Summer Vibes

I’m trying to absorb as much summer as I can right now. I just looked at the calendar and we have 3 weeks and 6 days until the first day of school.

I’m kind of hitting that end of summer panic mode, the one where I realize I’m just not ready to get back into the swing of a school schedule. I’ve ordered curriculum, we’ve been supply shopping, and we’ve started cleaning up the school room. But, I’m holding on to summer as long as I can.

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I’ve been peaching. Trying new coffee houses. Scoring new colorful pens. Enjoying snow cones by the pool.

I’ve climbed more stairs than ever before at Tallulah Gorge in North Georgia. There was over 1000 steps (as in stair steps) involved to see these breath-taking views. Jasper was ready for a rest. My legs are still aching. We rewarded ourselves with fresh strawberry-peach ice cream on the way home as we stopped once again at a nearby farmer’s market.

We aren’t closing out summer just yet. We’ve a little more fun and relaxation on the schedule before school begins in earnest once again.

Linking up with Random-osity!

 

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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:

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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.

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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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Ektar Film

It’s been several months since I have posted any film images.  The main reason is that it took all summer to use up two rolls of film!

But, I finally got them sent off to my lab and my Kodak Ektar roll came in today.  For those new to professional film, like me, Ektar is well-suited for sunny outdoor days.  The colors are punchy and Ektar showcases vibrant colors.  The downside is that sometimes you get red tones in unwanted places, like skin.  Still, I found Ektar to be a fun summer-friendly film with a vintage vibe that I love!

I decided to try this film on one of our summer pool outings.

Ektar 100 

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It was such a surprise to get these scans back because I truly could not remember what was on them. I’ll share more later this week.

Film is tough, but so fun. Don’t be afraid of it. You gotta go big or go home! I love that I won’t forget these memories, because they are captured!

All images shot with Kodak Ektar 100 on Minolta SRT 101.

Linking up with Good, Random, Fun, Songography, and Wednesdays Around the World.

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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.

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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.

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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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Summer Scenes

Summer is waning here in the deep south, and I don’t think I can talk about it much.  I’m in denial.

There is still so much to fit in in these 3+ weeks until school begins again.  I’m just not mentally ready! But, meanwhile here are a few summer scenes as we seek to soak it all in.

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The kids are getting their summer tanks full, it seems. It doesn’t take more than long days playing on our street, snow cones, pool days, and youth group events to keep them happy.

I think we will keep doing these simple things for the rest of the summer. I hope your summer is full of happy!

Linking with Good.Random.Fun.

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Little Things Thursday

You might notice a trend of kid in the rain imagery lately.  It just means that our summer pop up rain showers are an almost daily occurrence. They don’t stop the play, unless the skies rumble.

But if the skies just leak a little, the kids keep right on…until Mama forces them to finally stop and come home.

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Can’t you feel the excitement of this homeward call?

Aw, Mom!

An InLinkz Link-up


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Little Things Thursday|Rain

I love a good cleansing summer rain.

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After days of hot, steamy weather I look forward to seeing the thunder clouds roll in with the promise of renewing the parched ground and spurring on growth.

Everything the rain touches breathes a sigh of sweet relief, including our tired souls.  From a distance the rain may seem menacing, a foe.

But as the saying goes: There are no rainbows without a little rain. Everything is grace. Even the things for which we struggle to give thanks.

When the rain washes you clean, you’ll know. 

Also joining Black and White Wednesday.


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Footballers

My boys are doing their first sports camp this summer.  British Soccer hosts a Challenger clinic in various cities across the US. Our town just happens to be one of them, surprisingly!

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Minolta SRT 101 on  Kodak Portra 400 Film (desaturated)

Local families host British coaches that come run the camp for our kids. Interestingly, the host family for our group is just one street over from us.  The morning camp hours are mostly fun and games, but our boys are taking a special after hours clinic with the coaches.  5 kids registered for the “Golden” clinic, but since 3 were no shows the boys are getting semi-private lessons.  This has been great!

They’ve been learning ball handling skills, agility training, and how to outsmart their opponents with fancy footwork. Georgia decided that this was a great week to hit the 90’s. The boys are absolutely toast by the end of camp that all we can do is take a quick shower and go to the community pool.  These boys are filthy and roasted by the end of the day.  Not one ounce of energy is left to play with the neighborhood kids.  That is saying something.

Tomorrow is Wacky Wednesday so I might just bring my camera along to see what happens.

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

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