Wordless Wednesday - Geranium


For more wordlessness, check out Gabriel's blog and the WW hub.

My Own Advice

That darned Jasmine Star. She's really messed with my very messy life. She's got me all thinking about things in my life that I was merrily being oblivious to . . . or ignoring, perhaps.

Why is it so hard to take your own advice? Or is it just me? I can have the best, most encouraging words for other people, but I never believe them for me. What's up with that?

After my post about focus, I've been pondering this. Why am I so afraid to just step out and take a risk? I feel that I live a spread-too-thin, wannabe life. I'm afraid to say anything that I want to do out loud. That makes it too real and someone might hold me accountable. Then if I never do it, I didn't really fail. Lame, isn't it? Kind of an ostrich viewpoint of life.

The silly thing is that I can't even tell you what I'm NOT doing right now that I think I WANT to do. But there are things that weave in and out of my life on a regular basis. I've been so good at just pushing them back into the sand with my head that sometimes I don't even notice or think about them.


Maybe I need to start giving myself advice. When I head down the path of all that negative self-talk, I should step off to the side and give me a good talking to. Tell myself the things that I would tell a friend. In the relative privacy of my room, of course. I might be in trouble if someone else watched that kind of nonsense. They'll be calling in for a pretty white jacket, if you know what I mean.

First things first, though. Before I try and figure out any kind of jumping-off-the-building, risk-taking moves, I still need to quiet down and pare down. When I was talking to John last night, I told him that I had done a very good job of saying "no" to outside activities over at the front door. But the other me was at the back door, inviting in all sorts of other fun things to do. So now I have to start giving some of them the boot. Narrow down the options and focus on doing something very well, instead of doing 271 things mediocre-ly.


Epiphany: Focus

One major thing that hit me during the last day of Jasmine's class - she is SO incredibly focused. No pun intended. She's always looking at how to best leverage her time and energy for her brand. She is always asking if an activity is moving her business where she wants it to go. Someone asked her if she pursues any other creative avenues and also if she would ever consider writing a book or e-book on photography business. She hesistated and then said:

I want to pick one thing and do it very, very well.

This followed shortly after Jasmine had been showing a couple photos from each of the five students (The CreativeLive Five) who attended her class live and in person. She was talking to Victoria about not only her photos, but her three words (she challenges people to choose the three words that represent their brand). Victoria was having a hard time, because she felt as if she's all over the place and couldn't really nail down something specific. I am in the same boat. Just look at my blog name and byline...it pretty much says it all.

Then Nate Perkes shared a Chase Jarvis quote:

It's easier to be inspired than it is to create.

This all just hit me like a ton of bricks.

I.   HAVE.   NO.   FOCUS.

Well, not a singular focus, anyway. Sometimes I can BE focused on something. But I want to do a little of everything, it seems. Sitting here in my studio, I look around and can list at least a dozen things I WANT to do. Because they're fun. Because they're cool. Just because. Whatever.

And then I wonder WHY on earth I'm so scattered and fragmented and hopping all over the bunny trails of my life?!?! It's because I'm my own worst enemy. I have no boundaries on the things I want to do. The funny (in a pathetic sort of way) thing is that I'm actually back in the same place I was probably nine or ten years ago.

Overextended. Spread too thin.

The big difference is that last time it was with outside commitments. Various ministries at church, my own business, volunteering at school, etc. I couldn't give my best to anything. Worst of all, my family just got leftovers. And I was not a happy, balanced person. Life was spinning totally out of control for me. But I would never say "no" to anyone.

Fast forward to 2010 and I'm doing the exact same thing. I LOVE blogging and reading blogs and hopping around the internet visiting peeps on FB, Twitter, blogs, etc. So I spend a ridiculous amount of time doing it.

I LOVE photography, so I buy books on photography, read photography blogs, join online communities, etc., and spend a ridiculous amount of time doing that.

I LOVE to sew, so I whip out stuff like crazy for awhile, buy books, look at sewing sites, bookmarking a ton of them, think of all these groovy things I could sew and sell. And spend a ridiculous amount of time doing that.

I LOVE to scrapbook, so I have magazines and sites and coupons and supplies and a ton of photos and just want to scrapbook. And spend a ridiculous amount of time reading the books & sites, and wanting to participate in classes.

I LOVE to write . . . I think you get the idea by now.

Never mind that I also have a family. And truly, my primary ministry from God (outside of my relationship with Him) is being a complement to my husband and discipling our boys. On that note, I homeschool those two teenage boys. Of course, there's a TON of other responsibilities and choices in my life, but it's pretty clear why I have a colander for a brain.

Unlike Jasmine, I want to pick 21 things and do them all very well.

Note to self: THAT is impossible. THAT is self-defeating. THAT will make you crazy!!!!

So. I think I need to spend a little quiet time working through the things of my life. Even more, praying about them and seeing what direction God wants me to go.

I WANT to be able to pick one thing and tdo it very, very well.

I don't want to BE Jasmine, but I want to be a better, more focused, less scattered version of ME.


Am I a Poser?

I have just spent the past 5 days (including today) mostly glued to my laptop. Creative Live ran this amazing Jasmine Star Wedding Photography class. Each day was a minimum of 6 hours and it was INCREDIBLE! Just the fact that this could even HAPPEN is pretty astounding! Social media and technology have come so far. But beyond that side of it, we have the PEOPLE. Oh my goodness. The team at Creative Live, the Creative Live Five - the students there with Jasmine - and of course, Jasmine and her man, JD.

Jasmine is an incredible wedding photographer. Don't believe me? Check out her site. Beautiful work. She just spent five entire days telling the world how she does it all. And if you watched it live, you got to catch it all for FREE. I think it ended up being somewhere in the 30+ hours range of this whole experience. And it totally WAS an epic experience.

A big part of the way this works is that people get to participate via the chat room at Creative Live and through Twitter, using the hashtag #AskJasmine. Well, I have a pretty big mouth and take copious notes when I'm in ANY sort of class, teaching, or what have you. So when questions went up on Twitter that I had an answer for, I was happy to throw that out there. I was also a very happy re-tweeter when I won a ShootSac on Wednesday (prizes were chosen from retweets). I'm also full of questions myself or gladly retweeting questions that others asked for which I wanted to hear the answer.

Funny thing about all that tweeting is that I started getting TONS of emails with new Twitter followers. Oh my! I hadn't really anticipated that. Naturally, my take on this is that the peeps on Twitter in this class are like REAL photographers. I see myself as an amateur (apologies to David DuChemin, because he does not agree with that perspective. And he's a REAL photographer - ha! ha!). I'm trying to move my brain out of that amateur box, but it's not been an easy sell. Just the other day, I was out shooting raindrops dangling off of gates and fences and such, and I stopped to talk with my neighbor. She asked if I was a photographer and I just kind of shrugged and gave her a non-answer.


Nope, Jasmine, I am so not owning anything here.

reading comics

I suspect that I know more about photography than I think I do. Which is probably why I kept tossing out so many tweets during this class. But now people are following me. Do they think I'm a photographer? Will they only read my tweets or will they drop by my blog? Either place will not convince them of such. Nor that I'm even trying to start a business in photography. Am I suddenly now a poser? Yikes! That certainly wasn't what I was going for.

You may be wondering why on earth I invested this much of my time in a class on wedding photography. Most of the time I shoot things; particularly flowers, plants, and leaves. I also love cool lines, angles, and patterns. I haven't shot people much at all. I talked about all this in an earlier post this week. You can check it here.

But even though I'm not a wedding photographer, I was certain there would be tips and insights and inspiration that I could glean from this class. Especially because it's free. So I signed up, marked my calendar, and then promptly received a request to shoot engagement and wedding photos for a friend's daughter and her fiance. Life has a funny way of throwing those curveballs at you. Now this class has become more applicable than I once thought.

I have learned SO much from this amazing class. I can't even begin to tell you how much incredible information and inspiration came out of these five days. To give you an idea, though, I'm at 33 pages (8x8") of notes . . . with a couple more hours to go this afternoon (final tally = 36 pages)! You thought I was kidding when I said I'm a copious note taker. I do plan to post more on this class soon. There was inspiration that could be applied to any areas of life, really. Jasmine is a very fun, inspiring, and focused woman. I need to process all of this and think about how I want to use the information and inspiration.

Oh, yeah, I sort of wandered away from the topic. Anyway, it sort of weirded me out to think that people might be thinking I'm some pro photographer and I'm totally serious about this business. I love photography. I would love to do more as a photographer. I plan to get outside my comfort zone and shoot in M most, if not all, the time. I plan to shoot more people. And whatever else I can find that is outside my comfort zone.

sunday morning


Unspoken Contest

Nothing's been mentioned, but I believe that John & I have an Unspoken Contest taking place in our bathroom. Actually, two of them.


1. Who can be the last person to use the toothpaste and the other one has to get the new one out of the box?

tp rolls

2. Who will finally cave and take all the empty toilet paper rolls to the recycle bin?

What say you?


Photography Challenge

More than once, I've heard photographers say that you should challenge yourself to shoot outside of what you do normally. After watching David DuChemin's class on Creative Live last month, I've begun to pay more attention to what attracts me, photographically speaking. I've found that I'm drawn to close-up shots of flowers, leaves, and plants (and sometimes other things). It's fascinating to see the little curlicues in the middle of a dandelion or the translucency of a clematis petal up nice and close. I also love patterns, lines, and angles.


You'll notice that there are no people in the list of what I like to shoot. Over the past couple of years, I've been asked if I would do some type of portrait shoot. I typically tell these people that I shoot things, not people. Nice diversion tactic, don't you think? The reality is that I have NO idea if I'd be any good at portraiture, because I just don't do it that often.

181-mrs bd

The one exception to this is my niece. I have a blast with her, because she's a total ham, as cute as could be, and has no issues with me having a camera in her face.

mrs pinwheel

Sometimes life has a way of throwing you a curve ball. While I've deftly dodged those in the past, I caught one this summer. Some dear friends of ours, whom we have known for a long time, have a daughter who recently became engaged. She asked if I would shoot her engagement and wedding photos. My own, not-so-quiet response to myself was something along the lines of, "Thanks for asking, but I'm SO not your gal," after I picked myself up off the floor. Of course, I couldn't respond to HER that way. So I messaged her back something a little more tactful, basically saying I'd get back to her.

After some time passed and a couple more messages, I decided that I could probably do the engagement photos. After all, if I botched them, I could just invite them out to shoot again, right?

A wedding? Not so much.

So I kindly told her that I didn't believe I was the best choice for wedding photos. I made it quite clear that I've NEVER SHOT A WEDDING. EVER. IN MY ENTIRE LIFE. Of all things, they STILL want me to take their wedding photos.

Holy moly, Batman.

So I did a very scary and risky thing.

I said I would.

Yep, there it is - in writing for all the blogosphere to see. I, the woman who doesn't shoot people, is shooting a wedding. Maybe someone should just shoot me now.

I KNOW they're totally okay that I've never done this

I KNOW they're working with a budget and don't want to spend a ton of money

I KNOW they're very laid back and casual about the whole deal

I even KNOW they like their engagement photos (bonus!)

But it still FREAKS. ME. OUT.

And if you're reading this, Amy, I'll be fine by May. Really, I will.

So, as you can imagine, I have an enormous learning curve to crawl over during the next nine months.

Maybe this was providential, but I had already signed up for Jasmine Star's rocking cool Wedding Photography class at Creative Live, which is currently under way (I figured there'd be some good tips and info, even though I don't shoot people or weddings). It's FIVE WHOLE DAYS, and it's FREE, with Jasmine telling us a TON of information (she talks very fast, so it really is a LOT) about shooting a wedding. On Day One, she covered her own background and path into photography, along with a slew of tips, what's in her bag, and the wedding day walk-through. Today, we got to see her at the venue, explaining how to shoot in a small area, look for good lighting, how to help your clients relax, and Q&As. She and JD (her husband & second shooter) also shot the bride & groom's First Look today. It was stellar.

Tomorrow will be the actual wedding. Saturday, there will be a vendor panel, presentation of Jasmine's photos, her process, and loads of Q&A. Sunday will be a wrap-up along with more Q&A.

Anywho. I think I just hopped off down one of those notorious bunny trails.

My point (I know, you thought I didn't have one any more, didn't you?) was that I'd signed up for this FREE class (you still have time to check it out, btw) before I was asked to do this engagement/wedding shoot. Coincidence? I don't think so. But it has now become a part of my very focused learning curve. Along with all the studying and practice I can get shooting portraits, shooting in a variety of lighting, and shooting outside of my comfort zone.

Which, btw, was something that Jasmine mentioned today as well; always be challenging yourself.

When it comes to portraits, I have a husband who is quite busy with his job and such things. And I have two teenage boys. ClayGuy is a little more willing to accommodate my camera madness. The Comedian? Well, let's just say that he'd probably almost rather go clean up stinky, rotting apples in our back yard more than pose for me. But somehow, I talked him into just a few shots. Here's one that I liked, with some variation in processing.

The basic shot, slightly edited.

I really enjoy B&W.

While I'm not often a fan of blown-out photos, sometimes you can achieve a funky, fresh effect. I love his eyes in this one.

Look out, ClayGuy, you're next. And both of my nieces. And probably any other willing subject I can wrangle long enough to hold still while I shoot photograph them.

And if you don't know who Jasmine Star is, I highly encourage you to check out her site. She's a very gifted wedding photographer



There was a time in my life when I couldn't stand being home for extended periods of time. If I spent much time at home, I would just have to leave. Even if I had nowhere in particular to go. Even if it meant just going to Target and wandering aimlessly (a very dangerous pastime for one's checkbook) or Taco Bell to eat something that wasn't at home.

Many years ago, John & I had moved to a new city in a different state, and I didn't have a job yet. I spontaneously drove 45 miles away to have lunch with my husband. Sadly, this was before cell phones and I had no idea that he wasn't able to have lunch with me that day. Disappointed, I stopped at Burger King because I was very hungry. Unfortunately, I had left my money at home, had no bank account yet (i.e.; no debit card) and we had no credit card. So I had to go home (the place I didn't want to be to begin with) - 45 miles away - hungry, lonely, and disappointed.

Following another move and similar situation, I also drove from south San Jose to Palo Alto (yeah, Bay Area traffic) to have lunch with my cousin. All in the name of getting out of my home. The home where I should've been unpacking and putting things away and getting settled.

That was also the reason I thought I could never be a stay-at-home mom. I'd lose my mind if I spent that much time at home! Our running joke was that John would stay home if we ever had kids and I would be the one to work. Besides, he's a better housekeeper than me.

red wall

But God has a sense of humor, doesn't He? Oh, initially when I quit my paying job to stay home with the boys, I still had to get out fairly often. But little by little, there was a transformation. He not only changed my heart, but these days, I've swung to the other end of spectrum. Sometimes I don't want to leave for any reason.

  • Not to get milk, even though we need it
  • Not to see my family and friends, even though I love them
  • Not to go to church, even though I know I'll be fed and encouraged

But I do. I leave home for awhile. And it's usually okay. But if I've been gone too much, I need to have some extended time at home again. To rejuvenate and refuel. Who'd have thought it? Certainly not me.

What about you? Do you like to be home? Do you hanker to get out of the house? Or something in between?


Wordless Wednesday - Filtered Light

filtered light

For more wordlessness, check out Gabriel's blog and the WW hub.


Pix-O-Sphere: Pink Dianthus

Pix-O-Sphere is hosting a fun and interesting Sphere of Color, where every week, there's a color of picture to share at the site. This week's is PINK. With all the lovely flowers around, this was pretty easy to accommodate.

pink dianthus by bunnytrails, on Pix-O-Sphere

If you're unfamiliar with Pix-O-Sphere, it's a Family Friendly Photo Community for hosting, sharing, and selling photos. I highly recommend it! There are some terrific photos and you don't have to worry about the kids walking in while you're searching!



While driving home today, sans children, I was pondering the whole issue of abiding in Christ - really staying close with God. And then I got a picture of Velcro.


It occurred to me that being close to the Lord is like two pieces of Velcro. Of course, I'm the scratchier one. If I'm walking tight with Him, we stick together. Wherever He leads, I'm there. When we're apart, I may find myself sticking to other things in this world, but none will be like Him. Either the bond isn't as tight, or it's so tight that I'm trapped and strangled, unable to let go.

I also pick up fuzz and dirt and crud when I'm not connected to Him. The accoutrement presents obstacles to abiding. In fact, if I try to get close to Him, I can't abide - or stick - as tightly any more because of so much of the world's debris on me. Have you ever tried to put two pieces of Velcro together when one had a bunch of fuzzy stuff on it? It just doesn't work so well.

Who knew? Walking with Jesus is kind of like being a piece of Velcro.



Prayer Door

Recently, there were so many prayer needs within my circle of friends that I was having a terrible time trying to remember them all. Yes, I could certainly make a list on a piece of paper or in my journal, but I wouldn't always see it.

Then I remembered that I had these white board stick-on pages I'd picked up last year. They're about 11x17, so that would accommodate the people I wanted to remember to pray for. I stuck one up on the door to my studio since I'm in and out of there throughout the day. Naturally, I started out with a tidy list with plenty of white space for writing the answers to those prayers. It didn't take long to discover that I was going to run out of space rather quickly. I guess I could stick another one of those sheets on the door. Although these sheets don't always stay up so well (notice the top left corner starting to peel back). And being of the dry erase variety meant that people could inadvertently erase portions. Hmmmm....

prayer board

Too bad I couldn't turn my entire door into a big dry erase board. But I'd still have the problem of inadvertent erasure.

Paint it with chalkboard paint? Same issue.

So why not write on the door? With Sharpies (or the Bic version)? It's my door, right? I can always paint over it when it's all full. I don't have to worry about accidental erasure. I have WAY more colors of Sharpies/Bics than dry erase markers. It's also big enough to include scripture at the top. A long scripture, even.

prayer door scripture

prayer door

Using the magic of Photoshop brushes, I blurred out information that I didn't think needed to be public. You know, names are blurred to protect the innocent, or something like that. Hopefully what's left is generic enough. If you know it's about you, know that you're being prayed for.

So what creative ways, or not so creative ways, have you found to help you remember those for whom you want to pray?


Life's Soundtracks

I believe that it's fairly common to have a song stuck in your head. It certainly is for me.

Over the past few years, I've discovered that I have a major song trigger. You may find this quite surprising, this trigger.

You ready for this?


Yeah, go figure. Words. Any words. Words on paper. Words spoken by someone. Words in a book title. Words in an email. I have days when I've already gone through a dozen songs and have only been awake for half an hour.

My brain has enough things going through it at any given moment. Having those thoughts overlaid with multi-layer soundtracks can be overwhelming and maddening. On a happy note, it doesn't happen to me all the time. If it did, I'd have to be fitted for a pretty white jacket.

Please tell me I'm not the only one who has this issue.


Pretty please.

sheet music

Oh yeah, and while we're on this topic, I woke up yesterday with a song in my head. A song that doesn't exist. It was a song from my bizarro dream. No, not a complete song. Not one that I can write, set to music, sell, and become an international superstar from. And yes, I know I ended my sentence in a preposition. Bad homeschool grammar nazi mom! Yes, I also realize that I started the previous sentence with a conjunction. Stop editing me, already.

It was a dorky little kid song. I'm not saying little kid songs are all dorky. Just the one that came out of my dream and into reality. Sadly, I only knew one line - either the starting line or part of the chorus. I couldn't really tell. It had a tune, as well. But I've since lost it.

My husband's response?

"Only you, honey"

Really? Is it only me?

How do music and songs affect the rest of the population?


Wordless Wednesday - Gazania

gazania - white yellow

For more wordlessness, check out Gabriel's blog and the WW hub.


Happy Anniversary to Us

anniversary collage
I have now been married for half of my life. From here on out, I will always have been married longer than not married. Which is a very good thing. God blessed me tremendously when he brought John into my life.

  • He lets me sleep in on Sunday mornings, goes downstairs, and cleans the kitchen. Even though he needs the sleep more than I do.
  • He doesn't care what I do with my hair - long, short, straight, curly, colored, whatever
  • He buys milk early in the morning so the kids & I don't have to go without cereal (them) and iced chai latte (me)
  • He holds my hand when we're walking together
  • He always hugs & kisses me and tells me he loves me before leaving the house or going to sleep
  • He cleans the cat box
  • He pulls over and stops while driving so I can take pictures of things
  • He sometimes lets me have the remote
  • He thinks I'm beautiful even without makeup
  • He holds doors open for me
  • He has integrity
  • He taught me how to four-wheel
  • He is patient
  • He sends me sweet smoochie texts
  • He hugs & kisses me, just because
  • He loves our boys
  • He loves Jesus
  • He is honest and loyal
  • He writes me love notes on the shower walls
  • He lets me whine and vent when I'm overwhelmed. And he just listens.
  • He pushes the cart at the store
  • He supports me in homeschooling our boys
  • He gives me time off
  • He loves his in-laws
  • He is helpful to many
  • He works hard
  • He changes the oil in my van
  • He is humble
  • He disposes of the bad food in the frig
  • He gets rid of bugs and spiders
  • He loves his mom and siblings
  • He doesn't care if there's nothing planned for dinner and we eat pancakes. Or order pizza
  • He fixes almost everything
  • He has never been anything but kind to me
  • He lets me be me
  • He never complains about anything I don't do. Or do.
  • He loves me, no matter what

I sure do love you, John!!

anniv collage4


Wordless Wednesday - Vulture

vlad vulture

For more wordlessness, check out the WW hub and Gabriel's blog.


Pensieve's Blog Hop '10

Just slipping in at the tail end of Robin's 3rd annual Blog Hop. It's always a lot of fun and I didn't want to miss out.

In no particular order (you'll find that would completely negate who I am to have any sense of order!):

  • My blog is called Bunny Trails because I am always getting lost on the little bunny trails of life. No matter how much I try to focus on the task at hand, sooner or later, I'll be found meandering around someplace other than where I began. Fortunately, I have GPS - God's Positioning System - and He can always find me and bring me back where He wants me.
  • To that end, you'll find that there's no particular theme to what I write here. That is, when I write. I seem to fall into a rut of posting only for Wordless Wednesday each week.
  • I'm participating in a 365 Project this year which you can see over at my photoblog.
  • I've been very happily married for nearly 24 years to the most wonderful, sweet, kind, thoughtful, fun, and loving man ever. Next week, I'll have been married half my life. I'd be lost without him.
  • I'm a homeschooling mom to two atypical teenage boys (16 & 15). One has no particular desire to drive. Neither likes their music as loud as hubby and I do. They mostly like to hang out at home, play games (video & board), and be together as a family. We're about to start our sixth year of homeschooling.
  • I love photography, reading, scrapbooking, and gardening. Gardening offers me numerous photography opportunities.
  • All of my hubby's and my immediate family lives in the same town as us. We all get along quite well. I think that's pretty cool, given how dispersed and divided so many families are these days.
  • As much as I've had a huge Dr Pepper addiction, it's been waning recently. A little, anyway. My love for iced chai latte, however, is not.
  • I love words. I love word games. I love word puzzles. I wish I had more words in my arsenal, as I bore easily with the same words. You'd think as a homeschool mom, I'd have a more vast vocabulary.
  • I am consistently inconsistent. There's almost nothing I do on a regular basis in my life, which makes me crazy at times. I'm also terribly random. Which probably makes others crazy.
  • As I've gotten older, I've discovered that I have a colander for a brain. This probably lends itself to my random bunny trail meanderings. Yes, it's all coming together now. Nope. It's gone again.
  • I have excellent organizational skills, but no ability to deploy them.
  • I love Jesus Christ and am ever thankful for my salvation. My deepest desire is to know Him more and bring Him honor and glory.
Thanks for dropping by! I look forward to hopping around and meeting you!


Wordless Wednesday - Droplet


For more wordlessness, check out the WW hub and Gabriel's blog.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...