Little Things Thursday

Welcome back to Little Things Thursday! I’m sorry I missed last week while on vacation, but I truly lost track of the days of the week during our week away.

We had a great time resting up before the school year begins on Monday. We’ve actually had a very full summer with little joys that make beginning a new school year a little more palatable. It’s important to enter the new year with a full tank, don’t you agree?

I’m still editing some of our vacation images, but here are 3 that I’ve had time to fiddle with.

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G at the beach 01-750

Aidan on flamingo 01-750

I did way better using Instagram for capturing most of our adventures. I’m always scared to bring my dSLR to the pool or beach. I’m looking into getting waterproof housing for the next trip.

In other news…this week will be our last Little Things Thursday… While I’m really sad to let it go, it is time. It’s been a great 4 years hosting this linky and I have come to adore so many of you who faithfully join in each week. I’m still going to blog, but I’m realizing that having set themes to shoot for, set days to post and link, and such is getting harder and harder for me to keep up with. I want to be fair to all of you and I feel badly that I haven’t been able to link up with some of you hosting your own parties. Without hosting my own party, I may be able to join in more.

I have been agonizing over this decision for about 6 months, but was unwilling to throw up the white flag because I have enjoyed this highlight of the week so much. However, my kiddos are getting older and their needs, surprisingly, are increasing.  There are way more carpool trips and activities than ever. With one child just 3 short years away from college, I need to focus on getting her ready to launch. Also, because of college, I need to spend time growing my photography biz to help support those college fees. The two boys are homeschooling at 4th to 6th grade levels which can also require a lot of me and them.  The writing has been on the wall for awhile, but I was too stubborn to accept what I saw. I’m finally accepting the limitations before me and the end of summer just feels like a nice time to wrap things up.

So, while I still intend to blog, it has to be organic by fitting in with the rhythm of our days. I’ve blogged 10+ years now, and this blog feels like a sacred journal of sorts, so I’m not ready to give it up just yet!

I’m so thankful for micro-blogging tools like Instagram that does help me stay connected with many of you who truly have become dear to me over the years. I’ll still be keeping up with you in all formats that I can.

Thank you all for the amazing support you have given to me and this linky over the years. I’m truly grateful for your friendships, inspiring posts and work!

I do have some fun stuff coming up this fall, so I hope to still see you around the blogosphere, IG, and other places!

**edit** Tamar of Random-osity has graciously agreed to continue hosting Little Things Thursday over on her blog! So, please join her next week and let’s keep this party going. Thank you Tamar!

For one last time, let’s link up below…


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Little Things Thursday

If you follow on Instagram, you saw that we had to put our pug, Gigi, down yesterday. Gigi was to turn 11 this September, which is pretty old for pugs. Her health was beginning to deteriorate as well as her overall happiness. So, we made that hard call.

We bought Gigi at a little pet shop in Bangkok in 2005. We had talked about getting a family pet prior to the day, and we happened upon this shop the day they had two baby pugs. Gigi was the smallest of the two, and most likely the runt of the litter. She was just so cute, so we brought her home. We named her after our home state of Georgia, but decided to call her Gigi.

G & GiGi (1)

Gigi was a rambunctious puppy with a strong mind of her own. She was funny and playful until about year three when she began having clusters of seizures every 6 months or so for almost 8 years. She was never fully the same after her first episodes and each cluster most likely brought about some damage to her body. She became less and less playful and more prone to just lounge the days away. She was a sweet companion, even so.

gigi sunning

Her favorite winter lounging place was by the fire.

gigi

She was the ever hopeful dog for whatever morsels of food she could find, or beg for though. She guarded her food like nothing else. “Treat” was her favorite word.

Gigi wants a treat

Summer Days

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gigi

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Thank you to those who left sweet words on my Instagram feed yesterday. That means so much! We are sorrowful over the loss of our Geege, but happy that she is no longer feeling the effects of age and health issues. She was a good friend to us for 10+ years. We are heading out today to take in some sweet time of fun and rest in Florida with family before the school year crazy begins.

We will miss you Gigi…


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Little Things Thursday

Welcome back to Little Things Thursday! I finally was able to transfer some of my photos from my laptop to my regular desktop PC. Thanks to Gina for reminding me that I could just use a USB drive! I was over-complicating the situation, which I’m prone to do when tired.

So, today I’m sharing just a few more of the cute faces of Cherokee from our trip.

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Until next year little friends…

So, how’s your little portion of the world this week?


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Little Things Thursday

Welcome back to Little Things Thursday this week! If you missed yesterday’s post, I mentioned that we took an unintended week of due to very poor internet in the Qualla Boundary. I had hoped to prepare a post and that just wasn’t going to post. So…impromptu vacation!

I’m still trying to figure out getting all the images off this craptop to my good PC in my office so that I can use some of the tools afforded on my computer there. Like my saved collage templates for my vertical shots! Gotta find the right cable to make it happen, somewhere.

For now, one of my favorite images from our time in Cherokee.

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My middle one just loves little kids and they love him. Aidan was such a good friend to this sweet little Cherokee girl. We all fell in love with her. I saw Aidan playing with her and making her laugh, so I ran over to capture it. I certainly could have taken a step back to prevent cutting him off at the bottom, but I am so glad I got there in time to catch this. Behind me there was so much going on like the parachute games, football throwing, other kids on swings, that I could have easily missed this.

How’s you last two weeks been? Show us what you’ve been capturing!


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Little Things Thursday

I’m sliding into to Little Things Thursday today, completely exhausted. But for all good reasons!

Cherokee stuff

I’ve had a lot going on, as we all do. We are currently preparing to head up to Cherokee, NC this Saturday morning for a week long traveling VBS (Vacation Bible School) for some sweet kiddos that live in Cherokee. Our church has participated in this ministry for going on the 19th year and this trip is greatly looked forward to every year by the youth and adult volunteers. My 3 kiddos are going to help run the VBS and love on some kids, while I document the trip for the team.

I’ve been trying to get my photography type things ready to travel, which means setting up a laptop with all my editing software. I’m a desktop editor, so this is no quick task to get myself ready to edit on the go. Currently, I’m wringing my hands trying to figure out getting my new laptop color managed, because, of course my calibrator is not compatible with Windows 10. Sad face.

Not sure what I’m going to do with that because I just can’t with this uncalibrated monstrosity of screen color management.

In addition, I’m working round the clock to get all my clients prints and products out for order before leaving. So basically, I’ve been glued to screens. I’m now accepting shoulder rubs, meals, and pep talks. I’m working on a few other fun things that I’ll wait to share. It’s just all happening at once!

The kids and I are trying to pack in between all of these things and I know we will get it all checked off the list at some point. Right?

So, let’s see all your peaceful summer photos so I can live vicariously.


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Little Things Thursday

What a week for us all here in the U.S. of A. I’m sure many of you are as heavy- hearted and discouraged as I am this week with all the tragedies unfolding out of Orlando this week. Perhaps more than ever we need our Little Things this week to remind us that even in an ugly world, there are still good things to be found. Grace is still keeping us. We really need to put on our grace googles going forward, I think. It is so easy to get bogged down in this broken world, but I think we need to do a better job of lighting the way through the darkness for others.

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To that end, a few nice things this week.

  1. Rain. Though this caused a session reschedule, we really needed a good soaking rain.
  2. Making memories for families. The gift of portraits is so important and I love that I am able to design some beautiful memories for others.
  3. Good food. Summer is such a wonderful time to enjoy the fresh bounties of the earth. God is good.
  4. My first Erin Condren planner arrived. The search for a great tool for staying on top of life is quite a feat. I’m excited to try out this planner for the rest of this year and all of next. So far, in my few hours of exploring it, I am enjoying the fun design, colors, and functionality. I can reduce the number of sticky notes floating around my office, though I still love those, too. Interested in trying your own EC Planner? You can get a $10 discount with my referral code. You get $10 and I get $10!

 

What’s your little thing this week?


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Little Things Thursday

Welcome to Little Things Thursday, the linky where we share the little things that are making us currently happy through images and words.

This week has been busy with getting the kids back and forth to VBS. They are enjoying their week, while I am enjoying a little time to work on a few things.

Some things I am currently enjoying this week are:

Happiness project 01-750

I’m only halfway through, but I’m learning a couple of fun ways of approaching the topic of happiness. Gretchen Rubin is a podcaster that I have recently been introduced to and her thoughts on the tendencies of people are intriguing. I really love the topic of personality. So, I decided to pick up a couple of her books for summer reading. Rubin essentially selected 12 things she desired to improve in her life to work on over the course of a year. She breaks each of those topics down to tell how she approached the changes. The biggest take away that I’ve learned so far is to “act the way you want to feel”. Yes. I think this is such great advice. You know? 

Speaking of podcasts…

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I found another fun one called Sorta Awesome. You can find it in iTunes. Megan Tietz used to write for the blog Sorta Crunchy, and has now developed to a full-time podcaster. I’ve added this to my exercise podcast-listening rotation. If you like podcasts, check this one out.

Finally, my three kiddos and I are preparing to head out on June 25th to Cherokee, NC. to assist with hosting a VBS program with kids living in the Cherokee nation. My daughter has participated twice, and this will be my boys’ first trip, of many, I’m sure. I will be helping with the documentation of the week, while our kids serve the kids from the reservation. Everyone is looking forward to the time. Oh and yeah…the little one here has a busted forehead after a run in with an exercise band. He is all glued up and on the mend. This kid…

How’s your summer going? What’s making you happy this week?


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Little Things Thursday

Welcome back to Little Things Thursday! I think we are starting to settle in to our summer groove. I usually take a full week between school’s end and really delving in to summer to get my life straight. This year it was all about decluttering, a sort of refresher for the home after a year of being on the go. It feels so great to have aired out the home, so to speak.

Summer flowers 02-750

And we brought some life back to our backyard. Memorial Day weekend had the whole family out weeding, mulching, and potting flowers. I love bringing some life back to our dull post winter yard each year. We have several tomato plants in the ground and that, besides our berry bushes, will be the only vegetables we plant this year. They are pretty much the only veggie with any sort of success rate around here. And by here, I mean with us. We are a bit brown and green with the thumbs. You just never know…

How was your Memorial Day weekend?


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Little Things Thursday

Welcome back to Little Things Thursday. It’s officially summer for us here and that means it is time to gather books for summer reading!

I bought three this week.

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The first one I’m reading is the life-changing magic of tidying up, the Japanese art of decluttering and organizing by Marie Kondo. This is better known as The KonMari Method.

I’m only a couple chapters in and this probably isn’t the book for the faint of heart, except you probably should still read it if you desire to truly declutter your life. Now, I am not a person who anyone would ever accuse of being messy or keeping clutter. However, I still find myself spending way too much time managing and cleaning things because I live with others. I’ve made peace with the fact that things will need to be constantly cleaned because we use them. That’s fine. What is really eating at me is the incessant managing of stuff. That tells me one thing. We have too much stuff.

Again, by comparison, we don’t have that much. Yet, if I find myself spending a lot of time managing our things, we should have less things to ease that burden. Managing is just not how I want to spend my time. When I really break things down, I want to enjoy living with intention and purpose. I don’t want to be an owner of a lot of things. I don’t want to work hard to buy a bigger house so that we can fill it with even more things. So that I can manage more things. Or better yet, be owned by more things. That just doesn’t fit who I am at my core. But, it is so easy to get caught up in the urgency to have, isn’t it? I mean, we are getting fed that lie of urgency to have the latest and greatest at every turn. And, I’m not even talking about the things we really put to use and find value in. I’m talking incidentals that slowly creep in to our space and take over.

I like nice things, but I don’t really value stuff. I like a nice meal, a nice glass of red wine, or travel to experience a culture. I like nice, but I don’t like accumulating things, unless they truly serve me. I want our things to serve us and bring us joy, not end up being a monkey on our backs. I want the freedom to pursue the truly important things. That’s what this book seeks to help you discover, in part. There is a bit of Japanese philosophy woven in the pages, but there are some core principles that can be applied no matter who you are.

The thing I am enjoying about this book is the way it forces you to strip down to your core values, and when you do, you know where to invest. I like that.

I also appreciate how Kondo challenges every other decluttering tip you’ve ever heard and explains how they just don’t work. It’s fascinating and I totally see the points she is making against those things we have heard our whole lives: one room at a time, one thing in, one thing out, storage, box it up for 6 months, etc… Kondo takes a more comprehensive approach to clutter.

I’ll be sure to share more as I journey further in and apply the principles.

Share your thoughts on this book, clutter, or what’s on your summer reading list! Book link is affiliated link with Amazon. A few pennies from sales directly support this blog.


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Little Things Thursday

I haven’t picked up my real camera for anything personal this month. I rarely do when I am busy editing professional work or when trying to stay afloat with the demands of the home.

So, Instagram will have to do today. Oddly and frustratingly, my go to Instagram downloading program,Instaport, was down for service as I was trying to prepare for today. I found another service and got a computer virus in the process. Really struggling to get this post up tonight! But here we are!

may 18 2016

At any rate, I hope things are on the upswing going forward. Gracyn finished school on Tuesday and the boys have their last day of school today. So ready for summer.

We’ve been toying with summer break already. Everything just seems to say that it is time to enjoy the gifts of the slower season.

It’s time to read, swim, rest, and grow in all the best ways like all the personal development that isn’t afforded by others filling your schedule. Everybody sure seems to have a plan for your life! I love that summer allows you to say yes to the truly essential.

I’m asking myself lately what things are truly essential. I love the process of answering that question. Having an answer allows us to pursue our yes to a greater degree and say no to the fillers.

One yes I am looking forward to is getting back to more blogging and photography. I really do enjoy it when there is margin to create.

Let’s see what’s before your lens this week…

An InLinkz Link-up


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