What is a 12-12-12 Project?

One of the drawbacks of taking your love of photography and turning it into a career is that, oftentimes, your own family photo album begins to suffer. So much time and energy is spent capturing other people’s memories, that somehow you begin to miss out on your own.

I tried overcome this problem by participating in a 365 Project on this blog, and I completed my first 365 Project in 2011. I have to say, I enjoyed it so much I decided to keep the daily blogging going in 2012.

I also decided to to join in a 12-12-12 Project with some of my best photographer friends. See, I have the pleasure of being part of a member of an online group of phenomenal female photographers. Like me, they are moms and wives and business owners, trying to find a way to balance it all and enjoy the beauty in the chaos. As a way to support and encourage each other to enjoy the beauty in what might appear to be a mundane everyday life, we are launched our own 12-12-12 Project in January.

So, what is a 12-12-12 Project?

12 photos posted on the 12th day of all 12 months of the year (and it just so happens that it is 2012). The photos are supposed to reflect us, our lives, our stories.

I just posted my March Edition today over on my StoriTyme Photos blog. Why don’t you head on over and check it out and let me know what you think! 🙂

StoriTyme Photos 12-12-12 Project March Edition

Excavation 2012 – Day #3 – Under Lock and Key

Back when I was 8 or 9 years old, I was borderline obsessed with hiding things. Don’t misunderstand, I wasn’t a deceitful child, I’d just read way too many Nancy Drew novels. I had a couple of those little diaries that locked, though I was a little disappointed that the locks usually lasted an average of two weeks before they started to tear right off the cover of the book.

Damn that cheap manufacturer’s glue.

But even if the locks themselves were a joke, I had about a dozen hiding places to stash my most prized possessions. I dreamed of one day owning a house with a safe built in behind a swinging bookcase, or a secret compartment beneath the floorboards. And I loved the idea of a hollowed out book to stash things in, but I could never talk myself into actually defacing a book to make one for myself.

Yeah, I’m the type who will likely have money and other random things stashed all over my house when I get old. It’ll give the kids and grandkids something to keep them busy when I die.

When I was old enough to carry my own suitcase on family vacations, I insisted on getting one that came with a little lock and key attached. In my mind, I fancied myself something of an adolescent secret agent, using my family’s trips to Denver and Dallas and the Black Hills of South Dakota as a cover for my covert investigations. I had no idea what I should be investigating, but by God I wanted to be certain that my suitcase full of sketches and writings and evidence was safe from prying eyes.

Once I hit adulthood, I put many of my covert childish fancies aside, and one of the first to go were the luggage locks. I mean really, why do companies even bother to sell luggage with these cheap little locks attached anyway? Most are about the size of my thumb, and are hardly able to withstand a stiff easterly wind without falling apart. If someone wanted to get into your locked suitcase, it would take them all of 6.5 seconds. I mean, just look at this thing…

These days people can’t even make it through airport security with a red velvet cupcake, let alone a suitcase with a padlock on it. Want to guarantee yourself a strip search and detainment in airport jail? Slap a lock on your bag and refuse to open it at the TSA agents’ request. Go on, I dare you.

This particular little lock and set of keys have been hanging out with Steven and I since we got the luggage as an engagement gift back in 2006.

Over the years we’ve lost one key, both keys, misplaced the lock, found a key, found both keys, packed them all away, moved four times, and finally found all of them in the initial unpacking here at the new house.

Funny thing is, I said right away that we should get rid of them, while Steven argued that they were perfectly good and worked and we should use them on our suitcases the next time we traveled.

Luckily, good sense prevailed. I mean, sure, I would still love to have a hidden safe or a hollowed out book full of cash or Top Secret information. Who doesn’t? But when it comes to these cheap little locks and their their false sense of security, I’m ready to draw the line, and this lock and keys will no longer be cluttering up our house.

Goodbye.

365 Project – Day 365 – Christmas Part II, and 2012 Here We Come

2011 is officially coming to an end. I can’t even believe it. Seriously people, where did this year go? I guess I always thought grown ups were crazy when they talked about how fast time flew by. The adults always talked about it, but I was just a kid, and my only sense of time were the seemingly unending school years punctuated by long, hot summers. I guess I can officially classify myself as an adult now, because I find myself marveling at how quickly time is passing.

As I sit here, thinking back over 2011, I am thankful for the abundance of blessings in my life. I have a wonderful and supportive husband, a healthy and precocious daughter, a sweet hound dog, an amazing family, fabulous friends, a rewarding career, a beautiful new home, and much, much more. Sure, there have been plenty of roadblocks and hardships this year, but I am thankful for them too, because surviving has only made us stronger.

After the craziness of the holiday season and two nights of Cadence being fussy and congested, Steven and I agreed that a lazy day at home was just the ticket to ring in the new year. We spent the afternoon watching movies and playing with our daughter. Cadence has been having a blast with all of her new Christmas gifts, and here are a few more of her favorites that kept her busy today…

So many blocks, so little time.
A funny book about Walter the Farting Dog, and yeah, the little stuffed dog makes farting noises. Can you say awesome!?
Time to do a little cooking in our new kitchen.
Hmm...what do we have here?
Our little Iron Chef, whipping up something delicious.
Mmmm...
Cooking with Cadence.
Jingle the dog responds when you read the books. Steven is officially obsessed with this toy.
And another new favorite book from Cadence's godmother Tamatha.

Steven and I had a late lunch while Cadence was napping, so we didn’t partake in dinner of spaghetti and a side of blueberries (two of Cadence’s favorites). If you can judge a child’s enjoyment of a meal by the amount of it covering them at the end of it, I would say that this might have been one of Cadence’s favorite meals ever…

She darn near licked the tray clean before moving onto her fingers. As you can imagine, a bath was in order immediately following dinner.

Once dinner was over and Cadence was bathed, we played around a bit more before bedtime. While we may not have been partying quite as hard as the Times Square crowd to ring in the new year, we were certainly having our share of fun, Romano-style. And for those of you who know Steven and I, you know that Romano-style fun sometimes involves lampshades…

Cadence is catching on quick…

And now, as midnight is drawing near, Cadence is sleeping soundly in bed. Electra is snoring on the couch. Steven is playing his new Batman video game. And I am sipping a glass of wine and writing my last blog of 2011.

Life is good.

So out with the old and in with the new. We are excited to greet 2012 and see what it has in store for us, and I’m excited to start a new year of blogging tomorrow. I will sincerely try to be as good about keeping up with it as I have been this year, and I hope you’ll come along for the ride.

Happy New Year everyone! May 2012 be filled with countless blessings for you and yours.

365 Project – Day 353 – How Am I Doing?

My friend Josh sent me a message earlier today, telling me how impressed he was that I have been able to post a blog every day so far this year. Thank you Josh! I have to say, I’m pretty impressed myself. When I started this whole 365 Project, I wasn’t sure how long I was going to actually be able to keep it up. I’ve watched several people crash and burn trying to do the same thing, and I figured if I made it even six months, I would be pretty darn proud of myself.

With the exception of a couple days in the midst of our recent move when I was without internet or means of posting, I have kept this daily blog for 353 days.

353 days.

353 blog posts (well, actually more, because there were a couple of days when I posted more than once).

Can I get a “Hell yeah!”?

I know not every post is really praiseworthy. Believe me, I’m not deluding myself into believing I’m going to be winning any Pulitzer Prizes or getting an endorsement from Oprah for people to rush right out and read what I’ve written here. But I have to admit, I’m pretty proud of myself for tackling this project and kicking its ass.

Go me.

I’ve already had a few people asking whether or not I plan to continue my daily posts in 2012. You know, at first, I didn’t think I would. I thought maybe I would cut it down to posting just once or twice a week. I mean, let’s face it, these daily posts can sometimes drive me crazy, especially when I’m tired and sleep-deprived and swamped with other things to do and can’t for the life of me think of a topic. And I know you all have probably yawned and skimmed halfheartedly through some of the lame posts, wondering why I bothered to write them in the first place.

But, it’s a sickness. I can’t help myself. I’m a writer and that’s just what we do. Getting something on the page, even if it’s complete garbage, is my daily therapy session, my meditation, my medication. It’s the one thing that connects me to me. And when you’re a wife, a mother, a dog owner, a business owner, and a relatively productive member of society, a little bit of “me” time is often the one thing that can keep you sane.

I had something of an epiphany, right about the time I was packing things in boxes and helping Steven load our hundreds of boxes and bins into the van to start hauling here to our new house. Taking inspiration from my good friend Kara’s Trashed 365 blog (click HERE to check it out), I’ve decided that my 2012 daily blog will be devoted to sorting through every last box, bin, bag, and basket full of stuff in this house and either putting it away where it rightfully belongs, or getting rid of the useless and unwanted clutter.

And really, what better way to get to know someone and their history than to poke through their trash? So, get ready all you internet voyeurs. Soon enough, you’ll be getting a guided tour through some of the best and worst things I have managed to collect during my 31 years on this earth.

Stay tuned. The public unpacking of my life will begin January 1, 2012.

Until then, let me know your thoughts on my 2011 365 Project. Do you have any favorite posts? Least favorite posts? Things you loved? Hated? Wished you had your life back after spending time reading? Thanks for reading!

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