So this happened today…

As of today, we have a student driver…

gracyn's learners dyp-750

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

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Little Things Thursday

Hey Little Things Thursday-ers! It sure has been a politically puzzling week for some of us.

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And boy, oh boy…I could use a look at the good of this world! Couldn’t you?

So, help me out friends! Let’s shine a light on all the beautiful things we’ve encountered this week.

And briefly, we’ve continued to have posts linked here that are outside the intent of this group.  I don’t like to exclude those that desire to participate.  But as stated several times before,  please only link posts that fit with the spirit of this linky, which is sharing our personal lives and/or talents through the medium of photography.  Images with big fancy cameras or phones are welcomed. Posts not honoring this request will be deleted going forward for the sake of preserving this community.

 

I love ya, I really do! So, let’s see what you’ve captured!


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September

There are just a couple days of September left, but she was good to us!

So many new beginnings came this month. The biggest was our oldest heading out of the home a couple days a week for school. She attends Monday and Thursday classes, and works at home the other 3 days.  The classes are challenging and the work load can be intense. It’s a great push for college prep! She writes 2-3 essays per week, which shocked me, but I can see how that is developing her so much.  She got a 100 on her very first essay comparing To Kill A Mockingbird with Pride and Prejudice.

September 26-2015

I’m happy to report that she has 3 A’s and a B in her studies, so far. Algebra 1 is proving to be the nemesis, so I spent my Friday night brushing up on Order of Operations so that I can help tutor. Algebra was never my strong suit, but together we will learn!

I whipped up some breakfast burritos this month to help the morning rush and to feed the kids something that would sustain their bellies until lunch.

Do you guys like vintage Pyrex? I have been scouring antique shops for a set and finally found a pristine collection in the Cinderella series. The pattern I found is one that I remember from childhood. I don’t know who had this pattern, but I remember it in someone’s kitchen. I needed a set of mixing and serving bowls desperately. I was down to one.

September 25-2-2015

Fall began, and so did my Wednesday Night, Mommy Needs a Work Night, Starbucks. That’s the official title.  I’m using this time to catch up restructuring my photography business.  I’ve realized that there are some changes that I need to make that will help protect my over-arching goals and if I can’t do that, then I’ll need to stop.  I don’t want to stop, so it is time to strengthen my backbone in some key areas.

Soccer began again.  It’s a new beginning in that we changed from a beginner’s league to a real rec-league with some rock-star type players.  My boys are a bit outclassed at the moment, but it is pushing them to new heights, which is exactly what they needed. I’ve already seen them digging deeper to develop. We weren’t getting that at the other league after 5 years.  It was a perfect entry point, but it was time to move on.  They are going from 1 practice and game per week to 2 practices, 1 skill camp night, and 1-2 games per week.  They love playing, so we want them to truly develop the skills they need to succeed. They were always the better players at the former league and well, if that’s the case, that’s as far as you develop.  Being with stronger players will only make them stronger.

Homeschooling the boys has been great.  They are growing by leaps and bounds, which makes the schooling enjoyable for all. We are taking school on the road on Mondays while big sis is in classes. That change of environment is just the boost we need to stay revived.

So September, thank you for being a great start.  We are looking forward to the rest of fall and finding the good in it!

Linking with Good.Random.Fun.

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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…

Jasper drawing at Starbucks 01-blog

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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Little Things Thursday

Today is day 4 of our new school year and so far, things have gone extremely well  It’s always a blessing to get through the first few days with not one kid crying over work. In fact, our little Jasper told me last night that he felt so much better now that school has started  I wasn’t super sure what he meant, but at the same time I knew exactly what he meant.

Routine is a friend.

beginning of school week 2015

Sure, summer can be a great refresher of souls, but it has an expiration date. Too much and it starts to stink. I get that, and it was true for me as it was for him. The kids have had nothing but praise for their new endeavors, which is a balm to this weary Mama’s heart.

Weary. Yes, weary. The weeks before school began were intense with working. Not only did I have to wrap up summer activities and plan school, but I also had a huge editing project to finish. Two actually. My brain really started to melt from computer time. This explains why I have only posted phone shots here lately. I could not edit one more thing at the time. I’m actually giving myself the freedom to not edit personal work for a couple weeks, or until I feel up to it again. Whichever comes first.

I’m seeking to live more mindfully. I was feeling more robot than human over the summer. So, I made some changes. I’m waking earlier, which sounds counter intuitive. Hello 5:45 A.M.

It’s helping me focus my heart, soul, and mind at the beginning of the day before the fray begins. School is over by 1:30 P.M. The house is clean. I’ve exercised. Meals are served. Tasks are completed. And, I’ve gotten some rest time to just enjoy before doing it all over again. That’s a huge bonus because I really stink at the rest thing.

I’m still behind on blogging due to the projects I was working on, but my plan is to carve out time on Saturdays to blog for the week rather than freaking out the night before trying to pull something together. My blogging needs to reflect authenticity of life not scrambling to post. Now that school is back, I don’t think there will be a lack of things going on with all the new horizons and all.

Well, I hope you all are enjoying your remaining summer or are enjoying the first weeks of school routines. Drop a line and let me know!


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The summer that was…

Hard. Summer was hard. I’m not one to dwell on negativity, because really, there is just so much of that in the world. But, I’m learning that acknowledging the hard things doesn’t have to be negative. It can be good for the soul. I think we call it processing, don’t we?

This summer was a season where the pressure to have fun was overwhelming. Maybe you can relate. This summer was one where my husband and I were only able to focus on building what was right in front of us. Our work efforts required everything we had. It was time to dig deep and slog through many battles and fun was just not going to be a reality for us no matter how much we “needed” it. And that was hard. If I’m honest, it was pretty stinky to be on the outside looking in. I had a pity party or two. Or three.

End of Summer 2015-1

We had to make due with simple pleasures and our summer was probably similar to the summers we had as kids. There was no pressure to keep up with everyone else’s adventures and stuff back in the day. Kids played outside. They had a Popsicle or two. They went to the pool occasionally. And they were happy. The end.

But, this summer I really lost my way in remembering truth. I had to fight for truth. I won. I won because I was able to take my disappointments and refocus them on what really matters. I was able to journal my way through my thoughts and turn them right side up. There is still a twinge of pain lingering over a summer I wouldn’t have chosen, but I recognize those old familiar feelings and speak truth to them a little more quickly these days.

End of Summer 2015-2

My kids? They had a fun summer. They played outside. They had a Popsicle or two. They went to the pool occasionally. And they were happy. The end. Actually, our oldest had a blast youth grouping all summer long. So her tank should be extra full.

While I am in many ways in need of a grand do-over, I am thankful that school begins again next Monday. School is the great equalizer and we all suffer together. LOL.

Our work loads won’t be any less, but I feel that I have a better grasp on what I need to do to build a solid foundation for the year ahead. It still requires digging deep and slogging through some things, but as our fortune cookies so wisely put it: Your investments of time now will lead to success later. You will make many changes before settling satisfactorily. <— This, yes this.

Those aren’t “fortunes”, but just some good old common sense with truth that rings through. I needed the reminders that none of this summer was in vain. No matter how stinky it felt at times. I am better for walking the valley. We all are if we look at the valley as a teaching ground rather than something to avoid. Comfort, while good, is not always a friend.

This morning as I was flicking through Instagram I was blessed with another great reminder which simply said: Steady Construction, Not Hasty Assembly. (Thank you Little Bit Funky) So often we want life to be an Ikea flat pack on the road to we are going. Very often, that’s just not how things work. I would love this in a frame to hang because wow, that is exactly how I need to approach this coming year. Steady construction. In all things.

I’m thankful for those that cheered me on the sidelines with those quiet don’t give up calls, and for those even louder ones that jarred me straight back to the construction zone. Oh, how I need that.

I’m praying for a fruitful season ahead, because I need that, too.

Linking with Good.Random.Fun.

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Little Things Thursday

What happens when the corn crop you so desperately looked forward to dies?

You create a backdrop out of it, of course! It’s the whole lemons and lemonade drill.

Jasper in corn husks 01-blogOur corn just didn’t produce like we hoped. We managed to get 2-3 respectable ears and many tiny weird ones.  Our garden was essentially a big failure except for the basil, tomatoes, okra and berries. In many ways my garden became a metaphor for my summer.  Disappointment.

I envisioned refreshment.  There were bits of that, but not on the scale that I felt I truly needed to be refreshed to begin again. But, the thing about need is that what we think we need may not be what’s best for our growth, overall. I’ve grown all summer long, but I’m weary. I guess you could call it growing pains.  I’m planting and planting and planting.  The harvest sometimes looks like disappointment on the surface, but rather it is the fodder for a greater harvest to come.  I believe that.  Because disappointment, when used correctly, causes us to grow. We dig deeper, and make adjustments. I’m no quitter and I also believe that God wastes no circumstance that He allows.  We just have to be willing to accept and learn from our circumstances.  It’s not easy, but it is necessary. While not getting a vacation or other luxuries this summer was disappointing, I do think I’ll look back on this time as pivotal. My souvenirs aren’t seashells and T-shirts, but I believe that my take-aways are valuable.

We have less than 3 weeks before our new school year begins and I am furiously working to shore up loose ends so that I’m not crawling to the first day of school.  I apologize for not being as available to participate and visit.  I hope you know that my desire is FOR those things, but that well, honestly, I’m struggling to balance duty and delights. Delights have just had to retire to the backseat over the last month or so.  There has been just so much on my proverbial plate that needs attention. It’s nothing serious, but as you know, when things pile up life can feel overwhelming.

I do have a couple massage gift certificates that will be a balm once I get through the bulk of the crazy.  I’m looking forward to those.  I’m still going to be around, and I’m trying to make room for delights as I can. Soon, routine will win the day once again and I’ll be back on the saddle. Less than 20 days to go! How’s your summer?  


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Survival Mode

I didn’t really intend for the start of summer to go straight to survival mode, but who does? There has been a whole lot of Murphy’s Law going on, but I am able to see the brightside of it and laugh a little. A little.

May 24-2015

My knees never really got better after last week. I ended up resting for almost a full week to be ready to shoot the wedding last Thursday. I adopted the RICE lifestyle just to make it through that. I got through, but was a little worse for the wear the next day. It was worth it though! I’m feeling a bit better now, though the pain travels from knees, to quads, to hams. I am best friends with Advil and ice packs. I think it is all just a matter of time to heal and hopefully I can start walking again. Slowly. I’m a dork and thought I could handle the pace before.  Clearly, I was wrong.

Our kitchen sink died Monday. So that required lots of hoopla to try to salvage it before chucking it and getting a new one.  All this happened while Jack tried to prepare Memorial Day goodies. Of course it isn’t fully installed because there are always hurdles to overcome. But soon, it will be all functional.

Today, Jasper chipped a permanent front tooth on the side of the pool. It was a small chip, but I took him in to the dentist anyway. His chip was jagged and I knew it could present issues. His tooth was sanded down to smooth the edges. Now we wait until his front teeth are fully grown before deciding if they will need either more sanding or a little bonding. There was no nerve damage! It’s really not that bad, but this is my baby, afterall. I’m allowed to overreact.  Right?

Then…as if we needed more, Texas showed up. All those mid-western rains started to fall here in Jawgia. My backyard turned into a river and then the garage started to flood from the bottom and leak a bit from the top. By this point, all I could do was laugh. I mean, it could be way worse.  Way.

I’m grateful that these sufferings are really just petty ones. If these things are our biggest problems, we are doing well!

So, things have been slow here on the dear old blog, because I just haven’t had the physical stamina to photograph anything besides what I am paid to photograph. My clients needed the best of me, so I didn’t want to jeopardize that by being too mobile. I’m slowly making it back to normal. I keep saying that, but I believe it is true this time.

Here’s to the upswing!

Linking with Good.Random.Fun and Wednesdays Around the World.

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You win some, You lose some

This week I’m on the lose some plan. I have kind of busted up my knee with my overzealous walking and running. Turns out, I’m not 23 anymore.

mid-may 2015

I’ve been on modified rest for 4-5 days. I’m not quite sure what my injury entails, but it is on both sides of my knee, seemingly in the medial area. I’m able to run a few errands and I thought I’d try walking yesterday with the aid of KT tape, but I was unable to do that.

I’m resting up today because I’m photographing a precious little wedding tomorrow.  It’s all elevation, ice, and Netflix for today.  I’ve got to be mobile tomorrow.

Still, there are winning moments like ice cream, boba tea, Pad Thai, and binge watching Korean dramas.

I haven’t been able to capture much else this week due to immobility, but I do hope to be back on my feet soon.  Little Things Thursday will run as scheduled! Hope to see you there.

Linking with Wednesdays Around the World.

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Little Things Thursday

“That day, for no particular reason, I decided to go for a little run. So I ran to the end of the road.”

Running shoes 01-blog

I’ve alluded to this a few times already, but in case you missed it, I have taken up daily walking combined with little runs. Basically to the end of the road type runs, but multiple times over the 3.4 miles. I’m still building stamina to run. I hate running.

Except, I don’t hate the benefits of those short sprints. Stress? I love taking it out on these morning walks/runs.  I love feeling strength creep back into my body.  I’m at a place in life where I can take better care of myself.  I’ve been walking a week and a half and I have already logged 33.3 miles. My knee is cussing me out, but I feel accomplished. I love arriving back to my porch after 45 minutes completely drenched in sweat.  The endorphins are an amazing anti-depressant.  I just gotta have my Rocky “No pain, No Pain” moment to get to the endorphin part.

Another no pain, no pain pep talk is getting to the end of the school year.  We are almost there and I will be back to regularly joining all the linkies very soon! Thanks for your patience and still joining me here each week while I tie up loose ends!

Let’s see your week!


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