Quite a while ago I bought a 50mm fixed lens for my nikon. It’s a fairly inexpensive lens and mine doesn’t have automatic focus, so after a while I got frustrated and stopped using it. But I wanted to take it to Thailand with me–so I pulled it out and started practicing. Initially I felt like giving up–but knowing I could get some great background and foreground blur, I pushed through and kept trying. And after a few hundred shots, I started to get a feel for how to manually focus the lens. It’s a good reminder for me–trying something can be hard, but it stretches your mind and nurtures creativity.

Here are some pics from around the house while I worked out the manual focus…

Hello tree with layers and layers of bark, and lots of background blur {love that}

Hello winter that just can’t make up its mind–chilly winter mornings transform into sunny spring afternoons

Hello creating and creating and creating. Matthias makes so many masterpieces–I can’t keep them all organized!

Hello carousel of crayons that David loves to knock over–and it takes a while to pick up all those crayons

Hello blurry heart garland leading to funky plaster bust. This entryway is about to get a makeover!

Hello needing to go buy the paint color you picked. Are you curious which color won?

Hello little plaster bust who would look lovely piled with colorful necklaces

Hello getting inspired to spruce up our home and clear some clutter

Hello day off school with a lazy morning and pancakes

Hello open house tonight–are you coming?

Hello email to catch up on {I’m pretty sure I say that every Monday!}

Hello piles of laundry {I’m pretty sure I say that every Monday, too!}

Hello Valentines to make for each boys’ classroom

Hello day to express your love. Maybe I should think about trying to plan a date night?!

Hello flowers in an aqua vase in a sunny window

Hello menu for the week that includes white bean chili with ground turkey and homemade low-carb chicken strips and sweet potato fries. {I’m hoping Matthias will love my healthy chicken strips more than McDonalds!}

Hello city blur {this shot was taken in LA right before we flew out for Thailand}

Hello Monday! I’m still a little bit jet-lagged but with another cup of coffee I’ll be ready to go!

What does your week hold? Leave a comment of better yet, link up your own hello monday post in the comments section!