So this happened today…

As of today, we have a student driver…

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I’m not really ready for this, but here we go.

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Sophomore Year

Last year at this time, I was anxious about Gracyn beginning her high school journey. There was definitely a learning curve figuring out time management, and other junior adulting aspects of life. Freshman year was more than survived and I am so glad that as we begin the Sophomore year that we have some experience behind that will gird us for the year ahead.

I can’t stop thinking about how in just three short years she will launch!

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And that fuels my anxiety on a whole new level. It’s amazing how you can go from worrying about starting to high school to getting ready for college in just 365 days. I’m learning that each year of high school is filled with steps on the road to higher education. Every step counts. I’m not sure I understood that when I was on my own road, the way I do now.

One thing I’m sure of is the need to pray that God would guide us as only He can in this process. He knows what’s ahead and while there is work to be done on our end, we can trust.

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She’s grown a lot in the last year, not only in stature but in so many other ways. This year will be challenging, but we know she can meet the challenge head on. Every high schooler is required to write and publish a book this year. I’m so glad this wasn’t on tap for Freshman year! Gah! Thank you, Jesus!

By spring, she’ll have penned a book. This makes me want to break out in hives just thinking about it, but we have confidence in our teachers who will guide them each step of the way.

She is also, to my delight, going to be taking a film photography class with a top notch film photographer in the area. I’m probably going to peek at the notes. Shhhh… But, really I’m excited to see what photography becomes for her. This isn’t about my love for it.

There is just so much ahead that excites and scares and so many other feels. It just feels like a ball has been thrown into motion that can’t be stopped.

Know what I mean?

 

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Little Things Thursday

Welcome back to Little Things Thursday, where we share our little moments of life through image and words. This week has been all about catching up and getting back into routines since spring break. Needless to say, I’m behind on last week’s blog entries. But. I will be going back to visit soon!

I still have a slew of photographs to edit this weekend from our trip. I’m looking forward to revisiting those shots because it has been gray and chilly here most of the week. Warm, sunny beaches are far better, in my opinion.

I’ve edited just one personal photograph.

Our family had just visited a replica exhibit on the water of the ships Nina and Pinta. We were surprised at how small they actually were. Afterwards, we drove over to Peace River Wildlife Center and found these mangroves. It’s funny because these beaches are what I would expect Columbus an his gang to wash up on. They just have that look. Or maybe caskets of rum and pirates, whichever.

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The mangroves and quite beach nooks were serene and so enjoyable to explore. I have several photographs from our walk through this area, coming up soon!

How’s your week been?


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Little Things Thursday

We had an exciting milestone last Friday.  Gracyn had her first formal evening of high school!

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The school she attends has an English Country Dance Society. Doesn’t that sound so chic?

The girls donned long gowns and the guys wore their best suits. In other words, the girls spent all day getting ready and the boys got ready in 10 minutes with suits already in the closet.

During the beginning of the year, the school holds practice dances where the kids learn to dance English Country Style (think Jane Austen), The Waltz, a bit of Swing, The Virginia Reel, and others. I sure do value the way they learn to dance the old society way versus modern culture’s idea of dancing. I mean, modern dancing has it’s place, but many kids grow up without learning to dance for grown up events.

The girls are learning to wait to be asked to dance, and to graciously accept requests.  Except for that one Sadie Hawkins number they like to mortify the girls with, occasionally.

Call me old fashioned, but I love when men are called upon to step up and pursue. This is something that I am emphasizing in our home, even though it isn’t necessarily a value of today’s culture. Equally, I was thrilled that most of the kids did not go with a particular date, so that they could have the experience of dancing with more than one person.  I just kind of love that idea.

The final report of the evening was good, even though the girls did hide during some of the harder dances. Not an ankle was twisted, so all’s well that ended well.

Let’s hear about your week!


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Little Things Thursday

Welcome back to Little Things Thursday! I got a little behind this past week with blogging because in all honesty, my daughter’s high school stuff is kicking my booty. Now, I know it should all be her high school stuff kicking her booty, but as a mom you still have to make sure it all happens.  All the purchases for the week…my job.  All the taxi needs…my job. Did I mention school is 36 miles away and we have umpteen functions to attend? All the forms and homework oversight…my job.

Not to mention normal life needs that don’t involve said high schooler.   Can I get an amen, Mamas?

High School is kicking both of our butter beans.

I really want to get this time management thing back to auto pilot, but that isn’t going to happen.  We are still working on the kinks of transitioning.

G homework-750 Wednesdays are Def Con 5 in preparing for Thursday campus days.  There is frantic studying and editing of essays every. single. week.

 There is the mad rush to read 100 pages of the current literature selection.  She is working steadily, but it is just a lot. It’s truly a lot.

 She takes it all with a grain and loves going to school. Great friendships have been born and are developing as the weeks go by.

It’s all a blessing in our lives…but a busy blessing.  I almost feel that my mothering needs have increased exponentially of late. There is just so much terrain to navigate. I need to be present.

I am present. It’s a gift to walk these last in the nest years and make them count. If I don’t blog as much as I used to it’s because I’m asleep. By the end of the day I am simply toast with a long list of the undone.

How’s your week?


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Little Things Thursday

It’s THAT time of year again. You know, Fall Photo Session time?

This session was unique in that it was the first time I did a full, real session with extended family members.  My SIL and BIL were on deck for some updated photos. I’m still editing their gallery, but I always have at least one sneak to share early on. You may have seen this on my Biz Facebook Page, but I’m going to share it here, too!

Sheldon 02-LBL I’m keeping my fall sessions on the lighter side this year as I prepare to launch some new initiatives in 2016. I’ll still have plenty to edit before Christmas!

Hope you all are having a great week and enjoying this beautiful Autumn season.

*And as a side note, please remember that all posts should contain images that you have captured in keeping with the spirit of the linky. Thanks! <3

Linking also with Black and White Wednesday.


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S’mores

Our family got a little treat this past weekend when my husband’s sister came to town.  It’s been 3 years since she and her husband moved to Texas to take on a new job.  We were excited to spend a little time with them around their camper in a beautiful state park near our home.

Of course, S’mores were called for.

 

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These are a bunch of grainy, low-light images, but still so fun! There is something about fall that makes sitting around the campfire so enjoyable.  The company wasn’t too shabby either. Happy Trails To You…Until We Meet Again.

Linking with Random-osity, Wednesdays Around the World, and Songography.

 

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Unwritten

Staring at the blank page before you

Open up the dirty window

Let the sun illuminate the words that you could not find…

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Today is where my book begins. The rest is still unwritten.

2015 has been the year of questions both answered and unanswered.  The main question I faced was how to stay afloat in a sea of waves that I felt were carrying me every direction except the one that I wanted to go.  This summer I faced a moment of surrender to the rocky seas.  I realized that the waves were not meant to harm, but to push me in the best direction.

I felt very much that my future was already written and that it wasn’t one that was excited me.  It wasn’t one I would choose for myself, if I held all the power to choose.  I was feeling stuck in the mud, as my former toddler use to say when he didn’t want to do something.  The mud was self-inflicted and imaginary. All he had to do was stand up.

I, too, had to stand up.  Once I gave up the fight, so to speak, I started to see bits and pieces of the shore. Though everything was certainly not perfect, the pieces were falling into place.

God was in the business of providing some needed change that would shake up the monotony of right here. Through that, I began to see anew that I could trust Him with much larger things.

If He could provide a school for my daughter and more time outside the four walls of home for the rest of us, He could provide for the other concerns of our hearts.  But, first and foremost, He was just concerned with my heart that was starting to lose hope. I felt a very real call from God to just turn from my striving and seek Him.  The real answer to all my questions.  That was exactly what I needed and still need each day.

God showed me that while He has certainly written my future, it isn’t second best to my imaginings.  His plans are bigger and better than any dream I could dream.  Right here, with exactly what we have, at this exact moment, is good.  But not just good, BEST.

I guess you could say that He is disciplining me in trust and contentment.

I’m living with my arms wide open to God’s plans for us, whatever they may be.  I still pray for those little heart’s desires, but I won’t break if that’s where they stay.

This new school year is so different already and I’m encouraged by all the growth I’ve seen both in me and my students.  All I have to do is be faithful to the day’s work. Fruit is on the vine.

Linking with Good.Random.Fun, Songography, Black and White Wednesday, and Wednesdays Around the World.

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First Day Jitters

The first day is in the books for Gracyn, our Freshman.

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There were the usual jitters upon drop off, but she was all smiles at pick up. She kicked the year off with a bang by getting a 100 on her government quiz!

We are pretty sure that she will be just fine as the year goes on, even though it will require a lot of her academically speaking.

Socially, it is promising to be just as great.  She met a few new kids on the first day and had her first social this past weekend.  One of the kids hosted a s’mores bonfire for all the high school students at a get to know you gathering. The high school only has 100+ students so they will have a pretty intimate group with many chances to develop friendships.

These are exciting times!

Linking up with Randomosity, Black and White Wednesday, and Wednesdays Around the World.

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A Pocket Full Of Sunshine Boutique|Review

I’m doing a little something different for Little Things Thursday this week! Over the summer, I was contacted by the super cute children’s clothing company A Pocket Full of Sunshine Boutique to try out a couple of their items for review. My little girl is all grown up, but I’m surrounded by darling little girls in my town.  I put out a model call for one of them to model some dresses for me, and this doll stepped forward!

First, you have got to see all the clothing on A Pocket Full of Sunshine’s website. The outfits are adorable.  I love all the unique items that your girls will love this back to school season.  You won’t find these items in the collections in your local stores.  To me, that is a plus! As a photographer, I am also always looking for great companies to recommend to my clients for putting together a wardrobe for portraits. A Pocket Full of Sunshine has so many great, affordable options.

Like this adorable Blue Lace Florence dress:

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I love the lace detail on the neckline and the empire waist!

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Next up is the Cream Crochet Maderia dress. Even my high school daughter said that she wished this came in her size!

APFOS blog post 2This is such a versatile dress! I can see this as an autumn look with a cute pair of tights and some cowgirl boots. It’s a perfect Back to School look! I know you’ll find so many looks to love this fall!

A Pocket Full of Sunshine is graciously offering my readers 25% off orders when you use the code littlebylittle! A little savings this time of year is such a blessing to the back to school budget!

And a parting shot of my darling model, because she was so fun to shoot! APFOS 04-LBLblog

Now come link up for Little Things Thursday with us and show us what you’ve got! Be sure to stop by A Pocket Full of Sunshine Boutique to get 25% off some unique Back to School clothes with my code!


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