Thanksgiving 2011

Another Thanksgiving has come with full bellies and a satisfied sweet tooth (for now anyway).

It was quite the gathering at Jason’s Mom’s house (my mom too!).

Last year, Sue had been in the hospital since the end of September from a ruptured brain aneurysm and stroke. She got a day pass to eat dinner with the family.

It truly was a miracle and one we will never forget.

To think a year has passed, and here we are blessed enough, to not only have her, but to be able to gather in her home (just like the many many times before).

I love these gatherings because everyone lives in the same town. So everyone is present. That is a true gift.

Of course both turkeys (roasted and fried), the heaps of stuffing, mashed potatoes, green bean and sweet potato casseroles were to die for delicious. Celebrating another year with our mom, a blessing beyond measure. And a thankfulness, I can not express.

The kid's table
The Big Kid's Table

I didn’t take too many pictures of food or set-up. But I had a great time taking pictures of all the cousins (young and old) playing Bingo together.

There were winners, and losers, and lots of prizes.

But all in all, they sure had fun. These memories are what it is all about.

Sue was happy to have her family there. It was a fabulous time.

I didn’t feel good earlier in the day – sinus headache. Thanks goodness by dinner I was okay.

Bridget wore the turkey bow made by my co-worker, she has an etsy shop listed in my sidebar. After a while, it came out, and Sydney just had to “model” it.

Sydney modeling the Turkey Bow

She wears it well!

What is really funny is all the little girl cousins just worship her. They are so cute to watch. I love how they copy her every chance they get.

Future Sydney

I work tomorrow, but to everyone not working, I hope you are having a gracious holiday.

The Journey of Choosing a Photo Edit

Tonight, we dined – on fish! Lots and lots of fish.

My friend, husband, and greatest supporter introduced me to sushi. I only tried it because he loved it. I’m so glad I was brave for love’s sake. I heart sushi. My entire life I did not eat fish, nor like fish. Any fish. I hated it. I did not even want to try sushi. Now? I am a sushi monster. Love!

So, tonight after a birthday party at Dave & Buster’s, we head out for sushi. I was not only thrilled about getting to eat sushi. I was also thrilled to get a picture of sushi for my 365 Project.

This time I didn’t spend too long picking the photo. I got that. But what grabbed me in rapt attention was the edits on this photo. From the original picture, to applying different edits; the picture came alive in all different ways.

This is where photography supersedes to a whole new level. It’s not just the angle, the settings, and the shot. It can be about the edits too.

Here is the picture I took.

Sushi Original Image - used vibrance for color boost.

The rest are the same image using edits (I use Picnik) to enhance/change texture or coloring.

Sushi Infrared Film edit
Sushi Lomo-ish edit.
Sushi Holga-ish edit.
Sushi HDR-ish edit.
Sushi CinemaScope edit.
Sushi Orton-ish edit.
Sushi 1960's edit.

Pretty cool, eh?

I’m leaning towards the Orton-ish for my Day 29 photograph, but torn between that, and the CinemaScope, or HDR-ish. See what I mean?

Thing is, none of these are a better image than the other – they are the same image. It all comes down to preference.

Which is your favorite edit?

Thanksgiving Part Two

As a child of divorce, I am used to multiple Thanksgivings. That is, and was, a way of life. A way of the holidays. You had Thanksgiving dinner with Mom at Papa’s house and then you had it with Dad at Granny’s, either later that day, or another day of the weekend.

When my sister became a grown up, we made trips with her and her husband to my Grandma’s house on her dad’s side of the family (which was not my dad but still family to me) to Colorado. She would drive her three younger siblings (me and my brothers) all the way from Oklahoma through Kansas blizzards to get to Thanksgiving at Grandma’s every year. My sister must have really loved Thanksgiving to go through ALL that. We were three extremely obnoxious and bratty kids (okay, it was mainly me), point is….she loooves Thanksgiving.

This year after our Thanksgiving with Sue – who is OUT OF THE HOSPITAL AND HOME.

I’ll wait while you do the happy chicken dance, then you can finish this post – CLAP! CLAP! CLAP! CLAP!

Okay, we headed from Dallas to Houston for Thanksgiving part two at my sister’s house with her new blended family (she got married in June).

This was only the second time we took a long road trip with the girls (I swore I’d never do it again). We came prepared; car Bingo and iPhones. Come to find out we didn’t need the car bingo. The teen slept most of the way. Molly had iPhone #1 (dad’s) and Bridget had iPhone #2 (dad’s old iPhone). Sydney had hers (when awake) and I had mine (with newly bought Family Feud app) and we were all happy happy happy.

The trip went GREAT! Seriously, we were there before I knew it – five hours later (if only the trip back went so well – 5 1/2 hours – but never mind that).

My big sister’s house smelled like Thanksgivings past. She used the seasonings my step dad always used filling my nostrils with nostalgia. It was wonderful and precious and so, so, so, so GOOD. She made my favorite chocolate pie and I was in heaven.

My sister’s family

My big sis (by 9 years) – Deedy. She is smiling and cooking, often wears an apron and spoils my little step-daughters to death (said she was practicing for when she had granddaughters). Excellent job sister!

Man in most of the pictures next to her – Roger. He is my sister’s new husband. He has two daughters Leighann and Chelsea.

Oldest daughter of Roger – Chelsea. She is a special needs child, and doesn’t vocally speak, but she signs to communicate. She is VERY smart (and funny), plays guitar, and loves to model for the camera. I adore all her pictures. And? I even learned a few signs.

Youngest daughter of Roger – Leighann. She plays the piano and loves her big sister. That is pretty incredible for a thirteen-year old. She could be a sister to Molly and Bridget with her coloring.

Oldest daughter of Deedy – Eryn. She is the gorgeous dark haired girl in a few of the pictures. She lives with her husband Luke (in the ball cap). She is the oldest grandchild on our side of the family. She is in school to be a Physical Therapist. We are so proud of her.

Oldest son of Deedy – Gabe in college and lives on his own. Not pictured, but his girlfriend Britanny was there for dinner and she is a sweetheart.

The next morning we went to the beach in Galveston. The girls were supposed to barely get their feet wet. Well…..oops. Molly is like an ocean goddess. She turns into this matrix dancing queen splashing in the surf. It’s amazing, but a little messy. Luckily, we had a change of pants.

After picking up shells, running through the waves, and being thoroughly sandified and oceanified. We went to ride the Galveston ferry. Which? Is a State Highway; in other words – free.

It was a gorgeous sunny day. Perfect weather. We couldn’t have asked for anything more, except extra time. We had to head back less than 24 hours after our arrival. Life. It happens. But Thanksgiving part two was definitely worth the trip (even with the ride home and I’m not going there).

My favorite picture out of the 341 (possessed by Nikon- I know) – this one.

Seagulls eat Thanksgiving lunch.

Too bad the kids had eaten half the bag already.

We want more Cheetos!

Moments of Thanksgiving

For some they are more tender than others.

For some, it’s about the people around you and not the food.

My mother-in-law got a day pass on Thanksgiving day; to leave the hospital and be surrounded by loved ones. If you’ll notice, she rarely looks at the camera, because she is too busy looking at her children and grandchildren.

Sue has a surgery this morning. The Doctors will finish filling the aneurysm with coils. Please have her and the family in your prayers. This is the final step in her return home where she can continue to miraculously improve and enjoy these moments of thanksgiving without a day pass.