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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Summer Vacation

We are back from our summer vacation, also known as our last hoorah before school begins in one week! This time away was much needed for all of us. It was good to scoot out of town and away from home following having to put our Gigi down.  Leaving allowed us to separate ourselves from that hard decision and start healing from the loss.

If you follow on Instagram you’ve seen these, but indulge me to show some scenes of our time here as well. My in-laws live in North Port, Florida inside Sarasota County. They are so close to some truly beautiful beaches like Siesta Key, which is the biggest beach I have ever seen.

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Summer vacation 2016-2

My favorite of all the beaches is Gasparilla Island in Boca Grande. You may have heard me mention it before. It’s a quaint little barrier island with low numbers of visitors, essentially perfect in that respect. While it’s fun to visit other beaches, I’m always drawn right back to Gasparilla.

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Can you see the difference between the top two Gasparilla images and the bottom two of Siesta Key? Gasparilla is just paradise, to me. The shallow waters are teeming with fish, and even sweet manatee who swam along the shore all day long. The kids were able to snorkel alongside the manatee for up close encounters…but without touching them, per the law.

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We also enjoyed the pool at the grandparents’ house. We jokingly bought our daughter the dolphin float when she requested swimming with the dolphins for her birthday. Little did she know that she would receive a free gift of swimming with manatee instead. Such a beautiful gift from the Lord!

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See where my daughter is standing? The manatee swam in that depth of water right by our feet near that rock outcrop. Of course, my phone was put away when that happened. We were able to look right down and see the huge bodies. Their noses were so cutely covered in barnacles. It was so fun to watch them swim circles around the pier and the beach every thirty minutes or so. Each time the kids grabbed a mask and swam with them. I do have a little video clip on my IG account @kim_littlebylittle of one encounter with the manatee.

The beach is pretty much filled with shark teeth, though, which means what you think it means. There are shark swimming along Gasparilla pass on the other side of the island. So you do need to be watchful and stay out of the waters flowing with the current. We stayed in standing areas only on the other side of the pass.

The waters are amazing. They were delightfully warm and clear.

It’s a fun treat to lunch at South Beach on the right side of the pier and rocks. It’s becoming a tradition for us. The town of Gasparilla is filled with gorgeous homes, restaurants, cute shops, and even has a Pikachu near 1st street for Pokemon Go players. I caught mine!

I definitely recommend this destination for beach goers, but I do hope it stays just as quaint and idyllic as it is now.

Linking up with Good.Random.Fun. this Monday morning!

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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.

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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

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!

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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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Little Things Thursday

Ok, these weeks are totally flying by lately. Can’t believe it is time for another round of Little Things Thursday, but I so look forward to this bright spot in the week.

You guys are so inspiring! I love being part of your week.

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I’m still working on my spring break photos! GAH! There has just been a few moments in between being mom, taking on clients, and running a home to edit personal work.

But summer…summer is coming! I cannot wait. We are totally crawling to the finish line at this point.

Who else? Raise your hand.

 


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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

Happy Thursday and Saint Pat’s! I hope you all are enjoying the beginnings of spring like we are in Georgia! I think this has been the earliest that we have settled into spring since I moved back to the States almost 9 years ago. Normally, I find March a bit manic, but this year she has been a woolly lamb.

No complaints. I’m glad to see the back of winter.

A look at March, so far…

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Voting. Soccer. A Thai Throwback. Holding the Thai flag for missions conference.

Texas Sheet Cake with sprinkles. Ice Cream Truck returns. Gifts from a friend. Blueberry blossoms.

How’s March treating you?


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Little Things Thursday

Welcome back Friends! I’m still working my way through last weeks links because of a big project this week. ┬áThat ended Wednesday night so I’m feeling a bit like this:

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Our church’s annual mission conference dinner was Wednesday night and I was part of the team cooking West African food for 120 people. While it is a fun night, I always feel like jumping for joy when it is over. It takes two days of prepping, and cooking…and lots and lots of dish washing. I have a case of dishpan hands that even Palmolive can’t fix.

But alls well that ends well. After a good night’s rest and coffee this AM, I’ll be good as new.

Keep me company during my recovery with snippets from your week!

An InLinkz Link-up


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Our House…

In the middle of our street…

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…on a Tuesday morning…

Linking with Songography and Black and White Wednesday

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