Monday, July 28, 2014

Monday Morning Coffee

My weekend was a busy, busy one.  It actually started on Thursday, shortly after getting out of summer school.

A few year's ago, I started following a blogger by the name of Deanna.  Her blog is Snippets In Springdale.  You really should check her out.  Her photography is amazing!  We struck up a friendship, emailing back & forth & have talked about meeting up in real life, as she lives in the Chicago area.  Not too far from here.

Last summer snuck past faster than either of us realized and this past winter was just not a good one for much travel, so we checked out calendars and worked out a date for this summer.  She drove up on Thursday afternoon and spent 2 nights at my humble abode.

Earlier in the week I was emailing with another fellow blogger, Sarah, from Paisley Rain Boots.  I'm not quite sure how I came across Sarah's blog, or exactly when, I just knew that she was a fellow Michigander.  I have followed her on Instagram for quite some time as well.  

Sarah suggested a meet up at some point for the 2 of us as well - being as we live about an hour apart.  So, in our emailing we realized that she too, knew Deanna.  One of the days that Sarah could meet just happened to be on Friday, when Deanna would be here!!

The rest, as they say, is history.

We spent Friday together.  Deanna & I drove up to Holland and met up with Sarah and she became our unofficial tour guide.  She took us to Windmill Island, which - sad to say - I have never been too.  I'm a Dutch girl by descent.  I grew up in a dutch home and married a dutch man - it's in my blood.  Holland is a direct descendant of the "old country" - lots of tulips, lots of dutchmen, lots of my heritage is found in the surroundings of Holland, MI.
 The day was absolutely gorgeous.  The temps were quite comfortable, no nagging humidity.  We spent most of the morning wandering the grounds of Windmill Island and took a tour of this authentic, working windmill.  But only after watching the "Dutch Dancers" perform.  I will never understand how they can clomp around in those old wooden shoes?   I couldn't figure it out when my grandpa would wear them in the garden & I still don't.  I asked one of the girl's how many pairs of socks she had on that day & she stated, "seven".  

We headed downtown for a bite to eat and then Deanna requested a visit to the shoreline, to the beach.  She doesn't get to visit it often, so Sarah and I gladly obliged.   You know this girl loves a trip to the beach.
Meet Deanna (left) and Sarah (right.  What an inspiration they both were too me.  Just listening to the two of them talk at lunch and throughout the day has brought many new ideas to my mind for both my blogging and photography.

After leaving the beach, we headed down to Saugatuck for a short visit & then sadly, Sarah had to head back home.  Deanna & I headed back my humble abode as well, where Dream Boy took us both out for a yummy mexican dinner at Nina's!

Deanna headed back home on Saturday morning & I spent the day playing around a little in Lightroom and looking at my photo's from our excursions.  I also ended up taking a 2 hour nap that afternoon as well.  Phew - I was pooped out from our galavanting around!

Saturday night Dream Boy & I were once again, token Catholics, as we went to the local catholic church for the Festival of St. Ann, which the church is named after.  Several of our friends are parishioners there & every year we go along with them for the pig roast & dancing.  They had a great band and we all got up and danced the night away - literally.  We were the last one's there.

Sunday was a lazy, lazy day.  We, well, actually me, overslept & we didn't make it to church.  So we spent the morning lounging around home before heading out to visit my MIL.  We also went to the cemeteries and then stopped for some groceries before heading home.

We hadn't been home too long and Dream Boy headed over to S#1's house to drop off some mail.  While he was gone we had a horrific storm blow through.  Literally - the wind gusts were being reported at almost 65 mph!   We had a tree blow down from the neighbor's yard, landing in ours.  No structural damage to anything, but it did take out a few of our nice redbuds on it's way down.  Well, we need the firewood - our neighbor said he didn't want it.

So, I'm off to summer school.  Only 2 more weeks to go and then I'll have my 3 week summer vacation!  Dream Boy & I have a wedding to attend every weekend this month, starting with my nephew's this Friday night.  The one I'm really looking forward too is 2 week's later because S#2 & fiancĂ© will be staying with us for 4 days for the wedding of one of his college buddies!!!   Yay - I see a family dinner coming up!

I hope you have a wonderful week - thanks again for stopping by.

Don't forget - this Friday is the 1st!   Where will your feet be planted??  Be sure to hook up with me on Instagram @pattilin60 #feetfirst2014

Sunday, July 27, 2014

The Lighthouse

"Perhaps she's working or she's just too busy to answer her phone," he thought.  
He sits alone on the side of the lighthouse, thinking he's invisible to the world surrounding him.  He needs to be alone with his thoughts and think it through.  

Why did he say those things to her?  At least, if he was so bothered by what other's would probably say were just "little things", did he not talk to her about them in a different way?  Why couldn't he just stop and think about how it would sound to her when he said those things in the heat of the moment.

So now he waits.  Sitting here waiting for her to call - sitting here where no one can over hear the conversation should she decide to call him back.  Flipping through the pictures on his phone of them together.



The day at the beach.  They played in the waves and ran down the dunes.  They took a summer nap on the shoreline, capturing a sun kissed tan.  For dinner they scraped their change out from under the seats in his car and bought ice cream cones from the concession stand.

Sitting on their blanket, they licked their ice cream, trying to capture the drops before they melted down their hands.  Watching and waiting and listening.  The crowds has pretty much disappeared from the beach.  But they sat side by side,  in silence mostly, waiting for the sunset.  

They didn't need to talk.  They had come to a place in their relationship of comfortable silence, just content to be.

The memory of this day as he looked at the picture they took of themselves with the sunset behind them, was overwhelming.  

Their little argument the night before turned into much more than he meant it too.  Looking back and thinking of it, he realized how petty his thoughts and words were.

When will she call me back?  Will she call me back?

He waits.  In silence.  Praying that he has not done too much damage to the relationship with the girl, he now realizes, means more to him than he ever knew, or was scared to admit to himself before.  

Will she call?

(I spent the day this past Friday with 2 amazing women - fellow bloggers, Sarah & Deanna.  

I admire and respect their work and they were such an inspiration to me.  That is where this story began to grow.  From the thoughts they shared about their writing and photography.  

So I've decided to approach  this form of writing in my own way.  Choosing a picture that I've taken and then making up my story as to what I see through my lens.

I hope you enjoyed reading along and that your own imagination has taken you into a new world.)

Monday, July 21, 2014

Monday Morning Coffee

Good morning everyone!

A little late posting today - but it's summer and it's all about being laid back, right?

Even though I'm still in summer school - my day starts later than during the school year.  I like that.  Almost with it were that way all school year - but then it would mean we get out later in the day & I'm not so sure I'd like that.  Getting out of school at 3 almost seems like a I have a full day ahead of me.

So how was your weekend?  Mine?  It was wonderful.  The temps started to warm up again on Saturday - we were caught in the "polar vortex" last week again - NO joke!  That's what the weather people said.  Believe me, temps in the upper 40s at night in JULY are not the norm.  Michigan has crazy weather & I know it can change in the blink of an eye, but!  I like my summer days warm!

My weekend was filled with a little bit of this.....
Our new neighbor's that moved in back in February, but due to the mountains of snow between us, I didn't meet until probably March or so, had a new baby girl.  This makes baby #3 for them - so I made a dinner for them for Friday night.  It was my homemade mac-n-cheese, brownies, salad & garlic cheese bread.  Yes, there was beer in the mac-n-cheese, but it cooks off........and if it doesn't, it'll help the kiddo's sleep better, right?  

Just trying to be neighborly.  Don't judge me.

I did a little shopping as I'm sprucing up the "family room" for my special guest coming to visit this week.  SO excited to finally meet her IRL (in real life).  New bedspreads, sheets, and a little shjooshjing up makes me a happy girl!  

I found a couple bottles of my favorite brand of wine.  Being the Middle Sister - I am automatically drawn to it due to it's name, but it is a pretty tasty wine as well.  Again - I'm a happy girl.

Saturday Dream Boy headed up to Holland with his buddy for the Holland Hundred Ride.  They rode 102 miles in about 5 hours, averaging 17 miles per hour.  God bless him - he loves to ride.  I enjoy it too, but not to his level.  

With the day to myself, I started it off with a family photo shoot, which included 3 dogs!  I'll post more on that shoot later this week.  It was a beautiful morning and everyone was in good spirits.  

I then headed home and picked up a little fuzzy monkey butt along the way as her mama & daddy were up north for the weekend.  

Once home, the rest of my Saturday was filled with some of this......
Fuzzy Monkey Butt Midget loves to chase the chipmunks!  She can get that little nose of her's right down into their holes.  

I decided I needed a little shjooshjing up too, so I changed my looks.  I did some home highlighting!  Haven't done this in about 4 years, so decided it was time again.  Whoa baby.  SHOCKER!  Pulling off the cap & looking in the mirror made me go, "wha-the-what did I do?"  But I'm embracing the blonde and having fun with it again.  Dream Boy came home around 6 and we ordered from our favorite little mexican restaurant in our little village - Nina's.  He picked it up and brought it home so we could enjoy it with an ice cold golden beverage.  We ordered a side of chips, which were still warm - freshly made.  LOVE them.

Sunday took us to church and then to our favorite cafe for some food and fellowship with the other regulars.  We headed home and basically vegged the rest of the day away until S&D#1 came for dinner, where we feasted on grilled chicken. veggies & rice.  We topped off dinner with dessert - D#1's favorite part of any meal.  We had root beer floats - best way to end a perfect day.

So it's Monday & I am starting the 2nd week of session 2 summer school.  Only 2 more after this and then I have 3 weeks off.  I'm looking forward to this Thursday & Friday when I get to meet up with a couple of blogging buddies and spend the day(s) with them exploring with our cameras the shoreline of Lake Michigan.

Have a great week everyone!  As always, thank you for sharing your coffee time with me today!  

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Fun Family Shoot

Remember that photo shoot I told you about during coffee on Monday?
This family was so much fun to play with, seriously.

Non-stop laughter and fun.  Everyone got into it.  There were 5 little one's that we were concerned were going to get bored and therefore, get a little cranky, but the adults kept them so entertained, there was NO chance of boredom!
It also helped that there was a bridge with a creek where they could hang out and enjoy the moment.  And also know that the snake was safely coiled up under the heater up by the pool, far away from us all.  

Thank you Lord!  Yes, the first thing I heard as I was walking up the driveway was, "there's a snake by the pool heater"………it was all I could do to not turn around and jump in my car and drive far, far away.  This girl canNOT handle snakes -- or spiders.  I had goosebumps for a very long time until I knew the snake was far away from our shooting area.  I have shivers NOW just remembering it!

We shot towards the end of the evening and this, I must say, is one of my absolute favorites.  Loved the way the light was streaming through and gave that hazy glow.

It was a beautiful summer night, a bit humid and warm - but compared to the "polar vortex" that we are once again gripped with in Michigan (it's currently 67 out - WELL below the norm for mid July), I would take it back in a heart beat.

I'm off to finish editing this session, I have another family shoot lined up for this Saturday morning and then a few days of play next Thursday and Friday with some blogging buddies!!!

Yep, I get to meet up IRL with Deanna from "Snippets from Springdale" and Sarah from "Paisley Rain Boots".  Deanna is coming to stay with me and then we are heading up to meet with Sarah the next morning and explore the shorelines of Lake Michigan with our camera's.  Oh, I can hardly wait ---- I LOVE meeting new friend's and learning from them.

I'll be back soon!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Monday Morning Coffee

"Golden Sunset"

Ah-mazing show on Friday night on the shores of Lake Michigan.  All the pinks, blues & golden hues were in full splendor.  At first it didn't seem as though we'd see the sun sizzle into the waters below, as a bank of clouds moved in just prior.  But then an opening appeared and the sun started to blaze through, leaving you in awe of the beauty.

Dream Boy & I drove up to Holland on Friday night to have dinner with friends who were camping at the state park.  It was a wonderful dinner with the best company.  They are so much like the 2 of us, just love spending time with them.  After dinner, they treated us to ice cream at the local shop and then on down to the beach to watch the sunset.  Check that off my bucket list for the summer.  

Saturday was a very, very, very humid day.  I spent the afternoon at a bridal shower for daughter-in-law's sister.  It was a wonderful event and so much food!  SO much food that Dream Boy & I went back over for dinner on Sunday night for leftovers.

Sunday, after storms pushed through Saturday night, the skies cleared and the humidity pushed out and it was a gorgeous day.  We went to church in the morning, then out to breakfast to our favorite digs and then relaxed at home for a while before heading over to the kid's for dinner. 

I had to book out of there right after eating for a photo shoot with a friend of mine.  Her oldest daughter & her family had come in from Texas - all 7 of them and my friend wanted family pics.  They were an absolute HOOT to play work with.
Does this give you an idea of what I had to work with?  Oh my goodness - we all laughed so much!  More to come on this family shoot later in the week.

Well - I have a full day of summer school today.  We had a glitch in the system last Thursday so the chilluns' got to go home early, but they have to put the time in this afternoon to finish their course work.

Have an awesome week - and thank you, thank you, thank you for sharing your coffee time with me today!!

Sunday, July 13, 2014

I Have NO Idea.....


I really don't know why I haven't blogged much as of late.  Dream Boy asked me the other day what is happening?  I can't put my finger on it, but I just haven't been.

Life is busy and all, seriously.  Can't you tell?  But I need to be better at regular blogging.

It has always been my dream to work this little corner of my world into something more.  Something that will take me into my retirement with ease, something that will ------ oh, I don't know ---- inspire others.

I love to journal.  Always have.  But come to think of it, that has been sporadic throughout my life as well.  I can journal on a daily basis for a year or so, but then it gets pushed aside, only to be picked up again at some future date. I have quite the collection of journals, a LOT of blank ones just waiting for thoughts and memories to be written down.  I like to use them for my blogging as well, because I generally carry one with me all the time.  To write my thoughts in as they come to me.

So, I will work harder at blogging more regularly.  I don't know how many people truly follow along, but you know what?  That's not the point - is it?  It's for my well being, my thought process and part of what makes me who I am.

Enjoy your Sunday & stop by soon, like for coffee tomorrow morning.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Monday Morning Coffee

Hey everyone!

Wow - what a fantastic weekend!  So much fun and memories packed into 3 days.  LOVED every moment!

Friday found Dream Boy on a long bike ride to see his mom and I went and picked up some groceries for the weekend.  When he came home we took Libbit the Wonder Dog to the dock.  
Gotta love summer.

That night Dream Boy & I headed into town to the local baseball game.  What a fun place.  So much going on, we spent more time watching people than the actual game.  Hahaha.  After the game was over, we were all let onto the field where they shot off fireworks.  

Saturday we met up with S&D#1 for breakfast and then headed out to the big lake and parked it on the beach.  It was kind of overcast, but it was a beautiful day none the less.  At one point, I laid back on my chair and took a little siesta.  When I awoke, I thought I had woke up on a beach in the south of France as everyone around me spoke French - not English.  S#1 was laughing at me when I asked if we were in France?  He said, "no - we're in Canada"..........needless to say, I was quite bummed.

Saturday found us at home with a pizza and a movie and just chillaxin around the homestead.

Sunday was a quiet day for us.  We spent most of the day at home, Dream Boy working on rebuilding his newly repaired/painted bike and I read and worked on a project for my bedroom to try & make some sense of my tangled mass of necklaces & bracelets that are taking over my bedside table.

We headed over to friend's that night for a delightful dinner - a feast of smoked chicken, brats, salads galore, garlic cheesy bread, beer, and desserts!  Oh my - I shouldn't need to eat for 3 days after that, but I doubt that will happen.

I'm back in the classroom for my last week of the 1st session of summer school.  Hard to believe we've been through 3 weeks already.  Where did June go, let alone the 4th of July already.

This week also will be a difficult one as I am helping arrange a luncheon to follow the funeral of one of our student's who was tragically struck & killed by a train last week.  Needless to say, our little community has been rocked to it's very core.  Say a prayer or two or more for this family & all of our student's who have been directly affected by Tyler's death.  

Talk with you all soon.......have a great week!