Why So Serious?

So, I was coming out of Target the other day, and I witnessed the funniest and the saddest thing all at once. It was raining off and on all day, so everything was pretty soaked. This little boy, who was maybe ten years old, was going in with his mom. Out of nowhere, he jumps and sprawls on top of one of the big red balls outside of the front door of Target, and sings, “I came in like a wrecking ball!!!!”

It was one of the funniest things I had ever seen. I was laughing pretty hard, actually. My eyes got all watery. He sees that I am watching him and for a split second, seems embarrassed. But, once he realized how funny I thought he was, he was quite proud of himself.

I keep walking, laughing the whole way. Then, all of the sudden, his mom starts yelling at him. “Why did you do that?” I mean, she was really screaming at him. She said, “Now, your pants are all soaked! Now, you can’t go in the store, and you’re not getting in my car all soaking wet!”

So, I’m thinking so what? Are you going to make him stand outside in the rain? I mean, here this little guy is giving us comedic gold, and all his mom could do was scream at him. I get that yeah, now he may look like he peed his pants, but, he didn’t. And, I know, who knows what kind of day that mom was having? But, come on. That should have cheered her up.

The more I have think about this, because it stuck with me for some reason, the more it bothers me. I feel like parents like that suck the funny and curiosity out of their kids. I truly hope that no matter what life throws at me, or takes away from me, that I will never be so angry at the world that I crush Audrey’s spirit.

Hopefully, seeing how funny I thought he was sticks with him somehow. Because, honestly, he was funny. And, I bet that he tries to express it all the time and gets in trouble for it. His mom struck me as an angry woman. But, like I said, who knows what kind of day she was having, and maybe she is not always like that. I hope for his sake, that is true.

I look forward to Audrey getting dirty and being silly. Things can be replaced. Clothing can be washed, presoaked in OxiClean sometimes maybe, but they can be cleaned. Those moments when she is at her silliest, or most curious, those are some of the most important moments of both our lives.

-T

Well, it has been quite some time since I have thought about writing; let alone had time to write. Audrey keeps me pretty busy! She recently turned three months old, and she is AMAZING! Motherhood is unlike any other adventure I have been on. It does not, however, leave too much time to process worldly issues or write about them.

But, Audrey has a great temperament and is starting to entertain herself a little bit more every day. So, since I am working from home and it is part-time, I will be devoting a little time to my creative outlets again.

Those who know me well know that I was always very ANTI-having kids, for as long as I can remember. I had my reasons. I know that I am not the first person to say that. And, I know I will not be the first person to say this, but I am saying it anyways…Audrey is the BEST thing that has ever happened to me. Becoming a mom is the BEST thing I have ever done.

Tony is a great dad. I knew he would be. Audrey lights up every time she interacts with him. As easy as Audrey has made things on us thus far, that does not mean we have not had rough moments as we’ve came through these first 3 months of being parents. (Don’t ever let anyone tell you that parenting is easy) And, I know that we have years of trying moments to come between the happy ones. But, that’s life and I think that we make a good team, and we will be able to grow as Audrey grows.

I look forward to watching her learn about herself and her surroundings. One can only hope to fill their child with wonder and curiosity for the world around them. Audrey already strikes me as smart and determined, and funny. Spending a lifetime exploring the world with her and Tony is something I want more than I ever thought I could ever want anything. Life is funny that way.

-T

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Well, hello out there!

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Changes

Due to recent life events, I have not been very focused. A lot of people know already, but we recently found out we are pregnant! I am days away from the second trimester.

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This of course is great news! Tony and I are both excited, and so are our friends and family. I have been fortunate mostly in how I feel, but I have had a few rough days. It has made me less excited about riding in a car for extended periods of time looking for things to shoot. I did have a great weekend a couple weeks ago where I felt ‘normal’ enough to venture out. So, we took full advantage. These are a few things we came across:

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Raw Talent, Ennis TX

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  Field of Green

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Taking Flight

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Penguin, Dallas Zoo

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Chimpanzee, Dallas Zoo

After almost year and a half of constant pain, Tony finally had his disc replacement surgery.

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This is also VERY good news. He is still healing, but already feels better. He has a long road ahead of physical therapy, but it will all be worth it.

I plan on taking advantage of the ‘ease’ of the second trimester and getting in some simple pleasures while I can! We know we are in for quite the adventure, but we will be as ready as we can be. We have to get be, right?

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Sustainability

Back in February, we decided to start a small garden. Living in an apartment does make this a bit more challenging, but not impossible. We started out with a Burpee sprouting system. It is a very basic system, but it has proven to be the best solution for us.

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When I was growing up I was responsible for a lot of the garden work at my mom’s house, but it’s been so long that this feels like learning how to use my green thumb for the first time. It’s rewarding to know that pretty soon we will be eating vegetables and herbs that we grew. We basically chose to grow what we will use all the time. Cooking is something that happens a lot around here and tomatoes, cilantro and onions are staples for us.

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Once our sprouts started really, well, sprouting, it was time to transfer them.

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Turns out gardening is like riding a bike. Once you’ve learned, the knowledge is there. Plus there are always local nurseries, the internet and magazines like Mother Earth News. Yes I am name dropping, but simply out of gratitude. It has been an inspiration since a fellow bus rider in Long Beach, WA told me about how informative it had been for him.

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For me having a garden is a win-win. I have learned that photographing the plants is just as exciting and fun as waiting for them to grow. The detail and life being captured in each image has me captivated every time.

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Tony has also found a secondary thrill in our garden. The art of Bonsai. He is getting pretty good at it too. It will be interesting to see how it progresses through the next couple of months.

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This garden has us both thinking on a grander scale. Why doesn’t every community have at least one community garden? If you contribute time and effort, then you share the rewards. If you do not participate, then buying at a local farmers market could be an option. There are communities currently practicing sustainability, but not enough. Something to aspire towards…

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Puppy Love

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We recently adopted an adorable blue heeler/lab mix puppy. Bianca is what we call her, BeeBee for short.

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It has been quite the adjustment for our one year old wire haired terrier (terrorizer) mix, Bodhi. It’s funny how similarly awkward their first encounter was to that of humans.

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Bodhi tried desperately to assert his dominance, but was quickly made aware that Bianca had no desire to let that happen. She has been giving him a taste of his own medicine since a few hours after we brought her home.

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Despite his best efforts, I think he loves her already. It will be interesting to see how things progress for them as she exceeds him in size, and possibly strength. Something tells me Bodhi will still consider himself the protector of our pack, and Bianca will just keep letting him belief that…

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Being Showcased

I was recently asked by one of my college Photography teachers if I would like to be the first installment in his new “Graduate Spotlight” page on his blog. Of course I would! So, I did.

Considering that Patrick Keough is one of the strongest artistic influences in my life, I’m humbled that he would ask me to participate.

Patrick will be showcasing one Photo Grad each month, and I look forward to seeing how he puts it all together. I have included the link to it so you can check it out for yourself.

http://keoughp.wordpress.com/2013/03/22/photography-graduate-spotlight-teresa-gillikin/

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Flat Stanley

Stanley arrives in Texas

Stanley arrives in Texas

My niece Aliyah recently asked if I could help her out with a school project. Her second grade class in Illinois read the ‘Flat Stanley’ book series and had to send their Flat Stanleys to friends/relatives in different states to have an adventure.

Stanley tries Texas bbq shrimp

Stanley tries Texas bbq shrimp

This was such a fun project and I was honored to be chosen to help. Flat Stanley had quite the Texas adventure! We took him to the Fort Worth Stockyards as a main part of his excursion, where he met some very colorful characters.

Stanley meets some "outlaws"

Stanley meets some “outlaws”

Once I started really getting into this project, thinking outside of the box became an obvious solution. Ensuring that Bodhi the Wonder Mutt would not eat Stanley was the beginning of something great. From there I was able to create scenes with them that brought the whole series together.

Stanley & Bodhi ready to go to the lake

Stanley & Bodhi ready to go to the lake

Stanley & Bodhi play fetch

Stanley & Bodhi play fetch

Stanley & Bodhi play hide and seek

Stanley & Bodhi play hide and seek

Being in Texas, it seemed important to incorporate some Texas food culture into this. Since I love to cook this was seen as a simple and enjoyable task. Black Bean Chili with Adobo sauce was served and everyone was happy.

Stanley tries Texas chili

Stanley tries Texas chili

In the end, I sent our dear friend Flat Stanley back to Illinois with a Texas Longhorn souvenir, a letter filled with historical facts and humorous anecdotes and a photo album displaying his adventures. I’ve been told it was a hit with her class!

Stanley gets his souvenir

Stanley gets his souvenir

Aliyah gets Stanley back

Aliyah gets Stanley back

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Creature of the Night

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Night photography has always been a favorite of mine. Being a night owl by nature, it just feels right.

Some places can be so pitch black and possess a silence so profound, that you can feel it. Depending on the circumstances the possibilities are endless for capturing the tranquil, yet sometimes eerie side of nature.

The area I live in is outside of Dallas enough that I can have nothing but moonlight if that’s what I want. There should be no problem capturing exactly what I’m looking for and more…

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Cemetery Series

Starting today, on a whim, I’ve decided to do a Texas cemetery series. It was a great day for shooting too!

Despite the many deaths I’ve mourned in the past few years, this series is not about me being morbid. In fact, quite the opposite. I plan to capture some life among the death.

Gathering historical data will also be a part of this project. I have a title in mind, but as the series progresses it may change, so for now I will keep that to myself.

No time frame has been set,  as I am still unsure of all the details and distance that will be involved. I hope it sheds some light on Texas history, while it also enables my self expression. To be continued…

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Photo Contests

http://picturecompete.com/photo-contests/

“Abandoned” must be submitted today. $10 entry fee for 3 photos. Read guidelines for submission.

These are my three entry photos:

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