Today I sat in my office, working on designing graduation announcements and sorting images for an album. While searching through massive archives of photographs from the past decade, I ran across a simple photo from one of Ian’s t-ball games and found myself dreaming of green grass and warmer temps. Dreaming of sitting on weathered bleachers, eating way-to-salty popcorn and cheering for both teams. I found myself not working. Instead of working, I was more inclined to stare out my window at the dormant trees, the brown grass and the remnants of ice and snow that clung to the ground… hoping to see them start to turn green. Imagining that the sunshine outside was as warm as it pretended to be.
It’s February 3, 2011 and I’m ready for winter and it’s bleakness to fade into our memories. I’m ready for lush fields of grass in which I have a bride standing in a $3000.00 wedding gown. For beautiful shade trees for an engaged couple to “hang out” while I move about them with my camera.
Guess what,,, it’s not that time yet. So for now, I’m going to take my clients into the dormant world and make art. Art that is their own. I’m going to put on my warmest hat, grab my gear and with confidence and lack of fear, charge headstrong into the world and create beautiful images. … and while I’m doing it, I’m going to dream of t-ball games and endless hours on the soccer field.
Happy Thursday, everybody. Face the cold without fear or regret.
No longer does the mystery and magic of Santa loom large over our holidays. We’ve reached the point where even our youngest is well aware that Santa lives in the hearts of parents, in the dreams of adults to see children wake up on Christmas morning and wonder what Santa has left for him. I’ve enjoyed years and years of lying to my children. Only lying in the sense that Santa was a man from the North Pole…. as Trisha and I have cherished each and every moment of staying up late on Christmas eve, putting together elaborate doll houses, bicycles and countless other items. We’ve enjoyed being the only two up as we ate the cookies and drank the milk. We’ve giggled with one another as we stuffed candy and other small items into our kids’ stockings. That part of Christmas may have changed, but I still plan on staying up with her tonight to keep our time together. To keep a tradition of enjoying her company as we revel in the fact that we’ve some how made it through another year. To keep alive the tradition of giggling like little kids as we anticipate the joy on Conner’s, Erin’s, Amelia’s and Ian’s faces in the morning.
One other tradition we kept alive is our Santa Letter Send Off Party. Some of our closest and dearest friends, the Carter family, came over last weekend with a van full of helium balloons. By the time they arrived ours had been in my office for a small period of time, being kept warm by the heat from our fireplace, our letter was ready to go. All eleven of us, kids and parents, walked out into the openness of the field behind our house and set the balloons free. This year they went straight up. No wind. We watched them for what seemed to be an eternity, but was more like five minutes. Finally they caught a slight breeze,,, hundreds or thousands of feet in the air and we slowly watched them make their way to the southeast…. then they were no longer in sight.
In past years a few of our letters have been found in Alabama, Indiana, Illinois… and one made it as far as the barbed-wire fence a few hundred yards from our house. It’s always incredible when we get the letter back from some kind person. In 2006 our letter made it here… Santa Lives In Paris.
Regardless of what you celebrate…. Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Winter Solstice or Festivus, I want to wish you a great time with those you love,,, and those who love you. Tomorrow my family will celebrate Christmas and the greatest gift I’ll receive is the love of my family.
Here are a few photographs from our letter release.
I’m a lucky man. I have four beautiful, healthy children. I have one wife who is more beautiful than the day I married her 19 and a half years ago. I also have 20 Santa Claus ornaments. I realize that Santa is the very superficial mascot for Christmas, but he is the symbol we chose to add each year. Our very first Christmas as a married couple was in 1991, and it was that year that we bought our first Santa ornament for our tree. We’ve added a new one each year. It is dated so that we can keep track of which one belongs to which year. Some of our ornaments are nicer than others. Some are quite modest. Some years were lean and we could only afford the 99 cent Santa from the local dollar store. Other years were more prosperous and we could spend more time looking for just the right one. What has held true each and every year is that Trisha and I have done this together.
This year we purchased Santa #20. He’s nothing amazing…. other than that he marks the 20th Christmas I’ve celebrated with my wife. For that he is most special.
As we drove home this time from our Santa excursion, I could not help but wonder what Santa #50 will be. Then, as my mind often does, it wandered into darker places. I wondered if she or I will continue to buy a Santa after one of us dies, but I realized that doesn’t matter, for now. For now, I’m going to enjoy this year’s Santa. I’m going to enjoy my wife. I’m going to enjoy my kids. I’m going to enjoy my friends. I’m going to enjoy my family,,, both mine and hers. I’ll worry about those future Santas at a later time.
MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL MY FRIENDS AND FAMILY….. AND TO THOSE WHO DON’T REALLY LIKE ME THAT MUCH.
Sunday our kids made a sign for us to hang over the enterance to our garden. It is to remind us that happiness can be found in many different places. We found happiness right in our back yard. Working together, all six of us, we have grown a nice 1800 sq. ft. garden that will give us tons of food. I love that our kids can see the fruits of their labor, literally.
So my friends and family can enjoy her along with us. For those who don’t know, Erin is the second one to sing (with the blond hair). I’m sorry they didn’t have her microphone up at first, but they got it fixed fairly quickly.
I know I’m her dad, and because of that I’m biased, but Erin sang before she talked. Her barbies would sing to one another when she played as a child. She constantly has music playing and I love to stand outside her door when she doesn’t know I’m there so I can hear her singing.
When she was two she told us she was going to be a “Sing like a woman woman” when she grew up. I hope she gets to fulfill that dream.