Thankful November 10th: Family

I know that I’ve already mentioned my parents and my siblings in individual posts, but I have a lot more family. My husband’s family is very large (he is the youngest of eight kids). I have a wonderful group of aunts, uncles, and cousins. I inherited four wonderful children when I married my husband. And then there are people who aren’t blood relation, but are still family. Family is very important to me, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Thankful November 9th: Music

There has never been a time in my life that hasn’t included music. I grew up in a family of seven (including parents), and all of us played at least two instruments (including parents). My dad’s mother was a piano teacher. She taught me for 11 years, and she was my biggest supporter when I chose to study music in college. I play the piano, and violin. In college, I studied singing and choral conducting. I started teaching piano when I was 18, and I currently have 15 students who do two to three recitals a year. I met my husband because I was the music director for a show at a local community theater. The show we were doing was written by a friend who asked my younger sister and me to arrange the music. I have written a little original music, but I mostly do choir arrangements (makes sense, see previously mentioned college path). I love music. I don’t know what life would be like without music infusing pretty much every aspect of it.

Thankful November 8th: Brothers

I have one brother. He is my oldest sibling, and he is admittedly my parents’ most spoiled child. When we were kids, he would sit on you and tickle you, all the while yelling to our mom “Mom, get her off me! Mom, help!” He has a wicked sense of humor, is a wonderful father and grandfather, and loves his family. He is an amazing man. He and his live in Colorado, and I miss having them close by. Love ya, Terry!

Thankful November 7th: Photography

I love taking pictures. I love taking pictures of people. I love taking pictures of places. I love taking pictures of abstract things. I just love taking pictures. My love of photography started with I was very young. Starting from about age 7, if you had asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I would have told you, “A free-lance photojournalist for the National Geographic Society.” And I knew what that meant. My parents had a subscription to the NGS, and each month I would pour over the photos from around the world of amazing places and cultures. I got my first camera when I was about 10. I took a photography class in 9th Grade where we learned all about light, f-stops, aperture, and how to develop your own black and white film (yes, film). I got my first really good camera when I was 23, and I loved taking black and white slides. My first trip to Europe (when I was 26), all of my photos were slides. Crazy, I know. But now, with everything digital, most photos are shared online and shown in a new form of slide show. I was just ahead of my time.

Recently, I’ve delved in portrait photography, and it’s been a blast. Weddings can still give me some anxiety, but it is so much fun to capture moments and memories for people.

I had a hard time deciding what photo I would include on this post. I decided to use the first photos I posted when I started this blog seven years ago. I still can’t believe it’s been that long. What an amazing adventure!

A Photo a Week Challenge: In the Neighborhood

I realized that I haven’t taken many non-travel photos lately, so I stepped out my front door and took this picture this morning.

I really like my neighborhood. We have great neighbors, the area is relatively quiet, and there is a wonderful park with a walking trail at the end of our street. The elementary school is just behind the church on the corner, and kids are usually out playing after school when the weather is good. During the holidays, people deliver neighbor Christmas gifts, and the youth take one evening a couple of weeks before Christmas to deliver Christmas cards for anyone (you do have to address your own cards) to anyone in the neighborhood. People out walking or driving wave to each other, and regardless of your religious status (or lack thereof), everyone is welcome to come to the big neighborhood block party every September at the local LDS Stake Center where the congregations (known as wards) in the Stake (six to eight LDS wards in an area) take turns providing the barbecue meal. It’s best when the Tongan ward is in charge and we get a luau!

IN A NEW POST CREATED FOR THIS CHALLENGE, SHARE A PHOTO (OR TWO OR THREE) OF YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD.

Everyone is welcome to participate, even if your blog isn’t about photography.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Each week, I’ll come up with a theme and post a photo that I think fits. You take photographs based on your interpretation of the theme, and post them on your blog (a new post!) anytime before the following Thursday, when the next photo theme will be announced.
  2. To make it easy for others to check out your photos, title your blog post “A Photo a Week Challenge: (theme of the week)” and be sure to use the “postaday″ tag.
  3. Come back here and post a link to your image in the comments for this challenge.
  4. Follow nancy merrill photography so that you don’t miss out on weekly challenge announcements.

Thankful November 6th: Utah

Earlier I posted about how I’m thankful for the beauty of our wonderful earth. Today, I wanted to focus on my home state of Utah. Utah has amazing diversity in nature, from lush forests to desert to red rock formations and mountains. When the Mormon pioneers first settled here, the leader Brigham Young prophesied that the industries of the pioneers would make the desert blossom like the rose, and it truly has. The Salt Lake Valley has a population of over 1 million people, and the state has a population of over 3 million.

I love traveling around this beautiful state, photographing nature and people across the landscape.

Thankful November 5th: Sisters

I have three sisters: two older, one younger. Growing up, we were the bane of our brother’s life. He even told my mom once that he didn’t care if it took twelve sisters, he wanted a brother. He didn’t get one until my oldest sister got married and he finally got a brother-in-law.

I have a lot of friends with only sons, and you frequently hear (or read in a meme) the saying that boys are harder to keep alive, but have less drama. I’m sure my parents went through a lot of drama with us. Even with all of the drama, I love my sisters. We are now all really good friends. We live close (all within 10 miles), and we love getting together for family parties or a girls’ lunch with mom.

Thanks, guys (well, I guess gals), for helping me have a wonderful childhood and built in friends.