This week our family from out in Colorado came out to see us. We had my son (Bryan) and his wife (Sara), her mother (Karen), and their two previous kids (yes, our grandkids), who are 9 months (Luke) and 6 years old (William), out from Denver to visit with us. It was a short visit, but we had enough time yesterday in the sweltering heat to do some family photography out on the tree swing. This is just a small sampling of photos, but enough to see who the joker is, and who likes sitting in the grass. We haven’t seen Luke since he was born back in September when he looked like this, and they haven’t been to the property since July, when Luke looked like this. It’s amazing to see how much he has grown since then. Tomorrow they fly back to Denver where the air is thin and dry, but Nana and Popo were very excited to get to see the grandkids again for a quick summer visit.
This is of course the day we said “I DO” to each other, some 19 years ago now. I’m not going to post a ton of photos as I have in the past, but I will share this one random shot above when we were walking away down the isle. On a side note, being able to look back historically at blog posts over a period of years is really interesting. I have posted on our anniversary, only on the odd years, like on year 15 and year 17, and now year 19. I’m thinking next year I will have to break that tradition for our 20th. Have no idea why, but, there you go.
Today is year number 19 and I can honestly say, I love my wife more now than I ever thought I could 19 years ago when we got married. Being married this long the question of the meaning of love gets discussed here and there, and of course Scripture tells us a lot about the truths of love. Paul makes his famous statements in Ephesians that I try to live by as a husband.
Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing that she might be holy and without blemish.
and then he goes on to say
Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh… this mystery is profound…
That is what marriage is, what love is. God forming two separate and distinct lives between a man and a woman, into one, mysterious union, becoming over time, one unit, with the two distinctions in the past. That may scare some, but it encourages me, and I find it completely true, in all sense of the word.
This is one of my favorite places in our backyard, and of course if you have been around this site for a while you will recognize the tree swing, but I keep finding unique ways to shoot it. I’m working on getting all the photos on my site of this swing to be searchable through “my swing” but they aren’t all up there quite yet. Yesterday afternoon I was cutting the grass and noticed the sun setting right behind the tree and actually took this shot while I was on the tractor, mowing. I later stopped and tried to setup a better shot with Deborah in the swing but none turned out as this one did with the sun right in my face. Today it was my Project 365 photo for Day 158.
Artificial as this milestone may be, this is actually my 1,000th blog post on this blog! I set a goal a few years ago on My List that I wanted to post 1,000 blog posts, and after about 10 years of blogging, I have hit that with this post. When I think about 1,000 blog posts, it really doesn’t seem like that many, but if you do one blog post a day, never missing a day, it would take 3 years to create that many articles. Since I rarely ever posted every single day, it took me about 10 years to produce 1,000 blog posts, most of which came within the last 4-5 years. I’m pleased to have stuck with it this long, and I’m still learning more and more about blogging, writing, and the topics posted here every day.
Since I’m a numbers kind of thinker it is amazing to see what kind of history you can build when you consistently post over an extended period of time. [On a side note: in actuality this works with just about anything in life that you consistently, and continuously work at over an extended period of time. Anything from the compounding of interest in saving money to a consistent walk with Christ, growing in faith little by little, builds up piece by piece to collectively make something far larger than the size of its pieces. The problem with that, and the great challenge to us today in our immediate satisfaction culture, is that it takes time to build something of value, and we don’t want to take the time, or invest the time, to accomplish this. It can’t be done overnight or immediately, it is only achieved through building up over an extended period of time.]
So over time, within the 1,000 blog posts, there was over 1 million spam messages blocked, almost 500,000 words written, over 397,200 individual click-throughs using 3,197 tags, and 2,731 comments made. The busiest day over the past 10 years was October 11th, 2011 when I posted The Challenge of Being Salt and Light in the Darkness from one of the toughest days in Uganda, and the most viewed post ever over the 1,000 posts was (and still is) a review on a damaged kindle screenI wrote years ago. The most commented and heated conversations on this blog came from, what I thought at the time was a rather mild posting of the lyrics to U2’s Hawkmoon, Jesus, I need Your Love, Hawkmoon, which launched into a debate about God, atheism, and homosexuality, which really had nothing to do with the original post in the first place.
With all that said, I would love to know which category is your favorite between the 4 plus 1 of Faith, Photography, Journal, Tech, and then Sidenotes. Just from the traffic I pretty much understand which category the most viewed, but I am always trying to learn more about my beloved blog readers, so I would love for you to chose your favorite category from the poll below.
Even though I have been blogging for 10 years, I am still continually trying to learn how to create the best unique, genuine, and fresh spot on the web I can from my own personal experiences. Thanks to my readers, and everyone who has encouraged me along the way, I put on this shirt today just for you!
Happy Thanksgiving 2011 from down over here on the farm. I love the fall in the south, it is a beautiful 70*F sunny day outside (although it is supposed to be something like 24*F in a few days), and Thanksgiving pretty much always kicks off Iron Bowl weekend. If you are perhaps one of the few unfamiliar with the Iron Bowl, check out the film by ESPN called Roll Tide War Eagle. Can’t begin to list how many things I am thankful for at this point, but for one, we have Deborah at home and feeling relatively well, that trumps most other things on my list right now.
I am extremely thankful for my family, and being able to eat dinner over at my parents house today will be awesome. I took the photo of my mom and dad above this morning, but the normal traditional work is the first shot. Every year on Thanksgiving week we (generally that means my dad) mow the entire pasture for the winter.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone and War Eagle!
So today is my dad’s birthday. He was born the same day as Dottie West and Eleanor Roosevelt, (but just a few years later), is an aficionado of all things Auburn, a lover of clean cars, freshly cut pasture grass, is great at being a grandfather to many, and today I want to wish him a long distance Happy Birthday! I just happened to be in Africa today, so, sorry dad, I’m going to miss your birthday party, but I didn’t forget it (as I’m sure your thrilled to see haha). I looked through all kinds of different shots from way way back like the Throwback Thursday photos from the 1950’s but I couldn’t find anything any more appropriate than this photo above. There’s always something about fall when our family can just hang out on a Saturday and watch Auburn football.
It’s so hard for me to even understand or describe the difference between being here in Uganda and being at home in Auburn, but my dad is a big reason why I am able to do what I’m doing right now and I’m so thankful for that gift. Happy Birthday, can’t wait to see everyone again when I get back home.
On one hand traveling anywhere on a plane today is such an incredible pain, and seems to take forever, but in the view of history, two thousand miles in a few hours isn’t so bad I guess. We went from a remote-ish cabin in Estes Park Colorado at 8,000 feet to our house, at sea level in Auburn, in about 12 hours. I have always loved airports, at least at long as I can remember anyway. Today the airlines pack as many people into every single aircraft as they possibly can, which makes for extremely crowded airports, and cabins. My perspective of airline travel has changed tremendously over the last twenty years, but airports, especially the major airports like Atlanta Hartsfield or DIA, are still a great place to just relax, people watch, read, do some photography, and generally take a break from the normal routine of things. I do love visiting different parts of the country, and the world for that matter, but as the cliche goes, there’s no place like home. I have visited every state in the country, lived in a dozen or so, and I can say without a doubt that the south really is a great place to live.
For all the craziness that is involved with traveling today I only have to look at the photo below to remember the reason why all that was worth it. To be there for the birth of our second grandson was an experience we will be able to remember as he grows up, and to be able to photograph his arrival into the world makes those memories even more vivid. I always feel very privileged to photograph specific events. They are all little pieces of history, frozen in time, never to happen exactly that same way again.
The photos in this post are sort of a hodge-podge of images from our trip home. I never did get a chance to do my 50mm airport shoot at Denver International Airport because by the time we got through security we only had about 30 minutes left before we got on our sold out flight, and we arrived hours before our departure time. I have several more photos of baby Luke than just the one below but I will save those for another post sometime.
This season, to me, seems so crazy right now that I find myself looking desperately for some margin (or balance). Fall is always a very busy time of year, but between football season, our multi-site movement at Cornerstone, a grandson being born trip, a niece to be born sometime this week, seminary classes, and a trip to Africa in two weeks, I’m feel a little frazzled (that a very scientific technical term) at times, just like everyone does.
I look at baby Luke in this photo below and it amazes me. God spent nine months to create the perfect little boy who right now knows nothing of the hustle and bustle of this world, and by the time he is my age, around the year 2050, he will no doubt feel the same pressures and anxieties that come with living in this extremely modern world. Maybe he will some day pull out this photo on his whatever electronic fangled device he has and remember that one day he too had no cares in the world other than to be warm and sleep in the sunlight.
Well one down and one to go. Today we welcomed baby Luke into the world today at 10:07am in Longmont Colorado. Luke weighed in at 8 pounds and measured 21 inches and seemed to be totally at peace with his own existence within a few minutes, hardly even cried except when various nurses jolted him here and there. The photo above, today’s photo of the day, is the first ever shot of the four Fillmer boys, and also the four people who contributed and helped the very least in bringing baby Luke into the world today. It would be really cool to add the other two Fillmer boys (Larry and Les) to this photo some day, but one is in Germany right now and the other in Alabama.
I think I took about 1200 photos of the baby and all the various participants and visitors from today’s glorious event. There were many great shots of mom and baby but those will come later. Deborah and I were so happy today to be witness to the birth of our second grandson (and we were told our last), can’t wait to share a few more photos down the road so to speak. Next up is my sister who should deliver within a week or so, hopefully she will wait until we get back to Alabama so we can get the first photos of our newest niece.
Yes my son and daughter-in-law are expecting, this coming September (so is my sister Sarah for that matter, and within about a week of each other, and yes, they are both Sara(s)’ssssesss…). While they were down here for their Disney vacation we got a very quick, and very hot and humid, photo shoot with the whole family. William, our grandson, is really looking forward to his new baby brother Luke and he was very patient to stand there and get his photo taken over and over again. I would really liked to have done some photos with the Graflex 4×5 but it was just too hot for anyone to stand outside for more than 5 minutes at a time. Everyone is back up in Colorado where the air is thin and the humidity doesn’t go above single digits but we were so glad we got to see everyone while they were on vacation.
Throwback Thursday today is from October 1955 and would be Larry Fillmer’s 7th birthday party. I just love these old black and whites. Apparently back in the mid-50’s you dressed up for a birthday party since one of them is wearing a suit and bow-tie and I love the card table, which was probably literally used as a card table. I’m not too sure about any of the history behind this photo, and the only reason I am saying the date is 1953 is because there are 7 candles on the cake, otherwise, there was no date or anything else on the photo. I’m sure someone in the family will tell me a little more about the image, but I’m almost 100% sure that’s my dad as the birthday boy from the way he is dressed, watch and all… always a snappy dresser. Pretty sure that is his brother Les Fillmer standing to the right of Larry.
So it seems, I’ve now been told, the photo was taken in Birmingham in an area called Oak Hills in Central Park, the puppets were Howdy Doody Puppets, and yes, they apparently played cards on that card table.