Monday, May 23, 2016

Monday Morning Coffee

Morning everyone!

Show of hands - who had a hard time getting up this morning?

This girl.

I think it's because we spent so much time outside this weekend, but with weather like we had - who wouldn't? It was amazing.

I think that old man winter has finally found his way out for the season and hopefully will NOT be returning again until late next fall!


So we went out Friday night & spent some time wandering through World Market, Dream Boy in the wine section and me in the rest of the store.  HA!
I found an amazing new journal! If you know me, you know my love for journals. Blogging is another format of writing for me, but you'll find my chicken scratch in many a journal in my studio at home. I have always loved writing.

After our trip to the Market, we headed to Earth Fare and ordered our Friday night pizza and favorite salad before heading home and settling in for the night.

Saturday morning Dream Boy headed off on his weekly ride and I headed off for 2 more senior model sessions.  The 1st was with my niece, who is a goof that I love greatly. The 2nd was with another senior to be from my high school.

The shoots were in 2 different locations, making it even more fun. The 1st was in my niece's little town - so this was new to me. We had fun playing on the train cars and exploring their little historical village. The 2nd was in the park in downtown Kzoo. Always one of my favorite places to explore & find new places to shoot.

After returning home, I spend some time on the patio reading and then headed to the grocery store to pick up a few items for supper. We grilled burgers & I had corn on the cob, cole slaw, baked beans and watermelon for us. We ate out on the patio and just enjoyed the time outside.

Soon after we cleaned up supper, Dream Boy built a bonfire and we cozied on up and were joined a little later by S&D1 toasting s'mores. 
Sunday morning dawned as another beautiful day -- and we started it in church, then headed out for breakfast!

When we got home, we pulled out the lounge chairs and settled in for some time for relaxation and reading. 

After a few hours of just enjoying the day, we headed out for a ride on Daisy. We decided to ride over to the local State Park where Dream Boy wanted to take me on a trail, as it was a short cut. I've never really ridden the trails before - so this was an adventure for me. But it was a little different riding trails on a tandem. I quickly learned to just hold on and peddle, letting Dream Boy do all the navigating. When riding on the back of a tandem, the handle bars are basically ornamentation & just there to give you something to do with your hands. They are NOT for steering.

We found our friends at a campsite and stopped in to wind up their granddaughter and just say hi, before heading home, stopping on the way for an ice cream cone.  

It was just a beautiful, relaxing & peaceful weekend. One that we both needed and fully enjoyed together!

So heading into what is the final week for our high school seniors, I am refreshed and ready.

This also means that there are only 3 weeks left in this school year for me. I have a week off after that before starting up summer school - but I'm looking forward to my week off and the slower, lazier pace of summer.

Have a great week everyone - thanks for having coffee with me this morning!

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

What I Love To Do....

It has been a long winter once again. Not necessarily the weather, but just being closed up inside, darkness descending so early every day & not being able to go and out and freely roam as one would want.

My creative side, my photography, suffers during this time. I did spend a lot of time exploring and reading the best way to go about officially kicking off my business, and I'm still working through that process. I've learned there is SO much to consider and record and track and it can be a bit overwhelming. But slowly I am getting there. I just want to make sure that I don't get slammed with something unexpected because I didn't calculate right or record something that I should have, etc.

But spring is here and my creative itch is really needing to be scratched. You know, backing up to a tree and rubbing against until that itch is deliciously satisfied. Like Baloo, in The Jungle Book.

So this week, I started with this shot:
This is the Top Ten from the high school I work at.

Kids - people. It's what I love most to photograph.

So tonite and again tomorrow, I will be shooting a couple of seniors from my senior model program. 


But my mind is still swirling - I need to step out of this zone and reach beyond. I need to push my creative side more and find focus on exploring and capturing the unexpected in nature, on the streets of my local town, sitting in a cafe, or at the beach.

I need to, as my friend Sarah says, find more feeling from deep within me. With my photography and with my words.

Back to my "bench" so to speak - back to a quiet, thoughtful and reflective place that is seeded within me.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Monday Morning Coffee

Good morning everyone!

Oh this morning is a chilly one, but the sun is shining and I am very thankful for that! We haven't seen much of that bright orange orb lately - just rain and snow. Yes, we had snow over the weekend.  Thankfully it didn't stick - just made it's nasty presence known.

But, let's move on.........

How was your weekend? I had a great one! 

Friday night Dream Boy & I headed down to our favorite Italian place, claimed our seats at the bar & feasted on fresh mozarella salad, a pizza and then of course, Tiramisu! Oh my - what a wonderful way to spend a Friday night!

Saturday Dream Boy was gone all day for a retreat with consistory, so I was left to entertain myself. 

Welp - that wasn't a problem for me. Never is actually. I rather enjoy my time alone. So I headed into town to pick up some much needed office supplies - see that sticky note holder up there? How cute is that? It's a polaroid camera - and I found it on sale at Office Max! Love it!

While in the vicinity - I made a quick stop into Old Navy. My favorite "go to" store. I picked up a few new t's for my man & one for myself.

I then headed off to do the weekly grocery shopping, but not before stopping for lunch at the local drive in, The Root Beer Stand! Chili Cheese Dogs, Root Beer & popcorn were on the menu for me! That's pretty much all they have, no frills, just good old fashioned hot dogs & root beer!

Grocery shopping was next - just what everyone wants to do on a Saturday afternoon. But hey, the sleet was pelting my car & it was windy & nasty cold out, so there wasn't much of anything else to do and we gotta eat ya know.

Dream Boy got home from his retreat around 5:30 and we snuggled in for the night to pick up on our latest Netflix series - House of Cards. We'll watch 2 or 3 episodes back to back. Cheap entertainment, but we enjoy it!

Sunday was a beautiful sunny day, but stone cold once again. I guess during church there was a major snow fall - but thankful we only had to hear about it & not see it. It was again, a very cold day for Michigan in May. 

When we got home, we emptied out the living room & headed out to pick up our new furniture. We bought a couch, love seat & chair from D1's parents - it's like brand new and we were in desperate need for new digs.

So, here we are again, back to Monday!

And today is a special once because it's the day my friend's 1st book is being released!
There's no "Coming Soon" anymore, it's is HERE!  I spent my weekend pouring throw the pages and stories and testimony of Sophie and am again in awe of the works God is doing through her!

You can order your copy now on Amazon or Barnes & Noble today!!  Also, on May 29th from 10am - 12:30pm, Sophie will be at Haven Church in Kalamazoo to sign your book. 

My prayer is that you will come closer to knowing God as your read through this amazing journey.

So everyone, have yourself a wonderful week!

Thanks again for stopping by!

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

So Excited!!

There's this girl I know.

I've watched her grow both physically & spiritually. 

She was a young girl when I first came to know her, going to our church and being about the same age as my boys.

She went off to college and was a year ahead of our youngest. She played soccer and was a very devoted girl to her faith.

She eventually went on a mission trip to Zambia and it was there she fell head over in heels with Jesus and the work she was doing for the orphans there. She soon left college and moved to Zambia full time to work in the mission.

This was a hard decision for her and her family. They were so concerned about her being so far away by herself. But she knew the love of Jesus and the protection she had from His love would help her move mountains for these children.

I followed her blog, never missing a post and being amazed at her words and the depth from which they were written.

And now, this girl, Sophie, is a mom to 2 of those Zambian children. She has taken on the roll of a single parent. Living back in the US with them, she is still devoted to the children in Zambia and has recently written a book about her heart and devotion and journey.

I am SO excited about this book, and have been ever since Sophie dropped a few hints to me about it when we spent Thanksgiving together and my son's home in Seattle. 
Sophie's book, Crowns of Beauty, is scheduled to be released next Monday, May 16th. It will be available on Amazon and through Barnes & Noble.

I can hardly wait to read it and once again immerse myself in the beautiful writing of Sophie.

If you never meet her, please read this book. I promise you that the heart this girl has for Jesus is amazing and you will feel you DO know her. You will fall in love with her and these children she so wants to save.

If you read this book, let me know, I would love to chat with you about your feelings as well.

You can check out more on Sophie and the release of this book on her Facebook page, Sophie Hartman/Author