12 Things to do With Fall Leaves

I’m always somber this time of year; sad to see summer fading. To get out of my funk, I focus on the vibrant beauty that next month will bring and think of things to do with autumn leaves.


While I realize that Sweet Summer can only offer a few more stray weekends of her long, warm days before she tucks them away for another year, I allow myself to start opening my tight grip on these fleeting warm New England days. In truth, I’m ready for a new season.

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5 Simple Photography Tips for Amazing Fall Photos

Planning a family leaf peeping trip this weekend? Or would you just like a great excuse to get outside and enjoy a beautiful fall day with your child or grandchild? These photography tips are for you!


As the American poet, William Cullen Bryant, so perfectly professed, Autumn is “the year’s last loveliest smile.” Why not capture its joy in your camera’s lens?

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Photography Tips to Try With Your Child

My 12-year-old and I enjoyed learning new Photography Tips in our self-guided mini Summer Photo Challenge.

She was deeply intrigued in the beginning, which revolved around a lazy July morning. I suggested we each take some pictures–a Mother/Daughter Photo Challenge–using some interesting techniques. My young author listened eagerly, immediately seeing potential for improving her blog posts. (Yes, my 12-year-old has quite a following on her lifestyle blog about writing, creating, and growing up on 14 rural New England acres.)

She started roving the farm, snapping her shutter, and capturing some interesting images. Within a week, we had challenged each other to try out these 3 different techniques. But once we mastered those ideas, she moved on to other projects, and I decided to wait until she was interested in learning more. I waited. I reminded. I mentioned. I gave up, assuming at some point she’d let me know when she had a thirst for more new approaches to her photography.

Meanwhile, she and I were still capturing some neat shots, relying on our first lessons. I snapped this of our neighbors one evening:

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Encouraging a Passion for Photography

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She loves photography. And she has a natural bent for it, framing her subject in unique ways and using engrossing angles. I am truly in awe when I scroll through her photo folders on the computer. So I was excited to hear she was “all in” when I asked if she’d like to complete a mini photo challenge with me a few weeks ago. Continue reading

Filling Today’s Minutes with Passion

The sun rose earlier than I this morning, as she has for many weeks now, dancing through my open window in calm, warm snipets of promise, blowing between the poplar branches.


Realizing I had missed watching the sun yawn over the tree tops outside my window, I wished I could hold every fleeting minute of the morning’s promise that I had missed. Cradle them like delicate, warm, farm-fresh eggs in my hands.

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Not counting minutes, just moments

I love perusing the photo card after she has borrowed my camera.


Her 11-year-old perspective is fascinating.


The angles she uses. The backgrounds she chooses.




And the subjects she gravitates towards.




Love seeing the world through a daughter’s eyes. Just need to stop and do it more often. And not only through images on a camera card. I need to allow time in the day when I’m not counting minutes, just moments. Those are the beautiful snapshots of a fulfilled life that we cherish for a lifetime. But her perspective on life, her background, her angles, they’re always changing. Sitting and talking for a few minutes about whatever is on her mind… without a computer or TV screen in front of us… without household distractions vying for my attention… surely that’s more important than updating my friends on Facebook or cleaning out the fridge.

This sweet girl in front of me, who loves crafting rainbow loom bracelets and befriending amphibians, she’s only here for an indiscernibly short time. I need to pay attention or our relationship, much more worthy of my attention than the wilting veggies in the fridge, will surely start to wither.

“Help me to number my days aright, that I may gain a heart of wisdom.” Psalm 39:4

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