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Everyday (via Instagram)

While we were in the midst of our adoption process, I learned about being present.  It was a lesson that revolutionized my thinking.  The adoption process is good training ground for being present.  It's hard to be present when there's so much to look forward to - with so much waiting.  Waiting for a referral.  Waiting for a court date.  Waiting for an embassy date.  Waiting to travel to meet your child.

I needed the reminder to stay grounded in the present, especially near the end of our process when there was a major snafu with our immigration paperwork leaving us uncertain as to whether we'd be able to bring Evie home when we had planned.  We had no choice but to take it one day at a time.  We traveled on a prayer.  I'll always remember eating breakfast in Ethiopia - eggs with the brightest orange yolks I had ever seen, on the morning we first met Evie.  Even though we were only hours away from meeting our new daughter, it still felt so fragile, so uncertain.  The proverbial house of cards could topple over at any moment.  Those lessons were hard, surreal, and in their own way, beautiful. 

In 2010, I learned about gratitude.  If being present revolutionized my thinking, being grateful in the present revolutionized my life.  I started finding joy and beauty in activities that were formerly drudgery.  In doing the dishes, in folding the laundry, on those evenings when Dan was working late and I was parenting alone during the notorious witching hour.  Moments I once saw as ordinary became extraordinary: a cuddle from my toddler, the kids walking hand in hand, the laughter.  I noticed them.  I soaked them in.

I found myself drawn to photography that captured these everyday moments.  I wanted to learn. (This was a great starting place.)

A year and a half ago I started studying photography.  After lots of reading and practice, I am no where near mastering this art form.   I'm still so slow that by the time my camera is ready, the moment is often over.  This is why I'm so thankful to have Instagram.   While I may not have those sharp as a tack images in high resolution, it's a convenient and easy way for me to capture a few of those moments that melt my heart. Here's a round up from the last month or so.

Indigo, stringing 100 beads for 100 days of school

special delivery

in the garden

"if I hide in this leaf pile, maybe she won't throw my ball again!"

just hangin' around

 "this little piggy"... courtesy of Jude

 raspberries from Iris

All ready (and fancy!) for Indigo's Valentine's Day party at school

 climbing trees, a favorite activity

waiting for daddy and Jude

 my boy who loves to make me laugh with silly faces (this one's the chipmunk)

slumber party in mom and dad's room

Someday I hope to nail these kinds of images with my Canon.  But in the meantime, I'm grateful for these.  They remind me of the fullness and love in our everyday. 

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