Darrah Parker » Slice of Life Photography

view 01 :: munchkin love

I spent Thanksgiving weekend eating and cooking and eating some more (because that’s what we do best.) But mostly, we stared at my two and a half year old nephew. We sang, we giggled, we ran in circles, and made more paper airplanes than I’ve ever seen in my life.

I know I’m partial, but this lil’ dude is the most fascinating, mesmerizing, beautiful munchkin. So full of joy. He brings out the best in all of us.

In other news…

Today is the first day of December. It is the first day since I quit my job that I am sitting at my house, doing what I set out to do. After the doldrums of post-surgery and the oh-so-joyous Thanksgiving, it’s time to get down to bid-ness!

Oh, but there is so much I want to do. That is why today begins a month of slowing down. I will be participating in a project that Darlene from Hippy Urban Girl created called December Views. She created it to give herself a way to “enjoy the quiet” and to allow herself “a month of no stress creativity.”

I think this is exactly what I need right now. I will spend the month of December sharing my world through photos – sometimes with words, sometimes without. I will try to post daily, but I make no promises. After all, this is about no stress and no obligation. Since this project is a lot like “Slice of Life Tuesday,” I will probably put SOLT on hold until January.

So. December. It will be a month of peace. A month of learning and reading and getting back to me. A month of creativity. And naps. You know how I love my naps.

I hope you will join me on this journey.


If you’d like to participate in December Views, visit Darlene’s blog and ask her to add you to the list!

in good hands

Yesterday, I celebrated Thanksgiving with my new family.

We spent the day in the kitchen.

Cooking and laughing and eating.

This is what life is all about.

the year of me

meta·mor·pho·sis (noun)
1. change of physical form: a complete or marked change of physical form, structure, or substance

2. change of appearance or character: a complete or marked change in appearance, character, or condition

3. supposed supernatural transformation: a transformation caused by supposed supernatural powers

me, on my wedding day. photo by daniel sheehan.On January 1st of this year, I declared this the “Year of Me.” I did not declare it out of selfishness. I declared it because it was necessary. I have never been one to make New Year’s resolutions, but I knew that this year, something had to change. This was the year I was going to listen to my gut and find the things that made me happy. This was the year I was going to be fearless and try new things – just to see what would happen. This was the year I would make space in my life so that I could breathe. And that is just what I did.

A lot has happened in a short amount of time. And it was all a conscious choice.

Eleven and a half months ago, I declared this the “Year of Me.” Eleven months ago, I got engaged, turning this into the “Year of We.” Eight months ago, I took a watercolor class. Six months ago, I bought my beloved camera. Six months ago, I bought my beloved laptop. Six months ago, I started this blog. Four months ago, I started running. Eleven weeks ago, I got married. Eleven weeks ago, I fell in love with Paris. Ten weeks ago, I decided I would quit my job and pursue my passion for photography. Three weeks ago, I quit my job.

I’ve been writing this “Year of Me” post in my head for months, thinking that I would share it in December, when most people start reflecting on the past year. But I’ve had a lot of time to reflect lately. A week ago today was the first Monday in years that I didn’t have to leave the house and go sit at a desk for eight hours. The very next day, I had my wisdom teeth removed. (Hmmm…there must be symbolism in there somewhere.) I have spent the past week healing (in more ways than one.) I have moved from the couch to the bed and back again more times than I can count. I have spent quality time with Oprah, my cat, and chocolate pudding. I haven’t picked up a book or written a blog post in days.

I have stopped everything for the first time in years.

If you’re anything like me, stopping is not easy. I’m so used to go-go-going and even when I have an excuse to do nothing (i.e. major dental surgery), I am making lists in my head of all of the things I should or could be doing. I had gone right into “poor me” mode when I realized that what I was experiencing was a gift. This is exactly what I asked for all those months ago (not the dental surgery, but the time to breathe.)

I think it will take a little more time for me to accept the new pace of my life and to fully grasp what has happened this year. What I have experienced is a metamorphosis. Life as I know it has changed, both externally and internally. And yes, sometimes it feels like a supernatural transformation aided in this change.

But I know that I did this. I chose this. I was cheered on by the most amazing husband, family, and friends. And for that, I will feel forever grateful.

Life is about experimenting. Life is a funky adventure! It’s about making choices and seeing what happens next. As the “Year of Me” comes to a close and I make my way into the “Year of Me, Part 2″ – I invite you to consider claiming next year the “Year of YOU”! If not for a whole year, maybe start with a week or a day. You deserve it.

For now, I have a few more choices to make to get me through the next few days and weeks:

I choose adventure and risk over playing it safe.

I choose to be okay with slowing down.

I choose to be okay with not knowing.

I choose gratitude.

I choose family.

I choose to laugh.

I choose to love.

I choose to breathe.

I choose to be.

What do you choose?