Category Archive: Uncategorized

Glorious February 16

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You know a good time has been had by all when shoes are left outside by the trampoline. No, not the cheap flip flops from Target that are crusty from wear and weather. The good sneakers. Kicked off during jumping fun. Forgotten during outdoor play.

Today I’m okay with a little bit of global warming. It’s enough to kick away the winter blues.

The Hair Adventure

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Sometimes gray hair sparkles. It shines. The light hits those silvers and just gleams off the top of a head, but the trick is when your friends are getting older and you’re not sure if they’re going gray and you just feel kinda awkward about saying anything out loud so you don’t. (Which is really the perfect thing because if you can’t say something nice we all know it’s best to say nothing at all.)

I’m here to say that I’m done coloring my hair. Yes indeed, that is gray hair you’ll be seeing on my crown.

I reserve the right to color my hair again someday. I may hate the silvers and decide to go deep brunette again. I may love the silvers and accentuate the whole noggin with purple stripes. Who knows? The world is my oyster! But for today, I’m done coloring my hair.

I’ve been covering up gray hair for around seven years now. In my early 30’s gray equaled shame in my mind. I’m not even sure why I bought into the message that gray was shameful, but I did. Each offending hair was first plucked out and then later covered with a mess of hair dye. I love my hairstylist—she’s a longtime friend who always makes me feel like a million bucks in her chair. She’s done a terrific job of coloring my hair all these years! But I am just over it. I don’t want to spend the big bucks on it anymore. I find it’s hard to match my dark color as time goes on. I’d like to skip the chemicals on my scalp. But most importantly, I’m not ashamed of the gray any longer.

Why did I fear the change in hair color years ago? Everyone says it’s because gray makes you look old. But NEWSFLASH, I wasn’t old then. I’m not old now. And WHAT’S WRONG WITH OLD? For real people, what is wrong with age? We have got serious problems in our society. We’ve got 50 year olds trying to look like they’re 25. For what and why???

I love being a woman. I really like lipstick and have no intention of giving it up in order to go au naturel on my lips. While I’m fine with the natural color God gave my lips, I do like to jazz it up a bit. Hair is no different. Silver stripes are a choice I’m making and I’m cool with that. I’ve read up quite a bit on going gray young and it’s fascinating to me how many women are insulted for making this choice. Hear me now: you don’t have a say in my hair coloring choices, friends. Do what you want with your own head. Too many women are treated rudely for this choice in particular and I think that kind of commentary needs to end. One gal was called a witch the other day! (Be careful who you call witch, right? You may just end up with a spell cast on you; I’m thinking some sort of animal tail or your mouth closed a la Neo in The Matrix.)

Men tend to be called sexy when they go gray—think George Clooney—and women are called witches. Let’s change the dialogue here, people. In so many ways, let’s be kind to one another. You can start with me.

PS: One last weird thing I’ve noticed when I’ve mentioned I’m letting my silver hair grow… Almost every woman then talks about her own choices, often with defensiveness. Listen to me when I say that I’m really not judging you or staring at your head—you do you and I’ll support you in it.

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Plum

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Don’t be so glum,
plum.

Don’t feel beaten.

You were made
to be eaten.

But don’t you know
that deep within,
beneath your juicy flesh
and flimsy skin,

you bear a mystery,
you hold the key,

you have the making of
a whole new tree.

From Plum

The Springly Springing of Spring

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16 Years by the Grace of God

Happy anniversary, Jeremy Tredway! I love you.

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Pausing to Create in 2014

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We were leaving the hospital after visiting sweet newborn Asher when Livia stopped walking and asked for my little camera. I handed it to her and stepped back to watch her work. She stood in front of a water feature in the lobby and snapped a shot. She leaned way over into the water—camera still in hand—so I quickly pulled her back, put her into position and encouraged another shot.

It was a small moment for sure. We tucked the camera away and continued walking down the long hallway to the parking garage. But man, what a proud moment for this photographer mama. Taking the time to pause our lives to pursue creativity? It doesn’t happen all that often!

As a photographer, I always want to listen to the internal voice that says, Stop, look again, now shoot it. But I think this little lesson goes far beyond photography. It’s a reminder to enjoy life, to soak it in. Decorate a cake, maybe for no reason. Sit down and luxuriate in reading a book instead of being online. Knit something. Build something. Put a new piece of art on your walls. Wear eyeliner instead of just mascara or set the table with your wedding china instead of the stuff from Target. In 2014 I want life to not just be the responsibilities and to-do’s on my checklist; I want it to be the creative cream filling, enjoyed and savored because it is rich and wonderful.

December 23

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God is so good. Welcome to the world, Asher Ambrose Cranford! You are an amazing baby with a wonderful family and we are so glad you arrived safely. I look forward to cuddling you again, darling baby boy.

Congrats, Elaine, Matt, Quincy & Chance!

My Week Off

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I chose to ignore my Facebook account last week. Some of you think this is dumb and unnecessary while others of you think social media is of the devil. So let’s just say there is a wide variety of opinions on the matter.

I read my Facebook newsfeed quite faithfully because it connects me to people. I love to know what’s going on in my friends’ lives and I find it completely fascinating. In some ways it grounds me and also equips me for real life connections. All good there. But I am also too easily influenced by everyone else’s thoughts. When a friend posts a link to a great article, I really want to read it. It sits in my brain as being a matter of utmost importance and I end up adopting the battles other people find significant. My brain started getting tired. My filter that separates “what you find important” from “what I find important” is a very flexible one. This serves me well in real life (as an ESFJ) and I will be a great listening ear and fight in your corner when you need me to. But just because someone posts an interesting thought or article doesn’t mean they need me. And sometimes I need a break from all the influences.

During my week off of Facebook and Instagram and People.com and the like—don’t laugh, or do; yes, do—I had less to do online and definitely felt the grip of What’s happening? lessen in my mind. I had to make sure to text and email friends privately to keep up with them rather than feel connected by reading their statuses. I didn’t read about Miley Cyrus for one straight week (hot diggity dog, what a relief!). I spent a lot of time working on photography, which is the way it should be during my busiest season.

Will I change my online reading habits in the future? I’m hemming and hawing on deciding anything. One one hand the addictive need I have to get on Facebook—and trust me, it is addictive—is not something I want to invite back into my life. On the other hand, I’ve missed keeping up on your lives. My guess is that I will struggle to figure out a helpful, life-affirming balance for myself. What I do know is that taking a break every so often is a beneficial choice for me.

Speaking His Loaf Language

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Another post is up at Her View From Home. Photography by yours truly, column by the fabulous Maralee Bradley.

Forgive the terrible pun in the title, but really, it works for me tonight. It’s kinda true—bread does seem to be Josh’s love language—and it’s all I’ve got after a long and delightful Sunday.

Speaking of bread, here’s one of my all-time favorites: Honey Whole Wheat Bread. I haven’t made it in forever, but my mouth is watering just thinking about it.

2013 – April 29

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Psssst. Trees? You’re up. It’s your turn to shine. The grass has gotten the message. The tulips have gotten the message. The spotlight is on you now. Dazzle us!