Friday, July 27, 2012

5 Findings Friday

This past week's discoveries, observations, and findings...

1.  I found that some people are uncomfortable with silence. Like the lady that came into the waiting area of the tire repair shop. She could clearly see that I was reading my book while I was waiting for my tire repair. She proceeds to sit down, take her own book out, open it, and then start talking to me about her book, her car ("how will they know which car is mine, they didn't even ask what kind of car it was"), the lack of carpeting in the waiting area, and on and on and on...

2.  I observed that men's eyes are drawn to cleavage like a magnet is drawn to shiny metal.

3.  I observed that in every exercise class there has to be one show off. We had 4 new ladies in my yoga class this week. One of the new ladies (who had to be in her 40's) whips down her yoga mat, plops down, spreads her legs out nice and wide and bends down to put her face to the floor. Let me tell you I have not had that kind of flexibility since I was 6 months old.

Image borrowed from internet

4.  I learned that the joy of an evening spent with my husband celebrating our 26th Anniversary is priceless. Watching the sunset together while on a river boat cruise is magical.

5.  I found that Scout really NEEDS to have two walks a day to relieve boredom, otherwise his mouth gets the better of him.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Perfectionism Kills Creativity

For the past 3 months I have been trying to learn and perfect two different photo editing programs. The learning curve is HUGE, the older I get the longer it takes me to "get it".

While learning these programs, I have been trying to shoot in RAW mode to create the optimum editing material. Then trying to edit it so I have the perfect picture. That's the end goal isn't it?? The perfectly composed, perfectly edited photo.

Found on Pinterest
Along the way to the perfect photo I lost my creativity.

I am still on Day 19 of Ali Edwards 31 Things writing class. Now, mind you, this class started in mid May and finished in mid June. It is now the end of July. What is holding me back? I took the pictures for Day 19 two weeks ago, but I was so focused on the composition, the lighting, the shooting in RAW, learning the editing process that I lost the story.

I think for me life is about the story, about the words. The photos are there to accompany the story, but they are not the centerpiece for me, the words are, the story is.

So I am going to go back to shooting in jpeg, using iPhoto and getting the best I can out of my photos straight out of the camera. This way I can restore my creativity and let the words flow out of me again.

I am going to keep working on learning the photo editing programs, just on a smaller scale . I am going to work on shooting still life pictures to do my editing on, then there is no need for a story to accompany them...unless I want it to.

I see this as the best of both worlds. My creativity and my stories will be restored, and I will continue to learn without the pressure of trying to make it perfect.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

The Beauty of a Sunset

Last night I was able to cross off #2 on my list of 44 Things, Watch a Sunset.

Glen and I got tickets for the Sunset Cruise on the Star of Saugatuck, after we had enjoyed a lovely Anniversary dinner at Marro's.

We arrived at the boat just in time to get a couple of the last remaining seats on the top deck. It was well worth sitting with strangers, the views were gorgeous. The perfect night for a sunset cruise.

Friday, July 20, 2012

5 Findings Friday

We have been encouraged in our blogging class Behind the Scenes to either start a regular series post or include lists occasionally into our posts. I have decided to combine the two ideas and create a every Friday series that is a list.

I just finalized this idea in my head yesterday, so hopefully next week I will have a banner header done for this series and have my own pictures to use.

1.  I discovered that I really like Blueberry Pomegranate Smoothies at McDonalds

2.  I observed that men in their 60's like to gather at McDonalds at 3 o'clock in the afternoon, sit at a large table together and lick ice cream cones.

3.  I found that Subway isn't the most romantic place to have your Anniversary dinner.

4.  I learned that I can learn the photo editing program Lightroom.

5.  I discovered that I am tired of washing dishes by hand. I am so happy that my new Bosch dishwasher comes tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

5 Questions

Our homework for our Behind The Scenes class today was to answer these five questions:

1. What makes you happy? 5 words or less?
Time with husband and daughter

2.  What talent would you most like to have?
To be able to sing amazing in church

3.  Which words or phrases do you overuse the most?
So, Amazing, Seriously, Wee Bit, Just

4.  What is your favorite movie, book or both?
Movie: Hitch with Will Smith (It just makes me laugh every time I watch it)
Books:  LEFT Neglected by Lisa Genova and A Dog's Purpose by W. Bruce Cameron

5.  If you could go anywhere in the world for a creative retreat where might it be?
The Maine Coast in Autumn. I just love the feel of the fishing villages and the colors of Autumn, so many things to photograph. Old buildings, nature, colors...

It was a lot of fun to answer these questions. I am sure I could do this again 6 months from now, and some of the answers would be different, except for the singing one, that will always be a talent I wished I had.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Am I Good Enough

I held my breath as I attached my card reader to my laptop, slipped in the picture card, and pushed the Get Media button.

As 140 pictures loaded, I said a little prayer "Please just let 10 of these be good enough". The reason for my fear is I shot my whole photo walk on Sunday night in camera RAW mode. Shooting in RAW scares me to death. You see, I have been happy (sort of) in my little iPhoto, .jpeg world. Shooting in RAW requires post processing, something else that scares me to death. To me it seemed enough to think about composition, aperture, shutter speed, white balance, ISO and focus.

But this year is about growing, facing my fears, stepping outside of my comfort zone and daring to learn new things.

Out of the 140 pictures that I loaded there are 35 usable ones, and 15-20 that I am pretty happy with, prayer answered. They may not be professional photographer good enough, but they are Sarah Huizenga good enough and that is all that really matters.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

What Defines ME

This week in our Behind the Scenes class we were asked to write our "About Me" section.

Who am I?

If you had asked me this question a year ago my answer would have been: I am Mallory's mom, Glen's wife and I work at The Apothecary Gift Shop. The problem with that answer is that there is no ME in it. I was being what everyone needed me to be for them. Don't get me wrong though, that is my own fault, not theirs. My family has always been super supportive of everything that I have wanted to do. No, it is my own fault, I have a servant heart and I am a people pleaser by nature. I just want everybody to be happy. I had dreams of being creative, I just didn't dare pursue them because that would take time away from my family and job.

Then in September of last year, major changes happened. Mallory left for her first year of college in another state (really only the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, but it seems like another state). I decided to quit my job at the gift shop. It was finally MY time. There were so many things that I wanted to do. Top of my list of ME things was to FINALLY devote time to improving my photography skills.

But I quickly got caught up in house projects and other things I had put off all summer, and before I knew it I had shoved photography to the back burner yet again.

At the start of 2012 I made a decision and I wasn't going to let myself out of it this time. I was going to start taking pictures! I was going to take some photography related e-courses, do the homework that went with the classes, and start a blog to track my progress. I have not been perfect in all my classes, as far as, doing the homework, but I improve with each class. I am learning tons!

I am still happily Glen's wife and Mallory's mom, but I am also a:

Photoshop Elements learner
book reader
chef (in my house at least)
daily exerciser
writer (my favorite discovery about myself)
nature enjoyer

I can't wait to see what new discoveries I will make about myself over the next year, but for now...

This is who I am.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

I Wear My Sunglasses in the House

Yes, I am wearing my sunglasses inside the house today.

No, I don't have visions of becoming a rock star.

I had my annual visit to the eye doctor today, hence the sunglasses, eye dilatation. I hate getting older, every year there is another added annual visit for something in my body. I need annual visits to the eye doctor now because I have thinning retinas. My husband gets thinning hair and I get thinning retinas, I am not sure which one is worse, but at least he can wear a hat.

My thinning retinas were discovered last year at my bi-annual visit. Thinning retinas can lead to holes, tears, and/or detachment of the retina. My eye doctor tends to be overly cautious, hence the yearly visits to monitor their thinning. I am thankful for her cautiousness though, the eyes are the windows to the soul and I would like to keep mine going for a long time yet.

The good news is that mine have not changed in the last year. YEAH!! She gave me some "warm fuzzy" information too, when she told me that in her 12 years of practice, she has only sent 4 people to the laser doctors for repairs. I will pray that I am in the larger percentage of patients that just progress I only go blind slowly.

Glen and I always joke that he will be leading me around because I am blind, but we will get run over by a car because he is deaf and didn't hear it.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Matcha Smoothie - #38 On My List of 44 Things

My Matcha arrived in the mail on Friday. So begins the daily Matcha Smoothies, which is #38 on my list of 44 Things to do while I am 44.

What is Matcha?

Matcha is a premium green tea powder from Japan used for drinking as tea or as an ingredient in recipes. The health benefits of Matcha tea exceed those of green tea because when you drink Matcha you ingest the whole leaf, not just the brewed water.

Mallory discovered Matcha while we were on vacation in the Traverse City area and she went to Light of Day Organics Tea Cupping workshop. She decided that the health benefits were worth a 30 day trial and invested her own money into the 30 day supply. Since she wants to have her own tea shoppe someday, it was also a business venture.

She started making the Matcha smoothies as soon as we got home from vacation, along with a few other lifestyle changes, like getting up at 6 a.m. to exercise Monday through Friday, and eating three meals a day at regular times. Something most college students never do. Her body was in favor of the new routine, running like a well oiled machine. She plans to continue the Matcha smoothies at school, as well as hopefully, the regular exercise and regular meals. I see a blender purchase in the near future.

Since I have had on and off back problems for most of my life, and deal with inflammation almost daily. I figured I would give it a try as well. I have nothing to lose and if it works everything to gain.

Smoothie Process:

1 cup Pineapple juice
1 cup Coconut Milk or Almond Milk
1 banana - sliced
1/2 tsp. Matcha
(I also add a small handful of frozen raspberries, but didn't for the photos, not the nicest color when blended)

Place all ingredients in a blender

and blend...

Pour in a glass, add a straw and enjoy :)