Well, hello there! Pardon my early Quick Takes. Mucho time with family, poco time to blog. I’m going to wrap it all up in one big blog post gift and tie it up in a bow for you.
Merry Christmas! I made the conscious decision to use my 50mm lens while the kids were opening presents this morning. I really hate cluttered photos, and Christmas morning is the woooooooorst for clutter. Turns out that wasn’t a good idea, at least for Theme Thursday because this week’s theme is “Mess.” Since the Nifty50 has such a narrow frame, you can hardly see any of the crazy mess caused by 8 kids and 12 adults opening gifts. So, no clutter, but also no “mess” photos.
As a peace offering, here’s a collage of my kids on Christmas morning.
OH! Here’s a picture of Ezekiel… laying on the floor… a hot mess after eating prrrrreeeeeetttttttyyyy much nothing but candy all morning.
We’ve suspected that Zeke had a vision problem for a few months now. After a bunch of rigmarole with the insurance companies, we finally got him in to see an optometrist last Friday. She was so wonderful and patient with us and took over an hour to assess him carefully.
Turns out his vision is bad. Like, really bad. More than twice as bad as mine, and mine are baaaaaaad. When I asked if his sight would improve, the optometrist said no. Apparently children generally begin farsighted and gradually move to regular vision, sometimes becoming nearsighted. Zeke is extremely nearsighted already. Poor baby. We ordered glasses for him and I’m really hoping they help him. I’m also hoping we don’t have to replace them every few weeks and that the ones we ordered are indestructible. Too much to hope for?
Insurance covered this pair entirely, but I’m planning to get him an additional pair. I’ve heard good things about Costco for vision products. Have you ever bought glasses at Costco? Are they lots cheaper than buying in an optometry office? Anything special I need to know about kids’ glasses? Please share! This is whole new territory for me!
Also at the optometry visit, the OD noted immediately how big his eyes were. (Scroll up to Take #1. He has what are called “megalocorneas,” which are not nearly as super-powerish as it would initially seem. They are quite adorable, though.) She immediately asked if our family has a history of congenital glaucoma. WHAT?!?!?! Apparently the big beautiful eyes the Koreans always remarked on are also a sign of that condition. We have a referral for a pediatric ophthalmologist to get more testing done. Say a prayer for us, okay?
I’m hard-pressed to name my very favorite image of the Virgin Mary, but the Black Madonna, or Our Lady of Czestochowa, is among my favorites. I actually prefer artwork that shows Mary as being more… ethnic than the Madonna of the renaissance, because it strikes me as a visible sign of her role as a mother over all the earth and all its people.
The Black Madonna actually isn’t meant to be as dark-skinned as it appears. Apparently, years of smoke from candles etc have darkened the original skin tone of Our Lady. Linking up with Mary at Better Than Eden for her Images of Mary post. Thanks, Mary!
I ordered our Christmas photos through Snapfish and picked them up at Walmart. Not only was I completely depressed by the atmosphere of that place, but the photo quality was a distinctive “meh.’ I know my camera takes clear and beautiful pictures (not me: my camera) and yet the photos I got were blurry and grainy. There was even a white line across the edge of each photo.
A couple days later, I heard about an online photo service that supposedly does much higher quality printing for just a few pennies more. I decided to do a review and ordered copies of the exact same photo through MPix.
They came packaged in stiff cardboard boxes, shrink-wrapped and protected by styrofoam.
Who doesn’t love a photo of a cardboard box, right? No, but really. The photos were in pristine condition, with none of the bending that happens when you pick up an envelope of pics at your local ManiaMart, er… drugstore.
The images themselves were far higher quality than those I purchased through Snapfish.
I know, I know. A photo of some photos? It’s hard to tell a difference. But in real life it’s crystal clear. I also ordered 2 different types of prints from MPix. They have a less expensive version for $.19 for a 4 x 6, and a higher end print for $.29 per print. I had to look hard to tell which one was clearer but the $.29 copies do appear to have richer color. Both MPix prints were heads and shoulders above the Snapfish version.
So here’s my entirely unsolicited review.
MPix Cons:Slightly more expensive. Makes a difference if you’re ordering a bunch. You pay shipping. (With Snapfish if you pick it up at a local retailer, there is no charge above the cost of the prints.)
My opinion: If you’re looking for volume discounts and a quick return time (less than a day) then shop with Snapfish or something like that. But if you’re ordering prints to frame, do use MPix or something like it. You won’t regret the measurable boost in quality.
We’re up visiting my parents in Central California for the week. Here my favorite (unedited) photos of the week thus far.
Now it’s time for you to go see all my peoples. Visit Cari for a very messy Theme Thursday, Mary for more Images of the Blessed Virgin, and Jen at Conversion Diary for Quick Takes (That last one won’t be up until late night Thursday. Be sure to come back, okay?)