The Gift of an Ordinary Day

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How can a memoir also be a photography manual? This week I reserved the book The Gift of an Ordinary Day. Amanda Morgan over at Not Just Cute writes, the book “is a beautiful reminder to stop wishing away the mundane and find the joy and power in the everyday, ordinary, and ultimately magical moments of childhood and parenthood. You can get a taste of the book from the author’s reading here. You might want to grab some tissues.”

Now, generally I consider myself a tough cookie, so I didn’t follow her advice. Halfway through I had to pause the video to grab a box of Kleenex.  Watch the clip; I promise it is worth your time.

This passage really hits home:

Our photo albums from those days are full of pictures of birthday cakes and holiday celebrations, vacation trips and family adventures, piano recitals and baseball games. But the memories I find myself sifting through the past to find, the ones that I would now give anything to relive, are the ones that no one ever thought to photograph, the ones that came and went as softly as a breeze on a summer afternoon.

As a parent this is the reason you might consider participating in Project 52 or Project 366 this year.
Click here to watch a few of my favorite “ordinary day” moments from Project 365.

Having issues with the video? Click here to see the still Flickr set.

If you’re interested, all you need to do right now is: Sign up to be a member of the official group over on Flickr.

Still uncertain about the commitment of joining a group project? Stay tuned this week to learn about…

  • The Zen nature of photography and how you can use Project 52 or Project 366 to capture the power of being present in your daily life.
  • Fun alternative ways to participate in a group project over the course of the year even if you “have no time.”

PS: Are you thinking, “What the heck is Project 366 anyhow?” It is the commitment to take a single photo every day for a full year. Many people start their project on January 1st, but you can begin on any date. It is a wonderful way to improve your photography skills, get to know a friend, or document ordinary family moments. However, being a parent is NOT a prerequisite. Some of my favorite photos from our 2010 Project 365 came from a bachelor. If the thought of 366 photos feels overwhelming Peanut Blossom is also offering a-photo-a-week Project 52!


Zina Harrington is an everyday photographer participating in Project 2012 using a variety of cameras including an old Kodak, an advanced Fuji point & shoot, as well as her iPhone. The goal of her educational blog Let’s Lasso the Moon is to encourage parents & children alike to ask questions, grow, and enjoy learning. She believes a child is like the moon reflecting the light in their universe; that children echo our parenting style, our religious beliefs, our creativity, and our curiosity. Join Let’s Lasso the Moon & Develop in a quest for light.

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  1. MB says

    Sniff, sniff. Every day I ask my kids not to grow overnight – but it’s all happening too fast. Contemplating a project 366 this year…and another baby! (chances of the first happening are significantly greater than the second…)

  2. says

    I know! The video really made me appreciate the little things and have more patience with situations like bed time. It is hard to imagine losing those opportunities. I love the idea of doing this project and really taking note of the details. I am so happy to have you guys participating too!

  3. says

    I loved the part where she recounted worrying about every little flaw in your children–will not sharing a puppet today mean he’ll be unkind forever?! I’m totally guilty of that kind of worrying. Such great advice to love your kids for who they are in each moment and have faith that they’ll grow to be who they’re meant to be in their own time.
    Now that I’m resolved to appreciating the ordinary in 2012, can I commit to photographing it every day? Hmmm…

  4. ardith says

    Hey Zina! I am part of the Project 52 group on Flickr but am finding I am taking more photos each day and would love to join the Gift of An Ordinary Day group on Pinterest too. Is it too late? That is one of my favorite boards to see moving in my stream.

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