A Beautiful Learning Experience - Click Away Part 2

Monday, September 22, 2014

The first day of the conference started early.  I needed to get checked in, and also drop off my camera for a cleaning.  I was so thankful they were offering free cleanings while I was there because that has been on the list for awhile.

The event opened with a keynote from Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love.  I knew her talk would be on creativity, but I didn't know that it would start the soul stirring that would only intensify through the conference.

I want to capture a few of the things she spoke to her in talk:

You have entitlement to create, you don't need a permission slip.

We have been creating for 30,000 years, we have been doing agriculture for 10,000 years.  Creativity is engrained in us, we though that creating was more important than feeding ourselves.

Perfectionism is fear in high clothes, it is couture.  Perfect is a myth, no matter what someone will criticize it.

Done is better than good.  Finishing is imperative.  The joy is in creating your journey - do more after you finish.

Women's creativity came out of stole time & materials.

If you aren't making something you will lose your mind.  Creative mins need a tasks.  If you don't want your mind to be a border collie chewing at the wallpaper and destroying the house, give it a creative project.

Be the lobster at the masked ball.  Own your creativity in the world - be brave and risk humility.

Stop thinking things are problems - think of them as puzzles.  Problems are debilitating, puzzles are interesting.

Time will never be there, yet get the work done.  Be selective about guarding your space and what you bring into it.  Delicious opportunities will need to be turned down in order to do your beautiful work.

Never has there been a better chance in history to live a creative life.

The main expo floor had all of the prints from the photography competition, numerous vendors and little couched areas where you had the chance to mingle with speakers from sessions.

I loved the opportunity to listen to Lacey Meyers and Karen Russell for a quick minute between sessions.  I have fallen in love with Lacey's work of her three boys.  I hope I am capturing the wild imagination of my little guy with such beauty.

After a full day of hearing Megan Squires, Jamie Rubeis and Ashley Westphal, I gathered together with some of the ladies I had met the previous night for another wonderful dinner.  Some of the girls opted to rent a nearby house instead of staying in a hotel, and graciously had us over for a catered meal.  It was fun to chat some more and snap a few photos.

It was such a joy to spend a little time with Karen, she is such a beautiful person inside and out.  And like I told her when I hugged her goodbye, I can't even begin to express my gratitude, she is so much more than a teacher (and if you are looking for an online photography workshop, run to sign up for hers).

A Beautiful Bee Experience - Click Away Part 1

Sunday, September 21, 2014

I'm stilling working through so much of the experience last week in Salt Lake City.  It was a beautiful weekend of learning and growing and I'm finding it had to capture all of that in words.  I had the opportunity to meet a group of generous and gorgeous women who share the common connection of taking Karen Russell's Snapshots of a Good Life workshop.

To kick off the long weekend, when I landed, I met up with three other ladies and enjoyed a really great lunch before picking Karen up at the airport too.  We drove to Logan, where we would be gathering together for a lovely evening of meeting, eating and mingling.  The leaves had started to turn, the air had a crispness and the sky was the richest shade of blue.  Lisa and Dean were so kind to open up their house to more than 30 of us.  We also had the chance to meet the bees behind Jiggystick.

I would be lying to say I wasn't scared to put on that bee suit and go out to the box.  And, even though that fear kept me at the edge of safety, it was so amazing to see thousands of those bees working together.  It was a beautiful blessing to have Dean and Lisa share that experience with us before the dinner started.

The weekend before we arrived in Utah, they had their annual Honey Day.  After the dinner wrapped we sampled the freshly spun sweetness.  It was incredible how different the honey is between hives.  Some honey was thicker and darker, some lighter and more syrupy.  Some honey had trace tastes of herbs, some had a sweet tartness.  Those bees are amazing and my respect for their work soared while hearing from Dean how the colony works, from the life of a queen, to the death of the drones.

Letters to My Son - September

Friday, September 19, 2014

I'm taking part in a blog circle with some other fabulous women, where each month I will include a letter to my boy along with a few pictures that capture the emotion and love I feel for him.  I hope that you will enjoy this feature as much I have enjoyed the process, and will also take the leap to the next blog in the circle each month.

Dear Sweet Boy,

Last week mommy went to Salt Lake City for a photography conference, but it was really so much more than that.  While there a lot of the speakers talked about creativity.  One thing that I hope to share with you is that you don't need permission to create.  I want art and creativity to be something you openly explore and develop a strong curiosity for.

We have been leaving the sidewalk chalk in easy reach, and I love that it is something you are so interested in right now.  You will pick it up and ask us to open the door so you can play outside.  You might be using the chalk as a sneaky way to get to play more baseball once we are out there, but at least you do spend a few minutes coloring, drawing and talking while you create masterpieces that fade away after a day or two.

Art has always been something that fuels me.  I hope together we can create wonderful crafts, drawings and paintings as you grow.  

Just remember I love you little buddy.  You make my world a more colorful place.


Please continue on with your circle and head over to read Deirdre's letter.

L-e-t-s G-O, Let's Go! Let's Go!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

After our terrible experience at the Rockies game, we knew we wanted to start small for our next sports related outing.  It was a beautiful Saturday morning when we headed up to the high school for a JV football game.  My parents were able to join us.  It was so low key, without any built up expectations, which was just perfect.  We stayed sitting under a shady tree, cheering on the team, for about 40 mins.  The little guy had a great time, and it was just the right amount of stimulation.  I personally love high school sports and watching the teenage dynamics.  Listening to the cheers took me back to the days when I would stand on the rubbery track chanting, cheering, stunting, jumping and showing my spirit.

Sunday Morning

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Weekends are for family.  Weekends are for adventures.  Weekends are for saying yes more and no less.  

After traveling it felt so good to be reunited with my little family and those feelings called for a breakfast celebration.  A breakfast where we could go with sleep still in our eyes and little boy pj pants still being worn.  We went for donuts.  I love the opportunity to build excitement for the little things, I love putting energy behind outings.  I love that my positivity is so quickly reflected in little arms flying high as squeals of "donuts" echo in the garage.

Given my strong interest in photography, it doesn't surprise me that my little guy is curious about it.  I let him explore that curiosity by looking at the playback screen, looking through the viewfinder or by getting to push the special button while mom holds the camera.  At breakfast he reached across the table making eye contact with me for approval and then pushed the button over and over and over.  The majority of the pictures were out of focus, or included too much arm, but in the bunch there were a few selfies that I'll treasure.

My Little Bus Riding Rockstar

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

It has been a few weeks since I got this blurry photo sent to me from school.  My little guy attends preschool in the morning at the local elementary school and then rides a bus after preschool lets out to his other school.  (Don't worry, he is strapped into a harness seat, and there is also a teacher who rides the bus too).

The first week was really rough.  He cried the entire four minute drive from school to school.  From his daily reports, I know he has warmed up to the ride and has made friends with another little preschooler who rides the bus too.

What is so funny about the bus ride, is when the bus drops him off after preschool, his other class is WAITING, watching, and lined up to see him get off.  He is a mini celebrity riding that big yellow school bus.  I hope he always has a classroom of friends that are excited for him join in their play.

Swirling Like a Tub Drain

Monday, September 15, 2014

My mind is swirling, full of thoughts from this past weekend spent at Click Away.  I'm trying to digest all of the information, relive the inspiration, cherish the friendships, act on the passion.  It will probably take me a few days to be able to blog about the experience, until then, a few pictures of the boy that fuels my soul in an equal way.