Wednesday, June 27, 2012

How Charlie Did Six.

 For a long time, he was known as Baby Charlie, but at seven, it's hard to find any trace of the baby that I once held in my arms or the toddler who, when he was in trouble, would raise his black eyes to meet my own and say, "Let's be friends Mom."  At seven, there is no denying that he's a kid.  Have a look at how he spent his sixth year.  

Monday, June 25, 2012

Wednesday June 13, 2012.
On A Safari -
I volunteered to go with Charlie on his school field trip to the African Lion Safari last week. The kids were beyond excited to go.  Their excitement and energy was nearly impossible to contain.  Trust me, I tried and failed.  I was exhausted at the end of the day. 
June 13
Thursday June 15, 2012.
Take Care of Each Other - 
More than anything, when these three become adults, I want them to think of each other often.  I want them to stay close.  To be friends.  I want them to bring their own families together and share the stories of their childhood with the next generation who will think of those same stories as old fashioned.  I want them to never stop believing in themselves or each other.  I want them to take care of each other.
June 14
Friday June 15, 2012.
Take a Seat -
or not.
June 15
Saturday June 16, 2012.
Makeshift Fort -
As a kid, I built forts in my closet, under the stairs, out of lawn chairs and sheets and in big cardboard boxes.  I shared a bedroom with my sister growing up, so maybe my love for forts came from looking for a space to call my very own.  This weekend Charlie found a space of his very own.  He played here, under the pool, for a long time.  And aparently, he doesn't have an open door policy, "Just knock if you need me." he said.  
June 16
Sunday June 17, 2012.
Father's Day -
I can't imagine a better father for my children.  He has worked hard to obtain his goals and this has taught them that with perseverance every dream is possible.  He has advocated and fought for them teaching them that no matter what, he has their back.  He has connected with them and played with them and this has taught them that life is too short to take for granted the time we have together.
June 17
Monday June 18, 2012.
Her Shot -
It was a long wait at the dentist this week.  Kenzie and I got a little bored and found our own entertainment.  This is her shot.
June 18
Kenzie's Picture
Monday June 18, 2012.
My Shot -
I took my 365 shot that morning - a pretty picture, but not nearly as much fun as hers.
June 18
Tuesday June 19, 2012.
Sweet Sam -
He is such a gentleman.
June 19

Wednesday June 20, 2012.
Hot and Tired - 
The record breaking heat wave had knocked us out.  I felt so bad for Charlie.  For two days he sat in a school without air conditioning.  I knew the school was hot, but I didn't realize how hot.  On Wednesday, the principal came out to individually speak to the parents who were picking up their children, and told us that it was 130 degrees in the upstairs classroom.  130 degrees!!  After hearing that, there was no way that I was going to send Charlie to endure another day of those temperatures.  It makes me wonder why the school boards don't hesitate to close the school on snow days, but are reluctant to close the schools when there is a heat wave warning. 
June 20
Thursday June 21, 2012.
The Longest Day of the Year -
I used the extra minutes on the longest day of the year to create my Summer Bucket List.  Most of the items on the list are traditions that we do every year, but there are a few new ones that I'm pretty excited about, like "Make a Mud Pie."  And just to clarify,  I don't mean an edible mud pie.  I'm talking an honest to goodnest mud pie made with dirt and water with pinecones, leaves and berries for garnish.  It's something that I loved to do as a kid, and I can't wait to get my hands dirty again. 
June 21
Friday June 22, 2012.
Damn You Pinterest - 
You made it look so easy.
June 22

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Welcome Summer Twenty Twelve

I finally sat down and wrote our family's 2012 Summer Bucket List (not to be confused with my Summer To Do List, which is not nearly as fun.)  I can't wait to start crossing these off.  Let the adventures begin! What's on Your Summer Bucket List?

Monday, June 18, 2012

Friday June 1, 2012.
3 O'clock Rain -
I have been walking one of my kids back and forth to school for eleven years.  All those years walking have taught me a few things: the clouds may threaten all day, but it wont be until 3 o'clock that the rain finally falls, and that dollar store umbrellas will not keep an adult dry.
june 1
Saturday June 2, 2012.
Double Exposure -
I took this one as part of my digital photo course final summary assignment.  I've owned my camera since 2007, but had yet to play with the double exposure feature.  This image of myself overlaid on a cloudy skyline was my first attempt.
june 2
Sunday June 3, 2012.
Moon Rising -
Sometimes I am amazed at the beauty in nature.  This was one of those moments.
june 3
Monday June 4, 2012.
Droplets -
The steady mist of rain cooled the air, caused havoc with my hair and settled as droplets on the flowers in my garden.
june 4
Tuesday June 5, 2012.
Taller -
"You will never be dumb as long as you know how to read."  I will always remember those words of wisdom that my Gram Smith gave me.  Somehow, even as a girl, I recognized the importance of not just the message she gave, but that she was willing to show me a glimpse of herself ( a woman as strong as my paternal grandmother only gave glimpses.)   At the time she said this to me, she would have been well into her seventies.  Her years would have earned her the respect of her family and friends for being the survivor of a hard life.  Long gone were the days when she was a fourteen year old mother with a limited education and even more limited funds who raised her chin and walked past the whispers that may have questioned her intelligence.  She was able to ignore the talk, because she knew she was better.  She could read and write.  She knew; in her heart she knew that she smarter than the circumstances in which she found herself.
june 5
Wednesday June 6, 2012.
The Difference a Few Days -
The peonies had bloomed but I kept putting off cutting myself some for the house.  I was almost too late.  The pounding rain had bent the flowers to the ground - most of them didn't make it, but I did save enough for small bouquet.  I savoured these few blooms and even enjoyed their beauty after they began to dry out. 
june 6
Thursday June 7, 2012.
For Papa -
Ray is John's stepfather, but more importantly, he's Papa to my kids and probably John's best friend.  This year, for Father's Day, the kids painted Papa a special chair to take with him when we go camping together. 
june 7
Friday June 8, 2012.
Perfect Night -
I would live this shit day all over again if it meant that it ended with this perfect night.
june 8
Saturday June 9, 2012.
Looking Out -

june 9
Sunday June 10, 2012.
Beach Treat -
Even though we were eating fast, the sticky, sugary juice ran down the stick and turned our hands red.  We rinsed off in the lake before we left to go home.  Each of us were tired but rested from the time away. 
june 10
Monday June 11, 2012.
Found -
I found me a little love today.  A perfectly shaped cherry heart - that's what I saw, but Josh saw something different.  "Oh," he said, "You found a bum shaped cherry!"  It's all about perspective. 
june 11
Tuesday June 12, 2012.
On the Verge -
On the verge of summer.
On the verge of blooming.
On the verge of flight. 

june 12

Thursday, June 14, 2012

You're going to notice that some of the days and pictures don't have any words.  That's because they were shot from the heart.  They are full of emotions I know, but words that I am not able to share.  
There are days where, all I can give, are images.

Wednesday May 16, 2012.
Cracked -
These eggshells reminded me of one of my favorite quotes:

Ring the bells that still can ring,
forget your perfect offering
there is a crack in everything.
That's how the light gets in. 
~ Leonard Cohen

may 16 - 54/365
Thursday May 17, 2012.
Gym Class -
may 17 - 55/365
Friday May 18, 2012.
Day out with Mom -
may 18 - 56/365
Saturday May 19, 2012.
Away -
Exactly where I need to be. 
may 19 - 57/365
Sunday May 20, 2012.
Fitting In -
may 20 - 58/365
Monday May 21, 2012.
Almost Skinny Dipping -
It was just the two of us on the beach, but he still felt shy.  He's growing up.  

may 21 - 59/365
Tuesday May 22, 2012.
How I Want to Be Loved -

may 22 -60/365
Tuesday May 22, 2012.
Second Shot :: Searching for the Rainbow -
The rain stopped as suddenly as it started.  The sun began to shine even before the last drops fell.  Charlie and I went outside in search of a rainbow.  It wasn't there.  
second shot may 22 - 60/365
Wednesday May 23, 2012.
Three - 
Sometimes I marvel at how my three came in the perfect order.  Oldest.  Middle.  Baby.  Each of them perfectly fitting into the whole.  
may 23 - 61/365
Thursday May 24, 2012.
Nostalgia - 
She brought her laptop with her when she came to watch T.V with me.  Last year this happened all the time.  These night time visits have become farther and farther apart.  I've missed them.  
may 24 - 62/365
Friday May 25, 2012.
In My Mind - 
In my mind, I pretend that the neighbors shed is a charming English cottage instead of filled with mundane garden tools.  In my mind. 
may 25 - 63/365
Saturday May 26, 2012.
Along the Fence Line -
In the morning, his Dad and I spent an hour digging out the weeds from the fence line.  That evening, he spent an hour playing in the freshly dug soil.  It was worth the work.   
may 26 - 64.365
Sunday May 27, 2012.
Almost There -
Waiting for my boys to finish their bathroom break, I caught a glimpse of my reflection - almost there I thought to myself.  Almost there.  
may 27 - 65/365
Monday May 28, 2012.
Splash! - 
I was so grateful when Charlie and I were invited to go for a swim at his friend's house.  The water guns were brought out and a war between the moms and the sons broke out.  We lost.  
may 28 - 66/365

Tuesday May 29, 2012.
The Texture of Textile - 
One from my Picture Black and White class.  
may 29 - 67/365
Wednesday May 30, 2012.
Rough and Tumble -
Another one for my Picture Black and White class.  Tracey asked us to capture and image of a rough and tumble texture.  
may 30 - 68/365
Thursday May 31, 2012.
Favorites - 
A photo walk with my favorite girl, in my favorite light.  My heart feels like it is home.  
may 31 - 69.365
Thursday May 31, 2012.
Second Shot :: A Perfect Pair -
She almost bought a Cannon.  A Cannon seriously?  But I knew why.  She wanted something that was all hers.  
second shot
may 31 - 69/365

Friday, June 1, 2012

Somehow, I missed this one on the last post.  Here it is, Day 47:

May 9, 2012.
The Reader - I never get tired of listening to him read.

May 9, 2012.
May 13, 2012.
My Mother's Day at Niagara Falls - For the past couple of years we have gone to the zoo for Mother's Day.  This year we changed things up, and decided to go to Niagara Falls instead.  It was an amazing day with my family.  I can't remember the last time I've laughed so hard.

It's been quite a while since I've written a post; I never anticipated that I would be away so long. But regardless of what I had anticipated, four months have passed since I have written a post at The Patch.

When I started this blog, it was for my photography; I didn’t know that my story couldn’t be told with pictures alone. As an introvert, I thought that I was somehow excluded from my belief is that everyone has a story, and we all want to be heard, seen and ultimately understood. But I was wrong and it’s this belief that motivated me to write.

I write to document my story. And yes, I write to be seen, heard and understood. Although for me, writing is more than just being seen, heard, or understood. Writing is more than just an expression of my thoughts. Writing helps me to clarify my feelings - to understand my life in a richer way than thinking, talking or even capturing images does.

I didn’t start out to become a writer and I never dreamed that I would be known among my family and friends as one. I had been given this title, and like a girl trying on her mother’s dresses it fell off my shoulders - it was too big. A writer. How could I possibly be a writer? Writers’ ideas flow freely and their fingers dance over the keyboard. Writers don’t have issues with spelling, grammar, and punctuation. Writers don’t feel as though they are naked holding a big “look at me” signs every time they publish a post. But most importantly, the reason the dress was too big, why the title didn’t fit was because I believed that writers have graduated high school. I hadn‘t.

So, four months ago, I decided to do something about that. I signed up at the local adult high school. I needed four credits to graduate and one of them had to be English. When I drove home after my first meeting with the guidance councillor I was able to fight back the tears, but as soon as I pulled my mini van in the driveway the meltdown began. And I am not talking about one or two pretty tears that gracefully roll down your cheek. No, my cry that morning had both tears and snot rolling down my face; it was messy. I was crying because I was stepping out of my comfort zone. I was crying because I was choosing to believe in myself. I was crying because I was ashamed that it had taken me so long to do so.

But I had a plan. My plan shed my shame and to graduate high school. My new school’s motto is: “Whatever it takes.” If it took swallowing my fear and shame then so be it. I wanted to take the Writer’s Craft course and a photography course because I thought that it was an extension of what I was already doing here on the blog. But I couldn’t take the Writer’s Craft course without taking the prerequisite English course, so I signed up for that too. Later, I decided that I could use my volunteer work at Charlie’s school to get my final credit as a co-op. I went from being a full time mom to being a full time student. The adjustment was difficult, and both my family and I felt the burden. I struggled to keep my head above water and I dropped any extra weight that might have caused me to drown: the knitting needles were put away, visits with friends were spaced farther and farther apart, the house was cleaned on a what absolutely needs to be done basis, my 365 project became a series of crappy snappies, and the blog went dormant.

Pictures from the Patch is the safe place that gave birth to my written voice. Sometimes that voice was a whisper, sometimes a plea and sometimes a yell, but with every post I have been searching to believe that the dress fits. That I am enough.

In the past four months, I have grown into that dress. I no longer feel like a little girl pretending to be something she is not. I have succeeded. At the end June, I will graduate. I will stand proud and search the audience for the faces John, Kenzie, Josh and Charlie - my family who believed in me, even when I didn’t. The funny thing is: the more I become, the more I grow into myself, the more I realize that I’ve been enough all along. My worthiness is not based on if I feel small, hurt, and afraid or if I am standing in my best light. Either way, I am enough.