Loss and Abundance

I’ve recently been listening to stories of loss and grief and horrible pain via the podcast, “Terrible, Thanks for Asking.”

I’ve probably listened to 15-20 of the episodes now. The host, Nora McInerny, has an incredibly sad story of loss and grief in her own life. But she is able to use her experiences of grief and tragedy to really create an incredible space for others to share their stories. She’s deeply perceptive and non-judgmental, and is an amazing interviewer and storyteller. 

It’s felt oddly helpful to listen to other people’s stories of grief. The vulnerability. The way that their lives seem to match the weird balance in this life of being surrounded by the beauty of the way of grace, while living in a world where we must all still experience the cold reality of the way of nature. 

And as I enter this advent season, I want to be laid bare and be open and honest with myself about my own story and my own realities. The gifts and blessings I have, and the baggage that I carry around with me everyday that hinders my own growth as well as impacts my relationships with those whom I care about most. 

My soul is begging for me to push forward into the harder aspects of what it means to be intentional in addressing the aspects of myself that I have wanted to avoid. And I think that is what this last month of the year has in store for me. 

I am still slowly purging and cleaning my stuff. Getting rid of things I don’t need or use. Figuring out more ways of being intentional in my life, structured. Meanwhile, we went to storage to get out all the Christmas decorations. There’s an irony about that somewhere for me. 

In just a week and a half my wife, and my two sons, and I will get on a plane and travel to Phoenix, Arizona. There, my friend will pick us up in his car and we’ll drive back to Tucson for the week of Christmas. A couple days later, another one of my best friends and his wife will come to accompany us as well. 

I am extremely excited about this trip. There are some elements I’m nervous about regarding the actual travel, but overall I anticipate this vacation to be a life highlight for me. I know that’s putting a lot of expectation and pressure on one week, but last year we took our Christmas vacation with this same friend in Colorado Springs, Colorado and it was one of the most fulfilling weeks of my life. 

The key for me is to allow it to just happen as it happens. I have no expectations being put upon me by anyone. I don’t have eight girls to account for or teach to. I only have my own two boys, whom my goal is to focus on a spirit of adventure and exploration, of fun and family. 

It is right during the peak of the Christmas season. A season pregnant with all sorts of amazing moments of depth and meaning. To experience that with some of the most important people in my life is experiencing the overlap of heaven and earth. It is my happy place. 

Upping my game

I talk about setting photography goals for myself frequently. I’ve decided to actually follow through with some of them over the course of the next year. 

My first goal is simply to be consistent and intentional with my photography. I’ve learned a lot about photography in the past year. Perhaps one of the most important things I’ve learned about photography is that each photographer needs to have his or her own style to stand out in any kind of meaningful way. To be noticed, a photographer needs to know what sort of photography they like to shoot and what style of images they like to publish. Over time a photographer establish a look that is their own, so that when people see it, they know that it is shot from that specific photographer.

One of my weaknesses as a photographer has been an inconsistent style of photography. I mean, I know what I like. I know what sorts of images I am drawn to. I know which photographs are my favorite that I’ve taken. But I’ve published all sorts of different images with all sorts of different edits and post-processing. The images in and of themselves might be good, but without a consistent look, I lose out on a huge piece of what it means to be a photographer or an artist these days. 

So, goal one is to establish a consistency within my published photography. 

Goal two is to publish my photos consistently. I plan to do this on primary three different platforms. 

  1. Andrews.Photos  : This is my personal photography blog. In the past I have tried to post two daily photos with little explanation. This has been hard for me to keep up with, and when I fall behind it makes me want to throw in the towel completely. But photography is going to be a huge focus of mine in 2019, and so I hope to really create an online presence of my own photography there. 
  2. Fiftytwo.photos : This is a project that I thought up last year, but never followed through with. I was conflicted about the images I wanted to post on this site. I would have photos of some of the girls that live with me on the site, but I’m not allowed to show those to the public due to privacy laws. So I wasn’t able to showcase some of my favorite photos, and it caused me to lose interest in actually following through with the idea. However, this year I do not plan to post any photos that include any of my girls, so therefore I can keep the site public. The idea is that I post my favorite image from each week of the year. There will be some overlap between Andrews.photos and this site, but that’s ok. That will be less work for me. 

Recently a fellow family-teaching couple lost their baby at about 26 weeks into their pregnancy. It has been very sad to follow along with their story. They have posted a lot on Facebook about their grief, posting photos of them and their baby soon after she was born. The images are powerful and raw. They are extremely powerful and full of emotion. They have captured moments that are invaluable. Memories of the worst moments of a parent’s life, yet moments that are wanting to be remembered forever. 

There is an organization called Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep, which uses photographers and editors to capture these moments professionally. My wife was a labor and delivery nurse before becoming a family teacher, and she has mentioned the times in which families have lost their babies as being some of the most emotional and powerful moments she’s ever witnessed or been a part of. The photos that are taken are extremely precious to the families, and this organization does something incredibly generous for these parents in their worst moment of loss. 

It has been my goal to one day be an official photographer for this organization. But, understandably, their standards are extremely high for becoming a photographer for them. You have to supply a number of high quality photographs for them to review and accept before you are qualified to shoot for them. One of the required shots is a photo which shows you know how to use artificial lights appropriately. So either a speed light or a soft box setup which highlights your ability as a photographer, producing high level professional photos. 

My weakest skill as a photographer has been my knowledge of using flash and secondary artificial light sources within my photography. I’ve stayed away from using flash for two reasons: 1) I don’t have the equipment. 2) I generally don’t like the look of photographs which use flash. I mean, I can recognize what makes them good photos, as well as the skill it requires to do flash photography well. That doesn’t mean I like it, or am able to do it proficiently myself. But I want to change that.

On Friday I purchased an online class to learn more about lighting for photography. I do not own any sort of speed lights that work with my Fujifilm cameras; I don’t own any soft boxes; And up until last week I wouldn’t even know what to purchase.

But now that I’m a few hours into my class, I feel more confident on what my next steps should be in developing my skills as a photographer. I’m still going to wait to purchase any flashes or secondary lights, like a soft box or something, until after I finish the course. But I’m excited about this whole world of photography that has opened up to me, that I’ve never really ventured into. 

But it’s important to me because I really do want to take my photography to the next level and be able to be hired, or accepted, by Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep by the end of next year. 

One of the aspects of my photography that I have wanted to improve is my ability to take photos without needing to shoot the photos in RAW. Fujifilm does such a great job with their JPEG images straight out of camera that I have wanted to really publish nearly unedited photos on a regular basis from my cameras. Recently I have been doing that on Instagram using my X-T3 camera. I am able to shoot in JPEG to one card, then connect to my phone via bluetooth and wifi and transfer the photos quickly. 

It’s been very fun, and it takes a dramatic amount of less time to go from taking a photo to publishing it on something like Instagram. I have been happy with the JPEG images and I plan to continue to publish them using this method. 

If you’re interested in following along with my Instagram, my handle is @amseaman

You can take a photo of this badge with your instagram camera to follow me.

New Camera

I recently mentioned that I gathered all my old Pentax photography gear, the camera gear with which I practically learned everything I know about photography, and took it to my local camera shop and sold it all to them. 

Even though those cameras have lots of sentimental value, and lots of personal history with me, I would never use them again. Last year I moved forward to a different camera system, leaving behind my days of using Pentax. I purchased a small but very capable Fujifilm X-T20 last November during black Friday sales, and it quickly became my favorite piece of technology I’ve ever used. 

With my old Pentax cameras I didn’t really invest super heavily in the newest and nicest lenses. At the time I didn’t understand why some lenses were more than the camera’s themselves and I just didn’t have the money to invest as someone who wasn’t regularly getting paid to take photos. 

But with my X-T20 I actually got some very nice lenses, although it seems that Fuji doesn’t really make many duds. They’re all quality. And throughout the past year I’ve had an extremely good experience with my camera and my lenses. It’s been fun to take photos of our big family. I’ve been on a few vacations with my camera as well, and I’m so thankful for the images I’ve been able to capture. Truly priceless memories and moments captured. 

I’ve enjoyed Fujifilm so much in the past year that when they announced their newest camera, the X-T3, my heart started fluttering around. I considered trading in my X-T20 and figuring out a way to earn some money to make up for the rest I would need to get the X-T3. 

Then my local camera shop said they were doing a buy-back event at the same time they were doing their annual pre-black Friday sale. And so I loaded up all my equipment, and lugged it all over to the camera store. It took a long time for one of their employees to look through everything. But he offered me what I was hoping I could get for all of my old gear: the amount to cover the cost of a new X-T3 body. 

They didn’t have it in stock at the store, but they still were willing to order it for me and sell it to me at the price that was listed on their black Friday sale. I don’t know anywhere else selling the new X-T3 for a discount. 

It came in on Tuesday and I have been playing around with it ever since. I’ve been loving it. Of course all the lenses I already have for my X-T20 all fit  it, so I already know what to expect with the lenses. 

It’s ease of use is super nice. It connects to my phone via Bluetooth and it makes it super easy to transfer Fuji’s great JPEG files onto my phone for quick uploading to Instagram for Insta Stories or for my feed. Super nice. 

I’m excited to see what moments and memories I can capture with this camera. It has amazing video capabilities, and so I might even venture into learning more about videography with this camera.

The Whirlwind of the Season

Even though life has been very busy recently, this season has been very full for me. In a good way. 

Last Friday we drove from Nebraska to Indiana for my annual Friendsgiving. Every year we alternate between the Indianapolis area and the Chicago area. This was the 14th annual Turducken. And it was the 10th one in a row that I’ve attended. (I wasn’t able to travel in college to go visit those first four years). 

The trip was nice. The boys handled themselves fairly well in the car, a sign that they are indeed getting older and able to manage their emotions a little bit better. Micah was especially well behaved, and the stress that that relieves on a trip is unmeasurable. 

We drove to Sarah’s mom’s place. They live out in Eastern Indiana. There are parts that are stressful being out there. And obviously anytime you’re around your parents or in-laws, well, there are differences in life choices and opinions. But overall, I find it fairly relaxing to be out there. The boys love being with their Grammaw and Pappaw, as they call them. And that just makes everything else melt away. 

Turducken each year feels a bit different because we have it at a different location nearly every year. This year it was at one of my oldest childhood friend’s parent’s house. My sister came for the first time this year, my brother came with my dad, and my dad stayed until right before we ate. It was good seeing him. I see him maybe once of year these days. 

I would talk more about Turducken/friendsgiving this year, but I think it’s mostly boring for anyone else to read. I will say we had about 45 people this year and it was good to see my childhood friends. Worth the drive, for sure. 

We drove back on Monday, after stopping quickly for breakfast with Sarah’s dad and step-mom and grandparents at IHOP. 

There wasn’t too much time to relax because just three days later we would be hosting our Boys Town thanksgiving, expecting over 50 people. We still had to get most of the food from the store and plan out our schedule to get everything made before people arrived at 2:00pm. 

With two turkeys, a ham, and practically limitless sides we were successful. We had rearranged the entire living room to accommodate 50+ people. And that’s about how many we had. 

Sarah and our assistant went Christmas shopping on the evening of Thanksgiving at our local outlet mall to hit up all the black Friday deals. They were gone from 6:30pm to 2:00am shopping for our eight girls. They got great deals, and nearly all of our Christmas shopping is now done. 

This Christmas season I had decided that I wanted to get a DNA test kit from either Ancestry or 23 and Me. I knew that they had Black Friday deals and I ended up getting the 23 and Me ancestry and health test for half off. I look forward to learning more about myself and my heritage. 

Two steps forward

I’m currently in the process of both literally and figuratively cleaning house.

Yesterday was the boys’ room.

It’s amazing how quickly my two boys, ages 6 and 4, break their toys. It is definitely a source of shame for me. My mom always made sure we took extremely good care of our things growing up. Nothing ever broke, and if it did, it sort of felt like the end of the world.

With my boys, everything seems to get destroyed. Ezra, my four year old, especially seems intent on trying to break the things he owns. And as I find broken toy after broken toy I wonder, what am I doing wrong? Why are my boys so destructive, violent?

Perhaps years down the road Ezra will be an engineer, and his desire to break things apart and see how they work will make more sense. Maybe he’ll be is demolition or perhaps even construction.

That’s what I have to tell myself to not feel deeply ashamed that my kids break all their toys.

I filled a trash bag yesterday of old and broken toys. An entire trash bag.

But the upside is that their room is now much, much more organized and they have fewer things to destroy and fewer things to make messes with. And that in and of itself brings me joy.


Chipping away

I spent a few hours today going through my office and organizing everything in it. I still have more to do, but it was a start. And for that, I feel somewhat accomplished.

I saw images from the California fire today. It made me once again think about my worldly possessions. I thought about what if a fire was sweeping towards us quickly and I had to grab only a suitcase worth of things. What would I bring?

Beyond making sure my children were safe, I thought of only my camera gear, my laptop, a box of my old journals from high school, and the loose photos I have stored in a drawer in my office.

But even today as I spent a long time going through all the stuff in my office, I was reminded by how much stuff I actually own. All together it feels like a weight dragging me down. And right now, my desire is to get rid of as much of it as I can.

I sold nearly all my old photography gear the other day to a local camera shop. It was hard purely due to sentimental value. I sold my old Pentax cameras from which I learned how to shoot photography, as well as my grandfather’s old cameras, which looked nice, but would never ever be used and instead just stored in boxes in my closet. Which, seemed quite silly. I highly doubt it’s what he’d want, anyway.

So I sold it all. And it was a good amount of stuff. Most of it was in decent condition. I sold it to get a camera that I would actually use instead. And that helps me look toward to future with much more joy than having a bunch of old cameras in boxes in my closet.

They didn’t have the camera in the store, so I had to have them order it for me. It might be a couple weeks before it comes in, but I’m very excited for it to get here. As I pare down my worldly possessions, I’m trying to get down to the essentials of what brings me joy, which is mostly photography related, as well as my kitchen gadgets to help me make good coffee as well as bake.

As I assess the things in my life, I’m also trying to assess how I use my time. I think I’ve spent too much time the last couple months watching television shows. I’ve watched a lot of them, and I know I can be spending my time doing more productive things. Even though I love good stories, I feel like constantly being a producer of content rather than a creator drains the life out of me over time. And I’ve been consuming way more than I’ve been producing recently. And I want to flip that around.

Even though it’s getting much colder recently, I have felt inspired to be getting out more to take photos when I go out places. Or even to intentionally get outside to take photos. And that is exciting to me.

I did recently do a family photo shoot, and that was fun for me. It’s been a long, long time  since I last did a family shoot. Doing that shoot makes me want to get out there and do more.

But guess what, all this purging has kept my mind going, and it has helped me come to my computer and just sit down and type. And I’m thankful for that.


Mental health is an issue in my family. I used to go about my life thinking I was lucky, or to make it sound better #blessed. I believed I somehow escaped from my family without suffering from mental health problems.

People around me helped prop up this idea to me. My ability to sleep well, my ability to make friends, my ability to be competent and consistent in my work – they all have been things that I’ve used to create a narrative that I escaped without any issues.

But in the last couple weeks I’ve started to question that narrative about myself. I think I am someone who lives with an elevated amount of anxiety. I’ve just learned to live with it. But it’s not healthy.

By their very definition, you can’t see your own blind spots. But if you pay attention to the situations and people around you, you might be able to see their shadows from time to time. At first you might just ignore it, but if you see them enough you start to recognize that there’s something you’re not seeing.

That’s how it’s been for me. I’ve noticed enough comments from my wife, from a couple of my friends, from various relational situations that have caused me frustration and unease, from observing similarities to some of the mental health issues of my own family that have caused me to finally admit to something I think.

I live with an unhealthy amount of anxiety.

The house I grew up in on the south side of Indianapolis was a large 3000+ square foot home. I lived there from age 5-18, as well as the summers in between college semesters. My entire childhood was practically in that home, so the two are inseparable.

I do not have good feelings about that home.

Before my mom moved out to Iowa, across the river from Omaha, Nebraska, she had to sell the house we grew up in. But after 20 years of not being maintained nor renovated that house was practically falling apart. Combine that with my mom being a hoarder of things, well, it was in sad shape.

A couple weeks before my mom moved, I drove down from Chicago and spent an entire weekend getting rid of all sorts of things by either throwing stuff away or donating it to Goodwill. Dozens and dozens of trips to Goodwill with carloads of stuff. And we only scratched the surface of all that my mom had and didn’t need. She still needed an entire semi to move her stuff to Iowa.

The house was purchased by someone that had the vision and the means of bringing it back its potential beauty. It was sold for probably half its potential value, but it sold. And that at the time was all that mattered. My mom was able to move out of the house with my brother.

A week and a half ago the house went up for sale again. My mom alerted me and I got immediately on Realtor.com to look it up, and…wow. It’s amazing. The owners completely redid like 90% of the house. It’s wonderful. Hardwood floors. New appliances. New siding, roof, tiles, everything.

As I kept scrolling through the slides of the house I was so happy to see the house being brought into this wonderful condition. At the same time, something really wrestled deep within me. A deep-seated anger, a bitterness, that has clearly just been sitting there.

Looking at those pictures, though, I felt vindicated by my feelings. This is what the house could have been like! We never did any sort of renovations or maintenance. Things just kind of fell apart over time. And as a kid, well, you’re a fish in water. You don’t know anything else. But knowing what I know now I see just how much I was kept from a childhood that I thought could have been possible. Instead of being able to use all the amazing space throughout the house, my mom piled up boxes and boxes of stuff. Papers. Mementos. Lots of things that were deemed to have sentimental value.

These things kept me from ever having very many friends over. We never had any guests over to our house. Never did we have anyone over for dinner. It would have been too embarrassing, and there would be nowhere to gather.

We did carve out a spot in the basement for my drums and piano and my computer and recording equipment. And for that, I am tremendously grateful. It is the brightest spot of my childhood in that home. But I always dreamed of more. And I never got to experience that dream.

Seeing the photos on realtor.com confirmed how nice it could have been. And it did something to me. I had dreams for the next couple days related to that house. And I felt validated in my bitterness and anger. But at the same time, I feel like I am finally able to let it go. Someone else can enjoy that house now. All is not lost for that being a wonderful home.

That environment gave me a level of anxiety that I’ve been walking around with ever since. I learned things explicitly and implicitly from my parents from living in that house. Some of which I am just now uncovering.

I’ve never had orderliness modeled for me. We didn’t have chores growing up. I didn’t keep a clean room when I was a kid, and I don’t really now. And it drives me freaking bonkers. It drives me nuts. My anxiety levels when I feel my home is disorganized and there’s stuff everywhere go through the roof compared when I feel like my home is organized, clean, and put together.

It’s ironic in many ways because I live with eight teenage girls who have weekly assigned chores that they have to upkeep every day, which get checked three times a day. The part of the house that gets utilized by 13 people on a regular basis is the cleanest and most organized part of my home. The part where just me and my two boys live, is not. It gets trashed by my sons on a regular basis. And laundry, oh the freaking amount of laundry! I just, I don’t know. It seems like an unwinnable battle.

But that has been an excuse. Or in reality, my wife and I have refused to figure out a way to maintain an organized home when it comes to our own personal living space.

I’ve not ever liked to recognize it or acknowledge it because it reminds me of my own home growing up. But I’ve had three friends visit recently, and it’s been a struggle to keep up with making an attempt to get organized for them. I have no routines. No examples, and honestly, very little help in upkeeping a level of organization that keeps our place from looking like a bomb exploded in it.

So I’m trying to strategize how to overcome this, because I can’t keep living this way. I just can’t. My stress levels are through the roof because of it, and it seeps into every aspect of my life – my relationships, my mental and emotional health. Even my physical health. I find that when my environment is organized and clean, I feel like taking better care of myself.

I used to think that organization was a strength of mine. But, it’s clearly not. Why did I think it was? Just because I like things to be organized doesn’t make me someone who is organized. I used to think that I was nothing like my mom when it came to stuff that I kept around for no good reason other than it had some sort of sentimental value, but I was wrong. I’m just not AS bad.

So here I am. I’m thirty-two years old and I’m finally taking ownership of my shortcomings and characteristics that I’ve inherited from my mom, and well, from both of my parents.

But before this looks like a dump fest on my mom, I will say that just the other day I recognized a wonderful trait in myself that I inherited from my mom. Sarah and the girls were gone at a concert. They had to leave quickly after dinner and so there were lots of dishes left in the sink and on the counter. I knew they were coming home late, and so while they were gone I took some time to do all the dishes and clean up the kitchen. I knew that when they got home our girl who was on dishes chore would be pleasantly surprised that they were already done. I didn’t need to see her reaction when she came home, just knowing that she would be happy not to have to do them was satisfaction enough for me. And that is totally something that I have gotten from my mom. My mom always did things like that for me. When I came back from camp or from a long day I’d find my bed made with a corner folded open with fresh sheets on it, and a clean and organized room.

It was something that she did regularly to show me she cared and loved me. And I find myself doing that for Sarah, the girls, and even the boys.

So this week I’m starting operation purge and organize.

I’ve told Sarah I can’t do this by myself. I need a partner to commit to this as well. So I will go through all our things and decide what we will keep and what we will trash or donate. Her role will be to actually trash and to donate. Put things in the dumpster. Take things to goodwill or those big donate bins out in various parking lots.

It has come to the point where I need this. And so it begins this week.

We go on vacation back to Indiana on Friday, and so I want to have a clean and organized place that I’m coming back to.

Then the challenge will be to come up with real manageable routines that we can keep up with to keep this place organized.

I say all this to basically say out loud that I think I struggle with anxiety, and it’s because I haven’t acknowledged aspects about my lifestyle that is keeping that anxiety from going away. I am shining a light on the darker places in my life that I try to hide from others because it exposes the facade I’ve put up.

But I’m attempting to get away from that.

And so…yeah, this long rambling post. Almost 1800 words about cleaning my room.


Wow. Life is weird.



Sometimes I think my greatest frustrations come from me not living into my own ideal expectations. As I have grown older I think it has only gotten worse over time.

I am someone who loves routines and rituals. Or at least I say I do. I think I do.

Some of my routines are easier to follow than others. If others participate in my rituals and routines, it makes it ten times more likely for me to follow through consistently. If it’s up to just me however, or up to me to initiate, I am good for a little while, or here and there, but I’m just not consistent. And that really bothers me. Like, a lot.

For example, I have the extreme desire to write nearly every day. But I’m the only one motivating myself to do it, so it just doesn’t happen. I love to make coffee every morning using my aeropress or chemex, and if my girls make themselves a pot of coffee, I almost always make myself a nice cup of coffee for myself as well. If they don’t, I often don’t (unless I really need one).

I’m not sure exactly why that is.

A few years back when I shot photography using Pentax cameras, there was a great online community of Pentax users who shared a daily photo with each other. We all commented on each other’s photos every day from all around the world. I loved being a part of that group and it really helped me to understand the craft and art of photography. It forced me to be creative, to notice things every single day that were around me. I felt the pressure, but it was a good pressure. I loved the ritual.

want to do that now that I’ve switched to Fujifilm, but that sort of community doesn’t exist as far as I’ve seen. So here I am wanting to take photos like I used to, at least one each day, challenging myself to notice things around me and capture them in interesting ways, but I just don’t do it without the support of others. And then I get frustrated.

But it’s not just those sorts of unnecessary routines that I don’t follow through with, it’s also the ones that I definitely should be doing. Laundry. Cleaning up after the boys. Taking out the trash when it first needs to go out. Organizing the bills and mail and emails and tasks. I’m not as good with that stuff. I also don’t have people encouraging me to do it. My wife is good at almost never nagging me about it, but there are times I wish we were more supportive with each other to get these things done.

I don’t do the necessary routines, I then I get frustrated with myself that there’s laundry all over the floor, or that the boys have their toys scattered all over the room, or that there’s now two bags of trash sitting next to the trash can that I need to go take out to the dumpster.

The other day I was super frustrated about it and I just said in desperation to Sarah, “I’m so sick and tired of living this way!” And I am. But I don’t really know how to overcome it. I could make myself artificial motivators. I could create checklists and chore lists or something like that. But I’m not sure that would even work.

I have no real solutions to my problems right now. But my frustration has opened a window into an insight about myself that I’ve been recognizing recently. I plan to write about it soon (but probably won’t because…well…yeah, no other people encouraging me to do so). But I think I’m actually an anxious person and just haven’t seen it until recently. Maybe it’s that I’ve always told myself that I’m not an anxious or stressed out person in comparison to those in my family. But perhaps if I can address this element in myself, then perhaps these other daily tasks and rituals have a better chance at coming more naturally to me and actually happening more consistently.

Who knows? But it’s the path I’m planning on taking for now.


Life has been very busy for me recently. The month of September flew by incredibly fast. My son’s 6th birthday happened. Sarah and I had our second successful certification at work. And we’ve kind of been wracked by various sick bugs and viruses, which makes us get behind in things like laundry and various other chores in our home. I haven’t even wanted to walk into my office for a couple weeks because I have had piles of clean laundry nagging at me in here. 

We even got a new car last week, which we were kind of wanting to do, but actually put in the work and research to do smartly, and did it. I still am not a fan of cars, or the process of purchasing and maintaining them, but it’s a relief to have a new one. I felt like our old one was about to have some sort of major breakdown and we would be doomed in that scenario. 

Anyway, I have been really feeling my lack of creative endeavors weighing on me recently. And now that it’s getting colder and the fall, I know that my desire to create will only get increased due to being practically stuck inside most of the time. 

Photography is my favorite hobby, and I just haven’t been taking as many photos recently for whatever reason. Or if I do, I haven’t been excited about editing them. 

When I used to use Pentax gear I would participate in an incredible group of photographers every month on Pentaxforums.com. Each month we’d choose one lens for our camera, and take pictures with that lens each day. And every day we’d post our favorite photo we took with the lens on the forum and people would comment and constructively critique each others’ photos. 

really loved being a part of that group. I’ve missed it tremendously since switching to Fuji. Besides the incredible community of photographers which made each month so great, the challenge of using one lens and taking a photo with it each day was great. It forced me to be creative. To notice things around me, and how I could capture them within the limitations of my lens and camera. 

I’m always trying to replicate projects and endeavors like that. But I never have really kept up with any of them because I don’t have any other external motivations to continue on with them. 

But I thought that perhaps starting tomorrow I’d give myself a challenge to try and take one photo each day with one of my lenses. I’ll probably post it to andrews.photos, which is a site I have used in the past with some of my photos. 

I have also thought about only shooting in black and white or perhaps only shooting in JPEG and seeing how that turns out. I like giving myself projects with limitations.

My best friend comes into town tomorrow night, and even though I always intend to take lots of photos when my friends visit, I’m actually quite poor about actually doing it. But I really want to be better about it this time around.