I am behind this week. I have not posted a new picture in several days and to be honest I have not taken any serious pictures. The pictures I have taken have been much more valuable. It is OK because what I have been doing is focusing my time and attention on some girlfriends. We have not all been together in 18 years. Yes It sounds like a life time and in many ways it has been. We have all loved and some of us have lost. We have all had adversity of one type or another. There has been death, divorce, financial difficulties. We have all bounced around the country like ping pong balls. Alaska, Tacoma, Clarksville, L.A, Nashville, Chicago and settled into the states we now call home. We have had children grow up and have children of their own. We started out as young, sometimes scared, many times lonely Army spouses and this weekend we discovered we are all very strong, successful, individuals who never missed a beat. Not one time did we feel we were among strangers, not time, or distance, nor life could weaken this bond called Sisterhood. So to my Cali girls I love you and am glad I have not posted since you got here and today I am missing each of you as much as when we all left Fort Ord. I know with the three of you in my life I will never be alone.
Today I was lucky enough to see a young family walk out of the hospital with their new baby boy. It is a privilege to be invited into a moment such as this and one I do not take lightly. I can only hope my feeble effort at helping them preserve this moment can capture a tiny glimpse of what a wonderful gift he is. Welcome to our world Jalen, we are are so glad you are here.
Speaking of joy, who can give more unconditional love than those puppies we love and make part of our family. Who else in the world is so happy to see you they bounce up and down like a Yo-yo, even when everyone else would take one look at us and run the other way? Who else believes without a doubt, licks across the face will cure every problem and woe we have? There is something to be said about how a dog loves, without reservation or fear. They love because they can’t help it. No holding back, no fear of looking foolish, no agendas.
and in black and white
There are some people in the world who live their lives with joy. Yes bad things happen to everyone. Terrible, life changing, hit you in the gut things. I repeat they happen to everyone. The difference is what you do when you are in the thick of it. Living your life with joy means living it without regret, making those around you your primary focus and putting yourself last, instead of first. I love it when I take pictures of people who just have joy pouring off of them. It shows not just in their lives but in their faces. Here is to more joy.
Today is a day for saying thank you to the Hero’s in our lives. Those men who sacrificed and poured out their love, time, resources and lives to make us the individuals we are. Now I know not everyone had the best dad in the world, some even have dads who failed miserably. I also know some of the most awesome dads in the world are not biological dads but men who fathered by choice. Some dads reading this may not be able to have contact with those children who own their hearts and today is a heartbreaking day. I know all of this but still it is a day to say I love my daddy. My dad is without a doubt my hero, a role model for my son, a man of dignity and integrity. A man who gives everything he has and ask for nothing in return. I hope when I grow up I can be like him!
Happy Father’s Day to all the men who choose to Father no matter the circumstance.
and to the newest Dad in my life…. everyone can see he has already won her heart.
Today was the 4th Annual Summer Research Institute, Held by the Grant I work on. This daylong conference provides Early Childhood Professionals in our area an opportunity to participate in a free conference based on research proven concepts in Early Childhood. It was a long day for us as we finished setting up and going through all the little things that need to happen to pull off a conference like this. It was also was a very gratifying day as I reconnected with professionals I had not had an opportunity to see in awhile. (I tend to spend most of my days now focused on the technology that drives our program rather in the field with the providers.) And I was able to interact with many new and dedicated young adults who have a passion for “How are the Children” I took pictures galore and had a full day. I have always been passionate about Quality Early Childhood Education, but now I have a new reason to be a supporter and an advocate. I want the best in the field in my life and I want to know that this beautiful child I love with all my heart has a safe, nurturing environment to spend her time away from those of us who love her the most when her mommy returns to work. Yes it was a good day but this evening was even better as I was able to provide a date night for the new love of my life’s parents and snap this quick picture.
Have you ever had too much time on your hands? Some people may think I do after this post but I don’t care. I have been thinking about long exposure, light, movement and what I could do to build stronger skills. I have done water drops and will be doing some more again soon I am sure, but I wasn’t in a water drop mood. Light streaks would have been fun but it is staying light to long into the evening and I had tons of daylight left.So Domino’s won the vote, and here today is my first attempt although definitely not the first image I shot of falling domino’s
I’m feeling grumpy this morning. It’s Wednesday so I should be sailing towards the weekend but instead I’m letting all the little things get to me. The HVAC unit was acting up last night so sleep was elusive. The traffic report warned me before I even was out of the shower that it was going to be a “SLOW ROLL” the list could go on and on. So pulling out of the driveway in no hurry to sit on the bypass I noticed this little fellow smiling at me. He is new in my weed garden. I mean wildflower showcase. And he is so happy among the blues and whites currently in control. I have a separate area where Black Eye Susan’s are in control but this little guy is rogue. He has claimed his place and cheerfully winks at everyone around him. He made me smile, stop and grab my camera. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could all be like him? If only we would learn to let the little things go and learn to be content in the moment wouldn’t we then be the bright smile we bring to others faces.
Or we can be like these little guys afraid to leave the trail others are laying for us.
I pass through these doors and or see these words on a daily basis, but do I stop to think about the message they are sending?
Think – to employ one’s mind rationally and objectively in evaluating or dealing with a given situation
Work – exertion or effort directed to produce or accomplish something.
Serve – to render assistance; be of use.
When I started this blog I wanted a place where I would feel accountable to myself. A place to post the best of a daily challenge I had set out to accomplish. I also build in a small measure of grace knowing it might prove impossible to post daily… I have learned well Life Happens. The motto for the University I work at is THINK – WORK – SERVE. I hope in a small way this blog can also follow in this path. Not just meaningless rambles of an individual hoping to think about the pictures she will take, make the effort to exert herself to find and accomplish the idea, but also to serve to impact my world for the better in some small way. Loft aspirations for a nerdy girl like me but I think well worth it.
Today disaster struck, true disappointing disaster. I had a wonderful weekend but as my weekends seem to go I had so much going on my camera just did not have a chance. So tonight I was full of anticipation to spend time with a shot I had thinking about for several days. My house is on the market so I live as an invisible guest sometimes, always careful to clear away the evidence before I leave each morning. This means a shot that requires a significant amount of setup is a major project. Tonight I went through the steps and pulled out the tripod, the lights, the clamps, the tape, the poles, the subject. I pulled out the works. I set the shot, I took a few test shots. I made the adjustments and then it happened…… Replace battery pack. No problem, I was a Girl Scout and a Den Mother and pride myself on being prepared. I had charged my spare battery pack the end of last week. Except it too was dead……. I am devastated but the house is restored and two batteries are charging.
Is there anything good to come of this? I hope so, feeling lost and needing something to cheer me up I went back to a group of photos I had made a couple of weeks ago and never processed. They were not my favorites and really had been an experiment with exposures on a cloudy grey day. And today’s picture is a tribute to finding something in the simplest of places and pictures. A lesson on finding success in the middle of disaster.
Today was a great day. It was more than just great, in fact it bordered on perfect. There is nothing I would rather do than get to spend time with my favorite girl in the world, Today her mommy and daddy needed me to do just that. So often we get caught up in the day to day routines and forget to stop and take time for the little things. This morning I was able to rock, coo, cuddle, wear spit-up and take this picture of Kate to remind me of how wonderful our day was.
Today I an Early Bird, a Sun Greeter, A Picture Seeker. Waking up before sunrise this morning I was tempted to pull the covers back over my head but a little voice in my head insisted I get up and catch that magic hour. So today I am posting early and may even get a second one in. So here is too all you Sun Seekers.
Today I went to the park for lunch. I went with the plan to get a picture for today to post. Flowers, ducks, lovers walking hand in hand I knew I would find something that would catch my eye and provide me with a photo I wanted to share. While sitting there I happened to notice a older gentleman shuffling along the path. He moved slow and his head was kept down avoiding eye contact with those he passed. He stopped at a bench and eased himself down not far from a trashcan. For the next half hour I watched saddened as he waited for people passing by to throw the remains of their lunch away. Each time he would slowly work his way up from the bench and remove the fast food bag looking for scrapes of food. Finally I could no longer stand it and I slipped to my car and drove the 5 min it took to a local fast food restaurant there I ordered a meal and drove back to the park. Getting out of my car I walked over and handed him the bag saying not a word. He looked at me and the tears began to flow. In those eyes I saw pride, fear, defeat, thankfulness and love.
I did not take his picture, his face is not important. What is important is his humanity. Everyday we pass the hungry, the hurting, those who have reached the bottom and can no longer help themselves up. Who are we to judge when in reality what we need to do is hold out our hand one person at a time.
One of the things I love about Sunday afternoon’s is getting to spend time with those I love. This Sunday was extra special because my parents were able to meet their new Great-Granddaughter. There is no doubt it was love at first sight. So today’s photo is dedicated to family. Always cherish each other even when you don’t always agree or get along because life is so short and you never know when you may not have the chance to say I love you again.
Nothing is as fun as finding new and quirky places to eat right in my own back yard. Today we made a point to stop in and eat at the Fat Juicy Taco in Hendersonville . Wow, does it ever live up to its name. We had a beef and a fish taco and believe me not a bite was left. If this wasn’t enough the guacamole was homemade and as good as any I have ever had. Speaking of homemade the entire menu is made from scratch and is as fresh as if I had whipped it up myself. This is true Baja California style Mexican at its finest in a little strip shopping building in Middle Tennessee!
Of course well cooked food is a must but just as important to me is the experience. The owners delivered some of the most friendliest, attentive, over the top service I have had in a long time. We had samples of the salsas, the guacamole and a thorough tour of the menu. They truly go out of their way to make every guest feel like a treasured friend stopping by for a visit. Fat Juicy Taco you have me sold. So if you are in the Hendersonville area be sure and stop by and say hi and grab some great food. 793 W. Main St., Hendersonville, TN 37075
So the challenge for today was just simply catch a snapshot right this moment of what your day is like. So I stopped and snapped.
I have spent the day at my desk working on wrapping up the week. I love my job and would not trade it for the world but sometimes I do have a jailer
Flimsy, true but very effective. I purposely have my back to this invitation to the outside world because if I did not I too would……..