This weekend was so perfect for reconnecting with Mike! We were able to go out to dinner two nights in a row because his parents love watching the kids and letting us get out (since we're very hesitant to get babysitters - okay it's all my fault really - it's hard to find a good one - and I don't trust my kids in the hands of just anyone). I can't even remember the last time I was at a movie theater but I went to one Fri night and saw Wedding Crashers - it was hysterical! Mike and I were laughing our heads off and then after it ended we laughed some more by retelling our favorite or otherwise memorable parts in our trademark silly voices. Great, harmless, non-thinking fun.

And then last night we went to dinner and then Barnes and Noble... I hung out in the photography section and found a nice book for amateurs that had one of the most moving photos I had ever seen. The book was How to Photograph Your Baby by Nick Kelsh. The story was of a blue-collar working man who had just become a father (many years ago) who took a picture of his hand holding his newborn son's hand. And each year, thereafter, around his son's birthday he would take that same simple picture. His hand with his son's hand. When looking back over the pictures (after around 25-30 years or so, I imagine) the first half of the pictures show the son's growth, with the father's hand mainly unchanged. The strong fahter holding to hand of his growing son. And then the second half of the photos show the son's hands now as a grown man and the father's hands changing showing signs of aging. And then the last photo was the hands of the grown son, the aging father, and another new hand in the photo... that of the little granddaughter. I cried. Tears were pouring down my face and I must have made some little holding-back-the-tears-sounds because the woman in the nearby art section glanced over at me. Oh well.

So I decided right then and there that I would HAVE to do this with the kids (and maybe even just Mike and I). And you can be sure that the next photo challenge I help out with over at ScrapArtist will BE THIS! I can't imagine a more powerful visual representation of the strength of family, and passing of time than this. What a great idea. And the rest of the book was helpful and had photography that appealed to me... And the same author has another book called How to Photograph Your Family. I will have to see if my local library has these. I was suprised, in general, at how many mediocre photography books were sitting on the shelves. I guess they just weren't my style.

So anyway, here's a photo of my daughter at her gymnastics class swinging on the rope. I used the sports setting. I would have liked to have had more of a blur in the background but I'll need to not be holding Ryan in my other hand and have a tripod probably for the effect I'm going for... and a better command of manual. I tried to use manual in some impromtu family Candyland shots but it wasn't turning out well so I switched to Aperture priority and full auto at some of them. Oh well - I need more practice. Hope to get to work out today since we've taken a few days off (our guest room is on the same level as our home gym). But I definitely need to work off some of the gluttonous dining that's been going on!!


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