Albuquerque Getaway | {the serenity project}

We took a trip to visit my mom in Albuquerque this month. I’m so glad we had a chance to go! I didn’t think we would be able to make it out there this summer with my husband’s schedule, but we were able to squeeze it in right before school started.

As I’ve mentioned before, one of our favorite things to do wherever we travel is visit the local botanical garden. I love walking around with my family, taking photos, enjoying the beautiful weather. Albuquerque is hot, but not humid, and the blue skies can’t be beat. It all makes for a lovely day.

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During our visit we also made a trip up to Santa Fe to see Meow Wolf, which is an interactive art exhibit. It was unlike anything we have ever done; it was a lot of fun and a very unique experience! My daughter really enjoyed it.

And we spent plenty of time with my mom. She and my daughter are very close, and they enjoyed many Monopoly games together.

These are her hens and chicks. She has grown them for years and they have really taken over their little space!

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(I hope in our next house we have a sunroom, as I would like to print one of these on canvas and hang it in there! Part of my heart is always in the Southwest wherever we live, and I love having those reminders in our home.)

All in all it was a nice respite from our busy summer. Now school is back in session and we are looking forward to fall. Summer slipped through our fingers much too quickly!

The Serenity Project is a group photography project. The participating photographers aim to bring a sense of peace and calm to their images. Up next is Joan Newton Showers, Charlotte NC. Please continue the circle to see what my friend Joan has to share this month.


Rain | {The Serenity Project}

We have enjoyed some beautiful spring days, but we have also had our share of chilly, rainy days.

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I am a person who doesn’t mind the rain though. The good news is it brings us so much greenery and pretty flowers. I can NOT wait for the peonies in my front yard to bloom!

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Seeing all these beautiful flowers make me think about future gardens. Someday I would love to have my own cutting garden so I can have flowers in my kitchen that I have grown.

I haven’t had much success with growing things in the past but maybe someday.


For now, I enjoy what is popping up around me.

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The Serenity Project is a collaborative monthly photography project. Up next is Wendy May, Scottish Photographer.  Please continue the circle to see what brought her some serenity this month. See you next month!


Spring in Ohio Isn’t Bad |{the serenity project}

Now that we have come around to spring, we are approaching our first full year in Ohio.

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I have really enjoyed the seasonal weather, as I have mentioned here before.  And Spring has been a very welcome change!

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There are so many beautiful flowering trees and plants here, and we have had some pretty glorious days to get out there and see them.

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It’s been a treat to get out and enjoy nature. We have really enjoyed seeing what is popping up in our own yard!

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The Serenity Project is a collaborative photography project that aims to bring a sense of peace and calm to imagery. Up next is Maibritt Olsen, Fine Art Photographer, USA. Please continue the circle to see what Maibritt has to share this month!

Sunday Afternoon | {The Serenity Project}


Our typical Sunday goes something like this: a hike or other activity, lunch, and running errands such as grocery shopping. But we always allow some time for reading, relaxing, and maybe watching a movie in the afternoon.

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(image is freelensed)

Reading has always been a big part of my life and I always wanted a space dedicated to reading in my home. Finally, a few years ago we found we had room for a little nook. So I bought a chair and small table and lamp. Where the space is in our house varies; for a while it was in our master bedroom, then it migrated into the office, which is where it is to this day.  My mother gifted me with this book quilt at Christmas and it’s the perfect addition to this space. I don’t always read in this spot (sometimes I prefer to lie on my bed), but I do love a Sunday afternoon curled up with my books. It’s  a nice way to end my weekend, and start the week.


The Serenity Project is collaborative monthly photography project. The participating photographers aim to bring a sense of peace and calm to their images. Please continue the circle to Janet Broughton, creative photographer in the North West of England to see what brought her some serenity this month. 

Winter | {The Serenity Project}

I won’t lie-it’s cold outside! But the world is so peaceful and quiet with the ground blanketed in snow.

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I have really enjoyed photographing winter in its many forms.

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I know many people do not enjoy winter, but as I find myself living in Ohio by way of Florida, Phoenix, and  South Texas, I am appreciating it this year. I hope we continue to enjoy this season as long as we are living in a place that has a winter.

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I’m finding a peacefulness in this season, an acceptance as we wait for spring’s arrival. And I know we will enjoy that too!

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The Serenity Project is a collaborative photography project. The women who participate aim to bring a sense of peace and calm to their images. Up next is my very talented friend, Nadeen Flynn, Northern California Fine Art Photography. Please continue the circle to see what Nadeen captured this month.

Christmas Time | {The Serenity Project}

Years ago, an old family friend told me he liked to look at the Christmas tree without his glasses on because the lights were blurry and beautiful. I am also very nearsighted, and can’t  in fact recognize my own husband two feet away from me without my glasses on, but can find my way around the house ok without them at night.  The other night, I walked downstairs for a glass of water without my glasses on and was surprised to see our tree still lit and beautifully blurry. I was reminded of this friend, and enjoyed a few quiet moments by our tree in the middle of the night by myself. I wanted to recreate that feeling, that moment, those lights, with my camera. I freelensed this image. Christmas lights are fun to photograph in all sorts of ways.

Christmas for me is a time for family and reflection on the year behind us, as well as the year to come. It’s about good food and time off work together, movies and games, and hopefully some quiet moments too. But mostly about spending time with those we hold close to us and gratitude. I’m so thankful to have the people I do in my life, and for the Christmas seasons we are able to share together during our time on this earth.

I  am wishing all of you a peaceful  Christmas and holiday season, however you celebrate,  with family and friends you hold dear. Hope you find some serenity and quiet moments,  and plenty of good food also.


The Serenity Project is a colloborative group photography project. Participating photographers aim to bring a sense of calm and peace to their imagery. Please continue the circle to my good friend,  Iris Nelson, Metro Phoenix Photographer


Fall is Here | {The Serenity Project}

We have had what I think are probably unusually warm days this year. Of course, being new to Ohio, I really have no idea of what is “normal”.

But, a few days ago, the temperatures really plummeted and it is truly starting to feel like fall!

I  love it! I think this will be our favorite time of year here, and I look forward to having annual traditions in line with the season. Apple picking! Fall festivals! Hay rides! Corn Mazes! Hiking!

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(The one stipulation being, of course, that we live somewhere where there is a fall! But for now, we are just going to enjoy it here!)

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It’s a beautiful time of year.

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I love the coziness at night too. We love burning candles year round, and this time of year I enjoy the fall scents.

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The Serenity Project is a collective photography project. The artists who participate in this  monthly circle aim to bring a sense of calm and peacefulness to their imagery. Please continue the circle to Wendy May to see what brought her some serenity this month.

Rain | {The Serenity Project}

I love a rainy day.

Recently we had a very rainy weekend (unrelated to Hurricane Florence!) and Monday morning found me wandering around my yard with my camera and macro lens.

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My go-to lens these past few years for macro has been my Velvet 56, but lately I find myself reaching for my Sigma 105mm macro and I’m enjoying the results!

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(I’m pretty sure my neighbors think I’m nuts, as they observe me camera in hand taking images of random leaves and blades of grass.)

I also came upon a spider web covered in rain. It looked like jewels.

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I don’t know where the occupant of the web was, but she didn’t bother me.

The Serenity Project is a collaborative photography project. Photographers post monthly and wish to capture a sense of peace and calm with their imagery. Please continue the circle to my friend,  Wendy May  to see what brought her some serenity this month.


Bath Ritual |{The Serenity Project}

When we were living in Arizona, I made it my habit to take a bath every Sunday evening.


I’d grab a magazine or a book, a glass of wine, a glass of water, some candles,  bubble bath or a bath bomb and soak, read and relax.

Once we moved to Texas, I stopped this ritual for whatever reason. I’m honestly not sure why. I still bought bath bombs and bubble bath, but for the most part they went unused.

But, now, in the wake of our upcoming move, I’m bringing the bath back. I am using the Lush bath bombs, I’m burning the candles, I’m enjoying the relaxation and peacefulness. Plus, I have to use up all the bath bombs before the movers come!

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I wish for my house to be as spa-like as possible, wherever we are. I want it to smell good, to be uncluttered and serene. This is part of that ideal.

I’ll have to take July off from The Serenity Project, sadly. We are in crunch time now, in the thick of getting ready to uproot ourselves yet again. I’ll see you on the other side, my friends.


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The Serenity Project is a collaborative monthly group photography project. Women photographers participating in this project wish to bring a sense of calm and peace to their imagery. Please continue the circle to my friend,  Lori McLellan, Calgary area Photographer, to see how she found some serenity this month.


Exploring Nature | {The Serenity Project}

My little family and I love getting out in nature, walking, exploring and photographing.

May 05, 2018-ECC_1560-EditEileenCritchley1(Can you see my little explorer in this image?)

We recently visited the Cibola Nature Center, which is about half an hour from our house. I don’t know why we had not visited there before!

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Although South Texas is very  hot and humid this time of year, the weather was pretty good that day. We were blessed with some sun after a week of rain. And, amazingly, we had the place to ourselves!

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My daughter absolutely loved the cypress trees and exploring the creek. She spotted lots of tadpoles and tiny fish, raccoon and deer tracks, butterflies and roly polys (these are her favorites!).

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It was a beautiful day with family, doing what we love to do. We followed our walk with another of our favorite activities: lunch together.

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I love discovering parks and trails wherever we live. I’m so glad we took the time to visit!  Walks through nature are the best way for us to  ground ourselves and reconnect with nature and each other.


The Serenity Project is a collaborative photography project featuring images that bring a sense of peace and calm. Please continue the circle to Wendy May to find what brought her some serenity this month.


Nature on Film | {The Serenity Project}

I recently shot a roll of Provia 100F. This is a stock that doesn’t have much latitude when it comes to exposure (i.e. it needs to be exposed very carefully). I had never shot this stock before and I was a bit nervous! It’s more expensive to process and it’s easy to make exposure mistakes. Typically I overexpose film slightly because  most  film tends to be very forgiving when it comes to overexposure. In other words, film loves light.

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I was pleasantly surprised when I got the scans back, especially the images of nature. These were taken around San Antonio, mostly at the Botanical Garden. All of these were taken with my Velvet 56, which I had also never used on my film camera (this was, apparently, a bit of an experimental roll!)

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I love shooting film because it forces me to slow down. I have to be very mindful and careful.

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I also like the unknown aspect of it, the little surprises. You don’t  know what your images will be until you get the scans back, which can take a while, especially if you don’t shoot film often! Depending on my mood, a roll of film can sit in my camera for weeks or months.April 11, 2018-98194EMcri040512-R1-004

For me, this  is another advantage to shooting film-when you get the scans back, you have a chance to revisit those moments, some of which might have happened weeks or months ago. It’s a like a little gift to myself.

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I don’t shoot a lot of film, and I’m not always happy with my images when I do. But when it works, it works. And it makes me very happy. There is something quiet and gentle about it.

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The tones are calming, the process is mindful. It’s a chance to take your time, to practice patience. How often do we get those opportunities in this hectic life?

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The Serenity Project is a collaborative photography project. Photographers who participate hope to bring a sense of calmness and peace to their monthly images. Please continue the circle with Wendy May Photography to see what brought her some serenity this month.


Mustang Island | {The Serenity Project}

Even though I have long considered myself more of a mountain person, there is something about the beach that brings a sense of calm to us all. My family and I aren’t lay-out-and-get-a- tan type people; we are more the SPF 50-and-wide-brimmed-hat types. But you can’t beat a nice morning walking on the beach.March 16, 2018-ECC_1052EileenCritchley1

Over Spring Break, we visited Mustang Island State Park in South Texas for a morning on the beach. It was so beautiful there- overcast but warm, no crowds, and plenty of beach treasures to be found. My daughter had a great time running along the beach and doing cartwheels.March 16, 2018-ECC_1009-EditEileenCritchley1March 16, 2018-ECC_1036EileenCritchley1

We even found several intact sand dollars, which is something I don’t think I have ever found on the beach (and I grew up in Florida!).

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We enjoyed watching all the birds too.

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It was such a beautiful morning, and a perfect way to wrap up our Spring Break. I’m so glad we took a little trip down there!


The Serenity Project is a collaborative photography project. The women who post to this project aim to bring a sense of calm serenity to their images. Please continue the circle to Wendy May, Scottish photographer to see where she found a sense of peace this month.