Monday, July 28, 2014

Things I've Learned This Summer (So Far)

My husband knows how to wear out a pair of sandals. For the past five years Michael has worn a sturdy pair of brown sandals every day that it hasn't rained. I thought they had worn out a couple of years ago. He decided they had worn out a couple of months ago. In a moment where my mouth ran off ahead of my brain, I suggested he look for the same sandals on Amazon. He found and purchased the same exact sturdy brown sandals, so they will be a part of our marriage for another five years. I wish women's sandals wore that well.

My daughter knows how to wear out a pair of sandals, too.

I love reading memoirs. My two recent favorites?
  • Call the Midwife - In her 20's, Jennifer Worth joined a group of nuns working as midwives in the slums of post World War II London. In her memoir, she recounts stories about all the interesting characters she met along the way from nuns to prostitutes to mothers giving birth. It's rare for a book to make me laugh out loud, and I can probably count on one hand the number of books that have made me cry real tears. This book did both. (The book is also a raved about PBS series.)
  • Twelve Years a Slave - Just like everyone else, I first heard of this book when I heard of the movie. Since it was written in the 1800's, I figured the writing style would be too antiquated. I was wrong. Solomon Northup's memoir is simple, eloquent, and harrowing. His first-hand account of being kidnapped away from his wife, children, and comfortable life in the North into slavery in the deep South has changed my view of slavery in the U.S. His words need to be read and remembered. ($.99 on Kindle)

It takes a week for a little family to recover from travel and jet lag. Coming back from Thailand at the end of June, we did practically nothing but settle in and recover for an entire week. We were exhausted. One evening, we tried to stretch Grace to her 8:00 bedtime by taking her on a walk in her stroller. She fell asleep and could not be woken up.

One-year-olds look cute in gin boxes. When I ask her to smile for the camera, this is what I get.

We own too much. Michael and I have spent the past week tossing, recycling, and Goodwilling our stuff. We just did this last summer. Where does it all come from?! I always feel like we live simply and don't own too much. But, then we start "minimalizing" and reality hits: we own too much stuff. Worst thing we found: a $200 check in a wedding card. Since it's over five years old, I feel like I shouldn't cash it!

How to get good white balance, how to get tack sharp photos, how to use leading lines, ... all from my new favorite photography blog. If you visit the website, you'll be invited to download their free ebook. Do it! It has a few good tips and then lots of helpful links to get you started on the blog.

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