Thursday, May 31, 2007


Well, by now you all know that I love urban areas. Tall buildings, lots of cars, people, one way streets, traffic circles, Starbucks on every corner, landmarks, and everything all squished together, you know, the opposite of country life. Country and suburban life has it's purpose, but right now, the city is what I feel like I relate to the most. Excitement is synonymous with life at this point. I guess it's my age and I thank God I'm smart about life and don't go overboard with the thrills like so many my age do.

Anyway, urban life is what I'm here to share with you today, downtown Indianapolis. I've been here before this exact spot actually almost a full year ago, this very Starbucks on the edge of this Monument Circle-
Unfortunately, the second two shots aren't as great as I'd like. The bleachers set up, outside the Starbucks, for the parade earlier in the day kind of obstructed the view of Monument Circle. I wasn't too disappointed tho- a Caramel Macchiato w/extra caramel cures a lot of things.

Check out this previous post for more Starbucks/Monument Circle shots.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007


So we(my dad, his wife, me and my little sisters) made a trip to Indianapolis for Memorial Day to visit some friends. I guess I was subconsciously observing the twins Monday because I noticed while I was browsing through the weekend's photos that there were a lot of shots of them. They were acting really "twin like"- dressed alike(which is no longer a common occurrence), doing a lot of hugging, copying, and tagging along. And what I really love is, they do all that but still somehow maintain their individual personalities.
Charity is goofy, REALLY goofy, and really artistic.
Faith is the boss, she is mature and is very mindful of other people.

They both can be SUPER outgoing and then they can also be really shy. I guess it just depends on who they are around, and really most kids are like that.
The three girls in order of age: Charity, Faith and Joy.
Dad's twin ankle weights... Charity(top) and Faith(bottom).
While Faith is often overpowering(the boss type), yet reserved.I was digging their French braids that I did in the car on the way home from Indy. They were really acting like twins, which I love! They matched exactly except Charity's braid had a pink hair tie and Faith was wearing her "Moroccan" slippers (made in Pakistan) instead of her pink crocs. I don't know what it was about it, but I just love when they are like this.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Relieved has been give life again in Morocco, I'm happy to say. I'm not sure tho, if the others sites have been also.

Inshallah, if they have not, they will be soon.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Annoyed: Censorship

Ok, though I don't live in Morocco, the fact that they are blocking and nicknames) there bugs me. The censorship doesn't effect me directly, but does effect me through my boyfriend who can no longer view videos on Youtube or talk to me with audio on Paltalk, therefore I am going to add my support to those who are standing against censorship in Morocco and add this image to my site.I haven't had the time to read enough about the issue to really say anything knowledgeable, because I have been out of town, so I will give you the link to the site where I first learned about it.

Jill at The Morocco Report was who's post I read first and then also Morocco Time pointed it out. I learned from Habibi, who hadn't realized it until I told him, that indeed it was true and in addition to the sites mentioned by Jill, Paltalk was blocked as well. It's frustrating for him I'm sure because he used Paltalk for audio with me, as I mentioned above, and also to chat with various other Moroccans who live around the world. It's very unfair that anyone living in Morocco would have to deal with this. So as I said, I add my support to those against it, even if I, living here in the US, cannot really make much of a difference.

You can sign the petition to stop Internet censorship in Morocco *here*

Saturday, May 26, 2007

The Sunglassed Eye

If you remember, last weekend, I talked about admiring the attempts to replicate the colors seen through the "sunglassed eye" in pictures. Well, I had the idea about 2-3 weeks ago to use my sunglasses as a filter for my camera lens. I liked the way the ray of the sun were very pronounced. Being able to capture light in many different forms has been a "goal" of mine for a while, and I love that the "sunglass filter" has helped accomplish that in a way. I think there is an actual professional filter called a polarizer (or also a cross screen) that would probably help with that too, but I can't use anything like that right now with my T33 SO, brown, Ralph Lauren, sunglass lenses will have to do :)

The first shot was taken in my backyard and the second was taken outside the Post Office at 22nd or 21st and State St.

Sunday, May 20, 2007


This weekend was really about admiration for me. Admiring the Chicago architecture and it's diversity in style, era and height.
Admiring landmarks that will be forever known. Admiring that they are
preserved by their new "owners". Admiring weather conditions and knowing when to adapt your camera to those weather conditions.
Admiring friendliness of strangers who hold doors open or make children smile. Admiring the children themselves. Admiring fathers who take the fatherly role seriously and step into it without complaint, especially the young ones. Admiring fathers pushing strollers but carrying the child as if he feels he needs hold her as much as he can before she grows too big. Admiring the dark curls of small girls and the waves of tall boys.
Admiring the colors of things seen with the naked eye(or the sunglassed eye). Admiring the effort to capture those colors in a picture. Admiring the work of other photographers. Admiring the work of designers well known and not so well known. Admiring window displays. Admiring clothes and shoes that can't be afforded to be admired in my own closet.

Admiring the way a man can correct me, and prove that he's right , without having me upset with him after- it amazes me.

My Lord! Admiring, admiring, admiring... Oh yes, AND feeling blessed, but that's another story that I'll save for when I can better put it into words.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

"Non Photographer"

In search of material to post, on my sister's laptop, this breezy Saturday morning- I came across a folder from her recent business trip to Miami. When I said I wanted to feature some of her shots, she said that she's not a photographer, but I don't think it really matters. So the work of a "Non- Photographer", enjoy :)

She titled this one above as "God is still here"

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Distant because of Distance

During our dinner/picnic Sunday night, I was doing a lot of staring at the sky and my dad asked me, "What far off land are you in? You're distant." Well, I said I was "just thinking" but indeed I was in a "far off land."

I'll give you one chance to guess where....

I had just talked to habibi and he had told me that the consulate in Casablanca was closed, still nearly a month after the original close to"beef up security". All consular services have been put on hold, no visa's are being processed, no appointments are being made, literally everything visa related in Morocco has stopped. This isn't going over well with me, or habibi. Who knows when it will open again, maybe more months will go by with out a meeting- these are the thoughts of a discouraged habibi. The patience that is needed to wait 9 months to meet the person you claim to love is probably the most heart-wrenching of all types of patience.

My dad says that we need to just wait it out, tho we aren't sure how long that will be. I would like to make a short trip there in the interim, maybe in mid-June when school is out, but I'm not seeing how I can do that if still my dad isn't too thrilled about me going. I've been praying about this and I know he needs to come here, that I am peaceful about. I am also peaceful about going there, but only if my dad agrees to it. I need to finish Algebra before I can go anywhere anyway, and that will be done by June. So I think, if I wait patiently another month, everything may work out, either for him to come here(or at least have the paperwork in) or me to go there, or maybe even both- who knows.

So, that's my life so far this week. While praying and looking to the Lord for guidance last night I found a scripture for the week- Jeremiah 31:16- Restrain your voice from weeping, and your eyes from tears, for your work will be rewarded. I believe that it's true that neither the work I've put into finishing school, nor the work we've put into this relationship will be overlooked.

*photo taken Sunday afternoon with my Ben's Pentax K10 D.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Happy Mother's Day, Mom!

Mom Age 3

Momma(and dad) with all 6 of her biological children and her foster daughter.

Momma, her 3 adopted Chinese daughters, me, missionaries and their son in Hong Kong.

I don't really have much to say, other than today is a day to celebrate what I had for 15 years and my siblings longer than that- the most amazing mother in the world. It is also to thank God for giving my dad the gift of his new wife, Esther. Also a time to honor my sisters, Jennifer and Nichole, and my sister-in-law, Dawn, for using my mom as their example and being really great moms. And of course to salute all loving and caring moms for being who they are and loving unconditionally, their children.

One day, I'll be a mother and I can only hope to be even half as wonderful to my children, as my mother was to me.

Happy Mother's Day!

Friday, May 11, 2007

Why I blog?

Today's post at The Morocco Report,a blog that I read daily, prompted me to think about why I blog.


I don't really talk much, at least not outside of an internet setting. I'm not even so positive as to why. It could be because I am not always sure of myself or what I have to say, or that I don't feel like anyone is listening, or that I feel I'm misunderstood or even that I feel I need more attention than I currently get.

I feel mostly like if I blog that those people who read my writing are the ones who choose to read it, they don't have to, but they sit down look at my pictures and read/listen to what I have to say. So I guess you could say it's my safe way to talk, my way of guaging who really wants to hear me out.

I also feel like I can more freely express my opinions in blog form. Maybe because I fear confrontation and avoid it like the plague, and it's so much easier to be confronted in type than when that confrontation has a voice full of emotion and stern expression on it's face.
I think most of all, I just prefer not to be wrong, and if I'm not sure that I'm right, I just don't say anything out of fear of embarrassment.

So I think this mentality forces me to know my stuff and may be the reason I refuse to get bad grades- although refusing to do the work for fear of bad grades is a whole other thing.

So, that's why I write as opposed to only posting photos in my photoblog. It's my way of telling my side of the story, of expressing my thoughts, and making up for the lack of talking elsewhere, at least that's why I think I blog - there may be total other psychological reasons but that is what makes sense to me.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Crabapple Blossoms

One thing I've always loved - flowers, flowers of all kinds. I've loved them so much I took pictures of them. That, actually, is how all this photography stuff started. Heh, a digital camera, a few floppy disks, flowers and a mother's encouragement, that is.

We'd(mom, me and the little ones) take walks everyday around 2:30 or 3:00pm right before the kids started coming home from school. We'd take long walks around the blocks of our neighborhood. A few times when Dad was away on business, I brought his Sony Mavica with and I'd shoot the flowers along the way, the pink garden rose bush was mom's favorite
(I'll have to post these one day). I knew nothing about a camera, I had no clue how it worked, all I knew was I could slip in a floppy, zoom, push the button and grab some great shots that my mom loved. I've come far from that point- I can even kind of explain what ISO is now.. lol and I still have a ways to go, but I enjoy reflecting(if you haven't noticed).

So I went back to the beginning and have been shooting flowers again. First, Tuilips, next was lilacs(which didn't make too much of an impression on me yet), then crabapple blossoms...Hmm, what comes after crabapples? I guess we'll see. Maybe Chicago skyscrapers, I've been fascinated by them lately. Maybe Chicago in general, maybe I'll pull a Johnathan Greenwald and go street photographer on you. Although, I think that was what the last post was......

Someone asked me if I was playing "He loves me, He loves me not" I wasn't, these blew off the trees. I tried to capture them in mid-air, but overcast sunlight wasn't permitting.

Oh yeah! Before I forget, I finished American Literature entirely today, THANK GOD!

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Rush St.- Complex Simplicity

Okay.. Click on that picture..

That is the infamous Rush St. that I am always talking about. Now, it may not seem to be all that great, but believe me, it is. It's the hottest street in Chicago, to me anyway, and I'm about to explain why. Before I do, click that picture and find in the right hand side, right above the the highest black awning, the Starbucks logo- that's my absolute favorite Starbucks( other than the one on Wells that is open 24hrs).

Now, This is that Starbucks.

Inside (sorry so blurry)- always PACKED- sometimes there are well known stars seen here, like R. Kelly and Joan Cusack, and always there are international faces, which to me is more important.
Outside- there is seating to the left of the girl right there, which is awesome in the summer time.
This is what used to be Gloria Jean's Coffee(yes, I'm addicted to coffee shops), it's Whisper's or something now, but still a coffee shop. What I love is that it's very European, solely outdoor seating right between two streets- totally something you'd see in a movie set in France, I think. Another that is great on summer nights (when Starbucks is closed).
Something that find really great about this street is that it almost always looks nice. Either lined with beautiful people by day or beautiful cars and lights by night. It's lined with quirky upscale boutiques, clubs, lounges, and restaurants. All of the restaurants here valet and being that there is such fame seen here you can imagine that there will be some quite expensive cars on a given night. It's not surprising to see Bentley, Rolls, Ferrari, Aston Martin, Mercades, BMW-if it's expensive, you'll just about see it. They line the street with attractive cars and park the less attractive elsewhere. Growing up with mostly boys around the house, I appreciate nice cars quite a bit.Ok, so those are the normal reasons to like it, but now for the explanation of my *cough*obsession*cough* with this street.
Btw, this is where you get to see my weird ways..

My memories-

My first time ever to a Starbucks, was there.

My first time to ever drink coffee, was in that Starbucks.

The first Moroccan I ever met, I met there.

My first ever real introduction to Moroccan culture, was there.

I saw real love there.

I saw true fun there.

I've written poems there.

I've driven down this street, Arabic music blasting on summer nights.

I've walked it at 2:30 in the morning and felt safe.

I've studied there and people watched there.

I've gotten dressed up to just walk the street on a Friday night or a Saturday morning.

And I've woken up at 8am on a Saturday, just to go there and have coffee.

Just seemingly insignificant little memories of the way I feel life should be.

It's a simplicity and a complexity all wrapped in one and that's what draws me in.

Sunday, May 6, 2007

The End of the Tulips

This is the last shot in my series and the only, not too blurry, tulip shot from my trip to Michigan Ave. A lot of the tulips were pretty much spent, but these were ok. We didn't have much time to get to Starbucks on Rush St. for breakfast before we had to go to our nephew's soccer game so I took this one while we were stopped at a red light. I think it's a nice end to my series because it displays such diversity. Now back to our regular programming......

Check out the Tulips Album!! :)

The Tulip Project

Ok, so these are my favorite of all my tulip shots. I really like how bright of the lack of background in most of them. They're all as is, I mean, somehow I got lucky with the background being so white without processing them. I wish there was a photo slide show that I knew of that would show these individually at their full 5 mega pixels- it's awesome to see their middles at that size. I'm uploading all my tulip shots to Fotki now, so go *here* to see those. These shots will be in there as well, and if you click "Get Original Uploaded Photo" you should be able to see them full size.

More Tulips...

I'm hoping this isn't getting too boring. I haven't added any photos to my Fotki "Tulips" yet, I've been either busy or lazy, but either way, I'll get that taken care of tomorrow. And my little project should be posted here tomorrow too, so.... I'm excited to show you all!

I'd say more, but I'm exhausted and need to sleep.. Oh! I did go downtown to Michigan Ave. and Rush St. this morning, so I'll post the shots from there tomorrow too :)

Thursday, May 3, 2007

More in the Tulip Series

Loving these in full color mostly.
Can you tell the Macro setting is my friend?

That's it for now.. The next one I'm working on should be pretty cool, stay tuned :)

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

For the Love of Tulips...

So as I said, I was going to find me some more tulips, a variety of tulips. While wandering in my siblings'/neighbors' yards, somewhat to my surprise, I found many many different types of tulips. Of the many I will post a few at a time, so maybe two more posts will be about or containing tulips(depending on if I go to the Michigan Ave.). As I said earlier tho, all my tulip shots will be in my Fotki "Tulip" album so feel free to browse them. I will add more as I shoot them and as I post (I don't wanna give anything away ;)).

To stage these shots I'm using my sister-in-law, Dawn's garden. It's a great multi-seasonal garden with a variety of really great tulips. All of these and most of the other tulips I shot today were in her yard.
This is a "Double Early". It has double the petal of ordinary tulips- kind of peony like. My mom really loved these. (on the left above and below)

My Own Love of Tulips

Tulips.. I love them. I think mostly because they are very simple and modern while being classic. I'm talking like they are a pair of shoes or something, but I really think that's why I'm drawn to them. There is such variety in tulips too: large, small, some with double the petals, some single, some look fluted, some have pointed petals, some are just the original style and of course there are so many colors and a lot of the hybrid ones have two different colors. Ah! perfection in flower form, ok, almost, roses are just about as versatile. If only calla lilies were as colorful..

I'm going to spare the tulip post of my life details for now and see if I can go find some more to photograph. I've started a "Tulips" file in my Fotki "Playing with Cameras" album, and I'm hoping to get a variety going. Maybe I'll go back to the tulip lined Michigan Ave. this weekend and shoot more- hint hint, Hope Ann ;)

Anyway, off I go, out to the yard, and surrounding yards. Be back with more tulips.

To see the original of above Tulip shot - click here