Monday, November 21, 2016

Monday Morning Coffee With a Side of Gratitude

I have been away for a few weeks, haven't I?

I jut didn't post last week and I really don't have a reason - don't hate.

But here are, the week of Thanksgiving and I am a girl with so much thanks to give.

To all of you who keep coming back & reading & commenting & sharing your love with me, thank you.  I truly am humbled to know that so many of you enjoy my sharing.

To my family - you all rock! Each day I am reminded in one way or another of how great our love is for each other, even when we don't like each other - HAHAHAHA!
Big sis & I, aka - Thelma & Louise, braved the cold & snow & headed up to Frankenmuth on Saturday to meet up with her kiddo's.  We met at the World's Largest Christmas Store - Bronner's.  Oy vey - the week before Thanksgiving & this place was cra-zeeeeee!

But we had fun - a day spent with family is a great day!

The weekend before, Dream Boy & I spent Saturday in our own downtown with my little sis & family, as my niece was marching in her last Christmas Parade.
Isn't she cute?  Love this crazy girl!

Yesterday we headed into church and then out for breakfast to our favorite little dig.  I had a mini family session booked for 4pm & they are friends, so Dream Boy & I invited them & their parents over for soup & salad after the shoot. 

It was so bitter cold & windy and poor little baby girl did NOT like it at all. But when I got home to look over the photos, I found that mama was more "animated" than baby girl.
But THESE are the shots that I love!  Those that are caught in the midst of the pose & being unaware of what was going on.  These are the priceless and real memories.

So this week I am giving thanks more than ever.

I only have 2 days of school, I am surrounded by a man who loves me no matter what, and kids who are grounded in their lives and know that family is where it all starts, sisters who are there for me whenever, however and whatever the circumstances are, and a whole bunch of friends who share love & laughter with me in so many different ways.

I am thankful for a God who leads me through the good, the bad & the ugly, the students that I am so privileged to work with and staff members that support and encourage me always.

Thank you everyone for what you are in my life - thank you for coming back to this little corner of my world and being a part of it.

I wish you all a wonderful week, I pray that you are surrounded with many blessings and much love.

Happy Monday morning and a Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 7, 2016

Monday Morning Coffee

Is this really November 7th? 

Seriously - by the way our weather (not complaining) has been, you would think it was late September. The weather has been amazing around here.

Friday night Dream Boy & I went to one of our favorite monthly events, Art Hop. It's where our downtown businesses stay open late and host area artists. They generally offer snacks of sorts and wine or a beverage. It's just a fun time. Again, the weather was amazing & I found myself soon shedding layers as I was dressed warmer than I needed to be.

We ventured through the main businesses, but then headed to an old factory turned "Trade Center" to check out the events there.  This building was once a manufacturing business, but I can't remember what at this time. It is now a place for artists to rent studio space.  There are currently over 100 different artists in this building.

We had fun exploring the different artists and had a great time visiting with my former high school art teacher! He had a studio at this pace for years, but has recently opted out of his lease.  He is exhibiting his work here until the end of the year.

After leaving downtown, we headed to the grocery store to pick up what we needed for our family thanksgiving.  The younger kiddo's are heading to Minnesota for the holiday weekend, so we decided to have our early.  We haven't had Thanksgiving together in over 4 years! Dream Boy smoked the turkey, S1 mashed the potatoes & I made the brussel sprouts & carrots, while D1 made the dessert. 

S&D2 stopped by on Friday night on their way into town before heading over to S&D1's to stay for the weekend.  We haven't seen our girl since last June, but she is now back in the Mitten with her love & we were so excited to see her.

Saturday dawned bright & beautiful.  I picked my girls up around 10ish & we headed to the local apple orchard to fulfill the dream of D2 and buy fresh donuts for our morning breakfast.  We then headed off to the local coffee shop, where I promptly spilled coffee all the way down the front of my white shirt - the lid was not on tight.  Thankfully I didn't burn myself & thankfully we were still fairly close to home so I could change before heading out to explore some local shops.

I took them to a local consignment shop that is all furniture & decor. They were amazed & intrigued at all that was there. We soon left & headed to a Goodwill close by so D1 could look for some maternity jeans.  Little G is making his presence known more & more each day! 

She didn't have any luck, but D2 got the deal of the day with a brand new pair of Birkenstok's for only FIVE bucks! She was on Cloud 9 and could not WAIT to show them to S2!

We took off from there & headed to another consignment shop, where the booths are filled with handmade or refurbished furnishings.  This is where D2 really fell in love - finding many things she would have gladly filled our car with, but decided to wait for another day.  LOL!

We made a few more stops here & there before heading home. I dropped the girls off and headed to our house where I took a power nap before getting my dishes ready for our dinner.

We were all back together again soon and feasted on the best dinner we've had in a long time.  Maybe it was because we were all together again?

I think we had enough food?

Sunday morning we all met at church. It was so wonderful to have my boys back in church with us, it's been a long time since we've been able to do that as well.

After church we headed out for breakfast as Little G was telling his mama it was time to feed him once again. That Little One is so demanding of his mama when it comes to food!  I love him so much already.

It was again, a beautiful fall afternoon, so we all headed home to gather up the pooches & head over to a local area that I really love for my photography sessions.  There were a LOT of people out at the same location doing pictures as well, the weather was amazing & it was a shame NOT to take advantage of it!

I have always taken a picture of our family since our oldest was about 2 and I was pregnant for the younger one. Every year I send out the family Christmas card and I have not broken this tradition ever. But you know what? The hardest group for a photographer to photograph is her own family! Getting them together at the same time, in the same place and getting every one on a "happy note" because the dog isn't cooperating or the dog has the poops or the miles between us are so far apart or whatever the reason, it is not always the easiest job getting us all together for this photo.

But, I am never disappointed once I upload and begin editing. My heart fills with joy over the results - and the fact that once again I have recorded our family in that moment in time & have continued my little tradition....
but those shots where everyone is getting ready & I'm trying to set up the shot.

Or when you're son has the remote & you say, "okay - let me check what we have" & he takes a pic anyways~~~~
But you finally seem to get it right, everyone in place, even the dogs, for the most part, are cooperating and smiling and looking happy!

Now here we are today, another Monday - and I have the day off!  And.....so does Dream Boy! He decided Friday night to take it off and we would have a "date day" together.

I believe we're going to head to the lakeshore - he on his bike & me in the car with Lucy.  I will meet him out there, stopping along the way to explore what I can with camera in hand.

I'm off now to enjoy my day with my guy!  Have a wonderful week everyone!

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Words

I have drifted away from blogging. I miss it. I'm not really sure why I've strayed, but I truly want to get back into it. I'm not making any promises, but let's see where this goes from here.

I have always journaled - some days/weeks/months more than others, but I know that when I stray from it, but then start up again on a regular basis, it is a release for me. A healing seems to take place, a calming of my senses, a peace.

My photography business has been booming as well this fall. I have hopes & dreams of where it could go & my mind is whirring around with ideas of how to make it happen. My weekends have been crazy full with senior sessions, spilling over into weekdays at some points. I would love to have my calendar this full year round.

Life in the House of G has been filled with so much excitement over the last few months as well.

If you have not heard, we are awaiting the arrival of our first grandchild in March of 2017. A little boy, a bundle of joy!
When we found out in July, we were sworn to secrecy until the Little G had reached the 1st trimester mark.  But this Grammie got out her camera & started documenting the growth in a different way. You've seen the different photos around that momma's to be post of the size of their little one according to how many weeks along they are.

Well, I'm recording this "growth chart" in a way that involves his grammie & poppie. I've been sending little notes and pictures to our Little G using the pictures I've taken. I hope someday he will cherish these and enjoy the memory of this time in all our lives.

Our younger son & daughter-in-law have now returned to Michigan, moving back from the Pacific North West. They are living on the east side of the state, but are only a 2 1/2 hour drive away, which is half the time it took to fly to Seattle. 

We are beyond happy to have them back closer to family and friends.  We know it has not been an easy transition for them, they wanted to be back here, but yet they do miss some of the things that they grew to love about the PNW. 

Dream Boy flew out at the end of September and drove cross country with our son, arriving back in the Mitten on October 1st. We helped him move the few belongings he had packed in the car into their new apartment & he & the grandpup spent the 1st week back at a hotel until the moving truck came with all of their possessions.

Our daughter-in-law stayed on at her job to finish out their season, and last week her dad drove cross country with her to reunite the kids. It was a long month for them - so hard to be that far apart. But now, they are back together and learning all they can about their new home & its surroundings.

They will be heading to Minnesota for Thanksgiving, so this weekend they are coming home to have a family Thanksgiving with us. It has been so long since the 6 of us have had a family dinner together, let alone to celebrate all that we are thankful for, & we have a lot to give thanks for.

I'm working every night on editing and putting together senior picture packets. Here are just a few of my favorite shots from my sessions...
Time to get back to the editing and finish these up.



Monday, October 31, 2016

Monday Morning Coffee

Good morning - how are you all doing?

I am feeling pretty good today as I have a half day of school!  Yay!

So I'm going to spend my afternoon with a sweet senior finishing up her senior session. We went to one local last week and today we are heading to the other spot of her choice to finish up.  

Generally I do the whole session at one time, but since we did hers after school, we were crunched for daylight and she wanted to straighten her naturally curly hair for the 2nd session. 

We played around at a local park last week and this is one of my favorites so far from that session.
I have been crazy busy this fall with senior sessions and I have loved it! I can't tell you which one was my favorite because they have all been so different. Each one of them brings something different to the session and it keeps things ever changing for me.

I spent Saturday at school with my student council kids. They wanted to put on a Halloween Carnival. We didn't have a great turn out, but it was an event that they chose to do & we all agreed that we had fun and can also learn a lot should we choose to do it again.  

Dream Boy & I went out for dinner on Saturday night and had a great meal. He has been sulking a bit after spending more on a dinner than we usually do, a few weeks ago. It was a good dinner, but the portion sizes were very small and we were shocked when we got the final bill. We went out for groceries the next day and spent the same amount on a full week's worth of food as we did for that one dinner. 

So our Saturday night out this time was much more economical and it was a very, very good meal. I always love our time out, actually I love any time we spend together.  I am so very blessed in my life.

I also spent some time this weekend tweaking my packaging for my photography. I have always loved the look of the wooden boxes that my photo labs offer, but the cost for me right now is a little over the top. So I came up with my own solution.
I have been playing with this idea and keep adding little touches a bit at a time to make sure I'm not overdoing it.
It's a work in progress, like me!

But for now - it's off to school I go.  Time to play will come soon enough!!