Happy New Year…


So I received this absolutely great camera bag from Shannon as a Christmas gift.
I had mentioned to her on one of our trips that I don’t carry a purse anymore; just a camera bag.
And Shannon remembers such things, and gives gifts that are always thoughtful and personal.

And then I received a new lens for my camera from my husband,
all within days of the conclusion of our 365 Project.

I was afraid all I had learned this year would be lost,
and that I would no longer look for opportunities to photograph.

So, I decided to continue with another project.
Shannon sent me a link to a post describing some possibilities,
but I had been following @dailyshoot on Twitter all year, and I was
Every day an “assignment” is given, and I have seen many of the photos
that were submitted.
Even though some of the personalization and spontaneity was lost, I thought this might be another way to grow.

This time I am going solo.
Shannon feels like she has closure with the year,
but I am hoping she will post as a “guest” when she sees something that interests her.
Also, it really isn’t a “365 Project”, so wherever this takes me, you are welcome to peek in from time to time, and to leave a comment when something interests you.

See you at Recess Moments ~ 2011

1-1-2011 ~Nancy

No Turning Back Now!

We did it!
One complete year of pictures.
We took a picture, and we posted it every single day.
We feel a terrific sense of accomplishment, and we did it together!
I remember last Christmas break when Shannon convinced me to do the “365 Project” with her.
Within our Twitter network, we had both seen links to posts all through 2009.
As 2009 drew to a close, we saw the sense of accomplishment as participants were planning their last shot.
With each of our full-time teaching jobs, paired with our workshops and presentations, neither of us wanted to commit to yet another thing.
Together, we decided, we could do this, and have fun along the way.
I posted my first picture on January 1st, and Shannon immediately nudged me on the “Chat”.
Shannon: “Mom, you need to write something, too, like a blurb.”
Me: “You mean I can’t just post a picture? I have to write something, too?”
Me (Thinking): “This is going to be a lot of work. Seriously, a lot of work.”
And so it began…
This past year has been tremendous, and has been filled with many good things.
We have tried to keep our posts positive and to look for the good in each day.
Now we are ready to turn the page to a new year and some new challenges for both of us.
My son Brian just said the other day that we should not be afraid to fail.
And we are not.
Right now our biggest fear is failing to try.
This morning I honestly had no idea what to post, but put trust in myself to find the perfect picture.
Then, as I drove out of Shelbyville, I passed this sign on an alley, pulled over to park, and it became ours to post and to bring to an end a year of images.
With this picture, we look ahead in excitement, and we wish all of our friends and family, who have encouraged us and been loyal fans of our posts, the very best New Year wishes for days filled with promise and love.
12-31/365 ~Nancy

Self-Indulgence or Self-Control?


We are fast approaching the New Year.
The commercials resonate with promises of programs to lose weight, to
quit smoking, to get healthier, to look younger, slimmer, and….

Shannon and I found these little gems while shopping in Chicago, and I
just remembered that I still had that nice little bag with my three
choices tucked inside.

All of the Christmas candy, cookies, and goodies are gone. All that
remains is an unopened bottle of gift wine and these little gems. I
think one square a day must have some health benefits, and with the New
Year soon here, I have decided that I need to get a head start on taking
care of myself…

12-30/365 ~Nancy

The Marquee


The week between Christmas and New Year belongs to the movies.

In Shelbyville, it is just a few blocks to see current films, and during
the Christmas season, Saturday matinees include a free holiday movie.
Otherwise, four dollar tickets will buy you a comfortable, brand-new seat
surrounded by friends and neighbors.

This evening it is raining, and ice and snow are rapidly melting.
Even with weather this unpleasant, the Roxy is warm and inviting.
With that and the smell of hot, buttered popcorn, you can bet there is a
full house inside.

12-29/365 ~Nancy

AshtonMarieSmith dot Com

This Christmas I bought my daughter her very own dot com.  Who knew that www.ashtonsmith.com was already taken by the “voice over” guy that announces the previews to many of our favorite movies at the theater.  And it is a guy.  Honestly, when I named my baby girl, I had no idea that Ashton was ever a boy’s name.  (Sorry Ashton Kutcher, at that time you were only an underwear model with no name attached to that handsome mug of yours.)

Obviously it is pretty hard to tie a bow around a dot com.  So I did what all geeky teacher parents do.  I made her play hangman to reveal her gift.  And I can’t say that I was disappointed with her reaction; a big hug thrown around my neck.  Nothing says Merry Christmas like your very own dot com.  At least in a geek household. 

12-28/365 ~Shannon

Mr. Black


The very first time we took Ashton skiing, she was five. She referred to the big beginner’s hill as “Mr. Green”. We loved going down “Mr. Green” all day long. A couple years later she wanted to try “Mr. Blue”. While I was a little hesitant to allow her to go down this more difficult hill, I went ahead and gave in to the pleas and followed her down closely behind yelling, “Be careful,” and, “Watch Out!”

And this year, she is all over “Mr. Black”. She is loving the terrain park and the “chute of death”. Yes, my friends, my daughter and her father are referring to the hills they are skiing as “Devil’s Urine”, and I am not sure I like it. As we get off the chair lift, I head left, and they head right. You see, “Mr. Blue” is still my BFF.

12-27/365 ~Shannon

P.S. I find that I love skis the most as they are placed in the second picture while we rest between sessions.

Opa’s Manger


My grandfather made many of these little stables, but this is the last
one he made many years ago. He never owned power tools, and everything
was made by hand. Each Christmas setting it up was just as exciting for
us as decorating the tree. It is hard to believe that my grandchildren
can still enjoy the work made by the hands of their great-great

“And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in
swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.”
Luke 2:12

12-24/365 ~Nancy



I am not a collector, but…
every year I would look for a special ornament with the date on it.

In 1984, Shannon and I walked to the Hallmark Store uptown, and we found this little pink Victorian House. Little did I know that it was going to become the first of many.

Without even making that request, the shop owner has always held one back for me. Then as soon as school let out for Christmas, Shannon and I would look forward to walking uptown to pick it up.

Today I unwrapped this year’s ornament, and set it down next to the original.

I have promised her the collection.

And now here is the proof of that promise in print, (or rather “digital ink”.)

12-23/365 ~Nancy