Friday, August 31, 2012

I've been blessed.
My photography business is really moving along.
Many bookings and lots of laughs.
Some tears - from little one's who don't want to be contained.
But fun nonetheless.
Helping people see that those "life moments" are okay to capture and print and yes, even frame.
Those moments show your families true dynamics of where you are at that moment & time in life.
It's okay.
Here's a little collage of just a few of my favorites from this summer's captures.
Looking forward to many more amazing sessions where I get to play with many more amazing seniors, itty biddies, families and friends.
Thanking God for this opportunity to grow and share a gift He gave me with others.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Final Days of Summer Break

So sad to think about the fact that I have today & tomorrow left of my summer break.
Even though I've spent the last 2 days working at school & have brought home work to do over the weekend, I'm going to miss my summer days.
Back to a more normal routine.
Back to complaining teachers who started already at our staff meeting on Tuesday.
So sad.
But, I am choosing to enjoy what time I DO have left.  
I slept in this morning - glorious sleep and a cool summer morning with the breeze blowing through my open bedroom windows.
I've been catching up on blog reading.
I've been learning a new tutorial from Melissa (my cousin) over at What's Scrappenin'?
I can see where I need to practice my "line drawing" a little better, but I never was one to stay inside the lines.  LOL!
This is going to be a fun technique as I'm thinking about starting a Project Life of my own sort this next week, in honor of it being my birthday month.
I thought about waiting until the 1st of the year, I've been gathering supplies for quite some time, but then I thought, "eh, why do that?  I have done "Smash" books of sorts over the last 2 summers - why not do a PL for the next year instead?  It's kind of the same thing, but instead of one season - I'll do all four for the next year!
Okay - I've convinced myself to start.
I am also choosing to start my school year off on a positive note next week.  A lot of changes happened in our building over the summer.  It's  going to be interesting with a new principal...again.
Our district has been hurting for the past 3 years, basically because of our state making some awful cuts to the school budgets.  Also because our teaching union does not see eye to eye with our superintendent and school board.
There, I said it.  In print.
The negativity has brought me to my knees this summer - literally.
I have prayed over this because I love our district and our community.  
I live in this community!  
We have great potential & all this bickering is killing it.
So, I'm choosing to be positive.  To lift up where others try to tear down.  To do my job even better than before.  To do what is needed to help our students succeed, our school district to survive and to turn the attitudes of the nay-sayers around.
Here's to a new school year!!!
But in the meantime, I'm still going to play as hard as I can with what little time I have left.
LtWD & I have a date on a dock this afternoon with a good book & some swim time!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Monday Morning Coffee

I seem to be spending a lot of time behind this lately.
That's okay - I love it.
1.  On Friday Dream Boy road his bike 57 miles on the Kal-Haven Trail out to the beach.
2.  On Friday, I drove 57 miles on M-43 out to the beach to wait in my beach chair for Dream Boy.
3.  It was my last beach day of the summer, but I'm hoping to hit the dock at least once this week with LtWD!
4.  After lounging on the beach we went to Captain Lou's for fish tacos & a shrimp basket, plus an ice cold beer.
5.  Can you say Happy Place?
6.  Saturday found me editing pictures and more pictures and I still have more to do.
7.  Lots more.
8.  Son #2 came home Saturday night so we could celebrate Son #1's birthday since Son #2 will be gone this upcoming weekend when Son #1's actual birthday falls.
9.  Dream Boy smoked a Brisket.  Yum.mee!
10.  He cooked the whole dinner & I made the brownie for dessert.
11.  He cooked because I had a senior photo shoot in the late afternoon.
12.  It is so muggy here this morning.  Rain came through last night, but I'm not sure that it cooled things off too much with the humidity that still seems to be hanging around.
13.  This is my last week of summer vacation.  I have very mixed emotions about going back this year.
14.  Tomorrow I will spend the day at school, 1st with the all staff breakfast, 2nd in the staff meeting in our building & 3rd to enroll all my new students into their respective online classes.  Oh, plus I'll probably have to train the "new guy".
15.  I hope we have a new principal tomorrow - especially the one I really liked.
16.  Today I'm having lunch with some old friends from the scrapbook store where I used to work.
17.  I'm also taking a team pic of our football team for a "Got Chocolate Milk?" contest.
Happy Monday everyone!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Scavenger Hunt Sunday

After taking a couple of weeks off from SHS, I'm ready to join in again on the hunt!

So without further adieu......

A place I will be back at full time in one more week.  I have mixed emotions about that....

Rule of Thirds
Dream Boy & I spent one more day at the beach this week.  While taking a walk on the pier I turned & saw this.  What a wonderful memory of a lazy summer day along the shores of Lake Michigan.

Side Profile
 From my archives of our trip to Florida last February.  I love this candid profile shot of Dream Boy & myself.

From a recent photo shoot - 7 small grandchildren all in a row.

 Son #2 has now replaced 17+ years of competitive soccer with bike racing.  Here he is in motion at a race last Sunday afternoon.

Want to see more interpretations?  Head on over to Ramblings & Photos for more great shots!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Monday Morning Coffee

Good morning!
No - this isn't me, but Son #2.
I'm still in my jammies & suffering a bed head while writing this.
Trust me.  Son #2 is way better looking than me, at least at this moment!  :)
How was your weekend?
Mine - lovely.
1.  I finished another book - "The Pact" by Jodi Picoult.
2.  I had a "senior session" Saturday morning in the cool, sunny temps.
3.  She had a beautiful lace dress & I found the perfect meadow of Queen Anne's Lace to take her pic in...., so pretty.
4.  Dream Boy & I started tearing apart the roof & over hang on the backside of our porch.
5.  Dream Boy is on vacation all this week, this is his/our project.
6.  I also have 2 photo shoots to edit, along with converting a friend's pics from RAW to jpg as she didn't realize her camera's settings were on RAW.
7.  I think there's over 500 pictures to convert?
8.  I also have a scrapbook to do that I was hired for.
9.  I've also been asked to oversee the yearbook at our high school now.  I'm debating on this & am asking for a meeting with our "interim" principal before committing.  This was recently taught by a teacher as a class.  Said teacher has taken a new job in a different district.  He was paid about $8,000 a year because it was class.  As an "advisor" the pay prior to it being a class & being a "club activity" the pay was $3,000 a year.  I've figured there are at least 15 sporting teams and 5 or 6 extra curricular activities to photograph.  Students aren't going to give up their time as readily after school to participate, so most of it will lie on my shoulders.  I'm thinking $3,000 isn't going to cover my time to due this project?
10.  Son #2 rode in his first "official race" yesterday in East Grand Rapids.
11.  He has made the transition of 17+ years of competitive soccer to the world of bike racing.
12.  It's a great transition for him - he did awesome yesterday.
13.  Son #1 is in the process of making home improvements with the fiancĂ©.  They are painting the interior of their home.
14.  I'm on my last 2 weeks of summer vacation before I head back to school.
15.  So I'm going to squeeze every last bit of sunshine & fun & play into that time that I possibly can!
Have a great Monday everyone!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Is This Goodbye?

My car - it's dying.
My car has over 170,000 miles on it.
My car has carried us to many a place, filled with many a body, and holds many a memory.
I know it's a car - an object.
But this car has been one of my absolute favorites.  It has a sun roof, next best thing to a convertible, yet I can drive it in the snow!  I NEVER close the "shade" over my window.
It has carried us to many a soccer tournament filled with smelly boys & all.
We have traveled to Florida & back several times.  It has taken us to Maine.
It has carried bikes, books, Easter Baskets, home improvement projects, blankets, & precious cargo.
This is the car that Libbi the Wonder Dog sailed from the window to poop on the side of the road at 40mph & survived.
But sadly, it's dying.  The cost to fix it out weighs the value of the vehicle.  Son #1 had a heart to heart with Dream Boy last night about not fixing it.  When did Son #1 get so smart?
Dr. Dream Boy - as he is our resident mechanic - is mourning the fact that he can't fix it.  The job is just too costly.
So, in the next few weeks we will probably be replacing this black beast of mine.
In the meantime, I will cling to memories we have created in this ride!

Thursday, August 16, 2012


.......sort of.
All I had to pay was shipping & handling.  I got these 3 items for under $10!!
I use several different online photo websites for various things & when they send me "free" things, I sometimes take advantage of them.
The address labels - too cute!
The 10 cards - I took advantage of this & made them into advertising cards for senior pics.  I mailed them out to hopeful clients yesterday.
The mug - LOVE!  It has my favorite family on in, mine!  This will find it's special place on my desk at school.
Then this morning while reading my blogs, I read this one & Jimmy gave a review on Snapseed.  So of course, curious as I am, I had to check it out.
My goodness - it's tempting.  Such an EASY editing system & it's on sale now...through today only........I downloaded the "trial version" that is free for 15 days, but I'm going to have to do some major thinking of whether or not to purchase it.
This is what I did with it:


I'm LOVING how it brings out the textures and you can give it a "grunge" feel.  
My absolute favorite texture is grungy!
Hmmmm........what do you think?

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Is This Creepy?

Yesterday I was reading my favorite blogs.
I was reading about scoping out photo shoot locations & the photographer mentioned Google Maps.
So I went to Google Maps & started playing around.
On a whim I entered my address & a satellite arial shot came up.
I've seen this before, it was nothing new to me, but then I started playing around more & was able to set it up as though I were standing on the corner turning in a circle.
I saw this... house.
Yes, I've seen this before, but my mind starts wandering & I realize that this just creeps me out a little bit.
I know technology has forever changed our lives & this is part of it all......but come on, be honest - doesn't this just creep you out a little bit?
Where is the camera hidden that they are getting this shot?
I know this isn't current as the trees are just budding out & son #2's car is in the driveway and the grass has grown in around the telephone pole and it's currently raining out right now.
But still........think about it just a little bit.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Monday Morning Coffee

Good morning!
My 1st FULL week of summer vacation starts today!
Yes - summer school finished last Thursday & none to soon.
1.  Dream Boy spent Thurs-Fri & most of Saturday at Son #1's house renovating his laundry/furnace room.
2.  They tore out the flooring all the way down to the cement, it's a slab house, and grinded it down.
3.  They painted the ceiling & walls & floor.
4.  I finished up editing 2 photo shoots and then had another family photo shoot Saturday night.
5.  Seven grandchildren under the age of 6 or so.
6.  Can you say, "busy"?
7.  We saw a snake during our shoot.  In the water catching frogs.  
8.  I was on the bridge over the water, but it was still too close for me.
9.  They, on the other hand, were right next to it & SO excited!
10.  Dream Boy & I went for a little walk downtown yesterday & took a few pictures.
11.  The one at the beginning of this post is part of that group.
12.  I spent a leisurely day reading & watching old movies yesterday.
13.  Dream Boy rode his bike with his buddy.
14.  We visited the in-laws last night & while sitting out on the patio came within inches of a LARGE hawk schwooping through chasing a smaller bird.
15.  I kid you not when I tell you we ALL saw his talons & a very descriptive view of his underside!
16. Except dad, who only felt the breeze of it flying barely a foot over his head & seeing it's tail end as it flew away.
17.  Mom screamed!
18.  So did the rest of us.
19.  Dad ducked.
20.  So did the rest of us.
Well, I'm off to clean the house & edit more photos.  We haven't had rain all summer - no lie, but we've now had rain off & on every day since last Thursday.  
Today isn't supposed to be any different.
Not complaining, as we really need it.
Happy Monday everyone!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Pocket Full of Sunshine

I've been playing in my archives this week, instead of taking shots for Scavenger Hunt Sunday.
I haven't "felt" the prompts the last 2 weeks, but I am aiming to be back next Sunday!
Have a Sunshiney, blessed, restful Sunday everyone!

Friday, August 10, 2012

My Summer Project

I know, I know ...... (ahem - Pam)  :)  .......  I have been quite MIA from my blog these last 2 weeks, but I haven't either had much to say or just haven't taken the time to say anything.
When I am MIA like this, I do wonder how many people do notice or pay attention?  I know when some of my favorite blogs are "lifeless" for a while it makes me wonder what is happening with their authors & I do miss them!
So, I apologize for my lack of posts lately.
I am now officially on "summer break" for the next 3 weeks as summer school finished up yesterday.
Woot! Woot!
But even though I've had school up until now, I have been having a wonderful, refreshing summer.
It's been filled with many, many high's and a few low's.
The low' of my most favorite teacher's and friends and senior trip buddies came into school in June & told me he's taking a teaching job at another district.  It's his alma mater and his little ones will be going there.  Also his sister teaches there.  I can't blame him, but I am going to miss him like crazy!
Then this past Monday my principal (of one year) came in and asked me to step in the hall.  He took a new principal job with another district.  Talk about feeling like I got hit upside the head!  I may or may not have pushed him back by the shoulders & yelled, "why"?  I have been on an emotional roller coaster for the 1st part of this week.  He had implemented some very good things in our building & was really making some headway with positive changes, but for reasons I fully understand - he chose to go elsewhere.  
I'm struggling with our new school year.  I'm working hard at fully trusting & leaving this in God's hands that it will work out for the better.  I know God is by my side.  We are at a very critical time in our district and I am very restless about where things are and could possibly go with this turn of events.
I've decided that they should just make me principal.  Heck, with my wages & lack of college degree, the money they would save with me would easily solve the district's budget issues AND put money back into our general fund for years!!!
So, to relieve some of my stress - I turn to my creative side.  I love having my "studio" upstairs so easily available to me.  Believe me, I have spent many, many hours in here this summer relieving my stress.
I bought a "Smash Book" at the beginning of June and have been smashing all along this summer.  I started out chronologically, but have just given way to my whim & am smashing in whatever order/way I please.
Here are a few of my pages:
 Just some of my favorite things this summer.  The "subway art" on the left, I downloaded from my friend Lisa - pretty cool, eh?
 The lighting in my new room is NOT desirable for much of anything - gonna have to work on that, but for now it gets me by.
I love these smash books.  I don't always use the pre-printed pages in the, I'll cover some of them up.  But for the most part, they work great & make things move along quickly!
I have also taken on a side job - I'm scrapbooking for a woman who's grandson played high school soccer with my youngest & he is now in college.  She has his high school & 1st year of college she wants done.  I'm meeting with her next Tuesday to collect everything & get started.  
Well, I'm off to lunch with some good friends - you know, lazy days of summer?
Besides, it's raining here (finally) and what better way to spend a summer day?

Monday, August 6, 2012

Monday Morning Coffee

Good morning, good morning!
It's my last week of summer school!
Can you say EX.CI.TED????
I will have 3 weeks off prior to school starting back up.
1.  Dream Boy is taking one of those weeks off.
2.  No plans, but it will be nice to just do as we please for the week.
3.  I didn't participate in Scavenger Hunt Sunday yesterday for the 1st time ever. 
4.  What can I say?  I just didn't feel it & I let it go..........& that's okay.
5.  I had a good week last week playing with many different friends.
6.  Monday after school my dear friend & I headed off on a shopping excursion to scrapbook & craft stores.  
7.  It was a success!
8.  Thursday I spent the day floating in the lake with 3 other soccer mom's.
9.  We had balancing competitions on our inflatable rafts & then diving practice off the floating raft.
10.  Oh my, we laughed so hard & had so much fun!
11.  I lost my cheetah sunglasses in said lake.  Oops!  They fell right off my head & quickly sank.
12.  I read a book this weekend.  I started it last weekend, but didn't have time to read it anymore until Friday.  I finished it Sunday.  It was "The Testament" by John Grisham.  
13.  Obviously I enjoyed it.
14.  I bought 2 more books over the weekend on clearance to get me through this week.
15.  Did I mention it's my last week of summer school?
Speaking of, I better get my hiney over there before the natives get restless.  
Ha!  Like that'll ever happen!
Happy Monday!

Friday, August 3, 2012

Glimpse At My Week

I've been MIA this week in the blogosphere, but I've been busy playing.....
...and now I'm off with LtWD & a good book to sit on the dock for a few hours.
Happy Friday!