Monday, September 29, 2014

Monday Morning Coffee

Good morning everyone!

Well, how was your weekend?

Ours here in the mitten was absolutely beautiful.  An Indian Summer weekend to be exact!  But I believe the fall temps will be moving in this week, but that's all right too.

The colors here are beginning to turn and I have a feeling that the Art Show of Nature this fall will be a magnificent one!

So I did something this weekend I've never done before.  I photographed part of the high school football game.
This is so out of my comfort zone.  I can't follow the dang ball for love nor money.  So I haven't a clue if I've got shots of the ball or just the pile ups that happen every 10 or so seconds.

BIG learning curve here for me.  But I did enjoy it, being down on the field by the action again brought back memories of all the soccer games I shot over the years & being right there along the sidelines listening to it all.

Then the half time show - our G-A Marching Band!  They are performing parts of Les Miserables this year.  They did an excellent job, as always.
That's a mighty big drum for such a little freshman.  But he carried it well!

Dream Boy & I celebrated our 34th wedding anniversary on Saturday.  Nothing special, just a day spent around the house doing this & that.

I did go with D! to get a pedicure.  She & S1 gave me a gift certificate for my birthday and she was more than willing to participate in this leisurely activity with me.  But as I anticipated, and as D1 calls it, they had to get out the "cheese grater" on my feet.  Poor things, I've neglected them so.

Dream Boy & I went out for a nice dinner Saturday night - he requested pasta as he had to carb up for his 100 mile bike ride on Sunday.  We tried out a restaurant that has been in our area for YEARS - a nice family place, but not so much a "romantic" place.  But the food was absolutely delish.

Sunday he headed off at 6am for the Apple Cider Century ride with his buddy.  I headed off to church and then spent a quiet few hours at home before taking off for another senior shoot.

Sunday was an absolutely gorgeous day and the venue that the senior & his parent's chose was a very popular one, which was very evident when I counted no less than 4 other photographers, beside myself, there.  There were 2 family sessions, 1 engagement and at least 2 senior sessions being taken at any given point in the park.

Tis the season..........

So, it's back to school today.  Dream Boy has the week off and is putzing around the house while I slave away at school.  

Do you feel sorry for me?  

You should.

Ha Ha!

Well - I'm off to breakfast with my ladies.  I hope to be back again this week. Maybe with some sneak peaks of the senior shoot.  I've been pondering some ideas to use to get back into regular blogging, but there still in the idea phase.

Thanks for stopping by - have a GREAT day and a fabulous week!

Saturday, September 27, 2014


Well - just coming off the celebration and reality of hitting 54, I am now looking at 34 years of marriage today!


Dream Boy & I dated for 2 years before getting married on September 27, 1980.  I knew on our very first date that he was "the one".  Go back to my journaling and you'll see it written down in my own handwriting.  Yes, I've journaled for a very----long----time.

Get ready, you're about to get photo bombed.....
Our wedding day!

I especially love this shot because of my mom looking at us with such a loving smile.  I miss her so.

We camped on our honeymoon.  We spent almost 2 weeks traveling around Florida.  This was in Daytona Beach.  We met the cutest couple who had just retired, sold EVERYTHING and bought a huge motor home and were spending their retirement traveling the country.  Their kids were not happy with them for doing this, but they were having a blast!

 1992ish?  Dream Boy had this wild idea to switch roles for a 50s Sock Hop we had at church for Halloween that year.  I knew he looked like his mom, but BOY did he look like his mom here!  

Love his sense of humor.
 Canada - 1994.
Disney - 1996

This was at a company convention for my job at that time.  We always said this was us "before Jesus", because the wig Dream Boy is wearing we borrowed from church.  It was the wig they used for the skits with Jesus in it.

And this is us "after Jesus" - same convention in 1999.

Summer of 1999
Prom (chaperones) - 2000
December 2000 - just before I had major surgery.
 Branson, Missouri - 2001
Myrtle Beach - 2004
College soccer days - 2009
 Christmas - 2011
 Family wedding - September 2013
July 4, 2014
 This is us now ------- wow!

My heart is so full with love and memories of a lifetime we've built together. 

Through the good, the bad, the ugly, the weight gain, the tears, the laughter, the deer antlers, the years and years of soccer, the teen years, the cancer, the pacemaker, through ALL of it, I am truly blessed.

God place you in my life so many years ago Dream Boy & I never imagined how life would be with you by my side.  Thank you for loving me.

It just keeps getting better & better.

Happy anniversary!

Monday, September 22, 2014

Monday Morning Coffee

It was a GREAT weekend!

These 2 were home for a wedding planning weekend.  

D2B2's parents came in Wednesday night & picked them up at the airport on Thursday morning.  I drove up to Holland on Thursday afternoon and met them all at the reception venue for taste testing for the reception dinner.  

The menu was decided and then we explored the facility a litte more since D2B2 & I were the only one's there who had seen it before.  MOB, FOB and I roamed around throwing around different ideas and taking notes.

Friday morning found Dream Boy, myself and D2B2 back in Holland.  We had a long, full day ahead of us, but it was wonderful to start our morning with D2B2 and her parents in chapel at Dimnent Chapel on Hope's campus.  It is a 1/2 service tops, but it is is amazingly inspiring and uplifting.  The music always fills my soul to the brim.  

After chapel we headed downtown to Gregor Dog for a lunch of hot dogs.  You know, the 2 kids are back in town and on their hallowed grounds and the college favorites MUST be visited.  

It didn't hurt that Kilwin's was right next door and this girl found herself getting her dark chocolate salted caramel apple to take home & savor later. 

We found ourselves back on campus, visiting the bookstore and walking around taking in all the changes since the 2 have graduated.  We ended up back at the chapel for a tour and question/answer session.  This chapel is so beautiful and is going to be the perfect setting for their nuptials.

We then roamed the streets & shops before ending up at Happy Hour all together before the engaged couples headed off for their engagement photo session.  

The 'rents all headed off from happy hour and decided to "bar hop" - HA!  We ended up at The Carragh, putting our name in for dinner.  There was a special event happening downtown and the streets were filling up quickly.  We soon had a table on the patio and sat down for more drinks and appetizers awaiting the kiddo's to join us.  

We enjoyed a wonderful night together, complete with lots of laughter and enjoying each other's company.  

I ended up driving home, while S2 sat in the front seat and Dream Boy stretched out in the back seat.  

While trying to get comfortable, he promptly got a leg cramp!  He was writhing around trying to stretch his leg out, yelling at me open the window.  S2 is in the seat next to me just rolling with laughter and I'm trying to drive down the highway with DB in the back seat moaning & groaning and his foot sticking out of the back window.  The more he groaned, the harder S2 laughed and the harder it was for me to concentrate on my driving because all I could see in my side mirror was foot sticking out of the car window. 

DB finally settled down and soon the only sound in the car was that of the soft snores of 2 of my favorite guys.  

Saturday morning once again found us on the road to Grand Rapids this time and we headed up to an "event planner" where we walked away with some concrete visions of what D2B2 wants for centerpieces.  The guy's headed off to a sports bar and left us behind to "create".  

We all met back up together around noon at the bakery for cake tasting.  Oh my.  The cake they chose was sOoOOoo good.  While neither of them are really cake eater's, they are getting a small cake for the "cutting" ceremony.  Instead of cake, they are having chocolate chip cookies for their guests.  We're trying to figure out how to make a chocolate fountain work as a milk fountain. Not.kidding.  Sort.of.

After cake testing we all headed back to our humble abode and the boy's took off on a bike ride while we ladies continued with wedding planning.  It was very apparent by the time the gents returned that D2B2 was on the overload.  She jumped at the chance to head out to the store with the gents to get beer & wine for dinner.  

MOB and I spent that time designing the centerpieces and writing down questions that would pop up.  All this, while I printed out the Save The Dates the kiddo's helped me design.  

When they all returned from the store, Dream Boy & I got to work on making grilled pizza's.  It wasn't long before S&D#1 joined us for the evening.  We had a wonderful time with everyone around the kitchen counter and table.  It was so great to have everyone just hanging out together.  But by 10:00 everyone was pretty pooped out, so all four of the kids left to stay at S&D#1's house & the 'rents all stayed at our house.

Sunday morning we saw off D2B2's parents, as they had to drive back to Minnesota, and then a few hour's later Dream Boy & I met up with the kid's at our favorite breakfast joint for some more family time.

The time passed all to quickly before we found ourselves at the airport dropping off the 2 engaged babes.  I hate leaving them - I don't think I'll EVER get used to it.  This mama's heart breaks a little every time we do.

Dream Boy & I headed back home and since it was a rainy, gray day, I sat down for a movie marathon and made a few more head bands for the upcoming church bazaar. 

D1 texted me early evening.....
She brought the tears right back to my eye's.  

I am such a blessed mama.  My boy's have brought 2 amazing girl's into our lives and Dream Boy & I are so very grateful.

Well, I'm back to school this morning.  I truly wish all of you a wonderful week.

Thanks for sharing coffee with me.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

What I Have Learned.....

Today is my 54th birthday.  I am finally the same age as my Dream Boy once again.  Even if it is only for 2 months.

Fifty four. 54. Five Four. 


How in the world did I get to this point?  How is it I am now the age I always thought my parents to be?  Cripes - I remember when my dad turned 50!  

Oy vey.

So I guess when you have matured to this point of life, there are some lessons you've learned along the way, right?  

In my *ahem* infinite wisdom ------ things I have learned or must confess....

1.  I have learned that it is possible to love a man more after 36 years of togetherness than you did on the day you met him.  Yeah, on our 1st date I KNEW I was going to marry him.  I was the ripe old age of 18.

2.  I have learned that you can NOT please everyone and you might as well quit trying.  It's not gonna happen - ever.  

3.  I confess that I have tried to do the above multiple times, only to lead to anger, frustration & heart break - mostly on my part.

4.  I confess that even though my birth certificate says I am 54, my mind states I am much younger.  My body ------ that's a different story all together.

5.  I have learned that the internet can be a good thing, but also a dangerous thing.

6.  I have learned to say I'm sorry.  A lot.

7.  I confess that I am a protective mama.  Do NOT mess with my chilluns.  They, along with my Dream Boy, are my world.  

8.  I confess that I as much as I profess to be a Christian, I am far from perfect.  That I try to be in control, when in reality - it is my God who is control of my life.  

9.  I have learned to give the control back to God.  Time and time again.  Over and over and over.  

10.  I have learned to laugh at myself and life.  I have no idea how 54 years have passed so quickly, but if I don't do this - I will live a very lonely life.

11.  I have learned the pain of loss.  To lose someone so close to you hurts like nothing else.  The pain may ease, the memories may become the balm to heal the loss, but it never, ever completely fades.  At any moment, the pain can come back in waves as strong as the pain when you rip off a band aid.

12.  I have learned it's okay to cry - over ANYTHING!   Let it go!

13.  I have learned that I am a very, very blessed woman and this life I have is a gift from God.

So, for 54 years of life, this is a pretty short list.  But for now these are the things that are prominent in my life and I am constantly being reminded of these life lessons each and every day.

I will continue to learn and to grow and to share.......with you.