Thursday, September 29, 2011


Equinox.  It's just a beautiful word, isn't it?
Just the sound of it evokes ideas of harmony and peace. (Okay.  I realize that sounds really hippie-ish, but hey.  It's true.)

I love Autumn!
I may or may not be one of those people who say "I love [insert whatever season it is at the moment]!" all the time, but it's true.  I love all of the seasons and whichever one it is at the moment is the one that I love the most.
There is beauty to be found in every season and in every changing-of-season, so, without further ado, some Equinox beauty for you:

1.  Fantastic moon!  (This is actually the moon I mentioned a while back, and while I'm not sure I'm satisfied with it, I just had to post a picture.


Now that was glorious in person.

2.  Red Barns in (somewhat) Green Landscapes


You can tell they're just waiting on yellow leaves to complete the pciture.

3.  Stormy Skies.  When you live in Texas right now, they're doubly beautiful.




I was getting sprinkled on before I even made it back to the house and even though this particular one didn't deliver as much as we'd hoped, somehow even just the anticipation and the little reward were enough to carry me through for a few days.

4.  Leaves and Little Tikes (or Little John Deeres in this case)


5.  Sleepy-time cats who will let you do anything with them




I love the look on Sister-Friend's face in that last one.  We love him.  Can you tell?
And no, he's not angry there.  I don't know why it looks like he is.  Cameras do weird things sometimes.  Two seconds later, he was purring in her arms.

6.  Eggs balanced on counter-tops



If you didn't know about this last one, I feel very sorry for you.  Yes.  At both Equinoxes (Equini?) you can balance an egg on the wider end.  Something to do with the gravitational pull of the moon being perfectly . . . aligned . . . with . . . something. (I missed that part of the science lesson.)

Around our house, we have mastered the art of egg-balancing.  As in, even I can do it.


I balanced this one!  So proud!

But we've noticed that the eggs will stay balanced even after the equinox is over.  So we're beginning to suspect that we should try to balance them at other times of the year to see if we've been deceived all along.
Either way, we love doing it and, since we have our own chickens (and frequently a surplus of eggs), will have any number of eggs on our counter come Equinox time.

Of course with all the seasons there are also unpleasant things.  In the fall, for me, it's pumpkin flavoring.
I can hardly handle it.  I love looking at pumpkins, and carving them, and eating the seeds even.  Yum!
But pumpkin bread and pumpkin pie?  Never.
Give me banana bread or zucchini bread and sweet potato pie any day of the week, but pumpkin I will never touch.
And heaven forbid I walk into Starbucks right after they've made a Pumpkin Spice Latte.  Instant headache.  I'm not even kidding.

But still, I love Fall!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Excuse me for a moment while I mourn the loss of innocence in our world

There are days when I am so accosted visually and audibly by vulgarity that I get close to crying for the children that I don't even have yet.

There is so much ugliness in the world and I get so scared about the idea of bringing children into it.  It hurts just thinking that someday I will have to stop protecting them and that their poor eyes and ears will be exposed to horrible degrading things.

I don't even have kids yet and I'm already mourning the loss of their innocence.

We are aliens and strangers.  We are sojourners.  We are only passing through.  This is not our home and I praise the Lord for it.

Don't worry.  Happy-Esther-Who-Finds-Beauty-In-Everything will be back in a few hours.

Edit:  Look what I just found!
Isaiah 54:13  "All your children shall be taught by the LORD, and great shall be the peace of your children."
What a promise.  Our God is good!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Can You Handle Another Work Story?

Well, sorry if you can't, because you're getting one anyway. I crack myself up pretty regularly, I'm afraid.
I hope I'm not the only one who finds these little anecdotes hilarious.

So, today, shortly after I got back from a long lunch break/coffee date with a lovely friend, a man walked into the office and wanted to talk about things I knew about.  This made me happy because sometimes people want to talk about things I don't know about.

After we finished with our little talk, he offered his hand to shake and, at the same time said his name.
Without even processing what he had just said, I shook his hand and replied with "Good Luck" . . . a totally appropriate thing to say after the conversation we'd just had, but not at all an appropriate response to him telling me his name.

I mean, it sounds like I just said "Good Luck with a name like that."
For the record, I never even fully processed the man's name.
Way to be unprofessional and maybe rude, Esther.

But, in the end, I just had to laugh at myself and he probably laughed at me too.
So we were both amused.

Thursday, September 15, 2011


I love moments.
I mean, I love God and people and animals and, well, life.

But moments, moments are really special.  You know what I mean by moments, right?  Those little points on your journey when you just stop and say, for who-knows-what reason, "Whoa!" maybe silently or maybe aloud.
Maybe it's a smell, a sight, a sound, a feeling, or a thought.  You may not even know what it is, but it's just beautiful.

That's why I'm a writer and a photographer.  I want to catch all the moments in my life.
Sometimes I succeed, and sometimes I don't.

And sometimes I can't.
I'm learning to accept those times when I can't catch something.

A few weeks ago, I had one of those moments and I wanted to catch it.  I wanted to catch it so bad.  I tried to make an essay out of it, but I just said too much.  I covered it up with my finite words.
I tried to make a poem out of it, but I couldn't say enough.  I tried to make another poem out of it.
I tried to make another poem out of it.
But it was something secret and sacred.  Something too sacred for human language.
And it hasn't died.  It's stayed with me despite the fact that I can't contain it in any of my usual cages.

Ever since I got my first camera at twelve, maybe even eleven, I've been taking pictures.  It's crazy, the number of pictures I have stored up, whether in print from that old film camera, or on memory cards that pop up in the weirdest places in my house.
I compulsively take pictures.  In high school I was so bad about it that if I went anywhere without my camera, the good time was ruined for me a little bit.  Ha.  Let's not shield you from the truth.  I'm still that way.

No.  Really.  I'm serious.

But now I'm learning that there are times when you can't capture the moment, so you savor it while it's there and let it slip away in the natural course of things, knowing another will come.

Last night I was driving home around eleven and I caught a glimpse of the moon.  The moon in a gown of Spanish Lace* with a glass slipper named Jupiter peeking out from under the hem.
I raced down my road at forty miles an hour, breakneck speed for that terrain, (refer to the last picture in this post if you don't believe me) hoping against hope that the clouds would stay put.
They did stay put, but there was no way I could capture the fullness of what I saw, even with the widest of wide-angle lenses.

This morning I was walking across campus to work.  I was a little late, so the 8:00 rush of students trying to get to class was over and I was practically by myself.  There was a slight nip in the air and people hadn't yet had time to drop skittles wrappers or Sprite bottles or popcorn bags on the steps to my building.  The only sound was the clip clip clip of a woman's heels as she crossed the paved "courtyard."
My first thought was "I wish I had my camera."
But what would I have taken a picture of?  You couldn't have seen the cold air in the picture.
My words right now can't convey to you the lovely sterility of the early morning quiet.  The hush after the first storm of students.

And I knew that.
I knew it as I stood still and listened and breathed deep and smiled like a fool at nothing in particular and just absorbed without scrambling to save anything.

*Don't you love that phrase "a gown of Spanish Lace?"  So do I.  I wish I could say I came up with it on my own.  But I didn't.  It was Janette Oke's first.  It's the title of a book I've never read.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

A Funny Thing Happened Just Now

One of the Blogs that I like to read regularly is written by a girl in the Northwest.
Today she said something like Yes!  Summer has finally arrived! and posted a picture of the thermometer saying 88 degrees.

Today I was rejoicing that fall had finally arrived because it was only around ninety outside and we can now actually eat hot lunches without feeling miserable.


Also?  We can actually go to the park and have a picnic without sweating.





Talk about an awesome afternoon!
Although the heat may or may not have made us decide on our next activity . . .




Props to you if you noticed the traffic cone on top of the Starbucks sign.
I didn't until I was reviewing the pictures.


Apparently it's a prank that's been there for months. Really? And I never noticed it?

Tuesday, September 6, 2011


The other day, little Hannah came up to me while I was cleaning up a Sunny-D spill and asked if I could make her some pretend doctor tools.  Rather than stop wiping up the sticky Sunny-D which was still running all over everything, I just said "Hmmm.  I'll have to do some research on that one."

Hannah promptly turned to her little friend Nick (who was standing right next to us) and said "Okay.  She said she'll do some research on it."  In a tone that said "We've definitely made some progress toward getting those doctor tools."
"Do you know what that means, Nick?"
"It means she's going to look it up on some websites."
*long pause*
"Do you know what that means, Nick?"

I would dearly love to know what "looking it up on some websites" means to her, but Nick apparently wasn't that interested and they moved on to something other than Doctor.

Looks like maybe I'll have to choose my words more carefully when I'm a mommy.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Instead of American Idol

A month ago, I was absolutely positive I would be auditioning for American Idol in Houston last week.

That didn't happen.  About the time I made my decision, my Grandmother had open-heart surgery and Mom went down to Houston to help with her recovery, so, instead of American Idol,

I stayed here to hang out with these hooligans

slash champion Twister players

slash ninjas

slash best friends.

I caked

The Inspiration

The Result

The Disaster

The Recovery

I hadn't done this in way too long.  It was a blast, and not only beautiful, but actually delicious (a result which I, sadly, do not always achieve).

And I did some serious soul-searching over a few incredibly full cups of coffee.


Yes, I may have been hanging out with tiny ones all the time, but, between that and getting back into the swing of things at school and work, I did have time for some serious thinking.
The fact is, I did want to audition for American Idol, but I didn't want to be on the show.

I was in search of affirmation, but I already have all the affirmation I need when these tiny ones reach out for me after a nap.
When they ask me to play games with them.
When they throw their arms around me just because I'm there.

Besides, do I really want to be in that world again?


I don't think so.
Just look at what it does to my hair!
All that to say, the past two weeks have contained some of my favorite days ever even if they weren't the days I was expecting.