Monday, January 30, 2012

Identify what you really, really want....

I recently attended a workshop for utilizing the law of attraction. The prequel work was to get clear, really clear on what you really wanted. This was hard for me. I have a pretty awesome life already.
When push came to shove here are the things that I wanted more in my life.....
Like everyone else, my goals for this year included losing some weight. You can see that I picked the magic number of 25 lbs. Not so much that I can't rock the body I have, but I do want to be healthier and I think that means slimmer too. I also wanted to take some amazing pictures this year, more brides, love to catch some bears and other wildlife, you get the picture.
Ever since this house has been built, I've wanted to change my kitchen. My children begged me not to get an island bar like our previous home. I gave in and guess what?!? Those dang children grew up, moved away and none of them live here anymore and I'm stuck with their kitchen.
I want to be successful in my "other" business with Send Out Cards so it's represented as well. And I want to travel a little bit, all in the sake of taking great pictures of course. After getting clear with what I really want... an opportunity presented itself. A chance to travel to China. Crazy huh?
Due to other changes in my family, I may not make it to China until 2013, but anticipation is half the fun of traveling. My challenge to you... get clear on what you really, really want and see how quickly it is delivered.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Make more mistakes....

I recently had a conversation with a co-worker that wanted some tips on photography. She got a new digital camera over the holidays. The best advice I can give is if you want to be a good photographer, take pictures. (that means practice) If you want to be a great photographer, take lots of pictures. (In other words, practice alot.) Not too long ago I visited Hardware Ranch in Hyrum, Ut. There wintering elk come to be fed, and for a small fee you can take a horse drawn wagon ride out into the middle of them. As long as you remain on the wagon the elk, though nervous, don't perceive you as threat. And you can take pictures up close and personal.
 With good editing you can produce some fairly good images of wildlife. At hardware ranch I had the same difficulty that I have at the zoo. Most of the animals aren't aware that they should be posing, so instead of National Geographic, it looks more like a picture book of jokes.

Keep in mind that the wagon is moving, so I am counting on the focus feature of my dslr. The above picture blurred out the grass in front of the elk, so there is a slight blur running up the center. This is because the depth of field was limited to the elk, so most things in front and behind are less sharp and clear. So why did I start the post with "make more mistakes"? Because the things that go wrong often make the best memories. My favorite shot of the day won't win any prizes and has little significant value, other than the memory.
This is a young bull elk. Most of the elk that winter at Hardware Ranch are pregnant females and their still suckling less than year old calves. The mother elk are basically eating for three so they find an easy meal in the meadow and teach their children to do the same. As the males mature, they don't frequent the meadow as often. They are big enough to forage in the deep snows. This bull elk seemed embarrassed to be seen at the meadow and had it's head buried in the straw. The shot I took is not perfect because I bumped along in the wagon I focused on the straw (in focus)  instead of the elk (less focused), but right or wrong, I captured the memory.
So if you are not making mistakes you are not trying hard enough. Be far enough outside your comfort zone that you can't perform perfectly. Flawed may not be perfect, but it is more interesting.

The "END" of course.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

What do you do with a drug induced compliment?

I've been slow to blog in January because I was getting my act together. I was trying to determine the theme for my year...kind of like a prom? Should it be my year of gratitude? How about the happiness project? And resolutions for me are just a set-up for disappointment, not that I don't have goals, they just don't always have positive outcomes.
So as my followers may remember, in my other life, I am a registered nurse. I'm the nurse you meet after your surgery as you are just waking up. I'm the person that assures you that you didn't die because I'm no angel. In any case today, my male patient opened his eyes and said," has anyone told you today that you are beautiful?" Actually no, you can be the first. (Seriously, I'm not making this stuff up). General anesthetic can skew your sense of reality. The patient then told me..."yeah, you look like a young Sigourney Weaver." Thus, the avatar picture. On a good day I can pull that off. I was looking for a picture from "Alien" but I didn't want to be confused for the slimy monster. So there you have it, I can rock it as a young Sigourney Weaver, with or without blue makeup. ;D

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Be someone's hero today....

    During this past week, Ogden suffered a tragedy. 6 Police officers/agents/detectives were shot while serving a warrant. Usually these things get written up in the newspaper and remain far removed from you personally. This one touched my life and therefore touches the lives of all the people I know. Professionally, I'm a registered nurse. This week someone told me I was a "hero". I don't wear a badge or carry a gun. So the role of "hero" is never one I would place myself in. It made me wonder what a "hero" really is.
These are navy nurses aboard the USNS Comfort. THey leave their families for deployment to serve people in other countries. When not abroad, they serve military men and women wherever they are stationed. Are they heros?

These are random service men and women that provide "force protection" for the medically trained personnel so that they can serve the people. Are they heros?
More military personnel. Are they heros? While pondering this question...I've thought of all the heros in my life. Sure, some of the heros carry a gun and wear a badge. Others drive my son for carpool. Some have taught my daughter how to cross-stitch. Others are skilled practitioners that can diagnose or surgically correct what ails you. Others give me a hug when they see that I'm having a bad day. So I think that maybe yes, I can be a hero. I'm the nurse that wakes you up after surgery. The one that tells you, "you made it." The one that helps you manage your pain and reorients you to time and space. So a hero then is someone that does something for you that you can't do for yourself. A policeman will protect you from criminals. A firefighter will put out a fire. A teacher will encourage your child to learn. So go out and be someone's hero today. Do for them, what they can't do for themselves. We can never have enough heros. (Cape and tights optional)

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Farewell to 2011

I can not fully embrace 2012 and all of the challenges, opportunities and resolutions that entails without first reflecting on 2011...
We started in January with a winter wedding. Careful to hide cold ears, noses and fingers. I once told a winter bride..."a winter bride is a cold bride." To which she schooled me, "a winter bride is a happy bride." So there, how is that for perspective?

Then I rode a dog sled in Denali Park in Alaska in February. Who goes to Alaska in February? A mom desperate to see her daughter and son-in-law. This year I'm waiting for balmy March before I fly north.

During April and May I went to sea. I served aboard the USNS Comfort in the nations of Jamaica and Peru. I'm still not sure where the courage came from to leave my home and step so far outside my comfort zone. For 28 days I performed as a PACU nurse alongside Navy, Army and Airforce. What an experiance!!!

Returning from foreign soil, celebrating July 4th was more sweet and tender. We really do live with the most freedoms and opportunites of any nation in the world.

And every summer we get to witness the right of passage. This is James during his first t-ball season. Look at him go.

We celebrated the return of our daughter from her adventure in China.

More weddings. Congratulations Michelle and Matt. What made this wedding especially sweet? My daughter flew in from Alaska to participate!!! Yeah!

Another summer experiance checked off the list. Swimming at the pool with duchess.

And that returns us back to another winter bride. Congratulations Savannah!

So keeping it all in perspective, we survived another year. What is in the past is in the past and the only thing we can change is our future. So embrace 2012 and welcome the opportunity to experiance it.