“Aw, Mom, you wrote ‘ass’ in a card! I’m so proud!”

It was actually “kickass,” but it was glorious. A visit to celebrate both my birthday weekend (when did these things extend into multiple days, anyway?) and my father’s birthday next week. Gifts of photography — tools to continue the work on one hand, a sentimental end result on the other — good-natured teasing and a lot of sugar.

Chocolate birthday cake with white, orange and hot pink icing and Brigham’s chocolate chip ice cream. A lot of sugar.

My parents often ask my brother and I how we happened upon the creative gene. They watch us run about, taking photographs, writing or (in T’s case) singing and shake their heads as they laugh. They enjoy the creativity, but they enjoy it vicariously. Through us.

They’ll be the first to laugh at me when I find a funny sort of camera angle, but they’re also the first to boast about how I, like T, have a knack for seeing things in a different view.

Which leads me to my new love.

It is a challenge, it is a tool and it is absolutely glorious. Pouring through the owner’s manual, I realized it’s about time I was forced to learnĀ  some photography basics — and I’m giddy about the prospects of what could come. I’ve been testing it out all evening and can’t wait to get outside tomorrow to see what else I can do.

I’m sorry, little trusty point-and-shoot, we’ve been through a lot, but man. I’ve found myself a new muse…

And, of course, I’ve been enjoying some of the fun features included in the all-around glorious package…

Tomorrow promises a review of Marie Antoinette. Stay tuned.