Optimize August {and joint-effort july follow-up}

Mmm... I love my husband! Even though it ain't easy focusing on our marriage with two young kids at home, it sure is fun to try... and eventually just give in to dreaming about. Keep reading to find out how this month went, and learn about the photo-a-day challenge next on the monthly resolutions list.

Joint-Effort July {follow-up}

Joint-Effort July had 3 parts, that were a small success in their own special way.

Date Nights. I knew this part of the resolution was finally a success when Daniel commented, "Man, we've been going on a lot of dates this month!" We didn't exactly go on one date every week, but it kind of averaged out that way. A friend watched the kids while we went to a Saltdogs game one week. Another friend watched the kids so we could go out to dinner and Barnes & Noble (old school date for us). We did a family date for our anniversary going to a fave family restaurant and taking the kids to the place we got married and taking pictures there. Then we got a babysitter another day with friends, so the guys and girls could split up and see a movie, then we all met back together to eat delicious Thai food. It was fun to get out of the house for some dates this month.

Overnight without Kids. This didn't happen. After calling in favors to get regular dates, I was too worn out (yes, I get worn out asking people to watch my kids) to find childcare overnight. The person I thought I might ask just started a full-time job--not great timing :) It will happen someday. In the meantime, we'll just act like we're by ourselves after the kids go to bed ;)

Make an effort. Yesterday, I shared a few ideas for making an effort. Making an effort for Daniel always pays off. When he feels loved and supported and knows what I need from him, he always measures up. I am so appreciative for how incredible he is, and happy to make little attempts at encouraging that in him.

July Books-of-the-Month

God Never Blinks: 50 Lessons for Life's Little Detours by Regina Brett
You are a Writer (So Start Acting Like One) by Jeff Goins

Optimize August {preview}

I am excited about this month's resolution! Along with taking a photo-a-day this month (with a new point-and-shoot to do so), I have a couple additional treats I'm looking forward to.

Photographer interviews. I've worked hard at gathering information from 5 (yes, FIVE!) photographers I love and am so excited to share their interviews with you! It's so fun to see how each of their responses are so personal and different from the others. I appreciate each of their time in answering my questions, giving a little insight into improving everyday photos, and sharing a small showcase of their work. Look forward to seeing one of these every Wednesday in August.

Photo-a-day. This is the main premise of this month's resolution--taking a photo everyday and (hopefully) sharing it here on this blog. Some days, I might end up with a mini-shoot I'm proud of and want to share. If that's the case, the main photo of the post will be the photo-of-the-day and the photos after the jump will just be extra. I wanted to come up with a theme so I could challenge myself with getting photos for each category. I decided on a "31-day time capsule" as the overall theme. Feel free to follow along with your own photos! I'd love to see your personal interpretation of each category.

(Side note: I am in no way a photographer and don't claim to take photographer quality photos. These daily photos are my attempt at capturing our family's memories, and hopefully getting a little better at doing so in my own beginner way.)

A lil vaca. Okay, so this has nothing to do with this month's resolution. But the kids and I are flying out to Cali to spend a long weekend with my parents where they work in the mountains. It will be a welcome change of pace in such a relaxing setting! And a fun change of scenery for some of my daily photos. I'm sad Daniel won't be able to join us. He'll be here working away on one of the busiest weekends of the entire school year--registration. He'll deserve his own special get away when that's all over.

PS, the photo for Optimize August is Daniel's grandpa who passed away the year before we got married. His name is Vinal. Isn't that awesome?! We thought so and wanted to name Ian after him so we came up with Ian Vinal. I love this picture of him and am thankful Daniel agreed to letting me use it.