Thursday, October 30, 2014

goals (revisited)


About two and a half months ago, I posted a few of my goals for the rest of this year. I’m a little nervous to go look at them again because I’m pretty sure none are fully accomplished, but several are in progress and sometimes I think that matters more.

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So here goes.


  • build the upper body strength to do pullups and handstands

Okay…. I still can’t do a pullup or a very good handstand. But I can do more pushups than ever before, a pretty solid headstand, and a better cartwheel than ever. And I’ve started practicing a pullover on the bars at the gym where I work, which uses a lot of the same muscles as a pullup would.

  • consistently run at least 5 miles a week

This has taken awhile (mostly out of lack of motivation), but this week already I’ve run half my 5-mile quota, and I’m about to head out and do it again. :) The running itself is really a piece of cake… it’s the getting out the door that’s hard!

  • cut my sugar intake

Haha! I knew this one would be good for a laugh down the road.

  • actually eat like a normal human being so I don’t feel so awful all the time

Here I have had some success! I’ve taken up eating breakfast before working out in the morning, and that has done great things for my strength and stamina. Headaches have fortunately been few and far between. :)


  • create a 2015 photography package and pricing list that is a good fit for my business model

I am accomplishing this as we speak by taking an amazing photo business marketing class online. I’ve already learned more than I ever thought possible in five weeks, and have been carefully crafting a new business model for 2015. :)

  • blog my first Olympia senior portrait session

Done and done well, if I may say so. :)

  • finish my New York Institute of Photography course

This one has been very, very slow. I have a few projects that require very specific models and props that have been hard to come by. Anybody know where I can find a wide-brimmed hat at this time of year? I’m talking like Kentucky Derby wide-brimmed!


  • become less self-sufficient and make a point of seeking out community with other believers and my husband

Sam and I have started going to a really great homegroup for young married people at our church, which has helped this area of my life a lot. I’ve made some new friends and gotten more involved with my new church, and I love it!

  • do an in-depth study of the Biblical timeline of end-times events

I did get my timeline out the other day and cross-referenced everything, but I’m still very confused on one key issue despite poring over commentaries as well as my Bible. Hopefully I’ll reach a conclusion sometime soon.

  • find a role of Bible teaching and disciple-making in my local church—even if it’s informal

Still thinking and praying a lot about this.

  • live with open hands

This will probably be on my goal list for as long as I live. It’s not so much a “new year’s resolution” kind of goal as it is a daily goal, an hourly choice to let go of this illusion of control. But God is patient and good, always.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014



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I can’t explain what it’s like to go back home for a weekend. To smell and see and feel things that belong to another era of my life—a time that seems distant and dreamlike to me now. Funny, terrifying, that the very place that defined my first 18 years could feel so far away so quickly. I am afraid of a long future away from the wide-open sky and the watchful mountains, the land that brought me up.

They’re right when they say that new places change people. It’s not the kind of change that comes in a sudden, painful stab—it’s the kind that slips in unnoticed until one day, months or years in the future, you begin to feel a nagging ache. When did it start? Where did it come from, exactly? What does it even mean? You’ll never know. But it’s there.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

all things new



It’s October, and the yard has a  thick carpet of merry-colored leaves. Trees reach their blazing sunshine-clad branches toward a sky too blue to seem real, and if only there would be a hint of chill to welcome back boot-and-scarf time of year everything would be quite perfect.

I can’t walk fast in the fall. It’s like the world is brand new and I have to see it all afresh. Hurrying ruins this God-given moment to just breathe in the new season, and I hate that everyone seems to think green lights are mandatory even during such a time of magnificence.


We take moments of silence at funerals and prayer rallies, but we let life drown out the beautiful moments and the awestriking views. There’s little time for wonder in the 60-mile-per-hour, redlight-greenlight world.

But when I see Mt. Rainier rising like a foaming wave from the eastern horizon, or the clouds brushed pink over the Black Hills to the west, I can’t just go onward in indifference. It’s like the world has a new coat of paint—a thrilling foreshadow of what is to come, when one day this beautiful but burdened Creation is remade into something even more perfect.

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!”
Revelation 21:1-5a

Sunday, October 5, 2014

nisqually national wildlife refuge


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These first October days have been sunny and sweet. Sam and I have been housebound by sickness all week, yet just seeing the sunshine filtering through the windows and the yellowing maple leaves in the backyard has been delightful. Today, finally well enough to go out, we took a leisurely stroll down the boardwalk at Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge, soaking up fall colors and a big sky and a rare view of Mt. Rainier.

And about the heron… I’ve been trying to capture a Great Blue Heron for years on camera. We get them in the swamp at home sometimes, but they’re very, very skittish and I’ve never been at the right place and right time. I saw this heron at a distance, but it was well beyond the public access part of the refuge and I don’t have a 600mm wildlife lens, so I moved on. Not even ten minutes later it just so happened to fly across the marsh and land like ten yards away! I was able to move in close enough to easily fill the frame just using my 135mm lens—not a very shy bird. :) Definitely a day of triumph on the camera front!


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