{feathered}

The birds of the Dallas Zoo are such great models. These were some of my favorite shots from our last visit. I didn’t leave the house once tonight so I’m living vicariously through my photo album. I’m looking forward to cooler temps so we can go back for another visit.

I also want to check out one of these Safari Nights at the zoo sometime. Oh, and I just found out they are having a Feathers, Fur and Scales Photo Contest. Hmm …

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{messy realness ftw}

I was talking with some blogger friends recently about how strange it is that so many people feel the need to make their lives look perfect. We try to make everything seem perpetually tidy and perfect online. We want to present our best selves, right?  Whatever that means. Do we really think someone will unfollow us for being human?

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In an age where cameras are everywhere, sometimes it can feel like we shouldn’t even leave the house unless we are camera-ready. What if we unwittingly photobomb one of Brandon Stanton‘s shots and end up plastered all over the interwebs in our “laundry day” bra?

It turns out there’s a word for these social media perfectionists: Decornographers. I love pretty pictures too. I’ve fallen down the Pinterest rabbit hole many evenings and stayed up way too late. So many beautiful pictures!

But, honestly, when do these people sleep? Or shower? Or find the time to create perfect bento-style meals for their toddlers all while taking time to set up the tripod and a little lighting so they have photos for their next post? No offense if your life looks like something styled by Real Simple. Feel free to take me on as your pet project. I love Real Simple.

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In the mean time, I’ll just keep creatively cropping out the messy realness that is my life. The next time you’re looking at Instagram and wondering how in the world that person manages to have such a perfectly organized desk or such an immaculate table setting, consider the cropping.

{choose calm}

“The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another.” – William James

When a powerful predator gives you the stare-down, it’s hard not to feel the itch of fight-or-flight. Just looking at these photos I took during our May visit to the Dallas Zoo makes me feel slightly more alert. I choose to think of it as being in the moment, not stressed or afraid.

But stress takes a toll, and sometimes I just need to shift my perspective and tell fight-or-flight to chillax already. There’s usually safety glass between us and the predators, anyway. Right? When those eyes popped open as I took these photos, I chose to keep taking pictures. If only I could maintain such calm when looking at my to-do list …

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{of elephants + writing}

“Writing isn’t about making money, getting famous, getting dates, getting laid, or making friends. In the end, it’s about enriching the lives of those who will read your work, and enriching your own life, as well. It’s about getting up, getting well, and getting over. Getting happy, okay? Getting happy.” – Stephen King

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I read that writing at least 15 minutes at the end of each day makes the writer perform better at his or her job, regardless of the industry. This makes me feel much better about my tendency to put off prepping my posts until the 11th hour. Who knows, maybe getting back to blogging this month is what got me to finally get around to these elephants.

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Today, I finally took the time to upload and edit photos from our trip to the Dallas Zoo a couple months ago. It was an unseasonably cool May morning for Miles’ second-ever trip to the zoo. This time Zach joined us too. The day was magical.

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We love elephants. We have elephant lamps on our bedside tables. There are elephant tchotchkes on our mantle and in the bathroom. Miles’ playroom has elephants on the wall, in boxes overflowing with other stuffed animals, and featured in several books. Seeing a child recognize an animal in real life is beautiful.

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April showers bring my allergies

I love almost everything about spring. The dewy mornings. The cooler weather. The flowers. I could do without the pollen.

The fam is presently fighting what I hope is “just” allergies and not another cold. As I type this, I have tissues stuffed in my nose. Both sides. Attractive, I know. But I choose to focus on the amazing dewdrops and ignore the astonishing rate at which my little family goes through boxes of tissues.

Jake is also loving the weather. And the mud puddles. He is the sweetest, silliest dog ever. He helped me take a few photos this morning. By helped, I mean he gave my phone slobbery kisses and tried to knock me down with his muddy paws. I love him. Muddy paws and all. It is a sign of his increasing maturity that he sat still long enough for me to take his photo too.

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photo blogging for November

For the month of November, my posts will be dedicated to the November photo a day project from Fat Mum Slim. If you don’t know Chantelle’s blog already, you should check it out! It’s going to be awesome. Feel free to join in the fun! I’ll get back to my regular blogging as I can.

Many of you know, Zach and I are expecting our son any day now. Posting even just a photo a day may prove challenging once the sleep deprivation begins. I hope you will stay with me, dear reader, while I adjust to my exciting new adventure as a mom.