Saturday, December 31, 2011

A Look Back at 2011 Goals.

It is important to make progress on goals. It is important to look back at what was important a year ago and see if I have made any progress. I did it last can read about it here

Looking back at my goals for 2011, I feel like I did a pretty good job of meeting my goals.

Goals for 2011:

1. Keep volunteering. This was a strange year for volunteering. I feel like I have so much more to give but no time to actually do it...I started an after school art club a few times a month and I volunteer at Spiva. I don't have energy for more than that...especially not if I am trying to keep up with my workout schedule. There were a lot of opportunities to volunteer with the tornado, but I was so busy and overwhelmed trying to help my mom, that I didn't do as much as I should have.

2. Make and give more handmade gifts--especially sewn things for new babies. This year, I made 30 stockings and several other sewn projects. My sewing machine has been put to good use this year.

3. Get my photos organized. Well....I organized all of my photos on an external hard drive. By year. By season. By event. Every photo since I have owned a digital camera. Thousands of photos. And then my cat knocked over the hard drive and nothing is accessible. I am hoping everything is still on was 360 gigs of information. The photos that I have printed at home are not very organized. This is still a goal for 2012. I need to buy a bunch of photo albums....or make some photos are getting ridiculous!

4. Get a new comforter--I really want something awesome from Anthro. I got a new comforter from Funtiques and I love it!!

5. Frame more of my Holga and darkroom photos, get artwork ready for a real show in a real gallery and photo competitions. I had an exhibit for 3rd Thursday in July. While I didn't frame many of the enlarged darkroom photos, I used these foto clips from photojojo to create photo grids with many of the 5X5 prints. I put a couple of my framed photos in a competition and didn't get any awards so I felt a little silly entering more...but I know I will this year. Framing is so expensive!

6. Organize the files on my computer. Shortly after I wrote these goals, my computer got super slow. I tried cleaning it off, but I could hardly edit photos or access my files. It was ridiculously slow. That was why I had so few blog posts last spring. In May, we got new computers at school...and that really helped speed things up.

7. Work hard to create a successful and amazing summer art program at a local art center. Since I was so busy with Art Lounge, I didn't end up doing the summer art program at Spiva. I'm glad it didn't work out. One day a week was more than enough for me. I would've been crazy-stressed-out-burned-out if I had worked full time all summer. The Art Lounge class was the perfect amount of art teaching for me with everything that was going on around town and helping my mom.

8. Seriously think about what I want to do next....masters? move? teach forever? I feel like I am having an amazing school year. Seriously, I love this year. I've got some good classes and I am really happy. Since I teach Art Lounge one night a week, I am hesitant to start a Master's program, but I know I need to start thinking about it more seriously.

9. I got a membership to the gym....I hope to work out at least 10 times a month ;-) I marked each work out on the calendar this year and it was 161 times. I met my goal....Most of the workouts were in February and march. Things tapered off in Novemer and December, but I definitely want to keep up a similar schedule for next year. I have gotten lazy the last few weeks...but I love feeling good and looking good so it is important to me. If I am not careful, I will drink sodas and sugary snacks, but when I am going to spin class and zumba every day, I stay away from those things and I feel better.

10. Watch one foreign film every month (this month I watched 3 streaming on Netflix) Hmmm....Nope. Did not do this. I did watch all of the Girl With a Dragon Tatoo movies...and a couple of documentaries...but not very many foreign films. I didn't watch many movies at all. This month, I have been really addicted to Mad Men. 
The last few are goals that could continue into the future...they are harder to measure and harder to reflect on whether or not I've made any progress.
11. Be more spontaneous.
12. Don't schedule so much stuff to do--make more time for my family. I envy that family on parenthood, they see each other all the time...I want to do that too. I still need to make this my be more
13. Be a better friend. Have more real conversations, be more supportive, more loving....

 I'm excited for 2012!!!

Friday, December 30, 2011

A look back at 2011

While I haven't blogged as frequently as I would've liked this year (especially in October and November!), I have tried to post as many quality posts as possible for the year. Last night, I sat down and made a list of blog ideas for 2012 and now the ideas are just pouring out of me....It feels good to be inspired.

In case you are a new reader, or you don't read every post, I wanted to share some of my favorites for the year. Sometimes it is fun to look back at everything that has happened...but this year hasn't really been a fun year....a lot of serious things have happened.

I love blogging about stories. To me, blogging is a much cheaper form of scrapbooking. A place to share stories, along with photos...not just the happy fun things, but the serious, real stories.

Even if nobody reads them, the blog posts are a place for me to record my history and my feelings.

This has been a memorable year. I will never forget some of the life changing things that have happened this year.

Summer of the Storm
Before and After Photos
Ode to the iPhone
Destruction in the Heartland 
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6
Part 7
Part 8
KC+Art-and the Joplin Community Mural-#1 & #2

Fall Memories (good and sad)
Charlie and Me
Sweet Special Granny
A Lifelong Journey Still can't read this without crying
Morgan's English Tea Party Parties and showers are so fun! I love planning special things like this for my friends.
The Smallest Act of Caring
Eagle Bluff

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Goals for 2012

This is the time of year when people are looking ahead to the future. Here is a little wish list and goal list for 2012. I am hoping to cross a lot of things off this list! Looks like it is going to be a fun year!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Hipsta at the Marriott!

Way back in November, I got to go to the Missouri State Teacher's Association convention in St. Louis. It was the first time I have ever missed two days of school in a row, so it was a little stressful planning to be gone, but it was a very interesting experience. We stayed at the Mariott in downtown St. Louis.

Even though I was supposed to be paying attention to the meeting, it was my first time...and I didn't recognize any of the people that they were honoring or any of the bi-laws that we were voting to change...I paid attention as much as I could, but I mostly just read my book...

Thursday night I got to go to a St. Louis Blues Hockey was short walk from our hotel. It was super fun. The Marriott was a historic was beautiful. Here are some of my favorite hipstamatic photos of the structure!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Destruction in the Heartland: Part 8.....homage to the memorial built by volunteers

When my aunt sent me this article from the New York Times about Joplin, she suggested that I go find the house and take a few photos. I knew exactly which house the article was referring to and I really wanted to take photos.

I haven't photographed much of the destruction since just hasn't felt right. But this is a really special place. And many of the destroyed places have been rebuilt or are in progress, so things are looking good in Joplin again. It looks like a scene from an art installation, and it feels a little erie wandering through the property. I felt like a trespasser, but amongst all the volunteer signatures, I felt like I was paying homage the memorial, dedicated to the people who spent hours cleaning up our city.

Please read the article above, it tells the story.

 You can see a new home going up beside this one.

With frozen fingers, I juggled my iPhone and my Nikon to snap a few additional photos.  I like some of these even more than the others....a different, edgier feel to the photos...a bit of redundancy, but still very moving.

Thanks for reading.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas

This is a particularly special Christmas for my family. We will be spending our day together in a new home.

After the tornado, my mom's living room was completely destroyed.

It wasn't flattened like many of the apartments in her complex, but she lost all of her furniture and we spent hours going through the debris, collecting things that were special to her.
In the photo above, you can see a  little antique Christmas tree buried with cotton candy insulation and ceiling planks.  It belonged to my great-grandparents. My mom keeps it up all year. When I first climbed into her front door into the war-zone of her living room, I figured the little tree was a gonner....but made it. We even saved most of the little colored light bulbs, scattered in the soggy wet carpeting of the living room, mixed with the broken glass of the screen door and splinters of wood.

This Christmas, a friend at school donated a small tree, and another donated some ornaments and now both trees have a special place in mom's living room. Side by side, a few small presents underneath.
The gift I am most excited to give this year is a painting. It used to hang above my mom's couch. (The brand new couch she just got in April, that was soaked and ruined). I painted it high school and even though it probably wouldn't be worthy of a major was a special part of my mom's home. After the storm, we found this painting in the back bedroom. It had traveled down the the hall and wrapped around a bedpost. It was dirty and badly warped.
I had the canvas cleaned, re-stretched and re-framed. The only evidence of its damage is a small gash, a battle scar in the middle.
I am really excited to give it to my mom....I hope it makes her new house feel more like her home.

Thanks for reading and Merry Christmas everyone!!

Saturday, December 24, 2011