Tuesday, January 27, 2015

When someone notices . . .

"Well it's alright, doing the best you can"

-End of the Line  (Traveling Wilburys)

Saturday we drove to see the college girl to help her out with a few things, we were gone all day. And by all day I mean we pulled into the driveway at midnight, barley awake.

Sunday morning, after a few errands, my husband went to the mailbox to get the mail. He said there were two postcards, one addressed to him and one to the football boy. Both written on the same kind of postcard.

The one for my husband was from our boy. A very sincere note about how he felt he was successful, always working hard, finding the good in our family . . . and how he has never felt denied of anything. Now you have to understand, there have been some really tough times in our family, like many families. And during those times its hard enough sometimes to get what you need let alone what you want. So it was very touching, and a tribute to the character of our boy ( to both our kids really ) to say that he has never felt denied, even when we could't give them some of things we thought they should have.

The one addressed to our son had this written on it:

"You have been through so many hard times in your life with your health and you never gave up. You kept going in your school grades and your activities. You never show you're hurt or sick, and you always keep going." Signed by a friend in his English class.

In fact, this was an English assignment. To write to someone who you think fits R. W. Emerson's definition of success. Which is, "To laugh often and much; To win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; To earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; To appreciate beauty, to find the best in others; To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded."

(For those of you visiting for the first time or new followers, this link will help you understand better what his friend means by the hard times with his health)

His friend could have sent this to anyone...his parents, anyone. But, he chose to send it to my boy! And as his mom (as his parents) we know this, we see his humility and his kindness and his choice to be happy despite what life continues to throw at him. And it makes my heart happy that someone else noticed too. That he can know that while most people his age won't say it, they see him doing the best that he can. To know that he can be an example to others who are or may go through something really hard, that if you keep the right attitude, that if you make it a choice to be happy, that well, life will be alright when you're doing the best that you can.

Snail mail has nearly become something of the past these days, and reading these two postcards has reminded me to never underestimate the power of the written word or telling someone else just how much they have inspired you. 

What a great English assignment....I have some postcards of my own to send! Because who wants to get to the end of the line and have any regrets. Either with what you didn't say or how you didn't live.

Love, Kim

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Grow Your Blog . . .

. . . it's another par-tay!

{A big shout out to Vicki at 2 Bags Full for once again hosting the Grow Your Blog party!}

Welcome to my little space in the universe.

My name is Kim,
light seeker and finder of things,
of ordinary and beautiful.
I record moments through a box with a hole,
and thoughts through a pen.

I am a mom of two, a girl and a boy. One in college and the other soon to follow. A wife of 23 years this year, photographer, dreamer, mess maker. I love little adventures and exploring even if it's 5 feet from my front door. And, you could say I have a little nature nerd extraordinaire tucked into my soul.

Ever since I can remember I have loved creating in some form or fashion, and the need to express myself has appeared through the years in many forms. For me, creating, whether it be in photographs or jewelry or something else, allows me to express myself about the world around me, in ways that aren't always possible any other way. It's my way of working through life, its ups and downs . . . trying to find the beauty in the process through my lens and on paper, and moving from moment to moment.

And, this is me, looking through my milkweed at caterpillars, monarch babies. No, I don't normally take photos of myself, in fact I avoid it at all cost, but this was for "a quirky selfie" prompt (full blog post here).

I guess it was only fitting since I started raising monarch butterflies 2 years ago this coming March. Yep, my family has graciously they had no choice in the matter let me take over the dining room table, and sometimes parts of the kitchen, with caterpillar tents and related items. So far to date, I've raised and released over 1000 monarch butterflies. 

I started a blog series about my journey with the monarchs, and unfortunately got a little derailed this summer. But I'm working on finishing the rest to be ready for spring. You can find the first of three so far here, and each one directs you to the next post.

And when I'm not knee deep in caterpillar poo, I'm at the beach exploring . . . our 30 minutes away from an hour vacation.

Or watching the sunrise . . . one of my very favorite things to do in the world.

You can also find me every other Tuesday, sharing about life and photography on my collaborative blog called Focusing on Life, with 9 other women. I'm looking forward to connecting with other creatives in sharing this journey thing we call life.

Have a wonderful day, and thank you for stopping in!

Love, Kim

Tuesday, January 20, 2015


"You may say I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one"

- John Lennon (Imagine)


I was going to finish a post that I started many, many months ago, that would have tied in so well with this weeks song-ography and MLK day.

But, I must have been dreaming...

Or I may have just run out of time. My girl was sick all last week, and we took her back to school this weekend after a very nice long break.

This is the time of year, with bare branches, and minimal landscapes that I crave the dreamy effects of abstract photographs. This was a new spot I found by my house the other night, on my way home from an epic day with my camera. From sun up, to literally sun down . . . I was gone for over 12 hours! It felt so good to see the sun.

It won't be long before we start getting leaves budding out on the trees, which means it will be harder to get this kind of dreamy abstract. I'll have to start dreaming of something else . . . 

 . . . but I'm probably not the only one.

And, just for the record . . . I do imagine all the people sharing all the world, with no need for greed or hunger, a brotherhood of man.

Some say I'm just a dreamer ...

"Optimist: day dreamer more elegantly spelled." - Mark Twain

I'm over at Focusing on life today, sharing some night photography experiments, and how I did them.
It's our theme for the month, come check it out - it was fun!

Happy Tuesday friends,
Love, Kim

Thursday, January 15, 2015

There is always something shining, somewhere . . . .

"What is joy if it goes unrecorded,
and what is love if it is not shared."

- Jenny Lee (from 'Call The Midwife')

It's been incredibly gloomy and cold and rainy and did I mention grey?
The sun has not been seen since, well, last year. It's so dark in the house
that I need the lights on to see (or see better), and I'm just not inspired to
take pictures inside my house. My heart and soul {and camera} are drawn
to the outdoors, to nature. THAT, is where I find my shiny things.

So, I thought I would share some photos from November that I haven't had
a chance to share, a walk on the birding trail and my special spot. And that reminded
me of something that I wrote down, which prompted me to find the transcript and
I'm somewhat getting ahead of myself here, so  . . . I'll just start over.

I was driving in the car one day and listening to NPR on the radio.
It was November 26, 2014 to be exact.

I was listening to the program {On Being} and they were talking
with folk singer-songwriter Carrie Newcomer and the topic was - A
Conversation with Music.

I was quite drawn to this interview, her voice was so calm and soothing and so gentle.
And she comes from a Quaker background, and although I am not I have a very strong
ancestral Quaker background.

Anyway, during the interview I was just reminded about how no matter the medium,
or the artist, or the art, that we all come to it from such a similar place, the heart.
We are all just standing in a different place, a different time, and with a different perspective.

And that is what is so great about art, and life . . . it's different and unique and when
authentic to our own voice, very individualistic. It's also why we have so much to 
learn from one another.

"Music approaches the sacred through the wordless avenues of the heart." - Carrie Newcomer

Yep, I think that's where most art enters, only through different senses.

 She talked about how as a teenager she fell in love with the singing poets.

{entering my secret place, with shiny things}

I understood this. I've fallen in love with the storytellers that use images.

She talked about the idea of being in a spiritual practice and those of us who create art, who record moments in time, of life and death, of joy and sorrow, and of just being present . . . we understand this all too well.

I understand that deep spiritual connection of being in that moment where time stands still, where it's just you and that moment. Where nothing else in the world exists but awe and wonder, and humility.

And she talked about the idea that there is something shining in the world. That just below the surface of things there is something shining, always. And I shake my head yes, and sigh.

There is magic and light, and life below the surface of everything, and everyone.

We just have to ask ourselves the question - Did I look hard enough?

Am I present, am I willing to show up?

Am I willing to share it? To find what's hidden and reveal it. The joy, the sorrow, the vulnerability.

The light in the shadows. The shadows caused by the light. One is not without the other.

Yes there is always something shining, somewhere. We just have to reach for it beyond the surface. Be willing to dig a little deeper, stay a little longer. Sometimes it requires walking in a circle to see it.

To simply record the joy we see, and share it.

The podcast in its entirety can be found here. So much good stuff, I hope you will check it out.
And although I wouldn't say it's music I'm usually drawn to, there is something so wonderful about
her lyrics, so full of real life stuff.

This one from the podcast was my favorite, find it on you tube here.

Have a wonderful day...I hope you find something shiny!

Love, Kim

Friday, January 9, 2015

You don't have to go far . . .

to find . . . 

something to quiet the mind
things that are ordinary
and beautiful

things right outside your front door

bubbles and reflections in a water fountain

flowers and petals that have dropped to the ground

a fern growing in between timbers used at a table at my nursery without dirt

water drops hanging on to the dried pine that dropped from the trees

beautiful, simple things
that remind you that there is so much to see
when we really look

things that make you slow down
take notice
and give thanks for right here, and now

[p.s. can I ask a favor? my boy has some blood work next week at his infusion. his
red blood cell count has been elevated and it needs to come down or he may have
to have some more extensive tests. Will you pray with us that it goes down to normal? xo]

Have a wonderful weekend, and stay warm!
Love, Kim

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

What's the word?

Last year what I wanted, was to be more intentional in my photography, and in my writing more and in letting my passions drive more of my actions. More intentional about my time, and in trying new things, and just with life in general. I wanted to be more intentional  about the things that are important to me, and yet I wanted to keep it as simple as possible.

And how did that work out?

Well, if I were a glass half empty kinda gal, and broke all those things down, I would have to say  . . . maybe not so great.

But I'm not, so I won't go there.

What I can tell you is that in life in general, intention worked out pretty good. I can say that I learned some new things, like journal making, and I shared my passion of taking football pictures from the sidelines on a Facebook page for the players and parents. And with roughly 60 hours logged in of shooting said football this past fall I might have even improved just a bit. I kept true to the things that were most important to me, which included my part in the conservation of the monarch butterfly by becoming an official Monarch Waystation and the release of another 600 butterflies raised in my dining room . But the biggest intention of all was the time I took away from here to rest my soul. And it was hard because it's not what I had intended to do with my time, and it sure didn't help with my intention of writing more.

But sometimes you just have to give yourself permission to rest even when the trade offs are high. Because, sometimes when you chose not to, the trade offs can be even higher. And when you have a child with a chronic illness you can't afford to not be intentional with yourself . . . it's the only way you can ride the changing tide.

{KK waterfront magic}

"Speak louder than the words before you
And give them meaning no one else has found
The role we play is so important
We are the voices of the underground"

by A Great Big World, (This Is The New Year)

During much of this quiet time, though, it's been harder to quiet the noise speaking in my head and heart. The one that says... I feel like there is something else I should be doing, something deeper below the surface of safe. I've felt this way for awhile and I don't mean instead of being here.

The thing is I'm not really sure what it is and if I've learned one thing about myself it's that I'm not afraid of not doing something right, just of not being prepared enough to start. Does that make any sense?

This years word, unlike past words, didn't come as freely. I knew what I wanted it to feel like, but couldn't quite grasp it. And then, while standing in the kitchen one day last week, it came to me like a lightning bolt. Poof, there it was, my word and one that for me feels interactive, one that holds possibilities.

[Reach] - to stretch or hold out, extend. To get to, or arrive at, or amount to. To establish                                     communication with.

to reach and be reached
to find solutions
to reach for answers and ask more questions
to find the courage to reach for my turn, to reach for yes
to simply reach for what's hidden . . .  then reveal it, and give it meaning

There is no guarantee that by the act of reaching that anyone will reach back, or that there is even something on the other side. No guarantee that there is an answer to a question or a solution to a problem, and I'm going to reach anyway.

I want to take the chance, to leap without fear, into the unknown, over mud puddles while reaching for the other side.

I want to reach for the stars and touch everything in between.

"When you reach for the stars, you are reaching for the

farthest thing out there. When you reach deep into yourself,
it is the same thing, but in the opposite direction. If you
reach in both directions, you will have spanned the universe."
- Vera Nazarian
P.S.- I would like to invite you to join me over at Focusing on Life today (new month, new theme) where I'm sharing thoughts on time, A Tall Ship and new beginnings.

Love, Kim

Sharing with Texture Tuesday, Song-ography

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