[shot stories] poppies

I’ve been going through old photos, trying to decide how organized they are and if they’re backed up adequately. (Ummm and nope, in case you’re wondering.)

This is from 2014.

It was not the best year of my life.

But somehow, in the midst of all the completely insane and demoralizing situations that popped up, I managed to grow some poppies.

Four years later, I am still kind of shaking my head in wonder.

And I’m like WHERE IS MY PRINT OF THIS DO I EVEN HAVE MY OWN PRINT OF THIS IT’S NOT UP ANYWHERE IN MY HOUSE.

Advertisements

from poptoo’s house

In June, before my birthday, we went to PopToo’s house for a couple of days.

I’ve been threatening for years to make it a regular thing – we’re going to go (me and all four kids) and spend the night (or a few nights), even if we have to take our school work, and even if it throws everybody off schedule (including PopToo), and even if it’s total insanity the entire time. It was pretty crazy, but we had a good time.

There’s this feeling I get when I wander around outside at Pop’s house… even when he’s been working and it seems like everything is different, there are pockets – ISLANDS – where it seems as though everything has always been the same. I can stand on the back deck and look out over the hazy hills and hollers, and remember being seven years old and doing the same thing.

20180621_1238

I have wondered before why I love hydrangea so much. I decided on this trip that it’s because of this:

For the record, I have not edited these photos. I’ve adjusted the settings on my Nikon so that it saves the images with some extra contrast.

20180620_1217

I was positively giddy when I finally got photos loaded into Lightroom on my new computer. I fiddled with settings for a few minutes, and then reset every single image and exported them.

Straight out of the camera.

20180620_1168

Via a just-checking-about-edits process.

i turned 34 in june

I’ve spent the last two and a half weeks trying to figure out what I want my 35th year to look like. I’m like I DON’T EVEN KNOW OKAY I JUST DON’T KNOW. I’m kind of tired. Tired like “Life is hard no matter who you are and I have a mood disorder and I keep waiting and waiting and waiting for things and I don’t know how to just LIVE MY LIFE without being all up in some kind of project or whatever and why do I work as hard as I do but always feel like I’m spinning my wheels and what even is life and why why why why why is it so hard for people to act right.”

I don’t remember exactly what I was doing, but at some point today I had to just stop whatever it was and think “I do not know how to exist without some kind of hobby/project/event/deadline to structure my life. I can’t just BE MEGAN and that be enough.” I’ve had the thought before that it’s tough for me to feel like I’m enough, like I do enough. And that’s hard for a lot of people. People who are not narcissists and the like.

I took a picture of myself the day before my birthday and I posted in on Instagram and Facebook, with a caption about how I had gotten a bee in my bonnet about picking a theme word for this year. I’ve got one for 2018 – it’s Wend, and I love it because it basically just means to do the next thing. The actual definition is something like “to make one’s way.” And that’s so beautiful to me in this season of life that I am not really sure how to talk about it. After my Big Think today, I have realized that maybe what Wend was getting me ready for is a real break.

Like.

Maybe instead of sheepishly, tiredly, restlessly, confusedly trying to figure out what I’m Supposed To Do Next… maybe I could just Not DO Anything except what’s in front of me to do. I’m wondering about taking time off from making plans and having hopes. I’ve got a handful of plans for the rest of the year, and some obligations to meet, and I’m wondering about just skipping adding anything else to what I’ve already thought of or established as routine/tradition.

I don’t know what I was doing, but I remember what else I was thinking when that struck. I was thinking about work, and about how my Real Jobs were as a sort of runner at the mortgage department of a bank, then as an administrative intern in the IT department at Berry, and all that time I did a lot of work with kids, and then I did sales support at JCP. I got stuck trying to figure out a time when I thought I was doing what I was supposed to be doing to get where I’m supposed to go. I don’t know what I’ve ever done, I can’t think of any significant block of time, when I’ve been able to say that I’m where I feel like I’m supposed to be AND I’m doing what I’m supposed to be doing AND there’s not something looming on the horizon.

AND MAYBE THAT’S A REALLY SUPER GREAT WAY TO LIVE LIFE WHEN I’M ALSO TRYING TO SEEK GOD’S WILL AND DO WHAT THERE IS FOR ME TO DO.

I’m flexible.

We’ll just roll with what comes at us next.

But.

Like.

Y’all.

I’m tired.

And I want to know what it feels like to wake up in the morning and not already feel like I’m not hustling hard enough to get where I’m supposed to go.

SO.

I think my word for year 35 is gonna be NOPE.

I’ll keep you posted. Or I’ll forget. We’ll see together, apparently.

While I was still trying to work up the emotional energy to even pretend to try to write a blog post, I went through photos from March through June 21st. I picked 34 photos of me. Nah. I picked like 38 or 39 photos of me, and then decided I would post 34, which meant I needed to not delete any more of them.

Most of them are iPhone selfies. One is a Nikon selfie. Two are Nikon photos by children – maybe Annie and Quinn. There’s a slim chance they’re both Quinn. But also a chance he took zero and it was Annie both times or Annie and Brennan. It’s like trying to solve a logic matrix. Nobody knows. ONE BIG PHOTO IS OF MY LEGS IN THE SUNSHINE WHILE I WAS WEARING SOME SHORT SHORTS (I didn’t build this collage, WordPress did, and then WordPress would not let me rearrange anything.) AND I AM JUST GONNA TELL YOU THAT THIS IS THE FIRST YEAR SINCE I WAS ELEVEN (AND IT MAY HAVE BEEN YOUNGER THAN THAT) THAT I HAVE WORN WHATEVER LENGTH SHORTS I WANT TO WHATEVER PUBLIC PLACE I WANT AND NOT BEEN 1) EMBARRASSED BECAUSE LEGS, 2) CONCERNED ABOUT WHAT PEOPLE THINK, AND 3) ACTIVELY UPSET ABOUT MY SPIDER VEINS AND CELLULITE AND UNEVEN TAN AND MOSQUITO WELTS. I did have about a year in college where I wore a couple of fairly short skirts, but I was always worried the whole time. Y’all. This year I’ve been wearing high-waisted short shorts. AND SOMETIMES I TUCK IN MY SHIRT.

But whatever, that’s another 1000 words to explain why THAT is a big deal.

I’ve got a photo of me with Aiden, one with both girls, one with Quinn, a few with J, some are from “field trips” and Jasper trips, a few are from moments when I was just so done with whatever was going on that I had to snap a photo to gain some THIS IS HOW YOUR FACE LOOKS RIGHT NOW perspective. It helps. It really does. I have chats with the kids about how usually I’m not actually even mad at THEM, I am just as completely over it as they are… whatever IT happens to be. BUT ANYWAY.

THAT LAST PHOTO is from sunset on the solstice. Because I am so totally pagan enough to want to set things on fire to thank God for the way the Earth moves around the Sun. Annie is eating a roasted marshmallow. It wasn’t actually roasted, she did not have time to roast it because I was shrieking at my four children to cooperate to get photos during the minute of sunset, as determined by my watch, because y’all we can’t even see the actual horizon for the last two hours of the day.

I got a new computer on Friday and I promise to blog more now that I can really type, so that I don’t do any more of these 1100+ word monsters. I even deleted 400 words before I started talking about legs and perspective and paganism.

Hm.

Here’s to the other 49.5 weeks of this year of life!

life lessons

I keep seeing distressingly thought-provoking memes – the kind that force you to ponder the advice you’d give your teenage self, or how you’d live life differently if you KNEW you would die in a year, or what you hope your kids remember about their childhood.

You know the kind I mean.

Existential crisis provokers.

🤦🏻‍♀️

This photo is on display at PopToo’s house. I saw it on Friday and it initiated yet another round of questioning my life-lesson priorities. Y’all, every time I see it (or any other prom night photos) I HAVE TO SMILE, but I also kinda want to grab this pretty girl and give her a hard shake and a stern talking to.

Just look at that girl.

She thought she was not thin enough, or pretty enough, or smart enough, or kind enough, or mean enough (because if you’re gonna fail at nice then you just better push hard for the other extreme… teenager logic is a little warped, y’all), or talented enough, or just enough at anything.

If I could tell her things, I would tell her to never ever ever stop the late-night dance parties. Do y’all even know how many calories you burn just shaking your tailfeathers?!? (Also do you know how many calories I stored instead of burning because I didn’t realize that dance parties are legit aerobic exercise? SHEESH.)

I would tell her that there’s a simple reason behind why it’s so hard to figure out what to do with your life: there are just too too too many challenging, engaging, interesting, and fulfilling possibilities. Decide what to do now, then next… not what to do for for.ev.er!

I would tell her that people were not pretending to like her. The people who did not like her ignored her. Not everybody is gonna love you madly, y’all, but when you find those people who do love you…. keep them close. And trust that as long as you’re pouring good things into each other at every possible opportunity, your relationships will flourish. That’s as true for your spouse and kids and other family and friends as it is for your coworkers and the employees at the establishments you frequent.

I would tell her that anger is good, it’s a map that shows us our boundaries (thank you, Julia Cameron!). I would tell her another Julia Cameron quote: The capacity for delight is the gift of paying attention.

I could tell her so many other things, too, but a lot of the effort would be wasted. Because seeds sprout and plants grow and flowers bloom and fruit ripens when the conditions are right. So instead of focusing for too long on what I would tell that silly, precious spirit, I’ve been trying to figure out how to translate the grown-up lessons and connections and understandings and wisdom into seeds that can be sown in my kids’ hearts.

You know.

So they can sprout when conditions are right.

[design details] shining

I’ve been playing around with layered photos (again), and – oh I just got another idea.

Anyway.

These are projects I don’t feel finished with, but that I want to turn into poster prints that you write prayers or favorite quotes on.

One of my product goals is to have fresh poster designs available every month, to go with calendars and stickers and journals, to use as a kind of catch-all for however long, and then as a visual reminder for the words that we want to carry forward as time goes by.

[shot stories] hair

It’s probably sad that I want to start all of my blog posts with “We all know I’m crazy, right?” but I just want to be sure that we all know that *I* know that sometimes what I decide to talk about is… eccentric.

Okay then.

One of my criteria for A Good Hair Day is “Looks just right when it’s in my face.”

I don’t mean that it looks just right to anybody looking at me. I MEAN IT LOOKS JUST RIGHT WHEN I’M STRUGGLING TO PEER PAST IT TO SEE THE WORLD.

After some deliberate conversations with my kids, I have discovered that 3 of the 4 are fully on the same page.

I think there’s something comforting about it – a sort of border to what I’m experiencing, maybe? I’ve noticed that my hair goes back/up when I’m frustrated or annoyed with other boundaries in my life.

I’ve posted quite a few hair-in-the-wind shots lately (AND BOOMERANG FOR THE WIN AMIRIGHT?!?). I was watching the girls work last week, and the situation sort of coalesced and made sense. I wasn’t really thinking about it before then, except to enjoy the swoops and lines and whirls.

Now I am kinda smug about how neato it is.

clouds

I wanted the sun to shine more today. There were glimpses of blue sky and a few fleeting rays.

I tried to get some writing work done. Mostly I made cryptic notes until my attention wandered to the sky.

[design details] letter cards

I got a bee in my bonnet last July because I saw fun, simple letter cards on a Waldorf-infused Instagram feed (I don’t remember which one though)… and when I looked for some, they were $20.

First I was horrified.

Then I was sort of affronted.

Then I did some math.

Yeah. $20 was about right!

The paper the cards were printed on, the size they were, using even basic cheapo ink (they were white letters on a black background)… yeah. If you’re going to have any profit (or, room for a discount ever and still make a profit), then yeppers… $20 sounded more and more normal. REASONABLE EVEN.

So I started looking at what I could do to print similar cards at home. Mine had to make a rainbow (duh, because all the things need a rainbow of colors), and needed to be small, aanndd hmmmmm…

The image included with this post is of cards I made using leftover business card sheets. Between the cost of those and the amount of ink used, 52 cards (upper and lower case) cost about $5.

It hurt my feelings.

If I use cardstock and am able to cut them all myself, then I can charge $5 for a set of 52.

My most-recent question about the project has me investigating what’s the heaviest paper than can make it through my printer, and how that balances out from a pricing perspective.