Currently, in my free time, which is keeping me sane.

beg of may 2015

Soaking up time with our neighbor dog, Bella. She and her mom are moving sort of far away. Lots of porch time since Bella’s mom had a nice rocker in her recent yard sale.

Adding to my growing plant stash. Willing myself to walk 3+ miles a day. It’s sad how sore I am, but it is a good sore. I’m also smelling a bit “earthy” and I have never been so thankful for my end of day tub soak, except for when I lived in Thailand. Summer has arrived. Like for real.

Not pictured: school, school, school. We are at T-minus 14!

Re-watching: Lost on Netflix.  It’s a bit different when you have the puzzle pieces up front, but still intriguing.  I love the character nuance.  I think everybody can identify with one or two characters in some capacity and see bits of themselves.  I think that is what I really love about it.  We all have flaws that need working through, and we all have our inner strength.  I love seeing those flaws and fortitude battle each other.  I think I’m a bit Jack like, for better or worse.

This is my Good.Random.Fun from the past week!




I’ve been feeling a renewed sense of taking the time to live. Do you know what I mean? Like all of us, I can get so bogged down in the daily doings of life that I forget to truly live.

It’s funny how spring invites us to see things freshly.  All the life bursting forth reminds us that we also need to recreate.

Garden beginnings 01-blog

So, I sat down and wrote a bit in a journal about what that means to me right now and I realized that I need to protect this sacred place of living. I mean, I already knew that, but it gets lost in the fray at times.

I realized, anew, that I’m responsible for my own happiness and time to live.  It is not anyone else’s responsibility to carve that out for me.  Me being me, I came up with a plan.

garden 2015

On the docket:

  • Gardening
  • Walks
  • Time to reflect/Bible study
  • Handwritten letters
  • Time outdoors
  • Creating my own adventures
  • Simplicity and Minimalism
  • Nourishing my artist’s heart
  • Friendships: Old and New
  • Guarding my heart
  • Meaningful conversations and fellowship
  • Seeking out inspirational, passionate people/being mentored and mentoring/a circle of giving and receiving
  • Abundance mentality in thoughts, words, and deeds
  • Picnics
  • Time with hubby
  • Wine and cheese

Gosh, there really is so much more I could say.  This will require lots of prayer and intentional choices.  You may remember that my two words of 2015 are Pause and Follow. It’s getting close to mid-year and it’s time to do those gut checks.  Am I making strides towards my goals? Are you? Are you pursuing them un-apologetically? If I’m honest, there has been rough surf.  I’m grateful for those because I can adjust my sails going into the second half of the year.

Happiness is the reward of intentional living.  I’m growing.

Linking with Good.Random.Fun.




Imagine all the people, living life in peace.

I think this starts with personal development. When we are at peace, we will be peace givers.

I bought myself a little trinket to help me remember the things I want to work on this year to be more at peace.  I bought this at Lisa Leonard Designs, because I love her story and her work.  I’ve been doing a word of the year for awhile, but I always sort of forget exactly what I am praying for mid-year.  I’m one to love accountability in my life, so I built some for myself.  It might seem silly, but I want to remember chapters of my journey.  Each chapter holds a certain significance, even when we can’t see it in the day to day.

Words of the Year 2015

I’m really excited about some ways I have mapped out to help me with some areas I want to develop and explore.  I know myself and the two things above will not happen without intention.  They just won’t.

I’m hopeful!

Linking with Songography| Imagine by John Lennon


Office Vignettes

This past weekend I called a semi-time out.  I desperately needed time to just take care of needs that I had waiting in the wings. The sigh of January had not yet been embraced and it was time that I just exhaled after the rush of the year’s end.

I often exhale by ordering personal spaces.  I came into a few birthday bucks and I decided to spend them sprucing up my work space since I live there and will continue to live there for the future as far as I can see.  Why not make it enjoyable?

I added some living things.


office vignettes

I made light an option by layering blackout curtains over sheers. This allows me to edit any time of day without glare.  I feel this will increase daytime productivity and allow the evening to belong to my family. *fingers crossed*

office vignettes

Craft supplies were housed in drawers.

office vignettes

Shelves were arranged.

office vignettes

SO everything is not quite spic and span, yet.  However, this is my space.  Can you see it?


Soon, all things will be put in order. My catch all cork-board betrays the way I have been living in here.

office vignettes

I’m thankful for beginnings like the New Year which allow us to refocus and move forward. This was a good pause for me. My private space needed attention. It needed tending and love to encourage me in the years that lie ahead.  It declares that I trust God for the things He has given me today. That those things are a gift and have purpose. That I have purpose. This pause helps me to follow.

Linking up with Good.Random.Things.  And this weekend is also her birthday (Saturday), so show her lots of love this week!


Gray days

The gray days of January are back this week after a few days of glorious sun.  Isn’t that the new year?  It starts off with enthusiasm and then morphs into Seasonal Affective Disorder like 0 to 60.  I never really know how to handle January, which is sad because it is my birthday month. Birthday months are supposed to be anticipated. Right?

But January often brings a longing and anticipation that I can’t quit put my finger on. It’s a mixed bag of hope and fear, sun and clouds, yin and yang.

Aidan by window film edit-web

It’s not really a longing for summer days because in many ways I love the slowness of winter.  I try to embrace the everything in its own time sentiment.  Winter has purpose.

I love the comfort of a being curled up by the fire in the evening, the warmth of soup suppers, and freedom to enjoy television with minimal guilt for doing so. I really appreciate these gifts that other seasons lack due to too much activity.

But it is also hard.

Maybe the longing is really a stirring for growth.  Maybe it’s the exhilaration and the agony of  the blank slate of a new year. Will this year be different or exactly the same? Will I succeed or fail in my endeavors?  Do I really have anything to offer? There are so many questions in January.

Maybe the stillness begs for personal creativity to be reignited after months of creating for others, but not knowing how to harness and release it. Or if you even have it in you at all.

Suspicion says you do, but you often wonder how to stay on the journey.   The hurdles are just so very great sometimes. The learning curve is intense.

I dunno.  There are so many thoughts swirling through my mind at the beginning of the year. The only reasonable response to all these January blues is to pray about them and release them. Breathe in and out. Keep on truckin’ and all that jazz.

And maybe definitely seek just a little solace in a bowl of ice cream.  January is nothing that a little mint chocolate chip can’t fix.

Linking up with Good. Random. Fun because being a nutty almost 43 year old is just that.



The beginning

The New Year is here.  January, to me, is a new start and one of the most melancholy of months. The cold, and drear sets in signaling that the long winter is upon us for awhile.  It can be hard to find the beauty on those long drizzly days. Boy have we had them lately. My pastor recently spoke about how January can be depressing as we begin again the cycle of sameness. It’s a challenge to find the joy after the first few days of the new year, but it’s there to be found.

I’m pursing it. Will you pursue it with me?


I spoke a bit about it on Instagram today, but in essence I’m pursuing the joy of the little things. To do that, I have to pause…or else I miss it.  Oh, how often we breeze by the best moments of life because we are chasing “the have tos”.  Or perhaps we focus on what’s broken and ugly that we are so blind to the good. Don’t we?

It’s so easy to let fear win.

I’m battling it with each pause and with each moment that I choose to follow God rather than my own fears.

Today, battle took place in the fragrance of our unadorned Christmas tree, in a child’s drawing, the completion of a cheery woolen scarf, and being a companion to the child left behind because of a small tummy bug.

Small, but big.

Linking with Good. Random.Fun.


Looking Back on 2014

How do you measure, measure a year? 2014 is soon to be over.  My word for 2014 was SEEK. I spent some time reading over my post on this word choice to see how I fared.

I won some. I lost some. Isn’t that the way it goes? Overall, I feel that some of the things I sought were obtained. Really many things were.   2014 has been a refining and defining year and it ends with a sort of fork in the road that only 2015 can answer in time.

But before 2015 is upon my shoulders, let’s look back at the highlights of this year on its last embers.


I learned to knit.

my yarn stash

We had snow.

Gracyn Snow Day


We didn’t learn to play the keyboard as we originally thought we would.

piano man

It snowed again!

snow boots


We enjoyed some pre-spring weather with Ramune.


And leaf blowers.

leaf blower


Soccer began once again.

Aidan soccer

Puddles invited us to jump.

puddle jumper

Eggs were decorated.

Easter Eggs


Sprinklers were turned on.

run through the sprinklers1-web

Barbecues and Watermelon were consumed.

Memorial Day 2014

Memorial Day 2014

Berries were picked.

berry patch


A little boy tuned seven.

Happy Birthday Jasper

World Cup fever struck.

soccer skills


We became parents of a teenager.

makeover 4-web

And a new pup.

Rosie on bed-web


School began once again.


school prep-web


Busy autumn days meant improvising.

pizza night-web

The workloads were full.



God blessed me with a trip to Thailand.

Wat Pho



Life was busy photographing others, but I managed just two of my own.

jaspers feet and shadows



Christmas came and went in a blur.

GW party 01

Christmas Tree 2014-1-web

christmas jammies 2014-web

Now we look to the future.

Gracyn in hall-web

We don’t know what the future holds, but we know the ONE who holds the future. There are times of fear and expectation. We know that somehow it is all a gift.


Come what may…It is well.

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



Do you ever write down your thoughts because you need to talk or process them outside of your own mind? I think we used to call this journaling or keeping a diary.  I write to process.  I also talk to process, except my habit of listening often gets in the way.  Writing usually wins the day. So, I thought I might start a semi-regular series here of processing some thoughts.  It’s risky.  People are often judged for being real. I am going to take the risk.

How about a cup of tea while I vent?

tea break-web

Dear Suburbia,

I think we need to break up.  It’s you and its me.

You see, I am craving something very different than you offer.  I’m craving community and authentic connection with humanity that just can’t be fabricated with programs, events, and entertainment.  Those things are just a shadow of the real thing and only serve to keep us busy, but not really serve.  Those things have beginnings and endings.  I want continuity and longevity.  I want to be part of what truly matters.

I don’t want to spend my life in my car driving back and forth to feel in touch with humanity. I want it organically. I want to touch it in the everyday.  I want life on life. I want to walk among it.  Instead, you guard it behind closed doors, surface appearances, and busy calendars.  I’m guilty of participating.  I’m just too busy keeping up with what you keep tossing at me.

Life with you feels overscheduled, programmed, and burdened.  Words like “in the bubble” do not comfort me, but rather make me feel like a hamster on a wheel. Bubbles don’t always protect; they also cage.  I don’t want to be protected, anyway. There is a whole other world outside of your borders.  Not everyone can, but I can. Not everyone is willing, but I am willing. WE are willing.

I’m not soothed by stuff.  I’m not comforted by more. I do not want to pour my  life into managing my stuff and my calendar of trivialities.  I know that life anywhere has elements of this; yours is out of proportion.

I’m resolved, and confused. I want a different kind of more.  Something has to change, and I think it’s my move.




The thing about dreams

During part of our homeschool today, we read the fable about the Tortoise and the Hare.  Funny how I am still learning lessons that childhood teaches.

While reading we learned anew that it isn’t always the fast starting talent that wins the race.  The slow and steady tortoise teaches us that with focus, steady effort, and humility we can reach our goals.

Sounds good, anyway. While success isn’t promised to those who play fair, there is satisfaction in the right kind of focus and perseverance.


I mean, really there is!  The thing is… there is a lot of nasty out there among photographers.  There are some that seek to derail the careers of others for their own gain through telling falsehoods, public bashings, and etc… There are those who steal and copy.  Like I said, a lot of ugly goes on.  Much of it seems rooted in desperation to be a social media kingpin rather than an actual photographer. It’s sad.  I’m thankful to avoid that behind the scenes mess, but I have watched others navigate this sort of thing.

But you know what? There is also real fellowship and camaraderie out there, too! There are those that want to see you make it just as much as they want to see themselves make it. They walk beside you.   If they are in front of you, its only to lead the way.  It shows in their work and the way they seek to inspire you to see what you might not have seen.  When you find that, it is gold.  When you can genuinely cheer on others walking the same path that says a lot about you.  If you have to destroy others to get where you are going, that also says a lot about you.  Like a ladder in your tights, it will show.

Like Dolly said:

You’re in the same boat

With a lotta your friends

Waitin’ for the day your ship’ll come in

The tide is not guaranteed to turn as she says but, trust me, it’s no gain to reach the top by trampling on others.  At the end of the day it should be about the art, not the accolades.  At least that is how I see it.

Find those fellow photographers that will encourage you to reach your potential through both cheers and constructive critiques. I have been blessed by this kind of community over the years.  Truly, there are some amazing women in my life saying, “Yes, you can!”

Stay slow and steady. Work with humility and grace. Let your work speak for itself.  Promote truth.  Keep improving.

The thing about dreams is that they come to life with hard work and the right support.  If you have to hurt others to win, you’ve already lost.

Linking with Songography| 9 to 5, Black and White Wednesday, and Wednesdays Around the World.



Annyonghi-kaseyo Summer

September means saying goodbye to summer, in theory, anyway.  It’s still smoking hot here in the deep south.

As if one cue, the first plague of the year hit our home.  We’ve been bouncing some sort of cold around our house for almost two weeks.

Beg Sept14

It’s nothing serious, but it is just the kind of thing that causes you to call a time out.   I had a brief clearing over the end of last week which afforded me attending an awesome women’s conference at church with Ruthie Delk.  If you are in to that sort of thing, you should look up her book Craving Grace.  It was just the thing I needed to hear, though I am still processing what it means for me.

And then, I woke up Sunday with a relapse of this cold thing.  I had grand intentions of reading over some of the conference materials, but the headache had other plans.

I cried off productivity and started another Korean Drama.  Disclaimer if you are new here: I do some things that others may consider odd…like watch Korean Dramas. There is something very amusing about them. They are not nearly as sophisticated as American TV, but I think that is part of the appeal.  There is a definite cult following out there, so I take solace in that.

This time it is Cheongdam-dong Alice.

I watched 8 of 16 episodes yesterday, which made for a pretty great sick day. Complete with ramen.




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