December Photo Challenge: Week One

Last week on my Facebook page I started a photo challenge for the month of December.  You can find all sorts of photo challenges online or you can make up your own.  I decided to use the challenge created by Stephanie over at Silver Boxes.  How these photo challenges usually work is you take one photo each day that revolves around the specific theme for that day.  I’m posting the daily photos on my Facebook page and I’ll be doing a weekly summary here on my blog.  So without further ado, here is Week One of the December Photo Challenge!

December 1st – Countdown

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December 2nd – Red

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December 3rd – Mittens

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December 4th – Evergreen

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December 5th – Window Display

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December 6th – Wreath

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December 7th – Love

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Come back next week for the summary of Week Two and watch my Facebook page for the daily installments of this December Photo Challenge.  I hope y’all are having a wonderful December!

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Jefferson National Expansion Memorial

As I said in a previous post, we had some family visit over Thanksgiving and we took them to the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial, also known as the St. Louis Arch.  I’ve been there several times before but this was my first time back since purchasing my new lens earlier this year.  I was really looking forward to photographing the memorial grounds in ways I hadn’t thought of before.  When you’re a photographer it seems like over time your “eye” (how you envision a photograph before you take it) becomes less conventional and starts to see things in a more creative light.  Or at least that’s what my photographer eye has been doing.

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Self-portrait 37

The self-portrait project has returned!  I hope y’all had a lovely Thanksgiving.  We had some family come visit and I’ll eventually be sharing photos from our excursion to the St. Louis Arch.

So what else new has been going on during the break from this project?  I have discovered the wonderfulness that is the Curly Girl book by Lorraine Massey!  One day on Facebook I was saying (complaining) how difficult it is to get my hair to curly nicely by itself.  I can get it to behave with a curling iron and last year I had my hair layered so it would somewhat curl when I used a diffuser.  But my hair gets fried so quickly and easily by heat and I wanted to find a less damaging way to get it to curl.  My hair has a lot of natural wave and curl to it already but it’s always been so poofy and frizzy unless I used heat to tame it.  The answer to my problem:  one of my friends recommended the Curly Girl book.

A few months ago I got my hair chopped off not just because the ends were so fried and awful but also to make it easier to straighten my hair into behaving.  The stylist said the typical things I hear every time I get my hair cut.  “Your hair is so thick!”  “It must take a lot of effort to get your hair to do what you want.”  After reading the Curly Girl book I realized it’s this mindset, the “change my hair” mindset that has been causing all of my problems.  I’m trying to get my hair to do what it wasn’t made to do.  God made my hair wavy and curly and that’s how it’s going to be.

My hair is still getting used to the new shampoo and conditioner I’m using according to the Curly Girl rules.  (I don’t have the money to use DevaCurl products so I’m using something else.)  Sometimes my hair is super curly and sometimes it’s just wavy.  The weather has a big affect on my hair too.  I could probably predict the weather just by the shape of my hair.  The pieces around my face usually curl pretty nicely though, which is why that’s the only part of my hair you can see in this self-portrait.  Of course my hair would decide to be wavy on the day I designated to take photos.  I’ll be sure to get a better, curlier photo to share with y’all so I can give you a better example of how my hair has changed since starting Curly Girl.  Like what always happens with things like this, I forgot to take a “before” photo to compare with the upcoming curlier, healthier photo.  This self-portrait project contains more than enough evidence though of the torture I’ve put my hair through.

Those curls around my face are completely natural!  When I would use a curling iron the curls would turn out flatter and not have as much body to them.  Not anymore though!  After only a few days of the Curly Girl method I was seeing massive improvements to my hair.  Almost two weeks later and the changes continue.  I’m still figuring out what cleansing and conditioning schedule is best for my hair, but now I actually look forward to washing my hair instead of dreading it like I have for so long.  As I told a curly haired friend of mine when I was recommending the book to her, “This might sound funny, but I’m not exaggerating when I say that this book has changed my life.”

Nathan and Elisabeth

I had a great time on my little Wisconsin trip this past weekend.  I taught my Grandad how to text a smiley face, experienced what college dorm life is like when I visited my friend Amanda at Concordia University Wisconsin, and took some cute photos with my friend Elisabeth and her husband Nathan.  I didn’t take as many photos during the weekend like I thought I would.  Actually, the ones below are the only photos I took the entire weekend.  We were too busy having fun to really take any others.  :)

Nathan and Elisabeth have been married for nearly a year.  Elisabeth had asked me if I could photograph their wedding but at the time I wasn’t sure if I would be up to the challenge.  We’ve been wanting to do photos together for the longest time and on Sunday afternoon we finally made it happen while we walked all over the college campus.

Nathan and Elisabeth know the campus pretty well because they are both Concordia University Wisconsin alumni but they were interested to see the remodeling changes that have happened since they graduated.  I had never been on the campus before so it was all very new to me.  Elisabeth told me about the adventures she and Nathan had on campus and Nathan and I perused the library books while Elisabeth chatted with the library director.  We took photos down by Lake Michigan (because of where the sun was we couldn’t really get a good shot with the lake in the background) and in one of the courtyards on campus.  We all had a great time and I’m looking forward to seeing them again the next time I visit Wisconsin.

Amanda’s Blog: Renewing My Strength: Thoughts on God’s Word in my life.

Elisabeth’s Blog: Wedded Bliss and Cupcakes: Chronicles of a young homemaker.

Concordia University Wisconsin