A Whole Lot of Random
A note before I start: I started writing this post last Wednesday. I don’t even know if I’ll get to post it today. My laptop crashed(again). working on the dinosaur basement computer where I wouldn’t even slightly attempt trying to add computers to the slow hard drive. I can’t upload more pics, so this post is going to be minimal with some random pics to go with random bits. Ok? Ok.
I’m not sure what has gotten into me. I didn’t make any sweeping, large, incredible life-changing Resolutions. But in this new year, I’ve been feeling good somehow. Accomplishing things. By 1pm last Thursday(or was it Wednesday? I can’t remember now), I had managed to feed two kids two meals. Side note: Admittedly one meal involved raisin toast and cream cheese — have you tried the deliciousness that is the Pepperidge Farm Whole Wheat Cinnamon Raisin toast?? They’re not paying me to say this, we just love it that much. So when it goes BOGO, I stock up. The other meal involved Lean Cuisine pizza. They wanted pizza, we had one in the freezer, it all worked out. They ate spinach salad with it, so I can’t feel too badly. Oops, off course…back to what I accomplished by noon that day: Two kids/two meals, swept, dishes twice, two loads of laundry, did some yoga with the little ones(and it was funny – not sure why I never thought to do it with them before), organized the toys downstairs and filled two grocery bags with toys to take to Salvation Army, posted for iheartfaces, made a batch of peanut butter cookies, put two kids down for naps, showered, sat and ate lunch, painted my nails. Don’t get too impressed – I typically have about 3 days a year like this, so I needed to say it out loud.
In other news:
::I think I want to re-paint the kitchen. I do love the color, but it’s just the tiniest bit too bright and saturated for what I want. I thought we had more left, so I thought we could just add some white to lighten it, but John says there’s hardly any left. But we do have a full can left still from painting the kids’ room and it’s a really similar color. My genius idea in an email to John a few minutes ago, “Hmmm…I wonder if we could just add some from the kiddos’ room to what we have left from the kitchen and throw in some white? Would that be a bad idea?” I’m not entirely convinced that it’s such a bad idea, though…maybe?
::My mom got me a new brownie pan for Christmas and I’m in love.
It gives an individual spot for each brownie, ensuring that everyone gets crispy edges and soft centers and it was FANTASTIC. I’m not usually a big fan of things that serve only one kitchen purpose, but I’m completely sold on this one. Especially since we just added 9 cabinet spaces to our kitchen that are going to be filled with something.
::I said I didn’t set any lofty goals as Resolutions, but we did decide to make a change for this year. It’s part health, part financial, part just-plain-better-for-our-family. We’re not eating food or drinking drinks from outside our home. I can fully admit that I’m the major culprit. John likes to get a cup of coffee sometimes and once every couple of weeks he gets some some sort of dollar menu fast food for lunch when he forgets his lunchbox. I, on the other hand, have this nasty little habit of getting something basically every time I leave the house. Coffee and diet soda are the major culprits, but I eat my share of fast food, too. I have serious issues with diet soda of any sort. I don’t mind stopping every few weeks when I’m legitimately hungry, but I’d be lying to say that’s the real reason. And it really bothers me to feed my kids fast food except as an occasional special treat and bothers me even more to have them learning my habits of going through drive thru windows, even if just for a cup of coffee. I’ve been planning a lot to combat the potential scenarios and it’s amazing what a little planning will do. Buying cans of soda and a water bottle for work. Planning meals just two or three days at a time to not overwhelm myself and to not have things go bad, as well as to ensure that we have yummy meals that we look forward to eating for dinner and as leftovers. So far it’s working. We’re humans and not perfect and changing habits is hard. But I’m amazed by how much cash is staying put in my wallet right now. In the spirit of that, I kind of feel like talking about grocery shopping again. Anyone else want interested? It’s freakishly/stalkerish/creepy, but I LOVE to see posts on other people and their grocery plans, lists, purchases so I thought I might do a post or two about some habits around these parts.
::Speaking of getting into the habit of things – can we please discuss how good it feels to be doing my 365 project again? I have spent a lot of the last ten years of my life walking around in a fog of depression, unhappiness that I constantly fight and weight gain to pair with both. I’ve come up for air a few times over that time frame, but as a whole it’s been a kid of sad thing to keep looking back on – especially since the same time frame has been filled with some of the most joyful events in my life. I don’t know what has changed over the past few months, but it feels like a literal body chemistry change. Perhaps partially related to not being pregnant or breastfeeding for the first time in over 4 years. Perhaps getting back to work and being forced to change habits a bit. Perhaps very small changes I’m slowly making in my diet and the ways I nourish myself – physically and spiritually. But it feels good. And I’m going to go out on a limb and attribute a small part of that to my trusty little camera. It’s a sweet little thing and I can’t believe the ways I’ve managed to capture our life over the past year. I decided loosely to work on getting out of “auto” mode last year and it has been a learning curve of epic proportions. Having a creative outlet, a hobby, something to focus on for just myself has been an incredible tool and I just have to say out loud how thankful I am. It’s allowed me a new-found creativity and much-needed outlet, but it’s especially made me seek out so much more in the way of inspiration. SO many incredible souls who blow me away with words and photographs by also sharing their lives in blog-form. I ❤ online communities:)
::Ok, one last thing – sort of related to the last point because it’s photography-related. (Heads up – If you don’t care about cameras and lenses and details, you might want to skip this paragraph so that it doesn’t bore you to tears.}I got a new lens for Christmas and it’s rocking my socks off. When I started looking, everyone and their mom seemed to suggest a 50mm f/1.8 or f/1.4 lens. I can’t justify the 50mm f/1.4 right now. I have a 50mm f/1.8 that I got on ebay for really inexpensive. It’s old-school, so it mounts on my camera and everything else has to be comtrolled by me completely in manual. It’s a challenge to say the least, especially because I’m having sight issues that I’m going to the doctor to investigate and I think this is related to my issue with focus in my photos over the past 6 months. Nick got my camera and dropped it over the summer and I spent the rest of the time focusing in manual and it was all sorts of crazy. I thought it was just my inability to get a grasp of manual focus, but I’m realizing more and more how much it’s more likely partially that and partially some vision problems. All of that was a long-wined way of saying that I really wanted to get a new lens that would auto-focus. I replaced my kit lens somewhere near the end of October for my birthday and it was a ton better. So when decided to get a new lens, I needed it to be a lens that would auto-focus on my D40 – a new 50mm f/1.8 would not. As I started researching a bit more, I also realized that I thought I’d like this one better because my 50mm is just a tiny bit too tight for me. Tight in the sense of how wide I can shoot. I do portraits sometimes, but a lot of the time it’s just shooting everyday life and I shoot wider than I realized until I went back and started looking at the pictures I love. So…all of this to say that I got a 35mm f/1.8 and I absolutely love it. I haven’t taken it off of my camera since I got it a couple of weeks ago. It’s challenging me to learn quickly and to move my feet since I don’t have a zoom element, but it’s turned out to be absolutely exactly what I was wanting and needing. I just wanted to throw that early recommendation out there for anyone considering different lenses.
::Finally, I’ll just state for the record that I really really love snow. A LOT. But, holy cow, getting two kids dressed to go outside right now(just to go out – not even to get ready to actually play in the snow) makes me want to poke my eyes out. For realz. Hope you’re all staying warm!