen new words, new sources of daily inspiration have been sought. Although secure is my word for 2014, “ease” was in the running for quite some time. Ease is another one of my core desired feelings and I am inviting it mightily into my year and my daily life. Interestingly, I am seeing how secure embodies and allows for ease. 

Ease_rsMy ritual of morning pages and journaling continues to sustain me and provides a secure foundation from which to enter the world each day…

Trust-Process_rsAs does recommitting to my self-care and getting back on the mat. I took a candlelight yoga class for the first time this week and it was divine…

Candlelight-Yoga_rsAnd last, it wouldn’t be winter in the Midwest without a little snow, restarting my appreciation of the seasons and their secure rhythms…

Snowing_rsThat’s what my “restart” to 2014 looks like so far. You might be saying, “What?! Wait! There’s only 5 photos here! Where are the other 5?” My answer — they haven’t unfolded yet. And ordinarily, I would have frantically taken 5 more photos to make sure I had 10 to share — after all, this IS a 10 on 10 post! But, I’m restarting. I’m allowing ease into my life. I’m feeling secure in my work and who I am. And so, I’m staying loose, and letting 5 be okay this time around.

To keep the blog-hop going, click on over to Lindsey’s blog to see her 10 on 10 to restart this new year!


Friday, January 10th, 2014 15

As I’m letting the fullness of my one little word settle into my heart and soul, I find myself attuning my awareness for secure reminders. Getting back on the mat, rededicating myself to the practice of yoga, standing in warrior asanas allows me to embody secure. Morning pages, a journaling ritual, having always helped ground me, provide a secure base for me to enter into each day. These are the obvious ones, my go-to reminders. But I’m trying to broaden my attention, widen my perspective, and find the essence of secure in places I haven’t looked before.

I see the geese, their trust in the pattern of the seasons, the signs in the wind, take refuge on a frozen pond, secure that the ice won’t crack through. I notice the words of sage poets, wise women and men, describing their knowledge of life line by line, and I take solace in their telling me I don’t have to “do” anything as I am secure, right now.

PX70_Geese_rsWild Geese by Mary Oliver

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting–
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.

How are you settling into your one word for 2014?


Tuesday, January 7th, 2014 11

Today, I’m remembering. Six years ago on this very day, I was having surgery. As I lie in the hospital two days after our first Christmas in a new home, in a new part of the country, cancer was being removed from my body. This was my wake-up call. On this day, and the days and months that followed, the true realization of “life is short” hit me. I could no longer avoid the question: “what are you waiting for?” That is when the path for my journey of becoming a photographer really opened up.

Stairs-into-Woods_rsI’m over at Mortal Muses today remembering this dawning and sponsoring a giveaway. I hope you click HERE to check it out.

Much love and health to you all. xoxo


Friday, December 27th, 2013 6

With 2014 quickly upon us, I’m dreaming. I’m reflecting back on 2013 and looking toward the year ahead. I’m mulling over my one little word to guide me during these next 365 days. And as I do, I’m holding Mary Oliver’s wisdom close, hoping to be like the crows with each new ethereal dawn in the coming year.

Spectra_Softtone_Double-Reflection

Landscape by Mary Oliver

Isn’t it plain the sheets of moss, except that
they have no tongues, could lecture
all day if they wanted about

spiritual patience? Isn’t it clear
the black oaks along the path are standing
as though they were the most fragile of flowers?

Every morning I walk like this around
the pond, thinking: if the doors of my heart
ever close, I am as good as dead.

Every morning, so far, I’m alive. And now
the crows break off from the rest of the darkness
and burst up into the sky—as though

all night they had thought of what they would like
their lives to be, and imagined
their strong, thick wings.


Monday, December 23rd, 2013 0

Last month on the 10th, I shared 10 photos on sisterhood taken during my retreat with a group of fabulous photographer friends. That post marked my first of our group’s launch into 10 on 10. On the 10th of each month, the group of us are doing a blog-hop, sharing 10 photos on a theme or taken on one day or event. This month’s 10 on 10 has us working on the theme of “festive.” With Tony and I headed to the tree farm, selecting our holiday tree, and trimming it this past weekend, I thought of no better opportunity than to shoot our weekend shenanigans for my 10 on 10.

It was freezing, quite literally, this past weekend with temperatures hovering around 1 degree Fahrenheit (-17 Celsius). While I had hoped to take some Polaroid photos during our adventure to the tree farm, I knew there was no way that was going to happen as instant film does NOT like the cold. So I picked up my long-neglected digital camera, and off we went. (As always, you can click on each photo to see them larger!)

Yonkey Pine_rsYonkey Pine Tree Farm is a sweet, family-run operation in a small Nebraska town a bit south of us. On the years when we aren’t traveling back “home” to the East Coast, Yonkey Pine is where we get our tree, selecting it from the rows and rows of scotches and firs, having it cut fresh right before our eyes.

Tree-Sign_rs

Tree Farm_rsTo our dismay, the farm had been pretty well picked over. With Thanksgiving falling much later in the calendar this year, and with beautifully mild temperatures two weekends ago, it seemed like all of Lincoln (if not all of Nebraska!) had already beaten us to tree hunting. In looking over the few trees that remained amidst all of the stumps, we chose a lovely fir. And, a fresh wreath for our front door.

Wreath_rsTony and I got the wreath hung and the tree in its stand just in time to head to my holiday party with students and faculty. The trimming would have to wait until the next day.

Fire_rsWe awoke to snow coming down, made coffee, and got a fire going. After some reading of the Sunday New York Times, we got down to business.

Vintage Ornaments_rsParker, being of no help, settled in next to (aka, practically IN) the fire, his favorite winter spot in the house.

Parker-Fire_rsTony strung the lights, and then we sorted through our collection of ornaments. Coming across Ripken’s dog bone ornament from his first Christmas with us brought a pang to my heart. We still miss him every day.

Ripken Ornament_rsAfter the tree was trimmed, it was time to get working on writing the holiday cards.

Holiday-Cards_rsAhhh, a festive weekend indeed.

Tree-Blur_rsTo keep the festivities going, blog-hop on over to Lindsey’s blog to see her festive 10 on 10!


Tuesday, December 10th, 2013 14