March 29, 2012

wandering minds

School has been my priority lately.  I'm simply trying to do the best I can in these last two months.  My mind has been wandering - thinking about a summer job, my future career, and other things.  It's difficult to focus on the day I'm living in.  This is the time I have looked forward to since I was little: the time when I could get a job, drive, and, eventually, go to college.  Suddenly it's here and I don't think I'm ready.  Taking it one day at a time has helped me immensely, and at night, when I lay in bed, I think about the future and I talk to God about it.

The truth is, I don't have a plan...really, I don't.  Do I go to college?  Not go to college?  What do I want to do?  What do I even like?  There's so many questions!  I have two years, but I like to think ahead.  I've even begun to think that I don't want to pursue photography as a career.  I just don't know.

Any of you out there struggling as well?  I'd love to hear how you're doing with it!

March 26, 2012

spring & things

i blink, eyelids covering brown eyes, and there, through the fingerprinted window pane, appears foliage green and new.  it comes in a day, but stays for a season or two.  i look and there it is.  spreading across ground and branches like fire to a pile of dry leaves.  and when it comes, i realize how much i have longed for it, missed it.  i'm a summer girl - bare limbs and frigid air quickly lose their novelty after a few weeks.  and that literary girl in me can't help but compare this new life in nature to a new season in my own life.  i can feel it, deep down, roots first, then buds.  it's coming, i think, with the spring.

March 22, 2012

i can stand the growing pains

I started to write a post about crying today and how I've never been a crier, but my thoughts quickly moved from crying to adoption.  You see, adoption has made me cry more than I ever used to.  Just the other day I was overcome by what I have lost (a tight-knit, well running family), instead of focusing on what all of us are gaining (four new siblings and the opportunity to be a witness).

If I want to be really honest, I miss my old, comfortable life - the life where I was known as the girl with six siblings, who, for the most part, were smart and respectful and obedient.  We weren't even close to perfect, but we had a routine and we lived life that way.
I was comfortable. 

But God.  But God.  But God.
He knew I was too comfortable.  I was living in a place where I didn't have to strive to serve Him or trust in Him.  Nothing happened.  Life was easy.  I went to church and prayed a prayer, but when did I ever have to show Him to others?

All that has changed.  Life is far from easy and that's why I cry.  It hurts.  The sobs rack and the tears sting as much as it does to be patient and patient and patient.  Patience.  Love is patient, love is kind.
And maybe, when I step back, it's not that hard, but it hurts for the moment.  And maybe, it's not even the adoption that hurts, but my heart under the pressure of The Potter's hands.  He is kneading and pressing and shaping.  Jesus is helping me, just like I need Him to.  Throwing off the old life I had when life was easy to embrace this new life with ten siblings and an even bigger family.

So instead of being proud for my tearless eyes, I've realized that these tears are healing.  It's not wrong to mourn the past life I had, but it's wrong to dwell on it.  I will look ahead to the time when I wake up and I know, just know, these kids are my siblings. 

March 19, 2012

needed: wide angle lens and a clown

Oh, the poor photographer who will someday shoot our family photos.  As you can see, none of these shots have eleven smiling faces in them.  Hence, the clown in the title.  However, these are the first photos of all eleven of us together, so I would call that an accomplishment - almost four months later.  Oh, and that last photo...that's the real us.  Sorry to disappoint you.  This was one of those moments when my mind composed  cool shots, but no one else cared, so we resorted to sitting - the best way to keep everyone still.  Have fun picking out all the grumpy faces, stupid faces, and just plain ridiculous faces.  (You'll find them all, I promise.)

March 16, 2012

little girl with the golden curls

You're still the baby of the family, still showered with plenty of hugs, kisses, and tickles - the adoption didn't change that.  You still have an ability to make everyone talk in weird baby voices when they play with you.'re still growing up.  Too fast, in my opinion.  Little girl, you learn new words everyday and you
know how to go on the "big girl potty."  You and you're new sister are always together, both learning, in you're own way, how to grow up.  (Just don't grow up too fast, please.)  Last night, it was just you and me on the swings, and you let me snap away while you played.  And you told me about flowers and swings and boo-boos in your little girl voice.  Playing with you was my favorite part of the day.

March 13, 2012


I'm in the mood to simplify in areas of my life.  I stopped pinning things on Pinterest and uploading to Flickr.  I organized my binders to prepare for the last few months of my sophomore year.  And, yes, faintly, there was this desire to stop blogging, to just put the computer away and never open it again.  But, you know that I won't do that - blogging is sometimes the one thing that drives me to improve my photography and writing - and I need this motivation.

My constant excuse has been "I've just been really busy", and I apologize and move on.  Am I really busy or am I just too scared, too lazy?  There is so much coming up - a summer job, getting my license - and filling up a summer.  I want to have time to enjoy those summer days and be intentional.  So...I'm simplifying.

In other news, there are some exciting things coming up.  For example...guess what comes out in ten days? Guess who is very excited? Also, I'm hoping to do some photography jobs soon.  And soccer season starts soon.  Doesn't sound like simplifying, does it?  These are the things I want to do, though, not the blogging, emailing, and photo-gazing on the computer.   

Some photos lately....
And lastly, what do you think of the new design?

March 09, 2012

The Woodshop

It was like a time capsule.  I stepped inside, the dark coldness enveloping me in the silence.  Instead of being afraid of the silence like I normally convince myself I am, I continued to walk into my uncle's barn.  Blue light through cobweb covered windows guided me as I explored the barn through my camera lens.  In one room was his wood shop - tabletop strewn with recent projects and walls holding various tools.  As I walked around the room, my footprints were left in the sawdust that was collected on the ground.  There were mounds of it on the floor and specks floating in the air, whispering, as it fell, of past projects.  I snapped a few more photos, making sure to turn the light off when I was done.  As I walked toward the door to leave, something caught my eye.  Something green, with the blue sky behind it, and covered in cobwebs.  The old 7-Up bottle was just sitting there, all alone on the windowsill.  It made the photo-taking adventure complete. With the last shot taken, I closed the door behind me and left the barn in its silence.

March 06, 2012

Over and Over Again

 Life feels monotonous.  School, eat, sleep, teach English.  Repeat.  Get through the day.  Don't forget to reply to that email and finish that chapter of Chemistry.  Do your school, please be quiet, chew with your mouth closed, go play.  Constantly, I'm asking people to do things, trying to show them (them being The Four) how to be Americans.  After I'm done with that, I worry about my time.  "I should be doing things and going places that help me to grow," I think.  Or I wonder how they find time to do all these things, while I sit at home.  (And really, who is "they" anyway?)  They travel, they hang out every weekend, they have time to practice their photography every day.
It was this past weekend that helped me to see what I was doing wrong.  Why can't I be thankful for this life I'm living?  I set a goal at the beginning of this 2012 year to live thankfully.  And I haven't.  I've gotten caught in a wheel of life and I can't stop it from rolling.  And maybe we can't.  Maybe we're not supposed to, because if it stops we'll never be the same.  Perhaps God gives us hard times so we come to appreciate the things we normally don't notice as we go through our days.  Here are some of mine:

+ holding a sleepy, sweaty Ethiopian princess when she awakes in the middle of the night
+ those conversations that might be awkward but bring you closer together
+ the way they try so hard to speak English
+ re-reading the Hunger games in preparation for the movie (only 18 more days!)
+ when our singing actually sounds reasonably good
+ watching the sun set as I type
+ understanding Algebra II (that could quite possibly be a first...)
+ sitting in my closet & writing a blog post while my baby sisters sleep
+ laughing hard as our faces turn red in class

I'm realizing more and more that my life is not going to be the same as other people's.  Seems basic, but it's so hard to grasp.  This is the life I've been placed in, not my friend's, not that blogger, not this celebrity's.  So, wheel, you can keep rolling.  I'll keep moving, but that doesn't mean I'll stop appreciating the people around me and the life I have been given.

p.s. Guestposted over here the other day about self-portraits!

March 02, 2012

Aunt Suzy's House

It was a good break.  If you didn't see the sidebar, you might not have known that I was gone a few days.  It was a wonderful resting time.
Two of my sisters and I spent three days at our aunt's house this weekend.  She lives two hours away, so each trip is like a new adventure - something out of the ordinary to explore.  Our trips to her house were more frequent when we were younger, and this trip was the first one in three years.
This was also the first year to have my camera at her house.  Let's just say I went a little photo crazy with a new house to capture.  It was so much fun to photograph the little nooks bursting with antique treasures and walls holding an array of pictures collected over the years.  My aunt has a knack for decorating, which is evident in her house.  There are little things everywhere that she has collected from antique shops.
The bird came from Ethiopia, though.  
 On this trip we did a lot of shopping, cooking, eating, and relaxing. Mainly eating though.  I went to my first frozen yogurt shop.  It was very very good.  That is all.

It was nice to have a small break away from school work and all the noise that never ceases in my house. It was good to be away, to have time to pray and quiet to read my Bible.  I love times like that, away from my family.  I have to depend on God more and am able to devote more time to Him.
That would be my cousin.
 My aunt has grandkids of her own now - my second cousins.  Being able to spend time with them made me happy, since I don't get to see them very often.  When we first arrived, they came rushing through the door to give us hugs.  I love them lots.
We made even more memories than we already had, like pushing the golfcart in our bare feet because its battery died.  (See above photo.)  And playing spoons until we almost fell off our chairs.  Even the conversations about my future and what college I'm going to and what I want to do were good.  It's nice to know that someone besides my mom and dad truly care about what I will do with my life.  It was a good resting and rejuvenating time.  It was time spent laughing and talking and loving.  That's what my family does best.