Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The BMIR is in the Building

Santa was in town on Friday.  The real one.  The BMIR (Big Man in Red). There are many impostors out there.  You can call them "helpers" if you want to, but I think the fake Santa industry has gotten a bit out of hand. I mean, where is the quality control? Who screens these guys? Case in point: my six-year-old rushes up to me after sighting one of those "helpers" and says, "I know that's not really Santa. Santa doesn't have pimples." Could we please raise the hiring standards for our Santa impersonators? A Santa with pimples ain't helpin' anybody. But I digress.

Anyway, the real BMIR was here.  For two hours only.  He comes every year to our favorite little toy store. And we get a private audience with him. Well, we do and all the rest of our little hamlet who know a good thing when they see it.

On these yearly visits, Santa takes as much time with each kid as is needed. You bring your own camera and take as many shots as you like. We talked to Santa about how he heats his sleigh (it a magic heater, in case you are wondering, and it only works on Christmas Eve). We now know what kind of cookie he likes best. I'm not going to share that with you, because then you all would be leaving out the same kind of cookie for him on Christmas Eve, hoping to butter him up a bit to get some extra presents under your tree and that wouldn't be right. Santa needs to have a variety of cookies throughout the evening. And he now knows he can get his favorite at one special house. That works out nicely, don't you think?

But anyway, I almost forgot to mention my kids. They told Santa exactly what they want, but only one thing each. I couldn't believe that they only requested one gift. We are talking about nine- and six-year-old American boys. You know they want it all. But all they asked for was one. Maybe manners? Maybe a test? We'll see. But one of the items is on backorder  for a very long time and Santa clearly knew this as he told my son that the Elves were severely backed up on production of said toy and he then gently tried to steer my one son in another direction. My son would have none of that re-direction and said politely, "Thank you for the other ideas, but I want the ?@*&."  So Santa better be creative on Christmas Eve.  I am sure he will.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

The Greatest of These is Love

A decade and a half ago, I married a hippie. He had long hair, played in a band, wore Birks, drove an old VW van, classic hippie stuff.  He was fun, kind, and funny. We had such great times. We road-tripped across the country from the deep South to the stunning Southwest. Twice. We tent-camped next to fabled Indian vortices of Sedona. We became vegetarian and fermented kombucha tea on top of our kitchen cabinets. We adopted a three-legged cat. We wrote our own wedding vows, borrowing wisdom from Corinthians, Star Trek and The Donny and Marie Show. We spent Saturdays in Piedmont Park. We eshewed the conservative and said "we will never..." alot. We lived an enchanted life.

Many changes come over fifteen years. We no longer live in the deep South. When we camp now, it requires much more than a tent. The vegetarianism lasted for the first ten years. Arnold, the three-legged cat, is gone and has been replaced by two human sons, two other cats, sundry gerbils and fish. The VW van somehow morphed into a Volvo wagon then into a Toyota Sienna. And most of the "nevers" have come to pass.

But some things haven't changed. I have been married to the same wonderful man for the last fifteen years. He is a hippie at heart underneath that corporate, techy facade. His long hair is gone, but he stills plays in a band. And he is still fun, kind and funny. And we continue to have great times. I love that our outward changes have been dramatic and at times surprising. It makes for great stories for the kids! And yes, we still live an enchanted life.

Happy Anniversary Baby! I love you!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Captured Unaware

I've said before that I love photographs of people when they are Captured Unaware. Private moments secretly caught are so revealing. Posed portraits can never tell stories like that. Recently, I had the opportunity, nay the pleasure, of photographing the children of a wonderful friend. We got some really nice posed shots for the family, but my favorite of the day is this sweet little shot of the daughter.

She is absolutely precious.  I love everything about this casual shot, taken secretly as she walked past.

I played with it a little to give it an old, sepia feel and I love this one too.   
Her innocence is captured here but for a moment...wouldn't it be nice to keep that innocence forever?

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

I Believe...It is December

As many of you did, I spent much time in November being thankful.  I participated in a Giving Thanks challenge, whereby I listed something on my blog that I was thankful for each day.  I really enjoyed the challenge.  It made me think each day about what was meaningful in my life.  I probably would not have had such reflective thoughts without the structure of the challenge.  I got so much out of it that I have decided to challenge myself again in this month.

December and all its pertinent holidays bring to mind belief.  On all levels, December represents belief.  Belief in a higher power, belief in the goodness of our fellow man, belief in magic, belief in the unbelievable.  My challenge this month is to examine and note the things that I believe in.  I am not an overtly religious person.  My spiritual life is private and I hold my convictions close to my vest.  So this challenge is not all about the religious aspects of belief.  It will be, for me, an opportunity to reflect on what I hold dear, what I know to be true, what gives me comfort.  It will be what I believe.

I would be thrilled if some of you would join me this month.  You can grab the "I Believe" button to the right of this post and put it on your own blog.  If you do so, please comment below so others can follow and see what you believe.  Pass it along.

So to start, I believe that belief is powerful and a creative force in all our lives.