Saturday, March 17, 2012

Photo Challenge #4: Letterbox

Really?  A letterbox?  This one seemed a little strange, but we went with it.

Letterbox - Betsy

Image Notes:  One of Calvin's kindergarten assignments was to create his own Valentine box for the friendly greetings and treats he would receive from his friends.  And if you know Calvin at know the boy likes bears.  Teddy bears, real bears...any kind of bear you can imagine gets his attention.  So, we knew that his Valentine box had to incorporate bears in some way.  I had the epiphany that it should resemble a bear cave.  The idea simmered in my mind until it was the night before the assignment was due.  This seems to be how we do things these days...last minute and under pressure.  (sigh)  Without any gray paper in the house (of course), Calvin and I colored white card stock with crayons and cut out irregular circles and ovals to serve as the rocks that create the cave.  We glued them on all sides of the box we miraculously found.   That is, until it was too far past Calvin's bedtime.  He toddled off to bed and I finished the letterbox.  I added the bear at the cave opening holding a cleverly worded sign "Have a BEARY nice Valentine's Day".    It really turned out pretty cute and Calvin was proud to take it in to school the next day.  As for this image, I really liked the sun streaming in the window and wanted to capture this glorious letterbox bathed in its light.  The plants in the background are rich green succulents that Calvin and Violet were treated to by their doting father,  

Letterbox - Marcus
Image Notes:   Marcus took a picture of our actual mailbox.  I remember when we bought this mailbox;  it was a replacement to its identical forerunner.  The original had a run-in with a neighbor's house guest's truck - a situation that irked Marcus, as I recall.  There really isn't anything special about this mailbox...except to say that my kids love the responsibility of running out to it to get the mail for us.  Bemused, I watch from our bay window while Violet or Calvin enjoy a bit of freedom...walking out to the mailbox by themselves...getting the mail out of it...dropping the mail on the way back to the house... scurrying to pick it up before the wind carries it down the street.  The color contrast on the mailbox made this image particularly striking...the bright red, the dark black, and the frosted gray.  Marcus and I both liked how he captured the sunlight reflecting on the frost and the bright blue sky that this February day offered. 

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Photo Challenge #3: Something You Adore

Adoration is a more than liking or enjoying...and while we could come up with a myriad of things that would fit the ideas of liking and enjoying, finding something that we adore posed a bit of a challenge.  Of course, there are people we adore.  Namely, our children and each other.  But we wanted to challenge ourselves a bit more than the fall-back of selecting a picture of our kids. So here we go...

Something You Adore - Betsy

Image Notes:  I picked jewelry.  OK, this may seem a little materialistic at first...but this jewelry honors the love that my children bring to my life and my partner in this adventure, my husband.  While I was pregnant for Hazel, I was paging through an issue of Real Simple magazine and toward the end there was an advertisement for a jewelry designer that created pressed, linked silver rings.  I could order the ring to have any word I want imprinted on it.  Marcus new how much I fell in love with the idea of this ring and bought it for me for Christmas that year...each ring imprinted with one of the kid's names.  It is perfect and I adore it. I think of it as another sort of wedding ring.  It is a symbol of my vow to be the best mom I can be to these three amazing little take care of them, inspire them, support them, and love them always.  I wear it proudly...almost every day.  When I'm not wearing it, I'm usually wearing one of the rings that I've put in the background of this image.  When each of my children were born, Marcus gave me a ring to celebrate it and honor my having gone through such an incredible physical ordeal.  He gave me an amethyst when Violet was born, a garnet when Calvin was born, and a peridot when Hazel was born.  Each ring is so distinctive and perfectly represents the style of each child.  I have always felt very lucky that Marcus appreciated my pregnancies and deliveries in this it seemed fitting to have these rings in the background.

Something You Adore - Marcus

Image Notes:  There is a beautiful moment during the still of the early morning that Marcus spends with Truffle  taking a romp in the yard.  The two of them go out there, usually when the kids and I are still groggy or sleeping in bed...and they play.  In the midst of our incredibly busy lives, he takes this time with her to play and watch her run.  He hurls this very large ball with a rope attached across the yard and she excitedly fetches it.  They do this for at least 20 minutes, until Truffle tires and just stops bringing it back to Marcus.  He captured this image toward the end of one of their playtimes.  He loved how the frost on the grass sparkled with the sunlight and how you can see Truffle's breath in the cold as she pants.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Photo Challenge #2: Breakfast

Our second photo challenge was breakfast.  Breakfast foods are literally my favorite...ever.  This added a bit of pressure, though.  Rarely is the food I make very picturesque...and I am the one in this house who usually makes the breakfast.  Typically, our weekday breakfast is pretty boring, eaten at different times, and is not very picture-worthy:
  • Violet - cereal and milk
  • Calvin - plain cereal with milk on the side
  • Hazel - a frozen waffle, eaten on the last step while we get her shoes and coat on...and whatever remains she eats in the car
  • Betsy - a piece of toast with either Marcus's home-canned jam or Brummel and Brown 
  • Marcus doesn't even eat breakfast...
So, weekend breakfast was a better option for this photography challenge.  Traditional weekend breakfast fare at our house includes pancakes (that I have only recently started making from scratch), scrambled eggs, and popovers...each of which is coupled with fresh fruit and a glass of 'old standbys'.  Occasionally, though, we indulge in Marcus's skillet or crepes.  He is always such a reliably good cook and I love it when he cooks one of his breakfast specialties.  

Finding a picture-worthy breakfast took some time, but I think we got it.  

Breakfast - Betsy

Image notes:  We recently celebrated, with my extended family, Marc's parent's 50th anniversary at a wonderful champagne brunch.  The food was tremendous and bountiful...the champagne flowing.  My parents, when they were married, well...they had a difficult relationship.  I'm glad they didn't try to make it to their 50th anniversary...a toxic relationship for both of them.  Marcus and I are blessed;  I truly feel that I have found my partner in life...great love, great respect, and great fun.  My in-laws, despite a sometimes difficult life, are also partners in life and take great joy in every accomplishment, especially their children.  As I said in my toast last weekend, they provide a beautiful example for me of how I want to be with Marcus at our 50th anniversary.  As for my breakfast at the anniversary brunch, I enjoyed a spinach-tomato omelet, eggs benedict, grilled vegetables, dill shrimp salad, brie, a slice of bacon, a waffle, pecan-apple crisp, and too many glasses of champagne to count.  This image is a bit dark, but I loved the color on my plate and the celebration we honored. 

Breakfast - Marcus

Image notes:  As I mentioned above, Marcus has some breakfast of which is what we call 'skillet'.  For this challenge, he has photographed the ingredients for skillet.  Basically, skillet is a sauteed potato dish with garlic, onion, cubed ham, and cheddar cheese.  After these are browned, he pushes these ingredients to the side of the large skillet and fries eggs in the center, over-hard.  For Mother's day every year, I get to have whatever I want for breakfast...after I've been left alone to sleep in as long as I want.  I always opt for 'skillet'.  A rare, but delicious, breakfast.  I love how he has composed this image...especially the raw edge on the cheddar cheese and the spilled salt.