Saturday, July 31, 2010

A Day With Howie

I keep my nephew Howie every Friday. All day.
Friday's are L-O-N-G.

With LOTS OF :)

And discoveries.... things to inspect...

...and share....

...and many wonderful memories that I will forever cherish....

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

In My Own Backyard

One of my all time favorite movies is Disney's "Pollyanna" with Haley Mills. I love the fact that Pollyanna always finds something "good" in all situations by playing the "Glad Game". If you've never watched Pollyanna I highly suggest you see it! Through the last many, many years I've had to give myself the "Pollyanna Lecture" and find the "happy thing" in each circumstance that life has pitched my way. And we all know that life throws us curve balls....curve balls from left field and I've had to be incredibly ( or pathetically?) creative in coming up with something to be glad about. You know those days where you go...."well, er.... I'm glad that I'm.....breathing?" And then I sit and wonder- am I really?? *LOL*

I spend my Tuesday nights alone. It's the kids' night with their Dad. Even after 3 years this is a very hard adjustment for me. I usually plan something for myself on Tuesday's for the simple reason that it keeps me occupied and not as acutely aware of their absence. It just so happened that on Tuesday I didn't have anything to occupy me....or my mind.
I need to interject right here that I am not a "woe is me" person by nature- but the ability to potty without 2 people knocking on the door- REALLY leaves me feeling lonely.Ya know- there are just some things that you don't expect to be able to do!

Well, on Tuesday I made a big dinner- and that was depressing eating it by myself. So, in the midst of my reguarly scheduled Tuesday night "glad game" lecture I prompted myself to be thankful for the small things. This led to another thought process and I began noticing the little "glad things" that I had around me. Then I went out doors with my camera.....and here are a few things that I took pictures of that gave me a reason to be GLAD.

This is MaryJane. She escaped from the cage on Saturday and was missing for two days. I'm sooooo incredibly glad that we found her and she's safely back in her cage.

My girls got the help of a brother/friend from our church to plow, prep and plant a garden in the backyard. Sarah and Rebekah have been completely responsible and diligent about tending the garden. I'm so glad that they are learning the process of growing their own food. This weekend we are hoping to make pickles for the first time! This gives me quite a reason to be glad.

If you've ever visited other countries...then you'll know how easy it is to initiate a good round of the "Glad Game" when you see an American flag hanging from your own front porch.

My butterfly bush had three butterflies flittering around....sunshine, butterflies and flowers....and who WOULDN'T be smiling?

This little wrens nest is in my front flower pot. The Carolina Wrens must be very patriotic little birdies...cuz they nested here (in front of the little flag) and although I have 4 ferns hanging on my front porch- they nested in the only one that had an American flag in it. :)

I took many more pictures that night- each one of them giving me a reason to be grateful, content and satisfied in knowing that God is always there to bring joy in my sadness, light in my darkness and hope in my hopelessness. God has never left me...and sometimes something as silly as a Disney movie about an orphan girl who comforts herself with the Glad game is all I need to remind me of God's outreached arms and comforting embrace.

Shine All Your Light,


Thursday, July 15, 2010

Today Was A Big Day

Today was my daughter's 14th birthday. We celebrated in a low key sort of 15 people at Chili's way. Rebekah is my built like a ballerina, creative, artsy violinist who is very caring, shy yet outspoken, blonde bundle of giggles.

Guess what! I have a new job. A part-time one. Yes, you read that right. It's the one thing that was on my priority list- only second to a hole in the head! It's the last thing I NEEEEED....but the doors that open up through this job are too wonderful to pass up.
I'm teaching a basics photography class through a technical college. (YAY!) Yes! I'm very excited about it! They want me to put together more classes for later in the year- classes using my own syllabus and plans. I spent the better part of the day being "employed" at the college and getting all my ducks in a row, meeting the staff and brain storming with the adminstrator of continuing education classes. I'm very excited (oh, I already said that!) about the classes and the opportunities.

Anyhow, I'm to do homework for the course I'm TAKING...and prepare for the class I'm TEACHING. :)

Shine All Your Light,

Monday, July 12, 2010

Girl On The Go

I have soooo many wonderful adventures to share...and you just have no idea how many times I have sat down to write a blog to share all of these adventures and end up out of time, sidetracked or just plum tired. :)

News from the homefront is: I've recently returned from a 5 day trip to my SIL's in Ohio. I'm amazed at the amount of sleeping I did while there!
I'm pretty much over my detoxing. I've been caffeine free for over a month now. I am no longer experiencing erratic mood swings, irritability or sleepiness. (seriously, for the first three weeks of no caff- I was taking 2 naps a day!)On the bright side-My friends are coming back around too! (LOL)

So, since I'm safe to be in public again-last Saturday I photographed a wedding. I wish I could say that I was all pumped, excited and confident about it...but that was the farthest thing from the truth. I was really nervous and feeling very incompetent. The wedding was for close friends who assured me they would be happy with the outcome. My sister Kim helped me and we even cut Rebekah (my 14 year old) loose with a Canon Rebel to get some candids at the reception.
About half way into the wedding I realized why wedding photographers have 2 cameras. You have to be instantaneous-by the time you change a lens- you've lost the moment. A once in a lifetime moment. Talk about a knot in your stomach!

Jeffrey & Britney got married in a beautiful, rural stone church out in the middle of the boondocks. My dad was the officiating minister.

The ceremony was lovely.

I was really franticly nervous about the lighting in the church. I'm not equipped with studio lighting. For that matter-I can barely operate my SB-600 properly!

There were lot's of smiles and a few tears during the ceremony, happy tears are always welcome.

In Other News:

After the wedding on Saturday- I got up at 6 AM Sunday to go to the largest gathering of Highland Games in the world!The Grandfather Mountain Highland Games are hosted right here in North Carolina( a 2.5 hour drive). The event was wonderful! And fascinating!

The event reminded me of the Renaissance Festival....because you see a little bit of everything from the....wacky and wonderful to the completely weird. LOL.

There were characters of all kinds....even the trees boasted their scot heritage! It seemed to me that there were more people there dressed in kilts and tartans than not. It was really fun- and my friend Dale was just itching to buy a kilt. LOL. If you knew Dale- you'd know WHY this makes me literally roll in laughter, because I could soooo see him walking around the place in a kilt, matching socks and a hat with the little red ball bouncing on top of his head. I can see it in my head...and I do believe that's enough. (grin)

The pipers and drummers were awesome. I love the heritage and history in the parade of bagpipers and drummers in their kilts. It was wonderful!

We watched the highland dancers compete while we sat eating scottish shortbread.

These girls were here in NC all the way from Chicago

This band was incredibly talented and energetic. The lady on the fiddle never missed a lick and I wish I could have recorded the bass player. He was one of the best bass players I've ever heard.

I'm not sure that this guy didn't realize that these were "games"....he was pretty intense!

My nephew graduated highschool last month...and at the same time Jakey graduated preschool. :)

Well, I have many more adventures to share----and more in the making! I hope that everyone is happy and well!

Shine All Your Light,