The Last Few Days

Anyone who knows me knows I don’t like to take pictures, but I decided I needed one of myself following my birthday. I picked the day I was wearing makeup and having a good hair day, obviously. Future me doesn’t need to know how I looked the other 364 days of year 40.


The reason I had on makeup and styled my hair is because I had a very important date in Los Angeles. Little Gabby had her Christmas program on Saturday and, oh, those little kids were so cute! I can usually count on a stiff upper lip, but I teared up a little bit when they started singing Away in the Manger. Mikey and Nico were front row and I had to tell them twice that waving at Gabby during the performance was not cool.


Sunday was a quiet day with an open schedule, so I thought we could walk around downtown, visit my favorite used bookstore, and window shop the antique stores. The guys all agreed it was a great idea, so long as we were back home in time to watch Dallas play Cincinnati. I must have made a face strong enough to addle their brains, because we walked around downtown for hours without a mention of the game until everyone suggested I sit down for some tea. How considerate! I was half way through my Chai Roobios before broke down and huddled around my iphone, hitting refresh every ten seconds. Dallas won.


I can’t tell you how much I love our used bookstore. The woman collects owls. There are many, many, many owls in her store. She is also quirky, and half the fun is discovering new parts of the store. I love any bookstore with a “Pseudo-Science” section.


As much as I would have loved to buy these plates that match my shower, the $20 per plate price tag seemed like highway robbery. Turns out the price is fair.


The boys love going into antique stores. They are convinced everything is old and valuable. After our last stop, Mikey sat down and typed out a few notes on the inventory he would like to carry in his future antiques store. I can’t keep up with all his plans.


I would really like a small point and shoot camera to carry around while I am out and about. I hate to take my big camera in public (I feel like a wannabe Ansel Adams searching for the perfect snow dusted tree), but the iphone pictures aren’t always great, even with apps like Camera+. I don’t know, maybe I don’t have the right apps? It’s not like there aren’t great iphone pictures out there. Still, I think I would like to hold something with a little more heft.

Jules Kendall writes about books, family, and easygoing simplicity.


  1. Margaret says

    Sounds like a great weekend! I have the Canon S95 and I love it for those no-iphone, no-big camera days. Though, have you looked at the app Snapseed? Makes a world of difference with iphone editing!

    • says

      Ditto Snapseed! Love it. My big camera and most-used lens has a weight upward of 6 or so pounds, so if I have my kids with me I stick with my iphone.

      Noir is also a neat app–I love it for moody black and whites.

  2. says

    That Christmas pageant must’ve been adorable. I can’t wait until the day I’m going to watch my boys taking part in something like that. Did seeing her in it make them want to be in one?

    • says

      They have their own Christmas program at school, so not really. Also, they have friends that do children’s theater. They keep trying to get Mikey to do it, but so far he refuses. That’s okay with me, since theater is a lot of work!

  3. catalina says

    That’s a great picture of you!
    I was going to reccomend the Canon S95, too :).
    A newer model has come out now (with mixed reviews), so the S95 has gone down.

    • says

      That’s because I think I might have found my Holy Grail shampoo, and it’s only $3.99 per bottle and all natural! I need to give it another week to make sure I’m not imaging it.

  4. says

    Well, it looks like the Powershot S95 has been covered! My mom uses an older version and it takes some great pictures.

    Now, for the pictures, above–I’m just gonna say, love them! But the first two! Gorgeous + sweeter than ever. As if kids in wee programs are not cute enough, but having little boys all lined up, taking it in? . . . more than I can handle!

  5. says

    What a beauty you are and YES, your hair was looking FANTASTIC! Like a Breck commercial, just ‘bouncing and behavin’. You don’t look a day over 25;)

  6. Shannon says

    First Jules ~ you are beautiful!!!!!!!!! Second, I was in an antique store after Thanksgiving and saw a full set of serving dishes in that pattern. I could not remember whose bathroom it reminded me of but it was yours. Too funny.

  7. Lisa in Seattle says

    A fantastic picture! Are you wearing that light pink color we like so much on you?

    There’s a used bookstore a few towns away that sounds like your little place. They have a section called “Mansploitation” with all the Mack Bolans, Outlanders, etc.

  8. says

    I’m a Nikon girl, not Canon, so I can’t advise as to the Powershot, which I know is quite popular. I have a Lumix as my go-to point and shoot and that thing is a powerhouse! The zoom outperforms my DSLR. It’s fabulous.

  9. Karen F says

    beautiful picture of you!!! happy birthday!

    I bought a small point and shoot camera for exactly the reasons you mentioned, and I have to say I rarely use it. Maybe it’s the camera I bought, but the pictures aren’t that great, and I have my phone with me all the time anyway. I think the iPhone takes decent pictures, except in low light. My point and shoot always give people red-eye, I believe due to the proximity of the flash to the lens, or something like that.

    ps. ditto the snapseed comments – it’s a great app! And I guess I will check out the Canon s95 too….

  10. says

    Envy your good used bookstore. I grew up within walking distance of a fantastic one, but now I live without a really good one. (Ours stocks 90% trade paperbacks of Nora Roberts and historical romance.)

    And I’m lucky to have found a few of the starburst plates for a good deal, but yeah. $20 is about right.

    • says

      Oh, there’s a lot of romance in there—trust. But there is also totally random awesomeness, like handwriting analysis, that more than makes up for it.

  11. Karen says

    I’m not sure if you’ve tried the app Camera Awesome, but it is great! There’s an image stabalizer to avoid blurry movement pics, and lots of fun edits you can make. It’s my favorite!

  12. says

    Regarding the small point and shoot camera, good for you! There are a ton of small inexpensive ones that will do much better than an iPhone in the evening or other low-light environments.
    I recently dusted off the one I bought in 2008, found the battery charger (a project in itself), and have started keeping it in my purse at all times. Just because I have an iPhone (and instagram addiction!) doesn’t mean I should depend on it 100% or let perfectly good photo opportunities pass me up just because I didn’t lug around my big camera.

  13. Amanda says

    Re: Your picture- Gorgeous.

    Re: Camera- I can’t say enough good things about the Panasonic Lumix series- They use Leica brand lenses in them, but are much more affordable. I’m on my second one now (I upgraded for more pixels) and love it- It pretty much has all the adjustments of a DSLR but also a really nice quality manual mode, too.

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