When the Camera Met Astro

There’s always that first time a new loved one meets my camera.

Or is it really my camera meeting them? I always seem to capture the moments exactly as they fall into place, sort of the way it always works out. Instinct. Technique. More of one than the other. Self-doubt. Pure emotion. I can’t say that I’ve been really up on myself with photography or writing lately. Sometimes it’s hard for me and sometimes it isn’t. It’s just that there’s so much perspective and emotion crammed into blog posts and photographs, no matter how wide the bandwidth and how large the format. I only took phone photos the day we got Astro because I was focused on keeping the surprise under wraps and holding a wiggly puppy for a three hour car ride. Not that it wasn’t pure bliss. I shouldn’t have been worried.

We spent a few days, and then weeks, getting to know each other. He has started puppy class and he’s tried to chew our entire house. We’ve had some user-error-induced house breaking accidents, but we’re learning the way and so is he. He brightens my day. I’ve been so tired since we got him – just flat-out exhausted at the end of the day. I was already so bad at balancing parenting and personal/social life and work and writing/photography for fun. Then you throw a puppy into the mix and the fact that he has to be watched or crated when I’m working. Yet, sometimes he’s just the brightest star in my sky.

And the best part of my day. Pure unconditional affection. He doesn’t cower like Athena, act like too much of a cat like Junie (the cat), break my heart like humans, and cause Salmonella like the chickens. I can just scoop him up, day after day, moment after moment – sometimes letting tears drip down his fur. He’s perfect and new. And he smells good. And he’s fluffy – although changing color every day. Not to mention, will we EVER know what kind of dog he is? Maybe. Probably not.

So that’s my story for you, and it’s one of love and newness and how the emotions spill out into words and then spill out into photos and somehow with spoken words and written words and photographs, other people get a bit of an idea of it all.

So this is my photo story for you:

This is me linking up, as one of my favorite things to do, with Finish The Sentence Friday. This week’s topic is Photo Share Friday And there’s still time to write yours. Come link up with your spin: HERE. What’s your photo? What’s its story?

He’s pretty irresistible, isn’t he?

10 Things I’ve Learned From You, Yes, You.

I thought I’d have more time to write this, but life had other (and better) plans.

And that’s ok because it shouldn’t take long anyway. I’m pretty much pretending it’s a 5 minute free-writing session because all of this stuff is hot to the touch, and fresh off the tongue. What have I learned from you? A ton. And who are you? You, specifically, are my fellow FTSF bloggers. Sometimes, maybe, you’re the only ones reading these Friday posts. Or maybe you’re not the only ones but there’s nothing lurker about you. You are flesh and blood and bone and typing and wisdom.

I see two of you right here (below). Also, I don’t look like this in real life. My face is less smushed:

Tonight, tonight, tonight, I spent time with a high school friend. You see I used to be fearless, in other ways. I fight fears and phobias nearly daily, but I used to drive from city to city at every hour of the night. I’d do anything to be by your side. There was a time, I pumped enough milk to leave Scarlet with Cassidy for the day, and drove from busy city to busy city, through busy city, just to get to my friend Vik for his mom’s funeral. These days I’m sometimes nervous to drive from one country town to another. What ifs, ands, and buts. I don’t want to be stopped anymore. I wasn’t at all stopped tonight.

Just to spend 7 hours with an old friend. We took Vik to dinner and ice cream and then talked on the couches, so comfortably and like no time had passed, for like.. four hours. Magic. Sometimes, often, it works. And other times, I’m watching clocks and fading away and letting anxiety strip me of that bold color – that drive – the listening – these love adventures. I got some back. And I don’t want to give it up again. I want to remember the opening of hearts and thoughts.

No watched clocks. Just free.

Without further ado, here are 10 things I’ve learned about blogging from other FTSF bloggers:

I’m sort of editing it to say 10 things I’ve learned (in general) from other FTSF bloggers:

1 – That waiting until the last minute really works when your heart and talent are there. Kristi used to only write her posts last minute, and still might, and each one is poetic gorgeousness. She spins them from gold like Rumpelstiltskin.

2 – From Kenya I learned a whole fresh perspective from someone living such a different life from me, in such a different place, with such different experiences, and yet I have always felt like we often feel/think/do the same things.

3 – I’ve learned that online friendships are something fierce and real, and sometimes don’t just stay online.

4 – I have learned what my life could be like 10 years from now, and how great that might be.

5 – I’ve learned that different viewpoints can still lead to respect and heart.

6 – And I have learned about kindness and thoughtful comments on blog posts, like you know they read every single word.

7 – I have learned the importance of nostalgia and sharing photos and stories forever.

8 – I’ve read some special needs mama perspectives that are achingly and crushingly beautiful.

9 – Mostly I’ve learned just how much I believe I’ll never stop blogging, as I haven’t paused in over 8 years. I have hesitated, though. Blogging isn’t always writing in the way I want to write. It rarely is. Yet we all find our ways back here – thinking of ways to write to and about each other – and having no trouble doing so. Much love to you, yes, you.

10 – And I’ve learned that I still long for that simpler time when it was just words and us.

*Bonus: I have learned about primer mascara (the white tube) and baby foot peels.

This is me linking up, as one of my favorite things to do, with Finish The Sentence Friday. This week’s topic is “10 things I’ve learned about blogging from other FTSF bloggers.” And there’s still time to write yours. Come link up with your spin: HERE.

What would you say?