#44 Just Take The Picture!

I take hundreds of pictures. Without exaggeration. I am not a professional. Nobody is going to be paying your mom to take pictures any day soon–but I do it anyways.

Your father hates being in pictures–but I snap photos of him regardless.

Pictures tell a tale. They can tell it from many view points. Pictures mark history. Pictures keep our history rich and alive. Pictures remind us of what we love and what we value at any point in our lives. Take pictures and store them away. Make crafts from them. Hang them on your wall or share them with friends. Take pictures that you keep only for yourself. Take pictures of things you find beautiful and things you find ugly. Use pictures to mark life in brief moments.

There is a time and a place for professional photos. Thank heavens your father and I know two great photographers or else we might not have many of the beautiful portraits, the pictorial memory of your birth, and a great record of our wedding day like we do. However there are many times where it doesn’t matter what camera you have, what skill level you are, what you are wearing, or if your hair is done. What matters is that you take the picture. You capture the moment and you freeze it. Just like a song you truly love–a good picture is one you can look at over and over again and still have the same feelings you did in that moment of taking it.

I hope that some day you will look at the photos I take of you and your father together. That even though he hates having his picture taken–you two will get to sit together and reminisce about the memories you have created together that I do my best to capture. That you will blow the dust off the ones I printed or load the ancient files onto whatever device is hip at the time and share the moments–the memories–the day to day actions of your parents and yourself with your own children and maybe even grandchildren.

When I snap the photo and your dad ducks or uses you as a human shield from the forces within the camera I laugh and keep going–knowing that one day he will squeeze my hand as we turn the page in our album and say thanks for the memories.

Whatever you do darling, Just Take The Picture.

Your Dad and I playing Piano in 2006 When He Came to Visit me in Florida and I Knew he just might be The One.

#36 Dress In Layers

I’ve heard the saying “You know you live in Iowa if you use your home’s heater and air conditioner in the same day”. That statement couldn’t be more true. With that being said, dress in layers. Every building in Iowa (and most of the world in my opinion) is a different temperature. It is hard to concentrate on work or enjoy a date if your teeth are chattering from the cold. It is also quite unenjoyable to sit with your arms pinned at your sides for most of the day because even though you put on plenty of deoderant you are so warm that you have swampy pits the size of Texas.

General rules of thumb regarding temperature:

– Movie Theater – Cold..I think they do this on purpose.

– Restaurant (minus Hibachi) — Cold to guests but HOT to the servers who are running around in a million directions. I know this because I was one once and whenever guests would complain of the cold I would try not to look at them like they were crazy.

– Car in Winter — Cold..Even with remote start these things are chilly.

– Grocery Store –Cold..The frozen food aisle often feels it is necessary to refrigerate the entire store.

– Concerts — Hot once everyone arrives

– State Fair – Forget layers everyone is sweating like pigs which actually don’t sweat. You figure it out.

– Car in Summer = Sauna

– School Buildings — Changes every 5 minutes–seriously wear layers.

When layering your clothes think of where you will be. MOST of the time a hoooded sweatshirt over a t-shirt or a light jacket will fit the bill. However if you are somewhere fancy please make sure you are wearing a nice sweater or a wrap. When I do manage to substitute teach I always wear a nice jacket, a pretty long sleeved item, and then either stow away in purse a short sleeved shirt or manage to layer that on too.

When you are older and start snowboarding you will see the ultimate challenge in layering. Currently I go for long sleeved thermal shirt, t-shirt over that, sweatshirt/hoodie over that, followed by coat. Many time I end up all the way down to the thermal/t-shirt combo before it is all said and done.

Be prepared for changing temperatures. Leave a back up coat/jacket in your car. Learn to layer so you don’t fall victim to uncontrolled human thermostat.

ONE last note. Sometimes it is also a good idea to wear layers on your heart. In everything you do you should use your heart and not be afraid to show it. That doesn’t mean however that you need to let everyone you meet close enough to you to crush you. Use your heart, express it, but also protect it. I know that is kind of an abstract thought and maybe some time I will go into more detail but for now I’ll let you interpret it on your own.

(I apologize for my absence sweet daughter, I have been thinking of you every day as you know since I am with you each one–life has just been busy)