A Portrait of My Daughter | {1500 Miles, 1 Image}

When I was pregnant and had my 20 week ultrasound, I thought for sure I was having a boy. I was so surprised when the nurse said “It’s a girl”! Now I can’t imagine life without my little girl.

This girl is going to turn 9 next week. She loves to write, read, watch movies, invent things, and play games. Her laugh is contagious. She wants to be either an engineer or a teacher when she grows up (we told her she can teach engineering!). She’s so smart, funny and sweet and most of the time she is even good about letting me take her photo. I’m so glad I have her.

Melisa also has a beautiful daughter (whom you can see here). I am so glad our girls got to know each other before we moved apart. They really enjoyed playing with each other!

The River | {1500 Miles, 1 Image}

San Antonio is of course famous for its Riverwalk! The Riverwalk is indeed beautiful and a great place to take out of town guests, but it’s a bit on the touristy and crowded side at times. It’s great to go down there in the morning before all the businesses have opened for a walk. There are also quieter parts of the San Antonio River, and those are the areas I prefer for walking. I took a very pleasant photo walk this week there.

It’s fun that Melisa and I both live near rivers. Though they are very different, it’s neat to compare the similarities and differences of our cities! Melisa’s river can be viewed here.

Lensbaby |{1500 Miles, 1 Image}

It’s no secret that I love my Lensbaby lenses. I have pretty much all of them, but the Velvet 56 is the one I use the most, and is one of my very favorite lenses. It is so versatile, great for portraits and macro and everything in between.  I love the film-like feel this lens gives me. I almost always take it when we travel too, which allows me to take a creative lens in addition to a more “traditional” lens.

Although the Velvet 56 is a great choice for macro (and I am focusing on macro a lot this month!),  I decided to convince my daughter to let me take some photos of her for this week’s prompt. I love the soft feel of this image and the timeless nature of it. It could have been taken of me in the 1980s, or my mom in the 1950s. Sometimes I take a photo of my daughter and I get a snapshot of what she will look like when she is much older. It’s bittersweet.

Let’s see how Melisa stretched her creativity with a Lensbaby this week!

Thanksgiving | {1500 Miles, 1 Image}

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. I love the food and I love the time with family. It’s not the best time of year for travel, but travel we do, every year to visit my in-laws in South Carolina. It’s a much needed and long anticipated vacation. The weather was beautiful there this year, and I love spending time with my little family and our extended family.

My little niece adores her cousin and my daughter loves her!  These two look forward to seeing each other so much and they had such a nice time together. I wish they could see each other more often. As the years go by, we’ll have to try to make that happen. They are so sweet together, and both so full of energy.

It was  a wonderful Thanksgiving with family and good food, and a feeling of gratitude for all that we have been blessed with this year.

See what Melisa’s Thanksgiving looked like by clicking here.

Me Time |{1500 Miles, 1 Image}

The truth is, I get a lot of alone time these days.

Of course, “alone time” isn’t always “me time”. Alone time often means running errands, grocery shopping, laundry folding and all the other little tasks that somehow make up my days.

I love getting pedicures, taking photowalks, working out,  taking a yoga class, or hiking when I find myself a pocket of free time. One thing I really love to do that feels completely indulgent and a perfect way to relax is go to movies by myself while my daughter is at school. I don’t do this as often as I would like, but as the year is winding down and the Oscar-worthy movies are starting to come out, I will try to go more.

Reading is something I make time for every day.  And if I can have a cup of chai tea or coffee with my book, it’s all the better.

How does Melisa treat herself? Click here to find out.

 

A Single Rose | {The Serenity Project}

We are often out and about in the middle of the day, which isn’t the best time to take photos. But, every now and again, I’ll come across something like this- a perfect rose spotlighted and surrounded with greenery.

I’ll snap the photo and then run to catch up with my family. I won’t think much about it, until it’s up on my computer for editing.

And then, sometimes, I’ll see it for the simple gift that it is, a little bit of hidden beauty on our walk. Maybe the light wasn’t perfect, but it works for this image, in this moment.

Five minutes later the light would have been different, a week from now the rose might be gone.

Something simple and fleeting captured, when it would have been easy to just walk by.

 

The photographers in The Serenity Project circle wish to convey a sense of peace and calmness in their images. Please take a look at my good friend Iris Nelson – Metro Phoenix Photographer  to see what has brought her some serenity this month.

October | {A Thousand Words}

“I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.” ― L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

(Full disclosure: would you believe I have never read this book?!)

For the past six years, we haven’t lived in a four seasons-type climate. At this point, I am more used to maybe two seasons: we’ll call them hot and less hot. BUT, I still think of Autumn as the best season. Fortunately, we recently traveled to New Mexico to visit my mother and attend Balloon Fiesta. We had some beautiful fall weather there! I do believe October would be my favorite season, if I lived somewhere where a true “October” existed. What a perfect time of year- crisp air, leaves changing, cool nights, warm afternoons. Sign me up!

 

I am thrilled to be a part of a new collaborative photography project, A Thousand Words! Every month we will have a new quote to interpret with an image. Please follow the circle to Alyssa’s post to see how she captured this month’s quote!

Neighborhood Walk | {1500 Miles, 1 Image}

One of the many things photography has taught me is to be more mindful and observant of my surroundings. I think photographers are always taking images in their mind, whether they have their camera with them or not.  It’s nice to slow down on walks and notice the small, beautiful details that are around us. On a recent early morning walk around my neighborhood, I saw a few of these little mushrooms in my neighbor’s yard. My neighbors may very well think I am completely nuts when they see me crouching down on their sidewalk to take a photo of a mushroom or flower, but that’s OK with me. I’m perfectly fine being the “crazy photography lady” in the neighborhood.  I don’t have a dog to walk, but I love taking my camera for a walk.

Let’s find out what Melisa discovered on her neighborhood walk! Her post is here.

The Japanese Tea Garden | {The Serenity Project}

Recently we visited the Japanese Tea Garden. To be honest, I wasn’t expecting much; I thought we would walk around for maybe half an hour, take a few photos, and then head to lunch.

We were pleasantly surprised with this beautiful park!  The garden has a long history and first opened in 1919. Since then, it’s been through several renovations, the most recent in 2008. Now it’s a beautiful, serene oasis in the middle of a bustling city. September 16, 2017-ECC_7993EileenCritchley1September 16, 2017-ECC_7981EileenCritchley1September 16, 2017-ECC_7988EileenCritchley1September 16, 2017-ECC_7991EileenCritchley1September 16, 2017-ECC_7983EileenCritchley1September 16, 2017-ECC_7980EileenCritchley1

We all enjoyed our walk through the garden, looking for flowers, waterfalls, butterflies, and koi. What a beautiful way to start the weekend! We will definitely go back.

(All images taken with Lensbaby Velvet 56.)

September 16, 2017-ECC_7994EileenCritchley1

 

The Serenity Project is a collaborative photography project. The participating photographers aim to bring a sense of peace and calm with their images. Please click over to  the talented Wendy May, multi-genre photographer, Aberdeenshire to see what brought her some serenity this month.

 

The Gardens | {1500 Miles, 1 Image}

We love botanical gardens and make a point of visiting them whenever we are in a new city. We recently joined the San Antonio Gardens and I know we will be visiting there regularly. I love all the special events the garden hosts throughout the year and there is nothing better than a morning spent walking, exploring and of course photographing! My daughter likes to wear bright colors when we visit in the hopes a butterfly will land on her. She enjoys walking around the gardens with us, looking for butterflies, dragonflies, birds and lizards. Her absolute favorite thing to do at the garden is feed the ducks.

Light like this doesn’t lend itself to making the best images, but living in sunny environments has forced me to embrace direct sunlight. Life doesn’t always happen at Golden Hour so we have to work with what we’re given.

 

Please head over to Melisa’s post to see what the gardens are like in her area!