catch the moment: week fifty-two

Wow – I made it!  I took a picture with my DSLR EVERY day this year, in manual, and shared them on my blog.  I did something that I set out to do and I am feeling pretty proud of the accomplishment. This has only fueled my fire for learning more about photography, wanting up upgrade my equipment, and yes…doing another Project 365. Why stop now?  Before I did this project, my camera might sit for days, weeks, or dare I say it? A MONTH at a time, just collecting dust.  I have used my camera every day and even made a habit out of taking it with me almost everywhere I go.

Linking up one last time for this 2014 Catch the Moment 365 project with Mindi, Sarah, and Stephanie.

358/365 – Wednesday, December 24th: Christmas Eve. This year Santa enjoyed red velvet buttery cookies, chocolate chunk cookies, and white chocolate cranberry cookies. 12-24-14

359/365 – Thursday, December 25th: Christmas Day.  I was too busy enjoying the day to take very many pictures but I did get one of Theo celebrating after receiving Hulk Lab Smash.12-25-14

360/365 – Friday, December 26th: A trip to Ohio.  The day after Christmas, we traveled to Cincinnati to visit Ryan’s sister and her family along with Ryan’s parents.  12-26-14

361/365 – Saturday, December 27th: Just spying on a couple of bros looking at their big cousin Spencer’s comic book.12-27-14

362/365 – Sunday, December 28th: Playing….surprise…Legos with Spence before we left Cincinnati. 12-28-14

363/365 – Monday, December 29th: Yep, still Legos. 12-29-14

364/365 – Tuesday, December 30th:  This brown-eyed boy’s last bubble bath of 2014.  12-30-14

365/365 – Wednesday, December 31st:  If you don’t have this kind of silliness happening on New Year’s Eve, then you just don’t know how to party.12-31-14

My favorite photo this week? It has to be number 365 –  the smile on Dexter’s face is pure joy.  Oh, the joy my little family has brought to me in 2014.  It has been a good year and I really should not complain. We may not have everything we think we want, but we do have what we need and for that I am thankful. What is your favorite picture this week?

Happy New Year,


2014 Resolution Results

I had 3 main goals in 2014. First, to start and complete a Project 365 (taking at least 1 photo every day for a year with my DSLR and sharing on my blog). Second, to stop yelling at my kids completely. And third, to make my health a priority by exercising regularly throughout the year (with a measurable goal of running 300 miles in 2014).

Here’s how I did.

  1. Project 365 has been a breeze. There have been at least a handful of shots taken desperately at 11:30pm because I almost forgot, but I have successfully taken a picture every day with my DSLR AND kept up with sharing them in a weekly blog post titled Catch the Moment.   Added bonus/challenge for me – I took them all on the Manual setting! You can review them if you’d like by clicking this link. I plan to make a small photo book with the year of photos. What I loved about it was that it forced me to capture things I wouldn’t normally. Boring moments that are too easy to forget. It forced me to find beauty in the ordinary. I noticed the sun beams shining through the clouds over a sprouting cornfield on my way to work in a whole new way. Doing the project has increased my interest in casual photography and I would like to think that practicing for a year in manual has also increased my skill somewhat.  Success.
  2. Project Stop Yelling has been more of a challenge, but not a failure by any means. I realized about 3 months into the year that PMS has a great deal with my patience and my patience has a great deal with my yelling. I have recognized that my yelling has more to do with how I’m feeling than what my kids are doing. When you find yourself saying things like “stop acting like a 2 year old” to your 3 year old, you have created an “it’s me, not you” situation. I still have some progress to make and I stopped trying to count how many times I yelled but I know this year was much better than last and I think 2015 will be my best year as a mom yet. Progress.
  3. Project Run 300 Miles was destined to fail from the beginning. I had strep twice, the flu, and 3 separate stomach bugs in the first 6 weeks of the year. When I tried to pick it up again in mid-February, a knee injury slowed me waaay down. It’s been a gradual and slow process. Not to say that I have maintained the necessary level of motivation throughout the year to reach my goal of 300 miles, regardless, but the cards were stacked against me from the beginning. I don’t have good knees. I really have no business running. I hate running, until I’m done running. Then I love it. I love the challenge because it’s hard for me and I love the feeling of accomplishment when I run further than I thought I would or could. On a positive note, I did run further this year than I ever have before (my longest run being 3.6 miles) and I did run my first entire 5k in September. My goal was to run 25 miles per month or 300 miles in the year and I ended up with a total of 89 miles ran.  Disappointing. Ultimately my goal was to maintain my weight loss from 2013 with regular exercise and a healthier diet. My goal in 2013 was to lose (and keep off) 20-24 pounds. I maintained a 25 pound weight loss throughout 2013 and the first half of 2014.Right now I am at a 17 pound loss and I am not okay with that. I’d like to get back to a 25 pound loss and stay there.  I’d call this one Breaking Even – a mixture of small successes and disappointments.

I will be building off of these three goals from 2014 as we move into 2015. Photography, Family, and Fitness. Up next on Mommy in the Midwest: 2015 Resolutions. Stay tuned. 🙂

Did you make resolutions? Did you keep them?


2014 resolution check-in

My three resolutions for 2014 and my progress towards them with two-thirds of this year behind me…

1. Stop Yelling.

I decided to try to go an entire year without yelling at Theo and Dexter.  It wasn’t long before I had a couple of relapses and I quickly noticed a pattern.  It wasn’t them – it was me.  I was yelling when I was tired and/or PMSing.  I never put it together before until I started tracking how long it’d been between my meltdowns where I totally lost my cool.  My tolerance and patience is sliced in half when I’m hormonal – who knew?  I know that shaming my kids is not okay. Humiliating them with my size and power is unacceptable.  I’m not doing that anymore, so I call this an overall success so far in 2014.  Not perfect by any means, but better. While I can’t say that I haven’t raised my voice out of annoyance or frustration, I’m MUCH more aware of my own mood and how it impacts my parenting. The result at this point is that I am noticing a calmer tone in the home.

2. Run 300 miles.

Pretty much a major fail. My plan was to run about 2 miles three times a week all year.  Lofty, but that’s what dreams are, right? I blame the practically immediate demise of this dream on an uncooperative body.  I had two bouts of strep throat, a stomach bug, and THE flu in the first 6 weeks of 2014.  When I tried to get back to running in February, I had intense knee pain.  I injured myself somehow, to the point that standing up from a chair or walking from one end of my office building to the other was painful.  I had pain-free days here and there into the springtime, but I averaged just a handful of runs per month.  August has been my best running month all year with my longest run ever – 3.55 miles.  The day after that, my knees and ankles told me to back off and then the humidity here got ridiculous. I have slacked waaay off the last couple of weeks, but I’m looking forward to getting back into my routine of three runs per week soon. Not anywhere close to reaching my goal, but it hasn’t been completely forgotten.

3. Take a photo every day and document them weekly on my blog.

I have completely kept up with this. I have take every picture I have posted and every picture has been taken with my DSLR. No cheating! (This is not a requirement of the project, but a challenge to myself).  I can’t wait to compile the year of photos into a little book. The bonus is what I hope is an improvement in my photography skill and knowledge. My interest for the hobby has certainly grown, if nothing else.

So there you have it — did you make resolutions and have you kept them? I guess you could say I am at about 1.5 out of 3?