Goals Photography

April is Here

“The first of April is the we remember what we are the other 364 days of the year.” – Mark Twain

I planned no April Fools’ jokes. I fear, however, the gorgeous 80 degree weather with a lovely Spring breeze that we are experiencing today will be Mother Nature’s cruel joke against us. April is, of course, the cruelest month though, despite what T.S. Eliot wrote, January and February seem much more difficult for me. Today the sun is shining and I feel like a new person. A person soon to become one year older but a new person all the same. Ah, birthday month is upon us.

Despite my reservations about my upcoming birthday, I am delighted that it is April. The birds are chirping. The sky is blue. My apple tree is finally forming buds. My lilies sprouts continue to grow daily. The breeze is whipping the curtains. And later today, we’ll take another walk. We’ll eat dinner with the windows open, the screen door pulling the air through the house. We’ll breathe in the fresh air that evaded us all winter. Eventually, of course, it will rain again. But we have boots. And rain jackets.

My April desktop features our loves, old and new: taking walks with our new wagon.

April Desktop

(This month’s desktop came from Designer Digitals.)

I am also pleased to announce that I am on track with my Project 365. My March mosaic is finished.

March Mosaic

But I am also worried. There were a few pictures in March that were done as we entered that haunting eleventh hour and I realized that I had taken no green pictures. My theme for the month was green and despite having taken good, quality, artistic pictures on certain days, I found myself at 11:35 with no green pictures to show for all of my work. I am uncertain if I will do a theme this month though, again, it kept me on my toes. I’m hoping to avoid default pictures (using the only picture I took on a day) or eleventh hour “what can I find in my dark house that is okay to photograph” shots. We will see.

Book wise? I have read 15 books thus far. If I continue at this rate, I’ll be well over my goal of 50 books this year. My worry, of course, is that with the lovely weather we’re having, I’ll be outside chasing small children more than I will be cuddled up on the corner of the couch reading. April, however, is known for rain and the like so I imagine I should be able to stay on track. I have some interesting books lined up. I’m pleased with my progress thus far. The boys have added 25 books to their physical  library (though their list only shows 22; some aren’t available on Goodreads). And I just ordered eight more from Scholastic. What can I say? I can’t say no to a book purchase.

Weight wise, I have hit my first goal (10 pounds)! I am hoping to continue with the weight loss as I have something big planned for later this month. The goal I have in mind for April 24th is healthy and do-able but not at the current rate in which I have been losing weight. It also took me three months to make it this far so I won’t be absolutely devastated if I don’t hit my twenty-four day goal but, still, I’ll be kicking the workouts up a notch!

April will be a busy month for us. I’m learning to re-balance my time. My #momspotting gig has come to an end but I’m now a Contributing Editor for Mom Central on the Tech Blog. (My first two posts are up! Go see!) I have some interesting photography prospects going on as there are many newborns in my life right now. Add in Easter (and these cupcakes), the start of t-ball season, four other family birthdays, my birthday, rehearsals, the big thing at the end of the month (oh-so-secretive, no?) and the daily ins and outs of life and April seems to be overwhelmingly busy.

Overwhelmingly wonderful as well. Happy April!

Family Goals Living Life Photography

Gathering Roses in January

©Jenna Hatfield, 2008

“It is the memory that enables a person to gather roses in January.” – Unknown

©Jenna Hatfield, 2008

January is over. I can’t say that I’m sad to see it go. What started off as a wonderful month has become an increasingly difficult year. The death of my beloved Grandfather has thrown me for a loop, leaving me unable to find the words to properly blog over the past few weeks. With some other severe health concerns in my husband’s family, FireDad and I are somewhat dreading the continuation of this year. That sounds so negative and unlike me, unlike us as a whole.

And yet, while I’ve been immensely sad, the quote above applies. Something about the passing of someone so dear allows us to reach into the back caverns of our mind and remember things we simply hadn’t taken the time to pull to the front of our brains. I know that I was lucky. Or, rather, I am lucky to have been so loved by such a wonderful man. I am the luckiest of all of the grandchildren in the fact that my children not only got to meet their great-grandfather, their Big Papau, but they got to love and interact and play and laugh with him as well. I feel sad that my brother and his wife won’t know that same joy. I feel even more sad that the other grandchildren won’t get to introduce their future spouses to Grandpa. Maybe I am the luckiest. I do try to remember that.

Despite the grief of this month, it’s been a rather successful one. I’ve read eight books and, no, I don’t know where I found the time. I hit my deadlines though it was very difficult for me to do last week and contributed to a lack of blogging here (and there). I drove around Ohio. We just finished the floor in our kitchen and dining room (more about that project here). (By we I mean my amazing husband with a smidgen of help from his dad, his grandpa and a phone call to one of my uncles.) I started yoga in a class setting and really kicked up my own personal workout time, successfully losing two pounds this month (though I may have gained that back this weekend during a lovely day out with my friends). I started hosting two separate (awesome) giveaways. I had a post syndicated on BlogHer (go leave a comment on my parenting in public post if you would). And I took (at least) one picture, every single day.

Project 365 January 2010 Mosaic

In 2008 when my maternal (step)Grandfather died, I failed that very week at Project 365. I really thought that the passing of my paternal Grandfather would do the same. Instead, in the confusing hour after that phone call, I picked up my camera and expressed my grief visually. I may fancy myself a writer but the photographer in me comes out when I can’t find the words to say what I’m feeling in the deep recesses of my heart. January, of course, proves difficult in this region when it comes to creativity and lighting. I do hope that during the month of February I can work on being a bit more creative and not just flubbing through the project. Either way, I’ll keep at it.

January was difficult but it seems that I not only survived but managed to be rather successful despite the fog of grief. I will admit that even though they often bring tears, remembering and sharing stories and memories about my Papau has been a welcome distraction from the sadness. It’s been my way of gathering roses in this bleak midwinter month of January. Though, I’ll be honest, I’m ready for Spring as I have an idea to honor my Grandfather.

Plus, I’m cold. Brr.