I Heart Faces, Photo Challenge Week 13 - "Dramatic B&W"

I took this picture shortly after my D90 arrived, just playing with it to see what it could do. It was the later part of winter, and my hands were so dry that day! But, I took the picture anyway. I ended up liking it, so I thought I would use it for this week's photo challenge at I Heart Faces.

I don't know why, but this picture evokes a lot of emotion for me. I think it embodies a lot of life—my love for my husband, the ups and downs of the past 8-1/2 years of marriage, the fact that I'm a mom now, and so much more. When I took it, I was just sitting by our patio door, feeding my daughter lunch, and I liked the way the daylight was coming in. So, I snapped it. I'm glad I did—if for no one else's enjoyment but my own. This photo is almost like a journal entry to me. It reminds me of the day my husband proposed, of the day we shopped for wedding bands, the day we got married, the past few years with all their different emotions and changes, the day I first held my daughter, and so much more. 

I really like the full-color version, too:


A Bridge on a Very Nice Day

Bridges do more than just connect land masses or allow you to cross things you wouldn't otherwise be able to cross. They're part of the journey. They bring a different view to the world. They are a marvel—how do they stay up? These are just some of the reasons they fascinate me. They make me wonder, what's over there? What kind of wonderful things lie on the other side? I know—it's a very Anne Shirley view of things. :o)

This is another view of the bridge at Veterans Park. I took this on a hike with my family at the end of this past Winter. It was a warm, beautiful day, and it was so refreshing to experience.


Bridge at Veteran's Park

Our little family visited Veterans Park (Lexington) recently, and took a nice long walk through the meadows and woods. It was a really beautiful day, as you can see! I like bridges a lot, as I've mentioned before, so I couldn't help but stop and snap a few pics of this one. I don't even know what stream this is, though. It's a nice spot, and I really enjoyed being able to get outside and playing in the nice weather. Our dd has been walking for a little while now, too, so it wad a blast watching her deal with new terrain. :o)


The Beach

Ahhh . . . the beach. There's just no place like it! I get so much energy from being by the sea. We just got back from a mini beach vacation, and it was so nice to be there once again. It restores something in me.

The water was still a bit cold, but we enjoyed being on the sand, the warm sun, and watching the waves crash. Our weather was mostly beautiful with just a little bit of cloudiness and rain the first day—but, then again, is there ever a bad day when you're at the beach? Can't wait to go back!



(Cardinalis cardinalis)

Did you know that the Cardinal is the state bird for about seven states—including Kentucky, Illinois, Indiana, North Carolina, Ohio, Virginia, and West Virginia? And that they're a type of finch? I love cardinals. I love when they are perched at the top of a tree on a clear day, and singing at the top of their lungs to the setting sun, whose rays are brightly displaying their bright, bright red feathers. I've always thought they sound a lot like a lazer gun. You know like you use to play as a kid? Pewwww . . . pew-pew-pew! They are indeed one of my favorite songbirds. There has been a pair of them frequenting our feeders, but the female has been a bit too elusive for me to capture. This studly male just sat there for a while belting out his favorite tune for quite a few minutes. I snapped 65-70 shots of him, but I think I liked this one the best. He was just showing off. :o) Don't you just love how red he is?



I love these blocks! They were a special Christmas gift for my DD from her aunt and uncle. These blocks were made in Michigan with Lake Michigan lumber, and I just might love them more than my DD does, right now. Well, she loves tearing down what we build. :o) These alphabet blocks are by Uncle Goose, which is out of Comstock Park, MI. They're so colorful and fun, so I had to snap a picture of a tower I was working on . . . before "the destroyer" came through.

I Heart Faces, Photo Challenge Week 10 - “Jump For Joy!”

This week's photo challenge theme at I Heart Faces is "Jump for Joy." As I get to know my camera, I think these are fun to participate in. They help me test things out and experiment a bit.

This past weekend was beautiful! I think the high on Sunday was around 60 degrees, so we got outside. My dd started walking in January, and hasn't been able to spend a ton of time outside since then, so this was one of her first adventures as a toddler in "the wild." :o) She loved it! Watching her was cracking us up because whenever she would start to fall or loose control, she just started laughing like crazy. Her falls were usually accompanied by the traditional, "Uh-oh," too. It was so much fun!

This picture was taken as she was being tossed in the air by her daddy, and he had just caught her. I was actually trying to catch a mid-air shot, but I really like this one, too. I wish we had a happy baby. :o)



Valentine's Day was about a month ago, now, but I've been snapping pics of the flowers my husband gave me ever since then. They stayed fresh for a long time, and I've just loved having them around. They finally started dying just this past week, and I had to take a couple more shots of them with my fancy new camera. Aren't they beautiful? Didn't he do a good job? This was actually the first year I got flowers and chocolates for Valentine's Day. I'm typically not the flowers/chocolates kind of girl, but he put some good thought into this one. I don't like roses. So, he got me this beautiful array of spring flowers. They were gorgeous! And, I love chocolates, but I hate those assorted chocolates that you find everywhere around V-Day. Reason? I hate nuts in my chocolate, and I don't like cherry flavoring, so I hate sorting through all the ones I don't like just to get to the ones that I do like. Sigh. I know . . . I'm picky. What can I say? I know what I like. Anyway, so my husband went to a local chocolatier and got me a whole big thing of chocolates, and ALL of them were chocolate and caramel . . . my favorite! I didn't have to pick through any of them, because they were all what I like! It was soooooo thoughtful! It was a really special, sweet Valentine's Day, and I felt so loved.


Nature's Fireworks

Queen Anne's Lace
(Daucus carota)

I'm not a Photoshop expert, but I'm working at learning the in's and out's of the program a bit more. And, no, I don't intend to turn this into a PS tutorial blog. The original of this picture was taken on a hiking trip in our area. When I was playing with it in PS, I ran a couple of PW's actions, then added a sepia tone. Love it! I was surprised to see how much these steps made this flower look like fireworks against the night sky.

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