Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day Weekend

Sometimes a three-day weekend is just what you need to recharge. You have probably noticed I have been absent for a little while, life has been a bit hectic on my end both good & not so good respects. Let's start with the good news. Two of my photos made the finals in the Third Annual Spring Photo Festival, & I started a part-time job with an advertising company, which I am enjoying very much. The not so good, Grandma Pearl passed away. Monday my Grandpa had surgery to insert a stent in his Carotid Artery, Tuesday Pearl passed away. Then Thursday my Grandpa had a hemorrhagic stroke. As of today, he is recovering well & the prognosis is good but it was really scary for a few days. My mom has been with him since Thursday, & they are both on my mind constantly. Please keep my Grandpa Bill in your thoughts & prayers!

Needless to say, this weekend was welcomed with open arms. It started with the Glee Live Tour in Anaheim, CA. Just Aunt Lori & me, the show was so well done & we had a blast.
The rest of the weekend was filled with bike rides, beach trips, sunsets,
& of course yummy food!

How was your weekend? Do anything fun?
Summer is just around the corner!!! Stay tuned ♥ ♥

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Just Dance!

I have always LOVED watching dance. I can get so emotional seeing the combination of talent, the beauty of the movement, the way music and dance combine to tell a story. 

But I didn't know what to think when yesterday's Creativity Boot Camp prompt was to dance. My first thought was "dance? Me? ...In an art class?" My second thought was "where can I do this unseen?" But I love the way Maegan Beishline put it...that this is about conditioning my creativity through different mediums, similar to the way a football player would take ballet to improve balance and coordination. So I danced. I went for it and it was fun! (And I have the photo to prove it)

I gave a lot of thought to the similarities between dance and photography. Both a form of art, just using a different tool to create with and express. With dance, the music moves you - physically and emotionally. You can't help but move to the beat, and fully letting go, your body takes charge with your mind following. For me, it is the same with photography, but instead of music, beauty is what moves me. I see something beautiful or intriguing and respond by reaching for my camera. Like dance, I try to just feel it. Let my heart take in the music and have my camera do the dancing.

"Do one thing every day that frightens you." -Eleanor Roosevelt
"We can't become what we need to be by remaining who we are." -Oprah Winfrey

To me, these quotes go hand in hand and I love the idea of pushing myself creatively. When I think about the accomplishments and aspects of my life I am most proud of, they all involve some initial level of discomfort, challenge or fear. Applying for college, a first date, my first paid photography job, public speaking, etc. So I am embracing these challenges, even especially the ones outside my comfort zone to grow, learn, and become what I need to be. Even if it means making a fool of myself dancing alone for all the neighbors to see.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

::Embracing Creativity::

My mom is an artist. A really incredible and gifted artist. She paints and draws, and creating always came naturally to her. She majored in fine art, designed and created jewelry, taught art classes at our school and in our home and continues to create. She encouraged art at home but I never felt I was good at it.

Chris Orwig in his book Visual Poetry talks about when asking a class of kids if they can draw, every single kid raise their hands. But when asking a group of college students the same question, only a few raise their hands. At some point our unlimited imaginations become limited and we no longer hear the question as can you draw, but can you draw well...and this is exactly how I felt. Pablo Picasso said "All children are artists. The problem is to remain one when you grow up."

Until just a few years ago I was convinced I wasn't fortunate enough to inherit my mom's creative genes. Then I found photography. I always loved it...the idea of capturing a moment forever through a photo. The way beauty could forever exist in photo. Slowly I realized photography was my thing, I nurtured it, practiced daily, and I have created work I am proud to call my own. Then it hit me- just because I am not a great painter or a great drawer doesn't mean I am not artistic or creative. My mom did bless me with her creative gift, we just use it in different ways.

I am participating in a two-week intensive "Creativity Boot Camp." An online course aimed to exercise all aspects of our creative selves, letting go and getting lost in creative work. It was a last minute decision to participate, unsure of the time commitment but I am so glad I went for it. We are at day 4 and it has already been an eye-opening experience. For me, creating art is incredibly liberating and therapeutic and just like my photography, I want to nurture my whole creative self by experimenting with new and different mediums.  

There's been doodling...
 ...getting messy with paint...
 ...and playing with color.
What's next?

Monday, May 16, 2011

Happy Transplant-iversary!

11 years ago today I was in a hospital bed receiving the long-awaited cord blood transplant that would hopefully, if successful, help rid my body of Leukemia. I do remember that day a bit, mainly because there was such a big fuss over it, but mostly it is just a blur.

Every year on May 16th I like to do a little something to celebrate and acknowledge my transplant anniversary. This year is number 11 which isn't a major milestone number but it sounds lucky doesn't it? And what is luckier than beating cancer, and living another year to enjoy all my life has to offer. At year five, my mom bought me a heart-shaped necklace to commemorate the occasion. Year nine was dinner at Purple Feet. Year ten, my wonderful family threw me a big celebratory party. This year, I just wanted some of my favorite pizza with Brent.

The reason this day is of such importance is it was the day I was given a new life. That transplant was the first step of many which saved my life and the reason I am still alive. I have so much to be thankful for, and I am so happy for the ability to celebrate this anniversary!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

::Enjoy The Journey::

I love thinking of life in terms of a long road trip - a journey. There are delays, detours, mishaps & ugly scenery. But there is also fresh air, new experiences, beautiful sights, and so many times I have found that the detours have taken me exactly where I need to be.

On this journey, it is so easy to let days slip away often unremarkably and without notice. But I have found that when I actually take the time to enjoy the scenery instead of worrying so much about the destination, it makes such an impact on my state of being. Slowing down, enjoying each day for what is & focusing on what I am grateful for in my life at that moment.

Photography has done just that for me...completely opened my eyes to the world, allowing me to notice things I previously overlooked. It started with searching for beautiful and interesting subject matter, and transformed my ability to slow down and take it all in. 
♥Enjoy the journey♥

*Photo taken at Grow Gift Studio & Gallery

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Three Beauties

Sisters Mallory-5, Delayna-10, and Taryn-12 were a joy to photograph. Shot at Myrtle Creek in Fallbrook, CA, we had so much fun exploring and playing, and what beautiful girls! The photos are a surprise gift to their dad for Father's Day. Here are just a few of my favorites from the shoot.

::Miss Mallory::
::Miss Delayna::
::Miss Taryn::
::All Together::
Please contact me for your photography needs!
Events, engagements, portraits,families and more.
Orange County & San Diego areas.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Ten on Ten :: May

Ten photos on the tenth of the month, one photo each hour for ten consecutive hours. Here is a glimpse into my day on this tenth of May! The day was thrown off a bit by Brent's dead car battery, but everything worked out fine. I drove him to work, went grocery shopping, swam at the pool, and visited the neighbor cat. Tuesdays are nice because they are Brent's half days so we get to spend the afternoon together. Today we sat outside with coffee and read for awhile. Hope your day was a good one!
As I look over the day's photos I can feel summer inching closer and closer!
To see more Ten on Ten collections visit HERE.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Mother's Day Brunch

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend!
Above is my mom with her mother, and below, me with my mom and brother.
I love my mom so much and I see so much of her in myself. She is my best friend and I am so thankful that we are as close as we are.
We are a family that loves food. So of course, Mother's Day was all about the food. I made Pioneer Woman's homemade cinnamon rolls, potatoes, eggs, fruit, and tangerine mimosas.
Everything was absolutely delicious and I was proud of myself for doing the whole meal...but we were all so full afterward none of us could move afterward! We stretched out on the couch and played board games, lounged in the front yard, played with Nick's puppy, and just enjoyed the day.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

The Wonders of the Beach

I ♥ the beach.
I love...
Feeling so calm, so at peace when I am near the ocean.
The feeling of the sand beneath my bare feet.
The incredible vastness of the ocean and infinite stretch of beach.
Memories of the fun family day trips to the beach when I was a kid.
Relaxing and feeling completely at ease laying beneath the sun.
Beautiful and ever-changing sunsets.
The sound of the waves.
The stunning beauty of pelicans in flight.
I have never lived more than 10 minutes from the ocean in my entire life, and it just feels like a part of me. Often times when I am feeling overwhelmed or stressed I will drive to the beach. Watching the waves, mindlessly hunting for interesting rocks, walking on the sand, the smell of the salty air...all calm me and instantly lift my mood.

I have a memory of going to the beach for the first time after my treatment. I was still very sick and on high doses of medication, but my dad helped carry my wheelchair out onto the sand and I can still remember the happiness to breathe in the ocean air and feel the warmth of the sun.

Life often times is not easy, and if only it were easy as taking flight like those pelicans and soaring far away from it all. But to me, it is these little things that make life so inexplicably beautiful and wonderful, and make me so happy and grateful to be alive. Living in the now, appreciating every moment, admiring all the world has to offer, and making the best of everything.
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