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18 on the 18th: February edition

My friends Elizabeth Dillow and Angie Lucas are doing an Instagram challenge: take 18 photos on the 18th of each month in 2018. I totally missed it in January, but wanted to play along in February. Was determined to play along, even though 18 photos seemed like a lot.

I woke up with ideas for this month's topic—color—but I forgot something: the 18th is on a Sunday. And lately Sundays have been rough on me. If I make it to church, I feel one sort of sadness, and if I skip church I have another sort. Sundays are not equaling funday in my life. (More like "lose my temper day" or "cry because I'm feeling like my life has been worthless day.")

And, yeah...this Sunday was also not awesome. 

But watching for color helped keep me a little bit more focused, even though I only took nine photos instead of 18.

Anyway, I shared them on Instagram (I'm amylsorensen over there, come follow me if you don't already!), but I wanted to write something about each image. So I decided to share them here, too. And hopefully once March rolls around, I'll be a bit more emotionally ready for a Sunday and 18 photos!

Feb 18 on 18 no5

I don't usually go running on Sunday. But we have two time-consuming (and stressful) medical experiences this week, and I still want to make my 12-miles-per-week goal, so I went running this morning. Probably it helped stabilize my mood anyway (quite of which is being influenced by my fear of those medical experiences). It was cold when I started, even though it was 45 degrees; the wind was biting and I was questioning my short-sleeves decision. But once I started moving it was just fine. These bright colors were perfect for a gloomy morning run.


Feb 18 on 18 no1

I was thinking while I ran "OK, I am going to find some some color" and then I started thinking about how that is one of the hard parts of winter for me: there's really not any color. And why spring is so refreshing: color slowly returns. This winter has been especially blah as it's been so brown here. Brown, dry winters are the worst; if it's going to be cold it might as well be snowy and white. This was the view as I ran up the canyon trail this morning. Ecru, beige, khaki, umber, buff: yes, those are colors, but not very vibrant. (I still love running here. Those dramatic cliffs! Can you see where the fault line curves?)


Feb 18 on 18 no2

The view on the way back down. Still blah colors...but a little bit of pale blue in the sky. There was a storm gathering, so that was the last bit of blue I saw today.


Feb 18 on 18 no4

But here, with just a mile left, I realized: that is yellow! True—old, worn out, tired yellow, but yellow all the same.


Feb 18 on 18 no3

There are also a bunch of these bushes in the canyon. I think they are pretty nondescript in the summer...but in winter, that violet-red is the only deep, vibrant color to be found.


Feb 18 on 18 no6

After my run, I went to visit my mom, who is in the hospital (still...two months and counting now). I thought about taking a few photos there, her blue hospital gown maybe (and now I think about it, I wish I would've taken a few photos of just her hands), but I know she's not really feeling in a photo-taking mood. I was feeling less emotional about my life, but more emotional about her (and being in the hospital reminded me to not forget to worry about the upcoming stressful medical week), so when we got home I wandered around my yard. These little snow crocus were some of the best things I ever planted. They come up in February and wither away at about the time the daffodils start blooming. They are bright and cheery and remind me that color will come back to the world. 


Feb 18 on 18 no7

Speaking of purple and yellow...I also have these brave little violets blooming in the space underneath my maple tree. I don't know where they came from, but they've been blooming since January. They are small...but determined.


Feb 18 on 18 no8

Before I went running, I threw every piece of running clothes out of my drawer into a pile on the floor in my bedroom. (I told you...bad Sunday. Too much drama to explain this, but some swearing was involved.) So after I showered I tackled reorganizing all of these. Put away most of my winter running clothes, found all of my capris, told myself I don't need any more running clothes. If I had a photo of my closet, you'd see: almost all of my clothes are black. In my everyday activities, I like wearing black; it makes me feel both inconspicuous and a little bit elegant. But when I'm running? Sure...there's black in that pile. But I also love colorful exercise clothes. They help me feel motivated to get out the door, and it seems like inattentive drivers notice you more when you're wearing something bright.


Feb 18 on 18 no9

Part of why I love scrapbooking is because of color. This is the next layout I'm going to make. I probably won't use 75% of what I pulled out...but, ooooooh, pretty.

My Sunday ended with a visit from my little niece and nephew. The youngest, Becca, is just two, and she wanted to show me her newest skill: telling the names of colors. Seriously! Could there be a more perfect end to today than finding colors with a cutie who would, every so often, just give me a hug.

Well, actually, something almost as good happened: it snowed! I can't wait to wake up in the morning and see the world finally made white again.


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