Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Snowed In... (my view from the inside)




Last week we got a blizzard that shut down every one and thing for a week. I got an extra 3 days off work and we split the time between exploring the snowy drifts up to my hips, and staying in and cozying up in the warmth and peace of a world covered in a blanket of snow. I mostly stayed in - the last couple weeks my body has told me to slow down and start preparing for the little one.
Now I realize what the phrase "nesting" really is. It wasn't my intuition to sew or cook or arrange nursery furniture. In one week I have emptied every closet and room in this house, vacuumed every corner, and gotten rid of extra stuff that has just been taking up room. After my last post, I decided to take a break from the internet, and got busy with my long to-do's that need to be done before the first week of April.

A few pictures from our week of being snowed in (my view from the inside).





This is such a scary, but sweet picture at the same time. At my last ultrasound, it almost took my breath away to see how much babyjoon has gone from a tiny little wiggly worm to a real baby. She stretched and wrapped her fingers around her tiny toes, sucked her thumb, and looked around. There were so many sweet photos to be taken, and in the end when the ultrasound tech printed them off, I ended up with 3 front-view pictures (you never want to see your alien child from the front while they're in the womb) and one of her crotch. This is the least terrifying of them all, and even though it's a bit scary I have stared at it for hours. The background to my phone, and something I look over 15 times a day. Studying her big eyes that will surely be brown, her round cheeks and belly, and her pouty lips. I can't wait to meet her.







The finished pillows. I decided to stop at two, since there are so many other pillows on the couch that I couldn't get rid of. I bought this green one almost 10 years ago at a thrift store.










Her quilt is almost done.







I feel like my love of tea has turned to addiction when I switched to a mug with a handle.






The last few weeks I've been teaching myself a thing or two about aperture.

I get lots of questions about photo editing, and I hate to always come off as rude or unhelpful, but I don't do a lot of editing. These three photos were taken with 3 different settings, with no editing afterward, other than resizing.
I have taken photos every single day since I was 17 years old and got my first camera. That's 11 years invested in a hobby I am passionate about, so it has grown into something I understand, that comes naturally to me. I might take 15 pictures of the exact same thing until I find one I like. The little egg with a sprout was one of 7 photos that I took until I got the lighting and depth of field correct.
So, friends, if you really have an interest in something, don't look for the easy way out. Not only does it show, but you're not really nurturing a hobby that you want to grow into something creative. Just slow down and take the time to read your camera manuals, and practice, practice, practice. Photoshop doesn't fix everything.


...


Sorry for the quiet, this last week. With my online break, I have been thinking about a lot of things. And even though there is a huge pile of emails stacking up that I need to return, my time away has made me desperate for more of the same. I have these inner battles with television and internet - tv I can do without completely, and have no desire for. The internet has always been my creative outlet. A place to tell stories and post photos of all my favorite little things. But I hate the time it takes up, and a week away has really shown me how many things I can accomplish that are truly important to me.
Sometimes I am not the best blog friend, and I can't always answer every question or read every blog or make posts on the things you want to hear. As this space grows, so do the number of people that visit here daily. This week we were featured on Dear Baby and Fit Pregnancy, and yesterday there were a little under 12,000 visits (!!!) to this blog.
And as more and more people come, I have to try harder to remind myself why I have this space - to share a few of the photos I take on a daily basis, (for myself, not the internet) and to hopefully add a bit of light to someone's day. But that has limitations. I do not and will not ever use this blog as a form of income, so I have to limit my time here or it starts to interfere with my daily life and the things I need to be making time for. Cooking dinner, taking the dog for a walk, finishing a sewing project, and getting ready for our little family of 3....there are so many things I can not take time away from. These days I need nothing more than to be still. To take a long bath with no distraction of Facebook or flicker of light other than the candles. To breathe, and focus, and find a place inside myself to prepare for new journeys ahead.
This space will stay, but I have to spend less time here. I apologize a thousand times that I am a poor blog friend, but life always comes first. I hope that doesn't take away from the fact that coming here to find all your comments is such a sweet part of my day, even if it's only for brief moments here and there.

So thank you, friends. For the thousands of you that visit here every month, even though I don't give back much at all. It means a lot to me, and keeps me coming back when all my lists are done, and the world has quieted down enough to allow an hour a couple times a week to share a bit of my life with you.


All my best,
Aura



coming next: Snowed In... (my view from the outside)



Losing Keys - Jack Johnson

65 comments:

Fashionably Learning To Be said...

Thanks so much for your wise words. I am just starting a blog. It is so easy to get caught up in spending a bunch of time on it. I already have to re-focus on why I'm doing it...which is a creative outlet for myself.

Thank you so much for sharing your lovely pictures, stories and a bit of your self.

http://fasionablylearning.blogspot.com/

Aura said...

You are very welcome, dear.
I see so many people who are completely eaten up by their internet fame, and how they can achieve it. That is not at all the purpose of blogging! Not to mention, what in the world does being internet famous accomplish, anyway?!


I try myself to make this a little window to my life. Other than a few posts like Dressing the Bump, I just blog about things that have already happened that I think I'd like to share, and don't try to force anything. When you are doing something in your daily life just so you can blog about it, I think it has crossed over from a creative outlet to something that isn't natural, and it comes off completely ungenuine.

Caroline said...

Aura, I love the glimpses of your home and of your every day. While it's not usually something astronomical, it's always amazing. I have a blog entry where I say nothing exciting happened, but my day was perfect. It seems like that is your every day, so blessed and thankful for everything, an inspiration. I really enjoy reading about your growing family and the life you're creating. Enjoy living your life and when you have a moment to come here to chronicle it for yourself, know we'll be here too, ready to read it all up.

julie said...

Totally understand you and I am glad you've chosen this way - to live more and spend less time on internet and also saying no to using your personal blog to earn money. It is very rare. I really appreciate your honesty! Stay as you are! Love your blog!

She falls in love, ten times a day! said...

Hi, Aura! Thank you for the post! I was wondering, though, if you’ve ever considered opening a blog/business P.O. box? Or at least some place to receive mail? I know the internet can occasionally be kind of a dark abyss (ha ha, I remember people using your pictures to join LJ rating communities forever ago, how creepy is that), but as someone (and I know there’s lots of others, too) that has been following your stories for years, I feel like you’re a friend and I’d love to send you and Michael and your little bird some gifts.

G. said...

Dear Aura,
these are some very wise words.

Its good to re-focus on the things that really mean something. Like actually living. In the real world, such a beautiful place.
Don't get me wrong, I love love love this blog and your inspiration and all the creativity and photoposts and how you put them together.
But because I know how time-consuming that is, there is nothing wrong with taking time off. And still share, every now and then, all the beautiful things you do.

It's hard to find your very own way in these fast-paced time.
Take care of you and the little bird.
xxx

P.S. Tody i forgot my mobile at home. What-a-joy!

abby | ybba said...

i love how you are so creative ! im totally enjoying these pictures that you are taking! and i can't believe it all from a house mommy! sooo... when is the baby due? :}

raichel said...

I also love to share with you this little window of your life, it's so inspiring...

Mindy said...

Your words always put me at peace. Thank you for that. I love the little bird necklace your sister got you.. any idea where she found it.

Aura said...

Thank you guys, so, so much.
You come here to say thank you to me for what you find in this space, but really, your kind words and understanding do so much for me in return. What a sweet, mutual reward :)


I've thought about opening a P.O. box because I honestly think I would do better with writing back hand-written letters than I would email, but I still struggle with that. I know it sounds so silly but these are the things I think about in my quiet moments. I value the time I have now, and it seems that even though I come up with these brilliant ideas, the easiest way for me to continue respecting my time and peace is just to simplify things. A P.O. box is a bit of an extra expense (and we're on a tight budget these days) and I know I would feel obligated to always write back and send things when I can't commit to that, either.
I feel like I come across as such an unappreciative snob, but it's only because I know myself.
I know that when things like emails pile up all I want to do is ignore the pile and it only makes it worse! How can I ever explain that it's not because I don't appreciate these kind gestures?
It's just a selfish flaw in myself to protect the time I have to give to the things I prioritize.

~3iNnA~ said...

Yes, internet takes a big chunk of your time and I feel the same way. I told my friends & families I must limit my time online and focus on my family & job. So every weekend from Friday after work till Sunday (9pm). I disconnect my blackberry, computer, phone & tv so I can just take it easy.

Thats why I create a blog to keep my friends inform instead on retyping the same over and over on emails. I also have a phobia on posting personal pictures (that I need to overcome). I am pretty new on blogging and reevaluating on blogging also. You don't need to apologize. It is your blog and you can come anytime to share what's important for you.

the maiden metallurgist said...

I love that Ikat fabric.

Megan said...

If you can spare $100 I would REALLY REALLY suggest purchasing a 50mm 1.8. You do such wonderful work already with the 28-135 but since you're learning more about apeature-- you will LOVE that lens. I am a photographer and started with the 1.8 and eventually upgraded to the 1.4 and will go to the 1.2 soon. That lens will change the way you take pictures-- you will be able to cature your newest arrival in a different way than you can with your current lens. If you ever have any photography questions you can e-mail me megangarrisonphotography@gmail.com :) I LOVE reading your blog and am currently 12 weeks pregnant myself :)

Monica said...

I couldn't agree more that life comes first. I've shared the same struggle and came to the same conclusion. Life comes first, and I'd much rather enjoy life and worry about the internet later, if at all. The things that are important to me always make themselves known in some way, and as life evolves, so do our priorities!

Have no shame in needing time away from your blog to focus on your burgeoning life. Everyone needs it and everyone deserves it!

Johanna said...

Don't sweat it, Aura. It's most important to make time for yourself and your family, and there's nothing wrong with hiding out for a while, taking breaks or falling off the blog map all-together if that's what works best for you. I agree- just posting out of obligation challenges the authenticity of your writing and yourself, and then it stops being fufilling and fun. Isn't that the point, all along? I generally don't mind it when bloggers respond to what their readers want, or allow sponsorships or ads - as long as they are still staying true to themselves. That's why blogs are fascinating, because they're about *real* people like me. I'd rather read one great post a month than week's worth of apologetic, forced, impersonal ones. As long as you're sincere and authentic, you can do no wrong. Now go! Get! Back away from the computer. ;)

Chloe said...

Oh Aura, you really see and understand things right! I feel like you about how distracting the internet is in our life and try to remind myself everyday that I CAN live without using my laptop for a day or two and I wish even more. We are so addicted that we forget what life is really about. Ny husband and I don't even have the cable anymore (for years) and guess what we loooovvveee it every single day of our life! It was one of the best decision of our life!

Maybe it ll sound like a weird question but I cannot help but notice that your toe nails are always so white!!! What do you use on them????

Kristyn said...

I love that you don't use your blog for income. It is so refreshing. When I read/&view I feel like I am seeing your creative process instead of a way to market yourself. LOVE.

Hobbies can be so therapeutic -- as long as they don't consume us. I struggle too. You're doing a splendid job.

I'm in love with the picture of your feet and the black lab's paws. I grew up with a black lab and anytime I see one it warms my heart.

I hear it is supposed to snow again tonight... oh, boy. Stay warm!

Kim said...

Beatifully said... Your blog has been such a huge inspiration for my life over the past year or so since I discovered it. I feel that so many people feel the same way and thats why we are all so addicted to your posts :) However I personally find you so inspiring because of the way you really seem to LIVE and appreciate your life and every thing around you. Being chained to your computer pumping out blog posts is much less inspiring. Take your time live your life and we will see you when we see you... because we do love seeing you!
P.S. I dont feel you come off snobby at all. To me you are just seem like a really REAL person, which the internet is definitely lacking (another reason people keep coming back)

Anonymous said...

Because you are so down to earth, would you ever consider not wearing makeup because it is so bad for your skin? Just curious :) I love your blog by the way, you are so inspiring! Please never go away!!!

Because I know you have been to Texas, where would you say is the best city/place to go for a weekend?

Anonymous said...

OMG I just had to say... my daughter's name is Auria June! There was a link to here on "Dear Baby" blog and I just had to check it out. I love your photography. I too have a love of photography and am now turning my hobby into a business. Good luck with all that you do and babies are the best!

Full Cup said...

These photos are simply stunning. I love how you took something so simple, and turned it into a storybook. I feel like I was there walking around your home and experiencing all of the cute decor and personal touches. Thank you for sharing. I have really enjoyed reading your blog.

Molly Jane

PS. Stop by and say hello sometime. I am hosting a February Give Away soon!:)

www.browneyedcharmer.blogspot.com

didi said...

Love your post, as usual. And omg... does babyjoon looking at all of us in that pic? She'll be one of the luckiest girls to have a mother like you.
Thank you for sharing your words and beautiful photos. Take care. :)

Kathleen said...

love those yosemite posters, thrift find?

Hollie said...

I've been drinking my tea out of a thermos lately. It's not as cute as a glass jar, but it accommodates my addiction better than a teacup. :]

I completely agree about staying away from the computer for awhile. My latop was broken for a few days, and I'll admit I was nervous at first about how I was going to feel, but I actually got SO much done around my house, and I realized that I rather liked not being tethered to a device.

I hope you're ready for round 2 of winter! I'm pretty much over it at this point.

Mo Pie, Please said...

Such beautiful, dreamy photos!

An Invitation said...

Being snowed in sounds lovely! I'm glad you're going to focus on what's important. I think that's why we all love your blog, you realize what's important in life :)

Kathleen said...

p.s. jake and I have "black out times" during in our day. no cell phone. no internet. no tv (this is easy because we dont have tv) . no screens. just us.no distractions. our family.

Kate said...

I think your blog is just beautiful, and it shouldn't be any more than what you want it to be (and it definitely shouldn't feel like an obligation). I'm relatively new still to the blogging world but I never expect a "blog friendship" from blogs I read/comment on. emails are different I guess, should be responded to in time if they include specific questions or requests for advice that you are comfortable answering, but again, this blog, I think, is your hobby. Nothing should be expected.

Please keep sharing your beautiful world.

Kristina Fournier said...

I agree, completely. Taking and making the time in our lives for the good stuff - even if it's nothing extraordinary - has been priority number one the past week or two for Stephan and me.

Also, weeks before Charlie came I went into hyper-hermit mode. I deactivated my Facebook for a long time, and constantly battled with myself about just deleting my blog at the time. I'm glad I didn't, but being able to recognize when you need a break and making the most of it is just great. I truly felt at peace and ready when she came. I didn't care about anything else.

Kalei's Best Friend said...

Life is a MIRACLE...Love that bird!.

ellen said...

Aura - it is your absence, and the strength of your conviction to actually LIVE in this life, that makes your blog so desirable. People come here to be inspired to get off of their computers! I love that about your blog.

Anonymous said...

I don't think you should apologize at all! Your posts make ME want to enjoy the little things in life more and stop taking everything for granted. I hope you enjoy your time away. I think we could all use time to unplug and live our lives. Best of luck to you and your growing family!

Melisande said...

i am so excited for you! as usual, your photos and blog post amaze me. i love your little bird necklace-so adorable! thank you for the wise words...it's so important to remember what's important and to make time for those things.

Anonymous said...

Don't stop being you. People need to understand that everyone isn't out there "promoting" their blog. Your's is one of my favorites because you shine through.

Nikole Taylor said...

I really admire you. I have felt this way about the internet and TV for a while. I've always called it "poison for the mind". But I can't seem to distance myself from it. More power to you! I'm just hoping we'll be able to see a lot about your sweet little bird!

xxoo Nikole

Melissa said...

I just love reading your posts!

I have been reading the book of Esther & I can't help but to think of you. (hopefully that's not creepy!! lol) Chapter 1 talks about the king Xerxes of Persia's party & it describes every beautiful detail of the surrounding. I love how you capture the Persian decor in your home. It's beautiful!

Alina said...

Don't worry about how often you post. I adored your blog just as much back when you only posted once a month. Take as much time away for yourself, your life and your sweet baby as you need. Your time on here will be that much more fulfilling and meaningful.

:o) After years of following you, you are still my favorite blogger.

katy {of} katy loves. said...

You don't have to apologize at all Aura. It's such a beautiful thing to read the words of someone who knows herself so well. You make me want to find out who I am more. I'm already working on that, I suppose we all are. Your photographs and how you spend your time, I feel, are making me a better person. Because of you, I turn the t.v. on less and music on more. I work harder on my pictures because, one day, I'll be able to capture my days as beautifully as you. I feel like I often fight my camera and get frustrated when really, I'm the one who needs to be patient and take time to really LEARN it and work with it instead of getting frustrated. You've helped me to start enjoying the simple things in life and amidst the hard times, it's those sweet little moments that make life better.

Do not apologize for making time for yourself, your family and sweet little bird. You're helping so many of us put the important things into perspective. Thank you for that.

katy.

Lis said...

I had wanted to comment on your last post (I read blogs on my Google reader app on my phone, and then I have to remember to go on my regular laptop to comment, just easier) but alas, I did not.

ANYWAY, it's funny you posted regarding something I had wanted to comment on--

I just so appreciate the integrity you had with your blog. I just started "blogging" myself recently, but have been reading for years now (hello, remember Livejournal ha!).

Years ago, people wrote just...to write. To share their life. And people connected.

Then it blew up and all of a sudden became a viable form of employment, and though I still enjoy the blogs that make money--it feels I'm always having a giveaway or affiliate link thrown in my face.

You are just so open and honest. I read MANY blogs (as time allows), and you are the only one not monetizing it in some way. Where ever blogging takes me, I hope to follow in your footsteps.

ALSO, I totally thought that last post (re: dressing your bump) deserves to be in national magazines! WOW. I don't make that much effort and I'm NOT pregnant, lol. But you are inspiring me. We'll see if I follow through. ;)

P.S. L'il Bird is gorgeous!

Annie Kennedy said...

Thank you thank you thank you for showing pictures of snow! :) Those and the picture of your comfy looking bed make me long for winter, although reading your blog and seeing the eveyrday pictures that look so magical has taught me to appreciate a little bit more what I do have. Yes it's unbearably hot and humid, but we had two days of light rain and this morning I'm sitting on my back deck in sunlight and fresh breezes, looking at the amazing view we have, and I wouldn't change it for anything. Sometimes I honestly go about my day with the thought of you and your camera seeing the magic and the beauty. I've grown as a photographer for myself. And I LOVE the birds hanging from the window! They are precious! :)

Joan Blondina said...

I just wanted to say that where I live winter is in full swing with no sign of letting out soon and when I need to boost at work and don't have access to my own photos I look through your gardening photos and get that 'spring feeling'... I'm sure you know the one I'm talking about. Thank you for that!

Gaby said...

I love the way you manage to capture the details of ordinary life and make them look so beautiful. It's really inspiring. I can't wait to see your finished baby quilt! Oh, and I have those national parks photos and I'm always trying to find a frame for them but they never fit :( I'd love to hang them in my house somewhere to remind me of all of my wonderful road trips through the states.

Aubrey said...

Aura, I am just wondering if you remember the name of the paint you used in (I don't know where) where the white antelope sort of head is? We have been trying to find a nice light green for our living room and have been unsuccessful so far!

Kim and Steve Brousseau said...

I felt the same way the past couple of weeks Aura. I felt like technology was consuming my life when I could spend the time with someone else, or use my brain to benefit myself rather than wasting it!!

Caitlin said...

Your words, however often they're written, are always inspirational and beautiful.

Leslie said...

I have read this post several times. Today was a day when I really needed to read something like this. So thank you.

I admire your conviction to keeping your blog an ad-free space and maintaining a rich life away from the internet. Your photography is beautiful and inspires me to approach my own photography more naturally.

Emma O said...

Even more inspiring than your lovely photos is your thoughts about and ambivilence towards internet and timeconsuming blogging. LOVE that you don't wan't to turn your blog into bussines. I think you are wise and have your prioritys right and you should be proud about both your creative room in cyberspace and your protectionism about your "real" life!

Lady Jennie said...

Sending love your way for your gorgeous bird. I come because I like your pictures. It soothes my eyes. I don't expect return visits.

It is so wonderful to wait for baby. Even for number 2 and 3. :-)

Kelly @ Dare to be Domestic said...

We are supposed to get snow here tonight in Alabama and I'm hoping for a snow day. A day free from responsibility and a day to cook chili, relax, enjoy the crisp white views - I hope I'm not jinxing myself I really want a day to slow down. It seems hard to do - when I'm forced into it I take comfort that everything can wait until tomorrow.

These pictures are wonderful. And all that you said about your life coming first is why I love your blog so much. I might have to wait for a while to get another post but you always bring a wonderful story about what's happening in your life because you're living it.

Enjoy yourself! And thank you for sharing the images of your little one, it's so amazing where we are today with technology.

P.S. As a graphic designer, I have to say you're so right. Photoshop cant' fix everything. xo

Bethany Susan said...

thank YOU for sharing your life, your beautiful photos, and your wisdom with us. and for knowing when to step back.

Nicole said...

What kind of camera do you currently have?

Meemo said...

I really appreciate that you don't intend on using your blog to make money. That is so rare these days. The fact that you're writing because you really want to and not because you have to is just awesome. If you post once a week or more doesn't really matter. I think we'll all be here reading your inspirational words no matter what.

Lil Muse Lily said...

As always, beautiful pictures. I felt tranquil and quiet. Really lovely.
The belly and feet shots were my favorites to take when i was pregnant as well. Until, i could hardly see my toes. ;)

Miss Hothouse Orchid said...

Thanks for your honesty. No need to apologize - your "real" blog friends understand!

Anonymous said...

Where did you get your plants?

the space between said...

babyjoon just attended her first party...i hope you both liked it ;)

http://thespacebetweenmsandmrs.blogspot.com/

the lil bee said...

I asked my readers who their favorite photographers are and one of them turned me onto you. I have to say, I am blown away. I don't know much about photography, but I adore it and have been taking photos of my daughter every day since she was born 15 months ago. It's a hobby I'm invested in and love, and I hope to one day get to a place where I'm even 1/2 as comfortable with it as you are. Beautiful pics and congratulations on your little bird to be. I'm due with #2 next week!

Tamara Nicole said...

Snowed in from the inside looks pretty nice:-)

Pssst pretty lady I have a blog award awaiting you . . .

k. davis said...

amen to your "not editing" too much comment... because I get the same questions, and in the end, ansel adams says it best: "In my mind's eye, I visualize how a particular... sight and feeling will appear on a print. If it excites me, there is a good chance it will make a good photograph. It is an intuitive sense, an ability that comes from a lot of practice. " He's SO true with many of his famous quotes, but when I read your words, this automatically popped in my mind! Cheers friend, great post!

Marfio said...

Hello Miss Aura. Please do not worry about being a poor blog friend - you clearly offer each of us something beautiful, wise and true that we can take with us - it's why we keep on reading. Keep enjoying and prioritising your non-internet life - it's the most important of all. All the best to you, Michael, the bub and the rest of your family, M xx

Anonymous said...

your typography is horrible. if you think that is good typography you know nothing about design. don't try to pass yourself off as a designer.

Sini said...

Oh Aura, How you can handle all this.. if my blog would hit that kind of numbers - i would propably stop. I feel like i just want to keep something for myself, and if someone enjoys the same that's nice.
I took time for myself, I actually feel like I have lost myself in the world of computers and I don't take time for myself, doing sports and everything. I kept one week break and I have so much more in my mind what i could do - without computers! I have been missing out so much lately, I won't let it happend again :)

I hope you will keep on blogging still, even it would be once a month or what ever. I love your blog.

Aura said...

Anonymous- Maybe I should put a disclaimer on my blog letting everyone know that I'm not a designer, do not think I am, and also don't take offense from people hiding behind their computer screens. I have never claimed to know anything about "typography," or design, so why you think I would find it insulting to criticize my lack thereof is way beyond me.
This was a post about making a quilt and drinking tea. I'm not sitting here advertising my design work. If you'd learn to read, things would be a little more apparent to you.

Have a great day.

Anonymous said...

Please tell us where your sister got the sweet bird pendant! Adorable.

Abby Warren said...

I'd love to know where all your bedding is from! Love sit-up looks so comfy!
Thanks :-)
Abby