Monday, January 31, 2011

‘For last year's words belong to last year's language And next year's words await another voice. And to make an end is to make a beginning.’ ~T.S. Eliot

Communal Global is turning 1!road Yes : ) This deserves a scream!
sophia love chinese foodBake something scrumptious.partay 3  Gather some people you love.partay Kick your shoes off!partay 1 Take a drive on the wild side!partay 2  And bite into a cupcake!fairy cake penut butter bliss
1 year is something to celebrate!
sunset 1
Come and travel around the world with us every morning.sweet shot button Study 1 - black border (resized 150)
We would love it like crazy!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

fresh start

sophia love chinese food

We rang in the New Year with David and Tina and Baby Sophia.

It was pretty near perfect.

I am not letting her grow up any more.

Can you believe her?

Can’t wait to see your best picture from January 2011.

Dazzle me.I_Heart_Faces_noborder_125x100

Always when judging
Who people are,
Remember to footnote
The words "So far."
Robert Brault

Saturday, January 29, 2011

‘Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.’ ~Robert A. Heinlein

I hate to tell you what a fabulous mother I am all the time…so today, I am going to share a blunder. Hopefully you will not have to report me! I am not sure though…this is TERRIBLE!shots8
Kaish turned 11 a few weeks ago. Remember? So, I knew, as all normal mothers do, that it was time for his yearly Dr. appointment.
Somewhere in the back of my mind, I sort of recalled missing his tenth year physical. COMPLETELY missing it… but I thought, that was ok. I mean, no mother can be completely perfect, right?
shots5 I called to make an appointment. I apologized to the appointment maker for missing his 10 year appointment. She didn’t seem to care.  PHEW! I was off the hook!
I told Kaish to be prepared for a shot or 2. He was NOT happy about that. We stopped at my Mom’s for a visit before the Dr. and we read one of his old Berenstain Bear books.
shots7We went to the appointment and I apologized to the Check In girl. Again, she didn’t seem to care that I had missed last year’s appointment! Thank you LORD! : )
We went back to the room to wait. I was feeling so relieved about his missed appointment. It could happen to ANY mother, right?shots9But then the nurse came in. The same nurse Kaish has had since he was an itty bitty baby. She told me she hadn’t seen us in a LONG time. She seemed a little ticked. She was loving towards Kaish but definitely giving me the evil eye.shots6   I decided to spring into remorseful mode.
‘Oh, Nurse BJ, I am so terribly sorry we missed Kaishon’s 10 year old check up. It was on our calendar and for some reason January was crazy busy and we just never got around to it. I feel terrible. Yadda. Yadda. Yadda.’shots3She looked at me with disdain and said , “Well, that explains the 10 year old check up. What about his 8 and 9 year old check up?”
shots1I know! Did you just scream? I am the WORST mother in America. I didn’t just miss 1 year. I missed 3 years worth of checkups….
I was horrified. I have no idea how it happened. I am terribly ashamed of my mothering… Isn’t that like Rule #1 in the parenting handbook? Take your kid to a physical every year?  Are you disowning me?shotsPoor little Kaish had to get 4 shots.  He wasn’t happy!
Hopefully that will be the VERY last mistake of my mothering career : ) I am definitely counting on it.shots2
So, there you go. That is our week in a nutshell. Lots of fails and a few shots…
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My friend, Becky wanted to do an interview with me. I know. I know. You read all the details of my life [and then some] almost every day… but, if you would like to know more about me and my photography, well, then, scoot over to Farmgirl Paints.
I am super nervous.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

value

katelyn pretty"It doesn't interest me what you do for a living. I want to know what you ache for, and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart's longing.       old camera card stuff 2010 brooke almost one 010
It doesn't interest me how old you are. I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool for love, for your dream, for the adventure of being alive. old camera card stuff 2010 brooke almost one 008
It doesn't interest me what planets are squaring your moon. I want to know if you have touched the center of your own sorrow, if you have been opened by life's betrayals or have become shriveled and closed from fear of further pain! I want to know if you can sit with pain, mine or your own, without moving to hide it or fade it, or fix it. old camera card stuff 2010 brooke almost one 009
I want to know if you can be with joy, mine or your own, if you can dance with wildness and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes without cautioning us to be careful, to be realistic, to remember the limitations of being human. old camera card stuff 2010 brooke almost one 004
It doesn't interest me if the story you are telling me is true. I want to know if you can disappoint another to be true to yourself; if you can bear the accusation of betrayal and not betray your own soul; if you can be faithless and therefore trustworthy. katrina and jesse gonzales
I want to know if you can see beauty even when it's not pretty, every day,and if you can source your own life from its presence.
I want to know if you can live with failure, yours and mine, and still stand on the edge of the lake and shout to the silver of the full moon, “Yes!” old camera card stuff 2010 brooke almost one 012
It doesn't interest me to know where you live or how much money you have. I want to know if you can get up, after the night of grief and despair, weary and bruised to the bone, and do what needs to be done to feed the children.     
old camera card stuff 2010 brooke almost one 046  
It doesn't interest me who you know or how you came to be here. I want to know if you will stand in the center of the fire with me and not shrink back. old camera card stuff 2010 brooke almost one 050
It doesn't interest me where or what or with whom you have studied. I want to know what sustains you, from the inside, when all else falls away. old camera card stuff 2010 brooke almost one 034
I want to know if you can be alone with yourself and if you truly like the company you keep in the empty moments." old camera card stuff 2010 brooke almost one 070
Oriah Mountain Dreamer
old camera card stuff 2010 brooke almost one 051

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Photographer Interview: Point & Shoot with BuckarooMama from Hong Kong

 Do you know her? She is a blogging mega star.

The one and only, BuckarooMama!

She uses a point and shoot camera and she captures wonderful moments in life. 

Many wonderful moments.b9

Did you get serious about taking pictures as soon as your son was born, or did you get more into it when Zoe came along?b

I’ve always enjoyed taking photos and would take rolls and rolls of film whenever I traveled (yes, my earlier travels were pre-digital age!). I kinda dreamed of having my pictures turn out like the ones I’d see in travel magazines. I mostly took photos to document the places I’d been to, the people I’ve met, etc. But I’d never taken as many photos as when Josh was born. Suddenly I was sending out at least one online album of Josh every week to family and friends –regardless of whether or not they asked for it! b8 
Do the kids like when you take their picture?b1

Oh, both Josh and Zoë have gotten used to it now. Ha, ha! They even “find” places and things for me to shoot. Sometimes they would run and pose in front of something and call out to me, “Mommy, take a picture!” b4
Tell me about Hong Kong. Did you grow up there? b2
There are places where you either love it or you hate it –no middle ground. I think Hong Kong is such place. Words that come to mind when I think about Hong Kong: Fast-paced, great-tasting food, shopping, compact, efficient, hub, melting pot. I love how small Hong Kong is. We’re right in the city, yet we’re only 20 minutes away from the beach and we have mountains and a hiking trail right next door. b7I love the transportation system here. It has to be one of the best (if not the best!) transport system in the world. You get trains, buses, minibuses, trams, ferries, sampans… There are times we take the kids out and try to get on as many modes of transportation as we can!b3

No, I didn’t grow up here. I actually grew up in the Philippines My (great-)grandparents were Chinese immigrants. When I was small, we would visit Hong Kong very often (because it’s only a 2-hour plane ride from Manila and because we have relatives here). I’ve always loved the fast-paced life here, the food (oh, the food!), and the shopping. b12   So when I was on one such visit after having quit a most boring job back home, I’d sent out my CV to a headhunter, not really expecting anything. When I was contacted separately by both the Hong Kong and the Guangzhou (China) offices of the same company, both wanting to hire me, I took that to be a sign.  b5     So 15 years ago, I came to Hong Kong with just one Samsonite bag. Today, I have a husband, two kids, a flat (that’s what they call condo units here), and lots of wonderful memories and junk accumulated through the years.b9

What is it like living in a high rise? Are you friends with your neighbors?b7

No need to do yard work. Security personnel calling and announcing your visitors when they come –so you don’t get caught in your pj’s when your visitors arrive. Elevators. Waiting for elevators – sometimes it takes a while, considering the 4 elevators service all 60 floors!b10

Yes, we are friends with some of our neighbors. I say “some,” because others? We’ve never even met or don’t get to see at all. The doors to ALL the units are closed all the time. It’s not like you get to see neighbors over the fence as they leave for work while you’re pruning your rose bushes. b11The ones we know, we say hello to, we chit-chat a bit when we run into each other, but it’s not like we do coffee at each other’s places. b8

Tell me about the camera you have right now, and also what you are looking into getting?b6

I’m shooting with a Sony DSC-N1, a point-and-shoot. It’s on its last legs, really. Sometimes the zoom gets stuck and won’t work; there are squiggly lines across some areas of the screen; the lens protector sometimes would not shut all the way. b18   BUT, this camera has served me really well and for as long as it’s still functional, I’ll keep it.     b4 I do have my eye on a proper DSLR. After much consideration and consultation with a couple of people who know photography way more than I do, I want a Nikon D90. Zoe, my 3-year old is already laying claim to my Sony point-and-shoot “when Daddy gets [me] a new camera.” b10
What place do you love to shoot the most?b3

I don’t really have a favourite place. I love to shoot street scenes –the many wonderful possibilities just make me giddy! I love to shoot at the beach –ooh, the textures! b2
Have you read any good photography books? b1
Hah! I haven’t read any photography book, period. I should, though. It’s just that I’m more of a hands-on person and I learn better that way.  b6   

That said, I do read online tutorials on a few of my favourite photography-related sites. I find the online tutorials “just right” for my attention span. What’s more, they are mostly written by bloggers/photographers whose work I greatly admire. So there’s that much more incentive to read and go through the tutorials, as opposed to me just reading some dry technical directions from a book. 

b15

What blog link up do you love participating in the most each week? You are the queen of blog link ups!b9

Hmm, I do do blog link ups a lot, don’t I? Partly it’s because I’m lazy; blog link ups provide me ready topics to blog about. But mostly I do it because it’s fun –and especially on the photography-related ones, I learn so much and I get inspired by the many wonderful photographers out there. b8

Some of my favourite blog link-ups: Communal Global (Woo hoo!), I Heart Faces (I got all excited about photography again because of I Heart Faces), and Macro Friday.These are just SOME of my favorites, mind you. There are plenty more!

How did you pick the kids names? b10
When I was pregnant with Josh, I’d drawn up a list of names that I like and presented the list to my husband. He then picked out a name from that list. Easy, eh? With Zoe, well, I’d always known even way back when I was in high school that if I were to have a daughter someday, she’d be a Zoë. b6The fact that both Joshua and Zoe are characters in “The West Wing” –a show that we both love, --has nothing to do with how we chose the names. Pure coincidence. Really.  b2   b5

Does your husband like to be in pictures?b22   He doesn’t mind. Well, he doesn’t really have much choice, as I hog the camera and I take pictures of whomever and whatever I want! Seriously though, Chris is such a laid back person, so easygoing. Perfect foil to my Type-A-ness! b19
How often do your parents come to visit? Is it hard living so far from them?b7

Not as often as we’d like. They’d visit maybe 4-5 times a year, a week at a time, usually. It’s hard with them not being here in the sense that I’d love for Josh and Zoe to grow up with their grandparents present, the way I did. b20My memories of my time with my grandparents are very special and I’d love for our kids to have the sane, b4

Do they know how to get online and read your blog so they can stay up to date? b1
Oh yes, they do! They are my most loyal followers. The posts where I write about Josh and Zoe and the photos that I post of them on my blog? Are mainly for them. There were times before (when I first started the blog) when I would get an email or a call from my parents, asking why there hadn’t been posts and photos of the kids and when I would get to it!b23

Do you have any other advice or special words you would like to share? b3

I thoroughly love taking pictures and just seeing what I could capture and freeze in time, playing around with different ways of capturing a subject. Of course I dream of having a great, decent big-girl DSLR, but even without one, I think if you just go out and just shoot away and if you take time out to check out and study other photographers’ works (and there are loads of amazing photographers in Bloggy Land!), take time to try your hand at fixing a photo, join some photo challenges, you will learn SO much.

b21 b13

I have found so much inspiration in many of the wonderful bloggers/photographers that I’ve “met” through the various photo challenges and memes in which I’ve participated.

b5

Buckaroo Mama @ Mamahood, Among Other Things