One Little Word

Welcome to the New Year (just a little late)



I’ve been busy this new year and am just now getting around to posting here.  Fortunately for me, some of my busy status has involved my camera.  So I’ll share a few photos along with a few update facts.  Hope you enjoy.small-4305Spent the morning of the first day of the year on the Gallatin River – cold but beautiful!


Looking to a year of growth in professional life for both Andy and I – he as an attorney, me as a photographer.  This starting to identify myself as a photographer is hard – I envision a full schedule and a fully developed business is necessary, but the fact is those things will not come until first I identify myself as a photographer.  Sometimes I struggle to get things in the right order, but I’m working on it!


My “one little word” for this year is Photography.  Yep, trying to fully integrate this identity.  Plus, it just brings me great joy!  I have so many photography project ideas and I’m (well, really, Andy and I) am/are working on a way to get me the time to implement those ideas.


J has started back to karate team practice with a big goal/dream of going to nationals again this year.  His skills I think will qualify him.  What he really will be challenged by is raising the funds to get to the actual event, which is all the way in Florida, and he can’t go alone.  We placed the responsibility on him for that, and he’s thinking through what that might look like.  But right now he’s a bit distracted by the pending “final exams” which he will take for the first time in less than 10 days.  He’s growing into so much so quickly!


That is it for the updates today.  Hope to be back again soon!

Categories: Andy, Blessings, Daily life, Family photographer, Gallatin River, J, Karate, Montana, Montana weather, My Backyard, One Little Word, Outdoors, Photography, snow, Winter | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment


IMG_3647smI don’t think I’ve ever done this before, but I’m going to share some links at the bottom of this post that I’ve come across in the past few weeks (since the beginning of the new year).  This is part of my OLW of initiate.  I’m taking initiative to share.

As I wrote in my original post about selecting this word, I often have ideas to share with folks but get shy about approaching them for fear I’ll be interrupting or bothering them by bringing my idea to them. 

IMG_1009bwsmI’ve made some progress in this area in the last couple of weeks, which includes doing things like feeling called to pray with someone and actually approaching them about it and praying with them.  Or getting a brainstorm of an idea (meaning I thought of it, but I’m not wedded to it, just feel like it might be worthy of exploring and helpful in the process of sorting something out), and speaking it out loud to those who might consider it.

Funny thing this Initiate word.  A woman whose wisdom I value greatly and who knows my family and I well offered me a suggestion last week.  She advised me to take off my filter on ideas and opinions and speak my mind more.  I’d been holding back as I try to figure out how others will respond to my ideas, and she indicated it is time to let others be responsible for their own reaction to my ideas.  My ideas are mine, their reaction is theirs.  I’m not responsible for their reactions. 

I know, what a concept, huh!



It is profound how well this approach fits right in with the idea of initiate.  Her assignment to me of not filtering puts this whole word into a more powerful context for me than I ever dreamed.

So, back to the links thing.  I’m sharing because I think these are neat posts.  Maybe your reaction will be different from mine.  I’m not going to worry about it.  IMG_1001sm

Although, really, these are pretty safe because I don’t think any of them are terribly controversial.  None are religious or political – they are all style/photography/creative related.  So any disagreement about them being cool links would only be about taste I suppose.

Enough stalling, here are the links, with a little comment from me about what I loved.

Russian Mother’s Beautiful Photos

I just love this whole thing.  I am amazed at this woman’s photography – and a bit envious at her skill and abilities, especially after such a short time of being focused on photography.

Succulents as wedding flowers

I like all these photos, but what I really got excited about was the unusual use of succulents in the wedding flowers/decor.  Super cool!

Totally Cool Wedding in Vermont

This link is to a photographer my mentor suggested I follow because he does inspiring work and has a real fun attitude about it.  I’m not always sure I like everything he does or the way he presents himself – pushes my boundaries in some ways.  But I loved this wedding location and some of the ideas in it – plus the photography is pretty cool too.

So that is the update from me on initiating.  And, by the way, these are all old photos posted last year because Andy has the computer where my photos are at court in a jury trial – not sure the judge would appreciate me running in there to blog while the trial is going on, so it is make due time.  This was not an appropriate place to initiate and not worry about the judge’s reaction.  I am smart enough to know that.

Categories: Black and White Conversions, cows, Daily life, initiate, One Little Word, Photography | Leave a comment


Had to learn to spell this word to make it my word of the year.  (Learning something goes along with the family word, so I’m okay with that).sm-8234

My first word for a year was Proactive, and it was such a success that I thought I’d revisit a portion of the concept this year with Initiate.

I envision this word reminding me not to just think and dream, but to do.  Start the things I want to do.  I find that I’ll think of an idea and then freeze.  Maybe I wonder around the house, look at the items needed to implement the job, and not do anything.  Sometimes I do that so long I forget the idea and nothing ever

This happens with my interactions with people too.  I get shy and don’t mention, invite or comment, and the conversation never happens. I need to initiate the contact, conversation, interaction rather than wish I had.

The dictionary says that initiate means “to cause  or facilitate the beginning of” – yep, that is what I want to do.  I can’t necessarily control the out come, but I can get it

This year I want to initiate the ideas.  Who knows, maybe the implementation will take a different direction that I originally thought, but it will go somewhere.

My first act of initiating?  Well, these photos sprinkled throughout this

See the first two I took way back when we had the cold snap here at the beginning of December.  They are photos of ice dams that formed on the Gallatin River and some of the results.  I heard about the issue on the news and drove over there one morning on my way into town just to check it out.  What was significant was that these photos are all of the property of my brother’s former boss – and I would say his friend.  The building was where my brother worked many days (before the shop got moved to a new location).  Anyway, my thought at the time was “I should post these on the blog because I’m sure Daniel would be interested to know what was happening to Russ and Lorie’s property.  But I never did

Today Andy and I were back over that way for a little walk and I took the rest of the photos in this post.  I was shocked to see that the ice dams have not cleared, that part of the river is still clogged, and the water is flowing on Russ and Lorie’s property as well as on many of their neighbor’s properties.   While there is a beauty to the river, and it looks like Russ and Lorie’s actual house is still livable, the damage to property is stunning, and still in progress.  (Daniel helped to do a major remodel on that house and if it flooded it would be ruining some of his handiwork as well as really harming our friends and their family).sm-2821

So, Daniel, these shots are for you, and I am initiating (better late than never) showing them to you by posting them here on my blog.  An idea delayed, but not forgotten!   I haven’t spoken to Russ or Lorie, but it appears their house itself stayed dry and is being lived in through this

That is what I’m hoping for with this word.

Categories: Daily life, Extended Family, Gallatin River, initiate, Learning, One Little Word, Outdoors, Photography, proactive, River, snow, Winter | 2 Comments


My “one little word” for 2013 was Glorify.  I didn’t do a lot of blogging about how it was going through the year, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t think about it and work towards behavior that was glorifying to

Looking back on it, selecting Glorify as my word was a bit audacious of me.  I mean, who did I think I was to just say – “This year I think I’ll work on Glorifying God.”  sm-2745

It is a humbling thing to work towards glorifying God.  If I’m honest with myself, I really am inadequate for the job.  I am so full of sin and error and God is so perfect  that it is hard to imagine that anything I could do would be in any way edifying of Him, let alone glorifying.  My actions just don’t seem to rise to that level.

 Any glorifying that went on this past year is because of the power of God, not the power of me or my choice of a word theme for the

Sort of convoluted and thus the reason I kept this one little word more to myself this year.  sm-2750

Glorifying is a concept I want to keep on my front burner, but I don’t have words to adequately express the work that the Holy Spirit is doing to allow me to be part of bringing Glory to God.  I might not even have the insight necessary to fully understand it. 

Categories: glorify, One Little Word, Photography, snow, Winter | Leave a comment

DECEMBER 29, 2013 – One Little Word for the Family


Usually about this time I would do a post full of photos from throughout the year.  This year, well, I’m just not that organized.  Too many great photos unedited still.  So instead I’m going to show you more photos from my experimentation in lightroom 5 and my outing from Friday with my J.


As a family we picked a “one little word” for 2014.  J and I are also doing personal words for the upcoming year, but we all just thought it would be fun to have a word for our family.


The process for picking the word was even peaceful.  We each made a couple of suggestions and explained why we liked that word.  We wrote them all down on little scraps of paper and threw them in a bowl.  Then J blindly drew one out.  The process was really helpful in seeing the vision each of us has for our family and where we have commonality in that – and where we each approach things a little bit different. 

We were blessed that I think for the most part we were all on the same page about what we want for our family.


So, I bet you want to know what word we got, don’t you. 

J drew one of his own words:  LEARNING. 

He was very specific, this is not the learning of going to school – just so you know, he would not consider that to be a type of learning he wanted our family to incorporate more of.  It is the learning of new skills like momma learn to ski or snowboard so she can be on the mountain with him taking photos of him snowboarding.  It is the learning of lessons from life. 

It is learning to spend more time together and use our time wisely so we can enjoy life as a threesome. 

And it is the learning of J sitting at the table and learning the rules of solitaire as he was quick to point out as I slaved away cleaning the fridge and he dealt cards.  He was very proud to point out that he was already putting our word to good use.

We will try to check in on our word once or twice a month so we can get the most out of it.

I will be back on Tuesday with my personal word for 2014, and probably tomorrow with a recap of this year’s word and the year in general.  (I know, sounds like a boring post already, but I’ll throw in some more photos – J and I are going for another walk this afternoon.

Categories: berries, Daily life, Family Fun, J, Learning, lightroom, One Little Word, Outdoors, Photography, snow, Winter | 1 Comment



It was a quick month, that is for sure.  Busy with work.  Trial starts on Tuesday for Andy, supposed to go all the way through the 20th.  Merry Christmas to all the members of the jury.  I’m sure they will be thrilled to catch this one! 


It is officially the holiday season – not telling you anything you don’t already know, that’s for sure.  I’m prepared in some ways, not in others.  Already got one branch of the family mailed to, have most of my shopping for J done, have lots of plans for keeping the next few weeks focused on celebrating Christmas and doing things with J to keep up the spirit even though Andy will be pretty unavailable.  So I’m not in terrible shape going into the season, but there are some things I wish were already done that just aren’t.  Oh well.


One thing I do have done is my one little word for next year is already picked.  But I’m not saying what it is yet.


And interesting thing is developing for my photography – I got a mentor.  Well, really two.  I emailed a local couple that I don’t know, asked if they would do it, we met and we came to an agreement.  I’m pretty excited to start after the first of the year.  We are bartering for this service because I have a skill they could use some help with too.  I’m very excited.


There has been snow on the ground for over a week, and looks like we might get some more in the next couple of days.  I need to get out with my camera and take some photos, but there just hasn’t been time.  It will come, I’m just being impatient.


These are more of the photos I took way back a couple of weeks ago – when there was no snow on the ground.  Should probably go back to the same place after a fresh snow and see what I get.

IMG_1433_8068smHope your Thanksgiving was a good one!  I’m planning to blog more in December, but with that trial going on I may get side tracked quite a bit.


Categories: Autumn, Daily life, Fall, One Little Word, Outdoors, Photography, snow | 3 Comments


 This is my third year selecting “one little word” to help me through the year – and idea I learned of through Ali Edwards.

The word serves as a sort of a theme for my year.  A bit of inspiration.  A word to guide me through the year.   

Last year it was progress. 

The year before it was proactive. 


This year it is glorify – as in glorify God in all that I do.  

Being able to glorify God is something Andy and I often pray – that what we do and what J does will glorify God. 

Recently I came to that as the prayer I have for Andy in his cases – that he glorify God even in the dark and challenging situations that often constitute his work.


Taking this One Little Word thing seriously, I did a bit of research about glorify – what is it to glorify.  I came to understand that glorifying God comes down to this:  

1. Appreciation – to set God highest in our thoughts;

2. Adoration – think worship God;  

3. Affection – loving God; and 

4. Subjection – dedicate myself to God, ready to serve him in all I do.

So, there you have it, my one little word for this year.

Photos in this post are from my trip down to the river last Sunday morning.

Categories: Daily life, glorify, One Little Word, Outdoors, Photography | 4 Comments



– one –

All photos in today’s post were taken yesterday afternoon as I drove out to J’s school to pick him up from an after school activity – about 4:30 p.m.  The river is the Gallatin River as it flows northwest towards the headwaters of the Missouri River. 

I will return to Yellowstone photos on Monday, I promise!  Maybe sooner if I get a post done over the weekend.


– two –

This is the weekend to get baked goods made, packing done, because on Monday I will be mailing to those who didn’t get their packages already.  But to start it off, we’re having company tonight – a family of 7.  I’ll be leaving the office early to clean house and get the dinner started.  Rare for me to leave town early these days, so I’m kind of excited about this – silly, I know, but sometimes I miss more hours at home doing homey type things like cooking and cleaning.  Besides, if I get the house all clean today, I’ll have a much more free weekend for the fun baking and crafting that I want to do.


– three –

I’m having success with my body bugg – have I mentioned that before?  Must be because it is so exciting to me.  I’ve lost just about 5.5 pounds in 2 weeks.  For me, that is so amazing!  I’m excited to keep going and keep moving.  I’ve got to improve a bit with my food tracking because sometimes I don’t get it quite right.  Part of that is I’m pretty erratic about my meals – I don’t plan ahead enough, that’s for sure.  Time to get back on the menu planning band wagon!


– four –

If I can get my baking and mailing done this weekend I’m ready to really focus on bringing a Christmas spirit into our home.  It’s decorated at this point, but I want to help us focus our hearts and minds on Jesus and what it was for Him to leave heaven and His perfect existence to come to earth and deal with sin, poverty, illness and politics.  Can you imagine?  Obviously the sacrifice of the cross hits us all, but really, his sacrifice started long before that when he stepped down from heaven.  It is hard for me to find the right words to express this, so I want to focus on this a bit more and get a better grasp on what it all means.


– five –

One little word for 2013 is starting to be on my radar screen.  I had a word last weekend that I was so excited about, but now I can’t remember what it was.  Ugh! 

But I need to follow-up a bit with 2012’s word – Progress.  We’ve made some progress on things this year – finances, recently my weight loss, parenting issues, academic issues, office issues.  Nothing is finished and we certainly haven’t arrived in general, but progress is being made.  I like that!

Categories: Daily life, Faith, Family Fun, Five on Fridays, One Little Word, Outdoors, Photography, Progress, the house | 3 Comments


My one little word for this year was “Light.”  A beautiful word, with beauty and inspiration and all sorts of others who selected it as their word.  It is romantic.  It is great for photography – if my whole life were photography themed I think it would work well.

But photography is not my whole life (darn it all), and Light is not working for me.  Not at all.

Too static.  Not enough movement in that word. 

I need movement.  I need goals.  I need a fire lit under me.

No, my new word is not “Fire” although that would be another romantic word.

Last years word, Proactive, was so good.  It was inspiring.  It took me through the whole year.  It got me places.

So I’m going back to that general theme.

This year’s word is now officially changed to “Progress.”

I am tired of treading water on certain issues in my life.  I want to start making progress.  I want to thrive, not just barely survive.

We’ve had a huge parenting decision to make over the past six weeks, and frankly the concept of light was not very applicable, but the idea of seeking a way to make progress was the very thing we needed.

We have financial challenges facing us.  Progress is needed.

I have nutritional, exercise and weight issues to make Progress on.

The office needs to make progress towards the goals we set.

Growth is progress.

So, progress is the word for the year.

No more sitting around looking at the problems.  Time to begin making progress!

Categories: Light, One Little Word, Photography, Progress | 2 Comments


Sometimes it takes a lot of light at the end of the day to see the beauty of the fences and the puddles we encountered through the day.  A lot of light!

But the beauty is there, if we (I) just take the time to find it and focus on it.

As I work through this first week of the new year I find myself already a bit muddied from the puddles, and frustrated by the fences I think might hold me back.  But these are just little bits of the picture. 

Taking the time to step back and see the light of Jesus shining in the healing and the cleaning and the climbing and stretching of my life makes all the difference in the world.

Categories: Daily life, Faith, Light, One Little Word, Photography | 11 Comments

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