Thursday, December 31, 2015

Black and White Ballerina

I have absolutely no idea what makes a good black and white photo.  None at all.  But I decided to practice today (in addition to trying to figure out how to take decently exposed indoor photos with only the windows for light).  I've got a long way to go.  But Eden loves to twirl, so both of us had fun.

One day (at the coincidence of time and money), I want to take a few classes.  For now, practice and internet tutorials will have to suffice. Eden would also like to take a ballet class someday.  For now, a ballet inspired dress from Nona and some silly twirling will do.  Life is grand!

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Note to Self: Your Kids are Cute

Yesterday, whilst I rested on the couch for a moment after having cleaned two bathrooms and put away multiple loads of laundry, my adorable boy flooded his bathroom by plugging the sink and turning the faucet on full.  He didn't even have the grace to look sorry.  

I didn't kill him because: prison.  

And also because he's cute.  Why is it that cute gets me every time?  I need to train myself to look past it.  To see the damage, not the darling.  Perhaps by my granny days I'll get there.  Parenthood is conditioning me against cute, if anything ever could.  

A Year of Books

I think it's been that long since my last book post, but fear not: I've been reading!  Here are some of the books that I read in 2015.

Elantris, by Brandon Sanderson
This one is fantasy, which is not my normal love, but I did appreciate that it isn't a forever long series, or even a trilogy.  Just a book.  Kris loved it. It's loosely about political and theological unrest and people trying to survive in a city of the damned.

Still Alice, by Lisa Genova
This was an interesting read, and (typical) better than the movie.  I did end up feeling like too many of the characters and plot developments only existed to showcase the various impacts of Alzheimer's, but I guess that was kind of the point.

The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work, by John Gottman
My book club read this and I now think that it should be required reading for everyone before getting married, while married, and before divorcing.  In fact, it's just plain good advice for relating with other people.  Also, pat on the back of my husband, being married is awesome!

Einstein's Cosmos, by Michio Kaku
More than a biography of Einstein, this is a biography of how his ideas developed.  Very interesting. Very beyond my pea brain.  Good thing it quotes a few different scientists as saying that no one really understands relativity :)

An Unnecessary Woman, by Rabih Alameddine
This is pretty dark, with a deliberately unlikable protagonist...and yet it's an interesting read. The novel follows the life of a woman in Lebanon who makes a life on her own, immersed in translating translations of books.

The Empathy Exams, by Leslie Jamison
This collection of essays revolves around the idea of empathy and how it works or doesn't or should in various areas of life.  My favorite essay in the collection is about a super quirky and ridiculously hard ultra-marathon.  I did sometimes get pretty annoyed by the author's attempts to relate her own privileged pain to some pretty serious tragedies in the "real world." In fact, I didn't like that she never moved beyond empathy as a function of pain.  But all in all, the essays made me think about empathy, Jamison has some gorgeous writing, and the book was definitely worth a read.

Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain, by Betty Edwards
I'm still not finished with this one, because it's a drawing textbook.  It's been really fun to do some of the exercises though.  Edward's philosophy is that anyone can learn to draw reasonably well with a little instruction and some practice.  Jury is still out on me :)

The Crucible of Doubt, by Terryl Givens and Fiona Givens
This is an LDS work that deals with the role of doubt in the journey of any person of faith, including how doubt helps us develop spiritually.  This is a scholarly book, dealing heavily in theological theory and complete with boatloads of references.  I really enjoyed it.

Love, Dishonor, Marry, Die, Cherish, Perish, by David Rakoff
This is a novel written in rhymed verse, from multiple character perspectives.  I really enjoyed the creativity of its construction. In total, it takes a rather dim view of love, but is somehow still fairly light and airy.  I thought it was interesting how each person's section seemed to focus more on other people.  There's a point being made there.

A Thousand Splendid Suns, by Khaled Hosseini
I'm late to the party, but this is a great book on several different levels. It's entertaining.  It's a super interesting portrait of modern era Iran.  It has appealing characters.  Very sad.  Very worth it.

The Age of Innocence, by Edith Wharton
This gilded age tale of high society New York and thwarted passions is surprisingly good. I mean it did win the Pulitzer Prize and all, but I still didn't expect to enjoy it as much as I did.  If you're out for a classic, you might consider picking this one up.

I've read several other books this year, but these are the titles most worth mentioning.  So I'm a nerd, but I LOVE reading.  Good fer yer brain :)    

Friday, December 4, 2015

Hey, Christmas Jude!

For an early Christmas, we cashed in some credit card rewards on a nifty fifty lens.  We've loved our macro lens for shooting the kids, but it is basically useless inside.  We've definitely still got a lot to learn about metering and shooting with inside lights, but I think these are pretty fun.

Kris took this one.  Handsome man takes great pictures of his handsome boy!

We are definitely in the Christmas spirit now!